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The Climax Cop-Outs March 8, 2010

Posted by Shujath in Articles, Films, Movies, Reviews, Tamil, Telugu.
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First of all, it is so hard to come across genuinely good Telugu flicks – and when I thought I did; in comes a terrible feel-good climax to ruin what made me actually feel good about the whole movie. My grouse is mostly directed against Leader and to a small extent – Ye Maya Chesave. There aren’t any spoilers here so continue reading even if you haven’t seen any of the films.

To begin with Leader – I must say it was a really engaging political thriller but most importantly it was bang on when it came to highlighting the moral dilemma of being a good politician. There was point where the movie should have ended but Sekhar Kammula gives you a cringing idealistic conclusion which pretty much undermines the entire film. I thought the feeling of “being cheated” in the end could only be delivered by Hollywood psychological thrillers but now I have to extend that list. Go watch it and you’ll know what I am saying. In any case Rana delivers hands down the best performance by a debutante ever.

Coming to Ye Maya Chesave – honestly I wasn’t really complaining about how it should have ended. I just felt it was just a wee bit inconsistent (and somewhat feel-good) with what went before but nevertheless it was a still a sensible conclusion. Then a couple of days later I happened to read that Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya (the original Tamil version) ends differently. I then checked out the last 15 minutes of that film and was extremely pleased to find that it was exactly how I expected/wanted the film to end. I was also equally sad that Gautham Menon didn’t (or couldn’t) end the Telugu version in the same way. How can one blame him since he was forced to include a “happy” climax when he remade Kaakha Kaakha in Telugu a few years back.

I keep reading and hearing about how Telugu audiences do not like sad (or rather un-triumphant) endings and to have one clearly spells disaster. It is impossible to prove or disprove a proposition like that. But I am hard pressed to come up with at least one instance where an otherwise excellent film was rejected by the audience just because of an unhappy end. I’d be glad if anyone could point me to a few.

All said and done, don’t miss Ye Maya Chesave – as far as love stories are concerned this is as good as it gets. Naga Chaitanya fits in very well but I can’t imagine him as a “regular” hero for at least a couple of years. The one walk away with the accolades is Samantha (wonderfully voiced by Chinmayi). And then there is also A.R Rahman’s splendid score which complements the movie so well.

Movie Roundup: 18/12/2009 December 18, 2009

Posted by Shujath in Articles, English, Movies, Reviews.
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1) True Crime (1999)
Director: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Isaiah Washington

Definitely among Eastwood’s lesser works, this one’s just an above average drama-thriller about a reporter trying to save a death row inmate from execution. Works mostly for Eastwood’s presence – can be easily skipped otherwise.

2) Below (2002)
Director: David Twohy
Cast: Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Davis, Olivia Williams

A really well made horror flick about a crew trapped in a submarine under water and – creepy stuff whose explanations seem to lie in secrets held by certain members of the crew. BTW, this flick was written and produced by Darren Aronofsky. It featured in some year-end list of the best sci-fi films of the decade and that’s why I checked it out in the first place.

3) Lorenzo’s Oil (1992)
Directed By: George Miller
Cast: Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon, Peter Ustinov

I really have mixed feelings about this one. If it weren’t “based on a true story” this would have been in my list of most emotionally manipulative movies ever. Lorenzo’s Oil traces the story of the Odones who perseverance against all odds to find a cure for their son Lorenzo’s debilitating ALD syndrome. It is incredible what they ultimately achieve but portraying it as an overly triumphant battle against an unjust and uncaring world seems too contrived. I honestly felt that a few of the alternative viewpoints presented by other characters to the Odones were quite apt given their circumstances. On the whole it’s a really engaging watch and you do get to learn a thing or two about biochemistry. This film came out in 1992 just a few years after the original set of events transpired. Once you watch this I am sure you’d want to know what ultimately happened to Lorenzo in real life.