The Post.

I often wonder at how fortunate I am with so many good things happening to me. This is another instance of such good fortune that I was able to see The Post on its last showing in our cinemas today.

I would have normally seen it on Tuesday but was unable to as Ranjan and Manjiree were away on vacation and I was Chutki sitting and playing watchman. They came back yesterday enabling me to go today and I am more than delighted that they came back in time.

I had been wanting to see it from the time I read reviews about it some time ago. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks were more than enough inducement but there was a bonus in the form of direction by Steven Spielberg.

I was old enough in the sixties and interested enough in the Vietnam war and its repercussions in the USA during the late sixties and the early seventies of the last century. I distinctly remember the Nixon years and the name of Robert McNamara was as well known here in India as it was in the USA. For me therefore seeing something on the screen showing events of those days was a mind blowing experience.

Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, did not disappoint and for those who have not seen the film and are worried about the freedom of the press as we are in India today, this movie is a must see one.



Give two actors who are on my list of great actors, a novel that I had enjoyed reading being made into a movie with those two actors and how could I not go to see Inferno? And when I was taken to see it by the two most favourite people on earth, it was worth staying up late to see a late night show last night.

Like most films based on successful novels, this film too suffers from not quite coming up to the viewer’s expectations. It suffers primarily on the details, but the fast paced action more than compensates and overall, offers a pleasant viewing experience. There are some differences between the two in terms of facts but that does not significantly affect the overall impact of the narration.

Tom Hanks does not disappoint. In fact, the whole film is carried on his shoulders without visible effort by him. All the other actors, though important to the plot and play their roles, for all that it matters, are their in supporting roles, even almost cameo, bar Felicity Jones who appears throughout the film.

Another remarkable feature of the film is the background music. Apt, present yet not intrusive. After a long time, I experienced that in a modern movie.

If there is one complaint that I have about the film, that is about the gross under-utilisation of Irrfan Khan‘s talents. For the kind of role that he has played in this film, any ‘body’ would have been enough. The three of us wondered if he would not have played a better role as the lead in the film, but that is wishful thinking.

Whether you have read the book or not, this is a movie worth seeing.



On the assumption that I will see it if it was released in India because Tom Hanks is in it, Tammy advised me that she would be interested in reading my views about Sully before she actually saw it. In my book, what Tammy wants Tammy gets and so off I went to see Sully earlier this afternoon at a “Luxury Recliner Lounge” as it is called, paying three times the normal price for the ticket, just to sit for an hour and a half to watch Tom Hanks in a movie. Tammy, I shall shortly be sending you a bill.

Straight off the cuff – Tammy don’t miss it. It is worth every minute of the 96 minutes that it runs. I had not known that it was produced and directed by Clint Eastwood. He and Tom Hanks together is a potent mix and I applaud both of them for producing a bio-pic that brings out the human element so well. There is nothing negative about the film that I can come up with and I have great pleasure in giving it a five out of five rating.

I don’t want to influence your viewing experience. Don’t miss it.

Bridge Of Spies.



A potent combination of Steven Spielberg, The Coen Brothers, Tom Hanks and Alan Alda plus a very well made trailer that I saw last week had made up my mind to see this film before it was taken off from our screens. A great many others must have felt the same way as there were only four seats vacant in the theater when we saw it. This itself was a most unusual experience for me. I don’t think that today being a holiday had anything to with it, but that it was Thursday and that it could be taken off must have influenced the attendance.

I don’t think that any viewer was disappointed. There were very few of my age who could identify with the Berlin wall, U2 planes, Garry Powers and the cold war but despite that they enjoyed the film was obvious. Even for me and my first time partner in crime Megh, the exchange story was a new insight and the two for one exchange was also a new insight.

There is nothing negative that comes to mind about the film other than the limited role for Alan Alda where despite his short appearance, he makes his presence felt. What can one say about Tom Hanks being directed by Spielberg?  And a truly remarkable performance by Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel, brings out the message that even spies can be human!  His unforgettable delivery of “Is that gonna help?” is worth seeing the film once again.

Most of my readers are of my age group. Though the Americans among them may know the full story behind the film already, it still is a refresher course with current Russia / West confrontations coming to the fore again for all of us and for the younger ones, a wake up call to learn from history.

Don’t miss it.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.


My friend Abhaya is an avid movie watcher and apart from going to the theaters to watch them he also uses modern technology to download Satellite TV film shows to see at his convenience. Whenever he comes across something really nice, he immediately sends an alert for me to try and see the same movie. On 9/11 I got a message from him asking me to see Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close a film using the 9/11 incidents to show a young boy’s journey to find some connection to his father who dies in the WTC collapse.

On receipt of the message, I had sent for a DVD of the same movie and it came this morning and I watched it earlier this evening. One of the reasons that I prefer seeing movies at home is that I can put the player on pause and do some other things and return to the player at my convenience, but this was one film that did not allow me to indulge in such a relaxed viewing. It held my attention from the word go and till the end, a 130 minute experience, I was glued to my seat. I had even switched off my phone so that I would not be disturbed and I am glad that I did.

To be honest, what convinced me to send for the DVD was Abhaya’s message that said that the film starred Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock. The movie has more or less cameo roles for both though when they do appear they deliver powerful performances. Max von Sydow another bonus actor actually has the most powerful role to play apart from the hero of the film young Thomas Horn. Full marks to the director Stephen Daldry for having got a truly magnificent performance out of the young lad and very memorable performances from the other supporting cast.

I don’t remember to have heard about this film when it was released four years ago. I wonder whether it was released at all in India. It is a powerful movie on relationships and nostalgia particularly for an eleven year old young boy. As I write this, I am still under the influence of the performance of Horn. I am sure that he will grow up to be a very successful actor. I have no hesitation whatsoever in giving the movie the full [rating=6] rating.

If you have not seen it, please do. You will not regret it.

You’ve Got Mail.

Mail_When I wrote the following comment on Alan’s post The “5-Star” Movie Trilogy…. “I did not know that one of my favourite movies, You’ve Got Mail is actually a remake of earlier movies with the same theme. I would also go with your rating for this film with a 5 star. In fact, this post has just inspired me to send for a DVD copy so that I can see it again. Thank you.” I did not imagine that I would be seeing this old movie so soon.

After posting that comment I ordered for the DVD and it was delivered in two days.  I was able to see it at home again and this time in the company of Manjiree who had seen bits and pieces of it earlier.

It was certainly worth seeing the movie again after all these years, if not for anything else but for the sheer joy of seeing the bubbly version of Meg Ryan whose histrionic skills were on demonstration again.  One need not write anything about the other actor Tom Hanks who brings life to any role that he plays. And of course there is the very large presence of Nora Ephron.

This is one of those movies made with very few actors and just a few major locations but with imagination and some excellent editing.  Alan has given a five star to it but I would do so only with some hesitation as I think that the grand father / father / son and the younger generation comedy could have been handled much better.