The Age of the Millennials: Why “Coming of Age” genre still has its quintessence in Global Cinema!

Watching one film a day keeps the doctor away. Well yes, it’s true! I have even attended therapy sessions but they aren’t as impactful as the power of films are. It isn’t just the visual excellence associated with them but moreover they do arrive with emotional depth and jarring reality, which is probably enough for us to learn a few things. Quarantine has been an unjustified mess for the past three months and so has it been capable of leeching out our energy and passion from the things we love doing. Keeping ourselves stagnant could belittle us from exploring significant activities and puts us on a boundary. A boundary which doesn’t allow us to cross and the reason of spreading mundanity elsewhere. So why do people talk about shrewd things like curiosity and one’s urge to move ahead in the stage of adolescence?

To be honest, growing up is tough and many of us have experienced daunting challenges on our way. Have we been bullied? Yes. Have we been unmotivated? Yes. Have we faced neglection from our parents and friends? Yes. Have we failed? Yes. Even though facing all the harsh negativity, we don’t stumble and let life push us around. Pushing has its pros and cons. One has to be pushed for their personal betterment. Life comes to us with unexpected questions and expects us to answer them in subtle ways. It takes all our effort, bullies us irrevocably but ultimately wants us to learn certain things which could benefit our onward journey. I have always felt a childish heart is way better than a precocious mind. There are things we learn with passing age, so why do we have to sacrifice laughter and entertainment at this age when we are most supposed to.

Happiness is contagious. The more lively and happy you are, the more company you surround yourself with. People expect happiness around them and for that they could do anything in order to keep themselves in peace and contentment. It is unworldly of me commenting on youngster life today, but aren’t we all leading the similar thing in our present lives? Homo sapiens learn human instincts from society, from people like us. So what is it which makes us human? I tried to figure out such debatable questions while I was watching “Mommy” two weeks back. Upbringing is natural, it is human to experience and I believe we all have faced different upbringings in our lives. A week after that, it was “Fish Tank” which fuelled my mind with questions on teenage maturity and state of mind. Please find below my thoughts on the following films and how does it affect the contemporary “coming of age” genre.

Mommy (Xavier Dolan, 2014)

Relatability takes a bigger step forward. I miss my childhood. In fact, it was the period when most of us were content, unburdened and had a free-spirited mind. Watching this film didn’t make me realize any of those things but it do affect us aesthetically by sketching a picture of lack in morality and demented behavior in youngsters. I believe imperfections are in everyone and we must look forward to embracing them with extra warmth. There are times we have been unwelcomed and been unaccepted from a social group or someone. “Mommy” opposes all these atrocities acts and epitomizes a radiant glow signifying how human it is to accept troubled and unparented children. A film which portrays semblence of motherly love, social inclusion and unlikely parenthood in a tough neighborhood, it was equally serenading for me to visualize something as such, which I didn’t believe would have existed once.

The film overpowers with three brilliant performances and keeps us intensely compelled with what it delivers on screen. I appreciated the cinematography and the way it was blended with a euphoric score, it kept me contemplating for long. How important are locations at times. They do illuminate us and have certain things to personify off a character’s mindset. Shot in Quebec, Canada, the film also uncovers the turbulent world of people exposed to living in rough societies and the consequence it carries. There are certain frames in the film which could jerk tears off your eyes, would inherently keep you distressed and emotionally hurt at times. Yes, a film on parenthood and motherly love which can also be disturbing to visualize. “Mommy” had me screeching internally with pain and disgust, however it did redeem me from fanatical thoughts and adverse fantasies of life.

VERDICT- 4/5

Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2010)

A childish heart meets a precocious mind. “Fish Tank” is a long lost film which is emotionally captivating and it infuriates me why people don’t talk about it anymore. Calling our teenage self getting infatuated with someone much older, I am sure it’s quite a natural instinct to talk about. It’s not a kind of popcorn entertainer whom you could sit relaxed with, but instills inexplicable questions in our minds. I have come to a stage in life where it is imperative to realize that not everything can be explained with an explanation, but has to be ingrained in our thoughts and felt more deeply. Micheal Fassbender delivers a robust, passionate exposition of his character and keeps us delusional till the end. Shot in Tilbury, UK, again the film’s focus here is concentrated towards the rough sections of society with turbulent people forming the essence. Excellent characterization and cinematography, the film finds its voice through the strong presence of its characters and the location used.

Easy to relate with many a things, how practical it is to experience abandonment and loneliness while watching a film. It also tries to sketch a portrait of mundanity encircling us, and how it later affects our mind mostly keeping us unoccupied and wasted. Andrea Arnold’s way of looking at millenial life is devastatingly charming and moreover, it is the grim realities she wants us to realize. What makes us human? And what makes us mature? The film answers such questions with emotional profundity, the more with actions and less words being used. Embedded with two masterful performances, the film keeps us moving with its majestic setting and relatability plays its part here too. Extremely dissatisfying at times, it’s equally curious and disturbing to visualize a 40-something man having an intercourse with a 15-year old girl which is explicitly shown. It could be controversial for many but keep yourself activated for a nostalgic experience down the memory lane. It’s terrific!

VERDICT- 4/5

Thanks for reading. Please do tell me what did you think of these two films if you have seen them.

15 Films on Business Management you must watch at least once in your lifetime!

Business Management is what I am currently pursuing and I aspire to become an entrepreneur later on in life. There are influential personas who have motivated me to always think outside the box and take corrective actions resulting into one’s success. Steve Jobs once told his employees at Apple, “You are my musicians. You play the instruments and I play the orchestra.” The ever-inspiring and intellectual Bill Gates never fell short of teaching me investment tips and I will forever be in awe of this man. Business Management is surely a vast topic and I wouldn’t be able to encapsulate every detail if I plan on to write any research article on something. In fact, I’ve never been able to find the perfect escape from the business world. Life surrounding us is fundamental and thus, explores this pedagogy in certain applications. Individuals are prospering in various fields, be it the corporate or entrepreneurial world. Each one of us are destined with unique creativity, skill and talent and we are investing our best efforts to shine in every way possible. Before beginning with the subject here, I frankly would want to wish my best endeavors to every reader in their onward career and journey.

Talks apart, films have given life to our very friendly topic here. There are films which have motivated the unmotivated and enlightened the meandering souls by providing them acute knowledge and experience about business management. At times, we have had our breathing reach the extremities, faced the tensions virtually by visualizing such emotional heartbreaks and madness in films, although this is one medium which never fails to truly depict a subject/art with a realistic vision and inherent care. Please do enjoy the course of time by reading little descriptions on these fifteen films mentioned below, and which deserve to be seen at least once from every management student or a corporate worker.

The Godfather (1972)

Reckoned as one of the greatest films to have ever graced the world cinema, “The Godfather” stands as the face of American cult classics and which delivered mastery on screen both in terms of emotional depth and inspiration to filmmaking. The film has an exquisite story written on the world of underworld and has beautifully embedded the role of characters with richness in acting and direction. Apart from its cult following, the film teaches great lessons about family business and questions importance of loyalty and relationships in business world. Watching this blockbuster each time is a new experience for me and I tend to learn many theories in life and business. It taught me to keep our friends close but the enemies closer. One of my all time favorites and a recommendation for every single friend of mine.

Wall Street (1987)

“Money never sleeps”, well said and I guess you probably heard it quite right! This Oliver Stone fictional drama takes us to the glittering side of Manhattan, New York and lands us straight at Wall Street. A place where people never stop working and where money never sleeps, this film intensely discusses about the stock market situation and makes us visualize how financial institutions work on a whole. It is a must watch film and a clear cut recommendation for the finance aspirants as it provides a galore of insight on trading and investment at stock markets. Additionally, it also perfectly catches the glimpse how instant gratification and easy money corrupts humans so easily.

Jerry Maguire (1996)

This film has all what it takes to be a sugarcoated darling for every film lover who appreciates lighthearted comedies and little dozes of inspiration. “Show me the Money!” is what we’ve been hearing from our bosses and colleagues in professional places, and this Tom Cruise starrer is the reason of influence worldwide. The film has brilliantly blended romance elements with areas of diligence and sweet smell of success in a corporate line and the performances are an eye-pleaser. I may have just watched it once but it did have a profound effect on me. An ultimate tearjerker and a surprise Christmas classic which cleverly delights all the aspirational entrepreneurs and could even work out as a consolation for the laymen.

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Another Christmas classic and which establishes the fact that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are meant for each other in films, this 1998 romantic drama combines the genres with interest and ultimately brings out a new genre where the best of comedy is being served with passionate romance. The film is endlessly hilarious and always delights us with gags by presenting a situation with two arch business rivals falling in love with each other. Best described as the Internet Romance of the 90s, Nora Ephron is so subtle when it comes to writing screenplays and adapting characters on screen. Simply beautiful stuff which I’ll revisit soon.

The Aviator (2004)

Martin Scorsese is a visionary artist. He hasn’t only mastered himself in adapting crime dramas on screen, but supposedly has an expertise now in terms of filming historical dramas. “The Aviator” is one such example which exolores the colorful and extravagant life of a Producer turned Pilot turned Aircraft engineer and later turned businessman, the film is practically adapted from the life of Howard Hughes and all his accomplishments. Elegantly crafted on screen, the film gets subtle and interesting with Leonardo DiCaprio playing the part and also highlights certain aspects about diligence, perseverance and magic of destiny in the world of business. An exciting exploration which is both influential and thorough with details.

The Pursuit of Happiness (2006)

A heartwarming, inspirational take on diligence and family love, I think this film has stood the test of time and is revered one amongst the best manifestations of an individual’s hardwork finally paying off. Adapted from a true story, the film follows the hardships of a father and son and nevertheless they stick with one another, thus fighting off obstacles in life and becoming the best version of themselves. It gives infinite inspiration to hustle and never settle and is a tearjerker which must be seen at least once as it teaches hell lot of things in our practical lives. A masterful Will Smith delivering overpowering quotes and a film which never lets me down.

Guru (2007)

It is the work of an auteur in Bollywood as there are not many films which have had such emotional influence on audience, but this real-life inspirational feature sticks itself on our faces and hearts with intensity and passion. Dirubhai Ambani is an inspiration to many clans and is revered as the face of Indian business environment. Likewise, the film does its best whatever it can in depicting the early life, career prospects and expansion, and eventual success of this man. Abhishek Bacchhan delivers an astute performance and which remains in our minds for a long time. I think this is one film every person must watch if they are on a cross country or marathon in exploring the Best of Bollywood and by word, this is what you must watch.

The Social Network (2010)

Jesse Eisenberg delivered one of the most magnificent, quintessential performances of 21st century by playing Mark Zuckerberg on screen. This David Fincher fan-favorite cleverly captures all the major details ranging from the conception, growth and success of Facebook, plus showcases an intense, emotionally diverse range of acting on screen which is blended with a masterful direction and an even better screenplay. Glimpsing each scene of this film is a revelation and it moreso constitutes an entirely different experience each time. Talking in the language of entrepreneurs, there should be an unconventional glamor and wittiness amongst a person other than having requisite aspects such as diligence and patience. Surely one of the best films of 21st century.

Margin Call (2011)

Unrelenting tension and realistic events embedded together in this insightful take on the 2008 financial crisis, this film carries off the screenplay well and captures necessary details in a short span of time. Explores the situation of an investment firm during the housing sector collapse, the film is written well and covers everything to what we need to learn about the epic American failure. Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany deliver good performances in this exposition and the film is rich in historical details as well as its emotional depth. It manages to reel us up with nerve-wracking tension and constantly compels us to ask more and more questions.

Moneyball (2011)

Baseball is worshiped in America and so are the ones who built every foundation to it. The film follows the journey of a baseball team manager who rises to the occassion and helps the committee form a new baseball team which had previously been losing games as well as its reputation. Brad Pitt does an excellent job here by portraying a diligent and ” troubled with personal life” character and grabs us our attention by delivering motivational quotes and the actions speak more in this film. Having only watched it once, this makes me think I should go for another trip to visualize it again as there are still so many learnings to impart from this fantastic sports drama.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

An eye-candy and one of the biggest silver screen blockbusters till date, this Martin Scorsese feature explores the infamous, notorious life of Jordan Belfort and his rise to success with Stratton Oakmont and finally delving into corruption and money laundering. A crazily creepy adventure which registers a fact why Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the best actors of 21st century, and this could just be his magnum opus of a performance. I’ve watched this masterpiece four times and never do I hesitate in giving it another go. Full of entertainment, absurd enthusiasm, and intrinsic motivation, it isn’t just a technical explosion kind of filmmaking but is an easy crowd puller which has all signs of being an evergreen classic.

The Intern (2015)

Time for some heartwarming, soul touching stories, this Nancy Myers feature does well in forming an endearing chemistry between two brilliant actors from different generations and make us devour their exciting diversity on silver screen. Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro devote their best instincts on the screen and plus a heartfelt writing makes it joyous for us to witness the film in two hours of continuity. Incredibly hilarious and adorable to glimpse through, it teaches us two different moral sides of business minds and how necessity of having one another is industrious. I’ve seen this film twice and it was my mom who probably loved it more than me.

The Big Short (2015)

Another epic standoff contender to the infamous scandal of 2008 recession, “The Big Short” is an exciting, humorous, intense and an unpredictable exposition which lives up to its hype and may just be the best portrayal on 2008 crisis, let alone its massive popularity. The film is well written for the screen, passionately directed and has used a versatile ensemble of actors who forms the soul to this film. Amazing Bale, Pitt and Gosling here, it’s one of the reasons why the film landed several nominations in the 2016 Academy Awards. If you have seen “Margin Call”, you’ll definitely like this one even more. Here’s to an influential, highly researched film to our generation which never fails to make its mark.

Steve Jobs (2015)

Danny Boyle is similar to any marketing professor teaching us concepts of branding and product development. Apple brought revolution to the IT industry and shaped the market of premium smartphones and Steve Jobs was the biggest inspiration behind that. Explore everything with intricate details and honesty as this film captures the hearts of both critics and general moviegoers. A medium of influence for the entrepreneurs, this film is elegantly crafted on screen and masterfully written as it explores all the important details behind the pros and cons during the turbulence faced by Apple in early 2000s. Wonderful Fassbender, it was just unmatched and thanks for doing it.

The Founder (2016)

I think it is justified and practically experienced that McDonalds is a symbol to global recognition and impeccable customer service. Follows the life of Ray Kroc and his unconventional journey as this film opens our eyes by making us realize something new and unique in the world of entrepreneurship. Michael Keaton is a charmer and is radiant the entire time. Influential, informative and entertaining to the core, this feature presentation teaches us instincts of passion and customer relations. Why don’t we get to see movies like these anymore? I would expect to see something unique about BMW or Ralph Lauren in a film next time.

Thanks for reading. Please drop in more recommendations and what other films do you think could match with this “Business Management” subject. I’d love to know what you have in mind.

Thoroughbreds (2017)- Could it be more unsettling than this?

Rich societies gives me creeps. Rich people aren’t just simple as they seem to be, but there is a mask of sanity hanging loose within their actual faces. Human complexity is overrated, it has always been talked in films with passion, thus never providing much clarity to the audience. Ambiguity is a delightful feature in cinema and so it does arise industrious questions. Watching “Thoroughbreds” was an eerie-like experience as if I had entered a glittering mansion and later learning the fact it has been breeding cannibals inside. What’s more idiosyncratic is the fact that I ended up watching this film alongside my mom, who was ruminating silently the whole time. Unfortunately, it resulted into a distasteful experience for her but I feel glad that I did watch something uncanny in a long time. Being an underrated and unrecognized contender of 2017’s rare gems, this Cory Finley phenomenon must have surely invited mixed reactions. A slapstick of black comedy, although I didn’t find a single moment of laughing out loud, the film is also misjudged on its theme and style of filmmaking.

Further speaking, I do appreciate the grim and destitute style rendered in shooting several frames which compels us to ask an infinite range of questions. It’s controversial to comment how infuriating the film can be at times due to its turtle-like pacing, but then again I wouldn’t express all disapproval towards it. While at times it may be slow burning and pretentious, but there is an aura of humans condescending one another and displaying lack of emotions. It is laudable here as it is clearly portrayed with near-perfect performances from Anya Taylor Joy and Olivia Cooke, who were beguiling and two mystifying characters with dozens of similarities and differences. There are miscalculations, filming errors, nevertheless it doesn’t leave no shy of opportunities in constantly throwing “WTF” and “OMG” moments at us.

Ever felt like vomiting for real good? After watching this film, I vomited with warmth and the intrinsic affection grew considerably. It felt good as I did witness something mindbending after a while and never did I think about this film ever (Until Today!). Although, reviewing this was crucial and probably Cory Finlay might not come with a vengeful lust of butchering me. I found it thought provoking that insanity and immorality is a thing of observation in rich societies and certain people do fall prey to it. As it’s said, “An Idle Brain is Devil’s Workshop”, it certainly does have a pragmatic illustration to its title. Nonetheless, the film may been inspired from “American Psycho” and many others, it does the job well in exploring subtle delicacies of coming-of-age times and “boredom shattering innocence” in lives.

Arriving at technicalities, the bottomline is quite frankly the atmospheric setting and acting in this manifestation which is absolutely commendable. I felt the direction was still shaking away from its adapted screenplay, but it does deliver a few exquisitely crafted shots, especially the climax. The slow burning setting is also a thing of prominence, it may annoy us and at times it may excite us with hanging contempt and lust for more action and thrill. An overall excitingly bloody good experimental feature with a free-spirited peculiar style of filmmaking which I’ll never be revisiting again for sure.

ACTING- 4/5

SCREENPLAY- 3/5

DIRECTION- 3.5/5

CINEMATOGRAPHY- 4.5/5

PACING/EDITING- 3.5/5

ORIGINAL SCORE- 4/5

VERDICT- 3.5/5

Thanks for reading. Please do share your own personal views if you have watched this film. Remember, a little more knowledge is contagious for good significant growth to your brain.

Five Easy Pieces (1970) – I saw the inner me in Robert Dupea!

I always felt nobody could come close to Daniel Plainview as he has been the most relatable, an almost mirror reflection to my inner self. I was wrong and today I found my perplexed soul wandering aimlessly, in Robert Dupea’s body. Robert Dupea is perhaps one of the most underrated character portrayals which have never been given much acclaim. Portrayed by a scintillating, our crazy Jack Nicholson, who happens to be my favorite actor, the character is a rare, unique persona which could only touch a few souls in this universe. I am throughly delighted to realize I am one amongst the spoonful finding similarities with a directionless, disconcerted and an “unhappy with life” individual who has a galore of talent and privilege but still is an oddball of the community. Rather, a nutcase job should be depicted to exemplify the situation with more precision, Jack Nicholson here is indispensable on every frame of this masterclass feature presentation.

The day couldn’t have been any better. I have been busy interning since days, often times loosely interested at things, running away from responsibilities, being a disappointment and perfectly fitting the definition of basket case at times. “Five Easy Pieces” kept me off my work and engrossed me into a world governed by vagabonds, aimless wandering, and people entrapped with disgust and contempt. Failed relationships have crumbled us, search of happiness has put us in vain, over-expectations have turned lives into misery. What good things are we left with on this planet? The passionate ones are searching for answers, thus embarking on road-trips to find meanings. Choices, alternatives and options. These have provided “man” a few inevitable plans and so they later step outside the box in a search of identity or an exploration of what lies within. Let’s find out more about what the film tries to convey. It doesn’t portray itself easy and accessible as it seems and sounds with the title and plot.

In my personal view, 1970s was arguably the most quintessential decade to American cinematic history. It gave birth to most of the classics which we know today, including the likes of “The Godfather”, “Taxi Driver”, “A Clockwork Orange”, “Apocalypse Now”, “Barry Lyndon”, “Annie Hall” and many more. It’ll always be subjective, a thing of perennial importance as to why this Bob Rafelson feature presentation never recieved the appropriate attention and desired popularity as it was destined to. Do Indie films slowly fade away as soon as they escape the confines of their home country? Or is it far less comprehensive for global spectators to experience, visualize, relate and digest such manifestations? American culture is inadvertently diverse, subversively cold and often told, too direct in terms of human relationships and sentiments. There are several frames showcasing the background, a visual reality of the Southern American socio-cultural landscape. Here the director is direct when it comes to reaching and later embracing the sentiments of humans, although he is transparent with the American toxicity and mental corruption as highlighted in the film.

Bob Rafelson manages to capture broken hearts and torned souls by giving us a masterclass Jack Nicholson on screen. The film doesn’t only show us the toxic culture in downtrodden South and helplessness of people but encapsulates emotions and expresses what has not been said verbally. I am a wanderer too and I adore visualizing people quite like me. Coming to the technicalities now, the direction speaks everything about the pros here. No shot goes in vain, it captures everything with elegance and maintains this consistency throughout the film. The final shot is a symbol of unfathomable bravura done on screen. It leaves us standstill, contempt and flawlessly renders the tale about the “destiny of man”, and how uncertain things are in human travesty. Still we move on, take chances, and keep exploring options. Does it mean at the end of the day, we want to see ourselves treated differently? Is social acceptance crucially important? Thanks for not answering all our questions.

Furthermore, the other elements in the film are so well associated, personifies profound images and the juxtaposition with the theme is absolutely spot on. At times, I felt I was visualizing an Ingmar Bergman exploration on faith and family relationships as often times we observe the protagonist being elusive on aesthetics, finding semblance with a piano, and many other scenes where more attention has been given to what has not been spoken and discussed. A blazing masterpiece. I, Manan Mehta, contribute my token of respect for making me experience an honest, realistic depiction to perplexed life and undestined fate of humans. Feels like I am crucified to this day!

ACTING- 4.5/5

SCREENPLAY- 5/5

CINEMATOGRAPHY- 4/5

DIRECTION- 5/5

SCORE/SOUNDTRACK- 5/5

PACING/EDITING- 4/5

VERDICT- 4.5/5

Please do share your opinions about this 1970 classic too. I would love to know more thoughts coming in. It’s indeed a neverending topic.

Top Five Hollywood Actors of 21st Century

Films are a form of daily bread for some. Just as wheat bread is nutritious for a wholesome individual, films do enlighten us on certain facts and shape our understanding too. Likewise, Actors pave as butter to bread. They keep us engrossed, add fuel to the vehicle and even know how to better a poor script when running dry on screen. Acting is another predominant facet of filmmaking and perhaps, this is why the biggest celebrities are rich in popularity and status, not only money.

I’ll be mentioning a few of my favorite actors whom I think are the rare jewels of 21st century Hollywood. Some of their performances were of the finest quality, a marvel to reckon. I’ll certainly share an article on some of my favorite films of 21st century soon, but for now let’s stick to the “Actors” part here. In fact, there are times I’ve been captivated by a film’s aromatizing power and they have made me appreciate characters. Often times I’ve appreciated the antagonists too as how intense and magnificent they can be at portraying the evil side.

Just to lay a few examples here are the peculiar masterworks of Heath Ledger, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Javier Bardem, Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, and Denzel Washington. Most of their performances have left me in a room of awe and wonder, thus giving life to avant-garde with each methodical manifestation in their characters. Although, following are the picks in my opinion who form themselves as the “Famous Five” of contemporary Hollywood industry. So without further ado;

Micheal Fassbender

Michael Fassbender is a flawless outcome of “intensity gone an emotionally troublesome path”. Highly acclaimed for performing versatile performances mainly driven to in-depth character studies, Fassbender loves being a parasite to the audience’s body and mind. With mostly his films having a dark and gritty undertone, Fassbender uniquely adores portraying himself with a complex, emotionally turbulent character. This man always carries a look of neverending intensity and shrewdness on his face, and has perfect ways of doing long shot takes. What impresses me the most about Fassbender is his ability to undergo unimaginable body transformations. The rich nymphomaniac “Brandon Sullivan” character would just be the all-time best performance of this man in my pretty opinion. It was splendidy done on screen, relatable in practical scenario, emotionally and psychologically moving as well. I wouldn’t just consider it as a gem of 21st century but something which would traverse for many generations to come.

Notable Performances: “Shame”, “Hunger”, “12 Years A Slave” and “Steve Jobs”.

Matthew McConaughey

Arguably, the most charming and sexiest voice of the planet Earth, Matthew McConaughey never disappoints in delivering any performance. With every performance turning into an emerging class act, McConaughey also knows how to entertain every set of the audience. Being an immense crowd-pleaser, both the critics and general moviegoers envy for the peculiar theatrics and masterful expressions of this man. Most of his performances are relatable to human deeds, alongside he knows how to add additional flavor using his natural endeavor. With most of us already being familiar with the popular “Alright Alright Alright…” catchphrase, this sexy gold boulder from Texas has become an attention grabber and heart stealer at the same time. Including the idiosyncratic manifestation of “Rust Cohle”, played by Matthew in “True Detective”, I think it might just be his career best delight!

Notable Performances: “Dallas Buyers Club”, “True Detective”, “Interstellar” and “Magic Mike”.

Leonardo DiCaprio

My favorite actor if it weren’t for Jack Nicholson being in his heart of matter and a game of actors, it is no doubt DiCaprio might have achieved every single goal in his decorated acting career. Perhaps, it was only the Academy Award which was left and it eventually did come off to the right hands at the “2016 Oscars”. Speaking about this revolutionary persona, this individual adores performing versatile roles with mostly characters descending to emotional distraught and has charming moments of delight and entertainment in his films too. It isn’t just the elusiveness and revelating performances, but each DiCaprio’s film turns out to be a critical and mainstream success at the box office. With an ensemble of versatile roles and his penchant of doing films on multiple genres, ranging from Romance Dramas to Biopics, DiCaprio is one limitless star on Earth who just never runs out of its luminous intensity. Him playing “Jordan Belfort” on silver screen would be my favorite pick out of all his performances. Besides, a humble and friendly personality in real life too.

Notable Performances: “The Wolf of Wall Street”, “The Aviator”, “Catch Me If You Can” and “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”.

Joaquin Phoenix

If you are thinking this boy is fascinated and too inadvertently dissolved after watching “Joker”, then you are majorly wrong. The latter film may just have given an inhibition to Joaquin in terms of mainstream recognition as it did help him bag an Oscar but is nowhere near as his career best performance. Joaquin Phoenix is a charming, notorious pick when it comes to filming artistic films, especially the slow burning ones I am talking about. Joaquin is intense with his raving expressions and emotions, and can undergo various forms of body and facial transformations in terms of preparing and ultimately presenting a unique character. And that very character is only designed, a trademark of Joaquin Phoenix. The man later adds natural charisma to the character and makes it look arousing and pragmatic to us. If a question on flavors is thrown at Joaquin, he makes sure how to present answers with peculiarity and eloquence. Oh, so the most awaited comment. My favorite performance: “Freddie Quell” in “The Master”.

Notable Performances: “The Master”, “Her”, “You Were Never Really Here” and “Joker”.

Daniel Day Lewis

I had promised myself in the beginning I wouldn’t be rating the picks, but never mind. Daniel Day Lewis still wins any battle nevertheless. He may probably just be the most methodical, elusive and captivating actors to have ever lived when compared against the likes of legendary personas like Brando, Nicholson, De Niro and Pacino. Each Day Lewis performance is an epitome of unprecedented manifestation of the avant garde. There are things only Day Lewis could do and he makes characters look real in practical life. Every subgenre of acting when spoken of comes in vain and disgust when Day Lewis finishes each of his travesties and character explorations. I don’t really reckon if this man uses an original voice and face as we see him in real life. Although, it could be a possibility that a man is no one and could have several faces behind this alluring, rather beguiling mask of hallucination. Okay, enough fabrications now. The character of “Daniel Plainview” not only stands as my best character portrayal from his man, but is my all-time favorite and most relatable character. Let’s just agree to the fact there will never ever be someone like Day Lewis in life.

Notable Performances: “There Will Be Blood”, “Lincoln”, “Gangs of New York” and “Phantom Thread”.

Please do share your favorites and your views on this article if you’re reading this. I can’t be any more excited to listen to other’s opinions and choices.

Umberto D. (1952)- A Heartbreaking Tale on Human Sentimentality and Desolation

Poverty is a trouble maker everywhere. People waiting in long queues for their pension. People struggling to make their ends meet on streets. People running short of money and falling into debt traps. People unable to pay off their interests and becoming prone to insolvency. The system has been cruel for the old timers, helpless and retired sections of the society. Only a few people share such far-sighted vision of an auteur like Vittorio De Sica. This masterful Italian filmmaker has given a new direction to desolated people and has intense ways of exploring poverty-stricken lives in Italy. De Sica’s films have equal moments of human sentimentality and can be heartbreaking to core. I had never imagined a film like “The Bicycle Theives” would peel off my skin, get inside and take shape of my body for days. The film did help me enlarge my vision on human aesthetics and is a permeating research on the Italian socio-cultural landscape.

There are a million memories to share, discover, and live with Umberto and Flike, as these characters teach us so many things about life, the ways to live it, and dodge away suffering, distraught and depression when they come blasting at us. I watched Umberto D. on a recommendation from someone very special. In fact, this was the person I met on my trip to UK, and we have developed an endearing connection with one another now. We are pen pals and keep exchanging words every week every now and then. Umberto D. is indeed a signature to Italian cinema and also helped me understand certain details about Italian lifestyle which I couldn’t much relate with earlier on in life. Here are a few words on this film which I would love to share with the rest of my colleagues on WordPress.

As usual, the 1950s scale of Italian cinema was concentric towards sweet and simple life of humans. Excluding the works of Fellini when compared with De Sica, as it’s rather hysterical to note how different the notions and style of filmmaking these two people from the same land have. One is articulate on viewing the conventional side of Italian society by using a sweet aroma of filmmaking, sometimes sprinkled with little facets of haute couture culture and solitude too, Fellini is regarded as the “Father of Italian Cinema”. Speaking about the other half, he may be as successful and celebrated as the mighty Fellini but the style is entirely different here. De Sica slices through distraught, poverty, helplessness, and the very conventional lifestyle of those human beings who are on the verge of being discarded. Primitive and extensive on his research, he glances through the streets of Rome, irrespective of the colossal differences and gaps between people in terms of culture, wealth, and inner character.

Perhaps, it is a thing of beauty for the master filmmaker to view everybody through the same lens, as in using common eyes, law and regulations on all sections of people. He is unbiased and loves delving into the broken lives of the vulnerable men, thus providing them a medium to highlight their thoughts, emotions, and all the other concerns pestering them and their insufferable lives. Umberto D. is a neorealist take on cinema and follows the turbulent life of an old timer and his dog prowling on the streets of a city where there is an extremity of ignorance, selfishness, and arrogance. In search of meaning and a little help from his acquaintances, we observe the protagonist crumbling and getting low on morale, thus later falling to depths of helplessness and depression.

The film also speaks about finding certain ways of elevating your mind, body and soul when going through tough times. A little happiness can sweep all sadness away. It is an influential tearjerker looking at Umberto and Flike swoosh away their desolation, and finally cherishing the taste of cherry by finding happiness through the most tiny, insignificant moments in life. A beautiful work of human travesty which is done with perfection having non-professional actors being casted for this film. Except a little errors in pacing which I felt were deviating at times, all rest assured that every other technical component was in balance with one another.

“Umberto D.” is the answer to Italian cinema just as how “Anand” and “Ikiru” means to Indian and Japanese cinema respectively.

ACTING- 4/5

SCREENPLAY- 4/5

PACING/EDITING- 3.5/5

DIRECTION- 4.5/5

CINEMATOGRAPHY- 3/5

ORIGINAL SCORE- 4/5

VERDICT- 4/5

Please do watch this film for sure. And if you have watched and reading this article, please do let me know about your opinions on this.

My Guilty Pleasure- Your average American Chick Flicks!

Obviously, this is something unconventional of me telling everyone but I do watch chick flicks. C’mon, I do have a personal life and these films nonetheless reflect a hell lot on our practical being. Good to watch for an entertaining ride, but also these films are a great stressbuster when really low. I personally think it is a shameful abomination for many when they come to know they also have a soft spot for these guilty pleasures apart from their minimalistic interest in cinema. That’s undeniably false and doesn’t make sense at all. My experience in the month of May was a turmoil of miscellaneous stuff as I went through almost every genre. Sharing a list of all the guilty pleasures I devoured watching this month below, and please be excited as this is the first and only time you’ll be hearing from me doing something quite like this.

We’re The Millers (2013)

Alright, so this was some exciting stuff. I’ve always loved Jason Sudeikis as a suitable choice when it comes to cheap thrill comedies, and plus he totally digs with Jennifer Aniston. The film is endlessly hilarious with vulgarity and profanity throttling down, and has a bunch of extreme comic scenes which would make you laugh your ass off. (Apologies for the language but please look what post I’m doing) You’ll be in for a real fun time, please don’t miss out on this one.

VERDICT- 3/5

Horrible Bosses (2011)

Incessant fun, even vulgar and hellbent on rough language, the film gets all its praise because of those underlying factors. It might showcase itself as a tribute to “The Hangover”, and thanks for doing that too, it certainly was a great piece of time killer. With Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman, and Charlie Day on lead, it becomes interesting with time as not only it has die-hard comedy but it never gets tedious and keeps on getting better with a charming screenplay. Riveting stuff!

VERDICT- 3/5

He’s Just Not That Into You (2009)

It might have given me a troublesome self-loathing time with myself as I was asking questions why I was watching this while this one was playing in front of me. I’ve always adored intertwining tales but this was annoying from A-Z. A film on girl and boy issues, relationship loopholes, and whatnot, I was expecting some kickass entertainment which it failed to deliver. Except some good acting performances, it sucks big time.

VERDICT- 1.5/5

Eat Pray Love (2010)

Based on an international bestseller, this Julia Roberts starrer is both influential and refreshing. It might be tedious and dragging because of its duration but still is a delight for many. I had a good time relishing Italian food, the beautiful locations across Asia, and thanks for shooting here in India too. A film which is lovely and irritating like an average girlfriend, but it does portray things like self exploration and solitude quite well.

VERDICT- 2.5/5

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Calling this a chick flick would be a shame and I certainly shouldn’t, as this one just encapsulates one of the best romantic comedies of 1990s. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan form an endearing chemistry as if they are M.F.E.O and is hilarious too in every frame. One of the most heartwarming and beautiful films ever, it just elevates me everytime when I watch it. And also, it was my parents who did appreciate watching it too. One of the best screenplays ever. One of the best romantic comedies ever.

VERDICT- 3.5/5

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

Well, it’s shockingly true to witness Julia Roberts as a manipulative bitch in this film, she just makes it look even better. As the name may not suggest anything better, it is Julia’s riveting performance whuch makes an appallingly pathetic script look better here. This film is pointless at times and also has a sickeningly bad Cameron Diaz in it, what else could have saved it from a disastor. Quite interesting in some frames, but was a major disappointment for me.

VERDICT- 1.5/5

Rumor Has It (2005)

The most intriguing part about this film was its loose-based inspiration from the classic epitome of comedy, “The Graduate”. It is shocking for people to listen and plus shocking of me to say, but it was a pointless bloated mess. Kevin Costner would have felt distasteful after being casted in this film which is annoying till the very end, I am deadly serious here. Jennifer Aniston seems to be getting roles of her lifetime, and she does look cute here.

VERDICT- 1/5

Mother’s Day (2016)

All thanks to Netflix as I could help myself into exploring chick flicks and some interesting comedies, and this one was plain sailing fun. As I get pleasured watching intertwining tales, this one is sweet and beautiful in ways. Loose and bland on script and direction, but who cares when it comes to guilty pleasures. Amazing fun, I somehow had a good time glimpsing this mild comedy which is star-studded with such great actors.

VERDICT- 2/5

Two Weeks Notice (2002)

Okay, I admit Hugh Grant is cute. But Sandra Bullock is way ahead. She was so adorable in this and I adored watching her play a witty and smart lawyer in this one. This film may be loose on romance and lacks certain other filmmaking elements but is good one though. I remember watching it on a silent night and my loud laughter had my parents awake as a consequence.

VERDICT- 1.5/5

Julie and Julia (2009)

Nora Ephron is a great director. Her inquisitiveness towards studying screenplays and later adapting them on silver screen, helps her get attention from general audience and critics both. This film was fervently delicious and has great acting performances from both Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. It was a delightful watch and I am sure my mom would have loved it even more. Keep it up, Nora. I want you back on track please!

VERDICT- 3/5

Easy A (2010)

With a sprinkle of teen splendour and cheap thrill, this Emma Stone starrer is an easy favorite for any teen. How excited are people about rumors, gossips amd relationships, and this film satisfies all our lust by highlighting an excess of these activities in this. It’s hilarious with relatable references and the script is shockingly intersting. The film also doesn’t disappoint and Emma Stone wins our heart here.

VERDICT- 2.5/5

How Do You Know (2010)

Probably one of the reasons why we don’t hear from our beloved Jack Nicholson anymore, this film was an epic disaster on silver screen. It may sound sweet and hilarious on paper but was too loose and deviating on screen, but Reese Witherspoon was cute though. It doesn’t explore love, relationships and career properly, and just like that it also slips from its storyline and gets short of certain things.

VERDICT- 1/5

The Break-Up (2006)

The thing which bugged me the most was the shortcoming of handsome dudes in this film. Vince Vaughan is excellent at comic roles but having him alongside Jennifer was a bad idea of course. (Lol I ain’t jealous OMG!) The director here tries to do a Annie Hall on many occasions but fails to deliver. Of course, it’s nowhere close to the masterpiece “Annie Hall” but it has a great display of hysterics too. A mild entertainment though!

VERDICT- 1.5/5

Please let me know what do you guys think about guilty pleasures and have they ever impacted your taste in cinema? Share all of your favorites too and please I’d love more recommendations coming in.

Back To The Future (1985)- Thanks for making me appreciate films on Time Travel

So yesterday was just as boring as any other day, already burdened with work pressure and troubles of being a college student, life can really be a bitch at times. To save myself from all this mess is movies or sometimes football. Getting to the topic, I will never forgive myself as to why I didn’t ever think about watching Robert Zemeckis’ “Back to the Future” much earlier. Times will never be the same again, and this film beautifully encapsulates one’s childhood memories, at least that’s for sure. Another trouble was the genre which is detestable as per my taste, but it did go well. Perhaps, there wasn’t a single moment in the film where I might have yawned or would have shown any means of discontentment. The film just owned me. It really worked out and as I always mention films being an embodiment to escape from reality, it was a great example.

The 80s era must have really been stupendous. Everything was just so cool. The emergence of rock music genre. The birth of gothic trend. The importance given to “coming of age” genre in films. The people in the 80s must have been the real epitome of awesomeness. Just like that, Robert Zemeckis’ film here covers all trends of the golden era and also talks about an inevitable concept: Time Travel! Sounds intriguing, right? We might have a plethora of films in this generation talking about time travel and Science Fiction, so it isn’t a big deal now. However, it was back then as this film is undoubtedly an inspiration for half of the best Sci-Fis which we know today. Steven Spielberg has always shown curiosity in Sci-Fi apart from his glorious, geeky interest towards adapting historical dramas.

A film which was released much years after films like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “ET, the Extraterrestrial” had already made their mark in Hollywood industry, “Back to the Future” could have indeed be an inspiration and loosely inspired from many other features, but nobody cares! As long as a film is attracting scores of people towards it, it is a big thing. Apart from the fanboy love from many millennials and teenage youngsters, the film instantly became a darling for critics too. This film has an aura of brilliance which is too hard to ignore. It gets hooked to the body and doesn’t detach itself until it goes off the screen. Here are some of my thoughts about this film.

As much appealing as this film is from its very first shot, it does define the culture and society of the 1980s America alongside its exciting screenplay. Comes the adventures of a handsome, frivolous slacker named Marty McFly and he comes swirling in with a pair of Nike, a skateboard, and a vibrant glow of attitude. Perhaps, this just defines the 80s for all, it’s a fact that most of the handsome men and beautiful women were a reproduction of that era. Marty is acquainted with an eccentric scientist who is inventing ways to time travel. The flow of the film is well synchronized with the screenplay and not a single deviation or unnecessary take is there, at least for me. As the film explores time travel, Marty is sent back to 1950s and comes the era of the lovebirds, the beginning to America’s foundation, and where people were actually getting use-to with emerging trends.

The film may just have a bleak, little to express kind of storyline and where things happen in a hush, although it doesn’t disappoint ever. Endlessly hilarious and entertaining with the olden but golden wits, it looks at all high-school stereotypes with elegance and portrays them on screen too. In an average American coming-of-age feature, there’s always a helpless geek struggling by being bullied, social awkwardness, and life in a nutshell. He has a soft corner for a girl who may not feel the same about him, but things do happen one way or the other. The film is so blatantly practical to teenager life and explores certain things too.

The film was colorfully extravagant as it never leaves anything. From rendering clothing trends like “Calvin Klein” to automobile giants like “Toyota” on silver screen, it sparkles an ode of necessity of these things too. As it may mot be relevant with its plot, but it does balance with the sidetrack. Arriving back to the concept, Sci-Fi’s have never been so cool and exciting unlike this one is. The film discovers things and casually fools around with many other unimportant things, but it does captivate us with its frenetic undertone. It is enthusiastic, smart, witty, and diligent, something which every girl expects from a perfect boy.

ACTING- 3.5/5

CINEMATOGRAPHY- 3/5

PACING/EDITING- 4.5/5

SCREENPLAY- 4/5

DIRECTION- 4/5

SCORE/SOUNDTRACK- 4/5

VERDICT- 4/5

Please do let know about your thoughts on this film. It is one amongst my Top 20 Favorites of 1980s now.

Under The Skin (2014)- A Non-Kubrickian Gem?

Every once in a while I love to watch a harrowing, dystopian film with certain areas of symbolism and ethereal meaning. It is nearly inexplicable to talk about Jonathan Glazer’s magnum opus as it too ahead of our time and demands to be left uninterpreted as it reaches towards the end. The film left me in an unsettling shock and I had to glimpse through various other articles on the internet to search through the essence of the film. However, I do think it doesn’t necessarily matter what each person writes about it as each article is a description of their own exploration and experience. To make things more simple, “Under The Skin” challenges our intelligence and wants us to treasure for more meanings in life. Such meanings which haven’t had ever been heard of, and are traversing through human existentialism.

It is us humans who first started using spearheads, stone tools and later discovered civilization. We formed a society, thus it now gives a meaning why homo sapiens are actually homo sapiens. The need of going forward was always incepted in our minds from the beginning, and we did witness war, love, technology, and urbanization. In fact, these all are our creations in this universe. Watching this film took me in a parallel universe where I was completely numb, and particularly focusing on things with mere concentration. There wasn’t a single thought which was distracting my senses and I was profoundly thinking about the civilization of aliens. What does the word “Alien” exactly mean? Are they alienated from our life forms and planet that they never wish to show their presence to us? Or is it the complacency or their self-satisfaction that they don’t want a confrontation with us? The film answers everything.

“Under The Skin” begins with cyptic images and which are bluffing our minds on the very first go. It spontaneously changes track and takes us to the country roads of Scotland. The initial images of the film have a unique similarity with Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” where we glide through interstellar space. The original score synchronizes well with a terrorizing music and becomes a parasite on the spectator’s body till the end. Glazer has depicted surreal images which are a fitting example to the works of Andrei Tarkovsky, Ingmar Bergman, and Stanley Kubrick in 21st century. Slow camera takes, a ravishing cinematography, and continuous silence makes the film standout on every aspect. There are situations which can’t be expressed with our language but moreover have to be felt within our understanding. The film constitutes a distinct experience to each different person, and finds its speciality through the same medium.

It’s so visually resounding to realize that this film is meant for a detailed exploration of humanity and civilization. It’s common to listen from various sources that humanity is falling to evil and villainous trenches, and Glazer here tries to explain by highlighting nymphomania and loneliness going hand in hand. Totally hard to deny that Scarlett Johansson gives an incomparably elusive performance in this one, a performance which is entirely different to her other works. The film never sprinkles an ode of hint and keeps us engrossed in its mysterious, eerie undertone. Prowling through the streets of Glasgow is an extraterrestrial being navigating places, learning about human behavior, exploring the Earth, who has its own purpose. Disguised in form of a seductively charming lady, Scarlett Johansson is seen interacting with distinct people and is understanding, learning, and exploring human intellect and behavior on each occasion.

The most intriguing facet which keeps the viewer’s attention unhindered is the after-effect and turning point of each interaction. Entering the void was the most horrifying experience in the film, as it doesn’t only frightens our eyes but provides a plausible meaning to human senses. The void is a similar reproduction to Black Hole, only it is constructed on Earth and governed by the extraterrestrial in this film. It sucks lecherous lust out of a human being and punishes them by taking their life away from the Earth. “Under The Skin” explores different sides of human nature brilliantly well, with mostly the evil nature floating around in the film most times. We observe several moments of humanitarian aid, care and affection, and shelter also being provided to the extraterrestrial, but it sheds light on practical villainous nature of homo sapiens in each life forms. The world being experienced and visualized through the eyes of a non-human is certainly horrifying to believe, but it does open rooms of questions to our skepticism.

Do we know ourselves well? Is our evil side still unexplored and lusts for all treacherous things in life? Why is loneliness existing and crumbling human lives with artrocity? Does loneliness later invite sexual lust to some people? The film neither tries to explain things to people but makes them experience each situation by highlighting sinister and sinful deeds of each individual. It is a mirror to our own sins and incessantly tells to look back at our own mistakes. I am so in endless fascination with this Jonathan Glazer manifestation which had a beguiling influence on me. To look at it, it’s scary but extremely enlightening in many ways. It’s like a parasite and which won’t leave the possession soon as far as I am concerned. I wouldn’t leave any point and actually want to determine how close Glazer went by in soliciting an imitation of a Kubrick feature film. Well, if it comes to score, cinematography, and slow burning takes, a big yes! Let’s look at the technicalities of the film now.

Us humans concieve an idea first. Later we delve into the intricate details of it, and finally manifest it in reality. We appreciate it, we admire it, and later we extinguish it. We kill it in simple terms, have we ever been benevolent to other creations apart from this insipid hatred for the others. The final shots of the film perfectly captures the essence and tap into our minds with numbing emotions and disbelief. The film is a gradient of self exploration, self destruction, creation of wonder, loneliness and many other things. It means a lot of things. Glazer in one of his interviews after being asked about hidden meanings of his film, replied that it is upon us individuals how we figure out things on our own. Don’t take it to intellect, but rather experience it. It is undoubtedly an unprecedented creation of time and effort blended in at rhe right place, and at the right hands of the right individual.

Although, I am a bit contradictory on the technicalities of the film. However, I personally think some frames could have been avoided, or rather given much more time and effort in filming it. The camerawork was a revelation but was loose and fragmented at places, thus leaving many things like an untouched jigsaw puzzle. Keeping the symbolism and plot of the film to be bizzare in mind, still there was an emerging necessity to explaining some shots in detail. The instances include the mysterious biker, the dead hooker, and many other questions are left unanswered. Unique and appealing to realize in one way, but for certain others it could be detestable. Technically speaking, it’s a nobel prize for direction for a person like Jonathan Glazer, and I personally do think there should be a Nobel for filmmaking too. Scarlett Johansson is still on my mind and the terrifically terrorizing score speaks about this film for sure. It charms on a well-written and adapted screenplay too, the cinematography remains indispensably important, and the usage of abstract images was a delightful feature for the audience and film both. Was it really a 21st century Non-Kubrickian gem? It may or may not be for many, but it did transform me into an entirely different being than what I was before. A new addition in my 21st Century Favorites now!

ACTING- 4/5

CINEMATOGRAPHY- 4.5/5

SCREENPLAY- 4/5

DIRECTION- 5/5

ORIGINAL SCORE- 4.5/5

EDITING/PACING- 3.5/5

VERDICT- 4/5

Please do let me know what you guys think about this film? And did it change your outlook towards life?

Christopher Nolan- A Director Retrospective

So, my first ever retrospective is going to be on my childhood inspiration. Not only did Nolan impress me with his visual effects and CGI in films, but provided an understanding how Sci-Fi elements could be blended with aesthetics and feelings. Christopher Nolan may just be the most popular mainstream filmmaker, yet who is also acclaimed monumentally by critics, opened doors to technology and innovation in the cinema sphere too. Assisted and guided by his real brother, Jonathan Nolan (who majorly writes screenplays for films), the graceful charm of this filmmaker has left many aspiring cinephiles awestruck and in the mood for films.

In my personal experience, I still remember it was “Interstellar” which I first watched of this master filmmaker and kept running excited with its name and aura, as the film had me enticed from top to bottom. Interstellar also gave me certain hints how inexplicable things are in life surrounding us, and thus which have profound meanings deeply forbidden in a cryptic mystery. Days followed, this infatuation towards films took me on a Nolan spree and I had finished his famous five films within a week. To this day, I stand confident in meticulously explaining all his films as I have finished the entire filmography of his. Please join me in on this transcendental experience towards films as some of your favorites might just be listed below. In a chronology;

Following (1998)

An experiment turned into eventual success, Nolan first started off by delving into facets of voyeurism and explored mental famine, loss of purity and innocence with a fast paced, perplexing screenplay. Having the idea of shooting on the underdeveloped parts of London proved to be an exploratory research, and it certainly did help Nolan in cementing his image in the film industry. Of course, easy success doesn’t come at once unless you are Tarantino, Lynch or Orson Welles who are most celebrated ones of rewarding us with the best directorial debuts ever. As an enhance, Following did leave me uninterrupted and shellshocked with a scratching head, and which was probably enough for me to get hooked on to something.

Memento (2000)

Christopher Nolan made its first mark into Hollywood with this Guy Pearce feature film, “Memento” is a psychological fast-paced, psychedelic thriller which is well built on a non-chronological storyline. There are several frames in this film which are almost unbearable to watch, but nor does it leave the spectator uninterested. The film is listed one amonst the Top 30 Best Films of 21st Century by BBC, and is meant for every cinephile in my opinion. Be it an arthouse film fan, a mainstream CGI film lover, or a beginner into films, “Mememto” offers unrelenting entertainment and thrill for almost every target audience. It’s time to re-explore this one I feel.

Insomnia (2002)

What else would you want to witness if Al Pacino and Robin Williams delight you with a duo on screen. “Insomnia” is captivating and engrossing from its first shot as it has brilliantly used a grim atmospheric setting set in the cold and mysterious altitudes of Alaska. It’s horrifying and certainly do leaves its spectators speechless, although it should be regarded as a little sister to Fincher’s “Se7en”. If an overstatement, don’t believe this hype but tune yourselves by watching this thriller now because the Hollywood has nearly stopped making such vengeance-driven thriller mysteries anymore.

Batman Begins (2005)

In my opinion, nobody could have pulled off a Batman Trilogy as successfully as Nolan did in the 21st century. With a fitting role provided to Christian Bale as Batman, the film looms mostly over its dark, cryptic undertone and differentiates itself well as compared with the DC comics. Nolan did provide the Batman lovers something innovative and crystal new with this manifestation, and so is the film’s brilliance with its unique script, magnificent acting, thus governed with a sound direction. What interests me the most is the runtime which fits too precise with the storytelling of this film.

The Prestige (2006)

With a growing affection with Christian Bale as one of his most picked actors, Nolan’s films finally identified an X-factor. “The Prestige” was an epitome of gargantuan success in the film industry as this opened more doors of innovation and cinephiles for the English filmmaker. The film is well written for the screen, has a star-studded cast, and mystifies the audience with its usage of VFX and visual effects. Personally for me, the film was deviating and quite loose from the plot at times, but it puzzles us whenever one tries to find loopholes. Thank you for the ending, Nolan!

The Dark Knight (2008)

The second installment to the Batman Trilogy was arguably the best creation of any film in a long time. Well, this is what the majority of audience says, thus considering the massive fanbase for this film. Fuelled by an exquisite portrayal of Joker’s sociopathic behavior by Heath Ledger, the film charms on several occasions. The growing intensity and chemistry between the protagonist and antagonist is the most scintillating part of this film, and keeps on getting better with each frame. Some of the scenes such as the bank heist, batman-joker interrogation scene, and the ending just helps the movie elevate to a God level.

Inception (2010)

My personal favorite from the Nolan filmography, “Inception” is one amongst my favorite films of 21st century too. Nolan conspires in towards a profound, relatable, but not much focused subject in practical lives, and talks about the quintessence of dreams. For me, “Inception” always charms with its VFX, original score and the concept encircling as the backdrop of film. With a star-studded cast featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, “Inception” takes us ahead of our time and shows us distant reality, thus trying to perplex us with multiple scenarios happening simultaneously. A film I can keep visiting anytime I want.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The last installment to Nolan’s trilogy was too heavily built on mass destruction and offered a fitting replacement to Joker, in the name of Bane. The last part experiences irregular turbulence in its storytelling and has carious scenes shot with carelessness, thus which invokes less attention from the crowd. Nevertheless, it offers an even better display of CGI and VFX in this one, yet it only lacks an inquisitive script. Talks apart, I do remember the film did leave me spellbound on its well executed fight scene and the satisfying ending to any trilogy.

Interstellar (2014)

“Interstellar” would always be remembered because of the time when it was released for the screen and is poignantly powerful on certain occasions. Nolan brilliantly executes his notion and modus operandi towards human aesthetics and connects them with a space exploration story with emotions attached this time. The film entices with its slow burning takes at times, thus it seems that Nolan must have immensely been inspired from “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The film corresponds on a father-daughter relationship and also speaks about inevitability of time and survival. The background score and the dialogues are a tear-jerker in this film.

Dunkirk (2017)

A technical masterpiece as suggested by the famous critics of the world, “Dunkirk” seems to be Nolan’s most complete film rich on technicalities, emotions, and the screenplay juxtaposes well with the filmmaking style portrayed in this one. Nolan is apparently developing himself more mature and profound on filmmaking with each film coming in, and this one is specifically meant to be watched in a 70mm. A visual delight, alongside the fikm is exquisitely well adapted considering the historical context and makes us feel we are actually glimpsing the harsh wartime of 1940s. With a rocksolid cinematography, the film goes further ahead and doesn’t leave a single opportunity in getting precious acclaim.

Ranking each Nolan’s film in terms of filmmaking technicality and personal choice;

1. Inception- 4.5/5

2. Dunkirk- 4/5

3. The Dark Knight- 4/5

4. Interstellar- 4/5

5. The Prestige- 4/5

6. Memento- 4/5

7. Insomnia- 3.5/5

8. Batman Begins- 3.5/5

9. The Dark Knight Rises- 3/5

10. Following- 3/5

Please do let me know what you guys think about the extraordinary works of this master filmmaker. Just can’t wait for Tenet anymore!

8 Reasons why “There Will Be Blood” is the Best Film of 21st Century

“There Will Be Blood” is a film which always leaves me spellbound and speechless. There is something which will never let me express everyting eloquently about this film, and is equally tough for a cinephile to as well, although considering a film which has a masterpiece endeavor from top to bottom. Easily PT Anderson’s magnum opus, the film explores intricate details of evilness, antagonism, and alienation in human behavior and delivers to us with sheer subtlety. Having watched all 7 extraordinary works of this director, it was this film which embraced me the most and later possessed with its evil aroma encircling within. “There Will Be Blood” isn’t just my favorite film of 21st century but solidified itself as my all-time favorite years back and will still remain to be the same for many years to come. I finished watching this film for the 3rd time in my life so far, only this time with my mom, and each viewing broadens a distinct vision and experience for the spectator. I always wanted to write something unique and dexterous on this film, and now seems to be the most appropriate time to. Find eight reasons beneath why “There Will Be Blood” is an anomaly and my “Greatest Of All Time”.

1. A historically well-adapted description of the early 1900s Capitalist America

The film captures the backdrop of early 1900s when businesses started to flourish in the barren lands of the country, and how capitalism shaped the economy. With people having wealth and power, they could easily acquire land and resouces and how things changed for the rural and barren landscapes of the nation. “There Will Be Blood” is a film which is too concentric on materialism, monetary facets, and all the glittering resources in environment, and how it changed the perspective of unaware and uneducated people living in such areas accordingly. It brilliantly juxtaposes two opposing and highly different sides of nature with material luxury annexing into the world of mythology, prophecy and superstition, and stealing the primary interests of people, thus making them lust for greed, vengeance and material success.

2. A nonchalant portrayal of the tiny gap between Materialism and God-like Prophecy

The film has a uniquely profound atmosphere setting with an oil drill established at part of the town and the church of the third revelation on the other. Alongside an aroma of greed towards success and money, the film also renders moments of god-like prophecy and is too superstitious at times. It sketches and bridges an elusive gap between two different ideologies of people and society, thus which are duelling against one another in order to solidify its title for the people. PT Anderson wonderfully uses a location which renders a meaning of these terms and is highlighted with an articulate understanding on the screen too.

3. There is an Evil in everyone of us

Daniel Plainview wasn’t the only villain in the surroundings, but it was the entire land filled with diverse people and their vernacular interests. An instant craving or a lust sparks an evil out of a person, and things like greed, vengeance and blood is something all must have ever craved for, at least once. Similarly in the film, the fields of Coyote Hills soon got corrupted by the treacherous arrival of Plainview, and how quickly were the people who got influenced by his actions. The false prophet Eli was another example of mental corruption and a wide influence for the growth of evilness in the town and that particular society of people.

4. It’s an A-Z work of perfection from its first to final shot

Splendid work script-wise, direction-wise, or either the cinematography, acting and the original score of the film, “There Will Be Blood” prevails monumental in every aspect. The film begins with an air of quiet death with Plainview excavating within the field for oil and the camera rolls on him for 15 mins of continuity. PT Anderson has rendered a mastery of silence in this film with brilliant, god-like background score perfectly fitting each scene. Other shots of the film include the Church Baptism, the Oil Disastor, and the flawless “I Drink your Milkshake” climax, which may just be the most rewarding and well performed camerawork in any 21st century film.

5. Greed and Vengeance is undestined and has no fate

Vengeance takes you nowhere, is something we all have been hearing from our parents, teachers, and even certain other films. Was it really the fate of Daniel Plainview? Or did he enjoy his fate of getting the eventual vengeance and nullifying everything sorrowful in his life. We knew Daniel never vowed for love, family or emotions, but only wanted success, money and respect from the society. So taking all these things into consideration, it was perhaps a happy ending for Daniel Plainview. He had all the milkshake, there was greed, there was vengeance, and finally there was blood. Daniel Plainview after the final credits would be like, “C’mon, my movie is over and ya’ll can go home now and relax. My fate was always known.”

6. Daniel Day Lewis

One of the reasons which makes “There Will Be Blood” the best film of all time in my opinion, is the inevitable charm and undisputed presence of Daniel Day Lewis. Being one of the most celebrated method actors in the history of global cinema, Day Lewis dissolves himself in the character and has always been a thing of prominence for the Englishman. Having already been acclaimed with other Oscar victories for “My Left Foot” and “Lincoln”, although this one remains to be the all time best performance of his entire career. Daniel Day Lewis nearly took two years to get into the body of Daniel Plainview, and the anomalous voice and accent, his body tone and gestures, and the getup proves it all.

7. It teaches industrious business and life lessons too

One of the few films which surprises with a backdrop of business environment and management lessons attached in it, “There Will Be Blood” teaches us success only comes to those who are patient, determined, diligent and persevering in nature. On a side account, about 90% of the startups shut down within the first month of conception, and here the film pictures a portrait of oil business as a backdrop. Daniel just started as an oil digger and by the end of film, we observe him on the topmost chair of success. A rags to riches story too for the entrepreneurial aspirants, although there are many things which our antagonist taught us in spite of a crude, ruthless aggressive behavior. Well, I guess!

8. Don’t believe in adversities, false prophecies and be the third revelation yourself

The best part about the film was the clash between two egos; a duel between fake god-like persona and human atrocity, although it is human who prevails and improvises himself as God in the end. “There Will Be Blood” is brutally honest in sketching an image of lust and vengeance, and also makes all false prophecies and superstitions vanish away from the face of Earth by calling “God is a superstition” in the end. So, from the onset of the creation of nature to stone age and to finally the Human Intelligence era, have we ultimately decided that god is a superstition and started to worship ourselves?

Do let me know what you think about this film.

Burning (2018)- The perfect definition to Korean Cinema

A serene, quiet manifestation of the South Korean landscape which touches themes of jealousy, greed, and working class anxiety with near perfection.

Movies which keep me contemplating for days and weeks later become my personal favorites. It didn’t take “Burning” that long to solidify its title and position, and is currently my #16 favorite film of all-time. To be honest, Korean cinema has cast a long shadow in the global cinema and is a prepossessing inspiration for millennial filmmakers and aspiring cinephiles. Parasite was a revelation at the Academy Awards 2020 and even its Palme D’or victory has given a huge name to the rising, trendsetting Korean cinema base. I’ll be talking about the film with a much detailed analysis, as it has opened doors of filmmaking inspiration for me, and I soon plan on to prepare a short film. Lee Chang Dong seems to be overshadowed by the rising popularity and undisputed presence of Bong Joon-Ho, but his retrospective has intriguing ideas about studying characters and the vast landscape of Korean socio-cultural and economic areas. Similarly, Lee Dong’s “Burning” flows quietly and captivates us into the screenplay very quickly in the beginning. The film captures two different parts of the city and uses the aroma of class discrimination and jealousy alongside, thus being foretold in a mysterious, crypted tone of the film. For the viewers, they may find theme similarities with the Oscar winner, “Parasite”, but quite honestly, these films are still entirely different in their technicalities and storytelling, thus only sharing a common message for the Korean society. “Burning” takes us to an odyssey of differences in human behavior and explores the vernacular classes of society, with the focus mainly converging towards the gap between rich and poor. The film hypnotizes spectators as it is profoundly articulate in exploring luxury on one side and destitute poverty on the other.

The trio performances were ravishing and holds the major essence of the film on its shoulders. Steven Yeun is an astonishing charm in this feature presentation.

Looking at the film’s storytelling with a visionary mindset, Jong Su is on the verge of insolvency and the environmental and legal regulations is being barbaric to him. On the other hand, Ben is a scintillating character and an exception to Korean society, thus keeping us clouded till the end with his mysterious, philosophical idiosyncratic nature. Homo sapiens are distanced not only by monetary facets and social esteem, but several things come into picture. Jong Su’s intolerance and troubled-abusive childhood keeps him in agony on the inside, while on the outside he is trying incessantly hard to win Hae Mi’s heart. Hae Mi is the connecting link between two uniquely different landscapes of Korea, with economic and socio-cultural facets of the country being articulated with raw honesty and cruelty. Some of the film’s shots are meticulously crafted, with the original score being a resonant memory for the viewers. It stays possessed till long and each time it takes me to the cruel reality in Seoul, South Korea. Alongside, the film’s three different character studies depicting on Hae Mi’s cheerful liberty and casual loneliness, Jong Su’s raging tensions unraveling deep inside and his jealousy, and Ben’s ineffable eccentric mindset, the film profoundly looms over human lives who are connected with one purpose. Is it Love or Money here?

Burning never answers questions to our scratching, skeptical heads and later becomes a grim, yet slow driving thriller. The film neither provides hints to us investigate certain things but keeps our minds numb with a cloud of ambiguity. Human lives are immensely intricate and certain ones are acquainted with one another irrespective of cultural and wealth differences. How brilliantly rendered are situations when the camera looms over two distinct tangible objects and at various frames, thus sometimes taking us to the demolished and underdeveloped parts of Seoul, while sometimes to the haute-couture, posh suburbans of the city. In the world where “Romeo” and “The Great Gatsby” have something common to share with one another, “Burning” also uses abstract language of poetry, minimalism and existentialism. Ben isn’t just a Porsche racing rich individual, but is a mystery from the inside. The film gives me paranoia but elates me at the same time with its magnificent cinematography, where some scenes are of highly the avant-garde. Burning keeps your eyes wide open and forcibly engrosses ourselves in an uncanny portrayal of class discrimination, working class anxiety, and explores anguish, frustration and revenge with eloquence. It can be cold and unsettling at times, yet it does justice and always keeps the spectator on the edge. Just to conclude, the film has one of the most finest and extraordinary done climaxes in any other film. It’s awestrucking, jaw-dropping and keeps you uninterpreted with questions.

Quite synonymous to Tarkovsky’s take on Mirror, Burning’s cinematography on the other hand, is a relevation for many films.

Although I believe I seem to have successfully explored the essence of the film, thus keeping the spoiler part in mind. Go for it, it’s one of a kind and deserves the infamous “It’s Terrific” Citizen Kane tagline for the landscape of Korean cinema. Burning Greenhouses will always be a resonating memory and surely a splendour hobby for many cinephiles and obsessive film fans.

ACTING- 5/5

DIRECTION- 5/5

SCREENPLAY- 4.5/5

PACING/EDITING- 4.5/5

CINEMATOGRAPHY- 5/5

MUSIC EDITING/SCORE- 4.5/5

VERDICT- 5/5

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started