Indian movies

Some of my favourite Indian movies with brief reviews.

This post is in reaction to a friend’s post about Mani Ratnam’s brilliance when it comes to handling children.  Citing Kannathil Muthamittal and Anjali he says, The master director’s known for his ability to extract the best from the kids – Anjali had proved that way back in eighties. But, then “Kannathil Muthamittal” truly showed how Mani Ratnam can ellicit complex adult emotions from a child. I think his choice of movies could not have been worse.  For MR kids are only noisy, perpetually-running, yelling, brats. I sometimes feel that he merely takes a an adult character, adds a lot […]

Children in Mani Ratnam movies

Mozhi Year: 2007 Writer: Radha Mohan Director: Radha Mohan Length: 152 Category: Drama Rating: 4 out of 5 Entertainment with purpose – to the hilt Mozhi is one of the finest Tamil movies to come in this decade. It’s worth watching, and watching again. Karthik (played by Prithviraj) falls in love with Archana (Jyothika) by just seeing her in action. He learns soon that she is hearing and speech disabled. In a bid to win her love, he accosts her. As they become friends he grows to admire her for growing beyond her disabilities into a confident person. A rift […]

Mozhi with Jyothika: Fantastic Tamil movie

As big budget movies with huge marketing costs become popular and movie halls change, will the big drive out the small? Diwali is a time for new movies in India.  Two big budget movies this time decided to go for huge spending on marketing.  OSO and Sawariya together spent over Rs. 10 crores on marketing, swamping the media.  Money was clearly spent on public relations rather than overt advertisements.  “King Khan” was all over the place: watching cricket, dancing with cricket stars, doing shows, and being in any place that attracts public attention.  Even if OSO were not mentioned overtly […]

Developments in Hindi cinema: Will the big kill the good?

Sindhu Bhairavi Year: 1985 Writer: K. Balachander Director: K. Balachander Length: 2 H 50 M Category: Drama Rating: 5 out of 5 A classic Tamil movie that’s almost perfect Sindhu Bhairavi is a rare love story where the relationship between the man and the woman is based on an intellectual craving. JKB, an acclaimed Carnatic singer (played by Sivakumar), has a beautiful wife (played by Sulokshana) who has no knowledge of music or interest in it. He discovers a fan of his – Suhashini – a keenly intelligent woman who thrives on music. Her knowledge of music, willingness to confront […]

Sindhu Bhairavi by Balachander: A treat for every sense

Many good movies have come out of Indians living abroad in the last decade. Monsoon Wedding is highly known, but there is a lot more to look at. Here are five such movies. Most of my American and European friends have seen Monsoon Wedding by Meera Nair. This is by far the most popular movie till today by an Indian director based abroad. But there are many more good movies that are worth watching that are much lesser known. Here’s a quick introduction. The acclaimed Meera Nair has taken quite a few movies. Among these, I am fond of Salaam […]

Lively ‘Desi Movies’: Going beyond Monsoon Wedding

Page 3 IMDB Year: 2005 Director: Madhur Bhandarkar Category: Drama Rating: 5 out of 5 A fantastic out of the box movie from India ‘Page 3’ by Madhur Bhandarkar is one of the nicest Indian movies I have seen in the last five years or so. The plot of page 3 is available in many sites, and I will not write about it here. I shall concentrate instead on some aspects that liked most in the movie. Unique story line The story, to begin with, is refreshingly different, and is a drastic shift from the typical formula-based movies. This does […]

Page 3: Madhur Bandarkar & Konkona Sen scintillate

Here is your window to some of the best movies in the world, in my perspective. The following ratings are not by a trained movie critic, but by as passionate movie buff. So, if the ratings reflect anything, it reflects my taste. In general, I tend to like movies with good stories, powerful but subtle dialog, good music that’s not conspicuous, acting that’s not overly dramatic and stories that “could have been true”.  I thought of putting it together both as record for my own sake and to share a list of movies with those who may share my taste. […]

List of great movies: India and international (brief reviews)

Ganga Jal IMDB Link Year: 2003 Writer: Prakash Jha Director: Prakash Jha Length: 150 Category: Drama Rating: 4 out of 5 Though it is based on an age old plot of a police officer fighting against crime, Gangajal takes it to a new height in how it is executed I wish this move were not as violent as it is – baring that, it is close to a perfect movie. In this movie inspired by the Bhagalpur Blindings, Ajay Devgan plays an IPS officer who takes on the local gangster – Sadhu Baba, and expectedly, wins. In this he is […]

Gangajal Hindi Movie with Ajay Devagan:Old plot, new refinement

This list consists of some formulaic movies and some that are innovative. I am working on the list and hope to build it over time. Some of my most cherished Indian movies require a contextual knowledge. The best of Tamil movies involves a play of words that cannot be captured by subtitles – and in any case the subtitles of most movies leaves us wanting. So, each time a friend asks me what’s a good movie to watch, I am left dumbstruck. I’ve finally decided to put together a list on which I can receive some help – and some […]

List of Indian movies for my non-Indian friends

The last few years have seen some dazzling movies that have boldly departed from the mainstream. A movie historian in Tamil Nadu once said (perhaps Randor Guy) that most movies in the language (and I am sure in Hindi as well) revolved around 8 basic plots. These new movies have a bold new plot – but that’s not all. Many of these have given up a formulaic approach of making commercial movies in India (atleast in Hindi and Tamil): a little glamour, some songs, some dancing, some comedy (even if it’s totally unrelated), a macho hero, sexy heroine, fights (called […]

Moving beyond the formula: Bold new Indian movies

Shwaas IMDB Year: 2004 Director: Sandeep Sawant Category: Drama Rating: 5 out of 5 This is a simple movie by a debutant director. An old man is confronted by the necessity to tell his 6 year old grand child that he will loose his vision after an operation. The director, who is a seasoned theatre person, made this every day drama in real life into a touching story. It is one of those rare movies without a villian. Every person in the story is positively represented – all brought together by a boy suffering from cancer. Sandeep Sawant, the director, […]

Shwaas: Dazzling Marathi movie of a grandfather’s dilemma