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2000’s

“Two Lovers” stars Joaquin Phoenix(Leonard),Gwyneth Paltrow(Michelle) and Vinessa Shaw(Sandra), it is rumored that this is the last film of Joaquin Phoenix.The news of Joaquin Phoenix retirement from acting has prompted me to watch “Two Lovers”

The film starts with a dramatic scene in which Joaquin Phoenix(Leonard) attempts suicide by jumping into a bay but he is saved by few men and is in no conscious mood to thank the guy who saved his life.

In Dev.D and in many other films we have seen that a man embraces self-destruction when he loses his loved ones.In “Two Lovers” we see the make and break of relationships with a realistic tone attached to it with infatuation,desperation etc.. as its attributes.The kind of self-destruction which i find in the characters is so natural that we don’t call it as self destruction in real life.

Leonard is a person who is emotionally ill as her fiancee leaves him because of the genetic tests results indicate that they cant have healthy children.Leonard is attracted towards a neighbor Michelle,he follows her to get her attention,he dances with her,he spends time with her,he talks to her from his window and also feels that he loves her.The feelings of Leonard are very much obvious and it is very likely that any person who is under desperation and frustration of a broken relationship will act in the same way.When Sandra sees a scar on Leonard’s hand she says that “I wanna take care of you,i kinda understand you,you are different,you don’t pretend something you are not”. Sandra has a lot of love for Leonard which he acknowledges but his infatuation towards Michelle is his priority.Leonard buys a ring for Michelle but eventually he gives it to Sandra

Leonard does not tell about the conversation which he had with Michelle’s boy friend to make Michelle love him,but instead he depends on himself to make her satisfy that he really loves her and also says that “this is not stupid f**king crush,do you think i don’t know love?”.When Michelle and Leonard decide to leave the town he buys two tickets and a ring for her with the money he has.

Leonard and Michelle,the two lovers are very much inclined towards self destruction, Michelle has a boy friend who is married and has children and she still wants to be with him,Leonard prefers Michelle over Sandra even after knowing that Michelle has a boy friend and about the miscarriage of Michelle.Michelle and Sandra share intimacy with Leonard but the difference between them is quite visible to us.Michelle ditches Leonard and she explains the reason “I am not going.He left his family for me…and we are getting married”.

After the rejection by Michelle,Leonard thinks of suicide and goes near the bay where he throws the ring box and therehe recognizes the gloves given by Sandra and he walks back to his apartment and gives the ring to Sandra.If you observe keenly the first scene of the film where Leonard attempts suicide he sees a light when he is in the water and prompts him to come above the water and after that he meets his real love Sandra and even in the end when he thinks of suicide he is saved by the gloves which are given by his true love Sandra.

James Gray who is the director and the co-writer of the film makes a film which reminds us of the old days where romantic drama films revolved around relationships.”Two Lovers” is not a masterpiece by James Gray but definitely a very good film which explores the relationships of true love.

Originally published on Passionforcinema.com

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After quite some time i am listening to the tunes of Yuvan Shankar Raja.The first thing i see when i buy a music CD is the back cover to have a look at the names of singers and lyricists.The first track is sung by Siddharth and it was not a surprise to me and i am very much sure that we will see it a lot more of this in the future,weather we like it or not is an secondary issue.

Oy! Oy! :This song is written by Chandrabose and sung by Siddharth.This song gives a good instigation to the album but it is devoid of a good singer.The song could have been much better if it was sung by a professional singer rather than by Siddharth.The lyrics of this song is a disappointment as it shows the mediocre side of Chandrabose,he uses many of the catchy English words which didn’t impress me.The pace and beat of Oy! Oy! does give you some energy to listen for the next song.

..beach house lo prema devatha,
yellow chudi daar white chunni to doche naa yada..

Oy! Oy! antoo casual ga pilichero,
Oy! Oy! twenty saarlu kalalo kalisero,

Oy! Oy! Empty gunde ninda nilichero.

Oy! Oy!..Oye.Oye…..

Love at First Sight….
Naalo kalige Love at First Sight…

Saradaga :Saradaga track is sung by Karthik and Sunidhi Chauhan.This song is written by ‘Anantha Sriram’ who gives decent words.The composition by Yuvan Shankar Raja is good and shockingly Sunidhi Chauhan’s telugu has improved,she succesfully traslates the tune and her voice so elegantly that we can forget her previous telugu songs.The only thing which i cant digest is bringing Karthik and Sunidhi Chauhan together for a duet.

Waiting For You : Don’t get mislead by the title of the song,it does not contain English lyrics except ‘Waiting for you’ with good lyrics by Vanamaali.We can hear the real K.K in this song.

Anukoledenadu : Shreya Ghoshal is allowed to sing the type of song which she deserves,this solo song which is predominantly a vocal based is totally engineered by voice of Shreya Ghoshal.Vanamaali does not impress me as he writes the same old stereo-type lyrics to this song.

Povodhe Prema: After multiple hearings of ‘Povodhe Prema’ i get the feeling that Yuvan Shankar Raja composed this song for himself.The song is perfect for his voice,during the initial stage of the song he uses the piano and the guitar in the background but later he the guitar and the drums to elevate the pitch of the song.Vanamaali’s beautiful lyrics are like these…

Nannu Vadili Needa Vellipotunda…

Kannu Vadili Choopu Vellipotunda..

Vekuvane Sandhya valipotunde..

Chikatilo Udayam undi Poyinde..

…………………………..
…………………………..

Nuvvunte Nenunta Prema..
Povadhe Povadhe Prema..
…………………………

Seheri: This is the last track of ‘Oy!’ sung by Toshi and Priya.I guess this song is deliberately placed in the end of the album as to lift our spirits.If i am not wrong the lyrics are provided by Surendra Krishna and Krishna Chaitanya which contain some amount of rap in it.

The CD of ‘Oy!’ is worth its money but don’t expect much.Though ‘Oy!’ does not come any near to Yuvan Shankar Raja’s best works but definitely a good oneand i am sure that you will not be disappointed after buying the CD.

Originally published on Passionforcinema.com

Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Don’ was madeinto Telugu and Tamil by legends N.T.Rama Rao and Rajni Kanth, recently it was again made in Tamil by Ajith as ‘Billa’ and now in telugu we see it again as BILLA starring Prabhas. From the above mentioned facts it’s clear that the script of DON by ‘Salim-Javed’ doesn’t grow by time and is acceptable by any generation.

Prabhas looks apt for the role of a Don in BILLA and the only one in Telugu Film Industry who can this role. Looks like Meher Ramesh is inspired by Farhan Akthar’s DON rather than original one. Most of BILLA is directed in Malaysia and many scenes are quite similar to Farhan Akthar’s DON.

We have an introduction scene of Prabhas where he carries a suitcase which is in slow motion, even after the introduction scene we see many slow motion scenes and the adjective behind them is quite understandable. Prabhas(Billa) is very fond of Sun Glasses and always likes to wear them and if he doesn’t have one, he picks it from his body guard. The six-pack body of Prabhas is illustrated in the film and even during the six pack scene we see sun glasses on Prabhas eyes. 

In Billa we can watch many Mirrors being broken, lot of bullets being shot and only one hits the target, Cars being blown up and fly into the air, Polices bikes and Cars perform Circus stunts, small exhibition of guns ,A Ferrari is thrown into a lake , etc…

Prabhas who carried some flavor of originality in his previous film ‘Bujjigadu’ does try to make his impression and succeeds in making it but it’s the character and the slang of ‘Bujjigadu’ helps him rather than the character of Billa. Meher Ramesh added some comedy in the film and Prabhas is very good at the execution of the comedy which is some sought of relief. Krishnam Raju makes an OK kind of justification to his role as a police officer and the twists in the film are not hidden very well.

The plot and the characters are well known and the direction of Meher Ramesh is mediocre as he could not totally understand the essence of Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Don’. The fights do not come at the right time and are tedious and the songs are just a vanilla flavor addition to the film. The music of Mani Sharma is disappointing. Namita and Anushka are character fillers and surprisingly we see Prabhas taking about the excess weight of Namita in the film.

There are two very good and genuine scenes in BILLA apart from that BILLA is an average film, the one guy who gains from BILLA is Prabhas for his comic sense and he is only one who can fit into the character.

Originally published on Passionforcinema.com

Why does the contemporary youth of India love Dev.D?

In Notting Hill (1999) Julia Roberts asks Hugh Grant “What is it about men and nudity, huh?” .Well…there is hardly any relation between ‘Notting Hill’ and ‘Dev.D. ‘Why does the contemporary youth of India love Dev.D? It’s an easy and tough question, depends how we perceive it.

The novel which made ‘Dilip Kumar’ a big hero and has shown ‘Akkineni Nageshwara Rao’ an illustrious career, supported ‘Shah Rukh Khan’s’ rejuvenation, is now helping Abhay Deol and Independent Cinema of India. The film starts with a beautiful scene between young Dev and Paro where we are provided with a hint for their characters. Dev (The Dude) leaves for London for his studies but still maintains his love with Paro (Chhamak Challo). Anurag Kashyap doesn’t waste any time in conveying his idea on ‘Devdas’, in the first few minutes of the film itself we are shown Dev asking Paro ‘Do you touch yourself?’ and after that we are again looking at an unusual scene in which Paro faces some trouble getting her photo scanned which she at last sends it to Dev and Dev says “Paro mein a raha hoon”.

The scene in which Paro takes a mattress into a sugarcane field in the early morning so that she can have a good time with Dev, but Dev refuses and we see how her hopes and dreams are shattered and later she shows her frustration on the water pump symbolically, this is one of the best scenes in the film and many might see it with a obvious angle but for me it shows the true love of Paro towards Dev and at what level she has imagined Dev all these years.

The character of ‘Chanda’ is totally different when compared toother films on ‘Devdas’. It’s a character which cannot be easily digested by everyone. A College girl turned into a prostitute with a sad background attached to it. This Chanda is an ultra modern prostitute where she has sex chat on phone with her linguistic skills, rides a bike; the brothel house accepts credit cards and some of the visitors even carry the HIV test results. 

We see neon lights, Vodka, smoke, bizarre paintings, etc…; Anurag Kashyap breaks all the stereo types’ rules of Bollywood and makes his own film without compromising on many issues. The characters in the film are well written, one may or may not attach themselves with the characters but the way they have been treated is compelling. Amit Trivedi soundtrack and background music is amazing, the composition of every song is different and makes us sing while it’s being played in the film. We even see three balladers dancing in the club for the song ‘O Pardesi’ which is one of my favorite song it starts with the strings of Veena (or Sitar??).

The first half makes a very good impression because of its characters and its unimaginable imagination of Anurag Kashyap. The second half of the film is slightly deviated and could not make a perfect contact with me. It looks like its flirting with its logic and emotions without seriously thinking of evolving out of itself from the first half. The second half lacks the basic eccentricity of the first half but it does not totally disappoint me. The clairvoyance of the viewer gets a beating when Paro visits the room of Dev, if I am not wrong everyone might be thinking of something to happen but eventually turns out to be the other way. The most charming scene of the film for me is when Dev says to Chanda ‘I Love you too you know’ and Chanda says ‘You are such a slut’.

Anurag Kashyap makes Dev.D a special film with in its own limits. The treatment of characters by Anurag Kashyap is filled with honesty. I did not find any compromise formulae for the treatment of characters. Every character has the right to do anything on the screen. The audacity of Anurag Kashyap can be seen very clearly with his wildest and tricky imagination which pulls us into the state of continuous ponder.The film is narrated with the help of songs which is untypical in Bollywood, actually the songs fast forward the film up to 10 minutes. I would remember Dev.D for Anurag Kashyap’s honesty and audacity.

Dev.D is loved by many people, but Gulzar sir gives his point of view about why Dev.D is liked by many of us.How many of us really like or love Dev.D for that reason is an interesting question.

Whenever i watch a movie with my friends in a DVD player,laptop or in a PC something intresting comes for us to discuss as we have the liberty to pause while watching the movie,the discussions which we have range from casual conversations to high degree altercations.Sometimes i wonder,how many interjections and perceptions can be drawn from a single movie.

Yesterday i was watching a Telugu film BOMMARILLU with some of my friends and one of them was a Bengali who hardly speaks telugu,after watching he said that to me “the best film i have seen in the recent past”.BOMMARILLU without any doubt breaks the boundary of language .In this article i am not writing a review of BOMMARILLU instead i am trying to point some unfortunate side effects of the film.Curiosity in me asked to search articles on BOMMARILLU in PFC and surprisingly i did not find any article and my thought of writing an article on BOMMARILLU started to take a shape.BOMMARILLU lovers may hate this article,if you guys feel that you might be offended then DO NOT PROCEED.

Every telugu guy and girl LOVE BOMMARILLU and its very much possible that most of the parents HATE BOMMARILLU for obvious reasons.The heart and core of BOMMARILLU is the relationship between a father and his son played Prakash Raj (Aravind) and Siddharth Narayan (Siddu) respectively,Genelia D’Souza (Hasini) plays the love interest of Siddu.

The character ‘Siddu’ looks slightly complicated when we observe it meticulously but trying to understand the directors point of view is very important,Siddu is provided with all the resources but at the cost of his fathers taste.As we see in the film that every decision,even the decision of his marriage is taken by his father.and as Siddu does not have the freedom of expression he is obviously not happy happy with his father but he does not hate his father because Siddu is aware of the fact that even though he is not allowed to chose anything in his life but his father is trying to give him the best without considering his son’s opinions.Apart from the fear which he has towards his father,Siddu has the audacity in him to tell his father about his girl friend and eventually makes her stay in his house for one week and Siddu is concious that he is engaged to another girl.Siddu could have eloped with Hasini but he didn’t because he has some amount of confidence somewhere in his heart and some RESPECT towards his father.

The character ‘Hasini’ which is loved and adored by almost everyone who have seen BOMMARILLU and it is not as simple as it seems to be. Hasini is a Happy-go-Lucky girl and likes to mingle with everyone.The greatest ingredient which Hasini possess is Innocence which has been wonderfully played by Genelia D’Souza.When Hasini comes to know that Siddu is engaged to another women she does not accept him directly but instead she has her own doubts in her mind about Siddu and when she is aware of the fact that Siddu is not accepting her as she used to be in the later part of the film she very explicitly and painfully rejects Siddu , Hasini is not only innocent but an Intelligent girl too and takes the right decisions at the right time.Innocence does not strictly mean that its the hybrid of childish and cool nature.Hasini is not a DUMB girl in BOMMARILLU ,but a girl who likes to her herself who does not want to be a artificial girl.

Both ‘Hasini’ and ‘Siddu’ respect their fathers and are very aware and concious of the situations.

UNFORTUNATE SIDE EFFECTS of BOMMARILLU :

Side Effects on BOYS:
# Eight out of Ten (8 out of 10) guys say that their father is like Prakash Raj (Aravind) which i don’t think its true.
# If a guy is not provided with a bike he tells his friends that his father is like Prakash Raj (Aravind).
# If a father asks his son to join a job rather than studying M.S in U.S.A he accuses him to be BOMMARILLU father without even thinking of the financial situation.

Side Effects on GIRLS:
# Most of the girls after watching BOMMARILLU are trying to wear the same type of costumes,bands,etc… like Hasini , which makes me feel ‘how can these girls have such a bad dressing sense’.
# Some girls who hardly used to talk have started talking a lot.Sometimes i wonder ‘What the hell is she talking?’
# Some girls are trying to exude innocence which they don’t have and they make fool of themselves.
# ‘Hasini’ likes to be natural and hates to be artificial,but most of the girls are leaving their natural presence and are trying to be artificial by emulating ‘Hasini’.Whenever i see such a women i feel that ‘Why is she making a JACKASS of herself’?.

Even after almost 1000 days of its release,the film BOMMARILLU makes me feel that it is released yesterday .Many say that script is the real hero for a successful film,in BOMMARILLU apart from the wonderful script we feel the freshness in the narration and direction.The honesty in the film is also an important aspect as it touches all the emotional structures of a family and an individual without any compromise formula.After BOMMARILLU got released in telugu it was made in Tamil,Bengali and Oriya due to my convictions i did not watch any of the other versions and i am now eagerly waiting to watch it as ‘It’s My Life’ starring ‘Harman Baweja’ and ‘Genelia D’Souza’.

Originally Published on Passionforcinema.com

Many years ago we all might have heard about the “Monkey man” who was creating panic.We all were hearing and reading about the monkey man in “Doordarshan” and Daily Newspapers.Now we have a film on the character ‘Monkey man’ as ‘Delhi 6′.

The film tries to exploit the Unity in Diversity with the help of the cultural background of Delhi. “Abhisekh Bachchan” is the grandson of “Waheeda Rehman” who’s last wish is to die in her homeland who are currently living in America.Abhisekh Bachchan takes back her grand mother to Delhi there he gets a warm welcome.The rest of the film is about the unity and hatred between religions over some consequences which take place in the city of Delhi.

‘Rakesh Omprakash Mehra’ uses different themes to project his idea on the screen,he uses the ‘Ramayana’,unity and diversity concept, and of course the ‘Kala Bandar’ which is the heart of this film.The love factor also plays an important part in the film which is filmed between ‘Abhisekh Bachchan’ and ‘Sonam Kapoor’.The cast of the film is filled with big names like Waheeda Rehman , Rishi Kappor,Om Puri,Prem Chopra,Atul Kulkarni etc.,.The first half of the film is dedicated to the introduction of the culture,traditions,brotherhood between Hindu’s and Muslim’s in Delhi.The ending of the first half is infused with a scene in which ‘Abhisekh Bachchan’ jumps on the roofs of houses.(Very much inspired from District B 13 )

The second half of the film is used to disturb the equilibrium of the first part and make it look like a plot which we have never heard before.The second half tries very hard to come out the of the first half.At the end we will be witnessing the win of love,unity of Hindu’s and Muslim’s and a cameo.

For me ‘Delhi 6′ is a very poor film.’Rakesh Omprakash Mehra’ tries to present a different story of unity and diversity of India but eventually fails as the story telling has severe loop holes.The Screenplay leaves us just thinking of the ending scene without allowing us to concentrate on the present ones. Kamlesh Pandey and Prasoon Joshi make you feel disappointed.The entire first half of the film leaves us in very deep contemplation about the plot which eventually turns out nothing.The one thing which i liked most is that the shit shown in Indian TV Channels which is true.

The character ‘Kala Bandar’ looks good in the initial stages of the film but it does not create any good foundation for such a story.I felt confused with the story and the ‘Kala Bandar’ as they hardly have any kind of attachment with each other.We watch ‘Abhisekh Bachchan’ getting slapped three times,we see Sonam Kapoor dancing with a pigeon,the Ramleelas,the mosque’s,the temples, and the ‘Kala Bandar’ concept but none of them works.There are also some cameo appearances by Anu Malik and Javed Akthar.The music in the film is very good but the songs in the films say to us that these are the only moments which you will enjoy.

Amitabh Bachchan makes a special appearance but that doesn’t make the film look good.I felt like i was watching an Iranian film in which the best part is revealed in the end but ‘Delhi 6′ does not come in that category too.The concept of ‘Kala Bandar’ and ‘Mirror’ looks good but they really don’t fit into ‘Delhi 6′.

Rakesh Omprakash Mehra tries to tell a old story in an innovative way but it lack’s soul which is very crucial for such films.The ‘Kala Bandar’ in us fails to ignite the passion.

Originally published on Passionforcinema.com

I am listing out the best Foreign Films of 2008 which I could lay my hand on.The term “Foreign Films” means Non-English films,they might be even Indian films.


I’ve Loved You So Long

Original Title: Il y a longtemps que je t’aime

“I’ve Loved You So Long ” is a very rare film which we find these days,it reminded me of Ingmar Bergman films. “I’ve Loved You So Long ” is a film which is filled with emotions of a depressed sister who is released from jail,feelings of a younger sister who she used to love when she was a child,pain of Juliette Fontaine which she never exudes.The film wonderfully depicts the sense of alienation with in a women,the difficulties of life,the desperate attempts of Léa Fontaine to make her sister feel the love and affection which she has towards her and Juliette’s encouter with every day life by facing the truth that she has lost the most loved one.Director Philippe Claudel makes a remarkable debut by handling and balancing such a sensitive story.

Waltz with Bashir

Original Title: Vals Im Bashir

“Waltz with Bashir” is a animated film about the experiences of a ex-Israeli soldier from the 1982 Israel-Lebanon War.The film is directed in a semi-documentary style which shows conversations and interrogations of various other people.”Waltz with Bashir ” has some good animation but its heart is in the story which depicts the tradey,massacre and evil.Its not as good as “Persepolis” but definitely one of the best film i have seen from a Israeli.

Gomorrah

Original Title: Gomorra

Its been a long time that we have seen good films from Italy.Gomorrah is a film which in which we can find a wonderful marriage between facts and drama.The film is mingled with five stories which depict the illegal activities which took place during a period of time in Italy.The film captures the true essence of mafia,drug business, youth,etc.. in a different way.Its an epic film of the contemporary Italy.Gomorrah also contains the seriousness in it which makes the viewer contemplate about the issues raised in the film.

A Christmas Tale

Original Title: Un conte de Noël

“A Christmas Tale” is a comedy film mixed with drama with a different flavour.This film exhibits the hidden talent of director “Arnaud Desplechin”.The film shows different feelings of different characters,the film flirts with past and present,the plot of the film looks quite simple but its been directed and narrated brilliantly.”A Christmas Tale” is a film which we can watch multiple times without having any complaints.You laugh,you smile,you think.you anticipate and you enjoy when you watch “A Christmas Tale” .

Il Divo

This italian film by Paolo Sorrentino will be called as a masterpiece in the years to come.This biographical film about Italian Prime Minister “Giulio Andreotti” is a wonderful example of story telling.The film hardly gives the true idea of what happened during the tenure of “Giulio Andreotti” but it cleverly reveals many things.

The performance of “Toni Servillo” as Giulio Andreotti is amazing,the character demands a composed acting and Toni Servillo excels in it.The films plot draws its own perimeter but it explores different aspects.The film contains wonderful scenes of trial,the confessions,the voting etc..Its not only a good Biographical film but also a good Trial film.


The Class

Original Title: Entre les murs

The novel is a autobiographical film on François Bégaudeau experiences as a literature teacher.François Bégaudeau himself acted and worked on the screenplay of the film.The film narrates different experiences of a teacher who looks himself as a different human being and the flexibility of being a literature teacher.The beauty of the film lies in its honesty and trying to evolve itself from every scene.”The Class” received the Palme d’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.

The Baader Meinhof Complex

At last after many years we have a good german film to watch.”The Baader Meinhof Complex” is the film about the incidents which took place during the Student Revolution in Germany and about the rise of terrorist group “Red Army Faction”.

The film shows the events which shook the whole country,the situation of the german students,the rise and terror created by “Red Army Faction” and the communist ideology.It can be seen as one of the good films which contains student revolution other being Berenardo Bertolucci’s “The Dreamers”.

Let the Right One In

Original Title: Låt den rätte komma

“Let the Right One In” is a vampire romantic film from Sweden directed by Tomas Alfredson.The relationship shown between the vampire and the boy is very fresh.The director’s depiction of evil in the character of Vampire is intriguing.The director creates fear and sympathy towards the girl vampire who has been 12 years for a long time.

The heart warming story between a boy and a girl has never been represented in such a way and wonderful acting by Lina Leandersson.I was very disappointed when Lina Leandersson lost the “Most Promising Performer” award to Dev Patel of “Slumdog Millionaire”.

Gamyam

English Translation: Destination

“Gamaym ” is a telugu Road film directed by debutant Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi(Krish).Gamyam might not be the best film of 2008 from India but it is a very good telugu film,there might be films which are better than gamyam ,as i did find the chance to watch other language films i am including gamyam as one of best foreign films.

Gamyam had low production values,no big stars and new director with a very good story.The film tells about the journey of two guys Abhiram and Gaali Seenu in search of Abhiram’s love.This is a film which tells about acceptance of true love,social issues of our country and Self Discovery.I am sure “Gamyam ” will win at least one National Award

“Premani Preminchina Prema Premakai Preminchina Premani Premistundi”—Mahakavi SRI SRI

This article is originally published on passionforcinema.com