Sep 15, 2002

And the movies on TV that caught the eye
  • Groundhog Day is one of those movies that don't boast of Oscar glory or aren't hyped in roaring Saturday Mega Movie!!! trailers, but are a good advert for movies. No viewing hassles. Featuring Bill Murray & Andie MacDowell, Groundhog Day has a very interesting story line, and is a feel-good movie that will make you feel exactly that way: good. Do remember to look up the meaning of déjà vu if you watch the film.

  • Annie Hall is typically Woody Allen and is arguably his most famous film. It scooped four Oscars (most unusual for a comedy, can't think of any such occurence after that until Shakespeare in Love), notably Best Picture, Best Director for Allen, Best Actress for Diane Keaton and Best Writing (shared by Allen). The tale is of a romance with Annie Hall, told through the eyes of Alyy Singer, and features the usual gamut of Allen's neurotic concerns with being Jewish, the women in his life, New York and depression. George had a post on Zelig, another Allen film . A peeve with Allen is that the plots of his films tend to revolve around the same themes, marked by the now-classic Woody Allen hesitant dialogue delivery.
    I also read the script. There are some interesting narrative methods: Actors break off to address the audience, and often characters go back in the past, observing themselves or others in innovative flashback sequences. But for most, it probably is a film most likely to be appreciated by Americans themselves, and I don't think I can get everything in it. It thus wouldn't go down in my all-time list, but I'll cross one more out out of my top-films-to-watch list.
    A George-like observation on an in-joke: Allen & Keaton refer to The Godfather (I forget exactly where, I think outside a movie theatre). Keaton, of course, starred in a brace of Godfather movies made before Annie Hall as Kay, wife of Michael Corleone.

  • Sense And Sensibility aired today. Ang Lee's film version of the Jane Austen novel was also an Oscar success, mostly for Emma Thompson, who was Best Supporting Actress and won Best Adapted Screenplay. The film also features British actors, Hugh Grant (who also had a tiny role in another old-world British film, The Remains of the Day) & Kate Winslet. Interestingly, as I type this, I'm listening to a few songs from A.R. Rahman's score for Kandukondain Kandukondain, which is Rajeev Menon's Tamil adaptation of Sense & Sensibility (Another multistarrer, which had non-Tamilians heading most of its lead cast with Mamootty, Tabu, Aishwarya Rai & Abbas. Ajith was the odd Tamil out.). Rahman had another hit that same year, Mani Ratnam's Alai Payuthey. Kandukondain... was also released in select non-Tamilian centres like Mumbai, in the original Tamil with subtitles, an experiment born out of the debacle of Sapnay, the dubbed version of Minsara Kanavu, Menon's debut. It did surprisingly well and enjoyed good reviews. I have yet to see both Alai Payuthey & Kandukondain Kandukondain. Alai Payuthey is being made into Hindi as Saathiya which marks the directorial debut of Shaad Ali, son of Muzaffar Ali (of Umrao Jaan fame) & Subhashini Ali. He's been assisting Ratnam for a while now (He also appears somewhere in Dil Se). Will also be the full romantic debut of Vivek Oberoi. In the original, counterpart R. Madhavan shot to superstardom with Alai Payuthey.

  • And finally, Sun TV had two of Mani Ratnam's most successful films, Agni Nakshatram & Nayakan on consecutive Sundays. The former is his, AFAIK, first multistarrer and the latter is one more Kamalhaasan singlehanded acting lesson.

No comments: