CRITICS. Tom Cruise dominates the skies again, Italy and India are present and more film premieres

The most anticipated release of this weekend -and of the entire year in fact- is “Top Gun: Maverick”, a sequel that has been generating enthusiasm for several months and that will undoubtedly take over American theaters, leaving little room for those independent or international proposals that are to the taste of cinephiles. Despite this, we had the opportunity to see two of those tapes, and if you read everything that follows, you will know that they also have a lot to offer.

TOP GUN: MAVERICK

Director: Joseph Kosinski

Cast: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly

Genre: Action / Drama

I’m not exactly a fan of the first “Top Gun” (1986). Released in the throes of the Cold War, the film by Tony Scott (“True Romance”, “Man on Fire”), fully imbued with the commercial spirit of Hollywood cinema, was much more artifice than content, and also celebrated the virtues of the US military in the midst of a deeply polarized era, despite the fact that it avoided defining the origin of the enemy faced by members of an elite group of naval pilots.

Over time, I began to better appreciate its lavish aerial combat scenes and, of course, the iconic presence of a Tom Cruise who couldn’t have looked cooler as he took on the role of the defiant and courageous Pete. “Maverick” Mitchell. In that sense, “Top Gun: Maverick”, which opens in theaters 35 years after the original installment, will leave fans of the ’80s film completely satisfied and is in fact better than this one, which should not be very difficult to achieve; but it also has absolutely memorable moments for any movie lover who doesn’t immediately reject what comes from the full-fledged ‘mainstream’.

To be clear, the new film, directed by Joseph Kosinski (“Oblivion,” “Only the Brave”) and written by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie (yes, there are many), is never trying to offer anything more elaborate or intellectual than its predecessor in narrative terms, and takes refuge so intensely in nostalgia that it reproduces various situations from the past almost as a copy, always playing with the limits of credibility; but its last 40 minutes, in which the essential final combat takes place -also against an unnamed enemy-, are absolutely spectacular, backed by a rejection of the abuse of digital effects that makes them look incredibly realistic.

A scene so memorable and technically perfect, that it needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible, could not have been presented the way it is presented when Scott was in charge, and that simple fact takes away from “Maverick” the limited use label ‘retro’. In addition, we now have many more pilots from minorities on board, including Latinos -and there is also a woman!-, without this meaning that what is being told refers even for a few seconds directly to social and political changes. that have occurred in the world in recent decades.

All things considered, the sentimentality is still cheap, most of the dialogue is bad, the characters aren’t exactly complex, and the romance between Cruise’s characters and Jennifer Connelly (who plays a bar owner) is even less developed. that the one he had the first with the now absent Kelly McGillis; But is there really anyone who goes to see this movie looking for such subtleties and fails to recognize that, at 59 years old, Cruise is still probably the biggest and most dedicated action movie star in all of history, and that seeing the result of your efforts in a room full of people is quite an experience?

TO CHIARA

Director: Jonas Carpignano

Cast: Swamy Rotolo, Claudio Rotolo, Grecia Rotolo

Genre: Drama

Although the best-known Italian mafias in the world of cinema are still the Sicilian and the Camorra, the Calabrian (or ‘Ndrangheta) has also enjoyed a certain presence in works of fiction of this kind, as shown by the successful “Black Souls” (2014). “A Chiara”, which is released this Friday in limited theaters, also touches on the subject, but from a completely different perspective that gives it a unique character.

Here, Chiara Guerrasio (Swamy Rotolo) is a 15-year-old teenager who lives an apparently happy life next to her family; the most affectionate relationship she has with her is with her father Claudio (Claudio Rotolo), who seems to be an ordinary businessman, as well as a simple and honest person. But everything changes one night when, after witnessing the explosion of the family car, Swamy sees Claudio escape through the roofs of his neighbors and finds out later that he has an arrest warrant due to his links with a criminal group dedicated to drug trafficking.

With her older figure of reference absent, and totally confused, the protagonist begins to discover little by little that many of those around her were aware of circumstances that she was unaware of, which increases her frustration and leads her down a destructive path that, without However, it will not necessarily lead to the predictable path, which is undoubtedly the greatest virtue of a slow-paced work whose unquestionable naturalism is due both to the choice of non-professional actors and to the effectiveness of its staging.

FIRE IN THE MOUNTAINS

Director: Ajitpal Singh

Cast: Vinamrata Rai, Chandan Bisht,

Genre: Drama

When talking about Indian cinema, many immediately imagine the colorful productions of what is often known as “Bollywood”. But the South Asian nation also has an independent film scene that can be much more sincere, purposeful and rebellious than the official one, as “Fire in the Mountains” makes clear, the excellent rural drama that premieres this Friday of limited fashion in LA

In reality, the film is not free of beauty; Quite the contrary, since, in addition to having excellent photography, the experiences of its characters are frequently presented against the background of the green and majestic Himalayas that surround them in the middle of the town where they live. But that same beauty irremediably contrasts with the tense situation shown within a marriage whose increasingly intense disagreements both reveal and denounce reprehensible aspects of machismo and ignorance that exist in the portrayed society.

Chandra (Vinamrata Rai) is a housewife whose concern for the health of her sick son leads her to frequently visit the doctor in the neighboring city and to insist on the need to build a road to facilitate the transfer. But her righteous wishes are hampered not only by her husband Dharam (Chandan Bisht), who turns increasingly to drink as he unhesitatingly begins to follow a manipulative and misogynistic healer, but also by a government official. corrupt public soliciting unacceptable favors. It is, in short, a valuable contribution to cinematography and a feminist trend by a debut director and screenwriter (this is his first feature after having made only a short) that deserves to be applauded.

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