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 clich├ęs 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?