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Goal II: Living the Dream (2007)
I feel like kicking Jaume Collet-Serra into the goalpost.
Not too many words can be wasted on this movie. I have already wasted 2 and half hours of my life. To cut the long story short, this movie is all about the high society indulgence and a really lame story. The story lifts off from where it's predecessor left - Munez gets into Real Madrid. He becomes a part of high society, thereby drifting off from his loved ones. He searches for his mother and his step brother plays, It's about how he ... heck, the story is so badly narrated that I am not able to write a summary.
Danny Cannon did a way better job in Goal! The Dream Begins than Jaume Collet-Serra who has absolutely destroyed what could have been a potentially brilliant drama.
That's it. I refuse to write anymore for this piece of garbage. Did I mention that I feel like kicking Jaume Collet-Serra into the goalpost.
That what makes a Human - I am Touched.
This movie has touched me in more ways than one. The beauty of the movie is its simplicity. Although an insight of Buddhism will enrich the experience, but it is not necessary. What is portrayed in the movie is universal.
The movie is essentially about a disciple of a monk and how he learns that life comes full circle just like the four seasons. Through the film we are taken on a subtle, beautiful journey - how the disciple grows, the success, faults and failures, and how he rises again to replace his master. The director did a splendid job. With minimalist dialogue, the movie moves forward on actions, expressions and visuals.
The director did a wonderful job in handpicking the actors. Even he plays a part in the movie. Everyone did a great job as (I believe) it is really hard to carry a movie on pure actions, emotions and expressions. And needless to say - they did it flawlessly.
The movie relies heavily on symbolism and one has to pay attention to minute details and think over and over to really appreciate the movie and the values it portrays.
I am sure that after watching this movie, you will be a different human being.
Piece of Mind, Mithunda Style
Director Kanti Shah is a genius. He doesn't belong with the mortals. His methods can be only compared to the likes of Quentin Tarantino. With that said, let me give you a fair idea about the movie.
This movie is more complex than Donnie Darko. Apparently, the entire plot occurs in a parallel universe where via Space-time warps, anyone can commute between shipyard/dock, airport/runway, desert/construction site, etc. in split seconds. The viewer must be aware of the fact that the time progression of the parallel universe is quite different from this universe as suggested by the rapid moving events. It must be also mentioned that the Newtonian laws of physics that holds true in this universe cannot be applied elsewhere. I am no authority over Newtonian physics but I believe Kanti Shah wanted to tell us that there exists no inertial frame of reference.
The acting is superb. In fact superb will be the understatement of the century. It is essentially the caliber of Mithunda that he's brilliantly able to take this movie from being an average to being a good movie and it is the sheer effort by the villains that takes this movie from being good to being great.
This review will remain incomplete and unjust if I don't mention the hard work put by Mr. Bashir Babar. He, as a scriptwriter, is at the top of his game. It takes great guts to write a script with every other line rhyming. The last time I found one was by Satyajit Ray - Hirok Rajar Deshe(1980).
The beauty of the movie lies in the fact that director Kanti Shah has not stated anything explicitly but stated things with explicit content. A movie on similar lines would be Loha (1997).
This movie is a must-watch classic piece of art.
Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007)
Don't Bet on this Race
First things first, the movie is loaded with flaws. The fundamental flaw lies in it's basic storyline - that a top racer goes broke after an accident, as another reviewer has rightly pointed this out. The movie builds on unrealistic assumptions hereafter and a really ridiculous concept of living as a broke. It must be also pointed out that the director forgot to pay attention to details. The whole script is unintelligible and clearly the makers of the movie underestimated the intellectual level of the viewers including 10 year old kids.
But still it deserves a 5/10 because of the acting by the lead pairs. The children did a decent job. The cinematography is sharp and the editing is crisp. I must also commend the director for meticulously framing out each of the racing scenes. However, the director was more concerned about the look and the image of the movie. Alas, had he paid equal attention to the content and had done some research...!
For the people who wishes to watch a racing movie in Hindi, I would highly recommend "Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander". With its more mature content and execution, it will surely satisfy the intellects of 10 year old kids as well as 50 year old grown-ups alike.
Phir Hera Pheri (2006)
Has anyone seen Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels?
This has to be one of the overrated disasters of this year. The original Hera Pheri had a refreshingly new plot, "desi" settings and ample doses of situational comedy.
But this one fails to even come close to the original. I am pretty sure that 95% of the people who will watch this movie have never even heard of "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". For the uninformed, this is a stylish Brit comedy by Guy Ritchie and is simply amazing. If you ever get a hold on this movie then watch it.
Some of the scenes, plots and situations have been mercilessly copied by Mr. Vohra for his latest film hoping that the ignorant Indian movie goers will love it. Well, he succeeds to some extent. The problem lies in the adaptation. While "Lock, Stock..." is set in Britain with their 90s way of living, the director did a bad job in transposing the settings to modern day Mumbai suburbs. Surprisingly, (well not so surprisingly) even the last open-to-interpretation scene of "Lock, Stock..." has been photocopied.
The dialogs aren't as strong as the original and the director/writer tries hard to impose series of slapstick humor in order to save the movie. And how could I forget those unbearable minutes where one wonders who in the name of God has composed/written/sung this song? The only saving grace are the three lead characters "Raju" (Akshay Kumar), "Ghanshyam" (Sunil Shetty) and "Baburao" (Paresh Rawal). These guys seemed to have mastered the art of comic timing with extra "Bananas" to Paresh Rawal. Most of the actors did a pretty decent job but I felt that some of the characters were wasted.
The reason why it gets a 6 is because of the acting and because of director Neeraj Vohra's courage to make a sequel to a cult movie albeit slaughtering Guy Ritchie mercilessly.
Please go and watch "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". If you are unable to get hold of a copy, try "Hera Pheri" instead.
Hum Tum (2004)
Copied Concept but Refreshingly Original
The writers have done a remarkably good job with the story. Taking an outline of "When Harry Met Sally" and weaving a whole new story (and mind you, likable) was really tough and they have succeeded. Saif has definitely matured as an actor and improved his comic timing. He, as Karan, is one of the big factors, who has contributed to the likability of this movie. The other factor is the female lead Rhea (played by Rani Mukherji), who adds to the fun as well as the sensitive side of the movie. Rishi Kapoor and Rati Agnihotri's (Arjun and Anju Kapoor of the movie) bit of tit-bit was not at all needed. However, the good part is, the director did a good job containing that sub-plot in its small shell and not interfering the main storyline. The main hindrance to the movie were not the songs (as one would typically expect from a Bollywood/IFI movie) but small snippets of animation. I felt that was really unimportant. A good recommendation on similar lines would be the Korean movie "My Sassy Girl" (Yeopgijeogin Geunyeo). However, unlike "My Sassy Girl" this film is a bit predictable (nothing compares to that huge twist of "My Sassy Girl" that ends the movie) and lacks heavily in subtleness of emotion. If you are new to Bollywood/IFI (Indian Film Industry), this might be a good place to star off with. The same applies to people who wish to introduce someone to Bollywood/IFI. Overall, this film is highly enjoyable. Highly Recommended.
Subtle Pour of the Rain
I'll try my level best to portray a "NO SPOILER" review of this movie, although its hard to do so. THE REACTION : After watching this movie, one can easily differentiate two categories of viewers of current Hindi films. There would be the people who get into the theater to relax, eat pop corns and then watch performers in some colourful bands which, like all other pieces of modern art, fail to convey any meaning. Sadly this movie is not for them and if you fall under this category, abstain yourself from watching this movie, for this movie is made for the people who love to use their brains and senses while watching movies. THE "PLAYERS" : Both Ajay and Aishwarya did a very good job in their respective roles. The way that they added a touch of glory to the non-glamorous roles is worthy of praise. But the real "player" was the director who added so much significance to the two characters of the landlord(Annu Kapoor) and The Friend's Wife(Mouli Ganguli) who share a small fraction of screen time each. The short conversation with the landlord and the last dialogue of the male protagonist with his friend's wife is worth a thousand praises. THE TITLE : The rain, the darkness, the mystery all set the tone of the movie. And through the darkness the viewer can actually see the invisible raincoat both of them are wearing to protect themselves from each other discovering what they both want to hide. THE SUBTLENESS : Nothing in this movie has been explained by the director, nor is there an attempt to do so. The boasting dialogues between the two protagonists has loads of softer emotions packed underneath. The viewer has to actually pay attention to the details in order to appreciate the work of the director. Also, the viewer's expectation of a climax is gradually ruled out which eventually turns out to be a very positive thing about this movie, thus giving it what is called a "Repeat Value". THE DRAWBACKS : Apparently there is none. It is not a movie, but a piece of art and the director made it his way - No crappy songs, no running around the trees, no hypothetical and imaginary situations. I'll give this movie 9/10 for the sheer brilliance of the director.
Alo : Light for Bengali films
Think that the current Bengali film market is captured by non-sense story-lines and beheaded plots. Watch this movie before making a comment like that.
This is a fantastic movie adapted from Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhya's short story. The characters are real, and define their roots themselves. Most of the people who acted as village people did their job well but I personally feel that putting on the "village accent" would have done miracles.
The director's work was clearly visible and incorporation of certain insignificant yet beautifully crafted elements made this work, if not masterpiece, a real enjoyable one. I won't reveal anything about the storyline but if you really want to enjoy this movie PAY ATTENTION to the songs of Rabindranath Tagore. esp. the last one - it's so meaningful and fits (I'll rather use the word blends) into the movie. I'm sure the viewer will like the movie.