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Rajini's breakout role
Rajini might have done over 100 films prior to this one,but if there's one film which catapulted him to demi god status,it has to be this one.His characterisation as the calm and docile Manickam coupled with the stylish and ruthless don Baasha makes this movie a treat to watch.
The story might not be great,the BG is a rip off from Terminator,the music and songs are cheesy,Nagma is useless,the production value is tacky(OK,granted this was 1995).
But,if there's one person who makes this movie unbelievably watchable it has to be Rajinikanth.This might sound insane,but I have seen this movie more than 30 times(I stopped counting after 30)and each viewing is still enjoyable.I can't say the same for most movies,Rajini's other movies included.There is something special in this film which is hard to explain.
Time for another Baasha session.
Angels & Demons (2009)
A big disappointment
This movie had all the potential.The book had the right ingredients for a blockbuster,thrill a minute,nail biting summer flick.But,unnecessary modifications has resulted into another insipid adaptation of a Dan Brown book.
The pacing of the film is nowhere as racy as the book.Sometimes,it's plain boring.Changes are welcome in a film adaptation if it adds some value to it.However,the changes out here are plain unneeded and silly.Dropping Kohler for a character called Richter,reducing the whole Illuminati plot to a whimper isn't my idea of a change for the better.
Tom Hanks simply reprises the role he did in the Da Vinci Code,which isn't saying much.Ayelet Zurer was far from perfect.Ewan McGregor could have made a good Camerlengo,but the role written for him isn't that great.
Watch Angels and Demons with minimal expectations,you might enjoy it.If you liked the Da Vinci Code film,you are sure to enjoy this
Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
In its essence, Jodhaa Akbar is a typical Hindu-Muslim love story and how their love wins against all odds. However, the real difference lies in the times the story is set in and the various situations that surround the royal couple. Considering that one is handling a chapter of history, it is imperative that the director does full justice to the various characters and incidents. Ashutosh Gowariker succeeds in this attempt, but some might question the historical veracity of some the sub-plots which he has portrayed. The many sub-plots increase the length of the movie considerably, taking it close to 3 and half hours. This is bound to detract some of the movie-going public who are used to seeing shorter movies. In fact, the only grouse with Jodhaa-Akbar has to be its length. The director beautifully weaves in the various plots and sub-plots which makes it an enlightening movie experience. The director uses various tools like the lighting, the sets, the music and of course the actors to transport the viewer into a completely different era.
The movie comes alive with the opulent sets and the beautiful costumes. The brilliant cinematography and lighting leaves you breathless. However, the battle sequences are strictly okay. One must say that this is possibly the biggest disappointment in the movie, considering that the movie has a lot to do with war. The various sword fights are good, largely due to Hrithik’s skill and agility. The background score is again wonderful, but sometimes gets repetitive.
The music by A.R. Rahman consists of some of the finest and most different tracks from the maestro after a long time. Scoring for a period film is never easy as one has to capture the essence of those times and at the same time makes sure that the songs aren’t too archaic and classical that the mass is bored. Rahman walks this tightrope with ease. Azeem-O-Shan Shahenshah stands out for its wonderful use of instruments and excellent lyrics praising the Mughal emperor. Jashn-E-Bahara and In Lamhon Ke Daaman stand out for their ethereal simplicity.
A period drama is incomplete without good actors, and Jodhaa-Akbar assembles an ensemble cast. Sonu Sood as Jodhaa’s brother, Nikitin Dheer as Akbar’s scheming brother-in-law and Ila Arun as the nefarious Mahan Agha stand out for their spectacular portrayals of their respective characters.
Finally, the movie belongs to the royal couple, Jodhaa and Akbar. Aishwarya Rai puts in her what could be called as the best performance in her entire career. She plays the proud Rajput Princess, the loving sister and the dutiful wife with ease. Hrithik Roshan as Akbar is simply unbelievable as he shows the various hues as he transforms from a somewhat indecisive king to the Shahenshah of Hindustan. Comparisons are bound to be raised with Prithviraj Kapoor’s portrayal, but one must consider that Hrithik’s character is far more complex and far more real as compared to Prithviraj Kapoor’s by the book, caricatured portrayal. Both the lead players are sure to grab a few awards at the end of this year.
Jodhaa-Akbar is a highly relevant film in today’s troubled times of religious fundamentalism. In essence, the movie talks about being together, despite our various differences and that is its biggest message to today’s society. Entertainment isn’t a guarantee with this film, but enlightenment is sure.
Ocean's Thirteen (2007)
Let's face it.Ocean's 11 was great,ocean's 12 was pathetic.But,finally Sodenbergh goes back to the roots of his original film and makes it a fun caper.No more Le Marc,no more Julia Roberts and all that crap.This is possibly the best heist film since ocean's 11.Ocean's 13 marries the heist part of the original film with the complexity of ocean's 12 but in no way does it appear self-indulgent or laboured.
Clooney is great as always and so are the rest of the gang.Expect to see a lot of Linus in this film.But,I feel that Rusty fans will be disappointed.The poor guy hardly has much to do as compared to the previous 2 films.Al Pacino doesn't disappoint though I felt that his character lacked the ruthlessness of Terry Benedict.
Forget the aberration known as ocean's 12 and go and get your kicks with ocean's 13.
Can we have ocean's 14 Steve?