Things to do this weekend

Here is my weekly recommendations on how to live life 😛 Thank me later.

Which Movie to watch?

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I am not going to say Black Panther. While it is good , what is excellent is “Three billboards outside ebbing missouri ” . A low on the radar movie , a black comedy cum drama which gives us a fun yet deeep insight on people process pain and how violence begets violence. Frances McDormand , Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson give the performances of their lives and the screenplay is one of the most atrociously delicious things I’ve lived through. If I am not convincing enough maybe the multiple Golden Globes and BAFTAs will convince you.

Activity to do

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Ride a Zoom Cycle. Zoomcars has launched an amazing initiative in Pune where you can rent cycles online for Re 1 per hour! It is located in several locations around the city and is a must go for nostalgic-health-environmental-and whattheheckitsjustfun reasons!

Which show to Binge?

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The Flash. Hear me out. The first season is one of the most intriguing and fun superhero creations out there. While season 2 was imaginative it took a turn for the dour like Arrow and season 3 was just … let’s pretend like it never happened. However , Season 4 has promised a return to form. Critics have christened it  to be the “Flash Lite” and the Thinker proves to be a better villain than the evil speedsters who just make people moan “Run Barry Run” . Now with an ensemble of Flash , Killer Frost , The Elongated Man and The Vibe ( let’s forget Iris) Team Flash sports one of the most charismatic casts out there. And the makers have given a much needed personality makeover to our Dear Barry Allen. So watch reader watch!

 

Where to eat?

Pandora Gastronomy & Bar , Yerawada , Pune.

I will quietly drop the pictures here , thank you .

  1. Citrus Bhel
  2. Malabar Chicken tarts
  3. Egyptian Fish (Basa)
  4. Truffle fries
  5. Ghee Roasted Chicken with Malabar Parotta
  6. Textures of Chocolate
  7. Kaffir Lime Chicken Tikka

And what to read I might ask?

Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie

A mixture of Mughal empire and Florence is what you didn’t know you needed in your life till it came along!

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“Rushdie weaves magic with his word. A hedonistic mixture of fable and history , I loved Akbar’s mind workings. Was annoyed by the Florence bit and soon fell in love with it and started hating the Mughal bit 😛 It keeps you in with feverish excitement and fantasy till the spell is broken because the enchanter himself got tired by the book’s end. Would have loved to know more about the Mughal dell amore. Still a thundering work from Rushdie which is a history lover’s delight.”

 

 

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

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.

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.