Sunday, April 26, 2009

Aamir - Life deals out a nasty hand

Aamir is happy, he is returning to India to his family. His suitcase is loaded with goodies for his brothers and sisters, he carries his Hindu girlfriend's picture to show to his family, he is on cloud number 9. His dreams shatter rapidly as he disembarks at the airport and finds no fond family awaiting him. He is further puzzled as a cellphone is handed to him forcibly. The phone rings and his nightmare begins in earnest. His family has been abducted and he has to do as directed or face death of his loved ones.

Aamir goes all over Mumbai, tired and spiritless. The movie is sad and dark. It is almost like a challange to all the people of the world to make hard choices when they face it themselves.

Uh huh ! I am being a Vee here, that is -- spoilers ahead. If you want to see the movie in earnest, dont read the next paragraph.

At the end of the movie, Aamir suddenly realises that the suitcase he is carrying has a bomb, that he has sweetly been set up. He picks up the suitcase and takes it to a secluded spot and dies with it. He is perhaps aware that his family will not be spared either. It is a singular act of bravery. To spare the unknown old woman, a child that innocently waves goodby to passerbys, at the cost of own's loved ones is a choice not many may make. I may have made the easy exit too, I dont have any claims to being brave. I doubt if the movie will inspire others to take such decisions, but I dont know, it just might.

Spoilers over.

The pace of the movie is quick, and the setting is the streets of Mumbai. The movie looks almost like a documentary, which makes everything look so realistic and you are carried away by the story, even if it is awfully grim. If also makes you realise how innocent bystanders can be involved in some heinous scheme at the spur of the moment. And also that real heros can sometimes go unsung.

Rajeev Khandelwal is the dishy guy from Left Right Left. Many female hearts (including mine) was set aflutter when he appeared on screen. Incredibly handsome, (his eyes are coal black, his features are so even) he has good acting skills even, his only weak point is his slightly weak voice. But hey - his diction is still better than Shah Rukh Khan's. I am hoping he appears soon in some other pic where he vanquishes all the baddies and shows all the wimpy heros on the marquee what a hottie should really look like !

Please someone give Rajeev a good role. We are dying to watch more of him.

Wanted - A Life

Wesly Gibson (James McAvoy) has a sad life. He spends his days in a cubicle getting bossed around by Janice (Lorna Scott) his overweight bitchy boss. His girlfriend Cathy (Kirsten Hager) is fine. But she cheats on him with his best friend. Wes does a lot of ego googling and is depressed to find nothing coming up against his name. His bank account is zilch and he knows he has to depend on his cheating girlfriend for subsistance. This is pits, man! One can only go up from here.

Suddenly, he is caught in seeming crossfire between two assassins when on a visit to the supermarket. A foxy assassin seems intent on saving his life. She shoots at the other guy till he loses them, takes him on a wild car chase while he is yelling and screaming like the perfect wimp that he is. From now on life changes as Wes realises he is an assassin by legacy, and also a rich guy. All he has to do is to take some really tough training aided by Fox (Angelina Jolie) the foxy assassin.

There are fabulous effect to keep you glued to your seat. James McAvoy plays the Peter Parker character very well. He looks like a wimp too, with his petite looks and red lips. His transformation is well executed, from a wimp to a killer dude.

There are plenty of twists and turns in the plot to keep you engrossed. As in fantasy films and some thrillers, there are some fantastic assumptions here. Like a group of assassins looking inside the warp and weft of fabric to determine the name of the next person to be killed. Like a total wimp turning into the best killer in business in matter of days. Like a guy who bashed his colleagues face is able to get back to his workdesk anytime he wants to.

But still it a movie that is well written and stylishly executed. The odd match of Angeline Jolie and James McAvoy works. Thanks to some good acting by JM. Only time I liked Jolie was when she was playing a tomb raider.

There are some good effects here, as I mentioned before, death defying stunts and curving bullets, almost like target-seeking missiles. Some good punchlines like, 'Kill that motherfucker' and 'What the fuck have YOU been doing lately'.

Sigh ! I am not in a high budget movie dears, or I would dump my boring job n walk out to turn into a gorgeous assassin. For starters, I guess I should buy a magnifying glass and start looking at the warp and weft of my clothes.

Update : I read this morning in the papers that Wanted-2 is in offing and is likely to be shot in India (some parts I guess)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Factory Girl - 2006

The Factory Girl is about aspirations of a pure WASP heiress, Edie Sedgewick and also those of a second generation (I guess) immigrant, Andy Warhol. Edie Sedgewick is full of what is happening in her life at the moment, she seems to have no thought of what's past and what is to come. I know only one other person like that, and that is my father. It is a rare gift. Do you realize how often we agonize over the past and future and completely ignore the present?

Edie ignores her heritage and possibilities totally and drops out of Radcliffe to come to New York after she is smitten by Holly Golightly. She wants to make movies and be famous. She runs into Andy Warhol at a party. He is flirting with a genre called pop-art, and also makes short films. He is struck by her verve and beauty and they kind of hang out together. She is a subject of many of his short films. Their relationship is projected as asexual and that is how I like it. But hanging out at The Factory (as Andy's studio is called) with a set of bohemian actors who take drugs and alcohol. Edie is on her gradual destructive trip, squandering her money, doing drugs, hanging around Andy uselessly, just living in the moment. She has this exclusive look for herself, heavy eye makeup, thick eyebrows, pale lips, a short dress, black leotards and gorgeous dangling, huge, gorgeous earrings.

But things change. Edie gets involved with Bob Dylan though he is called something else in the movie. This changes things between Andy and Edie too. He finds other hangers-on. Things just get worse for Edie as Bob marries someone else. Her life goes out of control and she winds up bankrupt, junked out and abandoned by her family.

"Let a man go on his way to perdition," says D.H. Lawrence. What we perceive as perdition us could be heaven for Edie. That is how she wished to live, and that is how she lived. How many of us have the courage to do that?

Andy Warhol made his movies with her as a subject, and Bob Dylan wrote two magnificent songs for her. 'Just like a Woman' and 'Leopard Skin Pillbox hat'. Her look was very famous once. She was an original socialite who craved for fame and desire to lead her life the way she wanted. In the present times, Paris Hilton springs to my mind as a famous socialite. But Paris is so put-on and so obviously out for nothing but headlines. Edie had a natural sophistication that is required for a celebrity, and a natural flair for attracting attention.

The movie is riddled with inaccuracies. Andy Warhol is shown as a ruthless exploiter of her charisma. Bob Dylan is painted as a caring lover she rejected. The facts may be quite different, my readings of their wiki pages show.

The movie works amazingly because of two great reasons. Sienna Miller and the story. The story of a rich girl crashing down to dust because of her degenerate (as we see it) living is just so romantic (like a female Devdas).  Sienna Miller looks amazing! Simply Amazing. She just gets into the role, she is great. This is what Jude Law lost? Gosh, what a sad loser.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Is Redemption Possible? Just a few thoughts, not really a review

On the face of it, The Shawshank Redemption is a guys movie. Tough criminals together, some sordid details, plenty of male bonding, and women right where men want them.. looking good on posters.

But as one watches, one realises that it is perhaps an allegory on life itself. Aren't we all living in prisons? Of our own making too, we cant blame the state or some lousy attorney for it. We are hemmed in our regular lives, moving between an endless cycle of office-home-grocery stores-eating and shitting endlessly. Occasionally taking a break to enjoy ourselves in usual ways, making out, going to movies, going to parks, taking a break (like being on a Parole). We are in this rut because we are too fearful of the world outside, like Red.

The stark truth is our wings are not bright enough. We just dont know how to fly away and strike our own paths. It is a kind of a movie that bowls you over in retrospect, and wants to make you watch it again, right away.