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Monthly Archives: December 2010

sonakshi sinha

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Posted by on December 28, 2010 in bollywood

 

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Movie Review : The Tourist

The moment I popped a pain-killer half hour before the movie started, I knew it was a bad omen. We stepped out in the cold with snowflakes flying across our faces, I knew the signs were there : the temperature was a low 16F and no cars on the streets, few cars parked on the shoulder of the roads with blinking alarm lights. When  we were at the ticket window and the ticket cost was 70$ for 7 tickets, my credit card was declined; I had breached the credit limit. That was the last sign that we still had time to go home. But no, I paid in cash. We ignored all the signs that were screeching right in our faces to stay home, but Jolie and Depp kept calling us.

 This was an unusual combo, a suave Depp and a sexy Jolie. That actually is a weird duo and we did not know what actually to expect from the movie. The trailer was cut well enough to generate excitement, we thought it would turn out to be a thriller or an action packed movie. But when we stepped into the auditorium, it was a shock. Second day of the movie, 11th Dec, and there were just 15 people in all. A near empty theatre! Lara Croft and Jack Sparrow had failed to pull in the crowd.

 Anyways, we took our places and waited for the movie to start. Within the first 5 minutes we could see the heavy-handed direction of Florian Henckel. I wasn’t surprised at all, just disappointed that the director was still looming from the hangover of “The Lives Of Others” . The close capturing of Angelina’s face as Elise Ward, FBI spying on here, tracking all her activities; it was like watching TLOO. The initial enthusiasm of who was Alexander Pierce soon faded, as the chase got boring. The tracking mechanism, Elise dropping false hints to beguile, FBI placing men in every nook and corner; it was all so stale and boring.

 By the time Johnny appeared as a Maths teacher Frank Tupelo, my joy was divided, my brain was split and the pain had multiplied. He was not being his usual self; no wackiness, no style quotient, no eccentricity. I was still fine with all of this, until he suddenly started acting pink and rosy. He was falling in love with Elise! And I thought this was supposed to be a fast action thriller.

 The story writers were confused, I guess. They changed the mood and theme of the movie. It was turning out to be a mushy rom-com. A night spent in a fine Venetian hotel, best in its class, was making Frank’s heart beat for Elise. But Elise was secretly in love with Alexander Pierce, a person whom she hasn’t seen. This was just the right time for some gang-lords to  make an appearance so they can settle their scores with Alexander.

 After a lot of chases and gun firings and scampering Maths teacher dodging the bullets and Elise being held captive so Alexander can bow down to the gang-lord, the Maths teacher jumps in to save her life. And some more marshmallow sequence with Elise’s heart suddenly going out to Frank as she forgets about Alexander. Frank blurts out something what Arun had told to Seema in Mr.India … wo gayab hai mai haazir hoon … kya rakha aisa mr.Alexander mei

 Oh man, the movie was getting ridiculous by the minute. I was crying over $10 wasted on Pierce while the FBI were paying $700 mn to fund the mission of finding Pierce. Someone pierce me! The end credit rolls came as such a breather.

 We ran out of the auditorium and into the open, to catch a breath of fresh air. Snowflakes till flying across our faces and weather alert of a snowy night was ahead of us. My head had stopped aching, thanks to the pain-killer. I am glad I had taken it before the movie as I laughed at my friends who popped one after the movie.

This post was first published on PFC

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2010 in hollywood, movie review, movies

 

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Anushka Sharma : Priemere of Band Baaja Baarat

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2010 in bollywood

 

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John Grisham’s Work Onscreen

“I don’t feel stupid, just inadequate. After three years of studying the law, I’m very much aware of how little I know.” — John Grisham (The Rainmaker)

Its amazing how so many works of John Grisham have made it to the big screen. While reading his novels during my college days, I did feel that there was a whole lot of drama, passion and brilliant writing; and that it lent itself into movie format. But what I did not realize back then was the fact that so many of his novels were actually about fighting the system, the corporates and the loopholes in the legal system which were being exploited and how it went against the welfare of the common man. Unlike Perry Mason, Grisham’s novels were not merely about legal proceedings of a murder mystery or a court-room drama.
 
Last Sunday I was glued to the tv for most of the time, watching Grisham’s works. I guess the channel was running a “lawyer” special or something. I watched 3 movies back to back, all John Grisham.
 
Runaway Jury: The book was so different from the movie, actually its the other way round; the movie was so different from the book. While the book concentrated on anti-tobacco brigade, this movie addressed the issue of the gun lobbyists and how easy availability of fire arms is making life altering changes to the society. A depressed and psychologically traumatized person with a gun in his hand can take away so many innocent lives. And along with those lives goes the peace and happiness of the families of the victims. How can the victims’ families ever be compensated?
 
The movie talks of one such shoot-out, but more importantly it was about how jury can be manipulated to get the desired verdict, for or against. While Marlee [Rachel Weisz] manipulates things outside the court-room, Nicholas [John Cusack] plays his cards inside the court-room as part of the jury. They both collude to fight Rankin [Gene Hackman] and bring him to his knees while Wendell [Dustin Hoffman] guides them as the defence lawyer.
All the actors did well in the movie, but Gene Hackman as the desperate lawyer who wanted the jury to be on his side and he could go to any length even if it meant wiring 15 mn dollars, stood out. His aggression totally justified the character sketch that Grisham had crafted out. The wonderful thing is that, even after the movie gets over after a whole lot of action and thrill, the message is not lost; it stays with you.
 
The Rainmaker: This was one of the earlier movies of Matt Damon, just before Goodwill Hunting. And may I say that Matt was fabulous in the movie. He shows the brilliant spark of a fine actor and he has gone onto justify his talent by choosing the right movies.
 
The movie dealt with the rejection of medical claim of Black family and the struggles of Ray Black suffering from leukemia. A bone marrow transplant could have saved his life but the insurance company declines the insurance amount eight times. That’s when Rudy, a jobless lawyer who has recently passed the bar exam, steps in. He takes up the cause and fights till the end, unearthing the dirt of the insurance scams. He exposes the deep set malice in the faulty claim processing system.
 
And while Rudy takes up the case on a professional front, on the personal side he is seen protecting a woman who is a victim of domestic violence. The movie reflects the times and the society that we live in, be it the corporate insurance scam or the wife-beating episode; all harsh realities of life. The only comic relief was the presence of Danny DeVito as the assisstant of Rudy.
 
It was an engrossing movie with fantastic performance by Matt Damon and Jon Voight, the lawyer representing the insurance company. The movie is a must watch for 3 good reasons: Francis Ford Coppola’s direction, Matt’s acting and Grisham’s writing in association with Coppola.
 
The Client: Mark and his younger brother are puffing a cigarette in the wilderness when a car just pulls in, and the
man behind the wheel attempts suicide by asphyxiation. This man, Romi, turns out to be a lawyer who has been defending a gang accused of murdering the senator. And Romi knows the ugly truth of the whereabouts of the senator’s dead body. Mark, an innocent kid, gets entrapped in a game of power, murder and deceit as he witnesses Romi commit suicide.
 
The rights of a child and witness protection program is the main theme here. Mark is hounded by FBI as well as the gang because they think Romi may have mentioned to him about the senator. In defence of the kid steps in Reggie Love, played by Susan Sarandon, an ex-alcoholic who has lost the custody of her kids. Mark played the wannabe ‘punk’ beautifully. He got under the skin of the character with perfect body language and acting skills.

Ultimately its Grisham’s character of Mark that really comes to the fore and makes this movie compelling. Reggie too wins the sympathy of the audience as she narrates her story to Mark. She seeks redemption by trying to protect Mark from the FBI as well as the gang. How she goes about doing this and the hostility with which Mark and Reggie treat each other has been very well captured.

Grisham’s treatment of the subject seemed more at a personal level than a professional one. The movie did not have any court-room scenes, but the tension was palpable. In fact, this along with The Pelican Brief are two most popular non-courtroom dramas of Grisham. While I am at this, let me quickly mention that his work ‘A Time To Kill’ was adapted into a Hindi movie titled ‘Pitaah’ directed by Mahesh Manjrekar.

Grisham popularised the ‘judicial system’ genre and many a tv series was born out of these works. His indictment of the system and the veiled attack on the flaws of the criminal justice and litigation process was very well highlighted in his works. Also, what is noticeable is the fact that all movies based on his work were made on large scale because the studios believed in the projects. Be it Tom Cruise in The Firm or Julia Roberts in The Pelican Brief who were ably supported by the likes of Denzel Washington, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman and many others. Grisham continues to write, but off-late his works haven’t made it onscreen. Nevertheless, they are wonderful to read. Wish someone could buy the rights of his stories/novels and make movies in our movieland.

“In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth. Each of you is an original. Each of you has a distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard.” – John Grisham, Commencement Address 2010, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill”

This post was first published on PFC

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2010 in hollywood, movies

 

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