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18 Feb - 24 Feb , 2012
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Gali Gali Chor HaiThis Week MAG Recommends

Gali Gali Chor Hai
While credit must be given to writer-director Rumy Jaffery for focusing on the issue of corruption, noble intentions don't necessarily make a notable work of art. Certainly Gali Gali Chor Hai must have sounded amusing and topical on paper. It is a savagely stinging satire on the harassment of the average law-abiding middleclass man, played by Akshaye Khanna, in the hands of various, law enforcers, goons and politicians all of whom infest the city of Bhopal with the destructive determination of termites eating into a 'system' that has ceased to be moral or ethical. Sadly the satire doesn't evoke any empathy for the common hero of this film who is sucked into the vicious vortex of bribery and palm-greasing for no seemly reason. While the ambience, characters and the plight of the hero seem authentic, the lazy movement of the story suggests a far less involving sequence of events than what you set out to witness. This film is an absolute no-no even for those wishing for some light-hearted humour.

The Woman In Black The Woman In Black
Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is barely holding on in life, having lost his wife during the birth of their child and struggling to stay employed as a lawyer. To stay afloat, Kipps reluctantly takes on the job of settling the legal affairs of a recently deceased widow. Living in her home (the haunted house), Kipps quickly realises there's more to the woman's life than he realised, unravelling her mysterious connections to a string of child deaths and a ghostly presence in the home. Even with pressure from the townspeople, Kipps continues his investigation, hoping to right any wrongs he's accidentally caused by putting the violent Woman In Black to rest. Radcliffe bounces back and forth between the dusty mansion, made even more forbidding by the high tides that routinely cut it off from civilisation, and a town full of wide-eyed psychos who live in fear of the kid-killing Woman in Black. The film is visually appealing and dramatically bland, but the presence of Daniel Radcliffe injects some life into the script.

ChronicleChronicle
Chronicle, a dark sci-fi thriller about teenage superheroes that begins with Andrew, a pale lad, switching on a camera and declaring to his father, who fumes outside his bedroom door, that he intends to 'film everything'. Narrating in a gloomy, nasal drone, he documents the daily indignities of high school – being accosted by bullies and eating lunch alone on the. Andrew's circumstances change considerably when he, his cousin Matt, and Steve, the school's reigning alpha male, chance upon a hole in a forest clearing that leads them deep underground, where they encounter something strange and otherworldly. Soon thereafter, the boys begin to manifest powers of telekinesis that would make anyone envious. The boys play pranks on unsuspecting department-store shoppers and try to one-up each other with increasingly hazardous stunts. Chronicle's director demonstrates a keen grasp of sci-fi theatrics but the film's vision is so determinedly bleak that it ends as a drama.

W.E.W.E.
Madonna now lavishes the full force of her empathy and historical sense in her second movie as director and co-writer. The heroine is Wallis Simpson who fell in love with the British king, Edward VIII, who was supposed to have given up everything for her. But what, Madonna's film asks poignantly, did she give up for him? Andrea Riseborough plays Wallis in the 1930s, and in a parallel world, Abbie Cornish plays Wally, a lonely, beautiful, abused but reassuringly wealthy woman in Manhattan in 1998, who finds herself obsessed with Wallis's story and haunted by the gutsy Mrs Simpson herself. The multi-tier concept is pinched from Michael Cunningham's The Hours. This is one long humourless film, in which we get to feel their pain and appreciate their emotional victimhood. The fantastically wooden drama moves in a deafening series of clunks; set-pieces are agonisingly orchestrated, and Madonna's historical perspective is eccentric.

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