Category Archives: Romantic Movies

Chungking Express – Movie Review

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Movie: Chungking Express

Original Title: Chung Hing sam lam

Releasing Year: 1994

Directors: Kar-Wai Wong

Writer/Screenplay: Kar-Wai-Wong

Country of Origin: Hong Kong (China)

Running Time: 102 minutes

Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, English, Japanese, Hindi

Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance

 

Chungking Express Movie Review

I had a mixed bunch of feelings after seeing this film. I had seen Wong Kar-wai’s In mood for love which is a visual stunner with a very impressive background score. Chungking Express is less about the story or content and more about the visual style of depiction blended with different music scores. The movie features a lot of 80s pop, romantic jazz (saxophone playing in a couple of scenes is awesome in creating a seductive feel), Bhangra, Indian classical. Also Fayes’s (Faye Wong) addiction to the song ‘California Dreams’ by Papas and mama’s and the Cantonese rendition of a popular song by ‘Cranberries’.

Chungking Express Story-line

In terms of content the movie talks about love, hope and loneliness. The movie is in two parts, both of which are love stories-the first one is more grim and the second one has a comic sense. Both stories involve a cop, in and out of love.

In the first story a young guy, Cop 663 (Tony Chiu-Wai Leung) has had a break up and is looking for another woman to come into his life. His meditation on the fact that ‘everything in life comes with an expiry date, even love and relationships’, is kind of okay. The portrayal of the city life with all the hustle bustle and busy criminal world is lovely. The streets are filled with people and neon lights, a typical feel of urbanization. Here the visual style blended with a tapestry of musical scores, bringing out the existence of multi-ethnic city life is almost dizzying…at times intoxicating! I liked the way the film talks about our sometimes ‘bizarre’ existence in a city where millions live. We are nothing more than a product with an expiry date.

I could also very well relate to the desperation that comes out of loneliness, sometimes finding it difficult to find a person you can talk to. I liked the scenes in the second story where the Cop 223 (Takeshi Kaneshiro), in bout of loneliness keeps talking to the soft toys. I have rarely seen men communicating with a soft toy. Many say it makes men look sissy. I disagree. The cop here looks more humane trying to overcome his adversity. The scenes where this cop talks to a torn mop, as if it were a human, brings out anxiety, desperation and sense of urgency to the whole situation.

Faye Wong’s portrayal of a free spirited, fun loving girl is particularly impressive. Her big eyes are so expressive, filled with hope and freshness. I love the scene where she finds a long strand of hair on the cop’s bed and cries bitterly like a child. Its too funny!

My Verdict of Chungking Express

The movie beautifully expresses the fetish of the east for the western culture. Here western culture seems to be an escapade, a promised land that can take away all your worries!

Personally for me the treatment of the movie is nice and with a fine balance between the more serious plot of the first story and a refreshing, comic look of the second story. But I still feel the movie is a lot of stylization and treatment without any concrete content.

Chungking Express Trivia:

  • Quentin Tarantino, after watching Chungking Express said, “I started crying. I’m just so happy to love a movie this much.”
  • The directed Wong Kar-Wai-Wong is hailed by many as the new Godard!

Reviewed By: Pallavi Patil

Me Before You – Movie Review

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Movie: Me Before You

Releasing Year: 2016

Director: Thea Sharrock

Writer/Screenplay: Jojo Moyes

Country of Origin: USA/UK

Language: British English

Me Before You Movie Review:

Based on the novel of the same name by JoJo Moyes, Me Before You is a 2006 British-American romantic drama movie. Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke play the chief protagonists in the film. Me Before You came under heavy criticism by some groups as they think it promotes “euthanasia”.

“Self killing” is a very delicate topic that I would not like to talk about. So, let’s skip to the plot and storyline of Me Before You.

Plot/Storyline:

The film starts with William Traynor getting struck by a bike and losing his lower body in the accident. Louisa Clark on the other hand loses her job after working for 6 years at a restaurant.

Seeing her family’s economic woes, she tries find another job. She gets an opportunity to work as a caregiver at Wayner Family’s Castle. They employs her immediately at a handsome remuneration. Louisa is little sad to know that she will have to take care of a 30-year old guy. William, once a playboy and adventure lover, now lives a quiet life on a wheel chair, especially designed for him with the latest technology. He is irritating and erratic and makes life difficult Louisa. At one point, she even thinks of leaving this job, but couldn’t do it.

To ease things, she comes up with an idea of making William happy and making him enjoy social life. William, at first, is not interested in the idea but then agrees. A special bond develops between them based on love that lacks lust. Louisa is determined to keep William happy and smiling. She even puts her own relationship at stake for it. Her life is shattered when she knows the fact that William is going to Switzerland to finish his life. She cries and asks him to stay and fight life.

Sam Claflin & Emilia Clarke in Me Before You
Sam Claflin & Emilia Clarke in Me Before You

William tells her how bad he feels when he want to make love to her, but can’t owing to his disability. He wants to live, but his current condition is a misery for both of them. She leaves him and goes home. William goes to Switzerland with his parents. Louisa couldn’t control herself and goes again to him to asking to change his mind. She pleads to him but he leaves the world.

In the last scene, Louisa is seen reading a letter by William. He asks her “to fulfill her dreams and live a happy life”. He even left her a good amount of money from his fortune to study further. Something she couldn’t do because of her financial issues. After reading the letter, Louisa is seen in tears and walks away.

 

My Verdict & Rating of Me Before You:

By the time, Louisa finishes reading the letter, I was in tears. I could feel her pain and the misery of William. That’s what you want from a movie, isn’t ? To hit you hard in heart. For this very reason and some great acting, I give 9/10 to Me Before You. It has a fantastic screenplay, great direction and touching music and background score.

Emilia Clarke literally stole the show with her timeless acting. She had that innocence and emotional appeal that the character of Louisa demanded.

If you are into Romantic Genre Movies, then Me Before You got to be in your wishlist.    

 

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Shubh Mangal Savdhan – MOVIE REVIEW

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Movie – Shubh Mangal Savdhan

Releasing Year – 2017

Language – Hindi

Country of Origin – India

Director: R.S. Prasanna

Shubh Mangal Savdhan Review:

Shubh Mangal Savdhan is a comedy movie based on a funny but very sensitive topic of ‘male erectile dysfunction’ (which is widely concerned as a taboo topic in India). The good thing about this film is that it has dealt with this topic in a very light and comic way. And this is also the drawback of the movie as you never get to understand or feel the “severity of this issue”. Shubh Mangal Savdhan fails to impart any social message to audience unlike the on-screen couple’s 2015 movie Dum Laga Ke Haisha.

Before watching, I had a feeling that Shubh Mangal Savdhan should have a good message for the audience, but it was not there in any form. Also, the way this ‘sensitive topic’ has been dealt with is not convincing. It felt that just for the sake of comedy even serious scenes have been turned into laughing stock

From the technical point of view, the film has good direction. The music, however, failed to impress me, the songs are just average, and the background score too is mediocre for my liking. The highlight is acting by the entire cast. Ayushmann Khurrana is as convincing as he always is in yet another portrayal of a “Delhi Guy”. Bhumi Pednekar is wonderful and confident in the role of a normal middle-class Delhi girl. The other notable performances came from Anshul Chauhan as Ginni (Bhumi’s BFF) as she tries to solve Bhumi’s problem in a confident, sincere and yet funny ways; and Seema Bhargava (Vimla) who tries to teach her daughter, “the life’s secret” with an example of “Ali Baba and 40 Thieves Story”.

shubh-mangal-saavdhan
Bhumi Pednekar & Ayushmann Khurrana in Shubh Mangal Saavdhan.

Storyline:

Mudit is following Sugandha for a month and when he finally tries to talk to her an unfortunate accident happens, and he is attacked by a bear. Then, he resorts to “online matrimony services” and sends his proposal for Sugandha. Within days, they get engaged and one night when they are alone, Mudit finds out that he has some “male problem”. He reluctantly tells Sugandha and she asks him to find a solution for it before the marriage. As the marriage date approaches, a tension develops between the two, at times overshadowing their love for each other. Will they get married? Mudit will ever be able to do it? Or The couple will be separated? The answer to all these questions you can find out in theaters, as I don’t want to spoil the fun for you.

My verdict and Rating of Shubh Mangal Savdhan

I gave this film 8 out of 10. Even with not so strong storyline, this film is a good to watch one-time stuff. Shubh Mangal Savdhan is a great 2-hour comic ride, however, it lacks the quality of Vicky Donor and Dum Laga Ke Haisha, in terms of content. I would recommend watching it soon and be assured that you won’t be disappointed with this one.

 

Image Source: Koimoi

You, Me and Dupree – Movie Review

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Movie – You, Me and Dupree

Direction –  Anthony Russo & Joe Russo

Country – U.S (Hollywood)                                                 Language – English

Cast –  Kate HudsonOwen WilsonMatt Dillon

Releasing Year – 2006                                        Genre –  Comedy, Romance

Starring Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson, Matt Dillon, and Michael Douglas in lead roles, You, Me and Dupree is a romantic comedy stuff. However, there’s much much to laugh about in the film. Carl and Molly are in love and they get married in Hawaii. As the newlyweds start their new phase of life, they have an uninvited guest in the form of “Randolph Dupree”. Dupree is Carl’s best friend and he is been fired from work and is sleeping in a bar for few days.

Seeing his friend’s misery, Carl invites him to stay with him and Molly at their home. Upon listening to this from Carl, Molly reluctantly allows Dupree to stay but for few days only. Dupree as per his nature gets friendly with all the kids of the area. He starts creating troubles at Carl’s home (unintentionally of course). But the couple is forced to throw him out when a fire broke out in the home because of Dupree’s negligence while making love to a girl (Mandy, the Librarian whom Molly has arranged for Dupree for a date).

Kate Hudson in You, Me and Dupree
Kate Hudson in You, Me and Dupree

Dupree takes his bicycle and belongings and leaves their place. Molly and Carl feel emancipated for awhile but they have to bring him back when Molly finds him sitting alone in the rain. The situation for Dupree becomes more difficult when he develops a good relationship with Molly and Carl starts doubting his intentions. Now, will their friendship survive this test? The rest you could find out after watching this Hollywood flick.

My Verdict and Rating:

I could only give 5/10 to this movie. The reason is the movie has a very thin story-line. It relies so much on the individual brilliance of Owen Wilson that it becomes boring without any substantial part played by others. Kate Hudson is charming but that’s the only thing about her in You, Me and Dupree. Matt Dillon is a seasoned actor but looks average in this romantic-comedy. The music and background score are okay, the direction is fine, and the cinematography too is decent.

But in my view, as a whole package You, Me and Dupree fails to impress. I would only recommend watching this movie, if you have nothing else to do on a given day. Otherwise, it’s a movie that you can easily miss without any discomfort.

Image Sources: Alchetron

Reviewed By: Mirza Yusuf Faiyaz

Mirza-Yusuf-Faiyaz-From-Aligarh
Mirza-Yusuf-Faiyaz-From-Aligarh

I, Mirza Yusuf Faiyaz, having completed Major in History from Delhi University is an avid traveller having a vivid taste in movies. I am as such no diehard fan of any major Hollywood cult, but have gone as per by my own taste. The movie which I like most is The Holiday (2006). I have also done Teacher Training Course and is now on a frantic job hunt to sustain my passion for teaching children of any age.