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Sangeeta Ghosh and Ruslaan Mumtaaz's employment scheme.
Another soap centered around relationships with an older girl, I think a trend for the same genre has started with the soap makers in India. I find it very disheartening that an actor of Ruslaan's caliber fails to get work and has to appear in bad films and now a soap of all things.
DV, once again saves the day when DV's father's henchmen are about to kick the owners of a bungalow out.
As DV said I fail to understand how can you go bankrupt when you have such a huge mansion, that too in Mumbai. It seems the same story of parents being against the marriage and yet he loves the older women is being repeated over and over again on Indian television. But as it yet in its early days (for a soap), it was still a tinge better than other soaps being aired now a days.
Acting: Both the leads are average.
Overall a watchable episode (by soap standards), but not a good one.
Blue Jasmine (2013)
A typical Woody Allen comedy drama, driven by Cate Blanchett's jaw dropping performance.
Woody Allen while maintaining his one movie each year streak, manages to produce another of his cheeky humourish drama about human psychology. As much repetitive it might seem to his previous work, it's flaws and repetitiveness is completely foreshadowed by Cate Blanchett's best ever.
Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) is a proud ex-upper class lady, who after the loss of her wealth, moves in to her sister's place. Struggling to come in terms of her own past, she not only becomes a headache for those around her, but ruins herself also.
Just like all Woody Allen films, this film also has a 'stage drama' feel to it, with the protagonist being there from frame one to the last frame, and everyone else just coming and playing there part. As always Woody proves himself one of the best presenter of human psychology and mannerism, with this strong account of narcissism.
But what comes as a striking surprise from this low budgeted typical 'old classic drama' is Cate Blanchett's superb portrayal of Jasmine a egoistic lady. She certainly deserves the Oscar this year. It was also good to see Sally Hawkins' great rendering of Ginger. The story might be ordinary, but Woody with help from Cate and Sally, manages to produce to characters which will be remembered for long.
The film also has some good production design. The editing is also good and keeps the film more interesting with the parallel flashbacks, however, it might seem a little abrupt at times.
Story/Screenplay: A typical Woody Allen stage drama with strong characters and a satire on human nature. Even though it is good, but I still feel the best writing nomination was a surprise, as his previous works are more or less the same.
Acting: Cate Blanchett will be a sure shot winner at The 86th Oscars, she totally surpasses Amy and Sandra's performances. Surprisingly, Sally was also great. Alec and others fit into their roles perfectly.
Music: Good background score with collage of 80's soundtrack accompanies by Conal Fowkes' "Blue Moon", a pleasure to the ears.
Overall a solely Cate Blanchett driven drama with some refreshing comedy, a good family film.
Nach Baliye: Grand Finale. (2014)
All the jodis gather to celebrate the finale.
Season 6 saw many ups and downs, it had some good performances and a tough competition, yet the show went off track a lot of times, from frustrating comedy, judges' irritating gestures, to show off romances, it had it all. Fortunately, it didn't have a judges fallout episode.
All the jodis gather to celebrate the finale, along with Farhan and Vidya, with few special cameos from Manish Paul and Sunil Grover.
Unlike other episodes the finale had some good comic moments, particularly the Ankur and Raju ones, whereas, Sunil Grover was ineffective and boring. Dances on the other side weren't as good as they used to be when the competitors were competing for the trophy. The seriousness was missing. The judges' performances weren't catchy as well. Farhan and Vidya who were here to promote sequel of Pyar Ke side effects i.e. Shaadi ke side effects, left midway.
As the winners were decided totally on audiences vote, the 'winning jodi' was bound to win, however undeserving they might be.
Performances: Average, below potential. Judges were disappointing as well.
Overall a time pass finale with undeserving winners.
Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra.
With the final around the corner, the episode fortunately had low criticism and no teary and melodramatic goodbyes goodbyes, also there were no "love moments" to my relief.
The 4 finalist give a last performance to impress the audience and fetch some votes. As it is their last chance, and they are the finalists, we get to see some good performances.
Parineeti Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra were special guests who were here to promote their film Hasee Toh Phasee. Though it was frustrating to see the adorable Parineeti cry, what she said was actually meaningful. Anyways Rithvik and Asha seem to be the clear winners as they had audience's support throughout the season, hence it seems only possibility, given that the winner is decided solely upon votes. The episode as usual had some PJs, which are its trademark. Another thing I'd like to mention is that the republic day aspect was totally missing, I would have loved if all the performances were themed better and more appropriate. Terence was a perfect case of wardrobe malfunction.
Performances/Acting: All performances were good. Vinod never ceases to surprise and inspire with his strong hands and performances.
Overall an average episode, with good performances, could have been better if those were appropriately themed.
Alone yet not alone, Simple yet not simple!
"What is love?", "Who are we?", "What's the meaning of our existence?", these are a few questions which haunt each and every living human in this world, no matter of what caste, what ethnicity, what sex, and in near future even "Artificially intelligent beings".
Her tells the story of Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a loner who is trying to come in terms after a broken marriage. He purchases a newly launched OS, which is designed to learn and grow every second, and is not an OS but a consciousness.
There are so many things about this film, so many things it taught me, so many feels that I can't just put it in a review. You have to see this film over and over again, its got everything. It's got an excellent and pure love story for romance fan, a pure drama for drama fans, a tinge of sweet comedy for comedy fans, a hint on 'The Singularity' for sci-fi fans, and awesome songs and music for musical fans.
As much the film seems simple, it is more and more complex for a 'humans'' understanding, you need at least 2 views or more to completely understand the depth. The fact of the future we are leading towards is just a small part of it. The film is much more than that, much much more! Oh! I can just keep on writing and writing.
It tells us about the purity in love by an infant, and as he grows complex, he starts doubting his own feelings and the growing unintentional selfishness. When you overgrow your partner, their aren't just differences, there's a gap, a wide gap which can't easily be filled and hence you end up ending the relationship. I can't just convey how much I can relate to Joaquin Phoenix's character and how much I want an OS just like Samantha.
Apart from extremely path-breaking and original writing the film has some good Cinematography and production design. The future which isn't very far is created with perfection and as one would imagine it to be. Everything so simplified and smooth, high waste pants and everyone so indulged in themselves. The film features an extremely extremely extremely excellent score by the Canadian band Arcade Fire. It will certainly give Steven Price's Gravity a run for it's money.
Another thing I'd like to mention is Scarlett Johansson. Boy! I never thought someone could voice act better than they do the screen act. I've watched so many anime and all, yet I never thought I'd be appreciating voice acting in my life time. Samantha, i.e. Scarlett Johansson completely changed my perspective of voice acting. She was just splendid. She was funny, charismatic, sweet, lovely, cheeky, understanding and sensual. She was just awesome.
Direction: Simple, smooth, artistic camera work just captures the characters so well that you actually find yourself in the world created by Jonze's imagination.
Story/Screenplay: Do I have to say anything? An Oscar is a surety with no doubt at all. The best script in years. Actually the best film in years.
Acting: It's time the snubbing Academy should re think their rules and policy. Not only do they need to increase the number of nominees in case their are more than five worthies in a year, they need to nominate voice acting as well. Well I remember, The Red Balloon winning a best screenplay without any dialogues, so why not nominate Scarlett for her performance even though she does not appear in the film. Meanwhile, Joaquin was just superb and at lest should have been nominated. I understand that the competition this year is tough, but he should have been nominated. Amy Adams was also good and fitting.
Music: Probably the best score this year, I wish it ties with Gravity. I can't express my joy of seeing 'The moon Song' being nominated. I keep humming the song every minute. Just superb.
Well, I can go on writing, but I have to finish it so, I'd just say that this was the best film of 2013, probably of last few years, and also one of the most original film I've ever seen.
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
An ordinary story with some extraordinary performances.
If not years best film, it certainly had years' best performances, namely Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. The story however, at least for me seemed a little far fetched and clichéd at times.
Ron, a rodeo is diagnosed with HIV. In order to live longer, he tries every possible medicine he can come across. When he finds few non-approved medicines to be effective in keeping him alive, he plans to make money through those. But in turn ends up helping numerous AIDS patients across Dallas.
I had certain problems with the films, like it was a little cause of concern for me as to why he never ran out on his stock of medicines even if he was raided by the FDA (I might have missed something!). Also, the way he gets those medicines so easily smuggled inside the US is suspicious.
Barring the problems there were a ton of pros of this feature. First the characters: The characters of DCB are so strongly penned the they end up sticking with you, especially Jared Leto's character. It might even change homophobics' perspective of transsexual and homosexuals, just like it did for Ron. While Ron may not be the typical happy go lucky type of AIDS character, he certainly is a memorable one. You might feel bad for Ron but at the same time you will hate him for his mannerism and behavior. You might acknowledge and understand his will to live, but at the same you will question his methods. In short, Ron does not need your empathy, he is far too great for that.
The film breaks the traditional 'trust your doctor' approach of patients, specifically those who are sure of their impending death. It inspires us to fight and live, in a way we haven't seen before. Of all the AIDS movies we see, there is just one message, "life is short, live it to the fullest". But DCB not only gives this message but also has a new and a more prominent one "Dare to live". Live your life to the fullest and live long, whatever it takes.
Direction: Jean-Marc Vallée manages to have a strong hold on the characters as well as the story, he is precise and shows us what we need to see, but not what we want.
Script/Story: Excellently written with some memorable characters.
Acting: Matthew McConaughey easily gives the best performance this year. He certainly will give Chiwetel Ejiofor a run for his money at the academy awards. I won't be surprise if it ends up with a tie. Jared Leto, the actor turned singer is easily mistaken as a singer turned actor, if you know what I mean. Probably the best and most heart wrenching performance in his career. An Oscar is a surety. Jennifer Garner and others are convincing.
Music: The score was average, but well executed, given the small budget.
Overall a nice and a different film. Not the traditional AIDS film, memorable nevertheless.
Short of content.
This episode turns out to be exactly opposite to the first episode of the series, which had enormous content. In this episode the story didn't seem to progress any further, it could have been done in about 5 to 10 minutes easily.
The blind man gives a teaser of his abilities, to which the crew as well as all the people are baffled. He refuses to tell Luffy his identity, meanwhile, Zorro's Shusui goes missing and he heads in pursuit of the thief.
The episode started well with the blind man's attack, which was good and well animated, but after that it's just a downfall and the story progresses at a snail's pace. It also lacked any comic moments. Luffy's reaction to a shocking revelation could have been better animated. Even so, the episode ends with a good build up for next week.
Story/Screenplay: Slow and weak.
Overall a slow and short episode, rather a disappointment after a weeks wait.
Captain Phillips (2013)
An engaging tale of survival, based on a real incident!
Captain Phillips is one of those intelligent yet simple thrillers, which without much gunpowder or even brains, get you hooked in just a few minutes. Such films are a rarity these days. But there is more to it than just a survival thriller.
Captain Richard Phillips is a merchant merchant mariner, whose ship is hijacked by 4 Somali pirates. Captain Phillips unsuccessfully tries to negotiate but end up being a hostage.
Global capitalization is a topic which hasn't been brought up in many movies. As I said, Phillips is not just a survival tale but it questions the effects of global capitalization, and the countries' drive and greed for power and control. Countries like Somali try to survive the death race started by other superpowers.
The story not only lets you feel what Rich is feeling, but also the pirates' perspective. Which makes us wonder, where they really bad? Why won't they just give them the money? Muse's character is so intelligently crafted that the viewer only empathizes as much as Greengrass wants him to. Barkhad Abdi compliments this by a splendid acting performance.
This film is the perfect example of 'acting with expressions and eyes'. Tom and Barkhad, compliment each others' performances throughout the film, and their eyes do the talking. Tom really outdid himself by portraying a shocked and traumatized captain at the end. It is very disappointing that he didn't get nominated, but I guess it was due to competition, all the nominations for best actor are simply marvelous. I guess its time the academy needs to extend the number of nominees for major categories other than best picture.
Direction: Greengrass is great, a strong narrative and a strong hold on the film. He easily gets us hooked in just a few minutes. I haven't seen any of his previous works as of yet, thus the hand held camera really gave me a few headaches and dizziness, maybe it was done to give the viewer a more 'seasick' effect.
Script/Story: Superbly written, minimal dialogues. A simple screenplay, but the film is more about expressions than dialogues.
Acting: Tom is back, and he is at his best, he deserved a nomination. Barkhad Abdi was good for a newcomer with no experience whatsoever, though I don't see him wining the Oscar. Rest of the cast was equally good, especially the Somali actors.
Music: The score had a striking resemblance to inception's score. I mistook the composer for Hans Zimmer, until I checked it. But further reading, I came to know that Zimmer was involved but remained uncredited. Nevertheless an amazing score, if not Oscar worthy.
Overall a nail-biting and strong believable thriller. As it isn't a mind twister of a thriller it can easily be enjoyed when you want to rest your head after a long day of work.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
An honest adaptation of an honest account of a dishonest person!
As much as I enjoyed this film, which is a typical Scorsese Crime drama with a many situational laughs, I found it a bit overrated as far as the award season and critics are being concerned. Yes! it is a great and well made film, but yet it has its flaws. The film induces scenes where you are forced to laugh, at the same time there are scenes which will keep you checking the clock.
Jordan Belfort's story is a rags to riches saga by means which are 'not strictly speaking legal'. With more money comes greed, lust and drugs.
To be honest, before the film I had no idea who Jordan Belfort was, so it was quite fascinating getting to know a new persona and a new scam. This year already had a similar genre movie, namely American hustle, which was certainly not better than The Wolf of Wall Street. But just like American Hustle the film had some extraordinary performances. Leo as usual, he badly wants an Oscar, he is willing to do anything for it, so it seems. Jonah is excellent, even the rest of the cast is great.
As Scorsese said, if this was just a 'Crime-drama' it would have been a 3 hour torture, so it was necessary to make it a comedy, which was a pretty good decision. Many people argue that the film could have been easily cut shot to 2 or 2 and half hours, but I disagree. Yes there are a few boring scenes, but those are essential for character as well as plot development. Only a few dialogues here and there could have been cut shot, i.e at max 5 to 7 minutes.
As I was new to Belfort's boiler room investments, after the film I spent hours reading about him, from which I can conclude that this was actually an honest depiction of the fraudulent billionaire. Even though Jordan is supposed to be a bad guy, but due to the charisma created by his character (and Leo's jaw droppingly brilliant depiction of him), I can't help but like him. He even makes me wanna be a stock broker and to do whatever he did. As he said, "Let me tell you something. There's no nobility in poverty. I've been a poor man, and I've been a rich man. And I choose rich every time. ".
Direction: Typical stylized Scorsese direction. A good first person account of Belfort's life. The viewer sees the world from Belfort's eyes. Top Notch, if not Oscar worthy.
Story/Screenplay: As I said, it remains true to the book as well as Jordan's life. Some witty writing and situational humor. Strong. Worth the Oscar nod given.
Acting: Leo is just splendid. If the film was released in any other year, Leo would certainly had won himself his first Academy Award. But this year competition is tough, where Matthew McConaughey is the favourite and Chiwetel Ejiofor was certainly better. Thus he is only the third choice. Jonah Hill keeps improving himself as an actor. The time is near when he will earn himself a lead role nod. Rest of the cast is great too.
Music: Great, fitting, perfect.
Overall a good film, with some witty humor and great performances.
American Hustle (2013)
Good, but certainly overrated.
As many people mentioned, David's ways and mannerism of film making especially American Hustle does remind me of Martin, but I think there still is a long road ahead for him to be anywhere near him. Even though the film is well made, superbly directed, excellently acted and fairly well written, it still ends up being a boring film which only gets better for the last 30 to 40 minutes.
Premises set upon the ABSCAM, it is a fictionalized account of how a FBI agent used small con artists to get the big fishes.
Firstly, this isn't my Genre, I don't particularly like these kind of films. They might be good and well rated, but I still find them boring at points. So I wasn't expecting much. As David O Russell say, he only like characters and hates plots, it is fairly evident in this venture of his. The film is totally character driven with some excellent performances, whereas the plot seems a little messed up and haphazard especially in the first half. The comic moments were rare and only came with Jennifer.
Along with excellent directing and acting, the film has eye catchy costumes and hairstyling, particularly Amy's dresses and Lawrence's hair. I was surprised when it wasn't nominated for Makeup and Hairstyling. I think the film is the most deserving nominee for Costumes.
Direction: Strong. David manages to hold a messy plot together.
Writing: Slightly weak for David's standards. Though it is good towards the end.
Acting: Almost everyone was outstanding, and I'd be utterly disappointed if Lupita takes away Lawrence's Statue.
Music: A good mash-up of old classics.
Overall a one time watch flick, well made, yet a bit boring. 6.7/10.