Friday, January 16, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire is awesome !

The heightened interest of westren world in India is manifested by many films made recently by several western and NRI directors with themes based on Indians. Slumdog Millionaire is the latest one in this series. It is based on the book 'Q & A' written by Indian diplomat Vikas Swaroop. Since I have not read the book, I can not comment on whether the director, Danny Boyle has been successful in accurately translating the book into film or which one of the two is better. But Kudos to Danny Boyle for creating an awesome film ! True to his reputation, the film has been directed exceptionally well. It is a story of an impoverished slum youngster, Jamal winning on the tv show 'Who wants to be a Millionaire'. With each question of the quiz, the story takes you to different incidents of his life which have helped him to answer questions correctly. However this extraordinary success on the game show lands Jamal into trouble with suspicions

of cheating in the game. Anyways, some scenes of the film touch your heart and make you realize and appreciate what a struggle it is to live life for such children from slums. But you never feel pity about it and believe in the strength and courage of characters to handle all situations. The film has a fast paced story line and a bit of humour sprinkled in between. The performances of all artists are amazing especially the kids have done a brilliant job. No surprise that the film has won 4 Grammy awards and 10 BAFTA nominations so far !
The other films which I have seen recently include Australia, The man from earth and Taxi driver. On a scale of 1 to 5, I would rate them as 3, 4 and 2 respectively.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Annual perdiction: Movie time

If the first few days of 2009 are any indications of the future and specifically rest of the year, I would say I have become a couch potato (bed potato in my case) watching movies one after the other for endless time. With the economic slowdown, I guess, its natural for a person to indulge in reel world and get rid of tensions of real world. Anyways, my movie watching spree began at the end of 2008 with Ghazini, one of the most awaited and talked about movie of 2008. But the movie did not meet my expectations. I would say its a bad copy of the cult film 'Memento'.
For me it was a long movie with over stretched end with lots of crying and shouting in between. In Memento, the director has been able to turn a nonsensical story line into an extra ordinary fiction with the idea of shooting the film in reverse chronological order. That keeps the viewer engaged till end. However, Ghazini lacks this quality. It seems the director was in a dilemma as to whether he should make a total romantic or an all out action movie. In trying to conjure both, he made a film with distinctive patches of romance and action stitched together. On music front, Rehman disappointed me. Except 2 songs which I am sure will fed away from popular imagination in 3-4 months, rest songs are just ordinary and forgettable.
Next in my list of movies is one more movie shot in reverse chronological order i.e. 'Irreversible'. The dark movie with nerve wrecking scenes of a gruesome killing in the pub and 9 minute long terrible Rape scene shot in a subway, evokes extreme reactions in viewer. It reminded me of Bandit Queen, another disturbing movie. Many scenes here start with wide rotating camera in dimly lit background, triggering dizziness in your head and strain on your eyes. But the film does not loose its intensity till end and grip on viewer's attention. And the end is a pleasure for eyes with full display of perfectly carved out Monica Belucci in her most natural form :p This reminds you that you are watching a french movie after all :)
The best movie which I have seen so far this year is Slumdog Millionaire. I think it deserves a separate post. So bye for now. Will write more on tomorrow. Goodnite...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New 2009

"Hey what did u do on 31st ?"
As I had anticipated, this was how I had first conversations in the year 2009 with many of my batch mates in college. And my response to this question was equally boring….It was ‘Nothing..I was sitting at home with family members and watching awful TV programmes’. But to my surprise many of my friends also had a similar experience. With friends not around you in your native place and family members clinging to you because of your short stay with them during vacations, I realised this has to be the most likely thing to do for many of us. Anyways, I started my new year in transition as I undertook my journey back to Delhi from Aurangabad on 1st Jan. The next day, I arrived in Delhi 3 hrs late which is not a big deal for Indian railways in these foggy winter days.…or any days for that matter. When I landed in Delhi, I realised that it had turned into almost a hill station. The weather was cheating with the clock. Even at 4 pm in my watch, the weather was of 8 am. After 2 days more, I realised that its going to be the same throughout the rest of winter. Finally, the most hyped and feared’ Dilli ki sardi’ like many other things about this city, has set in the Capital and I am clearly overwhelmed by it. Doing routine activities like taking bath, which was never a routine thing for me, have become courageous acts :) Like most other people on streets, I am too wearing my cap and wrapped in my sweaters and jacketes all the time. At the night time when the mercury dips down further, sometimes you wake up with a sudden sensation of cold and numbness of your hands and feet. And your mind yearns for the warmth of someone :P