Posted in Black Comedy, Crime, Dark Comedy, Drama, Fiction, Korean, Psychological, Romantic, Thriller

Parasite – Full of surprises!

There have been so many adaptations of Korean movies in Bollywood. Most of them have flopped. Every director’s perception is different. That’s why only few of the adaptations turn out to be hits.

I was clueless that, one day, after so many years of film reviewing, I’d be writing about a Korean movie. Upon a friend’s recommendation and reading about the numerous nominations earned by this stupendous film, I am really honored to be writing about it. It has thrill, drama, romance and is topped with dark comedy. It also gives you some fantastic and satirical dialogue to look forward to.

After witnessing so many films and presenting my views for over 200 films, there have been only a few which have honestly impressed me. Parasite is one of them. Direction (by Bong Joon-ho) and cinematography (by Hong Kyungpo) are world class. The story, initially, would make you feel like this is going to be a waste of time. Wait for it. Trust me.

At the end of the film, I was literally sitting with a hand over my forehead, wondering, what have I just watched. Moreover, I was a little worried as to how I would understand a Korean film with only the subtitles and it would be really difficult for me to read the lines and watch the film simultaneously. Thankfully my friend solaced me to not worry and the fact that the tale would turn out to be gripping and vivid enough for me to not depend on the subtitles.

This is the first film of the decade, which has blown me away. I am surprised it came so soon. The fact that these kind of films hit the theater boost me and embolden me to critique movies. Screenplay (by Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won), takes a tad bit to start blowing your mind. But when it does, it elevates from 12 feet to 12000 feet within a matter of seconds.

Actors & actresses, Song Kang-ho (as Kim Kitaek) – worthy of being the director’s favorite, Chang Hyaejin (as Chung-sook), Choi Woo-shik (as Kim Ki-woo), Park So-dam (as Kim Kijeong) – pretty and wicked, Lee Sung-kyun (as Park Dong-ik) – handsome acting, Cho Yeojeong (as Yeonjyo) – queen of drama, Jeong ji-so (as Park Dahye) – her character reminded me of the Hentai cartoon, Jung Hyeon-jun (as Park Da-song), Lee Jung-eun (as Gook Moon-gwang) – beautiful expressions and performance, and Park Myunghoon (as Geunsae) – exquisite and detailed, along with the apt background score (by Jung Jaeil) make Parasite reach to the next level.

Bong’s portrayal of every character’s emotions and the consequence post those emotions is adroitly shown. Motion pictures like these keep my belief in cinema alive. This is my 2020’s first recommend. Catch it before it leaves the theaters.

4.5/5

Posted in Crime, Drama, Fiction, Hollywood, Mystery, Psychological, Suspense, Thriller

Joker – Fly Phoenix, fly!

First off, comparisons cannot be made as to how Heath Ledger portrayed Joker’s character with Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal. Both are equally worthy of every praise they have received.

With the fanatic twists and turns, great suspense elements and a fine performance, Joker makes sure you are tied to your seat in one pose for the entire 122 minutes. Todd Phillips (co-writer and director) is known for more films categorizing under the comedy section. It was quite surprising to see that he could flip completely around and create a psychological thriller so proficiently that it could drive the audience crazy.

There ought to be a different paragraph when I am writing about Joaquin Phoenix. The film excels with his presence. His expressions, dialogue delivery make the film reach to the level of magnificence. He is the heartbeat to it. Believe you me, it is an Oscar-winning performance.

Everything from direction to individual performances has been no less than brilliant. This includes the mind blowing cinematography (by Lawrence Sher). Phillips and Scott Silver (co-writer) have clearly outdone themselves. Another thing which caught my attention was the outstanding background score (by Hildur Guðnadóttir), which was so befitting for the time the flick is shown from, 1981.

No, it is not as scary as people are claiming it to be. Phillips has beautifully depicted how Arthur Fleck turns into Joker and what makes him turn into a complete nuisance. How it all starts. Lastly, Robert De Niro (as Murray Franklin), Zazie Beats (as Sofie Domund) and Frances Conroy (as Penny Fleck) fortified Phoenix well.

4.5/5

Posted in Bollywood, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Psychological, Reality Check, Suspense

Section 375 – The intriguing courtroom drama.

Akshaye Khanna had faced more downfall than success in his 22 years of service in the Bollywood industry. It indeed was his poor choice of films. Sometimes he did great films in consecution to his previous good film and sometimes it took him two years to do a film which would emerge as a success at box office or in terms of the plot (critically acclaimed films).

Ever since he was back in the business in 2016, after a four-year break, he has been even more powerful an actor, whether he played a negative or a positive role. I have always favored him since his initial films, Border (1997) and Taal (1999) because of his habit of capturing the audience’s attention, every single time, with his serious skill in playing a character. The plot in this one determines, very strongly, how some of the laws of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) are being ridiculously misused to favor the accuser, just as an act of revenge or in order to punish the accused, even more strongly.

Section 375 is one of the most enthralling flicks I have seen in this year. Not only Khanna (as criminal lawyer Tarun Saluja), but Richa Chadha (as public prosecutor Hiral Gandhi), Meera Chopra (as Anjali Dangle), Sriswara (as Kainaaz) and veterans like Kruttika Desai (as Female Judge) and Kishore Kadam (Male Judge) gave noteworthy performances. It was surprising to see Rahul Bhat (as film director Rohan Khurrana) in a more evident role after Abhishek Kapoor‘s Fitoor (2016). Furthermore, there was no music required in a courtroom drama and hence there is none.

With films like Humraaz (2002), Hungama (2003), Deewaar (2004), Hulchul (2004), 36 Chinatown (2006) and Race (2008), he wasn’t given his due even after some stories being good and some great. Why I speak about him extendedly in this article is because, without a doubt, this flick is Akshaye Khanna‘s best performance of his, a-little-more-than two decade old career.

I am really glad that people like Manish Gupta (screenplay) and Ajay Bahl (director) are bringing stories based on the laws of Indian Penal Code to the Hindi cinema. It gives you a brilliant dialogue with a greater command in the English language rather than the regular Hindi. Do watch this one before it runs out of the theaters. After all, it is a small-budget motion picture.

4/5