The Motorcycle Diaries (Diarios de motocicleta)

US Presidential hopefuls take RVs, Che went on a motorcycle. The point is you need to go on a road trip to become a successful leader of the people

Ee Adutha Kalathu (Recently)

Strange and familiar make an appearance together for the first time in Malayalam cinema and the pair is a hit

Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl

Four feisty ladies, upbeat music and a handsome conman. Anushka gets Ranveer. Bollywood gets Parineeti

Das Boot (The Boat)

Best WWII film ever, in fact the best war film ever. In true German fashion, restraint is applied by shooting the entire movie inside a U-boat

Neelathamara (Blue Lotus)

Blue lotus shares the same stature of blue moon in Malayalam, so do good remakes. This one bucks the trend.

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Nov 24, 2010

Dabangg

Salman Khan or is it Arbaaz pulling the hare out of the hat, anyway Salim Khan's sons prove that they are indeed their father's sons, story tellers weaving tales out of India's heartland. At a time when most successful Bollywood flicks have stories set in the Western hemisphere, where dashing heroes in Armani jackets woo their heroines prancing around the planet in Jimmy Choos, Dabangg is set firm in Bhaiyya-land, UP(Uttar Pradesh.)

I have always thought that if Salman had any appreciable talent as an actor, it is his perfect comic timing. Right from his fledgling days in Andaz Apna Apna to Dabangg, he is at his most natural when his role has a slightly comic edge. For Dabangg he gets full stars in my book ( I have never been a big Sallu fan, but still) because not for once does he take his shirt off. Wah bhai wah, if you can exercise such control you surely do believe you have more talent than muscle mass.


Sonakshi Sinha, who plays Salman's love interest and Sonu Sood, the villian are good choices for their roles, make the whole story more believable. (Not to forget Arbaaz himself, he does get some good roles like the one in this, the fashion mogul in Fashion etc.) The story as such is not something we haven't heard before but it is the presentation and the presence and acting of Mr.Khan which make the impact. In Dabangg they have successfully translated the stereotypical old style Hindi movie in to a contemporary framework. Chulbul 'Robinhood' Pandey steals the show and probably the cash registers are still ringing in the cow belt. Good work, Abhinav Kashyap(director, script writer) and Arbaaz Khan Productions.

Nov 17, 2010

Race

Race is just a vehicle to showcase sexy sizzling Bollywood babes and leading desi hunks in an exotic locale. The babes in short dresses are Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif and Sameera Reddy. The men muscle power is provided by Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna and an eternally young Anil Kapoor and the locale is South Africa. Most people in government offices in S.Africa are Indians, those whose forefathers didn't have the foresight of M.K.Gandhi who left Durban in 1914 for a meaty role in Indian Freedom Struggle (Original, Version 1.0.) The real race was between me and the movie, who will retire first in the race, RACE the movie won, no guesses there.

Nov 14, 2010

Robinhood (Malayalam movie review)

The only reason you should watch Robinhood is Prithviraj. His good looks cuts like a knife, the rest of the movie is just 'knife'(kathi in Malayalam) if you can bear for 2.5 hours the way it will take repeated stabs at your intelligence.

Kochi, is the modern day Sherwood, ATM robbery is what Robinhood excels in these days. Traveling across 800 years of Robinlessness, the new Robin in the hood seems not only to have lost most of the characteristics of his namesake but also has inherited a few Dr.Jekyll/Mr.Hyde genes. He is an entrance tutor by day and a high-tech swindler by night. The rest of the cast is all high-tech as well, Naren is the flirtatious hacker computer whiz kid detective, Bhavana is the lead systems administrator and the only one who has a little less number of 1s and 0s in his system is Jayasurya's character who is the investigating IPS officer, but he has been to the famed Mussorie training camp and we all know who goes there, right?

The story is wrought with technical errors, which I'd not even dare to question because that'd be like insulting my intelligence and wasting my time. Yet I am grateful to director Joshiy, an old war horse of Malayalam cinema still going full steam ahead, that he used a young story which needed younger actors, thus giving them an opportunity. For once he restrained himself from casting M & M's for the leading roles, I mean he could've very well gone ahead and done that and malayali audience would have given 5 out 5 points for perfect casting. My guess is that Joshiy might have even lost some revenue having cast Prithvi and Naren, we need more directors like him who will make that gamble.

Nov 8, 2010

Aisha


Aisha is Jane Austen on Janpath. I was never a big fan of Jane Austen's novels, though I do understand they filled social and literary vacuum in nineteenth century chick-lit. To me Austen's novels gave a thru-the-looking-glass view into the world of 19th century English ladies, their frivolous concerns and travails, in the end everything boiled to one(or many) "man"-hunt. I didn't know Aisha was an adaptation of Emma, not that it'd have made any difference to me since at this late age I'd not be able to distinguish one Austen heroine from another even if they came with name tags.

In Aisha, Sonam Kapoor has been offered a generous role and she does make use of it perfectly, so does all the name-brands with over-the-top brand placement. The movie looks like a fashion magazine, which taunts their middle class readers with glossy ads of unattainable yet coveted bric-brac like say a Versace scarf for $5000 or a Hermes purse for $8000. It always makes you wonder about the kind of people who'd own such a thing, Carly Simon once wrote and performed a hit single about this particular sub-species: Here it is, take it as a unisex message.

The rest of the cast is well chosen, from Abhay Deol to Ira Dubey to Cyrus Sahukar, everyone plays the stereotypes they have been entrusted with quite convincingly. The film is a chick flick and has to be taken lightly if your wife insists that you watch it with her.It is well shot and executed(thumbs up to the director, Rajashree Ojha) and has a decent sound track by Amit Trivedi and lyrics by Javed Akhtar.