Movies reviewed this week: Pelé: Birth of a Legend, Money Monster, Warcraft, Born to Dance and Bollywatch: King Liar.
Pelé: Birth of a Legend
Pelé is the legend who changed football forever. So any biopic about the Brazilian icon has to be worth a look, especially considering where this year’s Olympics will be held. In this, his extraordinary life is brought to the screen and it’s a rhapsody of action, colour and raw emotion. Pelé fought his way out of the slums of Sao Paulo to lead Brazil to its first World Cup victory in 1958 at just 17. The film kicks off with that moment when the great man (played by Kevin de Paula) strides out onto the pitch and into history. From there, the film flashes back to his impoverished childhood in which he and his friends steal peanuts to buy footballs. After being talent-spotted in the street, Pele has fresh battles ahead with officials who find his wildly creative style of playing a little hard to fathom. With vibrant cinematography and slick camera work, Pele’s incredible journey (and goal-scoring genius) makes for a highly uplifting film that also has something to say about life chances, community and aspiration. Directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, with a foot-tapping soundtrack score from A.R. Rahman.
Review by Nikita Lobo
Born to Dance
Tu Kaea (Tia Maipi) is a teenaged boy from Auckland, New Zealand, with a very dull summer job at a recycling centre. He’s a bit nifty on his feet though and dreams of being a professional hip-hop dancer despite the protestations of his disapproving military dad John Tui (Zack). A charming coming-of-age movie even though the aspiring dancer in straightened circumstances theme has rather been done to death, and this is certainly no Billy Elliott. Directed by Tammy Davis.
Financial TV host Lee Gates (George Clooney) and his producer Patty Fenn (Julia Roberts) find their studio at the mercy of an irate investor who has lost his life savings thanks to one of Gates’s tip-offs. Kyle (Jack O’ Connell) is sporting an explosive-backed vest not to mention a serious grudge, and takes the whole television crew hostage. The sheer box-office wattage of the leads and the director (Jodie Foster) make this a film that packs a punch, and even more so in these uncertain times in the West.
The tranquil realm of Azeroth is on the brink of war as its civilisation faces a fearsome race of invaders, namely orc warriors fleeing their dying home to take over another. Two heroes, one from each side, are set to battle against one another; the result of which will decide the fate of their families, their people, and their home. It’s a likeable adventure movie, in 3D, and directed by Duncan Jones.
King Liar (Comedy)
Sathya Narayanan (Dileep) is an impulsive conman who has fallen in love with Anjali (Madonna Sebastian), an aspiring fashion model. Using all the most devious tricks in the book, he tries to get her work with one of India’s top fashion houses. Some of the situations are so mind-boggingly silly and so obviously played for laughs, you’ll either split your sides or cringe, so this is a (long) comedy that you will either love or hate. However, Dileep fans will love it. The film marks a comeback (after 22 years) by director duo Siddique and Lal but it’s a disappointing one. In Malayalam, with subtitles.