Sunday, December 8, 2019

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD (2019) - ENGLISH

Tarantino is back to doing what he does best, taking time to build and end with a bang.

This is a Tarantino film and there is no doubt about that. The shot composition, the character development, the eccentricities within normal people and then there are guns and killings. This is a really well-made film nevertheless, but for an average filmgoer, it may turn as a tad slow affair as it takes a lot of time to build and eventually, it leaves the viewers on the edge.

The history is known as what happened to Sharon Tate (played by Margot Robbie) and who has done it. The notoriety of Charles Manson and his family is also known through various documentaries, yet I went to watch the film to see Tarantino's take on the history and boy he delivered in his own inimitable style. Like it or not, he made the film in his way and I salute his courage.

The film is structured with a few conversations that are terrific and memorable. Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) paying a visit to Mason's family (the hippies), Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) learning how to say his lines from a young girl, these stood out in my memory and perhaps enough feed through the film.

Technically, it's superlative, the art direction to construct the period of the 1960s. The cinematography that showed the whole world of the specific period and how the landscape was then. The music oh, I always loved Tarantino's choice of songs and this film is par. If at all, I had a problem it was with the editing, some episodes felt a bit longer than needed and a few just added to length without adding much to the narrative. Acting is supreme and it was wonderful to see Al Pacino, he was just fabulous.

It's definitely a good film that has an edge like any other Tarantino film. It's a different matter that I did not get that edge. Having said that, it's one of the better films of the year. A 3/5 for this.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

हर लफ्ज़ में आपका नाम

लिखने को बैठा पर कुछ लिख नहीं पाया 
क्या लिखे हर लफ्ज़ में आपका नाम जो पाया 

ज़रुरत नहीं

मुलाक़ात होती है आप से हर रोज़ ख़यालों में, आँसू ढूढ़ने की ज़रुरत नहीं 
जब भूलेंगे आपको दिल खुद ही रुक जाएगा मरने के लिए वजह की ज़रुरत नहीं 

Friday, December 6, 2019

BE MY ANGEL

The clouds hover as I speak
Over my head filled with thoughts
Of nothing but death and being weak
Come, be my angel, end my draught

Sunday, November 10, 2019

JOKER (2019) - ENGLISH

The physical, the psychological and the metaphysical senses would be satisfied.

A Joker is enough for those Super Heroes (Marvel or DC). Joaquin took this character to another level. A director Todd Philipps did more than what Christopher Nolan did with "Dark Knight". It's amazing. freaky and yet a beautiful film. It asks questions on upbringing, parenting, how circumstances around influence the character of a person. It explores, how oppression can make a normal human turn into a rebel or rather a JOKER.

It's definitely not an easy film to watch, it's psychologically disturbing and yet there is deep empathy that develops through the journey of the film. The Joker while attempting to humanize the antagonist in the beginning, doesn't glorify him, it sustains a fear of what could Joker evolve into. He turns out to be a monster nevertheless. It's also a statement on unchecked illness and disturbed childhood and what effects it could have on the mind of a person and what it could lead to eventually.

The film is extremely real sans visual effects and CGI and that I thought was another best part of the film. The cinematography by Lawrence Sher brought out real times, real people, real locations and real emotions on the camera. The movie did not need any tricks to show us what if feels to be just oneself.

The character of JOKER is heavily layered in each aspect. Just the way he laughs is hysterical, funny, empathetic and sad all in a laugh. To bring such versatility to histrionics, I think no one better than Joaquin Phoenix can do. Although his performance deserves an Oscar unquestionably, I doubt he will be ever given the Best Actor Oscar, the best possible chance is to get a best-supporting actor Oscar. The reason I think so, it would set a bad precedent to award a tremendously dark character and the conservative Academy may not do so. I would be happiest if he truly gets an award.

The story has references to Batman - Bruce Wayne but not many so it's a complete JOKER film. Well, I forgot to mention Robert De Niro, he does a cameo that's sweet and memorable. Also, Zazie Beetz brought the human aspect in this otherwise dark inhuman film.

Thanks to Todd Philips for giving us a dark take on JOKER and for making us walk out of theatres with a film that's worth a watch once in a lifetime. Once you see it, it never gets out of head, it's such an impactful film.

A 5/5 for JOKER. My favorite dark film so far of the year.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

PERPETUAL SPREE

So here I go, into the wind
Putting everything behind
Fly I do, into the skies
Away from the joys and cries
In this realm, I feel free
Love to make this a perpetual spree
From where I shall never come back
Just fly with freedom filled backpack
Down there, the town is full of clowns
Wearing so-called tuxedos and gowns
Up here, I don’t have to keep on anything
No-one to ask or feel for a thing
Ashes I have become, murdered by mortality
The freedom it has given from fake morality

Sunday, September 15, 2019

BARFF - HINDI


Saurabh Shukla's 'Barff' is about the distinction between truth and faith.

About The Play: Dr. Siddhant Kaul is visiting Srinagar to attend a medical conference. His taxi driver Gulam Rasool, requests him to treat his ailing child. Upon arriving at the village, Doctor gets shocked as there is only one house and the rest of the village is deserted

Language: Hindi
Cast: Sadia Siddiqui, Sunil Palwal, and Saurabh Shukla
Writer & Director: Saurabh Shukla
Length: 90 minutes

VENUE: CHOWDIAH MEMORIAL HALL, BANGALORE
DATE: 13th JANUARY 2019

My Review:

A play that raises epistemological questions of truth, belief, and justification.

Although I watched it 9 months ago, the impact is still lingering on and I am guilty of not writing the review all these days. So today, I decided I must write what I feel about it.

The play is about a doctor who is asked to help his driver in the Kashmir Valley on a Wintry Night. What began as a simple conversation between the Driver and Doctor slowly built-up a lot of drama and ended provocatively raising a lot of philosophical questions. Having said that, the format is neither preachy nor philosophical, it's more drama and thriller. Things are not explicit, they are subtle and layered and that's the best thing about the play.

The writing is impeccable, it's very organic and fluid. Never did I feel that something big is going to happen till it happened. The events were as natural as they can be. It showed the vulnerability of humans, the thought process of a common man, the trepidation within each of the characters.

The set was beautiful, it was a single set with two places shown by shifting focus lights, but the simple setup was enough for this spine-chilling drama. The chills come through the writing and acting and not because of the props or set and that was wonderful again.

"What we see is not truth but what we believe is" - this is the essence. The core of the play is about questioning the faith, the belief of each one of us.

This dialogue summarizes the play

"Duniya ke saare Sach, Yakeen par khade hote hain. Aap Yakeen karke dekho, Sach apne aap ban jaata hai. Varna Sach….apne aap mein kuch hota nahi hai, Janaab!"

It's a fabulous, one of the most intriguing and highly intimate plays I have ever seen. Thanks to Saurabh Shukla for giving us a worthy time. Watch the play to believe it whenever you get a chance.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

SO I SEE IN A BUS

A plethora of countenances few joyful
Looks galore hardly any soulful
Withered by the mundane and mediocre days
Battered by the busy life’s ways
Cursory gestures at the conductor's behest
Neither a contest nor a protest
I see them all and I see them in me as well
Not so different from a frog in the well
At every stop, some get down while some stay
The story of each one seems the same to convey
All alike give lifeless glares
What’s life when it’s all just empty stares

Sunday, August 11, 2019

THE LION KING (2019) - ENGLISH

What's the fun in watching the same story in just live animation like real animals with hardly anything added.

Maybe if I had watched it another language, I would have had fun, but as I watched in English, I felt like a repeat. Content-wise, I didn't see any change, only the hair of Simbaa flying across the forests was the newer aspect. Experience wise, I watched this in 4D and I did not like projection. The screen was made 4:3 and each end on the right and left were shelved. Not sure if it's in PVR cinemas alone or across theatres, but it did not give me the satisfaction of viewing in a theatre.

If I have to review this, I would copy-paste my review of the original film. Few scenes were added for compliance sake, just to call it new and Beyonce's spirit song was added to the track. That is all, new in the film which was great. It's a product of toxic nostalgia, and those who love to relive their childhood may love this one, but for me who seeks new stories, this was not meant to be.

Nevertheless, it's a film made for the market for this generation kids who missed out the great animated version. Technically, this film is for sure well made, with all animals being created on the computer and the voiceovers were good too, yet the crib of nothing more continued within. Definitely not worth in theatres, I'd rather sit and watch the original online.

An average 2/5 for this old film in new technology.

Here's the link for a review of the original film.

https://braddugg.blogspot.com/2011/12/lion-king-1994-english.html

Thursday, July 11, 2019

SUPER DELUXE (2019) - TAMIL

"Life is nothing but Super Deluxe" - This line stuck me after I watched the film and I believe this line summarises the film too.

Existentialism - "humans define their own meaning in life, and try to make rational decisions despite existing in an irrational universe" 
Nihilism - "not only is there no intrinsic meaning in the universe, but that it’s pointless to try to construct our own as a substitute"
Absurdism - "a search for meaning is inherently in conflict with the actual lack of meaning, but that one should both accept this and simultaneously rebel against it by embracing what life has to offer"

I saw an element of these three philosophies in the film.

Super Deluxe emphasises that that there is no pattern to our human lives which are a series of random events. Hence the line "Life is nothing but Super Deluxe".

Just accept the flow of events in life and exist, this is what this film conveyed me. The best part is that it's neither peachy nor pretentious. As the events unfold, the viewer's intellect is challenged and me as a viewer was so engulfed in finding patterns that how many ever I found, I still believe this is still a lot more deeper meaning.

From colors to costumes to camera angles and characters, everything is well thought and put together. The USP of the film is the merging of concepts that are perceived to be so contradictory to each other and yet making the viewers accept "that's how it is and it's okay". The Movie tells 4 stories and tocuhes aspects like Non-Duality, Chaos Theory, Butterfly Effect, Electrons, Aleins, Karma, Schrodinger Cat and what not, this is perhaps the most detailed screenplay that gives spaces in whatever way it could to so many aspects of philosophy.

To mix profanity with philosophy, senusality with spirituality, aliens with humans and ending with the line "The best part of life is life in itself" was beautiful.

Dialogues are beautiful but one line that stuck with me is "Edhi Thevayo Adhi Dharmam" - Whatever is the need that is right and just. Also, it brings out debate of existence of god beautifully I strongly believe that "Tokkite Raayi, Mokkite Devudu" - If you stamp it's a stone, if you worship it's god and that was conveyed with the line "Adhi Kalla Dha Saami" - It's a rock afterall. This happens when one believes that god saved him and becomes priest while another says that a rock saved him.

Every actor is so damn good that I could not believe that there is so much of unexplored talent. The best story amongst the four was the one of Rasukutty and Shilpa. Ashwanth Ashokkumar who played Rasukutty should be given a national award for being the best child actor. I am stunned by the wisdom he displayed playing his character.

The usage of songs is so terrific that I cannot even think how "I am a Disco Dancer" kick started and ended the film. While the film can be called a visual puzzle the background score brims with nostalgic music, the visuals put with music are seductive to say the least.

It's the trailer I found so fascinating that I did not see anything like it before. It pulled me to watch the film. I went and saw this in PVR - Arena Mall, Bangalore and being non-tamil in non-Tamil city, I expected that this film would have subtitles but alas, there were no subtitles. Despite my request, they could not get subtitles and that's my crib with PVR. Hence, I had to wait for this film to be release online (now it's on Netflix) to watch this film again understand it and then write about it.

Since, it released on Netflix I am hooked to this film.

Ideology- “Nothing in the world is good or bad, it just depends upon person who is seeing it”

I believe that every dialogue was written after reading many many books, every color was chosen with a deep meaning attached and every framed was made to convey a meaning. The scenarios are eccentric and so are the characters but to accept them as they are and each other character accepting other's as they are is somthing that I loved.

I accept this film as it is. I shall not rate this film, it's simply beyond greatness. He is the trailer

SUPER DELUXE TRAILER

To give a perspective - (Sorry, I am revealing plot lines now and this is a spoiler)

Would you be okay, if your wife slept with her ex-boyfriend?
Would you be okay, if your mother is an adult film actress?
Would you be okay, if your father has become a eunuch?
Would you be okay, if your friend became an alien?
Would you be okay, if what you believed as god, is just a rock?

It's not worth conveying anything to those comforted by their own prejudices.

So those who are not okay with any of the above questions and are comforted by their own judgement and expect life to be in a certain way, then this film may not be for them. 

Monday, July 1, 2019

TOY STORY 4 (2019) - ENGLISH

Toy Story has one of the finest friends for me in the name of "Woody" (taken from the film's theme song - You Got A Friend In Me) and this is another great installment of the franchise.

The film begins with the song "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away". It evokes my emotion of how I can't let this film franchise away. The feelings I have for this series, which began nearly a quarter century ago with four terrific installments are something special. The series has run from the level of "great" to "perfect" and the fourth installment keeps up with that.

The first film of the series, "Toy Story" was my first animated film in the theatre and there are a lot of memories that rake up each time I watch a film from this franchise. I must also say, that I was fortunate enough to watch all the 4 installments in theatres. Personally, there is always an excitement attached with fear of this franchise, excitement is understood but the fear comes because the bar it has set is so high that I am afraid it each will it be as good as the previous film. Touch wood, so far this has been a great journey. I believe the same anxieties I have gone through were coming out of the film in the character "Woody" and that in itself was surprising and also enthralling.

Is "Woody", still the same and excited as ever, or does it becomes just another boring toy that does not want to be a mere plaything anymore and seek something better? Thankfully, both aspects have come good in the film, and both are etched together beautifully and seamlessly. "Woody" remains true to the character. The guy who has taught a lot about friendship, loyalty, never giving up, yet he needs a better avenue to display his great characteristics and seeks something more than being a toy. "Woody's" fear that he's become obsolete, boring, not special anymore, and otherwise incapable of holding the attention of a child is the same I have gone through and I believe, each one goes through these phases.

We give up on Toys, when we turn teens, we give on gadgets when we turn old I guess. Also, the worse is we give up on parents when we think we are capable to deal with lives on our own and we give up on so many people once our transactions with them are done. In a transactional world, this film franchise stands tall and continues to feed us life lessons on why one should never give up on those who helped them, built them, fed them and have been with them through tough times.

Very few movie series are as affable and accessible to people across all ages and cultures as this one, yet Toy Story has remained rich in the thought provocation aspect with its metaphors, subtle philosophy and words that are worth mentioning at many instances in life. "Woody" is perhaps the greatest animated character ever. Although he never changes the size, color, shape, or voice, yet always manages to stand by what he believes in and that is the true sign of a hero.

My Three Life Lessons from this film are:
1. Listen to your inner voice, it guides you in the right direction
2. Loyalty may not payback as we expect yet being loyal gives a purposefulness to existence
3. If we believe, “Yes We Canada”, then we certainly achieve (Canada is reference to character Caboom)

I am very happy that this franchise has continued to reinvent itself over a span of a time which is long enough for two generations to grow up. This I believe is the true achievement of this. My rating doesn't matter for the finest animated film of the year yet.

From me, it's a 4/5. Wish there was a little less drama and more of action, my wish only.

Here is my review of TOY STORY 3.
https://braddugg.blogspot.com/2017/02/toy-story-3-2010-english.html

Monday, June 24, 2019

GULLY BOY (2019) - HINDI

An inspiring film that is inspired by the real lives of rappers.

Never a dull moment would be tough for me to say as this film has some uncalled for subplots, which didn't add up at the end. Perhaps the subplots were there to add some lines like "Meri boyfriend se golu golu karegi toh ghoptungi na" (This is pure Mumbai accent and watch the film to get the line). I didn't like a sub-plot of Kalki (Sky) getting into Ranveer (Murad) and also the job aspect of bringing in Vijay Maurya. But apart from a few of these moments, the film is terrific.

The streets of Dharavi, the behavior of the people living in slums, the dialect of the place and the hearts of rappers are captured in a realistic manner. The ebb and flow of the film are fine, barring a few uncalled for aberrations. The writing is as real as it could get at least for the characters, the dialogues are like those we hear on Mumbai streets. It has a vibe and energy that is so infectious and so affable.

The acting is really good, loved Siddhant Chaturvedi (MC Sher), Vijay Raaz as Murad's father and also Vijay Verma as Moeen. But the heart and soul of the film is Ranveer Singh as Murad and boy, he delivered a terrific performance. He just played with ease and the comfort level he exhibited is really commendable. Murad was ably supported by an energetic Safeena played by Alia Bhatt. I loved Alia in 'Udta Punjab' and respected her in 'Raazi' and I am amazed now by her energy and the natural way of portrayal in 'Gully Boy'.

The technical aspects are great, the cinematography, the production work, the locations, the costumes and above all the music. This is perhaps a definitive and a go-to film for a rapper in India for many years to come. Ranveer Singh sang 'Apna Time Aayega' like only he could and that is currently something I fall back as I am growing over it now.

A 4/5 for a good film that is perhaps the year's best from Bollywood. 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

THE PIANIST (2002) - ENGLISH

A great film on a World War Two jew survivor and not someone who is a hero or a fighter and that is unique in itself and the best thing about the film. It's as real as it could get.

The Pianist is based on the book by the same name written by 'Wladyslaw Szpilman'. Szpilman is a Polish Jew who is a Pianist in Warsaw and this film is about his survival. He survived through his own instincts, luck and stoicism and this film just showcase the same, it does not dramatize and we witness what Poland went through from 1939 to 1945.

The film does not have any urgency and takes its own time and that for me is the point about this film. I like films that take space and time to set things up. The establishment of the protagonist as the finest Pianist in Poland, the announcement of World War Two and the inhuman nature of the German Soldiers towards Jews, it's done and setup taking a considerable amount of time before the survivor story kicks in and gives us few lumps in the throat and goosebumps.

When I first watched this film, it left an indelible mark on me and even as I revisited this recently, it still feels fresh and left the same impression as it did in the first viewing. Thanks to the writing of 'Szpilman' and the screenplay by 'Ronald Harwood' there is hardly a dull moment in the film.

The acting by each and everyone is impeccable and for his acting as 'Szpilman', 'Adrien Brody' was deservingly awarded the Academy Award (Oscar). The technical departments like the Art Direction, the Sound and the casting are all pitch perfect and they transcend us flawlessly to the times of war and transport us to Warsaw.

One of my personal favorites is the usage of music and the one scene where the movement of fingers (without touching piano) is shot with Piano music playing in the background stood apart and that heart-rending scene won me over.

A 5/5 for this. Can't rate it any less a must watch for many generations to come.

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