Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The disconnect between Diablo Cody's intentions and the audience means that ultimately Jennifer's Body fails as a mass market film. However, it's by no means a bad film and has all the makings of cult classic - I plan on purchasing a copy to put right next to Ginger Snaps on my DVD shelf. Where Cody went wrong in appealing to the mass market audience almost perfectly matches up in where she went right in appealing to me and my demographic of youngish women who not only enjoy a nice juicy piece of mythological storytelling (as apposed to the more realistic tone and characters of Juno) but who also suffer from a bit of figurative PTSD from their toxic high school years.
Jennifer's Body is the story of Anita "Needy" Lesniki (Amanda Seyfried) and her friendship with the titular Jennifer (Megan Fox) - a friendship complicated by the fact that, as shown in the trailers, Jennifer turns into a demon and needs to eat boys to stay alive. Amanda and Megan do a fantastic job with their characters. Jennifer is the embodiment of the hype that surrounds Megan Fox. She has the entire male population at her feet and yet, in a nice bit of characterization by Cody, Jennifer is almost entirely alienated from female friendships. She exists as the world sees her, as an object. Amanda, as Needy, is the humanizing influence on Jennifer. Also, Needy has a massive girlcrush on her which is fully realized in another moment drawn out in the trailers. The friendship between the two women is the driving force of the entire narrative.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Ek Niranjan: Music Review
Kangana Ranaut is making her Telugu film debut opposite Young Rebel Star Prabhas in Ek Niranjan. In a departure from her wild and crazy Bollywood characters, Kangana will be playing a sweet, young guitar teacher and Prabhas is the emotionally distant loner who wins her heart. Directed by Puri Jagannadh, who also directed Prabhas in the superhit Bujjigadu, Ek Niranjan also stars Jodhaa-Akbar’s Sonu Sood as the villain. Releasing October 29th, Ek Niranjan has all the makings to be a masala classic.
Music director Mani Sharma knows this territory very well, after all, he did the music for Prabhas blockbuster Billa, which released earlier this year, as well as such modern masala classics as Pokiri (recently remade in Hindi as Wanted). Ek Niranjan is a solid entertainer packed with the kinds of up-tempo numbers that will certainly be used to showcase Prabhas’s superior dance skills.
The album begins with the title track “Ek Niranjan,” a catchy, rhythmic tune that mixes some heavy distorted vocals from Ranjith with some softer instrumental flourishes like Spanish guitar and violin, along with a twee female chorus. The result is a fun tune that should get your feet tapping.
Next up is “Gundello,” a duet by Hemachandra and Geetha Madhuri. Although it starts with a heavy electric guitar, the song is actually a shimmery dance song built on a standard club beat. It’s fairly predictable, using all the tricks of the dance mix, but still enjoyable. If the picturization is good, this one has the makings of a hit single.
The mood changes with “Sameera” which is a yearning song that alternates rhythmic verses with sweet choruses. Sung by Karthik, the song is the highlight of the album. The verses masterfully build up tension that is released with the crooning lyric “Sameera.” A cheeky female chorus and Spanish guitar breakdown complete the song.
Although the first three tracks are dominated by the male point of view, the female gets a turn in the sweet “Evaru Lerani” sung by Malavika, which makes one immediately think of pastoral imagery and saris flowing in the wind. Malavika’s vocals are doubled and tripled in places, giving her voice a pleasingly organic sound that is echoed in the flute that follows her lines.
Taking us from Elysian Fields to the beaches of Goa, “Mahammari” opens with a sample from that old club standby “Calabria 2007” setting the mood for this all out dance track. Mani Sharma throws everything he has into it and the result is a jumbled but not unsatisfying dance number. The song perks up during the chorus but is dragged down by some kitchen-sink instrumental breaks.
Finally, the album ends with a half-baked tribute to Michael Jackson in “Narthana Thara.” The picturization should be amusing but “Narthana Thara” itself is lacking both a melody and an interesting beat. Samples of classic Michael Jackson songs are thrown in at random. Prabhas’s dancing should salvage this in the film.
Overall, Ek Niranjan is a solid effort. There are some sour notes, most specifically “Narthana Thara,” but the rest of the album more than makes up for it. This is another winner for Mani Sharma!
In perhaps one of the stupidest moves that a filmi wannabe Hero can make, he joins forces with Ghajini aka Pradeep Rawat, whom you never trust. EVER!
Tatooed diva Mumaith Khan shakes her moneymaker while Prabhas demurely treats her with respect by averting his eyes.
And poor tragic Arthi Agarwal gets a fantasy number in which she expresses pretty much how we all feel about Prabhas… “Yeah yeah yeah yeah I want this, yeah!”
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Kunal was born in London but raised in New Delhi, where his family still lives. He didn’t come to the United States until college, where he earned a degree in business. But, his interest in acting was always lurking in the background and after satisfying his parents with a practical degree, he was free to pursue his passion. With a Masters in Fine Arts from Temple University and a long resume of plays under his belt, the question was now how to earn a living. Well, to make a living in acting, says Kunal, “you have to go to Los Angeles”.
(Kunal as Raj in The Big Bang Theory - from cbs.com)
Kunal’s favorite actor: Aamir Khan
Kunal’s favorite films: Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti