Category Archives: cinema

It could have been a masterpiece

While others might be going gaga over the Aamir Khan/Raju Hirani latest movie “3 Idiots”, I beg to differ a bit. No doubt that the movie was very good and for most of the time, I was holding my stomach and laughing my guts out. And living my college life once again as well. But still after coming out of the cinema hall, the feeling was of coming from a grand feast where the dessert had a bit too much sugar.

After all, Hirani had earlier directed the Munna Bhai series and Aamir has given us “Taare Zameen Par”. (I am not counting the mindless violence and gore of “Ghajini”, so what if it is one of the highest grosser of all time). Films that have set the benchmark in moralistic story telling without being preachy.  Films that had very taut story line with not a scene out of place.

For a long time, I have been complaining about our education system. We do not allow creativity and independent thinking at all. And here the movie gets it spot on. In its unique sartorial style it brings the deficiency of the education system to the fore. I am sure a lot of people (including me) would actually identify with the character of “Chatur” more than anyone else.  Also the chamatkar/balatkar speech is simply fabulous for the point it makes.

However, certain scenes like the baby delivery sequence  are a bit jarring in the movie. They are improbable and unnecessarily extend the length of the movie, and well effectively, repeat the same point over and over again.

A little bit of scissor wielding and this could have been the Movie of the Decade for me. Sadly it just falls at the finish line.

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Crocodile in Saree.

We saw “Luck By Chance” on Friday.It is a satire on the film industry and unlike “Om Shanti Om”, it is not over the top. There were a few things that were really good. But overall  I do not agree with the lavish praise heaped upon by critics. Sure the movie deserved 3 stars but not more than that.

A few good things in the movie.

  • The initial credit rolls. You might miss it if you watch it casually. So pay special attention and you will realize what subtlety is all about.
  • Rishi Kapoor. He rocks. Farhan might be the central lead in this movie but Rishi Kapoor makes this film work.  He plays an old school Punjabi Film producer and has some of the best lines in the movie. Sample this. He describes Dimple Kapadia as “a crocodile in chiffon saree”. Notice the difference in the way he says “kya baat hain” when Dimple Kapadia introduces him to a new producer of the movie played by Boman Irani.
  • Konkana Sen Sharma. She knows how to underplay and one can actually relate to her story.
  • Dimple Kapadia, especially in the one scene where she is abusing and threatening the editor of a magazine that has printed some gossip about her daughter.
  • It take guts to play the kind of role played by Sanjay Kapoor and the tongue-in-cheek remarks by John Abraham. For subtle humour, the movie scores all the brownie points.

However at 156 minutes, the movie is a tad too long. Somewhat tighter wielding of the scissors would have made this a very entertaining movie. Also, I did not understand  the reason for justifying Dimple’s mannerism. Farhan was depicted as a self-conceited person without any hint of apology and easily that could have been done for Dimple as well. People are brash and pompous and we must learn to show them and take them at face value. Farhan also looks a bit stiff at some places specially in the dance numbers.

Some days back we (my wife and myself) had decided that we would go to cinema halls for movies that get a rating of at least 4 stars by critics and specially Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN7. After watching this movie, I want my money back Mr Masand. The movie is definitely watchable but only on Television.

I stand corrected

A couple of days back, I had said that I am liking “Slumdog Millionaire”. I think I wrote a bit too soon because by the time the movie ended, I was a bit bored. There are a lot of good things in the movie, for example the cinematography is absolutely stunning. Editing is crisp. The story moves at a rapid pace, doesn’t slacken a bit. It does cover the slums in a very candid way. But then in the end it is a simplistic story. I don’t think an underworld don would move to a new address and not do anything to Jamal as portrayed in the movie. The movie also doesn’t delve into the psyche of any character although Anil Kapoor does manage to portray an arrogant superstar in the limited time that he gets on the screen. The casting masterpiece however is Tanay Chedha as (Rajan in Taare Zameen Par) Jamal (middle one). That boy exudes charm and is mighty talented.

Its quite sad that whole of India is going gung ho over a movie that is not Indian even if it has an Indian star cast. Sure the movie is good but not great. If you want to see truly great movie then perhaps Vishal Bhardwaj’s Maqbool and Omkara are better. Even the side characters have been developed nicely in these movies. But then it it is directed by an Indian so it won’t get an audience beyond India.

Or may be the world is really interested in the slums of Mumbai.

Slumdog millionaire

I just saw a few glimpses of the much talked about Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” and I admit I was enthralled by what I saw. The humour is subtle. The portrayal of Mumbai’s slum, dark and very real. I think last somebody captured Mumbai so starkly was in “Aamir“.

However I think Rahman had given much better music in “Lagaan”  than this movie and he should have won accolades much earlier.  But then unless Indians work in International productions they do not get their due.

Some songs.

While doing my work, I almost always have my headphones put on. It cuts out the noise pollution and really alleviates the mood as well. Here a couple of my favorite songs.

and this

The pursuit of Happyness

Yesterday I saw The Pursuit of Happyness for the second time. It still managed to touch my heart. I have always associated Will Smith with movies like Independence Day or Men in Black where he plays this typical loud mouth character but Boy, did he surprise us all with this restrained performance. The final scene, the way he walks at the end after he gets the job, is simply superb.

Oh and during an ad break I caught a few glimpses of Hollywood C grade. With such gems like “If looks could kill, I would have been half dead by now”

BTW why does HBO show good movies at 11 PM and those silly mindless blood and gore shows at 9 PM.