Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The koward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"
                     oscar wilde , the ballad of reading gaol

When was the last that I thought of you...I know not...but am I the one who goes alone on this path...and should I but care only a little for the souls that follow or those as march ahead?

Mode C is a way of life, perhaps my way of life: C for Cool, C for Cold, C for Chaos, C for Calvin. Ultimately, all of it boils down to the way you look at things. Are they not how they are but just how they appear?? No...and yes...Almost all the seriously critical fundamental concepts of life...aren't they just the bogies under Calvin's bed that he is afraid of? Miss Wormwood, Susie, Mom and Dad, and of course above all, Hobbes...aren't they all merely the means that he uses to attack these bogies?

Reflecting on 'living the Calvin way', I have started to believe that life and our reaction to it can only be explained by a number of Calvin and Hobbes strips combined together. The philosophy, as I like to call it, is to know that you are not alone. It is not just my perspective alone that is going to help me fight my bogies. I will be able to inch towards the Calvin way only when I perceive the other perspectives on my way.

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Thursday, June 23, 2005
Love gives life, or does it?

I see that your aim is as bad as your cooking!

And you never even remembered to send a card to my mother on her birthdays...
...yeah, the mother who never existed!

If you wanted to see Angelina pout...if you wanted to see Brad charm you off your plush multiplex got it. If you wanted a good movie, however...ahem, you just might look elsewhere. Mr. and Mrs. Smith appeals because its stars do and an amazing appeal Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie do have! Widely voted as the two most beautiful faces on this earth, the lead actors try their best to make this movie pass but ultimately, the lack of any coherent subject matter and rather shoddy treatment of the strings of the narrative prevent the movie from making the mark.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the neighborhood couple up for a split. The movie starts with a visit of the couple to the marriage counsellor beacuse each of them feels that the other is a bore. In reality, their jobs are anything but boring. Both of them work for rival spy agencies that kill for money/honor/whatever but since they don't bring their work home, they never know what the other is up to. In fact, this is one place where the story falls flat for the first and most significant time. It is difficult to believe that even after six years of married life and staying together, not only do they not know what the reasons for the other's late entry into the house and the scars on the bodies are, but also they have no idea that their partner has hidden away weapons in the house.

The movie catches pace with the rival agencies giving conflicting assignments to John and Jane Smith and with the assignments having gone awry, it now becomes the task of each of them to finish the other off within 48 hours or get him/her self finished. As one numbing (and often unbelievably James Bond-esque) action sequence follows another and as the two realize the identity of the secret agent that they are after, the tone of the movie is set. Mixed with the action sequences are the elements of romantic comedy with the couple finally realizing that killing each other is not so easy and that they have always been lying to each other about themselves.

It would be wrong to say that there are no funny moments in the movie...there are quite a few, especially when they start talking about the background of each other before marriage, as it actually was and as they presented it to the other. The movie loses focus, however, when these sequences start becoming way too predictable and instead of actually bringing that smile on the viewer's face for the originality of the one-liners, they (the one-liners) mostly make the audience wince.

After the customary and predictable love making and make up between the couple in the intermission comes the next most obvious twist in the plot. The two form a team to defeat the forces that initially make them bay for each other's they are to save their skins from their assasins but this time, together. This is where even the comedy part goes for a sabbatical and only the John Woo style action is left to supposedly entertain the audience. With bulletproof jackets playing God, it becomes difficult to appreciate even these well-shot sequences: culprit is, without any doubt, lack of originality in conceptualization and execution of these sequences.

From the directorial aspect, Doug Liman does a decent job with the screenplay that he has been given. In the scenes between Brad and Angelina (especially the ball dance scene), he does manage to spark some sort of chemistry between two otherwise cold beauties. However, in the action sequences, he tries too much to follow the Hong Kong style of eyes-closed-shooting that starts getting on the nerves after some time. Since the movie does not have much of anything else (apart from action) to offer, the nerves tend to suffer quite a bit. This does not, however, take away from the camera and the action departments which do a credible job. Had it not been for the lack of involvement in proceedings that a seemingly disintegrated chain of events brought along with it, the effect of the action sequences (with the last one being close to choreography) could have been much better.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie look like a million bucks each and Angelina even manages to raise a few laughs with her dead-pan humor but Brad fails miserably with an un-cool performance that is certainly not expected from as BIG a star as he is. The best deal is clinched by Vince Vaughan, who plays John Smith's best friend and trusted comrade-in-arms. He does raise a few laughs by his dumb act but can not salvage the movie because of his relatively small role and some real chances of an overkill had he tried more than what he did. Rest of the cast are there to just fill the gaps and the movie tries to rest on the capable shoulders of Pitt and Jolie alone, which, for a change, fail to stand up to the load this time.

Posted at 07:35 pm by Nitai

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