Monday, 22 April 2013

''Come September'' (1961 movie)- Short review

Directed by: Robert Mulligan 
Released: 1961
Country: United States

Genre: Romantic comedy

Stars: Rock Hudson, Gina Lollobrigida, Sandra Dee, Walter Slezak, Bobby Deran

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Robert Mulligan's ''Come September'' is a thoroughly entertaining rom-com that deserves a watch from any person who likes romantic comedy films. It is a wittily-written and cleverly crafted film that is enjoyable from the first moment to the last. The story is about the wealthy American industrialist Robert Talbot (played by Rock Hudson), who owns a luxurious house in Italy. He comes to Italy every September- and stay there for a month- only for a month- spending time with his girlfriend Lisa (Gina Lollobrigida). But his ''faithful'' servant Maurice (Walter Slezak), during Talbot's eleven-month absences, turns the house into a hotel, without the consent or knowledge of Talbot, and earns money by that. But this year, Talbot arrives in Italy in July- instead of September. Maurice is in trouble. On the other hand, Lisa has decided to marry another man (which Talbot doesn't know). When Talbot comes to know about Maurice's unfaithfulness, he also comes to know that several girls are staying in his house (or hotel), and he and Lisa have to act like guests in front of them. Several American boy, attracted by the girls, set up tents in front of the hotel/house. Talbot gets protective of the girls, and while guarding them so that the boy couldn't hurt them, a splendid comedy spins up. 

Performances of Lollobrigida and Hudson are great, and Sandra Dee, as Sandy, also gives a very memorable performance. Bobby Darin with his handsome looks, is splendid. Walter Slezak as the cunning Maurice is wonderful. The screenplay is wonderful, and the dialogues are very witty and the most mentionable. This romantic comedy may not be a great film, but it provides perfect entertainment from the beginning to the end.

3.5 out of 5

Sunday, 7 April 2013

''Inception'' (2010 movie)- Review

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Released: 2010
Country: United States, United Kingdom

Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Main cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Lewitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Wantabe, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


I have just finished watching Christopher Nolan's ''Inception'', and it would be rather difficult for me to put in words how much I liked the movie. Seriously, I loved it. Action is never a genre fine with me, but Christopher Nolan presents a conception so unforgettable, and also presents it to us with a very sharply brilliant screenplay and direction- Inception is without a doubt one of the best films from 2010.

The conception is excellent. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) can learn about other people's thoughts and ideas by entering their dreams. Now, he is given an extremely difficult and almost impossible task of imposing a new idea on a person by means of controlling and designing his dream. This task is known as ''inception''. He is asked to plant the idea to Robert Fischer, whose father is in his deathbed, of breaking his father's company. If Robert takes over the company, then within a short time he would be taking over half of the world's energy. Because of it's difficulty, Cobb initially denies to do this, but he is said that if he manages to do this task, he can return to his two children, to whom he is prevented to return because it is suspected that he had killed his wife. Desperate to reconcile with his two children, Cobb agrees to this plan, and, along with some people, gets on to work on the idea. Their plan is to build layers of dreams- dream within dream within dream, to plant the idea on Robert's mind.

Ariadne (Ellen Page), the architect who is in charge of designing the dream, soon comes to know that Dom still makes himself dream about his late wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard), and that he has many past secrets that are later revealed, in course of the film. Meanwhile, they go on with their plan, but the dead Mal haunts Cobb, bringing a conflict between dream and reality, and the past flashed, guilt revealed, obstacles and...

Christopher Nolan's screenplay and direction are both extraordinary. The only other Nolan film that I've seen is ''The Prestige'', which I found to be extremely irritating. ''The Prestige'' was filled with so much complicated elements that it made me lose my interest in the subject matter and feel no interest in knowing the climax. Anyways, ''Inception'' is brilliant, far too better from ''The Prestige''. ''Inception'' also deals with a complicated- in fact very complicated subject matter- but the presentation is so brilliant that it kept me engrossed and interested in it.

Leonardo DiCaprio's acting as Cobb, a cool-headed man with a past, secret, and guilt, is beyond remarks. Joseph Gordon-Lewitt is excellent. Ellen Page gives an excellent performance, as usual. Cillian Murphy, as Robert Fischer, is really good. 

Technically, the cinematography and editing are two other memorable elements of this film. The action scenes are well-constructed and well-written, and nothing crosses limit, which is one of the thing which makes an action film better. Continuous action scenes without art gives me headaches- I had hated ''Transformers''. Well, it's funny that I'm mentioning ''Transformers'', since there is no resemblance between ''Transformers'' and ''Inception''. But, I have not seen too many action films and I need something to compare it with! Anyways, getting back to the topic, the fight scenes in ''Inception'' are well-written and well-made. The background music is pleasant but not memorable.

Inception makes us enter in the world of dreams,  demanding our complete attention so that we can understand the overall subject matter. It's not a film to be missed.

4.5 out of 5


Monday, 1 April 2013

''Juno'' and ''Chicago''- Reviews

Juno (2007 movie)

Directed by: Jason Reitman
Released: 2007
Country: Canada, United States

Genres: Comedy-drama

Stars: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, Allison Janney, J. K. Simmons, Olivia Thirlby

Rating: 4 out of 5

 Juno, directed by Jason Reitman, is not certainly a great movie. But there can be no denying that it is a funny, emotional film that leaves you with a very good feeling, and is one of the best films of 2007: it is entertaining, enjoyable, hilarious and emotional. The story is about 16-year-old high school student Juno (Ellen Page), who suddenly discovers that she is pregnant, and the father of her child is her boyfriend Paulie (Michael Cera). What will she do now? Initially deciding to have an abortion, she then makes up her mind to give birth to the baby and then give the baby to a childless couple. She informs this to her father and stepmother, who support her in her decision. She finds a couple, Mark and Vanessa. Vanessa have always wanted to be a mother, and it is clear from her behavior how she loves children. Juno will be happy to give her baby to such nice people.

Ellen Page and Michael Cera in ''Juno''
The film is very funny, the script is very witty, and the dialogues are delightful. The jokes about the baby having fingernails were very funny, among others. But however, as an emotional journey it is no less remarkable. It also has an emotional depth. Paulie, the father of Juno's unborn child, a girl, and Juno tells him: "Are you ashamed we did it because at least you don't have the evidence under your sweater...'' Isn't it such a touching line? Throughout the movie, the incidences and experiences that Juno goes through are quite enough. Thankfully, they are shown in a lighthearted and witty manner that makes us have a smile in our face almost throughout the movie. Of course, there are exceptions, for example Juno's quarrel with Mark when he tells her that he is going to leave Vanessa. That quarrel scene was very, what will I say, emotional. Also, Vanessa's love for the unborn baby is also very touching.

Jason Reitman's direction is amazing. Ellen Page, as Juno, rightly deserved the Oscar nomination which she got for her role in this film. Michael Cera is no less remarkable, as the nerdy boyfriend of Juno. This character looks awkward and shy every time we see him. And oh, the beautiful Jennifer Garner as Vanessa! She gave such a superb and touching performance. In short, all the actors were well-cast in their roles. The screenplay and the wonderful dialogues also deserve special praise.

Overall, this bittersweet comedy-drama is a wonderful film. Not a masterpiece, but certainly a very feel-good movie.

Chicago (2002 movie)

Directed by: Rob Marshall
Released: 2002
Country: United States

Cast: Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly

Genres: Musical crime comedy

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Rod Marshall's ''Chicago'' is, in a word, superb. It is one of the best, and even possibly the best musical film from the 2000s. This funny, musically astounding, technically wonderful film takes us back to the 1920s Chicago. Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is a famous jazz singer who performs with her sister Veronica. Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) is an ambitious and fame hungry woman. Their happy lives come to a pause when Velma kills her husband and her sister upon discovering them together in bed. Roxie kills her boyfriend when she realizes that she is not going to make her a famous star. Both are sent to prison, and may be hanged.

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, and Renee Zellweger in ''Chicago''
The corrupted matron of the prison, played by the amazing Queen Latifah, contacts the successful lawyer, Billy Flynn, for the prisoners, in exchange of money. Both Roxie and Velma pay the matron, known as ''Mama'', for Billy. Initially, Billy pays little importance to Roxie, but then they work out a plan by which Roxie can escape a death sentence: Roxie will make the public have sympathy on her. Through lies, deceiving and coquettish smiles, Roxie not only makes the public sympathize her, but she becomes something of a celebrity, with the newspapers filled with her pictures and articles about her.

This is an astounding, superb film. I LOVED it. The music is extremely pleasant. The songs are... amazing. My favorite songs in this film are ''When You're Good to Mama'' and ''We Both Reached For the Gun''. Renee Zellweger gives a praiseworthy performance as the cunning Roxie. The character is too difficult to analyze. Do we like or dislike her? Surely, she is a cunning, deceiving person, yet Roxie is sweet, and, umm, coquettish. Catherine Zeta-Jones's Velma is also quite remarkable and hugely memorable. Queen Latifah, oh, what a wonder! Seriously, Queen Latifah astounded me. As the corrupt matron, she gives such a highlighting performance. Her character's most memorable scenes in this film were when she sang the song ''When You're Good to Mama''.

Cinematography and editing are wonderful. I liked it when a character is talking, suddenly, in the background, we see her singing and dancing and expressing her emotions in a musical way. It was as if they were performing instead of talking. And the credits go to the actors, directors, cinematographer and the editors.

On the whole, I really loved ''Chicago'' and I'd recommend it to anybody who would like a light and crazy musical comedy.