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I am Legend
Dec 21, 2007 12:09 PM 2836 Views
(Updated Mar 17, 2011 04:58 PM)





In 2007, Hollywood has been terrific. 300, Harry Potter and the order of the phoenix, Transformers, Ratatoulie etc. have all been amazing movies (And I’m not even counting American Gangster and No Country For Old men coz I haven’t seen them.) And right towards the end of the year when you least expected a decent hollywood flick, I Am Legend arrives with quite a bang. Ok, there have been extreme reactions to this movie by both the critics and the audiences.

Half say its way too good and half say its trash. I’ll be one of the former.            The year is 2012 and Robert Neville (Will Smith) is probably the last surviving man on earth. The reason : three years before a deadly virus meant to cure cancer horrible backfired when it started infecting human beings aerially. Within three years everyone in New York city dies except Robert. Its just him and his pet dog Samantha. Their routie is fixed : Wake up early in the morning, work out, go out in the apocalyptic city, hunt animals to feed on,  drive through the empty lanes, play golf on navy ships. While doing all that, they must avoid wandering in dark nooks, rooms etc. where live the cannibalistic infected zombies. They cannot bear any kind of light. They live in dark nooks of the city by day, and come out at night to hunt for flesh. All this goes on for Robert, the frustration of being alone. By 5.30 in the evening, he must return home, switch of his lights, shut all doors and windows and wait - for the sun to rise again. But one day the cannibals trap him in a clever plan and Robert simultaneously discovers the blood sample that can reverse the process and transform the cannibals back in human form. He is the last hope for mankind. Can he protect them from being absolutely wiped out? The cinematography is terrific. Easily one the very best of the year.

The empty streets of New York, the burnt buildings, the abandoned cars and also the broken Brooklyn bridge are captured in the movie with remarkable reality. Also the scene where Robert loses his wife and only child is shot superbly. The sight of one of most bustling cities on Earth in such a state looks chilling. The special effects are quite ordinary. Even the lion and the deer looked animated and it was poor job of animation. But the cannibalistic zombies are good. They have six pack abs, they are bald and they are greenish. All they do is yell, jump, run and hunt for human flesh. But they are scary as well. Its only and only Will Smith in this movie from the start to the end. The movie belongs to him.

His facial expressions reflect the frustration of living alone on earth for three years. His frustration of killing his own dog as it gets infected and attacks him. He doesn’t have a lot of dialogues to share with as there’s no one for larger part of the movie except Will himself. Will Smith does a terrific job of acting and atleast deserve an Oscar nomination for the best actor. The concept of the movie is excellent, but alas there are some loop holes in the plot. Why the inclusion of God in  a thriller? How does Anna know that there is a small band of survivers living somewhere on the out-skirts of New York? How did the zombies come to know of Robert’s living place? These mistakes cannot be ignored and create a dent in the plot.

For people who seek pure entertainment should not see the film. It takes a philosophical turn in the end which may not be approved by the audiences. But I like movies which make sense and I am Legend does make sense, and a lot of it. Also some viewers might not accept the loop holes in the plot. But they do not adulterate the final impact of the movie which is  purely stunning. I am Legend stands out among all other movies in the similar genre and marks as Will Smith’s one of finest performances to date. Go for it!

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