Impressions 'n Expressions

Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life is when dreams are surrendered to reality.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Corporate - A Review

I have never liked Madhur Bhandarkar movies, coz they reek of pretensiousness and Corporate exemplifies everything that is wrong about his movies. Hackneyed and predictable plot combines with shoddy direction, bad acting and worst of all it is way too amateurish.

The director has gone on record to state his painstaking research into the coporate world and how this forms a part of his trilogy (? ) on what is wrong with the society. It shows the marked ignorance on the part of the director if he thinks that by interspersing the dialogues of his characters with words like 'disinvestment, PSU, CEO, stock markets and shares etc..he is making a movie that hopes to shed a light on the 'corporate' world. I am sure that even a person not interested in the affairs of big business and stock markets knows that what goes on within the confines of the boardrooms of these conglomerates, at least in a very peripheral manner.

The plot follows the wheelings-dealings of two rival corporate houses and how they try to outwith each other in the purchase of a PSU. The PSU in question is a bottling plant which the govt has decided to sell off. Wriggled into this strand is the incestous relationship between big business and the politicians and how both these groups are manipulated by each other and yet needs the other. This angle has been done to death in lots of movies and Corporate doesnt tread any new territory. The movie is predictable and after the premise is set, the movie plods along in an episodic manner. The director fails to invest depth to of the protagonists does not try to explain their motivations. There is a romantic angle also set in that goes nowhere.

The acting is also decidedly sub standard, though Rajat Kapur, Harsh Chaya and the guy playing the disinvestment minister does manage to rise above thier written parts. Bipasha basu is ill at ease and you never once take her seriously as she fails to understand her charcter of a top executive. K K Menon has a brief role as one of the senior VP's, but he comes into his own only towards the end when he has to decide between saving the company and sacrificing his lover.

It has become easier for film makers to wrap themselves within a cloak of a holier-than-thou attitude and then start explaining away the ills of the society by blaming too obvious targets...of whichthe politicians are the easiest bet. Madhur Bhandarkar has never been known to create gripping drama and based on his recent efforts, he doesnt seem capable enough to rise above a certain mediocre level he has attained. It is sad though, because he showed promise with his debut venture 'Chandni Bar'.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Irreversible - A Review

'Time destroys everything'

Irreversible a french movie directed by Gasper Noe, featuring Vincent Cassel and Monica Belluci is very powerful and kind of disturbing at the same time.

Told in reverse chronology, the plot revolves around two men Marcus and Pierre who are out to revenge the brutal rape of Alex who is Marcus' girlfriend and Pierre's ex. Irreversible has gained fame for its 'style over substance' kind of movie making. The handheld camera movements are at times distracting but it is integral to the plot about time taking no prisoners and that life is not always '...and they lived happily ever after.' Though the movie ends on that very note...but we as viewers will know that there is more to come and that the peaceful idyll is going to be shattered soon.

What makes Irreversible stand out is the the graphic violence. There are two scenes that epitomizes them. The first one is a protracted rape sequence that plays on for around 8 to 9 minutes. I have never scene a sequence that brings out the brutality of rape in such stark detail. I am sure the director intended to send a message about the viciousness of the act itself, but was it necessary to have it extended like this, I wonder.

The second sequence occurs in a gay bar where a charcter has his face beaten to a pulp with the aid of a fire extinguisher. This is in-your-face movie making at its most graphic. Though the violence is gut renching, you are caught up as if in a trance. I dont know or havent seen any movie that lays bare acts of human violations in such manner.

Acting plays second here to the directors style...and I thought that Vincent Cassel was slightly irritating. Monica Belluci has been the subject of most male fantasies (though I admit she is not one of my favorite), but here I think she did a wonderful job of acting especially in the above mentioned scene.

Watching the movie requires a certain kind of fortitude. Irreversible though not top of the line cinema, it is captivating to say the least.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Dreams don’t die…nor do they retreat

I wrote this on the spur of the moment for someone who needed a lil cheering up..not that I claim to be good at it..but I was happy with my five minutes of frantic keyboard hitting :)
Dreams don’t die…nor do they retreat
They await the chance for you to wake up and make it real
The beauty of your dreams will always be coloured by the person you are, and
To confuse dreams with reality is what we dreamers do
This makes the world a better place to be in, and
Reminds us that…the world is not as bad as we thought it is

Believe in the dreams that you dreamt of
Seek out those lil moments of joy
Reach out for the piece of magic, that
Lie dormant in the very core of your being, coz
The foibles of our youth, often does lead
To painting our landscape with colours so true

Wise men say, among a lot of other truism,
True pleasure lie in desire not satiety
But what is desire if not seeking satiation,
What is life without an impossible dream

The hills have eyes - a review

I was never a big fan of horror/gore genre of movies, though I wouldnt mind watching it on a bleak day with nothing else on the landscape and I have seen quite a few of those. Of late I have been introduced to a variety of these movies - more on these subsequently.

I had read about the Wes Craven version of the same movie, but didnt get a chance or the inclination to see the same . One thing to be said of Alexandre Aja's version is the sleekness that has creapt into what were previously referred to as B-Grade slasher/horror/gore flicks. For the afficionados of these movies there are a few 'boo' moments thrown in initially, but the movie progresses from that to typical 'gore' territory. The director seems comfortable and able in handling this transition and overall the movie is a better venture to the genre.

The premise is kept very simple and doesnt meander too much into charcterisation and there is no plot exposition as such. A family gets stranded in the middle of the desert (mobile phones dont work -necessary plot device in all movies of this ilk ) and then the killings start. The suspense is about who gets killed and how and it doesnt take too long for that to begin either. The middle segment has some nice bit of suspense, but the final third part is very predictable, but will entertain those who came expecting this kind of fare.

Two things that stand out are the background story incorporated on the ill effects of casual testing of nuclear devices, which resulted in the genetic mutation of the miners, turning them and their future generation into cannibals, and, the second is that normal human beings are no better than these savages themselves - when the need arises.

Though this might not be a definitive entry into this genre of flicks, The Hills Have Eyes will definetly satisfy those who came expecting what they want to see. Overall there is a polish to this product that you dont (or at least I) normally associate with horror/gore movies.