Magnum Opus by Sujoy

Copyright 2007 | No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission. Mail me at :sujoy.singha[at]gmail[dot]com

Index of Movies

I have been reviewing movies for quite some time now. Here I have the index of all those which I have reviewed on this website.

Magnum Opus Index of Movie Reviews.

As you all know, I have moved to my new website

It also has movie reviews, and the Index page is given below.

OneKnightStands Movie Review Index.

Hope you enjoy reading them.


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American Gangster

This is that Gangster Magnum Opus everyone’s talking about. And if you haven’t laid your eyes upon it, you better do it soon. All because there’s Denzel Washington playing heroine magnet, Frank Lucas and Russell Crowe as Detective Ritchie Roberts. And oh btw, Ridley Scott is pulling the strings. Need anymore reason? This goes straight to the Oscars nominations list and SHALL emerge triumphant. Having said that, I’d also like to add, that this is Mr. Scott’s earnest tribute to the crafty art of Gangster mafia movies which Hollywood completely digs. From the Coppola’s Corleones, to the Sopranos to Scorsese’s Goodfellas, “American Gangster” gives you that familiar taste of the gangster movie, but wait, it isn’t that simple. The taste is familiar but at the same time, so very IRRESISTABLY SEDUCTIVE and CRISPY. Some might just term it as Godfather with Black People. I can just pity those ignorant people and hope they get their conscience back.

For the uninitiated this is based on the 1970’s real-life account of kingpin Frank Lucas, who rose from the dark and dirty slums of North Carolina to undermine the cartels of New Jersey with a freakishly innovative way of trading heroine which he discovers while he was watching a news story about the high strength heroin laying out American servicemen in war-zone Vietnam. Lucas flies directly to Bangkok to make a direct deal with the drug makers, thus cutting out every possible middleman in the mafia clan and even guaranteeing a monopoly in the purest product –Blue Magic.

Meanwhile, troubled by a failed marriage and his honesty coming across as a career obstacle in a corrupt world, Detv.Ritchie Roberts emerges as the nemesis of Frank Lucas who is investigating on the emergence of a new market leader , BLUE MAGIC, and is amazed how someone can sell a product almost twice as pure as its nearest competitor at half the price. It takes a long time for the two to face each other, but as the scenes unfold, we experience an inexplicable symmetry between the two and their working minds. Both have absolute dissimilarities, but also have a clear idea of having things done their way.

The settings and the entire dark alley backdrop of 1970s New York just makes me spellbound and I couldn’t have asked for more. Of course, that is what you can expect from Ridley Scott, an ace ad-director of the 1970s era. Many would expect the NY backdrop demands the skyline shot and the skyscrapers. But this is a movie where the action is on the streets, where there are small coffee shops with green windows and clean glass panes. The winter is freezy , and so is the cold death shots that Lucas shoots on the streets. Of course, the immediate comparison with Godfather is inevitable, as Lucas moves his family from North Carolina to New Jersey, to help him run the business. The deaths are as cold blooded as you could expect, and there’s enough of unexpected and unwanted nudity onscreen surrounded with white powder and blue pouches. And for those who complain, there’s not enough Bam-Bam here for a gangster movie, wait till the climax mammoth confrontation.

The typical gangster movie would feature boring dialogues in perfect Italian accent and long silent stares with gleaming eyes. Of course, this is not the case here. The star power of Denzel Washington takes control of the screen as though he reigned it with only his smile and the simple uttering of the words “Mah Man”. It’s been a while now since Al Pacino’s “Scarface” happened. Russell Crowe on the other hand, is the rugged cop, who doesn’t have the power stare working. But yes, even his silliest jokes and nervous appearance makes you wonder, if he is the guy who played Maximus. It’s pure onscreen fire when you see these two collide, face to face. The powerhouse performance by the duo is just so convincing enough to make this a cracking of a movie, but at the end of the day, with no disrespect to the white Oscar Winner, this is Washington’s , through and through. Not only because it is called “American Gangster”, not American Cop, but because he can say “Blue Magic is a brand, like PEPSI” and he makes me believe so.
Not to be missed by people who love good cinema. Now stand up and APPLAUD. Spare me the ratings.

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