Archive for the ‘Bollywood’ Category

He passed away at a young age!

After watching few of his films during my childhood, I have hardly seen a Dev Anand movie in complete in last few years. As soon as I realized this fact, I vowed to watch Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963) as I was amazed by some of the songs and scenes I saw of that movie and also some of his other films. But after struggling to find its original VCD or DVD, I get to know today about his death due to heart attack in London!

From his various interviews and speeches, Dev saab made it clear that age is just a number. According to me, the energetic enthusiasm which was felt in his thoughts and attitude towards life is missing even in some of today’s youngsters. This compels me to say that Dev saab died young even though his biological age was 88!
But now, I will have to watch Tere Ghar Ke Samne without the legend being in the world.

Let’s recall his song which perfectly describes his life story: –

May your soul RIP and, more importantly, may you spread youthfulness even in heaven!

The Dirty Picture Movie Review

Direction: Milan Luthria

Production: Balaji Motion Pictures, Alt Entertainment

Cast: Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Emraan Hashmi, Tusshar

Music: Vishal-Shekhar

Rating: * * *

Plot: Based on the story of the late South Indian sex siren Silk Smitha, the film tell the story of  a young Reshma (Vidya Balan), who dreams of becoming a filmstar. Since her mother decides to marry her off forcefully, she flees from her house and her quest to become a star takes her to Madras. After some struggle, lady luck favors her and she bags a role opposite superstar Surya (Naseeruddin Shah). The village belle Reshma now becomes Silk. To climb the ladder of success, Silk shows no qualms even in accepting casting couch displaying her body to the fullest. But for how long will her life be hunky dory?

You wish to narrate a story of a sex symbol that has tragic consequences but at the same time you are also eager for commercial success. So what do you do? Give ample footage to sex and naughtiness to make sure the audience is entertained or titillated enough before the tragic part starts. Milan Luthria follows that formula in The Dirty Picture, which excels mainly due to Vidya Balan’s earth-shattering performance.

It is difficult to know what the real Silk Smitha went through in order to get a break. But Rajat Aroraa (story, screenplay and dialogues) shows Vidya’s character happy to be a victim of casting couch to become a known name. The viewer is given no time to think about the rights and wrongs of Vidya’s acts as the idea was simply to portray her as unapologetic in whatever she does.

Intentionally or unintentionally, the writer takes leeway of this idea by going overboard with sleaze, which, after a point of time, gives a feeling as if the main intention is to please the frontbenchers. Even the dialogues are used as a tool to titillate. Having said that, Aroraa deserves plenty of applause for wonderfully mixing wit and philosophy in the lines especially in the second half. But it’s the way the tragic climax is conceived that gives you a sense of satisfaction as you move out of the hall.

There’s some sharp editing by Akiv Ali although the film loses some pace in the pre-climax juncture. But for this, the writing should be responsible.

Director Milan Luthria adds another feather in his cap by handling such an unusual subject with maturity and making sure their actors deliver quality performances.

Music composer duo Vishal-Shekhar rise well to the occasion. ‘Ooh La La’, the theme song, suits the film well even if Bappi Lahiri finds it difficult to pronounce ‘Fantasy’. ‘Ishq Sufiana’ and ‘Naka Maka’ are also a pleasure for your ears. The cinematography and background score are perfect too.

While playing the central character in such a movie, it was vital that Vidya Balan gives one of her top performances. However, she goes a notch further and gives her best act ever, although she looks way different than the original Silk Smitha! The way she easily portrays naughtiness, happiness, eagerness and lastly sadness will make sure her act will be the talking point throughout her career.

As expected from a brilliant performer Naseeruddin Shah, he shows his class in an unusual role of an aging South Indian star who continues to play a young actor. His expressions and the way he delivers his lines also succeed in tickling your funny bone.

After Vidya, the one who appeals the most is Emraan Hashmi. His mature act as a frustrated realistic filmmaker who later falls for Silk deserves applause. Easily one of his better acts. Tusshar does well as an innocent youngster who has a crush on Silk. Although not a significant role, he manages well and so does Mangal Kenkre.

Overall, The Dirty Picture has its downfalls which will be overshadowed by sleaze, entertainment and of course Vidya. These factors will also make sure the film enjoys very positive collections at the box-office.

The Dirty Picture Box-Office Prediction

Star Value: Although the film doesn’t boast of any superstars, actors like Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah and Emraan Hashmi are well popular amongst the masses so as to pull the audiences in the first weekend.

Hype: The Dirty Picture is in the news ever since its first poster was released in June. And when the first promo was out, it created a rage. This was largely because of Vidya’s bold moves and exposure. Even when a section of the audience weren’t happy to see Vidya in such an avatar, it helped the film be in the news.

Since the film is based on the life of the late sex symbol Silk Smitha, it created further interest amongst the audience. Adding the fact that Silk’s brother lodged a case against the makers for reportedly portraying her sister in a negative manner, helped the film indirectly.

Music: The unusual and bold number ‘Ooh La La’ is being liked by the audience and the words of the song have also become highly popular. Even the mesmerizing romantic song ‘Ishq Sufiana’ is well received.

Prediction: Judging by the above factors, the film is sure to take a very positive box-office opening in the first weekend. Even if the movie fails to impress majority of its viewers, the producers will have nothing to worry as they will earn enough dough in the first week, since that is the period these days which determines a film’s fate. And if the word of mouth is positive for the movie, the film will find its place in the list of most successful movies of 2011.

Dirty Resemblance?

For making a biopic, the most important ingredient is to find an actor who resembles the person on whom the movie is made. Of course it is impossible to find an exact lookalike but there should be at least 15-20% similarity in the looks of the personality and the actor.

Milan Luthria’s The Dirty Picture is based on the life of the deceased southern sex symbol Silk Smitha. The makers have signed Vidya Balan to play the character of the dusky actress. However, I feel it was a wrong move to sign Vidya for the role as, according to me, there is hardly any resemblance between both the actresses.

Look at the pictures below and try to understand my point.

(Article continued after picture.)

* Silk was dark while Vidya is fair.

* Silk’s expression was naturally sensual. Vidya’s face doesn’t have that sensuality. Looking from the promos, the latter has to make efforts to give that kind of expression.

* Silk’s face had that naughtiness but Vidya has a cute face.

* There is a big difference in the overall look and body structure of both actresses.

* Most importantly, Silk had expressive eyes, i.e she could speak by just looking at you. Vidya’s eyes, on the other hand, clearly lack that kind of expression.

The Dirty Picture might well become Vidya’s best performance till date but I seriously have doubts with the makers’ choice for the reasons already stated above. Having said that, I would be happy if Vidya manages to make the character alive and I am proved wrong. Let’s wait till the release of the film which is on December 2, 2011.

Aish delivers baby girl! Time to stay away from news channels!

So finally, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan delivers and it’s a baby girl. Amitabh Bachchan broke the news on Twitter saying, “I AM DADA to the cutest baby girl !!” Abhishek soon followed with a Tweet, “IT’S A GIRL!!!!!! :-)))))”. Congratulations to Abhishek, Aishwarya and the Bachchan family!

But I fear the media and the people of India will blow things out of proportions. The news might give rise to some national celebration as if India achieved something. So for the next few days (or weeks) we will hear about the baby, which had become world famous even before entering the world!

When Aishwarya and Abhishek got married, the hype generated by the news channels gave a feeling as if it is the first couple in India to get married! Now that the couple has given birth to their first child, I fear it will be reported in a way as if it is the first child to be born in India!

The fact that Aishwarya’s delivery generated Rs 150 crore betting speaks volumes about the craziness surrounding the incident. Sorry to say but such idiocies can take place only in our country.

Now that the news if out, people will do some extra-aish with Aish! News channels (specially the Hindi ones) and Bollywood websites can go crazy now. So, it’s time for me to stay away from them for few days… or, as I said earlier, maybe weeks!

P.S : – Let the Bachchan pariwar live the moment in privacy!

What’s the new definition of ‘Blockbuster’?

The definition of ‘Blockbuster’ has changed over the years. Earlier, blockbuster was a movie which succeeded in satisfying a large majority of its viewers. But in recent times, definition of superhit or blockbuster is reduced to a movie which makes huge profits in its initial weekend regardless whether it managed to impress a good part of the audience.

In other words, when a film gets a tremendous opening, it only means that a large section of audience went to see the film. Nothing more than this. It doesn’t necessarily mean that majority of audience had a good time.

Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One is the latest example of such a blockbuster. The movie has garnered a mammoth Rs 22 crore and Rs 25 crore on its opening and second day respectively. It has defeated Salman Khan’s Bodyguard (which earned Rs 21 crore on opening day) and has thus achieved the record of highest opening ever in Bollywood! Hence, one shouldn’t be surprised if the collections continue to be high till the end of the weekend.

But the big question is – Did it succeed in making most of the viewers happy? Judging by the numerous comments I have heard and read on social media (Facebook and Twitter), the answer is surely in the negative. The same happened with Salman Khan’s Bodyguard and various other films in recent times. So, what is the use of a blockbuster which only satisfies its producers monetarily?

Well, our big producers aren’t concerned about this. They seem to be following this formula – get a big star on board, spend huge amount in production, throw in mind-blowing visuals or clap-worthy scenes, create a super-impressive promo, promote your movie as if your life depends on it, book almost every theatre or multiplex and enjoy the returns in the first weekend.

Audiences’ satisfaction doesn’t matter as long as they can flaunt their opening collections! This is because they are sure the same audience will get excited and queue up to watch the next big movie of their favorite star!

By doing this, we will surely get huge money-minters but there will be dearth of movies which touch your heart, movies which are remembered for decades. Being creators of cinema, producers and directors should ask themselves whether making money is their only motto or are they also concerned about winning audience’s hearts. Their answer will determine the future of Bollywood movies.

Ra.One Movie Review

Direction: Anubhav Sinha

Production: Red Chillies Entertainment, Eros International

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Arjun Rampal, Kareena Kapoor, Shahana Goswami, Rajnikanth

Music: Vishal-Shekhar

Rating: * ½

Plot: A video game programmer Shekhar Subramanian (Shah Rukh Khan) loves his wife Sonia (Kareena Kapoor) but struggles to keep his son Prateek (Armaan Verma) happy. One day, Prateek says he wants a video game where the villain turns victorious. Eager to make his son happy, Shekhar creates such a game called Ra.One. However, this proves to be too costly for Shekhar as Ra.One (Arjun Rampal) comes out of the game and creates havoc in the human world. The only person who can defeat him is the good guy of the video game G.One (Shah Rukh Khan).

G.One (life)-less!

No matter how bigger amount you shell out to make a film, it is of no use if you don’t have a proper story or script. The same is the case with Anubhav Sinha’s Ra.One, which is born out of a meaningless concept and on top of that, treated in a shoddy manner. At the end of the day, it’s turns out to be an exhibition of special effects which go way overboard!

The movie starts with a bang but the bang turns out to be a dream sequence. Light moments follow in the next 30-40 minutes consisting cheap humour which hardly makes you giggle. Scenes like keys falling into a girl’s bosom, butt-shaking, ass words, a homosexual getting turned on and regular mention of condoms are difficult to digest in a movie which is being promoted as a family entertainer.

Thankfully, proceedings gain momentum once Ra.One comes out of the video game. However, there is no reason or explanation given as to how he entered the real world. And more importantly, how can a video game character derive such superpowers? And despite these powers, he is shown helpless without a vehicle when he chases Kareena and Armaan!

A very strange thing that deserves mention is Kareena and Armaan’s response to a shattering tragedy (can’t reveal much) in the first half. They react as if it’s a regular thing for them!

Anyways, then comes the dhamakedar interval point which raises your expectations. Unfortunately, the pace goes downhill from here on with more uninteresting humour and songs that only act as obstacles. Although Rajnikanth’s entry garners plenty of seetis, the scene is sloppily forced and serves no purpose whatsoever! Similar can be said for Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra’s guest appearances.

Finally, the big battle between Ra.One and G.One begins which starts with a terrific train sequence. But even that goes overboard after it destroys the heritage building of Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus. (As a true Mumbaikar, I was offended!)

The climax, which should be the most defining moment, is far from convincing and fails to provide the punch which was expected. It’s just laughable to see how easily the villain is defeated! And by the way, what kind of digital Azad Maidan was it? Sadly, the flaws are not limited to these!

One of the few plus points is Nicola Pecorini’s cinematography. But the high definition special effects, which are never seen before in Indian cinema, take the cake in the end.

Composer duo Vishal-Shekhar has done a fair job although there isn’t much scope for music. Songs ‘Raftare’ and ‘Chammak Challo’ stand out.

Sinha’s direction is strictly okay. We are often reminded of his last outing Cash (2007) which was a disaster.

Shah Rukh Khan plays two characters – one of an unimpressive father and the other of a superhero. In the first one, he tries too hard to be funny and convincing. As a superhero, he is just likable but one certainly expects a much better show by the King Khan. Excuse me, but his growing age is also clearly visible.

The movie is named after Arjun Rampal’s character but the length of his role is surprisingly short. As it is, he fails to impress with his expressionless acts although he says he was told to do so.

Kareena Kapoor, although not at her best, does a fair job and looks ravishing. The kid Armaan Verma is confident and adorable. But why such long hair for him, which makes him appear like a girl all the time?

Shahana Goswami shows her talent in a miniature role. One expects her to do play much meatier characters. Good performers like Dalip Tahil, Suresh Menon and Satish Shah are simply wasted. Tom Wu is a surprise package which works well.

Overall, Ra.One fails primarily due to the missing of the basic factor – meaningful story – and abuse of special effects. But thanks to SRK’s crazy promotion, it will garner huge collections at the box-office. There have been few films in recent years which have tasted enormous success at the box-office but failed to impress a large majority of viewers. Add Ra.One’s name in the list.