Wednesday, June 17

The Good the Bad and the Ugly . Just Good .

There are two kinds of people in this world my friend , those who like western movies and those who don't .The movie is for both !

The plot of the movie is no new.Hunt for the hidden treasure , by  the trio, the good , the bad and the ugly splendidly portrayed by Clint Eastwood , Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleee in respective order.That's all to be said about it.Seriously.

For all people born in 80's and grew-up watching Rajini  movies (No wonder,you have to) and irrationally influenced by that style of his , I swear to God you'll like Clint Eastwood .Instantly , like I was.Everything he does in the movie is a statement in style : the way he removes the gun ,the way he triggers and the way he puts it back in the holster.Some man once jocularly cited Clint Eastwood as saying he has only two kind of face expressions ; one with a cigar and one without it .True mate .He has done , the smoking of those cigars to the extend that still some uninitiated people is of the belief  that Eastwood is the Malboro Man. Being the quick-witted of the three , Eastwood completely outsmarts others. He talks very less and less.Does more and more and total dialogue he speaks out in the movie could well be down to one single A4 sheet.Am being serious here.

Good : Thenavettu ; Ugly : Thiruttu-muzhi ; Bad: Yaara kavukkalam

The Ugly , Tuco portrayed by Eli Wallach needs a special mention because he proves to be the humorous part of this not-DieHard-style action plot. Tuco carries the screenplay along with him . Has an amazing accent throughout the movie and this particularly 'When you have to shoot , shoot don talk ...!' is marvelous.At some places one couldn't help but start thinking Tuco face(#Tucoface) could've been a sensation like Ponting's .

When you have to shoot , shoot . Don talk  !

And most of you wouldn't believe if i say this is a dubbed movie originally released in land of Italy (as "il bruno il brutto il cattivo" ) Their accent is completely on par with the English western movies though at places Clint Eastwood tries to hide his inability to deliver some dialogues :-).

I like Eastwood .I love Tuco . Enough Said . 

Gethu . Gethu . Gethu .

Sergio Leone is the one who oddly tries his hand at the offbeat western movies rather than normal movies . He has to his credit some more great western classics including "Once upon a time in the west" , "For a few dollars more" and "A Fist full of dollars". I would personally recommend the first one , Once upon ... .His association with Clint Eastwood is known to everyone .If not for this  Eastwood's association with Leone , the world would have never seen Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby. And Eastwood would  have never seen those Oscars.

Ennio Moricone , considered to be one of the best composers all time has composed the sound track for the movie .The sound track of the movie is the best in this genre ,and of my all time favorite, and this has been inspired (what a good word for "plagiarism") a hell a lot of Tamil music composers . It reflects the plot of the movie . It mirrors the persona of the lead actors . I would say Ennio morricone is a tailor-made composer for Sergio Leone . Though many consider 'The Ecstasy of Gold' score be the best , I personally feel this is the best .The BGM at some scenes stands out to an extent that you feel it's "out of the world" , especially the one at the  famous climax with a gun in their hands and each standing at the vertices of a Triangle .A complete Masterpiece in its own right.

And the movie could have been cut short ,but excepting for the civil war scenes at the end of the movie .This is unnecessary addition to movie's plot which is not-so-fast but moves at a moderate pace . This could be irksome as these scenes comes at time when you are waiting for the movie to get over.

Last note ,

And God said let there be gun and there was Clint Eastwood .

Thursday, May 14

Geethanjali--Idhayathai Thirudathey - It Stole My Heart


Here , I write about this movie not because its too good but Tamil Audience (read as My Friends )didn't give the respect it's due. Knowing them for many a years I expected a good review on This. All in vain. This is the same movie telecast every fortnight (or more frequently) in RajTv. (No friend mine or me either will watch Raj,unless you are so confident that you are watching a tamil movie. They have this worst habit of picking a random Telugu movie (Something like Idhudhanda Police) and dubbing them in Tamil for in need of some viewership.I too had the same feeling when I saw this for the First time . I have been wrong , as always .

Recently , when transferring movies from a Madharaaj's hard disk I ran into this movie, and thanked God.Rub aside the thoughts that this is dubbed movie and when you know this to be a Manirathnam Rom movie cinematographed by PCS and scored by IR ,You'll watch this movie , let alone like it . This Heroine's physical & mental display will convince you .If not you must be not be straight-minded. A quick Wiki research informed that this is inspired from an English movie called “Young die first“(don’t  again search for that movie I've done that to death ) , based on the storyline that both hero and heroine knows that they are going to die ., but plan to live happily. Ironically , yes they do.

Plot (Full Spoiler) : The hero has an incurable disease and is about to die soon . Knowing this, the hero cant stay at home with his ever-worrying Parents. He wants to enjoy the last days of his life  in a solitary confinement and goes Ooty , where she meets the Geetha with same issues . Yes, she is about to die in weeks.Amused by the heroines penchant for life despite knowing she is going to die makes hero more confident, butterfly flies, Love started .What happens when they both reach the advanced stages of their disease is the rest of the story .The movie ends not with a tragic note  heavy melodrama is assured .
Though the screenplay demands a great deal of poignancy , the Director has managed to handle the movie with soft comedy till the later part of second half.The dialogues in the movie are just Manirathnam Range , should I say . It is too short and so sweet . My Favorite sequence goes below , 
 “ Har pal yahan jeebar jeeyo jo he sama kal ho na ho" ; C'est La Vie

Cinematography done by P.C .Sriram , If not for him who else in India can command the sunlight to his orders. PCS Handled the cameras meticulously keeping in view of the picturesque locations of Ooty. But he has gone overboard at some places and "Sachin Effect" (Put smoke in Coimbatore Airport)is quite inevitable.

People wouldn't need a degree in Sound Engineering to figure out the significance of BGM in a Romantic -Senti movie. IR can handle this in a better way than any other person in this Country. So When Manirathnam combines with IR, what is done is Magic and  what you get is a Masterpiece. (Last time this happened in Mounaragam . That says it all ) . Music here is so flawless that you wouldn’t notice a separate Bgm is being played in the background , it merges so well with the movie and the spectacular visuals of ooty .The Title score is too good and reminisces me of Mounaragam's .In Spb , O Papa Laali (Telugu ) is soothing in its own sense.  
Songs were never outta place and completes sync's with the movie.And the ever-occupant rain song is given to the Heroine's debutante . And again Mounaragam dejavu . Given the fact that this is one of the earlier movies of Nagarjuna , this performance cant be matched.

Revati-esque Performance


Of all the things stated above one thing that stands  out tall above others is Girija 's  Performance .She is so cute as Revathi and  as fresh as Sridevi . I may hyperbole , but this girl is worth  all of it . This is one helluva  a performance from a debut actor.In this role ,She had outclassed everyone  but Revathi who till date is the perfect archetype for this-kinda role.
                                     All said and done I think Manirathnam is responsible for all these things to work out properly . He has the ability to extract the best of every person he works with .

This is a great movie and I recommend you to watch this movie once. I'm not responsible for you giving this a second chance :-) 



Saturday, March 21

Cinema Paradiso -- A Nostalgic journey down the lane

It is not often that you chance upon a film so touching that you are convinced that it has leapt straight out of the director’s heart. With Cinema Paradiso, Giuseppe Tornatore, the director, has done just that. Following along the lines of classic Italian movies like the Bicycle Thief, The Good , the Bad and the Ugly and Life is beautiful, this one is also considered to be one the best Italian movies made so far . Tornatore, to his credit, has won a heap of nominations and awards including two BAFTA's , one for Cinema Paradiso and another one for the critically acclaimed Malena . Cinema Paradiso even went on to win the Academy award for the Best Foreign-language film in the year 1988 .

If you are a movie buff with a passion for great cinema you will love Cinema Paradiso. The movie tells the saga of a lasting friendship between a small boy (Salvotre) and an older man (Alfredo). This movie is a tribute to the golden age of cinema, a time when there were no multiplexes, a time when people had never heard of DVDs, a time when an afternoon at the theatre was a magical experience. Nostalgia creeps in, as we watch the sheer joy theatres brought to the people, who, forgetting about all their worries, came there to be enchanted by the magical world of motion pictures.

The plot of the movie is centred around the strong bond between boy and man. As a young kid, Salvatore becomes increasingly immersed in the magic of cinema shown in the Paradiso theatre, sometimes, even going so far that he tries to steal money to watch movies (of course, he ends up getting caught by his mother during the course of the movie ). Alfredo , his friend works as a projector operator in the Paradiso theatre teaching him the nuances of the art of operating the projector. Salvatore learns this and other important lessons in life from his friend, Alfredo, which come to his aid, when it is his turn to stand up and face the challenges life throws up.

The real beauty of the fim is in the little things, that make a smile appear on one’s face involuntarily. Throughout the film, three different actors play Salvotre; as a child, as a teenager and as a young man. But it is Cascio as the child Salvotre, who scores among the three. The sheer innocence of his angelic face makes you smile. Alfredo , portrayed by Phillipe Noiret is the heart and soul of the movie .He has lived the character, rather than playing one .

One could not help but wonder how the same Ennio Morricone whose scores for western flicks like Once upon a time in the west (click here for theme), The Good , the Bad and the Ugly (click here for theme ), is stuff of legend, has created such soulful music for this slow poignant tale. The music goes to your heart and carries the movie forward with a grace so endearing, that it stays with you long after the movie has ended.

It would be an injustice not to call this movie, one of the greatest ever made. Movies of this genre are so hard to comeby, that when one such movie comes along, you can’t resist falling in love with it...!