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Mar 29, 2009

Animals are beautiful people (1974): A review

Animals are beautiful people (1974)
Directed by: Jamie Uys
IMDb: 8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A

I recently watched this documentary(?) for second time and I was once again rolling over the floor laughing.

I don't know if "Documentary" is a right word to use for Animals are beautiful people,which is an entertainment film that incorporates nature footage and some nature fact, dramatic or comedic invention, accompanied by music. Whatever it is, it is a complete entertainment package for people of all ages.

Animals are beautiful people is about life in the harsh conditions of southwest Africa’s Namib Desert and Kalahari desert. The documentary begins with the narrator saying "You'd think nobody could make a living here." but the whole documentary is centers around how the animals have adapted to the harsh environment and made a paradise out of the place.The film is a serio-comic look at the lives of these animals. Humor and tragedy occur intermittently throughout the film.

Some of the highlights of the film include insects with various types of body air- conditioners ,cartwheeling baboons, bachelor bore getting married,animal residents of the fertile Kavango flood plains intoxicated on fermented fruit,mating dance of Ostrich,the remarkable partnership of the badger and the honey-guide bird, and the astonishingly intricate lengths to which the Kalahari bushmen go to find water., the treatment of the annoying bird by the bushman which are very humorous and uplifting whereas the fire at the birds' nest, the excruciating death march of the pelican chickens is very saddening.

In short, an inaccurate documentary (?) that is humorous in parts, saddening in some, beautiful in some but charming all the time. A very fine family viewing. And a must watch for those who love animals and funny animals!!!

Mar 9, 2009

Earth (Documentary): Breathtaking Beautiful Documentary about our Planet

I know, I know! Despite of it's title suggesting otherwise, my blog is turning into a movie review blog! Can't help it though because writing a review about the latest movie or documentary I watched is one easy thing i find to do that keeps my blog regularly updated. I hope I will be able to write something beside reviews not long from now! Till then here is a short review of the documentary I watched last night.

Earth (2007)
Directed by: Alastair Fothergill & Mark Linfield
IMDB: 7.8/10

I bought this documentary in an impulse. Just saw the good reviews on its covers and I didn't find any good movies with the vendor so I took it.

I loved this documentary and the way it has been made. Having watched numerous environment and nature related documentaries, I was prepared for the usual propaganda and preachings about the need to conserve environment , minimize our use of natural resources but it took me by surprise with its spectacular, heart stoppingly beautiful photography of a range of scenery and animals, from arctic to tropical and everything in between. The camera works are varied for close ups to aerial views. The view of the rain forests and the coniferous forests was exceptionally beautiful but it was the aerial view of the waterfalls in the Himalayas that took my breath away!

Mar 3, 2009

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest : A review

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Directed by:Milos Forman
Year: 1975
IMDB: 8.9 /10
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Yahoo Movies: A-
Tagline: If he's crazy, what does that make you?

I watched this film with the knowledge that it had been the second film in history to win the 'top five' Oscars (for Best Picture, Best actor, Best actress, Best director and best screenplay), is one of the highest rated movie ever in IMDB.com as well as Rotten Tomatoes and has been praised as "one of Jack Nicholson's finest roles" and "one of the classics of the 70's". Naturally, after hearing all this, I had high expectations for One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. And I have to say, my expectations were fairly met.

Based on the novel of the same name by Ken Kesey, the story follows Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), who is convicted of statutory rape, in an attempt to get out of spending more time in prison, pleads insanity for his crime, and is therefore sentenced to time in a mental institution.His expectations of finding a better place than a prison are quickly shattered as he finds himself living among desolate patients and the incredibly repressive Nurse Ratchet. His non- conformist attitude and the youthful rebellious spirit finds it hard to survive in an authoritarian system. In defiance he plays pranks,horseplay, commits mischiefs. His constant optimism and reckless defiance against the rules of the assylum and the authority of Nurse Ratchet can be very uplifting to the viewers but at the same time the bleak environment of a mental instittution can be depressing to some as well.

It's true that movies cannot be taken as the mirrors of a society. But they can be analysed and again psychoanalyzed to understand the society or the mood of the society at the time the movie gets produced. In the same way, one can analyze the character of protagonist and his acts of defiance against the establishment can be viewed as the general trend of wrld in the 70s to go against the establishment and against the general trends of the society. One can also view the character of Nurse Ratchet symbolising the then USSR and the world's yearn towards freedom.

I hardly find anything that hasn't been said about this movie. It has an excellent storyline, top notch acting, painfully bleak visuals, perfectly setting the tone for the movie, and a great ending that leaves the viewers with conflicting emotions. It's true that it suffers from some flaws but which movie doesn't? Overall a very good movie! A feast for the classic lovers! Truly deserves the praises!

Thank you for reading patiently!