Jane Eyre (2011)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 

 
PROS –
1) The tragic life of an orphan called Jane Eyre who lost her parents in her childhood; treated badly by her aunt who eventually sent her to a charity school for orphans where she suffers more torments from over-strict masters. Finally, she found love, but her misery continues when she discovers at the wedding altar that the man she loves is already married to another woman.
2) Christian morality remains the primary theme of the story. The titular character shows mercy to her aunt at her deathbed by forgiving her. Even after inheriting a fortune from her dead uncle, she decides to share her inheritance among the missionary siblings who gave her shelter. The climax shows her true love to Edward when she accepts him even when he’s a blind man.

 

 

 
CONS –
1) Among various classic novels, this is not a story that survives the test of time. The entire self-sacrificing character of Jane Eyre seems unrealistic at this time.
2) Cary Joji Fukunaga possibly made the best movie adaptation of this novel, but still the story is dated and overall it’s boring.

 

 

 
QUOTE –
Jane Eyre: Am I a machine without feelings? Do you think that because I am poor, plain, obscure, and little that I am soulless and heartless? I have as much soul as you and full as much heart. And if God had possessed me with beauty and wealth, I could make it as hard for you to leave me as I to leave you… I’m not speaking to you through mortal flesh. It is my spirit that addresses your spirit, as it passes through the grave and stood at God’s feet, equal. As we are.
Rochester: As we are.

London Has Fallen (2016)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) Agent Banning again on the President’s rescue, this time in London, fighting Pakistani terrorists. A better story and better action sequences than the prequel.
2) The single-take shootout scene was straight out of an RPG game.

 

 
CONS –
1) The last movie wasted talents like Morgan Freeman, Robert Forster, and Melissa Leo in meaningless roles. This time they added Jackie Earle Haley to the list.

 

 
QUOTE –
Mike Banning: Why don’t you boys pack up your shit and head back to Fuckheadistan or wherever it is you’re from.

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

 

PROS –
1) Four friends trying to pay off their debt of £500,000 to a crime lord, led to a fiasco involving various parties fighting for weed, cash and two antique shotguns.
2) British-humour.
3) A good collection of songs in the soundtrack. “The Payback” by James Brown was played at just the right time.
4) Almost all characters are distinct with their own colorful antics.
5) Hilarious cliffhanger climax.

 

 

CONS –
1) Ruined for anyone who’s already watched Phir Hera Pheri (2006). The Bollywood version has the audacity to copy the story without giving any credit to Guy Ritchie.

 

 

QUOTE –
Barry the Baptist: When you dance with the devil, you wait for the song to stop.

Victoria & Abdul (2017)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A senile Queen at the last stage of her reign obsessed with an exotic servant.
2) As compared to Mrs Brown (1997), this chapter of Queen Victoria is much more significant and deserves a special mention in her reign.
3) A screenplay kept the movie amusing without any tedious subplot.
4) Judi Dench’s monologue.

 

CONS –
1) Abdul Karim’s character was reduced to a minor character in the second half. The climax is heavily exaggerated and highly fictionalized.

 

 

QUOTE –
Queen Victoria: I am 81 years of age. I’ve had nine children and 42 grandchildren, and have almost a billion citizens. I have rheumatism, a collapsed uterus, I’m morbidly obese and deaf in one ear. I have known 11 Prime Ministers and passed 2,347 pieces of legislation. I’ve been in the office for 62 years, 234 days. Thus, I am the longest-serving monarch in world history. I’m responsible for five households and a staff of over 3,000. I am cantankerous, boring, greedy, fat, ill-tempered, at times selfish and myopic, both metaphorically and literally. I am perhaps disagreeably attached to power and should not have smashed the Emperor of Russia’s egg. But I am anything but insane.

The Pianist (2002)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) Roman Polanski’s holocaust masterpiece. A Polish-Jewish pianist’s survival story from his POV. The central character is not a fighter but a mere spectator trying to survive.
2) A screenplay with minimal dialogues. The final 45 minutes are almost without dialogues with edge-of-your-seat events. The screenplay is extraordinary and keeps the pianist as the central character during the entire duration of the movie. No silly sub-plots.
3) The Pianist title is quite inappropriate and makes it sound like a romantic musical journey of an artist during the 2nd World War. This is an out and out Holocaust drama, and almost equivalent to Steven Spielberg Schindler’s List (1993).
4) Adrien Brody gave an unforgettable performance as the timid pianist Władysław Szpilman.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Wladyslaw Szpilman: What are you reading?
Henryk Szpilman: “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”

The Lighthouse (2019)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) Another psychological thriller studying paranoia in isolation.
2) Both actors justifed their role of two lighthouse keepers with questionable past and dubious personalities.
3) Shot in Black&White in the Movietone ratio gives a certain weight to the entire movie.
4) After The Witch (2015), its Robert Eggers second project and we are sure to expect better from him in this genre.

 

CONS –
1) A pretentious plot with an ambiguous climax.

 

QUOTE –
Should pale death, with treble dread, make the ocean caves our bed, God who hears the surges roll deign to save our suppliant soul.

Kill the Messenger (2014)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) An educational movie for the audiences to understand the CIA-Contra deal to traffic cocaine into the US.
2) Andy García as Norwin Meneses. The flamboyant drug-lord in a Nicaraguan prison.

 

CONS –
1) The biographical tone of the movie is it’s the biggest problem. A story from a different point of view would’ve been more interesting. A TV Series like Narcos explaining how the drug trafficking actually started would be worth watching.

 

QUOTE –
Some stories are just too true to tell.

Tully (2018)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 1/5

 

PROS –
1) Charlize Theron as Marlo – her jaw-dropping physical transformation for this role.

 

CONS –
1) If one word can define this movie it’s “weird”. Parenting can be difficult but the movie is taking that difficulty to another level for trivial reasons.
2) Comedy movie? On what planet ménage à trois and child mental disorder are funny?

 

QUOTE –
Sarah: Mom, what’s wrong with your body?

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

 

PROS –
1)The chances of this Jane Austen classic being ruined with slow-paced storytelling were too high but to my surprise, the movie is a well-made rom-com with some memorable romantic sequences (especially the climactic scene where Darcy is walking toward Lizzie at dawn).
2) A supporting cast with the likes of Judi Dench and Donald Sutherland.
3) Only the second feature film adaptation of the novel after 1940 – any such adaptation won’t be required for at least another 50 years.
4) Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy – it’s never easy to step into Colin Firth’s shoes.

 

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

 

QUOTE –
Mr. Darcy: I have fought against my better judgment, my family’s expectations, the inferiority of your birth by rank and circumstance. All these things I am willing to put aside and ask you to end my agony.
Elizabeth Bennet: I don’t understand.
Mr. Darcy: I love you.

The Constant Gardener (2005)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 1/5

 

PROS–
1) Rachel Weisz’s performance the outspoken activist Tessa is praiseworthy.
2) The African backdrop.

 

CONS –
1) It’s a boring movie. A sloppy thriller with a tediously predictable plot.
2) The director is confused to make it a thriller or a romantic film.

 

QUOTE –
Tessa Quayle: I thought you spies knew everything.
Tim Donohue: Only God knows everything. He works for Mossad.