Saturday, 29 September 2012

Paanch Adhyay - Official Trailer 2012

Paanch Adhyay
Whenever love leaves, it leaves traces. Those traces cling on to old times and familiar spaces.

Written and Directed by my dear dear Pratim D. Gupta. Starring Dia Mirza, Priyanshu Chatterjee & Soumitra Chatterjee. Music By Shantanu Moitra.

Looking beautiful and fresh, a film I am eagerly awaiting to catch.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Aga Bai From Aiyyaa

Aiyyaaa!!! You have not seen Rani groove like this before, her hot moves make you really wonder whats up with her! Prithviraj is looking suitably dark and handsome. Make your own comparisons... Dirty Picture is it, or not.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Brad Pitt Killing Them Softly

Killing Them Softly stars Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins and James Gandolfini. Pitt plays a hard cynical professional enforcer Jackie Cogan, who investigates a heist gone bad at a mob protected game. Its art-house in a commercial framework. Directed by Andrew Dominik. Must watch.


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Heroine. Interrupted.

When you go to watch a Madhur Bhandarkar film, you know what to expect and definitely what not to.

Heroine is the story of Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor), a walking on the edge character who goes through downs, and some more downs in her career and personal life, as she fights to stay on top in the big bad world of Bollywood. From losing her position at top to a failed relationship with the biggest star, she pops pills and downs liqour till it reaches a point where there is nothing that remains sane.

Madhur Bhandarkar is back after the ho-hum Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Jee and a box-office dud Jail.

The hype around Heroine was huge specially after Kareena replaced Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who got pregnant and could no longer fit the role. And after Chameli, where she had played a prostitute, an author backed role like this was just what Kareena must have thought would strengthen her position and get some awards... a National may be. Remember Fashion and Priyanka Chopra...

This is Kareena's most skin on display film of her career. She has gone all out to try and beat The Dirty Picture. Alas this film is not even close to the bindaas act that TDP was.

The writing is acceptable in the given set-up of Bollywood exposes, yet it could have gone a little more deeper and created some better scenarios which have some meaning unlike the lesbian track.

But where Heroine disappoints most is the direction.

There are scenes crying out to be taken a step ahead by the director, but he fails.

Kareena is in terrific form throughout, from looking drop dead gorgeous to a puffy eyed self destructing mess. Infact her scenes make you wonder what went wrong with the direction of the rest of the film.

If you are making a real comment, why go so down that it looks like a spoof at certain points. Disastrous support cast, sad representation of the gays and a comic set up for a so called hardened prostitute madam... the list is long..

Madhur knows his formula, lets not fool ourselves, but how easy it is to comment on the industry he himself is a part of? Looking at Heroine, it is obvious compromises were made.

Arjun Rampal is looking tired on screen, Randeep Hooda is charming, Helen puts in a guest appearance and Shahana Goswami is totally wasted with only her bust standing out, Sanjay Suri is unconvincing as a debauch superstar, though Divya Dutta plays a sharp PR shark well. And oh, Ranvir Shorey as a Bengali art-house director is a riot despite his slipping accent.

So will the masses go watch Heroine. My guess is they will. They, who are gossip lovers, glamour struck and grab at every morsel that Bollywood scandals throw their way, might give it a shot. They won't be disappointed. Its a tabloid with bad grammar, but who cares about grammar, right?

My rating 2.5 / 5

Friday, 21 September 2012

'42' Official Trailer

From the director of Payback and A Knights Tale comes the life story of Jackie Robinson, the legendary Baseball player and history making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Starring Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Sava Dollar OFFICIAL Full Song From Aiyyaa

After No One Killed Jessica, Rani Mukerji returns with not one but two releases this year. Aiyyaa & Talaash.

This is the second song, Sava Dollar from Aiyyaa. She still makes the screen come alive with her infectious smile. Enjoy!

Jab Tak Hai Jaan - Trailer - Releasing November 13

Here it is. The highly awaited and anticipated Trailer of Jab Tak Hai Jaan. A film by Yash Chopra. Starring Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Lost and Found. Friends.

When I was much younger, the land-line was the only way to connect with friends. Then school got over, college saw me making newer friends. I am from Delhi, born and brought up. Life was full of hopes and aspirations and eventually after working many years I shifted to Mumbai for career reasons.

It was inevitable that over the years I lost touch with my friends and they also got busy in the grind called life.

I would often think of them... And there were times, some tinted with rum (wink) where I would hold an almost tattered phone diary and dial the no.s I had from Delhi. Some were answered by Parents, who remembered me... Some nos had stopped existing... some to my sheer delight were picked up by their spouses (!) who promised to pass on my message and duly took my mobile no. The mobile of course was newly acquired...

After leaving my no. with everyone I called, it was just the beginning of a wait.

Some called back almost the next day. Some called back in a week, apologizing for their busy schedule... And some texted me (from their newly acquired cell phones). And some... well I am still waiting.

Friendship is about a feeling... which makes you miss people, wants you to meet them once in a while, share your emotions unbridled by pretense, social strata differences, career paths and love lives.

Friendship runs deep... but can dry up too. This is something we all learn as we grow older. We realize that making new friends does not mean you love your old friends lesser. It means the space left behind needs to be filled. You don't actively seek out... it happens when you meet people who mirror a bit of you... or are totally the opposite but still speak a language you understand.

But do you still miss your old friends, Of course you do. It is complicated... so is life.

I don't like to use the term "True friendship". Is there any other kind?

As Pam Brown said
A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often - just to save it from drying out completely. 

So value your friends, new and old. They are not your family. They are the ones you have chosen. Some of them are the first decisions you have made in life, when you were still learning to tie shoe laces.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Barfi! A treat to remember

So have just come back from my second viewing, and thus the delay in writing this review!

What is a Barfi… It’s a sweet we are all aware of,  some of us might even love it.  It is simpler than other elaborate mithais, but it will never go off the shelves! How do you make the perfect Barfi? You take the best creamy fresh milk and let it simmer…. Slowly… and keep stirring it over a medium fire, till it starts to thicken, then you add sugar to taste… Then you finally add the flavor of your choice… cardamom or saffron… and finally you pour it out… Let it rest… and gently put a fragile layer of silver foil. Voila its ready to serve.

That is exactly how Anurag Basu worked to give us one of his finest and freshest films to date.  It starts slow.  And I didn’t mind it. After all it’s a story of a deaf mute adorable boy called Murphy by his father, but of course over time Barfi is what he can pronounce and is thus called that by people who know him.
Set in Idyllic Darjeeling and then travelling to beautiful yet chaotic Kolkata, Barfi! Is about love, fulfilled and unfulfilled.

They say timing is everything.  And  much of Barfi’s life revolves around it. He can-not speak nor hear, but is more perceptive than most of us. He is a badmash bachaa who is not afraid of anything… not even the falling light poles he cuts every time he wants to test his relationships.  He is flirtatious and courageous. He has a big heart, despite having holes in his jacket…

The tenderness of the film is what made me see it twice… after a long time I was enamored by what I knew was fictional… I laughed, cried, sang along and clapped in glee as the movie unfolded. Gently led back to my childhood where everything was full of wonder and a touch of fantasy.

Anurag has ambitiously taken on himself to have a love story involving three people out of which two are differently able. No mean feat this and he has masterfully created moments which will linger with you long after you have walked out the exit.

The casting is perfect. He has proven his conviction was right when he chose Ranbir and Priyanka. As you might know he had said he would not have made the film if Ranbir had not agreed.  Ranbir has become the master of playing unique characters at such a young age. To be stripped of the biggest asset heroes have in India, their dialogues, and yet put up a performance of the year, kudos. Priyanka is the surprise and has in one deft stroke silenced all her critcs. Her Jhilmil is adorable, quirky and guileless. From sexy bikini clad glam avatar to an autistic girl who is still afraid to pee with the door closed, her transformation is brilliant as an actress. Ileana has shown that she has what it takes to pack in a good performance and look beautiful as the girl who steals Barfi’s heart.

The supporting cast is truly well chosen, specially Saurabh Shukla and Bholaraj Sapkota who plays Barfi's loyal friend.

The only problem I felt was that the story telling gets a bit confusing because of the various flash-backs. Apart from that, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Barfi! is more than a story, it is an interpretation of life, love, happiness, tragedy all through the silent journeys of its lead character and loaded conversations that happen with each expression in the eyes of the main characters. It reminds you gently that love happens… it can not be defined by anything else but the way your heart starts dancing to a different tune… an unheard melody which you never forget for the rest of your life.

The Music is superlative. Pritam has shown that he has the chops to give tracks like Kya karoon and my favourite Phir Le aaya Dil.

The camera work by Ravi Varman is sparkling, yes you would see a lot of inspiration from films like Amelie, but having said that, each frame is poetic. And for most of the people who are not exposed to Jeunet, it will be a marvelous treat.

The festive season starts off perfectly with this sweet and funny and warm and lyrical offering by Anurag Basu. Go have some Barfi! We all need some sweetness in our lives.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Morning musings


There is a sparrow sitting outside my window. She is thirsty and is delicately drinking water dripping from my  AC vent. She comes everyday and I have been trying to capture her on camera. But every time I move, ever so quietly and stealthily, she flies away. She does not understand that I am not going to hurt her....

This makes me think of how we are becoming isolated and scared of people ourselves.

Try smiling at a stranger on the road, in a train, lift, garden, mall. They will ignore your if you are lucky, will give you a sympathetic look over at worst, almost as if you need to go get treated for this condition. Smiling at strangers... Is that how one is supposed to behave in public... A thought runs through their minds and you can see it. Rarely, very rarely will you get a tentative smile back.

When that smile comes, I feel as if I have achieved something absolutely unachievable.

And carry on I shall, smiling at random strangers, because I do believe smiling at them makes people feel better, even if they don't respond... even if they don't know... They need it, I Need it... Its okay....

Go, Smile!! Guten Tag!!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Movies Shoovies, Hai Rabba

What to watch, what not to watch... That seems to be the question for a movie buff like me every Friday.

Earlier it used to be so easy to choose. Read a few genuine reviews, and make up your mind where you are going to spend that 100 Rupees, which mind you included post movie dinner cost too. Or simply still, just watch every film of Hrishi da, Basu Bhattacharya, Prakash Mehra, Manmohan Desai etc... How wrong will they go. And for the art and regional cinema, DD was the prime choice.
Now, of course, there are thousands of reviewers posting their thoughts, 20 who are respectable, maybe 5 who you really think know what they are talking about. And there are a possible 2 who don't care about any production house or producer or director, and give a no holds barred review.
But I always feel a reviewer can only suggest a movie you should watch or junk. The ultimate decision is always an individuals. I will not go watch a movie just because the reviews are great. They present the pros and cons, and then if I decide to go, and hate the film, I cant blame it entirely on the review.

Now, Having said that, I do believe it is the responsibility of a true reviewer to present a no frill, unbiased review of the film. Their personal likes, dislikes, agendas, favorites, future producers etc etc can not color the truth when writing a film review. But sadly, this seems to be the case with most of the reviewers.

The coterie exists and we can not deny it. There are reviewers who look down upon certain stream of Hindi Cinema and go ga-ga over even an average film of another school.
Ours is a country where a "EMAET" co-exists with a "Paan Singh Tomar", a LPNY co-exists with a "Kahaani" a "Sholay" co-exists with "Shatranj Ke Khiladi". Vive La Difference,and next time you read a review, just treat it like one. Make up your OWN mind, see what You like.
After all, its your money you are going to spend, not a private screening like they probably had it for that name appearing as the reviewer!