Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Two Line Reviews - #435

Movie: Thuppaakki (Thamizh, 2012)

Plot: An army officer comes home to Mumbai for vacation. Vacation time turns vocation time when he accidentally hits on a sleeper cell member and creates a plan to disrupt the terrorist group's plan. Things get riskier when he tries to find the instructor so that the sleeper cell network can be made dormant. In the middle of all this, there's time for some romance too!

What Works?
  • AR Murugadoss shows in places that he is indeed the guy who made Ramana and presents a simple story in a thrill-filled impactful & intense screenplay of the Q&A/cat-and-mouse format.Watch out for the pre-Interval scene!
  • I never wished I would say this someday but Vijay has finally shown he can deliver solid stuff without being preachy, angry or irkesomely kiddish (Something which you would see in almost all his films in the last decade). In specially designed outfits (especially those in the Aleikka song & the interval tuxedo he wears), with an ultra-fit body, spotless dubbing (English & Hindi as well!) and superb screen presence, he steals the show!
  • One never gets reminded of a camera being held somewhere to can the shots and that shows Santhosh Sivan's stellar work behind the lens. Sreekar Prasad's Editing meanders between good and bad (abrupt cuts at places).
  • Murugadoss has placed the action scenes where apt and the stunts have come out well. Vidyut Jamwal provides the thrills but for the climax. Sathyan's tiny presence doesn't go unnoticed.
What Doesn't?
  • Kajal Agarwal does what is expected of her but in an otherwise racy film her portions (and Jayaram's) are speed-breakers.
  • Climax could have been a lot better given what was promised before. Ghilli like act by Vijay to mend body damage was comical, atleast, for the 'not-so-fans'.
  • Harris Jeyaraj's songs fall flat. There's no hummable number except maybe Kutti puli kootam. His deja vu background score leaves hell of a lot to be desired!
Bullets from this Thuppaaki hit the target, more or less!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Two Line Reviews - #434

Movie: Skyfall (2012)

Plot: Secret Agent 007 returns, this time to nab the terrorists who have access to the hard disk carrying the identities of MI6 agents working under cover in different terrorist organizations. On mission, Bond travels to Shanghai and back to Britain where he finds the villain who has a special dislike for their mutual boss M. Bond's identity and national loyalties get debated in this action-ride.

What Works?
  • Sam Mendes has taken a route less travelled thus far in the Bond Franchise and asks questions and delivers answers on some points worth considering. In that way, the game is interesting.
  • Daniel Craig's James Bond is pleasantly quite different from the suave and unperturbed ways of the previous Bonds. Here too, he performs death-defying stunts. The Turkey episode, even though it isn't as adrenaline-pumping as the Parkour episode in Casino Royale, is fun!
  • Javier Bardem has played the role of the Hopkins, Joker type villain and makes the second half of the film more solid. Judi Dench plays a meatier role than the ones she has had before!
  • Adele's title song and the famous Bond theme that gets played frequently in the latter half are worth mentioning as they keep us interested too.
What Doesn't?
  • The usual girl,martini & gadget routine is sorely missed (even though the compensation is refreshingly good!)
  • The basic story is as old as the hills; It takes Bond loyalty not to mock at the mission!
  • The issue on England & Scotland being Bond's home could have been dealt with off-the-screen!
One of the 'Villain-saves-the-ship' kind!

Two Line Reviews - #433

Movie: Erin Brokovich (2000)

Plot: A divorced mother of three small kids tries to get some job to make ends meet. After a stunning revelation, she chases down a huge firm responsible for bringing down an entire town in terms of its people's health. When the race intensifies, she has to make some personal sacrifices to cross the finishing line.

What Works?
  • For a film based on a true story, the presentation is quite entertaining thanks to Soderbergh's simplistic & old-school narrative.
  • Julai Roberts understands she is the bone and flesh of the film and comes up trumps in her role as the determined legal assistant.
  • Her scenes with her boss, played neatly by veteran Albert Finney, where she ends up screaming in temper are winners!
  • The angle that describes her parenting and the sacrifices she had to make is an inspiring story in itself.
Story of a determined sacrifice that is inspiring too!