Dr. Cabbie, 2014

Health care, or the lack of it, is no laughing matter. In the West, the design and delivery of health care has become a most complicated matter, indeed. Complicated to the point of being so serious that the only way to deal with it is to seek some comic relief.

So, what do you do with a topic as serious as that? If you’re Bollywood collaborating with a French-Canadian director, you more than likely will find a way to milk it for all its comedic worth.

And how does that work out in this movie, you ask? Well, it has its moments of hilarity, yes, but there’s much to be desired with the screenplay and script – which is probably why it ends up being quite a forgettable film.

Go only if your local theatre offers a discount ticket price. Otherwise, hang on until it comes out on DVD or Netflix.

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277/365/02

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The Theory of Everything, 2014

We don’t really know what that theory might be, if there is indeed one that would explain everything in the universe, nay, the universe itself, but what we do know is the attempt of one man who is determined to seek it in the realm of theoretical physics and mathematics.

If the relentless pursuit of the nature of the universe is a fascinating one, equally interesting is Stephen Hawking’s love for Jane, his wife, and his children.  But there are degrees of love and seasons of love, and it sometimes takes an entire lifetime to realize how love for another in one’s later life does not diminish one’s first love.

This is a tale of mature, intentional, deliberate love.  It is not a juvenile love.  It is a story of two adults – one of whom is physically debilitated to the point of being unable to even speak – deal with each other with extreme love, affection, wit, charm and respect for each other. I don’t know why this would be so rare a thing, but all things considered, it truly is, and in a movie is wonderful to see.

Great performances by Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.  I remember Redmayne from the Pillars of the Earth, a TV series, that I viewed only recently.

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270/365/02

The Theory of Everything.

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Interstellar, 2014

“Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

This magnificent verse by the poet Dylan Thomas has been used by the protagonists in this fantastic film as the raison d’être for space exploration, and what a beautiful reason it is altogether. For man is bestowed with so many beautiful qualities that includes in no small measure the burning desire to go where no man has gone before no matter the cost, and in this case, to go because it is the only option for survival. But to do so fiercely, not ambivalently, makes it ever so much more remarkable.

For those who might view this as a mere sci-fi movie, I’d caution against rushing to judgment. Yes, there’s wild and fantastical imagery of interstellar space discoveries including black holes, alternate universes, and an exemplification of the mind-bending quality of the theories of relativity, but beyond that this is a story of love. The love of a father for his daughter and vice versa, the love of a son for his father and vice versa, the love of a sister and brother for each other, and the love for life itself. The kind of love that makes you give up everything you love for the sake of love. I beg your pardon for that seemingly mushy synopsis, but how else to explain why we do what we do.

McConaughey gives quite the performance, and is actually true to form with his Texas-drawl. As a side-bar, I wonder if non-native speakers of English might have to pay close attention to his speech for fear of missing it! The others are all big-names as well, and each adds to the overall drama of the story. I thought the musical score was good for the most part, but climactic more often than necessary.

I recommend watching it on an IMAX screen if at all possible, and to prepare for a long ride. In the end, the only one thing that survives us all is love. And suffice to say that the recipe for ensuring the survival of love is to never go gentle into that good night, and to always rage against the dying of the light. (Which is why I can’t bring myself to blow out birthday candles on a cake anymore, but that is another story.)

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263/365/02

Absolutely fantastic!

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Bang Bang!, 2014

There is a certain genre of Hindi movie that falls into the realm of mindless surrealism.  In the vernacular, it is referred to as a “masala” movie.

Bang Bang! is the latest offering in the genre, and what a fine specimen it is.  It’s got great James Bond-style action, lots of songs, great dancing, pretty faces, and melodrama galore.

What more could you possibly want on a Friday night? :)

Here’s what I mean:

 

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