Tuesday, December 23, 2014

PK - Hirani is still the king of satirical comedies

PK is funny, full of satires and message loaded. But that was expected of the director whose previous masterpieces included the unparalleled 'MunnaBhai' movies. Then again, he also had the highest grossing movie for the longest time with '3 Idiots'. But I think the ordinary audience who jump into movies like "Happy New Year' didn't know that. Therefore, it started slow in the box office. But for movies like these (of course other than the ardent Aamir followers), there is the scope to grow with the passage of word of mouth. It did just that.

PK questions the idea of god that has grown into a large scale business and a weapon for terrorizing the common man. It questions the pea sized human brain which would believe that a god who sees his creation as children will force upon ideas like jihad and conversions and difficult painstaking rituals. He also questions god men and priests and others who blindly follow them. Everybody in the audience were laughing and nodding every time Hirani creates over the top, but beautiful situations where the main character confronts these so called beliefs, but I am sure, it is out through the next ear the moment they are out of the hall.

Another point Hirani touched upon was a topic that I have always wondered about. His character says that earth is a special place. Things that propagate love and bonding like kiss or even sex has to be very private, but you can openly fight and kill and riot. In a perfect world, that would be something to think about. The former is a very harmless thing, but everybody makes a big hue and cry about those. But riots and fights, which hurt people are always justified with some or the other meaningless means. PK successfully puts out those questions in our minds on to the screen, without too much preaching and lot of fun.

It does go on the melodramatic side, but that is Hirani's strong point and he plays well with it. He got a little sidetracked trying to put in a romantic angle into Aamir's character. But, he gets Aamir to do another role that challenged the actor - this time he performed it without even a blink of an eye, literally. Aamir puts away the debacle of acting in 'Dhoom 3' and reminds us that he is still in the business of quality cinema. Anushka, Saurabh Shukla, Boman Irani and Sushant Singh supported the main character in all possible ways giving way to quite some laughs.

Music was cool, except for the love song in between that Aamir dreams of, which kind of was unnecessary. A little bit of appreciation for the CGI guys too. All in all, a good time pass. But, if someone actually understands the satire and changes, the better the impact of this movie.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hobbit 3 : Battle of five armies has it all...except

Now for those who haven't watched this movie and are following the LOTR and hobbit movies, even lazily, then all you have to read is this : Go, watch it!

Those who have seen the movie can continue and share in my impression about this movie.

It was amazing all the way. Hobbit sequels started off very childishly, expanded its territories in the next and set up the great battle of amazement for the end. All through the movie I was only having a bad feeling; why is this scene(any one for that matter) so short. There's going to be a lot of complaints in here. Spoilers. Why did Smaug die so fast, why was Bolg killed so easily, why Azog wasn't let to live for a few more minutes? Why did this movie have to be just 144 minutes. Well, these are my serious concerns. Knowing Peter Jackson who is famous for making 4 and a half hour movies, deciding to cut out the final hobbit movie into just under two and  a half hour film is outrageous.

Peter Jackson is a master when it comes to heroic action filled epic battles and this time around he did just what he was good at. The movie doesn't waste time to kill of Smaug, which, now i think should have been an apt end to the last movie. The movie does work a lot on Thorin's character inconsistencies, and the moments that leads to the war are all gracefully done. The action sequences that followed and the thrilling war is a master piece. But what was not done gracefully was tying the knots and smoothing the end. It was very abrupt. The war ended very abruptly. He concentrated more on the one on ones, which is sad. We know what Jackson could do with a handful of people and CGI. I wanted more, and I am sure there was more. A lot of scenes from the trailers never made it to the big screen.

There was little Benedict Cumberbatch. There was more of Cate Blanchett, but we could have had more. The action on top of the Necromancer's hideout, was quite the fun, but too short. In the beginning when Hugo Weaving and Christopher Lee made their appearances, I really thought Peter has gone the extra mile to tie a few knots linking this to LOTR, but I was so disappointed in the end. There was no Smeagol. There was no Frodo. There was just the mention of Strider. Maybe Peter took some people's complaints of adding more to Hobbit, seriously. But I am one of those who liked what he did with the additions, in the case of the previous two films. But in this one, I would take the other direction. Legolas and Tauriel visiting Angmar, made no sense. Hugo Weaving and Lee was wasted. To an extent even Ian Mckellan was wasted here.

The grand CGI and admirable fight scenes makes this movie a must watch, but from the script side, Peter Jackson did make a lot of sacrifices. Hoping to see a better version when the extended storyline comes out.

PS: Do watch it in the biggest screen you can find. It's worth it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Exodus : Gods(Viewers) and King(Ridley)

Exodus tells the story of Moses and Ramses and how they turned against each other. Well, I didn't put how they grew up together, because the director doesn't waste anytime explaining the back stories. He's more interested in showing the heavy damage that god bring's upon Egypt. Ridley Scott, known for his award winning "Gladiator", and many others, tries to take the 'Michael Bay' road this time with this epic. But sadly, he was not only unable to create a meaningful script out of the very famous story of Moses, but also was unable to capture the audiences' imaginations too.

The story dragged out till the middle, and any excitement, if any, was gathered after the interval when god starts punishing the Egyptians. He filled the big Imax screen, where I saw the movie, with disasters. One after another, Egypt met with plague and suffering, and Scott left no stone upturned to get the maximum result. The bloody river, the humongous crocodiles, the jumpy frogs, and the flies and locusts, filled the screen with dread. But, again sadly, it doesn't remain in your thoughts (Loved the crocodiles, though).

The biggest trump card for him was the red sea scene, and it was promoted with a huge tantrum. This he had to get right, no matter what. He did succeed, and to say that it was less than awesome, would be too much of a scrutiny, but I would take that chance. I believed it could have been done for a better amount of time, and given the viewer more satisfaction than it had already given. He anyways never planned to dwell in the story or give any kind of interpretation, as Mr. Aronofsky did with 'Noah'. His full energy went into making it glorious.

My biggest disappointment was the use of 3D, or rather, the lack of it. There were so many opportunities presented to give a cool 3D experience, but they preferred making it 3D just for the namesake. This film can be seen in 2D with no shortcomings. The large part of the screen was mostly out of focus or rather shoddy on the big screen. There were a couple of imaginative shots by the cinematographer, but for the most part of it, the shots were ordinary. So goes for the edit. There were couple of scenes where you would wonder why the edit is bad.

Nothing special to expect even from the cast, though it is packed with power performers like Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton. Sigourney Weaver was just wasted away in an insignificant role, while Ben Kingsley was given a lot to talk , but not to act. Aaron Paul comes in a new avatar as Joshua.

For people who wants a story, well, as obvious as it is, there is nothing new in this flick about Moses. For those who see more than a story in a film, will get only as much as promised in the trailers. A movie that could be avoided if you feel like it.