Movie Diary 1/16/2023

RRR (S.S. Rajamouli, 2022). Have the critics going gaga over this thing seen Bollywood movies before? I wonder. Still, it’s great fun, crude and broad in its storytelling, with two bountifully charismatic stars who can do anything. The direction of the action sequences is so energetic it’s as though Rajamouli thought “I wonder if topping Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a reasonable goal?” and then figured out how to out-zany Spielberg beat for beat.

Il Boemo (Petr Vaclav, 2022). A well-dressed musical biopic, overlong but generally enjoyable, of the Czech composer Josef Myslivecek, a Mozart contemporary and friend. Nothing too earth-shaking here, but it should be noted that the actresses who play the serial interests of the composer are an extraordinary group, including Lana Vlady and Barbara Ronchi. The first meeting with baby Mozart is one of the Brush with Greatness scenes you expect from this kind of film, and it’s a good one: Myslivecek looking on agog as lil’ Wolfie improvises a brilliant variation on a Myslivecek theme.

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