Archive for ‘Movie Reviews’

July 19, 2010

Movie Review: Inception and Udaan



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Film: Inception

Director/Writer: Christopher Nolan

Lead Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watambe, Tom Hardy

Rating: 8.5/10 – A classic in the making
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July 3, 2010

Movie Review: I hate Love Storys


Film: I Hate Love Storys

Director: Punit Malhotra

Lead Cast: Imran Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Samir Dattani, Samir Soni, Bruna Abdullah, Ketki Dave, Anju Mahendru

Rating: 4/10, A cliched love story making fun of other love story cliches. That’s height of dumbness!
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June 12, 2010

Movie Review: Robin Hood


Film: Robin Hood

Director: Ridley Scott

Lead Cast: Russell Crowe, Kate Blanchett, Max Von Sydow, William Hurt

Rating: 6.5/10 – A visually good film with a confusing plot
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June 5, 2010

Movie Review: Raajneeti


Film: Raajneeti

Director/writer: Prakash Jha

Lead Cast: Arjun Rampal, Nana Patekar, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Ajay Devgan, Manoj Bajpai

Rating: 8/10 – Perhaps the best ever political/family drama in Bollywood
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June 4, 2010

Movie Review: Prince of Persia


Film: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Director: Mike Newell

Lead Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina

Rating: 7.5 out of 10 – entertainment, entertainment, entertainment!
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May 18, 2010

Movie Review: Iron Man 2


I had seen Iron Man 2 two Fridays back when it was released here in Bombay. Going by my standards, it’s late to write a review on it now. But still I am doing it because of other reviews I have read in newspapers and magazines and seen on TV over these past ten days. A couple of these reviewers pointed out a few things which makes for an interesting debate on superheroes and their morality. And this will be the focus of my review today. Among other things, I believe a movie review should be more than just a bland assessment of story or the work of the people involved in making the movie.

Movie: Iron Man 2

Director: John Favreau

Cast: Robert Downey Jr. Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson

Rating: 7/10 – Don’t expect a masterpiece, but do expect a smart and sleek superhero movie which entertains
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April 17, 2010

Movie Review: Pathshala


The job of a movie reviewer is not an easy one. Whether he/she is interested in watching any movie or not, he/she has to go through the ritual on every Friday. There is always a deadline to contend with. And then, there is this relatively insignificant thing called money which further complicates matters. Even though nobody pays me to review movies and nobody threatens me with deadlines, sometimes I become delusional and start thinking of myself as a self proclaimed movie critic. And that makes me tie myself with a deadline and I drag myself to a movie theater, hoping that the review I write next day comes handy for the handful of people who choose to read my blog. And maybe, just maybe, someone, somewhere finds the review useful and says a thank you after reading it. That, dear friends, is the only reason I endured the torture of sitting through the entire duration of this movie. I desperately wanted to walk out of the theater, like I had done with Arindam Choudhuri’s Rok Sako To Rok Lo. But somehow, I controlled myself so that I can write this review. I may not be very good at it yet, but I am learning fast.

Attend at you own risk!

Movie: Pathshala (for the benefit of firang readers, this word loosely means a school that follows “Indian” traditions. Don’t bother learning more about it. I doubt whether the film makers themselves know more.)

Derector: Milind Ukey (Sir, I earnestly request you not to direct any more movies.Please sir! Pleeease!!)

Producer: Ahmad Khan (choreographer turned director turned producer turned…??)

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Ayesha Takia, Nana Patekar, Saurabh Shukla (and other assorted creatures who tried to look like teachers and students and aam jaunta …but…well…)

Rating: If I must, 2/10. Don’t bother, just don’t bother! Watch it only if you want to be insulted!
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April 12, 2010

Movie Review: The Hurt Locker


Film: The Hurt Locker

Director: Katheryne Bigelow

Cast: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty

Rating: 6.5/10, More hype, less substance
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March 3, 2010

Movie Review: It’s Complicated


He says, "Oh God! It was awesome!" She says, "Oh God! I shouldn't be doing this!"

Film: It’s Complicated

Director: Nancy Meyers

Lead Cast: Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin

Rating: 6/10 – A good “rom com” but not for everyone (I mean the age here)

For a person like me, who is still on the right side of 30, it is somewhat weird to see three of his favorite actors getting old (over sixty) and talking about vaginas getting constricted without sex or actually indulging in secret sexual escapades. Apparantly, not so for the three old ladies (all in their sixties) sitting beside me. While I cringed in my seat and muffled my frequent laughters, they had a blast and made it clear that they were enjoying what they were seeing and made no efforts to muffle their laughter or comments.

That pretty much sums up what this movie is about and who it is meant for. It’s Complicated is the story of a divorcee Jane (Meryl Streep), who, during the graduation party of her son, reconnects with her ex-husband Jake (Alec Baldwin) after being divorced for the past ten years. Ten years ago, Jake had cheated on her and had left her for a much younger woman, but now regrets that he did so. And thus starts a passionate affair of an old separated couple without the knowledge of any of their kids.

She says, "You're so funny!" He says, "You're so lovely!"

Meanwhile Adam (Steve Martin), a divorcee architect gets attracted towards Jane and decides to put his two year old divorce behind, only to realize that Jane and Jake are having an affair. Jane on her part, realizes that the situation is not so sorted out as she thought earlier. In fact, it’s complicated! It would be insane to get together with a guy who had cheated her and to forget whom it took her years. But at the same time she finds no reason why she should not, specially when the guy accepts his mistake and confesses his love for her again. Is she ready to handle such a complicated situation at such an advanced stage in her life? The answer to this question is what the movies is all about.

Like any adult romantic comedy the dialogues in this one also were also saucy and crisp, but some of the jokes were simply old. A major part of the movie has been devoted to Jane coming to terms with the fact that she is old but can and should spice up her life with sex and companionship if she can. At one point she feels so guilty that she had to consult her shrink to get out of depression.

She says, "Don't look at me! My body is not the same anymore." He says, "Don't worry! It anyway doesn't matter anymore."

Meryl Streep, as always, shines in her role and looks as enchanting as she would have looked in her heydays. She recreates some of the magic of Julie and Julia (for which she also got an Oscar nomination, her sixteenth), by showing her culinary skills and using her expressive face to perfection. Alec Baldwin, for a change shows his talent in a comic role, and does a fabulous job of it. But a major disappointment is the character played by Steve Martin. Like Jim Carrey, Steve is in a league of his own and has the ability to carry an entire movie on his own shoulders. This role just didn’t allow him to be in his elements. I have absolutely loved Steve in all his films I have seen and was disappointed to see him not getting much scope to do anything.

Like I said earlier, this film is for the elderly, specially those who haven’t seen Something’s Gotta Give (also directed by Nancy Meyers). While the film is very funny, there isn’t much original here. Nancy seems to have decided to specialize in movies where veteran actors fall in and out of love like teenagers and lie on beds naked. Youngsters like me may find it gross, but the oldies just love it! This is one of those rare films though which the elderly can get nostalgic about their past relationships, their family, and most of all, their bodies.

Then why did I watch the movie in the first place? To be able to see three great actors together in one movie and to see Steve Martin work his magic. In the former I am satisfied, in the latter I am disappointed. But at the end of it all I guess I was more disappointed to see three fine actors getting old.

February 27, 2010

Movie Review: Karthik Calling Karthik


Film: Karthik Calling Karthik

Genre: Romance, thriller

Director: Vijay Lalwani

Cast: Farhaan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone, Shefali Shah, Ram Kapoor

Rating: 5/10 – A good premise handled badly

I don’t blame Vijay Lalwani for the way he made this film. It’s not really his fault. It’s just that Bollywood doesn’t have the culture of making films based on good scripts. When you are trying to make a romantic thriller (which is a bad combination in the first place), what you need most of all is a polished, tight script without any loopholes. And that is the biggest problem with this movie. But then, that’s the biggest problem with most of the Bollywood movies. The film is hatke, no doubt, considering the kind of films that are released in Bollywood every week. But an experimental concept needs to be treated well. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with KCK.

The story is about Karthik, a shy, reserved, scared guy whose life is in a mess, mostly because of himself. His boss (played by Ram Kapoor) abuses him for mistakes he never committed, his colleagues dump their work on him because doesn’t have the courage to say no, his lanlord takes him for a ride and threatens him for money and the object of his worship, Shonali Mukherjee (Deepika), knows that he existed in their office for four years only when he gets a public tongue lashing by his boss.

So used and abused by everyone, one day he snaps and decides to commit suicide. But just as he was about to pop in all the sleeping pills in his bottle, he gets a call. And that’s when everything changes. Apparantly the call is from Karthik only, in his own voice! And thus starts the reincarnation of Karthik. Guided by his caller friend, he transforms from being a wussy to a real man, in every way. A classic turnaround story, and we all love the underdog winning. The film was enjoyable till then.

Karthik with his Japanese (or Chinese?) phone. A villain phone??

But then Lalwani was reminded that this was not after all a romantic comedy but a thriller and so decided to convert the film into a thriller, and failed miserably. After this point the movie drags and keeps on dragging. Karthik discloses the secret about the caller with Shonali and all hell breaks loose.

What didn’t work

One, the character of Karthik is inconsistent. Actually there are two Karthiks: one who is crazy and reserved and shy and the other who has become the “dude” and there is no smooth or reasonable transition from one to the other. A person who has made himself smart enough to crack the best of jokes, won’t be crazy enough to tell his girlfriend that he gets a call from himself and expect her to believe him.

Two, the plot has loopholes. Since I don’t want to give out spoilers here, can’t explain this point in detail. But, trust me, at the end of the movie, you will ask yourself, so this is what it was all about?? And feel cheated. The climax sucks the most. It doesn’t surprise one at all.   It’s like too much of foreplay and no real sex in the end.

Three, the second half of the movie drags on unnecessarily. There is not enough meat in it to make it last for almost two and half hours, which it does. What could have been a classic psychotic thriller, on the lines of Fight Club (the Hollywood one), became a hotchpotch of comedy, romance and suspense, not making much of a sense in the end.

What worked

Very good acting by the lead cast. This is Farhaan’s third outing in a lead role, and it is his best. The movie seems to be tailor-made for him. But Farhaan’s acting skills can’t replace the need for a taut script. Deepika looks convincing and as gorgeous as ever. Ram Kapoor, and Shefali shah also do justice to their roles.

Cheer up Deepika! It's not your fault.

Very good dialogue. Dbutant Vijay Lalwani may not have written a good script but has done well with his dialogues. The way Karthik speaks when gets back at all those who did wrong to him is awesome. Some of the best moments in the film are the witty one liners Karthik cracks to patao Shonali.

Good cinematography and good music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy. Awesome music in uff teri ada song. But songs in the second half are unnecessary.

Bottomline

KCK is not a bad film. But it’s not good either. Pity, because it could have been great. For me script is king in a movie, and so, in spite of a lot of plus points this movie fails for me. Watch it this weekend only if your choice is limited to this and Teen Patti. Teen Patti is worse, I am told. And if your choice isn’t restricted to Bollywood, go ahead and watch Invictus or It’s Complicated.

Coming up next:

A review of It’s Complicated, an adult romantic comedy (from the writer/director of hit movies like Something’s Gotta Give, What Women Want and The Holiday) starring three veteran Hollywood actors, Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.

February 25, 2010

Movie Review: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief


6/10 - Entertaining but not gripping enough

As the Harry Potter series is coming to its conclusion with the last installment Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Hollywood seems to have found another teen, next door hero in Percy Jackson. But the question is, can Percy Jackson recreate the magic of Harry Potter? According to me, definitely not.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is the first in a series of five novel written by Rick Riordan. The movie is directed by Chris Columbus, who had previously directed Harry Potter I & II and Home Alone I & II. It is about a teenager Percy who, one fine day, finds out that he is a demi-god (his father is Poseidon, the God of ocean and his mother a mortal) and has powers to make him a brave warrior like Hercules or Achilles. He has been accused by the other Gods of having stolen the thunderbolt of Zeus. This causes an almost war like situation between Poseidon and Zeus, and the world is at stake in the war of the Gods. Unless Percy finds out the lightning thief and returns the thunderbolt to Zeus before the next full moon, the world as we know will come to and end. The rest of the movie is about how Percy and his friends find out the lightning thief and save the world from disaster.

Percy and Annabeth

From entertainment point of view, the movie is good and generally liked by school kids. But  this is just another fantasy fiction series and offers nothing original or imaginative. The whole series is based on Greek mythology and the novelty factor that was associated with Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series is missing here. The characters are not interesting enough to generate a cult following, which is so essential to make such a series hit. Some of the scenes and dialogues are just plain cliches. Even though it is the same person who has directed both the movies, the skeleton of the story, i.e. Rick Riordan’s Percy, is not as engrossing as J. K. Rowling’s Potter. Rowling’s imagination also far exceeds that of Riordan’s.

Columbus, in a recent interview, said that it’s unfair to compare Percy with Potter. But the fact of the matter is, there are a lot of similarities in the two series and one can’t help but compare. One of the key ingredients missing here (and present in loads in the Potter series) is the powerful emotional experience in the story. Unless you sympathize with the lead characters and their causes, unless you laugh and cry with them, you can’t really love them.

Percy, Annabeth and Grover

Having said that it cannot be denied that Percy Jackson is gaining some amount of popularity amongst kids. According to a recent Hindustan Times news report, “The series has spent more 125 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has already sold more than 50,000 copies in India. The Lightning Thief has been a bestseller for weeks in leading Indian stores too.”

Mount Olumpus, as viewed from the Empire State Building!!

The actors in the movie have done justice to their roles. Like Potter series, here also there is a trio comprising two boys (Percy, played by Logan Lerman and Grover) and a girl (Annabeth). The script is tight, in fact its too fast. There is not enough buildup to the adventure. There are a few funny moments here and there.

On the whole it is an average movie and unless the next in the series Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters does something extraordinary, won’t have a huge fan following.

Coming Up Next:

Review of Karthik Calling Karthik: Will Farhan Akhtar continue his success with this one?

Watch out for it in the coming weekend.

February 23, 2010

Movie Review: Up in the Air


8.5/10 - Almost Perfect

Imagine, for a while, that you fire people from their job for a living. Imagine that you sit across the table with people from different walks of life, from different parts of the country, and different companies, breaking to them the terrible news that they have been fired from their job, just like that. And imagine that few of them go ahead and commit suicide, all because you told them that they have lost their job. And imagine actually enjoying doing this, all the year round, travelling 322 days in a year of 365 days.

This, in short, is the life of Ryan Bingham, the lead character played fabulously by George Clooney. He is the downsizing expert, who is hired to help ease the transition of long term employees to the unemployment line, across the country. In his own words, “Last year I spent 322 days on the road, which meant I spent 43 miserable days at home.” And then occasionally he sneaks out some time and gives motivational speeches on his “luggage philosophy.” Ryan is a veteran in his job, he has no friends, no girlfriend, he doesn’t even know his sister properly and doesn’t feel at home when he is at home. He and his company have a job because big corporates in America don’t have enough courage to tell their own employees that they are required no more. He has his occasional “on the road” affairs with attractive and independent women and he believes that his job is more than just telling people that they have lost their job. Its about “connecting” with them at a personal level, about being there in front of those people, sharing their misery and making it easier for them to accept the inevitable. But Ryan’s boss doesn’t share his viewpoint and decide to adopt a new system proposed by the young and ambitious Natalie Keener (played by Anna Kendrick), in which “firing” can be done through video conferencing and thereby Ryan and his colleagues will no more be required to travel all over the country.

George Clooney and Anna Kendrick

Based on a novel by Walter Kim and directed brilliantly by Jason Reitman, Up in The Air is a very stylish and intelligent comedy-drama that will force you to think as much as it will entertain you. The movie is full of clever dialogues, witty one liners and sexual inneuendos. The clever wordplay in this movie is reminiscent of the subtle comedy of the Ocean’s Eleven series, also starring Clooney. George Clooney seems to have mastered the art of subdued acting evident in most of his movies. And trust me, no other Hollywood actor would have looked more sleek and stylish in this role. Not even Brad Pitt.

His career threatened by the new proposal from Natalie, Ryan decides to take her as an apprentice on his firing tours to show her that firing people is more than just telling them that they are not required anymore and giving them a severance package. In this journey Natalie get confronted with the real world and her own fears and relationship issues.

But is the movie really just about this queer profession of Ryan? Not at all. In fact Ryan’s profession and his conflict with Natalie is just a vehicle for explaining one of the most fundamental human paradoxes: Should a man be completely independent of any kind of relationships, thereby decreasing his “burden” or should he bear the burden in return for company and emotional support. On the one hand is Ryan who is devoid of sentiments and relationships and fires people without getting emotionally troubled by their worries. On the other hand is Natalie, who believes in relations and dreams of having a perfect family and home. The beliefs of both these people are tested thoroughly in the story.

According to Ryan and his “luggage philosophy,” the more relationships we keep in our luggage, the heavier it becomes. To get acceptability from others, we start compromising on our individuality, start doing things just to please others, until the day we realize that our luggage becomes so heavy with all the emotional baggage that we can’t carry it anymore. Ryan asks: what’s the point of all these attachments anyway? His suggestion: throw away as much as you can from the luggage and your life will become simpler. But is it really that simple? Can people really live and be happy alone? There can be no right answer to this question and the film offers none. It depends on every individual and what they want from their lives. Most of us believe that these “burdens” are worth it. But then there are these oddballs like Ryan who believe otherwise.

Vera Famiga

Brilliant performances by the three lead actors in the movie, Clooney, Anna and Vera Famiga, who plays the role of very independent and liberal Alex Goran who has a “no attachment” affair with Ryan and with whom, Ryan finally gets attached to, emotionally. The sexual chemistry between Clooney and Vera is awesome throughout the movie. The screenplay is top notch and so are the dialogues. No wonder the movie has been nominated for six Oscars, including the Best Picture and Best Director categories.

If you are the sort of person who digs into intelligent, meaningful cinema, go watch this one. Otherwise, avoid it. As for me this is one of the most intelligent and meaningful comedy dramas I have ever seen and I give it a rating of 8.5 out of 10.

Oscar Nominations

Best Director – Jason Reitman

Best Motion Picture of The Year – Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman, and Jason Reitman

Best Actor in a Leading Role – George Clooney

Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Vera Famiga

Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Anna Kendrick

Best Adapted Screenplay – Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner


January 14, 2010

Storytelling Lessons from 3 Idiots



3 Idiots

I finally saw 3 Idiots last Saturday. I know I am quite late, but as they say, better late than never! Earlier I had decided that I will write a review of the movie after I watch it, but I don’t think it makes sense anymore. The movie is already on its way to create history and almost everybody who saw it loved it! So my review doesn’t matter anyway.

Now that the question whether you should watch the movie is meaningless, I decided I’d rather try to answer the more important question: why did everybody love the movie? Being a student and writer of fiction, this question fascinates me more than anything else. I am addicted to movies and books because it is my obsession to find out the secret behind the success of great stories.

What makes a story great?

Like many other fiction writers, it is my firm belief that the prime objective of any form of story, be it short story, novel, novella, movie, play or any other form of story, is to provide a powerful emotional experience. Everything else is secondary. Let me explain a little more as to what I mean by a powerful emotional experience. Put simply, a powerful emotional experience would mean a healthy mixture of smiles and tears. A drama would give you more of tears and less of smiles, and a comedy, ideally should give you tears along with loads of smiles. But how is that possible? A comedy is supposed to make you laugh, not make you cry right? Wrong.

A great comedy is one that makes you laugh and cry at the same time. Your tears may not be tears of sadness. It may be tears of joy, but it does take a few tears to make sense of a comedy and “connect” with it at the deepest human level. And untill and unless you really “connect” with it, you will not find it great. It will be just another comedy: enjoyable, entertaining, but not great. Bollywood film makers simply don’t get this fact (except for a few) and keep dishing out trash in the name of comedy. Even the comic acts of Charlie Chaplin, the pioneer and the greatest master of slapstick comedy, had its emotional moments. Anyone who has seen The Great Dictator (arguably, his best film), would understand what I am saying. Even if you take an out and out comedy example like the American Pie series, the best part about the series is not really the sex and the girls, but the bonding shared by the friends, which is both funny and touching. Thats why after the third part the series flopped, because it had only boobs, booze and no true emotions.

But then what about thriller, horror and other weird but great stories? These genres neither make you laugh nor make you cry. They create a different kind of sensation in you. Powerful emotional experience in this case will be the ability of the story to “shock and awe” you. The greater the “shock and awe” the greater the impact of the story. Movies like Fight Club (the Hollywood one), The Prestige, Perfume, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button fall under this category. Movies like these achieve greatness because of their ability to go beyond our imagination and present something that utterly mesmerises us, so much so, that you don’t have exact words to describe them. Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code is another example.

And then there are stories that make you laugh and cry and also create a shock and awe effect. You can’t be sure of their genre, because they go beyond the boundaries of genre. You can’t be completely sure of the range of emotions they evoke in you. You are mesmerized, stupefied, and left speechless. According to me, the best examples of this are movies like Forrest Gump or the Harry Potter series and novels like Midnight Children by Salman Rushdie. Is it any wonder that Harry Potter series is probably the most popular series ever (in both book and movie format), Forrest Gump is probably the best movie in the career of Tom Hanks, one of the finest actors in Hollywood or that Midnight’s Children has been voted as best book to get the Booker Prize in the past forty years?

What is hot about 3 Idiots (and what is not)

The best thing about 3 Idiots is its ability to make you both laugh and cry, in a way very few Bollywood movies have done before. With reference to the above discussion I don’t think I need to elaborate why that is no important for a story. At the heart of the story is a very simple but touching premise (which is present in a much lesser degree in Five Point Someone): you should follow your dream and do what you are really good at. Now that is a universal theme and will appeal to every human being! The rest of the story is just a great way of communicating this ideal. Now let us look into the different aspects of the movie that made it an above par movie, and some aspects that stopped it from becoming a great movie.

Characters

Characters, along with the basic plot, are the backbone of any story. The movie (and the book) both have very interesting characters. The book had Hari (the scared one and the narrator), Alok (the fat one), and Ryan (the cool one). The movie has Farhaan (the scared one and the narrator), Hari (another scared one, not much character differentiation with Farhaan) and Rancho (the demi-god, awesome, super intelligent and super cool one). So you see the problem with characterization in this movie is that two weak characters are pitted against a very strong character, which suits Amir and his fans very much (and that is one of the reasons why the movie became a hit), but from a purely storytelling point of view, is a weakness because it relegated the weak characters to the status of sidekicks. In this respect Movies like Rang De Basanti or Dil Chahta Hai were much better because all the characters were strong and no injustice was done to any of them.

Another thing that I didn’t like about the movie is that all the characters are one sided, the good are too good (Rancho) and the bad are too bad (Sahastrabuddhe) and almost all the characters in both the book and the movie are cliched and stereotyped. Real people are not like them. Ryan Oberoi of FPS was much more believable and real. Great characters are born out of internal conflict and doubt. But these characters are funny and they make you laugh and cry, so in spite of their drawbacks they work.

Interestingly the character of Chatur is drawing more attention than Rancho (the protagonist and the hero). The only reason I can give is Chatur is more believable and we all have known people like him.

Plot

The plot of the movie is better and more complex than the book, which is good but it is also too long and has some unnecessary elements (like the delivery sequence of Pia’s sister), which is bad. The movie could have been shorter without doing any harm to the basic story.

Dialogue

Probably the best part of the movie is its dialogue. Nobody will forget the trademark lines of characters (“Tohfa kubool ho Jahapanah!” “All is Well”) or the unforgettable speech of Chatur (“balatkar” and “stan”). No complaints in this regard. Top marks to the dialogue writers.

Acting

Again no complaints. Every actor did justice to his/ her potential and were awesome in their role. Credit must go to the director for getting the best out of their characters.

The Last Word

Last night, before sleeping I was thinking about the movie. And interestingly, it didn’t invoke in me, the kind of longingness I had felt when I had seen Dil Chahta Hai, or Rang De Basanti or Taare Zameen Par. I tried hard, but I couldn’t fall in love with the movie. And I started thinking. The movie is good, it is already a superhit, people can’t get enough of it and are watching it again and again, and still I felt something missing. I thought about it for quite some time and came to the conclusion that the movie (and the book) lack the honesty that is so essential for making a story great. It is clever, funny, tremendously entertaining, but not honest and so not great. If you don’t agree with me, then put a hand on your heart and ask yourself if the film makers didn’t cheat us by over simplifying an issue which is not so simple by burying it under an entertaining plot, clever dialogues, funny characters. Is life really so simple that you can just leave everything and follow your dreams and everything else will just fall in place? I don’t think so and I am talking from personal experience. What if Hari’s mother had decided to follow her dream, instead of making sacrifices to take care of her sick husband and her children?

But then, 3 Idiots makes you laugh and cry. And so you will curse me and love it anyway, wouldn’t you? It has got a rating of 8.5 on IMDB and 60% of the voters have given it a rating of 10/10. So the most important lesson to learn from this film is: give them loads of smiles and tears and they will forgive you for all your others mistakes. Its a great lesson in storytelling and in life. Unfair, but true.

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