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Watchmen March 14, 2009

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.
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2 comments

I was left with mixed feelings after watching this film. The Watchmen universe is intriguing. I haven’t read the graphic novel but I could sense that there was a lot that was left out of the film, especially the back stories of the characters that seemed to be very interesting. I wasn’t bored as I know some will be in the 166 minute film. I particularly enjoyed the visuals but I can’t say I that I fell in love with the film. It worked fine as a sort of a mystery film set in an alternate world but I am not going to recollect this film with fondness. I think I am getting ahead of myself. Lets backup a little.

Watchmen is considered by many as the greatest graphic novel (12 issues) ever and was also one of the Top 100 novels listed by Time (the only graphic novel to be on the list). Many thought that it was probably never going to be filmed due to the difficulty of bringing this rich and deep world to the screen in limited time (without considering the legal troubles it had to eventually face) but director Zack Snyder (300) and his team persevered and did what many famous directors before him could not. If you’ve got wind of the hype, you’ve probably heard all this and were just as excited as me to watch this.

Snyder and his team have certainly not failed. The film is well directed, carefully detailed and provides a superior visual experience. The cinematography and visual effects are assets and Snyder makes interesting use of the soundtrack. But the film is really about the characters, their conflicting moralities and crazy lives. This is the most interesting aspect of the film and it is the one thing could make me read the graphic novel but it is also the one thing that gets sacrificed due to the limits on screen time (yeah, 166 minutes ain’t enough).

However, the film isn’t very successful here. The characters that really play well in the film are Rorschach (played by Jackie Earle Haley) and The Comedian (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the actors playing them are the only ones that impress. In the Watchmen universe, Dr Manhattan (played by Billy Crudup) is the most important character and he says a lot of things that we probably need to think about but as a viewer, my mind was mostly focused on trying to understand everything rather than thinking. This character didn’t really work for me in the film. Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre II and Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl II are also somewhat bland though they get considerable screen time.

This film isn’t for everyone. Those who wander into theaters thinking of this one as a superhero movie with lot of action will be disappointed. A long and serious look at life through the subtext in a fantasy crime mystery might just not be the thing that you were looking for. Whether this film is about hope or the depths to which we need to plumb to get it is not clear enough to me. As a film, Watchmen wasn’t particularly absorbing. This convoluted tale of twisted crime fighters might not be for those who haven’t read the graphic novel.

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Sunday February 25, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.
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5 comments

I haven’t seen Chandrasekhar Yeleti’s Anukokunda Oka Roju – the film on which Sunday is based. But after watching the latter I can rightly take a guess that those who have seen both would no doubt have few good things to say about this one.

It’s supposed be about this lady (Ayesha Takia) who keeps forgetting stuff but trouble starts when certain people she doesn’t seem to recognize are after her. It turns out to be that all those are connected to a series of incidents which happened the previous sunday. Sounds interesting enough but when you actually watch the movie it rather turns out to be a bunch of gags (which thankfully work most of the time) strung together by a lame mystery plot.

Director Rohit Shetty treads the same path as in in previous film Golmaal. He is effective in handling some funny sequences but that’s about it. The guys who make the most impact here are Arshad Warsi and Irrfan Khan who complement each other extremely well and manage to bring a smile to your face even with mundane gags. It would be quite interesting to see them together again in the upcoming Krazzy 4. Vrijesh Heerji and Mukesh Tiwary are also quite hillarious at times. Ajay Devgan who generally has trouble doing comedy somehow manages to get his act right in Rohit Shetty’s films. Ayesha Takia is given another role (though a lengthy one) which doesn’t do full justice to her talent. Also, there are five songs composed by five music directors which aren’t great except “Pyaar Ko Ho Jaane Do”. The action sequences seems extremely out of place.

Apart from the comedy the only other thing I liked is the way the architectural beauty of Delhi is captured on film. Rohit Shetty’s Sunday ultimately manages to be a watchable flick purely for the laughs but only for those who haven’t seen the original.