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Archive for the ‘Movie review’ Category

Hachiko

I don’t think I have ever seen a movie that made me cry this much, or made me feel this helpless sitting on the other side of the screen and frustrated at not being able to do a thing about it. Nor have I ever heard myself cry and sob out so loudly with gut wrenching sadness while watching a movie either….feeling for Hachi, and at times feeling like a scum, almost like a traitor keeping a secret, that I knew what happened to his master all this time…and keeping it from him. The movie was so real, I was experiencing these emotions as if I were watching it happen, and very few movies allows the audience that privilege.

Many were the times I almost reached out to Hachiko wanting to gather him into a hug and talk to him, comfort him and do something to give him some closure.

This true life story has an unbelievable amount of depth and told with a poignancy that takes ones breath away. “Incroyable”! And my heart goes out to this beautiful Akita who went on to become Japan’s national symbol of loyalty.

I remember it like it was yesterday, my mum and dad used to tell us about the story of Hachi when my sister and I were little and that a statue was erected in his honor in front of the Shibuya railway station. It used to be such a heart warming story when I was a kid. But never in a million years would I have thought that seeing this real life story in reel form would bring out this kind of reaction in me.

Hachiko's first attempt to follow his master

If Hachi’s eyes and loyalty weren’t enough to melt one’s heart, the score of the movie sure will. The music was so beautiful I could cry all over again.

Hachi with his master

There are moments in this movie that only a dog parent can appreciate, the ones that brought some smiles were when Hachiko destroys the child’s home work, and Richard Gere trying to teach ‘Fetch’ to Hachi, and my personal favourite when Joan Allen says – ‘the dog’s already taken…I’m sorry’ making the decision when she sees her husband and daughter bond over the orphaned bundle of joy. And two of the most emotional moments in the film were when Hachi comes the next day to the station not knowing his master had passed away and waiting for him as faithful as ever, and an even more powerful scene is when Joan Allen sees Hachi after 10 years and she says – ‘You are still waiting for him aren’t you? Can I wait with you till the next train?”. The film is fully punctuated with heart warming moments and kind-hearted gestures of people acknowledging Hachi – be it the train station agent and hot dog seller caring for Hachi or people who came to know about Hachi sending donations to take care of Hachi. Richard Gere was so natural, I don’t think it was an act, the rapport he had with the on-screen Hachi felt real. And Joan Allen had given such a powerful and memorable performance as well.

Hachi waiting for his master

This movie is not one of those movies that has a lot of crying in it but one that would make a viewer cry and feel emotions so pure that it is so foreign to humans. This is because we see some of the story play out through Hachi’s eyes. Unpolluted!

You will not cry out of sadness, but this story evokes a cry of respect, a cry of happiness, a cry of affection, a cry of longing, and most of all a cry honoring loyalty in its purest form.

I have always believed that no two dogs are the same, and I sure wasn’t expecting my pawed son to be as emotionally attached to me like Hachiko was to his master nor would I expect him to be like him. But surprised I was during the film, when I was smothered in a shower of wet sloppy kisses and licks from my own pawed son when he woke from his deep slumber to find his mum sobbing loudly over a movie. He fretted and fussed over me for a few minutes that put a smile to my face amidst those tears.

This movie and story has given me a fresh lease of love and devotion towards our pawed companions. And I have come to a conclusion that every dog shows its love in its own way. They express their emotions in the form of Loyalty, hugs, licks, following us around, by coming to our defence etc….but the most priceless of all, and the one thing that says it all – is the ‘wag of a tail’ and that which can’t be bought.

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Tangled

…. in the magic woven by Disney’s Tangled. Wow….What an animated film!!!

I had thought that the era of Princess stories were well and truly over with Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. And to think the tale was spun and adapted with so much flair from a dusty old fairy tale like Rapunzel was so breathtakingly beautiful. Made me want to believe in fairy tales once more. After watching the film, I was left with an immense sense of brimming Happiness and joy.

The Smoulder

Each character was so full of life. Flynn Rider aka Eugene Fitzherbert had me at his first smoulder. Rapunzel won me over when she turned a bunch of drunken thugs around into singing about their dreams. Maximus the royal horse was more a giant grown puppy. Maximus was my adorable apple munching hero in the story. And Pascal, Rapunzel’s chameleon with its cute bulging eyes and antics was a memorable sidekick too.

The hair of Magic Gold

There is some sort of unspoken fascination about dreams being painted on tall tower walls with vivid colours and a thousand floating lanterns alight in the midnight blue sky that tugs at one’s imagination. Not to forget the hair of magic gold touched by a drop of Sun bearing the magic of healing and swashbuckling was most endearing.

Rapunzel

The story line was equally bewitching although one might argue that a wicked witch and a young princess is an old school formula. But all that mattered to me was it was told brilliantly in a very different way. The movie kept me engrossed every minute of the way. Rapunzel’s guilt trips on leaving her tower and enjoying to her heart’s content and regretting crossing her mother was so natural and amusing to watch. And who would have thought that an old lady saucepan would make a great weapon someday!!!

The Adventurous foursome – Eugene, Pascal, Rapunzel & Maximus

And Eugene’s turning a new leaf was heart warming too. The lantern scene was so romantic. Romance can never get old and in true Disney fashion kept that trend alive. Also in the climax my heart very nearly stopped for a second during the ‘moment of reckoning’. What a turn! I honestly didn’t see it coming.

Romance of a thousand lanterns in the midnight sky

Truly captivating animation, colours, expressions, imagination and many more adjectives that can only merely give a glimpse of the charming Fairy tale. For those that love and appreciate animated films and Fairy tales, Tangled is one film that must not be missed. Watch it with your kids, or your grandchildren, or nieces or nephews. It is a great film with a great heart. I rate this movie a “Perfect 10”.

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Toothless smiling at Hiccup

 

If someone had told me that Dragons could smile, I’d have said – “Well Pigs could fly too”. I mean, can we even conjure up an image of a Smiling Dragon!!!

“How to train your dragon” was captivating, honest and refreshingly original like a breath of fresh air after a slew of not so memorable animated films.

This film captured my attention first when I had gone to the cinemas. At first when I saw the trailer I thought that it might be one of those wannabe animated films fighting for a spot alongside the likes of ‘Ratatouilles’ and ‘Shreks’.

Although I can’t quite place them in the same pedestal as the above named greats, this film had heart and courage in the large measures. What stood out most was the nature of the film. The storyline was an antithesis of what a Viking and Dragon stood for.

A Viking whose nature is to be a brute, turns out to be a Viking with a marshmallow heart unable to fulfil his tribe’s tradition of becoming a dragon slayer. And the fire-breathing dragon, he turns out to be a bit of a pet who could smile & imitate his friend and quite a Da Vinci in the making. Be warned, that smile is so cute, it will have you falling in love with a dragon. The beauty of the film lies in these two individuals entering an unorthodox friendship that changes a tribe’s way of life forever.

Toothless and Hiccup

The portrayal of the main characters ‘Hiccup’ the Viking & ‘Toothless’ the Dragon were beautiful. The characters were clearly etched out and the bonding between them was brought out well too. The supporting characters had just the right level of dialogue and twined in a subtle manner that the focus was not taken off the main characters and the plot.

I must acknowledge the graphics, illustration and animation. Right from the cute characters, the scenic flights with Toothless, the life and verve of the Viking lifestyle and their age old tools and stone made structures etc were breath taking. It was simply magnificent and a treat to sore eyes.

On the whole, this is an animated film worth watching that will leave you thinking about the movie even after you have finished watching it. A bit late on my review but for those who have not yet watched it, I rate it a hearty 4/5.

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The Karate Kid remake was, to describe in one word, ‘”O“sum’. I loved every bit of the movie.

Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan made a fantastic duo. Jaden was a miniature replica of Will Smith. And his acting and talent stood out. Not at all like the shoddy wannabe Karate champ like the kid in the original movie. Jaden’s attempt at authenticity, was refreshing and it definitely looks like he has done his home work. His moves and flexibility was so genuine, he left me in awe for most of the movie. He acted with such a casual air as if he were born to do it.

The Karate Kid

Jackie Chan’s performance was toned down and low-key, but probably just what the role required. Jaden and Chan had a good chemistry of a student and teacher. His wardrobe looked frumpy but I guess it was customized to project his role as a maintenance man. Jackie Chan was presented in a totally down to earth manner, but very inspiring. I still remain a fan of his, and I could see some really authentic Kung Fu moves. It was great to see him in action again.

The role of Jaden’s mother was also well justified. A typical mom who loves her kid to bits and brims with pride at his hard work and achievement. She was good too.

The movie was packed with light and humorous as well as emotional moments. It was very well laid out. This movie is worth watching more than once. I will never look at removing and hanging one’s coat the same way again. And the cobra exchange by Jaden on his opponent was something so well-played out. During the showdown at the tournament, the audience was so involved, I could hear them cheer for Jaden when he scored a point against the enemy. Such was the involvement of the audience.

And China was shown in such a breathtaking manner. It was charming and beautiful. The locations and cinematography was simply out of the world. The colors, the architecture, the culture, the decorations, the festival, the Kung Fu school etc was shown in full form. It was a wonderful projection of China as it is today, with a blend of traditional as well as modern scenes of China.

On the whole, I rate the movie 4/5. Enjoyable and worth watching more than once.

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