Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Movie genres and much ooooohing & aaaaahing about the latest Indie film/book adaptation

Everyone of us have our favorite genres of film-making. I know exactly the kind of films I'm a sucker for but my choices are very difficult to classify or force-fit into an established genre. Rom-com would probably be what you'd think they are but what I really dig are stories with weird, whacko, off-beat elements worked around the usual premises of friendship, love, teenage angst and growing up. Let me clarify so that you get it absolutely right - if I made a list of top 10 movies I wouldn't mind watching over & over again, (500) Days of Summer and Juno would figure very high in that list. The former, as regular readers of my blog would know, is a movie that gets me gushing every time I talk about it....and so, I keep searching and searching for the next "big" (for me, nondescript for the world)  indie film that will get me all goey and till now, I've traveled a road littered with disappointment. Yes, there have been some honorable mentions like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and even Silver linings playbook (where I enjoyed the book more) but none that deserve a star in my wall....until....I think...THIS ONE. after a long time, Sundance finally produces something worthy of our attention this year. The Spectacular Now has been getting rave reviews and it isn't incidental that it is written by  Scott Neustadter and Michael Webber who collaborated for (500) Days of Summer. While it is extremely unlikely to ever show up in India, looks like it will have a limited release for now even in the US and could expand into more cities/theatres depending on the audience reaction. I've gone through the to***nt sites and haven't seen anything yet and so being the impatient one, I ended up settling for Tim Tharp's eponymous 2008 novel.

Half-way into the book, I can say with conviction that the male protagonist Sutter Keely is unlike anyone I've ever seen/met or will ever do. He is unique. He is different. He is spectacularly amazing. He is eerily scary. He is totally mad. He is deeply flawed. He is unbelievable fun. He is downright stupid. He is insanely brilliant. He is everything you wish you could be but also don't want to. (doesn't make sense?? read the book). I'm quite tempted to compare him to Holden Caulfield but that would not be fair to Sutter.

Tim Tharp's rapier-sharp humour succeed to a large extent in masking the underlying dark themes - be warned though, the story is not for the faint-at-heart and holds no hope (for now) of being uplifting towards the end. What it does brilliantly, though, is leave you with a haunting & lasting impression of Sutter's voice. One that is truly different. There, I said it again.

Now for the last 100 pages.

PS: I know one person who will/should absolutely love this book - The-Man-With-No-Name ;)