Anand

I like movies.

I, myself, find it hard to believe this. Even though I say I like movies, it only applies to the new one. I do not watch any old movies. Old bollywood movies from the 70’s, 80’s and so on. I like old Hollywood movies.

Partiality is bad. Be it life or anything.

Anand is a movie by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. It has Rajesh Khanna & Amitabh Bachchan. This movie is about Anand, who has Lymphoma. His days are numbered. People grieve when they are faced with death, but An and accepts it with a laugh. The movie follows Anand as he lives his last days.

It was made in 1971. The prejudice with Bollywood is that its movies are largely sing song and tear-jerking drama. It is true if you look at it from afar. Come closer and do some work finding good movies. I was amazed by this movie. How well it has aged and how it is still contemporary in its themes.

Dialogues, screenplay and all the things related with this movie, they are something which should be felt with heart. I am sorry that I ignored these old movies for so long. And I am happy that I will be watching more old movies from now on.

Next movie I am going to watch is Pather Panchali.

Star Wars : The Last Jedi is a disappointment

I saw Star Wars 8 today. I liked some parts of it, and disliked some of it.

My main concern lies with the way the movie shows Luke Skywalker in his old days. He is old, bitter and full of regret. He is also a killer. He is radically different from the earlier Star Wars movies. I liked him.

Then there is Supreme Leader Snoke. Star Wars 7 had him as the mysterious bad guy. This movie kills him without any explanation.

Also, who is Rey? I know so far that she is a girl who can use Force. There have been two movies and yet there is no clear information about her and her backstory.

I cannot wrap my head around this movie. It is a good movie. It is a bad Star Wars Episode.

The Girl with All the Gifts – New Teachings

There are a number of limited things one can include with zombie movies before they get boring. Sure, there are zombies hungry for humans and brains and ‘the humans will go extinct if a cure isn’t introduced’ drama. That’s true for every movie with zombies in it. Needed are exceptions to rule. Zombieland and Shaun of the dead were such exceptions.

Enter ‘The Girl with All the Gifts.’

The movie starts with a kid counting from one to thirty. There is little to tell, except obvious things from hush and push that it’s a military base with kids. The kids are strapped to chairs and they are assembled in what appears to be a classroom. The teacher makes them remember things from the periodic table. Many kids fail here. But Melanie. She’s intelligent. Following events happens where the base is overrun by zombies and a group of survivors manages to get out.

The gifts Melanie has, this movie explores them. Writing them would be like writing spoilers. I’d refrain. There is a certain innocence to the character of Melanie. Her primary instincts make her dangerous to others, but she’s kind to Miss Justineau. It’s shown when she, unsuccessfully, tries to refrain herself from attacking her. She knows trying is futile, but she tries anyway. 

The aerial shots of a ravaged human world, they are beautiful. Beautiful in a sense that the aesthetics of theirs have been withdrawn and overrun by vegetation. They are not a tool to move the story forward, but rather distractions. This movie doesn’t concern itself with the world and its saving. It has a group and it’s focused on how each person is different in it. Survival is paramount for everyone. They want to live. But there’s more to them, like Dr. Caldwell wanting to make a vaccine and Melanie trying to interact with the newfoud world.

I liked this movie. For it has something exceptional for the zombie movies. 

Wild Tales – Wild

Take a normal thing. Shake it. Upside down. Sideways. Shake it till you are content. Now, what you have is the same thing, but twisted. 

Wild Tales is an Argentine-Spanish movie. It has six tales. Each one in its own setting and characters. Mine favorite is Pasternak.

These tales are wild for sure. But for them to be wild, they follow a safe path that never makes them ridiculous, saving them from absurdness at the same time. They have passion driven characters, who just let themselves go. Contemplation takes a backseat and its pure passion. The separate tales are like thoughts of an person who often wonders with what would happen situations. The comic element is one which is left for the viewer to find. 

I liked this movie. I found it hilarious. 

Moonrise Kingdom – Let’s Run

Monday is an odd day. People have work to do. I got none. So I watched a movie.

It’s Moonrise Kingdom. A movie by Wes Anderson.

It has a runtime of some 1 hour and 35 minutes. It runs fast when it has to, settling down once in a while to offer some humorous bits.

So, Sam and Suzy are two kids. Sam is an orphan and Suzy lives with a quirky family. They aren’t liked by anyone. Misunderstood kids. They meet at Church and become pen pal. They find comfort in letters and one day, they decide to run away. Then, the whole island searches for them with a storm looming over them.

It is told like a fairy tale. It settles itself to you, making sure you are at ease with its oddities and then, it presents subtle twists and turns. The dissatisfaction of adults with their lives while having the urge to run away, presents itself with the kids. The difference, the kids run away. Maybe it is deeply rooted in young ones that life is their play and they shouldn’t be afraid to grab it and shake it until it’s right, or atleast feels right.

Bareily ki Barfi

Romantic Bollywood movies have always been formulaic. A boy and a girl meets and fall in love. They want to marry but there is an obstacle, i.e. A mad parent or an ex-lover who finds rejection difficult. They make it difficult for the boy and the girl to be together. Until the biggest hero comes, the happy ending. Happy Ending is the real hero of a RB movie. It makes everything alright. I love a movie with a happy ending. And a RBM without one feels incomplete and false.

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Bitti Mishra is a carefree girl. She lives life. She watches English movies, dances, smokes. She does everything, the way she likes. Her parents wants her to marry. Men come to see her, but they reject her everytime, for some stupid reasons. It takes a toll. One night, she leaves her home. At railway station, she reads a book named Bareily ki Barfi. Intrigued, she returns home by morning. She is impressed with the book and wants to meet the writer. She googles the writer, to no avail. But she continues searching him, going the offline way. Her search for the writer leads her to Chirag. Chirag is the owner of the firm where the book was printed. This meet sets the arc following which the movie reveals itself with time.

This movie is set in a small town, Bareily. Bitti is a modern woman, but her parents aren’t. They are old people with old thoughts. They wants Bitti to marry. Pankaj Tiwari and Seema Pahwa, embodies these small nooks and prejudices carefully. They are open to their daughter smoking, but aren’t so when it comes to her marriage. They are loving parents, but some mild taunts are heard at times.

This movie is predictable at some occasions. The formula is evident. It’s not a bad thing. We love these movies for the same reason. There is a cliché with these movies where they dumb down emotions, ridiculously. The emotions are often reduced to their caricature. It isn’t so with this movie. The dialogues are crispy and play well with the screenplay.

I like this movie, a lot. The like is further strengthened with the fact that comedy acts aren’t just cheap humor but actual fun. It’s maybe a comedy of errors sometimes, but that’s just me trying to link random things.

P.S. Bitti’s father is played is Pankaj Tripathi.

Hindi Medium

Society is primitive aspect of humans living together in harmony. Time passed by, and divisions were created. Poor and rich. Middle class and upper class. Now there is upper-middle class and lower-middle class too, and I don’t know what they mean.

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A still from Hindi Medium. Taken from a random facebook page.

Raj Batra lives in Chandni Chowk, or Puraani Dilli. He leads a happy life. He has everything a common man yearns for; a car, a business and a happy family. A middle class man, he is happy with what he has and where he is. But his wife isn’t. She aspires to be like rich people. She wants to live their lives. To do that, they have got money. Maybe Raj is successful in his business. Two things remain. First is if they behave like rich folks. Second is if their kid goes to the same school the rich kids go to.

Hindi medium is a fine bollywood movies. It has got moments of comedy, drama and it has a happy ending.

Hindi Medium may seem like a movie with a message. It isn’t. It is a commentary on society and the hypocrisy of people. Irony with the movie is that it is hypocritical in its approach, as it stereotypes people, i.e. How the rich folks have their superiority and the poor people endure all and go on about their daily lives without complaining. Maybe a movie for majority. This movie picks up issues relevant with present. But it does so only for the sake of either mocking them or showing them with occasional hint of overdoing it. It raises questions which are relevant with today, but answers are left to the viewer as happy ending just serves as a happy ending, for the sake of watching a feel-good movie.

For all it is, it is an enjoyable bollywood movie.

Mirzya : pretentious

I watched Mirzya today, and I am late to the bashing party.

What is Mirzya?
It has been a hour since I walked out of auditorium and reached home, and it still puzzles me. Mirzya is much more than a bad movie, certain things make it measly tolerable.

The songs and the background music is good. Locations used in the film are picturesque. But this is where good things come to a screeching halt.

To start with, this movie, Supposedly inspired from Sahiba-Mirza story, a tragic romance of Punjab, tells two story. The one is of Mohnish and Suchita, two childhood friends, who separates due to some unfortunate events. The second is where some people are racing and practicing their archery skills, and they face fireballs and fireworks, where our hero, despite all odds, impresses the heroine.

The two tales, makes no sense. The actors are on screen, perhaps doing their acting. To be honest, they are just trying to bullshit their way through the film. All this on the name of a love story.

Points Where the Movie is Pointless
1. Kid Mohnish knocks down the Teacher, with a weapon he stole from Suchi’s home, mercilessly. He is barely twelve years old, yet he shows no emotion when he kills. How is this love? I’d have taken this, if Mohnish was a young adult. Fuck love, this kid needs a Psychologist.

2. Why are there so many people doing random things at random intervals?

3. The Prince shot down the horse, but spared Adil when he saw the big CGI Cat. And how Adil befriended the big CGI Cat, when he is wounded.

4. Why the lady, after he helps Suchi run, slits her wrists? I know there are hints of unrequited love, but cutting wrists, what is the point?

5. After Mohnish gunned down the teacher, Suchi is sent away. And when she comes back, it just takes a couple of horseride sessions and chitchat, most of chat done by Suchi, to make them fall in love again. Perhaps she remembered him and their young love, and how in their young love they came down from the top to bottom on cycle. That cycle ride must’ve been a exhilarating and elating experience, for she remembered it for their love.

This Movie is Poetic
It can be. Or it is just a excuse.

The songs, especially Nadi and Pyaar ke Teen Gawah, have imagery and lines which are poetic in expression. Add to it, the picturesque locations and the music, they make this movie tolerable. But this poetic illusion takes a backseat when the actors on screen do nonsense and their acts are stupid.

Little the movie has for real. A lot it has to seem pretentious.

X-Men : Apocalypse

The last time Bryan Singer tried his hands at a X-Men movie, the result, Days of Future Past, was well-received by critics and public alike.  Apocalypse follows the same route, though with some nitpicks. Between BvS and CA:CW, this movie felt lost between discussions and news.

Apocalypse introduces younger versions of original trilogy’s characters, namely Scott, Jean and Ororo. And it does so without any major hiccups, though Sophie Turner as Jean Grey felt odd at times. I blame my mind here, as every time I see her I think about Sansa getting superpowers, and also because Famke’s Jean is still the embodiment of Jean Grey in X-Men movies.

Bryan Singer listens to his audience and pays attention, it seems. One of the scenes that stood out in Days of Future Past was Quicksilver’s slow-motion scene, where he saved Logan, Magneto and Professor Xavier from bullets in Pentagon. Apocalypse builds up another scene of this variety, as Quicksilver saves people again. Bryan mentioned that this particular scene took one and a half month to get done. And by looking at the final product, I’d say that all the hard work paid handsomely, as you look at the screen and gasp in awe about how breathtakingly awesome this scene looks.

Days of Future Past rewrote past, so the future is different. The  questions Days of Future Past left, i.e. Logan’s fate and Mystique’s role in the future, Apocalypse answers them all.

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Captain America : Civil War

This is not a review. It can be my views. It can be things I want to tell people who listen. It can be anything, but it is not a review.

This year, two of the most anticipated superhero movies, BvS & CA:CW, happened. Films which have fan-favorite characters (read superheroes) and they are all set to answer the question which has been asked by everyone in their lifetime, who will win a fight between him & him; it seemed like a fanboy’s dream. A dream which turned into a nightmare with BvS. I had hoped CA:CW will follow the same path, taking Avengers 2 of previous year into consideration. But CA:CW proved me wrong. It addresses the faults BvS had, and saves the day.

Civil War As A Stand Alone Film
Civil War kick starts MCU’s 3rd phase with success. I’d reiterate it ; Civil War saves the day.

Tony Stark feels responsible for the lost lives, which happened directly or indirectly due to his actions. So he thinks that someone should be watching over them, Avengers, to make sure that a city doesn’t get destroyed again, including people in it. So he endorses the Sokovian Accords, accords by 117 countries to supervise Avengers and their actions. Captain Rogers, on the other side, thinks that these accords will severely limit their freedom and will make them more like puppets. That’s all fine, until Winter Soldier gatecrashes the party.

As a film, CW executes itself beautifully. The Russo brothers have done a better job with juggling with characters at their hands. CW introduces new characters like Black Panther and Spider Man to the MCU, and does this without missing a thing.

Sure, having so many characters, it was deemed as Avengers 2.5. But it is a Captain America movie, and it stays till the very end. It does give the breathing space to new characters which they need, but it is careful with this practice. They more or less play their part, but ultimately, Captain Rogers is the one who decides things.

The new and relatively young Spider Man, is new to MCU. While I think a few lines and scenes are not enough to form my opinion, but Spider Man does the work he was invited by Stark to do – shooting web and kicking ass. And he does it in an amazing way. Same is the case with Black Panther. Though I didn’t have any sort of introduction with the character before the movie, but the movie gives him his purpose.

Civil War vs BvS
Civil War, intentionally or not so, will sure make people compare it to BvS. The similarity between them is uncanny here, two heroes goes all out on each other. Whatever others say, I will choose Civil War over BvS any given day.

The problems which BvS had, CW addresses them. It introduces new characters, without feeling overstuffed at moments.

P.S. Kevin, it’s high time. Black Widow should have his solo film.