Rio – For the Kids…

Animated movies have been revolutionized since Pixar and 3d and advancement in technology. Rio is the latest animated movie coming out of Fox studios. It is the movie from the creators of Ice Age and its sequels and is directed by the same director Carlos Saldhana. Carlos who hails from Brazil has not left any stone unturned in showcasing his native land, its people and its culture.

Rio is actually about a rare species of Blue Macaws. Blu ( voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) is a clever blue macaw domesticated in Minnesota and has lived all his life with humans, has never seen a jungle other than books  and loves his cage. But Blu is the last of the male of its species with last of the female Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathway) in Rio,  Brazil. The story is about Blue visiting Jewel in Rio amongst the beautiful surroundings of the city Rio. The pair of Macaws meet, fight, run away, get captured by bird theives and rescued by their wonderful friends and helped by many other friendly animals and birds. The story shows every aspect of Rio’s culture, its samba dances, bike ride through its narrow bylanes, its sunny beaches, its trams and mountain peaks and adventurous people paragliding around the Jesus Christ the Redeemer Statue, some rogue guys, bird-thieves, beautiful rain forest wildlife and in the end the extravaganza of the Carnival. The movie is set to superbly crafted rhythms and is as colorful as any movie can be. The aerial sequences and dances are worth the ticket price and the overall animation is top-notch. Rio is surely a magical place and made me feel like visiting it more after watching the movie.

The movie is an enjoyable ride for the kids of all ages and although the emotional quotient is not on par with many Pixar films but it is never dull or boring at any point either. The characters are all lovable. Some of the jokes are suitable for grown up audience although none being adult in nature. Get some kids along when you watch this. It is best watched in a large movie hall full of squeaking and screaming children.

My Ratings –  7/10 for the movie and 8/10 for colorful animation and superb voice overs by the leads.

The Social Network – Become a Fan !!

Anyone who’s reading this review has a Facebook account,  well almost. Most of you would be aware  of what Facebook is and how it has changed our lives , at least a part of it in last few years. What started as a simple site about matching profiles and finding the ‘hottest’ girl on Harvard Campus has become a huge Internet giant with an approximate membership of over 500 Million people. If facebook were a country then its population would be 3rd behind China and India. Need I say more.

The Social Network is a movie based on the book ‘Accidental Billionaires’  (Here’s Link to my Review) written by Ben Mezrich. The story covers the life of young Harvard students Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Sevrin and how a simple college project became a worldwide phenomenon. It of course tells the story from the ‘other’ side i.e. not from Mark’s perspective but from Eduardo’s perspective who not only feels cheated by Mark but filed lawsuit against Mark to get what he claimed was due to him. Zuckerberg at age of 25 is the youngest billionaire in the world today and his meteoric rise thanks to a ‘project of vengeance’ is remarkably shown but as they say every rose comes with a thorns.

The movie by David Fincher is a masterpiece in art of storytelling, brilliant script,  witty dialogues, excellent acting by the leads and even supporting cast. The movie is an interesting exploration of the events that has led up to the most influential invention of today’s generation.  The movie lets the user decide on which side they are, it makes the user think. Mark’s character is shown to be arrogant and nerdy and introvert and eccentric genius and selfish at times yet its in a way sad and sympathetic. The character of Mark is shown in such a way that you feel sorry for the guy and angry at him at the same time.Mark Zuckerberg in spite of making a tool to involve 500 Million people is still a loner in the end of the movie and the last scene where he tried to befriend his ex-girlfriend makes you feel sad for the guy who has everything in the world at his feet but doesn’t have a friend to share it with.

Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg gives an Oscar worthy performance and Andrew Garfield as Eduardo matches him. Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker (of Napster fame) is excellent and watchout for Rooney Mara ( linked to the Millenium Series movies) as Erica Albright in a brief role.

The only minor issue with the film is that its highly talkative and fast moving with several flashbacks which unless you are familiar with the story or have read the book is at times difficult to follow. The film has some real witty dialogues  and  jokes but they are more relevant to an American audience than the Indian audience. Sadly, the film is not surprisingly running to empty houses as Indian audiences are not used to watching quality Hollywood cinema and prefer action and CGI effects to a real story !!

My Ratings :  8.5/10 –  Drop everything and watch this gem and Answer this – Would you add Mark Zuckerberg as your friend on Facebook?