Hidden Figures (E)

 

Hidden Figures Poster

Imagine you are a women, African American living in West Hampton, West Virgina, USA in 1961. Also, you are a highly intelligent mathematician working for NASA. Struggling and suffering the brunt of racism yet you survive, succeed and excel. This will be your story and a great one.

This is based on the true life story. In 1961, mathematician Katherine Goble works as a “computer” (a person performing mathematical calculations, before electronic computers) the segregated West Area Computers division of Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, alongside her colleague, aspiring engineer Mary Jackson and her unofficial supervisor Dorothy Vaughan. The story is her life and how against all odds she excelled and was recognized for her brilliance.


Very good movie. One of the best feel good movies to be watched with aspiring young children specially girls.

Taraji P. Henson as Katherine provides a memorable performance supported by Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan and Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson. I loved the splendid performance by Kevin Costner.

See it in theater before screening closes.

Rating PG

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Les Femmes du 6ème étage (French)–Women on the 6th floor

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Monsieur Joubert (played wonderfully by  Fabrice Luchini) is not your every day French romantic hero. He is the garden variety, middle aged man with bulges appearing every where. He is a successful stockbroker who takes a human interest on the Spanish maids who live on the 6th floor of his apartment building introduced by his maid Maria (Natalia Verbeke). With the maids he finds normal and happy life in contrast to his own reserved upper class French mediocrity.

The movie is classic French. There are no curtains, violins, candle lights and unwanted emotional over dose. It portraits the drama as it is. Straight and simple. There lies the beauty of French film making and this is a lovely.

Good movie for Friday night.

Rating: M (sexual reference, adult themes)3-STARS_thumb.jpg

Dhanak (Hindi)

Dhanak_theatrical_release_poster_thumb.jpgFor a change an Indian movie portrays love between a sister and her blind younger brother. So sensitive and realistic you will get very close to them and relive your own childhood. I went back in time and was holding my sister’s hand and we were happily walking to school. I was the happy kid once again dreaming of everything that is good in this world. Such a refreshing and positive theme is a rarity, specially in main stream Hindi movie.

Set in Rajasthan, this is a gem of a movie which underplays and effectively brings across childish innocence. Beautifully acted by Hetal Gadda (sister) and Krrish Chhabria (brother). The two just live like normal kids on the screen.  The sister’s mission is to get her brother’s eye sight and the story revolves around this main theme. You get to sit on your arm chair and the screen unfolds with beautiful sandy deserts of Rajasthan as the back drop and paints the adventures of the kids in a way that will pull a string in your heart. Do watch it with your family and siblings.  I am rating this movie 6 stars.

Rated G images

Amma Kanakku (T)

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This is a gem of a movie. Takes Indian cinema few notches up in a gentle and a heart warming way. The movie is a remake of the Hindi film ‘Nil Battey Sannata’. When I was lamenting that most of the Tamil films are same old same trash, this movie is a refreshing and gentle tearjerker. Marvellous movie.

The story is about the aspirations of a poor mother for her child. With no emotional or sentimental over dose this movie is brought to life by Amal Paul, Samuthrikani and good old Revathy.

Amala Paul transforms has a poor but determined Chennai ‘Vellikari’  with a scintillating performance. She talks to your heart and reminds you of the dreams you have/had for your children when they were growing up. Rarely do I get involved to the point of tear drops welling in my eyes. Good movie and must see for all families. Specially with the children.

Rated: G5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

PINK (H)

 

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This is a powerful and confronting movie at many levels. The overriding theme is not a new one. Every liberty, freedom, choice and right comes with a responsibility. If you want to exercise your rights then you do so, understanding the responsibility that comes with it. It also explores the meaning of the word ‘NO’ in the context of men and women relationship.

In a country which is still evolving and adopting few western concepts without the safety net of the culture, or the protection of law, this is even more  an important issue.  There is a fine line, a  ‘Lakshman Rekha’ which needs to be accepted. Crossing the line is with peril and consequences which may be dire. Add to this the concept that the women’s body and its use is her ‘right’ not an ‘obligation’.

India is a land where one of the celebrated epic portraits a women being disrobed in front of her protectors and the learned and just men around her are keeping quiet! We have to change this image to one where women’s rights are protected by law and the society. No better way to enunciate this than with the medium of the movie. But, the movie also balances the issue by  highlighting the responsibility which goes with the right and the penalty for discarding it.

The location is New Delhi. Three young girls get into serious trouble and become one more case of ‘’victim of a crime is made to be the perpetrator’. The movie is about the case in a court of law. You feel you are sitting in the court and feeling the intensity of the drama that unfolds.

Gandhiji famously said freedom is about a woman walking alone at night. We are no where there. One may argue ‘I used to do so’. Either you are lucky or did not understand the risks. They are constant and present.  Better to err on the side of caution rather than get in to spiraling devastation.

IN my opinion, if you place the weight of all the roles Amitabh Bachchan has done and his role as the defense council on the other side, the scale will tilt on the ‘Pink’ side. Once in a life time role delivered spectacularly without over acting, sentimental overdose or ‘desi stereotype’. Mesmerizing performance supported by the cast, low key sets, lighting and the mood it creates.

The movie has Indian actors and they speak in Hindi and English. But the movie has relevance anywhere in the world. For the first time the Indian cinema steps out of the ‘stereo type’ clichés and main stream commercial recycling and has produced a good movie.

I believe men and women of certain age should watch this movie and so should all parents. It is a changing world and we need to change.

Superb movie for 15+. I am giving 5 stars only because it is the limit.

Watch it in a theater. Support this movie so that it will encourage others to produce non commercial chewing gums. Talk to your son and or daughter and get them to comprehend the society we live, their rights and responsibilities.

Water mark. Happens once in a way.

5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

The Man Who Knew Infinity (E)

Man who knewThe Man Who Knew Infinity is a 2015 biographical drama film based on the 1991 book of the same name by Robert Kanigel.

I feel a more apt title would be ‘Hardy and Ramanujan’. The movie is about ‘ What happens in Cambridge university’, rather than ‘ in Ramanujan’s life’. Ramanujan was an orthodox Iyengar from Kumbakonam. Chubby, smallpox marked face and never perhaps wore a ‘lungi’ in his life let alone a ‘pancha kachcham’ lungi. Robert Kanigel spent time in Erode, Kumbakonam, Namagiri and understood their importance in shaping Ramanujan’s life. His book brings out the quintessential Ramanujan. The movie is in a hurry to get Ramanjun to England and then tell us what happened there.

Casting Dev Patel in the lead role is perhaps more for the western audience and to get around the fact that a native Indian hero cast is not going to turn the till at the box office. I often wonder, with a flourishing  movie industry in Tamil Nadu, why they can never find a typical Brahmin girl to play a typical Brahmin girl in any movie. Mind you Devika Bhise looks stunning and does a creditable job.

Jeremy Irons is brilliant. Perhaps, in my view, the movie lacks an honest true depiction of the great man. The movie opts to lean on emotions and  music and caters to selected audience hoping for box office returns. But then, I am not the one investing my money. My point is if you are making a movie about a real time hero he needs to be real. Hopefully there will be in the future a true life story with Ramanujan as the centre piece. If you have not read the book please do and let me know what do you think.

2 STRAS

Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi (H)

“Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi” is a 2012 Bollywood romantic comedy starring Farah Khan, Boman IrSHIRIN_FARHAD_KI_TOH_NIKAL_PADI_posterani in the lead role. I laughed happily and enjoyed the time spent. Boman Irani provides a stellar performance and keeps it beautifully underdone.

Farhad Pastakia (Boman Irani) has a dream job as a bra-and-panty salesman. He is a 45-year old Parsi bachelor still living with his overbearing mother and grandmother. He wants to get married his mother is desperate to get him married but it is just not happening.

Then Farhad meets the woman of his dreams: Shirin Fugawala (‘Farah Khan’). The movie takes you through Farhad’s , Shirin and Farhad’s mothers interactions. When you just think Indian movies have lost the touch to produce movies like ‘Chit Chor’, comes SFKTNP like a refreshing summer breeze.  Good Movie.

5_Star_Rating_System_3_and_a_half_stars (1)M – Adult themes