• Venki

A Filmy Long Weekend

Updated: Oct 12

My wish list was growing thick and fast. Finally got time to clear few of the backlog and luckily every movie/show i watched this weekend turned out to be good one. Two theater watches was riveting one (PS 1 and Kantara) and then all the rest of the OTT did surprise me, they were all low budget, low key affair but did create a good impact. Here is the summary.

Severance TV Series Review - Punch in, Punch Out

Every year, there is either a TV show or movie that do a "beja fry" and makes you ponder WTF happened. This year the surprise show belongs to Apple TV+. This is a daring experiment on "work-life balance" culture.


The plot is about a medical procedure known as separation done by a big corporate Lumon Industries with consent. They split the persons brain into two, known as Innie (work mode) and Outtie (Personal mode). This procedure is irreversible. But its not perfect by any means and flashes of memory leaks happens through out. The series explores can two minds and two personalities coexist in one body without being aware? This ambiguity is the biggest strength of the show and the show carefully crafts the story around that with some terrific cast dealing with this construction of identity.


Its a fascinating premise and the plot takes a dig at how conglomerates operate. It touches upon age old slavery and applies that to a modern world and how ones conscious and freedom is taken away. Its a stark commentary on so called the work-life balance. It questions the corporate fanaticism in modern work culture. The story focuses on 4 key employees and when one of the employee is terminated, a new rebel innie joiner changes the equation for either good or bad.


The director carefully builds the maze step by step. The show takes its own pace and time to establish the setup and the entire process is explained over its entire run time of 6 episodes and the last 3 takes a good momentum with a crackling climax. The ending opens up more possibilities than answers and unfortunately we have to wait for S2. The cinematography, production design, and music score are top notch and every frame design looks immaculate. Most of the symmetric shots are so elegant and hallways looks so errire. The perks they get are hilarious. The color combination they chose immaculately represent the world they live. Office is bright and outside its a darker tone.


It doesn't offer too many twists and turns but has enough Easter eggs with its provocative ideas. The narrative pace will put off some of the viewers as the answers dont seem coming fast enough. In the end, the big question remains do we work to live or do we live to work?


Verdict - 4/5(A Capitalism balance)

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On - A visually innovative tale


Good things come in small packages and here is the one proving the old saying again. A mockumentary tale depicts a strange story of Marcel an one-inch tall shell who lives in an Aribnb property. Marcel used to have a big family once but now its reduced to one companion, his grandma.


What happened to his family and how a human bonding tried to establish the connect forms the plot. When a film maker renting the place decided to shoot and post the videos of Marcel, things change for bad and for good.


The beauty of this film lies in finding happiness and humor in every nook and corner of the house and finding meanings to simplest of ideas. The stop motion animation is so detailed and you will be surprised with whats in store. Even the daily bread slices adds so much of impact. The close up shots were so damn good in capturing the tiniest of things to perfection.


The movie reminds us of the value of community and friendship. Loaded with unexpected poignancy and abundance of charm, this is a heartfelt story of reassurance. It finally answers one fundamental question What does it mean to be human? Humanity is at its best when we are brave.


Verdict - 3/5(Adorable)

Vesper Movie Review - An Effective SciFi


This is a breath of fresh air dystopian tale which is intelligent and treated sensibly. It has beautiful visual effects tied to nature. The scene is post-apocalyptic where an over engineering caused a mass destruction of Earth’s ecosystem. Not many left in the world and those who survived lives in a fungal and swampy landscapes.


Their lifes involves trading their blood with the wealthier one and danger lurches every where. The privileged one who survived lives in a city called citadels. Vesper a 13 yr old teenager along with her paralyzed father conducts biological experiments and hoping things will change for good. She is in search for an ultimate seeds and plants. How or will she succeed form the crux of the story.


The makers created an amazing and immersive world and its so vivid and colorful. There is this powerful bonding she has with her father and the feeling really felt genuine. Good to see a film forming its own identity in its small budget. This is sort of coming-of-age story with immense heart and its impressive in a realistic world-building filled with hope. This is a unique look at the genre.


Verdict - 3/5(Resilience )

Prey Movie Review - A well constructed Monsterverse


This prequel to the "Predator" is surprisingly good considering there were a tons of prequel which failed miserably. Directed by 10 Cloverfield Lane fame Dan Trachtenberg this one stands out from the crowd for its presentation style. There is nothing new from a story perspective but still he made it an interesting watch. It has intrigue, a haunting atmosphere, and an effective characterization all well balanced to provide a worthy experience. It justifies the franchise after a long time.


The story is set in 1719 and focuses on small native american tribe. The men focus on the hunting and women focuses on healing. Naru, one of the women member dreams to be warrior like her brother, and she is keen to prove her point against the community norms. She senses things very early


and the hunt for survival begins. The cinematography is crafted at its best when the hunt begins. It's entertaining and features some beautiful atmosphere and action.


Verdict - 3/5(A well fought battle)







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