New York

Trailers were impressive.

Cast was good.
Director Kabir Khan was credible (after the thoroughly enjoyable Kabul Express).
Written by Aditya Chopra (of DDLJ and RNBDJ fame)
Produced by Yash Raj Films
Music by Pritam

A very imaginative plot and storyline add to it. With all of this I expected an absolutely enjoyable thriller.

New York is the tale of 3 friends over a 9 year period. This period has its first 2 years prior to 9/11. The tale begins with Omar (Neil Nitin Mukesh) being interrogated by FBI Agent Roshan (Irrfan Khan) for his alleged terrorist links. The interrogation sets off a series of flashbacks where Omar reveals his days in the US of A from the first time he set foot in New York State University. He recounts his tale of meeting Maya (Katrina Kaif) and Samir (John Abraham). This leads you off into all those goody goody times that Yash Raj films are good at depicting with some good tunes by Pritam. The predictable then happens with Omar falling for Maya and Maya being in love with Sam. Then 9/11 happens and Omar chooses the time to go away.

The 9/11 and its aftermath has an effect on all their lives and the rest of the movie tries and highlights all of that. The attempt being made with this tale is that in tough times, tough measures and innocents pushed too far can backfire on a system. The tale also attempts to highlight the trauma and stigma that Muslims had to face post 9/11. It leads to a climax with decisions to be taken, decisions whether to put friendship above emotion, emotion above country etc etc.

While the film has its moments of entertainment, where it finally loses out is that it does not make you feel what they are attempting to make you feel. The scenes of torture and confinement may disturb you and in some case may anger you but what the film fails to do is make you feel the shame and the anger that the Muslim community felt as innocent victims of the 9/11 aftermath. So while the tale has its logic, it lacks the soul. It lacks the raw power to make you travel into the shoes of its characters. In the end, it becomes far too predictable and the characters end up becoming caricatures. The flaw possibly lies with the film's 2nd half. The first half entertains you and maybe even intrigues you but thereafter it largely becomes predictable.

It is indeed commendable for an attempt at this kind of storytelling, where entertainment is done with a purpose. That effort alone is worth it for a reason to watch this movie. Neil Nitin Mukesh puts in a stellar performance. Irrfan Khan does his usual stuff which is above average. John Abrham has been trying his best to act and frankly he has certain limitations with standard set of 4 expressions. Katrina looks ravishing and possibly puts in one of her best performances till date. I must add though that there are tons of technical flaws in the entire FBI and the action sequences. Possibly not enough research or not good enough consultants used to bring in authenticity to the background.

All in all, is it worth watching? Answer is maybe. You decide!
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Hit ya Flop

The ET Intelligence tracker puts 'Kal Kisne Dekha' at a super flop with only INR 13.5 Million collections



Happened to view the trailer of 'Luck' on TV and was stuck by its similarity to a couple of movies I watched. This movie has a huge star cast including Imran Khan. The movie appears to be a tale of people trying out their luck to win a bonanza with their life at stake.

The trailer seemed to have scenes very similar to Intacto and there seems to be a direct copy from the classic 13 Tzameti of the intense Russian roulette circle scene.

While Hindi movies are becoming more experimental and varied in story, some originality could help I guess. Anyway, lets wait for the movie to come out and then see...if it is worth watching.
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Upcoming flicks for you in India !

With the 2 month long Multiplex Owner-Producer tiff in India coming to an end, a whole slew of movies are up for relase. Here's a look at some of them:

12 June: Kal Kisne Dekha-Don't plan to watch. Although it is debut of Jackie Baghnani
19 June: PAYING GUESTS -Don't plan to watch
26 June: NEW YORK -Plan to watch, after all it is directed by Kabir Khan who did Kabul Express

3 July: KAMBAKKHT ISHQ-May watch. Its got Kareena and of course Akshay. Will he get back lost glory after the disaster of Chandni Chowk to China and 8x10Tasveer?
24 July: AGYAAT- Will watch. RGV is the reason
31 July: LOVE AAJ KAL-Will think about it. Not too big a fan of Saif-Deepika combo
14 August: KAMINEY-Will definitely watch. Vishal Bharadwaj directing it, what better reason do I need? 14 August: ALADIN-Will think about it

I am also hoping the following one releases real soon in India


Watched this week. Watching Next

Watched Angels and Demons previous and watched Star Trek this week and here is what I think about it. Watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine next. Both these are about origins. Such a coincidence !


Star Trek: The Future begins

It was back to a brand new multiplex in Bangalore - Fame Adlabs-Shankarnag's Symphony. Bangaloreans and long time movie goers like me will know that Symphony Theatre (then Shankarnag's Symphony) on M G Road shut down and reopened as a multiplex sometime ago. The seats are wonderful. It was an absolute pleasure watching this movie on the cushioned lazyboys (seats).

You probably know where I am going with this movie. I could not hold back my excitement as the opening frames of the movie and I heard the familiar names of characters. It was like I was back in my boyhood days trying to catch an episode or two of Star Trek on TV. The movie did not disappoint.

Directed by J J Abrams, who is fast emerging as the Director to watch in the sci-fi genre, this movie is about the beginning of the legend of the starship USS Enterprise and the famous Captain James Kirk and Commander Spock. Who can forget the Vulcan Spock who could immobilize people with a mere touch. As kids we all wanted that power !

The story commences with the birth of James Kirk and the appearance of a fearsome enemy Captain Nero (Eric Bana) whose technology is far beyond what the starfleet (inter-galactic federation for peasce keeping across space) can imagine. With the dark space, immense black holes, concept of time and a lot of emotions thrown in you are taken into a story of how the famous crew came together.

While some may blame the movie for being too melodramatic and those familiar with Hindi cinema would see many a similarity with all the emotions and passions running strong but this is important and necessary considering that Spock (Zachary Quinto, remember Syler from Heroes ?) is of half-Vulcan and Half-Human parentage and Vulcans are unemotional people. In a sense this adventure is an awakening of the human side to Spock and thereby creating an opportunity for the long and deep friendship with Kirk (Chirs Pine).

Winona Ryder makes a comeback as Spock's mother. She is still a treat to watch and I wonder why she doesn't come on screen more often. Incidentally, the actor who made Spock immortal, Leonard Nimroy also appears in the movie and I won't tell you in what roles, so as to not give away the movie's plot. Strangely the very talented Karl Urban (Lord of the Rings, Bourne Supremacy) plays a not so significant part as the Doctor Bones and part of Kirk's crew. John Cho (Harold from Harold and Kumar series), Zoe Saldana (Curse of the Black Pearl) all appear and are likely to play important roles in the sequel.

This movie is a must watch if you have even a vague idea of the whole Star Trek legend. And if you actually have followed the series then there is no earthly reason you shouldn't watch this adventure unfold. Am already looking forward to the sequel and you can be sure I shall be going all out to get all the Discs of the previous movies and the TV series.

Is it worth watching ? Most definitely.


The Strike is over !

Hurray ! The 2 month strike by producers in India is over finally or so it seems. the drought of movies to watch on the big screen is over.  The producers and multiplex owners have arrived at an agreement where the profit sharing commences with 50-50 and then changes with each subsequent week of the movie running. If a movie does well, a bonus for the producers is in the line too.

The strike made big news in India since a lot of big budget films like Kambhakt Ishq, New York, Kaminey and many more were held back from release. With high powered producers like Aamir Khan and Sharukh Khan also in the fray, the standoff made more news and drama than some of the movies released just before the strike.

Now, with all these movies releasing one after another, we can only hope that the audience will be patient enough to catch all of them. At least this will ensure they (films) make their money.


Coppola's back

After the immensely successful The Godfather (my favourite film of all time), Godfather II and Godfather III, then a cult success Apocalypse Now, director Francis ford Coppola dabbled in a lot of production and a couple of directorial ventures like The Rainmaker.

After a remarkable lull, this genius is back with a B&W feature 'Tetro' which is the story of family and bonding.

Looking forward to this one


David Carradine dies in Bangkok

Those of you who have watched Kill Bill series will remember the cool, composed and very sure of himself Bill. Played by David Carradine. David was an avid martial arts follower.

He is believed to have hung himself in his hotel room in Bangkok where he was shooting for a movie. 72 years old, David Carradine died on 3rd June 2009.

May his soul rest in peace

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