Sunday, 20 February 2011

Apologies and explanations

I feel I owe anybody who may have glanced at this blog in the last 3 months an apology. I felt my infatuation (*cough* addiction) with Shahid Kapoor was going too far and so I quit all things Bollywood apart from the odd movie here and there. This included my blog and I ought to have explained things a bit earlier but once I left I was determined to not return. As well as this, I had my exams which are becoming more important by the minute and so they came first but that's a pathetic excuse and I know it.

However, now I feel as if I have really managed to move on and felt confident enough to return to this blog without feeling as if I had to revert to my old ways. I have decided to only write posts in holidays and if I have time. Thank you to anyone who visits this blog even after such a long time, you can't imagine how much I appreciate you all!

I've decided that when I do post anything, it'll be much fairer than before. That's not to say I've become the diplomat (I could never be), I'm just no longer blinded by a certain someone.

Thank you to anyone who reads this!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Going On Holiday

Sorry for my lack of posts, I’ve been crazily busy. I’m going on holiday so unfortunately there won’t be any posts for more than a month… (But after this last huge hiatus I doubt anyone reads this space anymore)


Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Rangeela Movie Review- The Reason I Love Bollywood

Rangeela really does represent why I love Bollywood and what I love about it!

When one wants to make a film in Bollywood, there are a few beaten tracks one could consider… Rangeela pretty much has all of them and just proves that it’s not the story that matters, it’s the way it’s told.

Here’s a few of those clichés that are worked so well into Rangeela:

1. The underdog who puts sweat, blood and tears into trying to make that girl happy.

2. The ambitious girl (ok, maybe not so much a cliché, seen as she doesn’t want to become a model)

3. The love triangle (anyone who says this isn’t typical, BRING IT ON! “Mujhe karate aata hai”=])

4. The person in the love triangle that seems to have it all easy and the girl appears to only be interested in him.

5. The last minute running, panicking and searching.

6. The we’re-just-friends attitude.

The performances really are amazing, what more can I say? I never knew Urmila Matonkar looked so pretty before… I’ve really only seen her in her Om Shanti Om avatar:


Nothing compared to her in Rangeela.


One issue I had with her character was that she never seemed to be in love with Munna; but then again, she might have only realised how strong her feelings were *SPOILER* after he’d gone *SPOILER*

Aamir was really perfect, right down to the last ‘apun’. I found him quite winning while slightly repulsive but always endearing. I always like to watch Aamir films, old and new because you always see a different person onscreen, that’s not something you see with many other actors. Nonetheless, his character occasionally seemed a little obnoxious and arrogant but maybe that was just to impress the pretty lady ;)

Jackie Shroff delivered quite a restrained performance *SPOILER* expect for when he jumps about in his house yelling he’s in love. They really could have missed that out seen as you could tell from his face, his eyes, how much he loved her, no need for the prancing. It spoilt his restrained, slightly tormented character in a way *SPOILER* Also, normally one of the two men vying for the girl has obvious flaws, like, say, in Jab We Met, but here he really was a character with a holographic heart of gold, which made vying for Munna harder.

The music was above average (well it would be when A R Rahman composing) with one track really sticking in my head, the title track, Rangeela Re.

For some strange reason it reminds me of the title track from Hungama, not that I’m implying the makers of Hungama have copied this song…

This was, as far as I can remember, the first film of Ram Gopal Verma’s that I’ve seen. Actually, that’s one of the main reasons I watched it… seen as I’ve often read his blog and got to know a bit about the kind of person he is. He’s entertaining on his blog but nevertheless, I’d never comment because I have no wish to have my words ridiculed, which must be slightly embarrassing to say the least. As far as I know, he used to be really popular around the time Rangeela came out but then he just kind of died out and no one wants to watch Rann. It really makes me wonder what went wrong…

Rating: 3.5/5 A sweet film that’ll make you fall in love with Bollywood all over again!

P.S. I’ve been trying out these ‘modern classical’ films as I call them that are from the late 80’s and 90’s that were popular at the time or are popular now. I would love recommendations… Do you have any suggestions of such films that I haven’t already reviewed? I’ll be reviewing Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin and will watch Raja Hindustani but any except for them two? Any SRK or Salman ones?

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Ek Chalis Ki Last Local Movie Review *SPOILER ALERT!*

I must admit I really liked this film. It’s a bi like Kaminey but doesn’t have that same way of making you think during the film and long afterwards.

Now, I know Neha Dhupia isn’t all that popular, I really do like her and have done so since watching Chup Chup Ke. She was a little dull in the first half but really picked it up during he second half! I’ve only seen Abhay Deol in Dev D, which I thought he was pretty good in, but I really enjoyed watching him here, you had that feeling of knowing more than him, seen as there were a few spots where anyone who has watched a few movies could have guessed what was coming, but he, Abhay Deol, didn’t know. If I’m honest, I found him pretty cute here…

When I’d finished watching this, I wasn’t sure of what I was thinking, overall I felt happy and felt it was a paisa vasool, but then again I could see there were flaws. So I did what comes to me, went to Google and looked at some reviews. Overall, most people had issues with the way the director, Sanjay Khanduri, tried to cram everything in and didn’t edit as much as he ought to have. I agree on some of it and did feel it needed some editing in places but overall I thought that those moments when loads was happening at the same time were supposed to reflect on the mad chaos of the Mumbai underworld. Nonetheless, they really could have made the gangs easier to identify and give them traits that separate them from each other.

I’m glad I put on the spoiler alert right in the title because I just have to mention about how one twist in the tale really worked. That was the revelation that Madhu/Mala was a prostitute. Now, unlike some other people, I don’t hate, nor am I disgusted by, prostitutes. And this film really summed up why. They are humans, just like the rest of us and it’s normally because they are desperate that they go down this line, not because they want to or because they like it, as I’d guess many people think. I thought Neha really shone in that scene.

In terms of music, there weren't any proper song sequences, but I guess they would have been a bit out of place. I really like the song Laree Choote; here's the remix video:

The whole experimental idea of this movie should be appreciated, and although this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I found it pretty pleasing.

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna Movie Review

Well Alvida to this one!

I picked this poster for a reason, in my opinion it seems to be ranked by the standard of acting, I thought Rani outshone the others, SRK was good as always, it dawned on me that his shaking was actually just him holding in his emotions. Abhishek and Amitabh are interchangeable while Preity was little more than the haughty. That’s how her character always seemed… haughty.

The music was bearable, quite pleasant in places, I like ‘Where’s the Party Tonight’ but what was that skirt Preity was wearing??

The skirt looks like something someone peeled off the Golden Temple in Amritsar (not meant in a harsh way at all, I’m going to go visit it soon!).

I was looking for a picture of Kajol from the film and I came across this:

Kajol Cross-eyed

How could I have possibly missed this before? To all those who read this blog (i.e. no one) do you have any links to fashion debacles or just silly, stupid pictures?

One of the things I did like though was the character development,they were all grey, all had faults and good points. Here’s my (short) analysis:

-Dev aka. Shahrukh Khan: He seems to be desperate to get out of this relationship, not wanting to hold it together, which annoyed me a LOT. He obviously loves his kid but tries to force his dreams on to his shoulders as many parents do. However *SPOILER* when he tells his kid to play the violin because it’s ‘cool’ I got annoyed. Never mind mentioning anything about the talent it takes or how his son is dedicated, no, it’s cool to play the violin. ARE YOU SAYING I’M NOT COOL? *SPOILER*

-Maya aka. Rani: She really is the lightest grey, she can see her husband is trying to love her and accepts her for who she is but she never seems to be able to appreciate that. Nonetheless, unlike Dev, she wants to keep her marriage together. She’d reluctant to get into a relationship with him and tries pretty hard to balance her double life. *SPOILER* Where did she randomly get the money to buy or even rent a new house the moment she left?*

-Rhea aka. Preity: Really ambitious but still loves Dev. However I get this feeling she just can’t understand him and she knows this at the back of her mind. At the beginning she just can’t give her son enough time but develops throughout. She always seems to be above others, especially near Maya, ok I can understand she ruined her life but there’s no need to look at her as if she’s vermin.

-Rishi aka. Abhishek: A child at heart and one of the most amusing characters, he can’t accept his wife doesn’t love him and, like a child, doesn’t think before he speaks. On the other hand, you can see he really is making an effort to please Maya despite her shortcomings but just doesn’t know the right way to go about it. One thing pleased me though *SPOILER* Even when he had found out about Maya’s infidelity and was stark raving mad, he still didn’t hit her, didn’t hurt her in any way *SPOILER*

The slapstick worked well in places such as:

“If you think you can bribe me in to giving you a party…. you’re absolutely right!”

But there were bits *ahemBlackBeastahem* that were overdone. You can clearly see it’s Karan Johar’s film right from the glitzy settings to the loving parents. I really liked Amitabh Bachchan and Kirron Kher in it. I can’t think of any more to say so I’ll end it here.

Rating: 2.5/5 A difficult subject handled in a reasonably interesting way

Friday, 28 May 2010

Paathshaala Movie Review

This review isn’t going to be very long seen as I’m pretty sleepy. I can see why people didn’t like this film, but that didn’t stop me from liking it, like not love.

As always I’m not going to bother with a plot synopsis because

a) I’m too lazy

b) I’m sure to give too much away

So… I liked the way this film was openly just tying to promote an inherently good message. they were clearly not doing it for commercial reasons and neither were they trying to make an art film, they just wanted to get an important message across and it really is a shame that most people didn’t get this message.

Acting-wise I liked Shahid’s subtlety (obviously) and Nana Patekar’s restraint, you could see he was holding his emotions back why letting them play across his face. Ayesha was sweet but did little more than smile and look sad. The kids were believable and it had Swini Khare whom I adore!

The music was pretty nice and fitted in well, for more check out the music review.

I didn’t like the moments of preaching such as at the end and bits scattered about. Also why was Shahid the only one playing the guitar, the kids weren’t learning anything by jumping around and Shahid didn’t even look like he was playing which was a shame.

Rating: 3.5/5 I’d check it out if you have some time on your hands

PS. I’m not so much of a big fan of Shahid anymore (although this review hardly proves it), I still like him intensely like I like Aamir and may occasionally have my little moments of fangirlyness but overall I’ve forced myself to stop loving him as I don’t like the idea of getting so attached to someone I can’t even have. Sorry if I’ve disappointed anybody but that’s just the way it is, I’ll still talk about him but not with the same regularity and tone and the next film I review will definitely not be one of Shahid’s.

MsBlogger xx

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Movie Review: Dev D

I don’t get what everyone’s raving about, I really don’t. Ok the heroines are independent and strong willed and ok all the characters are shades of grey, but really!

I haven’t seen the previous Devdases so I can’t really compare them, although now having seen this, I’m intrigued to see how good they were, I think I’ll start with the Shahrukh Khan one. I love the songs in that and strangely enough I love the songs here too. After I’ve watched it, if I remember to, I’ll do a comparison post between the two.

I like this ending better than the original ending because I definitely prefer Chandramukhi over Paro who seems independent and assertive in some things but still agrees to Dev’s every whim. Chandra’s different and they share a mutual respect which should be there in relationships. Chanda’s been through a lot and I agree she shouldn’t have done what she did but I think she repented fully and my best guess would be that they put it in to show the hypocrisy within society. However, one thought I had while watching Dev and Paro in the sugarcane field was ‘Don’t they have any depth to their love? Why is it only showing them wanting sex? Where are the feelings, the emotions?’ I agree its’s meant to be a ‘modern’ that ‘pushes the boundaries’ but why do it in a way that takes have the appeal of Bollywood with it?

There’s a strong urban feel to it all which is interesting at times but also tedious at times because who wants to pay to watch onscreen what they can see in real life anyway? The cinematography is slick and different, hats off to Rajeev Ravi for that. The editing is great too, none of the scenes seemed unnecessary.

The acting was great in all fronts and I’m not really in a position to say this, but it does seem like Abhay Deol only plays characters who are full of angst, want to go against their parents and just can’t fit into the world, I’ve heard he plays a very similar role in Road, Movie; I wish he’d take on a variety of projects so we could see all of his potential in different ways, I don’t deny he’s good, he has to be to play such roles all the time. Kalki Koechlin really stood out to me even if her Hindi was shaky, her acting was so good! The best bit being she actually looked 18! Yesterday I was watching Milli (Jaya Badhuri and Amitabh Bachchan) and a 30 year old actress claimed that her 16th birthday was last week! It just all sounded so stupid!

The music was great as I’ve mentioned. Amit Trivedi has gotten a range of feelings into his songs and the ones, apart from the leitmotifs of all the characters which worked well, that stood out to me were ‘Emosanal Attyachar’ and ‘Duniya’

Most of the things I’ve mentioned here are pretty good, so why didn’t it impress me? Its a good question I’m posing to myself, one I don’t have an answer for. I had some expectations, after hearing such praise for this movie, but not much. Then again I preferred the second half to the first half which is because of either or both of these things:

-The little I was expecting was still too much so I was disappointed at the beginning but slowly my expectations wore off and I just began to enjoy the film more for what it was rather than what I expected it to be.

-I prefer Chanda over Paro, I’m pretty sure this one is definitely true

Overall a hatke watch but some of the characters just don’t work. I need to watch some more of Anurag Kashyap's work.

Rating: 3/5

PS. Please could someone explain to me what is supposed to be so funny about Monty Python’s Life of Brian? I was watching it, having heard a lot about it and I just got bored and couldn’t be bothered to finish it.

I think I’ll be reviewing Paathshaala next… hopefully!

Friday, 7 May 2010

A Review of the Review: Badmaash Company


First of all, I must say this was far better than I expected, I hoped for little because although the trailers had plenty of glitz and glamour, I was expecting little plot and there’d be no need for a brain. It had a pleasant surprise in store…

I read a review that was mostly positive and I agreed with some of it and disagreed with other bits, so I thought I’d use this review to express my own views as it can sometimes be pretty hard to write something original when there are twenty other reviews out there, the chances are you’ve lost your chance.

The full review is here:

So here goes…

It’s got a background score that sounds suspiciously like Ocean’s 11, a storyline with shades of 21, and clichés that you associate with a ‘Bollywood’ film. In spite of all that, Badmaash Company is immensely watchable. Without some inconsistencies and a little more imagination, it could have been a lot better.

I haven’t seen 21 or Ocean’s 11 and love Bollywood for these cliches. I agree it is watchable, more than that, it’s raveable! I agree there were some loose ends, but I don’t see how more imagination would have helped.

Each of the three men develops a vice — Zing becomes an alcoholic, Chandu a womaniser, while Karan’s weakness is money — and it leads to interpersonal differences and the group breaking up

I think most of the breaking up was caused by Karan, with his huge ego, I started to hate Shahid’s character at that point which was the desired effect. I agree they all have their vices and was hoping Zing wouldn’t be drinking by the end, alas…

Parmeet Sethi, still remembered as the Punjab da puttar that Simran was to get married to in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, gets to kickstart his directorial career with the same banner that launched him as an actor. And, frankly, he does a good job, too. When you read his name under Story, Screenplay, Dialogues, and Direction, you are a wee bit sceptical, but your doubts are laid to rest soon.

Agree with everything here. I wasn’t skeptical because I had decided to expect nothing but hope for hit, I was pleasantly surprised by the first and am hoping the second works out too.

The story, of course, isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. Ambitious youngsters resorting to con jobs to make quick money only to realise their ‘follies’ eventually is something we saw even recently in the very forgettable Teen Patti, which itself was a rip-off of the Hollywood hit 21. In fact, Yash Raj’s Bunty Aur Babli had a similar storyline, too

I do disagree a bit here. Only the absolute basic idea was similar to others, charcters get led off course, they correct themselves. I thought this was ten times more watchable than Bunti Aur Babli, with the cons being more intelligent and the characters better developed. BaB had its own fluffy fun, and this has its own slicker path too. I haven’t seen Teen Patti so no comment.

Where Sethi makes his mark, though, is in the screenplay, which moves fast and keeps you hooked, and in the dialogues, which make the proceedings fun. His characters are interesting, the casting is apt, and he has managed to extract good performances out of the fairly new bunch of actors.

Hehe, after watching so many interviews of the Badmaash four and Vir’s comedy clips, they hardly seemed new to me. The dialogues were crisp but not all that memorable in my opinion seen as I can’t specifically remember any of them, but they might come to me later. The characters are well developed and possibly with the exception of Bulbul, all were shades of grey.

You wish, though, that some corners weren’t cut. Although the cons have been well thought out and executed, sometimes you get the feeling that the four get what they want a trifle too easily. Whether it is persuading an American company to do business with them though they are newcomers, or securing a bank loan in a foreign country, it all seems a cakewalk

I have a theory with this. I think that they would have been shown having at least one problem, but knowing Yash Raj, they’d stretch it out so it took up maybe 15 minutes or even half an hour, so for tight editing, they decided they’d miss it out. It does seem the more sensible option… Imagine this:

I’ve run into a problem” “I’ve just had an idea how to fix it” “it’s fixed, we can carry on”

It’d never happen, they’d drag it out to infinity, so I’m glad they didn’t have any problems.

Karan's marriage with an American for a green card disappears from the plot as suddenly as it appears. Whatever happened to that track? Also, though the more conventional audience may be impressed by the fact that the characters ‘realise their mistakes’ and Karan has to ‘pay for his crimes’, it takes away from the inherent zing the film possesses till that point.

I completely agree with the first bit and that’s one of the unanswered questions I was talking about. It’s really bugging me now! Maybe I should be classed as one of the ‘conventional’ audience because I’m sure the film wouldn’t have been half as good if they hadn’t realised their mistakes because I hated Karan when they all broke up. Really, what fun or emotional would there be to just watch an egotistic Karan just go about in his horrid way destroying relationships?

Frankly, if Sethi had kept out some unnecessary ‘weepy’ moments, like the one where Karan’s father (Anupam Kher) receives an award, or the one where Karan finds out he’s a father, the film could have been shorter, crisper, and more enjoyable. And we would have got to see a Hindi film in which the protagonists aren’t apologetic about wanting to do something they don’t consider ‘wrong’, even if it may be so morally.

No no no no no. These kind of things do happen in films sometimes, for example, in 3 Idiots, it isn’t right to pretend to be someone else (I won’t add details or else it’ll become a spoiler) but did that person ever apologise? It would have been ok to not apologise if Karan had kept his head on his shoulders (as the person from 3 Idiots had) but he didn’t, he got big headed to the extent I hated him, so it is, in my opinion, perfectly right for him to regret it. Karan finding out he’s a father is such a touching scene! *SPOILER* I thought it marked the pinnacle of the change from egotistic gambler to caring, hard working, loving man *SPOILER* I do agree the award was a bit pointless.

That little conventionality and some convenient writing apart, Badmaash Company is fairly entertaining. Shahid Kapur rediscovers the good form he struck in Kaminey and seemed to have lost in Chance Pe Dance. The actor has the persona and the skills to carry off the shrewd con man he plays with style

I hadn’t noticed till now how my Charlie boy has grown! He played a kind of similar role in Shikhar, but here he was so much more immersed within Karan, it had me confused. His roles in Kaminey were far easier to accept because he looked so different as Charlie and he was the sweet stammerer when Guddu, here he looked like Shahid but he acted nothing like it, it was hard for me to accept but I did and loved it thoroughly!

Sharma looks like a million bucks and puts in a bindaas act. She and Kapur share a great chemistry and are responsible for making the film immensely watchable

She definitely puts in a bindaas act but doesn’t really have such a huge role, there were some small similarities with Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, such as she was again an independent woman who would take the lead when needed. It annoyed me that she had to be an aspiring model, had Parmeet watched BaB recently?

Both Vir Das and Meiyang Chang put in good debut performances and have the potential to be seen in supporting roles on a regular basis.

As I said before, they didn’t seem new to me and I agree that they acted really well, but why just supporting roles? Also, weren’t they being a bit harsh in always calling Chang Chinese?

Badmaash Company is the film entertainment-starved audiences have been waiting for. And this one might actually go beyond ‘opening weekend numbers’ and prove to be a genuine hit. It has what it takes to do so, for sure.

Amen to that!


Don’t say you hadn’t been warned…

Questions of my own:

1. How did Jazz uncle and Karan’s dad get together again?

2. So what business did they start in the end? Was is just part of Jazz’s business or a legal business of their own?

3. Wasn’t the whole Bleeding Madras idea a little OTT?

4. How come Anuskha’s hostel which wouldn’t allow then to even phone boys, suddenly allow Karan to stay?

5. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GREEN CARD MARRIAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!! That has really been annoying me…

I thought the Michael Jackson representation was still better than the Barrack Obama one in My Name Is Khan.

Monday, 3 May 2010

And Finally… Badmaash Company Music Review

If I’m honest, it didn’t live up to my expectations. That’s my problem, I always expect too much, I expected too much of Chance Pe Dance and enjoyed it less when I saw it; when I saw it again expecting nothing, it was much more enjoyable. The same is happening here. I didn’t like the album much at first but now it’s in my top twenty!

Ayaashi- The catchiest of a catchy bunch! The lyrics aren’t full of meaning but still contains poetic techniques like alliteration and repetition. The remix turns this fun filled song into a dance number which isn’t too bad but definitely isn’t as good as the original. But then again, I tend to have a prejudice against remixes.

Jingle Jingle- While I was on YouTube watching the video I saw in the comments that a lot of people didn’t like the change to a Punjabi chorus. I’m surprised because in my opinion it’s one of the best bits in the album! It isn’t overdone and it’s catchy so what’s wrong with it? I do like the guitar riff and the lyrics at the beginning but I, not exactly welcome, but rather don’t mind the change.

Fakeera- It may come as a surprise but I’m not a huge fan of this one. I’m used to Rahet Fateh Ali Khan singing songs like Aaj Din Chaddeya, not rock based ones like Fakeera. There was just something a little lifeless about it and I’m hoping it’ll either grow on me or the video will make up for it.

Chaska- This one grows on you. It reminds me of Fatak, I don’t like it at first but really like it after hearing it a few more times. Once again, a very catchy song with a great chorus! The video adds to it all and it had me humming it all day! It's remix ws far better than that of Ayaashi’s, it kept the essence of the song while making it peppier and a work of art in its own right.

Badmaash Company- This is actually a really fun song with the video! Did anyone else notice that the girl singing in the video sounded like she had a blocked nose? Just at the beginning when she says: “Look look left, look look right” Nonetheless I liked the '”hey ho hey ho hi, paisa bana le bhai, hey ho hey ho hey hi” bit. The lyrics are pointless but the fun video makes it all bearable and actually pretty fun!

So that’s my summing up… Do you agree/disagree? What was your favourite song?

Friday, 16 April 2010

Paathshaala Expert Reviews

I will be doing a review of the Badmaash Company album but today it's all Paathshaala!

It released today and unfortunately doesn't seem to have gone down too well with the critics. These reviews aren't my own but none have gone above a three which worries me. I haven't seen it yet but most reviews are blaming the screenplay, saying it's weak, but all have praised the acting of all three main leads.
Times of India says:
The film does slog somewhat, specially in the second half and tends to lose momentum due to a loose script and an unimaginative screenplay. Shahid Kapoor underplays his underwritten role as does Nana Patekar.
Spicezee says:
With its realistic setting, ‘Paathshaala’ touches at multifarious levels. Albeit the movie has its sparks of brilliance, yet a derivative screenplay might mar the Box Office success of ‘Paathshaala`.
Ganpati News says:
Nana presents his role cynically. Shahid works superbly. Ayesha looks natural, as usual. Amongst the excess of teachers & students, Sushant Singh seems well, Sushmita Mukherjee is cooperative and Saurabh Shukla is so good, you begin hating him for his disgusting behaviour
India Forums say:
What's with the screenplay? There's a scene where Shahid comes hopping, no jumping, no wait jiggying…ugh comes in a obscure form of movement never witnessed in reality and then stops to look at the kids with loving eyes. Err…what was the point of that?
Rediff says:
Everything about the film is one-dimensional. The school itself is a set and looks like a cardboard cut-out. The characters are all good or all bad; there are no shades of grey.

This has all depressed me. I was really looking forward to this film from the moment I saw the trailer, it's a shame it all went so wrong... of course I'm still going to watch it.