Tag Archives: movie

BOYS DON’T CRY

Sexuality has always been a controversial and a highly debated issue – occupying centre stage as a coffee house discussion or a social concern.  One is all the more befuddled by the mere thought of a sexual identity crisis.

Teena Brandon (Hilary Swank) is anatomically a girl, but feels like a boy – trapped inside a body that increases her feeling of discomfort. The social mores do not condone such behaviour. People entertaining such ideas are not only seen as jeopardy to the very fabric of the society, but are also subjected to cruel punishment.

On finding about Teena’s true identity, she is raped and assaulted by her male acquaintances. However, her girlfriend Lana (Chloe Sevigny) stays beside her even after discovering the truth about Teena.

True empowerment comes for Teena not when she’s perfectly able to disguise herself as a guy. But when she’s able to form and establish a successful relationship with Lana – who accepts Teena the way she is. But sadly things come to a brutal end. Order is restored through bloodshed and sacrifice. Teena is shot dead by John and Tom who refuse to accept her as a transgender.

Kimberly Peirce has very intricately woven the themes of courage, identity, freedom and empowerment in ‘Boys Don’t Cry’. After watching Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club, I sternly believed that nobody could play a transgender to such perfection. But not until I watched Hilary play Brandon with such finesse. She’s so convincing that for once you don’t want to believe that she’s a girl. Her performance is stellar. Chloe as Teena’s girlfriend also puts up a good show. I like the way the relationship between the two develops and strengthens – like any other boy-girl relationship.

The movie is subversive to the popular notions of sexuality. It is relevant even today – especially in a country like India where same sex marriage is a criminal offence. Unfortunately even in the 21st century, Teena’s fate is shared by many where they are seen as a threat by the society.

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GRAVITY

Space stories have always been fascinating. Be it a discovery show or any movie with astronauts exploring its infinite realm to find new answers or mysteries. Its vastness is awe inspiring and baffling.

Gravity takes the audience to a whole new level of experience by delving into the theme of survival and resilience. It isn’t about extraordinary astronauts on a mission to save earth from some impending catastrophe. Alfonso Cuarón has instead projected the real dangers lurking in space which in this case is caused by mankind.

Getting lost in an alien land without any source of help is terrifying in itself. But what happens when you get lost in space? You don’t end up floating to a new planet, study its ecosystem and return to earth to report about the discovery of new life forms.

A team of three astronauts are out in space collecting data when their satellite is struck by debris caused from a missile explosion. What follows is unimaginable devastation, loss as one of them dies and a sense of alienating fear. Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Lieutenant Matthew (George Clooney) are the only surviving members of this space expedition until Matthew decides to leave so that Stone could survive.

There are bone chilling moments in the movie that will leave you thinking and question the greatness of human beings. When Stone drifts from her team, she feels a creepy sense of fear. She looks nothing more than a small speck of dust in the hollow vastness of space. Its darkness and void can suck men of great genius, who have accomplished great feats, leaving behind nothing, not even a body.

Death is inevitable but the desire to be remembered supersedes every other feeling in man.

Without any second thoughts I can say that Gravity is brilliant in every sense. With an excellent star cast and amazing soundtrack, it is more than just a visual treat. George Clooney as Matthew is adorable and his humour is the only source of optimism even in the midst of destruction. Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone is tough with an indefatigable spirit to tell ‘one hell of a story’ as the sole survivor of the mission.

Gravity shouldn’t be missed at any cost. While watching it I felt like a child sitting in a planetarium with a marvellous story unfolding before me. This one hell of a movie should be watched only in 3D.

WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT GETTING WET IN PARIS!

Through the opulent Renaissance architecture, luscious beauty of nature, soothing rain and mesmerizing blend of ancient with contemporary, Midnight in Paris is a visual treat for everyone. The movie strikes a delightful chord in the beginning itself with a romantic portrayal of this beautiful city, standing out no less than a paradise on earth.

Midnight in Paris is certainly Woody Allen’s love letter to the ‘drop dead gorgeous’ city of Paris. With a theme based on past glory, grandeur and nostalgia, Paris provides the perfect setting for such a movie.

The protagonist of the movie Gil (Owen Wilson) is on a short trip to Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her parents. By profession Gil is a scriptwriter in Hollywood but wants to make his mark as a writer. He is in complete awe of Ernest Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Mark Twain; he holds these writers of yesteryears in great reverence. Gil is nostalgic about the Paris of 1920s, bustling with connoisseurs of art, literature and music.   His imagination is perceived as illusion and denial by Inez, her parents and friends. The character of Gil is honest, someone who wants to avoid the life of excess and finds Paris marvellous in rain.

While everyone thinks Gil has lost his mind because of his desire to be a writer, he never tries to explain his actions to others. He finds himself completely drawn to this charming city; the hub of all intellectual and artistic activity.

He is overwhelmed with joy and astonishment when one night he is transported to the Paris of 1920s where he meets eminent personalities like Ernest Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and the like. Woody Allen has brilliantly depicted the mystique, charm and glory of the bygone era without overdoing it. The background score complements every mood in the movie and only enriches the experience of watching Midnight in Paris.

Gil’s to and fro shift between past and present isn’t adventurous as Back to the Future. It is fulfilling and satisfying at the existential level. Even though he is nostalgic about past and his novel also touches on the same theme, he never expresses the desire to stay in past. This is apparently because of his understanding that living in past is nothing but existing in a state of denial. He opens up to fresh perspectives not only in terms of his novel but also his personal life.

Owen Wilson has done a decent job as Gil and Rachel McAdams as Inez is fine. It’s Marion Cotillard as Adriana (Picasso’s mistress), Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein, and Allison Pill as Zelda Fitzgerald who have done a remarkable work by getting under the skin of their respective character.

Midnight in Paris is my first Woody Allen movie and it has cast a good impression with its seamless treatment of the subject of nostalgia. More than that he has made it impossible not to fall in love with Paris.

NINE WILL NOT BLOW YOUR MIND

Writer’s block is an inevitable dilemma for every individual who is associated with the creative field. It is difficult to remain creative throughout one’s pursuit of the exceptional or the inspirational. Even though it exists momentarily, it causes unease and restlessness.

Nine with its bevy of beautiful and iconic ladies is about a renowned Italian director, Guido Contini (Daniel Day Lewis) who is experiencing ‘writer’s block’. He is a fifty years old man who desires to be a child again so that he can get fresh ideas. He wants to escape from the humdrum of his busy and chaotic life. Throughout the movie, he complains of an ailment that never materialises in the form of any disease. During the course of the movie it is realised that the cause of his sleepless nights is nothing but stress and exhaustion.

Every stage of Guido’s life seems to be crafted by a woman. His life is not short of fame, wealth and fortune but is bereft of harmony and emotional stability. He finds himself torn between his wife Luisa (Marion Cotillard) and mistress Carla (Penelope Cruz).  Guido comes across as a funny, amusing and restless character. His relationship with every woman in the movie provides him a different insight and perspective.

With its rich cast of talented actors like Marion Cotillard (Luisa), Penelope Cruz (Carla), Judi Dench (Lilli), Nicole Kidman (Claudia), Kate Hudson (Stephanie), Fergie (Saraghina) and Sophia Loren (Mamma), Nine presents a disappointing Broadway musical drama before the audience. The musical theatrics eloquently expressing his relationship with every woman in the movie is one of its main highlights. All these ravishing women put up a brilliant act every time they break into a song. Guido, engulfed by ‘writer’s block’ tries to seek inspiration from them.

Among the women, it is Marion Cotillard (Luisa) and Penelope Cruz (Carla) who steal the show. Nicole Kidman (Claudia) as Guido’s muse has played her part with the usual aplomb. Fergie (Saraghina) as the fallen woman is pretty convincing. Sophia Loren as Guido’s mamma adds an old world charm to the movie while Judi (Lilli) sheds a positive and assuring light as his confidant.

The movie has nothing great to offer except the Broadway musical theatrics. The story unfolds at a moderate pace but follows a linear mode with no remarkable climax. It is a one-time watch that will leave you only with one feeling; never judge a movie by its cast.