Sunday, July 03, 2005

War of the Worlds

I had read the H G Wells classic somewhere when I was in 8th or 9th. I wasn't that impressed by the book, particularly because I had read it after I had read The Time Machine. War of the Worlds seemed mundane science fiction to me after reading the masterpiece. What I failed to understand then that it was the very first of its genre, the alien invasion, which had long become a cliche topic for sci-fi novels.

Since I had read the book, quite a while ago I dont remember the details, but it surely had a vast story to tell. That doesn't reflect in the movie. Well when it comes to big screen adaptation, changes in the original story are inevitable, but Spielberg strays a lot. But that doesn't matter as long as the movie is worth it was made for. It starts with a typical family mumbo-jumbo. The way the story goes into the real topic is great without abrupt interruptions, the way a song pops out of nowhere in a David Dhavan movie.

The initial graphic sequence of zoomout from genes-cells-oragnism-droplet-earth is though fascinating not very novel, has inspirations from similar sequences in Spielberg's fellow friend Barry Sonnenfeld's MIB movies. The CG is absolutely mind blowing. Not a single "hurried up" shot. And it does have lot of feel n look of Spielberg's other movies like AI & Minority Report. The colossal nature of the effects makes it look all the more good. The flyovers breaking up & collapsing over a row a houses, the sinking ship, roads tearing apart...very realistic "disaster" effects. And I heard its ILM in work here too. These people are gods !

The USP of the movie however is that it strays from the title ! Yes it is a War of the Worlds, but from the perspective of a single family, not the Earth putting a big fight or something. Thats why it ends out of nowhere, when the family's struggle is over. People are left to work out themselves from some clues in the movie how "they" retreat, how one of the characters turns-up alive at the end...This type of deduction-left-to-the-intelligent movie goers is these days seen in almost all of Spielberg's & Shyamalan's movies. But it does offend hordes of movie goers, who like to have a nice movie end in an equally convincing way, as Bala put it " was fun while it lasted !"

It is noteworthy to see that Spielberg has a very intelligent grasp over the sci-fi genre. He knows what to show, how to show, what colours to use. He has the might to put the writers depiction of the future on celluloid. I felt that most in AI, when he goes in future...and keeps on going more, the way he shows the future future beings, their worlds; you get the same thrill as reading a future futuristic novel !!

Category [ _Film_ ] [ _Review_ ]

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