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Showing posts from 2010

Man Madan Ambu

Director: K.S. Ravikumar

Regardless of the success/failure of his films, Kamal has always been raved for his efforts. Adversely it’s a double edged knife in that; it puts the spot light on the (sub) consciously narcissistic attitude of his. I need not say anything more than the term ‘dasavatharam’ in this context. In his latest offering though there is some respite in this regard.
 After going through what seems to be the prologue for the movie Man Madhan Ambu, as we get acquainted with all the characters, there comes a sequence, where a malyali producer couple tries to evade the dreamy eyes of Ambu (Trisha). The Universal Hero who till then only had a calculated ‘fan patronizing’ introductory, silently creeps into the frame to form a picture perfect scene where each character is let free to behave on their own. This subtle setup speaks volumes about the command of writer Kamal over the star. With the stage being set, what could have been a straight forward tale of intercepting lives, s…

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part I

Director: David Yates


Harry Potter movies have been charming us from beginning of this millennium. With each passing year comes a film from the Potter stable, and with each film the movie experience has slowly but steadily stepped outside the shadow of their novels’ as the search for a better experiences continues in different dimension (of which 3D shouldn't have been a part though). There used to be the smug in the faces of the child artists that they are doing magic: there was even a dialogue in part 4 where Harry declares I love magic with an artificial smile that was so out of sync and cringe worthy. Performances apart, the screenplay was always weaved around the book with dire importance only for passing along all that was written in the book. Where was the setting, the aesthetics, the nuance, the wittiness? Oh there was wittiness all right- but it manifested the formulistic approach they took while writing. From part 5 there was a sea-change in the approach to tell the stor…

Endhiran

Direction: Shankar
People say an open mind and zero knowledge about a film will work wonders in terms of the viewing experience. It is in the blank mind where the director’s vision can be completely witnessed. But it is a dangerous path; a double edged knife for the so called masala capers that are produced everywhere. They try to travel on many shoes owing to the need for a wider reach and end up falling flat.

Endhiran suffers a lot because of the overloaded plate. It tries to be a triangular love story, a revenge saga, a sci-fi film, a moralistic tale and lot more. It sure does put up a dream show with all these metallic decorations (literally too) after the arrival of Chitti to Sana's home. Shankar sketches the 'larger than life image' of Rajini in this portion in ways that give goosebumps to any tamizhian. Not stopping there, with the help of the unemotional Chitti, transforms him to the almighty without any fuss. The scale then shoots higher, proportional to the grin t…

Naan Mahan Alla

Director: Suseendran
It is customary to show the demonic activities of villainous groups, so that by the time we loathe them, we not only feel comfortable when the hero stands in front of them; we think it is justifiable to admonish them. 'Nan Mahan Alla' would have had that thread when it was cultivated in the heart of the director. But tamil cinema having ripped that formula and pinched it in to the blood of every moviegoer, novelty is a must; especially if you are back after delivering a quality product like ‘Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu’. What better way to entice the audience, than spell binding them with the audacity of the illicit activities that the gang carries out; more importantly the sheer depth in details of them. But in doing that, Suseendran creates a film which meanders through the life of the hero half heartedly only to heighten the power of the antagonist. Half heartedly because, while even a phone call that one of the antagonist casually makes in the prologue aid to …

Inception

Director: Christopher Nolan
How wonderful it would be if people watch our movies with the attention they give while watching Inception. Gone are the days where people become restless and scream whenever dialogues take prominence & complexity sores to greater heights. It is intriguing how the people at WB had incepted the idea to make the audience digest every word uttered (& even the unsaid ones) and to process them. Is it peer pressure wanting to know it all – like a challenge to prove that they are intelligent enough to be esoteric; which is becoming the order of the day. Inception works on this aspect of the audience. It works only if you are willing to surrender to the idea. What we get from that is something as uncontrollable as a character in the film wants the heist to be. While movies are being made to entertain us through the viewing experience, inception treads a different path (which Nolan tested with his Memento) where the entertainment is by making our minds race t…

Raavanan

Director: Mani Ratnam

In an interview Mani Ratnam once said, I don’t care about the story. I would be happier if I were to just shoot. What he meant was that, the success of a director lies in manipulating the emotions of the characters and hence the audience with every scene. He meant the director’s scope lies in creating spell-binding scenes. But he failed to bring one more point to the table: without hampering the flow and purpose. A movie can’t be made interesting with just great visuals. How much ever you pan with your camera how much ever emotions you try to extract from the dedicated actors it will remain only two dimensional if there is a dearth of the third angle. The third angle, which not necessarily third in order, is the depth in the screenplay. When you are going to be faithful to the epic (largely) and are going to just make them travel in time and station them in a remote jungle why not give them real challenges to portray what they are capable off. It can be a nice cou…

Raavan

Director: Mani Rathnam
Ramayan is a very bold story which along with many knots, put forth that both the good & bad when at fault pay for their sins: a knot worth to be inspired. When you are struck by an idea you start enjoying it in different ways, like how a guy who falls for a girl will go on creating and recreating the scene of submission. As these ideas continuously follow while the creator is envisaging, his analytical mind starts working on ways to connect these random hair rising moments. You know they excited you and you know now you have to connect those points to make it into a plausible screenplay. When you start writing you have all your notes ready and you work on ways to insert them; because these notes – hand outs are the very definition of each character and motive for each & every particular hair rising moment. But the mind has this treacherous power to be excited by the high moments alone that you will want to take great care in crafting them. When you are …

Raajneeti

Most writers when queried confess that they get that knot, that idea, that concept when about to sleep or as dream. Prakash Jha must have slept with the idea of bringing the kingdom politics of Mahabharata to contemporary milieu. How great a concept it will turn out to be, with two families fighting for power at the cost of the people! He would have realized if we are to remove all the ethereal skin and flesh of Mahabharata and its politics, it all comes to that one word “Power”. This cinema fanatic turned politician would have turned back to his Godfather frenzy days when he knew it’s always about power; for the movie is filled with incidents from Godfather and the well inspired Sarkar. From the brother who a ruffian and weak with women by nature and yet genuine in his interest, the silent sibling who wages a war with just the commandeering blink of his eyes, his foreign love who seem to be the victim of his Rajneeti, it all comes to how these are deployed in this vast script. Then t…

Enervation Vs Vijay

A peak at the so called energy of Vijay with reference to Sura. It’s May day, a day dedicated to all the people who work. Logically it only caters to people who sweat it out, but let’s be more reasonable: everyone who works deserves recognition. On this day I witnessed the work of a person who is been working non-stop for 18 years. He has reached his 50th film which released yesterday amidst great expectations, as people want to catch the last formalistic film from Vijay. All these years it baffled me that how can a person be so mechanical and be so absorbed in doing the same thing again and again. It’s like how we people go about our 8-8 work in air conditioned room where all the parameters are conditioned to not let us deviate from unanimity. I used to console myself that each work has its own twists and turns which makes it interesting (while challenging too). But then we get the chance to procrastinate and also experience those days where we don’t do any work, yet when the vigor co…

Painting the Screen

All these years into socializing, I have observed one important thing. Whatever be the topic the allegory seems to fall on painting. Be it music, literature or any other distinct art you could name the comparison seems to be with painting at some point or the other. I for once off late in my thoughts, when I get awed by a piece of music started remarking in that way too – “the way he pulled up the vibrato and his strokes; gosh at times it seemed as if his hand had turned into a brush and he was painting a masterpiece with his magnificent strokes.” Like the art, creating an art itself is an art – it’s more of a visual spectacle. The beauty of the swift movements of the hand, the sway here and there, the bend of the brush to create the art in itself is a treat to watch. And that exactly is what this topic is about: Painting the screen. Being a film enthusiast; a person whose religion if you may ask will always be films, I have come to look for the visual painting more importantly in a f…

Love Sex aur Dokha

Director: Dibakar Banerjee
Remember the time you tried capturing those sultry eyes of your girlfriend with your phone, remember the time when a cherubic girl walk past you and your hand reaches out to freeze that heart breaking moment forever, remember the time you secretly filmed the “you know what” of “you know who” from the top floor of a mall, remember the time you were bent upon to download any video that starts with the “hot school girl …” “Indian girl …” to splash out your pent up emotions; an act of voyeurism, remember the time you were glued to the idiot box with wide eyes at the 5 minute coition of a long haired man draped (or rather not) in crimson red cloth with a so called “unholy” actress for 500hrs; now look at a collection of clips which peeps into the life of those people who were part of those videos through the same camera which entertained the eyes of the million you’s. As inviting as it sounds “Love Sex aur Dokha” touches upon various genres in literally candid man…

Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya

Director: Gautham Vasudev Menon
Karthik starts his film explaining with philosophical mindset about the girl he happened to meet and his journey with her, but only at the end of Gautham’s film do we get to know that he has not tried to understand his girl, rather he has gotten used to her. Call it male chauvinism or not, Gautham has created a mature character named Karthik, a guy who could empathize this girl Jessi whilst not forgoing his prestige even for her; at the expense of making her mad (in Karthik’s words) and elder to her, ridiculing the fact (?) that girls are more mature than guy’s of their age.Starting from Jessi mouthing “mannipaya” whenever chance arises (even though that’s the theme song and not VTV) till making her speaks lines which any guy will want a girl to speak & lines which they would have seen girls speak but never understood, Gautham has potrayed Jessi as what a guy considers to be the complex mind of the girl and there in lies the only flaw of this well in…

My Name Is Khan

Director: Karan JoharStarting with the humming of “tum paas aye” at the beginning, slowly shifting to a serious mode with clever shots of a disabled protagonist that Karan had mastered through the benchmarking characterization of SRK in KANK, MNIK jumps directly into the story of a man on a mission, without attaching any frills (even the credits are pushed to the end of the film). What starts as a mission to make a statement: “My name is Khan & I am not a terrorist”, and lets freeze it at this stage; seems to follow the path of Forrest Gump (& others) telling the tale of Rizwan Khan traveling unfazed by test of time and that of nature. He either moves us with his innocence in those situations or entertains us with his witty lines as he narrates his past every time he thinks of Mandhira.Playing a man who couldn’t stand his name being mispronounced, SRK portrays Rizwan deftly with his quivering laugh. Even though it’s about a person suffering from Autism, the movie doesn’t becom…

Tamizh Padam

Director: C.S. Amudhan
Spoofs are a rare breed of genre films which perfectly recreates the imperfections or cult scenes of other films for us to laugh at it. In Hollywood we have the Scary movies as cult while films like Epic movie end being trash for it only tries hard to make us laugh losing the spontaneity needed for these kinda films. Tamil Padam treads the path between these two with its ingenious concepts and also the forced comedies (mokais). There is a scene where Shiva, the long lost son of his father Mokai, on learning his family song from Mac book breaks into english pop to meet his estranged family. Needless to say how this scene worked lets look at another scene or rather a concept: a guy gets kidnapped only to be a gift for the lady rowdy on her birthday where we are forced to laugh at the happenings there because in our mind this concept did evoke a smile. This imbalance and the lack of control over the larger picture are the things that reduce the level of this movie.W…

Goa

Director: Venkat PrabhuA melancholic hero perplexed as to accept that he indeed has fallen in love, and the aesthetically handled tension that the scenario brings with; a gullible hero (who hasn’t bored you yet with his now clichéd mannerism) standing in the backdrop deeply in love with a foreigner (so much he has done, wont he do this also) and coming often with fake buildup but rarely to entertain us genuinely; a colourful hero (note the allegory through the name too) evoking laughter through his mischievous smile (in sync with the cult bgm); a gay couple of which one is detested by infidelity of his partner; as different as characterization could get but the motive remained the same – to entertain us with a serious comedy. But did the team end up succeeding? Oh yes largely. Then what went lacking? Was it because Venkat took the tagline “Venkat Prabhu holiday”, seriously and went vacationing in the sets of “Nanayam”? That could explain the sore throat of sorts twists that comes in t…

Kutty

Director: Mithran JawaharGeetha holds Kutty’s hand; not due to fear of thunder, but fearing he will walk out of her life for ever. She holds his hand hoping he will “feel her love” which he has been asking her the whole movie; “feel my love”. If you are game enough to throw your practical mind that love complexities and want to be sucked in by old school of romance and just “feel the love”, Kutty is the movie for you. With all the trivialities/clichés affixed, Kutty shows how simple love is; even with all the out of the world cinematic difficulties that tries to scratch Kutty’s back, which he kicks like the brick he breaks in the movie (oh yes! Danush is an action hero in this movie – that satisfies the comic element for the movie). The complexity there in lies with how Kutty every time handles or rather defends his one-side love from his lover’s boyfriend and celebrates it with the cult song “feel my love” (Now don’t think this is a complex triangular love story – it is as rip tickli…

Aayirathil Oruvan

Director: SelvaraghavanWhat remains of a thousand people after their Chola king dies of failure, carry him to sea, whilst (we have to guess) the Indian army (!!!) commanded by the last of the Pandiyas sleeps. They scarify their life to empower the only one (Aayirathil Oruvan), who had escaped the wrath of their tormentors earlier, to continue their battle; for Pandyas may have won the battle but not the war; ending the movie ala Dark Knight style. The problem is not what Selva wanted to say, it’s how he has chosen to say. The Cholas on their escape had set up 7 traps, but those “traps” are shown to be a kid’s play which Reema like a superstar with just 2 pistols in stand-at-ease pose crosses. The frivolous execution continues, as sun’s ray hits a pillar creating a shadow that falls on the same side as sun, forming a Nataraj shape to reveal a map, leading us to more such juvenile attempts filled with songs that are meant to be concatenated with the flow, but end up being concocted due …