Wednesday, May 5, 2010

[Movie Review] Innocent Voices (Voces Inocentes). 2004. Spanish.

Although unpleasant, the way this movie recorded innocence and childhood getting muffled will make you think about how far we have come as a cultured race.

Chava (Carlos Padilla) became my instant favorite in the very first reels. He has an elusive yet extraordinarily expressive face. He really means it when he says he is the 'man of the house' amidst a missing father, a dedicated and loving mother, a younger brother, a cute little farty sister (yes you read that right), a few best friends, an angelic girlfriend, poverty, and guerrilla warfare.

It is really unfortunate that kids his age have to go through war and death when they should actually be attending summer schools to sharpen their favorite skills.

The village shown is as authentic as you would get (at least I thought so) with people eager to help each other even though their roofs cant help but let the rains through and the young kids get recruited to the army every year. And to think all this started because peasants opposed government's move to occupy private property.

The part that most affected me though was when Chava goes to his friend (Christie Maria)'s house to gift her a toad (watch the movie to know why), and all he finds is shreds of her dress in a burnt down war struck remains. The part where he copes with that incident, his performance is remarkable! In that one moment, I wanted to be that kid, and feel the pain he felt as his was squeezing Christie's dress-shreds close to his heart, shaking, and watching the toad jump away under tropical rains...

And did I mention Leonor Varela did one helluva job as a distressed single mother, who makes an honest living, and keeps her children away from all the political/anti-government propaganda? What prowess, what intimacy!

I still wish subconsciously that I could bring back his lost friends, the girl friend, his father, and his innocence, but I fear that would turn it into a senseless predictable flick. And then again, it is based on true stor(y)(ies).

'Innocent Voices' is the first movie in a long while that gets a perfect 5.0 rating from me. A must watch if you are open minded enough to appreciate international cinema!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

[Movie Review] Funny Games. 2007. German.

Contrary to people who have been swearing that this is the most terrifying movie they ever saw, I found Funny Games to be quite funny!

First of all, NetFlix guys cheated. They show details of the English remake of the original German movie with Naomi Watts, but the online track actually plays the German one. Shame on them for this bait'n'switch trick!

And now to the movie itself. For originality, I wouldn't rate the movie high at all. It is a bad twist in the arm of a well scripted horror flick. The only problem is, it gets very predictable after a few scenes, and that's exactly when you start wondering why you started watching it.

Comic horror, torture, psycho-depiction, senseless gore: I watched it all...only in hope for one thing.. JUST ONE THING that would blow my brains away.

Unfortunately that didn't happen. And all I can remember from the movie now is the kid.

I would highly recommend AGAINST watching this one. My rating: 1.0/5/0. ( I wish I could go even lower. Perhaps I will!).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

[Movie Preview] Raajneeti. 2010 (June). Hindi.

Raajneeti. noun. (Sanskrit/Hindi). Meaning: Politics.

I am eagerly waiting for it's release. For one, it has the stars that I admire: Manoj Bajpayi, Ajay Devgan, and Naseeruddin Shah.

The promos look promising. My only fear is that the screenplay will get lost following such a huge star-cast. But then again, it's Prakash Jha, so I still have my hopes up.

All the hype of relating it to real characters, and presenting known issues apart, I am most interested in what Jha brings as possible solutions to World's largest sovereign democracy.

The last movie I saw with Manoj Bajpayi in it was the movie '1971'. He played Major Suraj Singh. No matter how close the character was to the real hero, his rendition pricked a few in my conscience. I will probably never forget that movie as long as I am alive. And who can forget his portrayal of Bheekhu Mhatre in Satya?

Ajay Devgan is another such actor, who has gained immense versatility over the year since his debut in 'Phool aur Kaante'. His renditions in Zakhm, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, and Omkara will always feature in his top performances.

And need I say anything for Naseeruddin Shah? He is, because he acts. That should suffice:-)

Let it roll... cannot wait to write a review. In case you want to know, here is a link to the movie's official website.