Saturday, May 03, 2014

Thoughts on dirty eateries and a film

Walked past a street hawker with eyes brushing past a bevy of dishes, and rested on dirty plates tossed into a pail full of water, of extremely dubious hygiene. I figured that I've probably eaten often enough at places like that, and wondered how would this affect me. I knew that on my diet of healthy, superbly clean food, I get susceptible to falling sick in foreign countries. 

So I started eating more mamak food, and it seemed to have helped. I kinda imagined that those bacteria have resided within my system, and created a little Gang of New York in there, where regular street battles happen when new bacteria enter their turf. 

I could only hope that my boys win.

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On the brink of falling sick after manual labour, lack of rest and caffeine overload, I've been finally pushed over the edge. Thanks a lot, freezing temperatures in Midvalley's Cinema 14. (Perhaps that box of popcorn wasn't a good idea either)

Besides the point on how the temperature ravaged my health, the movie was a surprisingly delightful ride. Directed by Wes Anderson, its name was The Grand Budapest Hotel. 

His name had bounced around the periphery of my possibly-to-watch, but I'm not too familiar with his work. Only a quick IMDB check later told me that I *had* seen his films; one that would illicit some some feelings of nostalgia, because The Royal Tenenbaums was my first experience in the cinema. And from what I remembered (because it only has been twelve years ago...), he still deals with quirky characters and plays with dark themes that goes smoothly down your throat.

So, thoughts on it, and spoilers ahead.

This movie broke one preconception of what I would consider good in a film, which is something that makes a point. Possibly a reaction to the recent Hollywood offerings, but GBH proved that one could be taken in by good storytelling. The illusion is not broken, and you are instead swept away. The striking part is how it plays out as if it was a written fiction, in its exploration of people, whether you understood them or not, and in its snappy quirky way in narrating events, especially the gory bits.

Of course, the visuals were well done. Evokes a charming past, lost in time, never to be regained. Colour palette-wise... freshly muted gaudy retro? Would love to examine the palette properly, if time permits. For now, this will do. The film also utilises miniatures, and some VFX. The goal for the latter doesn't seem to be a seamless blend, but it works here.

Characters seem quite 'surface' here, but it gives you intriguing glimpses of their history. Merely unexpanded. The role of Zero is apt, because that's who is he. An observer and participant in another's life, much like Nick Carraway narrating Gatsby's life in The Great Gatsby. 

All in all, a good watch. Maybe a Wes Anderson film run would happen.


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