Thursday, February 28, 2008

Three movies you might have missed

This is my 100th post in this blog. :)

Having been raised in a family of primarily daughters and mothers, the dialogues of this movie are some of the best I have heard in a long time. The scenes between the four daughters and Joan Allen are so natural tha you almost forget that you're watching a movie.

And what a performance by Joan Allen - what a performance!The scenes where she tells the daughters about their father's infidelity and the cheshire cat smile she puts as she imagines decapitating the 50 year old DJ (the director of the movie) sleeping with her 18 year old daughter should have brought the Oscars at her doorstep. Shame.

Watch this movie for her, the so so good Kevin Costner and a brilliant script.

Pity. Terms of Endearment - that had nothing to offer besides Jack Nicholson - with bad cinematography, tardy script, over-the-top and highly self-conscious fare by the leading ladies - should have swept the Oscars and this movie be ignored.

The problem with this movie is taht it wastes its best portion for a cheap tawdry "twist" narrative. Cusack sleepwalks through his cool ordinary guy thing; but I can see him do that till eternity:). The half an hour of Oliver Platt and Cusack together , from the bar to the Christmas dinner to the bar again (Platt's confrontation with the jockey BF was too good!) to the apartment - is good enough to recommend this movie.

The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations. - IMDB

I used that because I really don't know how to describe this tour de force. I might say it's about middle age crisis, our insecurities, adult world, everything. But I think it's really about how we have complicated everything for ourselves and can't even scream - and taht's when we're touching middle age.

The persepctive of the movie comes from people who ae going down under the system - successful in absolute terms - but underachievers in terms of themselves - part of which stems from the fact taht they really don't believe in the sanctity of the system but are too small an weak to do anything about it than fail. Something I can relate to.

Forget her nude scenes, the numero uno reason for the movie's success for many, watch Kate Winslet for her lost Sarah. My only grouse was that Connelly was wasted and Sarah's hubby and the panty thingee was too much of a 2D caricature.

But the Oscars be damned for denying Jackie Haley his due as the sex offender for the not very impressive (to me) Tom Arkins(?) for Little Miss Sunshine. Haley's performance - his watery and hungry eyes - make me do something that not even Lolita could do - empathize with a child molester. Entering midway into the movie - he takes it by the fine hair and chews off the heavy star cast - Right from the pool, the date scene to the scene where his mother dies. His own tragic story had a deep impact on his performance - and that is so evident.

This is a masterpiece - not to be missed.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Baba Ramadoss

"Apparently hitting back at Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on Friday said public icons who passed off smoking on screens as 'creative liberty' should take a leaf out of the book of actors like Aamir Khan how to use the artistic tool.
"Creative liberty should be used to improve society and not kill mankind," Ramadoss said in response to a query on public icons supporting smoking on screen as their right to creative liberty.
"Look at Taare Zammen Pe," he said, saying the film has helped in changing the mindset of thousands of teachers and parents in looking at the problem of dyslexia.
"That is what creative liberty should do," he said.
Shah Rukh had recently defended in Delhi on-screen smoking saying it was a creative liberty of artistes."

Baba Ramadoss has opened my eyes.
He has defined liberty in terms of constraints - a supremely paradoxical feat.
Of course, the paradox of a politician talking about creative liberty is not that surprising: hasn't he shown it enough in changing the constitution of a country of 1.2 billion to target(or rather, AIIM) one man?

Baba Ramadoss has spoken
His Ten Commandments
  1. The Orwellian Ministry of Health is now your one and only God.
  2. Thou shalt not have any more strange Gods before this God: like those mad ranting hippies trying to show the society its mirror a la Oliver Stone, Coppolla, Nihlani and Scorcese.
  3. Movies like Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now, Fight Club, Paanch which do not deal with dyslexic kids and definitely show a lot of smoking and, shockingly, acknowledge sex, sleaze and the dark forces as major influences of the human condition are henceforth banned. Or at least stamped with the statutory warning.
  4. Hence forth, all creative liberty has to be wholesome.
  5. Henceforth, Mr. Aamir Khan owns the exclusive titles to creative liberty.
  6. In the known absence of Aamir Khan for years altogether, the wholesomeness and creative liberty will be defined by an expert committee of Suraj Barjatya, Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra .
  7. Going back to the Ed Sullivan era and the King, no body part below the waist will be shown in movies.
  8. In fact, no body part will be shown since kids will be able to put two and two together and attaching missing parts to whatever parts escape the censor's scissors.
  9. The only scripts approved henceforth are the Ramayana (even Mahabharata has too much gore and moral ambiguity).
  10. Ram has to be shown eating an Apple all the time in any movie in this new gusty era of creative liberty.

I think the dyslexic condition of our Health Minister which is forcing him to comment into something much beyond governments and societies, leave alone venal politicians, can be corrected only by feeding a strong dose of nicotine mixed in a concoction of whisky and rum - rectally.

I have a "creative" and wholesome script, Minister.

All the world's politicians are brought on to an island. There their nuts are ripped off in a manner to ensure death by either pain or bleeding, and fed to hungry pie dogs. Solves two problems - no more politicians. No more hungry pie dogs - for a day, at least. None of the pie dogs will be shown smoking. But we might put some lighted cigarettes into the mouths of the screaming and dying politicians for a brilliantly creative symbolism showing how death and cigarettes go hand in hand.

Please tell Mr. Khan to drop by my house for the script next time he's in town.