Whiplash Movie Review

Still of Miles Teller in Whiplash (2014)

What breaks? Well if Fletcher is to be believed, ‘nothing’. Nothing can break an artist from becoming more. There are no lines, there are no limits. ‘Good Job’ is false advertising, there’s plenty more where that came from. Potential is screwed if contentment takes house, so screw contentment. Play hard, take pain, sacrifice anything that doesn’t add. That’s what makes. Who bought that? Well, Neimann did.

I do like this movie. The end is ecstatic. It is gripping in a way that makes me a believer of Fletcher’s teaching methodology, like he is responsible, like Niemann’s talent would have gone in wane if wasn’t for Fletcher’s insistence on pushing the envelope. It’s almost like ‘end justifies means’. Although, this part I don’t agree with.

It is hard to digest that such inconsiderate behavior would be toleratemv5bmtu4otq3mduymv5bml5banbnxkftztgwota2mju0mje-_v1_uy1200_cr8906301200_al_d in one of the premier institutes of the country. It is also maddening of Fletcher to push every one of his students beyond their threshold in search of the next Charlie Parker. His intentions are understandable but its the method he employs that bothers me. Definitely should not be teacher. But if Neimann is the student, the relationship kinda sticks. For the specifics of this dynamic, Fletcher is the necessary evil. Might as well believe it given the whole movie is skewed towards it.

In the first scene itself, Fletcher is established as a top dog, and Niemann knows. If it weren’t for his incessant quest for validation, the master would have had little effect. Their relationship works because they yearn for the same, excellence. Andrew Niemann wants to be remembered, be the greatest musician and Fletcher embodies an understanding of what that entails. He is so fixated on his goal that Fletcher’s tantrums, be it hurling insults, personal and racist, do not deter him away. His devotion was almost believable until he gave up on drumming after expulsion. It kind of reinforces the master’s role in his quest. The elation at the end is only matched by Niemann’s smile after Fletcher’s endorsement, a nod, the only proof he ever desired to affirm that he has made it.

J. K. Simmons does a terrific job. His dialogues are a treat, no matter how vile, they are spot on. The alpha male portrayal of his is strengthened by one sided repartee. Miles Teller is at his best here. His earlier roles have been on lighter note but he did not seem out of place here, totally owned it. This is a terrific piece of work by Damien Chazelle. It is not about Jazz. I am too inept to understand anyways. It is about what it takes to reach the pinnacle of this nasty business as they say. Its brutal and its not for everybody. The end I cannot forget, you’d have to see for yourself to feel the energy. I kinda like caravan better. Totally my tempo. Good Job.

Like Crazy Movie Review

mv5bmja5otg1mzqzov5bml5banbnxkftztcwnjqynda0ng-_v1__sx1217_sy609_

The movie probably intends to make a believer out of you. That soul-mates do exist and once you find yours, no amount of likability you ever encounter will amount to true love again. It tries real hard to stick to that part, for even Jennifer Lawrence could not sway Jacob away. Well, jokes apart, I did like the movie, especially the actors and acting bit. They seem authentic even though the plot meddles a lot with it. It feels ordinary and like a dream at the same time. The longing silence and unassuming plot are a refreshing change. That’s why it excels.

I am still stuck on the title though. 15 minutes into the movie, we find it inscribed under a chair. Her writing and his receptiveness, does compel us to believe that there is a spiritual connection, far from mere crush. The title fits but after she leaves and is unable to come back, it is not crazy at all. The decisions, whether to continue with their respective careers, finding a partner in the interim, for Jacob to not move to London and their inevitable fight, were all well within reason, somehow pushing towards realism, not crazy. It is not hard to imagine that they would have parted ways if it weren’t for timely rectification of her visa issues.

I find the movie more artsy than reality. It takes liberty in a way, shies away from third party interactions but Anna’s parents did manage to cut into it. It feels plain and raw, the interpretations are our own, they do not stem from the movie, the characters have no say. It’s like two teenagers in their love bubble who face consequences yet are shielded from public opinions. They show considerable maturity in taking decisions yet lack resolve to not comply to visa norms. The other problem is lack of seriousness. Yes, we get that they are passionate but you get married, have a fight and roll back to Simon and Sam. Now, that is crazy. Serious relationship conversations are not much explored but the end does justice to this scarcity. The union for sure is not joyous but it is aching for happiness. The unresolved does make it so but our hope lies in fragments of past that echo happiness and in knowing that they have found each other.

With all its faults, it does make for a good movie, a romantic one at that. I am partial towards Felicity Jones, so that helps. By all means, immerse yourselves in this indie love drama, it is innocent and infectious, it be rude not to.

Concussion Movie Review

concussion-poster-art-work-xlarge

It would be fair to say that Concussion is more about Dr. Bennet Omalu and his discovery than it is about football, its players and their concussion. Any glimpse of football was probably players bashing their heads. Any glimpse of a player was probably his suffering. The mere objective was, “they have to know” and the man to make it happen was Dr. Omalu.

The movie has been consistent on its objective front. It is an outside perspective but an American one. Add science to that perspective and comes forth a Nigerian pathologist who wants America to know that their favorite game is killing their players. The favorite part did help NFL sway people in believing he was non-American and thus an outsider. He probably realised that having a TV set is the same kind of American who’d deny accepting the problem just for the fancy of the game, and he did depart from that idea of America. The idea was to let them know, but he lost that battle. The truth did come out and since he had sowed the seed, he was the voice.

The quote from the movie does summarize it perfectly,

By dying, they speak for the living.
And I speak for them.
That is all I do.

The movie was pleasant. The performance of Will Smith was admirable. The accent perhaps takes the cake. The script did make him the ultimate geek, be it his numerous degrees or his devotion to theoretical explanations. However it lacks drama, rather it was mellow, seemed like a way of life. The threatening NFL was short on the corporate villain. Prema was just a comforting voice and their love marriage seemed arranged by church.

If you were expecting something more than “just knowing”, you’d be dissapointed. It fails to break free into full blown war between NFL and Omalu, even though it was hinted at by Dr. Bailes. His wife, Prema’s miscarriage after being stalked has little back story and that in addition to FBI invading his boss, was too fast paced for him having left town. There were too many jokes in there to seriously reach that conclusion. Plus, Dr. Omalu’s voice probably did not even go above 70 decibel in the entire movie, or may be it did when he was tearing through that wall.

The saving grace has been its true nature allegedly. It is consistent in its approach. The TRUTH was realised and he came out an AMERICAN. “Let’s solve the problem” was overshadowed by “tell the truth”. It was never about football, but more to do with Dr. Omalu. If you can stomach that you football fanatics, you have a chance at liking this movie but I am not promising anything.

War Horse Review

War-Horse-Review.jpg

War Horse is not just a story, but more precisely a journey that approaches World War I with an outlook more so endearing. It’s a pity that Michael Morpugo’s novel written back in 1982 never came to limelight until now, however much was known to those theater enthusiasts who might have glanced upon the adopted theatrical version of the book, run by National Theater in London since 2007, featuring puppets, as it went on to arrest universal acclaim. Apart from the book, designated as a Steven Spielberg‘s film, the movie flares with well fabricated warfare. It certainly is among the best movies of 2011 and all those who have already listed the best of 2011, need append. Continue reading

Starting Over

“Oh Look, it started raining mother”, Adriel spoke with sheer happiness. He was convinced that this would put on hold or even better call off their plans to meet Dr. Len, but finding surprises has always been his strong suit.

She did not reply, he called out one more time, but still she did not reply.

He went in to look.

Kaya had been working hard as a mother and a receptionist in an ad agency. Things have been hard and life a little difficult after Josh died. It happened that morning, that dark morning, that’s how she describes it. She loved nature and knew the drill which it’s various associates namely, sun, moon, trees played every year, every season, every month, but after that day, she barely remembered as to why she was so in love with nature, why she ever thought of sun as god’s ultimate gift to earth, and hailed trees that only belong to the soil,  pretending to sacrifice their movement to foster mankind.  May be her doubts were an aftershock or may be she never really understood how rough things are around, outside her small solicited heaven. But she had reasons to believe, to blame and curse nature for it’s role in the misfortune, for she felt cheated, felt unsafe, for she had lost her husband to the dark morning, when the sun was playing, hiding behind clouded shackles, dim, and trees meant to stand, lied proudly on ground, silently as his car hit the trunk on road and rocketed off the hill, the repercussion an aftermath, a tragedy. A man died that night and so did the belief of safe havens. Continue reading