Thursday, December 31, 2009

bits and pieces: short notes about movies viewed

Superman Returns: [Friday, June 30, 2006]: it's a yawn in the sky. Over $200 million, months of shooting, marketing and teasers later, Bryan Singer and Warner Bros. rewarded our anticipation with a chick-flick spiced up with nostalgia for the original Superman movies, a digitally recreated Marlon Brando, top-notch heartless SFX, delicious production design and a megalomaniacal villain with a laughable goal.

Iqbal: [Saturday, February 11, 2006]: With this feel-good film about aspirations and cricket based on the classic template in Hollywood for a film about the successful struggle of an unlucky talented sod in sports, Nagesh Kukunoor opens the door into mainstream cinema wider. There are good performances all around (Shreyas Talpade, Shweta Prasad, Yatin Karyekar, Prateeksha Lonkar). Naseer's drunk reminded me, simply because of the kind of character, of Dennis Hopper in Hoosiers. Salim-Sulaiman's songs work well (although आशाएँ gets played too often), but the background score ends up being a tad too intrusive at times. Nagesh shows a good sense of cinema when he often lets visuals do more than dialogue-laden scenes. I also liked how sign language got used in the film without drawing attention to itself (something that would've been standard practice in a regular Bollywood flick). The film loses some of its ground in the predictable third act that relies on setups that don't feel right (the Ranji trophy cricket matches, the inevitable fate of the pivotal game, the Kapil Dev cameo), but it achieves enough in the first two acts to hold its merit.

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