Tuesday, June 1

4 reasons why Love, Sex or Dhokha is a cult film!

It is. A cult film. In case you have not seen it yet. Go check it out. Now to the hows and the whys.

Reason number 1 – The “characterless” Characters

Remember the last time you saw a Bollywood film, and you said – Arre yaar, aisa kahan hota hai? Or Shit yaar, Aise thodi hota hai!!! Whatever happens in LSD, actually aisa hi hota hai. Right from Shruti’s father(hypocrite and horny), to the girls in the dept store(one the silent types and the other the loudspeaker), from the item girl(willing to be exploited) to the pop star Lukki Local(waiting to exploit), from the TV producer(will do anything for TRPs) to the journalist(trying hard not to compromise on his ethics).

Reason number 2 – The Analogies

If you did not get the analogies here they are in the following order

‘Love ‘ Story – Nitish Katara Case
‘Sex’ Story – N number of MMS videos on youtube.
‘Dhokha’ Story – Replace Lukki Local with our very own Mika and the item girl with Rakhi Sawant. Put in a 24 hour Hindi news Channel and the picture completes.

Reason number 3 – The Acting

Need less to say, the nameless actors play their parts with great conviction and earthiness, right from Meter Down(guard), the actress’ father, both the girls in the dept store, the journalist, his boss, the item girl and the king of Pop – Lukki Local. Lukki Local takes the cake with his Punjabi accented English and his mannerisms. An actor to watch out for!

Reason number 4 – The Connection(s)

Dibakar Bannerjee does treat his audience with respect. All three stories are connected and only when the end credits roll the viewer realizes what happened when and where. In a space of 90 minutes, Dibakar Bannerjee weaves a tale of Love, Hypocrisy, Greed, Voyeurism, Jealousy and exploitation, all as seen through the invention we know as the camera.

A smashing film that gets the DESIBLAB 5 stars.

P.S. - I have not mentioned the sex scene coz it's not a sex scene. just like any MMS, it's shot as a private moment between two people.

Monday, May 17

My Review - Ishqiya

Finally I saw Ishqiya. And I liked it. And I swear I won't listen to other people's reviews and NOT watch a movie. Simplistic, crude, earthy and very very enjoyable, Ishqiya talks of Gorakhpur and Faizabad, locations which the Johars, Chopras and even RGVs can neither reach nor understand. All three main actors give top notch performances with Naseer taking the cake. His expressions in the song "Dil to baccha hai jee" are alone enough for an award.

I give it somewhere between three and four stars.

Tuesday, May 4

Of US and Controls

Sometimes I wonder if the US sub-prime mortgage industry was the only part of America's economy that was unregulated. I was talking to a friend today and suddenly it struck me that the US is ruled by cartels. Look at telecom - AT & T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile...you are stuck with either one of these. Locked phones, bound contracts, shoddy customer service(some of which is maybe outsourced to our country) etc etc.

Now look at Hollywood. Who rules? Fox, Warner Brothers, Sony, Universal, Paramount, Disney, DreamWorks(Maybe). The big six or seven. They are supreme. So much so that someone like Woody Allen,who now makes his movies only for European audiences, said - "In the United States things have changed a lot, and it's hard to make good small films now. They only want these $100 million pictures that make $500 million."

Some people would say the same about American automakers. They(Ford, GM, Chrysler) created and stopped innovating. And then the Japanese swooped in with their Toyota Production Systems and Kaizens and what not. But that is a story for another day!

Cricket in the USA

Yay! The IPL gets a mention in the New York Times.

While we are still on the NYT, this bit about the big four competing and overlapping markets is interesting.

Thursday, April 29

Iron Man 2 - Yoohoooooooooooo!

Stylish. Very very stylish.

Life is not a movie

...But its close to a movie.

Similar situations, no background score.

Fights, no dhishum dhishum.

Characterless people, no characters.

Monday, April 19

Me : A sucker for taglines!

I am a sucker for taglines. Taglines. One liners. Punch lines. Whatever you might want to call them. And I have always been. Since I was a teen (I am a senior citizen now, IMHO) I was amazed by one liners and their inherent awesomeness. My first tryst with the greatest one liner was an ad for Bajaj Eliminator. It went like this.

A page on the right hand side of India Today magazine displayed a diamond and said

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

Turn over the page and you would see the following specs listed under each other

150 CC

12 Bhp
0 – 60 kmph in 5 secs

Turn over another page again and it said

The new Bajaj Eliminator. WHY WOULD A MAN NEED JEWELERY?

I was never into bikes then but at that moment, I thought there was nothing better on this planet that could be said more stylishly. I came across more and more. There was an IBM Thinkpad one which went like this

For those who have arrived, but still like to travel. Awesome, Isn’t it?

Then 2 things happened which deeply affected my association with taglines. I started following Hollywood closely and I got introduced to Chandler Bing. Yes Chandler Bing of Friends fame. The relationship-phobic sarcastic guy who hates his job and in his own words ‘uses humour as a defence mechanism’. Chandler was brilliant with his one liners, a fact that made the character most popular after Joey and Rachel. He was sarcastic, witty and funny at the same(kinda like me). Sample some

1. (When Rachel asks him for advice)I'm not really good at giving advices. Do you want a sarcastic comment?
2. All right, look if you absolutely have to tell her the truth, at least wait until the timing's right. And that's what deathbeds are for.
3. (On being asked if Joey looks nineteen)Yes, on a scale from one to ten, ten being the dumbest a person can look, you are definitely nineteen.
4. Someone to Chandler: Wow, you have really gorgeous hair.
Chandler: Thanks, I grow it myself.

Some of them are pretty normal but it’s the way Chandler says it makes them better than they are.

Hollywood is more about style AND content and sometimes more style and less content. More often than not, every Hollywood film comes with a tagline. One of the initial ones I stumbled upon was for Money Train

Get on or get out of the way!

But some of the most favorite ones have been

Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.(Shawshank Redemption) What a line!
Leave no man behind.(This one is all about teamwork from Black hawk down – very powerful, hits you once you watch this one)
When the country was on its feet, he brought America to its feet(Individual glory - Cinderella Man)
A hero will be revealed. (What if you have to choose between love and duty - Spiderman 2 – Only if you are a spidey fan)
It ain’t over till it’s over (Rocky Balboa)

And finally to some of my own

• One day my dad remarked while having lunch – Aaj sabjee main lehsun zyada ho gaya. My mom said yes I will let the cook know. To which I remarked – Hope she learns the lehson(lesson).
• A friend of mine said – Man you are a racist. I replied – No I am not a racist. I don’t discriminate. I hate everybody equally.
• This one too went to my facebook status - I will smoke, I might drink, I will do drugs, I will rape, I will molest, I will throw wrappers on the streets, I will abuse, I will overtake from the left...but I won’t have non-veg cause Navratra chal rahe hain....!
• It seems the IPL is fixed. KKR is doing well.
• One line Michael Jackson would have trouble saying - I am not kidding!!!

Saturday, April 17

Smooth talker, ain't he?

He might be corrupt, we don't know yet. But what we do know that our Minister of State of External Affairs is a smooth smooth smooooth talker. Sample this

Friday, April 16

My Review - Up in the Air

After a long time, comes a comedy which is as serious as it is funny; as painful as it is insightful. It has some of the best one liners, some wittiest on screen conversations and some of the smartest women characters you wud have seen on screen in a long time.

George Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a high flying executive whose job is to travel all over the US to fire people. For Ryan, firing is not about company policy or financial restructuring. Its an art. And art he turns it into, advising 50 yr olds on how to restart their careers all over again and how to do something they really really wanted to do(a Hollywood obsession). He does all this while pursuing his ultimate goal - frequent flyer miles. In between all of this, he gets into a casual relationship with Alex(played by the very sexy Vera Farmiga) and has to coach Natalie(Anna Kendrick). The movie mainly is about how these two relationships affect his attitude and thinking.

George Clooney fits the role to a T and does a remarkable job while charming you with his usual 'sexiest man alive' smile. Kendrick is lovable as the confused Natalie and Vera Farmiga is perfecto as the sexy Alex. The writing and dialogues are absolutely mindblowing. Sample this

" I am not racist. I just stereotype."

"There has never been a worse time for America. This is our moment."

"I thought our relationship was perfectly clear. You are an escape. You're a break from our normal lives. You're a parenthesis. "

I loved the ending where some laid off employees remark to the camera that if you have your family with you, you can battle almost everything and anything!

An intelligent and emotionally stimulating film. Must watch for our recessionary times! Highly recommended!