Friday, April 25, 2003

Much Ado About Nothing (1993) - An enjoyable movie for a relaxing evening at home! The wordplay and acting of Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, starring as Benedick and Beatrice, two marriage-phobic rivals unsuccessfully trying to escape love somewhere in an idyllic Italian town several centuries ago, give the pleasure of the movie. However, Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard) is a very unconvincing lover showing no emotions to the news that his false accusations killed his beloved Hero (Kate Beckinsale). The other oddity of the movie is Keanu Reeves as the bastard(ly) brother of the prince(ly) Denzel Washington -- why would anyone (and particularly Kenneth Branagh) cast Keanu Reeves for a Shakespeare comedy is beyond me. Michael Keaton is an entertainingly talkative nutcase whose verbiage is all non-sense in reverse order. Of course, the sumptuous Tuscan scenery is as idealized as possible, but then again this is not an Italian movie about Italian lovers -- it is Shakespeare for the masses!

DVD. 8/10

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

The English Patient

DVD. 7.5/10

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Do Dooni Chaar (1969) - The film is based on Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors and is scripted by Gulzar. Gulzar, as he confessed himself later, was not very happy with the direction (by Debu Sen). This prompted him to create his own version later as 'Angoor' - arguably one of the best comedies in Hindi films. Back to DDC, Kishore and Asit Sen both play double roles. Rest of the cast include Tanuja and Iftekhar. Iftekhar (police inspector) incidentally is the only person to appear in both DDC and Angoor and that too in the same role. The music by Hemant Kumar adds no value to the film and otherwise is dull too. Gulzar also seems out of sorts with his writing. However, another role that he plays in the movie as the voice of the 'suutradhaar' is interesting. Asit Sen is good, at least in one of his roles. Kishore is way off the mark. The lady who plays Kishore's wife is surprisingly very natural though lacks cinematic appeal. Tanuja is ok. On the whole, a rather poor and chaotic effort. Not even close to what one would expect from a Bimal Roy banner.

VHS. 5/10

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) - Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexandar. Writer/Dir Robert Benton. The movie has good pace and packs some wonderful lines. Dustin is brilliant. Apparently he was going thru a similar phase in his own life when he accepted the movie. And the challenge, according to the producer Stanley R. Jaffe, was one of the most difficult an actor can have - to play himself. Plot Outline: A just divorced man must learn to care for his son on his own, and then must fight in court to keep custody of him. The film was remade (of course, without authorization) in Hindi as Akele Hum Akele Tum with Amir and Maneesha as the lead pair. In an almost customary manner, the Hindi counterpart lost the essense of the movie and went astray with a lot of unwanted stuff (e.g.: music piracy - how ironic). Absolutely irritating performace by Maneesha made the pain insufferable.

DVD. Features "making of." 105 mins. 8/10

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Far From Heaven (2002) - Julian Moore

DVD - 6.5/10

Monday, April 14, 2003

Nuovo cinema Paradiso (1988) - Italian. Tagline: A celebration of youth, friendship, and the everlasting magic of the movies. A masterpiece.

DVD - Uncut (with additional 51 minutes). 8.5/10

Monday, April 07, 2003

Movies in March

Bridget Jones Diary (2002) - 7/10
The Contender (2000)- 8/10
Goodfellas (1990) - 8/10
E.T. (Re-release 2002) - 7/10
Three Kings (1999) - 5/10
Pyaasa (1957) - 7/10
A Fish Called Wanda (1988) - 6/10
The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) - 7/10
Time Out (2001) - French. 8/10
The Fast Runner (2002) - 3/10
The Full Monty (1997) - 7/10
Short Circuit (1986) - 4/10