The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time ~ T.S Eliot
Directed by – Stephen Frears
The biopic is based on the real life story of an old nun accounted by journalist Martin Sixsmith in his book ‘The Lost Child of Philomena Lee’.
At a high profile party, Jane, a waitress meets Martin – a journalist who has just lost his high profile job as the labour government’s advisor. She tells him about this woman, Philomena Lee – a nun in search of her son, who was taken away 50 years ago by the Catholic church. But Martin is uninterested and almost without a bother says that he can’t cover the story. She asks him why, to which he very matter – of – flatly, replies –
“Because human interest stories are about weak minded, vulnerable, ignorant people. So those newspapers are read by vulnerable, weak minded, ignorant people.”
Eventually, the film sets out to be the journey of Martin and Philomena – a human interest story for the journalist trying to gain foothold in the industry again and a long awaited quest for the old nun. Within the plot, deep buried human emotions and beliefs through Philomena are explored, while Martin’s attitude is a symbolic representation of perhaps practicality or atheism. The film is a mixture of understanding simplicity and ambitions, anger and forgiveness.
Very interestingly, it also manages to subtly point out political dispositions of the republican party in USA as well as religious heresy that is questioned time and again. In Ireland, there are nuns who were condemned by the church for carrying children and are till date paying the price of penance.
What an eye-opener. Loved it.
Mark Twain said:
What gets us into trouble, is not what we don’t know.
Its what we know for sure that just ain’t so.
Directed by – Davis Guggenheim
One of the most famous documentaries of all times. The entire film is based on a detailed presentation that Al Gore, the former vice president of United states has been giving all over the world for many years now, to generate as much awareness as possible on Global Warming.
It starts humorously where he introduces himself as “I’m Al Gore, I used to be the next president of the United States of America”. And then it takes sporadic turns and twists with awing facts and figures and comparisons of ‘how it used to be’ and ‘how is looks like now’ images of the earth. The film again intercuts with his own personal life – where the fear of his 6 year old son’s death, made him realise what it meant to lose something that you take for granted. Since then, he never looked back.
As he asks us to take nature’s warnings seriously and to stop being mad – before its too late, he demonstrates the sentiment of scientists all over the world by putting tons of gold (economy) on one side of the weighing scale and the complete earth (nature) on the other – maintaining a balance, he says.
It was almost embarrassing and I could not help but wonder, that why – aren’t we serious yet? Do we need a dramatic tragic consequence to shake ourselves from our daily lives and actually think what we are leaving behind for our future generations? He also provided facts of how the most developed nation in the world, The USA – is responsible for almost all the carbon emissions that creates Global warming.
To the skeptical minds, he gives them this:
“Out of 928 peer reviewed articles, 0% had a doubt in the study. While out of 636 articles in popular press, 53% had a doubt. So no wonder, people are confused.”
Apart from the content, the film was undoubtedly very powerful. You could almost feel the hopelessness of the man in his crusade against killing mother earth and the constant motivation to not stop. That is quite something, isn’t it?
Nearly four times as many films received an NC-17 for sex as apposed to violence.
Directed by – Kirby Dick
One of the most interesting investigative documentaries made on the Motion Picture Association of America’s rating system, where it questions the entire basis of such a rating system in USA- the farce and fraud founded by Jack Valenti in 1966. It exposes ‘secrecy’ of such an organisation which branches to many political agenda and lobbyists worth multi million dollars. And the so called guidance that they provide for parents, neither with logic nor explanation, in deciding what is appropriate and inappropriate in films.
Many famous directors and victims of NC -17 rating (No children under 17 admitted) came on board to talk about their experiences, where director Kirby Dick hired a private investigator to find out who these secret members of the MPAA rating department were. Sexual content, nudity, sexual preference, violence in films, even copyright acts by Valenti are discussed extensively throughout, by filmmakers, producers and actors.
Its extremely gripping and very surprising for a member of the third world nation like me who considers USA to be one of the most transparent nations in the world. The truth behind it was just a thrilling eye opener.
A must watch.
Were you like me – a girl, girl?
Ya. Like a long time ago. Then I guess I was just more like a boy – girl. And I was just a jerk.
Directed by – Kimberly Peirce
Rarely do you come across films that are based on real life incidents and given such authentic treatment that its almost believable. There has been controversy on the portrayal of the characters and the ‘truth’ behind their real lives, but that I think is quite inevitable.
Brandon Teena was a trans man. ‘A he’ but anatomically ‘a she’. It accounts Teena’s experiences as a man after he decided to embrace his sexual identity as a boy. He then started dating a girl, Lisa Tisdel – but became a victim to jealousy and hate-crime of Tisdel’s friends who were ex-convicts living in Falls city, Nebraska.
I found it very disturbing. But it also updated my knowledge on transsexuals around the world. Hilary Swank was absolutely stunning in her portrayal of Brandon Teena, the boy who was unfortunately born a girl. Loved it. These are the films that make history and it did.
Directed by – Alfonso Cuarón
Adapted from a 1905 children’s novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
First things first, I saw Rama and Sita kiss for the first time. Yes, that’s right. Its a fairy tale, in a fairy tale.
A little princess is about a Daddy’s girl, Sara Crewe who has been told she is a princess – that all girls are. When she comes to America from India and has to study in a strict boarding school with no outlet for imagination and her Dad out in the war, Sara creates make-believe stories to be happy. But then tragedy hits and she has to go through sufferings which might change her perspective on life being a fairy tale.
Its a beautiful film and amazing performance by Liesel Matthews. I sort of welled up a few times. Actually, quite a lot of times.
Kickass torrent link to download – Click here
“Its like I gave up a lot of myself. And don’t know most days who I am.”
Directed by – Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
Nev Schulman is a photographer who becomes friends with an 8 year old girl on the internet who used to paint the copies of his photographs. From developing an innocent friendship, Nev becomes close to her other family members and eventually ends up being in a relationship with girl’s cousin.
The film is a documented curiosity of the filmmakers trying to show online friendship but what comes out to be the end, is something that is going to be quite surprising. Its not just the story, its the characters and the understanding of people in disparate situations is what makes this film so special.
Kickass torrent link to download – Click here
Directed by – Destin Cretton
It had been some time since I had walked out of a theatre and felt so elated, excited, satisfied and out of words. I absolutely loved the film and so did many people who walked out screen 1, Metro cinemas, Mumbai. After watching a film like that? Pure happiness.Short term 12 is the story of a young girl who works as a supervisor at a foster care facility for at-risk teenagers and lives with her long term boyfriend and co-worker, Marcus. Her own troubled past helps her to understand and fully empathise with the characters. The film explores her and Marcus’s relationship, who absolutely dotes on her and with the arrival of another troubled kid Jayden, they both find a friend in each other and it gets better when you watch it.
There is nothing extraordinary about the film. The fact that it manages to touch you with its sensitive approach to a topic like that and every visual so emotively expressed and without not being melodramatic – that makes Short term 12 a complete and an outstanding film. Loved every minute of it.
Directed by – Alfonso Cuarón
Undoubtedly the biggest grossing film of the year and most extraordinary ones of all times. This is a film that will get itself noted down in the history of special effects and the power of cinema that transports you to the space for one and half hours. One of the best films made of all times. Its not possible or plausible to call it science fiction. Its the closest you have been to space in a film and that itself is an experience unmatched like any other.
It is the story of Dr. Stone, a mission specialist on her first trip to the space and veteran astronaut Kowalski who are adrift in space after their shuttle ‘explorer’ is destroyed with all their fellow-mates. Now, they have to survive through it with all communications with earth snapped and the only satellites can help them reach gravity. With those too breaking down with high speed debris and explosions all along, it is a treat to watch them struggling to survive through it. The excitement is a boiling furnace and the ending a cold thud – and what a thud. Watch it. Ofcourse you will.
Directed by – Denis Villeneuve
The hype was quite obvious. Its Hugh Jackman after all. For me, it was the man himself. If you have watched incendies (I have written about it before, here), then you would definitely know what I mean. Even as you watch Prisoners, it will prove that the guy is definitely a master when it comes to thriller. The minute details and the absolute bringing – alive – the – character, that’s what worked for the film.
The film is about the abduction of two girls and entire process of search that goes on around it. I must mention Paul Dano here, who actually is the prisoner – his characterisation was undoubtedly the best. It is not everyday that you give Jackman an ordinary role and ask him to make sure that the story tells more than him infront of the screen. His performance just cannot not go unnoticed. While Gyllenhaal might not seem in the foreground due to the presence of some overwhelming actors, his character was again one of the most well written and well played here.
Kickass torrent link to download – Click here
Directed by – David Fincher
One of the best films made on interrogation and crime. I wouldn’t call it a thriller because it is less about the journey of finding the killer and more about the obsession of a nerdy cartoonist who wanted to find the infamous zodiac. One particular reference of ‘films’ already made on zodiac was absolutely amazing. Said a lot, didn’t it? It is a complete film. I might want to specially mention Jake Gyllenhaal but that would only be because he took most of the screen time. When Zodiac went on a ‘killing spree’ in 1968 and started sending letters to the san Francisco chronicles, many people came on board from reporters to police detectives and went on to investigate the case. There is one particular dialogue in the film that explains the entire motivation of it.
Graysmith’s wife, Melanie – Why? Why do you need to do this?
Graysmith – because nobody else will.
I absolutely loved the editing. While in the first part, I felt as if the entire sequence was kind of cartoonized which I did not like very much, but there is no question that the film’s beginning is one of the best opening sequence for a thriller ever. Cheers to David Fincher. Thank God for making them.