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Best Music Albums Of 2010

I don’t usually write countdown of best movies and best songs etc, but today when I was looking into my cd rack to play some songs, I realized that I had such few albums of 2010. I quickly sat down to list the 10 best albums of 2010. And guess what? I did not have 10! What the heck, why should there be a countdown at all. So, I just ended up listing the best albums of the year gone by. Here’s my list, in no particular order:

Ishqiya : This was a much awaited album, all thanks to Vishal Bharadwaj and Gulzar. Their previous work Kaminey had blown me away and I was looking forward to this. Ishqiya music was way different from Kaminey, but effective nevertheless. Since the setting was different, the music had to be more rustic and non-refined. Badi Dheere Jali and Ab Mujhe Koi are the real gems of this album, beautifully sung by Rekha Bharadwaj and so well penned by Gulzar; it brings out the melancholy and pathos of the character. But the songs that actually went onto become chartbusters were Ibn-e-batuta and Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji. In fact, the later lent itself into a movie title. The guitar strumming in country music mode, lyrics in a ghazalesque mood and Rahat Fateh Ali singing in a sufi tone; what a combination. This was the first album of 2010 that I liked.

LSD : After OLLO, Sneha Khanwalkar made a special place for herself in the music world. I still keep listening to Superchor, Tu Raja Ki Rajdulaari and the title track. So, there was a lot of expectation from LSD and she did not let us down. The dazed tracks of Tu Gandi Achhi Lagti Hai and the title track of the movie are a killer. The lyrics are so real, non-glossy and in-your-face. Sample the song I Can’t Hold It Any Longer, followed by FO FO; how much more blunt can you get! The entire theme of the movie is captured through various songs, including the fun number Love, Bollywood Style. True tribute to Adi Sir.

Once Upon A Time In Mumbai : This album was a nice surprise. Initially I had liked only the Mohit Chauhan number Pee Loon, more so for the retro picturization with Prachi Desai dressing up like Dimple Kapadia of Bobby. The Tulsi Kumar version of Tum Jo Aaye Zindagi Mei, that I kept hearing on radio channels, wasn’t very impressive. But then Rahat Fateh Ali’s rendition made me notice this song. Parda song was a nice throw back to the cabaret songs of the 1980′s. Overall a good album.

Dabangg : Another unlikely album which seemed to be all about Munni Badnaam, but actually turned out to be much more. Lalit of Jatin-Lalit fame gave the movie a much needed impetus with the Munni Badnaam song. But the song Tere Mast Mast Do Nain, actually took away my chain. Rahat Fateh Ali’s voice has this rare quality that pulls you towards it and tugs at the strings of the heart. The title track sung by Sukhwinder Singh is also good, totally coarse in approach and great drumbeats. After years of promotion by Salman Khan, Sajid-Wajid finally have got the limelight.

Raavan : This is my favourite album of 2010. Some great lyrics by Gulzar and inspired music by ARR, Raavan was a treat. The hard hitting Thok De Killi, the soft and romantic Behne De, the yearning of Ranjha Ranjha Kardi Vey and the wedding celebratory song Kata Kata Bechara Bakra. Even the soft number Khili Re Khili and Beera which starts with African drumbeats was good.

Apart from these 5 albums, there were quite a few other albums which had a couple of good songs but lacked in consistency and quality. My Name Is Khan had two good songs in Tere Naina and Sajda. Even romantically inclined movies like Break Ke Baad, I Hate Luv Storys and Anjaana Anjaani did not have great songs. A dheemi-dheemi here, a Bin Tere and Jab Mila Tu there. Just about average, but FM channels played it no end and made it sound like classic pieces. Dooriyan Bhi Hai Zarooriyan sung by Vishal Dadlani and Monica Dogra, now Shai of Dhobi Ghat fame, did give some strength to the song. But that was that. Aisha and Udaan were the other two albums that had great potential but fell short on expectations. I would love to mention Enthiran here, but since I am talking only Bollywood movies, I am going to leave it out. Although there was a hindi voice-dub, te lyrics was a big let down but the music was ok. I ended the year by listening to Band Baaja Baarat and Guzarish songs. But even they don’t make it to the list.

Anyways, let me know your list.

This post was first published on PFC

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Posted by on January 23, 2011 in bollywood, movies, music review


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Will ‘Peepli Live’ be India’s Oscar Entry for 2011?

Usually movies come with ratings and reviews which either takes us towards the movie or away from it. But Aamir Khan’s movies come with ‘compulsion’; a ‘must watch’ tag. When Aamir puts himself behind a movie, then all ratings and reviews fly out of the window; and people just want to watch the product at least once. And when that product turns out to be what ‘Peepli [Live]‘ is, we understand what differentiates Aamir from the others.

Everyone has been gushing about the movie; even the media channels who have been mocked at in the movie. The tv channels have accepted it as a backhanded compliment that at least they showed the plight of the farmer, albeit in a sarcastic tone and for TRPs. I would sound repetitive if I said that ‘the movie was great…a satire on the political class and media … authentic … moving’ etc etc. Rather than stating the obvious, let me just say that Shyam Benegal called the movie ‘a landmark film’ on a news channel last week. After hearing the entire discussion, my mind took flight and I started wondering if this movie would be chosen as India’s Oscar entry for the year 2011. Apart from the movie being a fine work of art, a concave view of the farmer’s plight, its also a telling statement on the society. Let me quickly list the things that go in favour of PL:

a. of all the movies that India has sent to Oscars, only 3 movies have been nominated in ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category – Mother India, Salaam Bombay and Lagaan. All three based on people with impoverished background in general, MI and Lagaan based on rural background in particular.

b. having seen the success of Slumdog Millionaire and the various discussions on poverty-porn or poverty sells, PL seems to be just the kind of movie that the jury may favor.

c. most movies that were sent as India’s entry were barely showcased due to lack of funds. We have previously seen how Aamir and Ashutosh gave it their best in promoting ‘Lagaan’. By virtue of having been there before and done the hardwork, Aamir seems to be the ideal producer who can promote the movie. And also, his credibility can bring in the jurors and critics to give his movie a dekko.

Peepli [Live] works on all levels, it tells a great tale in a fascinating manner. The story itself is not all that new, a general apathy displayed by the political class and the discontent of the poor innocent villager. But the media-hawks flying down to the epicenter of the drama and the various bureaucratic procedures/hurdles gave the entire proceedings a satirical tone. Who can forget that line “We are waiting for the High Court orders” being oft repeated or the invasion of privacy where a man cannot answer nature’s call without the presence of security and tv cameras. What have we come to? Reporters/journalists chasing mal-mutra for TRPs!

I have this weird feeling that the movie has a better chance of winning the Oscar[because of above reasons] than of being selected as India’s entry. Within India itself there would be much debate on which movie to be sent to the Oscars. Another movie that comes immediately to mind, which could give competition to PL is LSD.

Technically, LSD is on par with what the western audience has already experienced before in Paranormal Activity etc. A movie that does not look like one, the rough-cut and the jagged edge gives it that extra bit of authenticity; and the story-telling is very understated. The movie does not make a statement, does not ask questions, does not prove anyone wrong or right, does not lecture on ways of life and living; and yet it does all of the above in a very subliminal way. Considering technical finesse, story-telling and the real world story that it chooses to tell, LSD would be a good choice too.

Finally, let me come to my worst fear. Yes, I think you guessed it ! MNIK could just prove to be the dark horse. And the only reason why this could be chosen would be that it sends out a message of unity and the shunning of Islamophobia. And no better country to send out such a message than India. If we see from the government’s perspective, they would rather send a movie that shows India in good light than a PL or a LSD. So, if MNIK gets chosen I would not be surprised at all. Moreover, SRK is an equally recognized face all over the world and would manage to promote the movie well; but I am not so sure about the credibility factor.

Let me hastily add that I have not spoken about any regional cinema here. As much as I have read and watched them, I am not sure any of them could make it. But you never know the way I&B ministry works; we could all be in for some surprise. But my personal choice would be Peepli [Live]. Let me know what you think.

This post was first published on PFC

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Posted by on August 25, 2010 in bollywood, movies


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movie reviews : love sex aur dhokha

Love Sex Aur Dhokha (LSD)As was expected, the movie has garnered awesome reviews from everyone. Its a path-breaking movie, so please go watch it. Don’t go by the title, as the movie does not have any sex or sleaze and it isn’t titillating either. Let me put down some snippets which will make it easier for you to decide on the movie.

From Rajeev Masand’s review: Dibakar Banerjee’s Love, Sex aur Dhoka is the most riveting Hindi film in recent memory. It’s one of those films that grab your attention the momentyou’ve settled into your seat, and it doesn’t let go till the very end. It’s provocative, it’s unsettling and occasionally disturbing too. But not for one minute in its roughly 108-minute running time does it allow you to so much as tilt your head down to look at your watch or your mobile phone.

You will be shocked, you will be startled, but walking out of the theatre, you know you have just seen what is possibly the most important Hindi film since Satya and Dil Chahta Hai. Not only does it redefine the concept of “realistic cinema”, it opens a world of possibilities in terms of how you can shoot films now.

From Anupama Chopra’s review: The film, with three inter-connected stories on love, sex and betrayal, is a grim, deeply unsettling and yet compelling portrait of urban India.

But the film is a worthy experiment created by one of Bollywood’s most imaginative and original directors.

From Raja Sen’s review: And so in an industry where our output is mostly infantile, Dibakar Banerjee has taken that much-nudged envelope, ripped it apart, and mailed out a magnificently tawdry postcard. He’s made a film which lets Hindi cinema sit back, take a deep glug of adulthood, and wipe Haywards 5000 foam from its ‘stache as it leers at the girl in stockings. Bollywood has just grown up the only way it could, with Love, Sex and Dhokha.

LSD, which features three very differently themed storylines seen through varied handheld, security and spy cameras, is so finely written that it avoids the obvious pitfalls expertly, and makes the treatment — that deliciously voyeuristic treatment — a completely organic part of the storytelling process.

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Posted by on March 20, 2010 in bollywood, movie review, movies


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movie poster : love sex aur dhokha

Love Sex aur Dhoka blog by Dibakar BanerjeeThis is the poster of Dibakar Bannerjee’s latest movie. His previous successful movie was Oye Lucky Lucky Oye [OLLO] which starred Abhay Deol. Click PFC to know more

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Posted by on December 18, 2009 in bollywood, movies


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