Thursday, September 11, 2008

Triple Treat

Prologue: We had to work on one of the weekends last month for a production run and were entitled to two days of compensatory off for the same. I decided to take this compensatory off yesterday and today.

I saw three movies back to back yesterday and had one of the most fun days of my life! I have never enjoyed going to the movies better…

The three chosen ones were Kung-Fu Panda, A Wednesday and Rock On. And here are my thoughts…

Kung-Fu Panda: ****

This is an animation film that I saw a tad late. It had been recommended by quite a few friends and yesterday I decided to honour those recommendations. And I wasn’t disappointed at all.

The film is set in China and revolves around the search for a Dragon Warrior. Po, the Panda is chosen by a wise old Kung Fu master by the name of Uguay but Po is everything a Kung-Fu warrior is not – fat, clumsy, sloppy and gluttonous. But he eventually manages to get trained in Kung-Fu and set out to fulfill his destiny as a dragon warrior. The key message of the movie is delivered through a Dragon Scroll – to be read only by the Dragon Warrior, but which turns out to be blank…there is no secret ingredient that makes any of us special except for the belief that we are special. I loved the way that was delivered.

The animation in the movie is good (as is the case with most animated movies from the West) and the parts involving the super-fast Kung-Fu moves have been done especially well. I just think that the protagonist Po could have been much cuter…he wasn’t Panda-level cute. I liked Uguay the turtle much better…old, wise and toothless J . He is who you need to listen to for all the gyaan that the film has to offer.

All in all, a fun movie with a nice story and a good message delivered effectively. Definitely recommended (for the late-lateefs like me).

A Wednesday: *****

I am not going to give out any parts of the movie save for the following facts:
  1. The movie is just 1 and ½ hours long.
  2. It is a must-watch for the stalwarts Naseeruddin Shah and Anupama Kher, both delivering delightful performances as always.
  3. Jimmy Shergill’s performance in this movie is much better than most of his others. Definitely worth watching out for.
  4. There will hardly be any point during the movie when you’ll not be at the edge of your seat in anticipation. Fast-paced…does not waste your time.
There are certain parts that dampen the overall movie a little like VJ Gaurav’s (over)acting and the oh-I-wish-I-could level technology that the Mumbai Police has been shown to use (I just refuse to believe that they will ever learn to operate the kind of equipment shown in the movie), but try and overlook that. It does not come in the way at all.

In a nutshell, go watch it. You will not regret it.

Rock On: *****

Yesterday was the second time I saw Rock On and loved it all over again! A movie about dreams, passions and living life to the fullest. A movie about music (and hence very close to my heart…I was ogling at the snazzy guitars and the funky rockstar gear half the time…this one totally pampers the rockstar in you). A movie about pursuing what you start and seeing it to the finish…about the consequences of having regrets. But on a higher level and from an angle I discovered yesterday, a movie about interpersonal relationships, the dynamics involved and about handling them gracefully. This movie is going right up there on the list of my favourites!

What I also enjoyed was the styling, the wardrobe. I appreciate good clothes, good styling and good grooming and this was part of why I liked the movie so much. My favourite character in this aspect was Aditya Shroff with his perfect power dressing. The character looks equally good when playing the rockstar but does not beat the investment banker in any way!

The debutants Farhan Akhtar and Prachi Desai are both going to do really well in my opinion. Farhan is now a complete package – a good director, a good actor and a decent singer. He is not drop-dead handsome but he acts very well. Every expression has been brought out so well by him vis-à-vis the scene when he meets his band-members again and goes to freshen up – the trembling hand and the furrowed forehead were perfect, the scene where his wife is made to sing a song – the indiscernible approval in his eyes which is soon replaced by love and adoration…very well done. If Indian cinema has reached a point where it can appreciate performance over looks, then Farhan definitely has it in him to give the likes of SRK (whoever made him a superstar…ugh!) some good competition.

Prachi for her part essays her role very well. She looks glam and has loads of grace. Her acting skills are unquestionable – no melodrama in the emotional scenes even though she comes from the K brigade…and thankfully no dubbing required. She is definitely here to stay. I just hope she keeps choosing the right kind of banners and stays up there.

The music is enjoyable too. If one keeps the lyrics aside, the concerts are so much fun to watch. And the guys have done their homework very well. Very realistic performances that leave you wanting for more.

The cinematography is another thing to watch out for with the people invited from the West to work on this one. The concert in the end is a delight in this respect.

Needless to say, my recommendation is strong for this one. A complete entertainer!

That was the Triple Treat Sundae of movies that I relished yesterday. The cherry on top came in with a visit to the Annual Landmark Sale! I was so excited I could have lost my mind (well whatever little of it is left) …some gems were up for grabs for the price of pebbles! And I picked up quite a few to add to my trasure trove.

Could think of only one song while riding back home…U2’s It’s A Beautiful Day!

5 Thinkers Pondered:

Philip said...

Boy, that must have been a fun day! I forgot the time I watched 3 movies back-to-back.

I've seen only Kung-Fu Panda among the 3 you mentioned and I loved it. Since you've given better rating to the other 2 I've to definitely see it.

Satish said...

Watching 3 back to back movies is quite a feat ( particularly 2 bollywood movies ). Rock On!! is in my To Watch List... Till another catchy tune hits the stands, i'll be humming

Meri Laundry ka ek bill, Ek adi padi Novel......
Ek ladki ka phone number, Mera kaam ka ek paper.....

Vinni said...

u are way too liberal with the ratings. but i feel kung fu panda should have got a 6/5. one point extra for jack black. just for him. and one point for the sexiness of angelina's voice! ;)

Anupama Kondayya said...

Hey Philip,

Thanks for stopping by again :) ...yeah Wednesday you should definitely watch...nice pace and pulse...

Hey Satish,

Na na na na na, Na na na na na :)

Vinni!

I like going to the movies and seldom do I completely hate a movie...the critics and the newspapers do their job of tightening the ropes...I'd rather cut these guys some slack and enjoy their work :)

ray said...

Hi ,

I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be very good.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘I Think ...Therefore I Am Anupama’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run www.rambhai.com where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)

Cheers,