Sunday, January 04, 2009

"A Path Gone Before" - "Into the Wild" and "The Godfather"

“A path gone before” is a special section I decided to come up after watching two films today I have enjoyed a lot before and now. One is my personal favourite for the year of 2007 “Into the Wild” and the other being ever classic “The Godfather”, the DVD I bought is the The Coppola Restoration with finer picture you could ever come up. The reason for the section while is the birth of these two pictures runs more than that. The actual should films should be “Michael Clayton” and “Gone Baby Gone” which I have watched three to four times and every time it grew more on me. In fact “Gone Baby Gone” did not even make the best films of 2007 of mine. Hence there are films which by remote invitation asks me to view again and gets better and better by further viewing. This time though “Into the Wild” and “The Godfather” takes the stage but in coming times the films which missed the eyes on first viewing would get its turn. And it would be no wonder to see “Michael Clayton” and “Gone Baby Gone” pretty soon.

So what am I going to write in this part of the take on the films most of which would have got reviewed by me? Nothing new. I might revisit certain scenes and allow myself in getting more up close and personal with plots and sequences. I would not stop myself in the fear of spoilers and hence would warn you all that it might have those for sure. As always feedbacks, opinions, scoldings, debates and anything are welcome.

“Into the Wild”

If “The Shawshank Redemption” made enormous appeal in the life I was leading, “Into the Wild” is the next step to it. I write what I felt watching a film but honestly the most I can really identify is when I discuss it with people. And in this I was not able to figure out the exact precise thing which made me feel affected for many days after watching. When I was discussing this with my friend Mathi, he said that when some one sees a slice of their life on the screen even if it is an ambition unattained that hits some where. I would not dare compare myself to the character but the purity of Chris in his choice and consequence absorbed me which I aspire upon. But without Sean Penn and the actors especially Emile Hirsch it could have been disaster and this disaster would have costed many people’s hearts which have already gone through enough tragedy.

I have suggested this film to every one I know of. Almost every one hated it. Hated it because of the character than the film. Many said he was arrogant, hypocrite and what not. But as a film it struck them as it did me in a different way. For the people who hated it, please watch it again and when you look over the change of his heart and the actions he does, it is a true picture of one’s life. Chris took an approach many of us do not take upon in that phase we go through.

I got to tell that I avoided watching it second time since the film affected me so much. I have seasoned till this time to be able to appreciate and take deep effect of any good film but not stop me from functioning. It should always be an experience to be cherished even in a very bad film. Hence I am glad I viewed it again.

And this time I again was moved to the edge of tears from the great performance of Hal Holbrook as Ron Franz. It is a performance which rarely comes by. It travels from the realm of this fiction on screen and reminds us of the true existence.

“Into the Wild” is a philosophical film. It mainly deals with the systematic existence we have created upon. It cracks us open and invites us to the world we missing in. And with today’s ease of travel that is something to be done upon in each of our life.

“The Godfather”

There was a special occasion when the National Television Channel in India couple of decades ago announced the telecast of this film. People were talking around and my mom especially was eager. She as an avid reader has read Mario Puzo’s book and wanted to see it on the screen. I was a little kid knowing nothing about it. Then after several occasions not much interested in seeing, happen to watch along with a friend in my graduate school. It was summer holidays and he was renting the old VHS tapes. That was the first time I saw “The Godfather”, the universal classic.

I have after that managed to view it once or twice but today when I put on and the shadows of Don Corleone appears on when Bonnasera comes for justice, it still appears new and pure. There are films which wears in the run of time. As the days go by and the people who were fascinated by it watch it again notice the simple flaws and mistakes in it. “The Godfather” does not have a single scratch visually and in its whole content. It is not the first one to have that but this is the polished work of cinema which travels through time and stands still and clear.

With the man Marlon Brando himself moving through the air of acting and living in Don Corleone with Al Pacino, James Cann and Robert Duvall in their youth confidently playing their characters, this is the film every kid in the life of the earth would watch and be impressed.

The film is a study of men who indeed kill people for living. They have developed this code and custom of carrying their action in terms of business but strongly tying them to the human relationship of family and honour. While Don Corleone is the protector and enforcer of the law in the streets of the New York, their actions are all profit based. What is done now will be repaid later. Not in currencies or jewels but on crucial favours determining many of the outcomes.

It is a corporation which has the tools of bullets, strings and knives. It has the chain of command and unlike today’s market of failures is a well run and pragmatically aligned business by a leader placing values above profits. True that value is based on crime but they stuck to it with a respect. We almost forgive them. That is how good does Coppola with his team of performers make us.

The sepia photography is a treat especially with the Coppola Restoration. It is a gem of a collection worth every numerous watch. The beauty of the Sicily, the closed doors of the Corleone’s business meetings and the restaurants of homestyled authenticity are polished, perfected but historically preserved.

The film is a meditation of power and betrayal. It is a hymn on the art of coldness. And in Michael Corleone it begins to depart from the humanity his dad stuck on. He cares too but strictly for the family. And if the family needs a self cure of cutting of the bad cancer, he would not hesitate to do it. He as any rigorous fanatic of certain thing also runs with a convinced feeling of doing the ultimate righteousness. He sees it as the strongest decision which is cold hearted and down right wrong to us. But we secretly are attracted by that quality. He is that person of magnetism for doing such darkness with an ice cold grip.

Al Pacino transfers Michael into this soft and no trouble seeker into a man doing what should be done for the family. The person who comes as a spectator, begins to understand that being step above this heartless actions of his enemies is the method to follow in order to sail this family through.

The art of using the body language became visible through this film. The eye balling, the gesture of simplicity and the way some one seats themselves suddenly became signals of interest. “The Godfather” in its every minute is a relishing experience. Knowing exactly what we are going to see and hear, it is even more rejoicing. And in the restoration it takes as much closer to the theatrical viewing.

No comments: