Utpal Borpujari

April 10, 2012

DVD Reviews: Sound of Music / Leaving Home

By Utpal Borpujari

Sound of Music

It is a film everyone loves. Period. “The Sound of Music” is one film that has transcended generations to be one of the mostwatched and most-loved films of all time. The precocious Maria and the von Trapp children have become part of film lore, and the film’s songs continue to be favourites of music lovers all over the world.
So, when you get a special edition DVD of the film, commemorating the 45th anniversary of this 1965 Hollywood hit, you grab it greedily. And no wonder, the old film in a new packaging does not disappoint you a bit.
The storyline of “The Sound of Music”, winner of five Oscars including that for the Best Picture, is too well-known to require a retelling here. But just to whet your appetite a little bit, let’s get down to some trivia about the movie. Based on the eponymous Broadway musical based on the book “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers”, the film has some evergreen numbers, such as “Do-Re-Mi”, “Edelweiss”, “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”, “The Lonely Goatherd”, “My Favorite Things” and “Climb Every Mountain”. The film became so popular that Salzburg, the Austrian town where it was majorly shot, became a perennial favourite with tourists since it got released. In fact, a whole tourism industry sprung up in Salzburg purely capitalising on “The Sound of Music”. Not that anyone minded it! Though based partly on a true story, the film version took quite a lot of creative liberties with the real-life incidences and geographical and historical facts. This commemorative DVD comes with digitally-remastered sound and picture quality, and it is pure bliss to watch on a home theatre system. Added attractions are “The Sound of Music Tour – a Living Story”, a documentary on the story behind the story, a sing-along facility within the main film, and a ‘Music Machine’ that allows you to sing along to the songs outside the film. Collect it, watch it, and store it in your library.

Sound of Music; Director: Robert Wise; Language: English; Excel Home Videos; Rs499

Leaving Home

Jaideep Varma’s “Leaving Home: The Life and Music of Indian Ocean”, is another musical film that will keep you captivated. A feature-length documentary, it has won several honours, including a National Award and a selection as the Opening Film of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI)’s opening film of the Indian Panorama Non-Feature film section. It also had the singular honour of being the first Indian documentary to get a multicity theatrical release a couple of years ago. All this is not unsurprising, given the fact that “Leaving Home” tells the story of one of India’s most-loved bands, the Indian Ocean. It is a film that captures the creative genius of the band, and the personal journeys of each of the band members. The original movie was 115minute long, but the 2-DVD pack comprises 286 minutes of viewing that will give the viewer uncut songs, extra chapters and information on the band updated-till-2010. The additional chapters include “Let Me Speak”, on conversations with and music of Indian Ocean’s peers like Shubha Mudgal, Kailash Kher, Silk Route, etc., “Des Mera”, which talks of Delhi’s influence on the band’s music, “Bondhu”, on the life of the band after the hugely-talented Asheem Chakravarty passed away untimely, and “Hille Le”, which is about how the band members deal with their differences. Like any other film with a musical subject, it is full of music, in the form of live performance recordings, as well as jamming and practice sessions at the 100-year-old house in Delhi’s Karol Bagh that has been the pad of Susmit Sen, Rahul Ram, Amit Kilam and the late Chakravarty. Varma makes the film interesting by letting the band’s story roll by itself with all its intrinsic dramatic elements. It is a film worth viewing and worth putting in your DVD collection.

Leaving Home; Director: Jaideep Varma; EMI; Rs495

(Published in Seven Sisters Post, http://www.sevensisterspost.com, 08-04-2012)


November 9, 2009

DVD Review: X-Men Quadrilogy – Fine superhero collectibles

By Utpal Borpujari

As movie franchises go, the X Men series is one of the most successful emerge out of Hollywood, almost at par with the Superman, Batman and Spider-Man series. X-Men comprises a motley bunch of “mutants”, who have been bestowed with superpowers making them distinctly different from the normal human being.

Not surprisingly, they are busy in saving the world from various kinds of evils, but in their case, they also have to constantly fight their own ghosts more often than not. This is indeed an interesting bunch of characters from Marvel Comics. So, it hardly astonishes one that these comic book characters are equally successful in their big screen versions.

Now, one can go through the whole journey of X-Men movies, thanks to this “Quadrilogy”, or the DVD pack comprising all the four movies of the series. The good thing about such packs is that they give a perspective of the whole series of movies, and also lets one know if the series is getting better with every edition or is giving diminishing returns.

In this case, after the first three installments, which concentrates on the exploits of the bunch in a series of adventures, the fourth one, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” comes as a completely different movie, focusing solely on the most intriguing of the characters and clearly the main hero of the lot. Played by Hugh Jackman, Wolverine is a mysterious character with more mysterious origins, and this movie show how such movies can go beyond the usual “superhero-the-world-from-super villain” mode of stories.

Not only kids, but even adults with a penchant for superhero stuff would love to have this collection at home.

X-Men Quadrilogy; Excel Home Videos; Rs 1,199

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 08-11-2009)


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