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Maqbool

Pankaj Kapoor gets his due as an actor with ‘Maqbool’. Though he shined in various offbeat films like ‘Ek Doctor ki Mauth’, ‘Ek Ruka Hua Faisla’, ‘Jaane Bhi do yaaron’, when it comes to mainstream films he was given a raw deal including his half-cooked role in ManiRatnam’s ‘Roja’.
For a change, he gets an author backed role in ‘Maqbool’ as an ageing underworld don and he carries the role with elan and also brings a screen presence reminiscent of ‘Marlon Brando’.
Apart from Pankaj Kapoor, Maqbool boasts of one of the most talented star cast like Naseeruddin shah-Om puri(who act like Sutradhars for the film), Irfan khan(as the person between lady love and his master) and Tabu(as the mistress of Pankaj Kapoor).
The story is about Jahengir/Abbaji(Pankaj Kapoor) and the aftermath followed by his killing by his next in command Miya(Irfan Khan) who commits the act for his love for Nimmu(Tabu). Miya triggers off a huge battle in the underworld while he himself and Nimmu struggle to face the moral battle that wages inside them.
The director of this film, Vishal, is apparently inspired by Kurusowa’s the ‘throne of blood’ and Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. Vishal as a director excels with the help of a great screeplay and an out-of-the-world cast.

Toliprema

Toliprema is a blockbuster that catapulted Chiranjeevi’s brother Pawan Kalyan in the big league. The film is a runaway hit inspite of a ‘fit-for-nothing-hero’ kind of characterization which is quite a rarity in Tollywood. Usually, it is action films that made stars like ‘Khaidi’ for Chiranjeevi and ‘Shiva’ for Nagarjuna. So, an almost self-effacing ‘Balu’ character making Pawan Kalyan a big star is a rare event.
Usually Tamil directors are known for their unconventional story lines and it appears that story idea as a novelty has been dealt more by Tamil directors than Telugu Directors. Karanakuran broke the traditional mould of a love story and created some very lovable characters including that of the hero-Balu. Usually the reason for seperation of the lovers is their parents or nature. In this movie, it is the inability on the part of the hero to express his love and his insecurity as an individual that becomes the reason.
The movie is about Balu, a lagger in almost everything, but has a heart of gold. He is taken for a ride by almost everyone and his father gets irritated at the very sight of him. However he has a great set of friends(Ali, Venumadhav et al forms this ‘thottigang’) and his very own unmarried Pedananna(excellently potrayed by seasoned actor, Nagesh). How this fit-for-nothing guy’s life is changed by the entrance of a beautiful girl forms the crux of the movie.
Interesting incidents, sensible comedy and a great screenplay makes this film eminently watchable. It’s success could be called a landmark in the history of Telugu cinema.
My picks
1) Heroine’s introduction scene
2) Venumadav’s monologue about girls in town
3) ‘Emi sodara’ song
4) Hero’s sister with her brother before she leaves to her in-law’s house
5) Climax