Hate Story II

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Vampire Owl :: But I didn’t watch the first movie of this franchise.

Vampire Bat :: No need. This will not be connected to the prequel even that much as Sachin Tendulkar is to Maria Sharapova.

Vampire Owl :: That is indeed reassuring. Isn’t this Surveen Chawla the one who paired with Sreesanth in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena?

Vampire Bat :: And in many Hindi serials with unknown people and those which none of us watches. She even hosted a television show called Comedy Circus Ke SuperStars.

Vampire Owl :: So this will create something new for the erotic genre in India or recreate whatever the first movie did?

Vampire Bat :: I would think that the only eroticism will be in the poster and the songs. She should be shooting people all around.

Vampire Owl :: So it should be cheating by the posters?

Vampire Bat :: Just like any other movie around here. Every movie pretends.

Vampire Owl :: At least we can watch the movie for her.

Vampire Bat :: Well, she is incredibly cute, even with a gun.

[Enters the movie hall].

What is it about? :: The scene shifts to Mumbai where Sonika (Surveen Chawla) who is attending regular photography classes. After the death of her parents, Mandar Mahatre (Shushant Singh) had become her guardian and is keeping her as a mistress. Mandar is a powerful political leader in Mumbai who is feared if not respected by all. She is forced to succumb to his demands until Akshay (Jay Bhanushali) comes to her life, and the two photography classmates become lovers. But as our villain understands that she is with some random guy, they are forced to run away to Goa, but that doesn’t stop our villain from going there and attempting to kill them both. She ties Akshay to the seat of a car and drowns him in a river while he buries the girl alive in a cemetery, but is found by a man who comes there to mourn a death. As she is shifted to the hospital, there are attempts to murder her, but soon she gets out of trouble and begin planning her vengeance. As expected, she starts from the lesser ones to go to the big fish, and the question remains if she can be good enough to take on such a powerful man who controls a lot of things in Mumbai including the police.

The defence of Hate Story 2 :: Well, our heroine no longer uses her body or sexuality to take revenge. She doesn’t go to that level of the protagonist of the first movie and just goes on to murder people – not in that much of a bloody fashion as Killl Bill, but she does finish them off nicely. Surveen Chawla is the highlight of the movie, but the erotic scenes are rare, and even absent in the case of the movie without the songs. It is in those songs that such scenes occur and so do those bikini scenes. Some of them even waits till the movie to end until coming up. So one can watch it not as an erotic movie as the songs will be available on television (haven’t checked them myself yet). Yes, she doesn’t stand with a bare back and a gun and neither does she appear like in some other posters which seems to have offended a few. I would say that the poster gives a different opinion about the movie, and being erotic is not one of the strong points of the movie. But the songs are really good, and they are nicely picturized without losing the mood of the movie except for one which comes with the hallucination. This should have enough to satisfy the fans of Surveen as well as the revenge movie fans. Unlike Ek Villain, this is also more original in its soul.

Claws of flaw :: With choosing to do away with the erotic scenes which actually powered it before the release, the strangest thing in the movie is Jay Bhanushali coming back from the dead as the glowing avatar as part of her hallucinations. I do wonder why they even had to think about it. Then the romantic side comes up with him at the wrong moments, and in the end it also helps to add a few more erotic scenes in a small screen with the credits. But most of the photos on the posters never really happens in the movie. Even with those which happen, they are in the songs, and that would give rise to the question if getting some video songs later will be enough. It has so much less erotica and compared to its predecessor, it even lags in the thrills and the cast performance – even the dark shades becomes less and the story is just average. It is not something that we haven’t seen before, and adds to the large number of revenge movies which are part of our movie collection. It is really a predictable end that awaits the audience too, and you know what it will include. We needed a lot more and with the kind of views that the trailer had, a much better movie was expected.

Performers of the soul :: This movie is about Surveen Chawla and the character that he plays, and it is the story of her hatred which can only be destroyed by the taste of vengeance. She is nothing less than wonderful on her debut. I was pretty confident about her being good as this had to completely depend on her. She maintains her level through different emotions, and her transformation is good. She is comparatively better as the lover and the one facing her own troubles, and I would guess that the face suits a damsel in distress. But the same can’t be said about the rest of the cast who falters. Jay Bhanushali struggles and it was a bad idea to bring him back as hallucinations, as he was quite good until then – later he was made an illusion with the support of music and the time of entrance is mostly terrible too. As the movie was about the heroine, it is still mostly fine. Sushant Singh is okay, and there are moments when he is very good. But overall, he had the potential to be a better villain which is ruined by some lazy writing and leaves the movie to our heroine as expected, and thankfully, she excelled. Sunny Leone is there just for the item song “Pink Lips”, which is also okay, but the song scene springs out nowhere and disappears without trace.

Soul exploration :: The movie asserts the need for revenge, but its hatred is weaker than the prequel even with the presence of a villain worth hating, right from the beginning to the end, at no point stating otherwise with his action or speech. What our protagonist does is actually something that she should have done a long time ago. She is scared, but as she comes back from the dead, she becomes fearless. Near-death experiences do bring the best, doesn’t it? Or is it the love that guides her? I would say a little bit of both, but she becomes the revenge seeker without remorse. It has its messages about the evil that is in the society and its ability to destroy the life of a common person, but doesn’t really work on it further. The movie has the hero being murder by water, the heroine attempted to be killed under earth, one villain killed by fire and the another one by air – good use of the elements, I would say, but I do wonder if that was actually meant to be so. Ek Villain and Hate Story 2 are still signs that the thriller genre is doing fine in Bollywood, and it is actually a good sign – along with the matching fact that the heroine gets murdered early in the former and the hero in the later.

How it finishes :: I hope a certain lack of more ideas could be forgiven as I was having heavy fever while watching this one at the theatre. Well, fever is such a mortal thing and it can’t stop the Vampire Bat, even as there is no denying that things got worse after watching the movie – the air conditioner and the fan stopped in the theatre, still the fever got worse. I guess as far as I can walk, I can go to a theatre and watch movies. I had thought a lot of things about this one while watching, but I guess I can always come up with more in detail later at http://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/. Still, I can say for sure that if you liked Hate Story‘s first entry, you can go for this, but remember that this not that erotic and there is no working on the same lines as the prequel except for the fact that there is revenge by a female protagonist. I haven’t been a fan of Surveen Chawla, but if you are, I guess you will surely need to try this one – otherwise, just try your luck. This is a movie which can go either way for the audience, and it is more of an opportunity which could have been better used.

Release date: 18th July 2014
Running time: 129 minutes
Directed by: Vishal Pandya
Starring: Surveen Chawla, Jay Bhanushali, Sushant Singh, Mika Singh, Siddharth Kher, Rajesh Khera

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Ek Villain

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Vampire Owl :: Didn’t someone say that Riteish Deshmukh was very goood in this movie?

Vampire Bat :: Just a little better than Arjen Robben with a dive, I guess.

Vampire Owl :: If it is better than most of the football actors, we should surely watch it because it will be worthy of many awards.

Vampire Bat :: I heard it was just like I Saw the Devil.

Vampire Owl :: Well, I didn’t see that saw.

Vampire Bat :: Neither did I.

Vampire Owl :: Then I would say that watching this villany is necessary.

Vampire Bat :: As long as he doesn’t bite.

Vampire Owl :: That shouldn’t be a problem as this is not in 3D.

Vampire Bat :: Shraddha Kapoor in 3D was actually too good to be true!

[Enters the movie hall].

What is it about? :: Guru (Sidharth Malhotra) is a former gangster and assassin who has retired from his dangerous life of crime to live with his new found love Aisha (Shraddha Kapoor), but things take a big turn as she is murdered by an unknown assailant who enters her home, uses a screw driver and pushes her through the window. A CBI officer Aditya (Shaad Randhawa) takes charge of the situation being aware of what the former assassin is capable of, but that doesn’t prevent Guru from going after the clues. He first go to his former boss Ceaser (Remo Fernandes), but realizes that he didn’t have anything to do with the same. As he sits in a church looking at the crucifix, he notices a boy coming up and presenting a few of his toys to the statue which involved something from his house. By following the boy, he reaches the place of Rakesh Mahadkar (Riteish Deshmukh) who is the henpecked husband of Sulochana (Aamna Sharif) and an unsuccesful employee who is always scolded both at home and the office. But he doesn’t seem to be capable of anything like that, as he is always the victim, not someone who can harm even a mosquito. But such a visage was never going to confuse a professional killer like Guru, or was it?

The defence of Ek Villain :: The cast remains strong in the movie, especially the male leads, and it is good enough to draw the audience. The fact that it has enough material to work on from the South Korean flick is more of an advantage as not many people have watched that one. The movie successfully establishes a nice environment to work on, right in the beginning, and the point they stop at the interval is pretty nice. The romantic side has its good moments, most of them related to God and otherwise when they are in a song. Even though not really the kind of thing that suits a movie like this, the songs are actually good and are worthy of being in one’s USB device in the car. The cinematography is nice and the world around are nicely captured to the delight of the viewer’s eye. There is not much slow motion used and it is a good thing because there was going to be tendency. Our hero surely has some nice moments in a mental asylum, a hospital and a railway station where he scores in style. The thrills are mostly around our villain though, and the message of good being rewarded and bad being punished, along with the plight of the common man in a society which has nothing for him are nicely shown.

Claws of flaw :: The movie has not much idea about how the suspense is to be maintained and the thrills are to be boosted, as we know the killer too early as well as his motives. The story could have developed better, especially as the material of I Saw the Devil already available and ready to inspire. The path taken by the narrative to go back and forth doesn’t work that well with this one either, as this is the kind of movie which should work when the things to be revealed are not hidden and vice versa. Even the killings are taken care of without too much violence, may be fearing that the family audience will stay away. The director’s earlier venture of Murder 2 could handle the darker shades better, but not this one which tries to be too cute, even cuter than its own heroine. Shraddha Kapoor kind of ruins some significant light moments with a certain kind of overacting which makes one wonder if she is playing a mentally challenged girl, but not all the time for even she has her very small moments. Riteish’s character is also not without its flaws, but it is him who manages to handle it well within the limitations. He could have surely had better dialogues, after all he can do this villain stuff nicely.

Performers of the soul :: Among the star cast, Riteish Deshmukh was the one whose performance stood above the rest, not by much, but enough to be the star of the movie. I did expect some transformation like Vikram in Anniyan on a smaller scale, but that was not to be, but still his different character had moments to remember for the viewers. Sidharth Malhotra was good with his romantic side and just a little behind in the action scenes, but still lacked a bit in energy. Shraddha Kapoor is cute, and seems to think that she is acting in a possible Ashiqui 3, with that hangover which she still seems to show with some Ashiqui 2. I was confident that she will be a lot better in this movie, but it was sad to see that she decided to stick to the stereotype – it does suit her immensely, but not the character she was playing nor the style of the movie. I was particularly impressed with how well Aamna Sharif did so well with her role opposite our bad guy, the first time I was seeing this lady on the screen. Prachi Desai’s item number was pretty much beautiful. Remo Fernandes was okay in the smaller screen presence that he had, and Shaad Randhawa could have surely done nice with some more to do on screen.

Soul exploration :: One major question remains about what lead to the creation of the villain of Ek Villain. If it is about our hero-villain, we can say that it was the childhood situations, but for our real complete villain, it is the wickedness of the so called civilized section of the society who finds it nice to take on the people who are not as fortunate as they are. As said in Animal Farm, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”, and this is the situation that becomes the cause, and this inequality in his own class gives rise to this one serial killer who murders people who used bad words against him or even accuses him of not being good enough, including the situations when he just feels so due to his mood. The need for the words of love from his wife despite her yelling at him all the time becomes his anger which he brings out with the murders rather than being angry at her or anyone else. It is the need to get rid of the frustration which brings the villain to the point of no return, and changes him from a simple man to a serial killer, but as most of the other movies, here too bad deeds never go unpunished, and good deeds have some advantages. The movie does assert the need to be good and not to be abusive or use bad words at others, especially those who struggle to succeed in life.

How it finishes :: Ek Villain had the usual Bollywood things added to an otherwise rough and tough theme, which could have been avoided. There is one villain in every love story as they say, but this is still not a love story, and it surely should not have gone through that path – romance is not always a necessity, as it can always make way for many other things according to the genre and style of the movie. In a more violent and bloody movie, the thing more needed might be a screw driver, one would say. Zinda which released years ago had a better idea about it, which is why we can still afford to watch it with Oldboy of South Korea as well as Oldboy of the United States of America. Murder 2 with similar theme also holds an advantage over this. As Ek Villain had to make it romantic in its base just like the Malayalam movie Anwar did while copying The Traitor from Hollywood, it lost its most important part, which was the generation of fear which had to rise above everything else including romance. But with the success that the movie have managed in places with the exception of this part of India, one has to say that it did work in favour of them even as not for the same as a work. Still, next time may be the can innovate a lot more when coming up with such stuff.

Release date: 27th June 2014
Running time: 130 minutes
Directed by: Mohit Suri
Starring: Sidharth Malhotra, Shraddha Kapoor, Riteish Deshmukh, Aamna Sharif, Kamaal R Khan, Remo Fernandes, Shaad Randhawa, Prachi Desai

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Ezhamathe Varavu

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Do you have nostalgia about the old Malayalam movies or do you feel nostalgic very often and feels that the Malayalam movies have degraded a lot and the effect of the new generation movies has not been that good? Do you feel that Malayalam movies should go back and be inspired from a former golden age of movie history or at least appreciate that age which was undoubtedly a memorable one? If the answer of these questions is yes, this is a movie you should watch and this is a review you should read. Otherwise, I would suggest that you return to what you were doing before falling into this ocean of nostalgia instead of poking your nose at a place which is not good for the kind of move loving soul which you have. The movie hasn’t done that well as it should have, and it reveals the lack of nostalgia around or rather the inability to sell this nostalgic feeling due to that horrible change which the audience has undergone with the rise of new generation movies and that mindless entertainer power which has cast a shadow on the beautiful woods of nostalgia. If you haven’t left this page yet, I suggest you reclaim it with this movie.

The film’s script which was written by M. T. Vasudevan Nair in the 1970s and was filmed by Hariharan himself with Sukumaran playing the role of the major antagonist, a role which has been passed on to his son with this new version. But as we have heard about it, the older version of the movie didn’t get released. So this remake of the Sukumaran-Venu Nagavally starrer Evideyo Oru Shatru has Indrajith-Vineeth combination instead. The movie might seem a little bit old generation for the liking of most of the people, but one thing that most of the viewers have to keep in mind is that in spite of all the changes that has come upon the world, may be with laptops, mobiles and tablets taking over what was to be their absence, the environment remains the same. The story of the subaltern undergoes no significant change as a whole, no matter how much the man can claim to have improved and changed their attitude towards their fellow beings. Another thing is that there will always be something in this world that humanity shall never understand, and it is supernatural, either divine or devilish.

But the movie doesn’t follow the path of the older movies with exaggeration or overdose of any element. Yes, there is one good man who comes into a forest with tribals around, and finds his former lover as the wife of the evil man who has control over the lands; and he tries to protect both a young tribal girl as well as the environment from the eyes of the man-devil – a plot which has been used for ages. In this remake, there is a certain amount of realism which has been added for sure, and even during this age of disgusting relationships, the plot remains striking enough. All of the characters are simple ones who doesn’t make a big mess around. None of them try to be heroic and try something which is too unexpected of them, and they stick to the stereotypes of the earlier ages, but carries over the impact which they would have created at that time, to this age which has no fixed quality in its movies. Hariharan and M T Vasudevan Nair have indeed created another beauty in the form of Ezhamathe Varavu, literally translated as The Seventh Coming and not to be confused with the Tamil movie Ezham Arivu.

Our story follows the path of an archeologist, Prasad (Vineeth) who has reached the forests of Wayanad, in an attempt to find the remains of a kingdom which is supposed to have existed in the area which now stands in the wilderness. As he tries to find helpers for the cause, he comes across a simple and innocent tribal girl Maala (Kavitha Nair) who helps him with the forest and its people. He lives in the mansion of Gopi (Indrajith Sukumaran) a rich planter and land owner of the area. Gopi is a wife-beating ego-maniac, heavy drinker, womaniser and a self-proclaimed expert in hunting. He is ruthless in getting what he wants, and always look forward to asserting his wishes on others. He also comes across his former lover Bhanu (Bhavana) who is married to the same man, but has turned out as an alcoholic due to his behaviour towards her. Meanwhile, a tiger makes frequent visits to the tribal village, claiming people during regular intervals. Gopi sets out to kill the animal for the thrills along with having his eyes set on Mala, while Bhanu gets closer to Prasad. But the tiger seems to succeed more despite of the efforts of Gopi and the villagers. What happens next shall end a few lives and change the others.

Indrajith Sukumaran plays the antagonist of the movie, and still wins the round for souls with another performance of brilliance which he carries over from his awesomeness in the movie Left Right Left. To be frank, he is the biggest reason why we had rushed to the theatre despite the number of shows being reduced to one. He portrays that dark shade of a hunter, a predator of no regret with such beauty that one would begin to wonder if anything could be worth missing watching such villainy. Vineeth plays the exact opposite, the side of the light, as the man who decided to give up his love for her own good, along with loving poetry as well as the symphony of the forest along with history. He seems to be in a familiar territory, as he progresses which ease, as a model archaeologist, a great lover of history and a big admirer of poems. Bhavana plays her character with ease and a certain amount of serenity, but Kavitha Nair has more screen presence as the symbol of innocence, the beautiful tribal girl whom the landlord has his eyes set on. The simplicity and the innocence of the newcomer’s portrayal of the girl is sure to have a long lasting influence on the viewers.

There is also the presence of some beautiful music, as we go back in time to the love story of Prasad and Bhanu, but the more touching one would be the song by Maala who is portrayed on screen by Kavitha Nair with such lack of blemish and so much of simple innocence that there is an instant liking that the audience develops with the character. As she is ravished by the predator of the human world and the revenge is half-done, the rest is taken over by the nature, or the symbol of the tribal beliefs or rather the vehicle of the Goddess whichever way the poetic justice prevails, more in a divine manner rather than anything else. If there is an outdated feeling at any point, the more appropriate word would be antiquity, and deserving an excavation as well as a mind which supports the same. What everyone can be sure about is that the evil is punished, and even in the suffering, the good finally survives, may be to thrive later. The possible pessimism which could have fallen into this movie is averted due to the use of the old formula, as the thrills, love as well as the vengeance is well balanced and well thrown on screen.

The movie’s hold on traditions, customs as well as the beliefs is also worth mentioning, as we wonder what the tiger actually depict, as William Blake had written as a part of his collection Songs of Experience in 1794; “Tiger, tiger, burning bright, In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies, Burnt the fire of thine eyes”? Yes, we are talking about the visual experience here, for the vision of the burning eyes of the tiger in the darkness comes before the first display of the majestic creature. It is the creature which delivers the final judgement, from the nature itself, for the man who loved nature and the woman who was part of nature. So that adds to this visually superior movie which you can blame for having a predictable plot, and for lacking in mass masala qualities. You can cry about it dragging a bit. But you can never avoid this one, and let me tell you one thing, that this is still a faster movie than Annayum Rasoolum by kilometres and kilometres. Think about it – nostalgia; don’t you need it more than a little?

Release date: 15th September 2013
Running time: 150 minutes (estimate)
Directed by: Hariharan
Starring: Vineeth, Indrajith Sukumaran, Bhavana, Kavitha Nair, Mamukkoya, Nandhu, Suresh Krishna, Koottickal Jayachandran, Captain Raju

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.