Tag Archives: Paul Verhoeven

BEST THRILLERS OF 2016 (10+1 LIST)

Best thrillers of 2016

written by Sriram Sundar

The greatest fascination and thrill for any person is the study of human psychology and behaviour. Such mind-games for survival creates an extraordinary atmosphere of mystery and intrigue! There is no greater thrill than pitting one’s mind with a worthy opponent and staying a step ahead in the psychological war-fare.

Very often, thrillers have complex story lines and can be challenging to follow, so as a viewer you are always guessing what is going to happen next.

So let us begin the list of the Best Thrillers of 2016 where you can experience danger without actually being in danger.

10. The Eyes of My Mother

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp2adx_ScA8

This one is not for the easily queasy audience. It is a stark, dreadful vision – but one that is fascinatingly executed, with a compelling central performance from Kika Magalhaes as a matter-of-fact monster!

Directed by debutant Nicolas Pesce, this is about a young girl exposed to unimaginable tragedy. And then being shot in black and white makes it more intense to watch!

9. Hush

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_P8WCbhC6s

A deaf woman takes on a psychopathic killer in a hugely effective film that recalls the opening of ‘Scream’.

Directed by Mike Flanagan, this film is about a mystery writer Maddie (Kate Siegel) who is unaware of her friend Sarah is being massacred feet away from her — pounding on her back door for help, too desperate to realize her Maddie can’t hear her! And then it’s her turn, to run, to defend herself or to fight it out till the very end.

8. The Boy

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpIbO6HEwr8

Greta (Lauren Cohan) arrives for a nanny job to a storybook mansion deep in the English countryside, to find dark corridors, creaking floors, mysterious owners, and a porcelain doll who is being treated as a person alive!

Director William Brent Bell masters the slow build, making us wonder throughout the film who’s crazy and who’s not!

7. The Girl on the Train

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkoEE1i0CX8

Rachel (Emily Blunt), devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds.

A thriller about an alcoholic’s struggle to make sense of a close-to-home murder as well as her own mind. Directed by Tate Taylor, this film is based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel.

6. Nocturnal Animals

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H1Ii1LjyFU

When Susan (Amy Adams) receives a manuscript from her ex-husband, Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal) and as she continues to read she has flashbacks to how her own relationship!

(Click for review)

A violent thriller directed by Tom Ford, Michael Shannon being Oscar nominated for his performance in the Best Actor Supporting Role category. 

5. 10 Cloverfield Lane

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saHzng8fxLs

After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack.

(Click for review)

Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, this film does a spectacular job of capturing nightmare logic. You sense danger even if you can’t explain it.

4. Don’t Breathe

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76yBTNDB6vU

What can $300,000 make you do? Three teenage thieves – Rocky (Jane Levy), Money (Daniel Zovatto) and Alex (Dylan Minnette) – desperate to make enough money and leave for a better life in California, break into the house of a blind Army veteran Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang).

(Click for review)

Directed by Fede Alvarez, this isn’t just any old home invasion thriller but it understands the limitations of the genre and works wonders within them!

3. Hounds of Love

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tddlYXhgFoo

Ben Young‘s first feature is an unflinching immersion into the nightmare of a teenage girl Vicki (Ashleigh Cummings), abducted and tortured by a serial-killer couple. But it doesn’t end there!

The strange dynamics between the couple Evelyn (Emma Booth) and John (Stephen Curry) as seen from the eyes of their captive is the essence of the film. A raw tensed thriller indeed!

2. Hell or High Water

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQoqsKoJVDw

Toby (Chris Pine) and ex-con loose cannon Tanner (Ben Foster) stage a series of heists against various branches of the bank, all the while pursued by Jeff Bridges, on deliciously crusty form as a Texas ranger nearing the end of his career.

Directed by David Mackenzie, this film is highly recommended not only for those who like bank robberies and persecutions, but also those who enjoy a good, well narrated film with a clever script and good direction.

1. Elle

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-iBBgcp7PY

Michèle (Isabelle Huppert) when attacked in her home by an unknown assailant vows to track the man down, but soon they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game – a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control and destroy them.

(Click for review)

Directed by Paul Verhoeven, this film is one hell of a erotic thriller!

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

+1. The Neon Demon

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cipOTUO0CmU

 Sixteen-year-old Jesse (Elle Fanning) arrives in Los Angeles with dreams of being a model. She struggles to assert herself, making it a necessity for Dean, and concerned make-up artist Ruby (Jena Malone) to become more than just foils.

(Click for review)

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, the women in this movie are all impossibly beautiful and incredibly shallow at the same time. Stellar performances, amazing visuals and a unique storyline will cement this as a cult classic.

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

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Elle (2016) – BEST OF 18TH JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL 2016!

Elle review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

If a rape victim desires to return to the act itself, then the next time, does she still remain a victim?

My Ratings: 4/5

Quality erotic thrillers are hard to find but then Basic Instinct director Paul Verhoeven often comes to our rescue.

elle-reviewHis latest French thriller Elle was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and also has already won the Golden Globe Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language and the lead Isabelle Huppert won for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama!  

The film starts with a disturbing rape scene that makes the audience uncomfortable enough but then the alarming normality maintained by the ‘victim’ as she continues to perform her daily routine becomes even more disturbing. Why doesn’t she complain about her violation? How can she be so inert about her abuse? Does she know the attacker or will she track him down?

Multiple relations and several interesting plot lines crisscross their paths, and one has to admire the Dutch director’s subtle use of comedy throughout the movie, but then again, the erotic undercurrent is what makes the film so special!

elle-reviewAnd of course Isabelle Huppert‘s brilliant performance!

Actually “Elle” means “She” and so the whole film is seen from the perspective of the central character Michèle and Isabelle Huppert simply owns the part. Her beautiful, sexy looks, her cold and courageous character, her raw animal desires and her level of supreme confidence – no doubt she is the spine of this film.

Though according to me the ending of the film doesn’t justify her character at all but then again a performance to cherish for sure.

Based on the novel “Oh…” by Philippe Djian, I think the best compliment for this film would be that it feels very much like a Michael Haneke film, a lighter version may be with a hint of comedy in it!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

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Best Jew-Nazi dramas during the Holocaust (10+1list)

Best Jew-Nazi dramas during the Holocaust.

written by Souranath Banerjee

For anybody who is not familiar with the word ‘holocaust‘ (though i doubt that), it is a term used to define the genocide in which approximately six million Jews (including one million Jewish children) were killed by Adolf Hitler through his Nazi regime.   

There were another five million non-Jewish victims of Nazi mass murders as well.

And thus, in between1941 to 1945, while Germany was fighting the WorldWar II in the forefront, approximately eleven million people were executed in a preplanned and secretive manner throughout Nazi-Germany and the other German-occupied territories.

Numerous films and documentaries have been made to portray those unpredictable and desperate times.

Interestingly the films listed below neither emphasize on the WWII nor particularly based on the inhumane concentration camp stories; these films tell the tales of those who defied against the barbaric massacre of human lives, of those who challenged the deadly systematic annihilation and survived (or at least tried to).

Most of these films are based on true stories and are definitely the best Jew-Nazi dramas in the times of Holocaust.

Please have a look.

10. Black Book (2006)

Original title: Zwartboek. Language: Dutch.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKEDKF8iDUw

black-book-posterDirected by Paul Verhoeven, this one was the official Netherlands entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category for the Oscars.

A Jewish singer who transforms herself from a war victim to a spy, she uses her charms and also puts her life at risk to pass German war secrets to the Dutch Resistance.

A visual treat and a plot that has so many twists to keep you guessing till the end.

9. Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005)

Original title: Sophie Scholl – Die letzten Tage. Language: German.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x14U3R3-dFE

Sophie-Scholl-posterThe White Rose was the German World War II anti-Nazi resistance movement and young Sophie Scholl was one of the most prominent members of it. 

The film is a dramatized version of brave Sophie Scholl’s arrest, her interrogation, her trial till her sentence in 1943 Munich. 

Directed by Marc Rothemund, a chilling war drama, a must watch. 

8. In Darkness (2011)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHuPtd9oCSQ

in-darkness-poster

Leopold Socha, a man probably lesser known than Oskar Schindler but then again he saved numerous lives in the Nazi-occupied Polish city of Lvov during Holocaust.

He risked his own life hiding Jewish refugees from the Nazis in the sewers for almost 14 months! 

Directed by Polish female director Agnieszka Holland, a heart touching story of humanity and valor. 

7. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnrRy6kSFF0

inglorious-bastards-posterFiction at it’s best; two separate plans to assassinate the Nazi leaders unfortunately coincide and how!

Quentin Tarantino‘s take on the gruesome times of history – a drama told in his unique style, quirky and essentially violent.

Brad PittChristoph WaltzMichael FassbenderDiane KrugerEli Roth among others. One of the most popular one in the list.

6. Defiance (2008)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-9eUXSzZNk

defiance-posterIn the Belarussian forests the Jewish brothers escapes from the Nazis and built their own village to protect themselves and also 1000 other Jews. 

Directed by Edward Zwick, this is the epic story of defiance as some Jews decided to fought back against their oppressors.  

Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber great performances indeed. 

5. The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7zDyJcF3ko

diary-of-anne-frank-posterIn Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, a young Jewish girl named Anne Frank is forced to hide in an attic with her family and a few friends. 

The film is based on the real accounts of events documented by Anne herself in her diary.

Directed by George Stevens, this one is a brilliant tale of the war seen through the innocent eyes of a young  girl hoping to be free some day.

4. The Pawnbroker (1964)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNLBKdV83co

pawnbroker-posterA Jewish pawnbroker who once survived through the savage concentration camps is too damaged and scarred to trust or love others. 

An unforgettable performance by Rod Steiger, a brilliant actor of his times.

Directed by Sidney Lumet, the film is a gem and deserves much more recognition and popularity than it ever earned.  Please do watch.  

3. Amen. (2002)

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

amen-posterKurt Gerstein, a German sanitation engineer who developed the lethal gas Zyklon-B, didn’t realize that the same gas will be used by the SS to kill millions of Jews in the camps.

He in order to stop the genocide tries to inform the Pope Pius XII and ask for the Vatican’s help.

Directed by Costa-Gavras, a film full of passion and drama.

2. The Pianist (2002)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_jE7-6Uv7E

pianist-poster1Talented Adrien Brody as the pianist who desperately struggles to escape from the clutches of the Nazis and from being sent to the ghettos and executed.  

Directed by my favorite director Roman Polanski, a film so powerful and emotional and yet very realistic. 

The best Holocaust movie ever made – yes, my vote surely goes for this one.

  1. Schindler’s List (1993)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdRGC-w9syA

schindlers-list-posterMaster director Steven Spielberg tells the tale of Oskar Schindler, a German business man who is responsible for saving many Jewish lives (more than 1000) from being gassed during the Holocaust.

Liam Neeson as Schindler has given his career best performance.

Probably the most popular film representing this particular historical period.

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

+1. Downfall (2004)

Original title: Der Untergang, Language: German.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD1Riwv5wqw

downfall-poster1

This particular film explores the final days of the Reich and of it’s leaders such as Himmler, Goring, Goebbels and Hitler himself.

April 1945, chances of Germany winning the war looks grim but still the paranoid dictator wants to fight till the end. 

Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, one of the most microscopic view on last days of Hitler. 

Similar Interest: Best Concentration Camp films during the Holocaust (10+1list).

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.imdb.com

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