Saturday, July 05, 2008

4 Movie Recommendations

I'm fairly picky about the movies that I watch & even pickier about the ones I like. Any regular reader of this blog will vouch for that. I am recommending 4 movies today for mass consumption. Movies that should probably be made mandatory viewing in India. Just like Sir Attenborough's Oscar winning classic has!

There is no order here, neither chronological, nor preferential.

Aamir:
A thriller worthy of Hollywood. The film starts off fairly innocuously and from there a series of events hurl the protagonist by the same name deeper & deeper into a web of conspiracy & deceit.
The film keeps the viewer feeling edgy all the time, due to the slowly unfolding nature of the subject, the mystery that refuses to unravel, and mainly due to the superb execution of the plot by the director!
Bombay has been grittily shot, realistic, teeming, buzzing, filthy. The glimpses bring memories of the city back to anyone who's stayed there for any decent length of time.
So, brilliant camerawork supports a great plot, a capable cast, and gives us a gritty, gripping thriller that stays with us even after we leave the movie theatre. Surely one of the best made thrillers to come out of India ever!

Dharm:
I haven't seen the movie yet, but my wife has & thinks it should be on a compulsory watchlist for all Indians, specially those who've gone over to the conservative side.

The Message:
Needlessly controversial, banned in many parts, this is a film in the tradition of the Ten Commandments & Ben-Hur, only not that dramatic. It is a representation of facts around the origin of Islam, only more reserved.
The film is a must watch for anyone seeking to dispel any popularly held notions about Islam, for anyone seeking answers about the religion and what it's message is.
Starring Anthony Quinn as Hamza, the warrior uncle of Prophet Mohammad, the rest of the star cast is a bunch of unknown (to us) names. The cast really isn't that important as will be clear when you watch the movie; the movie focuses on the history and the origins of Islam & The Message.
Watch it if you are desirious of developing any know-how about the religion at all.

The idiotic ulemas of the sub-continent and a few other people have made a very poor remake of the film called Al-Risalah. A totally unnecessary butchering of the original. Avoid it & go for the original "The Message. You local pirated DVD wala should be able to get you a good copy. Make sure you ask for a totally unedited one! One never knows these days!

Khuda Kay Liye:
Much talked about, much less seen movie. Although, without a doubt a syllabus recommended, compulsory viewing movie! So important is it's message!
The brilliance of the film is in it's theme, the characters essayed rather well by the cast (that includes our Naseer in a small but very crucial cameo), and to some degree the plot. I know many fans of the movie will disagree, but this is my opinion. Don't get me wrong. It's a good movie. A very important modern work! But the style is somewhat documentary. Not that that shold be a negative for any movie, but I'm a little biased towards Hollywood's style of movie-making. It's brilliant in patches, but stops just short of being overall brilliant!

The songs are quite a rage I hear. I'm not humming them yet, so I will reserve comment on that bit. The cast is good, the theme is brilliant. The movie succeeds in getting it's very worthy message across.

A word of caution here: DO NOT PICK UP PIRATED COPIES OF THIS MOVIE. I have heard that certain conservative elements have edited out the secular maulana's (played by Naseer) very crucial very enlightening speech towards the end!
Go to Planet M, pick up the original CD's from there. BETTER STILL, pick up an original DVD if possible as the subtitles will make it easy to understand the otherwise difficult Urdu.

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