Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

While a lot of people watch movies to experience may be what is absent or what cannot be and enjoy the thrill of it,
there are few movies which end up as chilling reminders of what was.I wouldn’t write much on Udaan really , but that when I saw the movie end , I just thought if I was a guy I’d probably have ended up being that guy in some way.
Its not a entertainment type of movie , but it does not bore at all for most part.

I know we as a society love to relegate people on high altars based on just some social roles.People have kids because its the norm and kids are supposed to be indebted for being brought into this callous world.
Its a chilling story of the middle class we grew up in where its a insult to stare back into face – you have to lower your eyes.Throughout the movie the “aankhen neechi karo ” almost brought back ghosts.
Hell even the location Jamshedpur was almost recognizable having lived in steel cities of those days.

I loved the part where the guy says back to his father ” Its an awesome method – First you scar a child for life (and that always need not mean physical beating scars) and then say sorry”
People underestimate these scars of childhood so much ,I have seen and not all have the same spirit.
I just wondered , had the guy not been in boarding at all would he ever have gotten that spirit – knowing only being a crushed spirit.

Also the movie does try to give us some insight into the opposite side – its about a character who is wrong but – its the same thing – scars of their own memories( somethin which preachy movies like Taare Zameen pe and 3 idiots simply dont. As I wrote in TZP a movie where it simply does not give one scene of empathy for the father)

Many people have past scars – some try to repeat them by scarring others to feel it was right ,
some try to ensure that it never repeats and therein lies the difference forward.


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2011 is here but well I’m not quite inclined to write on heavy stuff
still which in a way is good as it might mean heavy cribbing of sad things.

So well let me make some quick jottings on some movies I saw last few months.
As I maintain my posts are not reviews as I watch most of them so very late
and i write only about what I felt based on my state of mind.

First the good one –

The first movie in saw in 2011 Band Baaja Baraat was sweet. I mean really sweet .
Its been like long after Jab We Met that I liked a romantic Hindi movie as much.There were few good movies like Love Aaj Kal but most lacked the emotionality somehow . always the same thought – concepts nice but something more could be done.
I sort of liked this movie though – almost made eyes blurry at few moments which once upon a time was nothing but these days is real feat.

And then if you dont like it go watch Break Ke Baad . Irrespective of taste preference I am sure 90% will
then like Band Baaja Baraat.Seriously Break Ke Baad is a lesson in how movies can be made boring. There’s nothing you seriously dislike out there but it drags on .

Its become this typecasting of Deepika Padukone – the one who keeps breaking off. There’s that Sonam Kapoors’s Aisha, I hate Love Stories and all of them confuse me as one movie differentiating from other . The same hip hop looks careers and story packaged as romance.
It is here that Band Baaja Baraat is refreshing. All romances are the same – its that mush which needs to be varied
and humor without cheap jokes is always a plus with me.

Next disappointment was The Deathly Hallows – Part 1 – in harry Potter series ,though it was lessesned by the fact that after the Half Blood Prince I have toned down the expectations with the director anyway . He makes them like art movies . They are fine may be technically and so on but something stays amiss .
The thrill is gone and also I am quite sure people who have not read the book cannot figure out half the stuff. The detailing is bad.
Now may be this is good to encourage book being read but still the book seemed more thrilling more heart rending and touching.
But thats just me . I’d probably say that of most books but the revelations about Dumbledore in the book were a big thing
and affected you much , here its not quite the same.

The amazing part I want to note is again perceptions. I read a post by someone that what they liked about the movie was the
lovely scene betweek Harry and Hermione which was not in the book but added in the movie and its so caring and
touchingly beautiful of a lovely friendship which is quite what I felt.

So when I go to you tube to check it out I get led somehow to some other reveiw wherein the complain was exactly the opposite .
They felt that that dance should not have been added as it gave wrong impressions about their friendship which was absent in the book. Hmmmm its all in the mind.

Similar stuff I felt when I read


about women offended by Social Network. The directors response is good.
Issue with getting offended with some things is applying one potrayal of someone from a group as a benchmark for all .
Its hard to resist stereotyping .

I had on my laptop a movie which I had been postponing since long. Perfume – The Story of a Murderer.
The movie is based on a man having very strong olfactory sense and hence can know the smell of everything to very small detail.
Then he smells a woman and gets obsessed over capturing it and hence kills 7 of them to make a perfume that subjugates the world to him.But then he realises his nothingness despite them and sort of gives it all up by getting himself killed in the same fish market where he was born.The ending seemed stupid but overall the story was very well developed.
Its a different movie sure but may leave people quite uneasy . The opening market scene of the fish market and all
– the worms, the gore of it was way too much for my sensibilities which is why while watching action is all fine –
I sort of stay off movies like Saw etc. Blood and gore are just not my cup of Tea.

Finally about Guzaarish . Now thing with this movie for me was not the movie but the way many people asked me
Did you like it ?
Unlike other movies which is either trashed or said as good for once or great – there was this apprehensive questioning esp
because it seems quite a few liked it. I too found it Ok but there are two things to consider here.
I watched it comfortably at home and I had very low expectation – hoping for something like Black or Kites and all such tragic saga.
But the movied moved on quite better. No awesomeness, slow movie – sort of arty kind but did not bore me somehow.
Half the people though are surprised and wondering how come the other half (of the usual normal set )managed to like it.

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Watched Social network and quite liked it essentially because of the elements Scott Adams put up in his review here .

“I appreciate the movie for what it did not do. It did not rely on special effects in a way that was obvious to the viewer. It wasn’t in 3D. There was no violence. There was no car chase scene. If you make a list of all the elements that can make a movie predictable and lame, this movie had none. That’s at least partly because the story is inspired by reality.”

For me that was real point . Something lacking all the common stuff for which people flock to a movie . I was kind of bugged up the Avatars and Inceptions dealing with what we don’t understand or see – and refusing to face up to what faces us – our own human social awkwardness and insecurities in the existing realm.

Though more than the movie I essentially thought a lot about the real facebook in general.
The ending scene seriously is the real poignant picture. Humanity invariably is like that after all the Darwin , Freud and Einstein and
relegion stuff when people are obsessed well they are obsessed. Money is a great substitute – a great painkiller it just wont heal the wounds .

The movie does reflect greatly on how someone hugely socially awkward built the worlds biggest social networking.
It actually makes you feel like he thinks even more worse of the general populace who fall for it and is kind of smirking.
and if you read about these old IM’s of Zuckerberg well he surely was !!.

Secondly as much as we want to believe the world’s most successful people are wonderful humans – fact is they necessarily dont have to be the nicest and good people.
Its not just Zuckerberg – as much as we love Apple products and find steve jobs inspiring – fact is the guy’s damn arrogant.
But yeah he’s got enough reasons to be 🙂 and its hard to envision many in that position who wouldnt be.

Getting back to social networking – I was just musing how there could be two kinds of populace
– one who are truer on facebook than in reality i.e they express themseleves and their thoughts easier there
and other who build up exactly the facade they want to be but never will be.

The most miniscule percentage would be the people who are exactly the same on and out of Facebook
(as a matter of fact anything online – I certainly consider myself in the first set in a general way as I blog anonymously).
But yeah facebook differs or hoped to differ from other online stuff in the sense that its about people you know even if not friends.
Though seriously its not even that.I read about this facebook scam and was like hmm .

The movie reminded me of so many things in general.
I have a friend who just wont join facebook and deleted her orkut account too.
She’s had a rough time in life and she says she gets upset by the constant advertising by people of their family and kids and that
happiness facade or truth or whatever.Thats one side – and I think its just a personal reaction but happens with a reason.

Then I see some comments .
I have two friends – both have very cute kids.and I left comments on their cute kids.

What amused me though was this – these two remotely know each other – and yet –
one friend then left a comment about how wonderful and cute and smart the kid was looking
the other then reciprocates – ur princess too is very sweet.

This is exactly the loving diplomacy , backslapping and false affection reminds of that song
“tum hume good kaho – hum tumhe very good kahenge”

It is not that the kids are not cute its just the fakeness – (though to be honest even if they werent they – children are supposed to be said to be cute.Any other word and you are heartless.)
Neverthless we are now in the facebook generation and I wont be cruel and say all of it is fake as Ive seen a lot of people being
really in touch with a whole bunch – the people you would lose touch with but for facebook.
Its the same old 80-20 pareto rule I guess.
80% of the time we care about a maximum of 20% of the facebook contacts/features .

P.S:My last thought on this was if I do live through for a decade or so more – I will be reading the autobiographies of all these people about whom right no so called inspired biographies are made – and what new twists they will throw up.

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Quite Robotic !!

To state it simply it was a hugely underwhelming experience.
The hype , the praise surrounding Robot – I was prepared to be slightly dissapointed but really to be bored in a Rajni movie
– not expected and yet for most part I was bored.

It just meanders on , it tries to touch on high brow issues here and there no doubt about science and humans
and social effects but really just a scratch on surface.
For most part it just streches on. One movie whose success is beyond me.
As for Aishwarya she is so perfect for Robot.Such a beautiful Robotess??
In that song where in a scene multiple clones of Aishwarya came on screen I just thought what the heck is the movie all about.
If chitti likes Sana then the scientist shouldve made another Robot for Chitti just like Sana and let the matter rest.
Or the Robot who cloned himself all over shouldve made one like Sana who really likes him and program non cheating (but bugs will exist in code as always!!)

I do not dislike it – Its just boring. In fact of all mass heroes Rajnikanth is the most entertaining with whatever his patented stylishness is and yet this so boring a movie.
Crazy fans I understand – but even for them there is not a single rajni punch line or anything for mass hysteria seriously.

Oh Yeah technical brilliance appreciation is deserved – yeah for folks who never watched beyond Indian movies yes brilliant
– but anyone who saw other stuff wont find this mind blowing.
Yes this cost less was done at on etenth the price of Hollywood – so the director and technicians did a feat ,
admirable take nothing away from them – but the movie was enjoyable – how ??

The technical appreciation for an admirable work by an Indian while completely deserved , me being cruel thinking
reminded me of lalit Bhanot’s amazing comment during CWG. “Our standards are different than yours”

The movie lacked heart or emotional touch somehow for me – and since I am not a great technical effects fan I guess thats the core issue.Even in movies like Matrix I loved the subtext the emotional conflicts and the whole discussion etc rather than the high quality stunts and whatever.

But technical eye feast if thats to be talked of not in strict technical terms – of the few movies I’ve seen I just
have to say “Lord of the Rings” – I just love the whole setting and the extravagant setup.
There’s a joy in every character human or robotic .
I was terrified and disliked the Gollum creature hugely – but saw a forum where a lady found him cute – Hmmm.

P.S: Since the post was about a underwhelming experience I will just post a unrelated link from CWG which was a overwhelming experience.I am no athletics fan nor ever watch it but was led to it by a link and was wowed by it.Girls with no support whasoever and such odds and the video seems just like a thriller in a movie.

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Recently I watched two movies and diverse as they are they are and little that I have to say – its best to club them in one post.

First is the film thats been well ooh ahed’ internationally as a great movie Inception.
It is a exceptionally well made film but really I have a feeling it kind of made itself exceptional by being deliberately complex.

I wouldnt pretend to be ultra smart and say I got the movie as it unfolded. I didnt –
I went back and forth and checked out the stuff on net to get the complete hang of it.

The point is the premise of the movie is hardly complex – at least not to us the eastern exotic people
– who kind of have a philosophy for all paranormal stuff in some way.
I mean dont we have stories of people travelling in dreams – being granted wishes and what not.We just take them for granted.

What I am trying to say is strip the movie of its great special effects etc and the complex structural screenplay it has
– whats left is a very empty thing – a very plain discussion/article about dreams – it does not even have a clear story as per se.

And yet with such a subject the director made a movie of over 2 hrs and compelled us to watch it which is where the movie scores surely.Its a great discussion which has been filmed – its like someone puts their random thoughts in some structure and films them.

Though not comparable in any realm or any relation at all- sometime back watched Duplicity
– a story of plain corporate espionage common fare –
and was reminded of it just like that.

What I just wonder about is leave Indians – as in them a very small set will watch it in percentage terms and review it hugely like I am doing -but in the US if the special effects and action stuff was out
– how many average Americans would’ve enjoyed watching it ?
Yeah its almost a cult on the internet but …we do have a world beyond the net still.
Actually how may would have understood it for what the movie was all about.

If its a philosophical discussion for the elite audience – a book will be far more satisfying but when its a cinematic extravaganza I feel it helps if it was not so deliberately confusing .

But all this is not to say it wasnt enjoyable. It most certainly was
but no I was not hugely overwhelmed – just admired the director hugely for being so adventurous.

But if philosophical discussions in movies are what one enjoys ‘Waking life’ is one movie one must see.
You can just think and ponder and all that with animated characters which definitely reduce the prejudices we have when we see real people on screen.

So after subjecting my mind to such high stress of understanding Inception – it deserved the break called Dabangg.

The one thing these days is filmmakers now are clear about which end of the spectrum of populace the movie is targetted for
and any overlap helps in collections.
Not a fan of Salman , but after a long long time liked him in a movie.
He does not overact just for the sake of it – does it when it helps.
Movie can be summed up in one word – relax and enjoy and forget.
It could have been made much crass , but I liked the restraint shown in that sense mainly ,
that and the compactness of it,i.e nothing is streched – neither the love , nor the hatred .
Again as a story its a shell bollywood foundations are built on – absolutely nothing to add
frankly its the kind rajnikanth does down south almost very 2 years and yet Salman sort of rises up to it.
You just can’t imagine the charming Sharukh or high brow Mr perfection Aamir there.
Even the music is nothing awesome – yeah it is fine and is a hit but by end of 2011 it will be hardly memorable.
And yet the realm of the spectrum this movie captures is much higher – for what purpose you could say
– well nothing – just entertainment business .

P.S: twitter is source of much fun as usual – I have many teammates complaining of slow VM’s at my workplace and then I saw this tweet twitter.com/myzt/status/21301896997
The main idea of “Inception”: if you run a VM inside a VM inside a VM inside a VM, everything will be very slow

What would this world be if people did not have such wonderful sense of humorous simplications . We’d all be stuck in some limbo.

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Peepli Live: quick note

Watched Peepli Live.
One of the best rural portrayals – in the sense of not going overboard really.
I know I keep repeating it in pretty much every review but it gets to me the
way our villages are portrayed, either as too sad – usually art movie types, or too innocent.
The language too was kept rustic without getting too dirty.
I loved the potrayal of the old mother and the daughter in law. Trust me Ive seen almost similar interactions
which is exactly why the loving village folk scare me as much.

Only thing I would say on Peepli Live is had this not been promoted by Aamir how many of us
really would have watched it , however good it might have been.

As far as the media portrayal I it was quite decent, the real ones we get on TV are actually worse.
While we a small section ,use all this for fun, I tremendously enjoy the enormous jokes on our news anchors on twitterstream
What worries me hugely is that we have a huge set of people who believe TV and are vehement about – whatever is shown on TV.
For e.g There was a time when the old wisdom was really kind old wisdom – right or wrong it was information passed down generations.
Now what we hear on TV is wisdom .I realised this with my mother being so dependent on it for her (tips)nuskas on health etc these days that she’s almost forgotten her original know how I somehow felt.

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Watching Before Sunrise/Sunset

Watched two really splendid movies over the weekend.
Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are two wonderful movies each having a different context though about the same people. One’s about the youthful optimism and one’s about realism.
I have a hard time understanding the fine technicalities of movie making but anyday few things capture me. Good Screenplay and dialogues, expressive but subtle emotions and overall beautiful cinematography like Santosh Sivan does.
before sunrise
These two movies the conversation is all you get and want. The setting may be Vienna/ Paris but what you do is strain to hear every line and considering they talk literally throughout the movie its awesome.

Before Sunrise when I saw in the afternoon I liked it as a sweet movie , the kind on which our DDLJ stuff could have been based and kind of like a memory of youthful times when you wanted to believe in love and all that .

It makes quite a logical question on the soulmates issue which I loved – It goes something like this
“OK, well this was my thought: 50,000 years ago, there are not even a million people on the planet. 10,000 years ago, there’s, like, two million people on the planet. Now there’s between five and six billion people on the planet, right? Now, if we all have our own, like, individual, unique soul, right, where do they all come from? You know, are modern souls only a fraction of the original souls? ‘Cause if they are, that represents a 5,000 to 1 split of each soul in the last 50,000 years, which is, like, a blip in the Earth’s time. You know, so at best we’re like these tiny fractions of people, you know, walking… I mean, is that why we’re so scattered? You know, is that why we’re all so specialized?”
But overall it was relatively much feel good.

Before Sunset

Before Sunset is different – its much heavier though a bit shorter(Actually together both movies are less than 3 hrs).
As the director said somewhere it is romance for the realists and I absolutely adored it.

The discussions are more about the world and how its affecting them rather than memories and dreams.

It is when you watch Before Sunset that you love the original movie a little more like you love memories a little more.

The discussion goes on and on in Before Sunset with no obvious conclusion but as is said in the movie – its about evolving through

“Maybe what I’m saying is, is the world might be evolving the way a person evolves. Right? Like, I mean, me for example. Am I getting worse? Am I improving? I don’t know. When I was younger, I was healthier, but I was, uh, whacked with insecurity, you know? Now I’m older and my problems are deeper, but I’m more equipped to handle them”
Overall its been quite some time since I like something as much. They are a great watch.

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