Monday, March 31, 2003

tri-movie fest

Aside from the radical drop in temperatures and forecasts of cold fronts, it's been a rather decent weekend. I upped my movie count by catching 3 flicks on DVD. The first was Road, followed by Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar!! and closing Sunday with Singles, Cameron Crowe's amusing and entertaining love flick set in grunge-era Seattle. Brief thoughts on each movie, before I get some time (yes, someday) to add more meat.

Thoughts on Road: Cool interesting sidestream film. Excellent performances from everyone except the lead pair -- the overhyped Vivek Oberoi and the perfect-person-to-play-an-emaciated-Medusa Antara Mali. Good sound engineering for the most part, although the background score seems to compete with the dialogue track on several occasions. The movie is full of asides and sendups on its mainstream predecessors and contemporaries. The songs are ordinary, and except for khullam khulla, they jar. And the film suffers only from its indecision: it's not sure if it wants to proceed as an exploration of the "evil hitchhiker" genre in an Indian milieu or as an ogler's exploration of Antara Mali's endowments.

Thoughts on Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar: Highly recommended. Out-of-bandwidth movie with just bare trappings of mainstream cinema (namely, songs). Vishal belts out another interesting score (although I have reservations against the title song, both for its lyrics and the choice of Asha Bhosle). Manoj Bajpai's stellar performance is supported by a great cast of people that should be familiar to fans of Satya. A refreshing script with crackling dialogue from Saurabh Shukla (co-writer for Satya) who also doubles as the morally challenged Gaitonde. Kenneth Turan, when reviewing The Stunt Man observed: "Is this a comedy or a tragedy, a dark picture with touches of wit or a witty film with overtones of darkness? Until the closing sequences, it is beguilingly hard to say". That, in essence, can sum up an apt reaction to this film.

Thoughts on Singles: All the touches of Cameron Crowe here: cool soundtrack, catchy phrases (emotional larceny), interesting lines and light-hearted entertainment. Don't expect an intellectual challenge. This is a rockster's chick flick. And it's fun. My favourite moment comes early in the movie when Steve Dunne (Campbell Scott) recounts a childhood incident involving sex education.

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