Drama, English Movies

Levity directed by Ed Solomon

levity There are these movies that come as a fresh breath even though they deal with a dark side of us precisely because of the beautiful manner in which they treat this dark side – without apology, without self-pity and without clichéd ‘reasoned’ explanations for a the way a person is…this is also one of those movies whose scenes play themselves in your mind long after you have seen them, because they touch you deep inside….

The movie is about an ex-con Manuel Jordan (Thornton), who has been convicted for murder, who is given parole after 23 years. He seeks to find some meaning in the search for redemption from the sister of the man who who he killed, without being able to tell her his true identity – until the end. Along the way he meets characters who relate to him in their own way and who accept him in their universe – a preacher with a secret (Morgan Freeman), a young girl who is fighting her own demons (Kirsten Dunst) and the slain man’s sister herself (Holly Hunter)…

And Billy Bob Thornton…what can you say about him? He simply levitytrailer excels in this role. His gaze can be both terrifyingly penetrating and vacant at the same time. In fact I think, a major portion of his role is communicated through his eyes – the pain, the search for redemption, the sorrow of what is lost and the anguish at seeing someone wasting their life away.

I believe that no one can play the role of a man searching for redemption better than Thornton. He can play a character that is vulnerable and yet strong at the same time while retaining that aura that can only come out of a character who has seen more than he ever wanted to…

filmlist.Levity.co The film is not a one-man show either. Every single character has a large role to play in what the movie aims to give to us. The story slowly unfolds in a little over an hour and a half, at the end of which each person finds a place where they can find some meaning. Its not a fairy tale ending (Thank God for such endings) which makes the story all the more compelling….

This is a movie that leaves you with a nice hum in a little corner of your mind – that part of it that deals with life’s different mysteries that really have no answers and which so few things these days are able to touch upon…that, more than anything else makes this movie one of my all time favourites…

This central quote from the movie (narrated in the voice of Thornton) has become of my favourite quotes…these are one of those lines that make you pause and think…

“I read a book that was written in the 11th century. A man said that there was five steps toward making amends. The first involved acknowledging what you did. The second involved remorse. The third involved making right with your neighbour. Like if you stole his chicken, you’d have to go and bring him another. Only then were you able to go to step four, which was making it right with God. But it wasn’t until step five that you could really get redeemed. It had to do with being at the same place and the same situation. That as it goes, you’d go and do something different. Only I can’t bring Abner Easely back like he was some stolen chicken. Certainly made sure of that 23 years ago. And I don’t believe in some God that’s gonna open His arms to me even if I did. So there goes steps three and four. And as for step five, time makes sure we’re never in the same place twice, no matter how much we wish it. Which is why, for me, I know I’ll never be redeemed.”

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Drama, English Movies

The Machinist directed by Brad Anderson

machinist The first thing you notice is – bloody hell, is that Christian Bale?? The Batman looks as if he has just walked out of a concentration camp for superheroes. He is literally skeletal and looks splendid because he looks so awful. (He finished this movie a couple of months before Batman and he became the muscle ripping superhero in that period – one of the greatest achievements of physical transformation i have come across)…

And he plays the part to perfection – tormented and suffering from complete insomnia (claiming he hasn’t slept for a year) and suffering rapid weight loss (getting down to 119 pounds by the end of the movie). The reason for all this is revealed right at the end when everything in his life seems to rearrange themselves very differently than what they seemed when the movie began.

Trevor (Bale) seems a normal person except he is losing weight rapidly. He works a machinist in a workshop. Things seem to taking its course (except the unnatural weight loss) until the coming of a mysterious man – Ivan whose very presence starts changing Trevor’s life. Nothing remains the same after that. Things and people change form until Trevor thinks he is going insane. He is mysteriously stalked by Ivan and even when they get to talk,  things become even more confused for Trevor. He begins to see conspiracies everywhere and his life crumbles around him.

The story if of illusions, seeming murders, mysterious men with obscure intentions, people who don’t seem different from what they  are – until we realize that everything is the product of a tormented and deluded mind which has wrapped in itself to protect itself. Until we come to the awful truth.stickman

The lines at the end that Trevor speaks is the perfect ending to the movie (though the ending itself could have been much better) – “i just want to sleep”…at the end the living life seems to have become one big nightmare…

Its a great watch because it keeps you at the edge as there is a sense that something is going to give at anytime. And Trevor’s haunted look and his haunted body tells you that there is something terrible that is just beneath the surface that will come out. 

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