RIP K Balachander


From superstar Rajinikanth to DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, actor-turned-politician Vijayakanth to actors such as Vijay, Vikram, Arjun, Sathyaraj, Sarath Kumar, Khushbu, Prakash Raj, Sripriya, Manorama, Srikanth, Sivakumar, Dhanush, Visu, Mohan, T. Rajendar paid their last tributes.
Earlier, mourners queued up at the residence of the filmmaker, where his body was kept Wednesday for the people to pay their last respects.

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PK Review

Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi | Posted: December 19, 2014 2:37 pm | Updated: December 21, 2014 11:44 am
PK movie review
Star Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Saurabh Shukla, Boman Irani, Sanjay Dutt, Sushant Singh Rajput
Tweets
What keeps ‘PK’ afloat is Aamir Khan.
Director : Rajkumar Hirani
Is that a bird or a plane?
Old question, new answer. No, it is ‘PK‘. And who is PK? A guy in madly printed shirts, buttoned tight around the neck, eyes glinting green, mouth ringed paan-red. And what is PK? A voice of wisdom and reason, in a Bhojpuri accent. (Read: Aamir Khan – The versatile, Dhoom-ster and PK)
Laden with so many distinctive tics, the lead character in Rajkumar Hirani’s latest could have been a mess. But Aamir Khan plays PK not only to his strengths, but adds something new: we’ve seen his earnestness several times before, but not artlessness. That lack of guile leads us to believe in PK, and makes the film, up till the seamless first half, a terrific watch. (Read: Five reasons you must watch PK)
Till then, we get freshness and fun. PK’s journey from a distant Rajasthan village– where he meets colourful characters (Sanjay Dutt, in a ‘lahariya safa’), and a lady of ill-repute from whom he picks up a couple of crucial learnings– to Rajdhani Delhi, is gone through smoothly. His bumping into TV reporter Jaggu aka Jagat Janani (Anushka Sharma, trying for elfin charm) leads him to unburden his soul. And his problem: something that belongs to him is lost, and until that is found, he cannot go home.
Post interval, it slumps. The focus, which till then is on a character who intrigues us while interesting things are happening to him, gets diluted by a wholly superfluous romance (and songs, tuneful as a couple are), and a face-off between the guy awash in goodness who asks all the right questions and the bad godman who has all the wrong answers.
The robustness of the dialogue (it has a word which made me gasp and laugh out loud, but I’m not telling which) and the sting in the situations way to exposition. From this point on, ‘PK‘ becomes a message-y let-us-expose-those-who-give-religion-a-bad-name, just like the magnificent ‘Munnabhai’ took the pants off bad medical practice, its sequel docked legal sharks, and ‘3 Idiots’ taught a lesson to misguided educators.
The portly Saurabh Shukla, playing a white-robed crafty godman, is made up of all the ‘dhongi babas’ we’ve seen in the movies, and this movie’s taking the confrontation to the media (as a TV debate, because all media boils down to television, right?) makes it something we see all the time. On our TVs, right there in our drawing rooms. Rajkumar Hirani’s gift of telling the stories which are disappearing from mainstream cinema makes him the last man standing in Bollywood. ‘PK’ goes after religious fraudsters that divide and rule, with lines that speak of old-fashioned but crucial connections between ‘dharm’, ‘imaan’ and ‘mazhab’. What you need to re-purpose these themes is nuance, which, after a point, goes missing. This is where the Hirani magic recedes, and the film becomes commonplace. What keeps `PK’ afloat is Aamir. He holds on to the uniqueness of the lead character and helps us ignore the contrivances, right from when he appears with a tatty tape recorder as sole raiment, ears sticking out, and an expression which requires him to widen his eyes, and keep them wide open. Take a peek. – See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/movie-review/pk-review-aamir-khan/2/#sthash.uoJWu3eO.dpuf

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Actor Sadashiv Amrapurkar passes away

Actor Sadashiv Amrapurkar, who was being treated for lung infection at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH), passed away Monday morning.

READ ALSO: Lesser known facts about Sadashiv Amrapurkar

He was hospitalised about two weeks ago for lung infection and is kept in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

In his long career, he has won two Filmfare awards – in 1984, he won the award for the best supporting actor for Ardh Satya and in 1991, the best villain trophy for his portrayal of a ruthless eunuch in Sadak. Continue reading

Actor Sadashiv Amrapurkar On Life Support

Sad news!

Versatile Bollywood actor Sadashiv Amrapurkar, who has been hospitalised at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH) in Mumbai, is now on life support ventilator but his condition is stable, says his daughter Reema Amrapurkar.

“He is on life support but he is stable right now and has shown signs of improvement. His body is responding well to the ventilators. He suffered from lung infection a few weeks back following which he was hospitalised at Kokilaben hospital,” Reema Amrapurkar told IANS.

The 64-year-old was hospitalised two weeks ago and is currently in the Intensive Care Unit.

He is known for his performances in movies like Sadak, Ardh Satya among others. Continue reading

Happy New Year – Movie Review – FS

Happy_New_Year_Poster_(2014_film)When you go for a movie, you go with the hope to get entertained, thoroughly enjoy, come out with smiling faces and Happy New Year exactly does that. It’s thoroughly entertaining, witty and totally paisa vasool movie and you will come out with smiling faces. We all know what is the story of the movie, we all know there is no secret in the movie, we also know that this is mindless entertainment and we also know that it is somewhat inspired from couple of Hollywood movies but in spite of these “we know things”, I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie with my family.

We all know how good the movie “Chak De India” is and how brilliantly Srk performed but one thing I observed that whenever there are any dialogue deliveries related to the country or patriotism, his voice tone gets Hindustani from filmy and ignites some kind of fire, magic, passion and love for the country within. His speech from “Filmfare” award on “best personality award”, his speech and dialogues of the movie” Chak de India”, his emotional and heartrending dialogues of “Swadesh” and a small but stirring dialogue of HNY during the last dance enraptures you completely.

Now let me tell you about the performances and I would like to start with “Boman Irani & Abhishek Bachchan’s” deadly comic duo but if you want to segregate the performance based on individual than you can’t decide which actor was better in the two. The next best was the team’s (all actors together specially in the first half of the film) enthralling performances followed by “Srk”, “Deepika”, “Sonu” and 50gm ka paneer as the Leading actors. On the other hand, Jackie Shroff was looking fab as villain and he justified his role without much hazzle or show off.

Farah Khan is brilliant in direction and her direction was best in the first half of the movie. Some of the scenes are rib tickling and in continuation which does affect your stomach and the team has done an exceptionally brilliant job in the comic department. They were absolutely hilarious in most of the comic scenes only due to their timing and expressions. Overall the Movie is Fantastic. 4/5 Continue reading

Movie review by Anupama Chopra: Haider is deeply stirring


Haider
Direction: Vishal Bhardwaj
Actors: Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Kay Kay Menon, Irrfan Khan, Shraddha Kapoor
Rating: ***1/2
There is much in Haider that deserves a standing ovation. Let’s start with the courage of director Vishal Bhardwaj. Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most difficult and ambiguous texts. It’s also his longest— it takes over four hours to deliver.
Hamlet in itself is a beast to be tamed. Vishal and his co-writer, the acclaimed Kashmiri journalist Basharat Peer, transplant the play to Kashmir. It plays out against a socio-political tragedy that has been wrought over six decades and that has a Rashomon-like quality to it — the heroes and villains switch places, depending on the narrator.
The result is a film that is problematic and far too long, but also thrillingly ambitious and powerful.
The action takes place in 1995. There is something rotten in paradise. Pura Kashmir quaid khana hai, a character remarks. Haider, played by Shahid Kapoor, returns home from Aligarh.
His father, a doctor who tries to save a militant’s life, has been imprisoned by the army. His house has been razed. His mother Ghazala, played by Tabu, has moved into his uncle’s house. The air is thick with deceit. Haider the poet slowly transforms into Haider the murderer.
Haider was shot almost entirely in Kashmir, but Vishal isn’t interested in presenting the picturesque tourist spots. Instead, we see narrow lanes, unadorned homes and swathes of snow that turn red as the bodies pile up. Vishal doesn’t flinch from brutality — men are murdered and abducted by Indian forces while women weep and a strange madness envelops the land. It’s horrific.
It’s also stretched and structurally disjointed. At one point, a romantic song randomly interrupts the flow. The Kashmiri accents are inconsistent. In places the narrative meanders, and Vishal seems to be losing his grip. At times, I got restless and wondered if perhaps the makers had bitten off more than they could chew.
But the one thing that doesn’t falter is the talent. Kay Kay Menon, whose ability is wasted in films like Raja Natwarlal, returns to form as the conniving advocate who covets his brother’s wife.
Irrfan Khan, playing the militant Roohdaar, brings an unflashy competence to the story. In the beginning, Shahid seems out of his depth; this is, after all, one of the toughest roles in literature.
One that actors like Sir Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh wrestled with. But slowly Shahid comes to inhabit Haider, veering from rage to jealousy to madness in a heartbeat. And towering above them all is Tabu— the mother who aches, loves and ultimately loses.
At the heart of Haider is the love between a passionate, complex woman who seeks a sliver of happiness amidst overwhelming circumstances, and her son, who both loves her with an unnatural intensity and hates her for her betrayal of his father. Vishal handles the Oedipal undertones with exquisite daring and understanding. This relationship powers the film. Haider must be seen for this alone.
Go into the film knowing that it is problematic and unwieldy. And that it is one side of the story — Kashmiri Pundits get a token mention and, after being cast as the villain, the Indian army gets a line of praise for its handling of the floods in Kashmir.
Those are stories that perhaps other filmmakers will choose to tell. But I can guarantee that you will emerge from Haider shell-shocked. And when was the last time a Hindi film did that to you?

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I Candy

Thoughts on AR Rahman’s gloriously fun and wholly individual soundtrack for the new Shankar film.

You know that familiar Tamil-cinema contrivance where a prisoner in handcuffs is being led away in a police van, and the van stops at a crossing, and the prisoner looks around furtively and sees a chance, and as the cops are looking the other way (or maybe after a scuffle) he slips out and runs into the forest, and he runs and he runs, and then, in a clearing, there’s a conveniently located shack where a sweaty smithy is pounding away on an anvil, and he looks up and sees those handcuffs in front of his nose, and he brings his hammer down and frees the prisoner? That’s the picture that kept coming to mind as I listened to AR Rahman’s soundtrack for Shankar’s I. Free. That’s what Rahman sounds like here. Free from the constraints of Tamil cinema. Free from hewing to situations. Free to leap off a cliff and land on a passing cloud and float away for a while. Whatever you think of Shankar’s filmmaking, you have to give him this: he wields one hell of a hammer. He liberates Rahman.

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