Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When My Camera Went CLICK!:)
















Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rakht Charita : Gave Me A Headache

What happens when a film maker believes himself to be Goliath and treats the art of film making as David? He becomes Ram Gopal Verma. Forgetting that in the end the Goliath falls. This Goliath of bollywood shall soon meet the same end if he does not realise in time. Ram Gopal Verma's regression from an intelligent craftsman to a pompous,self absorbed fool is a classic example of how, the day a creative genius starts thinking of himself as 'CREATIVITY' he ceases to be creative. It is sad to see the the man who gave us brilliant movies like Satya, Rangeela, Kaun, Bhoot, Raat and Company loose his sanity due to his egocentricity and conceitedness.Despite hearing bad reviews from every quarter, I decided to watch Rakht Charitra because it was directed by Ram Gopal Verma, and somewhere I had not given up on the man's craft yet. But to say that this one time' Ramu' fan was thoroughly disappointed would be an understatement.If I were to describe his latest much hyped release in one word it would be 'Painful'. Painful because not only does it pain to see RGV deliver such crap, but also because you would literally suffer from pain as well : I actually had developed a migraine by the time the movie ended.

The story in a nut shell is about Revenge. In the entire movie every character is seeking some revenge or the other and their vengeance is bloody and filled with gore. If we were to tag line it a la Karan Johar style then my tag line for Rakht Charitra would be "It's All About Killing Your Enemy". I think post Sarkar RGV has stopped thinking. Ironically his latest seemed like a rip off from his previous (Sarkar) but a deplorable version. The background score was pseudo and totally unnecessary at times, it was almost as if the 'govinda govinda' chant from Sarkar was replaced by chamunda jap and the word Rakht Charitra repeated in different tones. Who says that a background score is needed in every scene to make it impactful? I have seen a lot of moves with minimal background score leaving a greater impact. The movie also has a voice narrative, and the voice that is narrating the story makes you want to go inside the screen and gag him to shut him up.It is raucous ,acrid and highly annoying. Guess Amitabh Bachchan refused to lend his voice ( I'm sure being the smart man that he is,he knew what he was getting into) and they just about picked up anyone and that anyone has done a terrible job.

Now, we progress to analysing the acting, I would  have one word for it "Over The Top". Every one is extremely animated and there are so many characters that it tends to confuse the audience. For your and my benefit, I would not even make the mistake of describing every character's performance. Though Shatrughan Sinha deserves a special mention : He plays the character of Shivaji, an onscreen portrayal of N.T.R, and despite all his efforts to bring out an outstanding performance, fails miserably. His accent is part bihari,part telegu and at times even Goan and the famous' hand gesticulation' remains albeit in a different form. To sum it up 'Shatru Ji' had me laughing for all the wrong reasons. Vivek Oberoi seems to be trying too hard and bears a constant frown throughout the movie. I guess that is his way of showing anger,worry,disgust,contempt and a myriad of other emotions. If he expects to match up to talents like Ranbir Kapoor , Hritik Roshan et all then he better pull up his socks before he falls into an abyss of oblivion. The only actor to have delivered a performance worth reckoning with is Abhimanyu Singh, controlled and restrained he has played the character of a mildly psychotic Bukha Singh with honesty and conviction. Cinematography is cliche with the camera angles being a typical RGV post Sarkar and the direction reeks of ingenuity.If you want to watch a bad version of Sarkar with bad acting... go watch Rakht Charitra.

It is sad that I have had nothing good to write about a Ram Gopal Verma film,but that unfortunately is the truth. A movie to avoid like plague and if you still would not believe what you have read and would like to give it a shot (being a once upon a time ramu fan like me) please carry a strip of disprin along with you. Mark my words, you will need it.
P.S : The audacity of the man appalled me when the movie ends with the announcement of a Part 2 to be released in November. Ram Gopal Verma has begun his journey on the highway to hell for' film makers'...... may his soul rest in peace!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Essence Of Travelling.

Robert Louis Stevenson very famously said " I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move".

As a child I despised geography , and I give full credit of that hatred to the Indian education system. Right from the inception of our academic charade the only thing taught in the name of education is 'How to mug up and spew it out'. Imagine, a subject like geography which is all about travel and experiences forced down a child's throat like a nauseating glass of milk. Distaste for any act performed under coercion is natural, and this explained my aversion to geography. The reason why I choose to highlight my abhorrence for this subject as a child in particular, is to give my present irony laced love for it  more meaning. As an adult I have come to love geography, because as an adult I got aquainted with the essence of geography : Travelling.
Travelling as I have grown to realise, is all about exploration, adventure,knowledge,curiosity and spirituality. If I were to make my own quote on travel i'd say "Travelling is all about life". My metamorphosis from a geography phobic 8 yr old to a 28 yr old travel freak is a story in itself.

 The entire credit for this transmogrification goes to my father,a gypsy at heart tied down by social norms.If he had his way, he would constantly be on the move and I guess the genes just got passed onto me. Being on the move makes me feel alive, it defines life for me and gives it a new found meaning.I was a nomad since childhood, prolonged consistency bored me. I would start feeling stagnated and would almost pray for change. Unlike other children, I loved changing schools because it gave me an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. I would be elated whenever my father got transferred to a new city,new city meant everything new, new city meant change,new city meant movement. So, while everyone else would groan and grunt anticipating the inconvenience attached to moving from one place to another, my eyes would secretly gleam and I would see its faint reflection in my father's eyes as well. Hence, the gypsy in me was born very early on in life.

Ask an itinerant and he would tell you that travelling  is a form of education in itself. Thus, my short geography story in the beginning. The sole purpose of education is to impart  knowledge and wisdom, both of which you gain in abundance as a traveler. While travelling to a new place if you make an attempt to soak in their culture,traditions and lifestyle, if you make an attempt to soak in the essence of that land, you absorb a lot more than what 12 years of class room studies will teach you. I am not propagating banishing of the class room system, I am only highlighting the perks of travelling. Travelling broadens an individuals perspective and helps him evolve as a human being. Most of us live our entire lives in a cocoon made up of our social set up, family,friends and immediate surroundings, we only believe what we have been taught to believe and die within the same confined walls of the cocoon. Travelling makes a butterfly out of us.

A lot of people tend to confuse Travel with vacation. In Goa, at a beach shack drinking beer is an idea of travel for many. If i were to recreate that ambiance in Bombay, most of them would not even make an attempt to go to Goa. This is vacation not travelling. To sit,drink and spend a leisurely weekend, an airconditioned room would also suffice.But, if you call yourself a traveler you need to venture out,explore,absorb,assimilate and feel the pulse of the place. You need to connect with the place so that when you leave, you feel you are leaving home.  See the world through a traveler's eyes every land is his home, every culture belongs to him and every tradition has a familiar fragrance. If we all unleashed that wanderer within us the world would have no boundaries, there would be no cocoons, only butterflies: choosing destinations at will.
 So, release the gypsy within you spread your wings and  make the world your oyster. We get to live just once and before we die we owe it to ourselves to completely explore this place called earth which god decided to make our home.  Bon Voyage!!:)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Anjaana Anjaani - The Latest Bollywood Musical:)

"Too many songs" thats one common line that reverberated off my eardrums,while I was on my way out of the theater post the Anjaan Anjaani experience. I would not dispute the fact either, but then my face bore another expression as well and that was a smile..Anjaan Anjaani does not boast of a great script, infact on a retrospect if Bollywood were an ice cream parlour  and you took a  dollop of Serendipity, half a dollop of Jab We Met and mixed it with a new suicide angle, you ll have the latest flavour called Anjaani Anjaani. But a flavour nonetheless. If you were to ask me is it a great movie I'd say 'no', if you were to ask me is it the best of bollywood this season I'd again say a 'no',but if you were to ask me should I go watch it once I'd say 'yes'.
A romantic comedy, Anjaani Anjaani is about two strangers Akash(Ranbir Kapoor) and Kiara (Priyanka Chopra) who bump into each other at the Washington bridge one night while trying to commit suicide. After their repeated failed attempts to kill themselves, they decide to live for another 20 days and live each day as if its their last. Thus begins the story of two strangers and their 20 day journey. A journey which has fewer dialogues as compared to the songs, thus I rechristened the movie a musical.
So 'Why' should you not watch Anjaana Anjaani or let me rephrase this sentence' Who' should not watch  Anjaana Anjaani ? Well if you are an ardent meaningful cinema fan, dont go for this one, if you are bored of the usual bollywood candy floss flicks, then thank me for warning you in advance, if you hate hindi songs, then you ll be pulling your hair by the end of the movie and last but not the least if you cant stand Ranbir Kapoor (highly doubtful) or Priyanka Chopra( no comments) then avoid this movie like plague. Because the movie has no one else but them, and this is what gets me to answer the Why you 'Should' watch Anjaana Anjaani query. Watch it to witness an exceptionally honest display of theatrical skills by the two stallions from the bollywood stable. Priyanka Chopra never ceases to surprise me, so honed and sharp are her acting skills that the girl can even bring variations while enacting a drunk scene.She is endearing as the young, vivacious, brash yet vulnerable and innocent Kiara. Ranbir Kapoor fits the role of the brutally ambitious, but given up on life invest ment banker Akash to the 'T' ( I can foresee the Khan throne wobbling)'.They manage to make the entire movie look like an enviable journey, a tad illogical but the sheer magnificence of their performance makes you believe in this too good to be true story. Ranbir and Priyanka's chemistry weaves magic,their acting displays honesty and together they have managed to deliver an enthralling performance.
Siddharth Anand s latest is clearly not a National Award worthy attempt, but definitely not worth dismissing either. I m not going ga ga over the movie and I  m sure most of you would not as well. But if you do decide to give this latest bollywood popcorn flick two hours of your time I assure you, you would not be cursing me for making you waste your money.
P.S : Just to be on the safer side, go for the morning show. They burn a smaller hole in your pocket.:)