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Whatever goes up

Clooney has seldom been so clueless. He’s still the dapper dude he used to be. But by choosing to do a worthless script that’s Up in the Air, his Eminent Greyness seems to have become as lost and soulless as Ryan Bingham, the character he plays.

movie reviews Updated: Jul 23, 2010 23:58 IST

Up in the Air
Reliance Big Home, Rs 599
Rating: 1/2

Clooney has seldom been so clueless. He’s still the dapper dude he used to be. But by choosing to do a worthless script that’s Up in the Air, his Eminent Greyness seems to have become as lost and soulless as Ryan Bingham, the character he plays.

Bingham fires people for bosses who are “too pussy to do it themselves”. His ‘expertise’ at putting on the straight face is so sought after that he spends more than 300 days a year flying around, collecting bonus miles, and telling off people. Confusion begins when Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick), an ambitious graduate churned out by the American factory of higher education, comes up with the idea of firing people on online video. The reactions of those fired are as unconvincing as the faces of the leads. Only Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga) another high-flying ‘firer’ Bingham sleeps with on and off, provides a sense of real acting.

Sometimes a film is better understood by the reels left on the editing room floor. The last of the deleted scenes given as extra on the DVD does just that. It shows a forlorn Bingham wafting through an airport in a white space-suit. Nobody looks at him or at the hideous pipe going from his glass top to his suitcase. Then he floats up – far beyond the level planes fly. And you don’t know whether to choke with the happiness of having seen the last of him, or with the sadness of having spent money and time on watching him.