Sunday, August 2, 2009

New York (Hindi, 2009)

Starring: John Abraham, Katrina Kaif, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Irrfan Khan
Director: Kabir Khan
Rating: ****** (Excellent)

You rarely come across really good Hindi films. Or may be, only commercial films are available in the South and you don’t normally get much choice. It gives you immense pleasure when out of these majority soap operas, you accidentally come across such excellent attempts.

The story is completely set up in the US. Omar, played by Neil, is picked up by the FBI and detained for arms found in his taxi. With the pressure from the FBI Officer ( Irrfan Khan) , he agrees to work as their agent and explore more about the family of Samir (John Abraham) and Maya ( Katrina Kaif). Omar was their college friend and knew both of them very closely. He loved Maya then and when he found that Maya actually loved Sameer, he left the college, leaving their contacts. The rest of the story is about how Neil finds them, stays with the family and tries to explore what his bosses are looking for. The story moves at an excellent pace and keeps you on toes. It takes a different turn with the interval .

This was shot entirely in the US and could be easily mistaken for a Hollywood film. The film shows you how circumstances creates a terrorist. The torture scenes are horrific and takes a dig at the ways American FBI follows hypocrisy, advocating human rights to the external world and at the same time, resorting to inhuman treatment to the Muslims in the name of suspected terrorism.

Bhagavan (Malayalam, 2009)

Director- Prashanth Mambully
Actors- Mohanlal , Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, Sudheesh, Leena, Lalu Alex etc
Camera- Lokanathan
Rating- Poor

The Mumbai terrorist attack and the rumors that they had entered Camah Hospital at Mumbai must have ignited the minds who had developed this story line into a two-hour Malayalam movie. But it failed to raise this to a suspense thriller as the team expected. The worst fact is that it used to test the patience of the viewers.

The factors about this film - completing the shoot in 17 hours , simultaneously shot by 5 cameras, and completed in 90 shots-may be the only interesting factors, to the producer. After seeing this film, one really wonders whether such tight schedule is really required to come out for a poor quality film- in editing, story line, creating suspense and the climax.

Super star Mohanlal as Dr .Balagopal, is a famous Gynec and has to treat the wife of State’s Home Minister. But a terrorist group chooses this time to take the Minister as a hostage. The film deals how the doctor, with the help of commandos, helps the Minister and manages to free the hospital and its inmates.

There is nothing much for even Mohanlal to do in this film. The film disappears faster from the theatres as it arrives, which is what these kinds of films deserve.

My advice to the director is to watch another contemporary Malayalam movie which arrived without much ad- The Passenger- and try to learn how a story is developed into a complete thriller and how editing can help a realistic story line. We hope he will learn from his mistakes before attempting his next creation, thus helping the future producers.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Passenger ( Malayalam, 2009)

Film: Passenger ( Malayalam, 2009)
Director: Renjith Shankar
*ring- Dilip, Srinivasan, Mamta, Jagathy Sreekumar
Music: Bijibal;
Rating: Excellent

When we accidentally reached the theatre in the first week of its release, we were the very few people in the balcony. We expected another bad film, but it turned out to be a stunning and revealing experience.

The pace of the film is fast and keeps you on your toes. The director carefully avoids any song which normally happens in any mainstream flicks and carries no meaning or relevance.

The film revolves around a social activist Sathyanathan (Srinivasan), who happens to witness an incident involved with Dileep. This takes him to the wife of the victim- Anuradha (Mamta), a television reporter. The rest of the film is their attempt to expose a scam set by a popular minister.

One feels slight shades of unreasonable situations when Sreenivasan tries pulling the chain, stopping the train and persuading the people to come with him to find Dileep.

Terrific performances by Jagathy as the minister, Sreenivasan as the activist and Nedumudi Venu as a taxi driver are all ably supported by Dileep and his reporter wife-Mamta.

One can’t believe that this film, being taken by an IT professional Renjith Shankar , is his maiden directorial venture.

One of the recent trend setters in the Malayalam film as the advertisement claims…

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chandi Chowk to China (CC2C) (Hindi, 2009)

Film - Chandi Chowk to China (CC2C) (Hindi, 2009)
Director - Nikhil Advani
Starring - Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone,Gordon Kui
Music - Kailash, Paresh, Naresh, Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy, Bappi Lahiri & Bohemia

Sidhu (Akshay Kumar) is working in a street side food stall in Chandi Chowk, helping his father figure Dada (Mithun Chakravorthy). He is a simple man who believed in a good future and hence a frequent visitor to astrologers, sadhus, tarot readers etc. One of his usual places is with a Chinese conman, Chopstick (Ranvir Shorey). Sidhu’s future changes when two Chinese arrived there looking for him, as he was believed to be the reincarnation of their war hero.

Sidhu is trapped by Chopstick ( Ranvir Shorey) and they go to China to meet the villagers. But Sidhu does’t know that he is being taken to help the villagers from a bad man called Hojo (Kung Fu expert-Gordon Kui).The second half portraits the happenings in China.

This is also about a typical Hindi film about separated twins getting united without much emotion or suspense.

Unrealistic settings and excessive tele-marketing scenes make you wriggle in your seats.

Akshay’s martial arts training under his teacher Chiang (Roger Yuan) give you some moments of fun and may improve your spirits. All fights are well directed which gives you the feel of a Hollywood film.

Deepika comes interesting and beautiful in a double role, as twin sisters Sakhi and Meow. Meow’s role and make-up is better compared to her Indian sister.

A list of music directors have worked for this film. Among the songs, CC2C (Remix) and Naam hi Sidhu are average. The soft romantic song Tere Naina( Shankar & Shreya Ghoshal) is the only one which lingers in your mind, though its settings are unrealistic and funny.

This film is being marketed as a Kungfu comedy .If you liked Akshay’s “Singh is Kinng” and expect to find a replicate of a similar comedy, you would be greatly disappointed. There is no comedy, but more of action. Fighting scenes are well treated. The finale of this film where the audience expects much action, turns out to be an anti climax.

Akshay Kumar has to find some alternative roles before getting stamped and typecast in such mediocre roles.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ( Hindi,2008)

Film - Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi( RNBDJ)
Director - Adithya Chopra
Starring - Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Vinay Pathak
Music - Salim-Sulaiman

The story is about a simple man, Surinder (SRK), who happened to marry his teacher’s glamorous daughter, Taani ( Anushka Sharma) by accident. The efforts made by him to earn his wife’s love and the advice by his friend (Vinay Pathak) forced him to come up with a modern playboy character, Raj. Raj went on to become the dancing partner of his wife. Finally when Raj succeeded in earning her love, the film turns serious as Suri painfully realizes, he needs to be in the role of Raj for the rest of his life.

The serious part of the film is the dilemma between the self (which is the natural part) and the alter ego who wishes to play the modern and playboy style to win a woman’s heart. Finally the love for the lady wins when the person gets ready to sell his self to accept the made up role.

SRK is good in both the roles- of the shy Suri and also the flamboyant, Raj. Raj is his usual role which his critics always criticize of playing the same type. Raj is his typical repetitive style. This will definitely please his fans who want to see his usual style, mannerism and acting abilities. But Suri’s role is a difference and hence can be considered as a challenge to SRK. Nothing has to be mentioned about his dancing prowess. Anushka tries hard to compliment her jodi.

Vinay Pathak has done justice to his role of SRK’s child hood friend and adviser.

Back ground score is excellent. The opening song Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai is sobre & moody. This is the only song which lingers in our mind. The old remix of several songs where SRK played the roles of earlier heroes is also interesting.

I don’t think this will be a super hit like Aditya Chopra’s earlier film Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge. But I am sure that this may please South Indians who like realistic films. The story of Rab Ne has that magical touch.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Crazy Gopalan ( Malayalam, 2008)

Film- Crazy Gopalan ( Malayalam)
Direction- Deepu Karunakaran
Starring- Dileep, Radha Varma, Salim Kumar, Jagathy, Manoj K jayan, Biju Menon Music-Rahul Raj
Lyrics- Girish Puthencherry & Anil Panachooran
Photography -C Kannan

Story of a small time village thief –Gopalan- whose pet item is stealing “Katla” ( Malayalam word for wooden frame) from all houses in the village called Unjalady. Aiming big fortunes, he went to town where he met another similar thief played by Salim kumar. They changed their usual track and went to kidnap a girl from a rich family. The story changed from there with fighting and revenge till the end.

Comedy films are nowadays dealing mostly with situational comedies. You will laugh at the various situations planned for the same .
Music is mediocre. No song is worth remembering. Luckily the viewers are spared with minimum songs.

Film towards the end is boring. Action scenes and court scenes are unrealistic. Director finds hard to wrap it up which becomes a pain to the average viewer.

New actress- Ms Varma- has nothing big to offer, though she is present throughout the film. With a flawless body and an expression-less face, she looks attractive with make-up. But really she needs to work hard for staying in this industry..

Salim kumar is better where as Jagathy seems to be tired of doing such silly characters. Manoj K Jayan as villain has come back after a gap and so is Biju Menon. Dileep should now consciously look for films with at least some realistic story line.

Overall- my 10 year old son- liked the film. When I told him that I didn’t like this, he said he found me laughing at some jokes. So that’s it. You can laugh at some of the situations. But this will not help you in liking the film.

Comments- If you want to be crazy, go ahead and waste your time & money for this film.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How I started


I am not a film addict. But am a regular film goer, as this is one of our major family entertainments. My wife wants Hindi movies, son needs adipoli Tamil & Telugu ones, mother requires Malayalam movies and there you are- with a wide span of Indian regional movies at your disposal. Long queues, big screens, chilled and at times hot environments, aggressive & excited fans, refreshments at the intervals etc make this affair more interesting. But in most cases, the films were less than average, leaving us wondered why we had spent our precious time for this activity. That leaves me this idea of starting a blog site for critically reviewing all films which I can see, which will definitely help some of you to make a decision wiser.Over to you for your comments...