Descendants george clooney
Drama, English Movies, Popular

Descendants directed by Alexander Payne

Descendants flatters to deceive…unfortunately

descendants-movie-golden-gl__oPt What happens when your wife suffers a terrible accident and you know that she is never going to wake up from her coma

At a time when you were contemplating resurrecting a marriage that has gone cold

and you are like a stranger to your own children because you have been busy with your work too long

And then you are hit with the revelation that your wife had been cheating on you and was planning to leave you

What happens is that you get a brilliant premise for what can be a brilliant movie. Except "Descendants" flatters to deceive and wastes what is Clooney's brilliancy

I haven't read the book that 'Descendants' is based on but from the reviews I read, it seems that the strengths of the book has not translated into the movie's strengths

George Clooney as Matt King is a man who has been busy with being a lawyer and a land baron rather than being a father and a husband. As he mentions at the start, his younger daughter has grown from 3 to 10 and he has not been witness to the in between years and his older daughter has a drug problem. They are strangers to each other. And now they have to get to know each other since the connecting link between them, their mother, is gone.

As Matt grapples with the problem of how to relate to his two daughters and how to handle the grief of his wife'sfirst_clip_of_george_clooney_s_the_descendants_arrives-558x345 accident, he finds out from his own daughter that his wife was having an affair. In a tizzy, Matt rushes off in his slippers, in the famous running scenes shown in the promos, face taut with agony and shock to find out the details from his wife's friend.

And so begins a hunt for the wife's lover. With his daughters in tow, Matt goes on a road trip to confront the man. Whom he finds eventually. And the movies drags on to a close…

About this time, the 'Descendants' started to lose the plot for me. I mean, the first part was barely holding it out and the second part left me completely cold…

My biggest gripe is that the script leaves us feeling Matt as pretty one-dimensional. Except for flashes of nascent spark in the first part, especially when he finds out about his wife's infidelity, Matt seems mostly unperturbed by his wife's  condition. Beside grappling with the daughters, whom he seems to get back in touch more or less easily, he seemed to spend much of the time preparing for his wife's death. The anger that he feels at his wife's betrayal does not lead to anything much except for a somewhat farcical hunt for the lover. And when he does find him, you would expect some riveting dialogues…doesn't happen.

The-Descendants-007You would expect a man in his situation to be introspective – after all, there might have been good reasons for his wife's infidelity. He was not always there and she was lonely might have been one. But we never get to see that side of the story. Even the goodbye scene with his wife seems out of the blue, with almost no buildup. Does he forgive her, does he forgive himself? We don't know.

We see how Clooney, as Matt is trying to deal with on the outside but we don't get to see the inside of the man. There is attempt at humour but they come out as unnecessarily lighthearted. And there is attempt at grief but they come out a little contrived. Even the decision about the land – we don't get to know whether that was a genuine decision from the heart or an attempt to get back…

After a while it becomes a little difficult to connect to what is happening on the screen. There is not much here that descendants_trailerfin_hdwould separate this from numerous other movies with the same theme.

Descendants had a unique chance to show us the turmoil of a man who is very much of our times, caught in a pincer between a world that he neglected but depended on and a world where he spent much of his time but which becomes a stranger to him. And it had the talents of George Clooney for doing exactly that. 

Unfortunately, inspite of the best attempts of Clooney, the Descendants neither quite sparkles nor connects. It just about whets your appetite – to read the book…by Kaui Hart Hemmings of the same name…

Well that's just my opinion. How did you find Descendants?

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Will_Smith_in_Seven_Pounds
Drama, English Movies

Seven Pounds directed by Gabriel Muccino

poster_seven_pounds This movie had come highly recommended from a friend, who told me that this was a movie that would affect me for days…

Sadly, by the middle of the movie, I was stifling yawns.

Its one of the movies that aims only for the heart while trying its hardest to bypass the mind. It puts forward scenes which would try to make you feel bittersweet and make you realize the pain and the anguish and the sacrifice of the characters.

I found it all pretty phoney…

A man looking for redemption becomes a self-styled messiah and a judge of ‘good vs. bad people’, searching for people whom he can help by either giving up his house or giving his organs. Specious and self-serving charity, if you ask me.

Not only do I have a problem with the character deciding to commit suicide and upping the melodrama instead of trying to redeem himself by living his rest of his life in doing what he wants to do, I also have a problem of him acting God – in deciding whom should be saved and who should be not. Will Smith as Moses…

I mean why should he get involved with someone whom he can help only by dying himself is beyond me. She falls in love with him and he does too. And then he dies so she may live. Why? So that he isWill_Smith_in_Seven_Pounds_Wallpaper_1_1280 remembered? Selfish wont you say? Phoney script and completely opposite to the character portrayal that is sought to be brought out.

If he really wanted to help, why cant he do so anonymously? What is it except selfishness and a vague sense of megalomania?

The only reason you can see this movie is due to acting of Smith, which is muted and introverted while still powerful. Its not his fault really that the script itself is faulty. Rosario Dawson also packs a powerhouse role. The rest are fringe characters anyway. Woody Harrelson is wasted…

In the end, its only a weepy tearjerker aiming for those who want an empty headed cry on a gloomy Sunday. Bah!

 

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