Sister Blog

In Uncategorized on September 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm

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Seriously Movies- Volver(Spanish)

In Movies on July 28, 2011 at 12:52 pm

from left to right: Yohana Cobo,Lola Duenas,Carmen Maura,Pedro Almodovar,Penelope Cruz & Blanca Portilla

In Spanish, Volver means “to come back” or “to return”. Released in 2006 at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, it won awards for Best Screenplay and Best Actress(jointly awarded to the 6 lead actresses) at the festival. Like most Pedro Almodovar’s films, Volver is women centric. This gentle and subtle dramedy revolves around the bonds between women, especially between mothers and daughters.

One is introduced to Raimunda(Penelope Cruz) and Sole(Lola Duenas), two sisters who grew up in a small town of La Mancha and now live in Madrid. They occasionally visit their Aunt Paula(Chus Lampreave) and her joint smoking hippie neighbour Agustina(Blanca Portilla). Raimunda has a 14 year old daughter Paula (Yohana Cobo) and lives with her husband Paco(Antonio Torre). Sole is a hairdresser and she doesn’t really get along well with Raimunda.

The deaths of Aunt Paula and Paco change the lives of the two sisters. Things get complicated when their ‘deceased’ mother Irene(Carmen Maura) decides to pay Sole a ‘visit’, in order to complete some ‘unfinished business’. Eventually, secrets are revealed and broken ties are mended.

Volver generally is a story of murder,reincarnation,courage,infidelity and harrassment. The dominant colour used in this film is red- The colour of blood and passion.

Writer-Director Pedro Almodovar’s love for women is no secret. Here,he has shown women of three different generations coping up with their respective troubles. What’s curious is that even though the movie has themes of murder and reincarnation, it incorporates the awkward moments of real life. Hence,the movie neither appears too over the top, nor does it underplay. It is perfect!

One must also mention the beautiful score composed by Alberto Iglesias. Iglesias’ score is so mesmerizing, that it appears to be the lead star of the movie.

Of the cast, Lola Duenas as the goody goody Sole is wonderful. Blanca Portilla as Agustina is a revelation and so is Yohana Cobo as Raimunda’s daughter. But the real stars of the movies are Carmen Maura and Penelope Cruz . Maura uses her experience to play the character of Irene with ease. Maura has worked with Almodovar in many of his early films. Penelope Cruz delivers a stunning performance as the ‘no-nonsense,beautiful,smart and wonderfully cunning’ Raimunda. Cruz has never been so comfortable on screen before. Almodovar has often stated that Cruz is his ‘muse’. Critics agree that Almodovar always manages to bring out the best of Penelope Cruz. In this movie, Cruz proves that she is to be taken seriously and she is not just a pretty face. In fact, she is a complete package of beauty with brains and skill. Cruz was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Raimunda.

Volver is Pedro Almodovar at his best. He handles the movie like a child handles iPods and gadgets. In short, the movie proves that Pedro Almodovar is not only the best writer-director of Spain, but he is one of the greatest film makers of the world!

Volver….Definitely,not to be missed!

© Indroneil B.Biswas, 2011

Seriously Global- Cameron,Clegg and the Royal Cellphones

In Global on July 19, 2011 at 10:30 am

British Prime Minister David Cameron is certainly not a happy man these days. Rather, he is worried. Ever since News International’s phone tapping controversy broke out, Cameron’s popularity and authority seems to be in jeopardy. Questions are being raised on the future of Cameron’s premiership.

The scandal initially appeared to be limited to the hacking of celebrities,members of the royal family and politicians, investigations revealed that the phones of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, families of deceased Royal Army soldiers and 7/7 victims were also hacked. This triggered massive outrage in Great Britain and hence,led to the closure of 168 year old tabloid News of the World, resulting in the loss of around 200 jobs.

Massive public outrage and subsequent investigations have also led to several high profile arrests and resignations, including the resignations of Scotland Yard chief Sir Paul Stephenson(who allegedly has ‘good relations’ with accused News of the World executive editor Neil Wallis) and his deputy, Dow Jones & Company head Les Hinton,News International’s former CEO Rebeccah Brooks(who has been arrested) and former News of the World editor and David Cameron’s close friend Andy Coulson(also arrested and subsequently released on bail). The scandal also sabotaged Rupert Murdoch’s massive bid for satellite channel BSkyB.

While the Labour Party (opposition) are wasting no time to consolidate their authority over the masses, the Tories look defensive and are ‘patiently’ waiting for the time to quietly pass them by. But all this might work towards the advantage of one man: Nick Clegg.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats and currently, Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is perhaps, the most important man in British politics now. More important than David Cameron. Britain’s two party politics suddenly suffered a heart attack when the Liberal Democrats emerged as kingmakers of a hung parliament. After many days of backroom deals and buttering, the LibDems decided to support the Tories and hence,David Cameron was elected Prime Minister.

Cameron,without a doubt is cornered and is on damage control. He is slowly distancing himself from Murdoch and the accused reporters. But,it is,perhaps,to late. With the public losing faith in the media and the Tories, LibDems simply cannot take any more risks.  They simply cannot afford to lose seats in the next general elections. As long they continue to support an unpopular government, they cannot prosper. In short, Nick Clegg has been given a golden opportunity to improve his ratings and credibility.

One could say that Clegg is the ‘landlord’ of 10,Downing Street and David Cameron is merely a ‘tenant’. A problematic tenant who has lost support of the ‘neighbours’, who want him out of the neighbourhood. Clegg could either throw his tenant out, or he could simply pay no heed to the complains.

In current circumstances, if the Liberal Democrats withdraw their support, it would not only place the party on the righteous side but it might enhance their electoral support and they might become undisputed leaders of British politics. This could also work in favour of the Labour Parties.

Clegg has called for press accountability and transparency in media. However, he must realise that now is the time to act. Act to save the Liberal Democrats and the public from mis-governance!

© Indroneil B.Biswas, 2011