Life Is Beautiful (1997)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) A heart-rending father-son movie for generations. The right blend of comedy and despair. One of the best Holocaust movies ever made.
2) A man trying to protect his son using his wit and humor in the most desperate times. This movie belongs to the ranks of The Kid (1921) and Bicycle Thieves (1948).
3) Life Is Beautiful – (Main Theme) by Nicola Piovani
4) The ominous first hour of the movie appears like a Disney movie with the amusing performance of Roberto Benigni.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Guido: What are your political views?
Man: Benito, Adolf! Sit down! Sorry Guido, what did you say?

The Remains of the Day (1993)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) A heartfelt story of an old diligent workaholic butler making a last attempt to revive his unfinished and repressed love story.
2) The World War II / Nazi backdrop is only a ruse in this poignant love story of two duty-bound people.
3) Anthony Hopkins’s performance is Oscar-worthy. His stone face reactions as the duty-bound butler concealing his emotions even during the death of his father, or him refusing to answer any auxiliary question to his master’s guests deserve special mention. He was acting through his eyes.
4) The final goodbye in the rain is one heart-rending scene

 
CONS –
N/A

 

 
QUOTE –
Stevens: In my philosophy, Mr. Benn, a man cannot call himself well-contented until he has done all he can to be of service to his employer. Of course, this assumes that one’s employer is a superior person, not only in rank, or wealth, but in moral stature.

Cinema Paradiso (1988)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) A grand tear-jerker. A movie tapping the element of nostalgia. A simple story but everyone can relate to it. There is no tragedy, no villains but still, it’s deeply touching.
2) A man coming back to his small town for his mentor’s funeral. The good screenplay did great character development for even minor characters with negligible screentime.
3) The full-filling “kissing scene” montage. A moment for movie aficionados.
4) The enchanting character of the projectionist Alfredo played by Philippe Noiret; a man quoting John Wayne, Clark Gable, etc. as life lessons.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 
QUOTE –
Alfredo: Living here day by day, you think it’s the center of the world. You believe nothing will ever change. Then you leave: a year, two years. When you come back, everything’s changed. The thread’s broken. What you came to find isn’t there. What was yours is gone. You have to go away for a long time… many years… before you can come back and find your people. The land where you were born. But now, no. It’s not possible. Right now you’re blinder than I am.
Salvatore: Who said that? Gary Cooper? James Stewart? Henry Fonda? Eh?
Alfredo: No, Toto. Nobody said it. This time it’s all me. Life isn’t like in the movies. Life… is much harder.

The Piano (1993)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) An ordinary love triangle elevated by a good screenplay and unique 19th century New Zealand setting.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Ada: At night! I think of my piano in its ocean grave, and sometimes of myself floating above it. Down there everything is so still and silent that it lulls me to sleep. It is a weird lullaby and so it is; it is mine.

Amadeus (1984)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) A highly fictionalized biography of Mozart showcasing the eternal conflict of talent vs taste.
2) F. Murray Abraham gave an enduring performance as Antonio Salieri. He carried the movie on his shoulders. A jealous and scheming rival, but also the sole true connoisseur of Mozart’s musical genius.
3) Not just the movie got the superb screenplay, even technically the movie is a triumph. The cinematography on Panavision Cameras gives it such a fresh look to the movie that even after three decades the movie doesn’t look dated.
4) The costume, make-up, art direction, and music is first-rate.

 
CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Antonio Salieri: From now on, we are enemies – You and I. Because You choose for Your instrument a boastful, lustful, smutty, infantile boy and give me for reward only the ability to recognize the incarnation. Because You are unjust, unfair, unkind, I will block You, I swear it. I will hinder and harm Your creature as far as I am able. I will ruin Your incarnation.

Better Call Saul (Season 5)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) Gus Fring taking out his frustration on Lyle, one of his puny employees of Los Pollos Hermanos. This will go down as the best scene of this season.
2) Mike’s character getting better with every passing episode.
3) Lalo Salamanca as another fearful member of the Salamanca family.
4) Hank Schrader & Steven Gomez coming back for a cameo.

 
CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Mike: I don’t think fear is a great motivator.
Gus: A dog who bites every owner he’s had…can only be disciplined with a firm hand.Or… put down.

The Mission (1986)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

PROS –
1) The sheer persistence of Jesuit priests for their mission is remarkable. A priest climbing a near impossible Iguazu Falls, to spread the message of God to a hostile tribe with only an oboe is astonishing.
2) Gabriel’s Oboe – Ennio Morricone all-time classic. If God would ever decide to play the oboe, he’ll play this tune.
3) Father Gabriel’s sacrifice – a shepherd who refuses to abandon his herd. Jeremy Irons gave the performance of a lifetime.
4) The opening scene of the priest tied to a wooden cross falling down the falls is one Oscar-worthy scene. A masterpiece conveyed mostly through action rather than dialogues in the first half.
5) Captain Mendoza’s Sisyphean penance.

 
CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Gabriel: If might is right, then love has no place in the world. It may be so, it may be so. But I don’t have the strength to live in a world like that, Rodrigo.