Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Steven Spielberg's 'Munich'

Spielberg's much-awaited 'Munich', narrating a semi-fictitious account of 'Operation:Wrath of God', does not disappoint. Eric Bana, who managed to emerge from the ruins of 'Troy' with his head held high, doesn't do badly either. With deft directorial touches, Spielberg successfully manages to blur the lines between a soldier obeying orders & fighting for his country, and a terrorist fighting for idealogy - is 'collateral damage' inflicted by a soldier any more justifiable than the murder of innocents perpetrated by a fanatic terrorist?

Flaws? Well, the pace. Painstaking detail is revealed for each and every assasination, and these parts beg editing. The cliches (Bana making love to his wife while thinking of the Munich massacre, for instance) could have been avoided too - does Spielberg really need to resort to cliches? The final minutes of the movie left me with a vague sense of dissatisfaction - should have ended better, I thought.

Book that laid the seeds for the movie: 'Vengeance' by Geroge Jonas.

P.S: The future James Bond, Daniel Craig, looks massive, and completely un-Bond-like.

Ang Lee's 'Brokeback Mountain'

What was all the hype about anyway? Was it because this was a 'gay' love-story? Execpt for some good (ok, make that pretty good) acting by Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams the movie was slower than a friggin' passenger train running upward toward a hill-station. If Ang Lee's intention was to make the audience suffer, well it sure succeeded. All of us felt the separation pangs - separation from being somewhere else.

Now, I have never liked Ledger - not even in 'Casanova'. But even then, I have to admit he is very good here. However, and this may be my bias speaking, I felt Gyllenhaal did a better job. And Erica Bana in 'Munich' was better than both of them. However, I am sure Ledger is a cinch for the Oscar, being politically correct and all that.

For a change, the ending was rather good (or was that relief). I did manage to sit through it, which is more than I can say about my cousins, who kept moaning and groaning :).

Lee's breathtaking 'Crouching Tiger...' was much, much superior, IMO. Not worth a visit to the theatre, this 'gay' story.

Priyadarshan's 'Kyon Ki'

Salman Khan has learnt one of the most important facets of method-acting: the use of body language. In 'Kyon Ki, to lend authenticity to his part of a mentally delinquent inmate, Salman invents the shuffling walk (somebody ought to have told him to just be himself). Everytime someone (Kareena, most of the time) beckons, Salman shuffles up, walking as if he has hernia and has his feet painfully chained together to boot. The travails of insanity must be painful, especially on the ankles!

I loved the ending: Jackie murders Salman. In fact, he ought to have done it sooner, to spare us the agony. Mohan Lal must be ROTFL.

P.S(J): Priyan's parents displayed great foresight in naming him; his 'priy' past-time has to be the 'darsan' of old classics (One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, anybody?).

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