Friday, April 04, 2008

Das Boot: The U Boat, The movie, The masterpiece

I was just surfing the, a consumer review website where I normally repost the movie reviews I write to keep my sleepy blog alive. I just noticed the title in their list and found out that no one has so far written a review for such a timeless classic. So I posted a short review there and reposting it here for a change, of course with slight modifications keeping the context and target in mind.

About the plot, it is about the sailor on board of a German U Boat at the time of WWII. They try too hard to carry on difficult missions and also keep encountering near death situations at times. All the while there is an undercurrent of confusion over the ideology of their leaders who have sent them to those treacherous waters. Let me not disclose too much of it for the sake of the future viewers.

The film works in all aspects due to meticulous attention to details and carefully crafted claustrophobic ambiance that might suffocate the faint hearted. The coexistence of high sense of duty along with the fear of death under the sea in the minds of those brave soldiers is so realistically portrayed that you are almost able feel the suffocation, terror and dedication of them and it keeps haunting you for a long time even after the movie is over.

Coming to the credits, J├╝rgen Prochnow has done an excellent job as the Captain as well as the rest of the cast whose name I don't really know! And if you thought Wolfgang Petersen was all about the tepid Troy, you should watch this one. He was far more accomplished a filmmaker than his time. He made this film way back in 1981 when Spielberg was still busy with the extra terrestrial third kinds, humorous time travelers and that action buff archaeologist. Schindler's list was still more than a decade away and we mostly had "war" movies rather than "anti-war" movies. In that sense Das Boot is and will remain one of the greatest anti-war movies ever made.

Lastly I don't need to remind my regular readers of my love for German movies. So let me sign off with another round of applause for them.
Good Night & Good Luck(plagiarism regretted! Edward R. Murrow must be turning in his graves at my audacity! But is suited the mood and time (1 am)) !!!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Emptiness revisited: an unusual rumination of the tainted past

Again I have arrived at that recurring juncture where I feel tired but don’t feel like sleeping, feel bored but don’t feel like going out, feel relieved but don’t feel like enjoying. These are the times when I resurrect the blog, purely because I have nothing better to do.

This reminds me of my first big break after the first big exam. That was after the 10th. I went to watch ‘Titanic’ with some equally "starved" friends. I hadn’t been to a theater for more than three years at that time. Mostly because I was too “decent” to bunk school and I also did not like to join the family outings for the flicks that were enjoyable only to the families as a whole! But as always, I was disappointed again as the movie was heavily censored (The readers might have guessed by now that I did not go there to watch the ship sinking and the sentimental couples holding hands and shedding tears at the corners) beyond our tolerance and we came out feeling betrayed and backstabbed!

This trend continued over the years and all my breaks ended up with pondering over my screwed up exams, sluggish and directionless strolls, unwanted encounters with the kind of people I don’t like and plans to do better next time! Anyway I have had comparatively better time over the last year as I finally got my own laptop and a hard disk full of movies to fulfill my eccentric tastes. I have finished off the bulk of Kurosawa, Kubrick and Hitchcock along with others during the last year. So I have lined up Bunuel, Godard and many more for the next couple of months. I also have to finish Eco’s The Name of Rose which I bought almost a year ago and never found time to read. Today I also bought Orhan Pamuk's The New Life which should be a good companion for tomorrows train ride to Delhi.

Anyway, breaks are always welcome and for that matter even a certain amount of work is required to realize the value of a leisure. Just like that immortal Satan of Gibran who reminded the priest of his worthlessness in absence of the Satan. Let me paste those immortal lines here again, I simply love to quote them whenever I get a chance!

"I am the builder of convents and monasteries upon the foundation of fear. I build wine shops and wicked houses upon the foundation of lust and self-gratification. If I cease to exist, fear and enjoyment will be abolished from the world, and through their disappearance, desires and hopes will cease to exist in the human heart. Life will become empty and cold, like a harp with broken strings. I am Satan everlasting.”

So, whatever it is, let me sign off for today and let me venture into my daydreams as I am beginning to feel too tired now! So long…..