Sunday, December 21, 2014

Movie Review: Interstellar

The world, as we know it, is coming to an end, and a team of brave space explorers need to race against time to find a new place quickly if humanity is to survive. Bring in time relativity, black holes and wormholes, and you have a complex Christopher Nolan epic that weaves some amazing visuals and SFX, with drama, adventure and love .

The scene between the main protagonist (Matthew McConaughey ) and his 10 year old daughter Murph (I loved Mackenzie Fox), as he leaves on his mission into space, is powerful and extremely touching, and will tug at your heart for a long time! The irresistible Anne Hatheway also adds tremendously to the visuals!

There is an obvious comparison to that other space movie, Gravity, which feels pretty one-dimensional compared to Interstellar. The only problem with Interstellar, is the 2 hr 49 min running time, which is really more than a tad too long for such an intense scifi movie.

By the way, do watch out for the scene at the very beginning - when they manage to catch an Indian Air Force drone, with the accompanying comment "it's very good". I guess when it's end of the world time, Chinese drones are way too unreliable! :)

Movie Review: Action Jackson

Have been thinking for a long time since I opened this blog post.. what can I even say about AJ?

Do I start with how it inspires so heavily from Kill Bill's style of graphic animations? Or the sinister laugh every time the vamp is on screen? The silly track about seeing a guy's balls for good luck? About the lack of something that goes by the name of editing? The senseless, eminently forgettable song and dance?

For an actor of Akhay's caliber and Sonakshi's promise (still wonder if Lootera will remain a one off!), AJ is a huge disappointment, to a point that mindless AK gigs like Entertainment, Garam Masala and Shaukeens feel worthy of the Oscars.

Puneri Paati


Prawns and clams for breakfast - having dinner at Gajalee in Pune definitely has benefits the next day too!

Movie Review: Boyhood

I don't think a movie like this has ever been attempted before!

Shot over a period of 11 years with the same cast, Boyhood delivers an unbelievable experience - the experience of literally seeing a child (Ellar Coltrane as Mason) literally growing up before our eyes. Not just him, even his parents, his sister and a bunch of other characters stay through us for years! There isn't a real story - just the story of our lives, something every single one of us will be able to relate to at a very intimate level. From family trips and dinners, birthday parties to the first kiss, Boyhood is a celebration of what life is all about as children.

And take a bow, director Richard Lintaker - such an inspiration in persevering with a dream and a vision, sticking to it for over a decade of painstaking effort, to put it all together in a tiny 2 hr 45 min package!

Movie Review: Happy Ending

A guy who cannot commit, a friend who is desperate to escape the clutches of his marriage, an over-possessive girl friend, and a pretty siren who's perfectly comfortable with the idea of a one night stand deliver a simple, happy, funny and enjoyable film that's easy on the eyes, ears and the heart. Saif, Ranveer Shourie, Kalki and Ileana are perfect in their roles, great on the screen, and share a sense of humor and timing that really makes HE a pretty decent watch. Not a must see, but not bad at all!

Movie Review: Happy Journey (Marathi)

Out of a slew of movies I have seen over the last few weeks, Happy Journey deserves a special mention. An offbeat Marathi movie, staring Atul Kulkarni as the Dubai-based brother of a sweet girl (the very pretty Priya Bapat), who dies of an illness without a last chance to see her brother, and the smart Pallavi Subhash as Atul's love interest.

Back home for his sister's funeral, Niranjan is shocked to find his sister (well, her ghost, actually) waiting for him to help her finish some tasks left unfinished. As Niranjan starts bonding with his sister, after promising to spend the next week or so with her to make up for all the years they missed while he made money in Dubai, he also rediscovers his old flame, the daughter of a local don, desperate to break out from the shackles of her protective dad.

The movie starts off beautifully in the first half, and Priya is as lovable a ghost as they come! Atul also puts in a great performance. Pallavi is the surprise package, and looks pretty good too. The movie actually has a perfect ending when the interval kicks in, beautifully poised. From there on, it starts meandering a bit, losing some of the steam.

Good to see Marathi cinema breaking the mould, and doing so well at it!

Catching Up

It's been a while since I posted - somehow, some recent happenings make me feel unexcited about posting and sharing my life online. The more I think about it, the more I want to get rid of my blog, my social network profiles, even my phone sometimes - and just go back to the old times when relationships meant writing letters, waiting for the postman to deliver a greeting card from that special someone just in time for your birthday. When meetings were planned days in advance, and meant eagerly reaching the rendezvous well in time, your eyes scanning for your partner. Yes, we didn't share what we had for breakfast, or posted selfies from the hair cutting salon, but what we shared stayed in our minds and hearts for years. Even today, when I go to bed, I generally have flashes of real conversations from over two decades back sometimes, burned as they are into my consciousness.

I have tried looking at the world through my own eyes, not those of my DSLR. I have stopped taking selfies with friends, families and celebrities, preferring instead to use that quality time to "be there in the moment" and soak every bit of it.

I worry about a world that is so digital that we are reduced to being machines ourselves. When our angst and anger, our joys and experiences, our victories and learnings, are all reduced to just a bloody hashtag.