Dubby Bhagat


It’s slick, it moves and it’s fun without being a great movie. In 1999, John Travolta played Chilli Palmer in hit novelist Elmore Leornard’s ‘Get Shorty’. ‘Be Cool’ is the sequel and has Chilli Palmer growing bored of the movie business which he broke into in ‘Get Shorty’ and switching to the music world. He has a few problems to overcome like the Russian Mafia, an African American band that part times as vicious gangsters, a white man who wants to be black and the missing contract of a Beyonce-like singer who is worth taking on all obstacles for. John Travolta’s Chilli is helped and helps a recently widowed music executive played by Uma Thurman. Beautifully paced and full of colour and style ‘Be Cool’ has choppy camerawork

that takes us from one scene to another in a timelessness that takes us a little getting used to. Says John Travolta, “Chilli never really worries about anything. He’s a created character that is based on confidence, and even if he’s not you would never know if.”

‘Be Cool’ is the second time that Thurman and Travolta have danced sexily together — the first being in ‘Pulp Fiction’ which was etched on everyone’s memory. Says Thurman, “The initial hook was to team up with John again. We had such a good time, it was 10 years ago, and when I perused the dance scene I was like, you know, I’ve been here before.” Expect only to be entertained with glitz, glamour and gorgeous singing in ‘Be Cool’ and be as hypnotised as everyone by Travolta’s ultracool performance. ‘Criminal’ is a movie that traces a day in the life of two confidence tricksters who are conning each other and waiters, grandmothers, even friends. Richard played by John C Reilly meets Rodrigo portrayed by Diego Luna and mentors him into the world of conning or so it seems. Based on the film Nine Queens from Argentina, ‘Criminal’ has more twists than Wai Wai noodles. Reilly and Luna hit the big time when they come across an antique treasury document that a collector is willing to pay any price for.

And then the mind games begin. Diego Luna says, “It’s refreshing to see a movie where people don’t use guns, and there’s no killing. Its just all about the brain, you know, and its all about lying and all about, I don’t know, yeah. It’s all about the brain.” Everyone’s brain is scrambled including the audience’s. Some people would consider ‘Criminal’ an immoral look at the world of conmen. But Reilly says, “When you see the cons from their perspective, that doesn’t make it any more sympathetic.” My advice is that you watch the movie really carefully because nothing is what is it seems. Director Gregory Jacobs, who has made a solid little film that is entertaining and, in its own way, both suspenseful and puzzling, says, “I tried to layer in, you know, whether it be looks, or props, or certain things that I felt like were hints, maybe,

at sort of what was going on and who’s doing what to whom.” You aren’t going to discover films that make you want to rush about saying “Eureka,” but your’e going to have a good time and that’s more than you can say about most movies.