16th June 2014
I watched two movies, The American Hustle and Seven Years in Tibet, and decided to pen down my thoughts about it. To begin with, none of the movies left any deep impression on me but both were good.
The first movie that I watched was The American Hustle boasting of a star cast of Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, and Jennifer Lawrence. It’s an entertaining movie about two con men—Irving Rosenfield (Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Adams)—who play it small but are trapped by a FBI official, Richard DiMaso (Cooper), who wants to climb up the corporate ladder by entrapping some big fish (read Congressmen) into a scam.
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What follows is a fascinating and a comical tale about human survival and the lengths to which some people can go to satisfy their avarice.
Bale is brilliant as pot-bellied and bald Rosenfield who gives attention to even the smallest detail to make his conning act look authentic. He subtly portrays the anguish of Rosenfield who is in the bind of DiMaso but is desperate to extricate himself and his mistress Sydney from his vice-like grip.
Amy Adams is brilliant as the seductress of Rosenfield who is jealous of his wife, Rosalyn (Lawrence), and for a few fleeting moments gets lured by the charm of DiMaso.
Cooper suits the part of Dimaso who is desperate to get out of his not-so-happening life and become famous.
Lawrence as Rosalyn, the capricious wife of Irving, is just breathtaking. She sets the screen on fire with her presence. Being a whimsical and unpredictable character, she may just hold the key to blow up her husband’s cover.
Another very important but not so big role is Carmine Polito, the passionate, righteous, and flamboyant mayor of Camden, New Jersey, played by Jeremy Runner who is falsely implicated in the scam.
The plot is quite adventurous but the storyline could have been more crisp and concise. The twist at the end simply takes your breath away. All in all, it’s a movie worth watching. However, don’t expect any dazzling performances.
The second movie, Seven Years In Tibet, stars Brad Pitt and David Thewlis in lead roles. I watched this movie because I heard rave reviews about this film by my friends, but upon watching the film I was disappointed.
The film is set in the era of World War II and is about the friendship between Heinrich Harrer (Pitt) and the Dalai Lama (Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk). Harrer is an Austrian mountaineer who wants to conquer the Nanda Devi Parbat in India along with his team led by Peter Aufschnaiter (Thewlis). But they are arrested by the British officials at Dehradun, India. After several failed attempts at escaping from prison, they finally succeed after two years.
Post their escape, Harrer and Aufschnaiter decide to go to Lhasa, Tibet to dwell in a safe haven until the war ends. They reach their destination after facing many ordeals and this marks the beginning of an unusual relationship between Harrer and the yet to be crowned Dalai Lama.
It’s an extensive road journey film albeit the characters embark upon the journey by foot and not by any vehicle. This fact alone should have made the film a treat to watch but apart from the picturesque visuals of virgin Ladakh captured on the camera, the viewers do not get to witness any emotional churning of the characters. The director fails to showcase any growth of the characters during the journey that spans over 2500 kilometres and a significant portion of the film as well. Consequently, the first half is a little trite.
However, after the meeting of the Dalai Lama and Harrer, the film witnesses a pleasant turn of events. Harrer becomes a tutor to the Dalai Lama who imparts him knowledge beyond the Dalai Lama’s sequestered world. Conversely, the Dalai Lama’s austerity, simplicity and honesty brings a sea-change in the haughty and egoistic Harrer which is delightful to watch after a sloppy first half.
The tranquil atmosphere of Tibet becomes restive when China declares a war on the country. As an aftermath, the Dalai Lama is crowned and he persuades Harrer to return home and take care of his child whom he had never seen. At the end, it is revealed that Harrer had mended his relationship with his estranged son while the war still rages on in Tibet.