This post has been caged in the 'drafts' folder forever now. Finally I am letting it free with a compromise that I won't be able to discuss each of these movies in detail. That is because of my laziness and also because I don't remember all that I wanted to write initially. Most of the stuff which I write in my posts reviewing movies are thoughts that come in my head while coming back from the movie theater. I try wording the beginning and the end of the post and the points to highlight in between. It has become a habit now. I did that each of the time I went for a movie in the last one month but those lines died in my head eventually. But since movies are what I eat and drink, I am trying to fish out some of those thoughts (for the betterment of humanity) and posting them in this long-ish post.
I would not have seen Shyam Benegal's 'Well Done Abba' if I wasn't emotionally blackmailed by a friend last friday. And I am glad I did. It is a very simple story of a common man who falls prey to bureaucracy and how he fights back with the same system almost lawfully and gets the 'well' and the 'well-done'. The interesting point is that the movie is in the form of story-telling and in the end it is unclear whether the events actually took place or were figment of the man's imagination to get his job back. Nevertheless, it is a well made movie with Boman Irani and Minnisha Lamba being the main cast. It was a refreshing change to hear the protagonists speaking hyderabadi urdu. . And the irritating part was the guaranteed dose of overacting from Boman Irani (not the main protagonist but his twin brother). A nice watchable movie.
Another movie which I had initially decided not to watch because of negative reviews I got from those around me was 'LSD'. This one is yet another experiment with movie-making in recent times which I liked. Almost all the characters and the situations seemed real. The really tough part while making this movie would have been the camera movements. It is easier to keep the camera steady and shoot than to use weird angles of shooting apparently from hidden cameras from broaches to bags to lockets. There are several scenes in the movie which moved me. One of those being the shock with which Rashmi speaks about her friend's death. The camera in this scene is stationed behind her and at no point can we see her face. The expression in her voice was sufficient to give me goose bumps. And I liked the way the 3 stories were intertwined. In each of the stories the perspective with which we see all the other characters is different as is the camera angle. Amazing.
The Band's Visit
"Once not long ago a small Egyptian police band arrived in Israel. Not many remember this...it wasn't that important."
One of the many reasons why I consider myself privileged to be working at this institute is because of the kind of exposure we get here in the field of Science as well as Art. Bikur Ha-Tizmoret or The Band's Visit was screened here last saturday. It's one of the best movies I have ever seen. The strength of this kind of cinema lies in the fact that human emotions know no boundaries of countries, continents or languages. The movie tells us the story of an Egyptian Police Band that is compelled to spend a night at Bet Hatikva, a small town in Israel, while they were actually supposed to go to Petah Tikvah, a different town. Each of the band members spend the night in a different manner talking to or spending time with the friendly and some not so friendly locals. Nothing extraordinary happens, which is the way life is. The band members take a leave the next morning leaving memories behind and carrying some, without any promises to return. Sweet and sad. :(
Ismat Aapa Ke Naam
After months of reading the name of this play in the newspapers, finally I got to watch it at the institute itself on the occasion of International Women's Day. The play comprised of 3 different stories written by Ismat Chughtai, Amar bel, Nanhi ki Naani and Do Haath. Each of the stories were enacted by 3 different actors in an interesting way of story-telling, where the story is read as it is with the single actor enacting the parts of all the characters and being the narrator in between. Listening to Urdu is such a treat. I hardly get to hear or read it now. I would like to improve my urdu someday by reading more classic literature. Don't know when it's going to happen though.
Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge
This is the worse movie I saw in recent times and it will be waste of time and space if I write more about it. I went to watch this one for two simple reasons, Konkona Sen-Sharma and caramel popcorn. At least I enjoyed the 10 minutes while I was munching the corn.
I would have completely missed this movie if it wasn't screened at the institute itself. Lovely movie which narrates the incidents which preceded the making of first Hindi Talkie "Raja Harishchandra". At least now people will recognize the contribution of Dada Sahab Phalke to the Indian Film Industry. If it wasn't him then anybody else would have achieved the same. But that person, not necessarily, would have had the same passion for cinema and entertaining the masses as Dhundiraj Govind Phalke.
It's Complicated is a funny movie where a remarried ex-husband has an affair with his estranged-yet-single wife. Nothing great about it apart from a few laughs at some really funny incidences. The not so funny truth was that the husband managed to cheat on both his wives with them being oblivious to it. Men!!!!
Karthik Calling Karthik
This one disappointed me to a great degree. May be I was expecting a lot from this Farhan Akhtar starrer (I still love him though). But the last 30 minutes or so were complete 'paisa vasool' for me. I was using my head to crack the mystery all through the first half and when it was revealed.... I felt like "Aha...!" There were some other scenes in the movie which I liked a lot but I can't remember now. One of them was the super-romantic setting of their first coffee date. I would be thrilled if somebody does that to me (take the hint, guys!!!). :)
But after that kind of a first date please don't come and tell me that you talk to yourself over the phone every morning. That will be spooky!
Up In the Air
I really liked this one. Honestly I have started getting attracted to grey-haired men. George Clooney is HOT. I loved his character Ryan Bingham who apart from firing people also lectures them on how to travel-light. At one point of time he meets a woman who seems like him and makes him stray from his principle of living life without any kind of attachment or commitment. But things turn out to be different in her case. And life gets back to normal for Mr Bingham once again.
I got reminded of how much I love travelling by train. And I don't know the words travel-light. My pillow, bed sheets, book, diary, and million other things find a place (or adjust) in my baggage. When I am traveling I consider that seat as my temporary home and in order to enjoy every bit of my journey I keep all these things handy. I would have killed Mr. Bingham if he threw my pillow in the dust bin as in the movie.
With this I end this post. Phew!!!