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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Jun 9, 2009

Calcutta News

Blessy has a whole lot to say within the confines of one film. That's not a fault if he knows how to package it within 2-2.5 hours. In Calcutta News he fails trying to shoot too many birds with one stone. A small sampling of the subjects he dabbles with in the film are as follows, prostitution, sex-racket, mental issues, ghosts, seances and mediums, growth of media, increased use of mobile technology and underworld kidnappings. It feels like the film didn't want to spare any smoking gun issues plaguing contemporary Indian society.

Bringing in Dileep as the ace news-reporter of the TV channel Calcutta News didn't save the movie either. The new improved version of Dileep with intellectual glasses and santoku sideburns could not make a media-brain out of the actor who is more comfortable playing himself - in films like Meesha Madhavan, Kalyanaraman etc. Infact that plus the use of English in Blessy's script is enough to drive a sane person away from the screen.

Blessy's English might make the British regret ever to have colonized India. I wish he had kept the dialogs to Malayalam, instead of making the characters speak in broken bits of English now and then to reiterate their socio-educational status. The diction of actors and the dubbing artists add injury to the insult. Please, it is Malayalam movie, lets the actors speak in their mother tongue. I wonder how the Bengali in the script (ample opportunities to squeeze it in since the story takes place in Calcutta) would sound to a native Bengali person?

Contemporary issues are Blessy's strong point from his film # 1 - Kaazcha, which he followed thru' with Thanmatra and Palunku. For me, of the above mentioned three films Palunku was the bearable one, even good in places. Calcutta News is riveting at the start, you have to give credit where it is due, but it becomes embarrassing to watch in the second half with mis-information, mis-interpretations and misuse of English.

Too many shortcomings to list, but it had not-so-bad camera work, songs were ok and so was Meera Jasmine and Indrajit in the roles given to them. Review: 2.5 stars

Jun 4, 2009

In Bruges

After a long time it was refreshing to watch comedy handled by English / Irish men. Bruges, Belgium is where two English hitmen are sent to hang-out between two jobs. Bruges becomes the place of choice because their boss who sends them there had his last happy vacation in Bruges at the age of seven.

Brendon Gleeson and Colin Farrell are rather impressive as the hitmen in hiding. Ralph Fiennes comes out of his usual historical or period characters to become the crime boss. The dialog between the character is irresistibly funny, which makes me want to believe that all Irishmen might be this hilarious in real life. There is not much of a plot or a story but it is the script and the direction that makes it a winner. An Oscar nominee for script from director Martin McDonagh, In Bruges will not fail someone in search of genuine off-beat humor. For me, it was good to give a different set of laugh muscles a work-out after a long period of repetitive Hollywood comedy. Review: * * * *

Jun 3, 2009

Heartbreak Kid

From the ever-comedic Farrelly Brothers comes the Ben Stiller starrer - Heartbreak Kid. It is supposedly heart-breakingly funny, but somewhere after the first half of the first half the funny gets lost on me. It becomes a romance which tries on some comedy and fails at it. Other than Rob Corddry there was nothing much entertaining in this movie for me.