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chengiz

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31 reviews in total 
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Aandhi (1975)
Rated classic from past is a silly sexist damp squib, 28 August 2016
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The aandhi (storm) in this movie is a controversy - lasting about ten minutes in film time - that erupts during an election, where a woman candidate is character-assassinated for being seen walking with a man (no not a euphemism, but the literal truth). The storm is resolved when it is revealed (not to us, we already know, but to the electorate) that... drumroll... HE IS HER HUSBAND! Then she wins the election! The storm was evidently of the teacup variety.

The acting is kinda wooden by Sen though she looks good in the role; her Hindi accent and diction are terrible. Sanjiv Kumar is good but his character is basically boring, he could do this role sleepwalking. Om Prakash is good and the only character in this film who is not boring to watch.

Gulzar is a very good poet but not a filmmaker - his direction falls short. There are some overlong scenes with uncertain pauses, and things that would have been useful to show to not make the movie drag so much are not shown (wouldnt it have been nice to at least have a scene with the daughter and explore the mom leaving her with the dad?). Oh and forget how somehow no one knows that a popular politician and daughter of a famous businessman has had a husband and child in her past. There's also the small things. In one scene, Sen is facing the camera gesturing at Om Prakash with her right hand, and then the camera angle changes to her back and the hand changes to her left.

The movie insists that both husband and wife are equally responsible for the break up etc, but really the Sanjiv Kumar character goes thru the movie insisting upon his dues as the husband. This dynamic is realistic for the times, but is dated now. And even for those days the touching his feet at the end was uncalled for. Movies such as this make me realize how good it is that India has liberalized over the years.

Easily one of, if not the, best episode of the series, 25 August 2016
10/10

I grew up in a big city and couldn't tell you how many times this episode made me think of my experiences with small town/suburbs. They took these experiences to a surreally funny level, and it just totally worked because everything at the base of the idea was spot on. The only thing that is not great is the whole bet idea which should have been tighter given how great the rest of the writing is. There are some sight gags you'll miss because they don't draw your attention to it, so watch with peeled eyes. Recent seasons haven't been good, so I'm glad I didn't give up watching this series. Just a great episode, and one of the finest sitcom episodes of all time.

Fandry (2013)
Superb movie, astonishing debut by Manjule, 8 June 2016
10/10

As a Maharashtrian I have watched the new wave of issue-based Marathi movies with interest. However so far most of them have been of the sort, "let's turn this one idea I have into a movie", and accompanied with little directorial talent (forget an auteur's voice), so the results have been preachy, repetitive, artificial, and broadly underwhelming.

But this, this is the real deal. Rarely do you see a director this perfectly in control of what he wants to say in a way that his movie primarily remains a movie and does not become a lesson, and yet hits you hard. This movie has been vaguely marketed as a love story, which I find ridiculous because it is nothing of the sort (the love interest does not even have a line). It is a movie about adolescence and hopes and caste, just about regular old real village life from the point of view of a young boy. There is not a moment of artifice in it, everything is real and honest.

This is top quality, Oscar worthy work, with echoes in the movie-making and storytelling of Shyam Benegal (Ankur etc), Premchand (Godaan), Majid Majidi (Children of Heaven), and even Terence Malick (Days of Heaven) for the imagery. I haven't seen Sairat, yet I'm calling it - we have a true great in our midst.

Good production values, overrated in everything else, 13 May 2016
4/10

- Production values are top notch. Everything is done well, the costumes and sets are superb.

- Bhave acts like his part was a Sant in an old B&W marathi movie (think Arun Govil in Ramayan for a later reference). Gives the movie an unnecessarily saintly and holier than thou touch.

- Direction is totally subpar. There is no narrative. People appear and are told to us as having done things and having meaning to the story, but they were never introduced. Who was it that left in a huff when Balgandharva decides to collaborate with Keshavrao? Multiple people die during the course of the movie, but the same scene plays out to establish all deaths (Bhave is doing natak practice, people's faces are shown fallen, Bhave says what happened, news of death is broken). I mean come on. The language is highfalutin. Who the hell says "Rasikaprekshanna" in conversation? The scenes of overspending and debt are repeated over and over again. The tone of the movie is "life of a saint" when it should have been "life of a *human* artiste" (indeed the story plays out as the latter, so the tone is just very odd).

- The worst thing is Balgandharva was above all a singer, and singing is given short shrift in the movie. Natyasangeet is an excellent art form, and I give kudos to the movie for making it popular again, but honestly, they have not done a good job of showing it. They have over-ornamented the orchestra, and undercut the sangeet itself. (Rahul Deshpande's Ravi mi, at only two and a half minutes, is the best song in the movie, and is not sung by "Balgandharva").

- Same thing about the sangeet nataks themselves. There is very little in terms of their story or impact (and no, showing people yelling at shopkeepers for not carrying the saree from the natak is not impact, it's gimmickry).

- Overall this is the kind of movie that wins national awards in India and tugs at people's heartstrings, and is made with good intentions, but as a disinterested viewer, the outcome falls quite short.

Mixed bag, 28 February 2016
6/10

War and Peace the novel is so long its length has entered popular culture. So a four part, seven plus hour movie adaptation of it makes sense. But not if you're gonna devote a quarter of it to just one battle. I don't know if the Communist party was responsible for the third part, but it just drags. Yes, it's very real, and I love realism in a movie, but realism is not *sufficient*. The battle sounds superb on paper, certainly *looks* like the costliest battle ever shot, but it's a poorly directed, boring, overlong, confusing mess. The first two parts of this movie were very good: the balls, the duel, some of the soliloquies (the one where Andrei's first wife dies got to me), the scene where Rostova dances in the caretaker's place (also the best scene in the book, by the way). Yes, it's a little dated - everyone seems to act too much with their faces, and the voiceovers tend to be a tad much at times - but it's par for the course. What I minded was the third part bringing this movie down. It recovers somewhat during the fourth, but you realize it's no longer a masterpiece as you'd formerly hoped. Also, Bezukhov (Bondarchuk himself, sadly) is too old and too fat.

1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Staggeringly bad episode, 24 May 2015
2/10

Terrible musical numbers. Who wrote them? They should not be allowed near a writing device again. Complete lack of continuity (chief de-suspended? Juliet forgot Shawn isn't a psychic?). What was the point of the fairy tale book thing? Is this a fairy tale or a musical? Yang has always been annoying but this scaled new depths. The actor playing Shawn's ego scaled fresh heights: is he attempting to jumpstart a singing career or something? The plot was nonsensical. And pretty much the only funny thing in the entire two hour long episode was Gus singing Jamaican at the end. This episode was like watching an Ed Wood movie.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Good first half, poor second half, 7 September 2014
6/10

Most people have commented here about the film being let down by a rather slow, poor and melodramatic second half. I agree but won't dwell on it since it's already discussed by better reviewers.

So let's discuss the acting. James Woods is very good as Powell, the main villain so to speak. Danson is very good as one of the detectives. Unfortunately, Savage (who plays the other detective) is a mediocre actor, and Seales (the other criminal) is awful and seems to have walked out of a 1930s theater with his hamming (there's no other word for it).

The direction is tight in the first half but pretty much loses it in the second. I give it points for honesty and not going for gimmicks etc, but it doesn't do the truthful storytelling very well. The director should have known his limitations and tried to go for a more entertaining angle. It'd have been nice to see more of the early Powell and his attempts at crime, and a longer set up of the post crime events and how the two come to be caught. This could have been a much better movie.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Maybe the worst one of the series, 23 August 2014
5/10

I am a fan of the series but this one falls way short. Firstly, Havers's character in this is completely wrong. She is too diffident, too easily ruffled, too quickly taken to task (by Lynley as well as Barlow). And just how are we supposed to believe she is interested in someone who talks derogatorily of English women? It does not make any sense. Further, without giving any spoilers, there are unnecessary changes made to the narrative structure which not only violate "if it ain't broken don't fix it" but also stretch the viewer's credulity. In a similar vein, the action sequence at the end does not belong at all in the series. Even the directorial touch is wrong with the constant closeups of faces. It's as if they thought let's do one about the Pakistani community and the hell with everything else. Despite the pretty decent plot, this episode just does not belong in the Lynley canon.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
One of the greatest movies of all time, 10 June 2014
10/10

You cannot see this movie without being prepared. You want to see it preferably alone with no disturbances. And you need patience and the right mood - contemplative, philosophical.

This movie is an experience. I have seen nothing like it and doubt I ever will. I am a cynic by nature yet this movie completely affected me, even though I cannot put a finger on why. I broke down and wept at the end of the bell making scene. It was a spiritual experience.

Andrei Rublev was my first Tarkovsky which helped (he does get repetitive across movies), but it's still easily his best work. In my opinion, that's because this movie proves that art and hard work are not mutually exclusive, but in fact good art *requires* hard work. Just notice how much vision and effort has gone into the last bell making scene. Also the raid scene, the orgy scene, the violence, all these are impossible to be art without the effort.

I feel like I'm overselling but this movie is a masterpiece. Watch it.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
One of the best, 5 January 2014
10/10

The Goren stories were quite disappointing in season 7. When you find yourself looking forward to Noth, you know something is amiss. Season 8 replaced Noth by Goldblum, whom I *cannot* stand at the best of times. That was an inexplicable move, I mean what were the producers thinking? Who next? David Caruso? The team from CHIPS? So I was at a point where you just go thru the series because that's what fans do.

Well, this episode came as a shot across the bow for me. HS, that was a great episode. The story, the acting, the direction, everything was top notch. I almost teared up at the powerful last scene. And Goren is finally back - I cannot stand it when the episode focuses on personal stories rather than the real stuff, so this was very welcome. The director, Michael Smith, seems to have done some stellar work on TV, I hope he makes it big in movies as well. Can CI be back at Season 8 episode 3?


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