Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, June 24, 2010




Movie Review

In the top ten list of the most famous movie dialogues, Casablanca is bound to land a few entries. A classic movie, in every sense of the word, Casablanca simply inspires. Released during World War II, the plot is set in the Moroccan port city of Casablanca, a gateway to freedom and peace from war-torn Europe. The town is so resonant; you can feel the urgency of the people there. It is not a place to stay, but a place to leave.

Humphrey Bogart is flawless in his portrayal of Rick, a café owner who is the epitome of cool. It is satisfying to see him and Captain Renault, the Vichy French police chief, go at it with words. Bergman is breathtaking as Ilsa. Bogart and Bergman make it seem all so genuine. And my word, the dialogues again are such classics! And spare a thought for Victor Laszlo. He represents all that you don't want to see in the man rivaling your bid for the hand of the woman of your dreams.

Watch it. Then watch it again. Pay attention to the dialogues and if possible, watch it with your girlfriend.
“Here's looking at you, kid.”
By Kazim Ibn Sadique


Miss Potter
The script of this movie is composed on Beatrix Potter's true life story and is intertwined with her chemistry between her children's books (where rabbits jump out of her hand-drawn storybook illustrations and start dancing; in a cute way) and her first publisher; who actually published her to give his pesky sibling something to read, but got hooked to her aura and childishness. Even though I never adored the story, I could not help but fall in love with the scenic landscape and the astounding photography of the film, which comes combined with the cheeky laughs that Miss's Mother delivers, something very much unlike either the typical comedies or the "show-off" movies.

Though this biopic may look like a strange, split-personality watch at the first part to contemporary audiences, but the right balance of humor, pathos and romance makes it a perfect watch and is finely dusted up by the fact that it is so much more than cute and fuzzy bunnies.

Miss Potter is a film that doesn't quite work like everyday movies and yet somehow remains charming and even moving with Renée Zellweger perfectly displaying the childishness and emotions of the real writer in a laudable way.
By Eshpelin Mishtak


Requiem for a Dream
Requiem for a Dream is a brilliantly directed and visually astounding feel-bad movie, even though it's not intentional. The movie revolves around four people living in Brooklyn and their hopes and aspirations for satisfaction in life. The protagonist Harry, his best friend Tyron who shares his ambition, Harry's girlfriend Marion, and his widow mother Sara. The dreams aren't huge, but they give the characters the desire to live. But all of them are addicted; Harry, Tyron and Marion to the needles of heroin and lines of cocaine and Sara to the glamour and glitz of television.

The movie sees those lives spiral out of control with drugs and addiction and their dreams shattered, lives crushed. This movie deals with addiction but doesn't have the comic relief that Trainspotting had and has a ruthlessly unforgiving tone to it. It portrays despair through a completely unsympathetic, objective view. The name, Requiem for a Dream is poetic, but the movie is hardly poetic at all. It captures your attention and plays with your mind. This is what makes Requiem for a Dream so exceptional and should be in every movie lover's watch list.
By Orin


The skinny: Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is a stereotypical geek with big dreams. He dons a silly suit and mask, and goes out looking for trouble, only to get beaten up. A lucky break comes when he saves a man being beaten by thugs, gets filmed by a gawking onlooker, and the online video goes viral, earning him the alias of Kick-ass'.

He catches the attention of Damon Macready (Nicholas Cage) and his little daughter Mindy (Chloe Grace Moretz), a pair of armed vigilantes, self-styled as 'Big Daddy' and 'Hit Girl'. They jump in and save Kick-Ass when he tries to take on a gang of drug dealers, mostly because the dealers were connected to the Macready's nemesis Frank D'Amico, some criminal kingpin.

What's to love about the movie: The awesome soundtrack, which features an eclectic range of sounds from Prodigy, to Bobbie Gillespie and even Mozart. The fight scenes are raw and brutal, with gun-power going hand in hand with martial arts, and lots and lots of blood. Also, Chloe Moretz displays some serious acting chops as the potty-mouthed Hit Girl.

What's to hate: Weak script, confused storyline, and Nicholas Cage.
The Verdict: Meh.
By Sabrina F Ahmad


The Bucket List
Story in Brief: Mechanic Carter Chambers and billionaire Edward Cole are thrown in to a whole new friendship by Fate when both are diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, and are stuck in the same cabin of Cole's hospital. Chambers, remembering an old exercise, begins making a Bucket List, i.e. a list of things he wishes to complete before he kicks the bucket. What starts as mere scribbling eventually runs into realization when Cole finds it discarded in the bin, and an entire film runs to show the eccentricities of two old men, with a few surprises along the way.

Comments: Story; unique, at least to this reviewer's knowledge. Characters; somewhat exaggerated at times, mostly Jack Nicholson's role of the filthy rich Cole, and Morgan Freeman's oh-so uptight principles guy of Carter. The items on the list seem pretty much what any person would want on theirs, so there's nothing much to talk about that. It's a film you would likely want to watch when you finally exhausted your animated movies' collection, and want to give your imagination a bit more of a realistic nod after watching pandas mastering Kung Fu. But overall, pretty good. Anything better than Freeman's “Wanted”.
By Wahid T Khan


Lal Salu
Lal Salu is a movie that portrays a typical rural agrarian society where superstitions and illiteracy reign supreme. Syed Waliullah's famous work is brought to the silver screen by director Tanvir Mokammel. In the movie, a poor man named Majid comes to a remote village and discovers an old grave, which he claims to be the mausoleum of a Muslim saint. Taking advantage of superstitious and illiterate villagers, the majority of whom are farmers, Majid starts a business centered on the shrine of the supposed saint and becomes the most influential man in the entire village. The villagers prescribe to his advice on religion and everyday affairs. And the opportunistic charlatan feeds voraciously on the fear and respect villagers reserve for him and tightens his stranglehold on the village life while fulfilling his materialistic and physical needs with considerable ease. But Majid's second marriage spells an end to his supreme power. The second wife refuses to become the servile creature that Majid wants her to be. And when she dies, the decorated shrine - the source of Majid's power and influence is inundated under flood water. The finest reflection of rural life ever seen in a movie in Bangladesh!
By Nayeem Islam


Sleeping Beauty
The most useless Disney princess of all time is featured in this quick review for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that she's useless. You'll probably be surprised to know that she spends a rather small amount of time in the movie actually sleeping. Much of it is spent being a baby and a bit more dancing around with a guy she just met who acts more like a stalker than a prince. Sometimes the stories are true and if the marvellous orchestra is precise to the point of making your ears bleed, just keep in mind that this thing was made in 1959, before the existence of Hindi soap operas. Speaking of operas, remember to lower the volume when she starts singing, or you could end up like that bird in Shrek (the first).

Disney movies are almost as violent as Tom and Jerry…
Thankfully the focus of this story is on the three fairies, and the eternal conflict between blue and pink. Oh, and the dragon. Look, if you want to take a trip down memory lane, or have a little sibling/cousin (boy or girl) you want to introduce into the world you knew when you were their age, my suggestions would be a) Beauty and the Beast, b) Aladdin, and c) The Lion King. All are more fun, somewhat educational, and enjoyable to all not just the colour-blind and deaf.
By Professor Spork


The Shawshank Redemption
“It comes down to a simple choice really. Either get busy living, or get busy dying.”- So said the character of Andy Dufrense. While that unashamedly copied line from IMDB may have slipped my memory after all these years, I have not forgotten how hauntingly beautiful “The Shawshank Redemption” was. As a masterpiece of cinema in the 20th century, this has no other comparison. Yet, in 1994, The Shawshank Redemption failed to register even a minor hit at the Box Office. This goes to show that numbers don't make a good movie.

The reason why it managed to capture the hearts of so many is because it was a film that tugged at the heartstrings of the audience in a way no other film could. It made grown men weep. Yours truly cried like a three year old when Andy waded through a sewage line and made it to the river and to his freedom. This film makes one truly appreciate how precious freedom is. If you haven't watched it yet, get your hands on a DVD and watch it. Now. Oh, and don't forget to grab a box of tissues too.
By Shaer Duita Fish Reaz


The Lion King
Disney movies are what define childhood, for our generation, at least. But amongst all those princesses and dragons, the lovable cub Simba has a place all his own in our hearts. “The Lion King” needs no introduction at all. It follows the tale of lion cub Simba as he grows up, faces his fears and his evil uncle Scar, and finally defeats him. He finds friends along the way, together with plenty of fun and mischief. “The Lion King” gives you your recommended daily dose of courage, friendship and the works, but still has enough light moments to stop it becoming an Aesop's Fable.

While the storyline is fairly typical (good triumphing over evil), the characters are where this movie really shines. Each one has its unique personality, from the wise baboon Rafiki to the hilarious Timon and Pumbaa. “The Lion King” also boasts an award-winning soundtrack, with the hit song “Can you Feel the Love Tonight?” by Elton John and Tim Rice. So next time your five-year-old brat of a cousin comes over and starts fiddling with your iPhone just leave “The Lion King” on for five minutes. Thank me for this later.


Yellow Submarine
Yellow Submarine was the first animated feature film of one the greatest rock bands of all time, The Beatles and the movie itself was based around their songs.

The story concerns the music-loving kingdom of Pepperland, which has been taken over by the music-hating Blue Meanies, who seal the town band inside a music-proof bubble. So the town's Mayor sends Old Fred off in the Yellow Submarine to get help. Old Fred travels to Liverpool, where he follows a depressed Ringo and persuades him and his wacky friends John, George and Paul to return to Pepperland with him to help save it from the Blue Meanies. They travel back to Pepperland in their Yellow Submarine through the seven Sea's of Time, Science, Monsters, Nothing, Heads, Holes and Green. They all arrive at Pepperland and defeat the Blue Meanies by forming the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and bringing back colour and music to the kingdom.
The film was released in 1968 and is full of bright fun animation. There are crazy sea creatures, flying blue fists, and a Frankenstein monster that morphs into John Lennon.
And it features the Beatles songs, what more do you need?
By Musarrat Rahman


Crash documents the lives of several people in the heart of Los Angeles as they deal with racial, social and economic crises, each character somehow interconnected with the others. It has an ensemble cast, consisting of some of today's underrated actors, with the likes of Matt Dillon, Don Cheadle, Brendan Fraser, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Esposito, Thandie Newton, Terrence Howard, Ludacris and Ryan Phillippe among others.

Chronicling the lives of a white District Attorney (Fraser) who uses dirty racial politics as a medium to earn votes, his wife (Bullock), a petty car thief (Ludacris) and his partner, an African-American detective (Cheadle) who struggles with his morality as he is thrown into a new case with his partner (Esposito), Crash tells the story of people doing anything to survive and their conflicting emotions as their inhibitions are put to the test.

All in all, one of the best movies to ever come out from Hollywood (even though that isn't saying much), and if you haven't watched Crash yet, you're missing something. Ten on ten.
By S. N. Rasul



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

© 2010 The Daily Star