And the chains of perpetual mediocrity
i think you are
moon. — nayyirah waheed (via abstractnumbers)
- IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1907668/
- Language: English
- Genre: Drama, Thriller
- Plot: An airline pilot lands a malfunctioning airplane to safety and saves many lives, but there are questions.
- Starring : Denzel Washington
- Direction: Robert Zemeckis
- Background: I’d read a lot about this film, so was curious when I spotted it on Netflix.
- Positives: The first thirty minutes are really thrilling! (Especially after crash landing many a plane in GTA5 :P) They show the whole plane crash thing in so much detail, pretty much makes up the rest of 90 slow minutes. Next, Denzel Washington - he doesn’t have much of an acting to do, but he comes across natural and troubled. The scene where he resists alcohol and grabs the bottle right back is touching. It is hard to make a film about addiction without making it too dark (requiem for a dream etc,), but this treads cautiously.
- Negatives: It is unnecessarily long, doesn’t feel like it, but still very long.
- My grade : B
Lots of spoilers, please don’t read if you haven’t watched it and want to watch it.
I guess this is the first time I am writing about a TV show here.
(So yes, I caved and watched Breaking Bad. And god am I happy about it or what! I watched it like a maniac - watching about 6-8 hours of it every day. Work and watching this - was everything I did in the past week or so. And obviously, I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms and doing everything I possibly can to snap out of it - starting to watch a transition tv show, games on the phone, unending reddit posts, reading/watching multiple interviews with Vince Gilligan, all possible poetic interpretations and references, Moby Dick even! So, there’s that.)
Breaking bad is a dark and uncomfortable TV show. It has its share of fantasy and violence - both of which satisfy to their own end if someone is looking for just that. Just that, executed flawlessly would have made breaking bad a hit show. But they are so minor (IMO) in the light of the deeply dark story that the show is telling.
Breaking Bad is the story of one man, Walter White, whose pride and insurmountable ego combined with his brilliant mind destroys himself and everyone who associates with him. There were strings of episodes where I was really angry with him. (With a character on a fucking Tv show! I can’t count the number of times I googled things like “Walter White is an ass”, “Walter white is a moron” etc.) Many are somehow of the opinion that it is a show about how a “regular” guy evolves into someone completely evil. I don’t agree with that. His dickishness just reached its peak and he did things he never imagined he would do. But Walter White’s ego was his biggest vice. For always. So, this is just a story of how things go from bad to worse for everyone - some just very innocent people (Oh Andrea! Oh Brock! Oh Donald margolis! Oh Jesse Pinkman!) It is not very real - the emotions, the pain, the suffering are all real - but egomaniacs like WW being lucky all the frikking time is as real as me becoming the president of the United States. But that it is not real doesn’t change the point Vince Gilligan is trying to make - “actions have consequences”. And he does a damn good job!
Now, there are problems that stem from telling a story about one person and being concerned only about him. There is very little room for other characters to grow. They all exist to serve WW’s ulterior ends. Everyone is easily manipulated, everything lines up just right, problems become smaller and bigger as and when he needs them to be. It makes the story air-tight, certainly, but it also makes it one-dimensional. (the whole Skyler arc - she is suddenly an accomplice? she’s suddenly disillusioned? AZ gang boys- Declan et al - they were impressed by WW because he raised his voice?! Mike allowed Walt to do the one last thing that was so important to him and he didn’t have a fucking gun?!, Walter Jr. as a complete non-entity)
There are tons of small, brilliant and poetic moments in the show. This episode “the fly” is one of the best episodes that I have ever seen on any tv show. That is one of the rare “real” moments for Walt. Then there’s that bit where they show the inside of Gale Boetticher’s apartment and all the knick-knacks there, Gus Fring adjusting his tie as his face falls off - those are examples of just perfect, stylistic execution.
The motifs - all the rock songs, the vast desert landscape, the heat- they all come together so well, every single episode. The story is so put together and focused. It is so easy for the directors to go astray especially when exploitative plots are involved, but here, they were telling one story from the start to finish!
Another minor problem that I had with the show was the pacing. Not that it was too slow, but the scaling of time was rather inconsistent. Some events happened in fast forward and some so slow that my skin crawled,
Overall, it was a very good show. I wouldn’t say it was the greatest I ever saw, but it was certainly one of the better ones!
It has also gotten me inspired to read Moby Dick and MacBeth, so go figure =)