Mar 10, 2014

'Shaadi Ke Side Effects' leaves you frustrated

'Shaadi Ke Side Effects' is an emotionally engaging film but the overwhelming emotions are those of anger and sheer frustration. You need tylenol or advil to sit through this futility and escape unscathed or you need to give up on any hope and just have some fun at the movie and the makers. So what's wrong? everything except the trailer which deceived me and others to pay hard earned $ in a snowy Saturday evening to bear this torture. The jokes are offensive, dialogues silly and writing absolutely brainless. You have a husband who forgets his child is being ferried on a horse while he's watching a football match, you have a wife who shamelessly lies that the reason for second child is her neighbor, just to test how forgiving her husband is. Scenes like these and 150 mins of mindless bak baks make the film go into overdrive and unsurprisingly, one cares less beyond a point. And that point is about 15 mins into the film when you realize yeah some jokes are funny but something is not quite right. And from then on you watch with disbelief why two of the finest actors in the country chose to do this film and risk their stocks go down. You leave the theatre cold, confused, frustrated and deeply angered by the audacity of the makers for taking themselves and the film too seriously. And then you realize Bollywood Rom Coms mostly miss the mark and this one's a spectacular fail.

"1983" takes you back the memory lane

Very rarely a film moves you with it's inherent honesty and '1983' does just that. It's not so much a triumph of the underdog or a triumph of cricket as many would think. It's more so a man's sheer drive for his passion, his refusal to nod to the middle class mentality and his confidence with which he intends to achieve a massive feat. Ardents of K Balachander films would understand the importance of infusing lives to each character and that's one of the main reasons why the screenplay shines in 1983 as well. Then there's a director who admittedly being a fan, portrays Sachin Tendulkar as a man who inspired a generation with his never say die attitude and his refusal to shortcuts in life. And that's why 1983 is rich in emotions with a global appeal since you don't need to know cricket. Nivin Pauly enjoys subtlety but in this movie, he surprises us with his ability to underplay the character to suit the mood of the writing. On the whole, 1983 will bring back some fond memories to everyone who has grown up watching cricket but in reality, it's much more than that. Revel in the joy and stand up for those who refuse to stand down.

Feb 13, 2014

You cannot survive this "London Bridge"

"London Bridge" loses steam midway through the path and transforms into a real borefest with regressive and unimaginative screenplay. Maybe the movie was meant to be a breezy romantic journey that shows off one of the most beautiful locales. And I get it but what it has become is a tale of three single minded characters who have nothing much to tell us. Prithviraj dons the role of a romantic hero who's spoiled by his urge to make money but the role and the costumes look a misfit for the actor who has an impressive body of work. Andrea lacks any sort of talent to emote and struggles her way in a role that looks a tad too heavy. The new girl looks cute, has a baby face but again fails to strike a chord with the audience. So there you are, the characterizations fall flat in a character driven film and the actors themselves fail to rise above the script, leaving London Bridge a painfully indifferent and agonizingly boring cinematic experience. Gopi Sundar's music and some nicely written scenes in the first half just cannot save the film from becoming a disaster. One wonders why the crores are wasted just to shoot in London as the city barely makes an impact as a character in itself. On the whole, this film is lacklusture at best and leaves you cringing on your seats. Give a miss!!!

Jan 6, 2014

The Wolf of Wallstreet: it's a mad mad finance world out there

'The Wolf of Wallstreet' moves along the lines of Martin Scorsese's yesteryear classics Goodfellas and Casino as the narrative looks surprisingly old school. It is though an interesting watch at times thanks to a charming performance from DiCaprio who comes off convincing even in the most mediocre scenes. DiCaprio is oscar material and probably will go down as the best actor who has never won an oscar. Watch him in that scene where he delivers to his coworkers an engaging speech that ends with a refreshing twist. As is the case with almost all Scorsese films, the characters are all well written with the director capturing even the minutest behavioral detail. Yet, one gets a feeling that the film is way too long as some scenes look regressive and out of place. Oh yeah, then there's too much sex, vulgarity and coarse language to plant the belief on our minds that most wallstreet jobs would turn people insane party animals. Martin Scorsese chooses to follow a well established formulaic pattern, so there's nothing remotely new about the narrative. And hence 'The Wolf of Wallstreet' will go down as a delightful one time watch with no repeat value. Keep your expectations in check !

Dec 19, 2013

Hunger Games 2 Review

'Hunger Games' might not be an exercise in futility for those who helped the film shine at the boxoffice. It might even be a well made sequel to a mediocre first offering (that's what they say). It is though a strenuous watch for me as the screenplay is neither enterprising nor entertaining. So, as long it lasts, Hunger Games at best ignites some sparks and is there or thereabouts while never really breaks the barriers of formulaic filmmaking. There's a third film in the series, so I will have my laptop ready for charging. Can't starve for these games....

Oct 17, 2013

Ezhamathe Varavu is vintage film making

Liked "Ezhamathe Varau" as it took me to vintage 80s through a mode of story telling that details even the minutest of human emotions in a gripping manner. It's a lesson to up and coming film makers to concentrate on developing exciting characters and not dwell under the illusions of the so called trends. The four main characters are given respectable identities that help them convince their acts to the discerning viewer. S.Kumar's photography is worth a mention here as he's able to bring out a character out of the dark and shuddery jungle. Hariharan-MT combo still excites but the narrative at times moves on the lines of the IV.Sasi-MT-Mohanlal classic 'Uyarangalil'. Indrajith has come of age even though there's this pinch of Sukumaran and to an extent Mohanlal mannerisms, in his portrayal of the antagonist. Yet, he is spectacular as he looks menacing, delivers punch lines with ease and modulates his dialogues superbly to suit the mood of the film. There's nothing much to rave about the performances of both Bhavana and Vineeth but the new girl comes up with a refreshing act. In the end, I feel it's a pity the movie bombed........Plaudits of the new generation madness, WHERE ARE YOUR SENSES???

Oct 11, 2013

Review: 'Gravity' is a dazzling accident but.....

'Gravity' is well shot and well directed but not very well written. Imagine the writing being firmly on the wall despite a series of catastrophic events leading nowhere and occurring in the middle of nowhere. And ofcourse everything that's meant to go wrong, goes wrong. The characters are mere caricatures hugely deprived of likeability factor except for Clooney's funny and at times untimely gags. The first 20 mins of the film is simply breathtaking as Alfonso Cuaron gets into the groove of spacial thrills by placing his coordinates just right. Disaster strikes very early into the mission but from there on momentarily, something or the other goes wrong eventually touching boredom. Sandra Bullock as the sole survivor of the mission tasked instinctively to recover herself from the heavenly mess, has very little to do when it comes to rising above the script. When she mouths her struggles back home, it hardly evokes any sympathy because there's just too much bak bak going on and too less of emotional communication. Gravity's still a great one time watch just for the amazing cinematography alone as you get soaked into the action right from the beginning. And it becomes a well picturized over the top (literally) accident that's not to be missed simply because it's a stunning spectacle and nothing more.

Sep 13, 2013

Rush Review (North American Premier)

When Ron Howard decided to bring the dramatic and pulsating 1976 Formula1 season to life, expectations sky rocketed, thanks to the amalgamation of two stunning prospects- master filmmaking and the pinnacle of motorsports. In comes 'Rush', truly a roller coaster ride that explores into depth the extremely conflicting characters of two born racers, the charismatic James Hunt and the meticulous Niki Lauda. On that note, I am truly excited to say Rush is more than racing and hence those who don't follow F1 needn't worry even a tiny bit. It throws in humor, virility, love, loss and glamour in plenty. And for those who do relate to the nuances of racing, there's always these imperfections as in one could argue that setting up an F1 car goes beyond fixing handling and power issues and that the technical detailing is fast forwarded. But that's the point, 'Rush' is more of a film with scope for ample creative liberties than a mere silver screen adaptation of the wild era of F1. Daniel Bruhl as the witty Niki Lauda oversteers everyone else in a character that's demanding and at the same time, layered. Chris Hemsworth seems to have underplayed the real James Hunt from what I have read about the 1976 champion but he is able to successfully contrast Bruhl's vision about life and racing. Technically, the film belongs to three pearls of Hollywood- Peter Morgan with a pen, Hans Zimmer with his chords and Ron Howard with a great vision and together they create a monster of a film. They say, the closer you are to death, the more alive you feel and Rush doesn't sway away from this very spirit of racing. Gear up and press your right foot cos this one's a drive to glory!!!