Friday, July 20, 2012

Tess (1979) - Romance

After I saw Michael Winterbottom’s latest (Trishna) and wasn’t too happy with the way story of "Tess of the d'Urbervilles": A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented” written by Thomas Hardy in 1891, I had to see Roman Polanski’s version of the same book “Tess (1979)”. As expected Polanski’s version was way too good than Winterbottom’s for sure, because it was stretched at least in a couple of years (may be around 10 years) whereas the original story goes for around 30 years or so which I guess was impossible to be made into one movie. Still, this one is almost as long as three hours but told in a damn good way. Since I saw “Trishna” last week – it did help me big time in understanding the story a good second time and I could see the sea of change that had taken place in the way they showed it to us in today’s time. This was no doubt a visual treat to say the least; some scenes captured my attention big time and were shot in too good a manner. A wonderful piece of cinema by one of my favorite Directors and a must watch for all Romance / Drama lovers.

The Movie: Even this one didn’t do full justice to the novel but as I said earlier – it would be quite a task to put that mammoth story into one movie for sure. The length of this movie says the same – it’s almost as long as 165 minutes and still by the time it ends – you keep asking for more. Tess is the story of a young strong willed girl from a peasant family, whose family thinks that they have a connection with some aristocratic family. Her father sends her to seek a job with the same family of “Urbervilles” who they think they belong to. Her cousin immediately falls in love with her, right after he confirms her into a job in one of his poultry farms in the mansion and ends up raping her. She leaves the house, goes back to her family, her baby dies too and her family is again in tatters. Years go by – again she gets into a job in a milk farm, falls in love with a nice guy. Unfortunately she hides her past with him till they get married and once she tells him after the marriage – the guy rejects and leaves her alone. She has no other option but to go back to her cousin as a mistress so she could fend for her family. Again after a couple of years her husband comes back realizing his mistake, finds her but by that time its too late for Tess to go back to him. She sends him back and tells him to never return to her, later she realizes her mistake and does something drastic to go back to him. What she does? Will they unite again? You’ve got to see the movie or read the story to know the rest.

Beautiful Nastassja Kinski
Characters and Scenes: Tess is played by beautiful Nastassja Kinski, she is simply superb and too good in the role. She was one of the reasons why I was hooked to the movie big time, I could seriously not take my eyes off screen as long as she stayed on screen – such is her beauty. Her husband Angel is Peter Firth, lovable character – you simply fall in love with his simplicity and sympathize with his situation throughout. Leigh Lawson as cunning Alec (Cousin) is perfect; you hate him but love him as a strong character. Although the movie was made in 1979 – yet there were some scenes which captured my attention big time. One of the outstanding scenes was of the horse carriage Alec rides – it’s fantastic to see the way he rides it with Tess on board and the speed that they go in, simply superb, awesome camera work, you see the shot at least 3-4 times with different angles, sometimes from the back and sometimes from the front. Check it out – you will totally love it. Then there is this scene of Tess capturing a bird (A cock) in the poultry farm. Another scene showing the use of some kind of tractor to cut the crops from the farm, I was shocked to see that device which was cutting the whole thing with such an ease, indeed one of my favorite scenes of the movie, I almost saw it a couple of times to see how that machine worked. Other than these there is one damn good scene of a train pulled by an steam engine – trust me – it’s such a damn good and breathtaking shot that I simply cannot put it in words here, Mind-blowing use of moving camera and the way the whole train scene is captured. Not to forget some outstanding countryside sceneries too. All in all this was a better and superb watch in comparison to “Trishna”. If you have seen that – you’ve got to see this too.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Three Times (2005) - Taiwanese Movie

After seeing like a dozen Korean, Chinese, Japanese movies, I can definitely say that either their movies are subtle, sincere, simple, meaningful yet amazing or they are over the top action with blood and gore, so much so that they are not everybody's cup of coffee. The movie that I saw today was a Taiwanese movie made in 2005 from the first category. How cool is the idea of shooting three separate stories set in three different times (1911, 1966 and 2005) played by same lead actors. Sounds familiar? Yeah, we saw a Hindi movie (Teri Meri Kahaani) based on the same idea but that's where the comparison ends as this one is such a simple and adorable movie – I am sure no one can make anything similar to this in India from the current generation and the one guy who made similar stuff is long gone. This movie reminded me big time of Satyajit Ray with its simplicity, almost no dialogues, hardly any background score but just simple / soothing love songs playing in the background. It's a must watch for serious and meaningful cinema lovers. 

Story 1: A time for love (1966): This story has hardly any dialogues – only damn good love songs as background score. It’s a very simple story of a guy going for military training, falls in love with a girl where he plays snooker, they write letters to each other while he is away. He comes back after couple of years only to find that she is already left the place. Somehow finds her house, visits her mom, has a lead, will he be able to get her? Is she still waiting for him all these years? Story 2: A time for freedom (1911): This story has no dialogues either – almost a mute movie with captions as dialogues. Based on the life and times of a courtesan, who looks forward to one of his clients as her ticket to freedom. Will she get it in the end? Would he marry her and take her away? Story 3: A time for youth (2005): Final story of a young couple, madly in love. Both of them are suffering from two different diseases – yet they live a good life in each others company. Based on the current times with mobile phones, computer and technology. Even this section too has hardly any dialogues but the simple treatment and visually strong movie never makes you miss the interaction as everything is quite simple and understandable.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Brotherhood of War (2004) - Korean Movie

A friend recommended this one and I saw it today – what an amazing experience it was. I’ve always been a Korean movie fan and this one took the respect to a next level altogether. If you like war movies – you are going to Love this one big time, if for nothing else – you will always remember for its graphic war sequences and visuals – totally out of this world shots. No wonder, it became one of the biggest one of the biggest success till 2004. It totally reminded me of two of my favorite movies “Forrest Gump” and “Saving Private Ryan” and a lot of similar movies, I haven’t still forgotten them and will never forget this either. It shows us the story of two brothers in war torn Korea in the mid 50’s. They both get sucked up in the war when North Korea attacks South Korea, elder brother tries his level best to save his younger brother, makes him promise to complete his education and support the family back home. Although it isn’t for the weak hearted as it has a lots of shooting, bombing, killing, stabbing, blood and gory moments, that all may not like, but they are done in such a way that you actually end up hating war more than what you are shown onscreen. It’s a must watch for all war movie lovers – I am glad that I came across this one.

The Movie: Starts with some people working on a excavation site, they find a lot of soldiers bodies dumped in one area with some belongings. After identification they start calling relatives to notify them of the findings. An elderly gentleman gets a call with information that they found his own belongings, he believes that these are not his but his brothers remains and drives down to the site with his granddaughter. Rest of the movie is in flash back with him thinking about their past and happenings in South Korea in and around 1950’s war between North and South Korea. Jin Tae the elder brother owns a shoeshine stand to pay for his younger brother Jin Seok’s education. Suddenly war breaks out and army picks up anyone who is more than 15 years of age to fight for the country. As Jin Tae tries to get his younger brother off the train – the army picks both the brothers up and they are sent to the battlefield to fight for South Korea. Jin Tae leaves his FiancĂ© and her family behind to go with his brother as younger brother had a heart condition and he would not be able to survive for long with ongoing war and its toll. He does requests his seniors to release his brother and offers his services instead but he is told that if he can earn the highest award for a South Korean soldier – his brother would be sent back home. What he does to earn that award is heartening to see and how a difference develops between both the brothers because of the war is something that breaks your heart.

Mind-blowing scenes: As the movie started and progressed – I was taking it as another emotional drama from Korea but as the focus shifts from brother’s relations to the war, it changes gears and I was totally hooked to the war sequences with eye popping action, some sequences are simply mind-blowing to say the least. I haven’t seen a better war movie in I guess last five years which comes any closer to this one as far as visuals are concerned. If you have seen “Forrest Gump” and remember those bullet shots and explosions – you will know what I am talking. It’s totally outstanding how they have captured the moment in the camera which is as real as it could be in real life. Bullets being fired left, right and centre, bombs exploding with people getting shredded like anything, body parts flying, blood flowing like water, there were so many scenes which refuse to go out of my mind like there is this shot where one of the bomb goes off near a soldiers leg and next moment you see his leg gone below thighs, another soldier who is firing an automatic gun, gets shot on his elbow with so many bullets that his arm is cut off in a moment and but his hands remain on the gun shooting. I have never seen something like that earlier in any of the movies so far. Jin Tae’s determination to kill all the enemies and kill as many as he can to ear the award – is totally mind-blowing stuff. How he fights back with enemies even hand to hand combat or with guns or he gets into those craters with automatic guns blazing all over – is totally heart wrenching. Every moment – your heart says – he is gonna get himself blown over any moment – yet he survives and keeps fighting. He keeps telling his brother that he has to go back, complete his school and support the family, they have their own ideologies and differences yet they remain together as long as they could. What happens next is something you gotta see the whole movie for. Would Jin tae be able to save his brother from the war? Who was that elderly gentleman? Was he the elder brother or the younger?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cocktail (2012) - Drama

WOW – what a disaster! Some movies actually turn out to be – how you expect them to be. This was one of those movies that I predicted long back that it won’t be any good – no matter who makes it and what’s the story all about. I will remember this for – what a great fall for a guy like Homi Adjania (Director) from “Being Cyrus” to “Cocktail”. He actually carried so many people from his last movie still this wasn’t a quarter as good as that one. Anyways, what confused me further was – what was the point of making this movie – obviously other than making a movie for money and breaking off the image of “Offbeat Movie Maker” to a “Commercial Movie Maker”, as he will be called now once Cocktail crosses at least a 100 crore mark. This wasn’t entertaining, was this comedy? No, cause I laughed like only thrice, movie with a message? No, I didn’t get any, serious stuff? No, Movie with a difference? Yes, indeed it has a different ending, better than your imagination for sure. Will I watch it again? No Ways. Would I recommend it to anyone? Yeah, the DVD will be out shortly, check it out then.

The Movie: As I said earlier – I had no expectations from this one hence I wasn't shocked with the outcome and those 150 minutes didn't bother me. Saif actually needs a good Director to extract best out of him, no doubt he is a good and proven actor but here in this movie – you actually see an over the top over confident Saif with the corniest lines ever heard in a movie. Movie starts with Meera (Diana Penty) landing in London to unite with her estranged husband Kunal (Randeep Hooda). As expected Kunal throws her out of his life but promises her a Citizenship in lieu of their marriage and money he got from her to come to London. Cut to scene two – we see a carefree Veronica (Deepika) walking in to a grocery store, drunk and needs to use the wash room, guess what Meera is already in the washroom – crying hence Veronica being an India – helps her and takes her home. They come across Gautam (Saif) in a restaurant just like that. Meera had already met Gautam at airport where he tried to woo her with his corny lines before she walks out on him. Hence Veronica takes a revenge on him by throwing the same lines on him in the restaurant in front of his clients. This scene was supposed to be hilarious but I couldn't even smile – let alone a hearty laugh. They meet again in a pub and become friends, so much so that he moves in with them to stay at Veronica’s place. Veronica is a rich spoilt girl with careless parents and oh yeah – she has a SLR so guess she works and makes enough money to frequent pubs in London every night, as if I care. Gautam is a Software Engineer who maintains a 3 day old beard all the time and Meera conveniently gets a job as a Graphic Designer in no time. 

Gautam has a family and a maternal uncle right there in London with a mom somewhere in Punjab who keeps sending him pictures of his future wife. This uncle happens to be Boman Irani in a thankless and pointless role. Although he is the one who is responsible for some fun in the movie after all. His mom is none other than Dimple Kapadia who does gives them a surprise visit – only to find her son having a ball with two girls around – so she picks up one of them as his future wife who wears salwar kameez and looks like the one – who would make a perfect Indian wife. As they do in all the movies – they play a couple as long as mom is around and end up falling for each other. By the time mom goes back they are already in love with a third angle that even Veronica realizes – she too loves Gautam and cant be left out. So she changes gears and becomes all goody two shoes like Meera (At least she tries). Now the big question – who gets Gautam in the end? That’s what you need to see movie for guys. Go ahead waste your hard earned money in a not so funny movie – waste your 150 precious minutes too to know the ending or rather I would say, Google it and wiki has the full story with the ending written too.

What’s my problem: The promo’s and posters tell us a different story altogether – we hoped that it would be a great entertainer at least a good time pass for sure with those cute faces. The thing I did not like was – it had nothing to offer that we haven’t already seen in our movies. Almost no entertainment – if your definition of entertainment is an aged looking guy trying to look chick n hot with those one liners. Deepika is now being typecast in almost same roles in all her movies – she is almost wearing the same cloths too I guess. She doesn’t even look one bit different than how she was in her earlier movies – for a moment we thought she straight walked out of the Item number from movie “Dum Maaro Dum” to this movie set – was drunk too I guess. Boman and Dimple are wasted in such a crappy movie – I guess the Director just wanted to buy some more footage to lengthen the movie to make it two and a half hour long hence the additional characters in thankless roles. Randeep Hooda had hardly anything to do but whatever he did – his screen presence was a kind of relief to me as his character wasn’t a clichĂ© but a normal guy in bad situation. Songs – the less said the better. Cinematography – how many times do we need to see those same locations again and again and again. Actually every 15 minutes spent on the movie – you feel like – what the heck am I watching? And then you tell yourself “Cocktail” cause when everything is added in one drink – that’s what you get. It was actually reminding me of the title every now and then – just like that. If you have seen it or plan to see it – do let me know how you like it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Trishna (2011) - Drama

I have seen almost all of the movies of Michael Winterbottom and definitely found some of them to be too good. The most recent one that I saw was The Trip (2010) and I found it to be hilarious. The story of "Trishna" as I read everywhere is an adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel “Tess of the d'Urbervilles” but I differ as the novel goes from the very start till Tess ages to her late 50’s. But here in this British version they have wrapped it up in hardly 2-3 years of her life. May be they took too many cinematic liberties and botched up the perfect story to make it better for movie going audiences. Now, I know why I couldn’t find that depth in the movie and it sounded more like a drama cum thriller in the end. Good part of the movie is its cast – Trishna (Freida Pinto) fits in the character to the T, with Jay Singh (Riz Ahmad) as rich business man’s son is too good and convincing, Roshan Seth in a small role is good but the best part is cameos by Anurag Kashyap, Kalki Koechlin and Amit Trived (Music Director) with a short item number by Huma Qureshi of “Gangs of Wasseypur” fame. The story revolves around the life of an ambitious lower middle class girl, who needs to supports her family at whatever cost yet need to fulfill her wishes and what it takes to achieve and where she lands in the end is heartening to see. I am sure Ms Pinto will claim yet again that the sexuality shown in the movie was “Scripts demand” but we were definitely shocked to see what they showed, beware if you watch it at home because I am sure it isn’t getting a very wide release anyways as it got a limited release in USA.

The Movie: I actually wondered why they had to shoot this in India and change it as per obviously Indian standards, anyways we are not getting any replies to those questions but how they screwed the actual story is very disheartening to see. The original story as per the novel goes almost 40 years whereas here its wrapped up in a just a couple of years that too with a way too different ending. What further shocked me is while they changed it as per their requirement to make a movie with Indian characters – what they did not change the sexuality of the same. I mean, it was surely a little too much to show on screen the way they showed it. Its Trishna’s story set in the current time that belongs to a lower middle class family based in a small town of Rajasthan. She is very ambitious and educated too. One fine day during her one of the part time jobs in a hotel, she meets Jay who is son of a rich NRI businessman. He is fascinated by her beauty and looks forward to meeting her again and again. Finally, due to her poor financial situation, he offers her a job in his hotel in a nearby city (Jaipur) on a very good salary and she joins them. Jay even offers and enrolls her in a hotel management course too to upgrade her skills, but as they say “nothing comes free of cost” this too doesn’t and she has to pay a hefty prize as he starts making sexual advances towards her, she gives in one time and but leaves the job very next day, later she becomes pregnant and she goes for an abortion without telling him.

Her family situation worsens with her dad’s accident and she is forced to join her maternal uncle’s family and work in a Henna factory. Jay finds her again, offers her to move to Mumbai in a live in relationship. She meets his high society friends, models, movie makers, dancers etc. Right when you think her life is going to change for good the twist comes. Jay’s father falls sick back home in England and he had to rush immediately, he doesn’t return for quite a long time and in the meantime the lease of their flat expires and she has to vacate. She tries her had in film industry too but doesn’t lasts long, goes back to her home and again starts from a scratch. Her parents coax her to go back and get a better job. Jay comes back and again with a fresh hope she joins him back in the hotel, although she had hopes that he is going to marry her but again her heart breaks when she realizes that the only way he treats her is a sex object – he actually never loved her in the first place. The ups and downs in Trishna’s life are amazing stuff. Her ambitious nature sends here everywhere and she is desperate to succeed in whatever she does but life always has a second plan for her. How she is used and abused is totally heart wrenching stuff. What happens next is the rest of the movie; would she take a stand and go back to her life? Or would she take revenge from him? How does it all ends – is what you need to see the movie for. The way they have changed the story altogether works and not works partly. I am sure this movie is going to get mixed reviews – some will like it as an individual movie but when you compare it with the original story – you are going to hate it. Check it out and decide for yourself if you like it or hate it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Interview with the vampire (1994) - Horror / Drama

After reading a friends review on the same – couldn't resist but got myself a Director’s Cut DVD rip with an interview with the cast, director and critics too. I relived those haunting memories from the past. This in today's time should be considered as a crash course in vampirism, telling you everything about the same, how a vampire is made, taught to survive and what all they go through in the life which technically never ends. I was so looking forward to that never given warning at the very start of the movie “Do not try this at home”. What a fantastic movie this turned out to be with that amazing casting of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas and Kirsten Dunst that too in one movie with almost 120 minutes of sheer fun. But mind it – its not for the weak hearted – I saw it today afternoon and my lunch was served in between and wifey was shocked and said “How can you watch this and eat your lunch in the meantime”. It is gross to say the least with some scenes actually showing how vampires are made, vampires sucking blood of humans, in one particular scene they pick up a rat – slit it open and squeeze it into a wine glass and drink it – how cool is that. One hell of a movie – which shocks you, moves you, makes you sympathize with them yet at one point you want their powers too specially the one that they survive for hundreds of years and still look young. If you love horror / thriller / vampire movies – you shouldn't miss this.  

Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst
The Movie: Starts in modern day today with a reporter (Christian Slater) taking an interview of Louis (Brad Pitt) who claims to be a vampire. The very first scene when Slater asks Brad to prove that he is vampire and we get a close up of Brad’s eyes is scary with excellent chilling music in background. Right at this point you imagine what is it going to be to see his whole life open in front of us while he tells his story right from the beginning. After his wife’s death in the childbirth along with the baby – he has no wish to live and was thinking of ending his life. One fateful night when is drunk with a prostitute and her pimp holds him back on knife point – Lestat (Tom Cruise) appears and kills both the pimp and the prostitute, picks up Louis and flies with him drinking his blood, Louis anyways wants to die but he suddenly changes his mind and Lestat makes him a vampire which he agrees to become. Louis a different kind hearted vampire who couldn’t drink human blood hence survives on animal bloods – the scenes where he sucks blood out of a Rat and other animals are gross and not everybody’s cup of tea. The way Lestat sucking blood of humans is totally out of this world experience – at least I saw it for the first time in such details that too in this movie which was made in mid 90’s. Louis later finds a sick child Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) with her dead mother; he bites her and makes her a vampire daughter. Lots of years go by and Claudia realizes she will never grow – furious she tries to kill Louis by making him suck blood from already dead people knowing this will weaken his powers and slits his throat, they burn the whole building down and flee to Paris from the spot in a ship.

Making Claudia a Vampire
Louis tries to find out how the vampires came to be in the year 1870 in Paris and are there any more like them? There he meets Armand (Antonia Banderas) who invites him to a vampire theater. What goes in the theater with a human female in front of the human audience with no idea what’s happening is a treat to watch. It’s predictable but awesome to see on screen. What follows next is a conflict of interest between Armand and Louis. Amazing is the word for what happens next. How Claudia gets killed with the female she decides to make a vampire before Louis leaves her. Again decades pass by, Louis survives moves to USA, gets to see the first sunlight in so many years in a movie theater watching “Superman” and other movies. But the question remains – is Lestat dead? Or he will be back. What’s going to happen to the reporter? Will he get the story of a lifetime and achieve success as he plans and looks forward to? Would Louis and Lestat come face to face ever again? The ending is too good but leaves quite a few questions answered. Its an amazing watch – this was surely one of the best vampire movies I ever saw and will always remain closer to my heart.

The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha (1969) - Bengali

Satyajit Ray’s version of Dumb & Dumber – we saw it today and it turns out to be a total laugh riot. This movie he actually made for his son, who was behind him to make a movie for kids like him and I was delighted to see – what he made, too good. Even the story of Goopy and Bagha was written by his own father. This became one of his most known films in Bengal and in India but was the least seen or known around the world. I was discussing with a friend of mine yesterday on Hollywood’s “Dumb and Dumber” and an upcoming movie from the same genre “Three Stooges” and end up seeing this one. The story is quite simple, two guys discarded by society – one for his lousy voice – who wakes up his own king thinking he is going to get a reward and another one is a bad drummer – both of them were exiled to forest where they play the drum and sing to scare a tiger away and in the process attract some ghosts. The ghost king gets fascinated to their out of the world music and gives them three boons – what they chose and how their life changes after those boons is a roller coaster ride with some damn good Bengali songs thrown in – superb entertainer. It actually made me and my wife laugh out loud multiple times with their on-screen histrionics. 

The Movie: The three boons that they pick are: One that they can order food or cloths whenever and whatever. Two they get one pair of magic shoes each with which they can actually teleport anywhere with the blink of an eye and third they can mesmerize anyone with their singing and drum so much so that everything comes to a complete halt when they sing and play. The only condition for all those three boons is that they need to clap together once they wish anything in such a way that they should be using one hand each together. It's a laugh riot right from the very start – the encounter with the king followed by their meeting in forest followed by the tiger and finally the meeting with Ghosts and their king is totally hilarious. It becomes better once they get those powers as their quality of singing goes up they visit the kingdom of Shundi where a singing competition is going on. They do end up winning it and the king accepts them as his courtesans. Soon, the twist comes in the form of kings own brother attacking their state and these two guys take up the job of stopping the war. King promises them that if they do it successfully – he will marry his daughter with one of them. What happens next is again a damn good journey of both the guys on an adventure trip to the next kingdom, save their king, marry the princess but which one is going to get her? You really need to see the movie – if you want answers to those questions. We totally loved it – the comic timing of these guys is totally rocking, even in black and white this one was too good.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Days and Nights in Forest (1970) - Bengali Movie

Another classic from Satyajit Ray in the 70’s which got nominated for Golden Bear for Best Film at 20th Berlin International Film Festival – and now I know why.  It’s a simple story of four friends from a metro breaking the routine of daily life – go out for a drive in the jungle, stay at a guest house, come across another family from the city, gel well, enjoy, relax, chill and get back to their regular life after couple of days. Like any other typical Satyajit Ray movie – my eyes search for a visual of a Train and he didn't disappoint me here too as this had a goods train passing by their guest house in the dead of the night – I totally love his fetish for trains in almost all his movies. What I loved about this movie is Gorgeous Sharmila Tagore looking damn good in trousers and the way he projected her widowed sister in law, I am sure none other Director would have dared to show her the way he did, gelling well with strangers in front of her father in law, wanting to live life as it should be for all. It’s a damn good one time watch for all cinema lovers as haven’t we all done the same at some point in our life? Too good and what fun it was to see this one.  

The Movie: It’s a very simple story of a group of four friends, who are on a road trip to some part of Bihar which they have never visited earlier. They just look forward to some good quality time in each others company. In the first half hour of the movie, we realize they all are way too different and are all unique characters. Asim (Soumitra Chatterjee) being their leader, owns the car that they drive in with three of his friends Sanjay, Hari and Shekhar. They bribe the caretaker of forest rest house to allow them to stay without the knowledge of the forest ranger. All the characters are so well written and cut out from the regular people like you and me, who do not plan to shave or do anything on the vacation but just chill relax and have fun. They all get drunken big time drinking the local wines barring one of them who is the joker of the pack so he could control them and bring back to the guest house once they are totally drunk. They do come across a gang of local tribal girls getting drunk in the local liquor bar cum shop – one of them happens to be Simi Grewal and that was a shocker for us to see her in that kind of a role, they call her Miss India jokingly.

Sharmila Tagore and her Sis in Law
While they stay in the forest rest house, the twist comes in the shape of the forest officer that visits them and informs that the ranger may come and visit one of these days but they pay no heed to it. They do come across a family quite close to their rest house and they become friends with them quite fast as they become the only company to each other from the same life style back in town. It has its own little twist and turns with some shocking moments which I am sure would have got debated back then, but for now they aren’t that big a shocker – you’ve got to see it to believe what I am trying to say here. Like, the way Sharmila’s sister in law falls for one of the guys and the scene following that. The game that they play in the woods, one of the friends falls for the tribal beauty and what comes out of it, the ranger’s visit to the rest house, getting drunk and making a scene on the road etc. But it’s too good a movie and totally hilarious in parts cause of the lively cast it had. Sharmila Tagore and Soumitra Chatterjee are a revelation for me at least in this one, never imagined that she could look this good that too in a Ray movie of all. Check it out guys – if nothing else – it does entertains you thoroughly.

About Elly (2009) - Iranian Movie

Some Directors are one of a kind story teller – Asghar Farhadi, is one of them – last I saw was his fantastic movie “A Separation” and today – I finally saw “About Elly”. They pick up a very simple and straight forward story but will tell you the same in such a beautiful way that they you end up seeing and calling them no less than a perfect thriller. This was almost 120 minutes long so I was in a little relaxed mood expecting it to be another simple Iranian movie as I saw quite a few this year. But this turns out to be a damn good thriller which had me sitting straight on my chair and taking stock of the situation as what went wrong and what’s going to happen next, beyond my imagination and horror. A simple middle class group of friends with their families on a weekend vacation at a beach house get stuck in a situation where no one knows what happened to one of their friends, who was with them and suddenly who disappears – is she dead? Did she leave them? One thing leads to another, so much of chaos and confusion later – we come to a conclusion in the very last minute of the movie which is indeed shocking. It’s a must watch for all thriller lovers especially who love the simplicity of Iranian movies and this guy in particular. Do not miss it.

The Movie: A group of middle class Iranian friends go on a three day vacation with their families. They are three married couples with three young kids. They are joined by another friend of them who has recently come from Germany after he was divorced by his German wife. They had actually invited one of their kid’s teachers too to the vacation who they plan to hook up with this friend during the vacation because as per them – both of them were a perfect match. The trip was planned by Sepideh and they go to the villa booked by her but to their shock they are told that the owner of the villa is coming back in a day and they would not be able to get that for their vacation. But they were advised to go to a deserted villa on the beach which required a bit of repairs to make it livable. They agree to it and Sepideh introduces her kid’s teacher and the new arrived friend as recently married and were on their honeymoon. On the first day of vacation both the guy and the girl develop attraction but girl insists on going back home the very next day. To stop her from doing so, Sepideh hides her bad in her closet as she and her other friend go out shopping, the guys play the game of volleyball in the backyard, the tragedy strikes. The kids were playing on the beach and one of the lady was watching them over, she goes inside for a moment leaving Elly the in charge of the kids. Elly helps the other two kids flying a kite while the younger one goes in the sea and drowns. By the time the kids tell their parents about the accident even Elly is no where to be found. What happens to Elly? Is she drowned too saving the kid? Or she leaves them as she was talking of going back home anyways?

Once the ladies return from their shopping and they start putting two and two together of what happened in the last one day – it leads to lot of facts that she may have felt offended and would have gone back. They search for her the whole day with the help of the coast guard – somehow the kid is saved but Elly is nowhere to be found. When the cops come in – they realize that none of them had any idea of her full name – let alone any other information. One by one – they come across a lots of facts which were never their in the story earlier – further eye popping information comes across and this becomes a serious chase to know what happened to her and where is she now? It’s a damn good movie yet very simplistic in treatment but it keeps you hooked to it big time. I totally loved it and will recommend it with two thumbs up. Their discussions – the tension between friends – the little fights. Its such a simple everyday stuff that we all face in our regular life but how it changes their life once and for all is outstanding to see. Especially how the Director handles all his characters with such great depths and what fantastic performances from all of them – who come so strong in all those characters. Especially the beautiful girl who plays Sepideh in lead, whose idea was the whole vacation and planning and the one who plays Elly is totally rocking. Sepdideh’s husband and Ahmad as the friend are two damn good actors and too close to the reality.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

True Romance (1993) - Romance / Thriller

I somehow missed this fantastic movie earlier just because it wasn’t directed by my all-time favorite Quentin Tarantino and what a crime that was to miss this one. I can never forgive myself for missing this for so long – what a fantastic movie with almost every scene crying out in bold letters “Quentin Tarantino” – I am sure his writing was so damn specific and clear that even after “Tony Scott” Directed it – you will agree with me that you see QT’s shadow on almost all the important scenes and cannot deny his big hand behind the movie. If you haven’t seen this yet – go ahead – do not miss it – I can see it again and again for its fantastic casting – Christian Slater in a role of a life time with hottie Paticia Arquette in a damn good role, totally lovable. Followed by my another favorite Gary Oldman although in a small role with Sam Jackson in “Blink and you miss me” role, with Val Kilmer as Elvis in two scenes, Chris Walken in a damn good character that you love to hate. Another two characters who leave a big impression on you are James Gandolfini as Chris Walken’s henchman and Brad Pitt as a friend of a friend of Slater, too good to be missed. The casual approach of the movie and its characters is its big USP. It shocks you, chills you, moves you, makes you fall in love with them but still never gets predictable as you never know where and what turn it takes. A total joy ride, not to be missed by any Romantic / Thriller fans. One hell of an amazing movie. 

The Movie: Slater works with a comic book store, on his birthday his boss hires a call girl to make him happy and sends her to join him while he watches three movies back to back. Initially he had no idea about her coming to him, they have a good evening after movie, go out dining and end up making out in his apartment, later she confesses to him that she is a call girl and he happens to be her fourth customer in first three days of being a prostitute, and she has fallen in love with him too. Here comes the twist – they marry the next day and Slater goes off to meet her pimp – Gary Oldman – so he could get her free. In the turn of the events he is advised by Elvis (Val Kilmer) to kill the bad guy and set his girl free, in an amazing scene of shooting each other – he ends up killing Gary and picks up a bag thinking it belongs to Patricia. That turns out to be a bag full of half a million worth uncut cocaine. And the game of cat and mouse hunt starts.

Christian Slater and Beautiful Patricia Arquette
It’s an amazing thriller this point onwards as you know that they wont be left alone with that bag full of cocaine and sooner then later will get caught either by cops or bad guys, who are on his lookout. They go to his dad’s house – who he was meeting after so many years – his dad (Dennis Hopper) lends them some money and they set off on their honeymoon to LA. To catch up with his old friend who is a Hollywood struggler stays with his room mate (Brad Pitt). Every ten minutes you end up being introduced to a new character who gets involved with them later to be screwed by either cops or bad guys. It’s a typical Quentin Tarantino fare with all the elements showing his shadow all around, may it be the excellent background score with songs from Elvis or Aerosmith, or the discussions between the gangsters and the people they are torturing to know the location of their cocaine, I mean there is a scene where Chris Walken is about to kill Dennis Hopper as he has hardly any idea of his son’s location and they end up discussing about Chris’s ancestors, knowing that he will be shot shortly – he does asks for a cigarette and smokes it peacefully before being shot and killed finally. One hell of a signature killing – QT style. It is such a smooth ride and casual movie that you totally get engrossed and hooked to it big time, it shocks you with its violence, blood, gore and shooting scenes but never goes over board. The climax is totally rocking scene with so many characters and everything coming to a close ending in a fantastic finale with unbelievable end to all the drama.  

The Intouchables (2011) - Drama in real life.

I always like “Movies based on real life incidences” and this one – we end up loving totally. I am a little biased towards those movies – which start with a car and this one has a Maserati driven by a Black as there is no tomorrow with a Tetraplegic on co-drivers seat – they are racing cause they had a bet of $100 – if the black could beat the cops. What happens next is and followed by an awesome chemistry between two guys, who are as different as chalk and cheese in real life but they get so used to each other that its hard to separate them. It’s a heart warming story (that too real) of a Tetraplegic – someone who couldn’t move his body below the neck but is super rich with no wife and just a teenage daughter. The Black guy has no life either, he is poor with a big family to support – how they come to each others rescue that too just by chance and how they change each others life – big time – is simply awesome watch. One hell of a movie that I will never forget for quite a long time. This is a must watch for all who love Drama’s in real life. I bet you are going to love it for more than one reason.

The Movie: Based on a real life story and on a book titled “You changed my life” by Abdel Sellou. It’s an amazing story of a rich Tetraplegic and his live-in help. Driss is a poor black man with no life, he just came out of prison serving six months and his family is in dire need of his support to survive with half a dozen kids and a single mother. He is least interested in working and is looking forward to survive on his welfare benefit paid by the government if you do not end up getting a job. He visits Philippe the protagonist’s house for an interview as he knows he isn’t going to make it anyways. Somehow Philippe likes him even after being advised otherwise by all the people around including his lawyer – he hires Driss on a two week trial. They both hit it off quite well even after their own differences. Its quite comic to see Driss in his new life as he gets a plus room with an attached toilet to live in Philippe’s mansion and gets to drive his Maserati as well. He flirts openly with all his lady care takers including his private assistant who is quite a beautiful blonde. He is actually a free spirited guy with a heart of gold. He does take care of Philippe as well and keeps him relaxed and happy all the time. They often go out, drink, smoke, drive, listen to music etc. Their chemistry is the best part of the movie.

Some Important Scenes: There are so many damn good scenes in the movie which will be etched in my memory for quite a long time. For one the scene where Driss tries to make a masterpiece after he realizes that Philippe is an art collector and he ends up buying a painting worth 40 grand which according to Driss isn’t worth a tenth of the same. What and how he makes and the final out come of his painting is hilarious to see. How he behaves with people around the house and Philippe’s daughter and friends is a totally hilarious. I will never forget the opera scene – rocking it is. They become a very important part of each others life knowing that they would not be together for their entire life. Philippe has a “Pen Friend” for quite a while and Driss convinces him to call and meet her. What happens next is – you gotta watch the movie for. How they change each others life and end up finally is heartening / heart warming and totally awesome. Movies like this are so enlightening to say the least – they actually make you feel blessed and love your life in a new way. And thank god for the life we are living. There is so much in this movie that its hard to explain and put it all in writing. The Para-gliding scene, First time when Driss gets the room and jumps on the bed, the wheel chair scene, Philippe’s birthday party scene and Music, massage scenes etc. Even the background music of the whole movie is too good – the songs that play in the background are totally awesome.

The Children (2008) - Thriller

Another average time pass thriller – I will definitely not call it a horror for sure. I am too scared to watch horror movies alone and I keep trying at times to check my guts out by these small time movies and keep preparing myself for the upcoming scare fest. This is a good one time watch – a great time pass as the running time is hardly 80 minutes. Based on a Christmas vacation of two families gone horribly wrong – no explanations offered in the movie or even in the end as to what goes wrong – just a shocking scene in the end to make up your mind – what and why it all happened. But still it holds your interest till the very end – its predictable right from the very start yet makes it up for a decent watch and I indeed saw it all alone that too in one sitting in the dead of the night. Kids are cute as ever, chick is hot and even the parents are decent looking chaps. Movie has a lot of “Oh Shit” and “Jesus Christ” moment supported by good background score to thrill you. Take a look – who knows, you might enjoy it like I did.

The Movie: It starts like all the typical horror / thriller movies start on a very silent note. A family as we see joins another couple for a Christmas vacation with cute little kids and one teenage daughter. Right from the very start the kids start behaving strangely – initially the parents think that they are tired and are throwing tantrums but the audience has an idea that something is gone wrong seriously and is going to grow worse. It hits you quite fast before even you could realize the kids start killing, thrashing, slashing their own parents one by one. Kids start going to the woods nearby as something calls them inside and one by one almost all the adults get hit by one or the other accident. It isn’t a horror movie but a good thriller with nothing new to offer but the strange and unique way of how everyone gets killed. Even the ending is pretty shocking. It can definitely be a good one time watch for sure. Some scenes are really nicely done like in one where the first father of the kids dies while sliding down on a sledge ride. In another scene where the mother of a kid is trying to help him down from the child play area and ends up breaking her own leg is simply great to watch. How the teenage daughter realizes that there is something wrong with the kids and parents do not agree with her, how she gets screwed by both sides is simply mind-blowing. 

Monday, July 09, 2012

Maximum (2012) - Drama

Another disaster in the name of showing what goes between two corrupt cops when they want to score the “Maximum” number of encounters between them. There is some kind of undeclared competition going on in between these two – which goes on and on for a couple of years before they come to a conclusion which isn’t shocking to say the least rather expected. What shocked me is that Naseeruddin Shah agreed to do this movie – I guess the way this script would be narrated to him – would have made him interested and on top of it this was to be directed by Kabir Kaushik who gave us one of the damn good cop movies “Sehar” some seven years back. I read somewhere that Sonu Sood – who plays one of the cops – didn't charge him anything rather he sent the cheque back as he was too happy with the final product and went to an extent to call it “Best movie of my career and this should be the turning point of my life” – I guess with the final out come and as confusing / pointless movie – this isn’t taking him anywhere. Although as an actor – I like him anyways and have always maintained that he has potential but – one needs a good Director to do that – dunno where Kabir went wrong and made this messy movie. Btw this became the first Bollywood movie – for which I had to take help of Wikipedia actually – once I was done with the movie – I had to read what actually I saw and what the Director wanted to project. Give it a big miss – check it out if you like Sonu – for Naseer’s role – you will never forgive Kabir for making this disaster. 

Hottie Hazel in Item Song.
The Movie: It’s a cat and mouse game between two cops – killing the gangsters / criminals in Mumbai to score the maximum encounters and make their resume look better than one another. Movie falters big time as it bores you to death with almost nothing happening on screen – the only thing you see is ruthless killing of bad guys which doesn’t appeal to you after a certain time and you lose track who killed how many. The script is so confusing and at times you actually ask “Am I really seeing this?”. Sonu Sood considered this as the best work of his life and thought this is going to make a sea of change to his career which I seriously doubt. As it sank without a trace on box office and unfortunately barring a few critics who did like his role – buts too grim and serious than entertaining or preaching any kind of lesson to its audience. The less said the better about the support cast, Neha Dhupia as Sonu’s wife in a thankless role, two weeks from today – no one will remember who his wife in the movie was. The only thing that you may remember after the movie is hottie Hazel doing an item number which is already a good hit ‘Aa Ante Amlapuram”. What I was shocked to see is the same “Kancha Bar” again and again used for some or the other reason in the movie – I guess that’s the only legal dance bar of Mumbai suburbs which still operates. The whole action part is so pointless and has a been there done that feel to it. There is nothing that you haven’t seen at least in ten earlier movies. For a change Vinay Pathak is in a serious role as politician. It can’t even be called an average one time watch. I saw it because I consider myself Sonu Sood’s fan and I love Naseeruddin Shah big time – this one shocked me though with his role.

Give it a miss – if you haven’t seen it yet as it has nothing to offer you by any standard. Check out the item song on youtube – its too good to be missed.

King of Comedy (1983) - Comedy

Another classic and a kick ass at that from Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro team – what a joy ride this was, totally rocking stuff. The best part about Robert’s comic timing is – even if he isn’t saying anything or doing anything – I bet you can’t keep a straight face looking at him. He is such a great actor – just looking at him makes my day – seriously. I saw this movie twice today back to back. Rewound it so many times to see the scenes again and again and don’t plan to delete it any sooner from my drive. This movie should be an institute for the Directors learning how to make a comedy and yet keep your audiences on their tows all the time. One hell of a watch – its for everyone – if you like comedies or if you like Robert or if you love Marty movies – this is it – It’s a crime to miss this one – somehow I was a criminal but then I took a dip in holy water today by watching this twice back to back. Do not miss this at any cost.

The Movie: It’s a very simple and straight forward story of Celebrity Worship. Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) is an aspiring stand up comedian who worships the current king of comedy Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis). Once Pupkin meets Jerry – he thinks that his big chance has come finally and tries his level best to get into the business by visting Jerry again and again trying to persuade him to give him a chance. His scene’s at Jerry’s office are outstanding comedy, that straight face thing what Robert does is simply mind-blowing and out of this world comedy, I so much loved them. Finally he gets thrown of out Jerry’s office by security guys. He even goes to the length of taking his date to Jerry’s house – as if they were great friends – he gets thrown out from there too. One fine day he plans to kidnap Jerry with the help of one of his stalkers Masha (Sandra Bernhard). They successfully do it too – the scene where they kidnap Jerry and how they keep him is totally hilarious. What happens next is the rest of the movie – see it to believe it – how he gets his big break and at what cost.

Robert De Niro is one of my all time favorite actors – undoubtedly he has a great following. Like I said earlier – just by looking at his straight face makes my day and it indeed does the same. Robert and Martin has given us some damn good movies – but mostly they were gangster stories – I guess this is their only comedy movie together and what a great one it turns out to be. Jerry Lewis as Jerry is totally convincing – his expressions are priceless and is a total treat to watch in that confusing state. One hell of a time pass flick this is. Looking forward to see it a couple of more times for sure.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Headhunters (2011) - Thriller

A damn good Norwegian – German movie which came recommended by a good friend and am I glad that I saw it? This takes the trophy of one of those thrillers that made me skip a couple of heartbeats and have no count as how many times I actually stopped breathing and was busy seeing what happens next. One of the best thrillers I saw in the recent times and what a crazy pace this one had. Amazingly Superb movie – a big time must watch for all thriller / suspense lovers. Starts on a very simple note and once it picks up speed – there is no bloody looking back, killer pace and by the end you actually sympathize with the protagonist – even after knowing its wrong what he does – you so much want him to win, but does he? Check it out guys! Not to be missed at any cost – I believe they are already remaking it in Hollywood but this one was too good as you have hardly any expectations from its lesser known cast and Director.

The Movie: Roger Brown lives a dual life – one for the world and his beautiful wife as a Professional Headhunter for an agency and second as an Art Thief. He has an accomplice – Ove – who works with a security agency. They have a very simple way of stealing the paintings – while he will make the owner busy in some kind of interview with one of his clients – Ove will take care of the security part – he will go and replace the original with a fake painting in flat 10 minutes. He follows his own set of rules. He has a complex that he isn’t too tall and hence to keep his tall beautiful wife happy, he keeps stealing the paintings and gifts her expensive things including a $30 Million Mansion for one, whereas all she wants from him is a baby on which he isn’t too keen. His wife operates his own Art Gallery and one day she introduces him to Clas Greve – who turns out to be a perfect candidate for one of the positions of Roger Brown. On the contrary he comes to know that Clas has a painting in his possession which is worth almost a $100 Million – which can solve all his future problems – if he is able to get it. While he successfully steals the painting from Clas’s house with the help of Ove – he shockingly finds his wife’s cell phone in Clas’s house right when he is about to leave. This turns him suspicious as what’s going on? Everything isn’t that straight forward as it looks. From this point onwards – you are totally hooked to the movie and actually want to know what’s happening. Is it Roger’s x girl friend behind all this or is it his wife who is playing a dirty game with Clas’s help. Right before he could uncover anything his friend Ove is found poisoned in his own car in his garage. As he goes out to dump his own friend’s body – he is chased by Clas – the whole thing turns topsy turfy now that we realize even Clas had his own motive in the first place coming to Roger Brown and he is an x Mercenary who isn’t going to let the things go any easier for Roger Brown. Is Roger going to set the records straight with Clas? Roger is already being chased by Cops for the murder done by Clas.

It’s a mind-blowing thriller with a damn good pace – hardly 100 minutes in running still you are hooked to the most of it. It has its own chilling scenes too like a little bloody and gore, which will make you grab your armrests for sure. How he gets caught by Clas, escapes, again gets caught by cops, gets screwed in between cops and Clas, is too good. I tried my level best to predict the ending as well as the person who was behind all this – but no ways – it isn’t that simple. Even the ending is class apart – I couldn’t predict. Check it out guys – I am sure you will end up saying the same for the movie – it was too good.

Alien Resurrection (1997) - Science Fiction

The last movie from the Alien Franchisee was made in the year 1997 and I am surprised they haven’t tried it again in the last 15 years to revive it, that’s actually unbelievable for me because I would love to see Sigourney Weaver kicking some Alien asses again. Unfortunately I missed it somehow till now but not this time when I was watching all of them back to back – I had to see how it all ends. If I have to now rate all the 4 movies – I would say this one is definitely the second best, whereas the best movie as per me would be the second part of the series followed by first and third will be the weakest of them all. This is again a damn good kick ass thriller with some great action and chilling moments thrown in between. I would say this one definitely scared me a bit – not too much but it’s too good to be missed for sure. This starts where the third part leaves us with Ripley killing herself and the Alien queen’s embryo inside her body. As humans are too curious and we know curiosity kills the cat – they bloody are still doing the research 200 years down the line – with her blood and DNA samples they create her clone without realizing that she had the Queen’s embryo inside her – what happens next is again a cat and mouse thriller between Aliens and Humans in outer space and a fight to survive yet again. It does makes for a damn good captivating watch as you are actually keen to know how it all is going to end if it does at all.

The Movie: 200 years have passed and with Ripley’s death in that furnace – they are still doing research with her Blood and DNA samples – we see they have created her clone and are trying to take the Alien out of her body. Once the Alien sample is taken out – they realize the clone No. 8 is still alive – they take her as a prisoner aboard their ship and let her live. What they did not realize is that there was a mix up between her and Aliens DNA hence she is now born with enhanced powers, acidic blood like them and telepathic connections with them. It’s awesome to see Ripley with those new powers and confidence. This movie takes the human curiosity and will to find new worlds to a new high, I was shocked to see their imagination like – they were actually kidnapping humans in the outer space and feeding them to Aliens so they can multiply. A group of Mercenaries arrives including the hottie Winona Ryder who plays an Android in this one – she is simply stunning and too good in the role of an Android. As soon as she comes across Ripley – she knows it’s a big mistake on human’s part to create her again and she tries to kill her but by now it’s too late, as they had already developed adult Aliens and they were growing with each passing moment. It’s amazing to see how far human imagination can go and what all we can create as we see a new turn in the Alien saga with more advanced Aliens with human DNA match – now they are capable of multiplying without laying eggs as they used to do earlier, quite convincing and great to see onscreen.

That's my favorite "Winona Ryder"
As the mother ship Betty is damaged by the Aliens, it starts moving towards earth by default and they were on a collision course in about couple of hours – the only target they have now is to survive somehow and kill the Aliens if they can before they enter earth’s surface. Will Ripley come back to their rescue? Is the rest of the movie. As we see Ripley was the No. 8 clone in the making – what happens to the rest of the 7 clones developed earlier? The revelations are one of the shocking things of the movie and trust me – it indeed scared me to see the scene – how they have shot it. This one too isn’t an exception in the Alien franchisee and it has its own damn good scary moments with full size adult Aliens in a human killing spree, new one taking birth ripping apart human chests as they did in the past, their acidic blood burning and melting everything on their way. The chases here too are too good, the final escape, fighting with the aliens, their own difference in between the crew members and mercenaries etc. There are so many “Oh My God, Holy Shit” moments in this one too, right from the word go – it’s too good to be missed – if you ask me. As I said earlier – I will definitely rate it as the second best of the series. It’s a must watch for all thriller / science fiction lovers. The final outcome of the Alien as it develops in the new form is simply mind-blowing and shit scary. I bet you will not be able to forget his grunt and face for quite a long time to come and unfortunately but true – even the ending leaves quite a handful of questions unanswered. But I guess that’s how it should be with these kind of movies to leave us asking for more and then come back again with another movie answering all the queries – isn't it?

If you haven't seen the earlier parts - here you can read about them. Alien (1979)Aliens (1986) and Aliens 3 (1992)

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Chiriakhana (The Zoo - 1967) - Suspense

First from the series of Detective movies by Satyajit Ray and what a movie this was, totally amazing stuff. It was based on the “Who Dunnit” genre of movies of cases solved by our own Indian Sherlok Holmes “Byomkesh Bakshi”, whose TV serial with the same name was a great success too. They way Ray has presented Byomkesh is damn good – played by Uttam Kumar and his friend who plays his perfect assistant – who he affectionately calls Watson. Byomkesh even keeps a baby snake in his room, I couldn’t understand the relevance though as the movie is in Bengali with subtitles and his assistant is always shown reading a Murder Mystery. How they solve the mystery behind multiple murders is a treat to watch. I must confess – the first character Uttam Kumar plays, was of a Japanese as he was requested to come in a disguise for the first time – trust me - for first 5 minutes – I actually was confused till he started speaking in Bengali, amazing make up and body language this guy had. I was hooked to it big time till the very end to know who the culprit was as I had my doubts on several people and was amazed to see the outcome as I seriously couldn’t guess the right guy. It’s a must watch for those who like detective movies – looking forward to his other works now as I believe he did made quite a few movie of the same genre.
The Movie: The Story revolves around a retired judge who hires Byomkesh on an assignment to find a singer, who had sung a song in a movie and since then not to be found anywhere. Byomkesh starts trailing the singer in his own ways and with his own contacts. He even visits the colony where Judge stays with his wife and lots of other weird characters of which some are x convicts, handicaps, out casts etc. Every character is unique on its own. Next day as Judge calls him on phone to give him some information about the singer – he is brutally killed, while Byomkesh listens to the commotion on phone, here onwards starts the cat and mouse game between him and the killer. So many times as a viewer we have our own doubts on almost all the characters as everybody has got a motive to kill him. While he investigates the first murder, another character that was actually a witness to first murder, gets killed and the story further gets interesting and more confusing. Byomkesh had his own doubts on couple of people and how he resolves the same is the rest of the movie. I tried my level best but couldn’t guess the killer. It’s a damn good one time watch for sure. I was amazed by the attention to detail by Ray that too in the year it was made. Again I would love to quote that he was one hell of a director of his own kinds. I am totally hooked to all his works and loving it more and more.

Bol Bachchan (2012) - Comedy

Just came back from the movie, after a Saturday morning show which was almost houseful. I guess kids had more fun than us adults watching the movie – it was an awesome sight seeing my kiddo and her friend actually jumping on chair with Ajay and Abhishek’s awesome comedy and action. Since this was a Rohit Shetty movie – whose movies even I like to an extent they are damn good time pass with some earth shattering action, I simply love those flying people, cars, explosions and ground breaking background score. Cause I don’t mind walking out of the theatre laughing and dissecting the movie with my wife and kid for days to come. This became one of those movies which actually made me laugh hard and when I say hard – I actually mean so hard that I did skip a couple of scenes as was too busy laughing. I never laughed so much in any of the movies in last couple of years – have always been a Ajay Devgan fan and surprisingly Shetty did damn well with AB too, he is simply awesome in that role. Support cast is too good to, with that Krishna guy taking the cake. The best part of the movie is Ajay Devgan’s English, totally rocking stuff – dunno who wrote those cheesy lines but when he says something – you just can’t help but repeat it yourself and then just laugh on it. I never saw such a lively crowd as we noticed today; people from all age groups were simply laughing, cheering and clapping. It had those “Oh Shit” moments too – typical Rohit Shetty stuff. If you like light hearted comedies, which make no sense yet, are smart enough to keep you hooked to the most part – this is it. Do not miss this as this isn’t a Akshay Kumar mindless movie which is going to offend anyone in anyways – plain simple comedy with lots of laugh out loud moments – I am definitely seeing it a couple of times for simply for Ajay Devgan.
The Movie: First of all it’s a remake of the “Golmaal” of 70’s with outstanding Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt, no ways these guys are any close to the classic but if at all you see this one – you will know that in the first place they shouldn’t even be compared. It’s just the idea that is taken and then they have done their own set of writing and have presented it in a different way altogether with so many new characters, twists and turns. Obviously a plain Jane remake wouldn’t have worked anyways – my wife went to the extent of saying that no one is going to see and enjoy Old Golmaal in today’s time as we did in the past – dunno – I need to see it to believe it – I guess I will still love the old classic in comparison to this one but I wont miss this one just for the heck that it’s a remake. This too is based on the life of a simpleton Abbas Ali (Abhishek Bachchan) who stays in Delhi with his sister Sania (Asin), cause of the family dispute they lose their property and have to move back to Ranakpur with their uncle (Asrani). The trouble starts when AB meets the most powerful man of the village Prithviraj Raghuvanshi (Ajay Devgan) on a wrong foot and one lie leads to another to another till everything comes crashing and they get caught.
Main Characters: Ajay Devgan as Prithviraj is simply mind-blowing – I am sure AB would be jealous of the footage that Ajay has got in this one. Obviously he was the first choice for Rohit Shetty to make this one and their friendship / gang is quite famous – his English speaking character is simply hilarious – right from the very first few minutes of the movie – you fall for him and always look forward to his histrionics onscreen. He is a superb English killer in the movie and has got some best of the lines that are beyond anyone’s imagination. His body language, the way he raises his hand and its pin drop silence everywhere, his looks, those glares, his whole pehalwan gang, his fort and everything about him is so damn good that you just can’t help but fall in love with him.  Abhishek as Abbas Ali cum his own twin Abhishek Bachchan is hilarious – this should be called the best comic role done by him ever. I unfortunately never liked him in any of his earlier movies as much as I loved him in this one. This role suits him to the T – I must say and enacted it too pretty well, beyond my expectations, simply Superb. His dance item in between is a total riot if you ask me, one that you will never forget in life. The Two chicks – Asin as AB’s sister and Prachi Desai as AD’s sister are just eye candy – both of them have hardly any role to talk about but they are just about ok – their characters had to be underrated hence they do well too. Krushna Abhishek as Ravi and Asrani as his dad Shastri – are the two best support characters who will have you in split with their awesome chemistry with each other and with others too. Even Neeraj Vora as AD’s right hand is too good but I guess he is type casted in that character as every other movie of his would have him in the same character – but he too is too good in this one.
It’s a typical Rohit Shetty stuff as I said earlier so no doubt you have rocking comedy and thumping action too. Background score is at times too loud but goes well with the mood of the movie – no doubt on that. I can certainly forgive Amar Mohile for the same cause when you have those hard-hitting characters on screen – you just can’t help but beat the drums badly. You have 30-40 people beaten by our two leads, a dozen cars and SUV’s flying all over, Buses / Trucks crashing and then finally you have a car hanging on the edge of the cliff too. The climax of the movie done in “Ek Hasina Thi – Karz” sytle is too good. It’s a laugh riot right before you walk out after seeing the typical “making and goof ups of the movie”. Its too good to be missed movie and a great time pass at that. A movie that you will walk out laughing and repeating those English killing dialogues of AD. Do not miss it at any cost. 

Friday, July 06, 2012

Aliens 3 (1992) - Science Fiction

When you start seeing a franchisee again – I believe you have to see from the very start till the very end. This fortunately happens to be the third movie of the series that too a debut for one of my favorite Director David Fincher. First two parts as written earlier Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986) were Directed by legendary Ridley Scott and James Cameron respectively, hence this one as per me was the weakest and least interesting of the three yet. If I see it as an individual movie – I will rate it as an average action movie and nothing great but if I have it to rate it as per the franchisee this was a big letdown, as not for one moment I had that urgency or rush of blood feeling like in the other parts. It wasn’t one bit scary for me or thrilling to say the least. Even the Alien as they have shown in this one isn’t that killer scary or chilling; at times it appeared total fake to me. At best it can be called an average fair with some good action moments and a great climax which makes you wonder where they will take the story to in “Aliens Resurrection”.
The Movie: It starts from where the second part ends where we saw Ripley on a journey back home with the little girl on board their ship “Sulaco” and the damaged Android Bishop (My favorite Lance Henriksen). Since the ship catches fire they are launched in an escape pod and they land at “Fury 161” which was inhabited by male inmates – it was like a prison with no escape. Here we are introduced to all kinds of new characters and we already know what they are going to go through once the pod is opened and the Alien hidden in there is gonna go havoc in here too. Rest of the movie is out n out action showing how all the prisoners and their caretakers unite to make a team under the leadership of Ripley to kill the Alien. As an action movie it scores big time as it has some damn good sequences of chases and explosions. Since this was a prison facility – they do not have any weapons hence they make their own weapons and explosive devices to kill the beast. By the end they realize that there is one Alien hidden inside Ripley too hence she is never attacked by the beast and killed. How they end it is good to see and you have to see this to believe it. This leaves a big question mark for the upcoming part though. What I did not like about this part as I said earlier was the missing thrilling and terror element. Like in the earlier parts which score big time on horror and background score – this one had hardly anything to offer in that department. I guess it was a debut movie of David Fincher – may be – he wasn’t in his form yet. But still it makes up for a nice action movie at least.

I guess its time for me to pick up Alien Resurrection (1997) the last from the franchisee and finish it all.