Sunday, March 16, 2008


Higly recommended. I simbly looooved this movie. Define 'cool kid'; and I would say Juno. Ellen Page is her pretty cute self. The movie is about this 16 year old who is sexually active and has sex with her geek friend. She gets pregnant and decides to drop the idea of an abortion.
As one might think, this is not one of those serious movies with a social angle on the stigma attached of raising a child out of wedlock. Infact it is a simple, cool movie...very beautifully handled.

The few dialogues that come to mind :
  1. When Juno tells folks she is pregnant with Paul B's baby, the father tells the mother" I want to strangle that boy" to which Juno's step mom says "You know that was not his idea".....
  2. "Dad can't two people be in love and live together forever" which the Dad replies"Junebug love the person who loves you for who you is all about loving someone when (s)he is angry, irritated, happy, sad, joyous, fun, beautiful, ugly, young, old....and yes it is definitely possible for two people to love and live together but it does require a whole lot of effort from both sides"
  3. "My dad read up a lot on the Greeks and so decided to name me Juno - apparently the beautiful but mean wife of Zeus"
  4. This one is between Juno and the couple she identifies as the ideal, loving couple to whom she would like to give away her kid for adoption. In her second trimester - when the adopted parents ask her "how sure are you that you want to give away this baby - 80%, 90%???". Juno retorts "104%!!! infact if I could give you this baby right now I would...just that it would look like a sea monkey"..... :)
It very well deserved the 4 stars!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Michael Clayton

From the makers of Ocean's 11 comes Michael Clayton. George Clooney completely fits into his role of a "fixer". And as he says, "Truth can be adjusted". I couldn't agree more with that.
Tony Gilroy(story writer and director), Soderbergh (producer) have done a great job yet again. The movie is gripping. Bits of the movie bring back memories of Erin Brockovich and although the latter focussed on the human side of the story, this one focussed more on the thrilling expose.

It's quite an irony that although Michael Clayton (played by George Clooney) is an answer to all problems faced by Keener,Bach & Ledeen (the law firm he works for); his personal life is a complete mess - with a divorce, a bar venture that did not take off, compulsive card playing (gambling). All this goes to show that just because one can fix others problems with such ease, it does not mean ones life is clean.

George Clooney looks his sophisticated best in his "oh so Clooney" black and white attire. After Syriana (which I deliberately avoided), I loved this one.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Manorama - six feet under

A great job for a debutante director. Why we went to watch it - well two reasons, one is because it has been shot in Rajasthan which we fell in love with ever since our trip there in 2004; and the second because it had a reasonably good star cast.
Abhay Deol- the key protagonist, I have always thought, is a good actor. He almost acts effortlessly and seems to enjoy what he is doing. With costars like Gul Panag, Vinay Pathak, Sarika, Raima Sen; am sure 'making the movie' was a breeze and fun too.
The title is the name of the book authored by Satyaveer Randhawa (Abhay Deol) - a debutante writer who just about manages to sell 20 copies of it.
The thriller is centred around Satyaveer and his book. The fun element in the movie primarily is when Vinay Pathak - an inspector in rural Lakhot (RJ), has some interesting conversations with his "jijey" (brother inlaw, Satyaveer).
A dialog comes to mind : "jab miyan bura mile, tho aurat rothi rehti hai, aur jab acha miyan miley tho usko rulatee rehti hai....isiliye jijey maine shaadi nahin ki" Wondering if there is an element of truth in this statement :)))
It's a thriller, a murder mystery which moves at it's own pace without much chaos as might find in a typical hindi murder movie. There is no theme music which is nail biting. The movie keeps one engrossed with no boring moment.
Watch it if you can.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ratatouille - Rat-a-too-eee

No! I did not read comments about the movie before I actually went to watch it. It just seemed like a technically well-made movie and the concept of a rat wanting to be a chef simply thrilled me.

What I learnt from the movie :
1.Ratatouille is the name of a peasant dish and not a land where rats live!
2.Don't dwell on the past if you want to get ahead (you may be a rat, but if you aspire for bigger things - well go get them)
3.August Gusteau says "Anyone can cook :)"......and so ....why not Pari!
4.Oaky nutty taste when combined with a tangy one can mean 'yum'
5.An illicit affair with a chef can land your little one a restaurant ;)

Although the movie is an animation, Paris still looked beautiful.....

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Gandhi, my father

Directed by the playwright Feroze Abbas Khan, executive producer - the famous Anil Kapoor. With a star cast like Akshay Khanna, Shefali Shah, Darshan Jariwala ... it was expected to be an intense and well made movie.
Gandhi - like most of us who have read him in school history books is The Father of the Nation. The movie focuses on his inability to be a good father to his children. How ironic....a father to the Nation but not to ones own children.
The movie is intense with some brilliant acting by the experienced and reputed stars.

At the end of the movie I was pretty much in a dilemma wondering...
  1. whether Gandhi was instrumental in ruining Hiralal's (his eldest son's life) life or was it destiny.
  2. would it have helped if The Mahatma had sent Hiralal to England to become a barrister
  3. was Hiralal smart enough to have become a good barrister given that despite repeated attempts he did not even clear his matriculate exams. So what if he was not able to complete it at a young and had to reattempt when he was much older...I don't think age makes it so difficult to get back to school.
  4. was Gandhi right in making his son the sacrificial lamb for his Satyagraha movement
  5. would things have really been different if he had educated his son much earlier
The movie left me wondering whether seeing, hearing, reading is always believing???? Part truth can be more disastrous than the complete one.

Yes, may be the Mahatma always stood by his principles of righteousness, but at what cost?! Was he not being selfish by using his son to meet his ends.

I will always continue to wonder......

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Crazy or Simply o.o.m.m

No sooner was I convinced to watch this master piece "Sivaji : The boss", I knew I must be completely "o.o.m.m" (out of my mind!). I think this happens with age :)
Or, maybe I should just give myself that benefit of doubt :) I agreed only because I had refused to watch the last few movies that Pari had identified as completely watchable and entertaining - Pirates.... I thought it too absurd for me, Ta ra rum pum seemed like an endless melodrama, Dharm - too stark, Jhoom of the typical Yash Chopra concocted mush. After having bravely refused to be game for any of these,I relented to watching Sivaji - "it would be a complete entertainer" I was told by Pari. I thought I needed that "some mindless entertainment". Next time remind me to not take him seriously!!!
The saving grace ....
  1. Very mellow crowd - other than the intial round of applause and catcalls or dialogue baazi. I can now vouch that the multiplex audience is indeed sober :)
  2. Took me exactly 5 mins to hit the bed given that the movie was showing at Imax -a stones throw away fm home
  3. Saucy Ms Saran...hmm shouldnt be long before she is in one of our Bolly flicks
  4. I actually understood what was happening! (although I donot quite understand Tamil)
What just did not go down well....
  1. Long unending drama (3 and a half hours or was it four??! I stopped counting after the first 2 )
  2. Loud!!! I mean literally - the sound was much over decibels that could be tolerated by a normal human aural mechanism.....I might have been a dolphin in my last birth or may be even a fly (I managed to get away without going deaf)
  3. Incredulous!!!..........Credibility....hey what does that mean? not quite synonymous with a Rajni flick. Sorry!
  4. And yes...completely O.T.T (over the top) sets and stylised stunts.....I guess all this comes as a part and parcel of a Rajni movie....which I should have prepared myself for well in the beginning.
Next time someone asks me to tag along for any such movie, please remind me to just go back and check history with my reliable sources, and not get talked into this mess.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Paris Je t'aime

Paris - I love you - when translated.
The movie is much like Nine Lives - a compilation of short tales, each directed by a renowned director. Each story lasts for not more than 6-7 minutes and is complete in itself.
All have a common theme - Love. A universal emotion, it appeals to all - ages, class, races....alike.
The most ridiculous of the tales struck to me of : Elijah Wood and his lady love, a tale of "love at first bite". No! I am not referring to the icecream cone brand by Hindustan Lever. It shows love between 2 vampires. Eeeks! definitely did not appeal to my senses.
The more touching ones were that of a couple which is about to break up their marriage when the husband realises that his wife is terminally ill and so prefers to keep his affairs to himself and love her until her very end.
Gurinder Chhada's Quaise de la Seine, was very grounded and struck a chord with the young. I couldn't get over the dialogue when a young French boy "Francoise" shows interest in a young muslim girl and is told by his friends "beware....don't even think of touching her, Osama will blow your ass out" :) Also the dialogue when she refers to her hijab and says "I wear it not because of any compulsions, but because it gives me a sense of identity and belonging".
Natalie Portman, her usual self, portrays the fickle, young at heart and rebellious young woman when she falls in love with the blind boy, and almost misleads him into believing that she has fallen out of love with him.....when actually she is only practicing her dialogue delivery on him.
Juliette Binoche can easily be missed in her role as a mother to a boy who is no more. She constantly broods over him. However at the end she is shown to meet the dead boy (in heavens, I guess) and feels like he is still very much a part of her life.
Nick Nolte stars in a tale which is quite misleading. Although a baby sitter, the conversation between him and his client causes one to believe that they are having an affair, while it is only a professional discussion they are having.
One of the other more touching ones is the one with Catalino Sandino (of Maria- full of grace, fame), who is shown as the mother of a little baby whom she leaves in a creche, so she can then travel a few hours across the city to babysit one of her client's earn a living.
It strikes as quite a contradiction, that one lets some one baby sit ones baby while babysitting someone elses!!!
All in all, its a good movie. Keeps one enthralled through it since a story is over even before you have realised it. While most stories are in French with English subtitles, there are a few (mostly after the interval) which are English with French subtitles. A couple of hours well spent!!