Sunday, September 16, 2007

Goodfellas (Director : Martin Scorsese ; Based on book by : Nicholas Pileggi) - 1990

Direction : 5/5 stars
Cast : 5/5 stars
Music / sound : 4/5 stars
Acting : 5/5 stars
Characteristics : Comedy, Drama, Thrill, Violence, little Emotions, Mobs
Genre : International : Hollywood : India : English : Comedy
Popularity : 2/5 stars

Although an old movie to write about, however tonight it made me enjoy it - that's what made me sit down at 2 AM in the night, on East coast & write something on GOODFELLAS . The moment I sat for watching Goodfellas, I got stuck to the screen ... I couldn't get up !
An unrealistic, however fast & entertaining movie. Maybe this stuff really happens somewhere - I don't know the world well !

  • Murderers come with smiles.
  • A very fast moving movie, filled with lot of violence, however the whole actor group - the heroes, take all the events very casually, lightly & in a funny, friendly way .
  • A lot of movie runs with background voices of Henry (Ray Liotta - a young mobster) & Karen (his wife).
  • The marriage scene is cast with the background voices in a funny way with almost all the guests named as Paul or Pete & all ladies - Marie !
  • Jimmy (Rober De Niro) is one of the very stable minded & senior gangster & another big man is Paulie. Henry starts as a small worker for the New York mafia & grows up in the policing & killing people.
  • Whoever couldn't go to the police, came to these gangsters for protection.
  • The movie is filled with comedy scenes & dialogues - the prision sequence, the gambling games at the bar.
  • Tommy is shown as a maniac who crazily kills few people unreasonably (at least seems to me).

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday, August 28, 2006

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (Director : Karan Johar, Cast : Abhishek Bachhan, Shahrukh Khan, Pretty Zinta, Rani Mukherjee, Kirron Kher) review - 2006

Direction : 3/5 stars
Cast : 5/5 stars
Music / sound : 5/5 stars (Shankar Ehsan Loy)
Acting : 4/5 stars (Shahrukh brought this number down)
Characteristics : Drama, Comedy, Emotions, Relationships, Family, Fun, Dance
Genre : International : Bollywood : India : Hindi : Drama
Popularity : 5/5 stars (extremely popular)

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, also referred to as KANK (abbreviated) is a movie made with lots of bells and whistles. A musical, family drama with a great cast, revolving around relationships.

  • An extremely bubbling and funny first half and a dull & devastating second half.
  • Amitabh cracks few funny lines, which may hurt few too :-( , otherwise has serious short appearances in the movie. Anyway, Chandigarh has made its way to everybody's lips who knows about it ;-) .
  • Abhishek is into his character very much and has kept up an appreciable level of performance. Shahrukh has a monotonous role with similar acting as in his other movies (except few like Swades). Many find it boring.
  • Rani Mukherjee has played well as a dedicated wife, apparently confused lover, and a loner after divorce. Preity Zinta effuses spotaneity & excitement.
  • The first half of the movie runs with continuously funny and energizing sequences, songs and dances. The relationships start twisting towards the end of first half.
  • Shankar Ehsan Loy have created an impressive and long lasting music. The song "Where's The Party Tonight" is already a popular dance number. "Mitwa" & "Tum hi Dekho Na" are slower and sweet songs. Mitwaa has a faster version too - both are equally good ... mmmmmm :-)
  • The film is made extra long - sometimes one feels that the director Karan Johar has unnecessarily stretched it too long. Everyone I spoke to, thinks that Karan Johar should stop thinking too much for some time - this is a movie with worst second half, which also hads an excellent first one. One feels like pulling their hair at times - thinking "where is the director trying to take the movie - so unrealistic !".
  • I think I'm talking a lot about the halves of the film - I guess you'd understand the need too once you watch it. Weighing the worth of the movie - the first half should not be missed for a second ; the second half could be missed completely, assuming everybody lived happily ever after :-) ... somebody should have told me this - I wouldn't have changed my opinion about Karan Johar ;-)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Yun Hota To Kya Hota (Director : Naseeruddin Shah, Music : Viju Shah, Lyrics : Sameer) - 2006

Direction : 5/5 stars
Cast : 5/5 stars
Music / sound : 4/5 stars
Acting : 5/5 stars
Characteristics : Drama, Comedy, Emotions, Relationships, Family, Excitement, Thrill
Genre : International : Bollywood : India : Hindi : Drama
Popularity : Not known yet (New movie)

Spoiler Warning : Some comments may reveal suspense about this movie.

This movie is a different dish directed by legendary actor Naseeruddin Shah; ice-cream for some and sour grape for few ! I just finished watching Yun Hota To Kya Hota . I note some points about it :

  • Yun Hota To Kya Hota has 4 different stories, cast with talented actors. The stories run in parallel, not in any manner linked together, at least till the last 5 minutes. All these stories are realistic, down to earth, close to everyday life around us.
  • Each story has a central character, some funny some touching scenes and sequences. These in-too-focus folks are Konkona Sen Sharma (Story 1 - Tilottama Punj), Irrfan (Story 2 - Salim Rajabali), Ankur Khanna (3 - Rahul bhide), Paresh Rawal (4 - RajuBhai Patel) . The in-slight-focus people are Jimmy Shergil (1 - Hemant), Suhasini Mulay (2 - Namrata), Ayesha Takia (3 - Khushboo), Ratna Pathak Shah (4 - Tara).
  • Somehow, in all 4 stories, someone is going to America to pursue their dreams, to hide from people, or for business. They land up being on same flights, except one. Guess who ;-) ?
  • Before it showed the date in a trivial scene, I realized it was going to be that dreadful day in American history. (God, let me be a director ;-) )
  • My best scene is when Tara & Rajubhai Patel's daughter starts singing a really sweet & slow folk song at the US consulate, where they had come for a visa. Best comedy scene was when the large-haired friend of Rahul talks about one's bathroom with TV screen - pure (Shudhh) Hindi.
  • The movie has got a nice title song, worth a hum and an ear or two.
  • There are some voiceovers by Naseeruddin Shah, I think, which sometimes guide the movie and sometimes enlighten us about the characters , movie , the direction :-) An appreciable effort by Naseeruddin Shah.
  • How I could relate the title to the movie ? What if SHE too :-( ... ? The title "Yun Hota To Kya Hota ... What if ?" displayed at the end suggested this ... keep guessing that one till you watch it.
  • There're few sequences at US consulate which might actually happen - Konkana's conversation with consular officer & the dance by the Rajubhai's show-group(God, make me a director ;-) )
  • Konkana is sweet and has acted well, Khushboo is cute (ladies first ;-) ) ... Paresh Rawal is OK, Irrfan - spontaneous.
  • Yun Hota To Kya Hota is worth a watch & we didn't find it a waste of time & money.
  • More Information at IMDB and Wikipedia.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Iqbal (Director, writer & screenplay : Nagesh Kukunoor, Producer : Subhash Ghai) - 2005

Direction : 5/5 stars
Cast : 5/5 stars
Music / sound : 3/5 stars (not much music is needed)
Acting : 5/5 stars
Characteristics : Drama, sports, cricket, comedy, emotions, thrill,
Genre : International : Bollywood : India : Hindi : Sports
Popularity : 4/5 stars

An attention grabbing, well directed, sports (Cricket) based movie .

  1. Shreyas Talpade (Iqbal) fits the deaf & dumb hero's role exceptionally for his first bollywood appearance. The father Yatin Kharyekar (Anwar) is at his best, trying to prevent his son pursuing his supposedly nonsense dreams, and to make him cultivate agricultural crops for little money with him.
  2. This movie portrays non-verbal communication very well.
  3. Iqbal would definitely attract Indian & Pakistani audience. The plot revolves around cricket. Cricket is an extraordinary game that brings the two nations into harmony.
  4. The storyline of the movie is set in a village environment, which brings a feeling of serenity. All the while building up excitement of Iqbal being able to play cricket for a highly admired cricket team of his country.
  5. Many scenes are eye-catching & heart-melting, which bring smile to the viewer -
    • Iqbal's sister listening to distant voices of cricket players, explaining to him in his own language (sign language) with her little hands with great excitement, about the tips and techniques of the highly cherished sport.
    • Iqbal's mother telling Naseeruddin Shah that she would kill him if Iqbal doesn't go to the Indian cricket team, and Iqbal's father would kill Naseeruddin if he visits their house :-) .
    • The ease with which the family (Iqbal, his mother and Zaheera - his sister), although was wacthing cricket on TV a few minutes back, acts as being involved with daily chores when the father returns home every evening after hardwork at his fields - mother sitting & smiling outside house, sister studying and Iqbal washing clothes.
More information on IMDB & Wikipedia .

Friday, August 04, 2006

Lady in the water (Directed by - M Knight Shyamalan) - review (2006)

Direction : 5/5 stars
Cast : 5/5 stars
Music / sound : 4/5 stars
Acting : 4/5 stars
Characteristics : Appropriate comedy, thrill, surprises
Genre : Hollywood : US : English : Horror
Popularity : 3/5 stars

This movie, Lady in the water defies all laws of normal Hollywood & Bollywood movies - that the Hero does everything right ! ... which kids love to see & adults grin over ;-) . So, here comes M Knight Shyamalan with his new, thoughtful creation - Lady in the Water. Few things I observed :

  1. The Hero DOES draw many conclusions wrong ; others help him make better decisions ...some distract too ; Finally, it is a combined effort of everybody (the Guild, the Healer, the Interpreter, the Party) to save the STORY make the movie a likeable one :-).
  2. It starts with a gloom reminiscent of exciting Horror movie climaxes & slowly builds up upon a mythological STORY coming true.
  3. The Hero Paul Giamatti is magnificent with his dull acts, modest moves & excellent stammering - others are there to keep the story going well ! The STORY, Bryce Dallas Howard, acts fine under shower ... I think u better discover about it when you watch it :-) . Mr. M Night Shyamalan, the director, writer & producer of the movie, has himself acted in the movie, as a writer who's not clear about his own ideas.
  4. This movie is a mythology turned into people, codes, confusion, suspense, thrill - directed very well. Each character has played his / her part well & few subtle funny scenes keep this film closer to reality, & farther from NORMAL Holly / Bolly - wood.
  5. Mr. Shyamalan makes very good use of sound effects. His earlier movies - The Village, The sixth sense & Signs were also enjoyed well, with great sound (especially in The Village)
  6. Moreover, I found the eagle stupid, the one-side-exercise guy funny, STORY with a SHIRT ON :-(, the butterfly scene attractive, underwater scene long, the DOG - a Harry Potter animal, Hero lying on couch like a KID - funniest & again STORY with a SHIRT ON ;-) .
  7. I enjoyed the movie a lot in Clearview cinemas, Parsippany, NJ. It was nice to observe that nobody in the theatre made any sound, as the plot was so serious, full of suspense & you couldn't miss a minute of it !
  8. An important point to note - the whole movie runs in a single building - nothing outside ! M. Knight Shyamalan makes a presence felt again ! My best wishes :-) More information & pictures on IMDB & Wikipedia .
  9. For any of you who are wondering what's STORY - she's the LADY in the Water ;-) .

Music of the night : Dekho na Zara dekho na (Movie : Swades ; Sung by : Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan ; Music by : A.R. Rehman, Genre : World:Hindi:Love ; A well composed & musical song, with touches of Rehman's bells & whistles that make every creation a HIT ; Soft & firm rhythm - A.R. Rehman's another dimension)