Thursday, March 11, 2010

Edward meets Norton

Title: Leaves of Grass.
Written & Directed by Tim Blake Nelson.
Release Date: 2 April 2010

A kid is afraid of summer storms. So he runs off to the library everytime it rains, studying for hours how and why rainfall occurs. Throughout the years he studies clouds, their names everything else that there is to know about rain and storms. When he is enlightened with all this knowledge, he realizes that it still rains, and there's nothing he can do about it. Figuring something out does not make it stop, and that seems to be one of the underlying messages in this little gem of a movie by Tim Blake Nelson.

Edward Norton plays seemingly symmetrically contrasting characters of twins - Billy (the professor) and Brady (the pot manufacturer/dealer/smoker) Kincaid, reminding his fans of the latent talent in him to sink under the skins of duality, previously displayed in 'Primal Fear'. The way he eases into two accents, and how he manages to create chemistry and comedy even in scenes having him, and the other him, make it a must watch not only for Norton-ians, but also for any student of good acting. This one might not be as big as Norton's earlier works like Primal Fear, American History X, or Fight Club, but I can picture, a few years from now, acting schools screening this movie to its students.

Apart from Norton, this movie boasts of nice cameos from big names like Susan Sarandon as the once-hippie mother and Richard Dreyfuss as a Jewish drug baron. Even the beautiful Keri Russell, did a good job.

Now I did have a tough time putting this movie in any particular category. The closest I can come up with is calling it a southern gentle dark comedy. In fact the movie was beautifully directed and shot, which captured the southern-ness and gave it a green lemonade-ish tinge, reminiscent of Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown, but only with an edgier plot. Lastly, I'd add that this one is full of those small funny moments layered with bone-tickling dialogues. Let me end this review with one of them,

Billy (confronting Brady of committing a crime): Why the hell did you make it look like a hate crime?
Brady: So that it wouldn't look like a drug crime!!

4 out of 5,

Raj Das.

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