Score Saturday: Into Eternity – Thor:The Dark World – Brian Tyler

The second Thor installment was a great movie, and reaffirmed my faith in this franchise. ¬†And of course, the presence of Loki is always a delight! ūüôā

The movie had great music, especially this one titled¬†Into Eternity. It had caught my attention while I was watching the move (don’t remember the exact scene now) and I remember telling myself that I should check it out when I got home. ¬†And the track, is it scintillating or what!

It starts out almost in a lamentation and builds up from there, beautifully ending in that crescendo. There are a lot of little details (watch out for the violins in the background), so I recommend listening to this on headphones if possible.

That ending though. Love it.

Marvel’s Ant-Man: Movie Review

Ant-Man

I don’t feel it yet, but apparently there are a few people who do think that Marvel’s superhero movies are becoming too formulaic and too redundant gradually. I got a lot of this when Age of Ultron released, which by the way was epic but missed a lot of the fun dynamics that the first Avengers movie had.

Enter ANT-MAN!

To be honest, I had minor expectations from this one but as a true Marvel fanatic, I couldn’t not watch this. If anything, I probably went for Paul Rudd and Evengeline Lily (Pheobe’s husband Mike from Friends; Kate from LOST, respectively). I always liked Paul’s comic sense and I wondered how he’d fit into this serious superhero role.

Keeping with the tradition, I won’t give much of the story away. But I thought this was a welcome diversion from the other ‘epic’ stories. And since when does something needed to be epic to be awesome anyway? Ant-Man proves that a simple enough script, when treated with care and enough inventiveness, is enough to make for an entertaining watch.

So there is basically a suit, embedded with a mystical formula, that has the ability to shrink the wearer to the size of an ant. This suit was created by a Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and he has kept it secret for the fear of having it fall in the wrong hands. But naturally, there’s a bad guy who’s after this elusive piece of tech. In time, he creates his own version of the suit, the Yellowjacket (which looks like a wasp). Hank Pym then recruits Scott (Paul), a former hi-tech burglar to perform a major heist to steal the jacket. This is just me glossing over the story, but trust me it feels much more deep when you actually watch it. Because the main emotional core of the movie is actually about Scott and his 4-year old daughter. Whatever he does, he does to get back to her.

In that sense, I liked the light-heartedness of the entire film. This is not a movie where the entire mankind is threatened if the heroes do not turn saviors. And New York city is not bombarded by alien forces in the final showdown, it actually happens on a toy train. Yes, you have to see to believe it. Coming to the performances, Paul Rudd was equally suave and funny as needed. His comic timing is intact and puts up a delightful performance. Evangeline Lily too gets a meaty role and makes the best of it. Though I have to say it was difficult getting used to her short hair! The other cast were good too, especially that guy from House of Cards who plays the villain.

Other things that stood out in the film:

1) The Visual Effects! They did a fantastic job of bringing the microscopic world to life. The very first time the hero shrinks, it’s in a bathtub and someone turns on the tap. You can imagine the rest.

2) The ants themselves. They’re our hero’s trusty accomplices and help him out in his mission by performing cool stunts. And of course, Ant-thony! ‚̧

3) That wonderful scene with Apple’s Siri. Nuff said.

UDAY-O-METER: Recommended!

Hamari Adhuri Kahaani – Movie Review – Incomplete and Imperfect

Have you seen the trailer of Hamari Adhuri Kahani? That should suffice for now, as you’ve already seen the best the movie has to offer. Sometimes the trailers look so promising that when you finally watch the movie, you’ll realize why you should never never judge a film by its trailer.

But would I call it a bad film? No. Most certainly not.

HAK has its heart in the right place and tries to tell a very poignant tale of forlorn love. The emotion is all there, with all its intensity. Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi pour their heart and soul into their roles and I might have just developed a new-found appreciation for Emraan as well.

What the movie gets terribly wrong though, is in the way it tells the story.

I have a big problem with movies that decide to tell rather than show the story. 

Yes, this is an issue that plagues not just books but movies as well. Whatever happened to subtlety? I want movies to give me the chance to unravel the characters and their thoughts by myself, by reading¬†the expressions on their face. I don’t like to be told what I’m supposed to be feeling. With this movie, you never have to think too much. The writers are pretty much like, “Want to know what this character might be feeling inside right now? Let us¬†put that in a dialogue for you!”

Seriously, the number of times I’ve felt that that a dialogue was just over-the-top¬†is astounding.

Why do people talk like they’re characters in an 80’s novel?

I mean, seriously, hadn’t the director thought¬†for one second that this movie was a tad anachronistic? Though I’m just being polite here, it’s more than a “tad”. I mean I can understand one reflective observation once in a while, but when the entire film reeks of “supposedly” poetic dialogue, it’s just too much to handle.

It just feels artificial. Like these people are reading lines from a bad soap opera. And no one in real life speak like that. So the youth will definitely not be able to connect with anything either Vidya or Emraan are uttering. I appreciate the shunning of Hinglish, but does it have to be so gratuitous?

Why so many plot holes? 

I want to see the bound script of this movie, please? If there had been any, that is.

No one can read the story¬†from beginning to end and go, “Wow that’s a real tight screenplay.” Indian movie audience are used to cinematic liberties, but this one just gives it a free hit. A lot of things don’t make sense, for eg.¬†Vasudha’s husband writing down stuff in his diary what¬†he couldn’t possibly have known.

You start to think even for one second, the plot holes begin to stare right back at you.

Weren’t we past cookie-cutter characters yet?

Each one of the characters is typecast. They are not allowed to be complex. So the first thing you hear about Aarav (Emraan) is that he’s the most eligible bachelor in the country. Yea, thanks for spoon-feeding that as well!!¬†Vasudha is the damsel in distress. Who is loyal to the husband she hates. Wow. Powerful stuff. Hari, her husband, is your quintessential misogynist. And the less talked about Saanj, their son, the better.

Looks like I have more problems with the movie than what I’d thought when I’d started this.

Now for the good:

The Music

It’s a given that any Mohit Suri film is gonna have good music. This one’s no exception. The songs and the background score in particular are what salvage this film. Right from the very first frame till the end, the music never leaves hold of you. It sounds pristine, and wonderfully complements the emotions on screen.

Go on, listen to this song once more. You know you love it.

The Performances

Well, credit has to be given where due. Almost all of the characters walk away with their heads high. Vidya Balan again proves why she rules over anyone when it comes to sheer acting prowess. She is relegated to a crying mess in the second half but she shines nevertheless, adding layers to an otherwise poorly written character. The same goes for Emraan Hashmi and Rajkumar Rao. Emraan, in particular, shows amazing restraint. But lays his soul bare wherever required.

The whole romanticism of it all

Flowers being used as metaphors for a¬†woman is nothing new. But I enjoyed the way it was done in this movie. It does get over-the-top in some places, but it serves an important thread. Aarav first sees Vasudha when she’s setting a bouquet of Arum Lily flowers. From then on, he has a new found meaning for those flowers. He sees her in them, and gets comforted at their sight.¬†But how the same flowers also cost him his life has to be seen on screen.

So, there you go. I feel very ambivalent about this movie. It had so much potential and it’s baffling how someone can get something so wrong sometimes. Were the dialogues really written in the 80’s? And no one bothered to modernize them?

All I can say that is that this wasn’t a boring film. Never once did the proceedings drag, never once did I restlessly check the watch. This is an intriguing movie that got mired in the method¬†of making. It’s one of those ‘if only’ movies.

Other things that stood out in the film:

1) Apoorva! This guy rocks. He gets the best lines in the movie and left the audience in splits. Just notice the way he stares at Aarav. This guy genuinely cared about his friend, and was his reality check most of the times. He also says something to Aarav¬†that I completely agree with, “I don’t get you, man. I don’t get you.”¬†

2) Vasudha’s mangalsutra, and her mannerism of stroking it whenever she fees lost. Or impure.

3) This dialogue. Aarav shows Vasudha a beautiful Japanese garden and asks her why it doesn’t feel complete. She replies back – “This garden is missing fallen leaves and dried up flowers. Because anything that’s too perfect doesn’t feel real. It’s the imperfections that add character to anything.” ¬†Well said.

4) Amala Akkineni’s appearance was a surprise! She plays Aarav’s mom and makes a good job of it too.

Avengers has been watched. Fun was had. :D

Avengers-Age-Of-Ultron-Poster\

The fact that Avengers: Age of Ultron had been my most awaited movie for 2015 is¬†an understatement! I mean, come on, it’s the AVENGERS! You cannot bring¬†the best superheroes of all¬†time together¬†and have a bad movie at your hands.¬†They’re¬†pure awesome sauce on screen. And I’m back in Hyderabad this weekend, so got to catch the movie in IMAX too! It was marvelous!! (See what I did there ūüėõ )

Would I call it better than the first movie? Probably not. The first one had a sense of delight all along, and it had a very intriguing antagonist as well in Loki. This one is s bit grim, the villain¬†being plain one-dimensional, and you don’t really feel the same emotional connect over the resolution to the conflict. But hey, it doesn’t matter! You don’t go to an Avengers movie to¬†worry about the¬†Villan. ūüôā

In that regard, the movie scores well as our primary heroes are a delight to watch here again. And the best thing is that each of them gets their due this time, no one feels highlighted or sidelined. Even Hawkeye, who’s secret will warm your hearts instantly. And of course, there are a lot of witty dialogues sprinkled throughout that keep things light-hearted even during¬†moments of distress. Most of these are relegated to Tony Stark, and he rocks as usual!

What’s also interesting is the range of themes the movie touches upon. It talks of loss, of familial bonds, of love, of companionship, and most importantly of ‘togetherness’. Of what can be achieved when you have people with you. So yes, this movie is not just about action and kicking the bad guy’s ass, the¬†emotions it brings forth will resonate with you even after you’ve the cinema.¬†I can’t help¬†but adore Marvel for not turning these movies into mindless action cesspools.

And you might have thought you’ve seen all variations of the “cataclysmic” Hollywood climax battles, but wait till you watch this one! It’s epicness of a different level altogether! *claps*

Of course you’ll watch this movie whether I tell you or not, but in case you’re still in splits – just go already! You don’t want to miss this action on the big screen.

To put you in the right mood, here’s the¬†electrifying Avengers Theme. A true masterpiece of a score, especially from 1:04.