Season of the Witch
(Jan 7th,  2011)
Director: Dominic Sena
Cast: Nicholas Cage, Blair Leblanc, Ron Perlman
Nicolas Cage stars as a 14th century Crusader who returns with his comrade (Ron Perlman) to a homeland devastated by the Black Plague. A
beleaguered church, deeming sorcery the culprit of the plague, commands the two knights to transport an accused witch (Claire Foy) to a
remote abbey, where monks will perform a ritual in hopes of ending the pestilence.

A priest (Stephen Campbell Moore), a grieving knight (Ulrich Thomsen), an itinerant swindler (Stephen Graham) and a headstrong youth
(Robert Sheehan) join a mission troubled by mythically hostile wilderness and fierce contention over the fate of the girl.
Actor, screenwriter and director Elia Suleiman presents a handful of autobiographical short stories that offer a witty but thoughtful perspective
on the place of Palestinians in Israel (and his own role in the nation) in this comedy-drama. Inspired by the journals kept by Suleiman's father,
the fist episode takes place in 1948, as the Arab resistance movement begins to crumble, though Faud Suleiman (Saleh Bakri) is determined
to keep up the fight. By 1970, Faud has lost his idealism and believes Palestine is destined to live in Israel's shadow, while his son Elia (Zuhair
Abu Hanna) is being punished for calling the United States colonialists before the teacher. A few years later, Elia (Ayman Espanioli) has a
brush with more powerful authorities, who attempt to toss him out of Israel on a minor offense. Finally, Elia (Elia Suleiman) returns home to look
after his elderly mother (Samar Qudha Tanus) and discovers how little has changed, as many of his old friends have been warming the same
barstools since he left. The Time That Remains is Suleiman's third film about Israel's relationship with Palestinians, following Chronicle of a
Disappearance and Divine Intervention.
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"The Time Remains"
(Jan 07th,  2011)
Director: Elia Suleman
Cast:
Fuad Suleman, Nadia, Thuraya, Elia,
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Yamla Pagla Deevana
Director: Samir Karnik
Cast: Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Anupam Kher, Nafisa Ali, Johnny Lever, Puneet Issar, Kulraj Randhawa, Himanshu Mallik,
Sucheta Khanna, Emma Brown Garett
Banner: Top Angle Productions
Writer: Jasvinder Singh Bhatt
Cinematagrophy: Kabir Lal, Binod Pradhan
Editor: Mukesh Thakur
Music: Pyarelal, Anu Malik, RDB, Sandesh Shandilya, Rahul Seth, Sanjoy Chowdhary

After the melodramatic APNE in 2007, Dharam paji ka pariwar is back together in Samir Karnik’s Yamla Pagla Deewana once again. And the
outcome, well I never thought I would be able to say this about a Samir Karnik film –
BRILLIANT. The film doesn’t fail to entertain for one
single moment and the audience are definitely in for a wonderful laugh riot, a rarity in Hindi Cinema nowadays.
Story: The story starts with Ajay Devgan providing the voice-over about the films of the seventies where the family splits under very unusual
circumstances and everyone is reunited once again for a Happy Ending (the footages of B.R. Chopra’s Waqt, Nasser Hussain’s Yaadon ki
Baarat and Manmohan Desai’s Amar Akbar Anthony are shown). Understandably, this is supposed to belong to that cliched genre, yet a
successful seventies Hindi Cinema formula.

Paramveer Singh Dhillon (Sunny Deol) is a Indian settled in Vancouver (Canada) with two kids, a foreign wife and mother (played by Nafisa
Ali). He is leading a happy and comfortable life except that he does not know the whereabouts of his father Dharam Singh (played by
Dharmendra) who runs away with his brother Gajodhar Singh (played by Bobby Deol) during his childhood.
One fine day, a family who newly moves into his neighbourhood visits them and one of the members from the family recognises Dharam
Singh from the photograph hanging on the wall. He complains that he was robbed by this man when he was in Benaras not less than six
months ago. So, Paramveer sets off to Benaras to find his missing brother and father.
The rest of the story is about how he finds them and how he tries to reunite his family with a to be solved brother’s love story problem which
leads to event after event that has everybody in splits.

Performances: The story had enough scope for all the lead cast and nowhere in the movie would one feel that the Deols were forced into
the script. Each one delivers thir best. It was a respite to watch the veteran Dharmendra (our He-Man) back on screen with a bang.
Dharampaji delivers a brilliant performance which includes a lot of funny one liners.

Sunny Deol was at his usual ease with the character of a Sardar. There is no yelling of dialogues that we usually get to see in his
performances. Sunny Deol understood his role well and delivers a subtle and niche performance. All his soft dialogues are well
compensated by his macho fights, not to forget the scene in the climax where he just shouts and the goons begin to fly.
Bobby Deol was very good as both a conman and lover boy. He is absolutely comfortable when acting alongside his brother and father. The
re-enacting of the tanki scene from Sholay and the Gabbar style scene are nice.

Kulraj Randhawa (Saheba), whose earlier works were only in Punjabi makes a neat and clean debut and she is at ease.
Anupam Kher as Joginder Singh is simply brilliant. A wonderful role for the veteran performer after a long time and he makes sure that the
audience love this Sardar’s character absolutely. His scenes with a revolver in his hand at all times are simply superb.
Johnny Lever does a cute little cameo and he is impressive. Sucheta Khanna (Poli), the heroine’s brothers and their friend Binda (played by
Amit Mistry), Emma Brown Garett (as Mary), the two kids and Puneet Issar are all good.

Technical Aspects: This is not a new story and since the story involves the Deol pariwar, the audience might feel they know what they are
in for. But, let me tell you – you will be surprised with what you will get. Instead of an action-packed melodrama, director Samir Karnik wields
a wonderful comedy and the audience are sure to walk out of the cinemas with a sense of satisfaction.
The music was good with the title song standing out. Cinematography and screenplay are decent. Editing could have been better. Fights
are both hilarious and filled with action. Watch out for the luka-chupi episode in the climax – wonderful.

Word of Advice: Do not miss it!
DHOBI GHAT
Genre: Comedy
Director: Kiran Rao
Producer: Aamir Khan
Music Director: Gustavo Santaolalla
Star Cast: Aamir Khan, Pratiek Babbar, Dan Husain, Monica Dogra, Kriti Malhotra
No One Killed Jessica
Cast: Vidya Balan, Rani Mukherjee
Direction: Raj Kumar Gupta
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A decade ago, the cold blooded murder of an aspiring model Jessica Lall, in the view of more than 300 people, and the accused walking away
Scot free, shook the very foundations of the justice system of our nation. The memory of this scintillating murder faded away with time, but has
now been refreshed by director Raj Kumar Gupta, through the flick ‘No One Killed Jessica’.

April 29, 1999 a bullet fired from a shotgun at point blank range, killed Jessica on the spot, leaving the on-lookers stunned. The accused Manu
Sharma, the pampered son of a leading Politician, brought doom on himself when he considered a human life cheaper than his drink. Money
exchanged hands and the evidence was made to disappear at a crucial time. The witnesses when contacted, opted for a safe route, reeling out
orchestrated statements..“I’m not too sure” or “I left at 12“. This left Jessica’s 22 year old sister Sabrina (Vidya Balan) thirsting more for justice.
Manu was set free in 2006, inspiring a newspaper headline that read ‘No One Killed Jessica’. This sentence lead to the re opening of the case.
Awakened at dawn by a telephone call, the bespectacled, unglamorous Sabrina was in for a rude shock- HER SISTER’S GRUESOME
MURDER. Sabrina runs from pillar to post seeking justice for her sister, not knowing the ways of money and power. She completely dominates
the first half of the movie fighting for justice and taking care of her heart broken parents.

Introducing Rani Mukherjee as Mira, a head strong and catty reporter, who initially lacked interest in the murder, thinking it to be an open and
shut case. She later takes complete charge of it as she felt justice had been denied and she couldn’t live with it.
The death of Sabrina’s mom and her dad being hospitalized led to Sabrina giving up hope. On the other hand, Mira was hell bent upon
bringing the buried case to light. Through the media she evoked the entire nation and after a prolonged battle of eleven years, on 19 April
2010, the Supreme Court of India approved the life sentence for the guilty.

The movie takes on different aspects of reality, not excluding the F word and the desi G word. Rani Mukherjee was shown puffing on smokes.
There was a touch of humor with the murderer’s mother’s constantly whining “mere Monu ko kucch nahin hona chahiye” and Rani mouthing
profanity. The flick was crisp and to the point. The movie is a spot on winner with Rani and Vidya doing complete justice to their respective
roles. Amit Trivedi’s music, particularly the ‘Dilli Dilli’ number, stands out from the rest.
Gupta’s film portrays the fragile justice system of the nation, the power of the media and the influence of money, out-weighing problems.

No One Killed Jessica is a film that everyone but kids below 18 must watch.
The movie opens with the message “There will be no break in the movie” but that’s not quite correct.
As the movie successfully breaks the patience of the audience. After 95 minutes of watching something which looks remotely
like a documentary, the audience is left utterly confused. What was the story about? What was the story teller trying to tell? And
most of all what was Aamir Khan doing in a movie like this?

The movie is about four main characters and how their lives get inter wined with one another. Arun (Aamir Khan) is a reclusive
painter who has problems socializing with people. When he shifts into a new house, he finds three “chitthis” or letters (actually
video tapes) left behind by the previous occupant, Yasmin (Kriti Malhotra). He starts watching these videos and that’s how a
relationship is established between the two of them. The end of her story leaves him shocked and makes him change his house
again. Then we have Shia (Monica Dogra) who works in a bank back in the Big Apple. She is on a “sabbatical” and comes to
Mumbai to study the traditional Indian professionals like the washer men, vegetable vendors, perfume sellers etc. She meets
Munna (Prateik Babbar), a washerman-cum-night rat killer, who helps her with the task in hand. There is a love angle too in the
movie. Shia is attracted to Arun who does not respond. Munna is in love with Shia who does not respond. Are you still with
me??? Good because there is more to come!!!

Needless to say the performance by Aamir Khan is amazing. There are absolutely no traces of 20-something “Rancho”
from 3 Idiots. We have a mature 40-something painter who looks intense and deep. Very much like his real image. Monica
Dongra as an English-speaking NRI does a decent job. Prateik Babbar has proved that he, indeed, has acting in his blood. His
mom must be smiling at him from above. Kriti Malhotra hardly leaves any impression on the mind. But the performance by the
junior artists takes the cake. Latabai (Yasmin’s maid) and her daughter Vinita are very convincing. Salim as a typical Mumbai
guy does justice to the role.

One cannot put “Dhobi Ghat” in the art movie category. And neither does it come under the commercial one. It lies somewhere
in between the documentary and parallel cinema. The problem with the theme of the movie is that so much has already been
said about the vast economic gap, the lack of basic amenities for the common man and of course, the ugly yet compelling place
called “Mumbai”. As Arun beautifully puts it in one line “Mumbai my muse, my whore and my beloved city”. The city inspires you
like a muse, doesn’t belong to anyone or belongs to everyone like a whore and embraces you like a beloved. Very profound!!!

What catches the viewers’ attention is the remarkable cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray. You will witness some of the most
artistically done shots of Mumbai and her people. Some respite from the dragging story.

To say that the viewers might not like the movie because of their lack of understanding of the parallel cinema will be unfair. The
Indians are ready for the New Age cinema. They have appreciated movies like “Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye” “Taare Zameen Par”
“Tere Bin Laden” “Dev D”, to name a few, in the past. All these movies were not the usual “masala” ones. But you cannot fool
“janta janardhan” with a boring flick in the name of “contemporary” movie. They are too intelligent for that.

Ms. Kiran Rao, your debut directorial venture seems to be a complete “wash out”.
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