Friday, November 22, 2019

Thoughts on Apple TV+'s Dickinson

Dickinson starts off on a great note. The mashup of many genres gives a very slick and witty outlook to the first few episodes. A period drama, biopic, that raises questions that are still relevant today, with dialogue written like a 21st century teenage comedy series, is a very compelling description and it works for a good part of the series. But constantly switching gears between genres is a short lived trick, and ultimately, after a few good episodes it seems like the creators don’t really know where to take the series. They meander into different subplots, often confused between modern day questions, showcasing life in the 19th century and in general staying true to Emily Dickinson’s story.

With Dickinson the creators had a great opportunity, and to their credit there are moments of inspired brilliance, which stay for much longer than the show. And there’s a greater point that the show is ultimately trying to bring home. However, it does end on a note where I felt that Dickinson could have been more consistent with its wackiness. There are just too many ideas here, and you tend to tune out on more than a few occasions. Amongst the actors, Hailee Seinfeld as Emily Dickinson and Toby Huss as her father stand out.

We don’t hear much about American poets in India and even less so about their lives. So I am very curious about where the story goes from here, but here’s hoping for a tighter script and more of the wacky wittiness from Season 2.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Monday, October 21, 2019

Thoughts on Joker (2019)

Joker is one of the best movies I've seen this year, it's gritty, real and a great showcase for character films.

It helps that Joaquin Phoenix is at his best and infuses the character of the Joker with intensity and realism. This is the best portrayal of the character since The Dark Knight.

But despite all that, I feel Joker is an irresponsible movie. It tries to present a character who revels in the act of killing, as some sort of an anti-establishment crusader. A hero vigilante of the under-privileged and his actions, a result of the society's atrocities towards him. 

Most anti-hero dramas stop short of that, and for good reason. Movies have a powerful impact on the people, and in no way should such acts be justified, but Joker isn't interested in those limits, it just keeps going in it's pursuit of a true portrayal, why not go one step further and also tell the viewer why going on a killing spree against everyone who's wronged you is a bad idea? 

Add to that, The juxtaposition of a clown carrying a gun to a school isn't just cringy it's also blind towards all that's happening in the film's country of origin.

I'll give Joker, 3.5/5. It's a great movie. I just wish it was more aware and responsible towards the power great cinema possesses. 

★★★ 1/2