Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spike Lee feat. Rahman

Recently (maybe a month ago, or so), I have officially become a member of LAMB (The Large Association of Movie Blogs). The idea of communities like that is something I appreciate very much, because that's what the internet really is: a community, society - made of smaller communities and societies. 
There are different "events" in the LAMB, and it says on the site, that they really like, when members participate in those events. I don't think the possibility that one of those events will revolve around Indian cinema is very big, and that's why I'll now publish my first post on a Hollywood movie. If you've read the "About"-page though, you'd know that I watch everything, every genre, every industry - everything that falls into my hands. This event that I'm participating in is "LAMBs in the Director's Chair - Spike Lee". I chose to write about his film "Inside Man" on this occasion... And you may guess, why...


Director: Spike Lee

Starring: Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Clive Owen

Please notice, that this review will be slightly different from "normal" reviews - it's going to be held as an interview with myself. I just thought, this is the first Hollywood review on Lime Reviews, so why not try something else than the usual stuff.

Just for fun, off course.

I hope you like it, if not, think about it as some sort of fancy project.

It is, somehow.

Why did you choose this film, instead of Lee's other known and acclaimed films, while this film is commonly called a Mainstream-production?
Well, I just... thought...
"Chal Chaiyya Chaiyya Chaiyya Chaiyya, Chal Chaiyya Chaiyya Chaiyya Chaiyya..."
And by the way, you should all have a look at the original song, everyone loves it, even non-Bollywood-enthusiastics. A shame it wasn't listed on the soundtrack (at least, wikipedia says so).
 - It's by my favorite composer, A. R. Rahman (just in case you didn't get my post title).

Did the song "Chaiyya Chaiyya" distract you at the beginning?
Yes, it did. I don't remember the start of the film... aside from Clive Owen telling us his name. Or saying, that he told us his name.

What about his (Owen's) performance - impressive?
If you call walking around with a poker-face impressive, then, yes. Personally, I think that only Marlon Brando can pull something like that off. I also didn't like that his character was such a anti-hero, that you're supposed to like - also this can be pulled off better by someone else, namely Hrithik Roshan. Off course, the bank robber had to tell the 8-year-old that he shouldn't play violent video-games. Audience is meant to laugh at that "funny" scene, and then think: "Hey, that guys actually cool.". However, I did like the scene where he tells us that he's told us his name.

So you prefer Denzel Washington?
I do. Well, first of all, I like men wearing hats. But forget about that; Denzel Washington is one of the actors that I'm quite fond of. He brings a impressive (here it is: impressive) realism into his characters, they actually seem to be real people. Many actors try to do this, but never truly success. Just that one scene where he lifts his voice saying "Pina Colada", which just makes you wake up again, because the rest of the dialogues and scenes is so monotone. That's also what I like about the film: When you just start to think it's boring, something changes, an interesting camera angle pops up or... well, Washington lifts his voice. There's also one scene, where he just coughs in the middle of a sentence, and I started thinking: "They don't cough. Most film characters don't cough, excluding they're sick or something. Or in a church.". Just very small details, that make you wonder, and I'm fascinated by that.

How about the flash-back investigations - did you like how they were... blurry?
Nothing against blurriness, but no, those scenes reminded me of the glitter-scene in Twilight - as I confessed already once, I like the Twilight-series, but that scene was too much (not to forget, that it was different in the book). And it's the same in this film - too much. Too cheap-looking.

Now, for the actors: What did you think about Jodie Foster?
Jodie... I've appreciated the way you act ever since "Silence of the Lambs", and you act different every time I see you. Different - but always as qualitative as the first time we met (your accent stays the same as well).

Did you know the "bank robbers" were talking Albanian?
I don't want to spoil anything, so let me just say: No, I did not, and I also didn't know, who it was, but I knew "where" he was talking, if you get me. And that was just too obvious.

Do you think the scene where the officers discuss the substations etc., while there are hostages in the bank, was macabre?
I think that scene was really good. First, I thought it was just what you proposed - macabre. But just for one split second. Then, my thoughts revolved about, how this was being realistic. It was. You need to think about, that there are people doing this every day, and how they just need to be calm, and get out of the situation sometimes. So, that was nicely done.

What was the most exciting part of the film?
The most exciting part was guessing what was going to happen. That's a common "trick" in hostage movies, and off course, it is working, though problem is: 1) it can grow boring very quickly and 2) when the end has come, you don't want to watch more of that movie, because the excitement has gone. Just what happens in this film - at the end, when the hostages have been released, you want to turn it off. Off course, the total solution comes just at the very end, but the time in between is a little boring. 

What did you think about the scene, where the hostages are released?
I thought: "There's a lot of people in blue painting suits here", and "I bet Cameron created the Na'vi after seeing this". 

And finally, what is your opinion?
"Inside Man" is very mainstream, but heading towards the positive corner of that section (so many mainstream movies - some of them have to be good). (Mostly) exciting plot (though well-known), without any big twists, but with two great actors and a fab soundtrack. That would be 2 1/2 stars, but it gets 1/2 more because of "Chaiyya".

Rating: 6.3

Thank you for reading,
Mette M. K.


  1. Awesome review, I liked the format.

    I liked this film a lot, it's one of my favourites, I know it's nothing amazing but I just think it's so entertaining and is still great when you watch it again...

    Denzel Washington was great in this, but I think his best performance was in Malcolm X, actually I'm reviewing that film for the Spike Lee event at the LAMB, I better get that review finished soon...

  2. @ Jack L: Thank you! Yeah, the deadline is tomorrow, so you'd better get it online quickly... I'm excited for the event.


Let the discussion begin!