Monday, May 25, 2009

Quickie reviews

Antarmahal (2008) - * * * * * - A Bengali movie by Rituparno Ghosh about ancient superstitions and how they are twisted... Bengali directors are simply awesome. The region has immense talent and art! Not to forget, beauties too! This movie is set in 1878 and is about a landlord (Shroff) who desires a child. He marries a young bride (Soha) while his 1st wife is still with hi (Rupa Ganguly). The two women share a bond amidst the insecurities and yet they have this sisterly bond between them. The story is told from different POVs at times and is simply brilliant in some moments! Bachchan plays a sculptor who is to make an idol of Goddeess Durga. The landlord wants him to put the Queen's face on the idol to earn a title from the Empire and grow his power. The movie handles various topics like lust, power, marital rape, childlessness, polygamy, superstitions, vain kings, dis-loyalty, seduction. To watch such strong, bold, controversial cinema made at home was quite a shock for me. I was mighty impressed by the director and his handling of such a myriad of emotions with elan in this 2 hour movie! Classic!

A man and a woman (1966) - * * * - A story of a divorced model/actress and a widower race car driver. Their kids go to the same school and they both meet. The romance shown is very innocent and classy. The movie sometimes uses black and white to nice effect and also makes ample use of facial expressions to convey the romantic connection between the woman and the man. It also has an unexpected twist in the end... A nice romantic movie to watch when you have nothing to do but get your mush on! The man is played by Jean-Louis Trintrignant and the woman is played by Anouk Aimee. Direction is by Claude Lelouch. Classy romance.

Tadpole - * * 1/2 - Just what is it about the older woman that boys find attractive? Is it the intelligence, the full bodied figure, the commanding attitude, the understanding motherly way in which they act? The young boy (John Ritter) in the movie falls in love with his french step-mom (Sigourney Weaver). Only she doesn't know it yet. His mature demeanor and suave ways makes him irresistible to girls. The story takes a turn when he gets drunk and unwittingly sleeps with his step-mom's best friend (Bebe Neuwirth) because she was wearing his step-mom's scarf. The boy now jumps thru hoops in an effort to conceal what happened and this presents various funny moments in the movie. Rom-Com.

PS: Post style inspired by Vee's latest!


Nikki said...

Interesting reviews. Will try and look them up!

Dhanya said...

Antarmahal sounds interesting! Let's see if I can get my hands on it...

abhishek said... fav genre of movie :D
gotta look for it now. :P

Bouncing-Bubble said...

nicely done!though I guess the first one would have warranted for a more detailed single revu?

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi Nikki,
Thank you - all 3 are a good watch.

Hi Dhanya,
Antarmahal is indeed great - I gave it 5 Stars! Bengali movies, actors and directors are awesome!

hi Abhishek,
Welcome to my blog.
Ah... someone likes older women kya ;-) Its in vogue these days - Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher :P

Hi BB,
you are spot on! I so wanted to write on Antarmahal, but would have been too many posts in a short span and the "vella" comments would have followed. I remember posting 3 posts on MS in a day and that hardly garnered any response. Case of supply and demand I guess :P

PurpleHeart said...

Feel like watching Antarmahal. Is it dubbed into Hindi too ?

Valerine said...

Guess you shud watch Chokherbali....(if u havent) something similar to Antarmahal.
A man & woman reminds of the movie...'Sleepless in Seattle'....

But the quick review style is cool:)

Smita said...


Nice quickies, good for someone line me :D

Tell me, have u seen "The Bridges of Maddison County"?? Heard it is a classy romance and if it is anything like the book then it has to be searching for it but abhi tak mili nahin :-(

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi Sandy,
It is dubbed in hindi along with english and other languages. Do watch it if u can.

Hi Valerine,
I have not seen CB yet. After AM, will have to chk it out. Also, have not seen SLIS... is it any good?

Hi Smita,
ha! what excuses ppl make for not watching a movie - heard of Ask vee how to get a membership if its simply complicated 4 u ;-) :P

Valerine said...

SLIS is an awesome movie ........TOm hanks and Meg Ryan play d lead roles...Well i guess u shud watch it if u lyk romantic movie.....

Smita said...

Seventy MM membership for one movie? I want to buy it if i get it. And BTW that still leaves my question unanswered.

Vee said...

I have seen 2 but Tadpole..

No mention of Abhishek in Antarmahal.. haha, intentional? That Bachchan guy sucked though... I am a fan of Bengali cinema too.. :)

I saw A Man and A Woman on World Cinema Channel on TV.. Man, they show lot of french/german/korean .. Some good thing out of TV..

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi Valerine,
will do it sm time when the bug bites me.

Hi Smita,
why not - you blow up so much money on books. Take the membership 4 a month, rent the DVD and dont return it. Simple! Ghar baithe movie is yours.

Hi Vee,
I did mention AB in Antarmahal - "Bachchan plays a sculptor who is to make an idol of Goddeess Durga". He was looking awkward in that role, right? I was not a fan of the movies till I saw this one. I was a bengali movie virgin till now! Thanks for inspiring on the quickie movie revu style...

Anonymous said...

Good to know your interest about Bengali Cinema. Unfortunately, you are wrongly impressed with bad cinema.

Antarmahal & Rituporno are both worse examples to discuss contemporary Bengali movies. If you read the short story of Tarashankar you will understand how the sexual subtleties of the story have been explicitly showcased in a disgusting manner. Antarmahal is an example of how bad a casting can be. Jackie Shroff of all people? The Director just wanted to encash on a commercial viability of a brilliant short story and used popular Bollywood actors to showcase a very twisted viewpoint of old Bengali culture. In short he fucked it up. Abhisek Bachhan’s performance was horrible. You must also know the character of Soha Ali khan is heavily inspired from Satyajit ray’s Devi, where her mother etched an eternal classic performance. Sharmila was real Devi.

His initial movies like Unishe April, ,Dahan , Bariwali , Utsab, Shubho Mahurat , Chokher Bali , Raincoat exemplified his excellent command over the medium across various film genres. Those spoke of a different director altogether.

Among Bong intelligentsia the director is known as Ritu-Porno, and he has provided enough reasons to justify his sloppy nickname. Like RGV he is another example of talent gone hayware misguided by ego. After Antarmahal he has directed another Crap called ‘Dosor’ which is about infidelity. It’s full of shit and after that he has lost much respect in flim circuit of Kolkata. I have not seen his Last Lear so can’t comment.

To experience real good Bengali movies watch veteran Directors’ Satyajit Ray, Bimol Roy, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak, Aparna Sen and contemporary- Sandip Ray, Goutam Ghosh, Subrata Sen.

If you want to see what bold Bengali cinema means watch Ray’s Pratidwandi and Ajay Kar’s Kaanch Kata Hire. If you want to see what controversial film mean- try to get hold od ‘Bibar’ directed by Subrata Sen. The novel by the same name, by Samaresh Basu is was banned and am not sure if it’s still available in the open market..

You see, am little touchy about my roots. Sorry, if I seem to be overreacted.

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi UH,
I am replying to this comment so late coz I wanted to read it properly and not in haste. If this movie, which you consider to be shoddy, impressed me much, I cannot wait to watch the classics you have reccommended. Thank you for enlightening me about bengali cinema :-)