List of My Favorite Movies- Part 3

I hope you have already read the previous two lists. Let’s start today’s discussion.

Eye in the Sky (2015)- It surprised me quite a bit. Political war thrillers have been so overdone, but this one really managed to work by narrowing its scope. With films like this and real-life disasters that kill dozens of people, it’s easy to overlook the importance of every single human life. This film is aiming to remind us of just how significant, and atrocious, times of war are, and rightly so, the film does not come with any easy answers. I loved how the film was completely focused on one single event, and while I can see how some might think it was stretched out too much, I felt like the moral and emotional weight of the situation on all of these characters called for it. Maybe I would say that the film gets a bit too sentimental at times (we don’t need to be reminded with the many shots of the characters’ faces or the music), but for the most part, it really works. And oh Aaron Paul, you’re just the perfect actor to play characters who are trying to help children.

Darkest Hour (2017) We go to the movies to be gripped by powerful narratives presented with good scripts and moving imagery. This film has all of it, most especially a riveting performance by Gary Oldman. The subject matter will clearly divide audiences thanks to its pat view of history: the UK as the righteous hero and everyone else as inept — Italians and French losers, Germans the evil fascists, the US completely unmentioned, Canada the quiet prairie for monarchs to escape to — in the still-somewhat- mysterious Dunkirk incident where Hitler could easily have tightened the noose and pushed the UK over the edge of what was evidently a crushing defeat but somehow allowed them the leeway to escape by civilian boats. There’s next to no mention of the French army that stood its ground and valiantly sacrificed itself to win a couple of days for the Brits on the beach. All that said, as a film, this is a gripping narrative with just the kind of insouciant wit you’d expect from Churchill. While movies such as “The Gathering Storm” with Albert Finney were more considered, Darkest Hour is the kind of production that wows awards juries and audiences. Worthy watch when it comes to a theatre near you. I feel Nolan’s “Dunkirk” would be richer if you saw it *after* Darkest Hour.

Room (2015) So finally here is one cinematic experience of a lifetime. It starts in a claustrophobic tone, gradually cheers up and finally ends up in an introspective mood. The basic idea of the movie is how we adjust ourselves in different circumstances. Things can be easy even when the externals are odd. Things can be tough even when everything is a bed of roses. It is up to us and how we cope with the change. And only the brave can fight it back to normalcy. This is what you call a layered plot, interwoven with human emotions like joy, sadness, madness, depression, and a sense of freedom. Brie Larson as Joy (Ma) is brilliant. Her expressions, change of tone, hysteria, eyes lit up the character and its pleasures and agonies. Deservedly she bagged the coveted Academy Award. Joan Allen as the sensitive grandmother does a brilliant job. But it is the kid Jacob Tremblay who steals the show. He is a too brilliant actor for a kid of his age. His narration towards the end of the movie makes your eye moist. The other casts do justice to their small roles. ‘Room’ is a winner all through.

Pawn Sacrifice (2014)   I was a bit skeptical about whether I should watch this movie or not. There has been so much slamming of this movie. It did not even have a wide release. But thank God, I dared to watch. It is one of the most intense movies of recent times. From the beginning, your eyes remain glued to the screen. The historic match between Spassky and Fisher has been depicted so vividly, that at times you forget that you are watching a movie. Tobey Maguire has been criticized a lot for his portrayal of the legendary chess player. But I found him too good. His acting was as intense as this movie. The frowning, the clenching, the swing of mood everything was made so much believable. Liev Shreiber too has done a commendable job as Spassky. The cinematography is excellent. The close shots deserve to be mentioned in particular. Finally, a good film from a brilliant director like Zwick after a pause. Do not miss this movie.

A Walk to Remember (2002) Well, this movie has received mixed reactions from the critics. There have been efforts to thrash the immaturity level of the movie as well as Mandy Moore’s acting skills. However, both are unjustified. In fact, the director succeeds in making one of the most romantic tales of our time. And Mandy Moore manages to deliver her role brilliantly, bringing on-screen the cherubic look the role demanded. And her expressions were simply loving. I was not sure whether I really wanted to watch this movie or not. Was thinking that it might be just another movie about the college-going teens, their “American” way of living, and some torrid affairs.  Hell, I was wrong. This movie is an inspiring tale of love, of unfailing faith. It’s about sacrificing. It’s about rising in love.

Just finished watching the movie with my wife and I must tell at the end we were just holding each other and silently shedding tears. Then we realized we have many things to do for each other, things which we had promised to do long ago but could not do.
If you have watched it, well and fine. If you have not yet, then you are really missing something which should not be missed at least by those who still believe in the power of love, believe in something ” which can’t be seen, but can be felt”. Forget about the critics, forget about movie-making, go and watch this movie. It is surely going to make you feel a lot better at the end and make you realize that you still have many unfinished things on your list.

To be continued…

Part 1

Part 2

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