The Non-English Movie of The Week
Parallel Mothers (Spain, 2021) [IMDB: 7.1, Rotten Tomatoes: 96%, My Rating: 7.0]
Almodovar is a notable director of our times. He has made numerous captivating movies and also some duds. In recent times Almodovar has become a byword for the Spanish film industry. ‘Parallel Mothers’ is neither his best work nor his worst. The middling quality pervades this verbose movie about two women who bond over the fact that they gave birth on the same day. The signature quirkiness of the filmmaker and resplendent colours cannot mask the notion that this is probably the twilight of the career of a remarkable auteur.
Movies I Saw This Week
Operation Mincemeat (2022) [IMDB: 6.6, Rotten Tomatoes: 83%, My Rating: 6.0]
This thrill-less thriller is a disservice to the potentially great source material. During the Second World War the British plan to use a decoy to outfox the Germans in a ploy that would turn out to be decisive in turning the tide of the war in favour of the Allied powers. There is high level of planning and subterfuge involved. The movie with an impressive cast somehow fails to entice the viewer into the subject material. The casual viewer cannot be blamed for thinking what all the fuss was about.
The Outfit (2022) [IMDB: 7.1, Rotten Tomatoes: 85%, My Rating: 7.0]
The Outfit has many loopholes in its story but is a stylish and engagingly shot movie. It is set in the office of a bespoke tailor whose office also doubles up as a point of interest for the local mafia (hence the pun in the title). Though the final reveal is not convincing enough and the body count is unnecessarily high, the movie is an engaging watch reminiscent of the dramas spawned by the black and white era of Hollywood. Mark Rylance is a majestic presence and plays the intriguing lead to the hilt. Recommended.
Emergency (2022) [IMDB: 6.0, Rotten Tomatoes: 92%, My Rating: 6.0]
This movie has been hyped and reviewed in glowing terms by lot many critics which was the reason why I decided to see it. I beg to differ with those glowing reviews. This is just another run-of-the-mill high school film. It has students who make stupid decisions. A problem which could be addressed with a simple call to the police is blown out of proportion. The claims in some reviews about racial stereotyping and the mistrust in police are only justifications for seeing deeper meaning in a situation when there is nothing to see. The plot revolves around a group of non-white boys thinking of sorting out the ‘problem’ when they find an inebriated white girl in their house. The senseless stunts and the general running around like headless chicken form the rest of the movie.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022) [IMDB: 7.2, Rotten Tomatoes: 87%, My Rating: 5.0]
Nicolas Cage is a filmstar of great paradox. His career has now descended to the levels of B Grade movies. While some of his contemporaries like John Travolta have faded from the scene and some others such as Tom Cruise still have a self-belief bordering on invincibility, Cage has apparently decided to cast his net far and wide. He unashamedly grabs even wreckage that clings to his nets. For all the hype that the fanboys could create, this movie is that piece of wreckage that the legend of Nicolas Cage decided was worth his time in return for money. Nicolas Cage plays himself in this mindnumbingly boring film that really tested my patience. Hope is a bad thing. It makes you sit through such movies with the expectation that there will be something that will magically make it an interesting/good movie.
Ali & Ava (2022) [IMDB: 6.9, Rotten Tomatoes: 93%, My Rating: 6.5]
Set in Bradford, this film is a character study of two lost people bonding through music and trying their best to overcome barriers through love and compassion. Generally an easy movie to watch, the overreliance on music is a dampener for those who have no interest in or do not understand the music being mentioned. At its core it is a simple story and no harm was done for the time I watched it.
All My Friends Hate Me (2022) [IMDB: 6.1, Rotten Tomatoes: 88%, My Rating: 6.5]
Lured into a holiday in a remote mansion, the lead character in this movie tries to make sense of the situation where he thinks his friends and strangers are behaving in a peculiar manner. Some are downright rude with him while some seem not to be in sync with his thoughts. Whatever be the reasons, he goes through a torrid time. Is he imagining things or is there danger lurking at every corner? Find out in this white man’s version of ‘Get Out’.
The Lost City (2022) [IMDB: 6.2, Rotten Tomatoes: 79%, My Rating: 5.5]
Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum play parodies of their onscreen persona in this cliche ridden but ultimatley harmless movie which has juvenile humour. For a second Brad Pitt may lead you on to believe that this is going to be another ‘Romancing the Stone’ epic caper but once those thoughts are swiftly dealt with there is much to enjoy if you put your brain in the freezer for the duration of this movie. The proceedings do get ultra cliched and tedious towards the end.
The Hustle [IMDB: 7.4, Rotten Tomatoes: 92%, My Rating: 6.5]
This is the longest advert for NBA I have ever seen. A player scout (Adam Sandler) travels far and wide to find the next NBA superstar only to chance upon his one-in-a-million player in the backyards of Spain. His find has some unresolved issues and a grey background. Just like all other adverts this one does the hard sell and surely has a happy ending. Some of the basketball moves were incredible though.
Documentaries of the Week
Writing with Fire (2022) [IMDB: 7.3, Rotten Tomatoes: 100%, My Rating: 8.0]
This documentary shadows a group of pioneering women journalists in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. The women journalists are inspiring. The society they work in less so. After seventy five years of independence the state of India when it comes to caste and violence is deplorable.
White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch (2022) [IMDB: 5.7, Rotten Tomatoes: 63%, My Rating: 7.0]
Nuance is a commodity lacking in this documentary about the corporate saga of a fashion icon. Some of the issues raised are petty but some are pretty interesting.
Eagerly waiting for: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
Did you know: Ennio Morricone’s father was a trumpet player. By the time Ennio started getting indepedent work, his father’s best days as a trumpet player were long over. Ennio did not use trumpet in his music till his father died. Ennio Morricone passed away recently. He will be much missed.