Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘visual effects

It was always felt that Hollywood films’ release in India won’t harm the prospects of Bollywood films. But the success of Titanic, King Kong, Spiderman series and more recently the blockbuster collections of 2012 has finally made everyone realize that Hollywood is a force to reckon with in India too. And that’s why all Hindi films scheduled to release on 18 Dec ‘ran away’ to avoid colliding with the release of the biggest film on earth, Avatar. With so much euphoria and curiosity surrounding the film, Avatar was expected to give a fascinating experience. Thankfully, it does! The film is not only a visual treat but is stunningly well made. A must watch for all those who love cinema!

The story of the movie: The year is 2154. A human corporation is assembled in a distant moon, Pandora, in order to colonize it and extract a precious mineral called unobtainium. Pandora is inhabited by strange looking people called Na’vi. The Na’vi are 9 feet in height, their skin is blue and they have tails too. Their way of life is primarily primitive but they reside in perfect harmony with the environment around them. The human researchers on Pandora, under Dr Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) manage to get the Na’vi DNA which enables any human to control and engineer Na’vi bodies of themselves which they called Avatars. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic ex-Marine is dispatched to Pandora and given opportunity to take over his dead twin brother’s place who was an integral part of the Avatar program. He also gets a chance to go through the program and live in the form of Na’vi Avatar. Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang) promises Jake that his legs will be fixed if he manages to get information on Na’vi culture and win their trust which in turn will help the military unit. Soon, Jake’s avatar manages to become a member of the Na’vi clan and also falls for a female Na’vi Neyitri (Zoe Saldana), the daughter of the Na’vi chief. Gradually, Jake begins to love Na’vi lifestyle and starts considering as its own. But when the humans start attacking Na’vi to eliminate them, Jake gets in a dilemma as to whether he should be a part of his fellow humans and support their extreme colonization policies or help the Na’vi fight the humans.

Avatar is a masterpiece-no doubt in that! The film not only boasts of some mind-blowing special and visual effects, it has a nice story and execution too which is what makes the film immensely likeable. Moreover, the film is 160 mins long but the best part is that you won’t get bored even for a single moment. There are so many exciting things happening throughout the film that it’ll be difficult even to blink!

James Cameron uses a perfect way of storytelling. He first wonderfully acquainted us with the Na’vis, their way of life, their culture, lifestyle etc and made us fall in love with all these aspects so that our blood boils when the humans barbarously begin harming them later in the film. You rejoice when Na’vi counterattack and you get lump in your throat whenever Na’vi moan and cry helplessly. Thus, Avatar is more of an emotional flick at several points but it is this that will work big time across the world.

Another plus-point is the wonderful depiction of Pandora. It is just like Earth but in several ways, poles apart from our planet. The giant trees, the legendary floating mountains and the animals-the flying banshee and toruk, the strong direhorse, the ferocious thenator and hammerhead, the ugly viperwolf and the blue apes are an interesting watch.

Sam Worthington puts in a worthy performance. He was most impressive as the Na’vi. Zoe Saldana impresses the most with her exciting expressions throughout the film. Of course, it was the CGI that finally made them look wonderful and Na’vi-like. Other Na-vi characters which leave a mark are C C H Pounder (as the queen) and Laz Alonso (Tsu’Tey).

Sigouney Weaver pulled off the ‘I-care-a-damn’ attitude very well. Michelle Rodriguez looked amazing and comes with a brilliant performance. She looks cool navigating the airplane wearing aviator glasses! Stephen Lang perfectly essays the antagonist. The other antagonist Giovanni Ribisi (as Parker Selfridge) also leaves a mark. Others also do a great job.

James Horner’s music was haunting. Mauro Fiore’s cinematography was top-notch and it was nice to see new techniques adopted by the lensman for capturing scenes. Also, the modified 3D Fusion Camera system developed by Cameron and Vince Pace succeeded in providing a visual treat.

The film is nothing without the special effects, CGI and all other kinds of technological advances used in the film. It was undoubtedly a technological feat and also a paisa vasool experience for the viewers! Kudos to each and everyone who contributed in this department!

Finally, James Cameron, the writer and director of the film needs to be lauded for his outstanding work which was no easy task at all. Firstly, it requires vision to think of such a set-up. And it requires patience and meticulous task in executing the film. Cameron succeeds in each and every aspect of making Avatar. Also, he shrewdly and indirectly reminded us of US’ policies towards Iraq. The dialogue “If people are sitting on the $hit we want, you make them your enemies!” sums it up! And finally, what makes Avatar stand out from the rest of SFX films is that in the battle of alien v/s humans, here it is the aliens who finally triumph over the humans!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       Jake’s Avatar running from the beasts
2.       Jake and Neyitri meet for the first time
3.       Neyitri teaches Jake the Na’vi culture
4.       Jake gets his own banshee
5.       The human’s first round of attack on Na’vis
6.       Jake, Doc and other escape from detention
7.       The final 35 minutes

On the whole, Avatar is without a shred of doubt an outstanding flick in all respects. It boasts of some of the best special effects but at the same time, it has soul too. It has universal appeal and that’s why will succeed everywhere in the world. All movie freaks and even those who are not should not be missing Avatar at any cost. The 3D version will of course give you never before sensed experience but this film will be enjoyed in 2D too. JUST GO FOR IT!!

My rating-***** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Avatar-182387-1.html

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Any kind of calamity, whether natural or man-made, is immediately picked up by the film fraternity to capture the event in celluloid. The 26 July 2005 Mumbai deluge was one of the biggest natural disasters in India in this decade and surprisingly, no film, comprising A-listers was based on it yet. Finally, Tum Mile takes the initiative. It’s a love story and the floods serve as a backdrop. Unfortunately, the ‘flood’ connection wasn’t utilized well and hence, the film fails to impress fully.

The story of the movie: Akshay (Emraan Hashmi) and Sanjana (Soha Ali Khan) become friends when they both were based in Cape Town. Although Akshay was struggling painter and Sanjana was a creative writer cum environmentalist and a daughter of a rich billionaire (Sachin Khedekar), they both hit off well and fall in love. They decide to move in. Unfortunately, both face problems, more so because of Akshay’s financial insecurity. Finally, both have to break up. Six years later, they meet each other once again in a London-Mumbai flight. Things have drastically changed for both Akshay and Sanjana now. However, once they land in Mumbai, they have to go through a roller coaster ride as heavy rains have crippled the entire city. The date was July 26, 2005. They have no choice but to be together in this dark time.

Let’s get one thing straight-although Tum Mile was promoted as a film based on floods, it is actually not. 70% of the film is Emraan-Soha’s flashback in Cape Town. The remaining 30% focuses on the deluge. However, the story wonderfully moves from the present to flashback and back and that’s why the film works a bit.

The first scene of the film is in fact the best one! Weather dept officials who were more interested in playing cards than looking at the warning they received about a downpour just a day before July 26 is a rocking scene! It gives an indication that how the careless attitude of these officials led to a disaster.

The first half of the film has no glitches. The flashback portion begins wonderfully and goes ahead nicely too. Also the scene inside the flight were well executed. The intermission point was scary. However, problems start in the second hour. The flashback scenes quite dragged. Director Kunal Deshmukh could and should have had a crisp narrative. The problems faced by the couple in the floods were engrossing but the climax disappointed. The way both Emraan and Soha accept each other in the climax (after the rains stopped) seemed little indigestible, because their interactions with each other was very limited during the time of crisis. But then it is said, “When you bond during a crisis, the bonding goes deep”. So maybe only the very limited bonding was more than enough for the characters!

The visual effects in the film at some places were tacky and could have been better. The film also exhibits some of the actual footage depicting the horrors of 26/7. But that doesn’t work. Also, factual errors can be noticed-the lead actors are shown wading through chest-deep water in Lower Parel area of Mumbai. However, nothing of that sort had happened there on that day.. In fact, it was in the suburban areas like Juhu, Kalina etc where water had arisen till the first floors. However, some of the horrors of that day were wonderfully captured. Most notable is how the central locking system caused the death of many inside the car after their car’s doors and windows failed to open.

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Emraan Hashmi and Soha Ali Khan carry the film on their shoulders wonderfully. Emraan delivers a sparkling performance and proves that he’s one of the best performers around. He looked charming, esp in the flashback portions. However, his bespectacled look in the present track is not as great as the similar one he had in Gangster. But still, he manages to do a great job. Watch out for him when he’s high-tempered and in the scene where he enthusiastically paints Soha. A fine actor indeed!

Soha Ali Khan too comes up with a brilliant performance-one of the best of her careers after RDB and Khoya Khoya Chand. She appears confident and it’s great to see that she slipped into her role so easily. Actually, she wasn’t the original choice-Esha Deol was offered the role initially. After she refused due to some reason, Soha was approached!

Mantra, who plays Emraan’s pal, also gives a confident performance. Sachin Khedekar was impressive. Others were good.

Pritam’s music was one of the USPs of the film. The 3 songs which completely rock are the title song, Tu Hi Haqeeqat and Dil Ibaadat. Watch out for Dil Ibaadat-it was just brilliantly executed!

Prakash Kutty’s cinematography was flawless. So was the design.

There was nothing wrong in the story; it was the screenplay that failed at places. Ideally, equal emphasis should have been there for both the tracks. The flood portions were underutilized. Although Kunal Deshmukh’s first venture Jannat was fantastic, Tum Mile isn’t, unfortunately.

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       The first scene
2.       Akshay restructures Sanjana’s cake
3.       The title song and Dil Ibaadat
4.       Akshay’s confrontation with the curator
5.       Sachin Khedekar’s only scene
6.       Akshay and Sanjana’s argument the next day
7.       The intermission point
8.       Akshay and Sanjana in the bus and in cracked building

On the whole, Tum Mile unfortunately doesn’t work in totality. Performances and music were brilliant but the film was too dragged for no reason. But the film doesn’t bore even for a moment and the first half was great. Watch it if you are an Emraan/Bhatt fan!

My rating-** ½ out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Tum_Mile-179553-1.html

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By Taran Adarsh, October 30, 2009 – 08:28 IST

Most stories sound interesting on paper or when narrated in 10/15 minutes flat. But when you watch the full-blown cinematic version, you realize why most Hindi films fall flat on their face.

Sujoy Ghosh’s ALADIN promises the moon, but what you get is a mere flicker. This fantasy had the trappings to transport you to fantasyland, but… Seriously, Sujoy could’ve run his imagination wild and come up with a film that would’ve made the child in you jump, scream and clap with glee. But 15/20 minutes into the film and you realize that ALADIN is merely a visual spectacle. A film that lacks soul!

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

After having watched ALADIN, I too desire three wishes…

  • Wish 1: Henceforth, actors shouldn’t ask for scripts before they sign on the dotted line;
  • Wish 2: Producers should act more responsibly. They shouldn’t be mere moneybags, but have creative control too;
  • Wish 3: Directors and writers should stop taking the intelligent viewer for granted.

Will a genie appear and fulfil my wishes? I doubt!

// <![CDATA[//

Aladin Chatterjee [Riteish Deshmukh] lives in the city of Khwaish, an orphan who has been bullied since childhood by Kasim [Sahil Khan] and his gang. But his life changes when Jasmine [Jacqueline Fernandez] gives him a magic lamp because it lets loose the genie Genius [Amitabh Bachchan].

Desperate to grant him three wishes and seek the end of his contract with the Magic Lamp, Genius makes Aladin’s life difficult until the real threat looms on the horizon: the ex-genie Ringmaster [Sanjay Dutt]. Why does Ringmaster want to kill Aladin? What is the dark secret about Aladin’s past that Genius is carrying?

Let’s give the credit where it’s due. ALADIN starts with a bang, with the initial portions holding a lot of promise. But no sooner does the genie appears, he breaks into a song and you realize that ALADIN is no different from those mundane films churned out week after week. Sadly, ALADIN only slides downwards after this point. Sure, there’re some interesting moments, but you can actually count those sequences.

The problem is not with the story, but the screenplay [also penned by Sujoy Ghosh]. It rests on absurdities. Okay, one expects absurdities in a fantasy, you can be pardoned for it, but at least they should have the power to keep you hooked. In this case, they don’t!

You can’t overlook two major flaws in the writing…

  • One, Amitabh refrains from revealing the past to Riteish, till Sanjay Dutt arrives on the scene and spills the beans.
  • Two, the flashback portion – which resulted in Riteish’s parents losing their lives – is haphazard. It’s not easy to comprehend.

Also, the entire track, when Amitabh loses his powers and becomes an ordinary mortal, looks gimmicky. At the same time, it looks weird when Amitabh fights an entire army of Sanju’s henchmen in the end. It gets very formulaic at this point. Not just that, even the climax is ridiculous.

Sujoy Ghosh’s screenplay is bad, to put it bluntly. Given the kind of stars and budget at his disposal, the director should’ve come up with a slick entertainer, but ALADIN comes across as a feeble clone of a poor Hollywood film. Like his last outing HOME DELIVERY, this one too is high on gloss, but low on content.

The visual effects are excellent at places, but tacky at times. Vishal-Shekhar’s music is strictly okay. However, too many songs in the initial reels act as roadblocks. The cinematography is top notch.

ALADIN belongs to Riteish, who’s easy on the eyes. The best part is, he looks the character and enacts it without going overboard. He’s at his natural best here. Surprisingly, Amitabh Bachchan is over the top this time, which puts you off after a point. Sanjay Dutt has two standard expressions from start to end. Jacqueline Fernandez gets no scope, but she looks gorgeous nonetheless.

Ratna Pathak Shah is wasted. Ditto for Victor Banerjee. And what is a wonderful actor like Mita Vashisht doing in this film? Saahil Khan and Arif Zakaria are okay.

On the whole, ALADIN is a terrible waste of a terrific opportunity. Hugely disappointing!

QGM

A film like Quick Gun Murugan can easily please its audience. Reason is simple-it doesn’t give a chance to its audience to complain that the film is nonsense because the film is indeed nonsensical and audiences are well aware of it before venturing to see it. And this is what makes Quick Gun Murugun an entertainer-it fulfills all the expectations associated with it. It is illogical, the characters are weird and it is a complete spoof. And most importantly, the film is unique!

The story of the movie: Quick Gun Murugun (Dr. Rajendraprasad) is a South Indian cowboy who feels it’s his duty to destroy evil. He decides to teach Rice Plate Reddy (Naseer) a lesson after he learns that Reddy is converting all vegetarian restaurants into non-veg in a village in South India. Unfortunately, QGM fails to finish his ‘duty’ and is transported to Swarglok and from there to present-day Mumbai. Reddy is now a rich man and is about to begin a chain of restaurants, called McDosa which would provide world’s first and the best non-veg Dosa! QGM plans to stop him. On the other hand, our hero is in a dilemma when he comes across voluptuous Mango Dolly (Rambha) who loves him like crazy. But QGM feels he can’t think of any girl other than his first love Locket Girl (Anu Menon). How Quick Gun Murugun solves his ‘problems’ is what the film is all about!

In the entire duration of 90 minutes, senseless but humourous situations take place in the film and majority of them are pretty impressive. Of course, the specialty of the film is its action sequences. The action scenes are literally out of this world and kudos to the screenwriter and director for coming up with such stuff!

The storyline too is novel. The villain here is kidnapping. Whom, you may ask. The mothers who are the best cooks! Murugun reunites with his elder brother with a shooting spree in the latter’s house, destroying many articles in the home and the mother is looking at them, happily! And Murugun’s first love, Locket Girl, stays in a locket throughout the film and gives suggestions to our hero! I’ve said enough but there are many more such hilarious situations in the film! Go, watch it for yourself.

The minuses of the film are its gory violence. There’s too much bloodshed in the film which not appeal to some audiences. Also, killing an important character in the climax was just not done.

Everyone here in the film was at its best. Dr Rajendraprasad charms with his brilliant performance. His character needed a certain kind of style and the actor was able to fulfill this demand. Naseer was equally good as the villain. Raju Sundaram (as Rowdy MBA, Reddy’s right hand) played the coolest character in the film and performed wonderfully. His style and the background score created especially for him make Rowdy MBA a memorable character!

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Rambha was perfect for her role and look every inch the hot plump seductress. Shanmughraja as Gunpowder was hilarious. Ashwin Mushran as Dr Jango and Sandhya Mridul as the news reporter were okay. Vinay Pathak as Chitragupta was impressive. Ranvir Shorey was there only for a 12-second scene but was damn funny.

Sagar Desai’s music works well as it’s in sync with the mood of the film. The song ‘Chat Mangni Lover’ is the best song of the lot. Hear it to believe it!  Daniel George’s background score was loud and heroic and just that was expected for such a film. Sham Kaushal’s action scenes were the highlight of the film. Visual effects by Prime Focus were a treat.

Rajesh Devraj wrote the story, screenplay and dialogues. It excels almost completely in all departments. However, it would have been better if he had come up with even more hilarious and unexpected scenes in the film. It would have worked wonders. And Shashanka Ghosh, the director, who had earlier made Waisa Bhi Hota Hai-Part II, does a fine job. It requires guts to come up with such a film and Ghosh, knowing his job well, manages to do justice to the plot.

Some of the best scenes of the movie:
1.   QGM’s duel with Gunpowder
2.   The resignation letter scene
3.   QGM reuniting with his brother
4.   Mothers getting kidnapped
5.   Rowdy MBA at QGM’s house
6.   QGM’s duel with Rowdy MBA (excellent scene)
7.   QGM’s scenes with Mango Dolly
8.   The dabba wala sequence
9.   The climax and the final scene

On the whole, Quick Gun Murugun entertains. The writer-director duo comes up with a zany film and although they could have done an even better job, the film is still worth watching, at home, if not in theatre. Your money and time won’t go waste, I say!

My rating-*** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Quick_Gun_Murugun-173813-1.html

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