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This movie is a call for ‘return of the musicals’. A perfect form of audio-visual art. From the opening scene to the very last scene, the movie is awesome.

The movie starts with patronizing song ‘Look Down’, which holds very strong and moving notes and beat (given the condition that you watch the movie with good acoustics). The opening scene with Hugh Jackman as Valjean, and his rebel attitude towards the state, represented by Inspector Jarvert (Russel Crowe), was perfectly pictured with magnanimous ship being pulled by jailed workers and slow shower rain drenching the workers, and beautifully conceptualized as the rebellion is casted by just a simple look towards the Inspector. The pulling of flag- log and his angry man looks, equally countered by Javert, made Valjean’s character synonymous to idea of revolution. This same idea was later magnified later in the movie by different situations into humanitarian, justice and equality. 

As, the story marched ahead, Valjean finds himself hiding from the state for the sins that were circumstantially not sins, but as per law, worth 19 winters in prison. He is being hunted by Javert, who is equally passionate about his duty. The life of Valjean changes suddenly when he comes in contact with Fantine, who fell victim to his un-deliberate sin. To fulfill his duty to correct his sin to Fantine, Valjean must now take care of a small girl. The small girl brings new spring in the life of fugitive, but things get complicated once again when French lower class revolts against the bourgeois, and Valjean faces Javert again. The story develops complex relations between the two and concludes on a sweet note, which was not anticipated throughout the story, and came as a sweet surprise.

Not only the movie is a visual treat but it carves out the best out of different characters, may be one of the best developed characters on-screen in recent times. Every character has his shades but the beauty of the movie lies in the fact that it doesn’t allow that to make prejudices against any characters. They are all lovable, imaginary yet very realistic.

The movie brings a story which develops on the foundation of concepts of justice and humanism. Everything else is shown developed as an offset of these two basic ideas, be it romance between Cosette and Marius, be it rivalry between Valjean and Javert, be it light weight comedy by Thenardeir and his wife. I can’t remember of any other story so beautifully developed around such basic ideas. One was ‘The Dark Knight’, but then it was not musical.

Hugh Jackman as Valjean is remarkable in the movie. His facial expressions and his body languages, gestures and even eye movements are so well defined and portrayed that they make Valjean more real than reel. Rossel Crowe as Javert is awesome, because he played the only character in the movie who exercised restrain in dialogue delivery, obviously because of the nature of police man he portrayed, but then he made Javert so special with his performance. Anne Hathaway, Fantine, acted completely inside-out, means she just exerted out the soul of Fantine from deep inside of her body to screen. She was the most special character in the movie, and was simply genius in this role. Hats off to her! Then, came Cosette- Amanda Seyfreid. She looks pretty in the movie and acted pretty too. The rest to the characters were also nicely played by respective actors, but Sacha Baron Cohen deserves a special mention, for his role of  Thenardier. He was a treat to watch , with all his witty looks and cunning comedy, just like Borat. No doubt he is a special actor. Even little Daniel Huttlestone was marvelous in his little role of Gavroche. He almost made us cry when he walked past the barricade challenging the police and was shot. 

Hats Off to Director Tom Hooper and his team. And special Hats Off to music team, they were marvelous, specially with their ‘Look Down’ theme, used in different situations in the movie. 

This is a must watch movie for all genuine art lovers, and for those who want to watch something that they haven’t watched before- a musical marvel. Surely it would be a misery if you miss this movie.

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After the declaration of celebrating Valentine’s day with loved ones went viral on INTERNET, I too decided  to spend the auspicious day with my first love (First after my family, friends and my books). So, I borrowed hard disk from one of my friend who is an avid collector of movies, and scanned his huge compilation of movies. He compiled his collection as-
  1. Indian
  2. English
  3. Other Languages
  4. My Stuff
$1000 to guess what he keeps in ‘My Stuff’ folder. Hint- its not porn or any other adult content !
 
So, I opened the ‘Indian’ folder, and got my picks- Cocktail, English Vinglish. Then I browsed to English, I decided to go for Duma, and God must be crazy. I kept asking myself, “Dude! How could you miss Cocktail- Deepika fame and English Vinglish- Critics Fav. Its over one year since they released, and you haven’t even watched their pirated versions on youtube! Pathetic!”.
 
Cockta
First one to go was Cocktail. I wouldn’t lie even a word. The movie was sheer torture. If this was the cost to watch Deepika, I would want to sue the Director Homi Adajania. And to my utter amazement , story was written was Imtiaz Ali (JWM fame). Dude! You almost got my adoration after Jab We Met and Rockstar, but now you have lost it.
 
The movie started with some man-slut guts of Saif’s character on flight and restaurants. I simply hated that, whatever that was. I can’t image even a weirdo doing those cheap stuffs, and he called himself- Software Engineer. This was disrespect to entire IT industry workforce of our country, we are indeed not that slutty. Why didn’t any Software guy sued him for such performance ? In one scene when he flirted with a Chinese client, it was like death coming to me being a software guy myself. How could a IT professional claim to make an entire system alone? How could one IT guy talk to a client like this? Which was his employer- I want to forward my resume to it.
 
And then came women with cute faces and “Model” physique, but no sense of acting. After seeing Deepika in this movie, I think she is turning into a male SRK- always so hyper. I was searching for moments when she could act naturally, like a normal girl, and couldn’t find one! Deepika, one suggestion for you, being your fan- You have nice height and body, but sweety learn how to act naturally, go attend Irffan Khan classes sometimes. Diana Penty was so cute in the movie that she should have never opened her mouth at-all. Her dialogue delivery was simply like Food delivery of my Biryani restaurant- pathetic!  And by the way, what a waste of good actors- Boman  Irani, Randeep Hooda and Dimple….simply awesome. 
 
 
The only nice point in the movie was that I made me feel sick and I had to drink 2 liters of water to neutralize it affects- That’s good for my health, thank you Cocktail!
 
english
 
Next in line was Sridevi’s English Vinglish, directed by Gauri Shinde. As the movie started, the first thing I observed was, “Oops! Sri is now old “. But it took a minute for me forget about her age, because she was kicking all critic asses all over the screen. What a performance that was! The movie was sweet and simple, but Sri’s performance made it so special. Contrary to traditional Indian heroines with hyper emotional acting, Sri delivered a rather natural and naive performance with some absolutely adorable facial expressions. She was like one of our real aunties, with small family. And then I realized why she looked older (yet beautiful) in the movie, because that was the real demand of the role. I noticed she didn’t wear make up in many scenes, hats off ! I mean, she could have also pulled a “Madhuri Dixit” (make up to cover age) if she wanted to hide her age, couldn’t she? But, then that is where real genius of the actor and director comes into play. And even at this age, Sri was kicking asses of likes of Deepika, Kareena and Anushka, which was amazing to watch.    
 
Rest of the cast was also good, specially Adil and Mehdi Nebbou. Then I found out that this French guy of English Vinglish also played Ali Hassan Salameh in Munich. It was like finding a diamond in a coal mine, real gem of a feeling , of recognizing the face of an actor from a previously watched movie. The same feeling I got when I recognized General V.K Singh in Prahaar. The boy kid delivered a performance better than expected, and the girl who played Sri’s daughter also played a real “Bitch” role very effectively.
 
Only loose point of the movie was the South Indian guy in the english classes. Ironically he too played a software Engineer, struggling in english- simply ridiculous! First, if you are weak in communication skills, IT companies wouldn’t even hire you. Second, even if they hire you, they wouldn’t send you to US – client side where you can’t communicate effectively with them. Third, why do film makers think that all Indians abroad are Software guys? Here I would like to streamline my thoughts with what Modi said. “Now India is a land of mouse charmers”. Yes sir, I also think so! But seems like no one knows what a Software Engineer really is.
 
 
duma
Next in line was Duma. Duma was a sweet movie, a treat to watch and cinematically perfect. It started like a national geographic documentary, but soon touched the human aspects of the film art. The Cheetah shown in the movie was fun to watch and I wished if I could be in Africa (my dreamland), I would have also got a pet Cheetah like Duma. And I would have also run the car parallel to Duma at 60 km/ hr, and then I would have also went on to explore African barren lands with him. But Africa is still to get software projects, so there aren’t many prospects of me shifting to Africa. 
 
The kid who played Alex and the African guy acted the hell out of themselves. The different Cheetahs used for the role of Duma too ,were quite a sport with their acting skills (OK! I am kidding now, but Hats  Off to their trainers). The story was very nice and appealing to basic needs of humanity. The interaction between animals and humans, and the characters of these interactions were interwoven beautifully in this short story. This was the second best animal movie I have seen, first being – Teri Meherbaniya. 
 
Ok, I was kidding, it is Haathi Mere Saathi.
 
 

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