Tag Archives: Anu Gopinath

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom

written by Anu Gopinath

“The difference between a great artist and an ordinary one is the ability of the former to know when to stop” – Sherlock Holmes.

My Ratings: 1.5/5

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom review: Gone are those days when heart wrenching stories were told through the medium of cinema and timeless classics told the Jurassic-World-Fallen-Kingdompoignant tales of love, heartbreak and injustice.

Cinema was once the medium of common man through which he expressed his frustrations against injustice, his lament for his long lost love and his youthful exuberance of his triumphs. But while sitting through the tiring 2 hours of the latest installment of Jurassic Park, one cant help but wonder about the futility of the rigmarole that is “sequels”.

A movie riddled with scientific inaccuracies and mindless special effects, has the two main characters reprising their roles of the previous installment and gives a below par performance Jurassic-World-Fallen-Kingdomwhich makes the film a painful watch.

It is high time Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard give a long review of their resume and decide whether the characters they have done till now do justice to their abundant talent. With absolutely nothing new to offer the film huffs and puffs through its entirety with a wafer-thin storyline and below par special effects.

An almost non-existent storyline which borrows heavily from the first two installments, the director J.A. Bayona even dares to touch the controversial topic of human cloning in a desperate effort to hold the attention of the audience – but fails spectacularly!!!

The timeless classic that is Jurassic Park (1993) has stood the test of
time and it was the touch of the finest auteurs of world cinema that Jurassic-World-Fallen-Kingdommade this movie what it is today – Steven Spielberg.

Its unique storyline, spell binding special effects and amazing background score struck the right chord with the audience and yet it is the same traits that become the new installment’s undoing.

It’s with a heavy heart that I am writing the obituary of a grand cinema franchise which not only did redefine the genre but also became a benchmark to which future sci-fi flicks would be weighed, measured and judged!!

If only men knew when to walk away …  if only …

Similar Interest: Jurassic World review

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

A Quiet Place (2018)

A Quiet place Review

written by Anu Gopinath

A Quiet Place Review: John Krasinski, a terribly underrated actor with an abundance of potential comes off age and finally shows the world what he’s capable of!

My Ratings: 3.5

Though touted to be a horror thriller, A Quiet Place plays in to the hearts of the audience with its gripping tale of love, bereavement and forgiveness!

The young actor that is Millicent Simmonds, is an absolute
revelation and her acting prowess make us reminisce quiet fondly of
one brilliant Abigail Breslin swooping the world off its feet in M. Night Shyamalan‘s Signs.

The movie starts on an ominous note and the first quarter of an hour is well spent on explaining the storyline and ground rules of the plot. Now with the plot line set, Krasinski, in a move that can only be deemed ‘audacious’, thrusts the prodigal talent of Ms. Simmonds
into the limelight and boy, doesn’t she deliver! And that’s where Krasinski, the director shines!

A-Quiet-PlaceHe along with Emily Blunt, quite brilliantly plays the parents who are holding on to their loved ones at the times of adversity, coming in terms with the heartbreak of their lost child and giving hope to their progenies when they have the luxury of keeping none for themselves!

The young Ms. Simmonds carries the movie on her little shoulders depicting the heart break of an young girl who has to come in terms
with untimely and cruel death of her brother, the suppressed
laments of a deaf girl who blames herself for his untimely death and
the resultant isolation from her dad and ultimately, the stark
realisation and the defiant acceptance of her responsibility to save her younger brothers and her mother from the aliens!

Brilliant cinematography by Charlotte Bruus Christensen, a simple plot and credit goes to Marco Beltrami for the clever use of A-Quiet-Placebackground score or even the lack of it; the suspense plays well into the minds of the audience and keeps them engaged through out.

Though not exceptional by any measure, the success of the movie is in the vision of the young director John Krasinski to create a decent thriller devoid of any gimmicks and instead tell it though the pains and heartbreak of a grieving family – and that is what makes this movie a must watch flick of the year.

It’s not everyday that the world gets to see a prodigal talent unravelling its various layers and it took 16 long hard years since Abigail Breslin and a very underrated actor /director, to see the birth of one!

N it’s been worth the wait!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

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

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