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Saturday, November 12, 2011


Alright ...I'm now back to what I do the most when I don't do music - blogging !! :)

Regular readers of my blog will know the drill, but for others - In most of my posts, the actual point of the post comes only much later ...There's usually a lot of "mokkai" build-up until then ...:D ...So, if you wanna go straightaway to the review, please scroll down :)

So yes...I had heard of this movie long ago, I think I came to know about this movie by looking at a poster in one of the multiplexes...The order in which I reacted -

1. Tintin - WOWWWW !!!
2. 3D - WHOA !!!!!
3. Steven Spielberg - OMG !!!!

It was an instant decision to watch this movie first day & if possible, first show ...I have always been a HUGE Tintin fan ...The first time I heard about it was in 2002, during my Dubai vacation ..My cousin Rahul had almost the entire collection with him ..I remember reading Prisoners of the Sun & Tintin in Tibet then ...I instantly adored Captain Haddock !!! :D ...I still gush the same way as I used to long ago when I see the llamas spitting at Haddock ...& in Tintin in Tibet ..when he yells at the Indian porters :D :D ...Since then, there has been no looking back...I used to religiously & judiciously watch the cartoons at 8.30 pm everyday on Cartoon Network ...I've been a bit out of touch with Tintin for a while ...but now's all back :) :)

Well, all the new age cartoons appeal to Gen X & Gen Y ...But people of my generation shall always swear by Tom & Jerry, Archie, Tinkle & Tintin :) :) ...Classics shall be classics ...timeless matter what :) ...I looked forward to enjoy this one the SAME way I enjoyed The Lion King in 3D ...:)

Soon, the hype started building up, trailers of the movie were constantly shared on FB & "liked"...I read online that it was gonna be released in India on Nov.11th much before the US...WOW !!! Awesome !!!! 11/11/11 was gonna be a nice one for me :) :)

I knew that Spielberg had a HUGE task ahead of him - the expectations to fulfill were most enormous - Reproduction of classics is not a joke ...There has HARDLY been any movie which has done complete justice to its book or the original movie from which it has been adapted...Same is the case with sequels...The pressure of living up to expectations is too much...But, again, this was Spielberg !!!! - the absolute master of his trade ...not some first-time novice director !!! So, there was plenty to look forward to...plenty to expect...

As is the case with movies I badly want to see, I regularly kept on checking BookMyShow, right from 3-4 days prior to the release...It was gonna release on Thursday (Nov 10th) itself, but the shows were too expensive ...So, I waited for the Friday bookings to open...Bookings in my favorite multiplex, Gopalan Cinemas, Bannerghatta Road, weren't open yet...:( Yes, Gopalan Cinemas, Bannerghatta Road is my favorite :) ...I simply love the way I feel each time I watch a movie there - everything's just so perfect!!! The location is awesome - just 10 mins away from office ...The prices are REASONABLE - I paid Indian Rupee ₹160 for ZNMD, Indian Rupee ₹100 (sofa :) ) for Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge & Indian Rupee ₹200 for Force yeah, note that for just 3 movies I've seen over there so far, I've already blogged about 2 - so wonderful is the experience of watching movies there! :) So yes, location, price & food - I've mentioned this before - they serve nachos with cheese as well as salsa!! :D AWESOME! :D ...& of course, the halls are also awesome & world-class!! I feel at home, when I watch any movie over there :) ..Oh yes..the music they play when the movie isn't playing - WOW !!! :D When I went to watch Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge, they were playing songs of Force, before the movie started !!!!!! :D :D :D...Like I said, it almost felt like a special screening arranged for me :D :D...every movie watched at Gopalan Innovation Mall makes me feel like that :D

It's almost like a temple to me :D - I feel most peaceful & blissful there - the Harris Jayaraj songs they play are like Bhajans to me :D ...& the nachos with cheese is like theertham :D :D..& devouring a Big-Bell Box at Taco Bell downstairs like a long-starved carnivore is like ...Prasadam !!! :D :D WHAT BETTER WAY to end a beautiful visit to a beautiful little mall ??! - ONLY a fitting finale with a Taco Bell meal can do justice :D :D

So yeah...I was waiting for the bookings over here to open ...The bookings in another increasingly famous multiplex very close to work, Cinepolis, had opened ...I didn't wanna risk losing out tickets on this one, waiting for the bookings at Gopalan to open, without being sure if the movie was, in the first place, actually gonna play over there or not ...+ I thought this would be a good time to check out Cinepolis as well - what is it about this place that is making everyone shower heaps of praise!! So yeah, as usual, I was prepared to watch this one alone, but a colleague of mine, said he would join me too...So, I booked 2 tickets ( Indian Rupee ₹210 each ) for a show at Cinepolis ...My absent-mindedness made me think that I had booked a Thursday show, when in fact, it was a Friday show...Thank God I noticed it later on :D ...

So yeah, it was a 15-min ride from my office to Royal Meenakshi Mall ....& from outside, the mall looked simply WOW !!!!!!! It was HUGE ...& true to its name, it DID LOOK ABSOLUTELY ROYAL !!! It really looked very appealing & world-class ...from outside...So yeah, we went in, I parked my bike & headed upstairs to Cinepolis ...We collected our tickets, 3d glasses & headed towards the food counter....After scanning the menu, I went for a nachos combo - 1 nachos, 1 HUGE popcorn & 1 coke for Indian Rupee ₹190 ...WOW!! This one too, had cheese along with nachos! :D Not bad eh? Another temple with awesome theertham!! :D :D and OH YEAH, guess what songs were playing as we entered - "Mun Andhi" followed by "Yellai lama" !!!!! :D :D :D ....YAYY !!!!!

This too, was proving to be a good temple !! :D :D...So we had a look down at the mall from the 4th floor ..WOW !! It was REALLY good ...much much bigger than Gopalan Innovation, but not as big as Forum or Mantri Mall ...yet, this one was really good !!! It really did give a royal feel & live up to its name that way! So yes, we went in & took our seats ...& yes, the cinema hall was good !! :) There was a trailer of Adam Sandler's Jack & Jill ...hilarious! :D & then, the movie began ...


The 3d effects were visible right from the beginning where Columbia tristar etc appeared ...There began my first "Wow"

The opening credits were AWESOME !!! A cartoon of Tintin & Snowy making their way everywhere and credits appearing ...this part has an awesome supporting score by John Williams...Do watch out for the way Spielberg's name appears ...It is masterclass !!!

The movie begins with Tintin getting his face painted & a pickpocket walking around, effortlessly stealing wallets ...The visual setting just blew me away !!! I was like - WOW !!! I couldn't believe it then ...& I am STILL NOT convinced that it is all animation ...I still feel that real people are wearing masks and acting it all out !! WOW ! I have NEVER seen such BRILLIANT animations till date !!!! So the story follows, with Tintin purchasing the Unicorn...realizing that he's on to something there...a cat & mouse game follows between Tintin & Sacharin with respect to the possession of the model...

A little into the movie & I realized that Spielberg hasn't exactly followed the book...but instead, has added his own touch, charm & magic to the movie ...The basic events & the story-line are more or less the same ..At this point, I have to mention that it has been a while since I read the book or saw the cartoon, so I don't exactly remember the original story ...But from what I remember of it, I did feel that Spielberg has remained faithful to the original story ...but yeah, what is blatantly obvious is his stamp all over...right from the focus on Tintin's spiked hair to the Thomson & Thompson hats & sticks...Especially, the stunts ...Snowy making its way to the Karaboudjan AWESOME!! In the book, Snowy is shown to be the most intelligent dog ..It is the best dog character ever in any cartoon, according to me...& Spielberg has done AN AWESOME job in showing Snowy's brilliance !!!

John Williams' background score all along is disappointing, I must say ...well, not that it is bad ..It's just that the original BGM of the cartoon is one of THE BEST BGMs ever to be made in time ...I can hum the BGM right from the beginning till the end...I can even hum the BGMs of every situation...THEY'RE THAT EPIC ...THAT LEGENDARY...:) :) ..This one passes off as good, typical Hollywood BGM fare ...that's all...not as memorable as that of the cartoon ...

Haddock is my favorite character ...& within myself, I was whistling & howling during his entry scene ...The action which unfolds after that is too good...Haddock, Tintin & Snowy making their way out of the ship on a lifeboat is too good...Haddock's legendary obsession with Whisky has also been extremely well-depicted ...

One HAS to watch out for the masterful transitions ...the transition from Haddock & Tintin rowing a lifeboat to a puddle of water on the street being stamped...Also, Thomson & Thompson banging their heads on to a pole outside a canary shop ..with canaries flying above them ..The shop owner coming out and driving them back into the shop....WOW !!!!!! IT TAKES A GENIUS OF SPIELBERG TO COME UP WITH SUCH CREATIVE POTRAYALS!!! :) :) WOW AGAIN !! THIS IS WHAT I MEANT...WHEN I SAID IT HAD SPIELBERG'S STAMP ALL OVER...It is things like these that linger in one's mind ...after the movie...WOW !! WHAT A THINKER SPIELBERG IS !!!

Tintin, Haddock & Snowy are left stranded on a desert after their plane crashes while passing through dark clouds full of lightning & thunder - A VISUAL EXTRAVAGANZA & AN ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL MASTERPIECE OF A SCENE !!!!!! After whisky, Haddock begins narrating the story of Sir Francis Haddock ...The transition from a desert to the wildest ocean - THIS IS THE BEST SCENE OF THE MOVIE !!!! WOW !!!!! BOWS & WITHDRAWS TO SPIELBERG !!!!! Captain Haddock then loses consciousness, as does Tintin ..they're rescued & Captain begins his narration again, after a glug of Whisky ...thanks to Snowy...WOW !!!! Brilliant, Spielberg !! These are again, AMAZING parts of the movie which DO NOT FAIL to leave you in awe ...Here's where the BIG TWIST APPEARS - which I feel, isn't there in the book...I don't know..I may be wrong ...

So the movie continues where more secrets of the Unicorn are uncovered ...Sacharin is revealed by Captain Haddock from his be a descendant of Red Rackham...So, there's the revenge angle added to this flick :) ...This is Spielberg's main contribution to the movie, in terms of story ...apart from his directorial magic...The 3d & Visual effects are AWESOME after the fight with Rackham & his escape from the ship leads to an explosion with gold coins flying all over & getting under the sea...WOW !!! So yes, it all culminates with the use of the Milanese Nightingale, Bianca Castafiore ...:D WOW !! BRILLIANT :) ...Only her frequency can shatter the bullet-proof glass casing of the 3rd Unicorn ...The breaking glass is again an AWESOME display of 3d effects ...So from there, a MAD chase follows ...this is really like those rides in Universal studios which make you go WOWWWWWW ...I did the same :) ...The seats weren't shaking ...But people were, looking at the final chase through the 3d glasses....BRILLIANT ....This isn't there in the book, this part ENTIRELY belongs to Spielberg & Peter Jackson ..WOW WOW WOW !!!!!!! ADVENTURE AT ITS BEST !!!! FANTASY AT ITS BEST !!!!!!

The climax is a fight between Haddock & Sacharin ...Haddock has his revenge ..Sacharin is arrested by Thompson & Thompson ...Captain & Tintin discover that the secret of the Unicorn indeed lies in Marlinspike Hall ...They use all the clues to get the hidden treasure ...& quite like the book, they also discover the location of Red Rackham's treasure beneath the sea..."Only a Haddock can discover it", said Sir Francis Haddock Haddocks know the seas like none other :) ...THAT ENDS AN ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT ADVENTUROUS RIDE..making way for Red Rackham's treasure ...I just can't wait for that movie now !! :)

Well, all in all, I would still swear by the book ...(obviously!) ...& the cartoon (simply because of its BGM which stirred in such an AWESOME feel in all its viewers) ...However, this movie was AWESOME in its own way...Spielberg's stamp is evident ALL OVER....It is entirely about the way Spielberg looks at the whole Tintin story ....& he has successfully shown us a BRILLIANT perspective AWESOME eye to use look at the story :) :) ...TOO GOOD !!!! To look at Tintin from the eyes of Spielberg is INDEED a VERY MEMORABLE & PLEASING EXPERIENCE !! :) :)

More than an entertaining movie, this one can be used as a lesson in film-making ...Directorial techniques ...Visual presentation ...Story adaption ...Fantasizing...Creativity ...WHAT ISN'T THERE TO LEARN FROM THIS MOVIE !!!?? WOW !!!!!! The only place where it falls short, I feel, is the background score....But apart from that ...WOW was all I said during every scene of the movie ...& WOW is all I find myself saying now :) :) ...I'M DEFINITELY GONNA WATCH THIS AGAIN ...AS I FEEL I CAN LEARN SOMETHING NEW EACH TIME I WATCH IT !!! :) :)

I dunno whether this is good or bad, but I would've LOVED to see more mouthfuls of "Great Snakes", "Billions of blistering barnacles", "Thundering Typhoons", "To be precise" ..than just once!! :) These are the things that identify a Tintin story ...& they should've been used more my opinion ...but never mind, they were used at least once !!! If they hadn't been used ...I would've trashed Spielberg like none other!!!!!

The movie ended & we headed to McDonalds ...which gave a free coke because the potato wedges took too long...but yeah, they never really came! :D ..& I had to ask for fries instead...The mall has very cheap parking rates as well :)...So that ended an AWESOME 11/11/11 for me!! :)

My verdict:
It is AN ABSOLUTE TREAT for Tintin fans...A nice movie for those who know about Tintin but aren't quite crazy fans...& for those who are clueless, it might be a bad movie...

My rating: 4/5

Yes, thumbs up to Royal Meenakshi Mall & Cinepolis :) Wonderful place...Though I would still say Gopalan Bannerghatta is the best :D ...& yes, thank you Spielberg, for an awesome film & for waking up the Tintin fan in me ....I'm off to watch the cartoons now on Youtube! :D 
Hope all of you had a nice 11/11/11 !! :)
Cheers :)

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