Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love is based on the book of the same name by Elizabeth Gilbert - a journey on self-discovery.

Stars Julia Roberts (Liz), who is a writer and suddenly discovers her marriage is not what she thought it out to be and finds herself weeping on the floor of her bathroom, before she runs into the arms of an actor (quite sudden). She watches his theatre performance and love strikes at first sight and soon she moves in with him. Things seem fine till a few days later, trouble starts in paradise and she decides to take a break, one from her life and the other from a writer’s block.

Eat – First stop is Italy. Discovers boarding and a land lady who explains that in order to fill her bath tub with hot water, she needs to keep filling it with a 1 gallon jug….. moves onto making friends and finds food as well. She discovers a tutor who helps her learn Italian, all cos she finds it romantic to talk in the language. On a whim she goes all the way to Naples just eat the best pizza in the world, makes a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, with her new found circle of friends. The turkey is not defrosted in time for lunch and they eat it later, hilarious but expected.

Pray – Next stop, India. She books herself into the ashram where the Guru of her actor boyfriend supposedly resides. Finds Richard from Texas, who is her guardian angel. He even takes her out for Thums Up, which she should drink only with a straw, as it is not advisable to touch anything else with your hands. (need to check which century was the director referring to on hygiene in india). She also becomes a mentor to Tulsi, a devotee from generations at the ashram and dedicates the Gita chant to her, since the girl is forced into an arranged marriage. Here, Liz looks very endearing in a Saree and does not look awkward at all. And just when her friendship with Richard was taking shape, he has to leave back to Texas, and she also accepts the ways of the ashram.

Love – last stop before she makes it back to face her life at New York, Indonesia (Bali to be precise) . She had been there earlier on an assignment and had made a medicine man/astrologer/miracle man called Ketut. He had predicted that she would lose all her wealth for a reason. She meets Ketut as soon as she lands there, just to let him know that he was right. Her divorce settlement made her lose her wealth. In one freak accident, which is not even Bollywood believable meets Felipe (Javier Bardem), a divorcee from Mexico. He shows her how to get out of her hangover, enjoy life and discover emotional self. As predicted, they fall in love, but she refuses to accept it. She even helps out a local Balinese healer build her own house with donations from her friends and family.

What works:
You can relate to it if you have read the book
What didn't:
Julia Roberts cannot pass off as a 30-35 yr old even with all her make-up
Adaptation not really justifies the book
Slow storyline and some unrealistic moments
My rating: 2 /5 – catch it on TV soon!!!


Endhiran | Madhumitha's review

Endhiran (in Tamil) is touted as Asia’s most expensive movie and also the first pure sci-fi Indian movie, starring Superstar Rajnikanth (who can make onions cry and boil water just by looking at it), Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Directed by Shankar (Kadhal Desam, Jeans, Nayak) and music by, of course, A R Rahman.

Endhiran is an out and out Rajnikanth movie where anything n everything is possible, much beyond human imagination (that would be an understatement really). The plot has Vasi (Rajni), a scientist, who is designing the first Humanoid and is successful as well (quite obviously). Sana (Ash) is a doctor in the making, plays his love interest and is always livid with him since he does not have the time to spend with her. One find day, he successfully brings to life (electrically and electronically), Chitti, whose looks and swagger are modeled on himself. He needs to test it in the real world before having this approved and patented. Here is when the Rajniisms start – the whipping up gourmet meals, driving people crazy with his witty one-liners, fighting singlehandedly with a bunch of goons in a local train, recharging himself from a power outlet, near the railway tracks. On presentation to the Board for the patent, Chitti is rejected as unfit for society by Professor Bora (Danny Denzongpa), largely due to jealousy that Vasi, his protégé is successful while he’s not. He tries all ways to steal the neural schema, which is what makes Chitti unique, capable of human-like emotions.

Since the Humanoid is capable of emotions, trouble starts. Chitti is in love with Sana and will go to any extent to be with her, even at the cost of eliminating his creator. The story then takes on the flavor of Frankenstein. In a fit of rage, Chitti is dismantled and thrown in the garbage dump, only to be discovered by …. No guesses…Prof Bora. He needs this robot for his nefarious activities, which he has promised some terrorist group (not sure which country they are from). He is successful in copying the neural schema and makes a slight twist to the program, to suit his needs. Soon there is mayhem in the city and Vasi is accused of creating the monster. But he being a law-abiding citizen devises a strategy to capture his creation (which is only in destruction mode now). and in a typical story, Chitti has held the lady-love hostage. The rest of the plot involves a gamut of special effects, mostly unbelievable on a normal plane, but for a Rajni movie, “Impossible is I’m possible”. And all’s well that ends well.

What works:
Rajni – the movie is all about his star power, everything else takes a back seat.
Special effects – running sideways on a train, combining all guns and firing at the same time, the formations when the robots are in destruction mode are amazing.
Consolation prize to Ash – most Rajni movies leave little for the leading lady to do, but Ash holds her own for the sheer fact that it is her.
Dialogues: Typical Rajni witty one-liners

What doesn’t:
Music – I can’t recall even one song. A R Rahman lets us down again. You need a sabbatical after all the duds you have delivered this year (Blue, Vinaitthandi Varuvaya, Raavan)
Costumes – Garish colours and comical costumes for Ash in all the song sequences, enhancing her unappealing figure
Script – while a Rajnikanth movie normally does not warrant a script, this was a desi, special effects loaded rendition of Frankenstein. This includes lack of a convincing confrontation between Danny and Rajni, which usually is a mainstay of Indian movies.
My rating: Must watch only if you a die-hard Rajni fan (I’m not though)


Anjaana Anjaani | Madhumitha's reveiew

AA has been projected as one of the most happening movies in terms of its hot leading couple and the location of the movie. Alas, it did not live up to the expectations. Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and directed by Sidharth Anand (who directed Salaam Namaste), music by Vishal Shekhar , starring Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor…and shot mostly in New York, Vegas and San Francisco.

AA starts with Akash(Ranbir) trying to commit suicide on the George Washington bridge and bumps into Kiara (Priyanka), a little drunk. One is depressed cos of the downturn in the economy, the other in love life. Not successful on the first shot and then in another attempt end up in the same hospital from which they escape. They start living together, since it is just more convenient (;)) for the story to amble on and also try unsuccessfully to enjoy their lives. And then they get talking about each other’s lives. Akash has never had a serious relationship and wanted to wait for the perfect girl before losing his virginity and Kiara wants to do random mad things, now that they have decided to die in a few days. They both start planning their days based on each other’s wishes, but in a very strange just acquaintance way….but eventually end up becoming friends.

They share the reasons on why they were trying to kill each other. And then one night, changes the whole scheme of things which sees Akash falling for Kiara. They then decide on a road trip to Vegas, where surprisingly, Kiara also realizes her feelings for Akash but is unable to come to terms with it. He then drops her back home in SFO, and return to the family of one of his business partners, who welcome him with open arms and also decide to come back to India. Meanwhile Kiara is restless and is not at peace with herself and on an impulse return to the same bridge where they first made. After all, they did decide to end their lives on New Year’s Eve. Then we all know what will happen just like any other Bollywood movie….a happy ending where the two unite. Yawn!!! Did they have to make a movie to tell us this???

What works:
The title track – well filmed and Priyanka looks good with Ranbir in the song. Loads of spunk and attitude.
Locations – New York, Vegas and the sights.
Blush – the cranky car which needs mollycoddling to function as a car, owned by Priyanka and which takes them on the road trip.

What didn’t work:
The storyline – not fast enough…dragged out and straining mostly
Music – except for 2 tracks (Anjaana Anjaani and Tumse hi), no retention capacity
Chemistry – for 2 good looking Bollywood stars, the chemistry was as thanda as the ice in the Arctic.
My rating: 2.5/5 (You can watch it if you really have no expectations from anything in a movie and how to commit suicide and be unsuccessful)

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