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My criteria are as various as directing, story & dialogues, acting, originality, cinematography, entertainment value, etc.
I try to be as objective as one can be when reviewing. I know what I liked is not necessarily great and vice versa. The few 10/10 are purely subjective though ;)
9/10: very good to excellent 8/10: good - worth a watch 7/10: has its moments - not bad 6/10: has its moments but dispensable 5/10: blah ^_^
9/10 very good to excellent 8/10 good 7/10 has its qualities 6/10 has its moments but dispensable 5/10 blah
9/10 Very good to excellent 8/10 Good 7/10 Has its qualities 6/10 Has its moments but dispensable 5/10 Blah
I try to be as objective as possible when rating.
I'm not going to give 1 or 2 stars to plenty of films or to indulge in mindless ranting ;-)
9/10 = Very good to excellent 8/10 = Good 7/10 = Has its qualities 6/10 = Has its moments but dispensable 5/10 = Blah
I try as much as possible to see what the movie is and offers beyond my personal tastes.
Ramayya Vastavayya (2013)
I don't understand how this film can be rated 5.something just like for instance the other telugu masala film Naayak which was really bad.
I enjoyed Ramayya Vasthavayya and I'm not even fond of this type of entertainer. I liked the story - nothing new but well developed, some really nice scenes. There were some funny moments without the annoying unsubtle type of humour you often have in these movies. Acting was good - good performances by Samantha and Shruti Hasaan and a really good one by NTR. Musical numbers were *very* good - great music, I actually really enjoy all the songs that are varied and highly catchy, and the choreographies of course show all the talent NTR has for dancing.
It's entertaining without being dumb. A good masala film.
I, Me aur Main (2013)
Very sweet movie
I normally don't write reviews here & just write a few words on films in my lists, but I couldn't help myself. The rating of this film is... 4? Really? FOUR?
Meaning that Student of the Year has a better rating, Race 2 has a better rating, even Heroine has a better rating! This doesn't make sense. AT ALL.
I Me Aur Main is a very sweet movie, with sweet music, sweet performances, and a sweet story. It's kind of Wake Up Sid with a love triangle (well, sort of) and a more adult take (I wouldn't call IMAM a coming of age story). Some found Wake Up Sid boring though a lot of other people recognize it is a very good film. Some found IMAM boring too, yet I still have to understand why the rating is low.
You see tons of people complaining of brainless masala in Bollywood. There you have a touching story, and even if it doesn't touch you personally, nobody would call that dumb or brainless, and it gets a 4. Go figure.
John Abraham is very credible here, I think it's the first time I've seen him so natural and expressive (the scene where he's drunk, the following scene the morning after, the last dialogue he has with Chitrangda, etc.). The rest of the cast is nice too. The performances are never over the top. The dialogues and story don't dawdle. The story manages to present a different kind of love triangle. It's not mind blowing but isn't your stereotypical love story either. There are some very well integrated humorous scenes. The film completely fulfill its mission of entertaining while giving an uplifting feeling (and not trying to fry your brains as some other movies do). An honest, simple, and fresh film.
Agent Vinod (2012)
Why all the hate? Nothing new but good spy movie!
Well, I wasn't really looking forward to see this film. I found the first 15 minutes boring, just a lot of booms and bangs, and no story. However, after this introduction the film does develop a story. A basic spy story, but a story that doesn't go haywire, that manages to keep your interest while not getting too complicated.
I read here and there that some people found the story difficult to understand, that the scenes are random. What?!? Do these people have a neurological problem? The story is quite easy to follow.
This film is good entertainment. It delivers in the way it's supposed too. I hate that some people didn't like the film and see nothing wrong in saying it's crap. I'm tired of seeing so much disrespect everywhere (not just for this film) from viewers. Argh!
It's a basic, classic spy movie. From it you want action, a bit of suspense (not that much, we all know he's going to succeed in the end), characters with double (or more) identities, different locations, a touch of glamour, in one word: entertainment. Fun, light but not dumb entertainment. Agent Vinod delivers just that. There's no realistic/harsh action, no deep psychological drama, but these things are NOT supposed to be there.
The movie delivers just what it aims to, it's coherent, well shot, has nice actors, nice music. For that I give it 8/10. It's good. Nothing extraordinary, it doesn't stand out, but it's good.
Very good Agatha Christie type of crime story
5/10??? You have to be kidding me.
I don't write many reviews here, but I have to write this one. This movie is incredibly underrated. Maybe it's because the Indian audience doesn't appreciate this type of whodunit story? I guess this is the reason for this poor rating.
Because the movie has a nice cinematography and direction, good actors and a very good screenplay.
Someone here wrote that "It looks pale, boring and even funny in front of today's TV Crime thrillers such as C.S.I". This had me rolling my eyes heavenward.
"Game" is an Agatha Christie type of mystery, and in this particular genre it is a REAL success. Of course, if you expect something like CSI, you won't like Game, but that's *your* fault, and not the movie's.
I really hate it when some people don't understand a movie and then write that it's crap. Argh!!
Black Death (2010)
Unpredictable story, dark and mysterious atmosphere: an excellent movie
Only 6.5?? You must be kidding me!! Even for IMDb standards, it's low.
This movie has everything that I think makes an accomplished work and a very good movie:
1. An unusual and unpredictable screenplay, though not too much or with crazy twists that confuse the viewer. Here, you follow the film wondering what could happen next, the possibilities being wide, and the characters ambiguous. And in the end, when you look back on the story, you realize that the writer had been quite inspired!!
2. An atmosphere, this one being all dark, foggy, mysterious. A good work on the cinematography that conveys an ambiance as much as the sets. It's nice to see a medieval movie that doesn't only rely on castles and costumes to create an atmosphere.
3. The story has several layers. On the surface, it's mysterious, medieval and about soldiers going on a necromancer hunt, therefore there is action. Then, when trying to identify the necromancer, there is suspense, and you're plunged into a real thriller. But behind that, you have a reflexion on religion, beliefs, power, grief, etc.
4. A good cast, among which a wonderful Carice Van Houten.
I admire the qualities of this movie. Despite the fact that I wouldn't see it that many times because there are some violent scenes towards the end that I'm not fond of (though it remains highly watchable and it's not horror), I would give this extremely well done movie a 9/10.
Milenge Milenge (2010)
I wasn't awaiting too much from this movie, but I was agreeably surprised and enjoyed it.
Contrary to the other reviewers here, I didn't find it dated. Well, not really. It's a romance. If you find this one dated, then you probably find them all dated.
What I liked about this romance is that instead of fighting and making up or not knowing what they want, the characters in Milenge Milenge spend most of the movie desperately looking for each other. It's different, and it gave a good rhythm to the story. I also liked the fact that it wasn't too cheesy and that it focused the plot on the idea of destiny rather that on unconditional and extraordinary love.
Also, a reviewer said the film wasn't funny. Well it's not really supposed to, since it's far more a romance than a rom-com. Only let's say the first half hour has some humour and, I thought, it managed to be funny.
Acting , directing etc. are OK.
Really, there isn't anything awful in this movie. If you don't like romances, even the un-cheesy ones, well stay away from it. Otherwise, if you don't have anything against the genre, go for it! It was a rather nice one-time watch for me.
Dhobi Ghat (2010)
Beautiful film full of melancholy...
I'm not myself such a big fan of this kind of film, I don't plan on buying the Dhobi Ghat DVD, but I nevertheless give a 9/10 because the movie deserves it. There are writing and technical achievements that you can't take away from the film, even if it didn't appeal to you.
The first great achievement of this film is its screenplay, written by Kiran Rao. The danger for a mosaic movie is to have its story drift endlessly or split in too many branches. It's not the case in Dhobi Ghat, and on the contrary it keeps a strong core around which the various characters and stories revolve. What is this core? The city of Mumbai of course, the 5th character of the movie, as the director claims... but not only.
The English title of the movie, Mumbai Diaries, could also have been "Mumbai Visions". Yasmin makes video recordings of Mumbai as she discovers the city. Shai wants to photograph the real Mumbai. Munna creates another self through Shai's camera, to reach the filmi scene of Mumbai. Arun gets his inspiration by watching the city, or watching the city as seen by Yasmin. One scene I really appreciated is Shai unnoticed taking pictures of Arun watching Yasmin's recordings. So, instead of just having the characters wander in Mumbai, the core of the movie is the sights the city impresses on its inhabitants and our protagonists.
The next achievement of Dhobi Ghat is its direction: refined, subtle, it delivers sights of Mumbai in a very intimate way. It's completely appropriate for the screenplay (well, logical, since both story and shooting are from Kiran Rao), and probably helps us rapidly feel close to the characters. I particularly liked all the scenes recorded by Yasmin, featuring small everyday events, but yet really meaningful and emotional. But it's also a strong technical direction, as is enough to prove it that scene where Munna runs in the middle of Mumbai chaotic traffic. A real moment of cinema.
To finish, the third good point of the film is its cast. Aamir Khan is flawless, as usual, though in the rather unusual role for him of a loner (he's done that kind of roles before, but not very often). Kriti Malhotra is a particularly moving and very beautiful Yasmin, Prateik Babbar excels in the role of the shy Munna, and Monica Dogra plays very naturally the modern American-Indian Shai.
The only thing I liked less in Dhobi Ghat is its end, a bit too open to my taste. But that's very subjective and on the whole the film deserves praise for its coherence, its sensibility and its artistic direction. I would call it a must-see.
P.S: People who hated it must only be used to watching Masala stuff. Seriously, the movie can appeal to a large audience, it's not AT ALL an obscure art movie that could appeal only to a very small fringe of audience...
La fille du puisatier (2011)
Timeless moving story served by great actors and a good direction
The Well-Digger's Daughter is a french movie, remake of another famous french film of the 40's.
If you don't know anything about french cinema, know that this remake features well known comedians such as Daniel Auteuil (it's also his first work as a director), Kad Merad, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Sabine Azema, and Marie-Anne Chazel.
The original film was directed, written and produced by Marcel Pagnol, famous not only for his films but also for plays and novels that have become classics.
The remake definitely honors the classic, and I can't find one single thing to criticize. The actors all deliver moving and natural compositions, from the loving and torn father (Auteuil) to the moody Mrs Mazel (Azema), from the benevolent Felipe (Merad) to the seductive Jacques (Duvauchelle). By the way, it certainly isn't hard to see why the heroine falls for him after just one encounter ;) The main character, Patricia, is played with tact and sweetness by Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, who somehow reminds me of Jane March. She was unknown before this role (even if it's not her first), but no doubt this is the year of her breakthrough, as she will soon be seen interpreting a mermaid in the next Pirates of the Caribbean.
The direction is precise, careful, and manages to capture each small emotion of the characters. It really serves well the beautiful and moving plot. You're completely immersed into the story and can have your eyes wet more than once, even though the movie isn't a melodrama nor a tragedy. This story is timeless, and universal. I would recommend it to absolutely everyone. It's a 5-star film!