The Pursuit of Happiness
Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith, is an old-fashioned Hollywood heart warmer: a Horatio Alger-type tale based on the true story of US multi-millionaire Chris Gardner, who experienced hardship and homelessness before he found success. For all the film’s occasional cheesiness, it’s entertaining, good-natured and decently acted – and interesting in that it talks about the unglamorous subject of poverty.
Life is Beautiful
This is one of those movies that have a lasting effect on you. After watching it, I found that it has less to do with the Holocaust and more to do with the human feelings and the beautiful relationship of a father and his son. The holocaust provides the ultimate context, that brings and highlights the story and adds yet another deep dimension to the movie. No such piece of art has ever before combined laughter and tears of sadness in me before and that is the miracle of the movie. The realism of the movie is not its strong point, but then again it is not supposed to be; this helps in bringing the audiences to a state of mind away from reality, focusing on the feelings generated by forgetting about all external events and developments of the war. Despite that, the movie does not fail to point out an element of the nazi psychology demonstrated by the doctor who was obsessed with riddles. This portrayed the nazi ‘state of mind’ (if ever such an expression existed) as a sick mentally disturbed state. Life is really beautiful as you watch Guido’s relentless efforts to make a lovely exciting experience of the concentration camp to his son. You get exhausted just watching him going through his painful day and yet you smile as he speaks to his son and makes him laugh. One can go on forever describing the creativity of this movie, but one will not be able to capture all its beauty in writing.
Dead Poet’s Society
Here is a very special movie directed by Peter Weir and written by Tom Schulman, two men who accept the Blakean view that no bird soars too high if he soars with his own two wings. In a rousing performance, Robin Williams stars as John Keating who in the fall of 1959 arrives at Welton Academy, a private boy’s prep school, to teach English. Exemplifying his philosophy of strident individualism, this charismatic and unconventional teacher tells his students to seize the day and make their lives extraordinary.
Dead Poets Society celebrates nonconformity and freethinking as an adventure worthy of emulation — not your usual movie theme these days. The tale’s dramatic finale will stir both your heart and your mind!
The charmed and charming life journey of an innocent tossed through three decades of America’s turbulent modern history makes for an original and hugely appealing story. Its mesmerising potential only falters because director Robert Zemeckis’ agility with ingenious special effects occasionally outpaces his narrative judgement, as it did in Death Becomes Her and, to a lesser extent, in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. It is still his most emotionally satisfying work to date, though, and however mildly or sharply one is struck by its dramatic flaws, there can be few who would deny the film’s entertainment value or the captivation of Tom Hanks’ performance as the eponymous Gump.
State-of-the-art computer digitalised compositing enables Forrest to interact with Presidents JFK, LBJ and Nixon, pop stars like John Lennon and TV personalities galore, creating other illusions to quite astounding effect. Less successful is the strand throughout the film in which Wright’s Jenny counterpoints Forrest’s naïve plod – always following his heart and his inner voice of right-doing in a country losing direction – with her extended walk on the wild side through promiscuity, drugs and loss of belief. Overlong, the film begins to slide into a sentimentalized panorama of the times with distracting, though admittedly frequently hilarious, spectacles.
Good Will Hunting
A janitor at a technological institute, Will (Damon) is a 20-year-old caught between Boston’s working class environs and its elite academia. But unlike the friends he hangs with, he also has a photographic memory and an amazing ability to solve mathematical problems of the highest order. A professor (Skarsgard) tries to nurture his talent and tame his temper, enlisting the help of jaded shrink Robin Williams – the boy knows life in abstract, the man knows the pain of the real thing. Together they find an understanding and, in some small way, a path towards redemption.
The strength of Good Will Hunting lies in the amazing assurance of its script, and the backing both its cast and makers give it. Director Van Sant steers well clear of unnecessary sentiment, opting instead to find the emotional reality and harshness within the story. Damon is superb, his pal Affleck equally strong. But, in a movie that exudes quality, however, it is Robin Williams that provides both its heart and its highlight – the Oscar, in this case, was entirely deserved.