Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Special –A tale of two sisters (A South Korean Psychological)

The horror genre in Asia has traditionally been dominated by the so-called J-horror - the Japanese horror phenomenon that sees a lot of young girls in pajamas with dark, raggedy hair hanging in their lethal faces. But as Korean cinema rose to regional prominence and domination over the last few years, a new, so-called K-horror has risen to challenge the Japanese authority.
A tale of two sisters is based on an old Korean folk tale, the story is about two sisters, the quiet Su-yeon(in a dramatically commanding performance) and her protective older sister Su-mi. The teenagers have just returned home after treatment at a mental health clinic. The cause of their stay isn’t immediately clear, but attention quickly shifts to their less-than-ideal home life. The girls live in a stately and secluded home in the country with their father and stepmother. Their stepmother, who Su-mi refers to as “that woman,” has a penchant for cruelty and immediately begins to torture Su-yeon. Su-mi is outraged both by this and her father’s cold and distant behavior. Sounds pretty typical for the Asian horror genre, but as soon as the movie looks like it’s shaping up to be your standard haunted-house fare, it gives you a new twist.

The stepmother’s behavior becomes increasingly bizarre, and the decor of the house seems to change randomly. But what is really suspicious is the obliviousness of the father to these strange occurrences. Is the house truly haunted, or is someone in the family slowly losing their mind?
When the lines between fantasy and reality get completely erased it becomes impossible to stop watching this movie. What is wrong with this family? What dark secret are they hiding? There comes a point in the movie where you will have no idea what is going on, but rest assured that most of the mystery will be explained in the end.

Other than the great acting by the cast, i was really blown away by the cinematography of the movie, it's beautiful, filled with the contrasting spring colors of the fields and the dark reds used to decorate the house. The shifting hues and shadows within the home really give it a life of its own and do much to elevate the dark mood. This movie will really elevate your halloween mood 0_0
Watch it for the sheer brilliance of the performance and story-line, I am sure you won't be disappointed.
Do let us know whether you liked it or not,
Happy watching

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lagaan: Once Upon a TIme in India!

An Indian modern classic "Lagaan", Nominated as Best Foreign Language Film at Oscars 2002, shows India during the Victorian Age, taking us back to 1893. The movie centers on the village of Champaner, which is controlled by a cantonment of British soldiers and their mustache-twirling Captain, Andrew Russell (Paul Blackthorne). Every year the villagers are required to pay a lagaan, or land tax (a form of taxation that the villagers have to pay to their Kings, who in turn pays the British for protection against invading forces and rivals from other Kings); this year there has been no rain and little crop yield. Young, rebellious Bhuvan (Aamir Khan, who also produced the film) takes a wager proposed by Russell: if, in three months' time, the villagers defeat the soldiers in a game of cricket, they will be excused from the tax for three years. On the other hand, if they fail, they must pay three times the normal tax and so, probably starve. The movie revolves around how Bhuvan convinces the villagers and creates a team of 11 to play against the team of Andrew Russell. Russell's kind-hearted sister Elizabeth (Rachel Shelley) opts to secretly help the Champaner team with teaching them the game, and even hopes to play the field between the two sides.

The middle of the film focuses on two plot strands - the local team's haphazard preparation for the match aided by Russell's sympathetic sister Elizabeth, and the romantic triangle that develops between Bhuvan, Elizabeth and Gauri(Gracy Singh), the local girl smitten since childhood with Bhuvan.

Director Ashutosh Gowariker captures the beauty and simplicity of rural life in India at the turn of the century. The vast landscapes and majestic palaces make for enchanting settings to tell the story. As a musical, the film also captivates with well choreographed dances.

Fair warning--this is Bollywood cinema, so there are certain things you can expect up front. First: the film is long. Second: there will be a good amount of singing. Yes, there are a number of songs involved, but they're not bad. In fact, Bollywood musical or not, this is a decent flick. The music by A.R. Rahman, of Slumdog Millionaire fame, takes the movie up a notch.

A very enjoyable and entertaining flick.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi .

Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi .

This is one of the best Israeli movies i have seen(the other good Israeli movie which i liked was Summer of Aviya). This is one of those low-key gems that will bring a smile to your face and warm up your heart with very little effort.
This is a movie about a teenage boy Shlomi(Oshri Cohen), who lives with his family who are nothing but a bunch of jerks. His mother is an iron fisted lady and likes to shout at everybody and anybody and harbors resentment against her husband who slept with her closest friend. He keeps coming back trying to reconcile. His soldier brother is as bratty as can be, his ill grandfather keeps hallucinating about World War II, and then there is Shlomi's sister with her own problems with her husband, so she continually comes over, bringing her twins. He spends his days trying to solve problems of his dysfunctional family or cooking. He loves cooking and is a fabulous cook, everybody loves his food, especially his cakes.
Things begin to look better when a beautiful girl moves next door and expresses interest in him. Soon, Shlomi is forced to choose between the way things have always been and the way they could be. What will he do? Find out yourself.
The Film is not a groundbreaking one but it is competent and entertaining enough to be a pleasant 90 minutes spent on some weekend evening.
Enjoy this weekend with popcorn and this movie and don't forget to tell us about it.
P.S: the movie is in hebrew with english subtitles.