Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Let's Talk Filmi...

A post after a really long time… Yeah, reaaaally long time. Reasons are many. Pressure at work, blogger’s block (what to write), and mainly my laziness. I am very good at delaying things, putting it down to do it tomorrow and in the end not doing it at all. To do it day after day smoothly without feeling guilty is an art which is perfected over the years and I have almost reached the pinnacle. Almost, because I am still struggling a little with the ‘feeling guilty’ part.

Also was busy catching up with some great movies of old, not so old and recent times. The oldest one is from 1957 and the most recent one is one released last month (yes, it is The Dark Knight). And as I told these are great movies. Great in their own way. Themes are different. So are the techniques and narration style. But one thing is common between them. Somewhere these films go beyond their basic premise, their genre (like action, drama, thriller etc), their settings (urban/non-urban, indoor/outdoor), and projects some questions which are fundamental and timeless. Today’s post is about these films.

First thing first, this is not a review. And I’m not going to list details, plus points minus points of them and give rating of 4 out of 5 etc. No. It is just a few words about them. If you have seen them please share your thoughts. If not, try to watch if you feel interested from my ramblings. Let’s start with the senior most of all.

12 Angry Men:
12 Angry Men It is one of those very few films which I call one-room film. In fact there is only one film that I have seen which has similar setting (more about that later). And one room does not mean some people talking in a room and viewers are then shown those things they are talking about. I mean flashback or something. No sir. Here these people just talk in that room and you will be there with them for the full length of the film. The camera remains there. That's all. The film is based on the concept of 'reasonable doubt' in case of justice. The criminal laws in civilized societies are based on the promise that 'no innocent man should be punished' and 'if there is a reasonable doubt in the judge/jury's mind that the convict might be not guilty, then he can not/should not be punished'. Note the keyword is reasonable doubt and there is no concrete definition of that. A wonderful concept supported by a tight script, and great acting. #10 in IMDB top #250.

The Dark Knight:
Now, this is one very very recent film. And one which is hyped to the core. Is it that great? Well, yes and no. It is the best comic-to-film adaptation. No doubt about that. Christopher Nolan has taken this film and the batman franchise to a different level.

I think, this movie will change the way superhero films made in Hollywood, just like “The Godfather” changed mob films and “Saving Private Ryan” changed war films
. And that’s some achievement.

Having said that it still doesn’t come in the all time great/classic list or maybe it does (it's too early to judge it). There are themes touched in this film, which given more time and effort could have taken the film to the hallowed list, but those themes were touched and hinted upon. Not dug into. No offense to Nolan. It is a summer blockbuster after all and he has to please everyone including batman fans and earn millions worldwide. He did it and he did in his own style. And it surely demands a second watch (I am waiting for one more sitting, with the DVD) to keep aside the suspense and brilliant stunts and delve deep into the dialogues and story. There are metaphors and allusions to post 9/11 world spread in the film and the more you think about it, more you can connect the dots. It is a world where violence is the first option, it is given. Where the evil does not need any backstory any justification. It is evil. Period. Obviously there are talks of
a tormented childhood, but we know that doesn't mean nothing. Injustice suffered in the past can never be justification for spilling blood of innocents. Sounds familiar?

And then there is Heath Ledger… That guy is mad. Nolan has just let him lose in the screen and Ledger lapped up the footage given to him. With glee. Just look at the scene where Joker enjoys the wind in his face out of a car window. You can tell how much he is enjoying the anarchy and chaos created by his devilish mind. What a character!
And yes it is #3 in IMDB Top 250 (yes, it is overrated, but that is another story).

Well, there are some more films from my list to blog about... but it is already late. One more hectic day at office is waiting. So, ciao...

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