Thursday, June 30, 2016

Maigret Sets a Trap (2016) UK

There's no master stroke without taking a risk. 






Genre:
TV Movie, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     Well, here's the first part in the latest detective film series made for television. Sets in the 1950s Paris, starred by Rowan Atkinson in the title role like you have never seen before. No doubt that he's a comedy legend, from the small kids to elderly men loves his shows and films, but recently he had needed a breakthrough and this film provided one.

     Detective themes, especially solving crimes are always expected to be more intelligent with full of twist and turns by the viewers. Be it Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes, the European style, especially in the classic attire including the black hat and pipe smoking, never fails to deliver. It was also adapted from the books by a Belgian writer. Very neatly told story that focused only one particular case. Another 3 films are due, one in later this year and the other two are set for next year. If you love Murder mysteries, then it is certainly worth a watch.

     Okay, the story takes place in the French capital, Paris. It opened with a catchy music track and the opening credits including the title graphics are with an impression of very classic. With the unsolved murder cases in the hand, chief inspector Jules Maigret visits a new crime scene where another young woman was killed. He finds a similar pattern in all those events and learns a serial killer on the loose. So instead to follow the clues he never got one, he decides to set a trap, a risky one. Well, does the killer take a bait, and if he does, then how Maigret proves his crimes to the press who are eagerly after the case since day one and the public who are shocked and scared of these killings is the film told with some style.

 So how would a killer react...
If someone else was given credit for his crime? 

     It is a perfect narration, if not an intelligent as you were anticipated. Because you know in the history of 100 years of film, there are hundreds of detective films and surely you might have seen at least a dozens that tops the league. So the prediction becomes your first priority which makes the turnarounds in the storytelling in a film is a normal thing. That's how you won't get much excited, unlike if you're young and haven't seen many which makes it is one of yours early films in this theme.

     Either way, it is a fine film. No matter how much you guess the next scenes and the dialogues or just sit back to enjoy, you will be well entertained in those 90 minutes. That mystery tone was well maintained in the whole narration. Even when Maigret nears to solve the crime, somewhere, somewhat, something tells you that it's not over yet and proving the crime becomes the subplot with increasing pace towards the conclusion. My only disappointment was the killer's motive. In order to make Maigret a great character, the negative character loses its strength otherwise it is almost a masterpiece.

     The focus on the characters was limited, especially in the first half it was all about Maigret and a bit of others who he was associated with like family, colleagues et cetera. Only after the halfway mark it expands and explore a new dimensional view as a possibility when a suspected criminal enters the frame. There's no room for the dull moments. I don't know the difference between the book and this film, but they got all the best parts to fill it with the interesting stuffs to keep the rhythm high at all the time. The film ends with the same French track as the opening, setting its trademark.

     The 'Johnny English' star in a similar character, but very serious and authentic. By the end this film series would definitely define his acting career to a new line. I am already beginning to think of the big screen version of this tale. But as a customary, lets wait for the next installment titled 'Maigret's Dead Man' which obviously going to be another classy. Well, that's the result, I'm hoping for. A British film about a French detective written by a Belgian writer, this is among the best summer films of the 2016 that you should not miss.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
The Big Sleep, Chinatown, Insomnia, Marshland, The Keeper of Lost Causes, Cold Eyes.


External link(s):
  


WCA geolocation:
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Monday, June 27, 2016

Brothers of the Wind (2015) Austria

Once upon a time in the wild Alps valley.






Original title:
Wie Brüder im Wind (German)


Genre:
Adventure, Drama, Family.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     It was almost like a fairy tale, about the relationship between a young boy and a bird. From Austria, but made in English language with the limited cast and a semi-documentary style film. It is a very similar theme to the French film 'The Fox & the Child', but sets in a different scenario. Get prepared to witness the stunning Austrian Alps valley with a story of where man meets the wild. A fine entertaining film, as well as to study the behaviour of this magnificent bird that targeted for the audiences of all ages.

     A simple story that sets in one summer of the 60s, that narrated by Jean Reno, who appeared as a forester. He recalls the story of a boy named Lukas, who developed an unusual bond with an eagle since it was a chick that fell from its nest. The boy named the bird Abel and stood by his side providing all needs like foods and training, till he become an adult. As a wild animal, his instinct urge him to act differently and so the Luka's love and care for Abel will gets difficult by every day. As the seasons change, time to define their actual relationship and that's what the film beautifully narrated.

     It was mostly the background narration like an episode telecasted in a nature channel than the film characters that delivers the lines, but overall the film was dominated by an awesome background score. The sound mixing was really great, along with the breathtaking photography, especially all the segment with the bird, landscapes and other animals. The camera angles were absolutely superb and the film unfolds some of the things that we haven't seen in the documentaries like the topics of conservation, poaching and other human activities, especially the take of wild Apls in the different seasons.

 To learn takes courage. And to teach, patience of a mother. 

     The boy was terrific, and so those shots with the animals, especially Abel in the different stages of his life. A great effort put by the crew to make such an incredible film in the unfriendly locations, mainly the animal trainers and the proper guidance from the wild/nature experts. One of the jaw-dropping scene was the face-off between the bird and the ibex. I don't know how it was done or taken an unused clip from nature film, but its addition brought the phenomenal effect to the film. Not all the sequences were lively captured, there are some CGI works too, but very well done that blends accurately.

     Besides the boy's friendship with the bird was like any kid who love to have one. So envious. In other side, his conflict with his father is what pushed him to get nearer to the Abel. Somewhat it relates, both, Abel and Lukas are in a same situation in their respective lives and tells how they together fight to break free from it. In the end it very clearly differentiates where everyone belong and their role in the mother nature.

     The story is not what you're going love, but the way it was narrated, mainly the technical brilliance makes us fall in love with it. A coming-of-age film, definitely a very rare kind with a quality narration. Medium pace, but very intense and surely can beat Disney nature films. For children, it is a must see, but for adults, it is not necessarily a must see and if you think that way, you are missing out some masterpiece of the nature's video portrait. You don't have to adore it or go after the flaws, just relax and enjoy it, that's it works.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
The Fox & the Child, Kauwboy, Fly Away Home, Nicostratos the Pelican, Paulie.


External link(s):
  


WCA geolocation:
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Friday, June 24, 2016

Sunset Song (2015) UK

A journey from the girlhood to womanhood.






Genre:
Drama.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     An amazing drama about the life, especially it reveals what it would be like being a woman farmer living in the early decade of the twentieth century. The film was adapted from the book of the same name that's dealt with the rural Scottland subject. Even though I'm not familiar with the original material I would say it was one of the best novel-to-screen translation I have seen. The long runtime has never been the issue, but slowly, solidly told tale. My only disappointment is that it was not in the Scottish language since it was about a Scottish family.

     There were many Scottish dialects that I did not get at first, so I had to google them to know the meaning. But I liked it which reveals the true nature of the local culture. I meant it essential to narrate a tale in the native flavour to enhance the richness in its contents. The story sets in the 1910s that centres on a farm girl named Chris. An epic life journey from the girlhood to womanhood. Under her atrocious father, the film tells how the whole family was living in the fear. After a death in the house, the event slowly begins to tear the family apart, leaving Chris behind to take the ultimate decisions about her future and the family land.

     Anybody would definitely feel bored in the initiation part, because you won't understand the story right away. If you manage to survive in the first half, then you can easily get through in the remaining by liking it a lot. It was nothing like we know the story or we don't, it was simply about the twist and turns of somebody's life just like ours, except it was from a different timeline. Precisely to say the phases of life is what this film is all about. Like shifting the gear in the car, according to the condition of the road and the destination. The joy and sorrow are the part of the life which is sometimes depends on the decision we and around us make.

 You will need to face men for yourself. When the time comes, there's no one can stand and help. 

     It was totally an unexpected film, kind of reminded me 'Gone with the Wind' and 'Love Comes Softly'. Focused mainly on a woman, in the men dominated world. It was not just a rural theme, but also sometimes takes us beyond to other topics. Like during the first world war and under the English dominated UK, how the Scots lost the rights and their culture disappeared. No doubt why Scots are asking for their own nation.

     The romance was another turning point in the story, like raising strong from the fall. After seeing lots of similar changes, I was unable to predict what conclusion may come. But it was strong and intentional with some wonderful dialogues. I loved the beautiful landscapes from the different seasons. It was actually shot in the New Zealand, Scottland and Luxembarough. There's no expansion in the locations, mainly it sets in and around a farmhouse and very occasionally other than these parts.

     The one in the Chris' shoe was amazing. Like usual, Peter Mullan was fantastic and similarly others as well in their short stay. As the story progress, consequently the film characters reshuffled. Even for us, the main character Chris is like crossing through a juncture from the coming-of-age to self-discovery. Displaying the transformation of Chris from a certain period of time was the film's great achievement. Like how a landscape change from the dawn to dust, this woman's life sees the same fate. That's what the title implies.

     I don't know this British director, but this film opened a new door to me further to check it out his other works. I don't know either that everybody would like it, but it is really one of the wonderful drama of the 2015 and I recommend it to all, especially if there's no problem for you for a long story told in the slow pace. I hope they make films out of the remaining two books as well.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
Love Comes Softly, Ida, That Evening Sun, Jane Eyre, Wendy & Lucy, The Auction.


External link(s):
      


WCA geolocation:
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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Brand New Testament (2015) Belgium

Re-editing the god's creation.






Original title:
Le Tout Nouveau Testament (French)


Genre:
Comedy, Fantasy.


Length:
Approximately 5-minute read.


Review:
     I was looking forward for this since it was from one of my favourite directors who is a very unique storyteller. This is a fantasy and a black comedy from Belgium that was chosen to represent the country in the last Oscars. This is where the critics overtake the film fanatic to like it more. It is a theme that revolves on what would you do if you get a power to write the laws of the nature. A complicated topic, because loopholes are inevitable, but the writer and director did not care much about that and narrated the tale what they just wanted to tell.

     The story centres on an arrogant and abusive father who is also the creator the universe, especially the designer of the lives on the earth and this tale takes place in the Belgian capital, Brussels. When his bored and concerned daughter Ea, runs away from home to re-edit his creation as advised by her brother JC, he goes after her to ensure everything stay as he had planned. In an unexpected confrontation between father and daughter, in the end who is going to be victorious is the rest of the narration. Remember, there is a post credit scene, which opens the door for a possible sequel, but I don't think that'll happen.

 Giving men knowledge of their own death... Crazy! 

     It was a beautiful concept, but I don't think I liked the entire narration, though some of the parts were very interesting. Since it was a fantasy, logics are not required, but the lack of the basic explanation was the setback if you're a broad minded. This film is for the simple minds, especially after knowing the theme you should not anticipate a genuine tale with great adventure and stunts, particularly not visual extravaganza. It was kind of a drama-adventure, something like entering the world that created by you and experiencing all by yourself the positives and negatives of it.

     Somewhat it was a fun, so definitely not a bad film, but I felt it should have been a lot more than that. Kind of a missed opportunity and falls into a simplicity. All the actors were good, especially the little girl. But I think it's not suitable for the children on the ground of a film character who is associated with sex related stuff, hence it got a few brief nudes.

     The God character was awesome, even though his acts are predictable I enjoyed the comedies delivered by him. The Ea's undertaking was more a serious and which tries to relate with the Chritianity, especially 'The Last Supper' after her decision to help a few selected people down in the earth over billions. All the above it was barely a magical film, so that's where you've to compromise than to expect crazy stuffs out of it. So in my opinion, it was not delightful as it looks nor the best work of this talented director, but a decent 2 hour long film.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
Bruce Almighty, Evan Almighty, City of Angels, Sweet Rain, Heaven's Bookstore.


External link(s):
      


WCA geolocation:
Right now we're in