Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Movie Review of Milk

Milk - 7/10
Directed by Gus Van Sant
Cast - Sean Penn,James Franco,Diego Luna,Josh Brolin

Plot Summary
The story of California's first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk, a San Francisco supervisor who was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone by San Francisco Supervisor Dan White.

Ever since I am Sam,I never liked Sean Penn.He over exaggerated his acting as a retard(Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder was right!) and the guy is just too serious.He was good in Mystic Rivers and he is a fuckall director(FUCK! Into The Wild).So when I was checking out this movie called Milk and found out that Sean Penn was the lead in the movie,I decided to give it a miss even without finding out who the director day when a couple of friends of mine told me to check out the movie Milk because to them it was fantastic.For a moment,I thought they were Sean Penn fans or something.But when they told me Milk is directed by Gus Van Sant and that is when i knew it will be a mistake if i still gave this movie a miss.Gus Van Sant is just one of those directors,you just have to watch.There are great ones like Goodwill Hunting and Elephant and there were shit like Last days and To die for.Still...for his unique style of direction,you have to watch his films.
So I went to watch Milk on a weekend without doing any research about the character or the story,and hoping this would be a good one from Gus Van Sant while still hating Sean Penn.I was pleasantly surprised that this movie wasn't a total fuck up,it had a lot of great moments and a few fucked up ones.
I'll start with the fucked up ones first.The most obvious being is the colouring for this movie.the treatment was not done nicely.There are some shots which are supposed to be in the 70's timeline hence the colouring has to be little faded but unfortunately I found it to be way too grainy therefore from one scene to the next despite the timeline,there is no smooth continuity.
Editing also wasn't done properly but i figured that's because there are different types of shots and cinematography used.
Here are the positive points from Milk.Gus Van Sant's direction was fantastic.The unique thing he did was putting together actual archive footages into this film.The camera works were good,you can see lots of great angles of the actors doing their thing.
Script was great.There are loads of funny and inspirational quotes.Acting is just simply brilliant.Despite how much I hate Sean Penn,he did a very good job as the main lead,Harvey Milk.He even managed to look like him,getting prosthetic nose and teeth,contact lens.He even redesigned his hairline to make him look like the real Harvey Milk(make up done by Stephan Dupuis).The supporting cast also did a great job.James Franco as Harvey Milk's lover and close friend has very good chemistry with Sean Penn.They really do look like they are in love and all.Diego Luna who is a very underrated actor(He was great in Y Tu Mama Tambien) acted as Milk's possessive lover was also good.

All in all,I recommend everyone to watch Milk,even though if you are a homophobic heterosexual,watch it for the fantastic acting.

Best Quote
Harvey Milk: My name is Harvey Milk and I'm here to recruit you!
State Senator John Briggs: It's time to root them out. Tom Ammiano: And how are you going to determine who's a homosexual? State Senator John Briggs: My bill outlines procedures for identifying homosexuals. Tom Ammiano: How? Will you be sucking them off?

Harvey Milk: If it were true that children emulate their teachers, we'd have a lot more nuns running around.

Recommended movies by the directorGoodwill Hunting
My own Private Idaho

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