Saturday, June 22, 2013

Admission

Image Courtesy: N Y times.com
Movies with moderate sounding titles don’t do much business. Or so do I think. Of course, I am no Stephen Hawking. I can’t churn out universal principles from my study. So maybe they do well, sometimes. Admission, however, even with that unnoticeable title, came to me like a surprise. It was like finding chocolate in a pack of Milk Bikis. Who would choose a title like ‘Admission’ from a pack of DVDs with titles as sexy, delicious and violent as ‘Sex and the City’, ‘American Pie’, and ‘Dark Knight Rises’.

Reluctant, though I was, in trying Admission, on a lazy Friday evening, its label, which read, humour, prompted me to take a shot on this one. It’s a universal story, told with an American point of view. Admission to college or university is one of the most important moments in any individual’s life. The movie takes this event as its background in telling the story of an admissions officer in Princeton University, Portia Nathan.

In this Romantic-comedy drama film released in 2013, directed by Paul Weitz, in which the charming Tina Fey plays the protagonist, Portia Nathan’s life changes during one of her visits to the friendly Quest school and meeting with its Head Master (played by Paul Rudd). It is not a school for disabled children, where one is drowned in sympathy and tears, but a spot for prodigies and outspoken smart assess. John Pressman, the head master, makes an unexpected revelation to Portia that the student Jeremiah Balakian, she met in the Quest school, is her own son. He is seeking admission for Princeton University, at present.
 
Lily Tomlin
Image Courtesy: Google
John Pressman prods Portia for giving a slight hand up for Jeremiah, because this would the one thing she could do as a parent. Jeremiah was given to an orphanage, just after his birth, and he had never been good at the traditional academic record. In class, he scored grades in Ds, and did all his learning by himself (an autodidact), even at an early age. John Pressman shows Portia a birth certificate of Jeremiah, to prove the claim that Jeremiah is her son. Would Portia be able to help Jeremiah get an admission at Princeton? How far could she go for this purpose?

Image Courtesy: google
There are other interesting characters in Admission, such as Portia’s mother (played by Lily Tomlin) and the Russian scholar who courts her mother. The black kid who Pressman had adopted from Uganda, too, is wonderfully hilarious in the story. But I would not say the movie was satisfying until the end. Something was uncompromisingly out of tolerance in the stupidity level, at the end of the movie. Some pieces did not fit together at all. 

Admission is the film translation of a novel written by Jean Hanff Korelitz, with the same title. According to Allison, a fellow blogger, Admission is a “thoughtful book”. 


I must say, until that last part, the movie was just fine. Humour did work out, too. 

Personal Question: How could they make a movie or write a novel on a university, without being sued? 

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