Tag Archives: Rasputin

Film Review: The King’s Man (2021)

The King’s Man is the third chapter in the Kingsman series of films that takes the audience more than a hundred years back to present what were the causes and factors involved that gave birth to the Kingsman organization. Directed by the same guy, Michael Vaughn, this film touches on so many important political events that happened before, during, and after World War I.

The Kingsman films are basically a comic book series ‘Kingsman‘ written by Mark Millar and the artwork by Dave Gibbons. Kingsman is so far consisting of three parts, starting with ‘The Secret Service‘ of 6 issues. Then ‘The Big Exit‘ which is only 1 issue. And then ‘The Red Diamond‘ of 6 issues. Keeping in mind, Mark Millar gave birth to Kingsman in 2012 and Michael Vaughn picked the literature in 2014; so the Kingsman franchise in all formats has made steady progress in just 10 years.

Rhys Ifans as Rasputin in 20th Century Studios’ THE KING’S MAN. Photo credit: Peter Mountain. © 2020 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

History has been one of my favorite subjects. Therefore, time-traveling with Kingsman to one of the most important political events in history was necessary. Of course, the events were not historically accurate. Hitler didn’t kill the Tsars, Mata Hari didn’t seduce Woodrow Wilson, Rasputin wasn’t a fighter, and many more.

There may be two reasons for these inaccuracies. One is that Michael Vaughn took the liberty to present the film with such theatrical license to become how the history would look like to build a purpose of giving birth to an organization.

The other reason is maybe this is how the original source of the comic book series is written. And if that is so, then the historical inaccuracy does not become a problem because the writer has the liberty to present his/her audience the way he/she wants to write a fictional story on a real event. There is no argument in that. There are tons and tons of fictional novels based on real events and that is completely okay. If anyone still has any objection, let me drop this to you, Joker was once Iran’s representative to the United Nations *cough*.

One more fact that we need to acknowledge is that Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons themselves are the executive producers of all three Kingsman films. So no one should have any problem with any portion of the story if the Gods of that universe are the ones financing these films.

Michael Vaughn’s direction was quite different than the previous two installments. But I must say, the direction was pretty complex in the middle of the film. I felt the film was deliberately running fast, they have to catch the train and reach the platform where the organization will come into existence. But also, Michael Vaughn usually paces the screenplay.

The casting of this film is so elite and perfect. Ralph Fiennes in the leading role as the Duke of Oxford was marvelous thought. He perfectly suits a franchise like Kingsman. Tom Hollander! I mean what a smart and intelligent pick for the triple role of Tsar, Wilhelm, and George. Giving such heavy roles to the same actor was funny and clever as two of the three, Tsar and George were identical. To my utter shock, Rasputin is played by Rhys Ifans. Never imagined him being Rasputin. What a thought! He looked so Rasputin in superb makeup. And I found this Rasputin in physical presence better than Ben Cartwright‘s in the limited series, The Last Czars.

And then the fast action sequences, that have been important elements of Michael Vaughn’s filmography, will not disappoint. Rasputin’s fighting was fun to watch, I was laughing at this action sequence because Rasputin was fighting with elements of Russian folk dance.

Maybe the film is not appreciated because of the complex direction in the middle of the film and is quite different than the first two Kingsman films. But I recognize the importance of this film and I think it was quite alright. I liked the idea of how one evil sent his followers to bring hell on the global powers. This film is extremely political and may also be the reason that Kingsman fans showed less fondness as compared to the other two. But I believe, this film stays untouched by the graceful aesthetics and makes no harm in this Kingsverse. With the development in the mid-credit scene, I wait for its continuity.

Ratings: 8.2/10

TV Review: Houdini (2014)

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I am yet to understand the logic of fictionalizing historic events or biographies and deceiving the viewers who are under impression that seeing is believing… What would happen if the storyteller speaks the true lines parallel to someone’s life? Won’t the viewers appreciate and fully accept? I wanted to see a biographic docudrama about the life of the great Harry Houdini and then, things unexpectedly went wrong…

First, let me brief you on who he was. Harry Houdini was a son of a Rabbi and belonged to a Jewish-immigrant Hungarian family who moved to the United States when he was a kid. At a small age, he became a trapeze artist to feed his family. He loved reading and once read French magician Houdini’s autobiography which inspired him to practice magic and changed his real name Erik Weisz to Harry Houdini. Later on, he became an illusionist and escape artist, saying in terse an entertainer. Houdini was a freemason.

Nicholas Meyer, the writer who famously wrote Star Trek movies, Time After Time and directed Sommersby, wrote ‘Houdini‘. Despite the fact that the miniseries was funded by History Channel, it still was historically the least accurate story about Houdini crossing most of the limit.

houdini-history-channel-image

Neither there is any evidence that Houdini got trapped in a frozen river nor did he get fame by escaping from jail. He never grew up or bought a large home in Brooklyn, nor did he work with a magician when he was a kid. Houdini’s secret-keeper Jim Collins was never American from Georgia but English and Houdini never played a bullet-catching act in his prime and never in a private performance for the last German Emperor, Wilhelm II.

Houdini’s bondage sex with British painter Elizabeth Thompson (well-known as Lady Butler) is one of the most bizarre plots to establish. Forget this ding-dong, there is no indication if they ever met. Houdini’s wife never took the promise from her husband to give up escapes. On the contrary, she was his biggest admirer and supporter of his work. His interest in spiritualism came in the last phase of his life, the truth is that he was interested from the start of his magic career.

There is no evidence that Mina Crandon (Miss Margery) ever seduced Houdini or in his hotel room. He never offered punches on the stomach, his first recorded punch was in his last year during a lecture at MacGill University. He never collapsed on stage during his final performance before rushing towards the hospital. In fact, he completed the show and came back hotel.

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Wanna know worse than that? At your own risk! This is the biggest technical mistake of the whole miniseries when it comes to historical timeline accuracy by the way. There is a 1903 scene where Houdini is invited by the Russian Royal family to present a private performance. One of the wishes is to make the Kremlin Bells ring which he does. Among the attendees is the mad monk, Rasputin.

If the reader carefully read these last few Russian scenes and if he/she has some knowledge of Russian history, then the reader will understand that the makers come up with one of the biggest blunders; 

1. Rasputin never met the Russian royal family i.e. the Romanovs in 1903. It was November 1905 when Princess Milica of Montenegro presented Rasputin to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

2. Kremlin Clock is on Spasskaya Tower in Moscow. Moscow? Under the Russian Empire, St. Petersburg was the capital from 1730 till 1917. How come Houdini performed in front of the Romanovs in Moscow instead of St. Petersburg?

I would hugely recommend Houdini fans and those who would like to dig his life to better log on to www.wildabouthoudini.com or www.thegreatharryhoudini.com

If the viewers would like to watch Houdini leaving the historical accuracy behind, then the plus is Adrien Brody‘s central role of Houdini. Adrien has every right to receive full-marks appreciation as his selection was the biggest trump card the makers played. Like Houdini, Adrien also is Jew, Hungarian from his mother’s side, not born but grew up and lived in the United States. If that is not enough then like Houdini, Adrien Brody also performed magic tricks at a young age. That is the reason, Adrien performed most of the tricks in the series on his own. Kristen Connolly as Houdini’s wife has done a terrific job.

To sum up and try to end this post in a better way, I would like to raise one question to the makers of Houdini. Please tell me just pleeeeaaassseeeeee tell me I beg you; in the series, how come Houdini’s eyes were brown in childhood and green when he was adult??? :’S

Ratings: 4/10

Follow me on TWITTER @saminaik_asn

TV Review: Houdini (2014)

oJhmp3cEmBA.market_maxres

I am yet to understand the logic of fictionalizing historic events or biographies and deceiving the viewers who are under impression that seeing is believing… What would happen if the storyteller speaks the true lines parallel to someone’s life? Won’t the viewers appreciate and fully accept? I wanted to see a biographic docudrama about life of the great Harry Houdini and then, things unexpectedly went wrong…

First let me brief you who he was. Harry Houdini was son of a Rabbi and belonged from a Jewish-immigrant Hungarian family who moved to United States when he was a kid. At a small age, he became a trapeze artist to feed his family. He loved reading and once read French magician Houdini’s autobiography that inspired him to practice magic and changed his real name Erik Weisz to Harry Houdini. Later on he became illusionist and escape artist, saying in terse an entertainer. Houdini was a freemason.

Nicholas Meyer, the writer who famously wrote Star Trek movies, Time After Time and directed Sommersby, wrote ‘Houdini‘. Despite the fact that the miniseries was funded by History Channel, it still was historically the least accurate story about Houdini crossing most of the limit.

houdini-history-channel-image

Neither there is any evidence that Houdini got trapped in a frozen river nor did he get fame by escaping from jail. He never grew up or bought a large home in Brooklyn, nor did he work with a magician when he was a kid. Houdini’s secret-keeper Jim Collins was never American from Georgia but English and Houdini never played a bullet-catching act in his prime and never in a private performance for last German Emperor, Wilhelm II.

Houdini’s bondage sex with British painter Elizabeth Thompson (well-known as Lady Butler) is one of most bizarre plot to establish. Forget this ding-dong, there is no indication if they ever met. Houdini’s wife never took promise from her husband to give up escapes. In contrary, she was his biggest admirer and supporter of his work. His interest in spiritualism came in last phase of his life, the truth is that he was interested from the start of his magic career.

There is no evidence that Mina Crandon (Miss Margery) ever seduced Houdini or in his hotel room. He never offered punches on stomach, his first recorded punch was in his last year during a lecture at MacGill university. He never collapsed at stage during his final performance before rushing towards hospital. In fact he completed the show and came back hotel.

HOU_10212013_EE_0393A.JPG

Wanna know worse than that? At your own risk! This is the biggest technical mistake of the whole miniseries when it comes to historical timeline accuracy by the way. There is a 1903 scene where Houdini is invited by Russian Royal family to present a private performance. One of the wish is to make the Kremlin Bells ring which he does. Among the attendees is the mad monk, Rasputin.

If the reader carefully read these last few Russian scenes and if he/she has some knowledge of Russian history, then the reader will understand that the makers come up with one of the biggest blunders; 

1. Rasputin never met the Russian royal family  i.e. the Romanovs in 1903. It was November, 1905 when Princess Milica of Montenegro presented Rasputin to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

2. Kremlin Clock is on Spasskaya Tower in Moscow. Moscow? Under the Russian Empire, St. Petersburg was the capital from 1730 till 1917. How come Houdini performed in front of the Romanovs in Moscow instead of St. Petersburg?

I would hugely recommend Houdini fans and those who would like to dig his life to better log on to www.wildabouthoudini.com or www.thegreatharryhoudini.com

If the viewers would like to watch Houdini leaving the historical accuracy behind, then the plus is Adrien Brody‘s central role of Houdini. Adrien has every right to receive full-marks appreciation as his selection was the biggest trump card the makers played. Like Houdini, Adrien also is Jew, Hungarian from mother’s side, not born but grew and lived in United States. If that is not enough then like Houdini, Adrien Brody also performed magic tricks at young age. That is the reason, Adrien performed most of the tricks in the series on his own. Kristen Connolly as Houdini’s wife has done a terrific job.

To sum up and try to end this post in a better way, I would like to raise one question to the makers of Houdini. Please tell me just pleeeeaaassseeeeee tell me I beg you; in the series, how come Houdini’s eyes were brown at childhood and green when he was adult??? :’S

Ratings: 4/10

Follow me on TWITTER @saminaik_asn