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It’s Love In Bihar

There have been many occasions when I have walked past playgrounds on my way to home. And quite a few times I have been fascinated by the children playing a game of cricket or football. Maybe it reminds me of the good old days or maybe I just need to relax a bit, whatever it is, I just stand and watch the game. For no reason, no entertainment, no gains as such; just killing time. I would not have anything to do at home either, so why not just stand and watch. The game gives me no joy, no fulfillment, serves no purpose and yet I while away my time. Say 15-20 mins or half an hour, not much. That amount of time goes unaccounted for!

Watching this movie, and many other movies in the past, have been of such experience. The movie just goes on and on, like the games that I watch. It fails to entertain, its not meant to leave an impact, its not subject based; its just like passing the ball from one foot to another without scoring a goal.

The players are good, Vinay Pathak, Rajat Kapoor and the promising Anand Tiwari whom I last saw in Aisha. We have a newcomer Sita Spada and quite a few character actors who have played their part ok, but not good enough. The entire team seems uninspired and the slow story telling does not help at all.

The movie is set in Bihar, but it could have been set anywhere. We have a firang, Sita Spada, who wishes to visit Madhubani in Darbhanga, Bihar. The reason for the visit is to study the paintings from that region, as that is a subject of her research. But that’s such a lame excuse for a tourist visit because Sapna, the firang, does not even seem to know about Kali vanquishing a demon under her feet and she hasn’t seen the painting of Lord Shiva before. These things are supposed to be elementary, especially if you want us to believe that someone comes such a long way to do research!

Keshu, played by Anand Tiwari, is son of a truck driver. Some background info on Keshu now. He is rusticated from college because he helped his friends in an exam. The question paper was tough, but he did not help them copy answers. He did the next best thing, he just eased the tension by spreading laughing gas. Second worst use of NO2 in a movie, first worst being Housefull.

The moment Keshu sees Sapna, you know what’s going to happen; the flow of hormones triples in the body. The movie just drags along like a slow push cart, as you know where the cart is heading for. And that’s when two twists occur within a span of 10 minutes. I will tell you about the twist, as I believe that, the twist may push you  into wathcing the movie; else there is no reason. The push cart now wishes to fly like a jet, but not on wooden wheels please!

Firstly, just when Keshu thinks of proposing to Sapna, her boyfriend arrives. Keshu is heart-broken as he watches them smooch. But even before she gets to spend fun time with her boyfriend and even before Keshu starts sulking, Sapna gets kidnapped. The small scale industry in UP-Bihar kicks in, to grab their space on-screen !

What happens next is anybody’s guess, but how it happens, keeps you engaged. The last half of the movie is much better than the first half. With Vinay and Rajat in the starcast, I was hoping for some good comedy and maybe a revival of the ‘Bheja Fry’ times. But no! Vinay Pathak as a drunk hawaldaar who has not had a single permosion in his job, takes up the kidnapping case to redeem himself. And Rajat Kapoor as the ‘unfortunate’ DSP of the district isn’t very good either.

The dialogues are very pedestrian and the movie is predictable in most parts. The only credible bit was the dialect and the lingo; it was consistent and everyone spoke it well. But the biggest problem is with the story telling. The direction is a slack job! The movie could have been better, if they had avoided the cliches and if the writing had been a little better. But, I guess, jo dooba, so dooba.

This post was also published on MadAboutMoviez

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2011 in bollywood, movie review, movies

 

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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’:

dasvidaniya-wallpaper

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
long…dasvidaniya.

This post was first published on PFC

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2010 in 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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Straight – Are You Happy And Gay?

While I was in high school, we guys had a little joke book which had some gay jokes as well. One of them was – Whats the height of being gay? The answer – When you can’t even think straight.

Thats exactly what this movie is about. Vinay Pathak as Pinu Patel is confused about his sexuality, as the title suggests already. What has compounded the problem is the fact that he has been a virgin for far too long, never had an escapade. And the first ever such encounter that happens to him is in the form of a peck on the cheek by a fellow worker. That totally leaves him dumbfounded.

Pinu Patel is a merry restaurateur in London, who goes about doing his work. He has never had an iota of fun and his life is quite dry until Renu and Kamlesh enter. Renu, beautifully played by Gul Panag, is looking refreshing and cute. The peck on the cheek which I mentioned above, comes from Kamlesh, a wannabe stand-up comedian, who joins the restaurant as a chef. Kamlesh wins a lottery and in one impulsive act he kisses Pinu. But his unintentional act makes Pinu doubt his own sexual orientation. He starts getting attracted to Kamlesh and not Renu.

Somewhere in between, this movie starts looking a lot like 40 Year Old Virgin, when Pinu makes all attempts to bed a woman; basically becasue he is trying to explore his sexuality and prove to himself that he is not gay. He makes all kinds of attempts with women to see if he gets turned-on by women or if he enjoys their company. And in one such attempt with Renu, he says that he is a virgin and she retorts that she is not; thereby giving us hints of feminism and sexual liberation.

Pinu does not have the hots for Renu, but looks forward to Kamlesh. Unlike Dostana, the issue is approached with much more sensitivity. But just when you start taking it seriously, they turn it into a cliched and melodramatic stuff; and make a mockery of it.

Somehow the movie meanders and right when we start getting restless and losing interest, Pinu’s cousin enters the scene and clears the air. He becomes Pinu’s friend, philosopher and guide; and answers all of Pinu’s questions.

The music of the movie is pretty good with nice hummable songs like Saanso Ka Rukna, which is picturised so well, and Humko Churaya. Sagar Desai has done good work.

The director of the movie, Parvati Balgopalan, has done a fairly decent job. Her second outing, first being Rules…Pyar Ka Superhit Formula, is a good follow-up; but a tad bit late. My reactions to both movies are the same though, just about average. I did not enjoy Rules…  so much, but did appreciate the effort. Actually, Straight scores over the previous movie when it comes to the craft and handling the actors.  Vinay Pathak is awesome as Pinu. The honesty he brings to the role is amazing, I just felt that he is being over-used and wasted in roles like these. He deserves better than this. Gul Panag is really good, she is improving frame-by-frame. This is the second movie with Vinay and Gul, first being Manorama-Six Feet Under. The surprise packet in the movie is Sidharth Makkar who plays Pinu’s cousin. Even Anuj Chaudhary as Kamlesh is very good and has ably supported Vinay Pathak.

The movie has a very good premise and first half, but loses steam in the second half. What could have been a fantastic movie, ends as an average-to-good movie. There was another joke going around during my shool-days : A man cannot be happily married, he can either be happy or be married. In Pinu Patel’s context : A man cannot be happily gay, he can either be happy or be gay.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2009 in bollywood, movie review, movies

 

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