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Friday, February 14, 2014

Her : by Spike Jonze

Theodore Twombly played by Phoenix is an introverted man.
Set in a futuristic world , 'Her' transposes the audience into a deep-rooted journey of love.

Twombly has a job of writing personal letters on behalf of people who have a difficulty in expressing their feelings. One fine day , in a jiffy he decides to buy an AI operating system. He is anyways in a mess due to his impending divorce & is a big time loner.

The OS names itself as Samantha and is an adaptive eco-system gauging the feelings and emotions of its user.

She picks out the name Samantha for herself  & Theodore grins!
‘Was that funny?’, she asks. ‘Yeah,’ he says. She laughs. ‘Oh good, I’m funny.’ She is delighted.

So Twombly is in love!  Sigh!

The voice over of Samantha is played by Scarlett Johansson and connects with Theodore in a surreal way.The sensual undertones & the comforting conversations between S & T are endearing to say the least. There is a 'joy' evident in the explorations of Samantha & content in Theodore's wish for a companion.

Their love, 
Their brickbats , 
Their quarrels, 
Their excitement , 
Their desires , 
Their passion , 
Their fervor  ................

Yearning Performances by - 

Phoenix as the lonesome, unsocial ,vulnerable Theodore.

Johansson playing Samantha  - stimulating , delightful , sensual - at her finest.

Her is, by far, the best picture of the year, and miles ahead of the other lot!
This is a film about fondness , affection , tenderness. A film to love.

Rating : 5.0/5.0

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Lootera : by Vikramaditya Motwane

A year long hiatus has bought me back to my passion.. & there is surely no better film bollywood has seen in a long time than ..

Motwane's Lootera !

The year is 1953 , Bengal , zamindari is at its peak in India. Pakhi , the feisty daughter of an ageing aristocrat is a girl so vulnerable in her demeanour. She is longing for independence as shown by her secret driving chores.

In comes , Varun seeking help from the zamindar for excavation at the land owned by him representing the archaeological society.

He is articulate , charming yet focused on the job in hand. Pakhi & Varun collide in a brewing chemistry when he takes shelter as a house guest.

She gets her wings and a reason to wake up every morning. The protagonists irresistibly get drawn into each other with sheer innocence and old world charm. Pakhi dreams of writing at her Dalhousie house and converting her stories into words. Varun has the desire to paint a masterpiece someday.

The director has done a marvellous job of keeping the exchanges between Varun & Pakhi understated with binge of silence.

Second half of the film , takes a turn which compels the audience to take the girl and the boys' journey to its destination. Motwane opts for stark muted backdrop of Dalhousie which blends with the mood of the screenplay at this juncture.

The detailing in this film takes it to a level of poetry in motion. Cinematography by Shetty is spell binding capturing the colour of Bengal and the sombre landscapes of Dalhousie. The sets , the colour , the curtains , the dialogues , vintage vehicles are just so 1950's pitch perfect.

Performances .. The maturity is so hard to fathom , is beyond their age. Both these actors have been hard core commercial typecasts , and Motwane has moulded them with sheer brilliance

Sonakhi as Pakhi is craving , vulnerable , feisty , brittle & bitter
Ranveer as Varun is street smart , charming , practical , mature & intense.

Supporting cast is noteworthy too with Adil as the tough cop & Vikrant as Dev inspired cheeky friend.Music & Background score elevates this film to Cloud 9 - Amit Trivedi & Amitabh Bhattacharya are truly wizards. My favourites - Zinda & Ankahee.

Motwane's second outing - Respect! - O.Henry would be proud!
A Cinematic Masterpiece!

Rating : 4.5/5.0

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises : by Christopher Nolan

As a fan boy ,  I waited and waited for this very day!
2008 , seemed a long time ago , when Joker said 'Why So Serious'.

Now this was really serious , and so was Nolan about his largest magnum opus since 2005.
Begins ...
Falls ...
The Dark Knight Rises!

The film picks up where the events in the second part ended. Harvey Dent got killed and Batman became the fall guy. Gotham city lost a hero and Batman aka Bruce Wayne became a recluse.

The key characters in this edition are so well etched that the audience is sucked into the narrative.

*Alfred played by Michael Caine as the indefatigable butler 
showing his emotional turmoil towards Bruce.

*Lucius Fox played by Morgan Freeman is the gadget-all-done-it-all saviour 
for Wayne Enterprises R&D. 

*Commisioner Gordon played by Gary Oldman is going through 
hell losing both Harvey & Bruce.

*Selina Kyle aka Catwoman played by Anna Hathaway springs a sexy sultry act.
Her repartee with Batman is one of the highlights of the movie.

*Bane played by Tom Hardy is purely physical , intellectual and a devious foe
Joker who was all chaos in ruins , Bane is mean , methodical & superior in strength.
A cross between Hannibal Lector & Sean Connery!

 *John Blake a young GCPD detective played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an idealist
who needs to unravel the mysteries surrounding Bruce Wayne and Gotham City.

*Miranda Tate played by Marion Cotillard is member of board at the Wayne enterprises giving Bruce the much needed support and in process discovering love!

*Christian Bale , as convincing a superhero can get , plays Batman , hardcore.
Pulse of the Trilogy!

Nolan as a director has been so well prepared that a Superhero film is embodied with an in depth  screenplay of such guile & stature.

Dark , grim , anarchy driven.
The Musical score is slam bang to the core.
The Action set pieces are simply jaw dropping
The Characters are so human yet vulnerable.
An Exhilarating Spectacle & Culmination .

An accomplished end to much loved superhero trilogy of all time!

If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal... you become something else entirely. A Legend!

Rating : 4.5/5.0

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cocktail : by Homi Adajania

Cocktail is a story of 3 individuals living together in the City of London

Veronica played by Deepika Padukone
Meera played by Diana Penty
Gautan played by Saif Ali Khan

Statutory Warning !

Pritam's Music
Deepika's Hot Quotient

will spin your head in a FRENZY .. this is enough FIZZ in a Cocktail for me
thought it may taste the same as encountered in the past.

Runs out of steam : 2nd Half!
Absolutely Smoking : 1st Half!

Miss Padukone .. Ahem! Ahem! 
Die hard dreamer w.e.f  - NOW!
Rating : 3.5/5.0

Monday, July 02, 2012

The Amazing Spiderman : by Marc Webb

Marvel Comics - yet another treat for the fan boys after The Avengers

Here comes the slingy saviour - The Amazing Spiderman!

The character of Peter Parker has always been a fascination for me , a true blue hero yet a human at heart ... very real.

This franchise is a re-boot of the 2002 Sam Raimi classic - Spiderman starring Tobey Maguire.

What a Web of  Action has been woven here !

Andrew Garfield plays Spiderman aka Peter (He has come a long way from The Social Network).

The initial reels of the movie talks about how Peter unravels the secrets of his parents in particular his father's research at the Oscorp lab on cross species genetics!

His dilemma , his confusion , his inner turmoil , unanswered questions makes him unravel more. His transformation post Uncle Ben's murder has been enacted by Andrew to the 'T' , he actually makes Tobey Maguire look amatuerish and dumb in the previous franchise!

Gwen Stacy is introduced for the first time in this series as Peter's love interest at high school. Emma Stone plays Gwen with upmost confidence.

The crackling awkwardeness between Peter Parker and Gwen has been performed exceptionally well by both the actors There are a lot of sweet tender moments which makes this film a lot more human than just another Bad vs Good plot.

Rhys Ifans plays Dr Curt Connors ,  Oscorps leading scientists whose work on regeneration of human tissues is unparalleled. Things don't fall into place for Dr Curt and his experiment goes horribly wrong to turn him into The Lizard!

A word on our very own Irfan Khan , plays Dr. Ratha at the Oscorp and performs well in a not so important role yet he makes his presence felt.

The action in The Amazing Spiderman is pure adrenaline rush - in 3D. Manhattan at night , with the spidey suited Peter slinging from the skyscrapers is pure joy! .. though I would still prefer The Avengers this year!

Marc Webb of (500) Days of Summer fame , was given an oppurtunity to re-boot a successfull fan boy character and he has achieved outstanding results here !

The screenplay is terrific , hardcore super hero , wild , heart pounding , warm!
The background score takes the film to another zone!
The sling is taut , the slinging is pure magic in 3D!

Andrew Garfield is perfectly picked - with power comes responsibility & how!
Go for it .. an enthralling web slinging ride !

Rating : 3.5/5.0

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Gangs of Wasseypur : by Anurag Kashyap

'Teri Keh Ke Loonga' - says Sardar Khan with malevolence and pain in his eyes seeking vengeance from the lynchpin of Wasseypur- Ramadhir Singh.

Gangs of Wasseypur is an Indian mafia setup in the small town of Wasseypur - part of Dhanbad city. The coal mafia is deep rooted with a cut throat rivalry between the Qureshis & Khans.

The film spans across the early 1940's to the present day context in 2004. Sardar Khan's father is killed when the Ramadhir learns about his ambitions of ruling the coal mines syndicate.

Sardar Khan's shaves his head swearing not grow his hair back till the objective is complete.He rises to become the most feared ganglord with the only aim of finishing Ramamdhir and his empire.

Manoj Bajpai , a superlative actor enacts Sardar Khan with so much spitefullness yet being innocent charming husband. His allurement spells a cast on the women in his life  - wife ( Nagma ) and bahar-wali (Durga) played with enduring gusto by Richa Chadda and Reemma Sen respectively.

The hilarity is the main ingredient of a serious plotline which would have become another Godfather - Sarkar mash up. The dialogues are remarkable with nuances bringing the house down!

The supporting actors revolving around the main protagonist Bajpai completes one of the most virtuoso ensemble cast seen in a decade of hindi cinema -

  • Ramadhir Singh -  played by Tigmanshu Dhulia  
          (Director of Sahib, Bibi & Paan Singh Tomar!!)
  • Sardar Khan's father  - played by Jaideep Alahwat
  • Sardar Khan's youngest son -  played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui
         (Inspector in Kahaani , Bandit in Tomar!)
  • Sardar Khan's wife - played by Richa Chadda
          (Dolly from Oye Lucky Lucky Oye!)
  • Sardar Khan's guardian - played by Piyush Mishra

Anurag Kashyap's films always had the music inherent to the plotline & Sneha Khanwalker as a composer has done a mind blowing job of moving the narrative a level up -  Track in particular - 'Keh Ke Loongaa'

Bajpai's is the performance of the year by far , Wasseypur scores on its crudeness & mirthfullness!

Badland was never so good!

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Paan Singh Tomar : by Tigmanshu Dhulia

Paan Singh Tomar .. A biopic on the life of seven time national steeplechase champion.

Paan Singh represented India at a national level and at the Asian Games, Tokyo.

No one but Irffan Khan could play a character of such courage , principles and conduct.

The film starts with a news reporter seeking an interview from the most feared dacoit of Chambal.

As the story unfolds in a flashback , we are given peek into the life of an army man who had only one objective to have a full diet. He picks up athletics as a means for a healthy diet & in turn excels in 3000 m steeplechase.

He wins gold medal at the national event 7 times in a row but fails to perform at Tokyo as he is not able to adjust to the new footwear in time.

Irffan is absolutely deep into the skin of Paan Singh , right from his dialect to his demeanour. Circumstances force Paan Singh to settle a feud at his village and take law in his hands.

Technically , the screenplay is taut and the seriousness of the storyline is laced with witty humour.

The scenes between Paan Singh and his wife played by Mahie Gill are sweet and romantic bringing the humour side of the feared dacoit.

Paan Singh without Irrfan would not have been a film so admirable. Mr Dhulia , the director is slowly and steadily getting his due with his filmography boasting of Haasil , Sahib , Bibi aur Gangster too.

Irffan as an actor in my viewpoint is virtuoso! Period.

Beehad mein to baaghi rehte hain, Parliament mein daaku.”

Rating : 4.0/5.0

Hugo : by Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese , this name rings a series of hard hiting , gut wrenching dramas and thrillers. He has been in the Jake LaMotta (Raging Bull) of the Hollywood fraternity.

Hugo is a masterclass in film making!
As introduced in my opening lines , film of this stature  from Scorsese is mind boggling.

A simple fairy tale of a young boy who lives alone at the Paris railway station maintaining the clocks , stealing food and working on his father's ambitious piece of art  - a automaton - a mechnical man who writes with a pen upon wound up.

The film's pace is easy and unfolds layer by layer flowing like a river.
Hugo , one fine day is caught by a sho owner stealing his spare parts.
There in starts Hugo's journey , an adventure of a lifetime where he unearths the truths.

Hugo played by Asa Butterfiled is believable and affable.
Ben Kingsley plays the Georges Melies , a renowned illusionist and filmmaker who has not got his due.

The supporting cast is able in particular the station inspector who is a hard-boiled man cleaning up the station
of the orphan kids.

3-D is a technology which pushes all boundaries , and Scorses had to use it to pay rich tributes of the pioneers of illusion and special effects.

The panoramic beauty depicted of Paris is breathtaking . The joy of seeing the camera move like silk from the cityscape and right in to the busy platform ending at the clock tower , Hugo peeking out.

Awwww... Bliss! 
Golden Globe for best director and 5 oscars including Best Cinematography speaks volumes of the splendor in front of the cinegoers.

Mesmerising Grandeur in 3D

Rating : 4.5/5.0

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