Digital Promotion: Happy Ending

Every now and then, I get these requests from agencies to promote some material on my website. Usually, as you can notice, I am averse to the idea of putting random stuff on my blog.

 

Last week, an agency sent out the links to some initial images, motion posters, trailers for Happy Ending (Illuminati Films’ and Eros International’s next – Directed by Raj & DK (?), starring Saif Ali Khan, Illeana D’Cruz, Govinda, Ranveer Shorey and Kalki Koechelin ). The reason I am posting it here – is not Saif or Illeana. Its Govinda!!!!!

I hope someone brings a bit of Govinda-ism back to the movies.

 

So, I am going to leave you with 4 things –

a) Trailer of Happy Ending

 

b) Motion Poster of Happy Ending

c) The 1st Poster of Happy Ending

happy ending

Click to see full size

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

d) A priceless Govinda scene from Jodi No. 1 🙂

 

*******

 [Update Oct 16, 2014]: Song released from the movie – Paaji Tussi Such A Pussycat.

Prediction: Chartbuster

 

 

Movie Review: Om Shanti Om

It’s a weird feeling to be writing a blog post after so long. Not surprisingly though, to voice my opinion of the haute news in town – Om Shanti Om. But that does not mean that I haven’t been watching movies lately. Its just that I have been terribly busy lately. Busy is not new for me. Terribly busy happens all the time. But this has been the worst possible spell ever of busy-ness. Saluja would have been proud to see me putting so many night outs. Something even Inductis could not do with such frequency.
Back to OSO, a tribute to the yesteryears (that part is similar to how Main Hoon Na was done) and an open admiration of SRK, is definitely watchable. You smile almost throughout the movie, but at the end of the movie, you have this weird expression in your mind which is that of your squint eyes staring at you and saying, “Well…..”.
Deepika Padukone impresses in her debut. She does what she can do really well – she looks gorgeous. However, she does what I did not expect a lot of – manage her way in the acting department.
Shreyas Talpade, as usual, is subtle and good. Kiron Kher, as usual, is loud but good.
Most importantly, SRK is, as usual, LOUD, hamming, but quite unusually, fitting. It’s a role that let him be – an over-actor, with an ease that can only come when you’re not acting!
The movie is a mish-mash of Karz, Madhumati, with plenty of spoofs (like The Great Indian Laughter Challenge), quite a few gaping voids (people leaving the hot shot producers to lie on the floor just when a mishap has happened), some great editing (I loved the shots where DP is dancing with Sunil Dutt (not Sanjay Dutt) and old-time Rajesh Khanna and Jeetendra, average to good music and a lot of masala. Comments on the industry cannot be missed – be it a Sooraj Barjatya searching for cliché dialogues, or the subtle reference to some star sons being superstars by virture of being star sons (read- Abhishek Bachchan), or the dominance of Khans and Kapoors in the industry. The best comment is when a director Partho Roy (reference to great Bengali directors) who has put in three cameras – one for Bimal Roy angle, one for Satyajit Ray angle and one for GuruDutt angle is suggested by Mukesh Mehra (Arjun Rampal playing a producer – Prakash Mehra?) – ek Manmohan Desai angle daal do, wahi kaam aayega! This definitely comes across as Farah Khan’s way of deprecating the industry/her comrades to create some laughters – just as dada (Subhrajyoti Ghatak) would do.
Story – Beaten to death reincarnation story, cameras panning in from all angles to remind the protagonist of his forgotten past life, a white-haired mother leaving no chance for cracking melodramatic monologues, a friend who’s grayed with the age and believes in his friend, a spirit who manifests just at the right time to seek her revenge, even as things are being kept as human as possible. A villain who conveniently commits a murder and leaves the country to return 30 years later where his past is waiting for him. Oh-so-convenient. Its not the story where the effort is put. The story is conveniently taken off from Karz, Madhumati (yeah! she thought I wouldnt notice!), chala murari hero banNe and the likes. It’s the screenplay and editing where the effort has been put.
Screenplay and editing – Good. Better than above average. Good comments, spoofs and humor.
Music – Ajab Si and Main Agar kahoon are definitely above average. Rahat’s Jag Soona Soona Lage is standard Rahat Fateh Ali Khan fare – soulful, nice, but wont make it as big as Saiyaan (Ta Ra Rum Pum) or Mann Ki Lagan. updated (11-Nov) – won’t make it as big as his previous songs (like Mann ki Lagan (Paap) or Jiya Dhadak Dhadak Jaye (Kalyug).  (Khan – Thanks for pointing out. My mistake!!)

Overall – Definitely watcheable once. Don’t go by my cribs. I think it’s a director’s movie. She has played it by her creativity which is weird and funny. And she has done a tremendous job of editing. Actors are fitting. Everyone fits. Even the over acting kkkkkk.. Khan. .. shahrukh khan.

and on that note -I do want to watch Saawariya. Despite the complete snubbing it has got from many reviewers. 1. Its based on Doestoevsky’s White Night. 2. It wont disappoint me on a couple of counts – Great camerawork and sets, and some great imagination.

Movie review: Bheja Fry

After a long time, a completely comic movie. Even if its a lift-off (as I was told by a friend) of a French movie, lets give it to the director. What a novel concept – a modern age upmarket guy who loves his Fridays like anything. Why? Because that’s when he gets to enjoy at the expense of a simpleton! Even the thought is funny (Yeah Yeah! It’s a little mean! 😉 but funny nevertheless!)

Anyways, back to the movie. Its an extremely inexpensive movie which uses some of the most amazing actors (except Milind Soman, who cannot be put in the same category) that are inexpensive (they are not the ABs, Shahrukhs of the world) in an inexpensive setup (only a couple of rooms/houses where the entire movie is shot!) and in the most involved manner. The movie’s biggest plus point is that it doesn’t require you to think a lot, but cannot be called mindless either.

Talking about the story, as I expressed, I loved the plot. Just look at the tagline- When was the last time you met an idiot? Well, the movie is about Bharat Bhushan (Vinay Pathak), an Income Tax clerk hopelessly in love with singing and hopeless in terms of abilities as well. Add to it the fact that he is a talkative and dumb simpleton.
Thadani (Rajat Kapoor) and his friends meet every Friday to enjoy at the expense of a dumb simpleton. And Harsh Chaya is winning the race for having introduced the best (the most hilarious simpleton) till now, a guy who can spit spot on (into a glass placed several yards away!). Rajat’s friend chances upon Vinay on his bus journey from Pune, where he is subjected to his antics. From that point onwards, the movie is about the interaction between Vinay and Rajat with the additional elements being Rajat’s relationship with his wife (Sarika), a mistress Suman Rao, and Sarika’s ex-interest Anant (Milind Soman). How things turn tables on Rajat when he meets his golden simpleton is what the movie is all about.

The movie moves (I like the sound of it) on at a rapid pace, and is a very short movie (all of 1 hour 40 minutes or so). All the actors are chosen carefully (with the twin objective of performance and economics). The set is simple, consistent and carefully chosen. I don’t remember a single shot of the movie where I could have said why did the director have to get this in. So, full marks to the direction, editing and scripting side of the movie.
But, as some of the unworthy critics (like Khaled Mohammed who directed Fiza once upon a time, and Rajeev Masand) point out, the director should not get points because the movie is a lift-off from “The Dinner Game”, a French movie.

Vinay is the soul of all situational comedy in the movie – be it the shot where is gradually shifting while talking to Suman Rao on phone even when Rajat Kapoor is shouting at him, or his innocent “Its Ringing”. (I can actually imagine some people pulling this on their bosses) The way he opens the briefcase everytime to take out his “Bharat Bhushan ki kahani, geeton ki jubani” is just hilarious. That multicolored polybag which makes an irritating ruffling noise every time he folds it, the way he holds the thread between his teeth, his conscious upward look when is changing the number combination on the lock, everything is a masterpiece.
Rajat is good in his role. He has mastered these roles of urbane middle/upper income class guys with a nice subtle sense of humor. He comes across as the quintessential theater artist who take their body language, movements as seriously as their facial expressions. However, the flip of the movie is when his broken aching back suddenly becomes fine with no explanation given.

Sarika place a nice little cameo (in terms of performance). But nobody bothers to tell us why she is so frustrated with Rajat, a husband with whom she was seen buying a new car the previous week. Surprisingly, the only reference to a fight is the one regarding the Friday sessions.

Milind Soman is not asked to do much. And that’s what he does. He does not spoil the movie with his wooden acting. And so, he is good!

Ranvir Shorey is a little disappointing, and not an iota because of his acting. The disappointment comes from two separate facts – one, he is asked to carry an elongated face. In a movie which is so natural, that was not needed. Two, he is shown as a muslim character who wants Pakistan to win cricket matches against India. Its such a negative and unjustified typecast to be kept in the film. Moreover, in the same vein, he is shown as a tax official of highest integrity and impeccable knowledge. Tch Tch!

Suman Rao (played by Bhairavi Goswami) is a name that you would want to remember as Suman Rao (quite like Baby Doll volume 3 – Sophia of Pyar Ke Side Effects). The actress is pretty hopeless, even though she has one of the most comical moments in the movie. The point where she asks what a thurkey means, and the sheepish response of Vinay is a big comic high point.

And two more scenes that definitely deserve a mention are –
1. Ranvir Shorey, when he realizes that the guy he is auditing is sleeping with his wife
2. “Aayega Aayega mein kitni baar aayega?” (reference to the song “Aayega Aayega” from Mahal)

Extremely simple, but amazingly funny movie. Must Must see!

BCCI jokes..ON NEW RULES….good ones!

Hilarious.. Received on mail from Rushank Vora 🙂

Drat… These people show this all the time and keep insulting us..

Sir, they are fans, they want their ticket amount refunded if the team doesn’t perform well..

Brother, anyways you gonna get out after making 10-15 runs and get only a % of your salary. Why don’t you get out now at 0. I will make sure you get your full amount…

Hey buddy, try and take this catch or else your salary 15k is gone…

Friends, I am gonna resign from this captaincy post. Even if I lose the toss they are frightening me that they won’t give me my salary…

Sir, I think I am gonna take VRS and become an umpire like you. Even without making runs or taking wickets I will get my salary right…

__._

Au Revoir.. Hope, Optimism and Indian Cricket


Before writing this post, I wrote a 3 page long post about Indian cricket team. And then realized that I was seething with anger. Like a true Indian fan.

And like a true Indian, I am opinionated. Here are 10 things that I think should be done –

  1. We, as a nation, need to go back to celebrating one off victories and stop looking for grandiose performances. We should act like minnows of international cricket and save ourselves some heart wrenching moments.
  2. We should stop calling our batting lineup the best. We have dogs that don’t bite or bark.
  3. Our batsmen should be paid on the basis of the amount of time they spend on the crease and the number of runs they score. Dada will win the race given the amount of time he takes the score the runs that he scores. Hmmm, let me revise the metric – A function of absolute number of runs scored, and runs per minute. Strike rate is meaningless. Its like counting the number of girls you hit on without having any affairs.
  4. There should be a pay per win policy. Tournament wins would get you more money. If you beat an Australia or SA, you get 3x, if you beat SL and Pak, you get 2.5x, if you beat England, NZ etc, you get 2x, for beating minnows, you get 1x. Bangladesh has just been promoted to 1.5x.
  5. Sehwag should be given a Titan watch (TCS and Tata Group company style) for long service and be given a subtle hint to retire.
  6. Utthapa should be given a frying pan. Flash in the pan brilliance, which comes and goes like a flash. He can also be given lifetime supple of the Rs.2 Nepali batteries also. That will help him keep flashing cheaply (pun unintended) all his life.
  7. Agarkar should be asked to take motivational sessions for MNCs. How to make money by being just 66.66% accurate. His knack of being back in the team despite bowling only 4 decent bowls every over is not a skill that can be replicated easily. He can think about Patenting his Agarkarizma (If Miracle?)
  8. Tendulkar can start a TV show – Who wants to be a Tendulkar? The reason I am saying that is that it’s a fading business opportunity. He needs to cash out. Soon, there wont be anyone wanting to wear the shoes of one of the greatest batsman ever, who never led India to any important series win (well, except that one innings in Sharjah!)
  9. The entire team should be made to watch Gunda at least a couple of times. There should be a quiz on what they learnt from the movie. Things like “Nothing is impossible” (Mithun is a coolie at the Airport), set yourself real and achievable targets (Do Char Che Aath Das- Bas!), you don’t need to confirm to the conventional standards if you want to win (Gunda is a commercially viable venture), etc. are only some of the lessons!
  10. And yeah.. one big request to the media – Lets start focusing on other games. PHL is nice. Sania Mirza looks good even when she is losing. Narain Karthikeyan can do with some support. Our chess players are great. And we have soccer fan clubs in every city. Its time we grew beyond a lost cause!

Moview Review: Just Married

An ensemble cast full of losers, largely loser performances, mediocre editing, average music, and an ok storyline. Chef Comment – Passable Movie!

The story is about the lead couple Fardeen and Esha having gotten married (arranged marriage) and going on their honeymoon where they are staying with 4 other couples (Bikram Saluja-Perizaad, Mukul Dev- Sadia Siddiqui, Raj Zutshi-Tarina and Satish Shah-Kiron Kher). Each of these couples has its own story, set of highs and lows, and a love & hate relationship. Finally love is supposed to triumph, and so it does!

Performances

Fardeen and Esha – Its surprising how Fardeen can make Esha look like an actress! Fardeen is pathetic as usual. With 70% of the dialogues being delivered by Fardeen (explicitly or through a voiceover), it reminds me of how li’l kids participating in elocution competitions are supposed to memorize the lines by rote with no real importance to the emotional punch. The only difference being – Fardeen is worse! He does not have the kiddish innocence required to carry that off!
Esha (even without the Deol) is supposed to giggle, shy away, look confused and act dumb. She is given minimal dialogues, and I wonder if that was Meghna Gulzar’s (the director) mega strategic maneuver. Asking lousy actresses to just stand there and do whatever they feel like doing is a good way to save time and energy.

Bikram Saluja has still not realized that for anything beyond the Grasim and whatever suiting shirting ads he does, some importance is attached to how you act. People are supposed to have a bit of variation in their dialogue delivery. I wonder if his fights with his girlfriend(s) have the same tone as the romantic evenings!
Perizaad Zorabian (and sadly) Irani is wasted as she tries to put some semblance of credibility in this movie through her character. Pity, she didn’t get to build on the tragic side of her story. That she looks good and can act is something that we know!

Mukul Dev and Sadia Siddique are like a TV couple. Sadia knows how to play those small roles well and she does, and one look at Mukul tells you why he was thrown out of movies’ world!

Fourth couple – Raj Zutshi and Tarina Patel – is also a good for nothing, and I don’t know why you are there in the movie couple. Raj has few dialogues. Tarina- fewer

Saving grace of the movie – Satish Shah and Kiron Kher. They rock! Their banters as a couple, their comic timing, and the fact that they are the only ones who add what the real element this movie should have been – Comedy! The scene where both of them are sleeping with their monkey caps and mufflers on is cute and funny. While the continuous “phir bus beech mein rukwaoge” kinda comments are hilarious. And the fact that their concluding sentiment is the only message that this movie could have stood for – You need to stand by your life partner, whatever may happen!

I wonder if Meghna Gulzar identifies and relates more with that generation more than this. While her current day couples are stories that you probably can find in your lifetime, the treatment of what their problems are and what they go through is extremely shallow, her treatment of Satish-Kiron couple is just perfect!

Any other high points- can’t remember!

Overall – Watch it if you have nothing better to do. Or, if you get a free DVD or something, keep skipping to the parts where Satish Shah and Kiron Kher are! You’ll think you watched a gun movie!

Friends Series (1) : I didnt have anything on that topic

I just realized that in my friend circle (especially the IIMB one), a lot of us have this habit of cracking one liners from friend. And I thought I should pay homage to Friends through this episodic writing on some of the most amazing one-liners I’ve seen people pick.

Phoebe has a knack of cracking phenomenally universally applicable statements like this one –

I didn’t have anything on that topic, so I went another way. (Context: Season 1 – Ep. 6 -The One With the Butt…. Chandler narrating the story of his date with the Italian girl Aurora who is married to Rick and has another boyfriend Ethan and the “friends” are discussing about the uncomfortable feeling around going out with someone who is going out with someone else. Joey cracks the landmark – When I’m with a woman, I need to know that I’m going out with more people than she is )

What does that remind me of?

1. ACP – Arbit Class Participation – a phenomenon that every MBA has definitely been through, and especially in courses where faculty members/professors have additional weightage for participating in class discussions. People come up with such garbage CP as “In the multidimensional and prospective interest of the economy, its important for organizations to add value to the pet allowance of the third strata of economically imprudent and strategically deprived dogs sleeping in the garbage cans of south mumbai.” (Background questions could have been something as simple as “Do you think Maneka Gandhi and her animal activism is the way to go?”
This ACP reminds me 2 more things – First, A2Z CP where people had explanations of A to Z of CP, e.g. BCP – before class participation, CCP- creative class participation, DCP – Desperate class participation and so on.
And the second was bullCP – where backbenchers would float 5 random keywords which had to combined in a single participation – whoever does that successfully, gets to float the next set of keywords. Example – Intoxicating, Aliens, Titan, Paradigm Shift, Professor – There are organizations known to have made paradigm shifts in their strategy without realizing any benefit because a bad strategy could make a customer feel like an alien, say something like customers perceiving Titan not as a brand of watches but as a company that is disposing intoxicating wastes in space simply because they agreed to a professor’s suggestion of coming up with a brand called Titan WaistLine. Beat that!

2. Wheel of Fortune – and hence, Shilpa. I have associated WoF with a random turn of wheel leading to a random topic on which someone asks questions, etc. Shilpa has a knack for that – On a table where strong discussions on credit cards is happening, she can end up asking a question like – who killed Lala Lajpat Rai.

3. The way people live their life – like defeated warriors. I could not change the tide of things, so I decided to do something else. I tried a couple of times, but realized that I cant change this. So I decided to do something else.

4. The need to be counted- A lot of people have this problem. I have that. I feel a little left out when I dont have anything to say on a topic. Either I try to paraphrase. Or, I go back to the drawing board and learn something new. But most of the people have an urge to be counted.

There are so many things that you can read in this …

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