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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Mar 22, 2011

Aashayein

Nagesh Kukunoor is losing his touch. You mean there are still educated people who believe that one can become an unfortunate victim of AIDS  being in the same room as an AIDS patient?!!?! Agreed Kukunoor star hasn't really been shining after Hyderabad Blues 2, Dor was good but it was a lift-off the original Malayalam Perumazhakkaalam, still Aashayein imparts a sense of director-fatigue. Has he run out of good stories?

John Abraham has acted better than he usually does, he even lost weight to keep with his character, but we all know he is not a Naseeruddin Shah or Abhay Deol in the acting department. Anaitha Nair is good, although she doesn't look as young as movie purports her to be. Other notable actors who make appearance in this movie are Farida Jalal, and Girish Karnad. Well, if you have no other DVD in the house and the internet is down, then maybe Aashayein.

Mar 21, 2011

Old Boy

Oldboy slices your head with its cold psychological edge. It starts of like a home video footage, at least the lighting made me think so. A bumbling comical drunkard in a police station, everyday event, right? It is pretty sane Saturday-'nighitsh' start for a psychological thriller. Then it puts you in prison with the main character for 15 years!

You don't know why this sh#t happened. More importantly the main character, Dae-Su is totally in the dark about it as well. He used to be a happy go lucky guy with a wife, a little daughter, a job and a few friends who you might find at a downtown bar on a Friday after work. Who would want to put him in prison for 15 years, feed him, clothe him, shave him - all this costs money. The film doesn't let the protagonist languish in prison for long, it quickly pans over the decade and a half in half hour and the rest is tightly gripping drama that you wouldn't see coming.

Very interesting story and an interesting movie. The fight scenes, the comedic aspect of those, reminds of Takeshi Kitano's movies. Definitely worth a watch.

Mar 18, 2011

Dances with the Wolves


It is like reading a book backwards. I saw the 1990 movie Dances with the Wolves two years after I had seen the 2009 movie Avatar. Both are based on a similar theme, a soldier going native amongst the natives, in wild country. In 2009 space is the final frontier, in 1990 they were doing a period piece set in the 1800s when the unconquered West was the edge of the known civil world.

It is an impressive directorial debut by Kevin Costener, though it is sad to note that none of his later outings as a director lived up to the promise this first one held. It is Hollywood, yet Costener has shown self-control, letting the Indians speak in their own native language instead of tribal-accented English. I do not, but it could very well be that this was the first mass market movie which portrayed Indians in a favorable light.

Mar 16, 2011

Mr.Smith Goes to Washington


Mr.Smith Goes to Washington is part of the Hollywood 101 curriculum, 101 Hollywood films you should watch to learn about Hollywood, well, that’s according to me. Directed by Frank Capra, this whistle blower of a movie established Mr.Smith aka James Stewart as one of the leading actors of the time. It is essentially the 1939 version of taking on the system from inside the system, the triumph of the small man against the gargantuan machinery of politics and money.

James Stuart fits the bill as the young naive Senator and carries the film through with Jean Arthur as his secretary.  This was also the time I saw a ‘filibuster-in-action’ which brings to mind the apparent increase of filibusters in the U.S.Senate in the recent past. Blame it on Mr.Smith, he started the trend.

Mar 15, 2011

Best of Luck

Best of Luck is a dare, a provocation in the name of film to make you watch the insufferable movie. To add insult to the injury they throw in a taunt as the title which could only be translated as a meaningless good luck wish to anyone who’ll attempt to watch it.

The only person who has acted halfway decent in this movie is Prabhu, mostly because he is kind of playing himself – a vast, jovial, big-hearted Tamilian big brother.  The most unbearable actor Razzie award of the year goes to Urvashi.  She is attempting to do a Suraj in a movie that already has an overload of Suraj, that too in ill-fitting, incredulous costumes and a Nedumangad dialect which has seen much wear.  

The main actors also do their fair share of over-acting. Kailash, Asif Ali, Archana Kavi and Rima Kallingal perform like there is no tomorrow. After this movie, I for one, am doubtful about their tomorrows in this field.  I cannot believe these were the same actors we saw in films like Rithu and Neelathamara, which makes me want to point my finger of blame at the director, M.A.Nishad. Is this his first attempt at comedy? If so, it’ll be better for all concerned if he sticks to more serious subjects like his first film, Pakal which was in fact bearable, even good for a first-timer.  Less said the better, let me not waste any more of my precious web page real estate on this movie.

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