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

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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

 

 

 

 

Little Miss Sunshine Review

The greatest feeling a viewer can experience after watching a movie is feel thankful for every second of his existence leading up to the point where the ending credits roll, a thankfulness for being alive just to watch this movie. I felt it after The Shawshank Redemption the last I remember. Here I am, with tears in my eyes I swear to Nolan, writing about Little Miss Sunshine.

It is about a journey these six characters, all starkly different from the other, undertake to contest in a beauty pageant called ‘Little Miss Sunshine’. What ensues in this trip is complete mayhem and how the characters reconnect with each other after a huge dramatic twist. Each of these characters have such an inexplicable adorable vibe to them that I walked out of this movie wishing a stand alone movie for each of them.

Alan Arkin is mind-blowing as the swearing, heroine-snorting horny grandpa whose advice to his grandson Dwayne, an individual who has taken a vow of silence adhering to the principles of Neitzsche, is ‘fuck a lot of women‘. The ones offended by this is naturally the father of the boy, Richard, a man who is reminiscent of Walter from The Big Lebowski. While Walter’s mojo was Vietnam, Richard can relate anything in the world to a nine-step program he has devised for attaining success. In the midst of all this maelstrom is probably the cutest character of 21st century cinema, Olive Hooper played by Abigail Breslin, who with her rimmed glass and a heart-melting smile plastered a smile on my face throughout this movie.

This movie meant a lot to me personally because the underlining theme is about how failures make a man. Each of the characters here deal with unfulfilled dreams about aspirations and standard of living. Yet, as the movie progresses, the realization dawns upon how family always comes first, apparent from a climax which is as hilarious and heart-warming as any sequence in cinema can be.

My heart burst out with joy after watching Little Miss Sunshine. The opening shot is of Olive watching a beauty pageant and mimicking the actions of the winner. Tears rolled down my face with that very shot itself. That beautiful marriage of visuals, music and the innocence of Olive reminded me of those times when I pretended to win an Oscar. No moment in cinema has ever meant that much to me. It was a perfect shot.

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.

The Prestige Review

Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige is about a tragedy which cause a great rivalry between two aspiring magicians Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) as they both try to defeat each other by creating the greatest illusion in the history of magic.

When you see the name Christopher Nolan, you know you are in for something great. The guy even made the superhero genre great and that is your pass to the hall of legends and if this guy isn’t the Stanley Kubrick of our times, nobody is. I had my doubts with The Prestige, I admit. It is based on a novel of the same name by Christopher Priest. Now, I had my doubts not because I thought the Nolan siblings are going to falter in the film-making but I had serious doubts if during the process of adapting a 404 pages book into a 130 minutes movie will falter. Magic, as we know it, is the perfect harmony of the steps and if the magician falters in one step, the whole act goes down. And to adapt a 404 page trick with steps being interconnected in every phase is a humongous task to be accomplished in a 2 hour movie. But, I forgot we were talking about Christopher Nolan.

The screenplay became the trick, and what it made it more special, what made it great, is the showmanship. There is a tension that Nolan carries right from the dressing room after the first show to the climax that drifts us away to the later half of the 19th century. The Prestige begins on a slow note. The story progresses as a tragedy of mishaps and we see, and sorry I stand corrected, we feel the tension between them. And then, it is time for the big guns.

When Borden comes up with The Transportation Man, the greatest trick Angier ever sees. And in it, Nolan triggers pure sheer magic and also the demonic nature of a rivalry which intensifies after every performance. There is a driving force beyond each of the character. Angier’s is the demise of his love, after which he works just to justify his title ‘The Great Danton’. Borden’s is his conquest to do something great, so great that Angier won’t be able to figure it out.

The common mistake that directors do when they make a movie which pits two individuals of the same calibre is that they make the audience love one of them from the start to the end, and the other one repugnant from the first to the last. There are dire need of moments when the audience is in a fix about which character they will chose as their sweetheart. The most accomplished work in this aspect is Ron Howard’s Rush which put me in Niki Lauda’s side first, then James Hunt and then did the unbelievable, in the climax, I viewed them both as equals, without any prejudice cornered to any of them. I won’t say this movie accomplished this aspect, and thankfully it shouldn’t have as well, but there is a line from Rush in which Niki says, and I am paraphrasing ,”You learn more from an enemy than you learn from a friend. And a good nemesis keeps you going.” The tragedy or the reason of the satanic fog around the rivalry of Angier and Borden is their inability to comprehend this fact.

Hugh Jackman is brilliant as Angier. Christian Bale is superb. Michael Caine works like he always does, the safe bet of Nolan. Scarlett Johansson gives an average performance. Andy Serkis and David Bowie are spectacular.

The cinematography is just beautiful. That scene in which those light bulbs flash in a white snowy layout is just fabulous. Wally Pfister then follows the lead of Dick Pope by using small lightings set against a dark background giving the set-up a dark and grim sensation, just like Pope’s The Illusionist released the same year, when magic smeared the cinematic arena.

And obviously we do have to talk about the climax, the big twist which I won’t spoil. But, if you haven’t seen the movie, you may find some of the sentences ahead uncomprehending and sunder. Some say that Nolan leaves the audience at an ambiguous point, and yes, you end up feeling or awe or fucked up, but I think the main intention is that Nolan must feel that audience must comprehend what was the nature of the movie. We see that Angier is the better showman and Borden is the better magician. The end actually turns the tables on it. The complexity of his thoughts, his so called desire, Borden sold the idea of an unimaginable apparatus of the trick to us, the audience and to Angier which just says he was always the better showman, not the magician. But Angier on the other hand, was always the better magician. There is a scene in which Michael Caine enhances the simple pigeon act into a modification which was worthy to be the climax of a show. Angier took a trick and stretched it into impossible heights. He just didn’t realise he was the better one.

There is a line ‘Are you looking closely ?’ that Bale uses constantly. We undoubtedly are. The climax is the prestige. It is an illusion for which we won’t find the secret because in quite honesty there were a lot of markers about the twist. We didn’t pay heed to them, because we never really were looking closely, we always wanted to be fooled.

The Prestige is grim and magical and a superb character study. My heart thumped with every footstep Angier took when he unveiled his great illusion and I found myself sitting amongst the audience, full of anticipation and clapped when the prestige materialized. That is what I always wanted a movie to be, a magical journey, a portal to another world, where we are perplexed, observing and more than that, amazed.

 Rating : 9.4 / 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 TOOhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Demanded-Critical-Reviews/1565666967024477?ref=hlYOU 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.