Straight From a Movie

Pensive Thoughts on Paper | Movie Reviews and Quotes Website

Tag: russell crowe

The Nice Guys Review (2016)

Crime is supposed to be an engaging platter. Unfortunately The Nice Guys doesn’t score high in the riveting department. It goes really light at times where the call of the hour is to depict tangibility, au contraire, goes full savage where we could have lived without. There is an element of surprise at most places where you feel the flick’s true flair working magic for it. But then there are times when it simply falls flat.

DIRECTION OF THE NICE GUYS

There is a certain unpredictability about Shane Black’s direction which makes his style of film-making undoubtedly unique. Grinding humour into serious situations is something that he uses immensely. However, it wasn’t the real genre that forms the basis of the tale. It’s the 1970 LA crime scene that does. It takes two booming industries in the backdrop to narrate its telling tale – porn and automotive, and tries to bank on a bigger government conspiracy to cloud its offense.

To top it all, we have Ryan Gosling to do us the honours. His Holland March is a rare character with qualities of fun, subtlety and disgust all written in a single leaflet. He showcases a rare finesse that makes his character the most admired one. Contrasting his character is a grimmer Jackson Healy portrayed by Russell Crowe who is kind of okay in his shoes. Both make an unusual pair who aren’t really nice and yet so, as they try to figure out the mystery of the missing girl. But do they have the chemistry that we wanted? The answer is no!

WEIRD EMPTINESS AND DISCONNECT

The plot is well written as it unfurls slowly into precarious trenches of foul play. The Nice Guys is pretty dark suggestive of Shane’s magnificent style again. But the movie tried to sell itself on humour in the trailers which was actually kind of belying. All the laughs that the trailers packed in were the only ones the movie had. You constantly feel there is something missing and you could taste the hollow as connections don’t really connect you.

Melodramatic substance is fairly missing, something Shane isn’t really a fan of, I surmise. So, you can’t take anything seriously, or expect to feel for any losses. Frames get gashed at unpredictable junctures which question the editing of the movie profusely. Yes, the editing isn’t that great.

However, there are two things that are constantly working for The Nice Guys – The plot and Ryan Gosling! Remember at the end The Nice Guys isn’t a fun movie. It is serious stuff just metamorphosed into fun by some Shane spices.

The Water Diviner Review (2014)

Russell Crowe’s first big directorial venture isn’t a fiasco. It is good but there are so many things that stop it from being great.

The Water Diviner is a movie that starts off with exceptional score, awesome direction and then later dwindles into mediocrity in its main course, only to resurrect again in the end. Screenplay is good, sometimes covering great words brilliantly spoken by the cast. Score is enthralling. Plot is beautiful and well directed at times.

Movie is all Russell. Carrying a thoughtful face and wet eyes, he portrays a man in pain perfectly. You can almost feel for his loss, when the plot unfurls with a terrible tragedy that compels you to wear his shoes. With a big fatherly heart, Crowe carries the movie with his sheer emotions.

Olga is a disappointment. Her face lacks the much needed thoughtful lustre. Sometimes you can perceive her forceful put-on acts with a lot of unwanted animation to her features. Even Jai doesn’t get enough screen time. His addition to the tale ends up going to waste.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Some of the greatest bits of the movie lie in its starting act where we see Connor finding water, and then digging a well to find the cold. Even before that, the war bit is also quite beautifully shot. It carries along with it an apt climax that delivers subtly a brooding thought. We are soon thrown into the pits of tragedy when we find Connor reading out stories to three empty beds.

At one point the movie loses its seriousness where the score changes to comic like undertone. Even though grim frames follow, something seems amiss and you cannot take anything that pursues seriously.

The gravity of the movie however lies at the war grounds where Arthur lies in mud along with his brethren, helpless, and also at Russell’s brows. The chaotic war aftermath is captured beautifully with all the wailing and crooning that shatters the quiet myth.

Eventually the flick narrowly escapes the jaws of mediocrity owing to the gloomy theme it runs on and revives with Arthur’s big conundrum and a happy-ending.

Good stuff! Worth a watch!