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Collateral Beauty Review (2016) | It Sounds Good But It Isn’t

Okay we get it. The theme of Collateral Beauty was purely based on grief, and so it had all the good actors attracted to it naturally. They had a beautiful imaginative script, and if you read something like that on a paper, it does sound good. Unfortunately when you try to play it, it becomes plain stupid. That’s what happened with the gloomy David Frankel project.

Plot and Direction of Collateral Beauty (Spoilers)

All fingers don’t just point towards Allan Loeb‘s sad script, one of the middle one points towards the movie’s direction too. David Frankel still has a lot to learn about subtlety. It’s absence shows in his work at so many occasions that it makes you want to shake your head. You end up getting a cramp because it is lodged throughout the flick.

To begin with let’s take the character of Will Smith into account. Howard is a man that snaps out right at the prologue. He doesn’t hand us over even a second to relate to him. Then you think maybe, just maybe, the reason for his anguish might be inbound for a thorough melodramatic coverage in the later half, and that it would help us come to his frequency. But unfortunately you never crack his psychotic level at all. Very unconvincing!

The description of his grief starts when his co-workers Claire, Whit and Simon, played by Kate Winslet, Edward Norton and Michael Pena respectively, gossip behind his back talking about the why, the what and the how of “aftermath daughter death”. It flings us into the primal plot almost immediately. So, we actually know the paramount reason right in the beginning of the movie itself.

image of Will Smith as Howard in Collateral Beauty

Then starts dispensable charades. Tons of them actually, where you see Howard nodding his head in agreement as if listening to what people are saying to him, and then deliberately ignoring them. Then we see Claire leaving things for him that stay untouched. Whit trying to come up with ideas that puts questions against his friendship with Howard. Oh! oh! and Simon, Michael Pena’s character begins to cough suddenly out of nowhere just for the sake of creating sub-plots.

Laughable sub-plots

The sub-plots. Don’t even get me started on them! Horrible! Why were they even there in the first place? Oh right unless the writer wanted to come back to it at a later point? Heights of the platitude!

Movie tries to personify love, time and death. And it does so with characters of Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley and Jacob Latimore. Then you see these characters suddenly focus their spotlight towards people who had hired them instead. Stories you don’t want to worry about suddenly becomes their prime concern. And these issues are so irrelevant to the main tale, that you know for sure something’s up. And then lo! You can see through it all. All of it! You see the predictable climax appear from far away.

The only thing you don’t see coming is Madeleine‘s bizarre angle portrayed by Naomie Harris, which shows us Howard visiting her as a stranger. And the only reason you don’t see that coming is because they both act like absolute strangers. But even when that gets uploaded on the big screen, you can’t help but giggle.

The Goodies

Focusing on the good stuff, as I generally do, Will Smith goes in full acting mode when he tries to overcome figments of his head. When he shouts at them trying to justify his case, he leaves them in a vexed mode. That’s where you get to see his wound slash open. So if you are a Will Smith diehard fan you are going to enjoy that incessant frown on his head.

Also, you see Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren and Edward Norton toil really hard to deliver their bits. Even though it appears like a resounding debacle, never for a second they let you feel anything amiss. There is real pain in Kate’s

“I am really sorry, Howard!”

and there’s genuine concern in them Norton eyes for his daughter. Real blush lurks on the semblance of Keira and there’s real distress in Smith’s eyes.

You can pre-order Collateral Beauty from here:

Screenplay

Screenplay is so cliched that it hurts your ears when you try to listen to them. Okay I am exaggerating there. What is worse is that it gets delivered by theater actors (at least that was intended in the first place) who think a cliched definition is all a grieving person needs to listen to.  Some of them are actually pretty good too, but the smart stuff is intentionally kept for the hero to deliver.

The Final Verdict

It’s almost as if I tell you the story of Collateral Beauty you might actually like it, and not think of it as something cheesy. But when you actually see it get dramatized and performed by actors you begin to realize how idiotic it truly looks, and that it was better off as a script unplayed.

Despite Collateral Beauty has stellar actors in the vanguard, it falls owing to its unrealistic and super contrived look and feel. Some scenes are simply out of the blue and context for that to matter.

It could have been so much better if David Frankel had decided not to helm it. Even better handed it over to Spike Jonze instead and taken some time off to concentrate on comedies instead.

You can check out the trailer of Collateral Beauty movie here:

Eye in the Sky Review (2016) | Aisha Takow Questions Moral Decisions

The girl and her bread. Aisha Takow plays Alia Mo’Allim, the girl who decides the fate of a scrupulous showdown in Eye in the Sky movie. Her presence and natural instinct for acting makes it a stunning musing solemn flick!

From the enthralling head of Guy Hibbert comes a conscience tale that will throw your brains into pits of disarray where you will be compelled to live with the choices you make as life dependencies get entailed. What weighs more? It is something you will keep questioning throughout the flick’s climax until the final call is made.

Stunning Plot On Decisions We Make (Spoilers Ahead)

eye in the sky movie still

Amidst a world of chaos sat a girl trying to sell her bread. Unperturbed. Unaware. Heedless of an impending danger, carrying on with her regularity. She had no idea, meters away holed up in a safehouse concocted terrorists a plan to bring a bigger annihilation to fruition.

A bunch of authorities watching them from the skies, like Gods, hold the handle to the trigger to take the terrorists down, but are faced with a dire conundrum so lethal that could take an instant innocent life in the process of imminent quelling. Their act has no absolution. They have to live with the choice they make. So poetic! Right?

The Character of Aisha Takow

still of Aisha Takow as Alia Mo'Allim selling bread in Eye in the Sky Movie

Aisha Takow who plays the character of Alia Mo’Allim in the movie Eye in the Sky seems to have a natural knack for acting. It doesn’t ever seem like Aisha Takow is acting. Such a young soul and yet she masters the mannerisms required when you need to go natural. Unperturbed, even though she had eyes not just in the sky but everywhere around her, she stays confident mastering the seller parlance. She is a winner hands down.

The innocence of Alia Mo’Allim will make you feel sorry for her, and you don’t blame her for picking up fallen breads for the second time. She was only thinking about her family. It is something children often do. The fate of Aisha Takow’s Alio Mo’Allim will bring tears in your eyes. In an instant she becomes one of the most relatable characters, and with a mere snap of decisive fingers her world uproots.

Breaking Down Eye in the Sky Movie

We see a political pandemonium go murky as people refer up for the Herculean decision that stares them in their eyes. It shows how incapacitated we are into making real life’s choices. No one’s spared. You wish to keep your slate clean and yet wish to do something good for the world. A soldier’s life is a constant battle of what needs to be done against what is right. Eye in the sky is reflective of that very thought.

As Lieutenant General Frank Benson played by Alan Rickman puts superbly it in the end:

Still of Alan Rickman as Frank Benson in Eye in the Sky

“Never tell a soldier that he does not know the cost of war.”

Eye in the Sky will also let you comprehend the concept of Phantom Drone and how powerful a weapon it really is. The technology is easily one of the most deadliest of all since it gives the wielder incomprehensible power over pygmy humans.

As Eye in the Sky progresses into a nail-biting finish you couldn’t help but feel a pang of emotions erupt in your heart. So powerful is its vigour that it captivates you right from the moment it delves into storytelling.

You can watch the movie Eye in the Sky here:

Powerful Performances

Eye in the Sky is a decisive voyage that forces us to question our abilities. It has been well helmed by Gavin Hood with an endearing music to keep us company.

The star cast is stellar as they pack in a powerful performance together as an ensemble. The movie has every element shoehorned in the perfect amount, right from the heartless, the hearty to the sentient. You see exceptional performances by Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi (of Captain Phillips fame), Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Iain Glen and the beautiful young girl Aisha Takow. Powerful intense acting by the cast that converts it into a dramatic success.

Eye in the Sky is a must-watch!

You can check out the trailer of Eye in the Sky here:

The Unpredictable Academy: Snubs and Wins (2015)

Every year the Academy slips in a frowned spurn at a movie that is on everybody’s mind. This time ‘Boyhood’ became the bait. The coming-of-age tale that spread brilliantly over the span of 12 years, was a sure shot per se. But alas! the Oscars have a reputation in doing the unthinkable. ‘Birdman’ beat Linklater’s panache not only in Best Picture and Original Screenplay categories but also in Best Direction. The latter managed to hold its ground thanks to Patricia Arquette’s Supporting Actress win.

Not long ago when the Academy had pressed its Oscar sheet, the snubbing of great movies like ‘Foxcatcher’, ‘Big Eyes’, ‘The Lego Movie’ and great actors like Amy Adams, Jennifer Aniston, David Oyelowo, Helen Mirren, Bill Murray, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ralph Fiennes and Christoph Waltz, had caught a lot of moss. Putting out Selma flame was a big rebuff this year since people claimed it to be a distinction on Academy’s part, not to mention the fact that a majority of voting members in the Oscar team are white.

Apart from the biggest surprise of the night, some more were strewn all along the event. Academy chose to ignore the ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ franchise once again giving precedence to ‘Big Hero 6’ in the animation department. Best Editing went to ‘Whiplash’ which again was a pie in the face for ‘Boyhood’. ‘American Sniper’ losing to ‘Whiplash’ in Sound Editing was another one. ‘Interstellar’ managed only one out of its five nominations. Surprise was Zimmer’s stunning score bowing down to Desplatic rhythm. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes overlooked in the Visual Effects department came as a big blow. However, it was a close call since Interstellar’s visuals were quite brilliant as well. It was great to see Glory glorified and Feast winning the Best Short Film Animated category. Winston just had to win 😉

Here is a short summary of what happened:

  • The Imitation Game (had 8 nominations, bagged 1)
  • Boyhood (had 6, bagged 1)
  • American Sniper (had 6, managed 1)
  • Birdman (had 9, got 4)
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel (had 9, got 4)
  • Whiplash (had 5, got 3)
  • Interstellar (had 5, got 1)
  • Foxcatcher (had 5, received none)

‘Foxcatcher’ was overlooked big time. Given the amount of work Bennett Miller had put in to create the beauty, he needed a little Academy respect and attention. Steve Carell’s transformational looks as John du Pont at least deserved a Makeup and Hairstyling accolade.

Rumours have continuously surrounded the Academy owing to its big decisions which seem pretty biased sometimes. The one that exemplifies the obvious perfectly – Incessant snubbing of Leonardo DiCaprio despite outstanding performances throughout his life. Academy even failed to recognize exceptional knacks of Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater last night. Both are yet to bag an Oscar, and that is just sad.

I picture Academy as one old crude witch, who just loves to see the world burn. If you have a favorite the Academy would snub it and shout “In your face!” in your face. Mainstream movies never even make it to the list.

Whatever the hammer says hardly bothers us though. We know for sure, nothing is really lost. The shattered are still celebrated. We still have incredible movies to watch thanks to sensational efforts put in by excellent directors, actors and the remaining crew.

If you didn’t make it, we don’t really care. Academy is just a bunch of people with their scathing point of view. If you consider all of us – people who watch you from every corner of the world, who care about every single thought you conceived to carve something beautiful, who praise your extraordinary efforts to create what we can only imagine, those who really love your work, who really encourage you do the exceptional, the real movie buffs, for us, you are still our winners! You will never lose! Let us raise one to that!