OCEAN’S 8 (2018)

  • Release Date : 8/6/2018
  • Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna
  • Director : Gary Ross

Ocean’s 8 reminded me of Ocean’s 11 on more than one occasion. Just like Ocean’s 11, this one starts with its primary protagonist, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) making her way out of the jail. She meets her best friend/girlfriend Lou (Cate Blanchett) who has an interestingly uncanny resemblance to the way Rusty dressed and his hair looked. As Debbie is pulling off an enormous heist with the help of 7 more accomplices, she is also taking sweet revenge on a guy who wronged her previously. There are numerous such references, nods and direct pickups from the previous 3 Ocean films and for someone who is looking for fresh content or a reboot, this could be a major downer.

For me, however, Ocean’s 8 was a lot of fun. What really helped me to enjoy this film was the fact that I am not very intelligent. Hence I thought less about the things that were shown and simply enjoyed what was on the platter. Even though I was able to relate it with its previous installments, I was really hooked into it by the performances. I was also able to predict some of the twists and turns here and there but I switched off my brain consciously so that I could just enjoy what was on the show. Doing that really helped and this film turned out to be much more rewarding than what many found it to be. So of my friends went to the extent of calling it an assembly line product that could be conjured up in one sitting. I cannot fully disagree with them but it is a whole lot of fun. All some films need to be is fun and Ocean’s 8 is just one such film.

I have always loved Sandra Bullock. Even in Speed 2: Cruise Control. Hence it isn’t very difficult for me to like her act here since she plays to her strengths mostly. Even in the face of the greatest risks and challenges her character never raises her voice. She is a picture of calm and serenity even when she is threatening a man with a sharp weapon. I loved her mannerism all the way through and I believe she carried 80% of the film on her own. Cate Blanchett is a safe bet no matter what the role is and she shares a nice camaraderie with Bullock that really forms the crux of the performances of this film. Anne Hathaway is Anne Hathaway. She could stand as a still image and she would still be likable. She is just so expressive and over the top that it’s hard not to fall in love with her. Every time she appears on screen, the film lights up. Even though there isn’t much of her here, but she still rocks big time. Just look at the tiny bit where she humiliates her secretary for not arranging a meeting with a certain designer. Utterly hilarious.

Unfortunately, apart from the three mentioned above, the rest of the cast falls flat. They tried a lot of things with Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter and Awkwafina but none of it has the kind of effect and comic timing that, let’s say a Matt Damon’s character was able to extract in the previous Ocean films. This I believe was one of the weakest links of the film.

The heist, the inspiration for the heist, the getaway is all exactly like you expect them to be. This I believe didn’t go down too well with the audiences who were waiting for something thrilling and revolutionarily different. It also has to be accepted that the film isn’t exactly bubbling with content and whatever is there is at many junctures stretched to a level where it becomes difficult to believe. There are also certain characters that are introduced towards the end and are given enough time to make you believe that they will be important and add to the film’s overall content and plot but then they suddenly disappear and are never heard off again. The abrupt ending was also a stickler for me.

Having said all that, Ocean’s 8 is still a very watchable film if you are not comparing it with its predecessors or expecting a fresh start. It has A-list stars who all do a great job. It has some scintillating cinematography and some amazing wardrobes. That’s hardly a surprise since this is a film about a heist on a Gala Night of one of the biggest parties of the world. The actual heist is also not bad even though it’s no way near as thrilling as the Ocean’s 11 or Ocean’s 13. This is a fun one time watch that is breezy and has enough charisma (primarily because of its stars) to keep you hooked. I liked it quite a bit and I believe that will be the case with one and all who don’t try to dig too deep.

Rating : 3/5 (3 out of 5 Stars)

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