Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Kuch Raas Nahi Aaya : Ram-Leela (Movie Review)

             So we get to read a movie review from  another movie-nutjob who thinks he knows it all about  films. If this is what you are thinking, please read on. If not, I am sure you will still read on. And yes there are no Spoiler Alerts.
            I am not one of those who know the art of movie-making. I do not understand how extravagant the colors of the movies are or how awesome the Art Direction. I am just a common man who happens to be movie crazy and makes it a point to watch all (yes, read ALL) the movies ever made. The difference between me and the movie critics who gave the movie ‘Ram-Leela’ 4.5 star rating is that they were paid to write a review and watch the movie while I paid to watch the movie and the pain forced me to write a review.
           The movie  bumped into controversies,  consequently getting banned just  four days before its release;  the ban  was lifted. But now the ban surely looks more like a publicity stunt. The response to the trailers and songs might not have convinced Sanjay Leela Bhansali (SLB) that the movie would be a commercial ‘Hit’. Going to watch a SLB movie, one expects grand sets and colors and a lot of songs. But this one   faded in the stretch to look like a movie when the first 70% of it just resembled an amateur attempt by Bhansali to create a musical injected with a deluge of songs which were really not required.  I mean in no part of the world, including the Culture shown in the movie,  there is dancing and singing for everything that possibly happens under the sun. Not only were the songs a lil too many but also the dance sequence was  not very eye-catching. The chicks’ grooves really looked like a cohort of drunken penguins on a trampoline.  It might have caused a collective back-ache to the troupe  but  honestly, who dances like that?
            A lot was expected from the gorgeous Deepika Padukone after ‘Chennai Express’, but all we got was a female who looked sex deprived (more like 40 and yet a virgin) eager to sleep with someone who could challenge her. It took me some time to realize that the first sequence in which the hero meets the heroine was actually the first meeting too. I mean come-on, I have not seen even hopheads and drunk bimbos act like that when they see a guy for the first time. The scenes that were supposed to be sensuous were just crass and out of place.
            Ranveer Singh might have improved his dancing and physique (that pretty much explains why Ms. Shuttlecock Player thinks monstrosity is sexy incarnate) but his acting skills still need a lot of improvement. More than that, he needs to be selective in the roles he chooses and plays, in case if he is serious about his acting career. What? I did not yet mention the story line?? Yes, because there isn’t any.Most scenes emoted Lust rather than Love and the story missed chunks in between that made it really difficult for us to connect the scenes.A lot is left to guess and makes no sense at all. What was supposed to be an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet became such a sad story that he would be tossing and turning writhing with agony inside his grave.
            For those who still feel they can watch the movie just to see a topless Ranveer, a sensuous dance song from Priyanka Chopra and who could manage to see Deepika like this after Chennai Express, please do watch the movie. But yes. Before you do that, please do give a thought to all the good things you could do/buy with  that 500 Rs/- you would spend on the movie.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Love...Pure Love.....

           Had a long day in office. But then such days were getting frequent. Was not enjoying the work. Had a quick chat with my mom when I came back home at 11 PM. She was ready to sleep .She seemed a bit upset. Asked her what's wrong. She told me and I gave it a patient listening.

          Went to bed in an hour. Was lying and thinking about the chat I had with my mom. She is a very emotional lady. She loves a lot and her kindness has no bounds. Unfortunately She is human and Like most humans she has expectations. Expectations from the world to give the Love back which does not happen. Expectations from the ones related to her by Blood or by Laws. I cussed GOD for not making her as cold hearted as I was. I did not care a rat's ass about such things. I cussed him for not giving my mom the peace she deserved. I told him if he continues this, there would be many more like me who would not believe in him anymore.

          Had a lot of emotions going through my mind. Anger, hatred, vengeance , sympathy... Was just lying down with eyes closed. Sleep was miles away. Suddenly I opened my eyes and saw my 4 year old nephew standing next to me . I got startled with his sudden presence. Took me a minute to come back to senses. Till that time he had taken his position next to me and was lying with me.

" Why did you come here?" , I asked.
"To sleep" - He replied.
Me-"I got scared"
He- "Why?'
Me- "You just suddenly came with no noise at all, that scared me"
He- "All were sleeping so I did not make noise"
Me - "Did you at least inform your Daadi ( Grandmom) that you are sleeping here?"
He- "Yes"
Me- "OK"
He-" Hold my hand please"

I did and he slept peacefully. And suddenly I could feel Love. True Love. All other feelings were gone. Only a Kid could give you the Love in its purest form. Time and Maturity corrupts everybody. But the kid shows true Love.

I smiled. I was at peace. I slept wishing if we all could Love just like the Kids do........

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Rains & Romance!!! In Mumbai!!! Please!!!!

               I still remember the unusual heavy downpour I had first witnessed during my stay in California. A local friend of mine had then said, “It doesn’t rain this much often.” I replied, “ I am glad. I hate rains!” She was shocked. She said, “If I am not wrong, the place where you come from, it rains heavily for 4 months in a year.” I replied, ”Yes. And that is why I hate it!” The conversation ended. It was the USA. People normally do not make personal remarks there about your likes or Dislikes. Had the same conversation happened in India, chances are that it would have continued further, with the lady saying, “ Oh my God, that’s so boring..or so unromantic..or blah blah blah”. And it always makes me wonder, really, is the love for rains all it takes to label one as a Romantic?

          It is not actually our fault. This is what we took from Bollywood. Though I am sure, even Bollywood, behind the amiable facade of splashing gallons of water with a pump(s) across the shooting set and calling it “rains”, just to lend credibility to the script, did not mean to showcase it as romantic. If any, the feeling associated with rains is plumb Lust. With the lady shown all drenched and seductive, Bollywood did not intend to show romance. Even the famous Raj Kapoor song, “Pyaar hua, Ikraar Hua...” (Love has already happened, then why are you scared of Love?) that started the trend of singing and dancing in rains actually meant lust. “” What he meant with love in the next stanza was actually understood few years later by a Condom manufacturing company. I hope you guys remember that advert or the song , “EK ladki bheegi bhaagi si...” Come-on! Let’s admit! If an unknown guy starts singing like that when the girl is alone at night, it's rankling and not romantic. From then, till now, Bollywood has again and again shown the feeling of lust in rains, and we think it's romantic.

                Now let’s forget Bollywood, and talk real life. Forget enjoying the rains from the window of your home, eating the famous pakodas and drinking tea. Let’s be practical! It transpiring, right from the first rains, the city’s infrastructure, unreservedly worsens. Water-logging is the most common view from any window. So, unless you find swimming or walking in muddy (read dirty) water “romantic”, there is nothing remotely related to romance in it. And if you are the common man of Mumbai, who takes the public transport to work, then unless you find getting wet by the water dripping from other umbrellas or raincoats romantic, I rest my case. Even if you wanna relate getting wet with water, somehow with taking shower together (thinking way too much) , it still will be associated with lust.

               For the elite, who do not go through this trauma and travel in cars, seemingly finding long drives very romantic,please explain how is traveling at the speed of 10 miles an hour with continuous honking romantic? Or driving over the potholes muttering imprecations or on roads that the civic authority decides to repair as soon as the monsoon commences, anything to do with romance? I know it feels good to have a nice lovely lady in your arms/ or held by a guy (for girls) under one umbrella, walking in the rains. But do you seriously need water poured over you to be romantic? Believe it or not, you walk hand-in-hand with your partner on the road and people will continue to stare; rains or no rains. So please do not use “rains” as an excuse to do it. You like it, go ahead. Do it even when there is bright sunshine. A small token of affection like giving a chocolate for no reason, is also romantic. You don’t need rains for that. Ok, I am flying off at a tangent. Let's not focus on what’s romantic but on rains.

               The best part is when most Facebook updates (especially females) start going, “Oo I love rains it’s so romantic”,”I am in love with rains”. All I want to say is, yes, it looks wonderful if I have to watch it through a window. But if I have to travel in it through the conditions mentioned above, it’s a curse. So please do not bog down to the pressure from the world to be labeled a romantic only if you love rains. Feel free to cuss it and I am sure your FB status will still get equal number of ‘Likes’. You see Ladies, people do not actually ‘Like’ your status, they just want to be good to you. Ok wait! I have a full post about Facebook 'Likes' and how it works. Please read it! ;-)

                I am sure you can think of more trouble caused by the pestilential rains in Mumbai and how it’s not as romantic as proclaimed. My job was to break the stereotype and make you wear the thinking hat on this topic ;-) . So just like X-Men said “Mutant and proud”, please join me in saying “Hate rains and Proud”.

PS: I do know the importance of rainfall. My argument is just over its linking with romance.


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Mass Vs Class : The Bollywood Story

            I read a catchphrase on a T-shirt ‘There are 10 types of people, people who understand Binary and others who don’t’. We all love to classify things and people- the most important classification in Arts/Entertainment, per me, is the Mass and the Class. Most of what is done is for one of these two types. Be it books or movies. Chetan Bhagat for example, is a writer for the masses whereas Kiran Desai's works are for, the class. No, I do not intend to look down upon people who read the books written by Chetan Bhagat but let’s face it, he writes movie scripts and not books. Anyway, this article is not a description about books or writers. but about my favorite subject ‘ BOLLYWOOD’. I love Bollywood so much that If I was paid to write about it, then I would choose to rent a room in the ‘Antilla’ (The mansion of the Business Tycoon Ambani)!

           Bollywood movies that are generally filmed for the masses have a few exceptions these days that cater to a certain class of people. Here, I would be talking about two movies - Race2 and Bombay Talkies -. The former being a recent release and the latter which is relatively new. And no, I did not watch them just now. But since the article might have a few spoilers that leaks the stories of the movies, I preferred to wait a few weeks

              For the uninitiated, ‘Bombay Talkies’ is a movie with 4 stories from 4 different Directors (Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap). Each Director was given a budget of Rs. 1.5 crore and was asked to direct a 25-minute short film. The movie was made to celebrate 100 years of Indian Cinema. This movie was one of the classics that I recently watched. It not only focuses on the Indian Society, but also due to budgetary restraints, relies on the 'goodwill' of big stars and the acting caliber of the theater artists.

              The movie also goes on to show why Anurag Kashyap is the best among the four and that Karan Johar would never actually make a movie that is close to reality. It also portrays Zoya Akhtar's apparent inefficiency to direct without her brother Farhan Akhtar and that Dibakar Banerjee has a lot to learn about film making. It’s one of the 'must-watch' movies released of late. , Since the movie is for the class audience and has no 'item songs' or larger-than-life characters, it did not make as much money as those movies that had an item number performed by Sunny Leone. But for anybody, who loves to get a pinch of salt with the food, please hurry yourselves up and rush to the cine to watch this movie.

               Race2, on the other hand, made a lot of money. It's a movie made for the masses in which the hero excels at almost everything, including a few Olympic sports. Only if such people would have been real, we would have got more medals in Olympics! The movie also has stunts akin to the ones performed in the Hollywood movies. A few scenes have been ‘inspired’ from the movies of the West and the characters, seemingly, had unlimited amount of money and brains that work faster and better than the beloved Indian comic character Chacha CHoudhary. And of course, there is no mention of any kind of department that is made for maintaining law and order in the society. I did have this feeling ( of where are the cops?) after watching ‘Rajneeti too’, but after the recently conducted polls in one of our neighboring countries, I was convinced that this is plausible.

               The movie has heroines, who are dressed in skimpy skin clutching clothes and they dance in a way that would embarrass even a few bar girls of Mumbai. It has something for everybody. There is a fight scene between two brawny and well-oiled hunks to woo the women in the audience. The song ‘Mujhe toh teri Lat Lag gayi’ (translates to I am Addicted to You) in the film has the new entrant heroine dancing with a step that perhaps will not be replicated on the floor cause of its cheapness, and if some still want to, may not cause it will spoil the lip-gloss or lip liner ;). Still the lyrics fascinated some women so much that they decided to dedicate the song on their Facebook pages for their husbands. Really? As If you had a choice.

                To summarize, I do not have anything against this kind of cinema. But the problem lies among the masses who love such films, thereby, forcing the film makers to make such movies rather than classics. It is almost like we start believing in such lifestyles which may prove to be detrimental to society. It is OK if Bollywood wants to walk down the Hollywood way, but then the latter also comes up with movies like ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Argo’ that bags all the Academy awards. We just have Aamir Khan and Kamala Hassan to pin our hopes on when it comes to classy cinema.

               A lot can be said about the Indian Cinema, just like Kashyap’s story in ‘Bombay Talkies’. But I would like to stop myself from going beyond these 2 movies. Woh Kya hai na..I don’t really get paid. ;-)


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Women : Nature's Wonder or Nature Wonders...

             So, we all know the story on how GOD made the earth, the plants and everything beautiful around. Then one day He created Man. As a reward to this purple patch, He decided to take things easy and set up a factory in China for mass production of men. Faster, easier and cheaper. Now since it’s a production assembly line, they were all the same, except for looks. Like all Chinese made products, Men also had variations in terms of quality. Some worked wonders while others were defective. But the basic functionality and features remain the same.

            Then, He rested and after what seemed to be a conspicuous 'lull before the storm', He created Woman. Now since he was done building the world and all, He decided not to set up a factory but prepared each piece himself. Changed and experimented several times. He did not realize that down there, on earth, what a hard time this will be for Men trying to understand Women. This is also why women mystify us every time we know one. They are just so different.          

              I would have loved citing examples but then space and words would be a constraint to get it all here. So don’t be amazed if the shy quiet girl sitting in the corner is a kick ass writer or if the bold looking female is actually a wimp. From reaching the space to acting like a space shuttle in our life. She has done it all. Just like my Mom who admits to not understanding technology but can be seen playing games on her tablet or surfing matrimonial sites finding a girl for me in her spare time. Wonder what she would have done, had she known Technology. Build a robotic daughter-in-lay maybe?

              The problem is we Men are like Porn movies. You see one you have seen them all. It’s the same. Women on the other hand are like Kamala Hassan or Amir Khan movies. Each movie is different and has a lot of efforts behind the making. Now just like the movies, some may flop while some may be super hit. We try to understand women all our lives. Initially we try to understand our mother/sister, as soon as we get close to knowing what they actually mean or want, we get our wife/gf , who is a different women altogether.

              We like to attribute our lack of understanding of women to PMS in general. The PMS that lasts for 30 days a month.What we fail to realize is the person up in the sky never wanted us to solve this mystery. Love them, adore them, compliment them, listen to them but do not try to understand them. And for those who have tried it all and failed, please remember that SOME women are hard to please, others are just impossible. The mystic about Women is almost like he-who-must-not-be-named ‘s nose. The more you think about it the more you fail to understand why couldn’t’ he fix his nose with all the magical powers in his wand.

              The world will be so boring without them .Just like some great guy said, we can’t live with them, we cannot live without them. And just as I proofread this, I realize that my words do not do justice to the Wonders of Women.


Saturday, 9 February 2013

FaceBook - You Ruined my Life ;-)

              The other day, one of my friends came rushing to me and said, “You know that hot chick that was dating a loser? They just broke off. Now is my time to woo her and I shall do it before people even know about the break up”. I answered with a big grin, “Dude, we all know about it. It’s on her Facebook page. And in the last 24 hours, she has accepted 28 friend requests. You are very late.”

               I wondered about life before Facebook. It was so nice and calm. Being nosy was an art. It required efforts to know about people’s ‘personal’ business. Something like interfering in other’s life and expect a ‘meddle’ for it. I have seen the pride when people gossiped about what they found out. To know about someone’s personal life, you either had to be inquisitive or had to be a very good friend. These days it is just with a click of the mouse. All we have to do is add that person on FB and there, we might even get his/her horoscope lying abandoned on the Wall. Seriously, there is more than enough drama happening on Facebook every day that it negates the need of having reality shows.

                I used to wonder what it was like to read people’s minds but now that I too have a Facebook account I’m over it. It tells me about personal conversations between married couples. It talks about how much somebody loves his/her parents. It tells me all the places people have been to. What they have been drinking, eating, worshipping, ignoring or even playing. It has saved some from a terrifying ‘keeping-my-thoughts-to-myself’ addiction as well. It also provides visual aids. I don’t even have to go out of my house anymore to ogle at beautiful women. I do it all on my phone or laptop. I have started to worry about my physical stamina because I’m wondering when was the last time I ran to catch a bus just cause there was a hot chick in it. ;-)

               And I am sure Mark Zuckerberg did not see it coming too. He made a social network to be circulated among the nerds of the university. Among people who lacked the conviction and capability to chat up with people or the time to visit an old friend. He did not realize that there is a nerd among all of us. There was a time when my interactions were required by other guys too. Now they rely on Facebook because they think it’s like the voices in my head are being put on a speakerphone.

               And Mark you sure had no clue that with the advent of your website, we would be entering an age of too much information and that it would also act as a big morale booster for women and also be responsible for gender inequality. A morale booster for women, yes ofcourse Where else do you see a girl being so appreciated other than her FB picture. What they fail to understand is that there is a distribution pattern among those likes. 15% likes come from people who ‘Like’ everything. 35% likes come from female friends cause they hope that you would like her pic back.40% Likes come from Guys who would Like everything you put cause they feel with that they have a chance to woo you. Remaining 10% are the people who genuinely Love you and will Like everything you put. The rest from those women who feign the ‘Like’. ;-)

                In short, to do everything that required people skills, can now be done through FB. This sure is not good news for me. I mean come-on if you do not have to do anything special to know stuff , it levels the playing field and I hate it.

Oh Facebook. I hate you so much. J