Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Like Crazy (2016) Italy

An unplanned crazy ride.






Original title:
La Pazza Gioia (Italian)


Genre:
Adventure, Comedy, Drama.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     From the writer, director of 'Human Capital' fame. This is a road adventure that's filled with some fun, thrills and emotions. The story of two women and their unplanned journey to their unfinished businesses. Kind of self-discovery theme, but it gets a little crazy as what the title says. If you know Paolo Virzi and his films, then you know what to expect from it.

     Well, it begins with when a new member Donatella at a mental institution was fooled by Beatrice, who was there for quite a some time. They might have differences, but have some unfinished affairs outside. An unlikely friendship blooms between them and one weekend, the situation favours them to get away. From there where their journey goes and how it all ends comes in the rest of the narration.

     They both are not ill or the danger as they were institutionalised. Then why is what the film is going to narrate for us. Before that, it was initiated with a simple introduction of them and the situation they are in. It was really a good start, but then between the end of the first act and the beginning of the second was looked decent. Because that part was very familiar. You know, what do the people do when they runaway which were mostly wandering around and enjoying the freedom.

     I thought it was a good film, not as I expected. Then, ever since the second half was on the roll, it got a lot better, in fact I started to love it. From a meaningless ride to something sensible topic, the narration comes to the point, what it was holding back in the earlier. Each woman's life revealed before to when this story had commenced. So the trip comes to an end when they do what's better for them and everybody around them. Kind of sad, though it concludes in a right way.

 A mother's love is all giving, never expecting anything in return. 

     The two lead actresses were amazing. Second back to back film for director with Valerina Bruni and she was even better than the previous film. Because the scope of her role was much bigger in this. I don't know I had seen her before, but Micaela Ramazotti was so good, by performance as well as glamorously. There's no way you could part them and say only one of them were good. I loved them both equally. Actually, that's how their characters were developed. The entire film was about them, and they left a mark to remember this film for them.

     It's a good film, so I don't think it is an Oscar material as the Italian film board had already picked another film for that. But surely it's going to win some international awards. If the same film was made in Hollywood, would have considered an average, because this one got the Italian flavour. The film gets crazy, in an Italian style, and in the perspective of the middle aged women. But it can enjoyed by everyone.

     I have been watching a few good Italian films of the year, including this one. So I would definitely recommend it. Nearly two hours long, but the pace gets better while the story developed. Remember this is not the only kind, but one of the best among this theme you had ever seen. Ending the story with high emotional was so good, especially if you like that kind of material. I hope you won't miss it. Meanwhile, I'm so excited for the director who is making his first direct English language film. Looking forward to its release.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


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


Similar movies:
Rain Man, The Road Within, Being Charlie, Alabama Moon, Nandalala, Girl Interrupted.


External link(s):
      


WCA geolocation:
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Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Wailing (2016) South Korea

A father's struggle to see his daughter to get well. 






Original title:
Goksung (Korean)


Genre:
Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller.


Length:
Approximately 7-minute read.


Review:
     A new film from the writer, director of 'The Chaser' and 'The Yellow Sea'. This time its a horror-thriller that focused on a rural police officer who witnesses a series of strange events escalating fears among its people. The original title was 'Goksung', which means the name of the village where this story takes place. This film is specially for those who like Korean films. But I'm sure that everyone would enjoy it equally. Very typical Korean film yet an engaging theme and thrilling, particularly towards the final quarter.

     The opening, and almost the first act were like a black comedy. That does remain same after sometime. Because they wanted to give an impression what kind of person is this story's lead man. He's a cop, but feared of supernatural stuffs. So one day, he gets an early morning call to head where a family was slaughtered by one of its members. In his small village, with a small population, events like this are very rare, but when another similar incident was reported, ruled out what it was considered, but something else beyond humans.

     After the strange dreams, he comes to know his family too got affected by it, particularly his young daughter. Followed by when it gets serious issue, the family decides to bring in a shaman and so the ceremony begins to free her from whatever possessed. This is where the film turns more aggressive in revealing following event with twists and turns. The rest of the film should be watched to know how it all ends.

     The first thing was the film length. It was too long, nearly 150 minutes, but the screenplay filled with many enthralling scenes and dialogues. So I don't think sitting for that long would be an issue for most of the people. Surely you will be on your seat edge most of the time on your watch. Good story, but very confusing. I mean not puzzling way, but the events and its characters, especially the conclusion which is not exactly a perfect one with proper detail. So you might look for some clarifications after watching the film.

 If you go fishing, do you know what you'll catch? He's just fishing. Not even he knows what he'll catch. 

     The concept was a little confusing like what kind of horror is this. At one stage there comes a zombie, but it follows right after an exorcism on a girl possessed by a ghost. The writer used the time as long as he wants to develop them. So the narration was slow, but very steady on its direction going deep. If you are good at Korean films, the style they make, you might predict some of the scenes correctly. Like I said the final few minutes might confuse you, but really well done part if you understand that clearly.

     The film characters wise, I liked how it all connected at the end. But as a story, the solution did not seem right. I think not the fitting one or more convincing. I know who would you root, I mean most of you back what character, so from that perspective, feels it compromised a bit after put up a stern fight with what they had believed. I liked how culturally this story was narrated. I mean as its set in a small village, the ceremonies to fight the evil spirit was conducted traditional way, not the western style, except it opened with a quote from the bible.

     The actors were perfect, particularly I liked where it was shot. A fine location to mix horror and cop themes. The suspense keeps the film alive, but you won't always looking at that, because the theme expands quite bigger than you expect. There are some unexpected turns, you might find yourself scratching your head for how deep it could go.

     Don't worry, in the end, it all comes together, or maybe watching it twice could help you with that. As I said the runtime might not favour you for the second viewing. Besides, pay a good attention while watching it for the first time, then you will get everything. Particularly if you are an animal lover, that's a biggest clue you could get in this film.

     I think it will be one of the best horror you would find around the world this year. It might get remade elsewhere, but the chances are less and it could remain as one of the Korean classics in the line of many others like 'Memories of Murder'. You don't have to be a Korean film fan or this director's, but if you do, surely you will have an advantage in understanding it clearly and like it more than the others. Definitely it is one of the best Korean films, but I don't think so a must see, not according to me. Though I won't conclude my review without recommending it to you. So I say watch it.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


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


Similar movies:
A Tale of Two Sisters, Bedevilled, The Witch, Laddaland, Bone Tomahawk.


External link(s):
      


WCA geolocation:
Right now we're in

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Kabali (2016) India

A clash of two gangs over Malaysian underworld.






Genre:
Action, Crime, Drama,.


Length:
Approximately 8-minute read.


Review:
     One of the most expected film of the year. It did break many records, before and after releasing. That was expected for the Rajinikant films, especially this one was directed by a young filmmaker Pa. Ranjith who was just a two films old. So the responsibility was big to handle a top brass from the Kollywood, as well as to deliver success. I think he did great, handling the pressure, the result and the numbers say it all.

     He knows well how to mix the commercial elements to the parallel cinemas. He did that earlier, but here he had gambled where the lead actor is known for his style and mass appeal. In this, those cliches were reduced completely, I mean completely. Even for Rajinikant, this looks a new territory to step in. I have never seen him like this before, not in the last 20-25 years of my watch. So this is something new in Tamil films.

     Thank god, the songs are what I always had trouble in Indian cinema and in this they have reduced, but not completely erased. Especially the 'Neruppu Da' track was a massive hit, even before the release and I too loved it. Like usual, they wrapped up everything about the film tightly, so I did not know what kind of film it was till I saw. I anticipated kind of film 'Baasha', and I only surprised to catch up a completely different type of film.

     The 'different' means, it kind of looked like a live recorded audio, so the appeal was like a mix of documentary and feature film. It was actually inspired by a real life gangster boss, the struggle for equal rights and respect since the British colony ended in Malaysia. The story takes in the capital city, Kaula Lampur, where a man named Kabaliswaran was being released after 25 years of prison. He was advised not to go back to his old life by the officials, but he gets out with an agenda, and then decides to meet a few people who were the reason for his jail.

     Meanwhile, the flashback reveals 25 years old events. By then you will learn everything about him, but his future plans remain mystery. Soon his new quest to find his lost family members takes a full coverage from onwards. He had to go to different places, countries, but the trouble follows. His old enemies fear his existence is a threat to their business. So between the personal journey and fighting the enemies follows in the rest of the parts.

 Flying is its nature. Let it go. Free it. Let the bird decide whether to rise high or die trying. 

     Looks like this film is not for hardcore Indian film fans, especially if you had loved the lead actor's heroism from all his previous films, you might end disappointing a bit. He retained his style, only somewhat, same goes to the punchlines, but his heroic acts were exterminated and brought the reality like how people react to situations in the actual world. So my advice is to you is don't expect mass appeal, but the pace was excellent, even for this over a two hour long narration.

     I mean he used to fight for the people against the corruption and corrupted officials and politicians in all his previous films. Whenever he sees there's something wrong, he right away steps in, so his fans go crazy. In here his character simply neglects those situations. I totally stunned to witness a different kind of him. But that's natural and I loved it, this is what an international film looks like. Thanks to everybody who involved in the filmmaking, particularly Rajinikant and Pa. Ranjith for taking all the risk.

     This is entirely about Indian enthic's fight in Malaysia. They were brought into the land by the British to cultivate vast untapped land. Many years later, now the minorities, between Chinese and Indians a clash happens. One to take over the underworld market and the other to cease the illegal activities completely. I think it was a good theme, a message film, but told with a violent path. Since it is a gangster flick, that is inevitable.

     Great locations, the mix between blue/green screen and the real ones were so good, especially where the finale takes place. I'm very interested in Auroville after learning about it and I think this is the first film to shoot at that location. But disappointed for not fully utilising it. Not just the stunts, but there are some fun with a limited quantity. No romance, Rajinikant did the role, according to his current age, but the narration has the family sentiments. Other than gangster elements, the family plot exploited, particularly in the mid segment.

     An Indian film debut for the Taiwanese actor Winston Chao. He was not bad despite this is a different kind of experience for him. Everyone were praising Radhika Apte, but she was just fine for me. Dhansika as Yogi was the surprise among the characters. Even in a small supporting part, Kishore was so good. No need to say anything about Rajinikant, he was phenomenal. Overall, I did not find any fault in the casting section.

     With this success, there's already talk for a sequel, but they yet to confirm it. I am in favour of it which might happen after the '2.0'. Meanwhile, watch this film, especially if you are a non-Indian, because it was nothing like the regular Indian film. Though it was not a masterpiece, still can be watched once for being different. Particularly, it reveals Indian minorities struggle in Malaysia. That makes Indian must see. But this is a gangster film that balanced between action, crime and drama that mostly good for grown ups. Finally, it is a Neruppu da!



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


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


Similar movies:
A Bronx Tale, Gangs of New York, Thalapathi, Bashha, Iraivi, Jigarthanda, Nayagan.


External link(s):
    


WCA geolocation:
Right now we're in

Monday, November 21, 2016

Italian Race (2016) Italy

Winning the race, winning the family.






Original title:
Veloce Come il Vento (Italian)


Genre:
Drama, Sport.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     The film was loosely based on the true story of some Italian rally racer. I didn't recognise any of the actors or the director, but I really enjoyed watching it. The film was two hours long, but worth giving a try. I anticipated something different, though what I got was kind of unexpected. If you read the title correctly, you as well think it is a pure race film. The film was well balanced between sports and the family drama. As well as there some funs and highlights the family bond, particularly about the siblings. It was a quite good film for me, but then it all depends on your interest that will decide how much you are going to like it.

     It is about a teen GT racer whose father had died during she was racing. After the incident, her life begins to fall apart. She's surviving with a younger brother, but their mother left them a long ago. Not so certain about their future, especially the house which they are going to lose soon if she lose the upcoming championship. That's where her older brother who ran off long ago comes back. But he's a junkie and needed a place, so comes crashing down with her in the house. Despite his condition, she learns his capability, so offers him a job. Now this duo, as a family and professionally, what they are going to achieve is what follows in the remaining segments.

     In some parts, the older brother character seemed like a intentional. Like since his entry and his behaviour, most of the viewers would know where this story is going to head. But there are some turns in the midsection, in addition to give depth to his character, as well as to the story. I mean to define how he's changing along the story progression. Though when the film started, he was like in a supporting role, and then the takeover had happened slowly and unexpectedly. Particularly the end event, I did not think he would be on the roll.

 I take a curve at 200 mph and you are worried if I have sex? 

     On the other end, I was looking for that young racer to give some spectacular stunt sequences. Then realised this is not a 'Fast and Furious' kind film, but the conclusion was. Yep, I did not expect that after what I saw in the previous 95 per cent of the narration. Because it was like a struggle between desperate to accomplish in a sport and saving themselves from the legal life, since they both are minors. Like I said before, theirs older brother was designed to influence on them in a situation like this.

     Don't go for it thinking it is a sport film, especially impossible high end stunts. The races were the part of the film, but focused on different points in the different segments. Mostly about the life events. Very interesting characters. Three sibling, but belong to three different generations. Theirs bonding was the highlight.

     The actors who played those roles were superb. In the first half it was that teen girl and then her older brother in the remaining narration. His final race event was what this film turned into a different perspective. More like the 'Fast and Furious' kind, so I think if they are planning for a sequel, they should focus on that kind of plot. Because that will commercialise the product and makes to promote the film itself internationally. Originally it was about the family, so I afraid that does not happen.

     The overall film was interesting enough to hook with it, but if you had seen lots of Hollywood films on the same theme, you won't be pleased with the race events, except maybe the final one. One of the reasons is that it is a drama-sports, not an action or thriller or a crime-sports. The film was overwhelmed by the drama ingredient. No cops, no villain involved. If they do, not excessively. I think they did not spend much on the film production, though the quality was so good. Whatever the others thought, for me it was just a good film. One time watchable film. I did not like it as much I can suggest it to the others, so I hope you would make a right choice on this.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


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


Similar movies:
Bobby Deerfield, The Circuit, Rush, Need for Speed, Fast and Furious, Death Race.


External link(s):
  


WCA geolocation:
Right now we're in