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View Full Version : MAGADHEERA DVD Mini Review


toddly6666
03-09-10, 02:33 AM
http://i45.tinypic.com/9gdd7s.jpg

The ranking of the Indian film industry goes like this:
1. Hindi-speaking Bollywood films = good
2. Tamil-speaking Bollywood films = fair
3. Telugu-speaking Tollywood films = bad

I don't understand what's going on with the Telugu-speaking Indian film industry - how in the hell did they pull off the creation of MAGADHEERA? I'm confused...

MAGADHEERA is a phenomenal piece of Indian entertainment. This 165-minute romantic action movie masala film is just perfect. It's not a great film, but it is a perfect Bollywood or Tollywood or Indian Hollywood film. MAGADHEERA can practically be paired up with JODHAA AKBAR (India's most recent Bollywood masterpiece) in which that film is a very serious historical epic filmed like a Ridley Scott film, while MAGADHEERA is a historical/contemporary action masala epic filmed like a James Cameron film (True Lies mode).

MAGADHEERA is a bit like a cross between PRINCE OF PERSIA, Darren Aronofsky's THE FOUNTAIN and Zach Snyder's 300. It's a reincarnation story for 4 characters - the hero, the girl, the villain, and a dictator. They all had died 400 years ago but they come back into the present time to finish unfinished business with love, revenge, and the gods. Since this is a Bollywood film, the story is very simple and the characters are pretty 2-dimensional but we all know that's how Bollywood films are. Furthermore, this is a long movie that moves along fast with not one piece of filler.

What's even more amazing is that this film is perfectly filmed. Where did they find all this Indian crew to make such a professionally filmed and edited film? It's totally shocking. This is right up there as one of the best filmed Bollywood movies. Concerning the action scenes, these have the best choreographed action scenes out of any Bollywood film yet - everything is smooth and doesn't seem wire-worky. The action choreography in this film was done by Bollywood's action master - Peter Hein. This is his best work to date.

MAGADHEERA is full of action scenes that also are very original. There are a few which may have been inspired by 300, but overall, this movie is not stealing or borrowing from any other movie - it's a true original work. The fight scenes are well-filmed and the actors seem like they knew what they were doing. The action is full-blown R-rated - with blood, decapitations, body parts getting chopped off, etc. It's just great! And the CGI special effects are excellent - probably the best I've seen in Bollywood.

T & A, yes there is! What I like about Tamil and Telugu films is that they don't praise flat-chested actresses as they do in Hollywood and Hindi-speaking Bollywood. Big breasted actresses are in this film. Period. Let me give you an example. There's a musical number in which the Megan Fox of Telugu cinema runs in boob-jiggling slo-mo and also does some anime-style boob thrust which turns the dudes to stone. Great stuff.

The acting is good in this film as well - all very theatrical and Bollywoodish, but good for what it is. The main actor - Ram Charan Teja - is like the Colin Farrell of India, a totally convincing tough and likable Indian actor (almost as good as Hrithik Roshan). He is a truly good leading man in India, especially when all the other ones are flamboyant tools. The main actress - Kajal Agarwal - is like the Blake Lively of India. And the spear-throwing master villain is pretty scary, creepy, and tough.

I would also like to add that the musical numbers and musical score is excellent as well...

The NTSC 2-disk DVD by SRI BALAJI VIDEO is one of the best Indian DVDs i've seen. The anamorphic video quality is excellent. The DD 5.1 Telugu audio is very nice and active as well. The English subtitles have some mistakes here and there, but overall generally better than most Bollywood movies released on DVD. The Extras on Disk 2 is just a 40 minute non-English subtitled Making of the Film.


FILM: 9
DVD VIDEO: 9
DVD AUDIO: 9
EXTRAS: 2


IMDB review: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1447500/
Crazy action scene (the youtube video has audio out of sync though):
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This DVD is a bargain selling for 8-10 bucks at: http://www.bhavanidvd.com/product_info.php?products_id=3889. I ordered it on Friday and was amazed how fast I got it in the mail (today).

MAGADHEERA is the first great film of India of 2010. It's total escapism and I didn't want it to end. The simple but creative Indian mythological story, beautiful cinematography, amazing choreographed scenes, and good-looking actors will definitely make me want to upgrade to the Blu-Ray when it comes out.

zombeaner
03-09-10, 08:16 AM
The acting is good in this film as well - all very theatrical and Bollywoodish, but good for what it is. The main actor - Ram Charan Teja - is like the Colin Farrell of India, a totally convincing tough and likable Indian actor (almost as good as Hrithik Roshan).

Yeah? Well, how many thumbs does he have?

Anyway, I'll be looking out for this on Blu-ray, I hear it is in the works.

toddly6666
03-09-10, 10:14 AM
Yeah? Well, how many thumbs does he have?

Anyway, I'll be looking out for this on Blu-ray, I hear it is in the works.

This actor was not a freak like Hrithik. ;)

Yeah, I've heard that the Blu-ray is in the works as well, so hopefully it will be soon. Since it's a big Telugu title, I hope it won't take as long as it did for the big Tamil title (Sivaji) and Hindi title (Jodhaa Akbaar). The blu-rays for those two films took a bit of a while after the DVD releases.

flixtime
03-10-10, 05:14 PM
I'll probably watch this tomorrow night; I'm looking forward to it. toddly, the director of MAGADHEERA is the same guy who did YAMADONGA (which you didn't like), so good for him that he is back at even on your scorecard.

The 2-disc DVD is in-stock at nehaflix now too. For those who don't mind waiting a bit, maybe wait until the end of the month when you can tie in a purchase with a free shipping option (though you would have to pick up some other DVDs to get the total order price at $30 or more...but they sell Hindi DVDs too so you should find plentiful choices).

toddly6666
03-10-10, 05:22 PM
I'll probably watch this tomorrow night; I'm looking forward to it. toddly, the director of MAGADHEERA is the same guy who did YAMADONGA (which you didn't like), so good for him that he is back at even on your scorecard.

Now, that's what I call a director that evolves and learns from his mistakes! Now that you tell me, I'm almost tempted to try and sit through Yamadonga (I'm not sure if I sold it to a used dvd store or if it's in my storage room filled with dvds I don't care about).

flixtime
03-10-10, 09:45 PM
my storage room filled with dvds I don't care about).
:lol: You mean you have your very own personal Island of Misfit Toys; I never knew you were so heartless!

I'm not so sure YAMADONGA would work for you even on a second spin (if you still have it). As I mentioned in my initial review, it is a tough ride through the first hour of that movie. The enthusiasm I had for the movie was based on the middle section which introduced a fantasy element...which at least was something a little different from the routine.

And I'll spare myself the headache by not including some comments about how I think directors get too much credit nowadays. For convenience sake, in my comments in the forum, I play along and sometimes mention the director, but yeah I'm not entirely on-board with the whole "directors are the author/auteur of a film", at least not to the extent that most folks seem to be.

flixtime
04-06-10, 10:53 AM
Watched this a while back and found it enjoyable. The first half is par-for-the-course as far as this type of Telugu film goes, but the second half - set primarily in the past - is what elevates the film to something better. I enjoyed it more than ARUNDHATI.

The filmmakers miss some opportunities as usual. For example, the first scene (set in the present-day) shows our hero as a champion motorcycle rider, but then of course they never utilize that later in the film...including a nice opportunity later when he runs to jump on a helicopter...I was totally expecting some sort of over-the-top scene where he jumps on a motorcyle and then ride up the building and jumps his bike onto the helicopter...it really would have tied in to the motorcycle jumping scene early in the film...but they never do it...oh well.

One note for those who might not be aware, the actor who appears at the end of the first song (aka the boss of the girl) is Ram Charan's real life dad - and Telugu superstar actor - Chiranjeevi. The director did something similar inn his previous film - YAMADONGA - where the lead actor N.T.R. Jr. dances - via special effects - with his real world grandfather who was also a major film star.

flixtime
04-06-10, 11:01 AM
Might as well put this here...here's a youtube link to Part 1 of a Telugu film I like quite a lot - ARJUN (2004) starring Mahesh Babu. The whole movie - with English subtitles - is on youtube. The college scene around twenty minutes in is a little weak, but otherwise the rest of the film was very enjoyable. The villains were dastardly and fun, and the temple set they built for the film is impressive.

Youtube link to ARJUN (Part 1 of 17):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p20pITWKKL4

toddly6666
04-06-10, 11:37 AM
The filmmakers miss some opportunities as usual. For example, the first scene (set in the present-day) shows our hero as a champion motorcycle rider, but then of course they never utilize that later in the film...including a nice opportunity later when he runs to jump on a helicopter...I was totally expecting some sort of over-the-top scene where he jumps on a motorcyle and then ride up the building and jumps his bike onto the helicopter...it really would have tied in to the motorcycle jumping scene early in the film...but they never do it...oh well.

I interpreted it like this: the motorcycle culture of today symbolize/represent the horse riders of yesterday (American cowboys, warriors from other countries, etc.). So I wasn't expecting some big motorcycle scene. It's just a hobby from his past that would pass over to present time...

toddly6666
04-12-10, 04:12 PM
The Blu-ray is available now at http://www.bollywoodblu-ray.com/index.aspx!

zombeaner
04-12-10, 05:04 PM
Once Nehaflix or NJMTV get it in stock, I'll buy it.