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Archive for March, 2010

Junglee Starts, Tame Endings!!

March 16, 2010 1 comment
Three recent movie viewings have left me frustrated and I thought of sharing my opinions with all of you.  There could be a few spoilers ahead regarding the plots of these films…so please read on at your own risk.
 
The first one was the highly-awaited (at least by me…) “Quick Gun Murugun“.  Shashanka Ghosh’s follow-up to the brilliant “Waisa Bhi Hota Hai – Part II” had all the ingredients that a quirky spoof needed.  And it started with a bang.  Witty dialogues, good soundtrack, bad acting, poor dubbing…I was smiling and nodding my head.  But then, in the second-half..I Say….the movie ran out of steam.  Especially towards the end, when Ghosh didn’t quite know how to end the mayhem.  I was disappointed.  I still liked the movie overall, but as they say…”the ending could have been much better”.
 
Next in line is “Karthik Calling Karthik“, Farhan Akhtar’s so-called “romantic thriller”.  It started as a thriller, all right.  Director Vijay Lalwani seemed to be playing his cards well…slowly but steadily.  I am one of the few people who actually enjoys slow-paced movies, simply because I hope that the directors are capable enough to tie it all together in the end…and besides…I like it slow. 🙂  KCK had Farhan Akhtar once again giving a good performance.  And that background score by Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale!!  Wow!!  I was smiling again….only to watch my smile disappear…slowly….and turn into a heavy sigh.  This ain’t no thriller!!  It turned out to be an average movie about a patient who needed help.  That’s not what thrillers are.  Thrillers are supposed to keep you at the edge of your seats….or have you guessing.  What a letdown, I must say.  There is so much more that Vijay and Farhan could have done with the concept and didn’t.  Tyler Durden anyone??
 
Last but not the least, comes that latest beauty called “Ishqiya” from the House of Vishal.  Yup, I still call it a beauty because it’s a well-crafted crime caper with all the good intentions.  Intoxicating music, great locales, good dialogues, splendid acting (with the not-so-well-known actors once again towering over the veterans, aka “Kaminey“…) and a strong storyline.  A storyline that starts meandering a bit towards the end, taking the high film to its low finale.  Again, an example of missed opportunities.  I felt that the director held himself back with his climax, instead of letting his imagination go wild.  He ended up with an abrupt, totally filmy and a somewhat compromised finish to something that had an exhilarating start.
 
The year is still young though.  Dibakar Banerjee’s LSD comes out this coming Friday.  So my hopes are still high.  You see, I yearn for “Wondrous Starts and Qaatil Endings”…Not “Junglee Starts and Tame Endings”.   Mind It!
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Categories: Bollywood

Don’t “Hurt” But Praise the “Basterds”

March 16, 2010 Leave a comment
How many of you agree that no matter how good “The Hurt Locker” was, it was the “Inglourious Basterds” who deserved to take the Best Picture trophy home.  For me, “The Hurt Locker” just didn’t cut it.  It was a very good movie, no doubt, but except for the “political and sentimental” element attached to it, I still can’t fathom why everyone is going nuts over it. 
 
Watch Tarantino’s yarn instead and you will witness the art the guy had mastered….of playing with his audience!!  What a bold screenplay…what an audacious script…what a clever piece of dialogue-writing..what a wondrous ensemble of set-pieces, where you know that everyone will be killing each other within a matter of minutes, but for now, they are just sipping on their wines and “talking”…and what smoldering acting from the entire gang, including that devilish Christoph Waltz.  I never thought that “Avatar” stood a chance at the Oscars, but a part of me kept hoping that maybe….maybe….the Academy will rise above the sentimentally of it all, and instead give the award to QT’s Basterds…to a picture that dared to be different and to a director who makes his audience drool for more….all the time.
 
But alas!!  Instead of the praise and the love that they deserved, the Basterds got “Hurt”…and fatally.  Don’t worry, QT….there’s always next time…and we are already looking forward to it….as always.  Au revoir, for now. 🙂
Categories: Hollywood

Time To Move On…

March 16, 2010 Leave a comment
I am back after a long hiatus…not giving excuses, except that I was catching up with a lot of stuff that I’ve missed over the months. The awards season is over as well.  “3 Idiots” and “Paa” won most of the awards — deservedly or not, it will always remain a point of contention.  I find it very strange how Bollywood differs from Hollywood, when it comes to recognizing talent. 
 
Agreed that comparing the Filmfare Awards and the Screen Awards to the Oscars or the Globes isn’t fair either.  While the former are primarily “popular” awards, the Oscars (and certain categories of the Golden Globes) do indeed look at even the “festival circuit” films before deciding on the winners.
 
But there still remains a very interesting difference between how each fraternity decides on whom to pick.  The Oscars do tend to look at the overall performance, no doubt…but they also don’t shy away from recognizing someone who, in spite of having a stellar career or being just a newcomer, has given an equally stunning performance compared to some of those “veterans” also nominated in the category.  For instance, George Clooney’s performance in “Up In The Air” was definitely up there, but the Academy went with Jeff Bridges instead…not a surprise, and definitely a move worth applauding.  Now, they also picked Sandra Bullock over Meryl Streep, in the same vein…a decision that I wasn’t very happy about.
 
However, when it comes to our local filmwallahs, it’s always the veterans, the favorites, that count.  And this year was no exception…even though I have to admit that the jury did pull in a few pleasant surprises as well.
 
Shahid Kapoor gave a shimmering performance in “Kaminey“….and who won?  The Big B. for “Paa“!!  Pritam, who I personally felt gave a terrific score for “Love Aaj Kal” lost out to the perennial favorite Rahman for “Delhi-6“.  Amol Gupte’s supporting actor nomination for “Kaminey” was on-par with the eventual winner and favorite Boman Irani, for “3 Idiots“.  It was nice, however, to see a relative newcomer on the scene, Irshad Kamil, win the lyricist award for “Aaj Din Chadiya”, over my favorite, Gulzar Saab’s title song of “Kaminey“.  The recognition given to “Dev D.” including a Best Supporting Actor (Female) award, was also a refreshing change. 
 
Overall, however, I still feel that the Bolly awards are seeped in predictability and its fairly easy to judge not only the winners but even the nominees beforehand.  So am I complaining?  Nope…I still watch them, and I’m sure that so do a lot of you.  After all, these are the people we’ve invested a lot of hours of our lives in, over the past one year, and it’s always fun to see them all come together and at least get poked fun at, by SAK and SRK….albeit sometimes at the expense of  cringeworthy jokes cracked by the duo.
 
Well, we are already into 2010 and the movies are releasing every week, full steam ahead.  I am watching them, and so are you.  2009 is a thing of the past and it is indeed time for all of us to move on…before the next wave of the awards season descends upon us!!
Categories: Bollywood