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desiensus

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10 reviews in total 
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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
A copy that doesn't quite make it, 5 January 2003
3/10

This less-spirited Krzysztof Kieslowski's movie, "A Short Film About Love", fails in so many accounts. This is a good example for film school students on how a movie could still fail in spite of having pretensions to the contrary.

The plot doesn't make any concessions to its setting and does not make any attempts to connect it to its Indian setting. Character development needs much to be desired and it drags on. Overall, the movie gives as much pleasure as a coitus interruptus. It doesn't quite start right, picks up a little steam in the middle and fizzles because the director doesn't know how to end it.

Nair tries to capture the obsession and disappointment of the boy from the original film but loses it by trying to dilute it to placate the Indian viewer. Unfortunately, this film is likely to disappoint its intended target, the educated urban Indian and Indian Diaspora and will never appeal to the average Indian movie-goer who cannot relate to the treatment.

Maneesha Koirala overacts and doesn't seem to get the nuances that her character should have. Aditya Seal is satisfactory. The rest of the cast appear like props without much to do.

If you have to see this movie, please stick to the original.

Hey Ram (2000)
3 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Distracting and ill-thought out, 19 November 2000

This is one of those movies that cannot please anybody. Those who give it failing marks for loose structure and a schizophrenic script might like the better quality of production and the natural flow of dialogue and his creative use of many languages as is the reality of urban India. And the regular Indian movie viewer is likely to be offended by the radical treatment of the subject matter and brutal honesty in the examination of history, which is so taboo in India.

Kamal is a very talented individual and you do see traces of this throughout the movie. But he fails to tell a comprehensive and integrated story. His acting is wonderful and the female characters are strong and well portrayed. Make-up effects leave a lot to be desired, especially for Shah who plays Gandhi and Das who plays Haasan's second wife.

So who do I like this movie? It tries to attempt a story that most movie makers in India won't touch with a 10 foot pole. And it takes risks in doing so. It tries to give me hope that Indian cinema still may have life left in it. This movie may not be Haasan's best work, but it still wins big marks for trying.

Dil Se.. (1998)
8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Captivating and different, 18 September 2000
8/10

I am not a fan of commercial Hindi cinema. Having said that, I have to say that really liked Dil Se. Mani Rathnam tries to deviate from the norm and try to attempt a story that at once captivates and disturbs. Understated nuanced acting, not valued by most Indian actors, is the norm in this movie. The images are haunting, the sensibilities are delicate and the scenery breathtaking. If you plan to see only one Hindi film that you plan to see, this should be it. Having said that, Rathnam fails in his attempt to placate the average moviegoer of India by stuffing the movie with 5 (beautifully choreographed and well-recorded) songs that jarres the narrative. Also at least at one occasion (immediately after Amarkanth Varma witnesses Meghna's outbreak right before the storm) the editing is crude and sticks like an afterthought. Manisha Koirala could well be the successor to Shabana Azmi if she chooses her roles well. Shahrukh khan is refreshing in this departure from his regular song and dance routine.

Dil Se.. (1998)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Captivating and different, 18 September 2000
8/10

I am not a fan of commercial Hindi cinema. Having said that, I have to say that really liked Dil Se. Mani Rathnam tries to deviate from the norm and try to attempt a story that at once captivates and disturbs. Understated nuanced acting, not valued by most Indian actors, is the norm in this movie. The images are haunting, the sensibilities are delicate and the scenery breathtaking. If you plan to see only one Hindi film that you plan to see, this should be it. Having said that, Rathnam fails in his attempt to placate the average moviegoer of India by stuffing the movie with 5 (beautifully choreographed and well-recorded) songs that jarres the narrative. Also at least at one occation (immediately after Amarkanth Varma witnesses Meghna's outbreak right before the storm) the editing is crude and sticks like an afterthought. Manisha Koirala could well be the successor to Shabana Azmi if she chooses her roles well. Shahrukh khan is refreshing in this departure from his regular song and dance routine.

8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Memories of a disappearance, 20 June 2000
9/10

Ek Din Achanak in Hindi can be loosely translated as, "One day, without warning." This movie beautifully captures the vagaries of life in a typical middle-class home in a nondescript city in India. The subject of the movie is a retired professor Sriram Lagoo) who walks out on a rainy day and disappears without any reasons. The story unfolds as the family reacts to this disappearance first with shock, then sorrow, resignation and finally acceptance. This story is told with the lyrical background of rain and the pace is leisurely. No explanations are given, nor any analysis performed. The director tries to keep the movie focussed on the central theme without degenerating the plot to a thriller. Munmun Sen shines as the student whose relationship with the professor is left unsolved.

A must see if you are a lover of the ethos of the ordinariness of middle-class India.

Saagar (1985)
3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Dimple Kapadia's comeback vehicle, 18 June 2000

This movie actually launched the Bollywood career for Kamala Haasan and relaunched Dimple Kapadia's career. The story follows the regular plot of two men loving the same girl and one of them losing her to the other in the end. Added formula attractions are that of the rich boy-poor girl angle and the brutal heartless capitalists. The camera work is breathtaking and the music is more than passable. Dimple Kapadia's wardrobe is well chosen and the general feel of the movie is updated for the times. Dimple also takes a daring move with a brief and well executed nude scene. Rishi Kapoor's performance is poor while Dimple and Kamal show they are able performers.

Jalwa (1987)
7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Indian adaptation of Beverly Hills Cop, 18 June 2000

Imagine a freshly beefed-up Nasaruddin Shah as Eddie Murphy. Jalwa is a direct copy of the original but with a significant twist, Archana Puran Singh becomes the protagonist's love interest (the reason why Eddie Murphy appears without a love interest in the original is a discussion for another day). Amitaph Bachan appears in a cameo role playing himself. Murphy's visit from Detroit to LA is imitated by Shah going from Bombay to Goa. The cinematography is striking and the songs are passable. Shah proves that he is comfortable in the commercial format, which Singh shows the inadequacies of a novice.

Silsila (1981)
8 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
A new theme for India when it was released, 18 June 2000

This movie was billed as a true story when it came out. Even though it is still a masala Bollywood movie, it has some striking resemblences to the life story of the leading ladies and the hero, Amitabh Bachan. In real life Amitabh had an affair with Rekha while married to Jaya Bhaduri. The movie version follows the same script, except adds many secondary characters, such as Sanjeev Kumar as Rekha's husband. Jaya Bhaduri gives a passable performance, while rekha and Amitabh both overact. There are a lot of unnecessary fantasy sequences shot in the Tulip farms in Holland which have no relevance to the rest of the movie. Camera work leaves a lot to be desired. In spite of all this, this movie remains interesting because it dared to treat the theme of extramarital romance when such topics were taboo in Bollywood.

13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
A DSA story, 18 June 2000
8/10

This is a wonderful departure from the typical Indian movie in many regards, the least of which is the language, English. It chronicles the life of students in the hip Delhi School of Architecture and has many intelligent twists and turns. Annie is a male student and I would be giving out too much if I explained what "those ones" are. The movie feels more like an episode from MTV's "Real World" than like any Indian movie I have ever seen. The movie features the writing debut of Arundhati Roy, who later rose to prominence with her novel "God of Small Things". She also stars in the movie along with Roshan Seth. A must see.

Sholay (1975)
4 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Bollywood Western, 18 June 2000

Sippy makes a commercial success of a run-of-the-mill western remade in the Indian context. The movie was adapted also to fit the expectations of the Indian filmgoers. Amjad Khan in the debut role steals the show. This movie also inspired a number of movies such as Shaan. The strength of this movie doesn't lie in its great directorial prowess (Sippy does a passable job) or even the acting, but in the way it captured the imagination of the whole movie-going Indian public. Unfortunately Sippy also tries to add all the standard cliches (like the poor blind Muslim cleric, the nice and naive village girl) and created others for other film-makers to imitate. Definitely a good movie to watch.