Film Reviews by RM

Welcome to RM's film reviews page. RM has written 5 reviews and rated 114 films.

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Two Daughters

Must watch

(Edit) 17/06/2021

Two stories of two teenage girls, both poorly educated but with developed personalities, set in Bengal village settings over a century ago - exploring aspects of feminine independence and free will, against very different socio-economic settings.

One cannot watch them and not become more aware of and sympathetic towards women's desire to be able to decide for themselves and wish to be appreciated and loved for themselves - particularly in a patriarchal society.

Two must-watch, thought-provoking, gripping stories, beautifully acted and directed.

NB: The dvd is classified as genre: Bollywood. It definitely is not!

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The Home and the World

Great novel, exploring dilemmas still prevalent around the world

(Edit) 21/05/2021

The film is based on the 1916 novel, 'Ghare Baire' by the great Rabindranath Tagore.

The novel is very thought-provoking as it addresses a wide range of human, social and political issues. At a human level, it touches on the wife's independence within a Hindu marriage of the period in pursuing her own political views even if they run counter to the husband's, as well as the most delicate subject of the 'freedom to explore' romantic interests outside of marriage. At a social level, it highlights the need for religious/cultural tolerance and coexistence in a country like India where the Muslims and the Hindus live side by side in many parts of India (with a complex history of suppression and oppression over the centuries). It also shows how innocent people, on all sides, are usually misinformed, provoked, and eventually fall prey to acting in terrible/inhuman ways. At a political level, it juxtaposes the economic necessity to be self-sufficient and not be exploited by a colonial power, against the need to be sensitive towards the immediate consequences of any commercial boycott on all those who are dependent on cheaper products and the retail outlets that sell them.

All the main roles could have been played with a lot more passion and intensity, but maybe the film aims to reflect the restrained social norms of the early 20th century.

The issues raised are universal, and are hot topics even today, in many countries of the world!

'Ghare Baire' is a great novel, and would lend itself to a re-make to reflect the present-day situation in India in 2021.

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The Music Room

An acute observation of human nature - wonderful acting and beautiful direction.

(Edit) 19/05/2021

A precisely captured portrayal of the declining fortunes of a Bengali landed-family (zamindar) - as the good fortune slips away inexorably (through poor management of the estate and airs and graces and the lavish spending of better times long gone), with a contrasting vignette of the rise of a self-made businessman. The zamindars flourished until the late 19th century, and the film appears to portray Bengal society in the early 20th century.

The human frailties presented are all too universal and ageless - change the location and the story could be set in any region, in any age, in any society.

All the roles exquisitely performed. Film direction and filming (in black and white) are superb by any standards, although the film was released in 1958. The atmosphere, costumes, music, and dance all match perfectly - as far as I can tell from reading novels of the period and photographs/paintings of the time.

We enjoyed it, and thoroughly recommend it.

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The Prince and the Showgirl

Most enjoyable

(Edit) 27/12/2020

Brilliant acting by all main characters. Comic contrast between Olivier's formal role and Monroe's playful character. Entertaining and fun. Family viewing.

A 1957 film, but does not feel dated because it was portraying a historic period (1911).

DVD beautifully produced.

One of the best performances by Marilyn Monroe in a role showcasing her acting skills and unique tongue-in-cheek comic charm. For Laurence Olivier, this was a light-hearted departure from his usual weighty roles.

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Ordeal by Innocence

Untypical Agatha Christie

(Edit) 24/10/2020

Untypical Agatha Christie storyline in the sense that there was not much detection work or building up of evidence, and the crime is exposed through unchallenged suppositions.

Good suspense and twists, but not as satisfying as a detective story. Good acting. Appropriately atmospheric. Pity about the unnecessary repetition of the gory murder scenes (otherwise 4 stars).

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