Thursday, November 20

Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge - Come, fall in love.. All over again. :)

Movie - Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (Hindi)
Director - Aditya Chopra
Producer - Yash Chopra
Cast - Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Amrish Puri, Farida Jalal, Anupam Kher, Mandira Bedi
Music - Jatin-Lalit
Cinematography - Manmohan Singh
Story, Screenplay - Aditya Chopra
Dialogues - Javed Siddiqui, Aditya Chopra
Release Date - 20th October 1995

Well, this film is not a new release. It is around 13 years old. But it released again in one of the local theaters in cochin. I couldn't resist missing a chance to watch it, as i hadnt watched this film in theatre so far, and its been my favorite hindi film for all these years. So went for it.

The movie was projected from the reels which were made in 1995. The projection of the movie was of total low quality. But still, the movie has the magic to keep the viewer engrossed each time he sees it. I have lost count of how many times i have seen this movie. It is the most romantic movie I have ever seen. My favorite performance of Shah Rukh Khan, who became an overnight superstar with this single movie. Aditya Chopra's first and best movie. The movie that broke all box office records in India. It is still running in Mumbai's Maratha Mandir theatre. In fact, it is the longest running movie in the world.

Well, describing the story of the movie would be like foolishness. Every random person knows what happens in each scene in the movie. Just wanted to talk about the magic of the movie.
It has inspired every single romantic movie that has come out after this movie. The dialogues of this movie are world class and the line 'Bade bade deshon mein, aisi choti choti baatein hoti rahti hain' is often repeated by all the romeos in the country.

SRK's Raj Malhotra is every girl's dream guy. Kajol looks ravishing in the movie. Amrish Puri is flawless. Anupam Kher is endearing. Farida Jalal is lovely. Mandira Bedi is cute. Every single scene in the movie is still fresh in everyone's memory. The songs and the signature tune of DDLJ will just sweep u off ur feet.

Every single thing about the movie was right and had everything going for it.
The songs, the swiss alps, Farah Khan's choreography, Lata Mangeshkar voice coming every now and then in the background score, every thing was brilliant.
And to top it all, Aditya Chopra's brilliant direction.
No wonder, the movie is considered as an all time classic.

Monday, November 17

Twenty 20 - Superstar-studded Blockbuster..

Movie - Twenty 20 (Malayalam). 
Director- Joshiy
Producer- Dileep
Cast- Mohanlal, Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Jayaram, Dileep, Madhu, Indrajith, Manoj K Jayan, Shammi Thilakan, Mukesh, Sreenivasan and the whole of Malayalam film industry.
Music- Suresh Peters, Bernie-Ignatious
Cinematography- P Sukumar, Shaji, Sanjeev Shankar
Story, Screenplay, Dialogue- Udayakrishna, Sibi K Thomas
Release Date - November 5, 2008

Now, this is something historical. A whole industry acting together in one film. All the superstars together in one film. A film which was made in 22 schedules taking a period of almost a year, a first in Malayalam. And in all the other aspects, first in the world. And the impossible has been achieved by none other than actor Dileep and veteran hitmaker Joshiy.

But the movie is not just a fashion show of superstars. It has a very strong and thrilling script. Something which is as thrilling and unpredictable as a twenty twenty match. The story is told in a thriller format with some comedy in the beginning which was unwanted. But it was incorporated to give opportunity to the comic battallion of malayalam cinema. And they are the ones who trigger on the thriller mode by getting the police involved in the case.

From the time Suresh Gopi is introduced, the film is a roller coaster ride. The story goes like this; A murder happens in Bangalore Medical College and Indrajith is the prime accused. He is the grandson of the respected Judge played by Madhu. Manoj K Jayan, Shammi Thilakan, Siddique, Vijayaraghavan are all his family members. And Suresh Gopi is the police officer who is investigating the case. Mammootty is hired by Madhu to fight the case. Jayaram appears as the prime witness in the case. But is kidnapped by Kalabhavan Mani who's hired by Siddique. Mammootty wins the case and Indrajith is freed. But the next day, Indrajith goes partying in a night club and on the way back, he gets killed. Mohanlal is arrested in charge of the murder of Indrajith by Suresh Gopi. Mammootty comes in again, and fights the case for Mohanlal and frees him, only to realize that he was fooled by Lal and that he was the actual murderer. From then on, an interesting story develops where the stars fight against each other for their own objectives. Later the twist comes in when Dileep is introduced in the story. After that, Mammootty and Mohanlal realize that their aim is the same and get together to fight the villains. Suresh Gopi keeps doing his duty as a honest policeman.

Everyone has given terrific performances. And all superstars are given equal scope to perform. But it is Mohanlal who shines. He gets the best lines and stunts. Not that the others are left behind. Mammootty is right behind looking his best. He also gets amazing lines. But is not given much importance in stunt scenes. But he wins, in the stunt with Mohanlal. But the surprise package is Suresh Gopi who shines in every lil scene he has. That man is born to play a police officer. He has given a great performance after a long time. Dileep is at his witty best. He has some great funny scenes and a song with Bhavana. His role is very short. So is Jayaram's. He also has some really funny scenes. All the other cast members perform their roles well.

The best scenes are of course between the superstars. The Mammootty-Mohanlal stunt scene and the following arrest by Suresh Gopi is too good. All 3 shine in this scene. Then scenes, between Mammootty and Suresh Gopi; Jayaram, Dileep and Mohanlal; Jayaram and Dileep etc.
But the pick of the lot is the interval scene where Mohanlal fools Mammootty . That scene just rocked the theatres. Mohanlal's low-profile introduction disappointed the viewers, but when they got this helluva scene, they were shouting aloud with joy.

Ladies dont have much to do. Bhavana has the best role. She does it well. Kavya Madhavan was impressive. Gopika, Jyothirmayi, Radhika, etc. had nothing to do. Nayanthara sizzled in the item song. But the guys, Prithviraj, Jayasurya, Kunchacko Boban and Manikkuttan couldnt be noticed properly coz of the low lighting in the nightclub song.

Cinematography was top class except in the nightclub song. A better lighting pattern should have been done for that. Bhavana's costumes in the love song Oh Priya were bad. And the comedy scenes in the beginning were sad. It could have been avoided. However, the comic scenes by Suraj, Jagadeesh, Jagathy, Salimkumar and Mukesh were really nice. Even Saikumar was nice in a funny scene.

Overall, its something historical. Dont have any second thoughts. Go for it. Its total entertainment. Something like this wont happen often. Dileep must be lauded for achieving the impossible by sacrificing all the offers that came his way for a year. And none other than Joshiy could have directed such a movie with so many stars. But the surprise stars are Udayakrishna and Sibi K Thomas, the scriptwriters. Nobody expected such a great script from them. And now, everyone thinks nobody can write such a perfect script like they have done. What more do they need. Fully paisa vasool.

Rating- 4.5/5 (Just for the sheer effort and goodwill that has gone into making this movie).
The movie is now out on Moser Baer DVDs. Non-malayalis can also watch it with subtitles.

Friday, November 14

DOSTANA - Its all happy and gay!!

Movie - Dostana (Hindi)
Director- Tarun Mansukhani
Producer- Karan Johar
Cast- Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra, Bobby Deol, Boman Irani, Kirron Kher
Music- Vishal & Shekhar
Cinematography - Ayananka Bose
Release Date - 14th November 2008

This film by debutante Tarun Mansukhani never promised to be great cinema. But it indeed promised to deliver top class entertainment, which it does, in style. Coming from Karan Johar's Dharma Productions, this is a wonderful romantic comedy which is enjoyable in all parts.

Its about 2 guys who get an apartment lying to the owner that they are gay. But only then, they find that a hot chick is gonna share the apartment with them, and there begins all the troubles. Later on, both of em fall in love with the girl and try in their own way to woo her. But more trouble comes up when she falls for her boss. A fun ride with loads and loads of laughs. Top level acting. Great music. Excellent visuals. It has everything going for it.

Abhishek has made a comeback of sorts. His is the best performance in the movie. Playing a very risky role, he has shed all inhibitions and played a character that could hav been a mockery. But he does amazingly well. Wearing pink shirts galore, and driving around a pink car, he plays a straight guy who does not mind acting gay to get wat he wants. His comic timing is amazing. And he looks good too. He's great especially in the scenes with his mother (Kirron Kher) and the fake love story.

This is John's best performance according to me. He surprised everyone with his newly developed comic timing. The thing that was missing in Garam Masala. He's just fabulous. He shows off his fab body each and every time with an excuse to do so (The movie is shot in the beaches of Miami). He surprisingly danced well also. This is great development for such a non-actor like him. His best scene was the one where he was being welcomed into the house by Kirron Kher in true K3G style. The Kuch Kuch Hota Hai dance scene was also wonderful.

Priyanka Chopra is the new hot chick. First Fashion, now Dostana. She's the star of the year. After so many flops, she's given two back to back brilliant performances. She looks drop dead gorgeous in all those skimpy costumes and of course, the golden bikini. She shares a brilliant chemistry with both the lead actors, and it shows that they were having a great time.

Bobby Deol is the surprise package in the film. He does surprisingly well. He plays a goody goody kind of role. And Priyanka falls for him. He plays the role very well even though it is short. His attempts to impress Priyanka were hilarious. Kirron Kher was awesome as usual. The sindhi aunty was hilarious too. Boman Irani's actual gay act was damn funny. The child and the Taare Zameen Par take was damn funny too.

The music was rocking. Jaane Kyun was a lovely number. Khabar Nahin is a beautiful love song. Maa Da Laadla was damn funny. Shilpa Shetty's Shut up and Bounce was super hot. Both Shilpa and John were exposing their assets to the max. The sad song Kuch Kum was also ok. But the pick of the lot is DESI GIRL. When Farah Khan choreographs a song, it is something else. A rocking number. Abhishek and John at their dancing best. Both look great in black. And Priyanka in a sizzling saree was also awesome.

The gay aspect was dealt with very effectively. They have not offended the community but have represented them in the cliched ways, but that was only for adding the comical effect in the movie. The love story in Venice was the best. A super entertainer. Go for it with your pals and have a great time.

Rating - 4/5

Vaaranam Aayiram - Gautham Menon's personal masterpiece..

Movie - Vaaranam Aayiram (Tamil)
Director- Gautham Vasudev Menon
Producer- V.Ravi Chandran, Dayanidhi Alagiri, Gautham Menon
Cast- Surya, Simran, Sameera Reddy, Divya Spandana.
Music- Harris Jayaraj
Cinematography- R Rathnavelu
Story, Screenplay -Gautham Vasudev Menon
Release Date - 14th November 2008

This film is designed as a tribute by Gautham Vasudev Menon to his father. Note the new addition of Vasudev in his name. :) And he has done a marvellous job with it. Completely a writer-director's movie this is, and he can be proud of it.

But the movie belongs to Surya all the way. Playing both the father and son beautifully, he has outdone himself and maybe all other actors who made films this year. He has played a dream role for any actor and that too with such elegance and class, that it is unimaginable to imagine someone else in that role.

The film starts with Krishnan, the old man played by Surya, falling ill due to cancer and dying of it. Surya, Krishnan's son who is a major, gets to know the news while he's on his way to a rescue operation. He remembers the fine moments in his life which was possible only because of his father while going towards the spot. The film then gives us peeks at Surya's life, starting with the love story of his dad and mom and his birth and then, the various stages of his life. His first fight, college, first love, father's heart attack, financial problems in the houses, pursuin his love again, death of his lover, depression, drugs, rediscovering life, adventures, passion towards army, love refound, maariage and ultimately the last days of his father's life. All this is blended together in a wonderful movie. Simran plays her part perfectly. Sameera Reddy was refreshing. Divya Spandana was the best among the heroines. She has some great scenes and a lovely song.

Talking about the songs, takes me to Harris Jayaraj. He has given his career best in this movie. The music and background score work like magic and provide a great deal of help in telling the story. Nenjukkul Peidhidum is the pick of the lot. A beautiful love ballad by Hariharan which is bound to stay in everyone's hearts. It keeps resonating as background score also and leaves a haunting feel. Anul Melae is a soulful number which is picturised well. Mundhinam is the most well picturised one. Showing the Madras of 70s and telling the love story of Krishnan and Malini, Surya's parents. Adiyae Kolluthae was cut off from the movie by the B@#$%$D theatre wallahs here. Missed it a lot. Other songs were also great. Sad to know that Gautham and Harris parted ways after this film.

Camerawork by Rathnavelu was super effective. Especially the point of view shots when Surya's dad and mom hug him. And the fight scenes. Brilliant fight choreography, right from the first fight durin surya's adoloscent days to the delhi kidnap sequence to the army operations. Everything was superb. Rajeevan's art work was fabulous. Editing by Anthony also supported the movie well through montage sequences.

Talking of Surya again, he has gone thru a lot of pain in playing these roles. He looks smashing all through the film. He looks younger than most of us in the school portion. And then keeps changing his looks at every stage, finally arriving at his fab six pac body which is like WOW!! And his portrayal of emotions, is just amazing. He is indeed an actor which we can be proud of. He can be a good successor to Kamal and Kamal has already said that Surya is an actor he respects. He surely deserves a national award for this role.

Gautham has at times become over indulgent and has made the film quite lengthy. But that is not a problem to people who appreciate good cinema. He has given importance to every minute emotion with full detail. And has delivered his career best film. Hats Off, Gautham!!!

Rating - 4.5/5