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Sathuranga Vettai

A well crafted script with great execution in cast
This is hands down one of the best movies I had watched in 2014 till date. I could not have identified for you the names of the cast, the director or any one else in the movie but when I had done watching I wanted to know everything about them.

The movie is structured in episodes and the episodes carry the characters as well as the plot forward.

The role of the lead actress is well placed in the movie where it enters mid way and never take a prominence on screen but has the strongest influence in guiding the story to its end. In every way the movie's ending was more than satisfying.

The lead villain role was also played by ruthless but somewhat gullible group that adds to lighter moments in the movie.

Definitely an entertaining movie worth watching a few times.

The Killing

Wonderful Movie
There is plenty to like in this movie. Not much to dislike.

The planning and execution of a robbery like most thrillers that came after - plot done very tightly. Nonlinear narration kept the suspense of the moment at bay.

The supporting roles were so well chosen and inter woven just in the right dose to show desperation, weakness and strength, greed and hope.

So well done. Must watch. Many times. I cannot believe as another reviewer noted Kubrik directed this in his twenties.

If anything was a draw back -- I would say was the music which was kind of dull and could have been better positioned just to support the suspense. There were no chase reasons after all- except perhaps for the horses.


Good but leaves a lot to be desired
If I am to lay out what has been the good parts of the movie, the development and transformation of a kathak dancer has been done very well. The development of plot in Afghanistan is very good and the portrayal of events in Afghanistan as a narrative inter woven with lives of characters is remarkable. Kamal's acting in the first 30 minutes of the movie is really good.

Before commenting on the negatives, Kamal deserves praise for everything he has attempted to do in the movie and hopefully future movies will think of this as a standard to improve on.

This movie leaves a lot to be desired in too many places to list them all out.

The place where the biggest gap has in not weaving kamals spy role in the story into the character of kamal that appears in Afghanistan. It would have been nice to have more emotion thrust to kamals character in Afghanistan. All scenes in Afghanistan were remarkable except for kamals role in it. I would say he could have taken a page out of Kamal from kurudhipunal to create a character who is bound by duty but displays emotions that reveals how the circumstances seem to affect him. These events in the story is a crucial link to the characters role in latter parts of the movie.

The next biggest issue with this movie is there are 3 movies in this movie. The characters kamal plays are very powerful with plenty of material needing just to balance the presence of all 3. The story from Afghanistan could have been a subtext but Kamal chose to explore it in greater depth and it could have ended as a movie in itself. The spy story of saving the day could have been a 60-75 minute movie by itself.

Kamal had brought commendable creativity into a screenplay that poses a challenge for any director or actor. The feeling is one of audience left wanting more but having to be satisfied with a hurried end.

Other relatively minor quibbles.

I thought Shekar kapoor and Andrea's role had little character development and they could have been better separated and better leveraged to support the narrative. All of the scenes where a SWAT team like group is bent on diffusing a situation could have benefited from use of the Hollywood playbook where a few personal show downs could have elevated kamal as a alpha-male character whose final role in diffusing a bomb could have been more prominent. After all the whole movie is about rooting for this character without knowing what he wants to do.

on direction. Many scenes were so beautifully narrated that it establishes someone who clearly is a story teller, a linguist. Simple directorial scenes lacked discipline. Comedy came in scenes towards the end where it seemed inappropriate, some times lens would zoom out or pan as if to show more when it did not seem to add any to development of the plot itself. one example is the scene of whole team walking to the place where Dawkins lays dead in brooklyn park - added zero to character development, slowed down the pace of the plot, did not resolve any suspense because they knew he was dead before heading over.

A Prairie Home Companion

Lovely "Nordic like" treat
Was fantastic watching it.

The music was great great great! Meryl Streep was awesome. GK was GK.

Woody Harrelson has a surprisingly good role and the songs he played were both funny and lovely to hear.

Meryl Streep probably cast a big shadow on the film, but surprisingly and to good effect most major actors played limited but significant roles and were well cast.

It was like most Nordic films, though this has nothing to do with anything other than the PHC radio show. It had a feeling of celebration, music and joy, but it has an underlying tone of destruction and death to it. One softens the other naturally.


A decent effort at a good script
I think the movie is a pretty decent effort given a very rich script. I will have some reservations calling this movie anything more than decent.

Firstly the movie breaks no fresh grounds in movie making. And secondly it makes a point, albeit tangentially, which I think was bad given such a nice script. The background score was done very nicely, though at various instances one can see a parallel to "1942 a love story", a movie made by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The setting for the Haveli appeared to be inspired from "Ghare Bhaire". Some of the highlights were the pace of narration and no-nonsense approach without resorting to melodrama, which is a rarity in Indian cinema, but not without precedents.

The acting performances from Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan was good. Vidya really excels. Sanjay Dutt scampers along decently enough, not to spoil the show. Other highlights are possibly Saif's friend begging to a beggar and Rekha song, which is repeatedly in the background on more than one occasion later in the movie.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra is not the director to spoil a nice story with a bad movie making. He gives the subject enough respect that it commands. Just for that, this movie deserves praise and possibly a couple of views.

The emphasis on the character of Vidya should have been more especially during the time of emotional turmoil that appears in the middle of the movie. With such a talented actress, to spend time on some cheesy songs seems like a crime. There are hundred things that could have been done better, that I think would have been done by any art house director like Gautam Ghosh. I think my personal experience was damped due to commercial or make-it-mainstream-enough considerations.

Many critics had acclaimed Black for cinematic excellence. But I see Black as an attempt to make an emotionally overdrawn to epic of survival. Parineeta is much better done cinematic ally and aesthetically speaking than Black.

My feeling is mixed on this one. I can definitely recommend seeing it once.


You do need a poets heart to appreciate the movie. Because the subject of the movie itself is ones thats been explored many times since fairly tales began. The narration, the setting, the characters all possess charm and tenderness like those in the fairy tales. Another important reason to watch this movie is the gorgeous Juliette Binoche, who plays the role of the female protagonist Vianne Rocher. The movie is directed by Lasse Hallström What's Eating Gilbert Grape (IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108550/ ) another fabulous movie, I am yet to see.

The movie is set in a beautiful French village, whose name I forget, but that's not important. Its a village of devout Christians observing their fasts during the time of lent. Vianne Rocher plays the single mother of a child, who moves from one village to another. why? its another story that ties to Central America, Mayans, and Chocolate (btw, you should try Venezuelan chocolate, if you haven't. Its a delicious evil.). Ahem. So the main story deals with the chocolaterie Vianne opens at this time and the narrow minded Mayor who vows to kill her business by the end of Lent, when Easter comes.

On the one hand the Mayor tries to portray Vianne as the evil and tries to spread slander about her. On the other hand, some of the villagers are drawn to her chocolaterie due to her charming demeanour, kind heart, and of course sweets! One of the important customers to her shop comes for the aphrodisiacal chocolates with its magical and unbelievable effects.

The story takes a turn with the arrival of a group of river drifters, led by Roux. The stereotypical image of these amongst the villagers is that of an evil group of people that have "tendencies to corrupt children". Vianne, who is much broader in her mindset mixes freely with Roux and the group causing these folks quite a bit of discomfort.

Needless to say, from here the conflict gets heady due to "sudden turn" of events. In the end all ends well as they must for a film titled Chocolat. :)


Foxx excels as the movie lights up the screen
Foxx (as Ray) and the Music of Ray Charles is unbelievable! The movie has a sustained pace. I have not known Ray Charles before this movie came out. As many others pointed this biopic was selective in portraying only the early part of his life.

The early struggle when people were trying to take advantage of his blindness and his stupendous talent to make money behind his back. His stint with Atlantic and all the creativity. The story is not one sided and brings out all the thorny ethos of Ray from his affair when he was on the road to being the first musician to refuse playing for a segregated crowd, leading to ban from playing in the state of Georgia.

Ray Charles, the musician, is a genius. His always stuck to his way and made the music he had in mind to give one topper after another. Foxx plays this character extremely well and also handsomely meets the challenge of a man who has lost his sight.

See this movie even if you want great music, great performance, and a decent story.

Hyderabad Blues 2

Go Watch it!
A movie with a reasonable presumption and a decent attempt at the conflicting demands of an Indian society on a married couple. The story roles out on Kukunoor's reluctance to grow his family tree and Ashwini's desire to do so. A major part of the movie, though has nothing to do with this subtext. It is the affair of a few minutes of Kukunoor with one of his employees. Ashwini the strong independent Indian woman that she is, she also tends to view the affair a man's indulgence granted by a patriarchal society. She refuses to forgive Kukunoor, who is genuinely sorry for his lapse, and the story goes on and on with Kukunoor's attempt to win her back.

The movie goes at an easy pace. Though, it is a little stretched out in the middle. The pairing of Ashwini with her friend and her friend's husband with Kukunoor adds its enjoyable moments/conversations. The movie appeals to the people of the current generation in similar age/situation.

It is a definitely enjoyable. Go Watch it!


Many things are enjoyable: A lot of neat little incidents: The guy and his father at the marriage broker place going: 'We are particular about the caste. It is okay if it is not the same sub-caste. you see we are ...' and the son adds 'liberal'. That was hilarious and deep.

The opening scene with the loud speaker singing 'Ma Shakthi Om Shakthi' song in front of his house on a Sunday morning.

All the conversations between Kukunoor and his friend.

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro

A very good film
This movie is a classic among avid film goers. All for a good reason. It is made by a phenomenal team: Kundan Shah, Sudhir Mishra, Nasrudeen Shah, Pankaj Kapoor, Satish Shah ...

The story packs in a good deal of 'social message' laced through this otherwise funny movie. Some thing like dark comedy. The stupidity of the two photographers does not however stick well with their investigative talents.

The photographers are caught in the double dealings and double double dealings and so on of the mafia between the press, the government officials, and the big contractors in Mumbai. The song 'Hum Honge Kamiyaab' after the revelation of the press editor's dealings with the constructors is one of the most famous ones. It is sad to see that 'conventional wisdom' does not enter their heads even in the last scene. The ending of the movie is possibly not very pleasing but is also a keen aspect of the movie.

The movie is a must watch. But the audience must brace themselves for a not-so-pleasant ending.

Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.

Dekhna ise jaroor Maamu
The movie has a very good cast. Particularly impressive is circuit playing the supporting actor to Sanjay Dutt. The songs are primarily for diversion and to make you feel that the movie is long enough for Bollywood entry.

The speech Sunil Dutt gives to the guy caught stealing from him is impressive. And you got to give it to the guy who plays 'laughter therapy' to perfection. He has performed pretty well.

This movie has something different and the comedy is more natural than slap-stick. It also emphasises (a little too much) the aspect of care and love in treating patients.


A very nice movie with good scripting and great 'kavithas'
The movie draws very strong performances from the three main characters Nasrudeen Shah, Rekha, and Anuradha Patel. This is an oft touched topic, and the story IS slightly off-beat for 'those times'. The melancholy that pervades the night at the train station and slow revelation about the character's past through flash backs are both done very neatly.

If you watch carefully, a lot of subtle attitudes and character sketch is done through very simple acts. Nasrudeen shah impatiently fiddles with the switch in the bathroom, he throws his towel carelessly and it falls down on the first try. Rekha walks and talks very slowly and is always pensive.

The songs should not have been there in the first place. It looked very odd for this otherwise good movie. I was completely mesmerized by the 'kavithas' that brace the episodes (especially with Anuradha Patel).

Since IMDb does not allow to write Hindi transliteration: a translation of one of them is

What to say of habits? Habit, it has become, for us to breathe. Habit, it has become, for us to live. We continue to live. and, We continue to live.

There are many many more.

Chokher Bali

Choker Bali : A reminiscent of our past
I saw 2 hour version of Choker Bali. I cannot say that is long. The movie has a certain natural pace to it and does not seem to lag at any time. The costume and the set are reminiscent of what we would see in old movies.

Aishwarya Rai has done a good job of acting. It is indeed a mature role with enough scope for acting within the story. The script also supports the story very well. Aishwarys acts as the unfortunate widow whose husband dies in the first year of marriage. The movie is about the passions and desires of such a character and the conflict she faces with the downtrodden condition of widows in those times.

Her best friend in this movie is played by Raima Sen has also been well-handled. Her innocence and her admiration of Aishwarya's capability to speak English and act educated has been done very well. These are indeed some of the prevailing mindsets of those times. We can see how far we have come from such an era!

The movie speaks of womens liberation as subtle line of the story. I found the development of the story very similar to Ghare Bahire also written by Tagore. It does rope in some action from the independence struggle and puts in contrast the struggle for Indian Independence against the silent struggle for womens rights.

A well made movie definitely worth watching. Aishwarya's acting: par excellence. Rituparna has handled the story with great care. Yet another classic from Rabindranath Tagore.


An unexpectedly bad movie from RGV
When we see a Ram Gopal Verma movie, we expect a certain quality. This defies all of the expectation built over the years.

The performance of Manoj Bajpai is good. But the character development is very weak and story telling is pathetic. To begin with to portray a police officer who is sincere and short-tempered is not new. Add to that, the police officer is a DSP and lacks all possible traces of intelligence. No script can possibly support such a bad story.

None of the scenes look natural, especially the one where Manoj Bajpai loses his daughter after he is provoked into a skirmish by the goondas. Raveena has given a decent performance, but her role has not much to do with the story itself.

In the final scene Manoj Bajpai (who has been suspended from Police) walks into the police station in his khaki dress, shoots the corrupt officer, takes his pistol and heads off to the Legislative Assembly and breezes through all security and gets close to his villain. And what does he do?

He stands near the entrance and aims a shot at the villain, over and above the clamorous assembly members, when he could have walked 100 more meters and stood face to face and taken a shot. He misses as usual and commotion ensues. All the police are there with their pistols and MB has the villain under pistol and what does he do? Give a 20 minute lecture, during which he raises his pistol hand to be expressive. And what do police do? Listen to the lecture till finally MB shoots the villain and says Jai Hind.

I say do not watch this movie. Very bad script, very bad story telling. Then what use having a good performance?


One of the rare good good-cop bad-cop movie
I never expected to be impressed by this movie, going by the cover which had the regular in-your-face expressions from an outraged hero and a heroin with sadness written all over her face. It seemed like just another good-cop bad-guy movie.

It was pleasantly surprising for me. Ajay Devgan, who is the only interesting and important character in this movie has given a more-than-decent performance. The song are minimal and this keeps the movie riveting for most part. The role of the villain is weak and did not develop into anything significant.

However the dialogue delivery of AD and his no nonsense style of acting (or of the director) adds to the effect of the movie. The final dialogue: when AD has the villains under his feet and whole city is all set to burn them, AD says "I am not protecting them from you, but I am protecting you from them. It is my duty to make sure you don't descend to the level of these villains. Jaisi Janatha, Waisi Police. If you are corrupt, what do you expect the police to be?"

It is overall a good movie to Watch. A similar movie, Shool, was made by Ram Gopal Verma with Manoj Bajpai. It is not nearly as entertaining as this.

Ardh Satya

The Best Movie Ever
The performance by Om Puri, Smita Patil, and Sadashiv Amrapurkar and the whole chemistry comes off nicely, along with the minimalist approach to story telling and direction by Govind Nihlani. The dialogues by Vijay Tendulkar is also great.

I have not seen another movie like this. It is one whole, each piece so nicely fit in the plot. You cannot not be impressed by this movie.

Amrish Puri comes off as the bossy husband and 'baap' of Om Puri. Om Puri is the young man caught between his sense of duty and his inability to fight the system. Sadhashiv as Rama Shetty gives just about the right touch to the movie with his smiling and soft speaking villain. The first meeting of Anand Velankar with Rama Shetty's at Sadhashiv's place is absoulely stunning. Smita Patil does not play a main role, but her part is also not distracting from the main plot.

And to add to this all Kafi Inamdar plays the role of a cop who has come to terms with the system and its workings. Saying right things in the right places and knowing how to keep himself away from trouble. He is also the 'guru' of Om Puri and helps him whenever he gets into trouble.

The movie not only brings to focus the difficulties faced by a police officer trying to do his duty but also the other side of brutalities in police custody. Om Puri captures hopelessness and the burning desire to break free in this exceptional performance in Ardh Satya.

A treat to all avid fans of Indian cinema.

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