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Martin Freeman's One Man show
We are expected to live in the society in a certain way. Living in a family, we are expected to set aside some of our wishes to fulfill those of people around us. Before we die, we try to gather as much resources for our family for them to live with ease. We make sure that people dear to our heart are taken care of. But what if the world is not what it is now and society as we know it doesn't exist? What would you do if even all of your efforts combined cannot ensure the safety of your family after you die? In a world infected with a virus that turns people into flesh eating zombies, what are you willing to risk so that your children won't have to?
These are the kind of questions Cargo answers. It's a race against time for an infected father who is desperately trying to find a safe home for his infant daughter to live after he's gone. On his way, he meets a variety of people whom he assesses to be his daughter's guardian. Cargo is not your run on the mill zombie flick. It dwells with the humanities part of it - loosing empathy towards others, taking advantage of others who need your help, helplessly watching your loved ones dying, constant fear for your children etc. Cargo takes its time to conjure up an emotional climax enough to make your heart heavy. Some might call it slow, I'll call it a necessary build up.
I've never seen Martin Freeman in a leading role before this. He mostly plays the clumsy friend or uptight English gentlemen who needs being saved from something or the other. Here, he is the star and his character is the movie. He proved he can singlehandedly carry an emotionally charged movie on his shoulders, that too with ease. All this with the harsh, arid landscape of Australia and the tribal music which is eerie and magnificent at the same time, the movie becomes a real treat.
Instead of creating high budget low rating movies like Mute, The Outsider and The Cloverfield Paradox, Netflix should come up with more of movies like this and I Don't Feel Like Home in This World Anymore and promote them instead. Now that it clearly looks like the new season of 13 Reasons Why is not as taut as the first one, Cargo seems like a better alternative for one of your lazy evenings.
October - An unconventional tale of unconditional love
When my parents asked me if I want to go watch October with them, I was a little skeptical. One of the reason was the trailer. It did not clarify if the movie is going to be a comedy or a sensitive drama. Also, I was anxious if my parents are going to like it. At last, I went through all the Shoojit Sirkar movies on IMDb and found that I gave them all of them a 7 out of 10. I really like his flicks, they're usually made skillfully and have moments which leave an unconscious smirk on your face. But they couldn't hit the mark for me. October reformed this.
October is about Dan. Dan is an intern in a big hotel. He is mischievous, temperamental and sluggish. A total opposite of Shiuli. A meticulous and lovely girl who is attentive and responsible. But fate had its way and Shiuli had an accident which landed her in a coma. Dan, who rarely crosses path with Shiuli unexpectedly becomes drawn to her after her accident. The rest of the movie is an eccentric tale of Dan falling in love with Shiuli, who might not wake up ever again.
It is very tough to even visualize how someone would fall for someone like that. It's not even a case of fault which we have seen in some previous movies, where the person responsible for the accident finds himself/herself linked to the affected. October rather deal with Dan's curiosity. It starts with Dan frequently visiting Shiuli. Then he starts talking to the family, the staff and the doctors. A type of connection is build when he came to know that she asked about him right before her accident. This changed a lot for Dan. The fact that a girl who he hardly knows asked about him and the remorse that he might never be able to tell her anything is the driving force of this movie. It's one of those movies which might have a light story but is made very strong by captivating performances. Shoojit Sirkar should be given the credit for such a remarkable screenplay. One of the things that fascinate me is how the pace of the movie is kept constant but yet there is no point where you'll be sidetracked. I was expecting a heavy melodramatic speech in the end like the one we saw in Neerja (I have no problem with Neerja, but I just feel that the whole movie is highly dependent on that one speech by Shabana Azmi in the end). But nothing like that was here, the whole movie was like slice of life. It showed how someone can get so affected by someone's loss that they might even start having feelings for them. The few jokes which put here and there added to the straightforwardness of the characters, especially that of Dan.
Playing Dan can easily be said to be a turning point for Varun Dhawan's carrier. It could've been Badlapur but the limelight was stolen by Nawazuddin at that point. Varun has put a lot of effort in this role and its evidently visible. The presence of decent supporting cast helped but the movie was to be carried on his shoulders which he was able to accomplish with finesse.
October is one such beautiful movie which has a rare brilliance which won't go unnoticed. It left me thinking about the complex human emotions and definition of unconditional attachment to someone. Last time any Bollywood movie which affected me like this was Guzaarish. For me, October is Shoojit Sirkar's best. I hope this movie win a lot of accolades and awards and I wouldn't be surprised if it gets Oscar buzz as well.
A Quiet Place (2018)
A Silent Masterpiece
A Quiet Place is a movie which tells the tale of a family which is forced to live in silence when their lives are threatened by some sort of creatures who have taken over the world. The cast includes real-time couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt along with Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe. The film is directed by John Krasinski himself who, before this, has one more directorial credit before this movie.
First of all, let me try to make it clear how much I liked the film. I think this movie is a silent masterpiece and there are so many others which try to reach this level but haven't in my opinion. This movie had the power which Don't Breathe (2016 crime thriller directed by Fede Alvarez and starring Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette) only touched upon but couldn't master. Movies like these force the audience to hold their breath as if they're in the film's setting and even one sound from us could also be harmful to the characters inside the film. This was strengthened by the crisp and effective development of characters so that we immediately felt connected to the family and also feared for them. I was 10 mins in and I knew I am going to like it. In just 1.5 hours the movie has so many awesome scenes that throughout the movie I had a lump in my throat. I wouldn't say that I was scared, not at all, but I'll say this much, this movie made sure that I'll stay clear of any kind of rusty nail (you'll know, go watch it).
Now, let us talk about what makes it so good. First, the silence. The music is perfect and only used when absolutely required. Kind of like Gravity (2013 Alfonso Cuaron directed, should not need any more introduction than that), where the music only comes into play when the debris from the spaceships becomes visible. The similar concept was tried in Hidden (Also about a family, living in a bomb shelter after an outbreak on the surface, hiding from whatever is out there), 2015 horror mystery by Duffer Brothers, but as I said earlier, A Quiet Place perfected it.
The star cast limited and fitting. The reason this movie was my most awaited this year was one, intriguing trailer and two, Emily Blunt. After Edge of Tomorrow, Blunt is my new favourite. Krasinski was a plus as I wanted to see what he would do here, something totally different than what he is known for. Also, Simmonds continues to amaze me. After a decent performance in Wonderstruck, she deserves a thumbs up here as well. A similar comparison can be done with 10 Cloverfield lane, a 2016 horror mystery which worked because of an outstanding cast including Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman.
I just don't understand how these actors are so good at directing suddenly. First Jordan Peele with his Oscar-worthy direction with Get Out and now Krasinski. The direction in this feels so mature that it was hard for me to believe at first that it's his second feature. The editing reminded me of Baby Driver (which I feel was the best last year, Dunkirk, a close second).
So, in conclusion, I would say I loved it. Go watch it as soon as you can in your nearest theatre, I know I will watch it again whenever I get the chance. I have only one complaint and that is why did it end! Can we have a sequel, please!
Small Town Crime (2017)
A thoroughly enjoyable feature
Small town Crime is a crime thriller directed by Ishom Nelms and Ian Nelms. The director duo's previous project was a low budget comedy starring James Lafferty and Danny Glover. This time they took it up a notch and created this awesome entertaining fun filled mystery.
Small Town Crime is a story about an alcoholic ex-cop who found a body of a girl of the side of the road and takes it upon himself to find the killer at all costs. Little did he know that it may pose a danger to people he hold dear to his heart.
The lead is played by John Hawkes, who you might remember from his Oscar nominated performance in Jennifer Lawrence starrer Winter's Bone. Hawkes is the heart and soul of this film. He portrays a raging alcoholic who has little to live for, is hilariously unapologetic and sometimes outright crazy. But never did he falter in playing it in any way. One of the strong point of this film is mature acting from Hawkes as well as the others. Hawkes' character remained true to its nature even as the story was getting complex with the unexplained murders of underage prostitutes in this small town. The story is well paced and thoroughly enjoyable.
One thing which I found little annoying was that the climax could have been more exciting. But this could be because as I was near the end I was so much into it that I didn't want it to finish.
As Small Town Crimes is on Netflix trending list now a days, its high time you catch a good budget movie with classy action filled with mystery, thrill and occasional but effective humour.
I was blown away!
I asked my friend if I want to watch a Marathi film, which one should I go for. Without a pause he told me to start by watching Natsamrat. I was a little skeptical at first, as the storyline seemed too similar to Baghaban - Amitabh Bachchan starrer hindi movie which came out some time ago. But, after watching this movie, I can say I'm glad that I did.
A Storm is looking for a home.... After retirement, a famous stage actor and his wife start feeling that they are unwanted in the lifestyle of their children. Ganpat, played by Nana Patekar, is known to be the best, a 'Natsamrat'. He loves speaking his mind and does not hesitate to indulge in playful debates. He loves acting, dramas, stage more than life. But as we proceed, and this is where the film becomes extraordinary, we see how so many tragedies and betrayal come his way that he forgets everything. There is a point where he says he has never attended a play before and watching one is a bad habit. This emotion is present throughout. This feeling of slowly loosing everything you love - the respect of your family, the things you love etc. and not being able to cope with it. The film is directed and edited well. Even after being almost 3 hours long, it does not feel tiring at all. I don't think anyone other than Nana would have done justice to the role. He is just amazing with words, especially when he is seen reciting poems, plays which Ganpat used to perform in the past. Nana certainly brought life to the character. After watching this, I am certainly going to look for other Marathi movies. Regional cinema in India is providing amazing movies which are character driven and have depth but find it difficult to rise above the regional tag.
J.K. Simmons is awesome!
Counterpart is based on this amazing concept. Something happened during the Second World War because of which the world got split into two parallel dimensions. Now, there is an organization which keeps the balance between the world by acting as border patrol at the gateway through which you can travel to the other dimension. It all becomes visible to a low-level employee when he found out that his 'Counterpart' - i.e. himself from the other world has come through and all hell is about to break loose.
The best thing about Counterpart - J.K. Simmons. He portrayal of two different persons, who share some portion of their childhood but have a totally different life after that, is marvellous. Although, the whole cast is amazing at what they do, though many times it feels like he is carrying the whole weight on his shoulder. The show has a political angle as well, which gives the creators pretty much every liberty to work around their own imagination.
Tomb Raider (2018)
Not that kind of Croft
Although it has funny puns on previous movies, like, 'I am not that kind of Croft' and 'Finally, a Croft with some sense', it is very serious in its task to differentiate it from Jolie's Croft.
I think people who are fans of the Tomb raider are actually fans of Jolie's portrayal of the character rather than the films. In this film, which is actually an origin story, you'll see Croft scared, crying and getting beat up but eventually rising above. For that Alicia Vikander was a really good choice. She is funny and timid at the start but till the end she will make you believe that she can pull this series off.
The movie has some nice twists and turns, some amazing visuals and stunts and a really cool follow up story to build in the next film.
Go and watch it guys. Its a Hollywood Masala entertainer.
Beautiful, unique and captivating
Annihilation is a movie about a team which goes into the Shimmer - this eerie place which suddenly appeared on earth one day and is now spreading its range. The team's objective is to find out what is happening inside which is making the previous teams to never return. The task seems simple enough but its not though.
The movie is directed by Alex Garland from the fame Ex Machina. With only two credits to his name, Alex has achieved wonders. Annihilation is as beautiful as it is engaging. The movie has the precise amount of obscurity which is essential for it to stick to audience's mind and persist for a long time after watching it. I was really disappointed when they decided to halt the worldwide release and make it available on Netflix, because the visuals are amazing. Natalie Portman was astonishing as a soldier scientist who goes into the shimmer out of curiosity to know what happened to her husband, the sole survivor who does not seem himself since he returned. Apart from her, I really liked Jennifer Jason Leigh's character portrayal. Annihilation is like Arrival (2016 movie by Denis Villeneuve) in so many manners. It is not quite an alien invasion flick. For most part, you don't know a lot of things but you're so enthralled by the movie that you will most definitely stick till the end to clear all your uncertainty, even come back to some of the scenes to gain clarity. I would love to see something like this again. It was original, visually stunning and captivating.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Probably the best we have seen this year
For me this is the best this year. And yes, I have seen Dunkirk. Denis Villeneuve is the new rising star who has constantly surprised us with exceptional direction. Blade runner, just like Arrival, seems out of the world. It's almost 3 hours long but I just didn't want it to end. It reminded me of Gravity. I didn't want to miss even one scene. It was captivating. It was new in all sense, but there was a hint of the original which made it memorable. The cast was well suited, with Ryan Gosling giving a ravishing performance. This creative venture is going to stay for long in people's mind as it is definitely a classic. I urge everyone to go and watch it in theatre as it is an experience worth your time. The movie is struggling on box office as it does not appeal to mass audience. But still I will ask them to give it a chance for the shear pleasure of watching stunning visuals which this film has captured and also, the music, which is the soul of this movie.
Spectacular finale to a fantastic series!
War for the planet of the Apes
Never have I ever thought that I will be this happy to see my own kind getting defeated by a bunch of apes. I even thought that apes should win, as their no point in being the most intelligent species of the planet without a spec of humanity left in us. When we loose humanity, we loose hope, we loose trust and we start fighting each other. But apes, no.... Apes together, apes strong!
This movie is dark to its core, brutal as wars are but at the same time emotional enough that you may have to hold your tears at some points. There is enough story to make you empathise with the apes and angry at humans. I expected the third installment to be grand, and it was better than that.
Heart touching dialogues - check Emotional close up scenes - check Spectacular slow motion action - check Background music so perfect it fits in every scene - hell, yeah!
It had everything I wanted to see in a movie like this. You may not like it as much as I did but you will sure want more movies in the series after watching it. I know I want to see more, but at the same time I don't want this series' name to get diluted. I hope if they do come up with a sequel or prequel of spin off, they manage to create the magic again as they did this time.
I give it 8.5/10.
Baby Driver (2017)
The most stylish movie of the year so far
I knew I will like this movie as soon as I was finished watching the first trailer, but I didn't know I will be so pleased. Baby driver is not just a film, it can easily be one of the best musical we have seen so far this year. Every scene, every action has a rhythm to it. Every dialogue, every expression attached to a musical note. This movie is a good example of how greatness can be achieved by efficiently scoring the movie.
Baby driver is about a getaway driver who got mixed with the wrong crowd when he was young and is now forced to pull heiss with them. Everything goes 'Bananas' when he falls in love and starts finding a way out.
I've always been a big fan of Edgar Wright. But I always thought it is because Simon Pegg is his lucky charm. I know 'Scott Pilgrim vs the World' was good but it was nothing compared to 'Shaun of the Dead' or 'Hot Fuzz'. I even like 'At World's End' more. But at last, he has proved me wrong. Before going to watch Baby Driver, I also thought it could be that the movie may depend too much on the performances by the big names like Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx, but that was not the case. It was the amazing music and insane action sequences which are the actual star of the film.
Some of the amazing scores of the movie are, 'Hocus Pocus' by Focus, 'Tequila' by The Champs and 'Brighton Rock' by Queen. Other worthwhile mentions are Egyptian Reggae, Bellbottoms, Smokey Joe's La La and B-A-B- Y Baby. I remember I was shaking my head in the theater on every one of these songs. It felt like every song just fits with the frame perfectly.
There was this one scene which reminded me of another one from Shaun of the Dead, where Simon Pegg wakes up and goes to a shop to buy something. There is a similar one-shot scene here as well which resembles. I found out that such long one shots can be seen in other Edgar Wright movies as well.
Ansel Elgort has done amazing in a movie which could be his big break into critically acclaimed mainstream cinema. Although he shared the screen with Kevin Spacey and others, he made sure that audience will remember who the movie is really about. His character is cool, stylish, mysterious but funny at the same time. Spacey and Hamm both looked badass. But Jamie Foxx was the one who I liked the most, after Elgort off course. His character was the usual type of villain you love to hate and Foxx played it exactly like that. Also, Eiza Gonzalez played this hot love interest of Jon Hamm's character. Lily James looked cute.
So, in the end, I would like to say that Baby Driver is an awesome start for this season. After this, we have Spiderman – Homecoming, War of the Planet of the Apes (I am really excited about this one) and Dunkirk coming right after on another. So go watch it instead of going for Transformers and The Mummy.
Repetitive and boring
Dead men tell no tales takes Jack Sparrow, Henry Turner and Carina Smyth on an adventure of finding Poseidon's trident, which has the capability of giving its bearer the full control of the sea. Henry is non-other than the son of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann(Kiera Knightley) from the 'Curse of the Black Pearl' trilogy. Henry wants this trident to break his father's curse. But like all the other POTC movies, there is a villain who wants the same thing at the same time and also, wants to kill Jack Sparrow. And there is Barbossa because he has to be in all the movies.
A critic from Screencrush wrote, "Dead Men Tell No Tales is the sort of sequel that's so bad it makes you retroactively wonder why you liked the original film so much in the first place." I just watched it and felt the same. They have put all expected clique of the previous movies and mixed it up to present before the audience hoping that we will like it. We liked it the first time, In 2003, when Curse of the Black Pearl came, everyone was in love with the character 'Jack Sparrow'. It was a completely satisfying swashbuckler fun but it was also complete in itself. After looking at its success, they made two more. I won't deny saying that I found them okay too as any production house might have done that and also, they were not quite bad. The trilogy was complete and they should've stopped there. But, then the graph took a nosedive.
On Stranger Tides was bad but this one is a mistake. It is so boringly repetitive that I lost interest during the climax. The jokes were not funny this time. It felt as if they asked Johnny Depp to do something 'Jack Sparrowy' and they recorded it. The character additions played by Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario were not convincing enough. Geoffery Rush's Barbossa is now unbearable. Javier Bardem tried but you cannot save a sinking ship alone. They even tried to bring some characters from the initial movies back to send you into nostalgia but it is not going to work.
These thoughts about how much I disliked the movie came later. What came to my mind after coming out of the theater is that there were serious plot holes. SPOILER ALERT => Salazar and his crew had some connection with Jack's compass. They came to attack mode after Jack gave it away. But as far as I can remember, Jack has lost it or given it away to someone a dozen of times in previous installments. Where was Salazar then?
It's not like there is nothing to like, there are some moments to laugh. Also, visual effects are great. But the series has lost its touch. Maybe instead of heavily relying upon Jack Sparrow to make people laugh, they should focus more on what else can be done, what new horizons can be explored. I am telling this because they are planning to make another one. It is starting to feel like transformers, should've stopped after the first one, or after the trilogy.
Generation Kill (2008)
It is an account of a rolling stone reporter about the days he spent with many recon marines during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It is based on a book by Evan Wright, which was published in 2004, describing his experience of the war. It is a seven-part series with hour length episodes.
The series succeeded in presenting the real picture of the war in front of us. It is not just the stories of heroics shown by the first recon marines, it is a presentation of a part of their life when they were there and how they tried to cope with it. One of the best things about it is that there is almost no theatricality. We follow a number of characters with the totally different psyche. Some want to kill everything they see, some are incompetent for their post, some hide their nervousness with jokes and some just want this war to end. War brings them all together. When they fight, race, color, religious or sexual orientation doesn't matter. But this war is also taking some of them away from humanity as well. The series successfully showed that the operation undertaken in Iraq was far from perfect.
The series follows Sgt. Brad 'Iceman' Colbert and his team. Iceman is the representation of sanity in the turmoil of the war, which is played by Alexander Skarsgard pretty efficiently. Other than that, I really liked the parts played by Stark Stands (Lt. Nathaniel Fick), Chance Kelly ( Lt. Col. Stephen 'Godfather' Ferrando), Eric Nenninger ( Cpt. Dave 'Captain America' McGraw) and Rudy Reyes (Sgt. Rodolfo 'Rudy' Reyes).
Sure, it's not "Band of Brothers", but it is a great watch if you want to look beyond what we were told about the situation in Iraq at that time.
London Spy (2015)
A nice emotional thriller, with more emotions and less of the thrill of the art of espionage
London Spy is about a guy who meets another guy, fell in love and decided that this is the person he can spend rest of his life with. Until the other person ends up murdered. After his dreams being shattered, he found out that there was a lot which he did not know about his boyfriend, who happens to be a spy. Also, he has to clear his name as a suspect. He refused the stories being fed to him and took it upon himself to fight the unknown resisting forces to find the truth about how the man he loved so much ended up dead.
I love to watch Ben Whishaw on screen. I can watch anything he is in. In this five-part series, he played the part of an innocent lover of a spy with amazing finesse. On top of that, you'll get to see Charlotte Rampling's mysterious portrayal of a mother who just lost her son. Also, special mention should be given to Jim Broadbent for playing a Man Friday to the lead character.
The series follows Ben while he tries to find out who killed his lover and why. He is so unsure of what is going on but he is sure of one thing, Alex (his lover, played by Edward Holcroft) loved him more than anything. This gives him the courage to tackle anything which comes between him and finding the truth. One thing which I had a problem with was his amazing abilities to fill the holes in the stories. Many times it feels like he would come up with a connection between things on his own just like that.
Nevertheless, the series is an amazing watch. It has a lot of twists and turns but mostly what I loved were intense conversations between crucial characters.
Hindi Medium (2017)
Food for Thought
Hindi medium is about a businessman and his wife who want their daughter to get admission in the best school of the city. Both of them think that if their daughter goes to a normal government school like they did when they were kids, she will not receive the proper education and most importantly, won't be able to match up with the 'English speaking' children of her age.So they decided that they will do anything to make sure she gets admission in one of the best schools of Delhi. The movie captures the journey of two parents as they move from a high-class society to give their child exposure to a small 1- room apartment in a disease prone area to register for admission as a child of a poor family. It may be too late for the reality to descend on them that these actions of theirs are affecting a lot of other people too.
The movie explores the desperation of parents as they go to great lengths to give the best education to their children. Also, it tells us how big institutions can tweak the admission process. In the end, it leaves you with many questions. Is it really worth it? Making your child study in a school where she may never be able to fit? Should English be the only thing distinguishing between who gets admission and who doesn't?
Even after focusing this heavy subject, the movie is light. The facts are presented with jokes to make it watchable and even entertaining for the audience. Sometimes, it feels like the film is missing point and extending some not-so-important sequences. This slowed the pace for a while but it picked it up again in the end.
Irfan Khan brought his best to the character of a Chandni Chowk Saree salesman who is a concerned father and a loving devoted husband who will do anything for best education of his child, or, as his wife always warns him, keep their child away from drugs as she grows old. Saba Qamar did a fine job but still has a long way to go. The duo posed as a nice on screen couple. Deepak Dobriyal, who portrayed a helping natured hard working factory worker, was fantastic as always. He sure has gathered many accolades for his recent ventures and this film will also add some more. Director Saket Chaudhary, known for directing "Pyaar ke side effect", did okay. Music was one plus point, with some gracefully placed new songs accompanied by remixes of some well-known songs.
In summary, I would say the movie is definitely worth a watch. So, what it is not a great one, but it sure will give you a lot to think about. In that process, you may talk about it a lot and will also suggest it to others, as I am doing now.
Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Heavenly Creatures is a story about the notorious duo Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme who, in their teenage years, killed Honora Parker, Pauline's mother, in cold blood. Parker's murder is one famous case of 1950s which later inspires many plays, books and also, movies. Pauline and Juliet like nothing more than each other's company. They came close as they both had experience of suffering from some kind of severe illness as children. During their friendship, the girls used to create imaginative worlds with kings and queens and knights and loved to dream about that instead of focusing on reality. In reality, their parents were getting suspicious of their friendship and hence, decided that the girls should be separated as their friendship is poisonous. All this and a lot happened after which the girls decided that killing Pauline's mother and running away is the only option left for them.
Sure, you would say that their attachment was unhealthy. It is convenient to say that it wasn't love that brought them together but pure madness. Both of the girls lived in a fantasy world created by them in their head to escape the reality that they may not stay together forever.
But this movie is not about that. Peter Jackson directed Heavenly Creatures is a portrayal of how innocent between two teenagers can wreak havoc. They movie shows us how close they were, almost inseparable. They lived as if there is no one else in the world. But, when you feel this much connected with someone, it is almost impossible to imagine how one will live if they get away somehow. You start feeling that everyone is your enemy as they are trying to take that one thing away which you cannot part with. Even if those who are trying to do this are your own parents. Step by step, the whole scenario is explained beautifully, right up to the murder.
The movie gave a successful entry to Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet into the world of Hollywood. Both of them played the troubled teenagers quite efficiently. Winslet brought the craziness to her character and Lynskey brought the innocence. The screenplay is something to look forward to. The audience is taken on a ride which swings between the reality and the fantasy world. In the end, the movie will make you feel sorry for both the girls, even after knowing what they did.
I think this movie is remarkable and gives everyone something to think about.
Touch of Evil (1958)
Way ahead of its time
I got to see the remastered version of the film which includes some of the additional editorial changes made by the Director Orson Welles. I must say, the directional and screenplay of the film is way ahead of its time. It's different than movies of the fifties in so many ways. The movie is filled with moving shots, silent close-ups and has an amazing dark atmosphere which complements the story.
The story has all hit elements for a perfect crime movie be it murder, kidnapping, corruption etc. We see a murder which is the start of it all. Then there is a couple who happens to be at the scene and are now somehow involved in a very big conspiracy which leads to the kidnapping. Also, we see an aging policeman trying to solve the case with his intuition (source of this intuition is a feeling he gets in his injured leg) but all he is doing is trying to prove his intuition right, even if it is not.
It is fascinating to watch all three of these stories getting connected so beautifully. Touch of Evil is a must watch if your like film-noirs of 50s and 60s but I assure you that you will find it a little different from those movies. In my case, I found it very refreshing.
Alien: Covenant (2017)
Enough to keep the series going.
Alien Covenant is definitely made out of the fear that what if the audience is not able to digest it, like what happened with Prometheus? So, they made sure to put a lot of masala in this one. By masala, I mean the scenes directly taken from the first 4 alien movies which we loved, the ones which made us jump with surprise. Alien Covenant is a follow-up after Prometheus. 2 prologues were released to connect the two film more appropriately, which I will suggest you watch before you go for this one, to connect the dots. The movie is about a colonization ship which is going to a planet but the crew decides to check a different planet first, from which a mysterious signal is being received. I like Prometheus unlike many of my friends as they missed the "Alien" touch in it. So, when we saw Covenant with all the "masala", they loved it. For me, the best part is Michael Fassbender's, David. It makes the film more interesting and brings depth to it. With his appearance, you start asking questions like, what happened to Dr. Shaw? What he's been up to till now? Does he still have 'issues' with humanity? The ending is quite intriguing and builds curiosity. Covenant is good enough to look forward to further installments.
Song of the Sea (2014)
When a movie touch your heart....
Song of the Sea is an animated fantasy drama about a brother and a sister. It is a beautiful painting of an adventure that takes two siblings on an amazing journey. In between, they will try to save lives, find a way home and most crucial, look for unanswered questions. You may not find the description as unique as the movie actually is. The reason is, this movie is not just about the adventure, it's about what they find while they are on it. It is not some treasure I speak of, it is the feeling of love towards one another, a sense of caring. Also, it is about hope, which pushes you beyond your limit to make you brave enough to face your worst fears.
The animation is over the top. It feels like we are looking at mere sketches but the characters feel real as you and me. So, when they will cry, you'll get emotional too. It is the powerful scenes like these because of which this movie is amazing. The song which the movie is all about is a melody to your ears and is nicely placed in the movie.
I would say that those of you who watched and liked movies like "A Monster Calls" and "Kubo and the two strings", you will like this one too. All in all, it is an interesting watch for everyone.
Trapped - scary, funny, entertaining
SPOILER: Victim - Shaurya (Rajkummar Rao)
Killer - An apartment, devoid of basic needs such as electricity or water
Potential Murder Weapon - Hunger, Thirst, Boredom, isolation
Accomplice - A mouse??
Trapped has all the elements to put it alongside the best thrillers we have seen so far.
Trapped is about Shaurya, played by Rajkummar Rao, who works in an IT firm. One fateful day, he shifted into a new apartment and got trapped inside. Nobody knows that he is in this high-rise apartment in a building, from where nobody can even listen him shouting for help. The movie is about his struggle to stay alive with limited resources and try to get out of there somehow.
Vikramaditya Motwane never seizes to amaze me. All three of his directed features are so refreshing to watch. Trapped is something new altogether. Great attention has been given to even smallest of the details. The movie has the potential to make you feel claustrophobic. From the start, you can see how efficiently the movie unfolds. First, you meet the protagonist, know about him a little bit. Then, you will get acquainted with the apartment where hell will break loose as we go on. The background score is minimal in the first half to let the movie breathe a little bit, get the audience face to face with the fact that yes, the problem is so much bigger than what we anticipated. Then it picks pace. Last I remember I saw such a setting in 'Kaun' starring Urmila.
No one can review Trapped without praising Rajkummar Rao. He has given a marvelous performance. He brought the perfect amount of hysteria in his voice when needed. It will make you pity the character and pray that he makes it out safely. Personally, I would say that it was even better than what we saw in 'Shahid', those of us who have seen 'Shahid' know that Rao set a high bar in that one.
In just 1 hour 45 minutes, the movie boldly presents before us what a person will do when something like this happens, without actually caring if some of the scenes can be too much for some of the audience.
Trapped is certainly worth a watch. You will feel like you are watching a film which is no way lesser in any aspects than any Hollywood survival movie, which we always say, "are so much better than Bollywood movies" Well, maybe not anymore!
Kong: Skull Island (2017)
An edge of the seat action monster flick!
Kong: Skull Island is about a team of scientists and soldiers who went on to explore an uncharted island. Little did they know that they are trespassing into the territory of the Kong, the King of Skull Island. Also, the island is filled with many mythical creatures, hidden from the rest of the world. Now, the team must fight to escape the wrath of these creatures. The movie is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, known for 'The Kings of Summer', and starring a stunning cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and John C. Reilly.
The special effects team is the one to give credit for the success of the film. The movie starts with a bang and ends with a bang. Everyone of the action sequence, whether it be the introduction scene of Kong or the final fight between Kong and 'Skull Crawler', are so created so well that it develops, and maintains the thrill throughout the movie. The film is well paced. Character build up is concise as we were not there to know about a bunch of soldiers or scientists were we? We went to the theaters to watch the Kong, the mighty monster. We wanted him to throw things, to smash something, to kill and that is what the movie makers understood while making the film. They introduced Kong early and gave him ample extent of screen time. I saw many from the audience screaming in enthusiasm every time Kong appeared on screen. I guess the character has gained a decent amount of fan following. There were a lot many scenes involving different mythical monsters which added to the excitement.
Apart from the constant edge of the seat action, two other things which I liked were the location and the soundtrack. The film is set in the era of 1970s, right after the Vietnam War. So, its soundtrack gave a feel of the 70s with songs by David Bowie, Iggy Pop etc. If we talk about acting, well, there was not much need of special efforts to be put in this department. If I have to mention someone I would say that I really like the character Hank Marlow, played by John C. Reilly. He was responsible of providing half the humor the movie has. All the other just added to the star value of the film.
I can confidently say that the film fits into the pattern of a well- executed monster movie. Compared to the one which came in 2005, this one definitely has much more to offer, but I still can't choose if you ask me which one is better. But what I can tell you is that this one is going to be a part of something bigger, so make sure you watch this, and the 2014 Godzilla movie. Legendary films have recruited writers to create a monster universe (A Mosterverse!) including Godzilla and King Kong, how cool is that right!
Logan - review of an awesome emotional drama
Buzz was all around about this one. Many have been waiting for long to watch it. The trailers were remarkable. I was eager too, but I was skeptical about it at first because I have seen the first two wolverines. Now, as I am here writing this review, I just cannot stop thinking how oddly satisfying that movie was. I was glad to see a marvel movie that is SO NOT marvel. It had elements which we do not expect a superhero movie to explore. That is why I can say with no doubt it was a breathtaking emotional drama.
It's 2029. Wolverine is old and a junkie. He drives a taxi for a living, just keeping his head down hiding from his past. He helps around to take care of Charles, Professor X who is not capable of what he was once. Mutants are gone. What is left is a life which is hard for everyone, with only one purpose – survive, somehow. It was really gloomy seeing two of our beloved characters in circumstances like this. Then, they found a purpose. A girl, mutant, just like wolverine and then begins the ultimate chasing game.
Some of the scenes were so powerful, you just can't help but feel bad for the characters, especially Logan. Quoting Pierce, played by Boyd Holbrook, "Logan, just seeing you like this broke my damn heart!". Also, the movie is brutal to the core. Everyone in the theater was gasping during the action sequences. This is not it. The movie plays with humor effortlessly, placing it at precise points in the perfect amount. The character development is so strong, that you will overlook that they have superpowers. I remember there was this one conversation on-screen and it was such an emotional one that I was thinking about it long after it was done.
The actors did a wonderful job. For Hugh Jackman, I have no words. For me, it was his best performance so far. Patrick Stewart's old sick Charles will unquestionably be remembered for long. Daphne as the young girl was superb. I don't know how they managed to show the kind of fight she did but it was something incredible to watch. A special mention should be given to Boyd Holbrook, who played mean villain Pierce. His humorous demeanor and southern accent added to the charisma of his role.
So, go watch Logan as soon as you can to your nearest theaters. Some would say that it is the best superhero movie they have seen in a very long time. I would say that for me the best would be Civil War. This is because I won't put Logan and other superhero movies in the same category. Logan is something different altogether. All the more reason to watch it right?
SPLIT - James McAvoy's Finest!
When I first saw McAvoy in the movie Wanted, I pegged him as just one of the plethora of actors who come and go and you don't even remember their face after some time. After about a year, I watched Atonement. I was surprised because the actor who I saw on the screen was no rookie, and before that, I was seldom wrong about such thing. So, I started looking for all the movies starring James McAvoy. In my quest, I found Filth and Trance, after which I became a die hard fan. He carries every one of his performance with a finesse which could pull up the entire movie by itself.
So naturally, I was very excited about Split. One other reason was M. Night Shyamalan in whom I had faith even after watching The Visit. So, I went to the theater yesterday. First-day first show in Pune, India, about a month after its release in the US. There were 7 silhouettes I could see in the hall and I was afraid they would cancel the show, but I was wrong, fortunately.
Let me tell you something about Split. It is not meant for a mass audience. The film is about a man named Kevin who has 23 different personalities and a 24th is about to come out. He kidnaps 3 girls for some sort of ritual to be performed before the 24th personality arrived. Some of the personalities are dominant and are eagerly waiting for the 'Beast', the 24th entity. The girls have to escape somehow before they become the victim of the beast. Also, apart from these 24 Kevins and the 3 girls, there was also Betty Buckley portraying Kevin's psychiatrist.
I have to say the movie left me speechless, especially the second half. It took advantage of the silence so very well that we had to refrain ourselves from taking our eyes away from the screen because it felt like anytime the movie is going to throw something awesome on our face. The main story line is in perfect blend with the past story of Casey, played by Anya Taylor Joy who did an amazing job by the way.
But, McAvoy stole the show. He played every one of his personalities so very well that in some of the scenes, he won't even speak a word but you will know from his body language what character he is in at that moment. In the second half, when the movie picked up a pace, you can hear a trace of a slur in his voice and then he would be a totally different person, with a different voice, accent, and behavior. My favorite out of the 24 was Hedwig, a 9-year-old child, who McAvoy portrayed with all the innocence he could bring up in his eyes. But that is the thing, there is this one personality which you would hate to love and there is this other one you would love to hate. Such a character can only come alive on screen if played by the finest actors we know.
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)
Welcome Back, Mr. Wick!
I've been waiting for this one for I don't even remember how long. Since I watched its John Wick in 2014, I became a fan of this character. John Wick, living a dull life, keeping it to himself and far away from the world. But when you mess with him, he will end you.
First of all, I would like to say that I loved the first movie. I watched it, then I rewind it and watched all the action scenes again. It was classy, smooth, had great background score and most importantly, all the action scenes were so well choreographed that it looked like as if they were dancing.
So naturally, my expectations were too high when I went today to watch Chapter 2 and I must say, it was every bit as awesome as the first movie. It was all there! The attributes of the chapter 1 which made me love it so much. The style, the class, sexy action sequences, the fear that the name 'John Wick' brings upon the faces of the bad guys, the slight humor about his retirement, his (another) dog etc. made it an apt sequel. Chapter 2 is similar to its predecessor on so many levels but still offers so much more. For example, a jaw-dropping ending which left the audience wanting more.
The cinematography is definitely better. As far as the performance goes, Keanu Reeves never disappoints me. I like all of his performances but now I think I will always remember him in this avatar, as John Wick. The supporting cast did their part pretty well. There were some old faces, mostly new. Special credit should be given to Riccardo Scamarcio, who played Santino D'Antonio. Along with that, I liked Ruby Rose as well. She played a silent sexy killer. She was mute, but even she had some kick-ass dialogues, shown translated on screen!
I loved the experience I had watching this movie. The deafening sound of the guns, the flashing lights, the flying bad guys and (a small spoiler :)) the bloody pencils! That is why I suggest you go and watch it in theaters as soon as possible. If you like the first movie, I am sure you will definitely like this one too.
I don't know how long will they take to bring out its third installment but it better be quick.
Blair Witch (2016)
The new project of Blair Witch
It has not been much time since the new Blair Witch movie hit the theaters 17 years after the classic horror. Those who watched BW Project know that it introduced us to a totally different concept. Since then I have seen so many found footage movies that I cannot keep track of. But if you ask me I will still say that The Blair Witch Project is one of the finest.
Was there any need to make a sequel? If you ask me, I'll say probably not. For me it was complete. The last scene was the best way to sum it up. I felt proud every time when I used to EXPLAIN why that was an epic scene. But, I asked many of my friends and they said, why not? It is a well-known movie, this could give rise to a very profitable franchise, like Paranormal Activity. I guess if you put it that way, why the hell not!
Blair Witch released this year any I must say that I am not that disappointed. Not because I liked it because I was not expecting much. It was a 5/10 for me and I am okay with that. At least the did not mess it up like many that came before it.
Blair Witch is a definitely a watchable movie. If you like jump scares a lot, I would say go for it. Surely it was difficult to match the thrill of the ending of its predecessors but they also showed some of the footage from the BW project so I guess it's fine. The problem is that it is very loosely connected to the previous one. Also, it will not take you much time to totally forget about it.
All I was thinking after watching this one that I should watch the Blair Witch Project once again.