Sunday, September 16, 2012

Two movies, One day

I had a busy sunday today. Initially I planned on watching Arbitrage today and leaving Barfi for next weekend. But then there was so much chatter about Barfi, that I decided I'm going to do the back-to-back shows. If there's one thing I love it's being told stories and good ones at that.

So in a nutshell, I found Arbitrage a good movie once again. There was a lot of dilemma a lot of if's and but's and permutations and combinations and bending the rules this way and that so everyone got out ok. It was a smart movie, with awesome actors and a good plot. However, I believe it's not the best movie for the general crowd, at least not in India unless you are speaking about the lot who has the basic knowledge of how business works, negotiations are carried out, out-manouvering the other etc etc. So a comment I got to hear after the movie was I never knew when it began and when it ended. Nor was my roommate pleased with it. But that does'nt matter, I loved the way Richard Gere played this guy who thinks money fixes everything, plays even the "patriarch" role to the core ensuring his kids are fine at any cost. I loved the way "Jimmy" for not knowing the actor's name is the opposite of this, someone who helps Gere's character out of loyalty than material gain and even tries to explain money cant make things go away and displays good moral values and principles throughout. i loved Susan Sarandon's character of being the wife who ignores the faults in her husband for the greater good of her family, and for having the strength to stand up to him when it starts affecting her brood. And Tim Roth gives a very similar to Lie to me performance without analysing the micro-expressions. Here he's toobusy analysing the micro cuts :P

The questions asked at the end are of-course was it fair? Would I have done the same were there so many minor aspect I had to take care of? The answer to the first is a clear no, its absolutely unfair. The second gets dicey; would I not have done everything to ensure that my family comes out fine, even if it hurts my image to them? I would have done that. Everyone is absolutely correct when they said well he should not have been such a class A asshole in the first place, he should not have had the affair, he should not have driven when he was exhausted, he should not have blah blah. But the focus is he did it and now what? What does someone who is a guilty parent and spouse do to protect his family? I loved the layers to the movie. It was fun. And I could go on like this forever but I do want to get to the second one before you get bored. So I think pointing out the layers is good enough for this one go watch the movie and get answers to these questions on your own. Better still ask more questions.

Barfi was as expected a touching film. I loved Ranbir Kapoor in this flick. He was good. It made you laugh and cry. It had some rather strange twists and turns but it was sweet altogether. Barfi is a good family entertainer, though I doubt too many kids below ten will get the intricacies of autism and deaf and dumb people , as I witnessed first hand from the questions being asked by the kid sitting with her parents next to me.

Off the context of Barfi, this is the thing about hindi films though, they are so tailor made to fit the expectations of Indian audiences that they do not give me much fodder to think about or analyse. A comedy is a comedy, a horror flick is gory and stupid for no rhyme or reason and the latest genre India seems to be encouraging, the sprouting of sleazy sex films as drama, the integration of films which should have remained restricted to the bhojpuri audiences into the mainstream, well the lesser said about it by me, the better.

But Coming back to Barfi, it's nice. It does'nt do much for the autistic or the deaf and dumb but it does tell a nice, funny story. Ranbir Kapoor did manage to make you laugh quite a bit, though I had the feeling I had watched similar sequences in the old Charlie Chaplin flicks or the Jackie Chan movies. He manages to make you cry too. I liked the simplicity in his logic of love. They managed to get the flashback manner of showing the movie pretty correct too though at one stage I was confused in the sequence.

 It's a good movie by Indian standards. And I don't think I'd be going too far when I say Ranbir Kapoor is really blossoming as an actor who fits all sizes. I was rooting for Imran Khan when both of them were introduced, almost at the same time actually,  but Ranbir Kapoor seems to be beating him hollow as far as the variety in acting is concerned. it's nice to see a guy who's actually acting different roles and characters out for a change rather than doing the same thing in every movie he does which is so the case with most Indian actors. I'm definitely impressed by the movie and its lead actor.

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