Monthly Archives: September 2011

Ra.One Draws Its Inspirations From …


The Tron Legacy and Ra.One posters


A poster of Batman Begins and Ra.One

A scene from Ra.One and Spider-Man 2
Iron Man
A scene from Ra.One and Iron Man
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
A scene from Ra.One and The Sorcerer s Apprentice


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Posted by on September 24, 2011 in bollywood, movies


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Shaitan: Bejoy Nambiar’s ‘Khoya Khoya Chand’ moment

Khoya khoya chaand,
Khula aasmaan
Aankhon mein saari raat jaayegi
Tumko bhi kaise neend aayegi

This evergreen romantic number from the movie Kala Bazar is one of the most memorable songs of Rafi. And no collection of Dev Anand’s songs is complete without this. Its one of those numbers, that’s easy on the lips. And in every game of ‘antakshari’, the first song that comes to mind, with the alphabet ‘kh’ is this song.

Apart from Dev’s boyish charms and the moony sky under which he walks, this love potion is so sweet that even on a cloudy night you hum this song hoping that the moon would appear from behind the clouds. This song is etched in my memory, thanks to Doordarshan’s early morning Sunday program called ‘Rangoli’. This seemed to be one of their favourite songs, and I never missed it.

Masti bhari hawa jo chali
Khil khil gayi yeh dil ki kali
Mann ki gali mein hai khalbali
Ke unko to bulaao

Cut to 2011, two cops are on their job tracking a white lady who was last seen in a dingy lodge. The cops are in for a surprise as a Nigerian drug peddler opens fire while the cops find a white lady lying on a bed, almost dead. They retaliate and a gang-bang ensues. On another floor, KC crashes a TV box on the head of a goon who tries to get on top of Tanya. A glass tumbler breaks on the floor, and simultaneously the 5er break open a door. And a crooning voice, on a very high note, starts singing Khoya Khoya Chand.

Its not an occasion that calls for a song, forget about a melodious romantic track like Khoya Khoya Chand. But here, going against any sense of violence depicted in movies, breaking tradition, and creating new grounds, we hear Suman Sridhar’s sexy and westernised voice.

Its not Suman’s voice alone that does the trick. Had that been the case, even Hawa Hawai would have been just as good. But, its the entire mood thats created by Bejoy. At the backdrop of a sweet song with meaningful lyrics, we see gun shots and blood squirts. Talk of an audio/visual oxymoron!

Aisi hi raat, bheegi si raat
Haathon mei haath hotey woh saath
Keh lete unse dil ki yeh baat
Abb to na sataao

Magazines after magazines are reloaded into the gun, bullets ricochet off the walls and Arvind continues firing. Suman’s voice, backed by the beats, the guitar piece and a fine tempo, rustles as she sings almost the entire song while a lodge turns into a battlefield. Bullets are pumped into the innocent foreigner, the Nigerian drug peddler gets shot in one world while in another world the 5er run for their lives. Suman does an excellent job and infuses life into it. Her attitude mixed with Bejoy’s filming makes it glorious.

The visuals are stunning and the sequence is very well shot. Its easily seen that Tarantino is the inspiration for it. But Bejoy does not ape Tarantino, he goes a step ahead. He adds sexy to the cool stuff. What was made cool by Tarantino, suddenly becomes appealing and you can’t get it off your mind. That’s a lesson everyone must learn from Bejoy, on how to get inspired and still be novel in your own way; add more style and make it your own.

Taare chale, nazaare chale
Sang sang mere woh saare chale
Chaaron taraf ishaare chale
Kisi ke to ho jaao

Other than the moony romance, the song has another interpretation of fading dreams and aspirations. When we are lost in life and the picture is hazy because of the thick cloud cover, light is nowhere in sight. Hopes fade away, glory days are behind, the glow on the face is gone, and people no longer remain the same as situations change them. That could also be termed as ‘khoya khoya chand’ moment.

And finally when the 5er jump across the building wall and land on a truck laden with cotton, the lyircs go:

Hum mit chaley hai jinke liye
Bin kuch kahe woh chup chup rahey
Koi zara yeh unse kahey
Na aise aazmaao
Oh ho ho, khoya khoya chaand,
khula aasmaan
Aankhon mein saari raat jaayegi
Tumko bhi kaise neend aayegi

That’s the end of a dream they lived in. Their eyes suddenly open to face the dark realities of life. We just catch the last glimpses of a fading moon, breaking trust, losing friends and a frightening future ahead of them. Khoya khoya chand!

This post is also available on MadAboutMoviez


Posted by on September 24, 2011 in bollywood, movies


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First Time in London

London is not a city that you would want to visit in a hurry, believe me. This city has an amazing past as well as a fine modern history. It has witnessed French inquisition, Spanish conquests, Scottish rebellion as well as the modern artillery of the World Wars. The city is a chapter on history, from times immemorial to this day, it has a record of everything. The city has eveolved from being Londonium to being called London. So, a few days time is just not good enough to do justice to London.

But being a first time visitor, especially a tourist, can be tough. Its a tight schedule that you have to adhere to, as well as make most of the situation. So, let me just begin with the must-do things in London:

a. London Eye: This is a shining example of a modern marvel, jxtaposed with ancient historical monuments. Just 2 miles away from the Victoria Coach Station is the London Eye. It looks like a huge giant wheel, where people hop-in and hop-out. The cabin revolves to take you to a height of more than 100 metres from where you get a panaromic view of the city, and then brings you down in about close to 20 mins of fun ride. Its quite close to Waterloo station, for people using tubes.

b. The aquarium, Thames Boat Ride and Madame Tussauds: If you do visit the London Eye, then you can cover these 3 as well. The aquarium is fantastic with an added attraction of penguins and sharks, all in their artificially created habitat. Taking a ride on the Thames river is another important activity. This boat ride will take you close to the famed London bridge, and you can have a great pciture in the boat with the London Bridge forming a frame-like background. And if you haven’t seen Madam Tussauds in New York or any other place, then don’t miss this. Get photographed while rubbing shoulders with who’s who of thw world.

c. Towers of London: These towers are engraved with history. See the tower where Sir Walter Raleigh spent 19 years as a prisoner or the Bloody tower where Queen Mary Anne was kept captive. Also, these towers house the Crwon Jewels. You can see the Kohinoor jewel that was gifted by an Indian maharaja or the awesome cullinan from South Africa. From golden crowns to precious stone studded sceptre, its all kept here.

d. St.Paul’s Cathedral: When your cabin reaches the highest point in London Eye, you can see a huge round domed structure which you can easily mistake for Buckingham Palace or any other castle. But that marvellous structure is the St.Paul’s Cathedral. The Cathedral withstood the greta fire in 1666 as well as the bomb-shells during World War, and it still stands majestic. Its a beautiful piece of architecture which also serves as a mausoleum for many of the famous deads.

e. Buckingham Palace: Of course, you have come to London only for this. But the problem is, you don’t get tickets easily; especially for viewing the State Apartments. Most of the times, it requires advance booking or maybe a tour operator can obtain it for you. Nothing to be said about this, its that important.

f. Windsor Castle: Its not widely known that when the Queen is not housed in Buckingham Palace, then its here that the Queen resides. This is her home-away-from-home. Its a beautiful castle which located in Windsor, and the queue to see this can be really long. The castle also has a miniature London Eye and a few other miniature of other world famous structures. You can see the ‘change of guards’, then visit the Dolls’ House made by Queen Mary, checkout the royal State Apartments and visit St.George’s Chapel. You can easily spend more than half a day here, and find yourself lost in this huge castle.

g. Stonehenge: This isn’t very popular among people who don’t have any interest in how civilization evolved. This world heritage site has huge 40 ton stones that were dragged from miles and mysteriously placed here. Is it a sundial or an ancient burial site? Visit it to know more about this enigmatic structure.

h. Leeds Castle: Another beautiful castle but distinctly different because of the fact that it can be rented out for weddings or pompous birthday celebrations. Its a fine castle standing by a green water body. Its built over two very tiny islands which are separated by small stretch of water. Nonetheless, it has a majestic charm. The rental can go upto half a million pounds where you can use the dining and sitting area for solemnising weddings or throwing magnanimous parties.

i. Canterbury Cathedral: This medieval city is where English christianity originated. In the 12th century, the Arcbishop was murdered inside the cathedral as an act of contempt against the Pope, and the cathedral was plundered. It was then rebuilt into this fine structure what it now is. At the spot of the murder, a candle still flickers there. It has beautiful stained glass work, something to admire.

j. Oxford: Don’t miss out on the centre of academic excellence for over 900 years. This university town has become the model structure for every university that was built in the last 200 years. Sprawling gardens, separate blocks for each department, fantastic pathways and the captivating courtyards makes you feel like you are in a garden rather than a college. Checkout the library that houses over a million books from all over the world. Walk in the corridors where the famous of yesteryears have been.

What I have written is just being minimalistic. I have not even mentioned about the museums which are free for viewing, over a dozen other castles, Greenwich village and Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford. This city is filled with unexplored places that find a mention in many chapters of history or a passing mention in great novels of English literature. London for a first timer is always a treat, welcomes you with open arms.

This post was first published on Yahoo Network

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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in lifestyle, travelogue


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Not A Movie Review

Not a Love Story Poster

When Robin and Anu were carrying the pieces of Ashish’s body parts in that polythene bag, trying to dispose off the body; I yawned. I was not a bit interested in what was happening on screen. My mind went back almost 2 decades to recall Ajay Sharma carrying the body of Priya’s friend in a red suitcase. And he dragged that suitcase in full public view, cutting through the crowd and right across the lobby of a hotel. Ajay dropped the bag near the shores of Mumbai, and that was 20 years ago. The scene in NALS was not half as scintillating and shocking as the one in Baazigar. Not sure whether the difference was in the shot or the direction, but SRK and Abbas-Mastan made it look real.

And here, we had this new age couple with huge shopping bags, trying to dispose a body. The experience should have been more visceral, if the director wanted to shock the audience or even get a reaction. Except for brandishing the knife, nothing else was shown. At least through a ground-glass, some actions could have been captured!

Anyways, the scene which was supposed to be the crux of the movie; to show the inhumaness and the deep-seated animal within us, just fell flat. And from then on, the movie was a big bore.

The only other scene worth mentioning was in the lock-up where the inspector tells Robin ‘affair chal raha tha uska anu ke saath … tu ch**iya bann gaya’. The look on Robin’s face was brilliant, Deepak Dobriyal played him so well. The last movie I had seen of Deepak was Tanu Weds Manu, and that character of Puppy was so different from this one. I have always seen Deepak in intense roles, be it Gulaal or Delhi 6 or NALS. But TWM changed the perception of a lot of people, where he played the character with such ease and conviction. That’s the mark of a good actor, a person who can essay all kinds of roles. Robin was believable. His frustration when Anu kept hanging up on him or his moment of fury when he stepped into the apartment or his loving ways when he sent across the lovely red dress for Anu; all done so well.

Mahi was equally good. But her scenes were marred by some predictable screenplay about casting couch and the voyeuristic camera following her ankles and feet everywhere. Except for her screech and teary eyes, the director failed to capture Anu’s desperation to become an actress or her guilt that lead Robin to kill Ashish.

I was hoping that the camera would be the mouth-piece for all those body parts which would have eventually been chopped, but the director failed me here as well. All that camera work, filming various body parts, came a cropper. Anyhow, the movie was bland, lacking any kind of taste; neither artistic nor entertaining nor shocking. Nothing!

And the excessive usage of Rangeela sound track was another bad idea. It was mere indulgence, hoping that the magic of Rangeela would be recreated. But alas! Rangeela was a movie because of the writing and acting of Aamir and Jackie, and the music of Rahman; and last but not the least, Urmila.

This movie is just gimmickery, trying to make stuff that sells. But sadly, this is just like a half an hour news capsule or reconstructed news piece from the channels of Hindi heartland. Yet another way to make some quick bucks and cash in on a fresh case, a case of striking the iron while its still hot. And please don’t get me started on crimes of passion, which this is definitely not. Ramu has just entered the leagues of Bhandarkar.

This post was also published on Yahoo Network

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Posted by on September 5, 2011 in bollywood, movie review


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