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2 January 2009
Typical movie about India that western audiences love so it isn't surprising it has all these great reviews and nominations. AR Rahman's score is good. The acting is decent enough. The whole notion of the actors speaking in English was difficult to get over. Especially when the "slumdog" busts out English in an English accent. What was the point of having a mix of Hindi and English dialog? Story is very similar to Hindi movies of the 90s like Parinda, Sadak etc. But of course the whole "who wants to be a millionaire" is a unique touch over the typical "slum" stories. There is nothing extraordinary about it but there is nothing all too dull about it either. It sits comfortably in the middle.
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Ghajini (2008)
Ghajini is good
25 December 2008
Ghajini is an out-&-out action movie. Therefore, although it is unconventional it follows some of the roles that fix it into the action movie category. If you're going to analyze this movie from outside that, then you may so choose to do so but that would be criticizing a fresh water fish for dying in the ocean. No matter that. It isn't a perfect action movie but it has several moments of near perfection. Aamir Khan's performance brings about most of those moments. His work on his body certainly makes the action sequences more believable. But the violence and action isn't unjustified and for that we have an equally balanced portion of the story dedicated to the establishment of Asin's character, Kalpana. She aptly balances Aamir's rage and justifies his almost inhuman desire for vengeance. Ghajini did not exceed my expectations but it didn't disappoint them either. It did very well as an action movie which is all it is trying to be. Nothing more, nothing less. Thank you for reading.
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Takes its time!
13 October 2007
Can't say this movie is terrible because while the first half is rather slow the second half picks up pace which increases till the end. Although the acting by everyone involved was comfortably above par, I suppose the script left something more. Things speed up so soon at the end that I got this uncomfortable feeling that I didn't get everything out of it. I think there ought to have been a better way to make this movie because it is a solid, compelling story but just told in an unfriendly manner. The first half was initially disturbing because one couldn't figure out what is going on and what does Clooney's character actually do. While later on the story does fill up and while some of the "hunting" sequences were well done, in the end things just get unraveled too quickly. In the end, I felt that the movie was too short and that they should've spent more time explaining Clooney's predicament.
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Into the Wild (2007)
Justice done.
8 October 2007
The sensitivity with which Krakauer captured the essence of McCandless and his adventure is extended aptly to the movie format by Sean Penn. Even if one might not be able to appreciate the purpose for Alex's journey, I don't think anyone would be able to deny that Into the Wild is a sensitive and poignant cinematic experience. There are scenes in this movie that one will never be able to forget, particularly the ending sequence. This movie will easily pull its audience into a philosophical debate for the truth about who was right and wrong isn't easy to distinguish. Sean Penn certainly doesn't try to answer those questions, questions that McCandless' life left for his family and the rest of us. Penn does well to tread a delicate objective but not indifferent line. Certainly the best movie of this year and one of the best ever made. The story, the story itself is great.
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Sensibly Conveyed
7 October 2007
What I found most compelling about this movie is the way in which the core subject matter of the husband abusing his wife was revealed to the audience. It didn't focus entirely on the actual act of abuse which is something the movie could've easily gone in the direction of. One might argue that showing the actual scenes might've garnered more sympathy for Kiranjit but I beg to differ. I think by showing glimpses of the violence and leaving much to the imagination the director has done well to extract genuine sympathy from his audience. I must also mention that Aishwarya Rai has portrayed this role earnestly and might perhaps be the peacock feather in her acting career. She was apt, didn't over or under act and perfectly exhibited the emotional trauma that Kiranjit might've actually been through. The movie was controlled realism, in it that it portrayed the story realistically but didn't go into the gory details, which I believe isn't necessary at all.
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Rocky Balboa (2006)
Rocky Balboa Hits Hard
20 December 2006
Rocky Balboa Hits Hard

First, let me get my personal motivation out of the way. For me it was just enough to see Sylvester Stallone on the big screen. For whatever reason I'd never had the chance to see one of my favorite actors on the big screen. I have seen just about all of his movies but none until now on the big one. Old as he maybe, he can still deliver just as well. People never gave him a fair chance at acting or for anything other than action flicks. I'd ask such people to have a look at "FIST" and "COPLAND".

To the movie.

Don't go out to watch Rocky Bablboa to watch an action movie. If you want boxing action you can find it in Rocky 3 and Rocky 4 - well executed. This movie returns to the core of the first one. It digs in, once again, to say the same thing. It's only about getting to the fight that matters. If you stand up till you have nothing left you have won far more than anything you could put a price on. I loved the melodrama, I enjoyed the dialogs. The best scene was the talk he had with his kid outside Adrian's*. That scene summed up the entire series. The fight is as expected. I was left wanting more but that's when the message hit me harder than anything else. For once, I feel, we are getting to see a proper farewell to a series. Alien series got screwed up. Terminator series got botched. Rocky 5 tried to mess this up but this here returns to end it well.

(Everything about it is old. The loneliness. The training montage. The fight. The old Rocky. The Old Sly. The old message.)

It touches those that care. It begs to fight. Hell I loved it. The audience cheered at the end. Some might have missed the subtleties but I bet they can't get those* words out of their minds.
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Parinda (1989)
Disturbing but Powerful.
9 December 2006
This is a rare, genuine Bollywood mafia movie. In fact, it was made before Bollywoodising of the Hindi film industry. The characters are disturbing and portrayed in such a manner that they haunt you long after the movie has stopped rolling. There have been many mafia/gangster movies in Bollywood, prior to and since Parinda but none capture the dynamics of the lifestyle as realistically as it. The story of brothers on either side of the law lends this movie a Deeware-esquire background to play with but the presence of Nana Patekar in a villainous role gives this movie a much darker appeal. It is horrifying and at times disgusting but at the same time it is sometimes sublime and fragile in order to emerge at the end with a message of affection.
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