MFF 2011, DAY 4: Hollywood Heavy Fare

By Devang Ghia • Published on October 17, 2011

[W]hen I landed at the theatre around noon, only Wrecked by Michael Greenspan had seats left. Adrien Brody finds himself a victim of a car crash in a dark, foreboding jungle. I felt it was too contrived, did not have enough punch, enough drama, enough, well, Deliverance.

The film ended quickly enough letting me attend a discussion on Independent Cinema. Speakers: Ian Bernie, Aijaz Khan, Sunil Doshi and Madhu Mantena moderated by Meenakshi Shedde. Sunil Doshi turned out to be the best speaker, giving out advice from the POV of a solid, experienced businessman.

Walked into the theatre that was to play Girish Kasaravalli’s Ghatashraddha. They were testing the DVD. Left immediately. If it was going to be a blown up DVD and not the original print, it did not make much sense; I can catch the film on DVD anytime. The neighboring screen had John Stockwell’s The Dark Tide starring Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez. Aaah! My kind of cinema!

Berry plays a diver who specializes in swimming with sharks un-tethered. Fallen on hard times, she gets an opportunity of a lifetime when a millionaire offers her big bucks to take him along. This is a shark movie and the millionaire is a bit of a prick, so you can guess how it ends. It wasn’t a bad film but not good enough to stop the steady tide of people exiting the theatre. Every film with a shark in it has to measure up to Jaws. Hope the closing film with a dolphin has more bite than this one.

What to watch next was entirely dependent upon how much time I would need to queue up for the Ides of March. A Russian film by Leonid Fomin called First Time for Everything enticed me for its short length. The director introduced it saying he has avoided two things in this movie –moving the camera and dialogue. Now I am fine with experimenting but these seemed like self imposed handicaps to me. Las Acacias on the second day also had very little dialogue but it was a film where silence was necessary. In this coming of age film about a young boy and his guardian, a still camera and absence of the spoken word began to jar. People started walking out within the first 5 minutes. I persisted for 45. Secretly, I was thankful that the film wasn’t good because then I did not feel guilty about leaving it midway to queue up for the highlight of the day.

Seventy five minutes before the start of the film and the line already had 200 people! That is the pull of George Clooney and Hollywood. The film itself was worth the one hour wait. Actor-director Clooney plays a presidential hopeful and Ryan Gosling and Philip Seymour Hoffman are his campaign mangers. To describe the film in one word, I’ll say ‘irresistible’. Do not miss it when it actually hits the theatres.

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