Anabelle (ENGLISH)

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Prequel to the cult hit The Conjuring. What else needs to be said for this film. So whats there in this prequel. Need to have a look into that. Mia and John are a sweet and happy couple and they are expecting their first child. They get a gift which is nothing but a doll (Anabelle) and along with it comes the evil too.

The film starts interesting and only till that it looks interesting. After that it just checks out what a normal horror will would have. Creepy Sounds, yes it has. Doors closing automatically, yes it do. So this is what the entire film is about. Horror fans seeking mainstream films are stuck with Annabelle, a poorly conceived jumble of half-baked pretension executed entirely without joy for the benefit of the easily bamboozled. The premise is flimsy and the leads are tolerable, but the film never manages to rise above mediocrity. There isn’t much suspense and the scares are minimal.

Annabelle goes on towards extended cliches, repetitive scenes and yawn-inducing dialogues in the second half. None of those cliches is more grating. It could have been a decent but unremarkable prequel, instead it ends up being mostly worthless. Give a miss..!! 🙂

Haider (HINDI)

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Starring: Shahid Kapoor Shradha Kapoor, Tabu, Kay Kay Menon, Irrfan Kapoor and many more
Editing : Aarief Shiekh
Cinematography: Pankaj Kumar
Music, Written and Directed by: Vishal Bharadwaj

Vishal Bharadwaj, who is very well known for presenting very old literature with modern touch returns this time for his own interpretation on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (maybe thats why the film name is starting with ‘H’ too). His previous interpretations were Maqbool (based on Macbeth) and Omkara (based on Othello). He joins hands with one of his previous hero Shahid along with many big acting stalwarts. The hype was good as how it will be for all Vishal’s films. So lets see how the movie is turned for the Indians.

The film is set in 1995, when militancy in Kashmir was at its peak. Haider (Shahid Kapoor), a young student who returns home from university on receiving news of his father’s disappearance after being picked up by the army. Equally upsetting is the discovery that his mother, Ghazala (Tabu), has taken up with his father’s brother, Khurram (Kay Kay Menon). When Haider learns the truth behind his father’s death, he’s plunged into grief and rage, and is possibly losing his mind. Whether he was able to find his father or not is the fitting finale of the film.

Vishal Bhardwaj’s story telling is poetic without any doubt but the pace is so leisurely that the interest gets evaporated for the majority audience. The second half gets the needed pace which makes us glued to the seat. Through the intriguing screenplay, Bhardwaj proves that Shakespeare’s classic is very much capable of captivating the audiences of today. While it lacks complete commercial value, its intricate storyline will keep the audience mesmerised from start to finish.

Shahid Kapoor delivers his strongest performance yet, skillfully going from helpless to grieving to obsessed with revenge. The film though belongs to Tabu, who infuses an aching vulnerability to her part. Fragile and heartbreaking, she is the trump card used by the director. Kay Kay Menon sinks his teeth into the slimy Claudius role, and Shraddha Kapoor, blessed with the most expressive eyes, oozes earnestness as Arshia, torn between familial pressure and her childhood sweetheart. With minimal dialogue, Irrfan Khan leaves a lasting impression as the shadowy stranger bearing a crucial message.

As if conducting an orchestra, Bhardwaj lines up his instruments, employing camera, music, and artful production design to deliver a moody drama that feels consistently authentic. Pankaj Kumar’s cinematography, in particular, is the man of the moment. The stunning landscapes and the inventively shot play-within-a-play song-sequence aside, we get a real, lived-in sense of Kashmir as inhabited by the characters themselves. The drama is pumped up by swelling orchestral background music, calling attention to itself. Haider is superb, witty, violent, tragic – magic all because of the man. Mr.Bharadwaj, take a bow. Splendid interpretation with all guns well loaded and attacked perfectly. This film is a highly stimulating cinematic experience for a thinking audience. So dont miss this chutzpah..!! 🙂

Jeeva (TAMIL)

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Starring: Vishnu Vishal, Sridivya, Charlie, Soori, Lakshman and many more
Editing : Antony
Music : D Imman
Cinematography: Madhie
Written and Directed by: Suseendran

The director is back with a sports genre and with the hero whom he introduced in his debut film. The film is just based about the game of cricket and the pre release hype was given by the two other heroes getting associated themselves with the film. So lets see what this Jeeva is going to give us.

Jeeva (Vishnu Vishal) is hooked to cricket from a young age and he wants to be one another player playing for his country. He comes from a lower middle class family, and struggles to buy a cricket bat, is thrown out of his classroom for playing cricket. His single father is a habitual drinker and is brought up by his loving neighbor (Charlie) and his family. He falls in love with Jenny (Sridivya) his neighbor and there is strong parental objection. Jenny is taken away by her parents and Jeeva throws himself into cricket as he is eying state selection. Will Jeeva make it as the selection system is biased towards a community, forms the rest of the story.

The major highlight of the film is the running time and the treatment given for the problem which is said like a sugar coated tablet. This film is a very proper cricket cinema where the hero gives his life towards the game. Susee has mended the film with a very clean and crisp screenplay. He smartly points out that true talent is often neglected. However the entire first half is devoted to romance and songs for which the hero, even at the school level, waits patiently.

Vishnu, who actually was a Ranji player for Tamilnadu, fits perfectly for the role. He has given a commendable performance, showing the subtle changes as he matures from teenager to young adult. The heroine, Sridivya is cute as a school goer, beautiful as a college student, and looks matured when her role wants her to be. Producer T Siva and Charlie are flawless in their given role, and Soori replicates his magic once again to induce few laughs without swaying away from the storyline. Lakshman, another real life cricketer, emotes well during the match scenes.

Imman’s music is top class and his BGM is terrific especially in second half. Madhie’s cinematogapahy is brilliant. Antony’s editing is taut, and he shows his prowess with some unimaginable cuts in the second half where the cricket takes the center stage. Susee manages to capture some of the excitement on the field and reveals the harsh truths behind the game of cricket that forms such a huge part of the lives of youngsters in the country. On the whole, it is a nice entertaining film, and another feather on the director’s cap..!! 🙂

Yaan (TAMIL)

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Starring: Jiiva, Thulasi, Nasser, Karunakaran and many more
Editing : Srikar Prasad
Music : Harris Jayaraj
Cinematography: Manush Nandan
Written and Directed by: Ravi K Chandran

Whenever you come to hear that a film is being directed by a well known cinematographer then what strikes you immediately is that it will have splendid visuals. Yes thats absolutely correct. That too when its not cinematographed by the director himself. So the next thought which comes to your mind is what genre of film this would be as the director might have handled the camera for various genre of films and it will kindle your curiosity on the subject. So with the same state of mind we will see how this film works out.

Chandru (Jiiva) meets Srila (Thulasi) and is blown away by her beauty. Though she desist him in the beginning, she eventually falls for him later. Srila’s cousin makes her to question Chandru regarding his future which makes her father (Nasser) to question Chandru on his job. This forces Chandru to leave to Basilistan for work. But he gets caught for the crime of having carried drugs, which he doesn’t commit and is not even aware of. He gets sentenced to the ultimate punishment of being beheaded. What he does to prove his innocence and whether he manages to return home is what the film is about.

The entire first half is filled with scenes that we’ve seen over and over again in Tamil cinema over the last decade. And what you see is definitely not entertainment. The film gives you the feeling that here’s a film that was solely made to entice audiences with stunning visuals. The good news is that it succeeds at that, but the bad news is that great visuals don’t make up for sloppy writing and execution. Jiiva and Thulasi doesn’t even look like a pair and nothing worth to mention. All the other characters are just passer bys.

Harris’s songs are just listening to his previous few hit numbers except that party number. Manush Nandan’s camera just rolls all over the film and that’s the only positive point to be said about this film. The first action sequence is one that would last in our memories forever. Manush has brought out the beauty in everything and everyone, making the movie an experience that will glue you to your seats, just for the camera and angles. Ravi K Chandran is a better cinematographer than a filmmaker or maybe he just isn’t ready yet to be a filmmaker. This Yaan gives just a very big Yawn..!! 🙂