Tomb Raider (2018)

Tomb Raider Review

written by Anu Gopinath

Tomb Raider: Rome was not built in a day and no superhero paid heed to their true calling without going through the tests of life and making the ultimate sacrifice!

My Ratings: 2.5/5

The movie franchise that sky rocketed Angelina Jolie to her stardom reboots with Alicia Vikander playing the title character! In all Tomb-Raiderfairness the movies with Jolie in the lead had her already established as the well known adventurer and told the story of one of her many adventures. But director Roar Uthaug has delved too deep into the storyline for this reboot which concentrates on the early life of Lara Croft and tells the story of making of the legendary adventurer. And that’s where the movie scores!

Vying for throne left vacant by Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix Trilogy) and Angelina Jolie – it is no less than a herculian task but Alicia Vikander shoulders the responsibility with an amazing ease and panache that screams volumes of her talent.

And her claims to the throne is truly justified as she backs it up with the stunning portrayal of a woman who is in the cusp of being elevated into the greatness, yet riddled with insecurities and self doubts. Her punches are misplaced, her arrows miss the targets and her bouts, tapped out!

She absolutely delivers the goods by portraying the vulnerability of a lost child, the strength of a daughter whose father makes the Tomb-Raiderultimate sacrifice and inevitably, the acceptance of her true calling!

This time the film Tomb Rider goes deep into the earlier life of Lara Croft and examines her relationship with her father, played brilliantly by Dominic West, thus establishing the reasons and sacrifices that made Lara Croft who she is and whom eventually the world have come to know.

But though the movie starts on a promising note, it soon loose its way due to lack of a strong storyline or for that matter, a strong villain character! And this ultimately becomes the movie’s undoing!

The visual effects is at par with the best in business but lack of action or the scarcity of it and a weak supporting cast drags Tomb-Raiderthe movie down like dead weight. The world is yet to see the talent that Walton Goggins is and though an accomplished actor, he by no means could shoulder the responsibilities that comes with playing the negative character of a Tomb Raider franchise. And that’s where Angelina Jolie movies score higher!

With Wonder Woman laying the foundations and ultimately setting a bench mark for how an origin movie should be told, Tomb Rider falls desperately short of expectations though there are a few highs that the audience can take home with!

Is Tomb Rider a good origin-movie? Yes! Is it a good movie? Debatable! It’s a question only time and a great sequel will answer!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Red Sparrow (2018)

Red Sparrow Review

written by Anu Gopinath

Red Sparrow: ‘The Cold War did not end, it merely shattered into a thousand pieces.’

My Ratings: 2/5

Red sparrow, the latest offering from Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton tells the story of the post cold war era espionage but can only be deemed as a feeble attempt at the spy thriller genre and is
not fit to hold a candle to the classics like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Red Sparrow tries too hard to be a part of that genre but the problem is… it falls flat on its face!

The film depicts the story of a Russian prima ballerina Dominica Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) who gets entangled in the spy games of the state and is forced to become a ‘red sparrow’ and eventually tells the story of her revenge and redemption.

In paper, the movie looked to have everything going for it and director Francis Lawrence tries too hard to delve into the life of the protagonist but given the limited running time of the movie, he could neither give a proper character definition for Jennifer Lawrence nor could he establish an emotional connect for the character with the audience. In his desperate attempts to successfully make the
transformation to the movie from a novel written by Jason Matthews, the director forgot the perennial rule of filmmaking. Red-SparrowIronically it’s the same golden rule that a spy lives by and that a filmmaker should never forget … “Nothing ever goes according to the plan!”.

Jennifer Lawrence shoulders the movie with her innate talent of getting into the skin of any character she plays. However same cannot be said about the multitude of talents that goes wasted namely, Charlotte Rampling and Mary-Louise Parker.

Joel Edgerton huffs and puffs through a role which hardly requires him to do anything more than a mere supporting role and it’s a shame to see such a brilliant talent with a horde of potential being thrown in to dumps of a pretty average cinema!

Jeremy Irons commands the screen presence in any and every scene he is in but is completely undone by the lack of screen time and lousy writing.

Red-SparrowIt’s the brilliance of the technical team that keeps the movie intriguing, interesting and afloat. The cinematography by Jo Willems is one of the best works I have seen in recent times. Added to that, a stunning background score by James Newton Howard successfully recreates the blanket of eerie, gloomy and mysterious atmosphere that is remnant of the cold war era Soviet Russia and the Russian federation that came into being since its fall.

Despite its 143min long running time, the movie fails to capture the attention of audience and one fails to empathise or sympathise with the lead characters . The emotional discord between the audience and movie is quite evident!

For once now, when I kick back with a glass of vodka, I can only Red-Sparrowsquirm and sigh hard at the state of spy thrillers and the movies that has come to pass as the spy thrillers and can only get nostalgic about movies like North by Northwest  or Manchurian candidate which redefined this genre and cinema.

All the flicker of hope that was rekindled with the release of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy about the resurgence of this genre has been doused !

One can only raise his glass of drink in despair and give good wishes the condition of the spy-genre that has been laid to waste. “NAZDAROVYE!”

Similar Interest: Best Conspiracy Thrillers ever made

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

The Rage – a Psychological Thriller (Short Film)

The Rage – a Psychological Thriller (Short Film)

The Rage is a psychological thriller that explores the relationship between sex, anger and violence. Take an atmospheric trip into the life of Oscar as he deals with his rage and the decision it drives him to make.

Directed by Alrik Bursell, starring Oakland California actors, L. Jeffrey Moore, Sophia LaPaglia and Gretta Sosine, The Rage challenges our understanding of sex and violence, and the passion that can come out of anger.

There is nudity and violence in the film so it’s totally NSFW.

Writer/Producer/Star – L. Jeffrey Moore

https://www.ljeffreymoore.com

The Rage is a fictional diary of my thoughts in my personal life as both a father and a black man dealing with a wide myriad of things. I wrote this knowing that not everyone would like it or want to see it, and honestly I’m fine with that. Art isn’t necessarily made to be liked the-rageby all audiences. Art is an expression of the human experience and should not be afraid to push boundaries, The Rage is no different.

The film started as the simple yet complex thought of a man, put in a situation where his role as a husband and “provider” are questioned, and the toll it can take on him.

Writer/Producer/Director – Alrik Bursell

http://www.bursellproductions.com/the-rage

When Jeff first brought the The Rage to the table I saw that this was a story I related to, not only as a man but as a person having gone through a tough relationship. We wanted to translate into a film that the-ragehad no voice over and no dialogue. Given the intense graphic material, I knew I wanted to keep it raw in translating it into a film and that we wanted to make a statement through the story. What Jeff and I came up with was a metaphor using the sex and violence to deliver a message as the story unfolds.

Like Jeff said, this film won’t make everyone happy, but I hope it will get every person who watches it talking and open up discussions about violence, sex and anger, so we can help keep all of our the-rageemotions in check.

We did a kickstarter to raise about a third of the budget for the film, the other two thirds was paid out of pocket.

Here is more information about the podcast, we had our star Sophia LaPaglia on this weeks episode to talk about nudity in film and we are going to have Jeff on next week to talk about making polarizing films.
We’ve been making this podcast for almost three years now and it’s just a forum for indie filmmakers to talk about their struggles making their films. My co-host Timothy Plain pulled this quote from the-rageone of our episodes of me describing what the podcast is.

“Who am I to even have a podcast? Why is my opinion more valid than anyone else? In some ways it’s not, but that’s also kind of the point. We’re just two examples of people making movies in our own ways. We’re not any more special than any other filmmaker. There’s nothing about us that makes us any different or unique. We’re just doing it. And I think that’s the point, just go out and do it, make your movies. And these are the struggles that we face and this is how we’re trying to overcome them.”

Poster courtesy: Alrik Bursell and his production team.

Oscar Nominations 2018 Best Picture – what’s your call?

Oscar Nominations 2018 Best Picture – what’s your call?

written by Souranath Banerjee

Oscar Nominations 2018 Best Picture: Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel (for the second time), on this March 4th evening we have a date with our beloved movies from 2017 – the nominations for the Oscars – The 90th Academy Awards ceremony traditionally presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

After last year’s La La Land hiccup and Moonlight‘s sudden triumph speculating this year’s Best Picture has certainly become more difficult a task but have to admit the fun remains the same, even more!

In total nine nominations for Best Picture and I have listed them according to my order of liking, in a way keeping my favourite one in the number 1 spot. You all do your own homework, predict, guess and wonder, and let’s see who can hit the bull’s eye!

9. Darkest Hour

A historical biography directed by Joe Wright which in total has six Oscar nominations this year!

The film revolves around the early days of World War II when Churchill was appointed the British Prime Minister and showed immense character that changed history forever.

Gary Oldman is undoubtedly an actor par excellence and his performance as Winston Churchill is awe-inspiring (every chance of winning the Male Leading Role). But I am real doubtful about the movie winning big this year.

8. Dunkirk

Directed by Christopher Nolan and brilliant music by Hans Zimmer (will probably win the for his Original Score).

Another film about World War II portraying the tensed war-front drama when soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France were at the mercy of the German Army.

In total eight nominations, though there are no acting or writing nominations and I think the movie won’t run till the end round of this year’s Oscar race.

7. The Post

The epic battle between the press and the government, a dangerous mission taken up by female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to unmask a massive coverup.

Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks together, that too directed by Steven Spielberg – this movie seems to be the perfect Oscar recipe but yet for me this is not really the Best Picture of last year.

6. Lady Bird

A delightful coming of age story of an artistically inclined seventeen-year-old girl and her chemistry between her friends and relatives – especially the love-hate relationship with her mother.

Directed by Greta Gerwig and brilliantly performed by Saoirse Ronan this is one film I absolutely enjoyed watching but still am not so sure about its Oscar win.

5. Phantom Thread

Paul Thomas Anderson collaborates with none other than Daniel Day-Lewis (supposed to be his last movie as an actor).

Superbly artistic, a visual treat that portrays the early world of fashion through the romance between a renowned dressmaker and his muse – a beautiful and determined young girl.

But then again the movie winning the Oscar – a bit doubtful scenario.

4. Get Out

An African-American guy meets his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend but things are not exactly what it seems to be. There lies some dark dangerous secrets that changes his life forever.

Now a low budget horror thriller gets nominated in the Best picture category – well, that’s a first!

Jordan Peele‘s direction and Daniel Kaluuya acting are spot on; though honestly to me the film apparently doesn’t look like a tough competition as an Oscar contender but you never know, unpredictability is the name of the game!

3. Call Me by Your Name

A summertime gay romance between a 17-year-old boy and a twenty-something man who has visited Italy as the young boy’s father’s research assistant.

(Click for Review)

A beautifully shot film directed by Luca Guadagnino and superb performances by Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet. Though not nominated in the direction, cinematography or editing categories it is a tough aim for the big spot but then if the movie snatches the Oscar I would  say it totally deserved it.

2. The Shape of Water

An incredible love-story between a mute lady-janitor and an amphibious creature that being held captive at a top secret research facility.

With 13 nominations, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and a superb performance by Sally Hawkins this visually stunning movie probably has the highest bets for the award. My favourite too. Fingers crossed!

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three billboards asking for justice – a mother’s unique way of challenging the authorities who failed to capture her daughter’s murder.

Directed by Martin McDonagh and a powerhouse of brilliant acting from Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell (sure will get awards for Female Leading Role or/and Supporting Male Role).

With total seven nominations, brilliantly written and shot with great precision – this is my most favourite film of last year and I hope this film gets its due i.e the Oscar of course!

Similar Interest: Best of 2017 you may have missed!

Similar Interest: Best of World Cinema 2017

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Judi Dench – the greatest Bond woman of all time!

Judi Dench – the greatest Bond woman of all time!

written by Anu Gopinath

The life of an assassin, going for his kill in the name of his Queen and his country, is riddled with the insecurities and fears of a man nearing the end of the tunnel and finding himself obsolete in the new Judi-Denchworld of drones and gadgets.

The one that kept James Bond sane (other than his Walther PPK of course) was the sturdy hands of a woman who went toe to toe with Bond – to unleash him to the world and then sheath him in the confines of Booze, women and the cold walls of MI6 at her whim, when found surplus for her needs and plans.

Long gone were the days of Connerys and Moores and the bond series was left stagnant for a significant period of time begging for resurrection when, MGM in all its wisdom chose to relaunch the series with Pierce Brosnan and later with Daniel Craig in the lead. The choice like any other came with its own controversies but the Judi-Denchwisdom of its choice left the world in their gasps, when in came to the land of men guns and bullets, a woman, as the head of MI6 who will ever hold the crown of being the “the only woman who ever bought the secret agent to his knees”. DAME Judie Dench.

So the board was set. The hunt was afoot. Short in stature but abundant in talent, Judie Dench curved a niche for herself in the hearts of the fans and critics alike when she hunted down the enemies of state with the eye and cold heart of a hunter who killed for her Country and savoured the last moments of her prey with such nonchalance that will put even Dr.Hannibal Lecter to shame.

In a movie series where women character had practically nothing to speak of other than being the eye candy (with only Eva Green in 2006 Casino Royale being an exception), Judi Dench rode in with such authoritarian aura that she traded punch for punch, wit for wit, barb for barb with her adversaries as well as her top assassin to come out on top and each and every single time she found herself and her organisation on the ropes. And innumerable times she outshone her colleagues with such wit and charm that Brosnan and Craig humbly stepped back for her to take the centre stage.

Such was her acting prowess that she made the character of M a lasting symbol of reason and justice. Her forthrightness in Judi-Denchsupporting her top assassin even at the face of her worst rival, her ironclad judgement where she orders to even shoot him for the
greater good of saving many made her one of the most awe inspiring characters that cinema ever gifted to the world!

Starting her term as M in Goldeneye (1995) along side Pierce Brosnan, Judi Dench owned the role to such extend that it gave a new dimension to the character of M and in turn helped Brosnan in sharing the load of expectations that came naturally with the role of the most suave secret agent ever to have graced over the silver screen.

Bond movies reaped the benefits of her charisma and methodical acting and it was a fitting tribute and recognition to Judi Dench’s talent and contribution that her character was the only one which survived the reboot when MGM gave us the most manly bond in Daniel Craig.

Judi-DenchDaniel Craig’s portrayal of Bond showed his vulnerable side of being a human who is steadfast and arrogant to the point of self destruction with her playing the perfect foil to her brash assassin guiding him when needed, reprimanding him when required and unleashing him when cornered.

Judi Dench brought her own style and perspective into the character of M that bond series would never be the same again. Perhaps it was fitting tribute to her achievements that her swan song as M was destined to be played out under the respectable eyes of some of the thespians of world cinema – Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem!

And when she finally walked away, she did so with her head held high having given the world a mere glimpse of the multitude of her talent and her name shall ever be etched in the lores of the cinema as GREATEST BOND WOMAN OF ALL TIME!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Loveless – BEST OF 19TH MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL 2017!

Loveless (2017)

written by Souranath Banerjee

Loveless Review: Cold and toxic, a disintegration of marriage metaphorically portraying an entire nation’s predicament!  

My Ratings: 4.4/5

A bitter divorce is never an easy experience for any couple but certainly the real victims are always the children. The most traumatic realisation a child has to cope with is that neither his parents wants custody of him, that he is just an unwanted baggage, a burden, that he is a mere glitch in their ugly adult world.

And that is exactly what happens to 12-year-old young Alyosha (Matvey Novikov), the terrible hard-hitting feeling of being loveless.

On one side Alyosha’s father (Aleksey Rozin) is having an affair with a younger woman who is pregnant with his child and on the other hand his harsh-speaking mother (Maryana Spivak) is passionately in love with a wealthy older man. On the verge of a nasty divorce the parents indulge themselves into a spate of brutal outbursts completely oblivious of the child who eventually decides to vanish from their lives for good.

Where is he gone? Has something happened to him? A kid cannot just disappear like that?

lovelessBut then writer/director Andrey Zvyagintsev (of Leviathan fame) along with writer Oleg Negin uses this tragic event to serve a bigger purpose, to narrate and critique the conditions in contemporary Russia, a country where everyone is desperately looking for – a lost loveless kid or may be it is simply Love that they are searching for?

Here we are talking about one nation (though I personally think it is a worldwide problem) where Happiness has become a piece of merchandise that can be negotiated and bought at a price while the value of Family-stability been reduced to a sign of status symbol. Where emotions and duty take the second seat while greed, ego and lust for a better-life gets the priority.

Absolute brilliance in the acting department – especially Maryana Spivak and Aleksey Rozin really make you hate and even sympathise lovelesswith them to a certain extent. The secondary characters Natalya PotapovaMarina Vasileva and Anna Gulyarenko also have such strong impact on the story and the audience.

But the best part is Mikhail Krichman‘s unique cinematography, the long takes and the subtle tracking of the camera brilliantly adds to the sentiments of the characters and the overall feel of the movie.

The music by Evgueni Galperine and Sacha Galperine is spot on and cleverly used only when it is actually required.

Official submission from Russia in the ‘Best Foreign Language Film‘ category at the 2018 Oscars. This is undoubtedly one of the best cinema of last year; very rarely does one film achieves a feat of representing a country and the psychology of its inhabitance with such savage precision and success.

Go watch it!

Similar interest: Leviathan Review

Similar Interest: Best Russian Classic Comedy Films

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Best of World Cinema 2017 (10+1List)

Best of World Cinema 2017

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best of World Cinema 2017: Every year before making this list I have this strange feeling of missing out some good ones, films which I may not have seen or even not know of. And this year is no exception!

And on top of that 2017 has such a variety of good Cinema to choose from, brilliant directors across the globe covering so many genres and what amazing films!

But finally I have made my choices, do let me know if you agree with me (or not). And here is my list of Best of World Cinema 2017. Enjoy!

10. Thelma

Language: Norwegian

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgQMHG9SGlU

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017A strictly raised religious girl explores life on her own for the first time – but little did she know that her subconsciously controlled psychokinetic powers will soon change everything around her!

Directed by Joachim Trier, a unique concept based around a lesbian love affair. Brilliant performance by Eili Harboe, certainly the best fantasy mystery of the year!

9. The Square

Language: Swedish, English.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKDPrpJEGBY

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

“The Square” – a unique contemporary show that has gained huge popularity but what does it say about our current society?

Swedish director Ruben Östlund (of Force Majeure fame) has made a brilliant satirical drama, absurd and surreal but entertaining!

Along with many other wins the film swept away the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

8. Okja

Language: Korean, English.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nhz9ctHR0k

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017On the surface a simple story of the friendship between a young girl (Seo-Hyun Ahnand her pet Okja – an oversized pig. But then this movie is so much more complex and layered, and very much socially relevant for today’s world.

Tilda Swinton, Paul DanoJake Gyllenhaal all at their best. From the acclaimed South Korean director Joon-ho Bong, probably the most powerful and important film of this year!

7. The Florida Project

Language: English.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwQ-NH1rRT4

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

Set up just in the outskirts of Disney World this is the story of a mischievous 6-year old (Brooklynn Prince) and her friends, her mother, her neighborhood – basically the world around her!

Directed by Sean Baker (of Tangerine fame), and also featuring Willem Dafoe and Bria Vinaite, a film that focus on human relations – the innocence and the complexities of it. Absolutely brilliant to watch! 

6. On Body and Soul

Teströl és lélekröl (original title). Language: Hungarian.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gZw6GVf2eY

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

Is it possible for two people to dream the same dream?

The setting being a slaughter house, this is an exceptional love story between two ordinary people wrapped in identical dreams.

A unique script and such brilliant performances, directed by Ildikó Enyedi, this Hungarian film has won the prestigious FIPRESCI Prize and the Golden Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival!

5. A Gentle Creature

Krotkaya (original title). Language: Russian.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sun3D8VqkGY

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

Nominated for Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, this Russian film is the story of a woman who investigates a return of a parcel that she sent to her husband who is serving prison time in an isolated town in Siberia.

Directed by Sergei Loznitsa, this one is an perfect example of superlative acting and brilliant story-telling, a slow yet highly cinematic experience.

4. The Shape of Water

Language: English.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFYWazblaUA

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017An amphibious creature in a hidden high-security government laboratory gets to befriend a lonely janitor (Sally Hawkins) but their friendship will be tested soon.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, emotional and highly engaging, a fantastic story and powerful performances – overall a visually stunning fairy tale like never before!

3. Call Me by Your Name

Language: English, Italian.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rgO_TyyOoU

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

‘Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine.’

An erotic love affair between two men, a visiting student and the young son of the American professor.

Premiered at Sundance Film Festival, directed by Luca Guadagnino, the film is a heartfelt yet heartbreaking story of two people in love on a hot summer somewhere in a small town of Italy!

2. The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Language: English.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQFdGfwChtw

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017The concepts of Revenge and Redemption have always been the favourite themes for movies but this film manages to twist these notions into a whole new level of awesomeness!

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (of The Lobster fame), a dark psychological thriller that takes its unique stand on morality and justice! Highly odd yet satisfying – just like the previous works of the director.

  1. Loveless

Nelyubov (original title). Language: Russian.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLegoO4NdD8

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

The film that won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the ARRI/OSRAM Award at the Munich Film Festival and was nominated ‘best film’ at the London Film Festival this year!

Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev, this one is about a couple who must team up to find their missing son although they are going through a nasty divorce.

Official submission of Russia for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category of the 90th Academy Awards in 2018.

and (The ‘+1’ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. The Other Side of Hope

Toivon tuolla puolen (original title). Language: Finnish

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtiFG6utst8

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

A Finnish man who opens his own restaurant and a Syrian guy who comes to Finland in order to start a new life. Two stories finally converge and give us one emotional and often hilarious drama!

Realistic yet with a comic touch, acclaimed filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki won the Silver Berlin Bear at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival in the Best director category!

Similar Interest: Best of 2017 you may have missed!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

Call Me by Your Name – BEST OF 19TH MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL 2017!

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

written by Souranath Banerjee

Call Me by Your Name Review: Intoxicatingly romantic, intensely erotic and definitely the best ‘Coming-of-age love story’ of our time! 

My Ratings: 4.3/5

‘Sexual awakening’ is a tried and tested theme and some brilliant movies in the past like Moonlight and Blue Is the Warmest Color have portrayed the typical indecisiveness of the young curious mind in the most engaging and cinematic ways possible.

But then Call Me by Your Name though delving with the similar adolescent dilemma hits the audience as the fresh morning air and takes away our breath by the sheer beauty and subtleness of the story and its charming characters!

Set in early 1980, surrounded by the dreamy countryside of Northern Italy, stands a picturesque villa in the midst of lush green valleys, fruit orchards and blue lagoons, and there blooms an illicit love story – an irresistible chemistry between a seventeen year old boy and a man in his mid twenties that finally oozes into one of the most emotionally captivating relationships painted on celluloid!

‘Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine.’ 

Elio (Timothée Chalamet) the young son of an archeology professor meets Oliver (Armie Hammer), a handsome American graduate student, who visits as an intern for the summer – and those six weeks Call-Me-by-Your-Nameof summer changes their lives forever. Especially Elio’s as the story is being told mostly from his perspective – not only does he discover love but he also reinvents himself.

Now the genius of director Luca Guadagnino (famous for the films I Am Love and A Bigger Splash) is not only in unfolding passion in the most lucid and eloquent manner (almost as if in slow motion) but also for treating the characters with electric erotism and yet never being carried away to the extent of indelicacy.

Never objectifying the central characters, never categorising their desires (both the leading men are shown with relationships with women as well), titillating but always with an uncanny sense of Call-Me-by-Your-Namespontaneous sophistication – both James Ivory (writer) and Luca Guadagnino (director) have adopted André Aciman‘s novel and made it into something very special and ageless!

And kudos to the exceptional performances by Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet – they have managed to perfectly portray the volatility of their relationship. And a special mention to Michael Stuhlbarg specially for his brilliant father-son dialogue delivery towards the end of the movie. Classic!

Poetic, alluring and ageless, as beautiful as the nude Greek male torsos that keep appearing in the film at regular intervals – probably the symbol for the eternal signature of love and passion.

Certainly one of the best films of the year!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Best of 2017 you may have missed! (10+1list)

Best of 2017 you may have missed!

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best of 2017 you may have missed: 2017 has been a year of some real good movies and a bliss for Cinema lovers like us!

But there is always a possibility that you may have overlooked a few, missed out the underrated ones which mind you are definitely worth your time.

So here is a list that will ensure that you have covered all the best of 2017. Thank me later!

10. Good Time

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrR-SbCRgCU

A heist gone wrong but that’s not the only thing that doesn’t go according to the plan. In order to save his mentally challenged brother a thug has the misadventure of his lifetime in one night span!

Directed by Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie, a rollercoaster ride of intense drama and Robert Pattinson breaks away from his Twilight zone and gives a super cool performance.

9. I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WBV7q_1DgQ

A woman burdened and bored by her life to the point of depression finds new purpose when she is robbed and vows to take revenge on the thugs. Her next-door neighbour becomes her partner in crime!

Written and directed by Macon Blair, with Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood giving their best – mostly a comedy and that too very well made, but I am sure the ending will surprise you!

8. Brawl in Cell Block 99

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfAExhHTMM

Vince Vaughn is back – not in some romcom but with a tough-guy-role in this cool and violent crime drama.

A drug dealer who goes to prison after a sore deal and realises that he has landed in the midst of a battleground!

Directed by S. Craig Zahler, this action drama has extreme violent scenes that can be disturbing for some people.

7. Lucky

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KLLkj84GAo

‘There’s a difference between lonely and being alone.’

A comedy drama centred around a ninety-year-old atheist who is forced to get out of his comfort zone and view life from a different perspective.

Directed by John Carroll Lynch and a performance of a lifetime by Harry Dean Stanton (his last role before he passed away). Also starring David Lynch!

6. Mudbound

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPRj3egUHb8

Adjusting to life after war is always tough and dealing with racism is even tougher. Two young men fresh from war zone had to deal with all this and much more!

Directed by Dee Rees, this is one brilliant movie, highly underrated but awesome acting and storytelling at its best.

Garrett Hedlund‘s performance is definitely an award winning one.

5. Molly’s Game

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu4UPet8Nyc

A former professional skier who ran world’s most exclusive high-stake poker-games in Los Angeles and New York and soon came into the radar of FBI.

A biography made on the life of Molly Bloom, brilliantly played by Jessica Chastain.

Directed by Aaron Sorkin, the story of the ultimate hustler and her mysterious and thrilling life!

4. Lady Bird

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNi_HC839Wo

A coming of age drama of a senior high school girl, a young artistic mind who wants to go to the east coast and live her life to the fullest!

Written and directed by my favourite actor/director Greta Gerwig, the film is so realistic and well told that you instantly feel a connection to it.

Saoirse Ronan is superb in the central character – so natural and vulnerable and yet so perfect.

3. Buster’s Mal Heart

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fL4WSUwqhho

Rami Malek (from Mr. Robot fame) has given a great performance as a mentally unstable man who keeps warning others about a certain mysterious upcoming ‘Inversion’!

Written and directed by Sarah Adina Smith, powerful visuals and a bizarre concept that unfortunately is a bit open-ended and often unexplained but surely this psychological thriller manages to hold your attention till the very end.

2. A Ghost Story

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxLHP2IpBXw

A ghost shrouded in a white-sheet with two eyes cut out  – this is the ghost of a recently expired man who returns to his home and tries to connect with his lonely wife.

Directed by David Lowery, this film is not to be taken as a typical horror/ghost movie. It is an arty type, slow, emotional, sad and yet beautifully poetic.

Brilliant performances by Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.

  1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jit3YhGx5pU

In order to challenge the local authorities to find her daughter’s murderers a mother puts up three billboards by the side of the road to provoke and taunt the police!

A black comedy directed by Martin McDonagh, this is a brilliant movie with superb storytelling and awesome performances by top-rated actors like Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Gerald’s Game

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twbGU2CqqQU

At a remote lake house a girl finds herself in a terrifying situation when her husband handcuffs her as part of their sex game but unfortunately have a heart attack and dies leaving her chained!

Superbly directed by Mike Flanagan and Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood gives their best. One of the very rare Stephen King novel adaptations that is probably even better than the book!

Similar Interest: Best of World Cinema 2017

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.