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In lamhon ke daaman mein…….

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It’s not everyday that you come across a movie of epic proportions, but then most of them are plagued by the burden of heavy expectations. Ashutosh Gowariker’s latest offering ‘Jodha Akbar‘ sadly falls into the same league. The promos, music and the big names ensured that the movie had a monstrous opening on the weekend but not many people left the cinema halls with the same feeling that they had while entering. There has been controversy surrounding the name of Akbar’s wife and everyone seems to have heard a different version of the story, what matters is that he married a Hindu woman and lets call her ‘Jodha’ for that is how it was in ‘Mughal-e-Azam‘. You’ve got to cut the guy some slack, how on earth do you expect to market a film called ‘Harkha Akbar’ or ‘Akbar Mariam‘ after spending close to INR 40 Cr! Now that we have grown over the name and watched the trailer of Abbas-Mastan’s ‘bhai-vs-bhai-ladki-ke-liye’ thriller Race three times in a row, the movie opens with the director explaining the reason behind naming the film in a 200 word essay.

The very first scene opens with a war sequence as I tried to stifle my laughter looking at the extras and the choreographed formations. I agree it’s very difficult while filming with so many extras they seemed like running into each other, looking confused and playing dandiya . There was a roar in the hall when HR says ‘Hamle ke liye tayyar’, only to be dampened by his non-involvement in the ensuing battle with cannons blowing into the camera and elephants crushing the heads of foot soldiers!
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Written by maxdavinci

February 21, 2008 at 1:14 am

Vaazhthugal – A crash course in tamizh…….

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Saw the so-called blockbusters of the tamizh pongal bonanza back to back this weekend and I’m glad to have survived the ordeal. Tamizh cinema has often succumbed to hero worship and the new releases of the season plunge to an all new low. I hope this and the previous two posts, serve as an early warning to unsuspecting junta.
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Written by maxdavinci

February 4, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Kaalai – The bull disappeared from the BSE, and so did this one…….

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Pardon me Simbu fans, for your idol has always reminded me of a cockroach! It was very amusing to imagine an insect belonging to phylum Arthropoda as a bull. Just like the previous post, even here I fail to understand how the title was related to the story, except for the million times the word ‘Kaalai‘ was uttered as part of the BGM. Deliberate eh? But then you have to hand it out to the director for the very unique characterization. How often do you come across a movie where three unrelated people share the same name? And when almost everybody in the movie is after a ‘Jeeva’ your brain cells are put to work as you decipher who is after whom. But then once you’ve got this sorted out you once again can’t stop thinking of that thing that runs around your kitchen sink and bathroom pipes.
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Written by maxdavinci

February 4, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Bheema – When a man loves another…….

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Yep, ladeej and juntalmen Bheema is the first tamizh gay film and makes Will&Grace look amateurish. After giving us India’s first 70mm blue film for Diwali, the industry gives us a gay flick for Pongal! Shekar adores and idolizes Chinna ever since he was a kid and wants to be like him. They actually edited out a scene wherein the stick that Chinna hands over to Shekar sends shivers through his body. There might have even been a dream sequence song where Shekar is bathing in a pond and fantasizing about Chinna, but this is something only our director saar can clarify. Twenty years later, an all beefed up Shekar joins Chinna’s gang and single handedly takes on his enemies. In a bid to throw sand into peoples eyes and keep them guessing, we have a heroine who is mad about shekar and sings songs with him in dream sequences. Poor thing, little did she know that she was part of a triangular love story and there was just one-way traffic from her side.
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Written by maxdavinci

February 4, 2008 at 6:06 pm

Posted in laff beta laff, phillum, Review

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The blue film experience!!!!!!!

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Forgive me O Ganesha, for I have sinned. Having done the unthinkable, the unpardonable I stand before you with my head hung in shame. I regret my actions and take a solemn vow to never ever repeat the same. I was lured by a couple of friends and unknowingly became part of the act while my partners in crime were all gleaming with satisfaction as I gave in. I have however now learnt to identify exotic art and will not let my senses trick me into submission once again. I would also like to confess the experience and the rush of emotions in me as I climaxed and collapsed on the chair in exhaustion. I was later awoken by my friends and I particularly enjoyed the last few minutes of the film as they climaxed and we all were tired and drowsy in the end. After the whole nerve-wreaking exercise, I ate like a horse and could have eaten more if not for the cold stares of the waitress. I’ve never heard of people being so hungry after such an experience that most prefer to call as pleasure, but I guess it was my first time and such things are bound to happen.

It all begun on a Sunday morning when the phone rang

he: heya, watcha doin today?
me: umm nuthin much, just the usual sleep-lunch-sleep-dinner-sleep sunday routine
he: gosh, you need to get out. I’ll pick you up in twenty.
me: do you mind telling me, where we goin?
he: do the words ‘exotic art’ entice you?
me: not really, i stay away from all forms of art.
he: you’ve got the flair or else why would you like pink floyd?
********************************************
A lot of yada-yada discussing the lyrics of some PF songs inner meaning etc which I wish to skip as they are irrelevant to this post.
********************************************
he: watever dude, you’re coming and I wont take no for an answer
me: doesn’t look like I have a choice
he: trust me you’ll love it, and will surely make a post out of it.
me: yea rite, might as well do something instead of the Sunday routine

So we reached the place and it was full of people dressed in their best clothes with the women sporting layers of make up and the men all seriously chatting away. My so-called-friends showed me a photo of the director who they said was one of the best in the business and I was in fact lucky to even be there.

me: hey, this is no art exhibition.
he: cinema is also a form of art, and this is exotic art remember
me: you just wait
he: chill dude, it’s your first time and you are therefore bound to be nervous and finicky

Suddenly everyone goes quite and the music starts. I was just casually looking around me and was soon drawn towards a very beautiful damsel (henceforth BD). I am forced to refrain from describing the maiden as I don’t want her to get stuck in my head again and also the fact that this blog is read by a wider section of the society. My friend nudged me and said “Here’s your lady, what do you have to say now? Shuru ho ja”. We were soon joined by a guy (you’re right a guy!) who had worn nothing underneath his towel and my friend adds that he has a cute ass! If that was not enough we were joined by a whore (interestingly it was her third experience) and an granny who seemed way past seventy. Her vampire red lipstick and nails gave me the shivers but the guy-in-towel (henceforth GIT) hugged her and I guess he felt a connection with her. It was good initially as there were a lot of sounds of oooh-aaah etc and I thought everyone was enjoying it. Soon comes another burly looking man(henceforth BLM)  whose eyes tell you he has been drinking all night and it was total mayhem as I sat confused. BLM was brought to balance the equation I presume but his inclusion put things out of control.

Myself and GIT wanted BD, but BD wanted BLM and the whore wanted GIT. Nobody wanted me or the granny and this is when I climaxed and passed out due to exhaustion. I just couldn’t take it anymore but also felt sad for the granny though briefly she seemed interested in GIT and vice versa. I was awakened by a strong smell of perspiration for it was well past two hours since the proceedings had begun. I didn’t realize how long I slept but learnt that the dejected GIT was turned away by the whore as well (confusing eh? same feeling…) and BD momentarily decided to do it with GIT before BLM came and took her. Those two hours actually felt like four nights and I had excruciating pain in my lower back thanks to the uncomfortable and squeaky chair. Exotic art my foot! But everybody was all smiles and my friends liked GIT’s butt a lot in particular (queer assholes).

I regret my actions and swear never to repeat the same ever again even if Mr.Spielberg enters this industry and makes a similar film. O Ganesha, I hope you forgive me and pray that my readers don’t leave me for writing such a post.

PS: Saawariya is boring, contrived and I really fell asleep!

Written by maxdavinci

November 15, 2007 at 10:56 pm

The Boss experience…….

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Ah Finally! I get to post in this space, I get some motivation to do what I loved the most. It’s been close to 250 days since my last post way back in October. Who better than ‘The Boss’ to kick off a fresh start to blogging again. To many in the west, the term ‘Boss’ is associated with Bruce Springsteen as he was popularly called the ‘Boss in concert’. When it comes to desis, ‘The Boss’ refers to the most powerful actor in Indian cinema, I’m gonna go one step ahead and say the most powerful actor in Asia!. Tis’ true for no actor comes close to commanding respect of fans worldwide. With the movie(Sivaji) being released in 27 countries and close to 2900 prints, making INR 150cr($37.5 million) in only three weeks at the box office! Sivaji truly elucidates the power of Rajini‘s fan base.

There’s still a mad rush outside cinema halls as people throng to watch the costliest movie ever made in the history of Indian cinema. Sivaji is a Tamil flick being dubbed and released in other states of South India, but the stunning fact is that the movie is making money in states like Maharashtra, Delhi, and Madhya Pradesh. It’s not just the Tamil speaking crowd in these areas but locals as well, and that’s even more surprising. With almost all news channels doing ‘Sivaji‘ specials, and dedicated 30 min slots for reviews, stills, promos and trade buzz the hype grows exponentially. Everybody now wants to be part of this juggernaut and are trying to be associated in some way or the other, be it tickets, t-shirts or other merchandise, trivia and just about anything you can think of to make a fast buck.

The movie also brings together the biggest names in Indian cinema in Director Shankar, Music by A.R.Rahman, K.V.Anand behind the camera, Thota Tarani behind the sets, Manish Malhotra’s costumes, Peter Haynes’ fights and finally the trio of Prabhudeva, Raju Sundaram and Ragahava Lawrence as choreographers. The rising starlet of South Indian Cinema, Shriya Saran as the female lead Suman as the bad guy, and satirist Vivek as the role of Sivaji’s sidekick find themselves playing meaty roles in the movie. The movie also features many prominent South Indian actors but then Rajini takes it all. Right from the title to the credits it’s the sheer magic of Rajini’s on screen presence that keeps you glued to the seat. Tickets have been selling like hot cakes and in some areas they’ve been selling a ticket for INR 1500($37.5)! On an average though tickets generally never exceed INR 100($2.5), even in the US tickets are hard to get with most most movie halls displaying sold-out banners. Pricing the tickets at $15 doesn’t help as people are buying them no matter how much they cost. With great difficulty I managed to be part of this spectacle and I must say, its an experience worth the wait and the money spent.

The movie has generated a lot of buzz since early December with stills, and bits of information being leaked onto the internet ever since. With big names being associated, expectations have been rocketing sky high as fans patiently awaited the release. Rumors were that owing to over expectation the movie may fizz out at the box office but then all those have n=been put aside now as ‘Sivaji‘ is on course to become the highest grosser in Indian Cinema. One thing ought to be taken into consideration that it is a regional movie and only 6.3% of the Indian population speak Tamil, yet the movie outperforms all Bollywood flicks by a mile. For those of you who have never watched a Rajini movie, this hype may seem real weird and unwarranted but unless you experience it you’ll never change your opinion. The sets are spectacular and the songs have been shot spectacularly, but that is all put aside by the style, mannerisms, dialogs well in short rajinisms.I don’t find the need to discuss the plot here as you can find it elsewhere, but what I would like to speculate on is the power of cinema. A lot of hard work, style and dedication goes into making a good movie but when we speak of a great movie, it’s a different ball game altogether. A good movie is one that leaves you with a nice feeling when you come out of the cinema hall, a great movie is one that leaves a lasting impression on you for years to come. When it comes to their movies, Rajini and Shankar both excel at it and that is why you find yourself drawn to the cinema hall again and again.

Shankar is a genius, he knows the pulse of the audience, he knows how to make movies that cater to all sections of society. There are those high-flying, gravity-defying fight sequences that have the front-benchers and fans roaring, there are oodles of impromptu comedy that will have the balcony crowd in splits, there is the pain and agony of failure when ‘Aadhiseshan‘ hands over ‘Sivaji‘ a coin n asks him to beg alms for a living, sorry aunties as there is no unwanted sentiment like a death(which is turning point in most shankar movies). Shankar’s forte is attacking daily problems like corruption and he sticks to that formula again. Right from ‘Indian’ to ‘Sivaji‘, all Shankar movies show the hero unable to bear the atrocities around him and either a death or an incident act as a catalyst for the hero to fight against the system. There is no death in ‘Sivaji‘ however when he looses all his money and is left with a Re.1 coin, Rajini turns to ‘Simha padam‘ and its non-stop action thereafter. The fights are very well choreographed and the background score blends with every scene. Shankar has taken utmost care to maintain the larger than life image of Rajini with a message oriented opening song, Rajinisms, punch dialogs and tomfoolery while not wading too far away from his subject of how black money, bribes and corrupt officials are feeding of the system like parasites. Like all Shankar movies, Sivaji also finds an innovative way to fight the system which is obviously not in tandem with the law.

Rajini’s last movie was ‘Chandramukhi‘ and that was Rajini in a very mellowed down performance in a non-title role. After the debacle of ‘Baba‘, Rajini probably decided to do this movie with no hype, no image and more important no punch dialogs. Sivaji marks the return of the superstar in a title role and hogs 70% of screen time, Rajini has given up on-screen smoking and therefore he tosses a bubblegum into the air instead. Manish Malhotra has done a fantastic job on the costumes and the looks of ‘Thalaivar‘ as he is fondly called. Rajini sports over 50 differents looks and each of them is equally stunning, be it in the songs(king in ‘Vaaji Vaaji‘, villager in ‘Ballelaka‘, funky in ‘Oru Koodai‘, rockstar in ‘Athiradee‘ ) or in the scenes where he goes from riches to rags and back to riches. I’ve always maintained that what makes a great actor standout from a good actor is the ability to set aside an image and get low on comedy as well as emotion with style. Good actors can dance, fight and mouth a few good dialogues and probably end up with an award. Great actors are the ones who can do heavy emotional scenes by getting absorbed in the character, or tomfoolery and have the moviegoers in splits. This is what separates SRK, Amir Khan, Rajini, Big B, Chiru from the rest like Hrithik, Abhishek, Nag, Mahesh, Vijay, Ajith etc. In the first half Rajini almost emulates Vivek as the comedian trying to woo Shriya and it’s a treat to watch that. The scene wherein he mimics actors like MGR, Kamal Hassan is rib tickling and he performs them with utmost ease. It gets even better as this particular scene is re-shot in telugu where he mimics NTR, ANR and Chiru. The second half is pure style and substance as he bends the rules to achieve his goal. The bald headed ‘Mottai Boss‘ entry was a total shocker and had everyone completly blown away, Rajini is undoubtedly a super-style-star.

Notable rajinisms:

  • Tossing the bubblegum
  • Rotating his sunglasses
  • Signing employment papers with both hands
  • Playing with the coin before it lands in his pocket
  • Rapping his fingers on his bald head
  • Guitar fight and the Samurai sword fight

Shriya looks a million dollars as a pucca orthodox tamil girl and suits the role to perfection. A lot has gone into developing that look and it paid off as well. She looks stunning in the songs and Shankar has done his homework to highlight her huge eyes. Vivek is a complete package and at times in the first half seems like Rajini plays second fiddle to him. He has more punch dialogues than Rajini and literally comands screen presence in the first half as he helps Sivaji woo Tamilselvi. He is the more loyal sidekick in the second half but has the best lines. Suman is probably the most underrated actor in the South Indian Industry, but his ray-ban look as ‘Aadhiseshan‘ is a killer. Tall and burly he fits the role of a goonda turned businessman who owns colleges and hospitals that charge exorbitant fees.

Punch Dialogues

  • Rajini
    • “Sivaji pera ketale chumma adhurudhulla” – “Hearing Sivaji’s name makes you feel the tremors”
    • “Kanna panninga dhaan kootama varum, singam single-a dhaan varum” – “Only pigs come in groups, lion comes single”
  • Vivek
    • “Boss” – “Bachelor of Social Service”
    • “Sixkku appuram seven da, Sivajikku appuram yevenda” – “After six there is seven, after Sivaji there is no one.”
    • “Kuzhanthaigal paakurathu pogo, sivajikita vendaam go go” – “Kids watch pogo, don’t mess with Sivaji just go go”
    • “Chittoor Thaandina Kaatpaadi, Sivajiya cheendinaa Dead Body!” – “If you cross Chittoor you will reach Kaatpaadi, If you tease Sivaji you will become a Deadbody!”

Now there will be balcony rants bout how foolish some scenes were and that was always expected in a Shankar-Rajini film. The songs though shot brilliantly at magnificent locales and sets have no baring with the story line and seem like a separate track. Shankar never believes in using the songs to tell stories and therefore always has larger than life settings for them. Shankar loves technology and prefers using the latest equipment when it comes to film-making, the CGI visuals may seem a tad overdone. The fights also seem to be unwarranted for, but just to keep up with the image of Rajini and all the high flying action may not go well with the so-called posh audiences. The song and fight sequences are purely plug and play like other Shankar and can fit anywhere in the movie, we’re least bothered as they are a visual treat and bear no connection to the story. The scene where Sivaji electrocutes himself and Raghuvaran playing a guest role as a doctor performs CPR on him after 10-15 mins may seem a bit too much.

Frag everything that isn’t right and just sit back to experience the magic of Sivaji, forget the rants, forget that there exists something called logic, watch the movie for what it is, the screaming, dancing, the rejoicing in the aisles, buckets of paper at your feet and a sore throat three hours later. This is what sums up the whole Sivaji experience.

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Written by maxdavinci

June 28, 2007 at 12:45 pm

Posted in phillum, Review

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Is it a bar of chocolate? Is it a musicbox? Is it a phone?

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If you’ve seen the latest TV commercial of music playing near some molten chocolate then stop guessing. It’s not a new chocolate bar from Hershey’s(that is what I was thinking when I saw a bar emerge) but a phone! Yes sir, the molten chocolate drips off the bar to reveal the brand new phone by Verizon and produced by LG.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you ‘Chocolate

I’m not sure if the phone will come wrapped in a silver foil but it surely has generated a lot of buzz. Techblogs are screaming with reviews and comments are flowing in hundreds. I don’t wanna go into the phone as you can easily read it elsewhere, but instead lets talk of the ad.

You hear ‘Goldfrapp‘ in the background as you see ripples in molten chocolate. The music generates an earthquake effect and out comes a bar with chocolate dripping from it!(It’s super sexy too see so much chocolate!) Just when you are waiting for the Hershey’s logo you see something black on the bar. When all the chocolate drips away you see not a new chocolate bar but a phone in black with red lights.

It slides to show you the keypad and then you see the Verizon logo on your screen! Great advertising but can’t say the same for the product.

pros:

  • mp3 player
  • great looks
  • $150 after rebate
  • camera function

cons:

  • no click-wheel
  • end button (very small)
  • no on-board memory card and 64mb internal memory
  • doesnt recognise all unprotected mp3s
  • doesn’t recognise all common pic formats
  • kinda forcin users towards VCast

closing comments: Anything that looks good isn’t necessarily good

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Written by maxdavinci

August 4, 2006 at 7:06 pm

Posted in Review, tucknalajee