Archive for the ‘movie’ Category

Thomas Hardy’s immortal tale of love — Tess of the D’Urbervilles — abandoned and virtue lost has been captivating readers for over a century.

And I was more than happy to watch the unforgettable intensity and tenderness of the treasured classic in a lavish adaptation. It was in my degree I first read the novel and later in my post graduation.

Her luminous beauty blazing against the bleak background of rural Victorian England, Tess remains one of literature’s best-loved and most memorable heroines.
Violated by one man and forsaken by another, she refuses to remain a victim. But her struggle to endure despite the abandonment of her true love and her desperate attempt to attain happiness propel Tess toward a tragic end.

Tess (Justine Waddell) is a girl of the working class and learns that her father is the descendant of the noble family, the d’Urbervilles. Her family sends Tess to a rich relative in nearby Tantridge to get money or marry well so that her parents will be taken care of. Her meeting with Alec d’Urberville (Jason Flemyng), one of the relatives, seals her dreadful fate. He is attracted to Tess and seduces her and she returns home ruined. Alec promises to take care of her if she ever needs anything, but she dislikes him so much that she’d rather suffer than have any contact with him.

Soon Tess bears a child she names, Sorrow, and the child dies only days after it is born. Tess leaves home to try at independence again knowing now to be wary of men. She goes to Talbothay’s dairy and falls in love with Angel Clare (Oliver Milburn), the son of a pastor who is learning about farming at the dairy. Although she thinks herself unworthy of such a sweet man because of what happened to her, Tess and Angel fall in love and decide to get married. She refused his proposals for quite a while trying to find a way to tell him about her past with Alec d’Urberville, but she couldn’t do it. Shortly before they are supposed to be married, she writes him a letter and slips it under the door of his room. He never gets the letter because it is stuck under the edge of the carpet. Tess realizes this mistake on the morning of their marriage, and she is not given an opportunity to tell him before they are married.

That night he confesses that he’s had one sexual encounter and she forgives him, knowing that he’ll forgive her what happened with Alec. But when she tells Angel about it, the way he feels about her changes completely. He feels betrayed and tricked, so they agree to separate.

He goes to Brazil to try his hand at farming there, and Tess works at hard job after hard job rather than asking his family for money as he’d instructed her when he left. While she’s working herself to the bone, she encounters Alec d’Urberville again and he begins visiting her, relentlessly trying to convince her to marry him. She finally gives in when her family is evicted from their home after her father’s death and they have nowhere to go. Alec provides them a home, and Tess agrees to be his wife.

Angel returns from Brazil and comes to find her, knowing that he has treated her unfairly. When he finds her, she is distraught that the only man she ever loved has come back, and once again, Alec d’Urberville is standing in her way. She stabs Alec with a knife, and she and Angel spend a week together hiding out and being as they were before they were married. Then Tess is captured and executed. (Later Angel marries her younger sister, Liza Lu, which the movie didn’t show.)

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I had read this romantic novel by Charlotte Bronte in my degree and today got an opportunity to watch it. Though it was made in 1970, the film was close to to the book.

The movie Jane Eyre begins with Jane entering Lowood School. The novel begins with 01-year-old orphan Jane Eyre who lives unhappily with her wealthy relatives, the Reed family, at Gateshead. Resentful of the late Mr Reed’s preference for her, Jane’s aunt and cousins take every opportunity to neglect and abuse her as a reminder of her inferior station. Jane’s only salvation from her daily humiliations is Bessie, the kindly servant who tells her stories and sings her songs. One day, Jane confronts her bullying cousin, John, and Mrs Reed punishes her by imprisoning her in the “red-room,” the room in which her uncle died. Convinced that she sees her uncle’s ghost, Jane faints. When she awakes, Jane is being cared for the apothecary, Mr Lloyd, who suggests that she be sent off to school. Mrs Reed is happy to be rid of her troublesome charge and immediately sends Jane to the Lowood School, an institution 50 miles from Gateshead.

Jane soon discovers that life at the Lowood School is bleak, particularly because of the influence of the hypocritical headmaster, Mr Brocklehurst (Jack Hawkins), whose cruelty and evangelical self-righteousness results in poor conditions, inedible meals, and frequent punishments for the students. But superintendent Miss Temple believes in Jane’s innocence and encourages her to devote herself to her studies.

While at Lowood, Jane befriends Helen Burns, who upholds a doctrine of Christian forgiveness and tolerance. During the spring, an outbreak of typhus fever ravages the school, and Helen dies of consumption in Jane’s arms. After Mr Brocklehurst’s removal, Jane’s time at Lowood is spent more happily and she excels as a student for six years and as a teacher for two.

Jane (Susannah York) accepts a position as governess at Thornfield Manor and is responsible for teaching a vivacious French girl named Adèle. In addition to Adèle, Jane spends much of her time at Thornfield with Mrs Fairfax (Rachel Kempson), the elderly housekeeper who runs the estate during the master’s absence. Jane also begins to notice some mysterious happenings around Thornfield, including the master’s constant absence from home and the demonic laugh that Jane hears emanating from the third-story attic.

After much waiting, Jane finally meets her employer Edward Rochester (George C. Scott), a brooding, detached man who seems to have a dark past. One night, Jane saves Mr Rochester from a fire in his bedroom, which he blames on Grace Poole, a seamstress with a propensity for gin.

As the months go by, Jane finds herself falling more and more in love with Mr Rochester, even after he tells her of his lustful liaison with Adèle’s mother. However, Jane becomes convinced that Mr Rochester would never return her affection when he brings the beautiful Blanche Ingram to visit at Thornfield. Though Rochester flirts with the idea of marrying Miss Ingram, he is aware of her financial ambitions for marriage. During Miss Ingram’s visit, an old acquaintance of Rochester’s, Richard Mason, also visits Thornfield and is severely injured from an attack — apparently by Grace — in the middle of the night in the attic. Jane, baffled by the circumstances, tends to him, and Rochester confesses to her that he made an error in the past that he hopes to overturn by marrying Miss Ingram. He says that he has another governess position for Jane lined up elsewhere.

(This part was not in the movie: Jane returns to Gateshead for a few weeks to see the dying Mrs Reed. Mrs. Reed still resents Jane and refuses to apologize for mistreating her as a child; she also admits that she lied to Jane’s uncle, John Eyre, and told him that she had died during the typhus outbreak at Lowood.)

Mr Rochester tells Jane that he knows Miss Ingram’s true motivations for marriage, and he asks Jane to marry him. Jane accepts, but a month later, Mason interrupt the wedding ceremony by revealing that Rochester already has a wife: Mason’s sister, Bertha, who is kept in the attic in Thornfield under the care of Grace Poole. Rochester confesses his past misdeeds to Jane. In his youth he needed to marry the wealthy Bertha for money, but was unaware of her family’s history of madness. Despite his best efforts to help her, Bertha eventually descended into a state of complete madness that only her imprisonment could control. Jane still loves Mr Rochester, but she cannot allow herself to become his mistress: she leaves Thornfield.

Penniless and devastated by Mr Rochester’s revelations, Jane is reduced to begging for food and sleeping outdoors. Fortunately, the Rivers siblings, St. John, Diana, and Mary, take her into their home at Moor House and help her to regain her strength. Jane becomes close friends with the family, and quickly develops a great affection for the ladies. Although the stoically religious St. John is difficult to approach, he finds Jane a position working as a teacher at a school in Morton.

(This part is also not in the movie: One day, Jane learns that she has inherited a vast fortune of 20,000 pounds from her uncle, John Eyre. Even more surprising, Jane discovers that the Rivers siblings are actually her cousins. Jane immediately decides to share her newfound wealth with her relatives.)

St. John is going to go on missionary work in India and repeatedly asks Jane to accompany him as his wife. She refuses, since it would mean compromising her capacity for passion in a loveless marriage. Instead, she is drawn to thoughts of Mr Rochester and, one day, after experiencing a mystical connection with him, seeks him out at Thornfield. She discovers that the estate has been burnt down by Bertha, who died in the fire, and that Mr Rochester, who lost his eyesight and one of his hands in the fire, lives at the nearby estate of Ferndean. He is overjoyed when she locates him, and relates his side of the mystical connection that Jane had.

(This is also not in the movie: He and Jane soon marry. At the end of the novel, Jane informs the readers that she and Mr Rochester have been married for 10 years, and Mr Rochester regained sight in one of his eyes in time to see the birth of his first son.)

New York

Posted: July 1, 2009 in movie
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After having a sumptuous dinner, we headed towards Rex on Brigade Road to catch New York.

New York opens around 7 years after the 9/11 attacks with Omar (Neil Nitin Mukesh) being wrongly held captive by the FBI. Investigating officer Roshan (Irrfan Khan) offers to go easy on Omar if he agrees to spy on old-time friend Sameer (John Abraham) who the FBI suspects to be a terrorist. With a maneuvered reunion, Omar gets entry into the family of Sameer and Maya (Katrina Kaif) who were Omar’s college friends 7-8 years back and tries hard to unveil his activist identity but fails every time.

new yorkRoshan suspects Sameer of running a sleeper terrorism cell and he wants to nab him red handed. Omar is left with no option but to comply with Roshan’s orders but he agrees on one condition that the FBI won’t kill Sameer if he agrees to surrender. Years back when in college Omar, Maya and Sameer were thick buddies and Omar silently loved Maya but when she expressed her love for Sameer, Omar had gone away from them. Sameer and Maya are married with a small kid Danielle.

new york2aNew York exposes the wily ways of the American FBI to which over hundreds of innocent Muslim people had fallen prey to post 9/11. The terrorism theme comes into picture predominantly in the second half. The physical and mental abuse on innocent Muslims, imprisoned merely on suspicion and their consequent repercussions are effectively portrayed. The torture scenes shown immediately post the interval send a shiver down the spine.
All the three lead protagonists of New York are Muslims affected by the 9/11 episode in varied ways and to different degrees. Sameer turns a scapegoat of the situation, Omar’s identity gets him in trouble, while Roshan (a Muslim investigating on terrorism) offers that ray of hope prevailing amidst discriminating humankind.

They were taken before Marilyn Monroe became branded as the voluptuous blonde who oozed sex appeal in dozens of Hollywood films. They were taken before rumours of an affair with President John F. Kennedy swirled and her mental breakdowns became public. They were taken before the beautiful actress’ mysterious overdose that resulted in her death at the age of 36.

In a collection discovered by Life.com last month, unpublished photographs of Monroe reveal a softer, more innocent 24-year-old budding starlet in a more peaceful time, before her fame peaked.

Marilyn flashes a brilliant smile. It’s hard to believe that just four years earlier, she was Norma Jeane Dougherty, the wife of a Merchant Marine and a worker in a munitions factory.

Marilyn flashes a brilliant smile. It’s hard to believe that just four years earlier, she was Norma Jeane Dougherty, the wife of a Merchant Marine and a worker in a munitions factory.

Her flawless face bears a natural look with minimal makeup, unusual for the star, who was often glamorised in photo shoots with lipstick, designer dresses and expensive jewellery.

Marilyn pats her curls. Naturally a brunette, Monroe reportedly dyed her hair blonde during her modelling days, after hearing that’s the look agencies wanted.

Marilyn pats her curls. Naturally a brunette, Monroe reportedly dyed her hair blonde during her modelling days, after hearing that’s the look agencies wanted.

In one photo, the young Monroe lies in bliss, reading on a park bench, which editors at Life.com believe was shot at Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California. In another, her face is serene as she is perched over a bridge barefoot. The shoot, which dates to 1950, was conducted by Life photographer Ed Clark.

Lounging in the shade, Monroe studies lines of an unknown script. It was still early in her career, and she'd just begun to grab attention: Three months before this shoot, she appeared as a crooked lawyer’s girlfriend in The Asphalt Jungle, and two months after, she had a small role as an aspiring starlet in All About Eve.

Lounging in the shade, Monroe studies lines of an unknown script. It was still early in her career, and she'd just begun to grab attention: Three months before this shoot, she appeared as a crooked lawyer’s girlfriend in The Asphalt Jungle, and two months after, she had a small role as an aspiring starlet in All About Eve.

It’s a side of Monroe that the American public has rarely seen.

A 24-year-old Marilyn, wearing a simple button-down shirt monogrammed with her initials, leans against a tree in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park for LIFE photographer Ed Clark. The negatives for these photos were recently discovered during our ongoing effort to digitize LIFE's immense and storied photo archive, including outtakes and entire shoots that never saw the light of day.

A 24-year-old Marilyn, wearing a simple button-down shirt monogrammed with her initials, leans against a tree in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park for LIFE photographer Ed Clark. The negatives for these photos were recently discovered during our ongoing effort to digitize LIFE's immense and storied photo archive, including outtakes and entire shoots that never saw the light of day.

“She hasn’t really exploded as a star, yet she was on the brink of something big,” says Dawnie Walton, deputy editor at Life.com, a website harboring more than 7 million Life magazine photographs. The site was launched in March.

“I was amazed looking at her face. Although she looks very innocent, there is something very … sexy.”

Monroe leans over a railing, her short-shorts riding up. Four years later, she’d famously show off those legs again during the subway-grate scene of The Seven Year Itch.

Monroe leans over a railing, her short-shorts riding up. Four years later, she’d famously show off those legs again during the subway-grate scene of The Seven Year Itch.

Last month, Walton stumbled upon the rare photographs while combing through the company’s digital photo archives. Apparently, no one at Life.com even knew they were ever taken.

Upon investigating the photos, Walton says, she found there were few notes left on the negatives. She says the photos were probably taken for a cover shoot that were never used. Monroe appeared on her first Life magazine cover in 1952.

A barefoot Monroe balances on rocks over a tiny brook. In a 1999 interview with Digital Journalist, photographer Clark described how in 1950 he received a call from a friend at 20th Century Fox about “a hot tomato” the studio had just signed: Marilyn.

A barefoot Monroe balances on rocks over a tiny brook. In a 1999 interview with Digital Journalist, photographer Clark described how in 1950 he received a call from a friend at 20th Century Fox about “a hot tomato” the studio had just signed: Marilyn.

“It just got lost and stowed away,” Walton said. “It was just … somewhere in a warehouse in New Jersey.”

At the time the photos were shot, Monroe had her first small breakout role as a mistress in The Asphalt Jungle. The star was better known as a model at the time, though she’d had a handful of cameos in films.

Photographer Ed Clark told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune a friend from 20th Century Fox alerted him that the studio had just signed “a hot tomato.”

Monroe, changed into a bikini top, relaxes with a script. Why LIFE never published this gold mine of photos after Marilyn became a superstar remains a mystery. The only clue: a brief note about the shoot we found in our archives, addressed to LIFE’s photo editor and saying that “this take was over-developed and poorly printed.”

Monroe, changed into a bikini top, relaxes with a script. Why LIFE never published this gold mine of photos after Marilyn became a superstar remains a mystery. The only clue: a brief note about the shoot we found in our archives, addressed to LIFE’s photo editor and saying that “this take was over-developed and poorly printed.”

“She was unknown then, so I was able to spend a lot of time shooting her,” Clark said. “We’d go out to Griffith Park and she’d read poetry. I sent several rolls to Life in New York, but they wired back, ‘Who the hell is Marilyn Monroe?’”

Photographs later in the 1950s and early 1960s would display a much more confident and sexual Monroe — images that would become iconic in popular culture.

There is the famous photograph of a busty Monroe in a white halter dress, standing with her skirt blowing up in 1955 for her role in The Seven Year Itch. In 1962, American photographer Bert Stern shot a tipsy, sometimes nude Monroe in a series of delicate shots that would be known as The Last Sitting. Monroe died about six weeks later, on August 5, 1962.

Life.com staff members say there are 15 million photographs in the Life archive dating back to the late 1850s, even before Life officially began publishing in 1936. Two years ago, the publication began slowly transferring the photographs into a digital archive.

From time to time, unpublished photographs will be found that the company doesn’t know existed. Other times, the photographs may have been taken but never selected to be used for publication.

Last March, to commemorate the 11th anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s death, Life.com released a series of unpublished photographs of the singer. In April, Life.com released newly recovered, never-before-seen photographs of Martin Luther King Jr. taken by a Life photographer on the day King was assassinated at a Memphis, Tennessee, hotel in 1968.

After a long time I wanted to watch a Telugu movie just by seeing the poster of it. I felt Arundhati would be different from other love stories where hero and heroine will be busy running around the trees. And at last, got the time to watch it yesterday night when Vij was not there.

Arundhati2

The theme of the movie is revenge and it continues till the very end. Arundhati aka Jakkamma (Anushka, aka Anushka Shetty, a Mangalorean of course!) is getting married to Rahul (Deepak) and celebrations galore all around. A couple from her relatives is visiting Gadwal, her old ancestral property and village where Arundhatis’ ancestors ruled and on the way the couple meet with an accident and visit an old fort to seek help. But there is an evil locked up in the old and derelict fort that is seeking freedom. The evil spirit is Pasupathi (Sonu Sood), who has vowed to take avenge on Arundhati and her family.

Gadwal was ruled by Arundhati’s father who has another elder daughter who was married to Pasupati, who is a hardcore womaniser who goes about philandering the entire village. Unable to bear the torture and humiliation young Arundhati’s sister commits suicide and this enrages the young princess Arundhati. She takes it upon herself to punish Pasupati for all his sins. She gives an order to have him beaten mercilessly and killed, and left for dead. Unfortunately, he is saved by a group of tantrics and nurtured back to health by them. Pasupati stays with them and learns black magic and once proficient in the black magic, comes back to Gadwal to take revenge on Arundhati and her family.

Sonu Sood, Arundhati3

Arundhati though a warrior princess, is still no match for the black magic powers that Pasupati possesses, but yet manages to defeat him by impaling him under a chandelier and cutting off his tongue so that he cannot speak out the magic or use his hands to work any magic.

arundhati3a

She intends to kill him right then and there but is warned not to do so, as that would set the evil spirits within him free which would be even worse.

arundhati-drumsong-aArundhati then has Pasupati buried alive and a cemetery built around him while he is alive. The evil person is imprisoned, dies inside later and waits to be set free from his prison so that he can have his revenge on Arundhati and her family.

Several generations down the line, a girl is born into the royal family of Gadwal. She is named as Arundhati and her marriage is settled with Rahul. By a turn of events, she is lured to Gadwal and to her old derelict ancestral fort where the evil spirit is set free.

She is helped in her quest by Fakir Anwar (Sayaji Shinde).

Arundhati can be branded as new kind of thriller with a high-end graphical and special effects rich movie.
The graphics and special effects were mind-boggling. The screenplay doesn’t deviate from the main storyline.
After watching a few doubts arose in the mind. We are informed that Pasupati can be killed only if he gets to human form, but the evil force doesn’t go into any human body, yet Arundhati kills him. What happens to Pasupati’s mother? Why did she become a spirit? Why did Arundhait’s elder son become a spirit? Who is Arundhati’s husband?

Anushka is backbone of the movie and has given knockout performance. But she is not that effective in her latter role.

Sonu Sood as evil force and womaniser is exceptional. He brings venom on to the screen with his deadly looks as Satan. Sayaji Shinde in the role of fakir is also wonderful. After Anushka and Sonu Sood, his character plays the major role in the movie and he has delivered it with finesse.

But the story doesn’t have emotional basis. The revenge is purely personal unlike other movies. The graphics and visuals in climax look very pale.

Looks like the dance sequence is taken from Chinese film House of Flying Doggers but looks pale compared to the original. Many graphics have resemblance to Lord Of The Rings Triology.

Ayyan

Posted: April 7, 2009 in movie
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I was curious to see Ayyan not just because my friend Usman resembles Surya in every angle, but also because of global popularity it got even before its release. Usually the posters of the world’s top films are displayed at the metro station in New Jersey. For the first time Ayyan achieved this honour, as the film posters were displayed at a metro station in New Jersey.

ayan2The film brings the scenario behind the lives of smuggling groups and their daily activities, besides giving a visual treat with scenes shot in various countries like Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia.

ayan3Pursuing a postgraduate course, Deva (Surya) a typical youth lives with his mother (Renuka) who aspires him to join the government service one day. Instead, he works as a courier for Das (Prabhu), who brings in smuggled articles from abroad to Chennai without getting caught by customs officials. Their rival Kamalesh (Akashdeep Saigal) goes to extremes to defeat them, thus leading to a bloody confrontation as they go for each other’s throats. Meanwhile, Deva falls in love with his friend’s sister Yamuna (Tamanna Bhatia).

ayan4Surya and Tamanna’s romance is funny and enjoyable, giving a comic relief. The car chase and action sequences are excellently shot, especially those done on the streets of Congo. Though storyline sounds familiar, the well-made narration and captivating visuals are the plus points.

ayan52The two touching scenes still haunt me. Drug addicts and peddlers should be made to sit and watch the movie, where Surya’s friend goes under knife to get the drugs removed and loses his life. Smugglers do not show any mercy and cut his belly, in fact his intestine to remove drugs!

ayan6Another scene where Kamalesh seduces his own employee’s daughter by drugging her and the plight of the father after seeing the pictures of the duo.

Surya’s fans will enjoy the movie and the locations are simply superb…

13B

Posted: March 31, 2009 in movie
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It was after a very long debate we — I, Vij, Rajeshattan and Viji — went to watch 13B. Garuda Mall being just in front of our house was an added advantage. We went for a night show and there were hardly any people for the show. When counted, there were only 31 (not 13 ;)) people for the show.

Madhavan and Neetu Chandra

Madhavan and Neetu Chandra

Manohar (R. Madhavan) moves into a new apartment —13B on the 13th floor — with his family. From the first day at their new flat, women are hooked to a new TV show — Sab Khairiyat. The show is about a family eerily similar to their family, who have also just moved into a new house. As the serial unfolds, the incidents that happen in the show start happening to Manohar and his family. Initially, a number of happy events take place and a lot of good things happen, both in the serial and in Manohar’s family. Then things take a turn for the worse and shocking incidents start happening in the serial. The camera work is exceptional, with a brilliant sound and energetic background score. The scenes with the septuagenarian neighbour and his black dog are exceptional, especially the scene when the dog refuses to enter Manohar’s house.

13Though the movie involved us in the proceedings and most importantly, scared as well, certainly, a few questions popped up in our mind. If the television set had to spill the beans towards the end to the culprit, why didn’t it do so to the main protagonist earlier? The album was unearthed from the playground of the garden and how come it wasn’t discovered when the old house gave way to a high-rise apartment?

But yes, after a long time, it was refreshing, a complete paisa vasool film. Of course, paying a whopping price at a multiplex to get scared definitely counts!

It is not that A.R. Rahman is the best music composer the Hindi film industry has ever seen. There were several talented composers who did not get the great opportunity of showcasing their talent to the world. The film music has grown up on their music and every music lover has hummed their compositions on day or the other.

Who will forget S.D. Burman’s Saiyan Dil Mein Aana Re (Bahar), Thandhi Hawayein (Nau Jawan), Tum Na Jane (Sazaa), Rote Rote Guzar Gayi (Buzdil), Jayen to Jayen Kahan (Taxi Driver), Dukhi Man Mere (Funtoosh), Chhod Do Aanchal (Paying Guest), Waqt Ne Kiya Kya (Kaagaz Ke Phool), Ek Ladki Bheeegi Bhagi Se (Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi), Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab Ka (Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi), Dekhi Zamane Ki Yaari (Kaagaz Ke Phool), Khoya Khoya Chand (Kala Bazar), Dil Ka Bhanwar ( Tere Ghar Ke Saamne), Dil Dhal Jaye  (Guide), Saiyan Beimaan (Guide), Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya (Guide), Roop Tera Mastana  (Aradhana), Tere Mere Milan Ki (Abhimaan), Piya Bina (Abhimaan)?

Who says R.D. Burman has not contributed even one song that deserved an Oscar? Kuchh To Log Kahenge (Amar Prem), Pyar Diwana Hota Hai (Kati Patang), Tum Bin Jaoon Kahan (Pyar Ka Mausam), Yeh Shaam Mastani (Kati Patang), Dum Maro Dum (Hare Rama Hare Krishna), Piya Tu Abto Aaja (Caravan), Chingari Koi Bhadke (Amar Prem), Chura Liya Hai Tumne (Yaadon Ki Baarat), Ek Main Aur Ek Too (Khel Khel Mein), Kya Hua Tera Wada (Hum Kisise Kum Naheen), O Mere Dil Ke Chain (Mere Jeevan Saathi), O Meri Sona Re (Teesri Manzil), Mere Naina Sawan Bhadon (Mehbooba), Raat Kali Ek Khwab Mein Aai (Buddha Mil Gaya), Yeh Kya Hua (Amar Prem) to name a few, defenitely deserve an Oscar.

Kalyanji-Anandji pair has immensely contributed to the Hindi films. Mera Jeevan Kora Kagaz (Kora Kagaz), Aur Is Dil Main Kya Rakha Hai (Imandar), Aap Jaisa Koi Meri Zindgi Main (Qurbani), O Sathi Re Tere Bina (Muqaddar Ka Sikander), Salam-e-Ishq (Muqaddar Ka Sikander), Zindgi Ka Safar(Safar), Yeh Mera Dil Pyar (Don), Pardesiyon Se Na Akhiyan Milana (Jab Jab Phool Khile), Khai Ke Pan Banaras Wala (Don) to name a few.

Laxmikant-Pyarelal pair’s hit composing for the past 40 years are several. To name a few: Ek Do Teen… (Tejaab), Achha To Hum Chalte Hain (Aan Milo Sajna), Bindia Chamkegi (Do Raaste), Chabi Kho Jaye (Bobby), Chithi Aayee Hai Watan se (Naam), Ek Pyar Ka Naghma Hai (Shor), Satyam Shivam Sundaram (Satyam SHivam Sundaram), Sawan Ka Mahina (Milan), Hum Bane Tum Bane (Ek Duje Ke Liye).

The newcomers have also contributed much to the music world. They all didn’t have what Rahman has, the opportunity.

Rahman has talent along with great opportunity to compose for a film that teh Academy would like to consider for an Oscar. Other musicians did not get that opportunity, but defenitely ruled the hearts of several music buffs in the country, which is a big award. Their names are etched in the histroy of Indian film music and nobody can ever fade them. But still congratulations to Rahman for utilising his opportunity and talent.

Jai Ho?

Posted: February 23, 2009 in movie
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The rags-to-riches romance Slumdog Millionaire won eight Oscar awards for the best feature film, direction, original song, original score, sound mixing, editing, adapted screenplay and cinematography. At last, India made it to the Oscars.

Producer of 'Slumdog Millionaire' Christain Colson with girlfriend Saskia Mulder

Producer of 'Slumdog Millionaire' Christain Colson with girlfriend Saskia Mulder

The best direction award went to Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire.

Director Danny Boyle with actors Dev Patel and Freida Pinto

Director Danny Boyle with actors Dev Patel and Freida Pinto

Rahman won two awards — for the best original song (Jai ho, penned by Gulzaar) and the best original score for Slumdog Millionaire.

A.R. Rahman with two Oscar awards

A.R. Rahman with two Oscar awards

Resul Pookutty for the best sound mixing along with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke.

Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty

Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty

Chris Dickens bagged the best film editing award.

Chris Dickens

Chris Dickens

Simon Beaufoy bagged the award for best adapted screenplay.

Simon Beaufoy with wife Jane

Simon Beaufoy with wife Jane

Anthony Dod Mantle got the best cinematography award.

Dod Mantle

Dod Mantle

The country is jubilant over winning eight Oscars.

Danny Boyle with writer Vikas Swaroop, author of 'Q & A'

Danny Boyle with writer Vikas Swaroop, author of 'Q & A'

It is considered as a historical event, as Oscar is considered to be the ultimate in excellence in the cinema world. Every artist dreams of making it big by aspiring for a role or a movie which would bag him Oscar.

Crew of the 'Slumdog Millionaire'

Crew of the 'Slumdog Millionaire'

When the country is jubilant over securing eight awards for the movie, has anyone thought about why did the movie get so much of recognition? Would it have got the Oscar if it was directed by an Indian director or an Indian script writer? Is there any dearth for local talent? There are many talented directors and artists in the country and it doesn’t mean that they are lagging behind in anything. Many good Indian films hardly get international exposure and recognition, as they are directed by locals. Unlike the west, we lack good marketing and exposure. Even a great director like Satyajit Ray got his Oscar at the fag end of his life, that too for his life time achievement and not to any particular film!

If we watch BBC or any other international channels, we are told that Slumdog Millionaire is a British cinema about India and not an Indian cinema! It seems like the British hired Indian artists and paid them the Oscar award.

Not only the Slumdog Millionaire, even Smile Pinki, a 39-minute short film in Hindi and Bhojpuri, directed by Emmy-nominated producer Megan Mylan also drew the attention of the world by winning the best documentary short subject Oscar award.

Director and producer of 'Smile Pinki' Megan Mylan with Pinky

Director and producer of 'Smile Pinki' Megan Mylan with Pinky

Both the films had Indian subjects with foreign directors to make it at the Oscars. When will the days come when a film directed by an Indian director makes it to the Oscars?

Ripley Under Ground

Posted: January 14, 2009 in movie
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Ripley Under Ground (2005)

Forgetting about Sankranti and had to wake up early, I watched Ripley Under Ground yesterday late night on Star Movies. I wondered at the talent of the protagonist who hides his crime and the ending came as a big surprise not only to the protoganist but also to me. The hero successfully pulled the wool over everyone else’s eyes, but freely showed the entire picture to my guilty delight. Barry Pepper in the role of Tom Ripley won my heart.

Tom has a funny, stylish way about him, exuding the charisma that keeps him in the good graces of his circle, while occasionally turning his back to pick a a pocket, kidnap a cat or lock a competitor in a washroom… all in a day’s work.

On the night of Derwatt’s (played by Douglas Henshall) first gallery exhibition (the typical rebellious bad boy of the canvass), Cynthia (played by sexy Claire Forlani) rejects his proposal of marriage, and the artist is killed when he drunkenly drives off the road. Tom (played by Barry Pepper) suggests they cover up his death to maximise the profit potential. Mercenary art dealer Jeff (played by Alan Cumming) is delighted, as is Cynthia, who saw no future in her relationship with Derwatt anyway. Only Bernard (played by Ian Hart) expresses qualms, but his conscience is soothed by Cynthia’s sexual ministrations, all the better to enable Bernard to forge more Derwatt “originals.”

Not to forget, behind them all is Tom controlling the whole programme as the puppet master. He plants the seeds and lets his players reap what he has sown. He seems a mystery man.  His motivations and actions are always in motion as well as question, but his goals don’t seem.

He is the villain in the guise of the hero. I know that he is ruthless, evil, cruel and murderer but I still love him for his grace.
Everyone gets rich from Bernard’s expert forgeries, until American art dealer Murchison (played by Willem Dafoe) takes one look at the “Bernard forgeries” and begins his warpath. Tom has no other go but to put an end to his opponent’s war.

Inspector Webster of Scotland Yard (played by Tom Wilkinson) is after Tom to find the mystery behind absconding Murchison, but fails.

How can I forget the charming lady, Heloise (played by Jacinda Barrett), who is in a running competition with her bank account in the race for Tom’s affections?

The actors are very well cast for their roles, and put in the right amount of comical twists for their serious situations.
Barry Pepper is especially to be commended for his impeccable performance. Tom’s Ripley is really a virus that practically infects the others to his own ends.

The film is well-made, enjoyable and has enough pleasant twists to make it worth seeking out.