ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – V – Viceroy’s House (2017)

Director: Gurinder Chadha

Writer: Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges, Moira Buffini (Screenplay) Narendra Singh Sarila (Book)

Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi, Michael Gambon, Om Puri, David Hayman

 

Plot: The final Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, is tasked with overseeing the transition of British India to independence, but meets with conflict as different sides clash in the face of monumental change.


Tagline – The end of an empire. The birth of two nations.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice History Lesson

 

Story: Viceroy’s House starts as Lord Mountbatten (Bonneville) is taking his place as the last Viceroy of India, to help see oversea the independence of India, his wife Lady Edwina wants to help with change by making the house open to Indian’s something the residents have never seen before.

We also meet young Indian Jeet Kumar (Dayal) who gets hired to the staff that has a past with Aalia Noor (Qureshi) who have their own feelings to battle against tradition. As Lord Mountbatten tries to bring the leaders of Indian together, we only see how the country becomes more divided over their independence and how he tries to do the best he can to stop the bloodshed.

 

Thoughts on Viceroy’s House

 

Characters – Lord Mountbatten was the British choice to take over the Viceroy house during the final days of the British Empire’s control of India, he wants a peaceful transition only to learn the divide in the people wants their own country Pakistan. He must show the leadership skills to create the peace needed for this nation after the years that British ruling. Lady Mountbatten opens up the house to more Indian families, she wants to create an equal environment for the people, she will rid the house of anyone that shows discrimination in a hope for an equal future. Jeet Kumar is a young man that gets a job in the Viceroy House under Lord Mountbatten he wants to see the peace unfold, but his heart is take by a former friend Aalia.

PerformancesHugh Bonneville is great in this leading role, he brings us the class the character requires while also giving us the human side needed. Gillian Anderson is good even if her accent does come off overly posh at times. Manish Dayal as the young Indian is strong too with Huma Qureshi going well in the side story which is about love through the difficult times.

StoryThe story here follows the time in history when Britain gave up the power of India and the chaos this caused between the Indian’s and their different religious beliefs. It showed us how Britain once again looked down on a nation for being different and had to learn just how important equality within all nations should be. It also shows us the different between the people with different religious beliefs which could be against each other so easily, a problem we still see today. There is a love story put into this film which doesn’t feel the most important to everything going on.

Biopic/HistoryThis is an important look at a historical moment in human history, one that changed India forever and showed the British at their best and worst.

SettingsThe film takes us to India where we believe we are at the same time and place as this movie’s events, nothing feels or looks out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
Lady Mountbatten putting an English helper in her place, back on a boat.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The love story does feel like something we didn’t need.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful look at the history of the British Empire and India, we see the struggle the country went through during the time of change, one larger than ever seen, for the history fans out there, this will be one for you to see.

 

Overall: History fans will enjoy this movie.

Rating

 

 

 

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Blue Jasmine (2013)

Director: Woody Allen

Writer: Woody Allen (Screenplay)

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard

 

Plot: A New York socialite, deeply troubled and in denial, arrives in San Francisco to impose upon her sister. She looks a million, but isn’t bringing money, peace, or love..

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Typical Low Key Drama

 

Story: Blue Jasmine starts as we meet Jasmine (Blanchett) a New York socialite that’s life is falling apart after her husband Hal (Baldwin) has been found guilty of stealing millions from fake investments. Moving in with her sister Ginger (Hawkins) in San Francisco to try and build her life again.

As we see how Jasmine is remembering the memories with Hal we see how she is must learn to deal with everyday life and working for a living.

 

Thoughts on Blue Jasmine

 

Characters – Jasmine once had everything thanks to her husband, now she has lost everything and needs to learn about a new way of living. Seeing Jasmine learn to work an everyday job while trying to hold on to the class she believes she is from is what we see. Hal is the husband that cheated on and robbed the money from the investors, a full-on crook. Ginger is the sister of Jasmine, she has been working a normal life with a divorce and kids, she has the normal like of worries. We get to meet the generic people from different walks of life, the guys in Ginger’s life who are looked as overworked and slobby while Dwight is the man from a high class that makes it easy to see how things are going.

PerformancesCate Blanchett won an Oscar for her performance in this film, she is great to watch in this role fully committed to the idea of being socialite. Sally Hawkins for me is the complete star of this film as the normal life sister showing us just how difficult life can be and being so strong through each scene. The male actors in the film are good and let the actresses take the centre stage.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that needs to rebuild her life after her husband is found guilty of embezzlement ruining many lives. We flash between the two lives, the one which was falling apart and the one she is trying to rebuild. We try to get a message over about its never too late to start again and family will always be there for you. This story deals with the complications of relationships nicely as we see how people could look to hide the bad ones from the new people in their lives as well as being involved with people themselves not telling the truth. Outside of this we don’t get too much as Jasmine herself is not the most likeable character because of the entitlement she believes she has.

SettingsThe film uses two of the best location for cities in America New York and San Francisco.


Scene of the Movie –
Supermarket scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Doesn’t seem to have a real ending.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good look at how relationships can look strong as to how they can be great, bad and not work depending on how things can unfold.

 

Overall: Relationship based drama.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Biopics – U – A United Kingdom (2016)

Director: Amma Asante

Writer: Guy Hibbert (Screenplay) Susan Williams (Book)

Starring: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Tom Felton, Jack Davenport, Laura Carmichael, Terry Pheto

 

Plot: The story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana and how his loving but controversial marriage to a British white woman, Ruth Williams, put his kingdom into political and diplomatic turmoil.


Tagline – The true story of a love that shook an empire.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice History Lesson

 

Story: A Untied Kingdom starts in 1947 England where Prince Seretse Khama (Oyelowo) of Bechuanaland (known today as Botswana) is in England studying law, he meets file clerk Ruth Williams (Pike) and the two fall in love.

With tension between Bechuanaland and South Africa high the idea of the soon to be King marrying a white woman would be unheard off. The British government doesn’t want him to become king and Seretse own family don’t want him to become king if he stays with Ruth. With the racial divide still going strong, Seretse pushed for equality over anything else, so he can unite his kingdom when he becomes king.

 

Thoughts on A United Kingdom

 

Characters – Seretse Khama is the prince of Bechuanaland he has been studying law in England to prepare for his time as king, he falls in love a white woman in Ruth Williams which throws tensions from his family, government in the air and to prove his love is more important than his traditions and bring the equality between the races together. Ruth Williams is an English clerk whose family has been working to teach Christianity to Africans, she meets and falls in love with Seretse and goes against everyone else’s desires and marries him. Rufus Lancaster is the British liaison in Bechuanaland who leads the opposition from the land, which only shows us just how the English were over controlling.

PerformancesDavid Oyelowo is wonderful in the leading role, showing us once again that he can lead any movie he wants too. Rosamund Pike shines to showing everyone that she can handle to calm roles after the psycho ones in Gone Girl. The rest of the cast are wonderful even if the British characters are as stuck up as you would imagine them to be.

StoryThe story follows the lives of King Seretse who marries an English white woman which puts the balance between the racial tension in his home land and British rule. We learn a lot from this movie, because we see how the country was being controlled from outside forces that only saw them as a piece of land. There is a lot to take in and the history lesson about this union that created a chance in the land.

Biopic/RomanceWhat King Seretse and his wife Ruth achieved for Botswana was incredible and this shows us how their love drove them to achieve this change.

SettingsThe settings show us the high society British look at an African country that was following its own traditions to become the independent from this style of rule.


Scene of the Movie –
Speech to the ‘tribe’ as the British called them.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Knowing the English were this shallow.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good look at how the world was once ruled by people who believe they are in the right to control countries affairs and how their union would change everything.

 

Overall: History is always worth learning.

Rating

 

 

They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)

Director: Peter Jackson

 

Plot: A documentary about World War I with never-before-seen footage to commemorate the centennial of the end of the war.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Eye Opener

 

Story: They Shall Not Grow Old starts as the First World War begins as we follows through the stories of multiply men that lied about joining the army, followed their preparations before leaving for battle and learning how the men must learn how deadly the war was. We go through countless accounts of the life and experiences of the war, through clips that have been remastered to show the colour from the original black and white footage.

 

Thoughts on They Shall Not Grow Old

 

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best technical achievements in documentary film making, we get the see the footage that was only ever seen in black and white, restored to colour which shows us more of the harsh realities of war. Having the countless accounts from the former soldiers, where just weren’t prepared for going into war, seeing how almost pointless what they were doing was even after meeting the German soldiers too. This is an impress eye opening look at one of the biggest wars in history, the lives they were living both during and after the war which shows just how lost the generation could have been in this world.

 

Overall: This is easily one of the most important documentaries you will see.

Rating

 

ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – T – Tombstone (1993)

Director: George P Cosmatos, Kevin Jarre

Writer: Kevin Jarre (Screenplay)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, Charlton Heston

 

Plot: A successful lawman’s plans to retire anonymously in Tombstone, Arizona, are disrupted by the kind of outlaws he was famous for eliminating.


Tagline – Justice Is Coming

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not as Good as Wyatt Earp

 

Story: Tombstone starts when the successful lawman Wyatt Earp (Russell) has hung up his gun moved with his brothers Virgil (Elliott) and Morgan (Paxton) to Tombstone to follow in the silver boom. Wyatt does get his hands in plenty of pots, helping the town turn to their successful ways.

When the Marshall is killed by the cowboys the mayor turns to the Earp’s with Virgil and Morgan try to bring order to the town Wyatt reluctantly agrees to join them, which will see them come face to face with the deadly cowboy gang who want control of the town.

 

Thoughts on Tombstone

 

Characters – Wyatt Earp’s reputation precedes him as he cleaned up the town of Boulder, now he wants to put his gun away and head to Tombstone to start a business life with his brothers, he knows how the get a deal done, which will see him need to get rid of the cowboy gang running through the town causing chaos. Doc Holliday is the gambler that will and has stood by Wyatt’s side in combat, he will drink a lot even if he does face health problem that will slowly make his life harder. Virgil and Morgan are the brothers that take the roles in the law enforcement which will see them put their own lives at risk.

PerformancesKurt Russell does do a solid job in the leading role, the action scenes are where he shines the best. Val Kilmer does well making his character feel like he is standing out more in the film at times. We do get plenty of actors in this film, most do what is needed without being on the top of their games.

StoryThe story follows Wyatt Earp in his time in Tombstone only which does show how he was trying to live a non-conflict life only to be drawn back into the old ways which saw him become the legendary lawman. The story is difficult to watch after recently seeing the ‘Wyatt Earp’ film, which does cover a larger amount of his life, including the Tombstone time, we just don’t seem to get enough focus on the life outside of the battle in the town, which fails to give the wives required screen time in the story or show us what led to Wyatt becoming the famous lawman. This will give us the simple look at the battle with the cowboys which is good to see, but we would always want to learn more about the character involved.

Action/BiopicThe action in the film does see bullets fly around like we are used to, for a western, the biopic side of the film only shows us the Tombstone stage of Wyatt’s life which does focus more, only it doesn’t explain why he is such a famous figure.

SettingsThe film does create the authentic setting for the western genre, which is does make us feel like we are watching the story unfold with the characters.


Scene of the Movie –
Stand off.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not learning enough about Wyatt’s life before Tombstone.

Final ThoughtsThis is the weaker of the two Wyatt Earp biopics that hit the cinema in the same year, it might have more entertaining action, but it just misses too much of his life out.

 

Overall: Disappointing biopic.

Rating