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Saturday, May 4, 2013

MUMBAI POLICE



Believe it or not, Mumbai Police is one of the finest cop dramas made in Malayalam. It is about the story on an ordinary man who became the victim of a prejudiced society. The movie which primarily told as an intense investigation thriller by an amnesiac cop is a take on the emotional dilemmas one has to undergo while he is challenged by a social jeopardy. A movie on the dark secrets one keep which will turn his entire life to a Gordian knot.Lastly, Mumbai Police also address boldly on those victims of so called 'social taboos'

All appreciation on Bobby-Sanjay who has came with something that can be called as an air tight script and a first time daring approach in mainstream Malayalam films . Though the story telling pattern shares the shades of Nolan's 'Memento', Mumbai Police emerges with an identity of its own. Anthony Moses, the amnesiac police officer is another terrific performance from Prithviraj after the recently acclaimed Celluloid. Farhan might be the most audible role got by Rahman after his golden age. Yesteryear actor Kunjan also delivers a terrific performance. Aparna Nair, the eye candy, did the job assigned to her best though she don't have any particular impact on the story line .

Thursday, May 2, 2013

STAR TREK II - THE WRATH OF KHAN

Directed by Nicholas Meyer, Wrath of Khan is about the 15 year old vengeance of a prisoner who was exiled to a lonely planet by Admiral Kirk. Unlike the prequel,the swift in narration and occasional thrills backed up by jargon free dialogues and decent performance makes this Wrath of Khan more appealing to the franchise fans and a optimal starter for those who are new to the enterprise.
The impeccable visuals of the prequel was missing in this installment. The graphics often felt like waiting for consistent patch work. What surprised me most was the decent performance put forward by the recurring cast. Yeah, after all they had to something more than looking at television screen this time and also no more bald lieutenants. From the new cast Ricardo Montalbán's Khan is one of the best performance in his career and Kristie Allae 's Mrs.Sulvnik serves as a fine eye candy.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

IRON MAN 3

Unlike other Marvel films that make passing references to the original source , Iron Man 3 is well rooted on comic book story arcs. Drawing prime  inspirations from Extremis(The Invincible Iron Man Volume 4 #1-6), Shane Black was generous to share many thrilling moments from other major story arcs with his base plot  which include The Five Nightmares(The Invincible Iron Man Volume 5  #1-7), Iron Man and the Armor Wars,Haunted ((The Invincible Iron Man Volume 4 #21-28) & World's Most Wanted(The Invincible Iron Man Volume 5  #8-19) . Shane chosen the best from these, compiled them in the most logical and convincing manner and made one of the best Marvel movie till date.
It's obvious that the new wave arose in superhero franchise hit Marvel also. But thanks to Shane because for not giving a total grey makeover to Tony Stark. Possessing the iconic features of Marvel films, Iron Man 3 prefers to travel bit off track - And yes that was a good decision.
What impressed me most is the brilliance with which Shane incorporated the key concepts of the above mentioned story arc and his introduce of some prominent characters like Rescue , Mallen , Patriot , Dragon to the movie without leaving any odd loose ends. This is how adaptations are made :'Choose the best parts, work them and turn to something that do have an independent personality of its own! '

Thursday, April 25, 2013

MY TEHRAN FOR SALE

The efforts of Granaz Moussavi to depict the uncertainties of middle class life in Tehran feels like an half boiled cake. The root problem stays with the added situations for making the life of protagonist more melancholic. One might ask in the end on the tragic lady lead - " Is that bit made up? ", which a total contradiction to the exotic Iranian films that ruled our hearts for years.
The film opens with a police raid on a dance party happening at a distant isolated stable from the city. Among the few survivors is the theater artist Marzieh who is forced to lead a secret life because of the law. She dreams of a world where she can express her artistic values without fear and can lead a normal life. Her dreams get colored when she met Saman, an Australian citizen, who offers her a life but things goes bad when Saman learns that Marzieh is suffering from AIDS. The film ends with a pennyless Marzieh waiting for her verdict in police station after getting arrested for trying to leave the country illegally.

Monday, April 22, 2013

RAJA HARISHCHANDRA (1913) - India's first feature film

When it comes to film, India is always frenzical. Our relation with films are so deep and devoted. What more! we have a proudful film industry with a glorious history. And on this moment of its 100th birthday, all thanks to that great man who opened the world of cinema to the Indians. To that great man who gave Indians the first desi feautre film. To the Geoge Mileus of Indian Cinema - Dadasaheb Phalke !

'Raja Harishchandra' directed by the towering Dadasaheb Phalke is the first feature film that is entirely Indian made. This silent film which had its premiere at Olympia Theatre in Mumbai on April 21,1913 was screened for the public in the Coronation Cinema Hall exactly after 12 days. Our nation was amazed by the magic of frames and  'Raja Harishchandra' turned out to be a profit maker. Thanks to audience becauae Phalkeji was inspired from this victory and came up with more classics like 'Lanka Dahan', 'Shri Krishna Janma' & the fabulous 'Kaaliya Mardhan'.

Not only 'Raja Harishchandra' but all those follower films from Phalkeji was based on myths and stories from Ramayana & Mahabharatha. Obviously the popularity of puranas on the conservative society existed then was so great and Phakeji's cherishing craftsmanship with frames attracted the mass to the halls.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

JURASSIC PARK 3D

All I have is a very vague memory of myself getting freaked out and hiding behind my mom on seeing those mega monsters in the VCR. Something that happened before 20 years. I believe that's how I was introduced to the magic world of frames.

Now after twenty years, watching  Jurassic Park on big screen today, I thank the brains behind the 3D re-release (though it was done with a sole intention to squeeze maximum revenue from the film)  for not making it to a bad dream like Titanic 3D. Because what I had today was not the revival of the masterpiece but a beautiful ride to my childhood memories.

When Richard Attenborough says the classic quote - "Welcome to Jurassic Park " and camera rolls to the brand turned title card for the first, the feel I received was some beyond to express. Everything gets better in that heavenly score of John Williams. It was one of the rarest experience I had as a cinephile.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

OZ - THE GREAT & THE POWERFUL

For nearly 40 years this story has given faithful service to the young in heart ; and time has been powerless to put its kindly philosophy out of fashion. To those of you who have been faithful to it in return ...and to the young in heart ....we dedicate this picture
-Wizard of Oz (1939: Title Card)

 One is not supposed to think about the above referred title card from the 1939 classic named 'The Wizard of Oz ' directed by Victor Fleming, while watching the Sam Raimi prequel which hit the theaters last week. As expected, there is no philosophy in this eye popping Disney fantasy. What came from the pen of David Linsay was more or less a rip off of 'Grimm's Fairy Tales ' or videlicet Grimm Brothers meeting Frank Baum.

Established as a promising director, one expects more from Sam Raimi. Hail his relentless efforts, 'Oz the Great and Powerful ' is an acceptable prequel than a sleeky visual divertissement. Though the prequel lacks the innocent soul of the original, it can be ignored .One must not for the fact that even Frank Baum failed to come with a potential sequel for his 'The Wizard of Oz 'novel!!

'Oz the great and the powerful ' tells the story of the Land of Oz and the rise of it's saviour. Oscar Diggs, called as Oz, a small time magician from Kansas ends up at the fantasy world of Oz after his hot air balloon is sucked up by a twister. Oz which is under the rule of the wicked witch sisters is to be saved and eventually Oz take up the job. How Oscar accomplish in his mission makes the crux of the story.

What I love most about the film is the numerous efforts made by director to associate it with the original movie. The sepia painted black and white opening credits along with the 4:3 ratio widescreen will surely rings you the bells of the opening moments of ' The Wizard of Oz '. The director took care to associate all the prime characters of the original to the prequel. The lion, the scarecrow, the tinman are connected to the movie in the most natural and sensible manner. But what I love most is the modus in which Dorothy Gale was welded to the plot. The chartcer is twicely rooted to the film in an astounding manner, making 'Oz the great and powerful' more close to the original. When Annie tells Oscar that she is proposed by John Gales it hints Dorothy's parental lineage. Also at many places the movie declaims about a prophecy from the land of Oz about a wizard who banishes the wicked witches and saves the nation. The prophecy is eventually completed when Dorothy kills both the which in 'Wizard of Oz '. When Michelle Williams who plays 'Glinda - The Good witch' reprise an earlier point of the film as Oscar's love interest Annie, out in the open a question pops up among the audience whether Oscar was dreaming as Dorothy does in the 1939 movie. However I wonder why Sam Raimi kept rest of his cast in Oz itself.

In an age where anything is possible by CGI , Sam Raimi never wants to leave any loose ends when it comes to technicality. The Land of Oz depicted in 'The Wizard of Oz' is featured with crystal clear perfection by Disney in this modern age prequel. The emerald city, flying baboons, the yellow road, ruby garden etc all are articulated with pitch perfection that gets even better in 3D.

However, in spite of the ensemble cast, the movie lacks a riveting performance. When James Franco was playing to get himself established, Michelle Williams never comes out of the Barbie Glinda. She was extremely cute but was never captivating. The worst was Rachel Weisz. She was supposed to play the wicked witch Evanora but what we see on screen is a dead witch!! Another disappointing element was the music. I won't say the soundtrack was bad but from the prequel of a movie that gave evergreen songs like "Over the Rainbow ",  I do expected a lot.

Unlike the universal acceptance  ' The Wizard of Oz ', the new Disney venture appeals more to the kids than the grown ups. Though there are few hilarious moments at the earlier phases of the film, towards the end it's nothing but a joy ride intended exclusively for the young hearts. I heard the movie will be spawned with a set of sequels but the question is how. There is no visible scopes for another decent and if anyone comes, I admire his blessed chimera

In my opinion, the movie should have named as 'Oz the good and the beautiful. As Glinda says at the climax, what Oz achieved is goodness but not greatness - so as the movie. 

Rating: 7/10