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Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2016)

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk review

written by Souranath Banerjee

Rather than labelling it as an ‘anti-war film’ let’s say it is an emotional tale of war and the warriors! 

My Ratings: 3.9/5

Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonBrokeback MountainLust, CautionLife of Pi – there is one man who is behind all these masterpieces, the acclaimed Chinese director Ang Lee!

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk reviewAnd it’s a war film! Well, actually a more sophisticated version of a war movie where the aftermath of the battle takes up the centre stage.

Based on the novel by Ben Fountain and screenplay by Jean-Christophe Castelli, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk essentially revolves around 19-year-old Billy Lynn, a war hero, retuning home from Iraq on a victory tour with his entire squad (the survivors of the gruesome war). 

His memories and flashbacks of the battlefield, his personal heroic efforts and the lives lost in the combat – these are the crux of the film, put across through a superbly knitted nonlinear storyline.

Through John Toll‘s brilliant visuals and Tim Squyres innovative back and forth editing, no doubt Ang Lee has told his story in style!

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk reviewBut then again the performances make the 1h 53min film such a delight to watch; especially debutant Joe Alwyn who played Billy Lynn was incredibly natural!

Then of course we have brilliant actors like Garrett HedlundSteve MartinChris TuckerKristen StewartVin DieselBeau Knapp among others who have perfectly balanced the film. 

The only thing that bothered me was that it was a bit too vocal, like every emotion was spoken out in elaborate sentences loud and clear for the audience!

Then again Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is definitely a Cinema worth your time, highly emotional and also a cinematic achievement since it is the first film to be shot at 120 frame rate!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

Nightcrawler (2014)

My Ratings: 4/5.

Interstellar is no doubt the most anticipated release of this week; Nolan ready to take control of our imagination and lead us somewhere awesome far beyond our planet, our reality.

But Nightcrawler on the other hand is very much based on our own planet, a dangerously realistic, gritty tale based on the concept of our unconscious satisfaction in watching other people’s loss and tragedy. Thanks to the news channels.

Recently Gone Girl has depicted the hyper-realistic approach of media and to what extent these people can go to sell their story.

Now Nightcrawler pushes the envelope further and explores how these TV network channels are selling fear by showcasing violence and blood, stories of accidents, murders and gory deaths.

And to increase their TRP they want exclusive video footage, the more bloody and morbid the better the shock value.

And Louis Bloom (Lou) is their man.

The film revolves around Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) who wants to make a name for him in the media racket, so he gets a camera and start selling footage. For him this is business and in business there is no ethics and morals.

Who is really this Louis Bloom – a scavenger or a survivor, a psychopath or a potential businessman, a cold-hearted predator or an insane professional?

Well, all I can say is Lou is Jake Gyllenhaal’s best performance till date.

nightcrawler-posterJake Gyllenhaal, if you remember him as Donnie Darko has come a long way since then, been part of films like The Day after Tomorrow, Brokeback Mountain, Jarhead, Zodiac, Brothers, Prince of Persia, End of watch, Prisoners.

But as the lean and ruthless night-crawler, his overall body language, his business talk and especially the way he communicates, his cool and calculative gaze is enough to give you the creeps.

Rene Russo as the channel producer and Riz Ahmed as Lou’s partner/employee have been impressive enough.

Written and directed by Dan Gilroy (his first film as a director), Nightcrawler is a film that will engulf you into its corrupt, sadistic world but the real problem is that you will enjoy the experience and eventually feel guilty about it.

It’s something special, don’t you miss it.