January 19, 2020
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A Good Year

It's a film from which you'd expect the moon, the stars and the sun, but you get the most wishy-washy film of the year.

A Good Year
A Good Year
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
Starring: Russell Crowe, Albert Finney, Marion Cotillard, Archie Punjabi
Directed by Ridley Scott
Rating: *

It’s a film from which you’d expect the moon, the stars and the sun. What with an actor like Crowe and a director like Scott. Disappointingly, the talented duo gives you the most wishy-washy film of the year. First there’s the stale old tale, every twist and turn of the plot ever so predictable. A high-flying stock broker Max Skinner (Crowe) inherits a French chateau and vineyard, the place where he spent his childhood with the quirky Uncle Henry (Finney). He hopes to sell it to make a quick buck. But then, on a visit, all those memories of the childhood idyll—the Lamborghini tractor, the swimming pool, the tennis court, the cricket wickets, the game of chess—make him go through a change of heart; as does the fetching French waitress Fanny (Cotillard).

The theme of leaving the rat race and discovering love and your true self does have potential. It would have worked fine if Scott had managed to get his emotional, dramatic and romantic elements right. But he never hits the right pitch. Even the sense of humour is the pits. Sample this: "Is it illegal to shag your cousin in France?" "Only if she’s ugly." No wonder, rather than getting involved with the people and their lives you just yawn away. So much so that even the spectacular Provence leaves you cold. In fact, the entire setting and the characters, the Frenchness and Britishness of it all seems terribly fake. The French housekeeping couple, for instance, is badly caricaturised. Each time Crowe says "bollocks" you look around for Hugh Grant. This role was certainly meant for the charming English boy. In all the mess, the only guy to lend any dignity is Finney. And, the most irritating of them all turns out to be our very own Archie Punjabi (the elder sister of Parminder Nagra in Bend It Like Beckham). So conscious is she of her lines and her presence that it seems she is auditioning for a school play. It makes you wonder why these small community representations are finding their way into mainstream western fare? Are these movies trying to be representative or just promoting stereotypes? The only one worse than Punjabi is a silly French dog who pees at people’s legs. Ugh!

High FIves

Bollywood

1. Dhoom 2
2. Vivaha
3. Apna Sapna Money Money
4. Casino Royale (dubbed)
5. Don

Hollywood

1. Happy Feet
2. Casino Royale
3. Deja Vu
4. The Nativity Story
5. Deck the Halls

Classical

1. Serenade (Katherine Jenkins)
2. Voices of the Valley (Fron Male Choir)
3. All Angels (All Angels)
4. Classical Album 2007 (Various Artists)
5. Amore (Andrea Bocelli)

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