Yellow Submarine Review

In film circles, American and British animation have consolidated a position which renders them inferior to their counterpart from Japan, for they still lack the breath-taking realism Japanese hand-drawn animation emanates. Settling in for a cartoonish feel of storytelling has added very little to the case of its medium being not given due consideration, which I too believe it so earnestly deserves. Yet, whenever haters try to rip the computer animation of the United Kingdom to shreds, there is a name the lovers of it invoke which conjures a silence brooded over as though the tearing pace of the launched Earth had suddenly become audible. The Achilles’ heel – George Dunning’s Yellow Submarine.

I admire the movies which create a medium of their own to tell their stories, but even more do I admire the works which reinvent their medium, accepting its limitations and turning it into its biggest strengths. The unmistakable psychedelic vibes of the affairs of Yellow Submarine encapsulate the very essence of what corners this before mentioned admiration of mine.

I believe every age has a movie of its own. While The Social Network perfectly encapsulates the greed and genius the explosion of information technology brought with it in the 2000’s, there couldn’t have been a finer personification of the bubbling tension caused by the suppression of raw male nature due to consumerism in the 1990’s than Fight Club. The settings here are of the psychedelic 60’s. God knows that whatever that means it certainly meant far more than drugs, though drugs still work as a pretty good handle to the phenomena. The inception of hippie culture had coincided with the paid government experiments on IT – 290, Ditran, L.S.D and what not. I even hear of hippies who would sneak back into the theater for the second half of Kubrick’s 2001 to lay, or lie, flat on their backs on the floor in front of the screen, observing Kubrick’s translucent visual extravaganza  from a skewed perspective while they were stoned out of their gourds. Yellow Submarine perfectly caught the gist of these affairs and emulsified the two peak obsessions of the time – Beatles & psychedelia – into one masterpiece, all figured out and wrapped in tissue paper with pink ribbons on it.

It is replete with some of the most visually arresting imagery to have graced the cinema screen. Add to it, the acid-wit of the Marx brothers brand, and what we have is an unrelenting satire by the Beatles of the very stereotypes and myths which so firmly inhabited their careers. For example. take this wonderful exchange between Jeremy and the Beatles :-

[Jeremy is writing with his foot]

Jeremy : The footnotes for my nineteenth book. This is my standard procedure for doing it. And while I compose it, I’m also reviewing it!

George : A boob for all seasons.

Paul : How can he lose?

John : Were your notices good?

Jeremy : It’s my policy never to read my reviews.

Yellow Submarine is one of the most stupendously scripted and constructed cinematic pieces of all time. Its importance is never to cease for it carries with the memories of a time transpired long ago yet envied to date.



The Wizard Of Oz Reviewed & Analyzed

The fact that a MGM musical is still celebrated by cinema lovers world over is an astonishing certitude. But after watching The Wizard Of Oz, I laugh in the face of the qualms I had regarding this movie before watching it. There isn’t a movie worthy enough of its position in world cinema than this adaptation of the Frank Baum classic by Victor Fleming.

I won’t get myself in the trouble of trying to explain its plot for the moment, for it’s as famous as the movie itself and so silly yet genius that I haven’t yet developed such a mastery of English language that it can be summarized by me within a paragraph.

The movie is a celebration of everything that we love about fantasies – characters reeking of innocence in a world which doesn’t. But rather than praising its beautiful and hilarious songs, the wonderful production design or the fabulous performances, I would much like to dedicate this post to why this MGM musical of 1939 still holds its ground in a world so strongly inhibited by the likes of Kubrick and Hitchcock and everyone else. And the only reason which seems to transpires before me except for the historical importance it reeks of for the use of Technicolor is the plot of the movie.

So, the movie’s central protagonist is Dorothy Gale who as you might know, unless you have been living under a rock for the entire course of your lifetime, gets transported by a cyclone to the land of Oz where she meets the Scarecrow (one who wishes for a brain), Tin Man (one who wishes for a heart) and the Cowardly Lion (one who wishes for courage). Together, they embark on the journey to Crystal Palace, to meet Oz who will fulfil all their desires. (A paragraph which seems to contradict my earlier statement about summarizing the plot of this movie in a paragraph, but believe me, reading this and thinking you now know the entirety of the plot of this movie would be to look at one brick of the Great Wall Of China and say that’s all there is to it)

The Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion for me seem to epitome the innermost desires of Dorothy’s which seems to give the entire movie a surreal underlining which I will go into later. The Scarecrow seems to be a metaphorical representation of Dorothy’s yearning, or more better a child’s yearning, to be considered equal in his/her intelligence by the adults. In the beginning one can see how Dorothy’s family members seem to dispose of her troubles without giving it a moment’s thought, most probably giving her the idea that they consider her asinine, and thus the yearning to be intelligent.

The origin of Cowardly Lion can be traced back to when Zeke advises Dorothy to be a little brave while facing Almira Gulch. Dorothy’s reluctance to accept her consternation about Gulch seems to be the reason why the Cowardly Lion seems so unabating in making his cowardly nature so obtrusive.

Then what about the Tin Man who wishes for a heart to feel with, a quality which Dorothy seems so abound of ? I believe this is her yearning for Miss Almira Gulch, which further affirms her goodness.  Although the Wicked Witch of the West seems to be a representation of Gulch I believe it is restricted here to only her physicality and her hate for Toto. Tin Man here possesses the same yearning which Dorothy wishes came true for Gulch as well, thus making him a projection of the Gulch Dorothy wants her to be.

And about Oz itself ? It seems much to be a work of Dorothy’s subconscious rather than a parallel reality. The fact that the passage of time in the dream world is much faster than compared to the real world also explains the length of the journey as well. It seems Dorothy’s subconscious creates a world of imagination, inhibits it with characters which are reflections of her own self and introspect about her existence.

Or is this reading too much into nothing ? Is my chain of thought reminiscent of the way the adults in the movie reject the notion of Oz at the end of the movie ?

Whatever it may be, the creation of a child’s innocent subconscious or an unimaginable reality, The Wizard Of Oz is one of the most delightful movies to have ever come out and had me from that moment where Aunt Em says to Almira that ‘Miss Gulch, I now know exactly what I think about you, but I can’t say it because I am a Catholic’.

RATING :- 9.4 / 10


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Castle Seasons 1-6 Review

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                  I really am ruggedly handsome, aren’t I ? – Richard Castle

ABC’s Castle is about a mystery writer called Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) who has just killed of his bestselling series’  lead character Derrick Storm and is looking for inspiration. And it comes to him in the form of Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) who is in charge of a case in which Castle’s expertise has been sought because it concerns a serial killer who modus operandi is similar to that of the murders in Castle’s novels. And thus begins, the crime solving partnership of Kate Beckett and Richard Castle which gradually culminates into a romantic relationship. The sitcom is also about Beckett’s mother’s murder investigation which forms the plot of various episodes in these seasons.

It is with great joy that I write this review. Castle is 2nd on my list of the greatest sitcoms of all time. (Sherlock is the 1st) This sitcom is very very personal to me. I actually got into watching sitcoms by watching ‘The Simpsons’. The Simpsons had a slot time of 3:30-4:00 pm after which I went to my tutions. But, it was later shifted to 4:00-4:30 pm slot. So, I had nothing to watch and one day, I decided to watch a episode of every other show on other channels and to my great luck, the first one I saw was Castle and I loved it.

I began watching this Show from season 3 after which it became my daily cocaine. It became part of daily routine to watch Castle for mystery and comedy are two genres that I love and Castle is the most wittiest and suspenseful show I have ever seen.

The acting is brilliant. Rick Castle, along with Holmes, is the coolest TV character of all time. A humorous genius, what else do we need ?!!!! And here comes Kate Beckett, the super-cool dashing cop genius who just proves every time that none of her male counterparts are a match to her. The supporting characters like Castle’s daughter Alexis and his mother Martha, the detectives Esposito and Ryan, the chief Capt.Montgomery and Capt.Victoria Gates and the forensics expert Lanie, they are AWESOME

The series is so well written and directed. The episodes of Beckett’s mom’s murder are so sophisticated and the truth of it just blew me away. The series did a very wise move of spreading it across all the seasons that by the time the revelation came, the audience was blown away because of the tension built over all the seasons like the sitcom ‘The Fugitive’. Another example of an amaze balls script was that of the Linchpin conspiracy episodes which began as an simple investigation but leaded to a worldwide conspiracy which could lead to the most catastrophic event the world has witnessed. It was better than most of the conspiracy theory movies that I have watched. I was speechless after watching those two episodes and they just cemented my love for this series.

The chemistry between Stana and Nathan is so awesome that if you watch this sitcom from season 1 episode wise, from the end of season 2 you would be like ‘Are they getting together in this one?’ at the beginning of every episode. And the tension built up and up every season until their relationship started in the most perfect way ever and I was cheering that whole scene.

And one thing that I find very under appreciated about this sitcom is its score. It is so quirky and so romantic and so tragic when its needs to. Here’s a link to one of the score by the genius composer of this series Robert Duncan from the episode ‘Always’ and judge for yourselves

On a more personal note, I connected with this series. And the time I began watching it, I was very lonely. It felt like I had no one to talk to and this series actually rescued me from that loneliness. The characters became my family and I became happy when they became happy and I was sad when they were sad. I actually posted pictures of this series’  characters in a notebook and I talked to them, and I told them everything and that made me feel better. I attribute my love for movies and sitcoms to Castle because after watching Castle did I realize that I had found my new passion.

This series is one hell of a watch, and has everything-awesome performances, brilliant screenplay, prodigious direction, stupendous editing and a breathtaking score. It is a must watch and you would be doing a crime to yourself if you miss this sitcom.

Rating: 9.8/10