Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Two Line Reviews - #383

Movie: Akahige (or) Red Beard (Japanese,1965)

Plot: A doctor is forced to join the clinic of another chief doc who happens to be as arrogant and straightforward as he is talented. The film traces how, through saving patients, the new doctor learns to respect his mentor to such an extent that he wishes to emulate him sacrificing his worldly pleasures.

What Works?
  • Another Akira Kurosawa-Toshiro Mifune combine! Not the best of the lot but certainly one worth a watch!
  • There is something that connects AK and medicine. Here, he pays tribute to the service that doctors offer to the downtrodden in a special way.
  • The stories of the lonely woman, the betrayed soft man, the insulted lady etc. succeed in delivering the emotions!
What Doesn't?
The length of the film is a probable deterrent. There are not many branches in the story resulting in a few 'yawn' moments.

Not Magical, but watch-worthy for sure.

Two Line Reviews - #382

Movie: Jaws (1975)

Plot: The beaches of Amity Island get ready for treating the tourists over a long weekend. A dreadful shark is on the prowl in the seas which makes the police chief feel it isn't right to allow tourists into the sea before the predator gets captured. The chief, an oceonaography expert and a shark-expert go into the seas on a nightmarish mission!

What Works?
  • The animal isn't non-existent, there is not much scope to show many thrilling scenes - Still, Spielberg ekes the maximum out of it to give a classic edge-of-the-seat thriller!
  • The prominent characters play their roles casually accentuating the 'this one is for real' feeling.
  • There are plenty of Spielberg touches, none better than the conversation the three get into in the rocking boat during the night in their mission.
  • The camera work is ingenious and some tough to capture sea moments have been taken without hassles.
What Doesn't?
  • The shark shown is very much unreal. But given the times the film was made, this barely qualifies to be a negative.
Jaw-dropping stuff!(Sometimes, can't avoid the cliches)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Two Line Reviews - #381

Movie: Being John Malkovich(1999)

An unsuccessful puppeteer, in his new workplace, accidentally bumps on to a portal that shall lead one directly into actor John Malkovich's senses. Along with a worker from his own building who he starts loving, he uses the portal as a consumer business. His wife, during one such portal experience understands she is aroused by John and her husband's partner lady. A multi-way battle for love and the puppeteer's ability to control Malkovich's behaviour compound the situation and it's confusion all the way!

What Works?

  • The insanity that Spike Jonze brings works wonderfully well! The initial portions of weirdity are absolute fun.
  • John Cusack, John Malkovich, Camerone Diaz and the Miss.Maxine lady all have equal footing and come up with lively performances.
  • The conversations in the 71/2 th floor, interview room, roadside puppet scene etc. evoke instant laughter.
What Doesn't?
  • The film's intensity loses steam as soon as Malkovich realises what's being done about him.
  • Also, the sudden focus on seriousness after about a hour doesn't augur well for sustaining the interest levels.
Strange concept, fair execution!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Two Line Reviews - #380

Movie: The Trouble With Harry (1955)

Plot: Harry is found dead on the meadows! The trouble with the death is that a few people in the neighbourhood think they were responsible for his death and dig him before the police finds him. When they come to know the buck has been passed to someone else, they force Harry to be dug out. After a series of dig in and dig out, the trouble with Harry finally comes to an end!

What Works?
  • Alfred Hitchcock after a long time and what a miss it has been! There is something extra-ordinary about him. While so many others tirelessly try complex stuff to captivate audience, Hitchcock, as if he kids them all away, comes up with a simple narration of an atrociously humourous thriller and captivates!
  • The 5 prominent artistes casually converse and get the viewer's attention! A lot of it has to do with their simple reactions and nonchalant camerawork and engaging and witty dialogues!
  • The dark humour works brilliantly in some important scenes and the suspense is well-maintained till the very end of the film!
A weird one-liner made into a humour-filled thriller! No trouble watching this Harry!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Two Line Reviews - #379

Movie: The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Plot: A woman with a heart of stone is about to get into her second marriage. Her first husband breaks the wedding along with two disguised news magazine reporters who are under cover to record the event for their magazine. A cocktail party, fatherly wisdom and a friendly babble make the woman realise her faults and help her make the right move!

What Works?
  • The casting is absolutely perfect - There is visible magic on screen with the way the characters move on and off it!
  • A fast-paced screenplay filled with humorous and engaging entanglements supplement the viewing pleasure.
  • Cary Grant's elegant show and the solid show of the other supporting cast get overshadowed by the brilliance of Katahrine Hepburn and the wizardly James Stewart! The duo is unstoppable!
Rich & Hilarious! An awesome classic!

Two Line Reviews - #378

Movie: Julie & Julia (2009)

Plot: A woman who is depressed with her work and her shift of home wants some activity to distract her attention. Her husband suggests blogging about what she finds passionate. She blogs on cooking recipes from the book famously authored by Julia of a previous era. She gets obsessed with cooking,blogging and connects with the cook from the past and it gives a mild crack to her personal life too!

What Works?
  • This film based on two books and true stories is an amazing light-hearted unadulterated experience. Even people not fond of cooking can relate to what is being talked about in it.
  • The blogging angle and the apprehensions of the habit being similar to talking to a huge void are absolutely relatable for me and realistic.
  • Meryl Streep as the woman from U.S.A who settles in and starts loving Paris plays her role to a 'T' with fine action and excellent voice modulation! Amy Adams gives her strong competition in her new-gen blogger/cook role!
  • The husbands of the duo have been characterised as gems and they act fine according to what's been made for them.
  • The delicacies shown and explained induce hunger and a coveting for food even to completely filled stomachs!
Delicious delicacies, served over different eras!

Two Line Reviews - #377

Movie: The Deer Hunter (1978)

Plot: Men working in an industrial plant in a U.S. town see their routine of fun,booze and deer-hunting get hampered when a few among them are sent to represent the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War. The effect that the war has on 3 of them and their close buddies is showed as an aftermath.

What Works?
  • There have been many films on the Nam war but this one doesn't focus much on the war as it does on the men involved. In that way it is refreshing.
  • The buddies play their happy roles well and the leg-pulling and use of offensive language appear natural.
  • The scene at the lake-place in Nam where the lives of DeNiro & his friends get changed is crucial for the film and has been shown brilliantly.
  • Robert DeNiro & Chris Walken shine in their roles of substance and guys like Savagem, Dzunda and Meryl Streep offer good support.
What Doesn't?
  • The film is painstakingly long with some winding sequences that tell little (For example, the wedding sequence shown that lasts for about 40 mins is too long to explain the pre-war anxiety of the individuals)
  • The deer hunting scene after DeNiro returns doesn't explain the 'realisation' as one might have expected it to.
Laboriously made, Laborious watch too!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Two Line Reviews - #376

Movie: Kahaani (Hindi,2012)

A pregnant woman comes from London to Kolkata in search of her husband who had mysteriously lost his touch with her. With the help of Bengal police and a manager at the place her husband works, she understands the presence of a person identical to her husband in looks.     The Intelligence Bureau is highly interested in this person and the answers to the 'why' questions reveal more than what one might have expected.

What Works?

  • Sujoy Ghosh strikes the right chord by creating a setup that is refreshingly new for an investigation thriller. It works big time in making the audience interested in the proceedings.
  • The wise use of foreshadowing, parallelism, giving out prominent cues etc. decorate the efforts of the screenplay writers headed by Ghosh himself.
  • Vidya Balan comes in a daringly good avatar and creates an impact! The policeman Rana, the hot-running-water kid, Khan etc. play prominent side-roles.
  • The editing with fast-paced cuts and the camera that chases people in outdoor sequences are apt to the tempo the film carries!
What Doesn't?
  • The character of Bob starts off in a terrorising fashion but fizzles out after some not-well-explained killings and a post-interval dampener.
  • The twist is somewhat predictable but that isn't a negative. The consequences not affecting the motto of the individual is something that doesn't explain itself well.
A thrilling Kahaani, wisely told!