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Showing posts from December, 2010

Portraits in a sea of lies

Portraits in a sea of lies or Retratos en un mar de mentiras has fantastic visuals. The opening sequence of the film and the credits are simple beautiful. The story progresses at a rather interesting manner with splendid visuals explored by the makers of the film. The film takes a serious turn step by step with the strange things that are seen by the protagonist. There are some exceptionally wonderful scenes in the film. This includes the quick shootout scene in the middle of the journey of the characters. The film through the eyes of a girl jumps between the realms of real and fantasy. It has been quite well portrayed as well by the director Carlos Gaviria. Even when the film has lots of interesting moments and scenes, nothing really lifts the film from being an exceptional one. The climax of the film was also not as impressive as the way the the writer and director managed to make his first hour. However, Paola Baldion plays her character with all the strangeness and makes the film …

The Silent House

The Silent House or La Casa Muda is not a must watch film. But the way the film has been made is worth mentioning. The whole film or atleast a large part of the film is made to feel as though it has been shot in a single lengthy take and the story of the film happens to unfold in real time! The movie, which very well falls in the genre of a horror film, with its darkness does have some space for the filmmaker to cheat his visuals. Yet, there has been a lot of effort put forward in making the film and that deserves to get a mention. The writing of the film is more or less silly as in the case of most of the horror films. The climax has an interesting twist as well. But what I'm able to remember quite well is a portion somewhat halfway through the film which had been executed brilliantly by the maker. The film which I guess has been shot digitally has a very keen eye on catching visuals at low light. The darkness adds a lot of mood, alongside the silence, to the film.

Five hours from Paris

Five Hours from Paris is a neatly made film. There is a interesting plot and a narrative that has been divided into three. The smooth screenplay, and the apt visuals with the good performances makes the film a very good watch. The film moves in predictable lines and also features some excellent background score. Of the three divisions, the last one has a lasting impression and carries more power than the first two. The first two sections act as a strong foundation for the third segment. The major highlight of the film is that it centers around two characters and it stays with the two characters without going much into the depth of the people and culture around the two. But the director and writer has managed to clearly show how the life is different for both the leads. On the performance, Dror Keren as Yigel is splendid while Elena Yaralova is a treat to watch!

To the sea

I don't know if Alamar or To the sea is a scripted film. Written and directed by Pedro Gonzalez Rubio this is a film that talks and shows nothing but life. He is a documentary filmmaker and that might be the reason for the sharp and raw life that is seen in the film. There isn't much to talk as a plot for to the sea. But it is nature, humans and life. The photography is just beautiful. I'm not sure if the live or real sea is as beautiful and rich as the way it has been shown here. The visuals are just awesome.  As of the film, it did strike boredom to me at couple of instances or even more. Besides the visuals there are some tiny acts of the little boy once in a while. However what is quite noteworthy is the fact that the film is a very pleasant throughout its duration and manages to pass a powerful note in the end. For everyone who wants realism, I don't think there can be realism more than this in cinema!

I am Kalam

I am Kalam is a film that I really loved. It is one of those film that affected me very well in the emotional level. The film is about a young boy, Chottu, who happens to get inspired by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. The film does have cliched portions such as the spooky story Chottu has to tell to sleep inside a roof! But the story follows the character to new worlds and the plot developments though predictable are just engaging. The visuals and the light humour in the tea shop provide enough entertainment as well. The film did remind me of a few films which where also films that I loved. The boy in striped pyjamas being the one which I was reminded when the two boys interacted and had fun. Bashu, the Iranian film or Kazcha, its Malayalam take, was also a film that I remembered. These memories may have been due to way the story of I am Kalam was narrated by its maker. Through the eye of a child, how different can the world be after all. I am Kalam is a film that children shouldn't miss. It…

Wine

Vino or Wine is a film that is set inside a single house with just two characters. The film begins with the arrival of Jimena to Gonzalo's house. For the first few minutes, the film is more or less a cookery show that is set inside the kitchen of the house of the protagonist. After which the real plot of the film develops where the characters begin to talk and they talk real wild! Funny as well as lame sex jokes are cracked before the film moves into its super hot climax! I don't think the extra zoomed close ups or the burned colour tone of the film helped me much. But yes, it is the liberty of a filmmaker to mess his film. But this was not quite an innovative film. I was reminded of a far better film, titled Tape directed by Richard Linklater, which had just three characters and also set in a space similar to the one in this film. Tape was also shot digitally in 2001 and it had a more candid and impressive feel. The plot of tape was structured like a one act play and did an ef…

Human Resources Manager

Human Resources Manager is a film with a great heart. It has a premise that would remind one of a few movies that have come in the past few years such as, Getting Home and Little Miss Sunshine. But there is something more to it in HRM as the film took me on a journey that was sad and happy. The film has a rather slow opening. It takes time to come in terms with the characters and the plot. But once the journey takes a new direction half way through, there is almost no looking back in the film. The film has plot developments that are both funny and original. The ending of the film is also just beautiful. The film which has been based on a novel has something very interesting about the characters. It is the fact that besides one character, the film does not name a single character. Now that is something very challenging for a writer and a director, to pull off an effective film without names!

Heart of Glass

Werner Herzog's Heart of Glass is a strange film. It has a premise that is just as strange as the absent minded characters. A film is a weird fantasy shot in style with some amazing visuals. The sequence of the glass being made is one of the most brilliantly visualized scenes I can remember in the film. Even when the film is set in historic times, the maker still manages to bring the red glass theory very convincingly. The simple premise, the odd performances and the strangest dialogues one can imagine of hearing makes this film rather unique.

Certified Copy

Abbas Kiarostomi's Certified Copy is an interesting film. It is simple yet complex. If one would ask me if I got the point of the film, I would stay confused. It is a film that I enjoyed but never really understood! There are certain things that I'm certain of the film and those things simply force me to love it beyond the un-understood episodes that come after. Juliette Binoche comes up with one of the best performances I have ever seen from an actress. She is not just beautiful but also performs to her beauty. William Shimell, a man whom I'm not familiar also manages to be so convincing as the writer who is present opposite Juliette.  The film like one of Kiarostomi's earlier films is all talking with brilliant long shots to balance the conversations. I'm quite uncertain how Kiarostomi manages to grab such awesome performances from his actors who have to talk so much without a cut. The dialogues are fun and witty at times and are so well written. The flow in which …

Outrage

Takeshi Kitano's outrage stays very much true to its title. It is outrageous and it is fucking crazy! This is not a film that is highly recommended but it was fun to watch this one and it is worth just a watch! Outrage may be a film that many would find easy to say as low in originality. It hardly offers any plot to discuss. It is bloody shootout from minute one. It's got enough and more style, cardboard mafia characters, double crossings, gore, more gore, bullets, more bullets and lots of men in black outfits and cars. It is even freaking funny at most times when different men from the opposite sides of the mafia end up meeting to kill one another. Outrage is a film about bad men and that might be the reason why Kitano thought of making it like this, with just style and very little effort on its writing department! The photography of the film is really beautiful. The shots of the car moving in a straight line are simply awesome. This visual side is very pleasing with cool visua…

Silent souls

Silent souls is a film which has very few characters. It is very well photographed film with a small premise that tells the story of two people journey to cremate the body of the wife of one of the passengers. The visuals speak so much for the film. The narration of the protagonist is interesting and the new plot points which are revealed on the way are also quite well written. The film may be a bit slow but the film is crisp and communicates effectively with some powerful images and thoughts which deserves to be seen. Aleksei Fedorchenko makes a film that may not be quite innovative in its making but it is a film that is made in a style that seems to have been mastered with a lot of the movies in the past which had been just as powerful or maybe more.

The Grand Master

Osho (or The Grand Master or The King) is a 1948 Japanese film directed by Ito Daisuke. The film has a rather simple premise and has been well made. The film has been beautifully photographed as well. Daisuke's narration is very much in a linear fashion and is mostly in predictable lines. Though the ending seems to be a bit too melodramatic for this time, the film does not look long for its less than 100 minute duration. The passing of the train is a very important element that has been placed through out the film. It is in a brilliant way the director has managed to shoot the train scenes as well.

The last summer of la Boyita

The last summer of la Boyita is a film that is from the perspective of a small child and is a coming of age film. A child so brilliantly played by Guadalupe Alonso and directed by Julia Solomonoff, the film is interestingly written as well. Though the first few minutes of the film does not point directly into the story, it does after a while. As the characters of Mario and Jorgelina meet each other and become friends, the film is just lovely. Julia has to be admired for her great directorial skill of being able to bring what could be called brilliant performances from the two lead actors, who are both children. The film was to an extent predictable but I would disagree that it was cliched. The last summer of la Boyita may not be a great film, but it was a neatly made film that is worth seeing.

A day in Orange

A day in orange or Dia Naranja is a film that was screened in the competition section in the 15th International Film Festival of Kerala. I have no idea what the panel might have had in their minds as they selected this film to compete in the competition section. The film may look partly interesting in its synopsis. But that is just about it. Through the 90 minutes, I as a viewer seemed to have suffered more pain and suffering than the silly women or the pointless men in the film. It is not necessary that a film has to be thought provoking, but it would be better to see a film that makes any kind of sense in any minute of its entire duration.
This is one outrageous film made by a woman director on the issue of unexpected pregnancy. I can't help but remember a far better film, which evoked more sense on the issue of pregnancy called Notebook, which was a Malayalam film directed by Roshan Andrews.

Lola

Maria Novaro might be the most successful woman director from Mexico. But here 1989 debut film, Lola, was not quite an interesting watch. The film has a very feminine point of view and is a tiring journey of woman. The film does feature some worthy background score, some interesting shots and fewer interesting scenes. Yet, the film or its content failed to move me. The leading lady who carries the film, Leticia Huijara, looks gorgeous. But nothing saved me from the sufferings in the dark theatre whole which was from from what the protagonists had faced.

The House of Branching Love

Mika Kaurismaki is a Finnish filmmaker. His 2009 film, The House of Branching Love, is definitely not a unique film but it does have some real funny moments. The film which has been based on a novel tries to explore the relationships that break and form within a rather small family. This is not quite a refreshing subject, yet the maker tries to make the film interesting with his proceedings. But what the film suffers is some very lame gags which does not occur once but repeats throughout the film. The actors are quite comfortable at what they are doing but the film will make one sick after its first hour. The film does discuss about human relationships in a humorous manner but that isn't a good enough excuse to watch this.

Biutiful

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is one of my favorite filmmakers and his amores perros is one of the films which has inspired me the most. After having differences of opinion and splitting with his writer Guillermo Arriaga, Alejandro returns with Biutiful with himself and two others at the writing table. Biutiful is a beautifully made film indeed. But the film does suffer a little in its writing department. The film has a plot that may sound too much of a cliche. A plot that may be in the similar lines of films such as Ikiru. But the writers have tried to detail and develop the storyline with elements of afterlife. The way in which it has been executed is nothing short of smartness. He does not emphasis too much on the afterlife element yet marks them with solid visuals. Javier Bardem gives a wonderful performance as Uxbel and it is he who carries the film throughout. Alejandro makes effective use of the events and has been able to generate the unpleasantness around the path of Uxbel inter…

Please Don't Disturb

Please Don't Disturb is an interesting film but not exceptional. What actually irritated me was the documentary kind of film making which the director had implemented to narrate his story. This nature actually made a few minutes of the film rather too boring as well. The basic thing about I film which I have a strong point on is realism. Film may or may not be realistic. It is not at all necessary that a film has to be realistic. A point when the film becomes too real and less cinema is when it would turn into a documentary. And that is exactly what has happened to the film by Mohsen Abdolvahab. But I would not deny that the fact that the film featured some exceptionally brilliant performances. And if one would ask me who the pick of them would be, my answer would definitely be the old man in who has problems with his memory. His presence carried the best part of the film and he has done an amazing work. There has been an interesting way the narration shifts the characters as well. …

The Departed

People say a film is made at two tables. One on the writing table and the other on the editing table. No matter what is on the writing table, the future of the film is written in the editing table. Martin Scorsese's The Departed has been edited by Thelma Schoonmaker. The film's highlight is its editing. The screenplay by William Monahan may be an interesting take on the Hong Kong film, Infernal Affairs. It may also be mentioned that the film has a very interesting premise that details with the conflict of ones identity. But what really makes the film better is the way the proceedings have been mixed up so that the pace of the film has an amazing balance which could help keep the viewer engaged. Martin Scorsese has to be admired for playing so much with the footages that he had come up with a very smart film with a screenplay that may have lacked the pace which The Departed now has. The best performance in the cast should come from Mark Wahlberg who gives a stunningly impressive…