Category Archives: Other Languages

Other Language Movie Reviews

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

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

Ip Man Review

Ip Man Review – Ip Man is a semi biographical Hong Kong film released in 2008. The film is loosely based on the life of Yip Man a grand master of the martial art Wing Chun.  Yip Man also had been the mentor of the Kung Fu Legend Bruce Lee.

The film covers the events of Yip Man’s life between 1930 and 1940. This was the period of the Sino Japanese war and China was undergoing a major struggle. Donnie Yen has performed brilliantly as Ip Man. His stunt moves are great watch. Overall the stunt choreography of the film is done very well. If you are a fan of martial arts movies you would love this. The story has given more importance to martial arts and how it was perceived by many after the era of Shaolin temples. The art was fading away and people knowing only the art were still not seen as responsible compared to a business man. This is seen in many occasions in the film where one of his friend says he had been thinking for what use is the martial arts and also at one point Ip Man himself says he just know martial arts and no work. The film also glorifies Chinese martial arts which teach compassion and not punishing people unduly. The first half of the film deals with the culture of the city of Foshan which is a martial arts hub in Southern China. The second half has a strong contrast where in life becomes difficult after the invasion of the Japanese. The characterization and buildup of Ip Man is done very well and your respect and awe for him grows as the movie progresses. The scene in which he enters the martial arts training ring of Japanese soldiers and tells he would fight ten people is a high point in the movie. Credit goes to Director Wilson Yip for creating a story that is compelling. Lot of creative liberties has been taken to make the movie dramatic and it has worked well.

Overall if you love martial arts movies this one is a must watch for you.

Must Watch – for all martial arts fans

Raja Harishchandra

Raja Harishchandra – Got to watch the first ever movie of Indian Cinema (May 13, 1913). Was inspired by it. Although 20 min footage in between was missing but I could see what a visionary and an artist Dadasaheb Phalke was. The movie was shot mainly in outdoor. Every scene was sculptured in a way to represent a living Raja Ravi Verma painting. One of the greatest challenges was Phalke did this when acting in movie was considered to be evil. He had to make male artists play the female roles and also to the outside world he had asked actors to tell that they worked for Harishchandra’s factory. The movie was released and a was a commercial success. This was the new beginning of Indian Cinema which today has reached many a new heights and has a world-wide marketability. Hats off to Dadasaheb Phalke for being persistent in his vision and goal.

Must Watch – A tribute to 100 years of Indian Cinema

Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne

Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (Bengali) – Satyajit Ray special… Its the Legend’s Birthday today! One of the childhood memories I have is reading about his making of Pather Panchali where kids Apu and Durga run through a paddy field to catch a glimpse of a train… Iconic! Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne is a movie made for children by Satyajit Ray it is funny, witty and filled with sattire… He got the story told by his grandfather to the silver screen… It has very brilliant sequences considering it was taken in 1969…. Its a laugh riot throughout…. Pickup a DVD and watch it…If you like it you can watch the sequels as well Hirak Raja Desh and Goopy Bagha Phire Elo…

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