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  • Trapped

    Trapped

    ★★★★

    Classical Indian chivalry/conservatism in the age of political self-mummification and rancid/pragmatic feminism - the good old moral foundations of commerce and romance are long gone (loyalty and fidelity, interchangeable, serve no purpose). The machinery of a contemporary Indian metropolis becomes the perfect stage for a Ballard-ian survival-piece (with a soul). When love is denied, the "9 to 5" cubicle romantic is forced to tread the rocky path to self-realization - a loner again, he's now better equipped for the modern age/life (thank god for the "differently" functional interiors of an empty Mumbai high-rise).

  • Perfect Blue

    Perfect Blue

    ★★

    Huge disappointment. The cumulative effect of the dream-state collapses when you realize that there isn't enough time gap between events - it's way too fast and breathless to create any sense of loss and longing (for the past, for innocence). A movie of this sort, should linger, not sprint. Its thematic companion-piece, the episode from PARANOIA AGENT where a seemingly normal woman (leading a very normal life) gets dragged into her unpleasant past is one of the scariest things I've ever seen - like ten times more effective than this big mess of a film, despite not having lasted for more than 10-15 mins.

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  • Pulse

    Pulse

    ★★★★★

    Unhinged abstraction. A grey, fever dreamy Tokyo as a soul incinerator, witnessing the interplay of overflowing systems. Nobody needs nobody, friends are mere nonentities drifting into secluded neglect, bodies coveting a state of oblivion inside walls, disappearing into them. The specters of urban malaise are manifold, thoroughly complimented here by the grey inertness of Cyberspace and its hypnagogic wastelands. This is a standstill. A droning, deserted video game parlor imitates an agitated poltergeist.

  • Collateral

    Collateral

    ★★★★★

    The impenetrability of this narrative continues to astound me. Too many themes are unfolding in this film, this is 'urban phenomenology' stripped down to its basic artifacts: An anticipation of 'indifferent futurism' rooted deep inside collective psychosis, the omnipresence of dataveillance and peripheralization of the urban populace into 'human capital'. This is a highly cryptic, inaccessible work interested only in asking questions, but not 'nihilistic' by any stretch of the imagination (recalls likes of Bad Lieutenant, Desperate Hours and Blade Runner). And the final Max-Vincent encounter (subway sequence) literally is 'Tears in the Rain - Michael Mann version'. "Think Anybody Will Notice?"