Thursday, January 10, 2008

Three Movies:

Movies I have seen in theaters in the past couple of days came out to be huge disappointments. I am not quiet sure what went wrong but in one way or the other my cinematic taste wasn’t satisfied. Perhaps nothing tasted good in the past week because I had a very bad case of flu; the fever is gone but my body still aches. Let's start with the worst:

Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd (2007) was another convincing sign for me to never see his films; instead it is safe still for me to stick to his animations. Burton’s Demon Barber of Fleet Street was a bleeding musical: empty of music and vacantly loaded with blood. Sweeney Todd is an adaptation of a revengeful Broadway musical; the story of a bitter barber who is back to bring justice to the streets of London and the city’s crooked aristocrats, justice to the city that took his happy life from him for a crime he did not commit. And of course his endless murders cannot bring his happy past back. Tim Burton had every element to make one of his best movies: he had Johnny Depp, a set of silver razor blades and a story good enough for him to drag any possible mystical symbol out for creating another Neo-Gothic film, but instead we have a musical that drips blood into the ears. My vote is D for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.


This next film is a little tricky. I would have liked the movie if I didn’t have a degree in cinema. And believe me having academic education in cinema sometimes sucks; I have to try very hard only to enjoy watching a movie; for a long time I have to try to concentrate on what is happening on the screen and not see the technical mistakes. For instance in Charlie Wilson’s War, the movie starts in a ceremonial sequence, where they are giving a sort of appreciation letter to Charlie Wilson for his efforts in arming Afghans against Soviets. This sequence is an introductory scene that becomes a flash back and the rest of the movie follows so the viewer knows how Wilson did it. As an introduction scene it is all very good for us to have a glimpse of everyone involved in our story, and it is here where my problem starts; there is Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) wearing black leather gloves, clapping and then there is a mother-shot (long shot) of the same scene where Joanne has her bare marble-white hands; the gloves are nowhere in the picture. You see I was sure they get back to the same sequence because we left the story in a flashback. I waited to the end of the film to see yap, the screen-girl failed her task and indeed Joanne has her gloves for one second and doesn’t have it the next.

This is how studying cinema ruins a relatively good movie and gets the joy of watching movie away from me. Away from this minor technical error, the performances are good; I should say excellent for Julia Roberts. But the story that was supposed to be a drama has too many funny moments so that it gets nominated in the best Comedy - Musical category. And I did not like this too-many-jokes either, because there is a truth in that story and we as the viewers should be cognizant of the reality behind the film, but instead the film makes you laugh and forget about the whole mess of Islamic extremism in Afghanistan. My vote for Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) is B-.

The last one was Atonement (2007) directed by Joe Wright based on a novel by Ian McEwan. Lets put aside the book, though I am sure the book is a marvelous one, and stick to the film. Performances were the strongest point of the film, perhaps I should say unfortunate for the film. Let's give some credit to the music by Dario Marianelli, without whom the film was nothing. A book within a book, a story within a story; I’ve seen better films in this format; but what was missed here was a sense of guilt, a feeling of atonement, a sense that every single shot in the movie lacked. And believe me this sense cannot be enforced only by well-composed music. My vote for Atonement is B.


Atonement, 2007


8 comments:

jeerjeerak said...

I hope you fully recover from the flu soon Tameshk joonam.

I saw such a terrible movie in the theater that kinda killed my spirit to go back to cinema during the break! "I am legend" is so far the worst movie i had ever paid for!

jeerjeerak said...

if i go and see Wilson, i'm sure i'll be looking for those gloves now, haha:)

Anonymous said...

Generally not many good movies on this year!!! however can't waite to see Persepolis this friday
take good care of yourself
Mehran

Mersedeh said...

Well, it looks like I am the ONLY one but I saw a FANTASTIC movie this weekend! "No Country For Old Men" starring one of my favorite actors (who was very evil in this movie!)Javier Bardem. I definitely recommend it to anyone who has not yet seen it!...and Roya-Jan, if and when you see it (assuming you have not yet) can you please explain the ending?

Now, one of my friends is insisting on taking me to see Orphanage! very creepy....!

Take care of yourself and rest up!
Mersedeh

Behi said...

Thanks so much for your kind greetings :-). Nice to meet you too Tameshk jan.

All the best,
Behi

Tameshk said...

Jeerjeerak Joonam

Thanks for your warm words. I am much better now. These movies were not terrible. They were just not good enough. I hope the gloves don't distract you from enjoying the film; to be fair i should say it is not a bad movie.

Dearest Mehran
I cannot wait to see Persepolis; I read the books and it is hard to wait.


Mersedeh Joonam

Thanks for reminding me of "No Country For Old Men". I love that film, it is amazing. The only thing was that I saw it couple of weeks ago so it did not come up in this post. Javier Bardem is the master of the screen. About its ending: It doesn't really feel like an ending, does it? in this manner the spectator is in an never ending suspense. The shadow of a psychopath hangs over our conscious forever. Now imagine if the film was finished by his arrest. It was over.

Dearest Mrs. Behi

Thanks for visiting Tameshk. I read your page now that I know about it. Please be in touch.

یه خواهر کوچولو said...

سلام روجا جان من یکی از خواننده های تقریبا همیشگی و قدیمی وبلاگت هستم راستش چون خیلی زبانم خوب نیست برات کامنت نمی گذاشتم خیلی وقت ها باید از دیکشنری استفاده کنم تا کامل نوشته های قشنگت رو بفهمم ولی با همه اینها خیلی زیاد نسبت به نوشته هات احساس نزدیکی دارم و مطمین هستم خیلی خیلی دختر مهربون و ماهی هستی امیدوارم همیشه سلامت و شاد باشی

Tameshk said...

یه خواهر کوچولوی عزیز
ممنون ام. شما لطف دارین . به هر زبانی که ترجیح میدید برای تمشک بنویسید
تا زود زود
روجا