Movie review: 300: Rise of an Empire

A reviewer describes 300: Rise… as History Channel meeting the Saw franchise. Based on an upcoming novel, Xerxes, by Frank Miller, whose past works include Sin City and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, the film gives a gore-ridden twist to a historical event, and throws in a fictional, love making scene between its principal warriors that has become the talk of town internet. When raging, free testosterones (Greek army, almost decimated) meet acid strong estrogen (Persian oriental navy with Artemisia as the leader), three dimensional heads float around in scenic, montage war scenes that appear to bear resemblance to historical artistic depictions of the battle. Comics have a way of making history come alive, and 300: Rise of an Empire does justice here, if only the script could stay true to the actual events. See 300: Five historical errors So it happens that Artemisia did not die in the battle. Her involvement and history are interesting to read. She did not implore Xerxes, rather...
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Mr Peabody and Sherman – review

The wonderdog, Peabody, and the little nerd Sherman, armed with a time machine, participate in glorious history, but in a way that regales and educates. Peabody and Sherman combines in a lethal dose a time machine, a boy brought up by a dog, a hate-turned-into-love romance, and a wacky involvement in historical epochs that ends with a time-identity-clash paradox. If a boy can adopt a dog, a dog can adopt a boy, observes the judge, and so begins this comic tale, a retold version of a 60s animation TV show, that never ceases to amuse and entertain. Mr Peabody as a puppy shows little interest in futile games that humans play, like making him fetch. He wouldn’t fit a female’s … either, and so, left unadopted, absorbs himself into reading Plato, growing into a Nobel prize winner and a world leader. The story’s complex, but its take on historical events in which the three characters (Penny is the school crush), go on to participate...
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Highway – movie review

Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis. – Emerson I was going to write a negative review, but then even falsities leave a tincture of truth behind. Negative things like – does the movie tacitly endorse or promote trafficking of girls? That’s a harsh reality in this part of the world. But the story turns itself round, like a projectile hurled towards us, and stuns the audience. And we leave perplexed, depressed, and tired of a long, rambling journey. A young teenager about to be married is kidnapped, begins to enjoy the journey, and gets attracted to the captor (a calming, safe and reassuring presence of a free man?). He doesn’t lust for her, but has other sinister designs. The journey takes us to the snow laden peaks of the Himalayas, where the girl finally finds her dream home and life – to cook and clean, use kajal, and make her own little world among the tribal sheep herders of Himalayas....
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Heartless

I left Heartless after the first half, and came to know that the real action and thrill really begins in the second! The almost empty theatre was probably graced by the screenplay writer herself, as when her name showed up on screen, there was some loud cheer and a guy next to her stood up and clapped. This story is about the mother-son duo, and a remake of ‘Awake’. I get to know that the mother finally saves the son. When Indian films do a remake of a Hollywood movie, the first to undergo ‘adaptation’ are the characters, who get moulded in the stereotypes and roles that are now all too well known. Other things that change are identities of the conflicting elements, locations, humour, dialogues, the usual songs and dances, and religion. Which raises a kuestion: why are we constrained by such typified, typecast roles and stereotypes, and tend to classify people first, rather than see them in totality? It has spoiled Indian movies...
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Hansi toh phasi – movie review

When science meets sanskar… so it was described in a review. Not a rom-com, it turns out more like a tragi-comedy. The leading character here is a rebellious girl, who abandons or is forced to leave home, and goes to no less a place than China to pursue her research. The result is a super-density ball that can bounce non-stop, apparently forever, and thus a potential solver of all power shortage issues. Abandoned and hated by her family, the prototype science nerd displays unstable behaviour, is a family thief, in depression, a former drug user, probably a lesbo, and now addicted to pills, sugar and toothpaste. She finally returns, because she wants to see her father, and apologise for her behaviour. The story here, like in many Indian films, matters, and matters not. A movie sells many things – its performers, music, location, dialogues, humour, and Indian culture. That’s what we buy. This movie has only antics to sell, and a badly judgmental characterisation....
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One by two – movie review | Are you Amit Sharma?

Sometimes, fiction does meet reality. I was walking down the street when this marketing poster caught my attention. Are you Amit Sharma?’, it asked. Yes, I am. And then a check list. Work is horrible? Girl friend dumped you? Life sucks? I’ve never had a girlfriend. So at least two are true. Maybe none, I thought. I saw the movie today. What a maverick job they have done! I relished most of it, but not all. The story The screen Amit Sharma (Abhay Deol) works as a programmer for a small consultancy firm. He has just separated from a girl, who I guess works for a TV event management company. He is one of those loser type, middle class guys in service, living in a traditional Indian family, where the usual jokes get cracked. He doesn’t seem to want anything, maybe everything that a normal man would want. Yet, he is also a singer and a guitar player. And he avoids marrying the girl of his parent’s choice. And...
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Pyar sab kuch nahin zindagi ke liye!

Made in 1968:  Saraswatichandra. Absolutely great songs. In spite of perfect communication, fate, or the writer, had other things written for them. A flooded river played spoilsport for him. He did get kissed twice by two girls while he was asleep! The writer brings together every known force of society, usually set against lovers, to see them united. Even a 100+ years old sage. But for Arya dharma! The widow couldn’t come to terms with the idea of remarriage. No doubt, it could be true. I read somewhere, a British officer tried his best to convince a widow not to commit sati. He had to withdraw later, so pathetic a state did she reduce herself into. Boring? We do have a 21st century version! ...
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Star of the silver screen

Strange coincidence. I watch Kora Kagaz and the day turns out to be the actor’s anniversary. Vijay ‘Goldie’ Anand gave us ‘Guide’. His acting was refined, for sure, but too mellow, just too realistic. Kora Kagaz has scenes that employ the realistic style, a technikue hardly ever to be seen in commercial Indian cinema. The story scared me…  it’s all gloom, doom and disintegration. Explaining the existence of Khajuraho… ...
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