It's summer solstice today - the longest day of the year and it definitely feels the same; the absence of routine from my life means one day often roles lazily, easily into the next. No morning alarm nor timetabled restrictions that can define one day as separate from another - I need not sleep at night nor wake up in the morning. And it feels good to finally be in a place where I'm free to be my own. In amidst the chaos that is going to work, looking for work, revising, DIYing, sorting, cleaning, and planning and preparing for various parties and holidays, I'm strangely at peace. Today I painted the living room with mum; I'm mucky, hungry and covered in paint now but the living room looks beautiful. I called up my grandma, met some old friends over the weekend, and, in-between all this voluntary busy-ness of mine, found enough time to watch the very many movies that have been on my 'to watch' list for too long. And so I thought, today's post would be a little bit of a run-down on the watch and watch-nots (though please bear in mind it may have taken me eeerm…*ehem*15 years*ehem* to discover some of these?!)
Let's begin though with . I think it's safe to say the rom-com bug has really bitten me on the bum. Again. As per. But seriously, this was the last one before I thought, y'know what? S'nuff now! If you're a fan of Julia Roberts, of India, of Italy or of Indonesia, of Javier Bardem, of food or of mindless time-pass, then this is a must watch. But if you're after anything more than a beautiful woman on a journey through some beautiful places…then it's probably a watch-not because it lacks in anything deeper. It fails in providing details which makes the story seem a little clumsy, if not crummy - for example, how can Liz can afford a whole year travelling without seriously jeopardising her plush lifestyle back in the States? Well, the book, on which this film is based, definitely provides a more concrete story - it's more touching, more detailed, more true. Eat Pray Love is the memoir of American author Elizabeth Gilbert, who following a failed marriage embarked upon a journey to find out who she really is and what she wants from life. I'm not going to lie, I was literally all over this simply because it's such a girly-girl, feel-good film. I love Roberts and if you do, I assure you that you won't mind the few occasions where it falters. WATCH (NOT).
, recommended by my brother, scared the living daylights out of me (note to self - don't watch horror alone, in pitch darkness, lest the motive is cardiac arrest). Case 39 starts with the simple life of a kind-hearted social worker, Emily, who goes out of her way to ensure safety for abused and neglected children. She's entrusted with Case 39, that of Lilith Sullivan whose parents want to 'send her to hell' and try to be rid of her by locking her in their switched on oven. At first sight it seems the parents are absolutely crazy - but it's not long before more sinister events start to unfold. While it's not all blood and gore, it's creepiness lies in the crossover between nightmare and reality - it's difficult to distinguish where one ends and the other begins. I'm quite a Zellweger fan (who isn't after Bridget Jones?) and it's nice to see her doing something different. I'll warn you now though - if you're faint-hearted like me don't watch this alone. It's chilling, thrilling horror and probably best watched with a big strong boyfriend beside (JUST IN CASE, y'know?!). WATCH.
If you're Indian I probably need say nothing about , except that I don't know why it took me so long to watch it. All I can say is THANK God for the mavericks and the non-conformists. Dev D is a flight of fancy from the filmmaker that defies convention and demolishes moulds. Not only does it rewrite the technique of the artistic medium, with its unusual cinematography, dizzy editing, non-linear plot narration, turn-of-the-century dialogues and breathtakingly bizarre audio track, it completely revises the ancient text (on which it's based) which has already made its mark in its various avtars, the latest being the high-pitched rendition of the self-destructive hero by Shah Rukh Khan in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas (trailer below). Say no more because if you haven't seen that either, then please do. Devdas is to Hindi what Pride and Prejudice is to English. But Dev D, unlike Devdas, isn't a blast from the past. In his rootlessness, his lack of purpose and his complete disconnect with the real (read traditional) world, he reflects the mindset of the archetypal new millennium 20-something who doesn't know how to blend tradition with modernity, permissiveness with orthodoxy, Oxford with Chandigarh. And so, he asks his childhood sweetheart, Paro to send him her nude photographs through e-mail, yet can't handle the quandary about her virginity and pronounced sexuality. In a fit of aggrieved machismo, he spurns her wild sexual adventurism which sees her cycling to the neighbouring fields at the break of dawn with a mattress meticulously rolled up on the carrier for a clandestine tryst with him. (Ever seen the bharatiya naari do this in Indian cinema? Bravo, brave new Bollywood!). WATCH.
...and finally onto .Cris recommended this one and while it's old enough for Natalie Portman to have been just 12 odd years old when it was made, it's still every bit as good. The film follows the story of Léon, played by Jean Reno, a professional hit man for an Italian Mob crew. He lives next door to a ferociously independent 12-year-old girl named Mathilda whose father is involved in drugs and crooked cops. One day, a crew of the cops kills her entire family while Mathilda is out buying groceries. Taking pity on her, Léon hides her in his apartment when she returns to save her life. Mathilda learns of Léon's hit man profession and decides to follow in his footsteps as a 'cleaner.' I was surprised to realise I'd watched a hindi film with (almost) exactly the same plot, so unfortunately I already knew how it would end. PLEASE WATCH!
You've probably sussed how much I'm enjoying the company of my new mac - I think I'm at risk of sounding like one of those 24hr computer geeks though (I'm actually just waiting for my pizza) but in truth,it's just nice to be working my way back up. In between too many transitions and moves in the past year I lost a lot of possessions and a lot of myself. I'm not particularly materialistic (I hope) but I can definitely be possessive, especially as I come from somewhere where happiness comes at the price of a lot of hard work. So I'd say being protective about your home, your dreams is no bad thing. It feels good to be fighting to get my life back on track, even if it's about the small joys like getting new furniture (including an ultra-slimming mirror - mine broke when I was moving back home) to replace what I was forced to leave behind last time. I'm finally comfortable in my own space, my own skin - I don't feel like a stranger in my own home. I'm currently awaiting (more like clicking the refresh button at the top of the page every 5 seconds, like some hunger-crazed maniac), a piping hot, cheesy delicious Domino's, which is probably why I have the time for such a long rant today (sorry). And I'm also looking forward to a long overdue catch up with my best girly S. I have lots of lovely belated birthday presents for her and I'm hoping to overturn her previous inclination towards Athens as our chosen holiday destination in favour of Milano. I mean Italian food is reason enough for starters. Then there's all the fashion and shopping, Lake Como just 20 miles off…*eyes haze over*. Wish me luck :D