1. Bankok Traffic Love Story - My First Thai Movie

    Tuesday, 20 July 2010
    By Sonia

    I haven’t posted so many pictures on my posts for a while. (It’s not that many but it’s many compared with my previous posts)

    I don’t know why but it’s truly my 1st Thai movie. I’ve never held any prejudice against Thai movies but not many of them have been shown in Hong Kong and those that were shown in HK somehow didn’t seem to interest me so I never saw any of them. Recently I’ve started watching Thai TV series and have totally fallen for Ken. So I’m watching this movie w/ him in it.

    Single women in their 30s has been the hot topic in town for a while. I think this storyline can work in any context, not just in Thailand. The main character Muey Li is almost 30. She’s from a Chinese family in Bangkok. Not particularly good at her job. With all her friends being married, she’s becoming more and more desperate, and lonely as well. When she meets Loong, a engineer working for the railway company, she has a huge crush on him immediately but doesn’t have the guts to tell him about it. She keeps running into him, both intentionally and unintentionally. She really holds her hopes up and thinks that things may finally change for good in her life for once.

    This is a relatively short movie (compared with the Indian movies I usually watch). But it’s good. The actress realistically portrays a normal working woman in a big city. Her performance grabs me from the very beginning of the film. Normally I despise (yes, I’m using such a strong word!) people who can’t be more emotionally independent and it’s not the end of the world without a guy. But I’d feel sad for her when things don’t go as she wishes.

    Although the male lead generated great appeal for the film and I love him a lot (he’s a very famous TV series star), I still think the credit should go to Sirin Horwang (the leading actress). 


    I love the dialogue, especially in the 2nd half of the movie. The music in the movie is so good it really helps the audience to feel what the characters feel. I’m going to look for the OST of the movie!


    Roaming around Bangkok during night time















    And Bangkok’s SOOOO charming in the film that I confirm I want to stay there for a year, despite all the hectic traffic (you can also see in the movie!), which is something I really really dislike.


     

    Muey Li takes every single opportunity to meet Loong, knowing when and where he works.





     
    Ken’s SO lovely in the movie even without the designer clothes and make up that he usually has in the TV series. It’s so difficult to express it in words and you just have to watch his work to understand how loveable he is!

     

    Since Ken’s really popular, many people take pictures with him – not the real one though.
    Continue reading »
  2. Bollywood Newbie#2 - FINALLY!

    Saturday, 10 July 2010
    By Sonia
    I invited my friend Ixchel to watch a Hindi movie and she agreed willingly (my guess~). She already watched a movie before I had the time to suggest her on what to watch! It's really exciting and encouraging. She watched Kites and the most interesting thing about it is that I've been telling her about Kites 'cause she's Mexican and I wanted to know if Barbara Mori is a good actress to decide if I should watch Kites at the theatre. And now she's watched Kites. Without further ado, here we go!

    1) What do you like about the movie????

    I liked Hrithik Roshan (jk),the visuals and the fact that i didn't expected it to be like it was, it's a different type of movie, i mean it made me laugh because the dialogue is really absurd sometimes(hmm not sure if that's a good thing) let's say that the chemistry between the characters was like jane and tarzan, it was entertaining.

    2) What don't you like about the movie?

    i didn't like that the movie uses too many clichés, the snail-paced scenes and the climax (not a perfect ending).

    3) What surprised you in the movie?

    I have to say that Music and dancing(it was something weird mostly because I'm not used to watch people dance in a movie unless it's about dance), likewise the car chases scenes,cars flipping and blasting, i definitely didn't see those coming because they didn't look cheap hehe.

    And i have to say that i wasn't expecting that climax.

    4) Anything else you would like to point out???

    I didn’t hate the movie but i didn’t love it either i guess it was okay.

    5) Can you name a few of your favourite movies so that people may have an idea what type of movie-goer you are????

    That's though! I've liked tons of different types movies that I can't decide:
    Back to the future
    Stranger than fiction
    Big Fish
    Spirited Away (I love hayao miyazaki's movies)
    WALL•E ( Pixar is awesome )

    6)Was Kites what you expected of an Indian movie? Does it make you want to watch more?

    To be honest I wasn't sure about Bollywood( my biggest influence is Hollywood 'cause USA is awfully close) so I didn't know what to expect, all I could think about was "i only hope those movies don't look cheap, or I'm gonna laugh even if it is drama". So you can say Kites wasn't what I was expecting from an Indian movie, I expected less, so much less. And yeah I think I'm more interested about watching Indian films!

    7) Rate KITES ( 0 - 5 , 5 is the highest)
    3 .Kites didn’t fly too high
    Continue reading »
  3. Blogger Interview #1: My Questions, Louella's Answers!

    Wednesday, 30 June 2010
    By Sonia
    I really like Louella's blog Masala w Bigosie a lot. Although I don't always agree what she writes, I really appreciate how "devoted" she is. She updates her blog quite frequently. It totally suits somebody like me who's very obsessive about checking updates of blogs, (almost like I have OCD....) I am sure she has put a lot of effort into it. She also writes well as her posts are well organized. (I truly appreciate that as I don't think I can do it no matter in English or Chinese)  I started reading her blog when I first started watching South Indian movies and she writes a lot about them. It's really great that she does not only write movie reviews. She would also write articles with special themes sharing what she's discovered in different movies. So I find her blog quite diversified while it focuses on Indian cinema.

    This blogger interview special was first inspired by her (and I hope I can keep it up with very limited time....) because I could feel that she has SOOOOO much love for Indian movies and I really wanted to know why and how she began and the things in-between!

    Maybe it's not exactly an interview. I only emailed 11 questions to Louella and she gave me back some good and interesting answers! I'm using the exact words of Louella so there's should be no problem with miscommunication/misunderstanding! Enjoy, people!

    1) Sonia: You’re really active, having a blog with frequent updates and using Tweeter and other medium. How much time do you spend online writing/checking/doing stuff about Indian cinema on average per day?

    Louella: I don't have internet in my laptop so it's quite difficoult for me. I usually use some of computers in my school liblary on longer breaks, it takes about 1,5h a week, if to sum. I spend lot of time watching movies offline, also 99% of reviews I publish I write offline. To write a review, it takes me about 15-30 minutes. It, of course, depends on the movie. Some, which are really touching, takes to describe more than 3 hours and even then I don't have even the synopsis written! I have specific style of writing reviews, I learned it a long ago in school, it helps me to be quick and to write exactly what I want to.
    A day it tooks 4h, sometimes more if it's weekend or some holiday.

    2) Sonia: I’m quite new to your blog. I only remember that K3G is your first Indian movie. But how did you come cross it?

    Louella: It was a gift for some daily newspaper. My sister buyed it because some of her friends said it's good. For her it wasn't and she left me watching. I finished and liked it a lot but then I was having another passion so Indian cinema had to wait two years, than I saw Salaam Namaste and decided to watch more :)

    3) Sonia: Did you try to preach Indian cinema to your friends? And what is the usual reaction you get?

    Louella: Quite frequently, Indian movies are in my head all the time. Some people are interested only to hear what is it and they refuse to watch something. My friends now I'm mad about many things, like Indian movies, they laugh but they aren't vicious, thank God :) In Poland number of NRIs is very small so the whole thing is brand new to our country since 2005, when first pure Indian movie was released, it was K3G, I watched it later, in 2006. It hurts when people think that Indian Cinema = Bollywood, also when they are sure that SRK is in every movie, those are ones from the worst steroetypes I know.

    4) Sonia:Have your blog caught the attention of the media back in Poland? (Because of Slumdog Millionaire, the media here in Hong Kong tried to interview people who like Bollywood But they don’t exactly quote us correctly….)

    Louella : Nope.

    5) Sonia: I have heard/read that Bollywood is getting big in Eastern Europe. There’s Indian Film Festival in several countries there. How would you comment on the popularity of Indian cinema in your country?

    Sonia: I can say it's growing but it's not that high. People mostly would see few movies, enjoy them and forget. On the other hand, I know few Polish people who knew a lot about Indian cinema, they are really great in it.

    6) Sonia: You’ve been watching quite a lot of Indian movies. Is anything still a great obstacle for you to understand the movies?

    Louella: Language, I think it's the only thing.

    7) Sonia: Is there anything in Indian movies that you really don’t like? Even you may have got used to it by now…

    Louella: Hmm, dubbing? And some stupid rules, mostly in production, small screenspace for ladies. Candour for new ideas isn't big.

    8) Sonia: Does watching Indian movies change you in any way? / Does it affect your daily life or your perception towards things in general?

    Louella: I'm wearing specific pants, part of kameez and 80% of music I listen to is from India or connected to it. Also my body language changed, I love to imitate some heroes like Vijay or Rajni. I always been speaking quite different Polish, I use m hometown dialect and lot of slang with dose of idioms, after becoming full time indian movies addict I'm used to use more macaronicisms, using single words from some of Indian langs I know, like 'I feel chaala tired, mum.'.

    9) Sonia: I think most people reading my blog is not a regular reader of yours. Can you name a few other films that are your “all time favourites” that are not Indian movies? Just so they can grasp some idea about you as a movie-goer.

    Louella: There are lots of them :) Cinema Paradiso, Dekalog, Rękopis znaleziony w Saragossie, Trzy kolory, Przypadek, Barry Lyndon, Bad Taste, Ghostbusters...

    10) Sonia: I guess it’ll be quite difficult to draw a list ranking your favourite Indian movies. (At least it’s very difficult for me!) But can you name 5 to 10 (as you like) films for those who are interested to find out more about Indian cinema?

    Louella: Well, I think it's good to find a movie from a genre which somebody likes a lot, for example comedy or thiller. I can't give just 5-10 movies, everyone has different taste, mine is quite peculiar.

    11) Sonia: Is there anything that you’d just like to share with people who don’t know much about Indian films or even other lovers of Indian films out there?

    Louella: Have courage to praise what you like and loathe that you hate. Indian cinema have amazing variety of movies, also watching ONLY hindi movies is a big waste. Be broad-minded, it helps, not matter where you live.
    Continue reading »
  4. Bollywood Newbie#1 - Tollywood Newbie....

    Thursday, 10 June 2010
    By Sonia

    I decided to start this special feature on my blog mostly because I have too much time during the summer. Also, it’s also part of my constant “preaching”(in a different way). Anyway, the whole point of Bollywood Newbie is to get my friends who haven’t watched Indian movies before to watch one and then I’ll ask them what they think about the film.

    My first “victim” is Daphne. Why Daphne? She’s a very very good friend of mine and would definitely say yes! AND – she watched 2 Bollywood films and liked them too. Since she’s already watched 2 Hindi films, I recommended South Indian movies. Originally, I asked her to choose from 1) Blockbuster, 2) Rom-com and 3) Action. But she wanted horror. Arundhati is the only Southern horror I’ve seen so it had to be Arundhati.
    To let you understand Daphne as a film lover -
    Daphne's All Time Favourites:
    Vertigo
    2046
    The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Being John Malkovich
    Adaptation

    I got some interesting answers from Daphne -
    1) What do you like about the movie?
    To my surprise, the first thing she mentioned was “feet”. She really liked how Indian women walk with bare feet. She felt that even their feet can act, especially in the dancing scenes. Another example she raised was the car-trap scene in Arundhati. That was quite an exciting scene.

    She also found how the villain made his entry interesting. (He took the form of a lizard at the beginning of the movie) Daphne said it’s a bit similar to a Thai movie. She found it interesting ‘cause it’s different from the typical images of ghosts, for instance, female ghosts with long hair as in the Ring. The old maid in Arundhati has a scar on her forehead. Daphne said it’s similar to a character in Silent Hill. (I haven’t watched Silent Hill so I’m only quoting what Daphne told me.)

    2) What don't you like about the movie?

    The pace – she’s not used to it ‘cause the film is relatively slow in a certain points. She said you don’t need to have all the characters tell you everything in details again when you can get it from the flash back. And obviously Arundhati isn’t scary enough, which I also agree.

    I remember there’s one thing about Arundhati that I didn’t like so much - the way they make the villain so evil that it’s not even believable. I asked if Daphne felt the same when she watched the movie. She said it was okay. Not too exaggerating and still convincing to her. She said Sonu Sood’s look in the movie was very “chic”.

    3) What surprised you in the movie?

    a)
    Special effects: they were better than Daphne expected.
    b)
    The blind dancing teacher – she thought the dancing teacher being blind may be a symbol. She’s reading My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk. In the book, she learnt that Muslim people believe that some blind people are closer to Allah. I haven’t heard of that before (which is not a surprise…) and I guess most people agree that was a copy of the Chinese movie by Zhang Yimou.

    4) North Vs South

    Daphne has watched 2 Hindi movies (OSO and Chak De India) so I asked her how she’d compare North and South Indian movies. It’s a difficult question because the genres are hugely different. But she’s quite observant and was able to share something.

    Arundhati doesn’t have so many dances in it. (only 1 if I remember it correctly.) The music is a bit more traditional, compared with OSO and Chak De India. She also saw both old and new India in it. Even when the movie is on the Arundhati at present time, there are still big old mansions and the Muslim exorcists. I guess it’s interesting and appealing to people who don’t watch Indian movies so often.

    5) Rating

    I don’t really rate movies when I write about them. But I asked Daphne to rate Arundhati just to see how she much liked it. She gave a 3.7 out of 5!
    Continue reading »
  5. Dev D - TBC

    Saturday, 29 May 2010
    By Sonia

    Really like Anurag Kashyap after watching
    Dev D. When the trailer was first out, I betted it was going to be a flop
    because it looked like Trainspotting. I thought it’d be pretentious. But it
    turned out to be a hit and it was highly praised!


     


    The first thing that I want to say about
    this movie is the song Emotional Attyachar. It’s really popular and I can’t
    understand why. (I didn’t understand even after reading the translation of the
    lyrics. Maybe it’s a language thing. So bad that I can’t understand Hindi.) Bt
    I have to say it’s a song that stuck in your head after listening to it. Other
    songs from the movie are also marvelous. They’re of very diversified styles and
    don’t sound like typical Bollywood songs.


    I like Anurag because he knows what he’s
    doing. I don’t think I can say it’s the case for the majority in B-town. He’s a
    good storyteller. Devdas is a story of lover. Anurag has trned it very “real”
    and human. I enjoyed the story much better when the characters can communicate
    in the modern ways. It justifies the relationship between Dev and Paro so much
    better. (Dev D: email & long-distance calls Vs Devdas: the 4 letters that
    Paro held on to for 10 years?)




    Okay, on to the characters. Dev in Dev D is
    totally a “good-for-nothing”. You don’t have a single bit of sympathy for him
    in the 1st part of the movie. Life/fate definitely serves him right.
    Abhay Deol played this character right and should have been nominated in
    Filmfare!


     



    Despite all the praise for Abhay, I’d say
    it’s a movie of heroines. Paro and Chanda simply rock, rock and rock!




    Paro is played by Mahie Gill. She doesn’t
    have that great a part in the movie. But she got the Best Actress (Critics) in
    Filmfare. I love her performance too. She’s very natural in the role. The new
    Paro is feisty and has strong characters. She’s loyal to her lover. She’d get
    rid of anything that gets in her way. Especially love the scene she ran after
    and threw a horrible tantrum on the gossipers who badmouthed her in front of
    Dev. She also has the guts to stand up to her parents.


     



    Paro becomes sensible and rational after getting married. But she’s still there for Dev.
    The scene that she visits Dev in Delhi
    really struck me. She’s no longer a servant girl. She’s married to a rich
    family. But when she helped Dev with the chores, it’s like everything is still
    the same as old times.




    And –
    the best bit about the movie – Chandramukhi, played by Kalki Koechlin. I’ll
    have to save it for next entry!

    Continue reading »
  6. Chance Pe Dance - Give it a chance

    Sunday, 23 May 2010
    By Sonia
    Just too lazy to continue with my Siddarth Series on my Chinese blog (typing Chinese is quite a bit of work) so here's a short entry on what I think about Chance Pe Dance.

    Perhaps I didn’t have great expectations for Chance Pe Dance so I end up thinking that it actually deserves better review. I enjoy it a lot. I don't understand why it got such bad review when it's released.)

    The story is simple. Sameer (Shahid Kapoor) is from Delhi and he, like many people, thinks that he has the potential to make it in Bollywood. He goes to Mumbai to fight for his dream. A lot of disappointment in between. A lot of difficulties in life. Then he meets a choreographer for movies Tina (Genelia D'Souza) and things seem to be looking up with some good opportunities waiting for him.

    I think Shahid performs better in Chance Pe Dance than he does in Badmaash Company. I think he’s much more natural and the character of Sameer has more dimensions for Shahid to explore as an actor than Karan in Badmaash Company. It’s probably because he can see his past in Sameer. It’s not Shahid’s best performance but it’s really natural. I also like his optimism, particularly the part when Genelia finds out he lives in the car :) This film is a feast for Shahid’s fans- lots of close-ups and dancing scenes. (and, according to Gelion, a Taiwanese blogger – lots of close-ups of Shahid’s muscles!) I also enjoy Shahid’s serious scenes. He doesn’t overact and get unnecessarily emotional. I’m very happy about that because when I watched Badmaash Company, I start to get bored with Shahid just playing the “cool, confident dude” without a character well-supported by the story/plot. (Despite how I don’t always enjoy the Unintentionally Funny, Must-Watch Bollywood Movies commic strips on the blog “Off the Record”, I agree that the characters in Badmaash Company have a sudden change of personality that isn’t well justified.) Hope there will be more challenging roles for Shahid in his coming movies.

    I guess it's what Gelion said about Shahid's muscles!




    As a big fan of Genelia, it’s a bit disappointing that her character Tina doesn’t have a larger part in the movie. The portrayal of Tina is also less detailed than Sameer. But what I like very much about Tina is that she’s supportive. When things are not going Sameer’s way, she’s there for him. Not trying to change anything or offering to help. I think it’s a healthy attitude in relationships. (Not that I’m qualified to judge that……….) It’s usually quite difficult for filmmakers to get it right when the girl is doing better than the guy. The usual plot is that the girl tries to help and the guy feels that he’s good-for-nothing, having a confidence crisis. Although I love the typical bubbly girl Genelia plays in Southern films, it’s still good to see her doing something different once in a while. It’s just that the plot doesn’t give her enough to shine. (That’s why I’m really looking forward to the release of It’s My Life!)


    Love the scooter in the movie!










    To me, the music’s above average. The songs and the picturisations are good. But they lack something to become a really good soundtrack. I don’t have the answer to it. But all the dancing scenes are worth watching. The song Pal Mein Hain is very sweet and I love the picturisation although it’s a bit cheesy and predictable. (it’s part of the Shahid magic!)

    Shahid and Genelia is a very sweet couple. But my focus is totally on Genelia's bangles :P (Bangle's really my weakness! I love how she wears lots of bangles in the movie!)

    The final scene - Pump it up!

    Pe Pe Pepein - the song isn't particularly important in the movie. But somehow it's really popular among Bollywood dance teachers here in Hong Kong....


    Continue reading »
  7. Kick - but don't get kicked

    Wednesday, 19 May 2010
    By Sonia
    It's a little surprising (even I myself find it so). But I'm kick starting my return to blogspot with a short piece on Kick!

    Forgive me for the cheesy title - I just can't help it.

    -------------------------------------------------

    I've decided to do a bilingual entry after scribbling some notes on Kick. I just meant to write some notes in English for the sake of convenience. But it turns out that it will be more precise if I convey my ideas in English (regarding what I want to say about this movie).


    As we Hong Kongers are looking to the North nowadays, people in the tinsel town are definitely looking down south! There are so many remakes from Southern hits in progress. There's this piece of news about Asin on Behind Woods and it prompts me to write about Kick!


    To me, Kick is quite a special movie. As I”ve confessed to my Taiwanese blog mate Amanda, this is the first Southern movie with an “uncle-looking” hero. (that's how we call heroes with very obvious south indian looks for fun in Chinese) I struggled so much before I watched it. But it is an interesting movie and totally deserves to be one of the biggest hit in the Telugu cinema in 2009.

    I’m predicting the failure of the Hindi remake of Kick if Salman Khan is to be the hero. Ravi Teja, the actor in the Telugu version, is not that young himself but I’d say Salman Khan is not suitable at all. He doesn’t possess that randomness (based on the bits and pieces of his performance I’ve seen – yea, I know that doesn’t sound like a "responsible” bollywood fan) that Ravi Teja illustrates in Kick. The protagonist Kalyan is a person going after thrills and risks in life, or “kick” as he calls it. And he’s such a chatterbox! Salman Khan maybe fine in Wanted. It’s a character that requires him to look cool and not having to speak too much (I only guess it from Pokiri)

    Ileana and Ravi Teja as a pair looked a bit weird to me at the beginning. But they have very good chemistry. I've read a lot of comments about how Ileana can't act. (I also don't find her performance in Pokiri outstanding) But I guess it's mostly about her earlire works. I think she did well in Kick and she's cute enough for me to overlook her less-than-1st class acting.

    The film is full of craziness and it made me laugh so much (also probably because I was having my exam at that time so basically anything other than textbooks and notes were funny).

    Kick has references to other movies like Arundhati and Ghajini -


    Continue reading »
  8. Counting Down

    Wednesday, 21 April 2010
    By Sonia
    I know I've sort of abandoned blogspot. (very unwillingly)

    Exactly 14 days then I'll be officially out of school + out of job. I'll have plenty of time to take care of both blogs!

    Looking forward to that.
    Continue reading »