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Assassins Creed Movie Review (2016) | Another Epic Game Bites the Dust

I am a huge Assassin’s Creed fan, and one of many expectant eyes who waited for the Assassins Creed Movie to finally sprawl out in a Cinema hall. With the likes of Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard embellishing my favourite game franchise, things were kind of looking promising from a distance. Hell, it was Justin Kurzel behind the lens after all, the guy who had given direction to the arresting MacBeth, and he had claimed his throne with the same onscreen pair. I thought, what could go wrong? Except everything!

Assassins Creed Movie is a debacle that became everything we did not want it to become. If you rule out the gaming franchise for a second, hell it doesn’t even make a good movie either. You compare it with other flawed game movies out there, okay it is better than a lot of them owing to its subtle direction, but it is still not up to the mark.

Direction of Assassin’s Creed

Justin Kurzel is no doubt great, but I believe, wasn’t ripe enough to take this project. He had still a lot to learn about the game before actually heading behind the camera for the plot. You take a look at any of the video trailers of the game, and you realize how intense their depiction really is. Hell! Ubisoft video game trailers are better than this movie! Sadly that intensity was missing from the flick throughout. He gave you those familiar ‘leap of faith’ moments no doubt, twice in the movie, but with nothing to bolster the movie on, everything ended up becoming a mere – Meh!

To do things differently he chose to show Animus as a robotic hand that man-handled the protagonist as he synced with his memories. It was different no doubt, but Kurzel, in an attempt to spoon feed the audience kept jumping from the real world to the past, which took its gravity away. How would you feel if whilst playing the game you kept getting desynchronized to see what your hero was actually doing?

still of michael fassbender and michael K williams in Assassins Creed Movie

He didn’t let us concentrate on one world, and chose to flicker in and out both enclaves instead. To be honest, it wasn’t easy on the eyes! I concur, Justin Kurzel was trying to make things appear more palpable and hence the frequent on-off depiction, but that killed the fun for most of us.

Plot of Assassins Creed Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

To comprise the plot of Assassins Creed we are served the original Apple tale. Yes, the Apple of Eden story! For those who don’t know anything about it yet, why don’t you give the game a shot for once? Anywho, moving forward, the story leaps ahead with a prologue set in 1492 where we find Aguilar de Nerha, portrayed by Michael Fassbender, being sworn in into the brotherhood. Then the frames take us to 1986 where we find Callum Lynch a modern day descendant of Aguilar, returning home only to find his mother dead. To his shock, he finds out she was murdered by none other than his father, Joseph Lynch. In the backdrop Abstergo sends men to capture Joseph. Before he was held captive Joseph asks his son to escape.

Main Course

Thirty years later, Callum Lynch is all grown up and set to be executed on charges of murder. Abstergo swoops him away after finding out that he too was a descendant of Aguilar. He gets a shot at life, but only if he complies to Abstergo’s demands. He meets Sofia (Marion Cotillard) who tries to cut a deal with him to find and locate the Apple, the ancient artifact with the cure to violence. So, what Cal is supposed to do is get in the Animus and relive his ancestor’s memory to find exactly where that wretched thing was.

The whole thing is seen over by Alan Rikkin, Sofia’s father portrayed beautifully by Jeremy Irons. He is pressurized by his superior, Ellen Kaye (Charlotte Rampling) to shut the whole project down since the Apple was nowhere to be found. Sofia discords with her father believing he was never actually looking for the cure.

You can pre-order the Assassins Creed movie here:

The Bleeding Effect

Meanwhile the problem that silently nibbles Cal away is “The Bleeding Effect”, wherein he keeps getting hallucinations of Aguilar and other Assassins of his era. Owing to that he starts accepting his ancestral traits too, only to end up embracing  the Creed for good. Eventually, the Apple traces back to Christopher Columbus who had sworn to take it to his grave. We get to see that gradually happen with relived memories of the past.

Soon riots break out. Held assassins were plotting all this time, against the Templars to escape their inevitable death. Numerous projections of the creed that comprises of Aguilar, Cal’s father and mother surrounds Cal. It tries to insinuate that Cal fully captures the traits and memories of his ancestors, and becomes fully “synchronized”. He uses his abilities to break out from the facility along with the Brotherhood that he had befriended there.  Meanwhile Alan escapes with Sofia with the knowledge about Apple’s whereabouts.

The final scene takes us to London where a ceremony is being performed. Alan is celebrating with his fellow Templars the retrieval of the elusive artifact. Enters Cal, who assassinates him and takes the Apple back only to protect it again like his ancestors once did. Sophia vows revenge on him and the curtain drops.

Other Issues

Screenplay of Assassins Creed movie at times is good but then most of the times submerges with explanations. It has a lot of parkour no doubt, and some stunts look pretty dope as well. But there is nothing so catchy that you could go home cherishing. Except of course that leap of faith. But you have already seen that happen so many times in the game that it doesn’t budge you anymore.

still of Michael Fassbender and Ariane Labed in Assassins Creed Movie

Also, Ariane Labed‘s Maria, badass as it seemed starts off without a spark, and then dies down so abrupt that it is hard to sympathize with her. No chemistry was created, for us to actually feel bad for them. Sofia looking at memories when Cal finds projections surrounding him is one of those other things that vexes you beyond limit.

The music is fine, but it doesn’t have the intensity of Jesper Kyd‘s compositions. Jed Kurzel doesn’t retain the gravitas of Jesper Kyd’s thoughtful music. It was a big turn off!

The Final Verdict

It’s amazing how Hollywood keeps finding ways to ruin games. Maybe games tend to have that composed feel to it that syncs with our lives. When you play the protagonist you actually feel like you are in the driving shoes. With that you enjoy every element existing around you. You breathe in it, and you listen to the music as you clank your swords. You sway with control, with power. Maybe that’s why it is hard to achieve that high! If a movie tries to do that it never reaches such levels.

Assassin’s Creed becomes just one of those films that passes you without instigating or compelling you to look.

Check out the trailer of Assassins Creed Movie:

The Sound of Music – A Movie that Never Grows Old | A Timeless Classic

There is something about The Sound of Music, that timeless musical drama that always manages to fill your heart with sheer goodies. A movie so beautiful it still puts us to shame, if we consider the kind of musicals that have been releasing lately. Nothing matches the level of emotions this movie was so profusely and effortlessly able to achieve.

A classical take right off the leaflet of Maria Von Trapp book, on the then prevalent World War backdrop, her life with the Captain and the children, with music so beautiful that it still makes you want to hum it non-stop.

BREAKING DOWN THE SOUND OF MUSIC

The thing that keeps you on your toes is its enchanting tale. You are always seeking what happens next. The rhythm is so beautiful, thanks to its ravishing editing, that it will keep you forever interested.

The pace of The Sound of Music is simply mind-boggling, as it rides on musicals to tell the tale in a majestic fashion. The songs, ah! The songs are so brilliantly written and sung with such harmonic voices that the flick becomes not only an affair for the eyes but an auditory delight too.

I must dream of the things I am seeking. I am seeking the courage I lack.

Every character in The Sound of Music is in a way so powerful that it is hard to ignore them. You take the elusive demeanour of Christopher Plummer as Captain Von Trapp for instance. He is like a tough nut to crack. But there is nothing Julie Andrews as Maria can’t do. She brings out the dead music in him through the children, and he sings like a canary.

You take the innocence of Maria into account, her vexed comportment whenever she is wondering about her conscience, or when she is scouring for love in Captain’s eyes. You can’t help yourself falling for her.

Then there is the witty Max Detweiler portrayed by Richard Haydn who fathoms the talent of the children, but always stays in check whenever it inconveniences Captain. All the seven children who are outright adorable and in sheer need of love. Even the character of The Baroness played by Eleanor Parker is quite impactful. A jilted lover who fails to create ripples in the Captain’s heart.

SCREENPLAY OF THE SOUND OF MUSIC

There are beautiful conversations in the movie that are worth every penny in the world. Even simple dialogues of Maria and Mother Abbess played by Peggy Wood are so thoughtfully written that it is hard not to pay heed.

Still of Julie Andrews as Maria from The Sound of Music

This is what Maria has to say when Mother Abbess shows her disquiet of her getting lost in the mountains:

Mother, I could never be lost up there. That’s my mountain. I was brought up on it.

Captain’s flair is brimming up with a style that is rare to find in any generation of actors. He seems to have mastered his dialogues; so well rehearsed is his delivery that it is hard to pinpoint a morsel of error.

Activity suggests a life filled with purpose.

There are heartfelt conversations that are reflective of his state of mind, and he puts it all there. Thoughts that are going through his mind, and the things that cause his dissonance. When The Baroness asks him:

You are far away. Where are you?

He replies glumly:

In a world that’s disappearing I am afraid.

Still of Christopher Plummer as Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music movie

LOVABLE BITS

The best part of the movie is when the searching eyes of children find Maria again, as she returns to face her fears. Her void is so depressing that it will bring tears to your eyes when you see them reunite. She is definitely one of the most powerful characters in The Sound of Music. In a way the movie constantly revolves around her.

There’s nothing more irresistible to a man than a woman who’s in love with him.

Another side plot of the movie, the Liesl and Rolfe story is an equally great tale, that unfortunately doesn’t come to fruition, on account of the War brainwash that Rolfe ends up succumbing to.

Sometimes I feel the world is coming to an end.

Liesl is young and is still learning and Maria as her mother teaches her the import of crying when things don’t pan out. She teaches her life’s most important lesson – the sun will always come out again.

THE FINAL CLIMAX

The fact that Robert Wise didn’t conclude his story the moment Captain and Maria find their love was also a bold decision. It goes on to show, Wise was wise enough to fathom there are far more important issues to be addressed than love alone.

To have ended it up all in a tragic set of events like Shakespeare would have been a blunt affair. Otherwise we might have seen Rolfe shooting Captain and the curtain closing right then. But this taken right from the books of Maria Von Trapp, a happy ending was already lurking in the corner. They make a narrow escape from the clutches of war and go on to live into the mountains.

Wise throws in an element of fear and a staid possibility lodged in his frames at all times during the final climactic juncture of the movie to keep everything as thrilling and ugly as the World War situation originally was.

I can’t thank Robert Wise and the writers enough to have helmed something so beautiful, moulding the tale of Maria Von Trapp into a musical feat.

THE ACCOLADE CORNER

The movie won countless awards out of which the Academy stood in the vanguard to felicitate it immensely. Academy awarded it with Best Picture, Best Director, Best Sound, Best Film Editing and Best Music accolades which were all well deserved, hands down.

The Sound of Music is such a rare classic that it can never be possibly forgotten.

You can check out the trailer of The Sound of Music here: