Saturday, November 24, 2012

Flight movies - BLR to SFO

There is sheer joy in watching movies on a long flight. Very akin to reading books on a train. After all, a faster mode of transport deserves a faster mode of media as well.

To me, the flight seat is nothing but a mini theater. You have got a semi-reclining chair, a small tv personally for you, headphones and a constant supply of drinks and food whenever wanted. Lastly, a collection of films to choose from. It is not only the setting that counts here but also the opportunity. In any season, there are very good movies that you watch out in theaters, but there are many good/decent movies which you couldn't watch because of time constraints or they were not deemed good enough to be watched in theaters.  Flight time gives you that opportunity to catch up to these good movies, a time when these movies are not threatened by competition vying for my time. And ofcourse, there is always a scope to rewatch one or explore a totally random one.

So, without any further delay, here is the list from BLR to SFO.

Beasts of the Southern Wild - Let me start by saying that you have not seen anything like BOTSW before and it is unlikely you are going to see anything like it in future as well. Watching this movie is like watching a natural disaster in action - it is scary, emotionally draining, and gigantic but at the same time it is beautiful to watch - beauty that comes with shades of sadness, serenity and inner peace. The 6 year old protagonist, Hushpuppy, is a tour-de-force on herself; on one side we are enchanted by her energy and positive outlook but on the other end, we are shit-scared for here because after all she is just a six year old. She is the beast of the southern wild,  a beast that has to fight to survive but at the same time knows that the wild has to be cherished as well.  BOTSW is a triumph of making movies with imagination, it is a triumph of execution on a vision that the director wanted to share with others.  Watch it if you love movies because this is a movie which values this medium for what it is and nothing else.

Where do we go now - Nadine Labaki's Where do we go now is a Leabanese movie on how women in a village try to resolve conflict between muslim and christian men. Their approaches are hilarious, weird and as one says it in the movie - "it might just work".  WDWGN is a decent effort. It lacks in depth both in story and performance. It feels that the movie is unsure whether it wants itself to be a realistic portrayal of the religious tension or a comical take on a issue which should never have happened in the first place.  However, the localization in the movie is indeed commendable and it transports us back into the era where TV watching was communal and community was the biggest entertainment there was.

Polisse - Polisse is a realistic portrayal of SVU-like unit in France. It is a docu-drama aka based on real stories but portrayed fictitiously. After merely three minutes into the movie, you realize that it is not going to be an easy one to sit through.  Yet, Polisse must be watched, just to remind ourselves that there are real people doing this tough job, to understand that it is not easy to mix professional and personal lives for them. Polisse does feel cliched at times but it rarely feels far from reality. It has been compared to The Wire which is next on my watchlist.

The Odd life of Timothy Green - I had only one reason to watch this movie - Jennifer Garner. It felt like Garner's Juno like character again, so i decided to watch it. It is a cute little movie which always feels far-fetched, too fantastical and never moves you like other good movies in this genre. The storyline is bad, predictable and does not go anywhere. Garner's acting is the only thing that is good for the movie. It is a family movie to be watched with your children who have not entered their teen years.

To Rome With Love -  I never wanted to watch TRWL because i knew i will be disappointed. I know Allen wants to make these short movies but there is no reason why they should be combined altogether. After midnight in Paris, which was so awesome in its plot and structure, TRWL feels like Allen made this movie just because he promised someone that he would do it. There are elements which give this movie a feeling that it is indeed an Allen movie but like his other recent attempts, it lacks a holistic feel. Allen may be paying homage to the city but the stories are so far out there that other than the location, there is nothing Rome-ish in it. TRWL in the end feels like an American's view of Rome than what it ought to be. The fact that it is an Allen movie just makes us, Allen fans, sad, very sad!

Brave - In the nascent years of animation medium, good animation and a decent plot was good enough for people to love it. But off late, with such amazing story lines coming into it, the genre has been redefined in particular for the mature audience. Brave has good animation but its story potential is only good for children. Few years ago, even adults would have enjoyed it because it was primarily the medium that was being cherished. But now, the expectations are higher. Brave is a good children's movie. For children, it has elements of fairy tales, comedy and be--good-do-good plot which goes well. But compared with its contemporaries, it has to do a lot better to appeal to me.


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