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Picket 43 online movie review - Borderline
One more example this year of intent completely trumping execution, not at all in a bad way either.
In case you were wondering, the other example of the same this year is the overwhelmingly overrated P.K. My review on that should be on here somewhere, in case you wanted to check it for that.
In a nutshell, this one's a character story of 2 soldiers, one each from the camp opposite to the other, dealing with their feelings of loneliness, duty, honor, alienation, trust and the like. Locally, I have not seen this aspect examined to the extent this one does, and that itself is a very good, and positive sign, and hopefully its success prompt many others to follow suit and hopefully better this effort, since this one's a middling one, with many areas left unexplored, and few others that could have been done way better, but that's fodder for covering later.
The locations are simple and decent, and most of the performances match the written word in terms of characterisation.
The score was pretty decent too, and much better than most of the other works in this genre.
Now, for the negatives: - There's quite a bit of OTT (Over-the-top) acting in this one, that feels inorganic and unnatural, taking one out of the scenes where they occur. - The action choreography doesn't give one a sense of location, or proportion, and though they're not as badly setup as the gravity-defying set-pieces populating the populist marketplace, they're (shudder!) probably the next worst thing to those. - The clichés could have all been eschewed, especially in the flashback sequences. On the other hand, real-life people also seem to love being clichés, so who knows if the makers were in fact commenting on that aspect of what makes us a society. If that is the case, I can honestly say that the effort is appreciated. But somehow I don't think this one's as self-aware. - The Wagah border sequence. Thematically relevant, but goes on and on, and then for some more time. Yawn. - Lt. Col. (Insert famous name here>. Why? I thought Prithviraj Sukumaran could open a movie on his own, and that's why he was cast (not just because he can actually act). One of those mysteries, I suppose. Completely unnecessary. Detracts from both the prologue and the epilogue. The editor could've been more strict on that. How many cameos have not been excised in the service of the plot. The Ruth Wilson segments from 'A walk among the tombstones' springs to mind (though I feel she's an integral character to what makes Scudder, well, him - but I digress). - The absence of a real malicious presence in terms of a true villain, in spite of all the available options. - The potential, of this one to be a fantastic mind-game between the stock leads was never utilized, and that IS a pity, considering the potential of both actors involved. - The potential, and setup, for a very nice harmonica score. Completely wasted. - The mystery behind one of the main characters waiting across the stream for the other, for, well, a really long time, and considering the elements, some change in the character's aspect was warranted, but here's some suspension-of-disbelief schtick for you. Digest!!!
Well, I love the plot, and the (noble?) intent nevertheless, and all the points for this one stem from those aspects. Worth watching, especially on the big screen.