Posts Tagged ‘movie review’

War Aplenty

The problem with Dunkirk was the same problem I had with Inception. But worse, as I realized it even before watching. Inception was one of the awesomest theatre experience but coming back home and seeing it being compared to Space Odyssey spoiled all the joy. It was worse here because, even before watching the movie, I got to hear all kinds of greatest-war-movie-ever-made tag everywhere.

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Well the problems doesn’t end there. Nolan seems to be so hell bent in having three different timelines. Like Interstellar, it meant no purpose here. It would have been the same, if it had been made in any different way. And there is absolutely no lead characters, the tempo music, typical ones he uses to build up the scene got started right from the first scene where they take a boy in stretcher.

Absolutely no time to settle in and no time to get involved with any characters. The Civilian boat story could have been great because all three in the boat looked to be promising characters but thanks to the rapidness of the film, we never get to spend time with them. Similarly ‘The Mole’ could have been explored a lot more with French and English men, the differences, unity, inside story etc. but nothing of that sort happens. ‘The Air’ seemed to be the reasonable story out of the three but even that had too much of drama but fighter planes would automatically pull us into that phase so it was okay.

Calling it the greatest war movie ever is abysmal. Ok leave aside my favorite Apocalypse Now, which is more about psychology than war. It’s nowhere close to Saving Private Ryan, a Platoon or even a Black Hawk Down. Throughout the movie I was only contemplating what am I missing which so many people have liked. I’m not a person who is no against commercial movies. And I’m not that much an anti-Nolan fan too. All his other movies were entertaining but even the entertainment factor here was missing. Everything looked like something we had already seen. British Naval officer waiting for French, the three storylines, the climax where the Tom Hardy lands the plane. The last one somehow reminded me of the Dark Knight Rises climax. What worked brilliantly in the totem scene has become a signature of his and has gotten boring with time.

Even though not a fan of war movies, one good thing about watching a war movie is the knowledge one would get while researching about it. Having known nothing about Dunkirk, this gives me a chance to know about it and various interesting stories associated with it.

This movie is sure to get Oscar for sound editing but other than that I’m not sure why even the visuals are so hyped. It doesn’t do anything which looked impossible.

Devil’s Advocate

Nanna nanna nanna naa, nanna nanna nanna naa. If you know what I mean. I’m still humming the song. I’ve been humming the sequence ever since I came out of the theatre, such was its impact. When I thought that no movie could touch Bahubali’s experience this year, this movie broke it. Between the two may be Bahubali might win it for its simplicity but Vikram Vedha is nowhere next to it. But because of few complication, the awesomeness gets a bit less. It’s not all happy faces who come out of the theatre.

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I didn’t think that this movie would be half as awesome as what I experienced. The best part about the directors were, they didn’t try too much to say hidden stories using the title Vikram Vedha. The opening animation out rightly tells that there is going to be a Vikram, there is going to be a Vedhalam. And all the Vikram Vedhalam stories were superbly etched. All the escapades of Vijay Sethupathi were from emotional angle rather than dumb heroism. The first time Madhavan gets into the story for a second, then a minute and then almost till Vedha knocks him out and only in the final scene he does get hold of Vedha in complete confidence. That was the scene where both were in there full powers.

I was thinking this to be another movie like Managaram where they both unite to fight. There is some pleasure when the heroes who fought with each other unite. I thought this is going to be in the lines of that after Agni Natchathiram and Managaram. The last few minutes where they unite and fight were awesome. But the directors took it one notch higher by making it a Mexican standoff. And it was a true Mexican standoff unlike something made just the sake of it.

My favorite part of the movie would be the husband and wife angle of Madhavan and Shraddha Srinath. The independent nature of modern woman and men’s nature of men were superbly done. Much better than what Katru Veliyidai tried to achieve. It was so subtle and sexy. I think Pushkar and Gayathri put all their personal life experience to get a superb matured angle of this relationship. The fact the Shraddha was given a slutty look added to the sexiness of the relationship. Much like how Madhavan does, she’s the kind of girl one wishes to hug tight after a tough fight, what she’d be liking too.

Vijay Sethupathi wins here hands down, this movie is written for Vijay Sethupathi. Madhavan of course does a brilliant job but most of the mass scenes were for Vijay Sethupathi. Also he adds his signature humor to the scenes and makes it even more appreciable. More than all these it’s his subtleness which works brilliantly. In the first interrogation scene he discusses with Madhavan about number of killings he had done. When Madhavan says that he is the lead including the last encounter. Look how he lets out so many emotions. His first emotion is the sadness that his brother was killed, second is he had thought it was Simon who had executed and third, more than the anger it’s disappointment that he has towards Vikram because he hadn’t thought that Vikram would kill an innocent. Even the scene where he escapes from Simon is superbly made. His chemistry generally rocks with his co starts, more than the heroines. The walk after being pushed out of the car tells you all the stories. It feels so good to see an actor who knows what needs to be done. Madhavan gets his due in the Bullet scene. That was built up superbly too, right from the first, giving us a glimpse of Irudhi Sutru feel.

Coming to technical aspect of the film. Music, needless to say was awesome, both in BGM and songs. Picturization too rocked. That Giftu scene where we hear the BGM emerge as song was one of the massest moment of the movie. But special mention has to be given to editing, it was great idea to use top angle shots of the housing board flats to edit scenes, looked like maps of Project IGI. So many movies have been shot in North Madras but nothing used that angle. That gave the necessary classy feel to the movie, much like Departed.

It feels so good to see Pushkar and Gayathri getting their due. For they were the ones who indeed started the Tamil New Wave with Oram Po and Va Quarter Cutting. But it took all these years for them to give such a big hit. It’s no way a film made out of compromise. It’s an intelligent film made in an interesting way. Thinking back its actually confusing who killed whom, which generally doesn’t happen in Tamil cinema. Even if it happens it would be due to loopholes but not due to intelligence. That would be their biggest success of all.

Special Mention: Nalli Curry

Bloody Mary

Probably the one movie which makes everyone go gasping when asked about. Considered the most unwatchable movie my most, Antichrist was on top priority for quite a long time. I was savoring for the right moment to watch it. But unfortunately watched in mobile. The impact of this movie would have been manifold if I had watched it on big screen, which I know is not possible but at least on a big television.

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Ok so first things first, the opening or the prologue of the movie sets up the movie beautifully, in fact that would be my favorite part. But I didn’t like the scene where Charlotte Gainsburg sees her kid falling from the window at a later part. That was deus ex machina. It should have been either shown or camouflaged. Or was it camouflaged so well that I didn’t notice? I don’t have the habit of going back to the scene and checking what’s right and wrong. That’s not the right thing to do. That’s against my movie watching ethics. The scene where the toddler sees his parents having sex, turns back and smiles should be one of the greatest scenes of mischief. Such brilliance.

William Dafoe was a poor soul. Much like Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut. But he does his job well even though it’s more about Charlotte Gainsburg. Trier’s initial choice seems to have been Eva Green, oh how wonderful it’d have been to have her do this role. Her eyes! The charm in Dreamers and the Sauvé in Casino Royale still is there in my eyes. But the problem would have been that I wouldn’t have been able to hate her as much as I hated Gainsburg. The success of the movie is the brief moment where you sympathize with Gainsburg even after all the torture she does to Dafoe, when she says “don’t leave me”

Rightly named Depression trilogy. This movie fairly does its job. I don’t account it to have pushed me so deep in depression like how Requiem for a dream or Wrekmeister Harmonies or Satan’s Tango or Taste of Cherry did. I felt the jump cuts when they both initially have conversation after their children’s death to be still ambitious.

Ode to Tarkovsky is understandable. There are times he overcomes Tarkovsky’s brilliance but the consistence of a Tarkovskian art is not there. For example consider Stalker, whatever happens in the film happens in the Tarkovskian world, here the transgression is quite evident. The mix of both worlds doesn’t quite match.

There are moments, of course there are, mostly the violent moment works, my favorite would be the disembowelment of fox. That was quite a shocker. Put me aback when I was so keenly watching. But any reference to animals worked in general. Out of sex and violence, I’d rate violence to be classier in this film. I’d rate Betrolucci higher than Trier when it comes to sexual exploration. Kubrick too tried a bit with his Eyes Wide Shut but it was a little too obvious.

Holy Cow

Being a fan of violence on screen, I’ve seen ‘n’ number of violent films and some not so violent films too having violent opening sequences. But the way the opening scene of Cow sets you aback by its cruelty couldn’t be matched to any of the violences in films. The closes that comes is ‘Wild Bunch’, but with Wild Bunch I was able to enjoy the sequence. Here I was completely taken aback.

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Cow is not the film that you generally associate with Iranian cinema. It doesn’t get you teary eyed like how a Children of Heaven or a White Balloon does but the shock it gives leaves you with a profound impact. Of course it’s a sad movie but the sadness is not immediate as half the time you’d be left wondering how to react for a particular sequence.

There are movies which deals with specific characters. Here too the characterization happens but it happens to the entire village, the entire mankind. Let’s look at the first scene I talked about. There is a mentally retarded guy to whom the local mischievous kid and the other children tie to a tree and harass. As much as blinding his eyes with fire. All the while the villagers look at it and laugh but post that scene they complain about the mischievous kid and the nature of people who come from city. Being judgmental at its best.

The same folks would go to any lengths to protect Hassan and again finally laugh at it. Unfortunately we’re one of them too and nothing is going change. And just before the laughs, the best scene of the movie happens. “Move, you animal, move” Irony is Hassan is the only person who doesn’t laugh at the retarded person.

I loved the transition of Hassan from a person to cow. The best part about it is the angle where he loves Hassan by being a cow. I didn’t think of it. We should have seen it coming right from the first, with his dearness to cow. In the very first scene he bathes the cow, he bathes her first and only then pours water over his head. Followed by drying the cow first and using the same towel to wipe himself. Even in the cowshed he eats the grass, seeing cow eating the same. That’s where the doubt arises first and then as expected things happened.

 

Sweet!

For every South Park fan! But I’d have preferred it to be a non-musical. Too many songs were irritating. You can’t really complain though, they have their own way of making films. The film sets the tone within minutes, after a super absurd typical South Parkish song.

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As usual the boys land into some trouble because of their mischief and as usual Kenny dies, only this time he doesn’t really die but resides in hell. Don’t know whether to be happy or sad about it. Kenny dying is pure evil fun so it was when he died here too. Even though a bit sad that I would not able to see him again, it was fun. But when he appeared in hell along with Saddam Hussein and Gandhi and Satan I was disappointed. But the makers did a good use of this ‘Kenny dying’ template.

Being a big fan of Cartman, I expected a better show from him too. He wasn’t as evil as I thought and neither were his deeds. Almost every famous instance in the movie were made into a song including m’kay by professor Mackey. But my favorite was the first song in theatres by Terrance and Philip.

I don’t know why the makers wanted to get a MPAA rating for this one. South Park is known for its R rating. It’s as important as the title cards itself. Good that they didn’t get one.

I don’t have much to write about the movie. I’m not sure how non fans could watch this movie. For some reason I feel like rating this film. I’d give a 3.5/5 for this one.

High on Life

“Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life… But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”

Trainspotting (1996)

There are movies and then there is Trainspotting. Anyone who has slightest amount of inclination towards anything illegal would love the movie to the core. And mind it, it’s not a cheap movie. There are a lot of other movies which guarantee fun. American Pie, Handover etc. They are epic in their own terms but this one is of different league all together. The purposelessness of trainspotting has to be rewritten only by God.

Like the initial quote I can keep on quoting the whole movie and publish it as review but my most favourite would be, “We took morphine, diamorphine, cyclizine, codeine, temazepam, nitrazepam, phenobarbitone, sodium amytal, dextropropoxyphene, methadone, nalbuphine, pethidine, pentazocine, buprenorphine, dextromoramide, chlormethiazole. The streets are awash with drugs you can have for unhappiness and pain, and we took them all. Fuck it, we would have injected vitamin C if only they’d made it illegal.”

The strength of the movie lies in its nonchalance. The pointlessness of the characters. You see a baby stoned to death in one scene. That’s the most horrific moment of the movie, may be one of the most horrific movie scenes ever made but they you see the Sick-Boy getting ready for his next shot and in turn shooting the child’s mom with another one. That’s how you think as a stoner. Generally the drugs do the thinking and coffee does the writing they say. Here both the thinking and writing were done by drugs it seems.

Like the say in poster ‘Hollywood come in… your time is up”. That’s one more added point to like the movie. It’s Brit and it’s awesome. Some of the shite dialogues they talk couldn’t be written by us even if we go for Veta English class for 10 years. That scene especially where they get off the train and prepare for walk. That ‘lowest of lowest’ dialogue. That’s where the movie stands apart. Anyone who had got high and got restless to get high the next time could identify with that scene.

Life isn’t a melody

Art has no limits. Look how all, movies could be made. When thinking whether a movie could be made within a van for the entire duration, it looks impossible. Even though it happens in a specific place, it’s much different than courtroom drama. Thanks to the familiarity, courtroom dramas are easily conceivable. We know the structure and format, so it could be designed accordingly but a film like Eshtebak isn’t like this. You need to have both firsthand information and reasonable level of artistry within you. That’s why it interests you right from the first frame.

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The film starts with a couple of journalists being arrested during a procession. A sequence of events unfolds and we get to see what all happens within the circumstances.

Having not watched Egyptian movies much, this movie was both interesting and enlightening. What’s best is it would have worked for any other region as well, as it depicts human lives more than Egyptian lives. The way humans will be humans gets proved at every point.

When a foreigner is inside police van, they pelt stones. When a Muslim demonstrates outside, they curse. When a lady wants to go to loo, everyone units for her. When someone takes videos, they all protest. When they are in distress, they all laugh for a joke and also let the same people take video. And all end up being consumed by people who become zombies in the end. In this process, makes us to exhibit all type of emotions.

The film had a number of standout scenes. Everything I said above would be included in that. But if I had to point out one, it would be the scene where they all try to get some air. Even the most organized of groups wouldn’t do it this perfect. But a group which includes foreigners, brothers and others do it with such precision that you ought to take a bow. That bow is for execution. For the idea, let’s not even talk about it. Poocho math.

The film had a curious making. There was a reporting voice which was overlapping what was said in the movie. Don’t know whether it was a mistake or that’s how the movie was made. That voice over didn’t have any subs. That’s why the doubt. Anyways it was fun.

 

Spell Grandeur, Spell Baahubali

When was the last time the whole nation celebrated a movie without saying it’s yours, it’s ours or without any guilt. I don’t remember any. Baahubali was one such film, which spelt grandeur in each and every scene.

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Having watched Baahubali 1 out of compulsion but still to have liked it, its sequel, Baahubali 2’s trailers too didn’t impress me much. But in theatres there wasn’t a single moment of lag, the movie was lengthy, I could feel it but never for a second did I want to end it. I don’t think any director in recent time has got hold of people’s pulse like this. Also to how prolifically to use the canvas. If it was big, it was big for a reason.

Pseudo intellects want to of course read atomic physics side by side while watching the movie like how a thesis on space technology would be necessary to watch a Nolan film. I don’t know why people want answers when the questions are this interesting. The very first scene had a newborn being taken above water by a lady who was almost dead, with the music and tension, it gave me goose bumps, if it didn’t work for you, it’s never going to work for you post that, it’s even waste of time to watch the second part.

Rajamouli wins it with the title card itself, it’s clear how much effort he has put in that. It carries the whole story of first part. As soon as the title card ends and Sathyaraj’s voice start and you are instantly hooked, Ramya Krishnan’s feet adorned by flowers, showing the love of people, son coming to the rescue and like how. I don’t think any movie post MGR era had perfected the Amma sentiment like this. You call it perfection because it’s not cringe worthy, rather when Ramya Krishnan smiles at Prabhas, you actually like it.

Scene after scene, frame after frame, it was awe inspiring, from the chariot to elephant to bow to songs to Anushka to attitude to the interval block. Everything was awe inspiring. Interval block, of all, was the most fabulous scene in the entire movie. When the stones vibrate and the sound increases from people to soldier to elephant, it was nothing but brilliant. The whole theatre was shaking. It was like falling from the tip of the roller coaster where you understand the complete meaning of gravity. That’s how powerful Rajamouli has scripted Baahubali.

I didn’t remember any scene from part one, but it didn’t affect my movie watching experience even one bit. This movie would have worked wonders even for people who had not watched part one. But I don’t think there would have been anyone like that.

I didn’t like Prabhas in the first movie, he was trying so hard. When Rana got introduced taming a bull, that was screen presence, not Prabhas with Siva Linga, in fact, how in a country where we play national anthem and four videos for the ‘benefit’ of us before the movie and any small disagreement from the norm becomes an issue, I don’t know how people didn’t make an issue out of that where a hero breaks an idol and keeps somewhere else. Good for us.

But in the second half Prabhas has such command. You shout as if you should for your local hero. Anushka on the other hand gives one of her best performance, completely understanding the character and delivering it. Her attitude mixed with aggression was a treat to watch. Also satisfies feminists by walking over the shoulder of Prabhas.

Good that Tamannaah was spared of any antics in the film but I’d have really liked to have Rana some more role. See how effortlessly he shows his villainy, the scene where he asks his dad to stop talking in court, till the right moment. Every scene except for the shout in climax works brilliantly in favor of him.

Why Kattappa killed Baahulabi was the question in everyone’s mind, but even if that had been revealed, not even a single soul would have got disappointed while watching the movie.

 

 

 

 

Aval Oru Thodarkathai

I know that anyone who has seen ‘Aval Oru Thodarkathai’ is going to be reminded of it hugely while watching Meghe Dhaka Tara. It has a similar setting. Though Aval Oru Thodarkathai came a good fourteen years later this movie, as a Tamilian I’m more used to Aval Oru Thodarkathai, thus I wasn’t overwhelmed with Meghe Dhaka Tara.

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Here Neeta (Supriya Choudhury) is a self-sacrificing women as opposed to a relentless Kavitha in Aval Oru Thodarkathai. Kavitha sacrifices in her own way too but Neeta is the one who’d immediately evoke sympathy from us. Supriya’s face doesn’t go out of my mind still. Such a brilliant actor. Even the very few time she seem to be having fun you know within yourself that something bad is going to happen to her eventually.

Lets see how cruel her family members were to her. First we hear a person practicing along the river coast, her brother, Shankar (Anil Chattopadhyay). That was an extended scene, the first thing which happens in the movie is Neeta being asked for money. Till the end it’s the same. Curiously, this movie doesn’t start with Neeta but rather with his brother Shankar. Shankar is the first man whom we get introduced to, who asks Neeta, money to shave from four anna to eight anna to a rupee. Neeta doesn’t have any problem giving it to him, in fact she’s happy, every time she said that he’s going to become a big star, I was cringing.

Next comes her younger brother and sister. Typical young people who don’t study and wants money for sports and sister who wants yet another saree to look good. All at the cost of her sister who couldn’t even afford to stich her sandal.  Her mom who curses people for wasting Neeta’s money and dad is the only one who doesn’t talk about her money. But in the next chapter when she gives money to her mother and she gives back five rupees as pocket money, only then we get to know how villainous she could be. So it’s all rotten for Neetu.

Then there is this guy, Sanat (Niranjan Ray), who is called Sanu, I don’t know whether that’s the Bengali way of pronouncing it like Vikram to Bikram. Of all he’s the most wretched guy. When he gets to the younger sister Gita (Gita Ghatak). I could only remember the dialogue which Kavitha says, “Mudhir kanniya vida elam vidhavai better nu nenachitingala.” Perfect! Also Gita looks very similar to Neeta, those wide eyes and round face. I thought they both were real sisters but I guess it’s typical Bengal face which was the similarity.

I didn’t expect Shankar to become big in the end, I loved the phase where Neetu gets TB and resorts herself inside the room, the rain in the end where truly overwhelming. If not, if only I had not watched Aval Oru Thodarkadhai, this experience would have been brilliant.

Trumping Victory

It’s not a review per se, well… nothing much I do is not that per se. While I was watching it and V was broadcasting his message from TV channel, dad was commenting ‘Anniyan Avatharithuvitan’. True. I feel that we are currently in revolution mode, we are on verge of something new, verge on breaking the shackles. I don’t know whether we are fed up with whatever happening or whether it’s because of boredom. People want to break free.

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Now that TASMACs in highways are being closed, people associated with it are trying out new means to open it like having a long barricade more than 500 meters, which would make it fall under the Supreme Court rules. I actually liked the clever thinking there but when I got to know that in my locality a local plot could be used as for opening TASMAC, that’s when I was agitated. My father highlighted few ladies who had broken a wall were TASMAC was supposed to be opened in a residential area. If it happens in my area I want to do that. So we revolt only if it happens to us right. So what should V for Vendetta be, R for Revenge or R for Revolution.  As it eventually happens for a larger cause I feel it should be R for Revolution.

Wachowski’s are such great writers. Don’t know how much of action sequences they were involved because it had a certain ‘Matrix’ effect to it. In spite of being folks from US their writing really worked for UK premise. Excellent English. Even though I didn’t like the all ‘v’ dialogue, the other dialogues were really good. The ‘v’ dialogues looked like a bit overdone.

The opening of the film when the Voice of London, Lewis Prothero (Roger Allam) reminded me very much of Trump. May be they could predict the future. I loved the intentional/unintentional references of Hitler through Sutler. Hitler, Sutler, does it ring a bill. The camera angles, the way Sutler is positioned on stage and the flag bore a lot of resemblance to the Nazi party.

Natalie Portman above all was an excellent choice. She has a very likeable face, a genuine smile where we’d feel that we should protect her. So when a girl with history gets affected we naturally would sympathize with her. That’s what happened here. We become ‘V’ for her.

I loved the scene where she goes as a little girl. I don’t know what was done to achieve that look, there was something different about the camera angles. She indeed looked like a little girl.

The symbol ‘V’ couldn’t have been more perfect, a man from cell five ‘V’, a story from Valerie and finally E’v’ey, a ‘V’ in making, all standing out for one ‘V’ – Victory.

In the TV station incident I felt that Hugo Weaving did pass through unmasked and another ‘V’ came – does that symbolize the quote “But who was he really? What was he like? We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. I’ve witnessed first hand the power of ideas, I’ve seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them… but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it… ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love…”And what about the climax, we see everyone alive. What does that mean.

In a film filled by a number of quotes, my favorite was “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” What was yours?