Thursday, January 27, 2005

Warrior Poet Or Sorrier Duet?

Sadly, the latter.A Duet of Ghai and his disaster-streak. In times of Bollywood taglines syndrome such as Aan: Men at work [ wasnt about road repairers either] and Baaz:The Bird [yeah. Dictionary inspired titles were the norm once] Kisna: The Warrior Poet had an exotic feel to it. Kinda like "Warriors of Heaven and Earth" or suchlike. And hey, why not? the trailors were truly exciting with horses swords and feet twirling at 45 degrees to the ground..hurrah! finally! A movie to excite international audience [raking in awards perhaps] and appease the period-movie starved desi population. A Painstaking account of a woefully painful pain of a panned movie [oh allright.pain pain geddit right?]

Oh, damn! you actually clicked on "read more". duh! didnt i tell ya was a lousy movie? Let me guess, you into a "i want to read for myself and make an informed decision" mode? Well allrighty then asked for it [rolling up sleeves and practicing ear-wriggles to scare off opponent]

So am well seated in near empty theatre carefully trying to avoid popcorn on floor [as they make crunchy noise and sometimes i like that noise and sometimes i dont and and..screech!] I dont know about you, but the whole swishing logos of any production company excites me in a theatre so waiting patiently for mukta arts to come up. Hey, whats this? Ah ok. An ad for Ghai's Institute for film-making. shabana azmi and a host of others speak eloquently of the institute. Try darnest best to be in "aha!india's answer to NYU film institute" mode and almost succeed as still in good-natured mood.

Movie titles--hurrah!! beam happily at companions who are intensely analyzing structure of popcorn [not the one picked from the floor. One from a NEW packet]. Notice a black and white horse all through titles and ponder over significance of this perceivably reused "Mcdowells whisky" kinda clip but let it pass.

Old liddy from Britain in a reminescent mode attempting to recall "myera keeeesna"--suitably impressed by the mouthing of hindi dialogs et al. Flashback begins with Brit family in hillytown of india. Little girl pally with little boy and other little girl unhappily dancing in far, so good. Little girls, as expected become big girls as do the boys and allz well till brit girl is on the run during independence time--sure enough, along hops little boy aka kisna to help distressed damsel.

Significant moment in the movie- This is the point when Ghai fills up the application form to take leave of his senses. Application approval comes through at this poignant moment and Ghai whoops in delight and proceeds to mess the movie, inch by inch, meticulously in manner of a craftsman whoz profession is to destroy.

A few things that work in the movie first though [like grandmoms insist you put an "om" above test paper for goodluck--and then you proceed to fill it up with trashiest garbage as a paradoxical joke]

The Music: A.R Rehman and Ismail Darbar are fantastic. Background scores rock, only the action on the screen couldnt keep up with it.

Cinematography: Surprisingly inconsistent. Puzzling repetitions of same shots over and over again as if the cameraguy lost all the film he had recorded shots on and is reusing 5 basic shots to salvage his paycheck.To be fair, those few shots are good.

Dances: The new actress'[isha sharwani] dance routine is probably what antara mali lamely attempted in Naach. She is phenomenally good, but her dance has been overused like my pair of faded denims. Barely tolerable towards the end. She has attempted to skillfully blend classical dance with gymnastic movements and is brilliant. But it soon gets downright ridiculous when she climbs up the veins of a banyan tree at the drop of a hat --strongly resembling the betaal in vikram-betaal.

Sushmita sen in yeah, an "item" number: Yeah i know.Item numbers are hardly the highlight of a movie, but this woman sizzles still. She is awkward at Kathak--a dance for the nimble footed that she certainly isnt. But she is arresting and the visuals for this particular song are extremely appreciable.

The Actors: They did the best they could. Crippled by a lousy script written by a person obsessed with killing the movie, they could only do so much. The British actress is appreciable, but not as much as the hype claims. She is refreshing to begin with and soon wilts soon enough, justifiably so. For a professional dancer, Isha is good--expressions she excels in and that makes her acting adequate. Vivek Oberoi seems tired and jaded---not surprising.He probably has no clue what to do--where to put the effort. Its only towards the end that he seems to perk up to act-only to succumb again to mindblowingly crazy dialogs.

The actual awful hell of it all

The script, dialogs and oh well, the direction.

Yeah i know--what else to a movie right? Its like great naan and nothing for it to go with--buttery naan is all very good and all but dude, wherez the curry?

Script ran like most of my blogs do--loses steam soon. The only bonding you could see onscreen was between Kisna and his brother, an angle that was starved of development inspite of potential. chemistry zilch between the main guy and his lady love[s]. an ill-placed vivek mushran looks cheesy, and unnecessary.Towards the end you can sense Ghai's panic-mode- here is an excerpt to prove that.

Kisna and Elizabeth scooting into faridabad enroute to delhi. Suddenly confronted by Violent looking men who demand to know if Kisna is a Hindu or Muslim [partition-time hungama conveniently used]. Valiant Hero replies "i am kisna" [duh!] and proceeds to massacre them. Running continues--encounter a buncha cops on the lookout for them [one policeman actually goes--'license plate ENG 999. Matlab 1000 se ek kam"] and escape again. Badass lecherous villain scoops elizabeth into godown and unbelievably, does a "mard kaun hai main dikhata hoon" routine [a pointless backshot of elizabeth to invoke sympathy in manner of 80's movies]. Kisna thrashes guy and runs again--when another buncha guys turn up to ask [ahem] "tu hindu hai ki musalman" [GROAN!] Elizabeth [who strategically places a cross on kisna's chain] proceeds to lecture them on a "kyooon aisa jagda kaaar raaahe ho". And, hold your breath, just when recurring villain is thrown into a burning building a minute later, elizabeth is trapped needlessly [wot an attention hog] under a jeep. The punchline of this whole narration? the above happened in 10 minutes flat.

Dialogs: Suck. Subhash Ghai has this great concept of a movie, an interesting time period but proceeds to make a ram lakhan or a trimurti out of it. He just cant get out of that mode, period. Dialogs range from "You wait here. Lemme go get the tickets awright?" mouthed by a hindustan ki kasam kisna in 1947 to "arey yeh to india hai.yahaan sab chalta hai" by illiterate village belle [huh? they dont say that even now!].Inconsistency with the period for sure, but the dialogs are no different from 1980's masala flicks and that grates on me a bit.

Subhash Ghai has officially lost it- While there arent many movies i WANT to like [unless by ramgopalvarma or is a spiderman flick] this one disappointed me inspite of the many allowances I gave as 'small mistakes'.

Yet, this movie should stand out as a brilliant example of how when actors, music directors, most cinematography and choreography and concept could be GREAT a director and an editor can single [or double] handedly butcher it.

I havent seen any movie of Ghai's after Khalnaayak [which i really liked] and i've been told i shouldnt be surprised considering pardes, taal and yaadein. I would have much preferred seeing his brilliantly conceived trailors bunched together on big-screen. And for the curious, he does appear in the movie [thankfully not as a bespectacled villager on a bullock cart] but after the titles pointing needlessly into the horizon in a brave sunset pose.

Another weird note: I am no movie reviewer, but I have come across reviews that either call the movie brilliant [which leads me, the conspiracy theorist, to believe they were bought over] and others who vaguely claim the movie to be inspired by titanic [sheesh! coz the old lady remembers kisna. Desperate association?] or [hold your breath] last of the mohicans [dont even ask who. (psst taran adarsh on indiafm)] just coz its the fight of two lovers in bad times [like every other 'romantic' flick isnt].

Deciding to analyze popcorn structure at the cinemas the next time,

Monday, January 24, 2005

Newsies Daisies

Ha! And my mom thought it was impossible for her color-blind dotter to see beyond blue. Am entirely in pink today, owing to wham-bam sale of 15$ pants and 10$ shirts [ooh notice mom! am talking shopping too!]..anyways, a monday couldnt be prettier. Watched a moonset on my right and the almost-peek of a sun on the left as i drove up a bridge to work..acted on what is the 21st century impulse for a second and rummaged for my cameraphone to click with--when better sense got to me and I just grinned at the sun and the moon and drove on to remember it forever. Unless alzheimer's or amnesia strikes me, I can talk howmuchever i please on this morning and even exaggerrate to heart's content--coz hey, aint got a jpg proof ;-) Herez the newsies for the day folks--served with the sun, a moon and a few shining stars.

At the other end of the spectrum--a guy whoz [ahem] a psychiatrist in seasonal disorders [seriously didnt think someone wasnt gonna pick on the "winter blues" brand of moneymaking did ya?] claims today is the most depressing day of the year.scientifically so. Ever wonder how day by day man mocks his own discovery--science by degrading it in manner of subhash ghai's kisna? Hmph ok. There was no need to plug that in, but maybe will dedicate another blog entirely on it. Though think about it--both create something and proceed to meticulously ridicule the creation by messing with it. Which is why i believe in neither science nor art--i believe in observing life as one would observe an ant climbing up with its breadcrumb. a look of mild amusement and tad bit of curiosity. But if the ant died or the breadcrumb crushed it or a spider ate the bread and the ant, i can yawn and walk along, flicking the minutest of sympathies off my braincells as one would flick dust off the steering wheel.

Speaking of conspiracies and theories [umm..were we speaking on it? there you go, reading absently again. of course we werent..wake up now] have you noticed how one of the most favorite pastimes of people during our childhood was to kill away celebrities. Before you raise that protesting hand [or voice] allow me to explain. Remember that Nirma girl? [washing powder nirma.NIRMA!] how many were told she died? [counting 12 hands]. How about the Rasna girl? [counting 11 hands]. How about the guy who acted with sonali bendre in that remake of 'you've got mail'? [ooh 6 hands!!] well,case in point. We like killing people. murdering them, making them commit suicide. Everytime you sit and wonder, whatever happened to, lets say..Nagesh [the comedian in tamil movies] or Utpal Dutt, you will invariably write him off as dead.why is that i wonder? And then outta the blue comes news that a parveen babi is dead and you go, "oh! thought she already died". Why cant our minds write them off as having moved countries? or gone joined the army? why kill them? in anycase, parveen babi died for sure this time. as did amchi Mogambo, god bless him [or say hi to him for me if we getting spiritual here]. and for all of us who got regularly confused between parveen babi and zeenat aman, be confused no more.

Republic day coming up folks--cant say i entirely miss the parade [only remember the kids atop an elephant--kids to be honored for being brave and wishing someone set fire to mean aunt's home downstairs and i could save her.some wishes never do come true do they?] Lotsa things for us to be proud of --excluding subhash ghai movies [OK! will stop i swear]. Sania Mirza being on top of list--did anyone read that moronic inteview of hers on rediff? [another peeve.rediff.wots with me? am turning into my own grandmom] interviewer insisted on asking her to choose between paes and bhupati for mixed doubles. Female refused to give in to moronic whims--wot was she sposed to do? giggle and choose one and claim its coz paes looks smarter? duh questions man..methinks in a social free-for-all world interviewers should just choose top 10 questions voted for by readers than tax braincells so.

Oh and a case-in-point for the biggie IT companies becoming like a coveted convent school [say it..rolls off the tongue quite nice] Wipro charges 70000 Rs. for new employees instead of tie-them to a bond so they dont run away with trained knowledge. Smart tactics some would say-but just reminds me of neighbors hoping to god their kid gets into swanky convent school and run around trying to get the "school deposit" cash.

Sunnily Moony,

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Knowledge and News Overload Chuck Komputer Out until Trashed.

well,ok. Computer aint spelt Komputer, but i am on a low-carb diet of Kwality icecreams and Krispy Kremes,so I can be blamed only so much for bad spelling.And I meant chuck computer out till KNOWLEDGE trashed, not the computer [hugging my PC in manner of mother to child in bollywood movies]. The point is, there is too much information out there..and too many ways to get our hands on them.As well as pressure to know them all, so choose wisely..Incase i lulled you into a false sense of a sensible blog, look away. This is one of my usual miserable apology of a blog [though carefully note i apologize nowhere] for not blogging what i should.Sortof like making maggi for a meal when guests are invited, but hey..Maggi does give you the sense of tummy-fullness like a meal doth dont it?

Post-hibernation, here are the newsies for da day!

Photo management--Now that everyone I know has transitioned to digital photos and cameras [mom can make-do with her webcam considering the only need is to take photos of dresses i approve or disapprove], this isnt that abhorred a topic. Well yeah, everyone pays taxes too so maybe i should talk of TurboTax? True, but blog.I can damn well talk on what i please.In anycase, adobe photoshop is talked, dissected and analyzed to death. Bottomline, it rocks.How about photo management software? Adobe Photoshop album has some cool management features like tags so you know whoz in the pix, tags for location and tags for event and dates,blah blah. So you effectively can search for photos that are tagged "dad" and "india" to get all pics of dad in india. pretty nifty methot. Picassa is out with its latest edition that i havent tested yet, but herez a neat review of both.

My fav.magazine, Wired [yeah, i subscribe to it. Yeah, i know print magazines are dead. and No, i dont care. I even get Reader's digest, so there!] covers an interesting story on Tech Searches that matter--technology used during catastrophic conditions. I already knew of the sound-sensors used in california mud-slides this month,but some of the other stuff listed is pretty amazing. check it out at,1282,66323,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_3

Also covered is an interesting article on the new darling of press, moms at 50+. Its smtg i've been watching for the past year.Press reports excitedly covering women who became momst at 50,60 and 75. While it might be delightful news for most early 30ers, herez the lowdown on what these reports are NOT telling you.,1286,66322,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2

Ok ok..i follow slate too [why are they still on MSN though? thot they were sold to WP?]..and yes, i know bushisms are passe..but any retrospective mood of yours of the past year warrants a good read of this.
My fav? "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB/GYN's aren't able to practice their love with women all across the country."—George Bush, Sept. 6, 2004 Poplar Bluff, Mo. and "This is historic times."—New York, N.Y., April 20, 2004. What do you think guys? Are bushisms a deliberate PR strategy to get him noticed when most couldnt care less about his speeches?

Post fancy talk on the plush interiors of the A380, herez some realistic expectations,1282,66325,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1.

And no, i aint listing the Brad-Jenny split.Not to indicate i couldnt care less [he wanted kids she didnt.but she was planning to when he popped the question [of divorce that is]] so its not that i dont follow it, but its just that Brad and Jenny asked for support and considerate action by us, the people.sniff.

Knocked in,