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.

Search this blog

Feb 26, 2009

Oceans 13

Third outing by Ocean and his team. Once in a while I relish this kind of mindless Hollywood action. The quintessential Hollywood - smarty pant one-liners, stylish characters and impossible situations unresolvable in real life solved by dashing n charismatic heroes. Hollywood at Hollywood best. Only problem is, after the movie is over I'd not know what it had been about. I don't remember anything about Oceans 11 or 12, except that George Clooney was Ocean and Brad Pitt was there for additional aesthetics. 13 seems even slower, even though it is a heist movie, there is not much build up towards the final crescendo. If there was, I missed it. If you are in mood for some mindless eye candy this one's for you.

Feb 20, 2009

Golmaal Returns


An absolute timepass that affords some silly laughs. It has a big star cast - Ajay Devgan, Kareena Kapoor, Tusshar Kapoor, Amrita Aroa, Arshad Warsi and Shreyas Talpade. A sequel to the 2006 movie Golmaal, the comic timing of all the actors and interesting spoofs of various other movies that pepper the story line make it an appealing watch. The spoof of the Sivaji song, Athiradikkaaran, which becomes Tha Karke in Hindi is interesting, if you have watched the Tamil original.

Feb 16, 2009

Ratoutille

Anything is possible in gay Paree! Dreams come true in Paris, even the dreams of rats. A story of a rat who becomes the main chef of a celebrated Paris restaurant, Ratatouille is a treat to watch for both adults and kids.

Feb 15, 2009

Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!

Abhay Deol strikes again. My favorite actor to come up in Bollywood in recent years, this Deol is a bit different from his brood (comprising of his uncle Dharmendra, his cousins Sunny and Bobby Deol & Esha(?!)) and so are his films. They are quite a distinct genre in itself and cannot be pigeon-holed into hitherto known categories of Bollywood movies.

In Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye, Abhay Deol plays a street smart thief, who steals big(Mercs, beamers and the like), lives big and does it primarily for fun. Set in Delhi, it is the every man's view of India's capital city. As someone who has lived there I realize that this is the first real Dilli movie of modern times (of course there had been eighties movies like Chashme Buddoor)which portray the middle class man's Delhi. From costume to places and the typical Delhi-ite lingo, this movie has Delhi written all over it without one shot of Edwin Lutyen's Delhi.

The characters are quirky yet common, beautiful yet ordinary. Paresh Rawal plays three different roles in the movie without being repetitive. This movie has more in common with off-beat international movies than the run-of-the-mill Bollywood movies. Review: Excellent

Feb 14, 2009

World Trade Center

It was touted as one of the best movies to be made about 9/11 and the name of the director, Oliver Stone, seemed to justify that claim. But a few minutes into the movie it came to me that World Trade Center is no Platoon or Natural Born Killers.

The film has Nicholas Cage as John Mclaughlin along with Michael Pena as Will Jimeno, two Port Authority police officers trapped in the rubble of the World Trade Center. This is a real-life story and McLaughlin and Jimeno were the last survivors excavated out of the rubble, alive.

I am not even sure now whether it is possible to make a movie about 9/11 without an over-the-top infusion of pro-American patriotism and rhetoric. I stayed away from Flight 93, another ‘best movie’ about 9-11 because of the above mentioned reason. But even Oliver Stone doesn’t seem to have gotten it right.

Feb 12, 2009

Surf's Up

An animation hit as American as apple pie despite it’s opening scenes set at ‘Shiverpool’, Antartica. There is an aspiring young surfer called Cody Maverick(voice over by Shea LeBouf), a washed up surfing icon in hiding, Geek(voice over by Jeff Bridges), Chicken Joe - the only chicken in the world who is a surfer(voice over by John Beeder) and a host of other interesting characters. The movie is composed as if it is a reality TV show tracking Cody’s rise to stardom. A movie for everyone in the family who enjoys a good laugh and some animation action.

Feb 11, 2009

Chal Chala Chal


Govinda attempts to do a Mohanlal in this copy of eighties Malayalam film, Varavelpu. He doesn’t do bad, because Govinda is a natural actor with good comic sense, he doesn’t have to be Mohanlal, he can be himself and carry off a humorous role quite responsibly.

But in trying to adapt an eighties subject from a South Indian village to urban Maharashtra(Mumbai/Pune) of the twenty first century, director and script-writer concocts a product that has zero credibility. Had to stop watching Chal Chala Chal somewhere before the halfway mark.

Feb 10, 2009

Away From Her


A look into the twilight years of an aging childless couple, where one of the partners is a deteriorating patient with Alzheimer’s disease. It feels like a Hallmark or HBO movie with serious undertones and there is no promise of a happy ending. It is life as it is, as it might happen in those last years if we make it that far.

Julie Christie, plays Fiona, the graceful wife who becomes a victim of AD and Gordon Pinsent plays the husband who comes in terms with this new person his wife has morphed into – for better and for worse. Here are two people who have grown into each other, comfortable in their own company but are driven apart by something much beyond their control and have to come to terms with it. Only one has to reconcile to the new situation of near abandonment, the other(the wife) is blissfully unaware of her changed behavior, thanks to her medical condition.

Directed by Sarah Polley, herself an actress, this Canadian film made it to many charts as the one of the top 50/100 movies of 2007.

Feb 6, 2009

Akashagopuram

We often talk about putting together a gag gift-bag for one of our friends, the practical joker extraordinaires that we are ;-) So far, we have found two items. The criterion to be included in the gift bag is, 1)the item should look sophisticated and cool from the outside 2)once consumed it should make the 'consumer' gag but the consumer will have to consume it anyway for the fear of looking uncool.

The two items we have found worthy of inclusion are - a type of Chinese wafers, that looks like sweet innocent childhood sugar dream personified but tastes like dead decayed fish and Limburger cheese. (Trivia: In 2006 a study showing that the malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae) is attracted equally to the smell of Limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet[2]. This discovery earned Nobel Prize in Biology.)

Last week we found item #3 to be included in the gag bag - a DVD of Akashagopuram. Based on Ibsen's 'Master Builder', Akashagopuram has Mohanlal as a successful architect practicing in England. It is supposed to be a movie for the intellectuals, which rules out the possibility that I would be able to derive any enjoyment from it.

There are many directors who are not willing to adapt to the changes brought forth by the passage of time. K.P.Kumaran, the maker of this movie seems to be one such person. I mean, who wears Prada and Gucci and still talks in the flowery prose employed by 18th century playwrights? Mohanlal acts every bit like the super star he is, floating above the ordinary masses. The casting is fine, but the script is way out of touch with reality. Had it been a period piece, the ornate dialog would have been justifiable, but this is set in present day England with a set of characters who fit the landscape perfectly except when they open their mouths.

I don't know whether producers don't read the script before investing money in a film. Maybe just the mention of Mohanlal's name made them gladly empty their coffers to produce this waste of a movie.

Feb 2, 2009

Kattathe Kilikoodu

In eighties, Malayalam movie magazine, Nana used to serialize scripts of movies for their readers. Kattathe Kilikoodu was one among them.

In those days, under the strict pseudo-Communist regime of my father, who had modeled it after Chinese Communists during the Cultural Revolution we as a family abstained from going to theaters to watch movies. Even the ownership of a tape-recorder was considered blasphemous. But we did watch movies, thanks to numerous film societies spawned by VSSC. The movies showed by these film societies fell into two main categories. One set which we call independent movies these days and another comprising of mainstream movies which had aged a minimum of 2-3 years after their commercial release. So to catch a piping hot Kattathe Kilikoodu in theaters soon after its release was near impossible. I opted for the next best thing - read its script in Nana.

What interested the eight year old film aficionado in me was the presence of children - the movie had four children. It centered around a family of an English professor(Gopi), his wife(Sreevidya) and their four children and a gu(e)st of wind that blows in to their family as a young female collegian(Revathy.)

Kattathe Kilikoodu is Revathy's first Malayalam film. It is hard to believe this movie, directed by Bharathan was a commercially successful movie in the eighties. It is a film of great quality, We don't make movies like this in Malayalam anymore. The casting is superb and all the actors had delivered unbelievably impressive performances.

Sreevidya's acting brings me down on bended knees. I cannot imagine that in real life, Sreevidya had a very short marital life than ended in divorce and no kids. She presents herself as the embodiment of a perfect mother, wife and home-maker. Gopi, Mohanlal, Revathy and KPAC Lalitha - all has left their indelible marks of acting on this film. Another incredible movie from Malayalam cinema's golden era.