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

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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

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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

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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

Rockstar Review

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Rockstar is tale of a wanna-be Jim Morrison, who took refuge in walks of pain, draped within his own cubicle, blustered in a long film with little substance. The movie begins at a shopping spree of fans, awaiting Jordan to rampage the stage with rattling music, whilst he for some reason remains occupied with cops, and we thereby register a flashback. Well, not really, more of a fresh start after some soothing music, and the preceding few minutes might just have been a glimpse into the very core of characterization.

The story essentially revolves around Janardhan Jakhar, a naive, unrecognized artist J.J. becoming Jordan, his domineering, implusive self. The transition as shown is no walk in a park, but is rather complicated for a typical heart-inflicted Bollywood movie. Nargis Fakhri playing Heer alongside Ranbir as Jordan, is chronically the pain that J.J. was supposed to bear to find true vigor for art, in perfect agreement with histories of greats, as far as they go. In quick succession, from being friends, to her departure to Prague, and the lonely, family barred J.J. moving through some unsettling time, finding art and reclaiming at last a chance to visit Heer in Prague, are the glimpses that shall pass by within minutes, but in a narrative tone are most structured in the whole story. In-between lie beautiful valleys, snow covered mountains of Kashmir, beautiful music laden Dargha in Delhi that lessens the passing time. However, story after is rather slow, attending heavily to mood-swings and intimate delicacies. The movement for most parts is passive hereafter, with typical Bollywood monologue that caters to their relationship. Disease, touch of magic, mending pain are added benefits by Imtiaz Ali to exceed possible time frame and yet so easily find an unconvincing, lost end.

To not praise A.R. Rahman would be a mistake, for he did very well for the music. The acting department was held high for most parts, however Nargis assisted by a dubbing artist is not all convincing and only in the end does one seem to find some normalcy. On the contrary, Ranbir found himself an exceptional act and character which he justified promptly. The past story which laid more significance seemed rushed, further rushed was romance, while the latter accounted for a misguided end. The most striking distinction in the movie, was of the character, who heart-broken, does not assort to drugs to find solace but is driven by pain, a rather psychological explanation for the extreme rage. Although not explicitly implied, the intrusion of media and sky-rocketing bad conversance of an artist to earn him a bad reputation can be taken upon as a subtle message.

The movie is above average, all credit to its music and fierce acting by Ranbir Kapoor. There are multiple loopholes and as far as the end goes, I for once did think about possibility of a sequel for it ended quite abruptly, but still it was entertainment.
So by all means, go get rocked by the Rockstar in a hard way!