So, two movies in a week. Quite expensive but still something I enjoyed. It was a good distraction from all the other feelz I’m having right now. Anyway, here’s my take on the two new movies that graced Philippine screens recently.
Gone Girl (2014)
Directed by: David Fincher
Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry
There’s so much buzz when Flynn’s neo-noir-ish novel was adapted in the big screen. After all, the book enjoyed primetime status in the bestselling charts along with numerous discussions about its open-ended finale. Praise was directed towards the novel’s unexpected twist halfway through the story— a direction I found really interesting. There were down moments after the telltale twist but the author managed to pick up speed and gain the right momentum until the end of the novel. It was a fitting end, I believe.
Ben Affleck is Nick Dunne and Rosamund Pike is Amy Elliot Dunne, a married couple from New York who were laid off as writers when the recent recession hit. Their unemployment and the subsequent illness of Nick’s mother forced the couple to use up their savings and live in the Nick’s Missouri hometown. On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick finds out that Amy goes missing. The police, Boney and Gilpin, take over the search after traces of foul play were found in the Dunne residence. As the investigations deepen, Nick and Amy’s relationship and marriage are put under the lens, too.
While the book version was exciting, this is a rare moment for the movie adaptation to surpass an already interesting book. With Flynn taking the screenwriting task and David Fincher (Se7en, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Series) on the director’s seat, there’s no wonder the adaptation was well-received.
Affleck is also at his finest, slack jawed and seemingly insensitive; his cool demeanor a fitting attitude for the role he is playing. The better revelation was Pike— her piercing eyes and breathy speaking voice brought Amy’s character to life. I felt that she was perfectly cast for the role. Neil Patrick Harris as Desi Collings, the sleazy and stalking ex-boyfriend of Amy, and Tyler Perry as Tanner Bolt, charismatic lawyer to “unappreciated” husbands, were also a perfect mix to the already impressive lead characters.
I also felt that Flynn’s decision to collapse the original timeline of events in the story was a good revision. Also, the ending provided a more conclusive end to the Nick and Amy story. The movie’s unabashed portrayals of sex and violence were effectively integrated into the storyline. The best part was something I cannot talk about lest I spoil your movie experience. One thing’s for sure, it’s gory and violent and it’s nicely done. I was staring at the screen for at least a minute to take it all in.
Anyway, as said the movie was an effective adaptation of the book. Recommended for those looking for something to watch this long weekend.
4 out of 5.
Directed by: Chito S. Rono
John Lloyd Cruz, Gretchen Barreto, Richard Gomez, Enrique Gil, Jessy Mendiola
I haven’t seen the trailer before anything else, but I watched the movie blindly bribed with JLC on the credits. The movie was ok, there were impressive moments but there were also disappointing ones.
Ronald Jimenez (John Lloyd Cruz) is 27 years old but has a brain of a 13 year-old. While his mental retardation affected his learning capacity, this did not prevent him from entering high school. He moonlights as the school gardener right after class, a hobby which he uses to impress his Math tutor, Ma’am Bessy (Jessy Mendiola). Things get complicated when a video of Ronald “raping” his teacher was leaked online. As the events unfold, the audience are led to family homes and courthouses to learn how the allegations were resolved.
What I appreciated about the movie was its inclination towards explaining how “mental retardation" (what is the politically correct term?) happens and how others should do to help these mentally challenged people. Further, with the right cue and direction from the director, the actors effectively portrayed their roles. For one, I did not expect Gretchen Barreto to step up her game; but her grieving matter role was something I felt was good for her.
What it makes for impressive acting and beautiful cinematography, it lacks on the courtroom scenes. Drama is good but too much crying and one-liner feelz felt too cloying. My friend also thought that not much research was utilised when preparing and shooting the courtroom scenes. The lines, while delivered ok, does not realistically show courtroom drama. It still resembles those we usually see on primetime television dramas.
There’s something to work on but the future seems less bleak for Philippine cinema.
3.5 out of 5.
Labels: books, hollywood movies, local movie industry, movie review, movies