Archive for the ‘100 remarkable films World Cinema’ Category

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It takes you to a very different plane. The survival tale of a shipwrecked boy and a tiger is laced with gritty realism on the one hand, and a leap into a magical land and divine forces on the other.The visuals are stunning. The gritty tale of survival is based on a prize winning novel by Yann Martel. It weaves a fortituous tale of the protagonist Pi, a zoo keeper’s son who grew up in Pondicherry and thereafter loses his entire family in a ship enroute to Canada where his family was immigrating. They find themselves in an inclement, stormy weather.

He is the lone human survivor in the ship at sea. Keeping him company is a royal Bengal tiger Richard Parker, an orangutan, a hyena and a Zebra. The provisions in the ship would last a few weeks….Would Pi be able to hold himself in the midst of these ferocious animals and reach safely among human civilizations. Beneath the surface level tale of human drama and endurance, the film sublty weaves in spiritual philosophy, faith in the divine and incorporates elements of fantasy in the narrative when the protagonist reaches a strange island with miraculous happenings. Can a man develop a bonding with a man-eating beast? Do humans and animals react in the same way to tragedy? Find out the answers by watching this absorbing drama…

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Hats off to the cameraman and the computer team for this. It is difficult to really believe that Richard Parker (well that’s the name of the tiger) was really computer generated. The film is directed superbly by Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain). The cast includes Irrfan Khan, Tabu and others.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5

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The film ‘Hugo’ directed by Martin Scorcese stretches the frontiers of cinema,

it weaves a fine narrative style with innovate camerawork – an early shot is a longish one which traverses briskly along a crowded marketplace and culminates in a wall clock, the film is rife with such unusual shots quite a few of which are aerial zoom-ins. It revolves around a small boy who lost his inventor father (Jude Law) and his arduous struggle thereafter; he becomes a petty thief with the great ability of fixing machines, an inherited skill from his dad who died in an accident. He incurs the wrath of a toy shop owner (Ben Kingsley) who forcibly snatched his ‘notebook’ with a promise to return it if he puts in sufficient work at his shop to compensate for the items he had pilfered from the shop.

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Through flashback, it is revealed that Ben Kingsley was actually a good magician who thereafter became the very pioneering and celebrated filmmaker George Melius and made several landmark films together with his actress wife, who doubled as his ‘muse.’ The film touches science fiction (the robot like Automaton is simply great), philosophy (the boy is shown discussing philosophical significance of his life with his girlfriend), film restoration, societal indifference to great artists.

                                                                                                            

 This is simply a very different Scorcese that we’ve seen (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) in the past, but he simply wows us with this one

The acting is commendable. Sir Ben Kingsley gives another sterling performance.

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The protagonist kid (Asa Butterfield), his assistant and girlfriend(Chloe Grace Moretz) & Mrs Melius (Helen McCrory)are all hugely likeable -even the comical and vigilant cop (Sacha Baron Cohen) with a dog always hounding our small hero, putting him inside a cell on an occasion & who undergoes a transformation at the end make the proceedings lively.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5