Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Happening.

Watched this with the office team on friday at Sathyam.

Premise of the movie : suddenly everything comes to a standstill and leads to mass suicides and incoherent behaviour. The suicide scenes were really terrifying.

There is a science teacher Mark Wahlberg and his estranged(maybe even slightly deranged) wife their friend and his daughter who are evacuating and moving to another city…on the way the figure out what was construed to be a terrorist attack is not one actually.

This happens due to chemical reactions between plants and trees and grass(and yes things green) like they are protesting about something or so. And this happens to large gathering and large groups. While the hero figures out that they need to break into smaller groups this works, hmmmm. There are a lot of subtle messages about nurturing trees(perhaps a save the world, make it green message) , one of the characters actually talks to plants. Taking cue the hero talks too..only to a plastic plant.

The end where they get into the strange house and a strange woman, whose house’s acoustics actually supports hearing the underground to the house opposite which was built for slaves, the relevance of which was kinda lost on me

There are various theories on the net on what the story means..some bizarre and some about life and how we are always afraid of something and running away from it….

The version we watched in chennai was a VERY poor one. IT had MIKES in the scene..such poor edition only caused our interest to be diminished from the movie while the whole theatre laughed everytime the mike showed almost became comical. It being an M Night Syamalan movie I thot this would be kind of clue and there would be some deeper meaning a la Sixth. Quite disappointing.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dasavatharam review

Watched Dasavatharam along with my family in Mumbai at Growel Kandivli. Good thing was tickets were easily available, bad news small crowd so not much whistling etc during the “punch” dialogue/scenes etc.

As a family we are grudging Kamal Fans, meaning, his personal life and image that at times overrides our views on him as an actor. I haven’t seen too many of his movies, but the recent past have liked him in the roles that seem slightly more believable and closer to truth. Such as Panchatantram, Vettaiyaddu Villaiyaddu, even Pammal K Samandam, and ofcourse his old one Michael Madan kamarajan. Who can forget Kameshwara and his Tirpu dialogues-iconic movie that took the Talayalam(Pallakad Tamil Malayalam) dialect that we spoke to an audience. Anyway, so I am no gushing Kamal fan, just a viewer and here are my thots on Dasavatharam…

From the beginning I kind of thot it would be related to the mythology and modern day avatars..Not that far from my expectation. Story starts with 12th Century Chozha kingdom. The King is Shaivete(worshipper of Shiva) and is doing away with the IDOL of Vishnu in the temple which the Vaishnavites who look on haplessly. Kamal as Rangarajan Nambi fights with the kings men, is tortured and tied to “stake” and thereon drowned along with the idol. The Sets and the grandeur itself will take your breath away.

The next scene is modern day NASA(I think) or some American lab wherein BIO Chemicals are being researched for chemical warfare. Corrupt scientists want to “sell” this to other nations. Our hero, escapes with the vial and the chase begins. SO many twists, turns and super chases. We also have a few miraculous escapes like hero jumping off a cliff, bridge etc and still falling on a truck, laundry clothes etc etc..Who is chasing him ? An ex CIA who has moved to the dark side..Yes he has been employed to find the vial.

Throw in Malika Sherawat. The comment that she is in the movie for any other reason that she is in other movies is un called for. In fact she is slim trim and really looks like she could kill with some KILL BILL moves. The dialogue where they are looking at her as an interpreter and the Indian scientist says” She’s a pro” and Christian Fletcher(the CIA Kamal character) says” That ok. But can she speak English” was thankfully lost on the audience!

Kamal plays a number of roles right from Balaram Naidu(the Telugu government officer), the posture, the way he speaks /stands is very very authentic. Rangarajan Nambi looked really good-like he could kill for god and what he stood for..

Krishnaveni Patti talks like most of our paatties, cuss words like Brahmahatti, kattelaporavaney, etc actually make her so endearing..the voice tone just sounds like an old woman. Brilliant.
My own favorite was Vincent Boovaragan, while I could figure out if the dialect was Malayalam, I was informed its very Tuticorin Tirunelveli coastal dialect..he was my hero. Whatta guy.

The Last scene wherein Krishnaveni Patti laments her lost son with the dead Vincent Boovaragan on her lap, sends gooseflesh. So touching.

Govind the central protagonist scientist etc, could have avoided the road kill kind of wig he is wearing in the beginning of the movie. Why ? Kamal looks so much better if he looked like himself(say in the last song)

The Tall Character Khali(am yet to know what his role was) other than some more screen time for Kamal. Or the Sardar character who actually resembled Gulshan Grover. And the Narasahi Shengen character didn’t look like Kamal, but why was he in the movie other than just announcing TSUNAMEEEEEE.

Fletchers make up at times resembled Jay Leno. Bush was a super effort for someone like Kamal who bears no resemblance to someone like bush..simply super.

Asin, well she should FIRE her dubbing artist. The screechy perumaley could have shattered glass. Acting wise, she has made an earnest effort as an agraharam girl.

TSUNAMI ?oh my did they even shoot this scene ? it was super..Yes I have seen movies like water world etc, but at the point of sounding a bit condescending, I didn’t expect a tamil movie to actually try and capture something like this in its magnitude with the complexity of characters..simply a marvel.

As for Chaos theory and Butterfly effect(which I must confess I had not heard of, until I read the review) this blog link summarises it well.