Monthly Archives: December 2010
The moment I popped a pain-killer half hour before the movie started, I knew it was a bad omen. We stepped out in the cold with snowflakes flying across our faces, I knew the signs were there : the temperature was a low 16F and no cars on the streets, few cars parked on the shoulder of the roads with blinking alarm lights. When we were at the ticket window and the ticket cost was 70$ for 7 tickets, my credit card was declined; I had breached the credit limit. That was the last sign that we still had time to go home. But no, I paid in cash. We ignored all the signs that were screeching right in our faces to stay home, but Jolie and Depp kept calling us.
This was an unusual combo, a suave Depp and a sexy Jolie. That actually is a weird duo and we did not know what actually to expect from the movie. The trailer was cut well enough to generate excitement, we thought it would turn out to be a thriller or an action packed movie. But when we stepped into the auditorium, it was a shock. Second day of the movie, 11th Dec, and there were just 15 people in all. A near empty theatre! Lara Croft and Jack Sparrow had failed to pull in the crowd.
Anyways, we took our places and waited for the movie to start. Within the first 5 minutes we could see the heavy-handed direction of Florian Henckel. I wasn’t surprised at all, just disappointed that the director was still looming from the hangover of “The Lives Of Others” . The close capturing of Angelina’s face as Elise Ward, FBI spying on here, tracking all her activities; it was like watching TLOO. The initial enthusiasm of who was Alexander Pierce soon faded, as the chase got boring. The tracking mechanism, Elise dropping false hints to beguile, FBI placing men in every nook and corner; it was all so stale and boring.
By the time Johnny appeared as a Maths teacher Frank Tupelo, my joy was divided, my brain was split and the pain had multiplied. He was not being his usual self; no wackiness, no style quotient, no eccentricity. I was still fine with all of this, until he suddenly started acting pink and rosy. He was falling in love with Elise! And I thought this was supposed to be a fast action thriller.
The story writers were confused, I guess. They changed the mood and theme of the movie. It was turning out to be a mushy rom-com. A night spent in a fine Venetian hotel, best in its class, was making Frank’s heart beat for Elise. But Elise was secretly in love with Alexander Pierce, a person whom she hasn’t seen. This was just the right time for some gang-lords to make an appearance so they can settle their scores with Alexander.
After a lot of chases and gun firings and scampering Maths teacher dodging the bullets and Elise being held captive so Alexander can bow down to the gang-lord, the Maths teacher jumps in to save her life. And some more marshmallow sequence with Elise’s heart suddenly going out to Frank as she forgets about Alexander. Frank blurts out something what Arun had told to Seema in Mr.India … wo gayab hai mai haazir hoon … kya rakha aisa mr.Alexander mei
Oh man, the movie was getting ridiculous by the minute. I was crying over $10 wasted on Pierce while the FBI were paying $700 mn to fund the mission of finding Pierce. Someone pierce me! The end credit rolls came as such a breather.
We ran out of the auditorium and into the open, to catch a breath of fresh air. Snowflakes till flying across our faces and weather alert of a snowy night was ahead of us. My head had stopped aching, thanks to the pain-killer. I am glad I had taken it before the movie as I laughed at my friends who popped one after the movie.
This post was first published on PFC
Ultimately its Grisham’s character of Mark that really comes to the fore and makes this movie compelling. Reggie too wins the sympathy of the audience as she narrates her story to Mark. She seeks redemption by trying to protect Mark from the FBI as well as the gang. How she goes about doing this and the hostility with which Mark and Reggie treat each other has been very well captured.
Grisham’s treatment of the subject seemed more at a personal level than a professional one. The movie did not have any court-room scenes, but the tension was palpable. In fact, this along with The Pelican Brief are two most popular non-courtroom dramas of Grisham. While I am at this, let me quickly mention that his work ‘A Time To Kill’ was adapted into a Hindi movie titled ‘Pitaah’ directed by Mahesh Manjrekar.
Grisham popularised the ‘judicial system’ genre and many a tv series was born out of these works. His indictment of the system and the veiled attack on the flaws of the criminal justice and litigation process was very well highlighted in his works. Also, what is noticeable is the fact that all movies based on his work were made on large scale because the studios believed in the projects. Be it Tom Cruise in The Firm or Julia Roberts in The Pelican Brief who were ably supported by the likes of Denzel Washington, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman and many others. Grisham continues to write, but off-late his works haven’t made it onscreen. Nevertheless, they are wonderful to read. Wish someone could buy the rights of his stories/novels and make movies in our movieland.
“In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth. Each of you is an original. Each of you has a distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard.” – John Grisham, Commencement Address 2010, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill”
This post was first published on PFC