Mortdecai

This 2015 movie is based on the novel “Don’t Point That Thing At Me” by Kyril Bonfiglioli, co-produced by Johnny Depp and stars Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor.

Despite being hailed as “a priceless masterpiece” on the CD sleeve, I don’t recall it being shown in a cinema here and I soon realise why.

Lord Charlie Mortdecai (Depp) is an art dealer (actually a known trafficker of stolen art) who thinks he’s an accomplished fencer and a fair shot with the weapons, and loved and respected by all who know him. He has a high-maintenance wife Johanna (Paltrow) who was once the love interest of Inspector Alastair Martland (McGregor), who first met Mortdecai at Oxford as undergraduates.

After a priceless painting is stolen, and the art restorer murdered, Mortdecai and his old rival Inspector Mortland meet again, with the Inspector giving Mortdecai the job of getting the painting back. What follows is a madcap, globe-trotting chase from Hong Kong to Paris to London (home) to Moscow and Los Angeles. A very big group of stunt performers and stand-ins are involved, so are the teams involved with the special and visual effects and the camera crew.

What I like most about this movie is the music. The musical language is very organic. Mostly original compositions (except two – Two Princes (by Spin Doctors) & Johanna (by Miles Kane) – by Geoff Zanelli and Mark Ronson, including the song ‘Heart’s A List’), the music is beautiful and extraordinary. The talents of Zanelli and Ronson is phenomenal: the amount of creativity in creating styles by combining different genres (eg harpsichord-driven {Baroque} modern-day funk; Western instruments with the Chinese pipa) and the magical effect is intangible.

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