Monday, 23 September 2013

Phata Poster Nikla Shahid

Last Friday was my last teen birthday! You guys have no idea how sad that made me! Sob, sob.

Mood change!

Every cloud has a silver lining and my cloud had a Shahid lining! (You can post in abuses of all kinds for the PJ at or like Parde Ke Peeche’s facebook page to show your protest.) After years and years of austerity Shahid Kapoor’s movie release coincides with my birthday to make it a completly memorable one! ^_^
A still from the film. Photo Courtesy: Internet

True to its name, the hero makes a grand entry on screen by ‘phataing’(lol! Sorry! Here i go again! :P ) the poster of Santoshi’s last offering, the Ranbir starrer Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani. This time, apart from the comedy ingredient, Santoshi has added a pinch of elaborate typical Bollywood style action sequences now and then throughout the movie. Shahid does all of it like a pro and with élan.
Frankly speaking, PPNH has nothing new to offer you in its trademark Santoshi style storytelling, except Shahid who I would like to say, made a comeback with a bang! It’s been quite long since one had last seen him in his true elements. It’s his film all the way. He has craft fully carried the film on his strong shoulders leaving little room for complain from his side. He is a visual treat in songs, Dhating Naach and Khali Pili, one thing consistent about him in all these years.  His face is like all the emoticons that you have ever seen, rolled into one. This could have been a bad thing, but when Kapoor pulls all these expressions, he manages to make it work. His performance and the ease with which he has executed the emotional rona-dhona scene with his Maa (Padmini Kolhapuri) or does comic sequences to roll you with laughter speaks loud enough to ring in your ears for ages that he can give stiff competition to his rivals. (Wish I could just go on and on about him, but then, I can already foresee my friends calling it a biased review because personally I love Shahid too much! ^_^ )
Padmini Kolhapuri, as Vishwas’s mother, is full on in her character throughout the film and lends the emotional quotient to the story. Her bonding with her son, Vishwas, is elaborately established before the story can take you anywhere (basically it takes you nowhere!)
A still from a song of the movie, Dhating Naach.
Photo Courtesy:Internet

The ‘plagiarized’ story has nothing out of the box to offer. You feel like Shahid, appearing as those old, ugly, clever, and cheat shopkeepers who’ll take you by hand along the story, throwing in between comic sequences to keep you engaged so that you don’t turn aggressive like the ‘Jago Grahak Jago’ advertisement's customers and demand for your right to a good script. Few sequences here and there are highly comical. One thing Santoshi can never disappoint you on is the way his stories reach climax. Nothing new but still engaging and keeping you on the seat’s edge, the climax is more or less like the one in APKGK.
Apart from Shahid, there are quite a few permanent in Santoshi’s cast who know their work and get down to business right in the start. Darshan Jariwala, Saurabh Shukla and Sanjay Mishra come together to make up for other losses. Trust me! They make the film worth bearing with their ‘rolling on the floor’ reaction deserving acts.
The film is a full on masala commercial entertainer ( I am not sure about this part :P) that has its characteristic features in place:
1) The lead actor dreams high on making it big in Bollywood.
2) He travels to desolate beaches for the Sufi song,
3) The pint-sized star like Singham drops from the air on his feet over flying dust, his body horizontally swaying over the earth as villains come crashing down,
4) Dances on the stage for the item track,
5) Weeps for his mother, hugs his father,
6) Mimics Dev Anand, Amol Palekar for comedy,
7) Mumma has no problems with the almost unknown girl, the good boy has chosen.
Ileana does her job pretty effortlessly- to look pretty in vibrant, evening gowns, sing songs on isolated, exotic locations and keep popping in between scenes. Her dialogue deliveries raises an eyebrow but then you realise it is the language problem. The love chemistry between Ileana and Shahid is extremely weak and is hollow except for a few dance sequences and cheesy lines.
Ileana in the movie.Photo Courtesy: Internet

Salman pitches in this time too being a Santoshi loyal, agreeing to do a cameo. And look! Even ready to take a pot shot at his infamous criminal record!Shahid shines but the movie sinks. Had a lesser talent featured in the film, it would have gone into trash. It is a good two and a half hour entertainment but don’t keep your hopes high. One time watch only for Shahid and his supporting cast.
That night, even though I was dead tired, I went to sleep humming those fun, crazy songs from the movie... as I turned a year older. Indeed it was a really lovely day.

AND for the ones still eager to send me birthday wishes or wanna drop-in feedback on this or previous posts, you surely know what to do! ;)

Saw The lunchbox too, this weekend. Here's how you can know about it :)

A Love story redefined.

There exist love stories which are garnished with flashy, exorbitant, cheesy words, lines or rather emotions. The rule of having a slow romantic song in the rain or in exotic locations in the most eye catching clothes remains unsaid. And then there are love stories that don’t need long conversations to go with drinks and playful hands. They don’t need your pretty eyes or that make-you-go-weak-in-your-knees kinda smile. They just need a lunchbox and before you’ll realize, an unusual, unnerving love story has already distracted you from your mundane life.
A still from the film. Photo Courtesy: Internet

The past weekend, quite unexpectedly, has been happening with two very diverse films, both in terms of craft and target audience, releasing: Phata Poster Nikla Hero and The Lunchbox.
Lets first talk about the movie that’s more recommended from my side,The Lunchbox. Not that PPNH is bad, but at times stories of hope, sorrow, regrets and fears relating to everyday life shouldn't be overlooked.
The Lunchbox is your story. It’s my story. Its Ila’s story. It can be any homely hausfrau’s simple yet intriguing story whose sole motive on mind is to win the attention of her extraordinarily distracted husband(played by Nakul Vaid) through his stomach. She abides by her Nani’s self written recipes and looks forward to the little joys of opening an empty lunchbox, an affirmation of the fact that your experiments with new recipes are working. And in the quite acknowledgment you find a sense of self-worth. It gives you a sense of liberation from the detached void that exists in your own marriage.

The film was screened on May 19, 2013 as a part of the International Critics' Week at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where it received a standing ovation and positive reviews. A standout in the Cannes critics’ week that had generated potent word of mouth, It was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Variety called it "a notable debut from tyro helmer-scripter", for creating a film with "crossover appeal of Monsoon Wedding", and also praised acting of Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur. What impression do these numerous film festival achievements make on your mind? That the film must have had  a serious plot, not entertaining or worth spending your precious money or ideal weekend on? You are going wrong.

Until now, my ideology was that there are only 2 kinds of films: either good or bad, supported by my years old interest in movies. But then came The Lunchbox and my rigid thoughts took a new shape. This film is not about being good or bad. There are some films on which you don’t feel like segregating each aspect and commenting. The film will make you, mind you, you yourself willingly won’t, sit back and transit into another relatable phase of your life, which, either has already happened, is happening or you can foresee it happening. Ila and Mr. Fernandez‘s story is a phase I can myself see going through some 15 or 20 years down the path. Happens, happens, to every obedient, homely housewife in India. And maybe, to every about-to-be-retired lonely old man.

 Enclosing this overlooked, hopeful yet fragile love story are the ‘dabbawallahs’, a community of lunchbox deliverymen who deliver thousands of hot meals cooked by their housewives every morning at their husband’s work desk. Just watching the white-capped men bicycle the uncountable lunchboxes rain or shine is an exhilarating hoot. As one delivery man proudly recalls, their system has been the subject of a Harvard university, which concluded that only one in a million such lunchboxes goes astray. The film is about that one. See, how innocent love can crawl into your rigid routine and your heart goes hmmm...mmm...mmmm!

Nimrat Kaur in the film. Photo Courtesy: Internet
The nuanced approach with which the lead cast essays their roles is incredible. Irfan, Nimrat and Nawazuddin will take you by your hand into believing and pronouncing to the world that they are GODS and worth worshiping. Professionally lensed by Michael Simmonds, edited by John Lyons and graced with just-right music by Max Richter, the film poses no pacing or technical problems. It remains a very Indian tale in its delicacy and humor. A story that makes you want to break into spontaneous applause because it is incredible in so many ways, though you won’t be able to pin point solely one reason for it. The whole movie in itself or rather the feeling it generates is incredible.

The co-production among India, Germany, France and U.S. benefits from the fine production work and has, thankfully, made its way beyond just film festivals but into international marketplaces. It’s pure bliss to witness and acknowledge the uncanny forms that life can take, all unaware!

 As the film reached its unexpected, open ending climax and rolled into flashing the credits, I continued to stare back at the theater screen-the same, highly relatable story continuing in my head and even after I had left the theater to catch an auto back home.


Sunday, 15 September 2013

It’s All About Money, Honey! Part-III


Money over creativity?

Though this new trend has taken the industry by storm and maybe occupies a producer’s mind day evening and night, there exists a section of ATMs (producers) who are not even slightly awed by it. Actor-turned-producer John Abraham, who has been focusing on making small-budget films that guarantee little but quick returns doesn't believe in the 100-crore fad. His debut production Vicky Donor was widely appreciated and made a decent earning. His latest venture Madras Cafe, made on a modest budget of Rs.30 crore, recovered its money and achieved critical acclaim.

"Not all 100 crore films are great films. Sometimes people watch films because they want to be entertained. It is just a number today, tomorrow it will be 150 crore because such huge success is not an outcome of a film's aesthetic quality but the changing nature of film business. As an actor and producer, I make films for a different target group. If my target audience is small, my films won't do 100-crore businesses, but for me that is okay" said John recently to India Today.

Photo Courtesy: Internet
Actor-director Makrand Deshpande, who has been in the industry for more than two decades, appears to be a really worried guy. He feels that Hindi cinema has lost its charm and has only become a money minting machine. He said that if money continues to dominate the film industry then there will not be any scope left for good cinema. "Now, Hindi cinema is all about 100 crore and the subject of the film is not being counted. Earlier, we used to remake Hollywood and Korean films, but these days we are adapting Southern films”. "After ten years nobody is going to remember all these films. People will not even buy DVDs of them. We are only making noise by the term that 'Indian cinema is getting global'. Only money is dominating the industry and if it continues to do so, soon there will be a dearth of good films," Makrand said in The Financial Express.

Photo Courtesy: Internet
Anurag Basu, who delivered a surprise-hit Barfi! last year, doesn't believe in the 100 crore club either although his film crossed that mark. Barfi! was made on a budget of Rs.30 crore. In return, it made a killing of Rs.175 crore. "I would rather touch a hundred hearts with my film than run for making it to the 100-crore club," he had said famously after the success of his film. Direct, clear and undaunted, this guy is. But who doesn't desire for a commercial success?

In a corner, trade expert, Komal Nahta is singing his own song, “A film’s success does depend on the star cast and the box office collections but the story as well as the entire narration is equally important to sustain the audience attention.” If the story and the direction are not catchy, the collections do drop after initial days and the film suffers despite of being a collection of a hit star cast combo.” Ohh! Can you please explain Mr. Nahta why does the success story of Ek Tha tiger and Chennai Express contradict you?

In 21 days, the Rohit Shetty comedy thriller had managed to make a remarkable collection of Rs.218.42 crore in the domestic market. An express train’s speed like rise in the collections of the film has diminished the fact that Chennai Express wasn't a path breaking film. It was an unpretentious, light hearted entertainer that narrates a ‘we-have-seen-this-before’ story.

I couldn’t help but laugh at a friend’s sarcastic comment, “Dear Bollywood. I am just tired of you telling me how many crores you made over the weekend. Good for you. Trust me, screaming cooked-up statistics from headlines will not make us rush to the ticket windows to contribute towards your Bentley funds. In case you step out of your glass house you will see, we are not exactly in the mood to celebrate.”

 In store for future

Chennai Express has elevated the level and the trend is now shifting to the 200 crore club. Diwali will see the return of Hrithik Roshan in his superhero avatar in Krrish 3. Ranbir Kapoor returns on October 2 with Besharam. Aamir and Katrina team up for Dhoom 3 which, many in the trade foresee as the biggest hit of this year. "The business has doubled and thus the Rs.200-crore club has emerged as the new benchmark in Bollywood. This is largely because the number of screens has increased. Big film- makers strategically pick most apt release dates, too. This apart, star craze and mass appeal add to the business of a film," Adarsh said.


Dadu explained his conern to me with an intense look on his wrinkled face coupled with a calm voice,”100 crore is the new yardstick for super success, just as silver or golden jubilee was in our times. Back then, it was Rajendra Kumar who was reverentially referred to as ‘Jubilee Kumar’ because of the line of silver and golden jubilees he had to his credit.”” Now, toh there is a Rajendra everywhere”, he exclaimed as a matter of fact as he brushed aside the dust, covering the Sangam VCD. “Look out for Raj Kapoor, he is amazing in this”, said he, leaving the room on his crutches and me in deep retrospection.

Part I

Part II
Photo Courtesy: Internet

P.SAny suggestions for future posts? Feel free to send in your suggestions and requests here or on my e-mail id: . Hope to hear from you soon :) 

It’s All About Money, Honey! Part-II


Is the 100-crore film a myth and a product of impeccable PR machinery? Or is it a result of a transformation in the economics of the film trade?

A 100 crore film is a dish whose recipe almost any greedy producer or film maker will be eager to learn. It’s a magic trick any magician would be envious to have knowledge of. So what ideally makes a film breach the coveted mark? A number of factors when put together work in its favor.
Photo Courtesy: Internet

The first and foremost trick is the inflated ticket prices. The average ticket cost at a multiplex today is Rs 140-150, compared to Rs 60-65 in single-screen theatres, according to, a film trade portal. Prices at premium chains like Inox and PVR can be as high as Rs 300-350 on weekends (Friday-Sunday), which fetch almost 80% of theatrical revenues garnered by a film. The rest of the business happens during the “lean” Monday-Thursday period. On festive weekends, multiplex operators undertake a 10-15% hike in ticket prices. For 3D films, the rate is even higher. In big cities, single screen theatres, too, have increased ticket prices. For instance, the average ticket price across single screens in south Bombay is Rs 90-100. Hence, your pocket equally has a good enough hand in deciding which movie this weekend should rush ahead in the race.
Photo Courtesy: Internet

Your choice of theatre also matters. Despite high ticket prices, multiplexes have become a preferred choice for cine-goers because of the variety of films on offer, a better viewing experience, food and beverage counters and gaming zones etc. These attractions ensure that audiences keep coming back. Multiplexes have grown phenomenally in the last five years and completely changed the dynamics of the film business. There are close to 1,400 multiplex screens [India has a total of 12,900 screens] which constitute nearly 70-75% of a film’s box-office revenues. These numbers are ever-increasing much like our country’s dwindling wildlife population. By 2015, the number of multiplex screens is estimated to rise to 1,925, according to the FICCI-KPMG report on the Indian Media and Entertainment industry.

The third trick is more suited for people possessing interest in business sensibilities. Talking from the producer’s point of view who put in money and laughs off to the bank after his film receives the ‘good news’. The number of prints with which a film is released also has a role-in- play. Digital Prints and Wider Releases are both correlated. With the adoption of digital technology, more and more screens in India are becoming digitized. Digital prints save costs and can be attained fast. This is allowing producers to have a much wider release of their films with a massive number of prints. For instance, in 1995, Hum Aapke Hai Kaun released with 500 prints which was a landmark then; in 2009, 3 Idiots released with 1,000 prints which were considered a huge number; in 2011, Eros released Ra.One in 3,100 plus screens. This number will only grow and with releases getting wider by the day, sky-high theatrical revenues are becoming a routine of sorts.

Ever wondered why Salman books the Eid release slots years in advance or Aamir prefers Christmas? Most 100-crore films have utilized long weekends and festivals to the fullest, during which audiences drop in huge numbers and a film’s repeat value is high. Producers have often sacrificed a Friday which was once sacrosanct as a release day and tweaked their schedules to make the most of festivals by clubbing them with the traditional three-day weekend. For instance, Bodyguard released on a Wednesday and a five-day weekend surrounding Eid followed; Ek Tha Tiger released on a Tuesday and a six-day weekend with Independence Day and Eid followed; Golmaal 3Ra.One, Son of Sardaar and Jab Tak Hai Jaan released on Diwali which fell in the middle of the week and a lengthy festive weekend followed; Ghajini3 Idiots and Don 2 released on the Christmas week, gaining heavily from the festive spirit and New Years’ holiday. See, how smartly movie releases are timed for their profit! Film critic Komal Nahta concurs, “National holidays like Republic Day, Independence Day and festivals like Diwali and Eid help in surging the box–office collections and if a major star cast and a big banner is involved, it definitely does wonders at the box –office.”
Photo Courtesy: ME!!! ^_^

Today, the business of films has become touch-and-go. The fate of a film is sealed on the opening day itself or at best, on the first week. The biggest of films have a run of only three to four weeks at the theaters as more and more new releases stand in line and eventually push the incumbent out. More releases in lesser time drive the producers to resort to the fore mentioned tricks to recover their bucks in no time. These four basic ingredients when cooked together doles out a guaranteed 100 crore blockbuster. Mind you! Script finds a place much later in the recipe book. As trade analyst Taran Adarsh sums it up, "Practically looking at it, box-office success has nothing to do with the script of a film. The biggest factor for this is the star power, which drives the market. Factors like release date, number of screens, and mass appeal also play an important role in the kind of business of a film does”.

At the end of the day, what scores more? Money or creativity? Stay tuned here to read an insightful debate.
Part III


 P.SAny suggestions for future posts? Feel free to send in your suggestions and requests here or on my e-mail id: . Hope to hear from you soon :) 

Saturday, 14 September 2013

It’s All About Money, Honey! Part-I

I searched frantically for my pink ear-rings that would go with the white top I was wearing. As I put them on, my little sister busted into the room and in her child-like voice said,”Didi, dadu aapka kabse wait kar rahe hain!” I replied, struggling with the ear-ring, “Apoo! Dadu ko bolo bas 5 min aur.” We were already late for the afternoon show. I wished we would reach on time and grabbed my purse. Announcing along the way to the people in house that we would be back only by evening, I dashed towards the door.
The afternoons in summers are pathetic! Especially when you are in a town where 80% of the day there is no electricity in the house, a house that dates back to 1960s. A house where all my uncles and aunts had spent their childhood playing under the huge mango tree in the garden (It is still there!). A house situated in a dirty lane of the dirty town Gorakhpur in this dirty country’s most populous state. My school had shut down for a straight 2 months in the middle of the year and like the obedient migrant birds, I flew down here to visit relatives.
After much deliberations and coaxing (which took most of our morning), Dadu had agreed to take the bachcha party, to the nearest cinema hall to catch the latest release, Ek tha tiger. Its star cast was all over the place last week promoting the film and this excited my cousin, Ajita. She would stage a drama in her peculiar nautanki style to persuade Dadu, the eldest in the house, to grant us permission to watch films. This time too, the trick worked much in our favour. As the rickshaw puller parked the vehicle in front of the gate, we could clearly see Salman Khan’s craze everywhere. Truck loads of people, had come down to watch him and only him, barring the charring heat. The place was brimming with people, overflowing onto the nearby road.  Long queues of head-strong visitors that ran miles and miles stood patiently waiting for the ticket counter to open. As I wiped the dripping sweat drops from the forehead, mine and Ajita’s eyes met and we shrugged our shoulders. Getting tickets won’t be easy this time.
Photo Courtesy: Internet
In the evening, Dadu was uncontrollable as he vent out his angst on our way back home. It was as if the pressure cooker had been left to whistle non-stop in pressure, letting out the hot white fumes. I so wanted to tell Mumma to put that off but when Dadu is around, you need to learn to shut your chattering machine.
It is usually not easy to tick him off but when he sees “the sad state of Hindi movies and the poor choice of today’s young minds”, his blood boils. Rightly so, one can evidently smell how zealously passionate, he was, and still is, about films. The towering racks lined with innumerable VCDs, neatly stacked, are a testimony of this. Sangam, Awara, Teesri Kasam, Pyaasa, Shree 420,Guide, Do Biga Zameen he had it all there. He at times boasts of how he used to dedicatedly save money from his day-to-day spending to take my Dadi for the latest cinema, the tiny theatre was showing, two lanes away.
“I don’t understand this 100 crore figure thing”, he lamented,” they have reduced the art of film making to mere business”, he exploded into the house. Now, that sent me off thinking.
The so-called 100-crore club is a nomenclature coined by the media in the most recent past, a term used by the film industry to segregate the more successful stars from the rest. The term has become rather ubiquitous and everyone from the commoner lining the street leading to Film City to the spotboy on the set is talking about it.  It’s cool, it’s coveted, and it’s for the crème de la crème. The latest status symbol in Bollywood: The 100-crore club!
Photo Courtesy: Internet

It all started with Ghajini in 2008, the first Bollywood film to gross 100 crore at the box office, taking only 18 days to do so. It was followed up in 2009 with 3 Idiots which took half the time to reach the magical figure. Incidentally, 3 Idiots remains the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time with worldwide collections of Rs 339 crore (domestic + overseas). Hence, in that regard, Aamir Khan has been labelled as the inaugural inductee of the club.

If 2008 and 2009 had one 100-crore film each, 2010 saw that number double, with Salman Khan (Dabangg) and Ajay Devgn (Golmaal 3) entering the club. While the latter took 17 days to breach the mark, the former did it in 10 days.
In 2011, that figure rose to five films (ReadySinghamBodyguardRa.One and Don 2) with Bodyguard garnering 100 crore in a record-time of 7 days. Suddenly, every top Bollywood actor, mostly the Khans, was in a race to make it to the exclusive club. Salman Khan had breached the mark thrice in succession, while Shah Rukh was the last of the ruling Khans to get an entry into the coveted club.
In 2012, eight films (AgneepathHousefull 2Rowdy RathoreBol BachchanEk Tha TigerBarfi!Son of Sardaar and Jab Tak Hai Jaan) have grossed 100 crore. Salman Khan, who’s become his own competition when it comes to box-office collections, broke his own previous record set by Bodyguard as his Ek Tha Tiger rushed into the 100-crore club in five days flat. The film is the highest grosser of the year with worldwide collections of Rs 246 crore. Dabangg 2 was 2012’s ninth film in the 100-crore club, and Salman’s fifth straight – a “historic record” as trade analyst Taran Adarsh puts it. From one to two to five to eight, and from the Khans and Ajay Devgn to Hrithik Roshan to Akshay Kumar to the Kapoors – Bollywood’s 100-crore club has only grown manifold. Nowadays, the buzz preceding the release of every other big-budget film has its mention.

Photo Courtesy: Internet

This year, only a few films so far have been able to add to its population. Films like the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, the multi-starrer Race 2 and Mohit Suri’s Aashiqui 2 crossed the magical number. Aanand L. Rai’s Raanjhanaa, starring the unusual pair of Dhanush-Sonam also touched that mark with the combined collections of its Hindi and Tamil versions.

Is the 100-crore film a myth and a product of impeccable PR machinery? Or is it a result of a transformation in the economics of the film trade?
 Stay tuned to know more in this 3-part series on the coveted 100-crore club. Promise! Won't make you mull over it for long! It’s All About Money, Honey! Part-II, coming soon! :D

 Part II

Part III

P.SAny suggestions for future posts? Feel free to send in your suggestions and requests here or on my e-mail id: . Hope to hear from you soon :) 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Sex,marriage, bathroom!

Talking about being late with movie reviews, give me two-three more opportunities and I’ll master it soon. Trust me, I m working very hard towards it! :P But then, barring a few , no movie has till date(since the time I chanced upon the opportunity to make you poor fellows read my  superfluous reviews) triggered me enough to put down my violent thoughts on Parde Ke Peeche within no time ‘The End’ flashes on the silver screen.
Weekends mean ‘movie time’ and last weekend single screen theatres in Udupi were showcasing, Shudh Desi Romance, a vibrant, youthful film that had before its release created much anticipation among the youngsters, as I could sense from scanning the more than half-filled hall.
A poster of the film. Photo courtesy: Internet

Shudh+Desi+ Romance= so wrongly christened!
An apt title would be hmm.... Sex, marriage, bathroom! LOL. Well, the whole story revolves around these three things only! :P
Opening sequence: Raghu Ram (Sushant Singh Rajput) is a tourist guide in Jaipur, who also doubles up as rental baraati for Goyal (Rishi Kapoor), a wedding planner. Raghu is suffering from pre-marital jitters. On his way to his wedding venue, Raghu meets Gayatri (Parineeti Chopra), an open minded, free willed, independent woman who lives life on her own terms. An already confused Raghu, heavily impressed by her freedom, gathers the guts to run away from his own wedding, with the ‘tailet’ showing him the escape way(read: bathroom).
A fortnight later, the two meet and begin dating. Entering into a live-in-relationship(read:sex), the two decide to get married(read: marriage). On the day of the wedding, Gayatri runs out on him(read:bathroom), and Raghu is left inconsolably confused.
Soon after, at a wedding, Raghu meets Tara (Vaani Kapoor), the woman he was going to tie the knot with, before he met Gayatri. She asks him out initially on a revenge trip but slowly their relationship turns serious(read:sex). Just as he is about to ask her to marry him (read: marriage), Gayatri re-enters his life and Tara sneaks away. The two(Gayatri and Raghu) decide on marrying(read:marriage)! They both run away from their own marriage(read: bathroom).
P.S. By this point, toleration power of most of my co-viewers is exhausted and many are hurling abuses at the characters onscreen.
So, now you know, the story is all about, sex,marriage, bathroom, marriage, sex, bathroom marriage ,sex, bathroom, sex, marriage, bathroom..........*phew!
A still from the movie. Photo courtesy: Internet
A still from the movie. Photo courtesy: Internet

Much ado was made about the 27 kisses in the film. Factually, its wrong. Not 27, but yeah around 14-15 do find a place in between dialogues or when the characters have nothing to do.  They kiss at the same rate as Arnab Goswami pukes his patented ‘the nation demands an answer’ dialogue every night at news hour.

The story being set in the pink city Jaipur imbibes a lot of its colorful culture and uniqueness. Places like Hawa Mahal and numerous other Rajput forts provide for a breath taking setting, making everything look pleasant on screen.
Debutant Vaani Kapoor is impressive and gorgeous. Kapoor is there because Shuddh Desi Romance needed to kill the three-quarters of the second half that precede the climax. Tara, humorously pops the question," Tum paida hi tharki hue the ya koi infection lagi thi?", echoing my sentiments. Gayatri  is a rebel without a cause: she smokes and has had boyfriends in the past. Parineeti is natural and beautiful as always.
Debutante Vaani Kapoor.
Photo courtesy: Internet

With so much revolving only around sex and kisses, one would expect sizzling chemistry on screen much like the Sakurajima volcano in Japan but proved out to be like mount Ashitaka: non-existent!
Music by the composer duo Sachin-Jigar is refreshing and youthful. My personal favorite is ‘Gulabi’.  
If all the sex and kissing hasn't interested you much, then Goyal uncle would surely do. This is one guy for solely whom you can give this movie a watch. This man is in the most illustrious years of his life, doing the best roles, churning out impressive performances at 60 with ease like never before. As the bemused wedding decorator who is also a father figure to Raghu, Rishi Kapoor, is charming, funny and with his dialogue delivery, he will force you to laugh wholeheartedly and keep clapping.The way he looks, pauses and spurts the witty one-liners is interesting to watch. He very amusingly summarises everything,"Tu Tara ko mandap mein chod ke bhag gaya kyunki tu usse shaadi nahi karna chahta, Tara tujhse shaadi nahi karna chahti kyunki tu use mandap mein chod ke bhag gaya tha aur Gayatri tujhse shaadi nahi karna chahti kyunki usne tujhe mandap se bhagte hue dekha tha. Yaar tum log itna bhagte kyun ho? Zindagi bhar bhagte hi rahogey ya kabhi rukogey bhi?"
P.S. Don't fail to notice the artificial flower he pins to his coat like Bose! :P
And because I care so much for your embarrassment out pour, I would like to whisper into your tiny ears that this is definitely not  a film to be included in your weekend outing with your family. That assured, it is a one time watch and you won't curse yourself much or the makers since they have put you in for just 120 minutes torture. That's such a saving grace!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Aur forget and forgive kariye...

My eyelids gave way to the morning sun rays and they squinted in response. Ahaa!!! What a fine sunny Sunday morning, my little poor brain said. The same little poor brain groaned with excruciating pain at the same time. Ouchhh!!!
I had slept early last night. Quite early for a usual Saturday night. Reason?  A campaign to re-negotiate democracy gave me more headache than it must have to the government. No, no. I wasn't at India gate or Qutub Minar on any aamaran annashan or shouting my lungs out for a social cause. I, with my herd of innocent friends, had by mistake, lost way and landed in a single screen theater that was to showcase Satyagraha, Prakash Jha’s latest offering.

A poster of the film. Photo courtesy: Internet

Prakash jha, the captain of ships like Damul(1984), Mrityudand (1997), Gangaajal (2003), Apaharan (2005), multistarrer hit movie Raajneeti (2010), Aarakshan (2011) Chakravyuh (2012),is known for making films, which deliver a strong message and as far as that goes, Satyagraha doesn't leave any room for complaints. However, the film seems to try too hard at times to make its point. Very preachy throughout.
Briefing you quickly on the story plot, Dwarka Anand (Amitabh Bachchan) is a retired school principal, who doesn't hesitate to fight against corruption in the system. Manav Raghvendra (Ajay Devgn) is an ambitious businessman, who believes only in self-progress at any costs whereas Yasmin Ahmed (Kareena Kapoor) is a journalist, who wants truth to prevail at any cost.
When the population of small-town Ambikapur gets frustrated with the corrupt system, these unlikely heroes come together to join forces with local leader Arjun (Arjun Rampal) to take on the system and the corrupt leader Balram Singh (Manoj Bajpayee).
Sparing some attention to the rich star cast, one can easily visualize the eldest and the most respected of the lot, Mr. Bachchan arriving on a huge golden chariot with Jha holding on to the horses reigns and the rest actors by his side. Amitabh Bachchan is like an old lion, whose roar is still respected and the veteran delivers a masterful performance as the dignified and incorruptible Dwarka Anand. He is flawless and consistent in his small but important role. He forms the backbone of the film. His emotional scenes with bahu Amrita Rao can make you cry. Rao, as the ideal bahu, has little scope for performance and survives with little or no dialogues crying unstoppable till the end. Actually, her dialogues die with her husband.
Ajay Devgn, a favorite of Prakash Jha, is reliable as always when it comes to delivering an intense performance. Devgn's transformation from an unscrupulous businessman to a social activist happens too fast to seem convincing whereas Rampal has decent but short roles. A sheer waste of talent is Rampal.  
Okay, now whose left, whose left? Urrrghhhh!!! How can one forget this unavoidable element if you have tolerated her without caring to go to sleep? Kareena Kapoor Khan, a big miscast. And before you can say ‘Kareena Kapoor Khan', she pledges her support to the movement and becomes a fellow activist! In an unnecessary scene, Kareena's character castigates a colleague for suggesting that they carry news about some prominent figure involved in a MMS scandal. Yasmin Ahmed, the rising star of the communication sector. That was one of her opening dialogues in the movie. WTF!!! Her ‘holier than thou' act gets on your nerves at times. At times? No,no,no!!! EVERYTIME. Eveytime she jumps into the frame, you feel like stabbing yourself with the next sharp thing you can see around. I survived because the theater was purposely made dark to avoid any causalities. Theater anna!!! I owe you this one. Thank you! *kisses.
A poster of the film. Photo courtesy: Internet

The love track between Devgn and Kapoor too is highly unnecessary and takes away focus from the main plot. For these two lovers, I had to give them a standing ovation and clap slowly. How considerate they are! Amidst, the poor old retired school principal’s son’s sad demise and all the hullabaloo that follows, they make sure to find time for some sex, not to mention the strange foreplay they carry out in the middle of a dark night on the house’s terrace, wearing bright white clothes. That was the last thing I expected from the movie.

Saving the best for the last has always been my funda of life. Hence, let’s talk about that one guy which makes Satyagrah worth watching, Manoj Bajpayee, who as the sly Balram Singh, Bajpayee simply dominates every scene that he is a part of and elicits the maximum whistles and claps with his ‘comic baddie' act. Manoj has always been a delight to watch in Jha’s films, ornamented with power-packed, mind-boggling dialogues. Here, are those dialogues that will make you hoot for him. 
Manoj Bajpayee at the first look
launch of the film. Photo courtesy: Internet

Bachpan me kabhi aapke father thapadiyaye nahi the kya, bas mamla theek kijiye aur forget and forgive kariye.

Kya samajh rakha hai humko baraati ka dhol ki aap bajate rahenge aur hum dance karte rahenge.

Thode time ke liye humko bhi yakeen ho gaya tha ki koi na koi rasta nikalega ye Delhi ka businessman lekin iska toh computer hi chori ka nikla.

Salim-Sulaiman have done a decent job with the music. Aiyo ji, is an exceptionally brilliant track featuring Nathalia Kaur( remember, the foreign find of RGV?). Raghupati Raghav, the evergreen Gandhi bhajan has been used very smartly to prick all your heart’s sensitive chords. They have clearly done a clean job to give the lack-lustrous film the mood it requires.
As it approaches climax, all random sequences fall in place in front of your eyes that can easily connect the dots and you can see the Anna Hazare campaign being re-played.
There is no doubt that Jha set out with noble intentions, while making the film, but with better execution, the film could have been more successful in connecting with the audience.
On a final note, if you have nothing to do this weekend, then go for Satyagraha or visit a morgue, sit there and re-watch the Anna Hazare's campaign footages. It’s almost the same. It's a film for those who can tolerate political drama non-stop.
I was more engrossed in passing chips and popcorn from one corner to another, a self devised time pass to ward off boredom and sleep. For, the ones who are still concerned about my headache, kindly drop in contact details of good hair spa outlets at as I go grab a cup of coffee. ;)