Thursday, 25 December, 2008

Ghajini Movie Review

24th Dec, Wednesday, Mumbai : Amidst the controversies of release of Ghajini, finally made it to the Review Show and in the nutshell it was a good Christmas Eve treat. The 3 hour movie, though a Tamil and a Hollywood photocopy…..starring our perfectionist was a decent effort fetching 3.5/5 Rating and Aamir’s acting at 4/5 and new comer into Bollywood Asin at 3.5/5 clearly beating Anushka Sharma of Rab ne, giving Deepika Padukone a run for her money….way to go !

The story as most of us know is of one Sanjay Singhania a young MD of a telecom giant who falls in love with a simple girl Kalpana who is bubbly, generous and caring and that melts the heart of this Harvard return who does’nt disclose his real identity to her. The flashback shows their past and also the brutal murder of Kalpana and how Sanjay was injured and becomes a victim of Short Term Memory Loss and looses his memory after every 15 mins. Its exciting to see how he keeps his memory / important aspects rejuvenated with Polaroid images and Tattoos on his body (not disclosing in details) and finally how he takes his revenge.

The Assets of the movie : (in ascending order)
(1) Aamir Khan and beside his amazing acting skills, his new body and hairstyle is cool. Shows his sweat behind !
(2) Asin Thottumkal (Mallu Beauty from Kerela) has done a fabulous job & has an edge, by being in the Tamil version too.....she does not a typical south star (from accent or the extra inches). A Fresh face and much better than wasting (pls underline) your money on Rani Mukherjee and Preity Zintas of the world (Still Katrinas, Bipashas are a worth)
(3) The Thrilling sequencing of the story….
(4) The Superb Cinematography, Shots and angles… Ravi K. Chandran deserves an award.
(5) The Great Direction by A.R.Murugadoss.
(6) Jiah Khan was also decent – it was a sizable role as compared to rumours of her doing some 4-5 minute role or a dance number.
(7) A fight around the climax is an edge of the seat experience.

The Negatives :
The movie is of 3 hrs and could be reduced to 2.5 hrs.
(2) The name itself is something which doesn’t call for the tittle stature – Ghajini is the name of the villain (Ghajini Dharmatma played by Pradeep Rawat – not the best choice ). Seems Murugadoss who has directed the original Tamil Ghajani or the banner would have kept a condition to use the same name....If it would not have been Aamir, this name would not have pulled the audience.
(3) Poor lyrics – Prasoon Joshi – everyday is not a Sunday ! (full marks on cinematography though and Rahmans music was average)– One Song is “Lattu”….and another “Aye Bachchu” its purely not required except “Guzarish” and “Behka” which is written and shot well.

The original film was adapted from critically acclaimed Hollywood psychological thriller Memento, directed by Christopher Nolan, but much different in many senses, is a must watch as the last and possibly one of the best movie of 2008 ! Reproves the steel of Aamir and his versatility – if Akki can become Comedy King, his throne of Action King could be taken way by this Khan ! Do watch it – you don’t have an option as the other offering is the animated movie Jumbo, which again will help Ghajini garner more cash at the box office for being there in the right time at the right place from a marketing perspective !

Saturday, 13 December, 2008

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi - Review

Just came back from the night show of RNBDJ (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi) or Rab ne and thought of sharing my view. In the nutshell –one thing is sure – Some may rate it 1/5 or some may rate it 4/5 (you can buy ratings), but people would still get pulled because of SRK !

Central Character of the Movie – Middle class salaried employee (9 to 5) in a Cat B town. This will hit the masses.
Plot of the movie – Small town – Amritsar, small lanes. A Cinema hall shown frequently in the movie is “Chandan” at Juhu and guess what I was there as I wanted to see the mass appeal of SRK in a non-multiplex atmosphere…. and was as usual stumping with whistles being blown at various instances !
Broad Storyline – Its a no new idea but presented so so and enacted excellently by SRK.

Its about an Amritsar based simple man who gets married to a bubbly small town girl due to pressure from a dying father of the girl who was the professor of this studious man ; his favorite student Surinder Sahani – alias Suri ) as the “baraat’ met an accident.

The girl is initially sad due to the circumstances and doesn’t accept Suri has her husband in the true sense…She loves Bollywood movies and Suri tries to make her happy by becoming a hero of the bollywood standard in real life by getting into a mod getup and style...but ends up checking out his wife’s love for him – the modern Raj or the simple man Suri….. one has to watch to see who wins !

Some Pros of the Movie –
(1) SRKs ever charming acting – the character also plays a real life actor a double role ( remember the Amol Palekar act in Golmal –old – with and without moustache) A great body language and acting as a simple humble man Suri working with Punjab Power, even in his dances to a stylo Raj and back to Suri… worth a watch.
(2) A new face – Anushka Sharma – seems a Shiamak’s choice as she dances quite well and though may give Shilpa Shetty, Lara Dutta a run for their money in terms of height. It’s a simple logic – when you take biggies like SRK as a producer, most of your monies go on his cost that you need to have such new comers debut – remember Gayatri Joshi (Swades), Deepika Padukone (OSO) etc.
(3) Vinay Pathak does a decent act and (4) One Surprise song...

Some Cons of the Movie –
Post interval it gets slow in between, but picks up soon. One might guess why is this happening.
(2) If you have seen “Main, Meri patni aur Woh” starring Rajpal Yadav and Rituparna Sengupta in 2005, you may feel this is a copy – it’s a same set up and characters and story line. I found that story better than Rabne…. But SRK changes the overall game altogether. So no points to Aditya Chopra for No extraordinary work.

Some may find Rab ne…..okay, but even if critics give this a thumbs down or mid, still people will go to see the movie for SRK. People knew that Dostana was all bull – but still went ahead to see John Abraham, Priyanka Sharma and the young feel in the movie. For Rab ne, atleast in Mumbai the movie will garner the cash at Box Office as the last 2 weeks were empty for any movie post the 26 Nov Terror Attack and the strategy for the movie is right – “3 din – cash in” with having shows running every hour at major places. (Heard Aamir Khan to counter the movie has put up huge life sizes at all multiplexes and have made all the staff change their hairstyles to his Ghajini look)

I would rate the movie at 2.5/5 and SRK 3.5/5 for his acting. Worth a watch.

Sunday, 7 December, 2008

10 Questions Mumbaikars are asking !

Its 14 days now that a few kids took Mumbai with a big police, army and NSG force on hostage– official sources say 10, but some media sources said 15, and former CIA counter=terrorism and militant networks expert Farhana Ali in Washington said 23 terrorists have come in India as per her information from Pakistan ( Source : Timesgroup paper). As per the same source – Taj CCTV Footage at 1:30 AM showed 4 terrorists and we have only 3 dead ? Where is the remaining one ?

Well, imagine a situation like this…………….4 terrorists with British or other country Passport enter TAJ on 20th November – 3 days before the attack….. and are living in there, exploring the whole area and creating a blue print for the assault after 3 days….3 more join in from the Sea and kill many, they die but the 4 who planned and also killed, leave back their weapons, change into some other hostages outfits and smartly walk out as a relieved hostage. The police would track this but to an extent….not going into details of each hostages last 20 years of life history… and may be the orders from the top could be for ignore this leg altogether.

There are some questions in the Minds of the citizens of Mumbai :

(1) Where are the other terrorists ? Are they preparing for the next assault ?
(2) Still the security of the state not in place, remember the recent report of a man carrying a revolver at the CST station freely passing through a metal detector ? shameful is’nt it ?
(3) Its very obvious that its not easy to enter a new country and attack without knowing things around or without having any Local support. Who is the local support, does it take 14 days to find that out ?
(4) Who in the Taj was involved – How can such weapons pass through the security and how can they have grenades piled up on all floors without internal help ? How did room Service ignore the presence of weapons in the room. Why is no reference to the booking names yet out in public ? Why don’t we have the CCTV of Taj– hour by hour – a week before the attack ? Am sure much could be dug from it. And if we have, hope the facts are not suppressed, which can easily happen, because if it comes out then imagine who will have to resign.
(5) Where did the SIM Cards come from – we saw some links to Calcutta, but more is yet to be revealed. Hope its comes out and is not suppressed.
(6) Where did the Credit Cards came from ? Its easy to track down the same ….every card sold has an application form stored with the name of the agent and code etc. Every agent / executive outsourced has to go through a reference check and physical verification and even if he has left the job now, one could easily trace him and further the roots. Hope police is doing so, or may be not as they don’t have orders ! And some press said that those cards were of the hostages... why would a terrorist collect cards from hostages ? to pay the Taj for food ???
(7) The most important as also stated by the DGP, Mr. S.S.Virk, -“Get Kasab to confess on TV”…. Before he changes his mind or memorizes a script given. Why aren’t we putting Kasab in front of the International Media, rather than running the tom and jerry race with Pakistan ! Are we afraid that he would name a few local ministers ? or spill some messy beans ?
(8) Look at the audacity of the Pakistanis recently in a news channel claiming that the Indian Army orchestrated this event ( well, personally I feel its bullshit) but the way the general spoke was worth some entertainment claiming that “Inki Shakalein Hindu wali hain” – (they (terrorists) looked Hindu from faces only.) They wore saffron bands, kadas etc… Am attaching a link for reference - . There was no reaction from the Indian side on this, surprisingly. If this link is void by the time you see it, take it that something was fishy – else have fun !
(9) The latest being Narayan Rane claiming evidences of involvement of politicians behind these attacks ( Why is that not yet revealed ? or will this too be suppressed ? )– As per former IPS and Lawyer YPSingh, withholding of information is a crime under section 39 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Lawyer Majeed Memon also confirms the same as an offence). Hope the facts are out before they are suppressed.
(10) The last question will be about politicians – as this is the last thing a Mumbaikar would want to discuss now. A slap on the face of politicians was the recent gathering at the Gateway on 3rd December – a first in its kind Non-Cooperative, no Leader led movement post 1947, showing that Indians – Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs can come out TOGETHER on the streets. If tomorrow there is a scam, Indians can jam the roads in front of Mantralaya. The message was clear, though outcome not concrete besides Preity Zinta encashing on the pires of dead and some Media channels being there at the right time and right place for their business ! But the regional divide which any politician could not go without, is now disappearing and people are uniting over a larger cause then caste and creed. Well, Mumbaikars are angry and will remain, though have seen the anger melting down. The message is clear that “changing of politicians” is not enough… Chhagan Bhujbal is more tainted and worst than Mr. Patil, who lost out purely because of his communications skills. What will the Candle-lighters be able to do now is a question…will the movement go on ? And that reminds, one has to file an RTI asking for the reason behind giving Deshmukh and Patil Z Cover, if they still have !

Hope these questions get answered soon and Mumbaikars and Indians do not calm their anger.

Monday, 1 December, 2008

Lighting Candles at the Gateway of India is not enough !

Mumbai Terror Strikes ; December 1, 2008, Monday : I got an sms on Sunday to come to the Gateway of India and light a candle.... there were some more SMS's and emails inviting citizen to Gateway on 3rd December, 2008.

Well, it’s the normal Indian Tendency–call it the “why do I bother attitude” within the hearts or Mahatma’s principles of “forgiving and forgetting” on the outside that handful of terrorists can have courage of molesting India time and again. They too know that behind the mask of “Spirit of Mumbai” or “bouncing back” lies a “docile, hapless selfish person”–The “poor selfish person” also knows he can’t do much–as he knows the judiciary system, the politicians and willingly chooses to stay out. Hence people tend to forget these assaults and hence we get more assaulted.
For a change now, since media has become quite active there is some impact of our anger and hope this anger remains. Last 24 hours has seen 2 Big Resignations and 1 on line–(1) The Union Home Minister–Mr.Shivraj Patil (no loss to the mankind), (2)Mr. R.R.Patil–Deputy CM (called this a small incident and the public gave it back)(3) Mr.Vilasrao Deshmukh (Someone more concerned of helping his son in Bollywood, having audacity of taking RGV to Taj). But is this an end or just a beginning–we all have to decide !

We will need to learn from our mistakes -to begin with our Security System. It is evident that our Intelligence has failed and we need to follow other countries in stepping up our security be it the US,UK or even Israel. Secondly,Pakistan’s Involvement is very clear. Dr. Manmohan Singh could be the next, not just for reading out the most impassionate speech in this time of crisis, but for the soft approach on the Security Issue or on Pakistan.The Citizen of India will give it back if not so fast, then in the elections soon.

The Politicians should be clear that gone are the days to buy votes against Biryani, Saaris and play the Divide & Rule Games-atleast in certain strata of society, though things will not change overnight.Thanks to the citizens like Shobha De, Suhel Seth, Rahul Bose, Arjun Rampal, Farooq Shaikh, Prahlad Kakkar for speaking out. The Corporate Citizen did not come out in that large number except Kishore Biyani, Ajay Bagga etc (may be dependencies). Net-net there are clearly 3 type of people who TOGETHER can make a change;of course supported by Media:(1)The Opinion Maker Citizen-The Educated,networked. (2)The Industrialists/Corporate Citizens-CEO's, Business Leaders, Fund sponsors (3)The Common Man- Aam admi- the lower & middle class minus religion, caste.

It could be a mass decision, a forum, or a movement or supporting even one life lost. Just by lighting candles at the Gateway of India will not achieve anything. The Basics need to be in place. The mindset of people will have to change. We will need to question,be assertive and aggressive with non-performers who need to deliver out of our taxes.

Today we are angry and that anger needs to remain else 26/11 will repeat itself… would be a normal scenario where people will get aggressive for a while and again come back to normal,forgetting and forgiving–Thanks to Mahatma and the “Spirit of Mumbai”.Hope people try The Bhagvad Gita and “Krishna & Arjun Strategy’ for a change too !