Saturday, June 30, 2012



Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Chris Zylka
Director: Marc Webb

I am a great fan of super-heroes from Marvel Comics, so how could I miss this one? I have seen all three of Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman films and loved each one of them. Venkat was also interested and this time it was Vignesh, Venkat and me at the Imax Adlabs on the day of release. Incidentally, when I came out of the theatre at 11.15 pm, I caught Sonam Kapoor and a few of her friends waiting to go for the next show.


The film begins with the Parker couple handing over their young son to his uncle and aunt - Ben (Martin Sheen) and May Parker (Sally Field). Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) grows up clueless as to why he had been abandoned by his parents. He does not have a lot of confidence and is often bullied by his schoolmates. He happens upon a briefcase with his father’s name on it. His life changes forever after that.

Peter goes to meet Dr. Curtis Connors (Rhys Ifans) who used to work with his father. He is bitten by a spider at Dr. Connors lab. Peter becomes Spider-man and inadvertently hands over the formula to Dr. Connors that converts him into The Lizard. The Lizard becomes a terrible danger and it’s up to The Amazing Spider-man to save the world.


I did wonder the need to begin the Spiderman series all over again as we already have the ones with Tobey Maguire starring in them. But I suppose the character is so fascinating and Marc Webb had a different take on it. Webb is his surname – what a coincidence!

I remember seeing Andrew Garfield in The Social Network where he plays Jesse Eisenberg’s partner Eduardo. He plays an amazing and realistic Spiderman, yeah, even better than Tobey Maguire. The comparison is automatic and cannot be helped. The story line is a bit different and maybe more acceptable.

Emma Stone as Gwen looks cute and has a smart role to play as the daughter of the police chief (Denis Leary).

Irrfan Khan from our very own Bollywood has a fairly chunky role to play. He is very good!

The story is of course typical of the genre and is all about Spiderman triumphing over The Lizard. It has been handled well and makes for an entertaining watch.

VERDICT: If you are a fan of superheroes, then you cannot miss this one.

RATING: ****Snazzy


Wednesday, June 27, 2012



Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron, Rafe Spall, Sean Harris
Director: Ridley Scott

I am also surprised how I landed up watching this film at Imax Adlabs, but somehow Vignesh convinced me into going with him. Recently, I have been doing a lot of research on the 2012 scene and found a deep interest in sci-fi as I realise that science and spirituality are tightly bound together. That’s the main reason I was tempted into going for this one. I regretted almost every minute of it.


The film is set in the future (but, of course) in the year 2089. Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) are archaeologists. Discovering a powerful connection between the different cultures, they decide to find the root of humanity. That’s how they end up on a spaceship along with a group of people. The project is funded by Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), the CEO of Weyland Corporation. Weyland is hoping to achieve immortality when the archaeologists find the answer they are looking for. Then there is David (Michael Fassbender), an android who looks human. David is loyal only to Weyland. Watch the film to see whether the mission is successful.



A lot of effort has gone into making the film in 3D. But it still is horrible. A stupid concept with a lot of ugly scenes, the film can be avoided. There are a very few scenes that are beautiful like the one where the universe comes alive in a hologram. Michael Fassbender as android David is definitely worth a mention. He has acted very well. I don’t have an opinion about anything else.

VERDICT: If you are a sci-fi freak and have a strong stomach, then maybe you can watch it.

RATING: **Shaky


Monday, June 18, 2012


Anyone who has been to the cinema theatres to watch films recently in Mumbai must have surely seen the DNA AFTER HOURS advertisement.

Well, the ad has been made very well obviously as it looks attractive and catches the attention of the public. But the message passed on through it is funny, to say the least.

I have posted two Youtube links of the advertisement that I am talking about. Both are clubbed together as one in the theatres.

The first ad – click here to see it – is where two random persons are asked three questions each. The first one goes thus:

1. Who is the Prime Minister of India? Ans: Jayalalitha
2. Who discovered America? Ans: William Shakespeare
3. How many item numbers has Malaika done in films? Ans: Whatever! (but the guy gets it right all thanks to the gyaan he has acquired from DNA After hrs)

Then there is this young lady who answers the next set of questions:

1. How many colours are there in the rainbow? Ans: 12, right?
2. What is the colour of Red Fort? Ans: White
3. ‘Munni Badnam’ gaane mein kitne dancers teh? Ans: 35 (she’s absolutely sure of this one as she has acquired her supreme knowledge from ‘you know which crap’)

I am not done. There is one more addition to these two. Click here to see this pearl of wisdom.

The question and answer session goes like this:

1. What is the national animal of India? Ans: Fox hai kya?
2. Who won the FIFA World Cup? Ans: Chicago Bulls
3. How many item numbers has Malaika done in Bollywood? Ans: Whatever! (she gets is absolutely right of course and by now you know why)

Yes, the story idea for the ad is excellent as it is bound to catch the attention of everyone watching it. It is fast moving and gets the message across that anyone who reads DNA AFTER HRS will get their Bollywood info right and if anyone wants Bollywood info, then DNA AFTER HRS is the one place to look for it.

But what does it say about the reader? That he/she is a dumbo if he reads the paper or that he/she becomes a brainless idiot after reading this paper continuously over a few days?


Sunday, June 17, 2012


I somehow felt that they forgot to get an editor or if they had one, he/she forgot their scissors at home

Cast: Sharman Joshi, Boman Irani, Ritwik Sahore, Paresh Rawal, Satyadeep Mishra,
Director: Rajesh Mapuskar

STORY: Rustam (Sharman Joshi) is a head clerk at the RTO office and absolutely straightforward. While his father Debo (Boman Irani) is a couch potato. Rustam’s son is 12-year-old Kayo (Ritvik Sahore) who plays terrific cricket for such a tender age. Only the three men are part of the household where Kayo’s mother has passed on. Rustam is very particular about the values he teaches his son – he not only preaches but lives ‘honesty’. The family runs on Rustam’s single income while he does the household chores too. He breaks the family piggy bank to gather funds to buy a new bat for Kayo. Under these circumstances, Kayo lands an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go for a cricket coaching workshop at Lord’s, London. While Kayo’s cricket coach (Satyadeep Mishra) is doing his best to keep Kayo away from the scene – he is fully aware of their financial circumstances – the child does get selected. It’s Rustam who is keener that his son goes to the workshop, more than Kayo. Will he be able to get the funds together? Watch the hilarity and pathos weaving together as Rustam does the best by his son. Will Kayo go to Lord’s?

MY PERCEPTION: As I saw in a number of reviews, it’s true that the middle-class will be able to relate to the struggles faced by Rustam and Kayo. Most of the children who have dreams of becoming something must be undergoing this kind of an experience in a country like India. This is the film’s USP.

Boman Irani is a veteran and he has performed very well. Ritvik Sahore was excellent as Sharman Joshi’s son and Boman’s grandson. The values that the film brings to the fore – most of which is missing in kids nowadays – is nothing short of excellent.

Ritvik Sahore is neat and plays a great role. The way he is first angry with his grandfather and later gets close – all thanks to Rustam’s way of handling situations – were portrayed perfectly. More than all this, there is this dialogue that he speaks to his father about becoming a great cricketer while practising from home. While the words must have been written by a scriptwriter, the child says them in the correct fashion without sounding like an adult. That is some feat, I realise. I salute Ritvik on this score.

Sharman Joshi is an excellent actor and has given an excellent performance of a Bawa male who lives with his father and son and runs the house singlehandedly. His expressions were perfect for the role he plays. What I did not like is when he sheds so many tears. True, there were a number of emotional sequences, but there is something known as overdoing – well, that has what has happened in this film.

Satyadeep Mishra as Kayo’s coach is worth a mention. He has done a neat job of his role.

One thing I have to mention about the cinematography. The angles of Mumbai that have been portrayed in the film are nothing short of amazing. All the areas shown, especially from above, are simply gorgeous. Kudos!

The sequence with the wedding ceremony conducted by the Koli corporator was well made.

But, and there is a huge BUT here…

The film does not deserve screen space for more than an hour and a half while it drags on for 2 hrs. 20 minutes. That’s 50 minutes too long. The story has only so much to say. You can’t keep dragging and hammering the same situation again and again. The audience will tend to get bored.

I somehow felt that they forgot to get an editor or if they had one, he/she forgot their scissors at home. Problem after problem after problem being dragged out slowly can be quite torturous. This is a fast moving world and we want to get things going at that pace.

The script could have been way shorter. While the humour with Sachin Tendulkar’s servant and security guard was good, it could have been made tight. The actors themselves have performed well.

The film is probably doing fantastically well more because people – like me and my family – are under the impression that it has been directed by Rajkumar Hirani. That is not so. The director is Rajesh Mapuskar.

I have to mention here that Vidya Balan’s item number was excellent despite her growing bulk. Good one, Vidya!

Why haven’t I mentioned Paresh Rawal? Because there is nothing worth mentioning.

VERDICT: It is definitely worth a watch for the values that brings to you and for Ritvik Sahore.

RATING: **1/2 (as it is not Smart enough)


Friday, June 8, 2012

Sharing: CINEMA CRAZY AKA MOVIE MAD (சினிமா பைத்தியம்)

Yeah, that’s what I am! And so is my husband.

Well, this madness is genetic and that’s our excuse. While Venkat’s parents were not that mad about watching films, his grandmother from his mother’s side used to be crazy about watching films, I believe. I have never met Ammamma, but have heard a lot of stories about her from Venkat and his siblings. Ammamma used to love going to films and has passed on those genes to Venkat and his eldest sister Chandra who is also a great fan of movies.

On my side, both my grandmothers – Pattu Paati (my father’s mother) and Guma Paati (my mother’s mother) – simply loved films.

I have heard my maternal grandmother telling me how she watched the evergreen romance Aradhana eight times. She lived in Bombay with my Dasarathi Mama the latter part of her life. One day, she visited my home in the afternoon. My sisters-in-law had been visiting with their husbands and we were all watching a Tamil film – can’t recall which one but Kamal Haasan was acting in it. Guma Paati decided to stay over to watch the film along with us. That we watched one more before the night was over was another story altogether. This was how movie mad Paati was.

Pattu Paati was simply cinema crazy. I remember how she used to take my elder sister Sujatha and me to a new release every week. Click here to read some more about that. While Paati enjoyed seeing films and listening to movie songs, Thatha had no taste for either. So it was her, Suja and me. We had watched so many films during our school days.

Then there was the taste we acquired for Hindi film songs, all thanks to Pattu Paati only. Every afternoon, after her nap, she used to switch the radio on for Binaca Geet Mala – one hour of melodious songs from the world of Hindi Cinema. I used to just love it. While I could never get the lyrics right, I remember crooning along with the music, well applauded by Suja. Some golden times indeed!

Binaca Geet Mala

Both my parents used to watch films as well. While Appa had an extremely busy work schedule, Amma was equally preoccupied with the kitchen. Despite all that, we used to watch films regularly as a family. In those days, this was the main form of entertainment other than a visit to the beach. I remember how Amma and us children used to go to the theatre along with Pattu Paati to buy the tickets and wait for Appa to get there from his office. Amma used to pack a stainless steel box with a heavy tiffen for my father to eat during the movie. There were those nail-biting times when Appa used to rush there at the nick of the moment just when the film started rolling.

A still from a NS Krishnan movie
Then there are Babu Mama, Dasarathi and Balu – my mother’s brothers. They are all crazy movie fans. In fact – the youngest Balu – has acted in a few of them too.

My Rajamani ChittappaAppa’s younger brother – is also fond of watching films. In fact, he has a special talent for relaying dialogues, words and tones matched perfectly. Even today, he can entertain for hours with dialogues of NS Krishnan, a great comedian from yonder days. It makes me wonder how my 78-year-old C’hippa can remember every single word without missing anything. Simply amazing!

Is anyone still surprised how Venkat and I manage to catch so many films every month?

Saturday, June 2, 2012


An out and out masala flick influenced by South Indian cinema!

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Nassar
Director: Prabhudheva

Venkat and I went to see this film on the day of its release, all thanks to Cinemax Sion.


Shiva (Akshay Kumar) is a thief who steals anything he can lay his hands on along with a sidekick. He falls for Paro (Sonakshi Sinha) on sight and chases her. She returns his feelings despite knowing the truth about his thieving habits that he promises to get rid of. Things take a turn and Shiva’s life collapses when he is stuck with a girl child who insists on calling him her father. Who is the kid? Will Paro tolerate this new entry into his life? Watch the film to know more.


It’s Akshay Kumar’s film from the beginning till the end. Back as an action hero after a long time, the actor has done an excellent job in the movie. I had stopped watching Akshay Kumar films (especially those in the lines of Housefull: Part 1 & 2, etc.) as the comedy had begun to get on my nerves. The actor is best suited for action with some comedy thrown in and it works in this one.

Sonakshi Sinha plays the part of a supportive heroine. She can act and she can dance – very well. I am sure she will go places once you stop looking at her broad shoulders that give the impression of a hugely built woman. That’s not so and she has done alright.

Other actors such as South Indian actor Nassar as the main villain and police officer Yashpal Sharma have done very well too.

The background score by Sandeep Chowta is quite catchy. While the music by Sajid-Wajid is quite good, I somehow felt that all the songs sounded the same. And believe me, there were a number of them – 4, if I am not mistaken. For a film that runs for 2 hours and 20 minutes, that can be quite trying.

The film is a copy of a Telugu original is what I heard. I don’t watch Telugu films as I don’t understand the language. But I think the same film was also released in Tamil as Siruthai starring Karthi (Surya’s brother) and Tamannah.

Rowdy Rathore is an out and out masala flick that has a heavy South Indian influence. There were a number of fight sequences. Luckily, they had the hero triumphing over the bad guys every time and hence worked for me.

VERDICT: You can see it. Not seeing it might not be a great loss.

RATING: ***Smart