Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Artist - Movie Review

This article was first published on burrp!

Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman
burrp! Says: ****1/2

When was the last time you watched a movie in the theatres that had the good old title cards, was black and white and silent. Let me guess, never? Book your tickets for The Artist first thing.

George Valentin is a silent movie star of the 1920s; the time when a perfect smirk and a stylish walk was enough to win over hearts. While George rules Hollywood, the talkies slowly creep in and he finds himself unfit for this new wave of cinema. He makes his own silent movie which falls flat on its face against the talking film. The sun sets on his career as he goes broke and further into oblivion. The current reigning star Peppy Miller, with whom Valentin once had a fling keeps a watch on him and tries to help him out.

In times when a film has various dimensions, making one without dialogues is a risk. But for Michel Hazanavicius, the risk is well taken and puts him instantly in the bigger league (read Oscar nomination). Despite the lack of voice and colors, the story and its treatment keep the audience thoroughly interested. The scene where Peppy seduces Valentin’s tux by putting her arm in it is imagination at its best.

The build up towards the climax keeps the audience at the edge of their seat and that is when you realize the beauty of silence. Full marks to the art director for recreating the flawless classic era. The soundtrack is continuous and in perfect sync with the emotions on screen.

Jean Dujardin is stellar as George Valentin with his mid parted hair, trimmed moustache and charming smile. It seems he has traveled in time, straight from the 20s to act in this film. His chemistry with his pet dog is funny and endearing at the same time. Berenice Bejo portrays the bubbly Peppy Miller and keeps the character true to its name.

Although there are various movies based on the rise and fall of an artist but what’s special about The Artist is its treatment making it worthy of all the acclaim.

Moneyball - Movie Review

This article was first published on burrp!

Director: Bennett Miller
Cast: Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jonah Hill
burrp! Says: ****

Unconventional, that’s how the truth is. And when you don’t meddle with the facts you make a film like Moneyball.

Upset at Oakland A’s defeat by New York Yankees, the General Manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) tries to put together a new team. Oakland being the poorest club of all, the biggest challenge for him is the financial constraint. He hires Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), an Economics graduate from Yale who has radical ideas on how to assess players based on their statistics. Through the computer-generated analysis Beane and Brand put together a team for 2002 season.

After initial hiccups the team goes on a winning streak with 20 games in a row making a record. But unlike most of the underdog stories this one doesn’t end with a major win. Oakland A’s loses the finishing game but Beane changes the game by creating a successful team with the least resources.While it’s inspiring to see the hero winning, the realistic end keeps the film grounded.

Moneyball is based on true events and is more about the statistics of Baseball rather than the real game itself. It will keep you hooked whether or not you are a fan of the game. If Baseball is not one of your favorites relate it to any other game you like and the story will fit right in.

Six years after his acclaimed film Capote, Bennett Miller has once again churned out a masterpiece. Brad Pitt makes most of the film a one-man-show running it on his strong shoulders.

With numerous Oscar nominations (including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor) already up its sleeve, Moneyball is worth losing few bucks this weekend.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

I dare!

We all have our fears, most of us conquer theirs' while the rest just learn to live with them. I belonged to the latter group (until recently). I vowed never to as-much-as going close to taking on my biggest fear; the fear of height.

I have always been fattu when it comes to going on roller coaster rides (yes, that include Giant Wheel too). The whole point of hanging in the middle of the air scares me to death and I can feel my guts coming out through my mouth when the wheel descends. On my visit to Essel World I witnessed only 3 rides, one of them being the flimsy Bhoot Bangla or whatever they call it. Given to my plight the more adventurous sports like para-sailing and paragliding have always been a far cry while bungee jumping doesn't even stand a chance.

So, on my recent trip to Goa when the whole group decided to go for water rides I conveniently opted out of the para-sailing part. While one by one all my friends took their turn and came back beaming with joy I shivered in my seat still stuck to my decision of not trying it out. Suddenly everyone in the group decided to pump energy in me and motivate me to try it once. I declined, panicked, held my stomach but no amount of drama could deter them. While I was reasoning with them, the harness was thrust on me and I was being pulled towards the edge of the boat, dialogue from the movie Rangeela looping in my head 'life mein daring karna mangta, daring!' I shut my eyes tight and let time take its course. A minute passed, I opened my eyes and looked around. I was already in the air, sailing over the beautiful ocean, looking at the sprawling Calangute beach. That was my moment of enchantment.


I don't know whether I'll take the next step and try paragliding or sit on those crazy roller coaster rides but I can proudly say that I dared to fight my fear for once. And, it felt great.


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