• Lord of the Rings,  Movies

    How good a movie is for me ?

    I saw The Dark Knight few days back. I was not shielded from all the hype around the movie. I hate it. Of course I was desperate to watch it, from the moment I saw Batman Begins. And at the end of the movie, when Gordon informs Batman about a new criminal named Joker, I knew the next movie will be a class in its own. But I avoid being involved in the hype till I dont watch the movie myself. So anyways, I saw The Dark Knight, came out of the theater, content.

    These are the factors according to me for considering how good a movie is :

    1. I come out of the theater , and have no words to describe it. Speechless. I dont know what to reply when people ask me ” how was the movie ? ” . I dont know what to say after coming out of the theater. Everything in the movie is so perfect, that you would just want to savour the moment. Something like eating a very well made Dessert/Dish, which everyone just savours and avoids talking for the time they enjoy it and after that.
    2. I would want to watch it again in theater. Considering the busy lives we have, its difficult to catch a movie one more time.
    3. I start recommending it to people.
    4. I want to own a DVD of that movie ( specifically a collectors edition ) .
    5. I get totally immersed into everything about the movie ( IMDB , Soundtracks, Wallpapers ) . It means I have become a fan of the movie and contribute to the hype building around the movie 🙂

    The last time all these points came true were for Lord Of The Rings : The Return of The King and Titanic. And now The Dark Knight.

  • Bollywood,  Movie Reviews

    Sarkar Raj : No Power At All

    Let me begin by saying that I loved the first movie Sarkar. I have seen it 4 times till now, which is good enough number according to my standards to term it as ” I love this movie ” ( Haven’t I mentioned that yet ?? ) . The other movie from Ram Gopal Verma which I adore is Satya. Brilliant. These 2 movies give RGV a different status altogether in Bollywood.

    And thats why I went to see Sarkar Raj with lot of anticipation ( mind you , not expectation ) . I ignored all the mixed reviews from critics and friends. I wanted to go to the theater with a fresh and clean mind.

    But within 5 minutes after the start, I started getting the feeling that this movie will be a disappointment after all. The feeling turned into reality within 25 minutes. The less said about the movie, the better. The movie was no where near the charisma of its prequel. Everything in the prequel was close to perfection. But here, in the sequel, you feel that everything was being done in a hurry. By everything I mean the dialogues, screenplay,music, even the acting ! The scenes just came one after the other, without allowing the illogical plot to sink in. The dialogues had no effect whatsoever, which were blurted out by actors just for the sake of saying it. The first movie had a brilliant casting of supporting actors ( the likes of Silvermani , Swami , Vishnu ), which was missing from the second.

    The only saving grace in Sarkar Raj was the climax of 15 minutes, which reminded of classic RGV-style movie-making. All in all, a hastily done over-hyped movie. I have observed that this happens a lot to directors who set a level for themselves with their previous work. I sincerely wish he regains that level soon.

  • Bollywood,  Movie Reviews

    Taare Zameen Par – Bollywood at its best

    It is for movies like Taare Zameen Par, that I still have trust in Bollywood. I went to watch this movie, with lots of expectations, and Aamir delivers again, and this time, brilliantly as a director.

    First, let me clear this :

    • The movie is not about dyslexia.
    • The movie is not for kids, but for parents ( the lyrics by Prasoon Joshi are evidence of this. I don’t think any kid below 15 will be able to understand most of the songs )
    • The movie is a must-watch for all, or would-be parents ( you might have heard this hundred times, but believe me, its true )

    Now, the movie is about a boy ( the main Hero ) who is not good at academics, but has a hidden talent in himself. But, as our Indian educational system doesn’t value anything less than 95% in academics, the teachers, principals, children, parents all think that the boy is good for nothing. Then eventually, Aamir Khan ( our second Hero ) comes along and identifies the hidden talent in the boy and also what is the main reason behind his poor performance in academics. In the process, Aamir Khan gives some award-winning speeches ( for which he wont accept a single award , let me remind you ) , making the audience realize what the whole society has become into and how it is effecting the kids in the process.

    So, the movie is fantastic, direction is great, the songs are wonderfully done, dialogues are too good, etc etc etc. I don’t want to ramble on and on about the technicalities of film-making. The movie just speaks for itself. All in all, a properly executed movie worthy of a Filmfare ( the equivalent of an “Oscar” in India !!! ) .

    I have heard that majority of the female audience has cried during the movie. And many males too have wiped a tear or two.( yes, there wont be any such thing as ‘the weaker sex’ in our society in near future. Yay !!! ) . Although people might refuse to accept it, but the fact remains that every kid has been a victim of his/her parents wishes.And parents (sitting in the audience ) do realize that they have done it so, sometime in their kids life.This is why everyone in the audience , every single person, does relate to the movie.

    The movie is made purely for India, and not for the “international” market ( take that , Karan Johar , Farah Khan, Yash Chopra, etc. It is also entirely shot in India, just like Lagaan and Mangal Pandey were ) It addresses a issue which is prevalent everywhere in India. I doubt many of our global audience will be able to relate to it, as their educational system is different than our’s.
    Aamir Khan has not succumbed to the pressure of entertaining our Indian audience throughout the movie, and for that reason, the movie might seem a bit boring in the middle. But that is to make you feel how the kid is feeling, every scene in the movie speaks of the feelings of the boy.

    I know, I know, I have not mentioned anything about our main Hero – the boy – till now. Well, Darsheel Safary is fantastic. He makes you laugh, he makes you cry. He reminds you of children’s innocence. He makes you sympathize with him in every shot. The guy has done a marvelous job at all these, overshadowing even Aamir Khan. I hate that Filmfare has an award for ‘Best Child Actor’,because I know that the judges will put him in that category and therefore, will deny him of any nomination in the Best Actor category, which he very well deserves.( Come on, the kid has carried the whole film on his shoulders, what else do you want ?? )

    Our second Hero doesn’t give a damn about the Awards, but I hope Darsheel gets an award worthy for his work.Till then, I will try Welcome too, who knows, it might be up to my expectations.

    Update : Well, I didn’t watch Welcome. And, Darsheel got a nomination for Best Actor in Filmfare. He did not win it, but at least a nomination amongst other great actors of Bollywood is worthy of a mention. I am now waiting for the DVD of TZP. Hope it is launched soon.

  • Movie Reviews,  Movies

    Pune International Film Festival

    The Pune International Film Festival is finally over. I was a delegate ( for a price of 300 bucks) and after watching 15 movies in past 7 days, I think it was worth it. I got to see some very good movies , which otherwise I wouldn’t have got chance to do so . Of course, many movies were really really boring, Actually, boring is not the word.. I think Unbearable will be the appropriate word for those . But the whole experience was very different for me and I think in the end, I enjoyed the festival .

    Anyways, I will write a short review ( summary) of each movie I saw on the last day of the festival. They were – The Barbarian Invasion ( Canada) , So far, so close ( Iran) , In the name of God ( Malayalam – India) .

    Note : Plot revealed in detail

    The Barbarian Invasion ( Canada) :

    This was a well made movie, with proper script and gud acting. A ex-professsor in his 60s has cancer and everyone knows he doesn’t have much time . His wife calls his son from London . The son and father don’t communicate much , and it was the mom who had brought up the kids . The son still comes back and with his contacts and money , helps the dad get a decent room in the Hospital ( whose conditions may be worse than that in India) . Not only this, the son calls all old friends of his dad, pays money to his dad’s students to meet him so that the last days of the dying man can pass out happily.

    The dismal state of Canadian Hospital is shown properly, where labour unions, lack of staff and rooms create a lot of problems for a patient. Once the professor’s friends unite, they keep on talking about sex, mistresses, civilizations, cultures, etc. which was quite interesting. The director tried to cover all the problems of the world in an ironic way, like that of 9/11, drugs , etc. The cinematography was also good. All in all, a very gud flick, which I think won an Academy Award in 2004 ( that’s what the PIFF catalogue says ) . Try to watch it if possible .

    Rating : 8/10

    So Far , So close ( Iran) :

    This movie was also very good. A fantastic movie from Iran. ( I had seen Or , which was boring, and dint get to watch the much hyped Gilaneh , so cant say much about it ) . The main features of this movie were the amazing desert landscapes and the dialogues. It had a more philosophical touch to it, which perfectly blended with the Iranian deserts.

    Anyways, the story is – A famous neurologist keeps neglecting his teenage son. On his son’s birthday , he comes to know that his own son has a brain tumor and is going to die within days. Everyone who knew his son, knew that he is getting nauseas and gets dizzy , except the father !! The father reaches home late ( due to unavoidable circumstances ) and misses his son’s bday party . He got a telescope for his son( his son being a sar-gazer) but when he comes home, his son already left with his team for the deserts for a star – gazing competition ( coz of which the son had requested for a telescope for his bday ) . The doctor decides he will give the gift to his son, even if he has to cross the deserts for that .

    And then the father takes out Mercedes for a road trip and meets diff. people in the way, each having a diff. perspective towards life.

    Now this is the amazing part – his Mercedes gets stuck in the middle of the desert, and now he is helpless and he has to reach the camp ASAP to meet his dying son. The last half hour was too gud , and ending AWESOME !

    Rating : 9/10

    In the name of God ( Malayalam – India ) :

    Before I start the review, let me put forth some points I observed or realized during the festival

    1) Bollywood movies don’t suck. I think they are far better than La pianiste, and real man .

    2) Non- Hindi Indian movies have gud stories, but they suck in direction ( except Dombivli Fast ) . Spec. the background music, I think that should be scrapped overall.

    Anyways, this movie was not that interesting coz of the usual emotional crap that Indian movies are famous for and screeching background music . But the story was gud, and the movie could have been made better.

    The story is as follows – A educated Muslim girl from a South Indian village gets married to a educated , well cultured man . But after marriage , the husband leaves for Aligarh to pursue his higher studies. Some religious group brainwashes him ( coz of the 1991 riots ) and turn him into a Jehadi . The husband comes back and the girl is all shocked to see the changed nature of his husband. The husband plants a bomb in a shop, and the girl puts his husband in the jail for his crime.

    Then , all the muslim community heads condemn the girls actions. The girl then writes a book with all teachings of Maulana Azad , Mahatma Gandhi and publishes the book and gives the book to her husband in jail. After reading the book , the husband realizes his mistake and mends his ways. He is freed and what happens in the end, is shocking !!! actually, that was overstatement. The ending was very very stupid !

    Well , the movie shows some reality , about how the religious groups turn innocent people into Jehadis,and how all this communal tension is work of the anti-social elements . The girl has done decent acting , showing a strong character of a woman on the screen.

    Rating : 6/10