Monday, January 24, 2011

Chori Chori Chupke Chupke

Raj Malhotra (Salman Khan) and Priya (Rani Mukerji) are members of high society. They meet, get married and soon Priya falls pregnant. Soon after, Priya trips, miscarries, and becomes permanently infertile. On the doctor's advice, the couple conceal this fact and decide to secretly look for a surrogate mother to bear Raj's child. Raj meets Madhubala aka Madhu (Preity Zinta), a prostitute who agrees to have Raj's baby, for the money. After some much-needed grooming, Madhu meets Priya--who will be left unaware that Madhu was a prostitute--and the three depart for Switzerland together to carry out their plan.

Soon Madhu is pregnant with Raj's child, and he happily tells his family that Priya is expecting. Meanwhile, his business partner is sexually harassing Madhu until she's ready to leave, upset at the thought that Raj told his friend that she is a prostitute (he didn't). Although Priya finds out about Madhu's past, she stiill believes that Madhu should carry their child, and she begs her to stay. Finally the partner assaults Madhu while (he thinks) she's home alone, but Raj saves her. Overwhelmed by Raj's kindness, Madhu falls in love with him.

Raj's family suddenly arrives in Switzerland. While Priya reaches for pregnancy-simulating pillows, the family meet the heavily-pregnant Madhu and Raj tells them that she's a friend who's staying with him and Priya while her husband is business-traveling. Raj's grandfather (Amrish Puri) arranges a religious ceremony and tells Raj and Priya that they are going back to India; this also includes Madhu.

The ceremony is very important so Priya sends Madhu as herself. The emotion at the ceremony is too much for Madhu and she becomes conflicted about giving up her child. Priya finds Madhu's room empty and the money dumped on the bed, and pursues her to the train station, only to slap Madhu when she confesses that she loves Raj. By the time Raj gets there, Madhu has gone into premature labor. The doctor announces that only one--Madhu or her child--can be saved, and Priya asks him to save Madhu. However, both mother and baby survive and seem likely to thrive. Madhu gives the baby to Priya, who quickly settles into a hospital bed with "her" baby. The doctor tells the family that Madhu's child was stillborn.

When Madhu is ready to leave, she promises Raj that she won't go back to prostitution. When he takes her to the airport he realizes that she loved him and kisses her forehead. Madhu leaves happily, ready and able to start fresh, as Raj and Priya start their own new lives as thankful and proud parents.
Chori Chori Chupke Chupke - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A cute romantic comedy dealing with a love triangle and all the misadventures as a wife that can no longer conceive after a miscarriage. They continually have to make up more tall tales as they try to deceive the grandfather that the wife is pregnant. His lifelong wish is to have a grandchild and his heart would not take such disappointment. After both women are said to be pregnant only one live birth can come out so they have to ultimately say the surrogate had a miscarriage also as the doctor makes the announcement.

Other than the prostitute being pregnant, the similarities of scenes with Pretty Woman was over the top. Madhubala aka Madhu (Preity Zinta) plays at first a dancer at a night club, so it was not revealed at first that she was a prostitute until a little later. The film quickly assumed that the two professions overlap and that she was a prostitute. Even following along with the Pretty Woman script I knew that his business partner had to confront Madhu about being a prostitute and to try and force his way on her. Of course the scenes of Rodeo drive was really close. The only difference seemed to be less of a part about the hotel concierge and his noting the "niece" aspects of the hotel guests. Madhu also did not have any friend that she confided in like the roommate in Pretty Woman.
Dust jacket: Chori Chori Chupke Chupke is a unique thriller for the whole family from Abbas-Mustan. Unique because there is no crime committed, no villian, no vamp, not even a single negative character in the film! It is the unusual and intriguing web of human relationships in the film that contribute to the edge-of-the-seat suspense in the film.
Chori Chori Chupke Chupke is also the unique love story of our three main protagonists Raj (Salman Khan), Priya (Rani Mulherjee) and Madhoo (Preity Zinta) but it is not the eternal triangle!
It is a love story of three people, which ends not in tragedy but in the totality of relationships.
It is a love story enhanced by youth and melodious music, it is complete family entertainment that succeeds in arousing your curiosity and keeps you in suspense till the very last scene.

Yes, unique in that there was only one act of misery as the first miscarriage dashes the dreams of a family and especially a mother and father. The love-making with the prostitute is never brought up or shown any hint of it. I even assumed that the love-making and confirmation of pregnancy would have been done before leaving for Switzerland.

The one aspect they fail to realize is that the "business partner" was a villain in that he not only diminished her self-worth by being derogatory but also attempting to rape her after money was enough to become a whore for him. Also though not villains, the people at the "Rodeo shops" were very rude and unfriendly with Madhoo.

Well worth watching this fairly long movie {156 minutes according to Wiki}.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reconstruction (2003)

Danish filmmaker Christoffer Boe makes his feature debut with the psychological romantic drama Reconstruction. Set in Copenhagen during a 24-hour period, narrator August (Krister Henriksson) works on his novel while his wife, Aimee (Maria Bonnevie), has a one-night stand with photographer Alex (Nikolaj Lie Kaas). The next morning, Alex appears to have lost touch with his surroundings as his friends, family, and girlfriend Simone (also played by Bonnevie) treat him like a stranger. Reconstruction won the Camera d'Or at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi
Theatrical Feature Running Time: 93 mins
Reconstruction (2003)
It definitely is a unique film when the category given above is "psychological romantic drama". I am not sure what it was suppose to "Reconstruct" as Alex tries to piece some of his random thoughts together. If the whole world looks strange then perhaps it is first person that is mistaking fantasy for reality. I kept thinking that Alex was going to suddenly come to grips with his reality but ultimately in the end Aimee just disappears and along with the plot lines with the writer and his cheating wife.

Strangely even his apartment is no longer there, although I wonder then how he gets to change his clothes in the movie. Sadly though the movie just lacks story depth as we never get a good grasp of what the purpose of Alex's life or just the random writings of August.

Reconstruction (2003 film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaShooting

The film was shot almost entirely in available light. Using available lighting is not merely stylistic. It may come as no surprise, but Boe doesn't work with storyboards or set schedules. He likes to run and gun.[1]

They shot Super 16 on an Arri SR3 using three different stocks. Then the film was scanned, color-graded, and digitally masked to CinemaScope. The scan was a simple one-light, and the team did no color correction, the opposite of today's trend to perform a digital intermediate. They also pushed the emulsion for extra grain.
I noticed that a lot of the scenes film stock showed an inordinate amount of color picture grain. It was not distracting to the plot line or the quality of the film but from my camera experiences it definitely jumped out at me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Very British Coup (1989)

Based on the speculative political novel by Chris Mullin, this British miniseries starred Ray McAnally as Harry Perkins, a third-generation Communist, lifelong steelworker, and a powerful labor leader. Thanks to strong support from the industrial countries, Harry was elected Prime Minister of England, whereupon he set to work putting his left-wing ideals in action. Harry's efforts were compromised by a vast right-wing conspiracy, fomented by a number of important Conservative money men and set in motion by Britain's' MI5 and America's CIA. The winner of four BAFTA awards, including Best Drama Series and Best Actor (Ray McAnally), A Very British Coup aired in three parts over Britain's Channel 4 from June 19 to July 3, 1988. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
A Very British Coup (1989)

A Very British Coup was a made for television 3 part series {mini-series}. For special features it includes an audio interview with Author, of the book the shows were based on, Chris Mullin.

Although the title said "British Coup", it seemed more like a US coup as the evil guys were Americans conspiring to topple the UK government. Production wise it was pretty good considering made for TV and had an overall good script. Well worth watching.

I put this one in the category of "Leftist Dogma" as Harry always had simple answers to complex problems. For example it is completely ironic that the UK government borrowed funds from a Russian bank. History should tell us enough to know that Russia never did before or after the filming of movie including all the debt crisis they have experienced since release of the film. But in all honesty some of his ideas seemed plausible enough to work, although I just wonder if all the workers were striking why didn't the capitalists strike also when the government started implementing some leftist agenda.

A Very British Coup - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Plot (TV version)
Harry Perkins, an unassuming, working class, very left-wing Leader of the Labour Party and Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central, is elected Prime Minister in March 1989. The priorities of the Perkins Government include dissolving all newspaper monopolies, removing all American military bases on UK soil, unilateral nuclear disarmament, and true open government. Immediately, the right wing and allies scheme to depose him, with the U.S. the key, but covert, conspirator.
His move to try to make the government more open is definitely a nice proposal, but as learned from the Wiki leaks, other governments might not like it much. Removing the American military bases did take up a lot of the film time and was reason implied in why the Americans were so up in arms. At one time Harry compares the bases to their own private aircraft carriers. Although it was lost the idea that aircraft carriers' most important trait is their mobility and their rock does not move fast enough.

Since this is after the environmental scares of the 70s, then nuclear power was also on his cutting block.
In the TV version the Prime Minister is presented with forged evidence of financial irregularity following a long running affair, with the suggestion that he should resign rather than see the story made public. He agrees to make a resignation speech on live TV, but instead announces the attempted blackmail to the world along with a new election. As the screen fades to black we hear the sound of helicopters and a radio announcer talking about the "constitutional situation".
It was also pointed out by the author that the closing scene had a close-up of a military jacket and thus portraying a possible coup on Harry's government.