Category Archives: Other Languages

Other Language Movie Reviews

Kills on Wheels Review

Kills on Wheels Review – Kills on Wheels (Tiszta szívvel) is a Hungarian comedy film released in 2016. Two disabled teenagers find a reason to live when they get associated with a wheel-chaired hitman.

This is yet another movie I had an opportunity to watch in Bangalore International Film Festival. This is the first Hungarian movie I am watching. Right from the main title card, the movie kept me engaged. The plot line looks very simple and naive but a number of layers added to the screenplay and the characters have been phenomenal.  There was always something waiting to surprise you. The hitman assignments have been shot very well and many of them have been gripping. In particular their final assignment. When you are already blown away by the story you had witnessed so far, the director surprises you with yet another beautiful twist in the movie to leave you elated as you leave the hall.

If you are film student then this is a movie you should watch for many aspects, the layers you add to a screenplay in terms of characters and situations, the background score, mise en scene to name a few. I can’t write too much about the plot and their twists as it would spoil the movie for you. This one happens to be the official nomination from Hungary for the Academy awards but unfortunately did not get nominated.

High Points: The characterization of the lead characters. In particular the boy with autism and the hitman. The final assignment of the hitman set out to kill Toni. The twist in the climax sequence. The title soundtrack.

Low Points: I did not find any low points for this one. If any had been well covered by a great execution.

Overall, the movie works well in entertaining the audience and leave the elated. Don’t miss this one.

Must Watch

After the Storm Review

After the Storm Review – After the Storm is a Japanese drama film released in 2016. Ryota, a prize-winning author, and a private detective wastes money and cannot make ends meet to pay for his child support. He gets to spend a night together with his family on a stormy night, the night brings in a change in him.

I got to watch this one in Bangalore International Film Festival.  The movie very beautifully narrates the events that happen in the between the members of the family. The screenplay spends some time to establish the characters, their habits and the problems in life. It gets very intense once it has all of them inside the house during a storm. The movie touches upon many things including the addiction to gambling, self-centered parenting, kids craving for love from the parents. The memories of Ryota’s childhood brings back a new perspective into their life.

Kirin Kiki has performed very well as Ryota’s mom and she steals the show. I had liked her performance in An and I could see the same level of intensity in this role too.  Hiroshe Abe has also performed well. His transformation from a gambling addict has been portrayed well. Amidst of all the chaos, there is still a lot of humor that will make you laugh.

High Points: Very strong plot is a strength backed by the performance of Kirin Kiki and Hiroshe Abe. The night the family spends at home is a high point.

Low Points: The first half seems a little drag as the movie establishes the lead characters.

Overall After the storm is a movie that will touch your heart and bring in new reflections over life. You can watch it for the strong performances of the lead characters and the sweet message it carries.

Worth a Watch

Sweet Red Bean Paste (An) – Review

Sweet Red Bean Paste (An) – Review – An is a Japanese drama film released in 2015. The manager of a small street food place selling doriyaki is contacted by an elderly lady requesting for a job. Although he hesitates first but her skill in making a tastier sweet red bean paste for his doriyaki convinces him to get her onboard. What starts is a relationship that affects his life deeply.

The film addresses a social issue in Japan through the three main characters in the movie. The elderly lady Tokue, the manager of the street food joint and a school girl. All three of them are deprived of something in life and are very lonely. As the movie progresses we learn about each of them and how their lives are similar. Tokue leaves a great wisdom from the live she is leading to both the generations, in turn she also questions the baseless belief of the social issue.

Throughout the movie Director Naomi Kawase has used nature as a metaphor to go through the emotional rides. The performance of Kirin Kiki as Tokue is a very powerful one. She lights up the screen. The way the scenes are constructed has been very effective. The introduction of the characters has been conveyed very precisely in few scenes. The shop manager who does not like talkative girls, the school girl who arrives alone in the shop for lunch builds very effective portrayal of the characters.

High Points: Kirin Kiki’s performance,  The visuals and the story addressing a key social issue, The way the food is picturized makes you crave for food

Low Points: The movie tends to deviate from the main storyline a couple of times.

Overall, Director Naomi Kawase has tingled the taste buds of the audience through her Sweer Red Bean Paste. It is a dish that would leave sweetness in your mouth despite the heaviness. Its a must watch for all movie lovers.

Must Watch

Cinemawala Review

Cinemawala Review – Cinemawala is a Bengali drama released in 2016. The movie’s plot revolves around the stress in the relationship of a father and the son, where the father wants his son run his family business and the son takes a different route.

Director Kaushik Ganguly has used the background of a father-son relationship and depicted the fading glory of single screen theaters in India. The movie has a realistic take on the current state of affairs of the single screen cinema and how elements like piracy is killing them.  In a way the father and son and their strained relationship becomes the metaphor for the struggle and identity of the single screen cinemas.

The performances of Paran Bandyopadhyay and Parambrata Chatterji is very powerful and they add a lot of life to the scenes. Sohini Sarkar has supported them very well. Parambrata Chatterji has played the character with a negative shade very well. The character of the man who looks after the theater has also been created well. The scenes are constructed very well and there is an aesthetic appeal to it.  The climax sequence of the movie is very impactful and nails the message very effectively. This one is yet another wonderful movie I got to see at Bengaluru International Film Festival.

High Points: Performances of Paran Bandyopadhyay and Parambrata Chatterji, Engaging screenplay, Climax sequence

Low Points: The only low point is the core message on the state of single screen theater loses its focus when the focus is on the father-son relationship. However, the climax sequence brings back the focus and ends convincingly.

Overall Cinemawala has a very compelling story and creates the impact it intends to. You cannot stop yourself from feeling sad for the single screen cinemas that have been closed. This one is a must watch for all film lovers.

Must Watch

Pather Panchali Review

Pather Panchali Review – Pather Panchali is a Bengali drama directed by Satyajit Ray, released in 1955. The movie is based on the novel by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay by the same name. This was also Satyajit Ray’s directorial debut. The story revolves around a poor family in the rural area of West Bengal. It is the journey of the family struggling to make the ends meet.

This movie is now a landmark in the history of Indian Cinema. Ray took the film to outdoors and started the trend of realistic movies in Indian Cinema. The movie introduced many legends to Indian Cinema. It took 3 years to make the movie due to funding issues. If you are interested in the journey of the making of the movie then read the article Song of the Little Road from this site. Thanks to Bangalore International Film Festival, I was able to enjoy this movie on a big screen in Gold Class.

The movie is very engaging from the start. Given the limitations of the technology and challenges in lighting the output still brilliant. Ray paints the picture of the family in the rural area. The household set has been brilliantly designed and is utilized to the maximum. There is a scene in which the mother pushes her daughter out of the house and closes the door. Through the hole in the wall, Ray has captured both the characters and their emotions at the same time without resorting to any split screen editing. You would see many such brilliant moments in the film.

The music composition pandit Ravi Shankar is just brilliant and adds soul to the movie. The sound recording captures the sound you would experience in a countryside. The two kids in the movie are the ones that win you heart as compared to the others. They have performed very well.  Although the family is going through financial troubles the world in the eyes of the kids is still beautiful as they take extreme pleasure from the smallest things. The activities they do would have been nostalgic for many of the movie goers during that time.  As the movie is based on a popular novel the story itself is very compelling and Ray’s visual language gives a new dimension to the story.

High Points: The outdoor sequences, Scene compositions, performances of the actors, nostalgic moments, background score, use of the sets, the iconic train scene

Low Points: The only low point is the legend Ray is not with us now

Get ready to travel to a countryside and relive the early 20th century. This is a milestone movie in the history of Indian Cinema that had got a lot of attention from the world. Don’t miss if you get a chance to watch this one.

Must Watch

Rudhramadevi Review

Rudhramadevi Review – Rudhramadevi is a historical film released in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi in 2015. The movie is based on the life of the warrior queen Rudhramadevi who ruled the Kakatiya dynasty during the 13th century.

First of all kudos to the film crew for taking up a historical subject on woman warrior and bringing it to the silver screen. The magnanimous Baahubali had raised the expectations of film audience so high that anything less than that does not appeal anymore. Rudhramadevi also falls as a prey for this.

In the effort of making a visual grandeur in a limited budget, the filmmakers have lost the viewing pleasure. The visual effects look very amateurish compared to the standards we see today. The only thing that keeps your interest going is the story itself. The story has inspirational parts to it and some good war stories. However, the scriptwriters have failed to capitalize on this one and tailor to the movie format. In the end, it ends up looking like a TV show.

Anushka’s performance is a big strength to the movie. She has literally transformed himself as she plays the warrior. The only other character that had turned out well is Gona Ganna Reddy played by Allu Arjun.  Rana Daggupati’s character is weakly portrayed. The climax war sequence is the weakest part of the movie. In the effort of making it visually spectacular they have lost preparing the audience for it. Most of the times you are confused about who is fighting whom. In the end, it looks too easy to defeat the villain.

High Points: Anushka’s performance, Gona Ganna Reddy’s characterization and Allu Arjun’s performance, The story of a warrior queen.

Low Points: Ambiguous war sequence in the climax, Amateurish visual effects, Lack of character build up for other characters.

Overall Rudhramadevi ends up being a tale better made for the small screen than for the big screen audience.

Wait for DVD/TV

Suspect X Review

Suspect X Review – Suspect X (titled as Yôgisha X no kenshin) is a Japanese thriller released in 2008. Ishigami a Mathematical genius and a high school teacher try to save his neighbor a divorcee woman and her daughter from being convicted for a murder.

This is the movie that is been widely talked about nowadays that shares similar plot lines with Drishyam. However both movies are different but for the fact that a murder is being concealed by creating alternative evidences. But for that both these are very different movies. You could see it for yourself.

Now coming to the Suspect X movie, the movie is a very gripping tale of fight between two great scientific minds the genius mathematician and the charismatic physics professor. This is based on the popular Japanese TV series Galileo. The screenplay is very crisp and precise. Keeps the interest level flowing throughout. There are many scenes that create the thrills and the movie reaches a different level as the climax unfolds. Everything connects together. Till then the movie is both intellectual and emotional roller coaster ride. Anything more I say here would become a spoiler in the movie.

If you are a screenwriter and looking for ideas to keep the screenplay precise then this movie is a great example. Although mention of many places occurs in the screenplay, there is no visual until there is a strong requirement for the visual to move the story ahead. In the first five minutes you would get acclimatized with the main characters of the movie and from then on the director can concentrate on developing the plot.

Overall if you like detective thrillers then you would enjoy this one. This is much different from your standard detective thrillers but a strong dual of intellectual personalities.

Must Watch