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A good year January 8, 2007

Posted by ujj in LAN, love stories, Mood: Need 2 laugh, Mood: sweet, Reviews.
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After having seen the big preview of a good year on Zee Studio lately, I couldnt resist the temptation of watching it and I was not surprised that it was upto my expectations. Though I was sceptical if Ridley Scott, the maker of the first Alien in 1979, could deliver a good love story drama, I was keen to see the duo of Ridley Scott and Russel Crowe in a completely different genre from the Gladiator, and if that wasnt enough, this was Russel Crowe’s next film after the Cinderella Man, the one film I will take the copy of with me to my grave, so in short, I had enough fire in me to be the couch potato for this one. The drop dead crazy gorgeous Marion Cotillard who played Josephine in the Big Fish plays Fanny Chenal (a french women) in this film.

Marion Cottilard and Russel Crowe in A good year (2006).

Max Skinner (Crowe) is a big fish in the trading market has recently discovered that his uncle has left him a chateau and a vineyard in France. In his own words he has grand memories of that place. He goes to his childhood home and plans on selling it. A rather funny encounter with Fanny sets his love hormones working. Fanny runs a small restaurant and it is here Max first asks her out. Things begin to change, an unknown and unheard of relative of Max uncles makes an entry, the caretaker of the vineyard pleads to Max for not selling the vineyard and Fanny falls in love with Max. Now Max has to chose between his life and his career. Ill save the suspense, he choses life, but how he discoveres what life is, is something you should see. Together with the love story, theres enough that goes in the life of other characters, something which we dont see in all love stories.

There are some really witty and memorable dialogues. Fanny on being disturbed by Max in her restaurant says

I am too busy to ignore you.

.. remember this is France, the customer is always wrong.

When young Max and his uncle are playing chess and Max cheats on him. Max’s uncle says to the young Max.

Max, have I told you, why I enjoy making wine so much?

Max replies

You dont make the wine, uncle Henry, that guy Russel does.

Uncle

Youve started to sound like a communist, Max, in France its always the landowner who makes the wine. ..Now then, I enjoy making wine because this sublime nectar, is quite simply incapable of lying.. all the planting, the fermenting, its nothing more than the art of bottling truth.

Its very much like a Bollywood love story filled with background music and coincidences but let me assure you much less melodramatic. Excellent watch for all.

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The Big Lebowski November 4, 2006

Posted by ujj in LAN, Mood: Need 2 laugh, Reviews.
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Believe me all “The Dudes” wanna watch this. Our big Lebowski is the most eligible dude to ever hit the big screen. Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, the big lebowski is a ..funny.. hilarious.. fall back laughing and break your butt film. Completely different from the earlier works of Coen bros that includes film noir dramas like Fargo . The Dude with Walter and DonnieJeff Bridges plays the dude or the unemployed, bowling, broke, Mr Lebowski. He is mistaken by some men to be some other Mr Lebowski of the same town who happens to be a millionaire. These folks urinate on the dudes rug which in the words of the Dude “really held the room together”. The dude’s friend Walter hates nihilists, its not what he and his freinds fought in the Nam (Vietnam) for. He wants the Dude to get the rug compensated by the real Mr Lebowski and so the Dude tries but finds himself stuck in something thats worse than losing a rug that really held his room together. Just have a look at the screenshot (The Dude on the left), does he look like someone who will let his rug be pissed upon becaue of mistaken identity?

Its like a week in the life of a man who hardly has the time to care about anything other than his drink. Careless, lazy, dumb, bum, lousy undermine his personality, you can do justice to it only by referring him as the Dude, not a dude but The Dude. The Dude infact does not mind being called dude or His Dudeness or El Duderino but hates being called Mr Lebowski or Sir. Theres one instance when hes being interrogated by the real Mr Lebowski about some task that he entrust upon him, the way The Dude replies to his questions reminds me of all those times in college when you want to speak for long but dont have enough to day. He blathers for five minutes when actually he just wants to say that he has some information and “new shit has come to light”. People enjoy watching it, people like me feel like were watching our own stories and how deplorable our life seems to us, but then were justy dudes, Jeff is the Dude.

Jeff Bridges is more known for the film Fearless, a film about a near death experience of a person in a plain crash. A completely diagonal role to the Dude. I wont blather about it any further, Fearless deserves a dedicated review.

KANK August 14, 2006

Posted by ujj in Mood: Need 2 laugh, Reviews.
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KANKed

New York Times’ Neil Genzlinger found Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna “surprisingly engaging ” and says

A French version would have a lot more sex and cigarette smoking. An American one would probably end with a letter opener in someone’s back.

He says some shots are longer than necessary but the presence of deliciously watchable actors (used in common gender) makes you stick to your chair. Theres a lot of song and dance and no doubts that Karan wanted it to be larger than life, something like Casablanca or Gone with the wind. You can read the article here .

Kamla Bhatt writes about the various reviews of KANK here.

My own reviews would come as soon as the film makes it entry into the campus, which I assume would take some time.