Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dus Khaniyan

Sanjay Bhansal is a theif and a compulsive kleptomaniac at that. After recycling reservoir dogs, U-turn, old boy he finally turns his attention towards the books. Finally the much hyped Dus kahaniyanm which was categorized into the story lines of salaame ishq is out. The film is very much different like a chalk and cheese from sallame ishq. This film is said to be something worth watching as this film tells everything in a short span. It is about the 10 different life stories which are well narrated and well performed. And this film cannot be denied s a hit as this is refreshing an d weel directed. At the end of this film sanjay gupta with his team of directors made the audience glued to their seats and made them happy for their investment . The story“Rice Plate”cast shabana azmi and naseeruddin shah. This story is about a Hindu woman getting married to a Muslim bride groom. But their marriage life is in trouble as the woman faces a challenge from the man for her rice plate. Will she place the hunger before her belief will be suspense?
Shabana performs her best as usual and lives the character . naseerudding justifies his role with a impeccable performance. rohit roy carved the film story well.Sex on the beachCast : tareena patel & deno morea Dino finds a worn out book on the beach and when he opens it and reads the character in it comes alive into a hot woman. They have a great time together but suddenly everything changes as the mystery woman has some surprises. apporava lakhia succeeds in some chills to the spine of the audience. . tareena is over exposing and is very much ready to show her assets on the screenLove daleCast: annopam kher,anuradha,aftab shivdasani and neha
Neha meets a woman in a train compartment with on 1 earring in her ear. when enquired she finds a interesting thing which can also change one’s fate. this is a story about fate and destiny. Jasmeet dhodi is the director who handled the situation well. Aftab and neha are also justified by their characters. MatrimonyCast: mandira bedi and arbaz khana and ashtosh pandey Mr and mrs. Sarin are a happily married couple . she meets her ailing aunt every Thursday . but is she really meeting her aunt is a question which will be seen in the film. This film is a story about betrayal and faith . sanjay gupta who directed this film shows well the story within its limits. GubbareCast: nana patekar,anita,rohit roy After arguing with her husband a lady sits besides a man in a bus who has 11 balloons in his hand .this story unfolds a journey of the past of the man. This film is interesting and also well applaud able at the end for its screenplay.
PooranmashiCast: amrita singh ,minisha lamba,parmeeth sethi and vishwajeet singh.
This story is about a mother and daughter bond and the feelings they share . a mother is going to perform her daughter’s marriage and suddenly an incident changes their lives. Meghana gulzar handled this films story.Strangers in the nightCast: neha dhupia and Mahesh manjrekar. A couple narrates a incident on their every anniversary and on one fine day of their anniversary it is the wife’s turn to narrate a secret of her life. She begins with a encounter with a stranger in a waiting room of a railway compartment and ends it interestingly with some masala. Sanjay gupta handle s this story and is well directed. Highlight on the highwayCast: Jimmu shegill and masumeh Hansal mehta directed this story and will narrates a story about two strangers meeting on a highway. it is justified at the end by the characterization. Zahir cast :Dia mirza and manoj bajpai this story is about a writer who is in mad love after discovering something interesting about his neighbor . This will be a good story to watch and is well directed by sanjay gupta.Rise and fallCast : sanjay dutt and suniel shetty Two parallel stories run to meet a single end . it is a story about two gangsters their friendship and their betrayal sanjay and hansal concentrate on the technique of the story and also is well carved.

On the whole the whole narration and the screenplay of the 10 stories will give a good experience to the audience and is surely going to be a hit this winter as it has all the masala and suspense which are well narrated and interesting to see.

Mirugam - Review

Mirugam is from the workshop of director Saami who discussed the unseen complications in relationships in his earlier production, Uyir. Uyir and Mirugam are clearly dissimilar in mood and style; in fact, Mirugam is dense in its details and characterisations.

Ayyanar (Aadhi) is a ruffian, unattached, carefree, implacable and ruthless. He adopts a living style that is bound by no morals or values. His everyday earnings arise from hiring his bull for stud-service in the village. And his instincts and cravings are no different from his four-legged partner; sometimes even worse than the animal which faithfully follows orders. His life's work comprises feasting on food and alcohol that invariably culminates in a hot date.

When Ayyanar meets Alagamma (Padmapriya), the youthful and exuberant village girl, he assumes her as another whore, part of the herd he could mate with. Calculating the benefits, he marries her. He succeeds in practically raping her violently in his first attempt. But soon, Ayyanar learns that Alagamma is not like other females he had encountered.

Burying her discomfort and disappointment on getting raped by her own husband on their wedding night, Alagamma takes a quiet oath to tame him, to instil good qualities in him, to instil into him the right way of life. Carrying the womanizer's child in her womb, she never wavers in her mission and stands by him till his end and even after that with her steely will, protecting him from the harm and disgrace of the villagers. Finally, Alagamma's endurance comes to an end when Ayyanar comes to a tragic death, afflicted by the pandemic, AIDS.

Mirugam does not follow the conventional way of storytelling, glorifying its lead character with heroic traits or embellishing the storyline with a series of entertaining sequences. In fact, the movie deals with a theme rather than a story. And the theme is presented in a starkly realistic way. It brings to light the staggering melange of human psychology, its dangerous and disturbing shades.

Ayyanar's striking personality, the crises that chase him during the course of his life along with the destined end, reinforce the importance of values in a human being, a reflection of what is taught in our puranas and epics.

Alagamma is a foil for Ayyanar; her portrayal signifies the stifling world around us along with its actions and reactions. Mirugam deeply disturbs every human being, prompting him to question his own credentials and through answers to the questions, offers a chance to reconfirm his trust in himself.

Both Padmapriya and Aadhi have given their best. Thotta Tharani's natural sets and cinematographer Ramnath Shetty's work are the highlights of this film.

Khoya Khoya Chand

It is a trip down the memory lane for the viewers. Lose yourself now and find yourself back in the sets of 1960's. Let’s get one thing straight. “Khoya Khoya Chand” (KKC) isn’t an easy film to peel. Its appeal lies in the onion effect that writer-director Sudhir Mishra creates while ruthlessly denying that sentimental quality which makes movies about the past so moist and dewy. KKC doesn’t strive to beautify the Hindi film industry in the 1950s and ’60s. Mishra is the maestro of the acerbic kingdom. His quirky characters forge their fate, not out of tears but blood. The pain of wounds that never heal or squeal lingers in the way the idealistic writer from Lucknow, Zafar (Shiney Ahuja), looks around the world of creative and sexual compromise, tries to find his bearings, falters and catches himself before he slumps to the ground.

Zafar could be Guru Dutt in “Pyaasa” surreptitiously eyeing his ‘fallen’ beloved, Nikhat (Soha Ali Khan), who’s so delicate she could shrivel at an alien touch.

When in one of the film’s finest sequences Nikhat tells the pained Zafar about how she was raped by a producer at the age of 14 while mama dearest - those self-gratifying ammas of filmdom - sat in the next room listening to baby’s whimpers of pain, we are not allowed the luxury of tears.

Mishra is almost fearful of overt sentimentality. Time after time in this layered and complex film, he pulls back just when we begin to wallow in the poignancy of the moment.

In this endeavour to create a world of dry-eyed pragmatism from an era that revelled in melodrama and sentimentality, Mishra and his editors - Ruchi Narain and Archit Rastogi - are one.

Though the film lumbers towards the second-half creating a world of pain that’s painful to behold, there’s an austerity of expression in the individual scenes, a ruthless denial of excessive drama, that’s accompanied by a remarkable use of light and sound, emotion and the commotion that accompanies the process of filmmaking.

Gestures rule. Mishra is a master of the nuances. So much so that we sometimes miss the larger picture! Take that sequence in the second half when the now ideologically challenged Zafar pleads with the impish and seductive actress Ratanbala (Soniya Jehan) to sign his first directorial venture.

As the writer and actress indulge in the seductive game of hide and seek, the director’s camera shows the great big mountains echoing a sweet strain of a melody from a film being shot on the spot.

At the core, KKC is a triangle about a user-friendly actor Rajit Kapoor, as temperate as ever, a used actress (Soha) and a conscience-stricken artiste (Shiney) who wants to ‘rescue’ and ‘redeem’ the fallen woman.

Remember Dharmendra in “Satyakam” and Shah Rukh Khan in “Om Shanti Om”?

Zafar’s descent and decline into compromised creativity creates a crusty crux to Mishra’s luminously layered gentle-at-heart-austere-at-the-top tale of deceptive passions.

Shiney’s eyes convey the betrayal of a whole generation of creative decline. He could be Devdas battling his resentment against a tyrannical father, or he could be Guru Dutt in “Pyaasa” grappling with the growing disenchantment of a post-Nehruvian generation that’s rapidly relinquishing its integrity.

From Meena Kumari to Madhubala and Nargis, Soha is an enchanting amalgamation of all the actresses who have ever waltzed by on the shimmering screen. Soha has the noble vulnerability of a born aristocrat and the waif-like quality of Orphan Annie (US radio serial drama). When put into a world of compromises, she displays tremendous strength of will.

Watch Soha’s controlled movements when Zafar proposes to her. Soha’s incredulous delight at the sudden proposal is infectious. Some of the more sordid scenes escape her inner world.

But what the heck! Who really knows what goes on in the murky minds of artistes! Not even the artiste herself is aware of her own potential to plunge the deepest depths of darkness.

The power of the narration in KKC lies in holding back the emotions, never succumbing to the temptation of overstatement, giving us tantalising glimpses into a world that’s long gone and yet remains an integral part of the Indian cinematic experience.

While both Shiney and Soha are in splendid shape, there’s much to be said about the supporting cast who confer a captivating nostalgia to Mishra’s finely sketched but ultimately elusive world of dreamers and achievers.

The technicians are first rate. To me, the real stars of the film are cinematographer Sachin Krishnan and art director Gautam Sen who create an aura of fleeting mocking flamboyance around people who are picture-perfect in appearance but fractured in their inner world.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Casino Royale - Review

This is undoubtedly the best bond film ever. Actor Daniel Craig has crafted his role pretty well as bond in this movie. His performance is sublime and his looks, which were not terrifying though, suited the film very much. The chase sequence in the first half which involves bond and another man, is a treat to watch. The camera angles and the locations were awesome. Editing is also done perfectly to make it real. Craig shows his class in scenes like saving the air bus, playing in the casino, getting hit from Le' Chiffre. The story is the usual bond story in which bond is assigned a task of preventing terroist funding by playing in the casino. The government itself is making him to play against chiffre who is believed to be supporting terrorist organizations. But no one knows his leader who is having contacts all over the world. Bond has to win the game so that he can save the government's money from getting into the hands of the wrong people. He almost lost his life in the process but got saved by Vesper Lynd (Eva Green). He recovers from his loss and manages to win the game. But Lynd betrays him and withdraws money from the bank and gives it to the villain gang. The final scenes answer the questions like, did bond recover the money from the wrong hands? who is the real man behind these fundings? What happened to Vesper Lynd and the villain? The thrilling finish adds diamond to the crown. It is different from the previous versions of the bond movies which involves bond's gimmicks and out-of-ordinary stunts. But this film doesn't have any exaggerated fight scenes and too many love scenes. The specialty of the movie is that Craig will never mention that "My name is Bond.. James Bond" till the end of the movie. This very dialogue is finally uttered by him to the villain and is followed by the bond theme music. That's really cool thing and the movie ends in this fashion. It is really an ultimate movie, please don't miss this one.

Kalloori - Review

Drawing inspiration from life is one thing. But taking up a true incident, making it the culmination point, and weaving a story around it is quite another. Writer-director Balaji Shaktivel, who tried it out successfully in Kaadhal attempts it yet again in S Pictures’ Kalloori .

The horrendous happening, in which a political melee led to the burning alive of three college students trapped in a bus, is topical, with the court verdict in the case making headlines recently. References to the Machiavellian act make your heart bleed for the innocent victims who gave up their lives for no fault of theirs. The barbarism hits you again with vigour when you see it on celluloid. Shaktivel uses it well to unfold a campus scene very different from a city college ambience, and paints poignant portraits on the large screen. But by giving an unwarranted romantic twist to a tale of healthy friendship, Shaktivel the story writer, slips.

It’s a culture shock for Shobana (Tamanna) from Bangalore, when circumstances force her to join a small town college. But soon she understands the simplicity and warmth of her group of 10 classmates. Though initially she intends attending the college only till she gets admission into Delhi University, the warmth of the simple folks makes her change her mind. Till this point matters are realistic. Unnatural behaviour creeps in when Shobana falls for classmate Muthu (new face Akil), a labourer’s son. Shaktivel, who could conceive several interesting happenings in the screenplay, could have thought of more plausible ways of taking the story forward.

Kudos to the unbelievably perfect casting! Most of them are first-time actors, but every character looks so true-to-life that you forget they are just performing their parts. Very ingeniously Balaji Shaktivel gives each an unforgettable individuality, right from Tamanna who fills the bill beautifully. Her costume and hairstyle add to the authenticity. Akil, who plays sportsman, friend and classmate Muthu, has just begun to learn the ropes of acting, but you can make out that he’s really slogged to do his best. Bharani as Ramesh, the student with a roving eye, is absolutely at home. While Hema, (Kalloori’s Kayalvizhi) impresses with her elder sister attitude, Vinod and Gopal, the inseparable twosome constantly at loggerheads, have you in splits. Just two scenes, but Shahjahan Gani, the English professor who tries to sell his guidebook to students impresses. Spontaneous, sensible humour runs through the warp and weft of Kalloori admirably. The innocent expressions of Satya (she plays Muthu’s sister) is another value-addition to the cast. The same goes for others too.

Cinematographer Sezhiyan’s outdoor shots are stunning. And be it the inter-college cultural scene, Muthu’s hut or Tamanna’s home, Mayil Krishnan’s art is genuine. In tune with the mood of the sequences is Joshua Sridhar’s re-recording. The racy Sariya Thavara number also highlights the lyric-writing skill of Na. Muthukumar.

Yet, despite several pluses if you still feel something is wanting in Kalloori, it’s because of the story that is skewed and affected after the midway point.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Aap Ka Surroor - the movie the love story

For the first time Himmesh Reshammiya is starring as a hero. This film is directed by his friend Prashanth. This movie is strictly for HR fans. Hanniska is making a debut in this film as well. This is an age old story. The story opens in a thrilling manner, the star singer HR is arrested for the murder of a TV journalist. Mallika Sherawath is a lawyer who tries to help HR but falls in love with him. But HR has different feelings. He falls in love at the first sight of Riyaa (Haniska), so he is not reciprocating the feelings of Ruby (Mallika). He is arrested by the german police when he is on the world tour. Will he able to prove his innocence and will he get back his lover Riyaa? This what the climax is all about. While Himesh impresses as a music composer of the film, he fails to make any mark as an actor. He is stiff, he is conscious of the camera and he tries to act as if he has all the pain in the world. This act begins to look superficial after a while. Anyway, considering it is his first attempt at acting, some leniency should be shown in evaluating his performance. Haniska is also cute and gorgeous. Mallika, as usual sexy. Music is the best thing of the film. The title song stands out as the best and the remaining songs also add flavour to the film. Overall my rating is 2.5 on a scale of 5.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Awarapan is the story of man called Shivam, who searched for joy but found nothing but pain and loneliness. It is the journey of a frustrated heartbroken lover who in order to escape from the haunting memories of his tragic past dedicates himself to serve his gangster boss Malik who runs a chain of hotels in Hong Kong.

One day Malik asks him to do an unusual job for him. He asks him to keep an eye on his young mistress Reema while he is away on a brief business trip. Reema is a young Pakistani girl who is a victim of human trafficking and whom Malik has bought in the flesh market in Bangkok. Shivam has instructions that if Reema is found to be cheating behind his back then he should kill her.

Shivam's heart melts on seeing her innocence and vulnerability. The atheist turns into a believer, as he begins smiling and responding to life. Reema gives Shivam reason to believe that she likes him. Existence begins to blush for Shivam but only till the reality dawns on him that Reema has a secret lover tucked away and was planning to elope with him. Her game was merely a smoke- screen created to gain freedom.

A shattered Shivam is in a dilemma on realizing that he has been heartlessly used - does he inform his boss or does he earn his wrath by helping his unrequited love to achieve the freedom she yearns for?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Om Shanti Om

Atlast I just had time to watch two great movies. One of them is the Diwali Block buster - Om Shanti Om and the other is Khoya Khoya Chand. Let me review OSO first. The first half of the movie is very similar to "Scary movie", teasing each and every actor you know. Here you get the intro of "Om" and the beautiful, demure "Shanti Priya." The director scripts herself from the very first scene. The title song itself is very cognitive and portrays the reality in the film shooting. Shanti is the "dream Girl" for Shah Rukh (Om Prakash) and the rest of the world too. Om is just a junior artist who dreams frequently about a star-studded life. He expresses all of his feelings to the portrait of Shanti Priya near his house. The first half mainly has scenes mocking the heroes of late 70's. You will definitely enjoy it scene-by-scene (there will not be even a single bit of caricature or any hurting content for any of the fans). Om impresses Shanti when he saves her from the fire during a cinema shoot. She constantly meets him and considers him as the best friend. There is a twist in the tale when Om learns that Shanti has got married to the producer (Mike) and she's pregnant. Mike lures her into his trap and sets her ablaze along with the "sets" of OSO. Om Prakash who tries to save her also succumbed to the injuries. At the same time Rajesh Kapoor's wife gives birth to Om kapoor.
As Ok (Om Kapur) grows up, he becomes a super-star but he also has a strange fear of fire. His senses leads him to a different world, when he visits the places lived by Om Prakash. He later realises that he is the re-birth of Om Prakash. He slowly regains the memories about the traitor Mike and wishes to take revenge. How he takes revenge? Will he get back "Shanti"? Will Mike get his deal of Punishment? All these questions are answered in the climax (with the help of the ghost though).
Shah Rukh Khan has done a fantastic job. Once again he proves that he's the "king of world Cinema." He shows great variation in his gestures and acting styles of Om Prakash and Om Kapoor. Deepika Padukone, vow she is marvellous, awesome, etc, etc. You won't believe that she is a first timer. This is really a "dream" debut for her and she has grabbed her chance with both the hands. Others like Arjun Rampal (Mike) and Om's mother and friend also did their part well. Choreography is different and the song " Om Shanti Om" is really cool. The costumers did a brilliant job. They showed great variations as the story revolves around the heroes of two different centuries. The costumes of the 70's are really original and OK's costume's entirely different. So all you have to do is forget about the logic and all those things related to it. If you are going to watch it only for entertainment purpose (with some story in it), then its really ultimate. My rating is 4.5 on a scale of 5

Cheeni Kum

For Love Age is no bar!! This is one of the cutest films ever made. Be it, the incandescent Tabu makes Amitabh Bachchan run across the London fields... "Just to see if you've the energy to do anything else," she tells him, her tongue firmly in cheek or Bachan boasting about himself and his 'London's finest hotel, you'll enjoy every bit of it. "Cheeni Kum" is probably the sauciest, slickest, and most scrumptious romantic comedy you'll see in the Hindi language in a long time. She's in London for a holiday. He is a cantankerous sarcastic chef who can't take a snub even when it's served up on a platter. "Cheeni Kum" makes you forget there's a difference of 30 years between the woman and the man. That's the magic of pure acting. The magic of two of the finest actors at work as they create an ebullient alchemy. Also in this mellow ode to love, are an 85-year-old mom (Zohra Sehgal) living life king-sized, and a seven-year-old terminally-ill girl called Sexy (Swini Khara) who takes the chef as an intimate friend and watches all adult DVDs he gets her, since she won't get a chance to do so later. Then there is the heroine's Gandhian father who can't stop reminding his son-in-law-to-be of his autumnal age. And last but certainly not the least, there's the churlish chef's kitchen staff comprising some of the most sparkling cameo-actors you've seen. Unarguably, one of the finest directorial talents in this millennium, Balki just sweeps that age gap under the carpet. It's hard to decide in which capacity Balki scores higher marks - as director or dialogue writer. Caustic and crisp, modern and passionate, the words weave magic across this intelligent yet spontaneous comedy of romantic errors. The flavour of the exchanges between the surly chef in London and the serene Indian girl from Delhi, who makes the cardinal mistake of criticising the arrogant chef's Hyderabadi biryani, are distinctly pungent and peppery. Just like the dishes from the kitchen of the Indian restaurant, the brilliant banter between Amitabh and Tabu is light on top, cooked just right and served at the right temperature. As the relationship between the couple grows, you sense undercurrents of defiant and mischievous feelings trickling out of the verbal banter.
but then Amitabh and Tabu are that kind of actors. They imbue every encounter on the rain-slickened streets of London into an occasion to celebrate life. Tabu is a natural scene-stealer and there seems to be no end to the surprises Amitabh springs on us. To imagine "Cheeni Kum" without Amitabh is to imagine that pivotal Hyderabadi biryani that brings the couple together without saffron. This intimate, amusing and warm character-study of love and its sudden appearance in lives that have accepted its non-presence derives considerable energy from the supporting cast. But Paresh Rawal, who as Amitabh's outraged father-in-law-to-be, is surprisingly bland. Zohra Sehgal, as Amitabh's spunky mom, and little Swini give life to the narrative. There are moments in this quirky, captivating and curvaceous cinema that touch the highest notes of drama without getting hysterical. However, one does notice flaws in the second half. What makes "Cheeni Kum" so unique? While Balki's word-spin takes the romance into areas of absolutely seductive brightness, London and Delhi have been captured by P.C. Sreeram's articulate cinematography. Ilayaraja's talcum-fresh melodies add to the emotions. It could also be the magic between Amitabh and Tabu, who seem to look into each other's eyes and souls with such warmth that you forget their age difference completely. But there's more to it. "Cheeni Kum" is a film where the words match the thoughts of the characters so well that you forget someone else wrote the dialogues for the unlikely lovers. So don't miss the romance!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sivaji - the boss

Atlast, the mother of all movies is here! And millions of fans of Indian cinema’s top entertainer are lapping up every bit of it. There is much hype created about this movie. The viewers have to decide whether it has lived upto its expectations or not. The Rajni fans are already celebrating the victory of this film and they are very much excited to see their super star back in the old form. The spirit of celebration, a la Diwali, is very much in the air. Tamil cinema has never seen anything like this before.It must be admitted, at the outset, the end product fully justifies all the hype and hoopla that surrounded the release of Superstar Rajnikant’s magnum opus, Sivaji : The Boss. And, as the saying goes, The Boss is always right!

The Rs 84-crore cinematic extravaganza is a wondrous spectacle, hitherto unseen on Indian cinema. Only Bollywood film, Devdaas at Rs 100 crore has cost more.

When top-drawer talent team up, the result can only be top class. The coming together of the Big Three, superstar Rajnikant , super director Shankar and super composer A R Rahman has dished out high-quality stuff. Mellifluous music, awesome action scenes, technological finesse, candyfloss romance and, last but not the least, the typical signature Rajnikant mannerisms in galore. Frenzied fans of Rajnikant could not have asked for more.

The letdown is the story. Well, there is nothing novel about it. It is a tale we have seen on the Big screen before umpteen times. A one-man army fighting the corrupt system and emerging the saviour of the poor. But, then, who cares for story in a movie which has redoubtable Rajnikant in the title role? What matters is only frame after frame of the Man with the Midas Touch. And Rajni is literally there in every frame of the flick! One also found it a bit too long.

Rajnikant has never looked better, younger and smarter on the silver screen! The credit goes to cinematographer K V Anand, costume designer Manish Malhotra and, of course, director Shankar himself. The bottom line was to make the most of Brand Rajnikant. And the effort has yielded handsome dividends.

Sivaji (Rajnikant) is a man with a mission. A rich NRI from America, Sivaji lands in India with a mission to accomplish. He wants to do something good for the downtrodden and have-nots. His dream projects: a university and a hospital to benefit the poor. Principle partner in the venture is his own uncle (Vivek at his vivacious best). Of course, the project has the blessings of Sivaji’s affectionate parents (Manivannan and Vadivukkarasi).

But the villain in the form of Adiseshan (Suman) pulls out all the stops to frustrate Sivaji’s plans. In desperation, Sivaji even sells his property to bribe the system to realise his projects. But Adiseshan succeeds in making Sivaji a pauper. So powerful is he that he even changes the Government to stop Sivaji. The defining moment of the film is the scene where Adi tosses a one-rupee coin to Sivaji and asks him to beg on the streets!

There begins the turnaround. How he turns the tables on the villain and cleanses the system is what the three-hour-long movie is all about. And the message is delivered in typical Rajni fashion, buttressed by superb technological finesse.

In between, Sivaji falls in love with a beautiful belle Tamilselvi (Shirya). The lovers get married ignoring the forecast that the husband would die if Sevi marries. The manner in which Sivaji gets the consent of Tamilselvi’s parents is tinged with humour and imagination.

Special mention must be made of the stupendous job Suman has done as the wily villain. The villainy is brought out with telling effect. In the first half, he manages to keep pace with the larger-than-life screen persona of Rajni. In a way, the first half belongs to both Suman and Vivek who delivers his catchy one-liners with great comical effect. It is only in the second half, Rajni dominates. Then, it is Rajnikant all the way.

Saucy Shriya has also delivered a near-flawless performance. As the lover who defies dire forecasts to stand by her man, Shriya says it all with her expressive eyes and body language. With an hourglass figure to boot, Shriya scintillates sexuality! There is no doubt she will go places. Already she has snapped prestigious projects in Kollywood.

A R Rahman is at his melodious best. The ‘Sivaji’ score is certain to boost brand AR Rahman by a several notches. Two songs deserve special mention. The introductory song in a Rajni movie always sets the tone for the remainder of the film. The first song “Ballelakka”, featuring Nayanthara at her sexist and style sultan swaying with youthful exuberance is dream stuff for Rajni fans. The song sung by veteran SP Balasubramaniam and Rahman’s sister Raihana will have you snapping your fingers and tapping feet. He is sixty plus, but SPB has sung with a gusto and gay abandon that is the envy of singers half his age. Raihana plays an efficient second fiddle to SPB.

The second song that transports us to a different world is the number sung by Vijay Yesudas. The young man certainly comes of age with this melodious number. Then there is “Vaaji Vaaji Nee Yen Sivaji” rendered brilliantly by Hariharan and Madhu Shree. This could well become the signature tune of Kollywood in the days to come.

Cinematographer KV Anand and art director Thotta Tharani are at their creative best, too. Tharani’s sets for the songs are commendable. As usual, Shankar’s song picturisations are superb.

Peter Haynes has designed the action scenes with great imagination. Fight scenes in the style of Jackie Chan go down well with the audience, especially as they are laced with comedy.

A grand visual spectacle. Watch it and freak out!

DON- the chase begins again

This is one of the best movies I've seen. SRK is so stylish and appealing. Even though most of the people believed that it cannot match the older version, it has out smarted them. The screen play is so fast and makes you enjoy it scene by scene. SRK fits perfectly for this role. Don ko pakadna mushqil hi nahin, namumkin bhi hai". (It's not just difficult to catch Don, it's impossible). You could say that again! Farhan Akhtar, who once made one of Indian cinema's path breakers "Dil Chahta Hai", slips into a gamine groove to recreate Salim-Javed's script from the original film of the same name. Let's not play the blame game. But whosoever thought a slicker version of the clever 1978 script would work better when packaged in gallons of gloss has a vision that just stops short of being audacious. This is a cheeky and chic homage to the earlier "Don". It goes to places the earlier film couldn't have dreamt of. The film opens unnecessarily in Paris and quickly moves to KL where the narrative stays put as Farhan tries to put across the story of Don, his doppelganger Vijay, the vendetta-oriented Roma (Priyanka Chopra) and Jasjeet (Arjun Rampal).
Priyanka fumes as though she had taken lessons in feminine fury from Zeenat Aman in the earlier "Don". Rampal frets and limps as though he had watched Pran in the original flick really hard. And Shah Rukh is the twin-faced imp-cum-ogre - he snarls, sneers and taunts as he takes the role as away from Bachchan's role as humanly possible. It isn't a performance. It's a bouquet of over-the-top expressions designed to showcase the star's ability to get the better of his character. The narrative is very straight and razor-sharp. The confusion of identity is given a psychological twist in this re-interpreted tale of the good, the bad and the ugly. Outwardly, this revisionist version of Chandra Barot's "Don" is slicker than anything Farhan or his chic ilk have ever attempted. But at times you feel the slickness really gets to you. The film's outstanding topographical and technical detailing hampers the audiences' journey towards the characters. There's not one emotionally moving sequence - neither when the sizzling Kamini (Kareena Kapoor) dances before Don to avenge her fiancé's murder nor when Roma (Priyanka) takes to martial arts and guns to avenge the death of her brother.
Coldness grips the heart of this stylish motion picture. Farhan deconstructs the clever tale of glorified-gangsterism. The neo-Don increases the glam-quotient in crime beyond anything we've seen in Hindi cinema. Makes you wonder what happened to the good old morality tale? "Don" is dangerously revisionist in its tempting overview of good and evil. Some fight scenes are so heart-in-the-mouth that their sole aim seems to be making Shah Rukh romance the rugged Malaysian hinterland. There's no sexual frisson between Shah Rukh and Priyanka. They combat one another intellectually and physically without getting too close for comfort. But Kareena can drive audiences crazy in the brief number "Yeh mera dil" with her radiant presence. The background score is minimalist and the sound design portrays silences with as much reverence as the screech of rubber on roads. But the elaborately choreographed songs and dances seem to be done in the spirit of doomed desperation. And yes "Khai ke paan benarawas wala" which carried the original "Don" to another level of excitement, misses the point completely over here. No one can chew paan (betel leaf) and jive the way Bachchan did in the original. Don't even look for that feeling here. Farhan Akhtar wants us to escape into a realm of repressed rage and ravishing violence. So where's the question of punishment? Let's look at this way. The other Don was a rapid-fire morality tale. This one is a slow-burn amorality tale, spiced up with mellow aromatic scents and creates a mood that's distinctly and pungently futuristic.Don gets full marks for packaging. So much so that the content defines itself through its sleek surface.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dhoom 2 review

Handsome guys, gorgeous ladies, beautiful locations, excellent cinematography, good action sequences and excellent performances from the lead actors make Dhoom: 2 a good entertainer.

The movie has all the ingredients for an entertainer. You might question the logic behind some of the sequences, but movies are there to entertain you and you would just enjoy the two and a half hours - it is just fun.

The story revolves around the following characters:


Aryan - Mr. A (Hrithik Roshan) and Sunehri (Aishwarya Rai) - Mr.A is a hi-tech international thief. He doesn't leave any clues during his act and his target is not just any thing. He robes the most expensive and most important treasures from different locations. After pulling off a series of impossible heists all over the world, his next target is Mumbai, India.

Once in Mumbai, Mr. A finds his match in Sunehri (Aishwarya Rai), a petty yet clever thief. She makes him an offer he finds very hard to refuse. A partnership! Aryan accepts.

"The COPS"

ASCP Jai (Abhishek Bachchan), Ali (Uday Chopra) and Shonali Bose (Bipasha Basu) - Mr.A's case is given to ASCP Jai and Ali. Helping them put the pieces of the puzzle together is ACP Shonali Bose (Bipasha Basu), Jai's college mate, now a police officer in her own right. For the last two years Shonali has been tracking these amazing thefts and is now an expert on this thief, who no one has seen.

The whole movie is a game of cat and mouse - a game of good v/s bad. The movie is a great adventure and sure to entertain everyone.

The music could have been better. Two of the songs are good and well choreographed. The title song on Hrithik and "Chori Chori" shot on Aishwarya are real treats to watch. There is no question about Hrithik's dancing abilities, but the surprise element is Aishwarya's dancing. For the first time she looks enjoying the dance sequences.

Hrithik Roshan is amazing. He looks dazzling - the best you have seen him on screen so far. He takes you to a different world with excellent dances, good fight sequences and simple but adequate acting.

Aishwarya looks gorgeous in those dresses. You may not close your eyes watching the "Chori Chori" song. She is just superb in it. There isn't anything for her to act in the movie.

Abhishek, Bipasha and Uday did their part well. But the movie belongs to Hrithik Roshan.

Director Sanjay Gadhvi and the crew should be credited for well packaging the movie. The movie has breath taking Hi-speed chases and action sequences. Special credits should be given to the costumes and the makeup team. Each and every actor looked gorgeous in the movie.

Overall, the movie is a good entertainer well suited for the holidays. But of course it's not for the ones who want to see only the real life on screen.

While leaving the hall I heard someone saying "Who cares what is there in the story... I just enjoyed watching Hrithik and Aishwarya..." and I think she is right, you may not have seen them like this so far and may never see them again like this. So don't miss it....

Billa - Review

Most of the critics raised doubts about the performance of Ajith in this film before its release, that was mainly due to the fact that this film was "don"ned already by Three mega superstars of all time. But our "Ultimate Star" has his own way of answering them, he has done it in style in his on-screen performance. In this movie, he is so stylish, so beautiful, etc, etc.. It is an under-statement that "Billa" will be a grand success and the movie is superb both for general audiences and Ajith's fans. There is no alteration in the story of old "Billa" but the packaging and delivery is "ultimate." Most of the movie is shot in Malaysia and adjoining locales. The cinematography is good. Ajith has only very little dialogue but delivers them well. His moves, costumes and gestures are simply stunning. After a long gap, we are seeing him in such a challenging role. He has lived up to the expectations and has performed well. Nayanthara and Namitha add glamour to the movie. So, this one is Christmas and New Year's gift for all Ajith fans out there. If you want to have a feel of the movie, then watch in theatres with RDX effect. This is a different movie and the most stylish one in the recent past.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

chak de review

You know the makers have played their cards right, if a person with such tastes was hooked to the movie through its entire length. Though the credit mainly goes to the sharp and focused writing, the casting needs special mention too. But that will have to wait…

This is Jaideep Sahni’s movie all the way. The little unexpected things in the script make all the difference in an otherwise ordinary plot. In a movie about underdogs trying to achieve the impossible, you pretty much know where the story is going. It’s the “how” you get there that counts and CHAKDE! INDIA scores (all pun intended!) at many levels. The obstacles that the characters encounter on the ride, and how they are overcome, keep you glued with enthusiasm till they reach their destination. And I am really glad they stuck to the hockey team and did not whine too much about the coach and his life.

The rhythmic ups and downs in the story are supported equally well by the crisp, witty dialogues and the you-are-smart-viewers silences. The sub-episodes flow from one into another without being episodic. That the editors did their job well is also demonstrated by this remark I overheard on my way out of the movie, “The good thing about Hindi movies these days is that they are only two hours. 9.30 to 11.30 - nice movie”. The movie had actually started at 9. If a movie felt 20% shorter than it was, the editing department has done their job really well.

Oh yeah, casting…the first thing you do to sell an ideology is to get a popular actor on board. But, they went one step further. The whole team is perfectly cast. From the hockey team to the hockey association members - not one of them can be singled out for not fitting into the shoes of the character. It is difficult to say whether the dialogues were written first or the actors were chosen first.

Okay - I loved SRK's acting! There - I said it. Done. (Believe me - It wasn’t remotely as easy for me to write this as it is to read it.) The smirks were conspicuous by their absence; there was only an occasional, unnecessarily long-paused sentence; no romantic lines delivered in half-whispers (thank goodness!); and - get this - no trade-marked raising of hands on the side as if he is waiting for me to hug him. Best of all, he shared the space with the girls without overshadowing them. No-no, it’s not only things that he did not do. There are things that he did right too. He was very controlled in emoting frustration, happiness, anger, disbelief. Actually all this made me excuse the occasional “I am the King” attitude (Ray Ban, et al)…ahem…okay…now before I get a divorce notice in the comment space here, let’s wrap this up here.

When the entire audience is rooting for a women’s hockey team for 150 minutes straight, you know the movie has worked. The movie certainly achieved its aim of drawing attention to our national sport and especially to the plight of the women in this sport. It invoked the national spirit, made us whistle and cheer, clap hard, and laugh out loud. It was almost like we were in a stadium watching an actual game. The question, now, is - are we sensitized enough to do something about the situation? Meanwhile, like Shah Rukh’s acting keep your expectations in control and enjoy the show.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dharma durai - Review

Another Rajni movie! But this time it's a mediocre effort both from the director and from the Superstar himself. This doesn't have a good story line that is the main drawback of the film. This time he does the role of an illiterate, loving, caring elder brother. In this movie, he is a hard-worker who believes that his brothers are his world. But they think otherwise. His brother asks him a hefty sum of 6 lakhs in cash to setup a business. But he, along with his younger brother enters smuggling and raises to higher ranks in the society. The twist comes when the younger brother murders a man. Both brothers plead guilty to Rajni and asks him to surrender to police accepting the murder did by them. Rajni does this sacrifice and gets life imprisonment for the crime, which he has not done. He is jailed for 16 years. During those time, his brothers neglect him and indulge in several anti-social activities. Their boss controls them. When Rajni got released from the jail, he realises that his brother are going in a wrong way and tries to correct them. The main villain grows suspicious about their activities and tries to dispose them off. But in the climax Rajni saves his brother and himself from the attack of the smuggling boss. Finally his brothers realises their mistakes and lives happily along with Rajni.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rameswaram review

Granted, the backdrops are splendid, the camera angles are astounding and chromatic tones are stunning. Congratulations to Vengal Ravi (art), and R.B Gurudev and Vetri (camera) for the effort. But does this suffice to make a film watch-worthy? ita films' Rameswaram has laudable technical assistance holding aloft a love that is run of the mill. The only difference here is that the hero is a refugee from the neighbouring Island.
Jeevan and his grand father are part of a group of Srilankan refugees, which arrives in Rameswaram, to escape the conflict on their island. A philanthropist lends a helping hand to the deserving folks, and his daughter, Vasanthi without giving any thought to the repercussions, in typical Kaadhal style, ensnares Jeevan with her overtures. Intially he wards off the attention but eventually gives in. The romance makes him vulnerable. However, in a pheonix like rise he returns to retaliate in a cinematic style! Jeeva's big plus is his urge to exlplore wider avenues in the choice of characters. This film offers him more scope and he impresses us as a depressed young man who has lost all in the ethnic crisis. His problem arises with the delivery of Lankan lingo, which lacks consistency. You can expect Kamal Hasan's perfect Lankan Tamil from Jeeva.
It is not just Jeeva but even Manivannan, who plays the role of grand father, does the same. The carelessness prevents you from identifying yourself amongst the characters. Surprisingly most others in the camp do a better job than these two. The situational comedy in small doses evokes smiles. Bhavana has done a bubbly role as a heroine who chases the hero relentlessly. But overall, director Sellvam could have given more attention to the story rather than art and cinematography.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Beowulf - the movie

Imagine the ugliest of dragons and monsters spilling their guts out, not to forget the effects of debauchery and alcoholism of the yore. Beowulf is for wicked adults who like their movie playful. Beowulf is full of edge-of-the-seat thrills and cliff-hangers but unfortunately, those of us in Chennai, donot get to experience half of the action because this is a film best enjoyed in 3D max, like Zemeckis's last trip via polar express.
Zemeckis once again employs the miracle of motion capture to bring life to characters created by hours and hours of Painstaking animation and how much the actors have contributed to the shape and speech of the characters. Like his previous works, Zemeckis intentionally exaggerates the animation so that its not too life-like, just to keep your willing suspension of disbelief intact.
Like most fairy-tales this movie is about the titular warrior who has come to Hrothgar's Kingdom to slay the monster Grendel, who often gatecrashes the meat-house parties for his fill of human meat. The scenes of gore are delightfully wicked and keeps the child in you thoroughly entertained, especially when Grendel chews one of the head of the warriors.
But there is a twist to the tale. Beowulf is not just about the hero in human form, it is also about the vulnerability of human even though he might be a hero. All it takes is Angelina to seduce your sanity. Even Gods couldn't have resisted such a beautiful monster. By all means, make your trip to the cinemas.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Spider man

Oram Po review

This is "fast and furious" in Indian style. Oram Po will take you into the world of auto racing and portrays Chennai from a different view-point. The highlight of the movie is that it doesn't take anything serious at all. Everything can be solved with a wink, quip and swagger. The result is slickly made romp of a movie that races along energetically without sacrificing reality. Arya plays the role of irresponsible auto racer Chandru, who rules the world of illegal auto-racing circuit. Bigle can make any auto run at speeds of 110 to 140 kmph. Chandru's worries increases with increasing debts and his secret love Rani(pooja). Son of Gun never misses a chance to create spark between the two tough friends. There's also a thing of concern for two black pearls that somehow finds its way into Chandru's auto.
Whenever you feel that the film will turn melodramatic, it chooses the lighter path and turns more interesting. The strongest point of the movie is the lively dialogues of Kumar Rajan. They are funny and at the same time they are spontaneous. Arya fits to role perfectly and Pooja is good looking even with minimum make-up. John Vijay is absolute riot in the role of Son of Gun. You are definitely guaranteed a thrilling funny trip?!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Evano oruvan Review

Madhavan's first venture as a dialogue writer has made an impression in the viewer's mind without any doubt. Few and far between they may be, but it films such as Evano Oruvan that makes film lovers optimistic about the future of Tamil cinema amidst the regular masala movies. In this movie Madhavan plays a role of a middle-class man who rises against the wrongs of the society. This film is very different wothout much heroisms, skills and larger than life image for the hero. In his attire, demeanor and attitude Madhavan skilfully projects the turbulence of Vasudevan.
Sridhar Vasudevan(Madhavan) is a straightforward bank employee, who struggles to make ends meet. He is unable to control himself when he is attacked by hypocrisy, corruption and malpractice. Unwittingly, he turns into a one-man army. In a move to punish the wrong-doers he beats them with a bat and then upgrades himself to knife and gun. But he doesn't kill anyone.
Sangeetha puts up a natural show in synchronization with Madhavan. Her role as Vatsala is so genuine and admirable. Seeman also does his part well as a corrupt police officer.
Among the minor characters, the old couples at the hospital stands apart. Sanjay Jadev's camera matched the dialogue shot for shot.
Re-recording with its telling silences vouch for Sameer's composing skills. The superlative quality of the editing is a significant reason for movie's speed. Evan Oruvan is a feather in Madhavan's cap.

Khoya Khoya Chand

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21 facts to know

21 Facts to Know

1. Chewing on gum while cutting onions can help a person from stop producing tears. Try it next time you chop onions.

2. Until babies are six months old , they can breathe and swallow at the same time. Indeed convenient!

3. Offered a new pen to write with, 97% of all people will write their own name.

4. Male mosquitoes are vegetarians. Only females bite !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5. The average person's field of vision encompasses a 200-degree wide angle.

6. To find out if a watermelon is ripe, knock it, and if it sounds hollow then it is ripe.

7. Canadians can send letters with personalized postage stamps showing their own photos on each stamp..

8. Babies' eyes do not produce tears until the baby is approximately six to eight weeks old.

9. It snowed in the Sahara Desert in February of 1979.

10. Plants watered with warm water grow larger and more quickly than plants watered with cold water.

11. Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase

the bacteria in your ear by 700 times ...

12. Grapes explode when you put them in the microwave.

13. Those stars and colours you see when you rub your eyes are called phosphenes.

14. Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

15. Everyone's tongue print is different, like fingerprints.

16. Contrary to popular belief, a swallowed chewing gum doesn't stay in the gut. It will pass through the system and be excreted .

17. At 40 Centigrade a person loses about 14.4 calories per hour by breathing.

18. There is a hotel in Sweden built entirely out of ice; it is rebuilt every year.

19. Cats, camels and giraffes are the only animals in the world that walk right foot, right foot, left foot, left foot, rather than right foot, left foot ...

20. Onions help reduce cholesterol if eaten after a fatty meal!!!!!!!!!!!!

21. The sound you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually the sound of nitrogen gas bubbles bursting.

India Test fires Interceptor missile

India demonstrated to the world about its capability to defend itself from any ballistic missile attack by successfully testing a hypersonic interceptor missile. The Inceptor destroyed an incoming target missile in a direct hit above the Bay of Bengal. This feat took place at an altitude of 15km (called Endo-atmospheric interception). Only three other countries are having such facilities, the list includes US, Russia and Israel. The target missile is a modified form of Prithivi missile. It took off from Chandipur-on sea, Orissa at 11 AM IST. Five minutes later, the interceptor missile(named Advance Air Defence-02) roared off from mobile launching station at Wheeler Island about 70 km from Chandipur.
As the target missile climbed to an altitude of 110 km and had a free of 3 Mac, the interceptor performed some maneuvers and destroyed the target with a head-on collision. The interception took place within 25 seconds after AAD-02's took off. The scientists erupted in joy and there were chants of "DRDO Zinabadh". On November 27, 2006 a ballistic missile was destroyed at an altitude of 50 km which is termed as exo-atmospheric interception.