Trapped

Vampire Owl: Aren’t we all trapped? Isn’t that the reality of our world?

Vampire Bat: How are you trapped? You are wandering all around.

Vampire Owl: I am talking about being trapped in this body and this world.

Vampire Bat: Oh! So, you want to be dead and meet Lady Death to be with her again.

Vampire Owl: Yes, it is kind of like that. There is that certain need which doesn’t go away.

Vampire Bat: You do no the consequences of the same, don’t you?

Vampire Owl: Will I be locked in the top floor of the vampire castle like this particular person ended up?

Vampire Bat: No, unless you make the mistake of locking yourself in. I am sure that you can get out through the keyhole, invoking your inner vampire anyway.

Vampire Owl: Dude, my vampirism is rather inside out.

Vampire Bat: Well, you have to find your true inner vampire, and it is now or never.

[Gets three cups of strong tea with Mariegold biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: Shaurya (Rajkummar Rao) is not the most popular person in the company which he works and has very less number of friends. He has problems talking about his love to Noorie (Geetanjali Thapa), but finally when he manages to do the same, they are together – now the problem remains that they need to get married before she is forced to marry someone else. But before that, he needs to find a house for them live in, and he is just not able to do that with his small salary – both of them don’t earn enough together, and can’t afford to give advance to renting a new house in the locality. There seemed to be many choices earlier, but soon, he seemed to be running out of options, and as the clock seems to be moving so fast, he is prepared to be settled with anything. It is then that he gets what he wants, and feels that this is all going to work fine, but little does he know that it is only going to mess up everything further.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: The new place that he gets to stay is a room at the top floor of an apartment which is newly built, and is at a great height. It is not used for living, as there is some legal issues with its construction, and a case is pending at the court. It stands tall in the city, with no people within and around, as only one old security guard is there to look after the whole thing, and doesn’t really care what happens. So, renting out this place seems to be too easy for the young broker (Yogendra Vikram Singh) who is only happy to gain anything from the same. So, without letting the guard know about it, he just moves in with the essential things without telling his friends or anyone at the company, even his own lover. After he falls asleep, he wakes up late next morning, and in a hurry to get to his lover, goes out, and runs back to get his mobile which he had forgotten – but he had left the key outside the door, and ends up getting locked inside.

And what is to follow with this adventure? :: He finds that his mobile is on low battery, and quickly tries to make calls, but soon the battery gets to zero power, and it turns out that there is no electricity there either. There is no water supply either, and his attempts to break the lock as well as the door itself fails. He tries shouting, but nobody hears him from that far away, and his attempts at writing down things on a cardboard box reaches nobody – even when it reaches someone, it is taken only as a prank as everyone knows that nobody lives in the flat which is plagued by a court case. As days go on, he begins to have hallucinations, and decides to take more desperate measures to ensure his own survival. But the question remains how long he can go on like this, with no chance to communicate to the outside world about his hopeless situation, which gets more and more desperate every day? There is the need to act quickly, or he is done.

The defence of Trapped :: You will find Trapped in its own divergent mode to be effective right from the first moment all these things in the flat begin. This genre is not really something that brings our movies into the confort zone, neither does it do the same for the audience, but this one seems to have got the balance here. You feel the need to get the protagonist out as much as he does for himself – being a common caught in a terrible situation, his tale connects to us better than the others. It also shows the situation in a busy city where nobody cares for the others – it is to be noted that the nobody never really cared that the protagonist was missing and didn’t care to come looking for him – it is all work and nothing else in a busy world which has so less for the common man. We have that there will be hope for more at some other times, but there is none. Rajkummar Rao is undoubtedly the star here, as he makes things better every second, starting from that door getting locked. Geetanjali Thapa has a cute and smart presence in this one when she is there.

The claws of flaw :: The movie does have its slower moments in the middle, and the beginning actually feels rather too ordinary and interesting – it takes getting locked inside an apartment to make things interesting. One also wonders why people never really noticed the fire even in the night – something like that is possible in an abandoned building, and it had to be checked for, no matter where you are – these days, people are suffering from the terrible lack of curiosity, or are they not? It also reminds us of a number of survival thrillers, and you know the names without second thoughts, as they are that good. This won’t come close to being there with them though. It is also the same reason why you would want more with this movie, with more efforts to escape, and what else can be tried differently in an effective manner. The songs are not that interesting, but they are not to focused on.

How it finishes :: When you consider how well this movie seems to have been done, one can only wonder why it doesn’t get to release here with some publicity – we know that even if it is a good movie, the cast wouldn’t matter that much – we know how some of those Bollywood superstar movies run here without much of an audience leading to shows getting cancelled again and again, finally disappearing from the theatre list in less than a week. This type of movies need to have its trailers and posters all around here, and after getting that needed attention, can get to be watched by more people. Serious survival horror has had less attention in our world, and other than Warning which was taken from the much popular Hollywood movie, there is not much being even remotely close to being known to the public. We could have always used more, and it is surely nice to have this one around here. I am sure that we are going to have more of such divergence in the future, like there was with movies like Phobia and Raman Raghav 2.0.

Release date: 17th March 2017
Running time: 105 minutes
Directed by: Vikramaditya Motwane
Starring: Rajkummar Rao, Geetanjali Thapa, Yogendra Vikram Singh, Rahul Dutta , Malay Garg, Girish, Patrick Graham, Rajiv Khanna, Hawk McNab, Hardik Mehta, Rahul Patel, Anup Rupanwar, Shiladitya Sen, RN Shukla, Vivek Soni

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Culprit

Vampire Owl: Do you know that I am a culprit in love?

Vampire Bat: How is that relevant right now?

Vampire Owl: I just wanted to remind you that the word applies to me too.

Vampire Bat: I am sure that your experience cannot match the genre of this short-film.

Vampire Owl: You mean to say that you are not finished reviewing short-films?

Vampire Bat: I don’t see why I should ever stop doing that.

Vampire Owl: What about those big movies which have got you most of the hits?

Vampire Bat: They have stopped being something that matter. I am supporting smaller ones right now; they are the future. There is more material in them.

Vampire Owl: You are talking like a true vampire apprentice.

Vampire Bat: I am the first vampire apprentice to write movie reviews. So, my opinion counts more than most of the others in the New Vampire World.

[Gets some potato chips and three cups of Ceylon tea].

What is the movie about? :: Amal (Akhil Vivek) reaches Mumbai from Cochin to meet Jithu (Danish Ashokan), a friend and an elder brotherly figure. It turns out that he has run away from Kerala after the circumstances which lead to a girl named Ancy Kuriyan Thomas (Dona Shankar) going missing, pointed fingers at him. There hasn’t been much progress in the case which only has him as the sole link to the events, but about which he has no clue. Amal tells Jithu his story, which has his best friend Sooraj (Akash Sheel), and an unknown phone call from a female voice which introduced itself as a girl named Devika Varma. As they get closer, Amal asks for her to meet up with him instead of being the random voice on his phone. But despite her agreeing to meet up at Cherai, later calls him to warn him against calling her again unless he wishes to get in trouble.

So, what happens next? :: As they attempt to investigate on the matter, it leads them to Dr. Shafeeq (Anwar Shereef) on whose name, the sim card is taken. He tells them something about the missing girl in the news, Ancy Kuriyan Thomas, which shocks them. But it turns out that they can’t tell that to anyone else, as it would put the shadow of doubt on them. But the police ends up getting a photo which works against Amal, and puts him directly in trouble from the cops as well as the media. Now, he has come directly to Maharashtra and hopes to solve this confusing problem. Can he do that before time runs out? Who is this Devika Varma and how is she related to the mysterious disappearance of Ancy Kuriyan Thomas? Is there a chance than Ancy might be alive after so many days? Why does all this point to Amal when it seems to be clear that he has nothing to do with the girl named Ancy?

The defence of Culprit :: The suspense that the movie has is pretty much huge, and we enjoy how it is told, and it is twisted, in a positive way. From the first few moments, it is established that we have a thriller in store, and then, after a few minutes of the usual stuff to set up the whole thing, we are taken back to staying on the edge of our seats. One would still feel that the end was too quick, and wonder if the absence of the explanation for some deeds were the need – it still lets us think more, and come up with our own conclusions. The movie is actually longer than most of those usual short-films that you see, and so there is plenty of time for the viewers to get drawn into it. With its half an hour run-time over, we end up wishing for the length to be little more, and that is surely a rare thing. Whenever the movie seems to stray away from its path, there will be something, a moment or a dialogue to bring it back on track, and it has a smooth run all the way.

Soul exploration :: Culprit explores what all are there as more than what meets the eye. It shows a protagonist being clueless against a force which seems to have worked against him right from the beginning. There is a mystery here that needs to be solved, as it threatens his own existence, and he understands it should be done as quickly as possible. What we see here is a crime committed, and the person who does that goes to any end to make sure that he is not convicted; for it is something planned well enough to have more than one escape route – there is not much of friendships here to save the day, as the protagonist can trust nobody. We see the movie slowly and steadily getting hold of things, leading to that wonderful revealing in the end. There are things that the movie doesn’t try to tell, and on everything else, what you see and understand gets the clarity.

How it finishes :: Culprit is a fine example of how the right talent shows itself when there is a chance. On one side, we have those big movies struggling to become interesting thrillers, and even with that high budget and big stars, they fail – but here, we have something small in scale, but strong with the idea, which is presented really well on screen. We get a great quality here, without waiting in the queue or spending that extra money on online booking, along with those increased ticket prices – we just need a few MB of data to get into some nice thrilling moments. Culprit also comes at a time when there have been too many short-films dealing with the great nonsense romance in many absurd ways. A well-made thriller lasting half an hour is something that has the strength to go far, and it is hence proven by this short-film.

[Walks into the balcony with another cup of tea].

Vampire Owl: Do you think that such people can exist in our society too?

Vampire Bat: We are an alcohol-free society – so it would be difficult, but evil always finds a way.

Vampire Owl: Do you think that they could come through the portal which Doctor Frankenstein had opened earlier?

Vampire Bat: Mr. Frankenstein can only be the means to evil if we allow him to be.

Vampire Owl: It could be through anyone, someone whom we trust the most.

Vampire Bat: Yes, Evil as a person is a clever manipulator.

Vampire Owl: It could be the Lich Queen, Werewolf Anger, Vampire Kung Fu Panda

Vampire Bat: Why do you keep waiting for evil to come, when there is the chance to embrace goodness?

Vampire Owl: Well, you just can’t see so much evil, and still go with goodness.

Vampire Bat: Goodness is difficult, and evil is easy. It is on this that we wonder, and get inspired to think more about the same.

[Walks into the silence of darkness].

Release date: 9th July 2017
Running time: 31 minutes
Directed by: Jithin S Babu
Starring: Akhil Vivek, Danish Ashokan, Dona Shankar, Akash Sheel, Anwar Shereef, Santhu Bhai

Watch the interesting thriller, Culprit here:

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Gone Girl

gonegirl (3)

Vampire Owl :: Which girl is gone?

Vampire Bat :: No, it is the name of the movie.

Vampire Owl :: Really? But you are going to a theatre which almost froze us to death last time.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, but it happened only once.

Vampire Owl :: Dude, only a Vampire Penguin can stand such cold. I think they are trying to start a new mortuary freezer at the theatre in collabration with the nearby hospital.

Vampire Bat :: Have you ever been to a mortuary?

Vampire Owl :: Yes, once when I was looking for a zombie to provide assistance to my owlification. Couldn’t find one though. I was freezing to death; no wonder there are no zombies in this part of the world. Even the undead dies in that cold.

Vampire Bat :: But people usually want this cold.

Vampire Owl :: It is already raining outside. Why would they want more cold? See, this is why I should not watch this movie and go back to owlification. Watching a movie here would be like watching Frozen without the visual effects.

Vampire Bat :: Be the Gone Owl then. Best of luck.

[Goes into the multiplex].

What is it about? :: Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) returns home on the day of his fifth anniversary to find his wife missing. The situation does manage to find a lot of media coverage as she is daughter of the parents who wrote a very popular series of books with Amy Elliott-Dunne (Rosamund Pike) at the centre of it, called Amazing Amy. Soon, the media comes to the conclusion as he is the one who is responsible for the same and has murdered his wife, thanks to the revelations of Noelle Hawthorne (Casey Wilson) who says that he was not a good husband and she was pregnant. Nick acts strange and also sounds weird during the investigations making the cops suspect him, and there are also more evidences that point to him. Then there is his sexual relationship with Andie Fitzgerald (Emily Ratajkowski). Finding Amy’s diary and what seems to be the situation of their marriage, it becomes clear that he is in big trouble, despite the sincere efforts of his twin sister Margo Dunne (Carrie Coon) and attorney Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry).

The defence of Gone Girl :: The movie has two sides, and the first half is entirely different from what is to follow in the second, and the PVR intermission is nicely created. The two halves are rather like two parts, with first one being an investigation of the mystery of the disappearance of a man’s wife, and the second being how it has been working for the wife, and how it goes on as everything comes together in the end. I found the second half clearly superior to the first, and there is a lot of truth as well as entertainment in the latter division. The first half’s mystery as well as the second half’s black comedy nicely compliments each other. This is comparable to the movies like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Enemy and Prisoners with its content. It brings the questions about modern marriage to light and talks about how it has changed in the recent years – the narrative is as good as it can get, and the plot is nicely managed. There is also that power of the performances.

Positives and negatives :: I have heard some people say that the novel is better than the movie, and I do ponder about it, but I don’t think I am going to read the book any time soon. For now, I can say that the movie is excellent. Some people might find the movie’s going forward and backward in time irritating, but I find it nice. It does have a strange twist in the end, and even as it has a certain beauty about it, some viewers might find it ridiculous – yes, some other usual kind of ending could have been the one for normal audience, but we are always equipped to take something different, aren’t we? Then there is the slow start which can take the interest off you, and the extreme length of the movie which has two and half hours taken away from us, making it a total three hours long with those advertisements – too many commercials and trailers, and I was frozen in the theatre by then. Thank God for the intermission we have here, for a long English movie is not what our audience ask for.

Performers of the soul :: Ben Affleck is playing a usual unsuspecting man, and it seems to work for him a lot. There is not much to do there for him to do other than being clueless and making at attempt at being better, but he does that nicely to convince us about his character. It is undoubtedly a good role for him as we wait for him to come back to us as the new Batman. I loved how Rosamund Pike played her amazing Amy, as there is as much mystery about it as well as the awesomeness in the portrayal. There is that moment when she reveals her thoughts, and it is one bloody awesome moment, and there is that thing that he does with the climax, and she is simply perfect right there. Neil Patrick Harris is pretty much wasted in his role which is pretty much a dumb one, and does nothing much. Emily Ratajkowski is there as the most gorgeous person around, nothing more about her character, but she is indeed lovely to watch. I did think that Carrie Coon was very impressive there. Tyler Perry was nice, I liked how he did his job. Lola Kirke and Casey Wilson also do their jobs nicely.

Soul exploration :: Gone Girl is a mixture of many genres, as it has its mystery and twist along with humour and crime investigation. There is romance, but one might not want to see that genre at the centre. The movie takes more of a satirical view on the marriages of the modern age, and during the same, black humour is implemented a lot. It also shows how easy it is for the media to manipulate the public opinion and devastate a man in the most disgusting and ridiculous manner, and that it is indeed easy for the woman to put the blame on the man and frame him for her troubles, because the society will always favour a woman as long as she can keep the mask of being in trouble. There will always be at least one stupid person whom a smart one can manipulate. It gives its viewers one more reason why one shouldn’t cheat in a relationship, and your wife might be a psychopath, but you will never know. Both the protagonists are liars, and there lies the strange beauty in the narrative. May be we can put this one into the psychological thriller genre.

How it finishes :: For one second, I thought that this had released here before it did in the United States, and then on the next second, I realized that this month is not October – the time does fly so quickly, and we are indeed coming to the close of this year’s movie watching adventures in less than two months with Christopher Nolan’s already much critically acclaimed Interstellar so close to getting released. Yes, Gone Girl becomes the movie which made a difference in the closing stages, unlike those other movies which were the more awaited ones. Even as I once again almost got frozen to death in the multiplex theatre, it was worth it. Yes, this is one question that I ponder over – why is it too cold in some theatres? What is the need for the same especially when it rains almost every day here? It is a wastage – they should surely keep it low and save some energy rather than creating the mortuary freezer effect which is rather a punishment.

Release date: 31st October 2014 (India); 3rd October 2014 (USA)
Running time: 149 minutes
Directed by: David Fincher
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Emily Ratajkowski, Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Fugit, Casey Wilson, Missi Pyle, Sela Ward, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Lisa Banes, David Clennon, Scoot McNairy, Boyd Holbrook, Lola Kirke, Cyd Strittmatter, Leonard Kelly-Young

gonegirl

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.