Aug 252015

In my constant endeavour to watch good foreign language films, I have taken the support of subtitles to understand them, and I find myself comfortably placed to keep pace with the plot while carrying out the dual tasks of watching the movie and also reading the subs. The list of such movies may not be huge but I am very glad that I have not missed watching them. One such movie happens to be a Turkish one, and I wouldn’t shy away from it, especially since it had high ratings on IMDB. Mucize (am unable to home on to how its pronounced, though one website lists it as Mu-ji-za), meaning Miracle, is based in a rural Turkish backdrop with all their problems and pleasures, rolled and presented in to one.

The film starts with the transfer of a school teacher in to a remote village, a settlement rather, disconnected from the rest of the world save for the blue transport. A bus which stops two mountains away from the village since the government didn’t make any road further. The problems do not end when he reaches the village, baggage in his hands. The village has no school and all the efforts to wake up the administration to this fact are futile, largely due to the instability in the government. The children of the village are forever destined to illiteracy as the teacher thinks he is not up to the task. We live under the will of God for eight months(when it snows) and at the mercy of the government for rest of the four months. These words from the village elder, sums up the harsh reality of their community life.

But things change. And they change in a big way when the teacher and the villagers take up the task of building the school themselves. The education starts.

But there are other issues too.

The village chiefs son Camilo has fled to the mountains a decade back, from the fear of being caught for a murder he committed back then. His son and his wife wait for him endlessly. Is it time for him to finally come back and make peace with his destiny?

The youngsters in the community get married one by one, to a bride chosen by the elders. The bride selection ritual is quite interesting and funny at times(Apologies to anyone who takes offense here. I just meant that the scenes are funny and not the actual ritual). The groom humbly accepts the bride chosen for him. But how will such a pair fare?

The eldest eligible bachelor is handicapped and not fit for marriage as thought by his father. But destiny had another course written and the most beautiful girl is married off to the handicapped man, on account of a promise made by the girls father to the grooms father. Life gets difficult for Mizgin(the wife) and Aziz(the handicapped husband) as the community thinks that they are not a fit couple. Will this couple overcome the taunts and prove their love for each other or will they break apart. That’s what remains to be seen.

Finally, will the teacher fulfil his duty here, or will he fall short?

The location and the scenery in the film is breathe taking. Just like the dream getaway village. The dresses are colorful and the traditions rich. The film has a soothing effect on oneself.

Initially it seems that the movie is centred on the school teacher, Mahir. It doesn’t take much time to realise that the film is centred on the village and the villagers their culture and traditions, their humility,  their problems. The film is a kaleidoscope in to the life of the community and the individuals who make up the community.

My Rating : 4/5

Feb 222015

I am still confused. Should I give a positive review or a negative review.

What was it about this movie that gave it the 4 star rating in various reviews. I just don’t understand why the story felt so complicated but without any closure. The script writer builds up many a climaxes but fails to deliver them. The directions feels pretty good, but then it must have been quite a task to get thing together.

The silver lining in the cloud is Nawazuddin Siddiquie.

And now I understand what’s bothering me. The Protagonist for this movie may mistakenly be considered as Varun Dhawan. Nay not so. For me, its Nawazuddin. The story revolves around him, or should have actually been that way but is potrayed otherwise.

Then there is a sad waste of Vinay Pathak, who really wasn’t offered any role at all. The director would as well have asked him to appear without speaking. A waste of talent.

Huma Qureshi plays her role they way she should. There’s nothing much for Yami Gautam though.

But its Nawazuddin that shines. It reminds me of the film Talaash. The character is ditto and played to perfection. Such roles are custom made for him it seems.

Varun needs to learn how to speak convincingly on screen. He’s just not there yet. That’s why he appears last in this review

And also to remind. If you live in Badlapur, don’t get your hopes up to create a connection between the film and your town. There is none.

And then there’s this police officer who keeps on appearing without being important. What a shamble. It feels like the story was a rough draft, finalised in haste under the fear of plagiarism. 

Full marks to Nawaz.

My Rating 3/5. All go to Nawaz

Sep 092014

For a person with limited linguistic capabilities, watching a film of an unknown language with subtitles can be an ordeal. More so if the film has been rated a lot, but after viewing it, turns out to be flop. I rarely venture into watching films of languages I don’t know, unless it had been appreciated by the critics. Another such movie which I had reviewed previously was Hemlock Society.

Bangalore Days, mind you, is not a Kannada movie but a Malayali movie. Setup in the beautiful Bangalore and for some small parts, in Gods own country, Kerela, the film at times is enchanting in its beautiful location. It is a story of three cousins and childhood friends, whose lives have ever since parted but come back to meet again at the age of maturity in the city of Bangalore. The friendship has stayed on but with age, the complexities of life have engulfed all three. This is a story of three friends helping each other in solving those problems and coming off age.

Kuttan(Krishna P P), the narrator of this tale,  is a new recruit software engineer who has left his beloved hometown to make a career out of his education, unlike his father who choose to be a humble farmer back home. Now the time has come for him to marry and his search of the dream wife is not going to be that easy unless he renegotiates the idea of a dream wife. Will he find his dream wife……………?

Kunju(Divya) is good at studies and hopes to complete MBA, but a superstitious mother wouldn’t have any of it and finally Divya has to marry Das. The marriage isn’t seen going well and is heading towards a breakup as Das is later found to have someone else in his life. A girl named Natasha. Will the marriage last………….?

Aju’s(Arjun) doesn’t have a stable life. A vagabond by nature, finally seems to have some stability in Bangalore working as a race bike mechanic. But there is no acceptance from the cultured society. Meanwhile he falls in love with a Radio Jockey Sarah, but has second thoughts when the moment to proclaim his love comes  as Sarah has bigger plans for her future. Arjun needs to reclaim his place in the society by staying in Bangalore while Sarah needs to leave Bangalore. Will one of them sacrifice for the other…………?

I am not completing the story for you as is my policy. A good film ought to be seen and not read in review sections. To all the film loving malayali community, this is a must watch watch. To others, I recommend it with subtitles.

I have no knowledge of the actors/directors/producers or their careers. But I would say that they have done a great job.

My Rating 4.5/5 (I still reserve that 0.5 for movies like The Shawshank Redemption. Hard to get anymore)

Jan 042010

The film is out. And all the buildup done by the producers and the actors, pre-release, was not just a hype. I saw it. And I was bowled over. Everything seems real. And as my friend said, everyone who has ever stayed in a hostel, tries to fit himself into the characters. Maybe the essence of reality won the hearts of the millions, who have flocked to watch it. I watched it on an odd day. And was amazed to find it running on two screens simultaneously in the multiplex, both screens sold out. Truely this film deserves 4 & 1/2 star if not five (Here I consider myself to be an “expert” reviewer).

But what about the controversy being blown up at this stage. Its more than a week after the release, but the author of five point someone choose a weeks gap before blowing up an issue? It not that mr. Bhagat was unaware of the release of such film, and he had been questioned about the same, but he gave no indications towards current developments. And that was on 29th december, days after the release. But all of a sudden, on 2nd January, he finds his name missing and cries foul.

I just guess that mr. Bhagat has made a new year resolution to stay in the limelight, and couldn’t find a better way. But people know that the movie is somewhat based on that book, and I have not come across anyone who hasn’t refered the book when speaking of the movie.

So all the concerned people…..Let me tell you. Ryan, Alok and Hari, can be seen recreated in the film. The film has earned its points, so has the book.

The fight here shouldn’t be, Five points to whom?

Dec 312009

I do not consider myself to be an expert reviewer. But this is the first time I have seen a movie in 3D, hence this enthusiasm.

Avatar is a well done movie. Forget the storyline. Its always the same every time. Either USA is in trouble, or we earthlings are meddling in to others affairs. Its the second case is here. This earns and average review for storyline. Of course, a lot of imagination has gone in to plotting the entire movie, with a blend good blend of real life and animation. But most of the points are earned by the visual treat that the movie offers through imagination in animation. I saw the 3D version, and I was not much impressed with the 3D effects. Of course, there was a depth to the image, but somehow I was yearning for more. Except for 2-3 sequences, the entire film did not fascinate me in 3D point of view. May be I had been over expecting, this being my first 3D movie(I mean the first 3D I have seen, not the first I made). Or may be I should have seen it at some other theatre.

Anyway, the film is quite entertaining, even with an average story, simply because of the graphics. A good watch for kid. And watching it one time would do no harm to anyone. Overall I would rate it 3 1/2 out of 5.

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