Friday, August 23, 2013

Madras Cafe: A Tasteless Affair

Political thrillers in India are too few to even count on your fingertips. A volatile political set up that changes from state to state makes it a risky proposition. So when John Abraham and Shoojit Sircar came together for Madras Café I thought our filmmakers are ready to take the risk and treat us to better cinema.
With these thoughts I entered the dark theater. The morning newspaper was also full of praise and thus the investment looked safe. Nothing prepared me for what the makers of Vicky Donor had presented in the name of Madras Café.

The problems are at various levels starting from the script. The director has so many things to tell that it all becomes too confusing in the end. Add to it the poor editing. The film could do away with some 30 mins and may look slightly better. The director can also do away with stock chopper sequence every time there is a shot of Indian army. Thankfully there are no songs to prolong the ordeal. 

Coming to performances: John Abraham will take a lifetime to act and this movie reinforces the fact. He just does not look the part and is a very bad actor. Siddharth Bash carries his quiz master hangover and never for a minute looks like the RAW chief. Piyush Pandey in his two minute appearance makes a sorry figure. He is playing the cabinet Secretary and the reaction when the prime minister announces his resignation is so laughable. Nargis Fakri looks comfortable as a journalist. It helped that she had to play a London based reporter. Few characters that stand out are Bala and local Lankan leaders.

A better script and cast would have done wonders. This dish served is just too bland by all standards.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lootera Movie Review: Poetry In Motion

Sonakshi Sinha in Lootera
Before we left home I had warned my kids not to expect their kind of regular bollywood masala. No item songs. No comedy.  I was expecting requests for toilet breaks/something to munch or some such excuse to leave the hall. But not only they waited patiently for the interval but after the movie ended they wanted to watch it again. This to me is the biggest victory of team Lootera.

My daughter loved the film especially Sonakshi and her simple style while the son wanted a revisit for that tiny winy action-chase sequence. There was a group of youngsters which came hoping something else and left half-way through disappointed. But I believe they remain a minority.

What makes Lootera exceptional is the treatment of the story. You feel it is slow. But never for a minute you want to leave the hall. The movie may not have something for the mango people. But if they can appreciate the masala (leave your brains behind kind of films) they can survive this 135 minutes of pure, unadulterated emotions of love, hate, betrayal and loneliness.

Sonakshi Sinha and Ranveer Singh in a still from Lootera
As Pakhi and Varun, Sonakshi and Ranveer, are completely in control and you get the feeling no one else could have done justice. Sonakshi can be pardoned for her earlier masala outings and she is here to stay. Her future releases will be eagerly awaited. It helps that her next release is going to be Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaraa which is directed by Milan Luthria.

As for Vikramaditya Motwane: He is going to be in a different league after this. What makes his achievement more commendable is the impossible feat he has achieved with actors like Sonakshi and Ranveer. That perhaps is the biggest USP of the film.

The other two stars of the movie are its cinematography and music. They both complement each other so well that it becomes difficult to see them as two different components of a scene. Amit Trivedi once again proves his mettle with both the songs and the background score.

Lootera can be as commercial as any other movie and at the same time it has loads of Wow moments that makes it so different from the typical bollywood films. Go watch one of the finest love stories of the decade.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Movies on a Sunday

Sunday’s used to be special till I was employed. But out of work for five months, the day has lost its importance a little bit. Even when employed I tried to follow the same routine on Sunday as any other day of the week. No late mornigs for me. Now I know its Sunday when my daughter sleeps late.

I have reserved Sundays for myself. Well it could be any day of the week since I am home all the time. But I kept Sunday as it allows me to watch something on TV as wife and kids usually do not have something for them. I usualluy end up watching a movie but prefer something from my collection as the ads on the channels break the continuity.

This week I took out the Aamir Khan starrer gem Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (JJWS). The movie was on channels a few weeks back. But remember the breaks? So I decided to watch it at one go. And it was fun. But that has been the case everytime I see it. I have already seen it some 30 times. But everytime the climax  is as engrossing as the first time

I remember when I saw the movie first time in theatre and the way the crowd reacted after Aamir wins the race. That was magic. While watching the movie today I realised these days the movies do not have the middle class anymore. It’s the upper middle class or the lower class.

All the movies are set in urban India. The families are well off. The struggle is more to prove oneself. Be it Dil Chahta Hai or the recent Wake Up Sid. The class struggle is just not there. We all have accepted that there is only one India and it lives in cities.

Whatever happened in Dantewada is another India. Even in JJWS the hujoor, mai aap mentality is so well captured when Aamir plays a rich man to woo Pooja Bedi and meets his two friends.

All in all a great Sunday. I wish there were more movies like these. Its so easy to relate to these films or the relationships shown in. But I just cannot say the same about the movies these days. They all look superficial when you look at relationship between brothers in JJWS or father-son relationship in another Mansoor Khan film Qayamat Se Qayamt Tak.

Monday, June 29, 2009

New York review

The verdict is out.. New York is accepted and people like the film. Check out the video!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A new release finally... New York

After a real long drought finally there is a new release which promises to be worth the wait.

The promos look good and Kabir Khan the director has proved that he knows his craft. So welcome New York from Yash Raj stable. And thank that one single person who managed to bring the warring sides to discussion table and gave us what we wanted... Moives and more.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire and Oscar

Well the way people were celebrating it seemed like we have finally managed to find a solution to our biggest problem- poverty. But that was not the case. Actually somebody came from far away and made a movie on our slums. It also starred actors from the Hindi film industry. And it became a huge hit.
Even the Academy took notice of this. But is Slumdog Millionaire A R Rehman's best work? They chose to honour what they thought was best. But it was on their terms and conditions. Where do we figure in? We loved Rehman for his earlier score and will love him for his music in future too. Rehman existed on this planet even before these guys woke up to his magic.
Resul Pookutty has done good work earlier too in movies like Black and Saawariyaa. But this according to them is his best. But why should we listen to the Academy?
The Academy will honour Rehman only if - the movie is financed by a US studio and should be released in US to be eligible for the award.

Anycase its good Indian talent is here to stay- whether people in the West like it or not.