Monday, 10 August 2015

MOVIE MONDAY - A FOURSOME

“A film is - or should be - more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what's behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.” - Stanley Kubrick

We’ve been watching a few movies and TV series lately so today for Movie Monday, I’ll give you some mini reviews of four of them.

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam(1999 – “Straight from the Heart”): This is a lush, big, Bollywood romantic comedy/drama that pulls out all stops to deliver a satisfying movie for audiences addicted to Hindi movies. It has everything guaranteeing to please: Big stars, great song and dance routines, fantastic costumes and sets, good story, and as a bonus a last reel shot in Budapest, Hungary (posing as Italy according to the plot!). It was directed and written by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and starred Salman Khan, Ajay Devgn, and the beautiful Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Worth having a look at if you haven’t seen a Bollywood movie before and wish to see spectacle and colour done a Hollywood Hindi style, running for a longish 188 minutes!

The Guilty (2013): A BBC three-part mini series exploring the circumstances around the disappearance of a four-year-old boy from an affluent English suburban estate. The writer is Debbie O’Malley and the director is Edward Bazalgette, while it stars Darren Boyd, Tamsin Greig, Katherine Kelly and Jay Simpson. This is a reasonably good whodunit, with good performances and a few twists, as well as a couple of subplots that maintain interest. The constant flashbacks I found a bit annoying initially, but at least they are colour-coded (softer, old polaroid type of colour) compared to “present day” more bluish cast, so one can immediately tell whether the action is “then” or “now”. A compact 140 minutes for the three episodes makes it easy to watch at one sitting.

Albert Nobbs (2011): Rodrigo García directs this period piece set in Dublin, Ireland in the late 19th century. Albert Nobbs, an eccentric man in the latter part of middle age, works as a waiter in Morrison’s Hotel. Albert is hard working and saves his money so that one day he will be able to run his own business rather than work at the hotel. One day, a man named Hubert Page comes to paint one of the rooms in the hotel. The hotel manager forces Hubert to share Albert’s bed for the one night, much to Albert’s horror. Hubert discovers the reason Albert did not want to share a room with him. But rather than the issue being a problem, Hubert shows Albert that he can follow a slightly different life path than the one he envisioned for himself - one closer to the life that Hubert leads with his wife Cathleen - which includes getting married and having a wife to support him emotionally. The film stars Mia Wasikowska, Janet McTeer, Pauline Collins, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Glenn Close, in a trouser role. This was a dark and rather sad movie, although well-acted and directed and with a fairly reasonable plot revolving around society and gender.

2 Days in Paris (2007): Julie Delpy wrote, directed and acted in this movie, so she has to take the blame for end result which is a tedious, unfunny piece of drivel filled with uninteresting characters and vacuous plot: Marion (Julie Delpy) and Jack (Adam Goldberg) try to rekindle their relationship with a visit to Paris, home of Marion’s parents and several of her ex-boyfriends. Much of the screen time is spent on stupid arguments and empty conversations, peppered with vapid sexual references and much pointless swearing. I did not want to know these people or anything about their lives. Avoid this one…

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