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!

kismet konnection - movie review

Watching Kismet Konnection (KK from now on as writing the full name isn’t worth the effort!) after paying 200 bucks per ticket (excluding the 60 odd bucks for parking my car), forced me think how reckless
I have become in spending my hard earned money!

The Story:

I remember people commenting on how stupid the story of Jaane tu ya jaane na was! Well they clearly did not see KK coming. It’s a plot which will make wafers look like a sumo fighter’s tummy! Boy meets girl, she is already engaged, boy has a dream, boy gets ambitious….yawn yawn yawn. I couldn’t believe Aziz Mirza, the director of such lovely movies took this story seriously and decided to make a movie of it. The story is predictable which is OK, but it is dull to the point of being plain silly which is not OK. I have deliberately stopped and not elaborated much (trust me their isn’t much either) because I don’t want to kill the FUN (pun intended!) of the brave hearts (no pun intended!) who would dare to go and see this movie.

The cast:

Shahid Kapoor – Poor guy! I am not a fan of him but he appears to be a bit serious about his profession. In this movie, he has fallen short of partners. At times he is Shahrukh khan, and I don’t know whether it was pre-meditated or not because being Shahrukh Khan (acting wise) is not a compliment in totality. (Naming Shahid Kapoors character as RAJ MALHOTRA obviously couldn’t redeem the flawed storyline and a screenplay which had uncanny resemblance to a wooden plank which is just lying on the road and continues to lie there)

Shahid’s friend – He follows the traditional 80s approach of being a ‘hero’s friend’. I am talking about the ‘traditional delayed response’ form of acting, where the character in question will understand the joke 5 minutes after everyone else. Trust me it looks just dumb. For the most part he is given handful of dialogues to repeat after every 5 scenes in ultra hyper decibels which are “Raj we are getting late for the meeting. You know how important this meeting is! What’s your excuse of being late today?”

Om Puri – frankly I don’t think I can ever comment on guys like Om puri, naser-ud-din shah or very recently Irfaan Khan. But what I can assure you is that whenever he is in the frame, you get the feeling - Man! There is so much to learn for all these star kids/relatives and other wannabe actors! He is excellent!

Boman Irani – Quite nice. He is fast joining the legendary league with his versatility. He appears only in 3 scenes or maximum 4, does a good job Himani Shivpuri – Playing Om Puri’s wife is good. She gets very few scenes but is ‘very present’ in them. Love the way she instructs her husband to ‘lower the tone!’ (and how Om puri responds!).

The liftman – Yes he appears in one scene. He is good

The policeman – appears in one shot is good.

A guy who is shown walking in background is also excellent!

Am I forgetting something?? Oh yes! Vidya Balan – For some reason was always shown with something to eat in her hands! I don’t like to make ‘weighty’ comments but the least the dress designers could have done is to hide the bulging biceps of Vidya balan. She delivers her lines as though she is not convinced herself. Her emotions don’t make you feel sad for she has played an exactly similar role in Munnabhai (how many times will she stop an age old home from being demolished only to fall in love with the guy who is hired to demolish the age old home!). She according to me was a mis-fit (no WEIGHT pun intended!)

Juhi Chawla – Just when I thought she cannot look silly ever (Yes EVER!) she accepts this role of a fortune teller who looks like a witch herself! That is understandable because for some reason movies depict the lady fortune tellers like that. BUT I couldn’t understand the rhyme and reason for her constant overacting. It hurt to see her ham like there is no tomorrow! We laugh at Rekha, Mousmi chatterjee etc. for accepting silly roles when they are ‘past their prime’. Well Juhi chawla gets to the list with this role! Its quite embaressing to see a fine actress wasted. You actually feel awkward the moment she arrives. A small caveat – don’t look for chemistry between Shahid and Vidya Balan.

Their on screen chemistry will solve the problem of global warming…it’s so cold!(like the entire movie!) And if people will come back shouting at me saying ‘it’s a family movie and director couldn’t show any ‘chemistry’ scenes, then I would politely ask what was the need for the director to ask Shahid to repeat an abuse which is spelt like Har__i for at leat 7-8 times and that too loudly!

The Music I have already reviewed it in mouthshut and urge you to please read it. http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Kismet_Konnection_Album-146122-1.html 4 out of 5 songs are disappointing and that’s a very bad score!

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

Aziz Mirza has a typical style like everyone else. The problem is that in KK he is a little too obvious. (Reference – Lord Ram pic scene, the killing slow motions and so many clichéd situations). You never feel that you are watching a NEW movie. Sorry sir but we have been spoilt by you only to expect more bang for our buck when we see your movies! The ever so continuous chorus in the background singing aaaaaaaa aaaaaa makes you feel like that Karan johar and Yash Chopra have ghost directed this film. The screenplay is a test of your patience. I was playing mental chess with myself in many scenes and the scene would just not end even after I won the game! Editing is yet to be done in full I guess!

Final Verdict Your money can seriously buy you better stuff. Don’t see this movie if you want to see something new and refreshing. Kung fu panda or the dark knight would be a better choice…  I went to see a movie, I saw Kismet Konnection and I am yet to recover! I hope directors continue to make these kind of movies to solve the problem of global warming..! (For a change, India will save the world this time!) I urge all of you to comment and rate my review. Peace

hijack - music review

Music: Justin-Uday
Lyrics: Kumaar
 
 Let me get down to the business without wasting much time
 
Aksar (KK) – The best thing about this song is that it doesn’t waste much time to befriend your ears and although you get a very strong ‘kya mujhe pyaar hai’ feeling (especially in the midst of the song when electric guitar takes over for a brief while), what is very refreshing is the manner in which the ‘Antra’ (Stanza) is treated. It has a very stop and go treatment which we came across in then recent song from race (khwaab deke). While the race song was an out and out dance number, this song emphasies on melody and does well. The lyrics are very simple and that’s a relief!

Dekh Dekh (Sunidhi Chauhan) – A must have club kind of dance number with a male voice shouting ‘MOVE YOUR BODY NOW’. Can someone please tell all the music directors of Hindi film industry to cut it out and get some more spunk in the English lyrics (if at all they must use it in an item kind of song!). Sunidhi Chauhan can sing these kinds of songs in her sleep and without a doubt she does well. What I did miss in this song is good mixing. May be the music directors should have played around by using a double track of sunidhi’s voice when she goes ‘A-O, A-O’ – Just a thought…let me know your thoughts if at all you stumble upon this song! All and all a song which will sound good to some people but the others will go out for ‘refreshments’ when this song comes in the movie.

Koi na jaane (Shilpa Rao & KK) – Shilpa rao who? The same singer whose voice embellishes ‘khuda jaane’ song along with KK in Bachna ae hasino. It’s a pity that she doesn’t get much scope to sing in this song because it is more of a ‘narrative’ kind of a song which might feature in a lead up to climax kind of situation wherein the male protagonist comes face to face with his long lost love. The song beautifully balances itself between reminisces of old times and praying to GOD to help in the present situation. I liked the manner in which the song begins, and if the director does some justice then it might not come as a DRAG in the lead up to climax. All and all a good song

Theme of Hijack(Suraj Jagan) – Suraj Jagan who? He is the same guy who has sung some jingles and more recently has song a loud song called – Zehreelay in the music album rock on. Plain taking off, with a bit of groove, a bit of Jazz guitar, some police sirens, a guy speaking on the wireless accompanies the music of Suraj Jagan as he sings ‘wonder who is in control, what’s going on…you cant see the future so keep walking on!’ (Now these are some neat lyrics thank God!). Just when you feel the song is over, it picks up again! All and all quite a niche treatment of the lyrics might not go well with the front seated crowd!

Aksar (Unplugged) – The most soothing song of the album. It is the slower version of the song number 1, and while the song number 1 Is sung by KK in a fast mode, this one is what you play in ‘those evenings’ and sing when you sit around with your friends on a cloudy evening with clouds as red as a cherry! This one is my personal favorite, hence no verdict on this song as I might be biased. Oh forget it, I rate this 4.5 on a 5 scale. (and no, I wont compare who has sung this better!)

Aksar (Sad) – (Shaan) – quite a predictable slower version of the song number 1. In this song, the singer wishes he had the company of his loved one forever. Now either Shiney ahuja or Esha deol have to die in the movie! (Hope the movie isn’t this predictable!). A very short song, something which is rare in Hindi cinema isn’t it?

What I liked:

1.Excellent use of guitars
2.The technique of making Shaan and KK sing different versions of the same song (Aksar) is very intelligent because the song ‘kya mujhe pyaar hai’ sung by KK had a brilliant slower version which never got popular, may be because it was also sung by KK and people like to ‘pick and choose’ only ONE version of the song by a singer (as if it is a rule!).

Final Verdict:

It is quite an appreciable effort by the first timer music director duo (Justin-Uday) and the lyricist (Kumaar). If the songs are not too good they won’t be a torture for your ears as well. The only thing which can kill this album is if the film bombs in the box office.

So go out and play on Hijack. Unlike the recent servings like Kismet Konnection, the songs of Hijack will be with you even after you switch off the music player…may be that’s why I am trying to sing the unplugged version of Aksar as I type these lines!

 Peace.

Dostana(2008) - music review

Hmmm....Karan johar?? Really?? I asked myself when I played on the CD in my car audio (well..for most part I am driving in Mumbai so where else do you think I will be playing the music??)


Music - Vishal Shekhar
Lyrics - Vishal, Anvita dutt

Track 1 - Jaane Kyun - A peppy song...in true sense of the word. The beginning of the song and the ending is just so refreshing that it had me reaching back to the CD cover to see if it is really karan johar who has produced this movie! I strongly believe that in Vishal Dadlani, we have found yet another item boy for hindi cinema (the first one being Neeraj sridhar). The only difference is that Vishal can inject much more passion and masti in his songs depending on the song’s requirement. All in all a brilliant song with repeat value for everyone especially youth.

Track 2 - Desi girl - Oh I was right..this indeed is a karan johar produced film! With Vishal shouting in a sub track ’desi girl’ the song starts with shankar mahadevan trying not to sound like any of his last few similar ’karan hep’ songs, but he fails. One can easily find shades of wheres the party tonight and so many similar songs in this song. Having bored us to death with PUNJABI sangeet, karan johar chooses a Gujrati dandiya type music arrangement for this song. Sunidhi chauhan comes in and goes out with a customary grace mixed with naughtiness! All in all a song which will be played a lot in dandiyas and dance floors! but does it qualify this to be good? Big No!

Track 3 - Maa da laadla - The moment this song starts, it will catch you off guard and you will love it...I wont reveal much about this factor...check it out for yourself. With the limited exposure to hindi film music and the 5 gram brains, I could decipher that the singer is same who gave company to shankar mahadevan in mast kalendar song from Heyy baby. This song shows how one can do justice with a ’sensitive’ topic and actually make it hillarious. Please excuse me for not sharing much on this song...do hear this one...It is worth it (even if it is mostly in punjabi..you will get the ’message’). I laud the effort of the filmmaker to include this song in the album...it is quite a good effort!

Track 4 - Khabar nahin - A soft and soothing song. Amanat Ali & Raja Hasan give this song a wonderful opening...and the manner in which this song softly holds your hands and takes you through is just very good. What is NOT welcome is a lame intrusion of some english lyrics...I mean with a sufi touch, who would want to hear lines like ’got to be love coz its really got me going!!’ (but then KARAN JOHAR can do anything isnt it?). Shreya Ghoshal is increasingly getting into a typical ’style’ and is no different in this song either..her soothing voice is welcome and the ’style’ isnt. I would have loved to call this song excellent but it just manages to get a ’Good’!

Track 5 - Kuch Kam - Shaan...o Shaan what would be a typical bollywood music album be without your humming and singing! I liked the lyrics of this song the most and not surprisingly it is Vishal who has penned them (not surprising because he has penned the famous ’Allah ke bande’ song as well). Coming back to this song, it reminds of the song ’Piya’ which was composed by shankar ehsaan loy for Mukul anand’s DUS which could never see the light of the day. The song is soft and with the onset of piano in between, your nerves are cooled in a way only piano can have them cooled!

Track 6 - Shut up and bounce - Yawn Yawn! Another sunidhi chauhan song with outrageous dance music and silly lyrics...the song starts making you feel you are listening to a song ’rahem kare’ (from cash i think) and dips in between making you feel it is ’lucky boy’ from Bachna ae hasino...I have to admit I couldnt withstand the full song...(before cutting out, i could hear a lot of electric guitar being played....farhan akhtar see what you have done to hindi philum music!)

Quite an interesting album I must admit. Karan johar has always been a creatively challenged guy but the tracks 1 & 3 redeem him to some extent..kudos to the musicians and lyricist for it as well.According to me - 4 out of 6 songs are OK and that is a good score..!

Hear it with a lot of expectations from ’jaane kyun’ and ’maa da ladlaa’ and with absolutely no expectations from ’desi girl’ and ’shut up and bounce’ and you wont be disappointed! On a sidenote, if you havent heard the DUS song I mentioned above, do hear it...and NO it isnt the same DUS you have seen with Abhishek bachchan!

Please rate my review and leave your valued comment...be honest...be brutally honest!

Peace and equanimity to all

rock on - movie review

Very often we come across a subject which is a point of discussion amongst almost everyone you come across. The knowledge of the subject takes a back seat since ‘everyone has an opinion’!

 Same happened with Rock on!!

Live your dream – was the tagline and it was construed as ‘Live your ROCK dream’ and almost everyone who was blessed with hearing abilities pounded on a hapless Farhan Akhtar for singing and starring in a movie which is based on a rock band.

 Let us see how bad or well the movie was or wasn’t!

The Story Not much to write about except the fact that the movie is based on a break up and re-union of four friends who form a part of Magik – their rock band. A thing to note is that there are 2 more characters that should get a mention here.

The Actors Arjun Rampal - was the surprise package if you ask me. He has delivered what we can call a powerful performance with an appearance which puts many a run-of-the-mill bollywood stars to shame.I had conveniently put him on my ‘distrust this member’ list long back. I somehow couldn’t digest him in conventional roles, and that is where the catch was! The guy is different and as he proved in his small role in Om Shanti Om (he was better in the second half!), he can rock only if the music being played is to his liking! I don’t care whether he did the guitar trick to perfection or not, he was looking like a true rock star and that’s what matters!

Purab Kohli – The comedy guy! I always thought he has strong acting abilities but in this movie, his comedy timing was put on display and he sizzles. He dances to ‘I will survive’ (I think it is Gloria Gaynor song, not sure though) in a way which can put Malaika Arora to shame! Watch out for him in the movie. (He plays a Gujrati, but unlike jaane tu ya jaane na...doesnt ham in Gujrati accent which was a welcome difference...)

Luke Kenny – does his job well. His appearance in the first half is marked with his lovely hairs and his D-Major note on the keyboard! Luke comes to life in the second half of the movie and your heart reaches out to him when he is seen recording music for a ‘big bollywood music director’. He gets a 5 star from me!

Prachi Desai – plays her part well and sticks to a ‘calm wife’ image. Although I feel she should have got a bit more screen space to establish the ‘boring’ life she was going through with her husband. As an actor, she is good.

Shahana Goswami – plays an overworked sacrificing wife to Arjun Rampal. She is involved in the climax as well. Quite a strong performer and even when you see her asking her husband not to follow his heart but to make money for the family, you don’t hate her for the simple reason that her character has been given good ‘screen time’.

Other actors like Koel and Nicolette were also good in their small roles.

The other rocker who plays Nicolette’s husband is also quite ‘in the character’ in first as well as second half (which is commendable because he gets 4-5 scenes in total!)

Farhan Akhtar – is a rock star in full garb. He plays the modern investment banker perfectly (watch out for the scene wherein he is assuring his client on where to put his money and quickly asks about the client’s wife before hanging up the phone with a ‘Jai sri krisna’). His rock star roars are just awesome.

The Music

This movie would be out of breath if it were not for a fabulous music score it has! You can read my music review (posted on 18 July 2008) here http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Rock_On_Album-147005-1.html Just to reiterate, the album got a 5 out of 5 from me Please hear this album keeping all the baggage aside. You don’t have to CONVERT to Rock music. Respect the genre, respect music.

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

I did not find the film slow in the second half. I found it a bit hushed up towards the end. The crowd participation in the last concert could have been filmed better. Even in the soundtrack we find more of a ‘chorus’ sound rather than a wild ‘rock audience noise’!

A word here for the art director who has done a splendid job be it the immaculate house of Farhan Akhtar, the JEEP (see the movie), Arjun Rampal’s house or the investment banker’s workstation!

Watch how cleverly (and non-preachy) these 2 scenes are:

1st in which the watchman greets farhan akhtar but farhan doesnt respond.
2nd. when farhan akhtar greets the watchman and the watchman responds. The director could have so easily put a slow motion and an irritating ’Yash raj films’ type music to this scene (to show the change in Farhan’s character)...but he doesn’t!

Yes...this movie isnt meant for masses huh!I did not feel the script weak where Farhan Akhtar’s break up with his girlfriend was shown. How many of us can boast of a PERFECT break up? (If at all something like this exists!)

The direction was quite spot on and kudos to the director and editor because you never feel the burden of a song on yourself (Yash Raj, Karan Johar…this is FYI...) The movie reminds us all to do what we like to do, because if we don’t follow our heart, we would be reduced to a money-making machine devoid of any love, passion and friendship.

The message sounds clichéd, but is very well delivered. Overall I give a 5 out 5 to rock on!! 4 stars for the wonderful film, one star on the sheer grit to package the movie in a way that only niche, multiplex audience will go to see this movie.

 Buy a movie ticket, get entertained in a rock concert and come out feeling light!... Oh yes and well Yash Raj and Karan johar are back....why? well these so called big banners are back by at least 1000 light years when it comes to the treatment and choice of a subject. May they get some senses soon!

Please rate my review and leave your valued comment.

Peace.

Husn-e-Jana (Music album) - review

This is a Ghazal album produced by Mr. Muzaffar ali, who is known for his films like Umrao Jaan, Gaman, Anjuman etc.Mr. Ali is a self confessed Sufi music follower and while his musical attempts are marked with a lot sufiyana Qawwalis, this album has a pure ghazal theme except one thumri which is sung by Zarina Begum.

Track 1 - Yaaron Mujhe muaaf rakho main nashe mein hoon (Chhaya Ganguli) The CD starts with a haunting ghazal of Mir Taqi Mir in which a lover is requesting his friends to excuse him from further wine since he is already intoxicated. I must mention this here that all the compositions of this album use a lot of persian words and this one is no different, BUT if you are the one who has lost herself/himself with your close friends in the memory of your beloved, you wont need to consult the persian dictionary to understand the meaning of any of the ghazals. Chaya Ganguly is the same singer who has sung Aapki yaad aati rahi raat bhar (from the film Gaman) and if you have heard it, you will like this even more....and if you havent...give it a patient hearing!

Track 2- Khoonrez Karishma Naaz Sitam (Chhaya Ganguli)Written by Nazir akbarabadi, this is a perfect example of what ’teasing’ means in a love which is pure and free from any worldy expectations. I cannot resist myself from quoting couple of lines from this ghazal:bedard sitamgar be-parvaah bekal chanchal chatkili sidil sakht qayaamat patthar saa aur baatein narm rasili siA lover is complaining in a very romantic tone about the ignorant partner whose heart is made of stone but his words are so rosy that she cannot stop but fall in love with him...subhanallah!There is a part in this ghazal in which the singer compares the droplet of sweat on the face of lover with pearls...I guess you should find that out yourself and fall in love with this one!

Track 3 - Jab Phagun Rang jhamaktey ho (Chhaya Ganguli)Penned again by Nazir Akbarabadi, this ghazal draws a picture of a holi (Indian festival), when the lover is trying to get hold of his beloved who is dodging him successfully! The Ghazal pauses couple of times when Chhaya Ganguli recites the couplets in Nazm style. Trust me, this composition promises to export you to the era of pure Lucknowi mehfils. There is a musical grandeur to this Ghazal which one should hear to find out.

Track 4 - Aye jaan idhar dekh (Rolly Saran)Written by Nazir Akbarabadi introduces us to a delicate voice of Rolly saran. This ghazal draws a picture of a lover who is angry (thanks to all the teasing in Track no. 2 and 3 above!) by his beloved and is refusing to acknowledge her glances! The singer resorts to flattery by mentioning that the color of gulaal on the cheeks of her beloved is also urging him to speak to her. Rolly saran is one of the lesser known voices of India and you will wonder WHY?? (after you hear this out)

Track 5 - Na tum hogey na hum hongey (Rolly saran)Nazir akbarabadi again picks up the pen to write this soulful slow ghazal. A death-bed like situation wherein the lover is persuading her better half to sit, talk and kiss her before their lives end. She goes on to mention the fact that the gatherings will disperse, festivals will be over and all the ho-hum will come to an end. So why not sit and reflect on this life by being together?

Track 6- Piya baaj pyala (Chhaya Ganguli and Iqbal siddiqui)Penned by the legendary Quli Qutub Shah, this ghazal is actually a duet wherein the lovers are discussing how bad it is to be, stay and drink without each other! Its hard core persian but the way it is sung is bound to make you understand everything...such is a mastery of Muzaffar ali! There is a line in which the male voice says - those who dont know love, its impossible to sit with them! You have to hear it to believe it!

Track 7 Zihale miskin (Chhaya ganguli)The king of kings Amir Khusrau wrote this and this ghazal has ’inspired’ so many songs/ghazals and NONE of them matches this pure persian Qalaam. A sad lover is remembering her beloved and is mourning the fact that her lover is neither coming near nor sending her letters of love. The simple manner in which the singer complains ’kise padi hai, jo ja sunaye pyare pi ko, hamari batiyan’ will pinch your heart if you have ever loved and got hurt.

Track 8 Nihure nihurey (Zarina Begum) - ThumriTraditional lucknowi lyrics. Muzaffar ali brings back the old (and sadly forgotten) queen of old lucknow mehfils. This thumri has been sung by almost all the classical female singers and some male singers. Hearing this you can actually visualize the singer singing with a paan in her mouth and a smile on her face. This composition describes a lover cleaning her house in the anticipation of the arrival of her beloved.

Track 9 Mohabbat binis jaan (Naved siddiqui)Mir Taqi Mir sahab has penned this. Aaah! Its love that makes the world go round, its love that gives courage to a lover to do what he wouldnt have done otherwise!! These lines can summarize what this beautiful composition coveys! The singer is yet another lesser known singer of India. The sheer ’attitude’ of this composition will give you goose pimples!

Cannot stop myself to share just two lines from this track
mohabbat say aataa hai jo kuch kaho
muhabbat say ho jo wo hargiz na ho

Track 10 Na tum hogey na hum hongey (Naved siddiqui and Chhaya ganguli)A repetition of track 5, the male voice joins in chhaya ganguli to give a perfect end to this beautiful piece of art. The lyrics remain the same, the effect is - haunting!

Amongst the instruments used Sarod, Tabla and sarangi are the most prominent in all the compositions.I am intoxicated by this album since last 7 years or so and it continues to grow on me. You should not hear it as just another music album for you may be disappointed.

It is not a music album. It is a piece of art at which the longer you gaze, the better it is.I am sure I havent done an iota of justice to this piece of art that it is.

I assure all of you that if you get any negative vibes about this album after reading my review, the fault is only mine

Peace and equanimity

Blaupunkt hamburg (car audio) review

I remember the good olden days when people used to think whether or whether not to install a car audio system in their cars.

I never had that doubt and I remember before buying the car, I have spent...err! invested a lot of time going from shop to shop trying to find out which sound system I should opt for.Before I dive into this, please note that this review is of the RECEIVER (i.e.) the main unit in which you play the CDs or any other source (example - radio, ipod etc.), and not the speakers.

The sacrosanct points

1. I had to find a car stereo within my budget of 15,000 (including speakers).
2. I was clear that the system should be a USB and an iPod ready unit
3. I am not in a business of selling paan and cigarettes so the output shouldn't blow my car’s top away.
I was looking for quality and depth not just shrill notes of Ghungroo and loud thuds of Dhols
4. Since we live in the age of ’download what you love’ the system must play mp3 and windows media files
5. I am not entirely sold on the idea of playing DVDs while driving, hence the system shouldn’t necessarily play DVDs6. Its been long since I have buried my cassette collection and given the state of Indian roads, if one plays an audio cassette of jagjit singh, he ends up sounding like altaf raja which isn’t good. So no cassette option was required

Researched following models/brands

1. Sony xpload - Quite ironically, was priced competitively but the sound quality was average at best. The clarity was missing and my khurapati brain played around with all the equalizers but to no avail. The sony salesman was hell bent on selling me a big subwoofer along with Sony Xplod to make the ’impactful sound’ (a term used by him). I went to other sony showrooms and within my budget, I came disappointed.

2. Pioneer - Quite frankly, I was never a fan or pioneer or delphi systems for the simple fact that one cannot distinguish between a fake and an original one. The sound of pioneer I must admit was far better than a sony xplod and wasn’t coming at a high price. The USB connectivity wasn’t available in this hence I gave it a miss

3. Alpine - I don’t blame the car audio. It was just a very bad dealership which was having exclusive rights to sell alpine car audios in Hyderabad (august 2007) and I remember coming out of that showroom in 15 minutes flat....The guy was more interested in talking to his salman khan look-alike friend than selling! This system did not have a WMA decoder or a USB connectivity either!

4. LG/Samsung - Have not heard much about them in car-stereo space hence conveniently gave them a miss.

5. Kenwood - Given the fact that Kenwood was never actually in car stereo systems and it was using a convenient contract manufacturing route to sell their products, I was sure that I will get nothing more than a 2 in 1 tape recorder sound and I was right! Surprisingly, this receiver did not play WMA files and there wasn’t any option to add USB drive!

6. Blaupunkt - They not only had a good range but also had some AMAZING features which took my breath (and money!) away. Picture this - A sound system where you can PAIR your mobile phone with it and the moment a call comes, the song stops and the telephone rings gently via speakers! If you want to receive the phone, just press the green button on the stereo and talk!! The incoming voice will come from the speakers and your voice will reach the caller without you holding a phone in your hand!! After your call ends, the song will slowly fade back from the place it stopped!!This feature was amazing as even if one is driving and has to talk urgently, he can and no one (bribe hungry police man included) can make out that you are talking on phone!!.

The other features of this model are :

1. It plays Mp3 and Wma Cds

2. It has a USB and iPod ready console

3. It can play up to 1500 files in a folder of USB!

4. It is absolutely easy to navigate thru the folders in USB

5. You can store up to 5 phone numbers in the stereo...after that just press the digit and the Call button and the call is connected...no need to keep the phone and search!!

6. You can store up 20 FM stations and 20 AM and other bands (never explored!) in the radio

7. The USB attachment is conveniently put inside the glove box thereby keeping the pen drive hidden and not visibly stuck in the audio system like other sub-standard audio systems...

8. The sound clarity and depth will blow you away - I remember playing a Sufi kalam of abida parveen in low level only to hear everything with crystal clarity!

9. The X-Bass feature converts your car into a private discotheque! (although this depends on the number of speakers and the kind of speakers you install in the car)

10. The display is white and the buttons are red which makes it easy to navigate in the night while driving

11. The cute little remote control supplied with the system covers all the features (including the USB/CD folder navigation), thereby giving full control to the passengers in the car - ONLY IF YOU WANT TO :)

12. You can get a small attachment (by paying extra) which you can add in your steering to have controls on your steering - a bakwaas option if you ask me, for who is so lazy and who is in a hurry to change the songs/volume that he needs a boxy attachment on the steering wheel when the controls are well within his reach!!

Edited on 26.11.2008 at 15.43 to add a valid point i missed to mention- The sterero panel can be detached and put in a nice box provided by Blaupunkt!-----------Now for the revelation - It cost me 16,990!!


Yes I know it crossed my budget by a loooong shot but....I have recovered my money in a week’s time - thanks to amazing functionality and the sound quality! I bought this in August 2007 and till date a lot of people are pleasantly surprised when they come across this piece of art....I have installed 4 Blaupunkt speakers 2 in front doors and 2 in the tray in the boot...and they are very good as well!I hate mentioning stuff like this but I have got to thank my wife who was quick enough to spot the child-like enthusiasm in me when I saw this receiver and gifted it to me!So play on...drive on...ROCK ON!Please rate and comment on the review...feel free to tear it apart..

Peace and equanimity to all and always

Philips DVD plater - dvp 3166 - review

The History

I had been a ’victim’ of Sony DVD player for 3 years after which I decided to ’let it go’for good. It refused to realise the people it shook hands with just a day before (meaning - The DVDs which I played one day weren’t recognised by the same DVD player the next day). Skeptics will come back saying I might have kept the player dirty...well this wasn’t the case. Since my worldly possessions are a bit more to me than plain worldly possessions, I keep all of them safe. Sony DVD player was one of them and more special because I brought it along with my TV from my FIRST salary! I shelled around INR 6,000 for my Sony DVD player

The research - Some tips I followed when I went to buy another DVD Player

1. Keep the budget sacrosanct, I pegged it at INR 4,000

2. Stay away from Sony (don’t know why I am far away from sony for Good...earlier it was a horrible TV experience and the Sony DVD player was the cherry on top!)

3. Zero down on the features (I wanted USB ready set)4. The DVD player should be 5.1 channel enabled (so that I can keep my neighbours awake when I plug it with my Harman kardon home theatre system)

5. The DVD player SHOULD NOT have an in-built amplifier because it reduces the scalability of output and also increases the dependance on the DVD player. (Simply put, take a separate receiver and plug your DVD to that rather than going in for an in-built amplifier which are way too complicated to be repaired when they go for a toss)

Models I came across

I came across Samsung, which was nice but somehow the time it was taking to read the USB wasnt all that great...and everytime I clicked a button on the remote, the entire display lights used to get dim...shoddy workmanship if you ask me...hence Samsung was a goner!I came across LG only to reject it because couple of friends asked me to be away since they were shopping for a DVD player with me to replace their LG DVD players! I came across a wonderful Onkyo DVD player but it was waaaaaaaay too expensive for a pauper like me so I referred to my first point above (in THE RESEARCH), kicked myself for being poor and kept on looking!I came across Onida, I liked it too but it did not have USB connectivity then, so I gave it a miss.

I zeroed in on Phillips DVD DVP 3166 because:

1. It was having the lowest delay in executing the response from the remote control,
2. It could play virtually any format (DIVX included!), it
3. It was a steal at INR 2990/-!
4.The remote is very compact but it doesn’t have tiny buttons.
5.The extra sound classification converts the sound in many modes which is quite a good feature for a khurapati soul like me.
6.The player reads each and every content disc which I have played on it.
7. The scalibility is wonderful since it compliments my home theater very nicely.
8. You can also allocate the sound levels to all the 6 speakers using the 5.1 setting mode from the DVD Player but you have to be very careful since it can adversely affect the output if not done properly!

The only feature I miss is flash card reader. Honestly I dont think I need it but then it’s good to have something which is viewed as ’technologically intelligent’, even if you don’t know what the hell it is! :)

Some details:

Purchase time - March 2008
Vendor - Vijay sales Chembur, Mumbai
Price - INR 2990
Defects - Are you kidding me?

Do check out the Moser baer DVD players before you make a choice..they offer good value for money! Please rate and leave comments on my review, feel free to tear it apart!

Peace and equanimity

ghajini - meri girlfirend ko danda kyun maraa

Overworked to the core, you decide to watch a movie and get lucky to get special screening passes for Ghajini...and you think life is good!

The story

There has been so much talk about Ghajini that I don’t think its worthwhile to waste the reader’s time with the story but I would like to state that the writer shouldnt have slept over the script the way she/he has.

The Actors

Yes, its Amir Khan who manages to salvage something and everyone else comes up with laboured performances.

Asin is a repackaged sridevi and I apologise if this comes as an insult to Sridevi. You can spot the Yeksent (accent!) when she speaks and though she is a nice actress from the south, the crowd did not go to see ’trying to look so cute’ chick who cannot act even if her life is Dependant on it. She does overact quite effortlessly though.

Tinu anand - has done so many roles like this and he continues to ham like their is no tomorrow...falling when walking, making those loud faces! Yuk!

Rishad ali - A very nice actor from Malyali cinema, has done a nice job.

Jiah Khan - Speaks weirdly and mistakes dancing with shaking.

The manager of Amir khan - He comes across as a sincere actor. Although his voice gives me heebie-jeebies

Pradeep rawat - The guy who plays GHAJINI. He wasnt utilised fully I would say and thats a director’s fault. His clothes are ’andhra style’ and though the build up to his introduction was somewhat nice, he disappoints the most! He didn’t have a gun would you belive it!!??

The Music

Not AR Rehman’s best, hummable at places but easily said - forgetful! Its this kind of mediocre stuff which is packaged with 8-pack abs and a bald look that makes people drool over the packaging paper and forget that a crap rests inside.

The fights Gory! Certainly not recommended if you plan to take your kids along. There is good amount of heads being banged and bloodshed. Even when you break your head thinking why the villian is not having a pistol to save him, the last few minutes of action is quite good...thanks to aamir!

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 movie is very long. It could have done away with Jiah khan’s character altogether. The way the camera moves especially during the last half of the film is ’very south’. There is a scene in which the camera is searching for someone and suddenly Aamir emerges and punches the screen! that is quite neat according to me. There are just so many loopholes that if I sit and mention them, my review will exceed 7500 words.

 The first half comes across so laboured that you want to throw eggs on the screen. Except the scene where the ’inevvitable’ happens to Aamir’s love, you never feel sad for aamir and thats director’s fault. Most part of the movie, he is roaming like a 1990s sanjay dutt looking to take revenge on those who have killed his family!

Conclusion

I am sure I have missed mentioning a lot of good things about the movie, but trying to remember them and pen them down would take more effort than was put in to make this movie!! Kudos to the promotion team and aamir for creating good hype. Aamir is the only good factor (although in the much coveted ’Behka’ song, he looks tired!)

Today, when we look for meaningful cinema or just something new, Ghajini comes across as a stupid typical masala film....which wasnt expected of Amir, but then its not Amir khan’s production and a guy has to earn money isnt it!

Watch it (only if you must!) with no expectations....you might still dislike it...Please tear my review apart and leave your ratings and commentsPeace and equanimity to all and wish you all a very happy new year!

Peace and equanimity

Chandni chowk to china - music review

Music Director(s): Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Kailash-Paresh-Naresh, Bappi Lahiri- Bappa Lahiri & Bohemia.Lyrics - Rajat Arora, Shailender, Kailash Kher, Bohemia

Song 1 S.I.D.H.U - Kailash Kher &Chorus - The song doesn’t waste anytime in ’getting started’ and has a delhi feel to it the moment you hear it. There is a very 1990s feel to the ’wah bhai wah’ which chorus blurts out the moment the song starts but then thats what we can expect from Bollywood these days. The song narrates Akhshay kumar’s character before and after the transformation. The problem with the song is that there are way too many attempts to innovate the song and they fall flat on their face. Somehow the music directors are feeling that they can play any darn instrument and whatever the singer ’says’ can be termed as a song these days!

Song 2 Chandni Chowk to china - Neeraj sridhar, anoushka sharma, shankar mahadevan and unbearable chinese like chorusUnfortunately for all of us, some people just refuse to let go of their ’hit formula’ in the hindi film industry! The ’item boy’ neeraj sridhar gets on the mic and hams it up like their is no tomorrow! There is a part in the song when you are actually waiting for neeraj sridhar to shut up because his lines do not end!! Then we have shankar mahadevan who is still stuck with bunty aur bubly hangover of a sudden shouting a song with some ’chalta hai’ lyrics. As if the only thing left was an irritating chinese-like ’haiiiiiiya’ which continues for the full song (Grrrrrrrr!)

Song 3 India se aaya mera dost - Bappi Lahiri & Ravi K Tripathi - The song starts with a drunk chinese (not difficult to spot that!) yapping away. It is just the same old wine mixed with some chinese spices. Wine with chinese spice! yup thats what the song is! Honestly, at times you do feel nice seeing Bappi lahiri trying very honestly to make the song work. He runs out of partners. The lyricist tries very hard to pen some of the silliest lyrics that you can ever hear...like someone pointed out - china rhyming with seena! Yaaaaaaaaaks!Song

Song 4 Tere Naina (Shankar mahadevan & Shreya Ghoshal)A slow song, and my gut feel this song would be filmed in slow motion. It is totally like 1000 songs that we have been served by Pritams and shankar ehsan loys of today. A slow Shankar mahadevan is helped by a somewhat fast (and trying to sound cute as always) shreya ghoshal. If you are the one who is desperately trying to find something to like about this album, may be this song will do the trick. MAY BE!

Song 5 Chak lein de (Kailash Kher)Yes I was right, this does sound like a 1990s music album. Here comes the climax or ’leading up to climax’ song! The only good thing about this song is kailash kher at times and thats all. I somewhat liked the innovative style of repeating the last 2 words of every line by kailash kher in this song. With predictable stop-and-go approach this song bores you to death! This would be the song when guys would go out for smoke and ladies would yawn and yawn again! Just like we have all grown sick of seeing kangana ranaut shout on the screen, we are fast approaching irritation-ville when it comes to kailash kher’s shouting towards the end of every song!

Song 6 CC2C (Akshay kumar and bohemia)More an advertisement for Akshay kumar than anything else. The song tries hard to show some attitude but falls flat thanks to some weird lyrics and even sillier execution. Akshay kumar has been bashing other stars and star sons right from his ’khiladi’ days. Remember the song - Na Hum AMitabh, na dilip kumar, na kisi hero ke bachche, hum hain seedhe saadhe Akshay!!!Honestly, I dont have a problem with Akshay taking potshots at bollywood and ’badshah’ in this song. It is the lack of confidence that is so audible in the song which will irritate anyone who has paid for this album

Oh yes! and there is that punjabi rapper (One more to the list!) called bohemia. He had gone to the west to make his fortune and came back to India to ’do some music’. My question to him - WHY?

Last thoughts

1. Nikhil advani has given us a super flop - salam-e-ishq which was star heavy and script light. The album is making me scared about the movie...(if you loved kal ho na ho, then please dont read this review any further)

2. There are some people who dont know ’when to stop’ and this album is filled with them. Hear out the India se aaya mera dost or Chak len de and u will understand what i am referring to.

3. This movie wont be remembered for its soundtrackExtreme apologies for such a long review but I had to vent my feelings...afterall I subjected myself to this music(?)

Peace and equanimity

http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Chandni_Chowk_To_China_Album-157966-1.html