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?

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.