....and all that jazZ

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Two Movies and a Book

1. 15 Park Avenue

It is a wonderful effort by Aparna Sen. I think maybe somewhere her being a woman shaped the movie the way it turned out. Its a subject handles with immense delicacy. One of those movies where a mental illness does not make a caricature out of someone. Its so easy to make a movie sad and filled with pathos. What Aparna Sen has done lifts it above that mundane-ness. You learn to empathise with Meethi and perhaps even more with Anjali
"Why is her world less real that ours?" asks Anjali to her schizophrenic sister's doctor. "How would you like it if I told you that you were not a professor and were only imagining it?" asks Meethi to Anjali. And these simple questions hurt.
There are occasions where the scenes come across as contrived and interestingly theyare all the scenes with Rahul Bose. He is the weakest link. But all the same it ends on a wonderfully. I would even go as far to call it optimistic in one sense.

2. To Kill a Mocking Bird

I am not very fond of books that are made into movies. Very few movies have redeemed themselves. Only two I can think of have taken it beyond the book. Godfather being one such example. The book I found not to be a classic but the movie defenitely is - thanks to the stellar cast and performances. To Kill a Mocking Bird is a fantastic book. I never imagined that the movie would match up to it. But this one out did all my expectations. The movie brought the book to life. Gregory Peck as Atticus gave the much loved character flesh blood and soul. And Scout and Jem are simply phenomenal. The direction and adapted screenplay are both outstanding.
There is not one single thing that I can think of thats wrong with the movie. being in black and white it only adds more shades to the story that colour could only have hoped for.

3. Grapes of Wrath

I had posted earlier that the book is dragging along. BUt once past the first 80-100 pages, about when the Joad family packs their bagsand moves westward in search of a job and a life the book pick sup pace and walks you through a family's darkest days. Set in the dust bowl decade, it shows the pathos of the situation, and deprivations and depravation going hand in had, the joad family dealing with it. Ma Joad - is an amazingly strong character and wnderfully written. She needs no name. She is Ma. She is the pillar of that family. Filled with symbolism from the book of genesis - as is the trademark of steinbeck- this i found on reading an esaay about his works and thi s one in particular- the book ends on a note thats absolutely pathetically depressing and at the same time leaves us with some faint optimism in the goodness of man. Not Steinbecks best ( that would be East of Eden) but defenitely a landmark book. The issues it talks about are as relevant today because inherently society can never change unless the basic character of man - the social animal- changes.


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