Angel of Mine

Vampire Owl: Which type of mine are they talking about?

Vampire Bat: I don’t think that the usage is like that here.

Vampire Owl: I can think of a copper mine, gold mine or coal mine.

Vampire Bat: This is not a movie about that kind of a mine.

Vampire Owl: Okay, you are talking about a highly explosive land mine.

Vampire Bat: It is the thing which is used to refer to a something belonging to speaker, and will be related to nothing else.

Vampire Owl: It is disappointing. I was reading about the Romans using caltrops which were like land mines without explosions.

Vampire Bat: This movie surely has an angel belonging to the speaker, who is a mother, or rather mothers.

Vampire Owl: So, it is a daughter that they need.

Vampire Bat: Exactly, for it is about mothers and daughters.

[Gets a guava cake and three cups of white tea].

What is the movie about? :: Lizzie (Noomi Rapace) and Mike (Luke Evans) used to be husband and wife, but now they are looking for divorce, after having a strained relationship for years after the death of her second child a few days after birth, in a fire happening at the hospital. They are also fighting for the custody of their son Thomas (Finn Little) which has him disgusted, especially at the attitude of his mother, who hasn’t been the same after the death of his little sister. Lizzie who is working at a beauty parlour is not happy at what has happened, but doesn’t do anything to change things around, not socializing with people much, and trying to evade even people close to her. But as one day, when she goes to the birthday party of her son’s friend Jeremy (Indi Serafin), thinks change, as she feels that a girl Lola (Annika Whiteley) whom she sees there, is her daughter whom she thought, had died in the fire at the hospital.

So, what happens with the events here? :: Lizzie cannot sleep or concentrate in her work, because she feels that she cannot be wrong in this, and that Lola is really her daughter named Rosie. Initially, she doesn’t say this to anyone, and tries to get into the house where her possible lost daughter is staying, becoming friends with Claire (Yvonne Strahovski) who is planning move into another city, thus leaving her home open for sale. Lizzie poses as a buyer, and also makes use of his son’s friendship with the boy there. Claire’s husband Bernard (Richard Roxburgh) also hopes that she buys the house as soon as possible, and this allows Lizzie to be closer to Lola. Even though she seems to keep a distance in the beginning, can she keep herself away as the family is moving to their new home soon? Will Claire also know about this, and how will she react to Lizzie’s guess work? Is Lizzie out of her mind, as she once used to be?

The defence of Angel of Mine :: There is something about Angel of Mine which will keep you want to know what happens next. It is not just the need to know the truth about the death of a child and also on the life of one, but also about how Noomi Rapace and Yvonne Strahovski are going to handle this, and how their characters will go through this, as this is very much performance-oriented. The former has another huge performance of her career, and the latter follows really well. There are those twists which are more dramatic rather than thrilling here. The final moments are nice, and there is a fine emotional touch running through the whole movie – there is nothing that touches one’s feelings more than a mother’s love, other than the emotions of a mother who has lost her child. Here, we have the mother who has also lost her husband and is almost losing her other child, and has no social life at all – it is where emotions run high.

The claws of flaw :: The movie remains slow throughout its run-time, and there is nothing in there to make rise above that lack pace. The struggle to accelerate can be seen on many occasions, but it can’t escape the drag which it possesses from the time when this was supposed to be interesting – it could have been even one big thriller after that moment of feeling, but after that it doesn’t use those wings to fly, but stays grounded. Making this movie fast-paced was the first step towards getting more people to watch the whole thing without looking at somewhere else, because it is that kind of a topic, with some of the best acting performance lead by Noomi Rapace. The movie should have also added something in there as a clue, and this could have been more like an investigative thriller with the mother searching for her daughter who was supposed to be dead, but this movie never rises to that level, which sadly seems to be intentional.

Performers of the soul :: Noomi Rapace might be one of the most versatile actresses we have ever seen, first noticed with the Swedish movie adaptations of the Millennium series by Steig Larsson – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. For the common Hollywood audience, she is known to have played Madame Simza Heron in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Dr. Elizabeth Shaw in Prometheus, the latter being one of the most solid performances in any alien movie, making us disappointed not to have her in the sequel Alien: Covenant. The Secrets We Keep and The Price are two more thrillers which are to come from here. While she is indeed brilliant here, we also have something of similar class from Yvonne Strahovski, the lady we know from I, Frankenstein among the demons. Luke Evans, the DraculaHobbitFuriousNOL star is just there for namesake and nothing more.

How it finishes :: A remake of the 2008 French film titled Mark of an Angel, this version has also managed to have almost the same number of positive opinions from the critics, as the new version is supposed to have stayed close to original as much as possible. With Noomi Rapace around, one has to believe that the English version has to be stronger, as she has the habit of making everything better than they are supposed to be, as even the already wonderful Alien: Covenant was lifted to another level with her at centre of everything. Angel of Mine is the kind of movie which begins very slow, and keeps everything going without accelerating at any moment, with a realistic ending, keeping it close to life throughout its run. This is the kind of movie which is the best for the lovers of drama, and from a distance, it is also a partial, slow thriller. You can watch Angel of Mine and see how things work without pretensions.

Release date: 30th August 2019
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Kim Farrant
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Yvonne Strahovski, Luke Evans, Richard Roxburgh, Rebecca Bower, Annika Whiteley, Finn Little, Emily Gruhl, Rob Collins, Indi Serafin, Tracy Mann, Richard Roxburgh, Mirko Grillini

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Kidnapping Stella

Vampire Owl: So, these people have made a movie about just one kidnapping?

Vampire Bat: You are saying that one won’t be enough?

Vampire Owl: No, I am saying that it can be like a vampire movie made out of one blood-sucking event, which won’t be enough.

Vampire Bat: It is a remake of the 2009 British thriller movie, The Disappearance of Alice Creed.

Vampire Owl: Okay, the one starring Gemma Arterton, the lady vampire from Byzantium.

Vampire Bat: The whole vampire team is indebted to her for the work in that movie.

Vampire Owl: It is my second favourite vampire movie after Interview with the Vampire.

Vampire Bat: If you add Let Me In, it could go to the third spot.

Vampire Owl: Do you realize that you haven’t reviewed a full-length German movie yet?

Vampire Bat: Yes, but there has been a short-film which left enough for us to think about.

[Gets an vancho cake and three cups of black tea].

What is the movie about? :: There is some big preparation going on with the two former convicts named Vic (Clemens Schick) and Tom (Max von der Groeben) getting something ready inside a building, just before they get prepared to commit some crime. Stella (Jella Haase), the only child of a wealthy businessman is their target, as they hope to become rich with the money of her father. This act and the resulting ransom is supposed to make sure that they won’t have to go to work for a long time. For this, they come up with some very careful planning, and leave no chance for them to escape, as they undress her and keeps her in a red tracksuit, blindfold her, tie her to a bed, and keeps her in a soundproof room, with no chance for her to even move more than al ittle. To conceal their identities, the two also wear masks while talking to her. There is a certain amount of risk involved with her knowing their identities, because she is pregnant with Tom’s child, as they were in love some time ago.

So, what happens with the events here? :: Stella tries hard to escape from her bondage, but there is no positive result for those attempts, as far as she is concerned. Tom does have a soft corner for her as he comes to know that she is pregnant only at a later moment when they threaten to cut off one of her fingers in front of the camera, while making a video which is to be shown to her father so that he would finally agree to give the ransom money to them. But the problem here is that during one of those vulnerable moments, she finds out that one of the kidnappers is Tom, and almost manages to overpower him to get hold of the gun. But Tom handles that situation as well as a few others which follow. Soon, Vic starts to have some doubts about Tom and Stella, as he is no longer the person whom he met in the prison – he is not sure if Tom can be trusted either. Now, it is to be seen how the two manage to keep the situation going. Can they get the money, or will the girl end up being dead? What will be the priority for Tom now, as he knows that she is pregnant with his child?

The defence of Kidnapping Stella :: You will notice that Kidnapping Stella, just like The Disappearance of Alice Creed and its earlier remake Reckless, doesn’t waste its time in getting into action. There are a few minutes when nobody talks about anything, and then we are quickly into the action when the girl is kidnapped and tied up without any chance to escape even from the bed where she is tied up. We do not have any subplot to take the focus away from the main thing, and even though there is a possibility of some flashback, we never really go towards it. You do have some twists, even though not used to the full effectiveness. A kidnapping scenario is also shown without any pretensions, and without showing it as someone who is locked in a random room giving them an easy journey throughout the abduction. The kidnapping programme is quite a solid one, and even though becoming only the third version of the same tale, you have to appreciate them doing this situation well enough here along with maintaining the thrills.

The claws of flaw :: If you have watched The Disappearance of Alice Creed or its Dutch remake, there is nothing much that you can find here to keep you interested, because you have seen all these in more critically appreciated movies, and the performers who have gained better applause not just in one film, but also many others. This movie also doesn’t seem to have gathered that much of an attention or appreciation as those movies which released much earlier. This one is also quite slow at parts, and for a movie which doesn’t have that much of a run-time, it is definitely a strange thing, no matter how you look at it. The movie could have used some more intense moments to make things feel better. As most of the movie is set within a small area, there was scope to bring more. When you have a film with kidnap as the main thing or rather the only thing, you would expect that something else would be there to be taken. There is always the chance for improvement as far as remakes are concerned, but we doubt if that chance was even thought about here.

Performers of the soul :: One cannot deny the fact that this movie misses someone like Gemma Arterton who has been one class actress in different roles, the best of them that we remember being Byzantium, the highly underrated and under-watched vampire movie coming from the director of the highly appreciated Interview with the Vampire. We can only guess that it would have been a fantastic performance. Jella Haase is pretty much okay as the kidnapped girl, but she doesn’t seem to raise that bar that much. The two kidnappers are actually very good though, and Clemens Schick as Vic, the tougher one comes up with a work that will make us attached to the situation here. Max von der Groeben as Tom, the guy who is caught between two sides also have our attention – he wants to do more than one thing, as there is the need to save his former lover and their unborn baby along with getting all that money from her father. There is no other character here, and these three makes the performers list fully.

How it finishes :: The movie originates from The Disappearance of Alice Creed, a 2009 British movie, which also had another remake in the form a Dutch movie named Reckless. From the reviews which we have read about this version here might be the film with the lowest rating, while the other two movies seem to be quite ahead. But for most of us who haven’t watched those two movies because we never really had much of an experience with Dutch movies and as the British movie was released a long time ago, Kidnapping Stella is going to be an interesting experience. There are enough thrills around there, and it surely feels more than the usual hostage movie. Matching The Disappearance of Alice Creed was always going to be a tough task, as it had Gemma Arterton who has been in all kinds of movies with all the glory, a performer who is difficult to match. You are free to watch all the three versions in different European languages and decide the best for yourself if you feel the need to disagree. Otherwise, you can just enjoy this newer version.

Release date: 12th July 2019
Running time: 89 minutes
Directed by: Thomas Sieben
Starring: Clemens Schick, Jella Haase, Max von der Groeben

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Aladdin

What is the movie about? :: Aladdin (Mena Massoud) is a young man living in the streets of Agrabah with his pet monkey, with no parents and no idea about family. He is considered as a petty thief living in the streets, stealing one thing or the other to keep going, and his monkey is not far behind in the same skill. In the streets, he meet Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) who has dressed up as a commoner and is wandering in the streets. After giving some bread to a few starving children without paying for the same, they are chased by the soldiers, and she leaves him with the idea that he is just a thief, as he fails to return her bracelet which his monkey had taken. But Aladdin decides to get it back to the lady whom he misunderstands as the princess’ handmaiden Dalia (Nasim Pedrad). At a time when she is bothered by suitors from different nations like Prince Anders (Billy Magnussen), Aladdin sneaks into the palace.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: His skills are noticed by the Grand Vizier Jafar (Marwan Kenzari), the chief advisor to The Sultan (Navid Negahban). Even though he is the second most powerful person in the kingdom, he wants more, and for the same, he needs a magic lamp hidden within the Cave of Wonders. It is a near impossible task, and as Aladdin enters the palace unnoticed, he decides to use the skills of the young man to get the lamp from the cave which has been unkind to those who tried to take the lamp earlier. In return for the same, he offers the youth from the street infinite riches and even the attention of the princess. But as Aladdin gets into the cave, he realizes that it is no ordinary cave, and the lamp is not the usual one – it has the Genie (Will Smith) who is ready with three wishes. But will that be enough to marry the beautiful princess?

And what more is to happen? :: Genie hopes that the last wish of Aladdin would be about setting him free. Jafar hopes that he could get his hands on the magic lamp at some point. Jasmine hopes that it is not just her curves that is loved by her suitors, but also her ideas, with a desire to become the ruler of her kingdom one day. Aladdin would go back to the palace by the name Prince Ali, and hope to gain the attention of the princess and win her hand. But it turns out that Jasmine is not at all interested in the newly arrived prince despite him displaying all the wealth that Genie had brought. Despite Jasmine’s lack of interest, there would be Jaffar’s interest, as his evil plans continue. With his desire to become the most powerful man in the kingdom as well as the known world, what could stop him? Will there be a better fate in store for the kingdom?

The defence of Aladdin :: The memories of childhood comes back with Aladdin, as we remember those days of watching a lot of cartoon and that music which goes by the lines, Arabian Nights. Nostalgia surely becomes a grand factor here, and not just Princess Jasmine, but also her handmaiden remains adorable. Even though there is nothing spectacular about the fight scenes, the visual beauty can be seen there as well as with the city itself. The whole place is nicely built, and the magical elements add to the visuals well. There are some nice fun sequences around here, and Will Smith plays the big part in the same. These keep the fun element going. Coming from the man who brought Sherlock Holmes and its sequel, along with The Man from UNCLE, one could surely guess a few things about this one, and raise the level of expectations.

The claws of flaw :: The problem here is that there is the feeling of not being able to make this one better than what we had seen in the past, even though the ideas as well as technology did improve a lot. A visual extravaganza in the desert could have meant more. The Arabian Nights song version here is not that interesting as the original one, and often the Genie fails to rise as the character and becomes more of the actor that plays the same – Will Smith. At the expense of making the main female character stronger, the viewers are presented with a weaker villain who never really seems like he could come up with something terrifying. The changes from the original version are not really improvements, but strange diversions that take the essence away from what we know about Aladdin – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time could actually do this better, whichever way we look at the same.

The performers of the soul :: The top performer of this movie is Naomi Scott, and she goes through the whole movie with charm, scoring heavily in the final moments. One can see that she plays her character to such perfection at some moments that we feel that she could do well with a sequel, further away from the original Aladdin story. She is lovely to watch on the screen from the beginning, to the end. Mena Massoud’s titular character is memorable, and has his own moments. Will Smith brings the funny side very well, even though deviated from our idea of a genie – some are surely overdone, but he holds on really well. Marwan Kenzari as Jafar brings a weaker villain, and one has to wonder if that was intentional. Nasim Pedrad as Dalia is a fine addition of a character. The animal characters are nicely worked on too.

How it finishes :: Aladdin makes an interesting watch with family, especially with kids. It keeps going the light-hearted way, and there is no real menace to be seen, as we go through this safe trip. The movie could have actually began with its action rather than using the story within the story setting – it ruins the chance to bring a certain twist. Well, Aladdin could have been lesser like Robin Hood last year, and there were so many chances of it to miss out, but it does hold on and brings Aladdin well enough to touch our nostalgia. With Avengers: Endgame and John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum continuing to stay, this one can also accompany them, as Hollywood movies have been scoring bigger these days. Also, lets wonder what more could have been added to this particular movie.

Release date: 24th May 2019
Running time: 128 minutes
Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Will Smith, Naomi Scott, Mena Massoud, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, Billy Magnussen

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Mummy

Vampire Owl: It seems that finally the mummy has scope to be a real mummy.

Vampire Bat: What are you referring to, here?

Vampire Owl: Usually in the movies, the mummies are men, and so the mummy is usually a daddy.

Vampire Bat: And you are talking like a dummy, for which there is no need.

Vampire Owl: No, you should see the mummy lady in this one. She is cooler than most of the known mummies.

Vampire Bat: You know one mummy which is cooler. You just can’t pronounce his name.

Vampire Owl: Yes, why don’t they have simple names like Count Dracula?

Vampire Bat: Well, mummies are from very ancient Egypt, and going so long back, such names had to exist.

Vampire Owl: I am going to call them Mummy A to Mummy Z.

Vampire Bat: Yes, please do it, as long as they don’t hear the same.

[Gets the tickets with cardamom tea and special popcorn].

What is the movie about? :: In ancient Egypt, Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) is an expert in almost everything, and is undoubtedly the best warrior, and the next in line for becoming the Pharoah of the lands. The Pharaoh, Menehptre (Selva Rasalingam) also sees his successor in her, strong, courageous and one who doesn’t give up. Things are all going smooth until the Pharoah has a son with a newer, younger wife, which angers her as she realises that all her work has been for nothing, with this young child taking over the kingdom as the Pharaoh of Egypt when he grows up. Frustrated with the situation, she decides to take the throne in one way or the other. Knowing that she can’t do it by himself against the extremely powerful Pharaoh, chooses to worship Set, the god of evil, chaos and war. This particular god who had even killed his own brother Osiris helps her in return for unleashing himself on Earth – but, after killing her father, his wife and the baby boy, she is captured by the guards and mummified.

So, what happens next? :: With the princess mummified, and buried in a land far away, the curse of Set remains, as the promise to him in unleashing the god was not kept. Years later, somewhere in the present Iraq, Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his best friend Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) spend their time looking to gather what all antiques they can get from the area of the nation called Mesopotamia, which used to be the cradle of civilisation while having their own trouble with the locals as well as the terrorist organisations operating from there. It is during these times when they accidentally uncover a tomb, which seems to be Egyptian, much to the surprise of the archaeologist, Jennifer Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) who also lands there as part of her excavations. With the approval of Colonel Greenway (Courtney B. Vance), she goes into the tomb supported by Nick and Cris, ending up with a sarcophagus immersed in mercury, which they decide to take home.

And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: Their trip is rather cut short as the flight is attacked by a huge group of crows, and Cris who was bitten by a spider inside the tomb also turns undead, and Nick has to kill him. The plane ends up crashing, and Nick manages to save Jennifer by using the parachute, but he as well as the others in the airplane are assumed to be killed. But Nick ends up waking up in the mortuary, with a vision of an undead Cris, and he also has visions about the princess. He begins having more and more visions of the princess and undead, and goes to the crash site only to escape from the princess and her newly resurrected undead. It is a secret society headed by Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russel Crowe) that helps them to escape, and after chaining the princess in such a way that there is no way to get away, explains to Nick that he is the key to her finishing the curse, which why he escaped without a scratch from the plane crash. Well, evil would always find a way, and so does the princess to escape and unleash herself – can anyone stop her in time?

The defence of The Mummy :: The movie does begin strongly, and there is certainly a nice beginning to the tale, with the interesting tale of the power-hungry princess of Egypt told and also with the mummy being unearthed, followed by the plane crash – there are also some nice visuals with everything, and the visual beauty is there throughout this movie no matter where things happen. Tom Cruise does a great job as the protagonist, and Sofia Boutella is amazing as the princess of Egypt returning as the mummy – the censor board seems to have worked very well to cover most of her tattooes; maybe they are against Indian culture more than we think they are, and it is not the movie makers who decide what we can watch, it is the current Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification in India, after himself getting to watch everything because he can – we saw most of it in the trailer, seriously. Russell Crowe is sadly wasted in his role though, and so is Annabelle Wallis, both having characters going nowhere against a powerful, love-seeking mummy and an even more powerful human Cruise.

The claws of flaw :: There is a certain loss of direction regarding this movie – the same can’t be called as positive divergence, because it just goes on and on, even adding the elements of Jekyll and Hyde, and one has to wonder why it had to be done, when enough material is available from the tales of mummies; people end up wondering if they are going to add the Hulk next. It is as if the idea about making good blockbusters by reboot, is leaving Hollywood. Not sure why decided to bring the mummy from Egypt to Iraq and then to England, with not much of Egypt there in the picture – we would have preferred to see the Pyramids whenever the word mummy was associated, and not like what they did with the third of the mummy movies. It was Dracula who really had to come to England, a vampire, not a mummy. The humour is of no use, and the climax is of no strength, with weak twists, and the final sequence not interesting at all. Also, Tom Cruise’s character gets bigger than the mummy on whom the movie is really supposed to be about, and it is also a creature who can be captured with sharp weapons.

How it finishes :: The Mummy brings the tale of the undead creature from Egypt once again, and this time not exactly in the same path. This certainly won’t prove to be a match for the movie of 1999 and its sequel, The Mummy Returns. This is surely better than The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor though, and one has to wonder if this stands any chance against Wonder Woman, or even the still running Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. It will certainly not bring three sequels and four spin-offs unless there is a big improvement with a sequel. Even though not a bad movie as it has its interesting moments supported by visuals and thrills, the execution is not that much there, which should give it a disadvantage against the movies which released earlier – but with Tom Cruise around, this should do okay at the box-office. After all, it has been a long time since we saw a Mummy movie, and a female Mummy as the main villain brings more variety to the tale. But where we want Tom Cruise more is in movies like Edge of Tomorrow, Mission Impossible, Jack Reacher, Minority Report, Oblivion and many others. Underworld and Resident Evil franchises, despite being in confusion due to too many movies, could combine action and horror better.

Release date: 9th June 2017
Running time: 107 minutes
Directed by: Alex Kurtzman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari, Russell Crowe, Javier Botet, Selva Rasalingam, Dylan Smith, Rez Kempton, Chasty Ballesteros

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Force II

force2-1

Vampire Owl :: Do you know how long we have waited for a sequel here?

Vampire Bat :: Five years. Just have a look at IMDb.

Vampire Owl :: Why do we have to wait so long? Don’t we deserve the sequels much earlier?

Vampire Bat :: I agree. They tend to make it bad when releasing a movie after too much of time.

Vampire Owl :: The first movie a good one, even if it was a remake.

Vampire Bat :: Especially when we haven’t watched the original.

Vampire Owl :: And everything or rather everyone has changed in this movie.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, except for John Abraham.

Vampire Owl :: So, we are going for this right now. May the force be with us.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, in a few minutes; just count till four hundred and twenty five.

[Gets the tickets with tea and cheese popcorn].

What is it about? :: After the episode with Vishnu (Vidyut Jamwal), ACP Yashvardhan (John Abraham) lives in the memories of his dead wife, Maya (Genelia D’Souza), and gets into fight with the gangsters and criminals of the city, which goes on naturally cool for him. But when three Raw agents are killed in Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai, and one of them is his good friend, he decides to get involved in more than just fights in the streets with thugs. He finds a message from his friend, which he decodes and gives to the RAW chief Anjan (Narendra Jha) who is impressed. He is provided with the special permission to go on the mission to the place in the message, which is Budapest, the capital of Hungary, instead of one of those Chinese cities where the three agents were murdered.

So what happens next? :: The RAW officer Kamaljit Kaur a.k.a. KK (Sonakshi Sinha) also joins him in the quest, even though she is doubtful about the inclusion of a simple police officer. When they reach the city, they are welcomed by an explosion, which makes them realize that RAW agents are not even close to being safe. There is someone on the inside who knows the names of the agents undercover, and all of them, especially the seventeen agents in China are in grave danger. There are a number of people in their list of suspects, but everything points to Shiv Sharma (Tahir Raj Bhasin) in the end. But there is something about him, as he always stays one step ahead of them. They find it almost impossible to get him out of Budapest, and at the same time, another agent gets killed. This newly found enemy has something more to do than to just kill the RAW agents – what is it?

The defence of Force 2 :: The action sequences are well-planned and executed very nicely. The presence of patriotism and thrills are things of certainty here. There is quick pacing, and we are never bored, and you can see that there is the complete absence of drag throughout its run. There is not much of the songs here and it is a relief, which many other Bollywood movies should also provide us with, instead of throwing all those tunes towards us – maybe one would want the songs like the predecessor, but with our hero going on full attack, they were not to be here. The visuals of Budapest are really good, and there are so many occasions when we are lost in them and feel the need to visit Hungary, and even go further through Central and Eastern Europe on a special journey. The movie is emotionally strong too, and there is the tribute for the unsung heroes of the nation. The story has a lot with all these.

The claws of flaw :: The story is not something which we haven’t heard before – it is up to the hero to save more than just the day, with that extra dose of heroism along with the special dose of patriotism coming right through. The similarities with Hollywood situations are there, as you will notice depending on how much of those international movies you get to watch. There are also a little too much extra with the way in which the big action sequences are added – they could have been avoided, and the movie should have stuck to those which feel realistic, even when maintaining that style. There are lots of moments which remind one of a first person shooter, and it comes as kind of a pain. There are explanations which do go missing with the antagonist’s past and all, but within the movie’s scenario, things go fine, and that will satisfy your brains well enough. The comedy is not good.

Performers of the soul :: John Abraham comes up with an intense performance here, and we feel the force in his performance right from the beginning to the end. We have seen him in a similar role in a more realistic way in Madras Cafe, and here he goes more entertaining in this action-packed thriller – there is no real shortage of intensity from him here either. From the first time I had seen Force, I was sure that there was more to be done in that movie for him, and this sequel brings him the opportunity to do the same, for which he has no problem at all – we have the force right through him. Sonakshi Sinha looks nice and does mostly okay, and as expected, it is John who gets to steal the show. Tahir Raj Bhasin who is the antagonist in this thriller has managed to do a great job, and adds this performance to what he did in the much appreciated Mardaani.

How it finishes :: Force 2 is the right sequel to its predecessor, and it makes sure that we are thrilled throughout its run, and this one is a fine action thriller which is worthy enough to rule the weekends with all kinds of audience. As you can remember, the trailer was pretty much interesting, and this one stays strong to live up to the expectations. There were other choices to make this weekend, and for me, that included the Malayalam movie Kattappanayile Rithwik Roshan, and the Hollywood flick, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them – I am pretty sure that I made the right choice to watch Force 2. I am sure that people will have many reasons to go for another movie, but Force 2 is undoubtedly the right movie, because it is one entertaining package with enough application of brains.

Release date: 18th November 2016
Running time: 127 minutes
Directed by: Abhinay Deo
Starring: John Abraham, Sonakshi Sinha, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Paras Arora, Narendra Jha, Boman Irani (cameo), Genelia D’Souza (cameo)

forceii

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Te3n

te3n (2)

Vampire Owl :: Remakes and remakes – this trend is going on and on…

Vampire Bat :: This one is an official remake though, with the copyrights for the movie officially purchased from the South Korean thriller Montage, as mentioned.

Vampire Owl :: I would give extra points for that. What I really don’t like are those blind copies without telling anybody else.

Vampire Bat :: Like when you hear that Ek Villain is from I Saw the Devil and Zinda from Oldboy?

Vampire Owl :: Yes, a fair remake is the right remake.

Vampire Bat :: That makes us choose this movie other the others for the weekend.

Vampire Owl :: The fact that we are not watching The Conjuring 2 this weekend will be highly disappointing to Uncle Dracula.

Vampire Bat :: And the fact that we won’t be watching Warcraft can even trigger an Orc invasion on the Vampire Lands.

Vampire Owl :: We need to warn the rest of the team immediately! After watching the movie, of course!

Vampire Bat :: Lets go and check how well the remade thriller stands then!

[Gets the tickets with some cheese popcorn and vegetable puffs].

What is it about? :: John Biswas (Amitabh Bachchan) is an old man who visits the police station almost every day much to the dismay of Sarita Sarkar (Vidya Balan) who tells him that there is no point in doing that for a case which was investigated eight years ago. John is looking to find the kidnapper and murderer of his granddaughter who was abducted by a man who demanded twenty lakhs, but even after the money was delivered, he didn’t get the girl alive. He keeps trying to find the man who is responsible for the same, and keeps searching for clues despite his ill health, making his wheel chair ridden wife Nancy Biswas (Padmavati Rao) a lot worried. Another disheartened person is Inspector Martin Das (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who joined the seminary and has become a priest, trying to make spiritual amends for his inability to save the kidnapped little girl, Angela.

So what happens next? :: John knows that police will no longer proceed with the same case, and so he asks the help of the new priest, Father Martin Das, but he himself asks John to let go and try to attend the church services some time as one has to accept things as they are, when nothing comes out of the struggle. Martin doesn’t want to be reminded of his guilt of not doing a better job with the case, but things take a twist when another kid is abducted. The way of kidnapping this boy is the same as what happened with Angela, and he is consulted by the police for he was so close in catching the culprit last time. Despite the initial hesitation, he decides to help Sarita with the case. There are no suspects here though, just the hope that the kidnapper can be outsmarted this time, unlike what had happened with the case of Angela. Martin will have his second chance here, but is he good enough for it this time?

The defence of Te3n :: There are a number of movies which Te3n reminds you of, with its style – one of them is the Malayalam movie Memories, and another one is the earlier thriller featuring Amitabh Bachchan – Wazir. There is the deep feeling of sadness prevailing in all these movies, and there is one hurt police officer in each of these. The sadness is the first thing that gets you, with the two main characters hoping against hope, one to find the evil, and the other to keep himself from evil. The emotions are deep, even though not shown on the screen as some terrible Bollywood melodrama; the rest comes later. The intensity goes to a higher level and thrills get stronger, and the suspense is maintained till the end. With some power-packed performances and beautiful visuals, this one touches emotions and also becomes an interesting thriller. When people die, it is the living that suffers the most, and we feel that abiding sadness throughout this movie.

The claws of flaw :: The movie does take some time to get into its thrilling side, and it also doesn’t follow the usual Bollywood style – neither in drama or with its thriller side; it won’t be the movie for the usual masala fans, that is for sure. There is no super-cop here, and we have just the worried people hoping to go through this problem in front of them. The movie could have actually used its central idea with bigger twists, and even though they are there, the big shock isn’t there. Still, there could have been a better flow to the proceedings. The situation demanded things to go straight, rather than depending too much on the flashbacks which arrive at times when they were not required – the time-line of the movie surely could have used some work. A little bit of polishing here and there – maybe that was all that this movie really needed to make it rise a level up, and a certain funny side was there to be taken – but that is left untouched.

Performers of the soul :: Amitabh Bachchan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui completely steals the show there. The former plays a character that reminds us of the one he played in Wazir, helpless against the person who killed his child, but finds a way, and is also friends with a police officer who is also going through a case of depression. With his wife in a wheel chair, riding all around hopelessly on an old scooter that starts at occasions, bothering the cops and doing all his household activities by himself, the legendary actor plays a character whose sadness and never-dying hope is the first thing that we feel, and it will stir our emotions like nothing else. He makes us feel everything; for John Biswas is a simple common man looking for justice with hope. The latter goes through another path of his particular character though, as Martin Das looks to accept things by turning into spirituality. This character is strong in his hands, as he looks well-suited for both sides of Martin. Vidya Balan is left with a lesser role though.

How it finishes :: A comparison with the original can’t be made here, as I am sure that a lot of people haven’t watched the South Korean thriller. But it is surely better than the usual stuff that Bollywood has provided in the name of entertainment, which is why people who don’t feel the need to use the brains here, are to be warned from watching this particular flick. The idea is already proved working with an original work which seems to have had a nice reception. The one doubt that people had to have was about how the adaptation would work in an Indian scenario, and I am pretty sure that this has been remade well enough – I don’t doubt the fact that it could have been even better, still this is what we require, and not that mass masala entertainers. When we watch and support movies like this one, that becomes the inspiration for better thrillers to be made, maybe even original ones!

Release date: 10th June 2016
Running time: 136 minutes
Directed by: Ribhu Dasgupta
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vidya Balan, Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Padmavati Rao

te3n

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Fantastic Four

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Vampire Owl :: I will miss Chris Evans and Jessica Alba while watching this new version.

Vampire Bat :: Chris Evans is Captain America. You won’t miss him. If he returns as the Human Torch, you will miss the Captain a lot more and might even make the decision to skip Marvel forever.

Vampire Owl :: I will just miss Jessica Alba then.

Vampire Bat :: Well, it is fair, because I miss her too.

[Gets the tickets and cheese popcorn].

✠ This review was recently posted by me at Kiagia.com: http://kiagia.com/index.php/current-film-releases-movie/986-fantastic-four-movie-review.html

Having the history of an unreleased film in 1994 and adding another reboot and a sequel in 2005 and 2007 which had not much critical appreciation, Fantastic Four doesn’t really have history going in its favour. At least, the two movies could come up strong at the box-office. But one has to feel very strange about this new movie which currently has neither the support of the critics or the audience. With the movie clearly underperforming at the United States box-office, it is yet to be seen how it performs in some other territories, as it released on August 21st, the Friday in India.

Reed Richards (Miles Teller) and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) have been best friends from childhood, and have worked on building a teleporter for a very long time. Reed has been the brain of this idea which was consistently rejected by their science teachers, until Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) finds the ability in him, as he was already working on this same idea. His adopted daughter Susan Storm (Kate Mara) and his own son Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), along with Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell) work with Reed on developing a giant teleporter called the Quantum Gate which would connect the human world to another dimension.

They are successful in creating the path to this dimension, but when the head of the facility Allen (Tim Blake Nelson) decides to send a group of astronauts from NASA to explore the new world, the scientists decide to become the first people to reach the new world, just like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were on the Moon. But as they reach this new dimension, the place is full of strange materials and Victor is absorbed into its source of energy. The rest escape, but four of them undergo big changes. They wake up in government custody, and Reed runs away while others are trained to control their powers. But the connection with the other world won’t cease to exist.

This 2015 version is not as bad as most of the reviews suggest, but it is not that good either. People will surely find the earlier version a lot better than this one. It had many advantages over this one, and the most significant one being the actors. The cast which involved Jessica Alba and Chris Evans was a joy to watch, but the same is not the case here. Except for Jamie Bell as The Thing, nobody really makes a big impact in this version. Kate Mara looks very good in that suit, and has her moments. Michael B. Jordan is no Chris Evans, and Miles Teller is not really there either. Toby Kebbell makes an impact much later, only with the mask on him.

The movie also takes a lot of time to get to the interesting part. The first half is more like a stretch which moves slowly towards the possible destination. It struggles to get to the point right through the beginning to the middle. Even after that, the story is not completely there. The beginning of the second half is that point at which the movie should have reached within half an hour. It would have been okay if the beginning was rather interesting, but it couldn’t manage to be so. This goes different and still it is predictable. The action only happens when the movie is close to the finish, and by the time the origins are established, it has ended.

The movie chooses inter-dimensional travel, which is a bold move and a welcome change, even though it is not that well implemented. The special effects are nice, even though there are limitations. There are not much of the superpowers used to display these effects. Still, the power to entertain is there, and the villain does make a better impact in this avatar which is superior to the 2005 version. The villain looks like a true challenge to the four right from the moment his other side is awakened. This version is also darker, which is a positive change. With the consistent struggles and only having the interesting moments here and there, may be this origins story can bring a better sequel.

This Fantastic Four reboot will have a tough time making an impact considering the fine quality which has been maintained by the superhero movies in the past. Even the earlier two movies featuring Fantastic Four were much ahead of this one. So the expectations were a lot higher here with hope to bring something to remember. This is not really a movie that go terrible, but just something that doesn’t go big enough. It can be considered mostly average, but the situation demanded more. In the end, there is something about which the audience can be sure about; it is the fact that among the Marvel comics based superheroes, this one is clearly a level down.

Release date: 21st August 2015 (India); 7th August 2015 (USA)
Running time: 100 minutes
Directed by: Josh Trank
Starring: Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson, Dan Castellaneta, Tim Heidecker

fantasticfour

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Brothers

brothers

Vampire Owl :: But wasn’t the original called Warrior?

Vampire Bat :: Yes, but this is called Brothers. Family sells more than the others in Bollywood. So, having it in the title itself is a positive to bring the audience.

Vampire Owl :: So, tell me about the original.

Vampire Bat :: But I haven’t watched the original.

Vampire Owl :: What? Why? I don’t believe it. There is no reason why you might have missed that movie.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, I understand that there was no reason, but some things happen for no reason, and this one didn’t happen for some reason which was not there.

Vampire Owl :: You should watch it some time.

Vampire Bat :: May be, but these days, I am not sure what I should watch and what I shouldn’t.

Vampire Owl :: That is a heavy crisis.

Vampire Bat :: Well, I have watched so many movies at the theatres, and I wonder what is the point other than to lose your existence in this world and live thinking about those flicks which can erase you sooner or later with no benefits.

[Gets the tickets].

What is it about? :: This official remake of the 2011 movie Warrior begins with talks about starting a new fighting league in India giving the fighters the right to fight, and meanwhile, Gary Fernandes (Jackie Shroff), an old man and a former fighter is released from prison. He is welcomed by his younger son Monty Fernandes (Sidharth Malhotra) who is hoping to prove himself in the world of street-fighting. His other son, David Fernandes (Akshay Kumar) is not in terms with his brother and father though, and lives separately with his wife Jenny Fernandes (Jacqueline Fernandez) and their little daughter who is suffering from kidney failure. He is working as a teacher, but can’t find enough money for the treatment of his daughter, and decides to go fighting as he used to do a long time ago.

Where it goes :: With the new league being formed, the two brothers try in their own ways to get into the competition, as the younger one has a viral YouTube video in his favour and the elder takes over the spot which was left open by an injury inflicted to a star fighter by the younger one. While Monty enters the tournament as the brute with strength, aggression and a never give up attitude, David enters the same with experience and a defensive strategy, using counter-attack, grapples and evasion as his strengths – he is powered by his family’s needs and the support of his students while Monty has the strength of his willpower and hate for his brother who abandoned him. With international fighters also being part of the tournament, can one of these brothers win it without going on to destroy the other? Where will the father stand in this battle of brothers?

The defence of Brothers :: There are many levels in which the movie works, and first and the most efficient one is the emotional side, which exists throughout the movie. It is powerful with the beginning, and gets stronger only to reach its zenith by the climax and the finish. The second one is the message about the family which also exists strong enough. The third is the action which is also powerful and gory, even though more could have been considering the stage. The transformation into the action stage is quite good, with the arena setting which is of high quality – the details related to this are very well done. The background is also well established, and the family man’s problems are well portrayed to create another level of emotional sequences. Brothers surely is successful in creating the desired effect on the audience, no matter where it stands in comparison with the original – the adrenaline rush is huge.

Claws of flaw :: The worst thing that has happened for this movie is the item song from Kareeena Kapoor which is not only bad, but also not suitable for this movie. One has to wonder why Bollywood thinks that it is important to bring an item song everywhere, even when the material is officially remade from Hollywood. There is also that flashback which is too long, and the relationship could have been established easily without this long a background. The movie could have been kept shorter that way, or some more fights could have been added; there is also scope for adding more to the elder’s teaching life and the younger’s daily lamentations. There are clichés, and you can predict when these two will come against each other, and may be even about how it will end; yes, without reading the story-line in Wikipedia. There was more scope for the action scenes, instead of rushing through Monty’s sequences too quickly.

Performers of the soul :: As expected, do look out for Akshay Kumar in this movie as is right there with full strength as one of the two protagonists. His sequences with his wife and daughter are very well created to make that big impact with the families, and he excels throughout, a lot more than the rest of the cast – Only Jackie Shroff comes up with a similar intense performance, as you can see the performance in his eyes itself. Akshay Kumar does very well with all sides, as the family man, as the teacher and the fighter. Jacqueline Fernandez has a smaller, but noticable role which does very well. Sidharth Malhotra has less to talk and has more chance to be part of the action as he is the tough angry young man here. He does that well, but there is nothing much to his character. Shefali Shah and Ashutosh Rana are good too. You already know about Kareena Kapoor in her worst item dance.

How it finishes :: I apologize for not agreeing with most of the reviews out there, even though there is absolutely no need for that. I am just doing it because this movie had a powerful emotional impact on me, which I am releasing in a positive way. I loved the movie’s emotional impact, and the way in which the stage is set for the action which makes the second half better than the first. Well, I haven’t watched Warrior, and so that should be taken into consideration when you look at how I have felt related to this movie. May be, if you have watched that original movie, you will consider this in a different way, but let me tell you that this has a lot for the family as well as the young audience as I see it; I am also sure that Bollywood had a big chance of messing up this remake, but I am glad that they didn’t.

Release date: 14th August 2015
Running time: 159 minutes
Directed by: Karan Malhotra
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Sidharth Malhotra, Jacqueline Fernandez, Jackie Shroff, Shefali Shah, Ashutosh Rana, Kiran Kumar, Kareena Kapoor (special appearance in an item song)

brothers.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Drishyam

drishyam (2)

Vampire Owl :: So, we are now going to complete watching a trilogy of Drishyam(s).

Vampire Bat :: Yes, even though there are a total of five Drishyam(s) with only two movies having exactly that name and only four movies having similarities to that name.

Vampire Owl :: I was simply making a simple statement which is also true in another way.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, but the statement that I made is also true if you look deeply into it.

Vampire Owl :: I still appreciate this movie for keeping the title of the original. This way, I can tell people that I have watched Drishyam twice.

Vampire Bat :: Well, when you say that you watched a remake so many times, do make it clear that it is Drishyam and not Bodyguard. We have to keep certain horror standards.

Vampire Owl :: Do you know that I had no clue that this would be remade into this many languages when it had released with lesser hype than some of those mindless movies?

Vampire Bat :: Do you remember that this is the Drishyam movie that we are watching with the cheapest tickets?

Vampire Owl :: Is it? I have no memory about the bloody human currency. They can’t even keep one standard currency for their realm – how bad is that?

Vampire Bat :: Actually we paid Rs.116 per ticket for the Malayalam version, Rs.90 for the Tamil version, and it is Rs.50 for this one. So, this movie is actually very cheap and will surely give us the money’s worth.

[Gets the tickets].

What is it about? :: The story might be well known, but lets go for a recap. Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay Devgan) is a simple man and a huge movie lover running a cable television network in a locality in Goa. He watches a lot of movies and lives happily with his family consisting of his wife Nandhani (Shriya Saran) and two daughters. But when an unexpected guest comes into their life to ruin the life of his elder daughter Anju (Ishita Dutta), their small world get a twist of events. The guest is dealt with, but the mother of that missing boy is IG Meera Deshmukh (Tabu) who is ready to go to any extent to find his son who came to the house of Vijay. The protagonist has his plans, but how far can a man with minimum education go to save his family against the angry IG and her husband (Rajat Kapoor)?

The new Drishyam :: Just like we have already seen in the original Drishyam, Papanasam and the other remakes, this begins as the family drama, but here it gets into the thriller side much earlier. In less than fourty five minutes, this one gets into the main action. The movie also has some fine visuals of Goa as it is never completely a rural setting, and the families are surely richer as you can see from the houses of both the protagonist and the police officer. This is also the lighter one among the three, as the police torture is lesser with no bones broken compared to the Tamil version, and the girl also accidentally hits the boy as she aims the mobile phone which is lifted over his shoulder – she never really has the idea of hurting the boy there. The bad boy’s car remains yellow in colour, but there is a certain upgrade here from Maruti Suzuki Zen in the other two verstions to a Hyndai Getz.

Positives and Negatives :: As I have talked about earlier, I have watched only three versions as of now, and so the comparisons are to be limited to them. The version here inherits only the positives and negatives of the original, expect for the small changes which have been made. The biggest visible change is that the elder girl was adopted by the protagonist – one has to wonder if it is because the girl is considered too old to be the real daughter of Ajay Devgan and Shriya Saran or if it comes as part of the goodness package for the hero who was to be established as the good man. I like the fact that this movie quickly got into the thrills, and it might also be the shortest in total run-time among the three, which is favourable. The police officer is also bigger cop, than the big mother figure, and even has her own slow motion sequences from the prison after getting random villains beaten up.

Performers of the soul :: The script is the hero as everyone knows already, and the rest of the factors are supposed to follow. Once again, there are no comparisons to be made directly between the leading actors of the three movies. Still, indirectly taking a look at the same, even though not making the impact as Mohanlal and Kamal Hassan who had made their roles memorable in their own ways, Ajay Devgan is also very good here even without being that intense or emotional. It is good to see different actors doing the same thing in different styles without moving that much out of the core thing. Shriya Saran might be the best looking among all the actresses among five movies, but considering the three, she makes the least impact, may be because the Hindi version has cut some of those family scenes and the opportunities are less. The cut happens in the first half itself.

More performers of the soul :: Ishita Dutta who makes her Bollywood debut here is also quite good in her role as the elder daughter. She did very well for a debutante, especially in those emotional sequences. Esther Anil of the Malayalam and Tamil was the best option for the younger daughter’s role as she has done the same in the Telugu version too; the choice here is just okay. Tabu stays very strong here, as she matches Asha Sarath of Malayalam and Tamil with her strong cop role. The original’s Siddique and Kalabhavan shajon have their mirror images in this movie as not that strong, and the same is the case when compared with Papanasam’s Anant Mahadevan and Kalabhavan Mani. But any problem here is mostly erased by the strong script, and the movie has risen high already. After watching all these versions, I feel that I might be having confusion with the comparisons and so I would stop here!

How it finishes :: With the fifth movie of a very long remake saga, this version of Drishyam also manages to come strong with the audience, and once again asserts the importance of one’s own family strongly. In a theatre having a complete non-Keralite audience, the claps were so many and people were clearly entertained. Those haven’t watched the original or the other remakes should surely watch this one, and even for others, this will provide that feeling of going through that nice experience all over again. I still do wonder why some people had to get out of the theatre early and miss that final moment of revelation – are they even aware about what they missed? There are not many shows of this movie at this part of the nation because everyone knows a lot about this story, and so one should catch this Drishyam soon!

Release date: 31st July 2015
Running time: 163 minutes
Directed by: Nishikant Kamat
Starring: Ajay Devgan, Shriya Saran, Tabu, Ishita Dutta, Prathamesh Parab, Rajat Kapoor

drishyamh

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Papanasam

papanasam()

Vampire Owl :: We have missed two remakes of Drishyam and might miss another one after watching this movie.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, if and only if there are no more remakes of the same movie.

Vampire Owl :: I don’t think that there will be another remake as the Bollywood version is coming this month-end.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, Bollywood is the finishing line for all copies and remakes, I guess.

Vampire Owl :: Absolutely. Wait! What is the notice that you are carrying?

Vampire Bat :: It is a mandatory statement which I recreated for this movie. It says that as we have watched the original so many times and as it is the one more related to our lifestyle, it is possible that the rating which we give here might not be suitable to be compared to the oiriginal, or with any other movie which is not a remake.

Vampire Owl :: I like that statement. With this warning, we can be sure that the brainless fan-boys won’t go psycho.

Vampire Bat :: Not just the fan-boys, but also the pseudo-intellectuals.

Vampire Owl :: Yes, the judges on the other side of the river of blood who think that they are the only intelligent people on the surface of Earth. I understand.

Vampire Bat :: The statement will work as long as they read at least the beginning and the end of this review.

[Waits in the queue].

The defence of Papanasam :: Even though I had watched all these before multiple times, I felt very good, and it is the success of Papanasam. Jeethu Jospeph once again has things running well, and we can see shots of his other movie Memories when the protagonist is thinking about saving his family – another shot is from the movie Anwar. I could actually go through that wonderful feeling that I had while watching the original without losing strength at any moment. The suspense and the thrills are abundant, and there are some beautiful shots of nature too. The story of the man who tries to save his family from breaking down after an unintentional murder committed by a member out of hopelessness, goes on to work wonders once again. I am not going to go through the story again; you can read it from my review of the original at Drishyam Movie Review. Outside the review which I wrote at that time, I don’t need to say much in defence here because the story is the biggest hero and you know that plot.

Positives and Negatives :: Papanasam happens to be a remake which had a tough task to meet the quality of that amazing original. So, what we have here is a nice achievement, but unless the remake manages to come up with something special which was not there in the original, I wouldn’t consider it as good as the original. The original felt more original to me, with no bones broken during the beatings and slightly better for me as it was less brutal, less emotional and still having the same intensity. But still, if I say that one of them is better than the other, it might not do justice, which is why I am using “me” a lot. Drishyam was better for me, and I am sure that a lot of people who have watched the original and about ninety five percent of the Malayalis will think so. But from a neutral point of view, they might be the same. I did feel that the songs were just bad though. The first half was too stretchy too. I am also personally against the title change.

Soul of the movie :: Kamal Haasan was the right choice to do the role which Mohanlal did to perfection in the original. I do wonder why there was a doubt about the same – if someone had asked me, I would have told the same much earlier, despite an initial doubt about the same. But in that case, if you ask for the same about the Bollywood version, I would have chosen Aamir Khan. But that was never to happen, and Ajay Devgan and Akshay Kumar were to be my next best choices considering the need to cater to the audience. I haven’t watched many Kamal Haasan movies in the last few years, and I am glad that this is the movie which I had chosen to spend my money for. I loved his performance the most in the last few minutes, and if someone else was chosen instead of him, that would have left me not just disappointed, but angry – I can feel that.

Performers of the soul :: There is no comparison between Mohanlal and Kamal Haasan in their roles, because they have managed things in their own ways, in such a way that fault finding is not there as a property to be taken. You know when you see class, and you know the same in both these movies. Even though Gauthami was good, Meena has a slight edge over her, when we look at it without second thoughts. Niveda Thomas is undoubtedly a step ahead of Ansiba Hassan; there was a lot of emotion and power in her portrayal of the character. It is nice to see her doing this role; this should help her a lot in the future. I haven’t found such a fine performance from a very young supporting actress for a very long time. Winner of the Kerala State Film Award for Best Child Artist in Veruthe Oru Bharya has now reached this stage.

More Performers of the soul :: Esther Anil plays the younger daughter in three out of the five versions of the movie, and here also, she is so good. Bollywood should have had her in the cast too, but I guess that they were not looking for a fine proven supporting cast, but to make use of the power of the script which is always there as the winner. Esther might be the best available child actress at this time, and it has been made clear again and again. It is time to give her even more chances. Asha Sarath maintains the same intensity, just with more emotions this time, and Anant Mahadevan also becomes more emotional character compared to the sensible and stable one played by Siddique in the original. I loved Kalabhavan Shajon’s character in the original for it was balanced, but Kalabhavan Mani is rather ruthless here and it also works. Roshan Basheer also reprises his role as the bad boy.

[After the show].

Vampire Owl :: Why were those people sitting behind us comparing Mohanlal and Kamal Haasan?

Vampire Bat :: They are just clueless. They don’t know anything. Just think about how can we compare Lord Ruthven and Lord Dracula?

Vampire Owl :: Yes, both are legendary vampires with great skills, even though we are closer to Uncle Dracula – it won’t affect the quality of the performance.

Vampire Bat :: I hope that the fans won’t find our vampire comparisons offensive though.

Vampire Owl :: I am sure that those with even a small part of the brain active won’t. This is the best comparison that we can come up with because we are vampires with root-canaled fangs.

Vampire Bat :: You can never predict the living humans. If you want to predict behaviours, go and predict that of a dead human.

Vampire Owl :: I like that idea. May be we will watch the Bollywood version too.

Vampire Bat :: We have come so far. I don’t see why not.

Vampire Owl :: I shall call the whole team for that.

Vampire Bat :: Well, do that if it is even remotely possible.

Release date: 3rd July 2015
Running time: 181 minutes
Directed by: Jeethu Joseph
Starring: Kamal Haasan, Gauthami, Niveda Thomas, Esther Anil, Kalabhavan Mani, Asha Sarath, Anant Mahadevan, M. S. Bhaskar, Roshan Basheer, Charle, Delhi Ganesh, Ilavarasu, Arul Dass, Sree Raam

papanasam

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Specials: Remake Saga

temporary

*With two of the four remakes of Drishyam still pending and scheduled to release next month, I take this opportunity to remember a few of the Hindi movies which were remakes from Malayalam, with most of the better known ones from Priyadarshan. So, as we wait for the release of the much awaited movie remakes starring Kamal Haasan and Ajay Devgan, let us have a look at one of those remakes. Even though a good number of them worked in both languages, here I choose a movie which still remains a much loved title in Malayalam, but the same can’t be said about its Hindi remake. Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam and Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar are the two movies I am writing about.

Even though the setting look different, they are the same with the situations in both movies. Actually, the protagonist enters the scene earlier in the case of the Hindi version. The sequences do look exactly the same though, beginning with the eviction notice and going on with talks about the problems of the house, related to the marriage of the female family members and the other financial problems which have been created and the chances of any of the troubles getting over. These things actually do remain the same everywhere even though the cultural differences and changes in the tones of characters according to the language can also be seen.

The Malayalam version has better known actors playing the supporting roles, and as the scene shifts to the city, the changes are more easily visible – both cities are nowhere close to being similar in the soul as each has its own identity. You can see that from the way characters interact and even from the looks of the building which the protagonist owns. There is a gap of fifteen years between the movies and the changes are clearly seen; so are the differences in language and culture. This raises the question if this remake would have worked better if done a few years ago and with even less similarities with the original. The good thing about the remakes of Drishyam is that the gap between the original and the last released remake won’t be more than two years.

The Malayalam version also had Mohanlal who is a big difference between the two versions – it would have been easier to guess though. Even with some dialogues which seems to be exactly translated with such clarity like using a good translating software, there is no match for that time period which was like the golden age of Malayalam cinema. The version is also longer at the beginning stages; if you check at 35 minutes of the Malayalam version, the Hindi version has only reached 29 minutes or slightly shorter with the story reaching the same point. But you won’t feel that so much time has passed, and it is the skill of the legendary actor to keep the audience interested, and things are closer to the life of the 1980s. Then in the end, the Hindi version gets longer by around 40 minutes.

The slight changes occur when the run-time gets to half an hour with new characters included as they lead to some more situations; those having no place in the original. The Malayalam original also has fun right through it, even though the Hindi remake has more ups and down with its progress, and makes less sense. Sreenivasan was that big boost to the original that the remake misses despite the presence of Paresh Rawal. He comes with that hilarious performance in a song which can never be matched. The jokes become less effective as the original was so simple and right out of the heart. The veteran actor Thilakan was another big positive along with the songs.

The extra sequences that the Hindi version adds nothing good to the movie, as some of them actually remind the viewers of older Malayalam movies like Shubhayathra, Minnaram, Chandralekha and Vandanam, which might have been added to bring some extra humour. Chandralekha-inspired money lending sequence is rather too ineffective in this movie unlike it was in the Malayalam movie. This actually means that the Malayalam version gets ahead and now the remake from Bollywood is lagging. Releasing too late, the remake had to do something special, and not add things from other movies. There was also the social satire element of the Malayalam version which doesn’t become that effective here.

Hera Pheri was actually that remake of Ramji Rao Speaking which did some justice to the original. I liked how it worked with Garam Masala (Boeing Boeing), Hungama (Poochakkoru Mookkuthi), Dhol (In Harihar Nagar) and Hulchul (Godfather) even though, in almost every case, the original scores better. But here, even with the jokes, the effect is less, as Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar doesn’t do the same for Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam even though it should still be okay for those who haven’t watched the original or the scenes from other Malayalam movies. I don’t have much of a positive opinion about Bodyguard and its remakes though. About the nonsense movie Pokkiri Raja and its remake Boss, there is no need for any opinion. The ratings are very low for our movie here, but this remake isn’t that terrible as it shows, when we think about those movies and compare. But with Drishyam, there seems to be some very nice effort put in there made, and you will know if you have watched the trailers. I will be watching both the remakes, and I really hope that they do justice to the original – if they do, it is going to be awesome!

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.