Category Archives: Movie Reviews

My picks for flicks that give me the kicks (or not.)

Movie Review- Tamasha

Just when I thought I like to watch movies but not to write reviews, Imtiaz Ali comes up with his Tamasha and here I am, with my next review. I have a pending list of 10+ movie reviews but I believe I am going to chuck all of them and start fresh.

tamasha

Coming back to Tamasha, I avoided reading anything about the story, the characters, reviews from fellow critics etc before I myself watch the film. Imtiaz Ali’s films have always been one of a kind- not because of the story, actually never because if the story, but because of how he weaves magic on screen with characters, sketches, overlaying bits from past and present and future and it all merges to form brilliance.

I personally wasn’t too impressed with Jab We met or even Love Aaj Kal for that matter. They were good movies, having their own positives and negatives, High and low moments and it never fared as a brilliant movie in my mind.

Rockstar changed the way I look at Imtiaz as well as Ranbir. I sincerely marveled at how a simple plot can be filmed this way. And the trend continues with Tamasha.

When I went to watch it, I thought it would be a romance genre, like most of Ali’s movies. But it was a mocktail of everything- romance having the least share of it all. The movie is more of Finding oneself. A concept already executed by so many in our film industry, by Ranbir himself in Wake Up Sid.

But if you ever think about it, Ranbir can do it over and over and it’ll still seem fresh. He is perfect in every sense. He is one actor everyone would want to be like- despite his flaws ( whatever they may be!)

I do not want to talk anything about the plot here. It is best to discover it yourself. But I’d be writing about things that I really liked.

<not necessarily in any order>

  1. Having the “Kahani” part in grainy camera roll shots was captured well. It gave an additional Drama feel.
  2. The merge of flashbacks, present and the “few months/year down the line” was so seamless. Editing was just perfect.
  3. <may have spoilers> The concept of dividing the movie into 4 parts with a filmy poster for each distinguishes the movie from others. It is like watching 4 short films in one movie and all of them belonging to a different genre. The idea is similar to how Tarantino does. Tamasha is bollywood style! While Corsica is more about colors and beauty and craziness, what I loved most was about telling each other lies and going around in an exotic location knowing only the real “you”. It makes us smile, laugh, feel the romantic tension between the two at times, even dance ( Matargasti deserves an applaud!); the beauty lies however in parting away. Imtiaz Ali is anyways the king of directing break-ups without drama.

Ishq Waala Love part is what is least interesting but is essential to show the mechanical life of our hero and our DP to confront him with the truth. needless to say, cheesy or not, the chemistry they share is wonderful.

Andar is Baat is ruled by Ranbir. While most people found this boring, this is probably the best scene for me. I relate to so many things personally , also to mention one of friend went through an exact same transition in his life and I kept thinking about him. The Eccentric Ranbir with an existential crisis and the poor Ranbir trying to fit into the world and the expectations set by people around- we’ll see multiple facets of the same person. Few shots were hilarious here! Again, I understand why some of us won’t like it. Someone who has gone through something similar would absolutely love it. Others will probably keep themselves busy munching popcorn! fyi- These Others category will also hate Bombay Velvet.

It is very clever to not use many colors in this part. Shows the shady and dark side of life for most part.

Don is Back- Predictable. No major twist or performance but is the most essential part to reach a closure. Needless to say, we’ve seen our hero’s inclination towards stories and story telling since the beginning. Oh, did I mention, the introduction of our guy into this hobby was shown beautifully as well with a Kahani Baba and romeo Juliet and all that.

Coming back to Don is Back, we have colors and rough and tough looks back in this part and we leave feeling happy and motivated.

4. The climax- That’s absolute brilliance. We see two people dancing to these own tunes while still together. Imtiaz Ali knows how to make coming-of-age love stories and this one scene shows how we surpass the ishq waala love phase and eventually transition into a life where we depend on other  yet have our own space. I am safely assuming here that my interpretation here is what the director meant too!

5. The cinematography and editing deserves special mention throughout the movie. Corsica, Shimla, Kolkata, Delhi, the smaller lanes, clouds, mountains, graffiti walls and even a library looks gorgeous. And as already mentioned, we never see a gap between different scenes. They’re merged and blended so well – as expected from any Imtiaz movie. the same was beautifully done in Love aaj kal as well.

6. Background Music- Calling it “Soulful” would also do it an injustice. The music track is awesome beyond words and their placing in the movie is fabulous.

7. Choice of locations- I’ve already mentioned this earlier- the beauty of each shot is not just about lighting and acting and all that. The set and location plays an important role. The place was bright when it had to be, shady and aloof when it required, dim light or crowded when needed. Each scene had a different appeal and merged well with the mood the director wanted to give.

8. Deepika/ Tara’s role- There are plenty of movies in our industry which shows the role a woman plays in a man’s life. While Deepika may not have a lot of screen space or anything to make her stand apart, she sure just justice to what was expected of her. It was a delight to watch her, to watch the pair. I don’t know if she was the only one who could have done the part of Tara- maybe, maybe not. But, i never felt that it should have been someone else.

I am writing this review in multiple parts- owing to Chennai rains and lost connectivity and electricity troubles. Each time I had to go back, read what I’ve already noted and then continue. That could be a pain sometimes. I am sure I have missed many things that I took a mental note of while watching the movie but couldn’t pen it now. But the above more or less sums up what I feel about the movie. I loved it.

Having said all that, I’ll still not say it is the movie of the year or anything like that. I loved the movie as I could relate to it. For someone else, it may just be an average.

Movie Review- Bahubali:The Beginning

Continuing with my pending movie review list- Here comes the next one- Bahubali: The Beginning.

I have seen Rajamouli’s Naan E before but that was when I used to watch movies for time pass. So I used to forward boring scenes and somehow finish watching.

So let’s just say this is the first S S Rajamouli’s movie that I have watched and I really liked it. Going by Indian standards, I didn’t expect the visuals to be so good. Apart from a few scenes, where graphics looked fake, others were brilliantly shot.

bahubali-mamta-759

It was a great idea to shoot both Tamil and Telugu in parallel. I didn’t know this while watching and wondered how even a dubbed movie looks marvelous with perfect sync. It was only later that I realized that the movie has been dubbed in Hindi and Malayalam whereas Tamil/Telugu is part of original act.

Let me draft this review point wise:

  1. Plot : Nothing extraordinary- Political rivalries, two siblings, fight between good and evil; honor and killing etc! There really is no spoiler because this is something you’ll know soon once you start watching.
  2. Performance- While the movie started, I wondered if Prabhas could make an ideal hero. The initial lifting Shiva idol and climbing mountain scenes, the acting was not flawed but you somehow do not see him as a hero. My attention drifts to others around.  However, once the action and battle field drama starts, he manages to engage the audience- thanks to good background score and script.

         Tamannah- She is hot. And that’s about it. There is nothing else to expect from her performance.

         Rana Daggubati- I’ve always liked him as an actor. The wickedness, the attitude everything makes him look menacing.

        Ramya Krishnan & Satyaraj- I write about them in single bracket. They were OUTSTANDING. Their stature, posture,    conviction, dialogue delivery, everything was brilliant. I have seen Padayappa of Ramya Krishnan which is supposed to be her best ever performance. I read a newspaper article once when Ramya mentioned that she wanted that role to be better than others because she wasn’t offered the lead role. Similarly, she performed Bahubali, with a similar passion- to make it better than the best. Even with just few minutes of screen presence, she leaves an impression. The same applies for Satyaraj as well.

3. Music- The background music was quite good at most places. Nothing extraordinary though.

4. Visuals- I was quite impressed  with the entire set. The  kingdom, battle, the statues – esp the scene where they show Bahubali statue bigger than Palvandeva’s was pictured beautifully. The war scenes were choreographed well.

The first half of the movie was slow. It was probably required to give us a background.However, post intermission, the pace picks up. The climax was again brilliant. It wasn’t left at a war or in the past or at anything heroic. Kattapa confessing that he killed Bahubali – it was perfect.

Am I waiting for the second part to release? Hell, Yea!!

Movie Review- Premam

I watched this movie some time in June and have been waiting to somehow sit and write a review for this amazing movie. I somehow was never in the right frame of mind! So, today, I do it.

I have a backlog of so many movie and book reviews that now I’ve decided to skip most of them and write only the ones that I really really liked- Premam tops the chart! The one still in the picture below will show how beautifully each and every moment was shot in this movie.

premam

The plot is pretty simple- just like what the caption in the poster says- A love story with nothing new. But the 3 hours was a fun ride! Starting with the poster, I found it very creative. Reminded me of Airtel’s “Dil titli sa” ad( Heart is like a butterfly). Similar to it, we see the main character George’s ( Nivin Pauly) quest for love in different phases of his life- teenager, early twenties and thirties.

George was perfect in all the 3 parts. In fact the make up artist for this movie should be applauded. I loved the way all characters looked so natural and different- especially Sai Pallavi.

The first part is where George falls for the town queen Mary( Anupama Parameshwaran), man! she was beautiful! The trio of George, Shambhu and Koya were really funny. I loved the dynamics between the friends, exactly how people are during this age. Crushes, love letters, following the girl, calling their friend if they spot the girl etc.

The second part was probably the best! Just loved the simplicity of Malar ( Sai Pallavi). The ragging, the sighting, the love part, the whole Vimal sir angle, beautifully shot canteen scenes and the unfortunate end, it was just perfect. Their parting away shatters your heart. They seem so meant for each other. The rockakoothu song was awesome!

The third part was the least favorite for me. The cake and bakery was all great, esp the red velvet scene. But the connect was missing. Madonna was lovely but after Sai Pallavi, I really wished there was no one. Call me a sadist, but I didn’t want anyone else to be with Nivin Pauly ! I never knew until later that Celine’s fiancé was Alphonse Puthiren in a cameo. The Contra song was quite misplaced but I guess that was placed in between to give a lighter feel to the movie.

I would have preferred if it wasn’t revealed that Malar got back her memory. Kind of leaves you to blame fate for their separation. But in this case, I somehow felt sad although the director wanted to convey that George finally found his love in Celine. May be, maybe not! he probably still loved Malar and hated to know that they could have been together but can’t!

Anyways, love and break up and separation have their own beauty. Everything perfect sometimes spoils it.

Overall, i just loved the movie. I haven’t seen Neram or Bangalore Days or any other Malayalam movie.  This was my first and I thoroughly enjoyed. Must watch if you haven’t already seen it.

Movie Review- Kaaka Muttai ( Crow’s Egg)

A beautiful film by M Manikandan. It’s not that a film has not been made on a slum dweller. But a movie being made around two slum children’s wish to taste a pizza is unique!

Kaaka-muttai-Box-2

First things first- brilliant poster. the movie didn’t have much publicity or word of mouth initially. It didn’t even have any trailer as such.But the poster was intriguing when I first saw it at the time of Uttama Villain. I decided then and there that I’ll watch it.

Secondly, the movie makes us smile right at the beginning- you know the tobacco kills and liquor is injurious to health warning! Yes, creative, funny and sweet.

Thridly, brilliant cast! Iyshwarya was amazing in her role and Vignesh and Ramesh- were they really first time actors? Kids these days…..born with talent!

I won’t go into details of the movie or give any spoilers ( there isn’t anything to spoil though). But if you love cinema, you shouldn’t miss this one. Maybe I am over praising it. But I loved the idea, concept, the performance and the movie to the core.

The movie makes you smile, laugh, pity, feel bad, feel guilty and yet you leave the movie hall feeling content and happy. Isn’t that the purpose of a movie?

Best part is- we are so used to watching movie like these where people are abused that after every scene, you expect something bad, very bad to happen. Apart from one or two scenes, the movie isn’t depressing at all. And those one or two scenes were essential- were facts! You know what else was great- you never even know the names of the boys or the mother, or granny or their father. It is just Periya/Chinna Kaka muttai or Pazharasam or on the same lines. Subtle and brilliant! Symbolic that these people aren’t even on the map of the society in general.

The climax was best. You wonder what is going to happen. Will it be sad, will it be a shocker..Again, as we are groomed in a particular fashion, I didn’t expect this climax!

I’m aware of only few movies that Dhanush has produced, but most of them that I know of are interesting and well made movies. G V Prakash Kumar has done a good job with the music! M Manikandan, I don’t know if this is his debut directorial film, but nonetheless, you deserve a round of applause! Well done.

Movie Review- Dil Dhadakne Do

The promo of Dil Dhadakne Do never interested me. But some random turn of events and I had to go watch this one.

The story was about how a high class Delhi based Dysfunctional family is, the challenges they face and how in the end, they take a stand for each other, supporting through thick and thin!

dil dha

After Luck By chance, Dil Dhadakne Do won’t look that good on Zoya Akhtar’s report. With all A rated stars, the only thing that keeps the movie afloat is the cast, the beautiful cruise where the movie is filmed, the humour and a few good here and there. Not to forget the costume designer. Everyone looked ravishing!

The plot had weight , unfortunately it wasn’t steered well. In an attempt to not make a serious movie and to deliver a social message using humour worked well only to make us laugh but it doesn’t hit the bull’s eye.

To not sound unfair, if you go watch D3 with zero expectations and solely with the purpose of being entertained, you’ll find it very funny. But if you search for meaning and look forward to watching something that leaves a mark in your mind, it would be a bad choice.

The best part of the movie for me would be the equation between Ranveer and Priyanka. The emotional dependency, the unbending support, the banters, the leg pulling; it is something very personal to most siblings. The bond between them was shown beautifully. What was innovative was the narration from a dog- Pluto. It was funny yet sensible.

The best of the cast has to be Shefali Shah- the mindless beauty, the emotional wife and a responsible “Face the reality” mother- she carried it off really well. Anushka and Farhan didn’t have much to do. But the one scene where Farhan has an argument with Rahul Bose over women empowerment was scripted well. Short, subtle but powerful. Priyanka and Ranveer did their part well- nothing extra ordinary. Anil Kapoor – sometimes you felt he is just going overboard but sometimes it is just him you focus on. The one scene where he fights Rahul Bose makes you feel really happy!

The entry of the entire cast was smooth- no melodrama, no stunts. It was something I liked. The climax , however, was made unnecessarily dramatic. But Javed Akhtar being the lyricist, you can’t expect to end a movie without beautiful lines. The end scene on the boat with just the family and the “Dil Dhadakne Do” lines was great.

Zoya had an apt context, a normal family dealing with it’s own issues while putting up a fake “All is well” smile, a lady feeling un-attracted to her husband for no apparent reason, a wife putting up with her husband’s disloyalty because she has nowhere to go, a son aspiring to be a pilot by weighed down by the business like expectations of the society. It is something that hasn’t been filmed before. But she missed the thin line between serious and not so serious story and it all went for a toss. All that you remember are the funny jokes and that’s about it.

Movie Review- Angels with Dirty Faces

This is one of the very few movies which has jostled me out of my reverie. This and 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days ( originally 4 luni, 3 săptămâni și 2 zile).

I watched Angels with Dirty faces soon after Casablanca, since this is also considered one of the major works of Curtiz in late 1930s.

angels-with-dirty-faces-3

I didn’t have the slightest idea what this movie is going to be. The movie starts with two kids, street robbers so to say and one of them gets caught while robbing a train. The plot then revolves around how their life changes, intersects again and finally ends with one surpassing the other. ( I’ll give myself credit for not including any spoilers here atleast!!)

I haven’t seen any other movie of James Cagney but this has to be one of the best! The arrogance, the innocence, the flirt, the plotter, the loyal friend, the humorous guide, the fun person- so many expressions shown by one man in a 1.5 hour movie is commendable. Rocky Sullivan ( Cagney) is a name etched in the minds of anyone who has watched this flick. The one basketball game was a treat to watch! It was probably the quickest and funniest scenes of the movie.

Pat O’Brien (Jerry Connolly) acted well but I don’t have any other movie of his to compare his performance with. Bogart and Ann Sheridan hardly have anything to do in the movie. They did their job as was expected of them. That’s all I can say!

Soapy and other kids did a fantastic job!

The scene were Father Jerry comes into a club to see the brats group and the good kids group gambling, it shows anger on  an otherwise calm and serene face. When he pushes aside another mocking man, that was a high moment for Pat O’Brien- something that wasn’t expected and that shocks us for a second. Everything that he does post that was expected.

The unexpected, as expected from Curtiz, comes in the climax. You know it is going to happen and yet we sit fingers crossed hoping for a miracle to happen.

Curtiz likes to play with shadows I believe. He does that in Casablanca, where Bogart is shown withdrawing money out of a safe and only his well defined shadow is seen. Similarly here, we see a well defined shadow of Cagney going behind the screen for execution.

Showing only his hands ensures an ambiguity. We wonder what the cause of his act is- if he changed his mind for his friend, a last parting gift for him, or was he really seeking mercy, or did he do it for the kids – we never know.

Still, when Connolly drops a tear, we don’t expect the last dialogue from him-” Let’s say a parting word for the boy who couldn’t run as fast as I could”. that’s where the dirty face shows. The man achieved the motive of showing Bad gets you bad to the kids. Yet, he goes a step ahead to prove he won the batter between good and evil. That’s probably the second high moment for Pat O’Brien.

As I mentioned before, the movie leaves you shaken. But you feel good for having watched it!

Movie Review- Casablanca

“Here’s looking at you kid.”. This line is gonna stay with me for a long time. And every time I hear it, I won’t skip imagining Bogart and Ingrid.

casablanca

Casablanca is a classic romantic drama from the 1940s by Michael Curtiz, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid and other supporting cast.

This is my first Curtiz/Bogart/Ingrid movie. The old classics have something different. Even though the scenes, plot and dialogues are cliché, you always fall in love with the characters. And more importantly, you somehow feel accomplished for having watched the movie.

The screen presence of Bogart and Ingrid was magnificent, be it stand alone or together. The tough rugged looks of Bogart complemented by the heart melting smile and glowing eyes of Ingrid Bergman.

Rick Blaine( Bogart) owns a nightclub and a gambling place to which all sorts of people come. Agents, expats, refugees looking to go to Lisbon, police, high end customers. Rick is accompanied by the pianist Sam who has been with him since the days of Paris. Rick is an American expat and has been fleeing the Gestapo for various ambiguous reasons- left open for the judgement of viewers.

Victor Lazslo(Paul Henreid)  is a Czech Resistance leader who is on the run, trying to reach the neutral US along with his wife and former lover of Rick, Ilsa Lund ( Ingrid bergman).

The best scenes of the movie for me were those shared by Richard and Ilsa.  The one scene where Ilsa looks at Sam and says. “Play it Sam, for old times’ sake, Play As time goes by” and then Sam plays the Oh so wonderful tune- is one scene stays stays in my mind even now.

As time goes by is such a beautiful tune- the music was used throughout the movie in background and you just never get tired of it. I kept playing it in my head even after the movie got over!

Bogart in Casablanca, famous for his ” Of all the Gin Joints in all of towns in all of world, she had to walk into mine!” was phenomenal. It makes an impact as soon as he says it. Ilsa is shown to be the reason for Rick’s indifference and bitterness shown in the initial scenes of the movie. And running into the reason was overwhelming and disturbing at the same time for him.  The point were Ilsa returns to the club at night and Rick frowns ” Does your Story have a WOW ending?”, you end up laughing and quickly realising the feelings of a hurt man. It is contradicting but that’s the beauty of it. A similar contrast is noticed when Rick says ” Oh It’s Richard, so we’re back in Paris” or  ” I won’t bring up Paris; It’s poor salesmanship”  to Ilsa when she tries to convince him to help her and Victor get to Lisbon.

His personal struggle to retain Ilsa this time, Ilsa’s love for Victor and affection for Rick; her pretension of love towards Rick even now is subtle yet very clear. It isn’t just the expressions that give this away. The ” I’m not fighting for anything any more, except myself. I’m the only cause I’m interested in.” or ”  I don’t know what’s right any longer. You have to think for both of us, for all of us.” have the undertone written all over it.

The point where Ilsa confronts saying Rick, you’re selfish, a coward and immediately checks her emotion , holding back her tears saying  So sorry Rick, you’re our only hope; was filmed so beautifully. Your heart reaches out to the brilliant actor instantaneously.

The climax was as expected- won’t disclose it here any ways! But the one line “Problems of three people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world” followed by the legendary Here’s looking at you Kid was the best way to end it.

Apologies for giving out whole dialogues in this review, but these are just a few which according to me were some of the best written lines in the movie. Couldn’t help but share it!!

Uttama Villain

I have seen very few Kamal Hassan Movies- mainly because I’ve recently started watching Tamil movies.

With Uttama Villain, Kamal Hassan has made a special place in my heart. And Now I have to watch all the cult movies by Kamal! I understand that the movie was disappointing for many, mainly for those who have a set benchmark which they associate with Kamal Hassan. I was lucky to not have that and hence my judgement won’t be biased.

uttama

Starting with the story- The introduction of a big star, the unexpected news, going back to your mentor and filming one last masterpiece was a very convincing script. the way it was completed was marvellous. The switch between 8th century and 21st century, a serious yet jovial Manoranjan to a foolish , naughty but smart Uttama was a treat to watch.

Performances by everyone was good. Kamal was fantastic. Pooja, Nasser and other supporting cast did a good job too. This was the first movie I have seen of Andrea. her subtle expressions and the silent love in her eyes in every scene felt beautiful. Even with a doctor’s mask on, where we could see just her eyes, the pain in her heart, even though it was act, was very very believable. A special applaud for her! And she looked fab!

Now the high points in the movie- expression of Manoranjan/Uttama was priceless. The one scene where he comes to know he has a daughter and Yamini is no more, he gives a look, tear in his eyes, a vein popping on his forehead and frown on his face, an expression that gives away the choke in his voice. It was really touching. Similarly, when his wife Varalakshmi is in Hospital and he deals with her questions on him and Yamini, with Arpana standing right there was beautiful. The way he responds in a way to not hurt anyone present there. It showed how deeply he loved Arpana, how fond he is of the memory of Yamini and how affectionate he is towards the lady he never loved but has spent most of his life with. One more was when Chokku tells him he never delivered the letters to either him Or Yamini. The anger was evident yet he was helpless and he didn’t want to part with anyone on a bad note be it Chokku or his driver, So gives a forgiving nod. It was all pictured really well. And KH learnt and brought alive the long lost Theyyam – something unique that Kamal did.

Dialogue delivery was out of the world. Since I am not very fluent with Tamil, I had difficulty understanding the 8th Century dialogues and most of my understanding was either with expression or visuals- which served the purpose at most times. When Kamal is floating on a wooden plank and he says, water everywhere not a drop to drink, he is immediately turned by waves and he gives a grin to say “Porum Porum”, I was laughing out loud! That for me was the funniest scene. Now there were other lines from that time when others in the theatre were laughing, but apologies! I didn’t understand what was being said.

Towards the end, when Manoranjan has an attack and he sees his own shadow in a curtain and believes it is death, that shot was brilliant.

The climax was good too. As Manoranjan wants, people laugh while watching the movie while he silently passes away with Arpana looking in through the window- No drama, No cliche lines or loud cries; brewed perfectly.

The background score was good too esp the Uttama Villain theme. The one they play while after a shoot, Manoranjan watches a fish struggling to live, just like him!

It was only after the movie ended, that I came to know that the story is more about the real life of KH. The Margadarsi being K Balachander himself, who as opposed to the movie ,dies himself instead of KH , the love of his life, the forced marriage, the cancer. All great minds write or make a movie that is based on their own life. And only the genuine ones strike a chord with the audience. Uttama Villain surely did for me!

Being new to Tamil Cinema, I thought my review would be very small. Astonishingly, I could write as much as I generally do for any other movie!! Kamal Hassan effect!!

Fandry

This is the second Marathi movie that I’ve seen and is my directorial debut by Nagraj Manjule. I came across this movie while I was searching for Deool and since this was received quite good reviews, I thought I would give it a try.

If Deool was about showing a serious issue with humor, Fandry portrays a social stigma on a very serious note. It does have a humor quotient but you seldom laugh. You’ll either smile at the innocence of the character or sit upright as if something has just pricked you hard!

fandry

The movie stars new characters- new to me atleast. And they do their job brilliantly. Jabhya ( Somnath Awghade), the young boy struggling to live a normal life beyond the discriminations that pull him down every time. His friend Priya( Suraj Pawar), Kachru(Kishor Kadam) and eveyone else has done their job really well.

Fandry ( means a Pig in Marathi) is about the very popular caste system in India, quite prevalent even today in many villages. One good thing about the movie is that it is never set in a serious tone. The story is coupled with a love story and every scene of hard work, toiling, embarrassment is shown in connection with it.

We get a glimpse of what this movie is going to be in the initial scenes when a mother calls out to her son saying ” The untouchable’s son is here”.

Working class parents or how we here call them, 2 Shudras , earning a pittance yet educating their son and arranging a hefty dowry for their daughter’s marriage, getting them new but cheap clothes from village fair,  showed how everyone in our society strives for a quality life at least for their coming generations.

Kishore Kadam ( Kachru- is the name symbolic??), we pity him at multiple occasions. he complains of Knee trouble but everyone expect him to run after and catch pigs which are a menace to them. And he does it everytime for money! Can you imagine someone expecting a man to kill Pigs a day before his daughter’s marriage? And when he responds that he alone can’t do it, he is suggested to take along his entire family! The man, his wife, his son and two daughters including the one having Fresh henna on her hands. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous- but that is how our society is! I wonder if that is how even I am?? I generally am not a fan of movies that try to arouse Pity, but Fandry was different. It showed reality. Pity was just our guilty conscience!

I would have preferred if the movie was named after the black sparrow symbolizing hope, rather than naming it after a reality. But guess Nagraj didn’t have that intention. It was to show us the stark truth.

There were multiple scenes that come across as shocking reality especially towards the end. the whole catching of swine while the school and other crowd watches- you can feel a tension throughout. The uploading of pic on FB making fun of Jabhya’s family, the respectfully standing for national anthem while they could have instead caught the pig, how everyone enjoys the whole scene as if it were a Polo sport,  was a slap on the face of the state of affairs we are currently in. The part where Jabhya was almost about to hit the black sparrow when his father comes chasing a pig- ironically, true!  That is how their dreams come crashing down with what we make them go through.

The climax was a highlight. After what they show, one would expect the family to accept their family. However, Jabhya fights back and the ending scene with the stone being thrown right at the camera, or right at us if I put it that way, was a brilliant move by Nagraj Manjule.  All said, the music and background was very soothing. It is always difficult to make a movie on a social issue staying in the limits of entertainment and without crossing the line into boredom.

Fandy was a concept well executed!

Now the one Marathi flick left to watch and review is Court. Will share it soon.

Bombay Velvet

I’m not sure if I should start writing this review now. My own thoughts about this movie aren’t very coherent. I’ll still attempt. Will probably come back and edit as and when my mind wakes up probably.

bombay-velvetYT

I won’t go to an extent to call it one of the masterpieces by Kashyap, given brilliant movies like Wasseypur or Gulal. But it wasn’t a bad attempt. The movie had its own pluses and minuses and minus pulled down the audience expectation so much that it faltered at Box Office.

Positives-

1. Brilliant background score- classy jazz . Top notch drums esp when in the climax, Ranbir enters Bombay Velvet and executes a fight sequence with 2 guns. Gives you goosebumps!

2. Quality performances- Every actor did his part wonderfully. Anushka with her “dhadam dhadam” song, her ravishing gowns and awesome expressions takes your heart away. Ranbir as a bad ass street fighter with a fire in his belly to become a “Big Shot” and a staunch lover of Rosy aka Anushka was marvellous as always. Everyone else, ( except maybe Karan Johar) acts perfectly well.

3. Stunning Visuals- Needless to say, anyone who has seen the movie would agree with me here! The cinematographer has done a good job. The movie is worth a watch in theatres probably for the visual and music alone!

4. Strong content though executed poorly- A young boy with a bad childhood strives to become a big man. A girl with a beautiful voice runs away from a Portuguese to Bombay for better prospects. A socialist media person, a corrupt minister and a communist. A digestible plot.

5. A classy name- I have always considered name of the movie to be a crucial factor in luring your viewers. Bombay velvet sure adds a zing to the movie!

Negatives-

1. The initial character sketch helps the audience connect with the actors. The journey of growing up in bad circumstances for both Balraj and Rosy was missing. You just see a series of disconnected scenes following one after another and finally to a scene where the actual movie for us begins- The scene from “The Big Shot”.

2. Dialogues not having the Kashyap Punches or humour – While I liked certain lines like when Ranbir says Itne pyaar se maa ne apun ko double roti nahi di, ye paisa de raha- it makes you laugh indeed. But the ease of humour wasn’t up to the mark. Lines were being delivered, supposed to make it sound funny, especially the ones from Karan Johar, but the audience was quite mum!

3. Predictable unnecessary part of the plot- There were portions of the movie which were totally uncalled for. The double role of Rosy, probably any sane policeman can make that out easily given the 2 sisters weren’t twins even as per a picture!

I wouldn’t dismiss this movie as Not even worth watching, however, you can probably wait till the television screens it.