The World's Fastest Indian - A Remarkable And Inspirational Journey

                                Enthusiasm is the greatest power. It plays as  a important factor, because for one endowed with enthusiasm nothing in this world is impossible. A enthusiastic person has this positive effect on others, which is really amazing. Put an enthusiastic man or a woman in a room with sad faces, suddenly things will start to change. Enthusiasm, a driving force for us is described in this lovable movie "The World's Fastest Indian." Although the title might look like a discovery or national geographic special, the movie is a based-on-a-true-story tale of a funny old guy who sets out to become the world's fastest motorcyclist at an age when most of his friends are settled in rocking chairs. 

   Burt (Anthony Hopkins) is an eccentric old man who lives by himself in New Zealand in the year 1967. He tinkers and cranks up the power tools too early in the morning. The little boy next door adores him. The guy's something of a local character and a local hero. For twenty-five years he has had but one dream : He dreams of taking his aged, beloved and much-modified Indian motorcycle to the Bonneville Salt Flats, USA,  to "find out how fast she'll go."

                   Burt Munro starts in this absolutely adorable quest, a road picture that takes this New Zealander on an odyssey halfway around the world and across the American West in pursuit of a dream. He mortgages his house, a local club raises money for him, and he works as a cook in the ship. All for a ultimate test in his life.

         Anthony Hopkins exudes delight in his colorful portrait of this passionate and idiosyncratic old timer. The film might be too small to garner Hopkins the attention needed for an Oscar nomination, but from the first frame, we think of Hopkins as Burt, not an actor playing a role.This movie is a tribute to his versatility as an actor. 

                   It took director Roger Donaldson some 25 years to get Munro's tale to the big screen. His love of Burt's story is readily apparent in the way he handles the material. Donaldson wants to charm you just as Burt does. He directs the movie with a affectionate characterization and he stabs us with an  message- something about holding on to your dreams no matter how old you get. 

Burt Munro (1899-1978)
                       Most of the people Burt meets are helpful. One lady friend helps him figure out how to pay for a trip; another (a transvestite) is the first kind face he meets in predatory Los Angeles; and a third (Diane Ladd) helps him cope with a busted trailer. Burt doesn't pre-register his name for the race. He's aided by a Yank driver  in convincing authorities to let him run. All the folks he meets, becomes unwitting allies.

                     Climactic race, in which Burt goes for the race across the vast white expanse of packed salt, is excitingly covered. The film offers no complexities, details about Burt's earlier life and family or even hints about why his old bike is so much faster than new models. But, we don't watch movies like this for complex details, so take a step back and watch this film as a man's spiritual journey.

                     Burt's life philosophy is easily explained: "You live more in five minutes on a bike like this going flat out than some people live in a lifetime." He doesn't believe in an afterlife and would agree with the sentiment: "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die." Burt's unassuming personality wins us over with ease. We feel for Burt and cheer for him, root for him when things get a little tough, and then we finally come to realize that there's a little bit of Burt in all of us, and that's why, ultimately, we love him so much.

                "The World's Fastest Indian" is one little gem of a picture. It offers up a fair amount of enjoyment, all made possible by a superb performance by Anthony Hopkins. Just remember that, we don't grow old merely by a number of years. We grow old only when we desert our ideals, and enthusiasm never wrinkles our soul.  


Cliches : Horror Genre

                                     Wiki Says, "A cliche is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has been overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel. Movie-viewers often get frustrated by cliches. Cliches, on certain occasions serves as a form of entertainment, and most of the times as a ailment to our mind.

                                   The wiki quote clearly states that , cliches are born from something which is once meaningful.The themes of  Horror movies nowadays are born from something, which is never considered with a purpose. Consider 'Blair Witch Project', which was advertised as a real incident and the tape, somehow traveled from the forest. Even though, the movie had a minimum budget with a shaky hand-held camera, it terrified some people. 

                                 This started the long boring phase of horror movies, where they invented a genre named 'mockumentary.' In these kind of movies men and women talked to a digital camera for a long period , where you might start to wonder, when these people are gonna die in the movie? Of course, these movies has some genuine scary movements, but it's like those scary flash games, where u stare the screen for a long time and a ugly faced ghost pops up. 

                                Movies like 'Paranormal Activity' should be hailed for its marketing strategy rather than the quality of the movie. I am starting a series of posts about the cliches in various genre. Here are some ten horror genre cliches. If you have come across a cliche other than these, please share it on the 'comments' section:

  • Creepy Kids : Mostly beware of the kids, who applies so much powder, like the one in 'Grudge'
  • Tricky Phones : When it first started in movies like " When a Stranger Calls  or Scream it looked scary, but this trick was done to death nowadays. 
  • Unresponsive Body : Whether a ghost is lying in bed or rocking in a chair, it seems to respond immediately after you touched it.
  • Strange Noises : As long as there are horror movies, there will be strange noises. And as long as there are strange noises, there will be a character(usually a extra) who walk carelessly into the darkness to investigate them.Soon they will be the victim of a ghost or a psycho killer. 
  • Black Cats : These provide the jump scare moment in every cliched horror movie. They always leap from a alley or from windows and says "Boo."
  • Haunted Houses : Floor creaks, walls bleed and the kids in the house talks to a ghost. 
  • The Glass Scare : This may be the oldest cliche in movies, but it’s one that still tenses up the viewer every time. 
  • Car Trouble : Either the character searches for the key, or says "It won't start." This cliche applies to all the car models.
  • One Last Fight Before Death : The character might have shot, stabbed, bludgeoned or burnt the psycho killer, but he might get up for one last fight.
  • Casting Cliche : A white girl, black dude, a Asian, who struggles with English language and finally a geek. They somehow choose people from different race, and most of the times a black guy dies as the first victim. 

Match Point - A Tale of Luck And Deceit

                       "The man who said, 'I'd rather be lucky than good', saw deeply into life. People are afraid to face how great a part of life is dependent on luck. It's scary to think so much is out of one's control.

                          This thesis was illustrated with a static shot of a net, across which a tennis ball is hit back and forth by two unseen players. Suddenly the ball bounces off the top of the net and is frame-frozen before it lands either forward or backward. Near the end of the film, this metaphor reappears in a newly urgent and intricately ironic context, affecting the fate—and, by extension, the luck—of the film’s protagonist. That's when I thought I am watching a cunningly designed and a best serious movie from Woody Allen. In Match Point, Allen's  fans will have difficulty recognizing the iconic filmmaker's fingerprints. 

    The movie follows the social climb and romantic tribulations of an Irish tennis pro-turned-instructor who comes into the inner circle of a fabulously wealthy English family. Through his work at a posh London tennis club, Chris (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) meets Tom (Matthew Goode), happily rich and blithe, who takes a liking to him. Tom brings Chris to his parents' box at the opera, where Chris meets Tom's sister Chloe (Emily Mortimer). Chloe falls in love with Chris almost immediately.    

                    Everything is going smoothly until he meets Nola (Scarlett Johansson), who is engaged to Chloe's brother, Tom. Even as he woos Chloe with the intention of marrying her, he becomes obsessed with Nola. Chris's father-in law, a business tycoon names him the vice president  and wedding plans are being made. If he leaves Chloe, it’s goodbye to his cushy life as the boss’ son-in-law. So there’s ambition, class, sex and money. Several things could go wrong.

                  The story is simple. But, the pleasure is derived from the way, this drama unfolds unexpectedly from the characters rather than imposing itself on them.   

              As Chris the tennis pro, Rhys Meyers is exceptional: perfectly under control. He's a flawed, but not evil, individual. And he has a genuine, almost pathological need to be liked. Meyers shows no difficulty handling the demands of this complex character. Emily Mortimer and Scarlett Johansson show different faces of womankind. Whether playing tennis with Chris or peeking at him during an opera, Mortimer looks softly vulnerable and girlish yet cheered by the confidence of the wealth. She takes her husband's denial of an affair at face value and whose primary goal in marriage is to give her parents grandchildren.  

                           Johansson, on the other hand, is simultaneously self-sufficient and needy. The insecure thing works for her, most of the movie, but when her character goes into psycho mode, Johansson is a bit out of her comfort zone. Though, it doesn't ruin the movie.

                         Through 'Match Point' we understand why Allen is considered a master. Woody Allen is better know for his comedies, obviously, but he's done quite a few dramas over the years, like "Crimes and Misdemeanors." I like almost all Woody Allen movies: either when he's in them or not in them. But aside from his comedies, Allen is at his very best when he's being slyly funny and deadly serious at the same time. The movie starts off slowly, but the second hour flies by, and it features one of the best endings Allen has written. Of all the Oscar nominated Woody Allen has written and directed, he said "Match Point" as his favorite movie.       

                    Match Point is more than a good thriller. It's also really, really funny. Part of it is comedy, part of it is just the absurdity of the situation Chris finds himself in. Sure, jealous lovers have been turned into films before, but rarely this memorably. The movie also examines the true nature of love, especially the destructive forbidden variety.

                      It is definitely an engrossing and thought-provoking movie that even Woody haters might enjoy. One of the main themes of the movie is luck and movies like 'Match Point' are good luck for movie fans.


Match Point - Imdb                   

The Help - A Compelling Story With Amazing Female Ensemble

                          They answered doors, cooked and served meals, changed diapers and raised children for parents who were, supposedly, too busy to bother. They lived in their houses as a invisible creature and mostly ignored , except when they were scrutinized by their bosses like a thief. Most of all, they had separate toilets, because the owners said, “They carry different diseases than we do.”  Now who are 'they'? Did 'they' refers to people, who lived in a barbaric place, which treats people like slaves?

                          Well, 'they' lived in a great civilized country in the world. Welcome to Jackson, Mississippi, USA, in 1963, a place where African-American maids work in the homes of white women. Most of them are treated shamefully and are forced to listen to derogatory remarks about their race. What is forgotten is the patience, loyalty, and tender loving care the maids give to the often neglected children of their employers. An inspirational, all-female drama, "The Help(2011)" based on the Kathryn Stockett's powerful novel is full of emotions with equal parts of crowd-pleasing joy and shattering, complex pain.

    Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan (Emma Stone), a recent graduate and still single, is the rebel in the circle of Southern women she grew up with, despite being a member of the bridge club and Junior League. The ring-leader of this group of married women is Miss Hilly (Bryce Dallas Howard), a housewife who believes in the righteousness of segregation and campaigns among whites to install separate toilets for their maids.                          
                    When Skeeter approaches Aibileen about being interviewed for a book told from the maids’ point of view, she is understandably wary. After all, Jackson is a small enough place that she could suffer seriously if it were discovered that she was talking about her white employers. 

                     Nonetheless, Skeeter sparks an interest from two local maids. Aibileen (Viola Davis) is tormented every day by the unjust death of her son, whom she spent less time with than the children of the white families who employed her. She understands the seeming futility of her suppressed life and it eats away at her. Minny (Octavia Spencer) is equally weathered and wise but with a fiery demeanor that leads to her being fired by the cruel Hilly. The film from here is too good to spoil, which stirs your emotions.

        The "Help"  is an unlikely place to discover a good screen villain. She is Hilly Holbrook, a chatty racist played to perfection by Bryce Dallas Howard with a mix of charm and ice-cold sadism. Emma Stone continues to prove that she is one of the most charming and intelligent young actresses currently working, and she makes Skeeter a complex, intriguing character. 

                     But it’s Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer as stoic, long-suffering Aibileen and, outspoken Minny who give the story its heart. Davis balances the movie and brings appropriate soul to the character Aibileen. Octavia Spencer,  has a wonderfully disarming sense of humor and spirit that constantly verges on, but never quite slips into, caricature.It's no wonder she won the female supporting actor Oscar.

                      This is only Taylor’s second feature film, and at times it shows. Even at two and a half hours in length, Taylor has to give short confession to a number of subplots that probably should have been removed completely. This is particularly true of Skeeter’s up-and-down romantic relationship with Stuart Whitworth (Chris Lowell), who changes so dramatically from scene to scene. Of course, it is hard to adapt a book, which is close to 500 pages and with great number of subplots. However, Taylor displays a sure hand in directing the actors.

                       “The Help” is set in a distant period, far away. It would be ludicrous to claim that things have not changed for black people in America. Somehow or other they apparently elected an African-American president. But, 'Help' is a invitation to look closely at contemporary attitudes and contemporary inequality, and not to feel too superior to the dark past. Stockett herself was not born until 1969, and drew on her own experiences being raised by African-American women who worked for her parents in the ’70s and ’80s. 

                          There might, perhaps, be a harsher, uglier version of The Help, one in which the camera doesn't cut away from violence, or in which the consequences of actions were much bleaker. However, there is no version that could more affectingly convey the depth of emotion, the sting of prejudice, the truth of weak humanity other than this one.

                          The Help is not a painful movie, it is one that should inspire some thought and reflection. Mostly it's a stirring salute to repressed women who hold their heads high.


Legendary Actors : Anthony Hopkins

                          Adolf Hitler and Richard Nixon to John Quincy Adams and Pablo Picasso. What's the connection between all these men? It's simple. The answer is Anthony Hopkins. Regarded by many to be among the greatest actors of modern cinema, Anthony Hopkins has amassed a prodigious body of work and created some of the most memorable characters in recent film. Even though he has done a wide variety of movies for forty years, the role of "Hannibal" gave him world-wide fame and success. On-screen he has been a psychotic genius as well as mild mannered butler.
  • Anthony Hopkins was born on December 31, 1937 in Margam, Port Talbot Wales, to Muriel Ann and Arthur Hopkins, who is a baker. As a child the actor was shy and complex, he did not do well at academic subjects at school. He was the only child and bit of a loner. One thing that was his biggest pleasure was going to see a movie.
  • To escape his troubles with dyslexia, he concentrated in arts like painting, drawing and even playing the piano. Despite his claims that he was "an idiot", in 1955 young Anthony won a piano scholarship and went on to study at the Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. After a three-year stretch with the British Army in the Royal Artillery he was accepted to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and was after-wards mentored by the great actor Sir Laurence Olivier
Hopkins In the British National Service
  • He then became Oliver’s understudy and filled in when Oliver was hit with appendicitis. After being on stage for several productions, Hopkins became a TV and film actor. He made his debut in a TV venture 'The White Bus.' After making his big-screen breakthrough in The Lion In Winter, he balanced screen and stage performances. 
  • At the age of thirty, Anthony Hopkins was married , the first of the 3 marriages to date. This one was the shortest, lasting just 5 years, and by this time Hopkins had started drinking heavily.
    As Adolf Hitler in the movie 'The Bunker'
  • He subsequently portrayed the role of Pierre Bezulkhov in the TV series of War and Peace in year 1972.  In America he made his Broadway debut, won an Emmy and found the place he would call home Los Angeles. In year 1980, Hopkins portrayed the lead role in the film called, Change of Seasons. He also played a important role in David Lynch's Elephant Man.
  • Prior to his Hannibal Lector role Anthony Hopkins had all but given up on Hollywood and was content to be back in the theater in London. The Nineties then included three more Academy Award nominations, his directorial debut, and a knighthood from the Queen. He closed the millennium by making his US move permanent, taking an oath of citizenship.
  • Trade Mark : Often plays very proper and restrained British characters. Deep smooth voice. Hair greased back.
  • Ranked #57 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. Was selected by an Entertainment Weekly on-line movie poll as the Best Modern Actor and the Best Villain for his role as Hannibal Lecter. His Oscar-winning performance as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) was ranked #1 on the American Film Institute's Villains list in its compilation of the 100 Years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains.
  • He included some unusual touches for Hannibal Lecter during his preparation for the role. One of it is the never blinking characteristic, which he picked up from watching tapes of convicted murderer Charles Manson. Since he is dyslexic, reads each script 250 times out loud before filming, and to exercise his memory, memorizes one new poem a week.
  • An accomplished painter, he has allowed some of his landscape paintings to be exhibited in Texas. Volunteers at the Ruskins School of Acting in California, where he teaches everything from Shakespeare to scenes, theory, and monologues.
Anthony Hopkins Quotes
"I was lousy in school. Real screwed-up. A moron. I was antisocial and didn't bother with the other kids. A really bad student. I didn't have any brains. I didn't know what I was doing there. That's why I became an actor."
[on his most famous character, Dr. Hannibal Lecter] "I think he might be a very interesting person to have lunch with, provided that YOU weren't the lunch."

"It's fun to get the Oscar, it was fun to get a knighthood. But you know, you wake up in the morning, the reality's still there. You're still mortal."
"I became an actor but I still don't feel that I'm a part of this profession. I never have - 50 years I've been doing it."
"When I break with a friend it is sudden. I will give no warning ahead of time, just change my address and telephone number. They may be confused - but they'll survive. Nobody dies."
                                    Anthony Hopkins, On-screen is a legendary actor, off-screen he is a enigma. He is director of several charitable organization, but he had abandoned his daughter at a very young age. In October 2002 he admitted in a magazine interview that he had no idea where she was, other than she lives "in England somewhere". After wishing her luck, he added: "I hope she is well… Life is life. You get on with it." He explains himself as not a cruel person, but a person who outgrow things. Any way, Hopkins is one of the legendary actors, whose performances will definitely outgrow others.

Memorable Movies : 84 Charing Cross Road (1987), The Elephant Man (1980), Howards End (1992), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), The Remains of the Day (1993), Nixon (1995),  Amistad (1997), Legends of the Fall (1994), The Bounty (1984),  Dracula (1992),  The World's Fastest Indian (2005).................

Pulp Fiction - Quentin's Quintessential Movie

                        Art is a very powerful thing. It has been known to spark creativity in some and give others a reason to be offended. Whatever the case, art has been around for ages and is probably one of the only things that can really be considered timeless. It should be intriguing and original. Sometimes art takes bizarre roots too. The artist's work will often dismay some people; you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs, and you can't make a hard-driving work of art without bruising some sensibilities. 

                      Pulp Fiction is one of those bizarre and puzzling movies, which is brilliant and brutal, jaw-droppingly cruel and disarmingly sweet. It doesn't evoke straight-out-of-the-book responses. Some people liked the film's unique structure; a few tried wrapping their heads around the puzzling narrative; and still others hated it because of its violence and language.  

                   "Pulp Fiction" ushered in an era of moviegoers that were popularly associated with the "Tarantino" generation. What's more, the film's success had a blazing impact on Tarantino's career, with a few critics calling him one of the greatest directors of all time, while others questioned his immediate fame. 

    The story is an anthology of three interconnected stories that take place in a modern-day Los Angeles. Pulp Fiction's three tales are structured to intersect and overlap at key points, even though they are not presented in chronological order. The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in these tales of violence and redemption.

              I can't really tell you about the plot too much, because what's fun about the film is how it's made of all these different stories that cross paths to get to unexpected places.

        The major hero and the one who took the most risks in this movie was the scriptwriters, Roger Avary and Quentin Tarantino. As was the case in all Tarantino movies, his crisp dialogue sparkles. The vulgarity-laced monologues and conversations ripple with humor and are ripe with points to ponder. Foot massages, hamburgers, comfortable silence, a gold watch, pot bellies, divine intervention, and filthy animals - all these and more receive the writer's attention as he presents meaningless issues in an intensely-fascinating and almost lyrical fashion. 

                      This is a movie that to describe it will only make you want NOT to go see it, yet it is mesmerizing and wonderful. Every actor in Pulp Fiction gives a career-topping performance in every role. John Travolta especially shines.  His smooth, under confident junkie Vincent Vega is our link to all three stories. He "plays" a different character depending on who he's on screen with. Ving Rhames is hilarious as the soft-spoken but ruthless Marcellus.  Bruce Willis as the boxer, is really cool even without the big budget mayhem that usually surrounds him. He even has some tender scenes with his annoying French girlfriend Fabienne.

                  Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer play a couple of small-time thieves who stumble on real pros. The always intense Harvey Keitel can also be seen as Mr. Wolf, who's specialized in solving problems And who can forget Christopher Walken's monologue, as a Vietnam veteran. And then there's Samuel L. Jackson. It's very unfortunate that he didn't have a chance to Oscar for Supporting Actor. Jackson as Jules is the movie's soul, a hitman who possesses, a conscience and in the path of redemption.

                  The cinematography is very dynamic, and the visuals are inventive. People sometimes criticize how Tarantino takes tricks from other movies but to me, that's what makes him so special. By combining stuff he learned from Godard, Leone, Scorsese, De Palma and others, he creates a unique blend that is always exciting. Even though his films are more about characters and dialogue, they also some feature violent action scenes. Tarantino stylizes violence in a comic way, without glorifying it.

                    It is true "Pulp Fiction" influenced the movies of nineties like no other movie had done. Every layer of the movie,  that you peel away leads to something deeper and richer. It's a movie that is truly alive, made with spirit and energy; intelligence, and gamesmanship. "Pulp Fiction" is the kind of moment that doesn't strike twice: a brash, smart, wildly entertaining movie that will be oft imitated but never duplicated.


Rated R for strong graphic violence and drug use, pervasive strong language and sexuality. 

Run Lola Run - Spellbinding Thill Ride

                                IF only!!! is a phrase that we often use in our life. If only i had been born in USA, I would have been a millionaire. IF only i had been....... options are unlimited aren't they? This is the string behind this amazing German movie called Run Lola Run

                                Movie is a form of art, a medium of philosophy aptly mixed with an ample dose of entertainment. But the later part always projects up, leaving you with same cliched story. But, once in a while comes a film so original and refreshing that it gives you hope in cinema again despite the countless crap movies that are also produced. "Lola Rennt", is one of them. It proves that movies could be artistic, thoughtful and yet highly entertaining. Every tick of the 81 minutes in "Run Lola Run" is pounding with kinetic energy and adrenaline.

    Like so many crises, it begins with a panicked phone call. Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu), a courier for a powerful drug dealer, calls his girlfriend, Lola (Franka Potente), because he has just lost 100,000 deutsche marks that he must deliver to the dealer in 20 minutes. If he doesn't show up with the money, he's knows that he will be killed. He contemplates robbing a grocery store across the street, but Lola begs him not to do it. Just wait, she tells him, because she will somehow get 100,000 marks and meet him in 20 minutes. 

                    And there begins the strange, odyssey of  this  fast-paced movie. Director Tykwer sets up his premise in the first 15 minutes, and for the next hour he shows Lola's 20-minute journey to save Manni three times. Each time, there are small, subtle changes that make the outcomes completely different.

             Tom Tykwer's direction is relentless, creative and completely absorbing. He takes the kind of music video techniques that have become the tiresome hallmark of American action movies and reinvents them, continually cutting every scene with different camera angles. Cinematographer, Frank Griebe, filmed "Run Lola Run" in a visually arresting manner that suits its hyperactive character. The film is scored with pounding techno music, which makes it even more upbeat and exciting. Franka Potente, surely makes a huge impact in this movie. Good acting and great running by her. 

                   Chaos theory in particular seems to be the main concern here. It shows that every little decision and event in life has repercussions upon everything. Hence, the film's gallery of colorful characters have different fates depending of what Lola does in these 20 minutes.

                    We could take the central image of a young girl racing through the busy streets of Berlin as a symbol of our panicked, rushed modern lives, and the movie shows with great clarity just how monumental is our every move. 

                   Watch "Run Lola Run", because this film is more alive in any given minute than many movies are in their whole length. 


Memento - A Mind Game

                         Memento is a terrifically compelling little mystery about short-term memory loss. Many might be familiar with the term, because it was the inspiration? behind the movie, Ghajini.  But forget Ghajini since it is one of the drop in the ocean of bland entertainment Indian movies. Memento is not just a revenge tale, it is a puzzle. 

                         Memory - it is one of the key elements that separates human beings from animals. It is one of the basic building blocks of personality. Who we are is shaped as much by our experiences as by our environment. Memory can also be unreliable and easily influenced too. As shown in the movie 'Rashomon', if you ask three people to describe the same event, none of those accounts will be the same. After watching the movie, you might feel that 'short-term memory loss', is a contagious disease. The narrative structure is in a complex form, which constantly checks your memory.

       Guy Pearce stars as Leonard Shelby, a former insurance investigator who suffered an injury which led to a rare condition, short-term memory loss. He remembers everything up to the night his wife was killed and he was badly hit to the head, but since then he's unable to retain new information. Faces, places, events, they all disappear from his mind after mere minutes. It's obviously a frustrating existence, but Leonard has something that keeps him going: his need to get revenge. 

               But how do you investigate when you can't remember what you find out? For Shelby, it's by being methodical, using a system of notes and Polaroids about each and every thing. He'll take a picture of someone he meets and scribble down basic information on it ("Don't believe his lies"). As for the most crucial facts, he has them tattooed on his body. Hence, written backwards (so he can read it in a mirror) on his chest is "John G. raped and murdered my wife"... 

              The plot might not sound too striking, it's the classic revenge story. What's really great is the way Nolan tells his story.

                Memento starts with the the last scene then going back to the one before, then the one before, and so on until we get to the first scene. Sounds confusing? Well, it can be, but it's also a fascinating concept. It sort of puts you in the same state of mind as Leonard. At the beginning of each scene, you have no idea how you got there, what exactly is happening and why, or what's the  history with the people Leonard knows. Most of the film is spent with many questions being raised, by Leonard and by the audience.

                       In one of the scene, we see Leonard (Guy Pearce) running and asks himself, "Ok so what am  I doing." Then he watches a man running parallel to him and says, "Oh I am chasing this guy." But that man stops and rises his gun, so Leonard thinks, "No he's chasing me." The sequences like this makes Memento, a absorbing and unique experience.

                    Part of what makes "Memento" so involving lies in the performances. Guy Pearce makes for a fantastic lead. He keeps the mind hopping throughout with his character's ordeal -  you believe in his anguish, his perplexity, his waking nightmare. Carrie-Anne Moss (as a bartender) and Joe Pantoliano  match Pearce with crucial supporting performances. But the real star here is Nolan, and the way he has edited this masterful thriller into its final format. 

                     Director Christopher Nolan drawn the film from a short story by his brother Jonathan and comes up with a nifty narrative equivalent of Pearce's sorry state. By presenting events in Memento backwards, Nolan allows us to get into the mindset of the main character. And, although it might seem that an approach which reveals the story's conclusion in the first five minutes would lack tension, that's far from the case. Memento builds to a surprising yet completely logical finale, and there's plenty of suspense along the way to keep the viewer riveted. Nolan describes his movie not as a whodunit but as a "whydunit"
                   If you're not in the mood to think or ingest loads of information, as you struggle to hold onto the information which was passed along to you right before that, I suggest you not take part in the viewing of this film, cause you will most likely not appreciate it. It's for those who love films and don't mind endings that don't wrap everything into a tidy package. 

              Most films, in their own way, attempt to show some kind of grand Truth. Memento takes the opposite approach. It is a perverse tribute to the tyranny of cinema's adamant one-way flow. It is an unnerving, but deeply penetrating experience that elevates what could have been a routine mystery thriller into a meditation on the slippery nature of reality itself. Now where was I?


Memento's narrative structure is wonderfully explained in Wikipedia, but i suggest you to read it after watching the movie.

Memento - Wikipedia

Rabbit -Proof Fence --- A Cultural Genocide

                           Step Outside your house and start walking. Keep walking. Don't eat or drink anything, save for what you can scrounge up from your surroundings. And take off your shoes, while you are at it. In fact, don't stop this. Keep this up for several months, and you might begin to comprehend the true-life events that drive Phillip Noyce's Rabbit-Proof Fence. In history, indigenous population around the globe were evolving slowly, whether in Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, or America. Then, spearheaded by a wave of intrepid explorers, came the Europeans, spreading out across the world like a plague.

                        It didn't take long before the White Man had conquered those lands where they had any interest in establishing a settlement.In all the continents results were similar : native populations diminished and oppressed, then reduced to second-class citizens in the re-shaped lands that were once theirs. In 1930s Australia, a law existed stating that 'half-caste' children must be separated from their Aborigine families. 

                      The Australian government called it 'Aborigines Act', which made the government the legal guardians of all the native peoples of Australia, which also gave the government the power to remove family members at will. In a misguided effort to 'take in'  the children known as “half-castes”—in other words, those children born of a white parent and a black parent—the government wrested thousands of Aboriginal children from their families and placed them in what were essentially re-education camps so they could learn how to function in white society. This went on for almost 40 years, up until the 1970s.

   In 1931, three Aboriginal girls — fourteen year-old Molly (Everlyn Sampi), her eight-year-old sister Daisy (Tianna Sansbury), and their ten-year-old cousin Gracie (Laura Monaghan) live near the small depot of Jigalong on the edge of the Gibson Desert with their mothers and grandmother. They are learning tribal lessons passed down through the generations.

                 In Perth, A.O. Neville (Kenneth Branagh) holds the position of chief protector of Aborigines in the state. His job is to implement and supervise the removal of half-caste children from their mothers and send them to a facility where they are trained to do domestic labor. When Neville learns of the three Aboriginal girls in Jigalong, he orders Constable Riggs (Jason Clarke) to forcibly remove them from their mothers and to put them on a train for Moore River Settlement 1500 miles away.   

                   However, unlike so many others, they refused to submit to the Australian government, and within a day of having been placed in the settlement, they escaped. Over a nine-week period, they walked hundreds of miles through harsh conditions following a wire fence that stretched across most of Australia to keep the rabbits out of the farmland (hence the film’s title). This whole time they were constantly tracked by the government who, for public relations reasons, couldn’t stand to let these three girls get away.      

          Acting doesn't get much better than this. The young actresses - all making movie debuts - relate the anguish, determination and fear of their characters with performances that would make any experienced, adult actor proud. The tracker, played by David Gulpilil, says few words, but his performance -- through gestures and expressions -- is unforgettable.)

             The real surprise, though, is Kenneth Branagh, as A. O. Neville, the government's Chief Protector of the Aborigines. Although Mr. Neville is the film’s villain, it is to the credit of screenwriter Christine Olsen, director Phillip Noyce that he is not depicted as a cruel, senseless racist, but rather as a calm, thoughtful man who truly, genuinely felt that he was doing the right thing and that he had these girls’ best interests in mind. This makes him both sympathetic and terrifying, because there are few things more dangerous than misguided intentions that are backed up by moral conviction. 

                Australian director Phillip Noyce, who is best-known for his big-budget thrillers, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, presents a powerful tale of courage and the unflinching quality of the human spirit. The camerawork by Christopher Doyle is such that it never allows the beauty of the Australian outback to eclipse the human element – an impressive feat when considering how glorious the countryside is. The movie could have easily become a  travelogue, but the cinematography makes it a journey of heart and soul. 

              The movie is based on a book by Doris Pilkington, Molly's daughter. In the last scene of the movie,  the real Molly and Daisy appear on screen and we learn about their lives since their daring journey home. And when Noyce shows us the real Molly and her sister, both in their eighties and living on the land they were so desperate to return to, you realize that the most inspirational movies don't have to have wonderful music and great stars to bring a real tear to your eye.

            Rabbit-Proof Fence shows us one of the blind spots in history. At one point, Neville states  about aboriginals "If only they would understand what we are trying to do for them." This same kind of insidious mental attitude was at the heart of the efforts of whites to improve the lives of native people through various socialization programs. The loss of identity is felt by the thousands of Aboriginal children who were force-fit into a white society of which they wanted no part. Powerful nations have always carried out 'loss of identity' through imperialism and colonization. In today's world these things are carried out in a subtle manner. 

              The strength of Rabbit-Proof Fence and its three young heroines is that they never lost sight of who they were. That's a important lesson for everyone, in this globalized and materialized world.


Rabbit-Proof Fence - Imdb

John Carter - A Visual Treat With Clumsy Execution

                              Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs' have waited a long time for the big screen adaptation of Mars-traveling John Carter character. It's been 100 years since the opening installment of Barsoom series was published.  But, the avid fanboys and curious newbies, who know nothing of the series will probably be united in their response : Mixed. 'John Carter' is long, convoluted and, intermittently exciting. 

                               It's directed by Andrew Stanton, whose credits include "WALL-E" and "Finding Nemo." and produced by Disney. Somehow, despite that boatload of talent, the movie never really comes together. It feels like a mishmash of styles and other films. Disney's profitability for this fantasy sci-fi movie, looks like a pure fantasy.

    It begins in New York City in 1881 with a framing device in which Burroughs himself (Daryl Sabara) is summoned to the estate of his uncle, John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), an adventurer who dies before Burroughs arrives. Carter left a fortune to his nephew, but also a diary that explains his greatest adventure.

                    A Confederate captain in the Civil War, Carter heads west looking for gold and finds mostly trouble. But he stumbles onto a cave that has all the gold he dreamed of and more -- much more. Thanks to an amulet, he is transported to Mars (which the inhabitants call Barsoom). It, too, is wracked by a civil war. He becomes the prisoner of the six-limbed, green-skinned, giant warrior Tharks, led (through motion-capture performances) by the benevolent Tars Tarkas (William Dafoe); his daughter, Sola (Samantha Morton); and the gruff Tal Hajus (Thomas Haden Church). 

                      Meanwhile, the human sects from Helium and Zodanga are battling for control of the whole planet. Helium's Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) is being forced by her father (Ciaran Hinds) to marry Zodangan leader Sab Than (Dominic West) in hopes of achieving a truce. The devious Sab Than has other plans in mind, with some encouragement from Matai Shang ( Mark Strong), one of a trio of troublemaking, shape-shifting Therns. It might look like a complex plot, but once 'John Carter' arrives in Mars, everything happens in a predictable manner. 

        A century ago, Burroughs’s imaginative world was unique; now, with movies like Starwars, Avatar, the movie looks very simple. Neither the writers nor Stanton have done anything to address that problem. As one of Pixar’s stars Stanton is a filmmaker with a visual style. But unlike Brad Bird, who directed by MI4, Stanton's skills as a computer animator don’t transfer easily to live-action filmmaking. The film looks good visually with better CGI and nice motion capture performance from William Dafoe. But whenever the fighting and visual effects stops and two people have to stand and talk, all the excitement goes out. 

                      Kitsch’s performance isn’t particularly bad, but he doesn’t command the presence that he should, and sadly, no one else comes close, not even the usually reliable Mark Strong as the head Thern Matai Shang. Thankfully, there's the pleasingly goofy creature who becomes John Carter's animal companion. He's sort of a monster-dog hybrid: an overgrown dog with incredible speed and boundless enthusiasm. Had Stanton given the characters as much personality as he gave to the Barsoomian landscape, this would be a much different, and much better, movie. The 3-D technology used is not bad, but it doesn't enhance your movie watching experience.

                   John Carter gets the job done for a weekend movie in a multiplex, with its massive city and landscapes, but it will be forgotten soon before the next weekend. 


John Carter - Imdb

A Clockwork Orange - Monstrosity of Illusion

                                         "Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don’t want it." - Anthony Burgess. Burgess’s thinking is most evident in his disturbing 1962 novel titled "A Clockwork Orange", dramatized by the late Stanley Kubrick. Despite the fact that, i liked this movie and touted as a must watch by many critics, i may still need to give a substantial thought before recommending it to anyone else. The theme and overall idea behind its execution may not be digestible to a conventional stomach. What makes it troublesome is not the violence itself, but the film's suggestion that violence is an inherently human characteristic, and to take that potential away from someone is to, in effect, make him less than human. 

                                            A Clockwork Orange is brutally satirical, and raises some valid points. A quote from the movie says, “What does God want? Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses the bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?” It says , we  all are mechanical clockworks ; man choose to be good not because he want to , but because being bad comes with paying a price for it (punishment).

    Through a first person narrative, the film traces the adventures of its hero Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell), and his gang of Droogs. The film is set in England in the near future -- a future which vaguely reflects our own, but it seems that society has started to crumble, and at night the streets are overrun with teenage gangs who run free of parental control. The movie is told in three acts. First comes the ultra-violence part,   where he beats the poor and homeless, then invades houses of the rich for rape and murder.  Alex hates school and education, but admires Beethoven, whose genius music he associates with sexually-driven violence.

                     The second part is 'Prison.' Alex is sent to prison for murder. After being brainwashed into a revulsion against sex and violence, he is returned to society, where he becomes a victimized robot, a passive man with no will or desire of his own. The third part involves the rehabilitation of Alex. And so he is released into the world where he runs into all the people he harassed as a young hoodlum, including the drunk beggar, the husband of one of his rape victims. Alex is unable to defend himself in the evil world he helped create, and he becomes the victim.  He is, as Burgess coined the term, a clockwork orange -- seemingly a healthy and vital human on the outside, but inside he is programmed, no longer able to make choices for himself. 

           Many have watched A Clockwork Orange without understanding what it all means. And for those who take everything presented on screen in a straightforward manner, a certain amount of confusion will result. It is not easy to adsorb or digest. Oddly, the sex and violence are easier to take than the razor-sharp edge of Kubrick's satire and the corresponding accuracy when addressing the issue of the dehumanization of people.

                             Kubrick is a master artist with a brilliant vision when it comes to imagery and tone. Throughout his 50-year career, and especially in his great films, director Stanley Kubrick had a penchant for taking the novels of others and re-shaping them to fit his own vision.  He also uses the music in an especially brilliant way. John Alcott's camera supervision is outstanding and inventive. 

                            Never has such a vile character been so charismatic and attractive as Alex. McDowell's performance is cunning and lethal in its sincerity. He can be brash, funny, horrifying or sympathetic. His character has a long and twisted arc as he travels from hedonist to beaten zombie.

                          One of the first things that will strike anyone watching A Clockwork Orange today is how thoroughly modern it looks. A Clockwork Orange is in no way dated, and the issues it addresses are as urgent today as they were four decades ago. Part of the reason for the movie's contemporary look is Kubrick's forward-thinking philosophy of film making. "A Clockwork Orange" might correctly be called dangerous only if one doesn't respond to anything else in the film except the violence.   

                           In my opinion Kubrick has made a movie that exploits only the mystery and variety of human conduct. Since it refuses to use the emotions conventionally , it is termed as a movie for a 'psycho.' 'A Clockwork Orange' demands intellectual grip rather than emotions. For this reason, it should be considered as landmark of modern cinema. 

                  'A Clockwork Orange' is a brilliantly dark poetic work, which will still rattle nerves for years to come, and one of the disorienting and unusual movie experience for a adult viewer.     


A Clockwork Orange - Imdb