It’s not often that you see a movie and want to write about it. But recently, I watched 2 that are worth mentioning…
There’s magic in the air
The first one was Chronicles of Narnia, a really well crafted fairy tale by CS Lewis and equally well rendered onto the silver screen by director Andrew Adamson. I’d say it’s a must-watch inspite of its â€˜Hindi moviesh’ length. The acting overall, was especially good and the one character that I particularly loved was young Lucy Pevensie (Georgie Henley).
It also brought to mind an important question. What do these young people eat while growing up? They’re definitely feeding them things we never ate. She’s 5 and acts like a total pro! And she has the most beautiful eyes. What a darling. Apparently Adamson gave all of them i-Pods once they had finished filming and she thanked him profusely before turning and asking: â€œWhat is it?â€!
CS Lewis’s magical tale is brought to life in true technicolor glory by Adamson who recreates a world where animals talk and where the landscapes are overwhelmingly stark but beautiful (the ice castle looks overwhelming!). The war scenes with mythical creatures like the half men-half horses and those huge birds all seem to come to life on screen drawing us into a world, where you can’t help but believe for a while that there is magic everywhere!
And the lion : voiced by Liam Neesonâ€¦ Wow, what can I say? Being a lover of cats, I have a soft spot for all animals in this particular family, including the lion. What a majestic creature. One forgets after a while that it’s â€œtalkingâ€ lion and actually begins to believe it is really talking!
This is only one of CS Lewis’s novels in the series. There are quite a few more (perhaps enough to keep Adamson occupied for the rest of his career!), and since this one has been brought to the screen successfully, we will no doubt see the sequels…
1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
2. Prince Caspian
3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
4. The Silver Chair
5. The Horse and His Boy
6. The Magician’s Nephew
7. The Last Battle
1. The Magician’s Nephew
2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
3. The Horse and His Boy
4. Prince Caspian
5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
6. The Silver Chair
7. The Last Battle
Adamson is now working on the sequel, Prince Caspian slated for release in December 2007.
Also, caught up with the much talked about Rang de Basanti.
The acting: Unlike what was expected, Aamir didn’t hog all the attention. It was well divided between all the friends. I especially liked Siddharth & Kunal Kapoor. The whole first half exuded such vibrancy that you couldn’t help but be affected by this group of friends and especially their humour, which was so relatable.
The story: The historical parts interspersed with the present integrated well into the storyline. The end yes, it has been much debated. Despite its extremity, in its defense, I have to say that it makes one think and that’s more than what many movies these days do. After having watched and reviewed many crappy movies I must say this one definitely stood out in all aspects : whether it was cinematography, music, editing, acting etc.
On the downside, it is hard to digest what they do in the end as a feasible solution and I’m not sure why Rakeysh Mehra decided to go with this particular ending. Was it optimistic? Was it pessimistic? What was it trying to say to the youth? I, for one, wasn’t really clear. Especially the whole cracking down scene on demonstrators, and the finale at the radio station seemed like taking things too far. I know the director has creative licence, but I did wonder since otherwise the movie unfolded so well.
Was such an extreme step necessary? Couldn’t there have been an alternative if Mehra’s point was to show that the youth are responsibility for making sure the country moves in the right direction and not just sit around and complain. Perhaps a more feasible story, to an otherwise really sane, interesting and youthful film would have gone down well.
And on an end note, the songs I think were quite brilliant. They not only wove themselves into the fabric of the film, but also conveyed a sense of vibrancy that nearly had me up and doing the bhangra along with the rest of them. All in all, I’d give it a 8/10 from my side. What’s your take?