Archive | December, 2013

DUCK SOUP (1933) – ENGLISH

31 Dec
One of the finest comedies and indeed the wittiest of many.
Witty lines and scenes make this film a fantastic one to watch. It’s a laugh riot and does full throttle. It’s uncompromising in vision which is a rarity considering 1933 where studios determined what has to be shown. Marx brothers who are considered as comedy giants in their times, gave wonderful performances in this film. From a retort to “Tanks” (which is thought as “Thanks”) with a “Welcome” to many many moments where it’s tough to hold back our laughs, this film is spanned with nothing but wit and comedy. 
I dare say, it is one of the funniest films I watched in a long time. It’s hilarious and comical, it’s also strongly satirical and political too. It takes on war, politics behind war and what kings or rulers do. The best part is it never takes itself seriously even for iota of a moment and gives out gags where each one is wonderfully joyful. 
Groucho Marx as Firefly, gives a wonderful performance probably the finest of his life from the word go. He dances, sings, and utters some of the wittiest lines uttered ever on film screen. His act as a Mussolini like is wonderful and more so as excellency of Fredonia. From his entry till the last frame, he makes this film his own. 
He is ably supported by his own brothers Harpo, Chico and Zeppo who give wonderful scenes too. My only crib is that it is too short. At 68 minutes, this film gives out so many wonderful moments that it leaves us yearning for more. Should this have been edited, I would be very disappointed, coz every frame is precious in this film and has to be embraced. 
This film is now 80 years old and it is still so young and infectious in wit and the sheer energy on screen. I wish again, to see more than 68 minutes of this. One of the greatest comedies ever, a 5/5 for this. Wit, humour and outstandingly performed this a must watch for every film lover.
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తొలిసారి

30 Dec
తొలిసారి నిన్నే చూసి నా మనసే పులకించేను 
ఏదో అయిపోయెను ఏమీ మహిమా?
దీనిని ప్రేమే ప్రేమే అందునా, లేక ఆకర్షణే అందునా, ఏమీ మహిమా?

స్వర్గమే కనిపించే నీ కళ్ళలో, నీవే గుర్తొచ్చే నా మదిలో 
ఏమిటో గానీ దీని పేరు, ఎంతో హాయినిస్తోంది నాకు 
దీనిని ప్రేమే ప్రేమే అందునా, లేక ఆకర్షణే అందునా, ఏమీ మహిమా?

నా జీవితం నీకంకితం, నా హృదయం నీ సర్వస్వం 
నా ధ్యాస లోనూ నీవే, నా శ్వాస లోనూ నీవే 

ఓ హృదయమా ఇదే ప్రేమనీ తెలుసునా
తోలి చూపులో ప్రేమ కలిగెను మనసునా 

నీవే నా ప్రియతమా నీవే నా ప్రాణమా? 
నీవే జీవితమా ఈ ప్రేమ శాశ్వతమా?

ఎన్నెన్నోఆశలు

30 Dec
ఎన్నెన్నో ఆశలూ, కొన్నైనా తీరవే? 

ఈ హృదయ జ్వాలలు కలనైనా ఆరవే? 
ఎంత నీరు పోసినా ఈ మంటలు అసలారనే ఆరవే?
ఎన్ని కలలు కన్నా ఈ నయనాలు కలలు కనటం మానవే? 
అది కలనైనా నిజం కాదు, నా ఆశ అటువంటిదా?
మది క్షణమైనా ఊరుకోదు నా ధ్యాస అటువంటిదా? 
దీని కారణం నీవే చెలి, నా జీవనం నీకే సఖీ ఇక కరుణించవా?
నా ధ్యాసలో నీవే మరీ నా ఆశనూ నీవే మరీ ఇక కనిపించవా?

తీరెనుగా ఆశలూ పండెనుగా నా కలలు 
ఆరెనుగా జ్వాలలు వీడెను నిట్టూర్పులూ

काबिल नहीं समझदार सही

30 Dec
काबिल तो नहीं समझता किसी के प्यार को पाने के लिए
पर यु समझता हूँ कि समझदार हूँ किसी को अपना प्यार समझाने के लिए

CINEMA PARADISO (1988) – ITALIAN

29 Dec

Passion exuberance in every frame of the film. A rarity and a great tribute to cinema itself.

When love, passion and intelligence come together a genius is made and precisely Cinema Paradiso is that. Giuseppe Tornatore is a genius too. This is just his second feature film and he does an exemplary job. 
The nuances of a child from helping friends to learning things, growing up as juvenile and falling in love, then as a man who does his own thing. The life of a person is shown beautifully with wonderful fine moments. I love the scene in which Alfredo tells him not to trust a blue-eyed woman and how he uses a dialogue from an old film is wonderful. From Keaton to Chaplin to Clark Gable to many more. There are wonderful references. The aficionados will love this as there are many montages of the good old films. The genius lies in a scene where the frame of the pass through the walls of the projection room and the film is showed on a wall of a street. Wonderful thing that and hats off to the writer director Tornatore for that.

I must specially mention Ennio Morricone and his score. What music does, we all know it  adds up life in a bland moment. It adds emotions, it reflects emotions, it fills silences. Ennio Moricone does it all and more he adds life to movie itself and how much ever I praise Morricone, it would be less by all means.

The acting is fine be it of Alfredo, the projectionist played by Philippe Noiret, Salvatore Di Vita (child) played by Salvatore Cascio or a host of others. The boy and Alfredo have a charming chemistry which is wonderful, it gives a smile and at times there are feelings echoed my own of the way I respected my childhood teachers.

A word about Giuseppe Tornatore, he really knows how to show kids and adolescents in the film. The earlier film I watched of his, Malena too had shown adolescent feelings wonderfully and here too, he knows how wonderful a kid can be and precisely depicts that with even more sensitivity. Kudos to him for that and I shall be indebted for him in many ways to have made two of my favourite films. This one and Malena.

To all the film lovers, this is a must watch film and one of those that you must surely watch before I pass away. I am lucky to watch this and wish there shall be many more lucky ones. A 5/5 for this, one of the greatest films ever.  

CHASHME BUDDOOR (1981) – HINDI

28 Dec
A gem of a film that has simplicity rare to find in cinema these days.
It has a charm that is now seldom or rather not present. Look at that one scene in which the detergent Chamku is being sold. That one scene speaks volumes about how innocent and silly the ways to impress were. In a similar vein, this film has many moments that make us woo for it. The characters are affable, the dialogues are simple and the treatment is just down to earth. 
Setup in an apartment are 3 friends who have to go through so many hurdles to pay their rent. A girl comes in their community and all the 3 try to woo here in their own ways. She decides who is the right one for her. All through the film, it’s never boring or tiring on brain. You can simply have a smile and at times laugh out loud too. The best part indeed is that the film does not itself too seriously. 
Sai Paranjpe was a brave woman director who was considered to be ahead of her times. She has extracted brilliant performances from brilliant actors. Farooq Sheikh and Deepti Naval set a precedent of brining common man stories into the film domain. They were simplistic and endearing. Chashme Baddoor stand the test of time and it is relevant even now. Most of the credit can be attributed to the writing of characters by Sai Paranjpe herself. 
The characters of Omi, Jai, Siddharth and Lallan Miyan will stay etched in the memory after we have seen this. Lallan Miyan comes at few times only, but is witty and makes a mark for himself. Except Farooq, I remember others by their character names only. That’s the impact this film had on me. Not to forget Neha superbly acted by Deepti Naval. 
The cinematography may be age-old and simplistic, but it works. The editing is fine too, though some songs might have done away with but they add charm. Listen to Kahan Se Aaye Badra sung by Yesudas and it’s wonderful. 
I am going with 4/5 for this film. 

SHAHID (2013) – HINDI

27 Dec

A wonderful gem that should not be missed by a fan of films.

A scene in which Shahid returns home is heart touching and another one in which he gives his first salary to his mom is heart rending too. Moments like this which are subtle and sensitive are plethora in this film filled of nuances. 
Our film fraternity seems to be shying a wee bit away from pusillanimity and is becoming adventurous and intrepid too. Look at the films like Kai Po Che, Ship of Theseus, The Lunchbox and even Lootera are fine examples of that. In the same league Shahid stands and am happy to be ending my film watching year with a fine film. 
There is an uncompromising sincerity that is there unflinchingly through out the film. Proposing a divorcee in a tea stall or studying law through the conundrums of jail. These are some moments that show how true the film tries to be sincere. The product quality is subject to a personal opinion but the intent unanimously wins all hearts.
Made in a modest budget the film is a fine example of how a supreme story be conveyed in a small budget too. With mostly unknown faces, the director Hansal Mehta has extracted exemplary performances from his cast. 
Rajkumar Yadav plays the role of Shahid Azmi and he is an actor to watch out for. His performance is convincing and portrayed a rare obedience that might be ambitious to be expecting from a relatively new and coming of age actor. 
Cinematography is good and sound direction especially the simplistic background music. Best part being this film does not have songs or fights. This is a proper commercial film that has strong real characters and conflict but devoid of the artificial conflicts. 
It’s a strong a powerful film. Mind you it’s a biopic based on a lawyer Shahid Azmi and I salute his spirit of fighting for the innocent. 
I am going with 5/5 and this is a memorable film for me and a challenging one to make considering the political consequences. Salutes to Anurag Kashyap who believed and backed this project. Thanks to Hansal Mehta who has the guts and courage to bring this story to light uncompromisingly.