Friday, December 5, 2014

#TheHungerGamesMockingJayPart1 #EnglishHollywoodFilmMovieReview #johnsonThomas Rating: * * 1/2

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#Picks&Piques/SnippetFilmReview28thNov2014/#JohnsonThomas
                                                                                          
#Ungli(Hindi) Rating: * * ½ Aiming to touch a chord with the common man but not with any great finesse or passion. This sort of ‘expose’ vigilantism has become passé now. This film has come a couple of years too late to connect with the audience!   #DharmaProductions #KaranJohar #NilouferQuereshi #RaindropMedia #RensilD’Silva #MFilms #AAFilmsNationwide #EmraanHashmi #SanjayDutt #RandeepHooda #NehaDhupia #KanganaRanaut 

#ZedPlus(Hindi) Rating: * * * a stirring pseudo-political satire with fine touches of humor and enlivening performances. On the lines of ‘Peepli Live’ but couldn’t manage the same bandwidth. The plotting though was a little too ambitious to be empathetically remunerative. #BeenaAhuja #ChandraprakashDwivedi #NiyatiMShah #AkshayMShah #AdilHussain #MukeshTiwari #MonaSingh #SanjayMishra #KulbhushanKharbanda #KKRaina #RahulSingh #MukundPurohitProductionPvtLtd #MandiraKashyap #WisdomTreeProductionsPvtLtd

#Zid(Hindi) Rating: * *  Debutants feature in this #AnubhavSinha production that makes a song and dance out of nothing. Sexy, Sinful, Sinister adwords don’t make for an erotic psychological thriller- it’s in fact a little too much promise with no deliverance.  #BenarasMediaworks #JanishHAjmera #KiranBalaFilms #STVNetworksNationwide #MushtaqShiekh #Manaara #ShraddhaDas #KaranvirSharma #VivekAgnihotri

·         #HumHainTeenKhurafaati( Hindi) Rating: * Meant to be funny but painfully unprepossessing & irritating. #RajeshwarChauhan #MausamSharma #PranshuKaushal #Shreya #NikkitaButola #SoniyaKaur #Panno #LotusMedia&Films
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#TheHungerGamesMockingjayPart1( English) Rating: * * ½  Stretching it thin. This first part of a two-part sequel of a super successful young-adult dystopian fantasy adaptation franchise looks like it’s seeking to keep you curious without giving you the requisite amount of thrills & excitement expected. Far too grey and grim to cut it with the discerning audience.  #PVRPictures #HardlyAnonymousCommunications #AbhishekThukral #PriyankaVaswani #JenniferLawrence #FrancisLawrence #LiamHemsworth #JoshHutcherson #JulianneMoore #SamClaflin #DonaldSutherland #WoodyHarrelson #ElizabethBanks #PhilipSeymourHoffman #StanleyTucci #NatalieDormer #WesChatham #TobyJones #WillowShields #LilyRabe #EldenHenson #RobertKnepper #JeffreyWright #JenaMalone

                                                                                  


English Film review
Johnson Thomas

Unappealingly Grim

Film: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Director: Francis Lawrence
Rating: * * ½

Running Time: 123 min.


Synopsis:The Hunger Games saga continues in this sequel that finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) faced with a decision that could sway the fate of a nation. In the wake of the Quarter Quell, the Hunger Games have been changed forever, and Katniss ends up in District 13. Her courage having inspired a nation, the brave young heroine heeds the advice of her friends, and sets out to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). Meanwhile, Katniss' fragile alliance with President Coin (Julianne Moore) could lead to disaster.

 
Review
The making of a two or three part sub series in a successful franchise only spells greed-not creativity. So anyone expecting otherwise would be a fool. Director Frances Lawrence and his scripting team(peter Craig, Danny Strong) fashion a stretched out segment that is grim and relentlessly dark in it’s essay of dystopian demoralization. Too much detail, heavy with exposition and very little else, ‘Mockingjay Part 1’ tries to translate as many pages of the successful young adult novel into screen time without really bothering about it’s cinematic viability. They definitely think that they’ve earned that luxury but the audience won’t be bothered to appease them on that.  The result is this unappetizing effort that tries your patience thin.
 
"Mockingjay, Part 1" picks up where "Catching Fire" left off, with Katniss, rescued from Quarter Quell, living in a compound under the rubble of District 13 with her fellow insurrectionists. The Hunger Games champion survived multiple iterations of the  nationally televised, gladiator-styled, outlandish reality show, had a cynicism inducing engagement with the evil President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and became the real hero thanks to her indomitable spirit, canny image-makers and strategists including once-drunk and now sober mentor, Haymitch (Woody Harrelson); the propagandist and image consultant Plutarch (the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, to whom the film is dedicated); the tech genius Betee (Jeffrey Wright), and the image wizard (and ace comic relief) Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks). 
District president Coin (Julianne Moore) helps our heroes through attacks by Snow's planes and troops while plotting their next salvo. Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) continues to support and pine for Katniss while she frets over the fate of her great love, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), who's being held hostage by Snow's forces and turned into an anti-Katniss propaganda tool.
 
Jennifer Lawrence and her co-stars continue to impress with their screen presence and charisma. Their seriousness of intent is quite clear and commendable. But the manner in which this edition of the story plays out, there isn’t much purchase to be had. The excitement is stymied by a depressive styling and treatment  that leaves you little room for enjoyment. It plays out like a TV series end play with repetitive sequencing and over-emphasised emotionality. The runtime, though not much over 2 hrs, appears to be even more.
 
From setback after setback, meant to make us feel hopeless, we are shown that Snow’s military advantage is overwhelming. The aerial assault shots take the cake in this. There’s brief forays into media commentary and satire that don’t necessarily make their mark with any depth. The allusions are all there but it’s not specific or committed to any form of allegory. Katnis assumes the mantle of deliverer against all odds, sold with a pre-fabricated earnestness and intent. And she rebels from that position and moves into her own personal brand of sincerity in order to connect with the deprived. The real world is hinted at but without any great intent to connect with present day thought. The bleakness in styling and treatment make it that much more depressing to engage with.

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