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.

A Study in Terror (1965)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) The legend of Jack the Ripper fused into a new adventure of Sherlock Holmes. Instead of relying on the burden of an existing story, the new story made it an interesting watch.
2) There was a long list of the suspect and it made the movie riveting up to the last minute.
3) Mycroft Holmes’ monologue over Sherlock’s violin recital was amusing.

 

 
CONS –
1) John Neville played a very mild-mannered Sherlock Holmes. Donald Houston as Dr. Watson was caricaturish.

 

 
QUOTE –
Mycroft Holmes: For Heaven’s sake, stop sawing away on that infernal instrument! It was a sad day when Mother gave it to you, a sad day for her, a sad day for you, a sad day for us all… What I cannot understand is why, since you’ve had that violin with you so long, you never learned to play!

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.

Mrs Brown (1997)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) A grieving Queen finds solace and comfort in a confidant servant. A walk in a park role for Judi Dench as Queen Victoria.
2) The conversation between Disraeli and John Brown on top of the knoll is one of the highlights of the movie.

 
CONS –
1) While the performances of each actor are praiseworthy, the movie covers a trivial part of Queen Victoria‘s colossal history.
2) Billy Connolly’s performance as the Scottish John Brown is decent but someone like Sean Connery would’ve made it everlasting.

 
QUOTE –
Benjamin Disraeli: Princes and lords are but the breath of kings. An honest man is the noblest work of God.

The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

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

Verdict – 3/5

Pros –
1) A perfect 97 minutes adaptation of this Oscar Wilde classic.
2) Director rightly put more effort into the comedy part than the romantic angle.
3) Great ensemble of actors. Even the minor role of Lane is played by veteran Edward Fox.

Cons –
N/A

Quote –
Lady Bracknell: I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate, exotic fruit. Touch it, and the bloom is gone.

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.

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

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

Verdict – 3/5

 

PROS –
1) The fictional story with possibilities beyond a 2 hrs film.
2) Tom Wilkinson as Hugh Fennyman
3) Colin Firth as Lord Wessex

 

CONS –
1) A passionate love story but in fact it’s the most boring sub-plot of the film.
2) The interesting element of the film which could’ve made it funnier is not much explored.
3) There is no way this movie is better than Saving Private Ryan (1998). This Oscar win definitely didn’t age well.

 

QUOTE –
William Shakespeare: You will never age for me, nor fade, nor die.

Spectre (2015)

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

Verdict – 4/5

Pros –
1) Christoph Waltz as Blofeld
2) SPECTRE meeting in Rome: the return of a classic villain
3) Bond torture scene
4) Aston Martin: Rome chase
5) Train fight with Dave Bautista
6) Culminating Craig’s series of films together with an overarching story-line.

 

Cons –
1) No epic boss fight; Blofeld without any backup plans.
2) Bond meets Blofeld without any legwork and escapes conveniently.
3) mediocre opening scene before credit.
4) “Writing’s on the Wall”

 

Quote –
Blofeld: [to Bond] Cuckoo!

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015)

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

Verdict – 3/5

Pros –
1) Well directed and kept the audience busy.
2) Music
3) The ensemble cast
4) Maggie Smith

 

Cons –
1) There is no story, just too many subplots around a wedding.
2) Dev Patel – looks like a 17 years old kid.

 

Quote –
Sonny Kapoor: Why die here… when I can die there!

Quantum of Solace (2008)

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

Verdict – 4/5

 

Pros –
1) A much-awaited sequel.
2) Bolivia
3) Aston Martin car chase around Lake Garda ; Siena Chase

Cons –
1) Dominic Greene as the main villain
2) Eco Hotel, Atacama Desert climactic battle : mediocre

 

Quote –
“James Bond: I don’t think the dead care about vengeance.”