Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Weeping superstar

So here comes the moment. Aamir Khan walks in with grandeur and style. The advertisements and tweets had been rolling out all the past days. Aamir's eyes are baggy from non stop weeping ever since the program began. India waits in baited breath, to know how their elderly are treated. Lo Aamir is here to open our eyes.

The episode changes, the situation changes but the scenes from the studio remains the same. The crowd Vinces, gasps, cries and shake their heads. While Aamir nods in understanding, wiping an occasional tear. Show is over in an hour, we run to our pc and system to tweet and blog & express our anguish.

India had a unique social structure built around its villages. The weak and the old had to be taken care in the family or by the village. It was considered a shame when the plea for help went out. Then a number of factors ranging from urbanization to materialistic culture and nuclear family system shook the existent roles and responsiblities. The duties which were once considered mandatory became optional.
I'm not saying the old system was free of blemishes and it is impractical to walk back in time.

Today you have to see a movie' Lage Raho..' to awaken the social conciousness in us. The sympathetic feelings are then stolen by  a different issue. A few years have to go by for someone else to make another film/sop on the old age crises.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Movie Review - The Dark Knight Rises (English)

The first time I walk into theatre , I was slightly taken back to see a huge college crowd. A few were already wearing the Bat insignia. The irony didn't escape me. Years ago I was in college when the 'BATMAN BEGAN'. How fast time flies.

I had been looking for this installment ever since the first stills appeared online. The first time I heard Nolan is remaking the Batman comics, I wondered why the great director is self destructing himself.
But he surprised everyone and it was just the beginning.

The second one went on to climb into the world classics list. The unfortunate death of Heath Ledger immortalized the film.

The reason why Nolan went for the Batman series might be , unlike other superheroes, Batman is an ordinary man with extraordinary gadgets and willpower. He also has a very dark side and Nolan is good at exploiting the dark corners .

The first installment was on the evolution of Batman. The meaty parts were the tough journeys, dark sides, self discovery and final redemption. The technical superiority and cool gadgets were also different from run of the mills. Here was a superhero.you could relate to.

When the first celebrated the Batman, the second one was made for the evil Joker. It saw the essential revelation of the Dark sides of the Batman. The Joker stole the show from Batman.
So when the third installment was on its way people didn't really know what to expect. I doubt if Nolan expected his film to be known for the anti hero (who was no longer alive physiologically). So much were woven out of tidbits of information available.

And here I was, among a crowd way high with expectations. The movie progressed with loud cheers, whistles and applause for every dialogue and appearance. This was very much an Indian superstar cinema experience. The movie had all the right combination for a success. But sadly it ended there .

There was no genius of Nolan to be seen. The movie seemed to be a rollover to the first part. So much sequences seemed to be giving a deja vu. The villain guy couldn't live to the expectations after initial hours. He simply seemed to fade away. The twist in the end also failed to deliver any punch.

If the second part was celebration of Joker, the third was celebration of Batman. But he failed to do any sense of connection and was always in a hurry. The main protagonists didn't have any role. The sorry figure of weeping Alfred signalled the doom. The female side of cast clearly lacked the element and so did Robin.

Apart from all this, the technical side of the movie was good. I am relieved that this the end of it. The same sets and situations have started to bore me. May be Nolan wasn't ready for the final adieu even.

Bottomline: hope this is where Nolan's Batman takes the final bow. Go with a mind to celebrate.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Movie review - Ustad Hotel (Malayalam)

I had a discussion with a friend on the crediblity of a popular movie. One point that came across the discussion was - love is a sensory feeling . And the taste buds aren't exempted from choosing your mate.
The makers of Ustad Hotel sincerely tried to make something different from the normal recipe . Thankfully, they made sure it didn't fall into the new-generation-mallu bracket.

Anwar Rasheed arrived with a name tag of making superstar flicks. Even when he delivered with all his movies making it to the hit list, critics had serious doubts on his versatility. But then he startled everyone with a short film. And now he has proved his mettle with Ustad Hotel.
Apart from the director, the writer deserves equal accolades . Anjali Menon has come up with a beautiful script. The music-story-director team has worked in perfect harmony. The story is well placed with no unwanted scenes. There's a perfect blend of music into the frame. And the music director has come up with a diverse mix of music to suit the mood.

The sub plots in the film are beautifully balanced. At no point do we feel.them holding the pace of the movie.
The movie starts off with early stages of the protagonist and moves on to other stages. The way the story shifts is so smooth and appealing. The best part was the creativity when the protagonist's student life at Switzerland was shown through the opening credits as a caricature. It stimulated the creative cells of the viewer and saved some valuable time .
Next he meets the lady love , which resulted in another turning point in his life. He unconsciously embarks on a process of self discovery.
He meets his estranged grandfather. He learns the hooks of the job he loves. Then there's a predictable fight with the greedy sharks, he rediscovers his Love, revives his old hotel and the movie ends .

Besides the technical part, we see some great performance from the thespian- Thilakan. The way he moves from one character to another is a great lesson . I wonder where Malayalam cinema would end up ? Can we survive without the golden generation!!

(I choose to be silent on the ability of the younger actors.  I don't want to be labelled old man )

About Me

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Shakespeare,Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Lincoln never saw a movie,heard a radio or looked at TV. They had loneliness and knew what to do with it. Thay were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would work.