Gone Girl the movie was a very different experience from Gone Girl the novel

Bhaskar Chanda Gone Girl Movie ReviewGillian Flynn’s novel dives deep down into the fears — both rational and irrational — that come with a significant romantic relationship. The primary fear, in short, is that the person on the other side of the bed could be someone entirely different from who you’ve come to love and know. Or, just as scary, that your significant other could turn into someone entirely different than he or she is today.

It’s a frightening thought, and it’s what drives the novel forward as the we parse character-revealing entries from Amy’s diary and keep tabs on Nick’s investigation. It is only through Flynn’s intricate weaving of the Amy-Nick relationship that we are lulled into a bubble of belief. We come to trust the Nick’s narration and Amy’s diary so much that their big reveals (spoiler: Amy’s faked death and Nick’s affair) are so surprising that they pop our belief bubble suddenly and viciously.

It is this moment of discovery, of figuring out that the narrators are not to be trusted, that makes the novel a complete thrill and makes Gone Girl the movie a letdown by comparison. Sure, the film still delivers most of the plot intact. It even gives us much of the novel’s dialogue quote for quote. But the impact of these quotes is so different because we aren’t given the same backstory that Flynn provides in her novel.

Bhaskar Chanda Gone GirlAmy’s fake diary reveal is a real “wow” moment in the novel but David Fincher’s film treats it instead as one of many pieces of a puzzle that Amy has devised for her grand plan. It still comes off as impressive in the film, but it doesn’t have nearly the same impact. Even Amy’s famous “cool girl” rant has a different, and somewhat less satisfying appeal in the film than in the novel. Whereas the novel offers that speech as an intriguing and impressive critique against unrealistic relationship expectations, the movie delivers it less as a societal critique and more as a feminist rant against “stupid” women.

Yes, Gone Girl the film still gives a fascinating depiction of the engaging Flynn tale. It still builds the fake storyline and gives gives the same (or similar) plot twists. It still makes us ask how much we know about our partners. But it doesn’t feel real and it certainly doesn’t give us the same satisfaction or jaw-dropping delivery that Flynn’s novel does. If you read the novel, you’ll still enjoy the film, but you’ll be left with an empty hole of disappointment that only Flynn’s writing can fill. 3/5 Stars

Matthew McConaughey’s Potential Oscar Performance in Interstellar

Bhaskar Chanda Film ReviewThis last month’s movie roundup has been outstanding, and Interstellar might be the one to top them all. With a star-studded cast behind Christopher Nolan, this movie is nothing short of spectacular. One of the most intellectually stimulating movies I’ve seen in a long time.

The cast is made up of Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Topher Grace, and Matt Damon; all who brought their A-game with remarkable acting. Matthew McConaughey is expected to win the Oscar with his performance as Cooper, an x-NASA pilot turned farmer. Cooper is living with his son, daughter, and father-in-law. His daughter thinks that a ghost is trying to communicate with her, and Cooper eventually conducts experiments that figures out that aliens from the future are using a wormhole to communicate with his daughter. This sends Cooper and a team of NASA pilots through an interstellar adventure through a wormhole to find a potentially habitable planet for humanity’s sake.

Christopher Nolan might potentially win an Oscar as well. This movie kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time, which is especially impressive since the movie was almost three hours long. Matthew McConaughey is on a role of recent. He was almost the only actor to have won a “best actor” Oscar (for Dallas Buyers Club) and Emmy (for True Detective). He lost his Emmy to the fantastic Bryan Cranston for his role as Walter White in Breaking Bad, debatably one of the better performances of the decade. Anything with Matthew McConaughey these days is a must see, and Interstellar is no different.

This is just the Sci-Fi/Action Adventure film that you want to see when going to a movie along with an added intellectualism that you don’t see with many movies of the sort. This movie did not only keep me entertained on a basic level, but also kept my mind intellectually stimulated at the same time. 4.8/5 stars.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is Another Wes Anderson Success

Bhaskar Chanda The Grand Budapest HotelThe Grand Budapest Hotel is another smash hit from the quirky, peculiar director, Wes Anderson. In typical Wes Anderson fashion, each character has their own unique story that leads them through a series of chaotic adventures. This story takes us back in time, where “the richest man in the world,” Zero Moustafa, tells the story of how he made his fortune to the local hotel concierge.

The story follows an extraordinary concierge, M. Gustave, at one of the most famous European hotels, The Grand Budapest Hotel. M. Gustave is played by Ralph Fiennes. His most trusted ally is the young Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy, played by Tony Revolori. Zero quickly becomes M. Gustave’s assistant, which puts him in the middle of protecting an enormous family fortune when M. Gustave becomes the hair to the most expensive paining in the world. Amidst this time of war and crisis, Zero and M. Gustave are forced to team up and protect what is rightfully theirs from jealous and psychopathic family members.

Throughout the rest of the film, irreverent chase scenes and chaotic calmers of humor fill the time. A more extroverted style taken by Wes Anderson, as while there is still plenty of internal character development, there seems to be a lot more going on outside of each characters little world. There is a broader sense of history and outside forces, while many of his films delve into the interworking’s of a unique character.

Ralph Fiennes plays a spectacular conceded, pompous concierge while Tony Revolori fills the role of the quiet, nervous lobby assistant. Willem Dafoe plays one of the psychopathic relatives to the enormous family fortune. He is great in this role as he does not say much and uses his menacing face to do most of the talking.

Overall, this movie is another must watch, as another one of Wes Anderson’s zany stories is a homerun. 4.5/5 Stars

Xmen: Days of Future Past Review

bhaskar chanda toronto xmenOne of the most awaited movie of the year 2014 – Xmen: Days of Future Past (DOFP) has lived up to its expectation rather has surpassed most critics imagination – it surely did mine. A visually stunning movie, with a spectacular story line and great cinematography.

If the job of a director is to make it utterly difficult for the fans to pick the best movie of an action blockbuster series, then Bryan Singer did an excellent job. If money is sole measure of success, I cant think of any other action series that would surpass xmen at $2.6 billion. That’s around $300 million per movie; however, with number running in the favor of the current DOFP it is expected to break $600million mark! Though with few more blockbusters realizing soon such as How To Train Your Dragon 2 (June 17) and Transformers (June 27) that number may fall short. So catch a glimpse of this movie while the craze last, or wait for it to be released on DVD. In a nutshell, its worth every penny you’re going to spend on this movie! 4.5/5 stars.

Transcendence Review

Transcendence (2014)

bhaskar chanda transcendenceI won’t be the first reviewer to express my disappointment in what could have been a glorious film but ended up a clunker. The directorial debut of the cinematographic genius behind Christopher Nolan’s best work, Transcendence combines an intricate and interesting premise with the proven talents of Johnny Depp, Cillian Murphy, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, and Morgan Freeman and still comes up short. While vastly different tonally, Transcendence is destined to be compared to Spike Jonze’s 2013 film Her, a critical darling, Oscar-nominee, and similar meditation on AI. But where Her was an exercise in control and elegant storytelling, a small but well-made vehicle navigating gracefully through an ocean of big ideas and age-defining questions, Transcendence is a muddled mess, a Titanic of a movie that gets caught in the ice and drowns in its own ambitions. Depp plays Dr. Will Caster, the world-renowned expert on artificial intelligence who hopes to achieve singularity by creating an all-encompassing intelligence in touch with the broad spectrum of human emotion. When he is attacked by Luddite terrorists, his wife (Hall) and best friend (Bettany) attempt to save him by injecting his consciousness into his own experiment, where he becomes all-seeing, all-knowing, and all-powerful. The film is to be commended for attempting to conceive and create a world where these events are possible, but in the end so many opportunities are missed that it’s hard to appreciate the successes achieved. 2.5/5 stars.