Blade runner 2049 (2017)

Blade runner 2049: Director of Arrival, Denis Villeneuve brings us the sequel of Blade runner, 35 years later. I have a vague memory of the first one but seeing this was a wonderfully reflective experience.

Set in 2049, the film continues its basic premise from the previous one. Almost allegorical, it weaves in a modern version of an age old theory in the world of replicants. The background score is haunting, the lack of emotions is stifling and the art direction is mind blowing.

A true science fiction film, the perfect symmetry and minimalism is unique. No unnecessary blinking lights and technical jargon, here life in the future spells out where the human race is headed, albeit not in the next 32 years perhaps. Technology and it’s advances are so poetically placed, that you feel sad, rather than enthused.

Ryan Gosling’s dead pan expression is perfect for his role. Ana de Armas is enchanting, Jared Leto is quietly menacing and Sylvia Hoeks leaves a lasting impact. Harrison Ford is still rocking at age 75, a true legend.

There are many sequences which leave you dumbfounded. How history, artificial intelligence and the modern ruin of society are woven to paint a morbid and dark picture of the future is fascinating. Long at 163 minutes, it’s worth it!

3.5/5

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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

Prisoners (2013)

The words ‘captive audience’ were quite appropriate for how I felt during this film. As the first scene began, I felt a sense of impending doom looming over me. The weather, the colour palette, all carefully chosen to weave a helpless mood for a bizarre and complicated case.

Sometimes we played detective, other times we were victims. Never did we feel like a bystander and for a film to achieve that for the entire 151 minute duration is commendable.

The events get more convoluted and we feel trapped, held against our will, wanting desperately to know what’s the motive and if it will end.This very essence makes it an experience, only if you engage yourself from the very beginning. Otherwise you might just get lost in the maze.

Jake is restrained with a visible ‘character tick’, whereas Hugh plays the emotionally wounded father with extreme pain and aggression. Director Denis Villeneuve requires you to bring your IQ with you, you need all the gray matter you have.

4/5