Friday, July 29, 2005

Taking a cue from Mahesh Manjrekar?

  • Caught Viruddh yesterday [knowing what it would be like, which I could sense from the promos] and should say, it was ordinary, as expected [But, Mahesh Majrekar did surprise me with those ads for oil, Nerolac paints and Western Union Bank and that unique idea of ghost narration by John Abraham ;)].
  • Thanks to a visit to T.N. last week, I saw Feb 14 [two words: A bad B-flick and Bharath is done for a couple of years] and Priyasakhi [A Vikraman-meets-V.Sekar-meets-a-pathetic-Visu enterprise] and there is still a debate as to which was worse. My vote goes for Feb 14, though. Hmmm... talk about masochistic tendencies.
  • Collective Chaos has this Makhmalbaf & family Film Festival this weekend and this a dont-miss alert.
  • I don't know why. I am eagerly awaiting for My Wife's Murder's release. The interesting promos and Anil Kapoor's interview here [however much I get alerts on possibilities of his desperation and the trend of calling every new movie as the actor's/director's/producer's best, nowadays; or perhaps, from time immemorial] really hooked me on to this.
  • And the self-advertisements continue. My blog-equivalent of Karna [elder, but abandoned] has some questions. Do answer them.
  • Thursday, July 14, 2005

    Yesterday, I was one of the blessed ones to go through the whole sort of rumours about National Awards [I guessed many of them could be bogus, then; it turned out that only one info, a fatal one at that, about the awards was actually false] as I was updating on a minute-basis. The first link I bumped upon was Rediff's (very) immediate reaction [they had only this link in the main page, then; not even the link to a bigger set of awards] to Aishwarya Rai "winning" the award, where in, a rediff journo was lamenting [of course the link is dead now] if Aishwarya really deserved the award [which I duly linked in the very first question mark in my previous post as that was the biggest joke for me; blame it on my bias]. Thankfully, it was Tara for her lead performance as Haseena in Kasaravalli's Haseena [btw, which was the Kasaravalli movie which didn't win any national award?].
    Today, the main rediff page cries that "Ash deserved the award" [agreed, it was actually Rituparno Ghosh and not rediff; But, still something tells me that these guys can't live without references to Ash just as much Kamal Haasan can't make movies without references to Charlie Chaplin].

    Update (at Jul 15, 05:11 p.m.):-
    Check out Saif's cheeky reaction on receiving the national award! I have quite liked him as an actor since he got his RGV connection [since LKLKBK, that is; as against the general opinion that it was DCH which transformed him into what he is now, I thought it was when there was a refreshing change in his persona and acting skills; the same comic flair was evidently visible in the former too; only that it developed to a great effect in DCH]. But, I am still very much surprised ['surprised' meaning 'not convinced'] with he receiving the national award for best actor. I like all the counter-points as to why the award should not go for a light role and all that. But, the National Award for his effort in "Hum Tum"? Not that there was no such case before. Heck, Anil Kapoor won it for Pukar. Anyways, I haven't seen "Hum Tum". Nor do I remember any exceptional performance [which I've seen] that was outrageously overlooked or something [only some small commendable efforts like that of Madhavan/Abhishek in AE/Yuva; SRK's performance in Swades was sincere, not superb; Did I miss anyone? Alert readers can remind me!]. So, I should rather shut up and see Saif get his national award until then!
    As to "Page 3" winning the Best Film award, I will rant on that later.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    Some joke ? ? ? ?
    Is it that these are the hot candidates (pointer?) or is it actually announced?
    Will be right back.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    a little bit of self-advertising

    A small piece of self-advertisement [**]. My post on life (as I would like to put it) originally posted in this blog of mine, features on the blog mela conducted by Nilu.

    ** - however much I restrict myself to the fact this will always be a movie blog ONLY.

    Monday, July 11, 2005

    Narasimha - a unique achievement in a unique genre!!

    Yes. You read it right. Narasimha is clearly distinct from, and superior to, most of its contemporaries belonging to various genres. That its part of the folklore for many tamil film connoisseurs, highlights its merit. This is my appreciation of the movie which kinda culminated its genre. The reader must have to understand the breadth of possibilities in cinema as a medium to understand my appreciation of the movie.
    Narasimha is a no mean achievement. Regardless of what the critics would like to believe [check this insipid review; I still wonder how the reviewer gives some points to the movie even though he has completely failed to get hold of the spirit of the movie], this is one of the most creative efforts that has come in tamil cinema in recent times and the best secret agent movie to have come in tamil cinema. Pity that the director, Mr. Thirupathisamy, had to die before giving us more such movies.
    The so-called intelligent audience, in search of "logic" (I hate the word) and "intellect", to assure themselves that the story is realistic enough and could happen to them on a series of dull and insipid days be theirs as well, would not be able to gauge the amount of inventiveness employed in this movie.
    Just because a movie stars an aged, fat, not-so-good-looking actor doesn't mean that one should put down the movie straight away. Why don't we talk about realism in this case? Aren't real cops/secret agents old enough that they can't shake their hips as much as a Mallika Sherawat can? But that, anyway, is NOT the point. In fact, much far from it [and all the talk about fat cops is just my attempt at being neutral to a Vijayakanth starrer]. After all, realism is not the movie's key point. In fact, its humour. I am no Vijayakanth fan. But his performance here really takes the movie to an altogether superior and surreal plane. To claim that he had no sense of humour in the making of the movie is very very hard to believe. The same can be said about every other actor/actress in the movie. What an ensemble cast it was! One careless/less serious actor could have introduced a boring moment in this piece de resistance (A special mention about Venu Aravind, here in a blink-and-you-ll-miss role, who with his deadpan serious face really rocked). In fact, the whole cast look very very serious and still are very very funny (definitely reminds me of Kamal Haasan's claim about Mumbai Xpress; still I would say watching this movie once could have given him more ideas) thus making each of their expressions, intonations all suggestive and subtle. And the writer/director knew exactly where/when/how to cut from one scene to another to give the exact effect and strike the perfect chord, so that the whole first hour of the movie plays like some gung-ho music (Why the hell did I have to leave the house coz of which I am yet to watch the full movie? Though, I will complete it soon).
    And what was Vadivelu doing in this movie, bringing down the level of humour and wit? Was a crass comedy track even necessary in such an ambitious effort? Same for the stretched action sequences. There has been a clear underestimation, from the director's side, of the script's merit that he had to go for such commercial compromises.
    This might have featured in the elite list of overlooked tamil films along with, Thirupachi [another stunner, put down for the simple reason that it doesn't have a poignant/believable story or understated performances; this was India's answer to Kill Bill, Silence of the Lambs and Taxi Driver all rolled into one, with its visceral depiction of violence; and an analysis of this will be the next to watch in this space], only if Ebert chose to go for an all-Indian list. Anyway, when was the audience smart enough to understand movies in Brechtian format?

    Coming up next in this series:
    1. Kill Bill, Silence of the Lambs and Taxi Driver all rolled into one - Thirupachi
    2. Let us B!! - An analysis of the Rajini's blockbuster movies

    P.S.:- This post has been modified since it was first published (on 11 July 2005). Sarcasm, if you find any, in this particular post is clearly a figment of imagination from the reader's side and has got nothing to do with my honest intentions.

    Monday, July 04, 2005

    There are no goods and bads. only a bland Sarkar.

    If you were one of those who wondered why Godfather HAD to be a movie of 3 hours length to masterfully depict the characters, go watch Sarkar. Not that Sarkar being too short, was its only folly. It was just one of them.
    Sarkar (writing credits to newcomer Manish Gupta) was shockingly mediocre, having come from the Factory and more importantly made by the man himself. I found D run-of-the-mill (w.r.t. RGV camp) too. But, I kinda understood that because plainly put, it wasn't made by RGV himself. And, RGV's candour in telling that D has a definitive Hero and is more on lines with Don that Satya/Company was hitting the nail on its head as to what D actually was meant to be. But somehow, many claimed (incl. a not-so-candid/illusioned Varma this time) Sarkar to be RGV's best effort.Hence the shock.
    RGV seems to have been not as ambitious as I thought he would have been when he was making Sarkar, that is, remaking The Godfather. Heck, let's not even use the word Ambition, as apparently there wasn't any, unless you count directing Big B as one.
    Sarkar is a hip-packaged movie (read as more 'on lines with Don', or 'D' for that matter) relying much more on Amitabh-Abhishek chemistry rather than merits on scripting and directorial departments. I am saying this not by comparing/contrasting it with the Classic. Sarkar, independently as a movie, regardless of where it is inspired from, is a very ordinary effort. That it comes from RGV is what is unacceptable. Hell, we even have a cliched glib-talking villain in Kota Srinivasa Rao as Selvan Mani cracking insipid jokes (that he is going back to Tamilnadu and asking Rashid to go to Dubai) at serious situations that one would expect in superHero flicks when the lamenting villains await for Hero's inevitable arrival to take his revenge on them, and a self-mocking character in the bogus saint played by Jeeva. In the above instances, the audience may have got a few laughs, but at the cost of characterization assassination. Rashid stares, stares, stares and then dies [Chhota Sarkar's words here - "Tujhe marte huae dekhne ki mazaa khona nahi chahta tha" - are some rare points where the movie scores regardless of its plot; Again, contrast this with Michael Corleone who is in the baptism ceremony when the "revenge" is being taken]. And, whats with the heavy noisy background score? Was Amar Mohile thinking he was scoring for a horror flick? There were shades of such heavy BGM scores even in RGV's last directorial attempt Naach. But here it really irked me.
    In a scene where some friend reveals to Vishram that Sarkar has got his bail, we hear a big bang on the background. The camera zooms fast towards Vishram for a moment and comes back in sync with the background thud - worthy of inclusion in next Simbhu flick where he would inform an overcaring/rich/powerful father that he just now slept with the latter's daughter. The performances were all competitive. Lesser appreciation because most of them are very much underwritten that some otherwise nice performances like that of Kay Kay's are tarnished.
    I never thought I would be panning a RGV movie to this extent. Neither was the movie bad. But much much far away from being a worthy successor to Ramu's previous works on "Crime and Punishment", as he had put it here - "Satya and Company were just preparatory blueprints for SARKAR. With this film, I hope that my trilogy on crime and punishment; within the reality of our country, our city and our neighbourhood; has come a full circle." Hence, I have one question to Ramu. That, what was going on in his mind?
    Perhaps, I should have given more thought to/interpretation on what Ramu had said here too.

    P.S.:- For all the non-tamil-movie-watching readers, Simbhu is one of the last disasters that struck the tamil moviedom.