Category: Film Reviews Page 2 of 3

The 3 Idiots in Us…

The first question arising in the minds of all those readers of ‘5 point Someone’ is how “inspired” is the movie from this book. Rajkumar Hirani, prior to release of the movie, kept saying that it is only inspired from the book and is not an adaptation of the book itself. Just like Slumdog Millionaire was ‘based’ on Vikas Swarup’s ‘Q & A’, 3 Idiots is also based on Chetan Bhagat’s ‘5 Point Someone’. The basic plot of 3 students entering IIT ( here renames to ICE) remains the same. The movie and the book’s story differs. A few chapters from the book are entwined to form a different story. Let’s give credit to both – Chetan Bhagat and Rajkumar Hirani.

Chetan Bhagat penned a marvellous piece – a piece all we engineering grads(even though we did not make it to IIT but made to the states’ best colleges) identify with. Rajkumar Hirani identifies the hidden message of “the education system gone wrong and people stuck in the indefinite rat race” and combines the two. Not his brilliant best but a great effort nevertheless.

Rancho, Raju and Farhan are not Alok, Hari and Ryan. Raju is the character closest to Alok. Rancho seems more based on Ryan but has a dark secret like Hari. Some events from the book are lifted such as Hari-Neha’s romance, Alok’s suicide attempt, the final climax of theft. But Hirani adds his own twist even to the sub-plots. It’s a story re-told, in a manner how he would’ve written the book.

Through his previous two films, Hirani with minimal melodrama and the usual Bollywood gibberish, kept his viewer tied to the film at every moment. I’m not sure I can say the same about 3 Idiots. The overall package is delightful but some scenes could have been avoided and the movie definitely needs some editing.

That whole scene about the baby delivery on a ping-pong table via a webcam and the kid kicking at All Izz Well could’ve really have been done away with. Pia’s wedding melodrama – the typical bollywood style could also have been avoided! A trifle hard to believe that she waited 10 years to finally cave in to marriage to the same Price Tag Character. And even more surprising is that Price Tag waited 10 years for a girl who dumped him. It could’ve been more realistic to bring in another guy or not bring anyone at all.

The plot though is witty, especially interactions between the professors and the 3 Idiots. Loved that bit about definition of a book, FARHANITRATE and PRERAJULISATION, Induction Motor and Exam Papers. My favourite scene though was the one where Chatur (Handicapped with Hindi) delivers the hilarious speech twisted by the mischievous Rancho. The theatre was in splits at the kiddish gimmick – but it works to tickle the audience.

Aamir is brilliant yet again, his Rancho steals your heart. He looks a very believable 19-20 year old with his gait, innocent looks and wise cracks. He is undoubtedly one of the finest actors of our time. No two thoughts about that! Madhavan is a favourite of mine since the Banegi Apni Baat days. I have liked him in every damn movie of his, his innocence is charming. But Sharman Joshi takes the cake – his amazingly simple face. He gets away with the wittiest of remarks while keeping a straight face and he shines in two scenes for me – one at his interview and the second when facing rustication. I liked the guy who played Chatur too. Brilliant – especially in that teacher’s day scene! Oh to keep a straight face and act that scene out knowing what the dialogues mean! Tough act for him and he does a brilliant job.

Kareena is good in the few scenes she is present – very true to her Geet in Jab We Met. Boman Irani is ok and we don’t grow to like him despite him being the villain; unlike the previous two Hirani movies where we loved Dr. Asthana and Lucky Singh. Irani’s Viru Sahastrabuddhe a.ka. Virus just does not grow on you and I felt this is another place where 3 Idiots falls short as compared to Hirani’s previous 2 movies.

I thought that the music was fairly decent and the songs were incidental to the plot not forced as is in most cases. Shreya Ghosal and Sonu Nigam are wonderful in the ‘Zoobi Doob Song’. I’m absolutely in love with ‘Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh’ – Shantanu Moitra brings back the magic of Parineeta and Yahaan in this number. ‘Give Me Some Sunshine’ and ‘Jaane Nahi Deenge’ are good numbers too. In fact the one song which is a super hit and will almost be a national anthem just did not impress me in terms of music! Just my opinion, you could differ.

And finally, the movie gets you all nostalgic. It took me back to my engineering days where the average performers were not even recognized. If I go back to college today, I know only a couple professors will recognize me. My engineering memories are about my friends and about the weird characters I met. I thank them all for teaching me what life is all about! The pressure to do well in college was killing at times but I know some blokes and gals around, helped me in having fun and enjoying those crazy 4 years. I will never forget them for the rest of my life!

As the book was about real life characters whom we all have met in our life, the movie too keeps these characters real. I’ve met a Rancho in my engineering college, he was not as mischievous in the plot but he defied the norms of the education system degree, he is doing great in his life today.

I met a Chatur too in my college – many of them in fact and we average students were so looked down upon by them. I have no clue what he is upto – might be a millionaire by now:-) He mailed me once after my cricket articles were published on the net, expressing surprise at my ‘hidden talent’ – I never replied – don’t think he deserved one. I don’t need a stamp of approval from blokes like him. And there was another one who was pursuing his MS in the US of A and expressed surprise after learning I was among the top 5 in my MBA college!

We have at some point in our lives been victims to the peer pressure and the indefinite rat race. All toppers in our schools, but lost in the competitive world just like Raju and Farhan. I did not get to pursue my passion as my profession but atleast I’ve kept it going as my hobby.

The 3 idiots helped me reminisce lots of old memories. Revisit the lives of my long lost batch mates and secretly hoping that the most ignored ones have done far better than the ones who always hogged the limelight! Importantly, it sends a strong message that the bond of friendship is the strongest cause it does not come with any pre-conditions,expectations or requirements – the only one that is an exception to all the relationships that we have. I truly believe in it – for my friends have been around when it mattered the most.

Hope this movie renders a few lessons to our education system, the boring professors and the ‘my-son-will-be-an-engineer-or-doctor’ parents. Hope they learn to listen to what all the students are trying to say which is summed up beautifully in this number:

“Saari umar hum marr marr ke jee liye
Ek pal to ab humein jeene do jeene do
Saari umar hum marr marr ke jee liye
Ek pal to ab humein jeene do jeene do

Give me some sunshine
Give me some rain
Give me another chance I wanna grow up once again”

Meri Maa Teri Hain Mere Paa

That’s the song that plays at the end when the titles roll – sung by the 13 year old Auro. Listen to the lyrics carefully, the songs sums up what the movie is about – It’s about Auro and his mom. I’m not going to write about the story as everyone knows it by now, I will only pen down what I thought about this fine movie.

Cheeni Kum is one of my favourite movies – for the simplicity, for the witty dialogues, for the unusual subject, for the wonderful cast. Balki gets it right yet again, this time with bigger names in the industry and he does not use any of the charisma the Big B is known for. Aptly he introduces the Amitabh we have never known in this movie in the delightful role of Auro. Forget the critics saying he is too tall for a 13 year old or looks weird with the hunch and hands dangling. Just forget that, it is too inconsequential when one sees the wonders this 67-year old veteran has achieved.

Amitabh Bachachan is no where to be seen and you fall in love with Auro – his mannerisms, his quick wit, his love for his grandma and mom, his innocence, his friendships and his fears. Despite the rare disease that has cut short his wonderful life, he is not a depressed and sulky kid. His grandma and mother have ensured that there is love all around him and he does not feel lost or alone. Add to it a fine set of friends and teachers at school.

Vidya Balan excels – almost eats up Abhishek making him look like a beauty piece in the house. She is brilliant in almost everything she does – when she confesses to Abhishek about the pregnancy, when she cries to her mom, when she confidently retorts that it is a chromosome glitch when a lady asks her what is wrong with her son, when she sees Auro accept the gift from his Paa on TV, when she hands over the photograph to Auro and when she asks Abhishek to stay away from their life after he steps in again 13 years later. Her eyes talk, they really do and she looks beautiful in her cotton sarees and 3/4th sleeve blouses. After Kajol, here is a lady who can act, and act so well that it touches our hearts.

I loved Arundhati Naag as the mom. I simply loved her. Confident, fun-loving, ever optimistic. What a mother to have, see the scene where Vidya tells her about her pregnancy. All throughout that 5 minute scene she only asks Vidya if she wants the child or not. When Vidya says she is single, unmarried, and all alone, her mom just says one line – “I was all alone when your father passed away and you were 2, at least now you have me!” I almost cried at that dialogue.

But my favourite character in the movie is Auro’s friend Vishnu. The guy is gem, dishing out wise cracks one after the other. Loved that bit about why does Algebra have X and Y – Auro’s explanation takes the cake. Vishnu’s dad is in school as Vishnu has not fared well and Auro goes looking for him. When they meet Vishnu says, “There are times I doubt he is my dad. I’m so cool, he is so uncool; but he has the proof yaar – the wedding pictures and the pictures of him carrying me in his arms after that!”

And the bit where Auro asks him what makes him his father’s son – the common factors. Vishnu’s answers have you rolling in laughter. Two of those here:
“We both are lefty – he uses his left hand to slap and I get the slap on my left cheek.
We both have the same aim in life- my death, but he wants to murder me and I wish to commit suicide.”

I found Abhishek okay. He does a decent job nothing excellent, but then his role does not have much to do either. That bit about media expose could’ve been avoided and maybe a little more focus on developing the father-son bond, a little more maybe. It happens too late in the movie.

The houses of Abhishek and Vidya are beautiful. The whole movie is so scenic you can’t take your eyes of the background.

Quite a few people highlighted that the movie does not depict the struggle and acceptance of Vidya as an unwed mother. She is shown as a successful independent lady. They live in a bungalow and she has a Honda Civic – from no angle has her mom and she been shown as struggling to make ends meet. They seem to come from an affluent background and maybe that helped ease her acceptance by society. And if Balki had focused on that issue, there would be no time left to focus on Auro.

Another point of criticism thrown is about the kids have been shown to be too mature in accepting Auro, kids are not that nice or mature apparently at that age is the argument put forth – Wrong! Kids these days are far more mature and smart than we can think of; I’ve seen the proof. Moreover kids do what they are taught. If parents and teachers can guide them correctly they will tread the right path. And having shown them in such a positive manner, Balki sends a good signal to all.

We have grown up to believe that the world is so bad that we refuse to accept when things are shown in a positive light. Good people still exist on this planet and one cannot take that goodness away. If it was as evil as we make it out to be we would not be alive. It’s the goodness in people’s heart that has kept this world going.

What is wrong when a guy depicts everything positive in his film – do we need to bring in negativity in our reviews by highlighting that he has showed no negativity. Why do we always feel that the negative things are reality and positive things happen only in movies? Has none of us ever seen anything nice and wonderful in our lives? Are we getting that cynical in life that we do not want to see a feel good movie which shows only nice people around? Think about it!

Watch Paa, it’s beautiful; it almost re-ascertains your faith in love, family, relationships, friendships. Without being too melodramatic or bringing in a remorse mood about Auro’s impending death, Paa only brings joy to the viewer and keeps us wanting for more – more of Balki’s movies , more of Auro and definitely more of Bum and Vidya.

P.S: This post was to be put up last Saturday but got delayed. In a span of 6 days I’ve seen another wonderful movie! The post on this one soon. But if you get a chance don’t delay watching the movie – Shimit Amit and Jaideep Sahni get it right again and Ranbir Kapoor is climbing my all-time favourite charts faster than I thought he would:-)

My Sister’s Keeper

MDH and I decided to spend the Diwali weekend in Mumbai. Not for celebrations but just to be with our respective moms. My mum was coping with the loss of her mother 3 weeks back and MDH’s mother had undergone a laser operation for her Varicose veins treatment.

So this time around I decided to not call anyone – friends and relatives and just spend the time with mumma and my mom-in-law.

On my way to Mumbai I watched the movie ‘My Sister’s Keeper’. I wanted to see this movie ever since it was released but somehow did not get the chance to see it. I knew the plot and was in two minds if I needed to see a movie about death when all I wanted to do was take that very word out of my mind.

My Sister’s Keeper is the story about the Fitzgerald family – Brian & Sara and their 3 kids – Jesse, Kate and Anna. Kate is diagnosed with ‘Acute promyelocytic leukaemia’ (Cancer of the blood and bone marrow) at a tender age of 3. None of the family members are a match and she needs a constant supply of blood cells and bone marrow. Anna is then conceived through in-vitro fertilization to be a perfect genetic match as Kate’s donor all her life.

Kate is 15 and Anna is 11 when Kate experiences renal failure and is critical. Anna now needs to donate her kidney to Kate. However she heads straight to the famous lawyer Campbell (Alec Baldwin) to file a suit against her parents seeking emancipation of her own body. Sara is distraught and cannot understand Anna’s behaviour.

As the film moves ahead it shows how Sara quit everything – her job as a lawyer and being a mother to her other 2 kids – to shower her entire attention on getting Kate to be better. Many a times Brian tries to tell her but she has turned a deaf ear to one and all and refuses to accept that Kate’s is a terminal case and that she will die sooner or later.

Blinded by her love for the cancer-stricken Kate, she turns a blind eye to her son Jesse who is dyslexic and needs his parents too, and also to Anna – who despite being the perfect girl, feels used and brought in only for a purpose that is to save Kate.

The three kids however share a lovely bond with each other despite the obvious biases of their mother. Anna and Kate discuss all things under the sun including Kate’s first kiss with her boyfriend Taylor whom she meets at cancer clinic, Kate’s insecurities on never being able to look pretty again, and on not being able to lead a normal life.

Even when she is not allowed to step out of the hospital, Brian, Anna and Jesse sneak Kate out for one last family outing at the beach, which is Kate’s favourite place. Sara resists but joins in later.

Anna stands stoic through all of Kate’s pains and never leaves her sister’s side even once. It is this very fact that plants a doubt in the viewer’s mind as to why would this loving sis not sacrifice unless her sister does not want her to.

Brian understands Anna’s predicament while Sara dawns her lawyer shoes to defend the case. Anna pleads for a normal life which she will not be able to enjoy if she gives up her kidney and there is no assurance that Kate will survive too. However, it is Jesse who finally breaks down while Anna continues to be strong. Jesse gives away in the courtroom about Kate’s wish which has everybody in a shock, especially Sara.

Sara realizes that she is the only one who is not ready to let Kate go whereas Brian, Anna and Jesse are ready; for they know that Kate will be at peace, and that is what matters to them most. They have accepted but Sara has not; although Kate had tried telling her in many ways before as Brian points out.

Kate finally lets go. In her memory, the Fitzgerald family meets every year at the same beach on her birthday.

The movie is brilliant – it touches the right chord, it does not glorify Kate’s illness, it does not get melodramatic, the plot, the acting is subtle just as it would happen in our daily lives. The dialogues are simple and touch your heart especially the ones between Anna and Kate & Brian and Kate.

Abigail Breslin steals the show. She is my favourite child-star along with Dakota Fanning and Anna Paquin (Both are no longer child-stars). She is a natural in front of camera. And if you want to see more of her do catch ‘Raising Helen’, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ and ‘Definitely Maybe’. She is a delight to watch and the innocence she oozes in her performances is addictive.

Cameron Diaz delivers a stellar performance but having read the review she got I still feel that Kate and Anna overshadow her completely. When the movie ends what stays with you are their heartfelt performances more than Sara’s outbursts.

Why I liked My Sister’s Keeper a lot is probably cause of the state of my mind then. I too was trying to cope up with the death of a beloved and struggling to help my mother get out of it.

My Sister’s Keeper tells us to first make peace with ourselves and then make a choice with our life. Not everyone is going to be happy with the choices we make but they will accept it sooner or later and see the reason behind it. Sara finally saw that Kate wanted to be free, and make Sara free to love Anna and Jesse who had been ignored due to Kate’s illness.

The movie is all about love – between sisters, between a mother and daughter, between a husband and wife – the one bond – the love that binds a family together!

P.S: The soundtrack is delightful and reminds you of the one from My Best Friend’s Wedding where every song was apt to the scene and melodious to the hilt!

Dhan Tana Tana Na………

Vishal Bharadwaj has his own fan following. I’m one of them. I don’t want him to execute a romantic comedy – we have Karan Johar and Yash Raj for that. I don’t want his films to have the conventional heroes – we have SRK for that & the super glam dolls – we have enough of that don’t we?

He is one of the few intelligent movie makers in this industry who refuses to follow the norm. Take Makdee, Maqbool and Omkara. (I’ve not yet seen Blue Umbrella – but I did read that it is a lovely film) These films had nothing in common with the usual fanfare that Bollywood films are known for. His latest offering Kaminey is no different! The film has Vishal’s signature written all over it. If he is going to make such films after a 3 year break- I’m ready to wait, it’s completely worth it!

Kaminey rocks period. Maybe it is not “THE FILM” but it will go down as a classic, as a cult film and very difficult to emulate.

It’s fast paced , it’s slick, it requires you use your brains to follow the film(unlike many bollywood flicks which require no brains to understand what’s happening!) and it keeps you hooked from the moment the first reel opens.

I’m not going to review it in detail or list the storyline – suggest you catch it at a theatre near you at the earliest.

It might not set the box office ringing but it is the best so far this year in terms of content. The movie is dark just like his previous films. It focuses on reality and on real people. Not one scene in the movie has huge mansions, lavish sets or designer costumes. Heck Sweety wears a Westside Kurta (Damn it, I’ve a similar one and recognized it immediately). That’s how real he keeps it.

Shahid as Guddu and Charlie is outstanding – acting and the little dancing he gets to do. Priyanka surprised me with her simple Sweety and she steals the show in 3 scenes – at her marriage, at the police station and then in the climax – she is so suited to be a Bhai’s sister!

But it’s the unknown characters that rock this film, Amole Gupte as Sunil Chopper’ Bhope, Mikail and Inspector Lele (He has refined the famous ‘C’ word – catch that scene in the police station) set the screen on fire!

I’m not so sure the Indian audience will hail this film cause we are yet to mature – we still need the mushy romantic ones where everyone lives happily ever after! Sigh, but I enjoyed it immensely as it is different – different from the norm!

The music is outstanding – Fatak, Kaminey, Pehli Baar Mohabbat and Raat Ke dhai Bhaje keep you entertained, but the winner is no doubt Dhan Tana Tana. It has to be the song of the year. I’ve not heard any whistles as appreciation in Dubai Theatres (as we are used to in Mumbai) and I heard them as soon as this song hit the screen and they continued till it ended. Proof enough for its popularity. Sukhwinder and Vishal Dadlani have hit the highest notes and have recorded a mind blowing number – probably their best till date. Mind you, this one will be doing the rounds of all discs for a long time. Vishal first gives us a ‘Beedi’ and now Dhan Tana Tana – Sir, we take a bow!

Go watch Kaminey and rock to the tunes of Dhan Tana Tana.We need movies like this once in a while just to separate the intellectuals from the commoners!


P.F: Thought of writing the review in Charlie’f language but then held back, finfe thofe who have not feen it yet might not figure out what I’m writing. Fay what??

Monkey Business

I’m in a dilemma after watching Delhi-6.
So if you’ve been a fool like I was; to see this movie in anticipation of all the hype it carried and riding high on AR Rahman’s super album, maybe you can help me out!
What exactly is the movie about?
a) Roshan – Bittu’s love story
b) Roshan’s discovery of a land he had never visited
c) Roshan’s Granny’s longing to be in her beloved motherland
d) The multi-cultural melting pot that Delhi is
e) The India that has not matured
f) The Ramleela being staged
g) The Kaala Bandar

Rakeysh Om Prakash tries to blend all of the above in one and fails miserably at that.
I actually longed for the first ending (The one where Roshan dies, did I just kill the story for you all? I would have if there was any story!) that was planned by the director; it would’ve been the saving grace for a movie that was all over the place.

A good movie is one with a good story and an even better script. Delhi-6 has none; so I cannot even discuss it. All it has is a super-duper mind-blowing music score by AR Rahman to which the director does no justice whatsoever. More than half the album appears in bits and pieces before the intermission. The songs end before they begin! How can one be so criminal to such a masterpiece?

Arziyan is a delightful sequel to Piya Haji Ali from Fiza. It opens with a picturesque view of thousands praying at the Jama Masjid but does not build on it. Genda Phool is the most entertaining track of the album and what could’ve been a winner ends up as a loser! The title track can give the hip-hop artists of the west a run for their money but is ruined with Abhishek simply jogging on the streets and Sonam changing into the idol look. Even the catchy Masakali is not completely picturised. Rakeysh Om Prakash needs to takes lessons from Mani Ratnam and Rajiv Menon to learn to do justice to Rahman’s numbers

Abhishek as the protagonist falls flat. Aishwarya’s influence on him is clearly showing, plastic expressions and non-reactions! Sonam Kapoor looks ravishing but has little to do.
All others are wasted. The director had a bunch of great actors but does no justice to any character. The most upsetting was Atul Kulkarni, what prompted him to take up Gobar’s role?

A few things that defy logic – what was Roshan thinking of when he donned the Kaala Bandar attire when the whole mob was going mad finding the menace wanting to beat it to death. Despite the allegations and hatred he wants to still continue in Chandni Chowk while the love of his life wants to be free of the place.
What kind of family, especially the conservative one shown thinks of marrying the daughter of the house before the young elder aunt? There is no effort to marry off the young aunt – Rama who is beautiful and efficient as a homemaker.
So here is the deal, look for logic and you’ll find none, you keep waiting for the story to begin and it never does, the last preaching scene does not touch you and there was absolutely no need for the scene with Big B.

If you want to know what the movie is about – pay attention to the scene where Abhishek lands at the Indian airport. The movie begins and ends at that – monkey business

After watching the movie, a friend of mine told me that Swades was all about a bulb, and now I feel Delhi-6 is all about a monkey – only a monkey can understand the mess that Delhi-6 is!

In awe of the Dark Knight

Super heroes to me are the secret desires of every common man. The powers we secretly wished for, the things we wanted to do, the help we wanted to give, the fears we wanted to conquer, the risks we wanted to take!

Their creators are common men who put in everything to make them achieve what we could not; perhaps that is the reason why they are so popular in comics, in television serials and in movies. People want to re-write their stories and we yearn for some more to come.

But, often the creators forget to bring in the reality of life; that life is not always fair, even to the blessed ones. We have often tried to escape this harsh truth and Chris Nolan hits you in the face with this truth alone.
With greatness come hidden truths and hidden tragedies, which we fail to see or we do not want to see. Nolan in his outstanding depiction of the Batman Story depicts this thought to a tee.

The Dark Knight is not your typical super hero movie. X-men had a few deaths and Spiderman-3 tried to tread into the grey areas, even Harry Potter got darker in the later books but they did not hit the viewer hard with such a harsh dose of life’s reality!

I’m not sure the The Dark Knight is for kids viewing. I’m not sure they will appreciate the somber mood which shadows the film throughout. But if you have enjoyed Batman Begins, then you will probably love this one.

Gotham is cursed with endless crimes, desperation and poverty. Gordon, Harvey Kent, Rachael Dawes, Bruce Wayne fighting their own battles to make this a better place. Just when they are succeeding they hit upon Joker. A criminal whose sole aim is to create chaos! He craves no money, he craves no fame; he only craves for chaos and a world without rules.

He is unpredictable, not even the great batman can predict his next move and that is exactly why he supersedes all villains till date! Heath Ledger makes the Joker immortal! This one will live in memory for a long, long time and I doubt if there will be anyone who will surpass this man’s performance. What a tragedy he is no more. Hollywood’s loss is irreparable.

Christian Bale is excellent and so do others excel in their parts. Chris Nolan deals out lavish sets, awesome gizmo gadgets and a terrific intelligent plot. You can hardly make out what’s going to happen next.

He dishes out reality more than fiction and the movie builds in and plays on your worst fears.
It is grim, it’s hard hitting and it leaves you wishing you never want to be in the Batman’s shoes.

Imagine being blamed for the deaths of loved ones, imagine being the target of hatred of the people you have loved, imagine being the cause of the destruction of the city you have always tried to save, imagine being the hunted for the crimes never committed!

Imagine being THE DARK KNIGHT!

P.S: Chris Nolan, Christian Bale & Heath Ledger. Sir, we take a bow!!!

The Wonder Years……..

That is exactly how I would sum up my college years and Jaane Tu Ya….Jaane Na refreshes those memories in the most simplest of ways.
The thing about stories is,, not how interesting stories in themselves are; but how interesting the story-teller tells them. Abbas Tyrewalla excels in this; this time adding up as a director too. MunnaBhai was no fluke and this man has loads of talent!

If you have had a close knit circle of friends you will identify with JTYJN. They say school friends bond for life but college friends probably see you in the worst and best of your times. And in all that chaos, some of them last you a lifetime. Atleast mine have;-)

College time is time of revelation about life, love, relationships & friendships. It is the most interesting and the most confusing phase in one’s life. You sail through it with laughter and sadness, with a smile and a tear, knowing very well the memories will be with you forever. Memories, bitter and sweet, kept locked in one corner of your mind, only to revisit them when you need to smile.
Those crazy bickerings, those inane arguments, the fun-loving picnics, the stupid surprises, those heart-breaking crushes!

JTYJN revives all the above memories. Abbas Tyrewala tells our story and that is the biggest USP of the film. Is everyone telling me the story is about a certain Jai and Aditi? Hell, I think it is a story of us. Some of us were lucky to find love in friendship, some lucky to find friendship in love. Well it might not be entirely our story; but parts of it we all will most definitely identify with.

For the sheer simplicity and freshness of all characters, JTYJN is a must watch. Aditi is a lovable brat; I identify cause of the rebellious streak in her! Jai is the kind of guy I’d hate to take home cause my parents would wonder what went wrong with our daughter; a thought summed up to the tee by Aditi’s brother Amit. Jignesh and Rotlu ought to have existed in your college group and so must’ve Bombs and Shaleen. You would’ve met a Meghna and Sushant as well. The characters are so well etched and that is what makes this film so lovable.

Ratna Pathak Shah and Naseeruddin Shah excel and their rapport is to watch out for! But, I’m neither going to write about the characters in detail nor about the script. There are tons of film critics who will do that.

Before I take off, the dialogues come as a fresh of breath air; stating the obvious, is what all this film is about and the following are just a small proof of that:

When Jai says, “Yaar 12 baj gaya”; Bagheera asks him,”Kyun kya hua, Tu Cindrella Hain kya?”

When college is over and Aditi comes to drop Jai; she realises that tomorrow there will be no college and goes crying to Jai’s house. She then says to Jai’s mom, “Aunty pata hi nahi chala college ke 5 saal kahan chale gaye”. Jai’s mom( aka Ratna Pathak Shah) sums up in one line ( a fact vouched by mothers of the world) “Phone pe Beta, phone pe”

So here are my 2 cents, don’t miss this movie if you wish to relive your college days!!

P.S: A special mention to Pratiek Patil (playing the character of Amit). His small cameo does ample of justice to his mother’s genes. Here is a guy to watch our for!

Chak de India….It’s what dreams are made of!

I had caught the trailer of ‘Çhak De India’ when I went for Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix. In that one minute piece, the shots of the hockey matches impressed me. Though it was still a Shahrukh movie; I knew I had to catch it before the reviews hit the media.
And I did, being in Dubai gives you that advantage as the movies release here on Thursday , a day before in India!

I did not go with as high expectations as Lagaan & Iqbal. Chak De India might not fit in their league but it’s an out and out sports movie on the lines of the Mighty Ducks series! And yes it also highlights what girls/women in India go through irrespective of the strata of the society they belong to.

Chak De India is a story about a fallen hero, regaining his honour from his countrymen. It is about 16 girls fighting themselves, fighting politics in the game, fighting society, fighting their own demons within. It’s a story about the sports situation in the country where states still rule the nation. It’s a story about how society still deals with women.

Shahrukh excels beyond par. And it means something when it comes from me, who is no Shahrukh fan! And no he is not doing what Aamir did in Lagaan. Chak De & Lagaan can’t be compared simply cause they are two different stories, with complete different backdrops.
Shahrukh is sincere in his portrayal of Kabir Khan, his anguish when the nation scorns him, his willingness to fight the system, his love for the game, his helplessness when he can’t step onto the field to play, his toughness in dealing with the girls, his earnestness in building a winning team and finally his disbelief when he overcomes his demons and wins the battle.

The casting might not be the perfect one for the girls, but the bunch does a good job at the end. Preethi Sabharwal is attractive and confident, Komal is brash and knows she is good, Bindya is arrogant, Aliya Bose is striking, Gunjan is the pacifier, Vidya has enough to deal with her personal problems yet is the most focussed of the lot, Balbir Kaur is what our women teams need, atleast one of her kind. The rest have little dialogues but impress in their little parts.

How they struggle to come together as one team, setting aside their personal glories. They are all haunted by their own demons like jealousy, ego, pride, fear, lack of self-belief, anger, dissent, indiscipline, and most of all minimal support from people they love. Vidya from a normal middle-class family is pressurised to quit and come attend the family wedding, while Preethi from the upper class family, engaged to a high-profile cricketer gets her own dose of male ego from him. The Hockey association is as usual less supportive of them anyways.
They fight and they overcome it all, thanks to their coach Kabir.

On the technical front, I loved the second half, the World Cup tournament is shot well. Sure there were still gaps but it’s a fine effort by the director. It’s a good film to follow after his ‘Ab Tak Chappan’. He should also be given some credit for I’m sure most people are now going to take interest in hockey: men’s or women’s. The film will do some good to our neglected national sport! Finally, some kudos to Yash Raj Films as well, after dishing out endless glossy unrealistic movies, here is one film they should be really proud of!

Most might feel it’s not in the league of a Lagaan or Iqbal but it still can get a place behind them in terms of the subject and the execution.

And before I leave, take a bow to Shahrukh Khan! It was nice to see the sincere and natural effort, Shahrukh’s Kabir Khan will be in memory for a long, long time along with Abhimanyu Rai(Fauji), Raj Malhotra(DDLJ) and Mohan Bhargava(Swades). He was and is the soul of this movie and takes it to success boldly on his shoulders!

So go watch it once, it is the kind of stuff dreams are made of!

P.S.: My favourite scene in the film has nothing to do with hockey, it’s the one where the team goes to Mcdonald’s and ends up bashing a gang of eve-teasers wihout any help from a male!! Oh boy I can bet every girl alive will love that scene! Oh ya that’s one scene I would’ve loved to be part of!

Lage Raho MunnaBhai

The difference between the two parts:

I went for MunnaBhai M.B.B.S.:

  • Without reading any reviews
  • Having seen no great hype
  • Without any expectations.

I came out of the theatre adding one more movie to my all-time favourite list. A movie that made me smile and laugh over and over again. A rarity in today’s movie era

I went for Lage Raho MunnaBhai

  • Without reading any reviews
  • Having seen a far larger hype
  • With loads of expectations

I came out of the theatre adding one more movie to my all-time favourite list.A movie that made me smile and laugh over and over again. A rarity in today’s movie era

I’m not going to reveal the story of the film; if I did, I would be doing grave injustice to Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra who have come up with another masterpiece. The trailers have not given away anything and please watch the movie to find out the connection between MunnaBhai and the great Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Thumbs up to Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra for carving a special niche and I can’t wait for MunnaBhai sequels to come our way.

Sanjay Dutt charms and Arshad Warsi sails through. Arshad Warsi must be one of the best actors in the industry today when it comes to comedy and its sense of timing. He has to be! The one-liners are as memorable as part one and boy, the writers have done a great job, it’s not easy to be so witty everytime.

Vidya Balan looks beautiful and do her eyes talk! She doesn’t have much to do but she still impresses. Boman Irani plays his role to perfection and I can’t find a flaw with this man. Most of the characters from part one play out various roles and to perfection. There are a few surprises which our extremely pleasant and some are well kept secrets; and we will let them be till every one has watched the movie. But if you all know who is my current favourite then you ought to know that I was very very glad that this person had a special appearance!

It was a great pleasure to see some veteran Marathi actors like Atmaram Bhende and Dilip Prabhavalkar adorn the stage here. The casting is almost perfect.

The only con (if you can find one) is the music, this time there is no ‘Dekh Le’ to hit the disco scenes but the songs are situational which are built in well. One song though does leave a mark. It is not the title track or the romantic one! I’ll leave that for you all to figure out once you have seen the movie.

  • Without getting too serious Lage Raho MunnaBhai makes us think
  • Without sounding pretentious it manages to convince us that things can still work if we follow his teachings
  • Without getting too preachy it gets the message across to a nation that has fallen asleep; that it is only a matter of self belief

I would love to list out my favourite scenes and dialogues from the movie but that would amount to spoiling your fun and I don’t want to do that. So, here is one which everyone must have seen on their TV sets. When I saw it too, I told my husband that we have to see this movie first day first show….

‘Apun ke Birthday pe bhi Dry Day ho

Nahi, Nahi, Dry Day Nahi.’

Well Munna and Circuit, Tumhare Birthday Pe Hum Log Dry Day Kaise Rakhenge?

After all we are drunk on your antics!

K-Jo will you ever say Good Bye?

I finally saw KANK. I don’t think Karan Johar is an exceptional director-producer. He is pretty much a little above average; for his films carry a classy look and he makes his actors look great even while they are sobbing most times.

  • I liked his first film Kuch Kuch Hota Hain for Kajol alone
  • K3G was nothing but 3 Kg. of sentimental crap
  • Kal Ho Na Ho was my favorite K-Jo film and you know why; because it was one movie where not only did SRK not snatch the girl from someone else but also died! Awesome script!
  • Kaal: For heaven’s sake let me not waste my blog over it
  • But I will for KANK.

A lot has been written on this movie so here are my two wise cents as well. So before I dissect it, I will first put up what I liked about the movie, there were parts which were good but, they are not worth spending your money in the theatre for it.

Abhishek Bachchan: He was awesome in the movie, the only one whose character was well defined. I loved his outburst scenes and he was the only one who brought a tear in my eye in the whole movie. Go watch it for him; he has style, charisma and panache. Way to go AB’s Baby.

Preity Zinta: She probably should’ve got more screen time. I quite liked her as Rhea. I also thought the scene in which Dev reveals about his affair with Maya, her reaction was dignified. No ‘Rona Dhona’ (crying), no hysterics, controlled, mature, restrained and at the end a well-deserved tight slap. Well done woman!

The Songs: Well choreographed and well picturised. I loved Rani’s sans jewellery look in ‘Tumhi Dekho Na’ and the stars were dressed very well except Big B.

The Dialogues: A dialogue that caught my attention. Rani discloses her affair to Abhishek; he reacts hysterically, only to ask her later, “Did you sleep with him, Maya? How was it, was it fun for you?”

I did not see this coming in an Indian movie. We see it often in English serials and movies but not as a serious dialogue so upfront in an Indian movie. It was such a natural reaction on the part of a husband who has been waiting for his wife to love him back.

Finally I simply loved the dialogue Amitabh says on his death bed to Abhishek. It just stuck in my head, “Any message for mom?” That was beautiful.

And now let the disappointments begin:

The concept was interesting, the execution disappointing. K-Jo is not Ekta Kapoor in whose serials every man has to have two wives atleast and every woman two husbands at least. Brothers exchange wives and the kids that come in after leaps and leaps could create a whole new show for Ekta with the title ‘Guess My Parent’. If we tolerate her crap then K-JO’s movie is so much more sensible, I’m just giving a perspective.

Here is why I think the movie fails to capture the audience’s vote. The foundation for Dev and Maya’s drift from their respective marriages and attraction towards each other is weak. It felt like a college attraction where I’m seeing a guy but, I’m not sure if I love him. So, if I find my soul mate I can bid him good-bye! Marriage is the same as some teenage love? I like blue, do you? Yes you do; let’s get together because we are soul mates. We do not feel empathy at all towards the main protagonists Dev and Maya.

Dev is a grumpy old soul and it should’ve been Rhea divorcing him in the first place for the crap he kept dishing out to her. Love can make you do silly things and that is why Rhea chose to stay in the marriage with Dev! SRK was his irritating self. The only times I liked him was in his first serial Fauji as Abhimanyu Rai (What a heartthrob he was for us school girls).Then Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ( He brought Raj alive and that year I did not mind Aamir’s Munna losing out to him at the awards). Of late Swades, I caught that movie on TV here in Dubai and I could not stop raving about SRK. His portrayal of Mohan Bhargava was so real. But he has to come back to his irritating self and that’s what he was doing again in KANK! Sometimes I wonder if he is the same person.

Maya and Rishi’s marriage was a big mystery to me. Here is a guy you chose to marry; no one forced it on you. Here is a guy who loves you no end and yet you feel nothing for him. What’s worst she is not even keen to try to make her marriage work. Rishi is right when he says, ‘All that you keep thinking about is leaving and me about staying in this marriage’. Weak, weak, weak! Maya’s character was the most weakest of the four. Simply no premise for her disappointments in life or for the actions she took later. You take an actress like Rani Mukherjee and give her a Maya, boy you are making a mockery of her, especially after Black. And did I read somewhere that her role in KANK surpasses the one in Black, whoever said that was ‘Definitely on Drugs’!

I’m not mentioning anything about Amitabh Bachchan because I was extremely disappointed with him. What made him take up this role? If he still loves his wife so much then what’s with the skirt chasing act? Never mind, most of the things that occur in the film have little or no explanations.

So here is my take, I have strongly believed that divorce is not a taboo and if a marriage is not working, walk out before it ends you; but only after both have tried to really make it work. In KANK, there were only two people who wanted to make an effort for their marriage to work and they were not married to each other. Dev and Maya had nothing but only a negative attitude towards it. I don’t think KJO managed to pull off that every person is grey with pros and cons, I felt at the end that Rishi and Rhea came out more positive than the main protagonists Dev and Maya.

If Dev and Maya felt they were stuck in wrong marriages and were doing the right thing they should’ve come clean to their spouses and not feel ashamed of their deed, be forthright, seek a divorce and get together. But KJO stuck to his traditional roots and made them suffer and think they were wrong. Another weak link in the story. So much that they punished themselves for three whole years and moved ahead only when their respective spouses had found a new life. Rhea and Rishi on learning that their exes were living unhappy, lonely lives went ahead and got them together. Man that was too much for me to digest. Too much of a happy ending which does not always happen in real life! Maybe he could’ve opted for Rhea leading her life along with her son and being highly successful. Why the need to show that companionship is a necessity in life? Such experiences could also throw people off marriage, it happens in real life.

But that’s KJO and he has to see everyone happy right, be with their true loves….

Phew, as you can see I’m relaxing at home and hence the time to pen down a long review. I was terribly bored for more than 3 hours yesterday, so can I not share it with you all?

Finally, did someone tell me this was the most awaited movie of the year? I think not.

Two people who made India smile and keep doing it everytime they come on TV; are back again to make us laugh a whole lot more. I’m dying to see this one this week. That’s how movies should be; light hearted with a message. We lead such high tension lives these days that we do need a Munnabhai and Circuit to make us smile. KJO, we really could do without crying:-) Think about it…

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