The Non-English Movie of The Week
Cemetery of Splendor (Thailand, 2015) [IMDB: 7.1, Rotten Tomatoes: 97%, My Rating: 7.5]
‘Cemetery of Splendor’ is a hypnotic masterpiece from the Palme D’or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Continuing his passion for metaphysics from his previous movies like ‘Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives’ and ‘Syndromes and a Century’, the director dwells on a peculiar sleeping disease that strikes a group of soldiers in Thailand. With understated humour and purposeful pacing the director is able to take the movie to an exalted level without compromising on the story line. Highly recommended for those who seek something different.
Movies I Saw This Week
The Fundamentals of Caring (2016) [ IMDB:7.4, Rotten Tomatoes: 84%, My Rating: 6.5]
Trevor suffers from muscular dystrophy and a bad sense of humour. He embarks on a road trip with his caregiver. The movie is about the people they meet and the bond that develops between them as they progress through their rollercoaster of a journey. Cliched to the hilt, the movie is saved from disaster by the performance of the ensemble cast. Paul Rudd especially stands out but his role could have been more well rounded if there had been some better writing. Overall, an easy movie to watch and an easier one to forget.
Me Before You (2016) [IMDB: 7.5, Rotten Tomatoes: 75%, My Rating: 6.5]
Syrupy romance of a couple divided by class and wealth. Haven’t we heard that before? Here the man is wheelchair bound. The caregiver is a sassy girl who is blind to the thoughts of her subject. What follows is a predictable movie where anything goes. In fact, there are scenes in this movie which are an exact replica of the scenes in ‘The Fundamentals of Caring’. This is not to say that scenes have been copied but it clearly shows the lack of strong screenplay or even the intention of having one. If the movie doesn’t sink, it is because of the featherweight screenplay. Some gravitas to the proceedings is given by the strong and bubbly performance of Emilia Clarke. Otherwise there isn’t much to talk about.
Demolition (2016) [IMDB: 7.1, Rotten Tomatoes:57%, My Rating: 5.5]
Despite the availability of an acclaimed star cast and a moderately successful director, ‘Demolition’ is a movie in self-destruct mode almost paying a tribute to its title. A banker recovering from the tragic loss of his wife finds himself at the crossroads. Unable to reconcile with his present day life, he starts searching for answers in the past. The confused narrative and the weak attempts to give depth to the story end up making a mess of the screenplay. The movie at its best is watchable and in most parts avoidable.
Tumbledown (2016) [IMDB:6.3, Rotten TOmatoes: 69%, My Rating: 6.5]
A wife grieving the loss of her husband finds a new beginning with the help of a new friend and some music. The movie does give a feel of ‘have been there and done that’. The inspired writing helps the movie to rise above mediocrity. Rebecca Hall who is present in almost every frame of the movie plays her part convincingly. The effective background score and cinematography aid her. ‘Tumbledown’ is an an antithesis of ‘Demolition’ in every conceivable way. Good that we have a choice and ‘Tumbledown’ is the hands down winner.
Green Room (2016) [IMDB: 7.1, Rotten Tomatoes: 91%, My Rating: 7.0]
From the soulful ‘Tumbledown’ to the punk rock of ‘Green Room’ may not be the transition you were looking for. A band on the run from a crime scene forms the crux of what ‘Green Room’. The director exploits the limits of the genre while bending a few rules in this edge of the seat thriller once the chase starts. Populated by psychopaths and neo-nazis, the bleak setting is not a constraint for some subtle comedy as well. All in all a breeze to watch. Highly recommended.
The Brothers Grimsby (2016) [IMDB:6.2, Rotten Tomatoes: 37%, My Rating: 4.0]
In cinema there are not many worse spectacles than comedy which is stale. ‘Dicatator’ was funny. ‘Borat’ had its moments but this one is defined by its lack of humour. Granted that we are not looking for high brow comedy from Sacha Baron Cohen but even his gigs and buffoonery don’t justify the existence of this plot less wonder. Bereft of any logic, trying to hard to be comic and attempting to look chic, the movie falls flat on its face. Avoidable.
The Ridiculous 6 (2015) [IMDB:4.9, Rotten Tomatoes:0%, My Rating: 2.0]
I have some good news and some bad news. The good news (for Adam Sandler) is that he has been signed by Netflix for a multiple movie contract. The bad news is that this is only the first movie in the series. Plagued by problems during production including accusations of racism on the sets, the movie is strictly for racist Adam Sandler fans. The movie is an insult to intelligence with a particularly bad portrayal of native Americans. Unfortunately the movie had the best opening on Netflix which is also a sad commentary on the state of the American society.
Documentary of the Week
(Dis)Honesty : The Truth About Lies (2015) [IMDB: 7.5, Rotten Tomatoes: 88%, My Rating: 7.5]
From the Dean of Admissions at MIT to bankers, there is a problem of dishonesty. A documentary that delves into the reasons for dishonesty. Highly recommended.
Eagerly waiting for: ‘Sully’ starring Tom Hanks and directed by Clint Eastwood.
Did you know: ‘Mulholland Drive’ topped BBC’s list of 21st century’s greatest films.