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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