56. LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND

WAR for a common man is something that he/she gets to read in a newspaper every morning over their cup of tea/coffee.

WAR for a politician is nothing but to formulate a new domestic or foreign policy.

But what is WAR to the actual soldiers who are involved in it ???

Do they fight for a cause or do they die in vain ???

PLOT : " The film
depicts the Battle of Mogadishu ,a raid by the United States' effort to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid "



Black Hawk Down is based on the book of the same title by Mark Bowden ,there are some critizations from various quarters that the depiction of the battle was more biased towards only the sufferings & hardships that the US troops faced.

But whatever might be the case the audience will never forget the fact that whatever country the troops represented they had fought not for their country but for the man standing next to him
.

Ridley Scott ,the man who gave us the epic "Gladiator (2000)" delivers another masterpiece.His directional skills are evident throughout the film that runs for over 2 hours ,the film never ceases to amaze the audience on the issue at hand.

Screenplay by
Ken Nolan is very racy & at the same time provides enough characterizations for the numerous characters in the film ,we could easily relate to the emotional bond that each soldier has for his fellow comrade.

Casting for the film is done really well ,with an ensemble cast of actors the film makers had a huge burden to take care ,the burden is to give the actors enough screen space & i should hand it out to them for executing this work with flair.


Each & every cast had their task cut out for them which they had lapped up superbly ,their acting was seen as a healthy competition that at the end proved to work for the benefit of the film.


Cinematography by
Sławomir Idziak was something that greatly helped in the depiction of the battle sequences ,the color tone used ably pointed out the hardships faced by the soldiers.

This film won the oscar for best editing by
Pietro Scalia ,why am i not surprised.The editor held the tension level of the film together right from the first shot ,the plot flows well & is never let to loose focus.

If you have a home theatre then this surely is a film to showcase your audio setup ,the oscar winning sound for the film is evident with the various gun shots ,missiles & swirling helicopters.


The background score by Hans Zimmer & Denez Prigent is another feather in the cap for the entire team ,it captures the essence of the backdrop & couples it efficiently with the various emotional moments.

I liked the way the movie was presented ,it never questions the politics behind the battle but focuses sorely on the actual ground realities where every soldier is fighting for himself.


A conversation in the film goes like this "
Once that first bullet goes past your head, politics and all that shit just goes right out the window."

These lines hold true to those soldiers who risk their lives for their fellow comrades who stand by their oath to "
LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND".

  • Rating : "A" for intense war violence.
P.S : " 18 US soldiers died in the incident depicted in the film. The number of Somalis who died during the battle has been estimated between 500 and 2,000. "

55. Book to Screen

How often have we seen a famous novel being butchered when adapted to a full length motion picture ????

Then are comes a glimpse of hope that these adaptions sometimes do serve their purpose ,many novels have become international sensations when they are made into movies.Most times the movie doesn't follow the book faithfully but takes some cinematic liberties which enhances or spoils the essence of the book.

And its the latter that prevails in most of the adaptations.

PLOT : " A woman's quest to restore the memories of her amnesiac husband who doesn't even remember being married. "



It was said that this novel was impossible to translate to a full length movie so to the creators made some changes to the script & dare i say that they have done an amazing job of it.


Random Harvest is a 1942 film based on the 1941 James Hilton novel of the same name ,the novel follows the life of a war veteran who looses his memory ,falls in love & again regains his older memories only to loose all his recent memories.

It then becomes a quest for his wife to make him regain his memory.I was fully engrossed in this film from the start till its gripping end even though i knew the plot before ,its the treatment meted out to the screenplay that has made this possible.


Directed by
Mervyn LeRoy with screenplay by Claudine West, George Froeschel and Arthur Wimperis ,this movie stands testimonial to quality writers resourcefulness & a director's magic touch.

"Old is Gold" ,this stands true to yesteryear classics that still looks fresh even after decades.These kind of films makes me even a stauncher believer that its the scripts that are always evergreen.


Taking no credit away from the two lead actors of
Ronald Colman & Greer Garson who have should i say made hay with their meaty roles.

Greer Garson ,WOW i still could remember those mesmerizing eyes ,she was outstanding in her role of a lover torn between two lives ,her stunning beauty was ever so visible even though the film being in Black & White.

Ronald Colman was not far behind ,his performance of an amnesiac patient is something to look out for ,his attitude ,his expressions during various stages of the film was very convincing.

This film is also one of the rare cases when a single film sweeps the awards ,it deserved each & everyone of the seven oscar awards it won.


Books & Movies are a great source of information & inspiration but when these two work hand in hand then we sure are provided with a dazzling spectacle.


Random Harvest surely is an evidence of it ,the adaptation of a Book to Screen coupled with creative & quality writing is sure to weave its magic even after decades.

  • Rating : "U"
P.S : " Greer Garson , whose performance was well-received, was ineligible for the Academy Award for Best Actress, as she had already been nominated that year for her role in Mrs. Miniver which earned her an oscar. "

54. Journey Called Life !!

More often than not we have the tendency to complain about everything or most things life throws at us.Whatever it might be , for example a promotion is a moment of joy but as time goes on we curse the grueling shifts & wonder as to why life's treating us so badly.

Is this how we behave ,are we all the same ????

Do we overlook what life has given us all the time for the things we don't have ????

PLOT : " The chronicles of the life of Forrest Gump. "



" The World will never be the same once you've seen it through the eyes of Forrest Gump "

The above tagline was used for the movie's promotion ,these lines i should say were coined for perfectly that gelled very well with the film.

Forrest Gump
is a 1994 film based on the
1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom ,the film is said to have to have many differences to the novel but this was one such film which truly captivated me such that thought of reading the novel has never yet occurred to me.

T
he film was directed by
Robert Zemeckis who is well known as the director of the time-travel Back to the Future movie series.He has provided us with one of the beautiful works of the 20th century that will stand testament to the genre of drama.

Screenplay by
Eric Roth whose works speaks about his talents is well remembered for this film because of the emotional content which the movie sustained from the very start to very end.

This film is one of the many films which made
Tom Hanks as a household name ,the title role of Forrest Gump enacted by him is & will be one of cinema's memorable role.He literally carried the entire movie that fetched him the oscar for best actor.

The other cast of
Robin Wright Penn ,Gary Sinise ,Mykelti Williamson and Sally Field blended into their roles perfectly ,all of them added their contribution or should i say made the film a classic.

Music by
Alan Silvestri added further strength to the emotional drama producing the right chord at the right times.

For a film with a duration of 140 odd minutes it was very essential that the plot never lost focus ,editing by
Arthur Schmidt ensured that the movie's pace held the audience's attention.

Cinematography Don Burgess was a perfect sync with the various timelines that the movie progressed ,the director had effectively used his team to bring out the best out of them.

Looking at the various stages of life of Forrest Gump its very easy to relate to our daily lives where we meet people who do things which are so called impossible ,these people overcome their hardships and look at the millions of things life has offered to them.

These are the people who teach us that life is not about what we have its about what we make out of it ,everyone doesn't have everything ,there's always somethings life will never give us for free.

  • Rating : "PG" for war violence.
P.S : " Bill Murray, John Travolta and Chevy Chase turned down the role of Forrest Gump. "

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