Archive for the ‘Cinema’ Category


… is the tamizh film of the year. No movie this year has been this good and nothing in sight is going to beat this.


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… says Aamir Khan’s blog.

Shahrukh is licking my feet and I am feeding him biscuits every now and then. What more can I ask for?

Now, before you jump to any conclusions let me add that Shahrukh is the name of our dog. And before you jump to any further conclusions let me add that I had nothing to do with naming him. In fact Shahrukh is the dog of the caretakers of our house. When I bought this house it came with the caretakers and their dog!

Well Shahrukh is once again begging for my attention, so let me get back to him. He is smelling too much, I think he needs a bath. “Heel boy, heel.”

The fun when these guys get going at each other. Now am waiting for SRK to create a blog and start hamming.

On a related note, I wish someone had given the ‘needs a bath’ advice to our own Vijay. He looks like someone who has not ventured into a bathroom for ages. Talk about maintaining an image for the fans. Heh!

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Superstar packs a punch, as usual. But the plot is not so ‘koo’l.

During the late 70s, when Rajnikanth made his mark as a hero in Tamizh cinema, his movies were usually ones which had a very powerful story and relied on Rajni’s acting prowess, which I believe is tremendously under-utilized till date.

Then in the early 80s, Billa happened, and everything about Rajni changed forever. He became a style icon and almost every single movie in the post Billa era, except Thalapathi, has relied on his style and ‘punch’ dialogues. Rajni is simply superb in most of them and has grown into India’s biggest superstar.

Shankar wanted to strike a balance between style and substance in Sivaji and miserably fails. Sivaji will be a blockbuster, because of one reason – Rajnikanth. The irrepresible veteran has carried the movie on his shoulders and quite obviously succeeds, especially as ‘Mottai’ Boss.

But Shankar’s formula does not work for me. The constant switching of the plot from the hero-heroine romance to the hero-villain tussle in the first half is painful. Its almost like bits and pieces shot randomly and strung together. Vivek does himself and the audience a real favour by excelling and that is something to write home about in the first half. At the interval, Sivaji is left with a one rupee coin. He is totally deprived of everything else and as usual, vows to get even on Suman. When the second half begins, Sivaji outsmarts Suman and forces him to agree giving 100 crores back to him. The vaazhakkaai bajji scene oozes style and Rajni rocks. Things seem to get interesting. Then, when you least expect it, the scene cuts back to Shriya, who manages to churn out one stupid reason after the other to turn down Sivaji’s love for her. Then she waves her davani to stop a local train from running over Sivaji. Love blossoms. Duet song. ‘Ponnunga ellaaam endirichu dham katta poittaanga’. One opulent set after another for the song sequences start getting a bit claustrophobic.

Rahman has kept up his near perfect record of coming up with average music albums for Rajni movies. Sivaji’s music is just about ok. And I am not comparing this with a ‘Dil Se’ or ‘Roja’. Anything to the levels of the SJ.Suryah’s ‘Ah-Aah’ would have rocked. Rajni deserves better than ‘Balleilakka’.

KV Anand’s camera and Thotta Tharani’s sets show a lot of hard work. Manish Malhotra has come up with some wonderful trendy stuff for the superstar. Special mention should go to the hair stylist and make up man for making Rajni look 30 years younger.

Overall, as Siva, said after the movie 1+1+1 does not always make 3. In this case the sum comes to 1.75. Rajni – 1, Rahman – 0.5 and Shankar – 0.25.

Karuthu Kandasamy’s comment: “Shankar saar! Engala vechu onnum comedy keemedy pannaliye!”

Image source: Behindwoods

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I have been wanting to write about some of my favourite movies of all time. I start off the series with Sidney Lumet’s 1975 classic ‘Dog Day Afternoon’.

Dog Day Afternoon is the typical example of how a film should really be. The plot is based on a simple bank robbery by two optimistic guys – played to perfection by Al Pacino and John Cazale – which fails pretty badly. What makes this one different from the others is the ultimate characterization of the two ‘robbers’. They enter the bank with high hopes, but things start getting screwed up right from the beginning and progress from bad to worse as the tale advances. Soon the heist is discovered, the bank is surrounded by police, media lines up across the street, and Sonny, the lead robber, is in the position, unintentionally, of having taken hostages.

As Sonny, Al Pacino is charming, lovable, confused and tortured. He steals for a cause, and is – quite strangely for a thief – loved by his hostages. He also manages to attract the favourable attention of the crowd that gathers outside the bank. Such incidents beautifully capture the fact of how people wanted by the law become popular with the common people, with their antics.

The dark humoured movie rides on Al Pacino’s brilliance, and the legend does not disappoint. He delivers with almost nonchalant ease, as the man born with his planetary positions in the wrong place. He tries to be good and is desperate to please everyone, but does not get anything in return. John Cazale, as Sonny’s pensive aide Sal is too good. The scene in which he asks Sonny if he has ditched him is top draw.

Dog Day Afternoon is a fun movie with its share of heartbreaks. One thing for sure is that it will keep the viewer involved throughout. If you are yet to see it, please rent a home video and check it out. It will be an experience!

PS: Movies like these make me wonder if it would have been better if I had got to live during the 70s. That was the time when Classic Rock was at its best and combine them with flicks like these would have been ideal. Sigh!

PPS: After an extended struggle to get tickets for the Tamizh version, I finally get to watch Sivaji tomorrow. Hope its koooll.

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Though he sounds modest in his interviews, any sane person in the country will know that when it comes to movies in India, there is just one BOSS – Rajnikanth. Sivaji has released worldwide, and as expected, the reception has been thunderous, to say the least. I am cursing my fate for being stuck in Hyderabad with no real hope of watching the Tamizh version. I am desperate, though I admire the all-round abilities of Kamal Hassan than to Rajni’s crowd pulling virtues. My sister, who is a ‘Superstar’ fanatic, as she puts it, will get to watch Sivaji, in all his glory, tomorrow in Coimbatore. Phew! Reminds me of the release of another Rajnikanth blockbuster ‘Badshah’. I watched it with my sis on day one and we were bowled over. After watching him in that movie, I became a Rajni fan. And I am ranting for so long, because I need tickets to watch the Tamizh version. Bloody Hyderabad… Sigh!

Meantime, a few links on the movie.

Hawkeye says that Sivaji is 99% style and 1% substance. Anyone will settle for that in a Rajni flick, and I am no different.

Behindwoods clarifies that in no way is this a Shankar movie, it is just a Rajnikanth movie with Shankar as the director.

Rediff has a story on fans offering pooja to Rajnikanth, a tradition not uncommon in Tamil Nadu. Here the location is Mumbai.

Initial reactions from some in the Kollywood (God, I hate that name) film fratenity. Sridevi looks absolutely gorgeous.

And to round off, here is another article from Behindwoods to ward off any doubts on who the real superstar in India is.

PS: Boss, Can someone give me tickets to watch the BOSS. Please Boss!

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Disaster Sunday

This Sunday was an absolute drab.. Schumi had to start from the pitlane after he was penalised for delaying tactics in the closing stages of qualifying. That he fought back to finish fifth was, but a small consolation.

Then in the evening, off we went to watch the eagerly awaited Fanaa.. A lot was expected out of this flick which starred Aamir Khan, fresh from his RDB success and Kajol, the numero uno heroine making a comeback… It turned out to be one of the all time great movies ever to grace Indian Cinema. The same love story, remade prehaps for the 45698th time, uncreative music (been hearing the same from Jatin-Lalit, Anu Malik and the other also-rans for ages), admirable over acting by Rishi kapoor and Kiron Kher are some of the high points of the movie, which makes it fascinating to watch. There are some amazingly insipid fight sequences and a gibberish child character, who keeps on repeating the same lines throughout the movie to keep the viewer interested. If you get bored inspite of all these, then try figuring out one thing – other than the lead cast – good in the film, and I am sure that you will have a rocking time, like I did… One of my friends had taken his girlfriend on a date to watch this epic. So depressed was the girl, that she actually threatened to shoot him like Kajol does to Aamir at the climax.. Oops, have I revealed the climax.. Dont bother, you aint missing on anything… So if you are looking for a plan to extract revenge on your mother-in-law, then do not bother to look any further. Just sponsor her tickets for Fanaa!!

And to top off an uneventful day, the Indian cricket team orchestrated a sens(ex)ational collapse, to go down 1-4 to boost the confidence of a sagging West Indies side. Uthappa, Raina and Kaif deserve due appreciation for their efforts to keep the West Indian flag flying high…

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The Shawshank Redemption

This weekend, I watched ‘The Shawshank Redemption’. It was not the first time I am seeing this classic.. I do not even remember the number of times, I have been through this incredible film, but this one is one of those movies, that gets better every time I watch it again… The plot is the story of a brilliant banker Andy Dufresne, wrongly convicted to serve two consecutive life sentences at Shawshank Prison.

The backbone of the movie, apart from the storyline, are the dialogues. Here are some of my favourites:
– Andy: On the outside I was a man straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to become crooked.
– Red: When they put u inside the cell and those bars slam home that is when u know it is for real. Old life gone in a blink on an eye . Nothing left but all the time in the world to think about it.
– Red: Andy Dufresne, he crawled thru 2 miles of shit and came out clean on the other side
– Warden: Praise the lord, your ass is mine. Welcome to Shawshank.
– Red : These walls are funny, first u hate them , then u get used to them and as time goes by u get dependent on them

Best of the lot:
– Red: I hope to cross the border. I hope to see my friend. I hope the pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope….
– Red: Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and good things never die.

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