Jan 292017

This is India. A country with a special meaning to the word Family. We have many types of family setups in India. A nuclear family has its own set of living styles. It is small, it keeps to itself and handles its own problems. A large family meanwhile is totally different organization in chaos. It works on its own different set of rules and principles which are unlike a nuclear family. In a large family, all the members stay together with an important part to play in the smooth functioning of the family wheels. But what happens within a large family which has broken up to go nuclear, but is still bound together by a frail thread called relations? Ventilator, a Marathi movie depicts exactly that.

Though it’s a bit late for this, as I had seen it quite some time back, it’s never to late to log a review. Especially a movie with a region constrained viewership. And one never “wastes time” writing.

A renowned film maker, RK(played by Ashutosh Gowarikar) is called up from an important film screening to attend to his uncle who is hospitalized and attached to a ventilator, probably breathing his last. The hospital is filling up with the relatives, but many more are yet to come. The film depicts the various scenarios, intentions, agendas which pull the relatives to the deathbed of a relative who holds an important place in the family tree.The intentions could be to get the last glimpse of  the “alive him” or it could be a far more selfish motive of finalizing the property distribution. Whatever be the case, relatives start flocking the hospitals, and bring along their usual din. The lobby fills up with the relatives, grouped by intents, few chatting away discreetly while other announcing their presence to the world.

The immediate family members meanwhile are weighing their own decisions. The decision to pull the plug and let God take over or to keep the hope alive. They have to make it quick so as not to inconvenience other during the ongoing festival. But its a hard decision for the son to make, given the evidently strained relations between him and his father. The relatives add confusion to the matters. The doctor presents his practical point of view which doesn’t help much except that and ultimatum for the decision is set. He has support of the close relatives who have been in constant touch with him but the decision is his to take. His sister and his mother meanwhile cling to the thread of hope.

It all boils down to the final minutes of the movie, where the son is brought back to his senses through some poignant insight to his early life provided by his uncle. The decision is finally taken.

If you read again, the above, you will note that a renowned film maker is mentioned earlier, but with no worthwhile reference to him all along. That’s because he himself is not the center of the storyline though the story is loosely seen from his vantage point. It’s about the strained relations amongst family members. He himself has issues of his own and the events at the end of the movie help him solve those.

Priyanka Chopra in her in her production venture has managed to make a good one. Directed by Rajesh Mapuskar with another hit, Ferrari Ki Sawaari under his belt and association with other hit Bollywood movies like Munna Bhai MBBS, Lage Raho Munna Bhai and 3 Idiots, this film provides him with the crown he deserves.

This one deserves a 4.5/5.

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)

Feb 192012

I am not a professional movie reviewer. Hence the very infrequent movie reviews. But whenever I feel that all my friends should see a particular movie without fail, I sit down to write. No matter when the movie is released, I feel strongly that some movies should never be missed.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close(here I take the liberty to abbreviate it to ELIC since I wouldn’t want to type the name again and again), is one such movie which I saw recently. It’s a story of a young boy who loses his father in the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. The movie starts with a very brief sequence of the thoughts of the boy, where he is confused about life after death and has a very interesting hypothesis about how it should be.

The story reveals a very special bond the boy had with his father. After the death of his father, the boy finds a key in a small envelope in his father’s closet. The envelope has word “BLACK” written on one corner and assuming it to be the name of an individual, the boys goes out in search of such person named Black, and a lock which the key opens. The boy is under the impression that it is some kind of challenge designed by his dad before he was dead, and believes that if the mystery is unraveled, he would be able to extend the moments spent with his father for a longer period of time.

During the course of his search, the boy comes in contact with variety of people, some who are helpful, loving and some quite rude and non co-operative. I would not like to reveal whether he finds the lock, or the person named Black, as the poignant moments of the film would be robbed of their essence. But the boy solves few mysteries along the way, and though it seems that he keeps on drifting apart from his mother, one moment of the film reveals how he actually comes closer to her. And how he manages to get over one big secret which has been eating him out all through this time.

ELIC is a standard 2 hour affair without any elements which would bore you. Though Tom Hanks has a very short role in the movie(he is the father of the boy), his role is very important for the course of events that unfold. Sandra Bullock, the mother, seems to adrift in the world of a mourning widow, oblivious to the what’s happening with her son. But the end of the movie portrays her to be a concerned mother. The boy, , has a major role in this movie, and though quite effective sometimes, his act seems lacking the essence. But the dialogues and the story makes up for that.

All in all, a good movie by my standards and I would rate it to 4/5.

May 212011

Before I say anything about it, those who have not yet seen the movie, halt. Stop!! Don’t visit your nearest cinema yet. Wait for about a month or so. It will come on the TV soon. I know it because that’s what happens with all the others which are flop at the box office.

I would say, this movie was uncalled for. There was no need of slotting it in(that is what seems like has been done. People were anxious for the new one in the POTC series so they seem to have come out with this one). What a waste of talent! What a waste of the cast!! What a waste of more than 2 hours in a day!!!The creators of the series should understand that diehard fans are as much mesmerized by the action sequences and the sudden turn of events, as they are entertained by the comedy in the film.

Half the people come to see captain Jack Sparrow, and are pleased when his first appearance is very late in the movie. Not so in this one. You start to settle in your chair and miss out the first words out of his mouth. And what was it about keeping this movie predictable? They bring in Jack Sparrow to the trial, head covered, and you already know that it’s not him. The judge presiding over the trial enters with his back to the audience, you know this is Jack Sparrow in disguise. Jack Sparrow tells Gibbs about his well organized plan of the getaway, and you know that they are heading to the prisons and the plan has already failed. Jack Sparrow spars with an imposter at the tavern, you know it’s Penelope Cruz before the film reveals it. And the time when he switches the chalices. You already know it. So where’s the element of surprise? Where’s the fun? If you are in India and have seen the film Hera Pheri, then this film can be compared to Hera Pheri 2. The comedy is served half cooked. You laugh at Jack Sparrow’s dialogues, only because you don’t want to offend Johnny Depp!!

The story is inspired by one of the Lara Croft movies, the only difference being that the timeline has been shifted to the period of the pirates.

Then there is that 3D which all the people would be eager about. The film uses the 3D technology to it’s full extent, but doesn’t let the viewers have the fun. Except for the one shot when angelica drives a sword in through the door which misses Jack Sparrow and points straight at the audience. You feel the physical depth in the screen, but none of it affects the audience. I feel the movie is better viewed in 2D without those irritating glassed on, since half the plot is in dark hours where the 3D effect fail to make much difference.

The characters in the movie are forced to undertake a mission against their wish. Same with the movie. They seem to be working in this movie against their wished. And those mermaid!

You remember the previous editions? The one when Jack sparrow is alone on the desert land, delusional, getting help from the crabs to float his ship. And the one when the entire plot of the movie turned upside, along with the ship. Those are the sequences for which Jack Sparrow is popular. He is a character who is ready to accept all the hardships inflicted against him. He comes out shining in all the hopeless situations. The Jack Sparrow in todays movie gets everything easy. No one seems to be much bothered to torture him. They have tried to centre the movie around Jack Sparrow, but it goes off centre a lot of times.

The creators of the series need to keep in mind that Jack Sparrow, the essence of the movie, has to be the center of the entire plot. You can’t neglect that. The films have been successful because of his character. And to make them successful in future, you need to keep him ‘in character’.

And finally, I miss the black pearl and the monkey. What was the need to keep them bottled till the end? Or was it done to help create a new movie? Time will tell.

Final Review – 2Star.(One because Johnny Depp was present in form of Jack Sparrow and second since they have kept the monkey in the movie.)

Nov 052010

Even as I compose this post, I fail to understand whether I am dreaming, or it’s the reality that I am in. I can feel the pressure of the keys on my finger tips as I type, but I don’t know if its supposed to be that way, while we are dreaming. Can we feel pain in our subconscious state? I surely do now, as I pinch myself. I cannot say for sure if this is reality, since I cannot find my totem, the object which will confirm my presence in reality. I don’t know if I have a totem. I don’t know what state of mind I am in, but what I do know is, Inception got me thinking this.

It might be a bit late that I saw this movie and am writing about it. But Inception demands a say from everyone. It’s a bit of Matrix style, but better. At least I managed to understand it in the first view. Christopher Nolan does it again, and so does Leonardo Di Caprio. They manage to thrill their audience. This is what we get when the writer(Nolan) works on a script for 10 years.

The movie revolves around the theory that an idea can be implanted in to ones mind through ones dreams. An entire world can be created based inside a dream, and people can be brought and manipulated inside others dream. The plot of the movie is entirely about Leonardo(Cobb) and his team entrusted with a task of manipulating a business tycoons mind resulting in the gain of his rivals. This requires the team to travel through multiple levels of dreams, which is a very risky affair. Multiple levels of dream means when the travel into a dream while they are dreaming. A five minutes of real time translates to about an hour inside the dream, hence their calculation say that the 10 hours sleep during one plane journey, would give sufficient time to carry out the tack. The major obstacle to their plan is cobb’s dead wife, who is present in his subconscious mind, and who wants him to kill himself so that they can be together in reality(complicated, but I don’t intend to divulge out the essence of the story). The team travels in to as much as fourth level of the subconscious state in their bid to do the job. There are dangers of them being sent in to limbo(a state where the subconscious state will keep wandering in to un constructed dreams) if they get killed inside the dream. It’s bit confusing if you are not attentive at any point of time.

The plot is fast paced, never boring. The action and the graphics are excellent. The sequences in the zero gravity(physical behaviour of a person in a dream when his body is acted upon by forces in reality), are breathtaking, and make this film worthwhile to be watched at the IMAX. The concept of a paradox in architecture is used effectively in the film. It has the thrill of an action/suspense/sci-fi movie. It has enough amount of emotions which can change the plot of the film. Mysteries are revealed in steps, hence there’s always something around the corner to be revealed. The end of the movie leaves us thinking whether Cobb has returned to reality since ha doesn’t get time to verify his totem. All in all, a must watch for the movie buffs.

I have seen a lot movies since my last review. But this one got me typing again. This surely is something to watch, and that too in theatres. That is, if they are running the shows so late after its release.

Mar 012010

So I saw it today. Karthik calling Karthik. And wasn’t much impressed.

Yes, its a different kind of movie, bit of suspense, bit of romance, and a very good explanation of all the buildup at the end of the movie. But I feel that the movie dragged a bit more than required. The pre-interval part did not kind of  sink in until we had seen the full movie. I remember another movie of M. Night Shyamalan, the sixth sense, which had a very good built up and finally a single explanation of the entire mystery. This movie has nothing to do with the sixth sense in any terms. But I though of comparing that movie with this one because that one had a very good buildup of the story and in the end a very well handled script. These movie has the same qualities, but now as I type this, I don’t get the feeling of going back anytime to watch it again. The sixth sense, I have watched number of times.

Farhan Akhtar was at his best, just as he had impressed in Luck By Chance. Deepika Padukone, I just hate. Rest of the cast was of little consequence for the film, hence they could be anybody. The film felt moving too fast at any big turn of event, and too slow when not required.

And it seems to be a new trend in bollywood to make films around mental and physical conditions.

All in all, a one time see. But don’t be restrained due to my review, as it justifies a one watch.

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