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Mother, writer and daydreamer. Also chocoholic and chick-flick lover. But mainly mommy. To two boys, at that! When not escorting my Elder One (EO) to karate class, I'm trying to get in as many cuddles as possible from my Younger One (YO). And when not doing either, I'm hard-at-work trying to maintain a steady relationship with my laptop. And as for the Man I Married (MIM), well, let’s just put it this way – even though we share a bedroom, our most meaningful conversations are held over the cell-phone!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

WTF?!?

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.

15 comments:

Piper .. said...

:):) I`m not a brad Pitt fan either! Somehow he tend to get on my nerves!
Having said that, I have to admit that I have been dying to see Benjamin Button. Curiosity,I guess. And now even more! :)
Secondly, I did see Anuranan and yes, I cant stand Rituparna Sengupta.But the end of the movie was ok I guess. A let down. But I thought there were scenes in the movie which could have been better directed - ie apart from the end. Infact, at the end,I liked the idea of her being the only one to believe in Raima after what happened. I guess it could have been better directed though..

wordjunkie said...

Absolutely agree on all your points about 'Button', especially the luminous Cate...in fact, I had even more gripes.
And seriously, did Slumdog really deserve best picture?

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

@ Piper: That's the thing with Antaheen. I feel he's made up for the glitches in his first venture. Yes, of course it could have been slightly shorter and tighter, but then that is an affliction that 98% of Indian directors suffer from. I didn't like him snuffing out Rahul Bose's character in Anuranan. I think he could have gone another route and shown us that sometimesmen and women can indeed be friends without 'letting the sex thing get in the way' (quote Harry)! :)

@ WJ: 'Luminous'! That is the word I wanted to use here. In fact, when I was mulling over words to describe her on the way home from the cinema hall, this word popped into my head several times. But of course while writing...
But yes, 'luminous' is the perfect word!!

Mama - Mia said...

not seen either, so what to say! but intend to watch curious case soon enough. me like brad pitt. not a LOT but likey! :)

and M watched SM the otha day and came back saying crap! so you aint the only one! :p

cheers!

abha

Preeti Sharma said...

well creativity is so subjective,it would be strange if everyone just loved the same things and the same people. i do however find it interesting that it's pretty much the same set of movies that get nominated for movie, editing, direction, male, female, costume, soundtrack and everything else.

good to read you again!

Piper .. said...

Ohh but I thought that was exactly it. That indeed they shared a platonic friendship, without physical involvement! And that his wife was the only one to understand that! Wasnt that it? I mean, may be I have misunderstood the film then :(:( Its too tedious to sit through it again!

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

@ Preeti: Yes of course creaivity is subjective, I appreciate that, but one just can't help but compare the two movies! And sweetie...WELCOME BACK girl! I've missed you!

@ Piper: Yes of course it was platonic, I just wish he (as in the director) hadn't done away with Rahul Bose's character. I felt the death was unnecessary.

Suki said...

Okay, I'm watching this soon!

And as for popular awards... since when were they given on merit? It's all about sentimental value, political maneuvers or "originality"(which usually means that some Hollywood guy is copying from the rest instead of the other way round). Bleargh.

Suki said...

PS: I liked Rituparna Sengupta in "Paromita'r ekdin", an Aparna Sen film. Other than that, I share your reaction to her!

Monika,Ansh said...

Benjamin Button is on my must watch list & I was a little taken aback by the title of your post. I mean, I did not wanted to miss the movie & a bad review wuld have prompted me to do just that.
& BTW, I am a total Brad Pitt fan. So good that u ducked in time....lol.

Monika,Ansh said...

YOu are tagged !

Mama - Mia said...

namesake, i know you dont do tags! but thought you might enjoy this one! :)

http://amateurabe.blogspot.com/2009/03/meri-kahaani-meri-hi-zubaani.html

hugs

abha

Rashmi said...

Hey you have maintained nice blog..loved reading your older posts..Will definitely come again ;-)

Aaarti said...

:) well, am not gonna Boo u just cos ur not a Brad pitt fan... :D

but yes, i completely agree with you on the awards scene... i so think Benjamin Buttons deserved more awards n recognition.... it truly deserved it..

That Rahul Bose movie soonds interesting, shall try picking up the dvd and watching it...

Mystic Margarita said...

Thanks for the heads up on Antaheen - will watch it on DVD when it comes out. I thought even Raima Sen's character was a miscast. Been dying to see Benjamin Button.