Monday, October 20, 2008

Stranger than Fiction.

Stranger than Fiction is a 2006 dramedy film directed by Marc Forster, also known for directing films such as Monsters Ball, Finding Neverland, The Kite Runner, and the upcoming Quantum of Solace. It is written by Zach Helm. It stars the extra-ordinary talent of Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Queen Latifah.

As the narrative states early on in the film, Will Ferrell's character, Harold Crick, is all about numbers; and this story, is about him and his wristwatch. The weird intervenes when Harold starts hearing the voice of the narrator in his head, narrating his every move. All this, unknown to the narrator herself. The concept is taken from Miguel de Unamuno's Spanish novel, Niebla. However, Zach Helm's screenplay is extremely well written, perhaps worthy of much more praise than it got. There are numerous double-meaning references in the film which one would probably miss at first viewing. Stranger than Fiction is a film which demands numerous viewings to spot out any flaws. The film is so perfectly made than one could often find oneself looking for flaws in it, which aren't there at all.

Will Ferrell has never been better. His role as the suddenly frustrated man who many think has gone nuts because of the intervention of that voice in his head, is brilliant. Then there are Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman, who seem to have been miscast, but a few seconds into their roles, the roles seem made for them. They own their characters. Like I said before, everything in this film seems too perfect, and also, too simple. There is also a very cute, nice chemistry between Ferrell and co-star Maggie Gyllenhaal. Every one of the characters seem to share a beautiful chemistry between them.

Stranger than Fiction lies in the league of films like The Truman Show, Fincher's Zodiac; all amazing in their own way, but simply not for everyone. Hence their underrated-ness. This, remember, is a story about a man named Harold Crick, and his wristwatch.

8.5/10. Loved it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Wednesday.

A Wednesday is a film about an idea. The idea of one man. An idea by one who can make a difference. And it is about what that one idea can accomplish. It is directed by Neeraj Pandey and was released by UTV Spotboy Productions. It stars Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Amir Bashir, and Deepal Shaw.

The script of A Wednesday is extremely well written, as is the screenplay. Sanjoy Chowdhury's background score is gripping, as is Fuwad Khan's cinematography. With numerous uncanny camera angles and slow motion shots with involving background music, A Wednesday is technically brilliant. The acting could not have been better. Naseeruddin Shah is a revelation, as is Jimmy Shergill. Anupam Kher also does a good job. The fact that the characters are absolutely involved in the situation makes it more of a treat to watch. The flow of dialogue and human emotions is perfect.

A Wednesday is Neeraj Pandey's vision portrayed to perfection by Naseeruddin Shah. There isn't a moment throughout the two hour film when you will not be involved. There isn't even time for you to look away. It's thrilling, keeping you on the edge of your seat, from start till end. It will get you thinking. It will shock you. You will be awed, and you will thank yourself for seeing this film. It's only that good.


Friday, October 10, 2008

You Don't Mess With The Zohan.

You Don't Mess With The Zohan is a 2008 comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan. It was co-produced and co-written by Adam Sandler, who also stars in the lead. Sandler's production company, Happy Madison, produced the film; and it was distributed by Columbia Pictures.

With it's fake accents, elaborate storyline, in-your-face dialogue; You Don't Mess With The Zohan is solid-entertainment. It pulls jokes at the most unusual things, in the most unusual ways, at the most unusual times. It is satire of the most raw kind. Straight from the acting - Presenting: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Rob Schneider, Michael Buffer; and cameos by Henry Winkler, Mariah Carey, Kevin James, and John McEnroe; Zohan is a fun ride with moments which can make your tummy ache with laughter.

Negatives come in the form of it's running time- almost two hours, a tad too long. But remembering certain sequences makes it feel worth it. The background score, with a host of middle-eastern tracks, is highly engaging. With everything from hair-dressing to fast-food outlets, from shoe-selling dreams to fake breats; Zohan has a numerous laugh out loud things on offer.

6/10. Yes, John McEnroe has a cameo in it. Believe it!