Tag Archives: neha dhupia

Dasvidaniya Ki Dus Kahaniyan

Dasvidaniya as predicted, was a nice solemn movie. I liked
the movie in bits and overall, but here and there I felt the
screenplay was a little weak. Especially in the second half, it just
meandered for a while before it came to a fine ending.

I loved Vinay Pathak [amar kaul] in the movie, but I did not like the
hair-do. I have a grouse against all directors as to why should the
hero sport such hairdo to look innocent and genteel. Why can’t
genuinely good people not have a good hairstyle. Why should surinder
sahni comb his hairs that way or why should akshay have his hair
partition from that low[just above the ears as in dhadkan/dtph/yeh
dillagi]?? Why can’t the normal hairdo work??

Talking about weird hairdo’s, well ranvir shorey also sported one. And since he was the first flamboyant charatcter that amar kaul came across, he modelled his inner voice on this character. That was a nice
touch, but the inner voice was a little too loud; subtlety would have
helped here.

As we all know that the movie is about amar having to face an untimely
death and how he prepares a list of things to do before he dies, the
scene in the hospital where he is informed of this was really well
done; the expression on his face, the crashing of hopes etc. Let me
take you through the movie by way of his ‘to do list’:


1. New car: all of us have dreams of buying a house/car/bike and it
gives us immense pleasure when we actually own one, amar kaul was no
different; he too desired for one but may have postponed it for later.
But now that he has no time, he has to live by the list and fulfil his
desire. So, he buys a shining red chevy. He also happens to see his
brother in the showroom but they don’t feel like acknowledging each
other’s presence; the reason for which is explained later. The joy and
pride in his mom’s words and actions looked so very natural.

2. Guitar: i have always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument
and this story-track just reminded me of my unfulfilled wish. Another
cliche, I don’t know why all guitar teachers have to be goan or
anglo-indian? Anyways, amar kaul goes on to gift his chevy to his
guitar guru; nice touch.

3. Boss ka boss: this track was the most hilarious one, saurabh shukla
was fantastic as the “chomping glory” and his body language was enough
to display his superiority. The detail to minute things was seen when
the boss comes out of his cubicle and walks towards amar kaul’s seat
not knowing where his seat is; really ironical. Another instance was
the bullying sequence where amar and his boss are clothed in school
uniform and it follws the “kya-kuchh nahi” pattern. The moment a movie
induces you to root for any character, we can safely say that the
movie is successful in bringing out the pathos. When amar spills the
beverage on his boss’s head it callled for three cheers.

4. Neha : getting back to someone is one of the toughest thing to do,
especially getting back to someone you loved. Amar’s first and only
love[until then] is still etched in his memory. And making it a point
to meet her was one of the things he wanted to do. He does meet her,
but in what circumstances – she is happily married with a kid. He
still gathers courage and tells her that he has always loved her since
her childhood days; and the manner in which he conveys this is
brilliant, dumb-charade style coz some things are best not said but
only expressed.

5. Rajiv jhulka : its so true that we make the best of friends during
childhood days. Later on, we just make associations as in
college-mates, classmates, study partners, colleagues but rarely a
friend; rajiv jhulka was just that, an old buddy who had grown apart
from amar. Amar decides to meet his long lost friend by way of a
foreign trip. But all his enthusiasm is killed when rajiv’s wife
suspects that amar has landed there to get a free treatment. That was
really heartbreaking and it actually forces him to reconsider living.
Ofcourse the misunderstanding is cleared; but when a broken glass is
joined back the crack still shows. Hence amar does not go back to
rajiv’s house as he wishes to spend the rest of the time on his own.

6. Foreign trip : the trip to russia probably provided the title of
the movie. Well, nothing much was shown aboutt the place becasue that
was not the focus. Just another ‘to do’ item that had to be cancelled
off the list.

7. love [tatiana] : i dont know how far this can be called ‘love’; but
amar likes to call it so. I felt it was more of a situational thing
for both of them, have a guilt-free relationship since they dont have
to take it too far. But amar had never experienced such inbridled fun
and unconditional care/affection, he termed it as love.

8. Vivek :
back to his estranged younger brother whom he had seen in
the chevy showroom. He is a director[tv/ads] who now lives separately
because he has been banished from his home. It turns out that he loved
a girl whom his mom did not approve of and so he decided to walk out
of the house as amar could not support his stand. This was very
maturely handled without letting it get too emotional and
melodramatic; there was a pragmatic take on the issue. Vivek does
return home on amar’s request so that he can take care of mom after
amar’s death. Something was missing here, there was not a single scene
of vivek’s wife. I think it got chopped on the editing table. But I
did notice a ‘mtv roadie’ there, sonel singh. She took the call twice
when amar tried reaching vivek. I guess she must’ve played vivek’s
wife; anyways I was surprised to see her.

9. Inform mumma : i had guessed this correctly. People often get to
know of these things by overhearing as in lots of movies. His mother
is terribly shocked and cannot believe it. Here’s where the movie went
a little off-track with amar visting tantric babas etc, that was the
meandering bit. It could have been avoided and a better approach could
have been taken. She should have accepted facts and tried to make his
last days happier, but I guess mom go get frantic and start believing
in all kinds of jadoo-tona; anything that can cure their child.

10. Photo on front page : it finally turns out that amar had planned
his obituary as well and the photo finally appeared on newspaper, but
not on the frontpage.

The movie was a really nice watch and I enjoyed it. By the way, did he
leave anything behind for rajiv jhulka? I don’t think so. He did leave
behind the ‘johny mera naam’ dvd but that was for tatiana.
The movie was heartwarming and made me think for a while that even I
should compile such a list of things to do while I am still alive. So

This post was first published on PFC

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Posted by on July 12, 2010 in bollywood, movies


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Death And The Maiden : Polanski’s Visual Symphony

Just imagine that you are held hostage in an eerie house atop a hill. Both your hands and legs are tied to the chair and only your mouth is open, probably to force you into a confession. In the midst of such tension, you feel like emptying your bladders more out of nervousness than for biological reasons. And you are led to the toilet with your hands still tied behind your back. Will you be able to relieve your pressure? I don’t think so. Dr.Miranda too shrugged in distress, complaining that its invasion of privacy.

Paulina was by his side, but not with him. She was holding a gun to his head and was doubly guarded by her husband who stood at the door of the restroom. Miranda was unable to answer nature’s call under fear psychosis. That’s when Paulina helps him out, its not shown visually though, and starts whistling a slow tune that fills the silence of the rest-room and acts at the neuro level of Miranda. And out of classical conditioning, hope you recall Pavlov’s experiment with his dog, a stream of urine jetts into the pot. This was just one of the many disturbing sequences in the movie. Disturbing, yet necessary and closer to reality than many other movies made on hostage drama.

But why was Miranda held hostage and what brought him to Paulina? Well, the movie begins with Paulina’s husband, Gerardo, escorting Miranda into his house and thanking him for the great help he had been on the night. Gerardo explains to Paulina that his car had broken down and Miranda was kind enough to drop him home. And so, Gerardo invited Miranda to share a drink. While Miranda is still getting familiarized with the house and the surroundings, a deep sense of shock, agony and angst is seen on Paulina’s face. It takes her back in time, when she was an activist and fought against a fascist regime; she was held captive and her body was desecrated by the captivators. All those horror moments and the painful torture that she had endured, comes back to haunt her again. The voice, it was the voice of Miranda or so she feels, who was one amongst the many fascist members who had desensitized her and played with her moral conscience and outraged her modesty.

Paulina’s claims are rubbished by Gerardo, as he is unsure of the identity of the men who tortured his wife while she was held captive. There is no proof or any method of knowing who the real memebers were, and Gerardo wished to give Miranda the benefit of the doubt. But Paulina is pretty adamant that she recognises the voice, she can’t forget the voice; and she is absolutely certain that Miranda was the man in question. Miranda too denies being involved in any such activity meant to crush the movement of the activists or sexually humiliate them.

Gerardo is unable to convince his wife but goes ahead with her instructions of holding Miranda as hostage and force Miranda into a confession. But does Miranda give-up and accept all accusations to save his life? Even if he does, is this what Paulina wants? Wouldn’t this be a pyrrhic victory where she has lost inspite of winning, even if Miranda confesses! What values does truth hold if its not spoken when its needed most! Why is morality used as an instrument of coercion? These are some of the questions that popped in my head.

Women are always held in great respect by most societies, not just because they are genetically capable of reproduction and furthering a clan, but also because they uphold the traditions and carry forward culture/legacy. That could be one of the reasons why in any conflict women are attacked, probably to cause harm to the symbol of civilization. They end-up becoming a soft target and we have seen all through history that apart from swords and bombs, anarchists have used sexual assault to make a violent point. Its the worst kind of revenge possible, most reprehensible. And yet, this deep malice still exists.

And this trauma has been captured very well by Polanski. You feel for Paulina and the pain she has been through stings our heart. Sigourney was believable as Paulina, the rage in her teary-eyes and the stress on her muscles was evident. On the other hand, Kingsley’s restrained perfromance as the doctor who did or did-not wrong Paulina was very well played. He stayed calm and collected all through, almost cold-blooded that you feel he could’ve been amongst the men who wronged Paulina. But at the same time, he also showed timidity and meekness which convinced Gerardo beyond a doubt, that Miranda is being framed. Although the movie involves just 3 characters, much like Piolanski’s earlier work Knife In The Water, they fill the screen with tension, emotion and high drama. Ben Kingsley and Sigourney Weaver are brilliant as Miranda and Paulina. Paulina’s vulnerability, inner fears and scars of the past were beautifully expressed by Sigourney. Felt a bit sorry for Wilson as he did not have the author-backed role, he played second fiddle to Paulina; but was nice as the understanding, sympathetic and loving husband.

Of course, a special mention of the background score must be made. The movie is titled on the music-piece which is fabulous; dark, tense, sometimes hollow, sometimes violent just as Paulina’s forgotten past which comes alive with Dr.Miranda’s visit.

The movie ends in a stark note where there is no revenge taken for past deeds, no retribution and the characters learn to move on in life, where forgiveness does not matter and forgetting seems to be the best way to deal with it.

Indian film-makers have attempted remaking this movie not once but twice, and have failed both times. Surprisingly, both movies released in the same year, 2005; some 11 years after DATM. One of the remakes named Dansh starred Kaykay, Sonali Kulkarni and Aditya Srivastav while the other remake Siskiyaan had Neha Dhupia, Sachin Khedkar and Sonu Sood. Both movies followed the same storyline, but they lost the soul somewhere. The setup was fine, but the treatment lacked the punch.

While Dansh used the social milieu of North-east and the political situation there, Siskiyaan was modelled on the ethnic rioting between Hindu-Muslim. Sonali Kulkarni played the victim in Dansh and Neha Dhupia played that role in Siskiyaan. Both movies got the body right, but lacked the spirit. Somehow, that pain, anguish and aggression was not seen in these movies. That’s where Polanski’s art comes into picture. The earnestness with which Polanski has gone about, the detailing in the script, the lighting and most importantly, the acting. He has extracted superb performances from everyone. Polanski, a genius behind the camera.

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Posted by on March 3, 2010 in hollywood, movie review, movies


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Move On, Raat Gayi Baat Gayi

RGBGRaat Gayi Baat Gayi – and that’s one of the things that none of the characters in the movie are able to do. All of them have memories of the small little incidents that happened at the party that they attended last night. A gala party hosted by the big-hearted Jolly, played superbly by Navnit Nishan and her book-writer hubby ‘Jags’ played by Dalip Tahil. While some of the attendees just can’t forget what happened in the party, Rahul [Rajat Kapoor] just can’t recall what happened after he gulped down 8 drinks.

The first promos of the movie sounded interesting and the movie even picked up the Best Film Award at SAIFF. The starcast was nice with proven performers like Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey, Dalip Tahil etc and the movie being directed by Saurabh Shukla; I had already made up my mind that I would definitely watch this movie. With great enthusiasm I booked the tickets online for 1st Jan in Innovative Multiplex. But as soon as I stepped into Gold Class of Innovative Multiplex, I was in for a shock. The movie was about to start in 5 mins, and there were just 4 of us in the auditorium. First day, second show at 7.45pm and just 4 people. Why? I was unable to understand. Was it bad publicity/promotion? Didn’t people know of the movie being released on 1st Jan? Who was to blame, PNC or the distributors or the film-crew who did not go tom-toming about the movie.

On one hand you had ‘3 Idiots’ hogging all the limelight on big-screen as well as the news channels of small-screen all through the weekend and on the other hand people were skipping a movie like this one. ‘3 Idiots’ made 9 crores on paid-previews [100 crores in a week] and here you had no takers for this one. All shows of ‘3 Idiots’ were sold-out although each ticket was priced at Rs.350/- in most multiplexes in Bangalore, and here the movie was devoid of audience although ticket prices started at Rs.150/- for Silver Class and Rs.180/- for Gold Class. I was left wondering when movie makers will realize the need for publicity and promotions. When will they learn how to create a buzz about certain movie releasing on so-and-so date? Movies cannot be sold hoping audience will come and watch it. They have to be more aggressive, pull in the crowd. All these thoughts were running in my mind, when few more people entered the auditorium. Finally we were 15 people in a gallery that can seat 200. Rather disappointing!

RGBG2Anyways, I opened my eyes to reality, as did Rajat. After a drunken stupor, waking up with a hang-over and with his wife storming out of the house with the child, Rajat is left feeling guilty. He does remember going into the room with Neha Dhupia, sharing a drink; and then there is a memory fade-out. He can’t even recall the hot-bod’s name and he desperately wants to find out if anything happened between them. He rushes to Vinay Pathak who is busy handling a crisis himself as his wife Anu Menon throws him out of the house for surfing porn. So, now its upto the old couple Dalip and Navnit to try to unknot the various strands, and try to bring about a compromise/resolution. Can Dalip and Navnit help? Who was Neha Dhupia, from where did she come, when did she leave the party and with whom? How the pieces come together to solve the jigsaw and the various comical situations that the characters go through is very well done.

Dalip’s guiding principles on marital bliss, Iravati’s frustration of being an under-achiever, Rajat’s desperation of reclaiming lost moral grounds and Jolly’s good nature are some of the highlights of the movie. Especially funny, yet silly, is Vinay’s fight for righteousness when he knows he is wrong; Jolly’s tarot card reading and belief in vastu and the interaction in the club, the confusion at Neha’s apartment were just hilarious.

Saurabh Shukla has done a great job with the direction. He has captured the essence of the urban class well, which includes things like “arrangements” as Dalip calls it, the daft book-writing abilities of his, and gyaan session from this pseudo-intellectual, Rajat’s escapist fantasy of one-night-stand and final understanding that family support is what matters, and Vinay’s understanding of what “hurt” means. Saurabh has extracted good performances from everyone.

Among the performances, apart from Navnit Nishan, Neha Dhupia was very well cast. She played the role of a silent seductress very well. After her initial failure in the industry, she is making all the correct moves to be counted as a good performer. Her brief cameos and small but significant roles in movies like Dasvidaniya, SiK, 1:40 Last Local etc is really building a nice body of work. Vinay Pathak was under-utilised. Although he was there in lot of scenes, he was just not able to leave a mark because of some mediocre writing and lack of a meaty role. I was pleasantly surprised to see Anu Menon [Lola Kutty of Channel V] as Vinay Pathak’s wife. Theirs was the weakest sub-plot in the movie, humorous nevertheless. Iravati Harshe, the last time I recall seeing her was in daily soap Shanti, was a revelation. She played the complex character very well. No words for Dalip Tahil and Rajat, they were excellent.

I felt that the script had a lot of scope for some great comedy, but somehow the writers failed to capitalize on it. Some of the moments were very under-stated and the humor was wry and under-played. I think that worked against the movie since in Bheja Fry we had seen the same combo of Rajat-Vinay deliver a punch in every scene. Also, while previous movies in this genre had the middle-class as the center-piece; here the portrayal is of the urban and upper middle-class. Trying to make a comedy based on marital complications, fidelity issues and declining moral values may not appeal to the viewers. I wish there were more funny lines and the pace had been a little faster. Anyways, it was a nice watch. Let me get it out of my head now, raat gayi baat gayi !

This post was first published on PFC

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Posted by on January 8, 2010 in bollywood, movie review, movies


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