Sunday, February 28, 2010


Sometime you ended up watching such a bad film that you feel insulted as a viewer. KCK is one of the worst Hindi film I ever seen in a long run. In his debut direction Vijay Lalwani has completely screwed up the promising pair, the film and above all audience’s heads. An intelligent viewer digest the film’s so called suspense in the first strange call to Karhtik. But director wants to confuse the viewers in the first scene so that he can stretch the viewers till the end. Before you guess right along with the dumb lady psychologist, he gives you second twist in the middle to mislead you and than all of sudden ended up convincing you that your first guess was absolutely right!!! From mass to class everyone feel cheated, we don’t land up to theatre to watch such an irritating crap product!!!

I don’t want to blame Farhan or Deepika since bad script can’t save even Big B. Not often but sometime critics are absolutely right and this is one such a film. Don’t want to waste more words showing my frustration.


VIVRE SA VIE (French) (1962)

“There is truth in everything, even in error.”

“Someone may discover me one day…” said Nana to his boyfriend in the initial scene. For her Love is something like mirage and she is a kind of woman who’s desperately needing it. She has no fixed address, and her life is full of unfulfilled desires; to be a film actress, to get true love, to live a decent life. But life is so hard for her and with unfavorable circumstances around her she starts selling her body in the streets of Paris.

‘Vivre Sa Vie’ (My life to live) is Jean Luc Godard’s an episodic account of a short life of a young Parisian prostitute. The film consists of just 12 scenes with the duration of less than one and half hours. The scenes punctuate the conventional narrative and with Raoul Coutard’s aesthetic camerawork makes it one of the classic of new wave cinema. The scenes which I like most are Nana’s encounter with the first man in the hotel room and her discussion with philosopher regarding silence and speech. The ending part was shocking and tragic but that’s quite abrupt ending in my opinion. The film is regarded as one of the JLG’s mature work in treatment; it’s both supremely analytical and sensuous achieving a sheer aesthetic pleasure.

Anna Karina’s had one of the finest expressive & photogenic faces and the most beautiful pair of eyes and Godard knows how to exploit it with some gazing camera close ups with vulnerable women characteristic. So far in all Godard films her character wins our sympathy among all others, needless to say she looks heavenly beauty in all of them. Her beauty is something which grows in every next film I see and her character here is so mythic one i.e. the scene where she’s crying watching Dreyer’s silent classic makes it aesthetic at one and spiritual at next.

It’s difficult to rate artistic pleasure accomplished by Godard & Anna Karina.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

CHE: PART TWO (2008)

“Above all, always be capable of feeling deeply any injustice committed against anyone, anywhere in the world. This is the most beautiful quality in a revolutionary.”

In a way this second part is a concluding part of Che’s life after Cuban revolution. Soderbergh made it as a single film but may be due to length it was decided to release it in two parts and in most of the theatres both parts were released on the same day or after a week's interval. It’s a wise & favorable decision for viewers as well as for the film. No matter how fine a film may be, one can’t watch it sitting at the stretch for four hours. Secondly due to single production the consistency of the film and characters remains intact.

As first past covers his journey to bring Cuban revolution, the second part tells the later tragic life story of this influential figure. Just after Cuban revolution Castro became the new leader but Che started exploring other borders. He again left his home and family in 1966 and went to La Paz in disguise to pursue another communist revolution in Bolivia. He met comrades there and training them for guerilla warfare. Survival was challenging for them in remote hostile territorial jungle; for so many days they’re without food and faced harsh weather. Locals quit supporting them and constantly they’ve to hide from search aircraft. Che’s asthmatic condition becoming severe without medicines during this unfavorable time; when Bolivian president Barrientos’ with the help of CIA ordered army to execute all rebels including Che. With locals support they soon sniffed them and executed them all.

Unlike first part the movie seems bit dragging one, repetitive and flat in narration as its plot gradually moving towards tragic end of Che’s unfulfilled mission and execution but the spirit and integrity remains intact. Like first, the film has some great visuals, matching background score and tense moments too. The last shot of the film is again striking one where Che’s confronting bullets and my god I’ve never seen such an intense execution where viewer becomes so subjectively involved with visual and sound.

Che Guevara was just 30 years old when he brought revolution to Cuba and 39 years old when he was captured & executed in Bolivia. The best eulogy after his death came from his long-lasting comrade Fidel Castro- “If we wish to express what we want the men of future generations to be, we must say: Let them be like Che! If we wish to say how we want our children to be educated, we must say without hesitation: We want them to be educated in Che’s spirit! If we want the model of a man, who does not belong to our times but to the future, I say from the depths of my heart that such a model, without a single stain on his conduct, without a single stain on his action, is Che!”

Soderbergh & Del Toro paid great tribute to him with a medium which caters the largest audience.


Friday, February 26, 2010

CHE: PART ONE (2008)

"What is the most important quality for a revolutionary to possess?” asked an American reporter.
“Love…a true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love…love of humanity, justice and truth,” replied the greatest revolutionary figure of 20th century.

If you have seen ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’, you very well know what spark transformed a topper medical student into the great revolutionary called Ernesto Che Guevara. The first part of the film tells the story from then onwards about how his bonding with Fidel Castro brought revolution and freedom to free Cuba by toppling Batista’s dictatorial government. The film is an epic journey of Che and Castro along with bunch of young men believed in same ideology to bring historical revolution. It’s great film about great man and where most often biographical films trying to seek attention with hype, this film seems like unsung praiseworthy accomplishment. And all credit goes to two people- Director Steven Soderbergh and Producer-Actor Benicio Del Toro.

Benicio Del Toro gave a performance of lifetime. It was damn difficult to carry the realistic and consistent character of such a historical figure in a grand film like this consists of two parts with duration of more than four hours but Del Toro carried it with great aplomb. What is more impressive is he never overshadows the character above human and that’s something which only few actors can do. He deserved Cannes Best Actor trophy by all means. Watch him delivering the Marxist driven ‘Homeland or death’ speech at UN assembly or fighting and leading the troops for Cuban revolution amid his asthmatic condition or diagnosing poor peasants during his journey is something so multidimensional about this visionary man of principles which you would love to carry even after the film is over. The final scene stays with a great message reminding revolutionary that sticking to principles is more important after war is won.

Steven Soderbergh has presented Che in all flesh and blood emphasizing his humanitarian face guided by spirit of conscience in the film so authentically with fascinating combination of linear and nonlinear narration. It’s equally brilliant screenplay by Peter Buchman based on Che Guevara’s original diaries. Technically the film is astounding one too with brilliant sound mixing of action sequences, exclusive camera work by Peter Andrews where he captured significant political parts of movie shot in black & white authentic documentary style; quite cinema verite and rest of the chronological events in natural color. A laudable effort.

Request you to watch it on Blu-ray disc/rip off to enjoy the great sound and visual clarity; this film deserves it.


P.S- Can’t resist quoting few great lines of the film by reel/real Che Guevara:

# “A country that doesn’t know how to read and write is easy to deceive.”

# “In capitalist system people live in an invisible cage, for example, they accept the myth of the self-made man, but they do not understand that opportunities for majority are determined by the forces completely beyond individual control.”

# “It’s very easy to claim that in capitalism the individual has the option to satisfy or to express true human nature. A child has one toy and wants two, that child get two toys and wants four. This is human nature, isn’t it? But when a whole society behaves in that same way or when it becomes a monopoly oppressing the less fortunate… is that human nature? This is when exactly you have to do something.”

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

GOMORRAH (Italian) (2008)

Power, Money & Blood: these are the ‘values’ that the residents of the province of Naples and Caserta confront everyday. They have practically no choice and forced to obey the rules of system. Before watching this Cannes Grand Prix winning film of 2008, based on sensational facts, I didn’t know anything about Europe’s killing machine crime syndicate called ‘Camorra’. It is shocking to know that Camorra alone has murdered 10,000 people in last thirty years; perhaps more than any other criminal organization or a terrorist group. It is also the most powerful ‘Organized crime Enterprise’ in Italy with a stronghold of European economy with business estimated at 150 billion euros per year.

Director Matteo Garrone has interwoven few stories together amid violent scenario and built a drama based on the tension of chaotic reality. The film is technically flawless & has stunning cinematography. Unlike romanticizing the gangster genre, the film documented the stark violence and shows us the dark face of the organized crime corrupting the core of society on every level. From drugs peddling to contract killing and from latest designer apparels to waste disposal everything is fair business for them. But they are so intelligent that they churn out more money from one task as they analyze it professionally and set the permanent income out of it.

Amid all chaos, the hopeless thing here is the way next generation is luring into this viscous cycle of organized crime unknown about being scapegoats. Going crazy with guns in hands street kids are wannabe Tony Montana of ‘Scarface’ and they are enjoying the thrill of it. Give these kids euros, a gun and bike and they are ready to settle any score. A boy named Toto drawn into the organization has to unite with other members to help them killing his own mom. The rule is simple here, in all complicated condition either you are ‘with us’ or ‘get ready to screw yourself’. Poor boy has no option; he has to lose it from both ways. Here everything is breaking down into pieces whether its relationship, trust or conscience. Anybody can kill anybody. The end was really disturbing one makes it a film not to forget so easily.

A highly recommended gangster film since ‘City of God’.


Monday, February 22, 2010


Which director can possibly think about making a film keeping a donkey in a main lead? Here is a film where a common donkey is not just silent ‘beast of burden’ but reaching a status of almost a saint. Robert Bresson’s this minimalist classic literally surpassed all my film experience for the sole reason that he raised the scale of cinematic medium with impeccable purity of visuals. As a viewer the only things this film demands are a lot of patience and a complete surrender of your visual sense to Bresson’s unique camera narration.

The film is a beautiful and symbolic life journey of a donkey named Balthazar passing from one owner to another till the end. It also follows the life of other changing characters around him. The one most central and almost parallel with a donkey is a girl named Marie who’s also like to run away in search of pleasure but like a stray donkey she too ended up with pain each time. Instead of emotional manipulation, Bresson kept a certain amount of detachment towards his characters; quite a trademark of Bresson’s any films. But it’s this detachment which makes you feel deeply.

The subtlety of the film lies in its scenes where silence is most felt. Bresson seldom used even background music to uplift the mood; for him camera is the only tool to tell his story. His gaping close ups on his characters tells a lot about internal strife than any other filmmakers. The scene where loaded donkey is observing other wild animals rested in cages around a circus is really moving one. The last scene is one of the most tragic and touching one. Along with the donkey, we also feel and witness the height of human selfishness, cruelty in a deeply moving way.

I have seen just three Bresson films and with each film, he’s becoming one of my favorite one.
A movie which surpassed all ratings and an emotional experience not to miss.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


“In Asia…I am Jurassic Park, I am ET.” – Jackie Chan

The beauty of watching Jackie Chan movie is that you don’t have to think hard for anything. There’s seriously no plot, no narration. The theme is simple plain vanilla of Good guys Vs Bad guys. But these aren’t things why anybody watches his films. It’s his quick, hyperactive energy on screen that makes him an international icon of Hong Kong cinema. No space of the world is boundary for him but a playground where any object can be a prop to his vulnerable stunts. The timing of his action runs quite parallel to his comic expressions reminding those old slapstick comedies.

Directed and performed by Chan, this film is almost a sequel to his earlier ‘The Young Master’ which was better film IMO. It was a period when he was too young full of raw energy to take any risk to break his bones frequently. The movie was perhaps the last traditional comic kung fu film, after that Chan moved towards Hollywood kind of pulp action cinema.

For me or anyone none of JC film is ‘classic’ but at the same time watching his films gives us enough joy & cinematic pleasure.

Ratings- 6/10

Saturday, February 20, 2010


“Sickness has often repulsive details not for weak stomachs.”
– William S. Burroughs

Based on William S. Burroughs’ controversial book, the film is quite part and parcel account of neurotic and outlandish junk addicted life lived & fantasized by the author who accidentally killed his own wife prior to write this novel. American critics and readers claimed it one of the most obscene & disgusting book. Well, I haven’t read the original book but just read the introduction of it written by the author which I found an honest expression of junkie author.

Bill is an exterminator by profession drawn towards bug powder fixation & accidentally killed his wife mocking William Tale shot. Slowly the surreal world starts howling him under inherent guilt and drug fuelled hallucinations. Slowly the imagination impetus makes his creative process turning him into a product/outcome itself.

Cronenberg made it quite clear in one of the dialogue in an initial scene-‘Exterminate all rational thoughts.’ But it’s no easy film to cater the general audience. The plot and narrative constantly shift gears between real and surreal hallucinatory world felt by the protagonist who is meeting unusual characters in state of delirium. In adapting already subversive, complex book, Cronenberg made it too complex and disorienting mismatch of fact and fiction world with a film noirish touch that it becomes too hard to digest/grasp the theme and story for almost everyone in a single viewing. It clearly makes it an out and out personal film of Cronenberg’s career.

The hallucinatory world of Interzone is full of despicable horror imagery where we witness cockroach powder junkies, insect typewriters, giant centipedes, homosexual and lesbian sects, heterosexually ambivalent species called Mugwumps. It’s indeed a great achievement in special effects; it makes you really feel ‘yuck’ unlike routine fantasy films. The other plus points of the films are the performances by Peter Weller, Judy Davis & Roy Scheider, Peter Suschitzky’s great mixing of green & grey in cinematography & Howard shore’s jazzy score.
Challenge yourself if you love complex films.

Ratings- 7.5/10

Thursday, February 18, 2010


“The television screen has become the retina of the mind’s eye. Therefore, the television screen is part of the physical structure of brain. Therefore whatever appears on television screen emerges as raw experience for those who watch it. Therefore television is reality and reality is less than television,” said Prof. O’Blivion introducing ‘Videodrome’ in one of the key scene of this film.

Written and directed by David Cronenberg, it’s a groundbreaking film of 80’s independent Hollywood movement. Its disturbing tale of horrible transformations brought by too much exposure of television violence. Max Renn is producer of porn programmes for Channel 83 offering his viewers everything from soft-core pornography to hardcore violent sex. In order to survive with rival channels, he’s constantly in search of real things which viewers can’t get anywhere else. Once accidentally he comes to know about a programme called ‘Videodrome’ which absorbed him completely. It backfired him when his abdomen suddenly grows a vagina like opening into which video cassettes can be inserted. What happens next is not a thing to reveal. Witness it on your own.

Like many other great films it’s one of the controversial film made way ahead for the audience to digest the grotesque and horribly perverted porno future of commercial television and internet fixation where things are available at one click of your remote control or mouse. Watch those cubicle shaped television screening compartments of Prof. O’Blivion’s Cathode Ray Mission, appears like today’s private space of cybercafés.

Today the reality television has bugged our attention and audience is never so desperate or ready to get manipulated. As Professor O’Blivion said in the film, “Public life on television was more real than private life in flesh. After all there is nothing real outside perception of our reality. Is there?” The film raised many pertinent questions about lenient censorship and money mongering commercial producers who’s telecasting such erotic perversion or violence leading towards ‘desensitization’ or ‘dehumanization’. In my opinion it’s a film which puts Cronenberg on certain equal ground with great Kubrick, the critic of human’s next phase of materialistic, technocratic progress. Watching this, he’s new entry in my favorite contemporary Hollywood directors’ list.

Cronenberg is auteur director by all means who coalesced the plot of this film with images full of sado masochistic, bizarre violent images, body mutilation and sexual torture and it’s perhaps the paragon in that respect. It got heavily censored cuts at the time of its release. It’s not exaggerating to call it a reference material for sicko directors like Takashi Miike. Unusually shocking, technically mind-blowing, thematically brilliant the film is an intriguing combination on all aspects.

It’s absolutely brilliant Cronenberg film any cinebuff has to watch without fail. Warn you to beware of all those unusual grotesque imagery that will suck you.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

BAND OF OUTSIDERS (French) (1964)

“Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world.” – Jean Luc Godard

Odile, Franz and Arthur are odd rebels. A gullible young girl, a sophisticated straight forward dude and a smart ass crook never make a great company until the matter is involved either with love or money. Here it’s both!!! Jean Luc Godard called his this film as “Alice in Wonderland meets Franz Kafka.”

Like any other Godard film it was shot at real locations of Paris streets almost in documentary fashion with brilliant use of innovative jump cuts and fine close ups. Point of view narration by a voice over was used throughout the film. Perhaps Godard used it either for breaking the conventional continuity of the film’s plot and detaching the audience to be subjective or using it as a tool to synchronize/ bridging gaps between his jump cuts. That’s just personal analysis.

Every great director has his own muse which distilled the creativity or aestheticism of his art. Anna Karina & Godard was another great chemistry happened to the world of cinema. It’s Odile’s character which stays with me not only because of gorgeous Anna Karina but the way her feelings and naïve innocence got manipulated by two crooks from beginning to culminating final sequence.
Though French New Wave initiated a movement of change, Godard didn’t miss to highlight either American pulp fiction films or the touchstone superiority of old literary classics. There are many direct/indirect reflections on this account. For example-in the initial sequence both male actors trying to mock shootout scene on a road like a Hollywood movie. On another scene Odile quoting T S Eliot in English class- ‘Everything that’s new is automatically traditional’, a teacher dictating Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’ or an indirect reference by Franz about Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Purloined Letter’.

The film has many memorable scenes- the exchange of crush between three lead players in the class room, a minute of silence between trio at restaurant table when even the noise and background music was completely mute and than the long dance sequence, running record in famous Louvre Museum, and engaging climax. All of them are fine Godard moments not to be missed!

Needless to rate pathbreaking films.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

U TURN (1997)

It’s stylishly made cult road movie by Oliver Stone and having great ensemble Hollywood cast starring- Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Lopez, Claire Danes, Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Bob Thornton & Jon Voight. It has two other fine aces on its sleeve- a background score composed by legendary Ennio Morricone & stylishly awesome DOP by Robert Richardson.

Bobby is a drifter and he’s in great fix. His car needs service but his money got robbed, he’s trying to woo a sultry damsel who’s having an ugly hubby and amid all this wild happenings in a strange remote country town he has to repay a huge sum of money to a rough gang who had cut his two fingers. He’s just landed up in really screwing situation with all sort of weird and bizarre characters.

Stone has contrived the plot with ingredients of strong violence, sex, money, murder, betrayal in stylish way. Overall it gives me the feeling of watching Tarantino kind of stuff but the treatment and twists seem a bit cliché. Movie also required tight editing in the middle part where Claire Danes-Phoenix’s unnecessarily stuffed characters making ruckus. Bollywood Director Sanjay Gupta ripped off the plot of the film and made stylish desi version of it as ‘Musafir’.

Compared to some of the finest films of Oliver Stone like ‘Platoon’, ‘Any Given Sunday’ or ‘Wall Street’ it’s a weak film. It’s more sort of popcorn entertainment.

Ratings- 6.5/10

Monday, February 15, 2010


‘God gave us relatives…thank God we can chose our friends.’

There’s nothing similar between pen-friendship of 8 year old Mary Daisy Dinkle and 44 years old Max Horowitz living in different regions of the globe except their three common things- liking of an animation television show ‘The Noblets’, loving packs of chocolates and living lonely and fragile existence. They write letters to each other and in spite of all their life’s oddities become friends for lifetime. So what’s connecting these unlikely strangers? It’s their sharing of letters proving emotional washbasin to each other. When writing letters become almost alien concept in today’s email & SMS world, I love this fine gesture of telling this unique friendship tale with mere clay models.

It’s seldom we find any animation film with such an intelligent humor dipped with witty lines subtle narration and moving melodrama based on true events. In fact it’s not an animation film but a film made with clay models and it’s damn difficult to make audience feel for characters without any graphical expressions or effects in an experimental film like this. Without any big studio support writer, designer & director Adam Elliot has managed to make this independent low budget film with all heart and soul at right places. Unlike other Hollywood’s animation films, the film bears lot of dark humor but it’s nowhere overshadow the overall emotional tone of the film and that’s fine nuance of this film.

Undoubtedly one of finest discovery of the last year.

Ratings- 8.5/10

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Ben Singer is 30 something ordinary proof reader. He is loser both in personal and professional life and quite happy with it. He doesn’t believe in positive thinking or making friends around. For him it’s something far fetched dream like witnessing fish falling from the sky as told by his diabetic Senegal native room partner. The world has already given him checkmate and he almost wears cynic smile about the world.

Though the film has nothing special to offer and almost seems like an ordinary slow paced sentimental drama with a flat narration of often repeated plot; it has some pure funny and simply touchy moments and off course fine nuanced and mature act by Matthew Broderick and natural acts by all other cast are the reasons enough to watch this feel good drama once. It’s not often we witness a subtle climax where an American hero witnessing live fish falling with rain in Senegal bringing transformation and singing sweet kiddy song with a guitar!

If you like sentimental stuff without being much crabby it’s a film for you.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

ALPHAVILLE (French) (1965)

“I pity the French cinema because it has no money. I pity the American cinema
because it has no ideas.”- Jean Luc Godard

You don’t need skyrocketed production sum to make a classic sci-fi film when helm of the film is handled by auteur himself. Jean Luc Godard’s this minimalist film gave a shining proof of it. The movie’s theme reminds me the world depicted by the critical novels of Franz Kafka and especially the whole set up of Alphaville has close resemblance with George Orwell’s masterpiece and one of my most favorite novel 1984.

Lemmy Caution is a spy came from Outlands to futuristic shocking city called Alphaville. He pretended himself as a newspaper reporter Ivan Johnson but he’s here on a secret mission to search two men- Leonard Von Braun, the Professor & inventor and the X agent named Henry Dickson. The world of Alphaville is incomprehensible for Johnson who’s struggling to accomplish his mission and trying to awaken feelings and conscience of beautiful Natasha, a daughter of Professor Braun. He has to remain extremely careful where older agents had committed suicides while being failed to adapt the city’s controlled existence where apartments are full of glass windows.

In a future city of Alphaville any thing guided by emotions such as love or any sort of artistic progress is forbidden and instead staunchly believes in rationalism and logic orders. The centre of the town is Alpha 60, a giant powerful watchdog computer to run technocratic authoritarian city. Behaving illogically or showing honest emotion is severe crime here and the condemned ones are executed either in a swimming pool or electrocuted in auditorium chairs. Surprisingly even the chief engineer doesn’t know what a free man or conscience means! It’s because every human being here is like a brain washed programming mind controlled by their identity numbers. In each room they have a copy of Bible which is nothing but dictionary where we don’t find any words associated with abstract human emotions.

By breaking all conventions Godard had managed to create the sarcastic world of Alphaville so meticulously with tight budget, minimalist approach and experimental techniques in narration. It’s learning case for all Hollywood directors. There are so many memorable scenes and the one where Mr. Caution explaining the difference between love and sensuality to Natasha is great aesthetic JLG moment with fine focused use of on and off lights. In fact watch carefully the way he used electric neon lights in the entire film and you will agree why his cinematographer Raoul Coutard stands parallel to great George Tolland. Eddie Constantine as legendary Lemmy Caution is a new entry in my favorite movie characters. I just love the way JLG projected his heroines in the film as great combination of beauty and individualism and beautiful Anna Karina is sheer bliss to eyes. Craving to watch her in other Godard classics.

Mandatory watch by all means.


PS- For those who’ve already seen this and liked it, suggest you to read Orwell’s brilliant satirical novel named 1984 written in 1948, it’s one of my favorite classic.

Friday, February 12, 2010

CUL-DE-SAC (1966)

In his autobiography, Roman Polanski wrote that he & his co-writer Gerard Brach regarded ‘Repulsion’ mainly as a commercial success to enable them to finance ‘Cul-de-sac’, a much more personal, less commercial film that starred Catherine Deneuve’s sister Francoise Dorleac. Dorleac hadn’t done many films like her more beautiful and talented sister and died in an accident at tender age of 25.

Cul-de-sac means a street with a dead end. A mid age fugitive criminal with a severely wounded partner take shelter as intruder in a far remote mansion house sharing by a couple. The wounded partner dies soon and before the couple thinks what to do with the remaining unwanted guest; they get the company of certain other visitors with a bratty kid making things more complicated until one reach to off the hook climax.

It’s altogether different Polanski film having film noire kind of treatment, dark characters, and set up on a fine location of Holy Island, England; one of the classic natural set up on a reclusive castle like mansion surrounded by sea shot superbly in black and white frames. Dorleac looks and acted like a tart and smart ass than her husband and the scene where she plays prank of ‘bicycle’ with criminal is classic fun moment. As a dreadful criminal Richard, Lionel Stander is just awesome. Polanski claimed it as one of his personal favorite film.

Highly recommended to all Polanski fans and off beat film lovers.

Ratings- 8/10

Thursday, February 11, 2010


There was a time when audience keenly awaited for next Jackie Chan film. In my school days I belonged to that generation. That was a time when Hollywood didn’t exploit his natural flair. He’s great and sensational martial art hero in his early years of his career with his quickest movements, agile and flexible body, self done stunts & action covered with various props. Humor is trademark of Chan’s action and there’s lot of fine moments here too. After his debut successful ‘The Fearless Hyena’, this was his second directorial film with some of the classic & great martial arts moments. From beginning lion fight to the classic long climax with the toughest opponent, Chan is just extraordinary. It’s one of his classic martial art films of early career. There are lot of Chan moments which still remind us that why he’s called the greatest and unrivalled martial art master.
Recommended for all JC fans.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010


It’s the last film of Roman Polanski’s ‘apartment trilogy’ after ‘Repulsion’ and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and having watched all three films, I must say that as far as psychological thriller is concerned he’s just unbeatable. Surprisingly Polanski himself enacted the lead role here and gave one of the memorable performance of victim tenant. The plot is about a man who rents an apartment where the older tenant committed suicide attempt. Slowly he starts realizing the scheming set up converting him to be something different. Don’t want to spoil by writing more.

Polanski’s films are unique in a way he created his lead characters and the way he dealing with the theme of existential paradox that each of us is alone and it’s this quality which drag us into the world of loneliness. It is always interesting to watch his characters coping with all their psychological paranoia. We see lot of private moments of his characters in all three films and its Polanski’s indication to absorb us into the character’s true identity or perhaps turning us subjective towards the victimized protagonist. Among all three films, Polanski slowly built a tension which involves the audience, reaching its penultimate course in the climax. It’s a brilliant ending where flashback mixes with present and we notice Polanski watching himself bandaged on hospital bed as old tenant and that close up shot of yelling with which movie fades out.

Broken tooth hidden inside the hole in a wall, a mysteriously visible toilet in an apartment, a swinging football changes into human head, slow progression of cross-dressing, clapping neighbors in climax…Polanski created some of the chilling set up and images full of hallucinations which will stay in my head for long long time. Shot selection is again benchmark of Polanski films; the way he shot this trilogy is enough to give close competition to even Master Hitchcock.

Mandatory watch for all Polanski fans who haven’t seen it yet.


Monday, February 8, 2010


Buster Keaton, recognized as ‘the great stone face of silent era’ with his trademark physical comedy with stoic, dead pan expression was an icon of American silent cinema’s some of the greatest comedies. ‘The General’ is undoubtedly his greatest achievement in terms of acting and co-direction with Clyde Bruckman. It was considered as one of the greatest screen comedies of silent era by a man who created laughter without even a wink on his face. Sight & Sound magazine ranked Keaton’s this classic as the 15th best film of all time. It’s kind of film which spreads consistent smile on your face without a break from beginning to end with all purities of cinema’s those pioneer years.

Johnnie Gray has two loves of life- his locomotive engine named ‘The General’ and his girlfriend. Both of them are under peril with sudden burst of civil war. He has to save both love and he ends up as hero winning both and a rank of lieutenant. Its cent percent film of Buster Keaton and he performed lot of dangerous stunts on & around moving train. There are many moments to cherish forever. For example when Keaton is trying to enlist his name as soldier for war or trying to fire cannon balls on enemy engine or eating food hiding under enemy’s dining table. The ending is hilarious sequence where he sitting on the side of locomotive holding his girlfriend and acknowledging salute to soldiers.

It’s fun ride from beginning to end. It’s a refreshing experience and thoroughly enjoyable film any given day. Thanks for Film Preservation Society for digitally remastered this classic film and its soundtrack. Big thanks to Enlighten Home Library for bringing the movie available now on DVD with fine booklet about silent cinema.
A movie worth to own.


Sunday, February 7, 2010


In a book length interview between Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut, the Master explained his fondness for this movie where he established a contrast, going against traditional, breaking clichés. Hitchcock brought the drama of murder in broad daylight in forest, took noticed of dead body by almost all characters and messing up with him. The trouble with poor Harry is that he’s no more.

It’s very unusual Hitchcock film on so many accounts and that’s the reason why it didn’t receive much audience in US, where in Europe it was a big hit. What’s happening with the dead body in the woods is really interesting stuff. Every character is paying visit to him, digging him again and again which makes us laugh and thrill at the same time. Surprisingly Hitchcock’s films never filled with such situational subtle humor what today we called dark comedy made widely famous by Coen Brothers. It’s again an experimental film where Hitchcock hadn’t used any big stars for the film. British actor Edward Gwenn as Capt. Wiles gave one of his most memorable character here. It was a debut film for Shirley Maclaine. Hitchcock’s collaboration with composer Bernard Herrmann continued here.

Ratings- 8/10

Friday, February 5, 2010


Director Guy Ritchie’s this pop version of the world’s most favorite detective icon doesn’t make the readers of Arthur Conan Doyle much happy but at the same time Ritchie once again delivers an entertainment packaged with all his trademark ingredients like fast pace treatment, crisp editing, stunning visuals, action scenes filled with fun and fine background score.

The film wouldn’t be half as entertaining without Hollywood’s current screen maverick Robert Downey Jr. who tries to bring out the eccentric, rational, intelligent and a methodical detective of all time. He maintained the dignity and not caricaturized the admirable character. Once more he has delivered a knockout performance. Jude Law, Rachel McAdams and Mark Strong are average in whatever offered to them. The movie has fine production value recapturing the visual essence of Baker Street, under construction London Bridge and other Victorian architectures with stunning set design. The ending clearly paved the way for the sequel and I’m surely looking forward to it having company of Ritchie- Downey Jr.

Fine packaged entertainment.

Ratings- 7.5/10

Thursday, February 4, 2010

RANN (2010)

Are we watching reality on all those pop up breaking news of News channels on air? Is media creating the news or showing the true face of reality? Under the lure to spin more money and surpass the competitive market of raising TRPs they can go to any extent to dupe the common men. The dirty nexus of media and politicians is again a concerning question when neither of them is interested in serving democracy and use their own power to cheat audience under the flagship of showing reality. All these are debatable issues and it’s a fine subject to treat as movie for mass audience. Does Verma’s new film serve successfully the purpose of the theme? The answer is very dangling one and there’re several reasons for it. Here’s what I observe-

Verma has again ruined a good subject with lifeless screenplay and script full of loopholes. The first half an hour is so abrupt and tedious one that it loses the grip from the very beginning. The other drawback is plethora of ensemble casting and most of them are stuffed unnecessarily. Verma still unable to come out of his ‘Sarkar syndrome’ and most of the film with weird camera angles and sequences reminds us the utter repetition. For Big B it’s completely misfit role and except last ten minutes confession speech, he didn’t have anything to bargain here. Again the personality/superstar aura overshadows the actor/character here. Among all ensemble cast only Mohnish Behl seems slightly impressive.

Even though RGV gave us hammerhead version of ‘Sholay’, he gave us ‘Satya’ too and that’s what keep expecting a quality film from him but politics is certainly not his tenure and there’s only one director who can make hard hitting political thrillers in India. It’s over to Prakash Jha now…seing promos of huge star cast, I expect that he won’t disappoint me like Mr. Verma.

Ratings- 5.5/10

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Welcome to the world of violence fired by sexy seductresses who first blow your senses and than tears apart your body. Director Russ Meyer’s this film regards as ‘cult film’ of sixties Hollywood in which the style rules over the story. Varla, Rosie and Billie are wild sirens under desirable skin; they’re bullying, bitching, envying one another. After initial accident, they kidnap a teenager girl and land up in a ranch house and meet a weird family where it fills both psychological and sexual tension on screen up to the end.

It’s a brilliant slick and stylish film shot in fine black & white angles, way before Tarantino & Ritchie set the screen on fire. Crispy editing, jazzy music, wild and voluptuous damsels in disguise, the preys, lots of curve & cleavage show and few suggested innuendoes are some of fine things one can ponder about this one hour twenty minutes thrill ride.

Recommended to watch this underrated cult classic.

Ratings- 7.5/10