Movies

Bala

Bala

560 560 Kamal Karanth
Bala

I generally read a couple of reviews before I walk into any movie. If it’s a Hindi movie, then Rajeev Masand is my go-to man. When he says 3.5 stars, it means it warrants a visit to the theatre. So he did with Bala. But for once, I wasn’t sure I deciphered his nuanced review on the plot before I walked in. Only when I came out, I realised the single most factor that was disconcerting about Bala. “The connection”!

In spite of its sincere efforts to highlight the biases in our society about skin colour, obesity and balding I struggled to Connect with Bala. For me, the script wasn’t tighter and convincing. I thought the movie got lost between making it a comedy and driving the message about the balding realities.

Bala is a bold attempt by Ayushmann Khurrana. It has its heart in the right place and makes you laugh throughout the movie. But then, you need to be a die-hard Bollywood fan and relate to its history from Amitabh Bachchan’s time till now for you to enjoy some parts of the movie.

However, Bhumi Pednekar’s appearance is off-putting, Painting her black took power away from her character. Yami Gautam fills the glamour gap in the movie. Her screen time with some Tik Tok songs gives you some momentary relief from the movie’s artificial context.

Saurabh Shukla’s character stands out as the most sincere supporting cast and maybe the only character I could connect to. The rest of the characters I thought were only increasing the artificial feeling about the movie. In a nutshell, I felt Bala was a ‘play’ being presented on screen. The drama was imposed on the viewer. I just wanted to get home as the movie wandered to its second half.

Ayushmann Khurrana generally picks good movies and, again, hats of to him for choosing this character. But the director and screenplay let his portrayal down.

I only wish I had waited for the movie’s streaming premier.

Ford Vs Ferrari Poster

Ford Vs Ferrari

560 560 Kamal Karanth
Ford Vs Ferrari Poster

Don’t expect Ford Vs Ferrari to be a “car racing” movie or for just race lovers.

Its another movie on Human spirit, corporate hypocrisy, and individual triumphs that are woven well together.

I hadn’t read the reviews. Hence I thought its another movie on the car racing.

The title, star cast of Matt Damon, Christian Bale, attracted me to the theatre on a weekday. Honestly, after watching it, I don’t regret the 3-hour sleep loss. The movie is a tad long at two and half 30 hours for a Hollywood movie. However, the one-liners, the build-up to the final race keeps you intrigued

I hadn’t read much about Ken Miles‘s achievements before the movie as events depicted in the film had transpired before I was born. Maybe that was one of the reasons Ford vs Ferrari was quite intriguing for me till the end.

I also enjoyed watching the depictions of Enzo Ferrari, Lee Iacocca, and Henry Ford II roles as I have read so much about them.

The failed attempt of Ford to buy Ferrari is seamlessly built into the script.

I have been a Jason Bourne fan, and hence, I like Matt Damon. But, this Christian Bale’s role is an author-backed one. He shines as the maverick driver and passionate mechanic.

All in all, Ford Vs Ferrari has elements related to life and work.

The disappointments of non-inclusions, corporate politics, leadership narcissism is depicted well.

The arrival of Ford in the racing world is an insightful part of the movie.

Oh! There Are also some racing moments for die-hard car lovers. But the movie isn’t about racing. It is about relationships, Human greed, and grit!

I did not Opt to watch it in 4DX to give you an honest review of the racing movements as I watched it in 2D. So, If you are a die-hard race fan, I would recommend a 4D or IMAX.

But, for what the movie wants to convey the 2D version does the trick

I recommend You watch it even if you don’t like cars and racing. Ford vs. Ferrari connects in most aspects, especially when you see the pics of the real people at the end!

Knives Out

Knives Out

560 560 Kamal Karanth
Knives Out
I don’t know why I chose to watch “Knives Out. Was it the star cast? No, not really, Daniel Craig isn’t a draw for me unless he is in a James Bond Avatar. Maybe some of the positive media reviews were subconsciously playing on my mind. So on a weekday in Mumbai, I had to pick the movie. I dragged a couple of my colleagues to watch Knives Out.

The first time I heard the title I thought Knives Out’ made for a beautiful corporate story. Doesn’t it? After all, in our daily work life, we keep talking about who is backstabbing whom. Even if there isn’t an iota of truth, we keep exaggerating about how people at work are conspiring against each other. We can’t help but talk about others as soon as they leave the room. One scene in “Knives Out” plays out just like that. All the family members have an agenda or view against another; The way they articulate their opinions in front of the investigators makes you feel nostalgic about your workplace. That was my favorite part of the movie and brought a few smiles from me. I heard some loud chuckles elsewhere too.

Knives Out is supposed to be a whodunnit, But, one needs to treat it like a black comedy than a thriller. It’s not an edge of a seat thriller. The plot moves at a slow pace, and you need to be patient to get to the killer. Yes, the lack of a thriller kills you, or maybe that’s wasn’t the intent of the director!

One can’t ignore the star-studded star cast of Knives Out, though Daniel Craig, is an outcast. He doesn’t inspire nor shows the intellect required for the role. His semi-comic role doesn’t make you laugh either; his one-liners as 007 are more cheeky. Or maybe I am colored by his Bond image so much that I can’t appreciate him in other roles. Ana De Armas ( famous for Blade Runner, Knock Knock, or Hands of Stone) has the best character in the movie.

Jamie Lee Curtis (Remember True Lies?)is in an exciting role. Other than that, you do have Chris Evans (Captain America) to fill up for any glamour quotient you might want. I think anybody could have done that role!

Chhichhore

Chhichhore

560 560 Kamal Karanth
Chhichhore

If you haven’t seen Chhichhore, you should rush now to see this, will make you laugh, cry, and most importantly, nostalgic. You will remember all the friends you grew up with. Yes, its a bit of boys movie. But the dominant theme of the film is not about friendship, the father-son relationship, or college life.

Its how we all are seduced by success and prepared for any failure for us or our kith and kin. I am hoping that I will become a better father and moderate my expectations on success vs. failure henceforth. But don’t take my word for it as after the next movie I watch I might change my opinion as movies so hugely influence me.

Chhichhore is a must watch!

We are marshall

We are Marshall

560 560 Kamal Karanth
We are marshall
Whenever HBO plays ‘We are Marshall’ please make time to view it. It talks about a community rising above the immediate tragedy and giving a cause for them to heal and live. Its also a fair portrayal of grief, where some people do well and rise, and some people don’t.

Matthew McConaughey, who plays the outsider coach, gives an insight into how outsiders can help people who are caught up in their internal web.

Kaithi

Kaithi

560 560 Kamal Karanth
Kaithi
When I walked to watch Kaithi, I just realised it’d been two months since I walked into a movie hall for a movie, Chhichhore was my last, and that was in September. The advent of Netflix, PrimeVideo, makes you feel that you are sort of in touch with the movie world. 

Encouraged by media and colleagues reviews of Kaithi, I ventured into PVR. I quite like Karthi’s choice of movies. I must have watched most of his films, Oopiri, Naan Mahaan Alla, Theeraan Adhigaaram Ondru, Siruthai, Komban are some of which I have enjoyed for different reasons.

Releasing along with Bigil requires courage. However, after watching the movie, I can understand why the distributors must have backed such a move. The film ticks most of the parts, especially the first half. I thought the movie raced itself till the interval and kept you engaged with anxiety as each scene unfolds. If you aren’t attentive enough, you might miss the James-Bond like one-liners mostly coming from the supporting cast.

Yes, Karthi plays a larger than life convict, and you can’t help watching him bash up 40 people with bare hands. However, one can forgive that having gone to watch a commercial movie. The Rambo like macho gun shoots in the climax deflates the film in the end.

Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman

560 560 Kamal Karanth
Pretty Woman
No! I don’t like this Movie because it stars Julia Roberts. I believe when it was released it sort of appealed to my cupid sense. I was 20 years of age when Pretty Woman released and most romantic movies during that time touched a chord. I guess beyond the title song which I like to hum even today, there was this chemistry between Richard Gere and Julia Roberts which made it interesting for me. Even today when I flip the channels and I see this being played, I can’t help to stop and watch it again. As much as I have enjoyed Julia Roberts in Erin Brokowich, Notting Hill & Monalisa Smile, for nostalgic reasons Pretty Woman stays up there amongst my favorites.

Sholay

560 560 Kamal Karanth
When I watched Sholay with my parents, I slept happily.  as my parents narrated the story to me. Yes, it was released when I wasn’t even in preschool. When it was already running past its 6 years of release is when I watched it with a certain clarity. Of course, there wasn’t any fun going to the theatre when I knew my favorite actor Amitabh Bachchan was going to die in the movie. Till I grew up in my teens, I always had this sad feeling about Sholay due to its tragic end. But since then like many Indians, I have watched it multiple times and started to like every aspect of the movie, from Gabbar to Asrani, every character is a historical figure to me. I guess even in my geriatric days, this one will entertain me.

Premaloka

560 560 Kamal Karanth
Premaloka came to my life in my teens. Like most Bangaloreans, I took a distinct liking to this movie as it was refreshingly musical. Yes, it had Juhi Chawla in all the peppy songs; it had some of the big stars in short roles (Vishnuwardhan, Ambarish, Tiger Prabhakar, and Srinath to name a few). But the winner was the music. Yes! Ravichandran had pictured these songs with some great imagination and set new benchmarks. It’s a pity that he could not reproduce this creativity with any of his subsequent movies. I watched many of his movies with the hope that there would be one more Premaloka like experience, but this for me has been frozen in time. No other Kannada movie made a mark on me subsequently. Maybe I need to thaw myself from Premaloka.

Kshana Kshanam

560 560 Kamal Karanth
There are many classics in Telugu from Shankarabharanam to Swathi Muthyam which I have liked for different reasons over the years. But I always like commercial comedy/romance/thrillers when it comes to movies. Shiva, Geethanjali by Manirathnam (1989) to the recently released Dookudu are my kind of Telugu movies. But the movie I keep remembering when it comes to Telugu movies is Kshana Kshanam. Yes, I used to be a great fan of Sridevi those days. But more than that I thought Ram Gopal Varma had it right those days. Paresh Rawal’s role, Brahmanandam’s comedy and amazing songs: ‘jaamu rathiri jabilamma’ makes a nice lullaby even today to me. Some of the chase scenes are dumb but hilarious, when I watch Kshana Kshanam today I realise that those were the days of Maruti 800 chases compared to the Scorpio thrills Telugu movies dish out today.