Jodhaa Akbar

18 02 2008

Another in this year’s mega let downs! After Saawaria and Om Shanti Om, this is another movie that left me with mixed feelings.

Ashutosh Gowariker’s ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ is a historical drama of epic proportions that tries to depict a delicate romance between a Mughal Emperor and a Rajput Princess . That being said, watch this for costumes, performances of lead pair, settings and background score. The music in fact has risen my expectations which couldn’t be fulfilled by watching the movie. I would have loved this movie, had I had a remote control in the theater. How I longed for it! Sadly I lived with this reality that I had to wade through mediocrity and Bollywood masala for a few moments of brilliance. Brilliance of execution in some of the scenes, like Hrithik’s taming of the wild elephant, Aish and Hrithik’s sensuous sword play, the huge crowd filling battle field scenes, court room sceneries, and the dance number when the people honor the Emperor with the Akbar tag.

Yes, this movie is Hrithik and Aishwarya written all over. Aish and Hrithik look every bit regal in their attire, mastering grace, elegance and royal countenance in a sweeping flourish with ease. I just loved the way they lived up to the role in an amazing restraint. Indeed Aish and Hrithik did justice to this untold love story championed by Ashutosh Gowariker.

For me, it is just another Romantic Story, a rather slow moving one at that, topped off with some real grandiose costumes, soulful numbers and the pristine old times usage of Urdu and Hindi language (I was really wondering about the meaning of some of the words 🙂 ). And Yes, the USP of this movie is that its based on the Historical facts. Let’ not get into the veracity of those claims, for that reminds me of this starting line in Mel Gibson’s ‘Brave Heart’ which says “History is written by those who have hanged heroes”. What’s often projected in those glorious history books is what those in power and control want to project. And even that is mingled with a great deal of controversy.

Yet, I hoped this movie had a more gripping narrative, some intense characterization and a convincing plot. This movie proves that sometimes, attention to detail is just not enough. As the movie battles between the fact and fiction, the audience is taken a ride through boredom and thrills. The soothing music, though divine has only added to the length. Its easy to engross ourselves in ‘Aseem O Shaan Shahenshah’, ‘Man Mohana’, ‘Khwaja Mere Khwaja’, and ‘In Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein’. Yet, Apart from ‘Jashn-E-Bahaara’, you won’t remember any of them after you walk out of the theater. Sample the lyrics of ‘Jashn-E-Bahaara’, which made me an accomplished kitchen singer for sometime. 🙂

“Kehne ko Jashn-e-bahara hai
Ishq yeh dekhke hairaan hai
Phool se khusboo khafa khafa hai gulshan mein
Chupa hai koi ranj fiza ki chilman mein

Sare sehmein nazare hain
Soye soye vaqt ke dhare hain
Aur dil mein koi khoye si baatein hain

Kaise kahen kya hai sitam
Sochte hai ab yeh hum
Koi kaise kahen woh hai ya nahi humare

Karte to hai saath safar
Faasle hain phir bhi magar
Jaise milte nahi kisi dariya ke do kinare”..

Jodhaa Akbar

I kept a track of every passing hour in the movie giving in to the yawn and the complaining of the inner voice, and sadly that’s not what I expected out of this. Now you may ask, why is this review full of pictures and very little words? That’s what this movie is about and that’s what I really loved, the richly detailed presence which was marred by the narrative. I would understand if people rate this a four starer based on cinematography, costumes, sheer magnitude, attention to detail for this historical romance, or visual experience. In the end, what matters to me is the sheer experience or joy of being a part of the movie, that era and that journey. Yet, Jodhaa Akbar didn’t manage to create a tug at my heart.

Aao Ge Jab Tum…

10 12 2007

This song really helped me get over the manic monday schedule in soothing ease. How I loved the calming comfort it offered in hectic run! I actually listened to this song for more than 20 times in repeat mode without feeling bored! Thanks to the music director and the lyricist!


Movie: Jab We Met

Aaoge Jab Tum Saajna…..
Aaoge Jab Tum Saajna
Angana phool khilege……….

Barsega saawan,
barsega saawan…..
Jhoom jhoom ke…
Do dil aise milenge

Aaoge Jab Tum Saajna.
Angana phool khilege

Naina tere kajrare..
Naino pe hum dil hare hai

Anjane hi tere naino ne..
Waade kiye kayi saare hai
Saanso he leher..maddam chale..
To se kahe..

Barsega saawan
Barsega saawan….
Jhoom jhoom ke…
Do dil aise milenge

Aaoge Jab Tum Saajna..
Angana phool khilege..

Chanda ko uta raton mein……
Hai zindagi tere haton mein..
Palko pe jhil mil tare hai……
Aana bahri barsato me..
Sapno ka jahan…
Hoga khila khila……..

Barsega saawan,
barsega saawan………
Jhoom jhoom ke……..
Do dil aise milenge

Chak De India

14 09 2007

The first thing that strikes about this movie is SRK and Yash Raj Films.. Honestly I expected a super romantic story with loads of good music. Must say I am delightfully surprised. King Khan delivers complete justice to this off beat de-glam role as he creates magic with his magnificent aura and charming presence. It is a special movie for many reasons and after watching the movie at the edge of my seat for a couple of times, I must admire the courage of Director Shimit Amin for coming up with a novel theme of women hockey game in this cricket frenzy India. Many fail to appreciate that Hockey is our national game and somehow it went into oblivion when the most glamorous cricket took over. I am most impressed by the fact that hockey stick sales went up by about 300% after the release of Chak De!

This movie brings out beautifully that ultimately when everyone is on field, its more than just a game. Its about getting ten odd players with diverse backgrounds to unite and stand as one. Its about a team playing its heart out for the love of the game, with a hope to win against all odds and for a chance to hold on to a dream created by belief.

Many times it so happens that we take for granted a lot of issues that are inherent in our country. Sorry Mr. Shaw, but I don’t believe that Patriotism is all about thinking my country is great as I am born in it, though I love the way of expression. 🙂

Its about appreciating the beauty and the values that I inherent from my motherland and taking a charge to preserve, or protect its identity. It also involves how much am I taking responsibility to introspect, or change for the betterment. Shimit has done a great job of highlighting a lot of issues that come in the way of the development of sports in India, like the unethical side of media in branding Kabir Khan as a traitor, the politics, corruption and the bias with in the selection board in dealing with coach and player selection, regional fanaticism within the players and the crowd, gender discrimination in India, selfish motives of the players, lack of mental training and encouragement. We always talk about Unity in Diversity, yet we seldom acknowledge the discrimination that we show to the minority classes or the south eastern states.

Whats sets this movie apart is that unique touch of Indian flavor, and well grounded realism. I loved Komal Chautala and Balbir Kaur in their well groomed roles. And it stands out as it creates hope and makes us believe that nothing is impossible when we set our hearts on it.

Namumkin? Wahi To Karna Hai!

Chennai 600028

14 07 2007

“You and Galli Cricket based Tamil Movie?!” – No Way..
“That Movie is good, but you can’t make head and tail of it”..
“You and Tamil Movie? you would hardly understand”..

And so on are the comments/advices that flowed from my pals when I proposed this movie for a saturday timepass. Well.. They have my best interests in mind.. Well, my two years stint @ Chennai while being oblivious to the nuances of Tamil entitled me for it.. Yet I was damn curious to see how a south indian version of cricket based movie would look like? Would that be comparable to Lagaan? Other factors like a movie drought in Chennai ( You got either Shivaji or the Potter Latest in the menu.. ) made me head to Shanti Theatre, and I am glad that I did.. So here I am, writing about a Tamil movie, when I am not even sure I understood the proper dialogue flow..

The Party

Its a movie about Street Cricket, and about typical middle class youth who dream of cricket bats.. The storyline is quite simple just the way the soft tone of SPB narrates in the start. Royapuram ‘Rockers’ and R.A Puram ‘Sharks’ are at war both inside and outside of the stadium. While Rockers took home the cup for three consecutive years beating Sharks, The Sharks are determined to win this year’s tournament. The story continues till Sharks win the Mirchi Cup detailing parallelly how Rockers Raghu joins Sharks, how some of the team members tread the path of romance, how little fights erupt among those friends.. Now hold on that thought.. Its not the stereo masala dole out of guys practicing hard, face challenges, win the cup as a final endeavour. Don’t expect a flow of passion, hardship, perseverence.. Its one unconventional movie with a predictable theme. Guess this movie offers a convincing respite for those who are hunting for realistic, low budget youth comedy. Opt for it for its off-beat humor, realistic satire, humane characterization and lighthearted fun!

What makes this movie endearing to watch is the way its steers clear of sentimental drama while delivering light hearted, realistic fun. Dont be critical of the superficial romance themes (even if they don’t sound convincing or gel with the movie.. After all, we all can stomach a bit of fantacy stories! ).. Just enjoy the cheeky commentry, the light hearted fun, the beauty of friendship and the hilarious ending! 🙂 I managed to do, even with my half baked tamil knowledge!

Apocalypto Movie Review

3 07 2007

I couldn’t believe that I could watch a violent movie, that too one with unknown actors and English subtitles as the main language of the movie is an archaic dialect of Yucatec Maya.. Yet, I did and loved every moment of it! This movie is truly gripping, absorbing and hypnotic. Never have I ever watched a movie that’s set in another time, and place with so much of painstakingly elaborate detail that kind of transports one to the historic Mayan civilization.

To cut the two hour movie into one sentence, this rousing movie details Jaguar Paw’s struggle for survival and revenge, as he fights those warriors who ravaged and slaughtered his tribe and took survivors as captives for human sacrifice. Meanwhile, Jaguar Paw’s wife is pregnant and is awaiting his arrival along with a four year old son in a huge pit where her husband hid her from the eyes of the attackers. The whole movie runs likes a riveting action tale with lumps of suspense, intrigue and history throwed in for good measure. You feel sorry for his family, empathy for the slaves, hatred for those grisly sacrificial scenes, yet you can’t take your eyes off this flick.

This movie looks, and feels authentically primitive and keeps you engrossed and enraged as it takes you through a ‘survival of the fittest’ theme set in the animalistic times of ‘its better to kill than be killed’. This movie runs like a visual poetry and you can’t help but surrender your senses in this fiercely beautiful flick as the characters portray feral intensity to survive. It makes one own the ancient violence, believe in the mighty human spirit and while leaving you spellbound with a sensual experience.

Cheeni Kum Review

27 06 2007

To the horror of all prudish folks, I loved this movie absolutely! Tabu and Amitabh’s chemistry is just right and together they present a very convincing romantic love story with oodles of tongue in the cheek humor!

The movie projects itself as a romantic comedy as the 64 year old Amitabh is all set to woo the 34 year old Tabu. Now dont imagine it as a typical old man after a young girl story. The movie is dealt in quite a mature and realistic fashion. Zora Sehgal played a terrific role in supporting the movie with her exuberant presence.

I must say that this movie has set a new definition in the typical romantic movie genre of Bollywood. I really love the way Amitabh is experimenting with himself in the recent movies with fresh roles, looks and challenging scripts. I know that everyone loves a superhero. Most of the times we worship them in stereocasted moulds that it would be a taboo if they try to break free of it. Well, I can never imagine Amitabh’s role being played by Rajani Kanth in a tamil remake of cheeni kam without loads of bandhs and suicide attempts! 🙂 Hope you got my meaning! Tabu is my all time favorite. She has a touch of elegance and I love the way she lives in her roles. So imagine how delighted I was when I saw both of them coming together in this sugar fare! I just hoped that the second half could have been better with a little less of sentimental gandhian drama.

Watch it for a light hearted fun ride, for the satirical comedy in the movie, and for the sheer brilliance of Amitabh and Tabu. Even if you can’t stomach a couple of dialogues, even if you thing Paresh Rawal is wasted in a stereotypical father role, even if you think that the cute little darling ‘Sexy’ mouths a lot of gyan, watch it for the sheer light headed banter that runs through the movie.

Guess I don’t have to play the spoiler to reveal the plot. It has been already talked over thousands of times. Yet, like everyone I still believe that I have my own two cents to talk about. And My Advice is Go For It!

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom!

18 06 2007


There cant be a more apt title for this movie, coz thats what I ended up doing through out the movie.. It sure made my day, brought a smile on my face and made my weekend delightful. Have you ever tried to live up to a lie that you have created in an innocent and harmless situation? Then you will surely identify with this.

Let me play the spoiler and detail the plot.. Amitabh Bachchan (AB) opens up the movie dressed in a funky outfit along with Guitar in London Railway Station with a foottapping dance number which sets the mood of the movie. When the train gets two hours late and two strangers (In this case Alvira Khan (Preity Zinta) and Rikki Thukral (Abhishek Bachchan)) has one coffee table to share, what would they do? Well, Rikki tries to pull Alvira into a conversation and she tries to ward off his advances by claiming that she is already engaged. Undaunted, Rikki tries to play along and confesses that he has come to receive his fiancee. Now feeling harmless, these two strangers exchange their highly creative love tales and in the end fall for eachother.

What follows later is a rollicking fun ride that leaves you dazed as they try to flaunt their false fiancees and live up to their lies for the sake of pride. Finally their lies get exposed and love lives on. The story got a predictable rhythm yet it escapes the inevitable track of sentimental drama. Bobby Deol and Lara Dutta as side characters who are entangled in the tales of the Rikki and Alvira live up to the expectations. I am surprised to see the ease in Abhishek’s acting. He delivers with mettle and timing and Ms. Bubbly Preity complements him perfectly! I loved the way Amitabh comes on and off in the movie linking them in a string of music.

Now for a disclaimer.. This is neither a mush movie, neither is a sentimental one. What it got to offer is romantic comedy sprinked with dollops of generous peppy and thumpy music. Its sure worth the investment if you are looking for pure entertainment with no strings attached! Coming to me, it sure made my Sunday!

Sivaji Movie Review

17 06 2007

Well, there is NDTV Coverage, all the media is frenzied over this movie, almost all the theatres in Chennai are screening Sivaji, Tickets in black are going at 1000 bucks and the only topic at coffee tables seems to be related to the superstar.. All this made me go for this movie on the first day first show. Somehow I wonder whether all this hype is essential?

For starters, Sivaji is an out and out commercial entertainer. It got all the masala like a rags to riches story, glamor, humor, technology, action, and songs. The movie deals with the story of an NRI who comes with to India with a vision to create Sivaji Foundations which would offer free education only to find his dreams crashed by an industrialist with political clout. How Shivaji fights the Indian System, the corruption and black economy while paving way to realize his ambitions forms the rest of the story.

One should park logic and commonsense in the alleyway of the theater to savor this movie. For example, the CBI arrests Sivaji without any monumental evidence when all they got is a voice locked laptop. Or sample this, the hero who wasn’t reluctant to bribe every official in every means possible confesses lamely in the court scene. The only reason I could give to watch this movie is that it got Rajani’s Superhero presence and fabulous dance sets which speak of opulence, and grandeur. Hey Rajani got style in the way he tosses the coin or reaches to his mint. His action and the ease with which he carries himself is a treat to watch. Are these reasons good enough for you to head for movie? Yet, I guess this movie may still make century days, by the sheer support of his fans. I will wait and watch.

Sreya’s role is limited to being a glass doll and look glamorous in dance numbers and play the role of a traditional tamil ponnu in the acting sequences. The story drags in the first half as Rajani tries his best to woo Sreya and the middlemen and it gains tempo only in the second half. Rajani’s overpowering presence fills the screen in every sequence and guess the story is underplayed alot to adjust to that. The story theme isn’t well integrated with the picturization and the movie drags in an attempt to include the cool and style element of Rajani in the story line. Suman’s action stands out as a soft spoken and menacing villain. Music is sure peppy, yet I wonder how much of those numbers remain after the hype cools down.

I felt that the story could be dealt better and with greater depth for this marks the return of Rajani after I guess almost two years. With a mix of formidable talent like Shankar, Rehman and Rajani, I expected better.

The Great Indian Family!

1 06 2007

Today I chanced to see Om Jai Jagdish, a hindi movie that’s centered on the love and affection among three brothers (Om, Jai and Jagdish) in a highly romantic Indian setting. It’s a beautifully crafted Indian movie, which brings out the positive and the idealistic side of a principled family whose love and affection for one another is second to none. Waheeda Rahman is a widow who brings up her three sons in her family estate with lots of love and affection. Anil plays the role of a non-imposing, ever-loving and self-sacrificing big brother character pretty well and Abhishek Bachchan practically lives the role of a carefree young brother. Well, one could always say that it’s just another feel good sort of movie with a clichéd ending that love alone will be triumphant. Yet, the fact that I have watched it a couple of times and yet I stuck glued to the television shows how much I loved that movie.

It made me ponder on the values that Indian family setting imbibes in an Individual. Also, this movie highlights the attachment that a family has for the family home. It rings quite true for me, as when you grow up or live in a house which we call home, its not just brick and mortar anymore. It houses our fond memories and is a living reminder of the beautiful joys in life.

Its true that there is subtle politics that comes into play in a joint family kind of environment, where one has to be socially correct and politically appropriate to those relations involving authority or power.. It could be your grand dad with a cane in his hand or it could be your mother in law with an indirect nag. Pretenses to be maintained, respect to be kept. Yet, all these people carry a weight of responsibility which may be big for their shoulders. Being figureheads or the actual Dons of the family, they may have to keep their family’s interest above theirs at most of those times. And they play it with so much ease, as if they are honored to live the responsibility at any cost! It all comes for a price!

I don’t know whether people in Indian family settle for one another. Yet, I know that love and trust comes so easily to us. We accept people in all totality with such gullible warmth, mother them with over flowing concern and ensconce them with love and affection. The fiercely passionate way in which each family stands for one and one for all is worth paying a tribute for. Long live family culture!

Mozhi Movie Review

10 05 2007


This post is long due! I have always wanted to write a review about Mozhi since the moment I have seen it. Guess I am waiting for the right time and right mood! This movie comes as a fresh breather to the usual Tamil movies and it sure revived my hopes in Indian Cinema. And guess this movie qualifies for high praise as my understanding of Tamil is very meager!

The movie storyline can be described as a simple love story where the hero falls in love with a deaf and dumb girl and how they end up living happily ever after. I would be doing a gross injustice to the movie if I give such impression as simple themes can be very profound if they are handled in a sensitive fashion. For me, Mozhi is a movie that oozes our attitude towards life. It has a bunch of characters who deal with their ups and downs, joys and sorrows, which such bright, cheerful attitude and elegance that impressed me most!

Archana (played by Jyothika) is a deaf and dumb girl with a strength of character and an independent nature. She finds rapport with Swarnamala, who is her colleague as well. Karthik (Prithviraj) and Viji (Prakash) are good friends who are trying to make a career in music industry. The story revolves around these four key characters and how they deal with life in all its magnificence. This movie is beautifully complemented with timely sense of humor, situational songs, and scintillating music.

This movie is amply packed with expressions of silence, moments of rapture, sensitive emotions and strong characters. There are some great scenes as well. Guess the beauty of this movie is conveyed in this dialogue of Archana, when Prakash Raj queries her about what does music mean to her, she replies, “Music is another language like Tamil and English to me. I don’t know any of the languages that you speak. But I can speak one language that none of you speak, it is Mounam (silence)”

I don’t long to reveal the storyline or the plot.. 🙂 I just wanted to say that sensible and sensitive movies are a rare find. Do Grab them when you have a chance!