Sunday, 18 September 2011


Warrior is an action-drama centered around Tommy (Hardy) and Brendan Conlon (Edgerton) who get into a mixed martial art fighting tournament called Sparta.  The film is directed by Gavin O’Connor and stars Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton along with Academy Award nominee Nick Nolte, Frank Grillo and Jennifer Morrison.

Pros :

A very overdone plot -where a guy fights to save his family and the ones that he cares about - was very well presented.  The story wouldn’t have been able to attract the crowds if it wasn’t handled well.

The story was well built and had a perfect balance of drama and action as it slowly moved from the family life to the tournament. The whole second half was full of nail biting fights in the championship along with peoples’ reactions and expectations.
The writer gave proper attention to the characters giving details of their backgrounds that ultimately gives them the motive to be a part of the tournament.
A Russian fighter named Koba, played by Kurt Angle, was introduced. He had never lost any fight and was proposed to win the championship. As an audience you are anxious to know which out of the two Tommy and Brendan is going to fight him and who will finally win the war? You as a viewer don’t want to answer that, coz not only it is hard for you to decide but also difficult for you to pick your favourite. The director had so cleverly introduced the protagonists and narrated their stories that it is simply impossible to choose.
The action director must be praised for all the fight sequences as both the protagonists had their own way of fighting which was completely different from the other.
The climax was unexpected and appropriate. I really like endings that don’t have a montage at the end saying ‘…and they all lived happily ever after’. I like films that cut as soon as the conflict is resolved.

The dialogues were carefully written and placed to reduce the pressure on the viewers that is building continuously. They will definitely bring a little smile on your face. You can read a few of these here.

The movie was very well directed, giving no space for any kind of loopholes or continuity errors. I was waiting if there is an error in the movement when the camera switched to different angles, but I couldn’t find any.
From my experience I can say that the pre-production was really strong.  The director knew exactly what he wanted and hence even minute details like stubble, random messages on the gym white board etc. were taken care of.
The art department did a nice job taking care of the different looks of gyms, classrooms and of course that of the tournament.

The cinematography had something new. There was a very slow shift of focus from one subject to another in various scenes, which I felt was nice.  There were some POVs in the fight sequences that looked brilliant. It appeared as if the hands came out of the camera and hit the fighter.

The actors did full justice to their roles, the efforts in bringing out the appropriate look was seen.


I loved the movie completely. I am not going to say anything here just for the heck of writing something.

The Verdict :

Tom Hardy already has movies like Inception, Rocknrolla and awaited The Dark Knight rises in his credential and Warrior is an addition in the same. The movie will definitely bring Joel Edgerton to the limelight and we expect to see him in good projects in the future.

This is one of the best films of 2011.  It’s a Must watch for guys as well as girls, and if you find no reason to watch it, just go for Tom Hardy.

The Scales :

Acting and Cast : 9/10
Script : 8.5/10
Direction : 9.5/10
Cinematography : 9/10
Editing : 9/10


My Experience :

I believe that it is these kinds of films that make us like Hollywood so much. 
I saw the film after an 8 ‘o clock morning lecture on a Sunday after a Saturday night where hardly slept and I wasn’t drowsy at all. I didn’t need coffee, cola or popcorn to pass the time.  The movie held me right from the start till the end.

There were several scenes where I wanted to get from my seat and cheer for Tommy or Brendan. However, there were moments in the movie where the audience got so involved that everyone clapped and people started celebrating as if we were watching a live match. 

After watching Warrior, I am even curious to watch The Dark Knight Rises. I am eager to see Bane (Hardy) take over Batman (Bale).

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Contagion Review

Contagion is a film about America’s reaction to a deadly virus-borne disease that spreads within days.  A film by Steven Soderbergh (the maker of Ocean’s trilogy and Oscar nominated Traffic), staring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Ehle and Gwyneth Paltrow.


The script was good and did not make the movie boring or monotonous. The reactions of the people were well depicted. And there was a perfect balance between medical research and political reactions.  One could see the research done in order to present the situation on screen.

The intro of the film was very strong. The focus on things that you touch - the glass, doorknobs, poles in the bus, etc. - that would lead to the spread of the virus helped build the tension. 

The movie very interestingly starts from Day 2 of the infection and you wonder where is Day 1? Well it comes at the end when the inception of the virus comes into picture.

The cast was carefully chosen, I must say.  The acting was different from the typical larger than life Hollywood characters. The characters looked real, panicked and sometimes overreacted in situations that they faced.  However, more was expected of Matt Damon, he was a bit of disappointment. It was not a movie for his fans, as he looked fat, old and had a very limited role. The rest five roles were very interesting especially of Dr. Ellis Cheever played by Laurence Fishburne.

The dialogues were serious but amusing at the same time, especially the ones used by Jude Law or at him.


More was expected from the film, as it suddenly jumped from Day 31 to Day 131, from the time the vaccine is tested to the time it comes to the markets.
Also since the movie talked about the effect of the virus on the world in, I felt covering Europe, India, Australia etc. was needed.  The research conducted by countries apart from America was not included at all.

In a scene where Marion Cotillard reviews the footage of the Casino visited by Gwyneth Paltrow (Mrs. Emhoff) just before contracting the disease comprised of different cuts and angles which are not possible from the CCTV perspective.

The movie had a lot of potential to be edited in a non-linear manner since a lot was going on at the same time. But I guess the makers were afraid of taking the risk.

The Verdict

I won’t call the movie a must-watch but I would still recommend it for one time watch. It gives us a break from the usual over the top Hollywood cinema that we are used to see, without making it look like a documentary.

Acting and Cast : 9/10
Script : 8/10
Direction : 7/10
Cinematography : 6/10
Editing : 6/10


My Experience

Well I won’t categorize this film as a Thriller or Action (that I saw on the poster at the theater) but rather Horror and Drama.  For me fear does not arise from ghosts but real life situations that were depicted in the film.
When I came out of the theater, I was happy that I was not in the U.S. and nobody around me was coughing.

I wasn’t really happy with disclosing the event that lead to the birth of the virus on Day 1. I think it would have been left open.