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  • Forgetting Sarah Marshall

    Forgetting Sarah Marshall

    ★★

    For some reason, I thought this would be more comedy than romance and I was wrong. In any case, so painfully dull.

  • First Cow

    First Cow

    ★★★★½

    88%

    After reinventing the Western genre in her masterpiece Meek's Cutoff, Reichardt sets out to the Wild West this time to explore male camaraderie. Both the main characters significantly lack the social capital to survive the brutal frontier life they are part of. One of them is a soft-spoken, sensitive, clumsy culinary expert, and the other is a shrewd Chinese man whose racial disadvantage couldn't possibly be balanced by his elegance.

    The relationship between these two is portrayed with such…

  • Esthappan

    Esthappan

    ★★★★½

    92%

    The film establishes the coastal village very well: the working class, the bourgeois, the clergy. Faith is the common factor that holds the community together as is shown in one of the initial church scenes.

    The commonfolk considers even the tiniest bit of human compassion from Esthappan as godly kindness. Some fear him. Some need miraculous events in order to believe in him. Kids need tangible rewards. The rich family needs to witness a grand gesture in person such…

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    ★★★½

    68%

    Watched this along with grandparents and cousins. My nine-year-old cousin who had been casually watching the film as she walked around the living room, got scared and went on to sit on our grandfather's lap during the cemetery scene. The film is genuinely terrifying since the maze scene. However I am disgruntled by the fact that the Barty Crouch arc, which is quite important in the big picture, isn't conveyed effectively. I also wished the film ended on a…

  • Palm Springs

    Palm Springs

    ★★★½

    74%


    The main plot element has been used numerous times before but the film still feels fresh. (I don't want to spoil it in case anybody wants to jump in blind) It's some sort of a cheerfully nihilistic comfort food that's perfect for the world right now. Quite thought-provoking yet light-hearted. Dark yet delightful.

    PS: If you love Andy Samberg, don't think twice.

  • Yearning

    Yearning

    ★★★★½

    94%

    Naruse builds a microcosm of the post-war Japanese society, narrates a palpably passionate relationship between two characters, and explores the socio-economic-cultural conflicts among the past, present and the future of the country. Extraordinary film.

    According to Wikipedia, Kurosawa described Naruse's style of melodrama as "like a great river with a calm surface and a raging current in its depths" Four films into his filmography, I couldn't agree more.

    PS: Does the moving score (towards the end) remind any of you of Badalamenti's Laura Palmer's theme?

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    ★★★★

    80%

    The Patronus charm is probably the most beautiful idea that was conceived in the Harry Potter world. Garnering positivity from love and friendship in order to fight trauma and sadness is the key point of this entry in the series. Harry is finally coming to terms with the death of his parents. He finally understands who was responsible. He gets closure. The final freeze-frame succinctly puts across his relief.

    The series of back-to-back revelations in the Shrieking Shack could…

  • Four Nights of a Dreamer

    Four Nights of a Dreamer

    ★★★★

    84%

    Visconti's Le Notti Bianche uses his trademark melodrama to effectively adapt Dostoyevsky's 'White Nights' on to screen. He uses the performances of the charming actors (Mastroianni especially) to elicit an emotional response from us which is appropriately accentuated by music and gorgeous snowy backgrounds. Bresson's approach is, expectedly, considerably different.

    It was while watching Mouchette that I realized that the lack of emotions shown by his actors allows us to put ourselves in the character's place. That approach is…

  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

    The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

    ★★★★½

    90%

    "Paranoia, paranoia
    Everybody's coming to get me
    Just say you never met me
    I'm running underground with the moles, digging holes
    Hear the voices in my head
    I swear to God it sounds like they're snoring
    But if you're bored, then you're boring
    The agony and the irony, they're killing me"
    - Flagpole Sitta, Harvey Danger

  • Atlantic City

    Atlantic City

    ★★★★

    82%

    In The Leopard, Lancaster played a man who couldn't stand the idea of losing his youth, power, and privileges. Lou in Atlantic City is similar but has a much more heartbreaking story to tell because he never amounted to anything in his entire life. Now when he is old and more irrelevant than ever, Lou gets a chance to briefly become the heroic gangster he always wanted to be. A tale of tarnished dreams and a little bit of hope.

  • Kramer vs. Kramer

    Kramer vs. Kramer

    ★★½

    50%

    A skewed portrayal of the marriage between a negligent workaholic guy and his repressed wife (honestly can't describe her well because the character is so underwritten) that uses a cute kid to manipulate the audience. Yeah, it did win Best Picture.

    *Obligatory statement that praises the performances*

  • Pinocchio

    Pinocchio

    ★★★½

    70%

    Some scenes are incredible whose influence seem to be carried forward all the way into the 21st century animated works. Truly groundbreaking for the time. However, it's an extremely effective tale made for children that demands obedience from them. I find that a little problematic.