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My movie watching habit has changed quite a lot since start of 2010 and I’ve become a bit selective in watching movies unlike I used to see whatever was served before in the past few years. So, looking back at 2010, I must say that I’ve watched quite a number a good movies, mostly from Hollywood. If you asked me what about Bollywood or why not Bollywood, then I’ll say I feel sorry for Bollywood. So many movies get released every year, yet only a handful of them are watchable. However, this is purely based on my choice and interest of watching movies and is definitely going to differ with many of my co-movie goers. So, when I’ll mention my favorite movies of 2010, feel free to pen them if they deserve in your opinion.

So, you just come to know what I’m going to write, right? About my favorite movies of 2010? But the list of my favorites is a long one as I became a bit choosy in 2010. Therefore, in this post I’m going to mention about the five movies that I loved most. The list starts with Inception and ends with A-Team. In between, lies Udaan, Due Date and How to Train Your Dragon.

Inception: Inception is the only movie that has made me think what the directors of other movies do to their films (this applies for most of the films I watched). It’s the kind of movie I’m expecting from Christopher Nolan after watching his previous based-on-comics flick The Dark Knight. I liked TDK so much that when I saw the first teaser of Inception, I was quite skeptic about its success. In fact I was least impressed the first time. For me to better TDK, there must be something very different, which was may be not imaginable for me. But Nolan proved me complete wrong when I watched Inception the very second day of its released. After watching the movie, I came out of the theatre with a heavy head with the thought “Am I dreaming?” Nolan bowled me over again after TDK with Inception with a kind of story and imagination that seeks some amount of intelligence and imagination from the viewers too (I’m being honest here, most of the Hindi producer/directors request the viewers to leave their brains out to watch their full on (??) entertaining movies). For me if you did not understand (I won’t say ‘like/love’ instead of understand, because there are people who used to dislike a good movie) Inception, then there is no fault in the movie: however, you must definitely check yourself :-).

Udaan: Udaan is in the 2nd place of my list. Though it’s one of the very few Bollywood flicks that I liked this year, with its uncompromised script, impeccable execution, perfect casting, and soothing music, it stands very tall among its contemporaries. In one word Udaan is Brave. I don’t know much about poems or poetry but another word for Udaan is pure Poetry. To me, loving Udaan is a gradual process. When the music of the film released, I loved it instantly. As I continued listening to the songs, my interest for the movie and the love for its music increased in the same proportion. The music of Udaan is a kind of fresh sound (thanks Amit Trivedi once again for coming up yet again with some brilliant compositions), which you will not find in a typical Bollywood movie; in fact you’ll not find such music in a non-typical Bollywood flick also. The lyrics of the songs are not only awesome but also thought provoking. A simple sample is: (Bear with my Hindi and then my translation skills)

Subah ki kirno ko roke jo salaakhein hain kaha (Where is the barrier that prevents the morning rays)

Jo khayalon pe pehre daalein woh aankehin hain kaha (Where are the eyes that guards/shields the thoughts)

Par khulne ki deri hain parinde urke choomenge — asmaan asmaan asmaan (It’s only the wait until their wings get opened when the birds will fly and embrace/kiss the sky)

Watching Udaan, I felt the kind of happiness after a long time, which I felt watching movies like Forest Gump, Dorr, or Swadesh. The feeling is more than happiness or satisfaction, more precisely I felt triumphant after watching Udaan.

Due Date: I hardly remember the instances when I laughed out so loud while watching a movie. Due Date is exactly the kind of movie where I laughed without any inhibition. In fact, there is no option but to laugh watching this movie. Although the length of the movies is quite short and the number of characters is also not a large one, but every moment of the movie is fun-filled. Sometimes circumstances are unimaginable, yet funny to the core. The casting is perfect for the movie. I’m already a fan of Robert Downey Jr. after watching Sherlock Holmes last year and he did every justice to his role. I heard about Zach Galifianakis from Hangover fame. His role is so weirdly good in the movie that I can’t explain his antics in black and white. You have to watch Due Date to see what kind of hilarious chaos he can bring to the normal life of a person. So, if you want to have a good laugh with brains definitely, then go for Due Date instead of the sick Bollywood’s so called comedies.

How to Train Your Dragon: This is the fourth movie in my list and the last one that I watched in 2010. I like HTTYD because the dragons in the movie didn’t scare me instead I adore and love them. I also liked it because every minute of the movie it made me think of my little cute and naughty pet Dhun Dhun (a cat). Training the dragon in the movie seemed to me like training my cat in my household. So, liking HTTYD is pure personal feeling. If you have a pet, then this is a must watch for you. But if you have none, then go and get one first.

A–Team: I think I don’t have to tell much about this one. Most of you guys must be surprised by the inclusion of A-Team to this list. But once again, A-Team is pure personal and fun and nostalgic. I’m a fan of action movies from the time I knew about movies. So, for me A-Team has all the elements needed for an out-and-out action flick. It has some unbelievably breathtaking sequences, which I know were pure special effects. But they were made in such a way that I don’t have to think whether they are real or fake while watching, the movie. For me watching A-Team was my guilty pleasure of 2010.

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Khichdi – The Movie

Yesterday night we watched Khichdi – the Movie. Me and my wife are great fan of the TV series based on which the film has been made. However, somehow we didn’t get the chance to watch it in the theatres when it released last month. But a couple of days ago I got the DVD while shopping in a supermarket. So, yesterday after dinner, we sat down to watch the movie. This is not a movie review, but just a write up I felt to write after watching the movie. So, there’ll not be any hint about its story at all.

First of all Khichdi is an out and out laugh ride, with very decent humor. There is no double meaning, no abusing, except the regular victimization of Babuji, the Kurkur Kumar. From its transition from a popular lostsitcom to the large screen, Khichdi hasn’t lost its credibility in delivering the millions of laughs for which we love the series so much. However, casting a new actor as Jayshri instead of the series’ regular and popular Jayshri ben, I think producers took a bit risk, which however was well-tackled by the new actor. Rest of the characters, Hansa, Praful, Babuji, Himangshu, Chakki, Jackie, and a hoard of Parminders performed shamelessly 🙂 good to make you laugh your heart out. The best part of the movie is when we’re watching it, it’s like watching the the series in TV once again. The one lose end of the movie is its story, which I felt could have been made better. But no complains from my end at all. I enjoyed watching the movie and would like to recommend anyone who likes to enjoy a good comedy movie with family.

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Robot

Recently I watched the movie, Robot, starring Rajnikant. This was my theatrical experience of any Rajnikant Movie. I wanted to watch Robot due to two reasons, one was to see a Rajni movie after a long long time, the last one I remember was watching bits and peices of Chandramukhi (the tamil version of Bhul Bhulayya) in Television. The other reason was to see the special effects used in the movie. Till date none of the movies that were made in the name of sci-fi or superhero claiming to be full of exquisite thrills and effects and mindblowing stunts are able to statisfy me. In fact, I have developed a sort of notion that Bolywood will never be able to compete with even any of the low-budget Holywood thrillers in terms stunts and special effect. But the promotions of Robot showed a bit of ray of hope in the desert of my faith and so, I went to watch the movie with some expectation, not in part of Rajni but in part of the movie technologies.

After watching the movie, I must confess that it wasn’t a disappointment at all. It has really good stunts and special effects. Though there was lots of scope for perfection, but overall it was up to my expectations. However, if you ask me about the movie regarding story or Rajni, I think I won’t be able to give a thumbs up. It’s because I was never a Rajni fan, so watching him playing a hard-hitting robot, dancing, jumping, fighting all over, would never be able to woo me as a viewer. Also, the story has nothing new to offer, in fact in recent times, after watching movies like Inception, I find it really hard to love a movie based on story or direction.  But yes, I like the way he portrays both the characters and that too with such an ease is really commendable. Another let down in the movie was use of the songs. No doubt the music of Robot was good, but there were over usage of songs in the movie. My overall recommendation for Robot will be watchable for those who wanted to watch a new level of movie making, and a must watch for the Rajni fans. One more thing, after watching Robot, my expectation for Ra.One (being an ardent SRK fan) has increased manifold. So, eagerly waiting to see what Shah Rukh will be offering in his grand venture.

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Recently I watched a number of Bolywood movies. I must mention that I watched all of them in DVD (maximum pirated), because to me a very few movies made in Bolywood are worth watching in the big screen (Don’t take it seriously, I’m not a film critic :-)). Lets forget about where to watch Bolywood movies and concentrate on what I watched recently. Among the movies I watched, I’d like to mention two movies, Pathshala and Houseful, with much of my pleasure (or displeasure :-(). Don’t ask me why I watched them; I’ve a very rare kind of ability to watch every type of movies. For instance, I watched Ram Gopal Verma Ki Aag at one go (really!). Though liking the movies is something entirely different thing for me.

Let’s come to Pathshala first. After watching its teasers in TV, I thought it to be a good movie. A few songs seemed OK, even the casting was good (Nana Patekar and Shahid Kapur are not bad actors). Also, especially after watching Kaminey, my expectation from Shahid increased a bit more. Although having these positive vibes, didn’t encourage me to watch the movie in any multiplex. Rather, I waited till the pirated version of the movie to reach my nearby DVD vendor. I didn’t have to wait too long for the DVD. However, till then the critics has almost thrashed the movie. So, I allowed my expectations to be lowered further. Eventually I grabbed a DVD copy of the movie and started watching it a couple of weeks back. Just a warning before hand, this is not a typical film review, so there won’t be any story spoiler (If there’s any story in the movie???).

After watching the movie, more precisely bearing it for a couple of hours, I’ was confused and my mind was cluttered with many questions. The questions that came to my mind immediately were:

  • Why Shahid signed this movie? Didn’t he read the script or he didn’t have the ability to identify a good script. The later seems more appropriate if you go through his filmography.
  • Who is the director of the movie? Is he really a director or retardedirector (such a word much exist)?
  • What is it that (I’m still confused, that’s why that) that the movie tries to portray?
  • Why the name Pathshala?

Let’s come to my points one by one. First, why Shahid selected the movie? Shahid knows how to act but, saying so, I think he needs some one good to direct him. If you analyze his career, he seemed performing well only under good directors, like Vishal Bhardwaj or Imtiaaz Ali. Also, many a times his selection of movies really surprised me and many others. For example, movies like Fool n Final, Dil Boley Hadippa, Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi, and many more featured Shahid Kapur, coz I think he choose them. Especially after superbly done Kaminey, I still don’t understand why he did Chance Pe Dance and Pathshala.

After Shahid, the person that annoyed me most was the director of the movie. I didn’t understand what he intended to show in the movie. The script was also equally culprit. But as a director, he should have the ability to bring out the best, at least good or not bad, from a script. At no moment of the movie, I was able to understand what the movie is portraying. There’s love story, there’s teacher principal clash, There’s good teacher and bad teacher, there’s student abuse, there’s school reformation, there’s poor students and rich students, there’s talk of friendship, there’s student teacher crush, there’s long lectures, there’s students’ protests, and there’s many more. But none of them come out profoundly in the movie. Every thing seemed stuck in between somewhere. To me the theme of the movie is honest, but it is directionless. When it ends, I thought why this movie was made with such a good cast. Why nobody objected or suggested on the script. A good theme or a good motive is not enough to make a good movie. It is the implementation of that theme and its resultant outcome can decide the fate of the movie.

Next, the name of the movie, Pathshala. Is it because the entire movie is shot inside a school? But apart from that I didn’t found anything significant enough that matches the title Pathshala. Pathshala is a place, where one learns at least one lesson. But in this movie, have I learnt something? But at the same time, if you ask me to name the movie differently, honestly nothing will come to my mind. I think the people behind the movie played safe with the title.

Overall, I didn’t find anything positive about Pathshala, except the song “Aye Khuda” beautifully sung by Salim Merchant. But I still unable to relate the song to the situation where it was played in the movie. May be I’m too dumb to understand the movie and I should stop watching such movies or the movie is actually a bad one (my vote goes to the last thought).

Oops, I’ve written quite a long post on Pathshala. Now, if I start writing about Houseful, I don’t think you guys will take it sportingly. It will become a very long post, as there’s lots more to talk about Houseful compared to Pathshala, and there’s our evergreen popular Akki 🙂 with some of his outdated, over hyped humor and above all there’s Sazid Khan, who thinks only he can make a good film for Indian public. So, I’ll take a break and write about what I didn’t like (there’s hardly anything that I like, except some gay jokes) about Houseful. Till then bye and take care.

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Friday Fever – My Name is Khan

Last Friday, I have watched My Name is Khan in PVR Priya along with my Wife. Priya is the nearest PVR from our place, and that is why it has become our occasional hang out zone. Moreover, the newly opened KFC added one more reason to it. It was a holiday due to Shivratri and we decided to spend the afternoon watching movie and then having our late lunch (in KFC of course).

Now, let’s come to the movie part directly. MNIK is really an enjoyable movie. For me the best thing about the movie is that it is a very well-made movie. No doubt, I’m an SRK fan, but I like him more due to his personality rather due to his acting skills (I’m absolutely not doubting his acting skills :-)). That is why many a times when I went to watch an SRK-starer, I used to expect some amount of over to top acting attempt from SRK. However, I have changed this notion after watching Swadesh, which is one of my most favorite Hindi movies. In fact, SRK was in his best in Swadesh. In MNIK, I have again seen the glimpse of SRK that I saw in Swadesh. There is No extraordinary effort in the role. It is a simple, plain, and believable performance from him. Also, it is one of the better directional attempt from Karan Joher. Though I am not always fond of KJ’s movies, I liked KANK (don’t be surprised :-)).

Here, I would like to clarify that this is not a review about MNIK; so, I’m not going to discuss about the storyline. Rather I will write what I felt after watching the movie. Apart from being a well-made movie and good performance from SRK, I found the casting very appropriate. Right from Kajol to all other co-stars (including the US actors) of the film have delivered applaudable performances. Here, I’d like to mention Kajol especially, as she is on the big screen after quite a long time. She is perfect in her role and I think KJ did the best thing by pairing her with SRK. Next, the songs in the movie are appropriately timed. You’ll not find any unnecessary songs in the movie. Most of the times, when a song starts in a Hindi movie, the very thought that came to my mind is “Can I just fast forward the song?” But in MNIK, it didn’t happen with me. All the three songs are well picturised and supported with good lyrics and music.

Being a long movie, interestingly, MNIK is able to keep me sitting all through the time without any interruption. Though there’s scope that it can be 10-15 minutes shorter (I’m addicted to watching Hollywood movies, most of which are less than 2 hrs), but that didn’t affect the movie as well as me at all. I was sticked to my seat the whole 2 hrs and 40 minutes, even didn’t go out in the interval. One more thing about the movie I liked is its take on religion and human beliefs. I am able to relate my beliefs to what was portrayed in the movie. That’s something very special to me. The movie is not an out and out entertainer. However, it made me think about the story, the issue, what is really happening nowadays and foremost what we really believe.

After watching the movie, I felt it is not at all over-hyped or over the top kind of movie; instead, I’d like to applaud the efforts of KJ along with his team for giving us MNIK to enjoy and think. At the end, it doesn’t really matter what my name is but what really matters is “who I am” – a good or a bad soul. We must ask this to ourselves.

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PS: I Love You

Last weekend I watched the movie PS: I Love You, and I cried. This is the second time that I really cried while watching a movie. The first time was when I watched Grace is Gone last year. I’m not ashamed of crying but I hardly cry. I can count the number of times I cried in my life. That’s why many a times I think that I’m an emotionless fellow who even not moved by the death of some dear ones. Recently, my eldest uncle died of an accident. It was an untimely death and I felt terrible. My mom was devastated. But surprisingly not a single drop of tear rolled out of my eyes. Don’t know why but may be I’m not able to express my emotions or my feelings are not controlled by my mind.

However, when I was watching these two movies, I was in tears and I was unable to control them. I knew what I’m seeing was mere reel fiction. But somehow they were presented in such a subtle manner that it engrossed me completely. The treatment of the circumstances in both the movies looked so real to me that I felt like I’d have acted the same way if I were in place of the characters. The first movie shows a helpless father who doesn’t know how to tell his two daughters about the untimely demise of their mother at war. The second one shows a tormented wife who finds it hard to come out the fact that her husband died of brain tumor and that too very untimely. The common thing about the two movies is that both of them deals in the aftermath of death of someone dear to the protagonists.

Though I cried watching both the movies, I must say the two movies cannot be at all categorized as tragedies. They are kind of those inspiring movies that helps me in learning more about life, facing the difficult situations, and most importantly realizing what love is from a more clear dimension. There’s also a feel-good factor in both the movies, which is very hard to find in movies now a days. I can relate Forest Gump in this context exclusively, which is the best feel-good movie I watched till date.

If you ask me, I’ll definitely recommend you to watch these two movies. Don’t bother about the sad part, but you’ll definitely feel good at the end of the movie. Also, sometimes being sad is good, because then you can understand the true value of happiness.

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