Friday, October 28, 2011

Two Line Reviews - #297

Movie: 7 aam Arivu (Thamizh, 2011)

Plot: The chinese aim at wiping off the Indian threat by making them seek Chinese medicine for a virus wantedly spread by them in India. The trouble is, there is one person in India - a descendant of Bodhidharman who can find the cure to the virus upon a successful DNA matching which a Genetics Research student is on track to complete.

  • Intentions to bring to notice the legend of Bodhidharman are appreciable and the efforts put in are evident in the first 20 minutes or so of the narrative which takes us back in centuries.
  • A huge plus for the film is its Photography by Ravi K Chandran. Some of the Chinese & late night shots make an impression on the eye. 
  • Suriya, as Bodhidharman, is apt and even the Thejas on his gleaming face is visible in the history burst.
  • Searching..searching..searching for more pluses.. one or two scenes here and there (like the one showing the spread of the virus & some scenes of Dong Lee, some stress upon the need for looking at Thamizh's sciences etc.) are good to watch.
  • A.R. Murugadoss's petty screenplay is predictable to the hilt.
  • The supposedly tributes to Bodhidharman - the science of Hypnotism & Martial Arts - are absolutely gibberished and insulted in the film with a flurry of nonsensical & continuous fight sequences in the second half.
  • Shruti Haasan (she looks beautiful yes..) acts & talks like an amateurish performer and that makes her beauty plastic and unenthusing.
  • Except for a maximum of one or two scenes,Suriya, in the role of Aravind, has literally nothing to do except to flaunt his chiseled body and abs now and again (wearing coat without an inner vest takes his abs show to abysmally insane levels)
  • Harris Jeyaraj's album is one of his worst and the background music has no steam in it.
Disgrace to the arts and its master who the film supposedly pays tribute to!

Two Line Reviews - #296

Movie: Mongol: The Rise of Gengis Khan (Mongolian/Mandarin, 2007)

Plot: This film traces the early life of the legendary Mongol ruler Temudjin, fondly remembered as Gengis Khan. The film shows how he chooses his bride at 10 years of age, how he lives by to seek revenge on his father's killer, how he rescues his wife several times & finally, how he conquers and unites the different Mongolian clans together in a strategic war against a Khan wannabe!

  • This Sergie Brodov record is not detailed, but the coverage in terms of width of the Khan's history is quite big and it is successful in marking the Khan's arrival on to the big stage well.
  • The guy who plays Temudjin does a fine job ably supported by Jamukha, the wannabe Khan & the wife characters.
  • Huge pluses of the film are its sets, horse fights & the immensely likeable Mongol-Russian locations : Stunning visuals make this a very good watch.
Lacks in depth & some scenes are not understandable.

A perfect Jump-board for a Gengis Khan documentary.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Two Line Reviews - #295

Movie: Harvey (1950)

Plot: A soft natured man gets pooked and sees and befriends a six-foot rabbit. Trouble is the invisibility of the rabbit to others' eyes. This creates a comedy of errors in an asylum leading to confusions and engagements. When attempts are finally made to get rid of the rabbit hallucination off him, his sister realises the worth of such an imagination in letting her brother stay adorably good natured and stops the treatment.

  • This film, adopted from a successful play, is as pleasant and clean as the morning breeze; Leaves one's heart heavy after the watch. Kudos to the makers for dishing this out.
  • James Stewart deserves all the respect. This film is another example to his natural talent in action. Especially, in a scene behind the bar where he explains his beloved Harvey to the doctor, he is impeccable!
  • Sister, the doctor-nurse duo, the assistant, head doctor, gatekeeper, last but never the least - The invisible Harvey are some lovable characterisations.
Invisible yes, but Harvey touches the viewer!

Book Look - #27

Revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat

Plot: The lives of two childhood friends take massive turns due a reputed engineering college seat and a girl - a friend of theirs. While the academically successful guy takes against a corrupt world with a pen leaving aside worldly gains, the loser of the love turns a crook and ends up owning a college and gets back his lost love, nearly..!

  • The book is a page-turner and has its highpoints, due credits to the author for that.
  • The dig at the screening system adopted by reputed colleges, the corruption in real estate & land deals etc. have been brought to the fore very well.
  • A girl, her betrayal & her two-timing etc. are unbearably repetitive and makes one think if Chetan is a big male chauvinist.
  • The book is a bit low on substance than it is on fantasising the dramas in a relationship.

Two Line Reviews - #294

Movie: Dr. Strangelove (or) How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1954)

Plot: When a general wrongly sends aircrafts on an attack on Russia, the entire political fraternity of the USA tries frantically to avoid the operation. All aircrafts are reverted back but all hell breaks lose when one of them is found to be in the Russian territory.

  • Stanley Kubrick shows his atrocious humour sense in this terrific mocker of a movie! Absolutely enjoyable ride this..
  • With the pretentious plot, all the film does is attack the polished war tactics and nuclear ambitions of USA and Russia, and this it does to satisfying effect.
  • The multiple roles played by Peter Sellers, the hyper General Turgidson & the mockery on silly senseless formalities make this a terrific watch. So does the hummable background track.
Mocking at epic,insane proportions!

Two Line Reviews - #293

Movie: Yip Man 2 (or) Ip Man 2 (Cantonese, 2010)

Plot: The Wing Chun preacher moves base to Hong Kong where he and his small group of pupils suffer from the local Martial Arts Association. When they realise his worth, it gets a bit too late as they end up losing their renowned exponent to a British Boxer. That's when Ip Man enters the ring to show the English what Chinese boxing is!

  • A blend of Cinderella Man and Rocky 4, the film takes the engrossing action shown in the first part to even bigger levels.
  • The Table fight sequence & the final ring encounter are as good as fight scenes come!
  • Donnie Yen maintains the aura that he displays in the first part and accumulates respect for the character of Ip Man - the Bruce Lee guru!
  • The theme song adds to the 'Inspiration' quotient.
Where Rocky IV meets Chinese Wing Chun!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Two Line Reviews - #292

Movie: Yip Man (or) Ip Man (Cantonese, 2008)

Plot: In 1930s the best expert in the martial art of 'Chinese Wing Chun' is confronted first by a localite & then by the army of the Japanese Invaders. The unperturbed wizard shows his skills only when they are absolutely necessary & when he shows them, the others have no chance of surviving,let alone ending up victorious!


  • The biography of Yip Man, the legendary martial arts expert ( of who among others Bruce Lee was a disciple) pays tribute to the legend in a fitting manner & shows him with the heroic air around.
  • Donnie Yen, who plays Yip Man, with his slient demeanour and terrorising kung-fu stunts presents an absorbing show.
  • The sets, camera work & the inspiring music are of high-standards.

An inspiring biopic!

Two Line Reviews - #291

Movie: Vaagai Sooda Vaa (Thamizh,2011)

Plot: Set in the 1960s, the film focuses on a govt. job aspirant playing the role of an educator at an absolutely illiterate brickmaking village. Initially he stays there for the job-to-come by virtue of his stay but as he stays longer, he sees the importance of educating the children there thanks to the shaking of his conscience by the wisdom of a mysterious old man. Love blossoms and so does the prowess of the villagers in arguing against the looting landlord. Throwing away his aspirations, He stays there for good to complete the reform that he started.


  • The director, Sargunam after a slick rural entertainer in Kalavaani goes a bit different with a film that sends a strong message on child labour but the fun quotient is not sacrificed. He is quite successful in coming out with a likable end-product.
  • The music (many songs & the background score) was surprisingly so good given that a debutant had made the compositions. So is the photography. For this simple reason of identifying and using nice talent, the director is one to look-out for in the future.
  • Vimal shows that he is an able performer; The new heroine with her strange accent and 'village-beautygirl' looks does a fine job (except for those exaggerated expressions in songs!); The kids, Bhagyaraj & Thambi Ramiah fit in some nice cameo roles.


  • Poor placement of songs at times harps the interest in the film.
  • The hero gets in the reform act a bit too late, after 80-90 mins into the film.

A valiant praise-worthy attempt..

Two Line Reviews - #290

Movie: Back to the Future 3 (1990)

Plot: The second part's climax sees the scientist accidentally go to 1885. To bring him back, the hero makes an audacious trip to the 1885 in typical spaghetti western style. When he attempts to save his scientist from an impending death, he also sees the impossible happen - his scientist falling in love! Finally, all is well as things get back to the present.


  • Zemeckis takes creativity to the next level in this edition which is more or less a tribute to the Western films of Sergio Leone and the likes. 
  • The hero's character naming itself Clint Eastwood & enjoying its presence in the past makes way for some special entertaining stunts.
  • The romantic angle on the scientist and the lady who bowls him over along with the train climax make this an engrossing film.

Hatrick! Sadly, The time-travel ends with this part..

Two Line Reviews - #289

Movie: Back to the Future 2 (1989)

Plot: The scientist travels into the future 2015 and sees the trouble that his prodigy is about to face. He comes back to the present 1985 to take the guy into the future and correct things. In doing so, the past gets affected for which a travle back to 1955 becomes essential.


  • The crazy duo experience together another adventurous trip which takes them back and forth to prevent the space-time continuum & Mcfly & Dr.Brown donot disappoint in this edition as well.
  • Zemeckis/Spielberg duo, with yet another edition, show how complex creative plots could be presented in a simple enjoyable method.
  • Here again, the work of graphics is appreciable & the same theme music by Alan Silvestri, by now becomes an anthem of sorts; The Hover-board & the Nike Shoes are delightful additions!

The future is as good as the past!

Two Line Reviews - #288

Movie: Back to the Future (1985)

Plot: A crazy scientist invents a time machine & when he is about to take the journey of his lifetime, he is shot by terrorists. A student, his follower, gets into the machine and travels to 1955 to set right the tale of his parents.

  • The film oozes creativity and provides an overwhelming entertainment of fun & action. All credits to Robert Zemeckis for making a film that I thought was only possible for the producer Spielberg to make.
  • The characters of McFly, Dr.Brown & Einstein are absolutely lovable.
  • The graphics around the DeLorean time-machine is brilliant and so is the background score
One from the past & one for the past,present & future audience!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Two Line Reviews - #287

Movie: Engeyum Eppodhum (Thamizh,2011)

Plot: A girl from Trichy comes to Madras; A stranger helps her navigate the puzzling route to her & at the end of the day, Cupid strikes but they don't get to meet again. Elsewhere in Trichy, a soft-natured factory worker falls in love with a girl. After six months, all four get entangled in a tragic bus collision as if destiny was meant to be that way.

  • A pretty decent outing for a debutant director; Saravanan makes a film that one cannot have many things to complain about.
  • The soft and innocent one of Jai's is a surprising characterisation & the naive, town-girlish role played by Ananya, though cliched, is fresh thanks to the scenes with the city guy. Anjali saves her best for the climax.
  • The bus-collision scene graphics is very much appreciable showing how meticulate the makers have been in paying attention to detail.
  • There are quite a lot of exaggerations all through the film.
  • The deliberate pathos effect created out of characters that are about to die is a dampener creating no impact at all.
Though a bit exaggerated, A good attempt by a new-comer.

Two Line Reviews - #286

Movie: Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Plot: A train that covers countries across Europe, one day, plays host to a lot of important people. One among them is murdered during the trip. An ice-avalanche halts the train midway & this lets a Belgian detective carry his investigation to nab the culprit & when he finds what he finds, the suspense revealed is bewildering!

  • It is amazing to know the talent of Agatha Christie through movie adaptions like this! The suspense clearly takes one back by surprise.
  • Sidney Lumet, the veteran film-maker presents the story with a pretty nostalgic setup; with details on train, routes and passengers acting complementors to the suspenseful central plot.
  • Albert Finney, in his detective role, performs impeccably; I have seen not many convincing portrayals than that; One of the best performances.
Express-speed murder mystery!