Thursday, April 13, 2006

Eternal Sunshine of a spotless mind - Movie Review

The title and its connection to the storyline piqued my curiosity because at the time I watched the movie I really did not pay attention to that part about the poem “Eloisa and Abelard” by Alexander Pope. Is this the idea behind the title? “Ignorance is Bliss”? And if you are not in a position to ignore it, try by all means to forget it ?

Well after writing those lines I proceeded to read the poem… and was taken completely by it. I suggest everyone to read it.

The poem in short:
The story in the poem is about a love affair between a mature man and a much younger and intelligent woman. Abelard and Eloisa fell in love. Abelard had difficulties in committing. Eloisa is forced to become Abelard’s secret wife or give up her love. Eloisa had strong connections… people who did not take to the former arrangement pleasantly and they did the unmentionable to Abelard. A and E break-up and took to the church to drown their sorrows. Abelard became a monk and Eloisa a nun.

Their love affair ended there, or so you would think. The reminiscences of the two erstwhile lovers, their suffering and a lament of their present situations are engraved in 7 monumental letters that they exchange 10 years after the break-up. Alexander Pope chanced upon three letters written by Eloisa and composed them into a memorable poem… a few verses of which, translated to an opus of tragic love in this movie.

Eloisa, a nun who has surrendered her life to the services of God, longs for the unstressed life a loveless vestal (Latin virgin committed to the church) leads. Oh!! She yearns for obedient slumbers and alert hours. For composed desires and even temperament. To have the ability to forget the world that had in turn forgotten about her. For a spotlessly clean mind devoid of unpleasant emotions. Would not life be eternally sunny? Life is truly torturous beyond failed love.

The leads in short:
Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet:
Jim is introduced as the modern world corruption of Abelard. Not quite as learned as Abelard but at least as indecisive and emotionally constrained. He is “constitutionally unable to make eye contact with another woman”, a recluse, loser, a recalcitrant coward, who does not have a very promising life ahead of him.
Kate is introduced as the exact opposite of Jim. Ebullient yet extremely sentimental, is young and has a very positive attitude towards life.
Jim and Kate naturally fall in love and are inexorably attracted towards each other. Their dialogues are commonplace but suit the situation. It is vaguely pleasurable to follow their conversation. In fact I liked it all the more when I read through the script. The two do the A and E. To what level do they go in this story?

The script in short:
Kauffman does not go into complete insanity like probably P.T Anderson would have. His story-telling is unique to the point of being insane but stops there. This story of Jim Carrey trying to hide Kate in a place in memory and his life which cannot be corrupted by any memory erase technique gives Kauffman ample opportunity to experiment with presentation techniques. Jim initially tries to conjure up insane locations that would not possibly be corrupted like a bed on the beach. THe visuals are also spectacular with the props while the characters are interracting always saying something about the mood they are in. Cars fly about when Kate is angry and the room has very pleasant colours when they are just two happy lovers. Remember the entire movie runs in Jim’s mind...

It is not a very complicated story and hence the sequence of events is convoluted to add the interest factor in the movie. The scenes are shuffled forward and backward which while clearing some lingering doubts, continuously raises some more about the next sequence. There are two storylines flashing alternately. One, that of the assistants doing their job of erasing. This happens along the positive timeline. The second is just Jim’s dreams, which keeps going from Jim’s childhood to his present day in a pseudo random sequence. There is also a mini A and E in the forward storyline of the doctor and the receptionist who are in turn running away from their problems by erasing the girl’s memories. The movie starts and ends with Jim waking up from a deep sleep, the only difference being that at the end of the movie, Jim knows what he has to do while at the beginning, he is confused.

There are some memorable scenes which showcase the histrionic abilities of both Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet that should not be missed. There are some truly intelligent non-CGI effects that are employed in some scenes that you can see only if you get the DVD. Also, while watching the movie, try to imagine this situation. You are trying to keep segments of a word document and you find that the ctrl C/ ctrl V key becomes the delete key every once in a while just so that you lose whatever data you are trying to paste… that is the level of frustration that Jim might be feeling.

Ok. I have tried to explain as much about the movie without giving away what will happen at the end… happy viewing.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Movie Review - Crash

Parochial Thought Associations

Yes people generally do that in America... Thought associations always have narrow bandwidth... For ex. to the average American, the word 'France' invokes Fries and Surrendering. The country Germany invokes "Inga wearing a short skirt carrying a mug of beer in each hand" and India invokes Apu and "Deng you veddy much"... Well in Crash an attempt is made to show how such peripheral opinions/judgments can affect people in real life.

'White men talking racist shit' (The SOAPification of CRASH') is indeed just that... and irritatingly... nothing else. Well there is something more if you take in the occasional Nigger who talks racist stuff...
People yak... yak all the time about how the colour of their skin has placed them almost immediately into clichéd character bins in the eyes of other people... those bins, they find very difficult to get off.

Like why the spic's tattoo is falsely 'recognized' as a prison tattoo... like how two niggers with UCLA jackets become thugs and why any gun buyer with a Middle-Eastern accent is termed an "Eyeracki"... At the end of the movie you think if indeed their society was so narrow-minded, despite the cultural diversity in metropolitan America, how, anyone can ever do business... and prosper...

Even though the movie has some sort of realistic feel to it, I realized that bigotry unless presented with the help of wars, bloodshed or of course humor, is not an entertaining deviance of mankind.

What irked me further is that the few 'smart coincidences' seem too contrived. Like why would the white cop who feels a rich black lady up… HAVE to be the only guy in entire Los Angeles to save her when the black lady has an accident in some vague place? I could give you a few more... but I want you to watch the movie. I felt the script left a lot to be desired.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Snakes..... on a PLANE ?

I am waiting for the greatest event in Movie entertainment to happen. The release of the SOAP movie. I love the movie and it has not even been made. Already the SOAP 'hiss' is catching up... it is soon going to be a steady humm... So many people are onto it that they can form a separate Jihad army altogether...

There are people making fake trailers and there is movie merchandize from T shirts to fake snakes and miniature planes. I recently saw the original movie trailer and it was so sweet that I crapped my pants. It features Air Chief marshall Sam jackson WHIPPING a guy with a snake... Tell me how cool is that?

More... there are people who make movie posters... like "Snakes, Planes and MotherTruckers"... There are people who make amazing soundtracks. There are people who plan more for the screening of SOAP than for tehir weddings. They are even making constumes for the movie... Just visit snakesonablog... to revel in the madness.

There are people who predict dialogues. There are people who write to New Line cinema to request for certain lines to be added to a movie and I am joining the bandawagon.... I want some spoofs of some of the greatest movie quotes featured in the movie. Such as....
  • "That snake really tied the cockpit together"
  • "You are the man now snake"
  • "I' ve had it with these snakes"
  • "Guns for show, tasers for a Pro"
  • "Go ahead, make my flight"
  • "There were three skins. In the skins were three snakes. In the snakes were three bullets"
  • "Oh, I just shot a snake in teh head"
    followed by...
  • "Is it dead?"
  • "Mine. Thats an African Black Mamba. The snake I always wanted to shoot. I RULE"
  • "Thats the most beautiful thing in the world"
  • "When a Snake smiles at me... all I could do was smile back"
  • "Oh my God!! they killed Kenny"
  • "Sound of like you GOT a pair of fangs"
  • And ofcourse the Movie tagline "Mischief, Mayhem SOAP !!!!"
Feel free to add some more.. you know if you are as mad as me about this movie.