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Thursday, Feb 06, 2003

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Double attraction


THIS WEEK, two brilliant films from Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks are being released in Chennai — Sam Mendes' gangster movie "Road To Perdition" and the horror "The Ring".

Perdition is an old fashioned Latin name for hell. The paradoxical title offers the best clue to "Road To Perdition" where Tom Hanks plays `the angel of death'. He is a hit man for his surrogate father, Paul Newman, an elderly Irish mob boss. Filmed beautifully, catching the ambience of the Depression era (early 1930s in the U.S.), it is a violent story of betrayal, revenge; a poignant tale of a gangster who does not want his son to follow the road he took in life.

"The Ring" is in the horror genre and is atmospheric, effectively using the motif of water and is made with great style by director Gore Verbinski with plenty of allusions to Hitchcock's classics such as "Rear Window" and "Psycho". The ghost story is about a journalist drawn into a video mystery. It is based on a Japanese hit "Ringu".

According to an urban legend, if you watch supernatural videotape filled with Gothic nightmarish images, the phone will ring and a week later, you will die! Naomi Watts as the distraught journalist whose son may be the next video victim, is superb. "The Ring" was a major hit in the U.S. and its collections were more in its third week than the first because of the enthusiastic word of mouth.

SREEDHAR PILLAI

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