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Poignant and far sighted
In my most recent pursuit to catch a foreign film, I found myself sitting with a latte at a public screening watching 2011 Russian movie 'Elena' directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev. The latte made me late by 2-3 minutes but fortunately I didn't miss much of it.
If you have already seen the movie then please read the trivia section of this movie on IMDb. It gives the movie whole lot more meaning and opens up the movie for a different thought process on a new level. The movie on the other hand doesn't drop such hints and instead gives an impeccable narration. That may be the best thing about the movie. The poignancy is also a major factor all through the movie, there are moments when the camera pans in and out or stays rigid and let life around it grow and express. Although for a first timer this type of situations may seem confusing, but having an open mind might make you see things differently. Speaking about ambiguity, reminds me of this scenes that shone the light on such beautiful direction. So Elena wants money for her grandson education and she request Vladimir to help him since her son is unable to do so. Vladimir refuses giving reasons like her son should be responsible enough to provide for his son if he had planned to bring him in this world. In other scene where Vladimir over an animated conversation tells his single daughter to go and have kids, it will make her more responsible. You can see the incoherency in the conversation as Vladimir has irrational love towards his daughter. The director does drop such small subtle hints without actually shoving the message to our faces. The movie is also beautifully captured from the lush apartment in the city to the small apartment in suburbs. The transition is beautiful and am told after reading some reviews that it displays the social divide between the rich and poor. The end is pretty unconventional. Nadezhda Markina puts such fantastic performance as the aggrieved mother. She gets to the screen of the character and we find our self recognizing with this person. The there is Andrey Smirnov as Vladimir the rich, arrogant person played to such finesse. That conversation with her daughter was symbolic of his contribution. Others do play important parts and deserve equal accolades but these two are the performers in this movie. The music is very apt with the situation, in the darker moments it rises to a crescendo giving 'impending doom' feel. The director Andrey Zvyagintsev deserves a hat tip for such impressive work (I am told he has done better). Elena for me is a kind of window into the future, where there will be rich and poor and the term humanity will be modified accordingly. It also shows the parents indefinite and undying love towards their children and the will to do anything to make them happy. I will surely ask you people to give it a watch.
Lootera mostly unfolds in the eyes of their characters.
Both Pakhi and Varun babu are sitting near the lake making conversations. Suddenly they start talking in hushed tones albeit with a hint of coyness, both looking in each other's eyes. They stop and the change of expression on Varun's face and his eyes is evident. He holds back himself out of compulsion and in that scene of 30 sec silence triumphs over words. Their eyes let us hear and their words although far few and soft make us feel. This in fact is the 'USP' of the movie.
Lootera is the movie that i enjoyed by the minute, it's the small instances in the scenes that light up the cinematic wonderland. The movie is quaint at times and surreal in some others. The love story set in mid 1950 took me in right at the centre of everything that's unspoken but understood. Awed by it's jaw dropping choreography (some lighting) to it's incredible art direction to it's crisp editing. It was pretty evident that this movie came from the same house that featured 'Udaan'.
If I could just walk you through some scenes that really made me admire the makers of this movie. When Varun says OK to the idea of teaching Pakhi painting without him even having the elementary knowledge of the art in the first place and you could see both of them trying to get away since the permission has been granted but Pakhi's father who was sharing tea with Varun says 'abhi nahi'(Not now). The director plays this scene so subtly that you see yourself grin. Another scene is when Pakhi tells Varun how her father died and then there is that singular unfazed moment of tension until the next scene unfolds. Another is when Pakhi is pouring her heart out and Varun goes numb to her feelings but his eyes don't deceive. Lootera mostly unfolds in the eyes of their characters.
Although I don't have much experience of the era, the costumes and the treatment of the movie is eye catching. Also we have to admire the kind of voice modulation actors had to go through to give the movie a periodic look. Also picturesque Dalhousie is +1.
While I would love to talk about the stars who acted so brilliantly but Vikramaditya Motwane(Director and screen writer) is at the centre of this movie. Like the new crop of movie makers making their presence felt he is invading the waters that divide mainstream and commercial with a touch of his eccentric filmmaking. Like his work which steals the heart of so many of his followers the director is the true Lootera. Second most important person that really made and impact on me was Ranveer Singh as Varun. He carried a persona that was very unlike his other two movies. In a shackled mode he let his ever moving eyes tell the tale of his heart. I think he does brilliantly in the climax. Sonakshi Sinha as Pakhi is no less when competing with her colleague. She's conditioned to be moody, stoic and unapologetic. In the second half she really comes into her own and gives a powerful performance. Actors like Adil Hussain, Vikrant Massey are used to the extent the story limited them but they played brilliantly. Shirin Guha as Sonakshi's father also caught my eye. Also a word of appreciation to screen writers Bhavani Iyer and Anurag Kashyap.
Yes you will get crowd who will laugh at those serene moments and pass comments but that's natural. Lootera should be watched if not for the love of it then at least for the sake of your grandfathers who were so polite and humble. So unlike us.
Gone Baby Gone (2007)
The wrong baby left .. right.
People are in awe of Ben Affleck these days with his astronomical rise to another level of stardom and his charming ways of capturing those momentous images on camera. Frankly speaking I don't get the hoopla around 'Argo', I didn't see much into it and my dubiousness is not because of the pro American sentiments obvious in the movie. I will talk more about it when I write about that movie, another day. I enjoyed watching The Town because of it's spunkiness. But the movie that triumphs over these newly featured ones is his directorial debut 'Gone Baby Gone'.
I do like to make confession that I have made an attempt to see this before but I couldn't, I found it slow pace and Casey Affleck that to be replica of James Franco in that Oscar ceremony. But what a imbecile I was to ignore such work of pure awe. The movie starts with a beautiful voice over by Casey Affleck then moves over to the main story. It's has Boston city named all over it, in it's wide shots, in it's short glimpses and in it's people. As the detectives makes conversation with characters played by Ed Harris and Morgan Freeman, there is a Tarantino- ish feel to it albeit not with the devilish music background. Casey Affleck character is developed with the morals and chauvinism of a do- gooder. He rarely shows fear in his eyes and his persona is very enigmatic.
I found a lot scenes in this movie that were worth remembering but I won't mention those because I might have to sound spoiler alert. There are moments of disgust not because there is blood or violence(hardly) but the kind of people shown and how they live their life. As the secrets box keeps opening, there are things that come to fore, characters get more intense, they develop backstory and this whole whirlpool of characters and their stories boils down to questionable climax. I know some people might be left unsatisfied with the ending, but what could he do. He made a decision that nobody agreed on, he made it by himself he lost everything and there is no chance he could go back on it. It's against him. By the way you get a ominous feeling at the start when Angie asks Patrick if their is a good life and if this case can change anything worse about it.
Performance wise everybody is top notch, Casey Affleck holds that grip and control over his character that I have seen rarely. Michelle Monaghan is little subdued and I thought like the makers wanted her to have more but it didn't permit. Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris with their ferocious performance are like fuel to this movie. Every now then the sparks fly when they staple those dialogues. Titus Welliver, Amy Ryan and others were superb throughout their acts. A pat on the back of Ben Affleck, rightfully his best movie for me. Back ground music keeps up with the pace of the story.
A must watch for those who like the movies with mind inducing thoughts and questioning morals. A must watch for everyone.
The Woman in Black (2012)
Yeah its no different but it has its MOMENTS
Yeah, it's no different, been there seen that kind of story. It involves the same mystery situations, the same shocking revelations but no conventional ending. From the suggestive title one can make out half of the story, thus the movie falls into the bucket of predictability. But if only were movies were weighed by the stories they showed, we would be in a swamp of identically similar movies. What matters after the story is it's treatment, helping us unfolding the colours of the plot. This movie scores in jumping their audiences out of their seats but also showing some stunning visuals.
What I a m referring to is art direction. When the protagonist visits the mansion house, it carries a kind of eerie presence to it. The kind of detailing that goes in designing that house from interior is just plain astounding. The intermittent shots that shows puppets animated faces also brings out that strange feeling. The director has wisely used those shots to create the effects.
The movie is lacking in areas with a weak screenplay, but overall it grips you. I loved the fact that all the main characters in this movie had some past baggage, a history that directly connects with the plot. When I first saw the ending I was skeptic of it, but then I read about it and was thoroughly satiated with the climax. It is to know that the woman in black doesn't win over Arthur, he denies he that right.
Performance wise Daniel Radcliffe is good but could be better. His portrayal of much older man than he is fails too convince me in some scenes. But his prowess as an actor is tremendous, I will be waiting for more. Ciarán Hinds as Daniels compatriot in the move is exceptional in some scenes. he sometimes takes hold of scenes from Radcliff and gives his own touch. Rest of the cast does well in their appropriate roles.
Give it a watch, you might be surprised with the kind of work being done. It's horror to the core and gives back a lot what it promises.
Special Chabbis (2013)
Neeraj Pandey rises to the best in Hindi Cinema
If I were to think about a Hindi heist movie by a Indian filmmakers, it would be stupid of me not to consider that movie a Hollywood remake, a bad one mind you (cough .. Players .. cough). That was before I saw Special 26. This movie and it's makers depict everything that is in constant revolution in Indian cinema. It's conception and subject is something that is very endearing, especially to an Indian heart.
Before I start putting un-colloquial words on this post let me just confess that I have seen enough heist movies.This all so mighty nature led me to believe that I knew the ending well enough 20 minutes before the climax. I even with intellectual air up in my head try to tell my engrossed friend how the movie will end, to which I was served with enough verbal abuses. But then something happened and I was left totally flabbergasted with the turn around in story. That air up in my head disappeared like a shamelessly coward dog.
The movie is good because it has what it's story demands – a tight screenplay. Apart from the 2 song sequence, it guides uninhibitedly, making it's patterns quite like the popular heist movies. With the subtle humour of it's characters and intelligent direction, the movie has a lot of scenes to get amused and laugh at. There is that scene where officer (Manoj Bajpai) tells the suspended policeman that he wont get fooled by this gang like he did and with that you know that this will be a good tom and jerry chase and the imminent win of one over other. There is also the savoring scene of interviews where young people come with very funny lines on why they want to join CBI. Neeraj Pandey with his promising debut comes forth with another movie that is enjoyable, witty, intelligent and has enough to make your moneys worth. He has augmented his reputation to another level, maybe the one of the best filmmaker in contemporary Indian cinema.
Performance wise it does with what little it has to offer. Akshay Kumar plays the subdued part well in accordance to the story and it's his characterisation. But those of you who might carry the notion of his best performance yet need to slow down a little. The pick of this movie are two persons who with their portrayal make this movie so much fun to watch. Manoj Bajpai with his angry man attitude gets the part so well even with his overconfident nature of portrayal. It might seem like he will growl at you for passing a stupid comment and then he comes with the most quirky dialogue. Anupam Kher potential as a actor is far from recognised. The way he shifts his mannerisms from serious to devil-may- care attitude is worth applauding. This is just a opinion but I think that if Anupam Kher would have done something like 'Do dooni Char', it would have been all the more relishing (No OFFENCE RK). He just gets the common man attitude and attire. Rest of the cast did commendably good in supporting the story. Oh and yeah watch it l so for the art direction and portrayal of cities in 80s especially Delhi.
A must, must watch.
Babel surpasses all kinds of boundaries when it tries to tell the story of people splayed across the face of earth interconnected by situation and emotion. It involves characters that are very real-like and similar to people we encounter on daily basis. In Brad Pitt I have seen the most glamorous actor play the most unglamorous role of any actors career. The movies is actually derelict of extravagant dialogues or witty punch lines but it never ceases to be a roller-coaster ride of emotions. To the core the movie is about being heard by dear ones, to be able to develop that connectivity with people you hardly met and not be marginalized by things that fall well below the ladder of relevance.
Although the story brings hell lot to the table, the soul lies in the character development that breathes so much of life into the movie. Almost all the the characters does incredibly emoting their words through their eyes like putting pen on paper. The other thing that movie does so efficiently is express solidarity to each other faiths and beliefs. You might be horrified or apprehensive but the movie shows it's worth being open minded then live in secluded world of xenophobia.
As per my own habit I like to mention some artistically aesthetically scenes that will remain in my mind till some alien brain washes it. The old Moroccan woman passing her smoke to Susan to mitigate the pain, the little brother cover firing in order to save his injured brother and anguished father, Chieko scenes with policeman at the end were some of the best scenes. Also the scene involving US border patrol check was among the intense scenes in the movie.
I have seen better International collaboration but this movie requires special mention for it's seamless and gripping screenplay. The editor of this move needs a special applaud for cutting the movie into right length without jeopardizing it's premise. I am not going to go around praising each and every actor in this movie because then I will be weighing them against each other and also I do not have the vocabulary to go through such immensely overwhelming performances. The director Alejandro González Iñárritu needs special mention too for even thinking of making such efforts.
In the end I am unable to judge the portrayals since there is that air of moral ambiguity present across the movie. I feel sorry for Amelia, happy for Susan and Richard, anguish for Moroccan family and sense of achievement for Chieko. This movie may not appease to wide range of spectators but it's a like a reality on the big screen only the actors portraying the characters are pretending, rest all remains just as same and believable.
Akaash Vani (2013)
Beware it might bore a non-romanticist
Before going for this movie I casually asked one of my friend if this is going to be another long romantic 'Notebook' type melodrama. Well he wasn't sure and a few hours later I was more sure of it. Lets not compare the two since the stories and setup is very distinct. It all started very promising with seniors asking the two main characters propose each other on their first day at college. Even after that it had some lively scenes involving the two protagonist like the the laundry room scene which actually got me all excited about it's prospects. I was even cracking up hearing some insanely good dialogues which were well accommodated with the movie feel. But these moments of magical experience were somewhat like beep sound in a family show on TV.
The first thing that really irked the hell out of me and this might be personal choice is the use of so much colour. It was like someone was bombarding colour balloons on the screen from behind. The clothes, mufflers, furniture even the walls had different colours, ghastly!!. The movie is also splayed with many still moments of hammy romance. I can watch Pacino or Aamir Khan eye his villain for any amount of time but replace the setting and mood with two good looking characters (hardly) emoting their love to each other, I perhaps will got to sleep in the next few seconds. I know that some of you aficionados of romantic movies will tell me that I am drunk and for my own convenience should go home and read Shakespeare. I get it, but that doesn't rule out the fact that the movie became quite lethargic after the first hour. It had it's moments but compared to the many dull moments I had to sit through, it was testing my patience.
The movie in fact imbibes very noble message, but it finds it difficult to carry the good along with it. The editing in this movie is very poor, it could have been easily a 2 hour movie. The songs and music is below par but bearable. Moving on to the cast, the two actors share a deep chemistry after their known first film. Nushrat Bharucha is superb in showing her skills throughout the movie. In another world this would have been a tailor-made female centric movie, hers to take. Kartik Tiwari does great initially with some lively moments but I have doubts when it comes to serious scenes. Luv Ranjan may have hit a homerun with Pyar ka Punchnama but in this movie, he falls short.
I wouldn't recommend it if you don't like mushy romantics, others can take their chances if you have nothing to do.
Efter brylluppet (2006)
A man having a turbulent past of drugs, alcohol and adultery is suddenly bequeathed with realities he cant afford to swallow. Suddenly there are different set of people around him he feels responsible for and to afford these obligations he needs to break away from people that kept him sane all through his solitude. Behind this there is decision to take, promises to be be crushed and hearts to be melted.
Following a story of Jacob, who has to travel to his native Denmark to grant funds for his orphanage in India, he is unaware of disturbing coincidences and hidden secrets he would be compelled to stand against. Jacob played by Mads Mikkelsen is at his dramatical best playing the sober guy who thinks he has moved on from his past transgression. His congruous portrayal is deeply underlined with afflicting past which he quite blissfully conveys with those emoting eyes. I will be seeing more of him
I have seen only one other Susanne Bier movie and can safely identify the type of cinema related with her. She often construct the story of ordinary humans with plausible but stimulating situations with even more thickening emotions. The aspects where she lingers on the close shots or the sporadically encouraged eyebeaming. The movie does have some overly melodramatic scenes portraying the confliction but efficiently and brilliant in some other more subtle scenes.
There is the also the story of Jorgen played brilliantly by Rolf Lassgård who is up for a race against time, he may seem a antagonist at the first but his complex characterisation and agonisingly superb acting renders us a portrayal that in few scenes overpowers the main character. The wife Helene and daughter Anna played by Sidse Babett Knudsen and Stine Fischer Christensen respectivley does put in lot more efforts in contributing to the story.
The movie is quite bravely handled and is very much a good watch if you are hungry for some foreign cinema(forgive me).
Table No.21 (2013)
good watch if first half is forgiven
Anything that seem to be too much for it own good doesn't always have good motives behind it. Like when your neighbour is being extra nice towards you when he needs some favour to be done or when you professor has the that tacky smile on his face when handing out booklets. Something inside tells you that you don't deserve this and the equation of karma doesn't fit in. But nobody takes a cue and thus refuting their guts they continue to go deeper until they realise the cost.
When the Vivaan And Siya, married for 5 years decide to spend their 5th anniversary in the islands of Figi on a lucky draw prize they won, they are in for a surprise. On the last day of their stay, the jobless Vivaan and his affable wife are lured into a game called Table No. 21 hosted by Abdul Razzaq Khan in a bid to win $10million FJ which is approximately Rs 21 crores. But it is not all rosy as it looks, to get to the prize money the couples has to answer correct 8 questions put by the host and correspondingly do the given tasks after each. This all goes well with the moto or the catch line of the game(also the movie) 'If you lie, you die'.
Touted as thriller, this movie starts rather slow, not rushing into the mystery of the plot. The first few minutes into the game for me were silly with protagonists laughing at the plausibility of earning 21 crores which may be rational in real life but seems very boring and uninteresting on screen. Also as the movie gives us rare thrilling aspects it hardly leaves us spellbound. To be more precise the movie fails in the main area i.e. the part where the audience should be enthralled. Most of the questions and tasks in the movie were bland and could have been more innovative to hold up the attention.
But to it's credit the movie does starts to kick in with all cylinders just after the start of second half. This is the part when the protagonist start getting more aware and the antagonist more villainy. Although most of the movie is shot in plush 5 star hotels, getting the feel of the place might have helped the movie. It's very difficult to avert ones eyes from the screen at this part of the movie filled with new mysteries and awaiting twists. The music is also a plus point for the movie with some good tunes to hum about. By the time climax arrives the story is splayed with open can of worms and new revelations about the past as a result of the game being played and thus the reason of the initialisation of such a deathplay comes to fore. Some lines in this movie are really good and need very loud applause for the dialogue writer.
Rajeev Khandelwal as Vivaan plays his part like he does in every other movie, with honesty and putting 100% to his portrayal. Although the start is slightly scratchy but he rarely falters as he makes his character hapless infront of audience. Tena Desae does more than giving us that wide drooling smile or the alluring bikini walk. She has great dialogue delivery and her acting is quite good (after her recent stint in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel). Paresh Rawal shifts the movie into another higher gear in the second half. He kind of holds it in the first half but his second half is really symbolic of his acting prowess. That menacing smile and those witty dialogues gives his villainous personality a new high. He need to do more of this kind villain projects.
When Siya says Money can buy everything in this world, Mr. Khan respond immediately saying not the past, ponder over this because around this very line the whole movie revolves. It's laudable attempt by Aditya Dutt one that just manages to push the envelop and stand out in the most template driven movies. Must watch.
Auf der anderen Seite (2007)
Story with unsually great characters.
In most movies the ending does condense into one specifically focused perspective on which the whole 90+ minutes of a movie revolves. But what happens when there are other considerations compacted into a single film and presented eloquently to a viewer. Well it doesn't matter much to me because for me the movies are not just about taking home the scholarly part of it. I try to dig deep into a movie to decipher the intricate relationships, the underplaying emotions and unusual behavioural metamorphosis of a individual. This I experienced watching 'The edge of heaven', a Turkish/ German collaboration directed by Faith Akin.
Nejat living with his widowed father in Germany is befuddled when he discovers that his father has bought a prostitute to live with him. The confusion turns to empathy when he learns of prostitute's charitable work towards her daughters education and subsequently rage when his father is found responsible of the prostitute death. He then takes to Turkey, his home country to help out the daughter of prostitute, Ayten Ozturk. Meanwhile running adjacently is the story of Ayten, rebel in her own country travels to Germany to find her mother as she finds her purpose helpless in Turkey. In Germany Ayten befriends a German girl, Lotte and is involved in a deeply romantic relationship thereafter. Being a illegal immigrant to Germany, Ayton is deported back to Turkey as a prisoner. Disapproving of her mother, Lotte travels to Turkey to lends Ayton her support and her help in release. From this point onwards the two stories start to converge and this entanglement bring out wide range of emotion from shock to humility.
Let me start by saying that I found the father-son played out combo was pleasantly watchable. I left a chuckle when I heard the father make an indecent proposal to the prostitute. The paranoia that sets in the fathers head when he holds on to the notion that his father and his new investment are having an affair brings out the insecureness of the character. Although it's said that nejat is half orphan since 3 months of his birth, it is intriguing to note the contrastingly diametrical behaviour- father who is bold, brazen, hasty albeit loving to his son, son who is calm, collective and well read to handle a particular situation. The story of Ayton is more complex and involves a web of randomness. The soft, caring side of Ayton comes to the fore in the presence of Lotte, otherwise it's just intrepid, no-nonsense straight to point attitude. Some of the scenes are well incorporated like the boarding of corpses on airplane, hint of subtlety in the death scenes of the movie. The scene of gifting novel is another one which makes perfect sense in real life, like novel we take things and people for granted. This movie is loaded with deeply thought out characters and one seems to link and like the characters as they move forward in the movie.
Being the lead I thought the performances by Nurgül Yesilçay and Baki Davrak were impressive. Also the characters Patrycia Ziolkowska and Nursel Köse also complemented their portaryals with enough honesty. But if you ask me the characters of Tuncel Kurtiz and Hanna Schygulla were most watchable because of the content they were given and the amazing performances that came through it.
This movie is fairly a complex story, it keeps the stories well steered in their narration. Faith Akin has given us one more incredible piece of art to dwell on. Don't miss this one
La siciliana ribelle (2008)
Some shortcomings, overall very much watchable
Rita Mancuso, 11, born in Sicily gets the afflictive experience of watching her father, respected Don Michele shot by a rival mafia family. This inflicts greater incorrigible wound in her heart thus insisting on execution of her fathers criminals out of the reputation and weight her regal family carried. 7 years later when the plan hatched by her brother to avenge their father's death goes futile resulting in the murder of brother, she offers her help to law to satisfy her personal vendetta. From here on follows the story of Rita raging a war against the mafia based on true story.
Languishing in my hard disk for over a year I finally caught up with this Italian/Sicilian movie. The movie shot in picturesque Italy with distinctive roads, artistic houses and Corleone-esq feel is symbolical of the situation at the time. The movie premise is 1985-92 during which there was collective negligence by the government towards the region and hence it culminated the dominance of Don mafia.According to the true events I read later, the movie for most part stays true to the events occurred in reality. Although there isn't much startling about the movie or it's revelations, its intriguing to trace the path of a lone girl against a huge empire. What's also very interesting is the development of Rita in the movie, as she is shown a egoistical, domineering proud Sicilian at first. When she approaches the law to punish the mafia, she tells them she is offering her services and not asking for help. She is shown as this fiery character who listens to nobody as fixes on the notion that she should carry forward her great family legacy and avenge the murder. Later when the things comes to light about her family, she finds it difficult to understand her existence, she thinks the prosecutor is the only guy who understands her. This transformation of Rita is what I found most enjoyable, yet it had it's shortcomings.
The one major flaw of the movie was the cast, for me the role of Rita needed extreme aggressiveness and had to be overtly bold. Here in some parts the actress Veronica D'Agostino lacked/underplayed the portrayal. Also the aforementioned actresses either never looked 17(character age) or Sicilian age suspiciously faster. The supporting cast of Gérard Jugnot,Lucia Sardo played their role according to the story. Also I liked the small scene shot outside Colosseum.
A very interesting movie and a definite watch if you have two minds about it.
Life of Pi (2012)
Life Of Pi = Best (Art + Story Telling + VFX)
According to mythology the journey of life is splayed with different forms of hurdles, the path to salvation lies in standing tall against such hurdles even if the Gods are callous to your understanding. By maintaining hope we try to live up to their expectation, knowing that God will guide us if we keep fighting on our endeavor for greater good. That's pretty much the whole and soul of the movie. Opened first time in India at IFFI 2012 Goa, I was in the mix of lucky few who got to watch the repeat show of this 3D movie adapted from Yann Martel's book of same title.
Piscine Molitor(Pi) Patel as he was named after a swimming pool by his dear uncle apparent by his ardent love for the same. Piscine is born Hindu in Pondicherry India, but as he levels a understanding he begins to peek into other religion and sooner he starts endorsing Christianity and Islam also. His father, a zoo owner pounces upon a chance of relocating the zoo to Canada. On their way to far west with animals on a Japanese ship, tragedy struck on a murderous stormy night capsizing the ship with Pi and a Royal Bengal Tiger left to see the remains. And so the adventures journey of innocent young boy with life threatening feline animal begins.
There was the thunderous applause from the audiences when the tiger gives his first appearance in the safety boat. Spending months to produce the Tiger didn't go waste too, he looked inch perfect and the way he has been handled in the movie is exquisite. The first few scenes are reminiscent of old India with bullock carts, later the landscape changes and so do the people. The characters of hot blooded modern day father, the supporting mother and the story involving the tender love between the protagonist and the girl are delightful however short they may be. The innocence of young Pi through his school years and his introduction to motley of faiths sets up the foundation to his uncanny characterization. But the real fun starts when they are both lost at sea and Pi tries assortment of ideas to keep him as well as the Tiger alive. The movie is never complete without the mention of adequately yet delicately used VFX. It would really be a shame to put into words those magnificently shot sequences and the scale on which the art work is done. This movie epitomizes the correct com-mixture of story with special effects. I could gather so many 'wows' while I was myself devouring on the same scenes. The humor is well prevalent and does lighten up the few still scenes between the two.
Suraj Sharma plays the most significant role in the movie with all his efforts and he wins it in the end. The guy is awesome handling some tough intense scenes in the movie. Irfan Khan playing the narrator as well as the older Pi shows his maturity in the business, patient with the small parts he never misses his character and his narration and dialog's delivery is to die for. Adil Hussain as Pi's father is superb with his character and does contribute a hell lot. Other actors contribute evenly including the computer generated zoo animals. Real salute to the art directors of the movie for putting up such beautiful pictures on screen. Ang Lee is as always incomparable with his cinema, he has definitely reached shore with this movie and a more versatile director in my book.
The older promises the character he is narrating that he will prove him that God exists, well did he or not? For that you have to wait for that amazing climax scene. This is art, storytelling and VFX at his best in a single movie. Who would want to miss that??
Looper is one unique thrilling piece
One look at the trailer was all it needed for me to know that 3 months on I will be witnessing some majorly spectacular motions on the screen. Like they say, I was psyched up about it, even went to voluntary promotion of the movie by badgering my friends before they were all awed by the trailer. I would recommend anybody interested to check out the trailer first.
The story transpires between the time frame of 30 years, not really. Joe Simmons is a looper, a guy who kills humans sent from future(approx 30yrs) by the mafia or other criminal organisations as it's believed that it's impossible to kill someone secretly in the future. By doing their work they are liable to hefty bounty in silver plates. Then comes a day in the life of a looper when unknowingly he kills his old self sent from the future, later evident by the gold bounty and the acknowledgment that he has 30 years more to live from that exact date. The problem occurs when the system goes haywire and Joe Simmons older self escapes his death in the hands of his younger one.
When I walked out of the theater still grasping titbit's of the plot, I got a call from a friend. When I mentioned him the movie he asked me if it is as exerting as Inception. Such presupposing questions are normal if one has watched the trailer or has read a lot into the hype. The first half whiz by elucidating the plot and the world at the present date. Writer blends creativity and innovation in such a unconventional manner that sometimes one is intrigued by what he is seeing. The cars running on solar panels, motorbikes hovering or the various gadgetry that carves the look of the movie. These things augments the movie experience to another level, but mind you they are just the sidekick to the main element – story and it's screenplay. I realised myself deeply engrossed when my friend was tugging my hand for something he missed. It was irony the way Joe Simmons present and future character fought for their own needs,to save their own life. Second half is very much ups the tempo just when you think that the story is heading where it not suppose to be. There is not much rumour in the movie but it more than thrives on it's unique concept and it's amazing performances. The music is aptly well synced with the situation and unnecessary use of background score is negated.
I couldn't stop smiling when Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing the younger JS sits opposite Bruce Willis playing the older JS in a coffee shop acting out the same signature Willis expressions. Although the makeup does add to the effect, but Levitt simply owns the movie simply for the way he emulates another guy with such perfections. For Bruce, this is for him Die Hard at a smaller scale. Although serious most of the time, he adds that little charm and humour to the movie. Emily Blunt playing Sara is does her part very well and most of her scenes in the second half are very enjoyable. I am not revealing much but the way Pierce Gagnon acts out the kid is ridiculously amazing. Director Rian Johnson is new name to me but his movies are not. He needs maximum praise for writing and directing such good and enjoyable movie.
It's a must watch for the guys bored with regular cinema, even without the story it's different and unique for the way it's handled. For the guys who fear of inceptio-nia, don't worry it you just need to have good functioning average brain in the right place to watch this, nothing more.
Barfi is rare to come by
Sometime around 2 months back when I first caught glimpse of Ranbir Kapoor starrer Barfi, I was captivated and overwhelmed by the colours and feel that 3 minute video exuded. Albeit harbouring obvious cautious about the movie, I was convinced of it's uniqueness and message. I never considered Anurag basu a ordinary director, hoping onto any big budget movies with high on the payroll scale star cast. Even when Kites made it to the theatres I was pleasantly pleased by it's outcome. For me his movies put forth the more distinct human relationship to the fore.
Barfi involves 3 primary lead characters namely Barfi – a mute chap going about life like there's no tomorrow, Shruti – as a Bengali girl who falls in love with Barfi but her relevance on her mother weighs over her aptness in making decision related to heart, Jhillmil – autistic, insecure girl and compatriot to Barfi for most part of the movie. One can sense the ubiquitous vividness when any two of these makes their presence together on screen. At first it all seems surreal with the mannerisms and the look of it, but then the charm of Barfi starts to evolve with the Chaplin-sque ways, with the smiles and with the heartbreaks. The humour in the movie is intelligent although not original. The scene where Barfi first sees Shruti, the proposal letter to Shruti's parents scene, robbery scene, lamp post cutting etc are some of the scenes where one is left overwhelmed. The intermittent flashbacks and flash forwards are very well incorporated and ones gets the feeling of travelling through an era. Although the movie is complete package of fun, drama and superb acting, it overplays some aspects of movie-making. Like the music which I enjoyed swooning too, gets played every second scene making it repetitive and monotonous. Also the length of the movie is quite a worry for director who had squeezed a movie like Life in a Metro in under 2 hours. Frankly speaking I prayed the movie stopped after 2h20m because it was stretching too far. Sometimes the pranks and the antics of Barfi seem overplayed evidently contributing to length factor.
The setting of the movie in Darjeeling and Kolkata helps amply in getting the correct feel of the plot and what the makers had to convey. Not to mention the toy train seeing after a long time (Parineeta I guess).
Ranbir Kapoor seem to cross every string of imagination every time he takes a movie project. Most of his films start from the same pole, a quirky guy who's chasing girls, blowing kisses in air, he drinks and then the characters start to develop taking their own paths. It's in this movies that he excels in doing what he does best, not be a stereotype like others. Ranbir instils such life and charm into the character that it is difficult to imagine any other actor doing it. Being an admirer of Ileana D'cruz for talents other than acting, I have been quite satisfied with the way she played Shruti. She carried the role with grace and without stealing from the books of Hema Malini or Sharmila Tagore. Priyanka Chopra playing Jhillmil is the icing on the cake, her well played mannerisms of autistic girl and far more convincing, and her rapport with RK is truly a plus for the movie. She has the most impressive list of female oriented movies in recent years and that I the prime reason she played the part more proficiently. Saurabh Shukla playing the grouchy yet funny Police officer is a treat to enjoy.
Such movie are very rare to come by and even if they do you wouldn't get to admire the skills and humour with which it is handled. It's a must catch from me.