Movie Review: Dangal

Okay, first things first. Dangal is an excellent movie – entertaining, sensible, inspiring, and, surprise, surprise!, a very clean PG movie!

I had a lot of mixed feelings about going to watch Dangal. I’m not a big fan of Aamir Khan (I do concede that he is an amazing actor, of course. Still, we cannot be fans of each and every amazing talent there is, can we?) and I’m wary of sports biopics. (Mary Kom was good but Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and MS Dhoni were strictly average. Also, the screenplay-ed stories of living people always seem weird to me)

But it got good initial reviews and I was on Christmas vacation, so I thought of giving it a try. It was almost after a year that I was going to be able to see a movie with my husband, after all.

My first thought into the movie revolved around Aamir Khan’s ears – they are so distinct that they’d be his identification even if he got an exhaustive movie-style plastic surgery. But 5 minutes into the movie, they disappeared. So did Aamir Khan himself. From then on, only Mahavir Singh Phogat, his amazing daughters, and their awe-inducing training routine and camaraderie prevailed. We all know the story of the movie by now, so I won’t dwell on it. But I cannot dwell enough on the powerful performances by all the actors. They are so real, so earnest, so natural – minus the melodrama that ensues with films like this. ALL of the actors, including the narrator of the movie – the skinny and ever-faithful cousin, make an impact and help carry the story and the feelings forward.

Also, I think that all these “protests” about Aamir Khan forcing his ambition on his daughters are ridiculous. One often needs a nudge while pursuing an unconventional path. Plus, he did not see a wrestling future for the girls until they beat up boys who were calling them names. He tapped their potential. He did not force a fish to fly, he in fact recognized the flying fish while others were calling them weird. We need more fathers like this!

The music of the movie needs a mention, too. It complements the film. None of the characters mouth the lyrics, which is great. The songs only carry the story forward.

Now, if I had to pinpoint the flaws in the movie, I would have to say that Aamir Khan being locked up in a storage room during his daughter’s Gold medal bout is silly. I mean, come on! So childish. But then, it does not really take away from the fantastic movie!

Kudos!

 

Inception! Fascinating! (No spoilers)

Have you ever been out wandering around the country, with lush green pastures and a cool blue sky to keep you company? Have you been so engrossed while watching the trees and birds and flowers that you lost your way but still did not panic, as you were simply happy taking in the calmness of your surroundings? After a long long while, has the feeling of being lost registered finally? Have you craved to get back, only to see a thunderstorm approaching you with all its ferocity? Have you hidden in the first hut you laid your eyes on, and breathed a sigh of relief? Have you then realized that the hut has several animal skins and skulls spread around it? And then have you heard strong rapping on the door and been frightened to death? And have you tried to scream, only to realize that…..

Your mom is trying to wake you up in the morning by banging on your bedroom door!!!

Yes, you guessed right. Welcome to the world of dreams, my friends. A world so charming, yet deceptive, so alive, yet unreal, or at least that’s what we are made to believe.

The movie, Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan, professes otherwise. It says, rather convincingly, that our dreams represent our sub-conscious, and our sub-conscious does affect our conscious decisions all the time! All the main characters in the movie are, so to speak, ‘dream merchants’, meant most literally. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio, brilliant) and his gang specialize in entering people’s dreams to ‘extract’ information that is otherwise impossible to obtain. They do make good money out of it, but also face the dire consequences of meddling with the human subconscious. Cobb especially, has had to pay a very heavy price, rendering unfit his capabilities of designing the places in dreams.

Yes, so advanced is this occupation of extraction via dreams is that it needs an architect to design imaginary places wherein the dream will take place (you can’t use real places because then, your memories will meddle with your dreams), a chemist to appropriately sedate the one whose dreams are to be explored, a researcher and a few helpers, if any. The film is about Cobb, leading one such team, and trying not to extract but to plant an idea into a target’s mind – in return for his own redemption.

Christopher Nolan definitely does succeed in weaving an intricate yarn of a story, with threads spooling in multiple layers – yes, the extractors, or should I say inceptors, also generate dreams within dreams, so as to buy more time, or change some things in the dreams, and so on. Although it sounds confusing, not for one moment do you get bored, and you are always glued to the seat trying to put two and two together.

The most creditable thing about the movie is that, although it’s about dreams and inception, and stuff that mostly fits into the science fiction category, it does not waver from logic, or create situations just because it is science fiction!

Certain ideas are absolutely brilliant, such as having to carry a totem, or a self-made object while entering a dream, to help you distinguish between dreams and reality. Not only that, the totem has been brilliantly used in the climax sequence as well.

The direction is awesome, and the editing is crisp. The cast have supported the script extremely well. There is really nothing to complain about the movie!

If you are itching for an intelligent, well-made movie that will make you think, go for Inception.

If you are not, go for it nevertheless, it will provide some very good entertainment!

Signal: Green all the way! Go explore your dreams!!!

Movie Review: Billu Barber

Cast: Irrfan Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Lara Dutta

Director: Priyadarshan

Synopsis and my opinion: Please read the letter below.

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Dear Mr. Irrfan Khan,

Subject: Please don’t!!

 

Sir, let me first clearly state, that we all love you very much…your mind-blowing performances in several movies like Haasil, Yeh hai Mumbai Meri Jaan,  Life in a Metro, to name a very few; have been loved and applauded by all of us. Today, you are one of those very few character artistes who can carry an entire film on their shoulders!!

So we want to ask you something… Why and just why did you accept a film like Billu Barber ??

Although it has a decent concept (they have tried to emulate the modern version of the Krishna and Sudama saga), its story and screenplay are so damn horrible, that even the seriousmost of the scenes make you laugh!

The biiig superstar played by none other than the neo-narcissist SRK (believe me, I am a biiig fan of his, so if i am calling his role terrible, it sure is so!); the gaanv ki gori with deep-back blouses Lara Dutta, the 3 pathetic item songs featuring Deepika, Kareena and Priyanka ; the usual Priyadarshan bandwagon of comedians made up of  Om Puri, Rajpal Yadav, Manoj Joshi, etc etc; nothing, nothing at all can match even 50% of your sheer earnest portrayal of  a poor barber who had struggled a lot in his childhood to help an even poorer friend to pursue acting, and then after many years when the friend has returned to his village as a superstar actor, hesitates to meet him due to his social status!

3  cheers to you Mr. Khan!! (strictly Irrfan, this time…)

Thumbs down to everything else in this movie!!!

Not many thanks and Regards,

Me!

P.S. : Mr. Priyadarshan, Please stop insulting your earlier “classics” like Herapheri and Virasat by making such pathetic movies!!!

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Verdict: Do I even need to state it?? AVOID!!

Signal: RED all the way!

Movie Review(No Spoilers): Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Well, I am not really a sucker for love stories…in fact senti n melodramatic love stories really bore me…. so I went to watch Rab ne Bana Di Jodi only because of SRK….

But but but…surprisingly, I liked the movie…. the songs, the dialogue, the acting, n ofcourse….SRK!!!

In 2 contrasting roles: a sincere, intelligent power company employee; and a crude n bindaas jat businessman; SRK to chhha jata hai!!

The heroine Anushka SHarma is not conventionally beautiful with great features n all, but has a million dollar smile! 🙂

The songs are very hummable: Holle holle, Dance pe chance, tujhme rab dikhta hai, and even  Hum hain rahi Pyaar ke…Phir milenge…chalte chalte…….. they do make your feet go tap tap…..

My verdict: Definitely watchable..atleast once! 🙂

Signal: Green

Movie Review: Hello!

Line 1: Trring Trring…….. Trring Trring…….. Trring Trring……..

Line 2: Hello? Who’s this??

Line 1: This is…………. GOD…………..

Line 2: And we are 6 ammmmazed typical call centre employees.: TeamLeader-wannabe Shyam (Sharman Joshi – very comfortable in the role), Senior member Military Uncle (Sharat Saxena – endearing, but purposeless), Mr. biker Vrroom aka Varun( Sohail Khan – I never thought he could act, but he just did!!), Ghar-grihasthi se pareshan Radhika (Amrita Arora – cute), anxious-to-be-a-model Eesha (Isha Koppikar – ok ok), and oh-so-confused Priyanka (Gul Panag – again confused).

Line 1: You all have your own typical call centre – cum – life in a metro dukhde… but you can solve them them using some 4 things: Talent, imagination, confidence, and some mumbo-jumbo about having to lose before you win…. solve them…

Line 2: Ok we shall solve them by defaming our boss(Dalip Tahil- over the top but still believable), spreading rumours in America about some virus, and doubling the call volume, then resigning: from our jobs, our unhappy families, our egos, our unrealistic ambitions….and live more or less hapily ever after!

——Call Ended——-Movie too———-

Now no possibility of spoilers here as we’ve all read One night @ the call center. However, even if we didn’t, this movie solely rests on the shoulders of the cast, and not the story. The bunch of 6 call centre emplyees is refreshing entertaining.

That apart, the movie is average. So is the directorial debut of Atul Agnihotri. Not bad.. Comedy is excellent at some places and extremely mediocre at others. Music is bad. So is the screenplay. And certain pieces of dialogue almost put you to sleep. Thankfully, they are short. Salman and Katrina do their jobs as usual(means they are mediocre..hehe).

Verdict:  Not a must-watch, but since I endured Kidnap last week, Hello is a great timepass! 🙂 

Signal: Yellow, may go to Green.

Movie Review: Mumbai Meri Jaan

CAST: Paresh Rawal, Kay Kay Menon, Irrfan Khan, Vijay Maurya, R Madhavan, Soha Ali Khan

SYNOPSIS: This movie is actually an album or a collection of snapshots from the lives of people who live in Mumbai, and happen to live (and die and relive) through the deadly blasts of 7/11. Right from rich (R Madhavan, Soha Ali Khan),to the middle-class(Paresh Rawal-brilliant, Vijay Maurya, Kay Kay Menon), to the downtrodden poor (Irrfan Khan), nobody is really bad, and all they need to do, is invoke thier conscience…this is the message carried by the movie, in a very subtle way…..

ACTING: Given the list of actors, the acting’s definitely got to be top class right!!! A special mention to Paresh Rawal and Soha Ali Khan – the girl’s surely gonna go a lonnng way!!

TECHNICALITIES: The direction, background score, cinematography, script, dialogues, direction, everything is above average!

RATING: After alll that I have written so far, do I need to hide the GREEN?? Go for it friends!! A little serious, but very different and imaginative, this movie will surely soak you in the spirit of Mumbai!!!

Movie Review: Hancock

Ever heard about a drunk super-hero, who however powerful and well-meaning, makes some mistake everytime and ends up receiving the wrath of public? And then tries to take vengeance from these ungrateful souls by creating troubles in their lives by his reckless behavior?? 😛

Enter John Hancock(Will Smith, who else) from Los Angeles!! The movie is about him, and his attempts to be accepted by the public (He officialy starts working for the cops as a saviour during crime) with the help of an earnest, kind-hearted PR executive Ray (Jason Bateman) whose life he once saves, and his quest to find the existence of his fellow-superheroes… which incidentally, happens to be Ray’s wife Mary (Charlize Theron), camouflaged as a normal earthly being.

After  brief sparks of attraction, and then savage fighting, Hancock goes on to discover that 2 superheroes cannot stay close to each other, since they were only meant to be born and to die in pairs, so grudgingly he has to leave Mary and go on to NewYork, to help people and be a real Super Hero!

The makers of this film have however, messed up with this last part, which is not at all convincing…

The acting is perfect(C’mon guys, it’s Will Smith after all!! 🙂 ) , the plot is new, the sequences are imaginative…if only, if only the ending were not wrapped up in great hurry!

Here’s one perfect example of a wonderful, funny, innovative and exciting movie, with an ending which doesn’t live up to the expectations!

Rating: Green, if you skip the last 1/2 an hour!