Sunday, 28 October 2012

Charade (1963 movie)

Directed by: Stanley Donen
Released: 1963
Country: United States

 Main cast: Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, William Matthau, James Coburn, Ned Land, George Kennedy, Dominique Minot, Thomas Chelimsky

Genre: Comedy, Mystery, Thriller, Romantic

Rating: 4 out of 5


''Charade'' is a film which has a mixture of humor, mystery, thrills, romance... It's such kind of a film which I've rarely seen, and this is one of the things make the film quite unique and excellent. Isn't it rare for a film which has the suspense thriller genre, to have lots of humor, lots of romance in it? Well, ''Charade'' is such kind of a film!

Stanley Donen had previously directed several excellent movies, including 'Singin' in the Rain', starring Gene Kelly. That was such a film which was one of the best musical movies and one of the best comedy films ever made. And ''Charade'', also directed by Donen, may not be as an excellent movie as ''Singin' in the Rain'', but it still is a remarkable and excellent movie.

Audrey Hepburn stars as the female protagonist in this film. Before this, she had played memorable roles in several other films, including ''Roman Holiday'', ''Sabrina'', ''War and Peace'', ''A Nun's Story'', and ''Breakfast at Tiffany's''. And she plays the role of Regina Lambert in this 1963 suspense-thriller-romantic-comedy film.

In this film, Regina Lambert returns to Paris from a holiday, and after she returns to her apartment, she is shocked to see her apartment empty, and then, the police shows her her husband's dead body. At the funeral, she sees three strange men attending the funeral.

Well, I am going to too much details. Well, let's explain it in short: the three men she saw at the funeral may capture and kill her, unless she returns them something which she her husband had stolen, but the problem is, she doesn't even know where is it! 

She is very afraid. For help, she tries asking Peter Joshua, a man she met while at the holiday... But then there are twists, many more mysteries, many more thrills, and along with them, many comedic and romantic elements as well...

Revealing something more than that will not be okay, in fact. 

The film is interesting because of the twists in the story and the interesting mystery and it's solution. The story is such interesting and it so nicely told. It has an excellent screenplay.

The film also has an excellent cinematography. Also, much praises towards the music. The musical effects were truly excellent.

Audrey Hepburn's performance is excellent. Cary Grant is also excellent in his role. Their characters are the protagonists of the film.

William Matthau is present and he gives a good performance. James Coburn, George Kennedy, and Ned Land play the three men who threaten Regina and wants the fortune Regina's husband had stolen. Dominique Minot plays Sylvie, Regina's friend. Thomas Chelimsky play the little Jean-Louis, the son of Sylvie.

As I mentioned at the beginning, the film is so excellent because of the humor present at most of the scenes of the film. Even in the very thrilling scenes, in some of the serious moments, humor is present. Except a few scenes, humor is present throughout the film.

Overall, Charade is an excellent mystery film... well, an excellent romantic-comedy-mystery-thriller film! Throughout the film, it made me laugh, it made me smile, it made me feel scared and thrilled. Excellently directed, excellently edited, excellent acted, and with an excellent, interesting story, excellent screenplay, good cinematography and very remarkable musical effects, this is certainly a very remarkable film in the history of cinema, and one of the best films of the 1960s.

4 out of 5.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Spellbound (1945 movie)

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Released: 1945
Country: United States

Main cast: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekov, Leo G. Carroll

Genres: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Film-noir

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


I like Alfred Hitchcock's films. Spellbound is a psychological thriller mystery film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It stars Gregory Peck, and Ingrid Bergman.
Spellbound is an entertaining, interesting, wonderful movie filled with mysteries and surprises for the viewer. When I was watching, I found the storyline highly interesting and started feeling very curious. The story is filled with mysteries.

Ingrid Bergman plays Constance Peterson, a psychoanalyst and she works and lives in a mental hospital. A young doctor, Dr. Edwardes, joins the hospital, replacing Dr. Murchison (played by Leo G. Carroll), who has worked in the hospital for years.

Dr. Peterson and Dr. Edwardes fall in love. But, however, Dr. Peterson notices something strange in Dr. Edwardes.

After matching signatures, Dr. Peterson understands that this Dr. Edwardes is an imposter. Dr. Edwardes tells Constance that he killed the real Dr. Edwardes, and is pretending to be him. Constance is convinced that he didn't kill Dr. Edwardes; he is just suffering from Guilt Complex. They, after seeing an evidence, come to think that his initials might be J.B.

J.B. runs away, leaving a letter for Constance informing where he will be going. Meanwhile, the police have to come to know that an imposter is disguising himself as Dr. Edwardes.

Constance, convinced that J.B is innocent and just has a Guilt Complex, comes to J.B, who is staying at a hotel. He has registered in the hotel with the name ''John Brown''. She decides to cure him. While the police is looking for him, Constance tries to find out his memories, his past, why he is suffering from Guilt Complex, and what happened with Dr. Edwardes.

The film has such interesting mysteries that made me find the story highly interesting and made me curious about what is indeed the matter, what has really happened. And the solution to all these mysteries was really remarkable.

This film has a very good storyline. And alongside being mystery and thriller, the film also has romantic elements as well. Constance and the amnesia patient fall in love. After they meet at a dinner table, they meet the next day as well, and go to have lunch together. Slowly, they fall in love.

The film is a very good, very interesting mystery movie, directed excellently by Alfred Hitchcock. It also has an excellent cast: Ingrid Bergman is perfect in the role of Dr. Constance Peterson. Gregory Peck is excellent in his role. Michael Chekov is his role as Dr. Alex Burlov, Constance's teacher, is excellent. 

Cinematography is very good. The music is excellent.

Overall, with a story good story, excellent screenplay, excellent presentation, excellent cast, excellent cast, and good cinematography,  Spellbound is a film which I found very interesting. Highly recommended.

3.5 out of 5

Monday, 22 October 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012 movie)

Directed by: John Madden
Released: 2012
Country: United Kingdom

Main cast: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Tom Wilkinson, Ronald Pickup, Celia Imrie, Dev Patel, Tina Desae, Lillete Dubey

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Rating: 4 out of 5


Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Tom Wilkinson, Ronald Pickup and Celia Imrie star in this colorful, entertaining drama film which left me with a smile in my face. The film made me laugh, smile, and feel emotional at times.

The story is quite simple: seven British elderly people move to a retirement hotel in India: the ''Best Exotic Marigold Hotel''. It is in Jaipur. But it takes time for them to get used to the the conditions of the hotel, the spicy food, and the surrounding environment.

The hotel is run by young Sonny, played by Dev Patel. After his father's death, he is looking after the hotel, and has a dream to improve it. He loves Sunaina (played by Tina Desae), a girl who works in a call center.

All the seven old people are interesting and have very different backgrounds. Evelyn (played by Judi Dench) is a recently widowed woman who had to sell her house to meet her late husband's debts. Graham (played by Tom Wilkinson) is a high court judge and had grown up in India. He has many memories here. Muriel (played by Maggie Smith) doesn't like foreigners, but has come here because she needs a surgery which can be done very cheaply here. She starts appreciating the hotel cleaner Anokhi (played by Seema Azmi), who serves her food. Douglas (Bill Nighy) enthusiastically explores the city, while his wife Jean (Penelope Wilton) stays at the hotel. And then there is Madge (played by Celia Imrie) who has had several husbands. And there  is Norman (Ronald Pickup), who is trying to re-live his youth.

These seven old people have come the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Some of them befriend each other. We come to know about the background story of several people.

The film is told so beautifully that very soon after the movie started I found myself highly attracted towards it. I couldn't stop watching it. 

The scenes of Jaipur are wonderful. Praiseworthy is the film's presentation. As the film went on, it sometimes brought smile, it sometimes made me laugh, and it sometimes made me feel emotional.

Praises towards the cinematography! Excellent and colorful cinematography. Music was also good.

The most remarkable performances are given by Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. Judi Dench's  performance as Evelyn is is highly praiseworthy.  Maggie Smith also plays her role as Muriel excellently. 

Bill Nighy's performance as Graham is also remarkable. Ronald Pickup, Celia Imrie, Tom Wilkinson and Penelope Wilton- all give good performances.

Dev Patel gives an excellent performance as Sonny. Lillete Dubey is excellent in her role as Sonny's mother. Tina Desae also gives a good performance. Overall, the cast was excellent.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has a simple story but has a great presentation. It is a highly interesting movie. Colorful, entertaining, and touching, by the time the film ended, I had a smile in my face.

4 out of 5.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Roman Holiday (1953 movie)

Directed by: William Wyler
Released: 1953
Country: United States

Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Eddie Albert, Hartley Power

Genres: Romantic, Comedy, Drama

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Audrey Hepburn stars as a princess in this film. This is her first starring role. Gregory Peck plays a reporter. Along with them, the film also stars Eddie Albert as a photographer, Hartley Power as editor, and Margaret Rawlings as a lady-in-waiting of the Princess.

''Roman Holiday'' is a classic and memorable film in the history of cinema. As it has comedy/ funny elements, it also has romantic, emotional, and dramatic content. 

It begins as we see Princess Ann (played by Audrey Hepburn) coming to visit Rome, while on a tour to several European capitals. Though she welcomes guests with a smile in her face, that night she breaks into tears after thinking about all the difficult and many duties she has. Her doctor gives her sedative, and she, after a few minutes, run away.

Then we see reporter Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck). He finds the Princess in the street. The sedative has taken effect, making Mr. Bradley think that she is drunk. This is such a thing which made me laugh out loud, especially the scene where Mr. Bradley asks her where she lives, and she replies ''Coliseum''.

Mr. Bradley takes her to his small apartment, as she couldn't reply where she lives. The next morning, he wakes up late, sees the Princess still sleeping and runs to his office, where his editor Mr. Hennessy (played by Hartley Power) asks why he is late. After telling some lies, he sees the photograph of the Princess (it is reported that the Princess is severely ill) in the newspaper and becomes convinced that the woman in her apartment is the Princess. Mr. Bradley tells Mr. Hennessy that he will take an exclusive interview of the Princess.

The Princess doesn't have any idea that Mr. Bradley knows her real identity, and introduces herself as Anya Smith. Then, lots of funny things, romantic things, dramatic things occur... They go for a holiday for one day and visit the many interesting places of Rome, while they slowly fall in love...

The film has a little similarity with the 1934 movie ''It Happened One Night''. In ''It Happened One Night'', we saw an heiress running away and found by a similar man. But, in spite of the little similarity. ''Roman Holiday'' is a very different movie, with a different storyline.

Cinematography was excellent. So was the excellent background music. Some of the locations where the stories take place are all beautiful: there are scenes at the Coliseum, and a scene near the Mouth of Truth. There is a wonderful scene where Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn ride in a scooter in the streets of Rome.

Most of the actresses and actors give talented performances. This is Audrey Hepburn's first starring role, but she gives such an excellent performance! She won an Oscar for Best Actress for this film. Gregory Peck's performance as the handsome reporter Joe Bradley was highly remarkable.

Eddie Albert played Irving, photographer friend of Joe Bradley. He plays a comical character. And then there was Hartley Power, whose performance as Mr. Hennessy was quite remarkable. Margaret Rawlings plays a minor supporting role. She plays Countess Vereberg, chief lady-in-waiting of Princess Anna.

''Roman Holiday'' is cheerful, impressive, wonderfully directed, excellently acted, romantic, funny, and sweet. It has a great cinematography and some good background music. It is strongly recommended.

4.5 out of 5

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Ring Two (2005 movie)

Directed by: Hideo Nakata
Released: 2005
Country: United States

Genres: Psychological Horror, Thriller, Mystery

Cast: Naomi Watts, David Dorfman, Simon Baker, Elizabeth Perkins, Deveigh Chase, Kelly Stables, Sissy Spacek

Rating: 2.5 out of 5


Note: If you haven't  watched ''The Ring'' yet, please don't read the review of The Ring Two as it may contain spoilers from the first movie. If you haven't watched ''The Ring'', you can read it's review here:

A sequel to the 2002 movie ''The Ring'' (my review of ''The Ring'':, The Ring Two is scarier, but the sequel is not as beautiful or not as good as the first part. Nevertheless, some of the things we felt unclear in the first movie is revealed in the sequel. We come to know more about Samara, her birth mother, her intentions and wishes.

The film does have sweet scenes. But in spite of the revelation which make the story a bit more clear, and quite an excellent ending, the film lacks in something. 

It becomes apparent, in the early scenes of the film, that the video tape has spread. We see a young man and a young woman. Apparently, the young man has watched the tape and is showing the tape to the woman as he wants to save himself. But the woman (named Emily) covers her eyes, not seeing the video, and therefore the man dies.

Then the story again comes back to Rachel Keller and her son Aidan. They have moved to Astoria. Hearing the news of what happened to the man, Rachel suspects something. After seeing the face man's dead body, she is shocked. After talking to Emily, she finds the tape and destroys it.

But, however, this doesn't finish the troubles with the tape: Samara now stays near Aidan and can hear everything which Rachel and Aidan are talking about, except when they sleep.

And then Aidan suddenly has hypothermia. Rachel takes help from Max, for whom she works, and takes Aidan to his house. To raise his body temperature, she tries bathing him in hot water, and then a very, very creepy stuff happens in the bathtub which I'll not reveal.

While Aidan is taken to the hospital, Rachel goes to learn more about Samara...

The film has creepy moments. The scene in the bathtub is the most notable of them. And the deer which attack Rachel and Aidan in the car were also creepy. But the question is, what are the relations of the deer with all those incidents?

Oh well, I'll not be going into more details at I'd not like to spoil the movie for you. The most notable thing about the film is that we come to know more about the incident, more about Samara.

Like the previous movie, Naomi Watts was good in this movie as well. So was David Dorfman in his role as Aidan. Simon Baker's performance as Max was perfect. The film also has Elizabeth Perkins in the role of psychiatrist Emma Temple. Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Sissy Spacek play Evelyn, Samara's birth mother. And there is Kelly Stables as the Evil Samara. Ryan Merriman plays Jake and Emily VanCamp plays Emily, whom we see at the very beginning of the movie.

Overall, if you liked The Ring, then The Ring Two will be enjoyable and good for you as many of things become clear. But however, it will not be as enjoyable and as good as The Ring. The Ring was so much better than the sequel.

2.5 out of 5.

The Ring (2002 movie)

Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Released: 2002
Country: United States

Cast: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Deveigh Chase, David Dorfman, Brian Cox, Jane Alexander, Shannon Cochran, Lindsay Frost

Genres: Psychological horror, Thriller, Mystery

Rating: 3 out of 5


A film of the horror mystery genre, The Ring has scary moments and some interesting mysteries. By the end of the movie, several flashbacks and revelations are shown, about people named Anna and Richard Morgan, and Samara. But however, in spite of all these flashbacks, the film somewhat made me disappointed. I expected a lot more from it. But neverthless, it was quite an enjoyable film and was worth watching.

At the beginning of the film, we see two teenagers, Katie, and Becca discussing about a certain video tape, by seeing which, the viewer receives a phone call. The viewer dies within seven days.

Then Katie reveals something really awful: she and her boyfriend Josh had seen the video, just last week. As the girls laugh over this, a few moments later horrific things start happening with Katie...

Over the next few scenes, we see that Katie is by now dead, and her young cousin, Aidan, is deeply shocked by it. Katie's mother Ruth requests Aidan's mother Rachel (who is a journalist) to investigate the case.

The film starts getting interesting and makes the viewer curious. Rachel comes to know that not only Rachel, but also her boyfriend Josh and two other teenagers are dead. Somehow, she suspects that the video tape has a connection with all these. She goes to the place where Katie and Josh had seen the video tape. She herself sees the very strange video tape, and gets a phone call...

I won't be revealing much more. Over the next few scenes we see how Rachel with the help of her ex-boyfriend (and Aidan's father) Noah, try solving the mystery. Rachel has so little time, since she had seven days left when she first saw the video...

The above information is, I think, enough to make yourself curious about the film. Yes, the film is certainly worth watching. 

Naomi Watts plays Rachel excellently, and Martin Henderson plays Noah, her ex-boyfriend. David Dorfman is excellent in his role as Aidan. And we see Deveigh Chase playing Samara. Deveigh Chase gave a highly remarkable performance. And then there is Brian Cox, playing Richard Morgan, and Shannon Cochran playing Anna Morgan.

Amber Tamblyn (as Katie), Lindsay Frost (as Ruth Embry), Jane Alexander (as Dr. Grasnik) and Rachel Bella (as Becca)- all of them play minor supporting yet important roles. They all gave highly excellent performances.

Cinematography was truly excellent. The background music was good. 

A remake of the Japanese horror movie ''Ringu'', ''The Ring'' actually is quite scary. But as I mentioned in the beginning, in spite of the loads of flashbacks and revealations, I thought something was missing in the film. Really. But however, go on, watch this movie, it's really worth watching. It has got interesting mysteries that will keep you looking at the screen until the end. It's a recommended movie.

3 out of 5.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961 movie)

Directed by: Blake Edwards
Released: 1961
Country: United States

Cast: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam

Genres: Drama, Comedy, Romantic

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


In this drama comedy romantic film, Audrey Hepburn stars as Holly Golightly, a memorable character. This Holly , a strange character, is careless and extrovert.

Well, I'll not describe what happens in the beginning of the movie, or something like that. But, let me give a brief summary. Paul Varjak (played by George Pappard) has moved to an apartment building. He wants to use Holly's phone (Holly lives in the same building and is a neighbor of Paul). The two chat for a while. We are introduced to the cat, who doesn't have a name.

Holly leaves for the Sing Sing Prison. She is paid to visit a mobster imprisoned there and to pass coded messages. But before going there, she is introduced to the 'decorator' friend of Paul.

That night, Holly sneaks into Paul's apartment, and sees Paul sleeping and his decorator friend (whom Paul renamed '2E) kissing him goodbye. Paul wakes up, they chat for a while, Holly comes to learn that he is a writer, nicknames his 'Fred' before he has resemblance to her brother named Fred. They fall asleep, but wake up after Holly has a bad dreams, and then she leaves. She leaves a note and invites him at a party.

At the party, Paul comes to learn several things about Holly, that she is associated with rich and well-known people. She was once a country girl. But is now a socialite.

As the film goes on, we, and Paul, come to know more about Holly: her past, her real name, her family, her intentions, everything. She has plans to marry rich men because of their wealth. And there are also several memorable scenes where Holly and Paul do things which they have never done before.

There are serious situations in this film, yes, but in many of the scenes, humor has it's presence. Some scenes are serious and emotional, but the other scenes are mostly humorous.

This is the film where I've seen Audrey Hepburn. She is such an amazing actress! For playing Holly in this film, she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role. 

George Peppard plays the character of Paul excellently. Others such as Patricia Neal as 2E, Buddy Ebsen as Doc, Martin Belsam as O. J. Berman, and all others, of course, also give excellent performances.

Oh, I forgot to mention Orangey, the cute and talented cat actor! Orangey plays the role of the cat, who is nameless. He gave a talented performance and won a Patsy Award for his role.

The scene where, in the rain, Holly is looking for the cat really made me emotional and almost brought tears to my eyes.

The cinematography was good. Music was also quite good.

I liked this film a lot. It's highly recommended. It's presented nicely, and has an excellent cast.

4.5 out of 5.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Sixth Sense (1999 movie)

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Released: 1999
Country: United States

Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Horror, Drama

Main cast: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Colllette, Olivia Williams

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


The Sixth Sense is a psychological horror drama film, and you can expect a lot from it. And surely, it will meet will all your expectations, it will make you puzzled, a little scared, and finally, surprise you with a rather strange and interesting ending. It is a movie certainly worth watching and it's excellently presented.

Bruce Willis plays the role of Dr. Malcolm Crowe, a successful child psychologist. The movie begins as one night, he and his wife Anna (played by Olivia Williams) are talking about his success. They are in a romantic situation, but is interrupted by a noise. They discover the presence of a man in their house, who reveals himself as Vincent Gray, a former patient whom Malcolm couldn't treat properly. Before shooting himself, Vincent shoots Malcolm in the abdomen. 

But by the next fall, Malcolm is working with another patient, a child named Cole (played by Haley Joel Osment). His friends call him 'freak'. Though initially refusing to share his feelings with Malcolm, Cole starts talking openly to Malcolm. He sees 'dead people', dead people who walk and don't know they are dead.

We also come to know that after seeing Vincent, Malcolm has become a changed man. His wife, Anna, refuses to talk with him, and now has a boyfriend.

Well, well, well... What is the most mysterious is that Cole has been seeing dead people, but why? And what puzzles you the most is the ending. You cannot even guess beforehand what happens in the end.

According to Wikipedia: Extrasensory perception (ESP) involves reception of information not gained through the recognized physical senses but sensed with the mind. ESP is also known as sixth sense. Thus comes the title of the film,  The Sixth Sense.  Why? Because Cole also had a sixth sense...

The film is presented in such a way that after the ending, that whole of it, which seemed too clear when we were seeing the movie first. But after it ends, you will be able to see many of the scenes in a different way, and can realize the mystery behind some of the scenes which might have seemed too clear and normal to us.

Bruce Willis's performance as Dr. Malcolm Crowe is excellent. And this is such a strong and memorable character, the reasons of which you will understand after you see the film. And there is an excellent performance by young Haley Joel Osment. He earned an Oscar nomination for his role in this movie. He is the second youngest actor to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

And then there are the supporting characters. Olivia Williams plays Anna. Anna is the wife of Malcolm, significant in this film for several reasons. Toni Colette plays Lynn Sear, the divorced mother of Cole who often become worried about her son. Donnie Wahlberg is present as Vincent Grey. Trevor Morgan, Mischa Barton, and some others also plays important supporting roles.

Just watch this movie! It's strongly recommended. It has a story full of mysteries and puzzles, and the ending will certainly surprise you. Really, a highly remarkable and praiseworthy film which has a brilliant story, a wonderful presentation, excellent performances by actors, and also, a highly remarkable ending.

3.5 out of 5.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The English Patient (1996 movie)

Directed by: Anthony Minghella
Released: 1996
Country: United States, United Kingdom

Main cast: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Kristin Scott Thomas, William Dafoe, Naveen Andrews, Colin Firth, Julian Wadham, Kevin Whately

Genres: Drama, Romance, War

Rating: 5 out of 5


I would like to start this review by saying that this film is indeed a masterpiece. It's one of the best films I've seen yet.

The English Patient is a romantic drama film which is set in Italy and Egypt, The English Patient is a deeply moving motion picture. Told through a brilliant series of flashbacks, the film has a prologue and epilogue- which is explained throughout the movie. Confused? Oh well. I won't be revealing much!

At the beginning of the movie, we see a plane flying. And there are a woman and a man there. Well, this is the prologue...

A few scenes passes, I won't describe all of them. The film is now set in Italy, during the World War II, a horribly burnt man (played by Ralph Fiennes) is in Italy and is being taken care. Hana (played by Juliette Binoche), a nurse, takes care of him in an abandoned monastery. Well, slowly the man beings to remember something, and then there are flashbacks. The man's actual name is Count Lazlo de Almasy. He is a Hungarian cartographer working in Egypt with his partner, a man named Madox (played by Julian Wadham). Then, a British couple, Geoffrey (played by Colin Firth) and Katherine Clifton (played by Kristen Scott Thomas) join them. Both the Count and Katherine are attracted to each other. And their relationship deepens in an expedition... But there are problems behind this. That is, Katherine is already married. And then the war starts and everything goes different...

The film shifts between flashbacks and the ''present time'' (that is 1944 in Italy). Often, there are scenes which shows Hana with the wounded Count, and then there is a flashback.

Meanwhile, a visitor, Caravaggio (played William Dafoe) starts living with Hana and the injured Count. This Caravaggio is quite mysterious and had known the Count previously. I won't reveal that much, though.There is a subplot about the romance between Hana and Kip, a Silk sapper in the British army.

Caravaggio hates the Count, he accuses the Count of several things. I won't like to spoil the wonderful movie for you so I won't reveal what these things are. The Count then explains several things, several things which which helps us to understand everything in the storyline. All of the puzzles, all of the mysteries are solved at the end.

Wow, what a wonderful presentation! Really, such excellent presentations are probably rarely seen. The film is told between flashbacks and the ''present'' time (Italy, last periods of the World War II). Slowly, the viewers come to know everything, from what happened in the prologue to what are all the reasons, what are all the answers to Caravaggio's doubts.

All the characters are so strong: Count Lazlo de Almasy, Katherine Clifton, Hana, Kip, Caravaggio, even Geoffrey Clifton... These characters, and the actors who played them, contribute to make the film highly engrossing and interesting. Along with the movie's wonderful story and presentation, the actors, and the characters, play an important role to make this movie more excellent, more lovely.

The English Patient won nine Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Juliette Binoche), Best Original Score, Best Costume Design, and Best Director. And I believe, it deserved all the nine Oscars that it won.

With elements of tragedy, drama, romance, war, and a wonderful presentation, an excellent cast, some touching music, a great storyline, and very good cinematography, The English Patient has been, according to my opinion, one of the best films of the 1990s. It is a deeply touching film which almost brought tears to my eyes.

5 out of 5.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

August Rush (2007 movie)

Directed by: Kirsten Sheridan
Released: 2007
Country: United States

Main Cast: Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Robin Williams, Terrence Howard

Genres: Musical, Drama

Rating: 3 out of 5


Music. Music to find someone. To love music. ''August Rush'' is such a film where music is a major theme.

This film is filled with sentimental elements and music. In the beginning of the film, we see Evan Taylor, growing up in a boys' orphanage. Evan is a young boy who can hear music everywhere. He believes one day, he can go back to his parents. He is mocked by boys of the orphanage who call him a ''freak''. This young boy, Evan Taylor, is played by Freddie Highmore, the brilliant actor whom we all know from ''Finding Neverland''.

There is a flashback. We see Evan's parents, Louis and Lyla. Lyla is a cellist and Louis is the lead singer of a band. (They don't know each other). One night, they meet each other, and sleep together on a rooftop.  But the next morning, Lyla has to go. Louis tells her to meet him at a certain place. But when Louis runs to meet her, she doesn't acknowledge him.Later it is known that Lyla is pregnant. After she gives birth, she is said that the baby has died. 

Both Louis and Lyla give up performing...

The baby, now growing up in an orphanage, is Evan Taylor. Eleven years have passed, and one day, Evan ''follows the music'' he hears all around him and ends up alone in the crowdy city. There, he meets a young boy, Arthur, who sings in the streets, and asks him for shelter. Arthur takes him to his home, which is in a condemned theater. He meets Wizard (played by Robin Williams), a man who teaches these homeless children singing. He then hear Evan playing a guitar, and is really very impressed and takes him to sing at the streets and renames him ''August Rush'', knowing one day he will indeed become famous.

At this stage, I was starting to think a bit, ''Is this being a bit familiar?'' Somehow, oh somehow. I was starting to think hard, and then I wondered, ''Hey, isn't Wizard so similar to Fagin of Oliver Twist?'' Oh yes, Fagin! 

When one day police raid the place, everybody run away. August arrives at a church. Very soon, his talents are recognized. He is taken at the Julliard School. He learns excellently. 

Meanwhile, Lyla and Louis are also back to music. Louis is looking for Lyla. Lyla is looking for Evan (or August). August is looking for Louis and Lyla. Will music bring the family back together?

Well, I have given enough details; I won't wanna spoil the movie anymore for you.

Freddie Highmore is a brilliant actor. Like his performance in Finding Neverland, he performs brilliantly in this movie as well. Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Keri Russell both play their roles excellently. Robin William is also okay. So are Leon J. Thomas III as Arthur, and Terrence Howard as Counselor Richard Jeffries.

Entertaining to watch, filled with very excellent music, emotional theme, and a touching story, this film may not be excellent, but is truly touching, presented nicely, and is certainly worth watching.

3 out of 5.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Krishna Cottage (2004 movie)

Directed by:  Santram Varma
Released: 2004
Country: India

Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Main Cast: Sohail Khan, Isha Koppikar, Natassha

Rating: 2.5 out of 5


Yeah, at least it's meant to be a horror film! But, however, it has scary moments, some mystery, but overall, is this a good horror mystery film? My answer is no, it isn't. Krishna Cottage is not a good horror film.

Krishna Cottage starts with a renowned professor launching his book which contains nine and a half stories. The tenth story is unfinished because he doesn't know how to finish it.

A year later, the principal of the college hides this book in the storeroom, which once used to be a painting room.

Then there is a song. And then we see Manav and Shanti, who are to be engaged. A new girl comes to the college. Her name is Disha. Manav is attracted towards her. 

That night, the engagement party of Manav and Shanti is held. Manav saves Disha from an accident. Then Manav, Shanti and their friends Tali, Kabir, Nupur, and Akshay go to drop Disha in her home. But on the way some accident happen, there car goes wrong, and they go to an abandoned old house. There, scary things starts happening.

The book then starts going to the hands of the friends. Tali decides to impress Disha by reading the book, and tells Nupur to read it for him. As Nupur reads it, she is shocked to read something, scary things start happening, and she is killed by someone (or something!). After some scenes, Kabir reads it, and is killed as well! This indicates an element of slasher films, doesn't it?

Then there's the love triangle stuff. Shanti starts suspecting that Manav is in love with Disha, and rushes to Disha's house to confront her. There, she meets Disha's mother, who tells her such a thing which brings a true scare for us.

I won't reveal much more of the story. I won't like to spoil it for you. 

The mystery, the scary elements in this film, are all okay, really, but still there is a lack of something in this movie.

Sohail Khan and Isha Koppikar are quite good in their roles as Manav and Disha respectively. The acting of Natassha is, I believe, much more remarkable. 

Among the supporting characters, Hiten Tejwani as Akshay and Vrajesh Harji as Tali play their roles excellently. Then there is Rati Agnihotri, who plays the role of an astrologer. Her character is remarkable and her performance was also okay.

Coming to the music, the song ''Suna Suna'' was really excellent. It has been one of my favorite Hindi songs for a while. 

This film lacks on something, but really is entertaining. I enjoyed it, but... oh well, it is just a movie for passing time. If you want to watch a good and really scary horror film, watch something like ''Scream'' or ''Friday the 13th''.  ''Krishna Cottage'' has scary elements, but however, they are not very satisfying. Overall, watch this film once, it isn't worth watching, yes, but it will surely entertain you. It does have some remarkable elements.

2.5 out of 5.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Amazing Grace (2006 movie)

Directed by: Michael Apted
Released: 2006
Country: United States, United Kingdom

Main cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Romola Garai, Michael Gambon, Benedict Cumberbatch, Albert Finney, CiarĂ¡n Hinds, Youssou N'Dour

Genres: Biographical, drama, historical

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


William Wilberforce (1759-1833) was a leader of the movement to abolish slave trade. ''Amazing Grace'' is a film based on the works, and struggles of William Wilberforce.

''Amazing Grace'' is not a dull or boring film. It is rather a very interesting, enjoyable, and, at some parts, a sweet film. To many of us, movies based on true stories are ''boring'', but Amazing Grace is quite different because of it's wonderful presentation. It kept me looking at the screen from the beginning to the end.

The film starts in 1797, as William Wilberforce arrives in Somerset, Bath for a holiday. He meets his future wife Barbara Spooner, to whom he recalls his past. Through flashbacks, we see the struggles of William Wilberforce in order to abolish the slave trade.

I won't reveal more of the story, as it is quite interesting and sometimes, informative. I am sure that everybody will enjoy this film, as it is presented so wonderfully.

The cast was excellent. Ioan Gruffodd is excellent as William Wilberforce. Romola Garai is also very good as Barbara Spooner. So are Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Gambon in the roles. All others, of course, were excellent. They all gave excellent performances.

''Amazing Grace'' is a very likeable film. It is a very touching film which also informs us how much cruelty was once shown towards the innocent Africans who were made slaves. There is a scene where Equiano shows William Wilberforce a slave ship. This scene is very moving as Equino describes the conditions in which the slaves were brought from Africa. There are quite a few other scenes which deeply touches our feelings.

And oh, the music is EXCELLENT! 

It is a very good film. Though there are several historical inaccuracies, the film tells us about William Wilberforce and his works and struggles. A highly recommended film.

3.5 out of 5.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012 movie)

Directed by: Rupert Sanders
Released: 2012
Country: United States

Main cast: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Charlize Theron, Bob Hoskins, Sam Spruell

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Drama

Rating: 3 out of 5


We had heard the fairytale ''Snow White''  by Brothers Grimm when we were children. Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937) had been one of the loveliest films ever made.

And this year, two films inspired by the fairytale ''Snow White'' has been made: ''Mirror Mirror'' and ''Snow White and the Huntsman''. I'd previously talked about ''Mirror Mirror'' in this blog. But today I saw ''Snow White and the Huntsman'' directed by Rupert Sanders, and starring Kristen Stewart, whom we all know from the Twilight films.

''Snow White and the Huntsman'' is actually inspired by the fairytale Snow White. Some of the major elements have been taken from ''Snow White'', but there are many elements, many things in this film which you'll not find in the fairytale.

First of all, ''Snow White and the Huntsman'' is not the sweet and lovely fairytale you read as a child. Instead, it is a violent, a dark, a grim film. Don't expect to enjoy the fairytale by seeing this film.

In spite of being violent, ''Snow White and the Huntsman'' somehow possesses a kind of sweetness. It is somehow engrossing and enjoyable.

In the first few scenes, we see Snow White's birth, her childhood, and her mother's death. Following her mother's death, her father marries the beautiful Ravenna (played by Charlize Theron). She kills the King on the night of the wedding, captures Snow White, and keep her imprisoned. Several years later, Snow White is now a young woman, played by Kristen Stewart, kept imprisoned in a dark place in the north tower of the castle. The country has been shattered by the cruel Queen Ravenna.

Queen Ravenna's Magic Mirror informs her that she will be immortal only if she consumes Snow White's heart, otherwise she'll be destroyed by Snow White one day. The Queen orders her brother Finn to bring Snow White, but Snow White escapes and runs to the Forest. The Queen sends a Huntsman (played by Chris Hemsworth) to capture Snow White and bring her, promising him that she would use her magical powers to bring his late wife back.

When the huntsman and the Queen's men find Snow White and the huntsman comes to know that the Queen cannot bring back his wife, he instead fights the Queen's men, and he promises to take her to Duke Hammond's castle (Duke Hammond had been able to escape). Then a number of events and adventures follow.  Eight dwarves find them, they travel to a fairy sanctuary, are attacked by the Queen's men, and William, Duke Hammond's son and Snow White's childhood companions, finds them. Then a number of events follow, including a battle, but I won't be revealing anything anymore.

I hope I haven't given much spoilers above.

So, this ''short'' summary must give you the idea that the story of the film ''Snow White and the Huntsman'' is far from the story of the fairytale. In fact, the forest scenes are very grim, and some of the violence scenes are a bit intense, but I didn't find anything disturbing.

But, however, the film isn't thoroughly grim! The fairy sanctuary scenes are highly beautiful and colorful. The fairies are interesting. There are also a few fairy tale creatures in those scenes.

Acting was generally good. Kristen Stewart is good as Snow White. Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron's performances are highly remarkable. Others such as Bob Hoskins (playing a dwarf) and Sam Spruell (playing Finn), and all others, give wonderful performances.

The film has some very good background music. The scenes are beautifully shot. In spite of being dark, the film is actually enjoyable because of it's presentation, background music, and excellent acting.

''Snow White and the Huntsman'' shouldn't be compared to ''Mirror Mirror''. The two movies, though both inspired by Snow White, are quite different. While ''Snow White and the Huntsman'' is more violent and dark, ''Mirror Mirror'' is a funny, sweet, and romantic movie. But personally, I found ''Snow White and the Huntsman'' much more better than ''Mirror Mirror''.

Another thing to point out: I think this film is definitely not for children under the age of eleven or twelve. It's rated PG-13 ''for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief some brief sensuality''.

Overall, this film just has a few major elements from the fairytale Snow White, but there are twists and changes in the film. This film was worth watching, it was quite good. 

3 out of 5.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Maid in Manhattan (2002 movie)

Directed by: Wayne Wang
Released: 2002
Country: United States

Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, Stanley Tucci, Tyler Pocey

Genre: Romantic-Comedy

Rating: 3 out of 5


In this romantic comedy film directed by Wayne Wang, Jennifer Lopez stars as a hotel maid while Ralph Fiennes stars as a well-known politician. Well, it happens that the politician, staying in the hotel, comes to think that the maid is actually a wealthy woman. Then follows a love story.

Well, it may seem a little unclear from what I mentioned above. So, Marissa Ventura is a single mother and the hotel maid, and one day, her colleague forces her to try on a dress of a wealthy guest. Meanwhile, that very moment, Marissa's son Ty meets Christopher Marshall, the well-known politician staying in that hotel, and requests to go on a walk with him and his dog Rufas. Ty leads Christopher to his mother. Seeing Marissa in such clothes, Christopher mistakenly comes to think that she is in fact a wealthy guest. They go on a walk, feel attracted to each other, but from the next time, Marissa tries to avoid him being afraid what might happen if everybody gets to know the truth.

Well, obviously this much is clear. Soon, Christopher invites Caroline Lane, the actual owner of those clothes, but is surprised to find that she is a different woman, not Marissa! Confusions follow, several incidents follow, but one day Christopher indeed comes to know of the truth...

The few first scenes of the film seemed slow and boring to me. But from the time Marissa and Chris met, the film got actually enjoyable! 

Some of the dialogues are quite funny. Background music was good. Cinematography was also good. 

Performances were very good! Jennifer Lopez plays Marissa wonderfully. Ralph Fiennes also acts well. Stanley Tucci is excellent as Jerry Siegal, the protective assistant of Chris. Tylor Posey is good in his role as the son of Marissa, Ty. Natasha Richardson is also quite good in her role as the ''actual'' Caroline Lane. And Bob Hoskins is quite good in his role as the head butler Lionel Bloch. 

The film started in a slow and boring way, but gradually it got enjoyable and quite interesting. Though it was not something of a great experiences, I liked it, it was worth watching.

3 out of 5.