Trailer Grace of Monaco

Yash Raj Films makes their debut in Hollywood with the movie “Grace Of Monaco“……It is based on the life of Hollywood actress Grace Kelly who married the Prince of Monaco…..the other producers are Stone Angels Films & TF1 Films Production and presented by Warner Bros…Directed by French Film Maker Olivier Dahan staring Nicole Kidman in the lead….the movie releases in India on 13th June’14

Review : RUSH

RUSH: A biopic which gives an adrenaline rush

Academy award winner Ron Howard has a penchant for biopic, one of his movie “A Beautiful Mind” a biopic on the mathematician John Nash who suffered from schizophrenia won him an Academy award for best director.

“RUSH” is another Howard biopic based on the famous F1 racers James Hunt andRush Nikki Lauda in the 70’s.

The story chronicles the rivalry between Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Lauda (Daniel Brühl) and the F1 championship of 1976, which was quite eventful with Lauda meeting with an accident on the tracks which almost took his life in Germany. It also showcases the turbulent personal life of James Hunt and his wild ways and living in the edge compared to Lauda’s more planned and calm life.

The script & screenplay by Peter Morgan is captivating and thrilling. It takes a peek on the personal life of the famed racers and their trials and tribulation beautifully never ever slowing the pace. The screenplay has its nail biting moments especially the race sequences.

The race sequences take your breath away especially when they show it through the driver’s angle. The cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle is excellent and captures the 70’s well. The production design by Mark Digby is perfect and every detail is taken care to give an apt 70’s look. Costume Design by Julian Day re-creates the 70’s style with élan giving the authenticity to the story. Editing by Daniel P Hanley & Mike Hill is taut and maintains a pace which was required for the narration.

Performances by all the actors are one of the highlights of the movie. Both Chris Hemsworth & Daniel Brühl give a crackling performance and are convincing as an F1 racer. The body language and the swagger everything has been detailed well in their portrayal. Chris who plays the casanova Brit, James Hunt suits the role to the T and his portrayal does justice to the character. On the other hand Daniel who played the calculated Nikki Lauda the Austrian racer who faces a personal setback after the accident portrays the character with conviction and connects instantly; especially when he returns to the race after his accident and procures the 3rd spot I wanted to scream with joy that is how realistic the portrayal was. Other actors like Olivia Wilde who plays Hunt estranged wife and Alexandra Maria Lara who played Lauda’s Italian wife support the boys with their convincing performance. Rest of the support cast do justice to their roles.

Director Ron Howard comes up with yet another masterpiece with RUSH. The movie is thrilling, entertaining and above all inspiring. Ron successfully connects with his audience well and does justice to the script with his taut direction.

It is very rare that a movie touches you so well that you tend not to forget it, RUSH is such a kind of cinema. I would go with 4 stars.

Review : Midnight’s Children

Midnight’s Children: A Rich Dish with all the ingredients but with an average taste

 

On the onset I salute Deepa Mehta for taking the risk of adapting a complex novel of Salman Rushdie “Midnight’s Children” into a movie.

The story spans from 1917 Kashmir to 1977 Mumbai, and tells the story of two children one born to a rich family and other to a poor family on the Midnight’s Childrenstroke of midnight of 15th Aug 1947, when India got independence. How their destiny changes after they are swapped, the son of the rich is swapped with the son of the poor forms the crux of the story.

Though the story starts long before the kids are born in Kashmir 1917 with a doctor Azam Aziz (Rajat Kapoor) and how he gets married to Naseem (Shabana Azmi) and has three daughters Mumtaz (Shahana Goswami), Emerald (Anita Majumdar) & Alia (Shikha Talsania). The story progresses with Naseem who gets married to Ahmed Shinai (Ronit Roy) and then gives birth to a son who is swapped by a son of the poor Saleem (Darsheel Safary/Satya Bhabha) and her son Shiva (Sidharth) by Mary (Seema Biswas). The destiny changes for Saleem who is bought up in a rich family and Shiva who is brought up by a street singer. How they grow up and go through ups & downs of life constitutes the rest of the story.

The screenplay by Salman Rushdie himself is the biggest hindrance, Rushdie struggles to put his renowned novel in a 2 and a half hour script. The main drawback is the pace which is slow at times, but it has its moments like the sequence when Emergency is called by PM Indira Gandhi, or when the kid Saleem realizes that he has gift of connecting with all the children who were born at the same time as him or Saleem’s interaction with his father or his nanny Mary, all these become the highlight of the otherwise slow movie.

Deepa Mehta has captured each era with minutest details with Production Designer Dilip Mehta, Costume designer Dolly Ahluwalia and cinematographer Giles Nuttgens. Actually the Production Design, Costume Design & Cinematography are the biggest highlights of the movie.

Performances by the ensemble cast starting from Rajat Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Shahana Goswami, Ronit Roy, Seema Biswas, Rahul Bose, Soha Ali Khan, Sidharth, Shriya Saran, Darsheel Safary and rest of the supporting cast do an exemplary job, but Satya Bhabha who plays the main protagonist the older Saleem in the movie does not come out as strong as the supporting cast.

Music by Sidharth Mahadevan blends with the mood of the movie. But where Deepa lags is the slow screenplay & Satya Bhbha’s performance..

Overall a Midnight’s Children is a rich dish with an average taste, I will go with TWO & A HALF STARS

Review : Hugo

Hugo: A visual extravaganza by Martin Scorcese

HugoHugo” which swept all the Oscars in the technical categories at last released in India after 6 months from its original release in US in Nov’11. Based on the book by Brian Selznick “The Invention of Hugo Cabaret”, Hugo is a story set in 1920’s Paris after the World War and tells us about the last days of Georges Melies, who was an illusionist as well as one of the profound film makers of silent movies.

The story is primarily of  Hugo Cabaret (Asa Butterfield) who is orphaned after his father (Jude law) dies in a freak accident and is forced to stay in the Train Station taking care of the clocks as instructed by his uncle (Ray Winstone), the only possession that he has of his late father is a defunct “Automaton” which is tries to revive by stealing toys from the station toy shop owned by Georges Melies (Ben Kingsley). He gets caught by Georges and his book on the “Automaton” is confiscated by Georges which he threatens to burn. Hugo takes the help of Issabella (Chloë Grace Moretz) who is the adopted daughter of Georges. The story then leads to how Hugo & Issabella come to know the past of Georges Melies and helps him to return to his old glory forms the crux of the story.

“Hugo” is a visual treat with fantastic camera work by Robert Richardson and superlative production design by Dante Ferretti which captures the 1920’s Paris in its full glory. The 3 D Format enhances the visual appeal. Some of the sequences like the train crash sequence; the sequence wherein Hugo is hanging on the large Station Clock is breathtaking.

The superlative performances by Asa Butterfield as Hugo, Ben Kingsley as Georges Melies, Chloë Grace Moretz as Issabella and the rest of the cast takes the otherwise slow screenplay to a different level.

Full marks to Martin Scorcese for paying a tribute to movies of the silent era and introducing that era to our generation. The movie has an old world charm which has been lost in today’s movies. 4 stars from me.