Friday, 16 March 2018

Hugo (2011)

No f*** word, no murders, no gangsters, no outrageous anger, no catharsis, no greed, no blood spouting, no gun-wielding violence in a Martin Scorcese film! Yes, you read that f****** right! 
In 1931, twelve-year-old Hugo (Asa Butterfield) anonymously maintains clocks at a Railway Station in France. Orphaned and taken over by his now missing drunkard uncle, Hugo spends his time snooping at the people around him from his hidden residence inside the station. These include the tough station master (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his intimidating dog, an elderly couple, and an old man (Ben Kingsley) manning the toy store.

Hugo (2011) originally released in 3D, is a heart-warming adaptation of Brian Selznick's fiction book The Invention of Hugo Cabret

The Relatable Factor
Scorcese did suggest in an interview that Hugo's isolated life reminded him of his own childhood as an asthmatic kid who was forced to stay indoors. Another intimate connection was Scorcese's then 12-year-old daughter. The director's own passion for restoring rare, prized cinema seems to be a deciding factor too. Afterall Hugo celebrates the origin of filmmaking, the magic of going to the movies and honors Georges Méliès, the amazingly creative, special effects pioneer

Asa Butterfield is particularly haunting and charming as Hugo, as is Chloë Grace Moretz as Hugo's friend Isabella. Ben Kingsley, Jude Law, Christopher Lee and Sacha Baron Cohen shine in their parts too. 

Hugo is a big bulge of a surprise from Scorcese, charming, beautiful, poetic and exquisitely cinematic. In retrospect, for adult viewers, the film's final act may seem predictable. But for a children's film, it's a great watch, a potential masterpiece. 

The Disaster Artist (2017)

This is a movie about how a really bad movie got made. A movie so bad that audiences the world over still love it for its unintentional humor, incredibly bad acting and lame storytelling. 

The Disaster Artist is a neat, well-paced chronicle of how Tommy Wiseau's now cult movie The Room (2003) was made. 

James Franco does an impressive turn directing the movie and playing Wiseau, mimicking the strange spirit, drawl and body language of the man. Franco's brother Dave, playing Wiseau's friend and co-star Greg is sincere too.  

The Disaster Artist is a good, often funny and engaging movie about what most critics call the "best worst movie ever made." It is a brave, clean attempt, and in its way, applauds friendship against all odds and all those who find the courage to follow their dreams. 

The Disaster Artist tells us why pure conviction and drive matters, irrespective of the outcome. A little nitty-bitty funny fight of a film. 

Friday, 9 March 2018

Lamhe (1991)

Viren (Anil Kapoor), a young man visiting his ancestral home in Rajasthan, India falls for Pallavi (Sridevi), a gorgeous neighbor next door. Alas, the woman is in love with another man. Heartbroken, Viren organizes the couple's marriage and abruptly leaves for London. 

A few months later, the married couple dies in an accident leaving behind an infant daughter, Pooja. The daughter is raised by Viren's nanny in India. Years pass and Pooja grows up to be a cheerful, lively teenager (Sridevi again), a startling physical replica of her mother. Over the years, Pooja develops a fiery, undying love for the now middle-aged, elusive Viren. 

Lamhe is quite simply Yash Chopra's best film. It sensitively portrays the dynamics and layered complexities of love like few Hindi films do. 

Unconventional, timeless, against the norm, rebellious, deeply engaging and compelling, Lamhe is a remarkable work of cinema and justifies Yash Chopra's reputation as a fine, nuanced director. 

Sridevi towers and sparkles in her mother-daughter double turn. Lamhe is among the few great films that matches up to Sridevi's incredible talent. 

Anil Kapoor is at his best, chirpy and lovelorn as the young man, effectively toned down as an older businessman, Anupam Kher is a genius mad streak as Viren's friend Prem, while Waheeda Rehman adds dignity and poise as the ever-caring dai-ma

For those who love Hindi romantic dramas, skillful direction, great locales, with a dose of gorgeous film song picturizations and an incredible timeless story, Lamhe, but for some minor flaws, is fabulous viewing.