Tag Archives: Ben Kingsley

The Walk (2015)

The Walk review

written by Souranath Banerjee

My Ratings: 4.2/5

Viewers who have vertigo will want a refund for their tickets!

How must it feel to be on the top of the world (literally); high above the sky so high with the wind and the silence as your only companions, the power of determination, the beauty of an incredible imagination becoming reality, and finally a few moments of Zen?

There is only one man who has the answer to the above question – Mr. Philippe Petit.

philippe-petit-posterIn his stunning book ‘To reach the clouds’ (originally published in 2002) Philippe Petit describes his daring experience as a tightrope walker who made eight crossings within one hour between the Twin towers of America (World Trade Center) on 7th August 1974.

That day, more than 100,000 people watched this incredible feat of unimaginable audacity as French street-performer Philippe Petit’s childhood dream comes true!

In his own words ‘People ask me “Why do you risk death?”. For me, this is life.’

In 2008, James Marsh‘s brilliant documentary Man on Wire was released, based on the same event – Philippe Petit’s 1974 history-making-sky-walk in New York.

walk-poster2And finally, it’s time for the biopic.

Director Robert Zemeckis best known for Who Framed Roger Rabbitthe Back to the Future series and also for his collaboration with actor Tom Hanks in films like Forrest Gump and Cast Away comes up this year with his spectacular tightrope-walker biopic, named simply The Walk.

Now the problem with biopics (specially if dependent on some specific event) is that the audience in general remembers what exactly happened in reality and thus the director’s chance of playing with the element of suspense is almost nil.

But then also, when the viewers sit on the edge of their seats thrilled and scared to death while experiencing THE famous Walk between the two towers, that alone proves the success of the director and his film.

walk-poster4Of course the brilliant CGI and impeccable visual effects helps a lot and Dariusz Wolski as the cinematographer has enormous contribution in the film’s success, but still Robert Zemeckis as a director has nailed this one. The drama, the tension, the courage and the fear, all executed in perfect proportions and the effect is awesome!

One other guy who is very much responsible for making the film a memorable one is Joseph Gordon-Levitt

An actor with immense potential and many super cool past performances (in films like Mysterious Skin(500) Days of SummerHesherInception50/50Don Jon), this time he is ready to charm us with his perfect French accent, wearing blue contact lenses and a boyish smile as he plays Philippe Petit in the film.

walk-poster1Trained by Philippe Petit himself (and with the help of a stunt double as well) Joseph Gordon-Levitt played the part to perfection.

Other actors like Charlotte Le Bon, Guillaume BaillargeonBen Kingsley were all at their best.

Though essentially based on a French guy and almost all the characters in the film are French but still with the pretext of ‘practicing their English to make it better’ the dialogues are mostly in English. That’s kind of understandable though, otherwise the film would have turned into a French film!

Overall The Walk is an amazing experience, a celebration of freedom and spirit (and the loving memories of the Twin Towers); a tale of one man’s dream being fulfilled though it was an illegal and not to mention the most dangerous dream to come true.

P.S. Please watch it in 3D. One of the very few films that justifies the purpose of 3D glasses.

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

Best of Roman Polanski

Best of Roman Polanski

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Known as the ‘truly international filmmaker’ Roman Polanski has evolved as a legendary name in the world of cinema.

Though nominated several times for the Oscars in the best director category Roman Polanski has won the award only once in 2002 for The Pianist.

Roman Polanski has directed four actors in performances that have earned them Oscar nominations: Ruth Gordon (Rosemary’s Baby), Jack Nicholson (Chinatown), Faye Dunaway (Chinatown), and Adrien Brody (The Pianist). Gordon and Brody have actually won the Academy Awards.

There has been many ups and downs in his personal life but as a filmmaker Roman Polanski has consistently given his best.

Listed are some of his best films till date. Let the fun begin!

10. Repulsion (1965)

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO0niGPR5S4

repulsion posterPolanski’s first film in English – a classic psychological thriller.

The first in Polanski’s Apartment Trilogy as well, it is the story of a beautiful girl (Catherine Deneuve) whose repulsion from reality later leads to dangerous alleys of hallucinations and murders.

Scary and twisted yet disturbingly brilliant. A trademark Polanski film indeed.

9. The Ghost (2010)

Fil m Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_AerBW0EcI

the ghost writer posterStylish political thriller that is justified only by Polanski’s superb direction.

A ghost writer (Ewan McGregor) is hired to work for the former British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan). Certain secrets get revealed and the writer’s life is in danger!

Suspense and thrill gets a new definition in this film.

8. Bitter Moon (1992)

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69cGkcHEfuU

bitter moon posterPassion or lust, love or torture, victim or the master?

In this film the roles of the characters keep changing as Polanski plunges deep into our human psyche and create such conflicting emotions.

Brilliant performances, one of the most cool and sexy films i have ever seen. And yes, Emmanuelle Seigner is super hot.

7. Tess (1979)

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvGZ5XXPCSM

Tess poster Nominated in the Oscars for six different categories, Tess is visually one of the most beautiful film ever made.

Adapted from Thomas Hardy’s novel “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” it is one of those rare moments when you like the film version even better than the book. 

A slow paced film that gives the perfect picture of rural Victorian England – a delight to watch.

6. Carnage (2011)

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPX6-4Bo7XU

Carnage posterOne apartment as the location, four characters Jodie FosterKate WinsletChristoph Waltz and John C. Reilly as the cast – the film is unique in many ways.

A fight between the children leads to an even bigger drama between their parents.

Master director Polanski plays with the his brilliant cast like puppets and brings out the best in them.

5. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PewtQsgN5uo

Rosemarys Baby poster One of the most popular films of Roman Polanski and probably the best horror film ever made.

Mia Farrow‘s best performance and the second in Polanski’s Apartment Trilogy.

Pregnant wife and her unborn child’s safety is all that matters, isn’t it?

Well,  people can get even murdered to protect the mysterious baby!

4. Chinatown (1974)

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T37QkBc4IGY

chinatown posterPrivate detective (Jack Nicholson) is hired to solve a mystery that gets too dangerous to handle.

This film reminds me of the old Film noirs that Hollywood used to make in the 40s and 50s – the best modern age  Film Noir.

Nominated for Oscars in eleven categories – won only for original screenplay.

3. Knife in the Water (1962)

FIlm Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaBa2Wj3gHk

the knife in the water posterRoman Polanski’s first feature film and it was nominated for the Oscar in the best foreign film category.

Unfortunately the same year Fellini’s 81/2 was also nominated.

But never the less Polanski showed in his very first film his class as a director.

A gripping tale of human psychology and emotions.

2. The Tenant (1976)

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

The tenant poster My personal favorite, very disturbing to watch, this film haunts you  for days after you have seen it.

The last in Polanski’s Apartment Trilogy and probably the most terrifying one.

Polanski acted himself as the main character and did a superb job.

Believe me, getting a new apartment can’t get more scarier than this.

1. The Pianist (2002)

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

The pianist posterFinally the film Roman Polanski is known for and it is undoubtedly his best film.

Won Oscar as the best director, the film is about a pianist who being a Jew in the times of second world war had to struggle for his life but his love for piano remained unaltered. Adrien Brody at his best.

A must watch.

and

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

+1. Death and the Maiden (1994)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cnnz214wwkI

death and the maiden posterWith three characters and one location, a crazy story where you are never sure who is telling the truth – you are afraid to take sides.

A dark film that touches pain and trauma; outstanding performances by Sigourney WeaverStuart Wilson and the legendary Ben Kingsley.

A perfect Polanski thriller.