Monday, February 4, 2008

A solemn piano played with two hands...

A night of rather sombre viewing saw me re-watching a movie I had avoided since I first saw it, crammed close to a tiny screen, which was attached the back of an airplane seat, to hide my tears.

The movie I was watching is called The Pianist (2002). Roman Polanski's harrowing tale is of one man, a talented pianist, reduced to virtually nothing by the Nazi's in Poland. It stars, a then unknown, Adrien Brody. The film has a nice flow, and you feel like it's a story you not only need to see but one you want to watch. Even when the situation gets beyond hope, you still can't tear your eyes away.

It's similar to movies like Schindler's List (though more personal and focused) or Life is Beautiful (but without such an "in-your-face" lead). The Pianist is a thoughtful, brutal yet necessary film that thankfully unleashed on the world a charismatic and undeniable talent in Adrien Brody. While difficult to watch (any Holocaust or War movie usually is) this flick is at the top of its game and does great tribute to the real man behind the story. 4.5/5 stars (much better on a 42" LCD)

Today I (almost reluctantly) watched Two Hands (1999) which stars Heath Ledger as a troubled young male living in Sydney who begins to realise the decisions he's making aren't as simple as he may have previously thought. He becomes involved in crime, primarily because this is all he's known and been surrounded with growing up, and his sincere innocence leads him to become the most wanted of a local thug boss known as Pando (Brian Brown).

Written by Gregor Jordan (who is now getting the recognition he deserves in Hollywood), this unique and interesting film gave us a glimpse of what a young Ledger would one day bring to the cinematic table. It's odd watching a film about a man who makes a decision to live rather than die, when the lead character is played by a man whose decisions potentially lead to his early death. Is that irony? I've been confused ever since I heard that Alanis Morissette's song got it terribly wrong.

So Two Hands still gets the same mark from me as it did back in '99. One of my favourites, but by no means a perfect movie...3.5/5 Rusty Old Bullets!

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