Tuesday, 10 March 2009

A million things on my mind...

...But not many to blog about. I'm busy, busy, busy with freelance stuff at the moment, which is great, if challenging. And seeing I don't have much time, I thought I'd just share my thoughts on two movies I've seen in the past week, and ask for your opinions on them too.

IMO, this is Angelina Jolie at her best. Playing a 1920s mum, she is not her usual slick leather-clad, gorgeous self. As Christine Collins, mother to Walter, she is soft and reserved and definitely lacking in kick-ass in the beginning of the film. When Walter disappears, however, Christine is distraught and moves into action to involve the Los Angeles police in trying to locate her son.
Eventually, they find a child that fits his description and a grand reunion is planned for mother and son. The trouble is, Christine is convinced that the boy is not her Walter. The LAPD are sure he is. So sure, in fact, that they believe Christine has gone mad.

What ensues is a gripping story of murder, mother love, corruption and agony as Christine fights for her son and dares to question the actions of the police - soemthing not generally done, and definitely not approved of by the society of the time.
It's a long movie and it's not a happy, feel-good flick, but the performances from Angelina Jolie, creepy old John Malkovich (actually playing a good guy for a change) and Jeffrey Donovan are excellent. I'm glad I saw it.

Now, to any of you who've seen it... What did you think?

Movie number two...

I am always wary of movies that get gazillions of awards. They are often, IMO, daft and pointless. In fact, I reckon that people just vote for them because they think that they look deep and meaningful and that if they vote for them, they'll look smart and like they understand a lot.

Right, vent over.

Slumdog Millionaire, with its oodles of Oscars and bushels of British film awards, was a movie that I reckoned would disappoint me. But I was wrong. I am a sucker for well made feel-good movies and this film captured my heart and melted it into a big pile of mush from the very first minute.

Danny Boyle, who directed the film, has a varied bunch of movies under his belt. From the chilling Shallow Grave (if you haven't seen this and love nail-biting flicks that will haunt you for weeks, see it) to the groundbreaking Trainspotting and the weird (no, make that truly bizarre) Alien Love Triangle, Boyle has bounced all over the show.

Slumdog Millionaire tells the tale of Jamal, an 18-year old boy from the slums of Mumbai who has made it onto the popular TV show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and is one question away from winning 20 million Rupee when he is accused of cheating and arrested. As he is questioned by the police, his life is told in a series of flashbacks and we learn how he knew each of the answers to the questions asked on the show.

I honestly didn't think Dev Patel, who plays Jamal at 18, was great. But the kids who played him during the stages of his younger years (Ayush Mahesh Khedekar especially) and those who played the other main characters Salim and Latika as children made the movie for me.

It's not the greatest movie ever made, but to me it was pretty damn good. Why? The sense of rhythm, the soundtrack, the clever editing and the use of little mise en scene clues (like the fact that Latika always wears yellow in scenes where she and Jamal are happy together) appeal to me. There are moments where you guffaw with laughter and those where I quietly shed a tear, or felt my hand go to my throat in horror.

In short, it moved me. What did it do for you?


Wenchy said...

We are seeing Slumdog Millionaire this weekend!

Kitty Cat said...

It's late, but I've done the meme! Sorry it took so long.

Unfortunately, I haven't seen either of those movies, but now want to see Slumdog millionaire.

acidicice said...

Now I want to see both! <3 Angelina

Dash said...

i haven't seen changeling, but its on the list. Slumdog Millionarie was brilliant though, for all the things you mentioned....especially the small children actors, but also for the idea. Perhaps I am praising the book more than the movie, but I think that they pulled it off very well. They strung the story together so well. The questions on the show were incredibly easy, but it was always going to be difficult to show how he knew all of them.

many Nepalis and Indians were upset at putting poverty on a pedastal. But I think they missed the point of the movie. It was a love sotry like any other, it wasn't so much about hte poverty, that was just the setting you know?

The Running Golfer said...

Haven`t seen either but I`m a big Danny Boyle fan so Slumdog is in the pipeline. My wife, unfortunately, cannot stand Angelina Jolie (the whole stealing Brad away from Jenn thing - who by the way has a problem holding onto her guys but that`s for another time and place).
I must say I prefer Angie during her wild Billy Bob Thornton days. The whole "saving the world one kid at a time" thing is such a turnoff... :D

Anonymous said...

Um, haven't seen any of the above.but i'm very delayed. Weird habit i got in boarding school

So, i'll react like in two months time... Hopefully. :)

Hayley said...

mmmmm, not an Angelina fan (as my husband as mentioned above) so would not have gone to see that one...but thinking about seeing it now.
I am the same about movies that get alot of hype, but am keen so see Slumdog.

angel said...

I am a huge Angelina fan, so "Changeling" is definitely on my list. "Slumdog..." however, is not. Some movies do that to me, and I can't explain why.