Friday, January 23, 2009

Movie Review - Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionnaire is just one more movie that is going to give you the feeling... "Oh so whats all the hooplah about" ? Thats all there is to the movie. Personally, I have seen a atleast 5 movies in the few years, in Thamizh alone that gave something way beyond what SDG gives us, in every department it has been nominated in. Sometimes I diss a good movie, just to be the devil's advocate. I swear this is not one of those opinions. 

Katradhu Thamizh had similar parallel screenplay. Something topical comes up, some great lines of dialogue, and the hero narrates something in his past that had a profound effect on his current position. KT had Jeeva hamming. This guy hams too. KT had humour. This movie had humour too, albeit to a lesser extent. KT was great in character development. SDG just whitewashes characters. Just puts people in bins. Partisan. 

Music. The love theme... does anyone think it is similar to the Mickey J Meyer's happy days theme? To me they sound similar. It is just sad, that Rahman after almost 20 years of originality, gets nominated for something that sounds like someone else's song. The BGM is good, but then we are used to much better stuff from Rahman. The Swades song used in the ringtone in itself deserved more credit than the the SDG soundtrack.

What did I like in the movie? I liked it that not everything was explained. I liked it that the director thought... let them figure it out themselves. I liked it that characters somehow seem to recognize each other after 5 - 6 years of not seeing each other. Even over the phone. Incredulous, but different. 

What more din't I like? the ending. I agree, times like these, people do not want to watch depressing endings. People do not want to watch people cheating others, but I would really really have liked to see that the guy had actually cheated his way to victory. Somehow. If you can think of a plausible, non technological way, in which he could have cheated, I would like to know. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Villu - Movie Review

An arbitrary badguy kidnaps a young girl in a jeep, and as per Tamizh tradition attempts to rape her in an open air laundromat... during business hours. Stage set for intro? Ok. 

There is a Whiiiish... and a dagger lands on the midsection of Villain no. 34. Who threw it ? They ask... and speculators look all around. There is a Whoooosh... and a figure appears with sarees flying all over the place... laundromat speculators speculate, Is it Superman? Is it Spiderman? ... behold.. the SareeMan. The sarees get blown away and we see half the face of the Young Thalapaadhi. Incidentally he only has half a brain too. 

In the next few minutes, everything turns topsy turvy... including our tummies as Vijay mouths something that even Vijay Teeyar would have shaken his head at. We are then taken to a song... which explains the meaning of the title. 

Rama Rama Rama Rama Raman kitta Villai Keaten... 
Bheema Bheema Bheema Bheema.. Bheema kitta kadhaya Keaten

Apparently Rama had not obliged. Hence we are only left with a movie of that name and ofcourse since Bheema is not known to be a great story writer, the movie not surprisingly, does not have a story either. 

So we are left to squander 3 hours while watching Vijay trying to steal 2 'Blu Ray Disks'... from Prakash Rai and another Kannada guy. On the side, he has 'dealings' with Vadivelu and gets 9thara to strip a few times for him. Some highlights...

1. Only we had been crying so far. Now Vijay cries for the first time in 12 years since Thulladha Manamum Thullum. He makes us groan now. He also dresses up as a French bearded Mahakavi Bharathi. Hmm. Why not?

2. The most colourfully dressed villains since Billa 1, where we were treated to major Sundharrajan and RS Manohar wearing green and purple suits. Apparently the best way for international arms smugglers to hide from German police is to wear the loudest suits in all of Europe and strut around waving guns in famous nightclubs. Prakash Rai even dyes his hair blonde. 

3. Nayanthara plays Prakash Rai's daughter... she gets bitten by fish in her introduction scene... (guess who the 'fish' is? Sadly yeah...).  I wish it had been piranha... or better still, sharks with frigging laser beams attached to their heads.

4. In the world Vadivelu / Prabhu Deva... live in, westerners dancing to Indian movie tunes is still counted as comedy. And in that world, an animated cow practicing jujitsu moves on Vadivelu makes people have stitches in their side. Cow dung... the animated cow shoots cow dung at vadivelu... he dodges it. We see it in slow motion. My feet are firmly placed on our world... so writing those lines make me very sad. 

5. Khushboo.. a self confessed Vijay fan... (I wonder if Pastor Joseph Vijay would pardon her) dances. Vijay does his now popular imitation of a cross between am epileptic rubberman and a Naatupura kalaigal puppet. He calls it dance. Atleast it looks better than Simbhu's version of dance. 

Some questions were raised... even though Vijay is Christian, why do his intro songs almost always have something to do with Hindu Gods? Did 9thara have some sort of liposuction on tummy? It looks horrible. Are we going to have to watch Vadivelu battle animated cowdung every night in Comedy Thirai? If this is the kind of movies Prabhu Deva can make, why stop with 4 per year ? He can direct 10 - 15 every month, and keep Pachayappa kalloori makkal very happy.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Bommalattam- Movie Review

This is probably the only movie that I wanted to watch in Hindi after I had already watched it in Thamizh. No marks for guessing it was for only to watch Nana Patekar. Nizhalgal Ravi.. I agree has a good voice... but then he can never replicate Nana Patekar. HOw would Nazzer have sounded? WHy Nizhalgal Ravi?

In the previous review, I had written that Thamizh movies must only be the Silambattam kind... ANything else, and it becomes useless and pales in comparison to its originals. But once in a while movies like Bommalattam come along that make me put my words in a boot and eat it.. foot and all. But seriously, this is a good movie. 

Be it the gradual build up of suspense, or the gradual shifting of our suspicision from one character to another or the tremendous performances from everyone in the cast, I have to say this movie surpassed all my expectations. The sudden cheat-code like end to the movie too, can be forgiven because the afformentioned reasons. 

A murder mystery, narrated from the POV of the chief suspect who has something to hide is not new to us. None of the effective movies ever give you a clue about the real killer. This movie is no different. Apart from a couple of vague clues there was nothing of mention, ... but then stupid me, I missed out on each one of them. Never-the-less the revelation is good... after a couple of rounds. Watch it in any of the three languages it has been released in. A definite recommend.