Sunday, 27 April 2008

Hollywood Magic

Unbeknownst to the wife, I have loved several women, the tragedy of course being the love was unbeknownst not only to the wife but also to the women concerned.

Rene Russo is one of them. Uma Thurman is another.

If you were to sit up and ask, “Rene who?” no, I will not be offended or surprised, for you are only proving the point I am about to make. This beautiful and talented lady is one of the most underrated and underutilised actresses in Hollywood today. One of the reasons could be that after being a top model for a number of years, she came into films when she was past 35. The other reason could be that she is married to the same man for the past 16 years and may not have given much grist to the gossip mill unlike so many other leading ladies of her time.

To the uninitiated, some necessary filmography: Lethal Weapon 3, Lethal Weapon 4, Outbreak and Ransom, opposite Mel Gibson.

I may have not perhaps mentioned in these posts, but I am a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, right from his “A Fistful of Dollars” days. In my pantheon of Hollywood Greats, old Mr. Squinty is right up there, somewhere close to the very top. And there is one movie where Rene Russo and Clint Eastwood come together and this is the movie I want you to see. It’s called “In the Line of Fire” (ITLOF).

ITLOF is a predictable but well-made thriller where Eastwood plays a veteran Secret Service agent. Russo is his FBI associate and the duo race against time to foil an assassination attempt on the US President. Predictable stuff indeed, but Russo imbues what could have been a typical Eastwood-sidekick-and-love-interest role with a certain luminous charm and gives the character a solid veneer of professionalism and reliability.

What really works for me in ITLOF is the on-screen chemistry between Russo and Eastwood which doesn’t exactly boil over but sizzles quietly in the background. My favourite scene is the one where the duo is having ice cream with the sun setting over the Washington monument. Eastwood says something particularly annoying and misogynistic and Russo asks him ever so sweetly: “Do you really have to try to be obnoxious or is it a gift?”

“It’s a gift,” says Eastwood, a smile crinkling the corners of his eyes.

Photo Courtesy: Chuang’s Public Gallery, Picasa Web Albums


Cynic in Wonderland said...

not only do i know her, but i think she is rather good as well. hmmmmm. But i like mel gibson better. actually i love mel gibson.

Rakesh Pherwani said...

RK, you need to see 'The Thomas Crown Affair' - Rene with Pierce Brosnan. In one sequence she really burns up the dance floor, dressed in a tight, transparent, gown. Some other films featuring her which I enjoyed: 'Get Shorty' & 'Big Trouble'.
Re: 'In the Line of Fire', it is one of my favorite Clint films. The character is quite politically-incorrect, obnoxious but flirtatious too. My favorite scene is where the agents are having a meeting and:
Rene: What makes you think he'll call again?
Clint: Oh, he'll call again. He's got, uh, "panache."
Rene: Panache?
Clint: Yeah, it means flamboyance.
Rene: Mm, I know what it means.
Clint: Really? I had to look it up.

I am sure such characters will be rarely seen in the current times of 'political correctness', metro-sexuality, etc.

In the late 80's, I hardly knew about Hollywood films and stars. My friend suggested I should see Clint films and the first film of his I saw, 'Honkytonk Man' really put me off. Later I saw the 'Dirty Harry' series and became a fan of his.

Rada said...


Very informed comment. Thank You.

Yes, I have seen the TC Affair and Big Trouble, but now that you recommend it, should see Get Shorty too...

And yes, the "agents meeting" scene is absolutely hilarious! :-)

Pls do visit more often!

Anonymous said...

You missed to list your current crush. Rene is a thing of past. Give Chitrangada some credit now. :-)


Rada said...


Thanks for the comment!

Surely, Chitrangadha deserves not just a blog post, but a whole book itself?

The Pseudonym said...

hot female that one. I first noticed her in The TCA. IOTFL was an awesome movie. too good.

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Stepping Sideways... by K. Radhakrishnan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.