Cinema

THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU

When I decided to watch this movie I thought it would be a dark comedy like In Bruges or Clerks but after watching, it came out much more than what I had expected. It is one of those few films that let the events unfold by themselves without any human or dramatic intervention. It falls in the genre of the movies that lives in the moment, witnesses the reality as it is untouched by any exogenous factors, concludes nothing, and shows people living their lives from one second to the other.

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The name of the character Dante Remus Lazarescu seems a satire, Dante Alighieri wrote The Divine Comedy, Remus, the twin brother of Romulus, was one of the founder of Rome, and Lazaraus was brought back to life on the fourth day after his death by Jesus.

The Romanian (Remus connection) movie deals with the overworked medical staff who are shown as human beings, not as saints. They also stress out, smoke, use cell phones, refuse treatment to patients etc. After circling (circles of hell in Dante’s treatise) through three hospitals, the fourth hospital (Lazarus was brought back on fourth day) accommodates the patient eventually and the ambulance driver along with the nurse, Mrs. Mioara could take a sigh of relief. The viewer is left wondering whether Mr. Lazarescu lived. The role of Mrs. Mioara played by Luminita Gheorghiu is something we can relate to from our experience. She represents the element of sincerity and humanness in us. Despite the high handed behavior of doctors with advanced ‘degrees’, she maintains her composure and makes sure that the job she has undertaken is seen through. I kept on wondering where have I seen her before and the words ‘pose and job’ kept striking me till I could trace it back to Child’s pose – another wonderful performance  from the actress as a wealthy matriarch in post Ceausescu Romania.

Guide – 1965

To me R K Narayan has always been more than a fiction writer; at one hand he is a sweet reminisce of relatable stories and on the other is someone whose stories if read deeply can be as complex as Freud’s civilization and its discontents.

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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059246/

Based on the book Guide which won Sahitya Academy, the movie – Guide, is a classic produced by Indian cinema industry. Few people know that it was Pearl S. Buck ( The writer of The good earth) convinced Dev Anand to produce a movie on this book while both of them were in Berlin film festival. Corroborated with excellent background score and soulful music, the movie is a mandatory watch to anyone interested in international cinema or any Indian who harbors the notion that CGI clad Hollywood movies are the best thing that have happened in this century. Although R K Narayan wasn’t elated on seeing the movie as the movie doesn’t adhere to the book verbatim, he extolled Waheeda Rehman ( Lead actress) for bringing Rosy alive on the celluloid.

It is interesting to see the how the characters of Rosy and Raju develop throughout the text. Love, skill, success, devotion, aversion, egotism, deception, introspection, withdrawal, asceticism, belief, altruism, and the eventual knowledge follow in order. The guide guides himself to glory. He guides himself to the strength that a few are introduced to and transcends the bridge of life and death. I can extrapolate Guide to the reverence with which The Great Gatsby is looked at and I think I am not wrong.

Cinema Paradiso

I watched this movie few months ago and those who haven’t watched it are missing something. The movie explores the relation between a cinema projectionist Alfredo and a young lad Salvatore. The persistence of Salvatore for his first love is driven by optimism.

The last scene of the movie made me very happy and it was one rare moment of pure joy 🙂

Mustang

Yesterday I went to see Mustang at IFC in Greenwich village. Oh boy ! I was delighted. The film struck the chord from the first scene itself. Teenagers running around on beaches, playing and having times of their lives, plucking(stealing :)) fruits from the gardens. That is how kids should be- playing outside in the sun not stuck to minecraft or taking duck lipped selfies for snapchat. The long hair of the five sisters represented wildness and cavalier attitude and the title of the movie is so apt – Mustang, the free roaming horse. The youngest sister reminded me of myself – logical and not being afraid to confront. Everyone in the theater was laughing at many scenes of bravado shown by young girls. The entire film was captivating to me from the story to the escape and from the music to the stillness of the scenes. I haven’t liked a movie as much in years and recommend it to anyone who has even iota of interest in watching something meaningful.

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I experience a sinking feeling when I see what people in other parts of the world go through in the name of culture. Here I am living in a world that doesn’t asks any questions to me and there is a world out there which has bugged your entire life, your each movement is tracked and the self appointed moral police dictates what one is allowed to do. Talking on phone, using computer, reading books that are not approved by the “intellectual ones”, talking to someone who is not related to you, not believing in what others believe in will make you a pervert and your will be corrupted in thoughts and your being? Does this even make any sense? Sometimes Cynthia and I laugh that if we were not here but somewhere else we would have been stoned to death by now for sure. We are not related to each other but we commit the unforgivable ‘sin’ of talking to each other and exchanging ideas on anything and everything that exist on the planet despite not being ‘related’ to each other.

The music from the movie was elevating especially the one at the end. Comforting yet unsettling as it creeped and crawled under the skin.If interested then you can check the music out here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8x4DBBQi_8&list=PLSLN5gEzR2h6B27qBo4A1Lp1XztkGdh97&index=4

I looked at the elderly woman who was sitting with me in the 30 seater auditorium of screen 5 at IFC and tears were welling from her eyes. We did exchange a human smile.

 

Halo

Before starting my day’s work I thought of coming here and jotting something down. Cinema and music have profound effect on one’s sensibilities and it creeps in slowly that makes you altogether a different person in part. Both invoke emotions and feelings sometimes unknown to ourselves. When I was 9 years old I watched a movie named Halo on national TV of India – Doordarshan. The name shouldn’t be confused with the famous game series. The movie is about a little girl, my age at that time who doesn’t have a mother and she lives with her father and sister. She finds solace in a puppy she finds on road and becomes great friend with the dog and eventually adopts it and gives it the name – Halo. In the unfortunate Bombay blasts of 1994 the puppy gets lost and the movie is about her struggle to find him. The last 20 minutes of the movie are tearjerker. I cried my eyes and heart out when I watched it for the first time. Well, what does a 9 year old knows about the world ? The movie is a delight to watch.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0295294/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_(1996_film)

Someone uploaded the movie in parts on YouTube

No one was ready to release the movie as it didn’t have potential to rake money at box office so the director of the movie put money from his pocket to release this masterpiece.