Rebecca (1940)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) The story of a timid working-class young woman struggling to adjust to her new elite life as the wife of a rich widower, whose first wife (Rebecca) died under mysterious circumstances.
2) Judith Anderson’s intimidating presence as the despicable bitch of a housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers stands out. Audiences will loathe this character of an overly attached housekeeper to her dead employer.
3) While the first half appears as a generic family drama, multiple plot revelations in the third act of the movie will keep audiences at the edge of their seats.
4) Interestingly we never came to know the first or the maiden name of the 2nd Mrs. de Winter played by Joan Fontaine

 
CONS –
N/A

 

 
QUOTE –
Maxim: Either you go to America with Mrs. Van Hopper, or you come home to Manderley with me.
Woman: You mean you want a secretary or something?
Maxim: I’m asking you to marry me, you little fool.

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

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

 

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

 
PROS –
1) An ex-preacher & psychopathic serial killer marries a gullible widow to extract $10,000 of stolen money by her executed husband. The plot follows him trying to find the money’s location known only to her two young children.
2) Robert Mitchum as Rev. Harry Powell gave an unforgettable performance as the relentless murdering psychopath.
3) Walter Schumann’s hauntingly melodious songs : “Lullaby” sung by Kitty White. The preacher’s chilling signature theme Leaning on the Everlasting Armsis beautifully terrifying.
4) Excepional cinemaotgraphy using shadows, anthropomorphic and christian symbolisms. The scene where the audience see the dead body of Willa Harper underwater is another achievement.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 
QUOTE –
Rachel Cooper: You know, when you’re little, you have more endurance than God is ever to grant you again. Children are man at his strongest. They abide.

Double Indemnity (1944)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) A seductive housewife lures an insurance salesman into the scheme to murder his husband to get the huge insurance money. A perfect thriller from Billy Wilder from the first minute to the last.
2) Barbara Stanwyck playing the femme fatale not just convinced the poor bright salesman but the entire audience being an average wife just trying to get rid of her abusive husband.
3) Notable performance from Edward G. Robinson as Barton Keyes, the sharp-witted claims adjuster who always listens to his “little man”.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Barton Keyes: They may think it’s twice as safe because there’s two of them, but it isn’t twice as safe. It’s ten times twice as dangerous. They’ve committed a *murder*! And it’s not like taking a trolley ride together where they can get off at different stops. They’re stuck with each other and they got to ride all the way to the end of the line and it’s a one-way trip and the last stop is the cemetery.

Paatal Lok (Mini-Series)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 

PROS –
1) A small-town politician decides to get rid of his rival’s loyal henchman and ends up opening a pandora box. The numerous colorful characters involved in this mess are merely a ruse, irrelevant to the main puppeteer Bajpayee (played surprisingly by Anup Jalota).
2) The sub-plots and backstories are better than the main plot. Without the flashbacks, it’s an ordinary episode of Crime Patrol.
3) Jaideep Ahlawat finally landed up in a show where he can show his true prowess.
4) Fast-paced screenplay and brilliant writing by Sudip Sharma.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
“aisa shaastron mein likha hua hai, par maine WhatsApp mein padha hai”

Duel (1971)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) It’s one nail-biting thriller that will keep the audiences on the edge of their seats.
2) That rusted gigantic truck is an intimidating walking piece of horror. It’ll give chills to audiences every time it reappears on the screen.
3) The unseen truck driver makes it scarier. It appears as if some supernatural force is behind the wheels.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
David Mann: You can’t beat me on the grade. You can’t beat me on the grade!

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A gripping heist-thriller with superb writing. This shows no matter how tense the primary plot is, witty writing should never be compromised.
2) The codenames used by the perpetrators clearly a big influence on future directors in heist movies. e.g. Reservoir Dogs (1992) and most recently Money Heist (2017).
3) Peter Stone’s tight screenplay.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Garber: 26 minutes? Your instructions were complicated. The money has to be counted, stacked, tied, transported. It isn’t physically possible.
Mr. Blue: You’d be surprised what’s physically possible.

Miracle Mile (1988)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) Almost real-time screenplay after Harry gets the fateful call.
2) Soundtrack by Tangerine Dream – Running Out Of Time

 
CONS –
1) Forgettable main cast.
2) I wasn’t expecting a dark nuclear holocaust climax for a movie which appeared as a rom-com from the very first minute.

 
QUOTE –
Julie Peters: People are gonna help each other, aren’t they? Rebuilding things?
Harry Washello: I think it’s the insects’ turn.

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

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

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) An imposter on a murder spree to hide his misdeeds.
2) Mostly shot in scenic Italy.

 

 
CONS –
1) Tedious first half, boring screenplay overall. The movie is 30 minutes too long. It’s more drama and less thriller.

 

QUOTE –
Tom Ripley: I always thought it would be better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody.

A Simple Plan (1998)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) A Coen Bros. movie not directed by them. A companion piece to Fargo (1996)
2) Oscar-worthy performance of Billy Bob Thornton as Jacob stands out.

 
CONS –
1) 30 minutes too long.

 

QUOTE –
Neil Baxter: Looks like we’re both gonna have an awful lot of explaining to do.
Hank Mitchell: Just me.

Uncut Gems (2019)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) How Much Land Does a Man Need? Safdie Brothers recreated Leo Tolstoy’s classic tale of greed. A gambling addict risked it all but paid with his life.
2) Adam Sandler as Howard Ratner gave his performance of a lifetime. Never Before.
3) The movie reminds me of Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing (1956), where the audiences are rooting for the protagonist to win but the climactic twist will leave everyone shell-shocked.
4) Kevin Garnett’s playing himself gives great weightage to the plot.

 

CONS –
N/A

 
QUOTE –
Howard Ratner: I know, I know. Jews and colon cancer. What’s is that? I thought we were the chosen people.