Thursday, February 16, 2012

Watchmen and other adult animated movies

I like watching animated movies. In India this is considered to be a bit unusual, and very few full length animation movies are made here, and none for adults. Luckily, my wife enjoys animation movies too. However where we differ is in my interest in watching "serious" animation / adult animation. Today, I had a chance to watch the Watchmen Animated movie, Tales of the Black Freighter (not the one currently running in theatres). I had never heard of Watchmen, and I am not too much into graphic comics, though I have read a bit of Neil Gaiman (Sandman series). The animation of this movie is so beautiful, yet quite horrifying too. While seeing it in my home on a laptop is one thing, I am sure if I had to watch it in a movie hall, it would be quite satifyingly terrrifying. Strong emotions conveyed through animation can be really amazing.
Here I would also like to mention a few other strongly presented beautiful animations that I have nejoyed recently. An animated movie called Metropolis, that was a japanese sci-fi, showing a huge city run by robots, had great emotional scenes between a boy and a girl who turns out to be a robot. Final fantasy-the spirits within was another really enjoyable 3-D animation sci-fi flick. I really enjoyed Persepolis, an Iranian B & W animation about the life of a women before, during and after the revolution. There are certain things that animation can convey so beautifully, probably more vividly, than even real life movies. This was something that I was not aware of. Finally, no unconventional (read outside hollywood movies) can be complete without talking about Japanese anime, specifically Hayao Miyazaki and his beautiful, female centric, strongly plotted animated classics like Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro and many others.
I look forward to watching the Watchmen on big screen if and when it comes to Chandigarh.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Review of Ek main or ek tu

Ek main or ek tu - my view
Went to see the latest rom com with very limited expectations. Not only was it a copy of an English movie - and very few of the copies are fun, but it had, what looked on surface to be a very straight forward story line.
However, I was pleasantly surprised with the end result. Nice songs, short movie (approximately 2 hours), and a 'surprise' ending, with a mature relationship and believable main characters.
The jokes are funny, and the songs even sound better when you sing along in the hall :)
Definitely better than your average movie fare.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My view on Agneepath movie 2012

I watched Agneepath 2012 with mixed feeling. While I enjoyed the original Agneepath, and still remember the last scene (AB completely over the top - running through a path of fire - literal translation of Agneepath), I never thought it as a very exceptional piece of story telling or a great movie.
Danny - the original Kancha villain, was smart, sophisticated, and not a bad villain at all but the movie appeared to be a slightly better than a run of the mill pot boiler, prevalent during those times.
I never thought this movie deserved a remake. However hearing the good reviews, and the new look Sanjay Dutt, I decided to give this a try.
It is a completely new take, using the same basic script. The direction is far more gritty, realistic, dark and violent. The Ramayana effect - Mandwa as Sanjay Dutt's Lanka is quite interestingly done. The story is still full of loop holes, and some things are difficult to understand - for instance the relationship between Home Secretary and Om puri - goes from Om puri going all the way to Goa to try to find cocaine in his house - and apparently not finding it, to Om puri haranguing the home secretary in a press conference daring him to take action against Kancha, to Om Puri helplessly begging him to take action when Hrithik's sister is being sold to the highest bidder by Rauf lala. Some other cliches remain - a teenage sister is pretty much good for only one thing, as a target for kidnapping, potential rape/ molestation candidate - she probably gets kidnapped at least thrice, and worse. Continuing with cliches, why every Mumbai movie needs to have a Ganpati Visarjan scene, this one is hardly original, though full of vibrant colors, and loud music.  Maa ke haath ka khana assumes a lot of emotional significance too. Finally the songs, especially at the start of second half seriously dent the pace, and better editing could have kept the story line even more engaging. But since style is the key here, all this is only somewhat of an issue.
It is the actors who take the real credit though. Hrithik is more than able to bring the character of Vijay Dinanath Chauhan to life, and Priyanka reminds me of Kareena in 'Jab we met' bubbly, funny and cute. Om Puri can probably sleep walk through the role of a diligent, conscientious policeman now, and does. However the real scene stealers are Sanjay Dutt as the menacing, psychotic Kancha aka Raavan, and the surprisingly well cast Rishi Kapoor as Rauf Lala. This is probably one of the best performance by Rishi Kapoor, one that I never thought he would be capable of. 
This movie is definitely a cut above the original, and if you can ignore the fairly conventional story line (with a few plot twists), and the gore/ violence, this is a good start to 2012.
3.5 stars out of 5