Thursday, 24 August 2017

''In the Heat of the Night'' (1967 film)- Review

Directed by: Norman Jewison
Released: 1967
Country: United States

Genre: Mystery, Drama, Crime

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


When, one night, an industrialist is found murdered in Sparta, Mississipi, a policeman suspects Virgil Tibbs (played by Sidney Poitier), an African-American man who was waiting for a train at a nearby station. However, when it is revealed that Tibbs is actually a highly successful policeman from Philadelphia, the racist police chief, Gillespie (played by Rod Steiger), asks Tibbs to help him solve the case. Although initially reluctant, Tibbs eventually agrees to help Gillepsie, and in a town shadowed by racism, he manages to discover clues that will help him solve the mystery.

While ''In the Heat of the Night'' is an excellent mystery film- with clues surfacing from unexpected places, culminating in an unpredictable solution to the mystery- there is a great focus on the subject of racism. In spite of the fact that Tibbs is a well-known homicide expert, he is subjected to racial prejudice and racist remarks over and over again. You can see how humiliated and indignant he feels when he is suspected by the police of Sparta and when he is subjected to prejudice. His indignant response to a racist remark- ''They cal me Mr. Tibbs!''- is possibly one of the most famous quotes in film history. 

It is really sad the way he is often treated, but, no matter how indignant and humiliated he feels, he does not budge from his stance, from his determination to solve the puzzling, complicated mystery.

Another important character is, of course, Gillespie, played by Rod Steiger. Although initially unpleasant and prejudiced, he eventually learns to respect Tibbs and overcome his prejudices. Both Poitier and Steiger deliver excellent performances.

To sum it up, ''In the Heat of the Night'' is a very powerful film. Besides being an excellent mystery, it also explores a very important social issue.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

''The Country Girl'' (1954 film)- Review

Directed by: George Seaton
Released: 1954
Country: United States

Genre: Drama

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Theater director Bernie Dodd (played by William Holden) hires actor Frank Elgin (played by Bing Crosby) for his new play, and because his (Frank's) alcoholism bothers him, he pays a visit to his home. Bernie comes to think that Frank is manipulated by his wife, Georgie (played by Grace Kelly). There was a time Frank used to be a well-known actor but his career has declined, his alcoholism making it particularly hard for him to find work. Bernie is concerned and is prepared to help Frank at any cost. Over the course of time, however, Bernie comes to realize that everything is not what meets the eye.

''The Country Girl'' is indeed a powerful, emotionally raw film.  The characters are very realistic. Grace Kelly's performance is phenomenal, while William Holden and Bing Crosby are great in their roles as well. The secrets revealed over the course of the film make the characters stronger and layered.  

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

''The Royal Tenenbaums'' (2001 film)- Review

Directed by: Wes Anderson
Released: 2001
Country: United States

Genre: Comedy-drama

Rating: 5 out of 5


''The Royal Tenenbaums'' is such a lovely film! It is warm, gentle, moving and funny.

Royal (played by Gene Hackman)  and Etheline Tenenbaum (played by Anjelica Huston) have three children: Chas (who becomes an expert in financial matters and starts his own business in his childhood), Margo (who is adopted and starts writing brilliant plays before reaching her teens) and Ritchie (who is a famous table tennis player). After Royal and Etheline separate, the latter takes all the responsibilities of bringing up and educating their children. Years pass and the successes that the Tenenbaum child enjoyed in their childhoods do not follow them into adulthood. They are visibly depressed and have had traumatic episodes in her lives. For various reasons, Chas (Ben Stiller), Margo (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Ritchie (Luke Wilson) find themselves under the same roof after years and when Royal tells them that he has cancer, things take a different turn and might help the family members settle their mutual differences and problems.

While the film is witty and enchanting, it also strongly addresses dysfunction. The characters are realistic and lovable in their own ways. The distance that has been created among the members of the Tenenbaum family is very understandable. It is evident that they love one another, but past incidents have caused them to hold grudges against one another.

Hackman, Huston, Stiller, Paltrow, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson (who plays Ritchie's childhood friend, Eli), Danny Glover (who plays an accountant who falls in love with and proposes Etheline) and Bill Murray (who plays Margo's husband) are all brilliant in their roles. Hackman is so cute and I loved the way he tries to make up for everything, how he comes to understand that he has never fulfilled his responsibilities towards his family. Besides Royal, I really, really, really loved Margo. Gwyneth Paltrow shines in her role. I loved the character. I could understand the mess she was in. Although one of the calmer characters in the film, she is a very powerful character in her own right.

Overall, I loved ''The Royal Tenenbaums''. It is such a heartwarming film, beautifully written and directed.