Reviews written by registered user
|12 reviews in total|
Cosmos is the greatest non-fiction series I have ever seen. It is the
greatest collection of scientific knowledge and insights of a great
man, Carl Sagan.
It would be disrespectful to call Cosmos just a documentary as it has been a life and perspective-changing experience for me. Carl Sagan takes us on a beautiful voyage not only across our universe but also encourages us to examine ourselves. Considering that I am writing this in 2008, it tells you how impactful it still is 28 years after Cosmos was first made.
This one is for keeps!
Let me start by saying that this is the first film that I'm writing a
negative review for. But what else can I say about this much
anticipated film? It is not only a waste of time, but a waste of talent
and a potentially good story and screenplay.
There are other reviews on this page that give a brief description of the plot, however I can summarise by saying that it is a tale of a family engulfed in a mire of politics and scandal. It is heavily inspired by the true story of the Enron power plant fiasco in Maharashtra, featuring Bal Thackeray and Rebecca Mark-Jusbasche (from Enron).
So why does this film fail? Ram Gopal Verma took a bold step in directing a sequel to a very successful and well-made film called Sarkar. I am a great fan of the Godfather and even though Sarkar draws heavily from it, it was still an enjoyable film, especially in an Indian setting. Sarkar Raj, however, is loud and poorly written. The camera angles are incomprehensible and so is the choice of some of the actors and their characters. One of the most ridiculous dialogues in the film goes something like "Electricity is made to give shocks"...or something on those lines. The portrayal of some of the characters is so tacky and clichéd that you wonder if RGV has really directed this film. The film is also replete with "dialogues" as opposed to actual conversation - another one that comes to mind goes something like "Plant ke liye paise chahiye..paise plant ke liye nahin". I would have imagined that RGV, above all, would have realised the value of a good script and camera work. The acting is poor, except for Amitabh Bachchan, who is the saving grace of this film. Abhishek Bachchan tries his best but what can one do when he is asked to deliver dialogues. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has made a decent effort as well but the most gnawing factor has to be the supporting cast - people with clichéd mannerisms makes the film looks C-grade. Sorry Ram Gopal Verma, you could have done such a job with what seemed like an interesting story. You had a good cast and crew too, but you got it wrong this time. What a waste!
For those who are new to Indian cinema, it might be worth mentioning
that Aamir Khan's films are always eagerly anticipated. What made this
anticipation all the more dramatic was the fact that Taare Zameen Par
was Aamir's first film as director.
Story So what's the film all about? Taare Zameen Par (translated: Stars on Earth) is the story of a boy who suffers from dyslexia (Darsheel Safary who plays Ishaan Awasthi), told from his viewpoint. The film portrays the trials and tribulations of a dyslexic child and how people such as his parents and teachers around him deal with the situation. Aamir Khan plays his art teacher who helps him see the light at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel.
Review I'd like to start by stating that Taare Zameen Par is one of the best films ever made in Hindi Cinema. Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT a children's film. Sure, the protagonist is an eight-year old boy but this film is for everyone to see.
What makes this film particularly important in today's India is that it deals with the country's changing socio-economic context - India's middle-class is growing, with growing stress on competitive education and high performance in every aspect of life. The Awasthi family reflects this context - work hard and succeed at work and school, whatever the cost might be. Enter Ishaan, who feels lost in the real world and prefers to live with friends such as paint colours, fish in a bowl and "dancing letters" (beautifully described in the song "Jame Raho"). Ishaan is played brilliantly by Darsheel Safary - perhaps the best performance by a child actor since the 'Masoom' trio. There are hardly any dialogues for the character, but Darsheel is able to portray the troubled character splendidly through his expressions. His parents played by Tisca Chopra and Vipin Sharma and brother Sachet Engineer have done a great job as the supporting cast, although one wishes that the mother (played by Chopra) could have played a more proactive role in her son's future.
The film is very-well scripted and one pities the original creator of this venture - Amole Gupte. Although he is given due credit as the film's creative director, it doesn't mention the fact that he was the original director, has studied this subject for years and was involved deeply in every aspect of the film, especially the script and late-night sessions with the music directors to get it right.
And what can one say about Aamir Khan? 'Brilliant' and 'unprecedented' come to mind immediately. Dealing with a topic such as dyslexia is difficult and I'm sure a lot of people might not agree with the way Ishaan is treated in the film or with some of the answers to dyslexia. But its important to remember that this is a film, not a documentary and it has been set in an Indian context. Some of the greatest directors in the world (Spielberg, Satyajit Ray, etc) have been credited for their ability to deal with the child actors. Aamir Khan has not only taken on a difficult subject but also brought out a terrific performance from Darsheel Safary. Aamir has presented the film from the eyes of Ishaan and has so effectively used animation to describe Ishaan's thought process. Unlike many other Indian directors, he has used the music so well to push the story ahead, especially with the song "Maa". It goes without saying that the film is technically perfect, considering Aamir regards himself a perfectionist.
Overall, a near-flawless film that appeals to the sensitivities of Indian audiences. Haunting, melodic music. Good acting. Great direction. Bravo Aamir, what a start!
Batman is one of the most popular superheros of all time. I, for one,
have grown up reading Batman comics. Therefore, I look forward any film
(animated or otherwise) that involves Batman. However, Batman Begins
stands out as the best superhero film of all time. Why, you may ask.
Batman Begins is not only a brilliant portrayal of the story of Batman, but it also happens to be a remarkable effort at film-making. I have followed the career of Christopher Nolan very closely and this will be remembered as one of his landmark films. Christian Bale gives the performance of a lifetime and its amazing to see how such good talent goes unnoticed for so long. Gary Oldman is reliable as always and doesn't take the focus off the main character. The cast in general was extremely good and a special mention should be made of Liam Neeson and Ken Watanabe. They bring real character to the story.
The most outstanding feature of the film is the fact that it humanises the character of Batman. We see the transition from Bruce Wayne to Batman. It is interesting to see how the characters look so real, although the film belongs to the fantasy genre. The audience is left to decide which role (Batman or Burce Wayne) is the actual masquerade.
If you haven't seen this film yet, GO watch it! I would like to stress again that this film DOES not belong to the earlier lot of semi-dark/comedy films with Clooney, Jim Carrey, etc. This film is absolutely true to the character of Batman; it is dark in every sense and leaves you captivated. Enjoy!
I usually don't comment on these kind of films, but I must say that Evolution was really funny! I really laughed my head off at how the film really takes the mickey of all the famous sci-fi films. Good Sunday afternoon film! David Duchovny and Orlando Jones are just hilarious but I must make a special mention of Sean William Scott. I hated him in American Pie but this guy is really funny!
Ram Gopal Varma's latest offering 'Company' is probably one of the best
Indian gangster films ever made (after Nayakan and Satya). This film is so
well done that the viewers feel like they are watching real-life events.
people living in India will know that some of the events are actually
inspired by real-life incidents, although the film does not admit it.
Company is the story of two friends - Malik (Ajay Devgan) and Chandu (Vivek Oberoi) - how they build up the 'Company' - Bombay underworld on a global scale and thus establish their supremacy. A small misunderstanding between them turns into a large scale mafia war. The cast in this film is great, a special mention must be made of Vivek Oberoi. The son of Suresh Oberoi (former Bollywood star) is talented and seems to have put in a lot of effort for his first film. I only hope he doesn't get type-casted in the future after such a hard-hitting role on debut. Ajay Devgan fits very well into the role of Malik, a cold blooded don who always means business. Manisha Koirala enacts the role of Malik's girlfriend pretty well and is refreshing. However, the biggest surprise of this film was Antara Mali. She has done a great job as Chandu's wife, and it only goes to show that there is no dearth of talent in the country.
The narrative is well paced, and the viewer never gets bored. Some people might find the absence of songs in the film annoying, but their presence would only hamper the pace of the film. The script is well written, and some of the dialogues are really memorable - for example, when Malik says "To forgive a friend's mistake is an even bigger mistake in the 'Company'". The background music by Sandeep Chowta really complements the plot and he certainly deserves some credit. But more than anything, it is Ram Gopal Varma's direction that needs to be appreciated. He has proved once again that with a good story, an excellent cast and a lot of determination, one can make a memorable film and defy some of Bollywood's age old norms. A special mention must also be made of Mohanlal. He is certainly one of the best Indian actors of all time and although his Hindi dialogue-delivery in Company is quite sloppy, he deserves a lot of praise for making a good effort. His portrayal of an honest, determined cop trying to eradicate crime in Bombay (loosely based on Sivanandan, Joint Commissioner of Police, Mumbai) is very well executed.
The film gives us an in-depth view into the dark world of Bombay Mafia, where only the fittest survive, and how their operations have spread on a global scale. One thing I found intriguing about this film was the role that mobile phones play, how everything can be controlled efficiently by just making one phone call, and how business deals and murders can be executed with, quite literally, just one push of a button.
Bottomline: This film is a must-watch. A landmark in Indian film-making, all thanks to Ram Gopal Varma. An easy 9 out of 10.
When I heard about Moulin Rouge for the first time I wasn't really planning on watching it. I'm not a big fan of musicals but when I saw the film, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Moulin Rouge was a very entertaining feature and I enjoyed every bit of it. Perhaps the length of the film could have been shortened. Luhrmann has done a great job in combining a story set in 1900 with a modern soundtrack. Full marks to Nicole Kidman on a good performance. She has had a good year as far as films are concerned with 'The Others' also being critically appreciated. She is also a surprisingly good singer, and so is Ewan McGregor! A must-watch for any musical film fan.
Before getting into the details, I must admit that this is certainly one of
the best and most entertaining films I have ever seen!
RATING: ****1/2 out of *****
Plot ---- The story is about three very good friends and their relationships with each other. Aamir Khan plays a sociable and mischievous Akash, Saif Ali Khan plays a confused, often 'love-struck' Sameer and Akshaye Khanna plays a mature, confident Siddharth or Sid. Preity Zinta plays Shalini - Akash's love interest, though throughout the film Akash claims that he does not believe in love. Sonali Kulkarni plays Pooja with whom Sameer finally (really) falls in love and Dimple Kapadia is Tara Jaiswal, a divorced middle-aged alcholic. Thats all one needs to know about the film because right from the first reel the viewer is absorbed into the story and learns about each character.
Review ------ Full credit must go to the director Farhan Akhtar who has broken many of the Bollywood production norms in order to make a technically perfect and enjoyable film. It would be unfair to call Aamir Khan the life of the DCH though his popularity in India and abroad would have drawn a substantial part of the film's audience. He gives a brilliant performance as usual as Akash. His scenes with Akshaye Khanna and some scenes shot in Australia (Opera, phone call to Sid, etc) are mind-blowing! SAif Ali Khan is the surprise packet of Dil Chahta Hai and there is a lot of untapped talent in him especially where comedy roles are concerned. But I felt that the best performance came from Akshaye Khanna who plays the character of Sid to perfection. His mannerisms, thinking, behaviour is very authentic and makes us all identify with his character closely. Preity Zinta looks gorgeous and is her usual chirpy self. Sonali Kulkarni could have certainly looked better without all that makeup. Dimple Kapadia shows how a good role can bring out an elegant performance from a seasoned actress.
The best aspect of Dil Chahta Hai other than the actors' performances was the music. This is hopefully the start of more non-run of the mill compositions in Bollywood. Ofcourse, I hope for a lot more compositions like these from the music directors Shankar-Eshaan-Loy. The title song was the best and gels really well with this trndy film. Other good songs are 'Jaane Kyon', 'Kaise HAi yeh Rut' and 'Tanhayee'. 'Woh ladki hai kahan' - a parody of old Hindi songs is simply hillarious. The lyrics provided by the director's father, veteran Javed Akhtar are simply amazing and complement the story of the film to perfection!
Overall, a very entertaining feature and I hope to see more films like these in the near future. Three cheers to Farhan Akhtar and his team!!!
Timescape (as it was called here in the UK) was one of the late night films
here on BBC T.V. It was well worth staying up to watch this one. This is
of those films that just gets better as it goes along.
If you are a big science fiction fan, especially for those interested in time travel. Timescape talks about how anyone travelling from the future cannot come back and change the past, as this would change the future itself. The movie is a little slow in the beginning, and could have been much better technically. But it is not bad for a television series (though it was shown as a film here!). It answers many questions and also questions many of the theories that currently exist in the scientific world.
If you liked the 'twelve monkeys' or '12:01' you MUST watch this! (and vice-versa)
Abhishek Bachchan (son of Amitabh) once said in an interview that his favourite Amitabh film was Agneepath. Agneepath is about a small town boy (Amitabh) whose father is killed and he comes to Bombay to seek revenge on his father's death. After his father's death, the boy becomes the bread-winner for the family and follows the path of crime to support his mother (Rohini Attangadi) and sister (Neelam). Later in the film, he meets Mithun Chakraborthy who plays the role of Amitabh's confidant (though it is a little overdone) and later falls in love with Neelam. Amitabh slowly builds a massive crime empire but his own weaknesses lead to his downfall. Danny Dengzoppa plays the bad guy who wants total supremacy over the mafia and will do anything to eliminate Amitabh.
Agneepath is easily one of Amitabh's best films ever. This film draws heavily from Scarface (starring Al Pacino). I watched Scarface after Agneepath and was quite shocked to see that they were very similar. Afterall, when I watched Agneepath, I thought it was one of the those unique films which had not been inspired by a Hollywood flick! Even the music themes were similar! Amitabh gives a memorable performance as Vijay Chauhan, who is an arrogant, stubborn, rude gangster with a good heart. What makes this film different from other Amitabh films, or even other Hindi films is the excellent potrayal of its main characters - Amitabh, Danny and Rohini Hattangadi. These characters are believable, unlike in most Hindi films and they bring out the reality of the situation. The film is violent at times, the screenplay is sloppy and the direction could have been better! I thought that the original version of the film with Amitabh's modified voice was much better than the one with his own voice. The original version made his character more authentic.
The title of the film was inspired by Harivansh Rai Bachchan's (Amitabh's father) poem - Agneepath (path of fire). It is not surprising that Amitabh received his first and ONLY National Award (Indian equivalent of an Oscar, though many people consider Filmfare to be the Indian Oscar) for this film. Rohini Hattangadi won a Filmfare award for best supporting actress for her potrayal of a loving and innocent mother. Mithun Chakraborthy won a Filmfare for best supporting actor.
If you thought Al Pacino was good in Scarface, you have got to watch Amitabh in Agneepath!
Overall, I give this film an 8 out of 10! Go watch it!!!
|Page 1 of 2:|| |