Queen of Katwe (2016)
“…in chess, the small one can become the big one…” (from the trailer “Queen of Katwe”).
Story: The movie is the upcoming Disney-produced drama based on the real story of Phiona Mutesi (played by newcomer Madina Nalwanga), a 10-year old Ugandan chess prodigy, who, against all odds, becomes a Woman Candidate Master after the World Chess Olympiads. Brought up in the slums of Katwe, an area in the city of Kampala, Uganda, young Phiona endures a daily routine of trying to survive when she discovers a game named “chess”, which turns her life upside down. Encouraged and supported by her mother (Lupita Nyong’o) and couch (David Oyelowo), Phiona quickly becomes a young chess sensation in her country, participating in international competitions abroad.
Continue reading Previews: “Queen of Katwe”, “Sully” and “The Light between Oceans”
12 Years a Slave (2013)
Coming from Steve McQueen (director of ‘Shame‘ (2011)), ‘12 Years a Slave’ can now be comfortably described as this year’s cinematic sensation. The film, based on a self-autobiographical novel by Solomon Northup, tells the story of a black free man, who lives a happy family life in Saratoga, New York in 1841. After he is tricked, kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South, his life turns up-side-down, and a once brilliant musician and an educated family man is now forced to endure an unjust hard life of a slave in Louisiana. The film is very truthful to Northump’s novel, and is filled with so much realism that when one of the characters at the end of the film starts talking about freedom and black people’s rights, the audience may find it hard to believe a word he says – so engrossed they have become in the political/social ideology of that time and in black people’s lives on a plantation in Louisiana.
Continue reading “12 Years a Slave” Review
’12 Years a Slave’ is a new film by Steve McQueen, the director who also brought us ‘Hunger’ (2008) and ‘Shame’ (2011). The film is based on a true story of a free black man from New York, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who was abducted and sold into slavery in Louisiana. The film portrays Solomon’s journey to regain his freedom, escaping a cruel plantation owner, Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender), while at the same time striking up friendships with such people as a Canadian carpenter and outspoken abolitionist, Mr Bass (Brad Pitt). According to many polls around the world, Steve McQueen’s ‘12 Years a Slave’ is an early frontrunner for the Oscar Award 2014, along with Lee Daniels’ ‘The Butler’, David O. Russell’s ‘American Hustle’ and the Coen Brothers’ ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’.
Continue reading Preview: “12 Years a Slave”
Jane Eyre (2011)
‘Jane Eyre’ is a recent adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel of the same name, starring Mia Wasikowska (‘Alice in Wonderland’ (2010)) as Jane Eyre, Michael Fassbender (‘Hunger’ (2008)) as Mr. Rochester and Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax. This film adaptation, although not as good as Aldous Huxley and Robert Stevenson’s 1944 version, is still better than the 1996 version starring William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The plot is familiar to all. Jane Eyre, after a rather traumatic Dickensian childhood, becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall, a place of mysterious happenings, whose cold and brooding master, Mr. Rochester, perhaps presents the greatest puzzle for the heroine.
Continue reading “Jane Eyre” Mini-Review
Directed by Steve McQueen (‘Hunger’ (2008)) and starring Michael Fassbender, ‘Shame’ is a bold, beautifully-shot film about a high-paid office worker in New York, Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender), who suffers from sex addiction. While Brandon is able to shuffle work and (his idea of) play reasonably successfully on a daily basis, his routine starts to spin out of control, and his life priorities are tested, when his younger sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan), decides to pay him a visit and stay for a few days in his apartment.
Continue reading “Shame” Review
A Dangerous Method (2011)
With “A Dangerous Method“, David Cronenberg (director) has the plan to immerse the audience into the world of a forbidden love affair and an intellectual discourse on the fascinating topic of human psychiatry. The film follows the complicated working relationship between two of the most prominent psychoanalysts of the 20th century, Professor Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Dr Jung (Michael Fassbender), as well as shows Dr Jung’s sophisticated affair with his “hysterical” Russian patient Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley). Although nearly all the actors in the movie give praise-worthy performances, the film is also emotionally empty, predictable and, ironically, generally uninteresting.
Continue reading “A Dangerous Method” Review