Sunday, July 28, 2013

BEFORE MIDNIGHT (2013) - ENGLISH


I sincerely believe, an honest conversation between a man and a woman is the purest form of romance. 

This one is a sequel to the beautiful movies, "BEFORE SUNRISE" and "BEFORE SUNSET". 
Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) have grown to their early 40's and they go through the relationship and phase. Celine has twins from the relationship with Jesse. It's Greece and a whole new level of conversation takes up. If "SUNRISE" in 1995 made Jesse and Celine meet. "SUNSET" in 2004 got them closer by another chance meeting. "MIDNIGHT" in 2013 depicts them as they were together since "SUNSET".

It's a pastiche of romance, their love making, arguments and even silences . There are many conundrums in the talk and they surprised me as ever like the earlier two movies. If in SUNRISE, love blossoms, then in SUNSET it settled down, now in MIDNIGHT it darkens. It's better to talk to crib to argue than to be silent and that's exactly how it is depicted. This is more personal though than the earlier films, but as a "BEFORE" franchise fan, I loved their connect and the basis and reasoning of their argument seemed good, though at times kiddish but that's how adults behave. Arguing for petty things. serious for the unimportant and jovial for what they have got already. 

The cinematography stands great, the art, the costumes, everything is perfect, But it's not for these aspects, I watch this film, it's only for the conversation that the couple have. Kudos, once again to Richard Link later, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy for having written such lines. For things the talk fluid and simple and connecting. For most in their prime 30's or early 40's this may seem like their daily talk and for those who have not got into a relationship, this is a taste of how things may turn out. But all is fair in Love and that's exactly how this film ends. Richard Linkalter is one of the most underrated directors I believe.

Ok, now a word before I complete my review, I am appalled by our Indian Film Distributors, they put a date of July 26th for release, then postpone this to August 23rd, while the movie was released long back in March in USA and other parts of Europe. So instead of waiting for a theatrical release, I just downloaded and saw it. I badly wanted to catch this in theatres, but am happy coz I caught it and am so delighted.

It's another 5/5 to one of the most beautiful romantic movies ever. Together, this trilogy stands above all others in the Romantic Movies genre and will always be close to my heart. 

My reviews of BEFORE SUNRISE and BEFORE SUNSET here.

http://braddugg.blogspot.in/2012/07/before-sunrise-1995-english.html

http://braddugg.blogspot.in/2012/07/before-sunset-2004-english.html 



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

AN ODE TO THE SHIP OF THESEUS

Delved into allusions
Derived that life is a mere illusion
There are doors leading to the tranquil paths
Setting us free from the worlds wraths
Yet, peace may be another cage
That might bring upon another rage
So now is the time to seek
To walk before the knees become weak
As I passed out from a door
I paused and stood, for I understood
That I have transformed from bacteria to a human
Now I shall decay into ashes or dirt
So before such metamorphosis,
Why don't I lay emphasis to just end up human
And even then, a query remains
Before I pass out, all it was "Ship of Theseus"
But once I perish "Is it still the same ship?"

SHIP OF THESEUS (2013) - HINGLISH


This film demands our attention and rewards us uncompromisingly. Those, who are unwilling to heed to the film please be away, coz it will be a big bore. And those who crave for good intellectual film, please please please see this.

What is the purpose of life? Is it to love? Get married and have kids? Have a job or business and with the money we get, feed our kids and facilitate them to grow before we perish from the world? Or is there a better purpose? Those living merely for love, family and kids can be considered as "average beings" and I am still one among those, but to be a "better being" I suppose there has to better purpose. The purpose is debatable and personal too for each. This film shows people who have a higher purpose.

There are few films that make us ask questions, that trigger our thoughts. This is one such film. How many times, before doing our daily prayer, daily ritual, be it Namaaz or lighting a lamp or a candle, have we asked, is this the one that we must do? What if I do not do it, what if the one who is meant to be there above, does not exist? And if he does not exist, then the rituals are made by men and are thrown to us to follow, so should we follow men? Did we ever ask such questions? Are we supposed to ask? Are we supposed to ask what is life after death? Is death such a tragedy or can we embrace it equally as we embrace life?

Too many questions were triggered in this film, be it of belief, the way of life or even on the thoughts of existence. And I am glad that it rewarded me immensely not by answering but making me ask questions. It jolted me well enough that it just goes on in my mind as I write this. 

This is not a film, where you just seek entertainment, this is a philosophical film and the best part is never this film is preachy. I love the conflict within the characters, their questions can be derived into acts and these acts determine their characters. 

Of all, Neeraj Kabi stood out and I am not revealing names or anything of other actors, because whoever they are, I love them in this film. Technically, cinematography is just top class and I am astonished that such a rich film was made in a meagre budget of 2.5 crores.  I am also astonished by Anand Gandhi, the man who wrote serials like "Kyu Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi" and "Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki" can write such a piece of art and execute it so well. 

I do not think this is a review of any sort and I rather refrain from reviewing it. I just put my thoughts, my questions, to seek is the only thing one can do. I am spellbound and this is by far one of the most thought provoking films I have seen. Thanks to everyone. 

I wish, I did not rate this, coz as u mature, ratings disappear. Nevertheless, a 5/5 and still it would mean so less to a film that has given me so much more. 

Note that the film is in both Hindi and English in parts, thus Hinglish.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

MALLELA THEERAM LO SIRIMALLE PUVVU (2013) - TELUGU


An appealing theme but appalling execution. For those craving for good telugu cinema, this is not good cinema just clean cinema. 

There are no item songs no fights which is good. But does it have content enough to be made? I really doubted that. For almost all of the time, I was mostly commenting at each and every dialogue.

The dialogues are cliched infact its tough to hear such dialogues which are so fabricated. I just could not understand why each dialogue was so elaborate. The only few good dialogues came from the father character played by Rao Ramesh.

Sorry, I did not discuss the theme yet. A girl marries a boy. The boy marries her only coz there horoscopes match and does not show any concern. The girl finds another man and falls in love with him. The girl stays with her love and leaves the husband. This theme is a bold one for telugu coz in our hypocritical society we are always told to be contented as it gives peace than seeking true happiness. This film dares in thought to seek happiness. But the sad part is the goodness is only in thought its neither in writing nor in depiction. 

The cinematography too is just Ok and shows us characters faces and not their emotions. The performances are way below par Sri Divya just was there and uttered her lines. Kranti seemed to be more feminine as he indulged in taking care of nails by rubbing them often and even his walk and sitting posture seemed  awkard to me. George as the insensitive lacked the arrogance and just tried to act and failed many a time. Rao Ramesh showed experience as father and was saving grace in otherwise lackluster cast.
I feel upset for both the director and editor for making the scenes too lengthy. Also, sad that they did not cut them too and for killing my time.

I am sorry but we as telugu audience do not understand the true purpose of cinema. It's an art form thats looked only as business by us and that's why even clean cinema is rare. When one like this comes along it gets acclaim but not audience coz critics like clean cinema which is a rarity in telugu but audience likes entertainment and not art or purpose.

I am going with 1/5 for this. A good thought turns bad when not done well. This is an example for that. 


Monday, July 15, 2013

BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG (2013) - HINDI


To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist that is all - Oscar Wilde

Milkha Singh lives and he truly lived against all the odds. Salute. Please, go watch this film and then judge it.

I always believe that sportsmen and artists are the ones, who truly live. They have a purpose to do something. All others, merely exist. Now existence means, since we are born, and have to do something we just exist till death and then die someday and nobody except the family and friends remember us. While sportsmen and artists, live even after death and that's the kind of life, we must aspire for. 

Now, this film raised some very pertinent questions, do we Indians, love sport? When was the last film based on a true sportsperson and how many are made? Do we know sportsmen apart from the cricketers, who take part in Olympics? How many who are reading this, know Milkha Singh?

India is in a sorry state in Sports and except few folks, no one is passionate or serious about sports in our country. A country of 120 Crores does not have 120 medals from last 120 years. Such is the state of the nation in sport, just very sad. 

OK, now coming to the movie. I just loved it, and it was flawless for me. Yes, there are evident flaws, but all were surpassed by supreme performance of one man, Farhan Akhtar and his commitment to the role shall win him sublime acclaim. Though all other performances were good. Divya Dutta excelled as Milkha's sister and brought tears to my eyes. 

The cinematography was superb, the color toning used, the way the races were shot, wow it was just exemplary for me. The songs, so apt to situations, I would have still been happy with couple of songs less, but it's okay. The editing would have been better considering this movie is 3 hours but never did I feel all along that this was so very long. In fact I cherished every moment of it. I cherished it because of the honesty of purpose, it's one of the most purposeful true story that has come out in a long time in our country. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Prasoon Joshi have done an exemplary job in executing a story that's nothing short of an epic. 

That take away is this this "Hard Work, Will Power and Dedication, for a man with these qualities, sky is the limit' 

It's a 5/5 for this, nothing less. I just loved it. 

Mr Farhan Akhtar, I loved you as director, then as an actor, then as a singer and then as a TV host too. Now, I love you as Milkha. You are a prime example of a man who knows his strengths and his limitations. But when stop doing the stupid ads of Intex and Tata Motors, you will be fine. You are the man who gave us "Lakshya" and Dil Chahta Hai" just don't desecrate by becoming less.  I still see you as a sanctified being.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

TRANCE (2013) - ENGLISH


Thanks  to torrents and as soon as the Blu-ray was announced, I got a torrent and when I saw this, I was so very happy. Not because the film was great, but because I wanted to watch this ever since I saw the trailer and I felt like I accomplished a task. 

The reason for intrigue is Danny Boyle, who gave me some wonderful movies like "127 Hours" and "Trainspotting". Nah, I did not like "Slumdog Millionaire" much. Apart from Danny Boyle, the trailer in itself is so surreal and pacy that anyone who would have watched it and seen an earlier Danny Boyle would just dive into the theatres, the day it released. Sadly, I am in India and this did not release here, and thus the wait and thus the happiness. 

Now, is it worth the wait? Partially just yes, coz I liked many parts of it. Partially no, coz the screenplay was familiar. If you have deciphered "Inception" then this one shall be piece of cake. The cinematography was good as ever but not just great as 127 Hours. The CG was so much that I started to dislike it after some time, I just wanted the real thing, real men do some real action. The editing, ah, I love this bit in a Boyle's film. I just loved those sharp cuts, those intercuts and everything, I suppose that Danny Boyle rewrites the whole script by using the editing superbly. 

The writing in itself is razor sharp indeed so busy that lot many things do happen often in a psychedelic way, that we tend to be in trance to see the whole film in a surreal world and there are points where I was made to leave my belief in suspension and determine myself what is real and what is the dream. 

As I often stick to it my no plot revealing stuff, I am not saying much either here. But I can say this much, Trance leaves you in Trance. Now, that neo-noir for you, if "Inception" left us to interpret if the climax was a dream or reality, a similar thing happens here too. I am drawing parallels to "Inception" coz I found something similar, not just in the dream part, but the taking too seems similar. 

Performances are super, by James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel. Indeed, there is hardly any time to take notice of the nuances of their acting, such is frenzy and the pace of the screenplay. It just makes you sit all along. The music by Rick Smith is one that I shall keep for some time to come. It's electronic and fast and even here, I found some "Hans Zimmers"

Sure, this is a kind of movie that will make anyone go for a review as and when you watch it. I just jumped out and wrote all the above in state of trance,. Yet, there are few things I disliked, one is that it's not something completely new in every way, second is that it falls way below my own expectations. Perhaps, expectations are bad but they are good too, as they drive you to see a film, more often than not. 

I am going with 3/5 for a definitely good film, just that it's not as great as earlier Boyle films. Thanks Danny Boyle yet again for giving me a fun ride. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

GULABI (1996) - TELUGU


Applaud the premise but I am appalled by the taking specifically the climax

In the climax there is an escape of grand scale from air port to air line runways of the heroine from the clutches of our villain. The moment they get together they make fun again. Now, there is no concern what so ever shown by our super hero who just saved the girl and vice-versa.

Ok, so there is a film based on girl trafficking. Now, is love story the backdrop of issue or the trafficking back drop of love story I could not make out. For first half you have love story and for the second who have the trafficking part. Though, there are first few scenes I am still not convinced yet. I will rather consider this to be love story where as always the super goes and saves his girl. Just for this film, the villain seems to be a trafficking agent. 

The sound effects which seemed so real when I saw the film in theatres I was amazed but now when I saw in home, it seemed so old-age. Perhaps, I have grown up with technology or the film is too old. The cinematography is good in capturing locales but very bad in capturing emotions. The director seemed too deliberate in characterising the actors . The villain seemed to be a rapist more than a trafficker.  The girl seemed to be out of place in cast. The hero J D Chakravarthy (Chandu) seemed to be a ruffian too. Ok, into these how does one embed the characteristics lies in the hands of the director. I must confess that the director Krishna Vamsi has failed miserably there. 

The editing seems slick at the beginning but that pervades to let the drama seep in make a fluid river into a stop and flow canal. The drama is let loose without any scissor to cut it and that's where the film fell apart. 

The music is good when its fresh and even that seems to have aged out with time. The movie thus stands anachronistic and I am going with a generous 2/5.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

SAFTEY LAST (1923) - ENGLISH


Thanks to Criterion to have made a Blu-Ray for this movie. If not for the Blu-Ray I doubt if I would have ever seen this.

I know of Chaplin and of Keaton as the comic geniuses of 1920's but then along with them was another one called the "The Third One" and his name is Harold Lloyd. And finally, I discovered him and I am so very happy now. The hanging from a multi story building from the watch on the wall, seems to be such an iconic thing in 1920's that its referred many a time in so many movies later and as recently as HUGO. I love that shot and it's called "dangling from the skyscraper", and I suppose anybody who watches this shall really fall for such originality. 

Also, take a note of a title, SAFETY LAST which means that let's through caution to the winds and just do it. It's an antonym of SAFETY FIRST.

The premise which comes in the latter part actually that sets up the whole film is so wonderful that for most part, we shall be laughing 90 years after a film is made, if still that tickles your ribs, then it's simply great. That's what these great movies do. And certainly, this stands right up there. If Chaplin was a genius in humane stories and Keaton was so in making us laugh with his extreme stunts, then Lloyd made me laugh with his simplicity, with his histrionics and with his stunts. It was so very refreshing to see all this in an era where films were so pristine. 

The sound, rather the music was pitch perfect echoing the emotions of the characters and it was deliberately made funny, which I loved it. There was a time, when the protagonist had to fight against the wails set by the society. Expectations are much higher from family and friends and he has do some extraordinary things to make them happy. 

Directors, Newmeyer and Sam Taylor must be applauded a great deal for they have pulled a nearly impossible act in 1920's. And, yes Harold Lloyd steals it like a champion, salutations for the whole team. This movie is like Serendipity, which I discovered by accident and loved every bit of it.

This movie for sure, is going to be a great movie forever and ever. A 5/5 for this.

CHANGE FOR THEM

Transform your beliefs to please them,
Kill your faith to satisfy them
Transpire it shall, into their peace 
And don't think that it is your defeat
You shall be what they want you to be
For your soul has no takers as you be
So change and make them win
Coz the way you are, is deemed to be sin
You shall be isolated from all you know
Be it your parents, friends, kith and kin
So to have peace just give up simply
All your faith, then among them you belong 
And than you shall stand firmly
As you are not alone but you have them along

CONSOLING THOUGHT

A thought consoling me, 
That how much shall they try
to part us, thus shall strengthen our love
That how much shall they make us cry
In our cries shall be joys of us 
How much tyranny they may show
That much shall be our resolve
How much they seek my sorrow
I shall make you mine for sure one day
If that day may not be just tomorrow
But one day we shall meet 
May in prison we shall greet
But then our unison is inevitable
And it is surely a place on this very earth
For, I don't believe in heavens 
Coz for heavens there is dearth

Saturday, July 6, 2013

LOOTERA (2013) - HINDI



For those enchanted by the embellishments of the past, for those who love romance and for those who love cinema this is a must watch. This film is for all and specifically for film aficionados.

There are films, but this is cinema. There are directors, film makers. But Vikramaditya Motwane is a craftsman who painstakingly wove the whole canvas with bright colours and some pale ones too. There are shades of grey at times, while for the good part, it's extremely colourful. We don't have any song-dance sequences here, yet music plays such an important role in getting us the the theme of the film so well. 

Based on the short story "The Last Leaf" by O.Henry, Vikram made a romantic and thrilling adaptation of it. I never imagined that Berhmann of "The Last Leaf" can be a guy as charming as Varun Shrivastav (Ranveer Singh). There are wails amidst joys. There are silences in conversations. There is a smile in death. Wow, I was amazed for most part and mesmerised by the pace of the film. The slowness seemed to be working in favour of the film. Yet, the first half just flew in a sly. I was so elated in the interval that though the expected was coming, I was joyous and wanted to clap for the sheer courage of the director. In the climax of the short story, the leaf becomes the film's hero and is referred as masterpiece. I was just not very much convinced by this point alone. While others I thought were in place and apt to the context too. 

Dialogs were of pure hindi and referred to the era of 1950's. There is a reference to a similar kind of film "BAAZI" by Dev Anand and I think this was a tribute to that film. What a poignant reference to the song "Tadbeer Se Bigdi Hui", it seemed so wonderful. In times, where we live for making money, saving money, consuming money, the girl had time to write and the director too seems to have all the time in the world to write a magnum opus. I also suppose that the name of the inspector as K N Singh was taken from the name of the legendary K N Singh (the villain of "Baazi").

The performances in particular are somewhat subtle and special. I disliked Ranveer Singh in an earlier film of his and never watched any of Sonakshi Sinha's films earlier. In Lootera, I suppose that they have jostled up all their acting abilities and they have pierced the hearts with such fine nuanced performances. Sonakshi as Pakhi grows above the script and delivers a memorable performance. She performed this with an aplomb that's seldom seen in today's times. Ranveer as Varun brought subtlety to his character and did well. I can't assuredly say that he rose above the script, though he climbed the tree. He tried well and that was good enough.

Although I was laughing for the most part of the second half at dialogs, deep inside I knew what they meant. Ok, it may not be for everybody's liking coz everyone has their own choice of art. Coming to art, let me speak of the art direction. I was stunned with such detailing. The last film I saw that had stupendous art direction was "Jodhaa Akbar" and this film took the art direction further to a greater level. 

The cinematography fell apart during nights. There was a lot of noise (grains) on screen and I think this film has been shot digitally and thus the ISO was higher and hence the grains. If this is the case, then it's quite appalling. Anyways, that was the only aberration I was not comfortable with. Barring this, the film has lot many positives.

Go watch this Love-Saga if interested in cinema, for mere film watching, you have other choices. There can't be ratings to a piece of art, to like or dislike is a prerogative that the mind possesses. I am going with 4/5 as I like the detailing above all else. Please forgive a few coincidences for the benefit of cinema.

About Me

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I firstly declare here that all the content written in the blog is exclusively written by me and I hold the copyrights of each and everything. Be it a poem or a movie review. Also, the videos or photographs I upload or attach are exclusively owned by me. This declaration is important in a world that seems so worried of piracy. The prime purpose of these blogs is to put my writings and photographs on the net. and well to start with.... I live in my mind, and existence is the attempt to bring my thoughts into physical reality, I celebrate myself, sing myself and I am always happy in my own company.....I am not the best in the world but I strive for excellence and thats what keeps me alive... Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself--Friedrich Nietzsche