Nocturnal Animals

A writer’s ultimate revenge on his reader.

DIRECTOR: Tom Ford

CAST: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Armie Hammer, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher

Nocturnal Animals, adapted from the novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright, revolves around Susan Morrow’s fascination with Nocturnal Animals, a novel dedicated to her and written by her ex-husband, Edward Sheffield. How the novel starts affecting her real life and how the novel changes her perspective on her life, forms the rest of the film.

The film primarily revolves around the theme of revenge and how it can be delivered with violence as well as by creating an emotional void, a type of retribution that is very rarely explored in cinema. It also delves into the conflict between idealism and reality, and the changes it brings about in the personal lives of the people. The structure of a novel-within-a-film has been used as a plot device as opposed to a narrative one, which distinguishes this film from the other films that have used a similar structure.

The performances by the entire cast is excellent and believable, especially Jake Gyllenhaal who was equally convincing as both the novel’s titular character Tony Hastings and as the intriguing Edward Sheffield, seen only through Susan’s guilt-ridden memories. The tone of the film was maintained throughout even though it was switching between tasteful-yet-empty Los Angeles and the deserted-but-gritty Texas.

If you find yourself asking were there any good films that dropped off your radar this year, this film is one of the answers to that question.

Watch the trailer of this film here:

Macondo

In case you were worried that 10- year-olds could put you in jail for no good reason, your concerns are completely valid.

 

DIRECTOR: Sudabeh Mortezai

CAST: Ramasan Minkailov, AslanElbiev, KhedaGazieva

Macondo is a tale that traces the journey of a young boy (Ramasan Minkailov) who has to deal with important issues like being an immigrant and being the only and responsible male of his family apart from facing the challenges of adolescence.

The script is fresh and viable, offering a new perspective on the immigrant situation in a country as small as Austria. The director treats this issue with great sensitivity as she herself has had the experience of being an immigrant. She has also treated all the other themes of the film with a humourous undertone, but keeping the seriousness of the issue intact. The actors in the film have done justice to their respective characters, especially Ramasan, who portrays the sassy-mouthed and evolving character with sincerity.

However, the film feels slightly long drawn and the script could have been tighter. A lot of scenes that had no relevance to the plot of the film could have been avoided.

All those teenagers who feel like they are misunderstood, this film is a strong recommendation for them.

Watch the trailer of this wonderful film right here:

’71

If you think 10 year old kids cussing and wielding guns is cute, you have another thing coming.

 

DIRECTOR: Yann Demange

CAST: Jack O’Connell, Sean Harris, Richard Dormer, Paul Anderson

Set against the backdrop of the Northern Irish conflict between the Catholics and the Protestants, ’71 is a film that revolves around the misadventures of a soldier who get stranded into enemy territory. What follows, whether or not he will be caught, forms the rest of the film.

The film is brilliantly shot and captures every emotion of the soldier. There are some moments that are so unexpected that it feels like being held by the collar and thrown across over and over again. The tension that the director creates is so unbearable and high octane, that it’s impossible for an audience member to not involve themselves in the film. The music, undoubtedly one of the best soundtracks, gives you the feeling of being in the soldier’s place of agony and stress.  The director unabashedly places the realities and most importantly, the futility of the entire situation, wherein the soldier becomes a pawn of every gang’s personal agenda.

However, there are too many characters in the film and very few of them have been properly explored, apart from the main character. The film plot also blurs at one point, as there is confusion as to which character belongs to which side.

All in all, one of the best anti-war films to have come from a unique place, ’71 is a very engaging film on most fronts.

To get a better idea of what more this war drama might bring to you, watch the trailer right here:

GUEROS

The Spanish version of Rang De Basanti, except all the protaganists are (maybe) stoned- so they don’t do much.

DIRECTOR: Alonso Ruiz Palacios

CAST: Tenoch Huerta, Leornado Ortizgris

Set against the backdrop of student riots, Gueros is a Mexican film about three young boys who take a road trip to meet their idol when they learn of his last days. The experiences that they encounter, forms the rest of the film.

The film is aesthetic and shot in monochrome, a change from the usual technicolor films of today. The script is well-written and random, making the outcome of the film slightly unpredictable. The humourous undertone present throughout the film highlights the satirical comment that the director is trying to make. The performances of the cast are fresh and natural, and the characters are relatable. The concept of dealing with conflicts by not actually confronting them is brought about in a different and unusual way.

However, the director leaves many things open to the interpretation of the audience, making the story vague for people who expect more clarity.

A must-watch film, it amplifies this quote from the film:

To be young and not a revolutionary is a contradiction.

Presenting to you, the trailer of Gueros:

Difret

A 14 year old killed a grown man. What have you done with your life?

 

DIRECTOR: Zeresenay Berhane

CAST: Mernon Getnet, Tizita Hagere

PRODUCER: Angelina Jolie

Set against the backdrop of the tradition of abducting women for marriage, Difret is an Ethiopian film that talks about the injustice the women face in a society conditioned in a patriarchal mindset.

It follows the trial of 14 year old Hirut, who kills her abductor in order to defend herself and go back home. This is an important film as it chronicles the case that set the legal-precedent of criminalising the abduction of child brides in Ethiopia.

Although a film based in a different country, it is highly relevant given the current scenario of women in India.

The film is understated in its production design and high on emotions and drama. However, the flow of the film was weak and abrupt in some places. The story also ended predictably, given that the case was in the young protagonist’s favour- inspite of the obstacles. But at the very end of the film, when the protagonist Hirut, decides to choose her own path in life- it serves as powerful message that puts across the themes of justice, gender equality and right to freedom effectively.

Everyone who believes in feminism should not miss out on this heart-touching film.

Watch the trailer if you need a more compelling reason to watch this film:

 

WELCOME!

This is the place where I probably find out how much I suck as a writer.

To all the lovers of the celluloid, silver screen and torrents,

Yes, I get it- blogs about film reviews are done to death. Tumblr is so much better at this. And no one especially wants to read an amateur writer’s irrelevant opinions on films that few people take the trouble to watch.

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So I can understand your confusion as to why I would continue to do when all of the above is true in my case. But I plan to save the world from bad films by recommending the good ones that I have seen. Too purist and dramatic?

pvle8

Yeah, I take it back.

I just want to recommend the good films- in the hope that they will get more recognition and in return I get your recommendations too! Sound sweet?

P.S. Even though this is really just a college assignment, I hope that you pay at least a little bit more attention by sharing the blog posts- even if you may not read it yourself.