Tag Archives: saurabh shukla

slumdog millionaire – a true story

AR Rahman picked up 2 Grammy awards today for Slumdog Millionaire

This is an astounding achievement. Slumdog Millionaire sweeping the Oscars, just as it had done at the GG and Baftas. Its a true story of survival, of destiny and of dreaming big.

I am not talking about Jamaal and Saleem, I am talking about Rahman and Resul and all other Indians involved with this movie. These guys, from a humble background, on the dint of their hardwork, committment and dedication to the art, grit and determination, went on to win international awards and accolades. And unlike Jamaal, who took a wild guess at the last answer to become a millionaire, they have come up the hard way.

AR Rahman – We all know of Rahman’s struggling days, how after death of his father his family had to put musical instruments on hire to make ends meet. Here’s your true story of a boy who starts playing those very instruments to make a living, who converts to another faith to make peace with himself and find solace, who starts off as a musician creating jingles, then gets a big break in Mani Ratnam movie, moves to Hindi film music, then conquers the imagination of west with his Bombay Dreams and finally wins the GG, Bafta and Oscar … there’s your movie. A man with love in his heart, music in his soul, dreams on his mind and destiny on his forehead. AR Rahman, the flagbearer of Indian film music, winning two Oscars, one for Original Score and the other for Original Song, this is a dream come true.

Resul Pookutty– an FTII product, who moved to Mumbai to work in sound-mixing and did some great work in Black, Bluffmaster, Saawariya, Gandhi My Father[his self-confessed best work until now] and finally SDM. From anonymity to stardom, but it has not changed him a wee bit. He won the Oscar for Sound Mixing, shared the honors with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke.

Gulzar – a poet, a wordsmith, a man with some brilliant thoughts and the conviction with which he pens his thoughts, is one of the best writers that Inida has produced. He started his career way back in 1960’s, assissting Bimal Roy, writing dialogues, penning lyrics, then went onto write some fantatsic stories which he directed and brought to light with his wonderful screenplay. His volume of work speaks for itself, ranging from social issues to political battleground to soft and sensitive children’s movie to the subtle romantic moments which we remember long after time has faded all other memories. His command of urdu, phaarsi and hindi is just amazing. From winning a dozen awards back home to winning an Oscar for Original Song, he shared the honors with AR Rahman, he come a long way.

Anil Kapoor – born in a chawl in Tilak Nagar, Bombay in 1958. He was educated in Chembur. His father was a film producer and so was his brother, but they always seemed to be unlucky with their production house becasue they bandked on the wrong movies. After tasting success with Mr.India and other works like Lamhe, Tezaab etc they produced RKRCKR which was a disaster. To make-up for the financial losses he made some really crappy movies like Andaz and Mr.Azad. But he came out of that bad patch with some really good movies like 1942ALS, Virasat, Taal etc. He has seen the ups and downs of the film industry, the dust behind the stars. Though he was neither nominated nor won any award, he danced and celebrated the most whenever SDM picked an award. His enthusiasm was rubbing off on everybody and created really good vibes.

Irfan Khan, Saurabh Shukla – fantastic actors in their own rights. Irfan said in some interview that his role in SDM was chopped for the benefit of the movie, that’s how non-interfering and unselfish he is, just lets his work do the talking. A brilliant actor who has made his mark in the west as well, with movies like The Warrior and Namesake. Saurabh is a terrific writer himself, and his effortless acting is wonderful. Whether he is playing kallu mama of Satya or the chomping-glory boss in Dasvidaniya, he does it with such ease and finesse. Their contribution in the movie might have been small, but was noticeable.

Dev Patel, Freida Pinto – they have just started out and this comes as a shot in the arm for them. From hereon, they can choose their career and movies, as well as their bf’s and gf’s.

And finally, Danny Boyle, the man who made all this possible. Though I have my own issues with the movie, nevertheless, he deserves every bit of the success that has come his way. He made it possible to bring together these talents under one cinematic vision. Although I do believe that, had the movie been from an Indian production house, it would not have been noticed so much, but yet, its the content that matters too. He took his chance, shot the movie in India with total conviction, over-played a few things, but still the end-product was endearing. Its a proof that hardwork always pays off, albeit a little late. The moment his name was associated with the movie, it started going places. His credibility drove the movie, brought-in the audiences, entralled the masses and the critics and made history.

Smile Pinki was another entrant which won the Best Documentary/Short Subject award. They made it to the red carpet all the way from UP, fairytale stuff. Awesome stuff !

Its a red-letter-day for us, we should mark this day in the annals of film history and otherwise…3 oscar winners bring glory to India, make us proud. Jai Ho !!!

This post was first published on PFC

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Posted by on February 1, 2010 in AWARDS, bollywood, 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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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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