Friday, June 29, 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012) - Comedy

Another damn good comedy drama which initially offends you being an Indian but then everything starts falling in place and by the end you are impressed. It indeed makes for a nice engrossing viewing as you actually want to see where it is going and what would be the end. It has some real good laugh out loud moments as it will always be there with this kind of a subject. A couple of characters stand out way too good than the rest of the cast, Judie Dench as a widow gets my vote for sure, Tom Wilkinson is totally lovable, I like this guy almost in all his movies, Bill Nighy is a personal favorite anyways and here too he is too good. He is one guy who looks the closest to the character he plays. Dev Patel as usual is good – no ways he looks one bit like a guy educated and settled in Jaipur but I guess that’s the cinematic liberty you better give to movies in the name of entertainment. His girl friend is cute too. It makes up for quite a nice one time watch – warning: If you hated “Slumdog Millionaire” for all those reasons of showing India in bad light – Ignore this too as you will definitely get offended.
The Movie starts with half a dozen characters introduced to us in quick succession; everyone has his or her own story to tell and problems in life.  One thing they have in common is they are all hitting retirement and have a plan to move to “The best exotic marigold hotel” in Jaipur (India). A housewife (Judie Dench) who sells her house to settle her debts, A high court judge who lived in India for sometime (Tom Wilkinson), A couple (Bill Nighy and his wife) who move to India after investing their life savings in their daughters business, An aged lady who needs a hip replacement which would take anywhere around 6 months back home but will be done immediately in India and a couple of more entertaining characters like an aged guy reading “KamaSutra” and is in the lookout for one night stands. Their journey starts on a lousy note as they land in Delhi, the fight to Jaipur gets cancelled and they are left on their own to travel, now that’s something impossible in today’s time as airlines will usually arrange for an alternate flight if it gets cancelled due to their fault but since its India – it’s ok to show anything. Good idea to convert it into a road trip. So they take a bus ride to Jaipur and what an amazing bus they take which is like full to the brim and people are shown as travelling standing in the bus – WOW – what happened to the Pink City buses? Anyone? I have been travelling on those Air Conditioned coaches since mid 90’s, this was another point which made me unhappy but that’s ok. There is a scene where you see this bus driver over takes couple of trucks and it’s a so tight with an approaching truck that you feel they are going to hit, it makes for a good thrilling scene but I guess as long as I know Delhi Jaipur expressway is in place since early 90’s again and has been a 6 lane highway with dividers in between – hence this is another exaggerated scene – Again it’s a movie so you need to take it light.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: As the name and brochure suggested – I was ready for the rude shock that the characters get – obviously it had to be shabby and one of the worst they could ever get. Its hilarious to see the state of Exotic Hotel and its Manager – Dev Patel, who is over enthusiastic about everything is really looking forward to upcoming renovation which he isn’t sure of anyways. Actually the brochures were the “Future Pictures after renovation” which never happens. Every character mentioned here has a background and his / her own tragedy which they need to work out on. Dev Patel has a cute call center working girl friend with a brother who is against their seeing each other. His mother too is against them. She indeed wants him to sell off the hotel and divided the share between his other two brothers who are anyways out of India cause she knows this hotel isn’t going to work. Rest of the movie follows their struggle, coming out winner, some lose some win and how it all falls in place for the hotel. All in all it was quite an entertainment barring those few points which were later worked out as it pays in the end. There are quite a few endearing moments too which would definitely go a long way with the viewers. Cinematography although not outstanding but still holds good, aerial view of Jaipur is great as usual. It can definitely be seen and enjoyed once. A good time pass with a great message in the end.

The Accused (1988) - Drama

Another fantastic Jodie Foster movie – and am happy to read later that she even got an Academy Award for this one. One hell of a movie which deserves a standing ovation as per me. It’s a perfect close to reality thriller cum drama with an awesome background score and perfect casting. Specially Jodie’s character and her attorney, I have seen this chick in couple of more movies, damn good role and she looks simply stunning. Jodie in her 20s was a delight to watch – look at her confidence even that early in her career, the best part is – I had no idea that she got an Oscar for this role before I saw the movie and later I realize – yes! She deserved it for it big time. It’s a must watch for all thriller lovers with a real life touch – not for those with a weak heart as the subject is brutal and its handling is quite close to reality with a heart touching ending. Based on the life of a victim of a gang rape trying to get justice.
The Movie starts with Jodie in her 20’s rushing out of a local bar in torn cloths looking for help. Next we realize she was raped by three people previous night while she was high on drugs and alcohol herself. A district attorney is assigned to her case that has almost got the accused behind bars and they should be in for like good 4-5 years, but they do come to a compromise and the charges are less severe than they should be. Jodie falls out with her on the grounds that the rape wasn’t even mentioned while they get convicted. The beautiful attorney realizes her mistake and fights the case against – this time even against those who didn’t rape but cheered, clapped and instigated it. She even finds out that there are more witness than she was told earlier and goes them hunting. A couple of them come forward to help her too. But the case isn’t that straight as it sounds as Jodie too isn’t telling her everything isn’t true either and there are a lots of facts which are hidden by her. As she unearths all of them, you are realize even Jodie isn’t that clean as she pretends to be. What happens next is the movie all about. Would the culprit be brought to the table? Would they get the sentence they deserve or will they go scot free? Even the courtroom drama which isn’t too long is an eye opener.
Jodie Foster and Kelly McGillis as her attorney are too good. Both have almost got the same footage and importance in the movie. I have hardly seen or remember any of her earlier movies and it was a kind of shock and surprise for me to see her in this kind of a role. She fits in the character to the best and is so comfortable. Totally loved her body language, the way she smokes, throws her head left and right that typical Jodie Foster way as we’ve been seeing her for so many years. Last I saw her was in that rocking drama “Carnage” by Roman Polanski and here this one was made like 24 years earlier and you see almost same female – no change in as many years. She is simply stunning in those skirts and denims of late 80’s.  Background score of the movies is simply awesome as I mentioned earlier too the use of Drums – is what I loved in those early 70’s till late 80’s, here too it’s too good. It’s a must watch for all thriller lovers – the one’s which are close to reality. Not to be missed.

Everybody Says I'm Fine (2001) - Drama

Directorial debut of Rahul Bose and a brisk 100 minutes of fun, mostly shot inside a posh hair salon serving an elite group of Mumbaikars. The protagonist Xen (Rehaan Engineer) has a gift and he can hear the thoughts of his clients while cutting their hair. How he helps them overcome their problems is the movie all about. His clientele includes Pooja Bhatt, Koel Purie, Boman Irani, Anahita Uberoi and a couple of youngsters. Even Xen has a painful background and mostly lives inside his Salon or on the first floor room attached to the same salon. Its an average one time watch – I somehow missed it earlier hence was catching up and totally loved Pooja Bhatt’s small role and Koel Purie’s fundoo performance. Rahul Bose himself does a great cameo. Check it out – if you haven’t seen it – it isn’t that bad.

The Movie is based on the life of Alexander referred as Xen who has a unique gift that he can connect with anyone’s mind while he cuts their hair. He owns a salon called Xens in a posh locality of Mumbai where all the elite Mumbaikars visit. While he was a kid he saw his parents were burnt to death in a freak accident in a recording studio while he cried for help from a sound proof room. Then onwards he lives a silent life and is kind of packed himself inside a room and his only connection with the world is his Salon. He even keeps his television on mute while watching. He has all kinds of clients, from Businessmen to Film Industry strugglers to College Grads to Desperate high society’s wives etc. Some he likes and some he hates. He always tries to help them in one way or the other. Like its shown he tries to help Pooja Bhatt in times of needs, she is struggling with her divorce and is out of cash, at times he lets her go without paying her bill. Then there is this Businessman Boman Irani, who is very successful but is having some family issue which isn’t told to the audience in details but you could make that much out by his conversations on phone. Anahita Uberoi as a cocaine addict who is more interested in life of others than her own and how she tries to screw Pooja’s life is worth a watch.

Xen himself is a quite confused character and has no idea where his life is going plus he comes across one of his clients Koel Purie, for some reason he isn’t able to connect with her mind and is not able to hear her thoughts. Then comes Rahul Bose as a Industry struggle who’s trying to get himself a good role in a movie and fails all the time. One day he comes in his salon and has made up his mind that he is going to commit suicide. Xen wants to help him but how can he? Then he has Boman who is also going to do something very sick and sad, on top of it he has Koel Purie in almost a breaking situation. How he helps them all settle their lives is the movie all about. It does takes some unpredictable turns and shocks the audience but for good. You’ve got to watch what happens next; would he ever come out of his own problems? It’s a neat 100 minutes watch, a simple yet engrossing one. Check it out – you will not regret it for sure. Plus it has some nice songs in the background.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Fall (2006) - Action Adventure

Tarsem Singh is one of my favorite Directors when it comes to making visual extravaganza with or without a competent story to back it up. If you have seen his other works like “The Cell” with Jennifer Lopez in lead or the more recent “Immortals” which made quite a few headlines or the latest “Mirror Mirror” with Julia Roberts in a negative role which again made headlines yet wasn’t liked that much by critics – me included – they were all a visual treats for its audience. Although all of them would have been fantastic movies if they were backed a little bit with better stories to tell but I guess that’s not Tarsem Singhs forte anyways. I would say – if you have a HDTV – pick up any of those movies and impress all your friends by showing them damn good use of bright colors and breath taking locales – never seen before places – its more like watching Discovery Channel. Totally rocking places this guy shoots all his movies with mind-blowing visual effects to say the least. The movie that we saw today was so damn good that even after it finished we were looking forward for some more. This time the story of the kid and her action adventure loving characters is totally awesome. Imagine – in the end my wife indeed asked me “Do they give Oscars to kids too?” cause if they do – this girl deserved it big time as per us. If you like visually strong action adventures – you should not miss this at any cost. Its worth all the money you will put in for a Blue Ray or at least a decent DVD.

The Movie is based on a story set in the early 20th century about a Stunt Man meeting a five year old girl in a hospital and their time together recovering with their own injuries. The guy who has met with an accident while filming a stunt and the girl had a broken arm plastered around shoulder in a very awkward fashion which makes her look even cute in the movie. He creates a story to entertain her and as he keeps telling her – she keeps imagining the visuals and that's what we see on screen. The story is about five heroes whose enemy is an evil ruler and they all seek revenge from him one way or the other, they are later joined by a mystic hero who is even better. The girl keeps imagining her characters to be strong men fighting all odds to fulfill their wishes in a most beautiful manner possible and the way it is captured in camera is simply outstanding. I will never forget those stunning visuals – may it be the shots in desert, forts, amazing sea shots, lakes, and stunning visuals of Himalayas, leh laddakh, Islands, Lake Palace and all the other areas. All those sites make it a totally engrossing movie – one of its own kinds. While watching a movie – one thing in particular I don’t like is when they take breaks in between scenes but here it is done so well that whenever the guy takes a break from the story – it is done so subtly well that you actually don’t mind and go with the flow. The girls little activities in between works more like a filler than an interruption.

The characters – Lee Pace as Roy Walker / Bandit is too good and quite convincing, he develops a special bonding with the little girl and she almost takes him as her own father. How he uses her to fulfill his motive is heartening. Catinca Untaru as Alexandria is too good, one character which refuses to out of my head, awesome. Jeetu Verma as Indian is too good, we have seen him in so many small times roles in India movie – here he is too good. But my favorite character will be Leo Bill who plays Charles Darwin with a monkey. Rests of the characters are lovable too but these three made a big impression on me and were too good.

Once you get hooked to the story – there is no looking back as you realize all the characters onscreen are actually people she comes across in her daily life – its just a matter that some are good and some are bad in the story and not in the real life. The girl is too cute and the way she speaks, makes you laugh and takes you more closure to her character. I can certainly watch this movie for its stunning visuals a couple of more times as my wife too told me to keep the copy for future viewing and she is recommending it big time to all her friends too. Director has shot it actually from a viewers perspective – it so happens so many times that when we see something on screen and do not agree with the narrative – we wish that we could change the on goings a little bit and make it more as per our choice – and that's exactly how they change it here – right when you think the war is lost and there isn’t going to be happiness for the characters – the unexpected happens – it's a delight to see how the story unfolds, how the characters fight with the enemies to emerge winners or to lose mid ways. One amazing watch. Go ahead take a look – I am sure it has more then one reason to be loved. Like we did, one experience that you will never forget and oh! By the way – if you haven't seen his other works like I mentioned above – do check them out too. They too are equally good movies – none that one should miss.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jungle (2000) - Thriller

I think Ram Gopal Varma's last 5 movies have made his fans write him off completely of his reputation as a master story teller of his own kinds. To relive that experience and to rekindle my faith on his talent - I saw today a lighter and yet a riveting movie from his stable "Jungle", based loosely on the life of dreaded dacoit "Veerappan" and his team. One hell of a movie I must say, I am sure all of us must have seen it at some point of time. What shocked, surprised and made me happy is its casting. What a team of talented people did he pick up to tell this fantastic story. Starting from Sushant Singh as Durga Narayan the Dacoit, with his right hand Desu (Vijay Raaz) in a totally outstanding role, followed by Rajpal Yadav in a rocking role, even the little part of informer is played by none other than "Nawazuddin Siddiqui" who will be in limelight shortly after the success of "Gangs of Wasseypur", now imagine how long they've been part of Indian Film Industry. What an amazing movie. Although the less said about the main lead the better as Urmila, Fardeen and Sunil Shetty - are in a proper run of the mill role of their life, so nothing great but again RGV was able to take the best out of them too. With those fantastic expressions from Urmila while kidnapped and a couple of great action shots by Sunil, I somehow liked Fardeen for a change in this movie, he was too cute. Overall - its a treat to watch this movie after so many years and it gives you some kind of satisfaction that someone was making this kind of a movie even at that time (Read a decade ago) which was totally cleared by the censor board. A must watch if you haven't seen it yet. Do not miss it at any cost.

Movie starts as a typical love story of a Rich girl meets a poor boy, fall in love, family coming in between their marriage and before even they could tell their parents and convince them - all hell breaks loose as the whole family with some other people is kidnapped by a dacoit. They want their one of the gang members to be set free by cops in lieu of these people. How do they overcome the whole situation is the movie all about. Entirely shot in the deep dense forests - its an amazing movie with so much going on at a damn good pace that before even you realize its over in no time. Even the running time of 150 minutes isnt too long from any angle and you are totally hooked to it as the narrative is quite interesting and never slows down for a moment so you get distracted. What I loved about this one - even today when I saw it almost like a dozen years after it was made was the freshness of the cast. While you are easily impressed with the simplicity of Fardeen and Urmila as lovy dovy couple. You are totally hooked into the lives of those dacoits too - who for a change are regular people like you and me otherwise. I was specially impressed by the Trio of Rajpal, Vijay and Sushant Singh. One thing which caught my attention big time was their body language, accent, behavior and specially their discussions. Now imagine one scene, while they have to kill one of the hostages to prove a point to the cops. They actually discuss which one to kill and who could be easily taken to a location where they would like to put the body, from a young kid to a feisty fellow to a female they discuss all the pros and cons, finally killing a fairly young female, now the killing scene too is discussed in all its glory, would you like to stab her, strangle her, cut her throat or simply shoot her before cutting her head off. I mean - Amazing that too in the year 2000 - RGV had guts to do this scene the way he did it. As I know - Only he could have pulled it up the way he does that and guess what - Censor clears it off.

Everything about the movie is damn good, starting from the straight forward story to the way it is shot. The camerawork for which RGV anyways is famous is excellent. Even the songs are pretty good and nicely shot. Urmila was at the top of her career while this movie came and did wonders to it again with Fardeen in a role of a lifetime, although he had too little do in comparison to others but still he made quite an impression and was good to cute in his role. The best part about this movie was its support cast. Totally rocking. This was one of the best thrillers of its own time and I must have seen it like a couple of times then and now again I am totally bowled over by it. It was quite close to reality as its shown. Even the characters were author backed, like the life of Fardeen as a college dropout, his room full of Super Car and Bike posters is quite convincing, doesn’t know where his life is going yet falls in love and still we were convinced that he will get somewhere. Urmila and her family - is as good a regular family put on screen.

What made me wonder was the outcome - even after making such gems - how come Ram Gopal Varma end up where he is today when he finds no takers of his movies? And look at the quality of the movies that he is making now? I couldn’t believe that this is the same guy who gave us those classics and the movies that we could swore by and it is the same guy who gave us those recent disasters which were made fun by one and all. I hope he returns to what he did best in the past and will prove all his critics wrong once again. I am sure I will get to see that day pretty soon, being a big fan of him. Amen to that.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring (2003) - Korean Movie

Another stunningly shot beautiful movie from one of my favorite Korean Director "Kim Ki Duk". The best part of the movie other than being a visual treat for its audience, it hardly has any dialogues and its too easy to understand even if you do not get the subtitles. A fantastic message with the movie - how life comes full circle. I am totally bowled over again with this movie and loved it totally as how easily he has put in so much in a 100 minute movie without saying or preaching anything. Not at all surprised by those high ratings anywhere you read about it. Its based on the life of a Buddhist Monk - five seasons of his life shot in various stages of life at the same place - he stays in a floating monastery on a lake. The whole movie is shot at one place only and it’s beautiful how everything changes with the change in the season. I could imagine the effort they must have put in shooting the whole thing during those five seasons to show us the originality. One hell of an experience. Its a treat for all cinema lovers - one movie that I again will not be able to forget for quite a long time - thanks to those friends who referred this one to me.

The movie shows us a regular day in the life of a monk and a young boy who stays with him in a floating monastery in a very small lake in the mid of hilly region somewhere in Korea. The location is just fantastic, amazing is the feeling when you see the surrounding area; the aerial shots of the whole region are totally outstanding. First season we see is the spring, they use a small boat to go to the shore to pick up some herbs and vegetables, monk teaches everything to the kid as to how to make a medicine, what to eat and what not to. While the kid plays along, he ties a stone to a Fish, a Frog and even to a Snake - so they should not escape. To teach him a lesson, while he sleeps the monk ties a big stone tablet on his back and next day morning when he wakes up, he realizes his mistake and they both go again to set the fish, frog and snake free of the stone he tied previous day. It’s heartening to see that the Fish and Snake died but somehow the Frog survives. A kid cries over his mistake but learns a lesson. Season 2 is summer - The Kid is now in his teenage and as they go on with their regular lives they have a visitor in the form of a young girl and her mother. The girl is suffering from some disease and they visit the monk so he could cure her. As the mother leaves her with them, the kid and the girl finally fall in love and end up making love. Although the dude is sorry to have done that but the monk believes it’s natural and nothings wrong in that. But the problem starts when she is cured and her mother takes her away with her. The kid now an adult is unable to live without her and leaves the monk and the monastery in anger to find the girl and to stay with her. He goes off on his journey to get her back and the monk stays alone.

The Season changes to fall, finally he comes back after some time as girl gets married to someone else, he even tries to kill himself and is beaten badly by the monk to do that. Later two cops come down searching for him to take him along as he had actually killed his own wife before coming back to the monastery. Monk writes a scripture on the wooden floor of the monastery and requests them to let him carve it out with a knife before they take him away. They let him do that and later arrest him. While the kid goes off to pay the price of his crime - the monk kills himself by setting himself ablaze - i guess he holds himself responsible for the kid’s behavior and pays the price by taking his own life. He comes back after couple of years and it is winters now as you see the whole lake as frozen, as he looks for the monk - realizes that the monk is gone. Now he takes care of the monastery and trains himself as per the guidelines set by the monk in the book that he leaves behind. Amazing is the scenery and his practice session where he learns the art of self defense and lots of other stuff. One fine day - he has a visitor in the form of a woman whose face is covered with a very young kid. As she leaves the kid behind in the monastery - she accidentally falls in a ditch and goes inside the frozen lake and dies. Who’s this kid? Who was the female? Why did she leave the kid behind and what is that the young monk going to do with this kid - is something you've got to watch the movie for. Although the movie does leaves some questions unanswered in the end but still it holds the whole thing in too good a manner. I wish I could get those answers - I tried searching it on the net but they are left just like that.

It was an amazing experience to watch this one. A couple of my friends referred it to me with very high regard and now I know why. The entire movie is a spell binding experience shot in those 5 seasons - it’s a visual delight to say the least. Also from almost no background score to very good music - it’s an experience in itself. A must watch for all cinema lovers - it has a very good message in the end and it leaves you stunned for the most part of its running time. I had not seen what they have shown in this one in any of the movies I saw so far. I guess I am going to be hooked to "Kim Ki Duk's" various works now.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teri Meri Kahaani (2012) - Love Story

Another feel good movie, have fun, enjoy two hours of sheer lovy dovy scenes and go home happy as all so called “feel good movies” will have the happy endings so no shocks in here. I have always argued with my friends that Priyanka Chopra isn’t versatile, she proved it with 13 roles “Ashutosh Govarikar” offered her in a single movie, barring a few – almost all of them were similar with nothing special, She again failed a fantastic Director like “Vishal Bhardwaj” that too with merely 7 roles and what should I say when “Kunal Kohli” offered her only 3 in same movie? It’s there for all of us to see, even my wife was angry on the choice of actress for this one as she is big Shahid Kapoor fan and blames Priyanka for this disaster. All Priyanka does is change the cloths and almost all three characters are exactly same, C’mon Kunal – you could have definitely done better than this. Unfortunately Shahid’s sincere performance which is damn good works big time for me, every character he plays is way too different and quite convincing, still the movie isn’t worth one watch – let alone a healthy discussion on the same. It becomes another movie that you just see and forget. Sajid Wajid again prove disastrous, barring one tune, you don’t take home nothing with you. When it comes to period movies – we Indians neither has resources, nor have energy or interest to make them interesting – so I have no grudges with Kunal Kohli on that department. It’s quite laughable – only if you have seen the movie – you will get what I mean. We were happy to see our next door neighbor play one of the friends of Shahid in two parts and that was a life savior other than damn good short roles by Prachi Desai (She is hot) and Neha Sharma. For a moment I was confused – isn’t this from the same guy who gave us “Hum Tum” which I loved immensely and “Fanaa” which was still good but then I realized yeah! It is from the same guy who gave us duds and pointless movies like “Mujhse Dosti Karoge” and “Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic”. I should have seen GOW again – I guess.
The Idea: Taken from a Taiwanese Movie (Three Times), Thank god that none of the story has got anything to do with others and it’s actually a breeze to see three regular run of the mill love stories go by to a predictable ending that’s stretched too far. Even with that kind of a running time it looks over stretched as by the time it comes to conclusion – you actually want it all to end so you could go home. Its actually so bad – if you ask me for a love story – I was expecting that will be hooked to it to guess or see how it all ends, but nothing like that. Time and again – it has become a proven fact that we Indians cant make one convincing period drama – so many big shots have failed in the recent past – even with that kind of money and resources. This isn’t an exception either – look at the way they have created the so called “Era” of 1910 and 1960. I mean I was so heartbroken and irritated to see the same Tram come by again and again and again in the 60’s. Boss, we know you rented an old tram and made it work too – but how many times you are going to use it? Back to back to back? I thought if it comes one more time – I am going to jump in front of it and kill myself. Look at Priyanka Chopra’s make up in current times, 60’s and even in 1910 – hats off. Not one thing changes in all those years. Same thing for Shahid – but he looks so awesomely different, his built was fundoo in the 1910 character with those biceps, grown hair and fundoo Sher – O – Shayari’s, a struggler in 60’s his body language, dialogue delivery, facial expressions were so good and in 2012 character – he had that boyish college going kid charm, but alas the script doesn’t work for him this time too. For me it was a very bad choice to pick up Priyanka for this role – she definitely couldn’t pick up the characters and becomes a big turn off for me. More than her – it was damn good to see Prachi Desai and Neha Sharma in those small roles – yet you love them totally and am going to remember them for quite a while.
When it comes to recreating the 60s or 70s in our movies, its been done so many times and so beaten to death subject now a days that its very hard to impress the audience. Check out any tom dick and harry movie of Hollywood – I would say check their B grade stuff with flash backs and going back in time, you will be damn impressed even by that and then look at the stuff being served in our part of the world. There is this song in this movie too where Shahid does a Shammi Kapoor look, we actually laughed on the background so much, I mean there are a group of 15 ladies dancing with different sets of cloths and then there are 15 sets of guys wearing different sets of cloths – all colorful and not at all at sync with others, c’mon – it wasn’t this colorful at that time man. Same hair styling for everyone and same looks. Nothing new. Totally a big turn off. When they go back in time to 1910, Director takes a safe way out by offering them all to wear Kurta’s and Shahid gets to wear a Pathani Suit mostly. So you can’t argue. ROFL stuff. Imagine two lovers who were destined to meet and fall in love again and again and again - till they keep meeting, whatever time and era they take birth in but some mercy should be shown to support cast too. Look at poor Prachi Desai, she looks so cute and lovely - walks out of Shahid's life like anything - no mention anywhere? or was the director time bound to wrap up all the stories in flat 30 minutes all three times that he just had no time to waste on Prachi or Vrijesh's character as they were removed from the movie with no mention? I was looking for some little justification. Later they sew all the parts in final 20 minutes where everything falls in place and we have a happy ending for all the couples.
Music of the movie – the less said the better – I guess Sajid Wajid should stick to their role of judges on some reality TV show they do and take total retirement from that department. Not one song I could remember by the end of the movie – barring the signature tune, nothing came home with me. Don’t know about others – if it worked for them. But no ways for me. It never works – songs are just about ok when you see them on screen – fortunately Shahid is too good hence you can still live with that kind of music as you hardly notice the bad music. Other departments of the movie – less discussed the better. I guess Priyanka took training from Kirron Kherr for her early 20th century role as I could actually see her on screen all the time as she used those Punjabi words. Whats with her make-up? She was the daughter of a Freedom Fighter that too in pre independent India and she was gorgeous with flawless make up and looks. But again – I guess it’s a feel good movie – so we should all forget that and be happy. She again wears her Trademark Denim Hot Pants with Boots yet again. I guess she’s got only one pair that she uses in all her movies – may be they are lucky for her or somethingJ.

Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) - Crime

So many thoughts bubble up in my mind as I start to write my take on "Gangs of Wasseypur" - from the ticket buying experience of Anurag Kashyap's fans ganging up in theater to my childhood days - when I used to see one movie per month as my pocket money was 5/- a month and that was the price of one Balcony Ticket during those days (Read late 80's) and then - I will talk about that movie almost whole of the month and will kill my mom with every scene again and again till she will give up and give me an advance pocket money and will force me to watch some other movie and come back with a new story :). This morning when we went to watch the movie - we were the first one's to arrive and the ticket window wasn't opened yet, then we had another guy walk in, then a couple and then a couple of more couples. As the dude casually turns up and opens the ticket window - we almost shouted on him to check his watch as the show will start at sharp 9 AM as per us. He switches on his machine and the first guy on the window says "One Ticket - Gangs of Wasseypur" - the window dude says "Sir, change please". I was right behind this guy and shouted "Give him three tickets" and the dude behind me seeing a 500/- in first guys hands shouts "Give him five". Expressions on the face of the dude on counter were priceless - simply mind-blowing as he gave us five tickets and we all almost ran inside as none of us wanted to lose the starting credits. That's Anurag Kashyap Magic and these are his fans. Are you still looking forward to my take? Its an Experience that one should have - that too Big Screen but please if you are looking forward to Entertainment like "Sajid Khan / Rohit Shetty" stuff - please stay away. But if you want to see realistic cinema - showing you - what happens and how? this is it. I will not be surprised if this franchisee turns to be a commercial disaster. Second part will be a definite success but first is not going to be a successful commerical one for sure. Who cares? Not Anurag and Not his Fans. We loved it and will definitely contribute our part by seeing it again.

What disappoints me big time nowadays is that when a Director like Anurag Kashyap makes a movie like this one. He actually deserves clap, cheers, hoot, shouts, applause and hands in air moments but todays highly educated crowd of multiplex just smiles and "Sighs" - no wants to Whistle and shout "Yoo Hoo" like I did in a theater with sitting capacity of close to 600+ with 15 tickets sold only. But I glad that I did made a great friend who was properly in sync with my feelings and keeping me company with my emotions going high with every new character stabbed and killed by Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpai) in most brutal possible way. With almost no background score to pin drop silence to Piyush Mishra's voice over on 20000+ Watts of Audio System - I cant even put it in words how it felt - everything is so insanely beautiful about this whole movie and it took our movie watching experience ot a new high. Those days are gone when I will regrest not being born in the times of those great Directors when they were making those classics - which now we watch and gasp in amazement. I am proud to be born on a time when Anurgag Kashyap is making movies. It was an amazing feeling to hear the thump of Royal Enfield with Sardar Khan riding it and his two associates throwing crude bombs and hurling bullets on enemies - left right and center and Sardar telling them "Maar saalon ko, ek ek ko maar" it was an amazing feeling giving me goosebumps. Killing some one with that brutality never made me happy but this was a vengeance long due hence the outcome and the feelings associated with it. This is exactly how you show - how it happens. There is this one scene where Sardar stabbs a guy multiple times with an "Ice Breaker" - once twice thrice and the guy too fights for his life before crashing - I will never forget this one scene and lots of similar scenes or the whole movie for a long long time to come - I am sure of that. The rattle of old Mahindra Jeep in which they move with no doors - is superb music to my ears. Amazing is the way he has captured the mood, era, feel and it takes you so close to reality that even the camera looks like a character. The very first scene of the movie - the whole shoot out at Sardar Khan's haveli - gives you a feel that "You've been with them" and not that you are watching it sitting in a plush theater in chilling air conditioner.

Its an ultimate revenge story starting from pre independent India and ends around late 90's and will go forward in the second part which is very highly awaited - I just simply can't wait to see it now. Almost every character you come across in the whole movie - gives you that "Hand Picked for the role by Anurag Kashyap", may it be damn good kids to the hot women - he has chosen for the job. Even when the second wife of Sardar Khan played by "Remme Sen" has hardly any lines to speak - you will not forget her character - this must be called one of her best appearances on the big screen as she looks fuming hot to say the least. Richa Chaddha is another revelation, she plays the role of a perfect nagging wife to the T. Sardar Khan is dreaded by his counterparts and enemies both - but inside the house - you should see his expressions change - he is totally a different guy inside his own house in front of his wife. Its hilarious to see their conversations. The guy who plays Shahid Khan (Jaideep Ahlawat - Manoj Bajpai's Father) - is one hell of a character - his fight sequences are simply mind blowing with that damn good make up and effect - its totally outstanding. This guy is going to go a long way now and i am sure a lot of Directors will pick up him now for a varied list of roles. Piyush Mishra and his voice over is another high of the movie - he has a unique way of delivering his dialogues and his character is one of the best things about this movie. Totally loved him. He is the one who takes care of Sardar Khan once his dad is killed. Yet! the best character in this part is definitely Sardar Khan and Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia) in a role of a life time. Never expected the director of a couple of best movies of bollywood to do a role that too in a first of its own kind debut. Unbelievable role and what an ease he is with that character and role - Kudos to Anurag to pull it off in the way they have done this.

I have a bad reputation of "Not Singing a song ever". Imagine when I was in school - long back - I was always thrown out of Music Class as I will never sing. Never sang my school prayer or even the national anthem - till today. Songs of the movie never appealed me. Even after downloading the whole album and listening to it - I deleted it immediately as the songs were not upto my taste. When we reached home after seeing the movie - as I hummed "O Womaniya" that too in a romantic mood - wifey turns to me and says "WOW, which direction did the sun rise today?" ;) Again, thats the magic of Anurag Kashyap - as the sexy image of Remme Sen doesnt go off your mind so soon in that sexy revealing saree. Dialogues though do not have that impact this time round they do always in all his movies still they hold pretty good. Although its a little too long for the regular movie goer - hence I saw some people complaining of too much running time, should be edited like good 20 minutes and stuff like that. I did not had any such issues as I would have definitely loved to watch the whole 5 and a half hour long movie in one go like the people in Cannes did and loved it too. Now we will have to wait a couple of months more to see the continued story which is going to be even better than what we saw uptill now.

Its a must watch for all thriller / action movie lovers. Its a treat to Anurag Kashyap fan's, I guarantee - you will be asking for more by the time it ends and wouldn't like to get up from your seats even after the end credits roll and you see the trailer of the upcoming second part. Its a delight and an amazing piece of cinema. Not to be missed at any cost.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Colombiana (2011) - Action

If you like Slam Bang – Thank You Mam Action movies – you are going to love this J. Out n Out Friday night action stuff. It made me think again and again while I saw this that – looks like the script was written with Angelina Jolie in the mind and they end up taking Zoe Saldana for the same. Still it is a damn good one time watch. It indeed reminded me of Angie’s last two movies that I saw “Wanted” and “Salt”. Although this one isn’t that strong in content but with that kind of action who cares about the content as long as everything is eye candy. But kudos to the director who gave us “Transporter 3” – the highest grossing amongst the Transporter Trilogy – it’s no wonder that this one’s action sequences are wonderfully choreographed. Zoe certainly is capable of giving her counterparts a run for their money in the longer run. Her movements were like Cat Woman and action was beyond my expectations. Even the little girl who plays her childhood part was too good in the brief role. If you like Action movies – you should not be missing this one. 100 minutes of sheer fun not to be missed.

My Sunday morning started with this one, I started it very casually while checking some emails on my phone and as it started giving us the aerial view of Colombia with two guys talking and coming to a conclusion where the first one a Gang Lord lets the second one go free. The moment second guy walks out, the first one says to his men “Kill this mother fucker”, the other guy goes out and tells his team that they are going to face the music now, I kept my phone down and started to take interest in the movie. And did I pick up my phone for next 90 minutes? No ways! And I don’t even regret. Right from the moment “Go” this turns out to be a action packed movie. The moment this guy comes home, he instructs his wife and kiddo to pack the bag and they will be leaving the country. One moment you see the wife packing the bags and running with the daughter and the next moment when they realize there is no way they can get away from the scene – they go for the backup plan and you see them picking up huge guns, even his wife had quite a big gun in her hands. They both die but the daughter somehow escapes as her dad had already set up an escape route for her just in case something happens to them. She goes to Chicago and joins her uncle. The way she escapes from Colombia and those guys is worth a mention and the sequence is totally awesome. Her uncle promises her revenge only if she follows his path and admits her into a school.

15 years later: The real action starts now as the girl is all grown up. Even her entry is classic as she comes full speeding in her car and bangs a cop car, only to get arrested for drunk driving overnight. In the meantime a high profile criminal is escorted by cops in the same prison and I realized – it wasn’t an accident rather a plan and how she executes the whole scene is just simply outstanding. Before even anyone could realize what happened – she is already done with first of her revenges. One by one she takes on every one who was responsible for her family’s assassination. Every killing sequence is better than the last one and the final climax sequence is totally mind blowing action. The way she is tracked by FBI and Cops hand in hand still they aren’t anywhere near her – let alone catching her is a little over cooked but those are the cinematic liberties that we give to our Directors and forgive them in the name of sheer entertainment. Use of technology, her artillery, fire power, a little love and romance, the movie has almost everything to make it a bloody good experience. I will recommend it very highly to all action movie buffs. Even if you won’t love – you will enjoy it for sure. Go ahead – pick up a six pack and enjoy the action.

The Life of David Gale (2003) - Drama

Another run of the mill movie which tries too hard to make its point. Unfortunately it never worked for me because up till the half time it goes good and then it becomes predictable. I could actually predict what’s going to happen next – it was that easy. Although it has two of my favorite actors – Kevin Spacey will get my vote always – hands down. Kate Winslet is too beautiful to be ignored anyways. I have almost seen all the movies of them both back to back to back. Somehow missed this one but now I have seen this one too. It would be an awesome watch – if only you are not able to predict and let me tell you – you will be in for a big shock in the end J. Yes, it's a good one time watch for sure as even if you know what's going to happen – you are still interested to see - How it's going to happen. Kevin Spacey is too good and I am sure this was a cake walk for him as you see him at such an ease with the character right from the word “GO”. Support cast is too good, right from his best friend and colleague, to his lawyer and even guy who plays “Kate’s” colleague leaves a good impression on you. Check it out, who knows you may end up liking it. It does leave couple of questions unanswered in the end.

The movie starts quite well with Kevin spacey making his funda clear in front of everybody about the capital punishment. He even argues with the governor of the state on live TV show but loses the debated cause he couldn't name one innocent man executed wrongly. He is a top notch philosophy professor at Harvard University. Flat half an hour into the movie and it starts becoming predictable. Right from the moment when he screws one of his X Students from the university – you exactly know where this story is going to go and take a bad turn. Immediately next day he is arrested, finally once he comes out of the same, loses his job, family and everything. Later he is framed for the murder of his own X colleague who was his own right hand in all the campaigning they did against capital punishment. Ironically he too becomes a death row inmate and is to be executed in couple of days. Before he is executed, he lawyer negotiates half a million dollars deal with a News Magazine to give his real story only to a female reporter working with them who has a reputation of protecting her sources.

Kevin Spacey is too good on his part. He plays the role of a professor perfectly. A frustrated Dad too good. A perfect friend and later an innocent man waiting for his own execution, who fought against the same punishment. It’s heartening to see his frustration, life going upside down and at times hitting a dead end. What did not impress me is the treatment, at best you can call it a drama as there is no emergency feel here as if everything is preplanned and all set to go the way its going. I guess that's the reason why this didn’t make that big impact as it was supposed to. Still it makes it up for a good one time watch, although it’s a little too long from that point of view too. But am I complaining? No I am not as I am a big Kevin Spacey fan and I like as long as he is on screen J whatever he does – he does it well. And this wasn't an exception either, if you are not able to guess the ending and if it doesn't becomes predictable to you like it was for me. It does deliver a punch in the end. Even I had that lump in the throat feeling in the end and I am sure the people who saw this one in theater – would have surely walked out of theater with their heads down and in complete silence. Do let me know your thoughts – if you see it. I would love to know how you feel.

Rampage (2009) - Action

A damn good example of frustrated youth of America, who goes on a killing spree for no reason or rhyme. But that makes for an awesome action movie to say the least. I never expected the kind of shock it gave me. I guess a similar movie came in 90’s too and I am sure it was based on a similar idea, I need to google it now big time to find that one and see it again. This was a totally shocking account of a very young guy – reason for his frustration is hilarious and the revenge he takes on the world is mind-boggling. I will definitely praise the director for showing it in one of the best ways, the moment the action starts – all you can do is keep your hand on your mouth and just watch with your eyes popping out. He is frustrated with his parents constant bickering to do something worthwhile with his life, his boss’s not raising his pay, a coffee shop guy not giving him enough extra foam, a restaurant lady serving and spilling his lunch all over him, too many people immigrating to USA etc etc. Solution?? Pick up the gun and shoot them all. It’s a must watch for all action lovers who can live with blaring guns and bleeding people. I loved it totally. 

It's the story of a young guy Bill, who lives with his parents and works as a mechanic with a low level workshop. His parents constantly try to tell him to do something worthwhile and move out of house as well. His boss isn’t giving him a raise either. The coffee shop which he frequents usually – the dude out there doesn't gives him extra foam as he demands on his coffee. He has his own set of frustrations, like too many people moving to American and making it trash. One fine day he decides to work out his own solution to the all worldly problems. Kill them all. He makes a bulletproof armor for himself. Gets a lot of guns, bullets, bombs and what not, fixes them all up. Now getting a gun that too a machine gun or an AK47 in US is a cake walk I guess. As every tom dick and harry in every second movie gets it just like that. Here too, no explanation given but you should see the collection of weapons he has, totally amazing. Picks up a big car and goes on a killing spree. Before that – he packs a lot of bombs in one remote controlled van first and blows off the town's police station. His killing spree is shot in a damn good way. He starts shooting people left right and center, doesn't even tries to know who they are, where they are going, what they are doing. Nothing! Everyone who comes in front of him will be dead in no time. A couple of cops, who try to stop him, lose their life too.

He enters a bank, kills the security guard with a knife who tries to overpower him. Robs the bank properly, at least kills half of the staff too. Very smartly he switches the money with fake notes and once outside the bank – burns the fake ones, shouting that money is world’s biggest problem. He goes from one place to another just like that killing people. He enters a beauty parlor and somehow decides to not to kill them, just picks up a glass of water, drinks it and as he goes out a girl says something which angers him further and he shoots them all too. He takes his personal revenges too and settles all his scores with people who’ve been frustrating him for long.

I kept thinking all this while how is it going to end? And what would be the motto of killing so many people and Director does answers that question. That too in such a smart way that it’s pretty convincing and you actually feel that the guy was too smart and he planned everything in advance and that too so well that he should be able to walk out of it unharmed. You’ve got to see it to believe it. All in all it’s a good action movie which does makes us think hard at least. So many times in the recent past we have seen those incidences when a college going kid picks up a gun and kills the innocent just like that before killing himself up. I am sure I have read that at least half a dozen times in the last couple of years only. Go ahead take a look – this should have been an eye opener of sorts for us and it does makes your eyes pop out and take notice of what’s going around us.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Klute (1971) - Thriller

Couple of weeks back I read about this and it had me thinking all these days - how would it be to see Donald Sutherland of all in a positive role that too as a lead opposite Super Gorgeous Jane Fonda. Saw it today and I must tell you - its a mindblowing experience. If you like Suspense Thrillers - this should be called one of the good underrated one, if not great. It keeps you hooked till the very end and you actually keep guessing who the bad guy is till the very last minute of the movie. Your loyalty keeps shifting between the main three characters. Jane Fonda is too too good, So damn beautiful, without exposing or revealing much - the Director keeps his audience hooked to her big time. She looks so damn good in those 70's dresses, everything about her character is so damn gorgeous. What I most loved about this movie is the whole 70's set up with awesome background score and those songs we were so used to during our college days. Special use of Drums, Guitar and a faint Saxophone is too good. Donald in a serious retrained role is so good as most of him I have seen is in a Bad Ass Cop :) roles, this was certainly a profile changer for him. Its a must watch for all thriller / suspense movie lovers. You will love it totally. Do not miss it at any cost.

Supreme Gorgeous Jane Fonda

The movie is based on John Klute's (A Cop and detective) investigation of the disappearance of an Executive. The police isn't able to find much while the investigation goes, finally the job comes to Klute. He is assisted by a high profile prostitute (Jane Fonda) who had received some letters from the disappeared guy. Klute takes up the room right below her apartment to keep an eye on her and follow her to find any clue about the disappeared guy. She finally agrees to assist him and gradually during the investigation they fall for each other. They do feel at times that they are being followed. Even the camera angle is of a stalker wherever she goes and does. We are actually forced to believe that someone is following her and watching over her all the time. Even Klute believes so and at times tries to find who that guy is. People commit suicides and are killed to during the courso of investigation. One clue leads to another and at times you feel that the mystery will be solved but again it comes to a complete dead end. The voice tapes keep playing in the background further confusing the audience. Jane's meetings with her psychiatrist tell a lot about her character to her. She is actually a nice girl stuck in the world of prostitution. She is actually shown so many times trying to get into modelling and movies but keeps failing on all her attempts. Finally giving in to quick money making world of a prostitute.

The whole suspense thing is handled so well that it actually confused me and I had to go back - rewind the movie and watch it again to know what just happened. Till you come to the end of it all and the mystery gets resolved. The movie was almost finishing and I was wondering when do we get to see the culprit as it comes open almost in the last 5 minutes of the run time. So far, it is one of the best detective movies I have seen in the recent past. I will highly recomend it to all.

Brick Lane (2007) - Drama

I read about this movie during this year Cannes Film Festival and with Tanishtha Chatterjee and Satish Kaushik in lead with that subject in hand - just couldn't resist it. And I am glad that I did see it finally today. Last we saw her was in "Road Movie" again with Satish and Abhay Deol and that was a role wherein she was indeed noticed, haven't seen her in a movie for so long. I was shocked to see that even this movie was made in bloody 2007 and we hear no mention of the same anywhere. Obviously its too serious a subject that it was based on hence it had no entertainment value whatsoever. Based on the life of a an immigrant couple from Bangladesh and how their life changes after 9/11. Its quite a convincing account of their life as it raises so many question as you deeply delve into the subject and lets you think hard. Initial half hour almost made me angry and offensive by the way they always show us Indians in poor light even after so many years but then I realized it wasn't India they were in but Bangladesh :) - My wife actually pointed out that "Now you must be happy, right? since its not India". Its a must watch for those who like real life based dramas. This one is too close to reality and has an awesome ending, one that you do not see in our movies at least.

The movie is based on the life of two sisters, no mention of their father in the story, even the mother commits suicide one fine day, no reason disclosed. The elder one whose story this is, hardly 17 at that time is quickly married to a guy double her age (Satish Kaushik) and they move to London's Brick Lane, where they spend rest of their life. Her younger sister keeps writing her letters about her life and she also keeps replying to her. Those letters are the only connection she has with the outside world. As she is married to a very conservative Bangladeshi Muslim, she follows all the traditions and rituals, you can see her always in a Sari with even her head covered almost always. Even when she goes out for usual shopping - she is almost invisible to the world and vice versa. Its amazing the way the Director has handled the cast, specially Tanishtha's character and Satish Kaushik, they are right opposite, She has nothing to be happy and cheerful about and takes her life as it comes and on the other hand - even the guy is having so many problems of his own, right from the work he does to his family life, yet you see him always cheerful and normal as if nothing has happened.

She has no idea where the money is coming from or what her husband does for a living. The only goal in life she has is to go back home somehow and meet her sister. They have no money and resources to do so thats why they've been living their for years and never went back home. Her life changes the moment a new neighbour comes to stay in their building. The lady offers her a sewing machine with which she can make one pound per cloth she does the stitching for. She starts working hard while taking care of two young daughters too. A young guy in the form of cloth supplier comes into her life like a breath of fresh air. She actually looks forward to his coming as he becomes the second connection with the outside world. She almost falls for him and they have an affair in no time, as you can tell by their expressions and you actually as an audience want her to do that cause she too has a right to live her life and be happy about something. Fantastic is the way its shot and the way their fight for every day life is shown. Totally convincing. Your heart actually cries for her. Then 9/11 happens and the life of Muslims world over changes. They too were no exception and go through tough times as if they were already not struggling. Finally her husband decides to go back to Bangladesh, he too has some doubts on her wife having an affair with a young guy but he never says a word to her. His eyes and expressions though say a lot. Will they wrap up everything and go back? Their elder daughter revolts and threatens them that she will not go back at whatever cost. It has a peffect ending - one thats quite close to reality and the one that we do not seen in a lot of movies these days. You've gotta watch it to believe it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Elephant Man (1980) - Drama

What a contrasting experience I had today. On one side I saw a Satyajit Ray movie and on the other I got this David Lynch classic. Both were amazing experiences in its own rights. This too was a heart touching drama, Based on a true story from late 19th Century. Fantastic performances by its leading cast including Sir Anthony Hopkins as the Surgeon and my favorite John Hurt as the Elephant Man. Almost for first 45 minutes I was waiting for John's arrival to later be shocked to know that the guy who was Elephant Man WAS John Hurt. It isnt made for the weak hearted as are all his movies anyways. For me it wasnt a horror or a thriller but a heart touching drama as I was totally engrossed by the treatment he was getting from the public and the team of doctors. On one side he was a joke and a matter to laugh on and on the other side he had people who genuinely loved and cared about him. What was his fault? if he was born like that. A must watch for all David Lynch fans - its an amazing experience.

Its a heart touching story of a guy whose mother was struck by an elephant while she was 4 months into pregnancy. Hence the deformity. He has an over sized head and its so big and gross that it is quite a moving sight to see him live. His face and body is all contorted while his legs and feat are too thick and its very hard for him to walk too. An owner of a freak show in London finds him and puts him on his show to collect money. The movie intially moves very slow and they keep on showing you the glimpse of the Elephant Man but never show you his face and body completely. Once he is seen by a surgeon, who wants to analyze him in his laboratory and who finally takes him away - he is show to the audience in complete form and its so heart touching that your heart cries out for him. He is in such a pathetic state, yet he is a very nice man to know. He communicates very politely, has interest in art, ends up making a replica of a church which is visible from his hopital room's window from cardboard boxes. Surgeon actually takes him to his home too to let him meet his wife and see his family pictures. Where John Merrick (The Elephant Man) shows them his beautiful mothers picture too, thats the only one thing that he had.

He is again captured and taken to a distant place by the freak show owner. Again he gets back to his regular life, put in a cage like an animal. Some his counterparts who themselves are a part of the show because of their physical deformities set him free and he makes his way back to London. The effort he puts in to get back to his life with the surgeon is eye opening. It shows us the will to live and survive. All the trouble he faces on his way back, people shout, kick, spit on him and he pleads "I am not an animal, I am a human being" - I will never forget those words ever in my life, the way he says them. Finally, he joins the hospital back and we believe that his life is going to change and for better. But I guess thats not something so easy to come and his story comes to a sad end. You've got to see it to believe it.

The movie got 8 Academy Nominations including Best Picture in 1980.

Nayak - The Hero (1966) - Bengali Movie

15th Movie of Satyajit Ray and yet again as I said earlier too - he had some fetish with trains that none of his movies be complete without having to do something with the trains. This one is entirely shot in a train going to Delhi. What an amazing journey. This is the story of Movie Star Arindam Mukherjee (Uttam Kumar) and his chance meeting with other travellers including Aditi (Sharmila Tagore) and various people from the different walks of life. Each one has a different story and background to it and how their lives crisscross during this over night journey to Delhi. How everybody has his / her own opinion on the Star and how they all want a glimpse / autograph from him is heartening to see. Its so real life like that you cant stop smiling yourself on the situation and the way his own life is going is too good to see.

A day in the life of a movie star who is taking a train ride to journey to Delhi cause all the flights are booked and he has an important function to attend where he would be felicitated too. It goes on and off to the flashbacks to give us a fairly good idea of where his life is going and from where he has come this far in his career. I haven't seen much of Uttam Kumar anyways so cant comment at this stage but he fits to the role of a Super Star as he himself was a Super Star of Bengali / Hindi cinema at his times. My mom is a big fan of him and the likes from Bengali Cinema. Sharmila Tagore works with a small time magazine and is on the look out to take his interview during the course of the journey as the magazine she works with - wants to start a dedicated section for entertainment industry and this could have been a perfect opportunity to print the interview of a Super Star.

There are a couple of more characters thrown in good measure here like the Political Leader travelling in the next compartment from our Hero who dislikes him, Then we have his wealthy businessman travelling with his wife, who is about to strike a deal with another businessman during the course of the journey, A family with a young daughter who is not well for almost a month, who again happens to be a big fan of Arindam. he himself is going through a bad phase and his past is haunting him. We do see some of the flash backs of his early life where his mentor is telling him to not to join the commercial cinema and become a puppet in the hands of the directors working for only commercial success. Then we see him dreaming and jumping with all the success he has attained atop a mountain of currency notes, finally to sucked deep down inside a quicksand of money and fame.

This whole train journey is actualy an introspection into his life by himself. He gets so much time to think about his own life, where is it going, what is he upto and he realizes that his life isn't going anywhere, he has no one to fall back on. If something happens to him, he knows no one will come for his rescue. He confesses all that to Aditi while giving the interview and thinks himself too about the same. Success, Fame and Money doesn't mean happiness always, we all know that and its a lesson we all learn the harder way, the way he has learned in his life. He is shown as Arrogant, Selfish, Mean, Never helped anyone in the hour of need and all those people come in his dreams to haunt him and make him realize, what he has done in his life so far. Its heartening to see him get drunk to over come his weakness, how he is helped by his co-passengers, who happen to be his fans and somehow they understand his mental state. Its an amazing insight into the life of our Movie Stars, who we adore big time, never knowing the truth behind those close doors and personalities. This movie gives a glimpse to us into their lives.

Its a must watch for all movie lovers. True to its core and very convincing. I totally loved it. Its a heart touching drama and almost a real life account. Too good.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Piranha 3DD (2012) - Thriller

Another sequel bites the dust. These days they have a set formula of making a movie. The next big thing is 3D. This one fails on all the counts, the cast - although is gorgeous but dumb, too many hot chicks roaming around topless, Glossy Finish, Water Sports, A Cameo by David Hasselhoff, Body Parts Chopping, Biting, Blood, Gore, Sex, Nudity and lots of it - Nothing could save this one. Even with a running time of 75 minutes :) - the last 10 minutes are dedicated to goof ups and all. Still it wasn't worth all the money and effort you put in to see this one. 3D gives me headache and hence we decided to see it at home. I was shocked to see the content and was actually wondering - how in the hell Indian Censor Board cleared all that and it actually released in our part of the world - Indeed Shocking. Ignore if you haven't seen it yet - you are not missing anything - Rather you should pick up the earlier part which was way too good and it had my alltime favorite Elizabeth Shue too in it.

This one has nothing new to offer and runs on the same formula of Piranha's getting the access to the Water Park on the opening day itself when its all crowded. As they say it has a "Wafer Thin" plot and anyways in this kindda movie who cares about the plot, when you have so much going on the screen for you to digest. It is full of hot chicks right from the word "Go" - all types of hot chicks, top less to total nudes, dancing and swimming in the water as there is no tomorrow only to be bitten and eaten by hungry Piranha's in 24 hours time. There are couple of over the top scenes like the one in which a Piranha enters a girls vagina and stays there for a day before biting her boy friend's Penis and the poor guy had to chop it off to save himself. I mean thats a little too much but still thats one unique thing in the movie.

Guest appearance by our favorite life guard David Hasselhoff is too good. Totally loved his part and comedy. Its too good to see him after such a long break - doing that typical running in slow motion like he did in "Baywatch". Even while the end credits roll and we see those goof ups with David in them is too good to be missed. With a running time of hardly 80 minutes - still the movie misses the whole plot big time and you take away nothing with you to talk about. It cant even be considered a good time pass. Ignore if you havent seen it.

3 (2012) - Tamil Movie

After the grand success of song "Kolaveri Di" which went viral on youtube and I guess around 20 million people saw it - I had to see this movie. Another reason was - I kindda like this guy - he is too simple and has that "Guy next door" feel about him. Dhanush (Son in Law of Rajnikanth) Plus this movie is a debut of his wife as a Director, who happens to be Rajnikanth's daughter. Chick opposite to him is none other than "Shruti Hassan", again who happens to be another SuperStar "Kamal Hassan's" daughter. The Hindi version is yet to be released and I just couldn't wait any longer for the same hence end up seeing it today in Tamil with english subtitles. Whats my take? I will definitely give it 3 stars for sure. A very nice story of love and sacrifice. Its totally convincing and Dhanush fits the role to the T. Shruti is too gorgeous to be missed and you can definitely live with the twist and action thrown in post interval. I will definitely recommend it to people who like simple love storys with a twisted ending. Its almost 2 hours and 20 minutes long - But I must tell you - it will definitely take you back to your school / college days in the first hour, too good to be missed. I guess it did not work on the Box Office cause of all those big names atached to it - and it turns out to be too simple from all the South Indian Film standards - hence the outcome.

The movie starts off with a very simple story told in a very riveting manner with Boy meets Girl and falls for her at the very first sight. He belongs to a very rich family and she is from a simple middle class family. Both are in their 12th Standard and the usual affair starts first from the Boy's side as he starts following her on road till her home, tuitions, every where she goes. It reminded me of my own school / college days when we actually used to do this - although we never got the girl we followed but this is a movie after all. Finally, she gives up on him and falls for him too. By this time we are half the way into the movie and its time to have a twist as usuall in all our movies. Girl's mother plans to go to US suddenly to have a better life and in a fit of anger and frustration that she will be separated from her lover, the girl burns her passport and she gets thrown out of her house by her family. The Boy speaks to his parents and they get married to live a life ever after but again there is another twist in the tale which changes their life upside down. All hell breaks lose on them with this turn of events so much so that the boy had to kill himself to save her from himself, why and how? is what you should see the movie for.

All the South Indian movies are very high on Music, Emotion, Drama and Action. This one is no exception. As it has exceptionally good and real emotional start with good music, Damn good Drama in between with some eye popping action in the later half. It always amazes me when I see a guy of Dhanush's built throwing guys double of his size around. But thats one liberty you can take in the name of the movie and it still gets claps and cheers from its audience. What I like best about this movie is - the sincerety of its whole cast, right from the Protagonist and his wife till her little sister and parents of both sides with, a great set of friends who try to save them from the upcoming disaster. Its a complete family drama I should say.
Its a good one time watch for all Romance / Drama lovers.

We liked it - although wished we could understand the language as I am sure they do change a lot of things in Subtitles and its Hindi release is still awaited. Go ahead - take a look - who knows - you might it like it, like we did.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ferrari Ki Sawaari (2012)

I have learned in last couple of years of my movie watching that when you have least expectations from a movie - you end up loving it big time. Same happend with Ferrari Ki Sawaari. We had no expectations from this one - deep inside I wanted it to work for Sharman Joshi as that guy is talented but its just about takes a great director to extract that. As per me his best jobs till date would be a sure shot tie between "3 Idiots" and "Rang De Basanti" but now after FKS - I am damn sure its the current movie which will be his best till he comes out with something even better. Its no less than a great thriller as you actually remain hooked to the most of the movie which indeed is a roller coaster ride with so many comic moments thrown in. It indeed made me laugh out loud so many times. Sincerety of Sharman, Kid and Boman is totally outstanding with great performances from the addtional support cast like the care taker of Sachin's Ferrari, Security Guy, That political leader, his Son, Babboo Di etc. Its a damn good joy ride with a nice lesson in the end. A must watch for all Drama / Comedy lovers. Movies like these should be encouraged and I am glad that its already declared a hit.

It's a very simple movie based on Father Son relationship. Story of a teenager Kayo who thinks of nothing but cricket, his father Rusy (Sharman Joshi) who loves his son like anything and will whatever it takes to fulfill his dreams and Rusy's Father (Boman Irani) who hates cricket since he too played in his younger days but never made to big league cause of one of his friends who ditched him big time in the hour of need. Rusy is such a simple law abiding citizen that even while he works with Mumbai RTO as Head Clerk - he takes the rules and regulations too seriously, so much so that if he jumps a traffic signal by mistake - he goes to the extent of going to the nearest traffic police station and paying the fine for his fault :). He needs 150K to send his son to Lords (London) for cricket coaching. Tries everything he can like taking a loan but is denied cause of his low paying job. Finally a colleague gives him an idea to borrow Sachin Tendulkar's Ferrari as she promised one of her client (A political leader) that she will get him a Ferrari for his Son's marriage.

Rusy's father too was a cricketer and they think that Sachin will definitely come to their rescue and will offer them his car for couple of hours, solving their problem. But fate had something different in store for him. How he gets the car from Sachin and what happens next is a roller coaster ride of a life time for Rusy, his Son, Father and audience. Hilarious is the stiation he gets stuck in and very serious is the matter in hand. At times you feel seriously sad for them that they land in so much of trouble just to fulfill one small dream. But that small dream is too big for them to achieve. Its amazing the way Director has handled the whole situation and story. Told in such a light hearted manner that it makes you happy, sad, serious and yet puts you in a thinking mode too. We totally loved the character as they are so much out of the real life that you do see people like them in everyday life.

Sharman Joshi - gives performance of a life time. At times he goes over board but thats alrite as long as its a movie - we can still live with it. We were actually shocked to see that there isn't a female lead opposite him. Barring an item number (Ignorable) there aren't any songs in the movie - none that hamper the pace. Actually the pace is so nice that you dont even realize that its almost 2 hours and 20 minutes long. The kid who plays his son is too cute and definitely going to have a longer run in bollywood. Boman Irani as his dad is a typical parsi bawa and he plays the role with such an ease, later I realized - he is anyways a parsi guy :) - so this role has to be a cakewalk for him and on top of it - he happens to be one of the best actors in today's time. Paresh Rawal in a small yet important role makes you hate him. Rest of the support cast is too good to be missed - almost every character is written in such a way that they do leave a great impression on you. By the time it ends - you are actually in love with them all.

Sachin Tendulkar's cameo is debatable. The guy who walks out to bat with Kayo in the end in Lord's is almost a lookalike but am not sure if it was Sachin or not. Then I read somewhere that he requested for the same that they should not be showing his face. The Ferrari used in the movie is actually Sachin's Ferrari who he sold it to a Surat Businessman and who gladly let them use it in the movie. You can read his name in the credits at the end of the movie.

Its a must watch for all Drama / Comedy lovers.
Movies like these should be appreciated big time and I am glad that its already a big hit and will be a commercial success pretty soon. I am definitely up for a couple of more viewings.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Alien (1979) - Science Fiction

When I first saw the “Alien”, I was only 18 years old and was shit scared. Actually I had taken a brand new AIWA 3700 WATT Music System and they had an offer going with it. The offer was “A pack of 20 Hollywood VCS’s”. Till that time the DVD’s were still not launched and VCD’s was something great to have. I and my friend both picked up one system each hence we had a collection of great 40 VCD’s. The dealer too was a little known to us – hence he let us chose the movies – we made sure that we did not take the same movies and made a perfect collection of Action, Science Fiction, Horror, Love Stories etc. This was a part of Horror collection. I went home – installed the system and put it around the Television to enhance my movie viewing experience. This was the very first movie that I saw that evening – all alone. By the time I finished I realized that I did a mistake – as I could not dare to go alone to my bedroom to sleep, hence kept on watching movies throughout the night till the sun came up. That was the effect of Alien at that time. Again I saw it couple of years back and it wasn’t that bad this time. Last night I saw it for the sheer fun of it and it was just fantastic to live those moments again. Amazing is the way Ridley Scott has made this one – even after 30+ years of its release – it’s too good for a first time viewer as my wife couldn’t guess the year and she won’t believe that it was actually made in 1979.
Everything is so good about this movie, the space ship, and the people on board. Had never seen or imagined John Hurt that young and Sigourney Weaver is just stunning. From the landing of the ship to the three crew members walking out, exploring the planet and signal is etched in the memory permanently. I was actually seeing a scene which was always there in my mind all these years. First encounter with the small Alien which jumps out of that egg and gets stuck on John Hurt’s helmet almost made me jump on the sofa this time around too. The silent killer treatment is something which makes the movie more spooky as you know anything can jump on the screen anytime and there is no background score or noise at all, just a little beeps here and there and some engine noises heard at a distance. I had no memory of that robotic man and it was a delight to watch his part. The first encounter with the bigger, bad, mother Alien – is a sight no one ever forgot, myself included and the noise that she makes, is simply mind numbing, edge of the seat stuff. Almost everything about this whole series is too good to be missed – right from the moment they land – you have a feeling that they are all going to perish but how? The final fight with the Alien, destruction of the ship and survival of Sigourney is such a relief till you see its sequel.
One thing which surprised and impressed me big time was the creation of the whole environment, the planet, the area, tunnels, ship’s inside with those ducts and pipes, metal doors, everything is so convincing that you actually feel that those things exist in real. Kudos to these guys who put in so much to make a movie more real and convincing. Right after Alien and its sequels – so many movies were made taking a cue from these movies but none came half as close to what these movies did on the box office as well as on its audience’s minds.
One scene which deserves a special mention is that Alien coming out of John Hurt’s chest and its shrill noise – I am sure – I am taking that scene and sound to my grave. Right after they take it off his helmet – they operate it a bit and trust me when I say this – I couldn’t have an omelet for almost good one week to I guess ten days J
If you haven’t seen this – now you know what you are missing.
Go ahead grab a DVD and enjoy the fun. Its no more a horror for me at least but a damn good thriller.
I guess I am gonna run today and get the Aliens (1986), Aliens 3 (1992) and Alien Resurrection (1997) as soon as I can.