my-blueberry-nights

Screened first at the Cannes’ film festival in 2007, “My Blueberry Nights” was a movie which received the most lukewarm response from the audience. Neither did it enthrall the audience with its moviemaking genius nor did it manage to evoke irritation or annoyance. Well, that I would say is the worst thing to face for a movie at Cannes’. My Blueberry Nights is Wong Kar Wai’s first English language movie which for the lack of a better word, falls flat on his face. It is meant to be an American road movie interspersed with human emotions but unfortunately, it does neither. All it shows is some smoky bars, some nondescript restaurants, one scene on a freeway amidst other type casted scenes. Irrespective of as many flaws, the cinematography of the movie is nothing less than a treat to the eyes. The way America has been portrayed through the lens is picturesque, to say the least.

The movie stars singer Norah Jones with Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman providing the essential emotions or the lack of it. Jones stars as Elizabeth, an independent girl with a broken heart. Ever since she was dumped by her New York boyfriend, Elizabeth is on a journey of self-discovery. Unfortunately, though you do see her smile, cry, frown and do much more, they fail to make a connection with the audience. The saving grace, of course is that Jones has an easy-going performance without communicating any deep feeling. The movie revolves around Jones’ and Law’s repeated rendezvous at his pie joint in Manhattan. Every night, almost at closing time, she walks into this pie joint run by Jeremy – the Englishman played to ultimate delight by Jude Law. The director leaves no stone unturned in highlighting the handsome Jude Law. The story unravels itself as Jeremy gets interested in Elizabeth and her woeful story of emotional unfulfillment. After quite a few nights of talks over the blueberry pie, Elizabeth decides for a change in her life, yet again. She stays in touch with Jeremy through post-cards.

From Manhattan, the movie shifts to Memphis. Enter the married couple played by Rachel Weisz and David Strathairn. Elizabeth becomes a waitress and listens to the marital woes of this couple with utmost interest in the backdrop of country music. And where else would country music, drinking and cheating would be highlighted better than in Nevada. Here, Elizabeth bumps into Natalie Portman who is a brassy blond gambler. It would be rightful to mention Natalie Portman’s character provides the much-needed melodrama to this otherwise slow movie. She is portrayed as blunt, a habitual liar and a compulsive gambler and does perfect justice to the role.

A lot of moving around America later, Elizabeth returns to Manhattan and discovers that her ex-boyfriend has vacated the apartment. She returns to the café only to find that Jeremy has a stool reserved for her at the counter ever since she had left. As expected, the movie culminates with both of them realizing about their feelings for each other over “The Blueberry Pie.” All in all, the movie is nice in bits and pieces and may be pleasant when it comes to the romance it provides. What it definitely lacks is the character that a romantic road-movie is expected to entail.

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