Reviews written by registered user

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48 reviews in total 
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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Choose Life, 22 April 2011

No big drama, no intense car chase, no sex-laden imagery. Yet the film tugs. It has a compelling draw. It has all the simplicity of making a living, raising kids, living life. And then there are moments which confront complexity, where dreams and desires crash against life's harshness. Letting go an easy but corrupt deal which could pay for the daughter's hearing aid, being able to break into a song after the kids have witnessed their long-cherished plan choke on itself. The camera captures some poetry – of blue doors, sweeping vistas with ostriches, and landscapes which come alive from a kid's loving scrawl to full bloom. Did you know the pleasure of being on a breezy rooftop with your wife while the kids watch TV late in the evening? For such and many other life's precious moments, this film is a must watch.

Kwaidan (1964)
Must Watch!, 16 August 2009

Kwaidan is hard to write about. Words and language don't have the brevity and impact as the film media, specially the way it is experienced in Kwaidan. I can list a lot of adjectives about how glorious the movie is, but its beauty is in its felt experience, which will be different for different people. Its horror for some and spiritual for others. Its motivating and frightening, its beautiful and stark, its achingly slow and some moments are threateningly fast. The colors are magical. The expressions of the actors is other-worldly. The silence in the movie gets to be really loud sometimes. There is poetry in the script, with themes of love, faith, betrayal, kept and broken promises, beauty, honor, devotion to art, and much more. It's a must watch!

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Visual Delight, 15 August 2009

Like most Fellini movies, Juliet of the Spirits is also a visual delight. There is a blast of colors and craziness on the screen, and its all very tasteful. In all this extravagance is Juliet, with her less than ordinary beauty but extraordinary visualization. She is caught between her love for her husband and his affair with someone else. She attends exotic clairvoyant parties and even more exotic sexual temptation parties. The magic of the movie is how Fellini brings to life Juliet's struggle with conflicts within her. Giulietta Masina is flawless in her role of the depicting the torn wife – with her trembling smile and questioning eyes. Sandra Milo, her polar opposite as the indulging temptress, is deliciously competent as well.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Honoring Things Beautiful, 31 July 2009

Blue Umbrella is beautiful. The umbrella, the concept of the story, the background of the movie, the people, the symbolic values – they're all beautifully presented. Pankaj Kapoor says in the movie that one shouldn't measure the profit loss behind watching a sunrise. In the same way, there's really no evaluation of this movie because of its intangible beauty. It also showcases the culture of mountain people, how they deal with crime and punishment. It gets quite intense and still doesn't let go of its simplicity. Its joy to watch the kids dance along the streets and also the adults in a marriage ceremony. Pankaj Kapoor and the director have both done a great job!

Aparajito (1956)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Tug of Life, 25 July 2009

Aparajito is a very simple story of a small boy growing up till he finishes his college graduation. Its really an extremely simple story. There are no dramatic twists in the plot. Its classic humdrum. And that's where the movie becomes magical and beautiful – capturing and showcasing those precious humdrum moments of life, because they come and go so rapidly one fails to have the opportunity to soak in them expansively to fully live and experience them. That is Ray's brilliance, to use film to underscore the subtle and the ethereal. The spark of childhood, the vigor of youth, the care of motherhood, the contemplation of old age, all flow through like the river. Every life has its ups and downs, some have more downs that the other. Life however, finds a way to tug along and then sometimes it doesn't.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Coming of Age Story, 17 July 2009

What starts out as generational conflict in this movie, ends in understanding, solemnity and grace. The movie meanders through Europe with the father and the young son cramped in a car over 3000 miles. The cramping forces lifestyles, beliefs and life skills to collide. There's really no clear winner. It all adds up in the end as experience, experience of multiple layers of life. For those interested in understanding Islam, this movie offers a generous and gentle outlook, without being pushy about the agenda. It's a coming of age story for the young son, his dismissive and rebellious nature turning to openness for receiving more ways of life.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Life-Affirming, 16 July 2009

This is an epic movie. The movie plays out intensely, gripping attention right from the first frame. It affirms life in its story of death. Its complex in its simplicity, its comic in its seriousness, its subtle in its gravity. It depicts a life lived well and fully. It questions norms and it glorifies personal values. It gives the heart the mandate to lead the way. It may jerk people to take a fresh new look at their way of living their life. It may seem feminist or iconoclastic, but at the same time its very traditional and conservative in its message of family togetherness and social interdependence. I loved it!

Chakra (1981)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Gut-level bleakness, 16 July 2009

Chakra depicts a toxic life, representing hell on earth. It follows a vicious cycle of destruction of hope and faith in life. The movie shows how poverty extracts its toll in multiple ways, with very little scope for the silver lining. Life becomes tenuous, self-destruction being as a big a threat to continuation of life as other demons. The story weaves through the ups and downs, mostly downs, of life in the sub-altern. Naseer has a dialog in the movie that all torment comes from the need of stomach and the organ below it – from the need for survival and sex.It showcases the nakedness of how raw emotions are lived out in public. Privacy of grief and shame is not a privilege available to the poor. Everything plays out in the open, magnifying its bleakness. In some ways, similar rules apply to lives of the very rich also. The ending is seems squished, in its eagerness to dramatize the treachery of Chakra of life.

The Cow (1969)
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Surreal, 4 July 2009

This movie is about as far as one can get from Hollywood blockbusters. Its about a cow. About a cow and a very loving owner. And what happens to them ultimately. There's melancholy and madness in the tragic ending. But the movie also scales new heights in the bonding between human and animals, in this case, a cow. The camera has been used is a surreal way. Shadows and people mix creating a spookiness which adds to the oddity of the general environment depicted. There's very palpable tension in the movie, created by the elements related to the cow and the three shadowy thieves who perhaps symbolize lawlessness. What also struck me was the looming silence of the black burkah-clad women and occasion glimpses of their crinkly faces. All very surreal. There are some very interesting personalities which come alive through the script, other than the cow of course!

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Vietnamese showcase, 28 June 2009

The storyline of this movie is pretty basic – its follows the coming of age of a girl, who serves as a househelp. What makes the movie really attractive is the whats in the background- the audio and the visuals. Its feels like walking through a Vietnamese museum. I loved the slow languid mellow tones. The roundness of the ceramic pottery, blackness of long strands of hair, chirping of crickets, warmth of wood, ornate carvings, slowness of movement – it all melds in really well. It creates the effect of being in some scented magical tropical garden where there is an occasional cool breeze. It's a very sensuous movie – without having to resort to sexuality for displaying sensuousness.

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