Amid the endless sewage stream of trashy movies (both Indian and Ingleesh), it’s sometimes easy to miss the few good ones.
Recently, we had the good sense, and the blessed good fortune, to watch two nice English movies – Main Street and Page Eight on DVD (both via Netflix).
* Main Street – This well enacted 2010 film features British actor Colin Firth of King’s Speech fame as a Texan corporate executive Gus Leroy disposing off hazardous waste at one of those countless dying American towns (Durham, NC in this instance). Three decades after we first saw her in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, we got a chance to see the fine Ellen Burstyn on screen again. She plays an impoverished old woman who unknowingly rents her warehouse to store hazardous waste. The movie also features Amber Tamblyn, Orlando Bloom and Patricia Clarkson. There’s a sub-plot involving a romance between Orlando Bloom’s cop character and Amber Tamblyn’s too ambitious for the small town Mary Saunders.
Viewers who want dramatic developments in every movie or insist on neat endings will be disappointed with Main Street. But we were not because much of most people’s lives go on without any drama or fanfare. And rarely are there neat endings in life.
* Page Eight – A fine thriller involving a veteran MI5 spy who uncovers disturbing information about high-level political operatives in UK.
A top political leader had prior information about terrorist incidents in London from the Americans but does not share it with the MI5 spooks causing the death of many Britons in the attack.
Made for the BBC, this movie features a Who’s Who of talent including Bill Nighy as the spy, Rachel Weisz as his neighbor anguished over the killing of her activist brother by the Israelis and Michael Gambon as the MI5 chief.
Ralph Fiennes makes a brief appearance as the British Prime Minister.
Page Eight is proof that a spy thriller need not have guns firing every three seconds or the protagonist jumping up and down tall buildings a la Jason Bourne to delight the audience.