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 Young Victoria (2009)

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

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 

 
PROS –
1) High production value as required in any period movie.
2) Paul Bettany played the meaty role of Lord Melbourne.

 
CONS –
1) An unsought average movie chronicling the uneventful life of young Victoria. Apart from the Bedchamber crisis, and the assassination attempt the movie got no compelling plot points.
2) The supposedly prime villain (Mark Strong as Sir John Conroy) is a feeble character.

 

 
QUOTE –
Queen Adelaide: You are confusing stubbornness with strength, my dear.

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.

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.

Gangs of New York (2002)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 

PROS –
1) Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill the Butcher – Probably his definitive role. It’s a shame he didn’t win the Oscar for this role.
2) Music: “Shimmy She Wobble” – Dead Rabbits riot

 

CONS –
1) To make the movie an “epic”, the length is unnecessarily increased. For the first 2 hrs, the story is stuck in the same place. The movie kick-starts once Amsterdam’s identity is revealed.
2) Epic start but not an epic climax.
3) Son returns to avenge his father’s death – secretly working for his father’s killer eventually killing him – every 80’s Bollywood movie ever.

 

 

QUOTE –
Bill: That, my friends, is the minority vote.

The Great Wall (2016)

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

 

Verdict – 2/5

 

Pros –

 

1) “Tao-Ties” – A monster for future spin-off movies.
2) Action packed entertainment with high production value.

 
Cons –

 

1) Boss-fight – too mediocre for such huge built-up.

 
Quote –

 
“William : I’m alive today because I trust no one.”

The Witch (2015)

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

VERDICT – 5/5

 

PROS –
1) A folk-tale presented like a folk-tale without any stupid sub-plot.
2) The backdrop: 17th century New England with the original language.
3) Anya Taylor-Joy as Thomasin

 

CONS –
n/a

 

QUOTE –
William: Corruption, thou art my father!

Rashomon (1950)

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

Verdict – 5/5

Pros –
1) Story: the cornerstone of the movie
2) Cinematography: Vintage Akira
3) Toshiro Mifune as Tajōmaru, the bandit
4) A story of morality, humanity & conflict.
5) One of the most influential story-line in world cinema.

 

Cons –
n/a

Quote –
“Commoner: I even heard that the demon living here in Rashômon fled in fear of the ferocity of man.”

Bajirao Mastani (2015)

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

Verdict – 4/5

 

Pros –

 

1) Ranveer Singh : High octane performance with superb execution.Bravo ! Can rank this performance to Prithviraj Kapoor in Mughal-E-Azam.
2) Excellent Supporting cast :Milind Soman / Aditya Pancholi / Raza Murad
3) Great production value with great CGI.
4) Fast paced with great dialogues.

 

 

Cons –

 

 

1) Climax : Historically sad

 

 
Quote –

 

 

“Inki wajah se aaj ye Peshwa zinda hai aur Peshwa ki wajah se Maratha samarajya zinda hai … आला लक्षात !”