Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Super Sensitive, Super Performances, the movie 'The Reader'

Many movies get released, We watch a few and very few we will like, and perhaps very very few will leave an impact ...
Last night when we watched the movie 'The Reader' this is what I felt. I am not regular at watching English movies. Not sure if it's due to some complex developed during childhood or lack of exposure to the kind of movies made in Hollywood during my growing up days .. but the fact is I watch very few movies made in English. But the one's I have watched have been the BEST. For me to watch a movie, the curiosity has to be built within. Most of the times it's the story line that attracts me, and very few times it's the actor or actress. And I track English movies only when I travel, the only time I have a lot of time to surf channels, the only time I don't have local language channels. Infact all great English movies I have watched while I am alone, while I am on travel.
Promotion or the trailor of this movie 'The Reader' I started watching when I was in Shanghai couple of months back. Instantly I appreciated Kate Winslet in a court trial scene. She appeared so promising. It was my sixth sense that told me she would be the Oscar Winner for best actress and it did turn out to be a fact.
Kate Winslet is so beautiful that people can't see beyond her beauty in the movie Titanic. However, she ended up giving a lot of great performances till date, missed many Oscars. I started liking her 'way', her 'looks' much after the Titanic ... she always appears as a beautiful actress to me who can show vivid emotions on screen.
Thus last night we stretched ourselves to watch this movie.
The Reader dates back to second world war, location is Germany where a young law student gets infactuated with a much elderly woman, a ticket issuing woman in a Tram. Their affair starts off with only physical intimacy, evolves into interesting conversations between the two where Hanna Chmitz (Kate) asks Michael to read all his books before making love. Michael who starts to get emotional with her does everything possible to keep her happy. Hanna lives mysteriously, a loner, a tough woman does not want to reflect her emotions. Once she disappears mysteriously it leaves an impact on young Michael who later moves on studying law. In one of the trials he attends, he finds Hanna guilty of mudering 300 jewish women. She is still the same - tough, straight forward and shows traces of her past when victims say she used to make woman read loudly before being taken to their death. Michael goes through a tough phase watching this. She is convicted for life after she admits her crime. During her days in jail she starts receiving tapes sent by Michael reading all those books he once read for her! This is very well shot. I literally cried in the theatre. She learns to read and write while listening to those tapes. Finally after 20 years he comes to meet her, promising to return to take her out of jail upon her release. But a day before she is released, she commits suicide and leaves a note to Michael ... requesting him to handover an old tea tin and some cash to the only surviving victim among jewish women. Michael completes this task for Hanna and takes his daughter at the end to the grave of Hanna, daughter he has from a divorced wife ... to tell her the story of his affair and relationship with Hanna.
The Reader is a movie to be watched!

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