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Best Hollywood Movies of 2017 so far (10+1list)

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017 so far

written by Souranath Banerjee

Film-lovers take a deep breath – relax. It’s flashback time!

The first half of this year gone in a wink and yet it has been a busy half-a-dozen months for us, the dedicated movie-buffs.

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Dramatic super-hero/heroine movies, hilarious comedies, nail-bitting thrillers, romantic dramas, kickass action flicks, even musicals – you name it and Hollywood have delivered!

The list of the Best Hollywood Movies of 2017 so far is right here but then I must admit (with a heavy heart) that this list is pretty heavy on VFX rather than movies with less cumputer-graphics and more of real-world stories.

But anyways, here we go – remember – only the best!

10. Beauty and the Beast

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3Nl_TCQXuw

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Once more an adaptation of the popular fairy tale (again by Disney), where the beast and the beauty fall in love but can they live happily ever after?

Directed by Bill Condon, the classic musical narrated through a series of brilliantly choreographed dance and song sequences.

Starring Emma WatsonDan Stevens, Luke Evans, but I think the casting choices for the voices of the enchanted people-turned-objects/furnitures are much better!

9. War for the Planet of the Apes

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

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017The ape-trilogy has finally reached an epic conclusion. (But that doesn’t mean ‘no’ to a future 4th).

(Review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes)

Directed by Matt Reeves, this one is all about the grand battle between Caesar (the ape leader) and Colonel (the human army leader) and their battle for supremacy.

Thanks to Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson for giving us such an emotional experience.

8. John Wick: Chapter 2

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGk2EfbD_Ps

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Keanu Reeves is back as John Wick, the man whose car and dog you better don’t mess with! 

This is the second instalment of the superb 2014 action thriller John Wick, and this time it’s even more raw, brutal and action packed.

Directed by Chad Stahelski, this is the savage saga of what happens when you put a bounty on John Wick’s head!

7. The Big Sick

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF14JJkOrSI

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017A Pakistani muslim guy and a white American girl couldn’t help but fall for each other but would their families put aside the cultural barriers and accept their love?

Directed by Michael Showaltera unique rom-com that manages to address pretty serious issues but always with adequate humour.

Writer/actor Kumail Nanjiani is superb along with his on-screen love Zoe Kazan.

6. Baby Driver

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9YZw_X5UzQ

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Every successful heist ends with a thrilling car chase and Baby, the young getaway driver is there to guarantee your safety!

Super cool performances by Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon HammEiza GonzálezLily James and finally Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey stealing the show.

Directed by Edgar Wright, a crime drama intertwined with classy soundtracks – racy and stylish.

5. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0D3AOldjMU

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017A seemingly ordinary high school student in New York City struggles with his new super-powers – Peter Parker learns to control his alter ego – the Spider-Man. And his mentor is none other than Tony Stark (the Iron Man)!

Directed by Jon Watts, with Tom Holland in the lead along with Michael Keaton and Robert Downey Jr. this Spidy-franchise is the best thing that happened to Spider Man for a long time!

4. Wonder Woman

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSB4wGIdDwo

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Desperate to save the world from all the darkness and evil, here comes the invincible warrior princess of the Amazons – ‘Wonder Woman’ to us mere mortals!

Sexy and gorgeous Gal Gadot is THE reason to watch this film, but then also, not to forget Chris Pine and the overall amazing VFX!

Directed by Patty Jenkins, this DC comic based super-heroine film is visually spectacular, a perfect combination of action, humour and entertainment.

3. Song to Song

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL0FYUpXuoo

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017An euphoric moment for all Cinema-lovers – Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael FassbenderNatalie PortmanCate Blanchett – all in one movie and that too directed by Terrence Malick!

The plot revolves around love triangles, affairs, betrayals and heart breaks, all happening in the backdrop of the eccentric music scene in Texas.

Dreamy camera movements and powerful performances – a typical Terrence Mallik experience!

2. Logan 

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbug3zTm3Ws

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Hugh Jackman‘s swan song as his famous ‘Wolverine’ character from the X-Men series comes to an epic conclusion.

Directed by James Mangold, intense, violent, edgy and emotional – a gripping story and spectacular performances is what makes the film so special.

Then again young Dafne Keen and old Patrick Stewart gives the movie the vitality that it deserved. 

  1. Get Out

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzfpyUB60YY

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017It’s ‘meet-the-parents’ time for a young African American who is in relationship with a white girl. Well, the white folks seem to be pretty friendly – or are they?

Suffocatingly intense, both Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams has given great natural performances.

Directed by Jordan Peele, a very intriguing thriller that also seems to make a very important social statement even in today’s world.

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

+1. The LEGO Batman Movie

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZSQTVdF3QM

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Does Batman live in Bruce Wayne’s basement or Wayne lives in Batman’s attic? Anyways ‘Vigilantes don’t have bedtimes’ remember?

What happens when Batman doesn’t get invited to Superman’s house-party? And did you know that ‘Iron Man sucks.’ is the password for the Bat-Cave?

Directed by Chris McKaythe ultimate bat-crazy experience – absolutely hilarious, witty and a laugh riot. And of course brilliantly ‘legoed’, i mean animated!

A few other films that didn’t make the list but are worth your time: SplitTheir FinestThe Zookeeper’s WifeThe Lost City of Z, T2 Trainspotting and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

BEST ROMANTIC FILMS Of Recent Times (10+1LIST)

Best Romantic Films of recent times!

written by Sriram Sundar and Souranath Banerjee.

‘We are most alive when we’re in love.’

Honestly, watching a saccharine romantic movie with THE special one by your side, a hot tub of popcorn within your reach, and then some chocolates and two curvy glasses of red wine – I don’t know about you but that definitely makes me feel alive. And how!

So, here is the special list of The Best Romantic films of Recent times – believe it or not, this list has been checked and approved by none other than St. Valentine himself!

Share the love!

10. Annie Hall (1977)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqVgCfZX-yE

Best Romantic films

Annie Hall is widely regarded for possessing one of the finest scripts of all-time, and rightly so. This exceptionally funny and yet melancholy film is a miracle of comic writing and romance.

Woody Allen and Diane Keaton have the perfect chemistry and both create brilliant emotional parallels for their characters.  A must watch romantic film – one of Allen’s best Cinema ever!

 9. When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

 Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8DgDmUHVto

Best Romantic filmsMeg Ryan and Billy Crystal play Sally and Harry respectively, as they create an epic romantic chemistry on screen!

It’s 1977 and they share a ride from Chicago to New York. She’s fresh out of college, hoping to crack the journalism market; he’s romantically involved and onward to a political consultancy career. Are they compatible for love?

Directed by Rob Reiner, a fantastic film that defines what all romantic comedies should be! 

8. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmax1C1p660

Best Romantic films

London based Raj and Simran (Kajol) are happily leading their normal lives but a trip to Europe lands them into a surprise meeting with each other only to turn into love. While Simran’s father has fixed her marriage with his childhood friend’s son, Simran falling in love with someone else is not acceptable. Through this film, Shah Rukh Khan gave the name ‘Raj’ a whole new meaning!

Director Aditya Chopra, a historical film from India that will probably be watched for generations to come. 

7. Before Sunrise (1995)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25v7N34d5HE

Best Romantic filmsTwo people Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy meet each other, begin to talk and decide to spend the day and night together in Vienna. They spend some time in a church at midnight. They drink wine in a park. They find a way to exchange personal information by holding imaginary cphone calls with imaginary best friends. They talk about making love.

Directed by Richard Linklater, it is an ideal film for teenagers that keeps messing with your head long after it ends.

6. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05i3eIuJLaU

Best Romantic films

‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ chronicled the story of a mother, played by Rani Mukerji, who leaves eight letters for her daughter before her death, so that she can unite her father Shah Rukh Khan with his best friend, enacted by Kajol, as she believed he loved her.

Directed by Karan Johar created history when it released; not only was the film a roaring commercial success, it also brought in a wave of western concepts and style that were never-heard-before of in India! 

5. The Notebook (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC6biTjEyZw

Best Romantic filmsThis romantic drama, directed by Nick Cassavetes will make you fall in love and also make you cry for quite some time even after it ends.

The film recreated effectively the world of the 1940s in America, including the parental pressure exerted by the well-to-do family of Allie (Rachel McAdams) on whether to allow their daughter to pursue a young man from the other side of the tracks.  It moves between present-day and the 1940s. Ryan Gosling, as a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s is just brilliant. 

4. 50 First Dates (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErjP5xMTc8I

Best Romantic filmsHenry Roth ( Adam Sandler) lives in Hawaii and spend his time wooing women who are visiting the island, simply because there is little chance of commitment. Then he meets Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore). One day they hit it off, and the next she doesn’t even recognise him. It turns out that she suffers from short-term memory loss, and every day he tries to win her over once more.

Directed by Peter Segal, this film is a lighthearted take on the notion of amnesia, with the emphasis clearly billed around a love story.

3. (500) Days of Summer (2009)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsD0NpFSADM

Best Romantic films

Directed by Marc Webb, this one is not exactly your typical romantic film, but yet so full of Romance!

“This is a story of boy meets girl but you should know up front’ this is not a love story.” 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in love with Zooey Deschanel from the moment he met her.  But the relationship that lasts only for 500 days, is unfortunately a doomed one. the problem – he believes in love and she doesn’t!

2. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj5_FhLaaQQ

Best Romantic films

Silver Linings Playbook opens with the release from a mental institution of the explosive Bradley Cooper after eight months’ incarceration. He’s been diagnosed as bipolar after beating up a fellow high school teacher.

Pain is the subtext of nearly every interaction in this film that is directed by David O. RussellWith Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro along with Brad this definetly is one of the very few feel-good movies that is so refreshing to watch even now. 

1. The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ItBvH5J6ss

Best Romantic films

Based on John Green’s bestselling novel, directed by Josh Boonethis film offers the first-person accounts of Shailene Woodley, a bright 16-year-old who can hardly remember not living with cancer.

When this incredibly charming 18-year-old Ansel Elgort appears to take a thing for her, at a mutual cancer support group, and soon their fates are sealed together. Do have some tissues ready when you plan to watch it!

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

+1. Titanic (1997)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e-eXJ6HgkQ

Best Romantic filmsDirected by James Cameron, its $200 million budget shows in its glorious effects, dazzling camera work and lavish sets to name a few. ”Titanic” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). It includes partial nudity, one brief sexual situation, mild profanity and the soul-shaking sight of a great ship going down.

But the most important aspect of the film is the love story between Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet! This epic movie re-wrote the history of Cinema in numerous ways.

Poster courtesy:  www.imdb.com

La La Land (2016)

La La Land review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A Classic is born and it will make you sing and fall in love all over again!

My Ratings: 4.3/5

The original 1953 20th Century Fox logo reappears on the big la- la-land-posterscreen and makes it seem even bigger, and then the magic begins!

Yes, the resurrection of the old Hollywood charm, that feeling when the white shoes start tapping in rhythm and the dialogues metamorphose into soothing songs – the sheer magic of experiencing a musical, an odd combination of a modern classic!

And you are lost in the darkness of the theatre, well suspended on your disbeliefs, wondering in a world so full of love and dulcet melodies, absorbed in the sheer beauty of brilliantly choreographed, colourful, talking Cinema!

“How are you gonna be a revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist? You hold onto the past, but jazz is about the future.”

Director Damien Chazelle‘s love for Jazz was pretty evident in his previous film Whiplash but this time he makes a more definite statement – a desperate effort to save Jazz!

And thus he join hands with Ryan Gosling who learns to play piano like a professional just for this film, and then Gosling’s chemistry la- la-land-poster1with Emma Stone (undoubtedly one of the best actresses at present) is just so sublime! When they dance looking at each other’s eyes – that’s a major part of the ‘magic’ in the film that I was talking about earlier!

Long song and dance sequences masterfully choreographed that takes Justin Hurwitz‘s music to another level; great camera work and colour play by Linus Sandgren and crisp editing by Tom Cross. But again along with superlative directional capabilities thanks to Damien Chazelle‘s brilliantly written love story!

Recommended only for those who adore Jazz, Musicals, Ryan GoslingEmma StoneDamien Chazelle and powerful Cinema!

P.S – Oscar winner J.K. Simmons makes a guest appearance where he seems to hate good music!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

The Neon Demon Review

The Neon Demon Review

written by Souranath Banerjee

Blinding colour contrasts, a beautiful world so filled with blood and gory!   

My Ratings: 3.9/5

When you are watching a Nicolas Winding Refn film, be it the slick and classy Ryan Gosling starrer Drive (2011) or Tom Hardy‘s loud and insane performance in and as Bronson (2008); there is always something to expect, something quite out of the ordinary.

neon-demon-posterAnd even in his latest movie The Neon Demon, Mr.Refn haven’t let us down for sure.

This time he presents the unique story of ‘beauty’ and then he introduces the ‘beast’ as well, portraying the dementia and delirium that lurks behind the glitz and glamour of the fashion world!

16 year old Jesse (Elle Fanning), new to Los Angeles fashion circuit quickly manages to climb the ropes to become one of the top models making her competitors jealous and insecure. And they will do anything to get back in the game, to compete with Jesse’s spark and youth!

And before you realise, the film The Neon Demon changes from a story of a pretty vulnerable girl looking for stardom to something unimaginably horrific – often surreal but almost always effectively neon-demon-poster1disturbing.

Acting performances are top notch, specially for young Elle Fanning and Jena Malone, whose transformations in the film are simply brilliant!

Even Christina HendricksBella HeathcoteAbbey LeeDesmond Harrington demands attention. Even if you see Keanu Reeves in the film – stay calm.

Natasha Braier must be credited for the brilliance of the colour, tone and ambiance of the whole film – the feel of a brutal fantasy, a savage dream from which there is no waking up!

The Neon Demon essentially revolves around the idea of human obsession with natural beauty. Unique style and treatment, disturbingly beautiful, but then again not recommended for everybody.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

The Big Short (2015)

The Big Short review

written by Souranath Banerjee

“Truth is like poetry. And most people fucking hate poetry.”

My Ratings: 4/5.

Christian Bale,  Steve Carell,  Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt are all in the same movie and if that is not reason enough for you to watch this big-short-poster3film, then I must add that The Big Short is pretty well made too.

With the backdrop of the sudden U.S mortgage crisis in around mid 2000 which eventually dented the entire world economy, the film though particularly focuses on a group of people who noticed and predicted the devastating financial crisis well ahead and even profited from it!

An eccentric loner and fund-manager Dr. Michael Burry (Christian Bale), the smooth and classy trader Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), the loud and edgy money-manager Mark Baum (Steve Carell), and the cynical ex-trader Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) who helped the two big-short-poster2young investors Charlie Gellar and Jamie Shipley (John Magaro and Finn Wittrock) – however unbelievable it may seem, but these are the only few people in the entire world who knew enough to bet against the American economy!

“Tell me the difference between stupid and illegal and I’ll have my wife’s brother arrested.”

Well, this is one of the many funny onelinners by Ryan Gosling but if taken on a serious note, such a fatal housing market calamity and the resulting financial meltdown was only possible because all the major banks at the time in US really didn’t care much about the difference between stupidity and being illegal!

Based on the book with the same name by financial journalist Michael Lewis, co-writer and director Adam McKay has been successful in adding enough humor to dilute the financial jargon and make the film coherent for everybody.

big-short-poster1The cameos of sizzling Margot Robbie and sultry Selena Gomez explaining the difficult parts of finance certainly helps.

Unique editing style by Hank Corwin by juxtaposing popular images and youtube videos/music videos of the time along with the parallel storytelling of each individual character.

The Big Short does makes us remember Martin Scorsese‘s recent feature ‘The Wolf of Wall Street‘, not only due to the fact that it was also a movie related to wall-street/banking/finance but specially because of the often deliberate ‘breaking of the Fourth Wall’ by many characters throughout the film.

Overall an entertainer that demands your patience.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.comingsoon.net

2016 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

2016 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

written by Souranath Banerjee

On Sunday, February 28th, it’s that time of the year when they give away those awards!

Yes, on this day, the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences will hand over the most prestigious awards of the entertainment world – the Academy Awards or the Oscars.

On the basis of the ‘preferential voting’ system (democratic and unbiased), all the nominees are chosen each year for the various award categories and then they simply wait, hope and pray to win!

This year Chris Rock will be hosting the award ceremony on ABC.

In total 305 feature films are competing for Best Picture nominations. Though the final and official seven/eight nominated ones will be announced on Thursday, January 14th, it’s always fun to guess, predict and anticipate a little before hand.

So let the predictions for the ‘Best Picture’ category begin!

10. Beasts of No Nation (Netflix)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xb9Ty-1frw

beasts-of-no-nation1An African country at war, where violence is routine and murder is the law.

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, this is the story of a kid who is forced to join a group of soldiers and take up the gun to fight and kill people.

A raw and deadly film that shows the emotional turmoil of a child soldier. And surely a favorite in the Oscar race.

9. Carol (The Weinstein Company)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4z7Px68ywk

carol-poster1The combination of New York in 1950s and Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, and a perfect love story.

Full of emotions and breathtaking visuals, superb music and brilliant acting – the film is a complete package of aw

Directed by Todd Haynes, this one is a favorite of mine as well as the Oscar nominees. 

8. Youth (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T7CM4di_0c

Youth-poster2Michael CaineHarvey KeitelRachel Weisz and director Paolo Sorrentino cooks up one of the best mouthwatering cinema of this year.

(click for the review)

A film that reflects on the youth and relishes the old age with the same intensity. It deals with friendship, love, marriage, lust, professions, emotions and above all emotions. I bet my

7. The Hateful Eight (The Weinstein Company)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnRbXn4-Yis

hateful-eight-posterQuentin Tarantino is back with his 8th film and along with Samuel L. JacksonKurt RussellJennifer Jason Leigh and Tim Roth among others this one gets as gritty and violent as you can expect it to be.

Powerful performances with awesome visuals and a superbly entertaining story line.

An Oscar favorite because ‘No one comes up here without a damn good reason’. 

6. Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15syDwC000k

brooklyn-poster11950s Brooklyn as the backdrop, the film is about an Irish immigrant’s life, her love story and her past, and the choices she makes.

Directed by John Crowley, and outstanding performance by Saoirse Ronan, this is a film that breadths perfection.

My personal favorite and I wish it all the luck for the tough Oscar chart ahead.

5. Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner Brothers)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEJnMQG9ev8

mad-max-poster5In the year 1979 Mad Max was established – a drifter, a loner and of course mad as hell. And this is the latest addition to the popular franchise.

(Click for the review)

Powerful, dramatic and full of energy, directed by George Miller, this is undoubtedly the best action flick of 2015 and a leader in the Oscar race for the ‘Best Picture’. 

4. The Revenant (20th Century Fox)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoebZZ8K5N0

revenant-posterDirected by Alejandro González Iñárritu (whose film Birdman won the ‘best director’, ‘best picture’ and ‘best screenplay’ awards last year), has come up with this brilliant tale of an explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio).

A fur trading expedition in the 1820s; inspired by true events this is an epic adventure, a quest for survival and also a sure favorite in this year’s Oscar.

3. The Big Short (Paramount Pictures)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDlYm15ztK4

big-short-posterWhen Christian BaleSteve CarellRyan Gosling and Brad Pitt come together – you know it’s worth it. 

Directed by Adam McKay, this is a biographical account of the time (mid 2000) when there was a financial crisis in the US, and four individuals decided to fight the greedy banks for their lack of foresight.

Looks like a pretty sure thing for the award ceremony. Watch out!

2. Room (A24 Films)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_Ci-pAL4eE

room-posterAdopted from Emma Donoghue‘s famous novel, this is one unique story of a five-year old boy who is told by his loving mother that their 10-by-10 foot ‘room’ is the only world that exists! 

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, a brilliant film that surely is becoming people’s favorite and a likely contestant for the Oscar.

Brilliant performance by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay

  1. Spotlight (Open Road Films)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwdCIpbTN5g

spotlight-poster1Probably the most significant cinema on ‘journalism’ made after the epic All the President’s Men (1976).

Directed by Tom McCarthy, this is one film that is considered certainly as the top favorite in this year’s Oscar game.

With Mark RuffaloMichael KeatonRachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber among others this is one safe film to put your money.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most popular one).

+1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Disney)

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

star-wars-posterThe recently released ever popular addition to the Star Wars franchise and a sudden favorite for the Oscars.

Directed by J.J. Abrams, this film with it’s immense fan following has the potential to be a game changer in the race for this years ‘Best Picture’ Academy Awards.

By the way, this film has recreated the U.S. box office record beating James Cameron‘s Avatar!

And now the films though not included in my list but are certainly fair competition for the award: Straight Outta ComptonCreedTrumboSon of SaulBlack MassThe Danish GirlLove & MercyTangerineSicarioSteve JobsThe MartianBridge of Spies and Joy.

And finally – A Thank You to the movies of 2015.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

Southpaw (2015)

Southpaw review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

My ratings: 4/5.

‘The more you get hit, the harder you fight’.

Well, that’s more or less the story of boxer Billy Hope’s life, both in and out of the ring.

Director Antoine Fuqua, famous for action films like Training Day (2001) and Shooter (2007) and The Equalizer (2014) comes up with a ‘boxing film’ this time. 

southpaw-poster1Not a biography (as most boxing films are) but i bet you have seen such typical sports-redemption dramas before and there is a good chance that you already have guessed the basic story-line.

An arrogant man who cannot control his rage but life puts him in a tough spot and teaches him to be humble and take control of his destiny. And guess what – he eventually becomes a better man both professionally and personally!

Absolutely nothing unique in the script and regarding the all blood & sweat boxing showdown – we have seen better in films like Raging Bull (1980), Cinderella Man (2005) and even the Sylvester Stallone‘s Rocky versions.

So now the big question is WHAT exactly is there in this 124 min film Southpaw that still holds our attention? HOW does it still manage to impress us?

southpaw-poster3The combination of Antoine Fuqua‘s direction and the music of James Horner (RIP) – Yes may be. But the real answer lies in the brilliant performance of the entire cast, especially Jake Gyllenhaal

After his outstanding role in Nightcrawler as the skinny psychopathic crime journalist, Jake Gyllenhaal has now transformed himself into this all-muscle, super-fit, left-handed boxing champion Billy Hope.

The rage and the darkness in the character, the helplessness and the self-destruction, the empathy and love for his family and friends, the will to survive – Bill Hope is one complex character and no body could have portrayed him as good as Jake Gyllenhaal.

By the way, Eminem was supposed to play the ‘Southpaw’ and then Ryan GoslingBradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner were all considered for this role!

southpaw-posterAnd then there is the ever-beautiful Rachel McAdams (wife of Billy Hope); their chemistry in the beginning supports the entire film. Forest Whitaker as the teacher-figure gives his best. Even the child actor Oona Laurence belts out a terrific emotional performance. 

50 Cent acts and Eminem sings!

Southpaw is the best redemption drama of this year, specially recommended for the boxing-film lovers.

It’s a perfect example of how you can take the same old concept and shape it into something awesome with sensible direction and sheer brilliant performances.