Category Archives: Fantasy

Baahubali – The Beginning Review

Baahubali – The Beginning Review – Baahubali – The Beginning is a Telugu is a historical fiction movie released in 2015. The film is the first of a two part series. Shivdu is found on the riverside and is raised by a small tribe family; he always wants to climb the big mountain near the village against the wish of his mother. He is able to do it when he grows up; this leads him to his roots from where had come from.

5 tablespoons of Mahabharat, one tablespoon of Ramayan and one tablespoon of masala ingredients from high packed action movies mixed well together. The dish that comes out of the above ingredients is what is Baahubali in a nutshell. Although it is made of the ingredients that we have tasted before, the dish is well prepared and fulfills our appetite like a grand feast. Director SS Rajamouli has dreamt big and kudos to him and his team to bring such a visual grandeur to the silver screen. The breath taking visuals, a native story, stunning fight choreography, powerful characterization all these make Baahubali a very compelling watch. The movie stays true to its promotion and what it had promised to offer; a historical fantasy story painted on an expensive canvas. Every frame has visual grandeur in it, right from the formidable falls to the large battlefield. Many of the characters and situations resemble many of the Indian mythology stories you would have heard but putting them in this combination is interesting. Prabhas, Anushka, Sathyaraj, Nassar, Ramyakrishnan, Rana Daggupati, Tamanna all of them have performed very well. Peter Hein’s stunt choreography is one of the highlights of the movie.

High Points: The narration, visual effects and characterization of Baahubali, Bhallala Deva, Kattappa and Sivagami shine in this first installment. The interval block for the movie was really powerful and is the high point in the movie for me.

Low Points: There are definitely some low points. There is very less differentiation between Shivdu and Baahubali. You don’t feel they are two different characters. There have been some sequences to please the fanfare on the opening day of the movie, which could have been avoided. The background score for such a visually stunning film was a bit let down for me.

Overall Baahubali is a visual treat, though it is a story you would have heard a million times still it is very interesting when SS Rajamouli narrates it. This one is a milestone in Indian Cinema and a Must watch for all Indian movie lovers.

Must Watch

Big Hero 6 Review

Big Hero 6 Review – Big Hero 6 is an American animated superhero movie released in 2014. This movie is based on the Marvel Comics of the same name. A 14 year old genius and robotic expert Hiro Hamada has to form a super hero team to fight a villain who is suspected to have played a role in his brother’s death.

If you have read the comics you might already know what you would need to expect from the movie. However if you haven’t then one of the things you might need to know is this is not yet another animation movie that targets kids with a good moral message like Wall E, UP, Frozen, Brave and so on. There is no such thing this Big Hero 6 conveys. The movie is more of a super hero movie than that of a kid’s animation movie. During the break one of the kid exclaimed to her mom that she couldn’t understand the movie. If we are looking this more from a superhero movie angle then it has all the ingredients that would entice you. The animation is of great quality and the characters are all sketched very well. The health care robot Baymax is very cute and the scenes involving the interactions between Hiro and Baymax are funny and would make you laugh. The initial portions of the movie are more enjoyable than the climax itself. The climax is large and involves destruction on a large scale and reminded me of the Avengers and Man of Steel climax. This large scale destruction has now become a trademark for superhero movies. The movie revolves more around Hiro and Baymax. There is little space for the other four characters which I believe would be more prominent in the upcoming editions. The movie does have a post credit sequence which promises a premise for the next edition. So don’t leave the theater before the end of credits.

Overall Big Hero 6 has all the elements to entertain you and keep you engaged for 100 minutes. If you are a fan of Superhero and animation movies then don’t miss this one.

Watchable

Irandaam Ulagam

Irandaam Ulagam – is a Romance and Fantasy Tamil movie released in 2013.  The story happens in parallel across two planets Earth and an unknown planet. The unknown planet is inhabited by people who are like humans and still ruled by Kings. There is greed, fear, slavery and war spread over the race and there is absence of Love. The divine mother in the race believes a true love would bring in peace and build culture to the race. Meanwhile in Earth a medical student and a mathematician fall in love. At one point of time the two worlds connect and there is an opportunity to establish true love to the extra-terrestrial race. Was true love established, did it bring in order to their world is the rest of the plot.

Have you ever woken from a dream and thought how strange it was? That is the feeling you would get after watching Irandaam Ulagam. It is a never seen story line and canvas for Tamil Cinema. Selvaraghavan should be lauded for thinking of such a story line and putting in efforts to bring it on screen. Where the movie falters is in the screenplay and dialogues. You talk about true, divine love and hear dialogues of what you would hear in movies like 7G Rainbow Colony, Kadhal Kondaen it kind of creates a clichéd product output. He could have completely avoided that for this movie as it did not fit the bill. The movie doesn’t let you engage with it for long as too many things are happening on screen that is ethereal in nature. It is hard to make films of such demanding visual effects and still make it commercially viable for Tamil Cinema. Unfortunately that is harsh reality and our film makers are caught in this dilemma currently. To make this work, pre-production as a discipline should get well established in the industry to pre-plan and prototype good enough output that is convincing to the audience. This movie has done that to a good extent but they have missed out big time on casting, make up and detailing. Till this is got right there will be a disconnect. Overall the movie has taken the same route as what Baba took, its struggle to tell a compelling message to the audience vs trying to force in commercial elements into it. If you are willing to keep the distractions away and able to see the actual message that has been told and appreciate the efforts of a film maker to bring his dream on to the screen then you should definitely watch this once if not you can skip it.

Note: Please read the review completely before taking a call

Can Skip it – unless you are willing look beyond the on screen performances for the deep message in the movie.

 

Thor: The Dark World

Thor: The Dark World – is a Marvel Superhero movie released in 2013. Eons back Bor, grandfather of Thor defeats the dark elves and safeguards their deadly weapon Aether which has the potential to destroy the universe in a stone column. In the present time the dark elves lead by Malekith awaken with the accidental release of the weapon Aether. They now launch their assault on Asgard and are out to destroy the universe as the event of convergence of the Nine worlds nears. Thor has to save Asgard, the earth and the entire universe. Was Thor able to do it… ? is the plot of this sequel to the Thor movie.

When the dark evil forces arise and threatens to destroy the world, a superhero comes to save the world. This is a template of any superhero movie and the creators do not have much levy to change this. What they could creatively play around with is the sequence of events that would lead through the story. If they are not able to engage the audience with interesting sequences then the movie becomes a boring one. This movie is on the borderline. Parts of the movie, particularly the portions involving Loki are very engaging. Tom Hiddleston has done a very good job of playing the role of Loki and lifts the tempo of the movie. Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman have done what the script has asked for. Like any of the modern day super hero flicks there is mass destruction, makes one feel gone are those days when super heroes saved innocent people from great perils while the modern day super heroes are more concerned about their loved ones. Overall the movie deserves a one time watch if you are a Thor fan. And don’t miss, there are 2 post credit sequences at the end.

What you may like: Loki’s characterization, visual effects, post credit teasers

What you may not like: Usual superhero plot, slow paced first half, Not as racy as its prequel

Watchable – for the characterization of Loki

Brave

Brave – An animation fantasy film from Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney. A princess takes a brave step to follow her heart against the will of her mother. In an effort to change her mother’s heart the steps she takes results in unforeseen circumstances that threatens to lose her mother forever. She races against time to mend what she had done… Did she succeed? Was she able to change her Mothers heart?… is the story of Brave.

This is the first fairy tale from Pixar. The screenplay is slick and builds up to the message that you would see in many of the Pixar movies “Follow your Heart”. Although the usual message, the movie stands out of the crowd for the way it is presented. This movie won the Academy Award for the best animated feature film in the year 2012. The visuals are stunning and they have recreated the landscape of Scotland in computer generated images. The amount of complexity of the visuals had posed a challenge to the Pixar Studios and they rewrote their entire animation system. The result is a visual treat. They did not stop with the visuals but they also employed Dolby Atmos sound technology for the first time. This sound technology  is picking up very fast in the Indian film industry as well. Shivaji 3D, Vishwaroopam, Anybody Can Dance adopted this sound technology and there are many more to join this bandwagon soon. For the stunning visuals and a wonderful fairy tale this is a Must Watch

Must Watch – for Animation Fans