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Monos (2019)
It is a film that is not advised to see at night or day or alone, just stand on your toes.
18 September 2019
Monos

Alejandro Landes, the writer and the director of this adventure has a way too explosive nature to be coherent in his speech. And yet, everything is sound and clear by the end of the day. The images shown in the film might be the only balanced thing in his world. If it brags about the beauty, the spectacle that these humans are tested around, then there is also this pompous animosity on jolting down your eyes to the last meticulous dilemma one faces in nature. And it is harrowing frankly. The thriller isn't thrilling. It is scary. The sadistic approach barrs not just rationality and loyalty but morality and ethical reasons.

Reasons that helps not only us but the writer itself to structure its set pieces. For if there is no law or rules or any finite boundary, there will be no ecstasy at the end of the line. Yet, the group of characters that we are told about, does so. And not going against each other. It is not you standard slaughter house. But the lease that they keep breaking, from someone who is above them and above them and below them. And it is not just them doing this but someone robs them too.

And now you are thinking that it is fair in this situation. This phenomenon just broke its first law. And in order to whip you or more accurately corner you, the writer takes a detour just to checkmate you. And now you are back to your position. And this is something that happens in the latter stage of the film. After which you realize that Monos is a hostage film. Not captured by some mercenaries but an idea that has apparently taken hold of everyone like a disease, a parasite that is killing us.
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Is it a documentary? Is it a parody? No it is Coco cola.
17 September 2019
The Gods Must Be Crazy

Jamie Uys is not particularly a good filmmaker. And he is directing, editing (we'll get back to this later), producing and writing. But somewhere in between these lines, he makes an amusing storyteller. His film isn't pitch perfect. It has the capacity to. It is the Airplane of the spoof movies. If you're going to make a parody you have to go all in. And considering the fact that it can arguably said that it is derived from a documentary style. It would have easily gone far beyond Airplane. It could ground the audience, if necessary. And also it has an incredibly loving, generous, hardworking and more importantly innocent character on lead.

And his nemesis is an empty glass bottle of "coke". This unawareness. The innocence that it digs up while exploring that track of the storyline. I think it was misjudged a lot. If the makers had used this innocence, even if with manipulative nature, it would tear up any hard hearted being. But the film wishes to explore a silly love story. Which too works. Its goofiness is the real treat and not the elaborate setting of the jokes that breathes misunderstood chaos.

And I would draw back to that alienated character- from the world the story is in contrast to- whose equation with every single character is flattering to you. Even his learning ability, he drives good both ways. Good enough to have a successful chase scene. Speaking of chase scene or cars or any wider shot for that matter, the editing is really unearthly. To shorten the runtime of The Gods Must Be Crazy the makers fast forwards the mundane activity instead of editing it out. And what's baffling is that, I think it is a joke played on us, for by the end of the film we play along to all such debaucheries.
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And I thought no one captured the team spirit in a way that Disney does, it's an honor to be proved wrong.
17 September 2019
One Cut Of The Dead

The screenwriter and the director Shinichiro Ueda has made a wrong film. It is not odd, but wrong. A film like this should never succeed. It shouldn't even work. And yet against all odds. All methods. Procedures. Years of experience. History, to learn from. Inspire form. It is a beautiful film. Guillermo del Toro says that within the first ten minutes of the film, you can tell how the film is. And it is rare for a film then to change your mind. And this happens in here. But that was planned. The film is structured in a way to throw you off the hook.

So when the time comes to grab you with both of its hands, the film never leaves you and your sight. And the makers does this by keeping an audience member, even us, at certain moments, in that shot. We are the uncredited character. And the most valuable one. If the first act, the One Cut Of The Dead, that first shot keeps us behind the camera, in front of the screen, where we are now, the fourth wall then breaks down as we start exploring the "making" of that act.

And by then, a character is tagged for enacting like the audience, and his or her reaction is captured perpetually and shown to us. It may even drive your feelings as how you might take that scene. And it is satisfying for these characters to hold the film together- both the one in the film and the one itself- convincing us to participate and enjoy. And this is an important fabric of the storyline. For the last shot of the film is them taking a sigh of relief from working hard. That relaxation isn't something you can achieve, if you don't care for them or if you have not invested in the process.
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By now, you shouldn't even check your watch or wallet or anything, it always will be a Spielberg classic.
17 September 2019
The Color Purple

Spielberg is a kind of filmmaker you can invest on for a longer period. And I don't just mean it because he makes these long films. But because he can blend into any genre instantly. And it is not that he just qualifies for that project. He excels it. His durability is a dangerous skill that he carries so effortlessly. And usually the director Steven Spielberg is famous for working with props. And I was looking forward to this drama. And see how he binds this thick script with various personified objects. But there isn't any. This disappointment is the best thing that happened to me. And to even the film.

This is not your Spielberg film anymore. I think this is more Sergio Leone-isc. The faces are captured. Well, to be precise the emotions are captured. Call it a tensed phase of the film where you see a sweating face or call it an engaging phase where the eyes turn red and insults empower the rage or my personal favourite, a face whispering a peace sign when it was supposed to scream war. These close up shots is what's decided by the director and is then, these decisions that sweetens the bitter pill.

For no one is more present then Spielberg, himself on the set. He makes sure that you are there for that action. No matter how mundane an activity is. No matter if it is just shaving. The Color Purple isn't painted bright by that intense background score or the sheer hatred that ignites the friction between two characters, it is those kids mimicking the actual activity, the shaving, with a leaf as their replica. Something so innocent, scientific and magical can only be present in Spielberg's house. You better warm up, you have to stay for decades here.
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Brace yourself for the finale, it is a nail biter, so what if it is rigged.
16 September 2019
Bad News Bears

Linklater has done it again. You'd think that a guy dedicating all his life to drama would repeat itself. I mean that's natural. It happens. No one does it intentionally. And neither does he. The director Richard Linklater is iterating his iconic night once again in this sports drama. The get out clause that his signature style brings in, is entertainment. Living the current moment. Enjoying it. As much as you can. And this is how Linklater tackles the cliches of the genre. The endgame doesn't matter anymore. That is not to say that he doesn't work on a compelling narration.

But now I think he invests willingly more for the distraction that it offers us. And if faking with such authenticity is convincing you, the filmmaking is of supreme quality then that you can only hope for. And Linklater knows that drive like a navigator. He knows all the turns. The ticks. The quick glances. The personification of an object. Everything that you see or you think you see is because Linklater stops time. And there is a half grin on your face with a hint of arrogance that you know where this is going.

Now, this is where, once again, Linklater shows his big heart, generosity, for despite shattering your prediction, he never rubs it out on you. You are not robbed of that opportunity. That joyous moment that you thought you were going to have does come knocking at your door. It is just that it is not in the same face. It is a different face. It is Billy Bob Thornton's. You are just not looking at him the same way. Bad News Bears isn't looking at him the same way. Things are not funny nor intense, the light footed environment isn't just a surprise but a satisfying experience.
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An exceptional wreckage, if this was a physical destruction, it would have been a Roland Emmerich film.
16 September 2019
Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari (The Cabinet Of Dr. Calgari)

Robert Weine is often accused of blessing the cinema life with this first horror. And it is scary. Probably because it gives us very little time to breathe. Not in the sense that the film is compact or zooms out in front of us with a great pace. If anything it settles in just fine. Just fine enough to let the debates brew in your head. And it is a sci-fi in that very perspective. If it leaves our head spinning then also encourages to scratch it. And this does not follow an ethical dilemma. It is neither a scale of what happened or the aftermath of what has happened and instead is more like why it happened.

And that's why I am scared. That revelation haunts you. It is not actually the information revealed in the plot- well it actually is- but it shows you what it has been basing all these events on. And that measurement is jarring. For it does not, it never did follow a character but an idea. And when an idea is kept above the humans either coming up with it or passing on, then the world grows scary.

Things get out of control and your fighting back reflection gets cornered into a survival instinct. Where if everything goes according to your plan, you live, not succeed but are just able to breathe. Remember, Weine doesn't let you breathe. For an entire hour, this idea, the myth consumes you destructively. The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari is surprisingly visually aesthetic. Maybe, it is the version I saw, but the way the night and the sun is colored it honors the concept it has to breathe fear in, in each and every character along with you, the audience.
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A political satire done well, done so well that it haunts us even now, the truth is not afar anymore.
16 September 2019
The Man Who Laughs

Paul Leni, the early 20th century's most ambitious director, creates an iconic figure, unknowingly. And I say unknowingly, for this was the era where Dark Universal had already animated varied creature or mutants or any other beast-alike figurines as a loving protagonist that sold tickets just as Marvel does now. To be fair, this interwoven storytelling was started by them, back then. And is now the hottest idea on a plate, easily a century later. And Leni might be singing along, if looked from above, to those successfully printed films. But there is a major difference in the way, he brings life to this more-than-human character.

Something you can find in David Lynch's classic The Elephant Man. And it is that the protagonist is never in charge of the room. The film runs and runs and never do you see him in control of anything or anyone. And this is how Leni draws empathy from you. That and, of course, Conrad Veidt's sensational performance. And it would stand alone to those aforementioned Dark Universal films.

For if they have an anti-hero in their driver's seat, the complexity is right there and then, thickened by the plot setting. For you are with those characters till the last stop and their actions, if inadvertently then inadvertently, casting a chaos on society. And Leni is aware of that nature that his lead, The Man Who Laughs, possess. That duality that Dark Universal walks along all the way, Leni instead ignites it like a time bomb. A time bomb that you are waiting to tick off. No wonder that the comic book artists saw Joker in this potentially powerful character. That suppressed emotion was so powerful that it latter boiled out from the film and poured itself in the comic book, Gotham City and Batman's radar.
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Just as The Boss and his music, the film has a rocking pace, it will surf right past you, smoothly.
16 September 2019
Blinded By The Light

The co-writer and director Gurinder Chadha is only looking for a sweet film. And he makes it. Simple and catchy. The musical isn't actually a musical and this drama isn't always a drama and as far as a coming of age genre is concerned, you'd have to jump decades back to inhale it properly with a joyous smile and I don't just mean plot wise but filmmaking wise too. First of all, let me come out and say that I may not be the person you should be listening to when it comes to this project- or any for that matter.

Primarily, because there is a lot I can resemble, especially in its lead character. Not to say that I go through those exact series of.. whatever, but if it was 1987, I could easily see myself there. So why was this film buzzed so much other than for political reasons- that's not a good thing to presume. Well, it is because the characters are three dimensional and the world is fairly balanced.

These two factors that often film forgets to fill it in with, leads to a disastrous experience for the viewers. No matter how eccentric your concept is and how big a star you have in your pocket or how commercially fulfilling the film is. Basically, what film can actually honk you with, is to show that authenticity gets a much better, louder and loving response than break-a-leg attitude does. Also, there is the Eastern culture you get to explore with a hint of English-ness, not collided but physically separated. Blinded By The Light is an homage to Bruce Springsteen and his impact on every single being, music lover or not, his lyrics cut through all the pretentious trouble we every now and then think we have.
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Hustlers (2019)
What they think that made it look not sexy, actually did, they needed a better guidance, that's all.
15 September 2019
Hustlers

Lorene Scafaria, the writer and director, is a hustler. Similar to the film, we, the clients, are robbed shamingly. But what's interesting is that the film loses at the end of the day. Not even looking at the intentions of the film, the film, as a story, had an extremely solid argument to walk through that Oscars table head held high. And instead the opportunity is not only missed but chucked away for cheap thrills and manipulative emotional blackmail. And this could have been a worthy Oscars contender and is instead just an Oscars contender.

And I emphasize on how big a mistake they made, on going light on this material. What the film industry, in the last few years, had twisted and turned its way out to address the political correctness, is something that the film has in its pocket all along. So now, all they had to do was carve a compelling drama. And instead they are overcooking those same ingredients, that turns into a preaching to the choir tone, within the first act.

The film craves for such moments. If anything it goes all the way around, just to create memorable scenarios, to the price of pacing. And it is not the pace I have an issue with, it is the two page script that is told magnanimously within two hours that I can't just "whoooooo" around. The film is also hard to watch. Not for the justification it attempts to give its characters but also the justification that it doesn't give to its characters. And it is not the narrative but the visualization of that crime scene that makes it horrible. For if told properly and rummaged around the files, dug deep into their homework, you will find a sweet spot to explore that would balance these Hustlers.
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Downton Abbey (2019)
It does not happen everyday when a royal family comes knocking at your door, maybe that is why the night was so charming.
15 September 2019
Downton Abbey

The director Michael Engler is a proud member of the family. Jullian Fellows, the writer's work can be a daunting task to hone into a linear narration. That, right there, is a success. That is not to say, the film is one. In fact, what you feel before entering the screen is exactly how you feel when you leave. There is no change, no convincing. This two hour special doesn't change a dime. And the structure is both upsetting and the liberator. Time after time, snippets after snippets, the film bounces back from one character to another, juggling us, to whom (the characters), by the way, the writer feels this unexplainable urgency to weigh them down by a certain spectrum of emotion, which hisses back at him for its radical notion of being edited out as a cry for help.

So much whining. So much screaming. So much gossip. What helps then is the urgency. There is also this rush. The pace. That has to be maintained. The unstoppable current that helps majorly especially when we, as an audience, are uncomfortable in that situation. The bratty nature breeds this behaviour. And this involuntary reaction does make sense. It is something we can all relate to.

The theme of Downton Abbey is basically taking over your property, as in what makes you who you are, the comfortness, the homeground to your sport. And the writer is the real trickster. To satisfy the fans of the show, he is taking away everyone's characteristic, teasing us, begging us to give it, give them back their identity and when he does, you are satisfied with the product. And it is a product. A commercial one. There is no doubt about that. The only "get out" clause, the excuse, the makers have is that it is done with some panache, that same arrogance that helped them build that castle.
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Burnt (I) (2015)
Plenty of dressing, plenty of sauces to choose from, the main course, though, is undercooked.
14 September 2019
Burnt

John Wells has a troubling script in his hand. And it is supposed to be shocking. Steven Knight wrote the screenplay. You don't expect something like this from him. Although, every word of the film is subtexted with his signature all over it. The film takes odd turns and you'd go, "Oh! Yeah. This makes sense." And that is all the sense you are going to get. The director John Wells' film is troubling for it never knows what it is. In present. What it breathes and feels. The film is well aware of the trajectory it has to follow. It is mapped out meticulously within the script. What it doesn't know, is how to behave.

More importantly, express. Tons of action in the film, the decisions made by the characters or maybe even improvised by the actors are incongruent to.. well, anything. You need double checking on what it just chose to do or be. Is this the storyline are we supposed to follow? Predictable in its entirety and messy in its root. The only one coming off as a winner is Bradley Cooper. He is given one eccentric character to portray.

And he oozes power exactly how it is written on the paper. That is, once again, not to say that he is perpetually giving his best. In fact, the first act of the film is driven by him and it is in safe hands by then. His name is a myth that anyone would gladly love to listen to and gossip about. And he lives up to his reputation. He uses his celebrity persona, various charming tactics and passionately rude behaviour to overpower others. Burnt is about one character and all they had to do was hold on to him, they took him for granted.
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The Gold Rush (1925)
Always a delight to be face to face with Charlie's love, I mean it is the foundation of the love stories we grew up loving.
14 September 2019
The Gold Rush

Chaplin is not obsessed on seamlessly flowing his content in front of your eyes. And there is nothing wrong with it. Maybe he comes from an era like such. Or the history that he has picked up. Not even others but his own. He came from those silent films. Intertitles are a part of a narration that he can never leave behind. Hence, the constant reminder of a story being told, beautifully parted but never a stream of success. Each act is to be set up, the introduction is then reviered into a plot dilemma solved by the characterization of those characters spiraling out the very first act.

And hence, the writer and director, Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush is split into three acts. The home, the journey and the returning of the home. The film is oddly sketched for the last act is actually humorous. And the first two incredibly intense and moving. While the first one deals with human nature, the second one is a love story that I am gullible for; instead of its known manipulative nature, either way, the affection gets to you.

And you know it was a milestone then, when almost a century later, now, you are in the hot seat for this couple to make amends as soon as possible. I would like to mention the brilliance of Chaplin's sense of humor in the first act. He is carrying some big guns and dark sensitive material to post it as a character build up. But what's captivating is how nuanced his humor is. How much aware should you be of your content to draw out impressive chuckles like these. Between two men fighting, where Chaplin is clearly not the guy with the muscles, all he has to do is get out of that situation and not actually get out of the room, that small section of the film is him dodging all the cliches.
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Suits: Prisoner's Dilemma (2019)
Season 9, Episode 8
buttery fingers..
14 September 2019
Suits

Suits; created by Aaron Korsh, is a series that has its selective audience for its eerie dramatic conflicts and a keen insight on the law firm as it goes from up and down. Infamous for its witty lines, complex writing and depicting the brutal ongoing drama behind law and order, it found its way walking on a tightrope from the first frame on nothing but sheer brilliant writing skills that defines and justifies its fame. But unfortunately as series started aging on screen the drama and emotions grew more shallow and textbook along with the relationship melodrama that usually feeds itself on petty and cheesy writing.

The complexity between Rick Hoffman and Gabriel Macht has been a game changer and a trump card of the series that works every time as a savior. Patrick's character fades off into its dull love track far before it even finds itself resulting it into the weakest link on it. The humor that used to fit in smoothly and balance the tone, seems forcibly installed in its latter season that barely draws in a chuckle.

It is rich in technical aspects like its stunning camera work with alluring visuals and up beating song which have always been a huge part of the series that makes it supremely watchable. The performance has always been a flight risk since the only cast that comes off convincing here is Macht and Hoffman whilst others struggles to deliver. Its beautiful cinematography, competitive arguments, slick courtroom drama and Macht at the heart of it, are the high points of the series which makes it, in its latter stages, more annoying than disappointing, as all of it is shredded into pieces.

Prisoner's Dilemma

What fans were robbed of, in the previous chapter, they are overly stuffed with their favourite flavor of action in this one. And that is all there is. Action. Crisp, wholesome sinew of what the series often refers to as the apt imageries for the loud background score. And if Harvey is thrown straight throws to hit it out of the park, the rest of the cast gets a questionable look. For instance, Sarah Rafferty's actions doesn't quite add up in the narration; just as her existence in most of the scenes in later seasons. The series also addresses trending politically correct topics to lure viewers with a self appointed position of being a "cautionary tale". But it is not the addressed issues that is the issue but the way it is addressed.
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The Game (1997)
I use the word "bratty" for the way it is endorsed, there is no thrill if there is no empathy.
13 September 2019
The Game

Fincher's bratty film is in no way near the genre it claims for. Not thrilling, nor mysterious, no drama. The only possible way it would fall under the section "crime" is if we arrest it for forging the documents on applying it under those above mentioned genres. That was way too harsh. So I should take some heat off and put someone worthy on the stand. And it is not the director David Fincher. He shouldn't be blamed at all. I wouldn't even call it his choice. And instead it is the writer whose desperate pointless venture of creating a mind bending experience for the viewers fails repeatedly in the film.

And it grows annoying to be honest, after a while. The eye opening revelations are hair pulling disasters where the predictability is just a cherry on top. Where the only thing sad above the fact that Fincher has to keep all this mess togethers, is that someone talented as Michael Douglas has to go through the banal set of rules for The Game.

Mostly, I find people around me gushing over the nail biting climax and to be honest I don't mind the old flip and turn show. I couldn't care less. No matter how much hard Christopher McQuarrie tries in Mission Impossible: Fallout, he could barely draw out a nod from me. But that is only because we know that those fireworks won't ever glorify your night. The real crux is on how clean and precise you are on spiraling out the web of lies. Especially a film like this that has to keep its audience in the dark all the time. And that is why I love the first act of the film, it is properly polished, beautifully edited and smartly directed. The obvious things never go loud and if they do, they are intended to be.
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The Abyss (1989)
Cameron understands each individual emotion so perfectly, almost humanly, that you have to give in.
13 September 2019
The Abyss

James Cameron's another sci-fi adventure surprisingly doesn't resemble with Ridley Scott's Alien but Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters Of The Third Kind; I know that's a lot of name drops, but I am going to try and write about the film with as many references as possible. Like how the film also resembles with Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later in the sense that nature doesn't behave as an evil entity (just as Anne Hathaway whispers it beautifully in Interstellar) but by the humans at the point of crisis.

And it is simply moving to see a visual galore like such, fit in both socially and politically. Usually you'd have to enter a different screening for that amount of drama. Speaking of drama, Cameron is monetizing the film by doing something impossible even for now, I am not even going over the fact at what year was this released. Perhaps this has always been his style or motto or identity, he has always been ahead of both the technology and expectations of a movie goer.

If he has kept his arms tied on pushing the boundaries as a narrator, he certainly directs then, all his guns towards the embroidery of that iconic fabric. While making such green screen CGI mashup, Spielberg has always said that he prioritizes his animation on having emotional bond with the audience. And Cameron with his wit is weaving a nail-biting drama from such technical aspects that you wouldn't expect it to be anything beyond a distraction or a matter of panache. There is celebration with that technology, but surfing for almost three hours, he terrorizes the textual communication that we are told, comes from The Abyss. Now walking in the dark alone is really scary, but someone or something strange present in that darkness is on a whole new level.
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Runaway Bride (1999)
Even when they slow dance after being with the audience for a while, I didn't see any spark.
12 September 2019
Runaway Bride

The director Gary Marshall, I think, didn't see this coming. And I know no one presumes the film to perform bad. But there is a certain level of expectations, a ballpark figure, a certain range that it would cover. This is a total disaster. And to be honest I can see what could be the birth of this idiosyncratic idea that it plants so proudly in this farm. But as I have always said an idea isn't everything. At least we can agree in this show business by now is that no idea is stupid. The depiction of a smart idea done poorly comes off stupid.

And no matter how stupid an idea, if executed carefully, we have seen such films turn classic instantly, take MASH for example- the Donald Sutherland one. But if a stupid idea is project stupidly, it's a stupid film, in capitals; just as stupid as using this word these many times. Still I'd like to defend the film. And you can only do it with Julia Roberts, its finest asset colored totally lazy in the film. The film's actual odd and even contradicting nature comes because of her character and still there is a lot to explore there.

That is of course, not to say that the storyline in any manner justifies the decisions of the film. But for a brief period, her character shows us something profoundly mirroring to what our society whips us with religiously. And when that note, which is either rushed on questionably or the makers were not aware of the magnitude of its brilliance, hits the screen there is a comforting realization and surprise in our face that a film of this genre usually does not offer us. Runaway Bride is still a forgettable date movie, I mean I can't even promisingly say that there is some chemistry.
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Just for the performance and the chemistry, you can go through this therapy again.
12 September 2019
The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby

Ned Benson, the writer and director, sings a love song of two stanzas in this trilogy. A love story told from the perspective of both the partners, the film is properly balanced. Going through the script Benson's most of the time is spent upon just doing that. Balancing it. And as much effortful it would be, it is equally easy on the screen. And that is his biggest achievement and probably compliment too. The film looks easy. It flows smoothly. The supporting characters makes sense, the conversations necessary and the circumstances falls into place naturally. And maybe that's why the individual chapters speaks more to you. The complex nature of the other side is thrown right at your face which you aren't expecting, especially in a film like such, of a genre like such.

The film divided itself visually in two colours. These colors represent the nature of the characters that steers the film. For instance the blue shade that James McAvoy carries is the suppressed emotional background that never makes him decide anything. And if it does, it is not his favourite position to be at. He can't choose. Jessica Chastain is quite opposite on that note. Her sunny shaded colour signifies the active nature of hers on that relationship, where her good or bad deeds and self-appointed position of choosing things; deliberately or accidentally, lights the fire.

Them

This final chapter- not actually- doesn't serve a purpose beyond the fact that if you wish to know what actually happened. And as a result, you have to watch the first two chapters. But if you do, then 90 percent of the film is already in your pocket. Yet, with crisp clean editing, you can learn from the film, how a first draft of a script is edited out.
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Comparatively, the chapter achieves a higher ideal and why not, it has got some of the best conversation between Chastain and Hurt.
12 September 2019
The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby

Ned Benson, the writer and director, sings a love song of two stanzas in this trilogy. A love story told from the perspective of both the partners, the film is properly balanced. Going through the script Benson's most of the time is spent upon just doing that. Balancing it. And as much effortful it would be, it is equally easy on the screen. And that is his biggest achievement and probably compliment too. The film looks easy. It flows smoothly. The supporting characters makes sense, the conversations necessary and the circumstances falls into place naturally. And maybe that's why the individual chapters speaks more to you. The complex nature of the other side is thrown right at your face which you aren't expecting, especially in a film like such, of a genre like such.

The film divided itself visually in two colours. These colors represent the nature of the characters that steers the film. For instance the blue shade that James McAvoy carries is the suppressed emotional background that never makes him decide anything. And if it does, it is not his favourite position to be at. He can't choose. Jessica Chastain is quite opposite on that note. Her sunny shaded colour signifies the active nature of hers on that relationship, where her good or bad deeds and self-appointed position of choosing things; deliberately or accidentally, lights the fire.

Her

Jessica Chastain is getting a fair share. And I say this for, Benson didn't want to get the "her" side of the story wrong. You can see that clearly in the film. She is peeled properly and more sensitively. To be fair, her character has to cross two boundaries and while balancing both of these tracks parallel-y, you can feel Benson trying too hard. For that brief period, the film loses the grasp but it is a knee scratch in this war.
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McAvoy did choose to be something and everything in every scene, the only common thing would be his moving performance.
12 September 2019
The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby

Ned Benson, the writer and director, sings a love song of two stanzas in this trilogy. A love story told from the perspective of both the partners, the film is properly balanced. Going through the script Benson's most of the time is spent upon just doing that. Balancing it. And as much effortful it would be, it is equally easy on the screen. And that is his biggest achievement and probably compliment too. The film looks easy. It flows smoothly. The supporting characters makes sense, the conversations necessary and the circumstances falls into place naturally. And maybe that's why the individual chapters speaks more to you. The complex nature of the other side is thrown right at your face which you aren't expecting, especially in a film like such, of a genre like such.

The film divided itself visually in two colours. These colors represent the nature of the characters that steers the film. For instance the blue shade that James McAvoy carries is the suppressed emotional background that never makes him decide anything. And if it does, it is not his favourite position to be at. He can't choose. Jessica Chastain is quite opposite on that note. Her sunny shaded colour signifies the active nature of hers on that relationship, where her good or bad deeds and self-appointed position of choosing things; deliberately or accidentally, lights the fire.

Him

James McAvoy as a definitive, boundary lined, wanna-be-something is a difficult character to portray. Most importantly because I know a person like him and the vulnerability that he has captured is something that I connect with instantly. And adding more to the troubles, he is then, in the film, told to select what kind of a person he wishes to be, that part of this three part story is my favourite.
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The "always a way out" attitude is saved by a coherent narrative arcs; phew, that was close.
12 September 2019
Ocean's Thirteen

Soderberg made a fool out of us. All this time he was securing his third act while we were busy laughing at his jokes. The director Steven Soderberg has smartly managed to get out of the red zone of ending a trilogy on a satisfactory note. It doesn't suggest that he won't have to make a good film. It's just that he will have to focus on this very heist. The previous didn't matter, couldn't matter, if they tried. These are the benefits of a stand alone films, and Soderberg has managed to carve that piece out for this trilogy. Mostly considered to be an improvement than the previous chapter, to me this one felt more obliged to fulfill certain needs than any other films.

I know you are thinking that, now I am contradicting myself. But I am not stuck in a loop. The characters that are gifted with a hint of dramatic side takes a toll on the film's up beating nature. Again, not to say that Soderberg doesn't balance the drama and humor, if anything, he does it elegantly. But the film after choosing say "THIS" sort of narrative track, can't just leave it hanging by, for the rest of the film.

And I think that Al Pacino takes the blame for this phenomenon. His character unfortunately goes undercooked and hence never overpowers anyone, anywhere and anytime in the film. And that is extremely dangerous for the film that spirals out by his terror, when you don't communicate with his menacing ideologies. The corporate formal world that he is arrogantly a part of, is smartly differentiated by the writers by giving him a blunt voice, but it is a drop in the ocean. It is never loud enough to make it ripple or make the Ocean's Thirteen writhe.
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I know I come under a minority section, but I think that this chapter captured the essence of the cast perfectly.
12 September 2019
Ocean's Twelve

Soderberg's second round and personal favourite was never actually shot. Or more actually it was just shot. Not planned, nor choreographed, no script, nothing. In the previous film's shooting, the things that went out of control is all honed into this two hours of heist. And the dumbness that knowingly this cast, the writer and the director embodies, is the key to enjoy such humor. You have to partake in that groovy background score, half grinned face and annoyingly and irrelevantly prioritized topics that they discuss with deep analyzation and three dimensional perspective. Only if the making of the film was respected as those little things were.

The director Steven Soderberg though, is bringing his A game on keeping these A list starter in lease, and what you find is similar to Damien Chazelle's type of direction in every scene. But what I loved the most about the film is why it was criticized majorly. First of all, the myths surrounding these guys deeds in the previous chapter and to top it off, the bonkers ideas executed on screen. Luckily, Soderberg has an eye for framing this larger than screen idea and that is by never actually animating the action.

After which, it seems easy, the idea seems plausible and for a minute there, you buy into the product. Another thing how it differentiates largely from the other two chapters, is the meta nature. Actually, saying that the trilogy turns meta isn't enough. That would be understating things. Not only an entire act, the entire plan hinges upon the aspect of pointing out an actor while the film runs but even the jokes landed in the film are not actually for the characters but the actors portraying it. Ocean's Twelve is a riot of laughter, the joke is not for everyone just as this once-in-a-lifetime of a cast isn't.
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Start the car at your own risk, the getaway driver has another place to be.
12 September 2019
Ocean's Eleven

Soderberg's smoothest and underappreciated trilogy started from this standard chapter. I'd like to think that this is very much in similar to Rian Johnson's films. In the sense that the plot is incredibly thick and easily flamboyant in any circumstances it faces, as a result the storyline flips, turns, detours and shoots straight before reaching its destination. Now if a viewers isn't in sync with the on going gag or banal plans, the final product might come off quite textbook. Now, I don't know whether the script is written with such reverse engineering in mind or is always up for investing on engaging flim flams.

The director Steven Soderberg has created history for me while making this trilogy. There have been plenty of multi-starrer films as such but none of them went by as swiftly as this one does. And the trick he uses is not to keep these characters linked scene by scene and instead the object that serves the objective. And then, face changes, agendas changes, plan changes and the team changes but the objective stands tall.

Despite having an incredible cast, Brad Pitt and George Clooney are mostly standing ahead in the queue. And why wouldn't they, their repartee, between a huge heist going down, about little thing is what makes it rain in this night. The small talks, the actual talks, the bone and not the meat of the material comes when Pitt and Clooney is waiting for something. Kind of like they are in between reality and fantasy, the past and the future, where they stand in present solving an entirely different solution. Almost as if that window is for you to see, not for the characters or even any other viewers, just for me. Ocean's Eleven isn't actually the name they came up with, it should have been called The Benedict Job, I mean they all agreed to it.
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The end of the line, no more circles, no more juggling, this circus show has a speech for its last act.
11 September 2019
Kill Bill Vol. 2

Tarantino's second and final volume of this gore-y tape is a profound quest for balance. I cannot emphasize more on how beautifully does this satisfying sequel carries the first one. If you were a bit squeamish in your first time, you will feel safe and more importantly enjoy this time- I'm talking about the film, The Film- with a neater narration in the driver's seat. Although I'd say that the writer and director Quentin Tarantino seemed a bit insecure about this volume. For he had kept all the cards hidden for this round. And hence, it could grow hefty for the viewers. But then you should never complain for too much substance.

For stylizing all the choreography on the other hand is Uma Thurman. By this half, she has sunken her teeth well enough to scare you. Her underrated performance knocks you down not by those one liners- never by them, in fact- or cool action tricks but sorrow and regret in her eyes, in her revenge when she claims it. That baffling response is surprising and human, tricking us into believing her. The film also covers the training of Thurman's character which focuses on balancing the emotions.

But I think it is the humble nature, the admiration that these so called "bad guys" have for the protagonist and the situation they find themselves in, is the actual nail in the coffin. Every kill, ever body that Thurman redeems tales something from her and us, and in order to portray that, Tarantino never rushes out the event. The calmness that these characters hold amidst the swooshing and whooshing of the cameras, never makes zero sense. The family in Kill Bill Vol. 2 that she returns to, that she is a part of, is familiar to us.
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Tarantino's love for the color "yellow" is intriguing; understandable, but equally intriguing.
11 September 2019
Kill Bill Vol. 1

Tarantino lyricizes violence in a groovy rhythm. You'd have to have a strong willpower to not cave into his admittedly derived and catchy style. The writer and director Quentin Tarantino is honoring B grade films. In this phase of his filmography, he, with his multiple times collaborator Robert Rodriguez were just goofing around and securing their childhood memories. Tarantino loves those comic book films, not the superhero ones, but the more simple, revenge based commercial cinema that gives its viewers a cathartic release on a weekend after they are pinned down by the entire world. But this "escaping from reality" film and the aficionado puppeteering this bloodbath show shouldn't be taken lightly.

Grounding the most elaborative action sequences is Tarantino's finest mythological speech soldering the entire activity. In fact, Django Unchained, which is also created with keeping these very comic book stories in mind, doesn't ever fully circles back to that "wham", "bam" or "pow". In this note, Kill Bill (Vol. 1) succeeds majorly. For instance, despite having three dimensional characters and complex "he says, she says" storytelling, the narrator keeps us in check and up to date with all the tracks zooming in front of you.

Also, every single character is given a proper introduction, a stylish survey and slick one liners or quality to boast off. Take Lucy Liu's storyline for a moment. If she is described, when she is described, the character isn't bogged down by one emotion and isn't showcased like a bad guy. If she assassinated a president, then he isn't portrayed good enough for you to remove yourself apart from her. This is how Tarantino keeps in touch with his audience. He understands what the viewers might feel and would like to feel while going through an array of colorful destruction.
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Amistad (1997)
I miss those old days and old actors that are ready to just let others take charge, just watch Matthew McConaughey inhale the court room.
10 September 2019
Amistad

Spielberg has not written a long book. I know that it looks like it. But it is not. What it is, is a throwback to those old filmmaking style. And still it is not that. It still looks like a profound sci-fi space opera told with historical puzzle pieces that are mixed together for educational purposes. I mean I am not the only one saying it, even Anthony Hopkins in his final speech agrees with me. And you know what, for education. I will do it. I will go through it. I will sit by a whole three hour of lecture that is willingly participating on being user friendly.

Something that my social science book never did. The director Steven Spielberg is easily the only person who can pull this film.. nay, the pace off. The pace or a screentime is something that never bothers me. I have all the time in the world. And more the film takes its time, the more I enjoy it. And a slow steady pace always intrigues me and half way through the film I got the gist of the game.

The structure of the script is more like a do over process and when the film has to "bong!" the viewers that there is still an hour and a similar procedure to go through. What the characters are actually going through communicates with us instantly. Spielberg is a trickster in these matters. That courage that he asks from these characters and us, is a delightful conversation that is helmed by Anthony Hopkins in his room. And when Amistad starts breaking the fourth wall and looks into our eyes with a sharp wit and warmth that cradles us back to this historic event; I'd take it, I'd gladly take it, no matter how textual.
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