Writing Experiment Lab

Tag: movie review (page 1 of 1)

So I recently watched ‘Mission Mangal’

I distinctly remember this. I was in a bus travelling towards my office and while it took a U-Turn in front of ISRO office on Outer Ring Road towards Marathahalli, Bengaluru, somewhere far away Mangalyaan was getting inserted into the Mars orbit. I was following the news on Twitter and the event just happened. The Bus completed the U-turn and the ISRO HQ remained as calm as it has always been, as if nothing happened. No fanfare, no bursting of crackers like Diwali or post-elections scene outside political parties offices, not even a single soul but the guards visible from outside. That’s ISRO for you. I looked around me, and nobody was bothered to share my happiness as they were busy in their phones or were dozing off. I sighed and continued with reading more about the news.

That was 2014. ISRO has done a lot since then. They do use Social Media now but still only those who are interested follow. But for the first time, someone has brought them on to a medium which nobody in India can ignore. Yeah, the movies.

So, I recently watched Mission Mangal and felt happy. Neither the movie was mind blowing, nor it was a bore, neither it was 100% scientifically accurate, nor it was completely filmy. It was just a feel good movie with an appropriate amount of stuff which could make your heart fill with joy when you realise that ISRO was able to do this near impossible feat so nonchalantly. Of course, this is just a fictional tale of how the mission came to be. But it surely reignited the feeling of pride that we live among such geniuses of humans who are so good at their job that one can only wish them more successes.

I had brushed it off when they had announced that such a movie is being even made. But I got interested in it lately when the reviews came in and it paid off. I won’t go into the details of the movie as that’s irrelevant. I am rather happy that such a movie was made. There’s a scene in the movie which showed the reminiscences of actors’ childhood times of becoming scientists. That did me. And I believe that’s what have been the intention of making such a movie. Apart from earning money and all.

If even one out of 100 can get inspired from such movies which show human’s scientific prowess while they deal with life’s daily chores, the job is done.

Hoping to see more such initiatives which can rekindle the childhood dream in you.

So I recently watched: Avengers Endgame

Goosebumps!

Rarely it happens that I am this excited to watch a movie. But the hype was spilling over the brim and the wait had become way too much longer. I watched the movie on Tuesday after it had already earned billions of dollars at the BO. And then when you hear, the once dreaded and termed forgettable, Avengers Theme Music… BOOM!

I have in fact watched only 16 of 22 movies (73%) of all the MCU movies. But I have followed them with much more excitement since last 2-3 years. That is also due to the utter disappointment caused by DCEU even if Wonder Woman and Shazam were good. But MCU movies have made a place of their own in terms of sheer entertainment value they have provided. The cameos by Stan the man Lee to top them all.

There have been several very popular videos on how Avengers (or MCU movies) are not much memorable, their video doesn’t have any definite color grading which makes them like a TV movie, or not much emotional connect, or not having much depth and so on. But nobody would have anticipated as to what 22 MCU movies over a period of 12 years would culminate to. Amazing!

This sort of fest-like-hype has not really happened for any movie I know of. When probably the only ‘Universe’ kind of movie franchise, Star Wars had its Episode 1 getting released in the late 90s, the Internet hadn’t flourished that much. So the younger generation (worldwide) had not experienced the hype which generates nowadays due to the bombardment of information from all directions.

I am not going to review the movie because my excitement will overrule my judgement. But I liked it very much. It has everything one could ask for, and more. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of Endgame. I might watch it again in IMAX.

So I recently watched: Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

bandersnatch

bandersnatch

So I recently watched: Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

Bandersnatch is probably a first of its kind Interactive Movie, like a computer game, in which the viewer can choose the actions of the protagonist and some other characters by choosing from 2 options. That choice changes the outcome of the scene and it could lead to a different movie ending if you had chosen something else. It has been made in such a way that based on your choices, it can go from a sad morbid ending, to totally whacky scenes, and to a slightly different sad morbid ending, to something which might not make sense at all.

Although the premise of the movie is not as interesting as other Black Mirror episodes, it is certainly a movie from the future. The mere concept of allowing viewers to choose the actions, couldn’t have been possible with traditional TV or Movie experience. Netflix and other streaming services allow it to work and full credits to Netflix for bringing this up. It might set a trend of more such movies, I hope.

Black Mirror, in general, has always come up with something which makes us rethink the way technology has been moving ahead and how much dependence we have got over it. Bandersnatch uses this concept in a novel way and it even indulges us in making the viewers think about their own choices. As I said, the story of this particular movie isn’t very intriguing but I wonder how much of an effort they must have put behind it. I finished one ending and before I could click to go to credits, it gave me another choice and like a rabbit hole, I kept on going on and on for another 30 minutes. This movie was originally supposed to be 1 hour 30 minutes but you can surely keep it going for some more time. I am sure, others would experience the same curiosity. You may keep exploring more endings on Reddit and you might never give up. If you have time, of course.

Well, the minimal poster I made above represents the choices flowchart.

I wonder if there are actually any books which make the readers do the same. As in, say at page 50, one character has a choice. The author would have written there if the character makes choice A, directly jump to page 78 or if the choice is B, ignore the pages 51 to 81 and start reading 82 onwards. Now, that would be really mind-boggling.

Moral of the story remains the same, in life too, we make choices and most of the times, the outcomes end up being different. Since we cannot change the past, we have to live with it. But there are still some choices, we can go back to. Again, that depends on what you choose at that point in time.

Happy decision making!

 

So I recently watched: Black Panther

Wakanda Forever

Generally, I absolutely love the movies where Villains beats the hell out of the Hero. Villains which question the Hero to think a lot about hero’s own existence. Villains who are so good that they make Hero look like a lucky chump. In a nutshell, I personally like movies where the Villain is a character on which writers have paid a good amount of attention, almost as much as they have paid on the Hero.

So I recently watched: Black Panther. And I liked it!

It was surely worth the hype. As it has been said several times, the best part about all Marvel Heroes is their own imperfections. T’Challa, the king of Wakanda, the Superhero Black Panther is ideal in his own right but might not be the best fit in the evil world. How he deals with his fate and the world around him is the crux of the story.

Without going into any spoiler-y detail, I will list the parts I liked the movie:

  • Super Strong Villain

I had loved the scenes where Bane breaks Batman’s back. I had loved the scenes where Joker makes Batman feel helpless, several times, in several movies. You get it right? Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger here is a villain with a purpose, which you almost relate to pretty well. Although, the means he uses to achieve the purpose makes him the villain. But his performance and all his screen time made me want to see more of him.

  • Super Strong Female Characters

A movie where the Superhero, the Avenger is saved on multiple occasions by genuinely amazing female warriors is a feat in itself. Not only saved but also supported technologically by female scientists. Not only supported but encouraged from time to time by females. This made me wonder, why Black Panther is not a woman in first place. (We shall wait for Captain Marvel for this)

  • Politics

One important point about this movie is the politics in it. This politics about the treatment of Blacks at the hands of the Imperialistic powers has not only been relevant when the comics originated but even now, will make this movie even more memorable. One of the funniest scenes involves a comic treatment to one side-character-white-guy (good old Martin Freeman) had me in splits. Time and again, the words, the era, and the politics of hatred/superiority is mentioned which never seems over the top but very much relatable. This also makes the Villain Killmonger a grey area bad-guy instead of a genuinely evil person. Wakanda is something which could have been of any country which wouldn’t have been conquered and looted for centuries.

  • Music & Costumes & Backdrop

Africa’s best was showcased with proper detailing. I don’t have much to say about it apart from it being very impressive.

Some parts which could have been much better:

  • Forgettable Action Scenes

Technically, we all go to Superhero movies for seeing action. This had lots of action but none of the scenes stood out.

  • Less Screen Time for Killmonger

I seriously felt that there could have been more of Killmonger beating Black Panther for more number of instances.

To summarize, Black Panther movie was a movie which left me wanting for more. I might not be the biggest fan of the character himself, but I liked the movie and the background behind Wakanda as a whole. I hope we get to more of this in coming movies.

 

So I recently watched: Arjun Reddy

A Question first

How do you consider whether a movie is good or not? If a movie is really well made and makes sense technically most of the times but you don’t agree with the actions of the characters or feel that the story missed on some aspects, would you still like the movie? Or say, you loved the story, but the treatment could have been improved. The production quality, technicalities, VFX could be better? What’s your take on that?

Back to the Review

*This review has SPOILERS*

I recently watched the Telugu movie ‘Arjun Reddy’, which was claimed to be a mature and path-breaking of sorts. For those who haven’t, it is available on Amazon Prime with subtitles in English. This movie is from a debutant director Sandeep Reddy Vanga and stars Vijay Deverakonda as Arjun Reddy Deshmukh and Shalini Pandey as Preethi Shetty in lead roles.

I was particularly intrigued by some discussion on Twitter about some folks not liking some sexist aspects of the movie. Usually, such discussions on Twitter bear no fruit but since the movie was available and the trailer made sense and had a good background song, I just watched it anyway.

This movie can be seen as a more realistic take on India’s ever favorite story of the loser, Devdas. The guy likes a girl but she gets married to someone else. The guy is not able to cope up and falls prey to alcohol and in this case, drugs abuse. The guy, however, is quite a prodigy in the medical field. He is the top student, amazing sportsman and good-looking, etc. But also suffers majorly from Anger Management issues.

Now, we have seen many Devdas movies and I am not at all fond of such genre. But this movie has a basis in reality so this made it an interesting watch. The way Arjun Reddy woos a fresher girl (Shalini) can be easily termed as patriarchial and borderline-abusive but then that is in the context of the movie and passable to an extent. But then, again and again, Arjun imposes himself on Shalini and she gives in every time which made me cringe. Eventually, this movie proves yet again the Indian Movie Theory of Wooing a Girl that, if you persist and stalk and threaten and don’t give up on a girl, she will eventually give up and be yours forever. But I will shut myself up and give credit to this movie as all was shown in the context of the story. Some people are like that in reality too so I understood the intent. The acting of the leads, as well as supporting characters, was really good. Overall, the movie continues to tell the story of this guy who has not been able to move on with life. He starts taking drugs. He leaves his home. He starts womanizing but in a weird way in which he just sobs/drinks in front of them and doesn’t care about doing anything positive about his life. He totally doesn’t believe in any usual-society rules about lovers getting separated due to caste and regional issues.

I would even appreciate the portrayal of this realistic Devdas by Vijay. He does everything which made me think of slapping him with a bat and bringing him back to normalcy. So, I guess he did justice to his role.

Now the major issue part. Devdas movies might be fake, grand and everything dramatic but they do one thing right. In the end, the Devdas character drinks so much that he loses his health, mental state and eventually dies on the road. He is never able to move on and ends up only in shambles and disaster. SPOILER ALERT but this movie has a happy ending. Not only this abusive, angry, junkie, loser, etc finds the girl back, she comes back to her as if their love was 100% Dettol Pure types kosher. This means that whatever happens, if you still don’t move on from your lover, even if you spend months and years away from them, the lover herself has not even tried to contact you at all, eventually, in the end, all will be well and you will get what you always wanted. Even if that love was partly just lust.

Seriously?

I will give all marks for the production value, non-linear storytelling, technical details, core in realism, really good acting, decent background score, but if this movie ends up as a happy ending movie, it will only make me delete half of the marks I gave earlier.

 

So I recently watched: Spiderman : Homecoming and, Dunkirk

SPOILER ALERT: No spider bite this time!

Spiderman : Homecoming

Spiderman : Homecoming

In case you have watched Captain America : Civil War, the audience cheered most when  Spiderman appeared on the screen. Such has been the love for the character on big screen, thanks to the relatable Sam Reimi + Tobey Maguire take on Spiderman back in 2000s. I even watched the Amazing Spiderman when Andrew Garfield was there. And if I remember correctly, I didn’t hate it.

Now I recently watched Spiderman : Homecoming, the third reboot or Boo-t-hree, if you will. I found myself enjoying throughout the movie. Mostly because, the movie’s core is how eager a teenager is to become an adult and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I generally liked it.

The only problem is, just after a couple of weeks, I am not able to remember what all happened in the movie. Only if I really press hard, I realize that Michael Keaton was there too. Then there was that scene of boat splitting into 2. That’s all! That’s the case with most Marvel movies. But, I am not complaining more.  Because just the week after, I went to watch (I mean hear Dunkirk).


So, I recently watched Dunkirk and this post is mostly about Dunkirk only!

Dunkirk

Dunkirk

You have heard it correct, Dunkirk is mostly about Visuals and Sounds. Story is plain simple that Allied forces are forced to evacuate Dunkirk because ‘Enemy’ has surrounded the area from all sides. Nolan tries to be Nolan-y by making it more intense by showing same thing from 3 perspectives: Land, Water and Air and, 3 timelines 1 Week, 1 Day and, 1 Hour. But overall, it stays a spectacle, one should see only in IMAX. And thankfully, there is no 3D, otherwise half the time is spent in adjusting 3D Glasses over actual spectacles.

It was mostly about the horrors of the war and the soldier’s struggles once they are caught in between and they have nowhere to go. There are tales of the bravery of soldiers during war-time, but realistically, when you know that you can die any instant and you have no help, that only makes you a mute silent spectator, like the movie’s characters. You never get to know the names, their background but just their struggles to somehow reach home.

The sound design by Hans Zimmer is the real hero. They have used this Shepard Effect with full effect throughout the movie.

That makes it sound really haunting. And it really works. Some sounds are so intense that you actually feel as if your seats are shaking.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and I feel I can watch it again in IMAX. But I won’t because tickets are costly. Sigh.