Last night (during the Superbowl), I went to go see Notes on a Scandal, in which Judi Dench pulls off this horrible, horrible character with amazing ability and talent. It was a very good film — both Blanchett and Dench were great, and I loved Bill Nighy — but I left the theatre with that pit of despair in my tummy that i get when I see a movie (or read a book) with such characters of malice. I reminded me of when I saw Jean de Florette when I was in high school. The characters were just so hateful. I don’t remember the film well at all. All I remember is walking away with this horrible taste of human malevolence. The movie also made me think of the movie Closer, which i never saw — because it looked like a film solely about human malisciousness. As I was reading IMDB, I saw that Patrick Marber wrote both screenplays. I’m a bit torn. On one hand, I liked the movie because of the really great acting and the complexity of the characters. On the other hand, the characters lacked a bit of complexity, in that I found it very difficult to sympathise with Barbara. I can’t say I sympathised much with the boy involved with the teacher, either. I didn’t love it, and I didn’t hate it — but it is “sticking” with me. Then again, sometimes gum on the show does that, too.
Nonetheless, before the movie there was a preview for The Namesake, a film by Mira Nair based on the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri. A deeply sad novel (Lahiri has this way of making you feel like you’ve been kicked in the gut after you’ve finished reading one of her pieces), it is a beautifully written poignant story. I enjoy the work of both Nair and Lahiri, so I cannot wait until March 9th! Since the movie 300 opens the same day, I feel a double date coming on, as Sujal really wants to see that.