Monday, December 31, 2007

Tare Zameen Par

Directed by Amir Khan - these words set high hopes in me. Having got an opportunity to watch it in the big screen with my dear friend without worrying about entertaining my 2 year old (thanks, B!) , I instantly grabbed it. I came out of the theatre extremely contented - having done what I love to do - watch quality movies in theatre,especially Indian movies and enjoy every moment of it.

It is a very different theme - it is about a third grader Ishaan who is suffering from Dyslexia .Typical Indian father does not try to find out what is causing his son to fail in 3rd grade repetitively and forces him to go to boarding school. The boy is creative and can do excellent paintings, but this not viewed as of any use to practical life by the dad. Looks like mom is nice, but is helpless because Ishaan is not showing any signs of improvement in studies. Ishan stops expressing his feelings totally and becomes a quiet loner in the new boarding school.

Art sir Amir Khan enters the school, he spots Ishaan and recognizes the symptoms right away - having gone through all the pain Ishaan is going through, in his own life. How he turns Ishaan around emotionally and academically is the rest of the story.

Plus Points of the movie
1.Excellent direction by Amir
2.Excellent acting by the boy ( I would give credit to Aamir also for this for envisioning and crafting this character )
3.Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy compliments the story so very well. This is how music and songs should be.
4.Lyrics are so beautiful and have expressed the boy's feelings accurately.

Scenes that made special impact
1.Ishan's shudder when the car door closes when he is dropped off to boarding.
2.Amir's meeting with Ishan's family and the dialogue about how the boy disguises his incomptence in the form of naughtiness and how even that outlet got crushed in the boarding school.
3.Amir's lecture on geniuses who had learning difficulties and the name he privately mentions to Ishaan ...'ek aur hai jo itna famous nahin hai..' and you think he is going to say Ishaan and he says Nikumbh...
4.The shot when the painting Amir made is revealed - I could not control my tears.
5.When Ishaan wins the first prize, how he comes and hugs was moving, to say the least.
6. All the communication from the boy to Nikumb is poetic.

1.Why does not Ishaan tell the parents that 'akshar naach rahe hain' seriously? I mean, he is old enough to describe the symptoms, isn't he?
2.After a point in the first half, it felt like the movie is dragging, ok, come to the point, that is what we want to say then!

Issues like this are small and can be forgiven completely - because the movie conveys the intended message quite beautifully! A must see!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Satham Podathey!

Having seen Mozhi, seeing PrithviRaj on the DVD cover and seeing Vasanth's name as director made me grab the DVD. I felt I am so lucky to get the DVD so early and I was sure it is going to be a great movie!

The movie started and it was really impressive - how the character of Nitin Satya is introduced and how he gets married to PadmaPriya. The viewer is taken aback by surprise and shock to learn from Nasser that this guy is a member of Alcoholic Anonymous and that he used to be an alcoholic to the extent that he turned impotent. He has even murdered a kid by accident due to drinking and driving.He lies to Nasser that he married a girl who also has issues and cannot become a mother.

Nitin's acting is genuine. His character has been crafted very well. It really shocks you all the time how he manipulates her feelings and deceives her by playing innocent. She forgives him and all his deeds based on just one thing - he is honest and he is open about everything and he has never done anything bad by intention.

One day, as expected, she has to come to know of the truth too Nasser only and that happens when Nasser makes a routine 'Alcoholic Anonymous' call to Nitin's wife to see if she is being treated well or not. She explodes to Nitin and he for the first time, is in front of her, with all his secrets revealed. She divorces him.

OK, up to this point, everything is fine with the movie. From this point on, the story is predictable and the way things are told is not convincing to the viewer. Prithiviraj, is Padmapriya's brother's friend. He wants to marry her - there is NO PROPER FOUNDATION laid (that's the term me and dad often use) for this desire. Just by hearing her history, he decides that he can marry her. It is interesting to watch PrithviRaj helping her and finally she likes him and they get married. All is well...well now you can PREDICT that the old husband is going to enter their lives. From this point, the whole movie is artificial and stupid. Totally predictable and totally unreasonable!

PrithriRaj, PadmaPriya and Nitin have done well as actors. Music by Yuvan Shankar Raja is catchy. Well, I was just regretting how the first half was built nicely and how the second half was complete trash. All we felt at the end of the movie is disappointment with the story and direction. Could have been a much better piece of art if crafted well.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hey Babyy

Have you admired someone on the screen when he/she was a novice and you knew right away that this person is going to be a huge success? Have you, after some years,stumbled upon his new commendable work and told yourself 'I knew this was going to happen'! You feel like you are the director who spotted the talent in the person and brought it out and you are proud of him as though you are the Balachander for Rajinikant or Kamal! If you are not laughing reading these lines, I am sure you have felt the way I feel sometimes about some celebrities.

One such person is Sajid Khan! Years back, when I was a working spinster, I used to enjoy watching Superhit Muqabla and laugh out aloud when Sajid Khan compered.He was never afraid to humourously comment on any actor and he spared none. He appeared in another show regularly - I would wait each week to watch these shows and admired his sense of humor. I would compare him to S.Ve.Shekar or Vivek for the boldness on commenting on people.

I had heard of the movie 'Hey Baby' with a similar story line as ThoovalSparsham in Malayalam. Seeing Sajid Khan's name as the director was quite promising. And I started watching the movie. It was a hilarious movie which made me laugh out loud more than any other movie recently. The diaper flying out and landing on Akshay's face is not one that would make me laugh, though!

Songs are catchy. There is a melodious song 'meri duniya tu hi re' with a nice humming. 'Dil Da mamla' is an absolute hit for any dance party. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are the music directors and have done a nice job.

Akashay,Ritesh and Fardeen Khan are the 3 bachelors. Vidya Balan is gorgeous.It is definitely worth watching more than once - to understand all the hidden jokes completely.

Congrats to Sajid on his first venture as a director! Wishing him many more!

Vettai Aadu Vilayadu

I have been waiting to get hold of this DVD since a long time. The movie got released in 2006 and you can see this is too late for an ardent Kamal fan to watch his movie. I had not read much about the story line, so it all came as a surprise to me.

What struck me most is the violence in the movie. The screenplay is well done. The whole movie was so gripping - shocking me with the characterization of the devilish duo - the two mentally corrupt boys who are the villains of the movie, yet like heroes since the story revolves around them. Kamal is the police officer who chases them and tracks them down. It did not feel too much like a Kamal movie, it is the thriller story and the direction that stand out more than Kamal. He has carried himself very well as a police officer and has done a good job by not overdoing anything. The part with Jyothika was good too.

I started watching the movie with my son, but soon realized this is not kid stuff at all. I coaxed him to go to sleep and put both the kids to sleep and literally ran back to resume the movie. I sure could not sleep without finishing it. I enjoyed the movie as a whole.

What it left behind in me was the feeling of how vulnerable we are in the world. This world could be full of many such people like the two young men - who seem like they are dangerous perverts right from birth. All we can do to be safe in this world is to pray God to keep us away from such characters.

All songs are nice. Harris Jayaraj should receive the credits for that. I have byhearted the songs by playing them over and over in the car.

Worth watching once!Preferably after the kids are asleep.