Review: Angels & Demons

Vittoria Vetra and Robert Langdon run around Rome in Ron Howard's Angels and Demons
Vittoria Vetra and Robert Langdon run around Rome in Ron Howard's Angels and Demons


Angels & Demons (PG-13)

Director: Ron Howard

Cast: Tom Hanks, Ayelet Zurer, Ewan Mc Gregor

Rating: **

Ron Howard is known for a talent. No, we’re not talking about filmmaking, we’re talking about deception. He can easily deceive the viewer into enjoying the movie. His technical team helps a lot in this area of context. Perhaps, he should’ve read the book before making it into a film. Well, I guess book reading wasn’t his talent after all. We’re talking of the deceptions which make us sit through and watch his latest offering – Angels & Demons. Yes, the book by Dan Brown who wrote The Da Vinci Code which was previously made into a film by the former.

The film offers you sheer entertainment throughout. Ron Howard has made sure that Robert Langdon doesn’t turn into a superhero and perform godly things as he did in the novel. Hence, he saves the day. But, he still ruins the day with an unclear detail whether the antagonist in the film was a religious terrorist. Visual Effects save the day again. The imagery of the antimatter is sensational. However, it is again a notice that Ron Howard pulls up another large crowd in front of the Vatican church. The story starts pretty dull and turns a little exciting which again turns dull and thanks to the effervescent twist in the tale, the film ends with dual climaxes. The first was what we thought would be and the second was what Ron Howard’s deception has made.

The story has a few changes from the book – Langdon is summoned to the Vatican City where he works with Swiss Guard helps unravel four yet-to-be-done executions. He is also informed that the religious terrorist has stolen the antimatter from Switzerland and regarding this, CERN specialist Vittoria has also come to the Vatican land and will assist him and shower us with her rigid smile and quaint beauty. The story moves at breakneck speed till a couple of murders put the brakes and bring in the unnecessary slowness. How Langdon solves the mystery and finds the antimatter forms the story. Also in this story is Carmelengo Patrick Mc Kenna who provides them with the necessary dialogues that dampen their spirits and help music composer Hans Zimmer bring the sad violins.

The film has no humour. Yes, that’s right. The film is too focused on its plot that it doesn’t give way for the humour The Da Vinci Code had contained. Nevertheless to say, Tom Hanks does his best in bringing Robert Langdon to life. Ayelet Zurer, the Israeli beauty who portrays Vittoria has also done her best. Ewan McGregor stuns the audience as the Carmelengo.

Ron Howard as I said is a master of deception. How? The Carmelengo portrayed by Ewan McGregor loses his acting skills and blabbers at several points. Well, these points are then put together and we see the Carmelengo playing the game very well. Hans Zimmer returns with the Robert Langdon Theme and very much to our surprise, we have his sinful violins playing a riot.

Angels & Demons fills us with Anticipations and Deceptions. We get highly anticipated to see the visuals of Vatican Rome while we’re deceived to watch an action replay of the Ron Howard-type dramas. Angels & Demons is a movie filled with splendid visuals. However, it fails to impress one’s mind as a captivating drama.


Review: Frost/Nixon

Poster of Frost/Nixon
Poster of Frost/Nixon

Epic Battle of Words


Director: Ron Howard

Cast: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Rebecca Hall

Rating: ****

Richard M. Nixon has been known for the infamous ‘Watergate Scandal’ which brought a decline to his career as the President of United States of America. But, he felt that his political life was still alive as he thought that he could easily outnumber David Frost in four interview sessions in which he would be questioned on several issues that happened during the timeline, he served as President. Initially successful, Nixon was finally defeated in the fourth and final interview which was all about ‘Watergate’.

Frost/Nixon covers these four interviews in what would seem like a tensed and nail-biting drama between one who could cover-up anything and another who could blow out anything. The war of words has begun. The film has a dedicatedly crafted script which doesn’t deviate out of the story and manages to hold everything onto it. There are a lot of promotional scenes in the film, such as Nixon commenting on Frost’s shoes which he calls ‘Italian-made and effeminate’.

Directed by Ron Howard, it’s a drama which ended the career of Richard Nixon and lifted the career of David Frost.

Before we continue, I would like to remind you that Frost/Nixon was originally a West End and Broadway theatre play. Frank Langella and Michael Sheen had portrayed the same characters of Nixon and Frost. They reunite to create a more powerful appearance on screen and yes, it’s worthy enough to watch. For a Legal Drama, the film moves at incredible speed. We’ve seen many legal dramas like ‘A Few Good Men’ and ‘Michael Clayton’ go slower than the tortoise. It surprises you when Frost/Nixon jumps past frames.

Hans Zimmer has composed fine music. The BGM keeps the movie alive at times where there are a few speed breakers.

Frank Langella as Richard Nixon has pulled off an amazing act. When you see the final moments of the interview, you’ll find a real Nixon rather than an actor in Nixon’s costume.

Michael Sheen lives up to the playboyish image of David Frost. But, at a few moments, he seems to lack the gutsy mind of the original. Maybe, the script slogged him down or so.

After a successful ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’, Rebecca Hall returns to yet another lively portrayal of Carolina Cushing. The actress is beautiful indeed, much like the original.

But, the best performance would be Kevin Bacon who portrays Jack Brennan. Bacon is back and has made his presence as an outstanding actor by portraying a serious character. Bacon’s sensitive dialogues and actions prove it all. How come he missed an Academy Award nomination?

Frost/Nixon is a must-watch for veteran Ron Howard’s swift direction, fine editing and outstanding performances by Sheen, Langella, Bacon and Hall. The film remains as the best form of the mistake which couldn’t be erased off American Political History.