Friday, January 30, 2009

A movie full of twists!: Grand Slam movie review

Before Ocean's Eleven, there was Grand Slam! Proclaimed as "One of the best heist movies!" by the Chicago Sun-times.

Grand Slam can be called a classic version of Oceans Eleven franchise (which was not yet made when this movie came out). Heck, this movie was so futuristic, they even account for "variable change" (shown in the movie '21') right up to the last minute detail (or do they... muhahahahaha).

The plot of the movie as on the DVD is - "A quite, yet cunning school teacher recruits an elite team of international criminals to rob $10 million worth of diamonds from an impenetrable safe in Rio de Janaeiro during the frenzied peak of the carnival. The planing is meticulous. The crime must run like clockwork. But even if they can pull off the most daring theft in criminal history, are the wildest surprises of all yet to come?"

Now before you start watching this movie, keep in mind that it was made in the 1960's. Considering that, the movie felt fresh(er) even now. The pace of the movie is quite good and you will feel like sitting thru the movie wanting to know what happens next!

The crime scenes are very well executed. The planning does look fool proof although I did manage to spot a few glaring errors even in a semi drunken state. As is typical in a heist movie, the first 1/3rds of the movie is used to introduce the characters of the movie. The next 1/3rds of the movie is the planning and the last 1/3rds of the movie is the execution of the heist. The ending of the movie is quite similar to many heist movies and just when you feel that you have seen it all, comes a big large giant humongous twist in the story that will have you saying "WHAT!!".

My friends and I concluded the movie in a single cleverly concocted sentence - Those who survived till the end were getting more and more fooled progressively in the movie. (Go figure!)

The movie does show a lot of the vintage Rio landscape. As the heist is executed during the Rio de Janeiro carnival, one can see a glimpse of the festivities that happen during the carnival - a clever piece of subtle advertisement for the city! (Also quite entertaining for the movie viewers) . The plot that was the most tangential in the storyline was quite useless to the heist, but it was also one of the most delicately 'shot' plots I have seen in a long time in a movie! (The one involving 'Stetuaka'). I feel it was put in to break the monotony of the main story! The James Bond franchise also has similar plots in the story, but as far as the adjectives 'subtle' and 'delicate' go, they leave much to be desired in their execution.

Verdict of the movie - It is a very cleverly executed heist movie that will keep you engaged - right till the end! Watch it for the twist...
and keep it cool! ;-)


avdi said...

Some of the older flicks dont have the breathtaking action scenes, but they have something very vital, a good plot, good execution, that makes the movie so credible and watchable.

Smita said...

You already know what are my chances for watching this one :-) but your review as usual was good...and seriously old movies (be it english or hindi) jave a charm which is irreplacable :-) I still remember watching "Madhumati" in theater kya bata thi us movie main, I mean w/o any cheap thrills the movie entertained us...

Oxy said...

Ah, I am a fan of heist crime/stealing movies.. and this goes in the list... The twist in the plot is something which gives me kick...

@Ava, u r bang on. Satya Vachan. Drifting away from heist, movies like Butch Cassidy, High Noon, Hud, and many of the Hitchcock movies have done that, good plot, execution etc.

Valerine said...

Hmmm..your review is good enough to attract people watch this movie......Looks like sumone out there is a movie buff :)

eye-in-sty-in said...

Ava - Right on! Execution is everything! Are you going to watch it?

Smita - You wont see the movie after this revu?? Shame on you! ;-)

Oxy - Let me know if you like it dude!

Val - The proof of the pudding is in the eating - are ye gonna watch it?

Thanx for the comments everyone!