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Friday, June 29, 2012

Andrew Garfield - in 'Boy A'

Andrew Garfield is the talk of the town right now as he plays Spider-Man, the much loved superhero in the new Spider-Man film, a whole new franchise that supposedly varies to a great extent from the earlier films that has Tobey Maguire in the lead. I am yet to see the new film, 'The Amazing Spider-Man', but I have very recently seen an early film starring Andrew Garfield, 'Boy A', and have been in awe of this actor. The film is rather grim and intense. Andrew Garfield plays a young man who is released from the juvenile prison to which he had been sent at the age of ten, after being convicted of assisting in the murder of a twelve year old girl. Filmed in 2007, the subject had supposedly attracted a lot of attention, and the poignant depiction and the performances were hailed by many. 

However, I had no idea, and though I had already seen Andrew Garfield in movies like 'Lions for Lambs', 'The Other Boleyn Girl', and 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus', and his much impressive turn in 'The Social Network', I was unaware of this gem of a film. I found 'Boy A' to be emotionally disturbing, because of the material (it is based on the acclaimed novel by Jonathan Trigell) and at the same time handsomely rewarding on account of Garfield's luminous portrayal of the quite, shy and nervous youth who desperately seeks a second chance in life. His performance is so understated, and he seems so at ease, donning this difficult role, that it is impossible not be affected by the same. His vulnerability brought a lump to my throat and even after the end credits had rolled on, I was chewing on the words spoken by Garfield's character. 

The film, directed by John Crowley, and starring Andrew Garfield, Peter Mullan, and Katie Lyons, is now available on home video. So, do watch it for Garfield, unless you are put off by smallish, but serious (read: brooding, and sensitive), British films.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy World Music Day!

Happy World Music Day (Fête de la Musique)!
It's just another day, another celebration to some, 
but to the others, it is a day that is truly special. It is a day on which the world celebrates the magical gift of music. It was conceptualized in France, way back in 1976, by the American musician Joel Cohen. The concept was to celebrate music - all night long - to mark the beginning of the summer solstice. 
Since the Eighties, the concept has caught on in a big way with a huge number of countries celebrating in their own way, regardless of the season that one might be experiencing. 
The idea is noble..... amateur and professional musicians perform on makeshift stage, often together, to promote the goal of making all genres of music accessible to the masses. 
In true sense, it has become a mass movement in not less than thirty odd nations of the world. 
Street music has its detractors too, many are averse to the idea of all-night long revelry, the loud music, and the general commotion. The noise restrictions and other norms are thus imposed at most of these open-air free concerts. However, music rules the roost. 
'Faites de la musique' (make music) is the slogan that has gained prominence. 
Music serves to unite, to build bridges between cultures, and, more than anything else, it fosters harmony, tolerance and peace.
A friend of mine echoes my sentiments in saying, "Music for me is not just a hobby, it is a passion, it is worship, and is akin to oxygen, without which survival is absurd." Many of us genuinely believe that the ones who are blessed musically (and not all are) have the power to rise above all odds, they can heal themselves as well as others. They communicate in the universal language of God. 

"Music", in the words of Leonard Bernstein, "can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." 
I believe that our souls are enriched by music that flows eternally, in this universe of ours, in the cosmos.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

'Rock of Ages' rocks!!!

Rock of Ages is over-the-top, it's the good old musical.
It has an almost brought-back-from-the-dead feel.
I said 'almost', because it is actually lovable - in a campy way.

It gives us a star to root for - Diego Bonita.

Diego Bonita and Julianne Hough make a cute fresh lead pair.
Russell Brand displays his British wackiness once again.

And, with Alec Baldwin, Brand displays a quirky chemistry.

The story - of aspiring rockers - is as old as the history of musicals.
The girl-meets-boy-in-the-big-bad-City-of-Angels tale is paper-thin.
However, the secondary characters have a lot of pizzazz.
The deliciously funny, though predictable, situations make us chuckle.
Glam rock tracks, with anthem status, make us groove.

And the icing on the cake is Tom Cruise himself.

Cruise is a topping that is worth watching the movie for.

Cruise buffs have a reason to rejoice; others: witness a revelation.
Mary J. Blige shines too, as the owner of a night club.
Paul Giamatti plays a manipulative manager called, ahem ahem, Paul.

Despite the silliness, and some ham-acts, the film worked for me.

The songs - the cover versions plus the featured classics - are heavenly.

For a popcorn munching good time at the theaters,
Rock of Ages is recommended viewing.

Cast: Tom Cruise, Diego Bonita, Julianne Hough, Catherine Zeta-Jones,
Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Paul Giamatti, Malin Akerman,
Mary J. Blige, and Bryan Cranston.
Director: Adam Shankman.
Original musical: Chris D'Arienzo.
Screenplay: Chris D'Arienzo, Justin Theroux, and Allan Loeb.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fine..... Fyn....... Fi9

You might say I am anything but fine......
You might say I am hiding behind a fake expression,
but I would still say, I am fine......
I am fine with my hardships,
I am fine with my heartbreaks,
I am fine with my numbness 
that I feel as the pain hasn't resided 
for ages...... 

I am fine with my emotional baggages,
I am fine with my yearnings 
for what cannot be brought back..... 
I am fine with the new worry-lines 
that set in on my face unknowingly.....
I am fine without you
I am fine without my aspirations.....
I am fine without my safety-nets,
I am fine without a back-up plan.
I am fine without a clue.
Well, I am closer to fine, 
or will be, soon.

[Pic courtesy: 'Frankenweenie']