Movies – Non-English
City of God (Brazil, 2002) [IMDB: 8.7/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 97%]
The film explores the dark alleys of Rio De Janeiro where gangs fight for supremacy, but one person has a different idea when it comes to shooting. If you like the adrenaline rush of scores being settled through the barrel of a gun, this one is for you. Even if that is not your cup of tea, the movie is definitely worth a watch for taking the camera beyond the all hunky dory beaches of Rio. Crime classic.
Memories of Murder (South Korea, 2001) [ IMDB: 8.1/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 93% ]
Based on the true story of a serial killer, the film has no dull moments. The story unfolds as the investigations reach what seem to be breakthroughs. The tempo never dips and the story is told at a break neck pace. In the end, it is about how the thinking of the investigators influences what is to be investigated. Some of the sequences are truly chilling. Must watch if you love thrillers. Two thumbs up.
The Celebration (Denmark, 1998) [ IMDB: 8.1/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 94% ]
At the patriarch’s 60th birthday party celebrations, skeletons tumble out of the family closet. Family secrets are revealed and the bonds are tested. Surprisingly, the revelations make the characters more stubborn and the person who reveals the truth becomes an outcast. It takes time to call the bluff. An engaging film, which again relies on strong performances and well written screenplay.
Network (1976) [ IMDB: 8.1/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 93% ]
Essential viewing. Timeless classic which in many ways predicted what television viewing would be like. You will be surprised how bang on the movie is about how things in the television world are. Will give you a sense of deja vu because it so successfully says things, which you will be surprised to note hold true for 2013 as much as it was true for 1976. The acting and writing are as good as you can expect on the big screen. Correction. Make it the TV screen.
The Last Emperor (1987) [IMDB: 7.8/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 92% ]
Ready for some history lessons? Well, history has seldom been captured in a motion picture as it has been in ‘The Last Emperor’, the chronicle of the life and times of the last King of China. With master craftsman Bernando Bertolucci at the helm, the film soars to new heights which deservedly landed it 9 Oscars. Watch the story of a feeble king doomed by palace intrigue and events of much higher scale happening outside the four walls of his palace.
Movies I Saw This Week
The Place Beyond The Pines (2013) [IMDB: 7.7/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 81%]
Frankly, the movie that has disappointed me the most in 2013. At 140 minutes, the film is tediously long. All the momentum built is lost after 50 minutes when the story has a huge twist. At the end it feels like one has just watched a poor drama. Contrary to expectations, Eva Mendes is the best performer in the movie. When you think back you can never really figure out what was all the fuss about. The film will hands down win the award for the worst make up. Come on, a 15 year fast forward and you still have Bradley Cooper and all others look like the same age. Honorable mention: The chase sequences are awesome.
Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012) [ IMDB: 6.5/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 70%]
Light romantic comedy. It is quite entertaining and you will never be bored. Must say that the ending was kind of unexpected. My biggest grouse with the movie is that it passes on a rather discomforting message. It practically says that career oriented women are doomed and will have hardly anything to fall back on. Otherwise, worth a watch.
Documentary pick of the week
Taxi to the Dark Side (2007) [IMDB: 7.9/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 100%]
Find out more about waterboarding and such amazing activities of USA. On a more serious note, the documentary is about an innocent Afghan taxi driver who gets killed in the custody of US forces. Along the way it exposes the US war on terror for what it is. Must watch.
Eagerly waiting for: ‘The Immigrant’ because when Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner get together, there are bound to be fireworks.
Did you know: ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ completed 900 weeks of screening at ‘Maratha Mandir’ cinema in Mumbai on 11 January 2013, making it the longest running film in world history.