Reviews written by registered user
|137 reviews in total|
Another Coline Serreau film with Vincent London. Similar to previous
two I have seen, this one also has a surrealistic bent.
It tries to show a mirror to our society And the reflection that we see is not pretty.
While I liked this film, I was not blown over by it as I was Chaos and "La Belle Verte". Both of them by same director and both a little surrealistic in nature. Maybe I was not in mood for the film and I may have to watch it again.
Still it is a good film. And Vincent London has done a fine job as always.
Childhood Days is a very realistic portrayal of bullying. And by
realistic I mean that both the bully and the bullied are shown to very
human instead of being good or bad. It is very refreshing for a change
and also it suddenly dawned on me, how incomplete and even wrong a
narrative is if you are showing a bullying preteen to be evil as most
films related to this topic often do.
I guess we are used to watching fights between good and evil in all our media whether it is fairy tales, television, books, films or even religion. There has to be a protagonist and an antagonist. Thankfully Childhood Days is different in that regard.
Childhood Days depicts the problem of bullying faced by a city kid who has to temporarily move to village. But the relationship between the two boys, the bully and the bullied is very hard to pin down. There is a camaraderie mixed with fear and admiration with a sort of helplessness. It is a very real relationship which is hard to describe, just as many real relationships are. Also along with the bullying it is a very nice coming of age story.
I know that the above review may not make the film sound really good. Nevertheless it is really a gem of a film. And if you are into films of Ozu or Naruse, I would strongly recommend it.
All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players. -
To really understand the above statement you have to actually see the instances when the players refuse to play their parts, even if momentarily. Renoir did it in "La Règle du jeu". People playing different roles - master and servant, husband and lover, poacher and grounds-keeper, break for their roles and connect with each other. It is one of the most beautiful movies ever made and has been in AFI Top 10 since it was released.
Faces is the anti-thesis of "La Règle du jeu". Here to the player stop playing their parts but instead of connecting with each other, they distance themselves from each other. So we have husband and wife, married woman and a gigolo, married man and a prostitute, all breaking their roles but to distance themselves even more from each other. In process they reveal how the very roles are a sham, that we just play out of habit, convenience and society. It challenges our very lives.
Of course, this makes for a very nasty picture but with incredible moments of truth. It is very honest and very depressing and a very hard watch while still being fascinating. Its the kind of picture that you appreciate more than you enjoy.
I hated this film when I saw it first time. I though that the little
girl was a brat. But as I was watching it this time, I realized how
unfair that was. She was just a girl.
I guess we are so used to watching adorable and cute kids in films, that a selfish kid seems so unlikable. But kids are like that. Selfish and impatient and whining. Once I accepted that I was laughing at her antics.
I loved the film but it lost me in the scene, when the girl's brother and the afghan kid fight. I mean there was no reason for that. I think in real life, the brother would have at least asked the afghan kid for the stick and wouldn't have just snatched it. Maybe it was done to evoke a conflict. But even one false scene can break the illusion that is Cinema.
As a kid, I used to think that some of the thoughts I was having were
unique to me. I didn't see any of those things in mass media. But
slowly and slowly as I read more and I see more films, that set of
things that were unique only to me have been reducing in size. Fateless
just destroyed that set.
I love movies. They move me, excite and sometimes literally live me breathless. Fateless just shook me up. It struck a chord somewhere deep inside. It revived the memories that I thought I had forgotten, the feelings that I had buried somewhere deep in my psyche.
All the credit has to go to Imre Kertész, the writer of the original source as well as the screenplay writer. He has written an account that is so painfully honest and bold that it breaks through all the clichés of depictions of pain and sorrow, not just in literature and film but in life too.
After a long time I am just itching to get my hands on a book. Don't know when I will take it up though.
I think that a background score is meant to enhance the movie. A good
background score never steals attention from the movie but complements
it. So judging by that I think the soundtrack for this movie was one of
the worst I ever heard. And of course they gave the movie an Oscar for
it, maybe because it was so revolutionary and broke all the norms.
The movie itself was so trivial and so close to real life to get any enjoyment out of. Dialog was grating on my nerves and reminded me of some of the real life obnoxious guys I know. People who enjoy an argument just for sake of an argument.
When I started watching the movie, the first couple of minutes were good, the dialog was real but it got old real fast. Its all too petty and everybody is griping about something.
I am an ardent Ray fan and I till now I have seen 14 of his movies and
loved 13 of them. Only one that I didn't love is Parash Pathar.
Satyajit Ray is my favorite filmmaker and all of his movies are master pieces. It is hard to find a fault in any of his movies. Acting is always very good, yet subtle. Background score is never over the top. There is no cheap melodrama and the viewer is encouraged to make his own conclusions. Even a minor actor not acting up to par has a jarring effect. It is like watching a blemish on an extraordinary piece of art.
So I was quite surprised by this movie, as the lead character Paresh Chandra Dutt was overacting a lot. So were some other actors. While in almost all Ray's movies characters are very real here they are caricatures instead and there is no subtlety to be found. Also the story never took an unexpected turn, it is another morality tale centered around philosopher's's stone. Though you can find Ray's touches here and there, there are not enough of them to save the film.
Though it a good film when compared with other Indian films of the same period, it doesn't in any way compares with Ray's other movies. I would recommend it only to Ray's die hard fans like me. Though I didn't really liked the movie I didn't consider it a waste of time either.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Elmer Gantry had nothing new for me in terms of plot. So I was looking
forward to good acting to tide me over. Burt Lancaster won an Oscar for
his role in this film. But frankly his performance was a bit hammy at
times. Certain scenes did require a hammy performance, especially when
he was preaching but he did that a lot. Jean Simmons was a delight
though. I am a big fan of Audrey Hepburn and she reminds me of her. So
that maybe a big reason why I liked her.
Another thing that I didn't like was the character Elmer Gantry. The audience is never given a clear picture of him. Is he just a conman or good guy ? Instead he is shown as something of a conman with heart of gold. He just switches between good and bad so fast that I was sometimes left puzzled.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Japanese Wife" is about two pen-pals, Snehmoy and Miyagi, but the
movie is told mostly from view of Snehmoy. Snehmoy is a is teacher who
lives in Bengal, India and Miyagi is a shop-keeper who lives with her
sick mother and takes care of her. Their friendship grows in letters
and when Snehmoy aunt insists on his marrying a girl of her choice,
Miyagi propose marriage to Snehmoy. He accepts and they trade some
token of marriage like a ring and vermilion through letters. They
consider themselves married and due to the circumstances they don't
meet for 15 years.
I am a sucker for love stories, but this movie was beyond stupid. First, as a viewer you don't feel a bond between them. Both of them are from different cultures and they write letters in broken English. Since these letters form nearly 30 minutes of the movie, they really grated on me. "84 Charing Cross Road" is another movie that mostly moves forward through letters, and they are a delight to listen. Here it is a chore to go through. Still even if we accept that they have a bond and they decide to marry each other without a single meeting, they don't meet each other even after that sham of a marriage.
This movie had a great premise, and it could have been a great movie if
executed properly. But nothing clicks here.
It is part drama and part heist movie. The heist part was really really boring. I have seen a lot of heist movies and it takes something clever to hold my interest. Sadly this was not it.
Then there is the drama part. It is let down by an average acting. If Stone of Destiny had better actors, we could have been interested in their fates, but not here. The script is also pretty weak. Instead of feeling like a nationalist act, it actually feels like a high school prank. Most of all there is no energy in the film. With a topic like nationalism, a movie can easily rouse the audience and make them identify with the actors. Not here, we are just watching and waiting for the whole thing to end.
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