Oye Simran. Arey kingsman.

Oye Simran

I walked into the movie theatre with no preconceived idea of the movie. The ticket was just 90 bucks and it had Kangana as the lead. How bad could it be?

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Very Very Very bad.

It is very easy to shake of a bad ‘commercial’ star film. Almost all of them are bad and no one really takes them seriously. However , it is much more frustrating to watch an amazing performer like Kangana get caught in an awful script which she apparently wrote herself!

The movie starts of very nicely. Watching an independent , hardworking NRI woman let her hair loose in Vegas was immensely fun. If the film had followed that path of her balancing work and play we would have all had a good time.

The films plot goes awry when our heroine loses all her money to gambling and ends up owing money to a shady gangster type person. Instead of trying to work for it or report to the police about the goondagiri of the moneylenders she decides to coerce her father to give money. When doesn’t work out she plans to rob a bank acting like she is carrying explosives.

Apart from making the American banks and police look incredibly foolish , the movie proceeds to make the protagonist awfully unsympathetic by making the tone of these crimes into comedy! I understand the tone in a movie like Queen or a Tanu weds Manu but when you try to make a biopic like this into a long bad joke your heroine tends to end up becoming completely unlikable. For some reason , I don’t think that is what the writing team for going for.

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The movie also has a romantic arc which actually plays out very genuinely. Soham Shah plays the solid , dependable guy who is perfect to a fault. His answers to Praful ( Kangana’s name in the move) probing questions made me want to pluck him from the screen and make him my boyfriend 😛

The acting , cinematography , music were all top notch. I still go oye oye Simran when I really don’t want to.  I appreciate that the movie steered cleared off unnecessary drama but the fact that it treated such serious material is such a light way made the whole movie watching an unhappy experience.

I almost forgot. I forgot the part where they said something like she was serving only 10 months in prison for her crimes. Are you kidding me? She was guilty of armed robbery in more than one occasion and also threatened of a bomb to rob banks. The real Simran got 66 months imprisonment. It is an offence you could go to jail for life.

Just putting it out there so that no one gets any ideas after the movie.

 

Verdict – 2/5

 

 Kingsman2

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I went into Kingsman2 with high expectations. The first part was unexpectedly very entertaining and wanted more of the same. With a giant cast which includes Channing Tatum , Halle Berry , Pedro Pascal , Julianne Moore the movie ended up slightly disappointing me.

They did too less with all the resources at their disposal.

And then there was that completely unnecessary scene where our hero inserts a foreign object into a woman’s vagina without her knowledge or consent in order to save the world.

Surely in a movie where you can use advanced technology to freeze the bullet going into someone’s head , you can have a GPS tracker which  can reach a person via a non mucous membrane?

I mean we have been watching enough spy movies to know that it can be injected into your blood or mixed in your drink or whatever. Point is I don’t think anyone enjoyed that sleazy scene of the hero inserting something up his nemesis’ girlfriend’s genitals. Someone should really explain these directors the meaning of entertainment.

 

Verdict – 2.75/ 5

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Reviewing the Unknown

There is nothing sadder out there, than putting yourself out there , only to be never noticed and slip into oblivion. Especially if it involves art – into which you inputted your blood , sweat and tears. This thought kept gnawing my heart till I decided to embark on a risky endeavour. To try and make a list of EVERY TAMIL FILM which releases every Friday and watch it at random. I obviously cannot watch all but I certainly have an assorted bag of sorts here. The quality isn’t always top notch but some were more worthwhile than the so called ‘ Star Vehicles’.

 

So in no particular order , I present to you my list  of my Not very well known movies : –

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  1. Sawaari – Must be the least known movie of the lot. It released in March 2016. It has a cast of actors no one knows about and it starts very promisingly. It is about a psycho killer who gets into people’s car in the ECR and murders them in a gruesome manner! The movie had so much potential. The first half was particularly engaging. We whirr our heads trying to find who the psycho is but truth be told the possibilities in our head are more exciting than what the truth actually turns out to be. Once the guy is revealed , he becomes infinitely less menacing and just keeps laughing a ‘psycho’ laugh to annoy you. I think the pressure of making a full length script got to the movie and the movie literally goes off rail from the exciting mystery thriller format to a more generic and frustrating black comedy format towards the end. The acting wasn’t particularly engaging either. Verdict – First half was first a watch , second half was just meh.
  2. Achaaram – This film released in June 2015 and I wish it stayed buried in the oblivion it belongs to. Some movies are so bad that you cannot unsee them and this movie certainly falls in the category.                                                                                                acharam-movie-poster_142717376200IDK why on earth Ganesh Venkatraman would choose such a cringe inducing film. He is responsible for his own downfall. On paper it may have sounded like Sivappu Rojakkal and even unique but the execution leaves a LOT to be desired. The movie is about a cop who turns into a psycho after his fiancée leaves him in the marriage hall for her lover. While his plight is brought out in a sympathetic manner , the ‘lovers’ are portrayed as completely selfish and responsible for every over reaction that resulted as result of their action which was admittedly executed in a wrong manner. A more balanced narrative or nuance would have helped the movie. Heck they could have stuck with the Vaali like narrative they have in the first half and made the hero a full on pervert , that would have been more interesting than this moral lecturing. Verdict – I know you will never watch. But still it is my duty to say ‘ PLEASE DON’T WATCH’.
  3. Thottal Thodarum –   This movie released on January 2015 and was directed by noted film critic Cable Shankar. It was a pleasant surprise to say the least. First of all , the story was based primarily on the Female lead , who had a proper backstory , ambition and spoke like a normal human being. And in Tamil Cinema nowadays , that itself is an achievement of sorts.thottal-thodarum-movie-poster_142148574700 The film starts of simply with a standard love track which was surprisingly natural and enjoyable to watch and a crime conspiracy angle which gets interwoven to the main narrative in the interval. Although dramatic it is engaging and the movie doesn’t slack in pace till the last 15-20 minutes. The climax is very abrupt and badly shot which dampens all the good work the movie did till the end. It is still worth a watch for its engaging story and natural performance of its characters. Verdict – Try it
  4. CSK 1427818149-csk-charles-shafiqpop1 Titled CSK or Charles Shafiq Karthiga , this movie released on March 2015 and is a decent attempt to say the least. The characters and stories are generic in the beginning and I resigned myself to another run of the mill story about a possible love triangle. I was pleasantly surprised when the whole story started to focus on one night in a creepy office building and when it became all about karthiga. The other characters are one note but perform their roles convincingly. The screenplay was taut and I actually felt chills in the ‘thrilling’ sequences because unlike a star movie , I don’t know if the protagonist will make it alive in one shape out of this one. The shafiq story was unnecessary in my opinion. Verdict – Go for it!
  5. Orange mittai / kappal –   orange-mittai-31715-m1I put these films in the / category because they are better known films with proper stars backing them. For me Orange Mittai is a rare misfire from Vijay Sethupathi. While his characters is played well and so is the Ambulance driver’s there is not much happening in the story to warrant the emotional sequences. For a movie which is all about feelings I barely felt anything. Verdict – Should have been a short film  Talking about Kappal it is a comedy film which starts very funnily. The premise is so preposterous that it can only be a comedy movie. It is about 5 friends who decide they will never marry and one of the friends is our playboy vaibhav who just wants a girlfriend and runs to Chennai in the pretext of a career. What happens when the friends find out that our hero got his heroine? Actually the movie was fun till that question came up , the female lead is shown in ‘urban’ light without it being a crime. However , the childish antics of the friends are gross and just wrong after a point that it makes no sense that Vaibhav backs them over his (over) supportive girlfriend. The films has its moments where it gets you laughing but the friends and the sudden ‘emotional’ overtures puts me off.maxresdefault Verdict – Go for it , if you can stomach misogyny and crassness masking as fun.

Assassin’s Creed movie : A Fan’s review

So Narayanan is sharing his take on Assassin’s Creed – the movie. You can check out his blog here 

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Assassin’s Creed, the movie based off the games of the same name, released a few days back in 2016. For fans of the series, it was released the same day that Desmond Miles opened the Grand Temple in Assassin’s Creed III.

Despite critics giving it poor ratings and writing it off as another failed video game movie, it is everything but. It was specially mentioned that the movie doesn’t have anything to do with the games which have been released, but is a part of the same universe, and the movie doesn’t disappoint.

It even plays out like an assassin’s creed game. In the beginning we get a glimpse of what the memory inside the Animus is like, followed by an introduction of the real time character protagonist, and then begins the plot.

So let’s start at the beginning.

All assassin’s creed games are divided up into memory sequences. Within the Animus memories, the local languages are made into English for the gamer’s convenience. However, with the movie, it remained true to the actual memory of the ancestor being revisited. It’s a nice touch, I thought.

The sequence of events is so clear and cut in the movie that I am seriously expecting an Xbox 360 notification in the corner of the screen somewhere, saying “Achievement Unlocked.”

Now. A few things about this movie really stand out to me, and I have both good and bad things to say about this movie, but the good far outweighs the bad.

Firstly, the direction and the editing. Critics gave the movie a low rating, saying that the movie spent more time in the real world than inside the memory of the ancestor. I have to say, this is true, but the generalization is unjustified.

The way the direction and editing of the movie are done, it seamlessly switches between the Animus memory and the real world, so you have one moment where a polearm swing starts off with Aguilar, and ending with Callum lynch, showing how the animus works at synchronizing the memories of both ancestor and descendant. So, a lot of the scenes were never really 100% inside the animus, like what we find inside the games, leading to the generalization of “65% of the movie is in the real world, and not in the animus.”

The second thing I liked about this was the Animus. In the games, all of them till Assassin’s Creed III, we had an animus which would make the subject in an almost comatose state as he/she would progress through the memories of his/her ancestor. Basically the memories would be visible to the subject only in their mind, and these memories would show up as electrical data and viewed and recorded by whoever was monitoring the situation outside the Animus.

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Not the best way to go about in a movie. People were complaining about the premise of the movie already, and now we want to add the whole “Wait. He went to sleep, and woke up with super agility and strength? Is this a remake of The Matrix?” to the mix? Nope.

The new animus actually features a movable arm which helped the memories take shape in a semi physical form, visible to the observers directly, instead of through a monitor. Again, coming back to the visuals and the direction, this was amazing.

The fight scenes, both big and small, had the audience at the edge of their seats. The combat shown was incredible and looked incredibly realistic and not drawn out or over exaggerated like most other films tend to do.

A lot of people said that they didn’t understand the movie because they didn’t play the game beforehand. Now, most likely these are the same people who would be marching up and down the aisle screaming the words “video game movie curse” to anyone who would listen, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make here. A lot of terminology that game fans are familiar with have been mentioned and explained, like the Bleeding Effect, the leap of faith, and the Apple of Eden.

The actual plot is actually pretty simple. The movie revolves around one thing mainly: finding the Apple of Eden. That’s what the Templars’ Abstergo foundation want. That’s what the majority of the movie is about. The whole part about meeting other assassins in the facility, and seeing the switch at the end of the movie made it better than just having everyone parading around like NPCs.

Characters are pretty good as well. We don’t have the single minded evil scientist in Sophia Rikkin, which we saw in Warren Vidic. We have a protagonist character with a past, and character development, and an actual personality. We had side characters who brought a lot to the movie.

The bleeding effect shown in the movie was very well thought out and executed. Instead of having personalities of the old assassins threatening to overwrite the subject’s mind, it shows up as hallucinations which don’t cause nearly as much damage as they did in the games.

The movie plays out like the game, and to veteran Assassin’s Creed players, you can even mentally distinguish between the memory sequences. However, there are a few things which don’t sit well with me about the movie.

The length. While the movie is about one hour and fifty minutes, I feel like the movie was focusing entirely on the main plot of an AC game, and not bothering to deal with any of the side quests. Yes, the movie was amazing, but I would have liked to have seen some more of the scenes between each memory sequence of the Assassin Aguilar.

The bleeding effect and the Abstergo industry. Now, I did praise the inclusion and execution of both above, but there were a few drawbacks and flaws which I thought were pretty obvious. Abstergo has been the face of the Templars in the 21st Century, and no longer officially go by the name “Templars.” The setting of Abstergo: Spain was very well done, but it looked a lot like a reuse of the models used by Castle Sant’Angelo (the one from Brotherhood)’s interior, and the abstergo facility from AC III. I would have liked them to have gone for a more modern and unique look for the facility, but maybe I’m just asking for a bit much.

Most assassins in the games are shown to have three abilities that set them apart from everyone else: free running, combat mastery, and the eagle vision. Through the bleeding effect, these abilities are passed on to the subject inside the animus. Callum Lynch was bestowed with both free running and combat mastery, but throughout the movie there was never any mention of eagle vision. Once the movie started and the first two sequences had been completed and we saw the way the free running and combat was being transferred, I was eagerly looking forward to how the movie would showcase the eagle vision. Suffice to say, I was incredibly disappointed that it never made an appearance. I mean, sure, leaps of faith, and free running are iconic to the Assassin’s Creed universe, but so is possession of the Eagle Vision! Hopefully they add this in the upcoming movies.

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Lastly, the presence of Michael Fassbender himself. It seemed there was a bleeding effect between the real world and the movie of sorts as well. Fassbender, known for his iconic portrayal of the mutant Magneto in X Men: First Class, Days of Future Past and Apocalypse, seems to have some of that fame pass on to the movie. Don’t get me wrong, his acting was phenomenal, both as Lynch and Aguilar.

However, in the movie, there was…

The security guards were carrying batons, and the plastic and glass ones. Similar to the ones we see in the X men movies when Magneto is kept under guard. Towards the end, you had a security officer in the 21st Century, shooting with a Crossbow. A Crossbow. Miniature, and possibly made entirely from fiberglass or other light materials. There was also a lack of any firearms.

Yes, there was a notion that none of the patients should be harmed or had unnecessary force exerted on them, but there was no contingency for having actual firearms in case of an emergency?

People at Abstergo acting like Michael Fassbender was still Magneto, with the ability to take their guns and shoot them with it. The management of the Abstergo facility seems to be either really lazy, or really stupid. The inclusion of a crossbow in the 21st century was appalling to say the least.
So in conclusion, I have to say that the movie was amazing. I don’t know what most of the critics were thinking when they gave this movie a bad review and rating. Most of the reviews given seem like they were already of some biased opinions before going to see the movie, and in some form, contemptuously looking at the movie for being based off a game. People also saying that the movie ended without closing all loose ends, despite the fact that the movie was intended to be a part of a trilogy and not as a standalone movie.

Yes, I can accept that out of 10, 2 points can be taken off for not including the eagle vision, the inclusion of the crossbows and pretending that it was Magneto not Callum Lynch they had imprisoned, and the weird potential romance between Lynch and Sophie Rikkin.

A good movie, worth watching in the theatres. Probably not in 3D because most 3D glasses tend to make the scenes darker and less visible than they ought to.

 

Laa shay’a waqui’un matlaq bale kouloun moumkin.


Nothing is true. Everything is permitted. 

Dangal movie review : A must watch!

Right off the bat , A big THANK YOU for the overwhelming response to the first post. That means this test blog becomes a full fledged one!

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Thank you!

Today , I am going to ‘review’ the latest sensation in movies – DANGAL. You guys should know that this is not a typical review ; I am not a typical reviewer. First of all , I don’t know Hindi 😛 so to comment on the movie’s dialogues or nativity is beyond me. I hardly watch movies in theatres anymore and haven’t watched an amir khan’s movie in theatre since Ghajini.

Which is probably why you should listen to me when I say – PLEASE WATCH DANGAL.

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Dangal Dangal

It is a movie about the Phogats. A man who couldn’t achieve his wrestler dreams due to reality tries to make it possible through his daughters. Being almost a biopic , I was surprised when the movie dealt with all the characters in a mature way and didn’t try to make them glorified cardboards.

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Haanikaarak Bapu

Aamir Khan plays the disillusioned wrestler turned dad coach marvellously. There is no room for pretention or heroism here. I was more impressed with his potbelly than 8 packs. Hats off to him for making me forget that he was a star for the length of the movie. He plays a character with shades of grey and yet makes us root for him. The scene where he cuts of his daughter’s hair was terrifyingly portrayed. I loved how they didn’t romanticise it.

 

And that is what I LOVED about the movie. They have told the story as it is ( with a few obvious masala elements towards the end) and haven’t tried to judge the actions of anyone.

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Gita aur babita

Coming to performance of other actors – the child actors who played Gita and Babita were amazing! They made you feel the pain and youthfulness and efforts of their journey without much fuss. The guy who played their cousin was equally good and very funny. The music in the initial portions were a blast and made a should be serious film into a very entertaining one xD

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Contrived Conflicts

After the interval , the movie became a bit weird. The older gita and babita were obviously good. However , their conflicts seemed a bit artificial. Why should Gita listen to her dad over a national coach? And why should a coach always be an inept villain? If they had vindicated the coach and made Amir learn a lesson , the movie would have been more entertaining.

 

While the ending was a bit too much cliché it was VERY entertaining. The choreography of all these wrestling matches were so good. I totally forgot that I’m watching a movie which is imitating actual wrestling! When the national anthem played , I genuinely stood up out of respect for the Phogats.

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While no movie is flawless , I feel every one must watch this film to learn more of the struggle of our nation’s non cricket heroes. That is the least we can do to support them. And also , notice the patriarchy steeped everywhere in the film and how Gita and Babita escaped at least one aspect of it.

 

Verdict – Must watch.

Marriott Food Truck – Please go.

Warning : Don’t read this with an empty stomach!

Welcome to our First Real Post! The motto of this blog is to review , analyse , dissect anything which can be experienced for the heck of it and also so that the next person can know what to expect ( only if they want to) So strictly speaking , this is a ‘REVIEW BLOG’ but in the widest terms possible.

Today we’re reviewing this awesome food truck experience I had a chance to relish with my friends. JW Marriott is a place most dream to dine at but can hardly afford to. The Food Truck in the PBC of Marriott makes high quality food affordable to even students. Right off the bat , every food item we ate cost only 200 bucks each ( excluding taxes) Pick up your eyes off the floor , we have ground to cover.

So , the Food Truck has been around for almost a year now without much publicity. Like most friends we have been planning almost every week to visit but keep failing to actually go. We were pretty sure that our high expectations of JW was going to dampen the experience – luckily it did not.

Ambience – With popular English music and outdoor environment and reasonably quick service , we had nothing to complain about. The staff even took pictures of us when we requested them to.

The FOOD ( I don’t have the actual names of the dishes , so I’m making them up a bit)

  1. 3d pull lamb – inside the bun

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The absolute star of the day. The lamb just fell apart in your mouth as promised and it was amped up with aromatic spices and sauces which made it divinely juicy. There were 2 slider like buns and is a very filling dish. What one might call Paisa Vasool *_*

2. Lasooni Techaa Pizza

Thin crusted pizza topped with cheese , garlic and chicken this one will satisfy the Indian and Italian in you. I found it a bit mild but my friend who ordered it found it perfect and since she loves all things garlic and chicken I think she is the better judge.

3.  BBQ Chicken Boti on a stick

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I ordered this mistaking it for a hotdog ( don’t ask me why ; I’m prone to stupid errors , the word ‘BBQ’ makes me dumb and weak) While it is not a ‘filling’ dish per se , it is a delicious starter accompanied by the smokiest and yummiest bbq sauce of all time.

4. Frappes

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The picture above is of a chocolate frappe. It is so loaded with chocolate that you won’t minded being killed by it. Another frappe we ordered was the ‘PBC frappe’ – while it wasn’t so rich in flavor it compensated with delicious whipped cream and a subtle understated complexity which was equally enjoyable in a quiet sort of way.

5. Veg pizza

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Our only vegetarian friend ( she is a cutie) ordered this delicious veg pizza. It ticked most of the boxes in terms of crust and cheese but needed a bit of Tobasco sauce to liven it up.

6.  Cone Pizza – Chicken Filling

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The most intriguing dish on the menu. The top part was absolutely delicious ( I’m a sucker for cheese though) but the insides which had a combination of chicken and sauces didn’t quite live up to the promise of the top. It was also very awkward to eat for a messy person like me.

7. For the table – Fries and Fried dumplings

We were too involved with our mains to take pictures of the starters. The fries were bleh not that crunchy and too common to enthral us. Easily the most boring dish. It was called cheesy fries but didn’t have much cheese , that made me sad. The fried dumplings was so hot that I didn’t know what I was eating. So they were pretty forgettable dishes.

They were nitpicks in what was an excellent dinner and night out with friends. While it isn’t exactly a pocket friendly night , it didn’t burn a hole like imagined too and was totally worth the food. Please try it out if you are in Pune and haven’t already. Might be the only chance to experience such high quality food at affordable rates 🙂

Verdict – Aren’t you on your way already?

Assorted Box of Chocolates.

To all those wondering what this is , here it is. This is a piece of virtual space where you can dissect any piece of music , art , food , tv show or movie which riveted you or disappointed you. Even if you don’t wanna actively create a post , you are more than welcome to join us in this endeavour to discuss everything under the sun. After all , life is like a box of chocolates. Let us relish and over analyse every bite without any judgements!