Monday, December 31, 2007

Five of the best from my 2007

Movies: Taare Zameen Par, Ratatouille, The Rules of the Game, Knocked Up, Grindhouse

Books: We Need to Talk About Kevin, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Mahabharatha: A Modern Rendering, From Hell

Happy New Year, everyone.

Taare Zameen Par

To quote Anton Ego, the food critic from Ratatouille:

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgement. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so....The world is often unkind to new talents — new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source...

Last night I too experienced something new and extraordinary, something magical, something heartfelt, moving and brilliant. A movie called Taare Zameen Par, from a new director named Aamir Khan. I confess I didn't have very high expectations from the film and was prepared for a three handkerchief tear-jerker. Tear-jerker it definitely is, but in the most natural way. The acting is excellent, the music spot on, the screenplay taut and the direction top-notch.

My daughter probably identified herself with the child protagonist and was upset initially, she wanted to leave during the first half. Later on she watched, enthralled, while her parents did their darndest not to cry. As we sat through the end credits, she kept saying she wanted to watch it again. I looked around and saw the theater half empty, the ushers trying to move everyone out before the next show. All the people who stayed back though, had kids on their arms and a look of wonder in their eyes.

Thank you, Aamir.

Friday, December 21, 2007

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

From Roger Ebert's review:

This is a Mouth Agape Movie, during which your mouth hangs open in astonishment at one preposterous event after another. This movie's plot doesn't play tennis without a net, but also without a ball and a racket. It spins in its own blowback. And, no, I don't know what that means, but this is the kind of movie that makes you think of writing it.

I don't always agree with Ebert's likes and dislikes, but there are very few reviewers around who can write like him. Trust me, I've checked.

Monday, December 17, 2007

2007 & '08

Slant magazine has a pretty good list of their top 10 movies of 2007 here. Don't miss the 'Superlatives' section towards the end.

I haven't watched a single film from those lists yet - my must-watch list grows longer and longer, sad to say.

As for my most anticipated movie of 2008....