Summer is in full-swing.
To complete it and perhaps give some color to your June, here’s a list and brief impressions of the films I’ve watched recently & why you should watch them.
An unsettling recreation of the Irish Hunger Strike in Ireland led by Bobby Sands featuring a stellar performance by Michael Fassbender and poignantly directed by Steve McQueen. This film will leave you empty, astounded, and in a state of chaos. For a film that is highly detached, it is incredibly disheartening yet expresses doses of humanity in a stage flooded by brutality, alienation, degradation, and inhumanity. A worthwhile experience for all those who can stomach the Hunger.
Gorgeous. Every pigment, shot, frame, and scenery is picked at full ripe. It almost leaves one in a state of disbelief at how distilled with perfection the cinematography of this film is. Following a young girl right before her vows into nunnery, Ida is an extremely evocative experience, both socially and personally. Pawlikowski directs with such a humanistic fervor that one can’t help be entranced with Ida — and her journey to become her present and future, by battling and overcoming her past.
Hugh Jackman. Jake Gyllenhaal. Yes, please. Two great actors coming together in a disturbing thriller, where the thrill doesn’t lie in action or mystery, but the meticulously well crafted dynamics between Jackman and Gyllenhaal. The film is extremely psychological and does an excellent job at depicting the ‘good’ at their worst. Director Villenueve is slowly encroaching into my heart with Prisoners sitting at the front.
Ah, I might be extremely biased with Kar-Wai but this film, which is the prequel to ‘2046’ is a delicate revelation of love, loss, and loneliness caressed by a subtle beauty and finesse. Bold. Precocious. Red. Very Red. This film features the prototype cast of Kar Wai (Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung) and fiddles with one’s heart strings as it delves into the minds and lives of the characters as they tread on a fine thread, wearing their hearts out, vulnerable and unaware, yet deliciously In the Mood for Love.
This film is the definition of charming. A South Korean slice-of-life and in parts a coming-of-age story about a group of girls and their insecurities, troubles, identities, romances, and most importantly, friendships. Told through the lens of the present and past, the film weaves in and out seamlessly through time. Brought together in the present by the dying wish of a former friend, the girls re-unite to recollect the past, in a wonderfully down-to-earth film that will turn any day, Sunny.
Forgiveness. This virtue is preached about relentlessly, but hard to practice. Dor is a film that shows us a dynamic view of just how hard. Two very different women, from very different worlds bond together under false pretenses and their relationship is tested, with much at stake. This is a very compelling narrative about the delicate nature of relationships and is very finely crafted, accompanied with superb acting. There is no melodramatic shtick here, just raw emotion and the genuine portrayal of it. It is a great film, starring two talented actresses that really immerse themselves in their roles and convey the messages of the film earnestly, for the Dor (thread) that connects them is only as strong as they are.
A very grounded and charming production about a seemingly naive girl who–after her fiancee breaks off their marriage–embarks on her planned honeymoon, alone. Under all the quirkiness and folly, the film is honest, real, and genuine. Where life would seemingly cease for a traditional girl from India upon the breakage of her marriage, our Queen rises from the ashes of societal barriers and distinctly makes her mark on the world and reaffirms herself. This is a must-see, light-watch and a worthwhile experience for all audiences.
A cinematic masterpiece. An emotional addiction. A Fairy-Tale inverted. The life of Oharu is a heavy film trailing the extremely tragic life of Oharu in 17th century Feudal Japan. Shunned and ostracized for loving a lower-ranked man, Oharu is estranged from everything, including herself. This film plays out firstly, as an artistic arrangement, and secondly, as a masterful narrative of what might be arguably, one of the saddest affairs captured and the woman who had to carry its burden.
Dennis Villenueve and Jake Gyllenhaal again? Yes, again. And for good reason. This film is grossly surreal, trippy, lucid, creepy, chilling, and insidious. Loosely adapted from Jose Saramago’s The Double, Enemy is a psychological thriller that follows a man’s obsession with another man, who looks just like him. There are some very interesting existential overtones at work here and if you’re looking for a mind jazz, this is the film to take on, or more accurately, let it take on you.
Darkness (literally). Sci-fi. Dystopia. Memory-loss in abundance. Plot. Characters. Intrigue. This is an insanely entertaining and gripping film with the the right mix of elements. A great, dark sci-fi thriller to appeal to any sense. Lost.Found.Soul.Controversy.What is this? It’s Dark City, of course.
This list is inconclusive and will be updated as more films worth mentioning come up.