Monday, July 28, 2008

Mr. Yogi goes to hell

By the 10th minute, Yogi was puffing and panting like dogs and his heart started to ache as if he would die out of a cardiac arrest. He tried to distract himself by watching the TV and read the news headlines. He checked them last at around 1 AM and they were still the same. Thank god. No bombs. No coups. The world was becoming a scarier place to live with every day passing by.

After 15 minutes and bucketfull of sweat on his T-Shirt, he read the final analysis which said that he had lost 200 calories. As Yogi walked to the table, he received a small jolt.

The Nike gloves were MISSING!!!!!!

Read more at Mr. Yogi goes to hell

For those not in a mood to read any story, enjoy this song.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kismat ki Phooti Connection

Q. Why would you watch Kismat Konnection?

A. It could be because

a. You go to watch some other movie to the theatre and bloody is houseful.

b. You are not in a mood to return home and so think "what the heck..lets try this out"

c. You Kismat has made some bad Konnection (what is with the 'K' sentiment) due to which your next few hours are going to be short circuited.

d. All the above

If this were KBC and if I was to lock option D, I could have won some decent money. luck just stays with me to write reviews. I don’t know if you observed, but I hardly write reviews for any bad movie, unless I force myself to see one and write one as well for funs sake(ex. Kuruvi, Tera Suroor etc). Why? Because I value my money dearly and I have to pay the ticket price out of my pocket unlike the reviewers who get the money milked from their employers. Well...cant call it their luck as they might have gone thru the same ordeal. are discouraged reading this. Aren’t you? You wonder "Is this movie really that bad? Or has this guy gone bonkers?". Let me begin this review by asking you some questions. You introspect them and try to figure out WHY I wrote the above paragraph.

a. Why do most of the bollywood heroes need to be baptized as Raj Malhotra or Rahul? Aren’t names as Sunil, Dinesh, Stephen or Harish (dont bother) good enough?

b. Why are all Raj Malhotras in movies predominantly NRIs? If they are really destined to be NRIs maybe I will name my kid as Raj Malhotra (if it is a girl I will name her Anjali). Who knows...he could be singing duets in Swiss Alps or Phuket Islands.

c. Why do Bollywood Heroines try to pose out as 36-28-36 type figures? Whats wrong with being plump and admitting it? I mean I have no problem with a heroine being plump, but why pass it off? If you don’t understand what I am talking about, you should watch Ms. Balan on the big screen wearing those tight outfits that appear to have been stitched for some voluptuous babe. (she appears much better in the recent Airtel ads)

d. Why do all ex-boyfriends of heroines needs to be pakka A-holes? They are either womanizers or jerks or don’t devote time for the heroines and so she sways towards our Hero. This makes you question the judgment of the heroine and wonder if she really is as smart as she is shown on screen.

Maybe it is a subtle directorial touch to emphasize that Love is blind. But least it is a far cry from the earlier cinematic trash where the Hero and Heroine were always their respective first love.

e. Why is Ms. Balan entrusted with the job of looking after the sick, old or suffering patients? Is it because she looks like a really nice lady who would go out of her way to do it because she looks to be one of their age-group?

f. Why does a Hero have to run and sing solo romantic number (and be joined by many soon) when the heroine touches him? Ok...calm down. I don’t mind if the song is really that good, but why would you not think that if the song is incorporated with the sole aim of increasing the sales of the eateries in the cafeteria.

g. Why do all Bollywood mainstream movies have atleast one shaadi number where they have to incorporate the Punjabi words "tenu" "kudi" “munda” "mar jaava" "Leke Jaava"? The male dress up in designer sherwanis and women dress up in Manish Malhotra wardrobe which should cost her an amount close to what is required to perform a marriage function in itself.

How do you expect a movie to be amazing with all these inconsistencies? The point is that a movie is supposed to be mesmerizing and it allows the director to provide some escapist entertainment. I am not against masala movies or regular candy floss stuff, but the point is that this movie seems to be a candy floss which is prepared with more salt than sugar.

The story line is simple that Raj malhotra (Shahid) is an out of the work architect who is looking for the big break. By chance and fate he comes to believe that every time Vidya Balan is around, he seems to hit the right note and get a home run. He is preparing to build a mall for a contractor (Om Puri) and the problem is that it is the point of dispute for Vidya who is out to save a community center at the expense of the mall.

The problem with this movie that it is very much predictable. When a scene pops up, you know what will happen in the next frame and worse, you can even guess the dialogues. The jokes are ok to laugh at that moment, but once you are out of the theatre you don’t even remember what you laughed for. that case, I should say that it was not a KILLER stuff unlike other comedies which make you gag yourself.

Shahid Kapur in many scenes tries to be ShahRukh. He has developed some nice bulging muscles and the costume designer favors him by dressing him up in nice suits and biceps revealing shirts. His comic timing is ok and he does a decent job. The scene where he was good was the monologue where he explains Vidya about his ambition and the last scene where he explains about consumerism and human welfare. To be frank, as the end credits rolled out, the only thing that really impressed me and which I remembered was the last scene where he makes a nice emotional speech.

Vidya Balan has a hackneyed role. Neither she looks appealing (in fact one girl behind my seat said she looked HUGE) and nor she has much scope to perform. To top it all her costumes are horrendous and there is NO chemistry between her and Shahid. The rest of the cast as Om Puri, Juhi Chawla (over the top but cute) and Vishal malhotra do a decent job. Perhaps the best surprise was provided by Boman Irani as the 'waving uncle' character and it was a nice (and only good one) twist indeed.

The Ai Pappi song was foot tapping while the rest were just ordinary types. Better luck next time Pritam! Now coming to the director. Aziz Mirza usually is identified with ordinary man's stories and I guess he too gave in to the NRI movie brigade. And the comedy too was way thanda compared to his other movies.

Maybe you may feel that I am too harsh and maybe I am, but I am so because the cast promised so much and delivers so little. Maybe what they needed was Konnection (or whatever it is) with some good writers instead of having relied on their Kismat to see them through.

Rating: 2/5

Find below the song of the moment (will try to have one in every post henceforth).

In a world filled with mayhem, ear-shattering beats and tongue and nose touching each other (naaka mukka :P), I am glad that someone decided to churn out a song which just required your ears & senses open and eyes closed. Thanks James Vansathan!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na

By the time the end credits rolled on screen, Jai had walked out of the theatre leaving Aditi behind. She scampered her way amidst the teenybopper Friday Evening crowd and punched as hard as she could on his arm (with fake anger). Of course, that was a reward for deserting her when he should have played the Knight-in-the-armor part who would rescue her out of theater.

As Jai and Aditi hopped on to his Red Wagon-R, he switched on the A/C as the car rolled out of the Fame Adlabs theatre in Mumbai.

Aditi: Jai. What is it? You didn't like the movie?
Jai: It was ok yaar. It is not some earth shattering stuff like Rang De Basanti or Taare Zameen Par.
A: See. Those are also Aamir Khan movies. Bolo Aamir Khan ki Jay. (giggles)
J: Oh cmon Adi. It was just some mushy romance and time pass movie.
A: What were you expecting? Bullet-time animation? Slow motion, world saving super heroes and blowing cars? Half or quarter clad Mallika or Rakhi?
J: Its not like that Aditi. Agreed we boys do like to watch such over-the-top, sleazy, cheap and stupid movies at times....but not again...they are just AT TIMES.
A: So your taste is good at movies?
J: Of course. Remember Pans Labyrinth? How was that?
A: Uweek. Gross looking creatures with Eyes, ears and what-not misplaced.
J: Oh c'mon. It is pure cinema. Part fantasy, part fiction, part drama. Its so amazing.
A: Yea...but what about the ending? What is it with you guys and sad ending movies? Why can’t we live happily ever after?
J: Because we it is not the same way in life Adi.
A: Why not? J: I don’t know. But it is not that way. They show an ordinary guy become successful and rich overnight. How many people you know have gone through that Adi? They show an angry hero crusading against the villain and say "Satyameva Jayate" at the end. Where does it happen?
A: Cinema is an illusion Jai. It is always nice to look at something which "could" happen rather than wondering "what" the hell happened.
J: What about this movie?
A: What about it? It was good time-pass chakas stuff.
J: No. I mean the theme. Do you accept it? Friends turning into lovers?
A: Why not? Isn't it always nice to like someone whom you know instead of forcing things around?
J: This has been beaten to death theme. I myself have seen so many of them.
A. You mean couples or films?
J: How do you twist things you devil (sneers). Its films Adi. I have seen so many of them.
A: See. You have seen so many and you turn to see one again. (huskily)That's the magic of love. J: Very funny. As if you care.
A: What I care? What do you mean?
J: You mean to say you would choose a known likeable friend instead of some IIT or IIM graduated million-dollar-baby your mom would recommend to marry?
A: Hmmm...let me think.
J: See. This (points finger at her) is practicality.
A: Stupid. I meant to say, let me think what excuse I can put to my mom to say that I don't like the million dollar baby.
J: You are saying this because you know it won't happen.
A: And why not?
J: Because you won't fall in love with anyone.
A: Well...that's all you know about me after these 5 years.
J: Come on Adi. You are way playful to be in serious love.
A: So what? Just because you are serious in everything does it mean that you are serious about love and loving someone?
J: Maybe it is.
A: Then tell it you dumbo.
J: Tell what?
A: Forget it.

Both remain silent for some time. Jai turns the radio on.

"And now we will listen to the hit rocking number from the movie Jaane Tu....Ya Jaane Na. Keep listening."

The song Jaane Tu Meri kya hai plays hauntingly as Jai and Aditi remain silent. They listen to every word of it amidst the busily constantly honking Mumbai traffic. It seemed as if someone had written it keeping them in their mind.

Instead of steering into the read leading to Andheri West, Jai steers the car to the Chowpatty beach with Aditi not complaining as if it didn't bother her. After parking the car, Jai walks out and sits on the bonnet of the car. Aditi walks out calmly and sits next to him.

Jai: Do you realize that our college folks will make pair us and drive us nuts after they see the movie?
Aditi: How about making it true?

They hug each other and don't speak a word for quite sometime. The radio DJ starts playing Tum Bin Bataaye as if he is playing cupid for them.

P.S: Am yet to see the this movie :-)

Friday, July 04, 2008


Yeah. I know. Why would someone want to read a review after almost 3 weeks since a movie has been released? kill time? :-).

The basic problem or advantage (depending on your taste in movies) in Mr. Hassan's movies are that he tries to convey lot of things in one movie and sometimes it just spills out. While the average viewer used to dappankuthu and punch dialog stuff as in Vijaykanth, Balakrishna and Vijay's movies may find it too hard to understand and digest, the avid cinema lover would embrace it with all his heart as watching it time and again gives him a refreshing experience and conveys a new meaning every time its viewed.

That is exactly the same problem/advantage in Dasavatharam.

Among all the hype and hoopla surrounding the 10 characters Mr. Kamal has portrayed, it is quite to difficult to spot and be in awe of them and lose the plot and narration. There is no story to speak of and so it is quite odd to write a review and not mention the basic plot.

The plot revolves around Govind, a scientist in US who finds a virus which he says is powerful than anthrax. Govinds superior is corrupt and tries to sell the virus which leads to a chain reaction which ultimatley brings forth all the avatars of Mr. Kamal. In between he meets all the Kamals and that to Dasavatharam. Odd? What the heck? Yep. Thats what strikes you when you hear the story (or lack of it).

But truly, Mr. Hassan is indeed a jack-of-all-trades. Not only does he don the mantle of writing the screenplay, but also plays all the 10 roles (virtually hogging every other frame of the 3 hours odd movie) and plays them with distinctive touches. Thank god, if not for the central character Govind, I would have even forgotten what the real Kamal looks like.

Almost every other issue under the sun has been discussed ranging from Butterfly Effect, Nuclear war to Caste discrimination and Sand Quarry Theft. Personally I think it is a masterstroke to include so many of them in a pot pourri masala flick and possibly only Mr. Hassan can achieve it. But that as well robs the movie of the distinction of belonging to any one particular genre.

Personally I think the characters of Fletcher and Balram Naidu were the best. Bush was needless to say funny. Given a choice, I would love to see a movie featuring Balram Naidu and his stupid antics. Fletcher should rank as Mr. Hassan's most stylish role to date (the square jaw being characteristic of CIA Assassins?). The general complaint has been that there have been some roles which were just filled in to make a round count of 10. Not to defend it, but I think that is EXACTLY the point. Don’t we see how one small action triggered in one small corner of the world affects someone somewhere else?

I don’t know if it is me, but personally I felt that the character of Govind stood the most poorly sketched. And yeah, what was with the Bullet-curing-cancer theory Mr. Hassan? Hope we wont have cancer patients who will run around the doctors with guns in their hand and asking them to shoot-and-cure them. Asin was so irritating that I wished that Kamal would take the vial from the statue, tie her to it and throw her in the Indian Ocean. Among all the pygmies among Gulliver Kamal, M S Bhaskar raised few laughs with his Jeppiarish english.

Surprisingly Himesh Reshamaiyya's two bhajan type Kallai Kandal and Mukunda fared better. Hope that doesnt prompt him to wear the swoosh cap and croon "Om Jai Jagadish Hare" in his nasal accent. Devisri Prasad's background score is good and sometime has some Harris Jairajish touches. But dont know why he needed to include the Spiderman 3 promo music in the beginning. Maybe all Mr. K S Ravikumar was needed for was for the Balram Naidu parts and to dance in the climax.

The graphic sequences are quite tacky compared to hollywood, but then cant complain much as we can do that much with limited budget and so we are still taking baby steps in graphics. Don’t know how many of you noticed, but Mr. Hassan has a small homage to his acting guru Mr. DeNiro when Fletcher quips "You talking to me?" in the climax reminiscent of the famous monologue in Taxi Driver.

Mr. Hassan is a great actor and we all know it. But this film does not require much of his acting abilities. Rather other skills as his patience to go through the grind of hours of make up for minutes of shots, his unmatched perfect linguistic talents and change of body language have been put to test. Finally, this film would be remembered for an intelligent (but incoherent) screenplay talent of Mr. Hassan that he has used to bind these 10 characters.

Last but not the least, there was this amazing piece of dialogue.

Asin: Are you saying that God does not exist?

Kamal: I am not saying that. All I am saying is that I wish he did.

This one piece of dialogue was bloody worth my ticket price and a standing ovation.

Rating: 3.5 / 5