Magnum Opus by Sujoy

Copyright 2007 | No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission. Mail me at :sujoy.singha[at]gmail[dot]com

Index of Movies

I have been reviewing movies for quite some time now. Here I have the index of all those which I have reviewed on this website.

Magnum Opus Index of Movie Reviews.

As you all know, I have moved to my new website

It also has movie reviews, and the Index page is given below.

OneKnightStands Movie Review Index.

Hope you enjoy reading them.


Hi everyone. We have moved from this address to

Check out the new site for all my latest posts on Movies, Music, Pop Culture, Humor and much more.

The first words when I walked out of the theatre is"Umm..that was ok.The movie wasn't bad eh! Hermione is very awesome(read beautiful), the effects are better, more real and all over the movie,the story is good,more mature, but come on why do I find Azkaban(Prisoner of Azkaban)more gripping. " I just cannot say it was a breath-taking movie experience as its predecessor. And then, they just seem so much more growing into my psyche, and definitely not in a positive way.The more I think about it, I find so many more flaws.

Okey Dokey, First things first.B'fore I had seen the movie, my friends(who had seen it, and also read the novel ) told me that they had skipped the entire Quidditch World Cup, which spans for some hundred pages in the book which speaks how vividly desriptive the event was in the book.That disturbed me a lot, and yeah probably was the key-factor in the ruining of the entire experience.Well, yes I am no big Harry Potter fan , and I admit that I haven't read any of the books.But yes, when it comes to the movies, I have watched them all.And I found this movie to be just another movie with extravagantly spent quids on special effects, and may be ignoring some technicalities on the narration. The movie just seemed to be so draggy in its narrative, may be because it didn't start for me on a right note.

Well FYI, this is the first time, the movie has been directed by a Britsh Director, and you definitely get to fell a strong British influence in the ambience of the movie, in things which can be fet during the movie and not one's that can be put into words.Confession time again: the first two Harry Potter movies , with all the young kids with Wixard and Witches robes on, or do I call them Wizard "Bling" ,left me cold.Whatever magic author J.K. Rowling worked on the page evaporated onscreen. Things improved last year with The Prisoner of Azkaban. Alfonso Cuaron, the Mexican director of the erotic road movie Y Tu Mama Tambien, let Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) show evidence of hormones in their third term at Hogwarts. Now director Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral), the first Brit to direct the Brit franchise, makes further advances. Within limits, of course. Screenwriter Steve Kloves, ever faithful to Rowling, doesn't mess with overt sex.

And if you think, I have been quite harsh with this review, well I can also name some moments that I enjoyed.Say, the very excitinf TriWizard Championship.Yeah, but the tasks, I found not quite that gripping.The one thing which I can say let me glued to my seats was of course "You know who".
According to the book, dark evil Lord, Lord Voldemort, doesn't come alive until this story and remains as a ghost for so long.There had been speculations regarding the role of the dark lord being offered to other Brit actors, including Mr.Bean, Rowan Atkinson.But , the role comes out to its scariest best in Ralph Fiennes, who does his Red Dragon stare yet again, well except for the nose this time, which i am afraid, doesn't exist.
I loved the action set pieces in this movie...the Dragon challenge was exceptional, and the underwater sequences were perfect, but the maze... (oh the horror)... what was Mike Newell thinking? It could have been so much scarier. The beasts and creatures that challenge Harry and the others....missing. You can argue that the Director stayed on course and kept the story tight, but this is the final challenge to the tournament and it felt like it was over in 5 minutes. No drama, no feeling of danger.
At the end of it all, you don't really come out feeling excited about the whole movie, well I didn't.Let me say that I fully understand that it was pretty much impossible to fit a 700+ page book into a movie. But, did they have to chop up and rearrange everything??? I guess it would have been better for me, if I had rushed to it on the DVD release whenever it did.I was hoping for something fantastic, even memorable. Book 4 is where the series really takes off, with the characters getting lifted up to their teen maturity levels and of course,Lord Voldemort appearing. However the movie leaves a lot to be desired.
And to make the long story short(as the makers did), it ain't a great movie . JK dear, how did you approve the script?This effort does not bode well for the remaining books. Are they going to ruin Order of the Phoenix too.Ralph , I am counting on you to uplift the next.Warner Bros, needs to stop while they're ahead, because if they are going to release trash like this, then they are doing a gross diservice to JK and the rest of Potter-dom.

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" Unfortunately , no one can be told what the matrix is, you have to see it for yourself".
How many times have I uttered those lines, since the movie , The Matrix, hit theatre screens worldwide in 1999? Haven' counted it though, but surely some thousand times ,if not more , and its not only me, its people my age, younger or elder to me who have uttered those lines, in different parts of the world in German, Thai, French, Japanese and what not.
The point is , we are the generation of the Matrix.And you love it, you hate it, but you cannot just have enough of it, no matter what.
There are a zillion of websites in millions of languages dedicated to the Matrix, showing how huge this movie has deeply made an indelible impression in our lives and in the way we watch and experience cinema.Do you think this yet another blog on the movie makes any sense? Who cares? I don't. Its just a ventilation of my emotions attached to the movie and everything that's related to it.
So,in the words of Cypher"..fasten your seat-belts Dorothy, coz Kansus is going bye-bye" and get ready to enter the world of the Matrix...

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Each and every frame of this movie is a painting which is worth selling a hundred million dollars each..u think I am exaggerating ,read on ..and I say you'll be a changed man/woman once you are done with this..
Parineeta...a tale of love, a tale of two true lovers Shekhar and Lolita, caught in the web of misunderstndings, suspicion..and winning over them..
I take this oppurtunity to write my blog on it..Because it was my movie fav of this year 2k5..because it deserved more than Paheli to go to the Oscars as India's official entry..because it showcases Saif Ali Khan at his career's best performance (arguably after Dil Chahta Hai), because it has given birth to a wonderful actress Vidya Balan..and because it takes a producer like Vidhu Vinod Chopra to believe in an ad-person Pradeep Sarkar to direct this pure magic set in the backdrop of 1960's Calcutta.

The first thing you notice about Pradeep Sarkar's portrayal of this classic Sarat Chandra's novel is the tone, the hue and the flavour of 1960's Calcutta that he brings forth with extraordinary expertise.Right when you have just settled down with your popcorn in your seats, and the title credits have started rolling in, you get immersed in the aura of 1960's Calcutta as Amitabh Bachhan narrates the lyrical description of that era....of Calcutta's "Coffee House Addas" ..of the land of football frenzy people with "Aamar Shonar Bangla" playing in the background as the 'majhi' sails over the Hoogly river..of the political aspirations of Calcutta..of the love of Shekhar and Lolita...the city plays the ethereal backdrop for the tender story to unfold..and thus Sarath Chandra's prose takes the shape of lyrical poetry in the celluloid frames of Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Parineeta...the married woman

The story... unfolds in flashback... a young orphaned girl Lolita(Vidya Balan) is sent to live with her Uncle, and as destiny has it, she meets Shekhar(Saif Ali Khan), budding musician and son of a millionaire..both share their happy and bitter moments of childhood and adolescence and as they grow together it all takes the shape of intense love ..probably is all so beautifully depicted in scenes where Lolita becomes jealous when she hears of Gayatri's (Diya Mirzaa) dressing style praised by Shekhar...also Shekhar's envy at Lolita spending evenings with Girish(Sanjay Dutt) all indicate the blooming of intense love between the two..It takes the arrival of Girish(the outsider) to realise each other's feelings.
The relationship between the two goes through a maze of greed, deception,misunderstandings and suspicion..but comes through all this to conquer over all these obstacles and displays the victory of true love over all .

The pure magic and I cannot find any other synonym for it.Its simply spectacular and extra-ordinary.Music scored by Shantanu Moitra is actually the Trump Card of the movie.Each and every note has been woven so beautifully with the movie that you cannot imagine Parineeta the movie, without the songs, and each song in itself is a movie having a story to tell.
So,lets deal with them one by one, shall we.

Soona Man ka Aangan..Sonu Nigam does it again with this number, reflecting the deep pain and misery of Shekhar as he remembers his love Lolita. Shantanu blends perfectly Tagore's "Phulle Phulle" with immense expertise into this one..

Piyu Bole..The track audience will be humming when they alk out of the theatre, brilliant Bengali influences being mingled with the Elvis-loving character Shekhar who plays the notes on his piano..Shreya Ghosal's youthful, fresh and effervescent voice gives life to the song, and yes I would definitely not forget Sonu Nigam. The man is a genius, sheer genius.

Kasto Mazza(Ye Hawayein)This song features on Darjeeling's famous toy train, and gives the true feeling of a train song,not like the traditional "Mere Sapnon ki Rani".Should I say even better..Needless to say, Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal render the song perfectly..I can't imagine the song to have sung by any other singers..lyrics by (not much known )Swanand Kirkire are a treat to the ears..but the show-stealer is the chorus of children singing the Nepali verses "Kasto Mazza hai Rail ei maa..Ramailo Ukaali Orali".

Kaisi Paheli (hai Zindagaani.).Rekha sizzles completely and has her screen presence felt after a long time in this song, which mingles 60's Blues and Jazz music.The song appears when Girish and his family members go to this Calcutta Night Club called Moulin Rouge.Sung by the intoxicating Sunidhi Chauhan, the song displays the versatility of Shantanu Moitra.This song has it all, saxaphones, acustics riffing, and the ooh's of Blues.

Raat Hamari Toh..the song depicts the story of a dark night ..The song steals all your concentration and is a tale by itself..Listen to the this if you are all alone and you will feel the mood of the song touching you literally..Sung by Chitra, and Swanan who does a Ustad Sultan Khan..this is definitely not a forgettble song..

The song not mentioned so far is the wedding song, which I think was meant for easing the starting credits rolling procedure. I personally feel the song to be one of the two let-downs of the movie.

The Performances..
Saif Ali begin with, has come a long way from just being the Junior Nawab or the son of Sharmila tagore, to this great actor who is a strong contender for next year's Film Awards, and not only the Filmfares and Screens,but also the National Awards(c'mon if he can do it with Hum Tum, he can definitely win it for Parineeta).Saif comes truly alive as the guitar loving, Elvis fan,cigarette smoking and Lolita loving Shekhar..absolutely brilliant is what I say...

Vidya Balan..she is a mallu(Malayalam) is what I was told when I googled for her origins and I was taken by complete shock,..Come on..she looks so very bengali with the Sindoor, and Laal-paai Saaree..She plays the title role of Lolita brilliantly(I am running out of words)..that's it..plain and simple, she was brilliant.Give her all the awards you have.

Sanjay Dutt..he plays Girish the stranger, outsider..its actually (I think}, a take on today's Lakshmi Mittal, the steel tycoon. Girish is the man who comes to Lolita's rescue during her bad times.Nothing much revealed though about the character.He ends up marrying the bubbly Koel(Raima Sen),Lolita's friend.Not a very challenging role for Sanju Baba though, he plays it with ease.Raima sen as Koel is very brief, but has her moments in the movie.Obviously, you cannot detail each and every character. But definitely didn't see much of Raima Sen.

Other characters that you will remember are...

Gayatri Tatiya..Diya Mirza in a very brief performance of a rich girl as Shekhar's fiance'
Nabin Roy..Veteran Bengali actor Sabyasachi Chakravarthy plays the role of the greedy and bad businessman father of Shekhar
Gurucharan..played by Veteran Television actor Achyut Poddar, this is the character of Lolita's uncle, who along with his wife are Lolita's only guardians
Shekhar' mother..they never revealed her name, but the role is played by yesteryear's Punjabi actress Surinder Kaur
Also Ninad Kamat plays Shekhar's friend who is a music arranger..

The let downs..
Parineeta is no doubt a huge canvas,painted so beautifully but it has a minute portion where the brush strokes are disturbing rather than being beautiful, one I have already mentioned and that is the Wedding song(cmon, do you have Dholak and stuff happening in a Bengali Wedding, and where was the wedding happening, Shekhar's home or Gayatri's home????), and the other one is the Climax scene where the emotions of friends and family(except for shekhar's father) rise to encourage Shekhar to break the wall..too melodramatic and comes out of the film and makes me choke..come on, you were making this very beautiful movie, what happened suddenly?But you can definitely ignore this and go back home happy when Shekhar and Lolita reunite. ..for ever

Special Credits to the..
Research team have depicted 1960's Calcutta perfectly to the last inch, The movie lives Bengal and breathes Calcutta .

Art Direction..Nitin Desai,Keshto Mandal,Pradeep and Tanushree Sarkar,..Nitin Desai ...he's the same guy who did the art direction for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" and "Devdas", thank you for realistically depicting the sets, of a Bengali Zamindaar and not making them span to acres of fountains and a huge race-course as a court yard(remember Devdas)

Lights Deptt..Nights have never been so beautiful, each frame of Parineeta's night scenes (I don't know how many times I have used this)is a painting..a masterpiece, and it all stands out and blends so easily into the movie because of the Lights deptt, with all the effects of Candles,Smoke and , ..Darkness never felt so silky
Cinematographer :Nataraja.N.Subramaniam..if Pradeep Sarkar was the painter, he definitely drew the sketches for them..
the scenes of Hoogly,Durga Pooja,Victoria Memorial,Howrah,Darjeeling, I can't stop listing them..
Costumes..Subarna Ray Chaudhri..plain and simple brilliant, especially for Diya Mirza's wardrobe when Gayatri and Shekhar watch a derby, and Rekha's attire for the Moulin Rouge scene...
Of course the Editor..Hemanti Sarkar to have kept the movie so crisp..
And last but not least..the trio..
Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Pradeep Sarkar and Shantanu Moitra..

need I say more..

Last words..Parineeta belongs at last to Vidya Balan definitely.But Rekha in her just over 4 minutes performance in Kaisi Paheli Zindagaani leaves us spell-bound.she's still enchanting.
Well enough said and written,now do you feel good?And for those who haven't seen the movie as yet, I should say get up you lazy bums, buy ,borrow or steal the DVD of Parineeta and watch it..Experience the magic of Parineeta and be enthralled by it.Because the world is now divided into two parts, first belonging to those lucky ones who have seen Parineeta, and the other to those who are unfortunate enough to have not seen it.

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