Sairat Marathi Movie Review: The Birds of Bittergaon

Plot: Parshya (Akash Thosar) and Archie (Rinku Rajguru), two eighteen-year-olds in Bittergaon, fall in love.

Director: Nagraj Manjule

Writer: Nagraj and Bharat Manjule

 My brain balks at writing about Sairat. I’ve already watched a movie (the incredibly fun Mr. Right) and had a work discussion trying to save a failing idea, in attempts to find something else to do. Where does one even begin? I’m in danger of just writing “AAAAAAAA” and leaving it at that. That’s what my brain does when too many things rush into it at the same time, especially if the things rushing in are emotionally upsetting.Continue reading “Sairat Marathi Movie Review: The Birds of Bittergaon”

Ant-Man Movie Review: Aren’t we hip?

I find the new Batman movies pretty boring; it’s a sort of unleavened darkness that focuses on creating a sense of depth rather than ploughing into real depths. The new Ant-Man movie is its diametric opposite, irreverent and silly and not framed in any larger issues. That’s its own sort of bad, to be honest.

I was extremely happy with the first Iron Man movie, which was these things too. Since then, Marvel has taken over Hollywood; absorbing all sorts of people born to work in indie romcoms like Michael Vaughn and James Gunn and Marc Webb and… well, Paul Rudd, who plays ant-man. And with this has come the point that irreverence is no longer an interesting fact about a superhero movie, just a sheen of irony added so that the savvier among us may both disrespect it and enjoy the more standard pleasures of superhero movies — it’s yet another in a cynical array of tools that helps make the industry a bona fide industry.Continue reading Ant-Man Movie Review: Aren’t we hip?”

Bombay Velvet Movie Review: Ellipses and Environment

Delightful, completely irrelevant, note about circumstance: I went into this movie completely uninitiated; all I knew that there was a new Anurag Kashyap movie coming out some time around now, and that it had Karan Johar. The plan was concocted over drinks at Irish House in Kala Ghoda, and we went to Regal because it was the closest theatre whose prices didn’t leave the insides of our noses sore; for the longest time I was wondering where I had seen the intersection in the movie before. (If this doesn’t make sense to you, I suggest that you resist the urge to find out and let it hit you while watching the movie.)Continue reading Bombay Velvet Movie Review: Ellipses and Environment”

Piku Movie Review: “Bhaskar nahi, Bhaskor!”

Recently, I’ve been playing this game on facebook – in which I say my favourite thing about the people who ask me to. It is lovely, emotionally draining and cathartic. More relevantly, though, it has become a parade of me asking myself, why am I sad I’m not this person? Why can I not even conceivably be this person? And that is usually my favourite thing about that person; this is not an accident – Elementary‘s Sherlock Holmes agrees with me:

one of the things I’ve gained from our collaboration is a working definition of the word “friendship.” Friendship, I’ve come to believe, is most accurately defined as two people moving towards the best aspects of one another.

Not long after I played this game (well, began playing this game; I still have two people left), I was watching Shoojit Sircar and Juhi Chaturvedi’s Piku.Continue reading Piku Movie Review: “Bhaskar nahi, Bhaskor!””

Interstellar (2014) Movie Review: “Gracious.” “No, But Efficient.”

Interstellar_ALT_ArtowrkReportedly, Christopher Nolan walked up to composer Hans Zimmer and gave him a really short story about a father leaving his son for some unspecified reason. Hans Zimmer wrote something in a day, and that’s the music Nolan used for Interstellar, an epic about humanity looking for an extraterrestrial home because of the impending death of the earth and a dad being forced to leave his daughter by his sense of duty. I found this out after the end of the film, and the whole movie I was thinking that it was being made significantly more awesome by the music. There’s nothing better for a movie about space exploration as a lethal taskmaster as well as the frontier of human knowledge than a melancholy and poignant score as opposed to the deep bass thrums Zimmer usually puts in Nolan’s movies.Continue reading “Interstellar (2014) Movie Review: “Gracious.” “No, But Efficient.””

Sin City 2 (2014) Movie Review: In Which Joseph Gordon-Levitt Smells too Nice

I strongly believe that sequels of genre movies are best reviewed by people who appreciate the original, and ar not dumbfounded by the existence of a sequel in the first place. This is because every movie has its particular charms, and sequels prefer to dig themselves deeper into the pleasure-niche so as to attract the audience it already attracted, except more strongly. Sometimes it works, and you have Pirates of the Carribean: At World’s End, clearly the best movie in the trilogy and also the most hated by critics who didn’t think very highly of the first two. Other times, not so much, and you have The Dark Knight Rises, widely agreed among fans of The Dark Knight to be a horrible waste of potential, whereas every writer I read who didn’t like TDK thought this was significantly better. So, the question is, am I the right reviewer for Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For?Continue reading “Sin City 2 (2014) Movie Review: In Which Joseph Gordon-Levitt Smells too Nice”

The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014) Movie Review: Food is Memories

Plot: The Kadam family of restaurateurs (endearingly patriarched by Om Puri) moves to a little village in France  and set up shop right across the road (“it’s a hundred feet, we measured!”) from a single Michelin star-toting restaurant owned by the ‘rarely seen to be in sympathy with anyone’ Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). Hijinks and romances ensue; really, use your imagination. Includes a nubile sous-chef (Charlotte Le Bon) who teaches the young Indian son (Manish Dayal) French cooking in the first steps of his ascent to glory (as defined by the third Michelin star).Continue reading “The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014) Movie Review: Food is Memories”

La Jetée (The Jetty) (1962) Movie Review- “Nothing sorts out Memories from Ordinary Moments”

Beginning no 1: There was this woman I’d been flirting with and after lunch our group had to split up, me going somewhere and she somewhere else. Right after we said our good byes, I turned to my friend and said to him, “That smile, dude, that smile. That’s the dream.”

Okay, I didn’t tell him that. But, looking back at that short time, other things come to mind too if I look hard enough, but it is this and two or three other moments that jump to mind. One of the questions La Jetée asks is, what if these were all there was to life? Or more precisely: how much of life do these form, and in what sorts of non-constituent ways do they affect your life?Continue reading “La Jetée (The Jetty) (1962) Movie Review- “Nothing sorts out Memories from Ordinary Moments””

Hotel Rwanda Movie Review: One Man Can Change The World

As a race, we are more scared by human fears than atrocities to humans. The latter, after a while, just disaffects us, or like a reporter in Hotel Rwanda says, “They’ll watch it, say, ‘Oh! That’s horrible,’ and continue with their dinners.” It is exactly this reaction that director Terry George is trying to keep us from, by focusing on a hotel manager (the real life Paul Rusesabagina, played by Don Cheadle) and his efforts to protect his family and over a thousand other ‘Tutsis’, who have taken refuge at his hotel.Continue reading “Hotel Rwanda Movie Review: One Man Can Change The World”