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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Reel Reviews: Vishal Bhardwaj's Shakespearian Trilogy; Omkara (2006)

Magneto's Movies

Reel Reviews Omkara

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj

Cast: Ajay Devgan as Omkara 'Omi' Shukla, Saif Ali Khan as Ishwar 'Langda' Tyagi, Kareena Kapoor as Dolly Mishra, Deepak Dobriyal as Rajan 'Rajju' Tiwari, Vivek Oberoi as Keshav 'Kesu' Upadhyaya, Konkona Sen Sharma as Indu Tyagi with Bipasha Basu as Billo Chamanbahar and Naseeruddin Shah as Bhaisaab

Genre: Crime/Drama

Score: 9.0/10

Pros:-The film revels in Othello's tragedy encompassing it with intriguing racial, criminal and political commentary of the Hinterlands

          -Themes of loyalty, jealousy, love and psychology invade the script giving it a sense of purpose and depth to the tragic plot

          -Tone of the screenplay is kept to point, never meandering into any melancholy or melodrama. Drama is restrained in the film even in a tense climax 

          -A much more faithful adaptation with only few changes that add extra levels to characters including a Richard III like Iago and Dolly-Omkara's impending marriage adding tension to the film

          -The dialogues are so immersed in the locales it feels like they're felt rather than just written

          -Characters are complex and engaging while adapted perfectly. Standout ideas being race considering caste for Omkara (Othello) and the puppeteer stirring emotions and the motion of the plot in the form of Langda (Iago)

          -Action is shot with dynamic brilliance capturing the grit of the situation. The camera works itself through the setting divulging its murkiness and base color palette with the cinematography juxtaposing darks and lights for important sub text. Shots also pay attention to the claustrophobia of situations.

          -The editing is crisp as it adds a sense of tension to the slow burning drama

          -Bhardwaj well understands the lingo and customs of his setting while molding it into the prowess of Shakespeare's written word. He also extracts surprising performances from all of his cast

          -The whole cast is sublime. Dobriyal leaves a lasting impression with the way he handles the heartbreak and slyness of his character. Oberoi emotionally tugs at you heart with his bad boy attitude and moments of emotional outburst. Sharma starts of slowly building to something remarkable with he striking delivery but more importantly her grasp of emotions on hand

          -Kareena Kapoor exudes the ethereal beauty of a character reflecting it with an innocence and purity captured through her expressions

          -Devgan is stellar as the hard hitting brooding protagonists. He mines the depth of the last few minutes with inspiring turn of emotions while keeping in check the earlier characteristics.

          -But the show is stolen by Saif Ali Khan. From the first scene all we can see is Langda Tyagi, it's a testament to his skill that he takes something unusual to him and turns it into a performance that is equally chilling as it is pitiable as he uses his chameleon like ability to drive the plot forward. His chemisty with Dobriyal, heck with everyone, heck all the male men's chemistries are brilliant.

          -The score has a methodological omnipresence through out the film. Capturing both moments of gleeful romance and tense mind game and psychological breakdowns

          -Despite being item filled, songs carry context of their own in terms of both revealing character and back story

Cons:-The writers don't convincingly portray certain plot points. The film meanders yet never develops the idea of why Dolly loves Omkara or why Omkara is susceptible to Langda's words since it jumps a tab bit with that

           -The films focus on Langda leaves the other characters far underdeveloped 

           -The commentary regarding crime politics and Omkara's caste issues are just scratched on the surface

           -Bhardwaj indulges himself in the world, especially with his music

           -The score takes time to get going, initially being too much masala. Despite great meaning, the songs in the film could have been reduced by one or two. 

Best Scene: Langda deep in regret and anger over Omkara choosing Kesu, smashes his head on his mirror and spreads his blood on his head in a manner as selecting himself as general, a hollow fantasy but the signs to comes of the monster Langda will become

Best Performance: Saif Ali Khan as Ishwar 'Langda' Tyagi 

Best Dialogue: 'Bewakoof aur chutiye mein dhaage bhar ka farak hota haiga bhaiya. Dhage ke ingay bewakoof aur ungay, chutiya. Aur jo dhaaga kheeche lo, to kaund haiga bewakoof aur kaund hai chutiya, carod rupiye ka prasan hai bhaiya.'-Langda Tyagi

(A thin line (or thread) separates the fool from the dumbass. On one end of the line lies the fool and on the other, the dumbass. Upon snapping the line it's a million dollar question as to who's the fool and who's the dumbass, brother.)

The second of the Shakespeare trilogy by Vishal Bhardwaj; the tragedy of Othello 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Reel Reviews: Vishal Bhardwaj's Shakespearian Trilogy; Maqbool (2003)

Magneto's Movies

Reel Reviews

Movie: Maqbool

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj

Cast: Irrfan Khan as Miyan Maqbool, Tabu as Nimmi, Pankaj Kapur as Jahangir Khan/Abbaji, Piyush Mishra as Kaka, Ankur Vikal as Riyaz Boti, Ajay Gehi as Guddu, Masumeh Makhija as Sameera Khan, Shammi Narang as Mr. Bhosle with Naseeruddin Shah as Inspector Purohit and Om Puri as Inspector Pandit

Genre: Crime/Drama

Score: 9.0/10

Pros:-A near perfect brooding look into Shakespeare's tragic Macbeth with dominating themes of sin, lust, greed, power and family
          -The dialogues are well engaged in the culture of the characters and the sub text of the meanings of each plot point and motivations
          -Bhardwaj and Tyrewala make commendable changes to the play that help add depth and weight to the film plot. The change of Nimmi (Lady Macbeth) being Abbaji's (Duncan) mistress gives way for more layers to characters
          -As equal as Macbeth, Maqbool is unsatisfied with his impotency and is a character eventually arrogant but drowned by his guilt. The complexities create for a compelling arc.
          -Lady Macbeth is equally well adapted into Nimmi. The extension of Abbaji's role allows him to be a much more fleshed out character than Duncan as a ruthless and respected man that helps juxtapose between him and Maqbool
          -Bhardwaj adapts the play into a criminal element with gutso. He adds his own commentary through the relations of his characters and the changes to their stances from a female Malcolm to a feisty Fleance and two cops for the Witches
          -The camera dives into the darkness of the world but more importantly its protagonists actions. It works best when tying itself to the riveting pace of Maqbool's guilty conscious.  
          -Irrfan Khan is sensational as Maqbool, capturing his insecurities and his prowess with aplomb. He works his eyes magnificently in the damning moments of silence. Tabu matches him as she revels in Nimmi's sexuality, seductiveness, evil and wrenches your heart with her deep despair, regret and eventual madness. Their chemistry is electric.
          -The showstopper though is Pankaj Kapur. With more time in his hands, he presents the aura that drives Abbaji to be the central figure of pursuit and respect in this game. He has a brilliant command over the language and a skillful delivery.
          -The supporting cast is mostly effective especially Shah, Mishra and Puri
          -The score equally chilling as it is thrilling, while profoundly conveying the dread in both the loud moments with drums and the silences
          -Music is well versed in the cultural origins and the backgrounds of its characters...                             
Cons:-While it adapts its source perfectly in the second half, the setup has been so brilliant that the film sinks once Kapur is off screen. This is due to the unraveling of the play rather than the other actors
           -The crime and political element have trappings of clich├ęs due to the commentary the writers try to make   
           -The film runs overlong and could have done with some better editing to bring a certain dynamic to sparklingly written and visualized scenes while cutting parts that disrupt the flow.
           -Masume is too over the top with her expressions and really takes you out of certain scenes where we are to sympathize with her plight where as Gehi despite given the scope with Fleance lacks in matching the intensity necessary
           -...yet none of the songs are particularly memorable and some are clearly unnecessary to the situation

Best Scene: Maqbool carries out his plan to murder Abbaji amidst his breaking mind and ominous weather. Killing Abbaji, he sees his former father figure die while staring at him as an accusation towards Maqbool, of his crimes

Best Performance: Pankaj Kapur as Jahangir Khan/Abbaji

Best Dialogue: 'Aag ke liye paani ka dar bane rehna chahiye'-Purohit and Pandit, (The fear of water must always be there for the fire)

Here's my first review for Vishal Bhardwaj's sensational Shakespeare trilogy, this his adaptation of the tragedy of Macbeth

Monday, 6 October 2014

Boringness, Business...Overall Laziness! My Decision on the CBM Awards

Not Going to Finish These Posts


I'm not going to make excuses about how hard it is, how excrutiatingly slow my internet is or the fact that in the long run what I do wont really matter for me or any of you. 

So I've made the decision on the Underdog Awards. I am going to go ahead and add all the comic book movies to the list of nominees and see where they end up. 

Screw these weird CBM awards which take a heavy chunk of my time because I have to make these bad videos. I don't have the patience or the interest to work on something I'm not interested in. 

So there will be no Wham! Bam! Pow! CBM awards. I don't even know why I'm bothered to give an excuse for this, maybe cause I feel guilty on abandoning this despite it being just a silly blog post to waste my time. 

So enjoy and don't worry, come the Underdog awards, I'll have the motivation to complete them. 

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia    

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Wham! Bam! Pow! Comic Book Movie Awards 2014 Part 2

Wham! Bam! Pow!

Comic Book Movie Awards 2014

Welcome Back!

In a year, not only are there comic book movies released to big fanfare, but there are also many interesting movies set towards appealing to the masses through the geek culture they've caught fire from. 

Such films are what the next award is about. The funny thing about this years entries are, that the geek movies haven't got as much traction as they should have considering how awesome they were. So remember these five movies will be contending in major Underdog Award categories, that's a guarantee. 

*Note: From now on the awards sections will have a nomination video, only the winner will get a description as to why they won (me and my laziness)*

And the winner is...

With themes of family, nature vs. nurture and ideologies about humanity. This sci-fi sequel to a prequel, has become the second best film of the whole franchise.

Dawn goes deep into capturing what makes the Planet of the Apes series compelling; the Apes and the main human at its core. In this case that human or humanity is Caesar, the leader of the Apes. The characters struggle to keep everyone together in peace and prove his leadership forms a powerful arc for the film, and is reminiscent of the kind of resolve and fortitude Mahatma Gandhi had.

At the head of this all is a scintillating cast bolstered by the leadership of one Andy Serkis. Seriously Academy give this man an Oscar already. 

Friday, 3 October 2014

Wham! Bam! Pow! Comic Book Movie Awards 2014 Part 1

Wham! Bam! Pow!

Comic Book Movie Awards 2014

Welcome to the first ever Wham! Bam! Pow! Comic Book Movie Awards!

As I told you in my previous post, this one's an award for the big summer films that just might not make it into my Underdog list because they're not small films and also have great critical acclaim. So let's see what will happen early next year when the Underdog Awards play. For now though we have these awards to satisfy my blogging needs.

So let's just get to it with the awards. The first award of the day is...

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

WHAM! BAM! POW! Comic Book Movie Awards 2014


Comic Book Movie Award 2014 Edition

This year produced some of the best comic book movies of all time. 3 of the 4 superhero movies released gained traction as the best of their respective franchises, genres or comic book styled films.

Where Winter Soldier crawled into becoming Marvels sequel best and an enticing change for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then X-Men DOFP was a game changer for not only its franchise but in my books the CBM genre as a whole thanks to its time travel elements.

On the other hand Amazing Spider-Man 2 caused bad remarks amongst fans, but nobody can deny it produced the most heartfelt death in superhero cinematic history. Then finally Guardians of The Galaxy proved that Marvel Studios can do no wrong.

Overall it's been a heck of a time for CBM's this year despite the duds in between (TMNT, Sin City 2). This of course creates a huge dilemma for me. It's important for my upcoming Underdog Awards that I start watching the small indie movies from now, noting their prowess in terms of how amazing they are and how ignored they've been.

So the question remains whether I might want to add the comic book movies to this years awards to the nominee lists, like I did with my what if post. That post included CBM's of all natures, allowing wins for comic book movies like Ghost World, Road to Perdition, American Splendor, A History of Violence, V For Vendetta and Dark Knight to win big.

The question however remains whether those films can be considered Underdog in nature, simply because they've accumulated not only tons of wealth but immense critical acclaim as a cherry on top.

Then again this year quite a few geek movies didn't get the attention they deserved in some aspects. An example would be the acting of Andy Serkis but more importantly Toby Kebbell in Dawn of The Planet of the Apes, which many are touting should get Serkis an Oscar (I say throw in Kebbell to, for his stellar turn as Koba).

So for now what I decided is that I will give you a whole new set of awards, cause at this point I couldn't be bothered to blog about anything else (I just love having award shows...hehehe). Basically an awards for comic book movies for this year, yeah I know Big Hero 6 is yet to come out but I couldn't wait for that long. Anyways Big Hero 6 might just get an animation nod at the Oscars so it's okay.

By the end of the year and the start of next, I'll be able to decide whether it's worth putting these films into the Underdog awards as well depending on whether they actually make it into the nominations. Though geek movies will definitely be there.

Oh yeah and the next rule will be that like with the Underdog awards each award is on a separate post (for more views) and the awards itself will be starting from this Sunday onwards. I want to see if I can make like a nomination videos thing for each nominee.

Speaking of nominees, below is the full list of awards and nominations. 

Wham Bam Pow Award for Best Film
Wham Bam Pow Award for Best Director
Guardians of The Galaxy
Bryan Singer for X-Men: Days of Future Past
Anthony and Joe Russo for Captain America: The Winter Soldier
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Bong Joon Ho for Snowpiercer
Amazing Spider-Man 2
James Gunn for Guardians of The Galaxy
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Mark Webb for Amazing Spider-Man 2
Wham Bam Pow Award for Powerful Protagonist
Wham Bam Pow Award for Amazing Antagonist
Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine for X-Men: DOFP
Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborne/Goblin for Amazing Spider-Man 2
Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique for X-Men: DOFP
Sebastian Stan as James Buchanan 'Bucky' Barnes/The Winter Soldier for Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America for Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Ed Harris as Wilford for Snowpiercer
Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord for Guardians of The Galaxy
Eva Green as Artemisia for 300: Rise of The Empire
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow for Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Michael Fassbender as Erik Lensherr/Magneto for X-Men: DOFP
Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man for Amazing Spider-Man 2
Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Electro for Amazing Spider-Man 2
James McAvoy as Charles Xavier/Professor X for X-Men: DOFP
Eva Green as Ava Lord for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Chris Evans as Curtis Everett for Snowpiercer
Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce for Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy for Amazing Spider-Man 2
Tilda Swinton as Mason for Snowpiercer
Bradley Cooper as Rocket for Guardians of The Galaxy
Karen Gillan as Nebula for Guardians of The Galaxy
Wham Bam Pow Award for Super Sidekick
Wham Bam Pow Award for Terrific Team
Jamie Bell as Edgar for Snowpiercer
Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon for Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Evan Peters as Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver for X-Men: DOFP
Guardians of The Galaxy
Dave Bautista as Drax for Guardians of The Galaxy
Captain America and His Kooky Quintet
Song Kang-Ho as Namgoong Minsu for Snowpiercer
The Tail Section
Vin Diesel as Groot for Guardians of The Galaxy
Wham Bam Pow Award for Best Screenplay
Wham Bam Pow Award for Dynamic Dialogue
Frank Miller for Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
'No Future' X-Men: Days of Future Past
Simon Kinsberg for X-Men: Days of Future Past
'Groot' Guardians of The Galaxy
Christopher Markus and Stepher McFeely for Captain America: The Winter Soldier
'Best Girl' Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Bong Joon-Ho and Kelly Masterson for Snowpiercer
'Revelations' Snowpiercer
James Gunn and Nicole Perlman for Guardians of The Galaxy
'End of The Line' Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Wham Bam Pow Award for Super Fight Scene
Wham Bam Pow Award for Awesome Character Moment
'Blood Sisters' Guardians of The Galaxy
'Bucky' Captain America: The Winter Soldier
'Escalation in the Escalator' Captain America: The Winter Soldier
'Being a Villain, Being A Leader' Snowpiercer
'Into Darkness' Snowpiercer
'Choose Your Path' X-Men: Days of Future Past
'Electric Showdown at Times Square' Amazing Spider-Man 2
'In The Astral Plane' X-Men: Days of Future Past
'Ultimate Fighting' Captain America: The Winter Soldier
'Doing What's Right' Snowpiercer
'Sentinel Hunt' X-Men: Days of Future Past
'Hope for the Future' Amazing Spider-Man 2
'Friends in Arms' Captain America: The Winter Soldier
'Protect Them' X-Men: Days of Future Past
'Incy Wincy Spider' Amazing Spider-Man 2
'With You Till The End of The Line' Captain America: The Winter Soldier
'Assassin Hunts' Snowpiercer
'Owe Me A Dance' Captain America: The Winter Soldier
'The Arm vs. The Shield' Captain America: The Winter Soldier
'For Old Times Sake' X-Men Days of Future Past
Wham Bam Pow Award for Laugh Out Loud Moment
Wham Bam Pow Award for Tearjerker Moment
'On Your Left' Captain America: The Winter Soldier
'A Strand of Web' Amazing Spider-Man 2
'12% of A Plan' Guardians of The Galaxy
'We Are Groot' Guardians of The Galaxy
'Dance-Off' Guardians of The Galaxy
'Peggy's Problem' Captain America: The Winter Soldier
'Escape from Kyln' Guardians of The Galaxy
'Old Class Reunites' X-Men: Days of Future Past
'Time in A Bottle' X-Men: Days of Future Past
'Quill's last letter' Guardians of The Galaxy
Wham Bam Pow Award for Tantalizing Tease
Wham Bam Pow Award for Exciting Future CBM
'Sinister Six' Amazing Spider-Man 2
Age of Ultron
'Age of Miracles' Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of Justice
'My Mom Knew Someone Like That' X-Men: Days of Future Past
'Not Terran' Guardians of The Galaxy
Guardians Again
'En-Sabah-Nur' X-Men: Days of Future Past
Hunt for Winter Soldier
Wham Bam Pow Award for Epic Set Piece
Wham Bam Pow Award for Best Geek Movie
'Sentinel Hunt' X-Men: Days of Future Past
Lego Movie
'Engine Blowout' Snowpiercer
'Bad Ass MuthaF*' Captain America: The Winter Soldier
'Quicksilver Heist' X-Men: Days of Future Past
Dawn of The Planet of The Apes
'Price of Freedom' Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Edge of Tomorrow

So don't forget to tune in for the awards.

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia  

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Curious Case of Hindi Film Awards

The Curious Case of Hindi Bollywood Film Awards

A Prelude to The HIndie Awards

The road to or the Awards season itself is upon us. The Oscars are coming up next year and it's a race between the fall releases this time round to see who makes the cut to win big gold at every major function.

Now as we all know, the Oscars aren't perfect. Some would argue that they don't choose the best of the best of the year, but rather the best of the ones they like under their strict and snobbish judgment. The Academy Awards are by no means based on merit.

But for many an Indians they are held in high regard, even though our films rarely make it to the foreign category (the last time it was Lagaan in 2002). Now let's face it, degrade us for our love or reverence for the Oscars all you want, but when you see the kind of hackneyed award functions we have you would understand. 

And this is why Hindi Cinema isn't taken an serious award function, you have two of the current biggest stars cross dressing for some bad humor

For Hindi cinema, the awards season means just having these award functions hosted by not a body of film academics but rather media houses and big companies looking to churn profits of their TRP's. The only film award worth looking at are the National Awards and that too only on occasion.

Mainstream awards might avoid the American counterpart of annoying campaigning but they're close to the notion of politicking and that too on a whole other level. There's no denying that awards are bought.

Heck every new year, not only are they bought but made. Weird things such as Best Marketed film to Best Superstar who can't act to save his life are awarded to some of the worst hacks in Indian cinema. It's basically a shameless way to pat each other on the back.

Despite a few mistakes and misjudgments, 2012 and 2011 actually had the best Indian awards seasons giving it mostly to the right people and choices. Then last year (well we remember what happened last year) these awards go back to pandering to the superstars and the big buck people nominating the likes of Dhoom 3, Krrish 3 and Chennai Express over the BA Pass, Shahid's and Looteras of this world.

From 2011 to 2012 Ranbir Kapoor (Rockstar and Barfi) and Vidya Balan (Dirty Picture and Kahaani) deserving won the awards amidst the people they were nominated against

I don't need to rant long you see, it's a known fact and around the internet that these Awards just don't matter. So I'm personally going to do the same thing I did with Underdog Awards and make a Hindi version of it; called the Hindie Awards.

Now while it will officially start from next year, I'd like to give due to the films from bygone years or just the prior decade with a what if styled revisit of these awards. So be prepared for my post on the HIndie Awards for the year 2012 (2013 was already done here). Do remember that for 2012 and 2011 my nominees and maybe even winners will be close to the awards I'm hating on (hypocrisy but because those two years, the awards people somehow just got it right).    

PS: Watch out for a lengthier examination on Hindi Film Awards and how that can be solved

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia