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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Little Manhattan (2005) and August Rush (2007)

It was just a coincidence that I happened to watch two movies this weekend, both were based in the backdrop of Manhattan, my most favorite place in the World!! I have spent one the best years of my life there and have very fond memories of the place and these two movies made me reminisce that phase of my life.

Little Manhattan is a beautiful little movie about pre-teens having to face the complexities of the human relationship. Now in this is the phase in our lives when we are basically introduced to the nuances of human relationships and at that age (or rather at any age) we are ill-prepared to handle it. The basic premise is about a ten year old boy discovering love and the other emotions that are part and parcel of that. But the movie goes beyond just a cute love story and also deals with the Kids relationship with the world that is basically controlled by 'the grown-ups' and how he grows as the result of the entire episode.

The characterization is impeccable and the whole mood of the movie is spot-on. The locations in Manhattan add to the character of the movie, in fact become one of the important characters in itself as the movie moved on. An absolute must see for everyone. (9/10)
p.s. this may remind some of you the television series "The Wonder Years" but don't compare as this one is not half as much corny as the series.


Music is everywhere all you need to do is listen carefully. This is what the movie "August Rush" is all about and makes the point that we all are connected through music and the universe communicates via music. This also reminds me of the Hindu Spirituality concept of "Aum" and the belief that the sound of it's vibration created the Universe and the whole Universe is nothing but materialization of sound waves. This movie, in the simplest term is a "lost and found" story where a couple loose each other and their son who is raised in an Orphanage. As expected the life of the kid is a constant struggle but he holds it through as he has gift of music and although he can not play an instrument or sing but he can listen to music everywhere and believes that it will connect him to his parents. He runs away from the Orphanage and comes to Manhattan to find his parents, the story then takes us through his learning of music, playing guitar on streets, then Julliard and eventually in the Central Park Spring concert. Does he find his parents? Watch it to find out, you will not regret it. This one is a nicely acted and directed piece, it may be a bit melodramatic and unrealistic for some but I would say give it up and go for it. (9/10)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Big Lebowsky and Twenty Bucks

The Big Lebowsky (1998) - Watch out, the Dude is on a mission.

I have been fan of the Coen bros and been partial to even their less than perfect work, you can call me a fan. Of all of Coen bros movies, I had missed watching this one, however I had heard a lot of about it, both positive and negative but never got chance to see it after it's theatrical release in US in 1998 when I was there. Now due to it's strong psychedelic content, it was never released in India or shown on TV. There is no nudity or violence yet as the drug abuse is depicted (not exactly glorified) it was never released for all the conservative mediums. Actually it is movie with the point of view of our hero, who is The Dude and doesn't miss a chance to be 'high'. He is a slacker, a bum and a goofy character with bunch of cool yet looser friends who dont give a hoot about the world, morality and heroism. The story is nothing to write home about (actually this movie, you can not write home about), it's the witty characters and lines that makes this movie special. I was in splits watching the John Goodman character, our own The Dude (yes, he calls himself that), Jeff Bridges is not bad either, he sleeps-walks the role and for this instance, it is actually a . There are other bunch of crazy characters and are superhigh. And yes, I loved the music, the absurd dream sequences and the carpet that held the room together. Not recommended for everyone, viewers discretion advised, for the rest, it is enjoyable ride about nothing. (8/10)

Twenty Bucks (1993) - The journey of a twenty dollar bill
I had the DVD of this movie for a long time but I never got around seeing it until I saw it's promo for the Sony Pix. I decided to dig this DVD down and watch it last weekend. The cast is endless, there are so many big names like Brendan Fraser, Elisabeth Shue, Steve Buscemi, Christopher Lloyd, Jeremy Piven, David Schwimmer, William H Macy and so many other. It is a story about the fresh twenty bucks from the ATM machine and it's journey in this world. There are atleast 10 stories interconnected with each other without the characters knowing about it and the connecting point is the Twenty bucks.

The script was very tight and some of the stories were less interesting than the others but overall a good effort. I liked the story of the two conmen with contrasting personalities, the best. It is nothing great but a good watch. (6/10).