Monday, April 03, 2006

Inside Man


Its been a while, since i have gone out to the movies here in the US. There are very few that come out from the big production houses that interest me, and then there is the issue of time. Well anyway, found some time this week, watched Inside Man, a decision i wont regret.

Directed by Spike Lee
That alone would have been good enough to go watch a movie. Ever since i saw his presentation of Malcom X, i have tried to my best to catch his movies on video or cable. Although not too lucky at it, i havent been disappointed by him yet. I read in the local paper 'City Paper', that he wasnt the director original slated to do this movie. So what would Spike do to a movie, which is about a bank robbery.

Starring: Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Clive Owen, Christopher Plumer.
Denzel alone is enough again, to drag you into the movie hall. Throw Jodie Foster in, that would have been a killer. Clive Owen, is the british actor, who has been doing some interesting stuff recently. I didnt need too much more to go out and watch the movie. When you walk out of the movie, it is not these individiuals as actors or their performances that will strike you.

What strikes you first is, Chaiya Chaiya. Yes the song by AR Rehman for the movie, 'Dil Se'. After all the trailers are over, and most of the popcorn is over, in this case it was cheese dripping over hot fries. Well the movie was timed perfectly after my 3 mile run, and all this was indulgence anyway. As the wise say, 'when you indulge, set no limits'.

Back to Inside Man, the movie starts to the strains of Chaiya Chaiya, the titles are presented, with the song running in the background. Now that must be a Spike Lee stamp. But why, i dont know. Its not a bit of the song, its the full version, of the song, and it is repeated again, at the end. But, that doesnt set the tone for the movie at all.

Plot: Bank heist
The plot, awesome, the rendering, superbly done. I am a sucker for a well planned heist or robbery. This plot leaves you with few question, that need answer. Towards the end, i was like, please show me more, dont leave things out, so that i have to use my imagination.

Nice movie. I would recommend it. Some small, things stick out. Some parts of the script, the dialouges, which obviously have a Spike Lee stamp on it. Here is one sample:
The NYPD detective assigned to investigate, is talking to a Bank Clerk, held hostage for a couple of hours and then released. The bank clerk, is a Sikh, who comes out all covered in overhauls, and when the NYPD squad pull his mask off, they shout, 'oh shit, an Arab', and pull of his turban.
The bank clerk, is now pissed. He wants his tuban back, he explains animatedly how his turban is part of his religion and he needs it to cover his head, goes on to shout about how he is always called an arab, and about the 'random selection' everytime he boards a flight.
Denzel, the detective, says 'you can still get a cab'
The bank clerk, says 'yes that is one of the perks'

Now, that is not subtle. That is commentary, direct, straight and simple about the happenings in the society here. The neat thing is that, Spike has a lot of opportunities for such commentary and uses it effectively, without hampering the story telling. I guess he chose to play this out in the streets of Manhattan for a reason.

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