30 Aug 2009

Of birthdays

It is was the sister's birthday. Every year, I tell her that she shares birthday with Michael Jackson and Dhyanchand. The latter being the great hockey player and captain of the Indian team, who brought gold medal and pride to the nation. While even Google paid homage to the pop star today, I wonder there was any mention of the hockey player on the 24 hour news channels in India. But that is a different debate left to the purists.

Radio (2009)

Himesh music is back after a long time.

His new movie Radio does not appear on imdb.com! The music has just released at Lalbagcha Ganpati pandaal. The album is very unlike the usual Himesh... maybe because it misses the nasal twangs. Rumour is that Himesh has undergone a surgery of the vocal chords. The result is that all the tracks are softer and very light... and on a couple of occassions - uncomfortable. 'Shaam ho chali hai' even has a very audible amateurish jump in the voice. There are glimpses and traces of the old Himesh in the remix version of 'Zindagi jaise ek Radio'.

All tracks, except Kailash Kher's 'Damadji' are catchy tunes. But, the Mumbai rickshaws are going to be disappointed as this is definitely not a 'Tere Naam' or 'Aksar'. Perhaps, the usual T-series ploy of hammering the songs on all music channels might help this one get on the humming-of-the-day lists.

26 Aug 2009

Comin' Age


The critics had been all ga-ga over this new movie from the maker of Maqbool, Makdi, Omkara - Vishal Bhardwaj - the one man movie machine. He features in all the major departments for this film (strictly in order of recollection only) - music, direction, story, screenplay, dialogues, singing.

Shahid Kapoor, Priyanka Chopora, Amole Gupte

This is a gangster movie highlighting a day in the life of twin brothers (Shahid Kapoor) - Charlie and Guddu. The former is a gangster who wants to earn money to become a horse race bookie and the latter is a student working for an NGO. Sweety (Priyanka) is Guddu's love interest and the sister of a crook, Bhau Bhope (Amol Gupte) aspiring to be politician. Charlie stumbles upon drugs worth 10 crore. Expectedly, there is a case of mistaken identity and more gang fights. Everything culminates into a happy ending.

- Filmed in Mumbai (and Gujarat, probably)
- A fresh style of story telling. Reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie.
- A fair importance given to all the characters. Strong characterisations.
- This film has dialogues in bengali, marathi, english, african and yet, no subtitles. No time is spent in romance between the Guddu and Sweety. The audience is not expected to be dumb.

- Cannot think of any!
- Did not understand the NGO angle to the Guddu character. Did I miss something?

I had earlier read somewhere that the story has been borrowed from a short story based in Kenyan slums. That story was by Cajetan Boy, who has been given due credit at the start of the movie. The Rs.44 crore spent on the movie includes his 2 lakhs fee. Vishal Bhardwaj met him at the Mira Nair's workshop (MAISHA) and so, the movie starts with credit to the workshop, as well. Additionally, the Kenyan diamond/ drug smuggler has been named 'Cajetan', too.

Amol Gupte was last time associated with the screenplay for 'Taare Zameen Par'. He debuts as an actor this time. Coincidentally, the lead characters in both these hits have had a medical condition.

I found a scene very funny. 'Tashi' enters Bhope Bhau's ilaaka with all the style of a king. He has a hat on his head and walks chest high, chin high along with his 3 side kicks. Suddenly, they hear a bullet shot and all of them meekly disperse away.

'Do lafzon ki' (The Great Gambler) and 'Duniya mein logon ko' (Apna Desh) are 2 old songs that play in the background. The latter is only for an exhibition of Shahid's oiled physique. Check the 'Making of...' for details on that one. But this should be enough to revive the songs in the remix club houses. Bhau Bhope's mobile ring tone is a hit a marathi film song - Kombdi. Watch out for a remixed video.