Sunday, January 24, 2016

Even I Take Public Transport!

End Of A Bright Day!

Soaring Over Despair, or Ominous Clouds?

Bottled Feelings

Cat Scientist

Can't stop laughing...

Moview Review: The 5th Wave

The Others want our Earth, and for that, they need to eliminate humanity. In the first wave, they take out all power and engines through a giant electromagnetic pulse. Then come the earthquakes and tsunamis, wiping out most coastal cities. The 3rd wave is a deadly form of the avian flu, spread through the 300 birds that inhabit our planet. Then, The Others inhabit the Earth, getting inside human forms to pick out the survivors one by one.

The fifth and final wave is about to come, and the US Army enlists help from the children who've survived the apocalypse to fight the Others. Outfitted in battle gear, the kids are sent out into the battlefield. Yes, it makes no sense... and neither does most of the rest of the movie. But when you are about to eliminated from the face of our only planet, who has the nerve to question?

There can be only 2 reasons to watch The 5th Wave this weekend - you have already seen Airlift and Joy, AND, you are a big fan of Chloe Grace Moretz, who is cute as hell.

Movie Review: Joy

After Silver Linings, the amazing trio of Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert de Niro join forces again with director David O Russel to bring another delightful and uplifting story to the big screen.

Joy is very Silver Linings like, the same crisp dialogues, drama and humor, with not a moment that fails to engage. And while de Niro is his usual wonderful self, and Bradley Cooper will make you drool in the small but memorable role he has, Joy is all about Jennifer Lawrence, in my opinion, the most accomplished actress Hollywood has had.

Struggling to find her own identify and dreams in the midst of a singer ex-husband who lives in her basement, a dad (de Niro) shuttling between failed marriages, kids, an soap-opera obsessed mother and a step sister, JLaw instantly connects with audiences as she takes them through a roller coaster of emotions and states - despair, frustration, madness, inspiration, delight, victory, failure, hard work, and finally, success. Trying to make ends meet, Joy sees an opportunity in taking her Magic Mop to the market - but it's not easy. Patents, lawyers, cheats, debtors, cops, even her own family - everyone seems to be conspiring to hold her back from her dreams.

Don't miss Joy. There's very little of it around, anyway!

Movie Review: Airlift

The year was 1990. I had just finished 10th, and started high school. India didn't have cable TV, there were no mobile phones. No Coffee Days or Baristas. No Pizza Hut. Life was very simple. Hanging out with friends on the beach. And watching Kung Fu movies on the VCR.

And then, thousands of miles away, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. And all of us in Goa felt the tremors. No, it wasn't just because oil from the Gulf was expected to dry up in our tanks. But it was because thousands of Goans lived and worked in Kuwait and rest of the Gulf, sending money back home to lonely families.

Suddenly, they were refugees in a faraway land, with no where to go.

The Gulf War of 1990 did one more thing. It brought war from the frayed pages of school history books right into our living rooms. Night vision shots of anti-aircraft fire, bombs blowing up the cities, tanks rolling across a landscape strewn with burning oil fields... the world was no longer an innocent place for 15 yr olds like me.

Airlift is the story of the biggest evacuation in the history of the world, when efforts of Indian Kuwaitis like Sunny Matthews, pilots of Air India, Indian Airlines and Indian Air Force, and many nameless, faceless government and embassy officials resulted in the coming home of almost 170,000 stranded Indians from the war torn Gulf. Told through the eyes of a wealthy Indian businessman, Ranjit Katiyal (Akshay Kumar in a measured, restrained and wonderfully executed performance), Airlift brings the horror, the despair, the frustrations, perseverance and ultimately, the victory of a "system" that succeeds in the impossible evacuation of our citizens through almost 500 flights over 2 months.

Raja Menon's taut direction, and Priya Seth's cinematography makes Airlift a compelling experience, with scenes that give you goosebumps, that invoke anger and cynicism, and ultimately, and an immense sense of pride.

Akshay Kumar is ably supported by a wonderful cast. Kumud Mishra is the hassled and frazzled bureaucrat in Delhi, dealing through red tape and processes, pleading with Ministers in a wobbling coalition. Prakash Belawadi is the forever grumbling and complaining George (don't we all know people like that?) who gets on your nerves, while Inaamulhaq in just right as the slimy, corrupt and menacing Iraqi major in charge of Kuwait.

For me, the find of the movie is Nimrat Kaur (and I can't help thinking of Rosamund Pike, another of my favorites, when I look at her). She is the perfect foil to Akshay, a stabilizing and reassuring force in the turbulent times. Angry at him initially for ignoring his family's safety, she soon becomes his pillar of strength. A superb monologue in support of her husband, a dazzling smile that lights up the bleak landscape, and an almost regal wardrobe - this is one girl to watch out for, if she gets the right kind of movies.

Like the shot of the wheels of the first flight taking off, Airlift will lift you and carry through the cynicism and despair our news channels keep dumping on us. Do not miss this one!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Movie Review: Wazir

With my favorite Farhan Akhtar teaming up with Big B, and the very pretty Aditi Rao Hydari, Wazir promised to be an intense affair. The movie starts brilliantly, setting the audience up for what promises to be a cat and mouse game between terrorists and the ATS, played against the backdrop of a chess game. But while the build up is great, and the first half keeps you engrossed, the second half is quite a let down, almost making you feel as if the writer and director ran out of energy and decided to wrap it up. There is really very little connection with the chess, and the story itself is pretty predictable. The end, a let down.

That said, watching Farhan and Big B on screen together, and the very talented Aditi in a small but touching role, is worth the 2 hours... especially given that there is little else this weekend.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Movie Review: Natasamrat (Marathi)

Natasamrat is the poignant and depressing story of the last days of an acclaimed and very successful theatre personality, his battle for respect and relevance in a world that no longer has any use for him. Forgotten by audiences and abused by his own family, unable to cope with his theatrics and inability to adapt to their "modern" way of life, the once proud actor is forced to take shelter with a roadside bootpolishwaala, minus his companion, his identity, and his sustenance.

Nana Patekar puts up a signature performance, but for me, it was Vikram Gokhale as his frenemy that takes the award. The supporting cast, especially Nana's "sparrow" daughter and his wife, are also brilliant.

While Natasamrat evokes some hearty laughter in the first half, and shocks the audience into silence in the second, terminating with spontaneous applause to the brilliant performances when the end credits roll, this is the kind of movie you do not want to see at the beginning of a new year. While it is packed with powerful performances, it's not my kind of movie - it does nothing to lift your mood, it drowns your spirits, and the bitter aftertaste only serves to wrench your heart.

The world already has a lot of despair and sorrow. Give me something that gives me hope.

Movie Review: Point Break

An aspiring FBI agent surfs, speeds and flies his way into the midst of daring heists pulled by extreme-sports athletes on a mission, in this remake of Kathryn Bigelow's Point Break.

PB provides almost 2 hours of adrenalin pumping extreme sports action from mountain biking at the top of the world, bat-flying through dangerous valleys, sky-diving into jungle hollows, extreme surfing in the ocean, and some nail biting free rock climbing in exotic locales, backed by crystal clear cinematography which is excellent advertising for the much-abused 3D format.

What the movie lacks is a credible plot to hold it together, and wastes the amazing potential of the charming and sexy Teresa Palmer.

I would still go for it - if nothing else, to simply enjoy the NatGeo HD - meets - Mission Impossible 3D action.

Goa In Dec 2015... Some Vistas

Cat Overdose