Thursday, October 18, 2012

My thoughts on Looper and why I traveled eight hours to another city to watch it

Looper got released across theatres in India on Friday October 12, 2012. But judging by the way they treated the Dredd screening at Big Cinemas, I knew I couldn't risk watching it in the city of Mangalore.

So I booked tickets at PVR Cinemas for myself and my friends in Bangalore. Thankfully there was an advanced Thursday screening for 7 pm on October 11. And thus I took the Wednesday's night bus, traveled about 8 hours to reach Bangalore next day solely to watch Looper.

Looper is one of those rare sci-fi films in modern cinema where its originality and unpredictable nature itself sets it apart from the run of the mill sci-fi action films, while keeping you entertained and invested in the characters till the very end. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's immersive performance as Young Joe was a real treat to watch and his convincing make up also helped to totally distance the actor from the character. The score to the film by Nathan Johnson was another highlight of the film for me, by being both energetic and moody with its choice of non-traditional orchestral sounds. The track Time Machine is one of my favourites. And though I was hoping that the scope of the final act would be little bigger, the movie took the right approach by going for character focus and emotional depth over spectacle thus delivering a stronger impact.

I had only seen the teaser trailer in the past, but through the interviews with Rian Johnson I knew early on that the time travel aspect will not be playing a large role in the story. But rather time travel will only be used as a means to jump start the story, allowing the character conflict to unfold and take over the narrative. On more than one occasion there are characters in the movie emphasizing that time travel is not worth talking or getting worked up about; that was also pretty much meant as a parallel to what the director was trying to tell the audience in relation to the film itself.

It's always hard not to dwell on the time travel intricacies, I myself can't help it sometimes; but judging the merits of a film purely on the basis of how accurate the physics of time travel got played out is akin to discrediting a film cause it portrayed spaceship battles in space with sound effects.

In relation to directors answering questions about their movies, especially in the case of Looper and plot holes here is a good article titled Should Filmmakers Explain Their Movies? (Spoilers)

And here some interesting and funny tweets I came across regarding Looper plot holes. Click on the images to see responses to those tweets.

I had only watched Looper once in Bangalore and headed back to Mangalore on the night of Saturday October 13. As I was traveling in the bus, I received a tweet reply on my mobile from my friend Arjun Suri. It was in response to my tweet few days earlier where I mentioned how Mangalore Big Cinemas may not be playing Looper and I can't risk waiting for it. He mentioned that Looper was playing in the Mangalore multiplex but only in Hindi. I chuckled and I couldn't believe that they decided to release a dubbed Hindi version of Looper in Mangalore. The only time they ever played a dubbed version was for The Raid as it was not in English in the first place. But since The Raid was not playing with the original Indonesian voices with English subtitles, I didn't watch it in the theatre even though it was primarily an action film and was probably less dialogue driven.

So even though I knew I wouldn't get to watch Looper for a second time at the theatre, I was so glad that I was able to foresee this scenario and managed to avoid it. Looper was totally worth the long trip of eight hours.

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