Archive | February, 2013

FROST/NIXON (2008) – ENGLISH

28 Feb
It’s an interview where the president is interviewed for his crimes. 
Now, this is a kind of movie that made me doze off, it seemed like a character study with a historical background. A man has done something wrong and it’s all upto few other people to make him accept the crime or make him guilty. Now, Nixon was the president of USA and he was the only president to have resigned in 1974 for being part of a Watergate scandal. 
It’s a beginning of a fall, and a fall of a president has to be interesting or at least there has to be substantial interest. Ron Howard creates that interest by making this film like a Network kind of film, where media and the impact of media plays a huge role in determining the character of a person. You are what you you say more than you are what you do, this seems to be an undercurrent theme in this media run movie. 
Acted competently by Michael Sheen as David Frost, the man who interviewed the president Richard Nixon, played by Frank Langella. These two performances are enough to make it go and see it. Having said that, it’s their dialogue that has lot many details that make us sit and observe and then they do not help us conclude but rather confuse us what is right and what is wrong. Maybe, the point was to show that we are grey and not black and white, fair enough and if that’s the point surely it was well made. 
Ron Howard as a director seems to be great at such Historical Dramas, be it Apollo 13 or Beautiful Mind or Cinderella Man. This one is no surprise and definitely it’s a good film and indeed worth a watch for its screenplay and dialogue and acting more than anything else. 
The production design was good, the editing could have been better for a near 2 hour film that is all about an interview where lot many details are revealed. It’s not a film where we can relate to, it neither one that is entertaining and makes us sit and watch, it’s one that is simply made for showing us the brain behind a deed or rather misdeed. 
A 3/5 for definitely good film but I am sorry coz it did not work for me. Maybe, I am not interested in the politics involved in the film. 
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ARGO (2013) – ENGLISH

27 Feb
A well made film that thrives on strategy, and luck and a bit of calmness and composure.
Sure, Ben Affleck has come a long way from a Good Will Hunting Script to this film named ARGO. Don’t ask me why was it named ARGO, and why the caption reads, the movie is fake, the mission is real. If you want to know better see the film. There are a few things I liked and a few things I disliked about this. 
The things I liked are the production design of setting up a 1970’s troubled Iran and making us believe how real the whole film was, it showed a great depiction of the Iran Hostage crisis. The sound was great too. The performances by almost everyone were great and I loved John Goodman and above all Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez. Now, this is a real story so we are bound and handcuffed not to disagree with a few things, like how come a sudden idea sprung up to Tony and how is it approved by CIA. It happened and so we see. All, in all, I liked the sound, production, casting and acting.
Now the things I disliked was creation of a forced drama in the climax where they are caught then relieved again a fact comes to the rebels notice and they rush to stop the plane. I did not think that cinematically, it was so very needed we do not have to make a climax out of nothing. In reality, a call would have stopped the plane from take off. So this is where the director Ben Affleck needs to improve, yes undoubtedly he made a good film but if he wants to be more real and less cinematic, he needs to take out a few formulaic things. The direction has indeed faltered in few places like factually, 1950’s depiction of the speeches, but I did give in to all the factual faults just that it was a bit more simpler and bit more restrained. Even the rushing up of getting an idea of making a film and getting an approval was not to my complete liking, had that been more restraint and more thought of, I would have loved that. 
By far, this comes as one of the better movies of the year and what it got is an oscar, not sure if that actually deserved coz I like Amour more than any other film of last year as I saw till now. But surely, barring Amour, this may have been the best bet with what it had, it had a realistic appeal like that of Hurt Locker, an entertaining element like that of a King’s Speech, where our hero is relieved from what he has achieved. So it’s good good and good but I am not sure if it’s a great film, I have so many questions in my own tiny mind that keep getting back and asking me, is this the movie of the year and the answer I got after watching this not once, but twice is that “I don’t think so, there are better movies than this for sure” But who needs my likes and dislikes, the majority rules this world and since the majority feels that this is the best movie for them, this won the accolades all over.  Mind you, this a thrilling documentary nevertheless and if you see it as a documentary film, then this is as fine as it gets, but as a dramatic film, it falls shirt a bit only.
Ben, sure boy you did a great job, but I wanna see you in a better director’s hat than this one. I am going with 3/5 for a sure good film but I better hope for a better film next time from this director.

SWADES (2004) – HINDI

24 Feb
One of the most important spirit lifting and patriotic films of the last decade.
It follow the John F. Kennedy’s line “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for the country”. Apart from working in a job, be it private or government, then going home to have a wife/husband, so to take forward the legacy, producing population and calling it as our babies, what are we doing for the country? Setting up institutions is not enough we must be doing something to make this a better place to live, I want to do something but before I begin, I need money so I must earn money good enough to be able to spare for a few outside my very own family. It brings the questions like should I be contributing to the huge population by producing one or should I adopt and fight for removing orphans and make my place a better place to live in.
Who would agree to my thoughts in a society as hypocritical as ours is what I always ask myself, having said all about my thoughts, this is a movie that I always loved since the first time I saw it in Sangeet Theatre with a big group of my friends. It made a few of us say “Bijli, Bijli” at the climax, like Lagaan made us say “Bhuvan, Bhuvan”. Ashutosh Gowariker had proved with this film, that films can be long enough if there is a real need for it, this was extremely long and it had to be long because there are so many issues within a country as diversified as us. The prime purpose that I love the film is it lifts by spirit and fills in the “can do” spirit that is vaguely missing. 
Now, the technical departments except for editing are sublime. A R Rahman, gave a score that stood even today as a great. One can never get bored of “Yunhi Chala Chal” or “Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera” and the whole of background score is just apt to the visuals. The writing and screenplay are meticulous, be it keeping off the glass when offered in the beginning and then taking a sip at the railway station and feeling the water for the first time, or be it the nuances of love between Geeta (Gayatri Joshi) and Mohan Bhargav (Shahrukh Khan). 
Performances are exemplary from each and specifically, Shahrukh Khan gave the most composed performance of his life, his emotions were natural, when I saw this in theatre, I was very apprehensive coz I do not like Shahrukh’s choice of movies, but went for this solely because of Ashutosh and ARR. I was happy and in the process of the movie, I learnt that actually Shahrukh is a good actor who is spoilt by his choices of films. This is the only film that Gaytri Joshi was a part of, and she made Geet her own, by becoming the character. She is the epitome of a perfect Indian women who is traditionally progressive. She knows the traditions and she knows the purpose of her life too. Rare to find a strong willed woman like her. Also, Kishori Balal as Kaveriamma and the huge supporting cast did an excellent job. 
Ah, so proud to have seen this so many times and I love this movie each time I saw it. It’s not flawless,  no one simply agrees to hand over 100 men for work. You cannot produce electricity just like that, creating some basic apparatus. Yet, the energy behind it, the resolve, the spirt are what made this movie a great one. With nearly 3 and half hours running time, it makes us ask so many questions to ourselves. 
Finally, I am again asking myself the same question, am I born, to earn a job, marry, have kids, work for their school fees and education, pass on my assets to my kids and die. Or is there a bigger purpose to life, if so am I doing it? 
A 5/5 for this, no less than that ever to one of my favourite movies ever. 

SPECIAL 26 (2013) – HINDI

24 Feb
A well written and ill executed film.
For most of the time, people are walking in the film and that too as if in stop motion, where the slow motion comes and disturbs the interest. The climax is more or less predictable just that it had a few hints  by the end and an avid film goer  might have predicted it. 
Ok, the performances are good and I must say, post MOHRA this is the first film of Akshay Kumar I had seen in theatre and I was actually happy as it did not have fights or unwanted action sequences and instead had some brain thing. Thanks to Neeraj Pandey for not putting heavy action sequences for Akshay Kumar. Manoj Bajpai and Anupam Kher fared well. Kajal Agarwal was not needed at all, and this could have been better if the romantic track and those songs were not there. 
Coming to Neeraj Pandey, the director I was very disappointed, coz post Wednesday, it gave some hope that this man may churn out some non commercial flicks and would raise the bar, but he disappointed me with the song dance number, and the love track that made me just wait to go to the real plot. It was written with a good intent but it just did not fit in as a whole. 
Technically, the best thing is the meticulous production design of the Mumbai and other places of the 1980’s and for this itself I would give an award to Sunil Babu. The editing falls flat and please cut off 30-45 minutes and increment the pace by making the walking as they are and take off the slow motion and for 75 minutes, you will get a wonderful ride otherwise it made a just above average flick. The time of nearly 135 minutes was made for the sake of making and I did not see any real purpose behind that. 
A generous 2/5 for a well designed film more than anything else. Neeraj, you disappointed me big time, need to see what you got up your sleeve next. 

सच्चाई

14 Feb

चलना आसान है फूलों की राह में
कहना आसान हैं बड़ी बड़ी बातें
जो चलते हैं काँटों की राह में, उन्हें मिलता है ग़म
जो करते है बड़े काम, उन्हें मिलता है आदर कम

प्यासा

14 Feb

प्यासा हूँ मैं चाहत की प्यास में
प्यास भुजाये कोई मेरा, जीता हूँ यही आस में
तनहा न मर्जाऊ कही यही एक डर है
इसलिए जी रहा हूँ अब तुम्हारी एहसास में

डर

14 Feb
तरस रहा था तुझसे बातें करने कि

शायरी तो लिखके रखा हूँ
फिर भी डर हैं बताने कि
इसलिए ऐसे ही छुपाके रखा हूँ