Napping Princess

Hirune Hime Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari poster.jpeg
By Source, Fair use, Link

Capsule Review

Cast: Mitsuki Takahata, Shinnosuke Mitsushima, Arata Furata, Yosuke Eguchi, Hideki Takahashi and Rie Kugimiya
Director: Kenji Kamiyama
Rating: 9/10

Every once in a while a film comes around, which manages to act as the perfect blend of technology and dreamlike adventures: Napping Princess is all of that perfectly. In the film, the protagonist Kokone (Morikawa) is always having these dreams of an alternate world called Heartland – her ordinary existence in school comes to an end, when her father gets arrested; Kokone with her friend, Morio then dangerously try to save him. Soon it’s quite evident her dreams are something like a bizarrely assorted reflection of everything the young kid is all about. Kenji Kamiyama (from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex fame) weaves a high-flying tale that surprisingly leaves no room for any plot potholes – everything comes together brilliantly, and the scattered bittersweet moments in the film are unmissable too.

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Mother!

Mother!2017.jpg
By Source, Fair use, Link

 

Capsule Review

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem and Michelle Pfeiffer
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Rating: 7/10

Mother! is a remarkable film. There is this ‘Poet’ (Javier Bardem) and the woman he created, the ‘Mother’ (Jennifer Lawrence), who is married to him, loves him and the two eventually even have sex, following which the Mother gives birth to a son but everything in the script doesn’t have so much of a relatively tranquil atmosphere. The brilliance of the movie is that it switches from light romance (which Lawrence emotes evocatively) to horror and then to utter tragedy.

Separate stories seem rather abruptly stitched with each other, at times in Mother!: for example, when the Mother tries to protect her infant, she fails – in the end, her son is brutally killed by the Poet’s fans, post his fans performing solemn ceremonies around him; the fans, who normally exhibit extremely loony behavior such as stealing objects from the pair to act as mementos, are around the two because of this book the Poet’s just published, which he finally manages to do when he finds out he’s going to have a baby – the thought of which makes the Poet overjoyed. This puzzle-like approach to storytelling by Darren Aronofsky makes for a bumpy-ride of mental adjustments sometimes, because everything moves so fast – a good handful of mini-stories juggernaut around before the overarching brilliant theme of the film (comprising of the three dramatic forms) manages to shine through.

After losing her son, Mother willingly gives up her love (well, what is left of it!) for the Poet, at his asking, and he rather quite brutally replaces her with another entirely new woman, another Mother, but who seems to be not very much different from the previous Mother. The movie is quite unique to begin with – a crystal placed in a frame turns a charred house into a temple-like home, an eerie romantic-tragedy but it works rather superfluously.

Baadshaho

Ajay Devgn's Baadshaho.JPG
By T-Series / Vertex Motion Pictures, Link

Capsule Review

Cast: Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi and Esha Gupta
Director: Milan Luthria
Rating: 3/5

Baadshaho┬árevolves around a prospective robbery: in 1975, a Maharani from one of Rajasthan’s many princely states’ afraid she is about to say goodbye to her gold, post losing her privy purse – a payment made to lower families in India, who previously use to rule but had permitted India to be (intact). To calm her fears, the Maharani ropes in Bhavani, her bodyguard, to protect the kingdom’s jewels under threat from a politician, Sanjeev (Priyanshu Chatterjee), seemingly from the Gandhi family; the Maharani’s enmity with Sanjeev is at its height during this time of Emergency.

The dashing Bhavani (Ajay Devgn) has to work with a smooth goon, Dalia (Emraan Hashmi) and Sanjana (Esha Gupta) to protect his helpless Maharani, who he harbours romantic intentions for, as well. Esha Gupta’s character, even though absorbing, was not as elaborate as it should have been – Sanjana works with Bhavani and Dalia because she is very grateful to the Maharani and spends some time romancing Dalia too but it largely seems a character wasted on cinematic opportunity, in part because she has to share screen-space with a Maharani, who is bent on (pathetically) not doing much other than playing a damsel in distress.

A caper follows, in pursuit of the pot of gold, where Bhavani fights to snatch away the army truck (of gold), going from Rajasthan to Delhi, assigned to a Major Seher Singh to caretake. Baadshaho’s dialogues have a pat angle to it, which is enjoyable and its main plot: the jostle for the gold is done up in a typical Hindustani-avatar (films-wise), which meant it had less depth and more cinematic charisma – depth isn’t what you can expect really from a movie slated to be about the Emergency and instead only utilizes that time bracket effectively with bell bottoms and not much else.

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