#BigEyes #HollywoodEnglishFilmMovieReview #JohnsonThomas #Rating:* * *

#BigEyes #HollywoodEnglishFilmMovieReview #JohnsonThomas #Rating:* * *

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#NamesUnknown(Per Ariyathavar(Malayalam) Rating: * * * *
Topical and hard-hitting. Painfully lucid, touchingly humane encounters with the truth about exploitation of the poor through inhumane laws favoring the rich- in the name of development. #DrBiju #SurajVenjaramoodu #NedumudiVenu #Indrans #PVRDirectorsRare #MoesArt #SarjitaJain #SaurabhRathore

#BigEyes(English) Rating: * * * A biopic in a different style. Not quite the real thing. Tone&treatment don’t do justice to the real story.It’s enjoyable nevertheless.   #AmyAdams #WalterKeane #B4U #RelativityMedia #TimBurton #ChristophWaltz #KrystenRittner

English Film Review
Johnson Thomas

Film: Big Eyes

Hyper-ventilating true story

Cast: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz
Director: Tim Burton

Rating: * * *

Runtime: 106 mins
Notriety in a so-called legend is a befitting basis for a bio-pic of sorts but does it really befit Tim Burton’s signature style of filmmaking? Tim Burton and the traditional biopic don’t appear to be good bedfellows and this film ‘Big Eyes’ proves that’s a mismatch - to a great extent.

A true story about painter Margaret Keane’s life in obscurity under the eagle eye of a supremely egotistical megalomaniac Walter Keane, who took all the credit for her famous art works while-  she toiled on relentlessly closeted in her studio, to churn out the numbers in order to keep up with the incessant demand for her emotive works of art.

The screenplay jointly worked on by Burton himself alongside his ‘Ed Wood’ co-scriptwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, though it attempts to make things a little off-kilter in terms of dynamics , doesn’t have suitable heft to be a meaningful portrayal of a deceit , the magnitude of which was never seen before! The synthetic dynamism of a Christoph Waltz juxtaposed against a hyper-ventilating overly emotive Amy Adams makes the tableau between the two seem a little unrealistic and not so potent a drama. You never get the feel that Margaret has been through a harrowing experience. There’s not much detailing involved in the relationship between Margaret and Walter who meet up in Hawaii and strike up a relationship pronto- despite her having just walked out of a traumatizing  marriage, with her young ten-year old daughter in tow.

Margaret Ulbrich (Amy Adams), her daughter, Jane, in tow, relocates to San Francisco where circumstances bring her together with flamboyant landscape painter Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz). Well, that’s what he claims to be and she buys it.  Margaret is also an artist, and not a self-confident one at that. All of her creations are variations on a theme: waifs with exaggeratedly large eyes. After a whirlwind courtship, Margaret and Walter are married and that's when the trouble starts. Walter tries to sell his own stuff but it’s certainly not in demand so he starts peddling his wife’s Big Eyed waifs alongside and suddenly finds there’s a surge of interest in his works. And he doesn’t bother to correct that false impression. Margaret, at first , only too happy to earn a living, doesn’t mind her anonymity. but as time passes by and her works begin to claim countrywide attention, she begins to feel uneasy about the charade. By then it’s too late fr any changes t happen because Walter is so immersed in his successes that he won’t even entertain the thought of going straight about it. Margaret is increasingly unhappy, Walter becomes unpredictable, especially when he has been drinking and feeling threatened by it all, Margaret flees from the nest.
Keane’s paintings of big-eyed waif children were hugely popular and even sold well as prints, in the 60’s and 70’s and continue to do so but the art fraternity were not as enthused by her popularity. All these points are well represented in the film but the struggle and the drama do not have the requisite potency to keep you glued. Burton’s treatment is just that bit of irreverent , which takes away from the dehumanizing aspects of her quandary.  Burton tries hard to incorporate that signature quirkiness represented in most of his films but it doesn’t appear suitable in this one. The performances are more in keeping with audience expectations rather than integral to the character in the story. In fact, the exaggerated affectations by both the lead actors and the unsharpened treatment leave you unaffected by the entire quasi-drama on display. A likeable though not a very satisfying outing this!


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