Saturday, November 3, 2012
Halfway through my first viewing of Cloud Atlas, I knew I had to watch it again. When I finished, I debated. Commercial compromise is much harder for me to take than lack of ambition. Cloud Atlas sold out. I make that statement now after two full viewings. I greatly admire and respect what the film initially set out to do. This is a film with a numerous characters, lesser actors, several events, plenty of scenes and a lot to chew on. They’re all pieced together into a beautiful collage, as if it were the grandest editing project by a film scholar of the highest rank. Nevertheless, the film bears it all evenly. The tone wavers, but never falters.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Friday, August 31, 2012
As of now The Bourne Supremacy is my favourite of the film adaptations of The Bourne Trilogy. Mainly because it doesn’t involve a pretty lady risking her life simply to be a part of this ride. Of course, their relationship later develops into a half-baked affair. Well, that’s fiction for you. And I’m not complaining. I’m just naturally more inclined towards realism. The Bourne Legacy, within its fictional confines, is the most realistic instalment to date. Rachel Weisz’s character doesn’t hop on because she wants to begin an affair with Jeremy Renner’s Aaron Cross. She has no plan, not a clue about saving herself from a very powerful organization and she needs Aaron Cross, just as much as he needs her pharmaceutical experience to disinfect him.
Despite running in parallel to the previous instalment, The Bourne Legacy somehow doesn’t share so much with its predecessors. It’s the same world but the approach begins from elsewhere, the take is different and the perspective is through another pair of eyes. The hunted doesn’t interest film-maker Tony Gilroy as much as its hunter, or hunters. The Bourne Legacy is The Ghost Writer meets Michael Clayton meets Bourne, in that order. Even the swarm of antagonists are given a fair share of screen-time and their mastermind, Eric Byer (Edward Norton), a good deal of characterization.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Thursday, May 31, 2012
This isn’t a review. This is a write-up of my experience of revisiting, after a few years, the 1995 film Casino. Contrary to its title, Casino is not one of those gambling movies. It’s a follow up to Martin Scorsese’s mafia mob drama Goodfellas.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
There’s a creature. This creature is part human- part animal. The human goes to work at day, earns lucratively and lives a high-end lifestyle. At the break of dusk, this creature retreats to his den, morphing into an animal with a voracious sexual appetite and engages in a world of sexual activity. Hookers often visit, cybersex is routine and his store is filled with cartons of pornographic magazines. This creature is Brandon, Michael Fassbender’s character in Shame.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Monday, December 12, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Watching Delhi Belly is like smelling aftershave lotion. The first time you do, you like it but then it evaporates. That’s how volatile Delhi Belly is; its effect wears off in no time. Every joke works because of its inherently unpredictable nature and that is precisely why the film doesn't warrant a second viewing. You remember scenes from the film much more than the film itself. It has all the ingredients of a no-brainer - bare characterization, average acting and silly gags. Serving no purpose other than popcorn escapism, Delhi Belly is entertainment served on a silver platter. Just be sure to leave your brains behind.
Rating - 6/10
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Source code is a tightrope walked by Jake Gylenhaal and held on either ends by screenwriter, Ben Ripley and director, Duncan Jones. Jake Gylenhaal walks it with utmost sincerity yet he wobbles because Ripley and Duncan Jones are pushing him and our patience too hard. He never falls and you sit there hoping he makes it but you come to realize that it was all staged. A gimmick like this doesn't warrant a second viewing.
Colter Stevens (Jake Gylenhaal) wakes up to find himself on a train talking to Christina (Michelle Monaghan), a woman he’s never met. As flustered as he is, he goes in to the toilet to figure things out only to find a face he doesn’t recognize in the mirror. Eight minutes later, the train is blown to smithereens and he’s transported to a secret laboratory. Apparently, he’s been employed by Goodwin (Vera Farmiga), the commanding officer of an army of scientists who repeatedly transport him back (only virtually) for the last eight minutes of the explosion with the hope that he’d help in tracking down, the terrorist involved, and prevent another scheduled explosion. Every time he’s transported back he becomes increasingly callous and desperate, using violence to find what he needs. I loved this part. It’s nice to hurt someone and not have to live through the consequences because after all, it’s an alternate reality. Unfortunately, he seems more interested in finding out about his employers and trying to prevent the explosion even when he’s aware that he isn’t really changing the past. This is where the film begins to falter.
Stevens is constantly told by Goodwin to focus on his mission. I wish the filmmakers did the same. The film ends up fluctuating between finding the terrorist and flirtatious conversations between Stevens and Goodwin (who conveniently turns from a hard ass to a humane do-gooder); and once in a while, his eight-minute built love for Christina. They could've stuck to just finding the terrorist by replaying the events, focused on the characters and kept us guessing. That’s precisely why Groundhog Day worked, with the laughs. But no, they’re clear with their intentions. They want to make money, a lot of it and they won’t compromise on that. Source code was hinged on structure at first, and then it shifted to the relationships of poorly written characters. I understand that there isn't enough room for characterization, but why take on more than you can handle?
The first half was constantly energetic while the second half steadily lost tempo. Another problem with source code is giving us its source code. It’s a science fiction; no one’s going to question it. We just suck it up. I don’t remember anyone asking about the how’s of Inception. They just asked where? Where does it end? That of course, was a word-of-mouth marketing trick. Source Code thinks it has ended on an intelligent note but it isn't smart enough to know that it doesn't.
Rating – 6/10
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Shallow. Dark. Unrealistic. Ribald. Hilarious. These five words encapsulate The Hangover Part two. The words shallow and unrealistic stand out to me. So the film didn’t really work for me. To those of you whom the words ribald and hilarious stand out, I recommend the film.
I find it hard to turn off my brain before watching a no-brainer. I am bombarded with questions regarding the plausibility of the film’s events. With The Hangover Part Two, each time I threw a question, it softly bounced off the screen; but I didn’t care. I was too engrossed in what was happening to even remember what it was that I wanted an answer to. The film switched off my brain. Starting from the same point as the prequel and ending at pretty much the same point, the film takes a similar journey, different in the number of bumps it encounters and the catastrophic nature of each. The screenplay is packed with dull dialogue but it tries mighty hard to torture its characters and awakens the sadist within us. Whether it is a moron getting sodomized by a tranny, a fingerless teenager being stuffed into a refrigerator or the ebbing pulse of a crack addict, we grin with pleasure. There’re extremely horrible parts but they’re so uncompromisingly horrible that you’re left in stitches. Well, that’s that. Now, I’ll tell you why it didn’t work for me. I expect a film to have decent characterization, developed relationships and fairly good acting. The Hangover Part Two doesn’t have any of these. Ed Helms is effective at displaying high-strung emotions but that’s about it. Zach Galifianakis, who delivered his best performance with a cameo appearance in Up in the Air, is more of an unnecessary appendage than those of the transexuals in the film. The Hangover Part two’s saving grace is Mike Tyson. It isn’t a feat to be proud of, though. Even as the credits roll, you’re sitting there watching a montage of still photos; not because you care about the characters but because you can’t get enough of seeing them suffer.