Reviews written by registered user
|5 reviews in total|
I got suckered into this film on BravoTV believing I was looking at a documentary, then soon it's real nature began to show itself. Extremely well written, acted, directed, and crafted as well as a BBC documentary. If one only watched the cinematography, this film is remarkably beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and count it with "The Secret Cinema", "Karma Cafe", "The Music Box" and "Duck Amok" as my favorite short films. Needless to say, I didn't rest until I found it's repeat broadcast on Bravo's schedule. This film made me aware of the towering talent of Jim Broadbent. His performances in "Iris", "Little Voice" and "Moulin Rouge" have all been treats and I'll never again miss a Broadbent film.
The film departments of UCLA and Southern California University had an annual film competition for students from both schools at a time when they and New York University were about the only schools in the country offering a degree in cinema. In 1967, I attended the showing at UCLA's Royce Hall, and George Lucas's THX-1138 was a standout work among many very good ones. Not only was it the audience's favorite, but the judges awarded it best picture. Lucas was called to the podium to accept his award. He seemed nervous and shy at the microphone, but then startled as he was interrupted at the microphone, apparently a surprise to all on stage, by a lawyer from Warner Brothers who announced that Warners was offering whoever won the competition the opportunity to turn it into a feature. That was of course George. It seemed an eternity while he stood speechless, mouth open. Warners already had the young Francis Ford Coppola under contract, so they assigned him as producer to George. I then saw the resulting feature "THX 1138" in 1971 at a theater in Hollywood. It was not great commercial success, but as we all know, the success of the George Lucas career is legendary.
I went into the screening not knowing much about it, nor the book from which it was taken. It won me over on its own merits. The feelings were genuine, the characters warm and complex. The contrast of cultures was demeaning to neither Bengali or American, and yet the interplay between them was revealing and at times funny. The performances of Tabu, Irfan Khan and Kal Penn were genuine and multidimensional and brought life to their roles. For those who don't like reading subtitles, there aren't that many, since much of the soundtrack is in English. This movie is sticking with me in a very pleasant way and I'm enjoying reflecting on its scenes and characters. I'll be looking for other films from it's director Mira Nair. I had the same reaction to another woman director from India when I saw Deepa Mehta's "Water" last year which garnered an Oscar nomination for best foreign film. This is movie for people with a heart and a brain, but most of all a heart.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Fantasy, especially the blood and sand epics, can be great entertainment, but "300" is fantasy posing as history. The true story of the 300 Spartans is easily one of the most incredible events in all of ancient history. If this had been an original story, I may have been more receptive. The script is so watered down and the characters so cardboard cutout, I heard titters in the audience at the dialog. On the other hand, I found many of the images so amazing and compelling that they deserve being called works of art. I found it silly, maybe it was just pandering to dim bulb adolescent boys, when the dialog dismissed the Athenians as boy loving philosophers, while totally ignoring the historical fact that the Spartan army depended on homosexual bonding between warriors, so that each man was fighting for his loved one at his side. Other distortions and omissions are that the oracle had predicted Greece would be saved by its wall of wood, which was the Athenian naval ships. The 300 Spartans great success was to buy time for the Athenians to build up its navy which ultimately defeated and drove back the Persians. Totally unclear was the reason behind the Spartan army not marching off immediately to attack Xerxes which was that Spartans would not violate their laws of religious observance which forbade warfare during those observances. If all of this is to be discounted as artistic license, I think their license ought to be revoked. This kind of virtual studio comic book movie making has real possibilities in store for us, but like any kind of great film-making there has to be a great script from which to start.
Powerful, audacious acting and film-making. If you've ever wanted to hang with a tough guy, and really know what goes on in his head, then this movie will give you compassion for him. And if you know of one, this movie will make him into a more compassionate guy. This is basically Passion of the Christ without leaving Brooklyn, but without the pornographic violence that Mel Gibson inserted. And it's funny. Short summation: Lou is a sh_t starter cause he has issues. He runs out of options, and has to overcome his stutter to get a job coaching. He learns that his stutter is about his past not his mouth. But then what happens is some of the most thrilling acting and film-making you are likely ever to see. You jump into this guys psycho-stuttering world and get to FEEL and LOOK at YOURSELF. The story just smacks you in the face just when you think, "I feel so bad for this guy", and then wham, everything it's been building up to, getting you to identify with gets turned around on YOU. And i'm left sobbing besides myself. EVERYONE SHOULD SEE THIS.