Some films: I’m not there, 3:10 to Yuma, Brick Lane

I’ve been kinda busy so here’s a brief rundown on what I’ve seen and what I made of them. It’s mostly for my benefit as my memory, long and short-term, is shot to hell. The pic is from Todd Haynes’ I’m not there, his Bob Dylan bio-pic (sort of). So in what way isn’t it a bio-pic? Well, the Dylan character is never named as being Dylan and is played by a bunch of different actors including Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale and Marcus Carl Franklin. The whole thing is fairly entertaining with some great high-points but does go on a bit. My favourite bit is Cate Blanchett’s stoned Dylan and Allen Ginsberg heckling a life-size statue of Christ on a cross and she chucks out the fantastic Dylan-esque line: “Play one of the early ones!”.

3:10 to Yuma proves that Russell Crowe is in much better films than his somewhat limited acting range deserves but in his defense it must be said that they’re never less than entertaining. Christian Bale is the stand-out presence here in this hugely entertaining Western.

The Kite Runner
, based on Khaled Hosseini’s novel (which I haven’t read) is probably my least favourite film here. I found the film overly manipulative and nasty (which isn’t something I would normally hold against a film). Great performance by Homayon Ershadi as the father of the feckless Amir which is probably worth the price of admission on its own.

There are lots of great things about Brick Lane, not least that fact that I found it way more engaging than the book and visually it does some interesting things, especially in the way the almost exclusively non-white cast are shot in a sympathetic way that emphasises their ethnicity that places them at the centre of the film. Having said that the film is almost too gentle and doesn’t fire up the passions. Again I think the best piece is the portrayal of the father, Chanu, by the legendary Satish Kaushik.

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