Movie Review : Schindler’s List

★★★★★

It became a commonplace to talk of 1993 as Spielberg’s annus mirablis – that year spawned the monster hit ‘Jurassic Park’ – and also ‘Schindler’s List’ ,  as his ‘Bar Mitzvah movie’, the masterpice that signalled his emergence as an emotionally adult filmmaker.


Plot :
Businessman Oskar Schindler arrives in Krakow in 1939, ready to make his fortune at the beginning of World War II by moving to Nazi-occupied Poland to open a factory and employ Jews at starvation wages. His goal was to become a millionaire. When the SS begins exterminating Jews in the Krakow ghetto, Schindler arranges to have his workers protected to keep his factory in operation, but soon realizes that in so doing, he is also saving innocent lives.

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Review:
A movie about World War II, a movie trying to unravel the abject horror of the Holocaust while also blending the act of tender humanism to create a visually powerful experience. So, how do you go ahead for this challenge ?

Firstly, a well-made decision of choosing black and white style, giving the experience of travelling back to the past, preventing deterioration of attention of audience’s minds. Only 3 instances of usage of color in the movie, creates a point of empathy and connection for the audience which is far more powerful and emotionally impactful than any other medium.

The monochromatic cinematography is one thing, but when you suddenly realize there’s a girl with red cape breaking the color rule walks by, you know that this will make a great impact.

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As the glossy, voluptuous look of Oskar’s sequences gives way to a stark documentary-style account of the Jews’ experience, “Schindler’s List” witnesses a pivotal transformation. Oskar and a girlfriend, on horseback, watch from a hilltop as the ghetto is evacuated, and the image of a little girl in red seems to crystallize Oskar’s horror.


With a stellar cast of Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley at his disposal, Schindler’s List nailed character introduction. Classy, effective, exposition-free.

Spielberg cleverly juxtaposed the two main characters, Amon Göth and Schindler, as two sides of the same coin. They both love the finer things in life, easily swayed by money and women. Playing on this, Schindler tries to show his contemporary that power can be better served by sparing people’s lives rather than taking them. It is an idea that even Goeth acknowledges, but was destined not to adhere to for long.

Speaking of which, when survivor Mila Pfefferberg was introduced to Ralph Fiennes on the set, she began shaking uncontrollably, as he reminded her too much of the real Amon Göth !!

 

 

Although, the very notion of a holocaust movie with a blonde Nazi as the central protagonist, and 1,100 survivors taking centre stage when six million perished, is bound to spark furious debate. Making a defining movie about the Holocaust a hero story about a Nazi instead of a film depicting the dehumanization and suffering is, of course, a big challenge.

But, rising brilliantly to the challenge of this material and displaying an electrifying creative intelligence, Mr. Spielberg has made sure that neither he nor the Holocaust will ever be thought of in the same way again. This is the film with which Spielberg ceases to be the supreme entertainer and tries for another, tougher kind of glory.

In short, Schindler’s List is a necessary holocaust movie made for a global audience… 

Zidane – Raising the “Anti-Galácticos” ?

Real Madrid have acheived the unachievable… Winning back to back Champions League / European Cup for the first time since Milan in 1990. More surprisingly, Real Madrid’s first League and European League double in almost 60 years.
And all under Zinedine Zidane’s first 18 months in charge of the club…

40A198EA00000578-4528170-Real_Madrid_lift_head_coach_Zinedine_Zidane_after_they_seal_thei-a-6_1495444910582I guess it’s safe to say that everyone doubted him when he took over from Benitez, but boy, has he proved them wrong !!


He has the biggest skill you need as Real manager. The respect of the locker room and the ability to crack skulls when needed !!

Real Madrid easily have one of the best squads in world football, of course, but managing these players through squad rotation and ego-checking can be a tightrope walk for anyone. But not for Zidane. He has had no problem benching seasoned superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, sometimes even leaving him out of the squad completely, as he did in away trips to Granada, Deportivo, Sporting Gijon and Leganes.

This brought arguably the greatest CL knockout stage performance in history by Ronaldo. 10 goals in 7 matches. 5 against Bayern, 3 against Atletico and 2 against Juve in the final.
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Zidane’s man-management of Ronaldo has got to be one of the best things that has happened this season. Getting him to accept his rationed game minutes so he can score less overall but score more meaningful goals is a testament to the respect and trust Zizou commands from him and all our players.

Consequently, starting Varane, Nacho, Lucas Vázquez, Morata, Kovačić, Marco Asensio.. rejuvenating Isco’s career has been a tactical masterpiece. The before mentioned have contributed with a total of 50 goals and 27 assists this season !!

BBC is not the only thing in Real Madrid anymore.  AML (Asensio, Morata, Lucas) is also in the lines soon.. These stats gives a strong indication that maybe the the new manager is laying the groundwork for a long-term plan – previously a blasphemous notion to Pérez.

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One must remember that Real Madrid have always been blessed with some of the world’s best players from top to bottom. The so-called ‘Los-Galacticos’…

But the level of consistency has always been missing from the Galacticos, maybe due to the inherent superstar culture, playing as a group of talented individuals and not playing as a team

Zidane cited the 2003 sale of Claude Makélélé to Chelsea to make room for David Beckham as an example of where the that particular policy lost its way, famously asking the question“Why put another layer of gold paint on the Bentley when you are losing the entire engine?”

As much as i love and admire Becks, i can’t argue with Zizou’s question as well !!

To that end, one of the first things Zidane did when he replaced Rafa Benítez in January 2016 was to re-install an engine. Brazilian Casemiro became one of the manager’s most important players. He is industrious and does the “ugly” stuff extremely well – the polar opposite of what Pérez wants in a player, but he is one of the main reasons why twelfth Champions League trophy now sits in the Bernabéu cabinet.

In came Casemiro, out went James Rodríguez. The Colombian international has done nothing to endear himself to Zidane, and while his €80m price tag might have guaranteed him a starting role under some old regimes, Zizou is running a meritocracy – how much a player costs means nothing to him.

For Real to show a level of maturity heretofore unseen by the club, speaks volumes for where they are now as an entity.

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There will inevitably come a time when Pérez will attempt to force a “new layer of gold paint” on Zidane’s Bentley. However, in doing so he would risk upsetting a thriving manager, a settled squad and a fanbase who appear to be satisfied for once.

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Movie Review : Mulholland Drive

4.5 / 5

Recently, BBC released a list of top 100 films of 21st century , and surprisingly to many, including myself, Mulholland Drive received the top spot. I had watched it before but kinda felt that this was not the correct decision by the BBC panel. So, decided to give it another go..


Plot :
A dark-haired woman (Laura Elena Harring) is left amnesiac after a car crash. She wanders the streets of Los Angeles in a daze before taking refuge in an apartment. There she is discovered by Betty (Naomi Watts), a wholesome Midwestern blonde who has come to the City of Angels who’s staying in her absent Aunt’s apartment and seeking fame as an actress. Together, the two attempt to solve the mystery of Rita’s true identity, by searching through Rita’s faded memories, climbing in through a bedroom window to find a rotting corpse.

As they try to piece her life back together, the movie introduces a barrage of other characters. Some relevant, some not so…

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Having told you all of that, I’ve basically explained nothing. The movie is hypnotic; we’re drawn along as if one thing leads to another, but nothing leads anywhere, and that’s even before the characters start to fracture and recombine like flesh caught in a kaleidoscope.



Review :
Most people who did not like Mulholland Drive say they didn’t like it because it was too “Lynch-y”. That it didn’t have a story and it was just meant to confuse you. But I would argue that is farther from the truth. Mulholland Drive does have a stable plot, it does have a meaning, it does have a story.

It might not be the best example, but Mulholland Drive is kind of like Inception. It’s a dream story within reality. Mulholland Drive isn’t just a movie that was supposed to confuse you, and if you understand the plot, you see that Lynch wanted to show themes of how actresses are really treated by the industry, the ties between love and drugs, what the lust for fame will do to a person, etc.

I see Mulholland Drive as a movie that really maximizes the potential of filmmaking, a movie that can only exist as a movie, something that justifies the entire medium really. The idea can’t be portrayed with same conviction through a book, the same reason that Fight Club is considered superior than the book…

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Honestly, I still do not completely agree with BBC’s list, but I do understand their point of view much better now..

This is a movie to surrender yourself to. If you require logic, see something else. “Mulholland Drive” works directly on the emotions, like music. Individual scenes play well by themselves, as they do in dreams, but they don’t connect in a way that makes sense… Again, like dreams. The way you know the movie is over is that it ends. And then you tell a friend, “I saw the weirdest movie last night.” Just like you tell them you had the weirdest dream…