Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Oculus – 104 Min – R

Here is my review of  Oculus on Horrorcenteric. Give this move a look, I am attaching the trailer for your enjoyment.

Monday, May 5, 2014


Queen – 146min – NA

While working in India, I have had time to watch two films in the cinema. One was Queen. Next time I am here it’s going to have to be something movie-related so I can get more time in the cinema than the classroom.

Let me set the scene. I had a free weekend, and the manager I was working with offered to take me to a movie. We got up in the middle of our night to find out that we had to ride to the cinema on motorcycle. I am riding through the crowded streets of Pune without a helmet. To be fair I have a larger than normal noggin, so even if they did bring one it would not have fit me. The movie was mostly in Hindi, which I don’t speak at all. Even though I could not understand the words I followed about 90% of what was going on. I had to ask some questions at the end but it was a completely understandable and enjoyable film.

Bhelpuri (puffed rice, vegetables and a tangy tamarind sauce.)
The Indian movie theater experience is somewhat difference from the average American theater. Seats are all assigned and the walk-ways are well-lit, even during the film. Some things on the screen were digitized out so to not offend the sensibilities of the audience. Whenever a character was smoking on the screen a message flashed in the lower right side of the screen: “SMOKING KILLS.” All films have an intermission, during which they played some local advertisements for local merchants and trailers for other movies. There were also a lot of Anti-Smoking public service announcements. I took this time to go get some Bhelpuri

The title character of the film, Queen (Kangana Ranaut), is a young girl from a lower to middle class family. She is sweet and innocent and catches the eye of a young boy, Vijay (Rajkummar Rao), who starts courting her. We see some of the backstory intermixed with a wedding that never happened, from the looks of it was called off at the last minute. She is remembering the events that brought her to this very sad moment. Her family has bought her a honeymoon trip across Europe. They convince her to go, and take this time to recover emotionally from this tragic event.

Her first stop is France she meets a woman in her hotel, Vijayalakshmi (Lisa Haydon) she goes by Vijay for short, who is her opposite in every aspect of her life. Vijay helps Queen adjust to the new environment and even helps her start the healing process. Vijay is also Indian but grew up in France, she is a mother and a woman who is in control of her life and is not afraid of living it. From her Queen learns to be less afraid of life.

Queen starts living again. She heads off to her new destination, Amsterdam. There she meets three new friends, Taka, Tim and Oleksander, (Jeffrey Chee Eng Ho, Mish Boyko, Guithob Joseph)She makes some good friends in these guys, they learn to open up to her and she to them. They form a bond and help her by creating a safe and encouraging environment for her to recover and grow stronger. She has come into her own and she is finally recovering from the devastation of the canceled wedding.

Her groom gets a picture from Queen inadvertently because she was trying to send it to her new friend Vijay. He seem to be thinking that he regrets calling off the wedding and follows her across Europe to try and find her and get her to take him back. They meet and she is obviously brought back to the fearful moment that we see her at in the beginning of the movie. She stands up to him and tells him they can meet at a coffee shop the next day. Her new friends offer to help, but she waives them off. This is something she has to face on her own.

The next day they meet and he makes his case. She listens to him and they have heated words. I am guessing he was asking her to take him back, what he did was a mistake and that she should come back to him. The impression I get is that she needs to think about it because they left separately. The next thing we see is her in India going to his house. His mother is there and showing her with affection. Vijay and her talk and at the end of it she hands him her engagement ring. The audience cheers like India just won the final score in the Asian Cup Cricket match. They were on their feet. Queen walks out of the house and into the sun a stronger and more powerful woman.

I had to ask why the wedding as called off. It was explained to me that when Vijay got back from collage he thought he needed to have a wife of better standing: a simple Delhi girl was beneath him. WHAT A JACK WAGGON!!! I had a new level of anger at the character after I learned that.

I have to compliment the filmmakers and performers in this film. As a viewer who doesn’t speak the language, I understood the story, I was right there with the emotions of the characters. I made a connection even with the language barrier. I have seen subtitled Indian movies before but this one is the first one I've seen in its natural habitat. It was wonderful. Thank you Vikas Bahl for making a wonderful film for my first India cinema experience.

I would strongly suggest that if you ever get a chance to watch this film, do so. However I have also learned that Indians love a long movie. So set some time aside get your gol gappa ready and enjoy.

I am including a trailer and one of the songs from the film. Enjoy.

Official Trailer

Queen | Hungama | Full Song | Kangana Ranaut