Cinema Group - TrishnaTrishna – Monday 19 March 2010

Our group saw this film at Tyneside Cinema – the Silver Screen showing, following which there is a regular discussion group.

The cinema was nearly full for this screening which leaves no doubt that we need to book in advance for Silver Screen and turn up early too in order to get group seats together.

Our group opinion was that it was a thought-provoking film with a real insight into the Indian lifestyle.  Settings were colourful, chaotic and bustling.   Sandra’s cutting from the Sunday Times “The Indian Highway Code” sprang to mind!

The story, based on Tess of the d’Urbervilles, differed from it not only in the location and time period but in the fact that only one male is involved.   In Tess of the d’Urbervilles, there were two men, one whom Tess hated and the other she loved.   This film combined the qualities of both those males in one.   Someone in the discussion group pointed out the similarities between 19th century England and modern day India as far as acceptable moral values.   Trishna, as a character, is quite one-dimensional, much more subservient and impressionable throughout than Tess, and can’t walk away from abuse.   Tess, although innocent at first, seemed to learn from her experiences and differed from Trishna in that she neither fitted into the class she was born into nor the upper one into which her father tried to push her.   The less said about the male character in the film Trishna the better!  The denouement reflected Trishna’s descent into self-loathing and humiliating family dishonour rather than the result of any judicial retribution.

VERDICT:  Interesting – what did you think? 


Headhunters | Cinema GroupHeadhuntersTyneside Cinema 10 April 2012

Headhunters has been billed as a possible cult classic.  We voted it 8/10

Our group generally felt that the storyline and basis for the conflict was improbable, with weak reasoning given for the extreme, though riveting, violent action with nice twists and turns, delivered with a spot of black humour, which takes up most of the film.

The Villain wants to infiltrate the Hero’s recruitment company as CEO to gain access to its technology.   That was the reason given unless I missed something.  But why he should want to do that when his own company has such amazing technology of its own, I don’t know.  They allegedly created GPS and discovered micro-tracking systems, which comes in handy.

The ultimate conflict between baddy and goody is wildly entertaining and gruesome, with plenty of gasps, cringes and the odd titter from us.  It was nail-biting, with “jump in your seat” moments.

The Hero, not a likeable person to begin with, “finds himself” during his trials, and not to give too much away (although maybe I am?) is transformed into Mr Nice Guy, happy with a simpler life-style.

Verdict: A good enjoyable thriller despite flaws

What did you think about Headhunters?

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – Monday 23 April 2012

Salmon Fishing

Rating 9/10

The Group loved the film and found it both uplifting and thought provoking.   The Sheikh who wants to bring salmon fishing to the Yemen talked of “having faith” and that was a touching theme throughout the film.  The Sheikh is the catalyst in the film: a knowing and spiritual man, with plenty of money.

George F hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that “faith can move mountains, but money can do it better”.

Ewan McGregor as Fred Jones, played his part to perfection; he is very believable as a somewhat boring and inflexible sort, bordering on having Asperger’s Syndrome, yet very endearing.  The Yemen Salmon project is forced upon him by the PM’s spin doctor.   From dismissing the project out of hand, he begins to learn to have faith in the project, in himself and in his future, and eventually makes decisions appropriate to his changing outlook.  He even has faith in the farmed salmon reverting to type and swimming upriver to spawn. Fred’s humour and bearing is low key throughout.   In comparison, Civil Servants’ machinations are stereotypically silly and crass!

Some of the references to angling and anglers appealed, e.g. the Civil Servants unsuccessful efforts to acquire wild salmon … George F particularly liked and related to a Civil Servant’s comment about fishermen tending to go berserk if a canoeist in a fluorescent jacket passes by! … the PM’s spin doctor relishes the thought of appealing to 2 million anglers/voters … etc.

The extremes of climate and topography between Yemen and Scotland were naturally a source of concern for the Salmon project, but there were plenty of opportunities to enjoy the magnificent contrasting scenery.

I approached this film with some trepidation, fearing it might follow the book of the same name closely, but thankfully, the film is much more palatable and the storyline simplified.  I think I was the only one to shed a few tears, but then I always get emotional when a film is touching and I feel empathy for characters and situations.  The book certainly did not make me feel that way!

Verdict:  A wonderful feel-good film

Did you see this film? What did you think?