Friday, January 29, 2010


Rating- 2.5/5

Note to self: Aim for the stars so that you fall among the clouds. Moderation in expectations is the mantra.

This week’s big release Ishqiya is a story about two conmen, Khalujan and Babban on the run who take shelter with their friend’s widow, Krishna (played by Vidya Balan) in a village in Eastern UP.) It turns out that Krishna is even more crooked than the conmen. Together, the three hatch a plan of kidnapping a millionaire. Because the men need money and the lady seeks revenge. Also, the kidnapping sets in motion a series of events that take the movie to its close.

Ishqiya starts off with a bang. The opening scene sets the tone for a racy thriller.. Dark, brooding, rustic. Half way through the movie, you realize the film’s all three, but in a half-ish way. Its dark but not dark enough. Its funny and yet leaves you wanting for more. Its rustic but Vidya’s accent betrays her ruralness. Its lusty yet there is just one lovemaking scene when there was scope for more. And this is only the first grudge.

The film has nothing new to offer in terms of the plot. Conmen on the run, find shelter in a small town, accomplice joins them. The film derives its strength from its characters. Out of the three, Arshad Warsi as Babban is nearly flawless. He switches between menacing and cute effortlessly. The other two leave a lot to desire. Vidya is seductive but not effectively rural. Naseeruddin is good, just that. The film’s script is not powerful enough. There are no abuses for Vidya Balan, the only one she uses has already been shown in the trailers. The pace of the film is leisurely but the music is mesmerizing and is put to good use. Infact, the music is the highpoint of the film.. Not just the two chartbusters, but Rekha Bhardwaj’s haunting voice bring class. The makers have very intelligently kept the length of the film short, thus sparing the viewers prolonged agony because towards the end, the script goes zany and abstract. The twists seem forced and harried and the treatment of the climax is a little tacky too.

The only area where the film gains brownies is the tremendous screen presence of its lead actors and great music. Arshad Warsi is great to watch not only because his comic timing is near legendary after Munnabhai 1 and 2 and Golmaal but also the dialogue delivery. Even here, comedy is there but too far and few in between. Which is the actual cause of the resentment. The actors show potential, but the film disappoints on many levels- Poor script, slow pace, poorly etched side kicks.

How happily would I have given the film a 3.5 or 4. But this one leaves too bitter an after taste.

Ishqiya is best a DVD watch. On the big screen, the disappointment is just as magnified.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (APKGK)

I am no big fan of Katrina Kaif. Infact I majorly despise her. So when she makes a fool of herself on screen, I have little problems. But it pierces my heart when Ranbir Kapoor, an extremely gifted actor, plays a role that is cheap, third grade and badly etched.

APKGK is a film that outrightly insults your intelligence. It makers have clearly made the film with the assumption that any bunkum storyline will sell, as long as it is supported by pretty faces. Which, by the way, is sadly true for our country. The very premise of this film is so clichéd that it immediately makes you think “Hey isn’t this what we used to see in THOSE films ?” [Those, here, refers to those unbelievably silly films of early 90s where hero used to chase the girl, only to win her in the end. And yes, you knew all along that he would win her.]

The bare thread holding the movie together that the filmmakers have very conveniently called its ‘storyline’ goes as follows : Prem (Ranbir Kapoor) is a good for nothing fellow who is the president of “Happy Club”. The members of this club keep themselves occupied by kidnapping girls and handing them over to their lovers, apart from making the neighbourhood a living hell. Prem falls in love with Jenny the clichéd good-girl-next-door who studies, obeys her parents and… voila ! Is an Orphan. How original !

Now to woo her Prem must mend his ways. He must work hard, start being honest, give time to his family. And so begins Prem’s Pati Parivartan.

The film makers have employed every possible comic cliché used in the history of BollyWood. As a result, the humour is largely yellow, loud and very senseless. The actors are the worst let down. Supremely talented actors like Darshan Zariwala and Smita Jaykar have been wasted in thankless roles. But the biggest disappointment is Ranbir. Such Buffoonery ! He will have to work very [Like V E R Y] hard in his next to conceal if not remove this blot on his career. But for the powerhouse of talent he is, I’d like to grant him that chance. As for Katrina, no regrets. I mean this is the most I expect of her. But Ranbir ?!?

The makers have called this the next Andaz Apna Apna. In reality, APKGK lacks what made Andaz Apna Apna a cult film- Class.

The film has Crap written all over it. Nothing can save it. Nothing.

Rating- 1/5. (Such Trash !)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Zealand : Through the eyes of a Workaholic.


Last 2 weeks there has been zero contact between us - taking the partial blame and not laying down the numerous reasons behind why it happened, I thought let me just tell u about the wonderful trip that I had to Coromandel -

We left early Saturday from Auckland - two cars, 9 people - amazing drive, beautiful scenery, pleasant sun and surprisingly no cloud or rain in was nice to take a well-deserved break from the madness at work - while the CD player non-chalantly played out hummable bollywood numbers...we cruised along the southern-eastern motorway towards Thames...a country town....

In about 15 minutes from Auckland all we could see all around was just meadows, streams, livestock and far spread country homes....not a soul in sight....except a few cars on the motorway...Point be noted - in NZ the man:cattle :: 1:5 !!

Thames was amazing....imagine small houses....with stream in the backyard and a green picturesque mountain beyond that stream.....roads though small and winding were well laid speed breakers, potholes!

After Thames, the rest of the drive - in one word was divine! Sea on the left and mountain on the right.....Kishore Kumar did the rest :) .... "Musafir hun yaroo.....!" well it could not have been more apt for a bunch of BAs working for a project in the far away land of NZ....(BTW its not that bad!)

We stopped on the outskirts of Thames to admire and click the beauty of the sea....envious of the locals who are living in a place worth dying for, we chose to bite our way into some nice homemade crispies (Thanks to Neha - better half of our LEGEND), nut bars, biscuits and washed it down with some juice.....burp!!

Resuming our journey was a difficult decision (place was beautiful...but this was just a start)...'virgin' NZ never looked so vibrant, mesmerizing and inviting :P....

If the Sea was calming....hills were humbling....mother nature had surely thought of decorating NZ as its own home...NZ govt surely had a tough time deciding on the scenic lookouts....we a bunch of 'IT geeks' if given a chance would have labelled the whole mountain as one big scenic lookout....Cameras went into an overdrive.....every turn revealed a better view....misty valleys, distant islands, shinning ponds, green grass, cows (even they looked photogenic) Saran paji will put it...."Mind Blowing"!

Surprisingly and with a mixed emotions of thankfully (I still think it ended too soon!)....we reached Coromandal and our motel....the motel was easy to locate (pheeww...)..not empathising with the cruel and highly lop-sided male to female ratio that our project has...the ladies at the motel thought we will be all couples (guy-girl or guy-guy)....7 guys surely made them think on a lazy Saturday morning...with a packet of milk each (for tea and we entered our rooms .... luckily they were way better than what we had expected (so was deciding on the room

By 12 noon - everyone was just dying to take a dip in the Pacific....engines roared again and the stop was Long way was a matter of minutes before everyone either went off for either kayaking, din in the ocean or both....warm sun...slight breeze was inviting and no one really cared for a really cold water....except a few sporadic incidents where the body refused to accept the beauty and revolted against the cold water (AD and MB can vouch for it)...the experience was awesome!

All the body needed now was some nice food...NZ green lip mussels and wonderful pasta (for the thankful veggies!) did the music was overshadowed by the LOUD and now rejuvenated BE team (VP...mixed like salt in water)...admiring the beauty all around - this time it was the waitresses....

Overruling the objections against Laphroaig...MB set out to buy one..democracy prevailed...only to be vetoed by MB himself (his treat after all)....and he bought the much required tonic that the whole team would love to consume at night...details later!

The pack...equipped with maps...rushed towards 'Hot water beach'...

Rest to follow.

Contributed by:

Abhay Mohan| Business Analyst - Retail NGT

L14, Telecom House, 8 Hereford Street, Auckland, NZ


Friday, October 23, 2009

End of the Beginning.

Ever felt like something very precious is being taken away from you, but you don't know what ? You feel a sense of loss, a huge void inside you, like a vast hollow with millions of tiny voices crying for help. How do you find the answer to an undefined problem ?

Life's sick. It's one helluva bitch. It will always bring you to crossroads, where it will test your traits of resoluteness. It is always easy to figure out the good from back, the black will always separate itself from the white. But how do you find the best among equals. Can goodness be quantified ? And the biggest question of them, who attends to these ramblings of the confused, ever-seeking mind ?

Its ironic, rather cruel that the very elements of existence that give you happiness- make your life worth living- become your nemesis. The people, objects, moments we treasure become our weakness, driving us to point of no return, where it becomes difficult to disconnect.

At the end, the futility of the situation stares you in the face. Jeers at your innocence, mocks at your naivety, the 'knew-I-would-catch-you-here' look in its eyes, making you cringe with embarrassment. You hate your self for your vulnerability.

All Good things come to an end. If only..