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Showing posts with the label Media-ShowBiz

New cinema for the new India

There is no doubt that Indian society has transformed in the past 2 decades and our cinema has transformed along with it - everything has changed. Indian movies are nowadays technically far superior, editing and conceptualization of sets etc are good, and finally story lines are far more mature (though many of them still continue to be copies of Hollywood counterparts). Nevertheless, Indian cinema continues to differentiate itself from Hollywood in that its essence is closely influenced by human relations, beliefs and metaphysical constructs (religion, love The latest two movies I watched - Morya (in Marathi) and Kahani (Hindi)- reinforced my belief that Indian cinema is transforming itself while maintaining that differentiation with Hollywood. Morya portrays the rivalry between two chawls in Mumbai in organizing the local Ganesh pandal festival - illustrating how the festival which was conceptualized a public organization by Bal Gangadhar Tilak to unite people against

Amitabh Bacchan on Sony

Amitabh is re-delivering his famous dialogues on Sony right now ... go watch followed by KBC! Below - a poem of Harivanshrai Bacchan he just recited .... जीवन की आपाधापी में कब वक़्त मिला कुछ देर कहीं पर बैठ कभी यह सोच सकूँ जो किया, कहा, माना उसमें क्या बुरा भला। जिस दिन मेरी चेतना जगी मैंने देखा मैं खड़ा हुआ हूँ इस दुनिया के मेले में, हर एक यहाँ पर एक भुलाने में भूला हर एक लगा है अपनी अपनी दे-ले में कुछ देर रहा हक्का-बक्का, भौचक्का-सा, आ गया कहाँ, क्या करूँ यहाँ, जाऊँ किस जा? फिर एक तरफ से आया ही तो धक्का-सा मैंने भी बहना शुरू किया उस रेले में, क्या बाहर की ठेला-पेली ही कुछ कम थी, जो भीतर भी भावों का ऊहापोह मचा, जो किया, उसी को करने की मजबूरी थी, जो कहा, वही मन के अंदर से उबल चला, जीवन की आपाधापी में कब वक़्त मिला कुछ देर कहीं पर बैठ कभी यह सोच सकूँ जो किया, कहा, माना उसमें क्या बुरा भला। मेला जितना भड़कीला रंग-रंगीला था, मानस के अन्दर उतनी ही कमज़ोरी थी, जितना ज़्यादा संचित करने की ख़्वाहिश थी, उतनी ही छोटी अपने कर की झोरी थी, जितनी ही बिरमे रहने की थी अभिलाषा, उतना ही रेले तेज ढकेल

Idiotic times

3 idiots hit the theaters on the day I got married and is being hailed as the biggest grosser ever - while nowadays every new film which reaches even a decent box office milestone is hailed as the biggest grosser ever - 3 idiots is indeed a nice film. Raju Hirani has developed this very unique ability to transform real life into drama. Which is why I feel that the next movie Rajkumar makes should be on entrepreneurs . Now that India's most successful entrepreneur Dhirubhai is already taken (Guru), he could pick up a Kishore Biyani (Big Bazaar) or Sanjeev Bhikchandani ( But my personal pick would be Steve Jobbs or Bill Gates - the only problem being that these characters may not ring a bell with the Bollywood audience. Coming back to 3 idiots - there were a few scenes which I could relate to - one of them was the suicide scene, but its too vexing to talk about memories which it sparked. The other scene which touched me was where Sharman Joshi's character faces the in

StRoKe of a Lightening

There are some actors who are attractive, some who can act well and one in a billion that are StRoKe of lightening. Shah Rukh is a stroke. Even the word stroke has his initials. Some quotes from Retd. Col. R K Kapoor's interview (maker of Fauji) : (During Audition for Fauji) I asked them to fight me like an enemy. I punched a couple of them really hard. But Shah Rukh, in his turn, gave me the punch of my life. He hit me so hard that I saw stars in the daylight. Then, I knew he had something in him apart from a charismatic face. I had found my Abhimanyu Rai. What has worked for Shah Rukh is that he is universal. He is not an angry young man. Neither is he a `sanyasi' or a lover boy. He is all of them and still none of them. Other SRK related posts: Chak De Review , OSO review

Marketing Gimmick or Market Reality?

As a part of promotions for the latest flick title 99, some theatres were offering 2 tickets for Rs 99.  Call it a marketing gimmick for the movie's popularization or a taste of market reality for the strike-stricken movie-theatre-multiplex market, but its an awsome offer ... almost 1/4th the(old) prices; multiplexes showing desperate reflexes still their muscle flexes (PJ credit: Arijit). And I thought someone was giving away branded wrist watches for Rs.99

Some bits of post election analysis from TV

Is this the resurgence of the (Nehru-Gandhi) dynasty? With Rahul Gandhi being credited for engineering the Congress's performance in UP, do we see the Gandhi family rising again. Senior Journlist Inder Malhotra felt otherwise on CNN-IBN. And his quite astute analysis of the rise dynasty politics makes one believe that he is correct.  Mr. Malhotra (who is also a biographer of Indira Gandhi) noted that Nehru was known as a vocal opponent of nepotism, and Indira Gandhi did not even contest a seat in the 1962 elections [ 1 ]. And while Sardar Patel's son contested [which then was not seen as nepotism anyway], Indira did not until the death of Panditji. It was actually Indira who brought in the dynasty politics by projecting Sanjay (and later Rajiv) as her heir. What was worse is that in order to ensure the family upperhand in politics, she destroyed careers of any cadre-risers in the party, in effect also weakening the party organization and hence leaving critical issues on the ta

The problem with Slumdog

This is not a review - I haven't seen the movie yet and probably won't ever. But given the brouhaha in the media about the movie, I know enough about the plot and the 'artistic appeal' of the movie, to write a blog post on it - or so I think :-P.  I am not one of those nationalists who feel offended because it shows slums, niether am I against realism. About the much touted scene where the protagonist, Jamal "jumps into a pile of shit just so he can run and get an autograph of his beloved Amitabhji" [ link ], I agree with MF Hussain (quoted from HT Cafe) when he says that it depicts our lives metaphorically that while our lives are draped in shit, we escape from reality through movies (ala entertainment, ala glamour). And reality must be shown - I regard Black Friday as one of the best movies ever seen. And why should we shy away form the fact that India has slums - well I would rather say proudly that we are ready to march ahead inspite of slums and in due c

RNBDJ Results - Aditya: Fail, Anushka: Pass, SRK: Merit List, Team: Pass with Grace marks

Just glance through the songs of RNBDJ and you can get a reasonable whiff of what lays inside the movie. Many hailed SRK as lucky when Yash Raj movies gave him his big break in Dar and subsequent super-stardom in DDLJ. But this time round, I must say Yash Raj is lucky to have SRK on their side to end their failed year at a successful note. If RNBDJ has pulled crowds to multiplexes, it’s only because of SRK - whether it is his performance in this movie or his overall aura which keeps audiences glued to screens across the globe - but SRK definitely is the only good thing which happened to RNBDJ [ Most reviews also say so]. The story is not a believable one, especially because of the speed with which the plot setting is breezed through (the bus crash and subsequent marriage). While the script is good, the scriptingstyle is too clichéd (well is it the first time someone has created a song parodying old bollywood cinema?) I didn’t expect Aditya Chopra would copy so blatantly and not even

I saw Madhuri Dixit !!

I am not a fan of the surreality( sic ) shows that dot the Indian TV programme guide. So when my friend Arijit offered that he had passes to the Voice of India - Grand Finale - I wasn't much enthused. But when he told me that Madhuri Dixit and Lata Mangeshkar will also grace the occasion - well .. that was interesting. And it was an experience - not only to see the Empresses of Bollywood and Music, but also to witness how a Television Show is produced. The camera's hovering over my head and the bright lights that made it impossible to gaze skywards. Andheri Sports complex looked magnificent on the live feed installed near the stage, it wasn't bad in reality also, but much quieter on the ground. For us, there was a man two rows before us who had a reflex to stand up at every cue - he was a real pain. As a compensation, some TV stars were sitting in the row before us - and some of them were quite pretty ;-) The show had most of the quirks and histrionics of surreality - Ma

Om Spoof Om

Start with the story of Karz, mix Do Anjaane's revenge plot into it and create a collage of Bollywood spoofs starting from a fake filmfare ceremony to a star-studded birthday party - that's what is Om Shanti Om for you. OSO is not a movie for the serious critics out there - it is as frivolous as the fake 'star party' and the array of nominations in the filmfare awards function. While so many people were upset at the portrayal of Abhishek Bacchan and Akshay Kumar as loosers, we must acknowledge, SRK made fun of himself and Karan Johar in Om Kapoor's nominations ('Rahul - नाम तो सुना होगा' - repeated twice for two different movies). The opening scene of the movie where SRK and Farah are in the audience of the song 'Om Shanti Om' is innovative, so is the linkage of the scenes involving Sooraj Barjatya and Govinda (when SRK and Shreyas Talpade advise him to drop the 'Ahuja' from his name), and of course the songs where Deepika dances around Su

Chak De India

A marathi playing the role of a Chandigarh'ite, a Garhwali that of a Haryanvi, a Kerlaite that of a Bengali; isn't that the best example of National Integration? But even more, it is testimony to the script and direction of the movie - Chak De India! . Chak De India, indeed excels in both the screenplay and direction. The story of Mir Ranjan Negi, rehashed as Kabir Khan's tale is inspiring - but the way each character in the movie is etched, is what makes it even more interesting. Whether it is the brash Komal Chautala (played by Chitrashi Rawat), the bright striker Preeti Sabarwal (Sagarika Ghatge) or the no-nonsense Nethra Reddy ( Sandia Furtado ) - each character is believable yet far from being stereotypical. The story is based on the life of Mir Ranjan Negi - but the writer (Jaideep Sahni) has also successfully integrated issues like regionalism, groupism, and arrogance of seniors into it. Shilpa Shukla gets full points for her portrayal of the arrogant senior Bindiy

Rajni does it on blogosphere too!!

The tales of Rajnikant's popularity among public are all across newspapers, and TV channels (especially so after his latest flick - Shivaji - demonstrated 'rioting capabilities'). But now Rajni has touched down on blogosphere as well and this blog post bears testimony to the kind of storm Rajni can incite even among the net savvy generation. Probably the longest post on blogosphere - this post has 1134 comments !! I wonder if 'Big B' or even Google could match this. Representing, Maratha pride coupled with Kannad and Tamilian lineage [Ref: 1 , 2 ] - could he make a good president as well? GreatBong wonders ...

Is this helping Justice?

NDTV is running an expose into the BMW Case today. It is showing tapes of some sting operation to reveal the negative role played by the Public Prosecutor. Meanwhile, the reporting team is also pointing fingers to the very witness who prompted them in the first place to do this story. And at every available opportunity they are themselves trying to take maximum credit for releasing the story. In reality, what NDTV is doing might probably deprive the victim of justice and help the accused scrape through without a sentence. Tomorrow when the court hears the case, the credibility of the witness will be questionable thanks to the 'expose' by NDTV. Further, since the victim and his lawyers are now very well aware of the impending allegations and evidences to be presented in the court (again thanks to NDTV's expose), they will come doubly prepared to refute each of these and also armed with possible claims and appeals of the evidence being fabricated. What NDTV Should have done

Black Friday

"When faced by injustice, most people sulk - only few do something about it." Referred to Tiger Memon, the above quote might seem overly positive - but it is all the truth! And the movie Black Friday draws home this fact very tactfully that the Mumbai Bomb Blasts were nothing but a personal revenge by Tiger Memon for a personal loss he suffered during the '93 communal riots. Many suffered loss in the riots - in both communities - and while the ISI would have been overly eager to take advantage of the situation in India - it is people like Tiger who directed the anger of few into an incident as chilling as the Mumbai Bomb Blasts. I have always wondered as to why the underworld got involved into these bomb blasts which were linked to communal violence. The underworld in India, has been quite 'secular' to use a political term - composed of players from all communities and working for only one common goal - Money. In light of this fact, it hardly makes sense that the

Evam is back ...

Evam is back with a lot of shows for you! Chennai-ites should gearn up for fun times.... Whats more, buying tickets for an evam showing has now become easier, with the launch of our own Box Office at . All you have to do is click on the show of your choice, choose the denomination of the ticket and the number of tickets and we invite you into ‘club evam’. No money transactions, no credit card payments – just convenience. Helping us stay in tune with you. Tickets once blocked, will be reserved for you at the Show, by my Box Office team – you just have to collect them and pay. We hope you will all use this unique service to purchase your tickets. I must warn you that the home page may take a tad bit to download – considering this is our first online effort – things will only get better from this point on. So log onto and see you at our shows – looking forward to busting your Stress! And do remember – evam150 starts this weekend- Now showing ‘ ART by evam ’ on 6th

One sided reading

Londoner’s are voracious readers; you find them reading everywhere – in trains, on the stations, in Starbucks, in ATM queues, and of course in their balcony. Click Here to Enlarge This makes London heavenly for a bibliophile like me. But what do you do, sitting alone in a packed train, when you have just finished reading the current book. Well, of course, you peek into the novel that your neighbour’s reading. This is what I did in the train; the lady beside me was reading a novel called ‘ Life Swap ’ and was holding her book in such a manner that I could see only one side of her book i.e. only the left page was visible and the right page was hidden. Not having anything else to do, I started reading the page that was visible, by the time I finished she turned the page. Now though I had missed the part that lay on the right-sided page, I continued reading the alternate page. This continued till she got off at London Bridge and to my surprise I by now had a good idea about the story and

Five Point Someone....

Just finished reading Five Point Someone. (Don't Scream! atleast now that I have read it). There are many criticisms of the book available. I agree that if the book does not depict the life of a five-pointer accurately, it does injustice to the subject; also that the story is filmy. But I would like to take the content with a sense of humour - just like one does while watching Govinda Movies and Munnabhai MBBS. So, here's my take on FPS .... What makes FPS interesting is the writing style ... its a very honest style of writing ..... Chetan writes as if the character is himself plotting his thoughts on paper .... without using special words and of course without civility ... An Example (my favourite!) - ".. then she placed her foot on the accelearator. Now may be it is because I am an engineer, but that was hot!". FPS is interesting because it describes events as if they unfolded in reality ... not the Ayn Randish style where the deeper meaning behind every event is a


"Refusing to hobnob with the bands of merrymakers, we lock ourselves at home, catch up on the latest blockbuster on the DVD and hope to goodness we are not disturbed. " - BRIEF CASE: Holi Nostalgia (TOI 16-03-2006) Well! That's what I too did on this Holi - finally found courage to sneak out of home in the evening to watch Taxi No 9211. Nice movie; a fresh theme and noticeable performances. I finally confess that I had misjudged John Abraham - he's not just-another-model-trying-to-become-a-hero; he's pretty good at acting too ........ Change of thought ...... Two movies back to back - Bluffmaster and Taxi No 9 2 11 have showcased Mumbai City. In fact the titles at the end of Taxi No 9211 start with the proclaimation - 'Shot Entirely In the City of Mumbai' . To that effect Indiafm's review about Taxi No 9211 was exact - and for those who do not know, the bulk of the movie is actually shot in the suburban belt of the city (to be exact its the Powai-A

Rang De Basanti

Note : This is not a review of the movie but a related comment Blogosphere is full of comments and reviews on RDB - while most junta has liked the movie, there are some who haven't. Most of the anti-RDB posts point out major fact-flaws in the storyline/screenplay; 3 major ones pointed out are: 1. Criticism of an IAF pilot by the Defence Minister 2. Lathicharge on a peaceful procession by Police 3. Gunning down of 'College Students' by commandos Most people claim that a 'democratic' government will not indulge in such 'oppressionist' acts and the parallel drawn between the current government and British Raj is unjustified. After watching the movie I also had similar views, but a revisit to my own post , made about an year ago, made me realize that the comparison in the movie is not completely unjustified. A democratic government too can indulge in acts similar to the (said) oppressionist British Raj and if not RDB, at least these posts [ 1 ] [ 2 ] are to be b

Mumbai Darshan aka Bluffmaster

Just back from the night show for Bluffmaster. Actually, I sulked and whined through the whole movie for the utterly bad screenplay and too-much-gyan; but the end of the movie was as surprising as refreshing it was. Agreed that most plots are picked up from a few Hollywood movies (I don't recollect the name, but one movie which is used most, starred Michael Douglas) - but its not a plain vanilla remake and hence the effort is quite commendable. Technically too, the movie is quite refreshing. There's one more distinction that I would give the movie - of showcasing outdoor locations of Mumbai. Bandra Flyover, Buildings in Walkeshwar and Mahalaxmi, streets of Colaba, distant views of Nariman Point and Marine Drive are quite discernible as are few indoor albeit public locations like CCD (Cafe Coffee Day) - Carter Road and the Renaissance - Powai. No movie in the recent times has used locations in Mumbai so effectively as this one. The trend of using foreign locations seems to be pa