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Friday, April 10, 2009

"The Life of David Gale", "Eastern Promises" and "The Eye"

"The Life of David Gale" (2003) is a suspense drama about the man who is on death row for killing his colleague and the irony is that he has been activist against capital punishment all him life. The movie has huge socio-political overtones and that might be the reason this movie was panned by most of the right-wing critics (Roger Ebert gave it a zero!) despite having the names such as Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslate, Laura Linney and director Alan Parker (Midnight Express, The Wall, Mississippi Burning). For me these were good enough reasons to check this movie out. I found the movie engaging watch, however the suspence was not terrific and also the characters were inconsistent (may be director meant it that way). I found the movie a bit too long at 130 mins and regressive at times but definitely watchable for some great performances and intriguing plot. I would reccomend it, definitely deserves more than a zero star (7/10)

"Eastern Promises" (2007) is a detailed study into the lives of russian mafia in the underbelly of London. I have never seen London this dark in any of the movies so far and the director David Croneberg (A History of Violence) makes the characters so real and creepy that you would want to avoid 'this London' at all cost. The story is nothing much write about, it is the character development and acting that wins it for me. Viggo Mortenson plays a driver cum handyman of russian mafia boss Armin Mueller-Stahl (see him for the first time, he is real creepy), plays father of the french actor Vincent Cassal. They are into smuggling of all kinds including human traffiking and Viggo needs to hide and wipe clean a crime that can lead his boss to jail. Naomi Watts plays a nurse who wants to expose them and this endangers the lives of her family members. There are some scenes that are very graphic in nature and should be avoided by anyone with feeble heart. I simply found Viggo's acting, detailed characterization and nuances the highlight of the movie and it is a must watch if you appreciate dark crime drama. (8/10)

"The Eye" (2002) is a Mandarine movie from HK that has been remade in several languages including English and Hindi. Pang brothers are the directors and out there to scare the hell out of you but only partially succeed. The movie has some scary moments but they are few between and are predictable. What is appreciated in the movie that there is no gore, the elements of horror are created out of visual and sound designs, also, the acting was natural. Good watch for horro fans (7/10).

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