On the 'Mumbai Expressway'

Once again, the evening of Friday found me on my way to watch a movie, Kamal Hassan's latest-Mumbai Express!

Riding motorbikes helps you relate to the rush that is 'Mumbai Express'. (Just Kidding, this is NOT one of your local remakes of 'Fast and the Furious' or 'Torque').Directed by Singeetham Srinivasan Rao, and released simultaneoulsy in multiple languages (Hindi & Tamil), the film is sure to do well in smaller centers.

Crime meets confusion, says the movie's catchline and from the initial sequence you realise why. Digambar (Vijay Raaz) and gang start of planning the perfect kidnapping. Throw in the rich businessman Mehta (Saurabh Shukla), two overfed kids, an ACP of Police (Om Puri), a former bar Dancer turned mistress of ACP turned mother of kidnapped kid turned scheming lady and an assortment of character actors(including Pratima Kazmi) to the presence of the Mumbai Express (Kamal Hassan), a motorcylce stuntman who is brought in to replace an indisposed gang member and the mad ride that is Mumbai Express begins.

The movie is a 'laugh-a-riot' with rib tickling one liners delivered with natural elan by Vijay raaz and Kamal Hassan. Without giving away much, one could say that this movie is one that could be counted along with Hera Pheri, Yeh Tera Ghar Yeh Mera Ghar, Hungama, Hulchul in the list of entertainers in recent times that do succeed in actually making you laugh.

The supporting cast does an excellent job. While some movie goers and 'critics' may find the movie very juvenile and predictable, come on...... now a days when having Johnny Lever in a movie amounts to it being a comedy, this movie does stand out and you will come out with a laugh!

The only drawback of the movie ( leaving aside the usual glitches) is that the movie is a little too stretched, the express keeps going on...maybe should have stopped a few stations early.

Cheers! Enjoy the ride.


Million Dollar Baby

Had the chance to see the Movie on its day of release in Bangalore at the Innovative Multiplex. Of course, after a hard 25 minute drive through light drizzle and multiple potholes and the ever challenging traffic on our roads, I got to miss the first 30 minutes of the movie.

Fortunately, I got in at the part where Frankie (Clint Eastwood) agrees to train Maggie (Hilary Swank), a waitress determined to be a boxer and take her chance... at the title. Eddie (Morgan Freeman) is the Mr. Fix-it, the boxer who's been there, done it and lost an eye too !
Maggie struggles like a punching bag without any stuffing when she gets to try out a new trainer, before Frankie steps back in and then the Knock outs begin!

Once Maggie gets into training, the movie becomes a visual musical. Her well toned body and the glint of determination in her eyes keep your eyes open and gets your heart thumping to the rythm. The punches fly, the feet move and Hilary Swank, coming a long way from 'The Karate Kid' days gives you a treat.

Clint Eastwood portrays to perfection a man who sees potential in the girl and probably sees in her the daughter who has left him. He has his own demons to fight and Maggie wants to fight all the fighters. The fear of losing her seems to hold back Frankie from going all out. The fights go on, and Maggie wins them all. then it is time for the BIG one, the title match against 'Billy'- the dirtiest player of them all.

While the sweat drips, the punches fly, there is an undercurrent of emotional attachment between the trainer and his ward, and the growing detachment between the ward and her family which leads on to the emotional climax of the movie.

Without giving away too much, lemme just say that the ending tends to depress and sadden. (No wonder it got nominated and won a few Oscars ! Which is the last 'happy' movie that you remember that got the Oscars? probably the Sound of Music? Huh ? that was quite a while ago)

Memorable Dialogue-Eddie to Frankie, " Most people live regretting not having got that chance, but Maggie, she got her chance". ( this is as I remember it!)
Clint Eastwood is an A-Class director and those of you who disagree probably have'nt seen 'Unforgive' and 'The Mystic river' (Will be covered in the Video Blog). Hilary Swank does a great job with little nuances and gestures without being overdramatic. Those well toned arms and rippling muscles keep the eyes glued to her all through the fights.

Definitley a movie worth watching at least once. Of course, I will be buying the DVD/VCD once its out !

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