18 Dec 2015

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18 Sep 2015

Ganpati dance

It is Ganpati time. It is the time of big Ganesh idols being magically balanced on juxtaposed thelaas (hand carts) and squeezed through narrow by-lanes of by-lanes.

Every year a new pandaal sprouts up. Every year a new team of youth assembles and decides to have their very own Ganpati pandaal. Every year is promised to be bigger than the last year.

To be fair, it even is.

Fireworks are passe. They now hold a matchstick against a big red can of HIT cockroach repellent or any other inflammable spray. Gulaal is old world. They now have party poppers in glittering colours. Head bands and blue coloured glasses are no longer in. Honey Singh was so last year. Nashik band and dhol was ubiquitous a couple of years back. The vehicle that accommodates the idol is led by another one which holds only huge speakers. The bulbul tarang and the banjo has made way for the music CD operator (aka DJ) who makes himself comfy somewhere behind the tall speakers.

What hasn't changed much is the trickling stream of faithful crowds that join the processions at regular intervals of a few metres.

What has not definitely changed at all is the Ganpati procession dance.

What is Ganpati procession dance, you ask? Now that is a difficult one. How can one even start to explain in words something that is inimitable? Once someone performs a step in the this style, it is difficult for even that person to repeat it.

This dance form has only one motto - "dance like no one is watching". Ironically, there are hordes gathered just to watch the adrenaline junkies make their killer moves.

25 Jan 2015

Random Trailers I like - Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!

A good trailer should be like a mini skirt, they say, reveal just enough and keep everyone interested. Does the trailer for 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!' do that? You bet, it does. It clearly has traces of the Guy Ritchie's take on Sherlock Holmes and the recreated Victorian era.

Before we proceed, here is a list of things that we already know about the characters from the version that Basu Chaterjee directed for Doordarshan:

  • Byomkesh Bakshi (note that this spelling does not have a 'Y' at the end. Neither does it have the exclamation. The former is for typographical balance, but the latter cannot be justified.) - A detective and introduces himself as Satyanveshi.
  • Ajit - BB's assistant, sidekick and friend
  • Satyabati - BB's wife with whom he bounces off his thoughts
  • Puntiram - BB's servant

Lets take a look at what it reveals and try to connect some dots about the much closely guarded movie story line.

2 Apr 2013

Item songs

Wiki even has a definition of an item number! Is it a phrase in the Oxford dictionary yet? I would not be surprised by the answer to that one.

Heck some talented dudes out there have even compiled a list of Item Numbers in Indian cinema. On WikiPedia! No, really! It is a quite an exhaustive one. Detailed even. The criteria might be a bit vague there. But this argument is not what the blog is about. So what is it about, you might ask. Bataataa hu, bataataa hu, bhai.

The blog is about 3 item numbers that are not featured, yet, in the above Wiki list. They are on my repeat-view worthy list of Item numbers.

1 Sep 2012

Fake tha Tiger

Ek tha Tiger

Loved the following 2 takes on the movie :)

*ing: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Girish Karnad

Director: Kabir Khan
Music: Sohail Sen, Sajid-Wajid

The film is the story of a RAW agent (Salman) who falls in love with a girl (Katrina) during one of his missions and then decides to quit espionage to be with her. The RAW agency considers it a risk to their agency's functions and the rest of the film is how they escape the agencies attempts to capture them.

24 Mar 2012

A Gent We Know

Agent Vinod

*ing: Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor

Vinod is a super spy on a mission to find out what '242' means to an international group of terrorists. This involves guns, chases, globe trot and lots of action.

Director: Sriram Raghavan
Music: Pritam

- The pace of the film in the first half is twice that in the second half.
- An eye-for-detail is exhibited in every scene (e.g. the seekh with half-eaten kababs in the opening sequence in the middle of an Afghan desert.)
- The background score brilliantly translates the on-screen actions to sound (e.g. the background music stops as soon as Kareena turns off the faucet and fills her glass)
- The action is super fast and does not rely on super-slow-mo to create an impact
- Retro, stylish and slick
- New foreign locales
- Hardly any logical loose ends

- The narration slows in the second half and becomes predictable in bits
- 'Muft ka' song was easily avoidable

Things I remember:
- 'Raabta' filmed in a single continuous shot (earlier done by Farah Khan in 'Main hoon Na'). All songs except 'Muft ka' are in the background and yet complete.
- The viewer is taken through a quick touristy tour of Delhi - Red Fort, India Gate, Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh and Ring roads.
- If 'BBuddah hoga tera baap' was done by Sriram Raghavan, it would have made an even better Agent Vinod (of Agent Vijay)

You would like this if:
- you liked 'Johhny Gaddar'

- It has become a norm for Sriram Raghavan to pay homage to bollywood of 70/80s. He does it by using 2 Nasir Husain songs this time.
- More homage to the 70s is offered generously:

  1. "Kaun hai?"
    "Mahendar Sandhu." << Name of the hero who played the original Agent Vinod in the 70s
  2. "Yeh jheel si neeli aankhen, koi raaz hai inmain gehra" << Lyrics of the hit song from Kashmir ki Kali debuting Saif's mom, Sharmila Tagore.
  3. "Naam kya hai?"
    "Vinod. Vinod Khanna. Rishi Kapoor, Akbar. Amitabh, Anthony. My name is Anthony Gonsalves."
  4. Persis Khambatta (model of the 80s and starred in Star Trek) and Freddie Mercury (of Queen) - both with Parsi roots - are used as a character named 'Freddie Khambatta'
  5. Boney M's Rasputin

- 242 is the BEST bus number that ferries to the offices of some popular TV production houses.

29 Jan 2012

Hagneepath 2012

Agneepath (2012)

*ing: Hrithik Roshan, Sanjay Dutt, Rishi Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra

The movie is about Vijay (Hrithik) who, as a child, witnesses the murder of his father in his native town - Mandwa. Kancha bhau (Sanjay Dutt), a heroin businessman, is the schemer and the main stakeholder for the murder. Vijay and his mother abandon Mandwa and settle in Mumbai. He grows up being part of the Mumbai underworld (?). His aim is to become as powerful as Kancha in order to avenge his father's murder.

Director: Karan Malhotra

Music: Ajay-Atul (the beauty of the marathi version of Chikni Chameli was the rustic male voice which is sorely missed)