The Motorcycle Diaries (Diarios de motocicleta)

US Presidential hopefuls take RVs, Che went on a motorcycle. The point is you need to go on a road trip to become a successful leader of the people

Ee Adutha Kalathu (Recently)

Strange and familiar make an appearance together for the first time in Malayalam cinema and the pair is a hit

Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl

Four feisty ladies, upbeat music and a handsome conman. Anushka gets Ranveer. Bollywood gets Parineeti

Das Boot (The Boat)

Best WWII film ever, in fact the best war film ever. In true German fashion, restraint is applied by shooting the entire movie inside a U-boat

Neelathamara (Blue Lotus)

Blue lotus shares the same stature of blue moon in Malayalam, so do good remakes. This one bucks the trend.

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Oct 31, 2006

Goodnight, and Goodluck

From the elder statesman of the United States and the one man opposition of the current Republican party, George Clooney, comes the film about the fifties newsman Ed Murrow's face-off with Senator Joseph McCarthy. Clooney's directorial venture takes up a story(real) that's highly relevant to the post 9-11 political climate of the US. The entire narrative is shot in black n white rendering it sober and serious.

In the age of Fox News, it is seems surrealistic that American media had a past where newscasters spoke out against the elected representatives who refused constituional rights of citizens in the name of fake charges and mock trials.David Strathairn plays Murrow and Clooney plays his affable producer, Fred Friendly. Clooney and Strathairn in the film.

All of the footages of Senator McCarthy are from actual archival tapes, which elimnates the need for any actor to play the Senator. A film about a time when journalists really reported the truth to the public, not fabricated disinfected fiction doled out by those in power. Kudos to Clooney.

Oct 30, 2006

Agnisakshi

The film is an adaptation of Lalithambika Antharjanam’s award winning novel of the same name. In the eighties Mathrubhoomi weekly used to serialize the novel for its loyal readers, one of which included my mother. She was a big fan of the author and this novel because of its stirring feminist message, inspired by my mother I tried reading it, but as a seven or eight year old I miserably failed and continued pledging my unwavering allegiance to Poompatta and Balarama.

Agnisakshi is a realistic portrayal of the inhuman living and social standards high caste Namboodiri(Brahmin) women had to endure at the turn of this century. The story is told from the eyes of a half caste Namboodiri girl, who had access to the inner sanctums of Namboodiri household due to her parentage(her father was a Brahmin) but was still considered untouchable because her mother was from a lower caste. Praveena plays the young girl, Thankam and in the later stage of life the same role is acted by Srividya. The story starts in Benares, the holiest of the holy Indian cities, at the banks of the sacred Ganga. An older Thankam has come to immerse the ashes of her half brother in the Ganga – the river of eternal salvation. There she goes searching for her sister-in-law(the wife of this deceased half-brother), Devaki acted by Shobhana, who had become a sanyasin some time earlier. From there on the story is told in flashback.

Shobhana and Rajit Kapoor in Agnisakshi

It is a story about the age old struggle of old and new, the traditional and the modern, told from the twilight hour when the change is imminent but is not yet there. Rajit Kapoor, the Hindi TV-serial and independent film actor portrays the eldest son of the Namboodiri household, the half brother of Thankam and Shobhana’s husband who has given his life over to practicing the traditional values of Hindu dharma. This leaves the newly-wed Devaki in a lurch, a virtual prisoner in a traditional household where even reading is considered as a crime for women.

The story progresses through the tribulations of Devaki, her friendship with Thankam, the effect of wider social changes like the independence of India from the British and the emancipation of women thereafter. The direction by Shyamaprasad brings to life a very moving and hard-hitting visual statement.

Oct 24, 2006

Poocha Sanyasi

One of the first full length comedy films in Malayalam, Poocha Sanyasi(1981) stars Raj Kumar in the leading role as the flirtatious playboy son of a millionaire businessman(K.P.Ummer). I wonder how Raj Kumar came to play lead role in Malayalam movies, he obviously doesn’t look anything like a Malayali, infact to me he looks a typical Kannadiga or Konkani. Anyway the guy did a load of Malayalam movies in the early eightier, most of them in the comedy genre.


Rajkumar and Madhavi in Poocha Sanyasi

Coming back to the movie, since the leading man is a playboy there is a bevy of beauties surrounding him in the first half and in the second half he is blissfully (which is soon to be lost as his earlier girl friends start plotting against him) married to Madhavi(again a non-Kerala import from Punjab who tried hand in Bollywood movies where success eluded her that she had to move South, she was a strong presence in Malayalam movies in the eighties.) The wife(Madhavi) was chosen by the playboy’s strict disciplinarian father(K.P.Ummar) to correct son of his wandering ways. Comedians Bahadur, Kuthiravattam Pappu and Sukumari has major roles as well. A surprise role was that of Balan.K Nair, who excelled in villain roles during this period, but has an interesting part as an Anglo-Indian party-animal, the brother of one of the girl friends who morphs in to a convincing villain in the climax scenes. I also glimpsed Silk Smitha – the one-time sex siren of the South as an extra in one of the dances.

Oct 15, 2006

Waco: The Rules of Engagement

(Repost from Nov 2003) A decade ago, when I was just out of high school, I remember reading something about Waco in Times and Newsweek at the local library. It was about a 'sinful messiah' - David Khoresh, the leader of a Christian cult in Texas who committed mass suicide with his disciples - the Branch Davidians. Today 10 years later, I saw William Gazecki's award winning documentary on the incident, "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" and boy oh boy wasn't it a jolt into reality or what?!! Or should I say it was just another reminder about the exceedingly manipulative control, the media has on the way we live our lives and judge other people.

I'd be the last person to hold any sympathy towards any cults, or so called sects or offshoots of any religion which promotes their way of religious preaching as the best way to reach God than all the numerous other religious paths out there. For me Khoresh could have been one of the many crowd puller messiahs making a living out of their magnetic personality and their gift of gab, but the massacre (dubbed as mass suicide by media barons) at Waco and this realistic documentary which doesnot take any sides, has changed it all.

Whether you are the next incarnation of God or not, as long as you tread on terra firma, at a time when everyone and everything quits on you, who do you ask for protection? When the agencies which are supposed to protect and safeguard your rights as a citizen of a free country, turn on you where do you go and hide? And what do you do when your subterrenean hiding place, with just one door to the outside is pelted with cynide tipped tear gas shells, well... you and your little children undergo muscle contractions that shatter your bones to pieces and die by suffocation in minutes. This could add a new meaning to the term 'mass suicide'. "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" will surely sit heavy on your conscience, raising questions about what you should or shouldnot believe, whom you should or should not trust and ofcourse you wish the vision of hell was true to the last word, otherwise where will the perpetrators go?

If you want to know more about this documentary, go here

Oct 13, 2006

Sreekrishnaparunth

Long time back, sometime in the prehistory when I was in primary school I was a voracious reader of.., now comes the important part, "Ma" magazines in Malayalam. 'Ma' magazines that published serialized equivalents of Mills and Boons type novels and had huge readership across Kerala. I quit this juicy reading habit three of four years in to it when I got bored of similar stories in differnt guises. Sreekrishnaparunth(or Kite - the bird) was a serialized novel, if I am right, which used to come in Manorajyam, one of the leading Malayalam weeklies at the time. It was quite an enthralling read beacuse it had scandal, voodoo, sex, gore and all the other masala wrapped up in a seemingly historical plot.


Mohanlal, who plays the main role of the magician/healer in the film along with other actors


The story takes place in a Kerala Namboothiri tharavad(Brahmin household), the patriarch of the family are magician/healer/shaman. Mohanlal, plays the lead role of Kumaran, the next head of the family but at present a local Casanova of sorts. Sreekrishnaparunth a.k.a the Kite is the family diety which protects the family and the master shaman from evil powers thus the title of the movie.

The movie starts off with a disjointed narrative without much character development, stories and people cropping up as it unfolds. It seems like it has been lifted straight off the novel and made in to a film sans a coherent script. For me it felt like reading a comic book with human characters come to life.

Oct 12, 2006

Oceans Twelve

Typical Hollywood sauve heist fare. I like heist movies, used to love them, now I have lowered the affection level a notch because I've seen so many of them like this one's predecessor - Ocean's Eleven, Heist, Le Cercle Rouge, The Italian Job(both versions), The Score etc. Now it only nail biting if there is something totally new. Ocean's Twelve is not as engrossing as when Ocean's team was one member less. This one is a lighter flick, Hollywood A-liners mouthing some slick lines - like turning the pages of People magazine but with some sort of a heist serving as the background score as you progress. Hollywood at its best visual and celebrity appeal, not much of a story, not much of a movie - but slick, sauve, smooth and glamorous.

Oct 7, 2006

Thazhvaram

Thazhvaram, directed by Bharathan and penned by M.T.Vasudevan Nair is perhaps the first real Western in Malayalam cinema. Highly remniscent of Sergio Leone masterpieces like The Good The Bad and The Ugly and For a Few Dollars More, the wild west in Kerala is the 'thazhvaram' or the valley. The high-ranges or the Western Ghat region of Kerala and the valleys thereof have always attracted the adventurous and the pioneers. Symbolically these places are the closest Kerala has to the unchartered frontier that was the old West in America.

Mohanlal is Bharathan's protagonist, so often portrayed by Clint Eastwood in Leone's movies. The terse talking lone ranger seeking revenge is wrapped in a signature Indian poncho in case of Eastwood, here Mohanlal sports a black wool shawl striped with red which is infact worn by farmers in the region.

The film opens with a long shot of the lone human figure, slowly advancing against the magnanimity of the landscape(or whatever magnanimity you can wrestle out of a Kerala landscape.) A wailing, haunting instrumental typical of Westerns plays in the background.

There are four main characters in the movie, they are pretty much all the people that feature in it, there are not many distractions. It is beautifully shot and never wavers from its course. Salim Ghouse, a Hindi TV serial actor, remember Bharat in Doordarshan's campus drug drama of the late eighties - Subah, is the guy who plays the villian in this film. Shammi Thilakan has dubbed for him here. Sumalatha and Shankradi makes the rest of the caste along with the villian and the hero.

The final scenes are also very Leone-sque with the fight taking place in a large open space with vultures watching over. And then the lone ranger leaves once the fight is over, end of story. A very good movie by Malayalam standards.

Oct 3, 2006

Malayalam : Uyarangalil

The current quality of Malayalam film is so deplorable that old I.V.Sasi movies look like classics now. Or it could be that I.V.Sasi is an underrated director, atleast he was in my view. It changed considerably after I watched Avalude Ravukal, supposedly semi-porn, but with Sherif's script and I.V.Sasi's direction I found it to be classic, earthy and real.


Nedumudi Venu and Rehman in Uyarangalil


Uyarangalil, has Malayalam super hero Mohanlal in an anti-hero role, a choice not often made by up and coming actors as he was in 1984 when this movie came out. Rehman, the then teenage heart throb also has an important side role. The two Bollywood wannabes who failed to make it in Hindi films and took resort in Malayalam, Swapna and Kajal Kiron also feature in the movie. I wonder where these actresses are and how they look like these days. There is so little information about these actresses, infact Kajal Kiron is not even mentioned having acted in a single Malayalam movie in her IMDb page, though she has acted in quite a few of them in the early eighties.

Kajal Kiran and Mohanlal in Uyarangalil

Coming back to the movie Uyarangalil, story and screen play is by M.T.Vasudevan Nair, one of the gifted writers in Malayalam literary arena. A supposedly masala movie of the 80s, it has good dialogues and unpretentious and taut story and direction. Although this definitely was not a path breaking movie of any sort, just an ordinary run of the mill stuff in those days, it seems so polished and precise when compared to the movies dished out by Malayalam movie industry these days.

Oct 1, 2006

AIFF 2006: Expiration Date

Is Rick Stevenson, the director of Expiration Date an American Benigni in the making? The premise of the film is that the main character, Charles Silvercloud III(played by Robert Guthrie), has both his grandfather and father killed by milk trucks on their 25th birthdays. Charles thinks there is no way to escape the horrible fate that awaits him and starts making preparations for his final farewell from the earth. What follows is a comedy of errors played out in the refreshing romantic landscape of Seattle.

Sep 26, 2006

Malayalam: Avalude Ravukal


Avalude Ravukal is Seema's first movie, directed by I.V.Sasi, who'd go on to marry the actress later in real life. This movie had achieved a lot of notoriety with cinema hall owners inserting sleazy porn bits and selling it as a soft porn movie. This film has totally changed my perceptions about I.V.Sasi as a director. Shot in his favorite city, Kozhikode, it is indeed a brave venture with Seema playing the title character who is a prostitute. Her nights(this is the English translation of the movie title) and the men she comes across are the major characters in the movie. Sukumaran, Soman and Ravi Kumar have important roles.
(Pic: Seema and Ravi Kumar in Avalude Ravukal)

Seema looks and acts really well. The legend has it that she was spotted as an extra and it was I.V.Sasi who made her a major actress. Avalude Ravukal also has Meena, Kuthiravattam Pappu, Kaviyoor Ponnamma, Bahadur and Mallika(Sukumaran's real life wife and mother of present day actors PrithviRaj and Indrajit) as the supporting cast. A narrative social commentary from the perspective of a teenage prostitute in the late seventies in Kerala, Avalude Ravukal is a classic trend setter.

Sep 18, 2006

AIFF 2006: Heaven's Doors


In a time when many young men in Islamic countries are trading their lives for houris(beautiful virgins) who'll be waiting for them beyond heaven's doors, it's refreshing to see a film from a Muslim country(Morocco) promoting the allegory of mother(or the respect for her) as heaven's door.

Three stories with an overlapping story-line yet distinct characters and narratives. Gritty, fast paced flick with lot of hand-held camera action, typical of new young directors from strife-torn regions across the world.

The first story captures the angst of urban youth trapped between proverty and unemployment where the central character becomes a ganster to provide better for his mother and sister. The second story portrays a childless widow of a Moroccan man - an American woman who's given a chance to look after her nephew when the boy's own parents perish in an accident only to have him taken away from her when her maternal instincts are awakened. The third story is about a man who has spent the better half of his life in prison with his only contact with the world being his mother. But his mother dies soon after he's released. In a film that powers forward through the city of Casablanca fueled on revenge and struggles for survival, mother emerges as the door everyone is searching for.

Sep 17, 2006

AIFF 2006: Animales Heridos


A montage of relationships, the film weaves together three stories through three pairs of characters. First one documents the end of an affair between two high society lovers. The beautiful Catalan city of Barcelona and its nearby beaches sets the stage for all the three stories. In addition to the common geographical frame, the main characters in one story are presented fleetingly in the other stories as well since they are all loosely bound through different situations.

The second story is about living someone else's life(reality TV-style?) and the third one captures a dying marriage and the final flight from the relationship. A witty and informative voice-over splices through the scenes. On a whole, although the movie deals with the complexity of human relationships, it exudes a light and airy quality combined with the vitality of picteresque Catalonia.

Sep 16, 2006

AIFF 2006: Viva Cuba


Viva Cuba is a magical roadtrip undertaken by two eleven year olds - a girl and a boy, a journey that unfolds against the vibrant and colorful backdrop of Cuba. The film starts in the urban alleys of Havana with its grand and decadent architecture and Communist posters as the two protagonists enjoy a blissful childhood friendship despite their class differences (the boy comes from a family that proclaims to welcome Fidel with open arms, wheras the girl's family declares their love for religion.) When the girl's mother announces her intentions to move from Cuba, the two friends flee their impending separation and their quarreling families in search of her estranged father who'll help her stay on in Cuba. What follows is a modern day fairytale, much akin to the Wizard of Oz, peppered with characters similar to the wicked witch, helpful Samaritan and incredible landscapes. A perfectly PG film from director Juan Carlos Cremata, with great performances from the child artists.

Sep 1, 2006

AIFF 2006

Anchorage International Film Festival 2006 reviews have started in earnest. Being a new mom and all I've certain concessions, I don't have to review as many movies as I did last time and I don't think I'd be attending any parties or public screenings. I've three movies to screen this week - two latin american ones and one from UK.

I think watching movies is ok even with an infant in tow, it is shooting hundreds of emails to film makers and film related organizations in various countries which takes a toll on your time. But this time around it seems like AIFF has arrived as a film festival to reckon with or it could be the festival director is working overtime, whatever it is this time around we have got a loads of international entries. Off I go to the screening room a.k.a my living room

Aug 19, 2006

Control Room


(Repost from Aug 2004) You have seen F9/11, you felt it wasn't objective. Moore had a script, a pre-written story in his mind and his film was less of a documentary and more of a hard hitting goal oriented feature film. If these were your thoughts, make yourself walk that extra mile - go watch The Control Room.

The Control Room is an underrated but exceptional documentary about the Al-Jazeera network which is currently banned in Iraq, the same network which both the Americans and Iraqis blame is propagandizing for the other.

Jehane Noujaim, the Egyptian-American director was familiar to me from her earlier documentary - Startup.Com which I saw a couple of years ago. But The Control Room is in a league of its own

The joke going around in the film says that the people who used to work for BBC end up quitting their jobs and work for Al Jazeera.

The Al Jazeera headman, Samir Khader admits that if the dipped in red-white & blue news channel, FOX offers him a job he'll most probably accept. Moreover he discloses that he's planning to send his children for higher studies in US because he do not want them live the 'Arab nightmare'.

There are so many other valuable insights in the film that'll convert the one track telescopic vision of the world in to a stereoscopic one. Al Jazeera ceases to be an Arab news channel that faintly smells of terrorism and Bin Laden, there is a whole different world out there, only if you care to watch it!

Jul 27, 2006

Blackboards

Coming from a 20 year old director is a good movie, if you can forget that her father is the famous Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Samira Makhmalbaf tells the story of a couple of teachers who carry blackboards on their backs and virtually 'hunt down' students (because no one want to learn to read or write)in the craggy and treacherous Kurdish mountainsides in the Iran-Iraq border.

This seemed more like a documentary with shreds of a story than a feature film. It is worth a watch if you are student of cultures and if you like to know how people in other parts of the world live. It gets boring sometimes because the material is stretched too far and it wears thin. I'd view it for educational purposes rather than for entertainment.

Jul 18, 2006

Turtles Can Fly

My second Ghobadi film, the first one was Marooned in Iraq. I loved this one a lot better than the first maybe because it is easier to sympathize with the plight of young children.

The story takes place in Iraqi Kurdistan, the three main characters in the story are all orphans, finding their way in the world of refugee camps and land mines. The main character, Satellite, is a young teenager with a penchant for technical stuff that he's the one who is responsible for installing satellite dishes, delivering and translating international news as well as being the self-made contractor for a band of orphan children who clears landmines. The other two main characters are a refugee girl whom Satellite develops a crush on and her invalid elder brother who can see the future.

In a constantly volatile war zone without the umbrella of security that could have been provided by their parents, had they been alive, these children live life one day a time. The only aim they have infront of them is surviving one more day - whether they are four or fourteen years old. A brutally honest film yet simplistic and heartrending. Hats off to Bahman Ghobadi.

p.s- Iraqi movie but tagged under Iranian films,

May 31, 2006

Stroszek

The American dream gone sour. It tells the story a misfit German man who comes backs to normal life after a long stint in prison, his girl friend for the time and their old neighbor - all three of them immigrate to the United States in search of a better life. The better life they were looking forward to was supposed to unravel at a fictious sleepy backwater called Railroad Flats in Wisconsin.

The movie is eerie and very real in the sense that most of the actors were not really actors, most of them played the characters with their real life names in the movie and the story of the main character in the film is entwined with the real life story of the man who played the character - Bruno.S. Even the piano, whom Bruno.S calls his only friend is really his one and only piano in real life. The town of Railroad Flats, WI, although fictious closely resembles one of the towns the director, Werner Hertzog, was attracted to in the US mid-west in the first place. A dark comedy of human lives.

May 21, 2006

Dersu Uzala


(Repost, watched May 2004)This is my first Kurasowa movie. I had a presumption that Kurasowa movies were always about Samurais, since they didn't interest me much I stayed clear of Kurasowa. But Darsu Uzala has made me want to see more of the creations of this great film maker, Akira Kurasowa. I don't know whether Kurasowa has directed many Russian movies, but Darsu Uzala is Russian and tells the story of a Siberian hunter and his friendship with a Russian military engineer/surveyor who comes exploring a nook of Siberia.

The vast expanse of Siberian tundra, so very reminiscent of Alaska, where we are now has given the movie an added charm from our perspective. Darsu is a simple man, with the sharp senses of a hunter who can read from the footmarks on the mud whether the traveller who passed by before him was young or old, his profession and charecteristics. The Russian milirary engineer who comes to survey the area, accidently meets Darsu and strikes up friendship with him taking him as their guide, the story progresses from there. It is a film written in verse about human friendships, our natures, our relationship with mother nature and ofcourse the stark beauty of the landscape and Darsu Uzala is our guide in this journey of revelation.

Mar 29, 2006

101 Rejkjavik

It is an interesting movie, where the comments of the main character form a narrative twain that holds the movie together. I didn't have much hopes before I saw the film, I am wary of movies which explore the sexuality of characters in intimate detail. But 101 Rejkjavik turned out to be better than expected. It is the story of a 30 year old guy, who lives with his Mom in Rejkjavik and in to their lives lands the Mom's girl friend. The film reiterates two facts that I had already formed about Iceland from my previous encounter with this land on TV and thru' film, 1)Iceland is a beautiful country and 2)Partying is main occupation of Icelanders.

Mar 19, 2006

Happy Times

A simple movie about a plus 50 year old batchelor living in a modern Chinese city. He is a laid-off factory worker in search of a bride. He settles for a portly woman with a similarly portly son and a blind step daughter. The story metamorphosizes into that of the man and the woman's step daughter, two lonely lodes in an unforgiving world.

It is funny and poignant story, filled small moments of happiness. Although I did not like the ending much. Directed by Zhang Yimou, this film showcases brilliant acting from Biao Fu, who plays the blind little girl and Benshen Zhao who is the main character.

Feb 13, 2006

The Good The Bad and The Ugly

(Repost from Sep 2003) If there ever was a competition for a poetic western, this Sergio Leoni spaghetti western will win hands down. Spaghetti westerns were low budget westerns produced by Italian directors, shot extensively in Europe(Italy,Spain etc) and aimed primarily for Italian audience. Leoni was one of the few such directors who rose to fame in Hollywood. The behind the scenes disc is as interesting as the movie itself.

The film stars three protagonists - Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and lee Van Cleef, riding across the arid west and the American civil war in search of a loot of money buried in a grave someplace hard to say which of them is better than the other. As a typical western there are lots of gunshots, slick tricks, dirty cowboys and an all pervading machismo, but what sets it apart is the direction - almost operatic, the camerawork - sweeping landscapes jumping in to the close up of expressive faces, poster perfect and finally the music by Ennio Morricone- which was so unique at the time of its release and which has been copied million times over since it was first made - in other movies, TV serials, commercials and what not. This is one Western every one should watch(the other one is Unforgiven).

Feb 6, 2006

Das Boot


(Watched in July 2003) A good war movie after a long time. Good is an understatement, it has to be one of the best. Das Boot (The Boat, in English) is one of the perfect war movies and the best submarine movie I have ever seen. This is not the first time someone is bringing the story of other side to silver screen. 'All Quiet on the Western Front' was one of the successful war movie which brought the triumphs and tribulations of the Germans in WW1.

What impressed me about Das Boot is the reality as viewed and lived thru' by each viewer of this movie. No other war/submarine movie that I've watched, not even the latest one K19 - The Widowmaker, is anywhere near, inspite of the technological advancements which lets Hollywood produce slicker and more believable movies. Das Boot takes the crown despite its age. It was made in 1981. I watched the remastered version, which had more than 60 minutes of added footage from the original German TV series of the same name.

German U-boats, were considered technological marvels - that was what history books taught us. After watching the latest Hollywood flick K-19.., which was about a Russian submarine during the cold war years, the truth of that history lesson has been substantiated by Hollywood. Comparing the submarines, the German one in Das Boot in WW2 and the Russian one in K-19 which is operating a good twenty years later,(both stories are real) one can't, but admire the technological superiority of Germans, years ahead of their time.

For the entire length of the film, you are inside Das Boot, the U boat, cramped into its narrow confines with the rest of the crew, their anxieties, their triumphs and also their unhygienic conditions. Serving in a U-Boat is not as glamorous as it might have appeared to German youngsters of the time. Wolfgang Petersen did an amazing job with this movie, the cinematography and the script are also above par. If you haven't watched any war-time submarine movies till now, this is the best one to start with, it couldn't get any better (not yet).

Jan 20, 2006

Dogville

Dogwille started off as a bummer. I was expecting a movie, not televised theater. The entire film takes place on stage with the main street of Dogville drawn out on the floor like an architect's plan.

But as I started watching the movie and got more engrossed, I found out that the story is interesting, the script and Nicole Kidman's acting makes up for the lack of scenery. It'd not be a successful mainstream movie, but it is interesting to observe film-maker's explore a different concept.

Jan 7, 2006

Kukushka

Its a plot, you might toy on a lazy afternoon at the neighborhood cafe, thinking of what might be your big break into the world movies. Alas, somebody already turned it into a film and to your bad luck, it hoarded a number of awards from all over. Kukushka is that one film you failed to make, directed by Alexsandr Rogoshzkin, it tells the story of three people at the end of WW2.

The plot, ah..the plot...has three people speaking in three different tongues and not one of them knows what the other is saying, though it doesn't stop them from talking. The first one is a Finnish sniper, who was chained to a rock by his captors but manages to escape. The second character is a Russian soldier who was about to be condemned to death by the Russian secret police for writing poems, but also manages to escape. Both the soldiers, belonging to opposing fronts land under the care of a Lapp woman, Anni, somewhere in the Artic North of Finland. It is an engaging story, how three people who cannot understand each other verbally, support each other, how their common lives evolve thru' the comedies and tragedies. All in all, a good film.

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