Sunday, October 5, 2014

Traipsing through underwhelment; some mini-reviews of films.

Miss Lovely (2012 originally/2014 wider release) - I know, I know, this doesn't belong here, but I had to be honest about this. I love a lot of things about this movie; Nawazuddin Siddiqui is number two, while number one is the excellent cinematography. This camera knows where it wants to be, and creates a very interesting visual world for the film, complemented by fantastic period setting and accompanying art direction. Superb. Everything else, though? Plot, characters? I could take them or leave them. The depiction of the sleazy-yet-honest world of the A rating was fantastic, but I was never sucked in, fascinated by what was happening. Was it good? Yes, definitely. But I didn't love it.

Special Chabbis (2014) - I've tried to finish the last hour of this movie for about five to six times now, and I've failed each time. I can't figure it out. This got good reviews, I dig the cast a lot, there's things happening and yet I'm just like, "wow, this is .. something .. I'm going to go do dishes". For a heist movie, that's really bad. But I may be completely alone in this, admittedly. If something amazing happens during the final third of this movie, harass me about this, otherwise, I'm sorry but I tried.

Ishkq in Paris (2013) - This wasn't such a bad movie if it weren't for the fact that it managed to remind me why the film industry is such a rotten business, and it did all of this in a merciful 90 or so minutes. It's a simple enough romcom about two strangers meeting serendipitiously, spending a magical night talking and getting to know each other, only to depart with the intention of never seeing each other again. And yet.. The sound mix is writing cheques (emotional cues and comical effects) the writing of the film can't cash, which makes the film seem like a bad parody of a romantic film. Then there's the absolute tragedy of Preity Zinta, a tragedy too great to cover in such a small amount of space. This movie broke my heart, and I'm still recovering.

Chitrangada (2012) -  I bought this Rituparno Gosh film from Kolkata, as the plot description sounded deliciously ambitious - exploring themes of gender identity, the Chitrangada myth, love and dance all at once. Instead, when I finally sat down to watch this, I found it a slog to get even half-way through. A story about a choreographer (played by the director himself) falling for a drug addicted musician, the film plods along but I didn't connect to the characters, nor did I feel like it was saying anything very substantive. The musician character Partha is just plain unlikable and an obvious mess from the get-go, making the love story difficult to understand or root for. I get the sense that this was an intensely personal film for the late director, but I just felt very detached from it.

Ivan Veramathiri (2013) - I must stress that none of the films I'm covering here are awful, not even Ishqkqkqkq. It's just that thing where a movie fails to hook you in and keep you there for its duration. I saw ads for this Tamil flick while in Chennai and it looked okay enough, and the fact is, it is okay enough - the romance track is a little inane perhaps but Vikram Prabhu is alright and everything else works, yet I just didn't care? Now, a few months separated from the experience, I struggle to remember anything that happened in it, apart from the main points of the plot, and the heroine holding a gold fish in a plastic bag for the hero. I suppose that's something.


Anonymous said...

Re: Special Chabbis: Amazing is a strong word, and even though I like it a lot I don't know that I'd apply it to anything about the film (except maybe those Technicolor polo shirts). Most people are amused by the final set of plot twists, even if it opens up some major plot holes. In addition, I personally was amused by Akshay going all George Patton-in a benign way-on his new recruits shortly before the climax, and by Manoj Bajpai's reaction at the end.

But basically, if you stalled out on one of the points that had plot happening (as opposed to the romance track, which everyone but me finds a bore), it's probably safe to leave the movie unfinished. :)

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