December 30, 2005
Rating – ***1/2
A.R Rahman is scaling the popular charts once again with RDB and its been a long wait. RDB feels like a breath of fresh air if you compare it with his previous (misad)venture Mangal Pandey. Rahman finally gets to do what he's been waiting desparately for ages – make music which will strike the right chord with the youth, music that has a certain amount of experimentation and loads of thump. Though the songs require repeated listening for them to grow on you (like Rangeela, Lagaan etc), one can sniff 3 potential chartbusters.
The title track by Daler mehndi and Chitra is a hi-energy earthy bhangra number (winner with the masses)
Pathshaala (esp the rap version) – by a host of singers – slammed by some really corny lyrics (reminds me of P.K Mishra) but it has amazing rhythm and punch.
Khalbali – by the master himself – great arabic number with a trance like prelude – this is a dark horse, will be an absolute pub favorite.
Lukha-chuppi by Lata Mangeshkar and Rahman will get airtime only on Mother's day. It could have been a better track if Rahman had not struggled with his Hindi diction.
Khoon chala is a slow track with some good vocals. However, the lyricist Prasoon Joshi seems to be suffering from a major Gulzar hangover.
Lalkaar has Aamir voicing patriotic lines; can be skipped.
Rubaru is a nice guitar track and will definitely turn popular with time; note the Gulzar influence here too. Rest 2 tracks can be skipped (the love song tu le chal drags endlessly).
To wrap up – an effort which could have been in Rahman's big league without a couple of songs and the lyricist.
December 11, 2005
Ajay Shastri is an unemployed son of a social activist. The father is influential but he does not use it to get a job for his son, because he believes in his son’s own strength to make it big. He calls press conferences and keeps exposing the corrupt government. Ajay even goes to the extent of borrowing money to bribe for his post in Police as he was being declined the post despite being in the merit list. Inspite of that, he does not get employment as a result of powerful minister lobbying his father not to disclose the holes in the government in bargain of Ajay’s job offer. To which, the idealist father, as expected does not budge.As he had borrowed money from those who are “employed in kidnap industry”,he is threatened to return the money. Left with no option, he turns to the same profession – kidnap and miserably fails. Whats worse, it makes him butt of ridicule and revenge of the don of kidnapping -Gaya Singh and Tabrez Alam. Once out of jail, new Ajay is determined to be ’successful’ and powerful. Gaya Singh is his first victim and once he gains the confidence of Tabrez Alam, there is no stopping. And then it gets too predictable. Oh, yes there is a love interest in Megha who is not present for most part.
Sorry for the spoiler, but you would not mind much for the strength of the movie is not in its story but the good performances, shudh Hindi dialogues and the narration. Well the slow pace is ok before interval but it somehow gets to you post-interval. Somewhere in between, the movie fails to capitalise on a good and promising beginning. The swollen and withdrawn look of Ajay is now very repetitive and predictable. Nana comes out good. Mohan Agashe is fine.Yashpal Sharma is ok. The screenplay and direction have done their best to leave a mark. The background score by Wayne Sharpe is very good. I liked the way in which apaharan becomes a part in reforming Ajay (return of Megha and kids’ kidnap).
But somehow, apart from the linger of the sounds of background music and the bullets, nothing stays in mind after I walk out of hall. The laggard and deliberate climax damages the meager strength it had garnered.