Dec 30, 2008

December Movies

Managed to watch a lot of movies in the holiday season..  This is the collection of the short reviews.
* Ghajini
      A few things were better whereas a few others were worse than the tamil version. First, the worse ones: I felt that Surya had done a better job than Aamir in the first half. Harris' music was also far superior to AR Rahman's. Among the +ve differences, the climax, which was the sore point in the tamil version, has been cleverly modified. The utterly-irritating XY-machi Nayanthara is replaced by Jiah Khan. Aamir Khan's body is more toned than Ghajini Surya's. There are thankfully only two full-length songs, so the pace of the movie isn't impeded by unnecessary songs. Overall, this is surely watchable whether or not one has watched the tamil original.
* The curious case of Benjamin Button
     Based on an interesting imagination, the story unfolds as the protagonist is born old and gets gradually younger as he ages. So, we get some unique situations in which a person is mentally young but physically old and the situation gets reversed at his old age. The story largely revolves around Benjamin's (Brad Pitt) love on Cate Blanchett. The climax is an unforgettable experience. The highlight of the movie to me was the make-up of the main characters. It was so real. The 2-minute segment where we hear from Benjamin's voice, a superb portrayal of the butterfly effect. The movie is quite long and draggy at times; but the fine performance of Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett makes us glued to the proceedings. Definitely recommended.
     After watching Bharathiraja's previous product in the form of the disasterous 'KaNgaLAl kaidhu sei', I had absolutely no expectations on this at all. But, it was pleasantly surprising to see him come up with a terrific thriller. As is the case with the best thriller movies, the climax has some unexpected twists which the director gradually builds en route. Nana Patekar's performance is good but we tend to see 'Nizhalgal' Ravi in him due to the strong influence of the dubbing artist. Arjun too delivers a subdued and apt performance. So one can say that Bharathiraja has redeemed himself with Bommalattam. Two thumbs up.
      During a time when the rights of homosexuals are constantly challenged, this movie throws light on the story of the first openly-gay elected official in the U.S. It is quite apt that it is based in the culturally diverse San Francisco. As the movie unfolds, one gets to see not only the political struggle of the protagonist, Harvey Milk (Sean Penn in an Oscar-worthy performance) but the emotions involed in his personal life as well. Though we know the end from a scene few minutes into the movie, the proceedings make it interesting. One lateral thought: I felt that the title is somewhat suitable to the sexual orientation. Milk is an emulsion of water and lipids, each of which is clear and transparent but when mixed, they lead to a smudgy liquid.
* Abhiyum naanum      
       An ultra-simple movie which is almost like a documentary of Prakash Raj's life. Radha Mohan's liking for super feel-good movies continues with this movie as well. I felt it to be a OK movie with a linear story and minimal twists. So we get ideal father, ideal mom, ideal daughter, ideal-appearing sikh family, etc. Prakash Raj's acting in the second half was irritatingly over-the-top. After listening to 'Siru siru' song, I had a particular opinion about the story, though the possibility of the song being shot in a similar way as one of the 'Kanda naal mudhal' songs didn't fail to pass my mind. Thus, the second half almost looks like parts of 'Hum aapke hain kaun'. So, my verdict is, this movie is only for the sentimentally inclined ones.

* Valkyrie
     I went to see this movie expecting it to be a war-story. On the contrary, it is a story of a real event that happened a year before the end of world war 2. The story is on an attempt by some good-willed anti-Nazi German soldiers on the life on Adolf Hitler. Some good performances but nothing great to rave about. 
     I didnt like anything in this movie except for the songs, in which Simbhu tries some extravagant dance steps. The double entendre and perverted scenes are too much. Crass. All the so-called comedy segments being targetted towards the Brahmins are disgusting. I dont know if the film industry can afford to show any other community in such a demeaning manner and get away with it. A silly story, a meaningless first half, and juvenile violence are all indigestible. Give it a miss, unless you are a mass-masala lover.


Anu said...

I have to say thank you :)! I wanted to check out the christmas movie- hollywood and Indian and this is perfect..
Though I must say I dont know how you managed to sit through any Simbu movie!!!

J said...

wow thank you, Raju :-) Your reviews are always great. Radha Mohan'kaaga Abhiyum Naanum paakalamnu irunthen. movie ok dhaana..will definitely check out BommalAttam and The curious case of Benjamin Button.

Happy Holidays :-)

matrix said...

Lovely reviews. Looks like you went on a movie watching spree.

1. Ghajini - I found it boring prior to the climax because it’s a repetition of the Tamil version. The villain is a big draw back for me, and he uttering “short term memory loss” somewhat doesn’t gel with his personality.

2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - The climax scene reduced me to tears :-(

3. Bommalattam - Alzheimer’s disease definitely made wonders to Bharathiraja ;-)

4. Valkyrie – was so – so

5. Abhiyum Naanum - Prakash Raj was so annoying in most of the scenes particularly the school registration scene. Aishwarya fits well as a housewife. Trisha was cute and adorable though there is not much scope for her. The second half of the movie was a drag and has traces of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Father of the Bride which are not so funny. The non aging beggar guy makes me to doubt if he had done face-lifting.

6. Silambattam – I had the feeling of watching a SJ Suryah’s movie :D . This guy doesn’t know to act ( Vichu character )and he should be crucified along with “loud mouth idiot”, Nirosha and the heroine for those crude jokes.

matrix said...

Milk - i'm a homo phobic ;-)

Raju said...

Anu, u r welcome.. I watched SilambAttam only for its songs - especially dance. Compared to the times when songs were like distractions and dragging the movie, in this one, it is the opposite, though I must say that some of the dance moves focusing on the rear of the body are reflective of the current trend in tamil film choreography.
J, thanks.. and wish you & 'A' a very happy new year ahead!! :)

Abhiyum naanum is once-watchable if you like senti and goody-goody movies.
Matrix, looks like someone else also has been on a movie-watching spree.. ;)

Ghajini - yeah, I wished that the villain was a sophisticated and educated one rather than the local goonda.
Benjamin Button - yeah, it was so unique a scene that even I fought hard to fight the tears.
Bommalattam - LOL.. how much Taj Mahal and KangaLAl kaidhu sei have impacted u.. ;)
Abhiyum - Too much attachment is not good!! LOL on the 'non-aging' beggar. His character was cliched and flawed.. Oh gosh.. he even enacts Shahrukh of DDLJ in one scene.. His role could have been fine-tuned better.
Silambattam- yeah, at times even worse than SJ Surya. LOL on your 'judgment'. The 'LM-Idiot' increasingly annoys with each movie.
Milk - :)

ramya said...

hi raju , I have nt seen any of the movies other than gajini.. but ll watch abhiyum naanum sumtime..
In Gajini, I agree with ur -ve remarks.. in addition to tat.. I hated aamir's exposure in already spoilt was as if the songs were choreographed jus for tat.. n there was no love.. i was reminded of salman khan.. why aamir shud do this..

Raju said...

Ramya, u r right about the exposure of Aamir. Now, it is a given that those actors with well-chiseled body would drop their shirt as much as they can and flaunt their body. In an interview, Aamir said he suggested Salman to Murugadoss when he was offered the role, but Murugadoss said that since Salman has already got a good body, it wouldnt make much of an impact among the audience. To me, it looked like "Salman sucks in love scenes, and he has shown off his body far too often already, so I dont like him to enact Surya's role". Unfortunately, as u said, the romance part was true with
Aamir as well.

i think therefore i am said...

u watched a lot of movies :-)

Raju said...

Cogito, Yep.. What else is the holiday season for? :)

J said...

Raju, thanks for recommending Aanandha Thaandavam songs..Poovinai became my fav after listening for the first time :) micham elaam inoru vaati kaekanum...thanks :) Villu poneenghala?

Raju said...

J, u r welcome.. Poovinai is indeed an awesome melody.. currently thats what is played the most in my car..

Villu? Inimey endha Vijay padathaiyum theater-le poi parkkuradhu illennu oru sabatham eduthirukken.. I am justified by the news that Villu is the remake of hindi "Soldier" which I thought was at least 8-10 years too old at that time. I really hope that this movie flops. I watched all the songs in youtube.. they are nothing like the Pokkiri songs..

J said...

LOL :)) said...

So, I do not really consider it may have success.