Saturday, August 22
Tuesday, August 18
Monday, August 3
Thursday, July 30
Saturday, July 11
Wednesday, June 24
He was a spy. He was caught. And now they want to hang him. If we think he is innocent, we should well go the Israel way i.e. invade Pakistan, get Sarabjit, make history and alter some geography on the way. On the other hand, if we feel that we don't have the balls to do that, we could put this little charade on the fast track and hang this guy at least.
Thursday, June 18
17 Again is about 37 year old Mike O'Donnell(played by Mathew Perry), leading a typical American life(pun intended) - job going nowhere, kids hate him, wife has filed for a divorce etc etc. Somehow he turns 20 years younger and gets a chance to/at redo everything. And everything he does - getting his daughter to break up with the college bully, teaching his son the tricks of the wooing trade and getting back with his wife. Assisting him in these tasks is his college geek buddy Ned(played brilliantly by Comedian Thomas Lennon) who falls for the college principal.
A nice and thoroughly enjoyable romantic comedy. Don't miss it!
P.S. - Somehow the better half found the lead actor cute. I thought he had a bad boy look. Whatever...!
And since we are indulging in China bashing, here is DNA's Jagannathan with his brilliant take on the rogue state that is China.
Saturday, June 13
Friday, June 12
Now that the knives are out in the open, can the UPA govt start sharpening theirs?
Also Read :
Sunday, May 31
Congress would be creating a historical milestone by opting for the first dalit woman speaker. In the past also, Congress chose the first woman PM, youngest PM, first woman President.
Great! History has been created again. By the Congress party's refusal to accept the fact that they were always a 'crowd around a family'. My only question to him is - Did you have any choice, at least in the first two cases?
Sunday, May 24
Sunday, May 17
Looks bad? Isn't it? It took me exactly 48 hours to figure out that this 'has' happened and probably 'why' this has happened.
This is not a vote for the UPA. This is a vote for the Congress, overwhelmingly. All across the country urban or rural, there has been a wave towards the congress. And so strong has been this wave, riding on socialist and populist measures of the UPA regime, that it has been able to overcome the non-performance of the Manmohan Singh govt.
Rahul Gandhi's positioning has been very clear. We are pro-poor whereas the NDA is the party of stock brokers and the rich(Yep he actually said that) which is ironical. While the NREGA, reservations in higher education, Loan waiver took care of the rural voter(unemployed youth as well as farmers), the Jyotiradityas, Sachin Pilots, Milind Deoras and Sandeep Dikshits ensured that the urban voter connects with them. If you don't agree with me then kindly check out the margin of victories in Delhi and Mumbai of Congress candidates(a fact also mentioned by Swapan Dasgupta). So a combination of youth with a heavy dose of socialism did it for the Congress.
About the BJP, well what to say. Varun Gandhi, 'weak' PM, not supporting the nuclear deal and some other factors like MNS were the main reasons I feel. The congress had supported the BJP in passing many bills(including private sector insurance) during 98-2004. But the way the BJP including Advani behaved in the nuclear deal was disgusting. Dunno about Modi. Even if he had any effect, the congress wave was too strong for him to withstand. He could hardly manage to hold on to his own seats in Gujarat.
Will they learn their lessons? I don't think so. Last I heard, M M Joshi was ready to take over any responsibility given by the party.(sic)
And now for the best part! Third grade politicians with ten to thirty MPs wanting to be PM have been resoundingly KICKED. So no Maya, no Mulayam, no Amar Singh(Sunil Bharti Mittal must be relieved), no Karat, no Yechury, no Pawar. Which means no statues, no ban on english, no moneymaking, no arm twisting, no dhamki-dena. For all these factors itself, this election has been worth it.
Lessons to learn from this election
- Youth is the key
- Negativity will not help
- Socialism is back
- Charisma is essential
Some other great columns on this verdict
Friday, May 15
Thursday, May 14
Starring hollywood biggies like Matt Damon, Chris Cooper, William Hurt, Jeffrey Wright and George Clooney(who won a Best Supporting Oscar for this one and doubles up as the executive producer), Syriana is slow and confusing initially as you get introduced to a myriad of characters going about their jobs in a ruthless manner.
Harvard educated Prince Nasir(played brilliantly by Alexander Siddig) wants to reform his oil rich country by bringing in democracy and granting voting rights to women. Assisting him in his reform process is Bryan Woodman(Matt Damon), an energy analyst who is loosing touch with his own family based back in the US. Somewhere else, Robert Gates(George Clooney), a veteran CIA officer, is entrusted by the US Govt with assasinating Prince Nasir.
What happens next is something to be seen - sibling rivalry, corporate greed, preservation of national interest(read OIL), treachery, assasination attempts and the birth of suicide bombers. Syriana is an eye opener for those who don't know and a confirmation for those who do.
Don't miss it!!!
Monday, May 11
"The Narendra Modi-Nitish Kumar photo-op in particular was good piece of showmanship. NDTV was particularly agitated and made it appear that Nitish's main crime was to have reneged on an assurance to Barkha Dutt. However, I don't think that Nitish was too happy over being ambushed by Modi--such public displays are not his style."
Since this unspeakable act of communalism, doublespeak and treachery(pun intended) has happpened, NDTV is at it. As if Nitish and Barkha are committed to each other and having made a statement on a horribly biased news channel is treated as signed confession in the supreme court of India. Not that I believe Nitish will NOT move to the UPA if the numbers are with them, I am just happy at the plain simple fact that NDTV is bloody hurt.
Whoever conceptualised this(Was it Jaitley?) deserves a pat on the back!
On a totally unrelated note, is it just me or are Priyanka Gandhi's clothes really getting tighter and tighter as the elections are nearing the end phase?
Saturday, May 9
Sunday, May 3
Close on the heels of Kalyan Singh's confessions on the Babri demolition, some other notable public figures are readying their confessions. A sneak peek :-
I knew nothing about cricket - John Buchanan and/or Shilpa Shetty
I knew nothing about 'getting elected from the Lok Sabha' - Manmohan Singh
I knew nothing about socialism(read NREGS) - Sonia Gandhi
I knew nothing about hair oil, only gel - Shivraj Patil
I knew nothing about the flight to Kandahar and Jaswant in that flight - L K Advani
I knew nothing about Hindi - Pranab Mukherjee
I knew nothing about unbiased reporting - Barkha Dutt/Rajdeep Sardesai
I knew nothing about whose son I am - Sanjay Dutt
Thursday, April 30
Tuesday, April 7
Thursday, April 2
Wednesday, April 1
- A PM who needs 'permission' even to go to the loo. A PM who slept while 'Indians' were getting killed in blasts and 'could not sleep' when Dr Haneef was in an australian jail.
- A home minister who spent more time putting gel in his hair than running the ministry.
- An external affairs minster who was incomprehensible and un-understandable, in either English or Hindi.
- And lastly, a heir-apparent, indulging in poverty tourism and dalit-house-hunting, which seems to me racism of the worst kind and also tells me he was born even further away from his mother's birthplace Italy.
If the BJP wants to, or should I say, needs to improve its image in the minds of first time voters, they 'have to' get some new anchors fast which means, simply, add some new products to its portfolio. They might be a little foolish like Manish Tewari of the Italian National Congress but they have to be fluent, presentable and debatable.
Rajnath Jee, are you listening?
P.S. - Where the hell is Arun Jaitley? I know he is strategizing, but we need to see him on NDTV, Times NOW and CNN IBN day after day everyday taking on the likes of Sibal and Brinda.
Sunday, March 29
And I'm not too blind to know
All the pain you kept inside you
Even though you might not show
If I can't apologize for being wrong
Then it's just a shame on me
I'd be the reason for your pain
And you can put the blame on me
Monday, March 23
So what did I think of it? Better than Notting Hill. No. Wittier than Notting Hill. At some places.
The best stories are the ones with the aging rockstar(Bill Nighy) and his manager, the boss(Alan Rickman, the baddie from Die Hard) and the secretary and the stand-in body doubles. The story about the Prime Minister(brilliantly played by Hugh Grant) and Sarah(played by Laura Linney), who likes a fellow colleague at her office, have a good start but are not developed quite as well.
A highlight of the film is this scene where the PM addressess the media alongwith the President of the US. And for this reason alone I give this film 3 stars.
Needless to say the Bollywood copy of this film was the very boring Salaam-E-Ishq!
Friday, March 20
If Manmohan Singh can work as the (remote)PM and do a great job, why the hell can't I?
Claim to fame
Currently is on the 'I love Jinnah' & 'I did know Jaswant had a ticket' communities on Orkut.
If I can be number one in corruption, why can't i get the number one job in the country?
Claim to fame
4. Jyoti Basu
The time has come to rectify the historic blunder.
Claim to fame
His leadership. His vision. His age. His walk. His talk. His coverage on NDTV.
Tuesday, March 17
Somehow I felt that the film was more about Plainview's rags to riches story and subsequent loneliness than the fight between him the young preacher as suggested by reviewers.
Definitely a one time watch for a lazy Sunday afternoon!
Friday, March 13
What this means that some unemployed politicians dying to get some votes(and ministries thereafter) and prove their SECULARISM will get together at Deve Gowda's residence and watch him sleep. BTW, our former PM also has the ability to sleep with his eyes wide open. Don't believe me, check him out yourself.
P.S. - What the hell is A B Bardhan doing?
Thursday, March 12
- There are no accidents... : What is is meant to be and how it was destined to be. Do not regret.
- Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present : Learn from the past. Do plan for the future but live in the present. I loved this line. Absolutely!!!
- No matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach : If a young boy is destined to be a scriptwriter/storyteller/director he will be one. He can't become a doctor. On a different note, if a young boy is meant to redefine music through algorithms, then no point forcing him to go to Indian Idol.
- There is no secret ingredient in the secret ingredient soup : To make something special, you just have to believe it's special. Love this thought! Totally!
- Hollywood not only makes great movies, they make the movies with the best messages too : The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, A Beautiful Mind, Rocky, Little Miss Sunshine, Crash, Spiderman 1 & 2. Need I say more.
The only film which I give 5 stars. Highly recommended!!!
Tuesday, March 3
Now that I have seen Scarface, I feel let down. Cause Agneepath is a copy, certainly not a scene-by-scene DVD copy like Zinda, but the concept, styling and character detailing has been lifted straightawayfrom the 1983 Brian De Palma crime drama about a cuban refugee's rise to the top of the Miami underworld.
Watching Scarface is a treat cause you get to see Al Pacino in full form; his volatile character being one of the highlights for this film. One also gets to see the 1980s Miami and a very young Michelle Pfeiffer.
Saturday, February 28
P.S. - Meanwhile on the way to Goa and back I have discovered one of the greatest music albums ever made by a Bollywood composer. Yes!!! Dev D is the best (original)music to come out of Bollywood in a decade. Check it out, if you still haven't.
Wednesday, February 18
Coincidentally, it was playing today on HBO and I managed to catch it along with sandwiches and tea. An engaging first half , an innovative ending(though not an airport one), a little boring in the second half is how the movie sums up. The writing in some scenes is pretty amazing especially the 'apricot and honey' bit. Hugh Grant is cute as usual and carries the same expression throughout(Britain's Shahrukh, anyone..eh?). Julia Roberts is... well Julia Roberts.
Total ChickFlick. One time watch!!!
P.S. - An interesting fact is the this $40 Million movie made almost $350 Million dollars in total. That is almost an I, Robot. Also, this is Hugh Grant's biggest hit.
Tuesday, February 10
This little piece of history is important not because I am his die-hard-will-watch-his-movie-first-day-first-show fan but because Cruise has always been a fantastic actor.
In Rainman he plays Charlie Babbit, a car dealer who is in a bit of trouble and requires a substantial sum of money to clear his dues. Somewhere at the same time, he gets to know that his estranged father, with whom he never ever got along, has died. Expecting to gain something from this father's will, he is surprised to learn that he has just left him an old car and donated his entire wealth($3 Million) to the mental institution where his autistic brother(Raymond/Dustin Hoffman) lives. Charlie kidnaps his brother and take him along with himself to meet his lawyers. Since Raymond is afraid of flying, they go by road from Cincinnati to Los Angeles. What happens eventually forms the crux of the movie. Although Dustin Hoffman is perfect(He won an Oscar for this one) as the autistic Raymond, it is Tom Cruise who shines as the icy cold Charlie Babbitt. His journey from being frustrated and irritated at Raymond's actions to a caring and protective brother is touching. The plot is simple and the storytelling is brilliant.
Roger Ebert's Review
Saturday, February 7
Rediff - Raja Sen Review - 3.5 stars
Rajeev Masand - CNN IBN Review - 2 stars
Taran Adarsh - IndiaFM Review - 1 star
Anupama Chopra's Review - 3 stars
Nikhat Kazmi - TOI Review - 5 stars(huh??!!!)
Disclaimer : These are the reviews which I follow. The rest do not matter. Taran Adarsh's review is just for cosmetic purposes.
Thursday, February 5
Dissapointing. Some things should just be left untouched.
Tuesday, February 3
Friday, January 30
Wednesday, January 28
Monday, January 19
Aamir leads the way in this strategy. A look at his last five films(The Rising, Rang De Basanti, Fanaa, TZP, Ghajini) gives you an idea of the way he has built his brand. Even though The Rising was not a super duper hit, it got a great initial which made it to break even(an added fact was that it was Aamir's first release in five years). Every movie since Aamir has been getting a new hairstyle and the media has been lapping it up. He has been living his characters through the media. The media's limited access to him has only added to the exclusivity factor. And the results are there for everyone to see.
Not many Bollywood commentors look at this fact but even SRK has been working on not more than two films per year. Since Paheli, he has not failed.
Akshay unfortunately has not learnt his lessons. His movies are neither high on content(Unlike Aamir's) and neither is he a great talker(Unlike SRK who visits every TV show and every reporter's house to promote his film). It worked for some time(Namaste London, Welcome, Singh is King) but now Brand Akshay Kumar is showing signs of cracking. Since any industry should not have a monopoly, a strong Brand Akshay Kumar is required to keep the Khans and Roshans in check. But the key question is can he salvage it?
Friday, January 16
Saturday, January 10
- Asin is overweight and irritating.
- The whole lovestory subplot(including the Sanjay Singhania bit) is impractical and stretches too far even by Bollywood standards.
- Aamir looks great with all that body shoddy and the hairstyle but why he gets into those Sunny Deol style screaming and shouting is something I did not get.
- I was hoping Murgadoss will concentrate and build upon the initial story as to when he starts tattoing on his body but no, the movie starts of with a ridiculous killing-with-a-tap scene; the buildup of whom is not clearly shown.
- Inspector Arjun Yadav - Who? Why? From where?
- The entire film has a distinct South Indian feel which ain't bad but it ain't no good either.
- The best part about Ghajini is Ghajini himself i.e Pradeep Rawat aka the guy who played the sardar in Lagaan. His haryanvi accent gave me some pleasure in three and a half hours of pure agony.
My nomination for the Worst Film of the year 2008.
P.S. : After watching the end credits roll, I sent a message to my dear friend - 'Is Rab Ne even worse'? Got the reply - 'Yep'.
Friday, January 9
Saturday, January 3
Number 5 - Mithya
That Ranvir Shourie is talented actor is very well known, what was not known to us that a combination of Shourie+Vinay Pathak+Rajat Kapoor's wacky direction would be a dark comedy with a bundle of surprises. Watching Mithya I was reminded of a line from the Tom Hanks' starrer Forrest Gump - Life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. The movie starts of on a wild note...goes slow in the second half and the ending well.. breaks your heart. Ranvir Shourie is brilliant and so is pal Vinay Pathak.
Rajeev Masand Review of Mithya.
Number 4 - Race
Having a plot which is as straight as a jalebi, Race is one of those typical 90's films of Abbas Mastan. The only difference being that you have more cleavage, mindblowing 'copied' music(as a certain Mr Pritam is the music director), countless twists and turns and jokes so silly that they make you laugh. Sample this line from Anil Kapoor - Ganna chusenge bolne main accha nahi lagta isliye bol raha hun ganna khayenge.
Movies are for entertainment and if you agree with that, Race is a total paisa vasool.
Number 3 - Aamir
Inspired from the filipino film Cavite and brilliantly executed by debutant director Rajkumar Gupta, Aamir is an answer not only to the radical islamists in India but also to the current UPA govt, which undertook the Sachar comittee report. On being taunted that he was one of the lucky few, Aamir replies - "I was not lucky. I studied in govt schools and colleges, worked hard, got a scholarship and made my destiny on my own".
Number 2 - Jaane Tu..ya Jaane na
Movie Talkies called it "One of the coolest, warmest, hippest and funniest musical romantic comedy in years has arrived, and a new Khan is born." I would add 'funniest' and the remove the latter line. Jaane Tu is also an example of how great writing and great dialogues can make a simple film work. The gags in Jaane Tu are the funniest I have seen in any Bollywood film since Khosla ka Ghosla.
And the Desiblab Film of the year is...
Number 1 - A Wednesday
I have reviewed the film previously. And there is nothing more to say that in a year when the aam aadmi was the mainstay of Bollywood, media and Madam Sonia, 'A Wednesday' is the perfect candidate for the film of the year.
Also ran - Jodha Akbar, Dostana, Ghajini, Dasvidaniya, Golmaal Returns, Fashion and Rock On!