Tag Archives: Thelma Schoonmaker

Silence (2016)

Silence Review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A film apparently waiting to be made for the last two decades; is it really worth the wait?

My Ratings: 4/5

Finally Martin Scorsese unfolds his latest, his so called ‘passion project’, and his third religion-based movie after The Last silence-reviewTemptation of Christ in 1988 and Kundun in 1997. And it’s an absolute beauty!

I pray but I am lost. Am I just praying to silence?’

Adopted from Shûsaku Endô‘s novel by the same name, it’s a tale about two Jesuit missionaries Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Garupe (Adam Driver) who travel all the way to Japan to confirm the fact that one of their mentors, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson) has publicly denounced God!

‘The moment you set foot in that country, you step into high danger.’

An eternal conflict about faith, religion and theology that seems to have no conclusive ending, or may be there is one?

silence-reviewThe film manifests some top notch performances specially by Andrew Garfield who is undoubtedly the most promising young actor of recent times!

Adam Driver is also superb and Liam Neeson as the wise controversial Father excels without fail. Even the Japanese cast Yôsuke KubozukaShin’ya TsukamotoTadanobu AsanoIssei Ogata and Yoshi Oida – they all have made their presence felt in the film.

Rodrigo Prieto does wonders shooting the mysterious foggy outdoors of Japan, and three times Oscar winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker creates magic with the images!

silence-poster2And composer duo Kathryn Kluge and Kim Allen Kluge truly do justice to the score of Silence.

Surprisingly non-commercial, even a bit too arty and poetic contrary to Scorsese’s usual raw, gritty and direct approach but then again it’s a 2h 41min of absolute visual brilliance.

It so much reminds you of Akira Kurosawa‘s work, not only because of Japan being the backdrop but also for the overall treatment and space used throughout the film.

‘I worry, they value these poor signs of faith more than faith itself. But how can we deny them?’

The premiere of Silence was held at the Vatican; and for me it matches up to be one of the best films directed by Scorsese till date – ‘Sometimes silence is the deadliest sound.’ 

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

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Bombay Velvet (2015)

Bombay Velvet review.

My Ratings: 2.5/5.

Bombay Velvet is my favorite director Anurag Kashyap‘s latest feature and one of Bollywood’s most anticipated films of 2015. 

bombay-velvet-poster4The story of an ambitious young Johney Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor) who wants to be called a ‘big-shot’ after his death; who falls in love with a beautiful club-singer Rosie (Anushka Sharma) and who also makes the mistake of betraying the notorious newspaper tycoon Kaizad Khambatta (Karan Johar).

Based on Indian historian Gyan Prakash’s book Mumbai Fables – Bombay Velvet claims to be a thriller, a crime drama and also a love story all at the same time.

But unfortunately it doesn’t match up to the audience’s expectation level – primarily because it lacks a dignified story line and intelligent dialogues.

Bombay-Velvet-poster1First of all, the basic plot is very much clichéd and many a times illogical. The film desperately attempts to create the old fashioned ‘film noir’ kind-of mood (dark and tragic) but after the second-half Bombay Velvet becomes predictable and in a way simply refuses to entertain.

The mad-lover in outrage (we have seen better in Dev.D), the police/CBI chasing suspects (seen better in Black Friday), slow motion firing of machine guns with heavy background music (seen better in Gangs of Wasseypur), suspense and unexpected twists in the story (seen better in Gulaal) – honestly even Anurag Kashyap‘s unreleased debut film Paanch (2003) had more zing than Bombay Velvet (story wise).

But again the mood and lighting is brilliant. Cinematographer Rajeev Ravi has done a great job with the colors and texture of the film.

bombay-velvet-posterThe production designers Errol Kelly and Sonal Sawant along with the art director Sameer Sawant recreated the grander of old Bombay with perfection.  

Amit Trivedi‘s music is decent but nothing extraordinary. 

Now for the acting part – good performances all around. Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma seem to have a great on-screen chemistry.  

Unfortunately, after achieving great success in Barfi! and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani actor Ranbir Kapoor‘s luck seems to have taken a summersault. In spite of giving worthy performances, his last three films BesharamRoy and Bombay Velvet (included) somehow fail to hold the audience’s attention.

bombay-velvet-poster3An under-exploited Kay Kay Menon as the CBI officer, Satyadeep Misra as the trusted friend, Vivaan Shah as the lover-boy driver, and even the debutant villain Karan Johar (who seems to have charged only Rs 11 as his acting fee) has done pretty well. 

Overall Bombay Velvet (149 min long) could have been much better with a tight script and crisp dialogues. May be a budget constraint does work better in case of certain directors!

Note: Though Martin Scorsese is given special thanks and Oscar winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker (who has many a times worked with Martin Scorsese before) did edit the film – but Bombay Velvet is nothing close to any of Martin Scorsese’s films. So please stop comparing and unnecessarily escalating your expectations.   

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