Archive for February, 2014


British Situation Comedies of the 1970’s*
The 1970’s are often regarded as the golden age of the Brit-com (a term I coined, for the British sit-com). Some of my favourite Brit-coms happen to be from the 70’s too, although I actually watched them growing up in the 1980s’ and early 1990’s.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

70's Britcoms

70’s Britcoms

Q° 1. Out of the twelve 70’s Brit-coms below:-

a) Which is your favourite? And is it your all time favourite, or just from the 1970’s ?

(i) To the Manor Born (1979–1981)
(ii) Fawlty Towers (1975–1979)
(iii) Butterflies (1978–1983)
(iv) Are You Being Served? (1972–1985)
(v) Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em (1973–1978)
(vi) Father Dear Father (1968–1973)
(vii) Bless This House (1971–1976)
(viii) And Mother Makes Three (1971–1973)
(ix) And Mother Makes Five (1974–1976)
(x) Mind Your Language (1977–1986)
(xi) George & Mildred (1976–1979)
(xii) Man About the House (1973–1976)

b) Please select five Brit-coms, from above, as your Top-5.

70's Britcharacters

70’s Britcharacters

Q° 2. Which one of these 70’s Brit-com comedians/comediennes, is your favourite character?

(i) Penelope Keith as ‘Audrey’ in To the Manor Born
(ii) John Cleese as ‘Basil Fawlty’ in Fawlty Towers
(iii) Mollie Sugden as ‘Mrs. Betty Slocombe’ in Are You Being Served?
(iv) Michael Crawford as ‘Frank Spencer’ in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em
(v) Sidney James as ‘Sid Abbott’ in Bless This House  

Q° 3. If Fawlty Towers were to be re-made today, or were to have a sequel/prequel :-

a) should it be set in the 21st century?

b) The 1970’s itself?

-or-

c) There shouldn’t be a re-make, for this classic 70’s Brit-com; with just two seasons, and twelve episodes altogether; is a gem in itself. Why spoil it.

Q° 4. Please recommend another 70’s Brit-com, that’s not mentioned in this questionnaire, that you might like.

Nuwan Sen’s Brit-com Sense
Nuwan Sen’s Television Sense

Advertisements

Beatle News  # 33:  George Harrison ()

George Harrison 25th Feb 2014 (NS)

  • 1943 – George Harrison is born in Liverpool, UK
  • 1958 – By George Harrison’s 15th Birthday, he is a member of the band Quarrymen (The future Beatles). After Harrison’s friend, Paul McCartney; whom Harrison befriended in 1954, having met on a bus to school; became a recent member of the skiffle group (Quarrymen), which was formed by John Lennon, Harrison too joined, earlier, in February 1958, itself.

 

  • 1963 – Please Please Me makes it to no.1 in some of the music charts

 

  • 1964 – Three days after The Beatles return to UK, from the United States, on George Harrison’s 21st Birthday, they finish recording Can’t Buy Me Love at Abbey Road. George Harrison receives 50 sacks of mail, for his Birthday, some of which were sent to his parents house in Liverpool, and the rest to the Beatles Fan Club, at Monmouth Street, in London.

This Day,

Nuwan Sen’s Music Sense.

Nuwan Sen & The Beatles ().

Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013)
 गोलियों की रासलीला रामलीला (2013).
This is my second Indian film, and first Bollywood movie, that I’m critiquing on my blog.

Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone in 'Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela'

Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone in ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’

On Sunday, 16th of February, 2014, I watched Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013), when it was shown on, the cable network, Sony. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I actually enjoyed this modern day (the modernity of the period set in this movie is pretty ambiguous) Bollywood adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragic romantic play, Romeo and Juliet, written between 1591 and 1594.

Deepika Padukone won the Best Actress trophy at the 59th Filmfare awards 2014

Deepika Padukone won the Best Actress trophy at the 59th Filmfare awards 2014

Before I start on pros of this movie, let me finish off the cons, the negativity, that should have, but thankfully didn’t necessarily, ruin the movie for me.
Starting off, the setting. Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, would have actually worked better if it were set at least a couple of centuries ago or more. Especially since the Romeo and Juliet style of family rivalry, run with ‘Goliyon’ (bullets in Hindi) instead of swords (which was good), along with beautifully magnificent ancient costumes (great), along with everyone speaking on mobile phones (what the #@ç§ ???), kind of made it a bit unrealistic. Even though it was most probably set in a fictional village, in the actual Western Indian state of Gujarat, with one sequence in the actual lake city, Udaipur, in the North-Western Indian state of Rajasthan. Then, on and off, there were few men dressed in bellbottoms, late 60’s & 70’s, with mobile phones, anyone??? And there were plenty of secret pornographic DVD’s in a refrigerator, as the protagonist of the movie, runs a blue-film parlour. So basically it was the mobile phones, DVD’s and some sequences with the latest low waist jeans and boots that set it in the 21st century. The bells made it to mid-20th century, and the Rajasthani/Gujarati traditional, expensively mirror worked, style costumes; with a village ruled by guns, and the opposing mafia style Godfather and Godmother; and the story, made the whole setting feel like some ancient violent period within opposing clans, which was the next best thing about the movie.

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra

So what I loved about it, what really worked.
The best thing about the movie was the – acting, acting, acting. The cast was superb. Ranveer Singh as Ram, whose films I had never seen till date, was excellent, as was Deepika Padukone as Leela. The two shared a great on screen chemistry, and were perfectly cast as the lustful lovers. Romeo and Juliet, was about two innocent teenage lovers, while here the two mature imperfect protagonists were more Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’ Hara from Gone with the wind (1939) than the innocence of Romeo and Juliet. Ram was more Rhett Butler, but Leela was less Scarlett O’Hara. Even the posters felt a replica of the classic Gone with the Wind posters. The whole supporting cast was excellent in their respective roles, but the icing on the cake was Supriya Pathak, as the Godmother of the Sanera clan (a fictional clan), and mother of Leela (Ram belonged to the opposing fictional clan, known as the Rajari, the younger brother of the head of the Rajari’s). Pathak was brilliant, I’ve never seen her do such a negative role, the woman was quite intimidating and scary. She felt like Marlon Brando in The Godfather (1972). She deservedly bagged the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ award at the 59th Filmfare awards held last month, along with a Best Actress win for Deepika Padukone.

Supriya Pathak Left: with her award Right: playing 'Godmother' in the movie

Supriya Pathak
Left: with her award
Right: playing ‘Godmother’ in the movie

Along with the superb acting talent rounded up for this movie; and the beautiful costumes, the bright colours, the sets, the set decor, the cinematography; were the songs and dances that blended well into the movie. A rarity in today’s Hindi cinema. The surprise package was the special appearance of Priyanka Chopra, a superb actress herself, in a sultry avatar, who appeared for a dance number, where she buttons up her blouse (an anti-strip tease, if you may). Love the songs, love the story, love the movie, despite all it’s flaws.
Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela was nominated for seven Filmfare awards, and took home three, including for ‘Best Choreography’. One of the better films directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, since Black (2005)
A must watch for any Bollywood fan. Near Excellence!!! 9/10

नुवन सेन
Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
Goliyon Ki Raasleela Gone with the Wind——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Last night I watched Hitchcock (2012), when it was shown on Star Movies.

Hitchcock film (2012)Starring Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock, Helen Mirren as Alma Lucy Reville (Hitchcock’s Wife), Toni Collette as Peggy Robertson, Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles, Josh Yeo as John Gavin and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins. Any Hitchcockian fan, who hasn’t watched (or even heard of) this movie, can no doubt, now guess which period of Hitchcock’s life this film is set during. Yes, it’s set in the late 50’s, 1959 to be exact, during the making of his first ‘B’ movie project, that is too good to be called a B-movie. During the filming of the cult-classic Psycho (1960).

The movie begins in 1944, with Ed Gein (Michael Wincott), the serial killer that inspired the charcter of Norman Bates in Psycho, killing off his brother. Then we see Anthony Hopkins do a brilliant imitation of Hitchcock’s famed introductory ‘Good Evening’ speech from his TV series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962). From there the film shifts to 1959, at the premier of North By Northwest (1959) starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. Hounded by the press, Hitchcock is asked, since he is 60 years old whether he plans to retire. We see his shocked face, and soon we see the even more shocking image of Hopkins’ Hitchcock in a bathtub, asking his wife (whose undergarments remind you of Janet Leigh in Psycho) if she thinks he’s too old. He’s just bored. unaware of what to do next. Soon he discovers the novel Psycho by Robert Bloch, and the rest is history as we know it.

Hitchcock's Psycho (1960)

Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960)

The performances are brilliant by all the lead, and the supporting cast. We see Hitchcock’s worry and desperation as Psycho brings them to a near financial crisis, as Paramount refuses to fund the movie. Hitchcock mortgages his house to fund the project himself. We see his wife’s support, meanwhile Hitchcock’s own paranoia and inferiority complex makes him suspect his wife, Alma, of having an affair with Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston). Only thing that somewhat bored me was Hitchcock’s psychological interactions with Ed Gein. I feel the problem was more with actor Michael Wincott playing Ed Gein. Not that he was bad, but he bored me during those sequences, for otherwise those scenes felt more of a necessity to show us Hitchcock’s own mental torture.

Loved the last scene, with a crow landing on Hitchcock’s (Hopkins’) shoulder, an obvious reference to his next project The Birds (1963), the concept of which was based on a short story by Daphne Du Maurier.

None the less, a very good movie, worth checking out, especially if you are a Hitchcockian fan. 8/10

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Everybody wants to see GONE WITH THE WIND
Valentine's Day GWTW
I was going through IMDB’s Reader Lists: Essential Valentine’s Day Viewing, hundreds of lists made by many a IMDB readers, but not me. And I was delighted to see how many of my favourite classics had made the cut, in various lists. Some made by readers pretty young, for they’ve mentioned these films came out during their great grandparents era. Gone with the Wind (1939), Casablanca (1942) and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), were a common trend in most of the lists I went through.
Altogether, City Lights (1931), Gone with the Wind (1939), Wuthering Heights (1939), Casablanca (1942), Brief Encounter (1945), Notorious (1946), Vertigo (1958), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), West Side Story (1961), Jules et Jim (1962), Two for the Road (1967), Annie Hall (1977), When Harry met Sally … (1989), Titanic (1997) and Notting Hill (1999), were  somewhat common when it came to movies from the last century.
From this century, there were films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Brokeback Mountain (2005), Wall-E (2008), Up (2009) and Silver Linings Playbook (2012), to name a few, all of which too I happen to love.

In memory of St. Valentine, after all if he didn’t exist, neither would this day. Not that I’ve ever had a valentine in my life.
(Also see my Post St. Valentine’s Death Anniversary from February 2013 as well)

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
Valentines Day 2014

Yesterday evening I watched Les Granges Brûlées (1973); English translation The Burned Barns; starring Alain Delon and Simone Signoret, on TV5MONDE.
The Burned Barns (1973)
In the middle of the night, two truckers find a dead body of a young woman, in the snow-covered countryside of the Haut-Doubs, near the region of Mont d’Or, in France. The body is found at close proximity to the Granges Brûlées farm, owned by a very tough, brawny woman named Rose (Simone Signoret), and her family. A magistrate, Judge Pierre Larcher (Alain Delon) is sent to investigate. The Judge’s suspicions fall on Rose’s family, especially her two sons, Louis (Pierre Rousseau) and Paul (Bernard Le Coq). With lots of twists and turns, we discover lot of family secrets. The two married sons are capable of everything from stealing, cheating, lying, adultery et al; BUT are they even capable of murder????
Les Granges Brûlées (1973)
A very well told story, moving in a slow pace, without unnecessarily being rushed, with an interesting twist in the end and a very unpredictable ending.   In the beginning of the movie we see a very close knit, clannish, family, but by the time the murder is solved, we see the whole family torn apart with all their unexpected secrets exposed. Especially Rose, we find her distort, after discovering many unacceptable behavioural patterns within her family. Especially, when it comes to her sons and her daughter-in-law, Monique (Miou Miou), all of whom, seem to have blemishes on their moral records by the end. This French classic is beautifully directed by Jean Chapot, with a great background music track by French composer Jean-Michel André Jarre. Both Alain Delon and Simone Signoret are exceptional in their respective roles. Such a skilfully made movie, with the snow covered backdrop, symbolising the isolation of the cold landscapes, reflecting on the various characters isolation within the Granges Brûlées farm, where the three youngsters, Rose’s two son’s and daughter, Françoise (played by Signoret’s real life daughter, Catherine Allégret) and Monique, all prefer to escape the beautiful mountains towards city life. Only, Rose and her husband, Pierre (Paul Crauchet), their other daughter-in-law Lucile (Béatrice Costantini) and the little grandchildren, seem content with their lives up there.

An Excellent Alain Delon/Simone Signoret venture worth checking out. 10/10

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Beatle News  # 32 : Ringo Starr gets hitched

  • 1964 – The Beatles take the train to Washington DC from New York, due to a snow storm that hit the east coast. Then the fab four give a press conference, late afternoon, at the Washington Coliseum. In the same venue, their first American Concert takes place, that same evening. After the concert, the band attend a Cocktail/Reception in their honour, hosted by the British Ambassador, Lord Ormsby-Gore, at The British Embassy, in Washington DC, USA.
  • 1965 – Ringo Starr marries Maureen Cox at Caxton Hall, London, UK.

This Day,

Nuwan Sen’s Music Sense.

Nuwan Sen & The Beatles ().

————^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^————–

””””””””””’””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

 

Beatle News  # 31 : The Beatles in New York

Fab Four arrive in New York 1964

  • 1964 – The Beatles leave London’s Heathrow airport on board Pan Am Boeing 707 for New York.

Beatlemania hits the U.S. as soon as the Fab Four arrive in New York, USA, 50 years ago today. The Beatles, who were met by 3,000 screaming fans as they touched down at John F Kennedy Airport, were the first British band to conquer the American charts.

(Also see  # 19 : The Beatles final concert tour, which was in USA as well, in August 1966)

This Day,

Nuwan Sen’s Music Sense.

Nuwan Sen & The Beatles ().

————^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^————–

””””””””””’””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

 

Ainsi soient-ils (2012), a TV series, was shown on TV5MONDE. It started on Tuesday, the14th of January, 2014, with the first two episodes; and two episodes were shown every Tuesday night, for the last four weeks; culminating last night, with it’s last two episodes. Thus, a series of eight episodes altogether.
Ainsi soient-ils (2012)
Ainsi soient-ils (2012), the English subtitled translation for which read And so they came to pass, but the more literal translation, which too somewhat makes sense, would be Thus they may.
Ainsi soient-ils (2012) Cast
Ainsi soient-ils, deals with five young men, in their 20’s and 30’s, who join the Capuchin Church Seminary, in Paris, France, with a deep devotion and intense faith in the Catholic Church, to someday attain Priesthood. All five young Seminarians, have had some sort of unpleasant experience (or a misguided conception) in their past, that made them take up this divine route. But towards the end, we see them questioning themselves, with strong doubts, whether this was the correct path they’ve chosen or was it just escapism on their part.
Ainsi soient-ils (2012) pic 3Raphaël Chanseaulme (Clément Roussier), a son of an Entrepreneur, who joins the seminary to get away from his family and fathers business. But later, once his brother commits suicide, finds himself being dragged back into the family business (as he’s now the soul heir) and starts a liaison with a married woman, Claire Boddet (Jeanne Bournaud), with whom once he was in love with.
Ainsi soient-ils (2012) pic 5Yann Le Megueur (Julien Bouanich), a 22 year old virgin, and an innocent guitarist, who joins ‘cause of a brainwashed view of giving oneself to god, where he thinks he felt the divine presence as a young Boy Scout. Yet, after a concert with Camille (Lou Sirchis), he unknowingly drinks a spiked drink, having been drugged, next morning he wakes up in his underwear next to Camille; which in turn makes him question his love for Jesus, and his love for a Girl Scout he had as a teenager. Once he finds out the Girl Scout is engaged to be married, he finds himself give way to Jealousy, a bottle of alcohol and an argument with his religious parents.

Emmanuel Charrier (David Baiot), an archaeologist, joins after having suffered a deep depression due to his encounter with a male prostitute in a Brothel in the Mediterranean, during an archaeological dig there; finds himself becoming violent, with his suppressed homosexuality, towards a comparatively openly gay seminarian, with whom he starts a secret affair within the walls of the Capuchin.
Ainsi soient-ils (2012) pic 2Guillaume Morvan (Clément Manuel), the comparatively openly gay seminarian, mentioned above, comes from a dysfunctional family, where his irresponsible mother (Christiane Millet) runs off to India, and his teenage sister (Gaby Fragnaud) gets pregnant and wants an abortion, against Guillaume’s better judgement. And Guillaume; who previously has had an affair with a rebel student, Jocelyn (Xavier Boiffier); now starts a secret love affair with Emmanuel. Both men seem divided, and confused, in terms of their love for god and love for one another. They discuss whether, this is not for them and whether they should leave the seminary.

José Del Sarte (Samuel Jouy), a man who found ‘God’ when he was in prison (he was imprisoned for killing a Russian thug), finds himself at loggerheads with the law, again and again, when trying to help a group of homeless people (some of whom are illegal Immigrants) along with the other four seminarians and Jocelyn (who began this cause to help these people in need).
Ainsi soient-ils (2012) pic 1
Besides the five young Seminarians, there are two lead priests, who also happen to be their teachers, and quite a lot of other supporting characters.

Père Dominique Bosco (Thierry Gimenez), who has great trust in the head priest of the seminary, Père Fromenger; finds himself losing faith, when he (Père Bosco), discovers Père Fromenger has been secretly taking money from a Real Estate, who’ve been charging their customers more, and the excess cash has been handed over to him. Added to which Père Bosco, who’s been ill for a while, finds out he has a tumour. He’s seen aimlessly walking around Paris.

Père Étienne Fromenger (Jean-Luc Bideau), is the director of the seminary of the Capuchins. Who, besides having a few skeletons in a closet, is a good hearted, incredible, 21st Century priest, with very modern open minded views, who helps people, agrees to do a mass for Raphaël’s brother (who committed suicide, which is seen as a sin in the eyes of the church), who refuses to call the police, when a seminarian (not among the five) trashes a statue, and later when all the homeless people take refuge in the Capuchin Church, causing a political chaos. When the French Bishop, Monseigneur Joseph Roman (Michel Duchaussoy), president of the Bishops’ Conference of France, goes against Étienne, and complains to the Vatican, in Rome, and there is an investigation from Rome, and only two people have no doubts about Étienne, Sœur Antonietta (Céline Cuignetand) and Père Bosco, and they stand by him (that is until he learns of Étienne’s money laundering scam). Étienne, is also invited to Rome, to be a mediator to discuss a matter of a Chinese Bishop, whom the Vatican refuses to accept to be ordained as a Bishop. But Étienne manages convince them, with the Chinese concept known as ‘The Boxing of a Drunken Man’, where you study the other party’s moves and strike at the right moment, and reminds them of Diplomacy; ultimately the pope agrees to meet with a Chinese diplomat, who’s been in friendly terms with Étienne. Étienne even manages to save his church before Easter, with it’s leaky roof getting fixed.
When Étienne returns from Rome, he is forced to hand in a ‘dignified resignation’ by Monseigneur Roman (who’s had a grudge with Étienne for ages), due to the chaos involving the homeless people taking refuge at the Capuchin, headed by José, besides the fact it took place during Étienne’s absence. And Père Dominique Bosco, is appointed the new director of the seminary.

In the end, out of the five seminarians, only three remain, to continue their journey towards priesthood. One leaves, to start new life, and another gets shot , execution style, while trying to gain forgiveness for his past sin, but luckily is found by two trekkers and his life is saved.
Ainsi soient-ils (2012) Pic 4
It’s a beautiful, sad, tragic, television series, worth checking out. One sees the hardships these young seminaries have to go through. For once, we are shown how sensitive men can be. One ends up feeling sorry for all of them. Nobody is perfect, and these men, including the priests, have their flaws. But, each one has his own share of sufferings. We see them happy, we see them sad, we them crying. It’s a very touching story.
I loved this show. 10/10 for Excellence!!!!

Apparently this was only Season One. A second Season was supposedly made in 2013, and third is said to be in the works. I would love to see the next two seasons as well. But at the same time, the way it ended, I felt the eight episodes, in one season, was an excellent little gem, that doesn’t need any more seasons.
Lets just hope the next two seasons, not yet released, are just as great this one.

Nuwan Sen’s Television Sense

Rouge Brésil (2012), a French television mini-series, was telecast on TV5MONDE, back in December 2013. The first episode was shown on Tuesday, 17th December 2013; and I was between hospitals at the time, at home and under the false impression I was recovering. I watched the first episode, and was looking forward to checking out the next one, next Tuesday, of this two part mini-series. But alas my illness worsened. The second episode, the finalé, was shown on Christmas eve, Tuesday, 24th December, 2013; the day I was discharged from the second hospital, and re-rushed to the emergency a third time. Although was back by night, I was too ill and tired at the time to watch how Rouge Brésil would end. But then later I found out there was a to be a re-run of the second episode on Sunday, 5th January 2014, in the afternoon, at 15:28 hrs, thus I marked it on my calendar 3:20pm, hoping to check it out this time. But, still recovering, I must have been pretty tired, for I went to bed for a catnap, but instead fell into a deep sleep, and awoke at around 4:20pm, thus missed about an hour of the show, but watching the rest, last 35 to 40 minutes, of the show (I could somewhat guess what had happened), and watching the last bit, was totally worth it.
Rouge Brésil poster
Rouge Brésil: The Review  

Rouge Brésil (2012), is an interesting historical television movie that runs three hours altogether (i.e. a two part television mini-series, with an episode that runs 90 minutes each). The plot centres around an interesting part of European colonial history, set within the mid-16th Century (the 1550’s).
In 1555, under the orders of the King of France, Henry II, two vessels are sent to found a new colony. A group of Frenchman; comprising of sailors, craftsmen, priests, ex-convicts and Knights, whose leader is a Knight with belief of Quixotism (derived from the term ‘quixotic’, Quixotism was a form of impractical pursuit of idealism), Admiral Villegagnon (Stellan Skarsgård); travel from France to Brazil. Admiral Villegagnon, dreams this new land they venture towards would be a heavenly place where Catholics and Protestants can live together in peace and harmony. Two innocent teenagers are conned into this trip, by their Aunt. Brother and sister, Just (Théo Frilet) and Colombe (Juliette Lamboley), join the crew, (Colombe has to disguise herself as a boy, as no women are allowed to travel on board the vessel with Knights, sailors and ex-convicts), in hope to find their father (also a Knight) who, they are made to believe, to be residing in Brazil. On the way, the two befriend Martin (Olivier Chantreau), a thief, who’s travelling in secrecy unaware to the rest of the crew. When caught by a Knight, Montague (Sagamore Stévenin), Colombe manages to saves him by pleading to Admiral Villegagnon and Villegagnon’s quixotic beliefs in peace and forgiveness.
Soon the Ship reaches Rio de Janeiro, and the Frenchmen find themselves in a hostile environment with a Red Skinned (Rouge painted), nearly naked, cannibalistic, tribal community. Since it’s not safe to dock there, they head towards one of the islands of Guanabara Bay (today known as ‘Villegagnon Island’ named after Admiral Villegagnon) outside the mainland of Rio itself.
Meanwhile, Just and Colombe find out, they’ve been conned, and that their father was never in Brazil, and happens to have died sometime ago. The two teens now have learn to cope and survive on their own, amongst these strangers, to whom these two kids seem nothing but a nuisance.
During a struggle between Just and Martin (as Martin tried to rob from a dead man, and Just was trying to be just), the two boys are imprisoned and Colombe is taken by Admiral Villegagnon and a group of knights as an interpreter, to talk to the tribal community witnessed earlier in the mainland.
Colombe gets kidnapped by a another tribal community (which turns out be a better, non cannibalistic, community), while Admiral Villegagnon and his group venture forth to meet the cannibalistic tribe. To their surprise it’s headed by a fully clothed Portuguese man of war (pun intended), Joao da Silva (Joaquim de Almeida), who outwardly seems like an ally than a foe.
After spending a little time with the good tribe, Colombe goes back to her fellow Frenchman. Meanwhile Just, when about to be killed by Knight Montague, is revealed to be a son of a Knight, and Admiral Villegagnon pardons him as he knew Just’s father. But at the same time Admiral Villegagnon mentions that the Knights are sworn into chastity when joining the Knighthood.
A lot ensues, through this first episode, and ultimately, when the good tribe, are imprisoned by the Portuguese man, Joao da Silva, and presented as slaves to Admiral Villegagnon, Colombe tries to free them in secret, and she’s found out by two guards, and when they realise she’s a girl, they try to rape her. But she’s saved and tries to run away, along with the friendly tribal people. But while she tries to escape, she gets shot. That’s where the first episode ended.

Théo Frilet & Stellan Skarsgård in a scene from 'Rouge Brésil' (2012)

Théo Frilet & Stellan Skarsgård in a scene from ‘Rouge Brésil’ (2012)

The second episode, as I mentioned earlier, I missed about an hour. But I could gather what might have happened up till then.
When I switched on the telly, I saw a tribal dance taking place, with Just (Théo Frilet) and Admiral Villegagnon (Stellan Skarsgård), seated along with fellow Knights and watching the dance around the fire. Then I realised one of the near naked, red painted, dancing tribal women, was none other than Colombe (Juliette Lamboley). So I could guess, she’s obliviously been saved and joined the tribal community, and the brother and sister have been reunited after a certain period of time. During the dance, she drags her brother into the forest and tries to seduce him. He rejects her, reminding her, incest is a sin. She rebuffs his religious beliefs, telling him tribal people don’t have such prudish notions about love. But he lets her know, and he’s in love with another woman.
Next morning, when Just and the Knights, head back to the island, they witness a theological argument between the Catholics and Calvinists (Calvinism is a major branch of Protestantism). As two people from two faiths wished to marry. Now I guessed, after seeing all these women, in huge black gowns and Priest (who didn‘t exist in the first episode), that next vessel most probably had arrived while I was asleep (earlier on in the second episode). Only thing that wasn’t clear enough for me, was which party were the Catholics, and who were the Calvinists, or rather I don’t remember it.
Soon news travels that the island would be under attack by the Portuguese.
The good tribe is warned, and Colombe comes back to her fellow Frenchmen, but doesn’t discard her tribal appearance nor her new found sensibilities. Meanwhile Just is given the Knighthood for his courage and humanity, by Admiral Villegagnon. Yet Just, who since childhood had wanted to serve his king as a Knight all his life, refuses, because he thinks he’s in love with a woman from a different faith and wishes to marry, thus he won’t be able to fulfil the pledge of chastity.
Here comes and interesting twist, Admiral Villegagnon calls Just and Colombe, into his tent and tells them, how Just’s father had actually adopted Colombe, and that they are not in actuality brother and sister, and thus they are free to marry. Here for the first time we realise that Just too has been in love with Colombe, but due to social taboo’s he had restrained himself from showing any emotion other than a platonic one.

Juliette Lamboley  Top Left: In the guise of a boy. Top Right: Dressed as a tribal woman Bottom Row (middle): With Théo Frilet

Juliette Lamboley
Top Left: In the guise of a boy.
Top Right: Dressed as a tribal woman
Bottom Row (middle): With Théo Frilet

Soon the Portuguese ships attack, and Admiral Villegagnon and his people take refuge among the good tribe and start moving further inland into Rio. The year is 1560.
The show has a very impressive ending, and we see how the green jungle starts to turn into a modern beautiful concrete jungle of the 21st century.

Brilliant Cinematography. The tale told beautifully. And some perfectly fitting actors, with superb acting skills, for their said roles.
Swedish actor, Stellan Skarsgård, is superb as Admiral Villegagnon. French actor, Théo Frilet, who most probably was in his mid-20’s at the time this was made, is very believable as a teenage Just, almost a decade younger than him. Juliette Lamboley too is quite convincing as a young boy in the first episode, and a tribal woman is the next.
Joaquim de Almeida, Sagamore Stévenin and Olivier Chantreau are all perfect in their consecutive roles.

I actually wanted to write this review last month, but never got around to doing so. Thus my today’s review, is based entirely on my memory of what I can recall from a month and more ago.

Nuwan Sen’s TV Sense
Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense