Thursday, April 27, 2006

Modati Cinema (2006) - Telugu Movie Review

Ranking : 3/5

Cast: Navdeep, Poonam and all the comedians in the Telugu industry
Director: Kuchipudi Venkat
Music: Swaraj

You wish! You really wish that life was this simple and easy. All you had to do was walk around the city and wait for things to fall in place...How unfortunate for the few of us who do not lead a fantasy life...That life does not happen by chance... But it is always fun to see a fantasy movie!

Sriram (Navdeep), a rich kid, goes around helping people elope and get married...He is not interested to get married as he is not in love with anyone and that he is only twenty-two...Really who gets married at twenty-two these days?

Sindhu (Poonam) is from a middle class family with a step mother and a step sister and a spineless father. Sindhu is struggling to get a job and stand on her own so that she wouldn't be a slave in her own house under her evil step mom. She steps out of the house for her interview when the story starts...

Sriram sees Sindhu walking down the street and falls in love with her. He accosts her after rescuing her from a bank robbery and they become friends. He walks around the town with her and makes her almost miss her interview...She gets mad with him but is happy that she got dropped off at the office on time for her interview. After receiving the appointment letter Sriram asks her to go visit some special place with her for coffee. She does...and remember all this is happening in one day. Some misunderstandings occur and they part company...Until Sindhu realizes that she has made a mistake and turns back trying to search for Sriram.

Eventually the two of them fall in love with each other by the end of the day. In the meantime Sindhu's daddy fixes up a marriage alliance for her and the wedding is scheduled for the very same night at 9.30pm...All Sindhu knows about the guy is that he is an NRI and has something to do with Sriram Chits. When Sindhu visits her father at Sriram Chits and catches him talking to Sriram (which is incidentally owned by Sriram's family) She assumes that her father has fixed her marriage with Sriram. She is happy and without any questions accepts the proposal.

Just before their wedding her uncle realizes that the bridegroom is not Sriram but Srikanth another NRI and he is upset and confused. He decides to help Sindhu out and they figure out a solution to make it a happy ending...Now don't tell me that you would not have guessed that this movie had a happy ending if I had not told you so...

As much as I love feel good movies...I get thrown off by totally unbelievable stories. I agree that if you are marrying some guy you do not know anyway then why not marry a guy you have spent a day with...But still...Why give the guy who is waiting all dressed up and excited the moot? This is the latest trend in Tollywood movies, to have a second guy and give him the boot in the last scene just before the marriage...All his relatives and family are sitting in the crowd but he magnanimously walks out and no one asks any questions...I wish I could meet a guy who did that...ya right!

I am also ubale to digest the fact that Sriram's father who does not reside in the same city as him (I guess he lives somewhere abroad per the phone call) somehow lands in HYD within three hour or less notice...Amazing this technology. My dad would have thrown a fit had any of my brothers done either:
1) Stopped their marriage in the last minute
2) Or give my father half hour notice about their marriage...

Once again this is an attempt beyond idealism. Movies are always try to play with the fantasies of people's mind...But this one is just way beyond belief...You know, like most of the times you have wish it happened to you but with this one...There is no chance...and that's the reason this movie is not upto mark...

It gets full points for freshness, acting, characterization, music, and many other things but it looses its grip in the most important area...The story...After the first half you really hope something different might happen but alas it is just not how you expect...Modati Cinema...Average cinema...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Nuvante Nakishtam (2006) - Telugu Movie Review

Ranking: 2.5/5

Cast: Aryan Rajesh, Allari Naresh, Anu Mehta
Director: EVV Satyanarayana

Yuva (Aryan Rajesh) who god-knows-what-he-does is a rich kid from USA who lives with his grandmother in a unbelievingly big house in New York...I have to tell this here before proceeding...His father passed away when Yuva was a little boy...Unless his father had some underworld dealing or the CEO of Microsoft (which is not him for sure) there is no way on earth he could have made so much money...and in a lot of scenes Singapore is tried to pass off as America...Infect even the house they show must be located in Singapore and not New York, New York. Why lie or cheat your viewers?!

So proceeding to the story...He is under grandparental pressure to get married. He sees some photos, picks the girl he likes and flies to India and takes the train to Rajmundry to meet the girl, Radha (Anu Mehta). Radha does not seem interested but her parents are excited. Everything is finalized until Yuva learns about her love for another man Devudu (Allari Naresh) who is no more...

Devudu, an orphan grew up with Radha...Fell in love with her. When he approached Radha's father he was asked to move to the city to earn some money...But he got killed in an accident while trying to steal something and run. Yuva advises her to move on and heads back to Singapore...Err...America...

Once back home he decides that he should marry Radha because he knows her past and can accept her with it and treat her well unlike any other man who might marry her. He once again flies back...and during his transit at Singapore he bumps into a country bumpkin (Allari Naresh) at which time you know where the ending of this movie is heading to...Incidentally Yuva becomes friends with the country bumpkin (CB) without ever asking for his name...

Now after flashback we realize that the CB an orphan fell in love with a rich girl and he was asked to earn some money and come back to ask for the hand of the girl formally...CB went to Singapore made some money in a year and is now back to win the girls hand...He is excited...

How stupid can you be? A dude here is telling a story similar to what the father of your wife-to-be told you and you cannot put two and two together? You are way too stupid buddy!

Anyhoo any more of writing and you will have no need to watch this average telugu fare. There is nothing new in the movie...It is even boring at more than one instance...The comedy track is the only positive thing in the movie (which is also not so great)...My advice is watch it if you are as jobless as me! And note there is no mention about Music!!!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Reverse Analysis of Rang De Basanti

Read my Reverse Analysis of RDB.
My dearest friend celebrates his Birthday Today. Here is wishing my friend a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!

...He might be as old as an Australian Turtle but at Kill Devil Hill in NC he was issued a half ticket for entry by the ticket issuer...He might claim that he knows the Tamil Language really well but when someone asks him to bring Sombu (Somph in Hindi) he will bring Chombu (A bucket typically used for carrying water while doing you-know-what behind the trees) for you all the way from India...that too a brass one! He can sleep inbetween bites and also while playing chess on yahoo with you. His stories about sleeping are legendary in school. BTW when he is drunk he starts speaking in HINDI starting with Hindi humarah Rashtra Bhasha Hai! and ending at Ittefaq se Gir Gaya!

He will never become fat, never Lie to you about anything, never stay awake for more than 10 minutes but can be the most lovable friend you can ever have!! He is so nice that he never tells anything but shake his index finger when we start spreading his stories to everyone...He can watch crappy Tamil movies (Eg. KASI, Daya, Tamizh, etc...!!!) and make everyone also watch it. Lover of Chess, cricket, football, etc...Can start an argument about what would touch the ground first when thrown from a cliff...paper or a rock...and continue it for three hours trying to prove his point with Physics formulae! But in all he is a super-intelligent and fundu friendu!

Have a great birthday my Coimbatore Counder-Chettiar! We miss you so much!

Too many days gap between one blog and another...I do not like it...I prefer to write one every other day at least...You know...Lot of thoughts run through my mind and what better way than to pen it down...But this is what happens...The day I get time to write I have a writer's block!!! Nothing to write...

Ok thinking about few things that might be important...Let me see...Ahem! Okay today I could not finish my dabba and had to put half of it back in the fridge...I have never had that happen before to me...It is like unbelievable...Not that it was stuffed to the top...The usual only...But all I managed was one roti and little rajma I had made...

Now that might be because I think I am coming down with something...Like fever/cold or something...I have been feeling sick since yesterday and lack of appetite could be directly connected to that...In fact I just did not feel the urge to eat until 12.20pm and when I did heat my food I was still not hungry! hmm...That is very unusual because I am normally waiting to heat my dabba from 9.30am and I am heating it at 11.45am...I mean that is how hungry I am most of the days...I fantasize about eating my badly cooked lunches...But today was different...

And this difference has put me on red alert...I might be sick...I might not enjoy my two days of freedom (Sat and Sun), Sunday will suck all the more if I have not recovered by then and Monday will be my real villain...Gosh all these thoughts are making me stressed...Granted its a Friday but I am sitting here all tired, worn out, and with absolutely no Friday beauty in my face...

I also did one thing twice in a row...Which is waking up early and getting into work at 7.50am. I did it two days...I think after like almost a year...I am proud of myself! Maybe that is the reason of my sickness!!! hahaha!

Anyhoo...I am signing off this blog and will hope to push the writers block away so that I wont bore anyone who read this with useless junk as above! Until then...Take Care and drive safe!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Pattiyal (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 3.5/5

Cast: Arya, Bharath, Pooja, Padmapriya
Director: Vishnuvardhan
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja

Pattiyal is the story of two orphans Kosy (Arya) and Selva (Bharath), whose life started in a slum in Chennai. They grew looking out for each other and in course of time they resort to becoming hired killers. Swamy (VMC Haneefa) brings them their contracts to kill people. Together they kill many men one after the other.

Kosy is the hot headed drunk who is almost always never in a good mood. He keeps running away or ignoring Saroja a neighborhood girl who pines for him. We do not know the exact reason Saroja loves a gangster...But Kosy does not permit himself with any distractions and keeps pushing her out of his life.

On the other hand Selva is mute and he has a photographic memory storing images of his victims in his head. He is smooth, he knows how to operate and is very smart and patient too. He loves Kosy a lot and would do anything for his friend. Selva also has a lady interest in Pooja who is a pharmacist who falls in love with him...Now she does not know that Selva's profession so she is excused for not having a reason to love a gangster.

The first half of the movie projects the life of Selva and Kosy. But the twist starts in the second part of the movie where Swamy delegates the murder of a very rich businessman in Coimbatore, Nachimuthu Gounder (Santhana Bharathy) to Selva and Kosy.

In the meantime Saroja's harassing boss rapes her in lust and Kosy comes to know about it. He abandons his Coimbatore trip temporarily to take care of his personal business. What is the outcome of his actions? What happens to Selva in Coimby needs to be seen on screen where the movies goes through twists and turns before finishing off in what I thought was a predictable ending.

I have to admit that Vishnuvardhan's Arindhum Ariyamalum is still my favorite movie. I have seen it like 4 times and I loved just love the movie. I guess Vishnuvardhan has a liking towards gangsters and likes to make movies based on them...Well he has done a pretty decent job so far!

As for the protagonists, Arya needs a HAIR CUT!!! GET ONE! I know you are a gangster but you look like a little T.Rajender in most scenes...It is Chimpu's duty to imitate his dad not yours! But hey you act naturally and yup! Your eyes are magnetic. I also liked few of his dialogue delivery when he gets mad with Selva for falling in love.

Bharath, slowly but steadily has been making place for himself in the cinefield. Who would have thought that Bharath from the long forgotten movie Boys would become an actor in demand?! Well Kadhal surely gave him the boost he needed and he has held steadily to it! Nice job as the mute and deaf gangster. His face, eyes, and bodily language expressed his feelings very aptly.

As for the heroines...Both Pooja and Padmapriya played a easily forgettable role...So I can only feel sorry for them. Music by YS Raja is as usual cool and the camera work by Nirav Shah is awesome!

You can watch it if you like gangster movies...Else just see Arindhum Ariyamalum or Mercury Pookal...This might just be a little too sad for you!

Monday, April 10, 2006

I watched the movie Inside Man over the weekend...Is there anything new in this movie??? Well, check out my Inside Man Movie Review.

Inside Man (2006) - English Movie Review

I usually do not like reviews for English movies. Not that I do not understand them or enjoy them but I just find it outside my genre of interest to discuss them. This movie is special...and I will tell you why.

Inside man is a movie on Bank Robbery. This action flick has lots of gun, lots of screaming people, loads of cops, and of course the plot of the movie is Bank Robbery. The plot of the whole robbery-escape although is not the most nouveau ideas...I believe that someone in India had done it a long time ago...You know who? Let me see if I can explain this in simple flashback...

Ok now let us track back to somewhere between 1980-1990 (I know it is a long span) when K. Bagyaraj released a movie with him in the lead role. The movie starts with Bagyaraj dressed as a clown attempting Bank Robbery...He walks into the bank, points a gun and locks up the bank...He calmly proceeds to lock everyone up in a room and with the same calmness calls the police tells them that he will send all the hostages one by one (or something like that) and then dresses himself like an old man and walks himself outside the door and then escapes with the help of police who got conned. It surely was a novel concept...

If K.Bagyaraj had adopted it from an English novel and reproduced it in his movie then I am sorry...But still the idea behind the movie is stale. I wonder why I even spent the $8...But it was worth for just one thing...

The titles at the beginning and the rolling credits at the end. They played the song Chaiya Chaiya from the movie Dil Se by A.R. Rehman and sung by Sukhwinder Singh and Swapna Awasti. In fact I made all my friends wait till we saw A.R.'s name mentioned on the screen. We were four proud Indians standing there alone in the theater after everyone had cleared out. And I told everyone who had called me "Gavti Bunder" because I was from a small village called Chennai that "It was a Gavti Bunder who had also graced the screens of movie theaters all around the world!!!"

So now you see why this movie gets a special mention...Most of the times I always see an English movie remade in Indian but for the first time, at lease I felt that it was the other way around...and of course because of our ARR!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Being Cyrus (2006) - English Crossover Movie Review

Ranking: 4/5

Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Naseerudin Shah, Bomman Irani
Director: Homi Adjania
Music: Salim-Sulaiman

Do I like this movie? I don't know. Was I bored? Nope. Was it interesting? Yup. Was I curious? Totally. These are some of the feelings that passed through my mind as I sat watching this movie. Incredible screenplay and performances make this somewhat predictable story a very interesting movie.

The story is about the Sethna family, a rich but dysfunctional Parsi family settled between Mumbai and Panchgani. Dinshaw (Naseerudin), a famous potter of yesteryear lives in Panchgani with his wife Katie (Dimple). They are not happy couple, Dinshaw and Katie live in their own worlds.

Enter Cyrus Mistry (Saif), the narrator of the story. He is an orphan who had been living in various foster homes with his sister. He moves in with the Sethna's in pretense of being an apprentice to Dinshaw. He is welcomed with open arms and sometimes just a little more than that from Katie. Katie and Cyrus have a flirty relationship. In the course of a year Cyrus learns all about the Sethna's.

The sethna's family has a surviving dad, a brother Farooq (Boman), and the brother's wife Tina (Simone). The father the owner of a big apartment complex in Mumbai lives in a small shacked up room adjacent to his illtreating son's apartment. Farooq, a controller, oppresses both his wife and his father. While he is having an affair with someone over the phone.

Cyrus, on the request of Katie travels to Mumbai to deliver a package from Katie to Dinshaw's father who is senile. Cyrus taking pity on the state of life led by the old man starts visiting him often and starts befriending him. How does the Sethna family and Cyrus Mistry's life get entangled? For that you need to watch the movie because anything else I might say now might give away the whole plot...Just trying to keep the suspense in!

The ending of the movie though serious has a very comical narration and touch to it. In fact it was even funny and at times confusing. Though the story seemed predictable at times sharp twists makes it a very unpredictable movie.

How many actors have more than one chance to prove that they can act and make a movie work? Well Saif and Abhishek Bachan are a couple I can name off my head who have had more than 15 chances before they finally made an entrance. But that does not give me the right to take away credit from Saif for a job well done in this movie...His portrayal of Cyrus was just perfect.

Dimple, Naseerudin Shah, Boman Irani, and Simone Singh should be commended for a job well done. From the casting of the police inspector to the fat lady with a dog everybody in the movie were well picked for their role...On the whole the movie is a package well put together!

For some odd reason I did not come out of the theater with a happy feeling but rather a very disturbed mind...So If you are the kind that enjoys a light movie this might just be too heavy for you. Because it is Dark Comedy!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Reverse Analysis of Rang De Basanti

The first time I saw this movie I just fell in love with it...It was the perfect Indian movie, it had good cast, comedy, music, camera work, direction, screenplay, romance, patriotism, revenge, etc. But one thing I noticed when I saw the movie for the second time was that there were a couple of loop holes in the movie...Somebody please try and explain this to me!

1) Sue comes to India to make a documentary movie with practically no funding but a camera (I guess!). So who sponsors her for the expensive sets that are shown as a part of her movie?

2) To whom is she going to show the movie to once she completes it? To the English? Really? What makes her think that anybody will want to watch it (Like her boss asks her)? I mean isn't it ridiculous to think that anybody in GB will watch it? How many Indians will watch it? Most of them have already seen Gandhi or Bagat Singh and know about these guys...What makes her think that she can make or expect all Indians to have the same emotions as her?

3) All six friends including Maddy were happily enjoying life in their own way in their own not-so-super country, India. Enters a Britisher with an idea to make a stupid movie, then what happens? She gets them killed...Normally these kids would have mourned their friends loss, felt depressed, dejected, and then in a few days after cursing the government, after feeling further disillusioned about India they would have gotten back to their routine! But what did she do? She got them killed because it was her idea that they should feel patriotic...Thus ending the movie saying that more killings of ministers will happen to make India a better place...As if we do not have enough violence yet!

4) Was the moral of the story well received? Just like our ancestors (the freedom fighters) fought with British and got rid of them 150 years of being their slave...We should also do the same...Wait for 150 years before we emerge as a role model country!

Oops! Sorry...That was not what I wanted to write...Just like our ancestors (the freedom fighters) fought with British and got rid of them 150 years of being their slave...Forget non-violence and Gandhi but instead resort to arms and killings? Sweet I hope at least half the country still believes in Gandhi and his non-violent motion...

5) Aamir explains that he has at his college in spite of having graduated fives years back because he has an identity there, people know him, they know that DJ will do something...
Really??? In my college we called them LOSERS!!! If a person even had more than two arrears after graduating they were called LOOKERS!!! And if his friends were also of the same kind, staying in school after graduating...Then they are also a bunch of LOOKERS...And they did perfectly well what LOOKERS do! In fact Maddy is the only one with any character in the movie...

Now I guess I have given enough reasons to say why I did not mention STORY as one of their strong points in my first paragraph! If you think otherwise about the movie let me know...I would surely enjoy reading it...I love movies...Logical and illogical ones alike...But I like to analyze them just the same and wonder if I can suggest any changes...and during this process I hit upon these above mentioned misfits in an almost perfect movie...
What's in a Name?

I guess that was the title of the Amar Chitra Katha or Panchatantra story I had read gazillions of years ago. I had read and re-read the story many times because I loved the illustrations and the book had many other nice moral stories..

This story was about a brahmin boy named Lowly. Lowly was enrolled in his brahminical education classes under a very learned teacher (Don't remember his name). Lowly graduated with flying colors but was very unhappy in spite of it. His teacher wondered what the matter was. Lowly explained to the teacher that he did not like his name and would like to have it changed. The all-knowing teacher tells Lowly to pack his bags and travel a little around the country to decide what his new name would be...Lowly prepares for the trip.

At his first stop he meets a man who is very sick. Lowly helps him and gets acquainted with him only to find out that his name is Healthy. Shocked Lowly continues his journey. Next he meets a beggar with whom Lowly picks up a conversation only to realize that the beggar's name was Rich. So Lowly moves on and finds a very rich man whose name was Poor...and so on.

Confused, Lowly heads back to the ashram. His teacher asks him if Lowly had decided what he would like to be called henceforth...Lowly replied that he was very happy with his name and would not like to have it changed. His knowledgeable teacher replied that he wanted to Lowly to step out and see that there is nothing in a name. It is the person and name is just an identification. Just because his name is Lowly did not mean that he was Low...

This random story came back to my mind after almost twenty years. Maybe I was fascinated by it because I have a very peculiar name myself...Which almost every one I have met have reminded me till date...But still a story worth reading...