A glorious submarine war classic before Popular German Classic 'Das Boot' (1981) that brought two of the greatest on screen legends together.
Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) :
Brief Review -
A glorious submarine war classic before Popular German Classic 'Das Boot' (1981) that brought two of the greatest on screen legends together. I imagined if i was about 30 in 1958 and had seen this film in theatres, what would have been my reaction? Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster together? Here's my 100 bucks. And here's 100 more for delivering a brilliant glorifying war classic and that too with the theme like submarine which had not seen any classic by then and even today there are hardly few films as classics to be known. And i might have bet 100 more for Robert Wise who has delivered some of my favourite classics in his career but I would have had second thoughts considering his inconsistency. Well, Run Silent, Run Deep is based on the 1955 novel of the same name by Commander (later Captain) Edward L. Beach Jr. The story revolves around a U. S. sub commander who is obsessed with sinking a certain Japanese ship, butts heads with his first officer and crew. It reminded me of Humphrey Bogart starrer 'The Caine Mutiny' (1954) for a while, i mean in the begining but then it didn't take more than 10 minutes to realise that it was something totally different. That mutiny thing was here too but for a glorious battle, not like the former film named which was about human conscience falling apart. Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster are too good in their roles. Gable wasn't young then so we had to spare seeing those wrinkles but i was happy to see him playing the role which suited his age unlike 'The Misfits' (1961). For Lancaster, it was tailor made role as it suited that intense looks and attitude of his. Wise has kept it sticked to the context throughout. There are no useless moments like Romance, teary Segments or anything. The grip this film has is totally amazing as the atmospheric airing bounds together with brilliant filmmaking skills of the director. Robert Wise, man.. i salute you for this one.
If it makes you feel better, Well, it didn't to me at least. Rather a blue dust skippable extramarital affair even though i liked Clark Gable & Jean Harlow nailing their parts
Red Dust (1932) :
Brief Review -
'If it makes you feel better' Well, it didn't to me at least. Rather a blue dust skippable extramarital affair even though i liked Clark Gable & Jean Harlow nailing their parts. I don't know what's wrong about some Hollywood films having extramarital affair or love-triangle as the centre theme. Such affairs happens so quickly as if marriage had no value at all. A man or a woman just wouldn't think about his or her faithful wife or husband while getting involved with somebody else. Where the heck loyalty and ethics are drown then? There were many film in 30s and 40s which had the same silly love angle and i have bashed almost every single film right from Gone With The Wind to The Philadelphia Story and many other movies. So, Red Dust is nothing different but the same crap writing coming with a noble thought at the end which didn't 'make me feel better', as they quote. Gable plays the owner of a rubber plantation who meets a prostitute played by blonde Harlow one night and have intimacy. She takes it as true love sort of thing but then Next day Gable gets attracted to a decent lady who happens to be a wife of one of his employee. The wife, who loves her husband gets involved with Gable and both even decide to run away from the rotten town. At last a rotten soul turn noble.. wow claps! Gable and Astor's characters didn't make sense to me at all. Don't see how all of sudden they even thought about this relationship while on the other side, Harlow, who plays a dirty dame made much more sense than expected. Gable and Harlow both made this film somewhat watchable to me otherwise i would felt like wasting 85 minutes of my life. That i feel even now because i could have easily watched any other better film in the meantime. Well, no more bashing so overall it's strictly average film and that's because of the crap writing otherwise performances are delightful.
"You're a Fool, for which I'm grateful." Thanks to this Sweet Film for giving this Insanely Philosophical Quote in Love-triangle.
Wife Vs Secretary (1936) :
Brief Review -
"You're a Fool, for which I'm grateful." Thanks to this Sweet Film for giving this Insanely Philosophical Quote in Love-triangle. I am not sure whether I'm gonna remember this film or this story for a long time, but i am surely gonna remember coulple of quotes. I might just not forget the story too because this is an old-school formula which is hard to forget. The same old story (I'm not sure of it was old for 1936)- A happily married Husband-wife's relationship gets disturbed once the faithful wife starts suspecting her husband's professional relationship with a gorgeous secretary. It is a sweet little film but with some big philosophical words and couple of scenes are damn too good. So, as we know this suspicious nature of wife isn't anything innovative but this film is extremely faithful about it and the characters of it. First, it has cute chemistry between husband and wife. Loved Gable-Loy totally. Two, it shows professional friendship of company owner and his secretary without crossing the limit. Towards the end i suspected that it might just spoil ethical values when Gable looks at Harlow with that look in hotel room but then suddenly he comes to himself when he learns that his wife has just called and hung up. Three, there is another love story of that secretary and even her boyfriend is suspecting about the same. At the end he goes on saying on the finest quotes of 30s decade, "Don't look for trouble where there isn't any. Because if you don't find it, you'll make it." Kisses to James Stewart for that dialogue delivery. Fourth and the last, the insanely philosophical confrontation between wife and secretary. Just a 2 minute scene which shows that even the secretary has a secret crush but her Boss was a one-woman-man. She says to wife, "You're a Fool, for which I'm grateful." And for me, the job was done here. Don't miss it if you're looking for a good fun+romance+drama.
One of the Finest and Most Exclusive Rom-Com from Hollywood's Pre-Code era.
One Way Passage (1932) :
Brief Review -
One of the Finest and Most Exclusive Rom-Com from Hollywood's Pre-Code era. In early 30s when Talkies had just begun, Hollywood was relying mostly on genre-defining films. It's not like that they were all truly new and innovative but just that they would give an advanced talkie strength to the silent classics. Romance is one such genre where dialogues make a solid different and from early 30s i don't remember many films being serious yet entertaining about this genre. The best i remember is Oscar winning 'Grand Hotel', which still had lots of other things than tragic romance. So, Rom-com was hardly explored genre except for couple of Musicals then, and later we got 'It Happened One Night' (1934) which went on to set a landmark for Rom-com genre and is still unmatched. One Way Passage came two years before that and in the same year of Grand Hotel, so, i think one has to keep that in mind while reviewing it. I feel, this was possibly the best writing piece Hollywood could have got in Pre-code era for a Romantic film which mixes comedy and drama in it. I am calling it a rom-com for a better recognition because i don't know any other word for a film which has Con-factor involved in Love Story. A terminally ill woman and a debonair murderer facing execution meet and fall in love on a trans-Pacific crossing, each without knowing the other's secret. That's not it, there are three supporting characters playing important parts and two of them even make a new, interesting Love-Story out of it. That was something new i guess for any film by 1932 and maybe that's why i enjoyed it a lot. There's is fun, there's romance, there's drama, there's bit of emotions and there's some a con-a cop spice added to it which is surely enjoyable. Screenplay, story, performances and direction everything fits perfectly within a short runtime to deliver a highly watchable movie.
A Mind-Staggering Presentation of Yet Another Chapter from Russian History by Master Sergei Eisenstein.
Ivan Groznyy / Ivan The Terrible Part 1 (1944) :
Brief Review -
A Mind-Staggering Presentation of Yet Another Chapter from Russian History by Master Sergei Eisenstein. Whoever seen Sergei Eisenstein's earlier flicks, especially the films from 20s decades would know that what kind of hard-hitting presentation he gives to Historical tales. Whether it is 'Strike' (1925) or 'Battleship Potemkin' (1925) or 'October' (1928), he has never feared to show the brutality of the events even if those were highly provocative and controversial. If you are planning to watch Ivan Groznyy both parts then you should watch those three classics first, not only because those are better films but mainly because you should know what kind of filmmaking Eisenstein followed. Ivan Groznyy is a biopic of Ivan IV of Russia. During the early part of his reign, Ivan the Terrible faces betrayal from the aristocracy and even his closest friends as he seeks to unite the Russian people. The film is about 100 minutes long so it's pacy in that sense but it doesn't have that much dialogues and action. There are many long scenes just to complete small events and it might bore you for a short time but if you know Eisenstein's pattern then you will find it interesting. The way he narrates the story, that framework, close ups, realistic action, intense atmosphere and what not. It's a complete package for Sergei Eisenstein fans. The film even has few controversial scenes and i am not gonna get into arguments about Russian History because i don't know much but like I said, this shows an uncompromised vision of the director. You might forget the actors, the story or the film after a while but you just can't forget the sublime storytelling of Sergei Eisenstein. That's what this film is all about. This may not be that great as those three classics but it is very close and that's more than enough to recommend it.
A superbly crafted coming-of-age drama that describes two different phases of Maturity.
Wake Up Sid (2009) :
Brief Review -
A superbly crafted coming-of-age drama that describes two different phases of Maturity. Wake Up Sid written and directed by Ayan Mukerji may not please audience of a certain matured age (35+ i mean) because it does not really have that sort of intellectual tonic but it is simply unmissable and irresistable life-lesson for youth audience who are still climbing up the ladder of becoming matured, especially the backbenchers. You know from teenager to youth and from youth to manhood, there is only a small gap of 4-5 years but for some people it takes a decade to cross these phases of life. Wake Up Sid is the same old formula of a spoilt boy turning into a matured and responsible man. Hollywood Classic 'Captain Courageous' (1937) started this formula way back in 30s where a spoilt rich and naughty child learns the discipline from a wild, poor man. This same formula has been used in so many films that i can't even count easily. In Bollywood, there was a masterpiece like 'Jagriti' (1954) with the same formula blended with education system and just like that many other films added something of their own by keeping the same idea at centre. Wake Up Sid used the same formula for youthful drama but the film is highly driven according to taste of multiplex audience. That urban touch took away the simplicity and wide appeal but whatever it has to say, it's awfully enough for the projected audience. There are some flaws here and there and it's little long because of songs but thankfully every single song in this film is gonna get you grooving. With this film, i can say, Ranbir got his first ever variable and matured role. Later, he did Barfi and Sanju that cemented his matured acting skills forever. Konkona is as always superb and the supporting cast is good. Undoubtedly, this is Ayan's Best Work and best Writing till date but he couldn't help adding that Dharma's Glamourous Touch which harmed the soul of the script. Overall, Very Good.
Ranbir's First-ever Knockout Skipper role in YRF's attempted drama to clean the dust from the Corporate Desks.
Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year (2009) :
Brief Review -
Ranbir's First-ever Knockout Skipper role in YRF's attempted drama to clean the dust from the Corporate Desks. Bollywood hasn't seen many films made on Corporate world so Rocket Singh has to be called the early biggie in this category. Of course, it was a YRF production and Shimit Amin who had previously delivered a Classic like 'Chak De India', both were helming it together so it has to be big. Ranbir, on the other side, was coming after mediocre or at best say decent films like Saanwariya, Bachna Ae Haseeno and Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. His best by role by that time was certainly 'Wake Up Sid' which released the same year but there also he played the same cheeky cute guy. So, Rocket Singh has to be his first ever Knockout Skipper role where he looks like a leader and leads the entire film all the way on his own shoulder. The reasons are very plausible that because this film doesn't have that typical Romance, Friendship and Family drama which usually eats up a lot of screen space. It is entirely set in 'A Corporate Office' and so whatever Ranbir had to play and others had to play was all about what would they do as employees/partners out there. It isn't hidden fact that evey corporate field is about corruption, manipulation and fake promises and it is not gonna change ever, doesn't matter how hard YRF tried to clean the dust here. And no matter how many people even took it seriously. The film might have gone wrong with some theories but it has got rest of them done right. More than the average piece of writing, this film is about honest Performances, corporate humour and Amin's beautiful direction. The writing may look predictable and quite ordinary in the second half but there's not a single dull frame where Amin has compromised with his work. Overall, a nice attempt but could have been better.
Yet another significant samurai action classic by Toshiro Mifune-Akira Kurosawa duo serves a great sequel to their previous Classic 'Yojimbo'.
Tsubaki Sanjuo / Sanjuro (1962) :
Brief Review -
Yet another significant samurai action classic by Toshiro Mifune-Akira Kurosawa duo serves a great sequel to their previous Classic 'Yojimbo'. When i saw Yojimbo i was surprised that Kurosawa can be so brilliant in Action Genre too. His earlier classics weren't that much action-oriented but still his grasp over the genre alongside period drama set-up was so well that the film went on to become a timeless flick. Yojimbo even saw an unofficial remake, 'A Fistful Of Dollars' (1964), which is also one of the highest rated film at IMDb. Well, Kurosawa's original version was better but the remake gained its own merits for defining 'Spaghetti Western' genre. Anyways, Yojimbo proved that even simple action films can be turned into magnificent cinema and Kurosawa deservingly took away all the credit of it. Next year he brought a sequel called Sanjuro just to prove the same thing again and that too by making it look like a sequel when the entire story is set in different ways. A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen trying to save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent. Originally an adaptation of the Shugoro Yamamoto novel Hibi Heian, the script was altered to incorporate the lead character of the predecessor. This one is shorter than Yojimbo and has few extra twists and Kurosawa even goes for an open ending by serving the moral values of true samurai in respectable manners. Toshiro Mifune as a Ronin is fancy and more clever. That metaphorical quote of 'Best Sword' which is used in the film to describe his character is extremely thoughtful. Nobody would have thought that the Sequel to a Classic like Yojimbo could be fetched so early and easily but Master Akira Kurosawa took this tough challenge and completed it a Like A Boss! Overall, highly recommendable to others and a Must Must Watch for Kurosawa and Mifune Fans.
A lame child born to Cult Classic 'It Happened One Night' a decade later and I Know What I'm Writing
I Know Where I'm Going (1945) :
Brief Review -
A lame child born to Cult Classic 'It Happened One Night' a decade later and I Know What I'm Writing. Frank Capra's timeless It Happened One Night is my Favourite Rom-Com of ALL TIME (although it Not known as a Rom-com but a Screwball Rom-Comedy) and i will not argue with anybody about this. If anyone who doesn't agree with it, he/she must stop reading this review right here. So, let's see the similaraties. A woman is off to some place, away from home to marry someone she loves (that's what i assume), but during the travelling period she falls in love with a man who accompanies her for few days. I Know Where I'm Going has the same plot with few changes here and there and not a single change is comparable to even half of It Happened One Night. A young Englishwoman goes to the Hebrides to marry her older, wealthier fiancé. When the weather keeps them separated on different islands, she begins to have second thoughts. Here we have a greedy girl and there we had Claudette Colbert playing a rich girl. What goes wrong here then? First, the comedy is totally banal. Two, the humour is missing. Three, the sensibile romance is missing. There we see Clarke Gable not talking any advantage of the girl and here we see Roger Livesey being touchy to the girl when he already knows that she is engaged. And the girl tries to keep distance from him showing some laughable psychic changes and yet she doesn't ask him to stop clearly because somewhere she is also fighting with her own conscience. That curse segment, what the hell that was? I mean, how the hell it was related to the context? I didn't understand it at all. So, there is hardly anything sensible in the writing but somehow pacy screenplay and decent performances of Livesey, Hiller and Pamela Brown makes it okayish. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger have made an average that can be beared once but 7.5/10 at IMDb? Highly Overrated!
A well made marathon journey of a Chinese Farmer and his struggle, survival, success and self-interpretation powered by amazing performances of Paul Muni and Luise Rainer.
The Good Earth (1937) :
Brief Review -
A well made marathon journey of a Chinese Farmer and his struggle, survival, success and self-interpretation powered by amazing performances of Paul Muni and Luise Rainer. The Good Earth is a very dramatic film if you look at its period and how it derives the different phases. While covering a marathon life of a Chinese farmer it speaks a lot about The Land/The Earth without saying much like long speeches or monologues. It shows the struggle of a Chinese farmer, who in his young days, was a hard-working man. He marries a slave who remains loyal to him and makes the best wife he could have had. Both of them fight off tough situations and almost waves off death in the worst period like Famine and China's Republican Battle. These two scenes are lined-up just as i have written and those 20-25 minutes in the film are terribly heartbreaking. Especially that riot scene when people declares China as a Republican Nation and goes on looting and berserk losing humanity for the sake of hunger. The couple survives this debacle and does well but then success gets into his head and he loses his morality only to find himself guilty later. Then, there is a visually spectacular climax shot on grand scale. The best thing about this predictable drama/family drama is the fabulous performances of the lead pair Paul Muni and Luise Rainer. Paul is almost unrecognisable in the beginning and i even mistook him for Yul Brynner. His English accent as a local Chinese farmer sounded so cute and his get-up was accurately made. Rainer has less dialogues but she speaks through her expressions and whatever she does is just outstanding. Overall director Sidney Franklin alongwith uncredited Victor Fleming and Gustav Machatý has made a very fine and compelling drama. It's a great watch for Muni Fans and good for others.
A devotional and religiously believable classic inspired by true events on the life Bernadette Soubirous that shall live for 1000 years.
The Song Of Bernadette (1943) :
Brief Review -
A devotional and religiously believable classic inspired by true events on the life Bernadette Soubirous that shall live for 1000 years. I have seen Satyajit Ray Bengali Classic 'Devi' and Marathi Classic 'Deool', both refering towards the same topic as this film but only at the beginning. After the intermission both the films changes the direction and becomes poignant films that exposed religious superstitions and false beliefs. While Devi was about the woman finding her indentity, Deool had a wider and universally appealing message that one should keep his beliefs to himself rather than publicizing it or else the consequences will shatter you life up and down. The Song Of Bernadette is highly believable and positive film by the way. The film opens with a quote, "For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe in God, no explanation is possible." I was quite impressed with this even before the film begun and i was expecting some horrible consequences later on, which, eventually never happened. The film was about faith of the woman and simultaneously it talks about atheist's views. Even few believers who didn't agree with the woman starts believing her later but only because she never lied and those atheists remains firm on their point of view with medical and scientific terms. So, it's a great mix up in that sense. It is not fully curved against the tide nor it supports it fully. Finding this perfect balance for a religious film in 40s is a big achievement in my opinion and that's why i believe this film shall live for 1000 years. Because as we all know and as one quote in the film goes on saying the same that these arguments have beem going on for years and will continue for many more years. That low rating at IMDb might be forced by Atheist so i don't really give a damn about it. For me, it's a Must See Classic and something one of it's own kind.
If there is any Hollywood Film which has done a phenomenal work with this Feminine theme after DW Griffith's Immortal 'Way Down East', then it has to be Johnny Belinda.
Johnny Belinda (1948) :
Brief Review -
If there is any Hollywood Film which has done a phenomenal work with this Feminine theme after DW Griffith's Immortal 'Way Down East', then it has to be Johnny Belinda. When Griffith made 'Way Down East' (1920) in silent era, one couldn't just imagine this kind of exploited feminine subject in cinema world. Way Down East is a Classic already but bringing such content in 1920 makes it immortal. The same film was adopted in Bollywood in late 90s, that's almost 8 decades. Now you can understand how ahead of time it was and is still now. I never thought any other film would do such a phenomenal work again with the same subject but then Johnny Belinda came in my watchlist to prove me wrong and how. A kind doctor volunteers to tutor a deaf-mute woman, but scandal starts to swirl when his pupil is raped and falls pregnant. The additional changes we see in this film are even better than Griffith's classic and that's accountable looking at the developement cinema world had gone through in those 3 decades. Moreover, the main character of the Film here is mute and deaf which makes it even more kind and generous to generate soft feelings towards her. Besides, the protagonist is another kind man whom we can adore and respect for his selfless nature. The chemistry with that sign language and without dialogues is so heartwarming that one could feel it better than talkative characters. At last, the message for women out there, it's not that Hard-hitting but very helpful with soft touch. Jean Negulesco has handled this sensitive subject very well, actually better than what any other director could have done. I loved the way he has put Jan Sterling's character in the film from start to the end. Overall, a heart touching woman oriented classic which deserves some more noise here on internet.
Nothing lot of exciting but Bogart's intense act and Wyler's compatibility makes it a gripping watch.
The Desparate Hours (1955) :
Brief Review -
Nothing lot of exciting but Bogart's intense act and Wyler's compatibility makes it a gripping watch. Some films of Bogart hasn't got great scripts but then there was something in there in his performance and the atmosphere around which made those flicks unmissable. On the other side William Wyler has been inconsistent in his LONG filmography in 30s and 40s. But he did deliver some great classics after specific intervals and those films have made him one of the finest filmmaker in those 3 decades. With The Desperate Hours, he tried his hands in 'Hold-up' drama which ultimately looks like a family-crime-drama. Three escaped convicts move in on and terrorize a suburban household. They plan to leave by midnight but due to some circumstances the plan gets delayed and then it becomes predictable. So, there isn't anything much exciting out there in this household drama but it doesn't drag for a moment either. It based on the 1954 novel and 1955 play of the same name, written by Joseph Hayes, which were loosely built on actual events. This reference of true events gives it a reliability and somewhat a cover-up to the statement i just made that why it isn't exciting and dramatic. The fictional values are less which has lowered the dramatic values of the film but it is uplifted by the intense acts. Especially Humphrey Bogart's. Fredric March as Mr. Hilliard is fantastic too. All the other actors in side roles give their better versions to make it more gripping and watchable. Talking about the screenplay, it could have been trimmed by 10 minutes or so but overall it's fine. Wyler keeps is simple and real just like a stage play and may be that's why it is engaging and compatible to all kind of viewers and some may even over-like it. In one word, Concrete!
Jean Vigo's own anarchist childhood episode adopted as a rebellious children oriented French flick.
Zéro de conduite / Zero For Conduct (1933) :
Brief Review -
Jean Vigo's own anarchist childhood episode adopted as a rebellious children oriented French flick. François Truffaut paid homage to Zero for Conduct in his film The 400 Blows (1959) which is a higher rated film than this french short but for me both the films hold the same rank. I neither over praised 400 Blows because i didn't really find it that amazing nor i am going to sing exaggerated praises for this one. There are reasons for it and that doesn't mean i hate these film or I'm calling them bad. Both are very good products, something really offbeat and powerful but within limits. It is not like that these two film are greatest of all time or so as said by some critics and movie fans. Well, it's Strictly my personal opinion and naturally others are free to have their own. So, The film draws extensively on Vigo's boarding school experiences to depict a repressive, abusive and bureaucratised educational establishment in which surreal acts of rebellion occur, reflecting Vigo's anarchist view of childhood. Now just because it is a short, it is saved otherwise it would have been called a slow film. The 49 minutes version I saw on YouTube (with English Subtitles) is fairly engaging for the first time viewing. First 10 minutes might sound slow but later it gets pacy, especially in the last 15 minutes with all that rebellion stuff. Somehow it takes time to come to the point but the moment which turns a silence into a storm is definitely worthy. When that teacher touches the hand of a student and then humiliating situation is thrown out with those famous abusing words FU.. That's where this film becomes special. Ahead of time and extremely rebellious, which, i guess wasn't done by any film till 1933. So, overall it's a must see for the daring projection but nothing like Greatest kind.
Yet another noteworthy film by Malayalam Cinema in 2021.. What Svati Bhatkal's "Rubaru Roshni" tried to convey through documantary, Kaanekkaane explores as a Feature Film.
Kaanekkaane (2021) :
Movie Review -
Malayalam Cinema is just kicking every competitor out by a margin when it comes to delivering quality content this year. Due to pandemic many films have decided to be on hold so we are getting less films which ultimately is causing less quality and not just quantity. While every other industry is struggling to deliver two to three classic movies in 2021 (including Hollywood), Malayalam industry is running a riot. If i am not miscalculating then Kaanekkaane is like 9th or 10th quality product delivered by Malayalam cinema in 2021 so far. The number might go higher in remaining 3 months of this year and the final count of Malayalam Cinema would be higher than combined total of rest of the Cinema Industries in India. I hope, i am not exaggerating and i will surely be happy to make a stats of comparison by the year end.
Kaanekkaane is a film that gives a new dimensions to human conscience through cinematic liberty. What we have earlier seen in Drishyam 2 this year but here it's different, rather say it's completely opposite figuratively. Deputy Tahsildar Paul Mathai arrives in town for some court matters. He is warmly received by his son-in-law Allen. Wondering when he would see his grandson again, Paul is leaving Allen's home, when something catches his eye. There comes the shift in the lives which leads to an emotional and thrilling journey of all these characters. It reminded me of Svati Bhatkal's Documentary 'Rubari Roshni' (2019), produced by Aamir Khan Productions which gave a thought-provoking message of Forgiveness. Sometimes it's better to forgive and let go the culprit than seeking revenge and all these stories in there were coming from true events and so it became an eternal Classic for me. Here, Kaanekkaane gets the same but with a single episode unlike multiple stories in Rubaru Roshni. Kaanekkaane has got a treatment of a thriller and the atmospheric genius work can be notice through consistently hopping background score and excellent Cinematography.
The performances in the film have made it even better. All the characters look real excluding couple of bluffs. Tovino Thomas, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Aishwarya Lekshmiand Shruti Ramachandran and everyone in the supporting cast have delivered upto their potential. The screenplay is slow at the beginning with those pauses and all but after a while the same pauses start looking thrilling and give you chills. The storytelling becomes more intense and matured as the time passes and because it has a runtime of about 120 minutes, it holds pretty much fine despite slow start.
The writing makes the job easy for the director as it tries to gamble within a offbeat theme. The conflict between two different human conscience is not a regular thing in any cinema industry. If you remember Hollywood Classic 'Ox Bow Incident' (1943) which gave a staggering speech on human conscience then i don't think any film has come close to that in these 8 long decades. So, it's an unusual thing and the way it is goofed up with human relations, guilt, compassion and forgiveness it all makes it super exclusive in a way. There are few things that have gone wrong but it's not a big issue as Director Manu Ashokan has managed to find a getaway to a certified triumph. In final words, another fabulous Malayalam Film this year and very close to a Classic tag.
A notable work of pre-code sci-fi human-horror by Hollywood in the same year when they got their Best Human-Horror Classic 'Freaks'.
Island Of Lost Souls (1932) :
Brief Review -
A notable work of pre-code sci-fi human-horror by Hollywood in the same year when they got their Best Human-Horror Classic 'Freaks'. Tod Browning's 'Freaks (1932) is one of my favorite human-horror flick from Hollywood because it convinces those emotions by hitting the right chords. It wasn't about scary horror episode like 'Nosferatu', 'Frankenstein', 'Dracula' or 'The Mummy' which were made before it and all were Classics but it was about sentiments and human nature. Island Of Lost Souls is a worthy and notable attempt in extending the limits of this Human-Horror genre where there is no ghost or evil but scientifically disabled and ugly faces covering the part of horrifying creatures. Erle C. Kenton's film has an interesting storyline which mixes up humans and animals with medical experiments and it also blends those mainstream emotions and human feelings with it perfectly. The plot centers on a remote South Pacific island where mad scientist, Dr. Moreau, secretly conducts experiments to accelerate evolution in plants and animals, with horrific consequences. Charles Laughton as Dr. Moreau is just fantastic. At some occasions he as a human scientist feels more frightening than those horrible creatures. His attitude and course of throwing his dialogues passionately is simply amazing. Supporting him, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams, Bela Lugosi and Kathleen Burke have done whatever their parts needed and very much convincingly. The film is short, its about 70 minutes only and so the pace never gets slow. Once you hop on it, you never realise when an hour or so is passed and The End has appeared. Kenton's experimental sci-fi horror drama is not a Classic (at least for me), but if there is anything best after Browning's 'Freaks' in that time belonging to this specific theme, then Island Of Lost Souls has no competition at all. Overall, a great attempt and worthy invention in drawing new proportions of Horror Genre.
Fred Zinnemann and Montgomery Clift both gets their First ever Individual Classic in this heart warming tale of The Desperate Search carried by World War II Victims.
The Search (1948) :
Brief Review -
Fred Zinnemann and Montgomery Clift both gets their First ever Individual Classic in this heart warming tale of The Desperate Search carried by World War II Victims. There have been many films made on WW 1 and 2 by the time this film released but I don't remember many films being driven mainly by a child character. The best i remember is Italian Classic 'Life Is Beautiful' (1997) but that was too late. Maybe one or two Swedish Classics were there in 60s but that's again after this film. Fred Zinnemann had made 5-6 films already and those were good but none of them can be considered as classic. With this film i can say he had got his First Ever Classic and later he went on to make couple of more 'High Noon' (1952) and 'From Here To Eternity' (1953). Montgomery Clift made his Hollywood debut with this and it must be so good to start off a legendary career with a Classic, no? The film is not centred at him, it's centred child played by Ivan Jandl. That Child the longest screen space here followerld by Clift, Aline MacMahon and Jarmila Novotná. It tells the story of a young Auschwitz survivor and his mother who search for each other across post-World War II Europe. As expected, it has that heartwarming climax but before that it shows that desperate search of the mother and the son who were lost during the WW II. This is the soul of the film and although it doesn't carry any hard-hitting and extremely realistic storyline in brutal manners, it stays very close to the context with its mainstream features. The Performances are lovely, screenplay is not boring, dialogue are okay but needs subtitles templates some times and the Cinematography is decent. Zinnemann has crafted this sensitive script very nicely and if there's any reason why this film does not lose its identity, then it's his direction only. Overall, another Classic made on WW horrors but this one has a Child at the centre which isn't just another thing.
The Best 'Teacher Tale' ever told in Hollywood. The fans of Captain Courageous, Dead Poets Society, Front Of The Class or any other Film can argue for the second spot.
Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939) :
Brief Review -
The Best 'Teacher Tale' ever told in Hollywood. The fans of Captain Courageous, Dead Poets Society, Front Of The Class or any other Film can argue for the second spot. Having seen couple of great classic tales of a teacher from Hollywood, I considered them as best but today, i came across the true Best Film which beats out those 2-3 great classics i knew. Bollywood is much ahead in this subjective genre with Masterpiece movies like 'Jagriti' (1954) and 'Taare Zameen Par' (2007) and Goodbye Mr. Chips does not surpass them for sure but surely crosses the other Hollywood greats comfortably. Well, that's my list these three films i mean, if you know any better classics then you can watch it and decide for yourself. Based on the 1934 novella Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton, the film is about Mr Chipping, a beloved aged school teacher and former headmaster of a boarding school, who recalls his career and his personal life over the decades. You see, any Teacher drama made out there would only Focus on that specific period of time as the need of the story but this film covers whopping six decades of the Teacher's career. That's the longest covered period in any such film i guess and that why it's unbeatable. First, it's about his cold nature, shyness and loneliness then it's about his Love Life and how it turns him into a joyful teacher who instantly becomes everybody's favourite. Then follows a tragedy, some emotional scene there will break your heart for sure. One is that April Fool scene. One is the climax, when they show that Attendance Footage and who on earth knew that these normal footages will be used as glycerine at the end to make you cry. And after all this there is War reference and one of them is highly important for the Humanity when he announces the death of an opponent's soldier. It's a pure nostalgia. It's so rich in every aspect. A Classic not to be forgotten.
25 Years before 'My Fair Lady' won Oscars. This Non-musical adaptation of Pygmalion is so close to Greek Myth and draws perfect parallels with a Fulfilling Ending.
Pygmalion (1938) :
Brief Review -
25 Years before 'My Fair Lady' won Oscars. This Non-musical adaptation of Pygmalion is so close to Greek Myth and draws perfect parallels with a Fulfilling Ending. I saw cinematic adaptation of musical play 'My Fair Lady' last year and i still think that it deserved the Oscars. But i hadn't seen this first copy of the Pygmalion's play then. And Oscars was adoring musicals too much in 60s decade. George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion didn't have an open or happy ending and for 1913 it was too brilliant. However, 30s rom-com needed a sensible conclusion at any cost and that's what this cinematic adaption provided it. My Fair Lady was almost 3 hours long because of Musical Numbers and Pygmalion is almost same as half of its runtime which makes it more engaging and gripping. If i had to remove musical numbers from My Fair Lady then i can firmly State that Pygmalion is better than My Fair Lady. And one more thing is, Pygmalion has that expressive Love Story angle, egoistic conversations from the sides and mainly that sensibile talk between them. I don't remember any single line said about Love by Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn in the film. But, Musicals have their own charm so let's not degrade My Fair Lady and to bash Oscars i would write a separate article some other time. A phonetics and diction expert makes a bet that he can teach a cockney flower girl to speak proper English and pass as a lady in high society. Leslie Howard makes a great processor Higgins and he didn't look as old as Harrison. Wendy Hiller as Eliza is superb with her phonetics and looks. Asquith and Howard both have done a super fine job as directors and considering the other Classic rom-coms of 30s decade i don't think this film is anywhere behind. I loved My Fair Lady but cinematically, technically and reliably 'Pygmalion' is much better.
Bogart-Bacall chemisty can over-shine even a formal script. Early vibes of The Shawshank Redemption by playing a soft game.
Dark Passage (1947) :
Brief Review -
Bogart-Bacall chemisty can over-shine even a formal script. Early vibes of The Shawshank Redemption by playing a soft game. I intentionally kept this film as the last of Bogart-Bacall after 'To Have And Have Not' (1944), 'The Big Sleep' (1946) and 'Key Largo' (1948). Maybe because i knew this story already and Murder Mystery topic was all explored to me. While watching those three other films too, i had feeling of watching something copied from somewhere. For instance, To Have And Have Not reminded me of Masterpiece 'Casablanca' (1942), but what a cracking chemistry Bogart-Bacall made in these films. Sometimes i think that if Bacall had debuted early then she might have done 'Casablanca' too and much better than Ingrid Bergman. That's because Bacall had that attitude to throw hard-hitting dialogues and Bergman was more like a soft stuff but anyways Casablanca's Role was meant to be for her. Bacall might have been too strict for that. Anyways, the point is Bogart-Bacall chemistry right from their first film and this film is no exception. Like I said, a murder mystery could be predictable when it is not made as an pure thriller so yes the script looks very formal but this duo Bogart-Bacall have made it over-shine. A man convicted of murdering his wife escapes from prison and works with a woman to try and prove his innocence. As expected, the love story follows and whether or not it was needed, that can be argued. I was just thinking about it and then suddenly it started making sense. That good-bye scene and the climax (The Dark Knight Rises Vibes) was so good for such love story. Delmer Daves did leave an impact with the experimental storytelling of not showing the protagonist's face in the first half-an-hour but i won't blame him much. The script couldn't have got better performances, cinematography and direction than this so overall, it's not w Classic but Fantastic.
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, Forever.. The Best Horror-Comedy of All Time. A genre-defining Classic with deserving Cult Following.
The Old Dark House (1932) :
Brief Review -
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, Forever.. The Best Horror-Comedy of All Time. A genre-defining Classic with deserving Cult Following. Watching 'Scary Movie' (2000) 10 year ago during my college days was fun, actually too much fun. Because the adult humour and vulgarity was attractive in my teenage days. But Today as a matured movie fan i find it little silly. Now, when i learnt about James Whale and his Classic Horror Movies of 1930s decade and especially this film, 'The Old Dark House' which started this Horror-Fun segment in true sense, i feel blessed. I feel blessed to have known and have seen Whale's works, not just this film but 'Frankenstein', 'The Invisible Man' and 'Bride Of Frankenstein' as well. Set in interwar Wales, the film follows five travellers who seek shelter from a violent storm in the decaying country house home of the eccentric Femm family. A complete madhouse but with impeccable humour and geniune gags, and all this makes it worth watching and a timeless flick by all means. If i liked Scary Movie for its adult humour only because i fancied vulgar fun in teenage, then i must adore this pure comic humour of brilliant cinematic perspectives for lifetime. Look at the characters man. How funny and peculiar they all are. Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Gloria Stuart, Charles Laughton, Lilian Bond, Ernest Thesiger, Raymond Massey and Eva Moore everyone brings that specific horror and laugh and we just can't stop getting involved with them. James Whale started a new genre, rather he made it outstanding by polishing it, if not established it. 7/10 at IMDb..? I mean how?? How can we Hardcore Movie Fans be so dumb and irresponsible to keep this film with such low rating? Make it 8/10 at least, it deserves that much. I strongly believe that there can hardly be any film in Horror-Comedy genre which can Match this ageless entertainment riot.
Lon Chaney Jr. Walks away with The First Ever Memorable performance of his career in this Moving Human Drama of an abnormal man and his survival alongside level headed Bestie.
Of Mice And Men (1939) :
Brief Review -
Lon Chaney Jr. Walks away with The First Ever Memorable performance of his career in this Moving Human Drama of an abnormal man and his survival alongside level headed Bestie. Some films have their success key lying in the simple theories of human nature. Of Mice And Men may be set in depression era and starts off intensely, but later it makes a splendid human drama out of not-so-dramatic segments. There is no hardcore melodrama, romance or any such front loaded things that usually makes you move but still the narrative tops all the charts just by using simple human life story. The idea was new and unique though. A mentally disabled giant and his level headed guardian find work at a sadistic cowboy's ranch in depression era America. This combo you see, a man with power but less brain and a man with less power but more brain makes a solid pair. That bromance is heart touching for sure. You might have seen the same formula later in many movies but believe you me, you won't find anything better and original than this unless there was something made before and i haven't seen it yet. Lon Chaney Jr. Had acted in many films by 1939 but his portrayal of Lennie Small in this film became his breakthrough role. And deservingly so. He is outstanding in this abnormal role and maybe that abnormality gives a soft corner to him but anyways he was Great. His cousin George is played by Burgess Meredith very nicely. Lewis Milestone has done a fine job as a director knowing that the film isn't highly dramatic and lacks conflicts as such tragedies or anything overheated. All it got is simple storyline with excellent screenwriting. How many scenes i tell you are gonna stay with me. That dog shooting scene was heartbreaking but it was more heartbreaking when the same theory was used on a human in the climax. This is pure Cinematic Intelligence without any hard push. Overall, a Classic Human Drama.
HG wells' Iconic Novel confers Hollywood its First Ever Classic in Sci-Fi Horror Genre. A tremendous achievement that hadn't been matched for 4 Decades.
The Invisible Man (1933) :
Brief Review -
HG wells' Iconic Novel confers Hollywood its First Ever Classic in Sci-Fi Horror Genre. A tremendous achievement that hadn't been matched for 4 Decades. Watching 'Hollow Man' (2000) in childhood on TV was a fascinating experience for me but Today when i look at that film as a matured movie buff, i find it barely average flick. But i won't hesitate to accept the fact that the story, the idea, the concept of an Invisible Man always fascinates me and will remain my Childhood memory. Actually, Bollywood flick 'Mr. India' (1987) will always remain that Timeless Classic for me as far as this subject of an Invisible Man is concerned. Well, as i stated earlier that The Invisible Man remained an unmatched Classic in Sci-Fi Horror genre for 4 decades then you must know that i was directly referring to next best Sci-Fi Horror Classics made in Hollywood- 'Alien' (1979) and 'The Thing' (1982). Though, these were not about Invisible Man, it was all about next tremendous achievement in this specific genre. So, The Invisible Man is based on HG Wells' Novel of the same name and cinematic designing of this film is just wonderful. A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane. The story was predictable even for someone who didn't hear about the novel but that's not a Big issue here cause the narrative is very engaging and highly entertaining. It will blow your mind with those Visuals and i just can't imagine how people would have felt while watching this whole magnificent thing on screen in 1933. I mean, it still feels so mind-boggling after 9 decades in 2021. A staggering work of fiction by James Whale and Kudos to this man for defining the entire Horror Genre in Hollywood with consecutive classics in 30s decade. Overall, a great team effort and a wholesome sci-fi horror Classic that will never get old.
Undoubtedly, the best cinematic adaptation of a gibberish horror legend. Lon Chaney Jr. Makes a great carrier of his father's legacy in this genre.
The Wolf Man (1941) :
Brief Review -
Undoubtedly, the best cinematic adaptation of a gibberish horror legend. Lon Chaney Jr. Makes a great carrier of his father's legacy in this genre. I have been hearing about this Werewolf tale since childhood. From grandma, from tv serials, from horror books and horror movies etc. But here in India, we were too late to make a mark. It became almost like late 70s, and then 80s had some scary horror flicks made by Ramsay Bros. For Hollywood, it was early 30s, almost 5 decades before Bollywood and Indian Cinema. This werewolf tale was once explored in 20s i guess, in a silent feature, which didn't come out that great or noticeable enough. And there was one in mid 30s too, this time something good but again not on high level. So, 'The Wolf Man' got a little late but finally provided us that Must Watch Werewolf Movie. Had this been made in early 30s, I would have declared it a Classic in my dictionary and i am reducing 1 star in the final rating only for that. So, we all know this story from somewhere. Larry Talbot returns to his father's castle in Wales and meets a beautiful woman. One fateful night, Talbot escorts her to a local carnival where they meet a mysterious gypsy fortune teller. He kills a werewolf with his silver-headed cane but is bitten by him to follow the curse. There is nothing much experimental here but the course of telling a horror tale is damn interesting. That visual extravaganza the werewolf's character adds, makes it overwhelming and look very handsome. Say, Timeless is the best word to review it. Lon Chaney Jr's impeccable portrayal of Larry and The Wolf Man reminded me of his father's remarkable roles he did in 20s. Claude Rains plays his father very effectively. The supporting cast does great and the dialogues are so gibberish+scientific yet haunting. Waggner's direction skills and powerful storytelling makes The Wolf Man a Must See Horror Flick.
The Grandmother of all 'The Mummy' Films. Boris Karloff's terrifying episode is more haunting than any other VFX-driven film made decades later.
The Mummy (1932) :
Brief Review -
The Grandmother of all 'The Mummy' Films. Boris Karloff's terrifying episode is more haunting than any other VFX-driven film made decades later. 1931, Boris Karloff plays Frankenstein on screen to deliver the long-time haunting experience to the viewers. The same year we had Dracula- another Horror classic. Let's move to next year quickly, Karl Freund, who was photographer for Dracula makes his second directorial feature, The Mummy, and gifts the Best Egyptian Driven Horror Classic to World Cinema. In the film, an ancient Egyptian mummy named Imhotep is discovered by a team of archaeologists and inadvertently brought back to life through a magic scroll. Disguised as a modern Egyptian named Ardeth Bay, Imhotep searches for his lost love, who he believes has been reincarnated into a modern girl. It's a complete spectacular show from start to the end. 73 minutes of runtime and i didn't even realise when the hour and plus passed. I didn't move from the place and was so hooked to the storyline, neither i took my eyes off it. What a gripping storytelling and atmospheric intelligence this film had shown in early 30s.. it's simply unbeatable. I have seen other 'Mummy' Flicks, that 50s version then the 90s Version in my childhood and that was favourite too. Recently, there was a Tom Cruise starrer which came out as a disappointed but now when I saw this 30s film after seeing all those 4-5 films made later, I realised how brilliant and advanced the filmmaking was then and that too without any heavy VFX portion. Those horrifying eyes of Boris Karloff and how the cinematographer shows it still gives me jitters. Acting, writing, screenplay, dialogues, storytelling, visual effects (whatever little it had), production value and direction everything about this Film is Flawless. An underrated Horror Classic that should be in Top 10 Horror Classics of All Time.