economic recession, job losses, dangerous fluctuations
in oil prices and terror attacks in Mumbai. The
year 2008 will probably stay in our memory for
the scars it left on us than for anything pleasant
– like a Black US President. It wasn't good
times at the movies either, but if you care to
notice there were a few gems that flickered and
disappeared in the midst of eye-blinding star
power movies. They, of course, did not make huge
flutters or earned profitable returns. Worse even
chances are that you would not even have heard
about them. But they are presentations with heart
and soul with some touching moments that made
me feel that the spirit of cinema is not lost
in the blinding arc lights and the red carpet
is a little list of movies I enjoyed watching
over the year, listed in the order of my preference.
A word of advice – please do not read the
plot summary in Wikipedia that gives away the
entire story of the movie before watching. Trust
me, it spoils the fun.
The Bucket List
The Bucket List revolves around the most unusual relationship
between two terminally ill cancer patients played by
Jack Nicolson and Morgan Freeman. Jack is a billionaire
with countless business ventures while Morgan is a humble
mechanic. When they were forced to share a room in Jack's
hospital during the course of medication, the extraordinary
friendship blossoms. Written by Justin Zackham and directed
by Rob Reiner, the movie tells the journey the duo takes
on their bucket list – a list of to-do before
they kick the bucket. If the climax does not bring tears
to your eyes, you are probably born without a heart.
relatively lesser known movie, In Bruges dwells on the
'evil should be punished' theory and deals with the
lives of two hit men. In an assignment gone terribly
awry, Colin Farrell kills an innocent kid and later
finds it tough coming to terms with his mistake. He
was sent on a vacation to the Belgian city of Bruges
to get over his guilt by his boss with a senior hit
man. But as days progress, Colin realizes that his senior
is sent with him on a mission. Brilliant story telling
by Martin McDonagh that keeps you guessing till the
end. Also, watch out for the hardnosed and deglamorised
Ralph Fiennes - if you remember him from his Lord Voldemort
fast paced thriller drama, A Wednesday happens in Mumbai
when a smart stranger calls up the commissioner's office
claiming that he has planted bombs all over the city.
Watching the movie unfold, one can't help but wishing
that our efficient police force is as fast acting and
free from the bureaucratic loopholes that often compromises
the country's security. Directed by Neeraj Pandey actors
Anupam Kher, Nazrudeen Shah, Jimmy Shergil and Amir
Bashir make watching the movie a terrific experience.
Aamir that falls in the same genre is another exciting
Poi Solla Porom
After the moderate success of Kreedom, directed
Vijay took the road less travelled and came up with
a widely appreciated Poi Solla Porom. For Tamil cinema,
that is synonymous with triangular love stories, wicked
villains and mindless fight sequences PSP is a refreshing
break of sorts.
Rajat Kapoor's Mithya is amusing, dark, spooky
and tragic. Ranvir Shorey plays a small time actor whose
life is tossed over with an assignment to play doppelganger
of an underworld don in real life. If you thought Neha
Dhupia is necessarily a skin-flick girl, Mithya will
change that image. And Ranvir Shorey is bang on.
Debutant Anil Sharma's plot could have been lifted from
the Woody Allen flick 'husbands and wives', but since
the plot and treatment are brand spanking new to India,
Dil Kabbadi makes for a wonderful watch. The movie,
told in a narrative style, deals with issues such as
infidelity and loyalty among contemporary urban couples.
Watch the passive aggressive Konkana's smart-yet-dumb
act and Payal's dimwit act. And of course, Rahul Bose's
Kung Fu Panda
It doesn't come anywhere close to the 'Shrek or Ice
Age' series, but Kung Fu Panda is fun, thanks to Jack
Black who made the Panda's (Po) character immortal.
A rough look at the plot reveals an unimaginative story
line, but animation and some of the sexiest voices of
Hollywood make up for it – including that of Dustin
Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu.
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