Monday, August 13, 2007

this weeks big release is chak de india!! and seems its the best release till date this year !!

sports movies are always dangerous wen it comes to bollywood. over melodrama unecessary side tracks and imbessile-like depiction of sports make it a very very unsound proposition to make a movie on sports.

but then there are those fluffy sport- films , and then there are films on sports and sportsmanship. chak de falls in the latter category.

the story of a disgraced former indian hockey team captain who tutors an underdog indian women's hockey team for the unthinkable worldcup win , makes for great cinema on paper.
thankfully, director shamit amin transales the concept seamlessly onto celluloid, giving us a warm freindly and believable hindi film on sports!

no cliche ridden film this is. srk as the coach , excells himself. in his best understated performance till date, he exudes a zen like calm and stals the show, inspite of not being the main character in the film.

having said this , the 16 girls who form the underdogs , the indian women's hockey team , are equally impressive. stark newcomers. these are a bunch of non actors.but its their rawness that makes them belevable. be it the northeastern girls who dislike being refered to as guests in their own country, or the telugu player who correctly dispises northindians who do not find tamil different from telugu, the characters and their potrayal touch a chord in the audiene.

but inspite of all this the real hero of the film is the script. amply describing the lackasidal attitude wid which sports are handled in this cricket crazy nation, the movie subtly shows the discrimination other sports face both from the authorities as well as the trp- hungry media.

combining this with the issue of gender equality, writer jaideep sahni has hit the bulls eye. a dash of patriotic fervour thrown in , sans the chest thumping - suny deol- brand of jingoism , gives us the right film for the independence day weekend!

and at last the clincher! the movie is preceeded by a teaser of the yars most anticipted movie, aaja nachle. jus a glimpse of the lady makes the trip to the theatre worth the ques outside it for the tickets!
watch chakde for srk
watch chak de for hockey and sportsmanship
or simply watch chak de to catch madhuri dixit waltz by in style

Monday, August 06, 2007

long since i saw a movie! how did i manage without it ?? don even ask me!!
well i broke my period of filmy celebacy with feroze abbas's my father gandhi, here goes how it was!
anil kapoor productions my father gandhi is a art film to the core. it never boasted to be a comemrcial art house cross-breed , yet one did not expect it to be an out and out doucmentary on the lives of a lesser known gandhi. and that takes away much from an otherwise brilliant film.

the movie is about hiralaal gandhi , the son of the father of the nation, and how he never saw a father in mahatma. the burden of being gandhi's son , ate into the soul of hiralal leading him onto a self destructive path to doom.
the movie is intended to tell hiralal's hitherto unheard story about his troubled relations with his illustrous father. but in effect it ends up espousing gandhi's larger than life figure and staure in the indian history. moreso because hiralals character seems ill-conceived. akshaye khanna as the doomed son of gandhi, manages to scrap thru with a good performance , but then he is seriously impaired by the lack of flesh in the role to dig his teeth into.
the only character apart from gandhi that leaves a mark is shefali chaaya as kasturbha gandhi. a naunced performance , with the electic mix of charm and will, shefali stealsthe show , chewing s up the scenes wid ease.
that brings us to the unintended main character of the film, gandhi. i guess it is difficult , near to impossible for indians to objectively analyse gandhi's character even after 60 yrs of independence. no i am not asking fopr a surgical character assasination , but what i mean to say is in the process of deifying the mahatma we have lost the chance of making him human, real and prevented the masses from making him a role model. this film does throw questions about him and his ideals, but most of the time , it is a tamed and muted protest .
more punch was needed , considering the manner in which gandhi wanted his own dreams to be fulfilled thru his son, int he process killing the ambitions and hopes of a young innocent man. and the eternally slow pace of the film doesnt help either. a subject like this demanded an edge of the seat race emotinal drama, and the director miserable fails at telling the story evenly.

finally , a period film about gandhi and his son , that leaves you with memories of just the good sets and the impressive cinematic styling of running through time without explanations, is a sad attempt at looking at one of the greates icons india has ever had. yet , it is a fresh attempt nevertheless.