Rachel Getting Married
If I was still the type of girl to take things personally, I would like to slap the pretentious TIFF reviewers who are recommending this movie and sprouting lines like how it was Anne Hathaway's potentially Oscar-worthy performance.
To me this was a movie that was made for the sake of making a movie.
It was shot like a home video which I'm guessing is suppose to make us delve into the movie and become part of it. Here's what I got out of it.
"oo look at us - we are a dysfunctional family.
Oooo pity our 'impossibly-affluent-suburban-problems'.
Look we are 'progressive' WASPs, we like world music, have interracial marriages and wear sarees for the wedding for no apparent reason at all.
Btw again did you notice all the different types of music and famous musicians we brought it at the 'rehearsal dinner'....no? here is it again , extended edition, at the wedding."
Waching the movie was like attending an incredibly boring wedding where you are not allowed to leave early with an excuse of work. There is no alcohol to make it more enjoyable into and you can't even dance as you are glued to the chair and forced to watch others dancing.
As for Hathaway's performance, it was basically your run off the mill I-didn't-look-pretty-I-squinted-to-show-how-tormented-I-am-did-you-notice-how-unlikable-my-character-was-so-would-you-hurry-up-with-the golden-statue? Or maybe because I don't think she's all that of an actress.
**/***** for the shock effects of raw displays of emotions within a family.
Amal must be sleeper hit of TIFF cause I definitely did not come across much publicity reviews for this Canadian first feature. At first I read the outline for it, I wasn't terribly interested seeing it at theaters. Then by chance I heard about a free screening recently at the AMC Dundas SQ from Volunteer Toronto, who were also bringing in the director for a Q&A after the movie. Curiosity made me drag a friend and we were equally surprised by how much we loved this movie and how impressed we were by the director, Richie Mehta, a 28 year old Indo-Canadian director from Sheridon College who gives Deepa Mehta(no connection) a serious run for her fame...err movies. It was hard to believe that Amal was his first feature film.
I think Amal is a testament to why movies are still considered a creative art.
The movie didn't try to bank its success by pandering to Bollywood style visuals of Slumdog Millionaire (which was great but too Dickensonian for my liking) and it also didn't portray Oriental India in the 'oh look at those poor people! I'm so glad I'm not living there' way particularized in 'Water' and 'Born in Brothels.' There were a lot of questions and comments from the audience after the movie but lets just say it didn't evoke a typical "Oh the movie was so colourful" type of responses from your average western(*cough* white) section audience.
It just told a story in its simplest form, almost like a fable. Without going into details, Amal is a story about a rich man leaving all his wealth to a poor man- a story you could easily run into in 'Arabian Nights'. If you want to delve deeper than that, I would say it a movie that questions what it means to have a successful life in the 21st century.
As the director pointed out, fables are powerful because they are universal it their message and it especially works this movie because it is filled with the kind of details that takes a simple story to something larger and makes India represent any other country in the world.
Acting was excellent and the characters were well drawn out without falling into stereotypes.
Richie Mehta is definitely an up and coming Indo-Canadian director to watch out for.
*****/***** for successfully pulling off a heartfelt story with perfect casting.
Its a mocumentary at its best. In typical documentary fashion but a bit extreme as it is selective of its 'real life subjects' and it is very carefully edited to clarify a message.
The Message- have doubts. i.e. be agnostic.
I found the movie 'sinfully' hilarious!
Bill Maher deliberately picks the side of every major religion that is supremely ridiculous-
-the Evangelical preachers wearing $2000 suits,
- the builders of 'holy land' complete with plastic 'Jesus killing Jews' sword souvenirs for the kids,
- Jewish scientists who try to construct elaborate mechanical deviced to make daily life possible at Sabath...like pushing a button to make a phone call,
- the fanatical Muslims calling for death to infidels,
- the Mormons and
- even a narcotic-spiritualist.
One may call them stereotypes but they are vital to Maher's argument which is -
' if these ridiculous believers originate out of the same religion that moderate believers do, then there's something wrong with the religion. You cannot take things in parts or interpret things in parts using circular logic'.
He might be preaching to the choir as the core audience of Religulous is agnostics and atheists.
Should even a moderately religious person decide to see the movie , I dont think it will not change his mind. Believers will only disregard this movie as being ridiculous for playing into stereotypes. I think Maher knows it.
Which makes me think this movies is is not meant to be message- this is a product that Maher is marketing. Agnostics like me will buy the DVD because its perfect for our satirical minds. Maher will get a comeback.
So basically, if you are not religious- you'll like the movie
****/***** for originality of effort