Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Movie Reviews: Gunga Din and Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf?

Who's Afraid of Viginia Woolf? - I can only say this: What the HELL was that?!?
Can't rate - too bewildered. #67 on AFI's top 100 list (2005). I don't know why. I mean, it's well written, I guess. The story is overpowering everything to me right now, and I just don't get it.

Gunga Din: starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Cary Grant, Victor McLagen, and Sam Jaffe - with very brief moments with Joan Fontaine.
Well this one surprised me. I was expecting a little more of a war epic. What I got was an interesting mix between a comedy and a war film. It is simple enough: Somewhat (sarcasm intended) loosely based on the poem of the same title by Rudyard Kipling, the three leads play buddies in Her Majesty's Army in India. Trouble from a murderous group of Indians known as Thuggee is brewing and they get into the thick of it accidently. (There is a whole lot more to it, but for no spoiler's sake, I will stop there) It begins in more of a comedic, high-jinks in the army kind of way, but it slowly moves into something of an Indian Jones nature, to an all-out battle movie.
Although a little cheesy and not very serious most of the time, it is a delight. I laughed, I worried, I cried a little, it was great. Like I said, it really isn't to be taken too seriously for most of it, but the themes of friendship, honor, service, and glory are all there and present enough. Some of the shots, especially in the temple scenes are quite effective. And whoever played the Thuggee leader deserves praise for his ability to creep me out! Grant is definately in the comic part of his career, prior to becoming the suave, elegant, womanizer we all idolize him as. And he is delightful that way. All three of the leads are quite wonderful.
I was a little surprised by the action, especially in the beginning. It was like something out of the silent age. Everything was sped up. But in the more serious battle moments, they kept it mostly at regular speed, with a few exceptions that accompanied some very interesting camera shots. Particularly one where the camera seemed to be mounted on a spear which was run through one of the Thuggees. But that was about as violent a thing as you ever saw. Which is the way I like it. Leave it to the imagination, we can think up how gruesome it is ourselves.
3 out of 5 stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment