Ghajini - Aamir Khan is as flawless as an actor gets. People may argue that Shahrukh is an extremely over-rated actor and a rather monotonous one at that (I agree) or that Amitabh Bachchan is all about the voice (I disgaree), but there has hardly ever been vivid criticism of the first big Khan on the block: Aamir, and understandably so. He is not only a commercially bankable star but a critically acclaimed actor too. He was honoured by the Oscars for his debut venture with Lagaan, as a producer, and in the capacity of a director for the classic, Taare Zameen Par while it continues to go places. It is quite natural then, for people to want to talk about Ghajini. The verdict of cinegoers has been "outstanding". It has been declared the biggest hit of an otherwise sombre 2008 for the Mumbai film industry. However, and unfortunately, the script seems to have its weaknesses. For one, it is predictable most of the time; for another, the climax of the movie converts the protagonist, Sanjay (Aamir) with an extremely overtoned body, into a superhero; machismo is a given by now. The accuracy and speed with which he alone fights bouncers hurling themselves at him is fun to watch - as he continues to walk, floating punches, left, right and centre - but hard to believe...till he reaches the man he's out go get all along: Ghajini. This, the man who requires protection by tens of ghundas eventually gives our superhero a fight for his life. Typical.
The Great Debaters - Denzel Washington probably is to Hollywood what Aamir is to Bollywood. So quality is to be expected. The movie is based on a true story of a black professor in 1935, urging his negro students to discover their worth, and prove their mettle through the world of debating. They're even pretty good at convincing you to resort to civil disobedience, so you need to watch this movie for a very powerful experience. The team goes on to argue for equal rights for blacks, coming up with astounding debates, white college after white college, to the point that Harvard recognises the power of the suppressed and invites Tolson's (Washington) cadres over for a final match. From the civil war (where blacks were burnt alive by mobs of white chauvinists) to the times of Obama...
Slumdog Millionaire - Talking of mobs, Slumdog Millionaire raises the issue of Hindu right-wing mobs attacking the Mumbai slums, oscillating a similar response - one of an uprise - from the victims albeit the story of one Jamal Malik. Read Id's and Haq's blogs. The movie just won a Golden Globe, as did A. R. Rahman for his music for the movie. The maestro has given great music for SM, but his genius is so much more evident in scores given in the past, so two words, "Well Deserved!"
Revolutionary Road - Talking of the Golden Globes, this movies too was a candidate for the best motion picture award. The best one won, however. But Revolutionary Road is a very off-beat, unconventional kind of a movie, and admittedly, takes time to grow on you. I had written it off in the first 20 minutes, but I'm glad I hung on. Don't watch it for its commercial value, because its got none! It brings together, Leo and Kate (who won the Golden Globe for Best Actress), for the first time after their eternal encounter in James Cameron's Titanic. Quite obviously, a second epic romance is not to be expected!
Taken - A very good entertainer on any given night. Liam Neeson keeps you on the edge of the seat for the entire 90-odd minutes of the movie. A spy. An abducted daughter. And the French connection! I must resort to some cliched appreciation: There is never a dull moment.
The Accidental Husband - If you've enjoyed movies - and continue to urge for light-hearted flicks - like One Fine Day, Only You, My Best Friend's Wedding et al, then this one won't disappoint. Machos would do better to steer clear!
Copyright (c) 2008 Saadia Malik