Category Archives: Entertainment

Developments in entertaiment and updates on movies, art, music, etc.

Atonement movie review

We all tell small lies every day without even thinking about it, despite what Mohandas Gandhi might have said. You go to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks and the cheerful barista smiles at you and asks you how you are doing. Even though you had a difficult meeting with your mean boss the previous evening and you couldn’t sleep because of all the stress related to a major project and the round of layoffs that are coming, what do you tell her. “Hey, doing well, thank you.” These are harmless lies and it is good if life runs that way — do people really care?

Unfortunately, not all lies are harmless. Some lies have serious consequences and can literally change the course of history. That is what the movie “Atonement” is all about in which a little girl (Briony Tallis played by Saoirse Ronan) tells a lie because she is selfish and naive, but does not realize that it meant jail for an innocent man and separation from the woman he loved.

Briefly, Briony misjudges Robbie Turner (played James McAvoy) as some kind of an aggressive maniac and misinterprets his relationship with her sister Cecilia (played by Keira Knightley) as if it were based on abuse. In reality the two liked each other and were simply not sure of their feelings. When a family member is raped, Briony insists that the rapist was Robbie because he was the only person who could do such a heinous thing. Robbie is convicted and sent to jail instead of joining medical school. He is able to come out of jail with the stipulation that he enlist to fight in the Second World War. During the course of the war, Robbie and Cecilia are able to reunite briefly but they both eventually die tragic deaths. Brioni grows up to be a writer and writes the book Atonement to tell the story and as a way to atone for her horrible action that robbed her sister from being with the man she loved.

As always, Keira Knightley does a remarkable job and so does James McAvoy. It is a film with a slow-pace, but emotionally very engaging.

So next time you lie, think if it is a harmless one or if it can change the course of history.

There Will Be Blood movie review

If you have never heard of Daniel Day-Lewis or watched him on screen, you are not alone. He is great actor but does not appear in many movies. After watching “There Will Be Blood,” you will be convinced what a fine actor he is when he depicts a ruthless oilman hungry for power and wealth during the early years of the oil boom in California.

The movie is an adaptation of Oil!, a novel by Upton Sinclair. What is interesting is that the book that documents the ruthlessness of people in the oil business about a 100 years ago is still valid today. More than ever, the fight for oil is intense and it will only get ugly as this precious natural resource gradually disappears, leaving us largely unprepared with a replacement.

While the story is so much about oil, it is easy to forget that it is as much about people, relationships, communities, and religion.

Daniel Plainview (played by Daniel Day-Lewis) is not only a motivated businessman, he is also ready to do what it takes to achieve its ambition. He also does not like competitors, has no need for God in his life, and that is what he dislikes in Eli Sunday, a pastor at the local Evangelical church, who is always telling him how God could do things right for him. And when God doesn’t (cure his son’s hearing problem), he blames Eli. He almost kills Eli once and the movie ends with Daniel brutally killing Eli, when he comes begging to him for money after his investments went bad.

The movie is very intense and has very little “entertainment.” It must be watched to understand how the world of business works and why entrepreneurs and even preachers can become so heartless in their greed for money. It is a great work of art but do not expect to be entertained in the traditional sense.