Sunday, November 1, 2009

Aladin (2009)

The hype for Aladin has been building for several weeks from various new sources, so I decided it was time to feature it here, too. Most of the articles have been trying to stir up interest with actor controversies and such, not something I care about even when I know the players. Oh, the media machines and how they churn...

So far, the film has only been released in the UK and India from what I can see. It will eventually make its way to other countries, of course.

Here's the official website: Aladin. There are many videos and lots of content on the site. Video embedding isn't enabled from YouTube either, but here's a link to the trailer.

An article:

He dreams of Genie: The director of ‘Aladin’ on making a ‘summer movie’, the importance of fantasy in cinema, and his influences by Anindita Ghose

Excerpts from reviews:

Aladin is the best we have seen in a Hindi film in the fantasy fiction genre so far by Sanjukta Sharma

But Aladin’s charm lies in its story and characters. It’s not an original, but a mish-mash of the classic tale of Aladin and the magic lamp, and Harry Potter. Aladin Chatterjee (Riteish Deshmukh), a shy, simple fellow who just wants to be liked, lives alone in an antiquated house in Khwaish town after the death of his parents and grandfather. The boys in the town bully him because of his name. When Jasmine, (Jacqueline Fernandez), a beautiful girl, joins the college, Aladin is enraptured. Once, while being bullied by the other boys into rubbing a lamp, Genius, the genie (Amitabh Bachchan) appears. Aladin’s life changes for the better, but only until Ring Master, an evil wizard, comes looking for the lamp Aladin possesses.

Aladin - Movie Review by Tushar Joshi

Granted the special effects and the wizardy is enchanting enough to appreciate the hard work that went behind putting up those green screens, but dude... where's the kahani ? It's like there is a drum follow without a follow-up.

The post- genie Aladin isn't that different from the one before, except that he has a new found friend in a charged-up and over-animated Genuis.

Vishal-Shekhar's score is in sync with the genre, but the songs pop out of nowhere like those annoying internet ads you want to block! Riteish looks but doesn't feel the part. His Aladin takes too long to realise the real hero within him, and by the time he does you wouldn't care to bother. For Bachchan, it's all about indulgence.

REVIEW: Ritesh-Big B's Aladin
Neither magical enough for a fantasy nor identifiable enough to be real
By Anand Vaishnav

Verdict: Ghosh's setting is neither magical enough for a fantasy nor identifiable enough to be real. It’s too confusing for kids and adults alike. Except for a few laugh early on and Bachchan’s stand out act, Aladin is another addition to Bollywood’s failed attempts at fantasy.

So a mixed bag, but a must-see perhaps for Bollywood fans...

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