/* */ Hi Pal.. Film4thwall has been moved to PIXMONK - my new home :).: April 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jibeuro - Tale of a grandma [ the way home ]

Name : The way home [ 2002/South Korea/ Drama ]
Director: Lee Jehong
Music : Kim
Actors : Doesn't look like they are actors :)

We, in tamil films, can't digest a single scene where the word love doesn't pitch in. We, in fact, changed the dictionary meaning of love - we understand it can be used only in the most dramatic sentence 'I love you' :). There are a handful of movies for other sort of relationships. Grandparents, Friends, Master-student [ "my tutor" illeenga :) ]. Also, we don't have good cinema for children. I still don't understand why 3D films are stopped being produced. [ I saw MDKuttichathaan in Ega theatre :) ].

We do have rare films deals about grandmothers [ poove poochoodava - U know PC Sriram was the cameraman for that film ]

This Korean movie deals with the summer holidays of a 10yrs old city grown kid, spending time with his grandmother in a remote village. The characters are very natural and their character biography is uncomplicated. But the happenings make the story close to us and interesting.
Plot :

It's about a 10 yrs boy [ San ] who comes from he city (Seoul) to a remote hill town in South Korea. San and his mother reaches a remote village to spend his summer with his grandmother [ 78 yrs, mute but not deaf ] and his mother leaves. San got packed junk foods and video games. He seldom respects the grandmother and of course, criticizes her as 'retard'. He gets 2 friends and they don't want to play with San, for his mischievous nature.

San's video game player runs out of the battery and he roams to get batteries. He asks his grandma for KFC and grandma somehow understands that he is asking for chicken. She manages to buy a live hen on a rainy day and cooks that in country style [ plain - boiled ]. He doesn't accept it as KFC and of course grandma doesn't understand what he exactly asks for.
Out of all the conflicts, the only thing he helps his grandma is to thread the needle. One day she takes him to the market, buys noodles and new shoes. On the way back, he cheats his grandma and comes back alone in the bus, leaving grandma without a nickle. She walks all the way back home without frustration.

Grandma's unconditional love slowly makes some change in the boy. End of the summer, he develops affection towards his grandma and teaches her simple greetings with cards. His mother comes and takes him back to Seoul, He departs with tears. Grandma is back to her simple life with greeting cards from her grandson.

View :

Of the few characters, I liked the grandma very much. Whatever the kid does, she never gets irritated [ just like any other grandma ]. With whatever available with her, she leads a peaceful life and on top she helps others. The only thing she depends on the boy is to run thread through a needle because of her low eyesight and that she waits patiently.

The boy expresses his unwillingness very naturally. The film doesn't end too dramatically making the boy crying for his mistakes .. ha.. !

The shot where he eats chicken in the night is showed in the shadow form on wall [ Thiruttu thanam - Remember Alaipayuthe marriage is shown in silhouette :) ]

I liked a touching dialog - a friend of the old lady ends their conversation like this."Come by again before one of us dies."

The film hardly has 5-7 characters and very less dialogues.

Conclusion :

The movie is dedicated to grandmothers in the world - what an apt thing to do. This is not a stunning or complicated movie but simple n neat one.
An old joke

1 : ப‌ர‌வாயில்லையே‌.. ம‌க‌ளிர் ம‌ட்டும் மாதிரி ப‌ல்ல‌வ‌ன்‍ல‌ "ஆயாவுக்காக‌"னு கூட‌ ப‌ஸ் விட்டுருக்காங்க‌ளே !
2 : யோவ் ! ஒழுங்கா ப‌டி.. அது "ஆயாவுக்காக‌" இல்லை.. ஆய்வுக்காக‌. !!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Match Point [ or Mixed Doubles :) ]

Match point [ 2005/Drama-thriller ]
Cast : Jonathan Rhys meyer, Scarlett Johansson [ How can I forget this name :) ]
Directed by : Woody Allen.

The best aspect in Hollywood is it's variety. Every writer or Director attracts me for different reasons. One such impressive Director is Woody Allen. Woody Allen started his career as a comedy writer, stand-up comedian, stage plays and then came to cinema. He is famous for his interests in wits, sexuality, New York, Philosophy, Psychology, unimaginable cinema techniques and lengthy dialogues [ walk the talk ! ], etc.,

The film deals with 3 elements.

Luck : [ defined as 'Preparation meets opportunity' ] The film says we are scared to face the reality; about the influence of luck in our life.

Attraction : We get attracted towards for an unreachable item [ Once, BSA SLR cycle was the ultimate attraction for me ! ]. This film also deals with how attraction ignites, burns and become ashes. [ Adade ! ]

Fyodor Dostoevsky : The famous Russian literature 'crime and punishment' also influenced the story. Post crime psychology.

Plot :

The story involves a one time Irish tennis pro Chris [ poor class], who coaches in a tennis club. He is attracted towards the rich life style of the upper class. He meets his old friend Tom and also subsequently his family. He mingles with the family easily and Tom's sister Chloe is attracted towards Chris. Chris.. to an extent yes. He is more towards risky n something unreachable . He eyes on the fiancee of Tom (Nola). She is also attracted towards Chris but plays it cool saying him that she is already engaged. This dangerous chemistry grows. Due to some conflicts, Tom and Nola break their relation; Nola leaves. Tom gets married to some other girl.

Chris is happily married to Chloe and settles with his in-laws business, enjoys the new wealthy life. He couldn't have children because of some medical issues of Chloe. Fate plays a game. Nola returns to the same town [ Cotton bale to Sivakasi :) ]. Chris rebuilds the relation. Passion always has its price. What price did Chris and Nola pay ? What does the title 'Match point' do with this film ? There happens a CRIME !

View :

The very first point is this is not the usual Woody Allen film. Unlike Manhattan and Annie hall, MP doesn't contain any kind of wits that he had in his earlier movies rather he handled psychology to a great extent. Also, this movie is not based on Manhattan, NY.

The casting has to be mentioned explicitly. Chris and Chloe have very much dreary and ordinary looks. In contrast, Nola was stunningly and sensually beautiful [ Podhumdaa. :) ].

The movie starts with an explanation of what a MP is with respect to Tennis. This fantastic definition is mixed with luck and explained in some part of the film.

Chris role was done fantastically with the hesitations, desire, passion, risk [ machaan fiancee-nga ! ]. Credit goes to the casting decisions.

Nola.. She symbolises danger and problem in the movie [ with the enormous beauty as her visiting card ]. Her performance was noteworthy to mention [ Pinna summavaa ;) ].

Towards the end, the story trembles and again comes back on track. The ending was good, especially.

Conclusion :

I recommend the usual Woody movies first and then this MP so as to understand the diversity.

Film Trivia :

"The Shining" was the fist movie [ directed by Stanley Kuberick ] to use Steadicam. I consider this movie as the mother of horror movies.

What is war ?

Flags of our fathers [ 2006 - War ]
Produced by : Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg.
Directed by : Clint Eastwood.

First.. I thought of writing the review in this style.

In American soil, except civil war, they never faced any external. But they are the masters in creating the war based movies. The best I can say [ from my list ] are Schindler's list, Saving private Ryan, pearl harbour.. I just thought of adding FOF in that list and started watching. The film gave a tight slap on my face.. converted my mind to write this instead of a detailed review.

The film starts with a dialog..

"Every jackass thinks he knows what war is.. Especially those who've never been in. We like things nice and simple, good and evil, heroes and villains. There are plenty of both.Most of the time, they are not who we think they are "

I am one of the j.a. who just watched a war movie. I'm not entitled to write a review on this. :(
The film ends with this..

"They may have fought for their country, but they died for their friends. For the man in front, for the man besides them."

The story was told in a mix of present and war period. The narration starts from the middle of the happening instead of, from the beginning. The technique was too good and captivating. One of the good movies from Client Eastwood. I'm still wondering which of the shots are made up of CG. If it is CG, it is the best in CG history.. If it is original, still it is the best in film history.

A counter movie has been released [ Letters from Iwo Jimo - Japanese viewpoint ]. I am looking forward to watch the same.

North by Northwest [ Brawest ride ! ].

North by Northwest [ NBNW - Spy n suspense thriller/1959 ]
Directed by : Alfred Hitchcock - AFCK
Cast : Cary Grant, Eva marie saint
Written by : Ernest Lehman

Recently, I read about the 50th year anniversary of this movie in 'The Hindu' and hence this review :) [ What a reasoning ! ] Alfred Hitchcock was sadly considered only as a 'master of suspense/thriller' rather he is the complete master of movie making. He was a director who never used the camera viewfinder to visualise a shot. He never wrote a script, entirely credited in his name - all he did was extracting the best from the writer(s) and direct them, with a masterful touch.

There were spy thrillers, much before James bond pictures were released. One of the pioneer films dealing with secret agent was NBNW. I consider this as frontier to the Bond movies. [ Dr.No was released in 1962. ]

Plot :

NY based advt executive Roger Thornhill [ Cary Grant ] is kidnapped by a criminal organization. Roger is mistaken for a government secret agent named George. The gang tries to kill by forcible made him drunk and driven in a car. He escapes from the accident and get arrested. He later tries to see the leader named Townsend in the UN council - A murder happens in UN and of course, Roger was suspected for the same. Now he has to escape from the criminal gang, government agents and of course, police. The criminal gang is set to steal some microfilms and smuggle them. Roger escapes in a train and meets Eve and she protects him from police. They develop a romantic relation [ [ Remember..I said him Bond :) - impressive dialogues in the train ]. He travels then to find the secret agent George and meet many surprises. He is chased across USA and he pieces together the mysterious puzzle. The climax happens in the famous location, Mt.Rushmore.

View :

- The title graphic scene was the first in the film history to use moving text. Also, the graphics image turns into a real shot [ remember 'Andhi mazhai' song's graphics ]. The trivia is that AFCK worked as title designer in his initial days.

- In parallel, the typical thriller movie BGM score starts. The music in this film is a perfect match for a suspense thriller. The film begins in the very first shot [ not even the scene ].

- Every 2nd/3rd scene got a twist. Right from the first scene, the viewer is taken into the story with suspense. Though the credit goes to the writer Ernest Lehman I would say it's AFCK, who converted them to scenes, skillfully.

- Cary Grant - a perfect personality for James Bond role. Even, he dresses [ kisses :) ] like a Bond.

- The famous 'crop dusting' plane chase scene.. The total sequence is 16 mins and for the first 8 mins, nothing happens. Yes.. 8 mins the viewer just looks for all corners of the scene for something to happen. Most memorable scene !

- The film contains an equal slice of romance between Cary Grant and Eva. Thank God, he didn't choose James stewart [ dreary hero - Rear window ].

Conclusion :

Despite of its age, the movie is still fresh to watch. 53 films in 50 years in his film career - very few were dull. In fact, I started my DVD collections with AFCK movies. The good ones from his bag are [ haven't seen all his films :( ]

- Vertigo [ Can u guess the MGR movie made out of this ? ]
- Psycho
- Frenzy
- Spellbound [ Film made in 1945 and still interesting to watch. also, applicable for Ingred Bergman :) ].
- Birds [ He threatened the audience with crows, sparrows and seagulls :) ]
- I confess

On a personal note, I found elegant English was used in all of his films [ no subtitles needed - Elevator bell dings ! ha..ha.. ].

Roman(tic) Holiday

Roman(tic) Holiday [ Titling - konjam improve aagi irukke ! ]

Sometimes, you need a no nonsense and feel good movie for entertainment. Just a story without any villain,family :),children,major issues, twists, medical problems, guns [ Sigh..ha...] and of course the elements of a regular cinema. Can a BW movie made in 1953 entertain toto now ? Can it make the viewer to laugh ? Can it make the viewer to look for uniting the lead pair ? Can a romantic movie be taken as a thriller ? This movie does all of them.
Roman Holiday - 1953, Romantic Comedy.
Directed by : William Wyler.
Cast : Gregory Peck, Audrey hebbern [ Ahaa ].
The story is simple. A princess named Ann tours Europe and visits the capital cities. It's a typical tiresome, gloomy royal family routine. She wants a simple life where in she can decide what she wears, what she eats and where she roams. She has a list of small wishes [ Like our Sundarapandiyapuram Roja :) ]. The princess escapes from the palace, changes identity (slightly) and has fun for a complete day. During the escape she meets Joe. Our hero Joe is a press reporter who enjoys the day with her with the intention of getting a cover story about the princess. They both mask their identities mutually. What happens at the end of the day ? Did the palace officials find her ? What happens to Joe's secret work of getting her interview and photos ? [ too many questions man.. like in paatu book :) ].

View :

The dreary opening sequence tells you that it is not going to be the same, soon. The script is too good to have perfect incidents that match and takes the flow. Enough time is given for any incident to happen. For ex Joe knows that she is a princess after he reads the newspaper. The way the story unfolds is very casual. They develop a chemistry [ idhu illamala ! ] towards their disjoint.

Every single character has a neat role to play. The barber, photographer, editor, house owner etc., I liked the simple characters, story and the interesting screenplay. Surprisingly, it's a 2 hrs movie. Ann's reactions in Joe's apartment is funny. [ in a sleepy state, she enters the small apartment and asks whether it is an elevator ?! ]. All the small factors are considered during the climax [ even the photos they take ! ].

How about ARR scoring for Roman holiday ? It has happened .. of course, a crap director [?!! ]directed a junk movie called 'May Madham' which is a carbon copy of roman holiday. End of the day, tamil film viewers are left with some fantastic songs of ARR [ Minnale, Margazi poove ].

Anjaathey - Hidden thoughts and knots.

This is not going to be a film review. Instead, I just listed the observations.

* No computer graphics were used in the entire movie.. Mysskin [ Mys ] asks why do we need CG for a movie.. Fourth-wall blinks without answers.

* Naren's character gets introduced without any footwear [ to symbolise that he is such an irresponsible rogue ]. His transformation happens after the "paati" episode. Once they know that the guy has died in the bike, camera travels away from the characters. [ Normally they go closer to the happening/victim ].

* Pandiarajan - A character which always be in a frightened state, being in the wrong occupation. Even in the beautiful scene with only legs shown on screen, he wears the wrong set of footwear. He sings in Kathaza kannala song because to hide his fear and plan to close Dhaya.

* Mys was so keen not to expose vulgarly the lady who danced for K.Kannala song. Mys gives a lead to this song.. innaiku nadakura partyla.. kind of dialog.. audience were reluctant to have a song in that part of an interesting story. With this, he breaks the cheap image of "gaanaa" fame :)

* The mother characters were selected appropriately and used it at the right time. Kirupa's mother scolds Sathya's family with local language.. Sathya's mother is fair and calm.

* Symbols are cool.. In a hospital scene Kruba walks from light to dark .. meaning getting into evil. The Mottai is a symbol of evil [ metaphor ]. He dies at the end and evil ends there. Money lies along with the body of anyone who dies in the gang. To symbolise wrongly earned money and the path they chose.

* Mys justifies even the origin of the gun Dhaya has.. It's got from black market of Bihar.. H explained how can a normal guy gets a gun in a movie. Nobody thinks about that.

* Check the BGM.. a lot of cello has been used to increase the intensity of the scenes. They based the BGM basically meant for haunting thriller initially but altered to add sympathy.

* The girl during the investigation wraps her up with blankets - shows the shock of her exposed body in the kidnap event. The girl's father [Bose ] in tension doesn't even know his own home phone number.

* The physically challenged sappai character is also well depicted.. he has a family. normally rowdies in film don't have a family :) [ Remember a Mathan's joke on a rowdy having a pair of glasses - Vellezhuthu ].

* The childhood photo rudra carries [ after the manasukkul song ] shows that she looks naren on side.. Krupa is tall in it.

* First time a police station is shown as a police station.

* The hospital fight scene is an example of using Takeshi Kitano's stunt styles. Takeshi shows the impact of a fight not the actual fight.. remember Udhiri pookkall - they show the furiously running river for a fight sequence. and then the post fight scene.

* Climax was cleverly conceived.. the hand fight happens even they carry the gun. it was shown in "face off". The entire police is diverted towards South and the kidnapper travel in north. This piece comes in 'Broken Arrow' movie.

* The character kuruvi always deliver dialogues with a shock.. 5 rubaa kudu, endaa avan ennai suttan. Character biography plays a big role in penning any screenplay.

* Mys sang kannadasan karaikudi song and lent voice to ponvannan(keerthivasan). Keerthivasan is from AGW of Police dep. AGW ??

* Anjaathey was written in an angry mood. Uthra was not in script in the first draft.

* 70-80% were long shots / mid long shots. Close-ups were less. Also, lengthy scenes. Mys sets the audience in the very first beautiful blue sky shot. Let give a break to Antony style of fast cut editing.

* Skater - used to capture the entire lengthy scene with only legs.

* Editing - They followed Takeshi Kitano's style.. unpredictability is the key. when you expect the scene to be finished, it won't.

* There's a shot after Sappai character's death. The camera revolves around a qualis with characters in it.. Police approach the vehicle .. Nobody is in [ actually, these 3 events happen at different timings ]. But these 3 different events were shown in a single shot as if it happens simultaneously [ cut twice ]. Time and Space !!

If you want to really experience, MOSERBEAR has released the DVD for Rs.50/ -. You can have a second look and the DVD has a bonus interview of Mysskin talking about the movie. [ Some of them are given here ].

Nijam ondru.. Nizhal Irandu

Nijam [ Alcatraz ].
The US has less than 5% of the world's population. But it has almost 25% of the world's prisoners. The country has its own history related to prisons.
Alcatraz is a small island near SFO bay, once served as a military prison starting from 1861. Since 1933, it served as a prison for US justice dept and operated for 29 years - one of the most toughest prisons in the world. 14 escape attempts were made in its history. Famous inmates were Al Capone, machine gun Kelly. Finally the prison was shutdown in 1963. Now, it is one of the famous tourist spots of US drawing million visitors in a year.
Nizhal 1 [ Escape from Alcatraz - 1979 ] - Directed by Don Siegel. Set in 1962.

This film was based on true events. It's a gripping thriller starring Clint Eastwood. Clint is my favourite hero who has grim face, seldom talks, lean but a powerful character. He and other 2 persons device a plan and escape from the tough prison. The escape was mysterious and nobody knows the after life of the prisoners. The film neatly expresses the prison life [ no girls in the movie ],its tough life conditions and some interesting characters. Good to watch for Clint Eastwood and the interesting sequences.

Nizhal 2 [ Murder in the first - 1995 ] - Directed by Marc Rocco. Set in 1938.

For the same n simple crime of stealing $5, young James gets a warning and Henry gets a punishment. James become a lawyer and Henry goes to prison.. Two main characters - Henry was captivated for stealing $5 [ yes ! ] from a post office and sent to Alcatraz. Next big mistake was his failed escape attempt - this puts him in 'the hole'. Hole is a dungeon without any light, with bare minimum food and continuous torture.Henry serves more than 3 years in the hole and looses his mind. When the hole sentence is completed, he comes back to the normal prison.. being mentally disturbed, he kills the other inmate [ in front of everybody ] who betrayed him during his escape attempt. Clear case for Henry to get a sentence.

The other character James takes the case and appears for defence in favour of Henry. He investigates the case and gets alcatraz and its secrets on trial. The big time trial brings the alcatraz operation [ dungeons ] to shut down.

This movie disturbs the audience right from its initial scenes. Though the movie is mostly made-up, the truth it reveals is a bothering oneThe best part in this movie is Kevin Bacon [ hollow man ] and visuals. Photography unusually roams all around the places.. Imagine the camera goes beyond the judge's seat and takes a big round during a trial. the scene where Henry and James meet for the first time was a poem, by itself. Slightly dragging in the end but a movie to lit the emotional state of the audience. The background score carries the scenes, mostly. The dialogues are noticeable though it is a big court room drama [ A brutal warden says.. Tolerance is mistaken for kindness.. Kindness is mistaken for weakness.. we here can't have weakness]. Also, the final dialog is a good one where Henry says back to the warden.. 'Action: I won.. Reaction : You can't ever take that away from me'.

Some prison based movies from my list.. [ In fact, we have prisonflicks.com a repository of prison based movies :) ].

1. The Shawshank redemption [ the best picture ]
2. Green mile [ I didn't like.. but watched for TomHanks and Thomas Newman ]
3. Papillon [ Borning ! ]
4. Dead man walking [ Susan Sarandon's brilliant performance as nun ]

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Few Good men - Courtroom drama

A FEW GOOD MEN - 1992/Courtroom drama based on a play.
Directed by :Rob Reiner
Cast : Jack Nicholson, Tom cruise, Demi moore,Kevin Bacon [ Truly Star studded ! ]

Sometimes, I wonder about the variety of films, a director could have in his career. Rob reiner is a jovial guy who directed 2 top-10 featured romantic comedies [ When Harry met sally, sleepless in Seattle ] also worked with the finest courtroom drama 'A few good men'. He is the one who directed 'the bucket list' also. He is talented enough to show a courtroom drama equal to an action thriller.

Plot :
There's a difference between following orders and following one's conscience. A civilian can follow his consciences but how about a marine who was taught code, corps, god and country ? The film is set in 1992. Two marines are accused for murdering a fellow marine at the Gitmo [ Namma Guantanamo bay naval base in Cuba ]. A young, inexperienced US Navy lawyer [ Tom ] and naval [ not navel :) ] investigation officer [ Demi - what a beauty when she doesn't speak :) ] investigates this open-shut case in defense. During the investigation, 2 marines reveal about an operation called 'code red' under the orders of Lieutenant and the 'toughest' leader n Commanding officer [ Jack Nicholson ]. Of course, the marine superiors cover the truth under the carpet with supporting documents.But the other marine officer in Jack's team disappears and turns against Jack to help the defense. After a stage, even this approver turned officer couldn't help Tom's team.

Tom's team almost give up the case and then take a chance of questioning the commanding officer in the courtroom about code red. Knowing a failure could do much damage to his career, Tom boldly takes the chance. The commanding officer jack says 'You can't handle the truth !" and continues telling the truth. The interrogation diverts the entire flow of the case. What wins is more important rather than who wins.

View :
Just watch the eye catching initial drill of US marines [ title sequence ]. A film has to set the viewer about the movie in the very first scene itself. The cast is seriously a rich one and they justify their presence especially Jack Nicholson. Surprisingly Tom did a decent job in this film with few overboard performances - normally his personality spoils his characters [ Sports manager in the film Jerry Maguire ].

I m sure that Demi's role might not have been in the original play. What a beautiful lawyer except her contrast,sandpapery voice. Kevin bacon did a decent job. Even the good actor [ Cuba wooding Jr . remember Carl brashear in Men of Honour ] played a small role - just a witness. The highlight is Jack's performance. . Especially, his smile conveys everything [ power, pride, cunningness, enormous confidence ] about his character[ ever watched his eyebrow - meant for a perfect Villain ]. Also, he was nominated for academy award - supporting actor for this movie.In this 138 mins movie, he appears hardly 20 mins with splendid performance [ Not to wonder.. because Antony hopkins won a an academy award for his 16mins presence in the movie "silence of the lambs" ].

I liked the role of accused marines - they believe that life is all about just being a marine and nothing else. Also, they ask the lawyer whether the can rejoin marines if declared as 'not guilty'. The movie got a nice non-disturbing background score much with piano. I liked a shot which describes the way the defense team spend their 3 weeks time in a single shot [ it appears like ]. I have to appreciate the writer that he avoided cliche of a blossoming relation between Tom and Demi. [ poi dhaane :) ].


No wonder this movie is in AFIs top 10 court-room drama films.

Sana khan onnu.. Saranya Mohan onnu.

1. Sana Khan.
Film : Inside man - 2006. Thriller.
Directed by : Spike Lee
Cast : Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie foster.

Plot :

A group of robbers dressed as painters enter a bank with a master plan to rob the Manhattan bank. Cops round up the bank. Bank owner is not concerned about the money but something else worries him. He hires a high-profile negotiator. She interacts with the robber and tries a deal, which fails. Good cop gets a chance to get in to he bank and finds the robbers aren't killers. Finally after detonating smoke bombs, the entire crowd including the robbers come out. Cops couldn't arrest the robbers Why ? Nobody is injured . no money is looted. Cops get confused about the actual robbery. What happened then ?

View :

I ve seen movies that grab my attention in 10th minute, in an argument, in a murder, even in title.. This movie grabbed my attention right from Universal pictures logo [ U ve a surprise there ! ]. Dalton Russell speaks up in the beginning in a cell kind of place.. 'My name is Dalton..pay strict attn to what I say and i never repeat myself. I already said my name.. I plan to execute a perfect bank robbery' [ I forgot his name by then :) ]. Script asks the viewer to pay attention to the minute details right from the beginning. I was thinking through out the movie [ a good movie does ] about the happenings in the movie.

The script uses maximum intelligence to execute this operation and walk out with minimum fight.The casting is in fact is too rich. They use Jodie foster for a small role. Clive Owen masks his face most of the time. Denzel does some stylish acting in this movie. [ one of the finest actors in hollywood]. The movie was finished in just 39 days. Director Spike Lee uses every possible factor into consideration. [ even the sticker in the paint van has a meaning ]. In fact, the title is the most apt one for this script. A good film starts right from the first shot - this one does with a painter getting into a van. I liked the titling sequences too.
A fine treat to watch it on a Friday in home theatre.

2. Saranya Mohan

The Painted veil - 2006. Drama.
Directed by : John Curran
Cast : Edward Norton, Naomi watts [ they are the producers too ]

Plot :
The story is based on a novel written by Somerset. Novel -1925, 1st movie - 1934 ]. The story is set in 1920s.. A girl [ Watts ] gets in to an arranged marriage [no love !] with Norton [ SME in bacteriology ]. They don't have common interests. Watts tries a new relationship - Knowing this Norton doesn't question her but takes her to interior China for his project - doing research in an area affected by Cholera. Unwillingly Watts accompany him.

They are accompanied by another British admin. and the local Chinese military asks the British crew to move away. Local people believe cholera as a curse.. Norton works hard with analysing cholera where as his bored wife watts works with an orphanage run by nuns. Life changes in that remote place.. View : I experienced watching this movie similar to reading a poem. Especially the music.. The locations are exotic - remote villages in China. Look for an enchanting visual portrayal of the movie. The initial shots explain the couple are unhappy.. just their intro.. [ they stand in a crossroad facing opp directions ] A marriage with no love [ even an adultery happens ] and they don't even talk. A transformation happens throughout the film. The conversations [ doesn't look like written dialogues ] are crisp and even the silence/natural sounds works out in many places. I like the scene where she wants to convey a good news but confused n cries afterwards. I liked the supporting actor's part and also the best part in the movie was casting. A good movie always have the right cast, excellent photography and wonderful music. This movie has everything. The way the story ends is awesome. It was an emotional journey with stunning visuals and soothing score.

Film trivia..

Ever wondered, the additional suffix of the camera man.. ASC, ISC, BSC, CSC .. They are American/Indian/British/Canadian Society of Cinematographers. Similarly, British society and Indian society.. Editors have something like ACE.

No Knowledge is useless : even forgery !

No Knowledge is useless : even forgery ! [ enna dhairiyathula nee title elllaam vaikara !! ]

The counterfeiters [ 2007 - Drama / German ]

Directed by : Stefan Ruzowitzky.


It's a fictional flick based on 'Operation Bernhard'**. The film opens with a Jewish counterfeiter [ SME named Salomon - Sal] spending n enjoying life in Monte Carlo. He builds relation with a new girl and she finds a tattoo [ prisoner of Auschwitz ] in his body which unveils the flashback. [ a good technique : always needed to grab the viewer into the film ]. Back in 1936 : Sal is arrested in Berlin for forging currencies and passports [ he runs a workshop ] and moved to a local concentration camp. He uses his talent for his survival - he draw portraits of the jailers. They treat him better. After 5 years, Sal is moved then to 'Sachsenhausen' concentration camp where they run a forgery workshop.He gets assignments for forging pounds and US dollars. He gets a friend who ideally opposes to help Nazis for this operation.

The film questions more about the personal morale about survival and loyalty. How Sal completed the work ? How he manages his loyalty to his friends ? How he survived ? What choice(s) did he make ? The story ends back in Monte Carlo beach. the ending dialog was a good one.

History :
** Operation Bernhard : It's a secret German plan to shake the economy of the other countries especially British and US. The largest counterfeiting operation ever happened in history. This 130 million pounds, cash swindling operation happened during the world war II.

View :
The hero is not a Rambo kind of person rather he is short and thin. This war movie is interesting instead of getting into emotions. The picture handles the mentality in camp about survival, choices etc., The guards spit on him and abuse him. He withstands all of them without giving up his skills. His friends urge him to give up forgery as they indirectly help Nazis to get empowered.

The way the film starts and end is too good for a darker flashback. Unlike the other concentration camp movies, this shows a luxurious set of prisoners who get proper food and care. The arguments between Sal and his friends are interesting as both of their stands have justifications. The police inspector who arrests Sal first, is the commandant in the Sachsenhausen camp. His character was also used properly.

Very interesting movie in the holocaust series and also, it won the academy award for the best foreign lang picture in 2007.

Other Holocaust movies I watched [ Let me be little humble here - because till now, there are 343 movies made, based on Holocaust !! ]. I had been to Holocaust museum in Washington DC, once [ seen the original wooden wagon used for transportation ].

1. Schindler's list [ I watched it in Sathyam :) - Class ]

2. The Pianist - Good one

3. Life is beautiful - Excellent one.

4. Downfall [ German - Good one ].

Happy watching. Small n first step in writing my reviews !