Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Amelia" (2009) - Movie Review

Mira Nair’s “Amelia” gets the habit of showing its audience exactly the time when the emotion and relationship breaks or takes off. How they arrive to that destination are distributed amongst the scenes which may or may not have happened when they hide the screen with newspaper headlines the film does not need of. Hilary Swank has all into it, no doubt. Her love for the character is sometimes little too much to hide in the naivety of this person who is an iconic woman sadly succumbing to a record breaking journey in the Pacific Ocean in 1937.

With short hair and wide smiles, Amelia Earhart sees flying as her extension to the great freedom the women of those times were shunned. In the film Swank’s Amelia recites lines which have been stolen and had its miles for many years expecting for the souls to be touched. The fascination of riding the clouds and swimming through it as much as sounds poetic and drawing, it is scary. When there is nothing but emptiness and you in the sky, what makes her to forget that fear and enjoy the moment? All masked by the gleeful face of Swank.

Amelia meets George Putnam played by Richard Gere, as Richard Gere. He is definitely not the man from the 1930s and his insecurity, anger and sadness are scissored from his other soap-operatic romantic films. Putnam asks Amelia who has learned flying, fought against the odds of the society inflicts upon women, of being a passenger in a journey of crossing Atlantic. Nair appear to have been mesmerized by the celebrity image Amelia bore, that she begins to race for that part like a mom running to get her child into the departing school bus. Hence it is a story the world already knew, of course I was not even born that time and Amelia in this film did not make a mark on me.

The real Amelia Earhart is a woman liberated by the air up above. From the grasp of mine, she had the want to be ruling the winds and forget about the oppression against her coming to in little quantities in day to day life to put her down. The Amelia in the film is a character supposedly talking and behaving like the real one with an absent emotion. Her love for the flight seem to be assumed. What makes it the best? Why not ice hockey? Nair takes the route of going with the idea that the audience would have read about Amelia when they came or the trailer and tagline is good enough. But what a biography needs is not the person and their name in headlines and commercials, rather a complete person who found passion and drive to do those great things and the compromise they made and did not make to achieve what they wanted to.

Amelia obviously gets hooked up with George Putnam not due to any specific reason nor there is enough scenes to establish that, but purely for the fact that it is Richard Gere. And of course Swank is the central character. Do the math. Never in the moment there seem to be a feeling that this is a real person who lived a life of her own and did everything to protect in times not being her friend. Then there comes Ewan McGregor as Gene Vidal in a party and Amelia falls for him, because well he is Ewan McGregor. Amelia and Putnam depart which we are not shown and reunite when a phone call with an old poem recital of Amelia by Putnam does it.

And there is the background score which has the notion of keeping company all the times when the mood shifts for emotional confession. The reason more than to associate the film is to get a PG rating. Let me explain a little bit out here. For kids who wants a reminder that the characters are not alone, the music comforts. This for no other particular reason becomes the forte for “Amelia” to continue the story telling.

In these flagrant journey of characters, there comes Fred Noonan played by Christopher Eccleston, an alcoholic known better for his navigational skills. He becomes Amelia’s partner in her final journey. In the final ascent from Lae, Fred begins to drink against the rules while having an open and confronting conversation with Amelia. May be she went through that kind of questioning all the time but Noonan gets to her. There lies the right movie for a character whose ambition needed fuel as finance through her promotion and celebrity status. That should have been the film.

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