Monday, 2 November 2015

Best movies from Oct '15

Man Som Hatar Kvinnor - Men Who Hate Women - 2009 by Niels Arden Oplev - Swedish
aka The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
A journalist is assisted by a young hacker, who herselves has a troubled past and present, in solving a 40 year old murder mystery.
This is like a cinematic classic amongst all the Nordic Noir masterpieces (TV serials). If you like investigative cinema, then this is a must watch. Please just do not expect the Hollywood style of fantasy investigation and you will be in for a treat of cinematic brilliance.

One of the scenes in this movie is definitely among the best ever revenge scene by a female character in the history of cinema, I believe. This is not a revenge movie, the scene just falls in to the life of the hacker, the girl with the dragon tattoo.

The movie was followed up by two more releases.
Flickan Som Lekte - The Girl who played with Fire and

Luftslottet som Sprangdes - The Girl who kicked the Hornets Nest

Once you watch the first, you would not want to miss the rest of the trilogy and you wont be disappointed.

PU -239 by Scott Z Burns - English/British - 2006
A nuclear plant technician is exposed to radiation, losing his job, has to ensure a good future for his wife and kid. 
In many ways, this is a kind of thriller without pretending to be one whilst telling us how dangerous the nuclear world is. Brilliant movie with just one fault - why the hell did they decide to shoot it in English, I wonder. Russian language and actors would have made it much better.

Well, I spend many days watching, Engrenages and I have to say I have become a huge huge fan. Can celluloid ever create something more realistic and more cinematic than this brilliant adaptation of police life.

Engrenages (Spiral) season 2 - 5

Only for the second time, after Sarah Lund from Forbrydelsen, am in love with a character. A simple difference is that I have become a huge fan of the actress too, who played Laure Berthaud. Laure is just one of the many hero cum anti heroes of Engrenages, but she is absolutely brilliant. Laure has many different faces and aspects unlike Sarah immersed in the work fetish  Lund. And Laure make us fall in love with her even during her negative moments. She is adorable and charming and thrilling and what not.

Somebody said, France is not rich like Hollywood or HBO as far as production values are concerned. True, its riches lie in its acting and creative talents. There is not a single actor in this series who is not about quality. Am talking about a quality which is above the international standards we are used to. The series itself is co-written - by a Police officer using a pseudonym - that the whole series is unbelievably realistic. It is a continuously evolving web of games between the magistrates, police, lawyers and criminals. There is nothing which looks out of reality. It looks like we are watching some CCTV cameras placed within the system.

This is exactly how Justice system or police must be doing things in their real life. I have never seen or read about a police officer who attested for a police (or system) movie, which he felt is close to reality. Well, there are now police stations in France who keep posters of Engrenages on their walls. That speaks a lot for the authenticity of this show. And the group of actors, all of them picked from French theatre, took the quality to a level above.

France was always about theatre and cinema. They were not that popular for TV serials. Engrenages has changed it and have become its biggest TV export, having already sold to 70 countries. No, I dont think it will ever come to India, as we are obsessed with stupid Hollywood products. Like always, Engrenages too will be remade in the US and it is for sure they will kill it like they did with Forbrydelsen. I dont have any idea how they will recreate the examining judge or the investigating judge of French justice system in the US.

And I should mention about a Hindi cinema too.

Margarita with a straw by Shonali Bose & Nilesh Maniyar - 2015 - Hindi

This was not brilliant cinema for me, just a cute good watch. However, I would always applaud the courage shown by the makers. They have dared to show a female Indian protagonist  masturbating on screen, should be a first for Indian cinema. And goes even further, makes the character a bisexual, all that requires huge balls.

Unfortunately, the character is differently abled, which means most of the viewers, including our Censor board, would look at it with lots of pity. I wonder, how would the 'Moral Indians' react to a normal character doing the above on screen.

Its also interesting that whenever our cinema has a differently abled person - as a major character - sh/e is always from a wealthy background. Why dont we dare to pick up such a character from our majority, our poor. All the shining Indians would then accuse the movie for poverty porn, I guess. 

The Malayalam movie Pathemmari was a good watch too. It is sad that an actor like Mammooty dont get  challenging roles anymore.

The Tamil movie Naanum Rowdi Thaan too was a good watch. An entertainer with lots of well taken funny moments. Vijay Sethupathi, once again, at his best.