Straight From a Movie

Pensive Thoughts on Paper | Movie Reviews and Quotes Website

Category: 2015 (page 2 of 9)

Holds movie reviews from the year 2015

Demolition Review (2015)

A twisted drama!

Comes another melodramatic venture from the beautiful head of Jean-Marc Vallee, Demolition is a movie not for everyone. Whilst I personally love his direction, in the back of the head I get this feeling it might overwhelm some with apathy.

PLOT OF DEMOLITION

Demolition lets you delve into the head of a guy who goes rogue on account of a recent mishap. Jake Gyllenhaal gets into the skin of Davis, a guy who doesn’t pay much attention to what’s going on around him, until he does. The world we behold then is brimming up with his insanity, and he seems at one point to have reached heights of the inane. Some of his acts seem really fatuous but some instigated. But it is the constant struggle between the two that the director pushes us toward which makes things hard to digest.

BREAKING IT DOWN

Jake Gyllenhaal is, no doubt, outstanding as the protagonist who loses it all in the very beginning frames of the movie. It unfolds into a great sojourn as people make an effort to fathom his fatuous acts, which he justifies through his phenomenal explanatory yet endearing letters to Karen (Naomi Watts), a character we see appear out of the blue. For some moments, you will have a hard time wrapping your head around the mist she appears from. At one junction, I took her for a figment, but then when we see her world unfurling with more twisted people, things kind of sediment.

SUB-PLOT IN DEMOLITION

You see a sub-plot protruding right then with the inclusion of Chris (Judah Lewis) to the tale. The side story comes more as a helping hand to see the thrilling side of demolishing something, a secondary perspective which tries to address a persisting LGBT issue too. It is weird how with those moments with Chris, Karen disappears completely only to return when she is needed for the movie. A sense of disconnect that makes things impalpable. In his strides towards the extraordinaire, Jean-Marc Vallee often misses out on the flick’s substance.

THOSE GYLLENHAAL MOVES

Watching Jake groove to the beats was one of the most amusing and cool parts. His carefree reckless dancing makes you fall in love with him even more. Watching him rip apart everything he thinks beautiful, gives you a silent satisfaction. To feel that relatable urge to annihilate things to tatters, was a reassuring contended sight. Albeit it becomes very difficult to relate to his character after one point, owing to some humorous bits in the movie, which seemed more like a deliberate attempt to aid the movie into reaching its climax, which was also quite fromward from its original steer. But the climax unravels with a punch in a gorgeous fashion that covers up for the indifference that we face midway.

The fact that Julia (the wife) bides by and stays impregnated in Davis’ chores has been beautifully depicted in the Demolition. The way she gets mirrored to him every time goes on to show – no matter how aloof you are from someone your head somehow finds them through regular habits.

Screenplay of Bryan Sipe goes brilliant at times but ambles quietly on a constant high and low road. Chris Cooper does a very thoughtful loving and caring dad that almost breaks you up, if it weren’t for the callous Davis demeanour to put you back in his mood.

DAMAGED SPOILERS AHEAD

One of the most powerful parts of Demolition is Davis’ resurrection, as he feels sorry for his acts, and actually starts to miss Julia. That’s when he pulls himself together to meet a stranger who visits her grave. Mistook for the guy whom she was dating before her death, Davis decides to acknowledge him only to find out he was the guy responsible for the accident. It puts you in your brooding gears.

THE FINAL VERDICT

I could totally understand what the director is feeling when he tries to jog us down through that grieving lane. Unfortunately, he fails to connect us to his thoughts. With demolition, he couldn’t really open up wide and audaciously to the public, which I kind of felt defeats the purpose.

Anomalisa Review (2015)

Beautiful and overwhelming! Anomalisa is a rare take on human insouciance towards things that one becomes accustomed to.

ANOMALISA IS AN EMOTIONAL JOURNEY

I have rarely seen a movie so eloquently shot to capture human emotions in the most vivid way possible. It is unafraid to scale horizons of the bold, yet humble enough to revisit tattered fronts of human nature. The cast is just, well, three people – David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Noonan who weave the character voices to perfection. Jennifer’s voice will make you fall in love with Lisa instantly. Her character is the most relatable one. She is something when she breaks into a candid conversation. It is hard not to feel sorry for her when things go south on her.

BEAUTIFUL ANIMATION

The stop-motion animation that Anomalisa bides by is just magnificent. You can almost read the efforts put in by the director Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman to create continuous shots of pizzazz. Ice all that up with brilliant expressions that its characters pack in and we end up with a spectacular flick in our baggage. Screenplay steers to create wonders as we feast on some beautiful words at a haywire juncture.

SPOILER CONNECTIONS FROM THIS POINT ONWARDS

The plot of Anomalisa takes us unto a frontage where we come to realize, that’s how it is. That’s how the world works! People are going to feel incomplete. Love is ephemeral. The moment it meets time, it becomes chaotic. Fills up with indifference and then we start searching for that spark again.

VOICE-OVER CREATIVITY

The most unique thing about Anomalisa is the way it carries the voice-over for women. It tries to portray the indifference the protagonist carries for every woman on the planet through a male cacophonous voice. He is on the prowl for that melodious voice once again, here spark, which let him feel something once. The scavenge ends up taking us to the Anomaly, Lisa. She seems perfect until indifference slays her too.

This movie makes you ponder hard. If you really look at Anomalisa’s story, you cannot possibly take sides. You cannot just feel sorry for Lisa here, and ignore Michael Stone. There’s an Anomalisa in everyone’s life which seems harmonious at first, and then suddenly disintegrates to ruins because of some abomination. You cannot simply ignore the horrific dream he has either. It reeks of Stone’s crude life that is trying to devour him. A stunning representation. Well thought of!

RELATING TO THE CHARACTERS OF ANOMALISA

You can relate to the character in the movie – Aloof from the world, but then a chord just sounds right enough to make you interested again. Then boom! out of the blue something makes it dissonant once again. Well, that’s life for you.

Intelligent take. Bravo!

Carol Review (2015)

An alluring take on same-sex love!

Carol isn’t just a self-exploration sojourn of Therese Belivet; it is so much more. With an enchanting screenplay to keep us company, Carol walks with a constant finesse depicting human emotions in a beautiful way. You can’t help but feel for the characters as they carry the right gusto in their acts.

Rooney Mara is simply outstanding. She carries a face of innocence that reads confusion quite often, whilst trying to learn the ways of her character. Coming to her aid is the voluptuous Carol Aird played by Cate Blanchett, whose life is torn apart owing to an ongoing divorce scene that hurls her into fits of melancholia.

SPOILERS:

The way Todd Haynes traverses the camera from a gutter to a third person perspective by capturing the rattling and chugging of a train in the backdrop, to reach the protagonists having a conversation on a table speaks volume of his sheer genius. Right there the prologue gets painted, and memories gush in from the past through the mist of the car window, as Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) gawks at the city, being indifferent to the talks of the mundane.

It is a beautiful way of depicting movie frames which Haynes seems to have mastered. He nails them like a pro. Complements Todd brilliantly in the background with an enthralling profound score is Carter Burwell, whose music is placed at right scenes, to make you feel the flick’s endearing rhythm.

“My angel, flung out of space.”

Love has so many forms. It goes beyond age and sex, and Patricia Highsmith’s story couldn’t cover it better. With a genius like Todd to help us crawl alongside the frames, the movie forever stays in empathetic waters. With spectacular performances by Cate and Rooney, the movie reaches a pinnacle of emotions. Little things, like when Therese notices minute details in Carol whilst she drives, and when she shows up eventually with a quivering heart hoping that she would see her are all brilliantly shot.

The movie’s drama at times misses on milking Carol’s love for Therese. Her life’s atrocities fail to cash in on the love she feels for Therese, and that’s where the flick appears to have dwindled. But still Haynes manages to keep the juices flowing and what we have in the end is a magnificent project in melodrama.

Highly recommended!

Spotlight Review (2015)

An eye-opener! Spotlight throws spotlight on the ugly side of faith. An issue lodged so profusely in the streams of religion that it goes either unnoticed or remains unlit. Plot: A team of reporters work conscientiously to bring child abuse by priests into the forefront by illuminating the dark hollows of the ugly tactics of the church.

The movie addresses the issue slyly and then dives into it fully fledged owing to the inclusion of a new concerned editor Marty Baron, played superbly by Liev Schreiber whose words make a difference and reignite the died out flame of Walter Robby Robinson (Michael Keaton) who along with his meticulous and diligent team rush in to address the elephant in the room. Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James) are both outstanding. They look forever engaged in their pursuit, whilst Mark Ruffalo as Mike Rezendes can’t be ignored. Mark gets into the skin of Mike and creates a new persona altogether, an earnest committed fella who would stop at nothing to nail the molesters. It is almost as he disappears into that stream of acting. Watch him lose it like a maniac!

There are other brilliant characters in the movie that can’t be left uncredited owing to their enthralling acting. Like that of John Slattery as Ben Bradlee, Jr. who fits into the bossy shoes pretty great. Also, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Jamey Sheridan who were all mesmerizing in their little fleeting acts.

Screenplay of the movie is well written. Becomes very thoughtful at times. The work the people do in the flick will make you feel worthless. So, crucial bringing issues in the dark to the front page! They deserve an ovation.

“That’s why I never got married. I am too busy. What I do is too important.”

The aforementioned is said by Mitchell Garabedian played brilliantly by Stanley Tucci. You could almost read how concerned and thoughtful the guy is from his looks.

Spotlight comes up with a beautiful plot of mind-boggling revelations that will make you hate the religious conventions that hide the truth. It is a dead on collision between the media and the system, which remarkably addresses the church functioning snags. To say that the issue just circles around church would be an understatement. It is a global phenomena, something so ugly that it hardly makes news. This flick beats the odds to come up a victor. Kudos to the thoughtful media on this one!

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Spotlight begins with a hushed conversation and a free priest getting away with a horrendous crime. The prologue is reflective of how untouched and unscathed they feel under the aegis of their religious fallacy. How unfazed they feel around the law! Believing they are closer to God they could get away with anything! The perpetrator walks on to his car, escorted by a bigger authority from the Church as the helpless law (a policeman) watches their car drive through a mist of smoke into the oblivion.

It delves deep into some outstanding reporting too which is well captured by Tom McCarthy that shows us how extraordinary the efforts of Boston Globe reporters really were in bringing out the issue at hand into the limelight. The final result will gratify you and if you are the empathizing kind, you will feel the cold yet comforting gaze of justice from the end credits.

The world’s full of sexual predators. They could be masked as priests too. To look the other way is not the solution. If it is happening in your corridors, speak up. Crime’s after all a crime. Something needs to be done or the world will go blind.

The Danish Girl Review (2015)

A powerful movie! Eddie delivers an enthralling performance.

The Danish Girl is a self-realization sojourn of Einar Wegener, a top-notch landscape painter from Denmark, who unfurls gradually into his true identity. Never leaving his side in a full supportive backdrop is Gerda Wegener, played superbly by Alicia Vikander, who depicts a gorgeous shade of loyal love.

The movie leaves you wondering how bold and resolute Einar Wegner really was, to have pioneered the transgender transformation. In an era of hush-hush, where people looked at you differently, Einar managed to do something extraordinary and unorthodox that is worth an ovation. He wasn’t really bothered about what people might say or do. He just cared about finding what he was, in an unwavering fashion.

SPOILERS:

The story leaves you in tears owing to the “Gerda-persistence”. Not for a second does she stop loving her husband, and accepts Einar’s true identity and helps him to achieve his transformation. She wavers once, but that was it. Where will you find such altruistic love?

The performance of Eddie Redmayne is mind numbing as Lili. He wears all the womanly expressions to perfection, with the slight but right blush, blinking of his eyes and that crimsoned smile, he just nails every bit like a pro. So reassuring is his performance that he gets lost into it completely. Really convincing! The music and screenplay are simply outstanding. Well played and intelligently written. Acting A1! Plot superbly woven.

Some bits in the movie unknowingly walk into the clichéd territory, for instance when two French guys beat the crap out of Einar, also the fact that Gerda is crushed ‘neath her loyalty towards her husband and requited love, seem more like a revisited enclave.

As The Danish Girl rambles to fruition, the movie begins losing its dramatic quotient and charm that had so brilliantly managed to keep us riveted. Editing goes a little bit dodgy there, and it loses its rhythm. The quiet is overshadowed by the shaky focus as frames change one after the other beating melodrama to pulp. Although right at the climax it peaks once again and makes up for all of it. But, still you are compelled to feel something wasn’t quite right during the last bits.

However, overall the movie did justice to the transgender pioneer and the girl who never left his side, Gerda the true hero. A splendid flick!

Room Review (2015)

Adorable, powerful and literally captivating!

Room is a dive into the head of a child’s perspective, who witnesses the world for the first time. Emma Donoghue comes with a tale that is so beautifully wrapped under the outlook of Jack who believes space is confined. It is in a way reflective of how we have been living in today’s world, and how possibilities gawk at us from a distance, and we are never prepared to challenge ourselves into stepping out.

Ma: You’re gonna love it.

Jack: What?

Ma: The world.

The plot of Room unfurls like a beautiful flower. You are thrown into the mundane sphere of daily chores, and then suddenly you are told what’s happening and what seems to be the disconnect. It is hurled at you at once, amidst the regularity and it is hard to handle just like Jack’s head refuses to accept it. But then again that is the truth. Jack, the smart kid he is, accepts it and tries to help his Ma out, whilst challenging himself to a bizarre world that he has never encountered before.

What are quite thoughtful are Jack’s diegetic thoughts which go in the background often telling you how he feels about the world. They put your insight in the garbage. Seeing the beauty of the world through a learning phase is indeed really soothing. That’s where the screenplay goes really brilliant. His words are so powerful and yet so innocent that he will compel you to go broody.

Jacob Tremblay is exceptional as Jack who turns five and knows everything. Brie Larson plays an outstanding Ma, and fiddles with the right emotions. So is Joan Allen as Nancy, Jack’s grandma who epitomes sanity and tries to put sense and normalcy in the inane.

SPOILERS SHACKLED AHEAD:

Film’s most touching moment is when Jack reunites with his mother and the music bashes your nerves to dust. It makes you happy and sad at the same time. But that’s only the half of it. The rest of the movie progresses with how he tries to gel up with the asynchronous. Lenny attempts to manifest how Jack sees his surrounding through his sheepish eyes once he is out in the open. You can almost feel yourself feeling sorry for Jack and Ma. It would make you want to hug him right up and teach him the ways of the world.

Room concludes at an arresting juncture where Jack wishes to see the room he used to live in. He finds it smaller now that he has seen more of the world, and bids every object he used to adore so much in that room farewell, as his ultimate closure. It is really so pensive that you can’t shake it off. It was like he was in a womb till he aged five.

If you are a drama freak, you can’t simply miss this one. Brilliantly thought of and well written. Thank you Emma!

This is yet another mind-boggling movie by Lenny Abrahamson who brought us Frank an year ago. You can find the review of Frank here: Frank Review

Joy Review (2015) | Truly inspirational

What an inspiring flick! Joy is simply awe-inspiring.

Jennifer Lawrence is a girl with the golden goose. She never fails to deliver. Her portrayals are powerful. Her eyes are so riveting that it is hard not to empathize with the pain she wears. Her demeanour dons a skin that is hard not to relate to and she makes you sway to her rhythm. The natural act she puts on is unmatched.

DIRECTION OF JOY MOVIE

David O’ Russell cashes in on Lawrence just right. To helm Joy as a character so marred by spears of life that she forgets her true talents is what he tries to manifest. Bludgeoning her further are intricacies that end up in a chain reaction and pile her under the boulders of responsibilities. That’s where the flick takes off. It is a pleasant perspective taken in a diegetic tone by her grandma Mimi, played by Diane Ladd, an optimist with a very kind heart, sadly clouded like any grandmother is. Sidelined and unseen she keeps pointing out the good in her, and occasionally making Joy believe that she was special.

“Maybe your dreams are on a hold right now.”

ABOUT DREAMS

The bit about creation was an eye-opener. On behalf of all the creators across the world, I would like to thank Russell to have given it a proper coverage. If we don’t look at the reel life for a second and focus on the real, so many of us have dreams that we started up with, a natural flair that promised us silently our true purpose in life, but alas life happened to us and we got skimmed to the footpath, diverged.

Russell’s take is just brilliant when he focuses on the pointlessness of relations, tangled ways of the living, and the insanity of it all. He subtly delves into the territory of epiphany with Joy’s dreams, the only point I felt the flick’s balance missing as he tries to blend in melodrama and humour at the same time. The epiphany bit sadly needed more emphasis.

However what unfurls thereon is a constant struggle to prove the mettle, the malice in commerce and the hopelessness that doesn’t seem to stop, until it does. It is quite inspiring for people who have put their dreams on hold. There are so many people who point their fingers at you when you are doing something good, succeeding at it, so many near ones who reek of jealousy and try to pull you down, something which Russell captures magnificently.

He uses exceptional screenplay to dignify the fallen talent, and weaves some great words. The rest is picked up by the cast really well. There are bits that shatter you to pieces, despair that boils you up but you can’t simply help but marvel at the perseverance of Joy as she fights everything and comes out a victor.

If you wanna feel inspired just go for it!

The Big Short Review (2015)

Can we ever forget the big bad ugly “Great Recession”? Just when you were trying real hard to forget, bam! comes The Big Short, forcing you to relive the pain again. But wait! Don’t be fooled just yet. It isn’t like any other mainstream movie, or a drama to focus on the severity the great fall brought along, or the lives it uprooted, or the devastating aftermath it brought along with the punishing tide, rather a prequel to how some geniuses had envisaged the collapse way before, and decided to swim across.

Adam McKay packs in an excellent exposition to depict the players of The Big Short, with Ryan Gosling as Jared Venett, the guy with exceptional presentation skills (yes watch out for that bit!), Christian Bale as Michael Burry, the autistic polymath who was the first one to figure it all out, Steve Carell as Mark Baum, the lunatic front-runner to milk out the mortgage shortcomings, Brad Pitt as Ben Rickert, the laconic beast-banker who mentored Charlie Geller and Jamie Shipley played by John Magaro and Finn Wittrock to bet against the dwindling housing market. McKay’s direction is one of a kind, as he slams frames mid-way to not focus on apparent conversations. He steers in its comic factor by asking characters to look at the camera mid-way for emphasis. Occasionally playing recorded video frames to make it all look more appealing. You can almost perceive the effort he has put in to break down the gorgeous Michael Lewis book.

“You know what I hate about fucking banking? It reduces people to numbers.”

Screenplay of the movie is extraordinary. There are so many words selected from profound areas that fill in the voids of sentience. Dramatic bits in the movie are just so right, that you always feel connected with the adrenaline vibe. There are so many banking terms incorporated in the flick expounded in laymen terms by renowned personalities like Margot Robbie, Anthony Bourdain, Selena Gomez and Richard Thaler that make things easy to gobble.

The moment the flick reaches its climax, you know what’s coming, but you still end up with a feeling of satisfaction for those who managed to milk the Great depressing cow with a smug face that barely read “We told you so!”

The fact that it isn’t confined to just one perspective drives home its enthralling factor. The story of the people, who saw the monster coming from a distance, makes you want to plunge in the bandwagon too, but alas the procession is long gone and recession pervades. It gives you a sense of contentment to see the hefty checks protagonists managed to weave out of a disaster. It is inspirational in a way and makes you want to get instant rich too. Well, you can do that! Just be a genius and watch out for such loopholes in the system.

Talvar Review (2015)

Enthralling and exhilarating joyride!

India’s biggest unsolved case couldn’t get a truer justice. Talvar is simply mind-boggling. From the engaging frames of Meghna Gulzar comes a tale without a tail. An investigation that will leave you at your wit’s end. With Vishal Bhardwaj’s magnificent writing comes a piece that will let you fathom the ‘what’ and leave the ‘how’ for you to figure.

You can’t really forget the Aarushi murder case ever. Primarily because of all the media uproar it had managed to garner. It was always the talk of the town and always playing on the TV. The media were in the search of their masala (spice) and boy did they get their masala. It turned out to be a case where the conclusion was dropped first and assumed true way before the actual investigation. A perfect resonance to a typical Indian societal head! It is brilliantly reflective of the shortcomings of the Indian Police as they failed to take things seriously. It is one helluva slap to the smug face of the Indian Constitution, and would always be remembered as a black patch in the historical leaflets of crime-solving.

Irrfan Khan brings a unique vibrancy to the flick that is downright commendable. His innate acting skills prevail in the air, and bring with him the right attitude. Right from the moment the movie begins it has a natural flavor to it, something Gulzar has managed to capture perfectly. All the characters in the flick are very well portrayed and brilliantly enacted. It has a side story too to make things interesting with the protagonist, to take your head off the steam occasionally.

Names have been changed for emphasis which is quite understandable looking at the gravity of the case and the propensity for things getting blown out of context.

It leaves you with trillion questions, and a billion what ifs. If at the end of the movie you don’t come up with a conclusion in your head, and don’t find yourself gnawing hard pressing on the detective brain of yours, the job of the filmmakers would be incomplete.

That is the beauty of the movie. It leaves you baffled, wanting for more, and a proper closure. But Alas! That’s how life is. Unsolved.

The Hateful Eight Review (2015)

The Hateful Eight is a thrilling crime carnage that crawls and feeds on utter suspense.

Quentin has a knack for making the awesome. Not only does he walk in with a dope gore crime drama in his baggage, but he directs the tale magnificently too.

Plot, strewn across three hours of engaging drama, entails six chapters akin to a book that have been well played by a stellar cast. With the front runner Quentin’s ace Samuel L. Jackson under the skin of Major Marquis Warren, and Kurt Russell as John Ruth, a.k.a The Hangman, to do us the honours in the form of bounty hunters, with the latter carrying a brutal plot alongside in cuffs, everyone is headed towards a chaotic world waiting at Minnie’s haberdashery. What is quite beautiful is the way the story unfolds. You almost feel like nothing’s wrong and yet everything is!

The theme is loosely based on blood law, where shooting a perpetrator is simply a form of justice nail and jackhammering it down is a perfect way to end it. But you need to understand if it’s a bandit landscape, killing or shooting without a conscience, without batting an eye, is an acceptable way of living.

Jennifer Jason Leigh is simply outstanding as Daisy Domergue. Tatum has basically a cameo of a role. Walton Goggins is exceptional. Demian Bichir’s short stint as Bob can’t be overlooked either. Both Madsen and Roth have done their bits nicely.

Ennio Morricone’s theme is addictive as he weaves a thrilling score to complement the tale. Sometimes fed in by awesome songs like Apple Blossom, Now you’re All Alone and There Won’t Be Many Coming Home, cut off superbly by Quentin frames, the end product turns out to be sheer delight.

Tarantino’s head is a cruel world. Bullets and gore are his favorite props. But it’s never confined to that. He always has a unique story to tell, which makes for a great movie watching experience. You can almost sway to the Tarantino rhythm as he prolongs frames for emphasis. But sometimes you do wish some editing to take over and snip off some unwanted bits quickly and be over with. What the movie misses on is gut-wrenching tension that used to be the crux of Quentin’s earlier works.

Another downside of The Hateful Eight is at times you feel everything enacted. There is a fluency missing in the flick that fails to connect every act. With a screenplay that appears being ‘read’ and crispy lines that fail to mingle with others, for a touch of the innate, it seems more of a theatrical put-on act. It is only by the time you reach Chapter Four that you begin enjoying the flick truly, for it is then when sham paves way for clarity and things become more dramatic.

However, leave out the above minute details and The Hateful Eight is still a gorgeous criminal entertainer that speaks only of brilliance. Go watch! Tarantinites shouldn’t miss it for the world!

Older posts Newer posts