Connect with us

Reviews

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar Is Wes Anderson’s Delightful Take On Roald Dahl’s Sweet Story

Published

on

Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar in Roald Dahl's 'The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar' (Netflix)

Roald Dahl and Wes Anderson have both left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of generations. Dahl’s timeless stories have enchanted readers for decades, while Anderson’s groundbreaking films have pushed the boundaries of cinematic storytelling. Their unique talents and shared appreciation for the power of literature have now converged in Anderson’s latest masterpiece, the modern short film adaptation of Dahl’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.

Anderson, known for his extraordinary attention to detail and distinctive visual style, brings Dahl’s adult-friendly tale to life in a truly captivating way. With a star-studded cast that includes Ralph Fiennes, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dev Patel, and Ben Kingsley, the film stays true to the author’s original text, with the actors delivering their lines directly from the page. This dedication to the literary essence of the story sets the stage for Anderson’s exceptional storytelling.


Dev Patel as Dr. Chatterjee, Sir Ben Kingsley as Imdad Khan and Richard Ayoade as Dr. Marshall in Roald Dahl’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Cr. Netflix ©2023

Following his previous successful adaptation of Dahl’s work with the Oscar-nominated The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Anderson is poised to once again captivate audiences with The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. In a mere 37 minutes, this short film manages to deliver a delightful and heartwarming experience that can beat any full-length feature film. The commitment and power of the A-list cast shine throughout, ensuring a resounding success on multiple levels.

From the very beginning, Fiennes embodies Dahl himself, narrating the tale as he seamlessly transitions between the comfort of his home and the picturesque outdoors.  By applying freeze-frame techniques and cleverly staged tableaus, Fiennes and his fellow actors walk through different sets that are magically transformed by on-screen “stagehands” right before our eyes. This dynamic interplay between reality and cunningness is a testament to Anderson’s growing fascination with the theatrical aspects of filmmaking.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar not only captures the imaginative essence found in Dahl’s works but also showcases the filmmaker’s mastery of visual storytelling. Each scene is meticulously crafted, with Anderson’s staging drawing heavily on theatrical influences. Costume changes happen seamlessly on camera, resulting in Ben Kingsley’s Khan humorously questioning the whereabouts of his mustache. Furthermore, practical effects, including a delightful box trick, add to the mesmerizing experience of witnessing the film’s creation unfold before our eyes.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar and Ralph Fiennes as the policeman in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Cr. Netflix ©2023

Anderson’s choice to create a short film rather than a feature-length production proves to be a stroke of genius. The pacing remains consistently engaging, ensuring that viewers remain captivated from start to finish. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is a visual feast, an entertaining experience, and, above all, a whole lot of fun.

When it comes to acting, it’s so hard to pick a standout because whenever an actor comes on the screen, he or she gives a performance that stays with you. Benedict Cumberbatch is magnetic in his portrayal of Henry Sugar and mesmerises you with a performance that shows his acting prowess. Ben Kingsley shows us why he is one of the greatest actors of all time. His monologues are truly special. Meanwhile, Dev Patel and Richard Ayoade are the magical new entrants in Anderson’s world of magical stories. Both of them are brilliant in their respective roles.

On the other hand, Ralph Fiennes showcases his versatility by embodying Roald Dahl in the most fantastic way possible.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Cr. Netflix ©2023

Roald Dahl’s rich storytelling finds new life through Wes Anderson’s innovative cinematic techniques. Their creative collaboration results in a short film that is visually pleasing, emotionally compelling, and brimming with the charm and magic that have made both artists legends in their respective fields. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is not to be missed, as it brings together the best of Dahl and Anderson, leaving audiences enraptured by its undeniable allure. Experience this enchanting journey, and let yourself be swept away by the power of imagination.

FILM RATING

Reviews

‘The Bikeriders’ Review | Jeff Nichols Explores The Motorcycle Subculture In A Magnificent Crime Drama

Published

on

Tom Hardy and Austin Butler in a still from 'The Bikeriders' (Focus Features)

Filmmaker Jeff Nichols is known for his unambiguous Southern flavor and organic character. His latest venture The Bikeriders is no different. The film, his first feature film since 2016’s Loving, marks his most ambitious project in terms of scope and budget. Inspired by Danny Lyon’s 1968 photojournalistic book, Nichols explores the gritty and nostalgic 1960s motorcycle subculture, striking a balance between realism and sentimentality.

The movie begins with Benny (Austin Butler) sitting inside a bar and enjoying a drink. That’s when two men come to him and tell him that he needs to take off his jacket because “no colors are allowed” in this bar. When Benny denies taking it off, they get into a fight. Although Benny says nothing to them initially, as soon as one of them tries touching his bike he loses his mind and attacks one of them with his knife. However, he gets smashed by a shovel on the back of his head. This is how the story begins, but as it progresses, we get to know that it is highly inspired by Lyon’s book, which primarily focuses on the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club. In the movie, we see Lyonn talking to Benny’s wife, Kathy (Jodie Comer). Spanning over nearly a decade, Kathy opens up about her experiences with the Vandals, a Chicago-based motorcycle club that gained prominence in the 1960s.

Austin Butler as Benny in ‘The Bikeriders’ (Focus Features)

Nichols’ storytelling prowess shines through in The Bikeriders, as he draws inspiration from Lyon’s book, which documented the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club. The film deconstructs the romanticized view of this era while embracing its nostalgic allure, creating a longing for a bygone time viewed through a critical lens. The story follows the club’s evolution from a tight-knit brotherhood to a violent, mob-like network influenced by the era’s shifting social and political landscapes. At the core of The Bikeriders are three captivating characters: Benny, Kathy, and the club’s leader, Johnny (Tom Hardy). Although the film mainly revolves around the aforementioned characters, it also talks about the time when motorcycle clubs were not known for criminal activities. These people were not just known for their riding, but for their rebellious nature and how they supported each other. However, things went downhill when more and more new members continued to join the club, making it a haven for young criminal minds.

As soon as the group starts to expand, the camaraderie between the original members begins to crumble, turning the story into a darker mob drama with a biker twist. The escalating violence strips away the early romanticism, plunging the audience into a grim reality. The film’s strength lies in its fabulous writing as it follows these larger-than-life figures. Nichols didn’t shy away from showing two very different facets of their lives and dive deeper into the dark side of these motorcycle clubs. Meanwhile, the character development makes the viewing experience better. The pacing varies from moment to moment, but it never pulls the film back or makes the story look directionless. Every moment in this story means something and adds to the narrative.

Jodie Comer as Kathy in ‘The Bikeriders’ (Focus Features)

Acting-wise, Jodie Comer and Austin Butler are stunning as Kathy and Benny. Comer’s portrayal of Kathy is multi-dimensional, showcasing a woman navigating a testosterone-driven world with strength and vulnerability. Her evolution throughout the movie is splendid and conveys a wide range of emotions with utter precision. Despite being the sole female lead in focus, Jodie Comer steals the show with her commanding screen presence. Meanwhile, Butler is magnetic, embodying a smoldering bad-boy image that captivates the audience. He effectively balances Benny’s intense loyalty to the club with his unpredictable nature, creating a character that captivates everyone’s minds. However, it’s Tom Hardy who steals the show as the club’s leader, Johnny. He is fierce, yet soft. Hardy exudes charisma and authority, making him an alluring focal point of the film. His portrayal feels grounded, immersing himself in the world of the 1960s motorcycle subculture depicted in the film. The actor’s commitment to the role enhances the film’s realism and credibility.

Additionally, the film boasts of a superb supporting cast, including Michael Shannon as Zipco, Boyd Holbrook as Cal, Norman Reedus as Funny Sonny, Damon Harriman as Brucie, and Emory Cohen as Cockroach. All the aforementioned actors are brilliant in their respective roles and bring authenticity to the story.

The film is also rich in its technical aspects.  The sound, cinematography, costume design, and vibrant 60s soundtrack enhance the movie’s immersive quality. Nichols draws viewers in by initially showing how cool everything is and then confronts them with its harsh, violent reality. Overall, The Bikeriders is another win for Jeff Nichols and his exceptional storytelling. It is a dramatic and immersive journey into the tumultuous world of the outlaw motorcycle club, the Vandals MC. The Bikeriders offers a riveting look at the culture that might have lost its spark.

‘The Bikeriders’ is scheduled to release in theatres on June 21.

FILM RATING
Continue Reading

Reviews

Review | The Final Serve: ‘Federer: Twelve Final Days’ Offers an Intimate Look at a Tennis Great’s Goodbye

Published

on

Federer_Roger
Roger Federer in a still from 'FEDERER: TWELVE FINAL DAYS' (Prime Video)

We have seen a lot of legendary players in the game of Tennis, but only a few have ever matched the charisma of Roger Federer. Apart from winning Grand Slam tournaments, he went on to win people’s hearts every time he stepped inside the court for a game. However, when the Swiss Tennis great announced that he would be taking retirement from the sport, everyone felt it and knew that one of the greatest Tennis players of all time was bidding farewell to the game that he loved so much. So, in the final 12 days of Federer being a Tennis star, directors Asis Kapadia and Joe Sabia followed the sporting icon and witnessed how Federer prepared himself for his last set of matches. Now, the moments captured by the duo have been turned into a documentary called ‘FEDERER: TWELVE FINAL DAYS’ in which fans get to see how the legend said goodbye to the game of Tennis.

(Photo Credit: Prime Video)

From the very beginning, you get to know that you are going to see something special. One of the documentary’s greatest strengths is its unprecedented access to Roger Federer during the pivotal moment in his life. The filmmakers follow him closely and offer viewers an insider’s perspective on his thoughts and feelings as he prepares to bid adieu to something that has defined his life for over two decades. Meanwhile, the candid interviews with Federer reveal an honest man, and at times, vulnerable. His love for the game, his insights into his career, and his contemplation of what comes next are both enlightening and deeply moving.

However, some of the most fascinating things take place in the documentary when viewers get to see Federer’s wife Mirka talking about him and his love for the sport. She is poignant and offers a glimpse into the personal sacrifices and shared experiences that have marked their journey together. On the other hand, the interviews of his chief rivals – Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray – add depth and richness to the story, providing a multifaceted view of Federer’s impact on the game and the people who watch him play. Their stories tell you how much they respect each other and the camaraderie they share while being fierce competitors. Kapadia and Sabia, known for their masterful storytelling and ability to delve deep into their subjects’ psyches, have crafted a documentary that transcends the boundaries of a typical sports film. They capture not just the athlete, but the man behind the icon, providing a holistic view of Federer as he navigates the emotional terrain of retirement.  Visually, ‘FEDERER: TWELVE FINAL DAYS’ is stunning. The use of archival footage, and blending it seamlessly with new material to create a compelling story. The scenes, especially, from the Laver Cup are really powerful and beautifully capture the intensity of Federer’s final games.

But not everything about this film is celebratory. Certain moments would make you cry because there is a sense of melancholy as Federer tries to grapple with the fact that he indeed is stepping away from the game that gave him so much. Even with so many positive things, some moments do feel like melodramatic. There are moments when the pacing slows, and the narrative feels somewhat repetitive. Nevertheless, these are minor speedbumps in what is otherwise a beautifully crafted documentary.

Overall, ‘FEDERER: TWELVE FINAL DAYS’ is a captivating documentary that chronicles the journey of one of the greatest athletes of all time. Even if you are not a fan of Roger Federer, you should see this documentary to feel why he was and will always be a LEGEND.

‘Federer: Twelve Final Days’ premiered on Tribeca and will stream exclusively on Prime Video on June 20.

FILM RATING
Continue Reading

Reviews

‘Tell That to the Winter Sea’ Review | A Heartfelt Exploration of Love and Friendship with Outstanding Performances by Greta Bellamacina and Amber Anderson

Published

on

Tell That to the Winter Sea
Greta Bellamacina and Amber Anderson in a still from 'Tell That to the Winter Sea' (Kaleidoscope)

It takes time to understand that life is all about learning, growing, and changing. It’s about heartbreaks and dealing with them. Every stage brings new challenges and makes you think if you’ll ever reach your desired destination. In Jaclyn Bethany’s reminiscent drama, Tell That to the Winter Sea, this sentiment is distinctly captured through the touching journey of two characters, Jo (Greta Bellamacina) and Scarlet (Amber Anderson), who find themselves grappling with unresolved pasts.

There have been several movies around female friendships or relationships, but only a few have captured their essence, and Tell That to the Winter Sea is among them. The profoundly moving film starts with bride-to-be Jo (Bellamacina) reading a book while waiting for her school-time friend and first love, Scarlet (Anderson), on a girls’ trip to a country manor. Soon, we get to know that this trip is meant to celebrate Jo’s upcoming marriage. However, as soon as they meet, this trip becomes a moving journey of emotional discovery and unresolved feelings. Even with the festive atmosphere created by the rest of the group, Jo and Scarlet can’t help but deal with the lingering feelings from their shared past.

Tell That to the Winter Sea

Greta Bellamacina as Jo in a still from ‘Tell That to the Winter Sea’ (Kaleidoscope)

Directed by Jaclyn Bethany, the movie does a magnificent job of navigating the delicate terrain of past and present emotions through the eyes of its central characters. One of the primary reasons why this movie feels so personal is because of how authentic it looks. In many ways, we have endured heartbreak in love. Sometimes, we move on, but other times, we keep looking for answers by revisiting those moments. In Tell That to the Winter Sea, both central characters try to show that they have moved on, but in reality, it’s just the opposite and Bethany shows that with utter precision. Meanwhile, the script is a delicate blend of heartfelt dialogue and introspective moments. It’s fair to say that the script is the soul of this powerful drama. The writing shines in its ability to convey the unspoken and unresolved feelings between Jo and Scarlet. Their interactions are loaded with a glaring sense of nostalgia and unspoken yearning, capturing the beautiful essence of what it means to reconnect with your first love after years apart.

Another stunning aspect of the movie is its mesmerizing cinematography. The beautiful frames wonderfully complement the emotional landscape of the story, making the viewers feel like they are a part of the characters’ journey.

Acting-wise, both the film’s central characters are extraordinary in their respective roles. Greta Bellamacina as Jo is breathtaking as she brings a deep emotional resonance to her character and magnificently captures the complexities of love, friendship, and personal growth. One of the most striking things about her performance is how she makes viewers feel about her internal conflicts and struggles. It feels so real, raw, and authentic. She is truly one of the finest actors we have in the industry now. Meanwhile, Amber Anderson shows a wide emotional range and effectively portrays the complexities of her character’s feelings and experiences. Her performance feels deeply connected to her character’s past and present, making the audience empathize with her journey. The chemistry between both stars is mesmerizing, making their shared moments both powerful and poignant.

Tell That to the Winter Sea

Amber Anderson as Scarlet in a still from ‘Tell That to the Winter Sea’ (Kaleidoscope)

The supporting cast – Josette Simon, Jessica Plummer, Tamsin Egerton, and Bebe Cave – is equally compelling and adds depth to the story.

Overall, Tell That to the Winter Sea is a beautifully crafted film that offers a heartwarming and introspective look at love, feelings, and friendship. The film explores themes of the passage of time, and the bittersweet nature of moving forward is handled with a sensitive approach. It is a deeply affecting and memorable cinematic experience. For those who appreciate a thoughtful and emotionally resonant film, Tell That To The Winter Sea is an immersive watch.

Tell That to the Winter Sea will be released in UK theatres on May 31.

FILM RATING
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Popular Now

Advertisement
Advertisement

TRENDING NOW

Trending

CoastalHouseMedia.com is a property of Coastal House LLC. © 2012 All Rights Reserved. Images used on this website are registered trademarks of their respective companies/owners.

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x