Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Short Takes

Trying not to hibernate on the blog. :-) Here are a few movies watched over the past few weeks at random intervals. I think the next post may also be of movies. :-]

The original 'Ghajini' movie from Christopher Nolan. A man with a short term memory loss caused by an assault on him and his wife, avenges his wife's death, and how! The screenplay is imaginative with a forward narrative of the present and a flash back narrative in a reverse timeline that alternate and merge. You must have seen the first scene amongst the initial credit sequences to tie up the narratives. Murugadoss must be congratulated for adding masala to Ghajini and adapting it to Indian sensibilities with Asin (the original has no definition of this character other than that she gets killed) and Nayantara (there is a decent characterization of her role in the original) along with the protagonist Surya. The back and forth narration would have definitely not cut ice with the Indian audience as it confuses the flow. A memorable movie for the 'whoa!' narrative.

2001 - A Space Odyssey
One of the earliest 'interpret it as you want to' type of movies and made before my generation. Directed by Stanley Kubrick on a Arthur C Clarke science fiction novel. No dialogues at all for the first 20 and the last 20 minutes. It kind of gets to you, sometimes nothing but silence and darkness fills the screen and you wonder if the projector has failed. Most of the special effects (no computer graphics at that time and the effects were done with real scale models and very clever camera sequences) are spell-binding. Blue Danube of Strauss is used for the space station docking sequences, and is just soaring and induces goose-bumps. The highlight is the HAL 9000 computer which turns against the astronauts. It is very slow moving with minimal dialogues and supposedly a cult movie as per the current generation sci-fi stalwarts (Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, ...). Watch it, but be warned that you may lose patience and get edgy and fidgety at what Kubrick is conveying.

Shawshank Redemption
I don't know how many times I have seen this movie and how many times I will. Story (adapted from a Stephen King short story) of a person's saga at the Shawshank prison into which he is jailed for life for murdering his wife and her lover, a crime which he has not committed. Tim Robbins (as the new convict) and Morgan Freeman (who has been in jail for 20 years before Tim) are stellar, as prisoners who develop a bond. The story builds up slowly to a crescendo where Tim outwits the jail warden for his freedom and for the innovative use of Raquel Welch, Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth as a facade. Worth a watch, anytime!


Swaram said...

Welcome bk :)

zeno said...

too much tempted and inspired to watch redemption
after watchin memento some how started feeling that the comparison doesnt do justice to both the movies.
asin was awesome ;) nayan wasnt looking good at all :(

gils said...

ditto for zeno kament..asinkaga saw the movie 4 times..nayan waste

ambulisamma said...

Why only peter films?
No tamizh movies?
@ Gils: Neenga ivalo periya asin Fan.ah?

Ramesh said...

At long lost, a movie I have seen. 2001 - one of the best sci fi books and a nice movie. Mmmmmm can understand the "new" generation's impatience with silence and lack of dialogues. Reflected in zeno, gils, et al comment which of course makes no mention of 2001.

RamMmm said...

@Swaram - :-D Thanks and hopefully I don't hibernate longer. Let's see.

@zeno - The comment on Ghajini from me was a compliment. To an extent, neatly pulled into an Indian context. Definitely Asin's characterization was good. Nayantara more or less was like a 'loosu'. The original's equivalent of Nayan had a rationale for helping the hero. And anyway, comparing them is like comparing oranges and lemons. :-) [how many days shall we keep on comparing oranges and apples?]

@gils - என்னமோ பண்ணுங்க. எல்லாம் வாலிப வயசு!!! :-D :-D Agree though that Asin was far brighter than Nayan in Ghajini.

@ambulisamma - I can only write on what I saw. :-) Rarely see Tamil movies these days (or for that matter, any movie) பொழப்பே படமா ஓடுது. இதுல நிஜ படம் வேறயா!!! :-(

@Ramesh - Even I was a bit fidgety at some of the long drawn scenes. :-) gils/zeno are all the 'happening' generation. They can't bear to see something 'static' for some period of time. Ha Ha Ha

zeno said...

So are we concluding that Ramesh is from a generation before Ram's Generation???

RamMmm said...

Maybe we overlap significantly. :-)