My 2 cents

Love Songs – Yesterday Today and Tomorrow: Movie Review

Posted in Last movie I saw, Movies, review by urmilesh on April 2, 2008

All those who know me know that I am a movie buff, that I am ready for a movie at any time of the day, at any point in my personal/professional/social life, with (almost) anyone.

So when I think that there is some movie which even I can’t watch then that more often than not means that the movie is a total disaster.

Well yesterday I found out that there is one more rung which is lower that the ‘total disaster’ category; it will henceforth belong to the movies which made me fall asleep midway. Adjacently placed will be movies from which I walked out. The movie ‘Love Songs – Yesterday Today and Tomorrow’ has the distinction of belonging to both these categories.

There is nothing further I need to add to this review I feel J

Advertisements

My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves : Movie Review

Posted in Last movie I saw, mithun, Movies, review by urmilesh on January 12, 2008

If there is one good thing that can be said about this movie (and there are not many believe me), it is that they had the right casting director.
Sample this:

  • the protagonist is a normal looking guy who wants to make it big in tinsel town, and who do you have?? A Hemant Birje lookalike who is as normal as normal can be (and I do not mean that in a bad sense).
  • the heroine is a pretty young thing who just has to look nice and blabber, and Amrita Rao does justice to what is needed.
  • years of watching movies has told us that Pawan Malhotra can fit into any role with ease so for that the credit should go to the actor I guess.
  • anupam kher as the head of the mafia family.
  • mukesh rishi as the mindless maniacal goon.
  • and finally, since because of his own ideological limitations the director could not cast Prabhuji as God, he cast him as God’s own man. (note: if you do not know what Prabhuji means then stop reading now)

Besides this, there is nothing much in the movie to warrant spending well earned money, except for Prabhuji’s fight scene at the end as well as a couple of sequences here and there.

It is very hard to pinpoint what exactly is wrong with the movie; the problem is that everything is just ok. And unfortunately, that does not count for much now-a-days.

Up to you (as always) to decide what you wanna do.

Welcome : Movie Review

Posted in Last movie I saw, Movies, review by urmilesh on January 5, 2008

It is too late for a proper review since the movie has already been out for 2 weeks, so I’ll just have a pro and cons list and hope that works.

Pros

  1. Anil Kapoor is in great form and his timing makes many scenes work.
  2. Nana Patekar is the ever dependable again.
  3. The first half is pretty taut and there are not many dull moments (it is basically an assortment of funny sequences).
  4. The second line of supporting cast (Vijay Raaj, Mushtaq et al) work.
  5. The individual scenes have been executed well even if editing is a bit tacky.
  6. Nana Patekar in Kiya Kiya song.

Cons

  1. The songs are plain bad.
  2. Since it is an assortment of funny sequences at best, you may not find anything resembling a script.
  3. The climax is very stupid (not that the rest of movie isn’t but still you have to draw the line somewhere 😉 )
  4. The editing and special effects are very tacky.
  5. Akshay Kumar has nothing new to offer; ditto with Paresh Rawal.
  6. Were there any heroines in the film??

so the score is 6 each, you decide if you wanna watch.

Taare Zameen Par : Movie Review

Posted in Last movie I saw, Movies, Movies I recommend, review, something I like by urmilesh on December 22, 2007

After a long time, I saw the first day first show of a movie (courtesy Project Team Outing) and in the end I was pretty happy that this movie was chosen. Not just because it was a good movie; but also because, for a change, everyone in our project team liked the movie (which is very hard to happen as I have seen in the past).

It’s a nice, simple movie about a kid who faces some trouble in keeping up with the regimentation and competition that has become a part of everyday lives of children (and adults as well) now. In the movie the kid is dyslexic, but it may well happen very easily with kids who are not facing this problem but just not that inclined towards subjects which parents traditionally find suitable for a good career.

The movie mostly belongs to the kid Ishaan Awasthi (played very well by Darsheel); and the first half is completely his own. He carries the movie pretty well and I am pretty curious to see if he will be nominated in the Best Actor category in the 101 award functions that are about to start as soon as the new year comes.
His trauma and problems are established very well by the director (a job well done by Amir) in the first half even at the cost of looking repetitive. Many times I felt that the camera was overstaying at the kid’s face, but it did help in building up his character, even if it did make the movie a bit slow. The song Mera Jahaan has been picturized very well; especially the way the street vendors have been depicted (though I did wonder how did the kid get his hands on money given that he takes the school bus to school and back). The way he handles his Maths problems in the class test has traces of Spaceman Spiff written all over it, which fits because Calvin is one of the most well-known misunderstood kids. His fights and attempts to hide from peers that he finds it difficult to read/write is something most of us would identify with at some level. His trauma does not end with fight, pressure and being mis-understood. He is finally packed off to a boarding school when it is felt that he strictly needs a dose of discipline; which ends up almost stifling him until life sends an unconventional art teacher Ram Nikumb (played well by Amir) to rescue him; which marks the start of the second half.

The more time Amir had spent in establishing the problem, the lesser he has invested in  portraying the solution; which ends up looking too simplistic, something Munnabhai would have done. But still, to find fault at this stage would be like nit-picking so I’d let it go (along with the couple of places where Mr Nikumb gets preachy). The climax again tries to play on the emotions of the viewer and looks too simplistic, though the song Tu Dhoop Hai is in the league of Robaroo from Rang De Basanti.

Performance-wise, everyone has done a good job. The kid (Darsheel) and his mother (Tisca Chopra) stand out. Amir has raised the bar so much from himself that this kind of a performance is routine for him now (although Amir the director is a good story-teller). The movie’s camera work and art direction is something everyone will take notice of, it really stands out.

Two expressions of the kid that really stayed with me (for some time only :)) were:

  1. when he realizes his father had been teasing him about leaving the house.
  2. when he realizes that everyone is calling out his name for coming on to the stage.

It’s a good watch, I’d recommend it.

Eklavya – The Royal Guard : Movie Review

Posted in cribbings, Last movie I saw, Movies, review by urmilesh on March 8, 2007

Spoiler Warning – please be warned 🙂

The one question that is sure to come to every viewer’s mind after he has seen Eklavya is “Why Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Why???”. And it is only for answering this question that one can contemplate watching Eklavya (if at all one contemplates watching it which is not something advisable as far as this writer is concerned).

The movie has some good points, so like a true positive minded person, I will present those first.
>> The camera work is very good, bordering on great at some places.
>> All the actors have done a decent job.
>> Thankfully the royal background has not been taken as an excuse to push unwanted and unnecessary songs down your throat.
>> The makeup and costumes are also good.
>> The total running time is just about 2 hours, that is a BIG relief.

Besides these carefully dug out good points, there is nothing worth watching in the movie. I read in an interview of the director that it took him some 5 years to write the story of the movie. It seems that he was not too happy with his effort at the end of 5 years and so just put together something in the next half hour and somehow convinced the likes of Sanjay Dutt, Amitabh and Saif to act in it.
The movie is an attempt to show in 120 mins something that should not have taken more than 15 minutes at best. The story, if you want to call it that, has been stretched a lot and has nothing to offer. There is the proverbial palace with the old King and the dying queen, the Prince whose homecoming is necessary because of the death of his mother, the scheming duo of King’s brother and his son and the in-love-with-prince village belle to complete the quorum.

The prince has a letter from Mom dearest waiting for him when he comes back, and it has the funniest of secrets hidden inside it. It tells the prince that the palace guard is his real father; Take that class system. Then he has letters from (real) daddy dearest which were written but never posted coaxing him to complete his dharma. Then he has the paintings from his sister telling him about secrets in the Haveli…too much to handle, right?? But there is more in store for him…and the sad part is that the audience couldn’t care less.

The role of Sanjay Dutt seems to have been added after a late realization that the movie is turning into a dud. But unfortunately, even he cannot salvage it even though he has an interesting little cameo.
Jackie Shroff and Jimmy Shergill are adequate, and their characters provide the negativity to the plot (although they are not the only ones doing so) which is hardly a novelty, or a surprise.
Vidya Balan is another VVC protege who cannot say no to his movies. Here she adds the love angle to the story. Also, she has this habit of whispering her dialogues which gets irritating sometimes, but she looks great as always 🙂

All in all, a waste of time and resources. I am not sure what VVC was thinking even after watching the movie. Try watching it if you must figure that out.

Angoor : movie review

Posted in Funny, Last movie I saw, Movies, Movies I recommend, review by urmilesh on February 10, 2007

Saw the movie Angoor last weekend. If you are a Hindi movie buff (don’t need to be too crazy…just fairly interested in them); then this is one movie you do not want to miss. A true gem, timeless and classic.

Based on Shakespeare’s ‘The Comedy of Errors’, the movie is about two pairs of twins who get seperated shortly after birth. Seperated means, each group has one master-servant pair. Confused!!??? Well this is just the start 🙂

The story in brief:
A couple has twins who are so much alike that even the mother is not able to make out who is who. To add to it, the father (a cameo by Utpal Dutt) has named both of them Ashok. The logic is “Naming them with different names will not make it any easier for anyone to differentiate between them.” On a trip, which involves a journey by ship also, he comes across another set of twins who have been abandoned by on the stairs of a temple. He graciously takes them in his fold (egged on by his tanga driver) and starts on his ship voyage.
The ship meets with a mishap and the husband and wife are seperated, each taking the other for dead, and each having one kid each from the 2 pairs.
Years later, one of them is happily married with a nagging wife and a cute sister in law. He is one of the well known business in his town and his servant also is married happily.
The trouble starts when one day, the other pair also comes to the same town with some business reated work and is surprised to see that so many people in the town seem to know them. Add to that the fact that the master in this pair has fed on detective novels for a long time and you can very well imagine his reaction to these things.
They are in the town for a couple of days and how these 2 pairs wreck havoc in each other’s lives; without ever realising what actually is going on. The happenings of these 2 days is something you have got to see. No amount of praises that I put here can do justice to what has been portrayed 🙂

Sanjeev Kumar is excellent as always as Ashok (the master), especially the Ashok who has come from out of town. Since the native Ashok does not too many chances to get shocked (he gets more chances to get angry at people) you wouldn’t really feel he is the one making you laugh. But the other Ashok is brilliant to say the least. His reaction when Sudha (the nagging wife of the native Ashok, played ably by Mousumi Chatterjee) asks him to undress is priceless. I cannot help but think of what all Sanjeev Kumar would have achieved had he not died a premature death. Hats off to the man.
Deven Verma is one of the best comedians of Hindi cinema…and he is also the one who has never been given his due. Very rarely did I see him in roles which resorted to cheap gimmicks in the name of comedy (there were some in the 90s but I guess they had more to do with him earning his bread). He was as good as usual in this movie also. If you see the good and clean comedies of 70s and early 80s, Deven Verma has invariably been a part of it. This movie is no exception. He is calm and subdued as the native Bahadur, and witty and confused as the other one. The loyalty towards the respective Ashoks is common to both of them.
Mousumi Chatterjee,Deepti Naval and Aruna Irani are adequate. The supporting cast has all done justice to their roles, no one seems out of place.

It is when you see movies like these that you realise what people mean when they say that scripts are the real heroes of movies. There could have been so many places where the director could have messed up this movie. The happenings are pretty simple, nothing extravagant or out of this world. It is within these simple premises that the director makes us laugh and enjoy.

Personally I think that with the times Gulzaar’s work has somewhat deteriorated. He used to make movies that were enjoyed by everyone and pretty simple. Now-a-days sometimes I am not able to make sense of some of his lyrics also 😉 But he still keeps coming with lyrical gems also…the man is a contradiction. I would love to see a contemporary comedy from him.

About Angoor, if you are among those who have not yet watched it…you don’t know what you are missing. Go watch!!!