Tag-Archive for » Movie-Review «

Thursday, December 03rd, 2009 | Author:

Gone With the Wind is the story about a Southern girl’s (Vivien Leigh) hopeless love for a married gentleman (Clark Gable). Set against the background of the shameful slavery trade and the tragedy of American Civil war, the film plays with Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), a roguish wealthy man from a Charleston’s family falling for the feisty and self-centered Scarlett (Vivien Leigh). Directed by Victor Fleming and based on Margaret Mitchell’s novel Gone with the Wind, this movie is considered one of the most popular epics of all time. But it is not without some serious criticisms. Charles Spencer reviewed this movie long back and wrote in The Daily Telegraph, “Soullessly efficient show merely feels like one damn thing after another, an endless parade of unexciting incidents that leaves the viewer feeling neither shaken nor stirred.” The way this film glorifies slavery is atrocious. However, this movie depicts some real art. In “What is Art” Leo Tolstoy writes, “There is one indubitable indication separating real art from its counterfeit, namely, the infectiousness of real art. It must transmit the simplest feelings of common life, but such, always, as are accessible to all men in the entire world.” I believe that Gone with the wind fits Tolstoy’s bill. Even the title of this film mirrors the artistic simplicity. (Four one syllable words with a poetic charm).

Rhett Butler is an exemplary scoundrel and I like him for what he is. Scarlett is a product of proto-feminist literature. She is a Machiavellian manipulator with a perilous charm and even the smart Rhett cannot help falling for her. Socially-conscious critics of films and literature always consider themes centering on women an inferior subject matter. I do not see any feminism in this movie, despite many reviews suggest the opposite. Butler tells to her girl “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” He might have realized the effect of ‘not giving a damn” to the woman who loves him until he loses her; more or less like Almasy’s mental predisposition in English Patient, a brilliant movie showing heady romance. Both movies are about tragic and doomed romance., still very different from each other.

Many people compare Scarlett and Rhett Butler to Rick and Lisa in Casablanca. But I would say this is no way close to that great movie in terms of spirit. Clark Gable is not a great gentleman like Humphrey Bogart. Bogart sacrifices everything. He says in many places that “I stick my neck out for nobody.” But he gives up everything for his lost love, even his livelihood and passion. He is a more gutsy man too. See his eyes when he tells the chief of Third Reich “I was running guns in Ethiopia.” When his girlfriend does not show up in the railway station according to their plan to get out of France, he is teary eyed. I could feel the warmth of the tears on my cheeks when I saw this movie. That is the power of love and the respect he shows to Lisa. A thorough gentleman he is. Unfortunately, I could not see any of these elements in Gone with the Wind, if these two films are compared for their romance. However, seen with a different perspective, I find some real love, and lost opportunities to show it, in Gone with the Wind.

I enjoyed this movie for its artistic simplicity. The film set a paradigm for an inverse presentation approach where even glory dooms to shambles and the real effect is a conclusion of introspection.

Category: Reviews  | Tags: ,  | 8 Comments
Monday, November 16th, 2009 | Author:

Before some grand disaster in the form of Tsunami, earthquake, plague, hurricane, some pandemic or for that matter alien invasion, that can wrap up the entire civilization, we should start taking responsibility of what we do today. In the overall scheme of things, this post-apocalypse narrative could be a piece of fiction, but why should it stop us from not polluting the world anymore and taking a noble initative to plant few more trees. Save Earth

Finally end of the world- 2012 strikes gold at the box office on Friday the 13th, shattering the myth, cinema screens all across Delhi ran a sold out show this weekend. The film is about pre and post deluge imaginative mise en scène where three high-tech, state-of-the-art picked from the book of Genesis’s portrayal of the Noah’s ark headed ‘no-where’ to rescue remainder of the human civilization launched from the roof of the world. Roland Emmerich’s translation of the Mayan calendar prediction that world is coming to an end on 12-21-12 is massive blockbuster already. Scientist’s at NASA and elsewhere can corner the story as a piece of fiction but for the urban goer it is a future imagination running wild in your head sci-fi flick. Ofcourse the computer generated special effects team is to be blamed for this temporary deluge in our minds. Danny Glover does well to interpret, the whole cause of cataclysm which threatens to disembowel human race majorly the solar flares that burns up earth’s core to an extent that earth’s crust becomes unstable and shifts, violently, leading to mother of all, thousands of Tsunami like effects. Okay, all this story telling business, I am leaving upto the readers, because I have something else to talk about.

For me, the film had a lot of topical reasons to watch, the opening shot is in a mining field in the Eastern India (2009), where an Indian astrophysicist Dr. Satnam Tsurutani, played by UK-Indian actor Jimi Mistry, tips his fellow American scientist friend Adrian (Chiwetel Ejiofor) about a doomsday and reasons why he and others should start checking their clocks more often. Apparently, Madhu Koda, the Chhattisgarh CM accused of laundering millions of money from the Iron and copper mines undergoes intense interrogation by sleuths.

The earthquake scenes, in the film, the African-American president Thomas Wilson aka Danny Glover decides to stay in the Capitol Hill alongside fellow Americans. Whereas the Air force One, heads towards Tibet. Nobel Prize winner and current US president Mr. Barack Obama, is in China today to discuss peace and business, I guess.

In the film, Tibetans monks were shown getting back to the working mould to construct a ship read (Noah’s Ark). Last week, Dalai Lama, the supreme commander of Tibetan cause was asked to restrict his movements from Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh) by the Indian government.

Does all that sound, funny? Maybe yes, I am not sure, but watching the whole of California sliding in the Pacific’s, the Yellowstone completely destroyed by an hydrogen-bomb-like explosion, LA skyscrapers twisting and tumbling like a pack of cards, the White House, engulfed by a fighter war ship, the Vatican crashing into the ground and finally gigantic tidal waves swamping the Indian peninsula is a visual treat. I am not a wise spender, I know that and I am working on that front, but I also do not contemplate spending 500 bucks at PVR near you. My paisa is wasooled.

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 | Author:
Harry Potter - The Half Blood Prince

Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince

The waiting of over a year culminated in my being able to get tickets for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince tonight – the first day it was released. The hours were difficult to pass and the day seemed to stretch unnaturally, keeping me away from one of the few things I am passionate about. Needless to say, when the movie started, I was all ready to stand up and hoot and clap. But I stopped soon enough. Did they say this movie was based on JK Rowling’s book, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince??? Ok, I agree, some of the characters were taken from the book but not the story. Being the generous person I am, I will agree to accept that the screenplay was loosely inspired by a dream the writers might have had after reading JK Rowling’s book.

The parts that make the book intriguing, the crucial aspects that all tie up together to form the last book, the experiences that made the Half Blood Prince who he was, everything was foregone to make a story that was full of computer gimmicks for children.

Don’t they realise that most of the audience would be of people who have read the book and have pictured the story in their minds and want to see how their own vision would be translated on screen? Let me give you a small example without giving away the story for those who haven’t read the book – a quiet Christmas at The Burrow was turned into a fight for one’s very life as half the Death Eaters turned up and burned the house down!!!! Why? How did that help the story except to showcase the prowess of the graphics team?

OK I get it now – the movie should have been called Harry Potter and the Half Trained Geeks – an advertisement on how far Britain has come when it comes to animation. It isn’t as though Daniel Radcliffe has finally taken acting classes and breaks into an expression at least in an odd scene here and there. So it couldn’t be about Harry Potter.

In short, I am appalled and amazed that JK Rowling would give her blessings to this movie and not take them to court. I want to. But then, I suppose, she doesn’t want her next book to be Harry Potter and the Half Paid Bills.

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 | Author:

It is intermission and I am still waiting for the story to kick off. Considering the movie was supposed to be about the most lively part of my city, it can’t get worse.

Filmed on the setup of andarun shahar, ‘Delhi-6’ is seen from the eyes of Roshan Mehra [Chchota B (when will he grow up?)]. While Mr. Siddhu Khiladi did a Chandni Chowk to China last month, Roshan moves from New York to Old Delhi with his grandmother (Waheeda Wasted Rehman) and an accent (that pisses you off throughout the movie). Don’t worry. I am not going to reveal the story. The film does not have one. So, AB(CD) and grandma receive a grand welcome from their neighbors, known and unknown. Director Rakeysh Mehra tries to repeat Rang De‘s mixing concept by playing with the backdrop of Ramlila, but fails to execute the magic.

However, what hurts the most is a false image of one of the most historic places in the world. From the very first scene, the area is depicted as a storehouse of chaos. Till the end, the film doesn’t go beyond narrow kuchas and cycle-rickshaws. In contrast to the title song that talked of the city as one with two hearts, the place appears heartless. In the last fifteen minutes, the script mentions (thrice) that the essence of the place are its people. I wish we could see THAT Delhi-6. The steadiness of Purani Dilli, which is much more appealing than its commotion, is not captured by the camera. Instead, the film repeatedly mocks the life of the city. The manner in which the screenplay turns into a spoof about issues like superstitions, mob mentality, family traditions and communalism is unbearable.

The lead actors add to the misery of the viewer. Pawan Malhotra (the younger Sharma), Vijay Raaz (thullaa) and Divya Dutta (Jalebi) put up good performances. Rahman’s superb music (that inspired me to go for the movie) is a misfit to the standards of the film. Don’t make a Kaala Bandar of yourself by going for the movie. Instead, I recommend spend 3 hours wandering on the streets of Delhi-6. Taste the real life of Old Delhi. With the delectable offerings, those 100 bucks will be more than paisa-vasool.


Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 | Author:

I read somewhere that “the year 2009 will be a golden year in Indian cinema”. I do not really disagree with his statement. This remark comes from one of the most proficient script writer turned film maker in today’s time.

At Dev D, Love, booze and court dance was subtlety replaced by Sex, drugs plus rock n roll. The plot of the film stood at Sarat Chandra Chatterjee’s Devdas where a post colonial weak kneed, drunkard Zamindar spends the rest of his life in a menace. Unbelievable acting, by the lead protagonists and great music score by a rookie. This coke snorting, use for nothing fella, bundles out cash after cash. Visits Old Delhi’s underground garage and ultimately finds himself at peace with Vodka and Leni. I was fuming at the director that how he can make a film of this nature, the same time dumbfound to see actor Abhay’s performance, brain cracking. During the film and after the film (I was not able to watch the last 20 minutes, I left the hall) me within, was asking continuously, how can children or men for that matter be so restless, wayward, lifeless, careless and errant? I felt like straightening him up, with whatever means i can. I came to know that the other woman’s character (Leni) was borrowed from the infamous DPS mobile phone girl. However, nothing of similar nature happened after that, or maybe I don’t know. What is the point in making a full length feature film out of in hindi and dishing out for public consumption? People may disagree with my thoughts, don’t really care. Again, I should give credits to the director and the actor who permeated so well inside the skin of the character that he was able to emote, so well.

After what has happened at Mangalore early this month. I don’t mind watching Dev D with the factions of Sri Ram Sena. Rather I would love to hear what they say. Dev D should be a valentine treat for them.

In the end I would say, Dev D had everything but life.

Tuesday, February 03rd, 2009 | Author:

Director Rosshan Andrrews represents Kerala’s new generation of film directors who have vision, passion and commitment but not necessarily a good understanding for story or screenplay excellence.

Four decades ago, the Malayalam film industry had been the envy of nearly every Indian film maker. It boasted of veteran directors who ruled cinema because of their excellent screenplay techniques and the ability to tell stories that were different yet rooted to reality. Those who believe that directors such as Priyadarshan represent Malayalam cinema on a broader platform in Bollywood are ignorant because his movies are not a patch on the superlative quality of films that veteran film makers of Malayalam are truly famed for.

Today’s Malayali directors are young and aspire for quick fame. Their techniques are more focused on infusing their movie with young dialogues, peppy music and great cinematography. The technique of story telling has been affected badly in the process.

Even then, the screenplay rights of most Malayalam movies are bought at staggering sky-high prices by the Tamil industry and now, Bollywood. Some of Bollywood’s poor adaptations of Malayalam movies include Gardish, Baghban, Hera Pheri, Hungama, Hulchal, Garam Masala, Bhool Bhulaiya, Dhamaal, Chandni Chowk to China, and Billu Barber. I use the term ‘poor’ because the movies had senseless screenplays when translated to Hindi while in Malayalam the context, the dialogues and even the themes were justifiable and justly portrayed by veteran film makers.

A Malayalam movie that I recently watched is “Notebook” which was directed by Rosshan Andrrews. Thankfully, the rights of this movie haven’t been grabbed up. With excellent music, cinematography, editing and fine camera techniques, this movie is interesting though it doesn’t do much on an emotional scale due to its excessive modernity.

The movie depicts a beautiful journey into the intimate friendship between three high school girls who stay in hostel and become as closer than siblings. One of the girls ends up pregnant and the two girls cover up for her to the extent that they force her to abort and finally, the girl dies.

When she dies, the two friends hide her death till the police grill them and one of the girls (played by actress Roma) breaks and conveys the truth.

The second friend denies having any involvement in the abortion. The boy who was involved with the deceased girl doesn’t even hear about her death till much later. When he does, he is filled with pangs of guilt and longs to do something to make amends though he knows it is too late.

The betrayal of friendship and the subsequent estrangement between the girls throws them into separate lives and separate ways of dealing with the loss of their friend. Everything is questioned in the screenplay and tosses out some truly important questions for parents, teachers and all of us to ponder about:

  • What is friendship really? Is it a whim, commitment or responsibility?
  • What forces young girls into making choices like abortion? Is it broken homes, wealthy lifestyle, lack of morals or a desperate choice fearing the hypocrisy of Indian society?
  • Who has a right to pass judgment over choices that young people make – those who give birth to them yet have no time or inclination to be with them, those who call themselves ‘teachers’ and can’t see beyond the syllabus or curriculum or those who are their best friends?
  • What role do parents or teachers really exercise when it comes to the ‘morality’ of their children/wards? Can they make a positive difference?

Ultimately, it is broken homes, rich families and lots of money which bring these children together to live in a top residential Convent school, where money power, management power and vested interests are more important than a student’s talents or aspirations.

Category: Reviews, Story  | Tags: , , ,  | 2 Comments