Monday, April 22, 2013

MovieNotes: Jolly LLB

Movie - Jolly LLB
*ing - Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla, Amrita Rao
Language - Hindi

Basic Premise
How a small time lawyer tries to become big through a PIL and then gets sucked into a fight with the big and powerful.

The all-round acting. And its not just the leads, its the support cast which makes the film work. You get lots of memorable characters, the judge, the canteen owner, the bodyguard constable, the "auctioneering" hawaldar.

Jolly LLB tries to avoid going into the typical filmy court-room battle and presents a more realistic description of the court proceedings

A practical ending where further proceedings are to take place but are not shown. Could be an opening for a sequel.

What could have been dropped from the film? The heroine and the needless romantic songs.

You wonder just how much corruption is there in our system. Even the main characters have to resort to bribery to get the evidence out.
The legal system seems to have an in-built delay mechanism leading to the justice getting lost in the red tape and paperwork.
Well I can outrage on and on about all this but thats the perview of another blog post.

All films related to the law tend to be benchmarked against "A Few Good Men". Does it go to the level of A Few Good Men? No, but it does attempt and does a good job of trying.

Rating - 7/10, Good overall watch

Previously on MovieNotes - Kai Po Che

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Indian Zombies

An animated corpse resurrected by mystical means such as witchcraft
This is how wikipedia describes a zombie. Like vampires and werewolves, they are a fairly common subject in the movie and gaming world. And unlike other such creatures they are never ever shown in positive light. 

Zombies have generally not been depicted in the Indian context. But all of a sudden there is a spate of zombie related Hindi movies coming up. In fact, in the trailer of "Go Goa Gone", when one character asks  how did zombies come into India, globalization is the answer he gets.

Now the question on why aren't there such "undead" creatures in Indian folklore? Ghosts, spirits, djinns, apparitions, witches, magicians are fairly common in Indian folklore but there is hardly any mention of things which are undead. Maybe because of Indian tradition of cremation of dead bodies rather than burials.As the dead bodies tended to be completely destroyed, hence the likelihood of a corpse being resurrected becomes  very rare. Hence no such things as zombies as part of Indian folklore.

This is just my theory. Any other takes?

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Two Thumbs Up, Sir

Its not often that you write a blog about a person whose existence you came to know only through the news of his death. 

Yesterday came in the sad news of the death of Roger Ebert, the greatest film critic. And there I was mostly oblivious about his existence. But then I started reading about him. And slowly got more and more hooked. Here was a man whose work I was aware of, had actually read his reviews, but never bothered reading the name on top of the article.

Certainly I do not claim any qualifications to review his work or life. But there was a lot I can take up as inspiration. And the more I read I about him the more inspiring his story was.
  • Writing film reviews for 46 years, that takes dedication. Sitting through film after film, however bad the narration may have been and then telling your take to the world. That is some dedication. 
  • Making film-criticism as a journalistic niche means Ebert took his own craft to such a level that others had to make a separate category for it. A Pulitzer for film criticism and a Star on the Hollywood walk of fame are just rewards for the sheer brilliance of his writing.
  • And lastly for not giving up even in face of bad health. Ebert simply took on to the online medium when his voice was gone. Thats the true fighting spirit which is rarely seen. He took a "Leave of Presence" from his fans just a couple of days before his death. And that was to be his last blog post . Certainly the best article I have read in recent times. 

"I was born in the movie of my life" - the opening sentence of Life Itself (his autobiography) is now into my favorite quotes collection. 

Two Thumbs Up, Sir for a life well lived and being a inspiration to many.

P.S. Now you have added a new item to my bucket-list. Watch every single movie from your "Best of the Year" Collection.