Smorgasbord of variety

2010-02-19 00:00

WHETHER you’re after drama, fantasy­ or a heroic journey, one of the new movies at Midlands CineCentre is sure to fit the bill.

Pietermaritzburg scriptwriter Janet van Eeden’s film White Lion is one of the five films opening today. It tells the story of a young white lion, Letsatsi, and his journey through the African wilderness.

According to the legend of the Shangaan, white lions are the messengers of the gods and when one is born in his valley, a young Shangaan named Gisani finds himself destined to protect this rare and magnificent creature at all costs. The film will be screened six times daily while on circuit­.

Also opening today is the Oscar-nominated Peter Jackson drama The Lovely Bones, which stars Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci and Saoirse Ronan.

Based on the critically acclaimed best-selling novel by Alice Sebold, the film tells the story of Susie Salmon­, a young girl who has been murdered. As she watches over her family — and her killer — from heaven, Salmon must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal.

There’s also plenty of drama in Lasse Halström’s Dear John, which is based on a novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film tells the story of John Tyree (Channing Tatum), a young soldier home on leave, and Savannah Curtis (Amanda­ Seyfried), the idealistic college­ student he falls in love with during her spring vacation.

Over the next seven tumultuous years, the couple are separated by Tyree’s increasingly dangerous deployments. While meeting only sporadically, they stay in touch by sending a continuous stream of love letters­ overseas — correspondence that eventually has fateful consequences.

If you fancy something a little less dramatic, try Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Based on Rick Riordan’s fantasy books, the film reveals that the gods of Mount Olympus and a host of mythological monsters are still alive and well in the 21st century.

And, right now, the gods are pretty annoyed because Zeus’s lightning bolt has been stolen and young Percy Jackson, whose dad just happens to be Poseidon, is the prime suspect. To clear his name the young demi-god and his friends embark on a cross-country adventure to catch the true lightning thief and unravel a mystery more powerful than the gods themselves.

The final new film of the weekend is the Bollywood drama Rann, starring Amitabh Bachchan and directed by Ram Gopal Varma.

Bachchan plays Vijay Malik, the ethical­ CEO of struggling television channel, India 24/7, who is handed a major exclusive by his son, Jai (Sudeep­), which alleges that the prime minister plotted a bomb blast to cause fear among the people so that he could get a bill passed.

Malik airs the footage and the resulting scandal rocks the nation and, when elections are held in India, the wealthy and corrupt politician, Mohan­ Pandey (Paresh Rawal) emerges as the new prime minister.

But was the story true? One of Malik­’s reporters, Purab (Ritesh Deshmukh), doesn’t think so and starts to investigate.

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