Utpal Borpujari

February 23, 2010

DVD Reviews: A Mighty Heart; No Country for Old Men

By Utpal Borpujari

“A Mighty Heart” is one rare film where Angelina Jolie does not play the glam doll. As Mariane Pearl, the wife of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, Jolie gives a powerful and memorable performance in this Michael Winterbottom docu-fiction that goes into the killing of the Wall Street Journal reporter’s abduction and killing.

Pearl was abducted from Karachi by supporters of fundamentalist Omar Sheikh and was beheaded in 2002. The film, in a realistic mode, recreates Mariane’s efforts to get justice, as well as the US government’s efforts to track down the killers.

Also starring our own Irrfan Khan, the film eschews melodrama and retells the story in a matter of fact tone. However, the film faced its share of criticism, among other things, for casting Jolie in the role of Mariane who is of multiracial origin, even though it was Mariane herself who had chosen the star for the role.

This is a film for those who love dramas based on real-life incidents, handled with sensitivity with an eye on maintaining authenticity.

A Mighty Heart; dir: Michael Winterbottom; Big Home Video; Rs 499

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The Coen brothers are known for highly-individualistic style of movie-making, often giving a go by to usual story-telling formats. In this award-winning film starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem and Josh Broling, the brothers again come up with powerful drama that completely goes against the flow of many of their earlier films, including the humorous “Fargo”.

But here too, he continues to explore how circumstances can throw an ordinary man into a world unknown to him. Adapted from a novel by Cormac McCarthy of the same name, this crime thriller is about an ordinary man’s unwitting involvement in a nerve-wrecking chase surrounding a bounty.

The directors weave an intricate story highlighting human greed in this one, with superlative performances by Bardem and Brolin. A multiple Oscar, Golden Globe and British Film Academy award winner, this film would be an worthy addition to any home DVD collection.

No Country for Old Men; dir: Joel & Ethan Coen; Big Home Video; Rs 499

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 21-02-2010)

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/53810/dvd-reviews.html

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