Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Paa - Music review

Music – Ilayaraja
Lyrics – Swanand Kirkire


1. Mudi Mudi kahan mein – Quite an unconventional way to start the song with electric guitar, faint piano and drums lead us to Shilpa Rao who is wondering which way she has turned who she has met why? There are a lot of positive emotions which are each described in one word in the song. The song has a very continuous tone to it with moments of electric guitar in bass and shrill notes. A 2:58 minute song does no harm to the listener and that’s just what it is. No real stanza but then…it’s, in my view meant to convey a girl who is just pleased (not overly ecstatic) and is just humming along as she walks about.

2. Gumm Sum Gumm – One repetitive note on the keyboard is soon followed by Kids who go by the name K. Bavatharini (Ilayaraja’s daughter) & Shravan who are singing along wondering why one of their ‘friends’ is sad and is crying? The urge their ‘friend’ not to act like a ‘kid’ and share his problem with them. While the kids mingle with high notes on the electric guitar and a continuous melody, the chorus has helped put a pace in to the song which doesn’t let the listener feel bored. In between there are some notes of Piano which seem to be injecting a bit of ‘stillness’ into the song as the song reaches it’s end. Beautiful lyrics (although you do get a feel that Swanand kirkire has put in a bit of extra effort to ‘accommodate’ words in the tune)

3. Udi Udi Ittefaq se – If Shilpa Rao is wondering in the first song about the turns she has taken, in this one (keeping the tune exactly the same), she wonders where is she flying by chance? (Mudi – means turn in and Udi – means fly in Hindi). The song continues where ‘Mudi Mudi’ left itself. The song has more lyrics and totally ‘bindaas’ lyrics about the girl who is now ‘flying’. This song is no ‘Aaj main uppar’ (from Khamoshi) which has a punch in it, instead this song has a very ‘niche’ feel with uniform beats and no sudden verbal histrionics.

4. Hichki HichkiSunidhi Chauhan (O where have you been by the way?), starts the song with a quasi-whisper and the Ilayaraja trademark beats accompany her. Quite a brave message of not getting dissolved in the crowd is delivered with a sweet punch. The tone, I don’t know why has a southern touch to it. I am looking forward to the situation in which this song will be used because from the sound of it, this does look like a song which can be easily murdered by putting it in the background as the main characters go through with their chores in the main story line (although the lyrics are quite suggestive and has a lyrical undertone which should not be abused by the film-maker). Not one of Sunidhi Chauhan’s best.

5. Gali Mudi Ittefaq se – While Shilpa Rao was wondering which road is she taking carelessly in the first and third song above, Shaan comes with a symphony arrangement and reminisces (with very soothing electric guitar in the back ground accompanied with violins), why did he fight and not fly. The song has a negative feel to it but is the most soulful piece I have heard from Shaan since quite sometime.

6. Halke Se BoleKiddy chorus starts this prayer-song with a soothing message of embracing the tomorrow. The melody which accompanies urges you to see the world of tomorrow. Quite a short song (1:41 minutes). I must say somewhere this song has the ‘So gaye hain saare afsaane’ (slow version from the movie zubeida) feel.

7. Mere Paa – Step aside ladies and gentlemen, here comes AMITABH BACHCHAN (AB). You can’t believe that it is AB when the song starts. I had to consult the CD because I felt it is sung by Shankar Mahadevan. Yes, this is AB!! I so want to tell you more about this song, but I would just make one request – please hear this song with particular attention to the following words and the way they are pronounced by AB. The words are – ‘Darpok’ (one who gets scared quickly), ‘full light on’, ‘ha ha’, and lastly, don’t miss AB humming along this lovely violin which will give you goose bumps (even if you swear you wont let yourself get carried away by the haunting violin!)

8. Paa theme – The theme starts with a distinct pa pa pa pa chanting with intermittent (and broken) violin notes, and within 30 seconds the vocals of pa pa pa pa ‘marry’ the violin notes and take you to one of the most memorable violin which you would have heard in a hindi movie. Suddenly you hear someone calling ‘Auro’ (which is AB’s name in the movie) and Viola! Electric guitar joins in!! Oh! The carelessness of melody! If you are the one to compare, I would put this piece as Ilayaraja’s way of making you dance (in a way ‘The Corrs’ did when they performed ‘Joy Of Life (trout in the bath)’ in their Dublin Concert.

Finally – With Ilayaraja, melody can be taken for granted. The cynics and ‘Pritam’ loving junta wont like this album even a wee bit, but then, if Pritam (and the likes) can survive, Ilaraja has to be given a million acre Villa to live and rule the world of music. The tunes are simple with a bit of retro-feel. I rate this 4 out of 5 because this one is an OST and not a music album, and with a story-line as peculiar as of ‘Paa’, I am sure the songs will be an integral part of the movie and wont act as a disconnect (how else can you explain that the average length of the songs is not even 3 minutes!)

Special word for AB. I am no fan of his, but after hearing the song he has sung, I am forced to believe that very soon he will have no work to do in movies. The reason – There won’t be any ‘new’ things for him to try! Take a bow, Auro!

Peace and equanimity

3 idiots (Music review) - Nov 11, 2009 11:31 AM

Music - Shantanu Moitra
Lyrics - Swanand kirkire

1. All Izz well - A 'subah ho gayi Mamu' siren wakes up the listener with Sonu nigam going 'na na re na' and almost lazily pulls you to the soothing guitar notes with a chorus which will faintly remind you of mere mehboob mere sanam from the movie duplicate. Bang! comes Sonu nigam telling you what to do when life goes out of control (and you can hear Swanand kirkire shouting 'all izz well' in a rural tone in the background!). A song tailor made for Aamir Khan and you can almost feel it when Sonu dives into 'shivering' and other similar verbal effects to endorse the feel of the lyrics. Awesome 'student-like' whistle adds to the 'boy' feel of the song. A hilarious reference to the incense sticks is thrown in for good measure...Pure fun! that's what the song is. Must admit I was expecting a bit of 'ten teden' effect but then I wasn't disappointed with what the song is. (Do hear Shaan making a brief appearance exactly after 3.53 minutes in the song)

2. Zoobi Doobi - A cute and harmless Shreya Ghoshal describes the romantic weather when almost immediately (but lazily) Sonu nigam picks up the tempo of the song and with the 'pal pal pal pal har pal' (from lage raho munna bhai) beat takes you to an immensely romantic-fun filled song. The beat is quite similar to the song i have mentioned from Lage raho but the tune is just so adorable that you will fall for it (if you like the music and are not hell bent on doing a 'critique' of it, by the way). The simplicity of the lyrics and the Caribbean pronunciation of the word ‘Mann’ by our own Sonu the God Nigam will take you by surprise and you shall dance..dance with a couple who is ‘in the moment’ and is enamored by the feel that they are feeling exactly as it is shown in ‘films’. Hear it to know what I mean!

3. Behti Hawa sa tha Wo – Shaan starts the song reminiscing about a guy who was as carefree as a summer breeze or a kite but has suddenly disappeared. Melody of the song is bound to caste a spell on you but thankfully it doesn’t overpower the vocals since this song wants more emphasis on the words and not the accompaniments. You can’t help but feel that at times Shaan has produced a ‘child reciting poem’ effect. Again simple lyrics with a heart piercing flute will hijack your senses. Has to be a defining song and without going too much into the details of the song, I urge you to give this song a patient hearing because the story of this film is embedded wonderfully well in the lyrics. The song ends with faint notes of Piano leaving you quiet. Just quiet.

4. Give me some sunshine – Sharman Joshi realizes that he (and lots of people like him) have wasted their lives and ask for a moment where they can ‘live’ and not ‘survive’. Suraj Jagan (yes the same singer who rocked ‘Zehreelay’ from rock on and sung the theme song of ‘hijack’) comes soothing to the ears with guitar in background. The chorus comes out singing ‘na na na na na’ (will remind you of any live version of cuts like a knife from bryan adams though). I will refrain from what Sharman Joshi says in between the song because I don’t want to spoil your fun. All I can say is that this would surely become an ‘anthem’ for a lot of students in the days to come. Aha! Did I miss the lovely electric guitar and soothing piano as well? Check out this song people to know how soothing group singing can be.

5. Jaane nahin dengey hum – Sonu nigam slowly whispers that he won’t let his friend leave. Yes quite ably telling us a turn in the story of this film. The tune of the song is one that will pump the adrenaline and the lyrics will make you teary eyed. Just hear the magical use of the word ‘Saaley’ (which guys use in friendly banter off and on). You are bound to smile when Sonu nigam uses this slang. I can bet. I can’t help but feel this song will deal with a suicidal student not scoring well in the exams which will be somewhere in between. I say this because a lot of Raju Hirani films’ story lines are pregnant with sub-plots (Jimmy shergill in MBBS and the son deserting his father in Lage raho Munna bhai)…but then I won’t mind being wrong.

6 and 7 – Remixes of Zoobi Doobi and All Izz well – Totally hearable with loads of DJ effects. My pick between the 2 is all izz well remix since it has the perfect ‘guy’ feel.

Finally

We all know that Raju Hirani’s films have a good soundtrack which matures and peaks by the time we see them on the big screen. 3 Idiots has a similar soundtrack, but I dare say couple of songs like ‘All izz well’ and ‘Zoobi doobi’ are bound to make a considerable splash before the movie releases. Shantanu Moitra is fast becoming synonymous with melody and thankfully this custom continues here as well. A special word for Swanand Kirkire - You rock dude!!

Pick this album for simple and honest listening, because simplicity never goes out of fashion, thankfully

Peace and equanimity

Kaminey (Music review) - Jul 10, 2009 10:33 AM

Here comes another music review courtesy heavy traffic snarls! This time I am stuck in Bangalore!

Gulzar saab teams up with Vishal Bharadwaj to give us the music of ‘Kaminey’ and how! A pleasant surprise was to hear Suresh Wadkar after Omkara. Let me get down to the business straight away then..

6. Go Charlie Go – from the sound of it since the beginning of the track you get to know that it would definitely be a climax sort of music. A slow linear sort of keyboard and mild brass band mix build up an ‘anticipatory tone’ to the track and just when you think you have heard it all bang comes Vishal Dadlani singing ‘Ten teden’. What’s commendable is that towards the end of this 2 minute track, Vishal and all the instruments go ‘ten teden’ and rather than sounding chaotic it sounds like a 1970s Hindi flick climax music that used to be donned with car chases, crashes and lots of running around.

5. Pehli Baar Mohabbat (Mohit Chauhan) - A very soothing almost sleepy Piano suddenly gives way to a whispering electronic piano sound and Mohit Chauhan takes the microphone and begins to weave a magic which only he can. Unlike other songs that Mohit has sung off late, this song has a ‘Stop and Go’ feel to it. It starts as a soothing lullaby if you like and takes the shape of a ballad before you know. The lyrical genius of Gulzar cannot be described in a ‘mouthshut review’ so I will refrain from looking stupid. Although I must point out that he comes up with some new words like – teepna (affectionate way of gentle slapping), Meechna (affectionate pinching). The song takes you to the careless wanderings in the woods with your loved one and before you know the slow jazz guitar along with drums gets you back to the present tense…smiling all the way!

4. Raat ke barah baje (Sunidhi chauhan, Rekha Bharadwaj, Suresh wadkar and Kunal Ganjawala) – Rekha starts – tana na na na and is accompanied by a shrill shehnai. Before you know there is a rapper with Sunidhi and Rekha and the song goes on to describe that it’s the first time and the last time these girls have fallen in love. Vishal’s genius is on display as this song shares a lot of traits with the song number 5 above. While the Mohit chauhan version is very soothing and has an evening feel to it, this one is an out and out ‘night and naughty’. This film features Shahid Kapoor is playing a double role (one is a lisp and the other stammers). You don’t have to be a genius that Suresh wadkar is singing for the stammering shahid because at one point Suresh Wadkar stops (trying to complete a sentence), when suddenly Kunal ganjawala swoops in and does the needful. It goes something like

Suresh Wadkar – Pehli baar mohabbat..(and the anticipation goes up…)
Kunal ganjawala – (with a bang) – Ki hai….!!

Do hear this one to see that ‘ten teden’ is not the only experimental word used by Gulzar saab in this soundtrack!!

3. Fatak – Kailash Kher and Sukhwinder – The moment kailash kher starts singing you feel like you are listening to ‘dil hara re’ of Tashan but within 3 seconds thankfully that feeling goes away..because you hear the crowd (chorus) going – ‘Zataaaaaak….Fataaaak’ – Ooof! Is Gulzar going the ‘Benjamin Button’ way?? . A song describing a pimp who is not afraid to sell his friend if he gets some money! I am sure the readers know that in this film, there is a small message about ‘preventing aids’ and this song gets to play it’s part for the cause. Hear it out, it’s not ugly or vulgar. I am sure this will be a treat to watch because you won’t like to press the ‘repeat’ button to hear it again, and I trust Vishal to cast a spell on screen with this one!

2. Kaminey – Vishal Bharadwaj – oh! Don’t for a moment let the title of this song fool you. This remains one of the most soulful and romantic song I have heard since some time. I remember that in the film ‘U me aur Hum’ there was a version of the title song sung by Vishal that wasn’t publicized, although it was very nicely sung. I am sure this one has a better fate and will feature in the film. Gulzar oh! Gulzar how can you come up with something like

Kabhi zindagi se maangapinjrey mein chaand laa do
Kabhi laalten dekar, kaha aasman pe taango!

Just when you think it’s an all out romantic song, you get the feel of deeper message and probably the storyline of this film. I am sorry, I can’t share that with you here…listen to this yourself…you probably won’t regret. 10 on 10 for this one to all involved!

1. Dhan teden! – Vishal dadlani – Sukhwinder – O yea! O yea!! You know what you are getting the moment this song begins. Goosebumps is purely a side effect. Not because there is that ‘ten teden’ effect. You actually experience the singers having a party and complimenting themselves like they know its their last song and they wont get a chance to sing ever again!! The Verve, the energy…MINDBLOWING!!! Jazz, Dholak, glass breaking…everything takes you to hit the accelerator and go for the ‘repeat’ button!! There is point in the song just before ends when Vishal and sukhwinder take turns in stopping and passing the baton to the other one..you have got to here it..I guess it begins around 3 minute 51 seconds in the song…You must hear (if you like new sound of music once and while) the way Sukhwinder gives out a ‘nearly Sufi’ call saying – Aaaaja aaja…and then Vushal gets the attitude and takes a really long shot at ‘ten teden…tene teden’. The only thing I disliked about this song is that it just ends very quickly. Ah! Just hear how the brass band comes once in a while and adds a touch desi yet rocky feel!!

I bought this album only because of Ten teden! And I was compensated very well with all the songs. I recommend this to anyone who wants to hear a good album with lots of innovation thrown in terms of innovative words and attitude.

Thank God for his little mercies (in the form of people like Gulzar and Vishal bharadwaj) who give us a flash of brilliance in the otherwise dull, suffocating and ‘inspired’ world of Hindi film music!

Peace and equanimity

Window seat (Jahnvi Acharekar) - Jul 03, 2009 11:02 AM

Being one who can never read a book that is as thick as the biceps of Vidya Balan, I always long for short stories. I have no idea what heights Indian fiction has reached nor I want to know it. Was lucky to attend the launching of this book recently and what caught my fancy was the presentation.

About the presentation

The tagline/description of the book is - 30 rush hour stories. Not short, but rush hour stories. This is what Mumbai is, things happen quickly, instant gratification is the name of the game and the book (not to mention its lovely cover) clicks with you immediately. The reason - the book places itself as a 'tales from Mumbai' handbook.

About the book/stories

Their are 30 stories...all offering a slice of life in Mumbai.Enticing, shocking, erotic, flat...the compilation has got it all. There is a bit of Mumbai everywhere in the book, even if:

1. it is a story about the son of a junior forest officer whose little son dreams of going to Mumbai and does something very dangerous as a result of this 'ambition'.

2. It is a story of a kiss between forbidden relationships

3. It is a story of a storyteller who loves mixing real life stories with fiction and vice versa!!

4. It is about a female named 'china'!!

5. It is about a chance encounter with a 'lesbian' who was a senior in one's college.

6. It is about 'office romance' that goes kaput in the most humrous way you can imagine..

7. It is about riots and how some riots are good! (My personal favorite this one!)

8. It is about a worrying mother who is waiting for her son to return in the middle of the night (having lost one son to a road accident)

9. It is about the meteoric rise and the fall from grace of a tactical 'adman'

10. It is about having a 'live-in' with the boyfriend without parent's knowledge

I am very inclined to give out my favorites but I wont (I know I am running a risk of getting NU as a rating and oh man!! I am scared.!!..) The only reason for not giving my favorites is for you to approach the book as a blank slate and let the book paint it in the colors of Mumbai. Trust me you will like it.

Inspite of a very repititive mention of Mumbai in my review, this book will appeal to those who have never lived here because (like it or not) Mumbai is etched in the minds of everyone in India...for good or for bad? Well depends upon the image you have made of it.

About the Author

Jahnvi is a natural storyteller (not like the main character of the short story with the same name in this book), and you can actually feel it while you flip the pages. A perfect portrayl of men (how they would be busy in either charging the battery of their camcorders before an important family function or how they will 'disable' the rear view mirror of their cars so that their drivers don't see the 'special office colleague' they have with them on the back seat), a spot on sense of relationships and blending all this with a true blue Mumbai-flavor is what makes her stories immensely readable.
I remember a journalist passing a remark on Jahnvi's writing style in this book as not to be dismissed in haste or clubbed as literature in a hurry!! - And man I agree!
Finally
Pick this book if you wish to read something 'on the go' or if you want to experience the life on the 'go'. I am very sure (with my limited power of comprehension) that short stories as a genre will witness a meteoric rise in the days to come and if 'window seat' is anything to go by, I am rubbing my hands with glee as I pen off this review

Peace and equanimity

Inteha (Jagjit singh) - review Apr 22, 2009 01:25 PM

Inteha – A warm sitar with the laziness of a sunny morning opens up the first ghazal of this album. This composition is ‘typically Jagjit singh’ from the word go. A healthy embrace of the tabla with gentle miracle (the one that gets treble in a song). The lyrics are very romantic and the treatment is very song-like, but it all makes up for a wonderful ghazal to start the album. Penned by Payyam Sayeedi, this ghazal will bowl you over…with romance

Aapke dil ne – Keyboard whistle welcomes you with some semi-heavy violins and just when you are about to lose yourself in the orchestrisation, Jagjit singh holds your hand to paint the picture of a lover who can come anywhere, anytime if ‘someone’ calls him/her from the heart. I can’t help but feel that the treatment here is also very song-like. Jagjit singh sounds very romantic yet again and this is quite a good sign because a doofas like me enjoys the ghazals of pain more than the romantic ones….not in this case though! The sheer attitude and fearlessness of someone in love is put across in a subtle manner with an ‘oh-so-romantic’ Jagjit singh. This one will make you reach out to the ‘repeat’ button for sure. The manner in which Jagjit singh ends just goes on to highlight the romantic helplessness of a lover who cannot stop herself/himself to meet the love of his life. This one will go well with red wine and dim lights!

Khoob Nidhegi hum dono mein - Faragh Ruhavi has penned this one. With a pinch of sadness and helplessness, this one is special. Why special? For it remarkably points out the times when one finds solace in someone else because they have both suffered the same things in life and have been reduced to what they are. Jagjit singh sounds positively mature in this ghazal. Watch how he sings ‘Main bhi hoon toota toota sa, bikhra bikhra tub hi hai, Khoob nibhegi hum dono mein, mere jaisa tub hi hai’. A bit of tabla, some flute, sautéed with sitar and light electronic drums is a perfect recipe for a soulful ghazal like this. You won’t be able to resist the ‘oof! This has happened with me’ smile when you hear this one…for sure

Aaina Saamne Rakhogey to – Oh! That’s more like the Jagjit singh we know! A somewhat sad and soulful piece penned by Rajinder Rahuvar takes us back to ‘lover in pain’ era. A sad lover is reminiscing the days of joys and the times when he was celebrating with her lady love and is reminding her that she would be missing him in the days (and long nights) to come…even when she sits in front of the mirror. No wonder Jagjit singh chose an insightful Sarod with a violin to start this ghazal with a well complimenting tabla and sitar to maintain the same slowness throughout. Again hear out when Jagjit singh goes ‘Ab ki barsaat mein bheegogey to yaad aaunga’! Oh it hurts…and hurts well!


Kuch Khona Kuch Paana chalta rehta hai – Life, it goes on. That’s it! This is the idea communicated with this ghazal and HOW! Heavy violins (pausing in between), accompanied with electronic drums create a perfect ‘story telling’ effect as Jagjit singh takes us through this journey. The poet (Sanjay Masoom) takes the instances like communal harmony, death, failure. I can’t help but make a special mention about the antra that goes like this

Hindu muslim aatey jaatey rehtey hain
Nukkad ka Maikhana chalta rehta hai

Wow! Just hear it to see what simple lyrics can do when they are sung by Jagjit singh!


Manzliein kya hai raasta kya hai – The poet Aalok Shrivastava comes up with a ghazal full of ‘can walk, will run’ attitude. Jagjit singh has touched this kind of Ghazal after a long time. The last I heard him singing something like this was ‘Phir aaj mujhe tumko bas itna batana hai, hansna hi jeevan hai, hanstey hi jaana hai’ from the film AAJ. With consummate ease, Jagjit singh leaves you high spirited with a bit of romance poured on you. How about the entire Mukhda of the Ghazal that goes like this:

‘Manzilein kya hai, raasta kya hai
Hausla ho to raasta kya hai’

Heck! Let me put this as well (one of the stanza)

Tum hamarey paas baithe ho
Ab dawa kaisi, aur dua kya hai??

True, with love it is possible what is not otherwise

Door talak Veerana hai – A truly ‘nomadic’ soul is what this composition is blessed. ‘Dafli and sarod’ give a perfect ‘banjara’ feel to this ghazal wherein the poet Amjad Islam gets philosophical and reflects on a journey which has to be continued…even if what surrounds you is deserted pathways and darkness. An almost haunting violin takes it away from Jagjit singh occasionally only to come back to you with more impact. Life goes on and the only way to get over it is to get through it. Simple Ghazal…very nicely done!

Din dooba tum yaad aaye – Lyrics Naseem ajmeri. A slow ghazal sung in very low notes by Jagjit singh touches you immediately. If you have heard ‘Khamoshi Khud apni sadaa ho’ from Insearch, you will connect more with this Ghazal. You cannot help but feel this Ghazal conveys a deep sense of loss (the one you feel when your loved ones leave you forever). Skeptics might argue that this one is a mood dampener in the whole album, but then that’s what life is…sudden and unpredictable. The last time I heard Jagjit singh in this tone was ‘Chitthi na koi sandes’ from Dushman. This ghazal is different because it’s slower than the Dushman song. A very slow guitar starts this Ghazal and ends it..closing the doors and with it the people who will forever be with us….

I can never imagine ‘reviewing’ Jagjit singh. The album is a ‘must have’ just like all the other original albums by Ghazaljeet singh. After this write up, if you feel there is anything wrong with this album, the fault is entirely mine

Peace and equanimity

Sehar - movie review - Apr 06, 2009 12:56 PM

This is a tribute to those film makers who subtract flamboyancy from the narrative of the film based on real life incidents. One of them is Kabeer Kaushik who has directed this film (and very recently – chamku). Sehar means - Morning and the movie revolves around some torch bearers who continue to search for this morning...

The story

Heavily inspired by the real events in and around Uttar Pradesh, the story revolves around a new SSP who has been posted to Lucknow (and he has his roots in the city as well) and how he picks up a handful of loyal officers to try and erase the corruption deeply rooted in awarding railway contracts, contract killing, gangster-builder nexus, political vengeance and drugs. In doing all this, the challenges in tracking the criminals is beautifully and realistically portrayed (read - challenges in technology)

The actors

Without a doubt the film revolves around the SSP, played by Arshad warsi and a handful of his men to chase and hunt down Gajraj singh, played brilliantly by Sushant Singh. In the process we are introduced to the brilliant Suhasini Mulay who plays Arshad Warsi’s mother, Mahima chaudhry who plays Arshad warsi’s fiancé. There are other good actors whom we have seen on TV and they make up for a wonderful team in the movie. Without any Circuit histrionics, Arshad Warsi zooms over all but is only bettered by Pankaj Kapoor (I wont tell you what is the character he plays in the film)

There are a lot of comical incidents in the film that wont bowl you out of your seat but can aptly be said that they do it well to provide 'comic relief' and thats just about it. Watch how UP police steals the punch line of Delhi police!!! :)

The music

I have posted the music review today at mouthshut and you can see it here

http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Sehar_Album-165059-1.html

The music of the film doesn’t come in between the viewer and the narrative. Extremely adaptive and wonderfully composed. Kudos!

The direction, editing, screenplay and all the other technicalities which I don’t understand but feel I am wise enough to comment upon:

The editing of the movie is crisp, the screenplay dips a bit in between but when you see the movie, sometimes the build up or the part where the situations are established (that lead to the build up) can take sometime. All the fighting scenes and sad scenes are dealt with maturely minus any flamboyance, and that is a big feat. The movie did not work because it did not glorify gangsters like RGV does. The entire Mahima Chaudhry angel could have ended better one can argue but then, in real life things seldom go according to a perfect screenplay. Kabeer Kaushik might not thrill you with his camera moves but he surely knows how to leave an impact with lesser known technicians at work!

The manner in which the characters converse and draw reference to some incidents goes on to show how thoroughly the film and the surroundings were researched. Kudos again!

To conclude

There was a criminal who was maintained by politicians of Uttar Pradesh. His name was Shri Prakash Shukla. The film is based on how some dedicated policemen gave their lives away in trying to crackdown this guy. Having grown up in Uttar Pradesh at the time when Shri Prakash shukla stole regional headlines, I was able to relate to the film totally. Some situations (like an attempt by the SSP to work freely across the state without informing the local police) speak volumes about the level of involvement of our politicians with those who are hell bent on destroying our society. Also watch the threat which the mobile phones gave to the state police because there was no monitoring system for tracking the mobile telephony (isn’t it the responsibility of the government to establish a monitoring mechanism before they allow ‘breakthrough communication technology’ to be launched??)

I have deliberately kept myself away from telling what Pankaj Kapoor has done in the movie but all I can tell you is the film narrated by him in the flashback and even if you aren’t from UP, your eyes will well up in the end.

I continue to wait for the day when my Lucknow would be a safe place for one and all..

Peace and equanimity

Sehar - Music review - Apr 06, 2009 12:46 PM

The album that I review here is out of my love for the city I was born in - Lucknow.



1. Sapnon ka shehar ho – a metallic flute welcomes you accompanied by humming children. Slowly the music stops to give way to Alika Yagnik who prays for an ideal city with no fears and only joys floating around. She hands over the baton to the flute again only to pick up the note again…all the while slowly accompanied by the flute in background. Sehar means – Morning and Shehar means a city. The subtle comparison between the these two touches all the right chord, and the kids in the background, as if humming a school prayer make you ponder what has come out of a paradise where people wait for a morning with no bad news in the papers…

2. Force – An instrumental piece dominated by Saxophone and violin. If you have seen the film you will understand why the flute comes in aggressively and leaves you shaken and stirred the moment it ends…along with a saxophone reeling in pain. Someone said ‘what is in a name?’ well if you hear this piece without knowing the name, you would not be able to think a better title than - FORCE.

3. Prayer – A voice long lost – Shobha Joshi comes behind the microphone to recite the ‘namamai shamishan’ mantra. The treatment to this musical piece will tell you how much the director got involved even in the music score of this film. The piece is almost haunting and leaves you long after it ends. Hear how it ends.

4. Palkein Jhukao na (part 1) – The song starts with a sound that can only come from brand new guitar…and then gradually lets itself loose in the arms of Adnan sami who sings as if the words will break if he emphasizes more on them…delicate rendition at its best! A saxophone gently peeps in gives way to violins occasionally. Towards the end of the song comes Alika Yagnik as if she is flying with the wings of love, although you will feel that her rendition is somewhat typical of her but then she is a pro and it reflects. Lovely lyrics…check it out yourself!

5. Palkein Jhukao na (Instrumental) – Totally dominated by saxophone and guitar with gentle thaap of bongo. This is a perfect piece to play late night on the terrace with wine and your beloved…you won’t remember when you took her in your arms and started doing a slow salsa (even if you don’t know how the damn thing is done in the first place!). There is a small moment when a lovely female voice comes and goes without saying a word….she is meenal jain…more of her below

6. Nakhredar Banno – There is a genre of wedding folk songs in Rajasthan and it is called Banna-Banni. This one is a Banni song (i.e.) a song wherein the bride is praised. Her words are compared to the clink of bangles…so on and so forth. Shubha Mudgal is way too experienced to sing all this in her sleep and she comes out brilliantly here with a very supportive chorus.

7. Palkein jhukao na (Part 2) – Gentle notes on piano are accompanied by the beautiful voice of Meenal Jain. Her tone is submissive, yet aggressive…ah! The ironies music can draw! She is soon joined by Swananad Kirkire who has sung so many of different songs (be it the title song of Khoya khoya chand or the recent Shehar song in Gulaal). A special version of the lyrics here. I wish I could tell more but would leave it to those who actually experiment with this song. It conveys the same feeling which you get when you hear the song ‘thehra hai ye sama’ from Auzaar. The difference being – there is absolutely no music in this song as compared to the one in Auzaar. A bloody romantic song!!!

8. Sacrifice – A slow, almost pale flute gently ruffles up your soul with the quiet display of a sacrifice that an army of utmost dedicated law personnel has made in order to safeguard their territory from corruption and greed. If you have seen this film, you will like it more.

9. Faiz – Swanand kirkire calls out in pain as Pankaj kapoor goes behind the microphone to accept that this is not the morning for whom everyone was waiting for. He just says the first line of the poem and the piece ends. The original poem belongs to the legendary poet Faiz. I must put this on the record that Naseer ud din shah has recited the entire poem (as against just one line by Pankal kapoor in this case) in the soundtrack of Firaaq and if you hear both, you will like the version of Pankaj kapoor much much better than Naseer saab! The pain in Kapoor saab’s voice and the insightful tone will keep you thinking for long!


Composed by Daniel B George (the same guy who has contributed a lot in the music track of Johnny gaddar and some ad gingles), this album should have been lauded a bit more than it was. Ah! Gems and where they are hidden!

Keep this album with you to experience the pain of a city (Lucknow) caused by the long wait for redemption from crime.

Peace and equanimity

Spiders web (Agatha Christie) - Mar 31, 2009 10:56 AM

Spider’s web (Agatha Christie) review

What if this woman is prone to ‘imagining’ things, thanks to her background in theater acting?

What if this woman is so good at narrating imaginary stories that everyone believes and acts (only to discover it later that it was a lie!)?

What if this woman imagines ‘what if I find a dead body in my library?’

What happens if she actually finds a dead body in the library?

While trying to gain control of her seeing the body and trying hard to convince everyone, what if the police were to arrive?

Adapted by Charles Osborne from one of Agatha Christies play is this novel titled spider’s web

Let me not try to spoil the fun, but give you a teaser of the novel

1. A woman who is prone to day dreaming and telling stories which are totally believable
2. Her Uncle who loves her a lot
3. Her uncle’s friend
4. A flirtatious young man, known to this woman who still insists that she shouldn’t have married someone who is much older than her and has already divorced his wife and has a kid
5. This woman’s husband
6. This woman’s little daughter (her name is pippa!)
7. Butlers of the house
8. A somewhat nose poking gardener of the house who keeps an eye on this woman
9. May be some other characters I don’t want you to find out

A bit more about the novel and the writer…

Absolutely spot on narrative and I say so because the book is a little over 200 pages and I couldn’t stop reading it and had to finish it in one go. The tiny nuances of characters, their hidden agendas, their quirks etc. have been handled and narrated so well that you almost feel you are present in the house, where the murder took place.

The entire part where the plot is unfolded might look a bit tedious because of so many layers in the subject, but then it can happen when one adapts a play as a novel (normally it is the other way round isn’t it? I am not an ardent reader, hence wont give any smart comments about the writer but he surely has stitched something which will get you entangled for a while and that’s not a mean feat at all!

The star of the novel is no doubt this woman whose character is very well penned. There are some incidents that the other characters share about this woman and those are going to have you in splits!
But then, is she the real star?? Well I shall leave that on those who actually pick this one up to read!

Pick this one up for a lazy Saturday afternoon and after you finish it, you would come to know the genius of Agatha Christie whose books have been outsold only by Bible!

Please rate and leave comments on my somewhat teaser of a write up here

Peace and equanimity

Firaq - movie review (Mar 23, 2009 12:32 PM)

Much has been said, shouted and yelled about the riots every where. Gujarat riots aren’t different. Although ‘Parzania’ did speak a lot about what happened in Gujarat, Firaaq is an attempt one feels like standing up and applauding. I have not revealed much in the review

The story

Set against a month after the Gujarat riots, the film revolves neatly around a set of characters, a musician/singer and his faithful servant, a Hindu wife and her Muslim husband, a poor Muslim couple, a Gujarati Hindu family, an absolutely adorable Muslim kid and a set of Muslim friends who are hell bent on taking revenge against the atrocities they have faced. The emphasis is not on discovering what happens. Rather, the story emphasizes on experiencing the aftermath of what happened.

The actors

Everyone has given exemplary performance. Naseer saab, Raghuvir Yadav, Shahana Goswami, Sanjay Suri, Tisca Chopra, Paresh Rawal, Deepti Nawal, Mohammad Samad (the little boy) and all the character artistes. Special mention of Deepti Nawal and Shahana here. I really wish I could tell you more but I cannot, because I don’t want to spoil the plot for anyone. The kid is amazing to say the least. You will try to reach out to him even when you know it is just a movie (but then again, the movie says it’s based on a thousand real stories…)

The music

Haunting background music at times is very hard to recognise because the narrative is so captivating that the viewer is bound to think there is no background music at all! Try to catch the small Raga rendition (in the voice of Jagjit singh) by the musician/singer (Okay I give that away, this part is enacted superbly by Naseer saab!). I will buy the music of this movie for sure by the way.

The direction and screenplay and all the other technicalities which I don’t understand but I feel I am wise enough to comment upon:


You almost jump out of your seat when you are shown a hindu housewife checking her door again and again to see if the same Muslim lady is knocking her door who came during the riots and begged to be saved. The ‘punishment’ which is self inflicted (for not opening the door and saving the Muslim lady) almost makes you bite your lips and feel for the poor woman who is tied in a meaningless marriage with a true blue anti-muslim husband.

You are bound to become uncomfortable when you see a ‘family man’ asking his relative whether he enjoyed gang-raping a Muslim lady?

The narrative is quite slick albeit it gives way for creating impact by slowing down at times. But then that is what the reality is. In real life, an innocent human being, when chased by a police man with malicious intent has to run for his life in by lanes and you have to see it to believe it even if the chase is long and it is shown that way (also see what happens to the innocent guy at the end of the chase). One has to go through the trauma at times simply because of her/his sect, thanks to the amazing political leaders we have in our country.

The manner in which a Muslim husband to a hindu girl (played by Sanjay Suri) tries to come to terms with his fears could give you a sense of Deja-Vu but it has been done superbly and presented well.

The entire part of Sahana goswami’s story I felt was handled brilliantly. Best of the best friends tend to doubt each other in circumstances that are far beyond their own control. I loved the way this part ended.

To conclude

Showing a truck full of dead bodies as a first shot of her movie, Nandita das conveyed that this movie isn’t for the faint hearted, pink loving junta. No words are minced and the message is delivered in all its originality. Thumbs up to everyone involved!

Watch it if films mean more than just another form of entertainment for you…

Please rate and leave comments on my review

Peace and equanimity (much needed)

Barah Aana - Movie review (posted on Mar 23, 2009 11:31 AM)

Watching Barah Aana by Rajiv Menon made me smile for it is a nice try to offer us all a ‘slice of life’ film that is not set in a backdrop of well to do people thinking what to do with their lives! The painful thing although remains that it is still ‘early days’ for this kind of cinema (thanks to lack of finance available to people who want to pursue this genre), and that’s why the execution of the story (one might argue) could have been better.

The story

Set in the backdrop of the not so well to do Mumbai revolving around the lives of 3 room-mates (in a chawl that is), BA kicks off with Naseer saab running for his life being chased by some goons in his village. The viewer is smartly transported to the present day lives of Vijay Raaz, Arjun Mathur and Naseer saab. I cant tell you why was he being chased and what happens next because I really want you to see it yourself but what seems as a bizarre beginning makes sense once the lights come back on and you leave the auditorium (or in some cases, stop the DVD). The story moves along showing the 3 characters and various challenges they face in trying to earn a living in Mumbai. Saddened by the sudden family emergency, one of the characters (don’t ask me who!) gets embroiled in a ‘situation’ that alters the entire path of all the characters.

Frankly, the story had a great potential to be an exciting and comedy filled movie. Somewhat meaningless romance angel of one of Arjun Mathur could have been dealt better, because one immediately sniffs what is ultimately going to happen of that story.

The music

Non existent and you don’t feel the pinch of it. An occasional phatt here and dhatt there comes and goes without leaving much effect. Great to see makers not trying to ‘accommodate’ a song just for the heck of it though.

The actors

Nasser saab remains silent for around 70% of the movie but when he speaks he surprises everyone. He can sleep walk through these kind of roles and yet come out a thumping winner and the same happens here.

Vijay Raaz – From monsoon wedding, to raghu romeo, to delhi 6, to Mumbai express to this one, Vijay Raaz has shown that he doesn’t need to prove himself further. He is quite comfortable in his role and you can’t help but like him here as well. Notice the difference in his tone in this dialogue ‘Aap ke paas koi aur raasta hai (do you know some other way to work this out?)’ before and after the ‘transformation by accident’!!

Arjun Mathur – Frankly, he seemed supremely unfit for the role. He was so good in luck by chance that one cannot digest the fact that he would come up with broken English and villager hindi accent! I guess he wasn’t presented well and he has royally messed it up further with this role.
The direction and screenplay and all the other technicalities which I don’t understand but I feel I am wise enough to comment upon:

The film could have been shorter, definitely. One might be surprised to note that the running time is just 1 hr and 50 minutes! The occasional dip in the screenplay and lose pace of the movie towards the end of the movie is a put off momentarily and that can work against the film given that there isn’t much to choose from apart from the 3 main characters here. Having said that, the film is definitely worth a watch for the sheer honesty of attempt and narration. I know I am repetitive but the whole Arjun Mathur love story angel wasn’t called for. We have seen way too much already to decode how a love story of that kind is going to end!

To conclude

One can complain that these days there is way too much experimentation offered in hindi cinema. I am definitely not complaining! After coming out of auditorium, I can still relate with the characters I saw and the story line as well. What else can I ask for? Of course there are loop holes but at the end, it’s the cinema that wins and leaves you smiling!

Watch it to see what people can do for money, woman they love and respect (strictly in this order!!) and how law can be a victim of its own actions…

3.5 Out of 5

Please rate and leave comments on the review

Peace and equanimity

Monday, March 9, 2009

Gulaal - music review

Anurag Kashyap is talented in more ways than one and with the Music album of of his next offering, he has now graduated to being a pakka ’jauhari’ (who can pick diamonds from crap at will).
Amit trivedi was a revealation in Dev D (after his one track in Aamir titled - Chakkar Ghumyo). Piyush Mishra, the wonderful wonderful actor composes the music for this and HOW....

1. Aarambh – The album sparks off with this number. The style of this song is a typical poetic recitation of ‘Veer’ ras. The difference is the orchestra. Loud Shankh (shells), nagaras and a deep bass leaves a brave impact on the listener. The use of Hindi words, the strong vocals of Piyush and Ram will make you hit the ‘repeat’ button for sure. The way in which the red gulaal is mentioned gives you goose pimples. The song suddenly drops in the tempo and a whistle, along with ghunghroo takes the listener to the world where revolution is worshipped and living life only has one meaning - to change what needs to be changed and do it with no nonsense, no romance...!

2. Aisi Sazaa – Shilpa rao, fast becoming a worthy competitor to the others in hindi cinema sizzles in the song. A continuous rain like sound, coupled with the soulful lyrics, urging the warriors to construct rather than demolish. The sleep has long vanished. The loneliness isn’t aloof enough! What a thought! Be it the ‘Dhol yara’ from Dev D, Khuda jaaney from Bachna ae hasino, or Ranjhana from Dev D, Shilpa rao’s voice is deep and captivating. The lyrics don’t disappoint either. Gentle guitar towards the beginning of the song literally dissolves itself with the soul of the listener.

3. Beedo – Ah! Don’t we like what the others have?? The exact thought is conveyed beautifully by Rekha Bharadwaj with lovely chorus participation. The song has a very ‘gana bajana’ feel to it thanks to liberal use of Sarangi and a uniform ‘dhum chuk dhum chuk chak chak’ tempo! Quite a nice song, makes you feel you are listening to a Vishal Bharadwaj composition but is good nevertheless.

4. Duniya – Ye Duniya agar mil bhi jaye to kya hai? Remember these words sung by Mohd. Rafi for Gurudutt? The line remains the same and the similarity thankfully, ends here. While Mohd. Rafi was sad, Piyush is sad but he vents out his anger and refuses to go down without giving a piece of his mind to the world. This song, has one of the most powerful lyrics I have heard in a long time. While some choose to see a ‘Masakali’ dancing, the poet focuses on the vultures who are hell bent on robbing the innocence of a dove/kabootar. Yes – it is a dark song. The singer (Piyush If I am right) does a wonderful job. Just hear the 3 words and the manner in which he says these words repeatedly throughout the song. The words are ‘to kya hai’ in the line ‘ye duniya agar mil bhi jaye to kya hai. Here is a person, seen it all and hates what he sees…fantastic song!

5. Raat Ke musafir – Finally a song that will arrest your senses right from the word GO. If you have heard the soundtrack of 1947-the earth, this song will remind you of raat ki daldal hai kaali rey, which was sung by Sukhwinder. The feel is totally the same. Dark night, lone walker, riotous atmosphere, naked swords, masked faces….I remember listening to this song when I was driving down from my office at around 11 in the night. For a moment, I felt shaken up. No matter how many words I use (or try to use), I cannot compliment the singer (Rahul) enough. Hear this one to press the ‘repeat’ button again and again and again…

6. Ranaji – Aptly, a song comes thru which releases the tension with simple and almost satirical lyrics. Rekha Bharadwaj goes behind the mic with ‘naughty’ written all over her mind. Pulls the plug on ‘Uncle Sam hiding in Iraq’, ‘Hapless Afghanistan’, ‘Bisleri water’ and what not! I thought I will just skip this song but you have to hear it for the sheer wit the song conveys! Nice nice nice!

7. Sheher – Piyush Mishra starts off after a moment of ‘been’ and guitar. Pardon me as I never like to write any lyrics but do hear the manner in which Jugni nachey chunri odhey khoon nahayi re is sung by the singers. The song is dark, yet red in color. Sung with a typical Rajasthani tone, the song describes the bloodshed that takes place in a city which sleeps in the night, forgetting everything. I know I am repeating myself but even this song has lyrics that would have sissies wetting their pants (sissies = those who think pink is the new black) Swanand Kirkire who sung khoya khoya chand joins Piyush mishra and sings the song with consummate ease. The manner in which the ‘vultures’ come out in the night unleashing their lusty longings couldn’t have been better described. This song will definitely find itself enacted in a lot of stage dramas, I can bet. Raw lyrics, perfectly done!

8. Yaara Maula – Starts in true Indian Ocean style, I must admit. The reminiscing youth looks back at the days when the books of the college used to smell nice. Then all of a sudden they were robbed of the gift of education and the hands which were supposed to hold pen mistook the sword as a tool to change the world. The innocence with which the singers (Ram, Aushim and Piyush) wonder why they did what they did continues to haunt you long after the song ends. This is the shortest song of this album.

If you have to experience the riot of dark red color, hear the songs in the exact manner in which I have mentioned above because if you cherry pick a ‘Beedo’ or ‘Ranaji’ first you might not appreciate the alum in entirety. Piyush Mishra, the actor has exceeded himself with his musical effort.

With Anurag Kashyap, innovation and creativity is a given so it’s nothing new! Pick the CD and paint yourself red. The revolution is here, in more ways than one. An album not to be missed at any cost.According to some people Howard Roark couldnt take the darkness of Dev D, trust me if that is the case, he would bury himself further as RED is going to be splashed....all over..and over and over..

Please leave your comments and ratings to this review...like always, tear it apart if it wasted your time...

Peace and equanimity

Saturday, March 7, 2009

13 B - Movie review

The plot of the movie is not revealed.

The soap-opera and TV addiction finds itself in an innovative narration via 13B. The director takes a near bizarre story and weaves it within a superb background score and shady lighting to create this movie.

The Plot

Quite an interesting plot with things revolving around a new flat which two loving brothers have jointly purchased. Things start to go wrong from the first day itself when the mobile camera starts behaving weirdly. Also he finds way out that there is more than what meets the ‘eye’ when he is in the house. Do not expect any freebies here because it will spoil the fun for you. There is a love story angel, a brother loves brother to death angel and a thriller element all stitched together very nicely.

The actors

Not without a doubt, this is Madhavan’s film. He hogs the 75% of the screen time and his presence never makes you long for anyone else. Be it the ‘naughty’ husband or a screaming helpless man, Madhavan delivers like never before. He could do well with losing some weight though. Neetu Chandra as his wife, looked very comfortable, so did Poonam Dhillon playing Maddy’s mother. Sachin khedekar has come a long way since I first saw him in a Zee TV serial ‘teacher’. Everyone including the ‘blind’ man is in the skin of their role and no-one goes over the top in trying to put in their best. The screaming Deepak Dobriyal is a highlight towards the last hour of the film and even if you try, you cannot stop yourself from getting affected by his screams….

The music

The one star is only for ‘sab khairiyat’ and background score. Cannot and will not explore this point any further.

The direction and screenplay and all the other technicalities which I don’t understand but I feel I am wise enough to comment upon:

One might argue that the camera movements in the movie are very scratchy. I feel it was meant to be that way and was totally intentional. Trust me, it will keep you engaged. There isn’t too much money put in the making of the movie and for once you will not complain because the film had to be believable and it is. The sudden turns and crisp editing (especially in the first few scenes) will definitely catch you unawares. I couldn’t understand why the makers thought it would be a good idea to put a song but before I could indulge in the ‘paralysis of analysis’ of this point, the song ended because it hardly comes for 2 minutes! Couldn’t help notice the chubby Madhavan in that by the way!

To conclude

This movie might not set the box office on fire but is sure to make you feel you have got your money’s worth. There are so many makers these days who are getting a chance to showcase their talent thanks to smart strategies of entertainment companies like BIG entertainment. The only thing they could have done better was to trim the length a but because once the premise was set, too many scenes were devoted to reinforce the similarities of the ‘other world’ with the present world.

Don’t take your kids along if you plan to see this movie. You might not like it if you are hell bent on comparing this with some God forsaken Hollywood movie but if you see 13 B as an absolute hindi movie, you will give a thumbs up to it

Have tried my best not spoil the fun by mentioning anything else here.

Peace and equanimity

http://www.mouthshut.com/review/13B-163055-1.html

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Jodha akbar - music review

While AR Rehman has worked in a lot of period movies as a composer, he seems to come up with some gems everytime! Jodha Akbar is no different.

The album opens with Azeem-o-shaan shahensha a song which sketeches a perfect grandeur image of the times of Akbar with a liberal use of big instruments. The lyrics of this song in particular are very different and one might feel a touch of Lagaan in them
 
The second song In lamhon ke daaman mein actually makes you wonder about the story line of this movie, since there is a lot of Chorus and the song goes back and forth in narrating some turn of events...sung brilliantly by Sir Sonu nigam and the female lead singer. Although I personally feel that Shreya Ghosal would have been a better choice for this song.
 
The third song comes to you in form of qawalli ’Khawaja mere khwaja’. One is forced to draw comparisons between this qawaali and the recent Halla bol qawalli and while the halla bol composition could sound good intermittently, it has a MASS sound to it. Compare it with this Jodha Akbar composition by Rehman and you will get goose pimples the moment you hear the qawalli starting! This one has a more sufi touch to it and I would like to believe that Rehman has actually paid a tribute to Nusrat Fateh ali khan....and HOW!
 
The fourth composition is titled - ’Manmohana’ and is sung by a relatively new singer. This one can be best described as a song which has elements of ’O palanharey’ from lagan when it comes to the music arrangement and overall sound, and a feel of ’luka chippi from rang de basanti, when it comes to lyrics. A classical masterpiece which will grow on you and will continue to haunt you even after you see the movie.....(more of a climax or a critical situation like song)

Now the last and finest ’kehne ko jashn-e-bahara’ sung by Javed ali. This song is hand picked by the lyricist and Sir AR Rehman has done well to choose a new, fresh and a soulful singer to sing this one. The way this song describes a cute love fight is just awesome and the listener is literally forced to press the REPEAT button on this one! (It is playing in background as I type this review! for the second time in a row!)


The album also contains instrumental versions of Khwaja mere Khwaja and Kehne ko jashn-e-bahara. You might like it a lot since both of them are composed using different instruments. Rehman has cleverly NOT used flute in Jashn-e-bahara song (which is replaced by guitar when the vocal version ends...making it all the more cute) only to use the flute in the instrumental version of jashn-e-bahara. The instrumental version of Khwaja is also very good but one should hear the vocal version of it more because one will hear Sir AR Rehman throwing his voice with so much ease and devotion that it will give you goose pimples!

All and all an album which is worth buying and which leaves you asking for more!

Peace

Brida - review

Whenever you have to find about something, Plunge right in!

The above line, borrowed from the latest offering of Paulo Coelho named ’Brida’ sums up all about what this book is.First things first. If you have already read ’The Alchemist’ and some other books from Paulo Coelho (PC from now on), chances are you would be expecting a lot from Brida. And the good news is you wont be entirely disappointed!

The only caveat is please do not read any any book from PC before or after reading this book in continuation. I have a Salman Rushdie which I will now pick up and before reading this book I have read the latest book by Chetan Bhagat. I advise this because there is a slight repeatition about mysticism and other aspects of the ’unknown’ in all the books of PC. Reading two books in succession could bore you a little bit especially if you dont believe a lot in witchcraft and the hidden meanings of life.

The Story

The conflict within all of us to be with someone whom we have known since long, or to be with someone whom we have known for a lesser time but who touches our heart more or to just leave everything and submit ourselves to a lone path with no partner forms the crux of this story. There are not too many sub-plots but the ones which are there (hint - voices, previous life) are short and will bring back you to the story very quickly.Wont reveal much except the fact that the main character of this story has been portrayed beautifully. The internal conflicts, external temptations, fears, and joy are so beautifully penned that you would easily connect with the character and thats quite a brilliant quality for a writer to have!

The two main male leads have been carefully outlined as well. Its very easy for a writer to plunge into personal bias against/in favor of any character due to her/his own personality traits. But PC doesnt do it here. The Magus (I mention him here because apart from Brida he is the only character you would know the moment you start reading this book...dont expect anymore freebies of revealation from me here!) The writerOr shall I say the master?

I know many people don’t like PC because his writing has a repetitive feel sometimes. I wont disagree in full but the real problem in my opinion is of the genre. PC is a genre in himself and one must know how to set the expectations right before picking up his books. I really liked the way all the rituals have been portrayed by him. You literally feel that you are present and are in the thick of things!

Things I liked about the book

1. The core theme.
2. Characters (How I wish I could elaborate more on this but cant be a spoil-sport! hence I will shut up!)

3. A flash in which the author describes parental relationships and how we are surprised when so called ’uncomfortable truths’ are revealed about our parents. (Arent parents normal human beings who would have had a life of their own before we came into this world?)

4. The care with which the intimate and ritualistic scenes are described. Not for once you feel that the author is being too descriptive on the wrong aspects of the situation. Thumbs up to PC (Even in eleven minutes I did not feel suffocated...Bravo PC!)

5. The classic explanation of few realities. example -even the teachers are human beings and even they sometimes blame themselves for little wrongs they think they have done!All and all...a readable book. Definitely worth a buy if you are a PC fan. If you are not his fan, then I suggest dropping in to a bookstore and checking out few pages first before you take a plunge right in!

Peace

Jaane tu ya jaane na - music review

As I got hold of the new CD of Jaane Tu, I was quite excited. AR Rehman normally has this effect on me. So when I played it in my car during my routine travel from Nariman point to Worli, I thought let me see how many times AR Rehman would let me know which area I am passing through and how many times I will forget where I am passing through...this would let me know if the music is intoxicating or not!

Song-1 Kabhi Kabhi AditiArguably one of the freshest bit of music with magical lyrics and a simple voice of Rashid does the trick here. His voice has got an engaging quality about it. The same that was once associated with Adnan sami’s voice. I must mention that the use of guitar and flute is just awesome and dont be surprised if you plress the repeat button only to hear the guitar! The song had such an impact that I forgot I am crossing the marine drive and slowly moving towards Peddar road! GOOD BEGINING AR REHMAN - I said.

Song-2Pappu cant danceAnupama, Benny Dayal, Blazee, Tanvi, Darshana, Satish Subramanium and Aslam mercilessly ham in this song making it all the more fun. The song starts with typical AR Rehman flavor to it. The song will be an anthem in all the college canteens, more so when the students decide to pull legs of some ’PAPPU’ in their class/college! The song is quite catchy but since I was totally aware that I am passing peddar road slowly, I would say I was not impressed as much as I was when I heard song number 1!

Song-03 Jaane tu mera kya haiA newcomer singer - Runa gets into the act right away with this song. Its AR Rehman’s attempt to produce a typical ’romantically haunting’ song which one hears so much in Bollywood these days. A song that would educate the listeners a bit about the story through its lyrics. I have always regarded AR Rehman to be above the ’philmy music directors’ but he succeeds well in making an above average philmy song..I was nearing the fuel station just before Haaji Ali and since I was aware of it...I would rate this song - Ok Ok but certainly hummable.

Song-04 Nazrein MilanaAnupama , Benny Dayal, Darshana, Tanvi , Satish Chakravarthy , Naresh Iyer , Swetha , Bhargavi and a very lively chorus wake you up from your slumber (enticed by song number 2 and 3) with ’in your face’ lyrics and lovely execution. The combo of Guitar with Mouth horgan and later with Jazz guitar simply rocks! If song number 2 would get the ’canteen croud’ cheering in colleges, this song would definitely be a ’must sing’ in bon fires and college buses! Since I did not take much notice of the fact that I had to literally wait for this entire song to get over for my turn to get the fuel in the fuel station, I would rate this song quite highly! AR Rehman at his youthful best!!

Song-05Tu boley main boloonAR Rehman...you must be very very pure at heart, for you sing khwaja mere khwaja and then you sing this song, both with consummate ease and both delivered with a clarity that can redefine the word - ’PURITY’ for good! The maestro mixes the 60s feel of ’band-heavy’ orchestra and a modern contemporary art of rendition when he says - JAANE TU, JAANE TU YA JAANE NA! Yes this is the title song! I drove the entire stretch of Haaji Ali without taking notice of the sea, hence this song has to be right up there with the bests of this album!

Song-06 Kahin to HogiThe magician vocalist Rashid (who has sung the song number 01 of this movie) returns to give us a soulful song with this one. AR Rehman uses Vasundhra das to make this song one of the best duet song in the last 3 years! The album proves its mettle and how! This song is his way of telling us all that while the album is full of youthful energy, it also has a song which can connect with the ’youths’ of any age...be it a teen or your grandma! I can write on and on about this song because it has struck a deep connection with the soul, but I would end it by telling that I actually had to take a right turn from Worli Naka and such was my involvement with the song that I took a left instead!

Song-07 Jaane tu mera kya haiThe male version of song number 03 mentioned above. Its more pensive than the famle version. A good effort but I must confess I did not hear this attentively because firstly I was trying to navigate my way back to Worli Naka! and secondly after hearing the song-06, I was actually looking to press the ’REPEAT’ button on that song again! This song is blessed with the voice of Sukhwinder so has a very lasting feel to it

Final Word

I am too un-talented to comment on this artist who goes by the name - AR Rehman, but I must mention that this album is definitely worth a buy. Listen to it and transport yourself to the olden college days and you wont feel lonely, for the brilliant music of this album will be your companion!

Take a bow AR Rehman!

Peace

Sarkar raj - movie review

Now let me put somethings straight:

1. I have not seen Sarkar part 1.
2. I dont like Abhishek bachchan
3. I dont like Aishwarya Rai
4. This point is mentioned in the last...so read the full review to see this
5. I WONT let point number 2,3 and 4 to influence my review

The Story

Bearing a grim resemblance to Enron’s fiasco in India, the movie is about ’welfare for the people of Mumbai’ and how it all goes horribly wrong thanks to some meticulous planning behind the scenes by some goons to overpower the SARKAR.The story is not lacking in intent at all. The sad part is, the execution for the first half seems perfect but in the second half the writers seem to just doze off! What started brilliantly ends as a tame ’bad kills bad and good prevails’ kind of a story which we have had  an overdose of in Bollywood. Its just over 2 and a half hour movie and thats a good thing (YASH CHOPRA - PLEASE TAKE A CUE)

The characters

Amitabh Bachchan - playing a ’God Figure’ does very little wrong in the film. His mere presence on the screen is enough for all of us to sit and take notice of the moment. The way he has used ’non-verbal’ modes of communication in this movie(sorry I CANT give more hints...cant be a spoilsport) is there to be seen. He plays the father who doesn’t want his son to go wrong...not because he does not trust his son...but for the reason that he loves him just too much! On a flip side though...in the second half one does wish that BIG B should have got fewer lines...see the movie to find out why

Abhishek Bachchan - Powerful silence, wonderful eye movement and a seldom smile. Thats all this lad has done in this movie. Sometimes you do feel he is over-doing it but then I guess thats the fault of director and not him. Well done!

Aishwarya rai - Married to the character.....appears plastic at times...but the performance in totality is very good.

Victor Banerjee - Playing a to the point business man has a very small role but does very well.. He plays Aishwarya’s father. (I sincerly wished he should have faced a couple of scenes with BIG B in the same frame!)

Other characters - please note that there are other ’significant’ characters in the movie but if I do mention them here, I would run the risk of giving away the story...hence I wont go that road. But the guy who doesn’t speak a word in the movie (hint - is very close to Abhishek bachchan) is a guy to look out for! His expressions are worth at least a million dollars here

The MusicNothing to come out humming from the cinema halls. Sanskrit shlokas have been sweetly used as a background score (with an over doze of GOVINDA GOVINDA), but i seriously liked it. More than the songs, I feel its the background music which can increase/decrase the speed of the movie. And in this very department Sarkar raj scores high...One of the best part though is that no song appears in its full length in the movie (Karan johar, YASH CHOPRAS, roshans - please take a cue from this PLEASE!)

Things I liked about the movie

1. In the very first few scenes, the way the camera is flipped here and there increases the tension...its just brilliant (hint - when Aishwarya comes to meet Sarkar)

2. Unpredictable - Some very unpredictable twists in the story...wish they were described a little nicely.

3. Scene - The lone scene which comes in the second half and shows BIG B standing alone in his house with a brilliant background score...gives u goose pimples...Wonder is it just me or is BIG B getting younger. Special points to RAM GOPAL VARMA for the brilliant camera angels in this scene.

4. Background score

Final verdict

I liked this movie, but I wish I could say that I loved this movie. Its not a bad film at all, but its not a very good film. Somewhere towards the end, we feel that the movie has been finished in a hurry..(wonder if RAM GOPAL VARMA KI AAG fiasco has anything to do with that)...It could have been much better if ramu would have given some more screen space to some very good characters which were made to vanish suddenly! And yes...coming back to point number 4, well it reads - i dont like amitabh bachchan !!I urge you to rate my review and leave comments....Peace.

Amir - Movie review

I want my money back...! WHY?? Well read the review to find out

The story

A brilliant story line which doesnt have a wafer thin plot (as is the case with so many recent films even from those of so called big banners.

The story, one might argue is quite simple but then simplicity is quite hard to find these days isnt it...(especially in the hindi film industry where the STARS prefer speaking in ACQUIRED FAKE ENGLISH ACCENT about their hindi flick!)I am sure you wouldnt be one of those who doesnt have iota of an idea about the story yet to make this review look cool let me just write one line about the story - Its a captivating thriller about the most debated topic I.e. extremism and how it can adversely affect even a simple person who is living next door....Some potshots have been taken on the media as well and you will find this if you care to sit till the very last - believe me its worth it! (Dying to reveal more but wont!)

The cast From now on, Rajeev Khandelwal would forever be known as AAMIR for sure. I am not saying that he is incapable of giving better performances but its unlikely that we will remember him from any other name... The guy is just superb. His looks compliment his overall persona. The way he comes across in the tussel between him and the airport custom officer would be easily forgotten by the end of this movie but just watch out for the final expression which he gives when he comes clean in the airport custom check up!Everyone else (cannot give a hint about characters as it would be an injustice to reveal anything) is perfect...the guy who is ’calling’ him has a natural horror about his voice and yet he is so cool, the manner in which he talks, the manner in which he plays with a small kid at the same time gives you shivers about the kind of people who are involved with extremism and will make you wonder how they are cool with it!

The Music

Must admit I never ever heard the music of this movie before I went in to see it....but I will give a full 100% to the music director in this case. The quick catchy number ’chakkar ghumyo’ is actually a satire on the kind of situation AAMIR sees himself in...It will leave you confused whether you are supposed to laugh at what he is doing in the song,...or feel sorry for him....The qawwali which happens at a key moment in the film will give you goose bumps...If it is not ’Khwaja mere khwaja’ from jodha akbar, it isnt any less...and I guess that in itself is a compliment to the music director The other song ’haara’ will make you sad about AAMIR. You are bound gaze at the screen long after the movie is over and the end credits begin to roll...its because the last song ’EK LAU’ (which is an ode to a wonderful human being) comes up at that time...The background score adds positively to every situation so nicely that you actually start getting anxious to know ’whats next?’ brilliantly done!

The direction and screenplay and all the other technicalities which I dont understand but I feel I am wise enough to comment upon:

The direction is superb and you can never ever find a dull moment in the film. In fact such is the degree of perfection that you will realise in the interval that your head hasn't moved at all and you havent bothered to put your phone in ’silent’ mode! (Hint - watch how the interval swoops in!) The screenplay is quick and most of the shots make you feel you are literally ’with the characters!’One doesnt have to put too much brains to the fact that the banner (UTV SPOT BOY) is a sub-brand of the main umbrella brand I.e. - UTV, in which all the budding directors/actors/technicians will be given a chance to showcase there abilities, and if this is the shape of things to come then I can already hear the so called established brands (Yash raj films and so on!) will have to work out of their skins to retain their otherwise artificial superiority in the entertainment business

Final Verdict

Well I wont keep this review too wordy...let me just summarize - ’If you like this movie then raise your hands...and if you don’t then raise your standards’And if you are still wondering why I want my money back..well its the money I spent to buy myself a pepsi (when the movie started) - till the interval I did not sip it once and all the fizz evaporated! Then again i went to buy myself a pepsi in the interval and found myself in the same situation when the movie ended! CAPTIVATING eh??

Khuda ke liye - movie review

Arguably one of the best themes one will see in today’s times. When so many countries are pounding at some helpless people tagging them as terrorists, KKL gives you a chilling revelation on how these helpless people tackle/succumb to the pressure.

There are two lines which make up the story, both merging with the same theme – ISLAM! If there were an award for the ‘most misunderstood word’ it would definitely go to ‘ISLAM’! There are extremists who interpret it to mind-wash people and then use them to further their ulterior motives, only to cause injury to the human soul. Then there are people who believe in the real ISLAM and would never think on extremes yet they end up being punished (brutally punished if in this movie’s context) – thanks to the deeds of the extremists.

The actors

Almost everyone is superb. Especially the Maulana Tahiri who brainwashes the singer to leave singing and pursue ‘the fight for ISLAM’. He makes you hate him and that is quite a compliment to any actor. Mansoor (played by Shaan) has the rough looks to make Sunny deols, Sanjay Dutts and Suniel Shettys run for cover. Sadly, he is given a guitar in his hand in the movie, but he does well to put up a spirited performance. Sarman (played by Fawad Khan) is brilliant. He potrays the ‘weak-link’ confused human being to the core. He however lets us down when he tries to cry…nope! Not nicely done. Then there are two female leads who are equally good in their respective roles. It’s sad that the girl who plays Sarman’s wife (Iman ali) could not do much justice to her role when she had a chance to portray plethora of varied emotions. Janie, on the other hand was played very well by Austin Mary Sayre. It would be criminal for me not to mention Naseer-ud-din Shah who in his very limited role comes, sees and conquers! Won’t mention much about his role here since one should go and see the movie to find that out! Believe me, its worth it!

The Direction/Screenplay/cinematography and other technicalities which I know nothing about but think I can judge them easily:

My only complain with this movie is the death of pace in the second half. The movie just drags and keeps you waiting for the scenes to end to go to the second frame! At times it turns preachy in a manner which was popular in 1980s (Referring to the ultra-dramatic scene when Sarman is presented in the court for the first time and Maulana tahiri tries to justify his actions as acceptable to Islam). The film’s editing wasn’t great either. The sets through which Afghanistan was created looks amateurish to say the list and it’s not acceptable for a movie which is touted as ‘international’ to have these kind of compromises

The Music (including the background score) The true plus point of this movie! There could not be any ‘IF’ as far as the music is concerned. The title song is very simple, hum able and full of impact! Allah-Hu – my personal favorite. This is used as a background score and the situations in which it is used gives me goose pimples the moment I type this here. Raag Tilak Kamod – the song which Mansoor plays in his music school on the first day is an old composition but done oh so beautifully! Bandeya - A very peaceful song in a groovy beat! I love it when we see creative liberties being taken in music compositions. Quite nice!

Things I loved in the movie The message. PERIOD! Music & Naseer-ud-din Shah. PERIOD!

 Final Verdict

I was expecting quite a lot from the movie and it delivered the same in terms of the message and the underlying theme. In terms of execution, though its another story but I am not complaining because I am sick and tired of watching AMERICA saving the ‘WORLD’ from the extremists. Its time everyone wakes up and takes notice of the fact that brutality and extremism does not have a religion! Please rate my review and leave your comments.

Peace (In the name of GOD!)

Kismet konnection - music review

When Aziz Mirza makes a movie, all the sensible guys sit up and take notice isnt it? Who can forget he has given us very lovable raju ban gaya gentleman, yes boss and somewhata watchable chalte chalte!
One common thing between almost all his films is that music score is soothing...original and very very hum able! Kismet connection is a different story. Let me try to elaborate!

Song - 01 - Ae Pappi (Tu hai meri soniye!) - A typical neeraj sridhar-pritam song. Very peppy and should be the highlight of the movie. It catches hold of one note and the song goes on and on (with the same note repeating in the background!). Neeraj Sridhar has become a sort of an item boy for hindi film music
 which is a good sign. All in all a good song

Song-02 - Bakhuda tum hi ho - Atif aslam and Alika Yagnik - Pritam tries to capture the romance in Atif’s voice with this song. With Atif’s trademark long alaaps and familiar style of singing you immediately start liking the song BUT WAIT - there is Alika Yagnik as well and what she does is calms down the song from a passionate Atif! Quite a nice song...

Song-03 - Move your body now - Hard kaur, Shaan, suheil and Akriti - This is where creativity and originality take a dip and a deep dip I mean. The first tone you hear reminds you of ’bin tere sanam dam da dam dam dam’ (Race), Then Hard Kaur raps which makes you feel she is singing the title song of AAshiq banaya aapne by replacing the words with her rap words but in the same tone!. WAIT WAIT THERE IS MORE TO THIS SONG - the manner in which ’move your body now’ is said will remind you of the ’aye romana’ (from Goal) sung by neeraj sridhar! This song has a very mechanical feel to it. You know the kind of tune which comes pre-loaded in a downmarket Musical keyboard which you get for less than 500 rupees!Was Aziz Mirza just ignorant or was he too innocent to be fooled in by our ’lifting champion’ Pritam for this sub-standard tune! Will wait for the answers....lets move on to the next song!

Song-04- Is this love (Kahin na laagey) - Mohit chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal - Tum se hi din hota hai, tumse hi raat aati hai from Jab we met has left a long lasting dramatic effect on me and I am sure I am not alone. Mohit sings this song with utmost ease (like he has sung the jab we met song, or the Rang de basanti song ’Khoon chala’). This is a very very good song folks, reminds you of those days when you must have felt things behaving weirdly...The logic - You are in love!

Song-05 - Soniya Ve - (Sonu Nigam - Sunidhi chauhan)- The living legend Sonu nigam enters the music album (although a little late!) along with the powerful Sunidhi chauhan here. I dont want to be’that’ guy who is always finding faults but this song starts with the tone which will you immediately remind you of ’ Boro boro’ from bluff master...and its not all....when you continue to torture yourself with this song you will feel you are hearing a song from ’Mujhse shaadi karogi’

Verdict

Notice how I have everywhere mentioned about Pritam. No where Aziz mirza gets a mention in any of the songs isnt it? and this what the problem with the album is and the reason I have rated it as ’Average’. We have been spoiled by Aziz mirza to hear melodies like - seene mein dil hai(raju ban gaya gentleman) , ek din aap yun humko mil jayege(yes boss), suno na suno na (chalte chalte), main koi aisa geet gaoon (yes boss) and so on! Sadly its the song number 2 & 4 which may (am not sure) remain in our memory and thats it.

Playing songs repeatedly in FM stations or the dance floor or in overspent wedding ’sangeets’ (yuk yuk!) is not what I call good music.Good music is what you sing/hum when you are driving and you dont want to play your stereo

Good music is what you sing when asked to sing a song in a gathering of friends

Good music is what acts as a bookmark in your memory to take you in ’Those were the days’ mindset

Am afraid I can’t put any song except the ones mentioned above in that category....3 out of 5 songs are disappointing and thats a very bad score!Aziz Mirza...you better come up with a cracker of a film to offset this blunder...

Peace

singh is king - music review

Even I cant believe that I am about to pen my views on Singh is Kinng music!The only thing I like about the album is that it is very proud of itself! There are no mandatory songs to make the album saleable. In fact all the songs appear to be very dependant on the movie. The album has no hang-ups on what it is trying to achieve (Unlike the other recent albums like kismet konnection who try to be everything to everybody and end up looking like a over baked cake! 2 dance songs, one atif song, one neeraj sridhar and one sonu nigam and lo! aapka album taiyyar ho gaya!!)

To make the music album sell by itself, Even the Jaane tu ya jaane na album had one song in two parts which were never filmed. (Jane tu mera kya hai jaane main tera kya hoon)

Song-01 - Singh is kinng(Akshay Kumar, RDB, Snoop Dog) - The album kicks off with this hep song where in Snoop Dog and RDB (I thought they are one and the same!) rap and dance their way to your ears. Skeptics might argue that this is a loud song. Do I agree? Yes. Is it bad? No!This song announces its arrival and tells everyone that its not going to be a Softy album. The things to watch out for are the quick punjabi rap by Akshay kumar, and some real good mixing (Nope Not noise but Mixing!), along with authentic punjabi sounds..

Song-02 - Ji Karda (Labh juneja, Suzie Q) - A typical punjabi song with moments of anticipation, followed by a big BAAAAAAAAANG!. Quite un-pritam like I must say. Labh Juneja has become my favorite from the time I heard his song - Pyaar kar ke pachtaya from pyar ke side effects! The way the song starts with Paaji Paaji actually makes you wonder if this movie is going to be a spoof or ’wilfully non-sensical’ movie!The thing to watch out in this song is a continous siren like sound going in the background, yet not disturbing the flow of the song.

Song-03 - Bas ek King (Mika, Hard kaur and Ashish Pundit) Typical 1990s song in which the title of the film will be repeated till you get deaf or shut the music! Mika is good. Nothing much can be said of this song!

Song-04 - Bhootni Ke (Daler Mehndi) - The less we speak of this song the better. While some may argue that its a humrous song with elements of fun..I strongly feel that having this kind of a title for the song is not a wise thing to DO. Imagine kids singing this. There are no abuses in the song alright but then do we really need these kind of words to ’cook a controversy?’ Having a blasphemous title gets this song off my rating list and hence wont mention anything to watch out for

Song-05- Teri Ore -(Rahat fateh ali Khan and Shreya ghoshal) - The mandatory melodious song of the album. Rahat sahab is slowly walking away with some very soulful songs as other watch. A very cute song.Love the way this song begins!

Song 06 - Talli Hua (Labh Juneja & Neeraj Sridhar) - Neeraj sridhar comes back to sing the last song of the album which is a tad loud but hearing the song, you will get the feel that it would be a moment - specific song which could grow on you when you see the movieDo hear the way neeraj sridhar says - sorry sorry sorry very sorry very sorry! Thats just plain brilliance! Being a singer, if one can act in his songs it is a great quality to have!

Final Verdict

Have tagged it as average only because of the song by Daler mehndi. I am sure masses will love it and I suspect it would be shot very very humorously but that cannot offset the kind of title the song has. Even after rating the album as average, I would recommend this album to those who like their music loud and who like to dance rather than seeing people dance!I do suspect that this movie would be akind of spoof wherein Akshay will play plain dumb! Buy this album for hip hop and loud dancing...and for nothing else!

Peace

Jaane tu ya jaane na - movie review

Remember the days when life used to be good...friends were more important than cell phones, just a walk in the rain used to be much better than a drive!Well Jaane tu ya jane na takes us to those lovely days of friendship, togetherness and laughter!

It is such a simple film that would make you really think what the so called big banners do with the money they claim on spending dull duds.

Without wasting much of a time, let me start and finish quickly!

The Plot

Nothing great. In fact it is so predictable that you can sit and second guess almost everything in the movie. The cliched entries of the characters makes you yawn because you can immediately guess what are they going to do and when are they going to vanish and what are they going to be accomplish! I guess we all are getting sick and tired of 2 friends not knowing that they love each other.....(Yawn yawn!)The so called climax scene isnt any better. Even people like George bush can sit and predict what happens in the end...Predictability - while we are on the subject let me quickly ask some questions:

1. How many of us thought that in ’lagaan’ aamir khan’s team would lose the cricket match?
2. How many of us thought that in ’Taare zameen par’, the kid is going to live with dyslxia forever?
3. How many of us thought that in ’Dil chahta hai’, the 3 buddies will never re-unite?
4. How many of us thought in ’Chak de India’, that Indian team will lose the world cup finals?

Get my drift?Predictability is fine. Its the treatment & characters which can inject blood and soul in the movie...so now lets talk about the characters.

The Actors

The actors are characters in the movie or is it the other way round? Yes you guessed it! The wise idea of picking up new comers for every lead role works well here because you havent seen them before...so no matter what they do, they will remain as Rontu, Jiginesh, Jay, Aditi etc.The sheer timing (and sometimes the appearence!) of each and every character will leave you in splits. Be it the brilliant Naseer-ud-din shah who appears to be enjoying himself in the cameo, be it paresh rawal (who for a change is not loud or stupid!), or Ratna Pathak (The cool mom of Imran khan), or the parents of Aditi (Welcome back anuradha!), or Rajat Kapur (legend in the making) or kitu gidwani (oh welcome back Kitu!).

Cant help but mention Naseer-ud-din again...He is mind blowing!

1. Imran khan doesnt disappoint. He appears quite confident. He is here to stay for sure!
2. Genelia is superb...but her accent needs a bit working out (still much better than katrinas of the world who prefer speaking in english in interviews and getting their voices dubbed for the movies...Yaaaaaaaaaak thu!)
3. The fatso - amazing acting....isnt it so natural to have a friend like him in almost all the gorups??
4. Jigines bhai - Awesome Gujrati Hunk...I give him 20 out of 10!
5. Genelia’s brother - Surprise package! awesome acting...wonderful presence on the screen
6. Arbaaz khan and Soheil Khan - Please see the movie to find how they are...I cannot find words

There are couple (exactly couple) of actors i would want to mention here but I dont want to give away everything here so you please see the movie to find them out! they wont disappoint...they arent stars but they play their part very well

The Music

The music is just too good. My favorite title track comes in and goes leaving you wanting for more...Even the ill-inserted ’Pappu cant dance’ is a treat to see...same goes with all the other songs and the background scoreThe Direction/Screenplay/cinematography and other technicalities which I know nothing about but think I can judge them easily:The direction is crisp. The film length isnt too much which is a good thing to have in a hindi movie. There are no slow motions (thank god for that!)....There are no sangeet ceremonies or a wedding pre-engagement celebration (an event promoted vigorously by yash chopras, karan johars)]

In fact the best part is that for a story so predictable, the treatment is just perfect. The slick one liners, the timing of actors, even the villains make you laugh! I love the entire concept which is given to Naseer-ud-din shah. Abbas - the director has shown us that if he can grip us with his magnificent dialogues of munnabhai series or Maqbool...he can leave us in splits with something so mindless as showing someone getting high with a ’coke!’

Things I loved in the movie:

0. The begining....the casting...Just an amazing way to start the movie...dont miss it!

1. Naseer-ud-din shah’s intense speech on his family!

2. Soheil khan and arbaaz khan in such a serious roles!

3. Cool dialogues (how i wish i could have elaborated a bit more on this but cant spoil the party for you..so check it out yourself and write to me!)

4. The amazing placement of intermission and the way it comes...Just too damn good!

5. Mr. GODOT (you have to observe intensely to find him...and if you dont know about GODOT then google it a bit and you will know what I mean)

Verdict

I am getting tired of not revealing the plot in my reviews for the sake of good order otherwise I would have loved to mention at least 3 lovely scenes of the movie...but let me just come out with my verdict...It gets a 5 star! from me and a strong recommendation to everyone who is still young at heart! Believe me this movie will at times make you feel you are quite old! (Unless you are in your teens or less than 21!)

As usual, I would urge you to rate my review and leave comments because I want to know whether ’Pappu can write good reviews or not!’Peace

Psst- If you are wondering why i say damn aamir and damn imran, well its because I have asked Aamir khan so many times to give me some tips on acting...he doesnt have time for that...but he has all the time in the world to give his pearls of wisdom to Imran...Damn I am jealous! (Ok..agreed Poor joke!)

rock on - music review

Hello everyone......I said Helllllllllllllllllllllllllooooo everyone! Lets look at one of  the most unconventional album of the year! Knowing fully well that people would be curious to see/judge/review/hate/love/like/dislike/pull Farhan Akhtar as a singer, he opens the music album with the

song number one 1. Aasman hai Neela - A peppy and a ‘very rock’ number. Begins with crazy notes on a electric guitar. A small message of saving the trees and deleting the boundaries of the nations is also thrown in for good measure. The theme of the song urges everyone to not see but OBSERVE what’s happening all around. Must say the beginning notes are sung by Frhaan Akhtar in the same way as Lucky ali used to sing before everyone found out that he has got the gift of voice and nothing else.

2. Pichley saat dinon mein – Here comes the song which will lyrically remind ‘baby when you are gone’ (by bryan adams) and musically ‘cuts like a knife’ (bryan adams). Does it resemble any the song? NO. Does it sound good? Yes. Farhaan Akhtar puts his heart and soul to this song. I don’t want to know when the song is used for I am not seeing the movie. I need to hear the song and like it. And i like what I hear! Its quite a challenging song for a new comer to sing and Farhaan looks right in the eye of the song and gives his 100% honestly. In this era when majority of people are ‘ooh-oohing!’ about some Pakistani singers who are surviving because their voice is ‘doctored’ after the recording, Farhaan dares to come out in the open without any protection. At times you feel he is going out of music, but does it matter? I leave that on you to answer. Seriously a ‘must hear’ song.

3. Rock On! – Heavy electric guitar eggs you to turn the volume up and hear as Farhaan Akhtar spills the beans on what he wants to do, shout on the top of his voice, going up the TV tower to name a few. You fall in love with the song the moment Farhaan Akhtar sings and stretches ‘Yunhi dekhta hai kyat tu, Zindagi milegi na dobaraaaa. The song has a ‘now or never’ attitude and feel which was a hallmark of almost all the rock bands. The song continues the ‘lyric rich, music heavy’ tradition of this album which is a welcome change from the sentimental flute with a chorus repeating aaaaaaaaa mercilessly.

4. Ye tumhari meri baatein – An evening song when you and your beloved (or your loneliness) are sitting next to each other and saying nothing at all! Ironically the lyrics urge you to speak and speak! Dominique is the same girl whose voice NEVER falters in high pitch, be it her tamil song of Kandukondain Kandukondain or a high pitch chaiiya chaiyya which she sang in a live concert in Dubai and was sounding at least 10,000 times better than the ever so shouting swapna awasthi who has sung this song originally!She has done pure justice to the song. PERIOD.

5. Zehreelay – ‘The slam bang thank you mam’ song. The only thing I fear is that it might be too niche for a song like this to be in a Hindi movie. It is genuinely loud and sometimes makes you want to switch it all off and forget about it. The lyrics are surprisingly good but you will have to be very patient to survive hard music to grab yourself some lyrics. The singer though (Suresh Jaggan) has quite a rock star voice and it makes you wonder just how many colors of talent exist in India.

6. Tum ho to – The soft song which catches fire in between but doesn’t burn the house down with excessive music. I suspect this song to be somewhere in the climax as well because a part of this song features in the song number 7 as well. Farhaan tries his hands on yodeling (which is commendable given that it’s his first formal stint in singing!). the song has a very sticky feel to it, thanks to the lyrics and wonderful execution by Farhaan akhtar. A very humable song, soft lyrics and yodeling just sweetens everything up!

7. Sinbad the sailor – if you like playing around on a electric guitar, you will absolutely love the way this song starts and picks up! It is a song which is meant to motivate the dull souls to work hard and not be put down by adversities even if the entire world says it’s not possible! Contrary to the dull tones in which these kinds of songs are composed, this one comes across as a light and peppy song. The manner in which a bit of song number 6 is mixed in this last part of this song is an obvious revelation of a reunion of friends (something farhaan akhtar loves to show!) with this song! Raman Mahadevan (remember his song – kholo kholo darwaze! From Taarey zameen par?) accompanies farhaan akhtar brilliantly and they make a youthful duo to end the song in style!

8. Pichle saat dino (Live version) – Hah! If anyone has seen/heard Bryan Adams live in Mumbai singing ‘cuts like a knife’ they will be able to relate to this song very quickly! The song starts with the same lines which are mentioned in bold in the very beginning of this review! The manner in which Farhaan akhtar instructs the crowd to sing when he raises his hands in the air is too elementary and is aimed for the people who are unaware of the ‘rock concert tradition’! the song is good although I honestly believe that the crowd participation sounds better in the theaters because in this song it doesn’t sound very good!

9. Phir Dekhiye – The album couldn’t have been complete without this yet another motivationally romantic song! In fact you will be amazed to find that the singer caralisa monteiro is same who sung the famous number my dil goes mmmm (from salam namastey). Caralisa, with her subtle variations has added a sweet flavor to this immensely adorable song! Do hear this…it doesn’t have any electric guitar (if you are averse to it), and it has a lot of melody (if you are fond of it!)

Overall rating – 5 out of 5!

Why 5?

1. Daringly different attempt to attune us to a newer sound of music

2. Farhaan akhtar’s singing – How many times have we seen singers like Lucky ali try a song with a high pitch? The fact is everyone likes to be in their comfort zone but Farhaan Akhtar has thrown himself out on one of the toughest genres to begin with!

3. No Punjabi songs in the entire album! Can you believe that?

4. No song sung by Hard Kaur

5. No song sung by KK (too much of anything is bad remember?)

6. No song sung by Neeraj Sridhar (too much of anything is bad remember?)

7. No Item Song! 8. No two ways about it, it’s a rock album – Make peace with it and Play on!

Please hear this album keeping all the baggage aside. You don’t have to CONVERT to Rock music, you can hear it off and on and no one is asking you to regularly hear it. Respect the genre, respect music and you shall find an amazingly different album called ROCK ON!