Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Godfather

This is going to be a unique post, quite different from any of my earlier ones. For once this is dedicated to one of my non-regular readers, who surprised me with the fact that he hasn't come across this masterpiece. It's come as a surprise even to me, a lazy bone like mine, undergoing all the trouble to draft a post at the most innocuous of times. This is going to be a combo review, a book -movie combo that I chanced upon to read-view within the span of the past week. I am pretty sure that each of my readers must have either read the book or watched the movie "The Godfather" by Mario Puzo. I happened to read it for the third time a couple of weeks ago when the inspiration to watch the movie was aroused within me. For the book lovers, nothing can equal the vivid description provided in the book. The smell of print and paper provides the icing for the wonderful delicacy wrought by the author.

Thankfully,for once, the movie provides ample justice to the book by taking into account the most innate details depicted in the book. For those who haven't watched the movie, please do so. Believe me, it is definitely worth it ! Marlon Brando and Al Pacino are simply amazing in their roles as Don Vito Corleone and Michael Corleone. Though the movie had some variation from the book, it recapitulates the charm of the story with its screenplay and music scores.Some of the differences that I could notice were;

* The history of Don Vito Corleone is not shown in the movie.
* Johnny Fontane isn't a very prominent character in the movie.
* The character of Dr.Jules is not even mentioned in the movie.
* The plot in the movie ends with the murder of the heads of the five families whereas the book is more benevolent, killing just the Tattaglia and Barzini.

The movie does score over the book in certain areas; the pace is quite pleasant in the movie whereas the book seems to be a bit too descriptive in certain places like Michael's stay in Corleone. The movie shows the cold-blooded politeness of the underworld in a scintillating fashion which seems extremely realistic. The music scores are so wonderful that it makes an impact on you without diverting the attention from the screenplay. Brando's presence is the magical mix that makes the movie a marvel. The scene where he says "Look, how they have massacared my boy!" to the undertaker Bonasera is one of the masterpiece of acting that has ever come up on the silver screen. The dialogues spoken in Italian have actually added the realistic flavor to the movie, despite this being not being a bi-lingual flick. No wonder the movie has been rated, the third best movie of the century ! Irrespective of the cause, the result is the same..Be it the movie or the book, both issue out an offer which you can't refuse !!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Happy Happy days !!

Back to a movie review says the Titan, No, not just because my readers prefer it, but because the Titan feels like writing one today. Its been aeons since I felt any movie was good enough to be even reviewed. Let me bang in no surprises, my dear readers, I was already a Sekhar Kammula fan and just couldnt miss out his latest flick, "Happy Days". The only telugu movies that I relish watching inevitably turn out to be kammula's and thats how I found myself being converted into a fan of his. Typical of his movies, the story is neither brilliant nor unearthly. "Happy Days" is a very commonplace movie that even one of can contrive. But that's what makes Kammula stand apart, the way he transforms these seemingly trivial stuff into the magical movies is simply amazing.

Happy days spans over the four years of a bunch of college going students. Thats all the story is about !! Reminded of Godavari ?? :-)... Well, thats Kammula for you. Coming back to 'happy days', the story begins with the most intimate description of the life of freshers stepping into the engineering colleges. The way each of the lead characters is defined is simply amazing which every you can easily identify yourself with. A studious and all serious guy, a simpleton coming up the hard way, a sincere and devoted guy who does all things with utmost patience, an easy-go rich brat, an all rounder with not-so-bad marksheets, a tom-boyish girl, a college beauty... just name any kinda character you want, you get it in the movie. Among these, two characters deserve a definite mention here and are provided a bit stronger outline than the others. First, Rajesh the typical big shot's son who has entered with one eternal goal, somehow spend four years at college and get a certificate. The second would be Tyson, the straight-forward, ultra patient and steadfast student who perseveres to achieve his end.

The first half exhibits the typical samples of college life,
> Ragging
> Nagging
> Engineering drawing :P
> canteen restrictions
> English lecturer
> Fresher's party (Ahem..)
> x-year vs z-year tussles
> Assignments and night-outs before exams
> Tours (industrial visits ?? )
> 'extraaa'- curricular activities (Okay .. here I would let the readers guess the rest :D)

Typical to the Indian movies, there is the usual college-romance between a couple of the lead pairs. The movie touches almost all the pleasurable aspects of engineering education. (Well, what else could the director afford to show ..even a fleeting glimpse of electrical lab could have put me off !!) But we have to give due credit to the screenplay, it simply zips you back to your college days. The rest of the movie is a mixture of break-ups, patch ups, and mix-ups. What makes the movie magical is the detail of on-screen depiction, minor facts like hostel mess, club-rooms, same-pinche's and anniversary-trees are shown so casually that it literally transports the audience into the college-campus. For example, the scene where one of the guys borrows money and bike from his gang shows the level of attention given to each section of the screenplay and direction. The movie is strewn with an amazing array of songs which are again typical of Kammula's movies. Kudos to Mickey for his absolutely stunning music scores ! Also the entire movie is shot within the same college premises (CBIT, Hyd) which again shows that low-budget movies can also be money-makers.

As with other Kammula movies, the comedy is subtle and adds gaiety to the story. With such a weak story line it simply amazes me how the movie manages to hold your attention for the entire duration of the movie. Well, who cares.. as long as I don't have to comprehend human-impossible feats and out-of-place characters, I am a happy audience. But identifying yourself with the characters of the movie is quite a different recipe that leaves a lingering aroma and tinge of joy in your heart !