Posts Tagged ‘movie review’

It Stings!

I think I’ve talked enough about Technicolor and 70’s films but I’ll do it again because the joy is limitless. During my semester holidays when I shared a small room without fan with God, I mean Pooja room, and had lime rice as food throughout the day so that I don’t have to waste time to go take sambar, rasam and pause the movie, its these kind of movies that I enjoyed the most, out of all the films I watched during my movie marathon. That’s why I like Hitchcock’s color films the most like Dial M for Murder, Rear Window etc. Sheer joy!

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I got the same feeling and relived the moments, and thanks to Karthigai Deepam I also got Lemon Rice to spice up the nostalgia. Icing on the cake here was that the film happens in 30s. That’s even classier.

The film sparks interest right from scene one with excellent framing, right out of a vintage portrait you can do for a Levi Strauss ad. And the camera pan and lowering with some shakes were beautiful to watch, especially the imperfections. And I’ve always like the Point of View changing from one person to another, one subject to another etc. That shift in focus is amazing.

The story is superbly written and it’s not just literal, it happens cinematically well too. The movie takes a good thirty minutes out of two hours to start with the story. Till then it’s only the back story. And every time till then, the hero focus shifts too, we think the first person who takes cab to be the hero, then it shifts to Hooker (Robert Redford), when we start thinking that he’s The Guy then we get to see that he’s also losing, at one point we think that he’s going to take revenge and going to be the master at that but again another person, now the hero, gets introduced, Henry “Shaw” Gondorff (Paul Newman), the wise man comes into picture. Only after he comes into the story we as well as Hooker himself gets to know how weak he’s.

Paul Newman is a Kickass guy, always. But largely goes unnoticed. He’s like Agni Natchathiram Karthik. At that moment people celebrate him but after that he gets forgotten. But no one could have done the role better than him in the movies that he did. That too with the ones with attitude, which attributes to most in the list. Here too he rocks. That wink he gives when he hears about ‘Poker’, that’s heroism.

Caper films are always awesome, especially the well-made ones with Suits and cast who look classy in them. One reason why Oceans would never get boring no matter what. Another thing is the juncture where a team is assembled. I remember one of the soaps that aired in DD Metro called as Hindustani, where they form a team, even that excited me at a very young age, on top of it they train, which is another awesome thing. Here in Sting the formation of team is not elaborate or classy like that of Oceans where Brad Pitt eats countless amount of burgers by the team he gets a team but The Sting’s recruitment was more organic, simple and profound.

Even though the climax is amazing the best part is the ‘Wire’ where you see Paul Newman in full flow and on top of it in the next chapter you see the Betting Parlor fully formed. In the ‘Wire’ chapter, the making of Betting Parlor comes as intercuts which you can’t appreciate as much as you want but in the next chapter it gets revealed in full glory.

There is deus ex machina in the form a man with leather gloves but it’s something you’d love to have, like the hero introduction moment. In fact it was handled so well here that you appreciate the cheater than being sad for getting cheated. Same with the climax as well. You can’t help but love. There was no pleasure than seeing Lonnegan getting cheated, that look on in face was so much fun. It was like taking revenge on a guy who bullied you in your childhood.

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It doesn’t.

A super bad movie which spelled disaster in each and every frame. Pretentious and predictive. If not for the Sathyam popcorn I don’t know how I’d have been able to digest the movie. What’s worse is this is only one half and the second one is coming.

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The movie has a proper horror film opening with kids, darkness, attic, sewer etc. In other words uses every horror film template in those initial few minutes. Anyways it was nice. When the elder brother says that he’s going to die soon, the unsympathetic attitude was good.

The Clown does a decent job in whatever time he gets. But this film works better as a teenage story than a horror one. Horror part were all jump cuts and only that. But the kids’ story was fabulous. Wish had made that as a movie.

The fact the second part is gonna have them as grown-ups is even more horrifying. Hoping to not see it.

For the love of marriage

Just out of the climax of ‘The Japanese Wife’. The movie got me really sad. It’s not a cinematic sadness and it’s not a realistic sadness either. But something in between which makes us forget that it’s a cinema which is making us sad and the same time knowing that it’s not reality. A huge ode to Aparna Sen for achieving that, without doing anything dramatic, without any music and hardly any dialogues. In the end it leaves a question on the future but we’re rest assured that it’s going to be good.

The Japanese Wife

The film had a really earthy feel to it. When I type it I’m getting remembered of ‘Manjadikuru’ all of a sudden. I wasn’t as impressed as ‘The Japanase Wife’ while watching because cinematically it wasn’t great. Here an array of interesting shots were present. Especially loved the scene where Snehamoy Chatterjee (Rahul Bose) talks in phone in the night for that ‘one clear call’. That whole episode was greatly shot.

This is the first film I thought I could call it ‘cute’. I’m not a typical ‘cute’ film watching guy. Because the typical ‘cute’ films like Hachiko looks all forced. But here their relationship was really cute. I loved the scene where Miyage (Chigusa Takaku) brushes off the hardships of Indian lavatory, when Snehamoy tells about how uncomfortable it’d be for her to be in his location.

The film had an interesting nonlinear screenplay but thanks to the small font subtitles I had to scrutinize my eyes to watch the movie. Still I couldn’t miss the beauty of the film which made me forget certain times to read and watch the movie.

Rahul Bose I felt was overacting, more than what was necessary. Raima Sen was a silent charmer and the real fun was watching Moushumi Chatterjee. She was terrific and reminded me a lot of my grandmother.

There were a lot of good scenes and superb editing. I loved the scene where Miyage gets angry when Snehamoy tells about the prostitutes and the scene next to it where he’d masturbate while writing a letter which in turn will lead to the push up scene. These three were opposite scenes but superbly constructed. Her craft doesn’t stop in editing alone. Almost the entire film has great lighting, when they come out of the ferry you feel the slipperiness of the floor and the smell of sand.

Out of all, the final call was the best, where the phone booth of Snehamoy would have been lighted red with lightening in background and post that Sandhya (Raima Sen) with a single lamp and the same lightening makes us see her along with Maashi. That was such a beautiful scene, made me look in awe. The telephony conversation or the voice over is even the more cute because of how they mispronounce each other’s name. Mild Japanese music in the background is soothing, like being in a massage parlor

What was a very good movie till then became an excellent movie due to the climax. I couldn’t swallow my saliva when I saw Miyage in white saree. Just thinking the fate of the household with three widows is depressing but I’m sure that they’re going to be happy together. Also I have a hint of doubt whether Maashi also has passed away because, in the climax Sandhya would be having the house key around her neck. I’d be happy if it’s wrong and Maashi gets to see Miyage.

 

Of Broken Branches and Fallen Leaves

This is one film which would come into spotlight anytime you discuss about the greatest Tamil Films ever made. It’s one of the films which had inspired many filmmakers and fraternities. Notably Mani Ratnam and Rajnikanth. Mahendran calls Rajnikanth his good friend. Mani almost mentions this film in every interview of his saying that’s why he came to film industry. That’s how much people are inspired by Mahendran and his work. In addition to being critically acclaimed, his films where huge hits. That’s what confounds me because I don’t know how so many people could understand the intricacies of Johny, my favorite film of his. Uthiripookal on the other hand didn’t work for me, which too was a huge hit.

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If you ask me a reason to watch Uthiri Pookal. I’d right away tell Vijayan. You can watch the film just for him alone. I’ve never seen such a villain in life. He does exactly what needs to be done. In fact everyone in the movie acts perfectly.

You start hating him right from scene one where he does nothing. His wife is a typical village woman loyal to the husband. In spite of all the misfortunes she had, you can see how happy she gets when her husband takes her out for theatre. Of course it’s followed by one of the most horrific scenes of the film. That too after having had sex. You want her to rebel at some point of time. Want her to be happy at least once, at least in the end but that never happens.

Large part of the movie is unacceptable. Because we’ve undergone culture shift where woman are no longer a slave but this still happens in some places. Not that I have firsthand information but it does happen.

Vijayan in spite of being have showed rude, isn’t a person who can do everything. He has his limits too. For example she wants to marry Lakshmi’s (Ashwini) sister Shenbagam (Mathumalini) but he is not able to, in spite of being the most powerful man in the village. These are the nuances I liked.

Acting wise Lakshmi could be compared to Shelley Duvall from The Shining. Her expressions are very limited but the slightest of smiles by her induces so much emotions within us. That’s the success. You can’t help but feel pity for her. That looks like part of her dad Charudhasan’s trait. Look how he undergoes the threat caused by Vijayan. He’s incapable of fighting back but he does. On the other hand Shenbagam is such a charmer. Her expressions were a treat to watch. Only the songs were needless and dampens the flow.

This movie was considered for his eclectic screenplay due to the flow of events. Yes the flow of events was phenomenal but I didn’t find the screenplay interesting or anything new. The best part about the screenplay would be its coherence. Lakshmi says ‘Neram Varatum’ (let the right time come), whenever asked for her kids tonsuring. And that happens finally during her death. Similarly when the teacher swims, Vijayan’s sidekick warns him about Vadivelu’s (Vijayan) ire because he doesn’t know swimming. And in the end, you know what happens. Those were well written scenes.

Of all my favorite scene would be the one in terrace. It’s a typical KB scene but made in different style. When Vijayan asks her about marrying her sister she says, “what if I want to marry another person” then we hear her mind voice saying, “this is what all women want to ask but would never be able to” It was taken superbly.

Powerless Presentation

A lot was said about the movie. Even Dhanush was saying that if he could accept the critical acclaim of Power Pandi, he should be ready to accept the bashing of VIP 2. Don’t know why it was critically acclaimed at first place. But I didn’t have any interest to watch the movie. The poster was below average, the trailer was really bad and songs were hugely over acted. That was my only exposure of film. Raj Kiran being the lead was another reason I didn’t like it. He still seems to be in Sivaji era of acting. See any close up of his where he doesn’t talk, there is so much happening and most of it is needless.

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So why did I watch the movie? 1) Because my friend Ramya narrated the story and there was something in particular which caught my attention. She said that during Pandi’s (Raj Kiran) road trip he meets with few roadies and one of them while inquiring about Pandi’s marriage and knowing it as arranged marriage says, “Ellam onnum thaan” (It’s all the same). I liked the dialogue and I liked the fact that as a person who had underwent an arranged marriage she could understand the emotion. I liked the way she said that dialogue especially. But only after watching the movie did I know that how good her narration was when it compared to the movie. 2) Nothing major, I was in weekend shift and wanted to pass time, so I copied this film and watched in mobile. I’d have never put more effort to watch the movie.

The whole movie was about the role reversal. A coming of age film of an old age man. Let me first tell about the things I liked. After a school student gets ganja and Raj Kiran asks him, “What he wanted to be in life?” He says, “Engineer Avaporaen”. Pandi replies, “Mayir avae” That was good. And when he meets Revathi for the first time he says, “oru moodi kooda naraikala…” Those were a good scenes but almost everything else was overtly done, especially the action sequence. Don’t know whether Dhanush’s intention was to make it like a parody but action scenes didn’t work at all. It was really bad when Revathi sat with a book for the action scene to get over.

The poster made everyone think about Wild Hogs, which luckily was not the theme of movie. But anyone who had seen About Schmidt would have surely hated the movie. The sense of elation one gets during About Schmidt is tremendous. Here everything looks forced. He repairs bike, ok so he’s going to ride it big sometime in future. He is a stunt master, so he fights big on streets.

As its role reversal between a kid and his father. There were certain scenes taken in clever way. Initially when Police comes to his house. Prasanna would ask Raj Kiran to come down. He’d first peep, then walk, ask “enna pa” Typical of how a kid would do to his dad. Dhanush explains it with a sketch board in initial few scenes through his flashback of what happened when Prasanna was a kid. Don’t know why it stopped all of a sudden. Bad writing and bad screenplay. Then there was the scene where Raj Kiran talks after getting drunk. Best part was the kid saying “waaa” after seeing him puke. Of course he takes his bike and goes away after that.

I felt worse for Prasanna than Raj Kiran. The latter didn’t look reasonable. Revathi on the other hand was a charm. But even she was made to over act and act cute. DD did a reasonable job, in fact looked well than on TV. The guy next door reminded me of music director Nivash but seems it was not him. His acting looked amateurish but it’s not necessary to analyze so much into the film.

The only part which looked good in the movie was the few minutes before the song “paathen”. Dhanush’s forte is teen age romance, be it writing or acting. See it in 3, Thanga Magan Amy Jackson episode and here. He rocks it when it comes to writing a teen age romance. Anything beyond that was a disaster.

Madonna Sebastin doesn’t look super pretty like Premam but she has a sense of sincerity when it comes to acting. Love the way she loves Dhanush in the film. See the scene where she asks him to come into the umbrella (yaen veliya nikirae, kudaikula va) and he asks her to come out (Nee Yean Kudai ula nikirae, veliya va.) Mazaiyila nenayatha vazkae ena vazhka.’ (What’s life if you can’t get drenched in rain?) That was one good dialogue and look how easily he says it. She would have acted brilliantly in that scene. That smile! But the point here is why this scene came and what the next scene. No coherence in screenplay. That’s what Dhanush has to look upon.

The Right Moment

With some movies you’ve to wait for the right moment to watch them, like a Sunday evening, a Saturday afternoon, before the rains etc. but with certain movies, the moment you watch becomes the right moment. Before Sunset is one such movie. Thinking back I think I watched it at the right moment, before the sun set but not in a way I wanted to have watched it, I rather watched in a tiny mobile screen.

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The movie has the idealest of the opening sequences ever, it didn’t occur to me until my friend told me about ‘what more could one want in life’ kind of opening sequence. An author writing his personal story, who had got successful with it, the girl in the story seeing him as an author first, person next, the author knowing that the girl has seen him as an author first, person next. That could be the single awesome moment everyone would want. All of it didn’t occur to me while I was writing Neha but now thinking it feels it’d have been awesome. What’s best is he gives an explanation about the things he write, that’s exactly what I gave even before I had watched the movie, that I don’t live amongst guns and bombs so I can’t write about the same. I can write with honesty only about things I have experienced, how my life revolves.

Jesse and Celine meet again. Oh how happy it feels to write this sentence. Jessie sees Celine seeing her once, twice, thrice and then goes and meets her. The first time even we feel it’s a hallucination, only that it’s not, it’s the same with him as well. The long meet after the wrong thing they did isn’t depressing, isn’t dejecting, isn’t the aromalae moment that we usually associate with love failure couples, isn’t the moment like Autograph where Cheran meets Malliga with two kids and feels sad about her state on outside and happy inside embracing his chauvinism. But here is a meet of two adults which are normal under any circumstance after having anything but normal outing on first go. Beauty.

They set off for a walk, the best thing they know to do, before his flight. I was sad throughout the movie, as it was my second time viewing, as I knew what was the climax but I think I’d have been sad even if I had been watching it for the first time because they are so perfect they just can’t be together. The feelings of missing them after the movie is more than the feeling of one going away from each other. Because we never know when they’ll be back. May be they never will but they will, right.

The first time I watched Before Sunset was on a tiring Friday night, just to complete the series. I was so damn tired I couldn’t enjoy the movie at all but somehow I could remember the feel.

The first question Celine asks his whether Jessie arrived that day, the first question we all have. We buy to what Jessie says first but when we know the truth we feel horrible like how Celine feels. The expressions are the same but she had got a bit older. The first time I watched her in Before Sunset she looked old and unattractive but now I liked her, there wasn’t much difference, probably because I had gotten old too. Or because I had watched Before Midnight too where she had the same expressions with an even older face.

This time they come to the point quickly, they don’t have to have pass on with the initial decency or a phase where they have impress each other. Both are impressed as much as we are impressed with them. So they come to the point. It gets sexual within moments. Celine initiates it. I had a dream the other night where I was asking the leads and Linklater on who’s the hornier of the two. His reply was, in my style, imagine him talking like how I do, “If romantic I can out rightly say its Celine, but horny, both are horny, but to be really specific, it’d be Celine.” Jessie and Celine on the podium have a fight but everyone claps and agrees to his point. A horny romantic girl she is.

I was called ‘a cheeky pervert’ in one of the comments by someone for describing Aditi Rao’s waist in Saratu Vandiyila song in my review of Kaatru Veliyidai. I hope that person doesn’t watch Celine talking and end up calling her something. Or maybe he’d call me a ‘cheeky bastard’ this time for the above paragraph as it’d be considered a taboo, what I said above. Funny people.

The way they talk taboo are the best.

Celine, “Do I look any different”

Jessie, “For that I’ve to see you naked”

Could there be a better teaser moment.

But it’s not only sex, even when Celine describes her work and about environment, it’s as interesting as she describing her feelings. That’s the success.  In fact the distinct difference between Before Sunrise and Before Sunset would be the transition from love to sex. They’re matured individuals, no one wants a-kneel-down-and-propose scene, they both know it hurts, I mean the knee. So why bother when you know what you’re going to do next. I’m not meaning to insult them or sex, the paragraph was written in a way so it’d be catchy but the point is the fuzz over love, that’s done and dusted by this time.

I think it’s the scene in car where Celine talks gets hyper, where Jessie gets sad, that’s where it got me, I was fine till then. But car scene was too emotional. It did as much as what the car scene in Uttama Villain did to me. No words are enough to appreciate Linklaters screenplay. You don’t even have to imagine being a Celine or Jessie to know how it’d have felt. Just watching them and seeing the oh-wow phase in book store to casual addressing while walking to sharing cigarettes in coffee shop to trying-to-get-intimate phase in the park to the getting closer in the boat to becoming sad in car to there-is-nothing-other-than-goodbye-to-say phase while dropping her. It’s all so beautiful. This is one of the movies where you’ll become even sadder when you already know how it’s going to end. The last few minutes from car to her apartment were really tough. And if it was the music room scene in Before Sunrise, it was the stairs scene in Before Sunset.

Sometimes even while writing I feel how well I’m writing. It’s one of those articles. That’s what an afternoon nap can do to you. A world of good. I thought of writing this before lunch but I’m sure I couldn’t have done justice to such a great movie like this. Proud of me.

Life’s a joke, only that it’s not!

I have no idea what I just said, neither do I want to know. While I was recovering from a fever which I got during a trip, I watched this movie in mobile. It’s a sin I’m committing again and again. I knew it within few minutes itself because in the initial scene we get to watch the play in two, three angles. One of which is from the last row. With a tiny screen, you can’t focus on the even tinier subject. So to have sat in theatres would have been the ideal thing to do.

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The film promises right from the first. It takes a bit of courage to have an opening of an unconventional play. Not really a point of interest for many. The voices of Ranbir and Deepika were evident but I wasn’t sure whether they were the ones on stage. Ranbir yes, but Deepika?

I don’t know why Tamasha was hated by so many. I can understand the extreme reactions of Rockstar but Tamasha is more likeable and also a better film as it’s not one-dimensional like Rockstar. Rockstar made me start writing reviews. It never stopped since then. I hope Tamasha does something to me like that too.

The films’ initial vibe was suberb. The working title of the project was ‘The Window Seat’. In an interview with The Indian Express, Ali mentioned, “It’s that thought which crosses your mind when you are sitting by the window seat of a train and watching Ratlam go by and you think, what if I get down from this train? What life awaits me there?” He justified that outside this window, there is a mythical world where one can be what he wants to. According to him, the window seat gives one a chance to drop their present life story and become a brand new person. Later, the film was titled, Tamasha. That thing of getting down at a stop before the destination has always occurred to me and I’ve told the same to ‘n’ no. of people. That’s the reason why I like ‘Before Sunrise’ more than anything. So I loved it when Ali said the same. Even the films subtitle ‘Why always the same story’ was a perfect appetizer for me.

Anushka was supposed to act in this movie but thank god Deepika did as the chemistry was crackling. That too after watching them in ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ it was a much matured performance. Before ‘Matargashti’ song she sounded a little bit filmy but during the latter part of the film, especially when she gets to meet Ranbir again and during Agar Tum Saath Ho she was brilliant. See the brilliance of Ali here, she holds him and doesn’t let him go, for a good few minutes, he resists then succumbs, then when out of grasp he leaves. Ved and his practicality in every sense. I loved her character in every other way. She liked him, she had sex, she broke up with fiancé, she spent four years growing her dads company, she finds him again, she goes for dates but she doesn’t accept the proposal. There is nothing wrong in that. She’s not a wet nurse to feed and make him get better. She wanted Don, not Vid. That part was handled in a superb way. In fact when they meet again and Don immediately introduces himself as Vid, there is nothing more disappointing.

This even reminds me of what Ali said, which loved like a definition of girlfriend, “Tamasha has that kind of love which makes a normal person extraordinary, which makes a commoner an artist.” On the plot’s inherent love story, he went on to add, “This is the kind of love through which you understand why you need a woman in life and how it takes you on a journey through which we identify ourselves.” It doesn’t necessarily has to be a woman, a girl friend or a lover. But some person who inspires you by some means.

Rahaman does a brilliant job in this movie. This is not a Rockstar where everyone would go crazy for the songs but it’s more of an emotion. The way the Matargasti music starts in the background when they two have conversation and then they dance and then get into the song and then out of it, it’s beautiful. Then there is Heer, another brilliant song, an ode to Deepika’s effervescence, the way she says no to a guy at party, dancing in room, uninterested but excelling in job, walk in airport and cake in terrace. All awesome. The biggest surprise is Wat Wat… What a song, what a situation and on top of it, what an editing. It goes through all phase of a song and people watching for the first time don’t even think that they are watching a song.

There are lot of shout out loud moments in the film. Typical of Imitiaz Ali, where the expressions are extreme. I loved every bit of it. Best of it was the guitar in the background when Ranbir gives the ring to transgender. I almost shouted even as I was watching in mobile. The way he builds up the scene was brilliant. I loved every time he shouts in frustration but gets back to the book to study. It has happened so much with me, only that it was not due to Maths.

The concept of a storyteller and how all stories are same were explained beautifully and in the end when he says that one has to end one’s own story too was lovely. Ranbir narrating the story couldn’t get better. My friend’s comment on Tamasha being on Anti Parenting was so true.

I don’t know why the films linearity or the structure was so criticized, it made every sense to me. The film is as confused as Vid, every one of us are. Not at a single point we focus everything together then why do we want everything put together in correct order. Just because we lack imagination?

When finally, Ranbir turns a rockstar, doing that dance in office, telling about fungus near scrotum and best of all closing the door before the old lady comes in. it was the best feeling ever. How we all long to do that. Come on who likes to be called a ‘safe guy’ by girls? When his manager says that he’s there in the job only for good behavior, is that even a complement. I’ve lived my whole life like that. No amount of appreciation is enough for Ranbir, he carries the whole film like a child’s play. His best yet. Look how effortlessly he dances around in Corsica even while uttering dialogues. That one part is enough for me to watch the film again and again. I cried realizing that I could never be him.

When I saw the words ‘Don Returns’ on a white paper, my joy knew know bounds. It was like being trapped in a building, held as hostage and see the Bat Symbol all of a sudden. That joy cannot be explained, only experienced.

In the climax when they introduce Ved out from his robot costumes, with a bun, as a storyteller, Ved comes out, gets standing ovation, then there is a lengthy romantic gesture between Deepika and him, they kiss, he blows flying kisses, he bows to her, finally gets down completely for a namaskar, all in front of audience. He’s there because of her. When in Kaatru Veliyidai VC says I love you, I love you, I love you and I love you, continuously ‘n’ number of times. It didn’t work for me. But here I wished I had witnessed Ranbir do all these romantic gestures live.

There is something special about Imitiaz Ali’s stories, there are no boundaries, no definite limits, and all doesn’t trod on single path. Look how beautifully he uses the storyteller (Piyush Mishra) to tell this to us. He told us the same in different way in Rockstar where Jordan plays guitar in every possible place be it temple, mosque, roadside or concert. It’s about the guitar, it’s not about the place.

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.