Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The BOSS !!!

Finally, 4 months after missing Sivaji’s theatrical release, I had my hands on the DVD yesterday. The moment this project was announced in December 2005, it made great news all over the place as it was supposed to be an amalgamation of an intelligent director, Shankar and Rajani, who enjoys larger than life image. As the stills from the movie got leaked, the curiosity levels rose to an all time high seeing Rajani in different (read weird) getups.

Whenever I read / heard about Sivaji, I always wondered if it would end up as a RAJANI movie or as a SHANKAR movie. But I think it ended up as a RAJANI movie directed by SHANKAR. This movie is larger than you can imagine. I will bet that you haven’t watched Style, Romance, Comedy, Action, Emotion and Revenge – all on such a large scale. They have done wonders on Rajani’s costumes and hairstyles. The fact that Shankar used more hairstyles for Rajani than Shirya speaks of what you can expect on the screen. The Climax “gundu” getup with a little tap that he does on his head is “THE BEST” in the recent times and will also remain unchallenged for a long time to come.

As always Shankar brings in a new dimension to an otherwise regular commercial movie using CPR, Money laundering, Black Money and Voice recognition. Not to forget the gigantic beautiful sets. He thinks BIG and executes them BIG on screen. Sivaji is reportedly the most expensive film of South India. Every penny spent shows on screen. The Egyptian palace set in Vaaji Vaaji song, glass house set in Sahaana song is absolutely stunning. He has showed what a director can do with a SUPERSTAR. He worked to RAJANI’s strengths and it has worked wonders for the film.

Shriya or as a matter of fact, no heroin had looked so good before. Again, all credit goes to Shankar for his visualization. As opposed to the regular cruel look of a villain, Suman looked very good in White and White sporting a wide smile. Art by “Padmasree” Thota Tharani and Photography by K.V.Anand is first rate throughout. A.R.Rahman rocked both in songs as well as in the background.

On the flipside, after the first 10 minutes, the next 30 minutes could be trimmed down. The intro song just pops up on the screen and seems to be out of place though it was picturized beautifully. Except for the climax fight, all the fights are a major let down. The saving grace of the climax fight was again the menacing look of RAJANI.

All in all, this is a RAJANI movie directed by SHANKAR. You will be in for a huge disappointment if your were looking for a SHANKAR film starring RAJANI. Otherwise, it’s a paisa vassool commercial entertainer. Kudos to Shankar for raising the BENCH MARK OF A SUPERSTAR FILM !!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Johhny Gaddaar

Most of the times, thriller movies test the intelligence of audiences and question it. But Johnny Gaddaar is different !! Director Sriram Raghavan has chosen to make it different. You know who the Gaddar is right from the beginning but it still succeeds in creating the air of suspense amongst viewers and characters in the film. Johnny G is Sriram Raghavan’s homage to Vijay Anand movies and James Hadley Chase novels. Raghavan’s previous film, his debut movie Ek Hasina Thi starring Saif Ali Khan and Urmila Matondkar was average at the box office but won rave reviews from the critics. It infact gave Urmila couple of awards for her acting.

As this is a thriller, I will not discuss about the story but I would like to mention a few things which I really liked in this movie. The movie opens with titles reminding you of the technology that was available in 70’s and 80’s. This mixes well with the narrative style of the movie. Background music which is very crucial in movies like these is simply superb. Again, you get a feeling that you are watching a 70’s movie but gells well with the narrative style. Shot division is absolutely first class. Few shots leaves a huge impact on you like the various shades from red to orange which was used to narrate the dark side of the characters.

All the lead actors Dharmendra (after a long time I liked him in a movie), new comer Neil, Zakir Hussain and Vinay Pathak did a great job. On the flip side, movie could have been cut short by atleast 15 minutes so that the movie maintains a uniform pace throughout.

On the whole, a different thriller where you actually know who the Gaddaar is, but still movie succeeds in keeping your mind guessing. Go for it if you want to see a thriller of a different kind !!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Jhil Jhil Jhinga !!!

Even though I am not a big fan of Anand or Godavari, I admire Sekhar Kammula for his decision to go back to India from US and pursue his dream and also for his cinematic sensibilities. As you all know, not all can give up a lucrative career even though your heart is not in it and pursue your dream. Even though Anand was critically acclaimed a lot, I somehow felt that the movie was “TV serial ki ekkuva and cinema ki takkuva”. But as I said, I liked his cinematic sensibilities. I felt Godavari was better than Anand, though songs in both the films sound the same.

When I came to know that Sekhar was making a film on youngsters with all new faces I got all excited. Was very eager to see how he would apply his cinematic sensibility to a youth film. Then few months later when I came to know that he was making this film against the CBIT background, I could not resist myself from looking forward to it.

Before its release, Sekhar has been publicizing the movie as a “Youth film which you can watch with your parents”. This increased my curiosity levels to an all time high as I was very eager to see how you could make a youth film which you can watch with your parents with Sekhar’s cinematic sensibilities. And when he decided to release the movie in US along with CHIRUTHA, then I could not stop admiring his guts.

Well, when I watched Happy Days last weekend, it really took me back to my CBIT days. As a story on paper, there is nothing in it. It is the story of the lead character’s life during Engineering. But what makes it interesting is the screenplay and portrayal of the lead characters by the new actors. Film is funny, hilarious, emotional and touching. This is quite a big task to achieve all at the same time. Emotions are very nicely balanced which makes it stand apart from the other youth films. This was what I was looking for from Sekhar. He applied his sensibilities in a great way to balance the emotions throughout the movie.

Sekhar again uses his fascination for fantasy through the weird gimmicks of one of the lead character. This is the only fictional part in an otherwise complete real film.

Technically Mickey scores way above the rest. His songs and also re-recording raise the movie to a different level. I was not too satisfied with photography as I personally feel that there are too many locations on CBIT campus which could have been exploited. I am extremely disappointed on this aspect. For the first 20 minutes or so, dubbing was awful as there was no lip synchronization for most of the characters. Editing needs a lot to be desired. I do not understand why they were running against time to release the movie before having a techinically glitch free product in hand.

Two songs reminded me of Super Star Krishna's dance. They were just doing a drill on the playground. "Podduna levali" song disappointed me the most among all. In that song when the lyrics say "Amma mundu wonderlu, nanna mundu blunderlu" I expected some feats/tricks which would amuse mom and you fail in the same feat/trick when your dad comes in front. On the contrary you have the lead actor just facing mom and dad. Can't Sekhar imagine atleast this with the lyrics in his hand. I also do not agree with Sekhar that you can watch this film with your parents. It is a good one to watch with your classmates but not with your parents. The movie clearly explains what most of the college guys do. I was also very surprised to see all the parents in the movie very broad minded.

In spite of all these, this movie will be a money spinner in towns and cities for the theme. Sekhar has chosen a beautiful theme but comes up with a very mediocre product as the outcome. Its a shame that he could not use the mesmerizing music. Its a shame that he could not exploit the beautiful locales of CBIT. BUT this movie is a MUST WATCH for any person who went to a college. Go for it NOW !!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Mission Accomplished

Finally, the movie I was waiting for almost 6 months now released over the weekend. I guess you all know what I am talking about. Yes, that is Chirutha. Well, my title for this post tells you what’s the result of Chirutha is.

I wont dwell too much on the story because…….WHO CARES for a story in a movie like this. AGREED. Ram Charan does not score too well on the looks front BUT he has amazing screen presence. He almost excelled in all the categories considering this is his FIRST FILM. I would rather say, during my short stint of life so far, he made a perfect debut any hero would dream of in TFI.

Ram Charan has the PLEASURE of instant fan following, BUT on the other hand he has immense PRESSURE of being the ONLY SON of a MEGASTAR. With this movie, I guess he lived up to the expectations. A little bit of rawness seen here and there would be polished with time.

I cannot stop myself from writing the following. I have heard so many comments saying that CHIRUTHA is a total trash movie and there is nothing in it except for songs and fights. Well, THAT IS TRUE. But to all my friends out there, I would like to make a point here.

Each and every movie has a label attached to it, i.e., a purpose of making that movie. For example, Pokiri was made to entertain the crowds not to bring realism. Can anyone show me a person who behaves like POKIRI? It’s a fictional character and the movie was made to entertain the crowds using that character.

Then, Bommarillu. This movie was made dealing with a common problem seen in every other house. You can not bring any fiction into a story like this. Sri Ramadasu and Annamayya were made with real characters. You cannot expect mass songs and fights in these. Can you?

Well, if you cannot read that LABEL attached to that movie, then please do yourself a FAVOUR. DO NOT WATCH THAT MOVIE ON THE FIRST DAY / WEEKEND. Wait for the feedback or TAKE YOUR TIME TO READ THE LABEL.

I cannot help myself from laughing out my heart if you mention to me that the MOVIE WAS AWFUL. Hmmmm, what can I say? Did you go to a Megastar’s ONLY SON debut movie on the first day / weekend expecting a NEW STORY and VARIETY TREATMENT which by the way can go either way with the crowds. Do you think any father who is trying to launch his son with his brain at the right place would do that?

Chirutha was made to launch a hero from the FIRST FAMILY of TELUGU FILM INDUSTRY. And as per TFI constitutional rules, A HERO IS A PERSON WHO CAN DO THESE AMAZING THINGS WHICH A NORMAL PERSON WOULD ASPIRE TO DO IN THEIR DREAMS. Going by this Ram Charan has done full justice to what was expected of him and lived up to the expectations. It is a very rare scenario where a debut hero had carried the entire film on his shoulders.

Go, Watch it if you want to see some good dances, fights and if you are eager to see how Megastar’s son performed on his debut. If not, please help yourself.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Spoof on Bommarillu

Everyone knows the climax confrontation scene in Bommarillu between Siddharth and Prakash Raj. I came across this hilarious spoof of that scene. Don’t know who the author is but I appreciate his talent.

Balayya Fans: Balayya babu…meeru 20 years nunchi gelichaanu ani anukuntunnaru….kaani mimmalni gelipinchadaniki memu 20 years nunchi vodipotuney vunnam

Balayya: Naaku 5 crores remuneration vochinappudu kudaa nenu santosha padanu kaani naa fans naa movies ni aadaristunnaru ani gurtochinappudalla ento santosha paddanu

Balayya Fans: Meeru chaala goppa cinema teesanu ani anukuntaaru….kaani aa cinema nachaledu ani chairs viraga kotti screen chimpi mariii cheppali ani anipistundhi…..kaani emi cheyyaleni nissahaya paristhithi

Balayya: Raises Eye brows in surprise

Balayya Fans: Thidutunnaru Sir…..Banda Boothulu tidutunnaru....Balayya movie ki veltunnanu anteyney banda boothulu tidutunnaru sir

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Prediction on Vijaya Dasami

Vijaya Dasami starring Kalyan Ram and Vedika is releasing this Friday, September 21. It is a remake of Tamil so-called HIT Sivakasi starring Vijay, Asin, directed by Perarasu and produced by A.M.Ratnam. This is a typical formula movie with mother sentiment written all over it.

Hero (Kalyan Ram) has a mean brother (Sai Kumar) who even uses his mother (Jaya Sudha) as a pawn. In between hero falls for the rich heroin (Vedika). Story in just an excuse in films like these. It all boils down to heroism.

I personally feel that the fate of this movie will depend on how ladies react to the mother-sentiment and how the director had projected heroism with Kalyan Ram.

My prediction – Average to Above average

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Devudaa…Ohh Manchi Devudaa….

I think there are a few people in our film industry who craves for public attention all the time and in the process make a big fool out of themselves. Collection King Mohan Babu tops this list by a huge margin. Close to him comes Superstar Krishna. I will talk about Krishna at some point later.

Recently I came across an Interview of Mohan Babu where he was talking as usual in his filmi style, about how he is Second only to Late NTR in dialogue delivery (he never ever forgets to mentions this), how he DID NOT BUY ANY AWARDS so far, blah blah blah blah blah…… Then I suddenly heard something and before I realized I was rolling on the floor laughing. If you are curious to know what it is, then here you go....

Mohan Babu feels that his sons Vishnu and Manoj have ONLY ONE MINUS POINT. And that is, they being his SONS. It seems that “if they had come from a non-filmy background, with the acting prowess they showed so far, they would have become notable actors.”

Devudaa…..Ohh Manchi Devuda….Chiranjeevi ki Vishaala Hrudayam Ichaav….Nagarjuna ki talent ni spot cheesy capacity Ichaav….Venkatesh ki Remakes chesey talent Ichaav….Bala Krishna ki %&**# chesey talent Ichav….alaagey ee Mohan Babu ki kudaa vaadi kodukula prathibha gurtinchey talent ichi 10 kotla andhrulanu kaapadu swamii…..Nuvvu kaapadutaavu…Naaku Telusu….Endukantey basically you are a GOD….Good GOD !!!!!!