- HUSBANDS AND WIVES (1992)
Husbands and Wives (1992) is about a New York based couple, Gabe (Woody Allen) and Judy (Mia Farrow) who are shocked to discover that their best friends, Sally (Judy Davis) and Jack (Sydney Pollack) are splitting up. The news of their divorce makes them question their own relationship.
This film is so close to reality. The characters are very human, this film captures the complicated nature of people like no other. Like us the characters make stupid decisions and fuck up a lot. One of the examples of this is Woody’s character falling in love with a certain type of women. Even though he knows that they’ll bring him down, he cannot resist them.
It also shows how our mind functions in weird ways, how we would feel that we are capable of doing a certain thing or we imagine a specific type of future to be better than the present but actually things do not always pan out that well. It portrays the struggles of being human in a very authentic way. “Nobody’s got it perfect” is a line that the characters repeat several times, a lot of it sounds like the self talk that I give to myself when I’m facing going through shit.
This film is chatty, full of free flowing conversations like all of his films. And there are a lot of references to pop culture and literature. Woody Allen is more of a philosopher here. He deals with heavy subjects with a lot of humour. The writing is one of his finest, his eccentric and genuine style of showing middle aged people facing adversity in life makes him stand out from other filmmakers. His characters are full of charm, and of course he himself brings a lot of charisma on screen. Special props to Carlo Di Palma, his handheld cinematography is mesmerising.
Overall Husbands and Wives is amongst Allen’s best works. It’s edgy, deep, realistic and a lot of fun.
- POINT BLANK (1967)
Point Blank (1967) is about a mysterious crook named Walker who is double crossed and left for dead. He Survives and now he goes after the money that was stolen from him.
One of the most influential films of the 60s this film splendidly mixes the styles of noir and the European New Wave. While the film has most elements of a noir – an intricate plot, an existential hero, a femme fatale, witty dialogue, use of flashbacks, high contrast lighting and claustrophobic settings, the excellent composition will remind you of European cinema. Every frame is brimming with visual metaphors.
Lee Marvin steals the show as Walker, his presence is frightening. He’s given a subdued performance. Walker is a very interesting character, he’s calm and silent but he knows his shit. I loved how John Boorman has created this dreamy atmosphere. The way he’s used colours, lighting and music to elevate that dreamy feeling is truly masterful. One example would be this night club brawl, the way Boorman has utilised these technical aspects makes it look really trippy. Boorman has gone with an unconventional narrative style for that time, alot of plot details are kept ambiguous and I really appreciated how Boorman has made a ballsy film for intelligent viewers.
Overall Point Blank is an extremely stylish noir about revenge, betrayal and passion that has stunning visuals and a trippy style along with a terrific performance by Lee Marvin.