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Vicarious Pain

  • Rony D'costa

    Rony D'costa

    Desimartini | Updated - March 07, 2014 11:42 PM IST
    3.5DM (238 ratings)

    Verdict - it is a film I would like to preserve and show it to generations to come.

    12 Years A SlaveWatch trailerRelease date : January 31, 2014

    Cinema exists to entertain you, to take you out of your mundane existence and provide you a dreamscape for a few hours in the cold darkness of a movie hall. But then, there are some films which take the other extreme, 12 years a slave is one such film.

    It is a disturbing film to watch, it unsettles you and can make you squirm in your seat as you vicariously live through the pain and torture of Soloman Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) a free black man who was abducted and sold off to spend 12 years working as a slave being passed around from one master to another in the late 19th century.

    Working from a no holds barred script by John Ridley, Director Steve McQueen with just his third film takes a leap so high as a filmmaker, that in doing so he creates an instant classic. He opens up the wounds of the past and lays it bare naked for us the viewer to see. He doesn't shy away from showing torture at every level instead, he uses his now famous long takes style to bring you close to feeling what Soloman must have felt. When Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o) gets whipped, the blood sprinkling out of her body will splash on your face. That is the kind of intense emotions McQueen makes the viewer go through. Pain when experienced on screen can be extremely cathartic and this film made me go through such a cathartic experience. The last time I felt like this was when I saw 'The Passion of Christ'.

    In spite of dealing with such dramatic and intense emotions, McQueen along with cinematographer Sean Bobbit creates imagery that looks like a beautiful painting. Ever experienced watching a gorgeous painting that makes you cry, because hidden beneath that lovely looking exterior is something that aches at your soul? This film is visually something close to that.

    The film clearly belongs to Chiwitel Ejiofor who has given the performance of his lifetime, supported by other terrific actors like Michael Fassbender, Paul Dano and Benedict Cumberbatch but, it is Lupita Nyong'o performance that will be etched in my memory for a long time.

    What lifts the film and takes it to a different high is the background score by Hans Zimmer and the sound design. The epic feeling in the film comes through that. The sounds in the film are almost like a character that is subconsciously soothing your nerves while you are in the process of experiencing a torturous experience.

    Word of mouth - it is a film I would like to preserve and show it to generations to come. It is a disturbing watch, extremely unsettling and will make you squirm in your seat but do experience it only in theatres.

    Rating - ***** ( Exceptionally Awesome)

    Ticket Meter - worth any amount

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