Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The best Pair!

Been almost half a decade since I've blogged!
Well life at Client side aint exactly a piece if cake as I initially figured it should be...
Inspite of having 24/7 net access hardly ever get time or am too busted to pen down my ruminations..
well anway coming to the reason behind the title of this post, was browsing thru ibnlive today [Actually check out these indian news websites quite frequently now that I do not have access to the ever bellowing, repetitive, almost balaji telefilmish melodramatic news channels back home].. came upon this amazing section..
Here is how it looked in the outset:

He He some unknown dude called "RajKanth" has been compared with the man whose pairs am sure would get auctioned for a billion dollars.. tough comparison aint it??

Lolzzzz... and some say only techies like us do not know how to present matter in the right perspective!

ps--> Here's a link to the article!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dharm-The Review

Whenever I venture out to watch a movie by Pankaj Kapoor I have very high expectations off it. Dharm does not disappoint in any way. In fact far from disappointing it grips you and turns out to be the BEST bollywood product released so far in 2007. It’s the kind of movie that touches you, moves you, probably even makes you drop a tear or two and none of these are forced through melodrama or the standard emotional blackmail ritual that most directors and script writers resort to.

Dharm is a movie about this Hindu high priest Pandit Chaturvedi(Pankaj Kapoor) who is one of the most respected priests of Benares. He lives with his wife (Supriya Pathak) and daughter. One day his daughter brings back an infant home whose mother having asked her to take care of her child never returned. Pandit though unwilling to adopt him and willing to send him to an orphanage finally gives in to his wife and daughter’s undying love for the kid and hesitantly agrees to adopt him.

Slowly and steadily he too grows fond of the child and the kid(named Karthik) become the cynosure of all eyes in the family. One fine morning however their lives are torn apart when biological mother of the kid returns to claim her child. The cause for concern though is that the childs mother is a Muslim. Panditji and her wife are shocked out of their wits and hence he retreats into a shell considering the fact that having not only touched, but also brought up a Muslim infant in his family was the worst possible sin a pious Brahmin could ever commit and tries to cleanse himself. However the shouts and whispers and calls of ‘Babuji’ keep reverberating in his ears.

Dharm smoothly deals with many aspects and blends it all with aplomb to form this brilliant masterpiece. It initially talks about the just, pious, religious and yet caste conscious Brahmin priest who staunchly and almost blindly follows the age old traditions, values and ethics of his religion. It hence talks about the much talked about father-son bonding. Somehow I felt this was depicted in a very subtle and uncharacteristically simple and humane manner. You may actually relate a real life character to this very easily. Especially since it doesn’t involve grey cell crunching monologues professing undying love for one’s son or father. Lastly and most crucially the movie deals with the priest’s realization of his ‘grave’ sin and his attempt to purge himself. Hence it dawns on him that maybe.. just maybe religion is not only following the age old values and scriptures, but it also involves ‘Karma’. If a person is exposed to the evils of the society on the pretext of maintaining religious sanctity, there has definitely been a misinterpretation somewhere. This forms the core of the climax of the movie and it leaves you nothing less than spellbound.

Debutante director Bhavna Talwar and writer Vibha Singh deserve the highest possible applause and recognition for rising above the rest with a film of this stature. Supriya Pathak gives a gem of a performance in her role and Krishh Parekh is lovable in his rendition of Panditji’s son. Mr. Pankaj Kapoor, I have just two words for your genius: “Hats OFF”.

Dharm is a movie that I’ll recommend to each and every one of you. If you miss this, you will have missed if not ‘the best’ at least one of the top three movies of 2007 in terms of critical acclaim. Move over ‘Gandhi my father’ and ‘Chak De’.

My rating: 9.5/10

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Plagiaristic Asses!

Plagiarism has become the bread n butter of many a music director today. In the name of 'inspiration' and 'influence' and many more adjectives tunes and beats are blatantly flicked without even the consent of the original composer.

Such copies have been happening in our music industry right since the days of Bappi Lahiri(reknown for his inspiration from Modern Talking), Rajesh Roshan(loved Rednex a lot!), Viju Shah(an ardent Deep Forest fan) and Anu Malik(Influenced by Los del Rio to the Theme song of Good Bad and Ugly) to name a few.

Pritam Chakraborty.. the new age musical guru is the eptitome of such plagiarisms. The number of songs directly ripped of by him is quite a handsome number and will put even the most infamous so called music directors to shame. I found a really good website where most of his inspirational acts have been categorized and having heard through most of the songs here is a list which are definite copies!
In fact i later realised there is a comprehensive list in wiki itself under Pritam!!

Here is a list of a few songs that sounded like perfect copies!

Movie--------Song---------------Copied From

Dhoom--------ShikDum------------Turkish singer Tarkan's 'Sikidim'

Chocloate----Halka Halka sa-----Jesse Cook's 'Breeze from Saintes Maries'

Chocloate----Bheega Bheega------December by Abrar ul Haq

Chocloate----Zehreeli Raatein----Jal's 'Aadat'

Garam Masala-Chori Chori---------Dr Zeus/ Balwinder Safri's 'Hai rabba'

Gangster-----Ya Ali--------------Guitara's song, 'Ya Ghali'

Gangster-----Bheegi Bheegi-------Prithibi by Bong Band Mohiner Ghoraguli

Gangster-----Tu hi Meri Shab Hai--Sacral Nirvana by Oliver Shanti n Friends

Gangster-----Lamha Lamha----------Waris Baig's 'Kal shab dekha maine'

Woh Lamhe----Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai--Indonesian Band PeterPan's 'Tak Bisakah'

Woh Lamhe----Tu Jo Nahin Hai------S.B. John sung the same song in an old Pakistani film 'Sawera'

Woh Lamhe----Chal Chale-----------'A World of our own' by The Seekers

Bhagam Bhag--Signal---Trinidadian Soca hit, 'Signal for Lara' by Superblue

Raqueeb------Jaane kaise----------Amr Diab's 2003 track, 'Allem albi'

*Kaise Kahein-Aarzoo Hai-----------Aaj Abar by Bong Band Chandrabindoo

*to be noted he used to be a guitarist in the band Chandrabindoo before going solo as a music director in Bollywood.

There are more but few have been cleverly copied by him so that the resemblance with the original is not that evident to the amateur ear. Of course this only lists those tracks that have not been credited to the original artist by him. Recently after recieving lots of flak from various corners of the music industry he has recently given credit to the original music composers in movies like Aawarapaan.

However my point is if music from pakistan and middle east and God knows where all have to be COPIED why cant the producers simply approach them directly for providing music for the movies. I believe this act should be considered to be a crime and music directors copying music ought to be dragged to court and fined heavily for violation of music copyright..something on the lines that Sony Pictures Entertainment are doing by suing Eros Entertainment and K Sera Sera for copying the script of 'Hitch' in the movie 'Partner'. Hopefully this lawsuit will pave the way for more such lawsuits and hopefully a strict non-ambigous international law about plagiarisms.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

When I usually sit down to watch a rented DVD having credits of critic awards received at various film festivals, they usually turn out to be way too good for my FQ[Film Quotient] and go wayyyy tangential over my skull… or turn out to be too topic specific (some movie that’s so dependant on a particular event/happening that understanding the movie requires some amount of context---Ex. The Good German) for me.
However this movie turned out to be very different from what I had expected it to be. It's a biographical fillm, directed by first time director Dito Montiel about his life and experiences in Astoria, New York. This film turned out to be a brilliant piece of drama asking incisive questions about life, success and relationships. The movie continuously oscillates between 1985 and 2005 [the adolescent years and the mature years of adulthood] and the moments are brilliantly captured and very well portrayed.
The movie hits off with Dito coming back home to Astoria after almost 15 long years due to his father’s ill health and it opens the floodgates of the memories of his youth. Dito was part of a gang in his youth who basically had no work. They indulged in booze, drugs and hooliganism. Slowly and steadily they start getting into trouble. Two of them get killed, 1 goes to jail for accidentally killing a member of the opponent gang, 1 goes majorly into drugs etc. However, Dito manages to leave this behind and goes to California to make a career and life of his own. He pens down a novel named “A Guide to Recognizing your Saints” where he believes that in spite of wasting himself and indulging in all kinds of wrong doings, he has come so far in life and established himself only because there were “Invisible Saints” who guided him towards a better life..towards his destiny.. to being a responsible citizen.

However, once he comes back he realizes that his decision to leave his hometown, his parents and friends behind might not have been the wisest decision after all. His dad had vehemently opposed his leaving Astoria citing that Antonio (the head of their gang, and a favourite of his dad) would set things right. Dito had been a late child to his parents, and he was doted upon by his parents. His dad especially was very emotionally attached to him and could’nt even imagine Dito leaving him to stay anywhere else at any cost. [That one may term as a very myopic approach to life… but what the hell… who isn’t possessive about their kids.. especially if he/she is the only one]. Once Dito left, his dad had consciously distanced himself from him and refused to even talk to him over the years. He realizes that although he had made a life for himself, in the contrary he had symbolically destroyed the lives of his parents by deserting them during the phase of their lives when they yearned for the support and love of Dito. As Dito comes to terms with the ghosts of his past, he must find a way to rebuild a relationship with his ailing but distant father, who never forgave him for leaving.

The film has brilliant performances by Shia LaBeouf as Dito and Channing Tatum as Antonio. Dianne Wiest as Flori [Dito’s Mom] does a superb job too, especially when she talks to Dito when he comes back and explains how pained they’ve been, and how she has waited for him to knock on their door for each and everyday of the previous 15 years.

Overall a must watch, specifically for people having a liking for serious drama and a panache for genuine film-making.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Aerosmith Rocks Bangalore!

Aersomith Rocked Saturday night BIG BIG time!!
I went with a few friends. I reached there pretty much in time by BST[Bengali Standard Time] (Read: 7:30pm :) ).
In the queue I literally bumped into Loy Mendonsa!!! After braving the long serpentine queue, luckily for me I had still reached pretty much in time as the band started off around 8:30 with surprisingly no opening band gig.
Anyways, the atmosphere there was pretty much resembled that of a picnic [As in I was right at the end of the crowd, standing a few feet behind the entire crowd.].. people were busy sipping coke.. eating corn and egg/chic rolls.. and even biriyani :) :).
However once the show started, it was pure mazzzzikk!! Inspite of standing so far back, i could distinctly feel the pulse of the show. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were outstanding. They actually got away without playing hits like Crazy and Dude [Looks like a lady] and no one even bothered! Their rendition of Dream On and What it takes were brilliant to say the least!
A classic from Joe Perry: "We had always wanted to play in India, which is fabulous not for the roaming elephants or the painting stuff that people put on their hands. We appreciate you for all the good reasons, and that is Kama Sutra! That book is all about messing up and so is this next number".
A hillarious incident happened in the concert. I had finished off all my fags and was wondering if someone would lend me some.. Then I noticed this dude who was roaming around with an unlit cigarette looking here n there.. obviously looking for a light. I coyly took a book of matches out of mah jeans.. and lo the guy came over asking for a light. I replied... " 'course.. can u can have a light, can i have a cigarette??!!" :) :) The guy was too amused to hear that.. and started laughing like mad.. and passed on one. While passing on the fag he said.."dude.. ur one Son of a B****" ;-) :-P
LOlzzzz!! :)
Anyways my job was done.. the rest of the concert went smooth.. and I left for home with a major Aero-HangOver.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

The year that was

Well, the year 2007 just commenced, and through the last year I have seen scores of movies [Lost count quite some time back]. I take this opportunity to share my thoughts about 3 bollywood products which shaped the face of Bolly cinema’s 2006.

3. Tom Dick and Harry

Well… well.. well… what happens when 3 immensely talented actors who fail to cope up with the expectations of their respective directors having all their senses intact are deprived of 1 sense per head??!!
Rent the dvd of this movie if you have not seen this to find out!
This movie [groggily inspired by the likes of Masti and Kya kool hain hum] falls under the “Leave your brains back at home” genre of films and after having watched this you will probably realize that :
  • Brains are the one and only medium which can get you “up and ahead in life”. [Having/Not having a few senses don’t ever matter]
  • Soooper-brainy, witty and intelligent anecdotes and fighting skills [Provided aplenty by the tenacious trio] are all that you need to win pretty damsels like Celina.{Ohh LA LA}.
  • In case nothing works, you can always back on the nasal crooner[read. HIMESSSSSSSS]. A few surreal lines like “Dil mein macha di tune dhoom” should be more than sufficient to attain nirvana.

All in all another Must-See from the mega-hit production of Deepak Tijori who has been churning in one hit after another year after year. After having explored fascinatingly varied and novel topics like call-boys [OOPS!] , sexually driven murder mystery [Fareb], Mr Tijori tries his hand at this highly un-explored genre [raunchy comedy] and as always excels to the E.

2. Teesri Aankh [THE HIDDEN CAMERA]

There are pro’s and con’s to everything as they say. If technological advancements and scientific break through’s have made life more comfortable, there are people like Harry Baweja who will use these technologies as the topics for their movies to challenge the comforts in our lives!!!!

As the ever so corny angreji catchline of the movie suggests, this movie is about hidden camera’s. Now make a wild guess what this camera shoots….???
But obvious, Himesh [The chamiya] enjoying a bubble bath and crooning away to glory… “tanhaiyaaaan.. aaaaaaa.. tan haiiiiiiiiiii yaaaaaaaannnnnn”.
Actually this is a cult movie that researches the reason behind the loneliness that people generally feel when they tend to cover the dandruff on their scalp with a cap and suffer from nose-o-song(ia) mania.
So the hero of our movie Mukesh Rishi, sets up hidden cameras in all the loo’s that chamiya bathes in. He minutely observes his actions, takes down copious notes and is on course to preparing a thesis that shall rock the basic roots of science, philosophy, religion, morality and Surooorology.
However, Mr villain {sunny paji) has other ideas. He is the middle class bred, traditionally valued khaki clad cop who believes that the public notions about certain aspects should not be messed with. Hence to prevent the blasphemous findings of Rishi that might inspire the bubbling youth of the country to don denim caps, bend their necks 45 degress to the horizontal axes and go crooooning “OOOOOOOOOOOOOO” in the shower room’s, sunny paji embarks on a mission to stop the man.
What follows is a roller-coaster ride through from the chawls of Mumbai to the under-world of London. After having single-handedly mauled half of the London cops and the entire gang of Rishi, sunny paji manages to get his hands on the thesis and chamiya as well. Wanna know what happens next???
Rent the DVD. This is a must see.
Harry Baweja does an excellent job as usual. He also ropes in Neha Dhupia for a small comic role. Neha has stated that “I did Teesri Aankh because of Harry Baweja.”
Wow… wish I was in Harry’s shoes.

1. Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
“Gali gali main shor hai.. dil ne manga more hai… KANK ne aj release kiya…. Dhoom dhamaka macha diya!”

Well this was the general feeling when KANK was released and wooo-hoooo.. did this movie live up to it’s expectations or what!
This movie deals with the pains that cricketers have to go through when they lose their place in the playing 11 and then the playing squad and finally even their zone squad.
The story goes something like this:
Once upon a time there was a cricketer [SRK] who was captain of the Indian team and was a match-winner [Always tended to score the winning runs with a huge 6]. He had a perfectly happy and gay relationship with his deputy [played by Small B] and they were taking their national team to new heights. But kabooooom!!! Inclusion of foreign coach [Played by Sexy Sam] and things suddenly started to go awry. Sam loved small B and wanted him all to himself. He didn’t like SRK getting up close and personal with him [lets call him SB]. He had noticed that every time his team got a wicket, SRK had invented a new method of getting to SB… the great team huddle. Each time SRK would put his arms around the waists of SB and slowly work his fingers up as long as the cameras in the stadium were busy shooting the departing batsman. Hence he sets up a plan with the higher authorities and got SRK out of the team…. and the the squad.
Now Sam had SB all to himself. He curbed all possibilities that SB had created to introduce some heterogeneous love in his life. Whenever SB was linked to any female, Sam went ahead and did things in public which ensured that SB had no further chance [Read.. Kissing Rani in the dark (Black); Lewd dance sequnces with Ash(BnB)]
However, soon he realizes that he has “Lund-engivitis”. A deadly disease that is seen in males due to overflow of seminal fluids without external aid. On his death-bed he realizes what a fool he’s been and he call’s SB and delivers the most priceless dialogue of the movie:
“"Mohabbat aur maut - donon bin bulaye mehmaan hote hain...”
However it’s too late for senti and he withers away into oblivion automatically causing SRK to be ushered back into the national side. The “Milan” of SRK and SB has been very aesthetically and beautifully immortalized in the camera lenses by the director with the song in the background going… “Kabhi Alvidaaaa na Kehnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”.
This will bring tears to the eyes of even the most “patthar dil insaaan”!
Hence the the protagonists of the movie play together happily ever after and win laurels for their national team.
Please don’t rent a DVD of this movie and abuse it…. Go to the local Music-World store and BUY IT! This excellent once in a decade movie ought to be in the showcase of every movie lover. Period.
[Disclaimer: Any resemblance to any person living/dead or non-living is purely intended.]

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Saw this movie named "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" yest...

It is one helluva movie about drugs and contraband. In fact, it can be read as a savage elegy on the utopian expectations of the 1960s drug culture.This film is so bizarre you might just want to put down the bong and get high from this movie (after all, the movie contains every single known drug known to man since 1544).
Quote Unquote:

We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half-full of cocaine and a whole galaxy of multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. But the only thing that worried me was the ether. There is nothing more irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge, and I knew we would be getting into that rotten stuff sooner or later.

This film is the ultimate encyclopedia about various types of drugs like Cocaine, Ether, Mescaline, Grass, Acid and the list goes on and on!!

Basically a film about two guys.. Johnny Depp [Raoul Duke],an oddball journalist and his Samoan Attorney Benecio Del Toro[Dr Gonzo]. The movie also has special app's by Tobey Maguire[A HitchHiker] and Cameron Diaz[A Blond T.V. Reporter].

As they travel to las vegas on a series of psychedelic escapades, they keep doing all kinds of drugs, they hallucinate and imagine things and situations one cant even think of visualising in his worst nightmares or the best dreams!!
Well it's one of those movie's that you should watch if and only if:
1. You like serious Cult movies
2. You are a Johnny Depp addict
3. You prefer movies having subtle dark underlying humor.[Absolutely in contrast to Jim Carrey genre of humor]

But all in all I believe this is one strange, vicious, funny, dramatic masterpiece.
One parting quote from this Roller-Coaster:

Gonzo: [After cocaine blows away in the wind] Did you see what GOD just did to us man!
Duke: God didn't do that, you did! You're a fucking narcotics agent, I knew it. That was our cocaine you fucking pig, scum [swats at him with fly swatter] Pig, swine, whore!
Gonzo: [Pointing gun at Duke] Careful. There are plenty of buzzards out here, they'll pick your bones dry in no time.
Duke: You whore...
Gonzo: (holding up some acid) He he heeee, here's your half of the Sunshine Acid, EAT IT!
Duke: Yeah, all right sure. How long do I have?
Gonzo: As your attorney I advise you to drive at top speed and it'll be a Goddamn miracle if we get there before you turn into some kind of wild animal. Are you ready for that? Checking into a Las Vegas hotel under a phoney name with the intent to commit capital fraud on a head full of acid? I certainly hope so...


[Ps: Doing Drugs is absolutely illegal.. and I in no way support the consumption of drugs. Once u see this movie, you'll realize the far-reaching ill-effects of doing any kind of illegal drug]

I raise a toast to De-Tox ing our society :)