Archive for June 2014

Milk [2008]: “We will make a change starting now”

Cast: Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, James Franco

Directed by: Gus Van Sant

"My name is Harvey Milk and I am here to recruit you"

This movie is all about getting intrigued in 125 minutes; I must admit, I am truly awed and zapped at the same time to believe in the infinite connection that Mr. Milk makes throughout the movie. The details, reach, assembles, characters in the movie just doesn't let you get away from them. 

It is a biopic about first openly elected gay politician and an activist rising to the horizon by the revolution in the status of homosexuality in the year of 1977 in the US. He changed life of the community and the history of that era all together by sheer hard work and his reach to the heart nature. Watching Academy Award Winner Sean Penn in the lead role of Harvey Milk was a delight. His mannerism, his flow and his presence is something that will not slip from your mind for a long time. 

I believe, Director Gus Van Sant did the very right choice of getting Penn play the heart melting role of Milk. The movie initiates with a start of an audio tape marking all the details in the journey of Milk’s life. In a gush of doing something with his life and mind, Milk decides to fight against the wisdom, space and rights of homosexual people. Having said that, this line makes me remember his dialogue: “Forty years old and I haven't done a thing that I'm proud of.” 

Deeply in love with Scott Smith (James Franco), he decides to move to San Francisco, and opens a camera shop in the midst of Castro Theater, where large number of homosexual community are down eyed left, right and center by the other group including the police. Campaigning for gay rights, stabilizing the heated crowd and playing very calm yet smart leader, proves the ability of Mr. Harvey Milk. The movie is not about being a hero and changing life of people but about the rightful right of a gay/lesbian citizen of a country. Friends, romance – new or old, rivals, fame all intertwined with each other makes the movie connected to you from the first scene till the last. 

Playing the role of Milk as “I am as normal as you are” to “We will make a change starting now”, Penn draws a remarkable perception about his presence in the industry for all better reasons. The screen play and the dialogues either melt your heart or force you to fight against the cause with the characters. Direction and other detailing work are simply flawless. Background score not being in the movie beside the after credit list scene doesn't really itch you much since you are too engrossed with the biopic drama. Supporting actors also do a mind-blowing job proving their particular role to utmost justice.

I recommend this movie to each of those people who understand the true sense of film making and its thought process. Concluding with HARVEY MILK’s best dialogue from the movie – “Without hope, life is not worth living.” 

Movie Geek's Rating: ★★★★½


Years That Changed Cinema Forever

I find it extremely fascinating when a large number of great films [and I mean CULT CLASSICS] come together in the same year.

1957 was the earliest one that comes to mind, I can think of 5 timeless classics that came that year. Kubrick's "Paths of Glory", Bergman's "Seventh Seal", "Pyaasa" by Guru Dutt, Sidney Lumet's "12 Angry Men" and Akira Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood" added so much rich content to the then existing standards of Cinema.

Another Year that almost beats 1957 is 1994; films like "Pulp Fiction", "The Shawshank Redemption", "Forrest Gump", "Leon: the professional" and "The Lion King" came together, along with Burton's "Ed Wood" and Robert Redford's "Quiz Show".

I have already talked about 2007 many a times for that year gave us Classics like "American Gangster", "No Country For Old Men", "There Will Be Blood" and "The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford" with other great films like  Sean Penn's "Into the Wild", Ben Affleck's directorial debut "Gone Baby Gone" and Fincher's "Zodiac".

But one year that has actually given Cinema a lot more than others is 1999, for it was the year we have received great films from every genre breaking some preconceived notions about certain genres.

Like college romances became interesting after "10 things I hate about you" Sex Comedies became a major genre after "American Pie" [though it couldn't really flourish, but still I never knew whats a MILF before that :P] "The Matrix" is another milestone in the Sci-Fi Genre, we had an important Anti hero in Tyler Durden with "Fight Club" Among other significant films that came in 1999 were PT Anderson's "Magnolia", Oscar Winner "American Beauty" Frank Darabont's "Green Mile" M Night Shyamalan's psychological thriller/horror "The Sixth Sense", Coming of Age film "October Sky" and one of my favorites Spike Jonze "Being John Malkovich". 1999 was also the year when Brad Bird made his first film and Kubrick made his last; the films I am talking about were "The Iron Giant" and "Eyes Wide Shut", both a classic piece of work.

1999 was indeed one of the most significant years in Cinema.

Do let me know if I missed any other significant year or forgot to mention some great film. Share your thoughts.

-Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[image source:]

Sunday, 22 June 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

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