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The Girl On The Train
Bollyfan has rated 1 movies,
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Swetha : Would be great if you could focus more on the DVD experience part...as that's what most of the readers would look for...especially for DVD reviews of older films. :)
In this specific case, you are talking about a 3 Disk collector's edition and giving out a mere listing of what's available on the DVD (something I can very well get from even amazon.com) doesn't really justify this piece as a DVD review. Its a film review trying to masquerade as one. You could have paid more attention to things like the 3 hour making of documentary and tied it down to the final impact of the film, insights gleaned from the interviews etc.
As for the comparison with Kill Bill & Fight Club, I don't think you need to apologize for anything. Though the language did imply that. I agree that Old Boy stands out in a distinct manner but your language didn't do justice to either the 3 films themselves or the point you were trying to make.
While all 3 films play on the themes of retributive violence, they all stand apart from each other in terms of the intent, the visual theming, the sub-texts, the language, the background music etc. I agree that the ultimate choice of what to talk about and what not to is completely your prerogative, but my point here is that names have been dropped out of a hat and not followed up by anything substantial. Hope you get what I'm trying to say here.
I wasn't really insinuating that you haven't seen the films...that comment was not meant to be taken at face value. That was more of a snide remark at the superficiality of the comparison between the three films. I don't intend to be rude...but I also feel very strongly about certain things and it reflects in my comments. I agree its not fair on my part but that's the way I am.
Wogma : Do you have any provision for a signature for commenters? I guess I'll have to carry a disclaimer with all my comments. :)
Old Boy is one of my favourite films and I might've watched it a dozen times already. But I have a pirated DivX of the film and when I saw a DVD review here, I wanted to check it out to see whether the DVD would be worth buying or not.
Two things :
1. This is more a movie review with one small paragraph thrown in for the extra features on the DVD. Not something one would expect on a DVD review. Should have been the other way round - an elaborate review of the DVD itself with a small paragraph (okay...a large one would've been fine too) thrown in for the film.
2. I also have a major problem with the comparison brought out between Old Boy, Kill Bill & Fight Club. All 3 films are beauties...though each goes in different directions. The similarities and differences between the 3 go much deeper than just a sideways glance at triumphant violence and the protagonist's behaviour.
Moreover, the comparison gives out the impression that Kill Bill & Fight Club are just celebrations of triumphant violence...and that they lose momentum and fail to outsmart the viewer's notions. Has the reviewer even watched Fight Club or Kill Bill 2?
Just an aside...Bukka isn't a weird name down south. It harks back to ancient heritage with Bukkaraya being one of the founder brothers of the kingdom of Hampi.
Shweta : The resemblance with Lagaan goes far beyond the poster. This was the story of the Chittagong Uprising forcefitted into the Lagaan mould.
Minesh : I wouldn't even credit Ashutosh with honesty of intention here. He's quite an experienced filmmaker and if his intentions were honest, he should have known that retrofitting a true story into the mould of a fictional one just because the struggle for independence was a common theme between both was not the right thing to do.
Any emotion that the film evokes is purely on the strength of the story itself and to some extent, the production values. But its a complete fail for Gowariker as a scriptwriter and a director.
Roy : I did misconstrue your comment then. :)
As much as I'd have wanted to avoid the holly-bolly comparison here, I just couldn't because as you say, sci-fi is still a fledgeling genre in India. The idea was not to compare Robot with some other film but to assert that sci-fi films do have good music.
I would still stand by my contention that this has been Rahman's best score in recent years and that, IMO, should have been given due credit.
Meetu : I'm sure you'd have hated I, Robot (the Will Smith starrer) too. ;)
Meetu : I'd say that this review is a result of mismatched sensibilities more than anything else. Or maybe that you saw it after two hard-to-endure tortures. Waise if you found Dabangg enjoyable, I really can't fathom why you didn't find this one so.
Preeti : If hype were to influence the public thus, you would have seen very different fortunes for the likes of Kites, Raavan etc. and even Rajni's own Baba. Hype is actually quite counterproductive to bad films in reality.
Roy : Why can't one expect good music from a sci-fi film? Didn't we have some sterling BGM in 2001 : A Space Odyssey? Or for that matter, Star Wars is the baap of all science fiction soundtracks. And art direction is extremely crucial to a science fiction film, otherwise Jurassic Park would have ended up looking like Zoo-rassic Park. Though I'll agree with you on the bit about the tamil-hindi factor in the lyrics. But the compositions are pretty much the best Rahman has dished out post SDM. I vehemently disagree with Meetu on that part.
Meetu : Dismissing a film completely just because you don't subscribe to the genre (yes...Rajni's antics are a genre in themselves) seems a bit unfair to me.
Even if one were to discount the Rajni factor, there was much more inthe film worth appreciating. I quite agree with what AJ has to say about the effects and the music. Plus, I also liked the understated humour in the film...uncharacteristic for a south Indian film. However, I have my own bones to pick with it...more from the script perspective. Have elaborated in my review. :)
It could have been way better from the direction and acting point-of-view. The plot is set up aptly. But the entire mid-game is contrived as hell. And the climax follows suit. Neil and Deepika were just not the people for this role. Though Neil tries hard and Deepika doesn't even bother to make a show of doing so.
Criminal what they did to a fairly good premise.
Meetu : I feel that a comparison between similar films, if done within well-defined parameters, is not wrong. And going by your logic of the other factors, the very concept of comparison shouldn't exist.
Anyways...here's my post on the comparison, if I may...
Meetu : Its not me alone but a huge number of the population thats comparing Peepli with JBDY. And the comparisons are inevitable since the two belong to the same genre and the latter is an evergreen classic. And nowhere did I say that I didn't like Peepli. I did...but it doesn't connect the way JBDY did...and would do even today.
Secondly, enjoying the film doesn't mean that you were having fun at the plight of someone who's suffering. The film doesn't really poke fun at the suffering farmers at all. Its the media, bureaucrats & politicians who are the butt of jokes here. Moreover, tragedy in extreme becomes comedy and vice-versa. And any dark comedy will have someone or the other suffering. Doesn't mean one shouldn't enjoy it.
Vishal : I would like to quote A.O.Scott (a noted critic) in response to what you say. "Any movie worth arguing is worth a watch. And any movie worth watching is worth arguing about." Entertaining, educational blah blah are all points of individual perception usually. For example, 3 Idiots was entertaining for me, thoughtprovoking for some, both for some more and none for the rest who saw it. You want a film to be entertaining before anything else, others may have different views. Why question the very basic expectations one has from a film?
Cinefreak : I'm not with STUPID! :P
I would agree with what lost in confusion and cinefreak have to say here, though I wouldn't be as extreme as cinefreak was in his views. The film was thoroughly entertaining and did point fingers at quite a few entities. And coming from a debutant director and a largely unknown cast, its quite a feat. Though having said that, it still won't be as close to my heart as a Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron would always remain. I have my theories on why Peepli Live isn't a JBDY and will pen them down as soon as I get done with my weekend chore of reviews. Yet to watch Help, Grown Ups & Despicable Me.
ailumramu : Rajpal Yadav's act was tasteless. Peeping Toms are creepy...not funny.
Swetha : "Realism isn't expected from a Priyadarshan movie" is too sweeping a statement and way off the mark. The guy has made Thalavottam, Kireedam (remade into Gardish), Saza-e-Kalapani and the recent Kancheevaram for god's sake. Even Vellanakalude Nadu, The source for Khatta Meetha, is supposed to be a very realistic film.
Moreover, slapstick isn't "not comedy". In fact, slapstick is one of the most difficult forms of comedy to pull off. Watch some old Blake Edwards films (The Great Race is a must-watch) or those featuring Lucille Ball. Closer home, Priyan's own Hera Pheri & Rajkumar Santoshi's Andaz Apna Apna are great examples of classic slapstick. Khatta Meetha was a confused film. It was lost between slapstick, a tragi-comic drama, a romance & satire. It ended up being none.
Shweta : A review of OUATIM with just a passing mention of the dialogues just doesn't do justice to the film. The film is the dialogues and vice-versa. Quite understandable that the dialoguebaazi didn't work for you but even then, a mere passing mention is not fair at all.
To sum this one up in short, its full-on Kader Khan redux...a throwback to the 70's...done with style...has its fair share of pitfalls and doesn't offer any solid takeaways...but remains a fun watch well worth the time. Personally, I wouldn't mind multiple watches of this one...like on a Sunday afternoon with some friends for company. I wish I had taken a whistle in the film. Been a long time since I actually whistled in a movie...and in OUATIM, my smoky lungs gave up by the interval.
And I second Pankaj. Meetu...come back soon. You're being missed. Hope you're having a blast on the vacation. :)
Common man attire? What about the Ray-ban glasses stuck to his face?
Quite an accurate review otherwise. :)
Heartening run starting with the warm-up that Red Alert was...isn't it? I simply loved Udaan.
I do have a slightly different viewpoint on B.Singh's character. I feel that enough hints were dropped about the reasons behind his bitterness. ***MILD SPOILER ALERT***The dinner table conversation between father and son at J.Singh's place, the tattoo on his upper arm, the setting in which Rohan packs his bags towards the end, the couple of scenes where the parent in him comes out.***END OF SPOILER*** I feel all that was good enough for a cursory backstory and an explanation of the character.
@Meetu : Yes...was talking about my review. Sorry if I conveyed something else...blame it on Krantiveer. And thanks for the late addition. :)
This film's review exhausted me completely. By the way, do late-comers get featured here?
Sorry Meetu...but my take was more in the so-so range rather than thumbs down. :)
@pondy : Huge difference between the two examples you mention. Talking about the character arc doesn't really give away a film unless its part of some suspense. It was so in the sixth Sense example you mention...but raajneeti hardly had any such suspense. And if you were oblivious to the mahabharat connection, this review seems to be the first thing you read about the film.
And we agree...after a long time. :-)
@Meetu : The title of this page brings out the worst in me. Maaf kar do. :)
Not really...timing the release doesn't require any creative acumen...does it? :P
To borrow from a friend's twitter feed...
Hrithik calls Kites Truly World Cinema...Truly=whatever papa says; world=barbara mori+some gora extras; cinema=shot by a camera.
Meetu : Accepted...and words taken back. :) The intention wasn't to put anything down but the film.
And reg. your views on housefull, the environment was exactly what I was pointing towards. I feel that the timing of release was a masterstroke on Sajid Nadiadwala's part.
I can so feel you there...both you, wogma & you, Meetu. Can empathise with every single bit of emotion you must've gone thru.
Anyways, as they say, Jahan se jaage, wahan savera! So, congratulations on a fresh and enthusiastic beginning. And hope to see you go places from here.
Was also thinking of writing a comment about the new look, but couldn't locate the right place for it. Till now, that is.
Wishing you all the best and looking forward to scores of heated debates. Don't we just love it?
And before you make a lame comback like "That's what is brainless entertainment", I'd want you to show similar disconnects in characterisation and script in films like Hera Pheri, Andaz Apna Apna, Dulhe Raja and the likes. Those are films I would enjoy even today...after multiple watches. That's brainless entertainment. Housefull is brainless filmmaking.
And to explain consistency to a dummy like you, try thinking about these examples...
1. The vacuum cleaner scene could have been a classic scene...showing a bumbling, clumsy Akki wrecking havoc. But a minute down the line, he's set the entire house in order. Now, if he was really that organised and methodical, how did he end up making such a mess in the first place? And if he was a bumbling idiot after all, how did he manage to set things in order?
2. Deepika Padukone throws a fit when she has a misunderstanding about Akki having lied to her. A couple of scenes later, she sets in motion the train of lies (most of them coming from herself) that the movie is built upon. Does it add up?
And these are just two examples out of the dozens that the film proudly wears on its sleeves. Does CONSISTENT & DISHONEST FILMMAKING make more sense to you now?
If you had cared to read that comment of mine where I said "To each his own...let's agree to disagree", we could've avoided this message. But then you had to write an essay on life, opinions and intelligence. Tum karo to chamatkar, hum karein to balatkar?
@lovebollywood : By that logic, even praising a film is just as lame. Do you even realise how much of a fool you're making of yourself?
And I find this "Before criticizing, make a movie yourself" argument laughable, to say the least. So, if you don't know how to drive, you can't criticise a driver for rash driving? How lame!!
@lovebollywood : A lot of people consume adulterated food. That doesn't make it healthy. Mass acceptance of a product is no certificate for its quality. Something appeals to people in Housefull...all I can say is that they don't really have a sense of humour...let alone good or bad. My opinion though...and I stand by it. If made to pick one by force, I'd pick The Great Indian Laughter Challenge over Housefull in the funny stakes.
@Kaiser & Tasnim : Rajneeti looks quite promising. Let's hope Prakash Jha gets it right this time too. :)
Consistency of characters doesn't mean that there shouldn't be a character progression graph. It means that character progression should be explained through some events. In other words, characters should evolve OUT OF situations rather than change FOR them.
"By your standards, then all magic realism in fiction would be inconsistent, as the characters do not follow a clear and consistent path in terms of their actions."
That depends on the tone set for a piece or art, be it literature or cinema. Housefull is inconsistent even in its tone.
By the way, what do you smoke? You're comparing Milan Kundera with Sajid Khan...I'd love to lay my hands on your stash man. :)
Anyways...to each his own. Let's agree to disagree here.
Apologises and then continues later on. That's where the insensitivity comes out. Compare it with the sensitivity of a Shimit Amin, who also made a couple of "Chinky" jokes in Chak De India, but made up with a powerful comeback rather than a light touch.
And the malice comes forth in caricature that the Reebok executive is.
Moreover, the jokes weren't even funny. The last time I laughed at such jokes was when they used to be forwarded thru emails, a dozen years ago.
Contemporary since the protagonist is shown in grey shades? Hmmm...what about the lesson in morality? The honesty is the best policy potion that the film is seeped in?
As for what you call ethnic jokes, IMO, they are no more than lame & insensitive schoolboy humour. Ask someone from the north-east how they feel about these "Chinese" jokes.
@lovebollywood : I didn't mention real characters anywhere. I mentioned inconsistent characters. There's a difference. You had Amar & Prem in Andaz Apna Apna...as unreal as one can get. But they were consistent. They were introduced as dumb wannabe losers...and stayed so throughout the film. Not the case with Housefull. Each character's mentality, intelligence & motivations changed as per the situation...and in a haphazard manner. Just to suit the convenience of the scriptwriter & director. I don't expect logic from screwball comedies...they're meant to be illogical. What I do expect is consistency...which was missing in Housefull. That's why I've called it dishonest filmmaking. In fact, a reviewer has hit the nail bang on its head by remarking about the difference between no-brainer entertainment & no-brainer filmmaking. Hope you get the point. If you haven't, I give up.
@Rahul : There's a major difference between Hangover & Housefull...though let me state that I'm not a big fan of the former either. In Hangover, the characters were consistent...in Housefull they weren't. Inconsistent characterisation, with characters changing to suit the situation in the film is the prime hallmark of dishonest filmmaking, IMO. How can the chief of the Indian Military Intelligence be such an easy target of schoolboy pranks? How can Lara Dutta's character hate Akki's intrusion one moment and then become a mother figure for him the very next? How can Akki fumble so badly with a vaccuum cleaner one moment and then redo the house so nicely in a matter of a few hours in the very next sequence? And all these points go on to build the plot of the film. That's what I hated about Housefull the most...the dishonesty in characterisation. And each "funny" moment of the film was just built on these lies.
The biggest problem is that the success of Housefull will spur several other filmmakers to make such tripe. The excuse of producers that Indian audiences just want this kind of stuff will be further strengthened. Hmmm...but to think about it, don't they?
By the way, Sajid Khan has gone on record saying that the climax of Housefull will do to comedies what Matrix did for action films. I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that.
@Rahul & Meetu : Could the success of the film be ascribed to the timing more than anything else? The last few weeks have seen some terrible films come out due to the IPL & people were starved. The film has enough star power to draw the initial crowds...and the verdict from the masses is euphoric. The one thing nobody realises is that the verdict is relative to recent films and that matters a lot when it comes to guaging the mettle of a film.
@Meetu : Not very sure if you too succumbed to the same relativity conundrum here. Would you have rated Housefull similarly had it followed films of a better quality than it actually did?
I meant I didn't like the movie^^^
Wow...you laughed a couple of times and it becomes watchable. What about the other 2 hours 28 minutes of the movie? Guess you were having fun watching the others laugh. Cuz. that was the only way I could have a semblance of a smile on my face, coming out. :D
Actually, I've presented a perspective on the "leave your brains home" argument in my review. And I didn't like it a bit.
By the way, its longer than 2 hours...where did you get the runtime info from?
Lucky you! I had no such luck with my show. People turned up and Bollywood E-Square went on with the show
@Adam : In fact, it was your mention of Matrix, TDK & POTC in the same breath as Dhoom-2, Krish & Race that got me started in the first place. :D
By the way, I have no love lost for Ghajini either. Here's what I had to say for it...
@meetu : Yceebhai is Chittaranjan. I know him from another life. ;-)
Chittaranjan might've watched it in an empty theatre and heard himself snore. Happened with me in Sadiyan. :D
Waise Yceebhai...kabhi purane doston ko bhi yaad kar liya karo. An entire community depends heavily on thee.
BTW...if you want to pay to watch Race, Krish & Dhoom2 again, you've never seen a good thriller. Seriously.
Adam...that anger wasn't directed at you. If you felt that way, apologies.
Now...have you really watched MFSU? Ever been to Rajasthan? If your answer to either of the questions is yes, you wouldn't say what you have said here.
Yes...the film is a remake (I'm not using the word ripoff for reasons that I'll be elaborating on) of Polanski's Chinatown. But it was better because...
1. It wasn't simply copied and pasted like so many other films are. This was adapted to Indian conditions very nicely. More on that in a bit.
2. You call it fake and lame, but ask a small-town Rajasthani and he'll tell you how closely it mirrored small-town Rajasthan.
3. You call it a confused version whereas I saw in it a depth that was missing in the original, and a pretty coherent depth.
4. Performances in MSFU have been praised by one and all, including your dearest, Taran Adarsh.
5. The pace is slow for a reason. There's a stronger character arc in MSFU as compared to Chinatown. Chinatown was a taut thriller whereas MSFU was a study of characters built around the same plot. I repeat, its not a copy. Navdeep has added a whole lot of his own perspective to it. The plot is the same but the execution is very different.
By the way, even Chinatown was about "they're after your money". Humara dhobi dhobi, tumhara dhobi drycleaner? Sahi hai bhai.
And let's not get into a discussion on lists here...this isn't the space for it. You'll see my POV much clearly on the following pages where I've compiled a list of the most overrated and underrated movies of the noughties.
You're more than welcome to a debate there.
And yeah...The Sixth Sense & Sarfarosh aren't recent movies. Both are from more than 10 years ago - 1999 releases.
Adam : Thanks for the pity. I need it to survive. And wasn't getting any from anywhere. You really came in as a lifesaver. Would be even more grateful if you could tell me where I swore at you. Did they tell you in school that escapist, conformist, blasphemous & wannabe are swear words?
And you know what? I accept that you're quite knowledgable. In fact, I bow down to thee. I'm just trying to act like a movie connoisseur and I'd rather not dare question your viewpoint. You, on the other hand, have every right to shout from the rooftops that anyone not agreeing with you doesn't understand entertainment...oh sorry, ENTERTAINMENT. Such a sore loser.
By the way, I'm still waiting to know why you found the films mentioned above boring. And I know I'm not getting an answer.
And before you come up with another of your lame Taran Adarshesque retorts calling me a Hollywood tool, let me give you some examples of good entertaining Bollywood films from recent years...
The Munnabhai twin featuresJohnny Gaddar (Watch it to understand the power of the script...you know everything that's happening...yet you're glued to the edge of your seat)A Wednesday (Another script winner...and what performances from AK & NS)99 (A small unpretentious comedy...wonder if you've watched it)Luck By chance (Strong characters, tongue in cheek humour, realism much beneath the surface. A courageous attempt at holding a mirror to oneself)Little Zizou (Low-budget but high entertainment)Wake Up Sid (Mainstream, commercial but still an enjoyable film due to the well-written characters)
Many of these films are make-believe. Munnabhai, JG, Wednesday, 99; all have some really unbelievable events transpiring...but you don't ever pay attention to that because the film has been crafted with skill and the make-believe events are bound nicely.
In films like SIK, Dhoom2, Race and now Prince, the craft is AWOL...and there's nothing connecting the make-believe events. Hence, one is forced to look at them.
We reviewers spend our time watching films that aren't really worth our time. We do it for the love of the medium and the enthusiasm to share our POV & know others' POV's. For all you know, we would rather enjoy the film than feeling so bad watching it. If only the film would allow.
@Meetu : I'm really sorry for these long rants...but over the last couple of weeks, I'm really disturbed about how easily our audiences accept trash...and then be so bombastic about it.
Over n f'n out!!