Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Some scenes are exceptional, especially where the main antagonist Omar (chillingly portrayed by Rahul Bose), uses his hand to mimic a gun and points it at his own son's temple and mouths "boof" (because his son wants to be doctor and not a Jihadist), which, is more eerie than the actual gunfights. The US military incursion into Afghanistan has been painstakingly shot (and, if I'm not mistaken, the first appearance of a Black Hawk in a Tamil film) and a couple of death scenes may prove too graphic for some viewers. The screenplay cleverly switches between timelines and some dialogues bring the house down (Alfred Hitchcock has even said that a slight comic moment would be amplified in a really tense situation). A good example is that scene between an interrogator and Nirupama (Pooja Kumar).
Interrogator: So, you must pray to Allah, huh?
Nirupama: No… My god has four hands.
Interrogator: What kind of god has four hands? How do you crucify him?
Nirupama: We don't crucify our god!
Nirupama: We dunk him in the sea!!!
Friday, January 4, 2013
What makes a good or even great action movie? There are websites to look this up, surely. But, what makes a good/great Tamil action movie? If we were to go by the popular Tamil movie reviewers and audiences (for 2012), Thuppakki (Gun) seems to the one, edging others out. I despair as prominent director A. R. Murugadoss dumbs down a that made me want to slit my wrists or moreover kill myself with a thuppakki that Vijay produces in the movie, as an option for the bad guys to take his own life.
- Terrorism is a light-hearted subject
- We all know that in the end, it's all going to be okay
Now, don't get me wrong, the film ain't half bad (no let me change the fraction; the film is 9.5/10 - bad), and it is not what people raved on and on and on about; sadly it is a tawdry affair that blocked up my sinus and other cavities. Hey Muslims, forget USA, it is India that shows that all Muslims are terrorists in their "philums". And, what's with censoring names of cities and ministers? Are the audience of India so stupid, that there'd have been riots if the names had not been censored? Well, the audience did make a hit out of this, so…
Sunday, December 16, 2012
I was eagerly awaiting the release of "Neethaane En Ponvasantham" by Gautham Vasudev Menon (GVM) since the film was announced. The excitement grew tenfold when the music was released (although I would have to admit, initially I was sceptical about Ilaiyaraja (IR) providing the score). Then, on Thursday, the day before the release of the film, I read a statement by GVM online to NOT go into the film with higher expectations. Well, I would have to say that statement along with some negative comments (Thanks Twitter!) DID NOT for one second, deter me from the fact I was excited (to the point of ecstasy even) to watch the film.
The screenplay can be summarised as "moments of the relationship between Varun (Jiiva) and Nithya (Samantha) as they navigate through their lives". The moments have been captured beautifully, in a story that may test your patience a bit, but is completely worth the cathartic wait greatly supported by the lead performances and an excellent score by IR. Jiiva and Samantha are brilliant and live the lives of Varun and Nithya. Their moments together and their fights and the intricate nuances of their characteristics are a pleasure to watch as both actors prove why they are well liked and respected in the film industry. I have never seen Samantha before, in such a powerful role (I have only seen her in a supporting role in Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya (VTV) and playing second fiddle to a computer generated fly in Naan E) and she will break your heart as Nithya (a confused heroine again GVM?) be it with her understated beauty or her vulnerability. Santhanam stands out and gives a memorable performance as Prakash, Varun's friend, and is responsible for some awesome one-liners, like the Poda Poda Punnaakku song comment and aptly supports Jiiva and Samantha. There is also a brilliant spoof of VTV, an earlier GVM film, which brings the house down.
I could not help but notice the reference to "Alaipayuthe", the film Varun and Nithya go to watch and the scene set in the Tsunami-hit village which was akin to the song "Evano Oruvan" (even GVM mentioned this in an interview; not the scene, but how he could make love stories based on that one song).
One fault I did find with the film (SPOILER ALERT) was that Nithya completely breaking down and asking for forgiveness in the end thus taking the blame for the failure of the relationship whereas Varun was in the fault as well. And that was the only character flaw I could find. The story is simple, too simple even for many to comprehend. It tests your patience, yes, but the depth of feelings explored in the movie is such that it merits that time. I would say, some moments would have been better played out of the camera and the climax may need some trimming, but I could not help it; I fell in love with the film, the same way Varun and Nithya fell for each other; I love their moments together, apart and all that in-between. I would recommend if you love/like "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset".
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Christopher Nolan! What could I say? He has taken a comic book superhero and has delivered the BEST trilogy for years to come. Christopher Nolan has left the Dark Knight series on a high (highest in my opinion) note.
The Dark Knight Rises starts off eight years after the previous, astounding The Dark Knight. Bruce Wayne has shut himself up in his mansion as Batman had to disappear after taking the blame for Harvey Dent (Two Face). But his retreat is threatened with the arrival of Bane (formerly of League of Shadows).
It is Selina Kyle who starts the ball rolling by stealing Bruce Wayne's fingerprints. From then on, Bruce faces financial crisis, has a relationship with Miranda Tate, gets his back broken by Bane and rises (literally) to defeat evil (you know it is bound to happen) in one of the best finales ever seen on film.
If you thought Heath Ledger was ultimate evil personified (yes, I do) then, Tom Hardy takes it up a notch with his massive physique and a very posh bastardised English accent. It is with such a pitch-perfect delivery (you will have to see/hear it to believe) when he addresses the CIA agent "perhaps he's wondering why someone would shoot a man before throwing him out of a plane?" While the Joker was more of a cerebral villain, Bane is unmatched in his physical brutality.
Even though he is only on screen for a precious few minutes, Michael Caine provides yet another sterling , heartbreaking performance as Albert, the ever faithful companion (yes, he's more than just a butler to Bruce). And that final scene in the cafe with Bruce and Albert is just brilliant. I am not ashamed to say there were tears. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, plays John Blake (alright, his full name is 'Robin' John Blake), another orphan (now a police officer) who somehow knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman (because Bruce Wayne is also an orphan - one minor plot-hole in an otherwise excellent screenplay) and Gary Oldman has been promoted to Commissioner in this film along with Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman and Anne Hathaway provide adequate support to Christian Bale who easily slips into eccentric billionaire Bruce Wayne (with a limp) and Batman who has to make an ultimate sacrifice to save Gotham City.
Along with Tom Hardy (my favourite performance in the film), the film as ably supported by Hans Zimmer's score; especially the action/tension of the spectacular opening scene (which was brilliantly brought on-screen) was amplified to an extreme by the score.
In closing, watch it for Tom Hardy who has embodied Bane (a modern day Darth Vader) as Christopher Nolan (along with his brother Jonathan Nolan - co-writer) bring Bruce Wayne's story to a suitable, cathartic conclusion while providing excellent action and a few interesting twists along the way. The story of Batman may live on but most certainly (in my opinion) that of Bruce Wayne has been wrapped up.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Sorry about the heading. Corny, cheesy or corncheesy it may be, I had to to do it.
Do we live our lives in our terms even though others might consider them wrong? Should we live our life to make others happy? Or do we let others dictate on how we should live? Should we not care about how others feel and live according to our rules? Many of us won't like it when someone advises us on how to live our life.
We feel our freedom is at risk here. If we were given the options to live well or live under poor conditions we would definitely choose to live well, won't we? But, if we were given no options, but to live well, I think most of us would be unhappy, wouldn't we? We love options, don't we? Sorry about all the questions; it is still early in the week to find answers to these psuedo-rhetoric questions, but I have yet to meet the "one" with the answers, but that's a whole new ballgame.
Why all these musings, one may ask. This was just a by-product of watching "Mar Adentro" (The Sea Inside). For those who have not seen it or heard about it (seriously?), it's about the writer Ramón Sampedro who fought to end his life. He chose the option of death over life, when he became a quadriplegic. And there ends my musing, for now, as I rush to write a strongly (yet professional) worded email to a popular fast-food restaurant for failing to provide me with options when I last visited it.