Movie Marathon

After a very long time in my life, I saw 3 movies in the same week and on three consecutive days!

Paan Singh Tomar

Its not an animated film with a “toon-hero”. It is based on a real life person, but I am not sure if it can be termed a biographical picture. Paan Singh was an international athlete and a real sportsman. He joined the army, and was told (as a joke) that if he trained with the army sports team, he would get unlimited food. What started as a quest for unlimited food, became Paan Singh’s passion in life. From there, he becomes a rebel (a dacoit) who lives in the valley and executes abduction of rich villagers in that area for the furtherance of his gang. Paan Singh trained his gang in the military style. As to why he stumbles into the darkness of the valleys, is a question that is best answered by the film.

I have no words to describe Irfan Khan, except that he is what an ideal actor is. When I watched the promos for the film, I wondered how this scrawny, tall, tired looking man would fit into the roll of an athlete and thereafter an athletic dacoit. But, he was marvelous in the film. Irfan Khan melts away and all you can see is Paan Singh. My recollection of Irfan Khan is that of the unassuming father in “The Namesake”. But now, he is also Paan Singh. He manages with great ease to speak the language of the villagers residing in that area of Uttar Pradesh / Madhya Pradesh.

It would be unkind to not talk of the brilliant script, screenplay and direction in the movie. Tigmanshu Dhulia’s vision strikes one as refreshing and unique and yet so simple. The villages, the attire, the language spoken, are all set in the 1970s. In fact, there is a marked change in the setting of the movie used for Paan Singh’s early life and later.

The entire effort is laudable. A great Indian movie. A must watch.

(I do not wish to rate it, as there not enough stars.)

Kahaani

That is exactly what it is. A story. This story is set in Calcutta. Vidya Balan plays “Bidya” Bagchi. A pregnant woman in search of her missing husband. It is a thriller.

After ages, Hindi cinema has managed to produce a worthwhile thriller. The movie is actually gripping, (though you are seated comfortably in your seats) while not being a nail biting thriller. The cast is very well chosen. All the Bengali actors have done a wonderful job. Vidya Balan is of course on her way to collect some more awards next year, unless she does another movie which fares better or is more acclaimed.

The story is of an NRI woman who is on a hunt to discover her husband, intertwined with some twists, as Bidya is trying to figure out who her husband really is. By now most people have heard the suspense. So I will not kill it further.

Its a must watch and can be seen with kids with parental guidance.

Rating: *****

London Paris New York

Boy meets girl. On a flight to London. Obviously girl misses her connecting flight and decides to spend the rest of her “free” day with the stranger who is so obviously hitting on her. Predictably, boy is head over heels and girl is coy. Yet, they kiss while parting in the hope of meeting in 6 months. Do I need to mention that they won’t write or call each other in the mean time?

So far so obvious. Then several years later, they again meet in Paris where the simple girl has turned into some sort of 1950s Hollywood prototype, presumably more at ease with her sexuality than a few years ago (when she was the coy girl going to New York for the first time). No prizes for guessing. Yes, yes, they do it. She suddenly remembers how she felt let down by this superficial jerk several years ago and decides to leave him (to avenge her anger/betrayal).   How this avenges her, I did not understand! Isn’t it perfect for the guy – girl sleeps with boy (and instead of him dumping her) she dumps him. Score!

Then several years later, he again finds her in New York and meets up with her on the eve of her wedding. No frenzy, no panic. The bride was reading a magazine and spends the night out with her one time lover – on the eve of her wedding. Predictably they kiss. However, unpredictably that’s all they do and end up falling asleep until morning, till the girl almost misses her wedding. It then dawns on her, she will be late for her wedding! Wow! The boy then screams at her, calling her names and tells her not to marry whoever she is going to marry. Girl slaps boy!

Guess what. Boy goes in search of her again! Blah! Happily ever after.

The reason I took the pains to sketch out this rubbish, is only so no one else wastes 1 hr 40 mins of their time.

I feel sorry for the actors, who are both definitely talented (in today’s market) but have dug their own grave with this movie.

(Do you need a rating after the above description?)

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