November 19, 2007


OM SHANTI OM… had been in the making since quite sometime… and especially made a lot of news as a part of pre-release propaganda. What follows here are my comments after watching the flick.

The film, basically, has a very kitschy and glossy look. Indians will probably state it as totally ‘filmy’!!! The mise-en-scene is very detailed. And even though the concept gets slightly incongruent sometimes, the stuff put into a frame has been carefully thought over and placed. I had a smile on, all throughout its run. Guess that’s what makes it really ‘filmy’! I later saw an interview where SRK said that he’d like people to have a smile on their faces while watching the movie. Dude…you’ve been successful!

The background score has been done by Sandeep Chowta. The first time I noticed this guy was for his music for Company and then as a judge on Channel[V] Popstars. Then after 2 private albums he slipped into oblivion, except for getting some news-space for his affair with Urvashi Dholakia. Last heard was the break-up that ensued with that fiercely independent lady. Honestly, I don’t know H-O-W Farah reached the conclusion of signing this guy to do the background music?! B-U-T….WHAT a choice!!!!!!!! He’s done an awesome job with the duty assigned. The score conveys the mood of any scene perfectly. Be it building up the tempo in the climax or the contemporary welcome for OK…he’s done it really well. All I wanna say is…WELCOME BACK! But, he needs to slimmen up. And not a little bit… but big time!

The music of the film is by Vishal and Shekhar. Both of them are accomplished artists in their own right. Vishal is a part of the hugely successful rock band Pentagram and Shekhar is a trained classical musician. When paired together, the duo have to their credit some of the most jazzy, hummable and rocking music in recent times. I personally feel that sometimes they give awesome music, Dus, for eg. And sometimes it just borders on average, Shabd, for eg. Maybe it depends on the details furnished by the director, his/her involvement and other such finer nuances. Farah instructed them to use different singers for every song. I later saw an interview where they said that SRK was present during all the recordings to pep them up and give some interesting inputs. See…THAT’S called involvement!!! They’ve done an awesome job with the film’s music. All the hard work shows as the songs convey the vision very well and also help in carry the story forward! A last word on them…the songs have lovely beats…it’s their forte…who can forget ‘dus bahaane..’ from Dus?!!!

As for the story… it’s ‘masala’ to the core! It’s a film about films, there’s a film within the story. At least in Bollywood… most of commercial cinema is based in la-la-land…please don’t look for perfect logic! It may sound weird, but you can conveniently let your brain take a nap and just enjoy the jazz! I wouldn’t bother much about the story, because there are better things to appreciate than the film’s ‘story’!!!!!

~ the climax has been lifted from Madhumati [1958]
~ the element of reality is the depiction of change in the nature of financing movies. Not so long back, movies were ordered to be made who had excess cash and wanted to feel some control. People with good stories had to do a lot to convince an ‘angel’ investor to let them make their story. THAT has somewhat changed now. Many a times, financers collect money from the market and everyone who’s put in their bit gets a share from the profit. And if the movie bombs, the load is shared too! Rajat Kapoor, for example, collected money for Raghu Romeo from people over the net.

The lyrics have been written by Javed Akhtar. And I don’t need to sing paeans of his skill and brilliance. What perplexes me is the fact that HOW can a poet par excellence come up with streety lyrics like ‘…dhoondha maine London paris LA san Francisco…’ or something like that!!! Well, I guess that’s where lies the skill to transcend your great self, come down to underground level and write! But, that ‘…daastaan…’ song…what amazing lyrics! Only a poet can come up with something of that caliber!

Moving on to the casting of the movie, I’ll talk about only those I want to!

Shah Rukh Khan- very himself. No more comments!

Shreyas Talpade- endearing, as always!

Arjun Rampal- frosty. He’s never been able to convince me in ANY of his roles. I’m baffled at how-on-earth does he have people signing him on….god alone knows!

Shahwar Ali- AWESOME! I don’t know how much effort for put into looking for someone to do the role he’s done, but he fits it to the T! He was smart enough to not do any more movies after that dumb flick with Meghana Naidu, and concentrate on his modeling. This has been a great choice to be seen on the big screen.

Vishal- don’t remember which role he played. But…he’s a natural dude!

I liked the fact that Nasser was self-named in his miniscule role as the star’s secy.

And now…possibly the most-awaited debutante of the year…DEEPIKA PADUKONE…is perfectly caste! The media has been very supportive of her, all the propaganda done since a little before she left modeling…has worked tremendously in her favour. Everybody loves her, except Shobhaa De! Talking about her acting skills, well…you never really wanna go gaga over a newcomer. She plays the ‘newcomer’ role perfectly. She has just the right amount of frostiness… dainty… and quite appreciable. As the cliché goes, there’s always a scope for improvement. Just to add, she was chillingly moving in the climax scene.

Hey…they mentioned Arti Gupta Surendranth somewhere in the credits. I didn’t know her maiden name was Gupta!

Hema Malini was sorely missed in ‘…deewangi deewangi…’

And LAST, but not the least…the woman behind this drama…FARAH KHAN! All I wanna say is…keep going, lady! We are ready to lap up your OTT concepts and their execution…they are a great medium to experience escapism!

[she shelved HAPPY NEW YEAR to make this movie, I hope HNY gets made sometime!]

November 1, 2007

life mein PEHLI baar....

The blogger has now decided to adopt a more personal tone with usage of direct address.

Yours truly FINALLY moved out of ‘home’ and shifted to a hostel. Well…it’s all a part of a long-thought plan….natural progression… from posh [Worli Sea Face] to posher [Colaba]!!!!!

The first thing most people said after moving in was… ‘u must be missing ur parents/home’. And the natural response… ‘NOPE! I don’t have time to miss them!!!! Almost immediately after shifting into the hostel [june end], I was appointed as the Contingent Leader[CL] for Malhar’07. this kept me uber-busy for the next 1.5 months…till 16th August.

In fact, my movement and activities were ALL scheduled around work related to Malhar…. coming in late…dinner….taking head baths at 12 in the night…’coz there was no other free time! The CL job made it very easy for me to slid into the hostel environs, otherwise… I guess…I’d have to make conscious attempts to adjust…maybe!

Funnily….for the entire routine of coming in late, I was too lethargic to learn how to warm food in the microwave. And after Malhar when I finally found the simplicity behind it…felt a li’l uncanny…I ate cold food all during the run-up to the festival…whereas I could have easily warmed it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here’s another anecdote… for all those odd hours that I came in…food NEVER got over. And one day… not far after Malhar…I came in late and dinner and ACTUALLY gotten over! I had a nice laugh and…..put together some 8 food items, in small quantities, and had them for ‘dinner’.

An important realization that set in was the fact that I have the capacity to stay up WHOLE night [basically working without ANY sleep] and still be able to sail through the next day without any problem. This opportunity presented itself when I decided to do MY first Psychology assignment [only Xavierites doing Psycho. will understand what I mean by that statement!]… to hand-write at least 60 pages…referring to a stack of fat books…and the works. All this happened in the span of ONE NIGHT with its share of a dinner break, mithaai break and coffee break, each!!! A corollary realization that surfaced was… the first time the cock crows…don’t think it’s morning…it’s juz about 3’o clock in the morning!!!!

Since I decided to take a complete break from extra-curricular activities after Malhar, it was quite often [especially in the last leg of September and later] that I was in time for lunch… quite an enjoyable fare.

The entire two weeks that my 1st term exams lasted…. There were some cooking escapades that took place. One evening… I rustled up some corn-pasta in the microwave….turned out to be quite tasteful and was enjoyed by everyone who got a spoonful of it. Staying up late [2am is not late…. 3am is!!!] was not an irregular feauture during exams. One night/morning[ wateva!] I made pasta for myself at 3:30 in the morning!!!!! And before some exam… I had a mugful of milk at 3:00 am. THAT was fun….but at the end of it I was SO full…that I decided never to have that much milk so late in the night!
The only inconvenience amidst all the luxury is the howling of dogs! When at 3am …you finally decided to call it day…and take a nap….the 4 dogs downstairs will wake up from their slumber and for no rhyme or reason start wailing in unison. Shaayad unhein hamaara sona pasand nahin hai!

And NOW….the B-E-S-T of the entire lot…….has been saved for the last!

On the first day of my exam…before leaving… I locked my cupboard…and realised… the keys were inside…GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After coming back from the paper… I tired all possible means for breaking the lock…but of no avail. Then… I sent an SOS to MES…and pleaded them to send someone fast… ‘coz my 2nd exam was the very next day!!! Unexpectedly… the response time was an unbelievable 9 minutes! the carpenters came in and took some 15-20 minutes to break the lock….5 levers…Godrej!!!!!!!!! But…all’s well that ends well. Thankfully….the godrej ka taala finally gave in and my cupboard was free! No regrets….it’s all worth the learning experience as a part of hostel life!

[we …a dear blogger in collaboration with other hostelmates…..will come up with another post about characters in the hostel and the works!]

Until then….BON VOYAGE!!!!!!

June 17, 2007


Bangalore has become synonymous with the IT boom in the country. And, of course, who can forget… ‘My job got BANGALORED’!!!
Well… on ground…it’s still very much an Indian city… with it’s slightly unique flavour. The public transport system is almost non-existent. Consequently the roads are choked with private cars and auto-rickshaws. All this leads to unbearable levels of pollution and… as expected….increased travelling time. I had a tissue perpetually clung to my nose ALL the time when on road...:-(
It was due to this terrible congestion in most parts of the day, tht plans of mall-hopping had to cancelled! Urs truly visited juz one mall -FORUM- which had a somewhat cosmo crowd…. ‘coz u could see a lot of people who were not looking typically like natives and were speaking in the common Indian languages.
The heading of this post is so… mainly due to awful amounts of fuel exhaust guzzling from vehicles. And to the crowds of execs smoking outside their snazzy offices. N ‘crowd’ could be due to common levels of stress or… peer pressure! [yeah…peer pressure isn’t all tht prevalent in THAT age group….but it’s certainly NOT non-existent!]
Something weird about the city is its speed breakers…which are, essentially, extended from centre in their design. Juz WHAT purpose does tht serve? Also… the city is lacking in presence of dust bins. The city did appear to be mostly clean. But….. it could surely do with some dust bins for public use.
The weather of that city would spoil anybody’s. the closest any other metro would come to b’lore in terms of a lovely weather… is Mumbai. Tht’s it! It was nice to see soooooooooooo many trees across the city. They were partially reminiscent of New Delhi’s boulevards.
To conclude, I had loadsa fun in my short stay out there. M certainly gonna go there for more fun sometime in the future… it’s a well laid-out and pretty inviting, if I may say so!

March 21, 2007

Almodovarian world...

The man from La Mancha

Volver,set in Pedro Almodovar’s hometown, La Mancha, is a movie where the living and the dead co-exist without problems


(Original :

Volver, Pedro Almodovar's latest venture opens to action which shifts between his hometown of La Mancha and a working class neighbourhood in Madrid but in sooth the film is situated in the sort of Almodovarian world his followers have grown to love over the last two decades - where every room and street corner is saturated with bright color and there is a dash of red in every mis-en-scene alongwith vivid and discordant feelings of violence, pain and love.

With Volver, he abandons the dark terrain of his male-centric films like Live Flesh, Matador and Bad Education to revisit the woman-centered territory of his films like Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown and All About My Mother.
His women are hearty, self-possesing and compassionate despite the monstrous abuses that plague their lives. They live in a world nearly free from prejudice, luminous and optimistic. He loves his women characters and watches over them like a guardian angel (sometimes literally with top shots), generously handing the film over to his actresses who shoulder its weight almost entirely and easily on their gorgeous shoulders. The film may be reminiscence of the early American Feminist ideas of sisterhood but Almodovar's greatest source of inspiration is clearly his own childhood memories of being brought up by women in a patriarchal and gender-divided world of fascist Spain.

With the years the enfant terrible's films have become more self assured and simpler with lesser intricate parallel plots or flashbacks and more structural niceties. Also missing is the wild overt sexuality of previous films like Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down; but the essential quirkiness that accentuates his work is intact in this film as ever.

The film deals with death in the most natural way treating it as just another human state and liberating it from the clutches of heightened tragedy. The directors violent rebellion against the church is less pronounced but puts in an appearance nonetheless as he indulges the idea of resurrection of body. One of the central characters long thought dead reappears and expresses her desire to color and style her hair before she can elucidate the more mstical reasons for her return.
The plot is full of twists and turns, secrets and mysteries- embroiling cancer, incest, ghosts, murder and the ills of tv. It is often improbable but that is of little concern given that it is merely a tool for the director to get to the heart of his matter- the soul and spirit of women. And in laying bare their soul, he lays bare the soul of Spain through History. In a blink-andmiss shot there are turbines that dot the skyline. Clearly, much has changed in La Mancha from the times of Quixote's windmills, but the essence of the small town- its superstitions and madness are preserved as if from the times of Cervantes.

Volver means coming back and true to its name the film marks the coming back of this unsurpassable Spanish master to his home town, his comedic roots, to Carmen Maura who he casts for the first time after a fallout 16 yrs ago but most importantly to the world of women he has created with his previous films- a world where they survive boisterously balancing reality and romance-The only of its kind where it is always great to be a woman.