Dunkirk Review

The moment the credits started rolling in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, a peremptory silence shrouds the theater. I walk out to find it is raining cats and dogs outside, but instead of reaching out for my umbrella, I saunter through the crowded streets. In this moment, I was aware of life happening all around me, a feeling as rare as they come. And there I understood the silence back in the theater. It was a moment of our gratefulness to the Almighty that we were alive, present in that moment. The last time I experienced such emotions was three years ago, when I watched a little movie called The Shawshank Redemption.

Dunkirk works on a three-level non-linear narrative structure which eventually comes together as a cohesive whole. What results because of this is probably one of the most thrilling experiences you will ever have at a cinema theater. Laden with a sense of urgency from the very first frame, the overall tension builds up with each passing scene, with great help from Hoyte Van Hoytema who has captured the finest war footage since Vittorio Storaro in Apocalypse Now. Frequent collaborator Hans Zimmer’s score is exhilarating, and the use of the ticking clock sound works wonders after some time, for it starts to sound like nails being bitten in the midst of this macabre.

The Dunkirk evacuation was a desperate cause, and this is a desperate movie. Almost all the characters in Dunkirk are anonymous, as if to not attract attention to the bravery of a selected few ignoring the whole picture. But this move worked on a psychological level for me as well. What if the reason why no one is named is because everyone knows each other ? Have they been stuck here for so long ?

Even though the questions about his greatness have drawn divisive responses, the veracity of the belief that Christopher Nolan is the greatest visionary to have graced cinema in 21st century is hors concours.With Dunkrik, he has crafted one of the great haunting visions of cinema which will be talked about in the same breath with works such as Aguirre. This is his ticket to the hall of the greats.

I went into it, expecting a character-driven emotional drama which Nolan’s work is characterized by. Never have I been more happy to be disappointed.

 

RATING :- 9.4 / 10

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes

Synecdoche New York Review

Synecdoche New York is a movie about movies, but not in the conventional sense. Its affairs do not concern themselves with scrutinizing the method of crafting a narrative, but rather the intentions behind doing so.

What is it to have a true cinematic experience ? I believe it is the singularity of emotions an audience coming from different paths of life experiences when watching a movie. A person feeling the same joy, same sadness, same intrigue as the one sitting next to him. In Synecdoche New York, what Kaufman does is create a world where characters morph into each other every passing scene and subject themselves to desolation of the others, scrutinizing how we as a species react in a state of singularity to same events. But its vision is not limited to the confines of the screen. This movie rather plays outside it. It makes us aware of the actors we are in our perceived reality constructing our own worlds with our own actions while seemingly attributing it to preconceived destiny.

As all great movies made about life are, essentially what defines Synecdoche New York is a quest for a meaning to one’s existence. What Kaufman says is melancholic, but harshly true and beautiful like the poem about spring that opens this movie. Our quest seems to be for a permanent meaning, yet we ourselves change every passing day. All our previous selves survive inside us somehow, and each of them have ascertained themselves with different meanings. Our folly is we yearn for a permanent meaning for our multiple selves, eventually subjecting ourselves to believe in a nihilistic mindset, missing the bigger picture.

As most of Charlie Kaufman’s work has been, Synecdoche New York is a comedy as well. It’s just that it doesn’t rely on gags and one-liners to crack the audience up. Rather it is the irony that even after having every disease imaginable, Caden outlives almost everyone and that this movie begins and ends at 7:45. Does that say something about why it is so convoluted and abstract ? If you look a bit closer at the absurdity of the events, I believe it surely does.

For better or worse, this is a movie about everything. It charters life from the point where thought originates in an individual and subjects the viewer to a downright depressing or hilarious ride, varying on whether you are all worked up when it ends or you have an ironic smile when it does, respectively.

The first time I watched Synecdoche New York, it felt incomplete to me. The second time I realized it was to be completed by my own inadequacies and fears. There are bad movies, passable movies, good movies, excellent movies and great movies. And once in a blue moon, there are movies like Synecdoche New York. These are movies which you feel you can’t tell people about, movies that are so special and so yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal. It sure isn’t the greatest movie ever made or anything, but Synecdoche New York is my movie, just as my body is my body and my thoughts are my thoughts. The day I find someone worth recommending it, my God, that would be the day.

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes

 

My Thoughts On Pan’s Labyrinth

I have had my fair share of criticisms on this blog, most of them legitimate considering how maladroit my writing was in the early stages, but from the ones which hold ground even now, the one which perturbs me the most is my inconsistency. And if I say it’s because I don’t get enough time to watch movies and write about them, I would be lying because for the past couple of months, I have went through hundreds of them. Yet when I try to garner my thoughts on the majority of them, I find myself at a loss of words. I find myself in the same state John Green aptly described ‘My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations’. After much deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that I can only write about a movie when I either love it or hate it. No middle ground.

And here’s a diabolic gem from Guillermo Del Toro which reminds me why I picked up a pen consciously in the first place. I remember it was to write a short story about me saving Hermione Granger, my first literary and on-screen crush, from Death Eaters and in the end, getting to first base with her in the Room Of Requirement. As I look back upon it now, I find it to be an abhorrent work of both fantasy and erotica. But in it, I see something that was truly me at that time, a work which is truly original even though all its characters were not.

I believe that is why Pan’s Labyrinth is a masterpiece of its own league. After watching it, those same emotions which formed ranks and hurled themselves against the ramparts of my inhibitions a long time ago seemed to resurface with the same vigor. Its tale follows the soul of the princess of a distant past making her body of the present come in terms with her destiny in the midst of a macabre no child should hold witness to.

Unlike other fairy tales which shield even their evils in a graceful manner so as to not tarnish the minds of the young, Pan’s Labyrinth is as vile and violent and twisted as one can possibly imagine. The tales of the three tasks the protagonist Ofella has to undertake run in parallel with conflicts between Falangist soldiers and republican rebels, gradually morphing into one.

Del Toro excellently gives equal gravitas to both these tales, in a way in which we are invested in both and never out of touch in any. The creatures which inhabit the abhorrent worlds Del Toro crafts reek of creative genius, characters which are so familiar in their actions but so distinctive in their appearances that this movie turns out to be one of those rare works where one could happily watch with the sound turned off, just for the joy of how it looks.

I envy those who will watch this movie for the first time. And even more if they have just happened to hit the brink of puberty. The boundless imagination this movie will set free within them is the true magic which exists in this world. One which we all can hopefully find and believe in if we care to look for it a bit closely.

Always remember dear reader, no one ever grows old enough for fairy tales. In all my wisdom, I can say with unwavering confidence, that they seemingly grow old enough for their readers to love and learn.

RATING :- 9.5 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes

 

 

 

 

War Of The Planet Of The Apes Review

There couldn’t have been a more apt time for the War Of The Planet Of The Apes to have graced the silver screen. At a juncture where every big-budget movie seemed to be only style and no substance, War Of The Planet Of The Apes refreshes our memories of what the word ‘blockbuster’ once stood for. Made at the expense of one hundred and fifty million dollars, this third installment of the celebrated Planet of the Apes franchise proves with every single frame why it deserves every dollar of it.

The events follow the aftermath of the Koba mutiny which ensured a war between the apes and the Simian flu affected human beings. I won’t delve further into it for it needs to be experienced than told in my opinion. Rather I would like to scrutinize into the various odd aspects of it, some major and mostly minor in their scale, which I believe when summed up makes this movie what it is. And what it is, is a near fucking-masterpiece.

Let’s begin with a scene which occurs much later in the movie. The Colonel, a leader of a paramilitary organization, and Caesar, the leader of the apes, have a stand-off of sorts. In any other movie, I might have sighed with the exasperation of the  predictable nature of such scenarios in movies. But in War Of The Planet Of The Apes, I was nerve-wracked with tension on how it was going to play out. For these weren’t predictable characters whose actions bore by-the-book consequences. They were something truly original.

I believe everything in the movie up to the point mentioned above was a build-up to it, and the release was more than worth it. The artistic composition of this build-up can be written ceaselessly about, and the writing of this review is going to be an onerous struggle to end it, but that would be the last of the things to deter me.

The first ginormous excellence of War Of The Planet Of The Apes is its meditative pacing which gives ample time for character development. As the movie plays out, Caesar who has been seemingly omniscient for the larger part of this tale withers into a reflection of Koba himself. The plodding pace gives us time to reflect upon the previous events which have transpired, contemplate upon them and experience and reason on the transcendence of Caesar into darkness, bit by bit.

On the other hand, Woody Harrelson’s character is established and his ideologies construed in a single scene in which he delivers one of the most emotional monologues I can recount in cinematic history. The tension and the emotions of his words do not spring a constant release. Instead, they coil in on themselves creating an introspective mood for not only the Colonel, but Caesar himself.

The atmosphere of War Of The Planet Of The Apes is sullen, dark and extremely urgent, with the elements of nature seemingly closing in on themselves. The opening scene sprung memories of the colorful helmets the soldiers in Full Metal Jacket adorned, while the constructions of the concentration camps brings back memories of the Holocaust.

But, none of these stupendous achievements seem to hold weight when I think about what holds this masterpiece together. And all I can seemingly recount is Nova. She is a girl with a smile so beautiful that trying to describe it in the petty confines of language seems demeaning to its visceral beauty. Although one might assume in contrast, the entire movie lies on her shoulders, which she carries off in the same subtlety with which the girl in the red coat carried Schindler’s List.

Another stupendous scene is concerned with the discovery of an ape in hiding, high on emotions which cuts through the loneliness one is ridden with in such dark times. To sum it all up, which seems more and more a taxing endeavor with every word I am writing, a great sequel is the one which makes you appreciate even the flaws of its predecessor. War Of The Planet Of The Apes encapsulates that.

It is a movie about apes, but I am pretty darn sure that this masterpiece would be more or less the greatest ode to humanity that you would have the privilege of witnessing on the silver screen till the Times Square Ball drops in the near future.

RATING :- 9.5 / 10

(P.S.It would be a crime against the very notion of film-making if this work doesn’t get a Best Picture nod, Andy Serkis a Best Actor nod, and the various technical aspects nominations in their own respective categories)

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Review

There is no denying that horror and exploitation movies have a world of their own, inhabited by connoisseurs who scrutinize these grisly works with the precision as one might view Fellini’s 8 1/2 or Jonze’s Her. And although my personal stance is of utter repugnance towards these mostly gore-fests, it would be vacuous to evade them completely, for once in a blue moon, some movies rise from the standards of these pulp reels, and establish them worthy to considered seriously. Over time, Texas Chainsaw Massacre with ‘Last House On The Left’ and ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ has grown in reputation as a serious work which encapsulates the terror that true horror emanates. And after watching it, I can see why. It is four times a better movie than what the title seems to promise.

It follows a group of friends as they wade through the outlying areas of Texas on their way to the ancestral home of a character bound by the wheelchair. A chance encounter with an uncanny hitchhiker materializes and things start going south, ending up with almost all these friends meeting up with terrible fates ranging from the ponderous sledge hammer to the serrated chainsaw at disposal.

One of the reasons why Texas Chainsaw Massacre works has to be the depiction of violence. Unlike other low-budget gore fests whose violence is mainly concerned with giving the viewer an inherently flawed human anatomy class when it happens on-screen, Tobe Hooper, the director of this movie, makes sure minimal attention is drawn towards the act. On the other hand, the camera focuses on the helpless reactions of the characters who have the grave luck to witness the atrocities being committed on their pals.

Most of the horror is atmospheric, with the ravaging fields of Texas set against the backdrop of a setting sun with a chainsaw yielding cannibal providing a genuine tingle to the hairs on my neck. But does the plot justify the horror that ensures ? No, it does not.

My foremost problem seems to be the spoon fed lines of Franklin following the terrifying encounter with the meshuga hitchhiker. All though none of the other characters seem to reciprocate his fears (which they should, considering how such an event will surely perturb people), the lines which Franklin says is completely directed to give the audience a sense of fear of the impending fate of the characters although it is completely unnatural to the scenario being played out. There is a huge cringe worthy moment where Franklin in a fit of anger mimics Sally’s laughing pitch which is probably one of the worst scripted comedy moments I have seen in recent times.

But none of these minor mishaps outweigh the principal quandary :- Isn’t what Sally endures much of her own flawed decisions ? The final character in this madness to endure is Sally, but to truly love and feel terrified of this movie, one needs to sympathize with the impending doom on the characters. Not giving too much away, Sally and Franklin have an argument which is a complete farce in the name of logical reasoning and seems to be played out only for the sake of playing out the climax.

But as much there is to criticize, there is to applaud in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It deserves to be considered in the same vein it is now – as a serious work of film-making. I would be lying if I said at its best Texas Chainsaw Massacre failed to scare me. Unfortunately, I would also be lying if I said the moments which lead up these terrors justify the artistry of the latter.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a good movie. The only reason I am dissatisfied is because it showed the promise of being something much more.

RATING :- 5.8 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes

Apu Trilogy Review

For five and a half hours, I had the privilege of experiencing Satyajit Ray’s visual poetry on family, friendships, poverty, joy, sadness, love and everything in between. When it ended, I knew I had probably watched the greatest tale to have ever graced the silver screen, but this realization of boundless joy was accompanied with an atypical feeling of incompleteness. After much contemplation I realize I feel in this manner because the actual movie began when the credits rolledI, for the past five and a half hours, had been at the folly of thinking I had been mesmerized by the world of Apu. Little did I realize it had been my own world which I was witnessing through Apu’s eyes.

So does that mean I was born in a poverty ridden Brahman family in Bengal ? No, it doesn’t and the world I am talking about here is not bound in the petty confines of the physical dimensions. It exists within each one of us, it exists within you dear reader, a world full of fantasies and desires and aspirations no is privy to except you. What Ray has created here is not a movie, it is an experience. Apu’s tale is relevant here, because it encompasses all of life itself. And as it progresses, we sympathize with his sorrows and rollick with his joys. But why do we for an individual whose life and where it plays out are so distant from the world we firmly inhabit ? Because in this roller coaster ride Ray crafts us for us, it is the emotions and not the scenarios from where it emanates that hold their worth. We have felt what Apu has felt. The scenarios where we have maybe different, but the emotions are there – stark naked, unadulterated and pure.

Further accentuating this experience is Ravi Shankar’s hauntingly beautiful ragas, enveloping us into a world of their own. Creating beauty of poverty is no mean task, and much credit belongs to Subrata Mitra for his groundbreaking use of bounce lighting which helps this work evade from the dull look of black and white which has resulted in audiences evading its predecessors.

In The World Of Apu, there is a scene where Apu throws the manuscript of his autobiographical work in the depths of mountain gorges in a desolate state after the demise of a loved one. It was then I became aware of the absolute greatness of the work I was witnessing, for Apu had transcended from a sanguine to woebegone in front of my very eyes. Yet, we hope for him. For in the midst of all these tragedies life has engulfed him in, we see in a crystal clear manner a man has right stuff and might someday make a movie like Pather Panchali himself.

I broke down repeatedly when I was watching Apu trilogy, not because of the pain it is ridden with, but because I could not believe I could love a movie so much.

RATING :- 9.9 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

Photo Rights : Google Images, Wikipedia

Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only Yesterday Review

I could never make sense of the division of fractions which involved reversing the numerator and the denominator to multiply. I hated Mathematics, and was always better in writing essays, although my loved ones would choose the former in favor of the latter any given day. And I also happen to be a very picky eater. So when I watched Isao Takahata’s Only Yesterday, I felt like hugging myself, having found an acquaintance in Taeko which I had never found in real life. And guess what ? She is a girl.

Although I admire American animation (Wall-E and Ratatouille adorn my Great Movies collection), I have with good reasoning always considered it inferior to Japanese animation. I have strongly felt that computer animation can never top the beauty that hand-drawn strokes evoke, which seem to transcend every frame from a mere cartoon to a larger than life experience.

Furthermore, there seems to be a dearth of strong-willed, free-spirited female characters in American animation. With the exception of only Merida from Brave, every animated movie from the United States seems hell-bent to constrain girls into thinking that finding the Charming Prince Perfect seems to be their only tryst with destiny.

And here comes a wonderful bundle of joy from Japan which addresses both these pressing issues without ever drawing attention towards them. The more I think about it, the more I admire the way Takahata has incorporated the aspects American animation has evaded and even more, the tranquil manner of doing so.

At a time where the fairer sex is finally getting the representation they deserve, movies like Only Yesterday are boons. It creates a character who is relatable and lovable irrespective of the confines of gender and nationality. Having Takahata as the screenplay writer helps, for Taeko encapsulates the male interpretation of female puberty, helping the male audience to be never distant from her.

Instead of the corrals a hard-bound screenplay has in store, Takahata succeeds in creating an experience. There is a plot, but it willingly takes the backseat when the characters assume control. What results is something more or less like life itself – sometimes painful, sometimes joyous and limitless ennui.

And further greater is the painstaking manner of staging scenes. Take a scene where a boy from school admits his love to Taeko. He comes in nervously, blushing, and stands speechless. An awkward silence follows, finally broken by him asking Taeko whether she prefers a sunny, cloudy or rainy day. She replies cloudy and he smiles in mutual agreement. What follows for the next minute is a wonderful silence, crafting one of the most romantic moments I have seen in cinema. Unlike other movies, there isn’t a fatuous conversation that follows to ascertain their love. Takahata seems to know that silence fills the voids as well.

Another great scene involves Taeko asking permission to act while having dinner. She poses the question, and glances at her mother. Her mother glances, at her father, with Taeko’s vision too shifting to him. Without a single word, Takahata shows where the power centers lie in the house.

The ending is something to be seen to be believed. An entire world channelizes a decision which would have been corny in any other scenario. Maybe that’s how the movie can be pretty much summed up as well ‘It is something to be seen to be believed’.

RATING :- 9.5 / 10

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