Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Uyir (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 2.5/5

Cast: Srikanth, Sangeetha, Samvritha
Director: Samy
Music: Joshua Sridhar

Have you seen Aasai? Remember that Ajith (young and handsome) and Suvalakshmi movie that introduced Prakash Raj as an amazing villain? With beautiful music (lifted of course) by Deva? Remember all that? Then do not waste time watching this movie...Because this is nothing but an x-ray image of Aasai...

Sundar moves in with his brother's family that comprises of his brother, sister-in-law Arundathi (Sangeetha) and their little daughter. Sundar is very close to all three of them. Although Sundar reveres Arundathi a lot, Arundathi lusts for Sundar who is unaware of it.

Sundar drops his niece at school everyday and he meets his girlfriend Anandi (Samvritha) there. When his brother gets to know about their relationship he is very excited about the same. But his brother commits suicide soon afterward due to some problems at work. Now Sundar is tied to taking care of his brother's family as Arundathi and her daughter have nowhere to go.

Arundathi keeps Anandi at bay by doing everything possible from her side. She tries her best to break Sundar's relationship with Anandi while subtly hinting to Sundar about her love for him. Anandi warns Sundar about his conniving Sister-in-Law but nothing comes out of it.

What happens to Sundar and Anandi? Does Arundathi succeed in foiling their love? All the questions form the rest of the story.

I like Srikanth. I think he is a bundle of talent and energy although he does not get good roles to play. All the movies he has chosen in the last year have been just passable. This one is no exception. I sometimes wish he would not jump around too much...

Samvritha...She is not heroine material. All you can notice is that she is not pretty and has a huge squint! Which does not add to screen presence at all. She should seriously consider applying for other jobs.

Sangeetha...She made a point about her acting in Pithamagan...She is good. But some of the expressions she makes in the movie look funny...She needs to check on a mirror before getting them on the role. Also she needs to loose weight else she will be shelved for roles like anni or akka only.

On the whole the movie is watchable but Aasai was way more gripping and believable than this movie. Lot of things Arudathi tries to do are plain stupid. I am sure a smart person can come up with real workable ideas to break up a couple...But watch it once when you have run out of all your "fun" options!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Omkara (2006) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 3.5/5

Cast: Ajay Devgan, Saif, Vivek Oberoi, Kareena Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma, Bipasha Basu
Director: Vishal Baradhwaj
Vishal Baradhwaj

Yes it is an adaptation of Othello by Shakespeare. Did I enjoy the movie? I am not too sure...I cannot explain why but I surely had a bad after taste after I walked out of the theater. Let me explain the story and then let me see if I can try and explain why I did not enjoy the movie.

Omkara (Othello) - played by Ajay Devgan is a leader of a gang in a town in UP/Bihar. As much of a leader that he is he is also led easily by his gang members conniving plans easily. He can be a romantic lover and suspicious husband too. He lacks trust in anyone which leads to his own downfall.

Ajay D is always serious. Can he be a comedian? Not very convincingly. Having played so many serious roles the role of Omkara must have been a piece of cake! I did not think that his acting as Omkara was any better than what he did in his previous movies...But yes the casting was right and he was good at the job!

Tyagi (Iago) - On the other hand is an integral part of Omkara's gang. He is smart, intelligent, conniving, and can be cunning. He gets filled with contempt for Omkara after having been passed over the position of General in the gang to a younger unsuspecting Kesu. Tyagi slowly plots his revenge against Om and Kesu.

This role is beautifully portrayed by Saif. The transition from the suave chef in Salam Namaste to Langda Tyagi in Omkara is remarkable! I could never imagine Saif speaking the dialect and he did have me convinced because I always thought that Saif could only play "the rich kid" roles.

Kesu (Cassio) - Is a lad who can speak English, university educated but is also a part of the Omkara gang. He becomes the general of the gang but is at the receiving end of Tyagi's revenge. Kesu lands up becoming a pawn in the elaborate game that Tyagi plans! A loverboy at heart he has his eyes set on Billo, a dancer!

Vivek Oberoi as Kesu is not bad. I will not say he was great but he acted to the full capacity of what is required for the role. If he had done anything more it would have become gaudy. Yes he stood "there" most of the time, but that's what his role demanded. He cannot be written off (like he has been in for that. In fact he did justice to Kesu.

Dolly (Desdemona) - Is the beautiful girl who elopes from her house to marry Omkara against the wishes of her parents. Dolly is in the center of the big revenge plotted by Tyagi. An innocent girl who is in total submission to Omkara realizes in the end that her lover did not trust her...

I like Kareena. She is a very beautiful actor and can surely dance to the beats but she is not the correct person for the role. She sticks out as a sore thumb in the landscape of UP/Bihar. For this I will not blame her because her acting was not the one in question here but I will blame the casting manager!

Billo - Bips plays this role of the girl who charms our young and handsome newly appointed General Kesu and also falls for his marriage promise. In the end also forms an integral part of Tyagi's plan!

Bips cannot look anything but stylish. Even though people in villages and small towns use cell phone now, they do not get their make up done like an actress in Bollywood. She seemed too conscious to do the item numbers and in spite of her dusky complexion seemed out of place as Billo! Again bad casting!

Indu (Emilia) - is the wife of Tyagi and the one who tells Omkara the truth. Konkona who acted this part was the only lead lady who did not look out of place in her surroundings, and what more can I say about her acting. She the fit the role like a glove on a hand!

The reasons I did enjoy the movie:
1) The pace of the movie was very slow. It might have been okay with Shakesphere wrote Othello but in 21st century we are used to speed and somehow could not enjoy it.
2) Even if the pace was slow had the screenplay been a little more interesting it would have been better.
3) I did not think they did a good job with the casting of Kareena and Bips!
4) The item numbers did not make a difference to the story.
5) Murder of Dolly was not visualized well. I really did not have to see her body jolt and shudder when she died.
6) What difference does adding a love scene to a movie make other than getting more front benchers in? It spoils the look of the movie if you put in a love-making scene just for the sake of it. I strongly believe that the love making scene of KK and AD was not necessary. Just showing his love for her is enough to convince me of the fact that he loves her deeply.
7) The movie gave me a headache. It is not that I do not like sad/slow/tragic movies because I have seen Pithamagan, Sethu, Thavamai Thavamirundhu, etc and I did not have this feeling about any of them. So there is something wrong in the movie only!

I usually ruminate over a movie I see for a couple of weeks before I finally come to a decision that I like it or not. And hopefully in the next couple of weeks I don't add a few more points to my above list of "Why I don't like this movie." Having written the stuff I did not like I must also write what I liked...So here goes:

1) A great adaptation of the original story. Conscious effort has also been made to keep the names of the lead protagonists similar to the original story.
2) The location where the movie has been shot is really impressive and shows a different part of India if you are not from around there.
3) Dialogues, although I did not understand most of them (Subtitles Zindabad!) was in local dialect and effort from each actor is noteworthy.
4) Costumes too are very impressive.

That's all I can think for now. Nevertheless the movie is worth watching once to form your own opinion. This movie certainly did not fall into my "please do not watch for your own safety" category but does fall into my "avoid watching with your family" category! Feedbacks and healthy discussions are always welcome!

Ratings by outbrain