Despite what the internet might tell you Kate is an engaging Netflix Original with some pretty slick action sequences and a car chase that reminded me of the motorcycle chase from Gemini Man though I’m not quite sure if the Kate sequence was 120fps too, no I don’t think so, considering the fact that it’s a Netflix film ultimately, costs and all.
What’s with French directors and the assassin genre? Or is Cedric Nicolas-Troyan paying a tribute to his favorite Luc Besson films from La Femme Nikita to Leon to Lucy ? Kate might even be Mathilda all grown up. That being said, Kate doesn’t exactly have a new story to tell you here but some really good writing by Umair Aleem has aided the director who almost won an Oscar as a visual effects supervisor, in pulling off a decent action flick. Interestingly, I felt that underneath, Kate is also a political film. A film set in Tokyo where western assassins aid warring Yakuza clans finish off each other. The writer talks through the ageing Yakuza boss when he says that the westerners take all from cultures they do not understand until there’s nothing left and that they then empty their bowels on the whole world. And you expect the western media to shower petals on this film, Mary Elizabeth Winstead or not?
Speaking of Mary Elizabeth Winstead, she carries the film entirely on her shoulders. She’s not exactly Keanu Reeves but she’s got some mean “gun- fu” skills if you know what I’m talking about. I felt that she was a tad slow in the action sequences when it came to movements but she more than just makes up with her swag. And the camera moved like it had a black belt of it’s own so that helped too. Woody Harrelson plays Leon to Mary Elizabeth’s Mathilda – Kate and is his smouldering self. Miku Martineau just might be the next teen star and she did hold her own with the talented Winstead. With the action genre trying to re-invent and realign itself with the shift in gender politics of late, that pairing helps the film’s cause in more ways than one. And it would be a crime not to mention Jun Kunimura and I can’t but help say this – കിളവൻ ആള് കൈരളി ആണെന്ന് തോന്നുന്നു!
Watch Kate and find out why.
A movie like Three Billbaords Outside Ebbing, Missouri happens once in a lifetime for not just the actors in it and the people behind the camera, but also the audience.This is cinema in its purest of forms and it reiterates the fact that cinema is a universal language and that the human condition is the same everywhere, irrespective of color,creed or race.A British-Irish filmmaker has made a film with a prominent American cast about a story set in the American midwest that resonates with a global audience, inspired by some real life billboards that he came across during his journeys in the American south.How’s that for a reality check in the age of fake news,post truths and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.DC doesn’t make the cut even in such passing references, sorry.
I’m not sure who my favorite character is, that’s to say actor, in this film.Frances McDormand of course owns every scene shes’s in and almost steals the show from her peers here.She plays a grieving mother to a murdered daughter and her anger knows no limits.She’s at war with the whole world to a point that you are tempted to stop rooting for the character despite her predicament midway, but then she wins you back again with a display of emotions that reminds you that you would feel no different if you were in her shoes.She is spiteful to the core in one scene and the most vulnerable in the next and when you read that the role was written with McDormand in mind, you are the least surprised, considering the results.
Woody Harrelson plays a character whose strength and vulnerability tears you apart and you are forced to empathize with him even in his weakest moments.Harrelson excels in this role and brings a warmth to the character who emotionally anchors the film not just for the viewers but for the other characters too, in this story about ordinary people driven to despair by situations they have absolutely no control over.
Giving Harrelson and McDormand a run for their money is Sam Rockwell who makes it impossible for you to hate the angry cop character that he plays,even in his meanest of turns.In a scene where the director and the cinematographer show off their skills with a long take, Rockwell lets his body do the acting.In another scene he’s seen performing with a totally bandaged face.He gets to face off with McDormand more than once and those scenes are the stuff of cinematic legends I’d say.
Martin McDonagh is angry and one cant but help feel that there’s a bit of him in the three leading characters of the film.His writing demanded the most talented of actors to deliver total justice to it on screen and he couldn’t have asked for a better line up than the current cast to do that for him.I can almost imagine the sheer joy he must’ve experienced watching his vision of the film come to life through these stellar performers.From Peter Dinklage to Abbie Cornish to Caleb Landry to John Hawkes to Lucas Hedges,everyone leaves their mark on the screen for whatever little time they’re on.The fact that billboards with a direct reference to the ones in this movie have been used in more than one protest across the globe since its release is testimony enough to the kind of impact this magnificent piece of cinema has had on its audience.The charachters and the story stays with you and haunts you long after you leave the hall.