Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Imitiaaz Ali is Indias Richard Linklater ...

Why do grown up single men in their 40s cry ?
Why do they want to avoid cute looking harmless girls ?
Why do good looking girls feel insecure and undesirable ?
Why do road trips make one take a trip through one's inner self ?
And why can music say what a million words cannot ...
These are some of the things that Jab Harry met Sejal explores ingeniously like never before done in Indian cinema

Imtiaaz Ali delivers the first layered, intense and troubled romantic movie in years ... He borrows heavily from the Richard Linklater Before Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight trilogy but amalgamates it with Indian sensibilities.

SRK acting prowess is pushed to the limits because he does not have to charm his lady love in this movie, instead he wants to shove her away so that he does not get hurt himself. SRK plays a lonely middle aged guy with false self beliefs (that he is a Casanova when he is actually a romantic at heart). He brings his convoluted personality alive on screen with his unique panache.
He is a Desi at heart mumble swears in Punjabi but pretends to be cool European who indulges in causal flings.
He even pushes the envelope further when he breaks into fluent German in Frankfurt (targeted especially at his German fans).
While doing all this he of course effortlessly still manages to give you goosebumps with his intense eyes and trademark expressions just ogling at Anushka (with Hawayein playing in background).

Anushka tries to match him and stands her own in terms of acting but has miles to go before she can convey intensity like SRK.
Nevertheless she fits the bill without being super fake bubbly like Kareena from JWM.
She comes across as a protected middle class Indian girl who craves for attention ... wants guys to think she is hot and not cute. In one funny encounter she keeps clicking selfies with an Eastern European pole dancer because SRK tells Anushka that she is better than her.

Imtiaaz captures Europes scenery beautifully and ensures that the flawed characters of Harry and Sejal get full screen time. He deliberately avoids any stories or side stories and also does not indulge in any support cast.

His masterstroke is he does not offer any explaination or backstory on why SRK is lonely and Anushka is low self esteem. Audience is forced to accept that people are flawed for no reason which makes the movie real and raw.

However I have to reserve the last words in this blog for the real star of the movie. Pritam hits the ball out of the park with this one. 
Starting with Safar and then ethereal Hawayein and then with 3 different flavored Punjabi numbers he creates magic not seen since Love Aaj Kal from him.

All in all I can say that the last Hindi movie I wrote a blog for was Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and before that Hum Tum. I have to say JHMS falls in this league and still stands out on its own for being brave enough to tell a love story without a story ... like only Mr Linklater could do in his timeless trilogy ...

PS: To appreciate JHMS one must watch Before Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight all three movies.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Why my wife thinks i am cheating on her

Since christmas last year the seeds of doubt have been sown in
In 4 years of marriage i have never woken up early morning on weekends and holidays
However in the last few weeks i have been waking up early and slipping away too

It all started in the wee hours of the morning on 26th december 2011 as i carefully slid away from her before sunrise.
She opened one eye and raised her eyebrow quizically asking the silent but angry 2 w question WHAT/WHERE

The distance between the eye and eyebrow was as usual indicative of her anger

I timidly told ... Sleep Sleep Sleep ... I will just be back
She peacefully went to sleep

Of course i was not back for another 6 hrs ...
This continued for few days and then stopped for a while only to resume every alternate week

Little did my wife know that my long term pre-marriage affair is keeping me away
How would i explain this to her ?
Will she accept this and more importantly will she forgive me

Ignoring all these uncomofortable thoughhts i continued my escapades
My wife also stopped askin me any questions
I was aloof and irritable during daytime ....
My nightouts made me sleepy during the day

however the passion for whom i was escaping also did not have the same fire as it used to have before ....
My meetings with my secret affair were shorter and did not have even glimpses of the past highs
We have been through tough times before also but somehow this time it is different

It seems like that this affair is about to end

However for old times sake i will still keep a date one last time

Little does my wife know that on 24th January i will be keeping my date with my 25 year old affair
I know that the relationship with my ex is over and i will be back to my wife in entirety

But still hope is there that there may be a final spark left in the Indian team ....
Go Team India !!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Which novel are you ? Who cares ?

Having been on atleast 2 social networking sites (FB and orkut) for almost over 4 years i think this blog post is long overdue

I have been consistently for almost over the last 4 years have felt the urge to get online and log into orkut and facebook.
I today just took a step back and thought what do i do on these social networking sites

Its to check out on the profile updates, notifications, whats on your mind, open challenges, pokes, nudges, crushes, slaps, snaps, testimonials, comments on testimonials, albums, comments on albums, comments on comments .... What the fish :)

Enough is enough i dont care whether you jogged 10 km today morning or you are happy because TGIF.
Your day might have sucked but i dont wanna know about it.

Your girl friend might be humping your best friend .... i dont care

You might have googled for a very witty quote but please do not parade it on FB

What you think about IPL does not matter and whether Obama is anti india and pro Pak i do not want to read about it on your Facebook status

If you are back in India people will find your cell number if they wanna call you
If you had x number of pints of beer and after that you puked .... honestly i do not give a damn

Which movie are you or which dress are you, which flower you are how romantic you are or how many kamasutra positions you know is of least interest to me. (Last one mebbe i can get interested)

How well you know your friend quiz, how well you know britney spears, how well you know china, yemen, turkey, cuba, scuba diving, bob sledding, golfing, xboxing, play stationing i dont wanna know the results

Who slapped you at what speed dont change my day

Which airlines you are flying today , what you had for breakfast, what you did before breakfast .... nobody cares

What is your IQ, EQ, Love Q .... Frankly speaking i don't give a FQ

Now let me find out on facebook who am i ? and what is my purpose in life
Enough blogging .... time to get on to social networking !!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

SRK mein Rab Dikhta hai .....

Once in a lifetime an actor comes who has the special gift of connecting with the audience
Such an actor does not need to do anything, he just needs to appear on screen and the audience thinks he is one of them. He cries the audience cries, he laughs the audience laughs, he woos his ladylove audience thinks of their own ladyloves. He steals someone else's girlfriend wife, audiences cheer for him
He trains a hockey team for girls, he lights a bulb in the village he drinks and dies to death, whatever he does audiences can’t help but get mesmerized.

Shahrukh is one such actor..... Intellectuals may hate him, Critics may call him an overactor ; coffee table movie enthusiasts may accuse him of being only a smart businessman and not experimental at all
But the truth is that SRK is special and even those who hate him can’t deny that they hate his typecast roles more than SRK the actor himself
If anyone had any doubts about his acting potential they should watch this movie Rab ne Bana Di Jodi
Rab ne Bana Di Jodi is an average entertainer in spite of a strong soulful story with a message from Aditya Chopra
However Shahrukh takes it to another level altogether
His portrayal of Surinder Sahani is peerless ..... It puts him into the rank of topmost actors (and I mean actors not stars India has / had). Earlier Anil Kapoor in Eshwar , Kamal Hassan in multiple attempts, Amol Palekar in Golmal, Raj Kapoor in Anari / Shri 420 have attempted to play a simple boring man but in all these attempts the focus usually shifted to how much humor / laughs can be derived from this derision of the simple man

However SRK’s portrayal has balanced this simplicity with subtle humor marvelously.

In addition to Surinder Sahani his own avtaar of Raj Kapoor is a brilliant take on the Rajs and Rahuls we have seen a million times. SRK now with both Om Shanti Om and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is trying to bury what made him a superstar. I don’t know whether it’s his conscious decision but the audiences are mostly agreeing with him.

The faster he is moving away from the age old Raj / Rahul and the meatier his roles are becoming (Swades,Chak De India) and now Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi; the better his connection with the audiences is becoming

This blog is not a review of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, its not also a sudden awakening to SRKs talent and stardom. This is a long due humble acceptance of SRKs special talent and acting skills from an avid Indische movie fan

Me a hardcore Amitabh Bachchan fan ; and somebody who thinks that Naseeruddin Shah's peer is not born in India and will never be; has to humbly accept today that SRK is special in his own way

He has God's gift and probably people see God in him ...
And this is only appropriate as the famous lines from his latest movie say

Tujh mein Rab dikhta hai ... Yaara main kya karoon
Sajde Sir jhukta hai ...... Yaara main kya karoon

Bring on Ghajini let the throne owner be decided once and for all ;)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back to the Movies ! Back to the 90s

Anthony Quinn holds the distinction of winning an Academy award for the shortest screen time in a movie. His total screen time in the movie Lust for Life was 9 minutes. There have been few other close runners like Beatrice Straight winning it for Network (10 mins Screen time) , Jane Alexander nominated for All the President's man (12 mins) but surely not many who have captured the attention of critics and audiences alike in a brief span of time
These few have defined / redefined the word "cameo"

Now i have been blabbering about these cameos in hollywood just to put in perspective another aimless mail exchange i was having with a college friend of mine. He out of the blue just mailed me asking what is the single best cameo in the history of indian cinema

And i was prompt (i ususally deliberate when somebody asks my opinion) ; Sunny Deol in Damini i replied. And i was so convinced about this one that i did not want to hear any other name. He told me about Gabbar in Sholay and Pran in Zanzeer. He told me about Rajesh Khanna in Safar and Salman Khan in KKHH. He tried to force the issue with SRK in Army / Shakti or Sunny Deol himself in Border ( PS: i dont agree that was a cameo)

But to my movie flithy mind i could not think beyond the drunken lawyer Govind in Damini. The guy who had a punch which weighed 2.5 kg, a voice which weighed more and eyes which though drooping in liquor were red with anger

A lot of credit needs to go to Rajkumar Santoshi and his team for writing some of the most dramatic lines delivered. Dialogues like

1. Samjhao ise chaddha, aise khilone (knife) kisee bhee bazaar mein mil jaate hain par inhe khelne ke liye jo jigar chahiye woh kisee bazaar mein nahin milta

2. Judge order order karta rahega aur tu pit ta rahega

3. Chillao mat varna case yaheen rafa dafa kar doonga na tareeq na gawah ...

4. Tumne kabhi bacchon ke chidhiyaghar mein sher par patthar maarte dekha hai
Khule maidaan mein sher ka saamne karoge to apne mard hone ki galatfehami door ho jaayegi

However inspite of the great lines, the way the punjab de puttar da puttar essayed that role cannot be captured by these lines. The way he waved his hand to dismiss people, the way he used his voice to deliver the lines, they way he used his eyes more than his voice is something which is inimitable. Also how we managed to ensure that even with over the top dialogues, the acting seemed real ensured that he earned a national award for a role which was less than 30 minutes

I still remember that in some of the movie theaters in Delhi people used to stand outside the theatre to just hear the lines (it was not the multiplex era)

Tareeq par Tareeq Tareeq par Tareeq echoed through the theatre walls into the streets

All in all Sunny Deol a very limited actor in terms of talent and verstality just got the role of his lifetime and fitted it to a Tee.

Bollywood is known either for its star guest apperances or item numbers but here it was a cameo which Sunny Deol did in Damini for which he will be remembered for. Not to undermine Ghayal where he played the lead and again won a national award, Damini is and will remain Sunny's best performance

With Khans hogging all the limelight these days, a Roshan Akbar dancing with Jodha, a waiter giggling his way to box office success and some star kid boys showing their feminine butt .... we long for a Sunny Deol kind of performance because jab Sunny click karta hai to box office chalta nahin hit ho jaata hai


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Being (not so) Single

Have you imagined how is it to sleep with flowers constantly piercing your bum ? And how thorns in the flowers just make that bum more sore than it already is.....
That is exactly what being not single (married) teaches you and i learnt it on the first day (rather night) when my singledom ceased to exist.

I would really like to meet the person whose bright idea it was that beds of newly wed couples should be adorned with flowers and not just flowers ... its lot of flowers like flowers in long strands hanging from the roof, then flowers on the bed, flowers on the floor as one walks into the room ....The guy who thought all this must have been one jackass .... thank good they did not put any flowers in the attached loo

Before you fully understand my cribbing about the flowers , you need to have a bit of an understanding about north indian weddings .... They are long (when i say long i mean it) affairs lasting for 3-4 days and it involves like a million rituals. Apart from the rituals which range from bathing you in oil to getting beaten by a wooden stick , from your damn slippers being stolen to yellow stuff tainting ur palms. And to top it all up when the groom and the bride are involved in these rituals there are a zillion people who keep dancing, drinking and making merry around you. Till date i haven't understood what they are so happy about. I am sure they are just happy that its not them who is suffering and they sure do make it a point to celebrate it wildly with dancing n drinking

Besides the situation of the groom is even worse. He can see like an army of beautiful single girls around during the days of wedding function. Its like suddenly out of no where every single girl is beautiful and every beautiful girl is single. To him even the daughter of the home maid, the lady cook, the female vegetable seller all look like britney spears. He is constantly trying to cling on to his singledom but there is no backing away now.

The wedding night is unforgettable .... There is camera guy who is constantly on the move. He ensures that the oddest of moments are surely captured on video and still both. Few examples like slippers coming off while boarding the horse, groom and bride in mid air when the varmala is happening, the couple dozing off when the pandit is reciting mantras, groom and bride stealthily trying to hog food..... In addition to this the camera guy takes on the responsibility of capturing the initimate moments, poses and expressions of the couple right there on the stage .... I sincerly propose that shiv sainiks or censor board should take care of these camera guys, they want obscenity right there on the stage.... If its left to the camera guy i am sure he would want the couple to have the first night celebrated on the stage itself and captured on video
Fortunately we dodged the camera guy to the best of our availability

Having faced all these rituals bravely it all ends up with "vidaai" early morning with drooping eyes and then also its not easy .... The brides folks make it a point that they wont let you leave happily .... Crying n wailing in its full glory starts..... I told my mom in law if you are so unhappy why don't you keep your daughter here , i will regularly come to meet her ..... she did not like the idea so the bride was forcefully thrust into the car and sent away with me

And then at home again tiresome rituals for a whole day ... i was expecting that now the first night would be there but SURPRISE .... someone told that Saturday is not an auspicious day and also flower shops are out of stock so we have to wait till Sunday

Sunday the first night came and so did the flood of flowers in my room .... I was too tired after 4 days of rituals, dancing , talking and more rituals ... And the last thing i wanted were flowers n thorns on my bum as i slept but i realized that night this is how being (not so) single is .....

More to come .....

Monday, December 24, 2007

Taare Zameen Par : Must Watch ....

When the camera chases a drop of white paint falling 10 floors

When the 70mm screen is occupied by a red speck of paint in which the yellow color is trying to mix

When the opening credits are lift offs from a 8 year olds drawing book and clay modeled shapes

When the scriptwriter goes into intricate details to explain to you how 3X9 can be 3

And When the whole movie belongs to a kid you know that this one is a special movie from a special director

Yeah i am talking about Taare Zameen Par Aamir Khan's directorial debut. Without getting into the review mode i think i shud just mention the impact it created in the theatre. I watched this movie in a multiplex in Bangalore with a mix of youngsters, dating couples, married couples, kids, IT junta and middle aged folks. Each and everyone of them in the movie theater was spellbound as the movie rolled. There were moist eyes around and people rendered silent at the end of the movie. Some clapped, some gave standing ovation and some simply indulged in catcalls and whistles but the verdict was clear TZP is the best movie to hit the screen this year and is an amazing followup from Aamir to RDB. I will discount the Fannaa which i think even Aamir should bury somewhere

Rerun of Trailers on TV don't do any justice to the quality of songs in this movie. Prasoon Joshi is top notch with the lyrics and Shankar,Ehsaan,Loy's music is exceptional which you somehow realize only in the movie theatre

Go ahead do yourself a favor and watch Taare Zameen Par. Comparisions with BLACK are odious though both are different type of movies but i have to say for me TZP scores over BLACK.

Aamir khan has shown that the simple things in life can be told simply and there is no huge canvas needed to paint the colors of life