Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Review of The Station Agent

I saw one of the best films this weekend. The Station Agent. is the story of Fin (Peter Dinklage)a dwarf (is that term still proper) who moves to an old rundown train station in Newfoundland, New Jersey after he inherits it. He meets Joe (Bobby Cannavele) who works the food stand across that station and Olivia (Patricia Clarkson) an artist living in seclusion, trying to escape the memory of her dead son. The three of them form a friendship, much of the film revolves around Fin's love of trains, his past time being trainspotting and about the way he is treated by others. He is so used to hearing people sniggering and laughing at him in the background that it does not seem to matter. He also just wants to lead a quiet life without much contact with others, and he finds that hard to do as well. What I found is great about this film is that it does not treat Fin as a victim or dwells on his size. Its a part of who he is, but that is not what the story is about. And if the premise sounds corny on paper, it is executed brilliantly. The dialogue between characters is realistic and humorous and the situations that the characters are put in never seem contrived. At the heart of the film is the friendship between the three main leads, each of whom is hurt in their own way. They gravitate towards each other, sharing quiet moments, and learning from each other. We as the audience observe the friendship develop with a smile on our face throughout. The performances are flawless, Dinklage is quiet commanding, you cannot help but look at him whenever he is on screen. In a couple of scenes he is required to lose control of his emotions, and his rage comes as quiet surprising whenever he does. And although he is the focal point of the picture, it would not work without the great turns of Clarkson and (especially) Cannavele. Joe sees Fin for who he is, and does not judge him, he also spots a kindered spirit. Cannavele portrays this aspect of his character in a very subtle way, and it balances out the more brash (and comedic) aspects of his character. In the end, the film makes us think about friendship and loneliness and how each afffects our life. A film that makes you think, how brilliant is that

Friday, March 26, 2004

Family and disappointment (and apparently Dr Phil) !

Family is a very funny thing. Having my sister and her family stay at my place last night on their way home had a really nice feel to it. Its felt familiar, safe, and although I have lived in my flat for about a year now successfuly on my own, I always think I need to live with someone else instead of my current solitary existence. It also was partially responsible for one of the biggest disappointments I have had in ages, as the big M (as I like to call him) has postponed his trip to London by a few weeks. The combination of big sis visiting me, his best friend's hard labour and his London friend being upset that he is visiting while he's away have made him change his flight. I was really looking forward to seeing him this weekend, and a part of me thinks that something isn't quiet right (maybe he thinks its moving too fast, whatever). Also, I tend to get paranoid on think too much about such things, so lets not dwell. I am thinking of going to see him during Easter weekend, my mum will be in town at the time, but she's here for 3 weeks, I don't think a weekend away will do much harm. I still feel like I'm living two lives, the one where I am happy and comfortable and surrounded by family, and the one where I completely shut them out but live life the way I want it to live it, in complicated way where I can reach extreme highs and very low lows. So I'm a tad neurotic, tell me something I didn't know. The scary thing is I feel at home in both worlds, but I can't get them together. Gosh, I sound like a really bad self-help book turned upside down .. paging Dr. Phil ! Thats it for now.