Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blowup - Movie Review

And after a long time I watched 'Blowup', Michelangelo Antonio's first English movie made in 1966. The first thing that strikes you is that the movie is a shorter or rather a short story version of the 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron' bit when the photographers Vinod and Sudhir find a murder in the background of one of their photographs; they check out the park and find the body but when they return its not there anymore. All this is there in 'Blowup' and the story pretty much ends there unlike 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron' which had a lot more story attached to this idea. Apparently even 'Blowup' was made from a short story.

'Blow up's is made in a very stylish manner and that is what hits you. It starts with a photographer coming out of a place called the doss house, an impoverished place of stay for men it seemed like, where he'd gone to take some pics. He is a fashion photographer, good at his job, but bored and eccentric too. He is sick of women and fashion and takes off to click some pics in the middle of a particularly frustrating photo shoot to visit an antique shop. Strolling behind the shop he clicks a couple frolicking in the lawns. But the women spots him wants the pictures back and he refuses. She tracks him down, goes to all lengths to get the roll back. The photographer gives her the wrong roll, intrigued by her interest and develops the roll. He finds a murder that was set up in the background, even an indication of a body in a highly grainy shot and he goes back to verify that night. He finds the body but when he goes back the next day it's gone. In the meanwhile someone has ransacked his studio and all pictures and negatives are gone except the grainy one. The woman in the pictures, a stunning Vanessa Redgrave, has apparently set up the murder of her older friend but he has nothing to prove it.

'Blowup' goes at a pace that is surprisingly its own, lingering at stops and places that are of importance to the protagonist but not to us - the night club, the shop, the party and so on - but it still holds you in. It leaves you abruptly, leaving you to resolve the ending. Very stylish and sophisticated and demands much from the viewer. No wonder 'Blowup' is highly acclaimed - it is a stunning, bold piece of film making. One to watch.

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