Sunday, 13 February 2011
I am not a big fan of Royal dramas or period pieces generally. They often focus on technical beauty, often neglecting character and plot. The King's Speech is a definite exception. A perfectly crafted, beautiful film that fills you with joy. The central characters are beautifully humanised by Colin Firth (King George VI), Geoffrey Rush (Lionel Logue) and Helena Bonham Carter (Elizabeth). All of the lead performances are of Oscar calibre.
This is the story of Prince Albert, Duke of York, who became King George VI, but struggled to correct his speech problems - his stammering unsettles many people, and 'Bertie' needed to solve it for his King's speech to the nation. Many elite doctors come and go, without success in solving the stammering. Until Prince Albert, meets Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist whose methods are unorthodox and his approach a bit informal towards royalty. When Prince Albert visits Logue's office in Harley Street, Logue informs him - "My Castle, My Rules". From thereon, an uneasy relationship at first, blossoms into an unusual friendship, as Logue puts his heart into helping 'Bertie' (as he calls him - "Bertie" is only for the family).
Beautiful direction, cinematography, art production and a fine script that is both funny and emotionally touching, the King's Speech is a crowd-pleaser without being cheap entertainment.
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
The Coen brothers are known for being one of the best filmmakers of our time. They both compliment each other perfectly. When I heard they were remaking the 1969, John Wayne classic True Grit, I was extremely excited and had incredibly high expectations of the film. Being a major fan of Western movies, I was really interested how it would turn out. I wanted the movie to be more faithful to it's original source material, Charles Portis novel, than the 1969 film had been. I was also hopeful that Jeff Bridges would fill the huge shoes of the classic, legendary John Wayne. I was hoping that they would blend the humor of the original 1969 film with some of the suspense or thrills from earlier Coen brothers films like No Country For Old Men or Fargo. But not become way too violent that it causes to stay completely unrecognizable to Charles Portis classic novel.
After seeing the Coen brothers new film, I have to say. My extremely high expectations were surpassed. The movie actually surprised all the hype I had, what an incredible film. The atmosphere, clothing, and the buildings reminded me of the old classic Hollywood westerns they used to make. I had a feeling of nostalgia watching the movie through the end. I felt transported to another time period of the old western. Hailee Steinfeld was amazing in the movie, I truly believe that this is her breakout performance. Matt Damon and Josh Brolin were as usual amazing. But the true star of the film has to be Jeff Bridges, in all respects ( I don't mean to offend John Wayne or anything), I think Jeff Bridges did a better job than John Wayne in portraying Rooster Cogburn. His performance showed much more experience, strength and power, the performance was pretty much unforgettable. Jeff Bridges handily reinvents the iconic role of Rooster Cogburn in the Coen brothers' back-to-the-book-remake. I congratulate the Coen for bringing back the western genre, that Hollywood has ignored so much the last decade or so. I can't stress enough how much I recommend this movie to people.