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This is a smart movie, made for a dumb audience. The theme is art house, but the treatment is mainstream. I’m sorry, I’m insulting mainstream by calling this movie mainstream, it has been dumbed down that much. I mean, the murders are literally counted out in the end, to give the viewer a recap (in case you fell asleep mid-way). WE CAN COUNT Vishal Bharadwaj!! Arghhhh!

This movie could have been a dark brooding masterpiece. It could have been an abstract work, that allowed the intelligent viewer to make his own inferences and fill in the gaps by imagination. But no! Everything has been literally spelled out, and worse, spelled out again! Worst of all, the movie employs the most cliched reasons to justify the murders of the erring husbands. Not to play spoiler, but to give an example, a “rock star” WILL fall prey to drugs and lie to his wife. Oh jeez, really? It is very easy to predict the reason why Suzanna is going to kill every new husband. That really killed it for me.

I’m not going to go into the details of the plot because it will definitely play spoiler. It will suffice to say that Suzanna is in search of love and every single time she gets married, she finds a reason to kill her new husband. “Unlucky in Love” could have been an equally good title for this movie. Is she a bad person? Are her murders justified? Despite all my ranting and raving, I suggest you watch the movie to find out. There are a few good dialogues and the acting throughout is excellent.

Where this movie falls short is plausibility. Either Bharadwaj could have chosen to make a completely abstract movie requiring all suspension of disbelief. Or he could have made a completely realistic movie with real, relatable characters. Unfortunately, he’s tried to get a mix of both and hasn’t succeeded in getting either. Suzanna’s character is well-etched, but she too confuses at times by arbitrary behavior. Special word of mention for Neil Nitin Mukesh. Finally, he can act! Most people found Irfan Khan’s performance to be the strongest in the movie and I would have to agree with that.

And what the hell is Konkona Sen Sharma doing in a two bit role? Yeah, she’s there.

Note: This post has also been published on http://manasi-idlemusings.blogspot.com

Image courtesy: http://www.koimoi.com/komal-nahta/7-khoon-maaf-saat-khoon-maaf-preview/

The Animated movie genre has had a long illustrious history in the film industry since the first Walt Disney Animated movie came out in the 1930’s.

‘MegaMind’ is yet another animated movie that continues in the colorful legacy of this genre. With an alternate storyline to the normal superhero moves, this movie tells the story of a highly intelligent blue alien, MegaMind(voiced by Will Ferrel), the would be super villain, who tries, unsuccessfully, to take over MetroCity. Standing in his way is the heroic ‘MetroMan’(Brad Pitt), the quintessential super hero. The other noteworthy characters include, MegaMind’s love interest, Roxanne Ritchie (Tina Fey) – the news reporter; MegaMind’s trusty sidekick ‘Minion’ (David Cross) – a fish in a bowl ; and Roxanne’s video assistant Hal (Jonah Hill).

The story starts off with the origins of MegaMind (who is raised in a prison) and MetroMan (who is raised in a wealthy household), and how they landed on Earth. As destiny would have it, these 2 would become “lifelong” rivals (right from the time of ‘school’): rivals who would fight battles, with MetroMan “winning some” and Mega Mind “almost” winning others. This farcical situation continues until one day, when MegaMind as usual kidnaps Roxanne, MetroMan realizes that this charade had been getting too monotonous even for a superhero as big as himself. In the ensuing battle with MegaMind, MetroMan fakes his death – at the hands of the ubiquitous ‘death ray’. MetroCity, its inhabitants and MegaMind are left to live in the aftermath of the superhero’s alleged demise.

Finally, and for the very first time, winning the battle against MetroMan and vanquishing him, Megamind is left perplexed by suddenly having lost his raison d’etre: what will a super villain do when there is no superhero to oppose him? In his quest to regain his own form of villainous legitimacy, MegaMind goes on to ‘make’ a superhero. Unfortunately the human unwittingly chosen to be the guinea pig for this particular experiment, is Hal. The only flaw in this plan, as luck would have it, was that in having his love interest spurned by Roxanne, Hal eventually turns ‘evil’: a villain with the very apt name ‘Tighten’. In a sort of life-coming-full-circle kind of way, MegaMind is forced to become the hero who will save MetroCity from the clutches of the new villain.

The movie, interestingly, also provides some answers on the very old good vs. evil question: how big a part do ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’ play in developing an individual’s characteristics ; the nature of redemption, as even bad guys can turn good.

The movie is fun to watch, and while not evoking back breaking laughter, I would still recommend “MegaMind” to anyone who wants to indulge themselves in a visual treat- not to mention the great plot and voice over acting in the movie.

Image courtesy: http://www.onlinemovieshut.com/online-movies/watch-megamind-online

Me: “Have you seen Ghostwriter?”

Friend: “Ghost Rider? Yes I have”

Me: “WRITER! Wriiittterrrr!”

Friend: “…”

Well my friend’s response isn’t really that important. The reason I mention this inane conversation is to emphasize that this movie is completely different from that silly Nicolas Cage movie with a devil’s skull and a burning bike 😛

Oh and of course, its not a horror movie either. To typecast it into a genre, I would say it is a political thriller. And an edgy, intense one at that…

Ewan McGregor plays the character of a nameless ghostwriter, who is employed by Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), a former British Prime Minister to write his memoirs, as the previous ghostwriter commits suicide. Throughout the movie, the scriptwriter has successfully managed to evade the need to name the ghostwriter. Perhaps this was to use irony, as in real life too, ghostwriters are never named with respect to any of their works.

The main protagonist flies down to Lang’s residence on a secluded island to start re-working the memoirs written by his predecessor.  Around the same time, the International Criminal Court accuses Lang of sending suspected terrorists to CIA for torture. Just as the ghostwriter is wondering what he got himself into, he starts finding evidence that his predecessor might have been murdered.

Although the plot sounds like a typical thriller novel, I would give full marks to the movie for its execution. The suspense has been handled well and the twist at the end left me shocked. More than anything else though, as an aspiring journalist, I pretty much fell in love with the protagonist.

He shows a spark of excitement when he comes across something personal about Lang that he can use. The rest of the time though, he is pretty much deadpan and cynical. Even his ingenuity in finding the truth related to his predecessor’s death and about Lang was inspiring.

A well-paced, suspense thriller, that is sure to keep you at the edge of your seat till the very end. Watch this one.

If you like Pussy Cat Dolls videos, you’ll like this one 😉

OR maybe not! See there’s a reason why a video is not a movie, right?

Burlesque brings together on the big screen, two singing divas Christina Aguilera and Cher who dazzle when in their element in the movie. In this big budget musical extravaganza, Aguilera plays Ali who travels from small town Iowa to LA in search of big time stardom. She lands herself a job as a waitress in a club at Sunset Strip called Burlesque. Cher plays the club’s owner Tess who is in danger of losing the club due to mounting money problems. Enamoured by the performances that happen at the club everynight, Ali dreams to be on that stage and show the world what she’s made of. When Ali gets an unexpected chance to show her singing and dancing talent, she gets her big break to be featured in the show. Alongside a tentative romance also brews between Jack (Cam Gigandet) the club’s handsome bartender and aspiring composer.

Well that is pretty much the story; I’m going to save you the unnecessary underplots that run in the movie. The screenplay is a total cliché and predictable with absolute accuracy. But it’s a fun, well-packaged and an entertaining cliché.

Don’t go looking for an intense narrative, a never-seen-before-never-heard-before story, you will be disappointed. However, the dances and the singing do somewhere make up for that lack. They are red and gold and glamorous and bold. They left ME, a girl, wanting more. They are sexy but not raunchy, and pulled off by all the dancers with élan. The outfits are racy and bling. The songs are situational and they’ll make you feel all that they are meant to make you feel. ‘Bound to you’ is pure sensual, ‘Express’ more fiery. “Welcome to Burlesque” the perfect 1st track and “Show me how you Burlesque” the grand finale in gold and yellow lights.

The story had potential; just there was something off with the way it was delivered. And by that I DO NOT mean the dances and the songs. They were probably the only thing that fit. The acting, the timing, the chemistry between the characters fell short of convincing and with such a stellar ­cast, there really shouldn’t be an excuse.

Watch Burlesque for the sheer thrill of watching those dance routines. They are in-sync and performed by the dancers like they mean it. The movie is definitely not the best a musical can be, far from it infact, but for the extravaganza that the team has tried to bring together, it’s worth a watch.

I decided to be a little girl again as I entered to watch a fairy tale I know only too well and I came out pleasantly surprised with an i-believe-in-miracles smile pasted on my lips.

Tangled; a Walt Disney Pictures productions, is the story of our beloved Rapunzel but with a few changes here and there. So there’s a charming bandit Flynn Rider (voice of Zachary Levi) instead of the prince who rescued her, there’s a caring chameleon (Pascal) for her friend and a super-cop stallion (Maximus) who has quite a role to play in the climax and is quite the show stealer.

Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore) is dainty and beautiful, petite but powerful with 70ft of magical hair that glows. Locked up in a mighty tower for 18 years, her wish for her birthday is to see the golden lights that go up in sky every year (surprisingly) only on her birthday. When Flynn Rider stumbles into the tower from the chase set out to arrest him, Rapunzel strikes a deal with him and off they go on a racy escapade, the 3D adding to the thrill.

The animation highlighted every nuance…just how every strand of Rapunzel’s hair glowed golden. There were some breath-taking scenes that I’m fighting against my will not to divulge because words really wouldn’t suffice. You have to be sitting there wearing those big 3D glasses, getting amused with what you see on the screen, eyes opening wide, jaws dropping just a little, putting your hand out to touch the lantern. Oops, I think I said too much!

We all know the thing about fairy-tales, we’ve heard them, we love them and someone sitting beside you can maybe even predict what’s going to happen next…but there’s just something so pretty and wooly and satisfying about watching a fairy-tale come alive on the big screen, it heightens the experience of being transported back to childhood.

It’s not an overwhelming, message giving animated movie. It’s just a ‘princess’ story wrapped in pink and blue thoughts, and very very long gloden hair, of course. Enjoy the adventure and jig with the songs. I promise you’ll come out feeling good.

If you’re the kind of person who would rather be called a coward than watch a horror film at 12 in the afternoon (forget about night!), then please don’t watch this movie at night! I started watching it at 1 in the night and towards the end I didn’t know whether to switch off the movie or close my eyes.

Now that I’ve stopped shivering like a little girl, let me tell you more. Black Swan is about a ballet dancer, Nina (Natalie Portman) who wants to be the Swan Queen of a play called Swan Lake. The ballet director, Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) is eager to replace the aging Swan Queen Beth (Winona Ryder) with a new face, but is reluctant to cast Nina. As the story of the ballet Swan Lake goes, a girl is cursed and turns into a White Swan. Only true love can lift the curse. However, the Prince falls in love with her evil twin, the Black Swan. Crushed, the White Swan kills herself and finally finds freedom.

Nina’s precision and technique make her perfect for the role of the White Swan. However, Leroy wants the same person to portray the Black Swan as well and this is where he feels Nina falls short, since the Black Swan is meant to be a carefree, wild seducer. Raised by her over-bearing mother to be a goody-two-shoes daughter, Nina finds it hard to dance with the wild abandon that is required by the character of the Black Swan. An itchy back and constantly bleeding fingers add to the drama and confusion.

Natalie Portman has received several awards for her performance in this movie. And it is well deserved. It is amazing how she switches so effortlessly from being a distraught, dying-to-achieve-perfection woman to a child-like, innocent, momma’s girl. This transition makes it easy to relate to her at so many levels. This movie should also serve as an inspiration to our actors back home. Natalie and Mila Kunis (Nina’s competitor for the role of the Swan Queen) started learning ballet eight months before the shooting started. Obviously, they’ve used body doubles at places, but when you watch the movie, you BELIEVE that they’re real ballet dancers.

Black Swan is all about slaying your own dragons. While you can relate to Nina’s ambition to be the best Swan Queen, you can’t really put yourself in her shoes due to the various psychotic problems she has. This adds to the thrill of the movie, especially since you don’t know what to expect next. Every minute I watched the movie, I was curious about what’s happening to her. Is she crazy? Is she hallucinating? Totally on the edge of my seat!

There are several explicit scenes in the movie, but not once did I feel they were cheesy or unnecessary. They’ve been blended in so well with the storyline that it hardly seems out of place. This is one movie you’ve GOT to watch. Superb exciting, edge-of-the-seat suspense and some really beautiful ballet. Don’t miss it!

Image courtesy: http://alanbobet.blogspot.com/2010/12/movie-reviewblack-swan201012-out-of.html

Sex and the City (2008)

145 min – Comedy | Drama | Romance –  6 June 2008 (India)

Director:

Michael Patrick King

Writers:

Michael Patrick King, Candace Bushnell (book)

Stars:

Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon

Turns out we are not the only movie buffs out there. Today we are featuring a review by Sanhita Sinha Chowdhury who loves to watch and write about chick flicks. She is our guest-blogger for today. hope you enjoy her post!

Plot Synopsis

“Year after year, 20-something women come to New York City in search of the two L’s: Labels and love.” That is the opening line of Sex and the City (2008), a movie which earned a record-breaking $55.7 million on its opening weekend. This one liner perfectly sums up the pre occupations of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her girlfriends Charlotte York (Kristen Davis), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), and Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall). While Carrie is forty and single and on the lookout for big love, Charlotte’s search for “The Perfect Love” ended when she tied the knot with her Jewish husband. Miranda on the contrary is a disciple of tough love and juggles her job, kid and husband. Samantha’s love is sex, lots of sex.

The movie revolves around Carrie and her “man friend” of 10 years who arbitrarily decide to tie the knot after moving in together. Carrie goes a little over board with the wedding preparations and this scares off Mr. Big, who after two failed marriages was apprehensive about the wedding from the very beginning. To add to his fears, Miranda makes a comment about how marriage ruins everything, in distress, when her unfaithful husband Steve turns up to apologize on the eve of the wedding. A perturbed Mr. Big jilts Carrie at the altar, leaving her humiliated and depressed. Carrie turns to her girlfriends who are her salvation. The four journey to Mexico and live in the hotel where Carrie was supposed to come for her honeymoon. Thus begins the Healing process which continues even as the four get back to their lives. Carries hires an assistant who also plays a crucial role in helping her to get back on her feet. A year, a confession and lots of introspection later, Mr. Big and Carrie meet at the house they had moved into and had subsequently moved out off and they realize each other’s value and decide to get married, this time, they keep things minimalistic.

Analysis

Indian women today definitely do lust for the two L’s: Love and Labels. However not everyone is probably familiar with all the big brand names referred to in the movie and most cannot afford them. The four dimensions from which this movie has explored love are quite accurate and relevant. With live in relations becoming increasingly popular with young men and women, the idea of a forty year old woman living in with her boyfriend of ten years should be quite perceivable to women.

Once the wedding arrangements kick off, women might fail to identify with the movie. The way most Indians prepare for weddings is starkly different. However women would again be able to identify with the movie once Carrie gets jilted (there was a similar scene in Bachna Ae Haseeno).  The numbness, hurt and the sadness felt on account of betrayal are universal emotions.

Carrie’s assistant Louise would be a character that women in India would identify with more easily. She is an ordinary girl who aspires to look a part of the “elite” society flaunting designer bags. Unable to afford one, she rents them. When Carrie gifts her, her own new Louis Vuitton on Christmas she squeals with joy.

Though the movie has a lot to do with fashion and places most Indian women might not have been to, or the kind of money they might not have been exposed to, but the dilemmas the protagonists face, the female bonding they share, their search for true love, going out for girly brunches, undertaking retail therapy, all these are experiences which most Indian women would be able to identify with.


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