Day 21~ A list of 5 underrated movies you’ve watched and what you liked about them.

Darwaza Band Rakho : A Bollywood movie with no songs and no item numbers and just plain comedy. A decent plot and a wonderful crew of actors and actresses. The same crew Ram Gopal Verma used in Sarkar. Each one of them does a fun job. The Gujrati accent, the ringtone of the mobile. It’s a story of a kidnapping gone wrong. We had such good fun watching it when we didn’t get tickets for some other movie and thought we’d instead go for this since we’d come to the movie hall. It turned out to be awesome fun!

President is Coming : This one was brought to my attention through a comment by one of my school friends which read “Unlike what’s shown in President is Coming, not all IITians are gay.” And I watched this movie and simply simply loved it!!! One person has to be chosen from the country to shake hands with President Bush who’s visiting the country. To see each character with a different background keeping the essence of that part of India in them is so much fun! The accents, the typical knowledge base, the typical job, the strange outlooks everything is portrayed so well in this movie by Ramesh Sippy.

Kunwara Baap : A beautiful story. Leaves me in tears every single time I watch it. Mehmood the handsome comedian of yesteryears. A prolific actor, an amazing comedian and as most comedians are best at it, an actor who can stir your soul, shake you and move you from inside. It’s about this poor man who discovers a baby and raises the child, but the child is struck by Polio and how the man still raises him as a single father and teaches him to fight life’s battles. The story is strong, the songs are good, the acting is wonderful and the messge he sends through the movie is so apt for the time it was released.. A beautiful movie very few people seem to have watched.

Dumb and Dumber : I’m not sure if I want to call this underrated, but a lot of people don’t like to start watching this movie because it has Jim Carrey and somehow after Ace Ventura (Which EVERYONE seems to have watched except me!) his image has taken a beating as being the comic guy who does yuck stuff too. This movie is fun! Clean and adventurous. He and his partner are the best friends you’ll find. True friends in the sense of it. One fucks up the other’s case and the other fucks up this guy’s case and yet they never leave each other right till the end of the movie. And few scenes just leave you rolling on the floor laughing..

Vacancy : This is one good thriller I’ve watched. I actually watched it while I was alone at home and I didn’t know the genre before I started watching it. So it took me by surprise and it was night time. So I just loved the movie and the whole plot. You’d want to watch if you like thrillers.

That’s the list of the movies I think were underrated and you probably should try watching them. The first 3 might not be among your picks if you’re not an Indian. Coz Comedy flicks with subtitles aren’t funny I feel. I’ll leave the rest to your judgement.

By the By…   

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Day 19 ~ Five of your favorite movie characters and what you love about them

Here goes the list :

  1. Amar Kaul played by the wonderfully talented Vinay Pathak in Dasvidaniya. A movie that leaves you quite touched and thoughtful. A normal man who has normal wishes and wants to fulfill them. I feel there’s a very good chunk of Amar Kaul in every single one of us irrespective of our nationality, race or religion. The character is so universal in it’s nature. How he goes about fulfilling those wishes and how he leaves what he leaves. I don’t want this to be a spoiler but I’m sure you will connect with one side of his multiple side definitely. A wonderful watch in my view.
  2. Captain Miller played by the Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan. What a character. Keeps his emotions to himself, afraid inside but brave outside. A school teacher who’s a leader. Accepts his failures of past (Says 96 soldiers have died under him since he volunteered), yet takes a completely impossible looking mission, achieves it and boy does he say it well in the end “Earn it !!!”.
  3. Chris Gardner played by Will Smith in In Pursuit of Happyness. Wonderfully done. I didn’t expect so much from Will Smith. I always saw him as one of those actors who was in the business for the fun of it and not for the passion for art. But he shatters that image in this movie and Will Gardner, rigth from running with that machine on the road, to the taxi cab, to the Rubik’s cube, to the station toilet and finally the interview. Two scenes, when he cries in the toilet holding his son and the end where he comes out clapping quoting Roosevelt! Just beautiful.
  4. McMurphy played by the genius Jack Nicholson. I related to that character so much. I do random things like that. Look at the blank TV screen and commenting, nagging friends to speak shit and make fun! And a few other things but not all of them certainly. But then to think of how a mental asylum must be and what goes through the mind of a sane person’s mind in that kind of a place. Wonderfully done!
  5. Truman Burbank played by Jim Carrey. One of those actors who is still struggling to get out of his image of “A man with 1000 faces!”, the funny guy image. This one is the actor’s masterpiece. The Truman Syndrome is believed to exist in people and if I may confess, I am one of them who often suffers with the paranoia of the feeling of being watched. Not in the sense of a ghost, no I’m not the kid from the 6th sense. I’m more the Jim Carrey from this movie. But yes, his surprise at seeing his dad and how he reacts and slowly discovers the whole truth is purely fascinating. Jim Carrey does a wonderful job of all those moments of surprises and suspicions.

I finally finish this after 5 days of pondering and procrastinating. Phew! 31 days is a LONG time…

By the By.

About Schmidt

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It’s a movie I stumbled upon when I checked some random person’s list of 250 best movies on IMDB. The first and the only thing that drew me to watching the movie initially was Jack Nicholson, and I wouln’t lie, the rating of 7.2 on IMDB.

I read the summary on IMDB and it read “A man upon retirement embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter’s wedding only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.” The last bit is what attracted me towards it. About him discovering more about himself.

I must tell you the movie isn’t great, like Jack’s own One Flew over the cuckoo’s nest or any of the other great movies about life. But it does tap something inside of you. It will remind you of people you’ve met, of situations you’ve been in before, of moments you’ve spent like he does in the movie, or have wished to spend at some point in time in your life.

And small things, like writing letters, like sitting quietly on a moonlit night, like taking a hot bath, like crying.

It’s just a simple nice movie. Watch it when you’re bored and slightly philosophical. You may like it.

About Schmidt – Trailer

Image Courtesy: http://images.picturesdepot.com

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s nest

I might’ve written earlier about this movie.. but I just can’t stop writing about it i guess and watching it. I am watching the movie for the 3rd time and yet it moves me.

Jack Nicholson has got to be one of those actors who gets it as right as right can be. He makes you feel real. He draws you into the character and throws it right at your face and makes you realize what the character is going through. Forces you to feel. He doesn’t make you think, coz he’s thought it all. You just have to watch and you’ll end up feeling.

This movie and his character is one of the better portrayals of humanity and it’s other side. How a nurse who should be kind and soft, is hard and dictatorial. And how a ‘crazy’ man is softer and humane in a setting which we generally would not associate the two adjectives with.

This scene describes best, the essence of the movie. It’s easy to get worked up and find faults but it’s so tough yet so rewarding to find that spark of craziness in you which could bring a smile in others. And then you forget, even if momentarily, the pain that resulted from the impulse someone gave you, and smile and celebrate the triumph of will over tyranny / circumstance / hurdles / fuck-ups and life.

They was giving me ten thousand watts a day, you know, and I’m hot to trot! The next woman takes me on’s gonna light up like a pinball machine and pay off in silver dollars!

How’s that for a reaction to a shock treatment!

Watch it if you haven’t already! I won’t spoil it for you describing it in my mortal words.

Like Danny Devito said “It’s about Immortality” …

Haaaahhhh !!!! Another dayyyy… another 50 thousand dollars…

Drink me up hearties!!! To Jack (Sparrow or Nicholson, your pick!)

By the by

Nayagan – The movie I like no more…

Mr.Kamal,

I’m a Tamilian born and brought up in Bihar, I am not a movie buff, of the countable movies I have watched, most of them have been from Bollywood or Hollywood, And I was just a year old when you were making Nayakan. Yes by all measures and respects i’m the last person to be writing this article in reply to yours, but… but i’m a fan of yours, of Mani Ratnam sir’s, of Illayaraja sir’s and probably that is the only factor that might bring a remote relevance to my point of view here.

I am not sure if I am sharing the views of a lot of other fans of yours, who having seen Nayakan, were just as impressed and moved by the story, the direction and by your performance in it, as I was. I still get goose bumps recalling the scene where the character cries seeing his son’s dead body. And Thenpandi Cheemayile is probably one song that no tamilian in the current or one generation up, will forget or wouldn’t have heard. These sure are few of the bigger points of the whole movie and will not paint a complete picture of how great the movie was.

I was excited when I saw your photo on The Hindu and the headline read “Of Course Velu Nayakan doesn’t dance” , and read it up right away while in the midst of a preparation for my test the next day. And by the end of it I was smiling. A few days later one of my friends messaged me on Facebook providing me the link to Mr.Srinivasan’s reply to your article and after reading that I sort of let out a sigh. I had lost a little respect for both you and Mr.Srinivasan, and the movie Nayakan. I don’t like the movie anymore as much as I did.

You might wonder why should I as a fan feel that, when all you did was narrate a few anecdotes along with a few hurdles which came your way and the other’s way and how you overcame it and how true a ‘method actor’, you are, true to Stanislavski’s picture of one. But somewhere you and Mr.Srinivasan both forgot that the audience loves a movie by what it sees on the screen, and the stories that remain behind the screen should remain for the actors only. Like Sachin Tendulkar says “What happens in the dressing room should stay there.”

I am surprised at your stating the fact that you had a producer who was tight-fisted, and that there was no budget for make up and costume and that you had to take care of it all so early into the article. And to see that desperate attempt to glorify your self at the expense of the others is a little betraying for a fan. For a fact, you already are a demi-god in Tamil cinema for the talents you possess, actor, singer, dancer, producer, director, etc. You enjoy more respect that most accomplished actors in Indian Cinema among the Film fraternity, and Nayakan, the movie has spoken all these years and still speaks for what a brilliant movie it was.  Don’t you think your heart would’ve beamed with greater pride had you heard from someone else in the crew saying “Kamal did his and others’ make-up and helped in the costume”? Or that “Kamal was such a strict follower of the Stanislavski’s style of method-acting, that he would’t go into the shoot until he had the ittar for the role he was playing”? I think you would’ve. I’m not sure we all would like Sachin as much if he came out and spoke about the cramps, tennis elbow pains and many other hurdles he faced on his way to that double century. He would be less of a hero.

As for Mr.Srinivasan, Sir you really didn’t have to respond to the allegations by Mr.Kamal through the article “Living in past glory“. People who knew about the movie and the stories behind the scenes, knew enough to judge what part of the original article was right and what wasn’t. Hence it certainly didn’t look good to see you respond in the same taste as of the first article. To see two stalwarts of Indian cinema take on each other on a turf such as the print media, is a little sad.

 

When I first read the headline of the article and the first paragraph, I beamed with pride that here was one movie which was made back in those days and had the substance to last quarter of a century and earn a place in the all-time-greats. And I was looking forward to reading ‘happy’ anecdotes and incidents from behind the scenes. But somehow the very parents of the ‘baby’ don’t seem to want to talk happy things on the 25th birthday.

I now quietly wish I hadn’t read the article because like Michaelangelo said “If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.“. I guess Nayakan doesn’t seem as wonderful anymore. 

Regards

A mere fan of Nayakan