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Do Ankhen Barah Haath (1957)
A Good movie!
During a phase of my life, I had a roommate who had used to sing "Ai malik tere bande hum" (O Lord, we're thy servants!) pretty often, and that was the only reason I watched this movie (the song was from this movie, he had told me!), when it was broadcast by Dordarshan, the National Television Channel of India, a few years later. And I must admit, it was a good movie. Sure, it had all those mandatory songs, but yet the songs didn't intrude into the movie, at least for an Indian such as I, used to heavy and endless dose of songs in movies.
To me, the most impressive point of this movie was its simple yet nice story (apparently based on a real-life incident), which was devoid of many so-called masalas (spices!)in spite of the era in which it was made (Compare Do Bigha Zamin for cheap sentimentality, for example) and yet executed well.
It's long-enduring impact can be seen from the spoof enacted by Annu Kapoor for a T.V. series (I don't remember its name, though) which used to be in Zee TV as recently as in 2003.
Marathon Man (1976)
Stiff Dustin Hoffman, and a Lucid Lawrence Olivier
I liked this movie for one reason: the performance by Lawrence Olivier. I had disliked his style in movies like Rebecca, where I felt he had been too dramatic; but this movie made me change my view regarding him.
This movie also helped me find why I could never really appreciate Dustin Hoffman. Lawrence Olivier in his, "Why not try acting? It's much easier." was right: Dustin Hoffman should learn to act. Forgive my saying this; but in my opinion, Dustin Hoffman remains too stiff too rigid, and that makes sure that his performance (in spite of his oft quoted "method acting") would never reach the level of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro (not to mention the great Brando, or Nicholson), both of whose main forte is lucidity. I watched his "The Graduate" and I continued to dislike his style. I think one needs to have either the intensity of Brando/Nicholson, the lucidity of Pacino/De Niro or the natural style of (Freeman)Morgan/(Lee) Strasberg. For the ones who aim to remain stiff, Hoffman or (Denzel) Washington is the choice!
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992)
Go; Get Your Bike!
I watched this movie because a friend of mine dragged me to the theater, to test if I could avoid feeling myself involved with a bicycle race that was a major part of the movie. (Now, speaking of that incident after a decade, I should perhaps replace the "watched" with "had watched", or rather, "had first watched", because later I watched this movie a few more times.)
This is a very cute (I could not find another equally suitable adjective) movie that realistically depicts the life of small-town kids who belong to homes with limited means. It's a story of their pretensions and frustrations, their wish to be part of the richer folk, that of affectionate families, and of budding puppy-love. Due to very good performance by every artiste, this movie -- with a quite simple storyline -- is capable of making everyone feel part of the movie.
While watching it, one is bound to get unintentionally involved with the bike race in the movie. Every heart feels warmth for Ayesha Jhulka, and everyone gets angry at Amir Khan for ignoring Ayesha's innocent and true affection. The impact of this movie could be overwhelming if one is in one's late teen or early youth.
The music score was good, though I now know that the famous "Pehla Nasha" was lifted (I fail to recollect which was the original tune!).
It's a very enjoyable movie, and I can not think of a reason as to why anyone should dislike it!
Note: Now I found a reason why someone may dislike it: its story is taken from "Breaking Away".
Goodfellas+Bhai(Dawood)-Chhota Rajan clash+Bollywood Masala
Perhaps I'm the only person to have ever walked on planet earth who declines to accept "Company" to be something great! No, this movie is nothing great (except for the performance of the actors/actresses, which was very good nonetheless!), nor has it anything original to offer. It's just that we're afraid to say that the great Ram Gopal Verma could be mediocre (because that might show that I'm not elite), and so we keep saying that this movie is great!!
The storyline is well-known to anyone who keeps even a peripheral track of what happens in the Bombay underworld, be it during Haji Mustan Karim Lala days, or the age of Dawood Bhai and Chhota Rajan. Mohanlal resembled a partially mentally challenged guy, more than the great, benevolent, foresightful police officer his role was supposed to depict.
Curse me if you like, but I will never see anything great about this movie!
Monsoon Wedding (2001)
Down Memory Lane!
Watching this movie was, for someone such as me, who had fallen in love with Delhi and NSD(National School of Drama, New Delhi), almost simultaneously (no, I was not a student there; I just went to watch their plays) more than a decade ago, a journey down memory lane. And not just me! Many of my friends, who spent a considerable time in Delhi at some or other point of their life, agreed with me on this point. In the words of one of my friends,"Monsoon Wedding is a documentary about Delhi.". For me, it was thrilling to view the places near Jama Masjid, where once I spent many afternoons at my friend's home, (and surely, nor far from where Dubey's residence would be!) after so many years.
But then what can I do? "We are like that only."
This movie has some of the best Indian actors, such as Naseeruddin Shah, Khulbhushan Kharbanda and Rajat Kapoor in it. But the guy who beats all of them and steals the show is our Dubeyji, Vijay Raaz. I had noticed him first in the movie "Jungle", where his portrayal of an almost silent (had he taken Omerta, by any chance?) bandit-gang member was excellent; but in Monsoon Wedding, his portrayal of Dubeyji beat all these first-rate actors. I've been a great fan of Naseeruddin Shah for quarter of a century now; but in this movie, my vote goes to Raaz.
The most striking feature of this movie is Mira Nair's ultimate attention to detail. (I think this is also a major factor that adds such authenticity to the character of Dubey!). From the Hindu ritualistic red-thread worn by Shah on his wrist (it must be put for the movie, Shah being a Muslim in real life, or was it that his real-life Hindu wife made him wear that!), to the pair of shorts worn by Raaz, Nair & Co. has painstakingly paid enough amount of attention to details. A Dubey would surely dress, talk and carry himself the way depicted in this movie. His choice of profanities are the most authentic that one would hear on the streets of Delhi. Alice and Ria also put very powerful performances!
This movie took me back to Delhi, and to the corridors of the Univ. I (and Nair, much before I, for that matter!) once walked on. Anyone who loves, or plans to fall in love with, Delhi should watch this movie, because as Mauz once said, "Who would go away, Mauz, leaving the labyrinths of Delhi behind?" (Kaun jaye, Mauz, Dilli ki galiyan chhod kar?).
Notes: The following is in response to some of the comments by Western reviewers.
1) Just because he addresses his nephew as "idiot", the bride's father is not mean and abusive; this is just a term of endearment. I guess, this is just a matter of cultural difference; things that are accepted in the Orient may be completely offensive in the Occident, and vice versa. This reminds me of the autobiographical note by the Egyptian born Nobel laureate, Prof. Ahmed Zewail, whose (toally accepted and used in the Arab world) figure of speech "I will kill you" terrified a classmate at Caltech (or was it Berkeley?).
2) Some people thought that the two guys sharing a bed (when the young girl offers a kind of striptease show to the Australian guy) was a hint at homosexuality; it was not! I don't mean that homosexuality does not exist in India; but it's quite common in India for people to share a bed when there's a shortage of beds (especially when a number of relatives and guests come down for, say, a wedding, to stay overnight, and then mostly younger members of the family are pushed to share beds.).
Note: Robert de Niro and Hervey Keital slept on the same bed in "Mean Streets", but they were not gay either!
3) Would the maid and the wedding planner be allowed to dance with the upper-class family? My Answer is: I think, yes! Most of the Punjabi weddings include Whiskey/alcohol in the menu (at least, for the important guests), and once you have alcohol in your veins, Universal Brotherhood (Bhai-chara in Hindi) prevails. I, in spite of not being a Punjabi or a Native Delhiite, took part in such wedding dances myself at times, and had seen with my own eyes such situations.
Ruthless People (1986)
You cannot beat the KMart price, even if it's the Random amount!
I rented this movie because I'm a fan of Danny de Vito, ever since I saw him in "One flew over the cuckoo's nest"; but I never knew what big surprises waited for me there.
It's a crazy movie that involves a rich textile merchant, Sam Stone (who apparently does business with mafia, if we can believe his wife's words), and who wants to kill his wife (whom he married for the sake of his father-in-law's wealth) to get rid of her and marry his mistress, who has other plans. Then there is this loser couple, whose creative idea was stolen by our merchant, and who wants to avenge it by kidnapping Stone's wife! Sadly, though our kidnapper guy claims to be "ruthless" and "desperate" people, he is most unfit to be a kidnapper; he can neither sell speakers to customers in his job place, nor can he kill a spider without remorse. And then there is his wife, who could never stop either feeling guilty over the kidnapping, or making Mrs. Stone feel at home!
But this is not all. Stone's mistress, Carol, has a boyfriend, whom the police wants to shoot because he's "probably the stupidest man in the world" and who can not differentiate a murder from an act of love-making, and thus video-records the rendezvous of the police chief with a hooker.
Danny de Vito, as usual, is natural in his role. Others, such as Judge Reinhold, Helen Slater and Anita Morris also do well. But the star of the movie is Bette Midler,who steals the show. Before watching this movie,I never knew that she acts so well. I especially loved the part, where she describes to her kidnappers how treating her well (thereby bringing her the stuff that they could not afford) would lead to her telling the prosecutors that they treated her humanely, and this would save them from going to the electric chair, or the firing squad. Another nice scene is her being emotionally charged to have been told that she might have lost at least 20 pounds, and her frustration to know that the kidnappers had to keep lowering their price as Sam Stone was not ready to pay either $500,000 or even $50,000. This led to the most famous punchline of the movie, "Am I kidnapped by KMart?"
This is a crazily hilarious movie, and it will make you laugh a lot. It has plenty of insane dialogs.If one is looking for 90 minutes of good laugh, this is a movie to watch.
Finding Nemo (2003)
I watched this movie because a friend of mine, whose taste in movies is good, recommended it to me. And she was right!
I consider this beautiful movie more of family genre, rather than a children movie. It's something enjoyable for the whole family -- with a simple yet nice story of the search of a father for his "lost" son, adorable characters (for example, the vegetarian Shark, whose "na(i)me is Bruce") and beautiful animation. Then there is the adorable Dory, whose efforts at helping Nemo's father to locate him is often jeopardized by her short-term memory loss. Also is there the smart surfer "dude" turtles, an exchange program that allows the young turtle to study with Nemo in his school, and the helpful pelican.
As someone living in a place where seagulls often fly overhead, and thrilled by their beauty and grace, I'm now forced to remember the sail and the "mine" "mine" scene, each time I see seagulls.
I love Dory (as everyone else does) when she forgets things, but I love her more when she pleads to be allowed to stay with Marlin, because she says, she feels as home when she's with him.
This movie is about love, affection, family values, and all things positive about us, and not just about a handful of fish.
Darna Mana Hai (2003)
Something half-cooked... Good stories, ending in childish fantasy
Notwithstanding the fact that it may be considered a cardinal sin to criticize Ram Gopal Verma's movie, I would rate this movie, at best, half-backed attempt, mainly due to its end. Most of the stories in the movie are interesting, the acting good, and it has all the chances to be a really good suspense movie. That it until the end where ghosts start walking, which makes the whole idea of the movie ridiculous, and totally absurd. Equally absurd is the story involving Nana Patekar (as an MTV reporter, of all things) and Vivek Oberoi. This entire sequence shows that Ram Gopal Verma was afraid to make a movie without submitting to the Indian psyche of associating ghosts with graveyards. This story also ruins all the other excellent stories, such as that of the apples, the schoolteacher, and the hotel etc.
Verma started in the right direction at the beginning of the movie, but then perhaps the fear of losing the market by making a movie that does not show any ghosts coming out of a grave-yard screwed up his thought, and his movie.
Definitely, this movie is better than most Bollywood garbage, but still not what one would expect of someone so much praised.
A Magical Mystery tour (Mildest of the mild SPOILERS maybe!)
In my opinion, this is an excellent and very touching movie for the whole family, children and adults alike, to watch. But more than a movie, it's a video book. At least, that's how I felt while watching it.
The storyline of Babe is decent, the acting of the human cast is quite good and adequate, the cast is excellent (and dedicated to their work, as I gathered later), and the animation superb. And above that, there are the mice and their excellently cute song (I played their song at the end of the movie God knows how many time!), and the very likable chemistry of the Hoggett couple.
There are many interesting sequences: the ridiculous 'dance' of the farmer to humor the ill Babe, the clandenstine operation by the duck to get rid of the mechanical device, the "quid pro quo" of the sheep password vis-a-vis the willy-nilly promises of Rex, and then the climax.
As far as the cast goes: I liked James Cromwell in L.A. Confidential (where he was busy shooting his own officers in a bid to control the cocaine market, 'Boyo'); so there's no way I could have disliked him in Babe, as the silent yet affectionate farmer Hoggett. Magda Szubanski did justice to the role of Mrs. Hoggett; while watching Babe, I could never guess that she was just a young woman of 34!
Along Came Polly (2004)
A Unique Movie: A Masterpiece ....
Yeah, contrary to all the criticisms, "Along Came Polly" is a unique movie, and a masterpiece as far as the ferret community is concerned. I doubt if there's another movie in all of movie history centered around an animal, less so with a small pet such as a ferret. It's indeed a great classic for the ferrets!! If I remember correctly, there were also some human beings playing supporting roles, but sadly I fail to remember their names, or their characters. The movie also contained many vulgar jokes(?), based on restroom activities.
My only regret: the role of the ferret could have been more extensive, which would have saved me part of the agony of watching the movie (in addition to the $2.15 that I had to pay to rent the DVD).
Nothing spectacular about it (Buffoonery redefined!)
Notwithstanding the fact that perhaps Oscar is not the last word as far as the worth of a movie is concerned, I've no idea on what basis Lagaan was sent to the Oscar nevertheless!
At best, Lagaan is just another movie, or rather, continuous and endless buffoonery for almost 4 hours! This movie is full of stereotypes: ruthless British ruler, "superman" hero who has to score the decisive run in the match, villager who work as informer for the British, English woman falling for the village hero (Mard Tangewalla!!).. and so on and so forth. The whole cricket match was at best, irritating buffoonery. In my personal opinion, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander was a far better movie than this one, and only blockheads could think that this movie was worth an Oscar!
Now the plus point: well, I could at least finish watching this movie, unlike another "great" Oscar nomination, Devdaas, which I had to stop after about 30 minutes of viewing.
Note: The story of Lagaan is nothing original either; it's taken from the movie Victory (or, Escape to Victory), made in 1981.
Terminator revisited! (Possibly SPOILER? Humor intended)
.... Only that this Terminator of ours has less muscle, more dialogs, and he carries smaller guns. The rest is very similar, if not exactly same .... one guy (in fact, a Superman, whom no one's bullet would hit!) has to mindlessly kill many people, and continue the rampage from "almost" the beginning to the finis of the movie, for whatever reasons!
Other important and interesting aspects of the movie: each guy/male character belonging to a particular community, however decent he may be all along otherwise, MUST utter, "Motherf----r", in the movie, for example. Really great!!
The only missing aspect: some tasteless and graphically vivid sex scenes! Hope the director would add those on a later date.
Best wishes, then,
Memory is what I've instead of a view!
I start this with a statement of Hannibal Lecter, because I watched this movie probably 20 years ago, and memory is what I've now, while writing these comments here.
Bristi is one of the Best Assamese movies, and a path-breaker. As far as my understanding goes, Bristi along with Ganga Chilanir Pakhi, heralded the era of meaningful Assamese movies in the early 1970's.
Perhaps the most important aspect of Bristi as a movie was its bold theme, which was much ahead of time, at least as far as the Assamese society was concerned. I don't remember anymore who were the actors in this movie; but I clearly remember that Bishnu Kharghoria was brilliant in his role, and my fascination with his acting has grown steadily over the years. I've always considered him a very versatile actor,going by his portrayal of very diverse roles in movies such as Kallol, Banani, and Hkhagoroloi Bohu Door, and my view regarding his acting remains intact, even after watching some of the best movies made in this century by giants such as Satyajit Ray, Vittorio de Sica, Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa, Francis Ford Coppola and Elia Kazan.
The loser who calls his shots!
I watched a series of Humphrey Bogart movies within a span of two days: To Have and Not Have, Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, and, Dark Passage. While the first two movies have lots of similarities, I rate Casablanca to be better. (Of course, I'm totally fascinated by the face of Lauren Bacall; but yet the role of Ingrid Bergman was more firmly planted.). My main reason for liking Casablanca over To Have... is that, in Casablanca, Bogart is a defeated man, a man running away from himself, a man who would put his "neck out for nobody" (mainly because he's too scared to be hurt again; or in other words, his past experiences have left him synical.)...but yet he has full control over his faculties...to such an extent that when circumstances put everything at his feet, he can see through it and can decide that the victory that is waiting there to garland him won't be his triumph, but rather another, a greater defeat. And then he decides the most logical, rationale course of action that transforms him into the winner we all would like to be, and allows him to come to terms with himself.
This movie deserves a place in the wish-list of every movie lover; and once it's watched, I'm sure, it would naturally be in the list of one's all-time favorite movies.
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
A movie without Streetcar
I watched this movie after Elia Kazan's (and before Marlon Brando's) death, and was overwhelmed. This was the first movie with Brando in it that I ever watched, and I was simply stunned by Brando's brilliance. His portrayal of Stanley was so convincing that one starts hating him, while watching the movie. Unfortunately, Vivien Leigh could not do justice to her role; her acting was utterly unconvincing. I watched her in "Gone with the Wind" earlier, and my impression about her acting was negative, which this movie simply reaffirmed.
However, I failed to deduce any connection of the movie with it's name/title. The streetcar "Desire" appears only once in the movie (just for a couple of seconds, perhaps!) towards the very beginning; but then I'm no intellectual, and I guess,I thus must not question much!
Re-make of Charlie Chaplin's "City Lights"
I watched Sunayana in 1980 or so. And at that time, the movie impressed me. Both Naseeruddin Shah and Rameshwari acted well; the music was good too. Like all other Rajashri Productions movies, this too was an enjoyable movie.
But later I came to know that this was not an original idea, but rather a remake of Chaplin's City Lights. However, this is not the first time it happened that a movie was made in Hindi without any reference to the original one (I may be wrong about this point, because, as I said, I watched this movie almost 25 years ago!); another case in point in "Bombai Ka Babu", which was wholly based on O'Henry's short story "The Double-dyed Deceiver", except for the character of Suchitra Sen.
A tanú (1969)
No, Not there!!!!!
Thanks to my Hungarian colleague, who lent me the DVD, I watched this interesting and excellent movie. And what a movie it was!
From the beginning till the end, this absurd drama entertains, amuses and at the same time, makes one think. The best point of this movie is the central character, who is a simple person, who does not know how to protest, who believes that all the decisions taken by (and the words uttered by) the Comrades in power must be correct, and who therefore obeys their orders unquestioned, and yet tries to be innovative, and thus unwittingly exposes the stupidity and absurdity that lies at the core of their ideology.
I never knew that Hungary makes good movies (maybe because of the more widely known movies and movie makers from Poland and Czech; though I was told that Hungary produces perhaps the best brains in the world, at least, in Mathematics.), but now I know it otherwise.
If you like a good political satire, just watch it.
La vita è bella (1997)
I read a lot of negative reviews about this movie before I actually watched it, and thus when I finally got a chance to watch it, my expectations were not very high. And perhaps that worked in my favor. "Life is Beautiful" surely is not a "must see" movie; but at the same time, it's an enjoyable one.
As far as my subjective opinions are concerned, I found the first half of the movie unnecessarily long. However, the major drawback of the overall movie (in my opinion) is that it's sort of Unicorn: neither purely a comedy nor any kind of a serious movie. Many of the situations depicted in this movie are not even within shooting distance of reality. Now, I'm willing to enjoy a comedy movie as one; but when one watches a movie that deals with a serious issue and historical facts, one expects the bare minimum reality in it. A couple of German speaking guys, a heap of bones, and couple of Magen David symbols cannot add authenticity to a movie that deals with the Holocaust.
But that does not mean all is wrong with the movie. In my opinion, the depiction of the father-son relationship is one of the major plus points of this movie, and so is the portrayal of human spirit that cannot be crushed under any situation. Another plus point is that it's devoid of all those scenes in such a movie that leaves one depressed for the rest of the week (Schindler's List is a case in point).
Finally, I won't recommend it to someone who really wants to see a movie that seriously deals with the history and reality of holocaust; but, at the same time, it's a good, clean and enjoyable movie.
Town Without Pity (1961)
I'm not someone who uses lots of superlatives, but "Town without Pity" is a movie, for which I would not mind using some of them (and only positively). I had no idea about this movie, nor I ever knew anything about it; yet I picked it up only because everytime I visited the Exposition Park Branch of the Los angeles Public Library, it was lying there in the shelf, for a long long time. Watching this movie was a very pleasant experience for me. I found this movie very "humane" in that it was able to successfully deal with the sensitive issue of rape. It's devoid of high drama, but rather very realistic. It involves the humane face of a ruthless defense lawyer, who knows his job, and yet is ready to spare the victim the second round of rape that occurs in the court-room during cross examination.
I recommend it to anyone who wants to watch an excellent, serious movie.
Becker the Loser (by Choice?!)
I've been watching Becker For the past 4 or 5 months, and now I keep awake until 2-45 AM or so, just to finish watching this fabulous series. This shows my level of addiction to this series.
What impresses me (or most other viewers for that matter, I'm sure!) most is that the characters of this series are very real, people one comes across/ encounters almost everyday. While I'm really a fan of Becker the sitcom, and I think that each of the actors did a superb job (Margaret, Jake, Linda, Reggie....each one), I consider Dr. John Becker, M.D. to be the best among all of them. A brilliant physician, one of the top in his class at the Harvard Medical School, a person dedicated to his profession who chose to go for private practice, and yet who finally turns out to be a first-rate loser. But he's not just another loser: here we meet a loser who has not yet learnt to accept defeat gracefully, someone who regrets his decisions in life, and yet his ego won't allow him to start things afresh; one who crave for attention and yet compelled to act nonchalant, a man who (at the heart of his heart) knows what a big loser he's, and yet needs to continue with his mask of arrogance and egotism. His insecurity, his frustration, his rudeness, his hypocrisy.... most of us share some of it. And maybe that's the reason -- most of the people I know who watch(ed) this series, and whom I've talked to/discuss this series with -- strongly identify with the character of Dr. Becker.
Speaking about myself: well, Becker often exposes to me what I try to hide from myself.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Have the lambs stopped screaming?
A Must-see! And yet this is a movie, about which I read, talked with, listened from people for about a decade before I actually watched it. Actually, I read so much about this movie, searched so many different websites that I was a bit afraid that the movie won't be able to live up to the mental picture I've had of it. And yet, when finally I watched it, I was overwhelmed.
Now, don't ask me who did the maximum justice to his/her role in the movie: Dr. Lecter, Clarice or Buffalo Bill, simply for the reason that I cannot decide. Many would perhaps find my view that Bill was as brilliant as Dr. Lecter or Clarice odd; but I believe that the film would not have been equally compelling without the brilliant portrayal of his role.
It's redundant to talk about the brilliance of Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. While watching the movie, one does not see Hopkins playing a role; what one sees all along is a psychopath, and yet brilliant, forensic psychiatrist. Jodie Foster was equally brilliant , one who can make a monster such as Dr. Lecter cooperate and give her clues that would finally lead her to the culprit. And it's impossible to ignore the invisible bond developing between her and Lecter during the process: her indignation at knowing that she was used to play a game of false promises (The famous scene involving, "You've no more vacations to sell." follows this sequence), and Hannibal's helping her in spite of the way he was deceived shed a little light on their humane side. Both of them know the wall that separates them, the circumstances that they live under, and yet none of them resists the development of the warmth between them. In a sense, they share a concern for each other.
A couple of weak points of the movie in my opinion: The picking up of the pen by Hannibal (while being totally tied) in presence of Dr. Chilton, and his masquerading as an injured police officer, and then removing a mask from his face in the hospital room were unrealistic. I'm yet to read the book, and hence cannot comment if it was dramatic necessity or the director's desire to stick to the words in the book, that prompted those scenes: either way, (in my opinion) it would have been better not to have this mask sequence in this brilliant movie.
People who have watched and enjoyed this movie would, I'm sure, equally enjoy Hopkins' portrayal of Hannibal in the movie, Red Dragon, as well.
I Am Sam (2001)
A good family-oriented movie. I recommend it.
I rented this DVD to mainly watch the acting of Dakota, I being a big fan of her since I saw her in Man on Fire, but then almost everyone in this movie did justice to his or her role. Sean Penn did a very good job, as did Michelle Pfeiffer. Dakota, as expected, did her job well too.(I was initially a bit irritated by her overly smart character in the movie, but then I saw her interview in some TV channel the next day, which made me realize that this girl was equally smart in real life too! I also saw Denzel Washington being overwhelming in his praise of Dakota and her acting). The grace with which Annie Cassell (Dianne Wiest) carried herself was excellent: a blind woman whom none would realize to be blind (not even when she tells Sam, "You know that I cannot do that." in reply to Sam's question if she would come down to help him with Lucy), until the moment she appears in the court; her correcting the lawyer abut the "summa cum laude" was very graceful, equally convincing, and yet devoid of any arrogance. The affection of Sam's friends' for baby Lucy was another highlight of the movie; it showed that one need not be smart to be loving and caring. But the thing I liked most is that this movie didn't oversimplify the equations: Rita, for example, in spite of her growing attraction to Sam, did not try to be a "mother" to Lucy.Nor did Sam try to snatch away all emotional rights of Randy; rather he confessed his realization that most probably she was the person most suitable to fill the void left behind by a "mother" Lucy never had the chance to meet, play with, or be pampered by.
The watershed, however, was the final legal fight and the accompanying high-drama that -- someone like me, used to Indian/Bollywood melodrama, was bound to expect -- that never happened.
The negative points: well, for one, the Beatles stuff was a bit of an overdose. Also, life is never a bed of roses, and thus real-life events don't often lead to such happy ending.
But then, it's our dreams that we live for, and Sam's fulfillment of his only dream, to have his daughter back, could perhaps make some of us feel optimistic about our unfulfilled dreams as well.