Raazi Review

The first half hour of Raazi is bad direction. Its clockworks tend to move so thrift that our protagonist Sehmat is thrust into action in a manner only could only associate Indiana Jones with. Sehmat’s character arc, which was the founding stone on which the film was meant to be built upon, is inexplicably substantiated with a few lines of patriotic dialogues. Impetus is rather laid on her training process since this is meant to be a crackling thriller and everything else hitherto should be a means to achieve it.

This faulted premise is what bogs Raazi down, a movie in which the virtues and vices glare together with full effect. While credits have been pouring in for director Meghna Gulzar (and deservingly so) for not reducing her characters to stereotypes so as to fit in the image moulded by the general consensus, she has however fallen into another pitfall with her characterization, and that is with her dialogue. For a film supposed to be riding on a haywire of tension and uncertainty, the dialogues are never ‘off’ in a sense as it should be. Her characters seem to be reading out their lines than thinking them, having the perfect words on the tip of their tongues even in the most precarious of situations.

Yet, after the dismal beginning, the film manages to pick up. Meghna prodigiously charters the architecture of the house where the action takes place in a gradual course, hence perfectly setting the stage for the high tension scenes of espionage. When a character enters a room, we know precisely how distant he/she is from Sehmat and how long would it take to nullify that distance. This sets the stakes perfectly for these scenes, yet their impact is marred to some effect by the needless background music which diminishes note-by-note the suspense silence could have generated.

Gauging the performances in the film is an arduous task. Alia, whose initial attempts to establish a meek persona falters horrendously, is sterling when she does her emotional side, while the ever talented Vicky Kaushal seemingly dissolves into his role. But neither these two or any other act in the film comes anywhere near the realm that Jaideep Ahlawat’s performance inhabits, with his stone cold dialogue delivery and a face that doesn’t betray any emotion making up for one of the most memorable screen outings in recent Bollywood cinema.

Going through this review again, I feel I might have come across as rather harsh on the film. It is a biopic and does a pretty decent job being one, but the wasted potential that breathes in some frames is hard to forgive easily. The film seems to be itself while also simultaneously being the promise of so much more. While I was watching Raazi, the occasional silences paved way for the very lines you have trodden upon in this review. And by the time the credits rolled, it was only a matter of typing this down. And as far as I am concerned, when the mind perceives that what a film has to say ends with what shows up on the screen, believe me, it is never a good sign.

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The Passion Of Joan Of Arc Review

As far back as I can remember, I have always been at odds with religion. I feel it is an exercise in futility, for it tries to compartmentalize all of God’s teachings into human ways. I could never make sense of this notion, for how could we perceive his teachings in our ways when his ways were so different from our own ? I asked my parents, who asked me to pray for faith to God. I was further befuddled. How could I pray for faith to God when I needed faith to believe in him in the first place ? All these quandaries and sixteen years later, I find myself quoting Garrison Keillor in saying ‘Anyone who thinks sitting in church can make you a Christian must also think that sitting in a garage can make you a car.’ Religion is a journey outwards, it perceives you as a societal being and attempts to mould you in its most ideal version. So, a case can be made that society probably invented religion and made God the propreitor to sanctify its hold. However spirituality, on the other hand, is a whole different case.

The Passion of Joan Of Arc by Carl Dreyer is a spiritual movie. It will reaffirm for some and rekindle in most (even I belong to the latter) their faiths. Joan of Arc, one of France’s most unfortuante daughters, and the trial which lead to her execution forms the crux of the movie. Joan is played, or to put it more correctly, lived by Renee Falconetti. The judges are full of spite against Joan for proclaiming herself as the daughter of God and her mission as the work of God through her, and want her to sign a confession which asseverates that is rather Satan who has worked through her. I haven’t more to say since this is all there is to it, and nor should I say more, for anything more than this should be experienced in its full glory and pain on film rather than be diminished of its greatness in mentions even as humble as this.

The trial sequence is heartbreaking, because it less Chayefsky and more Bresson. It is completely one-sided, with judges hurling questions which Joan is utterly clueless about. Tears continually stream from her eyes, at her naiveness and the even bigger one of the judges. Falconetti’s performance (although it feels wrong even now to confine it just in the realms of a ‘performance’) is to acting what 2001 is to cinema. I want to list every single gesture she makes, every stare, every smile and even the blanks, and talk about how every one of them defines and accentuates the moment in which it is delivered. I want to do all that and more, but I will never know where to start or where to end. So the only thing that I can bring myself to say is that one day, I hope I bring myself to a position where I feel that I can deserve to write about it.

That last bit holds true for the movie as well, but the thing is, I do know of three or four dogged minds who might not have heard of this work, and do love me enough to read till here. And now I beg of you, watch this movie. I hope you understand why I said beg instead of ask. I hope you understand why I can’t talk about Falconetti. And I sure hope you understand how when one of the judges says to Joan that it wasn’t God that commanded her, that he is right and wrong at the same time. Right, because it is Joan herself who posed the command. Wrong, because the kingdom of heaven is within onself.

And I hope you know why this is for Joan :-
Baby Jesus, meek and mild 
Pray for me, an orphan child 
Be my guide, be my friend, 
Be with me, until the end

A Man Escaped Review

Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition. Our hero Fontaine is blessed with intelligence, and circumstances make having ambitions a dire necessity for him. Thankfully, the same goes for our storyteller Bresson, whose peerless mastery of his craft make him yearn for a masterpiece and nothing less. The result is ‘A Man Escaped’, an astounding story where the truth is far more powerful than anything the fiction can conjure. You will watch it absolutely convinced, thrilled and mesmerized. All that cinema can do is done here.

As aforementioned, much of this movie is bound in routine. The title sabotages any cheap pay-off in the form of the impending fate of the escape. We know beforehand that he does, always one-step ahead of the dubious Fontaine, yet the more we knew, the greater the fear.

Bresson here takes a great risk, and it works brilliantly. He chooses for much of the action to center on the method of the escape, and what happens is that we gradually we sink into Fontaine’s world, scrutinizing every possibility and even the impossible ones. Here Bresson illustrates how the escape works in the chasm of his mind, not just as a physical process most fancy, but rather an exercise in inspiration.

Yet as the intricacies of the thought warp us, we see the thinker taking shape before us. And as he tries one approach and then another, we see the process of his mind at work. Yet it is part of the movie’s formal brilliance that, suddenly, during its final 10 minutes, too much seems to be happening.

The film clocks in at 99 minutes, and it Bresson’s genius that makes us feel that a minute less or more, and the whole movie would have crashed in on itself. The reason why it gathers so much power, is that Bresson knew exactly what he wanted to say, and what he wanted to say was so succinct by nature, that he only had time to tell the truth.

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=100011549616628YOU 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

Sachin – A Billion Dreams Review

On the second of April in the year 2011, I (like billion others) was glued to the television screen in my friend’s house. The consistency with which Jayawardene was belting out boundaries was draining us all bit by bit of any hope that this wait of 28 years would finally come to an end. 274 runs were put on board by the visitors, a target imposing in nature even in a normal one-day international, forget in a World Cup final. If India was to lay hands on the World Cup, Sri Lanka had ensured it would be only after the biggest run chase in World Cup final history. After the fall of the Nawab of Najafgarh, the hope of 1.311 billion people took the crease. And after a straight-drive which I to date consider the greatest played in the history of cricket, Tendulkar departed from the crease due to an edge which was held on to by the masterful hands of Kumar Sangakarra. At this moment, my friend switched off the television.

Such was the influence of Tendulkar. For masses all over, Tendulkar encapsulated the entire batting lineup. His wicket meant the downfall of the entire team. The fact that my own personal favourite player and captain of the Indian team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni took the Indian team home is another story. But, this trivial incident seems to be the memory that stands out whenever I recount that eventful day.

This beautiful nation I live in is in itself a rags-to-riches story. From reeling under extreme poverty, India has taken gargantuan steps to consolidate its position as a considerable force in international politics. However, there was a need to stand out. We were developing for sure, but never in the forefront of anything. That is where Tendulkar came in. His rise to the numero uno position coincided with India’s development, turning his career into a prismatic view of India itself. Harsha Bhogle rightly states ‘He stood for everything India stood for – humbleness, a respect towards elders and a zeal to be the greatest. In him, everyone saw their hopes and that they too can come true’.

Never in my life have I ever seen an audience sit through the ending credits of a movie. But, when I went to watch Billion Dreams, every audience member had his eyes glued to the screen till the credits ended. That is because Sachin – A Billion Dreams is not just a movie, it was an experience. In the footage of his last match, a fan is seen holding a board which says ‘ I wish I could have had a time machine just to go back to the 15th of November, 1989’. For the time this movie was projected in the cinema hall, every single one of us in that room had time spiraled back for us, our hearts beating for Sachin again. I won’t give a rating at the end of this, because I give ratings to movies, not experiences.

There few sportsmen that stand out. A handful that define an era, if they are lucky. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar at the end of his career had ended up defining an entire sport.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philomena Review

Philomena is based on the story of a ‘shamed mother’ by the name of Philomena Lee who sets out on a journey to find her lost son with the help of a journalist by the name of Martin Sixsmith. So, in Ireland, the shamed mothers were the ones who had a child out of wedlock. The parents of these women used to abandon them with churches where the nuns carried out the delivery of the children with their exiguous medical knowledge, in which most of the mothers and children died during childbirth. Philomena wasn’t one of them. She gave birth to a boy, who was later adopted under the church’s policy that these children are up for adoption if the couple pays 1000 euros.

I expected Philomena to be a thrilling movie of-sorts walking in to it, with the protagonists undertaking a needle-in-a-haystack task and finally succeeding and to my surprise, it wasn’t. It is more about a mother trying to reconnect with her son and his memories and trailing a path to find out whether her existence was of any value to his. Looking at Philomena, it is hard not to notice the religious and faith-based undertones of this movie. I feel it is structured to be a questioning of faith under the most adverse of circumstances.

In a way, it feels like a work of creative difference, for the screenplay writers seem to be telling a different tale and the director another. Philomena wants to succeed as both a dramatic and religious piece, which seems to create a rift of understanding for the viewer as well as a lot of unruly editing. It stretches out for so long that the narrative seems to assume an unwavering pensive mood, so as to let the viewer meditate on his own stability of mind on the concept of faith. And to be honest, I have no interest. I prefer identifying myself as an agnostic because it gives me the peace of mind to indulge my brain cells in more productive work than brooding over questions without definite or rational answers.

However, the only factor that lets us stay in our seats in the midst of all this creative mess, with our eyes plastered on the screen is the brilliant performances of Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. Both shine, especially Judy with her adorable act. She moulds a character of her own and her pretty nuances are entertaining to the hilt. Coogan is fabulous as Martin, even overshadowing Dench in an indisputably powerful climax.

Philomena didn’t resonate with me in the way I expected it to, but there is no shame in admitting that it is well because of my personal opinion on religion and faith. It is not an anti- Christian movie as some have asserted, and I am pretty sure it will relate to most of the audiences. Well, unfortunately, just not me.

RATING :- 6.8 / 10

P.S. Although I abstain from my religious beliefs to conflict with my point of thinking when it comes to film criticism, this movie demands that I bring them into the picture, for they hold paramount importance in regards to the narrative of the movie.

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 Pianist Review

The Pianist is probably the best movie ever made about the Holocaust. And to those who came in late, I have said from time to time that Schindler’s List is the greatest movie ever made. Before you jump to conclusions, I still say that Schindler’s List is the greatest movie ever made because the way I look at it, it was a drama with Holocaust as the layout. The Pianist on the other hand is about the Holocaust with a drama as the layout.

It is the true tale of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a pianist who did survive through the hells of World War II. He is portrayed by Adrien Brody, who breathes life into this character as no one could have. His portrayal is one of the best cine history holds witness to, and when I learned that he is the youngest actor (29) to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, believe me, I reckon I was the least surprised man on Earth.

Director Roman Polanski, who has gifted us with gems like Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown, has himself endured the horrors of Holocaust. The plot by Ronald Harwood is meticulously crafted so as to accommodate the characters within replete Nazi brutality without over-doing it. However, Polanski never creates scenarios so as to just showcase the horrors, they instead work hand-in-hand with character movements.

it is a difficult movie to watch, one of the few where I has to turn my eyes away from the screen (the torture scene in Syriana was the only other time). And that is where its greatness lies. It makes us look back and endure the brutality for we come to care deeply about Szpilman. The cinematography of Pawel Edelman is stupendous. If you notice, you can see how he drains the colour gradually as the movie progresses so as to illustrate the enhancing darkness.

The Pianist is about hope and humanity surviving in the midst of all evil, and is truly an inspiring movie which makes sure that there won’t be a single dry eye in the house by the time the screen fades.

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.