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Tag: Amanda Silver

In the Heart of the Sea Review (2015)

“My soul is dead.”

A poetic and arresting take on one of the deadliest fictional water beasts.

Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea is an entirely different take on Moby Dick, a different vantage that pays tribute to the most beloved tales of all times. The plot begins with Herman Melville played by a bearded Ben Whishaw visiting Nickerson, a survivor of the Whaleship Essex that went down owing to a tragedy that befell the entire crew when they encountered a gigantic sperm whale. Melville is bent on squeezing out the horror from Nickerson’s eyes into his leaflets because he believes it to be one of the greatest stories he has ever come across.

Philbrick’s perspective is exceptional. Ron Howard cashes in on it just fine. He follows the tale with eye threatening close ups and water-shots to jackhammer the dread quotient. Wonderful whale shots have been captured. Essex-sailing, the squall, whale-hunting have been depicted splendidly. It was a joy to watch the beast breathe alive for the first time in the sea. The size of that thing! The satellite shot ensured the audience scaled it amidst puny boats.

The better part of the movie runs in a diegesis which has been brilliantly written. The score often moves around the soothing notes of a viola that makes the flick a heartwarming watch. Whales have been subtly shown, never given a proper focus, reflecting – just like you would be bewitched by its swiftness in real life. The beast is a beauty! Tiniest of details on its flank have been manifested subtly. Then there is that badass tail. Watch that beauty surge!

What In the Heart of the Sea fails to milk is the “Chase-Pollard” rivalry. It had no Rush charm to it. Coffin’s role too seemed like a cameo which could have possibly unfurled into a possible brilliant feud. The young Nickerson played by Tom Holland was simply an eye in a tale. His character adds little value to an ongoing stream. Tom is an outstanding actor however he gets lost under the doldrums of their unfortunate tragedy, and often gets overshadowed by the movie’s protagonists. Matthew Joy’s character seemed like a crucial build; however Murphy wasn’t allowed to show off his acting prowess. Flick’s editing made sure of that.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

One of the hardest choices Chase has to make when he finally gets a clean shot on the whale and he chooses not to take it. Whilst the writer leaves that bit for viewer interpretation, it is quite poetic if you really look at it. Chase was convinced they were flung into the jaws of chaos owing to the job they did. He throws the idea to Pollard in one of the finest conversations they had in the entire movie. He starts to believe everything they went through was because they were hunting and killing whales for profit. He takes the sperm whale to be an eye-opener.

He looks it in the eye and whilst the world wonders why he doesn’t budge, he silently lets the beast go thus saving his crew from another mishap. All those segments have been beautifully depicted by Ron. It is really hard to show such bits via a movie but he nails it anyhow.

Also the survival tale reeks of an emotional trauma when the crew resorts to cannibalism. It hasn’t been depicted but the words and the diegetic tone are enough to give you an idea. It is a terrible thing to have happened. Howard ensures he keeps things subtle whilst touching such a delicate topic.

Charles Leavitt’s screenplay is downright gorgeous. There isn’t a moment you don’t marvel at his beautiful words. They are drenched in literary awesomeness. There are so many points wherein I felt my ears tingle with powerful words.

I would highly recommend this movie to everyone. It is a beautiful tribute to Herman Melville and his super-rad legendary creation Moby Dick.

Jurassic World Review (2015)

Jurassic World gives you the nostalgic jitters. Colin Trevorrow is no Spielberg. Yet he tries to nail an awesome project into the right groove. Jurassic World is a constantly entertaining, at times dramatic, thrilling joyride into the lost dino theme. We are introduced to the most dreadful, villainous and invincible creatures of all times, Indominus Rex, the hybrid that manifests multiple traits. She is relentless, aggressive, highly intelligent and untamable and she kills for sport. Things look pretty bad right there, huh! Wait till you see the other pack of dinos that Jurassic World hatches.

The story of the movie is technically quite similar to the originals however it races in as a sequel to them. The plot is a little bit predictable but Trevorrow manages to unfurl it gorgeously at the right dire moments.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Dinosaurs are living things. They can communicate, understand each other, work as a team to topple the bad and avenge! Jurassic World runs on this very theme. It also exalts the brave, with Chris Pratt doing us the honours under the skin of Owen Grady, a relentless bad-ass who would do anything to save lives. A messed-up Claire played by Bryce Dallas Howard who thinks these animals are mere assets that don’t feel a thing, however has a change of heart at a later stage when she sympathizes with one. Two kids who are on their holiday to explore the park and a lot of tourists who are there just for fun. Irrfan Khan does a brilliant job as Masrani with his engaged acting. Vincent D’Onofrio too does a fine job with his character trying to milk opportunities. BD Wong has a short but powerful cameo and reprises his role as Dr. Henry Wu.

There are many Easter eggs in the flick that would throw you into the pits of nostalgia. Many references are made to Hammond and his mistakes, a revisit to the previous Jurassic Park place, the aviary aftermath with Pteranodons, ruthless Velociraptors, the red burning flare, the unflinching T-Rex and the deafening triumphant growl of the Rex everything simply takes you back in time.

Screenplay is well written if we concentrate only the first half of the movie. There are brilliant conversations between Masrani, Wu, Hoskins and Owen that pack in the dramatic quotient to the flick.

The movie however fails to revive the fear that all its prequels breathed on. Nobody is really afraid of dinosaurs. With Pratt doing ballsy stuff, you suddenly aren’t afraid of dinosaurs. Next thing you know even Claire goes on to summon a frigging T-Rex with a flare. We used to pee our pants with a Velociraptor around, and they are literally dancing with the dinos! Kids in the movie too don’t have much to do in the climactic scenes. Nature plays survival of the fittest once again and humans become mere spectators of destruction. In the end it boils down to teamwork and overpowering your killer instinct like valued lessons for humans which become a little indigestible.

After the attack of the Pterosaurs, the movie tries to dive into the dark from where things become a little shoddy. Editing goes a little poor there considering the classic frame cuts in the first half. Profundity in the characters of Claire and Owen loses its charm, and suddenly Owen is open for some Hoskins change. Claire’s change of heart has no gravity or a backdrop screenplay to nail the effect. There is no scientific rendezvous unlike its prequel. Also, sometimes you wish the family drama to be a bit engaging. Some flaws pop up too but apart from these little things the movie is a complete entertaining package into the past.

Watch and reminisce!