Drive Review

Nicolas Refn doesn’t spare a minute to get you in the midst of all action. Drive begins with one of the greatest opening scenes I have ever seen. It make crystal clear the nature of Driver and his job. The Driver’s name is never mentioned throughout the movie, and as we come to know as the movie progresses, with due reason. He is an enigma cloaked in a mystery.

First of all, I am going to talk about this movie as more of an anatomy of it rather than a review, therefore apologies if it seems plodding. So, the movie begins with a brilliant opening scene as I said before. And the reason why I call it brilliant is because of the atmosphere it generates. If you have been around for a long time here, you might know that I am not a big fan of action movies (Drive isn’t one by the way, it is a crime movie to its core). And the primary reason for that is the monotonous nature of how the scenes materialize in most of the action movies. See, no one, and I repeat no one, gets excited just because a car is driving at illegal speeds. It is the motive behind the character’s actions for the act that make action scenes intriguing. Refn doesn’t mindlessly make his protagonist drive around. There is an eerie atmosphere created where there is an actual sense of urgency brought about by great writing, and the cinematography and editing enhance this tension. This is how real action is shot, unlike the amalgamation seen of visual effects and phony body doubles.

As the movie progresses, it uses various classic cinematic techniques to create a noir atmosphere. The dialogue is sparse, which would bother me in any other movie, but here it adds to our need for the addressal of mystery surrounding the Driver. A beautiful romance engenders from a marriage of lights and music.

Then, violence ensues. Gritty, bloody violence. Before you walk into this movie, just remember that this is clear style over substance, and I mean that in a good way. The atmosphere is meticulously created for these action scenes, a perfect build-up till all hell breaks loose.

As I said, every aspect of this movie is stylized in order for the viewer to comprehend the meaning of various symbolizations which appear throughout the music as well as costume design as well facial expressions and everything else. For eg. take the scorpion on the back of the jacket worn by the Driver in reference to the story of the frog and the Scorpion. One of the things that almost every great movie offers is an opportunity to form one’s own interpretations about characters. Here, the Driver can be viewed as a frog because he carries the weight of the criminal world on his shoulders which he knows will sting him, and he also can be thought about as the scorpion because he is meant to sting and hurt everyone around him, for that is his nature.

A lot of people were disappointed by this movie, evident from its Cinema Score ratings. Well my advice would be to watch it as a crime movie rather than an action movie, because the crime is the main plot-turner here, the action is just the consequence of it all.

The only problem I had with Drive is that it creates a certain wall between the viewer and its characters. We do relate to the character movements, but the emotions do not penetrate our heart which I felt was necessary in this movie because most of it is about character development. However, I oppose myself in this statement, because the movie is a mirror to the Driver, and that is his nature, a wall which is impermeable to emotions.

Drive is a stylized movie which offers intelligent entertainment, and I guess in this world where people come out of cinema halls proclaiming that Fast and Furious is the most thrilling movie ever made, I guess Drive acts as cocaine for those who pay the price of admission for meaningful cinema.

RATING : 8.6 / 10

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Goodfellas Review

The characters in Goodfellas and The Godfather are poles apart. While the Mafia in The Godfather emanate nobility, honour and justice, the Mafia in Goodfellas are devoid of even a tinge of morality. Watching Goodfellas reminded me more of Se7en than anything else where the city was always dark and it was always raining. Here however, the characters themselves fill the void of darkness. They are the living scum on Earth.

There is a story in Skyfall about rats. So, if a lot of rats are locked in a cage, the eventually start eating each other till the point only two are left. However, these two rats now only eat rats. Scorsese elaborately creates a terrifying cage and inhibits them with his rats, the gangsters and eventually gets them in a spree of killing each other.

Scorsese as many of you may know is a staunch devout Catholic and many of his movies have examined the devil within us. He has often made a point to study how devil works his way through us and that is where Karen Hill comes in, the most important character in the movie I say. James Allen once said ‘Circumstances do not change a person. It only reveals him to himself‘. The focus he gives on her is a masterstroke and nothing less. In a movie where every one is a scum, there is dire need to know why they are the scum and Scorsese explains it through Karen, an innocent beautiful girl who gets turned on when a blood soaked loaded revolver is handed to her.

There is a scene between Henry (Ray Liotta) and Tommy (Joe Pesci) which elevates from laughter to pure horror. It terrified me. And that’s where I understood. This is what the wiseguys must feel like every second of their life. Always looking over their shoulders when they get out of their houses, talking in public phones because the private lines may be tapped, God ! Imagine living every second of your life in fear. I imagined at the end of Goodfellas, I would end up despising the wiseguys. But all I could do, was feel pity for them. They were just a scared lot of nobodys. I only felt sympathy for them.

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.

Badlands Review

Dear friend, I want you imagine a field with no end. So you start running in this field. You are running to get to its end, but as I said before, it has no end. So after hours and hours and hours of running, you stop because you start to realize there is no end to this field and well, because you have ran a hell lot. Simply put, you stop because you are TIRED and HOPELESS. Well, sorry for the spoiler, but I just described Badlands for you.

In Badlands, Terrence Malick sends of two individuals (they do not qualify to be called lovers) on a run, that later becomes apparent, both of them do not want to go on. At least, not with each other.

Cinematic plots are, in most cases, unrealistic scenarios if you take out the characters. This is because it is the characters and their convictions that give a viewer a desire to pursue the plot. In Badlands, there is a dreadful hollowness to every character. The crimes of Kit and Holly are shrouded by an inexplicable banality and their love for each other a mere farce. Yet, they carry along. Why ? We do not know. Worse, we never know.

As a cinephile, I know it is not fair to criticize a movie from the start to the end. I won’t disagree, although the movie is never intriguing, nor is it never boring and the cinematography is breath-taking.

However, honestly speaking, I cannot even think of loving a movie which starts and ends without a purpose. Halfway through the journey, even Holly admits she is wary of it. When the central protagonist herself has had enough of the journey, how the hell can anyone in their right mind expect a viewer to give a rat’s ass ?

From the moment it started till the moment it ended, Badlands left me devoid of any feeling. For me, that’s the worst kind of movie. I would prefer hating a movie rather than feel nothing about one.

RATING : 3.9 / 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.

 

 

 

The Shawshank Redemption Review

Recently, I showed ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ to my mother. Around the part where Brooks gets on parole, I observed her face. Tears glimmered on her face due to the light reflecting from the screen. A critic rightfully said, ‘If you don’t like The Shawshank Redemption, you are beyond redemption.’

The Shawshank Redemption is an enthralling experience each time I watch it. The feeling of nostalgia rushes through me every time I re-watch it. Every time you watch The Shawshank Redemption, it feels as if you are watching a movie made just for you. The structure of The Shawshank Redemption has a striking resemblance to the structure of my supposedly all time favourite movie, Schindler’s List. It is a great movie, which begins lost, supposedly having no definite idea where to go, then it treads forwards in definite episodes, just like a mathematical sum in which many proofs lead to the final definite proof. These episodes eventually lead to the climax, joining all the plot points and leave you dumb-struck. While the episodes of Schindler’s List were the horrors of Holocaust connected to the change in the character of the protagonist Oskar Schindler, the episodes of The Shawshank Redemption, those simple acts of everyday kindness eventually culminate into the redemption of Andy Dufresne and Red.

This Frank Darabont helmed classic is about Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) who is imprisoned for the murder of his wife and lover which he never did. Andy is sent to the Shawshank prison, where he meets Red (Morgan Freeman), and together they embark on a journey to redemption through acts of everyday kindness.

The Shawshank Redemption gains its authenticity from the fact that the friendship between Andy and Red doesn’t develop into this unbreakable bond within a few weeks, months or days. It develops within nineteen years of hell, where the company of human beings is the only way of solace. There hasn’t been a movie which has dissected the nature of human emotions as severely and stark really as The Shawshank Redemption in the history of cine world.

The Godfather also bears a slight resemblance to The Shawshank Redemption. In The Godfather, the film-maker Francis Ford Coppola distinguishes the good and bad from the bad. Similarly in The Shawshank Redemption, we distinguish those one-timers from the psycopaths among criminals, and there stands the sole importance  of our protagonist Andy Dufresne, he isn’t among them, he is innocent.

The Shawshank Redemption always leaves me crying, especially the Brooks sequence, where it is unnatural for an individual not to get emotional. Frank Darabont is a master director, one of my favourites, if I convey frankly. He debuted with The Shawshank Redemption, being helmed by audiences world-wide as the greatest movie ever made, then directed The Green Mile, on of the most engrossing and breath-taking movies ever made, and then moved to the small screen, and created ‘The Walking Dead’ one of the greatest and horrifying sitcoms ever made. He adds in a touch of magic in each of his movies which I find is the true essence of cinema.

Morgan Freeman delivers the highlight of his career with this performance. There is a certain innocence in his face, a smile whose charm is unfathomable, a loveable persona, an aura, a panache that is irresistible. I love this character. Tim Robbins give an extraordinary controlled performance, saying so much while doing so little.

The cinematography is awesome. Man, it is Roger Deakins at the party, so the direction of photography is undoubtedly going to be fucking awesome. The score is composed by Thomas Newman, one of the greatest composers of all time, and one of my own personal favourites, because of the sombre and elegant and emotionally prevalent form of music, which even Hans Zimmer or John Williams can’t achieve. Newman composes a score that just is, what is the word, I would say ’emotionally-imposing’, like it just guffaws you into those cellars.

The movie itself is a story of loneliness and obviously, redemption, like the name suggest but more of a portrait of existential angst. That is another factor which distinguishes Andy, others at Shawshank gradually become institutionalized and accept those walls made of stone, Andy, in for a crime he never conducted symbolises a glimmer of hope which never stops shining.

The Shawshank Redemption is an extraordinary movie about existential angst, loneliness, redemption, friendship and lot more, but what it is, is an experience no viewer can ever forget and rightfully adorns the second place on my list of the ‘Greatest Movies Of All Time’.

Rating : 9.9 / 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.

 

Jackie Brown Review

Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown is about Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) a flight attendant who carries money illegally from Mexico to United States Of America for gun dealer Ordell Robbie (Samuel.L.Jackson). But when she is busted by Ray Nicolette (Micheal Keaton) an ATF officer, she hatches a plan along with Max Cherry (Robert Forster) to help Ray catch Ordell and get away with Ordell’s money.

Jackie Brown is more or less on the lines of The Godfather. The characters are schemers. They talk, they plan, they dispose, they again plan and so on till the explosive climax. The movie is slow and tensely gripping. It begins as a Tarantino movie should with a stylish opening sequence.

The movie then progresses at a very slow pace which may be a letdown for Tarantino fans out there who are accustomed to his fast moving, entertaining and violent cinematic style. There is not much going on. But characters keep coming in. It is a game of chess laid out on the screen. The pawns move first and then we take out the big guns. The movie’s actual plot begins in a hour.

It is a very complex plot in itself, being based on a novel Rum Punch. There is an ingenious plan  set into motion in the climax of the movie which will assure you that your time hasn’t been spent futile. It was more or less considered as relaunch pad for Pam Grier and Robert Forster and even if it was, I don’t mind for both are superb. Robert Forster is the main attraction of the stellar cast. We can’t take our eyes of him ad his chemistry with Pam Grier is awesome. Like we comprehend there is a sensual thing going on between them and we know it, they know it but it is never said till the climax. Samuel.L.Jackson as Ordell is fabulous and has an evil menace to him. Robert DeNiro has given one of his rare bad performances. He doesn’t do much, hell it sucks.

The major disappointment is obviously is the dialogues. There are some stylish entries here and there but the Tarantino charm is missing. Even in Kill Bill, where it was a matter of solace there was dialogues among the visual spectacle of severed heads, amputated hands and crushed eyeballs, there were superb conversations, like the one about the goldfish and about comic book superheroes. There is a noteworthy lack of such superb pieces of dialogue writing in Jackie Brown, which can be in a way attributed to the fact that this wasn’t a Tarantino original, this was an adaptation. But that doesn’t cover up for the fact that Tarantino has failed in this department which is his trademark.

Jackie Brown is raw, slow paced and gripping with stellar performances by Robert Forster and Pam Grier but the slow paced first half maybe a big let down for the fans of fast paced cinema which is Tarantino’s forte and the insipid dialogues aren’t what we expect from Quentin Tarantino, it is entertaining nonetheless.

Rating : 8 / 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.

Fargo Review

You’re darn tootin’!Jerry Lundegard

Joel Coen’s Fargo is about Jerry Lundegard (William Macy) who hires two low profile thugs to kidnap his wife so that he can solve is financial problems by taking the ransom his wealthy father-in-law will pay for his daughter and give 80000 dollars from it to the thugs as their payment. But, the pan goes awry when these two thugs shoot a state trooper and sets police Chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) on their pursuit.

I tried watching Fargo for the first time a few days ago at night. I fell asleep. I thought it was because of the syrup I had consumed earlier for my cough. Then yesterday, I tried watching Fargo again and that too from the beginning so that I do not miss any details of the case. I fell asleep again and that too at the same scene where I had felt asleep before, when Marge meets Mike. And today, I watched Fargo from that scene onwards, not from the beginning. And today, I didn’t sleep.

It wasn’t because of the cough syrup I fell asleep; it was because of the fact that Fargo has a lousy first half. The narrative is too slow paced for anyone to muster enough concentration. It begins to progress like a soap opera at times. The Coens have behaved as if they had all the time in the world to push forward this crime story. This is the problem that Coppola’s The Godfather faced as well. See, when you are shooting a crime movie or a gangster movie you need twists and turns at small junctures. They are considered irrelevant in these two flicks.

The performances in Fargo are scintillating. Farances McDormand as Marge Gunderson is spontaneous and brilliant. There is a scene in Fargo where Jerry is questioned by Marge the second time after she feels some irregularities in their first interrogation. Jerry loses his cool and shouts at Marge. There is a glare in Marge’s eyes at that moment. She doesn’t utter a word but she stares with a plain face at Jerry, and we can feel the wrath subdued in her. The persona that we had created for Marge as a pregnant, family-loving, simple minded police chief is peeled off in layers. It is the moment that made us realize our banality with regards to the true nature of these characters. We were seeing Jerry as a good guy. We had forgotten that he had hired two thugs to kidnap his own wife so that e can steal the money that his father in law gives as the ransom. That he is the puppeteer of this crime. That he is the villain. I think I loved William Macy’s performance more that Frances McDormand’s. Even though he is the antagonist of the movie, he plays his part with such dignity and grace and his desperation does move us in some parts.

The characters in Fargo are so author backed I would have given my right arm to play Macy’s character in this flick. Now the problem is that the characters are author backed, the script ain’t. I do love the Minnesota nice touch of the movie, but sometimes it just gets too over the top and the script seems downplayed. It lags a lot and the 90 minutes run time feels like I was watching a 3 hour movie. This movie is one of the most overrated movies of all time. I just can’t believe this flick is regarded as the greatest dark comedy of all time. What is so funny about it? Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert said that Fargo was one of the greatest motion pictures of all time, that it was a standing example of why they loved movies and that they could watch it every week. Nothing stands true with regards to Fargo. It is so unfunny. The problem with Fargo is that it could have succeeded as a thriller but the Coens try to make it successful as a comedy as well, which ends up being the mess we know as Fargo.

The movie looks beautiful. Roger Deakins’ camera is spot on. If the characters of Fargo were pieces of chess, then Roger Deakins has made the surroundings as the perfect chess board. It is just an orgasm to the eyes. The score is beautiful and blends perfectly with the story.

Fargo is more about the shallowness of human beings than a crime. That monologue by Marge at the end of Fargo is just nerve wracking and emotional. It shows where the heart of the movie had been – to show how despicable we human beings are fighting and killing each other for a little bit of money. It also conveys how disturbing our nature is to a few individuals who try to comprehend our so called superior thinking within their innocent lives. Well, they just won’t understand it, and I am thankful that they won’t.

But on a whole, I wish that he could have just put on the goddamn tags on his car (Fargo reference). See, this is a script that is in no way suitable for a movie. This would have worked if it had been a 4 episode miniseries on HBO. It would have been perfect and intriguing and would have been apt for this slow sailing ship of a script.

Fargo is a slow paced movie with scintillating performances by its actors but its boring dialogues, slow paced narrative does the movie a lot of harm. It looks visually arresting and the score is beautiful, but I do have to say, the movie’s heart was at the right place.

Rating : 6.1 / 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/pages/Demanded-Critical-Reviews/1565666967024477?ref=hl 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.