12 Angry Men Review – 12 Angry Men is an American drama released in 1957. 12 men in the Jury have to come to a unanimous decision for the verdict of a criminal trial. All of them find the accused to be guilty but for one person in the room who wants to talk it through before taking a decision. The rest of the movie is on if they are able to build consensus on the verdict they are going to arrive at.
The movie is an adaptation from a teleplay done by Reginald Rose who had co-produced this movie. Director Sidney Lumet had made this movie predominantly in a single set which is the Jury room. There are very few scenes which covers any other location than the Jury room. Although the entire movie is in a Jury room and is very dialog oriented still the movie has a gripping 96 minutes. It is as equal as any racy thriller.
The discussion is happening on a very hot afternoon in the New York City caused due to depression. The fan in the room is not working and the group is having a heated argument and actually sweating it out. As the movie travels it reaches a point when the whole atmosphere is gloomy and then there is light and then there is wind. The use of atmosphere as a metaphor for the high points in the discussion is brilliant. Even the position and stance of the 12 men is neatly coordinated and at any frame you would realize the level of involvement, consensus and agreement they have with the ongoing topic. The names of the men in the Jury is not revealed to us and only in the end there is a scene where you get to know the names of two of the men which then becomes irrelevant. The characterization of the 12 men is done very well. There are men who are not so sure of what they want, there are men with strong opinions and there are men who want to just get this out of the way so that they can attend to what they had planned for the day. The verdict is also quite serious involving death sentence or the release of the person who is accused.
This is a movie that every movie buff should watch for the sheer brilliance of the plot, characterization, props, acting and the dialogues.
Thalapathi Review – Thalapathi is a Tamil action drama released in 1991. The movie is an adapted version of the mighty king and warrior Karna from the great Indian epic Mahabharata. Surya born as an illegitimate child is abandoned by his Mom and left on a basket in a goods train. He is then raised by lower caste people living by a river side. He grows up to become a loyal friend and henchman for gangster Devaraj. Both of them run parallel government in the city while the lawmen await an opportunity to take them down.
Diwali of 1991 is unforgettable for me. I was down with flu and was sad for not able to go out to watch the much awaited release of Thalapthi which went on to become a cult classic and a blockbuster. The movie’s release expectations soared sky high with Director Maniratnam and Rajinikanth coming together for the first time. Popular actors like Mamooty and Amrish Puri sharing screen space. The soundtrack of the movie was already a super duper hit with the Ilayaraja’s violin orchestra starting off the ever famous “Raakamma Kaya Thattu” song which later went onto become the 4th most popular songs of all time in a BBC worldwide service poll across the world. The ticket reservations began a week ahead of the release and the tickets for the first time I had seen did not look like a movie ticket but looked like a mini poster with Rajinikanth and Sonu walia’s dancing still. Finally once I got well I couldn’t wait but rushed to the theater to watch movie which was already declared to be a hit with repeat audience thronging the theaters.
Director Maniratnam is a brilliant story teller. He has taken the story of Karna and made it into a cult classic. Although the movie has been told so many times as part of the epic but still Thalapathi was a very compelling watch for the screenplay, the treatment, acting performances, star cast, music, cinematography and direction. Everything was set so perfectly for this movie that made it an evergreen hit. For the first time the Tamil audience saw a very different performance from Rajinikanth. Although the story had much of the commercial elements that you would want in a Rajini movie, this one had everything in a very convincing fashion and the scenes brought out various emotions from Rajini. Be it fighting with rage, shouting out emotionally to his girlfriend, caring for his best friend, melting for his mother’s love Maniratnam got the best out of Rajinikanth after K.Balachander. He rediscovered the actor who was lost in the color of commercial cinema. The dialogues of the movie are of top notch. The sequence where there is meeting between the collector, SP, Devaraj and Surya is impact full with circular tracking shot. The movie released in 70mm which made everything on the screen look magnificent. There is never a dull moment in the movie.
Overall the movie is a feast for all movie lovers and still stands the test of time.
Must Watch – Epic
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag – A biopic of the famous Indian Athelete Milkha Singh who made India proud in athletics (running) and has won many medals for the country. He just missed the Olympic bronze by a whisker.
Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra should be lauded for bringing the inspirational biopic of Milkha Singh on to the screen. The movie is inspirational and engaging right from the word go. The only dull moment in the film is when the plot deals with one of the dullest point of Milkha’s athletic career in Australian olympics which indeed makes it effective for the script. Prasoon Joshi has written the screen play very well and has told an incredible and compelling story. Farhan Akthar has lived as Milkha Singh. All his hard work and effort pays off as you never realize it is Farhan playing the role. Music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy has made the story telling very powerful. The visuals and camera angles is very artistic. I couldn’t think of any short coming in the movie. I had always wanted more biopics to be made in Indian Cinema by Indian Film makers. This one is definitely a milestone in Indian Cinema and hope it inspires many film makers to make good biopics. For many of us who haven’t lived in the era when Milkha Singh was flying on the tracks this one is a chance to relive it. The theater turns itself into a stadium in the second half with audience cheering and applauding. We may already have the Oscar nominee for Indian film this year. Don’t miss this movie when it is in the theaters. Milkha is still breaking records and is set bag many medals (awards)…. Its not just a “Must Watch” but an Epic!
Epic – Get Inspired