Life in Movies


war dance

Are you an avid movie watcher? If yes then read on. For many of us, movies depict a slice of our life full of dreams, emotions and melodramas. You get involved in it. You want to shape the story. You attach yourself to the characters playing their roles. I recently read a short note on some recent movies by Amresh Mishra. I guess he goes overboard by proclaiming that all these recent ones like ‘The Atonement’, ‘There will be Blood’, ‘No country for old men’ etc are the pathological symptoms of defeated and degenerated American mind in the 21st century. I believe he watched those movies in order to write their reviews for a magazine (Outlook-Hindi). Yes I do agree that this recent surge in pre-world war era movies has something to do with America loosing itself in nostalgia of glorious as well as its troubled foundational past. But whether it’s ‘The Atonement’ or ‘There will be Blood’ both are stories well told. The background score whenever the little sister starts making strides in the mansion and outside in ‘The Atonement’ makes your heart go wary. A question with no possible answers. The light works of flash-backs coming in and going out leaves you mesmerized. The house with blue painted windows at the sea shore remains the unfulfilled desire of the protagonist and you. ‘There will be Blood’ on the other hand is the story of how Americans built themselves into one of the biggest cash and oil rich nations. Daniel Day-Lewis did not disappoint me with his cold blooded and jaw grabbing act (in fact I saw him act for the first time in ‘The Gangs of New York’ as saber rattling Bill ‘the Butcher’ recently). Frankly speaking I couldn’t understand ‘No country for Old Men’. This is mostly due to bad copy I have of the movie. But I liked the hairdo and brashness of the Anti-Hero. The cinematography of the accident where he is hit by a speeding car on a quite road is breathtaking (it looks really real not of reel).

I saw another movie which I think took inspiration from our own Mumbai genre of movies. In ‘Sweeny Todd-the Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter always talk to each other in songs and poetry while indulging in fine barber style throat cutting of Londoners and serving the rest of the populace with delicious but suspicious meat pies. I particularly like the shaving contest between Sweeny Todd and the town’s barber with a rapid barber song.

On a different note I suggest one should watch ‘War Dance’ a documentary made on a village in Uganda. The struggle of the children persistently persecuted both by the government and the rebels to do something different (and with winning smiles).

There is a movie based on a true story of top student and athlete Christopher McCandless who after graduating from Emory University in 1992 abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings to OXFAM and hitchhiked to live in Alaska to live in the wilderness and to explore an alternative meaning of love. I watched this movie with my dad who strongly disagreed with its contention that love does not lie with people but with nature. I believe ‘Into the Wild’ would remain one of the movies which will remain etched in my memory in the years to come. I guess it has something to do with my lonely adventures in the waters of Andamans in 2005-06. The marvelous songs in background by Eddie Vedder add more subtle meanings to the theme of the movie. A must watch for all the back packers.

More to come through life in movies.

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