Sunday, April 27, 2014

Movie Review: Philomena - A Heart-Tugging Classic

Rating 5/5

A COMPLETE Bollywood Loyalist, I rarely watch other movies. However, the limited choice of Bollywood movies on the in-flight entertainment systems often forces me to explore the world beyond Hindi Cinema. And I have been extremely lucky in my explorations - I always find a gem - Philomena is one of them. While the movie is a heart-tugging drama for the viewers, it is an example of serio-comic excellence for the film-makers.

Stephen Frears's Philomena is a truth-based story of an Irish lady in search of her son who was taken away from her when he was a toddler - she is the victim of the ill practices carried out in the name of religion at a convent.

Sure the story is emotionally gripping, but what makes this movie a classic is Judi Dench's acting. Watch her act and you will realize that acting is much more than powerful dialogue delivery. Dench's eyes do all the talking - the agony and yearnings of a mother are all beautifully expressed through her eyes. Coogan as Martin does a great job of complementing Drench's journey as Philomena. Their chemistry is effortlessly charming. The personalities of the two characters are poles apart, yet as the movie progresses the two develop a warm bond, giving the audience the feel good factor needed to cope up with the seriousness in the storyline.

The direction and screenplay too deserve an applause for stitching together three different stories so well - the story of the distraught elderly woman , of a jaded journalist and that of an adopted child. All the stories effortlessly merge together creating a lasting impression in the heart of the viewer.

For of you who like thought-provoking movies, this one will definitely give you some food for thought. The logic behind some shallow religious practices, the role of destiny in shaping our life's experiences, revenge vs forgiveness were a few themes that I picked up.

To conclude I will quote John Keats - "A thing of beauty is a joy forever". Does that not say enough?


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