Telling tales

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES -


WHEN defin­ing a great movie, one won­ders what seals the deal. A great script, good act­ing, some­thing en­gag­ing, heart­felt and true-to-life, ex­cite­ment ... the list could go on. Sur­prise, sur­prise, this movie has all that and more.

When An­drew (Dane Dehaan) picks up film­ing and starts doc­u­ment­ing his life with his pre­his­toric video cam­era, we are en­gaged in his mis­er­able life in­volv­ing an al­co­holic fa­ther (Michael Kelly), a mother who is on her sickbed and painful teenage angst. That’s just the be­gin­ning of di­rec­tor Josh Trank’s in­ge­nu­ity in us­ing cam­era an­gles.

An­drew’s only source of healthy hu­man in­ter­ac­tion is with his cousin Matt (Alex Rus­sell) who gives him a lift to school ev­ery day and then later man­ages to con­vince him to go for a high school rave party at an aban­doned ware­house. From the party, the duo and one more boy ar­rive at an un­der­ground cave in the woods.

Soon, the three start show­ing the power of telekine­sis. At first, they use their new-found “power” for fun and mis­chief, as boys will be boys, but they re­alise that their abil­ity is like a mus­cle that gets stronger with use.

Un­like Clover­field or Para­nor­mal Ac­tiv­ity, Chron­i­cle has the abil­ity to show­case more cam­era an­gles and Trank does not dis­ap­point. His at­ten­tion to de­tail is seen in An­drew’s old and new cam­era/self, CCTV record­ings and even vlog­ger Casey’s (Ash­ley Hin­shaw) footage.

Start­ing off as an in­tel­li­gent drama, the movie show­cases seam­less pac­ing which leads up to an ex­plo­sive su­per­hero-like end­ing; all the while fea­tur­ing re­al­is­tic char­ac­ters. At times, I for­got I was at the movies. – Karyn Anne ( HHHHH)

War Horse

YES, this is a story about a horse – but what a re­mark­able story and an even more re­mark­able horse.

The movie, based on a best-sell­ing novel and a long-run­ning London and New York stage pro­duc­tion, plays out won­der­fully with a very com­pe­tent di­rec­tor helm­ing it.

Steven Spiel­berg paints each scene with a set of beau­ti­ful colours, fram­ing the scenes like a per­fect picture. He also gets more than a lit­tle help from John Wil­liams’ score and a re­ally ca­pa­ble group of ac­tors (Jeremy Irvine, Tom Hid­dle­ston, David Kross, Emily Wat­son, Peter Mul­lan and the an­i­mals).

The film starts just be­fore World War I, when young Al­bert Nar­ra­cott first meets the heroic horse. With the ar­rival of war in Europe, the horse ends up right in the mid­dle of it. As you are watch­ing the hor­rors of war – and Spiel­berg shows both the kind­ness and the atroc­ity of men dur­ing these try­ing times – you won­der why hu­man be­ings must drag in­no­cent crea­tures into a mess they made and let them bear the brunt of what’s hap­pen­ing? Sigh.

But far from it be­ing a tragedy, War Horse leaves you feel­ing good, amazed and touched all at the same time. Sure the story is far re­moved from re­al­ity, but you are caught up

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