Review: Inarguably, the true event that inspires Garth Davis’ Lion is a blessing-in-disguise story. A five-year old Indian boy, Saroo (Sunny Pawar) gets lost while going away from home with his older brother. He’s stranded in Calcutta – 1,600KM away from home; survived hardships in street life, before being adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham), who lives in Tasmania.
Separated from his birth family and his compassionate brother, Saroo, now a Brierley (portrayed by Dev Patel), grows into a full-fledged Australian – who even forgets to speak Hindi. When hearing about Google Earth, Saroo becomes obsessed with it to trace down his memory lane in attempt to locate his home in India. Will he find his birth house after all? At this point, knowing how this story ends is moderately forgiven, because Lion isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. Continue reading Lion (2016) – Review
Review: There were three African-American women working at NASA in circa 1960s and helping the institution sending man into space, winning the space competitions against the Soviets. Not everyone knows about that fact (me neither, in fact), until Hidden Figures comes and opens people’s eyes in the era where this substantial revelation is relevant. However, it’s never been a preachy, egghead’s story; instead, Theodore Melfi’s adaptation of Margot Lee Shetterly’s non-fiction is a high-energized feel-good film about equality and empowerment.
Those three titular figures are Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). Those women are all brilliant in their own field even beyond; but their only problem is more complex than their minds; because they are women and people of colors. Continue reading Hidden Figures (2017) – Review
Review: You might not be familiar with Vinny Pazienza’s miraculous story dubbed as the ‘greatest comeback in sports history,’ but, after 5 minutes, Bleed for This will give you clear head-ups. The story comfortably fashions itself as a cliché-ridden based-on-true-events boxer’s story, which feels as text-bookish as it could be. However, clichés are no match for the true sportsmanship spirit it carries on and the hard punches it launches.
Miles Teller portrays Vinny Paz – a loudmouth Rhode Island native, who is eager to take all punch; but, really, he is a no-contender. In a title shot against Roger Mayweather, he suffered an embarrassing defeat, which triggers his managers, The Duvas Brothers, to urge him to give up boxing. Yet, Vinny, a tenacious macho man, refuses to surrender; instead, he teams up with Mike Tyson’s former alcoholic coach, Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart). The feat instantly becomes an unlikely union – the band of losers aiming for the most plausible shot for future. Continue reading Bleed for This (2017) – Review
Review: In Patriots’ Day 2013, two bombs blasted off during Boston marathon, killed 3 civilians, including an 8-y.o. child and injured hundred others. Only three and a half year passes, a big-budgeted retelling of it has already made into screen, not as a kind of exploitation, but as a moving, respectful story. Patriots Day is an ode to a city survives from tragedy.
With Patriots Day, Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon) has proven himself as an avid filmmaker, a specialist to craft an authentic reenactment with hearts within. There’s sympathy depicted in its dramatic docu-like pictures coupled with authentic footage and spotlights to certain people who directly involved in the tragedy. Continue reading Patriots Day (2017) – Review
Review: There’s a sense of accomplishment embarks after watching Mel Gibson’s comeback, Hacksaw Ridge; a contention knowing that ‘faith’ eventually found a path to a Hollywood spectacle in its most honest manifestation. As much as it is a celebration of technical achievement, this off-beat war film is also a real-world answer to Gibson’s first two faith-laden adversaries, The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto.
Hacksaw Ridge isn’t a preach about faith whatsoever, yet, it is honest in admitting that faith is the epicenter of this biopic of a Seventh-day Adventist who received Medal of Honor in aftermath of World War II. Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield, in his quirkiest role by far) is the unsung hero; he’s enlisting in World War II like many other youths at that time, but not as a soldier, but rather a paramedic. Despite objection from his war-traumatized father (Hugo Weaving), Desmond keeps going on and ‘fights’ to finally receive the highest honor for his courage in saving 75 lives without ever touching a gun. Continue reading Hacksaw Ridge (2016) – Review
Review Snowden: Sesungguhnya ada apa dengan Joseph Gordon-Levitt, biopic dan subyek yang pernah digali dalam dokumenter pemenang Oscar? Ia pernah memerankan Phillipe Petite dalam The Walk-nya Robert Zemeckis, yang subyeknya sama dengan pemenang Oscar, Man on Wire. Kali ini, dia melakukannya lagi—memerankan Edward Snowden dalam film terbaru Oliver Stone, yang subyeknya sama dengan pemenang Oscar, Citizenfour.
Edward Snowden, sang subyek, bukanlah sosok yang asing bagi masyarakat modern, terutama yang melek internet. Dia adalah mantan anggota NSA yang memutuskan menjadi whistleblower dan bertanggung jawab atas bocornya informasi tentang surveillance Amerika yang menyalahi aturan privacy; dan karena itu, ia kini menjadi manusia paling dicari di Amerika. Sebagai pahlawan masyarakat namun musuh pemerintah, Ed Snowden adalah subyek yang tak hanya poignant, tapi juga penting untuk dijadikan biopic. Continue reading Snowden (2016): Suplemen penting untuk Citizenfour