50/50 – Movie Review

It’s not often that you rent a DVD of a movie whose protagonist is fighting cancer and half the time you are laughing. By laughing, I mean, in a positive way, with the seriousness of the issue untouched. Adam, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is the quintessential “nice guy” who is diagnosed with cancer at 27. Armed with a friend who tries to take advantage of this situation to improve his own personal life, this movie deals with the whole process of day to day life of dealing with cancer, the operations and hospital visits, the side effects of the therapy etc.

50/50 Movie Poster


What sets 50/50 apart from most movies of its genre is the honesty and simplicity in the script. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance is the other driving force behind the movie; he makes it so believable that a 27 year old cancer patient does not have to do anything dramatic with his life that we forget that we are watching a movie about a possible terminally ill person. Most movies which deal with illnesses have been too melodramatic, making the movies more sad than hopeful. The illness there plays a more pivotal role than the character playing it and for a change, watching the illness be just a minor facet of the whole story in this case makes 50/50 a very likable movie. Also, by not over focusing on the personal relationships of the protagonist, the director Jonathan Levine keeps it as natural as possible. Supported by a good cast and some light music, this is one DVD I would not mind renting and watching again. Good job, Jonathan Levine & Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Image Source: http://www.50-50themovie.com/


(500) Days of Summer – Movie Review

This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen, grew up believing that he’d never truly be happy until the day he met the one. The girl, Summer Finn, did not share this belief. You should know up front this is not a love story.

Decades of romantic movies have successfully convinced generation after generation that everyone on this planet has one and only one soul-mate and irrespective of looks, wealth, intelligence and character, he or she WILL get that one. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the premise of 500 Days of Summer!

Lets take one guy, any guy. He might have been single at sometime or still is and hopes that somewhere out of the blue gets to be with that over-rated “soul mate” of his and if he’s too much of a dreamer, probably hopes to live happily ever after too with that person. He has seen so many romantic movies like the ones doled out every day, the one’s with happy endings where the guy and the girl are opposites and fight and finally get back together in the last scene, and has convinced himself that such love exists.

Now lets take a girl, not any girl. An arrogant and pretty girl who thinks this soul mate idea is silly and believes that she is clear about what she wants and very clear that she doesn’t want a boyfriend.

If you agree with either of these two people, let me tell you, this movie goes out and out to prove you totally wrong and also make you feel  good about being wrong. It’s a brutally honest story of one guy who falls in and out of love, told in a comic book style with non-linear screenplay and sticks to it, throughout the 95 minutes, with a narrative script which gives an impression that this has been written with a clear intention of being made into a movie.  And boy am I glad it was written. Yes, now is when the reader should know that this IS a wonderful movie.

Tom: Ok but wait–wait. What happens, if you fall in love?

Summer: You don’t believe that, do you?

Tom: It’s love, it’s not Santa Claus.


Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as told above, believes in fate and has waited all his life for that one girl who will sweep him off his feet. One day, Tom sees Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) and feels she’s the ONE. Like any other romantic movie, they are totally different and yet they get along perfectly. Summer eventually proposes that they stop seeing each other. Can Tom move on from this “break-up” or will he eventually do all he can to win Summer back?

“To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die”


Crazily Awesome. An omniscient narrator sets the tone by telling you what’s happening and what is not, taking you through the various scenes in an absolute haphazard manner such that you will never feel bored or even overwhelmed with all the complex scenes and numbers that keep popping up on screen. It jumps to and fro from the days when Tom and Summer are together to when they are apart. Then there are scenes where some non-conventional film styles are used, changes in film color, screen splits. There is a high chance that you might not agree that this is not a love story in nature but who cares?

There’s a killer scene on Reality vs Expectations which is a wonderful idea. (Will use it when I make a movie :D)


This movie is the directional debut of a guy who makes music videos. Felt there were some good songs while watching the movie but don’t remember any now to put it up here. Might add later if I like any of those, when I watch again and again :D.


In a very crisp movie, the protagonists do a wonderful job. Joseph Gordon Levitt got a Golden Globe nomination for this. There is no phenomenal performance from any one specifically but sincerely done by all who stick their roles. Zooey Deschanel has done all crazy roles so far and expecting more and more. It’s pretty similar to her role in Yes Man.

Final Verdict:

Romantic films today, concern themselves with cute ideas, take ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ or ‘Serendipity’ for example. They are good, funny etc but not they forget about real people. The couple in (500) Days of Summer have true chemistry. Some of the moments are captured with simplicity that we feel like smiling even if there is a break up on the scene.

In my humble opinion, this movie was probably made with while the director was watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Great effort, almost felt like it’s younger sibling. 100% Recommendation. Watch it NOW!

P.S. Official Promo:

P.P.S. – It’s presently ranked at 233 on IMDB 250.

P.P.P.S. Best quote:

Most days of the year are unremarkable. They begin and they end with no lasting memory made in between. Most days have no impact on the course of a life. May 23rd was a Wednesday.