MOVIE REVIEWS- HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986) and, LOST HIGHWAY (1997)

  1. HANNAH AND HER SISTERS

Hannah and her Sisters is  loosely about three sisters Hannah, Lee  and Holly and their extended family as they about their lives in new York City in the span of three years. The film is divided by three consecutive family dinners similar to Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander. Hannah’s husband is in love with her sister Lee, Holly is having troubles in her professional life and Woody Allen plays this hypochondriac TV producer who keeps coming and going their life.

This is probably the most entertaining of his film, up there with Manhattan and Annie Hall to be his best. Woody juggles between the different stories smoothly, because of his excellent writing. These are some of the best characters Woody’s ever created.  The depth that he’s given to the main characters is fantastic. All of them trying to get through the hard stuff in their mid life. The film is a great example of how music can elevate a film. The use of upbeat jazz music creates a rythym in most scenes, the pacing is fast  The performances and chemistry between the characters are excellent. This may be my favourite performance by him, his role as this hypochondriac who wants to know the meaning of life really won my heart. His signature one liners added a lot to the humour. Allen is great at showing on screen relationships, and here he shines at directing these stories in an entertaining way. The movie also has the signature Woody themes of familial tension, depression and infidelity. The way New York is shot is also wonderful, shwoing it’s beautiful architecture in all its glory.

Hannah and her Sisters is a work of art. The screenplay of this film  could be studied if one wants to know how to craft a phenonemal dramedy.

  1. LOST HIGHWAY

Lost Highway is directed by David Lynch and it tells two interconnected stories about infidelity, one about a jazz musician named Fred who suspects that his wife may be cheating on him, he ends up killing her. The other one is about a car mechanic named Fred who falls for a gangster’s girlfriend.

I like films that make us think, the ones in which the directors don’t directly show us what their objective is, and they keep things ambiguous. They are my favourite kind of films. But Lost Highway was a mixed bag for me. Let’s talk about the positives first. I liked how Lynch has mixed genres – the first half feels like a horror film and the second half feels like a typical 90s noir. He succeeds at creating tension and creates an eerie feeling that I dug. The movie did entertain me, I wasn’t bored for even a second. The performances are incredible, especially Patricia Arquette she’s played a double role, and I liked how restrained she was.

At the halfway point, the lead character Fred is being taken to be electrocuted. That is when the character shifts to Pete. I get that Lynch was trying to show that Fred is dreaming. Fred is projecting all his insecurities and experiences in this dream. And the main characters in his dream represent his id, ego and superego. This is a really interesting and smart concept. But the events shown in this movie do not fit altogether. None of it makes any sense. I know that this was done deliberately but I wanted to know what the point of all this was. No hints are dropped as to where the story is going or what everything means. I was just baffled as I didn’t know what to make of the main story. A few character motivations just randomly change and we are given no hints as to what triggered this change. It sure as hell is entertaining but it gets too absurd and I didn’t sense any direction. It also starts seeming like a B movie at times, in the second half. This stylistic choice was also deliberate but I couldn’t figure out what the point of it was.

I know that Lynch has made this movie for himself, and he doesn’t want to tell the audience what his idea for the movie is, and as I said I absolutely support that. So I respect this movie for what it is, but I’ll only recommend you to watch it if you’re a David Lynch fan.

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