Reviews

24 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Inside Job (2010)
9/10
A nightmare on Wall St
29 April 2012
A chance channel surfing expedition on a Sunday morning got me hooked to this documentary on HBO today. Something that drew me towards it initially were the attributes that goes into making a world class documentary from its first shot. But eventually ended up being a piece of history that should do well in drawing a perspective of the what's and why's of the 2008 economic debacle, for anyone who has a knack for "money". Which I'd like to think is all of us. Narrated beautifully by Matt Damon, "Inside Job" tells a story for what its worth without resorting to dramatics or kneeling on fabrications. The fact that its entire runtime lacked a single hint to a government propaganda, should serve it in good stead for a long time to come. If not as a guide on how to terminate a civilization; at least as a reference on how to avert the possibility of one. Having said that, what really stayed with me long after I'd finished watching it though, was a reality check on how ill-represented the knowledgeable of the world's strongest democracy is. I'd not be delineating from the truth if I assume the one's we trust with our money & future are as susceptible to personal greed and are as misinformed as were the cavemen from once upon a time. The authorities we elect to represent us, to secure and protect us from the evils of the very society we live in, are the ones who are nonchalantly eating into our future, spewing out the remnants of what was rightfully ours. And then you include the prestigious institutes that shapes the great minds that will lead us tomorrow like Columbia University & Harvard into the mix and what you have is "fear" instilled in your minds, almost bordering on depression. While the economic downturn of the late last decade, was a bastard child of some "designer suit clad" but "shot sighted" go getters of the far west, the global economy of today ensured that its impact was far and wide spread. Anyone who buys and sells to another nation irrespective of bi-lateral trade policies is fated to be a part of it's collateral damage. As such everyone I know or work with, had borne some degree of brunt from this downturn. Point in case is me. I work in a developing nation in the South East of Asia for a company that headquarters in California and is the world's biggest IT company. Go figure

The feature starts with a panoramic shot of Iceland and its lush green covered undulating landscape that suddenly cuts into a few shots of it's man made concrete infrastructure which I think was intended to represent progress and development of an urban society. It's a short retrospection at what transpired in this Nordic European island nation in the North Atlantic ocean that is strategically placed between North American and the rest of Europe around the same time. It involves the collapsing of all three of their major commercial banks and their inability to refinance their short term debts. They eventually were dependent of the run ins from Netherlands & the UK. Relative to the size of its economy, Iceland's banking collapse is the largest suffered by any country in economic history. In the documentary, this piece works as a preamble to the main chapters that follows right after. A large group of men from Wall Street across its food chain, twisted and turned the laws of finance to yield immediate and exponentially high results that were mutually exclusive and with almost no regard to morality or limitations. It gave way to a world of illusion, which under the garb of rapid financial progress was in reality infested with lies, deceit and cover ups for the common men which sadly was to be only found out after much destruction to the system itself. So much so that, even the most revered thinker of the trade cannot put a timeline to its complete recovery. My bet is, no one can even tell its true meaning anymore. The then Bush government's initial buying into the same school of thought as those greased mouth scavengers is as much revelation as realizing that the one in power i.e. Obama has not been able to to extract much result from all the promises of his presidential campaign that got him elected. I mean what else do you expect when the apples of discord who deserved to be trialed for treason are appointed heads of initiatives that are formed to eradicate the very evils they inculcated in the first place. That in gist is what "Inside Job" is all about. It is told through interviews of the who's who from the various factions within the financial world that calls the shots, sometimes at the expense of our tomorrow.

Some pundits would make us believe that although the tax paying men suffered a great deal, the final storm was averted and that we should thank a handful of them for their disaster recovery plans. A movie named "Too Big To Fail" that followed right after in HBO, tends to elaborate on that notion. But for both reasons technical and factual, "Inside Job" is a documentary heads and limbs above any that I have seen in the past few years, including HBO's above original feature. For a piece of history that is both compelling in its taut execution and for its relevance to our future and that of our children, watch "Inside Job". RECOMMENDED 5/5 Read more at http://mayurdeep.com
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8/10
A shot in the arm to the horror genre
29 April 2012
I walked into the theater with very little expectation, besides a dormant penchant of some cheap thrills and chills. But the one thing that kept coming to my mind, while going through the pre-show commercials, was what Total Film called it in one of their past month editions : "reinventing the horror genre". While that may not mean much or anything at all, my subconscious self was yearning for something interesting, minus the torture gores of Eli Roth and his counterparts, that I detest.

The Cabin In The Woods, through its trailers, shouts out aloud that here is a movie that you've seen it all before, and just like what you've come to expect by now, we too have twists, and turns and surprises along the way. In the movie though, what does stand apart by almost a telling yard is that, these twists and turns come to life in the narration, a lot earlier than you'd have anticipated and follows a coherent motive of surprising the viewer, the moment conventional wisdom looked to be the order of the day. Drew Goddard and Josh Whedon wrote a good story but the former, directed it even better. The acting was a well oiled support group that left no stone unturned in exploiting every given opportunity at pulling off histrionics, that such scripts provide. Special mention to the Fran Kranz, who I am told has been a regular in Wheddon's past works. As a nerdy, dope head, his weed act is the catalyst of this experiment and serves the flavour sumptuously with a long ending after taste. There is also no doubt that post Thor and the soon to be released pre-summer blockbuster "The Avengers", Chris Hemsworth's stock price is on the rise. & that will do a world of good, in pulling the Youtube demography into buying cinema tickets for this cabin.

Jenkins & Whitford were pitch perfect Overall, if entertainment was the yardstick to a film's success, The Cabin In The Woods, is an assured and comprehensive winner. Its a shot in the arm to the horror genre. It'd be a crying shame if the most cynical follower of such movies would have anything to complain about this one. In my attempt at not giving too much away, I'd just say that the elaborate climax and all the mayhem that the proceedings give into, all mixed at a tastefully timed pace, should keep you glued to the edge of your seats for minutes that seem to be never ending. The humour quotient is immaculately placed in the entire narration and is never used as a tension diffuser. Such was the balance between perception and truth of the premise, that I had people in my cinema guffaw and shriek in the same scene in a matter of seconds. And I consider them both, bloody genuine reactions. As a film enthusiast I can only imagine the kind of fun the makers and everybody involved in the project may have had. Speaking of which. A homage, although sometimes projected as unintentional, has rarely missed my sights. The opening credits have a subtle touch of Tarantino's flair about them. & the look of the cabin itself and a few other sequences will remind you of Sam Raimi's original Evil Dead. Now you know what we're talking

As you can imagine, being compared to past classics that have done their bits in reviving a genre that sometimes produces overdose of solemn and mournful, can be a great thing. There are times when we tend to take going ons far too seriously and forget that its actually just a movie. If you're one of them, the likelihood of you coming out of the theater feeling shortchanged is very high.So my word of advice, in the words of Mr. S from "School of Rock" is that loosen those hinges on your shoulder, go loosey – goosey, grab your popcorn & soda and find the time to go watch this hilariously frightening piece of work, that has cult written all over it. Look, if not now; than at least in another 10 years perhaps ?

Recommended for the Horror & Thriller lovers. 4/5
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The Artist (I) (2011)
9/10
An analogue admirer's analysis
8 February 2012
After waiting for about 2 months since I first watched the trailer and more than 5 since I first heard about it, I finally managed to watch "The Artist". Between then and the night before last, I've grown accustomed to hearing only the superlatives and most glorious adjectives in reference to the movie. Although none from my close friends, I am referring to my favourite pastimes like Facebook, Twitter, American Cinematography Magazine, Total Film, Time Magazine to just name a few. Apart from setting unimaginable expectations in the sub conscious, it did generate a sense of delirious excitement in me, while I sat down for the experience. Here's what I think, how it fared.

The Artist is an accomplished piece of work that should / would appeal to a wide spectrum of cine goers across the world. But "a lump in the throat" is reserved for the absolute fanatic of the craft. In my books, I consider myself a member of such a make belief club. Before I indulge in the sparkles and the fireworks, the movie managed to create while watching it and right after, let me get into some of the facts.This is as much as some may hate to accept, is a French production shot on location in Los Angeles and includes various craftsmen from both French cinema and Hollywood. But in true heart and soul this is an American story of the industry that sells dreams and most successfully so.There have been many stories about it in the past and so will be in future; that may have or will manage to tell it successfully and some not so much. The Artist, I perceive will have a special place amongst them all, a first among equals if You'd like. At a time, where the advent and renaissance of "Social Media" has brought fans of cinema and the ones who don the grease paints to unbelievable and sometimes unacceptable proximities, the process has inadvertently led to considerable degeneration of the mist that surrounds them and their lives outside the spot light, between "cut" and "action". And at such times, "The Artist" is a breath of fresh air and works as a reminiscent of what movies right after its conception, stood for. A celebration of one such art form, from one such factory that has outlived itself in many ways in the past millennium. he story itself is about an indispensable act of nature, "change" and how it affects the one's who take success and in this case fame and admiration for permanency or as some would call it, granted. In life as much as in the world of glamour, nothing is constant. The protagonist's fights with his inner demons about accepting change is projected in the simplest of manners which is why it works. Research of how it worked in the 1920′s and technical excellence in achieving the feel of those times more than the costume, make up and body language which we have come to expect of movies these days, makes it a product par excellence. The fact that the makers shot it at 22 fps as opposed to the standard 24 fps, helped them achieve what they did and is a serious case in point. Although its USP, "a silent film" will manage to draw the crowds and more so with all the nominations it has been getting, what would make them savour the experience is, how good it is, at it. Michel Hazanavicius who held this dream / passion project close to his heart for long before it came true chose his confidants for the lead roles, Jean Dujardin & Berenice Bejo (who also happens to be his better half). They have achieved major success in the OSS 117 series in France before this. Along with that some very familiar faces that constitutes the important players list includes the likes of John Goodman & James Cromwell who by the way pull off excellent character roles pivotal to the story line. Special mention to Uggy the Dog, who by the way has his own IMDb page now. But by and large Jean Dujardin with his impeccable sense of timing besides an affable charm, the original score produced by Lodovic Bource and performed by Brussels Philharmonic and most of all, Michel Hazanavicius who did not have to depend only on intertiles to tell a silent story, should be held high, very high in respect to what they have given us, the fans. Come February 26th, people who watch movies and follow them for what it is worth, will wait to see if "The Artist" stakes claims at the 10 Oscar categories it has been nominated for (including BEST Picture). My only concern is, people should not give it a miss if it does not get some of them "Gold Statuettes" in the bag because for once, let's not make The Academy the yardstick of its excellence and achievements. Martin Scorsese for all I care should have earned it long before for far better works than "The Departed", for which he did. Lets for once, stand up and applaud "The Artist" wherever You are, until it deafens the ears that have grown accustomed to appreciation of the mediocre, because this one is not it. It is quiet truly and literally if I may, in a league of its own.

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War Horse (2011)
8/10
Visually stunning & unabashedly emotional
5 February 2012
Continuing my trend of the Oscar mania, I review Stephen Spielberg's "War Horse". First of all for the one's who are not aware, the movie is based on a children's novel by Michael Morpurgo, published in 1982. And as some reports suggest, the film also uses elements of the critically acclaimed, award-winning stage adaptation that opened in London in 2007.

WHAT WORKS : Beautiful, absolutely ravishing imagery of country sides, with lush green wide spreads punctuated with abundant dosage of emotional overdrive. A war ravaged gloom dawns upon, better part of the second half but not as much to elaborate on the gore of such acts, but as a tool to tell a story that constitutes the plight of animals of such times. And obviously a beautiful beast, the thoroughbred, the horse, who as the name suggests is the protagonist of the show. The movie works on many levels, with special mention to the look of it. Every frame is a carefully manicured garden, both posh in colour and rich in content. The camera work, much like any Spielberg production is compelling and shouts out loud that a lot of work has gone into achieving what they have. More so, when You consider an animal carrying the narrative through to the end. Not the first time and wont be the last. But as I have always believed, its the manner that determines the outcome. & in this instance, the journey of one Joey (the horse), is a story well told. Some of the negative reviews to a certain degree is justified but one should understand that a movie based on a celebrated children's book means its aimed at such viewers or by and large – the family. And as such, does a wonderful job with its straight forward linear, easy to comprehend story line. Pretty much sums up the reasons why A.I. did not fare as much as half of what E.T. did. On that front alone Spielberg's work should be given its due, for as many great thinkers and directors there maybe in contemporary cinema, his clarity of objective and the means to achieve them, is second to none.

WHAT DOESN'T : As I must have mentioned above, War Horse has all the ingredients to be a critic's delight specially for the naysayers. As it has everything that can be debated when looked through a cynic's eyes. It is the beautifully grilled turkey on Your table at "thanks giving", the one that in all fairness cannot be enjoyed without using a knife and a fork on it. But it should be remembered for what it stands for : an epitome of the occasion. Nevertheless, I always try to treat a movie as someone who loves the art for what it is before anything else, and I say there are a few points that could be reviewed under a darker light. The beginning could have been more compelling with sometime spent on Albert's fascination for the horse. & the ending could have done without a fairy tale conclusion. No I am not saying a positive end is debatable, its the string that connects the culmination with the climax that I have a problem with. You ought to watch it to understand what I am referring to. But having said all that, these are extremely minor glitches.

FINAL WORD : It is without a shred of doubt one of the year's best. The 3rd act before the climax will have You tears so be prepared for it. Steven Spielberg should be lauded for his efforts for staying away from the blood and the gore in his quest at achieving parallel acceptance. But then considering that was not his aim and the reason why this movie will not win the Best Picture is what makes this a fantastic palpable experience. Watch it for the breath taking frames of a stark disposition it offers through an abundant harvest that is "life", on one side and what we make of it through mistakes like "war", on the other.

Read it here http://mayurdeep.com
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Jik zin (2012)
8/10
An action fan's dream come true
19 January 2012
There was a time not very long ago, when movies from Hong Kong meant one thing : "ACTION" sometimes an overdose of it. But regardless of the naysayers, they were quiet brilliant at it. But then they grew either too frivolous or too serious and sometimes too pretentious for their own good. Dante Lam (one of the better ones out there) in the face of this gradual change has earned himself a name for sticking to his "guns"; literally. & if the experience of his latest offer is anything to go by, the trend may just catch up again. I for one will not be complaining.

The GOOD : This potentially could be the most accomplished HK "action" movie in a contemporary sense of the word and setting. There have been a few masterclasses but most of them are either from the age of the Kings & Queens or of characters with super powers (yawn inducing). "The Viral Factor" does not have any gravity defying stunts nor does it have a single shot which is used to glamorise the protagonist or the antagonist. With all due respect to Donnie Yen, considered the best action man in town and my favourite too, there have been too many caricatured villains in his movies. Nothing like that in TVF. Its bare knuckles, blood splattered walls, rusty nails / water pipes, plenty of body bags, big guns in extended street chase sequences, car crashes, rocket launchers, helicopter chases and the list goes on. You absolutely have to give it to the director for his no holds barred approach from start to finish. He does not pretend its anything else. The leads Jay Chou & Nicholas Tse, have done a fantastic job and quite possibly have produced their best work yet. Chinese lads are not known for histrionics but some demanding & long single shots have brought out the best in them. Nicholas Tse in my book has grown to be in a different league compared to his "Dragon Tiger Gate" days and character.The story although not a pathbreaker has a sense of nobility in it with a platform for a large spectrum of emotions. The almost unseen city skyline that of KL (in a movie before this) is used as a backdrop and that adds on the rare but tingling after taste that the movie leaves. I was very curious to see how it'd turn up and its fair to say I am mighty impressed as I have lived right in the middle of almost all the places the story evolves through. The BAD : The screenplay does not do any huge favours to the story and is the biggest let down of the movie. It stands as the biggest deterrent to what it could have been. Mostly because, the 2nd n 3rd acts which is the glue that holds the end to the start tends to give a convoluted feel. There is nothing wrong in the story, but the sequence of events and there by its impact could have been spot on with some crisp writing. The editing leaves a little to be desired coz if that was snappy, TVF could have been an immortal piece of ACTION cinema. All these also mean that the runtime could do with some some chopping. Another sore point of the proceedings esp. for the non English speaking crowd, is the amount of English used in the script. Some of them were necessary and fits well. But I could not digest the main baddie delivering almost all his lines and most importantly the ones that mattered to the eventual development of the story, in English. And if it counts at all, I don't speak Cantonese or Mandarin nor understand 1 bit. Considering this is predominantly aimed at the Chinese with a more than liberal approach begging the westerners to pay a visit, the subtitles alone would have sufficed.

The FINAL WORD : Its recommended for the action fan. Go and have Yourself a great time at the theater. One of the best ways to kick off a new year.

Read more reviews http://mayurdeep.com
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Tower Heist (2011)
Solid laughs in this one
4 November 2011
November, especially the beginning, the way I see it for the movies, is a tricky time. Its almost the holidays but well; just not yet. Its also the phase that You witness the better movies of the year being lined up and all the post production teams working extra hours to have that first teaser, the first trailer ready. It may not be a norm but for all I have noticed, in the past few years, the Oscar hopefuls make the most of these times. But between such times sneaks the ones "You don't know what to expect from". The latest ensemble cast, Brett Ratner directed "Tower Heist" belongs to that category.

Ratner whose last 35mm outing was the immensely forgettable "Rush Hour 3", has Ben Stiller playing the lead, who has hit a rather long purple patch in his acting career through "Little Fockers" & "Greenberg" both 2010. HT as the name suggests is a heist movie involving a group of employees who plan to rob their most important client due to a few very believable but unfortunate turn of events. What leads to such dire possibilities, the planning, the execution and finally the climax forms the crux of "Tower Heist". It has an able support cast in the likes of Casey Affleck (known more for his serious roles), Michael Pena (who can pull off absolutely anything), Tea Leoni, Gabourey Sidiby (Precious - 2009) & a couple of veterans in Eddie Murphy & Matthew Broderick making a comeback with Alan Alda playing the antagonist.

The Good : It is entertaining and there is no two ways about that. Especially the first 2 very fast paced acts, garnished with witty dialogues and a few really hysterical scenes thrown in. I also like how Hollywood always sets a certain level of high standards with character introduction. I mean don't expect an "Ocean's 11" here after reading this. Retner is no Soderbergh but what works for the movie is, no where in its runtime would You feel that he is trying hard to be. Except for Casey who is in both the enterprises. Michael Pena I thought was gut wrenching funny, better than the weird cop of "Observe & Report" and the poorly written character he plays in the otherwise hilarious "Eastbound & Down" - season 2. Most of his other notable roles are either serious or of a different level and hence does not deserve a mention.

The Bad : The ending of the 3rd act before the climax. The half baked romantic sub-plot that should have never existed in the first place. Eddie Murphy whose character I believe had the potential to bring the proverbial "house down" but well the writers had other ideas that obviously didn't work. Broderick's character could have been played by almost anyone, or perhaps someone with a better attitude would have added a little vigour, to a lifeless role. He went through the motions. Last but not the least, the ending; well lets put it this way. It could have made up for all the minute glitches in the screenplay but all it did was bring the final score down.

Irrespective of the above, "Tower Heist" make no mistake is one of the better comedies of the year. The situational humour works almost every time the protagonists get together. Michael Pena was superb. The neither here nor there ending aside, I enjoyed it immensely.
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10/10
If You're an Indian, You must have seen a Stanley. That will stay with You long after You have watched SKD
22 September 2011
Plenty of superlatives have been laced around this gift of cinema by the common man and the critics alike. Having stated my grievance over the local (read Malaysia) Hindi film distributors, it's been no surprise that "Stanley Ka Dabba" never saw the light of day in a market that I see as a melting pot of cultures and has a tremendous future in its entirety. But business aside, I consider myself lucky to have laid my hands on this gem of a movie after some trials since its release. Considering the pragmatic message of the enterprise and the manner its told, I'd do my best to spread the fire (if it can be called that) amongst masses where pre conceived notion of a Bollywood potboiler has run riots, more so lately. Emergence of absolute trash in the past few months and its glorified success stories augurs bad for the industry as it is. But what that trend has done is make SKD stand out and brought along a bag of possibilities.

The tribulations of Amole Gupte and the crew while making this project a reality, is just a click away on plenty of websites. However let that not influence Your reasons to fall for this charmer. My bet is, a few seconds into the screenplay and You will forget much of it anyway. That's for me, is what a movie's sole purpose if. Make You leave Your world behind and get You connected with the protagonist immediately. The introduction, the conflict and climax are woven seamlessly giving the viewer the pleasure of time, money and energy well spent. With that said; a very very special mention to all the kids involved in the movie, led by a nonchalant powerhouse performance by Partho (incidentally the son of Amole Gupte) and the man himself, playing the protagonist and antagonist respectively. If You have never felt a lump in Your throat or may have forgotten how it felt like (since it's been that long), watch out for Stanley. Most likely he will get You and get You bad. By no stretch of imagination is this a saccharine coated or a painstakingly sad tale. If anything at all, this will be long remembered for its well sketched climax, that could potentially knock You off; numb. Special note to my Indian friends who haven't had the pleasure of watching this yet, a word of caution. We in our lives, even if it's for once have come across one "Stanley" and that will be with Us long after the credits have rolled.

Technically it's a lesson in film making for aspiring story tellers of all forms and sizes. I remember what an interviewer once asked a celebrated movie director of Malaysia during her interview "When You're thinking about a film, does it start with an idea and how does it come to life?". To which one of my favourite film makers, Yasmin Ahmed replied "It never starts with an idea, it starts with a feeling". Well although I haven't read / seen any interview of Mr Gupte around his solo directorial venture yet, I am almost certain that it must have been a feeling that stuck to him in good stead and made him gift us "Stanley Ka Dabba". How else would You explain a 90 minutes screenplay based on a subject matter that may come across as trivial at start but gradually builds up to make a special space in Your heart and mind culminating to a very very special message.

Only recommended for ages 3 to >100.
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Black Swan (2010)
9/10
A timeless & poignant thriller that is almost nonchalant in manner !!!
20 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
After an incredibly inexplicable wait, "Black Swan" finally saw the light of the day here in Malaysian theaters and I could not have missed it for the world. As a religion, I queued up infront of the Box Office, where I represented the first patron of the day and the theater barely 1/3rd filled, made it to the first show on a Saturday morning. With the large portion of the next 2 hours spent at the awe of what I experienced, I could finally sum up the pieces of my blown out mind as I sit to write this piece.

3 specific names associated with the premise meant; it tagged along itself the rather heavyweight of all downers some like to call "expectations". French film giant Vincent Cassel, Natalie Portman and Darren Aaronofsky who most recently was celebrated for his violent yet heart breaking projection and Mickey Rourke's comeback vehicle "The Wrestler". Add to that 5 Oscar noms, 3 of which are for Best Leading Actress (Portman), Best Picture and Best Director and You have Yourself a list of sorts, that pretty much dictates to You why You should spend a well earned weekend morning inside the theaters.

Black Swan is a fairly straight forward story of a ballet dancer and her evolution into a foray She was particularly destined to fail at. Thus it brings along her struggle, fights within her boundaries, reasons and contradicting perspective of pretty much everything She was always led to believe. Throw in some exceptionally well written characters, in the form of her Mom (Baraba Hershey), Mentor (Cassel), Peer (Mila Kunis) and Predecessor (Winona Ryder) around the protagonist that helps her development and along with the eventual narration of the story. All support staff of the production and the one at the helm of all affairs should be given special mention for building a rare mood that aggravated the tension and only added to the crescendo of climax built with a rare but dedicated eye for soul. That for me managed to do what no feature film has been able to do in the past few months. I shed a tear at the climax for it was that epic height that one achieves, specially in creative spheres after weeks, months and years of inspired but relentless and mostly fruitless perseverance.

Quite fittingly the movie ends on a deafening sound of a hair raising round of applause by an auditorium filled with patrons who witnessed one of the finest renditions of the "done to death" opera "Swan Lake" because only they knew what they had experienced was both rare and timeless. Sadly the same cannot be said of the theater I watched the movie in, but as lights came on and credits rolled, I rose on my trembled feet and my heart swelled with the sense of fulfillment only a 35mm story can bring to me. And that's just how I would love to spend all my Saturday mornings for the rest of my life !!!

Highly Recommended
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Dhobi Ghat (2010)
8/10
Don't categorize this & give it a chance it truly deserves
25 January 2011
A standout lesson in narrative with its heart at its rightful place. It's a testament to the fact that the simplest of stories treated with a purpose has in it, enough to strike a chord in our hearts. Good news is that as opposed to many beliefs, the newest offering from Aamir Khan production has tons of it (purpose). In all fairness, during its pre release hype including the trailers, the press conferences and its Toronto International Film Festival opening, the creators never claimed this movie to be something it is not.

As for the movie itself, excerpts, based on a specific time derived from the stories of 4 central characters with Mumbai as its backdrop should sum up Dhobi Ghat in a nutshell. Throw in some brilliantly enacted sequences with a master craftsmen behind the lenses whose belief of the subject matter is magnified with her projection of the resplendent city in its true and overwhelming grandeur. Finally here is a movie that is honest to its genre. Some including me had severe reservations against its uncanny familiarity in tone to some of Alejandro Innaritu's previous gems. Gustavo Santaolalla's lilting guitar melodies from the trailers were enough to draw comparisons. Thankfully having watched it, I am relieved and can now claim with confidence that it deserves nothing but praises for its absolute and one of its kind treatment of a rather straight forward subject. The producer (AK) and the director (Kiran Rao) deserve top mentions followed by an ensemble cast befitting of the humane characters they portrayed in the most nonchalant but faithful way which eventually accentuates the effectiveness of the script to mesmerising levels.

My only request to the ones who have already watched it and to the ones who are contemplating a visit to the theaters, is to put all debate of whether this movie is an art-house or a mainstream commercial to rest and judge the product for what it is.
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4/10
Being mindless is tough unless You are Farah Khan
29 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Farah Khan the celebrated Bollywood choreographer returns for the 3rd time at the helms of affairs as a director after "Main Hoon Na" & "Om Shanti Om". If there is one thing we have learnt from her earlier works is to expect plenty of senseless plot developments, action sequences without a purpose, beautifully choreographed dance numbers and the absence of any storyline. All in all some serious entertainment minus the all so serious perspective. The fact that her previous works were runaway hits in the box office, almost assures us, that her next would follow suit. If the promos were anything to go by, it all looked rather amplified, with a certain "Sheila Ki Jawani" ruling the Indian music charts in the last month or so. Katrina oozes sensuousness in the video.

Akshay Kumar replaces SRK as the main man in the enterprise after AK had assured the cash registers rang big time in Farah's brother Sajid's "Houseful" earlier in the year. Add the other Akshay of the industry (Khanna) with a ridiculous wig and a plot thinner than wafer. Than punctuate the narration with rampant digs on almost everything You can fathom from Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle, Anil Kapoor, Steven Spielberg, Sleepy Hollow, Aamir Khan, Manoj N Shyamalan to Manoj Bajpai and then to Manoj Kumar… As for events there is a hugely popular song which I have hinted about earlier, a couple of robbery scenes and in a style only Farah Khan can pull a few cameos from Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan & Chunky Pandey. Editing is the weakest aspect of the production and the song sequences the best.

The most intriguing part of the movie is the acting. It all looked like a lot of goofing around was captured in a camera and eventually put together as a movie. The irony is; that sums the better part of the story. A particular scene describes the 2+ hrs long narration of the movie beautifully. Akshay Khanna's character after the director says "action" is at a loss as he has no idea what he is to supposed to do. The director enacted by Akshay Kumar chews his hands and pulls his hair in disgust and eventually comes up with something as incomprehensible as the movie itself.

Well that is "Tees Maar Khan" for You. Go and watch it for "Sheila Ki Jawani" because its on 35mm and sounds better than Your home theater. Let me know if You agree with Farah about mindless being a tough job !!!
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