Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pizza 2, Ghosts Demystified

When the movie got over, I thought it was a good movie. Then a natural comparison with Pizza 1 made me feel that maybe it was not as entertaining. Then again after sometime, I thought maybe this was better than the previous edition in many ways. And after some more pondering, I now think this is probably the most intelligent ghost movie that I have ever seen! The best and the most intelligent.

This movie, in a scientific way, explains ghost. Of course,  I have no expertise in the subject and I don't believe in them though I do get scared thinking about them, can't ratify it. But what I can say is that in all the ghost movies that I have seen, in Hollywood, Bollywood, Kollywood or from other -woods, this probably is the best. Ok, I have said that already. This is a fan of the movie speaking now.

For the story, please go and watch it yourself. For my opinion, read on.

What is ghost? The "scientific" explanation is very nice. As the "exorcist" explains, there is positive energy and negative energy. And that is what it is all about.

What do ghosts want? I am not sure. From the movies that I have seen ghosts' basic profession or occupation is to kill human beings. Bite them, possess them, suck blood, throw them around. They can kill people with a reason or without one. They can also display emotions - possessiveness and vengeance. There can be good ghosts, too. Oh, I forgot, they can be "religious".

How do they look? Gory, of course. They are here to scare us.

Now, this is why I liked Pizza 2. The ghosts have been shown in different light. A totally different philosophy. For an intelligent ghost movie, watch it. For the cheap thrills and almost similar action, watch any other ghost movie. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara, Local Dreams

Vijay Sethupathi has become some sort of phenomenon in Tamil Cine industry. He has built a reputation for acting in off-beat yet commercially successful movies. While Pizza was a thrilling entertainer, Suddu Kavvum was a brilliant black comedy and Naduvula Konjam Pakatha Kannum was refreshing movie that will ever remain in memory.

So naturally I was keen to watch the movie, though initially dejected by some negative feedback.

Story in short. Hmmm. I am just thinking what the story line was. Makes me think if there was any story or if there were too many.

1. The love story of Sumar Moonji Kumar and Kumudha. The girl spurns all the moves by the guy. An upset father then reaches out to a local goon to teach the guy a lesson.

2. The love story between Balakrishnan and Renu. A sales executive caught between his nagging girl friend and his irritating boss.

These are the main tracks though not necessarily the only important ones. The other parallel tracks are that of a drunkard man whose wife has just announced that she has become pregnant after long years into their marriage. A painter and patti guy (Tamil) gang who have just murdered a thug. Both of them instigated by the thug's wife. Both of them also vying for her attention.

The movie will keep you entertained till the very last. Though movie has an ensemble of cast, in my opinion, Pasupathy as a local goon with diabetic condition was the best. While Sumar Moonji Kumar and Kumudha's father fight, Pasupathy impresses with his performance as someone who gets low sugar. Hilarious!

You will like the movie for its very Chennai flavor (the slum clearance dwellings, TASMAC bars, local goons) or, if you are diabetic like me, you will see the lighter side of low sugar through Pasupathy. I loved it.

Ganesh Happy! (just like Kumudha Happy at the end!) 

Monday, November 18, 2013

In Darkness, In Good Light

Recently I went to a school as a volunteer. The task was to talk to students there and mentor them. Since it was my first time, I decided to sit with other mentors while they spoke with children. Though I don't consider myself an expert in English language, I decided to help a young Muslim girl with an essay she had written on Joy of Giving.

It needed bit of editing which I helped her with. While reading it, I was quite impressed with what she had written. I can't vouch that it was original thought. But that such a young girl used it aptly in the essay was commendable. Not the exact words but this is what she had written.

"...We often say we don't have anything to give to others. We have smile, which we can offer to others. We have love that we can share with others."

That exactly is what In Darkness is about. The Polish movies is based on true incidents. Set in Lwow, the story is about the transformation of a man. From a burglar and sewer maintenance worker to a man with a noble heart, Polish Catholic Socha agrees to help out a group of Jews fleeing persecution by Nazis by hiding them in the sewer. He extracts a price for his services.

Being a man without much education and sophistication, he is not moved by any great principles. Money is his only criterion to help. As he helps the families, at some point, he under goes a transformation. A person who doesn't like Jews to start with has a change of heart. He risks his life to ensure their safety. He becomes part of his extended family living in the sewers and participates in their sadness and happiness. In this process, he loses his friend. He frowns upon his daughter. He discovers Jesus was a Jew. At some point, he forgets his motive to make money.

But what is impressed me more was the perseverance of human life. Imagine living in sewers for 14 months. When the circumstances force, the human life adapts. In fact, there is even a child delivery!

Out of the three movies that I have seen with similar backgroud, World War 2 and persecution of Jews, this one is the best. The other two were - Schindler's List and Sophie's Choice. They were good, too. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Captain Phillips, Pirated

You must have read about it and seen it on TV. Somali pirates taking ship-jacking cargo vessels, taking crew as hostage. Here is the true story of Captain Phillips and his ordeals as he is taken hostage by Somali pirates. The movie is good and certainly keeps you tied to your seats.

Two things that impressed me were:

1. The fightback: Surprisingly, the ship doesn't have any arms to fight armed attacks. Captain and his crew neutralize the attack with some tactical thinking.

2. The role of Navy Seals: The coordination and execution of the release plan.

Worth watching!