December 25, 2004
December 22, 2004
EV-N/A (Please Don’t watch this movie for entertainment purpose)
All SRK and Gowariker fans expecting something along the lines of DDLJ or Lagaan please avoid the movie. You will be terribly disappointed. There is no SRK element in the movie. The movie is about Mohan Bhargava a simple, down to earth Indian residing in U.S for last twelve years. He comes India for a reason and is left with so many reasons not to go back. It’s his struggle with himself to be where he is supposed to be and where he wants to be. Gayatri Joshi is perfect love at first sight kind of a girl.
The movie has such a great flow that gradually transforms a NASA scientist to desi Thomas Alva Edison, from a mineral water seeker to drinking water in Kulhad, From business class to triple seat and finally NRI to Never Leaving Indian. It’s not a heavy movie which addresses big issues of nation, but a very light movie about solving the issues at grass root level. All the characters are so beautifully written and even more graciously enacted. Hats off to Gowariker for making Mohan Bhargava look so real and making such a meaningful and a simple movie.
SRK‘s best performance till date. Not sure that there would be any takers for Oscar but Filmfare and National awards are all yours. A must see movies for all NRIs; may be they won’t come back but they will surely miss their ‘Swadesh’. It may not do wonders at BO but will leave many questions that have to be answered by “We, The People”.
MORAL OF THE MOVIE :
Wherever you go, there’s always a Homecoming.!!! (Reminds me of Sweet Home Alabama)
December 17, 2004
Sardar with a guitar. Unlikely combo, isn’t it?
Well in this age, when we are so used to hearing U.K returned bhangra specialist Punjabi mundas, who sing (really?) the same old numbers with express beats, Rabbi Shergill comes as a welcome relief with his maiden self titled album.
I came across this news channel interviewing Rabbi. At first, I dismissed him as a stereotype, but then I was captivated when he began to strum and sing. I thought “gosh! this guy is actually good”. Then came the video “Bulla ki jaana” and I was sure that I had to buy this album.
Finding the Rabbi CD was a tough job. All the shopkeepers dished out Mohd Rafi CDs. Worse, one guy came out with a game CD of Rugby!!!
The chase ended and I finally settled down with my CD. The 1st track “bulla ki jaana”, penned beautifully by 18th century Sufi saint Bulla Shah, is arguably one of the best composed songs in recent times. The variation in Rabbi’s voice is amazing and this track totally rocks with its tune and strumming. The 2nd track “tere bin” is extremely catchy and is fast becoming one of my favourites. “Heer” is a typical punju number with great beats and the use of rock guitar is done neatly. “Ishtihaa” is a soul number with great vocals, but tends to get heavy after a couple of listenings. “Totya” has got some good guitar riffs, “ajj nachna” is kinda regular punju song. “Gill de guitar” is the most catchy of the lot with the makings of a great buddy number like “purani jeans”. Look out for the distorted guitar again. “Ek geet hijar” can make a good lounge number. The last track “jugni” is more or less a song with social relevance, a slow number, more thought provoking than entertaining.
All said and done, this is an outstanding album strongly influenced by Rock, Funk, Bhangra, Classical and Folk music. In short, it can be labelled as a genre busting record. Rabbi, with his great vocals and excellent use of guitar has come out with one of the most creative albums in recent times.
Word of caution:
December 16, 2004
A curator is murdered.
A renowned symbologist who was aiding in the investigation becomes the prime suspect.
A beautiful detective with a troubled past comes to his rescue.
And an amazing maze of riddles and puzzles lead the duo from one level to another.
Thus begins the long run to prove his innocence and en route, opening the pandora’s box to many startling facts related to ancient practices and beliefs which ultimately points to the most sought after artifact known to mankind.
Dan Brown succeeds immensely in creating an eerie atmosphere, which you can easily visualize while cruising through the novel. It brings forth and actually educates the reader about the ancient brotherhood, the maestro called Leonardo Da Vinci and the hidden symbols behind his works, Jesus and the myth surrounding him, the manipulative methods used by the Church to strengthen the people’s belief in their system and much more. Though the descriptive nature of the novel tends to get a bit heavy on the senses, the journey of Havard symbologist Robert Langdon and detective cum code breaker Sophie Noveau is very well etched with complete twist and turns and that occasional sudden rush of adrenalin. However, the suspense element surrounding the mastermind behind the murder and the climax is somewhat a letdown. Well, that maybe because the novel with its slick narration and intelligently crafted sequences raises your expectation levels to dizzying heights. Barring these two, the novel is fantastic. A perfect mould for a Hollywood thriller, which is already in the pipeline with Tom Hanks all set to play Robert Langdon.
Da Vinci Code is an intelligent and fast paced thriller. Its amazing to know the extend to which the author has researched on the crux of the novel. It has also received much flak from the religious community, thus making it one hell of a controversial stuff, which is exactly why I longed to read it. Definitely looking out for the second installment and the movie, ofcourse!
December 14, 2004
EV-** (One for Sanjubaba another for Sameera Reddy)
What happens when a carton of Cigars, a dozen pistols, some skimpily clad females, a Harley Davidson and Sanjubaba are put together? Simple, Sanjay Gupta will make a movie out of it. Musafir is all about a s*****d up Anil Kapoor and his lip-locking romance with Sameera Reddy. Strange, Anil Kapoor’s first movie was in 1982 and that time Sameera Reddy was in her nappies. There’s a little difference in the size of the clothing that Sameera has worn in this movie compared to her nappies. Buddhadeb Dasgupta must be out of mind while comparing Sameera Reddy with Smita Patil- either he hasn’t seen any of the Smita Patil’s movies or he is so much impressed by Sameera’s clothing or whatever of that sort is present on her body. But she is sure to sent some current down.
Munnabhai is back with what he knows the best thats BHAIGIRI. He is the perfect role model for all the Dons and he can also write up a book, “How to live the life of a Don”. Such is his aura that you would love to be in his shoes. Rest there is nothing to talk about the movie. First half of the movie is a good building block whereas second half act as a catastrophe. Still couldn’t figure out who’s woeful story was true Sameera’s or Mahesh Manjrekar’s. None of the performances are bad. Mr. Gupta, next time you make a movie please spent some time on the Storyline instead of giving each character a new look. One liners are quite good but adult rated. A must see movie for all those to-be badies. Mummy-Daddy , Uncle-Aunty, Saas-Bahu serials are much better.
Trivia : Whats the difference between Kante, Plan and Musafir ?
The Cast, Songs, Locations and Sanjubaba has a new look in every movie. ( Story hardly matters)
Moral of the Movie:
It hardly conveyed anything, and for what it did, it hardly made sense.
December 13, 2004
AV – ***1/2
EV – ***1/2
“Twelve is the new eleven”
So who is the new addition? Well, you got to figure that out yourself. Surprise, Surprise! All I can say is that Ocean’s new recruit’s part is as unbelievable as the plot!
Benedict (Andy Garcia) is hell bent on getting his money back and he tracks down all our master thieves one by one.
His demand – simple; return all his money with 3 years’ interest. Our rich and jobless mavericks have to “earn” that gigantic sum in 2 weeks flat. So they move down to Amsterdam for a new loot. There Daniel (Clooney) & co. finds that they are actually challenged by a master thief, “Night fox” who set them up with the help of Benedict. What’s worse is that their moves are watched closely by a gorgeous detective Isabel Lahiri (Catherine Zeta Jones) who happens to be the ex-flame of Rusty (Brad Pitt). Danny accepts the ace thief’s challenge to steal a precious egg (shaped like that, pure gold studded with jewels). Thus starts the usual wait and watch and pounce game.
Frankly speaking, the proceedings are so fast that it took me a while to keep up with the frenzy pace. Inputs from my friend beside me helped. The movie is laced with the characteristic smart lines and humour; it will take one more sitting to get them all in place, which means the movie is definitely worth watching. The cast is in excellent form. The imaginative camera work (note the angles, the deliberate out of focus shots & handheld camera movements) is definitely an added attraction. Add to that, the jazzy soundtrack adds zing to the proceedings.
Though the proceedings are much more complex and unbelievable than the 1st part, this movie gives you enough laughs & engaging moments. Here’s is a good weekend movie which is both entertaining and stylish. Keep your eyes and ears open, even the best can miss a few wisecracks.
December 9, 2004
The print ad is highly descriptive – It goes on and on introducing the characters to you, a technique witnessed 1st time in bollywood. The lines such as “latest heartthrob of the nation” and “you will fall in love with her” are arguably the cheesiest lines I have heard. It also goes the extra mile introducing and describing even the “hey, I am in this movie too” characters. About the latest heartthrob- Isn’t he the same guy who was in that insane movie called “Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai“? Going by his acting prowess, I can surely say that he is sure to give many a viewers a throbbing headache! The girl is cute and looks earnest. Let’s see if she can make it big from here, I seriously have my doubts.
December 9, 2004
December 6, 2004
Cinema- Regal (South Mumbai)
ticket – Rs 50/-
AV- **** (for sheer research, grit & compilation)
You will love it, or simply hate it & doze off.
There is no “chalega”, “okay-dokay” kind of reactions to this movie/ docu drama which sends a strong anti- Bush message.
Michael Moore has achieved the near impossible task of making a documentary which is not only engaging but also hilarious in parts and satirical to a large extent and when the person in question is none other than the President of the superpower nation, you simply can’t stop admiring his zest & courage to raise his voice against the supposed “defaulter” in such a fierce manner.
The first half of the movie stresses on the rise of Bush, his controversial win, his work (or the lack of it) and his dubious contacts. This half is hilarious and fast paced compared to the 2nd one in which the focus shifts on to the war and the victims, which makes the proceeding a bit slow. The interactions with the family members of the dead soldiers in Iraq is moving, but after a while drags a bit. The collage of images and clips compiled from various news channels are edited and presented in a crisp and orderly fashion. Apart from these, the exhaustive research work done by Moore is commendable, almost as if he is out on a vendetta. Much of the venom is spewed in the form of clips which showcases Bush as an airhead, unconcerned and selfish individual who will put the lives of his own countrymen in peril for his vested interests. Add to that, Moore’s caustic and witty remarks, are bound to haunt Bush.
- Bush’s completely blank expression after his security informs him of the WTC attack. He continues to read “my pet goat” to the children of a school.
- An angry Iraqi woman cursing Americans. Her wailings are bound to raise a lump in ur gut.
- Interview with the mother of a deceased soldier. His paycheck was for 26 days, ‘cos he didnt serve the army for four days. WHY? He was a dead man on the 27th day!
- Bush clan’s connections with the Saudis.
- Moore interviewing the members of the congress to know if they are willing to send their children to Iraq.
Two of my friends dozed off during the picture but I was hooked throughout.
2 hrs and 15 mins running time, but worth it.
Osama has already seen it. If u have’nt, what are u waiting for?
-Arun “anti-bush” Ganesh
December 3, 2004
What inspired me to buy this album was the catchy “Yeh tara, woh tara” number doing the rounds in the idiot box and the fact that this was the same team which gave us the superlative “Lagaan” (Gowarikar, Rahman & Javed Akhtar). With a title like Swades, one can easily expect songs with the “desi touch” and heavily on the lines of Lagaan. The songs are simple and sweet, without the typical Rahmanisque techno treatment and frenzy rhythm. They can be more or less put into the “easy listening” genre.
“Yeh tara, Woh tara”, “Yeh jo des hai” & “Dekho naa” are potential chartbusters. “Yun hi chala chal” has a nice rhythm and “Ahista, Ahista” will go down well with people looking for some good melody. The two instrumentals can be best stated as soothing.
This album is a welcome relief from the usual “dinchak-dinchak” tracks one gets to hear these days. It will take some listenings to get into the groove, like most Rahman tunes. Go for it if u appreciate Indian tunes and some good melody.