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Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Simple Life (Tao jie) 2011

If anyone asked me what exactly a “BEAUTIFUL” movie is, I have just the answer for them. A simple story of what unfolds when a maid, for 60years to a family, decides to retire into an old age home. She has taken care of generations in this family. The love & gratitude by everyone towards her for that seems more than justified.

There is an instant connection to both the lead characters and I loved them in no time, it was like a story about someone I knew, which isn't far from the reality for anyone I guess. We all had/have a person in our lives who has spoilt us taking such good care growing up and towards whom we have an undying gratitude for it. The choices these characters make seem so unreelistic, so grounded & difficult that you almost forget it’s a movie.

The intent and presentation is so so honest, I doubt anyone could go untouched by it. It’s one of those rare gems that come and go without much hoopla and when you watch it years later by accident you wonder "How come I never heard of this one?". If you are in Chicago it’s playing at a modest, old school, single screen theatre called "FacetsCinematheque", it’s worth watching it there if you ask me. It’s a wonderful movie with an amazing story. It’s a BEAUTIFUL movie.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises - A preview

        Christopher Nolan. This name comes with a promise. A promise to all movie watchers to make the best of the movies. Breaking all the shackles and overcoming all the apprehension, Nolan has created many cinematic marvels with his work.

He was at the helm of the project when Warner Bros. decided to reboot the Batman franchise. With his unique take on the origin story and following it up with one of the best superhero movies made, Nolan showed how superhero movies could exist in a real world. He took away all luxuries and super powers away from Bruce Wayne reducing him to a real world protagonist with a will to fight against the evil. The first two stories have not just been well told but also have been presented with characters that have left an equal mark if not more than Batman himself. Heath Ledger's Joker will be remembered as one of the best ever. Michael Caine as Alfred is Bruce's real world connection and keeps him rooted. Similarly, Rachel, Commissioner Gordon, Harvey Dent and so many other characters from these movies were so well etched.

So, the final chapter in the trilogy has been quite a wait. Nolan can be well trusted to give a fitting finale to the Caped crusader's saga.

Release Date : 20 - July - 2012

Synopsis : Eight years after Batman took the fall for Two Face's crimes, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham's finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.

Cast and Crew

Director - Christopher Nolan

Writing credits - Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan (screenplay)
                           Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer (story)
                           Bob Kane (Batman characters)

Producer - Kevin De La Noy, Jordan Goldberg, Benjamin Melniker, Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, Dileep Singh Rathore, Emma Thomas, Thomas Tull, Michael E. Uslan

Original Music - Hans Zimmer

Lead Actors -
Tom Hardy                     as    Bane
Christian Bale                as     Bruce Wayne / Batman
Liam Neeson                  as     Ra's Al Ghul
Joseph Gordon-Levitt    as     John Blake
Anne Hathaway             as     Selina Kyle / Catwoman
Gary Oldman                 as     Jim Gordon
Morgan Freeman           as     Lucius Fox
Marion Cotillard            as    Miranda Tate
Michael Caine               as     Alfred


Teaser(Trailer 1)

Trailer 2

Trailer 3

Trailer 3

For more videos - Click HERE to go to the official YOUTUBE channel of Warner Bros.

Original Music

Hans Zimmer had teamed up with James Newton Howard to compose music for the first two movies. He also worked with Nolan on Inception. All 3 movies had , what now is referred to as iconic score. In the process, Zimmer secured an Oscar nomination for his work in Inception.

So, it was all but obvious that music for this movie would be special. Whatever one got to hear in the trailer was immensely comforting to know that Zimmer has hit the bullseye again.

The complete score was posted by the EMPIRE magazine sometime ago and the music has to be the best work done by Zimmer so far.

You can listen to the score on the EMPIRE website by clicking HERE.


Along with the humongous expectations, there are also a few questions bugging the fans since the second movie came out. Will Nolan be able to create a bigger spectacle than 'The Dark Knight' ? Will Tom Hardy's Bane be able to create a monster as big as, if not bigger than the Joker ? Will this movie make this one of the best trilogies ever ?

To find the answers to these and many other questions, catch 'The Dark Knight Rises' at a theatre near you from 20-July onwards.


Videos - Youtube
Information - Wiki, IMDB, Official Site

Friday, June 15, 2012

Gangs of Wasseypur - A preview

        In last few years, every movie that Anurag Kashyap is associated with, has made a lot cine-goers excited. He and few others have given a new shape and direction to the Indie cinema. Many of the movies directed by him and the ones coming from his banner are now cult in nature. This in turn has made his loyal fans(including yours truly) wait for his every release with bated breath.

His last offering as a director, 'The Girl in Yellow Boots' wasn't appreciated as much as few of his earlier movies were. So, this adds more to the anxiety associated with 'Gangs of Wasseypur'.

Release Date : 22 - June - 2012

Synopsis :  Towards the end of colonial India, Shahid Khan loots the British trains, impersonating the legendary Sultana Daku. Now outcast, Shahid becomes a worker at Ramadhir Singh's colliery, only to spur a revenge battle that passes on to generations. At the turn of the decade, Shahid's son, the philandering Sardar Khan vows to get his father's honor back, becoming the most feared man of Wasseypur. Staying true to its real life influences, the film explores this revenge saga through the socio-political dynamic in erstwhile Bihar (North India), in the coal and scrap trade mafia of Wasseypur, through the imprudence of a place obsessed with mainstream 'Bollywood' cinema. (From IMDB)

Cast and Crew :

Director - Anurag Kashyap

Story - Zeishan Quadri

Producer - Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Guneet Monga, Sunil Bhora, Anurag Kashyap

Lead Actors - Manoj Bajpayee, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Piyush Mishra, Richa Chadda, Remma Sen, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Jaideep Ahlawat, Yashpal sharma, Huma Qureshi, Anurita Jha

Music - Sneha Khanwalkar

Lyrics - Varun Grover, Piyush Mishra


The first trailer was mindbogglingly awesome.

Then came the song trailers and the first one to lead the pack was 'Jiya ho Bihar ke lala'

Song promo of 'I am a hunter'

Song promo of 'O Womaniya'

Dialogue Promo

For more videos - Click HERE to go to the official YouTube channel.


        Sneha Khanwalkar made a mark with her music for movies like 'Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!' and 'Love Sex Dhokha'.  She was credited to be one of the most imaginative and innovative of the current crop of music composers. She further enhanced her reputation by her show on Mtv, 'Sound Trippin'.

So, people were really curious to see what she packed in the album for this movie. All the more because 'Gangs of Wasseypur' was always said to be a musical. She did not disappoint anyone. Aided by the brilliant lyrics of  extremely talented Varun Grover and the maestro Piyush Mishra, she has composed few of the brilliant songs one has heard in the last decade or so. Songs that are so apt for the theme of the movie and yet so mesmerizing if you even consider this solely as a music album.

Songs like 'Jiya Ho', 'O Womaniya' and 'Keh Ke Loonga' among others are so rich musically and are so well written that one feels like the repeat button on the music players was made for these kind of songs.

(Cutting it short with a hint of sadness that this music deserved one full post on its own merits)


  • The movie was in the news during its shooting because of a freak accident that resulted in the death of   Sohil Shah who was the AD on the shoot. It must have been difficult for the crew to overcome this tragic event and complete the shooting of the movie.
  • Reports were out stating that the Kashyap was at loggerheads with Censor board when they asked him to put a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie that it is a work of fiction. It turned out that this wasn't true when Kashyap and the producers clarified that there were no issues with censor board.
  • It was reported in the media that the locals of Wasseypur were unhappy with the use of their city's name and also the way they could have been portrayed in the movie. The makers came out in their own defense stating that this report was untrue and there was no issue like this.


         Gangs of Wasseypur was thoroughly appreciated when it was screened at Cannes Film Festival as part of the Critics week.Indian audience will finally get to watch the movie in less than a week from now. Going by all the trailers and the positive words coming from Cannes and other screenings, it does seem like Anurag Kashyap has made a good movie. We can't wait to watch it and can't wait to hear what Indian audience will think of it.

Videos - Youtube
Information - Wiki, IMDB, Offical Site

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Two Escobars (2010)

When: Circa 1960
Where: Medellin, Columbia               

              Carlos Escobar was the world’s most dreaded drug lord from Medellin. Andres Escobar was a gifted and loved Columbian football defender. Fate crossed their paths and tragedy ensued. 1970’s was a time when Columbia was a shining example of social inequality where the rich grew richer and poor were left to rot. This created a perfect setup for crime and young Carlos took it upon himself to steal from the rich. Coming from a poverty ridden family he couldn’t bear to see how the rich never gave anything back to help the society, stealing from them was the only right path he could think of. What started with car thefts moved on to Kidnapping and finally drug trafficking. He went on to become one of the wealthiest men in the world and the most feared druglord there was.

                Andres Escobar was a soft spoken, shy by nature football played hailing from Medellin, fondly nicknamed as the “Gentleman of Football” by fans. Started his pro career with playing for Atlético Nacional at 18, went on to captain his national team which was then at its very peak. He was loved by the Columbian people and commanded respect from players. Always the one to think how football can heal the society he lived in, how it can grow to be more than just a game.

                Carlos had his own way of giving back, other than slaughtering his rivals and channelling 80% of the world’s cocaine at that time, he helped the poor by fulfilling their basic needs and nurturing football at grassroots. He had a deep love for football and this led him to pump money into initially creating football grounds for locals to later funding Atletico Nacional team, team for which Andres played, which in turn served as a perfect cover for his drug money laundering operation. Eventually Carlos grew so big with drugs that the world, especially US DEA, took notice and started a hunt for his head by calling for his extradition.

The documentary goes on to say how these two people completely unrelated by blood, nature or what they represented to the world had an effect on others lives in the most unthinkable ways. How what started as a totally unrelated incident resulted in the death of people who had nothing to do with it, along with ones who did, and also the death of a country’s passion and hope. A brilliant documentary which keeps the viewer engrossed in a story that seems so unreal and completely scripted.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

American Reunion - That thing called NOSTALGIA !

        Quite a few teen comedies have been a part of the pop culture in the last few decades. But, 'American Pie' stands out. People loved the movie and laughed their guts out at the way Jim(Jason Biggs) made a jackass out of himself or how Stifler(Sean William Scott) walked around being a jerk pissing others off and lots of other hilarious characters/scenes. The 2 movies that followed were good too and then the series lost the plot.

They have now tried to get their act together with the basic story revolving around the reunion of the familiar faces that made the first 3 movies tick. They bank on nostalgia and come up with this movie that carries the mood forward.

All the 5 central characters, Jim, Stifler, Oz(Chris Klein), Kevin(Thomas Nicholas) and Finch(Eddie Thomas) are now approaching middle age and are dealing with their own issues in their respective lives. A high school reunion sounds like a perfect getaway for them to meet friends who made their high school lives memorable. Add Michelle(Alyson Hannigan), Vicky(Tara Reid), Heather(Mena Suvari), Eugene Levy(Jim's Dad), the ever so popular Jennifer Coolidge (Stifler's Mom) and what follows is a fun ride.

All the characters are instantly relatable due to the connect that the audience has with the series. But, it is Stifler who makes you yearn for more movies of this sort. He is,like always, an obnoxious and irritating character but everything that he says or does evokes a chuckle or a laugh, for sure.

They start off with memories of their lives shown in the first 3 movies and the events constantly keep relating to those movies. So, this movie is not a bad watch for anyone who liked those movies even a bit.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

An interview with Pawan Kumar

        Pawan Kumar arrived at the scene of Kannada industry with roles in movies like Mr.Garagasa , Inthi Ninna Preethiya,Circus, Manasaare and Pancharangi. He also worked on the story and screenplay of Manasaare and Pancharangi.

He then made his foray into direction with Lifeu Ishtene in 2011 and won accolades with his fresh approach to movie making and a smart script.

We were lucky to catch him for a quick interview and it was nice of him to oblige.

Note : This interview is in Kan-glish!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oscars 2012 - Predictions

Like last year, here we go -

Oscars 2012 - 'Best Picture' Nominations Review

  • The Artist

        Movies about silent era are always charming. This movie oozed honesty and did justice to the thought that the script dealt with. Very well directed and acted, this movie captured everyone's attention on its festival screenings and wider release.

        Did you know : Some theaters, including one in Liverpool, England, issued refunds to moviegoers who were unaware that this was a silent film, and walked out early in the picture.
        Total nominations received : 10
        Our prediction :  Front runner and facing stiff competition from 'The Descendants'

  • The Descendants 
       One of best works by the director Alexander Payne and by George Clooney. It stands tall among the movies that come out in 2011. It dealt with emotions and comedy like not many other movies have ever done. Read the detailed review here.

       Did you know : Near the beginning of the film, Clooney's character says "I don't want my daughters growing up entitled and spoiled. And I agree with my father: you give your children enough money to do something but not enough to do nothing". This is actually a paraphrase from one of the world's wealthiest men, and the richest person in the world in 2008, Warren Buffett. In reference to how much money he would bequeath to his children, Buffett replied: "I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing." 
 Total nominations received : 
         Total nominations received : 5
         Our prediction : Looked set to win it but 'The Artist' may take the award away.

  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


        Panned universally by every major critic, this movie was a surprise nominee. It deals with the aftermath of 9/11 and focuses on a kid who has lost his father in that horrible event. Unable to live harmoniously with his mother, the kid sets out on the streets of New York chasing something in an unpractical quest of his own.    

       Did you know : Director Stephen Daldry hoped the film would be completed for the fall of 2011 so that it coincided with the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. 
      Total nominations received : 2
      Our prediction : Not even a remote chance

  • The Help

Based on a novel, the movie dealt with the horror that the Afro-American community went through in the 1960s. A brave and aspiring author decides to document all the troubles that the community was going through. A gritty movie that was very well directed and acted. It was certain to be nominated for the major categories and the academy duly honoured it.

        Did you know : Kathryn Stockett's book on which this film is based was rejected 60 times before it was eventually published.
       Total nominations received : 4
       Our prediction : May come out as a surprise winner but the chances are slim

  • Hugo 
        Whatever Marty does, there is a master touch to that. Scorsese's first 3D film had surely raised everyone's expectations. The movie didn't disappoint. It was delightful and touching tale of a kid trying to understand his late father's mechanical creation wandering around the train station in Paris. 3D was used like never before and it pleased the audiences everywhere. A deserving nomination!

      Did you know : After a screening that James Cameron attended, he called the film a "masterpiece" and told Martin Scorsese it was the best use of 3D he had seen, including his own films. 
      Total nominations received : 11
      Our prediction : Has garnered a lot of praise from the academy but chances are not great

  • Midnight in Paris  

        Woody Allen and the city of Paris. Had to be something different. It indeed turned out to be so. Helped by the brilliant screenplay, the movie is so well made that its tough not to enjoy every minute of the movie. Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard give great performances that seem so natural.

       Did you know : Woody Allen's first film to gross over $100 million worldwide. 
       Total nominations received : 4
       Our prediction : Woody Allen is pretty certain to win the award for the 'Best original screenplay' but this one doesn't seem too probable.

  • Moneyball

        Sports and movies are an explosive combination. A movie made on one of the most popular sport was well received thanks to its underdog to achiever theme. Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill give towering performances in this movie based on real life of Billy Beane. Read the full review here.

       Did you know : Billy Beane is portrayed as a lonely divorcée in the film, though in real life he had actually remarried. Scenes were actually shot with Kathryn Morris as his second wife, Tara, that didn't make the final cut. However, Brad Pitt's character still wears a wedding ring throughout the film. 
       Total nominations received : 6
       Our prediction : Unlikely

  • The Tree of Life

Was it philosophical ? Was it a documentary ? Was it entertainment ? People around the world were puzzled but this piece of genius by Terrence Malick had all the movie aficionados drooling. This movie must be watched for its visuals alone and then must be given another watch to understand the story. Such movies are an event of rarity these days but must be appreciated and honoured whenever one gets to see one of these.

       Did you know : Some American theaters set up signs - warning moviegoers about the enigmatic and non-linear narrative of the movie - following some confused walkouts and refund demands in the opening weeks. 
       Total nominations received : 3
       Our prediction : Too strong for the academy!

  • War Horse
        This movie saw mixed reactions from the critics and audiences. Some labelled it as sugar-coated boring drama and at the same time the movie was lauded for its amazing portrayal of bonding between a young boy and his horse through wars and across geographical boundaries. Spielberg knows the craft and is too smart to get nothing right. War horse struck the right chords at many places and earned a nomination.

        Did you know : Fourteen horses played Joey during the movie. The "main" acting horse in the film, Finder, also portrayed Seabiscuit in the movie about the famous racehorse. 
       Total nominations received : 6
       Our prediction : Chances are next to none.

BOTTOM LINES : This list seems incomplete without movies like 50/50, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Margin Call and Drive. The academy got it wrong there but these 9 were the movies that got the final nod. Academy can do something right now and not spring another surprise by awarding an undeserving movie.
Courtesy : Youtube and IMDB

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Woman In Black : Scary

   It’s been a while since a good horror movie has hit the screen. Many "horror" movies these days just show blood in the name of horror. The Woman in Black does manage to scare you without much bloodshed.

  The stage is set in  the 19th century England. Arthur Kipps a lawyer who is working hard to make his ends meet in London, has a son to raise, and has come to terms with wife passing away. So to save his job, he moves to a small village in England to sort out the papers of an isolated mansion of a deceased mentally challenged woman. Once inside the mansion Kipps sees the spirits.

  The movie is well shot. The  country side looks really beautiful. The mansion itself looks very spooky and scary .  Everything about the mansion will make you feel its haunted. There are a few genuinely  scary moments. So if you are going to watch it, be ready to jump out of the seats. There are good surprises. The sound effects are particularly good.

  The Woman in Black has nothing new that you have not see before, but it’s done with conviction. Daniel Radcliffe gets out of Harry Potter mode into an adult character. If you have been a fan a of Harry Potter series, it will be hard for you see him play a dad, as you will still see him as a “boy”. But he does justice to his character and you will actually feel sorry for him.

 Over all The Woman in Black is good. It manages to make you jump out of your seats. 

Agneepath : Murdering the Classic

   When the first trailer of the movie released, which had bald  Voldermort looking Sanjay Dutt taking head on with an intense Hrithik Roshan, one only hoped that it would bring an end to drought of  villain characters that were so easily producible earlier. One of the most cherishing moments in such movies were not the mustanda exchanges between  Hero and the Villian fist,punch in the stomach fight sequences but the confrontation scenes, where one could take a dig at each other . 
So if I ask when was the last time we saw a hard core negative character, who enjoyed playing the Evil ,*stylishly* delegated tasks to his subordinates to wipe out the Good, by keeping  a check on Hero’s lady of her whereabouts, and the one who created his own world with Wines and Women. I say None. Last couple of years saw none of these elements in any characters. Prakash Raj even with his spontaneity  could only portray hyperactive roles in Wanted, Buddha Hoga Tera Baap and  Singham. SRK’s proclamation of his negative character in Don2 is farcical to say the least. Even Sanjay Dutt got an opportunity in Aladdin, but with little screen space and meat.
Hence Sanjay Dutt’s portrayal of Kancha Cheena in 2012 becomes the only hope to get back to those characters.

  Karan Malhotra’s visualization of a Kancha Cheena as a sadomasochist, a self-proclamation of Ravana with an introduction line “Tum Leke Aaye ho, Tum Kya leke Jaoge” is spot on and believable. But in the bigger picture it fails to strike the chord. Here’s how. 

Karan Malhotra’s version of revenge drama is not a remake to start with. The basic idea of the movie remains the same, but then so much has been tweaked that in an attempt to make an original, it ends up spineless and heartless, with over the top drama. An absolute tripe compared to the original. Even if it’s not compared with the Mukul Anand’s version it presents us with all the clichés of Karan Johar movies that we are so familiar with. 

Mukul Anand’s version which now has got a huge following because of Amitabh’s swagger and then infamous voice (Inspired after Marlon Brando’s character in Godfather)  is not only about Vijay Dinanath Chauhan’s retribution against businessman Kancha Cheena. Its also about a boy’s rise from the alleys of Mandwa to the Godfather of Mumbai. But in Karan’s version Vijay ends up as a Godfather of a local slum called Dongri, which later is turned into a K3G’s Yash Raichand’s family function, much to the liking of Karan Johar’s audience.

  Many feel  that the performances in the original  were over-dramatic. Be it Vijay’s arrogance while flaunting his appointment with death, or his fumbling of words while conversing with officer Gaitonde  or scaring shit out of his partners in crime, Amitabh did it all effortlessly. But was it Dramatic ? Yes. But if we have liked and followed him in Hum and others, then there’s no reason why we shouldn’t  admire him here. One cannot find such instances in the newer version at all. In fact there isn’t a memorable scene which would make you stand up and shower seetis. One of the important aspects of the original version was the “action-packed” dialogues viz Kancha Cheena’s favourite “Jo daayan haath karta hain , bayein haath ko pata nahi chalna chahiye, Yeh humara usool hai” and my favourite “Jala Daala .. “. But then there isn’t a single line which provides such fun. Instead it tries to cover up by inducing 1st level of RGV’s violence and some basic twists which we have already seen a million times in RGV’s earlier movies . And all this happens with intense looking Hrithik Roshan at the center, void with any style. Hence delivering a plain and unimpressive performance compared to Amitabh.

  If there is any kohl-eyed  moment in the  newer version , then its Rishing Kapoor as Rauf Lala. A conniving Don who plans, plots and almost pin down Vijay Dinanath Chauhan , hence making it more delightful to watch. Lala’s is a culmination(or say replacement) of all 4 local gunda characters of the original one. It's a treat to watch him play Bad and is the only silver lining in this movie. Equally painful is to watch Kancha Cheena’s character with the Sanjay Dutt‘s “Isko Bolte trigger” repetitive look from Vaastav.  Neither he is wild and funny as Amrish Puri in Mr.India and Vishwatma or Jaichand in Farishtey, nor is he absolutely serious as Dr.Dang in Karma. 
Unlike the clean , suave Danny Dengzopa the new Kancha has any logic and tries to impress audience with his constant eye-popping evil grins.

Yet again an original is ruined.

And yet again the fandom for original increases.  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ek Main Aur Ek Tu : Good


        Ek Main Aur Ek Tu has all the typical ingredients of the regular RomCom and is very predictable. Rahul, an architect meets Riana, a free lance Hajaam ( Hair Dresser) in Las Vegas . Rahul has controlling parents - Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak Shah , while Riana is “live in the moment” type of a character. They get drunk one night and get married . They decidoo to annul the marriage, that is when they realise that they get along very well. 

The movie unfolds with a few funny moments when the couple gets to know each other. There are moments where the humor falls down. Even though the movie is predictable with all the standard ingredients that go into RomCom, you will feel a connect with its characters. But the movie ends on a more mature note than the other regular RomComs , which will come as a good surprise.

Imran Khan gets into the Rahul’s character very well. Including an emotional scene where Riana takes Rahul to her school to show him around. Kareena Kapoor’s role is very much like her role in “Jab We Met” who encourages her counterpart to take life easy and have fun.She gives the movie energy with her bubbly performace. If you liked her in “Jab We Met” you will like her in this movie. Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak Shah play their characters of a boring success minded business man and fashion obsessed woman with conviction. The music too strikes a note Amit Trivedi and Amitabh Bhattacharya having done a decent job.

Overall the movie is good . Its engaging for most part and does not drag along for too long and has a different ending.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lifeu Ishtene - Not a review


        For me, Yograj Bhat’s movies have changed the industry. Not just by dishing out quality and ‘different’ taste of cinema but also creating a platform for other moviemakers to think, to act and to make movies differently.  Though there are still 100s of shit-old formulaic film makers around, it is heartening to see a bunch of directors and writers attempting something new and different, consciously.

As part of the same renaissance , a young director who dropped out of his engineering course midway to pursue his movie dreams, made a movie named ’Lifeu Ishtene’ as his directorial debut and released it in 2011. Thanks to my absence from kannada-naadu, I wasn’t able to catch the movie at a theatre and was eagerly waiting to see it pop-up online. But, I was pleasantly surprised to see it being made available online legally and in pretty decent time after its theatrical release. So, I went ahead and rented it. What follows next is my opinion about it.

This movie is a story about Vishal(DIGANTH) who hopelessly falls in love with every other girl that he comes across. The movie starts with him being in a state of dejection after coming out from a failed relationship and gives us a glimpse of his unfortunate past. He then tries to steer himself away from another relationship only to realize that he can forget his past by only getting into another liaison. The story then talks about how the events give him a déjà-vu and how he deals with all that.

Is the story new? Maybe not. Is the treatment fresh? Definitely yes. Any story that is told in an unconventional way and/or with a heart deserves attention. This movie scores at both the points. It’s a very good script that the director Pawan Kumar works with and does total justice to it. He uses simple but at the same time pretty clever lines throughout the movie. Pawan works with a great team and ensures every department adds a touch of quality to the final product. Manomurthy, Jayant Kaikini and Yograj Bhat are at their usual best and I loved the songs contrary to many people’s voice these days that they are getting repetitive. Good things and classy stuff, my friends, can never get repetitive. The camera work by Sugnana is impressive and the good work is pretty hard to miss. Smart editing and very good use of background score make the narration interesting.

Digant is brilliant in his role as the gloomy and disappointed character hoping to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Veena Sundar and Achyut Kumar playing the roles of his parents are very good and are amazingly spontaneous in their performances. The actresses, Samyuktha Horanadu and Sindhu Lokanath are impressive in their first outings and give good performaces but get overshadowed by Digant’s show. Ninsasam Satish is a treat in his role as Digant’s friend constantly showing him a mirror to make him understand what he does. The best thing about this movie is that there are no ‘why wasn’t this scene chopped at editing table’ scenes! This makes for a pretty tight story-telling but still doesn’t leave any gaping holes in the plot.

This movie is no candy-floss entertainment! It is realistic and sincere in its depiction of characters and relationships. The director succeeds to convey the message of learning from the past and letting things go. May what you do, the end can never be planned. Do everything with a heart and believe in good things that happen to you.

It’s good that this movie was made. It’s even better that it was liked. We need more and more movies like this one. We need a lot more young filmmakers to get inspired by the new wave.  The age old divide between the so-called commercial cinema and art cinema should get bridged. All good movies should get attention and must be praised instead of being classified as mainstream and art.

Watch this movie and embrace the good and honest side of kannada cinema!!

PS : This movie is not in theatres anymore. But, for people who want to watch it again or the ones like me who couldn’t watch it in a theatre, can watch it right here on this page [Pawan Kumar was glad to let me put this up here :-)]

PPS : Feel free to embed the below video on your blogs/websites too! Spread the good word about this movie and the efforts that the team is putting in to make it reach as many people as it can.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadows - Very good !

        Sherlock Holmes was always a great character to be portrayed on the big screen. The literature associated with Holmes has a great following. One of the most intriguing characters ever, even more so in the crime genre. 

So, when Guy Ritchie got into a risky endeavour of making a movie adaptation of this popular piece literature that could have gotten a lot of Holmes fans pissed had he gone wrong with his movie. But, he did a good job and made a good movie. Not flawless but a well made movie.

This emphasized the need for his second movie in the series to succeed and surpass the quality of the first movie. So, has he been able to accomplish that? Yes, kind of!

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) is still an arrogant and self absorbed being.  Dr.Watson (Jude Law) has now decided to get hitched and makes up the sub plot. Meanwhile, an extremist group is trying to destabilize the European continent by planning a series of bomb explosions across geography. Holmes has already decided to unravel the conspiracy and is trying to expose Prof.Moriarty (Jared Harris) who he thinks is probably the master mind behind all the unfortunate events.  It turns out that Holmes is right in his suspicions and Morirarty has an evil plan behind the explosions. During their effort to explore the matter, they meet Simza Haron (Noomi Rapace),a gypsy who is deeply entwined with the events but is unaware of it. She accompanies Holmes and Watson on their journey to get to the crux of the matter and investigate the case. They transcend geographical boundaries to go across Europe and get into dangerous and life threatening situations but eventually succeeding in their mission to stop this whole operation run by Moriarty. 

The games between Holmes and Moriarty are fun to watch and interesting all through. The actions and reactions are well written into the script and well acted out.

This movie is definitely a step ahead of the first one. Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law give fascinating performances and look brilliant in their parts. Noomi Rapace does a good job in the extended cameo that she has and makes the audience feel that she should have got more screentime than what she actually did. Jared Harris is good too and stands tall in his performance. Guy Ritchie is extremely confident with his control over the narration and works with a tight script. Hanz Zimmer is in top form as always. His score adds further interesting feel to the proceedings.

The original story book loyalists may still feel a bit disgruntled with Guy Ritchie’s big screen adaptation. He does take a few creative liberties but I think Ritchie should be applauded in getting the story portrayed as real as it could have possibly been in an entertaining form. Not the best that Ritchie could do but ‘Sherlock Holmes- A Game of Dark Shadows’ is still more than being just worth a watch!

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Awesome!

        Spy thrillers are yummy to watch when they are done right. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is definitely a thriller but done very differently. It unfolds at its own sweet pace but is catchy from the word go till the last frame.

The movie starts with the killing of a Mark Strong, a spy who is in Hungary looking for information on a 'mole' in the British Intelligence agency who is passing on all the secrets to the Russians. The problem is that the ones who are under the scanner are the heavyweights and the job is more difficult than finding a needle in a haystack. So, Gary Oldman, a retired spy gets recalled by his former boss to help the agency in this matter.

Gary Oldman goes through tons of records and files to understand what really took place during his absence at the agency. He is surprised by what he gets to know during his investigation. He combs through all the information he has about Tinker(Toby Jones),Tailor(Colin Firth), Soldier(Ciaran Hinds), Poorman (David Dencick) . The story then is about how masterly Gary Oldman reaches to the root of the problem and unmasks the mole.

Actors are often judged on how they emote, how they can get through the scenes with finesse and style. The dialogues have to be delivered well but the real test is when there are minimal dialogues. Gary oldman is a fucking genius on that level.We see him at his best in this movie He has always been an amazing actor. But, this movie can convert last few haters left(if any).

He is ably supported by the brilliant star cast and each one has put in amazing performances. The direction is immaculate and one can see how nicely the director narrates the story going back and forth it time and giving out plot details in form a jigsaw puzzle pieces. It is this aspect of the movie that makes it an awesome watch.The movie tries its best to do justice to the John Le Carre novel that it is based on.

This movie should be shown to budding actors as a guide to acting. It never goes over the top and neither does it make the proceedings way too confusing for the audience. Entertaining, interesting and subtle, 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' is a MUST watch.