Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Veer Zaara

Story is one thing; story telling is another thing. Script is one thing; movie-making is another thing. If both are strong, the result is a block-buster. If shortcoming in one can be made up through the other, one would still sit through it. Veer-zaara belongs roughly to this category.

Rani, a lawyer, wants to fight to regain the identity and respect of Veer (SRK) who has been jailed for past 22 years. In the flashback we come to know that - Veer, a rescue operations Hindustani soldier, falls in the love with Zaara (Priety), a Pakistani, who has come to India on a mission. But she is already engaged and is to be wed. In the backdrop of political compulsions and other stuff that are not very easy to digest , story continues. After unreasonable twists and turns, the train finally manages to stop and audience head towards home.

For most part of the movie it looked like a DDLJ remake (intro song of heroine/one last tour of heroine/meeting hero in that tour/ heroine already engaged / ready to get married after returning from tour/ Punjabi songs and dialogues / heroine’s late realization of love/ hero entering the heroine’s marriage preparations).But later in a very compulsive need to create a different story, the movie wanders.
A conscious effort to woo audience is visible in “deliberate linking & liberal usage of Hindustani-Pakistani”, glorifying love, hyperbole dialogues, punjabi touch.

Performance by Srk is controlled and is ok. Preity, Rani do justice. Supporting cast of Anupam Kher, Amitabh, Hemamalini, Manoj Bajpai, Boman Irani add weight with their screen presence.

Yash Chopra movies used to create some unknown magic and everlasting dreamy feeling.

RangaShankara – Rehearsal

Theatre festival – screamed the posters hung all over the city. With an abstract face painted in bright colors, the publicity by Hutch could not go unnoticed. The interviews of Arundathi Nag and other information by the media could only add to interest among the people.
The bug could not leave me – occasional visitor to theatre – unbitten. Work pressures and other appointments kept me away from it but I finally managed to allot it priority and time on weekend.

Located in the quiet and residential JP Nagar, it is little easier to approach RS compared to heavy traffic ways to other theatres in Blore. Plays are to start at 7:30, but anticipating some rush (weekend), we decided to be there by 6. To our surprise there was a long queue. We were told there were available only 10 tickets and since there was no point standing in queue (as told by security), we tried to explore the place.

The architecture of the building itself adds it to visit-worthy spots of Bangalore. The stone kept at the entrance, interior decoration, lighting, colors all try to imitate the abstract beauty of plays.

There is a bookshop whose shelves are decorated with all kinds of books. It will just be another hangout place for book lover. Spotted cinema related books and other best sellers.

There is a café where one can taste light snacks and sip coffee. What makes it look trendy and different is the homely feel due to unconventional chairs/tables and their placement. Candle lit tables and the surrounding dark atmosphere makes it a right hang-out place for people who love peace.

A platform performance was going on…(a puppet show managed by a single person behind the screen) but my disappointment of having missed the play came in the way of enjoying the performance.

Thanks to good publicity and class performers from all over India associated with this festival, there was a good crowd. Crowd varied from mature old people to MTv isthyle young people. From serious looking faces to time passing couples. From people wearing dull jubba to colorful dresses. All this only added to already vibrant atmosphere. Among the celebrities I spotted were, apart from the very Arundathi Nag, some other TV/Theatre personalities(Mukta,BAB etc)

Shankar Nag:
Rangashankara is erected in tribute to Shankar Nag – one of the most versatile artist India has ever seen. From acting to directing, from theatres to tv/movies, if there was a person whose thoughts were always ahead of his era, it was Shankar. Nick named Karate king, some of his movies had ingredients of popular movie while others had a touch of art cinema. But of all his works, Malgudi Days remains my favorite and is a timeless work liked by all ages. It is only a tragedy and loss of unknown impact that death hugged him in a hurry.
His friend and wife Arundathi set out to put one of his many dreams into reality. Her second child – Rangashankara – is the result of her efforts to create “dedicated space for theatre and theatre related activities”- a dream she shared with Shankar Nag and other friends.
Though it feels nice to imagine Shankar Nag to be breathing all over the place, mind looks out for his presence. There it is – his picture with his hands held high, welcoming us right in the entrance.

With a disappointed heart, we had to depart – having smelt, seen the food, without tasting it. We bid bye with a wish to go there once again, soon.

Coming soon : Rangashankara – Once more.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Hum Tum

I had plans to post all my earlier reviews in their chronological order...but too many requests for Hum Tum ..so here it is ..
Me: Vakao!!Chalo , hum tum ke baare me baath karoonga
You : What ?!
Me : Chalo, hum tum milke humtum ke baare mein baath karenge .Vakao!!
Me(Now on wards Hum): First scene is in aerodrome.Vakao
You(Now on wards Tum):So?
Hum: Movie is from Yash Chopra , so you get to make world tou. After all he has been given award by Swiss govt for promoting Swiss tourism !!
Tum: So what all we can see?
Hum: Delhi, Mumbai, Paris, New York, Museum, Amstedam etc
Tum: How is India ?
Hum: Huh! What a question ! It is so beautiful , small kids do this that on the roads, wow! Vakao!
Tum: Why the hell u r shouting Vakao?
Hum: When I saw Tom cruise hair style of Saif, I remembered tarzan and felt like shouting Vakao!
Tum: Y tarzan ?
Hum: Saif has the same body also Vakao
Tum : But this movie has Rani
Hum: Ok I will shout Fanta ...Fanta
Tum: Also Lays...lays ...
Tum: Tell me the story
Hum: Have you seen DDLJ ?
Tum: Yes what in ddlj?
Hum: Train, bus, city sight seeing , love-hate , meeting again and again ...
Tum: So ?
Hum: Nothing yaar ... I am simply recalling
Tum: Tell me the story
Hum: There r cartoons in the movie
Tum: What do you mean? Rani aur Saif kartoons hain ?
Hum: No I mean there are cartoons ...actual cartoons..animations
Tum: I dont believe you, What are their names ?
Hum: Hum Tum
Tum: Tera matlab , mein cartoon hoon ?!
Hum: Nahi yaar, why do you want to misunderstand me always?
Tum: Tell me the story
Hum: You have seen the re union of Rishi Kapoor and Rati agnihotri in Kuch katti kuch meethi ?
Tum: yes so what ?
Hum:Nothing yaar ... I am simply recalling
Tum: Tell me the story
Hum: Tune KKHH dekha hai?
Tum: What in that ?
Hum: wo small fighting, woh kajol's haircut, wo confusion between love-friendship
Tum: Yeah it was so very ...
Hum: so very ...so very....
Tum: Tell me the story
Hum: Have you seen Kal ho na ho?
Tum: yes what in kal ho na ho?
Hum: Hero ka kudna machalna gaana nachna hasna hasana
Tum: Yes to impress heroine..or rather make heroine come out of boredom
Hum: And finally try to "fix" someone else to the heroine
Tum: yes...
Hum: Heroine ka dukaan chalana...hero ka madad karna....
Tum : so what ?
Hum : kuch nahi yaar , recalling ...
Tum: Kahani batao please
Hum: Tune DTPH dekha hai ?
Tum: yeah
Hum: Woh confusion whether friends can be lovers or lovers can be friends
Tum: You are confused.. Friends can never be lovers but lovers can be friends
Hum: No
Tum: Yes
Hum: Ok forget it, do you remember that : daaru peene ki baad dil ki baath zuban pe aana
Tum: yeah it was in some other movie also .. but y r u telling all this
Hum : Because ...all ....those ....cowards (coward boys)...hic... should...hic... drink ...to ...tell ...the matters of ..hic..heart
Tum: But what happened to u ? why are u speaking broken
Hum: Maine bhi kal daaru piya... kuch hua mere saath ...??
Tum: Kuch undono ke pyar ke baare mein batao
Hum: Rani gets married ...event manager is influenced by monsoon wedding...
Tum: Gets married to whom?
Hum: AB
Tum: You are kidding....
Hum: Haan shayad ...mujhe har jagah AB hi dikhta hai aaj kal ...
Tum: Which paper do you read?
Hum:I dont read Times of India
Tum: Why ?
Hum: Bcoz, kal mein Times of India nahi padtha tha , aaj bhi Times of India nahi padoonga , kal bhi Times of India nahi padoonga.
Tum: But why?
Hum: Mein sirf Times of India dektha hoon ;-)
Tum: So what happens next
Hum: Hum keeps meeting her again and again
Tum: Kyon?
Hum:Zindagi bahut lambi hai
Tum: Times of India mein tujhe kya pasand aata hai?
Hum: Dubyamaan or Kapoor ka HumTum
Tum: OR ?!
Hum: Dono bahut similar hai . Isliye confuse hota hoon konsa pasand karna chahiye.
Hum: Zindagi bahut lambi hai
Tum: So?
Hum: Hum can write a book
Tum: Why ?
Hum: So that tum can read it and come back later ...
Tum: Why does he have so much belief?
Hum: His father also gets back his love after satra saal baad..Zindagi bahut lambi hai
Tum: He also wrote a book?
Hum: No yaar.. if you can use your speaking ability you need not write a book..
Tum: Then is hum dumb?
Hum: No yaar ... how do I make you understand ? Usse galati ho jati hai ...
Tum: Kya galti?
Hum: eeee..... ding dong ding dong
Tum: What...?! Akele se galti hoti hai ?
Hum: Oh get lost I cant tell you further ...
Tum: Please tell story ...
Hum: No ya .. I have got to go....bye
Tum: Tu kaha chala ?
Hum: Kaam karne !
Tum: Magar zindagi bahut lambi hai
Hum; Zindagi lambi hai, movie bhi lambi hai. Aur mera bak bak bhi lambi hai. Magar kaam bahut hai, deadline kal hai, PM peeche khada hai!

Some points
1) Catch Rani, who is looking better and better in each movie.
2) Catch Saif who continues his re-invented form from DCH, which he improved in Kal Ho Na Ho. His ability to portray different variety of emotions is commendable. And what else, his tom cruise look is so good !?!!??
3) Catch some timepass dialogues.

For all you those who thought Yuva was a little taxing on brains and it was too serious and it was non-realistic , catch this one with your sweetheart with a pack of popcorn.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


What happens when too many talents come under one roof ? Utter chaos ? Fortunately not so , when they are guided by a person who is a master of his task. Manirathnam one such master , clearly knows the strengths and weaknesses of his team.
Yuva, a cinematically near perfect show piece unfolds in front of you , describing the life of three youngsters. One ,a lower middle class "tapori" being exploited by the big-shots in politics. Whence , he realizes his being exploited , he decides to take a hold on it. And to achieve that , he can go to any limit.
Other , higher middle class person , having ambitions to pursue higher studies abroad. A typical rich,party going, flirt, vulnerable teenager. Clearly knows what he wants ( though that gets changed ). And last but not least , middle class college going person , does not like what ever is going on and takes a plunge into setting it right. He sure knows the difficulties , but then , is also sure of his success.
What comes striking is the fact that these youngsters are not the puppets of the situations , instead dare enough to control it for themselves. Clearly acknowledging the mindset of today's generation.
The three plots are tightly woven and brilliantly crafted. The characters are well defined. The performances are just flawless. The cinematography, dialogues ( though it requires good concentration and knowledge of mavalli hindi in some parts), music are all good in their own standards. Particularly, song picturization of Anjaana is good.
Around the voilence , the hard core of the story , are woven plots to expose the subtelities/nuances of relationships. Be it the voilent love or i-didnt-know-you yesterday but i-will-miss-you tomorrow kinda feelings or be it its-all-nonsense-but-i-love-u kinda unbothered attitude, they succeed in striking a chord.
The sudden emotional bursts, the pace of events and turn of events will surely remind an avid bollywood watcher Satya (or Company). The brilliant use of flashbacks , like in Alay payuthe, is very effective. Confused Mani of Dil Se is replaced by very focussed Mani of Yuva.
Coming to performances, Rani Mukhorjee, displaying good variety of emotions , is good. Kareena is ok. Esha is cute. Om puri with Bongal accent is good.
AD like wine ,is getting better and better in every movie. His confident looks , those expressive eyes add to his natural ability of impressive perfomance. And choclate boy, VO is cute and good enough. He also succeeds with good timing for comic shades. Hats off to AB , who had remained an unpolished gem. His sorrowful looks , voilent eyes and the gangster voice vouches him the perfect role. The dialogue delivery is simply brilliant. I think even BigB will be proud of his son's ability in dialogue delivery and facial expressions.

Fortunately , there is atleast one Mani , who polishes gems like Madhavan(who incidentally has enacted AB's role in Tamil version) and AB.
Watch the movie, if you dont look for only entertainment.