Showing posts with label Thriller. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thriller. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Borgman, What the Hell?

When I stumbled upon Borgman, while searching for movies to watch, I was excited. The poster looked very intriguing. And I also found out that it was selected for the 86th Oscars for Best Foreign Film category. Naturally, my expectations were very high.

As I watched the movie, I hoped the movie will unfold. I watched every scene with huge expectations. I was hoping something will happen. A lot does take place. Often, murders. Maybe I should say massacre. Then the movie ended.

And the moral of the story is...

Well, often movies have a moral. They are, most of the time, quite evident. But Borgman left me wondering about it.

Not that I did not understand it because I didn't know Dutch. There were subtitles to help me out. In fact, there is hardly anything complicated in the movie. The movie is about a vagrant who enters an affluent household and wrecks havoc. But what it was trying to convey seemed like a mystery. I am certain a movie cannot get selected for Oscars for no reason.

Then I did something that no film reviewer should ever do. I dread talking about it and if I was a professional critic whose life depended on writing reviews, my career would be finished. I went searching on the net to actually understand what the movie was all about.

The movie is supposed to be a depiction of Satan. The vagrant being the Satan. And the family, the vulnerable human beings who are prone to jealousy, greed, lust, racism...How Satan destroys such human beings. Pretty Godly affair, I say.

Now it is about three weeks since I watched the movie. And almost everyday I have thought about the movie. I think I understand the movie better now, though it still feels mysterious. Nothing spectacular but yet haunting. Haunting you with an urge to understand it more. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dhoom 3: No Boom

After watching the movie, I had a lively debate with my sister-in-law. Five minutes into the movie, I was squirming in my seat unable to take the mindless and childish action scenes, far-too-many songs and amateurish performances. Though towards the end, movie does get a bit interesting. My sister-in-law on the other hand enjoyed the movie, thoroughly.

Our discussions led to many interesting points. She said that while we appreciate such stunts and gizmos in a James Bond movie or any other western flick, why can't we accept it in an Indian movie? Valid point.

Secondly, I was probably disappointed with Aamir Khan doing a masala movie. Having seen him make intelligent and sensible movies, it feels odd to watch Aamir in a different shade. But then I think that is a wrong way to look at it. As an actor, I am sure Aamir also wants to do as many different roles as possible. As a fan, it is not our right to say what type of movie an actor should act in.

Finally, maybe I didn't like the movie because it was a masala movie. It has all elements - comedy, emotions, action, romance, humour and, of course, very little logic. Maybe that is the issue. Maybe I have grown out of these formula movies. Nothing wrong with the genre though. Going by the amounts such movies are raking, there does seem to be a big market for it.

Bottomline: Dhoom 3 is a B-grade movie with A grade stars and a very big budget. It is an expensive "imitation" of couple of English movies.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Ivan Vera Mathiri, Etho Mathiri

As there were good reviews and ads publishing an appreciation letter by Superstar Rajinikanth, I decided to watch the movie.

The movie is set in the background of violence instigated by a politician in the law college which results in the death of a student. There is a huge out pour amongst the public. The hero decides to teach a lesson and kidnaps the minister's brother who is out on parole upon surety provided by the minister.

This results in the minister losing his position. Hero releases the brother thereafter. Now, minister's brother seeks a revenge and kidnaps the heroine. The rest of the story is hero's efforts to rescue his fiancé.

I am not sure if the movie is indeed as good as it is claimed in the promotions, though the way the story has been handled is bit different. For one, the hero isn't portrayed as someone who seeks to clean up the society of bad elements. He is inspired to teach the minister a lesson only for one particular incident. Despite knowing that minister's brother is a killer, he doesn't take the law into his own hands. He just kidnaps him and releases him when his objective is met.

But that's that. Bit different. Many elements seem to be force fit and half hearted attempts to satisfy movie goers.

Fantastic? I am not sure. But maybe it is bit vera mathiri (different) in some ways.

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! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Barfi, Very Sweet

I know it would be stupid if I write a review on Barfi, now. But then I happened to watch it only now.

Here is a single, though complex, sentence review. A love triangle revolving around Ranbir who is deaf and dumb, Priyanka who is autistic and Ileana who is normal. One of the best movies that I have watched.

While I wouldn't get into further details, the moral of the story is if you are in love then just follow your heart.

There is an important scene in the movie where a concerned but understanding Rupa Ganguli, mother of Ileana, narrates how she dealt with her own love story. She says that despite being in love she chose to marry a different person because that was the practical thing to do. Ileana takes her mother's advice seriously and gets married to the practical choice.

This made me think of my own life, the "love" life. Did I follow my heart or head? "Love" happened more than once in my life and my mother also had at least two Rupa Ganguli moments with me. In one case I listened to her advice and in the other I didn't resulting in the end of my "love" life. I mean I got married to the girl of my choice, finally.

While the movie enthralled me, I was left with two disturbing thoughts.

  1. Considering our heart falls in love often and at times early on in life, this movie can send wrong signals. Looking back, I do feel that my mother's Rupa Ganguli moments definitely saved me at least once from a marriage that would have turned out to be disaster. But then, in another case Rupa Ganguli did not win. So, when should you follow your head and when should you follow your heart. I presume heart takes the precedence and but one shouldn't lose head. After all, love before marriage and love after marriage are two different species. Married friends might know this better. 
  2. Just because you have chosen to heed to Rupa Ganguli advice doesn't mean your life has to be bereft of any romance with the practical choice. I didn't like this portrayal in the movie. How can it be that both Rupa Ganguli and Illeana can't get over their puppy love? As the Titan ad says - Move On! 

But then it is a movie and it is Anurag Basu's take. While Ranbir is a natural talent, I did like Priyanka's performance a lot. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Talaash, some clues

When you go to Aamir Khan movie, you expect it to be an intelligent movie. Add to that that Zoya Akhtar is also involved.

All that I can say is that the movie did entertain, it kept me hooked till the very end. But I am not sure if it is indeed a great movie. Every character in the movie was well etched and the performances were nothing short of spectacular. The screenplay was tight, story was captivating. But there's something that I kept searching for and  am  sure if I found that from the movie. Satisfaction of watching Aamir movie, perhaps.

With that note I leave it to others who watch it to make their  impressions. But it was strange that the movie reminded me of Pizza. Oh, let me give you a clue. The two main characters in  movie are the constable and Pinky, the dog.

Watch it, anyway.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pizza, good toppings and cheesy

We don't get to see many Tamil movies of this genre. The movie is about a pizza delivery boy and his girl friend. During one of his delivery routines, the boy ends up at a home where strange occurrences take place. Supernatural occurrences!

Though he manages to escape from that house, he finds that his girl friend has vanished without a trace. His boss and colleagues try to help him. In the process, they find some mysteries about him.

The movie scares you, intrigues and entertains. There are many twists in the movie till the very end. Pizza a movie has many toppings (psychological thriller, ghost and crime) and is spicy, but on a thin crust. Nice watch, you will feel entertained.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Easan of our times

If this was just another revenge movie, we could have just written it off. It has nothing spectacular. In fact, the revenge part itself comes quite late in the movie.

But then this is M Sasikumar's movie.

The movie is different. It mirrors the current times. Politics, Crime, Business, Youth...The nexus between these elements. The movie provides a snapshot of the happenings. I felt I was reading newspaper. The movie starts with an "accident" scene, reminiscence of Stephanie Aduwo incident. There are many more which may remind you of an incident or the other.

It may appear that the movie meanders aimlessly but then as I said it is a portrayal of our times. I did like the the movie, though not for its main plot.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Adjustment Bureau, Freewill

Was it a romance movie? Was it a thriller? Or was it a sci-fi?

Actually, Adjustment Bureau is a very intelligent movie. If you think about it, the movie delves into the issues that everyone faces. Should one take life as it comes or follow one's passion.

Matt Damon acts as a young politician on the verge of making it big when he falls in love with Emily Blunt, a dancer. And then there are these suited men with hats who represent the bureau. The men strive to ensure that these two don't get to meet each other.

When Matt Damon accidentally discovers the bureau, he is informed that the bureau is working to ensure that he has a successful political career and that his marriage with Emily Blunt would compromise their careers. After that the movie is about the struggle between the heart and the head.

If I gave you an impression that this is a very heavy film, no it is not. Watch it, the movie will entertain you. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Inglourious Basterds, Very Glorious

Now if you have watched Kill Bill, you would know what a stylish director Quentin Tarantino is. But the real strength of his movies is the depth in the script and the performance that he extracts from the cast.

Inglourious Basterds is certainly a must watch. Don't be deterred by the fact that it is another movie about World War 2 and that it is as much French and German as it is English, it makes a great watch.

The movie is about two parallel plots being hatched by disconnect groups to assassinate Hitler. While one is hatched by a French Jewish girl whose family is executed by Germans, the other is led by a team of Jewish Allied soldiers. Incidentally, both plan to assassinate Hitler and important German officers during the premier of a German movie at the theater owned by girl.

I personally loved the movie because of Christoph Waltz. He plays the role of SS Colonel Hans Landa who also was responsible for the death of the girl's family. Waltz excels as a The Jew Hunter. While one can easily hate the person, it is an actors nightmare, as Tarantino himself has acknowledged. As mentioned in Wikipedia, "...character who is courteous and speaks four languages but is self serving, cunning and callous, Tarantino feared he "might have written a part that was un-playable".

No wonder, Christoph Waltz won the Oscars in the Best Supporting Actor's category. Very nice!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Karthik Calling Karthik: A Pep Talk

Karthik Calling Karthik (New Farhan Akhtar Hindi Film / Bollywood Movie / Indian Cinema / DVD)

The movie is about a submissive pushover Karthik. Pushed to an extreme, he decides to take his own life. Just at that moment, he receives a call. A call from himself! The story moves with the Karthik-over-phone (KOP) mentoring the real-life-Karthik (RLK) on how to redeem his honor and win.

Life changes completely and the new Karthik seems invincible. The twist comes when he has to admit that he receives calls from himself to Shonali (Deepika), the lady love. Despite being warned against it by KOP, RLK commits the blunder. An angry KOP is now determined to 'finish' RLK. And thus begins the nose dive for the latter.

What happens to RLK, thereafter? Who is KOP? That's the story.

The treatment for a serious subject like Schizophrenia, I must say, is shallow. But that doesn't mean the movie is bad. The trademark muted performance of Farhan Akhtar and pretty Deepika keep your eyes glued. Though I felt the chemistry was lacking between the two. The movie is certainly not for the masses. Though it is not gripping, it certainly doesn't bore you.