Film Review: Rogue One

ROGUE ONE, a Star Wars story. It’s like we never get enough Star Wars and that the studios keep churning out more. But is it for the good or worst? Well readers, I’m in for this installment although I have some issues here and there. Let me explain.

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To start with, if you have not seen Star Wars (particularly Episode 4-6) you could still understand this film but you may not be able to grasp its meaning at a deeper level, simply because all the motivation for the things they do is in the 4, 5 and 6.

This film is basically a fill-in-the-blank film that explains how rebels had got their hand on the Death Star blueprint. Something that was not properly explained in episode 4. The film opens with the story of Galen Erso being recruited by Krennik to build the Death Star. I enjoyed the opening for it managed to build interest in audience to know more. Things got a little bit slow after the opening title came up as they went from planets to planets at lightning speed. Things however drastically improved for the better in the third act where all the real action and substance is.

Acting wise, I am most satisfied with Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso followed by the other memorable rebel members particularly the duo Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) and  Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen). As for the best performing non-human role, I’m totally pleased with k-2SO. However, the one actor that I’m least satisfied is Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera. I think he sounded weird and his motive as an extremist rebel didn’t quite convince me. Maybe if they had put in more backstory to his role in development of Jyn, then his death at Jedha City will be more meaningful.

The look and feel of the film is pretty much similar to The Force Awakens. Definitely a total departure than the look and feel of Episode 1-3. The cinematography by Greig Fraser was also appealing and I’m particularly delighted by the beach battle scene—beautifully filmed! Kudos have to be given to the editor as well as the intense battle would have been long and boring if not for the fast paced editing.

The music score to me is quite excessive and annoying at times and it doesn’t quite fit the scene in some sequences. I am not alone on this, even the popular film critic/reviewer Chris Stuckman felt the same. According to reports, the score for Rogue One was made within a short span of one month by composer Michael Giacchino after the original composer John Williams passed on the project.

This film manages to convince audiences especially the diehard fans that a standalone Star Wars film do makes sense and maybe even essential to strengthen the franchise’s relevance. However like many have argued, churning out new Star Wars film every year will ultimately loose its charm as the saga has always been a kind of a celebrated event all this while.

Overall I would give this film a 4/5.

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