I have been thinking of writing about “The Red Violin” since i saw it. I saw this movie by chance. Yes, i am really happy to have stumbled upon it.This movie is about an epic journey of a perfect musical instrument, The Red Violin. Some might say the movie is a collection of small stories and I wouldn’t disagree. The movie shows us the journey of the beautiful red wooden piece for over three centuries around the world and several owners, eventually ending up in an auction .
The movie begins with the tension filled auction in contemporary Montreal, where “the red violin”, a famous Nicolo Bussotti violin, is being auctioned off. It is also attended by New York-based musical historian (Samuel L. Jackson). But instead of staying with the auction all the time, we flash back to the creation of the violin in 17th century Italy and then follow it as it makes its way through an 18thcentury Austrian monastery/orphanage, a violinist in 19thcentury Oxford and China during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Each time it brings the person who owns it a lot of fame, but also bad luck and despair, often resulting in the death of the owner or someone the owner really loves.
It is not just an ordinary drama or thriller, the story is as original as it can get. The physical setting, the background score and the superb acting only authenticates the movie. So we might feel uncomfortable with the subtitles, but it only makes you feel the movie more and draw you into the story more.
Enough about it, I will not give away any of the plot in hopes that when reading this you will take my advise and see this film and judge it yourself. You will not be disappointed.
Trivia: According to wikipedia: The film was inspired by one of Antonio Stradivari’s violins, the Red Mendelssohn (1721), which is currently played by Elizabeth Pitcairn, heiress to the PPG fortune, whose grandfather purchased it for her 16th birthday for $1.7 million at auction at Christie’s London. She is one of the few soloists who performs the Red Violin Chaconne composed for the film by John Corigliano.
This movie is not all fun and comedy, its a story of real people in the real world.
Its a story about two sisters Rose (Amy Adams) and Norah (Emily Blunt). Rose , a former head cheerleader who’s now working as a maid, taking care of her trouble-making son, Oscar (Jason Spevack), and sleeping with her ex-boyfriend, Mac (Steve Zahn), who married someone else. Norah can’t hold down a steady job …except for babysitting Oscar and telling him horror stories. Rose comes across this lucrative opportunity of crime scene clean-up specialist, and somehow convinces her sister Norah to join her in her new blood and body fluid cleaning business, and the two of them quickly learn how lucrative it can be, and how little they know about its machinations. But Rose is doing it for her son so that she can afford to send him to an appropriate school, and Norah is doing it so that she can be close to her sister.
It is the intermix of relationships and how each character deals or doesn’t deal with them that holds this film together and makes it a surprising success. Amy Adams does another great job acting as
a vulnerable yet determined woman trying to make good for her son. Emily Blunt is stunning as the confused and embittered sister who loves the smell of everything her mother left behind and
deals with her puzzled relationships.
The performances are top notch. Adams is terrific. She’s one of those actors that manage to express a million emotions on her face at one time. She is a natural. Blunt’s performance is understated, and vastly entertaining to watch.
While there are several films out there trying to take advantage of the current world’s state, making quirky comedy out of desperation, Sunshine Cleaning is one of the better ones, definitely worth a watch but just don’t expect to leave feeling like all’s well in the world.
I am delighted to be invited by Shikha to write a guest post. I am not a big movie fan but I like to explore and this blog is a great place to discover unique movies from around the world. So I decided to do my bit as well and share this Turkish movie with you.
In life there are inevitable moments where we assume and judge a person, a place, an occasion, or a thought. And we go ahead and take actions. Actions, regardless right or wrong, they have butterfly effects on our environment and change our lives for the better or the worse.
The movie “Romantik” presents a love story between a girl and two men that love the same girl. When her boyfriend has to leave her to run away from the law, he comes back after three years only to find out that she is about to marry his best friend. He feels betrayed and she is confused. Things start happening…
It might sound like a cliché story or it is a cliché story. However the amazing point with the movie is how it plays with the audience. It shows the audience only one part of the story and as soon as we start assuming why the characters act the way they do, the story changes and shows us how bias we were. It is a great lesson the movie gives with a sweet love story and romantic scenes. There are great actors in the movie including my favorite Turkish actor “Okan Bayulgen”. He is a sensation in Turkey with his intelligence, humor and the ears that stand so far from his face that he could easily use them on his sailing boat. No seriously, he is a great actor and he chooses great movies. The other actor is a great singer who played for this movie for the first time.
I think “Romantik” is a nice movie with a great purpose and very easy to watch. I love the soundtrack of this movie as well. Worth watching it J
UMASS Boston – International Students
I am a big fan of Marion Cortillard since I saw her in La môme, I am always on a look out for her movies. I came across this movie while browsing the French section from Netflix, and I’m glad I chose this one! This movie tells the story of Julien(Guillaume Canet) and Sophie (Cotillard), who meet in grade school and make a pact that binds them together for a lifetime. Their pact/game revolves around a little tin box, a toy painted to look like a merry-go-round. When one hands the other the box, along with it comes a dare. The other “Must” do what they’ve been dared to do. This begins as a childhood game and continues into adulthood, where it gathers dangerous and dark undertones.
P.S: One of the highlights of the movie is its music. They have used Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose” as the sound track, which suits it to the core.
There have been times in life when we look back and think..”what if..?” Many filmmakers are fascinated by this concept of destiny, the road not taken. Sliding Doors is not the first movies which touches the concept of destiny, this issue has been fodder for several movies. But what makes it a special movie is the concept’s treatment. It was rather a brave step for Peter Howitt to make his directorial debut in an uncharted territory in 1998, but paid him off well.
The movie hovers around two versions of Helen’s life (Gwyneth Paltrow) after she catches/misses a train. How the destiny of two Helens unfolds is the movie plot. Paltrow, i would say is the heart of the movie and is a delight to watch. For me SLIDING DOORS is a quiet romance that entertains as well as makes you think. A lovely fable about fate, love and life. For me this movie has romance, humor and infinite possibilities.
Worth mentioning scenes are when she almost catches her boyfriend cheating, the boat scene and of course the climax.
At one point he offers her a one-euro coin for 10 seconds of her time. He spends the 10 seconds gazing at her with huge love-struck eyes. ( isnt that Cute) . Now now Irene and Jean have an intense emotional and physical attraction for one another, but she needs more money to ‘survive’ than he can afford, and he needs the sponsorship of his own mistress to keep himself afloat. How they resolve the entanglements that tear them apart is both amusing and heartwarming.
The plot twists and turns as the film progresses, but, since this is a romantic comedy, we have a fairly good idea of where things will end up – but it still is fun to watch this odd couple volleying back and forth. This isn’t any kind of masterpiece, but is effortlessly crafted and thoroughly entertaining with spectacular locales.
Omkara is an adaption of Shakespeare’s Othello. We all are aware of the story of Othello, but watching it on the big screen is a different experience altogether, and mind you when the director is Vishal Bharadwaj then the experience becomes all the more memorable. I still remember when i first watched this movie i was awestruck but the sheer magic he created on screen.
Omkara/Omi (Ajay Devgan) heads a band of outlaws in a semi-lawless rural area in Uttar Pradesh. Bhaisaab’s (Naseer’s) election win promotes Omi, leaving his “Youth Leader” seat empty. In a logical political move, Omi selects Kesu Firangi (Vivek Oberoi) as his successor ignoring his loyal right-hand-man Langda Tyagi (Saif Ali Khan). Green with envy, Langda slowly poisons Omkara’s mind against Kesu leading him down a path too dark for anyone’s good. Kareena, Konkona & Bipasha play Omi, Langda & Kesu’s love interests respectively.
When Vishal is directing the movie he makes sure he takes the actors whom he can either mold or are just exceptional. Ajay Devgan is brilliant as usual, though on the flip side, his U.P. dialogue does come across as forced. Nonetheless, Devgan made a fine Omkara. Kareen showed that she can perform too. Well, with Vivek Oberoi, Vishal made him act this one time. Konkona Sen, she is a beautiful actor with genuine talent, she was a treat to watch, she commands her scenes and takes control of her fantastic dialogues, making the rest of the cast look like amateurs.
Saif Ali Khan was the soul of this movie. He did in this movie what Pankaj Kapoor did in Maqbool with Abba Ji, which is to re-invent how a character is portrayed, it can only be achieved by legends. Langda is a bit of Jack Sparrow and Bill the Butcher at the same time, which means quality. The best thing was, for the entire movie Saif killed himself to become Langda. Where Dil Chahta Hai gave Saif Ali Khan a new life in the industry, Omkara showed his versatility. Omkara proved that he could be more than just a comedy or second lead actor. He won Popular Award and Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role.
Another character who made a mark with this movie is Deepak Dobriyal who is simply perfect, providing the appropriate and realistic relief from the intense proceedings of the plot. His idiocy and pining for Dolly are laudable.
The opening scene of the movie was one of the best i have seen in recent times. Another scene that was really scary and haunts me till date is the scene with the eagle on the wedding day.
Have you seen the movie? Share your fav scene or dialogue.