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 15, 2013

Honeybee Its Trippin'

Youth does not always acknowledge or realize how being young looks good on them and how invigorating it is for the world to watch them shimmer, shine and rise. Honeybee…it’s Trippin’ as the title says is indeed a tripping ride through the kingdom of youth. 

Jean Paul Lal’s directorial debut is aimed straight at the box-office bull's eye. There will be talk about quality and content but with a song like ‘Neeyo’ capturing exploitative grace in slow motion with lithe young bodies tumbling over lyrical gun shots, I am sold. On screen I see that time and space in life where indiscernible love, gut-load of guns, inquisitive suitors, possessive brothers, platonic boy-friends, weirdly funny Kochi slang and NDEs in ocean are all justified – in the cauldron of boiling youth.

A generation ago, Lal.Jr’s Dad who was known as plain ‘Lal’ back then, now he is Lal.Sr, made his first movie with his friend and directorial partner Siddique. It was a movie that became a trend setter, beating out a new path – Ramji Rao Speaking showed us in 1989 that you can be young and hopeless yet emerge victorious on the other side whistling one of its chart topper songs. 

Almost a quarter century later (whoa, has it been that long!) HoneyBee  tries to find the same vein in new generation under the guise of kindling a love story to life. I could have done without the love story, but then there goes the plot, right? In fact Bhavana and Asif Ali – the leads are the ones who have the least juicy roles in the movie. The film belongs to its second benchers – Sreenath Bhasi, Baburaj, Balu, Vijay Babu and the beautifully handsome junkies. Fight sequences and chases on foot with its effective melding of slow motion and background music tells me Junior does know some tricks of the trade. It will be interesting to watch where he goes from here.

 Song: Neeyo

Apr 11, 2013

Petrified Forest

Humphrey Bogart looks uncharacteristically handsome in the movie that changed the course of his career from a failing actor to a super star. His voice delivery still sounds like metal grating on metal in slow motion, was it considered cool in those days to drawl like that ? Bogart signature deadpan drawl contrasts effectively against Leslie Howard's impassioned character of a washed-up writer vagabond and the half-French desert rose played by Bette Davis. As a lover of history, anthropology, culture and as a curious onlooker of societal evolution, I love to watch old black and white Hollywood movies - what once was, why it was and why it never will be, all explained in a nice two hour package.

Apr 3, 2013


A film created with an Instagram filter called That Seventies filter. A burnished LA flickers in the background as Ryan Gosling, everybody's ideal boy friend and Hollywood's answer to an exemplery human being, goes about on four wheels as a lone ranger dispensing justice on behalf of people he cares about.

True to director Nicolas Winding Refn's non-American roots the movie goes easy on smart talk, one-liners or any talk for that matter. The hero barely speaks unlike Tarantino's team but it is a movie worth watching nevertheless. Cinematography, sound track and script cut a new path in the Hollywood territory of defined by gangsters, mobsters, violence, gore,molls, fast cars and bags full of green bucks.

Mar 28, 2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Holden Caulfield simplified and brought into the nineties.

I was a little disappointed to learn that Logan Lerman is unlike the nerdy Charlie he portrayed, as a viewer I had invested so much into liking Charlie. I read the book first. Maybe because the writer himself was the director of the movie (Stephen Chbosky) there is nothing amiss in the movie that was in the book.

Mar 19, 2013

Movies about afterlife, reincarnation and what lies beyond death

 In their own separate ways, all these movies deal with death or after life or questions what lies or could lie beyond the cessation of our physical being. I have watched all the 10 in the list, but have written reviews for only six.

Below are the six from me....

21 grams: Probably the one movie in the list that actually doesn't deal with after life directly Its only connection is the mysterious 21 grams.

Source Code: If we could right a code to sustain our yearning for life.

Happy Accidents: Love and time travel, life or afterlife you decide.

The Lovely Bones: Looking down from a heaven above - life lost, lives being lived, the play goes on.

Five People You Meet in Heaven: This review is of the book, but the movie also has the same name and can make you teary eyed the way only a Mitch Albom creation can.

Ditto(Donggam): Kind of like the Lake House(in the list below), Korean with younger actors.

and the five from IMDb

Flatliners: I was bowled over by the doctors experimenting with dying when I saw it twenty years ago. 

Sixth Sense - M. Night Shyamalan had arrived and you began to see dead people.

Abres Los Ojos or Vanilla Sky - Illusion and reality, life and death.

What Dreams May Come - The one film that directly deals with afterlife and shows you what it might be like.

Lake House - Communicating across time beating the life-death cycle at its own game.

and the three I want to watch.

Wristcutters : A Love Story

The Dark

Enter the void

Feb 16, 2013

Watch Hulu's Critireon Collection for Free

...for the next two days, that is Hulu's Presidents' Day weekend gift. Hulu says its Criterion Collection is comprised of over 800 films from the masters of movies.  If you subscribe to Hulu Plus you can watch the collection commercial free but for the weekend deal has commercials. Feb 16-Feb 17 2013, you can catch the masters like Kurasawa, Truffat, Bergman, Polanski, Chaplin, Fellini, Wenders for free. Missing in the Criterion Collection are Latin American and Middle-Eastern, Indian film makers. But can't really complain abut free stuff.

Feb 11, 2013

Amitabh Bachchan in The Great Gatsby

Amitabh Bachchan does a peek-in-peek-out role in Baz Luhrmann's yet to be released 2013 version of The Great Gatsby. In the trailer you can watch him at 1:09 -1:18.

In Bachchan's own words, " My role is hardly of a minute. Baz Luhrmann was touring India on a motorcycle couple of years ago..going all over the country. He dropped in at my office with a friend who did some painting work for me. We just had a casual conversation and he left. A year-and-half ago he called me and said he has a small role for me, which he felt was not worthy for me. He asked if I would do it and I readily agreed. I did it as a gesture. It is not remunerative...I have not charged anything...just a gesture." He essays the role of the gangster Meyer Wolfshiem who I don't remember seeing the first Gatsby(1974), directed by Jack Clayton and starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.

Luhrmann's Gatsby has the ultimate period hero of all times - Leonardo DiCaprio with Carey Mulligan and Tobey McGuire. It is interesting to see Indian actors in non-Indian roles in Bollywood.