In the Heart of the Sea
For those of you who like your films big, In the Heart of the Sea is certainly on your wavelength.
Based on the story that inspired Herman Melville’s classic novel, Moby Dick, this film follows Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth), first officer of an American whaling ship, his inexperienced captain, George Pollard Jr (Benjamin Walker), and the rest of the crew on an ill-fated journey that sees their ship, the Essex, sunk by an enormous sperm whale.
The sense of scale is epic, as is the spectacle, with man shown to be rather small in the face of nature’s fury, present here in the form of both intense storms and one incredibly angry sperm whale.
Chris Hemsworth plays his character with square-jawed masculinity, like the John Wayne of the waves, alongside the film’s other standout performer – the whale, which is only ever referred to as “demon” or “the white whale”.
The result of the encounter between the two is that the crew are left stranded at sea and here the focus turns to the lengths men will go to in order to stay alive. A powerful drama, made all the more fascinating given that it is based on true events.
The Keeping Room
As the American Civil War slowly comes towards its end, sisters Augusta (Brit Marling) and Louise (Hailee Steinfeld) find themselves in a bloody battle of the sexes, forced to protect themselves from two ragged Union scouts who relentlessly plague their isolated farm. Western is a genre of film that rarely offers a woman’s perspective, so for that, The Keeping Room is worthy of praise, but there are times when director Daniel Barber takes a highbrow, arty approach, filling scenes with loaded silences and as the film progresses, screenwriter Julia Hart becomes guilty of oversimplifying matters, forcing characters to bluntly state what was previously implied – much more powerfully – by their actions.
After being refused a loan to pay for his daughter’s medical treatment at the hands of notorious gangster Francis “The Pope” Silva (Robert De Niro), Luke Vaughn (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his crew decide to rob Pope’s riverboat casino. Needless to say, things don’t go entirely to plan and the group end up hijacking a bus, which puts both the mob and the police on their tail. Whichever way you look at it, Bus 657 boils down to nothing more than a low budget thriller with a decent heist scene and not much else.
When a 23.59 train service breaks down a few kilometres from it’s destination, the passengers quickly realise that they are not alone in the British countryside. Stalked by a monster that threatens to pick them off one by one, they must confront their fears and face their attacker head on if they are to have any hope of survival.
Bollywatch: Hate Story 3
Exactly as its name suggests, Hate Story 3 is a venomous thriller that documents what happens when love turns to hate and then betrayal in the corporate world. The film stars Sharman Joshi, Zarine Khan and Karan Singh Grover, but the rumours are that Hate Story 3 has been censored for audiences in India, so don’t be surprised if the film doesn’t pan out entirely as the trailers suggest. Still, it’s fairly safe to presume you can expect plenty of loathing, lies and revenge.