Category Archives: Movies

Kaaviya Thalaivan; Farewell my Concubine

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Kaaviya Thalaivan(Hero of a Epic), the new Tamil movie was indeed a true treat to watch on my wedding anniversary. When a friend asked if I would write about this movie, I told, “I will, if I could remember the movie until I reach home”. I actually thought that I should write about any movie only if I could remember and feel the story and the first and last scene of the movie and the impact it had on me. So without saying it is understood that this movie did have an impact on me and, yes, I could still remember those 2 scenes.

It was more of a rekindled memory that it had in me and I felt like its truly a tribute to Leslie Cheung and the crew members of the movie ‘Farewell my Concubine’ from a Tamil director. Kaaviya Thalaivan is truly a good movie to watch even though I’m not sure if the director made it after being inspired by ‘Farewell my Concubine’ or he just made it without knowing anything about the original movie (which I cannot accept after watching the first scene). All the people would try to correlate this movie with the real life characters from the South Indian ‘stage play’ period but still this reminded me scene by scene, frame by frame, the movie made in 1993 named ‘Farewell my Concubine’.

What is wrong in making a movie with a story that was already made? is a very good question to ask, as we know that at one time in life we all cross paths and also it is very easy to be inspired by a good movie. The sad part here is, if the makers really know that they were inspired by a movie then it is fair to give the credits to those movies or stories especially when you start the first few scenes similar to the original movie.

If you are not a Tamilian but has watched ‘Farewell my Concubine’ then I would strongly recommend you to watch ‘Kaaviya Thalaivan’ as well, as it shows the story of 2 characters in the legendary ‘Stage Play’ art. Prithviraj, you have again donned the screen with your presence.

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2012 – How I got addicted to Korean Dramas…

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The movies and dramas kept me really busy throughout the year. I got really bored watching the same type of romantic and thriller flicks from the West and so started a search on the best romantic movies in Cantonese and Mandarin due to the impact of the Asian DVD shops in my locality. I would never regret for that, because that is when I found the movie ‘In the mood for Love’ which was listed as one of the Top 10 romantic movie ever made in the Asian world. With this, my movie hunting expanded and I was completely anchored to Asian romantic movies after watching ‘Nodame Cantabile’, which is a live action drama with 11 episodes and 2 special episodes which can be considered as a movie.

After watching a lot of Chinese romantic films, when I was totally disappointed with the endings of some of them, my brother recommended ‘My Sassy Girl’ a famous Korean romantic movie. To be frank, I was not impressed with the famous Korean romantic flick and was not able to figure out what was so special about that film, may be the period when it got released was really dry in Korean cinema or may be the funny puking heroine looked cute or may be the climax.

I couldn’t convince myself to watch more Korean movies but the movie ‘Old Boy’ did change my perspective towards Korean Cinema. Again after a few back and forth to Cantonese and Japanese movies, I got reminded of the movie ‘My Sassy Girl’ and continued searching for other romantic movies and found a beautiful romantic movie world at this other side of the world. So far, in India, Korean thriller and horror movies have only got attention but my focus was completely on the romance genre. I am now totally addicted to Korean romantic movies and dramas which made my life really blissful.

Some of the romantic dramas and movies that I can never get rid of my mind are listed below with a simple reason that made me choose them specifically.

1) In the Mood for Love(Movie: Cantonese):

Mesmerising story telling on screen, Cast, On-screen performance, BGM, Direction, Cinematography. The movie was like a magic world.

2) Love Rain(Drama: Korean):

Cute and Refreshing way of presenting the drama, Minute details to the props and locations, Sountrack, BGM, JKS and his acting as In Ha and Seo Joon. The spell created by JKS made me watch this drama 3 times.

3) Nodame Cantabile(Drama: Japanese):

Rejuvenating classic music with romance. Comedy, Cast, story. On-Screen performance in live action made me wonder that a movie/drama can also be like a Anime. Chiaki and Nodame ruled a few months of my life with their excellent performance.

4) You’re Beautiful(Drama: Korean):

Capturing the modern Idol band members perfectly. Cast, Soundtrack, BGM, JKS and his eye liners and his costumes. This was the first JKS drama that I watched and I thought he is a girl. He was still so adorable.

5) April Snow(Movie: Korean):

This movie made me realize how cold it will be when it snows. Screenplay, Story, Cast. Bae Yong Joon and Son Yi Jin were truly amazing on the screen.

6) Playful Kiss(Drama: Korean):

Innocent romance and comedy. Kim Hyun Joong was really handsome in this drama especially when he smiles at Ha Ni. Characterization for the entire drama.

7) Marry me Mary(Drama: Korean):

JKS Hair Style and Moon Geun Young’s acting, Soundtrack. What could be so special in a drama which has no great story, it is the lead actor and the lead actress and their performance. This is why we say acting is more important in films because it can make an excellent story into a flop at box office hit and a flop story into something really special.

8) Secret Garden(Drama: Korean):

Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won were perfect, there is no wonder why they are so famous. The character Oska was really really cute especially whenever he loses to his younger brother and just like Gil Ra Im even I was wondering why he looks happy when he loses to his younger brother in a funny way. Comedy, Cast, Location, Cinematography.

9) Chungking Express(Movie: Cantonese):

Screenplay and Story, Cast, Soundtrack, BGM, Director. Tony Leung was really a ‘Lovable Oppa’ in this movie.

10) Seducing Mr.Perfect(Movie: Korean):

Perfect sweet ending romance like in Mills and Boon stories, Characterization of the female lead.

Short Film: The Hand (Wong Kar Wai)

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Is this a erotic movie? Definitely No… The movie is again about human emotions like any other Wong Kar Wai movie. What can we expect in a WKW movie? Great screenplay, cinematography, BG score and characterization? Yes, we can enjoy all of them in this movie with the beautiful Gong Li and handsome Chen Chang (I think he is another WKW’s preferred actor). I would have definitely loved it if I would have watched it before ‘In the mood for Love’. Chen Chang’s acting also somehow reminds me of Tony Leung’s acting in ITMFL. I felt Gong Li graced the screen with her wonderful acting and she definitely fits in any role that she takes. I watched it this time for her acting and not for Wong Kar Wai though I am a crazy fan of the later…

Movie: No Mercy

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It is not just the movie but we will also have agonizing pain after watching it. I hate to watch movies with such intense storyline. It didn’t create an impact like ‘Oldboy’ may be because I watched Oldboy first. I read somewhere that the Tamil movie ‘Yudham Sei’ was remade from this movie but it is not true, both the movies are about agonizing pain but the story is different.

If you are fanatical about thriller and crime movies then this movie and Oldboy should definitely be in your list. I am pretty sure that in India we will never make movies with such complex characters as all the social activists will be against it, I don’t know how they manage to make such films in Korea. For me, Yudham Sei was good enough to keep me scared of anything and everything and I find it as the limit nowadays though I used to watch many thrillers before my parenthood.

Movie: Harmony

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This is one of those movies that will bring tears and smile together. It is a beautiful movie with a lot of characters and all of them at their best. I remembered my singing class lessons when I was watching this movie. My teacher used to give the same type of comments when I sing and she even suggested me not to take singing as a profession for the sake of the audience 😉

The baby in the movie is so adorable… I am sure I will not re-watch this movie again in my life even if I forget the storyline. The movie is all about the female jail prisoners and their struggle to keep themselves happy… It taught me to be very careful when I become short-tempered because women make the worst mistakes when they lose their temper….

 

Movie: Frivolous Wife

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It is true that most girls want to marry a prince charming and in most of the romantic movie they never captured what happens later on but in this movie the female lead marries a real prince from an authoritative family and the remaining story is about how she adjusts in that family… It is funny and cheerful and I loved it…

Korean movies

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I watched a few films in the last 2 days and they are all slow paced romantic drama… Il Mare, Daddy long legs and The Recipe… These 3 movies are not just romantic movies but they are much more…  The South Korean movies are so stupefying that they break all the assumptions we have while reading the story lines. I have read the story lines for most of the movies that I watched and only 1 or 2 are the same as the story line but the rest of them are all stunning either in the way they are made or in the performances…

These 3 movies are a must watch for their storyline and the performances… Il mare was remade as The Lake House in Hollywood but the Hollywood movie is nowhere near the Korean movie both in performance and style…

My experience with The Dark Knight Rises

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Finally the wait and expectations are over and I felt blissful while watching the movie. It was ecstatic and I was just recalling my life from the day I watched the first part of this trilogy and was wondering what changes and twists my life has taken like some of the characters in it. I was completely lost and felt like everything was happening around me but this could have happened due to the impact of the World’s largest IMAX screen.

To enjoy the movie without disturbance from my 3 yr old boy, I made sure that he would also enjoy the movie and so I had to tell him a parallel story about Batman for his understanding of the movie with all the things that he know in his life so far…

For example, The reason why Batman was inactive for sometime is because he is the best car maker in the world and when Bane came to know about this he wanted to abandon him but the people who like him wanted him to make the best car in the world like Lighting Mcqueen but this time it should be Black in color just like Batman’s Costume. Why is Bane so bad? Ah! that is simple because he is a ‘Monster’ who cannot breathe if there are too many cars running in Gotham City.

There is nothing much to review about the movie which is accredited world wide but I felt that the movie was in a hurry as if Batman also wanted it to  be like that in some portions but as the filmmakers and writers already expected, I would say that Rises was not a flop in the trilogy but it lacks something that was expected by the Nolan’s Batman trilogy fans. This has happened with some of the previous greatest trilogy like The Godfather and The Terminator and it will be the same for any such films which marks an end to a series.

I have to watch the movie again in a theatre, preferably Sydney IMAX(for God’s sake please don’t tell me that you will get a better print in the Internet with subtitles soon) to see if I can find what I missed in the movie. It was the Nolan brothers and their screenplay that made me a fan of the Batman and I am sure that the Batman from this trilogy will be the one whom my kid will admire the most…

Movie: Seducing Mr.Perfect

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I have finally found the perfect romantic movie of my type… If you are a fan of Mills and Boon and Ramanichandran (Tamil Writer) then you should not miss this movie… I feel that my hunt for good romantic movies might end here… It is so perfect like what I have been expecting all these days… This can be categorized as a Chick flick too and of all the chick flicks I have watched so far, this is the best…

This is not a classic romantic movie or a poetic romance story but this was that romantic story which I have read all through my teen age and have imagined as perfect love story with a happy ending…