New Year’s Eve: Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on December 9, 2011 | No Comments
PRODUCER – Richard Brener, Toby Emmerich, Mike Karz, Wayne Allan Rice, Josie Rosen
DIRECTOR – Garry Marshall
WRITER – Katherine Fugate
CAST – Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Halle Berry, Cary Elwes, Sarah-Jessica Parker, Ashton Kutcher, Jon Bon Jovi, Jessica Biel, Katherine Heigl
MUSIC – John Debney
The success of ‘Valentine’s Day’ 2010 spawned this film. So we have the same template of 7-8 people in trouble, interconnected to each other somehow and to a big festive day meant for life-changing experiences. And a stellar star-cast. In this version (yes one can almost call it that), someone is racing against time to fulfil a life-time’s wishes in a day, someone needs to get the Times Square New Year’s Ball extravaganza successfully on the road, someone needs his freedom and someone needs freedom from cynicism. Someone is looking for love and someone forgiveness.
The film is a one-day event and packs in an amazing amount of things to happen in one single day. But rather than making for a tight action-packed viewing it makes for a hurried, panicky film that’s only focussed upon the finishing line. So it races through its events towards the denouement of its characters without worrying too much about their journey. Which is where it differs from its earlier version and which is where it stops way too short of satisfaction even for soppy lovers.
This also makes it largely manipulative. This, not staying with its characters long enough, this changing them over a tad bit hurriedly for the sake of brevity, all comes across as formulaic, push-button film-making.
The actors however invest a lot of feeling into their parts. Hillary Swank’s apprehension at the Ball going down on time, Halle Berry’s emotionally overwhelmed minutes-long chat with her army lover and Ashton Kutcher’s cynical city loner finding hope are but few characters who make the ride worth it. Jon Bon Jovi’s yearning lover is good too. However, it is De Niro who wins hands down probably the only reason to watch the film. He is a failure, or rather sees himself as one in the life-n-relationships department, a complete anti-thesis to the film’s world. In the few tiny scenes that he appears he completely owns the character, film and moment making you wish his was a completely independent film.
There isn’t much glamour or colour in this one. Neither is the music uplifting or cheerful enough which is surprising for a film heavily banking on creating the aura of emotion and romance. For a channel-flicking, random TV film time, it may work but as a toast to the holiday season, it doesn’t.