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cinema cinema:english

Far from paradise

How does one approach a film like The Descendants? It isn’t as complex as the dream films you have seen before nor is it intriguing more than the mysterious ones and it’s not that kind of film which boasts of ‘reality’ on screen, moments into the movie; a little after Matt King goes on about his life in Hawaii, the same kind of existential questions that one tends to come across in films about dysfunctional or perhaps sinking families.

As I said, after moments into the movie, it is hardly a movie and I have no idea how American families work apart from a cinematic knowledge of the same which is like meters away from thinking about scratching the surface.

The descendants begins mid-way when the wife of Matt King (George Clooney) goes into a coma from a freak boating accident and chances of revival being close to null, he has now been forced to deal with his two daughters, one in her rebellious teens while the other a problem child. While the former does not speak to her mother, the latter throws chairs into the swimming pool; added to this is the problem of disposing large tracts of virgin Hawaiian land waiting to be gobbled by corporate honchos and hotelier crocodiles all for the sake of badly-doing cousins.

It is only then does he realize that his wife had been having an affair and the search for the secret lover turns into a not so enlightening adventure, although falling into the category of ‘man finding his own self’ genre of English films, The Descendants is actually a sad film told with everyday humor layered with oddball characters; but towering above them is George Clooney giving his heart out in a towering yet silent performance of a grieving good man in crisis. Expertly written and inspiringly directed by Alexander Payne, “the Descendants” brings real life to Hawaii.

 

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cinema cinema:english

DESPARATELY SEEKING SOUL MATES

Crazy, Stupid Love a wonderfully carved and wholesome title about something which we are yet to understand begins with the proximity of legs.

At the end a series of leg nudging, we see two parallel legs. The legs along with the bodies are stuck in a marriage falling apart due to boredom after twenty five years. Steve Carell slips into once again, the shoes of an everyman lost in his time. It is something he does with panache, ironically playing the loser with a sense of humor, while Julianne Moore compliments him as a woman who is yet to come off on her own.

Ryan Gosling on the other hand plays a debonair bar inhabitant cum girl hunter who erases himself in order to bed them and there is the teenage babysitter crush and a boy who uses deviant means to attain his soul mate. In fact, everybody in the movie is in meditation of ways to find their soul mate

Apart from all this, Crazy Stupid Love is a comedy and achieves more laughs than anything on screen for the past year, barring Delhi Belly (to my knowledge).

It also takes time in inserting in-jokes. When Moore’s character leaves Carell, it rains and he says, “OH, what a cliché!”  

Brilliant. Everybody loves a comedy even if it is crazy and stupid.But only love is crazy and stupid,not the film.

 

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cinema cinema:english

MISSION REBOOT

Click to view trailer

 

In an extensive escape set piece from the Kremlin, Ethan Hunt transforms from an upright Russian General to an almost innocent tourist bystander, and then the Kremlin blows up.

Welcome to the movies.

The above mentioned scene is not something completely new to us, but still we gasped at the audacity of the event and clenched our hands together in anxiety fully knowing that Tom Cruise will eventually find some crevice to get out of the sticky situations.

The IMF is unlike the MI6, not just in semantics and choice of cover companies. The very name evokes some dynamism compared to their cousins from across the sea, although makes slight nods like that of a rebellious son who meets his father; take the case of the accented Benji played to brilliance by Simon Pegg a somewhat American version of Q.

Ghost protocol picks up abruptly from its predecessor; a classy opening in the streets of Budapest relocates to the prison cells of Russia, not surprisingly Russia returns as Hollywood’s primary enemy after flirting with the Balkans and China for the past few years.

Leave aside the changing locations, technology and high adrenalin is what that really contributes in making the film greater than what was expected or planned, in other words separate the action films from the better films which have action.

For a man who spent his entire career till date before a screen animating rats and out of work superheroes (which by no means is an easy job) Brad Bird excels in a live action debut, bringing in more visual humor than the previous movies.

Ghost Protocol re-instates the fact that Tom Cruise is an international star, despite the aging face and the MI franchise is ready for a new baton bearer in Jeremy Renner.

(Although nothing much has been implied, I was just extrapolating.)

And yes, they come to India to launch nuclear weapons.

Finally, don’t forget to clap for the Burj Khalifa sequence, there is a good chance you might be awed beyond remembrance for those moments.

 

I also watched Osthe, but that movie is beyond words.

 

Categories
cinema cinema: hindi

YES PUNCH, BUT NO FORCE PLEASE

  1. The credits at the beginning state that Nishikanth Kamath’s Force is inspired from Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Kaakha Kaakha, interesting to note that the word inspired was used, rather than a remake. Inspiration is too big a word to be discussed with just these two movies, but then it is almost impossible for a person who had watched KK before not to compare it with its successor  Force.
  2. Kaakha Kaakha is strongly etched in the minds and hearts of tamil cine-goers from the past decade, it shook some walls and provided the much needed breakthrough for actor Surya at the same time establishing Gautham Menon. But having said that, just because a film has a lot of repeat audiences doesn’t make it a great film and i will stop with that on my personal opinion on the tamil film.
  3. Force as a film tries to deliver more and of course it was not made for people like us( people who have watched KK), so there is point in complaining and indulging in futile comparisons, as a movie Force is quite good with its protagonist John Abraham striving hard, not just physically.
  4. Keeping the two films side by side, mentally and not comparing them, according to me would yield better results in appreciating both. Nishikanth Kamat should be praised for not involving himself in the strict sense of the word: a remake. A remake in Indian Cinema is usually taking a South film shot in Chennai and just change the setting to Bombay; of course with different actors. Remakes here, do not necessarily delve deeper than its predecessor and chalk out better characters or smudge errors. Most of the time, the remakes are worse than the originals and fall short even in creating what filmmakers superficially call ‘atmosphere’. But looking back at the films of Kamath, Evano Oruvan and Mumbai Meri Jaan, Force does lack his visible comfort in handling social issues. In Force, it is narcotics.
  5. KK was a more personal film, it was more of a love story than a police story and as the voice over in the states it is ‘an episode in a police officer’s life’. The relationship between Suriya and Jyothika, Suriya and Jeevan being the focal points for which the life of a policeman was a sturdy guise. Here, in Force it is more of a cop movie and how clever cops and hash smugglers are, these events take most of our time and we are exasperated when it comes to the lackluster romance between Genelia and John Abraham, at some points it is almost like a NDTV coverage of a drug bust.
  6. Most of the characters are the same, in Force the villain is as menacing as the hero and is the only character that interests. Good work by Vidyuth Jamwal. Genelia as usual thinks she is still playing her role from Santosh Subramanium and John Abraham smiles too much in what should have been a gruff and socially distant police officer.
  7. Note to Hindi Filmmakers, mouthing ‘Anna’ doesn’t make a person look like he has come from the south of the vindhyas and girls in Bharatnatyam attire strumming the sitar!!!pls this is not a lesson on national integration.
  8. I would like to end by saying that(i like this line, i have waited many a seminar for people to say this) Force is a good film, if only you can shut your mind of the fact that it has already been made before.
  9. Why remake anyway?
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cinema Uncategorized

In points: Mankatha

Games people play.

In points: Mankatha

1.  Venkat Prabhu is not a serious film maker, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t take his job seriously but spends the extra minute on the stereo-typing of current youth which people around me call ‘fun’. So it is my humble theory that his films shouldn’t be analyzed the same way one speaks about a Mysskin film. I’m sure many would disagree.

2. In the lands filmed by the above mentioned director, the recurring themes that one finds are gambling, cricket, cricket+gambling, policemen, corrupt policemen, corrupt policemen+cricket+gambling+Premgi Amaren and all these are found in Mankatha as well.

3. Mankatha is slightly better than his previous attempts because he spends less time in playing patron to his brother Premgi who probably thinks that he can create a career by spoofing others. Many people in the Venkat Prabhu camp think this is humor

4.  There are things to be lauded in the film; the director does not seem to compromise on his usual style even in the presence of greater star. Now we have seen that happen before, but Venkat Prabhu weaves his Goa camp well into the heart of a truly Thala film.

5. Thala in his 50th appearance on screen plays macho Mumbai cop Vinayak Mahadev and he does this with ease and fills the screen with fans eating out of his hands. It is indeed a different outing for Ajith and must be praised for choosing an unconventional film. Unconventional I might add because, it is not the usual ‘landmark’ film that heroes choose to do.

6. The entire film rests on those broad shoulders of Ajith Kumar while he walks the thin story line expressing expressions unseen before, a totally populist performance but on the other hand the rest of the cast are only names in the credits and occasionally as chess pieces. The ladies have even less to do, this time even the song and dance routines are trivialized.

7. If one can look deep into the script and find out what the movie is all about, that person would necessarily find the word ‘Greed’ uniformly etched into the character profiles of whoever are in this movie, it is the greed for the money which drives the people and the plot. But then I would not subject the film into such an analysis just because Mankatha was not meant for such introspection.

8.  Sometime after the interval gun shots begin at random and continue to harm you ear till the end of the film well of course if you don’t count the car chases in between.

9. At the same time, there is no reason for a person to be dissatisfied with Mankatha, it achieves what it seeks and gives pleasure in plenty to the hordes of Thala fans who have been in waiting for something like this for quite some time now.

Head Shot from Thala, but then we can choose to ignore other aspects of the film.