Loving a vampire, eh!

Twilight; Pic Source:

Rarely a film is better than the book it is based upon. Twilight is one such case; based on Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling novel of the same name, Catherine Hardwicke’s film stays true to the book but its pace makes it much more enjoyable. While the film’s sequel, New Moon released worldwide this week and is setting all time revenue records, Twilight makes its debut in India now.

Set in a high-school, Twilight is about a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire. Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) falls for Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), the best looking as well as the weirdest guy on the campus. Everything about him attracts her and she is not scared even after discovering his true identity. Then there are other interesting characters who take the story forward, Edward’s ‘vegetarian’ vampire family and the other vampires who are not that nice.

Twilight works as it captures the high school romance well with all the mush and the underlying sexual tension involved; though nothing explicit is shown. What makes it a sensation is the theme of defying the norms or going for the forbidden. Edward is dangerous and Bella is aware of the fact but still she chooses to be with him; similarly, Edward risks being exposed to the world by being with Bella.

Robert Pattinson has extremely good screen presence, something that was noticeable in his brief appearance as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goble of Fire. Kristen Stewart does not really has the charm that Reese Witherspoon or Anne Hathaway had in their earlier films; but guess that is because of her character, where she is supposed to be extremely ordinary and plain.

Overall, it is a good film, bit cheesy in parts but it is a high-school romance so enjoy that bit.

My Rating: * * * ½ Three and a half stars (on five)

Shrey Khetarpal





It is not about Saifeena alone…

Pic: Dharma Productions; Source:

Rensil D’Silva’s directorial debut, Kurbaan thankfully goes beyond the pre-release hype created by the film’s posters and the saree presented to Kareena Kapoor by some Shiv Sainiks. It is a film about the discord between the western world, specifically the USA and the Islamic world. Does it do full justice to the subject of ‘Islamic Jihad’? I don’t think so but it does manage to come out as a gripping thriller with a message.

Kurbaan is about Avantika (Kareena Kapoor), a Psychology professor who marries Ehsaan (Saif Ali Khan), a professor on Islam and its influence on the modern world. Avantika is extremely happy with her life till she discovers a disturbing truth about her husband. From this point onwards the film transforms from a love story to a thriller. The director takes the first forty-five minutes to set up the love story and introduces the other characters; by this time you start getting tired of the slow pace and suddenly the film picks up. There are many twists in the plot, some predictable and some surprise you, leading up to an action packed climax.

The film has many similarities with Kabir Khan’s New York; apart from the basic premise, there are similarities in the plot, however the treatment and the circumstances are quite different. I could not help but compare the two films. While Kurbaan manages to keep the tension alive throughout and the climax is several notches superior; New York scores in creating an emotional connect with the lead characters.

Saif and Kareena are both good in their characters and have a good supporting cast of Viveik Oberoi, Kirron Kher and Om Puri to complete the picture. Kirron’s Afghani accent is not convincing but the fanaticism displayed by her character is. Viveik worked hard on his American accent, which again is a bit annoying but he does a decent job.

Technically, Hemant Chaturvedi’s cinematography is good and so is SalimSulaiman’s music, which does not interrupt the narrative. Screenplay by Rensil D’Silva drags a bit in the beginning but maintains the tension of a thriller in the rest of the film. There are a few loopholes in the storyline and certain decisions taken by the lead characters seem extremely unrealistic but that’s a Bollywood film for you.

Overall, Kurbaan is one of the better films released this year. It leaves much to be desired as far as cinematic excellence is concerned but is a good one-time watch.  

My Rating: * * * Three stars (on five)

Shrey Khetarpal