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February 15, 2016

Movie : Star Wars Episode VII : The Force Awakens (2015)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies, Movies — Tags: , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 5:51 pm

imageWell, this movie created so much expectations and was such a success that anything I say about this, if the least bit uncomplimentary may seem like blasphemy.  But I write my views and therefore will say what I felt when I saw the movie. The movie is not bad, but there are bits there that make no sense. Read on.

 

** Warning: There are mild spoilers in this review so if you would rather not know about some central points, please do not read further **

 

First the good stuff. I love the way how the main protagonist is a woman, and the main lead (more of that later) seems to be the real successor to the Jedi world but it is revealed at the end that the girl, Rey, is the “real” Jedi.  What a difference from the original series (especially the first three, confusingly named IV, V and VI because of chronology) where Princess Leah is just decoration and all the work is done by Luke and Hans Solo!  In the next three movies our Natalie Portman at least tries to do some of the work, but even she is no match for Rey. Nice.

 

And then everybody is talking about the lead, Finn (derived from his original number FN2187) is not a white boy as expected. Also it is doubly nice that he is a stromtrouper with a conscience. Good twists all, and very gratifying.

Another thing is the new robot they have introduced, BB88 whose cuteness factor is right up there with that of Olaf of Frozen.

And to tally up the ‘good’ side of the movie, they have been true to the spirit of the series, with the evil side rising from the ashes of the destruction of the Empire. This time, they call it First Order. Plus there is that trademark of Star Wars, where in the background or in a pub, there are tons of random alien characters moving or talking who have no central connection to the theme or the story of the movie.

So, why the warning about uncomplimentary things? There are some things that rankle. First of all, I’d go ahead and say that they have not been optimal about the cast. This was my problem in the first movie all those years ago where Luke and, to an extent, Lia, did not impress. Here Rey and Finn could have been cast better.  I admit that my criteria is simply what I imagined them to talk and emote like, and not any objective criteria, but it still does not seem somehow right. Given that this is the series, this is going to continue in the next episodes. The chief villain, Kylo Ren, also fails to impress, stood up against the likes of Darth Vader or Anakin Skywalker of the earlier movies, and definitely falls short compared to the Obi Wan Kanobi of the previous series as well.

 

And tell me why Kylo Ren is wearing a mask? His face is not disfigured, he has no reason that is explained why he needs it, and halfway through the movie, he seems to discard it. Yes, I know that he is a fan of the original Darth Vader, but come on: that is not enough reason to wear a mask all the time.

 

And the twist is that he is the son of Hans Solo and Leah. Well, this has been done, many time in the same series. It may have been impressive for many of you, but evoked a ‘ho hum’ response from me.

 

If it were not for the BB88 and a couple of redeeming features (including Hans Solo in a cameo) this movie would have been a bit more unimpressive.

 

Weighing both the good and the bad, I would say this deserves a 6/10

– – Krishna

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