November 08, 2006


The Departed and more movies....

Bunch of movies I watched in recent weeks. Here is a quick update on those.

I had tough time putting aside thoughts about Scorsese's "The Departed". One rarely sees such a spectacular gathering of A-grade artists. The superlative acting, snappy dialogues, fast pace and crisp editing made the movie extremely enjoyable. The quote about marriage by FBI boss is one of the most funny and memorable. Read it here at the end of page. I must say that it was hard to get some nuances like reference to Christianity and tacit rules of Irish & Italian mafia. If Matt Damon continues to deliver such performances till he reaches Jack Nicholson's age, one can just guess the top. I was mighty impressed when I watched him first in "Good Will Hunting". People are already labelling this movie as a Oscar heavyweight. Irrespective of the number of statuettes Scorsese and gang collects for this movie, it will always find a place in movies.

This is second high-impact movie of the year for me. The earlier one was Spielberg's "Munich". It released in US last year, but it released in India with a lag of more than 6 months. (It vanished from theatres immediately.) Not many in US liked it (evident from its IMDB rating and other reviews) as the movie's stand on the Israel-Palestine conflict didn't go down well with them. It raised questions about the subjective nature of 'right' and 'wrong' in the society, many would like to just skip or ignore.

"Snakes on a Plane" was a pretty good entertainer. Made me wonder when will we get such concept movies.

Coming back to Rashtrabhasha. Going by the number of reviews in blogsphere on "Don", I must say it matches the popularity of "Rang De Basanti", "Lage Raho Munnabhai", "Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna". Watching this movie in my hometown on single-screen movie hall was different experience. It was sad to see all those vivacious hand-painted posters making a way for those dead vinyl-printed billboards. I digress. For sheer entertainment value, "Don" is not a bad movie. But a plot which was path-breaking in 70s doesn't necessarily mean it is relevant today in its original form. Fixing few things makes matter worse and all you get is a botched up story.

Lots of people said, the new "Don" is all about style. What the movie actually had was an gaudy and extravagant display of wealth. Farhan Akhtar should watch the "Matrix" (even MI) Trilogy to get a sense of style. As many reviews pointed out that Farhan Akhtar seems to get inspiration from "Con Air", "Face Off" and assorted John Woo movies, I wish he had seen "The Bourne Identity" for the car chase scene which was embarrassingly primitive in Don. All in all, Farhan's 3 movies can be labelled as challenger ("Dil Chahta Hain"), complacent ("Lakshya") and clueless ("Don").

I am just too afraid to experiment with "Umarao Jaan", courtesy Ms Rai. Aishwarya Rai can learn a thing or two from actors like Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio who rose quickly to from the trough of "Titanic" to the greats like "Eternal Sunshine..." and "The Departed". After almost 10 years in film industry, Rai is still stuck in the primary school learning ABCs of acting.

I caught up with "Ek Hasina Thi" and "Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi" on disk. "Ek Hasina Thi" was a complete surprise. How come such a good movie disappeared without a whimper? Or was I dozing off? I gave "Hazaaron..." a miss last year when I saw Indian Express drumming it up big time with full page ads. I hate such in-your-face ads. Though the movie was appearently lauded by critics (obviously, not-so-successful at box office), I thought it was just good. The movie was supposed to be set in late 60s, but I could hardly sense anything of that period.

And finally, movies in maayboli Marathi. After reading Gaurav's rave review about "Sarivar Sari", I bought the disk. (Luckily, I did not had to trot bunch of stores.) Though, the number of Marathi movies release every year barely reaches double-digits, couple of them can definitely be called meaningful cinema. This was one of such films. When you are working on shoe-string budgets, you have no choice but to fall back on the basic things like story, direction and acting. Note to self - Keep track of Marathi releases.

Agree completely about EHT. Read my almost 3 year old review of the film.
At that time I thought it will be a superhit. But it was publicised badly so sank.
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