Wednesday, April 26, 2006
When Peter Jackson's King Kong released in India late last year, I was preparing to leave Hyderabad for 6 months and move to Bangalore. I had exactly 15 days of an interim in Hyderabad during my relocation from Pilani to Bangalore. In the hurried preparations for the relocation I somehow managed to miss the movie in Hyderabad. It was also helped by the fact that King Kong released In Telugu first and for a week while the whole of India (or whatever...) was watching the Kong fall in love with Ann Darrow, fight Dinosaurs et al.. we Hyderabadi s were fuming at what was happening to us.
When the movie finally did relaese in Hyderabad, I had two days left in the city. The move to Bangalore was tumultous. It was the first time I was living alone in a city and it took me for some time settle down. I made a few valiant attempts at catching the movie, but my limited knowledge of Bangalore along with my inherent laziness came in the way. Not that I did not visit PVR or Inox - but the Rs 150 tag attched to every movie ticket held me back. This can be bewildering but in my defense, the last 10 years of my life have been split between Hyderabad, where a movie ticket would cost you a maximum of 60 bucks, and Pilani, where the same would cost you 20 bucks and couple of hours in a bugridden, paan stain decorated and smelly Dabba as we call it there.
Before I could turn into an Inox and PVR hardenned movie goer, who scoffs at the lowly prices in his hometown, the Kong departed from the theatres.
Now I would not have undergone the pains of detailing how I happened to miss the movie if something hadn't happened to change all that. And indeed it did. On my last trip to Forum I was passing by the Landmark shop when a huge cutout of the Kong looking pissed caught my eye. On closer scrutiny I found out that King Kong had released on CD!!! And my first non perishable ( call it non - food if you like) purchase was on the cards -it cost me Rs 300 but boy oh boy was it worth it!!!!
Well as a kid I remember very very vaguely watching the original - nothing much, part of the excitement was perhaps to relive that memory - and I was not dissapointed.
The movie was super!!! I have a habit of loving movies that everyone else hates (Daredevil is a glaring example) but with this one I think I am on safe grounds.
The movie is a classic adventure retold. All the actors do a pretty good job. Naomi Watts in Ann Darrow's role is an epitome of womanhood in all its fragility and strength (my lame attempt at poetry..heh heh). Standing out also was Jack Black's portrayal of the manic movie director Carl Denam.
But if you watch King Kong, hoping to see brilliant acting you'd be wasting your time and a seat in the movie theatre. The special effects are out of the world. The scenes involving King Kong are hair raisingly brilliant. Skull Island,the Kongs home, is picturised in a brilliant manner in the movie. The natives were terrifyingly ugly, the wall around the island gigantically forbidding and the hook that is used to lower Darrow into the jungle barbarically grotesque. All in all it was the "larger than life" ness of the movie that gets to you. ( Although it is overdone at times, gigantic leeches????)
Now to the Kong himself. The Giant Ape is simply marvelous considering he was created out of a computer. Peter Jackson makes him a raw, magnified version of what every man is somewhere deep inside, the flaws are raw but so are the virtues. His fight with the multiple Tyrannosaurus Rex s in order to protect Ann is awesome, epecially the last part of it were The Kong brutally vanquishes the last suriviving Rex.
There were two specific scenes in the movie that took the cake. The first was the scene with the Kong and Darrow gazing at the sunset, the disparity in the sizes of the silhouettes somehow dont seem to matter. The second was the whole sequence with the Kong on top of the Empire State Building, where the fighter planes eventually hunt him down. The times when the Kong repeatedly beats his chest and roars at the approaching fighter planes, fighting a battle that he doesnt have a chance of winning are, wierdly, inspiring. And the final scene where He gazes at Darrow with one eye, till one can see the life die out of them beats the climaxes of several of our Bollywood tear-jerkers by a Kong leap.
All in all an experience I will treasure, and although I am sure I will see the movie several times after this (considering I have the CD) I doubt if it will ever again convey that sense of awe it did the first time.
Posted by Blackbird at Wednesday, April 26, 2006