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Aug 222014
 

Gentlemen, please key in your bids on the iPads for item #104 [a young girl up for sale].

100% virgin. 100% pure.

Guaranteed.

- Scene from Mardaani

Amid the stinking dungheap of crappy Bollywood movies, Mardaani stands out as an aberration.

A rare Indian film that comes across as a breath of fresh air.

All round fine performances (Rani Mukerji, Tahir Bhasin etc), decent writing (Gopi Puthran) and above all competent direction (Pradeep Sarkar of Parineeta fame) left me in a joyous mood as I left the multiplex.

Yes, Mardaani bears some resemblance to the 2008 English film Taken in the broad storyline – Of a young girl being kidnapped by sex traffickers and the subsequent manhunt for the criminals by the father (played by Liam Neeson).

But Mardani’s debt to the English film is not in the same league as Imtiaz Ali’s pathetic piece of stolen shit Highway that had Indian critics deepthroating the film despite overwhelming evidence of plagiarism.

Oh yes, I’d rate Mardaani better than Taken.

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Mardani director Pradeep Sarkar deserves kudos for straying from the beaten path (of drivel like Kick, Dabanng, Humshakals, Singham Returns etc) and putting out a fine, mostly realistic Bollywood movie. Continue reading »

Aug 212014
 

Each time I watch a Bollywood movie, an urgent need to rinse my mouth with two good foreign films overwhelms me.

Having recently inflicted upon myself the masochistic trauma of sitting through Ajay Devgan’s latest emetic Singham Returns, I was besides myself in agony.

How in Heaven’s name can this Rohit Shetty mis-directed turdpile Singham Returns even be called a movie except by a large pack of Neanderthals for whom the sight of one adult ape battering another’s skull is a trigger for screaming howls of ecstasy (yielding Rs 100-crore to the producers in five days).

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So as a purgatory exercise, I fell back upon my routine of seeking solace in a couple of fine films.

This time I discovered Sergei Loznitsa, a little known maker of Russian films.

Loznitsa is, of course, a name familiar to discerning moviegoers in Europe and North America but in India he’s unknown material.

A documentary maker from Ukraine, Sergei Loznitsa is a relative newcomer to the feature film business.

Loznitsa toiled as a documentary filmmaker for 15 years before venturing into feature films.

His first feature film was Schaste moe (My Joy), which came out in 2010.

After a warm reception from critics, Loznitsa followed with V tumane (In the Fog) in 2012. This film too attracted accolades from connoiseurs of classy films.

Thanks to Netflix, I watched both Russian films (with English subtitles) recently.

Impressive Films

To say I was delighted with both films would be an understatement.

Set in different eras, the two films are united in their dark gaze on humanity and remarkable for the brilliant craftsmanship Loznitsa brings to the screen.

The stories, centering around everyday violence, corruption and callousness that place little value on human life, are powerful and a telling social commentary on Russia/Ukraine, and by extension on the world itself.

I sat back and delighted in the acting, photography and screenplay of both films.

Neither of the films is in a hurry (even the shots are drawn out).

They take their own sweet time to get to the end but not for one moment did I feel bored.

As I’ve said often, there are only good films and bad films. Not long or short films.

My Joy

Of the two movies, Schaste moe (My Joy) is the more complex and compelling one.

Unless you pay careful attention, you’re inclined to be quickly adrift with this film.

At first glance, it would appear as if the movie was merely a collection of different disconnected incidents.

Actually, No. Continue reading »

Aug 182014
 

After reading with great anguish those endless reports of how [the pathetic piece of shit] Singham Returns has set the Indian box office on fire, I was quite relieved that the junk has not done all that well in the U.S.

Some consolation, sweetie!

It’d be a travesty of art if garbage like Singham Returns were to do well at the box office.

For the opening August 15-17, 2014 weekend, Singham Returns managed only a little over half a million dollars at the U.S. box office.

That’s a pitiful figure for a two-decades plus star like Ajay Devgan.

Ajay Devgan – Pitiful

Alia Bhatt was not even born when Ajay Devgan started his film career in 1991.

Yet that mouse Alia roars louder than Ajay Devgan with all his 24-pack muscles.

Alia’s 2 States did over a million dollars at the U.S. boxoffice, nearly double that of Singham Returns.

Maybe Ajay should deck himself in Alia’s panties!

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Here’s how Singham Returns fared at the U.S. box office compared to a few prominent Bollywood films: Continue reading »

Aug 152014
 

Garbage Returns! Now, that would be the most apt title for this latest Bollywood atrocity to hit U.S. screens. Singham Returns is the second film in the Singham franchise. And if you ask me, the new one is as loathsome as its predecessor. Air-Savings.com Cheap Tickets to Hyderabad, Chennai Call Now: 1-877-21-INDIA Garbage Returns No [...]

Aug 142014
 

By Naveen Günther: “Why do we do what we do? Martha: “To keep the world safe. Isn’t that a good enough reason?” This Philip Seymour Hoffman (Günther Bachmann), Rachel McAdams (Annabel Richter), Willem Dafoe (Tommy), Robin Wright (Martha) and Grigoriy Dobrygin (Isa Karpov) starrer is directed by Anton Corbijn and based on John le Carré [...]

Aug 082014
 

This insufferable Bollywood movie featuring dogs, Akshay Kumar, bitches and Tammanah Bhatia plumbs the depths of the depravity business. A bizarre species named Sajid-Farhad held the dog-leash of this exercise in cruelty, pretending to direct the canine-pack of bipeds and quadrupeds. Apparently, the duo also ‘wrote’ the screenplay and dialogs. Who’s the Dog? Who’s the [...]