Daily archives "October 1, 2013"

Diana *

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Run Time: 113 mins Cert: 12A

Synopsis: Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, the biopic covers the final two years of Princess Diana’s life and her relationships with Hasnat Khan and Dodi Fayed.

 

The film begins with Diana’s (Naomi Watts) divorce from her husband Prince Charles in 1995. The film mainly focuses on Diana’s two-year relationship with cardiac surgeon Hasnat Khan and the issues that led to its failure before touching briefly on her final relationship with Dodi Fayed.

 

The script is poorly written and the dialogue is forced and sugary. Naomi Watts gives a good performance but is limited by the script. While her appearance and mannerisms are similar to those of Diana, her lines consist of weak attempts at humour, regular self pity and dramatic declarations of love that wouldn’t be out of place in a soap opera.

 

Naveen Andrews is also pleasant enough to watch but his character seems flat and underdeveloped while the supporting cast are bland and easily forgotten.

 

The film is very safe in its depiction of events. Charles is never seen and her relationship with her sons is ignored apart from a few lines about their lack of contact. Her relationships with Khan and Fayed are also portrayed in a simplistic, cut and dried way. The former feels like a badly written romance novel while the latter is portrayed as nothing more than a media stunt to make Khan jealous.

 

The ending is rather cheesy and feels more like a soap opera than a biopic. Overall, “Diana” is one of the worst movies of 2013.

 

Reviewed by Lesley Logan

The Call ****

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Run Time: 94 mins                             Cert: 15

 

Synopsis: When 911 dispatcher Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) makes a mistake with tragic consequences, she vows she will never take a call again. However when teenager Casey (Abigail Breslin) is kidnapped she gets back on the line to fight for the caller’s life.

 

The film begins in a 911 call centre in which Jordan (Halle Berry) is working. After a careless mistake resulting in a caller’s death, she stops working on the phones. Six months later, teenager Casey Welson (Abigail Breslin) is kidnapped by a man named Michael Anderson (Michael Eklund) in a shopping centre car park. She calls 911 from the boot of his car and Jordan takes over the call.

 

The story is well written and has a number of twists. The majority of the movie takes place in real time and follows the lengthy phone call that takes place between the lead characters and while events do occur, the main thing that keeps the viewer’s attention is the anticipation and suspense.

 

Halle Berry’s performance is by far her best in recent years. Her character seems very human. She makes mistakes and suffers emotionally but is also determined to make things right. This makes Jordan a character the audience can relate to and adds depth to the movie.

 

Abigail Breslin also gives a great performance. Despite being young and inexperienced, Casey has strong survival instincts and fights even when death seems certain. She and Berry work well together and the trust established between them is a key element in the story.

 

Michael Eklund is both scary and convincing as deranged kidnapper Michael. His motivation for kidnapping the teenager is unclear and keeps the viewer guessing until the end.

 

Despite a promising start and middle, “The Call” loses its way in the third act. While there are some good twists, the last 20 minutes seem all over the place and the ending is disappointing.

 

Reviewed by Lesley Logan