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Movies

The Red Issue


The Red Issue

Movies

Contributors 1. Movie Of The Month - Anuj Iravane 2. Vintage Movie Krushna Dande

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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The Red Issue


The Red Issue

Movies

Movie Of The Month Mark Wahlberg is known to have beef with other celebrities. To say that Christian Bale is a bit intense is an understatement. David O Russell does not hesitate to engage into a conflict with his crew or actors. Put all three of them in a boxing ring and what do you get? One of the best movies of the year. Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg) is a boxer who has had a few rough fights lately, and is beginning to sense that his time in the sport may be passing him by. His brother, Dicky (Christian Bale), himself a former promising fighter, serves as his trainer, but Dicky has succumbed to a crack addiction and is utterly unreliable. Their mother, Alice (Melissa Leo), is his manager, but seems unable to get Mickey a fight that will further his career. After getting pummeled by a heavier fighter that he had no business being in the ring with, Mickey’s about to hang up his gloves for good, but with the help of his girlfriend Charlene (Amy Adams), he begins to plan a comeback. But the problem is, in order to get on track, he needs to cast aside his brother and mother, who are dragging him down. In broad terms, it’s easy to see early on where the movie is headed, but Russell and his screenwriters manage to make getting there interesting and affecting. Wahlberg and Bale make convincing brothers and they make their relationship appealingly complicated and turbulent. Wahlberg fits in the shoes of Mickey perfectly, but Bale is the heart of the film. He has to adapt to a plenitude of characteristics of his personality. I’ve never seen Bale in another role that would have made me think that he was right for this one. When he’s not high, Dicky is a goofy motormouth with boundless energy, and not at all the sullen, serious character that’s become Bale’s stock-in-trade

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The Red Issue

over the past few years. It’s a role that could be used by an actor to grandstand, but Bale pulls it off admirably. If you have seen all of Christian’s films, you will agree to it that this has been his best performance after ‘The Machinist’. The Golden Globe was only inevitable. With reference to the Golden Globe, Mellisa Leo’s (The mother of Dicky and Mickey) performance wasn’t that worthy to be awarded the same, but was another feather in the cap for the movie nonetheless. Boxing movies have an advantage over other sports-related flicks - in getting people who aren’t necessarily interested in the sport to watch them, and in terms of metaphoric ease. The Fighter takes advantage in every plausible way. Some of you might ignore it saying that it revolves around the same old conventional plot of an underdog achieving success; but there’s nothing superior in Hollywood than to modernize vintage with perfection.

- Anuj Iravane

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Vintage Movie Hollywood is the land of dreams for most of the world. Millions of people dream of finding fame and fortune in the land below the big white letters. It is in this land in the 1950s, where Sunset Boulevard is set. As the movie begins with the narration of a dead man, you know you are in for something you have not seen before. The movie is centered on a hack screenwriter, in his own words, “nobody important.” His scripts do the rounds in Hollywood floors but splutter and die, he is three months behind on his rent, and the investment people are coming to take his car. By a sheer twist of fate, he pulls up in the garage of the faded starlet of the silent film era, Norma Desmond. The movie is not a whodunit, or even a howdunit. It is a cinematic whydunit, with Agatha Christie-esque methods of revelation. The movie appears to be created for the sole purpose of applying to the perfect definition of the word ‘grotesque.’ As our protagonist walks into the stately mansion, which appears to be in a state of creeping paralysis, the viewer is given a touching, and slightly disturbing representation of a building that used to be beautiful and famous, but now is nigh forgotten, just like its female occupant. The movie also expertly cuts in small comedic scenes and dialogue whenever the tension seems a little high. But the director seems to have panache for making the tension rise up to a crescendo as the demented heroine looks into the camera. The house is crafted to perfection. The living room is littered with photos of the actress in her prime, relics of a forgotten past. The church organ howls as the wind blows through the house, giving it a strange atmosphere, much like a mausoleum. The aloof butler, Max, utterly devoted to his mistress, is the only static figure in a whirlwind of ever changing relationships. The doors of the house all have no locks, as the melancholic Norma often feels suicidal. No other building feels as decadent as this one.


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When Norma sees the writer in her home, she offers him the role of the ghostwriter for one of her own scripts. What follows is indubitably one of the greatest movies about movies in the history of movies. The movie is long, but does not feel like it because of a hefty number of plot elements, all of which would be indispensible to lead to the inevitable end. The part of Norma Desmond as the reclusive lunatic is played to precision, and the story drives along with a clear goal. The characters are well balanced and have great story arcs, and often the relationships between the characters at the beginning and the end of the movie are polar opposites. The movie takes the standard ‘older rich woman falls for younger poor man’ story and spices it up. One thing that this movie never really confirms is this: is this just a story meant to be enjoyed, or is it a cautioning one to warn you about the dangers of living in the past, attachment, and loneliness? The lesson that every viewer takes home may well be different, but no one can deny that the deliverance of the lesson is done with utmost aplomb and panache. As an aside, in the end, perversely, all three of the main characters get what they want, just not how they want it. - Krushna Dande

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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