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We don't need no education!
If Jab We Met is the kind you fell in love with and watch over and over again, this is NOT for you. As always, Imtiaz Ali plays with time and experiments with a very peculiar and non-linear screenplay which makes it exceptionally fun to watch. It has not a single dull moment and is scattered with modern romantic Imtiaz Ali philosophy. Rockstar tries to cross over to the safer side in the second half but does justice to the story by the time it reaches the end. Rockstar makes you fall in love with itself, then breaks your heart. It is irrelevant to even comment on the awesomeness of the soundtrack. If you don't like it, give it some time to grow on you.
Let's find flaws in the Indian Judicial System, shall we?
The word's on the street that director B.R. Chopra, commercially successful after his early sensations like Naya Daur and Dhool ka Phool, was once in Germany attending a film festival. He took it as a challenge when told that 'Indian films have nothing but songs', hence, giving birth to Kanoon (1960), India's first songless Hindi film.
I always believe that when taking a critical decision, people either choose between right and wrong OR between friends and strangers. Irrespective of the fact that its someone from your family who sinned, you'd choose between right and wrong. Rajendra Kumar falls under a similar dilemma in this 150 min courtroom drama.
The film revolves around a judge, played by the superstar of that era, Ashok Kumar. Kumar had faith in this unconventional story about a judge who starts to find flaws in the Indian Judicial System after a failed decision from the past comes haunting his court. Played by Jeevan, a man who went to prison for ten years for a crime he did not commit is released. Ironically, he commits the exact crime he went to prison for, just to prove a point. Although, he suffers from a stroke during the proceedings, successfully brings out some serious flaws in the system.
The story takes its natural course with another murder. The film is about the proceedings of this case in Kumar's court, defended by Rajendra Kumar who is also the soon to become son-in-law of the judge.
The film starts with promise, drags at times and picks up again. This happens not once or twice but at several occasions. The lack of expertise in the genre is visible as the grip at the mystery looses right in the beginning.
As a viewer, you are a part of all the secrets. Or that is what you think. As most of the characters are one dimensional, there is nothing much left to fathom. For one who is an ardent follower of mysteries, this is a below average feature. From the Indian point of view, this rebellious film was an instant classic. Nothing like the usual Indian films, Kanoon casts a strong impression on the Indian minds. Although, at a couple of instances some brief music pieces are inserted as a part of the story, these do not let the story digress from its main course; just slows the pace a bit.
The acting, to my disappointment, was equally over-the-top as the other Indian movies, especially the ones of those times. Ashok Kumar, being the senior most actor, is content. On the other hand, Nanda, playing his daughter, is heavily artificial and Rajendra Kumar walks in and out of his zone of comfort. Others are just forgettable. But the one that bothers the most, is Mehmood. Though Mehmood grew out to become the greatest comedian alive in India, this was one of his early films and probably one of his worst performances. His bizarre style of delivering dialogs break the rhythm of the film that could have been much better without his idiotic mannerisms.
The Sound of Music (1965)
Sound of Mucus?
This is the heart warming story of an Austrian nun (Julie Andrews) who enters the Von Trapp family as the governess of Georg Von Trapp's (Christopher Plummer) seven mischievous yet adorable children, and ends up entering their hearts with her warm personality and sugar coated music. At the risk of sounding cheesy, 'The Sound of Music' is regarded as one of the most loved cinematic treats of all times. Full of now- popular songs and laced with extravagant background score, the film has its own soul.
The beautiful cinematography takes you to a trip of the magnificent land of Austria during the time of the Second World War. The hummable songs include the all time favorites like 'the Lonely Goatherd', 'So long, farewell' and many more. No matter how stone hearted you are, you get emotionally attached to the adorable children of the Von Trapp family.
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Though, a few points cannot be overlooked. Julie Andrews' portrayal of Maria, the carefree and loving nun, comes out to be more artificial and over-the-top than realistic. Based on the hit musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein II on the memoirs of Maria Von Trapp, the film is naive in characterization as almost all the characters displayed are one dimensional. The only character balancing the cheese being oozed by almost everyone is Christopher Plummer's Cpt. Georg Von Trapp.
All throughout the film, Plummer seems detached from the surroundings which helps his character. No matter how popular, hummable or adorable the songs are; some of them just catch you defenseless. Unlike the hit musicals like 'Singin' in the Rain' and 'The Wizard of Oz', some of the famous songs in the film are out of context at times. It is always hard to explain in a musical why a song is relevant, but some of the inappropriate situations for the songs make them just unacceptable. The children singing in the festival or in a party sounds reasonable, but a senior mother of the church singing valuable lessons of life to her confused nun, is just too unrealistic for me to stomach.
Some other characters like The Baroness and the postman have sudden change of values at the appropriate points in the film. There is a 70% chance that you will like this highly entertaining and lovable family film. But if you are a fan of more realistic and easy to digest stories, even if it is about a computer program controlling the world, this is not your cup of tea. For a musical enthusiast too, this is not one of the best musicals you'll see.
A comic masterpiece?
If Manoj Kumar intended this to be a comedy, he couldn't have done a better job. This movie, in all aspects, may it be the cinematography, direction, music, acting or the classic dialogs, is so bad that it actually goes round the globe to be awesome.
It is hilarious and every time I watch it with my friends, we laugh so hard that we pee in our pants a bit. Every single scene and every minute detail in this movie is awfully worked at and badly directed. This is the epitome of self-indulgence. Manoj Kumar is so obsessed with his style of film-making that he has no clue how horrible he has become. This is, undoubtedly, my favorite comedy, ever.