Archive for March, 2017

Fences was a play written by August Wilson back in 1983 which, years later, won Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In 2010, Kenny Leon directed the broadway based on the book with Denzel Washington and Viola Davis as the leading cast. The book became a source of cinematic adaptation with the very same actors repeating their roles.
 
The film is set in Pittsburgh of the 1950s. It is about a man who wanted to become a baseball player when he was young but couldn’t due to his color. So now he discourages his son to follow the same path.
Fences will be remembered amongst one of the most brilliant films with the most ordinary story. There is simply nothing special or new in the story to watch. What makes this film look great and worth watching is due to almost all the technical aspects besides the story. A gritty drama directed by Denzel Washington and magnificent performances by himself as Troy and Viola Davis as his wife, Rose. I fail to understand why wasn’t Viola nominated in the Oscar for this film in the leading role rather than supporting role. But wherever is she nominated, she is the showstopper.
 
This is my first experience to watch Viola in a well-defined role as her role was pretty short as Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad, plus I have never watched her in How To Get Away With Murder. What is top-notch about her role in the film is her ‘Hurt’ aspect as Troy’s wife. Soon when Denzel reveals some news to her shock, she is different than you have been watching her in the first half of the film. She then drops your jaws and till she has expressed her severe melancholy to her husband, your eyes are about to get wet. She makes you feel what hurts and disappoints her as a loyal wife and a mother. In short, a stupendous accomplishment.

 
Denzel/Viola onscreen chemistry as the old couples is phenomenal. They share few outstanding scenes, an even father-son rigid relation is a stunning sketch which grows your nerves. Besides them, all the actors involved maintains a rich display of supporting characters which make you sit and watch. Like Troy’s brother, Gabriel (Mykelti Williamson) is at a corner but a very attention-seeking character who is mentally unfit and often gets in trouble in the neighborhood. Then both the sons of the Troy are entirely different individuals who have a few verbal exchange and disturbed relation with father due to choosing different careers which father Troy never wished. Troy’s friend Bono (Stephen Henderson) has a different command, a loyal friend who understands Troy’s stance towards his wife and kids, and ideology to life. Denzel as the director is supreme in character detailing. The placement of all the characters is perfect.
 
Fences without violence is a brutal violence in silence. Your ears will listen to the whispers, the cries behind a failed state of an honest individual who roared only when his color became an unbegged penny. A sublime sad film.
Ratings: 8/10
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Although I am not a keen viewer nor do I prefer watching films of the science-fiction genre despite the fact that The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Game of Thrones top the list of my favourite film franchises and TV shows. One day, my brother suggested watching a film of the same genre and that was The Maze Runner which I never heard before. My only piece of knowledge about the film was that Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who plays Jojen Reed in Game of Thrones, was the part of this film. That wasn’t enough but somehow I made my mind to watch even without any of its stills or a trailer.

It took some time to understand the happenings inside a dystopian state where all young kids are stuck at some place in The Maze called The Glade. The Glade has four large walls and each wall has The Door which opens every morning and closes every evening before the dark. To reveal the mystery and dig the existence of the outside world from those Doors, few of the captives run and return before evening to collect the info. The runners then reveal that there are many creatures towards the path which has appendages such as spikes and shears. Those creatures are called The Grievers.

The last two individuals who arrive at this sorry place are the main characters of the film, Thomas, and Teresa. Together they dig the mystery how they ended here and what is the reason behind dropping at this place. Later on, they discover the purpose that all the individuals in The Maze are kept on trials to survive this place.

The fittest will survive and return back to The Creators who sent them on trials in The Maze. The Creators are a group of agents of the organisation called WICKED (World In Catastrophe Killzone Experiment Department). This organisation was formed to find the cure for The Flare, a virus that eats away the brain of the human and turns them into cannibals. The humans who suffer this disease are called The Cranks.

As a viewer, I found the plot of the film very interesting enough to make my mind to read the book with the same title. And when I read, I found a lot of changes but those changes were made in the film for dramatic impact which often happens with almost every book-inspired film.

The book, written by James Dashner, obviously is more open to defining the major characters and the places mentioned. What is more of an interest is how the pages are making Thomas build for a certain cause. How he is grabbing the attention of everyone in the book is very natural. Teresa has a more onscreen appearance in the film as compared to the book as she is in a coma for more than half of the reading since her arrival in The Maze. Also, both Thomas and Teresa are telepathic in the book. Why not in the film? Well, I believe it does make sense.

The best thing about reading a novel is that the reader visits the universe of the author whose subconscious mind creates a powerful fictional story. When I was reading, I felt the existence of Thomas passing through The Doors of The Walls and facing The Grievers and that is the beauty of writing a novel that sends the reader to the universe of those pages.

One factor what I certainly liked about James’ creativity of the plot was the brain behind the construction of the maze and the purpose of sending humans. That is very very human and close to reality. James re-wrote the concept of evolution and theory of survival under his creativity. We all humans are sent to earth for some reason. Our brain doesn’t develop in the earlier phase but with time, it grows and we even memorise some portions of our earliest of living phase. And we have to survive. God send us humans on trials, we are put to test. God is The Creator, I am Thomas, the rest are fellow Gladers, my partner in crime is Teresa, my obstacles are The Grievers, and Satan is The Flare. Marvellous job James!

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M Cream is indiehippie road trippie of two youngsters who are a traggic signal in a hopeless route leading towards chaos. It is a journey leading towards the clouds of heaven.
 
Figaro is a non-conformist and a rebel without a cause who tries to fix the puzzles of his existence after his conservative parents have begun shaping his future. Jay is a voice of revolution and anti-establishment student. Along with them, two more friends join the road trip in pursuit of a mythical drug called M Cream to Himachal Pradesh.
 
The trip is not just a trip but an opportunity for the travellers to dig the philosophical roots of life who questions the caricature of individuality, zodiacs of hope, gashes of rebellion, and cursing religions on the chessboard. Somehow Figs (Figaro) and Jay match their identities and together figures out why peace cannot overtake the corrupted powers when their strive towards a cause goes all in vain in the upheaval.
 
The major aspect of this particular travel film is that the director enchants the Figs-Jay chemistry with the smart blending of literary affection and emotional gravitation. The catchy parts of the film are the conversations between any of the two. In terse, marvellous dialogues! The excessive use of high-quality Urdu and English vocabulary multiplying with joint smoking makes sense.
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M Cream is a convincing hippie film which encourages the generation of the millennials by ignoring the chaos in the surrounding and breath the alfresco to enjoy freedom. The director emphasises on the use of drugs and alcohol, and play a fair game of love and sex.
 
Many scenes are exceptional and turn your brain into building a theory. There is a scene where Figs being religiously discouraged argues with a man who is strict to principles of faith. Both have strong points and the liberal viewers are the best judges. In some other scene, Figs-Jay meets a French journalist-come-activist who fights for the villagers whose land will be seized to build a resort in the name of development. Her struggle for the cause is what leads to pave way for the peace seekers.
 
In technicality, M Cream is superior. Film editing, screenplay and cinematography are brilliant. Imaad Shah as Figaro is very impressive and Ira Dubey as Jay is average. Yes, the film is a little slow in pace to the script but maintains a decent storytelling. Music score by Studio Fuzz is ear soothing.
 
M Cream is a wonderful project. In last, what I can say is that sometimes being a rebel is so romantic.
 
Ratings: 8.2/10
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