Friday, September 5, 2008

Kamaal ki Jodi!

Hey friends!

For the past three days I was in Goa enjoying the luxury of the leisurely place and, boy, didn't I enjoy! Surely it was a much needed break after the completion of our mentally exacting college exams. Goa has that exquisite charm about it that makes you forget all the worries in the world as you sink in the delightful environs of the place. Anyone who hasn't been there yet has certainly missed something!

Anyway let's get to some filmy gupshup. I had a pleasant surprise when I logged on to the internet after coming back from Goa. Splashed on various websites were photographs from the shoot of the much awaited SRK starrer Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi in Amritsar. SRK sports two looks in the movie. In one avatar he has a moustache and quite a simple look while the other avatar is quite a dapper; and in both the looks SRK looks wonderful. Wonder if it's the story of the journey of a man from his younger days to his middle age or whether SRK is in a double role in the movie. The actress opposite SRK seems very beautiful- let's hope she can act as well as she looks. After seeing the photos my curiosity regarding the movie has skyrocketed. December 12, the release date, seems so far away! For those of you who haven't seen the pics yet here they are:

 

Yours,
Animesh Raj :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Phoonk De!

Hello there!

My exams are over and for a change I hope to get some good marks this time! Of late I hadn't been able to keep up with the latest in Bollywood and did I have some surprises in store!

First of all I was surprised to hear about the dismal opening that Maan Gaye Mughal - e - Azam received at the box office. It was so thanda it could give Coca Cola a run for its money. Guess people are bored of the oversexed up Mallika Sherawat and the pseudo intellectual Rahul Bose. Both of them act as if they are big stars! Cool it people- hope now you understand where you stand.

Now for the big surprise- and it was really B-I-G. Somehow RGV's horror movie Phoonk managed to get a fantastic initial and that meant that the low budget movie would be a money-earner for sure. I don't know what worked for it. RGV's name had become synonymous with duds (even Sarkar Raj wasn't as successful as it was made out to be). The film had no stars whatsoever. No hit music to boast of. Nothing! And to top all that I thought the media campaign which challenged a person to watch the movie alone in a theatre was stupid. But I guess it worked for the film. May be people are now bored of the nonsensical 'comedies' that are being churned out in bulk in Bollywood these days- they needed a change. RGV's horror movies have always been good- I still shudder when I think of some scenes from the movie Raat. So probably this worked to the movie's advantage. But it's still very surprising indeed. RGV himself must have been shocked to see the response the movie received from the public. With so many duds behind his back how could he have expected that a movie poster that had his name in the bold could actually attract the audiences! Now our vain RGV will heave a sigh of relief and come back with his pseudo intellectual ways I am sure. God save us!!

Yours,
Animesh Raj :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Youngistaan Strikes Again

Hi friends!

My exams are about to start in two days and so I have not had the time to watch any of the new movies released- actually I am not really that desperate to watch any of them!! Good news is that after the success of Singh is Kinng Bachna Ae Haseeno has scored too at the box office. This must be a great relief for both producer Yash Raj Films and the lead actor Ranbir Kapoor whose first film Saawariya had bombed at the box office. The movie got a good opening- quite commendable because the Salman starrer God Tussi Great Ho which released alongside got a lukewarm response. So after Imran Khan it's Ranbir who has struck gold.

Out of the newcomers I think three stand out- Neil Nitin Mukesh, Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan (Sorry Harman, you don't really make the list). I truly believe it was Neil Nitin who deserved the all the best newcomer awards last year but then being the scion of the illustrious Kapoor family of course has its advantages. With Bachna... doing well Ranbir has shown that the audience likes him and that he can carry a film on his shoulders pretty well. But of the three I think it is Imran who is going to come out on top- he looks sharp, acts well, and is doing different kinds of roles. His next, Kidnap, is a thriller with him playing a negative character and Imran looks sensation in the promo.

Now some amusing news. Seeing the promo of God Tussi... it didn't require a rocket scientist to realize that it's nothing but a remake of Bruce Almighty. But when the director of the movie Rumy Jaffrey was asked about it he blatantly lied that it's not a remake, that it's based on a folk story. Now that the movie is released everyone knows the truth. Dear Rumy, if you have remade a movie, and that too a movie as popular as Bruce Almighty, at least don't lie about it and make a fool of yourself.










Bye for now friends. Wish me all the best for my exams.

Yours,
Animesh :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Is this Freedom?

Hello friends!

First of all a very Happy Independence Day to all! As India turns 61 we need to put our thinking caps on and contemplate as to what independence really means. India at 61 is bleeding. Its citizens now take resort to anarchy and have little concern for others' lives and belongings. Violence is slowly becoming the mother tongue of our country- something that connects the people of Jammu and Kashmir to those way down in Karnataka, from those in Assam to the ones living in Maharashtra. Is this what independence means? As India turns 61 I can see her crying in agony, I can see her hopelessness- Her children do not realize the importance of being able to breathe in free air, Her children do not understand what freedom truly means.

Yours,
Animesh Raj :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am Innocent

Dear friends,

The spat between SRK and Salman at Katrina's b'day bash is now old news. Though the stars had been silent on the incident themselves sources present at the party had confirmed that the two had indeed quarreled. Yesterday Salman broke his silence on the matter with his interview being splashed across all the major tabloids and websites where he goes SRK-bashing. Reading the various interviews one gets the feeling that Salman is extremely bitter about the issue and it's surprising that while SRK is keeping silent about the issue Salman goes all out and even compares his relation with SRK to his relation with Vivek Oberoi(!!!!!).

Let's take a look at what he has to say. To the interview he gave to Times of India (read it here) he said that he would never patch up with SRK. He also said that he would never speak about Shahrukh and then immediately proves himself wrong by speaking ill of Shahrukh. When asked to speak on SRK Salman responded, "Yeh sab unka problem hai. Agar meri burai mein unko happiness milti hai, who log paisa kamate hai, toh accha hai. Aap meri dhana-dhan phaad rahe ho, aur apni family ko support kar rahe ho... well then, enjoy! (Laughs)".

Salman suggests that SRK keeps bad-mouthing about him in public. As of now he has never done it in any of his interviews at least; SRK has always had words of praise for Salman. In fact it is Salman who is bad-mouthing SRK in this interview. Ulta chor kotwaal ko daante!

To the interview he gave to Indian Express (read it here), he says that SRK used to stay at his home during his struggling days but he has been to SRK's house only twice in his lifetime. Also somewhere in between Salman adds that SRK was at his house to request him to appear in KBC and Om Shanti Om thus refreshing our memories about the favours that he has done for SRK. Also when asked if the reason for the fight was their respective shows on television Salman says, "No, I don't think it's because my show is doing better". Well Salman just go and take a look at the TRPs and you would know that your show is not really making waves. For those who are eager you can check the TRPs of television shows at www.indiantelevision.com.

In his interview to Mid-Day (read it here) he says that SRK's aides have been spreading negative stories about him in the media. He says that till now we have heard only SRK's side of the story.

To Hindustan Times (read it here) Salman says that he has morals and principles and throughout his life he has had to suffer for them because others do not have any morals or principles. He he...this statement is nothing but hilarious coming from the perennial enfant terrible of Bollywood! Just take a look at all the controversies that he has been involved in (click to read) and you would be surprised as to what morals and principles the actor is speaking of.

There are other interviews too but it will get too long and boring. How much of negativity and immaturity can one handle anyway? Anyway Salman lives up to his image of being the bad boy of bollywood by lashing out at King Khan in such an immature manner. Now will Shahrukh break his silence too?

Yours,
Animesh :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

'King' and His Slaves

Hey people!

Singh is Kinng
released yesterday with much fanfare and the media reports suggest that the movie has received an "earth shattering" opening and is going to break all records. The
pre-release hype surrounding the movie, hit music and the presence of Akshay Kumar, who seems to be the flavour of the season, had pretty much made it certain that the movie was going to get a great initial. Whether or not the movie sustains the popularity is the most important question. Though my guess is that it doesn't matter whether the movie is good or bad- it's going to make a lot of money anyway. It's a formula that seems foolproof nowadays- make a brain-defying comedy, throw in Akshay Kumar and there you have a superhit in the making! I mean if Heyy Babyy, which I felt was the worst movie of the previous year, could be a superhit any movie can be a superhit.

Let me now talk about the movie reviews on various websites. Some of them I found really amusing. So much so that I decided to share them with you. Most of them seem as if the producer (or actor...whoever!) has personally written those reviews. Let's take a glance at some of the reviews that I found hilarious, to say the least.


Preeti Arora on www.buzz18.com
says that No Entry and Welcome were "masterpieces" (yes, you read it right!!! I wonder if it was one of those glaring typos!) from director Bazmee and though Singh is Kinng is not in the same league, it's still pretty good. She also adds that
Akshay is the most hardworking actor in Bollywood and "probably no other actor in B'town (not even Aamir Khan or Shah Rukh Khan) puts in the kind of effort that Akshay has been doing over the last few years."

If you found this review funny wait for the next one- I am sure it will leave you in splits.

Raja Sen on www.rediff.com
says that Mr Bachchan has finally found a worthy heir to his throne (remember actors in Bollywood are not simply actors, they are kings!). Raja further adds that "very rarely, perhaps once in a couple of future generations, comes an actor with such tremendous screen presence that it drips like sweat from his body
" and Akshay Kumar is such an actor.

Agreed he has great screen presence. But, come on, we have actors like Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan who I believe have at least as big a screen presence as Akshay Kumar.

Next reviewer feels that Akshay's brilliance has made Happy Singh (his character in the movie) immortal. Chandrima Pal on www.buzz18.com says that Akshay Kumar does the same thing to Happy Singh that Amitabh Bachchan once did to 'Don'. No one can better it ever.

Yes, chances of that happening are low as the chances of Singh is Kinng being remade are next to nil! So Chandrima is right in a way but probably not in the way she actually meant!

Manasi Paresh Kumar on www.deccanherald.com
again draws comparisons between Big B and Akshay and yet reiterates that Big B has finally been dethroned by Akshay.

Taran Adarsh on www.bollywoodhungama.com
gives a 4 out of 5 rating to S.I.K and writes that Anees Bazmee never promised a Schindler's List or Saving Private Ryan. All he promised was an entertainer and that's what it is.

Now, Taran, how could you even take the names of Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan in the same breath with Singh is Kinng. Bazmee with his limited skills can never even dream of making a Schindler's List- he knows it too and that's why sticks to his no-brainers.

There are other reviews of similar nature where the critics have almost worshipped Akshay and his "huge screen presence" and his "brilliant acting skills". They only go on making a fool of themselves. Agreed Akshay has given the most number of hits in recent years but is that the only parameter to an actor's greatness? About his acting skills, he is brilliant in comedy but he fails to leave a big impression when he has to emote a repertoire of emotions. Good he is, but not the best really!

I hope you had a nice time reading the reviews. Catch up with you later.

Yours,

Animesh Raj :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Diamonds: Best Friends No More

Hi people!

So here's the hot news- the diamond jewellery brand Nakshatra has dumped Aishwarya Rai and roped in the latest heartthrob of the nation, Katrina Kaif, as its brand ambassador. This must have left the Bachchan Bahu reeling with jealousy. In fact Abhishek Bachchan in a recent interview suggested that it was Aishwarya who opted out of the contract with Nakshatra because it did not "come to terms" with some of her conditions. Now, come on AB! Of course you don't expect us to believe that! Bachchans of late have become insanely oversensitive reacting to every piece that's written on them in the media, and at times they can even be seeing blowing their own trumpets. Chuck it guys!

Now about the latest Queen of Bollywood. With five hits in a row Katrina has quickly become one of the most sought out faces in the ad world. Though frankly speaking Katrina might have had numerous hits in the recent past but her acting skills are nothing much to speak of. In fact most of her movies merely have her as a showpiece where all that she has to do is smile and look pretty. She got to give some better performances if she really wants to be taken seriously. For me, as of now she is no contest to Aishwarya Rai and it would take a lot more than just the Nakshatra endorsement to match up to the real Queen.

Yours,
Animesh Raj :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Real Debate

Hello people!

After witnessing the recent debate that took place in our Indian Parliament over the issue of Nuclear Deal with USA my notions regarding the power of the spoken word had been somewhat misplaced. It was sad to see a bunch of politicians making a mockery of our democracy in front of the whole world. Parliament is where the people's representatives speak up to get themselves heard. In fact that's the basic idea of a parliament- that even an MP from a small constituency can make his point in front of the whole nation. But politicians, it seems, do not find any worth in a civilized debate. The activities in our parliament make it seem more like a circus nowadays.

As I was pondering on the pathetic state of the Indian democracy I chanced upon the movie, The Great Debaters.

I had not heard about the movie before but its impressive cast which included Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker had me more than excited. The fact that it was directed by Denzel Washington himself raised my expectations from the movie. And after going through the two hours of the movie I would say it was time well spent.

The movie is loosely based on a true story which revolves around debate coach Tolson, played by Washington himself and very efficiently at that (he never seems to go wrong!), and his efforts to establish a strong debating team of a black college by the name of Wiley College. It is the story of how the debating team of a small college of blacks goes on to beat the reigning champions of Harvard. In the process the movie successfully makes a social statement on the plight of the coloured people particularly during the period of Great Depression; it depicts the atrocities they had to face in that period. "An unjust law is no law at all", the movie affirms to this line originally said by St Augustine.

Regarding the performances in the movie, do I really need to say anything when it has stalwarts like Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker? Every actor is exceptional in his role. It is difficult to choose between Denzel and Whitaker- both are as always brilliant. Credit goes to the three actors who play the debaters of the college team for holding their own and not getting overshadowed in the presence of actors like Denzel and Forest.

The movie is really good so I will suggest all of you to go and watch it esp. those who love debating- the movie has some really good debating moments. And if the recent discussion in our parliament defeated your notions regarding the power of speeches probably the movie will restore your faith in them.

Yours,
Animesh Raj :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Knight on top

Hey there!

The Dark Knight has set the record for the best opening- it raked in more money on its opening day than any other movie ever! The Dark Knight has also set another record which is one of its kind. The latest Batman flick has moved to the top in the IMDB top 250 and it's for the first time that a movie has reached the top within such a short span of time (it takes ages to even reach the top ten!). Seems like the movie has caught the fancy of people all around the world. Of course it's a brilliant movie and deserves all the accolades but I still think it is not worthy of the top spot in the all time best movies ranking on IMDB. I would vouch for movies like Godfather and The Shawshank Redemtion anyday. Probably Heath Ledger's sad and untimely demise coupled with his fantastic portrayal of Joker has got something to do with the unprecedented poplarity of The Dark Knight.

What do you think? Is the movie really that good to be counted amongst the all time best?
(Click on pic to enlarge)
Yours,
Animesh :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Here comes the scene stealer!

Hi friends!

Last Friday saw the release of two of the most hyped movies in recent times. On one hand there was The Dark Knight with excellent pre-release reports and on the other there was Kismat Konnection which marks the comeback of director Aziz Mirza after a hiatus of five years.

Being a huge Batman fan it wasn't that difficult a choice for me though. In fact I had been eagerly waiting for its release right from the day I had seen its fantabulous trailers. And the movie didn't disappoint me. In fact it's one of the best movies I have seen in recent times. It is a superhero movie and so we have the regular chases, bomb blasts and games of one-upmanship. But the director infuses so much more in the movie with brilliant insights into the psyche of Batman and his nemesis Joker- the movie reaches a high that no superhero movie has ever seen before. The movie captures one's attention right from the word go with a brilliant bank robbery to begin with, and every frame after that is an experience to savour.


A special mention for Heath Ledger. There were huge expectations from him and he has surpassed them all and given a career defining performance. If he looked brilliant as Joker in the promos wait before you see the whole movie. He is simply breathtaking, a complete scene stealer. His protrayal of Joker is completely different from those of his predecessors. He is thunderous, mysterious and devilish in his approach. He is what makes the movie so much better. He even makes Christian Bale's Batman look lacklustre. He is the hero of the movie. Hats off!

Now let's talk about Kismat Konnection. I was never fascinated by the promos of the movie and once I saw the dialogue promos I had an idea that it was going to be one of those ghisa-pita feel good romantic comedies with silly jokes thrown in. The movie hasn't received great reviews and in fact I know not a single person who has liked the movie. But it got a good opening and will probably end up making money for its producers. Sometimes even mediocre films do well at the box office. Sometimes even a good film like Aamir doesn't get its due.

Yours,
Animesh Raj :)