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Cinema Review: Sideways by Ramawatar Sharma

SIDEWAYS - Omnipotent Womanizer


Ramawatar Sharma-fnbworld   

Uncensored/Ramawatar Sharma



Mid-age, of something around 40s, is considered and called the age of "emotional crises" not for nothing - the hormones dip and surge and so does the emotional behaviour. There are lessons learned from the past and expectations of the future. It is more so in case of relationships, especially if one desires to have as much as one can before the process of ageing starts taking the toll!



But everything can't be had on a platter and one has to pay the price, be it a broken nose or running for life in an extra-marital fling. Surely, one can't be like that forever and someday one has to settle with someone for whom the heart’s longing.


"Sideways" is a movie depicting all these human behavioural patterns with a good sense of humour but subtly - as it impacts the viewers to ponder seriously on the issues relating to relationships.

Paul Giamatti plays Miles, a man in search of his identity. Always in a dilemma and confusion - can he be an author or not?  Should he go back to his ex-wife? Or to his new found love? Giamatti plays all these emotions effortlessly. He brings the duality of human mind to the surface with simple yet powerful expressions.

Thomas Haden Church plays Jack, an omnipotent womanizer who falls for any woman at the first available opportunity and without any remorse or commitment. During many of his adventurous amorous exploits he gets his nose broken and comically escapes thrashing by a big man but the streak still stays! Thomas Church plays this role in a very loving way and looks every bit as a playboy out for newer conquests.

Virginia Madsen as beautiful Maya and Sandra Oh as sensuous Stephanie have added a flavour to the overall movie watching experience.

The film, on the whole, is close to reality where you may relate yourself or someone you know, to one or the other situation depicted in the movie. It is a bold movie, at places vulgar or repulsive, but realistic none the less. The pace of sequences is well controlled by the director. Photography is excellent, capturing American countryside and various vineyards. The art of wine making is shown in a comical as well as educative way and one suddenly tends to fall for a wine bottle!

Parental discretion is needed as film has some strong sexual content and nudity, all shown in comical situations though. It is directed by Alexander Payne and its story is based on the book of same name by Rex Pickett. It was produced in 2004 and released to public audience in January 2005. The production houses are: Fox Searchlight Pictures, Michael London Productions and Sideway Productions Inc.

Run time: 126 minutes and in main cast: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh and Marylouise Burke.

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