Friday, May 20, 2005

Incredibly spoilerful review of Star Wars Ep III

First of all - I didn't know we HAD that many fans in Delhi. They cheered and applauded at the opening credit thingy and the scrolling yellow wordy bit. They also, for some reason, cheered at Padme's pregnancy. Applauding her fertility, presumably.
er.

So yes, I was surrounded by screaming fans, and most of the time that was a really good thing.

ROTS is far, far better than either of the prequels. The effects are stunning. The dialogue is slightly better than the last two (though Padme/anakin scenes are still rather cringeworthy). The acting is mostly better...Natalie Portman didn't impress me much, but Hayden got better. What really sets ROTS apart from TPM and AOTC is the fact that you actually care about the characters. Anakin's transition to the dark side was painful at times, as was Obi-wan's feeling of betrayal that Anakin had not carried out the prophecy. And some of the strongest scenes in the movie are done without the characters spewing 'dramatic' dialogue - Anakin and Padme sitting silently looking out of the window, Vader entering the Jedi temple with an army, the younglings scene, and the masking of Darth Vader. The betrayal of the Jedi, shown for each individual, is pretty heartbreaking. Padme gets the best line in the movie, as she watches Palpitane turn the republic into an empire.

Yes, the movie had its silly bits. General Grievous is just annoying, and walks like the smaller, brown dinosaur in Dinosaur Comics. Obi Wan on a giant lizard is really rather silly, but it doesn't jar. As usual, C3PO and R2D2 provide comic relief, R2 is especially brilliant (I'd never noticed before how much he sounds like a teletubby).

I think what I really appreciated about the film was that it wasn't all black and white. The original trilogy was, and that was good. But most of those who were children when they saw the originals are all grown up now, and presumably have learnt that it's not that simple. Some of the Jedi actions are dubious, and there is good in Vader. And the movie sets things up for his redemption brilliantly, I need to watch the original trilogy again. It'll have more depth now.

Best quote:
So, this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause..-Padme

Worst quote:
I'm weak! Don't kill me! - Palpitane/Darth Sidious.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Art!

I bring ye...art!

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I bought this at Dilli Haat because it's gorgeous and weird and snakeful.

I'm wondering though...I'm seeing a lot of Madhubani-ish stalls at Dilli Haat lately, and that's odd. And the college book and stationery shop has spiral bound notebooks with madhubani covers. I don't remember the last time art in its framed form was in fashion.
So is Madhubani the latest trend? Am I *gasp* cool?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

on kingdom of heaven

{hello, i'm the other friendly co-poster.}

A Jerusalem where everyone speaks the language of self-satisfied libertarianism is no Jerusalem. Where are the Jews, for one? Lost beneath the swirling two-dimensionality of Scott’s execution. The protagonist's utilitarian philosophy – save the people, leave the stones - fails to succeed, fails to broker more than a temporary peace and a feeble wonder in the minds of the audience.

Something is rotten in the kingdom of conscience. Wolfgang Petersen tried and failed to comment on the Iraq War with Troy, his utterly boybandish interpretation of the Iliad. Oliver Stone was certainly not smoking the right stuff when he drew his suicidally ludicrous parallel between Alexander and George Bush. Scott attempts to remedy this, it is true, and his message – that religion and history are not greater than human life – is a good and valuable thing in itself. But the sense of unease is pervasive. The ham-handed self-importance of it all clangs and clatters when, as the film itself states in an unbearably pompous epilogue, peace in the kingdom of heaven remains elusive a thousand years later. Kingdom isn’t even preaching to the choir; it’s rehashing the tunes and force-feeding it back to them.

Not in a wildly interesting fashion, even.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A Beginning

I read. Quite a lot. I also occasionally watch movies. And go to exhibitions. And buy/crave art. I want to talk about these things. You will listen/read. Hah.