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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Aug 27, 2010

Karthik calling Karthik

Don't tell me Farhan Akhtar is not Karthik and that he is really a Bollywood actor called Farhan Akhtar. No way! Are you sure? Incredibly amazing transformation. Where is the "I like" button for Mr.Akhtar? Will anyone know if I press it more than once and rig his ratings chart?

Karthik Calling Karthik is a contemporary movie with faces to match. Oh, Bollywood I never thought you'd come this far from the cheesy melodramatic eighties and nineties. I am glad I was wrong. 

Keeping Farhan company is a sauve Deepika Padukone. I love the her makeup and clothes for this movie, very believable and real for a young architect in a corporate Indian office. Her acting, just where it should be. Despite their height difference they make a nice screen couple.

 To me the trump card of this movie other than the perfectly cast hero is the story and screenplay. I googled to find out whether it was lifted out of some unknown Philippino or Thai flick, couldn't find any leads. I read people comparing it to Phone Booth! Yeah, Titanic was a remake of the biblical Noah's Ark since both involved ships, get a life. Vijay Lalwani's story is enigmatically original(at least for me I have not seen it anywhere else) and it seamlessly fits into the current professional and personal life of a young, emerging India. The script is noticeable by the absence of cliched scenes, direction by Lalwani(again) is slick, there are some nice songs and of course, a part of the movie is shot in Kerala(the icing on the cake for me) and the director has restrained himself from adding the prototypical South Indian with his 'madrasi' accent. Well done Lalwani, Akhtar, Deepika and the team. My rating: Cool



Aug 21, 2010

Extract

Extract is funny, funny in the way it portrays stereotypes. Since it is from Mike Judge you watch it with a certain expectation, it didn't fail me. It is the kind of movie you'd want to rent because it is not much about visual gimmicks but more about the story, characterizations and dialog.

Mila Kunis as the scheming beauty with a criminal record, Ben Affleck as the bar-tender jack-of-all-trades, Jason Bateman the innocent geek who is a company owner, Dustin Milligan's as gigolo Brad(that dude did some awesome acting for the small role he had), Clifton Collins Jr as Step are some of the distinct and well-developed characters in the movie.

It is hard to live up to the cult status of Office Space, but Mike Judge is trying. A nice movie for a popcorn and a movie day at home.



Aug 17, 2010

Sarvam

An interesting Tamil movie. I haven't seen Arya before, but there were other familiar faces like Trisha, Indrajith(yeah strange to find him here) and Chakravarthy. It is a love story/thriller. 

The best thing I liked about this movie is the way the songs have been shot. Great camera, unusual choice of locales not very exotic but looks good on camera, neat props, angles, costumes and digital manipulations. This means no money spent on a thousand extras or a bevy of Russian beauties(both same cost, I guess), their costumes and no expenses to travel to distant locations. Easy on producer's pocket at the same time looks good on screen to attract the audience. 

The movie is a good looking one, story is ok, Trisha provides eye candy and disappears after a while. Chakravarthy has tried hard to look menacing, partially succeeds, all credit to his omnipresent beard. A movie for time-pass, if you care to bear some 'horror'. 

Aug 5, 2010

The Paradine Case

The Paradine Case, it is Hitchcock for sure, but may be the master should've stayed clear of boring courtroom dramas. Starring Gregory Peck, Alida Valli (an Italian actress of royal heritage in her American debut), Louis Jordan(a famous French actor of the time making his American debut in this film) and Ann Todd, the Paradine Case tells the story of a lawyer(Peck) getting involved with his client(Valli) accused of murdering her husband.

I do not know the story somehow didn’t jive well with me. I’ve read that Hitchcock wanted Garbo for the part played by Valli, but in my opinion even Garbo wouldn’t have fared much better. There is nothing really wrong with the actors, but there is something elementally wrong with the story that no amount of acting can make it better. 

For example Ms.Paradine(Valli) is supposedly a gold-digger from fringes of society who marries into money and distinction, thanks to the blind and rich, Mr.Paradine. But she is almost regal in her conduct, only thing missing is a tiara, maybe if you are a really good actress of a gold digger that must be the way you present yourself.

I had wanted to see a less famous Hitchcock movie, this fit the bill.

Aug 3, 2010

Happy Husbands

Happy Husbands is a bearable comedy movie of the recent past. I had higher expectations after seeing Krishna Poojappura’s name as script writer and with the movie being a hit in Kerala, I was looking forward for two hours of non-stop laughter or something similar. But I was disappointed, not very sorely though, because my senses go on automatic lowering of expectancy threshold these days if film is comes with a prefix ‘Malayalam’. 

The most atrocious eye sore(save the good things for last) was the set design and costumes. The color palette of the sets would have made KPAC of the 1950s proud, but this is 60 years hence and we are supposed to have done away with cardboard cut-outs and red curtains for every window, at least the art guys should have photo-shopped those out, right? Costumes, the kind that made Reema Kallingal look ugly, thought that was an impossible feat, but no, the costume designer accomplishes it with ease. 

The movie got more bearable for me after the first half hour. All of the actors are good with whatever role they’ve been given. Bhavana looked a little bit too made up for a housewife or my information could be a bit dated when it comes to Kerala housewives these days. I last had a glimpse of a Malayalam mega serial in the pre-2000 era when ‘Sthree’ had just taken Malayalakkara by storm, house-wives had mutated beyond recognition ever since. 

Happy Husbands also takes us to Malaysia, just in case the Kochi traffic was getting on your nerves. I am running out of steam to do a proper review, after all it is a time-pass movie, doesn’t need any serious surgery to cure its ills. Considering other products available in the market, I’d seriously consider buying a ticket(had I been in Kerala) and going to watch this movie just for the colors and actors.Saji Surendran scores with the Kerala movie-goer.