It has to be said: I love this movie. LOVE. It doesn't do anything particularly new, film-wise, it's not the most romantic tale ever told, and it doesn't tell a new story. All of which add up to make a completely new-feeling, romantic, and unique story, which is crazy but true. The background on Mumbai is heartbreaking, and thinking of these little Artful Dodgers growing up on those streets is just awful. Each of the child actors were outstanding, and the adults? Oh, the kid that plays Jamal! I have such a crush on his tall, lanky, gangly self. Latika is stunning but more than just being a pretty face, she has a wonderfully expressive and emotive face.
I love how true to Indian theater this stays, with the lovers not being together until the very end, and only the most chaste of kisses, too. Pretty impressive feat to keep this chaste, seeing as Latika is a sex slave. Can you believe that the lead man is only 18? He was not even 17 when they started filming this, too! The soundtrack is fantastic, and I love the Bollywood-style dance at the end over the credits. My husband ruined the fun (and made me laugh my butt off) by singing "Minor bun engine runs Benny Lava!" (Did you get high today?) Hahahaha.
I loved seeing the absolute joy and shock on their faces when they kept winning awards. Well done! If you've not seen this movie, GO SEE IT. And Danny Boyle continues to make gorgeous movies. Even though 28 Weeks Later and Trainspotting aren't happy, joyful movies, they are beautiful to look at. (Or really really scary to look at. The opening sequence to 28 Weeks Later is maybe the most frightening, intense bit of film I've ever seen.)
Mickey Rourke gives the absolute, hands-down best male performance in YEARS. I know he's an abusive asshole. Just try and find any big star that isn't in some fashion. But when you're watching this movie, it feels like you are walking alongside this man, Randy "The Ram" Robinson and seeing the sad shambles his life has become. You aren't watching an actor, you don't notice the mechanics, the physical choices in how they carry their body, you just see this real, living, breathing person. That's pretty much the goal of any actor. I know everyone loves Daniel Day Lewis, but I think he's pretty mediocre at best. I'm always aware of what DDL is thinking, he's always doing an impression of someone. (Go watch any old western with John Hurt, then watch DDL in There Will Be Blood and get back to me.)
Marissa Tomei spends most of her time in this movie naked, or in a G-string, and man, that takes guts. She perfectly embodied a strung out, trying to get better woman that only knows how to use her body. Hey, there, parallel with the wrestler! It's so subtle, this comparison of their two professions, and handled well. I liked all the behind the scene moments with the different wrestlers getting their choreography together. Warning for those with sensitive dispositions: there's a scene in which The Ram fights some random dude and it's pretty damn brutal. I spent a good ten minutes wincing.
When The Ram breaks down in front of his daughter (and side note, Evan Rachel Wood is growing into a hot mess. Yeesh.) and it's so raw. My heart broke for the both of them, his daughter for her loneliness and continuing to let him come back again and again, even though he never follows through, and for him for realizing that he's going to die alone. Damn. This is an absolutely wonderful movie.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Essentially this movie breaks down into two things: a romantic story that's very interesting, and an hour or so of Brad Pitt eye-porn. The man is good looking, that's all there is to that. It's sweet and tender in places, and beautifully shot, but ultimately, I think this leaves me cold. It felt very manufactured. Hmm, more like, it felt like a big Hollywood picture, where Slumdog Millionaire feels more organic and as a result, is more intimate. I love Cate Blanchett, but her accent got on my damn nerves. Cajun and Creole (they're different) are the hardest accents to nab, next to Scottish, and Brad did alright (foist instead of first) but Cate sounded like she listened to Vivian Leigh in Gone With The Wind and attempted that. Which, wrong state, first.
It's not a bad movie, not by any stretch, but I think it's one that will quickly be forgotten, with the exception of all the hot Brad Pitt in his prime moments. Cate Blanchett as a ballerina is one of the prettiest things in the movie, too. The woman is sheer grace.
Robert Downey, Jr. should have won a damn award for Tropic Thunder. He's doing Russell Crowe as Louis Gosset, Jr. for pity's sake! A dude disguised as a dude playing another dude! Freaking genius. "Huh! Y'all might be in for a treat. You know back before the war broke out I was a saucier in San Antone. I bet I could collar up some of them greens, yeah, some crawfish out the paddy, yo'! Ha! I'm makin' some crabapples for dessert now, yo! Hell yeah, ha!"
"Man, just because it's a theme song, don't make it not true!"
Do you know how easily that could have slipped into something really, really bad? He made that shit work, and more than that, he made it a thing of beauty. "It's Hollywood, man. Everyone turns gay at some point." HAHAHAH. <3
In other movie news of a personal nature, Blood on the Highway will be at the Berlin Film Festival this February, represented by DC Medias. Keep your fingers crossed that we'll get a distributor so you can see this damn thing. (And any Deutschlanders out there, go see it!)
I want a movie icon that looks like old film counting down. Does that make sense? Maybe I can find something like that...