Archive

Monthly Archives: January 2009

I am listing out the best Foreign Films of 2008 which I could lay my hand on.The term “Foreign Films” means Non-English films,they might be even Indian films.


I’ve Loved You So Long

Original Title: Il y a longtemps que je t’aime

“I’ve Loved You So Long ” is a very rare film which we find these days,it reminded me of Ingmar Bergman films. “I’ve Loved You So Long ” is a film which is filled with emotions of a depressed sister who is released from jail,feelings of a younger sister who she used to love when she was a child,pain of Juliette Fontaine which she never exudes.The film wonderfully depicts the sense of alienation with in a women,the difficulties of life,the desperate attempts of Léa Fontaine to make her sister feel the love and affection which she has towards her and Juliette’s encouter with every day life by facing the truth that she has lost the most loved one.Director Philippe Claudel makes a remarkable debut by handling and balancing such a sensitive story.

Waltz with Bashir

Original Title: Vals Im Bashir

“Waltz with Bashir” is a animated film about the experiences of a ex-Israeli soldier from the 1982 Israel-Lebanon War.The film is directed in a semi-documentary style which shows conversations and interrogations of various other people.”Waltz with Bashir ” has some good animation but its heart is in the story which depicts the tradey,massacre and evil.Its not as good as “Persepolis” but definitely one of the best film i have seen from a Israeli.

Gomorrah

Original Title: Gomorra

Its been a long time that we have seen good films from Italy.Gomorrah is a film which in which we can find a wonderful marriage between facts and drama.The film is mingled with five stories which depict the illegal activities which took place during a period of time in Italy.The film captures the true essence of mafia,drug business, youth,etc.. in a different way.Its an epic film of the contemporary Italy.Gomorrah also contains the seriousness in it which makes the viewer contemplate about the issues raised in the film.

A Christmas Tale

Original Title: Un conte de Noël

“A Christmas Tale” is a comedy film mixed with drama with a different flavour.This film exhibits the hidden talent of director “Arnaud Desplechin”.The film shows different feelings of different characters,the film flirts with past and present,the plot of the film looks quite simple but its been directed and narrated brilliantly.”A Christmas Tale” is a film which we can watch multiple times without having any complaints.You laugh,you smile,you think.you anticipate and you enjoy when you watch “A Christmas Tale” .

Il Divo

This italian film by Paolo Sorrentino will be called as a masterpiece in the years to come.This biographical film about Italian Prime Minister “Giulio Andreotti” is a wonderful example of story telling.The film hardly gives the true idea of what happened during the tenure of “Giulio Andreotti” but it cleverly reveals many things.

The performance of “Toni Servillo” as Giulio Andreotti is amazing,the character demands a composed acting and Toni Servillo excels in it.The films plot draws its own perimeter but it explores different aspects.The film contains wonderful scenes of trial,the confessions,the voting etc..Its not only a good Biographical film but also a good Trial film.


The Class

Original Title: Entre les murs

The novel is a autobiographical film on François Bégaudeau experiences as a literature teacher.François Bégaudeau himself acted and worked on the screenplay of the film.The film narrates different experiences of a teacher who looks himself as a different human being and the flexibility of being a literature teacher.The beauty of the film lies in its honesty and trying to evolve itself from every scene.”The Class” received the Palme d’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.

The Baader Meinhof Complex

At last after many years we have a good german film to watch.”The Baader Meinhof Complex” is the film about the incidents which took place during the Student Revolution in Germany and about the rise of terrorist group “Red Army Faction”.

The film shows the events which shook the whole country,the situation of the german students,the rise and terror created by “Red Army Faction” and the communist ideology.It can be seen as one of the good films which contains student revolution other being Berenardo Bertolucci’s “The Dreamers”.

Let the Right One In

Original Title: Låt den rätte komma

“Let the Right One In” is a vampire romantic film from Sweden directed by Tomas Alfredson.The relationship shown between the vampire and the boy is very fresh.The director’s depiction of evil in the character of Vampire is intriguing.The director creates fear and sympathy towards the girl vampire who has been 12 years for a long time.

The heart warming story between a boy and a girl has never been represented in such a way and wonderful acting by Lina Leandersson.I was very disappointed when Lina Leandersson lost the “Most Promising Performer” award to Dev Patel of “Slumdog Millionaire”.

Gamyam

English Translation: Destination

“Gamaym ” is a telugu Road film directed by debutant Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi(Krish).Gamyam might not be the best film of 2008 from India but it is a very good telugu film,there might be films which are better than gamyam ,as i did find the chance to watch other language films i am including gamyam as one of best foreign films.

Gamyam had low production values,no big stars and new director with a very good story.The film tells about the journey of two guys Abhiram and Gaali Seenu in search of Abhiram’s love.This is a film which tells about acceptance of true love,social issues of our country and Self Discovery.I am sure “Gamyam ” will win at least one National Award

“Premani Preminchina Prema Premakai Preminchina Premani Premistundi”—Mahakavi SRI SRI

This article is originally published on passionforcinema.com

Advertisements

When i first heard the basic story outline of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” i was filled with “Curiosity” and was eagerly waiting to watch the film and at last i did watch it.

Benjamin Button is born on the last day of World War 1 with abnormal features . He is born old with the appearance of a 86 years old and physically grows younger by the age.Seeing the nature of the child’s birth Benjamin’s father abandons him in the front of a nursing home.Benjamin is brought up in the nursing home with old people.The film is narrated with the help of a diary written by Benjamin Button(Brad Pitt),which is read by her daughter Caroline(Julia Ormond),as she is insisted by her mother Daisy(Cate Blanchett) who is on the death bed in a hospital.

Benjamin Button experiences different stages and events of line at a different age.He visits a brothel house,works on a ship,takes part in the war,etc..,.There are some wonderful montages in the film like the one where an old man tells about different instances when lightening struck him,the emotional relationships which he shares with the old people at Nursing home and many more.

David Fincher might have felt that Brad Pitt as the obvious choice for the role of “Benjamin Button”.Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett give good performances.The enhancement of the relationship between Benjamin and Daisy is good. The Screenplay by Eric Roth is simple and neat ,he involves good emotional structure between all the characters.Eric Roth in an interview said that “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” as his most personal film to date.The Cinematography has to be mentioned as ‘Claudio Miranda’ demonstrated 86 years of Benjamin Button beautifully.

The premise of the film is very unconventional and the viewer can easily ask many logical questions,but “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” did not let me down as i have seen an unusual story with good direction and many impressive production values but one particular thing which i miss in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is CURIOUSITY.I did not find anything curious about “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” as long as i was watching.

This article is originally published on passionforcinema.com

The film starts with this question
Jamal Malik is one question away from winning 20 Million rupees. How did he do it?

A: He cheated
B: He’s lucky
C: He’s genius
D: It is written

Anil Kapoor escorts Dev Patel(Jamal Malik) to the hot seat in the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” The next scene is where Jamal Malik is brutually interrogated by the police in the suspicion of cheating in the game show.The film escapes into flashbacks,game show and the police interrogation.


Slumdog Millionaire is a clever(not great) adaptation of the book “Q and A” written by Vikas Swarup.The film tells the story of a Mumbai slumboy who rises from rags to riches with the help of the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” Slumdog Millionaire is a untypical melodrama film which we can hardly find these days.

The flashbacks in the film are related with the questions asked in the game show.Each question of the game show reveals the life of Jamal,his childhood,his bad luck,his love,his adolecense,etc..,.The realtion between Jamal and his brother Saleem, and his sweetheart Latika is wonderful.The way the story develops and the way it swings from the game show to the flashbacks is very good and the important part is the narration of the film which sticks to its target.


A meticulous viewer can find tht “Slumdog Millionaire” consists of all the ingredients which we find in a Bollywood film,it consists of flashbakcs of bad childhood,revenge,love,melodrama,money and the Happy Ending,but unlike the most of our Bollywood films it contains something extra to it and it is the contemplating narration attached to most of part of the film.There are many things which are hard to believe like the English language used by the brothers, Arvind(blind beggar) talking about Benjamin Franklin,cricketer who scored most number of first class centuries ? etc.. The film consists of overdose of few emotions and relations which Jamal shares with the other characters of the film.”Slumdog Millionaire” is at “42” in the IMDb’s list of top 250 films.Is “Slumdog Millionaire” a better film than Kubrick’s “The Shining” and “A Clockwork Orange”, Scorsese’s “Raging Bull” etc.. ?? I don’t think so.

Danny Boyle has done his home work very well when it comes to shooting of the film.The picturisation of the slum in the city like Mumbai,Train sequences,Taj Mahal ,Police Interrogation etc.. shows the true face poor India.He is obviously inspired from “Black Friday” for shooting the Mumbai Slum and the police chase and the other films which inspired Danny Boyle can be found here.The Cinematography of the film by “Anthony Dod Mantle” is amazing and not to forget the background music by A.R.Rahman for which he has won many awards.

One may find many loopholes in “Slumdog Millionaire” but what makes the viewer love “Slumdog Millionaire” is the charm, drama and the Final Impression which it imposes on the viewer and it stays even after the viewer comes out of the theatre.”Slumdog Millionaire” received overwhelming response across the world and got nominated for many awards and looks like it might get nominted for the oscars too.

I felt this question very tricky. “A picture of 3 Lions is seen in the national emblem of India.What is written underneath it?”
A : The Truth Alone Triumphs

B : Lies alone Triumphs

C : Fashion alone Triumphs

D : Money alone Triumphs

To whom the above question is asked?

This article was originally published on Passionforcinema.com