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07-05-2012, 12:02 AM #1
Movie Review : The Amazing Spider-Man
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Irfans, Martin Sheern, Sally Field
Directed by Marc Webb
Rating: **** ½
Suddenly after sitting open-mouthed for more than two hours watching Andrew Garfield fly high—really really high—as Spiderman I felt deeply worried for all those Bollywood filmmakers who insist on making spectacle-centric films, 3D and all.
Don’t! Guys, our action-spectacle films are a joke in comparison with this week’s Hollywood release. The Amazing Spider-Man is entitled to its bit of self-congratulation in the title. A visual and, yes, spiritual feast, this feisty kinetic film is NOT about showing off the visual effects. But when they come on…by jove! They create a parda-phaad sensation.
The beauty of this monster of an entertainer lies in its understated extravagance. The action sequences don’t assail our senses. Rather, they are insinuated intuitively into the saga softly gently and gracefully. We are enchanted by the economy of expression. A neat nifty and arresting balance is created between an old fashioned tale of a boy Peter’s (Garfield, emphatically endearing) search for his vanished parents and the hi-tech fireworks that ensue.
In the process, Peter discovers an inner strength that is projected outward in a show of self-assertion that has the power to save the world.
The plot is kept simple. The tangled web emerges from the complications that the characters create in their endeavour to beat their innate weaknesses. Our hero is a vulnerable orphan boy-man seeking answers to questions that beg for an existential remedial procedure. The villain, a limbless scientist Dr Curtis Corners wants to use genetic tricks to get his place back as a normal human being.
It all comes together in a whoosh of wondrous magical moments, endearing characters and a near-perfect packaging of characters we’ve grown up watching in cinema about Good Versus Evil.
So why can’t we put together traditional morality tales with even a fraction of this film’s finesse? Rakesh Roshan who helms the Bollywood super-hero series Krissh says one of the action sequences in Amazing Spiderman equals the budget of his entire film.
But it’s not only about the money. It’s about harnessing the grandeur, keeping a tight check on the flow of flamboyance to make sure the characters don’t get eclipsed by extravagance.
Finally, it’s about the application of pure common sense to the age-old revenge formula. Mr Anubhav Sinha, are you thinking Ra.One 2? Don’t even think of it.
PS- Irrfan Khan’s piddly role affirms the fact that Bollywood is a bloody joke in the West. He hasn’t even bothered to dub his own lines in the Hindi version.