Friday, February 26, 2010

Karthik Calling Karthik – THREE stars

Karthik calling Karthik [KCK] is a unique intriguing film by debutant director Vijay Lalwani. KCK is surely a first of its kind, for Bollywood. It is good to see young first time directors take a plunge, head first with gusto. Kudos to Farhan and team for having the courage to go off the beaten path and produce a movie that is dark and real, something most producers would not go anywhere near. My first impression was that it reminded me of Haruki Murakami’s novels and characters.

Any movie that has Farhan Akhtar involved usually scores well on aesthetics, cinematography, music and screenplay. No surprises on any of these fronts, KCK has high production value, I even loved the way the credits rolled in the beginning.

Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is apt and adds panache and style to an already sleek movie. Only in a few places the music was louder than required. All the songs are worth listening to repeatedly. In fact the music CD is worth buying.

Deepika Padukone shows promise with her acting skills and looks lovely, but I wonder if she is still carrying the burden of an unnatural gait from her modeling days. Her movements and poise seem awkward and out of place, not always fitting and going with the flow.

Farhan Akhtar seems to do justice to what he touches; producing directing acting singing…gosh the list goes on. He plays the lead role in KCK and has also produced it. He has put in a brilliant performance and mind you, he doesn’t have an easy role to play in this psychological thriller. Strangely he and Deepika make a good pair. Their onscreen intimate moments seem real and natural.

The middle part of the movie has many funny scenes, which though sound out of place in a serious movie like this, is actually what makes the movie more interesting. It would have been too serious and intense to watch it otherwise. I must say that the humor has been very thoughtfully and cleverly placed, and does not stray away from the grim main storyline. It just helps carry the film forward.

The pace of the movie is mostly appropriate given its concept. The thrill and tempo are kept up even though you can guess some of the twists. Have given it a rating of 3 and not a 4 because the first half does drag a little.
IMP: Please don’t allow anyone to tell you even some of KCK's story before you watch it.

A definite one time watch, do catch it. But remember this is not one of those light hearted fun flicks that you want to see to getaway from your own problems.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Name is Khan - TWO stars

My home is filled with die hard SRK fans, and yet we found My Name is Khan [MNIK] boring. If ever I was to give one word reviews to movies, that would be it for MNIK – BORING

Though very difficult, let me try and begin on a positive note - In MNIK, SRK pleasantly surprises by pulling off a badly written role [not to mention script] with conviction. Wish I could say this about everything else in the movie. The character he plays suffers from a kind of autism, and I must admit nowhere does SRK look ridiculous or act like he is trying too hard

Apart from SRK the only other positive factor worth mentioning in MNIK is the cinematography by Ravi K Chandran. MNIK can pass off as a subtle sales pitch for tourism to the US of A; such is the brilliance of the colors and exotic spaces Ravi splashes onto the screen

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy give bearable music, but I think like us they too thought a lot was going to happen and made the music accordingly. The music seems to exaggerate what is happening; very non impactful scenes receive music that is meant for life altering events

Kajol rarely delivers a less than brilliant performance, but in MNIK she seemed overused and passé. Of course one did see glimpses [only] of her natural talent in the highly emotional scene where she loses her loved one and again later when she confronts SRK in a stadium.

So to cut a long review short, looks like Karan Johar should stick to his “pink and purple” genre, am not sure if he is good at delivering serious stories. He probably doesn’t know how to tell a somber story in an interesting way. He needs to learn the difference between dreary and impactfully solemn.

The movie is dull not because it doesn’t have a story, but because no efforts have been made to make the story telling interesting to the viewers. More importance has been given to the look and feel of the film than its content. And it shows.

See this movie, only when it comes on TV, as I am sure it will - soon. Don’t spend any money on it, please! It is wasteful enough to put your time into it. And I am saying you should catch it when it comes on TV just so that you can see Ravi’s fabulous cinematography and SRK’s interesting rendition of an ill scripted role