Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Lage Raho Munnabhai-- A Review

: Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Vidya Balan, Diya Mirza, Abhishek Bachchan, Jimmy Shergill

Rating :- 4.5/5

As per a recent survey by the Economic times,on "who is the biggest icon of our times",Mahatma Gandhi was at position 2 just after Bill gates, followed by Mother Teresa at number 3.The poll was conducted among the corporate honchos and management students from among the country's leading B-schools.The majority said that they had no time for Gandhiji and didn't subscribe to his philosophies.They said that they believed in the idea of making amends on the spot-- an eye for an eye--if wronged-- as opposed to Gandhiji's ideals of Non-violence.

Most of the people had a problem identifying with him in today's scenario.Tushar A Gandhi, 46, the Bapu’s great grandson, puts it in perspective.-- “The reason why Indians feel Gandhi is a medicine past its due by date is because we have only grudgingly studied him as a chapter in history textbooks... We want to be identified with the icons of mammon, Bill Gates, and his tribe.”

Perhaps he is right.So are the people.But after the watching out Rajkumar Hirani's "Lage raho Munnabhai",these people might want to reconsider their opinions !!

"Ravage every single statue, every bust mounted in every park and staircase lobby. Take down every painting, photograph or picture of Gandhi put up on the walls. Bring down every signboard on every street that bears his name. Carry him in your hearts if you can ."--Go the dialogues at the outset.In other words admiring Gandhiji is not just about having his photograph on the walls,and his bust mounted at public places,its about appreciating his philosophies and actualizing them in your day-to-day life.--The movie accentuates on this simple but meaningful bottomline.

"Lage Raho Munnabhai" which can better be called as the next comical sequence of Munnabhai MBBS(not literally a sequel of Munnabhai MBBS) attempts to preach Gandhian principles of 'truth' and 'Non violence' without sounding didactic at the same time.It exemplifies how 'Gandhigiri' can be applied to anything and everything in today's scenario -- whether it is about choosing your right partner or facing the blow-off for your own misdeeds.It, in fact, redefines Gandhian principles for modern times and helps us realize how these principles can assist us to be better individuals.It kindles the hope for a 'utopia' in the minds of the viewers.

Munnabhai who spends his day listening to Radio Jockey Jhanvi's vivacious voice is hopelessly smitten by her.Enamoured by the way she greets 'good morning' he hatches a plot to meet her by winning a competition on-air,which is about Gandhi.Using his typical hooligan techniques,he manages to win the competition.In order to impress her he even presents himself as a history professor having a deep knowledge of Gandhian principles.But he finds himself in the soup,when she invites him to her house to deliver a lecture on Gandhi, for her grandfather and some of his friends.Realizing that he can't fake it this time,he puts himself through an intensive period of study in a library devoted to the life and works of Gandhi.

This is the point where his subconscious meets his conscious and a figure from the past meets his present -- Gandhiji arrives in the form of a divine intervention.Soon he realizes that everytime he calls his name to his mind,he appears in the corporeal form to extend his helping hand.Having Gandhiji with him,he wins Jhanvi's heart and as well,starts helping the society solve its prolems..

Signing an account, with ICICI even, takes a cup of coffee,but the girl doesn't even have to wait that longer to decide,whether the person she meets at the coffee pub is the right match for her or not.Simply by the way he beckons the waitor--Munnabhai helps her arrive at the conclusion that there is someone definitely better for her. "Judge a person,by the way he behaves with his subordinates"--asserts Munnabhai when the girl asks for an advice.

He is in his 'utopia' living with Gandhiji and solving problems for the people when one day the psychiatrist makes him realize that having Gandhi with him was nothing but mere hallucinations of his demented mind."He would only answer questions that you already know"--emphasizes the doctor -- making him realize in a way that you don't expect of bollywood movies.

Along with such enlightening instances,the movie also has a lot of rip-roaring moments.When the whispy security guard slaps him on his right cheek he puts forward his left cheek abiding by Gandhian principles.But when the guard whacks the left side even harder,Munnabhai turns back and bangs the opponent flat on the ground and elucidates -- “Dono gaal pe padi, to Bapu ne nahin kaha tha ki kya karna hai!”

The songs of the movie also blend well with the situation.The song "samjho ho hi gaya" literally drives the audience yodelling along.So the movie sermonizes,enlightens,amuses,titillates--all at the same time.

In a nutshell,'Lage Raho Munnabhai' is a must watch,and should be a big success.And hope that's enough of a motivation for my wesern culture-amorous-Indian friends who pushed Gandhiji to No 2.For those,for whom the dose was not enough,and still hold bill gates at no 1,there's more to it :))

"almost all the top league colleges and universities in the US are incorporating Gandhian studies in their curriculum. Harvard acknowledged Mahatma Gandhi as an eminent management icon of our times. The police in Brazil read Gandhi literature to de-stress and serve the people better"

What seems to follow further is the US getting a patent for 'Gandhigiri' publications(!!) and Indians buying in US publications epitomizing how Mahatma Gandhi displayed admirable qualities of an efficient event manager and how astutely he blended the response of his opponents to his own benefit(for the nation).

So time to wake up and smell the (taxfree) coffee(by Rajkumar Hirani) now. Or wait for US to sell the same coffee someday, at 'starbucks' outlets in India, at Dollar rates !!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna--A Review

StarCast :--Amitabh Bachchan,Shahrukh Khan,Rani Mukherji,Preity Zinta,Abhishek Bachchan,Kiron Kher,Arjun Rampal

Rating :- 2/5

As per Walter Semkiw's Book "Born Again",Amitabh Bachchan was possibly the re-incarnation of Victorian Actor Edwin Booth.Booth's first wife Mary Devlin is now Rekha and Second wife Mary Mc Vickers has appartently been reborn as Jaya Bachchan.Shahrukh khan,again,is the re-incarnation of popular Bengali Dancer and Actor Sadhana Bose.

If one is to believe in the book,the re-incarnations of such distinguished personalities were still accomplished celebrities in their new bodily manifestations,but this this re-embodiment
(KANK) of 'silsilla' seems to be a fiasco.

It was once again an allegory of married couples ,in which the protagonists Jai (Shahrukh Khan) and Shalini (Rani Mukerji) ,both espoused to different people, are in seek of something deeper and more worthwhile in their relationships and end up getting attracted to each other.

The story inspired by silsila,except that it doesn't deduce the
attraction element from the pre-marital affair, and the lovers
don't go back to their original spouses in the end,has several flaws
in its realization.The reasons for Shahrukh being an
unsuccessful person in life are not explicit - whether that is
due to the soccer player meeting with an accident at the outset
or he, not having the innate ability to be an achiever.Further,the
two marraiges stink,but whether they are due to the incompatible
pair,or both getting weary of each other not willing to adjust,is
not ascertained.

Similar is the case with the rendition of characters.Amitabh bachchan vagabonds between the character of a skirt chaser and a family man.Sometimes,he comports like his character in 'boom' and other-times he delivers an emotional speech like a 'Baghbaan'.

Rishi Talwar(Abhishek) loves his wife so much that sometimes he scampers around the house with the vaccum cleaner to please her,and admits(in the second half) that he couldn't take her off his mind no matter how hard he tried, and other times he (for no significant reasons)
despises her so much that he gets himself some work in paris
to keep himself away from her. Dev (Shahrukh) abhors his
wife greatly,but what made him marry her,in the first place
,is something still to be answered even after three and a half
hours of torture.

Rhea Saran is irked by her husband all the time,but whether
it is due to he being an underachiever or a lack of rapport in
their relationship is not evident.Similarly,Maya(Rani
Mukherjee) has a strained relationship with her husband.But
what is that she finds in Dev(shahrukh) which she finds absent
in her own hubby Rishi(Abhishek) is nowhere brought about.

So,the movie delves into the grey areas of the relationships
but without excavating about the characters sufficiently.

Shahrukh performance also looks cliched in the first half of the movie-
He also keeps getting influenced by his own characters from other
movies.At the outset, he borrows from his own role in DDLJ,
when the movie reaches halfway, he turns into a maverick 'Raj Aryan'
of 'Mohabbatein' and in the end,he is 'Raj' of chalte chalte.The other
casts,though,are able to do justice to their characters.

The worst part of the movie is the last one hour of the movie,
where the director starts to wind up the movie.The scenes are
prolonged and melodramatic and the story seems to go nowhere.
The music of the movie also is not any gratifying.The only song
which seems to catch attention is the title song "Mujhe ko
bhi hai khabar"

The only good parts of the movie are some hilarious moments
in the first half and the performance delivered by other stars
in the movie.

Karan Johar's "kuch kuch Hota hai" might have won eight filmfare
awards,and his "kabhi khushi kabhi Gham" might have bagged five
of them,but KANK seems to lose out completely.He has tried
to make up a collage but without making any sense.

In short, prolonged scenes in the second half, awfully realized script
and arid music might have increased the sales of popcorn and coffee
stalls in the theatre,but it will be something definitely disastrous for
the movie at the box-office.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Anthony Kaun hai ??--A Review

Star cast :--Sanjay Dutt,Arshad Warsi, Minissha Lamba, Anusha Dandekar,Raghuvir Yadav,Gulshan Grover

Rating :-- 4/5

Well,if you guys are going to the theatre to elicit an answer to the question,the title of the movie poses,there isn't too much of a suspense really.It stands answered right in the first half.But as they say,its not about the destination,its about the journey as a whole, the movie totally complies with that -- An absolutely relishable watch to rejuvenate your harrowed week.

The Munnabhai duo titillates the audience once again--this time with the roles reversed,Arshad warsi plays the protagonist and Sanjay dutt features in a supporting role,rather a minor role.But the movie wouldn't have been an engaging watch without the memorable moments of the sunjay-Arshad tryst.

The movie revolves around champak chaudhari(Arshad Warsi) who specializes in forging documents.It opens up with Arshad Warsi sitting duck with Master Madan(Sanjay Dutt) who suspects him to be 'Anthony Gonsalves'.Arshad Warsi attempts at offering an explanation and is browbeaten by Sanjay Dutt to be gunned down if he falls short of a gripping story.

He narrates his story in flashback about how he scouts around for diamonds hidden by Raghu(Raghuvir Yadav) and finally ends up being there in front of him.In the process he expatiates interesting incidents from his life hitherto leaving the audience tickled pink.

To say it in short,the movie has a slightly atypical storyline,with sidesplitting moments of Arshad-Sanjoy colluquy and a 'popcorn khao mast ho jao' kind-of appeal which makes it a must-watch.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Omkara - A Review

StarCast :-- Ajay Devgan,Saif Ali Khan,Vivek Oberoi,Bipasha Basu,Konkana sen gupta,Naserruddin Shah

Rating :-- 3 /5 (2 for the movie and 1 for the excellent acting by the Stars:--Ajay Devgan,Vivek,saif and konkana sen)

'A stitch in time saves nine' -- Some of the Multiplex audience were well versed with this proverb,so decided to quit the theatre just during the intermission.Others managed to put up with the movie somehow for the second half,but alas,they could find nothing worth justifying their stay with the movie till the end(yeah I know,its an othello's remake) and left with a heavy heart and a sustaining headache.

Among the ones,who left in the intermission,the majority were families who came to watch the movie as a family event,but insisted on leaving,fearing they might have to answer all queries raised by their kids relating to 'rural' dialect and 'invective' language.

So better to say,that the movie was not everyone's cup of tea -- It was only for those who were willing to discover, how well the play could be enacted by the actors.

Interestingly,if the censor board had really run its scissors on the expletives,it would have been a hit 'silent' movie of modern times !!

The only strength of the movie,which kept the audience glued to their seats till the end,was an excellent performance by Ajay Devgan,Saif ali khan and konkana sen gupta.These stars might definitely win acclaim for their roles but vijay bharadwaj must understand,that it was not a play where the audience can just appreciate the performance of the cast and walk away,the script of the movie has to be equally arresting,I mean ,it matters a lot ,the way the things are put across.

If the song 'bidi jalaiye le' was to be put in the movie,it was to be,when audience had got enough drift by the movie and when it was fully engrossed in the movie..but no item song seemed to be in flow with the movie..If they had to portray a rural ambience,the movie should have excellently realised the story--probably he should learn from his own movie 'Maqbool'

The movie starts off with 'to be' bride(of someone else) 'kareena kapoor' eloping with her lover 'Ajay Devgan'...She decides to marry Ajay Devgan,against her father's wish,and before turning away from his own daughter forever ,his father warns her lover,posing a question -- 'a girl who could betray her father -- how could she be loyal to anybody else ?' - which sows seeds of distrust in Ajay Devgan's heart which further blossom into a plant when watered by Langda's consipiracies.

The movie is about 'omkara'(Ajay Devgan) who heads a gang of criminals - Langda Tyagi(Saif Ali Khan) and Kesu(Vivek Oberoi) are part of the same gang.The conflict in the group starts,when Omkara appoints Kesu as his chief-subordinate instead of Langda Tyagi(Saif Ali Khan).Langda feels offended and decides to take revenge by accusing Omkara's lover 'Dolly' (kareena Kapoor) of having an affair with his appointed chief subordinate kesu and presents Omkara with false evidences making him believe into his accusitions.

Omkara falls into his wickedly crafted trap and finally brings about his lovers's and his own tragic end.

As opposed to this movie,Vishal's 'Maqbool' was something which was class apart from this movie,it was something really praiseworthy(from Pankaj kapoor's acting to the way the story was brought about-- The 'shakti ka santulan' concept and Naserrudin shah and Om puri's performance ,everything was just brilliant) and a story excellently screened.

This movie in particular,had a plot,but it was too slowly paced in the beginning and didn't seem to appeal to the audience in any way.All in all,there seems to be nothing special about how the story was filmed -- So it still remains questionable if the movie will really be able to do well at the box office.

All that the audience could remember ,after coming out of the theatre,were konkana sain gupta's words that 'a smile is really a priced commodity now a days'

And yes,the audience did light a 'bidi' but not through 'Bipasha's jigar ki aag' but through its own infuriated hearts...:-)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Videsh Yatri* -- Episode 1

In software,life is often both boring and mundane.It takes some light hearted moments with people like these to make you believe that it can still be interesting.

(Please ,read the disclaimer below,before inferring anything,no offense intended)

Character :--

Name :-- Morgan

Now you would ask me,why Morgan....This got changed just after his US-trip,initially it was Mohan Raj gangadhar,he decided to cut it short to Morgan.He believes that it sounds trendy,given the profession he is in!!


Btech from 'Digital Institute of Fast Technology'

Profession :-- Software professional(In a prominent investment bank)

Physique :-- Body is in shape ,round is also a shape.

Hair colour :-- Black,and when wet and combed,they gave him a quaint look.Recently,just before the world cup,he changed his style to Ronaldino's

Nature :-- You ask him about his nature,and he'll tell you -- Yaar,whatever I feel ,I speak it out frankly and bluntly and I am always explicit ...I always call yoghurt the youghurt...

Me :-- Are yaar,the idiom is to 'call a spade a spade'

Languages he speaks :-- His regional language and English(don't ask me if he is good at it or not !)...I'll try translating his tougher language to you guys ,and make it a legitimate reading !

His favourite one liner after he came back from US :-- "Buddy,good stuff"

Where did he learn it from :-- From the Indian shopkeepers in US who had migrated there from India,from the rural areas,and were on a constant lookout for a bottom-line,which could help them sell their product to the native Americans...

First time, he 'admits' (out of sheer innocence) that he was fooled :-- In US when a person asked him "Got some change ?"...He gave him a change for 100 $ and never got his 100 $ Note back...He still wonders what went wrong !(for those who didn't know,this is the typical style of beggars in US)

Gadgets he owns :--

1) Splendor plus(guys mind it,its not the normal splendour ,but the one with additional accessories)

2) His ipod-- which he bought from US,on his last business trip

3) His new Nokia cellphone(the latest model,which can take pics and help him browse the net and what not)--Now that's a different story,that he dosen't know how to operate it properly...He says ,he dosen't want to waste his time thinking about all this...after all he is a software professional

For now,these are the only things,I can reveal about him...


That day I was having a chat with him on the lunch table....

Morgan :-- "Read you last blog -- "passion vs emotion"..what the hell,how can u guys write such crap :(

Me :-- No yaar,you misread it,it was 'passion or money'....

Morgan :-- ya ya,whatever,I just didn't understand one thing about your blog,you keep telling people,make you passion your job ...I don't know ,how can you suggest such cheap things

Me :-- Cheap things !!!!

Morgan :-- Yeah,what else ? Its more cheap than what one can think of ..I mean ,my passion?,we all boys know,our passion since the time we are 13...interrupted

Me :- Are yaar,hold on,there are a lot of people around

Morgan :-- Ok,forget that ,atleast for now my passion is to hang around with gorgeous girls and may be you know what I mean(with a grin)...So if I take your advice,I should make it my profession,which means make one night stands your profession..interrupted

Me :-- No yaar,that's not what I meant,I mean...

Morgan :-- Are forget all that yaar,do hell with all that crap.And moreover,I don't understand what's the problem with all the people in this world.Someone dosen't know,what he is here in this world for...others don't know their likes and dislikes ...I simply don't get the point.

Me :--- Are yaar ,it happens,we all are alike,when it comes to us,
we ourselves don't know what we are best at.

Morgan :-- You can talk about yourself,but don't drag me in ...I was always sure of what to do in my life

Me :-- Oh really...can you let me know about your background...

Morgan :-- Ya why not,I opted for both maths and biology in 12th,just to make sure that I have the knowledge of both the worlds....Then I planned,I will join Medical,also gave the Engineering tests meanwhile and it was just that the medical colleges which I got through were too costly(since they were private ones),and I was not in a condition to afford 14-15 lakh Rupees,so just joined Engineering in 'Digital Institute of Fast Technology',where I was offered civil engineering.

I worked hard in my engineering and managed to get a job and then I shifted jobs and ...interrupted

Me :-- Oh,man,now don't bore the audiences with your story of struggle...come to the point

Morgan :-- Ok,and now I have this excellent job,which pays me ....grrrr..why should I tell you that....

Me :-- Theek hai yaar,you mean you got the job in software initially ,right ??

Morgan :-- Yes

Me :-But,you said you always knew ,what you were best at(LOL)

Morgan :-- Ya,I always knew ,that I wanted to make a lot of money.So here I am ,into investment banking ....and who else could pay me better in this world ??

Me :- (Now,totally stupefied )-- Are yaar you are great,how many
people are there in this world like you....

Morgan :-- See,now you get the point.Infact there was one more thing,I always wanted to do,to serve our nation

Me :-- Now what is that

Morgan :-- Career counselling....

Guys,I need a break !!!!

to be continued ......

*Note (Those not so good at Hindi -- Videsh Yatri refers to a person who has travelled to a foreign land before)

Disclaimer :-- The character used in this episode is purely fictional and any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.