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First Man Movie Review (2018) | Now Everybody Has Visited the Moon

What an enlightening experience! First Man movie lets you get into the shoes of Neil Armstrong, the first man to land on the moon, to experience his space sojourn firsthand. Damien Chazelle is the mastermind who weaves his magic once again after making an epic unforgettable musical La La Land two years ago.

First Man movie once again casts his lucky charm Ryan Gosling in an avatar that helps in immortalizing Neil with an intense perspective. Ryan forever carries a rare grave demeanour of a laconic man throughout the film, and successfully brings him back to life by playing Neil with a brooding conviction. Yes, Damien’s splendid take of him literally revives the dead and places him right in front of your eyes.

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

First Man movie’s final moments are so intense that you will have your heart in your mouth during that segment. It is a recreation that plays on a whole next level. It is immediately transcending and tries to see things from the eyes of Neil himself. In those final moments, you realize the quiet to be deafening and you can literally hear your heartthrob. It is so powerful that it needs to be experienced in a proper movie theatre to feel ensuing goosebumps. The powerful score of Justin Hurwitz makes sure of it too.

The Direction of First Man Movie

Alright, first things first. You can’t even begin to imagine how much effort might have gone in recreating the moon. It all feels legit. As if you have yourself stepped on Earth’s natural satellite. Damien Chazelle’s efforts are so humongous and meticulous that they beat every other clumsy director in the industry to a pulp.

He is so careful with his direction that if you stop to think of all the incidents that made Neil’s life, they are all in there, properly framed for emphasis. A proper research has been done to ensure things were just as they were in reality. Even the insides of Neil Armstrong’s house was created just the way it was in reality. There are extraordinary simulations that rebuild the real thing thus allowing its actors to completely immerse themselves in a scene. You know, letting them forget the concoction so that they could leverage their drama to the maximum.

first man movie still of ryan gosling

Green screen hasn’t been used at all to direct this one which goes on to explain how serious a filmmaker Damien is. All the space scenes that were used in the First Man movie were in perfect reflection of all the video footages that the world had seen. Such beautiful coordination! It is like he shot for perfection and the end result simply blows your mind away because at the end you realize, it is.

You cannot even begin to imagine how painstakingly the team might have worked on matching the exact communication that went on the static to repaint history. For people who had experienced it back then, it is like reliving it word by word. The world skipped a heartbeat then to experience a gargantuan feat happen on a distant enclave. You will skip a heartbeat now to experience it on the big screen.

Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong

Ryan Gosling as Neil stays phenomenal. Although one could argue that the character he plays is quite taciturn so it doesn’t require a lot of animation or expressions from him. But if you pay attention to him, a rare gravitas plays in his thoughts at all times. You can see how serious he is about the job at hand. That he forever carries a profound eye for what’s going on. That he is conscious about his death at all times, and yet he is not afraid to do the one thing he has prepared himself for.

When you are down here in the crowd and you look up, it looks pretty big and you don’t think about it too much. But when you get a different vantage point it changes your perspective.

It is as if Ryan knows the tremendous importance of the work he does. Challenges are met with an equally grim reaction and an expert eye as he reckons his options. His humour is deadpan but right on.

The Serenity (Spoilers)

Ryan wears an armour of Neil creating this serious avatar that’s so much inside his skull. You show him and you notice that it is his eyes that do the talking for the most part of the movie. There are so many moments in the First Man movie where you see Neil being extensively calm whilst an enormous mishap has just happened in the backdrop. It is like riding your car even though you know it is on fire.

I don’t know what space exploration will uncover, but I don’t think it will be exploration just for the sake of exploration. I think it will be more the fact that it allows us to see things. That maybe we should have seen a long time ago. But just haven’t been able to until now.

You can’t help but fall in love with this guy who is so much more than meets the eye. Every second he is brooding, carrying the weight of a dead daughter on his shoulders. You know he would never be the same when you see him henceforth and that’s how he proves Neil to be. Drenched in his pain, unable to experience anything truly magnificent until eventually it matches something as big as the moon.

Claire Foy as Janet Armstrong

If you talk about the First Man it is hard not to talk about the First Woman who sacrificed so much to see it through. Janet Armstrong, in a world where one cannot be simply what one aspires to be, literally abdicated her throne of life. Where love generally tumbles, she stood there like a rock understanding him at every juncture. She knew what she was getting into and yet she trusted her guts with it. A love like him came with a cost, and it is worth an ovation how she hung around like a warrior.

You are gonna sit them down. Both of them. And you are going to prepare them for the fact that you might not ever come home. You are doing that. You. Not me. I am done.

Claire Foy does ample justice to Janet playing her like a woman in constant battle with her undying resolve and occasionally with her husband who was nothing less than stardust. The constant apprehension she carries is killing and you can’t help but wonder who was really living on the edge? How her life entangled with Neil so fine. There seemed absent love, and yet there it was in its strongest form. Unheard and unspoken.

Aftermath

All these protocols and procedures to make it seem like you have it under control. But you’re a bunch of boys making models out of balsa wood! You don’t have anything under control!

Aftermath moon is one of the best parts of the movie where you see Janet getting to see Neil after his sojourn to the moon. They look like mere blank faces but there is so much emotion boiling under that it is hard to see past their sea of calm. They don’t say a word. Their presence on the same planet feels like a story per se. To have returned from a distant dream feels like a whole new life, and yet their acknowledgment is not a big hoot you would have expected but a calm eye-nod which remains unspoken. They look at each other as if there was a rare silent understanding dangling in their air and you can’t help but fall victim to this uncommon unsaid love.

On the downsides, if you try really hard to think would be the screenplay which could have been better. We could have dabbed the throttle on theatrics a bit, but life has no theatrics so it still feels like a perfect gel. Also at times, you feel that they could have done so much with the drama but it ends up becoming sidelined.

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The Final Verdict

First Man movie is hands down an epic contender for the Academy next year and I am pretty sure they are going to win big. It has ‘Science’ written all over it that tries to imitate the reality. All the facts check out as if the creators went back in time to ensure that they did. Witness some really serious film-making take shape and fall in love with a movie that deserves an ovation! A man that needs to be celebrated like an unflinching pioneer he is, who put his dream ahead of his life.

To end this on a final note, I would say – Watch out for that last spellbinding moment of the moon. It is made so tangible that you are almost tempted to reach out with both hands for it. It is a completely immersive experience that picks you up and puts you right up there. For the first time, you might realize how lonely it could mean to be on the moon all by yourself. Experience it yourself to understand why!

It is so impactful that it gives you jitters knowing that with that giant leap, mankind had successfully demarked a place of human reach that one could only once dream of.

La La Land Review (2016) | An Exhilarating Dramatic Musical for Dreamers

If there’s a definition of astounding in your head, then La La Land simply surpasses it. It’s literally spellbinding! And we aren’t only going by the story here. The music, the setup, the acting, the metaphor, the screenplay, the editing, the choreography, everything has been given ample thought and scrutiny before the actual execution. And you can expect only a genius like Damien Chazelle to ace everything to perfection.

Theme of La La Land Movie

La La Land carries that quintessential dream every dreamer has. It is about not giving up even when the whole universe seems to be plotting against you. The flick is about following your dreams till the end, about you being willing to take risks and make colossal sacrifices to reach there. It being a musical is often sprinkled with gorgeous songs that are well executed and complemented by Justin Hurwitz‘s stunning compositions. Even whilst you listen to the Jazz play, you can’t help but time travel two years ago when Whiplash had showed up. Amazing exhilarating music!

image of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as Sebastian and Mia in La la land movie

Fascinating Drama (Spoilers Ahead)

La La Land will rip you apart, tear you down to a million pieces. It is so profound that it touches just the right chords. And it does so by its genteel build-up. There is that thrill of a growing relationship, the perfection that seems to have been made in the stars. It goes on like that, reflecting life, and when you are least prepared, it drops the real bomb on you. Climax becomes havocking all of a sudden. It leaves you grieving, forcing you to feel its pious pain. It ends up talking to your cheeks with those teary beads.

This is the dream! It’s conflict and it’s compromise. It’s very, very exciting!

It is when you listen to Ryan Gosling play his song “City of Stars” on the piano for the first time, that you understand the level of uprooting music La La Land packs in. It is sad, profound, soothing, and in a way really satisfying to listen.

You can check out the music here:

His character Sebastian‘s way of re-imagining a life with Mia played stunningly by Emma Stone is what gives the movie a gloomy punch. It is the most nerve-racking moment of the movie. You feel the sudden gush of emotions burst all dams when you realize Sebastian wished everything undone, unwritten and then rewritten in his memories with Mia in it. I ended up in tears. It’s really that profound.

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The Chemistry

Whilst there are movies that skip the chemistry to feast its plot, we get served a perfect one here. Both Sebastian and Mia create such a beautiful world that you forever stay on their high. There are metaphors galore that Chazelle uses via his songs. Like the time when they start flying in the air, even though they were actually sitting. They dance their way into the stars and cross galaxies together. It leaves things for viewer’s imagination, and it hits just the spot.

Ryan Gosling simply steals the show. There is something about him that captivates you almost instantly. You feel his pang, if he is sad. You feel his vibes when he is happy. Even when there is nothing to show but sarcasm, you feel him there too. He brings that uncontrived flair to his work that is just remarkable! When you watch him go psyched about Jazz, he makes you reflect on things that you have been passionate about all this time too.

You could just write your own rules. You know write something, that’s as interesting as you are.

Emma Stone is an equally great performer. Twice does she go into that full-blown acting mode, whilst giving those powerful auditions. The aura that she retains and the energy that binds her makes you want to give her a standing ovation every time she slithers into that mode. With that you just know the casting for La La Land was done perfectly.

The Final Verdict

La La Land deserves all the accolades! It is a movie that makes you want to retrace your dreams, inspires you to go after them. It’s romance acknowledges that perfect key that awaits your lock. It shatters you to pieces when it tries to showcase unfulfilled possibilities. Musical lover or not, it is a movie that needs to be immediately seen. Grab some tissues before watching this beauty of a movie.

 

10 Cloverfield Lane Review (2016) | Mind-boggling Thriller

An invigorating joyride like you have never experienced before! 10 Cloverfield Lane lets you get into the shoes of the protagonist Michelle played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead to experience a nail-biting gut-wrenching thriller that doesn’t even lag a bit. With a superb editing to do it justice that is all over its beautiful pace, it keeps you on your toes whilst the excitement lasts.

The Direction of 10 Cloverfield Lane

Dan Trachtenberg’s fully-fledged debut is an exceptional dig into a theory that starts off a bud, only to reveal itself into a bigger plot at play. The way it slowly opens in psychosis is similar to a crime flick, and will leave you wondering if that is all to the tale. But no, Josh Campbell and Matthew Stuecken’s story is brimming with enthralling twists strewn all across per se to keep you wondering about the veracity of the storyline. It is just that impossible to see through it.

The Plot and Theme

The most exciting thing about 10 Cloverfield Lane is the way the story picks up. One moment you are wondering it is an abduction, but then suddenly you see an affected zombie-like person smiting at the door. You are forever thinking akin the character Michelle, which further makes the story very tangible. A possibility that reeks of both fantasy and palpability.

Howard played exceptionally well by John Goodman keeps things interesting as it is difficult to get a read on him. One moment things seem ugly, the other fine, and then the perversion returns. You will keep questioning yourself has the world really gone kaput or is that psychotic villain just feeding you a shitload of bull. That is what the 10 Cloverfield Lane movie thrives on. But the beauty lies in whether or not to believe Howard, a blemished soul with a twisted head, who will do anything to stay indoors and slap judgments.

Downside

The only problem with the movie is that it bashes into an unpredictable climax something which the spectators weren’t really prepared for. For me it was a welcome twist. But I realized some people got miffed in the theater. For some it was too much to handle.

Then things kind of start sprinting and the movie loses its focus. There is little time for Michelle to grab a breath, which makes her character harder to believe and relate to. If I would have been there I would have pissed my pants, or died would be your first thought. But no, Michelle is a ballsy player. When cornered she does everything in her hands, to survive. You could say the aforementioned but then Mary Elizabeth Winstead looked a little out of place to ace those cornered emotions.

We get to see that it is an alien film that finally sieves in place as all the psychosis ends. Yes, it stands against some elite alien films helmed till date.

The Final Verdict

Whatever that little put off might have been for you, you have to establish 10 Cloverfield Lane certainly had a unique concept, a very disparate way of showing it just like the movie Room, with an outrageous stunning plot and a mind-boggling twist in the end. It kept us forever rooted. Isn’t that what a good movie is supposed to do?

Whiplash Movie Review (2014) | Nerve-Racking Energy | Extraordinary

Whiplash movie is astonishingly intense and epic! Damien Chazelle has landed a knockout blow in extremity with his epic jazz project. Whiplash is a story of a young drummer with a potential to stand among the greats, and an abusive instructor who seeks perfection at every note to help his students achieve greatness.

Casting of Whiplash Movie

The casting couldn’t have been more perfect. Both Miles Teller and J. K. Simmons fit the portrait of their characters superbly. Simmons is an exceptional actor who tries to create an abominable Fletcher. He dons an abusive and mean demeanour quite naturally.  He carries it successfully throughout the flick, and reeks of perversion, hubris and foul-mouthed barbarism. Going inhumane to create a musical virtuoso was something Fletcher was trying to achieve.

image of J. K. Simmons as Fletcher shouting at Andrew in Whiplash movie

Teller, an equally great actor, plays Andrew who leaves no stones unturned to play the obsessive drummer. He fumes with confidence and rage when he is tipped over the breaking point. You see him burn in conviction whenever he tries to prove himself. All of it gets unequivocally justified in the final climactic session of the Whiplash movie.

Damien Chazelle: The True Directorial Gem

Damien Chazelle directs the movie brilliantly. The way he moves the camera, rotating it throughout the orchestra by capturing the instructor gesture, the protagonist and then every instrument, is commendable. His frames were exciting. Beats in the background subtly wrapping up New York buildings help bring skills of the director into the limelight. The editing of the movie was outstanding as well. There wasn’t an element of ennui present in the entire movie.

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Outstanding Drama (Spoilers)

Whiplash movie is brimming with dramatic scenes that insinuate how Miles Teller has significantly evolved as an actor. Watch out for the bit when he gets rammed by a truck and then still wakes up from that decimation to play. Also, watch out for the time when he plays so fiercely that he bleeds and ends up jabbing the drum in resentment.

The climax of the movie would literally take your breath away. So brilliant is the energy there that it would be a rare miracle if you somehow survive that nerve wreckage. My hands were moving along with Andrew’s sticks as if I was the one who was drumming it. Hands down one of the best drums you would ever listen to!

Wasn’t a big jazz fan. This movie has transformed the way I looked at it. Highly recommended quality cinema ladies and gentlemen! Go watch this one. Don’t miss it for the world!

You can check out the trailer of Whiplash here: