Hitchcock (2012) – A review

Hitchcock – Poster

I GOT TO SEE HITCHCOCK! Wow, I just cant express how happy that made me. It was such an enthralling experience. Perhaps, its movies like this that makes my favorite activity of watching movies turn into a passion sort-of like addiction. Ever since I had seen the trailer, I was mad about this film. I would have done anything to get a glimpse of this picture and luckily my prayers turned out true on January 30, 2012!

Frankly speaking, I have seen 3 movies directed by Alfred Hitchcock himself, namely Vertigo, Rear Window & North by Northwest (I have his Notorious lined up next to be watched, among his creations). So, I was aware of who the man Hitchcock was and what he had accomplished in his time. But I hadn’t got a chance to see his Psycho and therefore I wasn’t aware much about that movie and the story about its making. This movie is about that period of Alfred Hitchcock’s life when he was making Psycho. And my god, what a ride that was! It was an amazing story in itself. I am wondering why did it take so long for Hollywood to tell this story in form of a film? It should have been done long ago. Even the book, from which the movie was adopted, was there with us since 12 years. Anyways, I am just glad that this story was finally told and we were able to relive that story all over again.

The movie tells so many amazing facts that several Hitchcock fans might not know of. The character of Alfred Hitchcock is crafted with superb attention to details and is implemented with perfection by the great Anthony Hopkins. I would have never been able to imagine Hopkins playing Hitchcock. But when I saw him on the screen, I was completely convinced with the way he delivered it. Perhaps it was a great transformation by makeup artists as well. In the trailers I couldn’t recognize that it was Anthony Hopkins. But it was undoubtedly a superb performance at the end. I liked it so much that I would put it in the 2nd spot of best roles this year, after Daniel Day Lewis’ Lincoln. It was sheer joy watching Hopkins play Hitchcock. Hitchcock is one artist we all admire, the artist who was so captivated and intrigued by his work that he had fantasies about his characters. His involvement was so profound that he would be able to bring those things to life that other people couldn’t imagine even on their best days. And Hopkins delivered something that was at par with the name Hitchcock. Perfect accent! Perfect dialogue delivery! Perfect impersonation! Hats off to you sir!

The other thing that impressed me apart from Hitchcock’s character and Hopkins’ portrayal is Helen Mirren’s portrayal of Alma Reville, Alfred Hitchcock’s wife and soul mate for life. Her character was one of the most beautifully written female characters I’ve come across in films this year. It had such grace, poise, and a unique charm. She was subtle but had her firm voice of her own. She was completely aware of what she was doing and what sort of relationships she was surrounded with, but yet she was brave, strong and took steps to explore her boundaries and make her identity. And even in doing so, she never got arrogant and lost her modesty. She exactly knew what it was being Alfred Hitchcock’s wife and she played it absolutely perfectly. Any other woman in her place would have broken down, crumbled and would have left the man. But she didn’t, and thus, she was rewarded by the best words which she long to hear for years from her husband, when Alfred Hitchcock says, ‘I will never be able to find a Hitchcock blonde, as beautiful as you!’ She was a real woman! I love women who are real and true. No drama, no hypocrisy, you feel you can talk to her and it would make you feel good. Ah, I am a fan! A mad fan! I wish I could find a real life woman like her in my life someday.

Coming to Helen Mirren’s performance playing this wonderful woman, it was absolute splendor. She is a genius and I can’t think of anyone else who would have done it better than her. Sorry Meryl, not even you, not this time. I love you Helen Mirren for this performance of yours. She completely deserved her nominations to Golden Globes, Bafta, & SAG awards.

There were other great aspects to the movie as well apart from Hopkins and Mirren’s performances. But these two were almost the all-consuming factors and so it was almost impossible for Scarlett Johansson or Jessica Biel or anyone else to make a profound impression. Though I mush say that Scarlett Johansson has done a wonderful job in the shower scene. She delivered great expressions there and for a moment anyone would think that she is really terrified and not acting. But apart from that, the leading pair ruled every scene and they pulled the whole movie on their shoulders.

It is currently released only in a few theaters. It’s being prepared to release in several other theaters soon. All Hitchcock fans and hard-core movie lovers would completely enjoy this movie. It would be an amazing experience for you all. For other casual movie watchers, especially here in Asia where hardly 3 out of 10 youngsters would have watched Hitchcock movies would know him, it wont be an appealing movie. It would be just another movie for you guys. But personally for me, I am going to treasure this for life. It was a superb film!

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The Avengers (2012) – A review


The Avengers Poster

I had been waiting to get my eyes on this movie since its first trailer. No, I am sorry, its since I saw Thor. Wait, no, since I saw Iron Man 2, I guess. Whatever, the point is I had been waiting to see this movie more than any other movie. No, I am sorry, I am eagerly waiting to see even ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. Wait, no, I am eagerly waiting for ‘The Dictator’. Okay, I am sorry, I am just kidding. But I was seriously looking forward to ‘The Avengers’ for long and finally, yesterday I got a chance to see it (dubbed in Hindi though :-(). Two words final verdict: ‘Amazing movie’. And consider the word ‘amazing’ from it as huge, like ‘amaaaaazzzzziiinnngg!!!’

All in all, as everyone expected, it’s a full-fledged, Hollywood studio movie. Its not the one that will be remembered for ages or the one that will bag lots of Oscars (it will surely win an Oscar for special effects though), but it will definitely score at least 9 out of 10 in the entertainment department. I will explain later, on why not 10 of 10. But if you’re the one who enjoys movies like Transformers, or Spiderman, or any other movies which are made using computers and where almost everything explodes, you should have watched Avengers by now. And for Iron Man fans or Hulk fans, if you haven’t watched it yet, your life is pointless.

The Iron Man

Hulk

As a part of homework, I hadn’t watched any Hulk movies (yeah, I know that’s bad), or read the comics of Avengers. So, I was completely at the mercy of the scriptwriter on how they would present a story where they can assemble 6 self-centered super heroes and make them form a team to fight alien terrors. And I think the story was pretty good. It was depicted quite well. The story transcends quite well from the individuality of super heroes to forming a team of Avengers, and the moment from when they start working together as a team, you start screaming with joy. You have to wait for almost 80 minutes to see them in action together as a team. But trust me, the wait is worth it. It is just last half an hour of the movie that will take you to the best roller-coaster ride of your life.

Captain America

Thor

Every superhero is presented at his best. Captain America is shown, as always, jumping into any fight he can, even though if he has no chance to win. Even though there were more powerful superheroes in the team than him, he clearly makes his mark. Iron Man is charismatic as always. If you think that last time when you saw him put on his suit on Monaco race track, in Iron Man 2, was awesome then you’re in for a whole new level of awesomeness this time. This time when you will watch him put up his suit, in air; I guarantee that you’ll pop your eyes out and scream, ‘OH MY GOD!’ It was the coolest thing I saw in last few months! The Hulk is mind blowing as well. All Hulk fans will get their money’s worth watching this movie. His strength is unfathomable, his scream can bring Tony Stark back to life, and his punch can stop an entire alien dragon. And the moment when he thrashes Loki, I observed that the entire cinema hall was cheering at the top of their voices. Thor is presented a bit laid back or a bit reserved. His entry in the film is very good but later on the demigod faces hard time even fighting Iron Man. In his dedicated movie before the Avengers, Thor was shown to have god-like powers. Considering that, he should have been depicted as the most powerful of the pack. But Iron Man and Hulk steals the show from him. But still he’s good.  The remaining two superheroes or I should say just heroes were Hawk eye and Black Widow. They were excellent soldiers for sure but they didn’t have any super powers like the other guys. But they still managed to put up a nice show. Hawk eye is amazing with his arrows and Black Widow or Agent Romanoff, as I should address her, is a treat to watch. She is the cherry on the super-cake. Every frame of the movie is enriched just by her presence, no matter if she fights somebody or just talks on a telephone with someone.

Hawk Eye

Black Widow

Apart from that there is nothing else noticeable in the movie. Just these 6 people carry the entire film on their shoulders. It was a superb piece of entertainment! The only part that stopped me from giving it a full 10 is the background music. It lacked a Hans Zimmer touch. It needed to be louder and more aggressive to increase the entertainment quotient of the movie. And the other thing, apart from the background score, was, women. There was hardly any space for them in the screenplay. Scarlett Johansson had to work really hard to make herself noticeable in the film. And yeah, there was Cobie Smulders as well in the movie. I almost forgot to mention her. That’s because she was there only to fire some gunshots and say a couple of dialogues, that’s it. More women in action and a killer background score would have made this movie an epic. But hey, its still is an epic for us fans! Just go and celebrate it.

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