Thursday, December 01, 2005

Starry-eyed

This week has been a movie week. Usually I don't see many movies in the theater due to pure lethargy, but to finish off the Loews discount coupons by November (which as usual I left to the last moment), it was a mad rush to see as many as I could this week.


First was "Pride and Prejudice". This was supposed to be a chick-flick for 3 of us housemates- H, Graz and me. But then it so turned out that H's boyfriend wanted to see Keira Knightley, and so a deal was made - he would not snigger or comment on any supremely chick moments. If he did we would get a bottle of Cointreau but if he refrained from any comments he would earn a full dish of Graz's pasta alla carbonara. While and after watching the movie however we all agreed that we needed both the pasta and Cointreau, and so maybe this weekend we are going to eat and drink ourselves silly! None of us liked the movie overall. It was too stretched out, and I wish they had spent more time with characters and conversations than with showing off the English countryside. The highlights of the book are the exchanges between characters in different situations and this allows you to know them, but the movie offers no such insights. I did like most of the peripheral cast, and also Mr.Darcy, but just couldn't abide the characterisation of Elizabeth. Knightley didn't convey much of the uniqueness that makes Austen's Elizabeth stand out, but instead managed to make her appear shallow, wearing the 3 principal expressions of a pout, a cheeky grin, or a hysterical giggle. And the last scene was downright hysterical, how could they do that? I read Buchu's review and thought it couldn't be that bad but it was! Sometimes I wish they would leave Elizabeth and Darcy to imagination alone, but then I did like the BBC production of "Pride and Prejudice", (digression :)) which was watched late one night during a stayover in Annie's house along with Sumi during our college days. Since Annie was in a different college than me, and Sumi in a med school down south, it was one of our rare times being together again since the school days, and it was memorable! (and now I am nostalgic...I do want another reunion with schoolfriends!)


And tonight we watched "Walk the line" and "Goodnight, and good luck". I liked the first, but the second is one of the best American movies I have seen for a long time. First, Walk the line. It was good. Again I found it dragged a little (I think I better see a hindi movie soon, seems like I have little patience nowadays). I do like country music, and I liked the fact that the movie covered many of Cash's songs. The start sequence from Folsom prison was intriguing. Then the movie went on to when he was 12, already a fan of June Carter, had a caring older brother, and a father with problems. Music was handed through his mother and stayed in his blood through the war, marriage, his stint as a traveling salesman until one day he auditioned along with his friends for a record company and it all came out...The music and the problems. But through it all, his obsession with June Carter was steady, slowly maturing into something strong and enduring - loyal friendship and eventually love. I really like the way Reese Witherspoon plays June Carter. I always loved Carter's voice but never gave it a character and this Reese-June fit in very well. Strong, no-nonsense and a beautiful character, she brings out the best in Johnny Cash and gives him new life, literally and musically. Cash's depiction was okay, I liked his 'man in black' but he looked drugged whether he actually was or not and I found tiresome the way they stretched his drug problem for so long. But all in all, a good immersion into the country music scene of the 50s & 60s and into the life and love of one its biggest stars.


About "Goodnight, and goodluck", I don't know how to start, except to say that I felt in the company of breathtaking journalistic integrity and courage for 90 minutes. The era is Black, White, and McCarthy. The movie is a tribute to CBS broadcaster Edward Murrow. The interviews are live, the honesty is sparkling, and the screenplay searing. The words come straight and true, holding so much significance in them, that I want to remember each one by heart. It made me soar above the dreary reality though the movie had plenty, because what it also had was Idealism. I never really thought so much about the lives McCarthy destroyed and how communism was such a big threat here and elsewhere, but this movie conveys that and much more. Its the same issues that come back over and over again, the same Fear and thats why the responsbility that the movie depicts means so much. Really, if inanimate wires and circuit can't educate and teach people more than they know, and help in the future of the country, then whats the use of TV journalism? I loved the details- the countdown when Clooney touches Murrow to start his program, the interspersed ads that get the money for CBS, the process of actually filming the program, the scotch, everything! And the Dianne Reeve songs just fit, exactly appropriate. I actually don't want to say anything about the movie itself because I feel the layers are endless and that everybody should see and feel it for themselves. I got transported into a place and company which was inspiring, humbling and real, and I just wish everyone gets there too.

3 Comments:

At 4:16 AM, Blogger One More Reason said...

Goodnight and Goodluck is a movie I have been wanting to see. It is very relevant in present America.

Glad to hear that both of you are finally getting to live together. 7 years is an awfully long time.

 
At 8:26 PM, Blogger Bidi-K said...

one more reason - its a really well-done movie, see it soon! and yes 7 years is too long, and very very hard, but it will soon be over :)

 
At 8:57 AM, Blogger samit said...

sure thing. send me an email at samit.basu@gmail.com

 

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