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harishprakashhp

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24 reviews in total 
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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
In the eye of a naked ape..., 8 November 2011

This might sound a little unreasonable, but I think it is time we give the other apes a chance to take over this planet. Oh and if we don't, well, not to worry. With our recurring blunders they might be able to seize enough initiative to grab it and rise to the occasion as well.

Rise of the Planet of Apes was all that and more. Maybe the sudden surge in the apes intelligence in the movie was quite a biotechnological fantasy (a remote possibility or is it?), Homo sapiens demises isn't. In fact, the imminence of such doom is quite a reality. Don't get me wrong, I also believe human intelligence is overly rated in the first place. The truth is, I still wonder if we ever understood any of the dooms day proclaims that is being screamed across by the media or is the end of the human race another form of entertainment to humans.

In what seems to be a shift in perspective (or was it always there?), 'aliens' and 'crazy-lab-animals' are no longer the bad guys. In fact, they are the once we are made to feel more empathetic towards. And whose ass do they repeatedly kick- the humans. Be it James Cameron's Na'vi Humanoids saving their planet Pandora or the genetically altered apes taking over the earth, humans don't seem to deserve any remorse.

But if I (like many others who enjoyed the movie) hooted for and with the apes, it shows that some neural segment in my brain says, "Maybe, just maybe, if we can care about our family (after all, aren't we all Primates?), we all can live and let live as well." Hope is a fine belief to hold onto. Isn't it?!

P.S. The writier's opines are all his own and may not cater to the general public. He also is terribly biased as he is an aspiring primatologist. He studies monkey (not apes).

Black Swan (2010)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Why Natalie Portman might win the Oscar, 13 February 2011
8/10

Have you heard of the 'Black Swan Theory'?! Coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, it refers to any unexpected or unpredictable event. Why so?! Everyone thought swans were supposed to be white until they saw the black one.

Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan is a true 'black swan' and Natalie Portman as Nina is his 'perfect' swan.

Nina, a dedicated ballerina, gets the role she always dreamed for. She gets selected to play the title cast of the twins in 'Swan Lake' much to the dismay of the one she replaces. She essays the role of the 'White Swan' twin character with ease, but the 'Black Swan' character pushes her beyond limits.

Leroy, the director of the ballet, is doubtful about Nina's portrayal of the evil swan that robs away the white swan's prince and causes its death in the end. "The truth is when I look at you all I see is the white swan. Yes you're beautiful, fearful, and fragile. Ideal casting. But the black swan? It's a hard f******* job to dance both," he says to her. Roy has a soft spot for Nina, which is why we see him both passionately seducing her like a 'Prince' and sternly pushing her towards the brinks to get the best out of her.

In the midst of the preparation for the role, we see Nina undergo many transformations. Aronofsky ensures the audience journey across her myriad emotions of guilt, pleasure and pain. So much so, the forced vicariousness feels both horrific and pleasurable at the same time. The role takes a toll of her thoughts too. She suspects Lily (her colleague) wanting to replace her. Lily's talent and carefree nature becomes quite a bother. She mirrors what Nina deepest desire carves. She reflects her weakness- her inability to transform into the 'black swan'. Symbolically, she always wears 'Black', in contract to Nina's white attire. Lily being declared Nina alternative to the roles just before the opening of 'Swan Lake' breaks her down.

The numerous bleeding motifs seem to signify Nina's transformation. She seems to have a bleeding on her back caused by repeated scratching. This causes her mother (also a yesteryear ballet dancer) to worry about her. Nina finds her attention unwarranted. She feels it is about time her mother let go of her.

Strangely, Nina's life starts mirroring the life of the 'Swans'-their joys, their desires and the pain. The pain and the guilt motivate her translation. Her performance on the opening night as both the betraying 'Black Swan'and the suffering 'White Swan' is simply magical and a fitting finale.

The protagonist is a caricature of both our nicety and the shades of grey humanness epitomizes. She strives for perfection, but perfection isn't enough. Acquaintance with her darker side and desires inspires her to perform at costs unimaginable.

Natalie Portman is strikingly beautiful. She is the perfect 'sweet girl'. Her ballet talent is absolutely fabulous and so well utilized by Aronofsky. She is a true intellectual artiste. What probably might have helped her prepare for this difficult role must be the Psychologist degree from Harvard.

Mila Kunis as Lily and Vincent Cassel as Roy are 'Idea casting'. So is Babara Hershey, who plays Nina's mother. The music is so in sync with the moods of the characters making the whole movie appear like a sort of ballet.

Darren Aronofsky has one more master piece to his credit. His signature shaking and wobbling camera has its desired disastrous effects. The movie is very similar to 'The Wrestler' but in a very artistic way. Both showcase the performing artiste's stark lives. I sincerely hoped, Mickey Rourke in the title role as 'The Wrestler' should have won the Oscar for the Best Actor in 2008. He didn't. I sure hope Natalie Portman gets it for the Best Actress. She deserves it. Amen. PS. Annette Bening (The Kid's are all right) and Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole) are close Oscar competitors, but well, Natalie as Nina will see them through.

Avatar (2009)
1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Simply out of this world (in Pandora)....strictly for Navi rooters..., 3 January 2010
8/10

"You should see your faces!" I guess James Cameron knew how the audience would react to his Avatar. The movie-viewer interactive punch line, says it all. I was clearly warned; my eye balls would pop out and mouth would be left wide open- gasping at the splendor exploding before my eyes. And what a visual treat it turned out to be! None of the hoopla surrounding the movie deters its brilliance, and therein lies its popularity.

It was not the Hollywood's stupendous visual effects that floored me, (well it does have me knocked astound every year; from the time Spielberg brought those savage dinosaurs back from extinction) but it was the message the movie conveyed that delivered the real knockout-Save the planet, before it is all too late.

If a tree being felled with rocket missiles (the scene was heart wrenchingly cruel) can bring tears, I guess the movie makers have triggered the right neural networks that connects the heart and brain.

The story, which is, I presume, an excuse to give the movie-goers an out of this world experience (in Pandora), is profound (At this rate, I'm sure I'll fall short of abstract words to describe the movie's wonderfulness. There I go again, stop it). Humans being evil, (with exception to people like you and me, of course) plunder mother earth's resources and go after the unobtainable… sorry unobtanium. And in their quest, they ruffle the tails of the nature loving humanoids, belonging to the clan Navi. Ah, the same old good versus bad tale, twisted 360 degrees to picture perfection. The humans here, are the ruthless baddie guys, aliens and villains. (How profoundly appropriate and bulls eye is that?) And so the movie goes, with good triumphing over evil, all thanks to the human-turned-Navi, who betrays his own clan (the ever detestable human clan) and saves Pandora for the indigenous natives own keeps.

But, in between comes the illusionary surprises, one after the other, not allowing us time to awe at the scenes that pass by. I was afraid to blink my eye; afraid that if I did, I might miss out on some part of the extravagance (well, that line was pure, over the top, flattery. It makes me feel like I am being paid to write such cheesy lines).

Pandora's wildlife habitat was extremely impressive- there is this stegosaurus like cow which possesses a hammer like trunk, a black Siberian tiger with snake-like-whiskers that behaves like a T-Rex (rest assured, you'll like this kitty very much by the end of this film). And of course the dragon like flying beast that is available based on the individual's personal bravado. Sort of like the magic wand from the Harry Potter series- the wand chooses its master, the beast chooses the Na'vi it'll allow to ride/fly on its back.

The injustice extreme- of war and exploiting Mother Nature's resources; the other extreme of goodness- to live in harmony with nature,is what I'll take away with me from the movie. Mother goddess Eywa, Pandora's version of Mother Earth, in the end, brings about the much needed balance to sustain life. I foresee- that is exactly what is going to happen on earth. The human races destruction is inevitable; Mother earth will spell her doom soon to ensure the survival of life on planet earth.

Enough raving about a prophetical movie that has racked the moola, shouldn't I be do something more productive than seeing it and typing this; say, saving the planet, for instance.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
How sane or insane are we?, 17 February 2009
8/10

If American Beauty questioned human morality, Revolutionary Road questions sainity. Richard Yates disturbing tale of human relationship has transcended into screen by Sam Mendes.Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet who came together a decade ago for Titanic, play the role of the Wheelers, an outwardly happily married couple with two kids residing at Revolutionary Road.

In the first few minutes of the movie, the audiences get to see, Frank Wheeler and April eying each other, falling in love and then cut to the present, a few years later there is sea change in their lives. Frank hates his job as a salesman in a cubicle while April's dream to become an actress is a failure. Adding to this is the stress of their marriage falling apart.

And just like that April decides for them to get away from the emptiness and hopelessness encumbering their lives and start anew in Paris. She chalks out a plan to get herself a job there so that Frank can find what he really loves to do in life. All those close to them think it is the most unrealistic fantasy like idea, except for their land lady's lunatic son John Givings (Michael Shannon), who feels it's the sanest decision they had ever taken.

Just as things are looking upbeat for the couple, in terms of relationship, fate takes a different turn. Frank gets promoted and Alice is pregnant. From here the tale grows into a complex heart wrenching. With the Paris dream shattered, their life once again goes topsy-turvy. And mad man John with his deep insight hurting words to set a cascade of unpredictable reactions to follow.

Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet are such a treat to watch. Di Caprio as a loving practical, responsible and once-in-a-while-going-astray husband, is especially good in the emotional scenes. Kate Winslet, yet again proves why she is the best actress on this planet. Michael will never be able to beat the Heath Ledger's insanity levels, but his very brief role getting nominated for the best supporting actor in the Oscars, speaks volumes.

The monotonous background score by Thomas Newman is just as haunting as the movie.

The movie is distressing in every right. It questions morality, fickleness of the human mind and its unpredictability. Who or what are we living for? For our own selves or for others? These will be the questions that will linger in your mind after watching this Mendes flick. He is a phenomenon, no doubt.

Kabluey (2007)
5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful, 20 September 2008
8/10

Lisa Kudrow of friends fame is the reason why I saw this movie. I liked the tag line"every family has a black sheep, this one is blue"

I loved it from the start. In between I had my eyes in tears both the laughs and touchy scenes.

Being a single parent with two children to take care of, is really a handful for Leslie(Lisa). Things don't get any better with the children's slightly retarted Uncle(Leslie's brother-in-law Salman) is assigned to take care of them. He baby sits them in fear of even being threatened to be killed by his eldest niece.

Salman also gets a job to make his ends meet and so the blue outfit promoting real estate space. This is the best part, bringing laughs and tears.

In times of the Iraq-America WAR, Salman(essayed brilliantly by the Director Scoot Prendergast) understand what his family is going through. In his own way he sets things right for the Children, their MOM and ultimately finds himself.

The passing non-important characters bring so much substance to the movie. I loved the part where he finds complete change in his fellow passengers, in the bus he travels to work. That sets the mode for the Black/blue sheep to turn to a hero in the climax.

Nope, it isn't a perfect movie. It completely relies on the 'Feel Good Factor' of the viewers. But yes, it has an inspiring quality that makes it beautiful and a must watch.

Note: Lisa Kudrow wasn't Phebe Buffe, but I think she's great in any kind of role.

21 Grams (2003)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Engrossing, 19 August 2008
8/10

This movie doesn't follow a chronological order. Every new scene will make you think, was this after this or that. Sometimes you won't follow some parts, but rest assured you'll make it all up by the end.

This style of relieving bits and pieces of everything makes you completely engrossed and set you thinking. Alejandro(I liked his "Babel" too) theme is simply heart rending. Love is simply very hard to measure and understand.

Three protagonist connected with one tragic accident, two of them are left devastated while one gets relief. The pre-Accident, post-Accident and the meeting of the three together forms the story. Anything told more will spoil the movies effect.

Sean Penn in under played role(opposite of Mystic River) , Naomi Watts in an absolutely brilliant portrayal deserving the Oscar, and finally Benicio Del Toro powerful touching character makes this movie a must watch for all its cinematic splendor.

Cinema at its Best, 5 August 2008
9/10

This is the highest rating I have ever given to a movie. The movie has got much to pounder on. Darren Aronofsky has been added to my all time favorite list. If his "Pi" was damn depressing and difficult to understand, Requiem for a Dream reaches a new level of depression that entertains.

The movie's genre has to be psychic Horror. Its about drug addict individual's pleasure and pain. The ever lasting peace of satisfaction is in truth turns out to be momentary misery.

An old lady, lonely for life has a reason to live after being invited to a TV show. The pain she undergoes to fit into an unfit red outfit becomes turmoil, after she decides to cut down the sugar. And so she decides to take the pill meant to reduce weight.

A couple's love seem eternal with their success in their new business venture (the business they consume whole heartedly). Life seems beautiful. The business fails, and their inability to fulfill their needs takes them to the extreme darkest corners of Hell.

A man's only solace is his mother's love from the past.

The camera work is a master piece. Its revolutionary and innovative. Proving Darren's mastery is the screenplay and Direction. If Pi has one protagonist, This movie has four, with shades of Grey.

The fast paced scenes with the slow motion scenes were eye struck.

Ellen Burstyn was too good to describe in mere words playing the role of the old lady. Jennifer Connelly seems to have given her best acting ever, with excellent roles cashing in following years.

Watch it to have a glimpse of what real stupendous Cinema is all about.

Musical Magic, 27 July 2008
8/10

To be frank, I am not qualified to write a comment since I have no Idea of Music of the West. But this movie showed music in a all new dimension I never knew.

Its is supposed to be a biopic of Bob Dylan in a totally different explanation. Six different individuals lives, their success and struggle is the accumulated total of Bob Dylan life.

Music apart, the movie has a documentary feel to it. That makes it more realistic. The aspect of people seeing their icons as God and then as devils proves the thin line celebrities balance on.

Christian Bale as Jack Robbins was apt. Cate (Jude) was out standing deserving the nomination in Oscar. Heath Ledger, the person no more, watching him on screen was a painful understanding of not existing in flesh and blood. He was as talented as ever.

There are quite some punch lines deserving a lot more thought and introspection. Repeat watching will reflect newer insight into the world of music, musicians and life on the thin rope.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Christian Bale all the way, 27 July 2008
7/10

A skeleton figure of Christian Bale is impossible to imagine after the Batman roles. How did he lose all that weight? you can count all his bones in the scenes he has his shirt off.

The heroic effort of the character has to be approbated on putting so much weightage into the movie. Its classic Bale, doing a lot more than homework.

The protagonist is losing sleep and weight over something. He commits blunders of immeasurable proportions due to strange happenings around him. These bizarre happenings seems like a plot to make him take a tumble. Or is it? Anyway all things are tied down neatly in the end.

Personally I found it a difficult movie to watch, since the mood of the movie is always on the depressing side. It isn't the run on the mill sort of movie, so bearing that thought in mind enjoy the movie in all its dark splendor.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Marvellously Enjoyable, 24 July 2008
7/10

I love this Character named Simon Pegg(Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead). And if he teams up with David Schwimmer of the Friends fame oh boy what we get is a roller coaster ride of just pure Fun.

Now Run Fatboy Run runs on predictable lines. The protagonist does something for someone to win that someone, with everyone being made Happy Happy in the end expect for the one sad poor guy called the bad guy.

So just as the Title goes the Hero Runs, runs from start to the end. On his first run he loses what he loves, on his next run he wins it back and in the end he keeps on running for a happier living.

The movie is all fun with Dylan Moran( Shaun of the Dead -irritating David) and the more interestingly Harish Patel, the Indian Landlord with a spatula "Dennis Doyle from downstairs".Hank Azaria is a perfect foil to the unfit Dennis Doyle (Pegg), who is on the verge of winning Doyle's ex-lover and his son. So what happens is the story.

Nothing unusual, but one has to feel good once in a while; watching something and enjoying it completely.

David Schwimmer has raised expectations, I eagerly await his Directorial stint follow ups as I enjoyed his role as Ross in Friends.


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