Saturday, March 7, 2015

Magic in the Moonlight (2014)

Director: Woody Allen
Writer:    Woody Allen
Cast:       Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Marcia Gay Harden

A romantic comedy about an Englishman (Colin Firth), a magician by profession and a rationalist, brought in to help unmask a possible swindle where a young American lady(Emma Stone) is masquerading as a medium. Personal and professional complications ensue as they fall for each other.

Woody Allen's career is undergoing a renaissance off late which began with the excellent 'Midnight in Paris'. I haven't seen 'To Rome with Love' and his next one after that, Blue Jasmine, was also very good. Magic in the Moonlight got some very mixed reviews but I quite enjoyed watching it. It is a feel good story but the good thing about is that it doesn't have any pretensions of it being anything more than that. The script will remind you of theatrical plays and the language is very much upper class English gentlemanly. The twist in it can be very easily guessed from the beginning itself but that is alright since they don't actually play it up. Under the veneer of being a light romantic comedy, the existential questions that it poses regarding human happiness, rational pessimism and irrational optimism are very interesting. I think people are just not taken to it because the script can seem to be a very lazy one with very unnatural conversations. I didn't mind that since it is done in a very self-aware manner.

Overall it is a good watch and will be pleasantly surprised if you go in with very low expectations because of the negative reviews that it got. It is interesting that Woody Allen's next film is titled 'Irrational Man', which looks like a complement to this film. Emma Stone is gonna star in that along with Joaquin Phoenix and should make it very interesting. I guess it won't be released in India with Woody Allen not willing to include that obnoxious 'Smoking is Dangerous' ad that is mandatory here if the film involves scenes with cigarette smoking. Good on him for taking that stand.

Rating: 3.5/5