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51 reviews in total 
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10 out of 14 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.

8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Piece of Iranian culture with a very good story, 9 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is certainly one of those rare movies of recent times where both elements of the genre Drama and Mystery shine brightly. The movie starts off with the couple Nader and Simin asking for a divorce over a comparatively light-hearted issue. Slowly but extremely engagingly the movie revolves around serious and religious issues.

The truly great facet about the movie's story is that it has sub-plots which are interleaved in a very deft manner such that those eventually accelerates the main plot, which is the separation or divorce of the two protagonists. The other aspect of the movie which really captivated me is the way the director showed the mystery part along with the social drama of relatively upper and lower class Iranian families. Surprising truths are unraveled in the way they should be in a good mystery movie. Kudos to Asghar Farhadi for blending that with the emotional elements like the problems and dilemma of Nader and Simin's daughter. This explains that not for nothing the screenplay of the movie got an Oscar nod.

The performance the entire cast is brilliant and just what the situations, created in the movie, needed. From the girl who played Termeh and Shahab Hosseini who played the volatile husband of the maid who Nader hired for household jobs to the lead actors Leila Hatami(Simin) and Peyman Moadi(Nader), everyone more or less excelled in their respective parts.

This movie is rich with many cinematic elements which make this a movie a movie-lover would not want to miss.

7 out of 10 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.

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A very welcome and needed change from the mindless blockbusters, 31 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Thank you Zoya Akhtar for not jumping into the bandwagon to make a mindless movie comprised of gravity-defying actions and over-the-top slapstick comedies just for the sake of making a blockbuster.

The movie starts with Kabir (Abhay Deol) getting all set to be married with Natasha (Kalki Koechlin). Then, Kabir, along with his school- buddies Arjun (Hrithik) and Farhan (Imran) set off for a trip (after some hiccups), where they all would participate in adventure sports of choice of each one of them. The trip gradually portrays various aspects of each of the character. Along with the adventure sports, all of which are greatly shown, the humor is very subtle and nice.

Performance of the lead actors is engaging. Farhan Akhtar as Imran is the more lovable one, with most of the funny one-liners, than his friends. He manages to pull off an entertaining performance. Abhay Deol, as always, is very good as the leader of the pack. He portrayed his dilemma regarding his marriage in a very convincing manner. Hrithik's character has more dark shades than the others, and it was his brilliance that made the character's transformation look enthralling. Amongst the ladies, Kalki is great as the overbearing and possessive fiancée. Katrina looks and also acts well whenever she plays a NRI character. Much like herself.

The movie's cinematography is excellent and the music along with the songs and poetry are a treat to ears.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Good but not Great, 3 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had a lot of expectations from this Clint Eastwood movie, and sadly the movie falls short to my expectations, maybe a little but still falls short nevertheless.

To be honest, the movie starts well and it really grips one's fascination. One unfortunate event occurred in three boy's life and changed their lives forever when they grew old. The whole movie is centered around the murder of the daughter of one those three boys, who grew old now.

Eastwood did a good job of portraying and hence building the suspense around the movie. Performances are the biggest assets of this movie. Sean Penn as Jimmy Markum, the father of the murdered daughter was really good. He is excellent in both emotional and the intense climax scenes. Kevin Bacon, as Sean Devine, another boy amongst those three, did a good job as the investigating officer. But it was Tim Robbins as Dave Boyle, the boy to whom that actual event occurred and which changed his entire life drastically, gives the most powerful performance.

Notwithstanding those performances, the thing which maybe termed as the 'loose end' is the climax and the motive of the murder. Apart from that the movie is good and certainly worth a watch.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Entertaining Stuff, 17 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This one, Directed by Neil Burger, is a real good thriller movie, with really high class Art-Direction and packed with well crafted performances.

Though it's a thriller, the plot is based on a typical "poor-boy-and-rich-girl-falling-for-each-other" love story. The Story moves on, with the boy leaving the country and then emerging again with an alias name (Eisenheim The Illusionist) and wonderful skill of creating illusion. There he finds his old love (Duchess von Teschen), and also finds that she is going to marry the current Crown Prince.

The movie shows some of the greatest magic tricks in a stylish manner. As I mentioned earlier , the art direction and the way ,city Vienna is shown , is really some enchanting stuff.

Edward Norton has always been one of my favourite actors, and he don't disappoint, along with Jessica Biel. Paul Giamatti is also a class of his own as the chief police inspector, but it's Rufus Sewell, as Prince Leopold, who mesmerizes the most.

Only at the end one may find the movie a little predictable , so some of the twists in the story may be a little less fascinating. Also, as not every trick's mechanism is shown , somehow some of the Illusion seems to be unreal.

But it's still a good watch.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
There will be a great actor, 9 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Credit goes to P.T Anderson for creating one of the most intense drama and also one of the greatest anti-hero on screen. "There Will be Blood" is one of those movies where you will just love to "hate" the main protagonist. Saying that, I would also like to add that a lot of people won't like it and it will remain a great Cult movie.

Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a businessman who has a oil-drilling company, and over the years he have become very successful. He has a son, who is actually one of his fellow worker's who have died during drilling. The movie is about, as it's tag line suggests, "where faith meets ambition". Plainview is one of the darkest character in movie history, and the movie portrays that. When he tries to buy a farm which had great prospects regarding oil, he meets Eli Sunday( Paul Dano) , who is a pastor at the local church, and the movie rolls on showing the differences between Eli and Plainview.

Daniel Day-Lewis. The man does it again. He shows every emotion that characterize Plainview in a wonderful way. The scenes at the climax, or where he is baptized, or talking about his ambition, those are absolute treat to watch. Though I am an ardent Johnny Depp fan and was fairly disappointed after he didn't win Oscar for "Sweenny Todd", but now after watching Day Lewis in this movie, I can hardly complain, and that's saying a lot. A little overshadowed, but equally good is the performance of Paul Dano's too.

The music of Jonny Greenwood has a haunting aspect in it.

Though the movie is a little slow paced and sometimes one will find themselves a little bored, but it's the acting of Daniel Day Lewis which compensate for all of those.

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.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Excellent Movie - Broadened Imagination, 19 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Marc Forster deserves all the credits and plaudits for making such a beautiful movie. It could have won the academy award for best film which it lost to Million Dollar baby.

Set upon nineteenth century, the movie is about a married playwriter who struggles to impress the critics and when he meets a widow and her four sons he took a liking to the boys and started playing with them by broadening their imagination. And gradually he finds a great plot for his play.

Johnny Depp could have easily won the Oscar too ( which he lost to Jamie Foxx for "Ray"). Kate Winslet is also at her best. Dustin Hoffman and Julie Christie plays their respective roles brilliantly.

The movie is unimaginatively wonderful.

True Grit (2010)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
This remake of retribution is good, 19 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The wicked flee when none pursueth"; the movie starts off with showing this proverb, and it starts off well. The movie is a remake of a western by the same name. Well, if one can make remakes like this, then there should not be any objections on remaking movies. A determined young girl hires an U.S marshal to help her get revenge of her father's death by punishing and killing the man responsible for her father's death. The director duo Ethan-Joel Coens have done a fantastic job to portray the classic western, especially with the accent of language that the characters speak in.

The characters, themselves, are well depicted too. Jeff Bridges as the seemingly-little-lazy-but-actually-not U.S marshal, Rooster Cogburn is brilliant. Matt Damon has, once again, delivered a consistent performance as the Texas Ranger(LaBoeuf),who is also in pursuit of the same man,Tom Chaney. He is certainly one of the most versatile actors amongst our times. Hailee Steinfield is wonderful as Mattie Ross, the revenge-seeking girl. The scene involving the bargaining of the ponies shows the excellence of her character and thus performance. Josh Brolin only appears at the end, and does produce a believable performance according to his character.

The other aspects of the movie, which stands out, are cinematography and background score. The background score, which is soft and kind of a rom- com type, incredulously fits the situation in the movie.

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