Tuesday, July 28, 2009

12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men (1957)
I began to watch “12 Angry Men” thinking it as a something like a gangster or an action movie. Yes, it’s a full action movie but not the physical one. Although some moments and consequences try to lead to physical actions, it’s based on wordy-war. The movie is based on about 1 and ½ hour talk and discussion that occurs around a round-table after a jury comprising 12 members is given a task to decide whether that 18 year old slum-fellow is guilty/not guilty of killing his father. It's up to these jurors to decide the future of that young fellow. The boy is hanged if the jury’s verdict tells him guilty.

All 11 jurors except one first votes him guilty simply based on the superficial evidences provided to the court by that boy’s neighbors and the detectives. The alone man, played by Henry Fonda, thinks it’s possible that the boy may not be guilty since there are no strong evidences that fully justify the case. Some jurors support his reasons while some make jokes of them. His reasons seem so accurate and true that they pursue and praise some other jurors to think the boy as not guilty. The reasoning process continues till all the juries accept the boy as not guilty.

The strong reasons and words made and uttered to prove the boy not guilty are a very weak reasons to think of as the reasons that make the movie so classic and beautiful. The Nepali or an Indian filmmaker would have flawed the whole movie although they would have been provided with the same materials- like concept, script and screenplay. I mean to say the things that should be judged as the chief reasons behind the classicism and artistic nature of the movie are the finest portrayal of the characters, which justify most of human characters and behaviors. The main subject of the movie is one aspect to judge while it’s deeper meaning and portrayals are the chief materials to conjure up as a perfect audience.

There are smart characters, over-smart characters, intelligent characters, supportive characters, stupid characters and aggressive characters. There are lots of funs, humors and actions. You’ll get to see everything around one round table and a room- how people reasons and try to defend themselves and their prejudices; how some are unmoved by filthy reasons and nature of the people around.

Our contemporary cinemas and in fact all of us are now totally commercialized. Very few stand there to preserve the real meaning of art and classicism. These kinds of movies are rarely made. It’s worthiest watching. My life was complete before watching this movie. After watching it, I felt that it would have been incomplete if I wouldn’t have watched it. If science would have permitted me to rate it 6 out of 5!! THUMBS UP to all the characters and crew members of the movie!!!

Before Sunrise/ Before Sunset

Before Sunrise (1995)

Before Sunrise (1995) is a movie that depicts a chemistry of a boy and a girl who meet at a train and spend night at an unknown city of Vienna. Celine (Julie Delpy), a young French girl, returning to Paris in a train after seeing her grandmother, feels so much irritated and disturbed by an elderly couple arguing with each other. In fact all the passengers of that large cabin are being disturbed. She couldn’t concentrate to the book she is reading and choose to sit few sits back. Luckily she gets to sit by the side of Jesse (Ethan Hawke), an American fellow, heading for Vienna for his next morning’s flight to Madrid, nearly of her age with both of them a book in their hand, but intense willingness to talk to each other. These boy and girl center those fighting couple as the subject to ignite their conversation. They leave the cabin for lounge car and starts talking. They talk about their journey and destination. They joke and talk about life and philosophy.

The train reaches the Vienna and the boy vaguely proposes the girl if she would join him till the sunrise at the new city of Vienna. The girl agrees to join him. They travel round the city, restaurants, and pubs. They joke. They talk about their families. Friends. Interests. Life. Philosophies. Sex. A lot of things. They feel a kind of attraction to each other. They kiss. Express their warmth for each other but do not express love in words.

It’s morning. They have to depart now. They may not see each other again. They do not want to share addresses, mails, contact numbers… The relationship would fade away within first few mails and contacts. They wish each other a happy life. Their last intense hugs and kisses force them to vow to meet each other in coming days also. They boy proposes to meet at every 5 years. But it would be so weird sociological experiment. The years are decreased to one. Finally, they vow to meet after six months counting from the previous day- the day they had met. The movie ends. And it’s up to you to guess what would happen later in their life.

The best part is everything seems so simple and real. You don’t feel you are watching an acted movie. You don’t feel the actors like acting. There’s nothing suspense and threatening. It’s like something you may experience one day. The two actors fill-up everything. Love. Humor. Sentiments. Joy. Sorrow. Pain. Everything. The movie is so real. I rate it 5/5.

Before Sunset (2004)
In 2004, after 9 years, the same crew member of the movie Before Sunrise (1995) is again back with its second part- Before Sunset Jesse is now a bestselling author in US. Celine, who is currently involved in an organization working for environment conservation, read in a newspaper that Jesse was coming to Paris to talk about his book with its readers. Fortunately the book is about the night spent nine years back with a French girl in the city of Vienna. Celine appears at the meeting to see Jesse.

They take a short walk in Paris. Jesse has to catch his flight at the end of the day to another city. They are so sorry and sad that they didn’t share any contact addresses. They discuss why they couldn’t meet six months later as they had planned to. They talk about their successful/ unsuccessful life/ married life/ unmarried life. They talk about their previous joyful moment. They argue whether they had sex at that time or not. Jesse gives Celine a lift to her apartment in his vehicle. The movie ends with no sign of whether Jesse is able to catch his flight or whether he leaves Celine’s apartment or not. Instead the perfect ending! It’s up to the viewers to make sense further. I rate it 4/5.

These both movies have a lot of long one-take-shot scenes. Seems like they had a lot of rehearsals before the shooting, which is best-to-see in these movies. This movie obviously seems to inspire the youths who would like to make low-budget movies. You will not suspect the acting of these two characters even for a second. They are perfect. I hope you’ll not miss these movies. It’ll make difference to your judgments about the movies. Watch them!

The Shining

The Shining (1980)
The season at Overlook Hotel runs from May 15th to October 30th. It’s very costly to operate Overlook Hotel during snowy-winter. There is probability of skiing at that place having such seclusion and scenic beauty but the road covered with high-feet snow makes it unfeasible to make up to the hotel. It’s enormous costly to clear the road. So the hotel is closed during winter after appointing one family/person to look after it until the following May. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), a writer and a former school teacher, takes responsibilities this time to look after the hotel.

He, with his wife and a son, travels to the hotel that has really a worst past record. One of the winter caretakers (named Charles Grady) ran amuck and killed all his family members and himself during the winter of 1970, due to mental breakdown caused by long solitude and isolation (the result of a kind of claustrophobic reaction), chopping with an ax and putting both barrels of his shotgun in his mouth. Some most of the people are really put off by the idea of working as a winter caretaker at such hotel. But Jack has assured the Hotel staff that this is not going to happen with him.

His son Danny (Danny Lloyd) has mental disorder if he doesn’t like some situations. He has created and preserved another fellow named Tony inside his mouth, who suggests and talks with him. Danny has a kind of shining ability. He can foresee future sometimes and can recall past sometimes. He recalls the bloodshed of 1970 and is quite disturbed mentally.

Mental breakdown starts to occur with Jack. He doesn’t like anybody disturbing him while he is writing/ typing stuffs. He too has the shining ability. He talks with the barman, demised caretaker Charles Grady at his own. Charles Grady even suggests him to correct his family members if they are not functioning as per his wills.

Wendy, once, checks the typed papers of Jack soon to find the only sentence “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” typed all over in that great pile of papers. Jack starts growing violent so his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) locks him in the storeroom. He comes out of the room with the help of an ax and starts searching for his wife and son around the hotel premise. This family does not contact the hotel staff or answers the radio call during the long interval of time. So, Hallorann (Scatman Crothers), the chief serf, arrives at the hotel soon to have his chest chopped with the ax by amuck Jack. Wendy and Danny get out of the hotel by a Snowcat while Jack dies freezing in the snow.

Jack Torrance is a thrilling character all over the movie. He smiles and thrills you. He laughs and thrills you. He gets angry and thrills you. Jack Nicholson is worthiest watching in almost all the movies. This was the third time I watched him. I don’t remember him much in the movie Easy Rider. But the second movie I watched of him, “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest”, was simply great. I am a great fan of him since the very movie. He has done such a great work in the “The Shining”. He is such a worthiest bastard, ass**** and a Son of a B**** to watch over in this movie. Don’t miss it! I rate it 4/5. It loses one point for lacking strong reasons to the ways Jack Torrance’s character grows violent.


Departures - The Gift of last memories (2008)
The movie “Departures- the gift of last memories” won Academy Award (2008) for Best Foreign Language Film recently. Slum-dog Millionaire, the Academy Award winner for Best Movie, collected lots of hypes and goodwill but, this movie, Departure, is left only to the lists of behind-the-hype movie lovers. Doyle has been a hero in the cinema world but Yojiro Takita, the director of the movie “Departures”, is still an unsung hero for most of the audiences.

I was not that satisfied with the movies nominated for this year’s Academy Award in the Best Movie category. I surfed the internet so that I could find information of some good movies to watch. I found about “Departures” as the winner of Academy Award (2008) for Best Foreign Language Film and bought a DVD of it, for NRS.30, from a shop at Mahabouddha.

It is one of the simplest movies to be added to my list that lists movies like The Bicycle Thief (Vittorio De Sica, 1948), Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) and few others. The best part of the movie is its very simplicity. It seems simple in its presentation. The lessons to be learned are the ways it has minimized the use of big technologies to make it simple and low budgeted with strong understanding of the meaning of a movie.

Some movies are to spend few hours and regulating joy, laughter or fear. They are over after you watch them. You forget about them. But some movies inspire you to assimilate them for your good being. “Departures” is not over after 2 hours and 10 minutes. It begins inside you after this factor of time. You begin to learn the value of all works available on this earth. You will begin to respect the life, death and relations.

Daigo Kobayashi has to move to the countryside, to the home left to him by his mother, because he can no more support his life at Tokyo. The Orchestra where he used to work as a cellist has just dissolved because of its commercial failure. His wife pretends happily to follow him where he goes. At his home at countryside he goes through an advertisement entitled ‘Departures’ that read the need of an employee with opportunities of lots of journeys. He thinks the organization as a Travel Agency and applies for the job. With zero effort and difficulties he got the job soon to discover it is actually for a “Nokanshi” or “encoffineer”.

With hesitations and difficulties at first, he begins to enjoy his job though people, including his wife, despise it. He takes pride in his job and acts as a gentle gatekeeper for departure to another stage of life. He uncovers the respect for all jobs done with pride and joy. He discovers the meaning of life and profoundly tries to eliminate people’s misconception of a dead body merely as a corpse. This movie deserves 5/5 for the selection of the story and its simplicity of everything.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) and The Sundance Kid (Robert Redford), the shotgun and pistol shooters, are the leaders of their bandit gang. Butch Cassidy acts like a front-man while making plans and to loot while the latter one is a great shooter. They cover up each other while shooting and looting. They backup each other. They know nothing besides looting. It’s hard for them to support their life with other jobs. They earn their livelihood by looting banks and trains. However, they are not happy and their life is not safe. They are always sought after for their crime by several government and city shooters and other forces.

While running from these forces and try to escape the wanted areas Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are left to a two member bandit gang now. So, they travel to different places and countries and continue the same job. Etta Place (Katharine Ross), Sundance Kid’s sweetheart, joins their gang for sometime. She sees no signs of these two men getting into other jobs like farming or animal rearing, so the situation forces her to leave them.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are trapped by a large number of forces while lunching. These two men backup and cover up each other to shoot to death lots of these government shooters. Other dozens and dozens of shooters come to help reminders and trap these two skilled bandits to death.

The ending of the movie is perfect. The two men do nothing magical to save them. They fight up to their courage and skill to defend their life. These two injured men know they are trapped outside by additional shooters but they still seem busy to make plans to what to do next after they get out of the place shooting to death all the forces. They come out with guns in each hands to die with 100s of bullets. The movie is over with the best the best thing that could end it. I rate it 3.5/5.

A Bronx Tale

A Bronx Tale (1993)
People respect Sonny (Chazz Palminteri) because he is considered a god in his neighborhood. People respect Sonny because they fear them. Calogero (Lillo Brancato) is confused what to consider him as – a god or a villain. Calogero wants to get caught in the eyes of Sonny but he does not care him until one day. Sonny, to save his neighbor, kills a fellow and Calogero is the eye witness of the incident. But he saves Sonny from going to jail by mentioning neither of the people captured as suspects are the killers.

From that day they are friends though Sonny is father-aged to Calogero. Lorenzo (Robert De Niro), Calogero’s father, doesn’t like him hanging up with Sonny. He mentions to Calogero that people fear Sonny, they do not love him. But Calogero meets Sonny frequently and get involves around money activities, like gambling, horse race etc. he gets tips for helping Sonny being in his side.

Calogero has a very bad circle of friends. They are always concerned of getting involved in fighting and torturing their neighbor (whom they call as niggers). Once, Sonny saves Calogero from a car explosion that kills all his friends. He runs to wish Sonny thanks soon to see him shot dead, before he’d wish him, by that fellow’s son whom he had killed in his neighborhood.

Directed by Robert De Niro (already a famous actor), the character Lorenzo, this movie is a tale of Bronx as the name itself suggests. This movie has escaped from commercial touches. I rate it 4/5.

Dumb & Dumber

Dumb & Dumber (1994)
Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels) are two dummies in the movie Dumb and Dumber. They are two real pieces of shit or it would be appropriate to call them assholes. They have given up their best for 2 hours full comic and laughter.
Jim Carrey is always best in such foolish and stupid roles. One broken fore-tooth of Carrey and his child hair cut has best suited his character. Both Carrey and Daniels have done their best job. They look so ridiculous, foolish and stupid in their behavior. They are grown up beings but act like children. They have street behavior- always fighting, arguing and messing up things.

Lloyd messes up everything after he takes the suitcase left in the airport by Mary (Lauren Holly). She had left it the pathway for two other persons to pick it up. Lloyd couldn’t make it to Mary in the Airport so he plans of going up to Aspin to deliver the suitcase so he can impress Mary.

Lloyd and Harry are jobless at the moment because of their careless driving and other silly activities. The persons at the airport follow them for suitcase wherever they go. They finally make it to Aspin after travelling miles of wrong way. The suitcase breaks out while they are fighting with dollars splitting all over the icy ground. They stay at the hotel for VIPs. They spend money haphazardly. They use money even to wipe their nose and tears. Finally, they meet Mary. It is unclear how much money they handover to her.

This movie is full comic. You’ll laugh with tears. I rate it 4/5 for its powerful comic feature. Jim Carrey always ROCKS!!

Love in the time of cholera

Love in the time of cholera (2007)
The two loving souls, Fermina Daza (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) and Florentino Ariza (Javier Bardem- the Oscar winner for ‘No Country for Old Man’), are departed by Fermina’s father because Florentino- the telegram boy, also a cholera victim, is not rich enough for his daughter. With the time the girl starts believing that relation merely as an illusion where the boy waits for his princess for the life. His mother wants him to make love with other women so that he would forget Fermina, his princess. Fermina marries with a doctor, who fells in love with her at the very first sight. Florentino does not marry but he sleeps with more than 600 females of all age until he reunites with Fermina at the age of 72, after her husband dies.

Javier Bardem has acted up to the satisfaction. Giovanna Mezzogiorno has done justice to the movie. Love in the time of cholera (2007) is a worth to see movie. Also you’ll not miss anything if you don’t watch it. The movie is average. I rate it 3/5.