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14 - 20 Jan , 2012
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Pappu Can't Dance SaalaThis Week MAG Recommends

Pappu Can't Dance Saala
Vidyadhar Acharya (Pathak) is a simple man from Benares who has moved to the big bad city of Mumbai to work as a medical representative. He hates his boisterous neighbour, Mehak (Neha Dhupia), a dancer, who is struggling to make it big and in the meanwhile, loves partying. The two end up staying together in one apartment and predictably start liking each other. Neha Dhupia puts in a confident performance as an ambitious starlet who's ready to do anything to get to the top. Certain scenes are watchable, especially the ones where the easy chemistry between Dhupia and Pathak is evident.
The story lacks spunk and novelty and the amateurish script, apart from a few other laughable things, wants viewers to believe that a dancer appearing in a music video is an instant celebrity. Naseeruddin Shah in a small role is delightful as ever and Rajat Kapoor plays a choreographer, but his character is sketched so haphazardly that his efforts seem wasted. While the first half is tolerable, largely thanks to Neha, the second half moves at a sluggish pace. The movie is a good one time watch but it may not reach the expectation set in the first half.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly CloseExtremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The film, based on Jonathan Safran Foer's best-selling 2005 novel of the same name. It tells the story of nine-year-old Oskar Schell, whose father (Tom Hanks) was on the 106th floor of the World Trade Centre on 9/11, and a devastated Oskar hasn't been able to move past the loss. Hateful and anti-social, he tortures himself mentally, emotionally, and physically. When he finds a key in his father's closet, Oskar becomes determined to find its matching lock. Along with it, he hopes, he'll find a way to finally be at peace. Because the key was in an envelope labelled 'Black', Oskar assumes this is the last name of its previous owner, and he takes off to visit all the Blacks in all five boroughs of New York. In his journeys, Oskar knocks on doors and pastes photos of new acquaintances in a scrapbook. Towards the end of the film, he acknowledges that he has heard many affecting life stories and realised how many others have suffered loss. The film, however, leaves out crucial character development and set-up, and the main character simply seems strange, even a bit annoying in his peculiarities. The multi-generational tale of love, family, and tragedy is boiled down to the story of an overwhelmingly sad boy with an all-consuming desire to find a lock for a key.

The Iron LadyThe Iron Lady
The Iron Lady opens with an elderly and wobbly Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep) venturing out to buy milk from a store in London. But once she has toddled home, she slips back into her imperious persona. These contrasting images may be the most memorable in an uneven film. Though not illuminating as a historical biopic, the film features a master performance by Meryl Streep. The biopic does one thing that woman never did: it asks you to feel sorry for Margaret Thatcher. An impressionistic portrait of the former British Prime Minister, and one of the most influential women of the 20th century, it spends nearly as much time faithfully observing the woman in her dotage as it does watching her at 10 Downing Street. Meryl Streep understands that Thatcher herself was a performance; the latter developed those commanding airs to stand up to the men who constantly demanded she sit down, she put on that overly patrician voice to try to distance herself from her humble beginnings as the daughter of a small-town grocer. Director Phyllida Lloyd and screenwriter Abi Morgan concentrate on the historic, feminist angle of Margaret Thatcher but the film doesn't play fair.

J EdgarJ Edgar
Few of the powerful men who helped shape America in the 20th century are as polarising as J. Edgar Hoover, considering his 50-year reign as the director of the FBI. This film focuses on this ruthlessly organised administrative genius. Its lack of tidiness hardly suits its central character, and is also shockingly uncharacteristic of director Clint Eastwood. For two-thirds of its running time, J. Edgar devotes itself to an overly dry recitation of facts about its title character, which is about as thrilling as reading about Hoover on Wikipedia. Star Leonardo DiCaprio is first seen caked in old-age makeup, as Hoover, conscious he's nearing the end of his tenure at the Bureau, dictates his memoirs to an obliging junior agent (Ed Westwick). As Hoover describes how he began his career, the movie jumps back in time to depict that origin. As a result, the shuffling of scenes depicting the young Hoover achieving great success, and those portraying the aging Hoover abusing his power by wire-tapping progressive leaders that he mistrusts feels frustrating. DiCaprio does his best to anchor the proceedings with a precise, authoritative lead performance.

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