Qarib Qarib Single.

I saw this film two days ago but could not publish this review as I needed to get some information which I finally got today.

I wanted to see it primarily for Irrfan Khan being in it but, when I saw Parvathy‘s acting, I was doubly happy that I went to see it. The latter is from Kerala and to the best of my knowledge she appears in a Hindi film for the first time. Her slipping into Malayalam on a few instances was fantastic and her overall handling of a difficult role is remarkable.

Irrfan is outstanding too but full marks to Tanuja Chandra for excellent direction which has brought out both talents into full play for a very satisfying experience of film watching.

Camera work in some of the most scenic places in India is outstanding and many memories of the places like Rishikesh, Sikkim and Delhi were kindled for me.

The plot is unusual and the disparate nature of the two lead characters makes it for some very intriguing situations which leads into some humourous yet perfectly keeping within the storyline situations that are very unusual. I doubt very much that some of our more popular stars could have delivered the performance that Irrfan and Parvathy deliver.

Yet another film where the female part is central to the story and the director being female has enhanced the delivery by Parvathy. I hope that these two will come together again for more movies.

All in all, a movie worth going to watch.

Another Case Of Doppelgängers!

This morning’s Pune Times had a news item with a photograph of a very well known producer of movies and I couldn’t resist thinking that he looked so much like a movie star. Unfortunately, the link does not show the actual photograph that appeared on the print version. The print version had this photograph.

A stock photograph of the gent, Sanjay Leela Bhansali is here:

The doppelgänger is the famous actor Irrfan Khan. His stock photograph is here”

I wonder if Bollywood has noticed the amazing likeness!

Inferno.

inferno_ver3

Give two actors who are on my list of great actors, a novel that I had enjoyed reading being made into a movie with those two actors and how could I not go to see Inferno? And when I was taken to see it by the two most favourite people on earth, it was worth staying up late to see a late night show last night.

Like most films based on successful novels, this film too suffers from not quite coming up to the viewer’s expectations. It suffers primarily on the details, but the fast paced action more than compensates and overall, offers a pleasant viewing experience. There are some differences between the two in terms of facts but that does not significantly affect the overall impact of the narration.

Tom Hanks does not disappoint. In fact, the whole film is carried on his shoulders without visible effort by him. All the other actors, though important to the plot and play their roles, for all that it matters, are their in supporting roles, even almost cameo, bar Felicity Jones who appears throughout the film.

Another remarkable feature of the film is the background music. Apt, present yet not intrusive. After a long time, I experienced that in a modern movie.

If there is one complaint that I have about the film, that is about the gross under-utilisation of Irrfan Khan‘s talents. For the kind of role that he has played in this film, any ‘body’ would have been enough. The three of us wondered if he would not have played a better role as the lead in the film, but that is wishful thinking.

Whether you have read the book or not, this is a movie worth seeing.

Jazbaa.

jazbaa

Phew! What a film!! If you can see it, don’t miss it.

I had seen the trailer for this film when I had gone to see Talvar. I was intrigued to see some very powerful acting from Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Irrfan Khan and had decided to see the full film on release and duly went earlier this afternoon to our favourite theater just ten minutes driving distance from our homes.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Shabana Azmi and Jackie Shroff also putting in appearances and what with some excellent direction from Sanjay Gupta, excellent camerawork and editing, it was a very satisfying outing.

Aishwarya and Shabana put in stellar performances as mothers with their own agendas and the way the story takes a surprising twist towards the end enables their histrionic skills to get showcased. There is a bit of current topicality by including female foeticide to explain Aishwarya’s single status, which too sends a message.  On the other hand, Irrfan who was half inspiration for my decision to see the film was under utilised and his role could have been expanded to get more out of his presence in the film. Jackie Shroff’s is more or less a cameo role and he carries it off with aplomb.

The theme of rape and the justice system with some very critical observations about the police department adds spice to the narrative but the latter could well have been left alone as it did not contribute in any way to the story.

Despite that little negative criticism, I have no hesitation in giving the film a [rating=5] rating mostly for the remarkable performances from the two female leads.

I understand that the film is an adaptation of a Korean film Seven Days, and I intend exploring possibilities of getting that on DVD to compare.  If I succeed, I shall write a comparison review here in my blog.

Talvar!

talvar

I was dragged away by Ramesh during my siesta time yesterday, screaming and yelling all the way to the theater to watch this movie.

In retrospect however, I am glad that Ramesh dragged me to it. A film based on real and very much alive events of the last few years brought to Indian audiences without any major hiccups is a tribute to the way the story has been handled.

Other than the names Gulzar, though not the first name there, Irrfan Khan and Vishal Bharadwaj, I had not heard of any of the others involved in the film and I agreed to go based on just one name. Irrfan Khan. And he never disappoints me. He did not in this case either.

Enough has been written about the film by critics comparing it to various genres of films from across the world and I don’t want to join the chorus. I have followed the real story with some interest and have despaired at the ham handed way in which the whole case has been handled by the police and the media; so much so that it has become a big joke about our system.

The film does exactly what it is supposed to do. Keep viewers as ignorant as to who the possible murderer/s were in real life and speculate about the future of the currently in jail, parents convicted of murdering their child.

Those who have not followed the real life story on which this film is based,  will find the viewing experience unusual with all kinds of sub plots working their ways through the narration and thus be entertained to a rather different from the usual Hindi film experience.

One scene that will always remain in my memory is the retiring Director of the CDI telling his Assistant “The public sees the statue of justice as blindfolded, with scales in one hand,” It doesn’t see the sword in the other hand.  The sword is us, the police.  That sword has rusted through 60 years of disuse.  We have a real chance to clean some of that rust through your investigation of the double murder case in the 32 days before I retire.” That particular scene and the Retired Director’s return for another meeting later are powerful and difficult scenes that have been handled very well by the cast and the Director.  There are many other scenes which are memorable to lesser extent and I compliment Meghna Gulzar who apparently has directed other films which have escaped my attention.

Creditable performances by all concerned makes it a worthwhile viewing and I have no hesitation in giving it a full[rating=6] rating.