Wednesday, 12 December 2012

48 Frames per Second: Boon or Curse?

Back in 2009, James Cameron changed the science of movie-making with his enthralling billion-dollar cash rig, Avatar. People cooed and wowed as the 3D came out like never before, owing to the Cameron patented ‘Fusion Camera Technology’, a technique which was developed to shoot movies in stereoscopic 3D. Come 2012, Peter Jackson and his crew present an all new way of projecting movie on a unique film with 48 frames per second (FPS) in the much-anticipated prequel to ‘The Lord of the Rings’ series, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

To kick start, one must wonder, what is Frame Rate? According to the all-knowledgeable Wikipedia, “Frame Rate is the frequency at which an imaging device produces unique consecutive images called frames. It is most often expressed in frames per second or FPS.”  In laymen terms, Frame Rate is the number of images that make up one second of a video and FPS is the measure of Frame Rate.

As history goes, movies till now were made and viewed in 24 FPS. By amplifying this rate, Peter Jackson, the director of ‘The Hobbit’, dared to eradicate the blurring effect which happens during rapid movements in 24 FPS. Thus, it will accentuate the smoother motions of the chronicles happening in the movie.

The early reactions of people after the advance screenings ranged from positive to mediocre. It was lauded by some futuristic critics saying that they were stunned by the sheer power of imagery and the exquisiteness of the movie. Acclaims also came in the way of the smoothness of action sequences that was never a feature of 3D 24 FPS. Some critics are calling it insanely gorgeous while praising its crystal clear turnout and others are whispering that, “they haven’t seen anything like it.”

With such ambitious visual appeal, come flaws. Complaints of over reality took a huge stride while some said that it takes a mammoth of a time to get acquainted with the visuals. Some criticisms were aimed at the contrast ratio in which things were either too bright or too dark. With such reality zoomed into prospects, makeups were highlighted and the movie looked like one big soap opera!

To sum it up, 48 FPS can very well be the future of movie-making. With life-like experience and slicker movements, it might rewrite the way movies are made. It will be interesting to note the final verdict of this technology when ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ will hit the theatres worldwide on 14th Dec ’12.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Movie Review] Khiladi 786: This Khiladi is out of form!

Director: Ashish R Mohan
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Asin, Mithun Chakraborty, Himesh Reshammiya
Genre: Action, Comedy

Goons soar in the air upon being beaten, cars are crumpled by atrociously lame kicks, glasses crack on a regular basis with unapologetic brash sounds and the Khiladi stands in the middle of the frame, as shamelessly as possible, trying to slip in the shoes of Superman. One must wonder where his source of power lies! Well, I got it, in the abysmal writing and appalling direction of Khiladi 786.

Story! Trust me; such a thing never existed in Khiladi’s world, still read! There is this owner of marriage bureau, Champaklal, whose son Mansukh (Himesh Reshammiya) is one dollop of horridness. So, Mansukh tries to justify his name by finding a match for a crime lord’s sister (Asin). Guess where the search ends! On the doorsteps of Bahattar Singh’s (Akshay Kumar) home! Then our Akki meets Asin and realizes that ‘dono ki Jodi dynamite hai’, and falls head over heels for the lassie. This starts the endless scuffle to impress the girl and then convincing both the families to tie them in a knot. Lame!
Well, there is no need for a roundup of performances as the character development slugs to zero in the first hour and then proceed to negative measurements in the unbearable second half of Khiladi 786.

With half shirt tucked in and half carelessly left out, Akshay Kumar walks from one scene to another with such retarded-ness that even the sloppiest of your buddy would be ashamed. If that’s not enough to provoke you to pull your hairs off, we have, the brazenly lunatic Himesh Reshamiya, which takes the silliness quotient to dizzying heights. Yeah, dizzying! 

The crime lord, TT, played by Mithun Chakraborty, twitches his utterly fake moustache and does nothing except squandering around while throwing trashy dialogues.

If you can even take the vileness of the ‘so-called-acting’ and the laughably bad script, action masala does no good to your mood. The fighting sequences are so absurd and illogical that you just want to shield your eyes and wait for the torture to pass through. Well, the other option is to leave the hall, which even saves you from the crass seeties (whistles) and hootings!

Strangely, the music given by the co-producer, Himesh Reshammiya, somehow redeems the movie. Though it is thoroughly nasal and contains some of the most horrible lyrics you have ever come across, it does rescue Khiladi 786 from its non-coherent plotline and puke inducing action sequences.

Khiladi 786 is so awful in its execution that even awfulness would have been ashamed. With macho stupidity and horrendously clueless acting from its cast, it is an achievement in pretentiousness!

Rating:  1 / 5

(first published in |  )

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Tree Of Life

It stood in front of him, with all its sprawling branches and enchanting beauty. The Tree Of Life! He wondered about all those mythologies, the folktales and the legends that were lost in the layers of time. But here, the world, in all its essence had come to a pause. It felt like time and space have ceased to exist. He took a step towards it, crunching the leaves below his feet. Then another and another and another!

The prophet’s words echoed in his ears as the tree now seemed within palm’s reach. The connotation had been sublimed to comprehensible depths and he had found his purpose in this creation; to search for the element that connects the underworld and the heavens, the tree that governs life. The voracious desire was to drink from the sap of the tree. The prospects of everlasting youth and eternal life reeled in front of his eyelids like a shadow dancing against a dead wall.

He tiptoed towards his Sun, the tree, like a devotee approaching his deity. He gaped at its enormity, the magnitude of the creation, as if the whole universe was caged within the tree. Perhaps, the tree itself, along with its withered branches and brown leaves, was the universe! Vast, immeasurable, interminable, ever escalating and ever expanding!

Reflecting at the complexity of its gargantuan height, he somehow, felt complete. Each of its branches intertwined with another, a stem losing itself in a leaf, a bud disappearing into a flower. The bark supported the weight of the tree, the weight of the cosmos; with its head reaching to paradise and the roots grounding towards an abyss.

Nirvana was attained in that very moment and was shattered in another as the insatiable lust for the liberation from sufferings, gripped him. Inside the depth of his cold soul, he knew that these divine conjurers; pain and death, are here to be eliminated from the mankind.

After scraping the fa├žade of the tree, he bent down as the liquid gratified his lips, caressing the rims gently. The cosmos shifted, the stars died around him and were born again. He perceived the pattern between the interlinking of the lives of each and every individual, as marked by the branches of the tree. His feet got lifted in the air as he saw a spiral of Energy hovering in the interstellar. Life, death, hope, freedom, pain and happiness; the translucent colors of existence now had a deeper meaning. He saw the order. He saw Our Master. Gradually, his flesh amalgamated with the bark and became one. He was then, consumed by the Tree of Life.

(first published in |

Saturday, 1 December 2012

[Movie Review] Talaash: Nothing Is What It Seems Like

Cast: Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor
Director:  Reema Kagti
Writer: Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap

Talaash is a poignant study of human pains when confronted with a loss. It contains an undercurrent of sentimental plots flowing betwixt its dexterous layers of suspense. To state a point, it is a nothing short of a triumph in mood setting and a silver lining for atmosphere driven cinema. But, the gloomy side of this coin is that it never reaches the heights its wings are capable of.

To sum the story without any spoilers, it is a salad of a distressed cop, a peculiar high profile murder mystery transpiring under inexplicable circumstances and coping with a monumental loss with a topping of glamour and suspense. If this seems less, we have an extra-marital affair and child issues to keep our plates full.

The spellbinding take on the murder, the livelihood of small thugs and some supernatural element peppered, makes it one dish to relish! Right from the wicked underbelly of Mumbai highlighted by the obscure neon lights to the tense screenplay, Reema Kagti, the director, creates an atmosphere which is hard to shake off. The movie starts slowly, but by the time you are munching away your corns, it had sunk its teeth deep inside your skin; then comes the second half with its incessant chills and beautiful imagery to blow you off the hook. 

But Alas! The party is short lived as the suspense is hampered by a hogwash climax which indulges in stereotyped spoon feeding of the events to the audience. The problem also lies in the sluggishness of the movie which borders on the brink of numbness. Yes, such a pace is needed to set the atmosphere right, but keeping a balance between the silence and the tight writing is mandatory to pull off a riveting thriller.

Apart from the skies and waters of Talaash, it is the charismatic acting of Aamir Khan that keeps the reel in taut position. His intensity of gaze and the plain black emotions upon his face are enough to relate with anybody upon which a tragedy had been incurred. He simply walks, frame by frame, chipping in a perfect combination of elegance and sentiments entwined by simplicity of a common man. Kareena Kapoor shines admirably in her glamorous role while Rani Mukerji, sans makeup, gives us a brilliant performance of a wretched wife in a distorted marriage.

Talaash is not everybody’s cup of tea, but those who savor a cerebral, intellectual ride should not skip it. Recommended!

Rating: 3.5 / 5

(first published in | )