by Luv Mehta
Dhoom 2 is, if you have any doubts even after seeing the title, the second movie in the Dhoom series. It’s an interesting trio of movies, with each being quite different from the other. The first is more of a standard heist movie with bikers introduced for some sweet chase scenes, while the third completely ignores the heist part to focus more on the antagonizing forces in the movies and their backstory. It’s the second, however, that I’ve watched more than thirty times, and am mildly (or, in the words of my friends, unhealthily) obsessed with it.
I wanted to talk about why I like it so much - but I couldn’t really put much of my reasoning into words. Frankly, the only times I’ve written anything nowadays have been when I’ve composed mails in the office. Life’s moved on like a racecar on a highway, and I’ve been chained to its bonnet as dragged behind it all the way through.
But as I opened the Google docs tab on my laptop at night, ready to write something, anything, no matter how rushed it was - the transformer in our locality went off with a silent, unassuming boom, and I was left in a PG room, with the lights and fans off, and a laptop with steadily decreasing battery. So I went to sleep, woke up the next morning, and spent the whole day touring Bangalore, with a mobile at 3% battery capacity and no one to accompany me but my thoughts.
Here are those thoughts, compiled below.
by Luv Mehta
So this little indie low-budget movie called Star Wars: The Last Jedi came out, and fan reactions are… split, to say the least. It’s an incredibly risky movie that adds a lot of introspection and deconstruction to the series, calling into question the way the Force, the mythical space-magic that has been a mainstay of the series, has been treated, interpreted and taught across the whole saga.
For better or for worse, this has ended up being exactly the kind of movie that the franchise needed - a risky installment that shakes up the whole series and invites discussion and analysis. There have been quite a lot of debates on the matter, and there are so many great takes that have been spawned that you can spend the whole day getting to know new perspectives on it.
Through this article, I’m trying to do something different. Because all this deconstruction and introspection isn’t new to the Star Wars universe - it’s something gamers have experienced back in late 2004, when Obsidian developed and released Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic II: The Sith Lords - a title that split fans to the core, in many of the same ways the current movie fandom has experienced right now. And I feel it might benefit to compare them both, seeing how the decisions they took are simultaneously critical of the central morality play of the series, and why these end up making for a stronger story.
Mild spoilers for The Last Jedi follow, and I’ll do my best to avoid any spoilers for the Knights Of The Old Republic series (referred to as KOTOR afterwards for convenience). Because the analogy can be extended best to a Light Side playthrough of KOTOR II, I’ll primarily deal with the plot on that side.
by Luv Mehta
So there was this BuzzFeed article I saw recently, another one of those quizzes designed to bait you in by making you say, "Wow, I remember that!" And while it does always work on me, this case included, I was pretty miffed with the title - How Many Of These Ironically Fuckall Movies Have You Seen? Because I have seen quite a lot of the movies listed in this article (fifty, to be exact) and I do genuinely love a lot of them.
Sure, they may not be paragons of quality - hell, a lot of them have genuine problems that can't be ignored. But, in my own humble opinion, it is possible to enjoy and appreciate flawed movies, even while acknowledging their faults.
All this is basically my excuse to start talking about all those weird and amazing movies I hold close to my heart. And I can’t possibly think of a better example than Nayak.
by Luv Mehta
I have to start this article by talking about Charlie Kaufman.
Ever since he broke into the industry, Kaufman has always poked and prodded at the very structure of scripts, cutting and rearranging the metaphorical fabric they're woven out of. His first big hit was Being John Malkovich, the story of people vicariously living their fantasies through a Hollywood star (played by himself - Kaufman scripts always tend to attract genius casting). His second script, Adaptation, was something every film student kicked themselves for not thinking of, an exercise in metatextual narrative made long before being meta was memetic. Then came Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, which played a romance story in reverse to justify why relationships can be worth facing their own eventual breakdown.
Eventually, he went into film direction with Synecdoche, New York. Kaufman had always been interested in the inner workings of the human mind, but it was here that he showcased his obsession with mental disorders for the first time. Using a model recreation of a New York district in the same district itself (a synecdoche in Schenectady), he framed the story about a man named Cotard, suffering from Cotard's delusion - perpetually obsessed with the idea that he was close to death.
And this background becomes relevant in the context of our subject of discussion, and what might be his simplest, yet his richest script yet - Anomalisa.
by Sucheto Nath
When I saw it, my first reaction was to remember an emojipasta, probably found exclusively in a Facebook group about Love Live!, which begins thus:
Bose: The Forgotten Hero, a three-and-a-half-hour film, follows Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose from his separation from the Indian National Congress to the moment his plane leaves Saigon in 1945 - the very plane which reportedly crashed, killing the leader of the Azad Hind Fauj. The film is quite surprising, I might add; the plot is quite engaging and evenly poised, and even the special effects are nothing to snort at.
However, there is the slight problem that the hero joined forces with this man here:
by Smita Ganguli
What you are about to read isn’t a review of the sorts. It is however, an expression of dubiety.
For those of you who haven’t watched Matt Ross’s Captain Fantastic yet, why though? Get down to it as soon as possible because it is fucking VIGGO MORTENSEN and that’s all that should matter prior to watching it.
by Luv Mehta
Cover image provided by Arnab Mondal
So here's the thing. The Oscars are a bunch of snooty golden statuettes awarded by old directors and producers who like watching grand dramas, populated by Acting (with a capital A, of course) and subplots about how the medium of films is amazing.
Of course, this ends up with a system celebrating the same kinds of movies, year after year. And the frontrunner for this year's Best Picture, La La Land, certainly ticks a lot of the checkboxes to help it work its way to an easy win.
Which is where the moviegoing public finds itself with the responsibility to help weed out movies that get massively hyped up without reason, right? There are plenty of awards that have been given to undeserving candidates already - we need to balance the playing field, so to speak, don't we?
See, I'm not too sure about that.
by Harsh Vardhan
It’s quite weird that, whenever something bad happens to us, the first thing we do is burst into lamentations about our fate, without looking back at what led us to this one moment in time. There have been so many occasions in this life of mine, so far, when I found myself questioning the partiality fate has for others over me, and contemplating things I couldn’t achieve, completely undermining the very blessed life I have been fortunate to live. To cut the narration short, I don’t think I have appreciated the gift of life enough and watching 127 Hours, for the second time, gave me a quite reminder of it.
To set things to perspective, I first saw 127 Hours back when it released and I thoroughly enjoyed the film for the sparkling storytelling it boasted of. The experience was great and I had thoroughly enjoyed it, but it eventually faded just like any other movie does (including the good ones).
So what made it different this time around?