Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mini-reviews, part paanch.

Did you know "punch" was originally an Indian drink, and the word came from 'paanch', Hindi for five? It's true! Not to be confused with Punsch, the Swedish traditional liquor that goes by the name "punssi" in Finland, generally consumed during Shrove Tuesday, which was yesterday. I had a pulla and it was lovely.

Oh, right, mini-reviews. The idea of these is to cover many movies quickly without making a post about each of them. The previous ones are here. I might eventually review some of these at length but for now, small paragraphs will suffice! These are films I've seen ages ago, most way before I began this blog.


41. Boys (2003) - This Tamil film by Shankar is a celebration of youth, a spring-board for many a young star (or perhaps just Siddharth and Bharath). The A. R. Rahman soundtrack is modern and rocking. Too bad the movie's not great. It has some pretty nice comedy but overall it's just not up to standards set by later movies with some of the cast members, or films directed by Shankar. Still, for a Siddharth completist, it's a must-see.

42. Jodhaa Akbar (2008) - Originally reviewed here. Damn epic, glorious film. But maybe a little too epic, too glorious? The visuals are nice, the love story is wonderful and the chemistry between Aishwarya and Hrithik is certainly there, but I think it suffers from the typical Ashutosh Gowariker flaw of being overly long, and a little too packed. Nevertheless, this historical epic has it all, and the hottest sword-fight ever.

43. Don (1978) - Originally reviewed here. I like the original Don but it doesn't fall into any favourites categories. Then again, neither does the remake. It's basically just a lovely 70's classic, with a badass Zeenat performance (her character beats Priyanka in the remake any day of the week).

44. Hamesha (1997) - Ugh, almost don't want to write about this movie. So, Kajol and Saif are favourites and unfortunately this is the only film in which they are romantically paired with (Yeh Dillagi doesn't really count to me since it's clear she only loves Akshay's character in that film). It's this supposedly epic re-incarnation story that is just so horrifically 90's with the fashion and the melodrama and the mullet and it just.. Please do not watch it. Even if many people have actually enjoyed it and been like "What's wrong with you, it's great cheese!". I like cheese. But this cheese stinks.

45. Andaz Apna Apna (1994) - My favourite comedy in any language ever, reviewed here. It's also really loud and slapstick and not everybody's thing but what do I care? It is so my thing.

46. Lekin... (1990) - Slow-paced but rather interesting supernatural mystery type film from director Gulzar. I watched this because it had Vinod Khanna and Dimple Kapadia, and a brilliant dance sequence by Hema Malini, the best one I've ever seen her do. If you don't mind watching 90's Vinod, it's a good film to go for, though like most Gulzar films, it's pretty slow and has super-long song sequences. Only this director can make a poetic film about such a peculiar question as, "Do ghosts exist?".

47. Shaque (1976) - A Vinod-Shabana film I watched in sync with Carla, my review here and hers is here. It's a weird one, basically a lowkey drama film about a wife (Shabana) who suspects her husband (Vinod) has killed a man and the drifts this causes in their marriage. As a drama goes, it's pretty good, but at some point near the end the film takes a sudden left turn and goes all masala on us. It's really sad it's not a better film because if it was, it'd be the best sample of this pair's collaboration.

48. Gangster (2006) - Does anybody else feel weird talking about Shiney Ahuja after his trouble with the law regarding a rape charge? Ugh, anyway. Gangster's an okay film. I thought Kangana as the woman struggling with her love being a gangster was effective, but that's about it - I hate to be judgmental but this movie basically made sure I'll never watch another Emraan Hashmi film. The utterly ripped off soundtrack is unfortunately also very catchy. Pritam, how we hate you.

49. Patthar Aur Payal (1974) - This is basically an okay 70's masala I like perhaps a little too much for its actual quality; it's one of those films that has crystalized as special to me even though it's merely all right. Dharmendra plays a bandit reformed by the love of a good woman (Hema Malini). But naturally there's a villain (Vinod Khanna). There are some pretty nice songs, though. Here's my favourite.

50. Life in a Metro (2007) - Hey, doesn't this share a director with Gangster? This film has a cast of characters whose lives zigzag in the city of Mumbai. Again, it's an okay film with some stand-out performances (Irfan! Sharman Joshi! Konkona Sen Sharma!). Kangana again plays a deeply troubled young woman, which makes me wonder if she's being a little typecast.. The film has its good moments, which is why I could edit it down to the better storylines and cut out all the distracting songs, picturized badly on a bunch of guys who wander the streets aimlessly.

6 comments:

MsBlogger said...

I really liked Andaz Apna Apnaas well! Loud, brash and totally hilarious! Aamir and Salman really need to work together again!

Jodhaa Akbar didn't really work for me, maybe because I saw it when I was tired at two in the morning. By the intermission I was getting sick of them constantly staring into each other's eyes!

I didn't know 'punch' was from 'paanch'! Ahhh... you learn something new everyday...

I enjoyed Life in a Metro but I agree Pritam and his band started to get annoying after the first couple of songs. It is the only film to date where I've actually enjoyed Shilpa Shetty's performance. Every time I see her, Chor Machhaye Shor comes in to my head. Urgh! Maybe I should try Phir Milenge...

sonia_bonjour said...

You're right about Boys. I watched it just for the sake of checking all the films w/ Siddarth....

Pessimisissimo said...

Veracious, love your mini-reviews!

As for Life in a Metro, I would've been more impressed with it if its central plot weren't taken practically scene for scene from Billy Wilder's The Apartment (1960). And I couldn't agree more that having the band wander around the streets like itinerant buskers during the songs got very annoying. The songs were bad enough, but we have to watch Pritam emoting, too?

veracious said...

MsBlogger - Yeah, in a way it's too bad the two Khans are now too big stars to work together.

sonia - Yep. The song picturizations and Siddharth kept me watching until the end.

Pessimissimo - Thanks! I typically never fastforward through song sequences but with that one I really had to make an exception.

shell said...

I don't remember if I've ever commented on your blog before, but thought now's just as good a time as any to say hi!
Don't you love doing the mini reviews? I've done a couple posts that way, though I often still end up with at least 2 paragraphs for each movie unless it's one that I absolutely couldn't stand.
Anyway, I've seen only a couple of these, but I simply ADORED Andaz Apna Apna. I don't think I got Indian humour until this film, but I thought it was absolutely hilarious and is now my very favorite comedy film! (I even liked Salman Khan in it and that's saying something!)

I may need to rewatch Jodhaa Akbar someday because, like Ms Blogger, I didn't really get it. I thought it was a beautiful film and the music was outstanding, but I didn't get swept away like i thought I would. However, Hrithik's sword practising scene is totally worth a rewatch!

I think that's it, but I really want to see Life in a Metro - I really really like Kokona. Also, I'd heard Gangster was pretty good. It's is hard to watch and enjoy anything with Shiney in it anymore though.

veracious said...

shell - Hello & welcome. Thanks for the introduction.

AAA is such an insanely funny movie. I only have to think of certain scenes to crack up laughing.

Jodhaa-Akbar, honestly, it fails on some levels. I think it's too long and meandering to be a solid good movie. But it has its moments.

Konkona-Irfan is one great reason to watch Life on a Metro!