I am writing this as something sort of a catharsis. Ever since I heard that they are going to make a movie on Amy Winehouse with Lady Gaga as the doomed singer, I am thinking of making an escape pod and go and visit a restaurant at the end of the universe. Since it will be a long journey, I will take some movies with me and yes, they have to be the biopics of some of my favourite musicians. So, before the Lady Gaga-Amy Winehouse movie becomes a reality, it earns a billion dollars at the box office, gains cult following, people start wearing meat dresses and driving pussy wagons, I leave you with the top 5 list which I am going to carry when I escape.
Sid and Nancy
See Gary Oldman in this movie before he became the Dracula, the psychotic cop in Leonand and Commissioner Gordon in Batman. Oldman simply rules as Sid Vicious. Rogert Ebert calls this movie the Romeo and Juliet of Punk rock. Rightly so. Director Alex Cox tells a doomed, dangerous and desperate love story with magnificent élan, without wilting, without bothering about reactions. We see what we know and we very well tend to understand the explosive citadel that holds together two unique personalities. This movie is no homage but rather a savage explanation of the reality which took away two lives so mad and derelict in their love for each other. A must watch.
I was, well, sceptical while watching this one. Why me, even you would do the same. It is directed by Clint Eastwood, stars Forrest Whittaker and yes, this movie is based on the life of the legendary jazz musician Charlie “Bird” Parker. When you expect all action and daredevilry from one of the last true action scion of Hollywood, Bird turns out to be a marvellous, spontaneous, no-nonsense movie which chronicles the life of the musician and the people surrounding him. Forrest Whittaker is at ease with the character and it reflects. Now if you love Jazz, if you love Eastwood and if you love Whittaker (i.e, if you are not a zombie) then you will surely admire this movie.
Any movie on the life of the electric poet is insufficient and will fail to grasp his larger than life persona. Because the legion of fans will never be happy, the persons associated with the lizard king will never be happy. So Doors tries hard, really hard as it tries to claw and gnaw and hack and slash its way inside the heart and mind of everyone who adores Jim Morrison and in the process loses out to its own conflict of salvaging the remnants of a genius who is plagued by drugs and love and the tag of a misfit and moral corruptor. I thought Oliver Stone chose Val Kilmer to play Morrison because of the facial resemblance, but Kilmer shines in a movie which has polarized many. You either like it or hate it.
Walk the Line
I ain’t much of a fan of Johnny Cash. I haven’t heard many of his songs. I heard of him for the first time when I heard him singing a cover of “Hurt” by Trent Reznor of NIN. I did a bit of research and came across this movie. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon star as the first couple of country music, a higgledy-piggledy ride to stardom and love, and the movie was essentially a revelation for me. Joaquin Phoenix essays a role for which he got an Oscar nomination and Witherspoon won it for her portrayal of June Carter. Yes, Phoenix sings the songs. You will be left stupefied after watching this movie. A masterstroke from James Mangold. I doubted it, but the movie is actually flawless. A genuine attempt to portray a man and a woman, who loved each other and loved music.
Where The Doors fail, Control succeeds. Based on the life of Joy Division frontsman Ian Curtis starring Sam Riley and directed by Anton Corbijn, the renowned video director, Control doesn’t lose its focus. It is tersely made, enigmatic in some corners and occasionally you do feel completely absorbed by it. The casting is excellent and Sam Riley is, well, I don’t have adjectives to describe him. The movie has gone many awards, including the one in Cannes. The movie is essentially acting driven and Sam Riley is nearly possessed by Ian Curtis while he delves deeper and deeper towards destruction. I highly recommend this movie, even to those who are not familiar to the music of Joy Division.
Sayantan Mondol is a ninja who is now forced to write anything and everything about music while he slays hapless ronins for groats and a drink of thums up, whilst listening and filtering moozik trolls and orcs. Yes, he occasionally cleans the toilet at the end of the universe. Part-time job. You can find him on facebook at:
Don’t make any sudden moves, though.