I haven’t yet wrote anything about my reactions to Baahubali: The Beginning even though I loved it. I will probably write more after I’ve rewatched it again a couple of times when the DVD (or hopefully a Blu-ray) comes out. One of the highlights of the movie is Prabhakar who plays the barbarian chieftain. I happened to find a very nice video interview (with subtitles!) by iNews where Prabhakar tells about his experiences in the film industry. He discusses interesting topics like working with Rajamouli, Maryada Ramanna, Baahubali, some of his other movies, his friends’ reactions to his work, and so on. I was so delighted when I learnt that my to-watch DVD pile contains more than one movie where he has a small role!

If the video is too long, there is also a nice written interview by Idlebrain.com where he tells more or less the same things. Aww, he is so cute!

Prabhakar is also on Facebook and he just got a new fan.

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  • I watched Mithun Chakraborty’s 1982 Hindi film Disco Dancer. Epic songs! Guitar-phobia! Very funny. 3½
  • I was interested to see Buster Keaton’s 1923 American silent film Our Hospitality because S. S. Rajamouli’s Maryada Ramanna (2010) is a remake of it. The story is approximately the same and some scenes are very similar between the two. The original is funny but not as funny as the remake.
  • For the same reason I watched the Australian short film Cockroach (2010) because some people claim that S. S. Rajamouli’s Eega (2012) is copied from it. I honestly didn’t see that many similiraties between the two.
  • Chiranjeevi’s Shankar Dada Zindabad (2007) was not as good as Shankar Dada MBBS (2004). It was a little confusing that they didn’t explain why the girl from MBBS wasn’t around anymore even though there were other references to the first part. Now there are still two or three Allu Arjun’s special appearances that I haven’t yet seen. 2½
  • I finally saw Ram Charan’s Govindudu Andarivadele (2014). Not as good as many of his other movies but still watchable. The Bunny thing was so funny! 3
  • Jr. NTR’s Rabhasa (2014) has very complicated story. I couldn’t keep track of everything but there were lots of funny things!
  • I rewatched A (1998) and Preethse (2000) with the friend who got hooked to Upendra after seeing Upendra. I liked A more when watching for the second time. Sometimes we got lost in the hierarchy of five(?) stacked levels of flashback.
  • Happy Days is a 2007 Telugu film starring Varun Sandesh and Tamanna Bhatia. It is a college drama that follows a group of friends through their studies. I found it quite enjoyable although there wasn’t much going on in the story. The format is very different from most of other South Indian films that I’ve seen. Most notably, the hero doesn’t have supernatural fighting powers and there’s no distinct comedic side plot.
  • I also watched a lot of older Prabhas movies. I’ll post more about them later.

Bonus clip: BUNNY KISS!

I was doing random YouTube surfing and found this clip from an old Filmfare Awards South event.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb0e9inkERo

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The teaser of the most ever awaited S. S. Rajamouli’s epic Baahubali: The Beginning has been released! Full trailer will release on June 1. Unfortunately the apparently spectacular 1-crore audio launch function was postponed but it too will most probably happen very soon. I hope there will be a YouTube live stream available as it has been quite common thing for the audio release events of big budget Telugu (but for some reason not Tamil) films.

I think I saw some similarities to Rajamouli’s Magadheera. I wonder if Prabhas will defeat more than 100 men.

magabali

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I don’t always write new blog posts when something cool happens, so maybe I should periodically summarize the most relevant unblogged things from a longer period of time into a single post. This is a brief summary of the most exciting film related things that have happened to me in March 2015.

  • The blog now has a new domain name and I even managed to write a new about page!
  • Even though I didn’t yet advertise it anywhere, I made a new high score system for the Magadheera-inspired Warrior Game that I made last year. (My record is now 353.) I hope to add support for touchscreen devices some day but right now I have no idea how to do that. Until that, it’s playable only with mouse or touchpad.
  • I started the Super Star Project which might have been my worst decision ever. My DVD shelf is already so full! I’m glad I’m not doing a Brahmanandam Project.
  • Now I’ve finally seen Student No.1 (Telugu, 2001) which completed my list of movies directed by S. S. Rajamouli, and Gangotri (Telugu, 2003) which was my last unseen movie of Allu Arjun as the hero.
  • Dhoom Dhoom 1+2+3
  • I’m quite a newbie to Hindi cinema since I’ve watched mostly South Indian films. While I’ve seen some random Hindi films before, I haven’t seen anything that good that would make me watch more Hindi films instead of Telugu or Tamil films. Still Hindi films are more popular than South Indian films, so maybe I’ve just watched the wrong movies? Now I started to explore Hindi cinema a little more systematically than before. I began by watching Sholay (1975) which was actually quite good. I was surprised how well the songs fitted in the story, as most Indian films that I’ve seen have at least a couple of songs that feel a little random and disconnected from everything else. I also got DVDs of some newer “super hits”, for example Dhoom and Krrish series, as well as some more or less questionable Hindi movies.
  • Bollywood for Beginners Bollywood for Beginners
  • Just when I started to wander around in the big and scary world of Hindi cinema, one of the greatest Indian cinema bloggers, Filmi Girl, published a book called Bollywood for Beginners. I’ve really enjoyed reading it so far.
  • I remember a day last summer when I traveled around my home town. I laughed silently in my head because I saw a man that I thought looked a little like Dhanush. Then I came home and read the unthinkable news that Dhanush was making his new film Shamitabh in Finland! I missed a screening of the movie in February but this year the Season Film Festival screened two Hindi films, Shamitabh and Raja Natwarlal, so I got another chance to see it. Both of the movies were worth watching even though I probably missed a lot of references to other Hindi films in Shamitabh. It’s funny that the first Bollywood song shot in Finland is a song about toilets. I also made a fool of myself by some very bad dancing when a Bollywood dance group made the audience to try some dance moves in the cinema hall before the show, but I forgot it as soon as an enormous image of Rajinikanth appeared on the screen in Eros International’s short video clip and said “Let’s begin!” which already was more than enough value for the ticket price.
  • At least three interesting soundtrack albums for upcoming movies were released recently: M. Ghibran’s Uttama Villain (Kamal Haasan), Devi Sri Prasad’s S/O Satyamurthy (Allu Arjun, UPENDRA), and Ilaiyaraaja’s Rudhramadevi (Anushka, Rana, Allu Arjun). I managed to watch the live stream only from Rudhramadevi’s audio launch event. It was held in two different cities on consecutive days so that they released three songs a day. Anushka made a grand entrance in a royal carriage and some of the dance performances were entertaining (while some others were embarrassing).
  • Aa Okkadu Aa Okkadu
  • I also have to mention that I got the DVD of Aa Okkadu (Telugu, 2009) which has AJAY in hero role! I hope to watch it as soon as it fits into the schedule of one of my friends who also is an Ajay fan.
  • And finally, I now have Yoddha (2014), the Bengali remake of Magadheera, on (unsubtitled) VCD, so now I’ll be able to make a screencap comparison between the two if I won’t have anything better to do.
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studentno1-dvd WPIMDbLB

The DVD release of S. S. Rajamouli’s debut film Student No.1 (2001) would really need the English subtitles. I had postponed watching it in a hope that someday I would be fluent enough in Telugu to understand it without subtitles. Luckily, I noticed that the movie has been dubbed into Hindi (as Aaj Ka Mujrim) and the dubbed version has subtitles, so I was finally able to watch the last remaining film that I hadn’t seen from my favourite director.

I don’t know much Hindi but I think the dubbing was mostly OK, far from the Russian dubbing style where one man just reads the whole dialogue with a monotonic voice. Watching a dubbed version was a little challenging as the familiar actors had strange voices. Sometimes it’s difficult to follow the dialogue by reading the fast-paced subtitles if you have no idea who is talking. Looks like the dubbing company didn’t ruin the whole movie like they did to Magadheera. At least this time they didn’t remove all the songs.

The movie has Jr. NTR, Gajala, and Rajiv Kanakala in the lead roles. (Rajiv Kanakala is always unintentionally so funny because “Kanakala” means a chicken-fish in Finnish.)

studentno1-ajay OMG! One of Ajay’s first supporting roles!!!

Jr. NTR’s character is of course the hero of the film. He is a new student in a law college (or was it a love college?) but it doesn’t take long when he finds out that the college has bad reputation because nobody ever graduates — the school is ruled by a violent gang which efficiently prevents all teachers and students from teaching and studying! It’s no secret that the hero is going to fix the situation but I can’t tell much more without spoiling the dramatic interval revelation.

This movie has only a couple of fighting/action sequences which is less than Rajamouli’s or Jr. NTR’s movies normally have but it doesn’t really need any more. Good fighting skills are almost a requirement for any Indian movie hero (except Siddharth) and we see enough to become convinced that also this hero can fight. This time however the hero isn’t supernaturally strong against the bad guys but he still does a couple of cool things, like jumping forth from a sea of burning fuel. (I think I’ve seen this somewhere else before!)

studentno1-ntr studentno1-comedy

This is again one of those movies that have all the three of them: Brahmanandam, Ali, and M. S. Narayana. This time Narayana is the only one who is somewhat relevant character as he plays a teacher in the college. Ali and Brahmanandam play an engineer and a doctor but they are used only in two scenes and didn’t add very much to the story. However I liked the bad joke that the doctor wants to cut a car accident victim’s leg with a handsaw to save him while the engineer would prefer to cut the car instead.

I guess the songs were nice but I’m not going to do any in-depth reviews of them as I was watching the movie in a “wrong” language.

Story 3
Star Power 2
Fights 2½
Comedy 1½
Overall 2½

Student No.1 obviously isn’t among the most entertaining Rajamouli movies but I still liked it very much.

Kantri on YouTube The subtitled Hindi version can be found on YouTube, uploaded by Goldmines Telefilms.

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Baahubali Valentines Day Contest

After the epic masterpieces Magadheera (2009) and Eega (2012), S. S. Rajamouli’s Baahubali is definitely the most awaited movie of 2015. This February the Baahubali team organized a Valentine’s Day Contest. The subject of the contest was a proposal to one of the main actors in the film (Prabhas, Anushka, Rana). The contest was announced on 11 February and the deadline was already on the 14th so there was quite a small amount of time to design and make the proposal.

My idea was to make a Lego brick animation using some of the characteristic scenes in South Indian cinema. Unfortunately I’m mainly a Castle Lego collector so I didn’t have the necessary cars to do the crazy car choreography for the arrival of the bad guys.

So, my entry to the contest was Brick Valentine, a 42 seconds long Lego brick action movie. It was the first Lego animation that I managed to complete. It was also a chance to finally learn to use a video editing software better. This time I used VSDC Free Video Editor. I’m quite satisfied with the final outcome when the short production time is taken into account. Of course there are still some things that could be improved (voice actors would have been nice) and I would have liked to make it longer, but because of the deadline I managed to finish the project even if it wasn’t perfect.

The City
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