Movie Marathon

21 07 2008

Nothing like a playing a lazy couch potato at home if you got the right company. Instead of wondering what I couldn’t do, I tried my hand at running a Movie Marathon to beat a little sickness. And my picks for the weekend movie show in the order of my preference are

The Princess Bride – Now this movie is a classic fairy tale cut straight out of Grandpa’s bedtime stories. What a beautiful blend of romance, fantasy, comedy and adventure! I guess what appealed to me was the sheer unrealistic setup that made my imagination limitless in expanse. The Cinderella story is complete with a beautiful princess named Buttercup falls in love with a poor stable boy Wesley, and when he’s captured by pirates, she’s chosen by evil Prince Humperdinck to be his princess bride. Sword fights, Lagoons with eels, Fire Swamps, revenge, miracles, giants and true love. I am glad I discovered this movie, for it enlivened my childhood for me, for a moment.

Finding Nemo – I am glad I watched this movie. Of all the animation movies that I have watched, I loved this one the best. This movie is a celebration of human spirit, faith and above all, love. One of those rare movies that tug your heart and make you think at the same moment. A single parent Marlin is overprotective of his son Nemo, and yet he haplessly watches as his son gets scooped away by a oceanic driver all the way to Sydney. Talks about life in troubled waters. Now Marlin, teamed with a forgetful Dory hazards Sharks, Jelly Fish and Angler Fishes to reach the Sydney harbor. In search of Nemo, his father Marlin discovers life and its meaning. In search of his Son, he realizes the true essence of love. By learning to let go, he discovers that the essence of true love is enveloping freedom. I just loved this movie.

Minority Report – The sheer reason I picked this movie is to watch how the hero interacts with huge chucks of data on a glass interface. A little work induced temptation. Yet, this movie is filled with intrigue, action, crime, Sci-Fi, mystery and makes one wonder about the possibilities of future. How interesting. Its the year 2054 in the movie Minority report, offers us a possibility of eliminating crime banking on magnifying visions, where as the recently released Bollywood hungama fisaco Love Story 2050 presents us with the possibilities of flying cars and talking teddybears! My concerns? None, I gave up on cribbing!

A Walk in the Clouds – After ‘The Princess Bride’, my heart longed for good old sweet movies of the M&B kinds and my friend recommended this one to me. the name reminded me of a totally illusionary romance, and what I got as a delightful surprise was a sweet love story. Another of those fairytale romances where a Paul befriends a Mexican lady and ends up playing the role of her husband for a day trying to be a good Samaritan. Mexican fields, Grape wines, serenades, romance and affection of the family slowly work out the magic as this movie proceeds to take you through a walk in the clouds.

The Illusionist: Intrigue, Mystery, and Thriller. An charming pursuit of a love by a magician in the most engaging fashion. The storytelling is exemplary and the movie is engaging from the start to finish. Love, Magic, Illusion, Treachery, all this and more leaves one with a pleasant surprise.

Spiderwick Chronicles: Another of those childhood fantasy fiction novels. Yet, it evokes those delightful memories of childhood exuberance, innocence and curiosity. Jared, Simon and Mallory find themselves in a different world when they shift to the rundown Spiderwick Estate. Jared finds a book that introduces him to the mystery world of magical creatures, which is filled with beautiful spirits, and terrorizing goblins. The way the trio navigates through the wonderland and rescues their family through the dangers of the dark creatures is charming to watch. Now, who said I can’t giggle like a child again and believe in the limitless possibility of imagined universe.

Just Like Heaven: Elizabeth Masterson, a workaholic doctor in San Francisco, gets into a tragic car crash and gets in a coma. Meanwhile,David Abbott sublets Elizabeth’s apartment for rent. Elizabeth’s spirit haunts the apartment and gets into an endless argument with David, as he alone can see her. Love happens whilst Elisabeth’s spirit tries to remember her identity and background. The sheer riduculousness of the story is compensated by the dialogues and the characterization. And I loved the roof top garden as well! 🙂

Million Dollar Baby: “There is magic in fighting battles beyond endurance.” And this movie captures it quite elegantly. Somehow, I always have longed for happy endings and fairy dreamy world settings and this movie packs a realistic punch. The champions should always be celebrated and there should always be love and joy in the end. May be that’s the reason why I couldn’t accept the ending of the movie that justified the choice of death by the fighter. Yet, sometimes it gets too tiring to fight for life. Sometimes all we long for is endless relief and limitless rest from the struggle. May be there lies a win in knowing when to give up. I grudgingly admit that despite the ending, I loved this movie for its sensitive portrayal of persistence and relationships.

What this tells me? One no brainer for me to ponder is that I really need new ways to amuse myself, and this is one of the palest that I could come up with. I sure enjoyed that little touch of variety to my couch potato weekend,and yet I guess I would be stiff bored to repeat this little experiment once again. 🙂


13 07 2008

Somehow I just loved this movie!

Its been indeed long time since I watched a Telugu Movie devoid of hyped up movie cast full of gusting hotheaded action. And how I loved it! The current Tollywood Industry doles out umpteen releases every week almost with reverence to quantity over quality, out of which I spot rare gems like this once in six months or an year.

Now, playing the spoilsport, let me unveil the plot a little. Abhiram (played by Sharwanand), a spoiled rich brat who saw the world through the glass doors, discovers a real life out of the window panes when he embarks a bike journey to get back his lady love Janaki (played by Kamlinee Mukherjee, my favorite :-)). Janaki, an orphan and a idealist who believes in playing the good samaritan dumps Abhiram, when she realizes that he couldn’t support or share her idealism or values. Abhiram takes off on his bike in pursuit of Janaki, who went on a doctor’s camp to remote areas, and thus comes in close contact with humanity. In pursuit of his ladylove, he discovers himself. By standing for friends and by fighting for what he believes, Abhiram discovers the essence of life, as the self realization dawns on him over the end of the long winding journey.

Now, the story is not just about breaking and making it up by the lead couple. This movie is a celebration of life, realization, introspection and humanity. Words would sure flat to elaborate the performance of Allari Naresh as Gaali Sreenu. Gaali Sreenu, a petty thief, teams up with Abhiram in his pursuit of love and shows him the real world in the hinterlands. With a serious theme that explores the divide between the ‘Haves’ and ‘Have-nots’, this movie packs an ample punch of comic relief that cheers one up while engaging the audience in serious reflection. Abhiram discovers life, death, friendship, honor, values, humanity, and loss over the journey and finds himself as a socially responsible citizen when he meets his destination of love.

I would recommend this to anyone who wants to catch a meaningful Telugu Movie that does a great job of being an entertainer. Kudos to the new director Rama Krishna for this marvelous movie.

P.S. I read that this movie is inspired by ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’. I haven’t watched the original, and hence am clueless on whether this movie is a copy or an inspiration of the original. Yet, its a great movie with some natural performances to save it for keeps.

Caught In the Swirl Of Stardust!

24 06 2008

I never thought I would actually dedicate a thought to this movie ‘Saawariya’, on which I am still undecided on my reaction. I don’t think I would ever be able to take a stand on whether I loved the movie or hated it. That’s because I shared both these feelings in equal measure. Saawariya is a beautiful vision without imagination, a splendid fare of visual poetry without gravity, a charming seductress without soul and is filled with delusional love that is evoked by the lackluster admixture of scintillating idealistic dreamworld with the brazen harshness of reality. Yet, what remains with me at the end of the movie are those poignant and oddly affecting richly detailed visuals. Hence this post is filled with them.

When I look back, what often resonates with real life for me is the storyline though. Set in a dreamland (does any of those settings look anywhere near reality? ), the movie paints in richer intricacy, the pining of Sakina for the mystery love of her life Imaan, ignoring the starry eyed devotion she receives from Raj aka Saawariya. Sakina is cloyingly sweet, achingly hollow and an innocent manipulator who plays with the tender feelings of the eternally optimistic Raj while allowing him to cling to the delusion of her love. I couldn’t credit her with one identity for she plays the hopeless romantic perfectly pining for her illusionary love at first sight, whilst transforming herself as a coy temptress in the presence of Raj bewitching him with her innocent yearning for the love unattained.

Fused identities, conflicting ideologies, stark contrasts between the imagined universe and the dark reality, and the never ending fight between idealistic yearning and realistic possibilities: these are the Saawariya movie’s recurrent themes. Yet, though this movie feels like a piece out of a dream sequence, some of those characters feel so darkly real. Engulfed in perplexity, I notice so many Sakinas’ in reality much to my discomfort. People bartering dreams for materialistic pleasures are one extreme, whilst those trading realistic positive encounters of finding selfless love for the lure of illusionary and obsessive yearnings is another extreme.

Sometimes when I chat with my peers, I can often imagine them trapped in their own multi dimentional wonderland awaiting for their Perfect Soulmates. Princesses and Damsels in distress living in fairytale world, yearning for their Prince Charming to ride to their rescue and sweep them off their feet, often failing to acknowledge that life is happening around them. Sometimes its so difficult to identify which group they belong to: people who are in love or people who are in love with the idea of being in love. Sometimes the bubble of illusion, that they comfortably ensconce themselves in, wouldn’t equip them for the real life experiences.

Whenever we swap ideas on the things that are meaningful to us in life, we realize that we are goaded either by instinct or intellect. Life is all about tough choices and we all choose based on our own value systems. I just hope that the fairy tale romantic notions doesn’t spoil people at their chances of serendipity. The lure of nihilism is a dark temptation that envelops us if we dwell in dreams and forget to live. The wait may be on, yet, lets not forget that no one is perfect: me, you, and all those prince charmings and the knights in shimmering armour are armed with our own limitations and idiosyncrasies. We might as well be better of rescuing ourselves from those clout of dreams and the deep schism that the intersection of these virtual and real worlds present.

I can only seal this piece of muse by quoting from my favorite song from Pardon Dolly:

““Watching the girl I’m reminded
she’s quite a lot like me
Trapped in the suburbs of wonderland,
lost in her own fantasy
Somehow my heart never grew up,
no one ever burst my balloon
So here I am swirling in star dust
slow dancing with the moon”

An Aura Of Power..

21 06 2008

Sarkar And Sarkar Raj..

Recently I watched Sarkar Raj. This power packed sequel did compel me to watch the original Sarkar which has been in my to do list for long. I must say that SARKAR is an experience. Watching this movie did give me an insight into why Sushmita Dasgupta dedicated her book ‘Making of A Superstar’ to Ram Gopal Varma for making Sarkar. Ram Gopal Varma excels himself in carefully demystifying the aura of power that Amitabh Bachan’s image encompasses and utilizing it to the best of his advantage in crafting the role of Sarkar, a man who is a law onto himself and a parallel government in safeguarding common people’s interest. This movie is also a beautiful example of the brand Amitabh Bachchan that is carefully groomed over ages in Bollywood as the lonely angry young man to a power that grows beyond the system boundaries. This post is no review, for I suggest you all to check these movies with a huge bag of popcorn, for you feel little need for break while checking these power packed action dramas where people are clamoring for the ultimate supremacy.

Somehow, I felt a swell of pride in watching this Indian saga of power that stand as a stellar tribute to the legendary ‘God Father’. The weight and depth of the film lies in that closeup shots that capture the intensity of the actors, the soundtrack that blends well into the cultural fabric of the movie, and the complex plots that dexterously mix intrigue, loyalty, love, responsibility, honor and betrayal in exquisite detail. The power belongs to Bachchans indeed, yet the credit goes to Ram Gopal Varma. These movies are an experience in themselves. And I celebrated and cherished my moments with them. 🙂

The Making Of A Superstar..

28 05 2008

I can almost feel a few raised eyebrows now! I came across this book in the most unlikely fashion, during a short trip to Blossoms over weekend with a pal. He is the one who introduced me to ‘Almost Single’ and now to ‘The Making Of A Superstar’ by Susmita Dasgupta. I was expecting a prosaic tome filled with anecdotes and Bollywood gossip which I could skim through, and what I got was a well researched book on the evolution of Amitabh Bachchan‘s public persona with a keen insight into the Hindi Cinema.

Susmita presents a careful analysis of Amitabh’s roles in some of his epochal movies and tries to track the sociology of Hindi Cinema from the perspective of Indian Audience by tracing the evolution of Amitabh’s image from the angry young man of “Zanjeer”, the tragic antihero of “Deewar” and the entertainer of “Amar Akbar Anthony” to his more conservative turns in “Mohabbatein” and “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham”. She traces the evolution of Indian Heroes from the times when they martyred for social causes to the modern era when they became more focussed on personal pursuits.

I believe that the movies that are produced in any age are a mirror of the community thought process and the set of values they endorse. Popular film stars often represent the aspirations and dreams of the masses. Why do we watch some movies just because of star cast? It is because Stars have an image that extends across all the movies or ads that he is cast in. I remember those days of anxiety for Cadbury and Pepsi. when they went through quality issues, and Amitabh’s voice of authority restored them from their fallen grace.

Why is that some impressions last forever in the mind space? Why is that some movies go to attain ‘The Larger Than Life’ status? Why do we idolize some actors and share their emotions and trails? Not all feelings can be explained, neither can everyone explain the social significance of a movie. Amitabh’s cinematography is indeed engaging. What comes to your mind when you think of Amitabh today? A fighter against of all odds, a conventionalist or the angry young man of yesteryears. I think he is an exemplary example of a personal brand and the way he reinvented himself to a national icon over the passage of time is simply amazing.

I was amused by Laawaris (remember Mere Angane Mein?), shed tears over Sholey, enraged at Amitabh role in BOOM, chuckled at ‘Cheeni Kam’ and clapped instinctively for the divine justice that happens in the climax of ‘Aakhree Rasta’ (I was probably 12 then). Amitabh could don the role of a conservative disciplinarian, or play the dignified patriarch, or be the martyr for the underclasses, he remains close to my heart, and that must have been the secret motivation behind my reading this well presented academic research on sociology of Indian Cinema that traces the journey of Amitabh’s golden era with gusto.

Tashan, True to title..

2 05 2008

Al Style No Substance!

About ‘Tashan”, the less said the better. Ahem..For a person who never walked out of theatre in middle of movie, ‘Tashan’ offers serious temptation! Incomprehensible and supposedly phunny dialogues that are concocted by marring the beauty of English language, a terrible story line that makes Kareena gyrate between slut and savitri, Akshay Kumar handling scores of Don’s men ala Catwoman style, Saif’s character that’s added like an after thought in the second half: all this and more make you regret your choice of going through this movie. I couldn’t understand why Akshay kept on taking Saif along with Kareena when his presence was no longer needed. But anyways, one can survive this movie, only if they park their logic at the entrance while watching this movie.

My heart really blessed those courageous souls who left the movie after those supposedly eye candy scenes of Kareena and those couple of songs, “Chaliya” and “Dil Haara”. For those whose reason to watch the movie is “to check out the chemistry between Kareena and Saif”, its Akshay who gets the girl.

Don’t fall prey to weekend “I Am Bored” attacks and squander your time on this throughly useless and utterly forgettable flick. Its like having a salted mint, chocolate and strawberry combo ice cream together. Excuse my comparison, but after surviving the movie, my creativity quotient has hit abysmal levels!

Krazzy 4 Movie Review..

20 04 2008

A really crazy entertainer. I had such fun watching this situational comedy that paints this mad mad world in such a crazy splendor, that I couldn’t resist writing about it. Sans a glittery cast, this movie does manage to bring a smiling curve on your face.
Krazzy 4
The Krazzy 4 are the four patients of a mental hospital, who unite in their cause to find Dr. Sonali (Juhi Chawla) who is kidnapped by her husband for his selfish pursuit of power and glory. Arshad Warsi as Raja plays the angry young man to perfection. Rajpal Yadav as Gangadhar is amusing in his fight for Swaraj, Suresh Menon as Dabbo is cute and induces your protective instinct without any dialogues and Irfann Khan as Dr.Mukherjee is endearing in his maddening insistance for cleanliness. While these krazzy 4 are busy discovering their place in this maddening world, we are assured of a rollicking fun ride of life. Do watch it for some frothy entertainment and some foot tapping music. It made my sunday evening! 🙂

Jodhaa Akbar

18 02 2008

Another in this year’s mega let downs! After Saawaria and Om Shanti Om, this is another movie that left me with mixed feelings.

Ashutosh Gowariker’s ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ is a historical drama of epic proportions that tries to depict a delicate romance between a Mughal Emperor and a Rajput Princess . That being said, watch this for costumes, performances of lead pair, settings and background score. The music in fact has risen my expectations which couldn’t be fulfilled by watching the movie. I would have loved this movie, had I had a remote control in the theater. How I longed for it! Sadly I lived with this reality that I had to wade through mediocrity and Bollywood masala for a few moments of brilliance. Brilliance of execution in some of the scenes, like Hrithik’s taming of the wild elephant, Aish and Hrithik’s sensuous sword play, the huge crowd filling battle field scenes, court room sceneries, and the dance number when the people honor the Emperor with the Akbar tag.

Yes, this movie is Hrithik and Aishwarya written all over. Aish and Hrithik look every bit regal in their attire, mastering grace, elegance and royal countenance in a sweeping flourish with ease. I just loved the way they lived up to the role in an amazing restraint. Indeed Aish and Hrithik did justice to this untold love story championed by Ashutosh Gowariker.

For me, it is just another Romantic Story, a rather slow moving one at that, topped off with some real grandiose costumes, soulful numbers and the pristine old times usage of Urdu and Hindi language (I was really wondering about the meaning of some of the words 🙂 ). And Yes, the USP of this movie is that its based on the Historical facts. Let’ not get into the veracity of those claims, for that reminds me of this starting line in Mel Gibson’s ‘Brave Heart’ which says “History is written by those who have hanged heroes”. What’s often projected in those glorious history books is what those in power and control want to project. And even that is mingled with a great deal of controversy.

Yet, I hoped this movie had a more gripping narrative, some intense characterization and a convincing plot. This movie proves that sometimes, attention to detail is just not enough. As the movie battles between the fact and fiction, the audience is taken a ride through boredom and thrills. The soothing music, though divine has only added to the length. Its easy to engross ourselves in ‘Aseem O Shaan Shahenshah’, ‘Man Mohana’, ‘Khwaja Mere Khwaja’, and ‘In Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein’. Yet, Apart from ‘Jashn-E-Bahaara’, you won’t remember any of them after you walk out of the theater. Sample the lyrics of ‘Jashn-E-Bahaara’, which made me an accomplished kitchen singer for sometime. 🙂

“Kehne ko Jashn-e-bahara hai
Ishq yeh dekhke hairaan hai
Phool se khusboo khafa khafa hai gulshan mein
Chupa hai koi ranj fiza ki chilman mein

Sare sehmein nazare hain
Soye soye vaqt ke dhare hain
Aur dil mein koi khoye si baatein hain

Kaise kahen kya hai sitam
Sochte hai ab yeh hum
Koi kaise kahen woh hai ya nahi humare

Karte to hai saath safar
Faasle hain phir bhi magar
Jaise milte nahi kisi dariya ke do kinare”..

Jodhaa Akbar

I kept a track of every passing hour in the movie giving in to the yawn and the complaining of the inner voice, and sadly that’s not what I expected out of this. Now you may ask, why is this review full of pictures and very little words? That’s what this movie is about and that’s what I really loved, the richly detailed presence which was marred by the narrative. I would understand if people rate this a four starer based on cinematography, costumes, sheer magnitude, attention to detail for this historical romance, or visual experience. In the end, what matters to me is the sheer experience or joy of being a part of the movie, that era and that journey. Yet, Jodhaa Akbar didn’t manage to create a tug at my heart.

Taare Zameen Par…

26 12 2007

If you are pulled between a go-no go for this movie, just go ahead and watch it. It deserves nothing but the best of the ratings and awards for its sensitive portrayal of the wonderland of a child while taking a dig at the current day competitive schooling environment that stifles creativity. ‘Taare Zameen Par’, which when translated means ‘Stars On Ground’ sensitively handles childhood and a child’s life in such a sweet and sensible way that makes heart go yummm.

This movie paints the imaginative, and creative world of a child and his struggle with parental and societal expectations in amazing splendor on the canvas of Bollywood. And yes, this story needs to be told, for some soul searching in a world where we burden our young ones with kilos of notebooks, tons of homework, inhuman study times, all work no play kind of competitive attitude, and harsh discipline to win the race of life.

The bright and differently gifted, dyslexic Ishaan Awashthi could be any kid next door whom we find in every day life. And may be that’s why there is such an instant connect. On a lighter note, this is a must watch for those who missed the sheer joy and fun of doing things that they loved in childhood in competitive rigmarole, for those teachers and parents who forgot that there is life outside the school windows for kids, and for all those crazy rebel backbenchers who managed to work around the rules to play with fish ponds, kites, street dogs and colors. And for those modern day parents or parents to be, this movie can play the Bible. (literally!)

Amole Gupta’s sensible script which delivers a strong message, Darsheel Safary’s splendid performance and Aamir Khan’s supporting and inspiring direction and presence makes this movie what it is. A magnificent masterpiece.

A word for the situationally relevant music here. The title song does manages to tug your heart and the lyrics are simply beautiful.

“Dekho Inhein Yeh Hain Aas Ki Boondein
Patton Ki God Mein Aasmaan Se Koodein….

Khilney Ki Zid Par Khaliyan Hain Jaise
Muthi Mein Mausam Ki Jaise Hawayein
Yeh Hain Buzurgon Ke Dil Ki Duwayein
Kho Na Jaaye Ye Taare Zameen Par”

Or the desperate defiance of Ishaan in

“A Little Sweet, A Little Sour
A Little Close Not Too Far
All I Need, All I Need
All I Need Is To Be Free

Chhoo Loon Main Itna Kareeb
Chal Padun To Kitne Door”

The song Maa lyrics were so touching and apt in the background, when the stereotypical parents of Ishaan decide to join him in a boarding school away from the caring comfort of home due to the abysmal academic performance. I couldn’t help but relate to the depth of feeling portrayed there.

“Main Kabhi Batlata Nahin
Par Andhere Se Darta Hoon Main Maa
Yun To Main,Dikhlata Nahin
Teri Parwaah Karta Hoon Main Maa
Tujhe Sab Hain Pata, Hain Na Maa
Tujhe Sab Hain Pata, Meri Maa

Bheed Mein Yun Na Chodo Mujhe
Ghar Laut Ke Bhi Aa Naa Paoon Maa
Bhej Na Itna Door Mujkko Tu
Yaad Bhi Tujhko Aa Naa Paoon Maa
Kya Itna Bura Hoon Main Maa
Kya Itna Bura Meri Maa”

This movie has a touch of beauty and a ring of reality to it. Its rare that we get to see a beautifully made movie that entertains us while depicting realistic picture. Films like these revive my hope and add a sparkle to the time spent. 🙂

Revisiting Bommarillu..

16 09 2007

This movie stole the heart and thought of me and my family and is arguably one of the best family movies that have come in the recent times. I still cant forget the time that my mom insisted me to watch this movie and came to theater along with me to watch it second time, when she is hardly a movie goer herself. For record, its still the most watched movie at home.

We typically use movies like a cushion. We want to be coddled, relaxed and consoled from the stress of the daily life. Yet, if we forget for a while that we are watching a drama, these fictional characters feel more real than the actual living people. Some movies stay with us for that moment, some come revisit us in life in some aha moment and some live with us as beautiful memories. This one is a practical experience for me and hence I am collecting my two cents on this beautiful celluloid journey when the memory is still afresh.

As my friend puts it beautifully, experiences can rarely be reviewed. One can only feel and connect to the sensation it kindles. Bommarillu is a realistic portrait of the current day family relationships that catches the reflection of the current day Telugu Youth who is bonded to his family through love and respect and yet strives to creates his individual mark in this world. It beautifully deals with the relationships between parents and children in a fast paced society.

I cant resist sketching the plot though. Prakash Raj is this current day loving dad. The one who carries the entire family responsibilities on his shoulders and longs to create the perfect world to his family. In his pursuit to offer the best of everything, he unawaringly tries to design the life of his son Siddhu and offer all the comforts of life in a platter. Siddhu is not our regular hero. He wants to live upto his traditional loving family’s expectations and yet play the maverick, charm the Juliet and grit it out in the rough world to carve his own niche which cant be done under the glance of his over protective father. He dreams of a career of his own making and a life partner who inspires love and how our hero sets to win both is the theme.

Genelia lives the role of Siddhu’s love interest, the pretty, charming, child-like, talkative, pretense less Hasini. She breathes life into the placid life of the Siddhu who is burdened by his accommodating nature and is already engaged to a girl of his father’s choice. Living with a widowed father Kota Srinivasa Rao who is more of a friend, Hasini is our bubbly, charming and after my heart kind of college girl who is unaffected by the complexities of a joint family setup. I basked in her exuberance and frankness and reveled in her innocent convictions. She is my hero of the movie!

Prakash Raj discovers his son’s love story and being an accommodative father wants to adjudge Hasini and hence requests her presence at his home for a week. Hasini charms her way through Siddhu’s family and to her shock discovers the dual roles of Siddhu: One as a traditional Rama at home and the other as a carefree, individualistic Siddhu with friends. As Siddhu forces Hasini to live upto his image at home, Hasini dumps him. Siddhu has many battles up to his sleeve now. Will he chooses to keep up the pretense and play the perfect son or will he stands up for himself in a confrontation with his family forms the crux of the story.

The tag line is just apt. “Love Makes Life Beautiful”, which kind of sums up the entire struggle of Siddhu for unconditional love and individual identity. Love that accepts him as he is and not for what he can be. Love that cherishes, enriches and supports him without any demands and obligations. I can empathize with the accommodating Siddhu’s of the world, yet I can only respect them when they stand up on their spine and learn to say no.

In the end, it all falls back to an old quote, ” To say ‘I love you’ one must first know how to say the ‘I’ “. The movie raises some pertinent questions as well. Why do we pretend and lie to those who matter the most? Why are we afraid of sharing a piece of ourselves with our family? Is it a fear of rejection or the dread of loneliness? The movie brings out magnificently that avoidance is not a solution, personal space is vital in relationships and clarity in communication is essential in the journey of love. Love that inspires trust, acceptance and sets one free..

Chak De India

14 09 2007

The first thing that strikes about this movie is SRK and Yash Raj Films.. Honestly I expected a super romantic story with loads of good music. Must say I am delightfully surprised. King Khan delivers complete justice to this off beat de-glam role as he creates magic with his magnificent aura and charming presence. It is a special movie for many reasons and after watching the movie at the edge of my seat for a couple of times, I must admire the courage of Director Shimit Amin for coming up with a novel theme of women hockey game in this cricket frenzy India. Many fail to appreciate that Hockey is our national game and somehow it went into oblivion when the most glamorous cricket took over. I am most impressed by the fact that hockey stick sales went up by about 300% after the release of Chak De!

This movie brings out beautifully that ultimately when everyone is on field, its more than just a game. Its about getting ten odd players with diverse backgrounds to unite and stand as one. Its about a team playing its heart out for the love of the game, with a hope to win against all odds and for a chance to hold on to a dream created by belief.

Many times it so happens that we take for granted a lot of issues that are inherent in our country. Sorry Mr. Shaw, but I don’t believe that Patriotism is all about thinking my country is great as I am born in it, though I love the way of expression. 🙂

Its about appreciating the beauty and the values that I inherent from my motherland and taking a charge to preserve, or protect its identity. It also involves how much am I taking responsibility to introspect, or change for the betterment. Shimit has done a great job of highlighting a lot of issues that come in the way of the development of sports in India, like the unethical side of media in branding Kabir Khan as a traitor, the politics, corruption and the bias with in the selection board in dealing with coach and player selection, regional fanaticism within the players and the crowd, gender discrimination in India, selfish motives of the players, lack of mental training and encouragement. We always talk about Unity in Diversity, yet we seldom acknowledge the discrimination that we show to the minority classes or the south eastern states.

Whats sets this movie apart is that unique touch of Indian flavor, and well grounded realism. I loved Komal Chautala and Balbir Kaur in their well groomed roles. And it stands out as it creates hope and makes us believe that nothing is impossible when we set our hearts on it.

Namumkin? Wahi To Karna Hai!

Chennai 600028

14 07 2007

“You and Galli Cricket based Tamil Movie?!” – No Way..
“That Movie is good, but you can’t make head and tail of it”..
“You and Tamil Movie? you would hardly understand”..

And so on are the comments/advices that flowed from my pals when I proposed this movie for a saturday timepass. Well.. They have my best interests in mind.. Well, my two years stint @ Chennai while being oblivious to the nuances of Tamil entitled me for it.. Yet I was damn curious to see how a south indian version of cricket based movie would look like? Would that be comparable to Lagaan? Other factors like a movie drought in Chennai ( You got either Shivaji or the Potter Latest in the menu.. ) made me head to Shanti Theatre, and I am glad that I did.. So here I am, writing about a Tamil movie, when I am not even sure I understood the proper dialogue flow..

The Party

Its a movie about Street Cricket, and about typical middle class youth who dream of cricket bats.. The storyline is quite simple just the way the soft tone of SPB narrates in the start. Royapuram ‘Rockers’ and R.A Puram ‘Sharks’ are at war both inside and outside of the stadium. While Rockers took home the cup for three consecutive years beating Sharks, The Sharks are determined to win this year’s tournament. The story continues till Sharks win the Mirchi Cup detailing parallelly how Rockers Raghu joins Sharks, how some of the team members tread the path of romance, how little fights erupt among those friends.. Now hold on that thought.. Its not the stereo masala dole out of guys practicing hard, face challenges, win the cup as a final endeavour. Don’t expect a flow of passion, hardship, perseverence.. Its one unconventional movie with a predictable theme. Guess this movie offers a convincing respite for those who are hunting for realistic, low budget youth comedy. Opt for it for its off-beat humor, realistic satire, humane characterization and lighthearted fun!

What makes this movie endearing to watch is the way its steers clear of sentimental drama while delivering light hearted, realistic fun. Dont be critical of the superficial romance themes (even if they don’t sound convincing or gel with the movie.. After all, we all can stomach a bit of fantacy stories! ).. Just enjoy the cheeky commentry, the light hearted fun, the beauty of friendship and the hilarious ending! 🙂 I managed to do, even with my half baked tamil knowledge!

Apocalypto Movie Review

3 07 2007

I couldn’t believe that I could watch a violent movie, that too one with unknown actors and English subtitles as the main language of the movie is an archaic dialect of Yucatec Maya.. Yet, I did and loved every moment of it! This movie is truly gripping, absorbing and hypnotic. Never have I ever watched a movie that’s set in another time, and place with so much of painstakingly elaborate detail that kind of transports one to the historic Mayan civilization.

To cut the two hour movie into one sentence, this rousing movie details Jaguar Paw’s struggle for survival and revenge, as he fights those warriors who ravaged and slaughtered his tribe and took survivors as captives for human sacrifice. Meanwhile, Jaguar Paw’s wife is pregnant and is awaiting his arrival along with a four year old son in a huge pit where her husband hid her from the eyes of the attackers. The whole movie runs likes a riveting action tale with lumps of suspense, intrigue and history throwed in for good measure. You feel sorry for his family, empathy for the slaves, hatred for those grisly sacrificial scenes, yet you can’t take your eyes off this flick.

This movie looks, and feels authentically primitive and keeps you engrossed and enraged as it takes you through a ‘survival of the fittest’ theme set in the animalistic times of ‘its better to kill than be killed’. This movie runs like a visual poetry and you can’t help but surrender your senses in this fiercely beautiful flick as the characters portray feral intensity to survive. It makes one own the ancient violence, believe in the mighty human spirit and while leaving you spellbound with a sensual experience.

Cheeni Kum Review

27 06 2007

To the horror of all prudish folks, I loved this movie absolutely! Tabu and Amitabh’s chemistry is just right and together they present a very convincing romantic love story with oodles of tongue in the cheek humor!

The movie projects itself as a romantic comedy as the 64 year old Amitabh is all set to woo the 34 year old Tabu. Now dont imagine it as a typical old man after a young girl story. The movie is dealt in quite a mature and realistic fashion. Zora Sehgal played a terrific role in supporting the movie with her exuberant presence.

I must say that this movie has set a new definition in the typical romantic movie genre of Bollywood. I really love the way Amitabh is experimenting with himself in the recent movies with fresh roles, looks and challenging scripts. I know that everyone loves a superhero. Most of the times we worship them in stereocasted moulds that it would be a taboo if they try to break free of it. Well, I can never imagine Amitabh’s role being played by Rajani Kanth in a tamil remake of cheeni kam without loads of bandhs and suicide attempts! 🙂 Hope you got my meaning! Tabu is my all time favorite. She has a touch of elegance and I love the way she lives in her roles. So imagine how delighted I was when I saw both of them coming together in this sugar fare! I just hoped that the second half could have been better with a little less of sentimental gandhian drama.

Watch it for a light hearted fun ride, for the satirical comedy in the movie, and for the sheer brilliance of Amitabh and Tabu. Even if you can’t stomach a couple of dialogues, even if you thing Paresh Rawal is wasted in a stereotypical father role, even if you think that the cute little darling ‘Sexy’ mouths a lot of gyan, watch it for the sheer light headed banter that runs through the movie.

Guess I don’t have to play the spoiler to reveal the plot. It has been already talked over thousands of times. Yet, like everyone I still believe that I have my own two cents to talk about. And My Advice is Go For It!

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom!

18 06 2007


There cant be a more apt title for this movie, coz thats what I ended up doing through out the movie.. It sure made my day, brought a smile on my face and made my weekend delightful. Have you ever tried to live up to a lie that you have created in an innocent and harmless situation? Then you will surely identify with this.

Let me play the spoiler and detail the plot.. Amitabh Bachchan (AB) opens up the movie dressed in a funky outfit along with Guitar in London Railway Station with a foottapping dance number which sets the mood of the movie. When the train gets two hours late and two strangers (In this case Alvira Khan (Preity Zinta) and Rikki Thukral (Abhishek Bachchan)) has one coffee table to share, what would they do? Well, Rikki tries to pull Alvira into a conversation and she tries to ward off his advances by claiming that she is already engaged. Undaunted, Rikki tries to play along and confesses that he has come to receive his fiancee. Now feeling harmless, these two strangers exchange their highly creative love tales and in the end fall for eachother.

What follows later is a rollicking fun ride that leaves you dazed as they try to flaunt their false fiancees and live up to their lies for the sake of pride. Finally their lies get exposed and love lives on. The story got a predictable rhythm yet it escapes the inevitable track of sentimental drama. Bobby Deol and Lara Dutta as side characters who are entangled in the tales of the Rikki and Alvira live up to the expectations. I am surprised to see the ease in Abhishek’s acting. He delivers with mettle and timing and Ms. Bubbly Preity complements him perfectly! I loved the way Amitabh comes on and off in the movie linking them in a string of music.

Now for a disclaimer.. This is neither a mush movie, neither is a sentimental one. What it got to offer is romantic comedy sprinked with dollops of generous peppy and thumpy music. Its sure worth the investment if you are looking for pure entertainment with no strings attached! Coming to me, it sure made my Sunday!

Sivaji Movie Review

17 06 2007

Well, there is NDTV Coverage, all the media is frenzied over this movie, almost all the theatres in Chennai are screening Sivaji, Tickets in black are going at 1000 bucks and the only topic at coffee tables seems to be related to the superstar.. All this made me go for this movie on the first day first show. Somehow I wonder whether all this hype is essential?

For starters, Sivaji is an out and out commercial entertainer. It got all the masala like a rags to riches story, glamor, humor, technology, action, and songs. The movie deals with the story of an NRI who comes with to India with a vision to create Sivaji Foundations which would offer free education only to find his dreams crashed by an industrialist with political clout. How Shivaji fights the Indian System, the corruption and black economy while paving way to realize his ambitions forms the rest of the story.

One should park logic and commonsense in the alleyway of the theater to savor this movie. For example, the CBI arrests Sivaji without any monumental evidence when all they got is a voice locked laptop. Or sample this, the hero who wasn’t reluctant to bribe every official in every means possible confesses lamely in the court scene. The only reason I could give to watch this movie is that it got Rajani’s Superhero presence and fabulous dance sets which speak of opulence, and grandeur. Hey Rajani got style in the way he tosses the coin or reaches to his mint. His action and the ease with which he carries himself is a treat to watch. Are these reasons good enough for you to head for movie? Yet, I guess this movie may still make century days, by the sheer support of his fans. I will wait and watch.

Sreya’s role is limited to being a glass doll and look glamorous in dance numbers and play the role of a traditional tamil ponnu in the acting sequences. The story drags in the first half as Rajani tries his best to woo Sreya and the middlemen and it gains tempo only in the second half. Rajani’s overpowering presence fills the screen in every sequence and guess the story is underplayed alot to adjust to that. The story theme isn’t well integrated with the picturization and the movie drags in an attempt to include the cool and style element of Rajani in the story line. Suman’s action stands out as a soft spoken and menacing villain. Music is sure peppy, yet I wonder how much of those numbers remain after the hype cools down.

I felt that the story could be dealt better and with greater depth for this marks the return of Rajani after I guess almost two years. With a mix of formidable talent like Shankar, Rehman and Rajani, I expected better.

The Great Indian Family!

1 06 2007

Today I chanced to see Om Jai Jagdish, a hindi movie that’s centered on the love and affection among three brothers (Om, Jai and Jagdish) in a highly romantic Indian setting. It’s a beautifully crafted Indian movie, which brings out the positive and the idealistic side of a principled family whose love and affection for one another is second to none. Waheeda Rahman is a widow who brings up her three sons in her family estate with lots of love and affection. Anil plays the role of a non-imposing, ever-loving and self-sacrificing big brother character pretty well and Abhishek Bachchan practically lives the role of a carefree young brother. Well, one could always say that it’s just another feel good sort of movie with a clichéd ending that love alone will be triumphant. Yet, the fact that I have watched it a couple of times and yet I stuck glued to the television shows how much I loved that movie.

It made me ponder on the values that Indian family setting imbibes in an Individual. Also, this movie highlights the attachment that a family has for the family home. It rings quite true for me, as when you grow up or live in a house which we call home, its not just brick and mortar anymore. It houses our fond memories and is a living reminder of the beautiful joys in life.

Its true that there is subtle politics that comes into play in a joint family kind of environment, where one has to be socially correct and politically appropriate to those relations involving authority or power.. It could be your grand dad with a cane in his hand or it could be your mother in law with an indirect nag. Pretenses to be maintained, respect to be kept. Yet, all these people carry a weight of responsibility which may be big for their shoulders. Being figureheads or the actual Dons of the family, they may have to keep their family’s interest above theirs at most of those times. And they play it with so much ease, as if they are honored to live the responsibility at any cost! It all comes for a price!

I don’t know whether people in Indian family settle for one another. Yet, I know that love and trust comes so easily to us. We accept people in all totality with such gullible warmth, mother them with over flowing concern and ensconce them with love and affection. The fiercely passionate way in which each family stands for one and one for all is worth paying a tribute for. Long live family culture!

Mozhi Movie Review

10 05 2007


This post is long due! I have always wanted to write a review about Mozhi since the moment I have seen it. Guess I am waiting for the right time and right mood! This movie comes as a fresh breather to the usual Tamil movies and it sure revived my hopes in Indian Cinema. And guess this movie qualifies for high praise as my understanding of Tamil is very meager!

The movie storyline can be described as a simple love story where the hero falls in love with a deaf and dumb girl and how they end up living happily ever after. I would be doing a gross injustice to the movie if I give such impression as simple themes can be very profound if they are handled in a sensitive fashion. For me, Mozhi is a movie that oozes our attitude towards life. It has a bunch of characters who deal with their ups and downs, joys and sorrows, which such bright, cheerful attitude and elegance that impressed me most!

Archana (played by Jyothika) is a deaf and dumb girl with a strength of character and an independent nature. She finds rapport with Swarnamala, who is her colleague as well. Karthik (Prithviraj) and Viji (Prakash) are good friends who are trying to make a career in music industry. The story revolves around these four key characters and how they deal with life in all its magnificence. This movie is beautifully complemented with timely sense of humor, situational songs, and scintillating music.

This movie is amply packed with expressions of silence, moments of rapture, sensitive emotions and strong characters. There are some great scenes as well. Guess the beauty of this movie is conveyed in this dialogue of Archana, when Prakash Raj queries her about what does music mean to her, she replies, “Music is another language like Tamil and English to me. I don’t know any of the languages that you speak. But I can speak one language that none of you speak, it is Mounam (silence)”

I don’t long to reveal the storyline or the plot.. 🙂 I just wanted to say that sensible and sensitive movies are a rare find. Do Grab them when you have a chance!

Lage Raho Munna Bhai!

10 10 2006


I loved this movie and espicially the starting verses of RJ Jahnavi.. Couldn’t help myself from posting them..

“Shaher ki es daud me daud ke karna kya hai?
Jab yehi jeena hai dosto to phir marna kya hai?
Paheli barish me train late hone ki fikr hai
Bhool gaye bhigte hue tahelna kya hai?
Serails ke kirdaaro ka saara haal hai maloom
par maa ka haal puchhne ki fursat kise hai?
Ab ret pe nage paon tahalte kyun nahi?
108 hai channel phir dil bahelte kyun nahi?
Internet ki duniya ke to touch me hai,
lekin pados me kaun rahta hai jaante tak nahi.
Mobile, Landline sab ki bharmaar hai,
Lekin jigri dost tak pahuche aise taar kaha hai?
Kab dubte hue suraj ko dekha tha yaad hai?
Kab jaana tha shaam ka woh banana kya hai?
To Dosto Shaher ki es daud me daud ke karna kya hai
Jab yahi jeena hai to phir Marna kya hai? “

Godavari: Movie of A Different Breed!

17 09 2006

Some movies come like a fresh summer rain, and touch my heart just like a refreshing rainbow. Anand and Godavari are sure such movies which stood apart from the current day masala Telugu movies. They sure revived my hope about Telugu movie industry. Anand is rather an old movie, yet I watched it after I watched Godavari. Melodious music has only enhanced the flavor. Somehow I lived both the movies, agreeing with the gal that Kamalini Mukherjee stood for.


Godavari is a love story of two independent people who discover each other over a picturesque journey to Bhadrachalam over Godavari. It’s quite delightful to watch Kamalini Mukharjee’s expressions, which are a perfect blend with the surroundings. The story is simple, yet the screenplay made all the difference!

This movie is even closer to heart as it depicts the scenic beauty of Rajahmundry and the Godavari which is my hometown. Since childhood I am always drawn towards Godavari. Listening to the whisper of the waves, the humming of the river, the glistering sun rays dancing on the water always inspires intense feelings whenever I visit those river banks. This movie is a sensual treat for all those wishful nostalgic souls like me. Immediately, I bought the DVD to treasure this movie in collectables!

Shayari from Fanaa..

6 06 2006


Got the shayari of Fanaa as a forward. I watched the movie for Kajol sake and got what I have asked for. The only interesting part of the movie lies in the start where Zooni and Rehaan’s love blossoms under the exchange of refreshing poetry. Witty retorts and timely wordings, that’s what engaged me. Hope you too will find this interesting!

E Khuda Aaj Ye Faisla Karde,
Use Mera ya Mujhe Uska Karde.
Bahut Dukh Sahe He Maine,
Koi Khusi Ab Toh Muqadar Karde.
Bahot Muskil Lagta Hai Usse Duur Rehna,
Judai Ke Safar Ko Kum Karde.
Jitna Duur Chale Gaye Woh Mujhse,
Use Utna Kareeb Karde.
Nahi Likha Agar Nasib Me Uska Naam,
To Khatam Kar Ye Zindagi aur Mujhe FANAA Karde.

Tere Dile mein meri saanson ko panah mil jaaye
Tere Ishq mein meri Jaan Fanaa Ho jaaye.

Aag suraj main hoti hai ,
Jalna dharti ko padta hai
 mohabbat aankhen karti hain ,
tadapna dil ko padta hai

Ankhen to pyar me dilki zuban hoti hai,
sachi chahat to sada bezuban hoti hai,
pyar mai dard bhi mile to kya gabrana,
suna hai dard se chahat aur jawan hoti hai….

Phool hun Gulaab ka
Chameli ka mat samjhna
Aashiq hun aapka
Apni Saheli ka mat samjhna

Dur Humse Jaa Paoge Kaise,
Humko Bhool Paoge Kaise.
Hum Who Khushbu Jo Saanson Mein Utar Jaye,
Khud Apni Saanxon Ko Rok Paoge Kaise..

Bekhudi Ki Zindagi Hum Jiya Nahi Karte,
Yun kisika ka Jaam Hum Piya Nahi Karte.
Unse Kehdo Mohabbat Ka Izhaar Aakar Khud Karein,
Yun Kisika Peecha Hum Nahin Karte


tere dil mein meri saanson ko jagah mil jaaye
tere ishq mein meri jaan fanaa ho jaaye
adhoori saans thi dhadkan adhoori thi adhooren ham
magar ab chaand poora hain falak pe aur ab pooren hain ham

Baalu, A Telugu movie..

1 03 2005

I just watched a Telugu movie called Baalu at INOX theater Pune. Well, it’s always easy to be critical about anything, but somehow I feel that the recipe for success for any movie has become same these days.

The plot becomes so recognizable that you can actually predict what’s the next dialogue is going to be. It’s the story of an Orphan who grew up with a Mafia Don, and falls for a girl who loves him for his courage. Realizing his mistakes, our Hero turns against the Don. Well, as usual the big Dad gets angry and kills the girl, and the guy finally takes his revenge against the Don. To add masala, another girl was added to create romance and songs..

Quite a predictable tale, isn’t it? But then it was good to watch the movie as I felt home again under the comfort of watching a movie in my mother tongue. Apart from that, listening to people in the theatre who were speaking in Telugu offered a vague comfort. Guess I really cant offer reasoning for feelings, can I?

BLACK… A movie full of grit and emotion!

6 02 2005


I am impressed by the beautiful way in which BLACK is made. Truly it’s a movie, which sets a standard by strong characters, powerful story line and the artistic way of presentation. The movie depicts a deaf and blind girl and her relationship with her teacher, and how she graduates in spite of her shortcomings. Rani Mukherjee and Amitabh Bachan play their roles with ease. Ayesha Kapur who plays the childhood role of Rani Mukherjee gave a remarkable performance. The movie is touching and awe-inspiring! Hats off to Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Finding Neverland..

30 01 2005


Today I saw a lovely movie called “Finding Neverland”.. The movie is about a playwright and it depicts his strength of belief that everything is possible with imagination. Barrie, the playwright who is the creator of Peterpan is a child at heart who believes in dreams and imagination. The movie depicts how the playwright makes friendship with a widow and her kids, the way he encourages them to color their world with imagination and how he makes a very successful drama and creates an enchanting world of Neverland drawing inspiration from them. A movie which is so touching and moving… Worth watching!

Mera Naam Joker…

25 12 2004


I think this is one of the best movies, which I have ever seen. This movie talks about the joys and sorrows of life in such a poignant fashion. It depicts the depth of feelings and anguish of a man who has to brave the world with a cheerful face even when he is all torn and hurt inside. This movie of Raj Kapoor traces the story of a joker since childhood, his experience of love with the women in his life and what he learns from them. Raj Kapoor’s identity is depicted as a clown who tries to laugh and spread smiles even when he is all broken up inside. The Raju’s innocent heart is depicted symbolically through a laughing clown doll, which he gifts to all the women in his life only to get it back. The way he grows from an innocent child to a mature individual is depicted in a very delectable manner.

The best part of the movie is that it touches your heart and leaves you spellbound. You laugh with the clown, feel his emotions and share his grief. I liked especially climax where in the Joker realizes that joys, sorrows, emotions and love, all is a part and parcel of life.

Well, Jeena Yaha Marna Yaha, Iske Siva Jaana Kaha?


20 12 2004


Today I went to watch Swades.. These days I became a little bit complacent and been pampering myself with a lot of movies. Well, Swades came as a pleasant change from the usual Bollywood line of romances and watching Shakrukh khan doing something other than romance was refreshing enough! What really surprised me was the story. The picture packed in quite a punch of patriotism, and showed quite a realistic picture of rural India. It really brought me back the memories of my Grand Parent’s village and the bonding I experienced over there. I really loved the movie!

Samskara, A movie on Funeral Rites!!!!

7 10 2004

I just watched Samskara (Funeral Rites), a movie by Girish Karnad. Its actually a Kannada play written by Ananta Murthy, which is translated by Girish Karnad. A lovely movie depicting the range of moral dilemma of a Acharya over the funeral rites of a Brahmin who didn’t heed to Brahmin community rules.

The story actually runs like this. There is this Brahmin Narayanappa, who drinks liquor, ate meat and kept a sudra mistress. He dies suddenly. Now there is discussion in the community about his cremation, and the Acharya, the head of the Brahmin community fails to answer and meanwhile he sleeps with Narayanappa’s Mistress and then he feels guilty about it and runs away from his place. In the due course, plague broke out in the village and everyone deserts it where as the Acharya gets his head right about what he wants to do and returns to cremate the dead body. The ending is kept ambiguous and whether he returns to Narayanappa’s mistress or not is an open question.

The movie depicts the past society in all its glory and gives a beautiful count of the political, social and moral issues involved in the funeral rites. Girish Karnad is simply fabulous and the way the depth of emotions portrayed was touching.. Its probably my first experience of an Art movie and I am at loss to mention the range of emotions it stirred. This movie was worth every inch of its National Award.