Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

It may seem long on paper, but 242 minutes divided into parts, with superb cinematography and interesting story make the film a fun watch.

The super heroes have the advantage of their rich back stories but still provide little glimpses for the audiences’ sake. They come together slowly and work together wonderfully.

There’s plenty to keep you hooked and look forward to. Watch it for an unforgettable cinematic experience and expect the unexpected!

4/5

Vice (2018)

Christian Bale unrecognisably transforms into Dick Cheney, and is ably supported by Steve Carell, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell to tell us about the most powerful Vice President in the history of the USA. Directed by Adam McKay, the film is edited in a way where the audience has to keep pace with it, with a novel mid-movie jest and many moments which question not only the politics but the methods employed to succeed by presidents past (and in that light the present as well). A brilliant docu-drama with many perspectives and insights which tell us how carefully we have to pick and support our leaders.

4/5

Arrival (2016)

Director Denis Villeneuve presents a truly sublime experience in communication, oneness, language and outside intervention.

The beauty of the film is how they steer clear of the predictable ‘alien’ word. What starts off as the arrival of extraterrestrials in towering space crafts, quickly turns in to a quest to decode and understand why they are here. How they do it forms the crux of the movie.

Amy Adams has acted with so much dignity and grace, never wavering in her ‘holistic’ approach to our guests. Jeremy Renner ably supports her, and the pieces of the story quietly fall into place. It’s wonderful how a concept in the film is explained by the very way the story is told.

A sci-fi film with so much soul.

3.5/5

Big Eyes (2014)

A film based on a true story about a female artist in the 50s, the tale was riveting with excellent production values and a surprisingly small budget of 10 million dollars.

Director Tim Burton presents Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) as a suppressed, dependant house wife who has to part with her identity as an artist when her husband inadvertently sells her painting. What starts as a sales pitch slowly turns into an identity crisis. She plays the part with beautiful restraint and her win at the Golden Globes this year shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody. Her creepy husband with the ‘smile that makes you shudder’ is done brilliantly by German actor Christoph Waltz. He shows his ‘real’ side with sparks and is otherwise the perfect farce.

This film shows the reality of what women had to face in the workplace and at home in the 50s and 60s. It showcases stunning art and strong performances.

3/5

Her (2013)

Technology has invaded our space in an alarming way. It is supposed to make life easier, which it does, but also complicates it. I myself am guilty of being more in touch with my cell phone than with the company that surrounds me, so this subject is a warning of the times to come.

This film explores a society in the future where we have advanced technology to communicate, but have lost the art of communication. With all the tools at our disposal, we have forgotten how to reach and touch other people’s minds and hearts. People are lonely, relationships are fragile and we are swept in our own storm, where we have created a monster too powerful to tame.

Joaquin Phoenix writes beautiful letters for OTHER people as a living, because emotions have become a service one can pay for. A new operating system is on offer, which he buys. It calls itself ‘Samantha’, drawing on the memories and experiences of all people who have programmed it, but designed to become an ever evolving entity by itself. The voice is by Scarlett Johansson who never once makes you feel she is just a voice. She is present, in every way a person with a form would be.

How their relationship evolves, how complex the human mind and interaction becomes, what is the fate of Technology vs. Emotions, is explored in the most novel way, touching unique points of discussion never explored on screen. This is heavy duty writing, thought provoking and pushing the envelope of how helpless our society can become if not ‘humanised’.

Joaquin is our window into this world. He guides us effortlessly in the rising and falling waves of emotion experienced by him and the people he interacts with. Amy Adams is his friend who is on a similar journey and later becomes a mouth piece for his suppressed thoughts and feelings. The most warped and powerful scene involved a ‘surrogate’, something you will understand when you watch ‘her’.

Now the question is, why isn’t Scarlett Johannson nominated for any of the awards? Is it just because she was a formless voice? That would be true acknowledgement for her work which created such an impact.

3.5/5

American Hustle (2013)

When so much awards buzz surrounds a film expectations tend to run high. The reason why this film, its actors and team are winning is evident when you watch it.

The strength of this film is that it was NOT trying so hard to convince you of anything, paint a picture about the era or force you to feel for the characters. The characters are so brilliantly written, and acted, that you don’t know which lines to take home. Usually, you take home a few, but here there are quite a few.

The pace of the film and its many agendas quickly blur into the journeys of the characters and the mission they are up against, where the audience knows full well that some cards have yet not been revealed.

Director David O. Russell has put together such an explosive cast and rightly so, as the eccentricities of their characters demand so much. Christian Bale has changed his entire physical being for Irving Rosenfeld, whereas Amy Adams charms and cons as Sydney Prosser. Jennifer Lawrence shows yet again why she won the Oscar last year and why she may win again this year too. Her instability and the way she copes with her mental space is displayed for all to see as Rosalyn Rosenfeld. Bradley Cooper plays the obsessed FBI agent Richie DiMaso, who is blinded by a self proclaimed mission.

This film, unlike its characters, wont hustle you! Get your guard down and watch it!

3.5/5

Man of Steel (2013)

A character created in 1933, is still going strong 80 years later. In this reboot, we see the story of Superman told with rich visual detail from his birth till date. His journey from Krypton to Earth, and most importantly the rationale for that, is well developed. The motive of those who oppose Superman, or rather, what he and his Krypton family stand for, is also appropriate.

The visual effects of the film tend to get too dramatic. Though they are of superb quality and precision, it gets a little draining for the viewer to take in all the 3D detail. The sequences which we see remind us of a lot of films in the past, and though they have achieved a good mix of all of them, it is still too much to digest.

The film tends to unfold like a video game at points, but that is not its only flaw. While the world is at stake, it seems the action is between Superman, the Daily Planet, the American Army vs. the Krypton Army. Its over simplified for an issue which threatens the genocide of the entire planet.

Henry Cavill fits the part of Superman very well, and so do the other artists who play his younger selves. His form gives him a real quality one can aspire towards, rather than an unreal super hero. Russel Crowe as his father, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Kevin Costner & Diane Lane as his Earth parents, all lend credibility to roles and also support a younger actor like Henry. This was probably missing from the earlier ‘Superman Returns’ starring Brandon Routh.

The action and the slow drama scenes were entertaining but the film as a whole leaves you wanting the same dish served differently. It could have worked better if it was of shorter length, and not too over simplistic. Its strength was the flashbacks which kept us informed of the development of Superman.

It is a Summer special effects bonanza with the Nolan, Snyder and Zimmer names attached to it.

2.5/5