Video Watch

20 May

Video Watch

This fortnight at

Original Sin

Cast: Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie, Thomas Jane, Jack Thompson

Director: Michael Cristofer

Screenplay: Michael Cristofer

Based on the novel Waltz Into Darkness by Cornell Woolrich

Cinematography: Rodrigo Prieto

DVD: Rs. 499

The movie opens with one of the most famous pouts in film history saying: “This is not a love story, but this is a story about love.” Watching this movie in the theatre, it was difficult not to be overwhelmed by Angelina Jolie’s bee
-stung lips. We have all seen stunning opening shots that effectively tell you in the shortest possible time what to expect over the next two hours.

And this shot of Ms Jolie’s wonderful mouth tells us to get ready for a hot-house thriller. Produced by Hyde Park entertainment, our very movie moghul, Ashok Amritraj’s company, “Original Sin” is based on Cornell Woolrich’s novel, “Waltz Into Darkness.”

Set in Havana in 1880, the film tells the story of a rich coffee plantation owner Louis Durand, who decides it is time to get himself a wife, who is “loving and kind and young enough to bear children.” Louis gets himself a mail order bride from the States, Julia Russell.

Louis sets out to the meet the boat Julia is coming on and gets his first surprise. Unlike the plain Jane in the photograph she sends Louis, Julia is a stunner. She explains that she did not want Louis to be taken in just by her good looks. It is confession time for Louis as well and he explains unlike what he said in the letters, he not the clerk in a coffee house, rather he owns the firm. Julia comments: “Well, then we have something in common. We are both not to be trusted.”

And so begins a tale of love, lust, betrayal and deceit. Louis is totally enamoured by his new wife. The fairy-tale wedding comes to a shrieking halt when Julia vanishes with all Louis’s money. As he obsessively hunts her down, he uncovers the not-so-savoury details about Julia .

And then there are plots and counterplots, overheated melodrama, shootings, poisonings, lies, half-truths, deaths and near-deaths, prison terms and executions, all culminating in completely-unbelievable third act — not that the first two went anywhere close to reality.

Had the leads been anyone else but the ruggedly handsome Antonio Banderas and the luscious Ms Jolie, the film would have been easily dismissed as one of those B-grade erotic thrillers that run in shady theatres with an extended run on DVD.

However, the A-list cast, bring a special luminance to the film. And as they are having fun making the movie, mouthing all those cheesy lines, you are helplessly drawn along for the ride. Incidentally, most of the pre-publicity for the movies was about the amount of digital work that needed to be done to erase the tattoos from Jolie’s body for the nude scenes, which there is a lot of.

The acting is nothing to write home about. Banderas and Jolie need to look good which they do effortlessly. There is not much emotional investment in their characters as they strut about wearing period clothes or nothing at all. Thomas Jane is an incredibly two-dimensional villain who gets to kiss both Jolie and Banderas. The film is shot handsomely with bleached frames and dark foggy stations.

The DVD comes with no extras, which is unfortunate as it would have been fun to hear Jolie, Banderas and writer-director Michael Cristofer give some deep and meaningful reason for why the leads needed to be without clothes for considerable periods of time.


Hindu On Net

5 Responses to “Video Watch”

  1. online movies April 9, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    i am going to have to check these films out

  2. Autumn Washington June 22, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    online movies are cool but i wish the quality were better.:'”

  3. Alex Long September 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    i love to watch online movies even if the quality is not superb compared to dvds.*-

  4. Hamster Cages  October 13, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    online movies are guite good but it takes a lot of bandwidth just to watch them,”.

  5. Skin Moisturizers : October 25, 2010 at 4:28 am #

    online movies are cool, they might not have very high quality but at least you can watch lots of em “`’

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