Oscar Fever

Ever since the Oscar awards, I have been eyeing all those impressive movies that bagged the most prestigious awards in the world. Now weekend late nights are treat for me. So far managed to watch 4 of them.

Argo
If I need to express this film in one word, I would say ‘Brilliant’!!! Absolutely brilliant in every sense. This is probably one of the best thrillers I have seen recently. The nail baiting suspense pushed me to seat edge and I had to literally freeze myself from moving fast forward and watch the climax!!! Screenplay was handled at its best.

Lincoln
This movie is kind of tricky for me. Because before watching the movie I had no clue on what this 13th amendment is all about. So it took me some time to grasp what is going on in the screen. If someone wants to watch this movie, I would recommend you to read the review and get an idea on the theme of this movie. After some background study I did enjoy this movie thoroughly. Though it was dragging at parts, for a biography sort of work, I would say this movie is excellent in bringing out the crucial moments of Mr.Lincoln’s life.

It absolutely deserves in bagging the ‘Best actor award’. What a hell of acting by Daniel day lewis?

Flight
This is another quality movie. I was absolutely in awe with the flight crash that was shown in the first half. After which, the movie took a dip, and started to drag. Nothing much happened in the second half and climax was predictable. Nevertheless, the movie was okay.

Life of Pi
After a long time, Life is PI is probably one of the perfect adaptations of the book. The movie does every justice to the Man Booker prize-winning novel. The visual experience is top notch. Since I already knew the story before watching, there is no surprise there. In spite of that, I didn’t feel bored. Hence another good movie.

Still wanting to watch Les Miserables and Silver Lining playbook.

Good Old Movies

With a naughty baby around, I almost stopped planning for weekend. Because, no matter how I plan, my baby knows way to foil it. The only time I could rest during the weekend is when my sweet baby gets her midday nap. Once her pretty eyes were shut, I jumped to my iphone to catch up some good old movies.

 Kancheevaram & Lagaan. A very rare combination of movies to watch during the weekend. However, that’s I what I did on the past two blissful days.

 Ever since Prakash Raj won national award for ‘Kancheevaram’, I have been eyeing out for this movie. This is one of the most poignant and beautiful tale I have watched recently. Now I understand why it fetched the most prestigious award for one of the finest actor in Tamil cinema. And what a good work, Mr. Priyadarshan has put up in to it.  The way he has taken us in to the lives of silk weavers of Kancheevaram is so genuine and extraordinary. I could feel myself transported to post independent era. Each and every scene is so authentic.

 Being it a brilliant characterization or beautiful picturisztion or soul sucking music, the movies scores in ever aspect of fine filmmaking. The lead roles Vengadam (Prakash Raj), Annam (Shreiya reddy) and other adds perfect aura to this whole magical movie. I think I have done enough praise. This film is worth the entire weekend.

 Coming to Lagaan, again this is another movie in my watch list since it was nominated for the most esteemed Oscar. To my surprise I loved this too. Though it has not impacted the way ‘Kancheevaram’ does, the movie has its own goodness.  The only problem is, I found the movie to be too lengthy (almost 3: hr 35 mins). How difficult it is to watch with a baby? My dear got so irritated that she spanked me with a Nataraj Pencil and chewed my earphones. Gosh!

Story and Soul

I get this deeply unsatisfied feeling whenever I watch Tamil movies these days. Though the movies, to an extent, has come out of meaningless punch dialogues, kuthu songs and other disgusting factors which were once prevailed commonly across all movies, I still feel something is being purposefully missed out in movies these days.

The last three movies (Vishwaroopam, David, Kadal) that I watched with huge expectations have been a big blow to me. Though these movies sound sensible on the shell, it lacked the essence. These movies carry just the stories and there is no such thing called soul in it.  I mean, earlier when I watch a Vikram’s or Manirathnam’s movie, I would think about it –in a admiring way -for at least two days. And I would re-watch it. However, these recent releases have left me in utter bewilderment. To my horror, I forgot the storyline on the next day morning.

When I discussed ‘Vishwaroopam’ with some of my friends, they compared Kamal’s technical brilliance with Hollywood. Now this is a moot point and I am at loss always. I enquired them that so and so scenes were not elaborated in detail which leads to lots of confusion, one person promptly advised me that in Hollywood they wont explain silly details. You just need to suppose and sail through the story. I really fail to understand why should I watch a Tamil movie keeping Hollywood standards in mind? It would rather be easier for me to watch Hollywood film directly no? Anyway, I asked my friend whether she understood what nuclear oncology means? For which she was surprised and blinked!

While I am still staggering with not-so-nationally-important-Vishwaroopam in my life, I committed other two sins, which made me even more pessimistic about movies.

David – I seriously don’t understand why Vikram is so drunk in the movie and acts thoroughly weird throughout. Never seen Vikram in such dumb character before. That bloke’s talent has entirely been spoiled.  While Vikram was busy drinking, another David (Jeeva) tries to seek justice for his father’s humiliation.  Finally when Jeeva succumbs to non-violence, viola! He was saved and he becomes father in church. Of course, none of this made any sense to me.

Kadal – I seriously couldn’t believe this was made by the legend ‘MANIRATNAM’. One should have seen the horror in my face while I watched the climax of this movie when the hero states his reason for forgiving Arjun for his sins. Gosh !!!! Perhaps Arjun could be the only actor who can overact even in Mani’s movie. Anyway! If not for AR Rahman’s music, Kadal would have probably drowned by itself. Forget the past two movies, Kadal was just too much. Please watch it yourself and decide.

Finally, why all these stories suddenly got this compulsive-religious-syndrome crap in it. Can’t they give GOD (if he exist) a break and concentrate on story and its soul instead?

I think I like the movie Attakathi far better than these. Probably I had very low expectations then.

Vishwaroopam – Tamil movie review

The much-awaited Vishwaroopam got released here. My hubby being a die-hard fan of Kamal wanted to watch it desperately. So we went to watch this controversial movie.

The plot goes like this..

Al-Qaeda Jihadis Omar (Rahul Bose) & Salim (Jaideep) plots an attack against US. Vishwanath alias Viz (Kamal) is a kathak teacher in Newyork who is married to Nirupama (Pooja Kumar) a nuclear oncologist. Nirupama founds out that Viz is not a Hindu but Muslim through her private investigator. There the story takes a turn and reveals who Viz really was in the past and how he comes to know the Al-Qaeda attack in US. The rest of the story is all about how Viz foils the terrorist attack and brings back the peace.

Let me highlight the positives first. Kamal’s transformation as Kathak dancer is the single most thing that excited me in the movie. He has done every justice to this role. His feminine facial expressions are flawless and he simply takes the breath away with his graceful dance. Now, the problem is this role has no relevancy to the main story line. What impact he creates to the story by being a Kathak dancer? None. It seems he has done the role only to exhibit his finer acting skills and for nothing else. Anyway, I liked it.

I felt an overwhelming disappointment when I think about the other aspects of this film. Music was a let down. It was a poorly executed film in my opinion. The screenplay simply swings in the air with no interconnection of any sort. I mean I don’t understand the sequence of any scene. When I think about the screenplay, thousand questions still bugs my mind. Like how Viz (Kamal) came to US?  What is the essence of Kamal’s presence in the hostilities between US and Afghanistan? I felt, I should have probably read more on International relationships (between India, US and Afghanistan) before I had ventured to watch this movie. Most scenes were simply puzzling and left me clueless.

Now coming to the characterization, it has left me dumbfound. I mean who is Andrea in the movie? Who are the two white chaps who tags along with Kamal in US? What is the role of Nazar? The portrayal of Nirumpa as an infidel in the beginning due to Kamal’s effeminate trait goes head over heel when she sees the handsome Kamal is simply ridiculous. Phew! Even Kamal underestimates the purpose of heroine in the films.

Most of the dialogues in the film are not in Tamil.  The movie happens in Afghan and US, hence it is understandable that Tamil is ignored. However, even the very few dialogues spoken in Tamil (or to be more specific Tamil Brahmin lingo), are mercilessly butchered by the non-Tamil speaking actors. I understand Kamal has chosen his actor in order to cater all his audience in India. But unfortunately, I didn’t get the feel of a Tamil movie. It appeared as a Dubbed movie.

The other hindrance to understand the movie is the tech jargon that has been splattered across many scenes. I don’t know what nuclear oncology means neither do the chemical compounds that were mentioned in many scenes. I don’t remember whether it was explained in the movie. But the point is, when the climax was based on this, I lost the gist and gave a miss to the crucial scene. I just stared at the screen and went home.

Kamal is genius but sadly I fail to appreciate his efficacy. And to those who are making lots of sound against screening of this film, I really want to ask what they understood about the movie in the first place. Just blindly going gaga over the movie is bizarre.

2 Movies

Watched two Tamil movies over the past weekends. One is Paiyaa. I went to this movie for Karthi’s acting and Yuvan’s music. Of course, they didn’t disappoint me. But the hitch was that, everything else about the movie was so disappointing. This is a movie, which on the surface would appear faultless. However, a careful scrutiny would reveal that , this is nothing but an another ‘aracha masala’ movie of its kind. Thank fully, paiyaa lacked the painful punch dialogues and heinous kuthu songs. Still, can that alone make a movie worth watching ? May be later on Kalaignar or Sun TV at free of cost on some Saturday evening. But, definitely not on theatre.

When one buy a ticket for Rs 120 to watch a 2.30 hour movie, all that is expected is a gripping story and riveting sequence of scenes to capture the viewer’s mind and vanquish the thoughts like – Did I lock the home before leaving ? or What dish will I make for dinner ? That is where Paiyaa failed. After the first 30 minutes of the film, I was so much intrigued by the child few seat away from me, which kept jumping over its seat for some unknown reason. It was neither my fault, nor the child, but the movie. When the first half of the movie went on watching a weird child, in the second half, my concentration was much focused on the popcorn at hand. Yes, some song sequence really did rip my thoughts from the popcorn and made me stare at the screen devotedly. But, as one can see, the movie was not one of the best to capture my complete attention. It lost the game against a packet of popcorn.

The next movie is ‘Angadi theru’. A very good movie, but not for my type. My type generally goes to theatre to be blissful and to escape all the bitterness this world offers. If the movie denies that, only disappointment creeps inside. Besides, my type could hardly bear someone crying and this movie just exactly makes everyone cry. The last thing I want to do is spending money to be more tearful. Why the realistic films always have to be sad, is something I can’t figure out.

Sound of a soul

One of the life’s sweetest contribution, I always enjoy is the holidays and the extension of morning sleep it offer. Sleep, especially the morning sleep, is a melody of life. For this, now, a hindrance has emerged.

I know in a vague sort of way that, my next door neighbors are Marwaris. Quite a big joint family, with bunch of broods who always pop hither,thither over our compound walls and come inquiring us, about the cricket ball they had aimed unintentionally at our windows, or, about the kite that demands there service to liberate it from our tata sky dish antenna. Considering the senior folks of their family, from their outlook, I gather, they are the people who are offensive to the family planning scheme of government of India, otherwise there wouldn’t be so much kids right?. This much information I know about them. Suddenly, my interest upon this inhabits has grown tremendously; of course, not without a reason.

For the past two weeks, precisely at the early morning hour of Sundays – or any other holidays, for that matter – there comes a surging noise through the front windows, strong enough to collapse the sound sleep of mine. It is a peculiar noise, sharper than my mother’s cry, when it comes to waking me up. This sound, having achieved its objective, there in the bright morning, makes me mull over the question – ‘What life is plotting to do at this early hour?

Later, investigation revealed the source of noise. Someone, from next door, who aspires to become AR Rahman or other musical genius of that sort, is having hard time in mastering the musical instruments at the morning time of holidays. “In those solemn moments when the sound of a soul is about to touch its spot”, I was told, “it is bound to bombard the ears of someone who happens to be in deep slumber in a room few meters away”.

I want to meet this person who has this divine quality of waking up others. No luck yet. If, ever, I get a chance to say him/her a ‘Hi’, I shall not be asking about this divine quality, instead, I will say something like – “All the best to be an AR Rahman”.

I just don’t have the heart to hurt, you see.

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya

The much awaited VTV was screened today and I being a big fan of Gautham Vasudev menon, had not failed to miss the show. Next to Maniratnam, according to me, Gautam menon must be the only director who has rather a distinctive touch in handling romance. The transformation of plain and simple Surya to a much macho Anbhuchelvan was too stunning and magical in Kaaka Kaaka, and ever since Gautham is one of my favorite film maker. Though I held high hope for Varanam Ayiram, my expectations for VTV was not the same. It got dipped, due to Simbhu. This overact-ive hero had never failed to make me regret in the first place for choosing his flicks. He is one of those hero, who has full potential to blow up a movie single-handedly, provided a chance or not. So, it was with full known peril that I ventured to watch Simbhu’s film in cinema theatre and I regret not now.

The movie started with the Hero’s head voice much like other Gautham’s films. Slowly the story drifted through the neat screen play. No hustle. No bustle. Handsome Karthik (Simbhu) falls in love with stunning Jessie (Trisha), on the very first glimpse. Then as usual, our hero chases her, propose her, begs her, finally even convince her and kisses her. All these were shown in Gautam menon’s style. It was all warm, enjoyable, romantic, loving, tender, beautiful and what not ! To everyone’s guess ,heroin, in the half way of movie, stops her wedding(with other guy ), calls hero ‘A crazy’ for quite a number of times and confirms her love for him. Touching, I must say. She even offers to elope. Every one claps on the theatre. So far, so good. By that time, 3/4th of the movie was gone and I find no flaws except it pretty much reminded me of the first half (Surya-Sameera portion) of Varanam Aayiram. Still, I liked it.

Truth to be told, I want the movie to end there. What else I want than two young hearts binding together, like fevicol glued wooden boards. But director’s thoughts were different , which, I couldn’t understand till the end. Only thing that I could sense was something set loose in the rest quarter of the film and no one has no clue on what it was. Let me make my point clear, I don’t mean, the ending was not as expected, but, it is just that there was so much of confusion on how to end. Three times, I stood up literally thinking the movie was over and subsequently nudged by my mates to sit quiet as I was wrong.

Besides the droopy climax, I had one more problem with the movie. MUSIC. Inspite of it done by AR Rahman, which I enjoyed much on IPOD, I some how had the nagging feeling, that it didn’t go well with the scenes. ARR’s dominated music is too strong for this soft romantic drama, is my opinion.

As well as characterization was concerned , it was neat. Both the lead roles were scenic. It is time to appreciate Simbhu. Gosh ! he is reformed and it must not be feasible without some stern effort from Gautham, which I would say ‘A greatest achievement from a director’. The transformation of Simbhu to much modest, striking Karthik is appreciable than Vikram’s transformation in Pithamagan. I mean, I never thought this spoiled dude Simbhu could come under anything that is remotely likeable. What I always had for him was pure loath. Cha, I was wrong. If fine hand touches fine spot, even a glitter can become gold. The movie is definitely worth watching, at least once, for this guy.

All said. Now the final verdict is , if you liked Surya-sameera portion of romance in Vaaram Aayiram, there are wide chances for you to enjoy this movie as well. And about the climax, it depends on audience perspective. I find it floppy.

PS – I wish Vijay work for Gautham. He too need some reformation.