Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mission "AFAD" - January 2011

First of all: The German version of this blog has been deleted due to several reasons. Mainly, it just takes too much time  and energy to keep two blogs and translate every post into the other language. It's easier to write the entries for only one blog, and I can put more energy in it now, and hopefully improve more. Also, I don't really feel like there's a need for the German version, as most Germans understand English very well. So much for that...

Films posters are often beautiful, trying to catch your attention.
This month, I watched farther than only at the posters of these films.
I've been writing a little about this new "mission" I have, and now it's time for the first results, namely of January 2011. A good month to start: new year, new decade.
AFAD = A Film A Day is the name of my mission - off course not the most realistic title, as I watch more than one film at the weekend days, and sometimes 0 films on a normal day of the week (especially on wednesdays, as that's my "Desperate Housewives"-day). But "MAFAD" (maybe a film a day) would sound stupid, so that's why my mission has this particular title. By the way, these are not only Indian movies. If you find the line "first view", it means that I hadn't seen the movie before.
Enough of those explaining words, let's get to the core: The results of my first month.

The Baker (2007), UK, English
First view. I'm always at my guest family in Denmark for New Year (they're kind of like a second family, or some young grandparents), and they have 1000s of TV channels. As I don't have anything to do on the day after New Year's Eve, I usually just watch TV. This was a very funny comedy, that I didn't see from the beginning, but it shows the good side of English humor!

Hangover (2009) USA, English
First view. After watching this I just had to buy it - one of the best comedies I'd seen for a long time. What I realized when thinking about my movie watching habits was, that I don't really watch enough comedies. And I don't mean "Women's Comedies" like SATC, or bad Indian slapstick comedies, I'm talking about just regular ones. Off course, "Hangover" isn't for everyone, you need a special kind of humor, but I don't know anyone who didn't like it.

Dil Chahta Hai (2001) India, Hindi
First view (and I know how embarrassing that is). I wrote a review on this movie, so you can read it, if you want to know more about my opinion on it. I think my last words were "a must-see!".

Aashayein (2010) India, Hindi
First view. I also hadn't seen many 2010 Bollywood films, but why I chose to watch Aashayein is still a big question. Read my review for more informations on this "well, well, well" film.

Dabangg (2010) India, Hindi
First view. Now, were getting to the better parts of 2010. I only rated it 6/10 in my mini-review, but that's because it simply is nonsense. Charming nonsense, but not everyone is going to like it. (I did, so don't worry).

Sholay (2010) India, Hindi
... Ahm... (Clearing throat)... First view.... Jump right to mini-mini-review or let me just tell you that I totally regret not having seen this before. Now I understand why it's one of the most famous Indian movies and why Amitabh Bachchan is a god.

Amardillo (2010?) Denmark, Danish + English (documentary)
First view. This movie is really disturbing, it's about Danish soldiers in Afghanistan, in the camp called Amardillo. I think they showed the unpolished reality and it was a great documentary, but my opinion on the Afghanistan-war hasn't changed. I did think about the issue, though.

Don (1978) India, Hindi
First view. Another classic I was almost forced into seeing, well, not literally, but I wasn't allowed to visit the shooting of Don2 in Berlin by my parents, so this was my replacement for that.
Don original is actually better than the new one, especially because of Big B. Mini-review.

The Pillars of the Earth (2010) Germany & Canada, English (mini-TV-series)
Second view. Didn't watch the entire series on one day, off course, but I watched the last episode on that day, together with my guest mother. I read the book some month ago, while I was on a vacation in Mexico, and instantly fell in love with all about it. It is perfect and though the TV-series isn't, it still does a good job and is so well made. My guest mother hadn't read the book and she was just totally fascinated by the story and everything. Big thumbs up!

The Core (2003) UK & USA, English
Second view. Trashy world-saving movie but with good actors and some funny new ideas.

Love, Sex Aur Dhokha (2010) India, Hinglish
First view. My self-education of 2010 Bollywood continues with LSD and my mind is split about it. It had great new and brave ideas, especially the first and second story were great. But then, in the end, I asked myself: What's the point now? Off course, it has some good observations on the modern Indian way of life and stuff, but it just remains kind of unfinished at the end. Also, the third story was rather unnecessary and annoying.

Peepli Live (2010) India, Hindi
First view. I was just back in Germany at that date and so happy that Peepli Live was running at our Independent-kind-of cinema... I watched it with my mother and little sister (12), we all liked it. Actually, I think they liked it a little bit more than I did. It was good, off course, but in some ways a little bit too long and... hm... I can't explain. Funny, usually I always find words for films.

Shakti - The Power (2002) India, Hindi
First view. Bought the DVD on Ebay - thank god. I won't ever watch it again, counts to the poorer films I've seen.

Sarfarosh (1999) India, Hindi
First view. Always nice to see Aamir, Sonali and Naseeruddin, but the script was boring - they could have made more out of the plot. Still, I can recommend watching it.

Love and Other Drugs (2010) USA, English
First view. Went to the cinema with a friend, we thought we could really use a romantic comedy then. Turned out to be a good choice, as there was romance, comedy but also serious matters - plus some really good actors. Definitely worth a watch!

Kabhi Kabhie (1976) India, Hindi
First view. I was so in love with this movie, that I instantly wrote a review/ love song about it. The 70's are not my new 2000's, but I will keep in mind to watch some older films from time to time.

Sehar (2005) India, Hindi
First view. Very big disappointment, even Arshad Warsi couldn't save this un-relevant Police-flick.

Black Swan (2010) USA, English
First view. So sad the movie wasn't released earlier, I hurried to the cinema to watch it at the very first show. It was the first movie allowed for 16 year old, that I've seen at the cinema (I'm still 15, but only until March). I had an older friend with me and she was more horrified by the movie than me, but it was just wow. One of the best movies I know.

Avatar (2009) USA & UK, English
I got the collector's edition DVD for christmas, so it was time to watch Director's Cut - together with my mom. Still one of my alltime-favorites.

Guzaarish (2010) India, Hindi
First view. As you can see in my visual review, a big part of the film concentrated on the beautiful visual side, and there were also many things reminding me of my-biggest-Bollywood-disappointment "Saawariya". Still, it wasn't a poor film, but also not a particularly good film. Bhansali leaves room for improvement, but I think he's on his way back.

Forrest Gump (1994) USA, English
Second view. Hey, at least I have seen it. We watched it at school, because our new topic in English is the USA. The film was as great as it was, when I saw it the first time. Fabulous movie!

The Social Network (2010) USA, English
First view. An entertaining and fast paced film with an interesting plot. Not the very best 2010 Hollywood film, but definitely in the top 10. Especially recommended for everyone with a profile on Facebook.

Dushman Duniya Ka (1996) India, Hindi
First view. I have to questions on this film: 1) Why did I buy it (even though it was cheap, on ebay). 2) What the heck did Shahrukh think he was doing in the mid-90s (aside from the great "DDLJ" and a hand full of other acceptable flicks)???

Rakht Charitra I (2010) India, Hindi
First view. Counts to the best Indian film experiences of 2010, I'm absolutely mad about this film. It was perfekt - blood, great actors, catching story... RGV is back for good! Can't wait for the second part, which I put on my birthday wish list.

Born Free (2010) Music Video/ short film (music by M.I.A.)
First view. A friend from school recommended this to me, as she knew I love M.I.A. - and films. We both found it very interesting, it's a good short film, as you can think and interpret for a long time. This short film will stick with you.

Inception (2010) USA/ UK, English
First view. Another film that I watched due to recommendations. It's not too well-grounded, but still an interesting idea and well-made. I always have mixed feelings about DiCaprio - on one hand, he is one of the best Hollywood actors, on the other hand I always think about how handsome he once was... And isn't any longer.

Udaan (2010) India, Hindi
First view. This was my catch-up-on-2010 weekend, and I watched 5 movies that were either critically acclaimed and/ or discussed much. I think everyone is going to find something good about this film... It is an impressive direction debut with a respectable leading actor.

Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai (2010) India, Hindi
First view. No matter how much I like Ajay Devgn, 2010 was not the year where he showed off many new facets. We've seen him in this role a few times, but... he still plays well. Emraan is finally doing something not containing the trade mark "Bhatt", which is an improvement, because I think he's been a little underrated and took some rather bad role choices... One of the best 2010-ers.

Raajneeti (2010) India, Hindi
First view. Didn't feel like watching this at the beginning, because it was so long, but I'm glad I still did. Katrina Kaif convinced me for the first time and most other actors were also good (I didn't like the Irish girl, though). Story was a lot of Drama, but with the right amount of other things (thinking of "Guzaarish", which contained a little too much Drama).

Ishqiya (2010) India, Hindi
First view. My curiosity made me watch this film, because it was contained on almost every single "Best Of 2010"-list. I was a little disappointed by the story and the length of the movie, it sometimes tries to be "Indie" too much. But the actors are totally worth watching and I can understand the hype of the film now.

We Are Family (2010) India, Hindi
First view. As I already said on twitter, this is the absolutely most kitschy film of 2010. I cannot believe why Kajol would agree on playing in it. Nor Kareena and Arjun... though they choose some awkward movies from time to time. Kareena was the best part of the movie and the only reason I didn't turn it off. I simply couldn't believe that scene just before the end... Horrible! Do not watch this, especially if you don't want to get sugared.


That's it for January 2011.

Thank you for reading,
Mette M. K.

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