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DOR October 29, 2006

Posted by Priyanka Varma in LAN.
3 comments

How far would you go for love?

Nagesh Kukunoor comes with another movie DOR with this unique theme after Hyderabad Blues and Iqbal. Iqbal, his last movie, focused on the politics in sports, the movie DOR focuses on love,loss, friendship and hope.

DOR is a tale of two women from two different worlds – Zeenat(Gul Panag) who depicts an independent and determined woman while Meera(Ayesha Takia) plays an innocent woman who has to follow the strict traditions of a Rajput household. The story is strung in such a way that Zeenat has to make a journey from Himachal Pradesh to Rajasthan in search of Meera to save her love and a strong bond of friendship develops between them.

A wonderful performance by Ayesha Takia. If you have watched her earlier roles, you would be surprised by her acting especially the scene where she opens her husband’s suitcase when it is delivered to her after his death.Gul Panag’s performance is equally good , even though her character is shown mentally and emotionally strong and is less challenging in terms of acting. Not to forget Iqbal..Yes Shreyas Talpade is also in the movie as a funny “behrupiya”. He introduces an element of fun and humour in the movie after Gul Panag meets him on her way to find Meera.

The theme is depicted in an uncomplicated, sensible manner without much glamour but some scenes in the movie like Talpade’s drunken confession of love to Gul Panag and Kukunoor’s appearance as an engineer who is attracted towards Ayesha Takia are somewhat not needed in the movie.

To conclude the movie’s theme is well depicted but is targeted to the niche audience. As the movie is sans glamour, dance numbers, melodrama it would not be appealing to the masses .

Wasabi October 28, 2006

Posted by ujj in action, LAN, Mood: WTF, Reviews.
3 comments

Wasabi is a spicy member of the cabbage family. It is used in frito lays or consumed justWasabi ! spicy mustard like like that as a hot salad. Why this particular french film is called Wasabi is unexplained. Like a tossed salad Wasabi (the film) has a lot of ingredients like a big built no shit taking T shirt wearing French policeman recovering from lost love and hangover, Japanese gangwars with guns and no kung-fu, a japanese girl who meets her french father after 17 years whose mother has recently died of .. yes .. cancer. Like all tossed salads the color of each ingredient stands out and looks (tastes) better with each other only. The genre is somewhere between pre 80’s action, when the hero had to be a close cousin of hercules, and present day comedy with a lot of saracasm and spoofs. A french kick-ass policeman is given an unsolicited break from work. He receives a phone call informing about the death of his girl friend, who he hasnt seen since the last 19 years. He leaves to attend her last rites in Japan where he meets his 17 yr old daughter. He suspects fowl play in the death of her mother and discovers her 200 m$ bank account and then we have a mystery on our hands, though not of the best ones.
The humour is way too cool and so is the action which is a little too much at times. Jean Rean (Captain Bezu Fache in Da-Vinci Code) suits the french policeman role perfectly his strong built makes up for his stupid expresssions and at time lack of them. One of my favorite scenes is the way he rotates a revolver on his middle finger like a cowboy, believe me that revolver keps rotating for almost 10 seconds, whoevers done it deserves more than what Jean got for the whole film. Jean’s is an old time friend in Japan is a person who loves to go back to the old times and is over eager to kick some ass, brings rocket launchers and hand grenades when Jean asks for a handgun. During a small 3 minute completely unimportant scene Jean and his friend have Wasabi which Jean instantly falls in love with and that friend of his doesnt take too kindly, thats the only mention of Wasabi in the film. Superb watch for action film and wasabi lovers, though theres not too much wasabi in wasabi afterall.

DON October 27, 2006

Posted by Calvin in Reviews.
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Somehow when you watch a film which is classified as ‘bad timepass’ by a few of your friends and you pay a 100 bucks for it… You always manage to have mixed feelings. You desparately want it to be worth every dime you spent on it and there is always that review at the back of your mind.

Farhan Akhtar is a decent film-maker. He has got spunk and probably to a certain extent even the creditability to pull-off a few off-beat but interesting story lines! DCH is a youth flick but at the end of the day its a got a distinct style… Let’s just say that its copyright Farhan Akhtar.

People didn’t particularly enjoy Lakshya but then again, looking at the film you can say once again that its got a distinct approach… towards the confusion of a young mind and his search for a purpose in life. Well you see patterns in both these films… music is relatively popular, cinematography is good and yes, dialogues are all spoken with quite an interesting mix of background music with brief moments of absolutely no music whatsoever.

But when it comes to his third film, I start with the utmost respect to the guy for picking up a movie close to the heart of millions of Indians who love Amitabh Bachchan. It’s a calculated risk. People will definitely give the film a shot but then people will also know what to expect. If you can’t match up, your film is doomed on the box-office.

Perhaps it didn’t match up to many expectations but then when it came to my expectations, I would rather say the film managed to surprise me. We all know the storyline so there is no point telling you who’s who of DON. The point is that in spite of everything being quite obvious and sticking to the scheme of the original film… This one has style, it has spunk, it has Mission Impossible and Matrix written all over it (that’s why a few people absolutely hate it!).

Despite hoping to see a tall angry young man playing the drug-lord of Malaysia… when you watch a sweet chocolate boy with a distinct hair style saying… “DON ko pakdhna mushkil hi nahi, namumkin hai!” You don’t seem to enjoy our hero’s metrosexuality!

What made me enjoy the film the most, was of course, the background score… nothing has changed in all these years… Kalyanji and Anandji made one of the coolest background scores for DON. I liked the fact that Shankar, Ehsan, Loy have just borrowed the score with more or less no tweaks whatsoever.

The camerawork is brilliant, in fact, at times I found a few ideas quite innovative. Reference to shot where DON and Roma are not killed by DCP DeSilva because our dear DON has some serious good information for him or the whole sky diving thing with two people and a single parachute! Even the cuts are interesting and somehow remind you of Guy Ritchie and Lock, Stock and two Smoking Barrels or Snatch.

It’s got flow, its gripping … it even manages to fascinate you with a few extremely stupid shots. Reference to Jasjit taking his kid across the narrow path between Petronas Twin Towers.

But all in all, the acting is decent! Direction manages to capture the feel of a DON who is being chased by the police of 11 nations. Kareena manages to show a little more legs than Helen. And Shahrukh as Vijay seemed convincing but not with the paan. The songs inspired from the original film are quite good, but the one track of Ganesh Puja was quite boring.

And at the end of the film, you understand why is this man the best among the international syndicate of drug dealers. Why you can’t mess with him and of course, why it is impossible to catch him?

In fact, I would say that we have all seen a decent noir film (that too, Indian for that matter!) and a good action film after quite some time. I would just like to borrow a line from the review that I read in IMDB about DON (the Original)… though it applies to this movie perfectly as well.

The movie manages to straddle that fine line between inspiration and
idiocy where you find the rarest of substances – pure entertainment.

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the Thing October 26, 2006

Posted by ujj in horror, LAN, Mood: Thrill me, sci-fi.
2 comments

Unlike other sci-fi horror films that try to stimulate you by using frightful slimy, large clawed, multilegged predatory creatures, the Thing actually scares you by using the impostrous alien that can take the shape and form of any living object it comes in contact with, so in reality it scares the shit out of you using living creatures you see around you. Metaphorically this is more thrilling as in the film none of the characters can be assumed to be any way less dangerous than the other, not even a ski-dog!
A group of scientists in Antartica is confronting a strange organism of alien origin that can imitate any living thing that comes in its proximity. The Alien cells of the imitated body so formed remain active even when it is killed, that is the dead bodies are not really dead. This discovery starts a paranoia in the group as everyone alive is a possible alien in human form. The only way to prevent this spread is to burn the tissues and hence every one suspected to be an alien has to be burnt alive!
Though some of the copy book horror scenes like an alien strangulating a dog with its tounge are there, the Thing has some really creepy kick-ass stuff like an alien organism coming out of a human by splitting his face and then eating another human, really unique I must say. If you liked Ridley Scotts Alien, youll cherish this one, better sets and the use of icy environment of Antartica and ..ahem.. has a story too  🙂

A Walk To Remember October 25, 2006

Posted by haxx in LAN, love stories, Mood: sweet.
2 comments

 

Love is like wind. You can’t see it but you can feel it.

 When it comes to the “Teenage Love” as the subject of art, Music explored it and presented it in a far more elegant manner than movie. Most of the teen movies are about lust, erotica and fun. They are enjoyable in their own manner but the love side of a Teen is something which is conspicuous yet seldom taken up by movie. However, all the right ingredients make “A walk to remember” a perfect movie about teenage love in a world that isn’t always perfect.

A Walk To Remember is a tale of a romance between two opposites; Landon played by (Shane West) and Jamie played by (Mandy Moore). Landon Carter (Shane West) is a big name in the school in-crowd – an aimless, moody, troublemaker who breezes through school making the most of his popularity. One night, he dares a boy to jump into a reservoir in order to join his gang. When the prank goes wrong with the boy ending up in hospital, Landon is given community service to do – he is assigned to tutor disadvantaged students on the weekends and to participate in the Drama Club’s spring play. This throws him together with Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), a girl who he has known all his life but ignored.

Serious, conservative, and daughter of the town’s church minister, Jamie (Moore) is as far from cool as she can possibly be, and doesn’t care – she knows where she is going and what she wants to do with her life. Struggling with the lines of the school play, Landon is forced to ask Jamie for help. In spending time together, Landon learns to worry less about what others think of him and more about doing what he feels is right. The two become friends and a relationship develops. However, Jamie has a very big secret she must keep from Landon – one that will get in the way of their romance and destroy their future together.

The “cool kid meets misfit and falls in love” story has been done many times, but this is a fine example of the genre. Both West and Moore produce likeable characters with depth. They also make the most of the script, which has a twist or two which makes it stand out from the crowd. Starting out as a lightweight teen movie, it develops into a fine right-of-passage fable which is surprisingly worthwhile.

 

As a maturing male, I couldn’t help but cry inside. As teens we all had crush on someone. However, this movie shows all the emotions and the bonding you would have missed while in college. I found myself wishing I were either Landon or Jamie, because they represent the real virtues of life and love. This isn’t your typical love story, because when it comes down to it, the love is only part of the whole scheme. While I never expected this to touch me so much, AWTR enters as perhaps one of my favorite movies . You will feel as if you’re a part of the movie, you will be able to relate to them, and you will love it. AWTR succeeds in delivering a great experience.

WATER by Deepa Mehta October 24, 2006

Posted by Priyanka Varma in LAN, Mood: serious.
2 comments

Water – The third film of the elemental trilogy after Fire and Earth by Deepa Mehta. Like the two movies this also delves into the social traditions of the Indian society.
Set in 1938, it says about the plight of the widows in the city of Varanasi. The movie starts with an 8-year-old girl Chuhiya(played by a Sri Lankan girl) getting widowed.Her wedding bracelets are struck, her head is shaved and her parents leave her in “widows house” in Varanasi. After this the movie is basically the experiences seen through her eyes. The women, of all ages, in the ashram are draped in white with shaven heads forced to spend an ascetic life. Chuhiya meets several elderly women, including the fat, domineering ashram head Madhumati;a beautiful young woman Kalyani(Lisa Ray) and a quiet,thoughtful, religious woman Shakuntala(Seema Biswas).Yes its the same Seema Biswas of the Bandit Queen. Kalyani, who is allowed to have long hair, is a source of income for the ashram as she is sent as a prostitute across the river Ganges.
The movie has its part of humour, dance and music when Kalyani and Chuhiya dance around the room during the rain showers, celebration of Holi in the ashram or the romance between Narayan(John Abraham) and Kalyani. Narayan is a foreign-educated follower of Gandhi who falls in love with Kalyani but their love doesn’t have a happy ending as Kalyani suicides drowning in the Ganges when she realizes that it was Narayan’s father where she was forced to visit as a prostitute.
The actors from the little Chuhiya to the old Madhumati are most accomplished,but the essence of the story is Seema Biswas.She is a woman who has faith in the old traditions but has tremendous inner strength and conviction. We can see in her eyes when her life is changed and challenged by Chuhiya and the prostitue. Although she has been ostracized as a widow, she desires to initiate a change. She has hope for the future which brings the movie to an end.
Apart from the good performances, the movie has a witty dialogue, a nice serene music and the beautiful cinematography.

Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak October 23, 2006

Posted by ujj in LAN, love stories, Mood: sweet, Reviews.
1 comment so far

I wanted to watch QSQT since I heard a senior sing Mazaa aa raha.. kasam se ! as a freshman, shed sung it beautifully and got me all nostalgic about a film I saw ten years back so when I got the opportunity to watch this film again yesterday night (or today morning if you may), after ten years I took it with all limbs. Hate to use the cliched fifth standard essay statement but Ive seen many love stories but this is my favorite. Beautiful music, traditional rivalry between two families, mature people in puppy love, elopement and a romeo juliet end, what more could one ask in one film. The families dont accept the love between Amir Khan and Juhi Chawla but they arent too particularly keen to get their love sanctioned by their parents and so they run away to some place and stay in some barely standing brick structure, which incidentally is close to a pond so that they dont have any water problems. Raj (Amir Khan) prepares a make-shift roof and volla ! they are living happily but soon to be found by the Gundas (ugly looking , strong built, underpaid extras) deputed to look for them, they are found and in some strange consequences Rashmi is shot dead. Raj then kills himself.
Perfect ending, I would say. I hope I havent spoiled your fun by telling you the ending but believe me there after the interval there was never any doubt that this wouldnt happen 😉
Its good to go back a few decades to see old love stories. They are a much better commentary about those times than the films we have are of our times. We are trying to show open relationships when dreaming about marrying a southie girl for a northie guy is like dreaming about a body massage by Madonna … uhmm just not gonna happen man 😦

This film was a lot truer in that sense, actually telling what you face when you take that bold/rash/wonderful(!) step, but honestly music is great, Anand-Milind rocked or should I say ska’d and picturization of some songs are absolutely terrific. Good watch for nothing_to_do_evenings with friends.

Invasion of the body snatchers October 23, 2006

Posted by ujj in LAN, Mood: Thrill me, Reviews, sci-fi.
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Paranoia.!. run for your lives..

the pods are coming.. no one is safe..!!

One of the early films about alien invasion, it is by far one of most fast paced tense black & white films I have seen till date. A doctor finds several patients complaining of not recognising their near ones claiming them to be imposters. As the number of such people increases, he assumes it to be mass hysteria but as he finds a corpse in his friends house, his view of the situation begins to change. He realizes that some of his friends and him are the few remaining humans in the town. Others have been replaced by identical organisms of outer space that are born out of some large pods. He and his friends have to run for their lives to survive ans slowly everyone except the doctor are left. The doctor somehow escapes to the city and finds trucks loaded with these pods, he tries to tell the authorities about it who not suprisingly take him to be a lunatic. Something happens though, that makes the authorities believe hima and take evasive action.
The film is based on the idea of the dangerous communism coming to raid the streets of America after the WW-II. The undertones of “no ones safe” are barely suppressed and brings back memories of the weeding out of traitors by Senator McCarthy. A must watch for sci-fi lovers. For a 1956 film, it is way too fast and action packed.

Pet Sematary October 23, 2006

Posted by ujj in horror, LAN, Mood: Thrill me, Reviews.
5 comments

I know its been a while but we’ve done some work too. Our very own LAN crossed the 12 Terabyte mark a few days back and we realized that have so many films to watch and such a short 4 year campus life to live, some of us from now on have taken up the duty to write about every film we see (which, if I may be allowed to say, would be many). IPet Sematary recently watched Pet Sematary.

It Starts with the original Zee horror show background music (strange co-incidence). A typical Stephen King shocker with a little more shock than I was used to. Creed family moves to a new town along a highway which is regularly alive by the passing huge gas trucks. Their roaring will not be the only problem for the family. Near their house is a broken path that leads to a pet cemetary where broken hearted children bury their pets. The family has a pet cat which dies apparently being hit by a speeding truck. The pet is burried in a strange ground beyond the pet cemetary and heres where ‘it’ begins. The strange burrial ground was where the Micmac Indians burried their dead. Writing what happens next would be spoiling the fun of goosebumps.
The filming is superb and without the use of creepy background music, the environment it sets is a not_watch_alone one. The use of the friendly ghost Pax-cow is brilliant. The film has some memorable dialogues like “the heart of the man is stonier” and the image of Zelda a girl suffering from spinal meningites is very disturbing. The end though becomes a little too predictable, but a wonderfully scary watch nonetheless.

If you’r a horror fan you might also wanna try out The Shinning also by Staney Kubrick based on the novel of the same name by King. It has the kubricks characteristic loud and long music with amazing use of silence to create a chilly environment. Though pet sematary is a better and more complicated story, Shining is a far better film. Jack Nicholsan is brilliant and the story explains itself in the last few minutes of the film which just comes as a bang. To know more about horror films try our horror tag.