Warrior (2011)

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Lock up the china because the boys are at it again! : Bryan Callen

Numbness”  because of the sheer emotional tension of the moment is what I felt during the Silent Catharsis of the three lead characters in the culminating scene. Warrior is a two-track drama of fighting and redemption which, in the initial first hour, methodically reveals the back stories and defines the lead characters of the movie with some pummeling thrown in between. The second half showcases the first-rate fighting sequences and arousing emotional moments between the lead characters, making it a “Perfect sports movie” in the process.

The movie is about two estranged brothers Brendon & Tommy Conlon (Joel Edgerton & Tom Hardy respectively). Brendon is a beloved high school physics teacher married to his childhood sweetheart Tess (Jennifer Morrison). Tommy is an Iraq war veteran who ran away from home with their mother in his early teens because of their abusive & alcoholic father Paddy Conlon (Nick Nolte). Both have a troubled past with their father & neither of them is on well-disposed terms with each other. The movie sets into motion when Tommy returns to his hometown to meet his father after several years. Both brothers were fierce MMA fighters in their teenage, while Tommy learnt MMA boxing under the tutelage of their father, Brendon had his best friend to thank to, who uses Beethoven’s Ninth symphony to motivate his fighters. Both the brothers, who now have some financial problems in their lives, decide to take part in a Winner-take-all MMA world championship in Atlanta to put an end to them without the knowledge of each other’s participation. What follows next, is the engine of inevitability which leaves both the characters of the movie & audience drained of all the energy.

Gavin O’Connor’s (“Miracle” fame) brilliant acumen in the sports genre is visible all over the movie. He along with his co-writers did a terrific job in generating virtually equal sympathy for each brother & coming up with an emotionally & dramatically satisfying climax. Credit must also be given to him for eliciting such powerful performances from his three lead characters. Nick Nolte’s heartfelt & audacious portrayal of anguished Paddy is worthy of an Oscar nod of best supporting actor. Fighting scenes are vividly choreographed, complimented by some skilful camera work which makes you twitch during the fights. Commentary during the fight sequences is hilariously inciting, I can watch even the most mundane of sports with that kind of commentary.

This is a rare fight movie in which you don’t want to see either of them lose, with a climax which can move even some strong men to tears.

My Rating: 10/10.

Trailer:

-atams

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Rockstar (2011)

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“Jo Bhi Main Kehna Chahun, Barbaad Karen Alfaaz Mere” – Janardhan Jhakad aka Jordan

Who would have thought before the release of this movie that these brilliant lyrics by Irshad Kamil will slightly sum up the tad flighty second half of ‘Rockstar’. Unlike his earlier ventures Imtiaz Ali departs from his pragmatic approach to day-to-day-life ‘love’ in Rockstar and renders a story surrounding supernal romance.

Janardhan Jakhad (J.J) aka Jordan is a Hindu college student. He is dorky, he has insatiable fondness for cafeteria samosas, his fashion sense is passé and he is often inarticulate about his feelings. He is also a budding musician & Jim Morrison fan but he can’t seem to find his niche. Enters Khatana Bhaai, owner of the cafeteria with know-it-all personality, he advises J.J to find some pain and agony in his life because all the great musicians according to him had one thing in common which was gargantuan amount of suffering in their personal lives. According to Khatana Bhaai, JJ’s life devoid of any romance & heartbreaks has been far too easy for him. J.J then sets out to get his heart-broken but in a rather easy & comic way. When he hears that soon to-be-married Heer Kaul of St. Stephen’s college is a serial ‘heartbreaker’, he professes his undying love to her hoping to get his heart broken. But things take a different turn and they eventually end up being good friends after this whole saga. So begins Jordan’s bittersweet journey from being an ordinary Jat boy of old Delhi to becoming self-destructive Rockstar of Nation.

First half of the movie was quite enjoyable with a romantic comedy flavour to it. But problems started cropping up in ambitious & unpredictable second half which was intoxicated with tragedy & other-worldly love. Transformation of Jordan from innocent & warm musician who just wants to hang out with Heer for “gandh machana” to angered & agonized Rockstar was not at all smooth. I don’t have any qualms with Imtiaz Ali adapting Non-Linear screenplay, it was refreshing actually, a welcome change from routine Bollywood movies. But, its execution somewhat fell short of “Wow” factor. Even so second half quite easily managed to keep head above the water thanks to some beautifully composed shots, brilliant acting by Ranbir Kapoor & soulful music by AR Rahman.

Opening sequence of the movie showing bedraggled Jordan making his way through to the jam-packed stadium was majestic. Anil Mehta did an exceptional job as cinematographer. Direction as expected was refreshing from Imtiaz Ali but definitely not olympian as it was the case with Jab We Met. Ranbir Kapoor & Nargis Fakhri looked terrific together. Ranbir completely immersed himself in the role to give us the performance of the year and of his career also. Nargis Fakhri’s dialogue delivery was a let-down. She looked amazing & convincing as a Kashmiri girl but barring 2-3 sequences in second half her dialogue delivery was flimsy. It kind of acted as a drag for the entire movie. Editing also could have been better; 2nd half needed some 10-15 minutes of trimming. As is the hallmark of Imtiaz Ali, fabulous amount of attention was given to details. Now coming to the strongest point of the movie: Music. I don’t think I need to tell you how awesome & pertinent music was. Mellifluous music carrying the weight of story on its shoulders, this important facet has been missing from bollywood movies lately but Rockstar marks its much awaited comeback. Rockstar is AR Rahman’s best & most complete album after Rang De Basanti (2006). My picks are Kun Faaya Kun & Jo Bhi Main.

In the end, Rockstar is a brave effort about ethereal love which transcends everything from reason to morality with a superb 1st half and an average 2nd half. Rockstar is not a regular Bollywood outing by any standards and we must congratulate Imtiaz Ali for that. Watch it for the livewire acting performance by Ranbir Kapoor, Inspired Cinematography and bewitching music by AR Rahman.

My Rating: 7.5/10.

Trailer:

-atams

Midnight In Paris (2011)

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“That’s what the present is. It’s a little unsatisfying because life is unsatisfying.”: Gil

The movie opens with a loving & surreal montage of Paris with honeyed Saxophone playing in the background and bamm!! You are lost. Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris is mystical, risible, wistful and nervously romantic movie which makes you fall in love with Paris. This is Woody Allen at his best, finally giving life to his nostalgic reflection and mesmerizing us with the romanticism of characters.

Gil, our protagonist here (very aptly played by Owen Wilson) is a dissatisfied Hollywood screenwriter and a failed novelist from Beverly Hills. He’s accompanying his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her parents to Paris for a holiday. Gil is actually a laid-back materialization of Allen’s persona. He is fervently in love with everything pertaining to Paris. He has always been nostalgic & moony also. Gil regards the era of 1920s in Paris as a golden period of history and strongly desires to have lived in that era when all the prominent artists, writers & musicians of the world donned the streets & clubs of Paris. After years of perpetual dissatisfaction as a no-substance Hollywood screenwriter, he is also trying to pen a novel.

As per his usual, Mr Allen provides us with a very diverse and occupying mix of supporting cast. Inez is an all-about shopping for priceless chairs girl, who goes completely gaga over a pedantic know-it-all professor “Paul”, who starts his every sentence with a conceited “If I’m not mistaken” remark. And as if that isn’t enough, Gil has to endure his uptight soon to be in-laws too. One evening at midnight, disheartened by his humdrum life, Gil decides to bail on Inez to walk alone. What unravels next is a magical experience you wouldn’t have dreamt of. Revealing anything more than this will be a cruel act of depriving you of the pleasures of elegant surprises. But I still can’t stop myself from spilling out “some” beans namely Fitzgerald, Hemingway & Picasso.

Coming to the technical aspects of the movie, everything from direction to soundtrack was first-rate with Classic Allen written all over it. Cinematography was awesome; it was not just an expression when I wrote that movie is going to make you fall in love with Paris. No complaints over the casting and acting department either, you couldn’t have selected a better cast ensemble than this. Marion Cotillard was lovely as a confused French beauty & Owen Wilson was at his hilarious best as Gil.

In the end, Midnight In Paris is a lyrically crafted fable about romance, nostalgia and pleasures which leaves you feeling rhapsodic.

My Rating: 9/10; Classic Allen outing, his best after Matchpoint.

Trailer: 

-atams

Ra.One (2011)

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First of all, let me tell you what this movie is not. This movie is not going to be a movie which you will remember forever in a positive way. This movie will defy everything what your school taught you about science. This movie is everything what SRK did not advertise about on every page on the internet. The movie is total bullshit. I cannot understand how the story writer planned to convince the audience with this plot. The plot, apart from having the numerous loopholes that every Bollywood movie has now a days, has also successfully made a joke out of science and advancements in technology.

Lets get a brief idea of what the movie depicts a superhero to be. A guy with a fake 6 pack, wearing one of the metallic blue/red tight suits designed by Manish Malhotra which sparks out electricity every time a speck of dust touches it, and off course, the “very original” heart a.k.a the core of the suit which shines out the brightest light in the universe. Bull Shit. Every part of the movie has been “inspired” from a Hollywood flick and trust me, the word ‘inspired’ is such an understatement.

Lets get to the story. Shekhar Subramaniam (Our very own, SRK) is a game developer (yes..) who struggles to earn some respect and love from his very own son Prateek (Armaan Varma), by trying to act ubercool. The only thing Prateek gets happiness out off is by twiddling away with his joystick playing video games. So, daddy, using artificial intelligence ( and shit that even science musn’t have heard of ) makes a game where the villain is bad ass and indestructible and names him Ra-One (Random Access – Version One. So creative, no?). Since every story should have a good guy, there enters G.One (short for The Good One. Again, see the creativity?). There are a bunch of rules as to when Ra.One can kill G.one and blah blah. The game is a hit, but has only one problem. The code is so good apparently, that the character Ra.One learns stuff by itself and is determined to kill Lucifer, Prateek’s game alias who once defeated him in a fight. The rest of the movie is about how Ra.One and G.One meet and engage in all those useless fight sequences.

The movie has about two or three comic scenes that are worthy of a smile. And off course the inevitable joke which involve a woman’s breasts. SRK plays a very unconvincing role of a tamilian. Every time he tries to say “aiyyo” or “ingeva”, it reminds you he is everything but tamilian. Even Tams don’t use those words so much or say it that way. Coming to the “science” part, when did data packets start  transforming themselves to form actual metallic bodies? Apparently, the intelligent agents in that code can do everything including breathing life into robots, but still got stuck up at a point where it can’t get over the fact that a 12-year-old kid, kicked it up its ass.

The performances as such don’t really matter. Kareena Kapoor looks gorgeous but plays a dumb role. Arjun Rampal looks like he just came out of gladrags. And by this time, SRK should have known that No.one eats noodles and curd mixed with their hand. Not even South Indians. And the Rajnikanth cameo is just as useless as the movie. Nothing happens at all. Shahana Goswami has been sidelined totally. In the end, no one notices the performances at all. It’s just the VFX talking.

Coming to the VFX part, Bollywood might not have seen such graphics in any of its movies. Although, some of them are pretty good, they don’t really appeal to you in any way, because you have already seen the same effect in some Hollywood flick. The VFX is a waste of money, because most of it is senseless. Some of the VFX are done just for the sake of it. Cars fly up in the air for no reason. They fly above the cars. Again, for no reason. CST station is destroyed, some Mumbai mall is destroyed, all for no reason. Effects are good, but nothing new, nothing you have not seen. The ending fight sequence is so boring, you might end up leaving the movie hall. It was nothing but show off of unnecessary and unwanted slow motion effects.

Overall, this movie is just a big waste. May be it will be a big hit. May be it will be the movie to make the biggest collections ever. But it’s just because people want to see how bad the movie is. This movie is such a shameless and bad rip off of all the science fiction movies ever made. Not at all worth watching it in a movie theater. Not worth watching it in 3D either. The 3D is just bad. All you end up with is a headache. Terminator, Iron Man, Tron, Superman, Spiderman, The Matrix and the list is endless. Even brilliantly filmed scenes from these movies have not been spared.

In the end, this is just another movie. Only overhyped and highly publicised. Not worth it. Stupid, Imbecile and moronic. You don’t have anything to do at home. Still, do not watch this movie.

My rating – 2/10

Trailer

– JinXed

Real Steel (2011)

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“Times have changed.
Fighting has changed.
But the crowd? They never change.
They just get bigger.”


Real Steel is an action packed movie with a predictable ending. What looked like a mix of Rocky and Transformers turned out to be so much different and entertaining. With Hugh Jackman in the lead, this movie turns out to be unexpectedly enjoyable and awesome.

The story is set up in the near future where remote controlled robots
replace boxers in the boxing ring. Charlie Kenton(Hugh Jackman) is an
ex-boxer who makes a living fighting robots. Bailey(Evangeline Lilly)
is Charlie’s love and also the owner of her father’s boxing gym whom
Charlie used to train when he was a contender. Things start getting
interesting when Charlie gets to know that his old girlfriend died and
now has custody of their son, Max(Dakota Goyo). After striking a deal
with the Max’s Aunt Debra’s wealthy husband for 1,00,000$, Charlie
buys a new robot “Noisy Boy” and also gets custody of Max for two
months. Noisy boy is turned to shreds in an underground cage match
leaving Charlie with nothing, once again. While searching for spare
parts in the junkyard, Max finds a second generation sparring robot
built to take punishment and not inflict it. Max is determined to
fight atom in matches and trains him using voice controls and the
excellent shadow function. Winning fights all the way to the top, Max
challenges the WRB champion Zeus for a match. The result of the match
is for you to find out.

Dakota Goyo has done complete justice to his role. He plays the cool
gamer whiz kid with ease and brilliance. Also, the chemistry between
Max and Charlie as father and son, goes unnoticed. Certain scenes just
make you want to jump up your seat and shout out. One such scene is
the first fight of Atom with the hillbilly robot. Brilliantly filmed
in an apt location, the scene captures the essence of a timeless
classic with the advancement in technology. Another such scene is the
final fight between Atom and Zeus which leaves you high on adrenaline.

The performances in this movie are splendid and is probably the
biggest strength of the movie. Hugh Jackman and Dakota Goyo have
outdone themselves, making the film heart-warming and enjoyable. Also,
a special mention to the robot, Atom. It is the second soul of the
movie. The movie ensures that you develop a connection with this
robot.

The visual effects in this movie are so sublte and brilliant that you
might hardly notice them. The robot appears to be so lifelike and
real. Its actions are amazingly quick and extremely cool. The sound
effects make the fights even more appealing than they already are. In the end, you really wish that this was an actual sport. May be, in the near future.

Any movie that gets the audience involved into itself is a great
movie. Overall, this movie is just right. A good way to spend two
hours. The ending is not overwhelming as such, but certainly
heartfelt. This movie might not be oscar stuff, but nevertheless a
great movie and that is what matters in the end. Definitely worth a
watch or may be even two.

My rating 8.5.

Trailer

-JinXed

Horrible Bosses (2011)

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Horrible Bosses is a routine R-rated comedy affair with fairly entertaining twists and turns. Directed by Seth Gordon ( Four Christmasses) and backed up by a very dominating cast consisting of Kevin Spacey, Jennifor Aniston, Colin Farrell as 3 horrible bosses and Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis as their lamentable employees, it takes you on a 95 minutes journey of bizarre and sometimes forced comedic moments.

 Movie is about 3 pitiful employees who are sick of their bosses. They loathe their bosses and their untowardly demeanor towards them. They blame them for their ruined or about to be ruined lives and finally when they just can’t take it any more, they plan to kill their bosses. What follows next is the mixed bag of both funny and flat moments.

Kevin Spacey as a paranoiac, vicious boss; Jennifer Aniston as a nymphomaniac, sexually harassing dentist and Colin Farrell as a coked-out, psychopathic nutcase were highlights of the movie. I think gags about recession-hit ex-investment banker, “trimming the fat” in the office and mother****** jones were best parts of the movie. Colin Farell nailed his cameo, he was ludicrously funny as Bobby Pellitt and I can easily say Bobby Pellit is the funniest comedy cameo after Tom Cruise’s Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder. Jason Bateman and Jason Sudeikis were both likable in their roles but Charlie Adam’s acting and handling of his role came out as a buzzkill for the movie. Some scenes were over the top and tried too hard to be funny. Writing is to be blamed for that, having such an interesting premise, supported by a cast of this calibre; they should have done better. But nonetheless, movie was laughable in most of its parts, while losing some of its steam in last the 15 minutes during that whole chase sequence.

With everything considered Horrible Bosses is a movie with fair amount of hearty laughs and crude humor, swamped by its own sophomoric writing in certain parts. It’s a Hit and Miss farce (with more hits) that in the end leaves you wishing it was funnier than it is.

My Rating: 6.5/10, Definitely a one-time watch.

Trailer: 

-atams

Pieces Of April (2003)

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” For Days I have been trying to think of nice April memories and I can only come up with one. She was just gazing out the window and she said “oh mother don’t you just love every day?”” : Joy Burns
Movie opens in one seedy Manhattan apartment with April (Katie Holmes) and her african-american boyfriend Bobby (Derek luke) chaotically preparing for a big thanksgiving dinner. Meanwhile, April’s highly dysfunctional family is preparing to leave their upstate New York suburban home to share this dinner with April in New York, anticipating disaster from the petulant April who is also eldest daughter and “black sheep” of the family.

Peter Hedges has done something noteworthy in Pieces of April. Movie is shot in digital video format with an overall off-colour outlook. Patricia Clarkson delivers one of her best performance as April’s ailing mother “Joy Burns” who is in her terminal stage of Breast Cancer. Her character is hilarious and maddening at the same time. Katie Holmes as April plays the role of a wayward eldest daughter of this dysfunctional family. She has not seen her family for some time now and as it may be the last thanksgiving of her mother, she invites her whole family to her apartment in New York. While preparing thanksgiving dinner and dealing with her neighbours, amid all the chaos she realizes that this may be her last chance to re-conciliate with her family. Movie flips-flops between scenes of neighbour-hopping escapades of April while facing all kinds of troubles in preparing thanksgiving dinner, and her family recollecting April & her shortcomings on their way to Manhattan.

Pieces of April is funny, moving, sad & intensely human, may be the best thanksgiving movie I have ever seen. Movie works as an ensemble piece which may have collapsed without its center piece Joy Burns (Patricia Clarkson). Katie Holmes was riveting as April in her punk look. Movie is only 80mins long and in the end leaves you wanting for more of this eccentric family. Unlike the stereotypical depiction of Thanksgiving, Pieces of April explores basic human frailties, but remains true to the thanksgiving theme all the time. Elements of comedy and tragedy are beautifully interwoven in the movie. Hedges pans out a very moving & heartwarming climax by making all the pieces of April come together and bequeaths you with a feeling of bittersweet lightness. If you are a fan of offbeat ‘slice of a life’ cinema then this one is not to be missed.

My Rating: 8/10.

Trailer: 

-atams

Bad Santa (2003)

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“I’ve been to prison once, I’ve been married – twice. I was once drafted by Lyndon Johnson and had to live in shit-ass Mexico for 2 and 1/2 years for no reason. I’ve had my eye socket punched in, a kidney taken out and I got a bone-chip in my ankle that’s never gonna heal. I’ve seen some pretty shitty situations in my life, but nothing has ever sucked more ass than this! ” : Willie

Hilarious, Wicked, Unseemly, Coarse and Storming piece of a cinema. I was looking for something ‘christmassy’ when I came across this movie. It’s title and plot compelled me to watch it and only 15 minutes into the movie I was a fan! Bad Santa is an ultimate inappropriate christmas movie and I can easily say it is one of the best christmas movie I have ever seen in my life. For me it ranks right along with Home Alone, Planes Trains & Automobiles and Christmas Vacation. It’s a comedy without boundaries and either you will love it or hate it.

Bad santa is about a drunken, abusive, profane, sex-crazed thief “Willie” masquerading as a department store Santa and thrown against the ironic backdrop of Christmas cheer – now that’s comedy! Billy Bob Thornton played this misanthropic role to perfection. He was riveting as Bad Santa and took me by surprise every time I thought this Santa possibly can’t sink lower than this. Tony Cox was equally hilarious and crude as Willie’s accomplice & criminal mastermind – Marcus. Also thrown in this funny mix was one cute, delusional & kind of soggy boy “Kid” who genuinely believed in “Willie” as real santa. Lauren Graham as a bartender who has a nympho for Santa and Bernie Mac as a raucous security head of shopping mall were icing on the cake. Whole absurdity of the situations in the movie because of these eccentric characters was sidesplittingly funny.

Direction wise Terry Zwigoff did a commendable job, movies like these if not handled properly can be disastrously bad sometimes. Movie was superbly paced with a very engrossing and satisfying climax. Created and produced by Coen Brothers, you could see their touch all over the movie. Bad Santa makes an audacious attempt in presenting us the idea that everybody’s misery and problems don’t turn into lollipops and candy bars when the calendar rolls over to december. So, my advice is don’t miss this movie if you want to experience the perfect amalgam of irony, dark humor, emotions and funny ludicrous moments.

My Rating: 9/10. Rib-tickling dark comedy.

– atams

Fire In Babylon (2010)

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“Aggression means aggression, that’s how I look at life, in fight am going to fight. We had a mission; a mission that we believe in ourselves and we believe that we are just as good as anyone…… Equal for that matter.” : Sir Vivian Richards

Steven Riley’s documentary starts with highlights of some fierce fast bowling and batsmen crumpling to the ground. Those violent but fulgurant images straightaway set the enthralling tone for the entire 80 minutes. This documentary tells us the true story of a social-rebellion by a cricket team. Riley very deftly manages to showcase the transformation of the West Indies Test Cricket Team from entertaining but lacking substance ” calypso cricketers” to become vehement combatants.

Documentary starts with the turbulent 60s and early 70s with racism in the world at its zenith and the West Indies Cricket struggling even to make a palpable mark in International Cricket. They don’t have a leader in their team who can unite all the Caribbean players from different islands under one flag of West Indies. Not much time has passed since their liberation from the british colonial rule and the remnants from the colonial rule are still visible in all the islands of Caribbean. Citizens of all the Caribbean islands are still oppressed and they all need something to hold on to, something they can be proud of, something they can all boast without ignominy as being purely Caribbean. Enters, one of the best captains of Test Cricket History “Clive Llyod”, who after the disastrous 1975 tour of Australia resolves to embrace the merciless tactics of their vitriol-hurling adversaries (Australians) for their own realization and thus starts one of the greatest transformations ever in sports history.

The narration takes us through the formative years of West Indies test Cricket strengthening themselves as a veritable world power. From the calamitous australian tour of 1975 to renowned “Blackwash” england tour of 1984, it shows all the political and the social ups and downs of West Indies cricket and its impact on the Caribbean society.

Riley, while showing us all the political & racism related facets of those years and their impact on West Indies cricket, astutely manages to keep the prime focus on the strengths of West Indies Cricket. Documentary deftly and instructively tell us the about the unsubduable Viv Richards as their batting lynchpin, ferocious Pace Quartet as their bowling arsenal & Clive Llyod as their inspiring leader. Random musical numbers infuse a kind of Caribbean vitality to the documentary. The part describing the nicknames & strengths of the Fearsome Foursome “Roberts, Garner, Holding and Marshall” was simply awe-inspiring. These 80 minutes germinated a serious respect for Sir Vivian Richards in me not only as a batsman but also as a  human being. Only down side with the documentary is Riley’s exaggerated depiction of apartheid and racism in some shots.

In a nutshell, this is the story of one of the greatest test teams ever, a team which wanted to beat their former masters in their own game and if you are a big fan of the game of cricket, you sure can’t afford to miss this one.

My Rating: 8/10, Not to be missed.

P.S: Personally, I think ” Whispering Death” is one of the coolest nicknames in sports history.

-atams

Barney’s Version (2010)

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” …and I’m just gonna keep talking here, ’cause I’m afraid that if I stop there’s gonna be a pause or a break and you’re gonna say ‘It’s getting late’ or ‘I should get going’, and I’m not ready for that to happen. I don’t want that to happen. Ever. ” : Barney Panofsky.

Okay, this is my first ever movie review and I hope there are many more to come. I watched this movie around 2 months ago and loved it to the core. It’s quite rare that you find a great movie centered on the life of an offbeat character amidst a sea of summer blockbusters, romantic comedies, thrillers etc…

Intriguing” – That was the word that first came into my mind when I watched the trailer of this movie a long time ago. An impulsive guy finding the love of his life among the guests of his own marriage ceremony. Now, isn’t that interesting?

Barney’s Version is one hell of an emotional, heartwarming dramedy about a quirky, politically incorrect, whimsical guy named ” Barney Panofsky ” and his lifetime of unconventional and sometimes self-destructive dealings with this world. The movie flips back and forth between the past and the present for better half of the reel while slowly setting the stage for a very moving climax all along.

Paul Giamatti steals the show here. Undoubtedly his best acting performance after his road trip classic “Sideways”. Barney is a not so normal Canadian guy who is oblivious of all the worldly conventions. He follows his heart & whims while making every decision and conversation of his life. This habit eventually leads him to this predicament of finding the love of his life (Rosamund Pike) among the guests of his own marriage ceremony (Barney’s second marriage). He instantly falls for her after having his first and only conversation with her and from that instant, follows her with an astounding tenacity until he is finally married to her (Barney’s third marriage). Now story does not just ends here and that’s the better part of it. From the moment of his first marriage to a promiscuous girl he met during his Italy trip after college, till the end of the movie, it captures every little emotion in its frame which you care to see in a biographical drama of a central character and keeps your eyeballs bound to the screen.

Background score was simply mellifluous and pertinent to all the situations in the movie. Some of the visuals especially around the country house were a feast for the eyes. Dustin Hoffman was amazing as the Dad of Barney and an Ex-Cop with some crisp and entertaining dialogues. Technically, I have no qualms with the movie. Characters are very well written, by the end of the movie I was a fan of Barney and his friends, relatives & wives. The movie is around 2 hours and 15 minutes long but length is hardly noticeable while watching it. Movie is very well directed and written. Acting is top of the line. So my advice is DON’T MISS this gem of a movie. If after watching this movie, you happen to agree with my review, then please do yourself another favour by watching the movie “Sideways” also starring Paul Giamatti. I am sure you will like it.

My Rating: 9/10, Second viewing is recommended.

– atams