Monday, June 21, 2010

Raavan Movie Review

I have a theory, you go in to watch a movie with a set of expectations, due to cast or director or because of trailers or due to the reviews you read.
I did not read reviews of Raavan as I did not want to have a bias while watching the movie. But I did expect the movie to be Guru like due to Mani Ratnam and the star cast.

Also I had been listening to the music of Raavan for quite a few weeks and had high expectation from the "picturization" of these songs. I expected Beera to be Omkara-esque, wherein the song establishes the lead character as a force to be reckoned with, someone whom you wouldn't care to cross swords with.

**Warning Spoilers Ahead**

Lets start by saying none of my expectations were met. The song Beera shows random people killing cops and Beera riding a bike, playing a drum, and doing all things good heroes do!

For me the character of dev(Vikram) was much more sinister than Beera and Ragini(Aishwarya) was like no Sita I ever read about while reading Ramayan.

Beera only strips off clothes and turns a cop bald, a cop who raped his sister alonh with many other cops but Dev kills off a person who has come to establish peace with police after lulling him into a false sense of security. Also, it seems illogical to me that a SP has not known what happened to the sister of a wanted criminal when she is bought to a police station, especially when he was part of the raid during which she was arrested. So he condones the gang rape of an innocent girl, this does not seem "dev" like to me.

And then there is Aishwarya, who doesn't know the raod to escape back to her husband but has not trouble going back to beera when she needs to talk to him.

Now the acting, Oh God the acting!!! Abhishek proves once again that he can only act in cool dude roles like Dostana, the intensity, the psychotic killer instinct is completely missing, In fat the comic relief in the movie is provided when he attempts to show a sinister side by talking to himself about killing someone or the other.

Aishwarya seems to have a sore throat throughout the movie and looks out of shape in suits. I personally don't like her and so found her annoying during the entire movie.

Vikram makes a perfect "BAD" cop and I am sure he will pull of the role of Beera in the tamil version brilliantly.

Ravi Kishen is the redeeming point of the entire cast as he effortlessly pulls off the role of the younger brother of Beera

Govinda does a good job for the tiny role he has been given, but the character is badly written.

**Spoilers End**

Over all the movie is extremely disappointing. Dil Se was suppose to be a Mani Ratnam flop but I liked Dil Se. I think Raavan (especially the casting) is Mnai Ratnam's biggest FLOP to date.

The major reason to watch the movie is the brilliant cinematography. Santosh Sivan excels in showing breathtaking visuals of Kerela, Karnataka, Maharashtra and other parts of India.

My rating is 1.5(cinematography) + 0.5(overall)/5 = 2/5

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rajneeti Movie Review

Rajneeti is Prakash Jha's adaptation of Mahabharat and a some parts of Godfather thrown in.
I had very high expectations from the movie and it totally lived up to them during the first half. But the second half was a very big let down. My major contentions with this movie were from the least to the biggest:

  1. Arjun Rampal: He was not bad but his accent, diction do not fit in. Also, as most of his scene are with the bigwigs, his lack of acting skills becomes very apparent.
  2. Nikhila Trikha: She play Ranbir's mom in the movie and is passable most of the time. But during her big scene with Ajay Devgan, she messes it up completely.
  3. The End: Climax is unbelievable as it happens in broad daylight with no thought for media getting even a hint of a shoot out between 2 major political opponents and Kat's big announcement in the last scene just seems cheesy and not needed.
  4. Katrina Kaif: Why why did Jha have to cast her? She falls totally flat. For a character born and bought up in Bihar, her accent is horrible. I think she felt wearing a bindi would show her as an Indian girl, which of course it doesn't and in the second half when she has to give a powerful political speech which falls completely flat! a complete thumbs down to Kat
  5. The timeline: can so many scandals, killings feuds happen in a few months? doesn't seem believable at all.
Performances: Nana Patekar is outstanding. Ajay Devgan once again impresses but seems to be under-utilized. Manoj Bajpai does a good job as usual. Ranbir Kapoor seems to be heading up with a commendable performance. as stated above, Arjun Rampal, Katrina Kaif and Nikhila Trikha disappoint.

Story: Overall a good story but gets cheesy and loses steam towards the end. Also the timeline shown could have been elongated.

Overall, I would give Rajneeti a 3/5 for some superb performances and a gripping first half. Definitely more watchable than Kites!