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53 reviews in total 
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127 Hours (2010)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Inspirational one by Danny Boyle .. better than "Slumdog", 16 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After that over-hyped (at least to me) Slumdog Millionaire , Danny Boyle's latest movie on climber Aron Ralston's autobiography "Between a Rock and Hard Place" is a far more superior and great movie. The movie is about an adventure of mountain climber Aron Ralston(James Franco), which badly goes wrong. He gets trapped in crack of great canyon under a boulder which badly pinches his right hand to the rock wall and the situation became nigh impossible to free that hand out. Then Aron has to spent almost 5 days in that hole with very limited resource, the movie travels through Aron's various emotions and futile attempt to get rescued.

The movie is all about Aron and thus the performance belongs to James Franco. He is brilliant through-out the movie and specially in the scene where he records a mock talk show featuring himself in his video camera.

A.R.Rahman's music is also quite good ( though not one of his greatest).

Overall it's an inspirational movie and definitely a well deserved Oscar nomination for this movie.

Adam (2009/I)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Touching and Nice, 9 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Adam is a movie which will touch your heart, in some aspects it's similar to Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump is even mentioned with comic consequences), I am Sam or Rain man. But, saying so, Adam has an appeal of its own.

Adam(Hugh Dancy) is a young man trying to overcome his Asperger's syndrome and blend in with the crowd. After the death of his father Adam tries to cope with the situation and things starts to go uphill for him when a beautiful school teacher,Beth(Rose Byrne) comes in his life as his neighbour. The movie revolves around the life of Adam and events occurred in that life. Also, it shows the ever-changing relation between Adam and Beth.

It's always hard to perform as a, let's just say, mentally challenged character. Comparison with the likes of Dustin Hoffman,Tom Hanks, Sean Penn is bound to happen (all of them are double Oscar winners). But Hugh Dancy has been able to pull it off in a brilliant fashion and also added some uniqueness too. Rose Byrne was good as both the actor and narrator.

Another which is great about the movie is the music. Some of the songs are really good and very well according to the movie. Especially the climax song by weepies.

Babel (2006/I)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A great and impactful visualization of lives, 21 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sometimes, through the eyes and great direction of some directors, a movie no longer appears to be just a movie. It becomes a piece of life. Babel is exactly a movie of that sort. The way the movie portrayed the different cultures of different countries is excellent. But the thing which deserves more plaudits is how Alejandro Gonzalaz Inarritu showed life thriving in different environment. The movie is, one can say, based or set upon one single event. A misfired (though it was a hit) shot from a winchester rifle in the deserts of Morocco changed the lives of 4 families. Spanned over 4 countries, the way, Inarritu showed the aftermath of that incident, is exceptional. The greatness about the story-telling is that it tells four or five different stories and everyone of which one can relate with, surpassing the cultural barriers. Just like the movie's poster, it's a collage of moments, moments which everyone faces once in their lives even though they don't want to face that. The cinematography; be it deserts of Morocco or Mexico or the Suburbs of Japan, the cinematography played its part and boy! Did it play well. It is one of the ingredients which makes this movie an art. It's like poetry in motion. If Cinematography is one of the constituents, then another has to be the performances. The stars, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett were brilliant. Blanchett didn't get much to show her prowess though; but Pitt was excellent. Rinko Kikuchi and Adriana Barazza's Oscar nomination is very well deserved and justified. Personally, Kikuchi's performance appeared very heart-wrenching and thus phenomenal to me. Not to forget the performances of those two Islamic Moroccan kids. Finally, it is one of those rare movies which can put one into a trance or a reverie, even after the credit gets rolled. One of the reasons for that is the soundtrack 'Endless Flight'. It's a privilege watching this sort of movies.

8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Delightfully Exhausting, 16 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sometimes some movies can leave the viewers preoccupied and engrossed. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is a movie of that sort of quality. Not for nothing this movie won accolades in various film festivals like Cannes et al. The story gets unraveled in a slow pace. It is about a nine men who went for an unforeseen long drive in search for a dead body in the middle of the night. The team included the two suspects who volunteered for the search. But the search continued to be longer than they had imagined because most of the location was pretty much similar to one another. The movie is not as much about the murder as it is about this search.

The Director, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, did wonders in creating a perfect ambiance for a night in rural sides of Turkey. Each character in the movie had something to say, had something to do in that search. It is very commendable the way different perspectives of different men from different fields are shown. The presence of any women in the movie is few and far between. But when there is an appearance it was a bliss both to the male characters and viewers. The performance of the cast is excellent and very according to the movie. The Police chief,Prosecutor, Doctor, the driver(Arab) and the killer - everyone of them performed and portrayed their characters in a deft manner. Saying that, it is still harsh to mention only those characters because every character in the movie was portrayed in a deft manner. Take a bow Gokhan Tiryaki. If the movie is brilliant so is the cinematography. From the very first scene and the amazing rural sides in the dead of the night to the focus on one single character, especially the doctor, the cinematography is a work of art. Absolutely stunning. The movie could have been edited a little. One can complain it's a bit slow which is true. But some movies are meant to be slow in order to exhibit their greatness. On a last note I can only say that it's delightfully exhausting.

Buried (2010)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Nice Attempt- but has flaws, 16 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Watched 2 similar kind of movies in one day. The comparison with 127 hours is expected. But somewhat it fells short to become a great movie. The movie starts well with showing Paul (Ryan Reynolds) inside a coffin and the entire movie is, let's just say "contained" in the coffin. The plot is set upon war-hit Iraq, where a American truck driver, Paul, finds himself buried with a blackberry, a lighter and stuff. The movie then takes turns as Paul receives call from his "kidnappers" who asked him to shoot a ransom video. Meanwhile Paul contacts with US military, FBI and everyone who could rescue him from that situation.

The Movie has only one actor, literally, so entire performance Ryan Reynolds. To be fair to him, he does well. But the movie though well shot with some great camera angles and manages to grip the attention, has some drawbacks. It's astounding that Paul, after finding a knife, don't use that as a last resort to break free from there. We can imagine that all of these attempts of getting rescued is imagined (unlike 127 hours which is based on a true story), the movie doesn't really shows the measure of attempt a man can do to survive. Even the ending is a little predictable after the last phone call. All we can say it's a good attempt.

Carnage (2011)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Gamut of Emotions, 7 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like most of the movies, directed by Roman Polanski, 'Carnage' is also a reflection of the master's deft touch in creating the appropriate atmosphere in a movie. Be that 'On the edge of the seat', holding-your- breath moments in 'Chinatown' or the brutality of the Nazis in 'The Pianist', Polanski always gets his audience involved in the proceedings or experiences that the characters of the movie goes through. 'Carnage' does not disappoint in that case either.

The entire movie revolves around two married couples and their discussion that goes haywire, following an altercation between their respective sons, in a posh apartment. The Longstreets, played by Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly host the Cowans (Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz). What at first seems to be a humble dilation, gradually turns out to be, as the name suggests, a warfare of words and views.

Apart from the scenes where credits roll, the entire movie is set on, from what we get from a follow shot, a rich apartment. Credits to Polanski and Yasmina Reza, whose play 'God of Carnage' was adapted to make this movie, that the audience is always engaged. Though the movie starts off with the parents, wanting to mitigate (a little reluctantly maybe) the issue of their sons; it slowly but deftly moves into contrary outlooks of each character. Marriage problems, some universal issues and virile issues: the couples talk and argue about all of these against and between one another. If 'John Wayne kinda manhood' forms an alliance of the husbands then the wives also make an alliance.

Performance of the actors keep the essence of the movie perfectly. For a portrayal of husband and wife both pairs of actors are very much in tune with one another. Christoph Waltz is very appropriate as the workaholic lawyer. John C. Reilly is excellent. His character, Michael is the one who seemed the most calm and seeker of peace at first, but later he gave in to the arguments and became argumentative and bent out of shape. Reilly portrayed all those emotions deftly. The actresses were brilliant especially Jodie Foster with her jives under the layer of subtlety. This movie really questions whether we are superficial in order to become sociable and civilised, like Michael said 'I am not being aggressive, I am being honest.' Overall this movie is an ambit of emotions that one should definitely love.

1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Great story shown in a crafty camera-work., 14 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I first watched Alfonso Cuaron's direction in the third movie of Harry Potter, Prisoner of Azkaban. I was deeply impressed by his direction skills. This movie reflects the brilliance in him. Set upon a futuristic world of 2027, where the fertility of human is under question and no human baby had born for the past decades or some, the movie shows a person's grit to escort the last hope of mankind, a pregnant teenager to a safe place known as 'Human Project'. The movie and the events portrayed in it revolves around a futuristic England where fascism has cropped up and expanding it's roots.

Clive Owen is very good as a former activist, having trouble in his personal life and then bestowed with the job of saving the pregnant girl from people who would have used her as some political bait; and Michael Caine can never cease to amaze us.

Another aspect of the movie is its cinematography and the camera work. Not for once one can dare to look elsewhere, such is the quality of the cinematography in this movie. The bewilderment of why they chose David Yates to direct HP series over Cuaron keeps increasing.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Two great actors - Complementing each other, 27 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well, when two of the greatest actors come together , it has to be something worth remembering. Donnie Brasco is a story about a FBI undercover agent Joe Pistone , who infiltrated the mafia family under the alias name "Donnie Brasco" , and steadily he realises that Donnie Brasco is what he wants to be , in order to keep his best friend "Lefty" alive .

As i have mentioned earlier that the movie shows the great chemistry between 2 great actors, Al Pacino and Johnny Depp, so we see superlative performances from Johnny Depp as "Donnie" and Al Pacino as "Lefty" . It was one of those rare occasion when, two great actors appear together and they stood out with complementing each other's performance. Al Pacino's scene in the car in the climax with he pointing a gun in his own head and at the end of the movie, where Joe(Depp) receives medal for his work, the expression on Johnny Depp's face, those were some examples. Though the movie belongs to these 2 actors, but one couldn't help but praise highly the performance of Michael Madsen as Sonny Black.

Mike Newell's Direction is just about brilliant and according. Sometime it becomes hard to maintain the pace of a movie, especially if it's mafia one, but Newell does a good job.

Thumbs up for this one.

Due Date (2010)
0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Funny - but not another Hangover :P, 14 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After "The Hangover" this one is a bit less appealing offering from Todd Phillips. It's a comedy where Peter(Robert Downey jr.), an architect, travelling home in Los Angeles meets an eccentric wanna-be actor Ethan(Zach Galifianakis). Things started to go downhill for Peter due to Ethan's actions and he missed his flight, and ultimately had to take a lift from none other than Ethan. From then,the movie revolves around the journey of Peter and Ethan to L.A, where Peter needed to be on time for his wife's delivery. The movie has quite a few funny scenes (the masturbating dog and where also where Ethan did a Marlon Brando) and dialogues but lacks a little story-wise. Both Robert Downey jr and Zach Galifianakis delivers a good performance. Special mention for the scene of Grand Canyon, that is a visual treat.

12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Riveting. Thoughtful. Excellent filmmaking., 13 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Alina and Voichita had grown up together in an orphanage. They had found solace and comfort in each other's presence before both of them took different paths in their life. The film opens with Alina returning to home with the hope of reuniting with her childhood friend and starting a new life only to find Voichita leading a completely new life in a monastery with nothing but God at heart.

What follows is one riveting on-screen journey that dwells on faith, love, theism, atheism and over all, human emotions that goes unfathomably deep. Director Cristian Mungiu's remarkable work to depict the tumults of emotions of both the lead characters would be etched on the mind of audiences. The story largely revolves around how Voichita trying to get Alina a new life like hers in the monastery and Alina repeatedly and determinedly trying to undermine the value of god to get Voichita to love her with horrific consequences for her and the people residing at the monastery.

Many things are left to be inferred and left to individual interpretations, like it should be. The complicated relation between the lead characters is one of them. The love between them was still intact but faith divided them. The film also depicts the repercussions of faith and religion at its extreme. The screenplay of the film is excellent as it stresses to address the daily routine lifestyle at the monastery and how unbridled faith affects the rationale and morality of the people living there. Subject like this needed to be handled expertly and boy it was. So many subtle sub-plots like Alina's brother's pangs, the relationship between the priest of the monastery and the nuns are only examples of the palette of emotions that were drawn on screen.

It's largely a women-centric film. So, it asks a lot from the performances of the two ladies, portraying central characters. Cristina Flutur (Alina) and Cosmina Stratan (Voichita) – both of them gave stellar performances that helped the film to consolidate the theme. The support cast, mostly comprised of female characters, was deft in their performances too. The only significant male character, 'The priest', played by the dependable Valeriu Andriutu, perhaps acted as the anchor of all the activities between all the female characters.

Another aspect that demands exceptional praises is the cinematography. The remote country sides of Romania looked magnificent on screen. Sometimes, I wondered whether it was possible to pause and stare at those beautiful shots. Some of the intense scenes in the films were that intense because the way it was shown. Overall, it is a film that would leave its viewers, atheists and theists alike, in a profound state of preoccupation.

P.S. I have noticed that sometimes the intensity of a film gets magnified when they use no background score at all.

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