Archive for Movies

Spiderman – 3

Ever wondered what was that black substance that suddenly appeared in the Spiderman – 3. It is actually called ‘Bollywood’ . I am a follower of the religion Spiderman and no matter what the critics said, I had to see Spiderman – 3, (hopefully) the last of the series.

If Spiderman-1 was a superhero movie, Spiderman -2 was a ‘humane’ hero series, Spiderman-3 was a romance flick. Not to denigrate the movie, there were some real Spider man stunts and fantastic editing but the movie turned out to be quite a romantic one.

Talking about the bollywood bug, the news correspondent who is fired because of Peter Parker suddenly decides to take ‘death revenge’ on Peter Parker. Hello!!! thousands of people get fired everyday in America and if they had kill someone for each person fired, America would be a dead country.

I did like the idea of success getting in Spidey’s head and he ends up demeaning the ‘spidey kiss’ MJ and he had earlier.

Bollywood strikes again, the silent butler turns out to be peeping tom. Harry Osborn had to end up dead to clear the 2 sides of the love triangle . Anyone heard of Sangam, half a century ago.

All in All, Spidey was a nice ‘bollwood movie’ produced in English in Hollywood.

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Chak De! India

My temptation to compare the movie to ‘Miracle’ vanished 15 mins into the movie when the team building started. A nice touch of national integration without jingoism, fantastic cinematography, stellar performance by each of the actors makes the movie a potent mix. Its only other movie after ‘Jo jeeta wohi sikandar’, to have nail biting suspense in a ‘underdog’ sport.

Shimit Amin has deftly done the scenes focussed more on people and spirit than the actual game itself. So, you live with the character ignoring the possible conspicuous technical errors done by actors in a skilled sport like hockey.

Chak De! India

I loved the haryanvi and Punjabi characters, so true to life and hilarious. The bringing together of disparate people from a suave chandigarhi to uncouth jharkandi, and breaking their differences and moulding them together is second only to Lagaan. The need for the women to assert was put very delicately brought out without regular ‘nari shakti’ trites.

I dont know why unlike Miracle the film-makers have not credited the inspiration behind the story. The movie is based on Ranjan Negi who was the hockey goalkeeper of the Indian team during the Asian Games 1982. During the Asian games, India faced a defeat with the score of 1-7 against Pakistan. This was a humiliating experience for Negi. Later in his life, Negi coached the National Women’s hockey team and the team went on to win Gold at the Manchester Commonwealth games.

The pace is right, no item numbers, little of the yash’s overdoses, it is a must see!!

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Best Bollywood movies of 2006

Easily, two movies unianimously emerge as the best movies of 2006 – Rang de Basanti and Lage Raho Munna Bhai. Each of these movies approaching contemprory India from two different poles, merge at the equator of basic principles born out of the struggle for Indian independence. 2006 brings together the two group who never saw eye to eye on the fundamentals but still strived for the same goal – moderates and the extremists.

Rang de Basanti – the last movie I saw before leaving India, through a mix of imagery, excellent editing, weaves two tales – one of the freedom struggle and one of current problems. What could be a utterly despicable act – murder of the minister – doesnt look so bad when juxtaposed against the Bhagat SIngh’s story of heroism. A critcally acclaimed and a commercially success movie brought out interest in the martyrs who died for the struggle.

Freedom struggle in my mind is a critical period in Indian history not just because of the hackneyed ‘driving away the british’ argument but because it created ‘India’ which was a mythical concept. <More on revolution>. The movie also draws subtle parallels by potraying wayward youth converging on a goal and achieving it comparing it of times where the none had imagined the nations destiny and small principalities came together to launch a successful struggle. Not to mention the good quality comedy that keeps the movie warm all along.

Lage Raho Munnabhai – Its a subtle irony that a man who shunned materialism and spiritually led a national movement is a proxy for materialism thanks to his face printed on the currency notes. I have read Gandhi’s global gyan read out out-of-context, displayed on the public urinals not understanding how to apply it. By attributing fixed meaning to words, we make them mortal. Words become immortal when their meanings evolve and interpreted according to the context. $$$ immortalised Gandhism by applying them to the modern day context. the movie enhances the value of gandhian ideals by decreasing the unipolarity of the gandhian way – either this or nothing else. The fundamental reason the movie hit the right chord is that it potrayed Gandhism as a possible option to solve a problem, not the only way. I am myself a Gandhivadi while taking sides on the nature of freedom movement, but LRM very delicately convinced me that ‘Gandhism is not THE way but a good first coption’.

Never before a comedy movie was so pregnant with meaning since the days of Charlie Chaplin and never had a precedence in conveying a moral.

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