Monthly Archives: December 2007


David Lynch, who continues to befuddle film-goers, made this sensuous ad for Gucci.


Not lost anymore

If this is a con, it’s a darn good one. You might have seen the movie, Lost in Translation. At the end of the movie, Bill Murray meets Scarlett Johansson and whispers something in her ear. You can’t quite hear what he say in the movie, but this YouTube post tells us what the heck he said.

Big Fish


Tim Burton is perhaps the most idiosyncratic and quirky director working in Hollywood today. His films may fail to satisfy you, but even the most critical of viewers would agree that they are fascinating.

Big Fish, starring Ewan McGregor, tells the story of Edward Bloom, whose exaggerated stories about his own life are loved by everyone else except his son Will, played without any grace by Billy Crudup. (For a while, I confused Crudup with Christian Bale, a far superior actor). This conflict between Edward’s fables, which his son sees as lies, and his son’s refusal to believe them is the theme of the movie.

The stories that make up Edward’s life include: A circus owner, played by Danny Devito, who becomes a werewolf by night; the heaven-like town of Spectre which has grass pavements and where no one wears shoes; a naked mermaid, who appears as the object anyone wishes for; a pair of conjoin Korean twins; a witch played by Helena Bonham Carter in whose eyes the viewer can see the exact manner of his death; and a thousand other scenes which serve as Burton’s big excuse to show off the special effects.

We don’t quite know until the end if the stories are all true. Edward’s wife played by a lovely looking Alison Lohman (who matures into Jessica Lange) tells her son that not all the stories are entirely fabricated.

But somehow, the Burton touch, while clearly there, doesn’t work its usual magic. That’s probably because this is a very pointless story just like those told by its protagonist played in old age by Albert Finney. At one point, Edward’s doctor tells his son that he chose to believe the stories because they were always better than the truth. But the movie doesn’t delve deeper into this subject. Are fables better than truth? Burton doesn’t ask.

The title of the movie is from one of Edward’s stories. This is the fish Edward is catching when his son is born and the fish that he turns into in the movie abysmal climatic sequence.

This is a feel good film with its moments. Like like the one where Edward runs into the poet Norther Winslow (a cameo by Steve Buscemi) just as he is robbing a bank.

The darkness that was so present in Burton’s earlier movies like Sleepy Hollow is missing here. Never mind that the quality of this film is nowhere close to Edward Scissorhands, the effort that made Burton internationally known.

I love Burton movies and consider myself a fan. If you don’t like him much, don’t watch this movie.

Yes to smoking

Our dear Union minister of health Anbumani Ramadoss (oru O podu) would be furious if he ever this ad:

The guy in the video is John Waters.

Link via Cinematical.

Note to myself

I met Filmiholic today. She is from New York.

Oru Thadavai Pakkalam, Sir

For a while this was the best movie review I heard. A close college buddy of mine used to say that. Over the years, I have heard it many times, usually with the sir attached. It means that the movie isn’t great enough to be seen repeatedly (that implies that there are movies you can watch again and again), but can be seen once. The movie that isn’t great, only good. That too good enough to be seen just once. In passing.

Thriller turns 25


I remember watching Thriller when I was very young. All of 10 years old, may be. Now, one of the world’s most popular song has turned 25 years old. Adored and reviled at in equal measure, Thriller was probably the first music video I ever saw. Needless to say, I was quite stunned. It was years before I understood that Michael Jackson’s brand of music, though popular, wasn’t critically acclaimed. Dance music as such was itself at the bottom end of the music chain.

An NPR interview with the music critic of Rollingstone, who wrote about Thriller in 1982, is here.

Incidentally, I had blogged about a Golti version of Thriller here.