Only for the movie buffs…

There are some dialogues from the movies which never leave your mind. They make those memorable movies even more so. There are some which always have some reminiscences attached to them, at least for me for sure.

Here are a few gems. Not sure if you can recognize the movies, but I always can. In fact why don’t you give it a try? And if you haven’t watched these movies, maybe you may.
“Hey, Dad! You wanna have a catch?
I’d like that.”
– You know this movie is totally unreal but there’s something about it and not everyone can appreciate that.

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” – A totally unexpected last line for that movie and still so profund.

“You talkin’ to me?” – Anger of so many soldiers, war veterans.

“You can’t handle the truth” – Arrogance of one man can cost him everything.

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine” – And they say this may be the most romantic movie of all and I may have to agree with them.

“Houston, we’ve had a problem” – I have read that this became the ‘official’ call as well. Well.

“I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me.” – Only one actor could have said it so convincingly and matter of factly.

“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist” – One of the most apt dialogues for a/any movie.

“I hope to see my friend and shake his hand.” – All that time, for hope, for this one gesture as a free man.

“I could have gotten one more person… and I didn’t! And I… I didn’t!” – Nothing more needs said.

Now, how many have you seen and how many movies you could figure out from the dialogues??

Worthless movies: Some folks making money, Some presuming savings, Most feeling just plain trauma

Yes, I am talking about the 70-80 rupees a ticket for movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays that is making lives miserable for so many of us. And I know there could be so many reasons why this is happening, in fact for both – cheap tickets and traumatic experiences. And I have my reasons for saying what I am saying. I recently watched two movies under this particular sway – ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ and ‘Highway’ and couldn’t help but…

Hasee Toh Phasee was first nail

Hasee Toh Phasee – movie is a drag at so many places, it has a couple of good supporting actors but wasted all together, story is worth no mention, rest is all bad and led me to one question I could not find answer to – why is the movie called ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’. But I have got used to watching movies with ridiculously no relation between title and story. When the ‘Interval’ sign flashed, I was thrown off my chair wondering its only half way through yet. And I had liked one of the songs from ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ but it came at the end when the only wish was to get out of the theatre, Alas!

Highway made real inroads

About ‘Highway’, I felt like they were trying to impose- it’s our way or the Highway and unfortunately both led to same, their way was ‘Highway’ too. A crappy movie – to put it mildy. I found solace in only one thing, a very selfish one. Towards the end the movie moves to Himachal Pradesh, my home state and goes to places like Kalpa, Reckong Peo and Pooh – places in Kinnaur district, places I have not been to but have heard a lot about their beauty from my family especially dad who has been there and massi who worked there for 3 years. And the beauty was said to be breathless and was captured really amazingly too in the movie. To me that was the only saving grace, only breath of fresh air on the entire ‘Highway’.

Money invested must reap profits for some, even though causing a straight loss for most

I don’t know the exact revenue sharing model – that is a trade secret and I am sure even trade pundits and enforcers would be clueless – but producers of movies, the distributors and finally the cinema hall owners all want returns on their investment (RoI, as it is called) – it’s stupid of me to say the obvious. Anyhow. So you make tickets cheaper and people think they will save money by paying 70-80 rupees for a ticket which would otherwise cost 150, 250 or maybe more. Even parking in a mall costs less if you watch movies on weekdays.

Overall you are saving money, makes sense you think, but do you really? Forget about trauma (we even lie to ourselves to say we like the movie even when we don’t  -ask the psychologists and they will tell you about cognitive dissonance and 1$ experiments and lies and stuff), it doesn’t even make financial sense. Even a satisfier like me thinks its waste of money, for an optimizer it should be more obvious. Spending a single penny on a movie you won’t watch in the first place is a loss, irreparable even.

Moreover, what I find traumatic is – in addition to money spent irrespective of the amount; drive on the crazy roads of Gurgaon to and from the cinema hall, spend money on parking too, wait for elevator after movie finishes – this is the worst, my head is screwed after watching the movie and then everyone is pushing everyone else to get into the elevator –is this the usual behaviour by everyone or everyone is pissed at the movie that each has been tricked into watching, and then have dinner at odd hours and finally go to bed with severe headache and fear of nightmares triggered by the bad movie.

This is a sad, really sad story, worth a movie maybe that people would pay to watch on weekends.

It will be back, still

And it doesn’t end. I mean the trauma will return. New movies releasing this weekend, some next and many later. Cheap tickets on weekdays is the perfect marketing ploy and good source of revenue ensuring profits where could have been none. And a whole lot of us will go back and watch these movies on weekdays on cheap tickets for various reasons of our own – some simply because tickets are cheap, some because they have hope that movie could be good and some like me because they are married. Anyhow.

Gravity – A must watch movie

From the moment I read the Saturday review in Indian Express (by SL) to the moment I finished its review by one of the my-kind-of-movies experts (Harsh, a fellow movie aficionado and a friend), I had been making up my mind to watch this movie. And what made the experience even more exciting was that my wife not only readily agreed to watch it, she in fact went ahead and booked the tickets online too.

And those 90 mins inside the hall proved to be thoroughly enjoyable for too many reasons; it was my first 3D movie in a hall with special glasses – the scene where George Clooney reaches out towards the screen to catch that piece of equipment was breathtaking and when the debris comes flying at you, well, I did instinctively close my eyes more than once.

Direction gets the things going

Coming to the direction, Alfonso Cuarón has made his mark with this movie. Though his resume is pretty strong, but this movie will definitely be counted as one of his masterpieces. I loved this movie but the best compliment to him would be the fact that there were some very young viewers in the hall – 6, 8, 10 year old kids, and they all seemed to enjoy it. I think that speaks volumes about his abilities to bind his viewers to his cinema.

Acting is as good as it gets

About the actors, George Clooney does his thing once again. He is in control of the space walk, the scenes he is part of, and everything else out there. And the way he delivers the authority he is entitled to and is responsible for is just awesome. He lightens up the screen every time he comes in frame, even with his voice.

Voice, yes that is something Ed Harris has been most remarkable with in the Gravity. His intonation is fantastic considering he only had his voice to showcase his expressions and what a job he has done. Just enjoyed hearing him, talking and giving orders, bantering with Clooney, everything is done so amazing well that you kind of feel him walking, actually space walking right next to Clooney.

But like many of the people who have seen and been talking about the Gravity, it’s Sandra Bullock who walks away with the maximum credit. She is not a typical astronaut, she is a doctor on her first mission, she has performed terribly in her astronaut training, she has a difficult past, she gets to show most emotions (well her role is like that, unlike Clooney’s), and she has maximum screen time too (won’t disclose the reason). Who knows may be with this role she sees another Blind Side success in the world of Awards too.

I loved it, my wife loved it

Anyhow, Gravity has turned out to a really great movie experience for me. Those 90 mins just flew away with different kinds of gravitational forces (the phrase is actually wrong as far as Physics goes but I’ll take this liberty here) holding me and the entire audience in the hall down. My wife was pretty impressed and that’s a big compliment to the movie considering she doesn’t like English movies one bit.

And in the end I’d have to agree with the people who have been praising the movie, Gravity is a not to be missed movie. The experience of 3D and that too of space and that too when it involves space walking, is breathtakingly awesome and add to that some perfect direction, and outstanding acting – this one is a must watch and must be watched in a cinema hall only.

Why should The Lunchbox go to Oscars as India’s official entry?

One of the more popular pastime activities for so many of us these days is the debate; why should The Lunchbox go to Oscars as India’s official entry? And then the next angle is, which is this movie that’s going as our official entry to Oscars. And the name of that movie is “The Good Road” (if you are a KBC enthusiast, this can be important information).

I saw The Lunchbox last Thursday. If you ask me, I think this movie is an experience, not just a movie. You go to the theatre, sit there, look at the screen, share its moments, join in the jokes, sit back and appreciate the smaller things in life and in the end realize that this is an experience that you can only experience.

The Lunchbox deserves to be sent?

But the question more pressing for us most, those who have watched and those who haven’t watched the Lunchbox is, why should The Lunchbox go to Oscars as India’s official entry? Well, the most common argument I have seen so far is, to put it simply- it deserves to be sent.

This can be a valid reason for some but can be flawed too for many more reasons for so many of us.

To me lots of things come to my mind like;

  • How did we arrive at The Lunchbox being the best movie or the most deserving movie for Oscars?
  • There are more than thousand movies made in a year in India, what about the rest?
  • Dear Milkha ji ran like a winner and won so many of those races, but didn’t even seem to start this one. Or decided to sit this one out?
  • I haven’t seen The Good Road, have you? Can’t call a dish bad without having tasted it.
  • I have seen so many of Big Names from industry talking and standing up for The Lunchbox, is this becoming ‘a’ if not ‘the’ reason?
  • When was the last time we had sent the right kind of movie? Or what is the right kind of movie after all?
  • How do we decide which movie should be sent? Should we send the best Indian movie as we see it to be, or the one we think the Academy members will like?

Who have been winning in the past?

I have seen quite a few Hollywood movies, a few Oscar winners and a bunch of winners in Foreign Film category. If I put some pressure on my memory I can think of some winners and nominees in the Foreign Film category like The Counterfeiters, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Lives of Others, Life Is Beautiful and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

These movies are all different and all very close to the world and culture these represent. And maybe that’s what made them stand out and emerge as winners too.

The Lunchbox could be or could not be the right one

The central theme of the Lunchbox is something that’s part of Mumbai’s culture and life – the dabbawalas. And I loved the way the dabbawala mentions Harvard in the end, almost casually to make his point.

The movie scores there.

The Lunchbox has few actors like the amazing Irrfan Khan, new comer Nimrat Kaur and they have all done justice to their roles. My personal favourite is Nawazuddin Siddiqui – his role has more dimensions then others. He laughs, he becomes irritated, he tries to be friendly, he tries to be smart, he gets little angry, he is happy, he is disappointed, he is elated. And in whatever small part he has got to play, he has done extreme justice to it.

The movie scores there.

Unlike most of Indian movies, this one ends on a very different note. The movie starts like a normal day in life which just gets interesting and it ends with a lot more interesting twist. I am not divulging more here since many are yet to see it, but that kind of end does extreme justice to the movie, since that’s how the life would be for many in that kind of a situation.

The movie scores there.

This can give many a brownie point to the Lunchbox but the nomination and eventual win is a function of comparison and it’s not justified to start worshiping one movie, start ridiculing others and then not even care of most.

To me, the Lunchbox is not just a movie but an experience but I am also cognizant of the fact that I may not be right in saying that this one deserves to be sent as India’s official entry to the Oscars. I am not sure what’s your take on it, but I would surely love to know.

Reach out to me, in confidence..

The Dark Knight Rises – Legend dies, rejuvenates or?

One of the most awaited movies of the year, Christopher Nolan claiming the legends ends with this and audience waiting for another Joker – The Dark Knight Rises had its plate full of expectations, promises and expectations. And did it live up to the hype? I won’t want to spoil it for you, well, not entirely.

So, who will enjoy the movie the most? If you have seen Batman Begins and The Dark Knight then you are the one who’ll be amused the most, mind you, not entertained the most. If you have seen The Dark Knight only, then don’t go with the expectations of seeing someone topping the Joker act, The Dark Knight Rises is still a good movie nonetheless. If this is your first take on the Trilogy, hmm… then I’ll leave to you to decide for yourself.

Does the legend end? You must be kidding yourself if you think the legend ends. I mean does the legend ever end when it comes to super heroes? The most interesting part here in fact is, does the legend rejuvenate? I think you would enjoy spending time inside the theater watching this movie to find the answer then reading it out.

And if you want to see another Joker (really?), well that doesn’t happen in movies and you should know that. What Heath Ledger did with Joker can’t be redone and we all know that. So prudence demands that such expectations are well unrealistic, just to say the least.

Anyhow, if you want to ask me whether one should watch this movie, well I liked it, I just might not mind watching it again!

Reach out to me, in confidence..

Best of Warner Bros. 50 Film Collection

I came across a list of 50 movies rather Warner Bros Blu-Ray collection which includes 16 of Warner Bros. Library’s Best Picture winners as well. And  I could not resist the urge to cross check which of these I have seen and how much I enjoyed the same.

The list is really impressive and it includes one of my absolute top two favorites (The Shawshank Redemption), the movie that comes 3rd on my list (The Departed), one of the most engrossing movies of all times (Inception), my favorite romantic movie (Casablanca), few one-of-its-kind movies (A Clockwork OrangeBen-Hur and Full Metal Jacket) and for me a long list of movies I am yet to watch, been planning to watch and can’t wait to watch.

My take on Best of Warner Bros. 50 Film Collection


Sherlock Holes – A Game of Shadows, read Guy Ritchie – A Game of Shadows

Guy Ritchie – A Game of Shadows or Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows, which one it is? This is a one confusion that might cloud your mind, one conundrum you might find yourself pains at trying to solve and more often than not it’s the former you might find yourself believing at.

If you saw the first Sherlock Holmes production from Guy Ritchie and if you have seen the earlier productions from his stable you’ll know what I mean when you see Sherly, beg your pardon, Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows. Let me warn you here, ‘Sherly’ was not unintentional, it was totally intentional, though I hope Sherly’s (oops again) brother Mycroft (ha ha) who roams around naked (ha ha ha ha) in the house doesn’t mind me using the name.

Guy Ritchie trade mark

One of the favorite objects of Guy which he uses and presents in most elaborate manner in his movies is a Revolver or a Gun and he loves showing us even more elaborately how a shot is fired from a gun. Now imagine what will happen when he decides to give his trade mark rocknrolla twist to Sherly’s story and that too when Sherly’s villain (can’t say movie’s villain, something the villain himself tries to point out in the end) in fact ends up being the owner of biggest weapon manufacturer.

So what this means is that you’ll come to know not only how a gun works but also how a machine gun, a rocket launcher and so many other weapons actually work. You may not see Sherly’s journey of how he solves the case (which BTW he takes up suo moto, ha ha ha) but you will surely see journey of a rocket or a bullet in the most lucid manner.

Still worth a watch

Any how, the movie though definitely is Guy Ritchie – A Game of Shadows, yet you can still enjoy it a lot especially if you have not seen any of the Sherlock Holmes’ TV series or movies earlier or if you don’t mind experiments even the ones which are not very logical.

King’s Speech will leave you speechless

I must confess at the onset, I was very skeptical about King’s Speech. I had my doubts about the movie considering the kind of plot I thought it had. My fears I thought were coming true when Colin Firth first was shoo in and then won the Oscar. The Academy has worked quite hard to earn a bad reputation (we’ll come to that too, but not now) and I was not sure they wanted to spring a surprise by acknowledging some real talent sometime soon. But…

King’s Speech is one gem of a movie. First, may be you were aware of it already I wasn’t, there was a king to grace the British throne who had speech problems- used to stammer, to be precise. But there was such a king and Colin made him come alive on the screen with perfection.

Oscars regain some lost sheen

The movie was so engrossing that the time just flew by. Colin is so convincing in the movie that in his next movie you would be surprised to see that this guy actually doesn’t stammer. A movie that I was anticipating to be more of a bore turned out to be a movie that I could enjoy sitting through (last time that happened was with Inception).

By awarding Colin Firth the Oscar for Best Actor the Academy has done itself a lot good. Interestingly, looks like good days are back again in Oscars, even Christian Bale won his first Oscar for The Fighter, only for Supporting Actor, but they had to make a start some day, somewhere. I am glad they finally did.

Long live the Colin King!

Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, one of its kind…

Martin Scorsese is a legend, a master of his art, a creator of some of the most extraordinary movies ever. He has always done extreme justice to his proclivity (I think so) to make movies with violence as the core and a few others at times. Sometimes he uses into-your-face kind of violence as in Gangs of New York and at times he focuses on the portraying the violence streak in protagonists like in Taxi Driver with only a few scenes actually showcasing violence.

This time he must have thought, ‘let me do something even more different’. His thoughts have manifested in the form of Shutter Island. A movie which again has violence in it but instead of showing it on the screen he lets his characters narrate the violence. Except for one or two scenes, there is no violence per se. There are post-violence scenes, if these can be called so; dead bodies, blood oozing out, mutilated faces, scars and bruises, and the like.

Scorsese has once again brought forth the fact that no one can match him in his kind of cinema. For a fan of Scorsese like me, it’s always a treat to watch any of his movies. And with the kind of “psychological” thriller he has made with Shutter Island, my deep interest in his movies has definitely gone up.

As for Shutter Island, it is a movie which is like as well as unlike his earlier movies in very distinct ways. His protégée Leonardo de Caprio (I am sure he won’t mind being called that) has once again done a great job.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, do watch it out. Just to disclose something about it, the way it seems to end points to one aspect but the way it actually ends takes you to exactly the opposite.

Wanna spread the word?

[stumble] [buzz]  

Why does Hollywood show them speaking in Hindi?

I have watched some Hollywood movies with a kind of disturbing trend. Have you seen Iron ManSyriana and Traitor, just to name a few? Beyond they all being Hollywood movies, there is one more thing common in them. The villains in these movies have a common thread running through them, they all speak Hindi, the language spoken mostly in the northern parts of India and to some extent the whole Indian subcontinent.

Now, in case of Syriana still you can allow the use of Hindi especially with a special touch and style. But how come the villains in Traitor and Iron Man speak in Hindi?

Achcha chalo, considering one of the important characters in Traitor is played by an Indian actor let’s give this movie also some space in using Hindi.

Even then why Iron Man. Hmm…..There I can’t think of any reason for using Hindi.

Or to be honest I can’t see any logic behind using Hindi in any of these Hollywood movies and a few more too. This does defy the logic for me and I think they should do their research well before they go ahead and play the way they want to.