There are two ways audiences can process that. One is that it becomes boring, as seemingly not much happens for long stretches of time. The other is to become immersed in the experience of the travelers, emphasizing their frustrations, their fears, their failures. Some will doubtless have the former reaction to "Meek's Cutoff," but I had the latter. Greatly enhanced by the performances of Michelle Williams and Bruce Greenwood, director Kelly Reichardt's film quietly becomes engrossing - it almost sneaks up on you.
Stephen Meek (Greenwood) is leading three families west along the Oregon Trail, all of their possessions bundled into wagons that slowly make their way. At least Meek is supposed to be leading them. Despite his best efforts at convincing the group otherwise, it becomes clear that they are lost. The rugged, sometimes brutal terrain is not a good place to lose your way. In addition to the dangers the surroundings provide, there is also the threat of Indian attack and, most dangerous, a lack of water.
The men among the group have had enough of Meek's meandering direction; at one point they debate whether they should kill him. They don't, though, because what would they do without him?
Meek knows he's on thin ice, particularly with Emily Tetherow (Williams), one of the wives. More direct than the other wives - indeed, more direct than the husbands - she doesn't bother to hide her disdain for Meek. She is interested in results: a clear path, safety, water. Much like the film, Williams' performance is patient, revealing itself slowly. Reichardt pays much attention to the women on the trip (Zoe Kazan and Shirley Henderson play the other two). But Emily eventually emerges as the strongest character, man or woman, of the bunch.
Along the way the group captures a Native American (Ron Rondeaux). Fearful, ignorant, the men beat him, mostly because they think they are supposed to - they don't know what else to do with him. It is Emily who realizes that, instead of posing a danger to the group, he is the best hope for its salvation. The protests of Meek, still talking a good game, do not dissuade her.
A magical-realist gem harking back to "The Purple Rose of Cairo," "Midnight" is a bit thin and glib to call a masterpiece - at 75, Allen is unlikely to have another one of those in him - but it's still a delicious trifle for anyone who has ever dreamt of bantering about the cinema with Luis Buñuel or lounging at the piano to hear Cole Porter sing "Let's Do It."
Wilson, best known for playing the rakish pretty boy in such lowbrow comedies as "Wedding Crashers," stars as Gil Pender, a successful screenwriter who refers to himself as a "Hollywood hack" and is stuck in revision mode on his Great American Novel. He's in Paris with his blandly attractive fiancee, Inez (Rachel McAdams), who's far more interested in his ability to pay for a Malibu mansion than in his restless romantic spirit.
Gil endures her disdain with the chipper loyalty of a dog, though his hackles are raised when they bump into her cloying ex, Paul (Michael Sheen). He discourses on Monet at Giverny and the architecture of Versailles. He corrects the tour guide at the Musée Rodin. He is . . . the most tedious man in the world.
But he does have Gil's number. Hearing the SoCal dilettante wax poetic about la vie bohème in the Paris of yesteryear, Paul quips, "All that's missing is the tuberculosis," and diagnoses his nostalgia for the Roaring Twenties as "a flaw in the mind of people who find it difficult to cope in the present."
Then, drunk and lost at midnight, Gil is rescued by a dashing couple in a "vintage" auto who turn out to be Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and drag him along to a Jazz Age soiree.
The parade of luminaries is ridiculous and delightsome. Stein (Kathy Bates) plays literary den mother, Dalí (Adrien Brody) obsesses on the beauty of the rhinoceros, and Hemingway (Corey Stall) talks as if reading from one of his novels, terse and muscular. (His verdict on an anxious, combed-over Pablo Picasso: "He's great, but he's no Miró.")
Gil is wowed by Mrs. Fitzgerald (played by Alison Pill with a boozy, bipolar verve), but it's Picasso's mistress, Adriana (Cotillard), who becomes the symbol of all his naive dreams. Yet she is too much like Gil: Her own present is a burden and a bewilderment, and she longs for the elegance of La Belle Époque.
While the denouement is predictable, the little surprises along the way make "Midnight in Paris" a satisfying love letter not only to the City of Light but to "cultchah" itself.
Movie: Chitkabrey- The Shades of Grey 2011
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Producer Suneet Arora
Executive Producer / Co-Producer
Manish Maingi, Rajesh Kumar,
Firoz Bagban, Supratim Sen
Director Suneet Arora
Ravi Kissen...... Rocky aka Rakesh Chaubey
Rahul Singh...... Jayan Patel
Rajesh Shringapure...... Jaggi Singh
Sanjay Swaraj...... Deepak Sareen
Akshay Singh...... Edvin Verghese
Bobby Vats...... Balaji Narayanan
Divya Dwivedi...... Sandhya Sareen
Khushbhu Gupta...... Rekha Sundaram
Puja Gupta 1...... Anjali Patel
Vishwanath Chatterjee...... Buddhadeo Basu
Kuldeep Dubey...... Amaan Khan
Amit Bhardwaj...... Ajay Shankar
Jaswinder Gardner...... Fauzia Khan
Svetlana Manolyo...... Cindy
Akshharaa Gowda...... Palak
Susanna Mohan...... Kavita
Singers Sumitra Iyer
Lyricist Rajesh Kumar, Supratim Sen
Niket Pandey, Mahesh Kumar
Music Director Akshay Bafila
Cinematography K Raj Kumar
Art Sanjay Jadhav
Editor Kuldeep Mehan
Screenplay Sanjay Masoom
Vishal Vijay Kumar, Suneet Arora
Dialogue Sanjay Masoom
Costume Avesh Dadlani
Media Relations Parul Chawla
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