By Vijay Kumar
June 29, 2010
While the characters of Monroe, Wallach, Clift and Gable struggle to accept the permanent changes in life as they know it, they fail to see the simplicity with which the older woman, Monroe’s companion, reconciles with changes in her own life. The fact that her husband now lives with her best friend should depress most people but the older woman reasons it out in two quick sentences. She also has the best quip in the movie about Nevada - “The Leave It state. Ya got money you want to gamble? Leave it here. You got a wife you want to get ride of? Get rid of her here. Extra atom bomb you don't need? Blow it up here. Nobody's gonna mind in the slightest.”
Sense and Sensibility
This is my second movie this week involving sisters. Strange how the subconscious works…
The selection of Ang Lee as director for this very British movie must have raised a few eyebrows and a few other stiff upper lips might have quivered as well. His genius is visible through the absence of any stark trademark directing techniques. It turns out to be a gently paced, faithful adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel and is based on a screenplay by the female lead, Emma Thompson. Inspiration to go with Lee could have had its origins during a viewing of the movie he directed prior to this one, the very original, very Taiwanese take on a patriarchal family with three sisters with three unique personalities in “Eat, Drink, Man, Woman”.
Sense and Sensibility is set in a time clouded with unspoken communal rituals peculiar to the British gentry. Their ability to be eloquent without communicating is a rich source for writers from that era to create situations based on misunderstandings. I couldn’t help but notice that Hugh Grant can essay the same bumbling mumbling charm of an aristocrat regardless of the era in which his character lives. Replace charm with a stoic quality and you have Alan Rickman, who probably never went overboard before or after Die Hard. Indeed it is the ladies, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet, as well as the supporting cast, that carry the movie for most parts.
The story has been retold in many languages. Although Sense and Sensibility has been set in the original surroundings, my favorite continues to be the Rajiv Menon helmed Kandukondein Kandukondein or “I have seen it,” which was liberal with narration changes but stayed true to Austen’s original characters.
Ended up with…Whilst checking out the above movies, I invariably end up fattening my instant watch queue with some new additions. These go into my “Ended up with…” list and the plan is to watch them during the week ahead. NetFlix keeps tempting me to move each one of them to the top of the queue but I resist. These are movies that I plan to check out in the days ahead.
This French comedy (Le Placard is the original title), was recommended to me as being in the same lines as Get Out Your Handkerchiefs. That was enough for me to add it to my queue. The first one had a unique plot even for a French comedy where a 13-year-old achieves what a woman’s husband or lover could not. Let’s see what unexplainable plot point this one has.
The only reason for adding this one to the queue is due to the fact that this is Christopher Nolan’s feature debut. I have a feeling that this might not be a Memento, but I am compelled to check it out.
The January Man
Back when Kline was king… was he ever? Anyway, he has had some memorable roles as in A Fish Called Wanda and Sophie’s choice. If nothing else, this is from the same decade and Kline must show some form in this movie that deals with a serial killer but is labeled as a comedy by NetFlix.
The Education of Charlie Banks
The movie plot line hints at an intense drama but the actors involved are relatively untested. The director, Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst, is a little out of the ordinary as well. Plain curiosity makes me add this movie to the list.