Utpal Borpujari

August 24, 2009

DVD reviews: La Zona / A Tale of Two Sisters / A Room With a View

By Utpal Borpujari

La Zona; Mexico; Spanish; 92 mins; UTV World Movies/ Shemaroo World Cinema; Rs 349

This Mexican film by Rodrigo Plá is a thriller with enough dramatic content and at the same time a severe indictment of the modern society divided among the rich and the poor, where the latter is always at the receiving end. The storyline of the film, which has won a spate of honours, is simple enough. It is about La Zone – the Zone – a gated living enclosure of the wealthy, where three poor youth break in to execute a robbery which goes wrong. While the guards kill two of the youth, the third, Miguel, takes shelter in one of the houses. For young Alejandro, it is a completely new experience as he interacts with the hiding intruder and finds about the life of depravation the poor live just outside their secure haven. The film’s strong point lies in its success in portraying the violent streak that lies beneath the veneer of civilized human societies. A compelling watch, this tale of clash of two societies living under one sky and divided by conditions of access to wealth.

A Tale of Two Sisters; Korean; 109 mins; UTV World Movies / Shemaroo World Cinema; Rs 349

This Kim Ji-Woon creation is in the best traditions of Korean horror films, but it scores more for its ability to make the viewer analyse the situations and come up with multiple interpretations of what’s happening on the screen. This thinking man’s horror film, with the protagonists sisters, their step-mother and father witnessing strange incidents in their house, does not have too many fright scenes but keeps the viewer engrossed through its intelligent handling of the subject. The beautiful cinematography adds to the haunting quality of the film, which begs for more than one viewing thanks to the interpretative content full of subtle pointers. Based on a premise drawn from a folk tale, the story’s sensitive handling of human psychology is its highpoint. It would attract both horror buffs and fans of quality cinema.

A Room With A View; Englishl; 110 mins; UTV World Movies / Shemaroo World Cinema; Rs 349

Not much needs to be said about this classic Merchant Ivory Productions’ film based on an E M Forster novel. Starring some of the finest actors, including Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Judi Dench and Daniel Day-Lewis, this is one James Ivory film that scored heavily on both critical and Box Office fronts through its romantic tale with a executed with a slightly comic touch. Through its story of a young English woman’s encounter with a handsome Englishman during a visit to Italy, which leads her to a journey towards a new thought process, and then to a clash of emotions as she has to choose between her fiancé and the free-spirited man she met in Italy, the film goes much beyond what could have been typical costume drama trappings.  A great film to add to your DVD collection.

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 23-08-2009)



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