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Showing posts from 2011

In time

Andrew Niccol is the writer of The Truman Show. His directorial venture, In time, is a film set in the future with a plot that has its share of fun. But the strangeness of the plot also causes enough trouble with the makers. It is an interesting idea based on time and it takes its time to completely give its concept. But it seems Niccol still has traces of his Truman hangover! The concept spreads to more people and characters unlike Truman Show but constrains itself to a rather small world. And the proceedings does not have  too much complications and leaves space for plenty of loose ends. Even the casting of the film does not seem completely convincing making the flaws in the writing seem even more bigger. The film tries to provide with happenings with time but sadly things seem a little funny at times when it isn't meant to be. The visual effects of the film does work well and the shots capture the characters with immense smartness. But there is something not right about the fi…

Rakht Charitra

Ram Gopal Varma's Rakht Charitra is a multi lingual film that has been based on true events. The film has been conceived in two parts though the Tamizh version was merely the second part. The second part infact sums up most of what was shown in the first part in its initial minutes. (Note that the film was called Rakta Charitra in Telugu and Ratha Sarithiram in Tamizh.) I doubt if the film has a so called powerful plot. It is just another story of power and revenge and of course the treatment makes use of enough and more gore for the sake of justifying the title! The film is filled with scenes that have been quite neatly written but it is the weird vision of Ram Gopal Varma that makes Rakht Charitra one interesting watch. The film has RGV's stamp all over it with the loud background score, and stunning use of slow motion. There is an irritating voice over to the film as well which narrates almost everything that we see for the sake of maybe the 'Dummies' who are watch…

The Truman Show

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his life plays many parts; His acts being seven ages. These are the words of Shakespeare and the story of Truman is very much summed up in these lines.  The Truman Show is terrific idea. I watched the film and loved it. The writing was exceptionally brilliant and Jim Carrey as Truman and Ed Harris as the creator of the show were just perfect. I really don't know what I should write about the film but it was one that affected me well. I did not have anything beyond the world of Truman to think for hours after I saw the film. Such a cinematic and surrealistic idea portrayed with immense class and maturity. Peter Weir's execution and Andrew Niccol's writing simply make the show of Truman an experience that is emotional and almost unforgettable. The Truman Show has serious content and that is something that would be very relevant for a lot more year…

My Dear Kuttichathan 3D

I had seen My Dear Kuttichathan in 3D when I was very young. It would be more than 15 years I guess but I still have memories of the awesomeness that I had experienced through the stereoscopic 3D then. To revisit the film again upon its 2011 re-release (This was the second re-release of the film. The film is called Chhota Chetan in Hindi and Chutti Chathan in Tamizh.) was an experience that I never wanted to miss. My dear Kuttichathan has been directed by Jijo and this was India's first stereoscopic 3D film. He was also the man who came up one of South India's first 70mm film with Padayottam. I still wonder why Jijo did not make many more films and it is strange that there weren't anyone to carry on the inventive nature in making films in Malayalam even afterwards. My dear Kuttichathan does not have a story credit. But I have heard that it has been based on a short story that was written by non other than Padmarajan himself. It is a remarkable story that the film narrates…

Delhi Belly

Delhi Belly is, an English film that is partly Hindi, directed by Abhinay Deo and produced by Aamir Khan. The film written by Akshat Verma is another tale of confusion and chaos. The witty dialogues and the wonderfully well worked out situations for humour make this an entertaining and delightful watch. It is a comic thriller that works just like one of those Guy Ritchie movies like Lock, stock and two smoking barrels or snatch. The writing and the visuals of the film makes use of a style that manages to blend a 70's retro style and a post 2000 modern style with class. The balance between the styles opens space not just for something not much seen but also for some interesting humour. Jason West has literally made a masterstroke with the shots of Delhi Belly while Ram Sampath comes up with an extraordinary soundtrack that gives total support to the style of the film. With supremely intelligent casting, the makers of Delhi Belly have a clear winner right from the word go. Ofcourse…

Before Sunrise

At this point, I'm all set to start writing on a film that talks about a boy and girl and nobody else. I wish my film to fall under the romance genre that Richard Linklater successfully brought out through his Before Sunrise. At the late hour of the night, I'm all alone at my home, awake. My idea to revisit Before Sunrise was indeed a nice one. It should be more than three years since I saw the film for the first time. Before Sunrise is still the same. The characters haven't changed and their romance and love is just as it was in the first viewing. The performance of the two characters carry the film throughout the 100 minutes. There are quite a few people who visit their life at different points of the day and night and it is merely the eye of the camera that sees them all through. Linklater has made an exceptionally brilliant talking film about a boy and girl who live beyond their names that was discussed just once in the entire film. The film talks for you and me, for …

Stanley Ka Dabba

Amole Gupte was the person who was supposed to direct the Hindi film, Taare Zameen Par, which was in the end directed by Aamir Khan. The film was an exceptionally powerful film that featured a well researched and superbly constructed writing from Amole himself. Amole Gupte makes his directorial debut with yet another film with children as its focus. The teasers of the film revealed students in a similar light of taare zameen par. But the film is different from TZP but yet another brilliant portrayal of the life of a school boy. The film has a very simple storyline and works with only few characters and all of them centered mostly around a school. The writing is makes itself seem plain simple by giving characters that could not be more real. But I'm not quite sure if the ending of the film satisfied me enough though I have a half mind feeling that it was an intelligent ending. The films highlight should be the performance of the child artists in the film. Partho, son of the direct…

Antony Zimmer

Antony Zimmer is the film that inspired the film, The Tourist. Antony Zimmer is a film that works in the genre of an action thriller. The editing should be the best part of the film. It has been brilliantly handled right from the opening of the film. The stylized jump cuts and the smart pacing of the film keeps the momentum going which the remake did not quite. However, the writing of the film does not offer a lot of surprises and makes the total experience of the film rather too un-special! The stylish execution and the visuals of the film does look neat and the performances are just about right. The climax of the film works better than the remake but the ending deserved to have been something more worthwhile. Antony Zimmer is not a great watch but one that is worth seeing for the excellent job with the footages by the editor.

Primal Fear

Primal Fear is a thriller that is made brilliant by the actors in it. The film that was made in 1994 by Gregory Hoblit  is based on a novel by William Diehl. The film has an interesting plot for a crime thriller and the plot developments has been handled quite neatly though certain elements are part of the cliched set up of a thriller. The scenes have been interestingly shot and put together. The courtroom scenes have been terrifically edited and brilliantly constructed. Most of the major developments in the film happen in these courtroom scenes though a lot of the things are happening outside it. The dialogues and the chemistry between the two leads, Richard Gere and Laura Linney makes the case in the film even more interesting. The true star of the film however is Edward Norton who also happens to be debuting with the film. His acting capabilities take the film to a new level. The music also works well with the flow of the film.

Dhobi Ghat

Kiran Rao is the wife of Aamir Khan and also a writer and director. Her debut film, Dhobi Ghat, is an Indian film set in Mumbai around four characters and one that runs without an intermission. I had to mention that the film did not have an interval because of the fact that most films in India are used to one! The writing of the film may not be liked by all. Some might find the climax of the film rather unsatisfying but to me it worked. The endless nature was well portrayed by the maker. The four leads are likable as well. Surprisingly Aamir Khan would be the weakest if I am to say! Monica Dogra is splendid. She shares the maximum screen time in the film alongside Prateik Babbar, who is no less stunning. Monica Dogra manages to look convincing and makes an impression. Kirti Malhotra plays a small role but that is just as effective as the other characters. But something about her seems incomplete and that was disappointing. AaaPrateik Babbar is totally believable as the dhobi and the fi…

Fight Club

I don't know if fight club could be called Fincher's best film till date but I'm sure it is no less good! Fight Club's greatest strength lies in the way it has been made. The content is great but great contents does not necessarily make great movies. Chuck Palahnuik deserves credit for coming up with a dark novel that its share of fun, action and mystery. It is primarily the brilliant construction of the novel that has laid the foundation for this film. Jim Uhls has made the screenplay smartly. The use of voice overs, and the dialogues add much strength to the content of the film and also to the character of the narrator. Working on a film of this sorts and having no name for one of the lead actors is just crazy. Fight Club has a plot twist that hits you right in your head. The film has left its clues but I realized everything only on my second viewing. There is the David Fincher stamp of filmmaking all over fight club. The way the camera would move from one place to ano…

Adaptation.

Charlie Kaufman writes the way he lives... With Great Difficulty. His Twin Brother Donald Lives the way he writes... with foolish abandon. Susan writes about life... But can't live it. John's life is a book... Waiting to be adapted. One story... Four Lives... A million ways it can end.
The above is precisely what the Spike Jonze film Adaption is about. Charlie Kaufman is a truly mad guy. If one would ask me what kind of a film adaption is this, I would simply stand confused. Was it a documentary? Was it a drama? I don't know but it was too good a film. More than the quality of the film as a whole I was impressed with the kind of writing that Charlie Kaufman came up with and the smart way with which Spike Jonze executed it. The writing is the highlight of the film. It is about the struggle of Kaufman in trying to adapt the novel The Orchid Thief rather than being an adaption of the novel. The characters would all seem real and Spike would make every viewer believe. Ofcourse,…

Shaitan

Shaitan marks the debut of Bejoy Nambiar as a feature film maker. I had seen the short film, reflections, he had made with Mohanlal in the lead. Reflections was a weird film and that is what aspiring filmmakers come up with rather than the life of a college student or some shit in those lines! The trailers of Shaitan were underlining that he had something. As Anurag Kashyap promoted Shaitan over twitter I was actually moving to the edge of excitement. On June 10th, I managed to see the Shaitan at PVR cinemas in Chennai. The first 10 minutes of the film with the super awesome with the Bali track from Prashant Pillai, the photography of Madhie and Bejoy's crazy eye for visuals. It was a treat at the cinema. The fight club like shots with the camera moving 180 or 360 degree was pure awesomeness. And the ultra slow motion shots, even better. I loved it all.  I had very little clue as to what Shaitan was going to be about and that was the best part. Sreekar Prasad's slick editing mad…

The Waiting Room

The Waiting Room is a slow thriller. The film is set in a limited environment and there aren't many characters to worry about. The proceedings take their own time to happen and it has interesting plot developments as well. The sound design of the film works effectively in the beginning of the film and also in setting the ambiance of the film later on the day calls in for the night. The rainy setting adds a cinematic flavor and the less use of dialogues keeps the tension on the right side.  But there are some things that does not help the film. The second act of the film seems rather too slow with almost no real plot development happening. The psycho killer who is on the run is too liberal with his killings as I was forced to feel that a couple of kills would have made him more fearful and exciting to wait for. Also there aren't too many characters to suspect the killer to be but even with the limited space the maker has managed to bring a conclusion that wasn't all predictab…

The Japanese Wife

The Japanese Wife is a slow, simple film directed by Aparna Sen. There aren't great things happening in this love story, but it is a film that would carry you just like the characters are taken on the ferry from one side to the other. The making of the Japanese Wife may not be very stylish. But there is a certain level of class in the way it has been made and that is what kept me watching the film even as the slow pace at times. There is a little plot based on a novel and it depends a lot on voice overs. There is something not usual about the way the film is made and I was rather not worried much about the voice overs, which is something I usually don't like in movies. Aparna Sen's cast does a terrific job of the material and keeps the viewing experience a great one.  There aren't any gimmicks invoved with the sets or the way the film has been shot and edited. Everything looks surprisingly real. The actors seem totally natural and very comfortable in their roles. It fee…

True Lies

True Lies is directed by James Cameron. It is a remake of a French film. I have not seen the French film, but I'm almost definite that True Lies is way ahead of its inspiration and has a lot of update from the crazy mind of James Cameron. James Cameron has some awesome action scenes in the film. If you had thought Terminator 2: Judgement day was the ultimate action film of the 90's, think again. True Lies, is an action-comedy that has some moments that would be far more exciting to see than describe in words. The plot of the film may not be quite as exciting when narrated but Cameron's treatment of the content makes the film really worth it. The writing has fun filled moments and those that excite and thrill in a great proportion and works quite brilliantly. There is very little that I wish to write about this film. I consider myself not able enough to describe much of True lies. It is an entertaining film which some might definitely find silly that has to be seen and experi…

Sidney Lumet

I do it because I like it and it's a wonderful way to spend your life. Sidney Lumet gave this reply on why he made movies. Indeed, Lumet lived a wonderful life and made movies that have inspired not just me but lots and lots of people around the world. Born on the 25th of June in the year 1924, little did anyone know that the child was about to make movies that would inspire generations of filmmakers. He had a long career in movies, making more than 40 movies beginning in black and white. He was said to an actor’s director and has been one of those rare filmmakers who happened to worked with a wide range of actors during a career that has spanned over five decades. Being a successful filmmaker does not make a man great. The reason why people always associate the word great with a filmmaker like Sidney is because of how human he has been to the people around him. He is said to the kindest and most civilized of humans around! Now that is a quality that deserves greatness. Sidney’s urge…

The Life of David Gale

The Life of David Gale is a film that tells the story of a man who is an opposer of capital punishment but accused of the murder of a fellow activist and is in death row. Now that is a plot that Charles Randolph has come up with to Alan Parker, the British filmmaker.  The protagonist happens to be Kevin Spacey who plays the character of David Gale with such ease. It is not just Kevin but everyone in the cast does their part quite well in the film. Laura Linney and Kate Winslet who does not hold as much screen time as Kevin, still manages to have some powerful roles to play. The film has been shot in Texas, and it is set in Texas, with frames that are wonderful. The editing and the music also have got its share of style in the narration. The writing does have some trouble. There are certain elements that look a bit too old for the whole film. I'm referring to a cowboy who would be following the journalist and her intern. The narrative of the film also does not offer much surprises th…

The Rock

The Rock is a power-packed fast paced action thriller directed by Micheal Bay. This I believe should be one of the best films from the director because of his excellent making that makes two hours and a bit more duration a pure treat. The Rock may not necessarily be a completely original film because there are parts here and there inside the film that easily reminds one of a few other films in the past. But I don't wish to call The Rock as a cliche as the films writing manages to be interesting and its making equally good. The premise of the rock is bang on. It offers a lot of interesting sequence and two awesome characters. Micheal Bay makes the characters even better by casting Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage, both of whom carry an excellent screen chemistry throughout the film. To make a hero powerful it is important to have a killer of a villain and Ed Harris is perfect for that. To add more fun to the dynamic shots and fast cuts is the splendid score by Hans Zimmer and Nick Gle…

Look

Look is a very experimental kind of a film. Narrating the life of a few characters over a short period of time through the eyes of materials shot in surveillance cameras. The film begins with an interesting note and proceeds from the life of one character to another with immense ease. Adam Rifkin's film is highly innovative in its making and tries to employ an unusual style of writing. There are really interesting and funny moments in the film but halfway through the film actually begins to struggle a bit. At this point the film actually shifts its attention from one character to another without an effective focus on anything or anyone in particular. Evening the editing techniques can't help the film find a balance. The film in its final few minutes makes the point of the whole proceedings. But then, there a lot of things which the writer inside Adam does not conclude leaving a vacuum somewhere! It is also quite interesting to note that the performers never actually seem as th…

Band Baaja Baaraat

Anushka Sharma is a show stealer. Rab Ne Badi Jodi or Badmaash Company may be two bad examples that could be associated with an actress like Anushka. In Band Baaja Baaraat, I got to see a very lively girl in Anushka who emotes so beautifully to the surroundings making the film more than what it should have been! It is not just Anushka who manages to be brilliant in the film. The newcomer Ranveer is on par with his brilliant performance and shares an extraordinary chemistry with Anushka. The writing with some genuinely interesting humour by Habib Faisal adds richness to the lively performers making the plot and the execution of director Maneesh Sharma just wonderful.  Band Baaja Baaraat is a celebration of weddings! And it is not easy to make a film out of the theme of a wedding. It is not that films on weddings have not been made, there have indeed been many including the classic comedy, Four Weddings and a Funeral. But I truly believe that wedding is an event that is never really cinem…

The Orphanage

It is sad to know that The Orphanage is not categorized in the genre of horror film by imdb.com The Orphanage is a brilliantly made horror film. Juan Antonio Bayona, the first time director, has made a very interesting film here. There is a very good vision from the makers side and that is evident throughout the film. The silence and the brilliant movement of the camera makes the viewing a very scary one. The film has very limited characters and they are good in their parts.  Though the writing has a lot of points that aren't refreshingly different from many of the other horror films, the making of the film does make the experience more worthwhile. The writing makes use of two of the most common elements-Ghost and Haunted House- that suit a horror film more than any other. Even then, the film's writing is constructed with some brilliance that the end of the film has a rather interesting conclusion. The film could be similar to Pan's Labyrinth in two ways. One would be the ass…