Monday, 8 February 2010
Posted by A.G at 10:58
Monday, 25 January 2010
Posted by A.G at 07:25
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Please click on the link to read the review which was written a year ago. The writer, as is his habit, forgot to post it on his blog.
Posted by A.G at 20:18
Monday, 29 December 2008
It has been almost three months since I have posted a single word. I am back in the land of my birth and the hunt for that elusive 'job' is still on. Mumbai is still the same, filthy, polluted, loud, crazy, zany city...in other words full of life and colour and I would not have it any other way!!!
Even though I am part of the many million who are unemployed I have still managed to partake in one daaru session every week, which according to certain sections of society makes me one big bevda.
What constructive thing have I done since I have returned? Well, if one must know I have discovered that the best way to enjoy the effects of marijuana is to consume it in the weirdest of places, like hospitals or the rooms of doctors in hospitals!!! I have also realised that guys should not wear stockings of any kind, especially those that go up to their thighs and more importantly one should never encounter a guy wearing thigh-high stockings when one is stoned, it can be extremely scary. I still wake up at night shivering in fright...
Finally, let me end by saying how happy I am that the Aussies are getting their backsides whipped in their own backyard. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my lips and a tear to my eye. For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, SHAME ON YOU!!!
Posted by A.G at 08:13
Saturday, 4 October 2008
Two nights ago, due to a lack of sleep and extreme boredom I revisited Maqbool and Omakara, Vishal Bharadwaj's adaptations of Macbeth and Othello and I must say that I ended up changing my initial views on these two films. I remember raving and ranting about how good Omkara was and how it was such an improvement for Vishal Bharadwaj as a filmmaker. Basically I reacted like every film critic in India. Unfortunately, I must eat my words shamelessly.
Maqbool is the movie where Bharadwaj has shown that he is a filmmaker that we should look out for. He has beautifully and very meticulously adapted Macbeth for Indian sensibilities. The main characters have been fleshed out extremely well with outstanding performances by Pankaj Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Irfann Khan, Tabu and Piyush Mishra. Pankaj Kapur, though, is the standout performance. His character bears shades of Marlon Brando in the Godfather, but Kapur has made the character his own. Even though he is physically diminutive, Kapur's character (Abbaji) exudes power. Kapur's Abbaji is the definitive 'Godfather' of Hindi cinema. Maqbool, though set in the squalor of the Mumbai underworld cannot really be called a gangster film. Its focus is on the characters and their human frailties. This is where Bharadwaj leaves his stamp as someone who is not interested in aping the gangster formula as conceived and unabashedly milked by Ram Gopal Verma.
Maqbool is the right blend of a tight script, brilliant performances and exceptional directing that is rarely seen in Hindi cinema these days.
Omkara, is definitely a technically superior movie than Maqbool. It is slicker and has a grander scale. Bharadwaj has shown an eye for detail by meticulously recreating the nexus that exists between politics and the underworld, especially in Uttar Pradesh. However, unlike Maqbool the focus is on the stars and not the characters. The only character that seems completely fleshed out is that of Langda Tyagi, which is essayed by Saif Ali Khan and is, not surprisingly, the stand out performance in the film. Saif's rustic, rural Iago is foul-mouthed, treacherous and at the same time slightly endearing. Saif is able to essay the hurt and betrayal his character feels at being overlooked as a successor to Omkara quite marvellously.
Unfortunately, other than Saif's performance and two remarkable cameos by Konkona Sen Sharma and newcomer Deepak Dobriyal, the rest of the star-studded cast deliver performances that are good but not memorable. As a friend of mine once mentioned, Bharadwaj might have been better off going with relatively unknown actors, since they would have approached the roles without the baggage of their star personae.
However, Bharadwaj should be given a standing ovation for turning to classic literature for ideas and for bringing Shakespeare to the masses and the effort he takes to adapt these classics to the Indian milieu. There seems to be a genuine effort by him to make films that are entertaining and at the same time have something for the connoisseur of good cinema.
Posted by A.G at 16:22
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Saw RocknRolla with the Zenmaster after a session at our favourite watering hole and I must say that it was extremely disappointing. Most directors these days, in my humble opinion, seem to start their careers with a bang and then...NOTHING.
Guy Ritchie's first two movies Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch showed a lot of promise and could well be considered to have added a new dimension to the British gangster genre with the tongue-in-cheek humour that they contained and the complex and intricately constructed script with excellent characterisation. These two movies had relative new-comers in them other than Snatch which had Brad Pitt in a role which was small yet memorable. However, Guy Ritchie has not lived up to expectations which these films created, at least not to mine.
RocknRolla has a story that is paper thin. There are multiple story lines that converge just like his earlier ones but they only appear to be complex. The dialogues of the characters are very mediocre with obvious attempts at replicating the wit witnessed in Lock, Stock and Snatch. The worst part is none of the characters are memorable. I came out of the theatre feeling the way one feels after smoking a Marlboro made in China. IT'S JUST NOT THE SAME!
I am not trying to write a review here, but what I am trying to convey is that these days the experience of going for a movie, at least for one made in the UK or US, is just not fulfilling. None of the British or American movies that I have seen in the past one year, have really made an impact on me. I have not come out of the theatre going, "WOW! That was some flick..." Even the blockbusters seem extremely formulaic and even visually they do not stand out.
That is my biggest gripe with the films coming out of the West these days. I do not remember seeing an American or British film recently that has knocked me off my feet the way Pulp Fiction did and sadly Tarantino has also gone the Ritchie way. I think the problem here is that the directors these days are slaves of their images. So a Ram Gopal Verma (RGV) sticks to gangster and horror films which is the same with Tarantino and Ritchie. They do not seem to want to experiment with genres and styles, which is the one way they can keep their audience guessing. I doubt if RGV will ever make a musical like Rangeela. He is so wrapped up in the image of a director who makes realistic, gritty films 'exposing the underbelly' of life that a frothy, light musical from him seems as distant as a Pink Floyd reunion.
Posted by A.G at 12:12