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Inglourious Basterds (2009)
The great Quentin Tarantino has done it again! Just when there was a general feeling he wouldn't be able to top the brilliant Pulp Fiction and has exhausted his creative capabilities the man comes up with this resounding, resonating masterpiece. I'm trying to think of the number of times I've walked out of a movie theater wanting to watch the movie all over again. Not many times. This movie was an exception to the rule.
I'm not going to go into the ins-and-outs of this movie as some of the esteemed and not-so-esteemed reviewers have already done so in this wide technological expanse known as the internet but I would like to point out a few things that stood out: The acting of Christoph Waltz. Do us a favor Academy, drop all the talk of best actor in a supporting role for next years Awards, drop all the potential nominations and give this man the award. Now. To say that his acting was the highlight of the movie would be a sacrilegious understatement. His acting MADE this movie. Watch the movie to believe it.
The look and feel. In order to properly portray a bygone era the look and feel is very important. Somehow I couldn't help but wonder how Michael Mann got it wrong with Public Enemies. QT though, does it right. This movie has that stylish, noir-like feel to it that is reminiscent of movies of that era.
The dialogue. This one is probably a no-brainer to most people given that this is a QT film but the dialogue in this movie is just incredible. The interaction between the characters is excellent and the actors deliver their lines very well.
Brilliant in its exposition, taut in its build up to the denouement, and a rousing, thrilling and thoroughly inventive climax make this movie a passionate movie-lover's joy. A must-see. 10/10.
bollywood needs movies like these
First of all, I'll start off by saying that Omkara isn't a classic or a masterpiece, but came awfully close to being one. It has a great story, adapted from Shakespeare's brilliant 'Othello', great dialogues, a good screenplay, excellent performances, and great music. It starts off quite well, and the ending is a thing of class. But the middle act seems muddled and a little slow. What I appreciate the most, however, is the effort put forth by director Vishal Bhardwaj and his team. Each and every single shot seems carefully thought out, and orchestrated. Tassaduq Hussain makes his debut as DP here but you wouldn't know it..the great Conrad Hall would've been proud had he watched this movie if he was still alive. The music by Bhardwaj has a great vibe to it, and editing is certainly on par, even though some scenes seem way too long. I read a comment by a user saying that Bhardwaj embellished his dialogues with profanity to attract the college going crowd. I vehemently disagree with that. Bhardwaj simply tried to make the movie seem as authentic and realistic as possible because the story is set in UP -- a state we all know is not especially known for law & order. The performances are brilliant. Ajay Devgan does it again, and although you might have a feeling of 'seen-him-do-that-before', he's understated & solid throughout the movie. Vivek Oberoi doesn't have a whole lot to do, but I thought he shined in the scenes where he's given the opportunity. The scene where he bashes up the guy in the car when he's not exactly in the greatest frame of mind is well executed from a technical standpoint. I went into the movie thinking I needed Kareena Kapoor to impress me, and wow! she did. She displays an entire plethora of emotions & expressions and delivers a standout performance. Never thought she had it in her. Konkona Sen Sharma is her usual brilliant self. She doesn't have a lot of scenes, but manages to leave us in awe of her enormous acting talent. Bipasha Basu & Naseeruddin Shah have what you can call 'extended guest appearances', but are adequate nonetheless. The real standout here, though, is Mr Saif Ali Khan. Never been a great fan of him, although I certainly knew he was quite a capable actor after watching Dil Chahta Hai, Ek Hasina Thi, Hum Tum, & Parineeta. But here, he delivers a powerhouse performance that is the stuff of Bollywood history! His performance is the kind of rare tour-de-force that you don't get to see that often from actors. To be honest, he has the best character to play with in Iago - certainly one of the most fascinating Shakespearean characters. But his raw, spellbinding performance will leave you speechless. Within minutes into the initial reels in the movie, you'll know you're in for a treat. Watch Omkara because it is something different from the usual crap-fest that Bollywood serves up. After Rang De Basanti & Gangster, this is the best Bollywood movie to come out this year. Watch Omkara, because Vishal Bhardwaj is a class apart from peers like Karan Johar & Sanjay Gupta. Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna is still unreleased, but I can assure you that you'll find Omkara to be ten times better than KANK.
Qayamat: City Under Threat (2003)
This movie promised a lot at the beginning but faltered after Ajay Devgan's introduction. One of the main reasons is the unnecessary songs that just disrupt the flow of the movie. I see this happening with many Bollywood movies and it's just plain annoying. Nevertheless, since Qayamat is digitally rendered, it looks very good on the big screen. The story is lifted off The Rock(1996), but fails to grip the viewer as much as The Rock did. The Rock was not only entertaining, but also full of tension. Qayamat did not provide any of that to me. The acting was just about OK, with the sole exception of Ajay Devgan. This movie was a hit, so a lot of credit should be given to Devgan. He hits all the right points at the right time and provides exactly the kind of crowd-pleasing-ass-kickin'-tour-de-force that is needed to carry a movie like this. Suniel Shetty does a commendable job, but the rest of the cast have nothing to be proud of. I thought the trio of Arbaaz-Sanjay-Isha just got annoying toward the later stages. If there was one thing this movie could be proud of, it's Allan Amin's action sequences. Though ripped off many Hollywood action movies, the action is great and the time and effort put into those sequences has really paid off. Overall, this movie can be watched once, but not more. 6/10.
Man on Fire (2004)
Good movie, though it would've worked better with a different director
I watched this movie a couple days ago and it was good, although a little long for a revenge movie. Denzel Washington proves he is one of the best in the business today, but it was his scenes with the adorable Dakota Fanning that were the high points of the film. Christopher Walken is his usual self. If there was one thing that I didn't like, it was director Tony Scott's overindulgence in style. I'm not saying Scott is a bad director, I liked Enemy of the State and Spy Game, but his frenetic ultra-stylish directing doesn't suit a movie like this. The movie consists of a million jump cuts, freeze frames, color saturations, blurred images...you name it and all it accomplishes is giving you a headache. Ridley Scott, Tony's elder and more prolific brother, would've worked well with this movie. A more classical style of direction would have perfectly complemented the awesome plot and splendid performances from the cast. But in the end, this movie is still watchable and turned out to be a satisfying experience. 7/10.
I just watched this film and I must say I was stunned. A modern day adaptation of Macbeth, director Vishal Bharadwaj takes full advantage of his hugely talented cast, and full kudos to his direction. He is one to look out for! Performance-wise, Om Puri and Nasseruddin Shah are good, Tabu is great, and Irfan Khan is mind-blowing. But it is Pankaj Kapur who steals the show. He's such an amazing performer. Overall, Maqbool is a class act. Watch it right now!
This is one absolutely stunning movie. If you are an avid fan of Bollywood movies and you haven't watched it yet, something is wrong with you. I actually recommend everyone to watch this movie. This cinematic masterpiece will touch your heart on many levels, bring to the forefront the communal disharmony in India. Mahesh Bhatt's most gripping movie ever. Performance-wise, Pooja Bhatt is fantastic, so are Akshay Anand, Ashutosh Rana and Sonali Bendre. Child Actor Kunal Kemmy is absolutely amazing in a role that required a lot of emoting and conveyed honest expressions. Now coming to the lead actor - Ajay Devgan. Today, Ajay is definetely one of Bollywood's finest. However, back in 1998, he had more of an action hero image. This movie was a step toward getting away from that stereotype and the first in many stunning performances that Ajay has given ever since. He has excelled in movies like The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Company, Deewangee, and most recently Khakee, but I would say this performance is his finest ever. His eyes do most of the talking, so he doesn't need a lot of dialogues. He is one of those actors who is just a treat to watch, regardless of the genre of a movie. Overall, this movie is amazing. Highly recommended. A+.
Whoa!!!! This is one hell of a movie. When I walked into the theater, I was expecting a good movie as this movie was directed by Rajkumar Santoshi and boasted of stars Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgan, Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai. I came out of the theater spellbounded as I had just witnessed a rare masterpiece of its genre. It's heartening to see movies like these come out in Bollywood, even with the over-abundance of love stories. This movie keeps you in the edge of the seat for the full length, and doesn't let up one bit. Bachchan is outstanding and proves why he is the greatest Bollywood actor ever. Devgan again mesmerizes in a negative role after Deewangee. Akshay impresses with his comic flair and his solid action sequences. Ash more than holds her own in a male-dominated movie, while Tusshar Kapoor makes his presence felt. The supporting cast are good as well. I just hope that movies like these come out with regularity in Bollywood. Incredible. A+
Kamal Hassan's extraordinary performance is the highlight of the film. This movie is perhaps the greatest gangster movie made in India, even though it is heavily inspired by the Al Pacino-starrer The Godfather. Kamal rightfully won the National Award for his performance. Great cast, great performances, solid direction from Mani Rathnam, great screenplay = one great movie. Highly recommended. A+.
Stylish flick that fails to live up to expectations
Kaante, boasting of a millionaire star cast which includes Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, and Suneil Shetty, is Sanjay Gupta's latest Hollywood remake. Inspired from Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, Bryan Singer's The Usual Suspects, and Michael Mann's Heat, the film is about six NRI Indians who come together to pull off a bank robbery. But the movie falls short of expectations, mainly due to the gaping holes in the plot. Technically, the movie is first-rate, but Gupta's overuse of style becomes the movie's weak link. It seems that Gupta tried to camouflage the movie's inherent weaknesses with style. Performance-wise, Bachchan is commanding as the leader of the group. Shetty delivers a controlled, yet polished performance. Director-turned-actor Mahesh Manjrekar impresses with his funny antics. Lucky Ali and Kumar Gaurav hold their own. But it is the deadly Dutt who steals the show with his rugged looks and menacing screen presence. Despite its shortcomings, Kaante is a perfect popcorn flick which is worth a watch. 7/10.