Primer – Movie Review

This film made in 2004 with just a budget of just $7000,  is relatively older than some I’ve reviewed recently. It came highly recommended by Jeff Cannata of TRS, and sounded quite interesting. So I decided to catch it last week.

AND!! It turned out to be one hard movie to review. So this won’t try to be one. Firstly, this film is an orgy for people that love paradoxes. The movie in essence is about time travel, when a pair of engineers discover it by accident. It tells the story of how it effects people differently and how they behave. It talks about their temptations, their desire to become heroes. Towards the end the movie becomes convoluted in increasingly complex paradoxes, which to be honest left me completely clueless. But rather than throwing it out as a waste of my time, it had me so intrigued that I actually researched it, starting at its wikipedia article. It was only then that I understood its premise properly. I can’t say that I still understand it fully, far from it!

It is pretty apparent that no attempt was made to dumb down any portions of it. So I’ll watch it a couple of more times and hope to fathom a majority of it. To any people who are fans of science fiction and thinking movies, this is a treat. It is perhaps meant to be a puzzle that you sit down with and ponder over, and it’s beauty lies in just that.

Rating: 7/10

Seven Pounds – Movie Review

An emotional drama starring Will Smith as an IRS agent (read tax collector) trying to redeem a mistake that killed seven people, by helping seven strangers. Smith also managing to recover from the disaster that Hancock was, and gives a stellar emotional performance in the same genre as The Pursuit of Happyness. If you liked that movie then I am positive you’ll like this one, and leave you teary eyed at end. On the other hand that is also my only gripe. The initial one line description sums up the movie entirely. Its only attempt is to make your eyes moisten, although it does succeed with a highly depressing end. Rosario Dawson turned out to be the surprise act for me in this one, with a prefect portrayal of a dying girl. The movie is slightly confusing for the major part and you’re left wondering about the motives behind the protagonists actions, but it clears out quite magnificently in the end.

Very few characters, small storyline and I’m still amazed at how much the movie accomplished in the end. So I would probably rate it around 7/10 and is probably on of the best movies out of 2008 and I liked it better than Slumdog. If you’re into serious, emotional movies then this one’s for you.

Rating: 7/10

Slumdog Millionaire – Movie Review

   This movie is certainly a humanity interest piece, something expected from every Oscar season. The story of a kid from the slums of Mumbai, and a game show years later with him at the verge of winning 20 million rupees, sets the right contrast for the entire movie. It has its fair share of dark humour and satire, like the shit clad child running for Amitabh’s autograph. An overdose of reality with a window into what life's like on the streets.

That was the better part of the review. For the lack of a better cliché, the film is a rollercoaster of emotions. I loved parts of it, I hated parts of it. The emotions in many parts of the movie seem overly forced and directed towards the American audiences and I'm sure they’ll love it. The 'real India' was exaggerated and glossed over and at all the wrong places. Moreover, the protagonist fails to evoke much emotion, once you've gotten over your initial curiosity. In the end, it starts resembling a  typical Bollywood melodramatic piece more, than a serious endeavor it sought out to be. The soundtrack by A.R. Rahman though, is not an add-on at all as in most Hindi movies, but is an essential gene in the pool.

At the same time I do feel that I am being overcritical. It’s still a must watch, more so because of the concept and contrast than the artistic merit of the director. There was a lot of potential in the movie but it might leave you with an aftertaste of dissatisfaction lingering inside. Perhaps I was expecting a little too much.