‘Up In The Air’

I just finished watching ‘Up In The Air’. It is an exquisite movie. Great theme!! Great direction and great acting. It is really really good. Too bad I saw it so late in the day.

Spoiler Alert

The whole theme is about companionship. Clooney plays a man who has always been against carrying the baggage of any kind of a relationship – blood or otherwise. Eventually he meets someone who he feels he can discard his philosophy for. And then there is a twist. He goes from feeling the bliss of solitude and independence to feeling the need for companionship and the joy it brings. He is disappointed in his new quest and ends up like before – alone and up in the air, travelling light!

There is a scene in the movie where he earns 10 million miles and is made to meet a distinguished pilot. It is a moment he has dreamed about all his life. That is what he has been working towards always. He has been imagining it and practicing the conversations he would be having. All of it does not matter when the moment finally arrives. He can’t remember what he had prepared to say. He can’t feel the joy he anticipated. He can’t feel the excitement he thought he would because at that time his priority is something else. It is a powerful scene. Makes one realize that when the moment arrives, it may not at all be like we imagine it would be. Things which matter so much to us at this moment may not be worth it at the next moment. There is always something bigger – a connection which we all need.

The emotions in the movie are controlled and moderated like grown ups do. Excellent watch! Made my night!


The Dark Knight – Movie Review

..blew me away!! Every aspect of it. Each little and small thing. Kudos and thanks to the people who made it.

First off, the script is incredible. The plot, the story line, the themes, the ideologies , the way they have compared and contrasted people and ideas, it is all just too fantastic. Now, laying a creamy layer on the top of such a juicy base was the hands down award winning performances. Of course I do not need to tell you that Heath Ledger as Joker has outdone every villian in the history of film making. He has given a performance which is a landmark in acting. I can go on gushing about it forever and ever. I cannot even imagine that if he had not done it, how the character would have turned out. He has given so much credibility and truthfulness and authenticity to the character, that not for once did I think that someone was playing it. I believed in the Joker. Christian Bale off course is great as Batman but the movie was not about Batman. It was about so much more. It was as much about the Joker and the white knight, Aaron Carter, as about Batman. And I liked Maggie Gyllenhaal better that Katie Holmes in the character of Rachael Dawes.

When I had seen the first part, Batman Returns, I was hooked. I was sucked into the Batman series. Doing an analysis on it for a course only accentuated the interest, but “The Dark Knight”- it has taken the interest to whole another level. I am now officially a big big fan. What Christopher Nolan and the team has given to us is much much more than a wonderful film. They have shown us a new frontier of entertainment, a possibility of how well a thing could be done. The Dark Knight is superlative. It is transcendental. It has set new standards for superhero movies now.

I am eagerly awaiting the next installment but I know it is going to be long.

Welcome to Sajjanpur

Welcome to Sajjanpur could as well be called a Welcome to Quality entertainment. Clean and rich. This is what a movie should be made like. It says all the important things that it wants to say and more. It says that a simple narrative can work wonders in the hands of an able director. Because a director can reap all the benefits from the good actors. The performances are excellent and from each of the cast members. Never once you are left wanting more in the acting department. Shreyas Talpade shines, as does Amrita Rao. She is completely believable as the village belle in her body language, looks and the confused, shy character that she portrays. Ila Arun as the loud superstitious mother is spot on. Awfully good. The actor who played Munnibai needs a special complement. His work was amazing. Ravi Kishan and Rajeshwari do great justice to their short parts. Yashpal Sharma is always good.

As for the themes of the movie, there are many. Right from politics to love to widow remarriage to superstition to plight of immigrant workers to casual village woes and entertainment. It is an all encompassing and all entertaining film. Screenplay is very good which is rare phenomena in Hindi movies but an excellent team produces excellent results. I was shocked to see the fate of Shobharani and Compounder but I am afraid that is totally believable. It still does happen. And the marrying to dog to lift a curse. Absolutely true.

I can’t just put out enough praise. It is not a masterpiece and one should not expect it to be so. But what makes this movie so special to me is the sincerity that is shown in the making of it. That dedication and love and care and nurture shows on the screen.

Shreyas Talpade is such a great actor. Directors should use him more and better. Benegal sir, you should make more movies. Amrita Rao should be given more chances.

I am satisfied from a movie after quite long. I love it.

Movie Blast!

So last night after like 3 months I was on movie spree due to some light headedness and reduction of guilt plus I has some free time. So, I downloaded 4 movies from someone who has a complete repertoire of top 250 Imdb movies. The 4  which I took were: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Magnolia, 3:10 to Yuma and For a Few Dollars More.

I started with One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest because the novel is so famous and so is the movie plus there was Anthony Hopkins. But 5 minutes into the movie and I realized that Salman Khan’s Kyonki had spoiled this movie for me forever because I has watched Kyonki which is a complete ripoff of One Flew….. So there! I could not take it further because I was agonized once again by the Bollywood  Plagiarism. In fact, I think that we should coin a new term for it Blagiarism.

So, then I went to 3:10 to Yuma. It’s a western style but not only violence and bullets and gore. There is much much more to the movie. There is sensibility in there, there is emotion and off course, being a western it is all topped with the  Cowboy action and style. Russel Crowe features as Ben Wade, a famous outlaw and extremely good in his trade and guess what!! Crowe kicks ass!!! He is so bloody charming and convincing that you believe in him and you tend to forgive him for being so cruel otherwise. His gun is called the Hand of God. The movie also has Christian Bale, who is an impoverished rancher, trying to save his family and feed them and gets to escort Crowe to the prison train for a reward. Now, that reward is monetary off course but holds much more significance than that. That is what the movie is about. Bale is another tremendous actor. No need to say that he plays his part well. The chemistry that Crowe and Bale generate is phenomenal. One can easily see that brilliance is happening onscreen.

Personally, Russel Crowe blows me off every time I see his performance. He is one of the best actors we have in Hollywood and world wide. Hats off!!

After I witnessed this fine movie, my appetite craved for more, so I then started Magnolia. Magnolia is an assortment of different characters and their lives who somehow are all related in some or the other way. The concept of the movie is that weird things and coincidences which seem like divine providences do happen. The film can boast of a number of major actors and all the central characters are awfully good. Each performance is a gem in itself. There is Julian Moore who never fails to impress me. She is so good looking and plus such a bright actress. Simply brilliant. Tom Cruise, who plays a sex god who gives seminars on Sex is mindblowing. His interview with a reporter is like a knockout punch. He just blowed me over. Amazing performance. In his aggressiveness there is a desperation and anger and his past. I just loved him. Then there is another gem of an actor : Philip Seymour Hoffman. He plays a male nurse and what can I say about his acting. Nothing less than exemplary. Yet another of the finest actors we have the privilege of seeing in our day and age. Magnificent. Other characters are all equally brilliant. That is why the movie despite being a little incoherent manages to be riveting.

I loved both the movies and I am glad i watched these.

Movie Review: Kung Fu Panda

Yesterday I watched this much talked about movie “Kung Fu Panda” from the DREAMWORKS house. The central character is a panda who makes his dream come true of becoming a Dragon Warrior. How he does it is the whole film.

Now what works for the movie is the characterization of Po, the Panda, who is fat, big, clumsy, a dreamer and totally adorable. Another thing is the comic timing and the element of lightness that ensues seemingly tense moments. I had a hearty laugh at quite a few instances. A very feel good movie and that makes it a good timepass. There are lessons too there like persistence, believing in self and that there is no secret ingredient to create success. In fact that is the main message of the movie that success comes not from some special gift or formula but because of desire, persistence and belief in the self.

So, I liked the movie. Animation was good. Kungfu principles also were presented in the glorified but acceptable ways. Rating is 4/5.

Movie Review : Jaane Tu ya Jaane na…

So, I had heard a lot of positive ravings about this movie and I thought well, Imran Khan looks cute, Genelia is saucy so yeah I can give it a try. And try I did. And, well, the movie was OK. It did not generate anything in me as in no bad or good feeling. I sort of had a very indifferent outlook towards it. The story was utterly cliched but I knew that beforehand. Acting was alright. Imran is promising. Genelia too but sometimes her south Indian pronunciations become a little pronounced which is very fine. I am just saying that it catches your attention unnecessarily. Smita Patil’s son ( I forget his name) was good too. I hope he will go far carrying the legacy of two such great actors.

Everything was so-so. There were some fun and smile moments but they came rather irregularly and the worst thing was the airport scene. Because of these foolish, highly sentimental airport scenes where the girl is going, boy is running, gets caught somewhere but manages to reach even after about 20 incompetent guards try to stop him and then there is the benevolent head of police who believes in young love. Dear devil, it was too much to handle. I am sorry but thats not done and that too in an Aamir influenced film. Ending was sad and so was Genelia’s haircut. She looked ridiculous.

Anyway, not as nice as i expected and hoped it would be. A total timepass. That’s my verdict. What’s yours?

Some books and movies

Well, I read the adventures of Tom Sawyer again and relived his childhood with same fascination as I had done many years ago.

I also read Kane and Abel, which is based on some biblical characters Cain and Abel which I don’t know about much but in itself the book was thrilling and kept me interested for a long while before becoming a little burdening towards the end. Other than that, good story telling. Power hungry industrialists, their successes , their tragedies , their struggles and eventual victory make for a good story. I liked it okay!

After that I have started “A Room with a view” by E.M. Forster and somehow, I am finding it very tedious right now to wallow in the victorian age and their typical English antics. So, I have kept the book on hold for a while. I hope i will soon be able to return to it.

So, after dropping the above said book, I leapt on to some management and motivational books because they were the only ones that I had. One is “Born to Win” by Promod Batra and another called “How to get what you want to get” by Havermeyer. Well, about them all I can say is that these books suddenly lift your mood up and light that flame of enthusiasm again whenever you are able to spot a needed statement in them. But what I find most irritating about such books is the inconsistency in the preachings. There are many contradictions which reduce the book from a serious full hearted attempt to just a compiled fact book.

About movies:
Saw Kismat Konnection. Well, wasn’t able to make any connection with the movie. Shahid was good. I went with an open mind and a possible positive bias towards Vidya Balan but she disappointed me again. She does not come across as a light hearted character ever. That irks me. Sometimes the script demands heaviness but not always man! That becomes boring.

Saw Aamir. Loved it! Good attempt. More such movies should be made and fine acting by Rajeev khandelwal.

Now, I want to see “The Dark Knight” and “Jaane Tu…” BADLY!!