Dhobi Ghat

Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) is the directorial debut of actor Aamir Khan's wife Kiran Rao. The film has done quite well in the festival circuits and has developed quite a hype among the Indian cine goers. The film got released yesterday here and it runs with No Interval.

The film follows the life of four interesting characters and showcases the connection they share. Prateik Babbar plays the role Munna, a dhobi and a wannabe actor. Aamir Khan stars as Arun, a painter who is in solitary and searches for inspiration for his next project. Monica Dogra plays the role Shai, an NRI investment banker on a sabbatical and is looking to explore the poor in Mumbai. And finally we have Kriti Malhotra playing the character Yasmin, a newlywed small town  girl who comes to the big city and is awestruck at how the city works.

Arun meets Shai at one of his art show and they end up having a one night stand after which he pushes her away with his attitude. Shai meets Munna and makes him her guide-friend and while the two spend more time together he develops a crush on her. But Shai still has some unfinished business with Arun. Meanwhile Arun finds his inspiration through a video diary of Yasmin, the ex-resident of his newly rented house. He finds it endearing to see the awe with which Yasmin sees the big city and the way she sees humor in the daily life of this city.

The director has done a great job in realistically showing the awkwardness that a dhobi faces with getting close with an uptown girl and the awe and discomfort that a small town girl would face in a big city. Kiran Rao as a writer has done a excellent job whereas Kiran Rao as a director has still some areas that needs to be worked on.

The ensemble cast of the film is fantastic.The lead Prateik Babbar gives a strong performance and the two lead ladies where pleasing to watch while Aamir is simply Aamir. The reason that I got glued to the screen was the beautiful cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray and the elegant background score by Gustavo Santaolalla.

This genre of film is something new to the Indian cine goers. So if you guys decide to watch this movie, go to the theater with some patience and an open mind and you are sure to enjoy this film.

 My Rating: 4/5

Half Nelson

Half Nelson is an indie that is directed by Ryan Fleck. This movie is about a Teacher's struggle with his addiction, a girl's realization that drugs cripple and the friendship that develops between them.

Ryan Gosling stars as Daniel Dunn, the History teacher who struggles with an addiction problem. Shareeka Epps starts as Drey, one of the students of Dunn who is living with her overworking EMT mother. Her brother is doing time in prison and his friend Frank(Anthony Mackie), a drug dealer tries to look after her but only in the way he knows how within the realms of selling drugs.

One day after the basketball game, Drey finds Dunn abusing drugs. Gradually they develop a non-traditional friendship. Their relationship is of two opposing forces as dialectics as can be.

A quote that might describe the heart of "Half Nelson":
"Contradictions are the source of all movement and of all life. All things are in themselves contradictory and it is this principle, more than any other, which expresses the essence of things."
The story by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden is brilliantly written. The individual problems that Drey and Dunn face are portrayed beatifully. They dont try to over explain any thing in this beautiful and moving story.The movie is beautifully shot, beautifully acted, and just like life in which ideals can float on top of emotional turmoil and children teach teachers.

Ryan Gosling gives an emotionally charged performance and Epps is a perfect foil to Gosling. The chemistry between the two was authentic. In the end Half Nelson is an absolutely beautiful film with phenomenal performances from the cast that makes this a Masterpiece.

 My Rating: 4.5/5

Mad Detective

Mad Detective aka Sun Taam is directed by Johnnie To and Wai ka-Fai. Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai team up after nearly four years to direct this brilliant Psychological Crime Thriller. The story of this movie is cleverly scripted and it has been stylishly shot and executed.

The movie revolves around a schizophrenic cop Bun(Ching Wan Lau), who was forcibly removed from the force after he presented his severed ear as gift to the Police Chief. Bun claims to have the ability to see the Inner Personalities of the people. Inspector Ho(Andy On) brings him out of retirement to investigate the case of Wong, a fellow cop who has been missing for over 18 months now and his gun has been used in three armed robberies.

Bun's primary suspect is Wong's former partner Chi-Wai(Ka Tung Lam) who has seven different inner personalities. The directors manages to keep the viewers on the edge of their seat with their expertly crafted storyline. It keeps the viewers guessing what will happen next.

One cannot relate himself with the lead character of this film, his behaviors may seem funny but later you can sense the sadness in him. Bun's method of investigating is really unorthodox, he puts himself in the place of the victim and try to connect with their inner personalities to find out what happened. Sometimes it may be difficult for the audience to differentiate the reality from fiction especially when you have eight actors playing a single character.

Nevertheless the movie has been Stylishly shot with a brilliant screenplay, Masterfully edited and the entire cast gives us a brilliant performance. The soundtrack of the movie is an added bonus, it manages to keep the eerie feel throughout the movie. The final scene of the movie is confusing at first but later gives us a clear picture. It has been brilliantly shot.

This movie has a creative script that is original. The directors Johnnie To and Wai ka-Fai give us an astounding psychological thriller in which everything works out. I am sure that in the near future there will an Hollywood director who will remake this movie in English and spoil the spirit of this film. In the end this is one of best thrillers from Asia in the recent past and it is Simply Superb!!

My Rating: 4.5/5

The Expendables

The Expendables is without question the most anticipated movie of the summer of 2010. The movie is directed by Sylvester Stallone. Its cast is a who's who of established action film stars of the previous three decades. Even though the previews gave away the cameo by Arnold Schwarzenegger, it still gave us just another reason to stand in line for this movie.

The Expendables describes a team of what could be considered mercenaries, or bounty hunters. They go on high-risk missions, guns in hand, and pick up the money owed to them at the end of the day. Their main mission in this movie is initially to overthrow a South American dictator in the fictional nation of Vilena. Eventually, they find that the real enemy is ex-CIA agent James Munroe (Eric Roberts) aided by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and a whole army of guerrilla soldiers.

This movie is full of action sequences, all of which are fun to watch. There are also some scenes involving knives (particularly ones thrown by Jason Statham) that even made me flinch. Although there are plenty of scenes involving knives and big guns, there are some great sequences involving hand-to-hand combat. You definitely don't want to take a bathroom break when 5'6 Jet Li takes on 6'4 Dolph Lundgren. There's also a fight scene between Steve Austin and Randy Couture that will satisfy both UFC and WWE fans.

Of course the scene everyone was talking about was the Stallone, Schwarzenegger & Willis scene. Which was one of the funniest parts of the movie. Their attempt to put each other down while out manning each other worked brilliantly and Willis threatening Stallone alone is worth the ticket price.

Everything about this movie is top notch. Right from the direction to the sets, its stunning. The screenplay is impeccable & the cinematography couldn't get better. The visuals are delightful. The music score is exceptional. Even though it is a slow movie, the pace seems very fast. The editing also is so well done. The dialogues are perfect, used in a really vulgar tone. The story is set in & around Equatorial Brazil. The locations shown are ideal.

The Expendables is the kind of film that enchants and enthralls. The bone-chilling, and all-the-other-adjectives-that-can-be-used kind of movie that's just replete with thrills. In the end this is one of best B-Movies that I have seen in a long time.

My Rating: 4/5


The movie Exam is a low budget british psychological thriller directed by Stuart Hazeldine. It was a thrill,a psychological mystery that i personally love as i am a big fan of movies that make you think! There's a famous saying in Greek, it goes,"If you want someone to hate you,make them think!". So some people might not like this movie as it does make people think.

The mystery-shrouded story of a job application process, Exam introduces us to eight candidates herded into a room to sit before a blank sheet each and provide the one answer necessary to get the position. The ensuing eighty minutes consist of the candidates desperately trying to discover the question they are required to answer and struggling to work together despite the uncertainty of who they can trust. With a very gradual and slow start, Exam gives us time to meet our characters, examine the story they play a part in, and formulate an early impression of what is going on. By the time things get going, we are fully versed in the world immediately before us, though the deeper mysteries lie as yet unawakened.

Exam is a gem of a film. This low budget psychological thriller is very clever, incredibly entertaining and the production values are all far better then you would expect from such an unknown film. It's tense, mysterious and has a great atmosphere, and more importantly it stimulates your brain. It's impossible to not get caught up in the story and try to figure out just what the hell is actually going on. It couldn't be more engaging. 

The aren't any known actors in the cast but their performances are not to be taken lightly. But what really made the film work was undeniably, the impeccable direction. In the end, Exam is a great low-budget thriller that puts many Hollywood blockbusters to shame. Definitely worth seeing and I'll be sure to check Stuart Hazeldine's next project after such a promising debut.

My Rating: 3.5/5


Saw the movie Kick-Ass directed by Matthew Vaughn this week. It has been a long time since I had endorphins pumping through my body after watching a movie but Kick-Ass did exactly that.Anyone who has ever wished to be a superhero, pretended to fly, super punch, turn invisible or just plain kick some ass but knew you never could...here's the movie for you!

Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is a typical New York teenager, who is a comic-book fan, and not in any particular group in High School. He is ignored by girls, including Katie (Lyndsy Fonseca), the girl he fancies. Dave however fantasises about what it would be like to be a superhero and he makes an effort to make it happen. After his first attempt at vigilante justice Dave ends up having a big accident and his nerve endings are damage. But this gives him a high pain threshold and after being videotaped fighting three men at once Dave becomes a internet sensation and his alter-ego, Kick-Ass is born. But Dave as Kick-Ass gets in over his head when he meets two real heroes, Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage), and his young girl Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz), a brilliant martial artist and skilled assassin. Big Daddy sets out to bring down the crime lord Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong), taking down his organisation from the bottom up. As Kick-Ass Dave is brought into their violence world. As well as these superhero actives Dave has to hide his identity, whilst using his fame in the internet age to help people out through Myspace. He also finally get's Katie's attentions, but for all the wrong reasons.

The acting from the entire cast was spectacular, but the one who stole the show for me was Chloe Moretz as the Hit-Girl - the incredibly volatile young superhero with a penchant for explicit language, which will surely propel her into the realms of stardom.

This is a top-notch directing by Matthew Vaughn. This movie will definitely make him one of the most sought after directors in the Hollywood. The way handled the action sequences was really incredible. There were some really impressive action sequences in this movie. The only other movie IMO that had these many incredible action sequences was Kill Bill

Kick-Ass is definitely a welcome addition to the realm of the comic-book movies. I had a blast watching this movie, I hope that you will too.In the end, Kick-Ass is not perfect, and it will not cater to everyone's tastes, but it is easily one of the most fun films of 2010.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Shorts On Sundays: Week #2

This week I am posting three beautiful short films that I enjoyed very much. Hope you guys like it too. So here are the three shorts.

1. Strangers:
This short is created by Erez Tadmor & Guy Nattiv. I find the message of this film interesting. Jews and Muslims have been forever enemies. When the muslim was in trouble with the skinheads, the jew tried to stay out of it, and he didn't want to have anything to do with the muslim's problem. But when they were both in the same boat, they worked together to beat the skinheads. This goes to tell us that even enemies can work together at times of adversities. I don't think the message is related to racism, but make peace, not war.

2. Nuit Blanche:
Nuit Blanche (from Spy Films) is a surreal, beautifully-rendered, partially-CG short film directed by Arev Manoukian. It explores a fleeting moment between two strangers, revealing their brief connection in a hyper real fantasy.

3. Notte Sento:
This short directed by Daniele Napolitano is made with 4500+ still photographs. A girl misses her train to Milan and is set to wait overnight in Rome until dawn. However, a chance encounter with a guy changes her plans and the night lights of the capital turn into the background to a tender love story. An extraordinary chemistry made of knowing glances and small gestures fills the few instants that separate them both from the sunrise.