Monthly Archives: August 2009

movies galore this weekend …

this weekend saw release of half a dozen movies. sadly, all are trashy and i am not interested in any of them. will probably just wait for dvd release and watch it a year later; if i remember by then. anyways, let me start by talking about each of them:

kissan: any movie that has sohail khan and arbaaz khan must be totally avoided, is my dictum. they both just cash in on sallu bhai’s name and make trash stuff. add to this, director puneet sira who is trying so hard to get rid of the ‘issar’ surname. the same puneet issar of ‘duryodhan’ fame in br chopra’s mahabharat. this is his 2nd directorial venture, previous one being ‘i, proud to be indian’. this movie is a rehash of manoj kumar’s ‘upkar’. but while upkar was honest and benovelent, this movie isn’t anything close to the original. read this

Now the Singh family are Punjabis, but their accent is terrible. The director should have cast actors who were more fluent with the language, or at least, learnt it better. Arbaaz does a terrible job in the film. Jackie makes an visible effort but lands up being too dramatic. Dia and Nauheed are just props, adding some romance to the scenes

the reviewer further says

Kissan is really not worth the trip to the theatres. Don’t even watch it if you have nothing to do.

you can read the full review here

another review that trashes the movie has this to say

Because the acting is uniformly uninspired, and the direction mostly flat, and because this film doesn’t even have its heart in the right place, I’m going with one out of five for director Puneet Sira’s Kissan; watch it at your own risk.

that review can be found here

daddy cool: this movie is copied/inspired by the english comedy film called ‘death at a funeral’. another movie from the makers of masti and dhamaal. i did not like either of the two movies, but i did feel that dhamaal was a better effort than masti. i am not sure if this movie will deliver, if reviews are anything to go by. read this

If you do find yourself laughing on a few occasions, it’s mostly out of disbelief at just how shockingly bad this film turns out to be. The acting is an assembly line of over-the-top, ham jobs from a cast that is possibly the most ineffective you’ve ever seen.

that review can be found here

another review that pretty much says the same thing

Things like Prem Chopra shitting in Javed Jaffrey’s hands does not qualify as funny. Or when Aftab Shivdasani, dressed in boxer shorts, tells Tulip Joshi that they need to marry because Tulip is pregnant, and everyone listening to the exchange start clapping when they are done.

read the full review here

love khichdi: another dud of a movie by randeep hooda. his choice of movies is aweful, don’t know why. this star studded movie boasts of a nice starcast, but fails to ignite any flames.

But the weakest link in this whole enterprise is our leading man, completely miscast in this role. He tries to be funny but falls terribly short. He doesn’t even look like the 26-year-old character that he’s playing. He looks much older.

the review goes on to say lots of other things, read it here

yeh mera india: the trailer looked quite messy because too many issues were taken up. i did feel that the movie would not be able to do justice with any of them, and reviewers have confirmed by doubts. read this

A message movie that addresses everything that’s wrong with our country — from communal hatred and corruption in the system to the class divide and sexual harassment — Yeh Mera India bites off way more than it can chew.

starcast is the strength of the movie, but too many characters have been given space and none of the issues have been handled well

Even if there are some credible ideas floating around, director N Chandra struggles to put them forward in an accessible manner, resorting instead to convey them in a bombastic, over-the-top, and ultimately unconvincing style. What’s more the solutions offered by the film to deal with the social evils it talks about are too simplistic and idealistic even.

read the full review here

quick-gun murugun: finally, a movie that seems to be the pick of the week. it has received good reviews from all quarters. the only drawback seems to be the fact that a spoof of a character does not withstand the time stretch, it should have been much shorter.

Good spoofs are hard to come by, but director Shashanka Ghosh’s Quick Gun Murugun is a rare exception. Based on the iconic Channel [V] character created in the mid-nineties by Ghosh himself and writer Rajesh Devraj, the Tamilian cowboy in bright orange pants has now crossed over to the big screen for a full-length feature.

some more good words for the movie

Packed with clever one-liners, bursting with popular film references, and turning every South Indian cliche on its head, the makers of this film deliver a wildly exaggerated but immensely amusing picture that’s well worth your time.

check that review here

another review that raves about the movie

In its outrageous, comic-book treatment, QGM comes rather close to the comedy-action-crime film Kung Fu Hustle directed by Stephen Chow. In its flavour, it is as potent as desi chilli powder and chutney.

read that review here

let me add one final dash to this. aamir khan has also recommended the movie, checkout his blog.

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Posted by on August 29, 2009 in bollywood, movie review, movies


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miss venezuela, stefania fernandez, is miss universe 2009

It’s been back to back miss universe titles for Venezuela. Last year Diana Mendoza was crowned and this year Stefania Fernandez wore the tiara at Paradise Islands of Bahamas.

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Posted by on August 24, 2009 in general, lifestyle


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Hero Hiralal : A Reality Show Ahead Of Its Time

The advent of cable-tv happened in India in the early 1990’s when foreign channels were beaming in the houses of the privileged upper-middle-class. A decade later came the age of the reality shows with Channel V running a contest to form a girl-band on the lines of Spice Girls; and in 2002 Viva happened.

But much before cable-tv was introduced and much before reality shows made an appearance, came the movie Hero Hiralal. It was the vision of Ketan Mehta that he weaved such a tale which seemed pedestrian to begin with, but ended in a crescendo. It was a reality show of high-voltage drama and very much ahead of its times, when nobdoy had come-up with such a concept.

hero-hiralalThe movie released in 1988 and I saw it a couple of years later in DD. The movie starts in a typical boy-meets-girl format. We are introduced to Naseeruddin Shah as Hiralal who drives an auto in Hyderabad. He is a big film buff and that’s how gets the title Hero. His friend Mohan Gokhale plays a movie-poster-painter and one of the landmark dialogs of the movie was ‘phata poster, nikla hero’.

A film troupe arrives in Hyderabad to shoot a movie and Roopa, played by Sanjana Kapoor in her debut movie, is the lead actress of the movie. Hero falls head over heels for her, he takes her round the city in his auto. Kiran Kumar plays the lead opposite Roopa in the movie that’s being made, and Hero keeps landing up during the shooting. He whisks her away and they spend a lot of time together, exploring the city in his auto. Roopa is just being friendly but Hero mistakes her overtures for love.

The movie shooting is complete and the entire cast moves back to Bombay. Hero, in his desperate bid to announce his love to Roopa, reaches Bombay. When Roopa dispels all his notions and feelings of love, Hero decides that life is not worth living and he wishes to end his life.

That’s when Sitara Devi, a publicity agent, enters his life. She does not want Hero to end his nondescript life in such anonymous fashion. She wishes to make his death a mega-event, to announce to the world about the pain and subsequent death of a lover and thereby make him a love-martyr. She turns, what would have been an incident [his suicide], into an event.

Huge hoardings are drawn-up all over the city, declaring this reality show as a must-watch. Lots of publicity is done and people queue-up to buy the tickets. There is media frenzy and reporters scamper to Roopa and and Sitara Devi for exclusive interviews. People on the streets start discussing this event and Roopa starts questioning herself whether she loves Hero or not; and what she can do to stop him from sacrificing his life.

Meanwhile Roopa is being closely guarded so she does not escape to meet Hero. Kiran Kumar and Rohini Hattangadi, playing Roopa’s mom, keep a vigil on her. The talk of the town is Hero and his game-of-death, the tickets are all sold out. People are for the first time going to witness a volunteered death in broad-daylight amidst public eye, and all for love. Hero’s unrequited love has brought him so close to death.

The day of the event has finally arrived. People and media throng the venue and Hero is tied in a glass tank and water starts filling into the tank. Roopa flees from her home, and helping her cause is Amitabh Bachchan, in a special guest appearance who drives Roopa to the venue of the event. Can Roopa stop Hero from giving away his life? Will she stop Hero by declaring her love to him so he has a good enough reason to live for? Will Sitara Devi let someone disrupt the show? Will love triumph?

Naseeruddin Shah was marvellous in the movie, he displayed great restraint. Sanjana Kapoor in a debut performance was good as well. Rohini Hattangadi as Roopa’s mom was just about ok. But Ketan had kept the most important role for his to-be wife Deepa Sahi who played Sitara Devi with lot of strength and vigor. She brought the shrewdness and wile into the character, she was fantastic. And of course, Ketan Mehta as a film-maker, excelled in his artistic vision.

The movie’s unique concept of exploiting people’s emotions for commercial gains is much like the reality shows of today; where behind-the-scene activities, emotional outbursts, minor squabbles and disappointments, impoverished backgrounds are highlighted for higher TRPs. Every incident is micro-managed to gain maximum publicity. Curiosity is generated and the public is made to wait for days together for the events to unfold. The media/event-managers are desensitized and they neither care for the trauma and desperation of the participant nor for the consequences of such unethical event management, much like Sitara Devi in the movie.

In 1988 we had one Hero Hiralal, but in 2009 we have hundreds of Hero Hiralals on every show in every channel. What was a figment of Ketan Mehta’s imagination is now unfolding in every drawing-room with people glued to their couches waiting for their Hero Hiralals to appear on-screen. Phata poster, nikla Hero!

This post was first published on PFC

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Posted by on August 23, 2009 in bollywood, movies


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bharatiya ‘jinnah’ party

first it was lk advani and now jaswant singh. and while lk advani was saved, jaswant was forcibly partitioned from bjp. what an irony!

lk advani was spared when he eulogised jinnah and called him secular, only because he was the raison d’etre of bjp. but jaswant singh has neither strong ties with any senior party leaders, nor the backing and background; he was unceremoniously dumped.

Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh holds his book titled 'Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence' during its release at a function in New Delhi on August 17, 2009. A day later, the BJP its not the expulsion that has to be questioned, but the manner in which it was done. a senior party member like jaswant singh was informed over a phone call of his removalfrom party posts. how embarassing is that! for a man who served the part for 30 yrs and was one of the founding members of the party, this was totally uncalled for. he deserved a personal visit and needed to be personally told about the gravity of the situation.

what’s more surprising is that, congress should have been the party which should trash the book and denounce the research. the book is more a criticism of cong and its handling of partition than jinnah. but bjp has the habit of axing its own feet. so, not only did they dislodge jaswant singh, the book has been banned in gujarat.

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Posted by on August 21, 2009 in indian politics


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sorry ‘onir’ bhai

sorry onir bhai, i did not enjoy your movie at all and not just because it was bad; it was too contrived. howcome the same situational coincidences are criticised in big banner movies but here we are supposed to take it as real world cinema. e.g. the lovemaking scene of sharman and chitrangada in the store, taking a walk through the forest area, going for the jazz club restaurant etc.

sorry onir bhai, the cliche of scientist [and students doing phD] being forgetful was carried forward. it neither helped in building the movie nor the character of sharman. it was probably meant for comic relief, but it just did not happen. contrived again. and really bad that the image of scientist was given a minor dent.

sorry onir bhai, but the comical moments in the movie were unnecssarily done and were tasteless. some funny lines from boman irani were nice, but at moments even they were uncalled for; again contrived. sounded like the one-liners were prepared first and so a situation had to be created to use them. the worse sequence was that on the eve of the wedding when sanjay throws a party and they suddenly get a phone call from US saying that stock market crashed; phew ! the begging bowl sequence was so inappropriate. sanjay had earlier mentioned that his partner does get such nightmares, but its depiction was crass given the situation.

sorry onir bhai, the ridiculous ending of the movie was laughable and i rolled and laughed and rolled and laughed… a similar ending in a movie like ‘dillagi'[sunny and bobby deol] or any other big banner movie would have caused a brouhaha among critics going hammer and tong against the directors; but here we are supposed to consume it in the name of neo-realistic cinema. wait for 11 years for mom to pass away because there was a ‘maa kasam’; oh my god ! maa kasam was out of fashion long time ago. how did anybody think of such an impractical ending to a movie thats supposed to be from a forward-thinking director. and wats left in a marriage when they are living-in, breeding kids, and doing almost everything what a couple does; and all they are divided is by some silly social obligation; they could as well have foregone the marriage.

sorry onir bhai, the confusion of not knowing the difference between crush, infatuation, momentary pleasure, and love has again been carried forward in this movie. howcome bollywood directors still get confused between these forms of amorous behavioral pattern. only if we can separate momentary pleasure[lust] from love, we can progress. chitrangada and sanjay suri are supposed to be in a relationship for 5yrs; and time & again sanjay says that he has been trying his hardest to make a good life so that they can have a good future. but instead of believing in his dream, she starts fantasizing about somebody else. thats totally fine, its a frustration and can have its own consequences like looking for physical love. a one-night stand and then an apology/remorse would have been better. but why equate that physical need with love ?? thats just not justified. KANK suffered from the same problem.

sorry onir bhai, i am not looking forward to your next movie. i gave this movie a chance although i disliked bas ek pal. but no more waiting for your next venture.

sorry onir bhai, for being over-apologetic. but at least i am being sincere in my apologies unlike sharman joshi in the movie.

sorry onir bhai …

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Posted by on August 20, 2009 in bollywood, movie review, movies


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george costanza : a character from ‘seinfeld’

Let me start off by explaining to you the meaning of sitcom, a word that’s grossly mis-used by many promos who claim their series to be a sitcom, but they are not actually sitcoms. Sitcom stands for SITuational COMedy, a comedy that’s created by a situation and done tastefully without any caricaturing and lampooning. By far, the best sitcom I have ever seen is ‘Seinfeld‘ created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld himself.

The series revolves around 4 characters, JerryGeorgeKramerElaine, who who have no regards for societal norms and a scant view of the society in general; they live in a world of their own. All the four have their own whims and fancies and an obscured outlook on life. And the most fascinating of all the four characters is George Costanza who forever changed shallowness and selfishness one could exhibit in public. He made it sound cool, look funny and justified his asinine behavior by stoooping to new lows. He lowered the bar of morality, glorified misdemeanor and cheap behavior, he had no work ethics, he had no job for most part of the series and lived off his parents, he had no money, no steady girlfriend, no prospects in life, and no conceivable reason to wake up in the mornings, except perhaps to get the daily news perhaps.

Anyways, here are some of the most memorable lines that he delivered in the series. It exemplifies everything that I have tried to convey above:

  • Every decision I have ever made in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I wanted to be. Every instinct I have, in every aspect of life, is it something to wear, something to eat, it’s all been wrong
  • Yeah, I’m a great quitter: it’s one of the few things I do well… I come from a long line of quitters. My father was a quitter, my grandfather was a quitter… I was raised to give up
  • It’s not a lie, if you believe it
  • Pity’s very underrated. I like pity. It’s good
  • If you look annoyed all the time, people think you’re busy
  • But, but I’m disturbed…I’m depressed…I’m inadequate; I got it all
  • I know less about women than anyone in the world
  • I always get the feeling that when lesbians are looking at me they’re thinking, that’s why I’m not a heterosexual
  • I think I can sum up the show for you with one word; Nothing
  • When women smile at me I don’t know what it means. Sometimes I interpret it like they’re psychotic or something. And I don’t know if I’m supposed to smile back. I don’t know what to do.
  • For me to ask a woman out, I’ve got to get into a mental state like the karate guys before they break the bricks
  • Instead of doing a wash, I just keep buying underwear. My goal is to have over 360 pair. That way I only have to do wash once a year
  • She thinks I’m a nice guy. Women always think I’m nice. But women don’t want nice. Why is nice bad? What kind of a sick society are we living in when nice is bad?
  • Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise. I was personable. I was bright. Oh, maybe not academically speaking, but I was perceptive. I always know when someone’s uncomfortable at a party. It all became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made in my entire life has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat… It’s often wrong
  • Hey, believe me, baldness will catch on. When the aliens come, who do you think they’re gonna relate to? Who do you think’s gonna be the first ones getting a tour of the ship?
  • I’m much more comfortable criticizing people behind their backs
  • You know, the funny thing is, somehow I find her more appealing now… It’s like if I knew she was a lesbian when we went out, I never would’ve broken up with her
  • Borrowing money from a friend is like having sex. It just completely changes the relationship
  • No, I can’t. I can’t die with dignity. I have no dignity. I want to be the one person who doesn’t die with dignity. I live my whole life in shame. Why should I die with dignity?
  • I just threw away a lifetime of guilt-free sex, and floor seats for every sporting event in Madison Square Garden. So please, a little respect. For I am Costanza: Lord of the Idiots!
  • I wish there were pigmen. You get a few of these pigmen walking around I’m looking a whole lot better. Then if somebody wants to fix me up at least they could say, “Hey he’s no pig-man!”
  • Bald men with no jobs and no money who live with their parents don’t approach strange women
  • You know I always wanted to pretend I was an architect
  • I don’t think I could do it. You know, they always remember the first time. I don’t want to be remembered. I wanna be forgotten
  • I don’t want hope. Hope is killing me. My dream is to become hopeless. When you’re hopeless you don’t care. And when you don’t care, that indifference makes you attractive.
  • The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A death. What’s that, a bonus?!?! I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you go live in an old age home. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, then, when you start work, you get a gold watch on your first day. You work forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You drink alcohol, you party, and you get ready for high school. You go to primary school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities. You become a little baby, you go back, spend your last 9 months floating with luxuries like central heating, spa, room service on tap, then you finish off as an orgasm! Amen
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Posted by on August 19, 2009 in general, hollywood, sitcom


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srk : i’m a celebrity, get me out of here

It was not a dense jungle out there but an airport, Newark. And the task was neither to have a public bath nor eat roaches nor catch squids and put them in jars. The task was to answer a few security related questions and to prove one’s credentials. Just being a bollywood star is not a recognition, what with rapists like Shiney Ahuja lurking around and druggists like Fardeen Khan roaming free and of course deer hunters like Salman Khan who not just hunts black-bucks but makes black bucks with movies like Chori Chori Chupke Chupke which was totally funded by underworld and add the trampling of poor street-sleepers under his Mitsubishi Landcruiser. So, in such a case if SRK is asked to prove his credentials and some relative/friend’s name and number who can vouch for him, then what’s wrong with that. And add to this the thumb rule of not being allowed to make any calls, what’s wrong with that?

Hundreds and thousands of people have to undergo such security-based questioning, then why should SRK be spared. Is he not a common man for USA. Kamal Hassan was questioned, so was Mammooty and APJ Kalam. Its all done with a clean intention of security measure.

Now comes the tricky question. SRK has been frisked earlier too, he must’ve waited for his baggage even before this travel. So, why is he raising a hue and cry this time? Is he milking the issue to his advantage? He does not need publicity, he is a megastar. Then why is he going on and on. Kamal Hassan, APJ Kalam and others haven’t revisited their experience or retold it.

This incident comes close on the heels of Emraan Hashmi claiming that he was not given housing because of his religious background. Later it was clarified that the owner was not interested in selling the proprety since his son has decided to settle in Mumbai. A case was then filed against Emraan Hashmi for reverse-discrimination.

Coming back to SRK, he wanted special treatment at the airport. But what for? Hasn’t he seen Sarfarosh where an ambassador of art and culture turns out to be the culprit. Moreover, when will we Indians get out of the habit of tu jaanta nahi mere baap ko or tu jaanta hai mai kaun hoon?

Instead of crying foul we should make our security measures stringent. We should frisk any outsider/foreigner and then garland them; be it Bill Clinton or Brad Pitt.

As for SRK, he was let off free; but obviously. And he is making a big deal of it. It has already generated publicty and created a buzz for his new movie My Name Is Khan where he plays an autistic man who is harrassed by the security keepers of US only because his name is Khan … xyz Khan

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Posted by on August 19, 2009 in bollywood, general, movies


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