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Inglorious Basterds October 14, 2009

Posted by Shujath in English, Movies, Reviews.
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One of the most visible and appealing aspects of Tarantino’s films are those long winding conversations – absolutely having nothing do with the plot (if any) yet turn out to be the most memorable parts. Technically, Inglorious Basterds happens to be a montage of just such exchanges – the difference being that now they do have to do something with the film. A Tarantino enthusiast couldn’t ask for more so it isn’t an understatement to say that Basterds is an instant classic. But be warned if you are not accustomed to QT – the constant grumbles and a few walkouts in the auditorium weren’t too surprising to me.

When Tarantino announced he’d be making a World War II movie it made almost everyone curious (with a little disbelief). Basterds never gives a damn to convention – what you see in the trailer is rather the tamest part. The very first conversation – which I think lasts for about fifteen minutes gives you a hint of things to come. For someone who has seen the movie, it is really hard to describe the content and yet convince someone who hasn’t seen it; that Basterds is one of the most riveting thrillers in recent memory.

Unsurprisingly, this film like every film QT has made comes with its share of memorable characters. Christoph Waltz is the name on everyone’s lips and rightly so. Hans Land aka “The Jew Hunter” is to Basterds what the Joker was to The Dark Knight – maybe more. Evil was never so sexy. French actress Melanie Laurent is super as Shosanna Dreyfus. I hope we get to see more of her now in mainstream Hollywood. Though playing the lead, Brad Pitt seemed relatively sidelined but he proves yet again what a riot he can be when he’s funny. There’s a huge bunch of supporting characters – Diane Kruger, Daniel Bruhl, Eli Roth, Omar Doom to name a few who perform admirably well.

Inglorious Basterds is yet another maverick piece of work from Quentin Tarantino – who expectedly subverts the genre to give us another memorable film. Oh..as usual he manages to fit in some great soundtracks.

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Duplicity March 28, 2009

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.
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Tony Gilroy’s latest directorial venture is a corporate espionage thriller featuring a romantic entanglement between Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. Like his previous film, Michael Clayton, this one is quite complicated too. Little can be divulged about the plot without give away anything or lying. But the title of the film describes the intent of the characters and the film accurately. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Duplicity is “contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action; especially: the belying of one’s true intentions by deceptive words or action”.

Gilroy, who co-wrote the Bourne movies, is no stranger to thrillers. The premise is intriguing, the dialogue is solid and the screenplay is gripping. Unlike Bourne or Clayton, this film also has its share of lighter moments. The opening scene at the airport hangar sets the tone for the film and is one that stayed with me after.

Julia Roberts and Clive Owen are a treat to watch and the supporting cast is first rate. Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Lady In The Water), in particular, is superb as the unscrupulous CEO who wants to beat his competitor at any cost. Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton), in a smaller part, plays his nemesis.

While this film requires you to pay attention and utilize your gray matter, it isn’t the sort of film that makes you ponder. Duplicity is more mainstream than Michael Clayton and should find favor with audiences that enjoy this genre and do not mind a convoluted non-linear narrative.