Oculus (2013) – Peeping into Antiquity

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Oculus stars Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites as Kaylie Russell and Tim Russell in a supernatural, psychological horror story that’s as much psychological as it’s supernatural. The movie covers two stages – when they’re 23 and 21, the present (2013), and when they’re 12 and 10, the past (2002).

As we’d realize later, a 10-year Tim is taken under custody for patricide. Just before that, however, he and Kaylie promise to destroy the artifact that they believe is the precursor to all these occurrences. When Tim returns home after 11 years, Kaylie and Tim give it one last try – to destroy the antic mirror that their father bought in an auction. The mirror, for them, is the cause behind countless homicides. Their family only plays a small part in the mayhem initiated by the possessed mirror. Their pact? To finish it off.

In Latin, oculus means eyes. In the movie, the people lured into demonic acts by the timeworn mirror find their eyes transformed into mirrors. It could symbolize that the mirror forces these people to divert their reflections and only realize the vision of the mirror itself, or quite simply – we could infer that our eyes mirror what we see, subjective reality, and we act based on those subjective instincts, for good or bad.

Mike Flanagan sits on the director’s chair again after Absentia (2011), yet, he’s mostly known for directing the well-received student movie, Ghosts of Hamilton Street (2003). In Oculus, Flanagan opts for a non-linear approach. Intercutting between two different time spans within the same house, we see a repeat of the tragedy that panned out 11 years ago in Kaylie and Tim’s quest to destroy the mirror and salvage the souls entrapped in it. As the movie progresses, the adults take precedence to the children forming a compelling revelation of ghostly destruction.

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Although the movie isn’t long, it does take a while to build the anticipation. The initial 45 minutes revolve around Kaylie reminding Tim of their childhood. These adults relive what happened 11 years ago and prepare themselves for what could happen today, 11 years later. Yet, tackling the mirror is tricky. The mirror has a shady, dangerous history and it works categorically by distorting their perception, destroying their rationality, and injecting an overriding sense of hopelessness in them.

Flanagan doesn’t go the traditional route with scares as much as he goes for atmospheric creepiness. With the mirror slowly possessing Marie and Alan, parents of Kaylie and Tim, (played by Katee Sackhoff and Rory Cochrane), it coaxes them into becoming one with it – overruling them with a Them vs. the World mentality. Pointing to decay as its theme, the mirror first clasps its victims by decoying their inner desires, if it’s by seducing them, torturing them, or poisoning their minds, and after it gets hold of them – it unleashes the monster it has created to ensue destruction.

The story of Oculus isn’t as interesting as much as the presentation of a relatively overdone concept: possession. Fans of horrors may like it, or shun it, but it’s still interesting and didn’t turn me off. The movie is more discreet than outright scary. The scares are well timed and it tries to blend a movie like The Shining (1980), for example, and an outright slasher like Nightmare at Elm’s Street (1984) maintaining a dwindling mood throughout.

The pseudo-investigation that Kaylie and Tim carry out of the mystery is the best part of the movie. It keeps you guessing and doesn’t distract you. As Kaylie and Tim continue to dig deep, within themselves and of the peculiar manifestations, revisiting their escapades as children, the movie treads deeper into dread, which is quite interesting to watch.

For a standard medium-budget horror movie, Flanagan does a good job of trying to walk on a thin rope of tradition and not falling prey to its oddities. The elements are present, of course, with the script timed well into convention, and the plot points being similar to horrors of the past, yet the treatment makes the difference.

Oculus has decent performances by the cast. Karen Gillan is adept as Kaylie and her authority remains on show throughout the movie. She’s pretty to boot if off, and through her we actually get a character that is able to command and lure whenever she deems fit. The rest have done okay, even though they’re not as commanding as Karen is.

Oculus also looks good visually. It’s something you’d expect from traditional horror movies set inside modern Victorian-styled houses. The way makers play with hallucination, illusion, and reality is also worth noting, even though the ending is predictable and is subject to the conventional trap of horrors. It does leave the space open for sequels, but with that intention to boot, it’s quite difficult to appreciate the movie. Flanagan seems to have one eye on the future. That makes sense economically, but it gave the movie a defunct ending. Audiences would feel underwhelmed by the anti-climax and that drags the movie down. It did for me.

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Oculus had a high ceiling. It doesn’t quite get close to touching it, but it’s a decent watch. I doubt non-horror fans would appreciate it, or even majority of horror fanatics—a shame because the movie had so much potential.

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) – The Life and Times of Adam and Eve

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What could Jim Jarmusch add to the obsolete and worn down folklore of vampires? An offbeat reprise, with harmonic scores from Jozef van Wissem and Jarmusch’s own, SQÜRL, entrenched with yesteryear musical classics would seem adequate. Not quite, it would seem, as Jarmusch weaves a simple Goth drama about two eternal lovers and ultimately brings about a compelling movie contrasting with traditional vampire myths and symbols.

Living in two distant cities, Eve (Tilda Swinton) in Tangier and Adam (Tom Hiddleston) in Detroit, these lovers have endured the depths of time in the veracity of the world’s glooms living through every major movement, phase, and epidemic the world has experienced. Life, however, doesn’t take a stark turn for them until Eve’s ungrown sister (Mia Wasikowska) appears and when she does; it coagulates their haven with practices of traditional vampirism. You could say the last resort. From there on, eternal darkness it is for the only two lovers left alive or undead, as Stoker would charm them, yet plodding in their own ambience of seclusion.

Right from the onset, Only Lovers Left Alive induces a cool feeling. The serene environment here is almost meditative and as a viewer, you clutch on to the atmosphere, which seems divinity until you watch the red juice (wine?), the red ice on stick (Popsicle?), or the red juice inside an alcohol tumbler (whisky?). The blood doesn’t gross you out. Think of a situation when somebody is sucking on a Popsicle of iced blood. Sounds sordid, doesn’t it? Sure, it does, but it also makes you sympathize with these innocent beings and their unusual dilemma. Serves as a bona fide testament to the storytelling prowess of Jarmusch—vampires seem innocent despite feasting on blood.

It would be an understatement to suppose that Jim Jarmusch brings his indie touch to this conventional and downright preposterous sub-genre. But it’s also the truth. In today’s 24-hr. media frenzy society where active isolation is considered a defect, Jarmusch poses a scenario for people who’d want that seclusion amidst the bareness of society. Having no option per se, Adam and Eve are forced to constrict themselves to their passions—music for Adam, literature for Eve. Melting together, we’d find two geniuses with centuries of training talking about hypothetical concepts beyond the comprehension of zombies, as Adam refers to humans, and the descendants of decay that is humanity. When these obtruding zombies threaten to devastate their utopian romance, life itself becomes a challenge for these oblivious lovers. As viewers, we could only journey alongside them in this tussle, never with them.

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Only Lovers Left Alive deviates from standard vampire norms and puts spotlight on the precariousness of vampires in today’s world. Distinct to other movies of the same kind, we don’t observe guilds of vampires here, or petty rivalries between vampires and humans or wolves. The story isn’t about Count Dracula or any count, nor does it unswervingly source itself from the bundles of vampire movies that have come out since Transylvania. Is it enchanting though? Absolutely.

The pastels decorate Only Lovers like painting, art, which is what the movie is. The nocturnal filming together with the distant use of lighting, the musical scores, the performances, and the subtle camera movements brush the dreariness of life on each frame invoking a glumness, arresting our spirit, and reflecting the world that could be in front of our eyes with elegance.

Misery is latent in this drama about melancholy. The performances of both Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston mirror misery, but it’s not the misery of isolation; it’s misery after failing to attain a dignified recluse. And for vampires to survive they need fresh, red juice. Adam has his own supplier thanks to the heavy chunk of money he exchanges for the O negative. Eve, in Tangier, has the maestro Marlowe (John Hurt) giving her the good stuff. For how long? That is the catch and when such is the delicateness of the situation, one would ponder—when stacked against all odds, would these lovers respond to the call of Nature or Nurture? Remember, geniuses they may be through centuries of reflection, but they are mere slaves of the unnatural, without which, life is untenable for them.

The movie as a whole feels like a soulful opera. Warm lights, beautiful images, and a disheartening tone—mirroring a tragic play. At 2 hours long, the pace is slow and brooding, but it doesn’t let go. Drawing you into the action, it holds onto you, even after the curtains have rolled. The plot is hardly significant, almost insubstantial for the dramatic eye and that may appear the weak point, yet is it? On the contrary, it’s perhaps the most absorbing part. The story is centered in its subtlety—a musical gothic drama, the most accomplished one in vampirism, we could suggest.

Flowing like music itself and gripping the viewer in awe of the world of Only Lovers Left Alive, the movie explores the horrors of vampires in a way never been done before. Only Lovers is contemplative and exposes the bleakness of such a life, almost drawing a parallel to an outcast. Who is this outcast in reality? Only vampires or any human bold enough to defy the norms of society; that is up to the viewers to decide. Nonetheless, it’s a question worth pondering upon and this artistic drama would tempt you to put on those thinking hats and ponder upon the value of emotions over actions, living over life.

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One of the simplest movies from Jarmusch, but also the most complex perhaps, Only Lovers Left Alive isn’t everybody’s wine. For those who appreciate the deeper quality, the sheer redness of the fruit, and the romantic taste, Jarmusch’s latest is a thrilling entry into the legend of vampirism and a movie worth applauding for its beauty and contrast.

Her (2013) – Social Networking

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Her is clear-cut. It’s a straight romantic drama gilded with a sci-fi element providing it a noticeable platform in creating a sophisticated predicament to tell a story that has been told countless times before and perhaps will share many more such instances if the success and raving reviews of Her are anything to go by. In that sense, Her is a picture perfect movie about relationships in a technological deterministic world, where social relationships degenerate into a bubble of obscurity, when humans seek companionship of machines, artificially intelligent machines, to fill the void glaring in their lives. Such is the melody of Her.

Starring Joaquin Phoenix as the lonely, depressed Theo coming off a noxious breakup against childhood sweetheart, Catherine (Rooney Mara), Theo finds love through the state-of-the-art computer operating system, OS 1—who calls herself, or itself, Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). Enter the grace of this OS rich in empathy, clouded by feelings, and a gregariousness of human epitome, Samantha brings love to Theo and in return, she gets the undiluted affection of the same man once lonely and suffering the pangs of separation.

Some movies are an exhibition of the austerity of cinema and symbolize the sheen of movies. Others are perplexing for various reasons. Some may be the perennial offbeat experience, whilst others may be the experience out of expression one gains watching a story unfold. After all, it’s life in motion and cinema is a medium of an expression that is born from words and climaxes with the perception of each unique individual. From an observational standpoint, Her is a paradox. It appears in the spaces between words, as the enigmatic reality called Samantha puts it in the movie, which is quite a right phrase to explain the world of Her in all its relativity.

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I would classify Her in two categories. First, as a cinema and second, as a story. Talking about the cinematic composition of Her, the movie is a chef-d’oeuvre of art and expression. When I talk of the cinematic aspect, I’m capturing the essence of Her as an aesthetic enterprise focusing on the gloss that enhances the experience of cinema. We’ve probably seen this movie many times before. We’ve heard this story many more times, as such. But there is something about the lyrical screenplay of Her that catches you—holds on to you and lets you relax, enjoying the steady ride peeving into the life of one man and his interpretations of dreams. The unfolding of a clichéd story that could be interchanged to another setting or another dimension overwhelms the story itself and Spike Jonze gets the screenplay of the movie right, even though the premise is dazzling, yet the story isn’t quite up to the mark. That’s also where the aesthetic overtakes the story…

Almost romantic in its swift, languid visuals, Her creates a world that is both warm and distant. When you observe the world around Theo, his quandary, and those various people around him, Her sets a subtle tone that engrosses your fancy and creates a mood that is euphoric at times, deliberate at others, and plain gloomy many other times, yet Jonze never fails to highlight the giant influence our surrounding, the society, and Nature has on us—no matter how much we evolve as a being and as a technological marvel. That, right there, flies high as the central theme of the movie under the multifarious mask of social relationship, technological singularity, technological determination—the underlying current of evolution and where it leads us—becomes the single-pointed foundation of Her.

Wrapping these complex mechanisms that may be theoretical today, practical tomorrow, Her resembles a painted veil under which we find hidden the core of connection. How ironic, the fabricated connection of networks seems to be sweeping us away from the physical, natural connection that is the foundation of singularity in the world—from human singularity to technological singularity, the evolution of the world stemming from one root dashes into a zone promising to alienate one from the other and as always, the casualties are no one else but us, the morbid, vulnerable, and invincibly weak human beings.

The philosophy of Her, captured in a rhythmic motion; Her is just soothing to watch, even though the silence in that sphere is deafening. The deafening silence through the instinctive musical composition compliments the feel of the movie. While watching the movie, you’re taken back by the touching composition (Arcade Fire) ornamenting the grand experience, whilst giving us a firsthand information of the ailing absurdity presented in this exotic milieu called Her. Perhaps the biggest compliment would be that the background score makes this movie what it is. Despite the story being a glorified rom-com, the soothing, intuitive score facilitates the birth of a spiritual mood. This platonic score meshing with a musical cinematography (Hoyte van Hoytema), along with a terrific production design, the aesthetics of Her are hard to match, yet as an experience, it’s absorbing and dynamic—bewitching, for lack of a better word.

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Flowering Her with all these adjectives, still, I found the story of Her to be the weakest link. The romantic relationship between a human and a machine may sound promising, but when it comes to the delivery of such a great premise, the story suffers from the same old treatment rom-coms are prone to suffer—great premise and decent progression, then the death of being in a Catch 22 situation. By the end, Her turns into a melodramatic saga, an affair between a man and a machine, with the makers, it would appear, losing vision on whether to sway philosophical, end it as a spiritual revitalization, or ultimately shed the message that each kind is designed for their kind and only such can take this massive ball of consciousness ahead, which if true is a deep thought translated awkwardly onto screen.

Take the instance of Samantha, replace her with your ordinary Jane or Mary, what difference would that provide? Not much… Perhaps instead of a machine with a sultry, sexy voice, we’d find an average looking human with an average voice. The point: the status quo would remain the same. The underlying crisis wouldn’t change and as far as humans go, that’s just the way we are, but for machines, the evolution of machines seems to be way out of the fizz called human understanding. For such a marvel of Nature, fabricated marvel that is, the standpoint stands completely different because they’re looking at the broader picture and we’re mere selfish social animals… Now the major point, isn’t that always the reason for grief in relationships? We’re always looking at the same scenario with different shades… In this entire tussle, I actually found Amy Adams’ character (as Amy) the most interesting and relatable. Amy’s simplicity, expressions, and the pure incorruptibility of her character were far touching and elaborate than Samantha’s fictitious tension, or Theo’s aura of dejection.

Regardless, Her is a complicated translation of relating. I wouldn’t call it relationships because it sounds passive. Relating sounds active and Her tries to cover the active trait of relating. In doing so, it manages to inspire us with the detailed camerawork, soulful music, and of course, the beautiful heavenly, isolated paradise at display in the movie. The way the movie unfolds; that’s perhaps not up to the level one would seek. Essentially, Her is stereotypical, has the same generic approach we see in most romantic comedies, but you’d still enjoy it and what sets it apart from the rest is the concept and the world we experience in the film.

I won’t say I was as enlightened by the movie as many have been, but I’m glad I watched it and you owe it a watch too. Old wine, new bottle seems apt, but underneath the old wine, there’s a disquieting message and a bird’s eye view of our society and the direction we desire to move towards in the name of scientific evolution. Consequently, Her has a piercing downhearted tone to it, which it manages to convey.

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Amidst all the techno-craft and post-modernization phenomenon, some aspects of life never change. We never really stop connecting, whether it’s through visible wires, waves, invisible wires, or using the most aboriginal techniques of connection; we always seek that tiny bit of network, our tiny world we call it. Precisely, what Her wants to transport: the world of connections and in a silly, lovely, and flawed manner, Her manages to analyze society and more importantly, human understanding. All of this, in a visual way taking us through one end of the spectrum, the human side, to the other end of the same tube, the inhuman side. It’s always about Her after all, is it not?

Blue Jasmine (2013) – From New York With Love

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Woody Allen’s 44th full-fledged directorial venture brings us to Blue Jasmine, the unofficial modern day adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire. Cate Blanchett plays Jasmine here mirroring the enigmatic charms of Blanche Du Bois from Tennessee William’s legendary play. As the deluded, past-her-pomp socialite who runs bankrupt after the end of her conjugal bliss and her husband, Hal’s (Alec Baldwin) suicide, both coinciding, a troubled Jasmine goes to San Francisco to stay with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) in hopes of recouping her identity and perhaps starting a new life…

A basic story told in a simplistic style, Woody Allen contrasts sequences from Jasmine’s life as the tip-top socialite in New York, wife to a philandering financial expert, to her present life under the influence of anxiety, panic attacks, and derangements. The sequences of Jasmine’s much decorated social life from her past juxtapose on screen with her present life living with her working class sister in San Francisco—much away from her aristocratic lifestyle and social circle in New York. Making it an appealing way of telling this story, the drastic spiral from an elitist to an impoverished woman sets the stage for this quintessential drama, with Allen giving it an artistic touch similar to what we witness in A Streetcar Named Desire. Although similar in broad strokes, Blue Jasmine does have an altered outlook pinned on the renaissance of Jasmine as an individual—jammed in her own psychological trap of vanity, deceit, and hypocrisy—as opposed to the undercurrent sexuality alive in Streetcar.

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Quite simply, Blue Jasmine is an easy interpretation of a mumbled woman in her own jumbled world. Going back to Streetcar, the movie subtly represents that era, with a macho rich husband having loose affairs, while the wife is the loyal and pretentious socialite unaware, or at least pretending to be, of her husband’s exploit. Once misfortune strikes, her life falls apart in free fall: no college degree, no special talent, and no computer skills—a nice satire there—and nothing except a regal, glossy look, which would be all the more perfect for a man to have in a woman, especially those with social responsibilities… As such, Jasmine has nowhere to go, except for the place she loathes.

Blue Jasmine maintains a vibrant aloofness between the audience and the character of Jasmine. The manner of sequencing and the way it’s filmed, you’d find an invisible tablet between the viewer and the actions in the story, especially revolving Jasmine. The movie projects a clandestine charm of isolation that slowly peels off as the minutes pass by; ultimately, revealing the obvious but in an insistent, engaging style, which would augur down to the wits and mastery from Woody Allen. From such a simple premise, Allen develops a complicated psychological study of not just one character but the array of characters present, where you’d almost be confronted with the idea of the story divulging as social criticism through the lens of the social classes, political ideologies, stereotypes, and the principle of self-identity and personal space. As a story, Blue Jasmine manages to say a lot about social phenomena through little detailing and suggestive nuances, and those little detailing and suggestions make the movie a rich study—a valiant film from Woody Allen after a long time.

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The camerawork, more so the composition of shots and of course the overall cinematography deserves a pat for creating a distinct visual story. The utilization of dynamic spatial relationships between the characters, especially Jasmine and Ginger and also Jasmine and Chili (Bobby Cannavale), Ginger’s brute fiancé—the Stanley Kowalski of Blue Jasmine—the spatial placements and camera angles distinguish the pedigree of these characters from one another, especially Jasmine from the rest. Nonetheless, despite being a part of this circle, Jasmine’s undermining viewpoint of Ginger’s entire existence creates a silent tension between all the three personalities. Allen doesn’t show them until it reaches breaking point, yet the silent killer is present in most of the scenes featuring the three characters (Jasmine, Chili, Ginger).

Cate Blanchett as Jasmine has been acclaimed at every corner of the film universe, and perhaps deservedly so. Her demeanor as Jasmine is uncannily real, from her make-up, physical mannerisms to her jabbering as the deluded, knocked out Jasmine. Chili’s mate, Eddie (played by Max Casella) asks Jasmine if she’s usually spaced out. Very relevant question because that’s how Blanchett proposes herself as Jasmine—mentally erratic and zoned out in her own world mumbling about all that’s gone wrong in her life. By the time she loses everything, she doesn’t even have her own child as a redeeming facet of her discolored and largely disfigured life, which we see so often in her face—no colors and charms—except for her dressing sense and conduct, which is all elegant and with a royal touch. In all that’s said about Blanchett, the entire cast makes this movie a rich presentation with natural performances. Understated, as it may seem, the cast of Blue Jasmine portray their skins with pragmatic natural instincts complimenting the world around the story and the lives and times of these characters.

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Ultimately, Blue Jasmine works with a possibility—a possibility of a woman with nothing except the stature of her husband as her sole belonging and identity. Before him and after him, she stands as a naked figure lost in the world with myriad of complications. Always seeking the easy way out, Jasmine is a contradictory figure where one is lost whether to feel pity on her state, or to laugh at her inanity. Heartfelt in execution, with brilliant art direction, storytelling, and a subtle way of cinematography, Blue Jasmine is a thunderbolt wrapped in silence. An extremely rich movie with powerful performances, it slowly grows in the heart as tragic degeneration of a dysfunctional woman, one-of-a-kind, in such a predicament that not even she can help herself…

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) – Leap of Faith

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Ben Stiller is back, and how, with an unshakable character thriving to shape his life and the world around as one storm of cognizance—into the vast depths of reality, or perhaps—absurdity! Remaking the old comedy classic by the same name (1947)—itself based on the polarizing short story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” by James Thurber, Ben Stiller gives this new version of Mitty an elegant visage; a monarchic grandeur, a hypodermic makeover—creating an ultimate inspirational jigger; a story for everybody, a life for seekers of thrills and absorbers of adventure: the spirit of Walter Mitty!

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Living in his own world of fantasy, where he only accepts the biblical maxim of ABC—audacious, brace, creative; that’s Walter “ABC” Mitty, only too timid, shy, nostalgic, imaginative, and a subdued clone of the man that is Walter Mitty in his dreams. The story of one legendary man—similar to the everyday Joe—only this time, on the right end of the spectrum; Walter has all the time, the platform, and the “ghost cat,” at his surficial wigs of halo. It is just time that he discovers that halo. The halo arrives, big time, in the form of Sean O’Connell, played by the Icon—Sean Penn—a mythical photojournalist who, at last, proves his status as a living legend and not mythology. O’Connell, with the reputation that dwarfs in comparison to the man, and I mean this, is a longtime partner and comrade of LIFE magazine. Walter Mitty, his unduly associate—partner at work. For the very last edition of LIFE magazine before going online, Sean sends a film roll containing the special #25 for the final cover page of LIFE magazine. Somehow, sheer luck or distraught, it’s not there! With Ted “I’m lovin’ it” Hendricks (Adam Scott), Managing Director of the transition and downsizing, at his throat, Walter Mitty must find this final piece of jewel to celebrate the life and times of LIFE magazine. The stage is set for Walter Mitty—the calling of adventure, as they call it!

Ben Stiller, as Walter Mitty, is a natural. Serious, dreamy, zoned out, the ordinary guy, just a daydreamer; timid, frail, a New Yorker within New York, and a secret admirer, lover of the cutely wonderful Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig), Ben Stiller raises the game as Walter Mitty and personifies his soul with this dreary human being daring to become immortal through his own vivacity and the underestimated power of imagination. Ben Stiller has it! As Walter Mitty, not only did Stiller direct a movie that designs the grandness of living your dreams, but portrayed a dud, with his trademark comic subtlety underlying his serious zeal for adventure and, what they call, a larger than life vocation, yet just a Negative Sales Manager. It was worth the wait, if that is the curiosity. Ben Stiller just slams it.

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The spiritual enrichment of Mitty is arguably the best part of the story/screenplay. Arguable, perhaps not, because the crowned head of this visual magnum opus has to be—the one—Stuart Dryburgh (The Piano, 1993) for the camerawork that justifies the benevolence of a movie as The Secret Life… The moving visuals were, hold your breath, breathtaking; entailing the spirit of Walter Mitty, the repressed one, and vindicating the motto of LIFE, “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” Running from New York to the condescending Greenland to the eruptive Iceland, the camera illustrates the splendor of those beauty lands, but all important is the message written in each shot, each angle, each composition—stapled, you will find, the quintessence of Walter Mitty and his incredibly secret life that doesn’t confide to secrecy; it explodes out like the volcano in Iceland, and culminates into the Himalayas in the company of Ghost Cats. One only needs to dare to dream and to go beyond daring and live those dreams… Sharing the honor is Theodore Shapiro for the instrumental background score; engrossing and apt, perfect blend of melody, vocals, and the soulful injection of harmony.

At heart, Walter Mitty is just like every ordinary person—relatable in every way. Living life; dream on, go—live your dreams; we’ve heard those clichéd concepts buried to the ground and beaten until the core of the planet. Reality has a different story to share. In this case, it’s nothing about daring to live the dreams, but willing to reach to an extent for something, you justly believe in. Walter Mitty brings that contemplative moment. It addresses every day of life in this circle of stagnancy; been there, done that—in essence, have you, “been there, done that?” Taking this approach, Mitty isn’t preachy or philosophical about anything. Walter Mitty works for LIFE magazine, a monotonous job without change for 16 years, and now under the brink of uncertainty and the passion for the last picture from the iconic Sean O’Connell, this is Walter Mitty. The vivacious Cheryl instigates this coy, stale person to do whatever is necessary to do—whatever that needs to be done, but the real trigger is the guy called Todd Maher (Patton Oswalt), the eHarmony service provider, who acts as the kick-pad for Walter. On the negative—in terms of the pitch and story—the plot featuring Maher probably adds a degree of impracticality to the story. It can’t be all that convenient in Greenland, Iceland, and Afghanistan, can it now—especially from an eHarmony personnel?

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The extremities of life typified by the typical Walter Mitty, this movie is an emotional and cinemascopic marvel featuring excellent performances, especially Ben Stiller, the officious Adam Scott, and the cheerful Kristen Wigg. Not to ignore Kathryn Hahn (as Odessa) and Shirley MacLaine (as Edna) for their complimentary parts in fulfilling Walter’s life and times as the Incredible Walter Mitty in a not-so-incredible world of New York, but the almighty ubiquitous pervasion of the world’s punctuation of life and Nature. Walter Mitty is for the emotional ones; maybe not entirely unique in presentation, yet a stunning effort from the vision of Ben Stiller and the lens of the cinematographer—truly world class cinematography and a tip of the hat to the direction and performance of Ben Stiller as Walter Mitty. What clicks is the emotion, and that’s the zenith of accomplishment for any movie; The Secret Life of Walter Mitty accomplishes that zing of emotional mix.

Frozen (2013) – Boiling Love in the Arctic

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It’s winter, it’s cold, it’s chilly—it’s Frozen—steaming in July!

Frozen is a story of two sisters, Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel)—brought together by destiny, separated by circumstances. Anna grows up as the naïve, sweet girl—the epitome of Disney tales, and Elsa grows up as the retrained, contemplative, and piercingly isolated figure—probably representing the life of those high up there in the big offices. Born with special powers of Himalayan grace, Elsa can create a snowstorm from nothing and build an empire of snow and ice within moments. Living with it, as if a curse, Elsa is—for that reason—isolated from outwardly contact, including her own little sister, Anna.

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With such a tight premise, Frozen reveals the spikes of emotions for two orphaned girls in their childhood until they become the strength of one another in their adulthood. The focus, throughout all of it—without any fluctuations in the beats, lies in the saga of Elsa and Anna, with romance, love, treachery, and the subplots giving way to the main event—the relationship dynamic of the two sisters. Wrapped under marvelous 3D animations, the graphical snow land that is visually enchanting and a complete treat for the eyes, the able directions of Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee not only present an animated classic, but a story packed with sentiments, musically-rich performances, and a treatment resembling a play than an animated feature from Disney. Garlanded by the music, Frozen never loses sight of the main stroke, and the theatrical musicals advance the context drawing a fresh sigh from the usual animated movies—an animated musical epic—exhibiting the beauty of the icier world through some of the best animators around.

For Disney fanatics, the characters in this wonder movie may seem similar, almost clones of previous Disney offerings. After all, a princess, a prince, a snowman, a reindeer, a braveheart, and one illustrious Queen, what else does Disney need? The ingredients perfectly laid, the only invoking aspect now—bringing them together in a heartfelt adventure, where one is bound to forget reality and become citizens of this snowy haven. In doing so, Frozen takes inspiration from Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, with Jennifer Lee developing a picturesque roadmap encompassing the traditional motifs from Disney fairytales in an enriched parcel, not in any manner the old wine—rather a refined wine in a magnanimous animated feature.

Once again, the animators create fantasy armed to flabbergast viewers. The icy quartz palace amidst the hailing and sensational snowstorm with crystallized arcs—beautiful in artistic design, surrounded around the state-of-art Kingdom of Arendelle, and the blankets of the arctic, Frozen is stunning in its combination of art and design with its touching story about the warmth of love. Surrounded by an array of lovable and admiring characters, especially Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), his adoring Reindeer, and the mightily cute snowman, Olaf (Josh Gad), Frozen freezes the viewers in admiration.

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A wonderful visual display of the truest and simplest emotions; Frozen stands apart as an emotional glee, a pleasing animated movie that brings back the little, happy moments of life and catapults viewers to a fairyland that most of us grew cherishing and believing. One simple magic of love stands as the infinite key to the happy summers of the land in this terrific, unmissable, experience that makes you a believer of Disney’s universe again. All I can say is, come—fall in love with your childhood, again.

Gori Tere Pyaar Mein – The Fictitious Liberty of a Second Chance (2013)

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After Punit Malhotra’s I Hate Love Stories (2010), a movie that shared some uncanny personal coincidences, he brings forth his next—Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, another of those personally “relatable” movies. With profound self-realization as the major theme of his last two movies, I must really ask Punit, why do you seem fascinated by the liberty of a second chance?

Similar to I Hate Love Stories, Gore Tere Pyaar Mein features Imraan Khan in the new attire of Shreeram but with a similar satire of a lover boy who recognizes affection after having had a muddled experience the first time around—with the same girl. In the case of Love Story, it was Jai realizing love after rejecting his ladylove (Simran played by Sonam Kapoor) the first time around. In Gori, it’s this lad, Sridevi, realizing of his repressed love for numero uno social worker—the ravishing Kareena Kapoor Khan as Dia only after having met his soon-to-be-new-wife Vasudha—where she spends ample time listening to Shreeram’s love epic and serving as his therapist—portrayed by the beautiful Shraddha Kapoor.

Two stories, in basic ways, sharing the same motivation are distinguished by Punit’s treatment, who has attempted to present a standard romantic comedy in a somewhat diverse manner. Gori Tere Pyaar Mein has a good premise. The story of a flush, free spirited man falling in love with a rigid, social worker—with high levels of integrity and commitment—presents a solid recipe for a wonderful 2 hours. As the movie pans out, it turns to be a semi-enjoyable show, although predictable throughout—possessing one vibrant act by Kareena Kapoor Khan. There are positives and negatives, both, and amidst some nostalgic love sequences, for yours truly, there are many moments of silliness, worn out jokes, and detailing just for crude comicality—reaching the extent of preposterousness.

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The character of Dia tends to be of an idealist, with high principles and charitable tendencies. She is a social activist who spends more time on the streets parading for human rights and environmental protection, fasting peacefully to force out corruption; filming documentaries in red light areas, and supporting people suffering from HIV and Aids. For such a dedicated and committed social worker, Dia certainly has too much time to focus on her style, clothing, and beauty! Kareena as Dia looks too glamorous for the role. With her face glowing like a Victoria’s Secrets supermodel in exhibition, even in scorching heat, the role she portrays isn’t convincing for the clothes she wears and the dazzling charms she conveys. That doesn’t mean Kareena has to look ugly; it would help if she looked more like a NGO worker, and no—just clothing Kareena in designer suits doesn’t make her appear one.

The movie isn’t meant to be a social drama, by any means, yet some form of consistency and realness would have taken the movie some steps further, despite being a glamorous rom-com. Another factor that raises ones eyebrows, the director and the writers seem to have written this movie from the moral perspective of a social worker. The movie gives weight to Dia’s point-of-view over Shreeram’s point-of-view. In the sense that Shreeram willingly transforms himself to fit into Dia’s mold, whilst Dia remains the same—the character arc—with Shreeram converting from a state of capitalism to a desire of charity driven by the love of Dia.

All of this would have been acceptable had the director set it up appropriately with proper plot and character development. The viewer is left to assume that what Dia does is right, whilst what Shreeram feels is not quite the right path to tread on, without giving us a valid justification, or simply assuming that social work is the greatest form of service and it is above all personal relationships. Then, having Shreeram transform, while Dia remains the same, the director creates a self-centered environment—almost advocating, as one would presume.

Fortunately or perhaps unluckily, the movie isn’t meant for critical analysis, in any shape. It’s a Hindi rom-com, which could serve as an entertainer or a date movie. Perhaps a treacherous date movie, as the underlying psychological marker reveals an all-helping and charitable woman posing a hypothetical question of the extents a boy is willing to go—to get the woman that he loves. It’s one-sided and biased in that manner. It wouldn’t be a problem in most cases, but when you’re asking your viewer to involve their affection in the world of the movie, a little bit of fair-headedness and proper character mapping would serve as a wonderful catalyst in garnering that affection.

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Gori is a decent movie. Personally, I liked the movie—especially the flashbacks and the connections to my own life story. Even though it is methodic, flawed, repetitive, and holds passé anecdotes, the central theme of a lover wooing his lover usually makes for a decent watch. Despite the predictability and annoying sequences at times, Gori has its moments and if any man has or had a nostalgic relationship with somebody older, and any woman who has or had a good relationship with somebody younger, book the tickets for some bunkum pleasure. For the rest, it’s a time pass movie—guilty pleasure and all…

Insidious Chapter 2 (2013) – The Possession Continues…

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Starting from where Insidious left, Renai (Rose Byrne), Josh (Patrick Wilson), and the kids move into a similar Victorian-styled clogged house of Lorraine (Barbara Hershey) to start a new life—away from all the haunts and tremors. With medium Elise (Lin Shaye) no more in what was seen as a possessed Josh strangling her to death, the creepiness continues to haunt Renai and later Lorraine before Lorraine takes up the issue to the Elise’s ironic sidekick duo of Specs (Leigh Whannell, also the screenwriter) and Tucker (Angus Sampson). Joined by the “second best” paranormal specialist that Elise ever worked with, Carl (Steve Coulter), the primary supernatural investigators of the story come across some antediluvian truths and devastating revelations about the world of spirits, the Further, and the connection of Josh to this psychotic serial killer Parker Crane (Tom Fitzpatrick) or simply, the Bride in Black.

For the first hour, Insidious 2 is repetitive, almost wearisome with nothing much happening—except for one giant slap. The movie treads the same route as Insidious, The Conjuring, and similar horror movies in the first hour. Whilst the designing and decoration of the clogged interiors and the artistic panache of the peripheral setting is classically developed into a retro world—detached and alarming, the story takes time to kick into motion. When it does—just around the midpoint—Chapter 2 picks up changing gears into an intense, anticipatory, and scrupulous movie with demonstrative foreshadowing and intelligent advancement of the story and the action.

Exploiting plot twists and sequences from both the chapters, director James Wan and screenwriter Whannell connect the multifarious jigsaw—linking events from the first chapter and explaining their manifestations methodically in the second chapter to much amazement and intrigue. Insidious Chapter 2 has many confusing flashes, moments of realization, moments of anticipation, and instants where everything appears to click—aha! Courtesy the smooth writing of Whannell and the crisp direction of Wan, as a movie and a story, Insidious 2 utilizes the art of anticipation in building the horrors, and the magnificent art of prefiguring in peeling off the mystery—layer by layer.

The cinematographer, John R. Leonetti, marches a parade of camerawork—twisting, circling, meandering, and filming nerve-racking shots and making use of spooky angles in such congested interiors—almost using the least possible camera-aid equipment. Multiple shots of 180, 270, and 360 degrees garner the screen—turning many such scenes into a mystified ride of creeps and compelling the audiences in experiencing the whirls that the Lambert family found itself undergoing. Complementing the brilliant cinematography and the inspirational art direction (Jennifer Spence/Jason Garner), the sound is perhaps the highlight of this James Wan marathon. Joseph Bishara collaborates with James Wan, again, after Insidious and The Conjuring, and his score carries off the movie for much of the first hour. Disturbing music—creating a disquieting environment—Joe Dzuban is wonderful in mixing the sound and designing horror through timely echoes, noises, and music.

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Insidious Chapter 2 isn’t merely a clear-cut horror outing. Hidden below the obvious spooks are some themes of oppression, vengeance, and the all-important, value of human life. In all likelihood, Wan and Whannell utilize the many-worlds and the parallel universe theories in protracting the story—with the possibility that the past, present, and future exist simultaneously in different dimensions and a cross cut in these dimensions result in inter travelling. Developing some excellent creative plots and the masterful use of foreshadowing, Insidious Chapter 2 is a skillfully presented horror movie. James Wan continues with his good work of directing distinctive horrors and Chapter 2 is another honest attempt in a genre prone to abuse and ridicule. With the possibility of a third installment already setup, the ending of Chapter 2 may not be as effective as the ending of the first chapter, but it leaves the door open for another welcoming edition in this brilliant Insidious saga. Wonderful—a horror delight!

Goliyon ki Rasleela – Ram-Leela (2013)

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A tragic romantic drama, Ram-Leela finally found some peace when the makers changed the name from just Ram Leela to a longer Goliyon ki Rasleela Ram-Leela after a highly publicized court row between the makers and a group of Hindu activists. When one controversy subsided, another seemed to have reappeared. That would be the movie in itself… Set in the exotic locales of Gujarat, the movie is a story of two lovers from two rival families—the Ranjadey and Sannade families—and their struggle towards the fulfillment of their destinies. Helmed by master storyteller Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the visionary behind modern day classics such as Khamoshi: The Musical, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, and Black, the artisan director—this time around—adapts William Shakespeare’s classic play, Romeo and Juliet and creates an alternative world: Bhansali’s world.

In the last few years, movies from Bhansali haven’t quite garnered the public and critical appeal that he had so been accustomed to, for much of his earlier career. Post Black (2005), Bhansali’s Saawariya released to much criticism, while Guzarish—despite being an excellent movie—couldn’t garner the same reception of his yesteryear classics. Come 2013, Bhansali is back with his latest outing and his most commercial directorial enterprise until today, the love saga between a macho hunk, Ram played by Ranveer Singh, and the sultry courtesan, Leela played by today’s most wanted actress—Deepika Padukone. In the jangly arena within Gujarat, these two lovers fight against their family rivalry, their own predicament, and their individual fates to be with one another until death do them apart, or perhaps unite them into one, soul and body.

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The concept sounds textbook, even though the story has been revisited a myriad times before, but the execution of the grand concept doesn’t hit the zenith that one has been habituated to associate with Bhansali. Perhaps Bhansali’s weakest ever plotline and treatment, Ram-Leela just falls apart into a stupor after the end of the first act. Subsequently, the story loses its grip becoming a jumbling take and a torrid attempt in protracting the theatrics, and prolonging the running time than presenting a tight, riveting buildup to the climax. By the time the movie reaches its culmination, it turns into a parody of sorts, where one fails to feel the highpoint of the ending and neither does Bhansali manage to capture the mood, as he would intend. It’s all feeless. The result is of a movie—rich in every other artistry—except, the all-important story and plot development.

Aesthetically, Ram-Leela is an artistic exhibition. The production value is without doubt amongst the elite movies to come from Bollywood—stunning sets and locales, and excellent treatments of lighting and enhancements. The tone of the scenes, in terms of coloring and augmentation, cannot be flawed. In actuality, there isn’t any flaw from a visual arts perspective. The camerawork and scene selection along with a precise editing offer viewers a spectacular pictorial experience. The photographic spectrum is beaming, with the works of the Production Designer (Wasiq Khan) and Cinematographer (S. Ravi Varman)—not to forget the masterful artist that is Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Together the team creates a visual spectacle, with alluring sets and design. The one unanimous voice may; however, echo that Ram-Leela only lacked in the story sense to become a “torch carrier” of a movie.

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With all the richness in images and artistry, the lack of a solid, convincing screenplay really saddens the mood. Many scenes, especially in the second and third acts, seem forced and unnatural. Much of the conflict arises from an overdramatized misunderstanding or trifle issues, while the director conveniently takes refuge in many loopholes just for the sake of furthering the story. Amongst some very good scenes, there are many more clichéd elements. This is where I’m forced to raise a question—where was your astute treatment of a story, that you are so associated with, Mr. Bhansali? For somebody who has a legitimate claim to being Bollywood’s finest filmmaker today, Ram-Leela is a poor attempt in forcing a classic. It seems that the team tried too hard to create onscreen magic and fell short despite all the positive work from the director himself and the art and camera departments.

Overall, the term ‘disappointing’ wouldn’t do justice here. It pains to witness a visual classic ruined by poor storytelling and mediocre execution. Ram-Leela had everything, all the necessary ingredients to prepare an enchanting dish, while some aspects clicked—many faltered and the eventual creation was of a movie that feels stretched, fraudulent, and too sloppy for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s optimum standards. All I can say is—another movie bites the dust…

Image Credit – Santa Banta

Krrish 3 – When East Meets West (2013)

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The emotional impressions of the East combine with the power bloc of modern day heroism, the Superhero prodigies of the West.  The result is of a superhuman—a transporter of hopes for millions of people and an idol for everybody, Krrish—India’s response to Captain America and a mishmash of Spiderman, Superman, and Batman. Magnanimity certainly doesn’t harm. Krrish 3 is precisely the story of India’s newly found superhero, yet it is not just Krrish who is the central point of the story, Krrish 3 works for other reasons apart from just Krrish—the innately pure superhero, with a heart of gold—as they say—and a body of steel, as one would suppose.

Krrish series started as a franchise with Koi Mil Gaya (2003, Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta, Rekha), a movie a result of pure imagination over astute scientific observation—popularly influenced by E.T. the Extraterrestrial, or at least believed to be such. With a soulful protagonist in the form of Rohit Mehra (Hrithik Roshan), and a touching story, Rakesh Roshan (Karan Arjun, Krrish Trilogy) built a movie empire based on science fiction, the popular trending of alien life, and the birth of a human with extraordinary powers through Koi Mil Gaya and Krrish (2003). Krrish 3 carries on from where Krrish left, but with a different style and treatment. This time around, Rakesh Roshan presents Krrish 3 as India’s most accomplished VFX and CGI exhibition—assuming the responsibility of creating a gigantic visual spectacle along the lines of Hollywood marvels. Krrish, the movie, was the birth of the superhero Krrish and his fight for humanity, but against a fellow human. On the contrary, Krrish 3 embraces an assembled crew of characters possessing out-worldly strengths and attributes squaring Krrish in a predicament he has never been before—facing off against an ensemble of super villains. Not alone in this unique environment, Krrish—the superhuman—has the omnipresent grace of his father, Rohit, protecting and guiding him—beyond space and time.

Whilst Krrish 3 is a brainchild of the superhero, summer blockbuster concept, the movie remains true to the Indian way of storytelling, which could be bad or good. In this case, it’s a mixture, but in large portions, it’s really good. Perhaps due to the association with Diwali—a Diwali bonanza, as they say—Krrish 3 is more of a dramatization of a superhero holding the popular premise of saving the world from ulterior forces. Following the archetypal formula of super protagonist vs. super antagonist, Rakesh Roshan’s brilliant execution of this formulaic, well-structured template movie turns it from a mere model to entertaining cinema, and his sublime treatment differentiates Krrish 3 from other movies trapped in the state called structure syndrome. True to Bollywood oddities, Krrish 3 mixes quirky Hindi movie plots and the Hollywood superhero muscles borrowing some clichéd plotlines from yesteryear Bollywood movies, and scenes and designs from the Hollywood outings of Avengers, X-Men, and Transformers. It holds its own though, big time, despite being a concept that Hollywood seems to fantasize about, almost every summer.

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Several themes run across the screen—duty, honor, loyalty, love, dedication, and the concept of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam—what could loosely be translated as Universal Humanhood, if I may. Prominently, the legendary maxim of resident Uncle, Ben Parker, from Spiderman becomes the logline for this superhero outing: with great power, comes great responsibility. Krrish 3, in its absolute essence, is the actualization of that one masterful quote.

The selling point of the movie is, without any reservation, the visual graphics. Taking a segment in time to talk about them, the CGI and the visual FX, Krrish 3 is by far India’s best dive into the unknown waters of visual effects—particularly at such a grand scale. In comparison to Hollywood standards, the effects seem trivial at times, but excluding those moments, few and far in between, the team of Krrish 3 has meticulously created unbelievable imageries and enhanced the graphics—presenting India’s first superhero science fiction movie, especially on the pedestal Krrish 3 finds itself, as a visually bombastic superhuman action drama. To clear the air, there may not be a parallel between Gravity (2o13) and Krrish 3, but neither is there a parallel to Krrish 3 in Bollywood, or any movie to come out of India. The VFX is international quality—transcendental. For the film industry, especially with Bollywood going the Hollywood way, for good or bad, Krrish 3 has opened the gate.

When we look at the Krrish franchise from a commercial perspective, Indian audiences have been very dodgy of superhero and fantasy movies. It is a stunning statement that Koi Mil Gaya was the first ever fantasy, science fiction movie to become a blockbuster in India. Even so, Koi Mil Gaya wasn’t exactly a full-blown techno movie; it was a drama, a retelling of a story of one special boy. Three years later, when the first superhero of India was born, Rakesh Roshan didn’t project Krrish as a complete superhero movie. Romance and family drama, with impressive stunts—and a protagonist with superhuman powers—seemed to be the spine of the movie. When arriving to the third episode of the trilogy, Krrish 3 comes to its own—putting a mask of a techno marvel and appearing as a complete superhero flick with stunning visuals and sequences, where the technology has overtaken the dramaturgies of the earlier two films in the trilogy. Not without a balance, though—so would Rakesh Roshan suggest. The melodrama finds itself drifting throughout the movie. Rakesh Roshan cracks this intelligent line to treat this experience as a manifestation of supernatural powers, with the Indian spices of drama alive and flowering the on screen daring of one Krrish—thereby striking a crucially needed balance.

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Hrithik Roshan as Rohit Mehra delivers a genuine and natural performance. The use of the adjective startling would be an understatement for the performance is filled with innocence, accuracy, and spontaneity. As he did a decade ago, Hrithik Roshan chameleons himself into the genius who forgot to grow up channeling a physical look and mannerism that would prompt anybody to forget that the actor playing Rohit and Krrish is the same. It was inspiring. To much disappointment, conversely, Hrithik doesn’t have the same power as Krishna or Krrish. The acrobatics, stunts, and Hrithik’s look as Krrish cannot be faulted, but Hrithik, as Krishna, is bland and as Krrish is decent. On a side note, the mask doesn’t offer any realistic protection to Krrish’s identity, and since identity protection is of such importance, the scene in which Kaya fails to recognize Krrish as Krishna appears phony and a tad unrealistic. Also, Hrithik as Krishna looks too jacked up and built for any normal person to believe that he isn’t some supermodel or at least, a wrestler. Whilst it suits his superhero alter-ego to the core, but as an ordinary person, that’s too super. Amidst all of this, Krrish’s main job is the action part, the super action—where he is very impressive.

Hrithik’s leading lady; however, with all due respect, couldn’t have been a more irritating outfit. From her dressing style, gestures, to her dialects, Priyanka Chopra appeared as some teenage music icon over a wife and a journalist that she was playing in the movie. It was only after the interval, when Priyanka Chopra didn’t have much to do except shed tears, did she cease to become irksome. Kangna Ranaut was decent, but her face carried an awkwardness that was difficult to decode. Nothing special, but with a stronger role and a far more accomplished act than Priyanka Chopra, Kangna gave a very functional performance.

The least of the stars amongst the actors, bare minimum, yet the actor who delivered a powerful and unnerving performance as Kaal, Vivek Oberoi—a cold, restrained, and sadistic performance by a man curtailed by time and fate. Almost at the level of previous great villains of Hindi cinema, Vivek Oberoi was Kaal and not the other way around. Prodigious—from his look, his dialogs, his facial expressions, and his demeanor as the unworldly sadist—Vivek Oberoi was on his game.

Fused into the theme of Universal Humanhood, Krrish 3 is a pleasurable superhero entertainer with fantastic visuals, a solid plot, and some natural performances. A remarkable step up for Bollywood and despite its flaws and loopholes, Krrish 3 is what people call—a very good commercial movie. A journey worth to the theaters considering the ticket prices, your coffee or soda, and those sandwiches or popcorns, fans of Bollywood should give this movie at least one chance, notwithstanding the comparison to Hollywood. Appreciate it as an Indian superhero science drama, Krrish 3 is a dramatization of an Indian superhero, with brilliant visual effects—some eye sparkling, some decent, but all worth the price—ultimately shaping up as a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

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By the way, Sonia Mehra’s (Rekha) exclusion from the movie and her mysterious death was rather sad. But since we are in a killing spree—Nisha (Preity Zinta) died in between of Koi Mil Gaya and Krrish, while Sonia in between Krrish and Krrish 3—here’s hoping Priya Mehra (Priyanka Chopra) “dies” in between Krrish 3 and Krrish 4! Had to lay that down…