AbhiMathews

IMDb member since August 2011
    Highlights
    2015 Oscars
    Lifetime Total
    75+
    IMDb Member
    7 years

Reviews

The Village
(2004)

Let's play a game
There are different types of horror films one can imagine. Some may immediately think of The Exorcist, while others may consider films similar to Spoorloos the subtlest yet scariest of them all. Whatever your preference, The Village is unsettling in more than one regard.

From the disturbing happenings in the beginning, this movie constantly questions your understanding of the environment. You are initially introduced to this secluded land much like the other villagers, and only know what you've been told. Therefore, it's a mystery you are unravelling as the different characters begin to reveal more and more of themselves. To figure out what's going on, if anything, you'll just have to watch this film.

Playing the The Village was certainly a lot of fun and I'd highly recommend it to anyone curious enough. It makes you question how much you know of your surroundings, which unfortunately, we often know little about. We often take others' words for granted, but sometimes it's best to think a little and figure things out on your own.

Irréversible
(2002)

Life: The Weirdest Dream
This movie is intense. No doubt about it. The performances are not only great, but it's the brutality of everything that's so unsettling. Although there are scenes that linger and others that simply cause a headache, this was certainly a bizarre and reflective sequence of events.

Irreversible is certainly quite different--whether that's good or bad is undecided, but it's still welcome nonetheless. Beyond the particularly strong scenes of power abuse, it's the thought of vulnerability in any capacity being targeted that strike's one's heart. Whether it's yourself or a loved one, we've all been in those dark places. We hope it will just be fine. And it usually is.

This film represents the rare (yet duly noted) case of when things don't go so smoothly.

To say this movie is revolutionary would be contentious. Regardless, it was hard to watch. With that being said, blissful ignorance never solved a problem, it only ignored it. To some that may be equivalent, but to others, it's an important lesson to never forget.

Solyaris
(1972)

To live without knowing
I can try and interpret this film for you, but I wouldn't do it any justice. The flawless acting and plot should only be revealed when one is immersed in the cinematic experience. It is certainly a deep story with many undertones, but one in particular that stuck with me is the reality of perception.

Solaris is impactful on many levels, but on at least one, it questions what is meant to be real and what is not. People disregard "insane" stories as simple hallucinations or lies until further proof is given. At a certain point, though, what constitutes real proof is impossible to even fathom and thus define. When in an unknown territory and everything appears foreign, making connections to what you know is true is the rational thing to do. To piece together things at its fundamental level and try to work from there. This works in most ordinary cases. But this movie isn't ordinary.

After watching Solaris, I am as excited as I am disturbed. Excited because, in my own eyes, I feel immortal; yet disturbed also because I feel immortal. Not in the classical sense that I can live forever, but from the perspective that I do not know how long I live nor where exactly it is that I live and to where I go. It seems like a nonsensical question to ponder, and maybe it is, but it is a prevailing thought that makes you question.

Questioning is good, right? But maybe there is an extent to which good questioning conflicts with a good life...

Boyhood
(2014)

New Chapters to an Old Story
Boyhood was a great film. There's so much to it that I wouldn't do justice by simply applauding the great performances or production. It's deep and very personal. Touching on things we all know yet seldom acknowledge, like the rest of this review...

You never truly know where you'll end up in life. But that's not the emphasis. It's the actual time that you have living in the present and trying to remember that you can live it milestone by milestone or moment by moment. It's hard to predict which ones will stick with us, so why not try to make the most of them all? No one has all the answers. You live and learn and hopefully take heed of others' advice, but you ultimately (should) make the decision yourself. Boyhood is the story we're all familiar with yet struggle to sometimes accept or endure. At times it feels like everyone is trying to get somewhere: a new job, a dream house, another degree. Sometimes you just wish it could all stop and rest.

And maybe that's the great thing about life: you live how you want, and after your time is up, others will continue living. It's the lack of time we have that sometimes puts weight on our hearts, but maybe that's why we should try and least make it special for the little that we have. At the end of our lives, whether that be 1 hour from now in a car or 10 years ahead on a hospital bed, will your last fleeting moment be filled with acceptance of the fact that life came and now life is leaving?

Whether the answer is yes or no doesn't really matter; you don't really have a choice. What does matter is what you do from today onwards to answer that question the way you want. To say you tried, or not.

Good Morning, Vietnam
(1987)

Make life a little brighter
War brings out the worst in mankind. But in the midst of chaos, look for the helpers.

Adrian Cronauer is this type of person. With no real good or bad side, it's hard to decipher strangers' true colours. Regardless of warfare, Mr. Cronauer simply tries to remind people of their humanity. To remind them of better times. To remind them of the laughs and joy any person can share with another.

Truly understanding both sides is the greatest battle. Bringing to light the truth that is too often silenced and progressing together instead of dominating is a solution rarely sought.

Remember that war is seldom fought by the ones who actually started it. To stop it is imperative. To endure it is even harder. Nonetheless, Adrian Cronauer tries.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
(2014)

The End
The Hobbit trilogy has certainly been a level below its predecessor: The Lord of the Rings (it is actually the sequel chronologically). It's the series that lingered on a little too long and ultimately failed to bring the same magic the original films did.

The Battle of the Five Armies finally put an end to it all. After a tumultuous battle with Smaug, it's the inevitable fight for good to keep peace on Middle Earth. One of the best parts of this movie were the fight scenes. With that being said, it was also one of the worst. With extremely long and seldom entertaining fights that we've become used to watching, I'm glad to say it's finally over.

It was the grand journey Frodo and Sam led that initially kindled my fascination with Tolkien's translated work. I wished I could have enjoyed these cinematic pieces as much as the first three, but I simply didn't.

Badlands
(1973)

On the whim
"Teenagers will be teenagers," they say. What it truly means, I do not know. But a man or woman should never be disregarded or held under contempt for their age alone. Being impressionable and manipulative are two of the greatest vices, and when combined, can cause a spiralling cascade.

Everything around us affects us in way or another. The constant bickering on television, heavy gloom in the skies or eraser shaving scattered across the desk. These things all have a tipping point in us. Whether we take notice and do something or simply let it pass depends on the person. Normally, people let it go. But normal isn't what Badlands is about.

Good dialogue and character development cannot be emphasized enough. Martin Sheen is an electrifying character on camera who can fill dire scenes with energy. Despite his great performance, this film just does not excel in any other way. Whether it be the spineless Holly or lack of connective dialogue, Badlands lacks an immersive touch. Although it is entertaining at moments, the young couple are too distant from viewers and even themselves.

Whether this can be devoted to them being young adults and simply in their nature, I do not know. But I do know this movie failed to leave an impression on me.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
(2014)

Lose one sense, gain another
Perception is a difficult trait to assess. Sometimes it truly is hard to comprehend another person's viewpoint, while at times it's simply exaggerated. Birdman is Riggan's egocentric persona, or so it appears. A man who lives without identity--who only remembers a false sense of worth when he was in the tabloids--clings on to Birdman to stay relevant. It's a major psychological movement to realize the world does not revolve around you (for some) since it's on this path we call life that we try to add some worth.

Edward Norton and Emma Stone performed exceptionally in this film and really provided a great punch. Their stories and otherwise daring demeanours ensured every minute was a stimulating one. The overall story is of the contemporary existential crisis, and how identity is such an allusive topic at times, even to ourselves. It's the moulding of our fate (or lack thereof) that many struggle to accept, and Birdman does a great job in showing different outlooks on life.

At times we have a false perception of ourselves. This may appear as a distorted reality to some or a safeguard for others' egos. Nonetheless, it is this sense of understanding and self-acceptance Birdman struggles with that leads to peace.

A Walk to Remember
(2002)

A Flurry of Emotions
A Walk to Remember is certainly a tearjerker. Whether it's the moving performance from Mandy Moore or the connection found between Landon and Jamie, there certainly is a lot of emotion involved.

With that being said, there is a mixture of beautiful moments along with otherwise odd and somewhat perturbing scenes that ruin the atmosphere. From the entire beginning sequence showcasing the utter callousness of a few people to the lengthy singing scene, the buildup was poorly executed. The entire relationship with Landon's father was unbelievable as well and now he suddenly has unfounded ambitions for medical school. The poor combination of romance and entertainment at times is simply off-putting.

Nonetheless, this certainly is a good romance. An overall poor film, but the strong leads will get emotions running.

Never Let Me Go
(2010)

The gift of time
Time is a precious gift we seldom appreciate. Being told you have limited time to live is a tough pill to swallow. It's something we don't often realize since it's seemingly so far ahead in our lives, but we all face it at some point (unexpected or not).

Kathy and Tommy have a special connection. One that takes time to nurture, to grow, to fully feel. They've been deemed lowly by a selfish society. But despite their shortcomings and utter disregard from the rest of the world, they try.

Our time remaining in this Universe is countable. That's a jarring statement to some, but impetus to others. Kathy and Tommy had little time like all of us and struggled like we all do. But they tried. They tried to love and enjoy till the very end, and accepted life for what it had given them. Maybe the man who lives a 100 years is no better off than the boy that lives 10. Nonetheless, it's that amount of time, whatever it may be, that even lets us live.

And maybe that's it: trying to enjoy life, living like never before, is the true essence of time.

Maybe it's not.

Biutiful
(2010)

The man who tried
Before death, we try to make amends with our earthly abode before entering the great unknown. We have all these duties and obligations that we earnestly try to fulfil, and at times its overwhelming, but having it all lifted is the last step that we oddly struggle with.

Uxbal has a tempestuous mother for his kids, failing health, numerous impoverished families relying on him, and now only months to live. With all stability starting to collapse and brokenness surrounding him, keeping his composure is an insurmountable task, let alone trying to build everything back up. With life soon coming to a sudden halt, acceptance of the universe to still continue on is a hard pill to swallow.

Biutiful is the story of the man who tried. In the end, we finally come upon the realization that we may never be able to fully amend our past...and that's okay.

Amadeus
(1984)

An Incredible Challenge
Perfection is a feat often sought but rarely attained (perhaps never, some say).

Antonio Salieri, the man who never was Mozart, recounts his life and the great influence this peculiar man named Amadeus had on his entirety. From Salieri's outlandish dreams to royal career, Mozart's ingenuity eluded him and he could never quite figure out "how?"

For such an eventful and studied life, Mozart certainly endured a lot despite having all the talent in the world. Skill was never a question, but showcasing and having others comprehend his beauty at the time often was. Salieri, despite his best (and vile) efforts, never approaches the perfection Mozart produced at a whim. To create perfection so easily is the great struggle that haunts him to this day.

But maybe perfection is never truly the goal.

This extraordinary biopic is as entertaining as they come. Whether for the great score, pleasant acting or overall story that will live forever, Amadeus is certainly a tale to tell.

Lethal Weapon
(1987)

Mel Gibson is electrifying
This movie is an onslaught of action; beginning with the opening scene death to the captivating end, it's a bombardment of epic scenes and high emotions. The plot is okay but what definitively stands out is Mel Gibson's performance.

From start to finish, Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) makes you feel excited just watching him. Whether it's with his psychotic bouts, unique demeanour or deep moments, his presence adds an energy to this movie that makes it both fun and insane (in a good way). His quality acting in Lethal Weapon is surely some of the best in cinema.

Besides the amazing casting, the overall story is mediocre. In this film, though, it's the acting that makes it special. There are so many aspects to entertainment, and Lethal Weapon hit the mark with Mel as the lead.

The Interview
(2014)

Nothing to see here
It's not always that a movie leaves me completely unmoved, but The Interview surely did. The entire sequence of forced events made watching it uncomfortable.

The plot isn't inherently bad but the poor execution dulls the entire 112 minutes. From comedy that is cringeworthy to acting that is barely tolerable, it's tough to find motivation to endure through the movie. After a little while, your mind simply becomes numb to sensation.

Seth Rogen and James Franco are not generally known for masterpieces, and this script is no exception. If you're looking for a laugh or just a good time, please look further.

The Ides of March
(2011)

True Colours
The Ides of March is refreshing since it doesn't shy away from revealing people's true selves despite their insecurities and flaws. The movie showcases people as people, in their glory and sorrow, and it conjures up an interesting twist on the drama that is politics.

The casting is strong with leads Ryan Gosling and George Clooney who fall right into their characters—although I can't say the film was particularly moving. The plot is also fairly bland, except for a few scenes, and follows a scandal and the members surrounding a potential Presidential candidate. Despite having great actors/actresses, this movie simply fails to impress on any specific emotional or entertainment level. It meanders a few contentious topics and has surprising moments but ultimately left me untouched after 101 minutes.

Nonetheless, the film is worth the watch. An arguably important concept in our lives is the state and its affairs, and a look at its underpinnings is worthwhile. Hopefully you can take away more from it than I did.

The Babadook
(2014)

Surprisingly Thrilling
The Babadook is a strange name for an even stranger sequence of events surrounding the lives of a young fearful boy and his lonesome mother. At first glance, this movie seems rather ordinary. As time progresses, though, the story became strikingly eerie and drawing. The Babadook is seemingly everywhere, from the police station to your dreams, and once he gets in, there's no coming out.

The entire setting, perfect casting and general execution of such an elegant story make this film a thriller from start to finish. You're always on your toes waiting for the next step, not knowing if Babadook will be there. It's this sense of urgency and anxiety that follows both you and the characters throughout the movie.

With a subtle mix of love, action and genuine horror, The Babadook should not fail to please. It's been a while since I've been so enticed by a horror, but this film certainly did the trick.

Point Break
(1991)

The Tides Have Turned
You don't ever know what you truly have until it's taken away from you. It hits hard, especially when it occurs rather abruptly. Point Break certainly revolves around this central theme and how life is the totality of the individual moments that compose it.

This film is certainly enjoyable. Whether it's Keanu Reeves with his moving dialogue or simply the iconic bank heist scenes; there's rarely a dull moment. From the chases to thrill-seeking adventures, this movie is high tempo and cycles through a myriad of emotions (although not very deeply).

Beyond the pure entertainment value, there isn't much going on. The acting is subpar at best and the plot is fairly weak. Nonetheless, if you're looking to enjoy yourself, Point Break is a solid option.

Hot Fuzz
(2007)

Dare to Ponder?
Hot Fuzz is on the of the most fun movies I've seen in a while. Following officer Nicholas Angel on a frenzy that doesn't end, this film will entertain throughout its span with its crude yet subtle comedy. The interesting detective work doesn't hurt either.

The police force means something to different to everyone, but to constable Angel, it means ensuring the law is upheld at all times. From his bouts with intoxicated minors to rampant ruffians in both the city and countryside, he surely sees it all. With all this under his belt, things go awry in the perfect village that is Sandford, and it's up to him as sergeant to figure out this intricate mystery.

This film has a bit of everything in it and the delivery and casting was well done. You're constantly waiting to see what's developing and it surely is enjoyable from start to end. All things considered, Edgar Wright deserves a kudos for this gem.

Insomnia
(2002)

Clear Cut
Insomnia is almost a collage of several other mystery films (namely Se7en) tied into one, but not distinctively. Although it wasn't completely repetitive, it was as cliché as detective work goes, and the movie didn't stand out one way or another. Whether it's the elusive murderer on the loose or the mentally plagued cop who's trying his best, this movie is predictable and lacks ingenuity.

Accompanying the lack of creativity, the prime actors and actresses had average performances and the emotional conviction in the roles was often lacking. A straight plot followed by routine dialogue made Insomnia rather mundane and an effort to watch. Although there were particular exciting scenes, they were rather short and sparse. The resources were there, but execution was a miss.

Whether it's L.A. Confidential, The Usual Suspects, Se7en or any other great mystery movie, these all had a strong emotional attachment that hook viewers into truly empathizing with the protagonists and mystery at hand. Unfortunately in Insomnia, it's almost like you already know the fate of the characters, and still don't care.

Mulholland Dr.
(2001)

Don't mix dreams for reality
Fantasies play a large but sometimes secretive role in our lives. Imagination is so strong we become blinded by it at times, and it can certainly make for an entertaining story.

Mullholland Dr. is a series of inconclusive scenes—starting from the elusive opening to the realization that we can't run from our demons. Whether it's for the unique perspective or thick plot, this film will definitely entertain and challenge viewers.

Although this film has a lot of great features, the acting and development at various points of the movie were both lacklustre. The oddity and stark change in emotions of the characters was also incredulous. It arguably adds to the entire mystery, but pulls away from the viewing experience and makes the story feel forced.

Lynch is certainly a great director with tricks up his sleeves, but playing them all at once and in poor combination convolutes the story unnecessarily. Surrealism is best when uncultured, but this movie tries to encapsulate different premises and then head a completely contrived direction afterwards. Not a bad idea itself, but execution is key.

It is certainly a film worth watching even if just for the interesting perspective, but flaws throughout Mulholland Dr. make it difficult to enjoy.

Interstellar
(2014)

Anything that can happen, will happen
This is sci-fi at its greatest. Entertaining. Thought-provoking. Inspiring.

There is a lot to love about Interstellar. Whether it's the breathtaking cinematography or the sentimental moments filled with awe, this is certainly an epoch.

Earth is not sustainable—a poignant point clearly expressed throughout the film. With space exploration an upcoming necessity, this movie not only breaks the surface, but delves into the depths of the unknown regarding the ultimate fate of humanity and life in the Universe. Man's survival instinct is one of the strongest driving forces present today, and Interstellar certainly displays the extent of its potential.

Time is of the essence, and every second counts when it could be over a year long, literally. From the initial set surrounding a barren Earth quickly crumbling to the ends of space as we know it (or don't), this movie travels through both space and time trying to find a solution. A solution unknown, but a solution nonetheless.

Imagination is a skill people seldom use or trivialize more often than not. The opportunity to go above and beyond, to not fear the Universe's infinite possibilities but to rather understand it, is one of mankind's greatest achievements and ongoing goals. Interstellar presents a sharp and worthwhile outlook on the world, and how the Universe works in mysterious, unimaginable ways.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
(2011)

No One is Innocent
Innocence is a state we presume until further conviction, and for good reason. This notion of initial innocence is troubling in convoluted situations and potentially blinds us, though. Being afraid to question or inconvenience others is an act of courtesy and cooperation, but failure to do what's needed can also have dire consequences.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has some intricate characters with a great selection in cast. From the elusive Lisbeth to the spiteful Vanger family, the character growth and background surrounding each and every individual is intriguing. Not only are the actors and actresses strong in their respective roles, but the overall environment and atmosphere produced by each particular setting emphasizes the mystery and eeriness involved in every step that may be your last.

The detective work and plot development was interesting (though not necessarily new), but the cast making their parts unique and truly special makes this film one to watch. Immersing the viewer is one of the greatest achievements in film.

The Thing
(1982)

Undeniable ends
The Thing is certainly a creature to fear. Its transformation capabilities yield it one of the strangest yet most powerful weapons introduced to the horror genre. The vulnerability of a population of any size certainly makes the Thing a being with infinite (chaotic) potential and one to hold in high regard.

From the eerie soundtrack to sharp moments, The Thing certainly has the inner workings of a classic. Despite the great technical qualities, I was generally unmoved by the film. Although the oddity and atmosphere in the Antarctic was entertaining throughout, it was rather dull than pure excitement.

The haunting and supernatural plot combined with the scary scenes and chilling vibrations surrounding every movement ensure a moment should not be missed. But alas, it was simply not a movie for me.

The Game
(1997)

What do you give a man whom has everything?
Our lives are full of memories—some we strive for again, some we try to repress. We often say we're glad the way life has panned out, and then again, wonder: what would have happened? With so many possibilities in life, why not wander and explore? Play a game, perhaps?

Life is not all fun (subjectively speaking) but it is certainly a game we don't expect. Perspective is a strong trait we could all use, since insight always helps—though it may come at a cost.

From the unusual start to the incumbent end, we often wish to go back to earlier times. To not agree to terms unknown. To enjoy the peace that exists in simply being. But it's not enough. Insatiable curiosity is the greatest quality we have, yet also our greatest flaw.

From all the materialistic glamour in the world to the virtues we try to emulate, there is much to both search and cradle in this Universe, and also to learn from. Nicholas van Orton has encountered life-altering moments starting from his childhood up to the ever-changing present. Nonetheless, there is always a void. One we hope to fill.

Primer
(2004)

Intricacy of the Universe
Primer is certainly one of the most conceptually intriguing and theatrically complex films I have ever watched. Mapping out the future is no easy task, and the execution of this plot was great. The premise itself is a curious one (i.e. time travelling) and the filming techniques and entire product purely adds to the enigma that surrounds time and its abstraction.

Being a fan of such concepts, Primer certainly attracted me from the start with its elusive projects. As the movie progresses, you realize the film revolves around the infinite possibilities that is the Universe and how they (it) make one feel infinitesimal.

Whether its the original group striving towards a minor breakthrough or the unknown paradox(es) that follow, Primer is as entertaining and stimulating as any. Although the film is intentionally made disruptive and convoluted, it is up to the viewer to connect the dots to this complete mystery...one that may have dire consequences.

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