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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:

The Martian Review (2015)

The Martian is an orgasmic dig into science, unknown territories, top-notch optimism and undying hope.

As the beginning frames of The Martian survival painted the screen with a silent promise of grandeur, the first quotient that riveted me instantly was ‘Hope’. Mark Watney’s undying attitude towards life was really something. His optimistic nature towards survival was commendable. So what adds further icing to this survival tale? Sheer Watney genius!

The Martian is everything a survival movie needs to be. Ridley already had Andy Weir’s brilliant story in his vanguard, and he takes it and moulds it into one helluva beauty. The end result: 141 minutes of awesomeness. It keeps your heart in your mouth, your head attentive so you don’t miss all the useful science jargon, a smile on your face with its great humour whilst keeping you engaged throughout.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Matt Damon is outstanding as Watney. At times it’s like you can almost read his thoughts. He lingers his expressions like an expert and makes you connect instantly. Like one time he talks about his eventuality with a “so, Yeah……Yeah”. His instincts help him tackle every setback. His genius complements his acts. A very practical man, who takes every possibility into account but doesn’t let reality cloud his judgment. This makes you think what if the Martian wasn’t a polymath? Instead a normal human being like us? What would have happened then? Wouldn’t we have, I don’t know, died within a fortnight?

Visuals are rad. The scenic landscapes of Mars and Earth have been framed beautifully. At times the debris in the movie makes its 3D look badass. The screenplay is apt, most of the times shoehorned with Science. The plot is like a tide that makes you rove with its ups and downs. The brilliant brains manifested in the story are quite exceptional too. The flick teaches us a lot of things. The primal one being: never lose hope!

At the same time, Martian makes you feel like a layman. Had you studied properly in school, you would know every little bit they were throwing out there. If you already know something, it would still make you feel you aren’t nerd enough.

I got this sudden urge to build something when I walked out of the theatre. Guess this flick does that to you. 😉

Fury Review (2014)

“Best job ever!”

Fury is a thrilling war movie.

Nothing gorgeous like a ‪‎Pitt‬ movie that eases with an emotional frenzy, spectacular action and head-bursting gore. You top it with great actors like ‪Labeouf‬, ‪Bernthal‬ and ‪Pena‬, you have got yourself a team of awesomeness that can work wonders given proper screen time. Comes wrapped to all of that is a great screenplay that furbishes an already great yet wicked tale of WWII.

‎Ayer‬ buffs up his game in the World War flick with a tank called Fury and ravages everything that reads German through it. As it tramples dead soldiers, and battles fierce tanks like ‪Tiger‬, glimpses from top-notch games like Call of Duty and Company of Heroes come gushing in. The score oozes out brilliance and works like a charm in the background, and uplifts everything that read blood.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Ayer gave a great deal of attention to the flick’s presentation. He eases into the beginning with a war planet, a Kraut and a white horse and fades away with the crossroads that Fury never left. He puts in a novice behind the wheel for us to watch the sadistic world around him through a typist eyes. One of the great bits from the flick is the conversation that disrupts the peace in the German’s house showing true colours of what savage is, through Bernthal’s exceptional acting. The strategy ‪Wardaddy‬ forces on and the teamwork that Fury bears, reflect the war reality with pizazz.

Pitt’s acting demands a definite ovation at times like when he bursts open the dam of wrath on finding a Kraut who was being taken in for questioning, or when he helps ‪‎Lerman‬ grow a pair. Death lurks around as the movie climaxes. The team joins their leader into the pits of fire, as the Wardaddy calls Fury his home.

Great stuff!