Sorry gentle friends, for that rather loud title, but I just saw two movies over the weekend and that is the reaction I was left with after each.
The First WTF?!?. A Bengali movie called 'Antaheen'. After ages, and I do mean effing-light-years, I saw a Bengali movie that was near perfect. On so many levels. Such an impressive line-up of actors and they were all absolutely spot-on. Rahul Bose, who is on my yummy list, breathed the character as did newcomer Radhika Apte, Sharmila Tagore and the delightful surprise package of husband-wife duo, Aparna Sen and Kalyan Ray. The characters were believable, we know people like them in our lives. The music...aah the music! Finally, after the good ol' black-n-white era of Bangla music magic, I wanted to buy the OST, and I wanted to do it immediately, like right after the movie ended. Bravo, Shantanu Moitra...I can understand if you ever win the National Award for Best Music Director for a creative, musical work of art like this, rather than the shamelessly plagiarised 'Pal, pal, pal, pal' from 'Lage Raho Munna Bhai'. The cinematography was astonishingly slick. I mean, I have never seen Calcutta look so beautiful, so warm and welcoming, so ethereal.
As for the sory line, it was sweet, simple and drew us in. I felt like a character in the story, standing on the fringes, waiting, watching, observing...patiently wanting to play my part. In a line, I can say that it's about 'loves and longings in Calcutta'. This is director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury's second venture. His first offering was the beautifully crafted 'Anuranan'. There were just two big faults in that movie...Rituparna Sengupta and the end. Here, while he scores a 10/10 for casting, he did it again...he screwed up the end again...big time and in the exact same way he ruined his first movie. When 'what happened' happened, our jaws dropped and we froze for innumerable minutes. The movie theatre clouded over with the collective, disappointed disbelief of the spectators. The WHF?!?!'s were almost palpable and audible. If Mr. Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury makes another movie again, and he most definitely should, I would humbly request him to change the ending from what-is-obviously his standard delight. Please make more movies, truckloads of them in fact. Just, don't do an 'Aniruddha' to the ending. Spare our feelings!
The Second WTF?!?. A movie known famously as 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'. Angry mobs are going to come after me for saying the things that I'm about to, but I'll be brave and do it anyways. So *gulp*, here goes...I am not a Brad Pitt fan *ducks for cover and waits for the hullabaloo to subside*. Ok, now that the outrage, disbelief, irate tirades and teeth gnashing have stopped, do let me add that after seeing this movie, I can get why the general female and gay population lurve him so. For those two-and-a-half hours, I nearly did too.
People, what a beautifully told story of a tale that could be written in one line -- the story of the life of a man born old and who ages backwards. That's it. That is the story. But what vision the screenplay writer and director have to draw this out into a gripping, moving, visually appealing and stunning work of cinematic genius.
Right. So what exactly were my WTF?!? moments, I hear you ask. Well, they weren't 'moments' so much as wonderings and the 'W' isn't so much as 'What', but rather 'Why'. Will someone please explain to me how and Why-TF Cate Blanchett was not at least nominated for an Oscar? I haven't seen Kate Winslet in 'The Reader' yet and I'm sure she was great in it, so maybe CB's portrayal as Daisy wasn't Oscar-win-worthy, but it was definitely Oscar-nomination-worthy. I mean, nobody can stop talking about Brad Pitt's portrayal 'through the ages', so to speak. Well, CB more than matched up to him, I feel. The second Why-TF wondering is that this lost to Slumdog Millionaire? I mean seriously? Okay, give Danny Boyle the Oscar, yeah sure, I get it. But Best Picture as well? Another Academy decision I'll never understand.
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