The Help (2011)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A story about African-American women working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the 1960s. Racism and civil rights are the primary themes of the movie with a generic white-savior.
2) While Viola Davis was there with her gloomy presence, it was Octavia Spencer’s performance which makes this movie watchable.

 

 
CONS –
1) Movies exploring racism are often emotionally touching and this movie is also counting on the same formula.
2) This 146-minutes period drama is too long for a one time watch.

 

 
QUOTE –
Aibileen: You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

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.

1917 (2019)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) A cinematic triumph by Sam Mendes. The entire movie appears as one long shot without any cuts.
2) Best Cinematography award confirmed for Roger Deakins for the second time. Not since Birdman (2014), we have watched such wonder.
3) The movie is mainly a one-man show by George MacKay as Lance Corporal Schofield meeting characters along the way of his mission.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
“General Erinmore: Down to Gehenna or up to the Throne, He travels the fastest who travels alone.”

Passengers (2016)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) The first half of the movie is a thought experiment paradox like the “Trolley Problem”. Should he or shouldn’t he?
2) Excellent cast completed with the presence of Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne.

 

CONS –
1) The second half is more like a space disaster movie with a happy ending.

 
QUOTE –
Arthur: I laughed at a man with no pants until I realized I have no legs.

Bridge of Spies (2015)

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

 

VERDICT – 1/5

 

 

PROS –
1) An insurance lawyer sent to Berlin to negotiate with the Soviet Union to release a U.S. Air Force pilot in exchange for a Soviet KGB spy. The story from Coen Brothers sounds promising but there not much meat onto it.
2) Janusz Kamiński’s cinematography with some good wide-angle shots is the only saving grace for this movie.
3) The final scene at the Glienicke Bridge. 

 

 

CONS –
1) Predictable twist and thrills. Anyone interested should watch the 2 minutes trailer and save himself from the ordeal.
2) This movie is a definitive Steven Spielberg’s Oscar bait with Tom Hanks. Another run-of-the-mill period drama.
3) Weak supporting cast. Even Mark Rylance’s performance as Rudolf Abel is overrated.
4) Tediously long with 141 minutes running time.

 

 

QUOTE –
“Stoikiy muzhik”