Saturday, April 4, 2009

Come and See (1985)

The film was written and directed by Elem Kilmov.

Klimov did not make any more films after this one, leading some critics to speculate as to why. In 2001, Klimov said:

“…….. I lost interest in making films ... Everything that was possible I felt I had already done……” -Wikipedia

This is a Russian World War II movie, film told in the view of a young boy named Florya, set in Byelorussia, known as Belarus. He lives in a tiny village, which is in the way of the march of German Nazi solders in the pursuit of capturing Moscow. One day Florya finds a rifle and leaves his mom and sisters in the village and join the Soviet partisans, who are going to stop the Nazis. In the partisans camp he is left behind and not taken to the frontlines, disappointed Florya finds a girl named Glasha in the camp. Shortly the German bombers attack the empty camp, leaving both in a shocking state and Florya to deafness.

Florya and the girl goes back his village and finds its deserted, at one point they see a heap of dead bodies, Florya comes into conclusion that some of the villagers are hiding in a nearby island which is in the swamp. The both cross the muddy swamp, which turns us and the actors in a weird state. The both see other villagers there, Florya sees his uncle who is in his death bed and almost fully burnt by the German solders. This experience leaves Florya into a shocking state. With people starving Florya and some four guys leave in search of food.

In the quest of finding food, they get a cow, but in this adventure all die including the cow, but Florya escapes in the early morning mist. He goes to near by village and witness the atrocities done by the Nazis. The villagers are burnt in the barn, women get rapped, babies thrown away. After a grueling German rage filled moments the partisans arrive in capturing and killing the Germans.
In the end Florya is left with his rifle and a Hitler portrait in the muddy water, takes his rifle and starts shooting the portrait, every gun shot is interleaved with an actual footage of Hitler, the footages are shown in reverse time. The portrait is torn apart and the final footage is the young Hitler in the lap oh his mother. The film ends with Florya joining the partisans and camera pans to the open sky
  • In the scene where the cow and group encounter the German bullets, its real bullets which are flying just a foot above their head and the cow is actually killed!!

Considered one of best WW movie ever made, the final shooting of the Hitler portrait I consider the best of scene ever, it had some much to tell. The footages are shown in the reverse time effect, so bomb which is actually dropped from a plane goes into the plane, a building which actually collapses by the bombing will de-collapse, I thought the director mean to say that everything will become “fine” and “ordered”. In the final footage where Hitler is sitting on the lap of his mother, I felt the film maker was trying to ask the mother “Why you gave birth to such an evil guy”.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Slumdog with the Oscars

The red carpet is about to be rolled out in 2 days and the Oscar is just around the corner. Let me just rewind my grey cells, some years before there was movie came called “Titanic” which became an instant hit in US. It was released in my home town, which is in the southern part of India where only 4 out of 10 people can read or write English. The movie “Titanic” ran for packed house for almost 50 to 60 days, some of my town mates who cannot understand beyond “What is your name?” in English enjoyed the movie not once but twice and thrice.

Come 2009, “Slumdog Millionaire”, one of my team member at the work place was speaking with an American customer,

Customer : Did you watch “Slumdog Millionaire”?
Team member : Yes, have you seen it? How do you like?
Customer : Yes, I have seen it and its best romantic movie ever told!!

The conversation continued for an hour and the customer was immersed in the pit of joy about the film. Romance doesn’t need a language. It’s the love which carried the “Slumdog” rather than the slum itself.

In the same Titanic movie “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion was a hit not only in US but also in India, a favorite number at that time, the songs reached to an extend that it was used as a sound while a car was in reverse gear or most of them used as their ringtones. “Jai Ho” splashed into the screen when the credit starts to scroll in “Slumdog”, again here it’s the love that matters than the slum.

Front\Nixon can be riveting, Benjamin Button can be fascinating, Milk can be absorbing, but for sure this dog has bitten the right people to get its due, you cannot ignore the dog.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Waltz with Bashir

Waltz with Bashir, a film by a Israeli director Ari Folman. The film is a very rare genre "animated documentary". The movie is nominated for the "Best Foreign Language" film category for this year' Academy Awards. By reading the reviews before watching this film, i thought it will be a boring one. The reason is it says about a person ( A soldier) who is affected war and trauma to overcome it and moreover it is said in an animation movie. The belief and what we have seen is animation is used only with fish or rat speaks. Those are fun,  like a talking donkey, fighting cats, but this film deals with a serious point and told with the canvas which was used to create fun and frolic.

The Fact - The story of the film can be said here, because some research for this movie will get us the story which are actual events, Middle East conflict and massacre of Palestines in the war camp by Lebanese militia where Isreal goverment failed to stop the massacre and turned deaf ears to it.

The Movie - Its interesting from the start, the first thing that captivates one is the color, bright yellow with dark colors. The next be the music and some little dark comedy and good story telling.

A good watch for movie goers, for people who like history and for who like Psychology.