Movie reviews

I've been meaning to review a couple of movies for ages but been really caught up at work. We saw Jodhaa Akbar last weekend, and honestly - a good effort but somewhere there was a lack of coherence. I feel the movie would have done better to be named Akbar and focussed on the rise of Emperor Akbar, with the Jodha love story as just a part of it, rather than supposedly the focus. The film meanders here and there from the love story and somewhere I feel the director got confused about what it was that he was trying to showcase.
Aishwarya actually acted better than Hrithik who just didn't manage the regal aura in many of the scenes. I have a theory about Aishwarya that whenever she wears brown contact lenses her acting abilities are praised, like in Guru or even in the song Kajra Re, and it certainly proves to be true here. The supporting cast was mostly terrible apart from Sonu Sood. Ila Arun glowered her way through most scenes. Poonam Sinha never vacated her vacant smile throughout the movie. And many of the so-called villains lisped - I mean, it cost Rs. 40 crore, right, so there had to have been a budget for a character actor who didn't lisp? The sets and costumes are spectacular, and the battle scenes beautifully shot so one actually feels like one is in the thick of it. The music I found quite ordinary apart from the Sufi song - and that was beautifully done with the Turkish dervishes...The cinematography, Khalid Mohammed's review to the contrary, was breath-taking and really brought the mood of each scene alive, with its wide angle shots as well as the close-ups in the intimate scenes. Aish and Hrithik have terrific chemistry, which is a boon to this film.

Overall, I feel it could have been better scripted if the writer and director had been clear about what the story should cover - as it is, the story starts with Akbar's regency period and goes on long after he and Jodha have fallen in love and done the deed. Worth one watch, if only for the spectacle.

Johnny Gaddaar
A fabulous, fabulous noir film, with a tight script, brilliant editing and shot-framing and terrific acting by everyone. It brought the world of James Hadley Chase - who was the inspiration for the film - to life, with the seedy 'hero' whom you root for even while he's doing the wrong things. Dharmendra was brilliant as the small-time villain who yet says to his protege that "you've chosen a very wrong path" - proof of honour among thieves. Songs delighted by being absent, except in snatches. The script was so taut that one could feel the adrenalin zooming...Really, really enjoyable!


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