Archive for Review

Jaipur Trip

Last weekend I had wonderful two days at Jaipur. This visit was long due . I was interested  to rediscover my rajputana lineage. I really liked pink city. Weather was cool  (atleast for two day stay)and people were friendly. I used public transport throught my trip and was happy with survices of Rajasthan  roadways although buses never stalled at designated bus stops.

I stayed with Tabish at Malviya Nagar area, one of  the better developed region of  Jaipur with wide roads and greenery. Pink city is realy pink and well planed.

First dayI spent visiting some parts of pink city and Amar fort. Second day we finised Jaigarh fort , Jal mahal and City palace. 

Amar fort is huge and beautiful. But Rajput blood in me got real kick in war museum in City palace and Jiagarh fort where they keep the weapons and war suits used by warriors. You read about them in Epics and watch them in hollywood movies but nothing can beat the the experience you have watching those heavy duty swords and bades live , feeling ther weight in your eyes. Unfortunely you canot take photos there.

I suggest you to hire guides as they help to understand social and cultural history behind  architectures and monuments. Fortunetly they are very friendly and cheap in Jaipur . Forts are outside main jaipur city ( around 30 min ride by bus) and surprisingly there is no decent Motel or Dhaba around  so better you pack your own lunch before leave hotel. There is one CCD (Cafe coffee day ) in Amar fort.

Due to sudden change of plans third day I was not able to visit Choki Dhaani famous for its authentic Rajasthani food. Will make sure to keep that high priority in my next visit.

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Quarterly Report 2009 : Movies

Thanks to recession and my resignation I had all the time in this  world to watch movies. And I did took this opportunity watching some good cinema. I really liked watching work of Guru dutt.  Bonus point of watching Gurudatt’s work is  that you get see Vahida Rahman , the most elegant actress bollywod ever produced ,a lot. Apart from that I watch some good hollywood movies released last year. I specially liked Changeling and Revolutionary Roads

Recent works  like Dev-D, Sorry bhai and Dil kabadi reflect tremendous change in relationships and there intrepetation in  indian  society. Although these movies were for metro audience there was much noise from moral police then expected. An indicator of social change?

1. Dil kabadi (***1/2)

I started this year with watching to movies back to back.  First I watched Gajani  that left me feeling cheated ad abused. Then I watched Dil kabadi. I liked it. Its a experimental comedy movies based on relationships, infidelity and middle life crisis of almost perfect marriages. Seems that  they copied ideas from Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives. I could not expect a better cast and their performance. No dull momet in whole movies. Moreover director stay way from being preachy or judgemental. This is not  a mass market movies  and  even urban class will  find hard to digest some of aspects of storyline. If you like Pyaar ke side effect and prefer aunbaised take on life and relationships you should  watch this movie.

2. Gajani (**)

Bakwaas.

3. Guru Dutt’s  Pyaasa, Saahab biwi aur gulam, Chodhvi ka chand. (****)

I believe Guru dutt is most handsome actor and most talented director bollywood ever produced.  These three movies are considered to be his finest work. I liked payaasa most. It got everything  you need to make this a timeless movie. I cannot  not remember any other movie that had touch upon social issues emphatically. 

Chodvi ka chand was a little  disappointment  becoz of the change of  values in our society. Life and society depicted in movies is totally different from our world. We are zillion times more selfish and self absorbed then their times.

Sahab biwi aur gulaam was again complicated cinema. Very narrow and penetrative storyline. But again this is a old ties movie.You can watch it to appreciate work  of direction and many reasons but will not able to relate with story.

One thing that is common in all movies is directors focus on human life and imperfections  in  society. It is expected. At that time direcetor do not  compromise with their work  withs stars or item numbers. Moreover while watching them you hardly feel entertained. None of these movies tell you perfect story with a happy ending. No these are not formula movies. They present the foundation of bollywod when cinema had much larger goal them fame and fortune.

4. Lucky by chance (***1/2)

Good movie. A  fresh , practical and unpredictable  story, above average performance by cast and imperfect ending . I like it.

5. Raaz 2 (**/12)

Disappointing.  Kangna  now is very predictable and hence pakaooo. Very week story. Songs are good. Story is good  before first half but second half is total let down and make you feel ‘mere paise waapis karoo”.

6.Sorry bhai (***)

Not a bad movie as such but very unsocial story. Even if you are highly educated, ulta modern, filthy rich indian you will find hard to digest this story. again a very experimental and urban world cinema. Nice casting and good performance by all specially Sabaana Azami. I dont know how avg cinema goer will preceive this movie who is feed with “bhabhi ma ke samaan hoti hai” ideas.

7. Accidental Husband (**)

Timepass. Boring and impractical love story. Run-of th- mill hollywood cinema. Nothing new or exciting.

8.Taken (**)

Fast paced ordinary story. One-man-army father trying to save his daughter from kidnappers. Predictable and unconvincing.

9. Happening (*)

OMG so boring. PLzzzzzzzzzz avoid.

10. Gran Torino (****)

Awesome movie and surprising  climax. Very fresh and inspiring story.Great direction and acting by Clintwood. Must watch.

11. No country for old men (*)

Soooooooo boring. Very old, slow and dull story. I am not able to understand  motivation behind this movie.

12. Revolutionary road (***1/2)

Must watch. Fresh, distrubing and convincing story. Great perfomance by Kate and Lennardo de caprrio.

13. Vicky Crristina Barcelona (**1/2)

Very complicated relationship story. I really dont understand why Woody Allen selected this story. Watch it and let me know what is that I missed .I respect Woody Allen but  I find this movie very disappointing.

14.7 pound (**)

Depressing and damn slow. Unable to finish,

15.Changeling (****)

Awesome movie . Based on real and inpiration story. Good perfomance by Angelina Jolie. Must watch.

16. Bank Job (**)

Ordinary hollywood pulp fiction. Timespass.

17. Never back down (**1/2)

Time pass. Central idea is good and even story is not that bad. Buts its kid’s cinema.

18. Bankok Dangerous (**)

Good timepass.

19.He is not that into you(**)

Very disappointing. I had much higer expectations with the cast. Very boring parallel runing love  stories. Remember salaam-e-ishq minus the fun part. 

20. Rachel Getting Married (**1/2)

Timepass. Creepy story around confused relationships, defunct family and a drug addicted gal who killed his bro accidently and is in rehab. We will similar stories in India  if capitalism  followed same path as did in western world. Such movies are here to remind us that not everything about west is cool or great.

21. The Reader (***)

Old and complicated story. Good performance by Kate. Again a story that I  find hard  to relate wit. But still watchable.

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Ghajini – Review

3/4 bollywood +3/16 kollywood +1/16 hollywood + beefy Amir!=perfection
3/4 bollywood +3/16 kollywood +1/16 hollywood + beefy Amir  =Imperfection

I have few confessions  to make before I comment  on this movie.

Confession 1: I do not think Amir Khan is  finest of all  actor. He is nowhere near to his  ‘prefectionist’  image created by spin doctors, his PR, and media. But I do think that he is a smart ass who know his shit. Being one of the oldest hand in industry he know  indian janataa and its preferences and like Ekta Kapoor and  SK ,  is  able to create  niche for himself.

Confession 2: I do not prefer long movies.Its very difficult  for me to  commit myself for  anything beyond 120 min. I  believe smalll is beautiful. Unless there exist a very convincing reason to make an epic I would like director whokeep their experiments  below 150 min.

Confession 3: I like directors’ who arefocused  to achieve  new level in single genre. To mix love, romance, drama,comedy, tragedy, voilence and goody-win-baddie message together is tough and expect  legendry director’s touch . Unless adirector/actor  took himself as legend I expect  them to stick to the basics. I do not prefer mass market stuff.

Confession 4: I prefer director who are particular about casting. Versatile actor is a myth. Every actor/actress have a strong impression or image associated  with him.It is director’s job to exploit and build on that image . Casting is a question of director’s integrity with character. Any director worth his salt would  make movie with actors and not for them.

Ok. Now I think, I am in position to declare that Ghajini is an ordinary and forgettable movie. The very kind , I will never talk about , keep in my library and watch again.With Ghajini  bollywod have mastered the much revered art of marketing. Rohan’s brought this concept to bollywood with KNPH, Chopras fueled it with Hum Tum and Dhoom,  SK took this  to higher levels with exellent maketing of ordinary filth OSO.  Amir with Ghajini mark the completion of capitalist take over of bollywood. From now onwards we can expect to  see superhit bakaas film more often.

Coming back to Ghajini, I had same expectations as I mention in my confessions. But both director and Amir  disappointed me. Few frames into the moview and I had  ‘I know the story’ moment. Rich guy falling in love with sweet-cute-honest street gal in the lead , ugly-dumb-beffy villain killing or raping  the gal  somewhere in the middle and  rich guy taking  (kutee !! main tera khon pee joonga type) revenge in climax.Yes  we all have seen this ,  many many times.  What I did not guessed  was apparent lack of chemistry between Asin-Amir and sheer lack of imagination on part of director  in naming the movie. I mean how could you name a movie after a lousy villain  and only a dumb ass can cast such a nobody after naming movie after him. Talking about love story, they never let it build  (pathetic screenplay), the moment I start feeling connected to it we had a pallid song /dance poping up from nowhere. Ghar prevesh was  the only scene where I felt my heart melting for   i-haves-een-it-before love story.

If you ask  me about Amir’s performance I would say I am equivocal.I do not know if  he did this role to satisfy every (old) actor’s natural  itch to experiment something  new/different  or he did this to debunk his actor-who-think (actor-of- classes)  image or he did to connect with masses. Whatever was the reason his performance  lack perfection.I wondt blame him for his acting skill as much as his selection for this role. Perfection is when no one replace you. But in Ghajini  I could definitely replace him with Sunny phaaji anyday. Sunny Deol could have done better job and may have looked more convincing  for a harvard guy turning into a beast type role along  with  blood glore and (kollywood style) violence they displayed on screen . For Amir, I would say great body  but I expect him to show some respect and honesty with the role and with audience.

Asin looks pretty, curvey and toned. She was comfortable working with ‘Mr.perfection’ and did a good job. But I would have prefered Genelia for her role. Genelia  look much more sponteneous and convincing  for such short sweet-cute-happy gal type roles.

Jiah Khan ( thanks god I have not watched Nishabd, ) with her zero size figure and tooti-footi hindi sucked. Its director’ s fault. When you are making a mass market movie you canot pick a ‘hanger’  best suited for catwalking in rags to do ‘any’ kind of  role.I feel sorry for her.I wish and hope  she will work hard next time .

Memento element  (short-term memory loss) was underplayed and there was nothing new and  suprising.  I would contribute this partly to the fact that I had already seen it before  and  to  director’s inablity to build-on and exploit the concept by adding something new to it.

Ghajani is a directorial failure. I do not know much about him but he did a patchy job.Film lack in casting,screenplay,editing and allmost everywhere. After having  all Hollywood/Bollywod/Kollywodd mixed maslala I had a very bad after taste.

 

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Year 2008 : What I read on web

What I was reading about in year 2008

What I was reading about in year 2008

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Year 2008: Bollywood fresh face of the year

My latest crush

Genelia D’Souza

Cute.Peppy.Intelligent.Got very-very inviting smile and yes, camera loves her.I think this much is enough to have good time in bollywood.She may not able to find/do versetile  (KJ/SRK/YASH ) bollywood stuff as Kajol ( thanks to her childish face/image/personality  which I love so much 🙂 ) she can try doing good cinema as Pretty Zinta did.

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Minissha Lamba impressed me with her work in Shaurya but disaapointed in Kidnap.She is young, beauty and intelligent.I listen to her in a recent t.v interview where she sound very cognizant and someone well aware of what she is talking about.I am looking forward to her up coming movies. If she can focus more on substance then skin/style she can do lot better.

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Year 2008 :Books

Best book of the year 2008. Reading this was like having intellectual orgasm.

Best read of the year 2008. Reading this was like having intellectual orgasm.

Year 2008 was a good year for my Library. I added around 150+ book to my collection , most of which were hardcovers editions. Unfortunately I manage to read very few books. This year I did more online reading then offline. I would definitely like to improve this equations. Moreover I observed a significant change in my reading taste. I moved-on from reading managment/business/leadership/self-help/formula based books to more deeper subject of human behaviour,philosophy (self-interest,morality,altruism,rationality,religion),quantum physics(butterfly effect,causality,entropy), Behaviourial economics (game theory,choas theory) and classic fiction. I attribute this shift to brilliant essays and articles by Robert I. Sutton ( Author Hard Facts) ,Steven D. Levitt (Author Freakonomics) and Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Author Black Swan) I read this year.

1. The Money Game by Adam Smith
If I have to recommend one book that gives best intro to investment world ,I will recommend ‘The money game’. Awesome book. It gives a unbiased and holistic picture of whole investing world.Highly recommend.
2. Origins of the Crash: The Great Bubble and Its Undoing by Roger Lowenstein
This book made Roger one of my fav author. Bold,factual and thought provoking invastigation of internet bubble.After reading this book no one will never be able to fully trust any commercial institution or managment of a company.
3. Bombardiers: A Novel by Po Bronson
4. Airframe: A Novel by Michael Crichton
5. Daughter of Fortune: A Novel (P.S.) by Isabel Allende
6. The Naked Manager by Robert Townsend
Recommended
7. The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World: Tim Harford
Recommended.
8. The Age of Paradox: Charles Handy
Recommended.
9. Enterprise One to One by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers
10. Perfect Enough: Carly Fiorina and the Reinvention of Hewlett-Packard by George Anders
Reading this book was bad idea. Badly written and lacking depth.

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Year 2008 : Hollywood

My movie of the year 2008

My movie of the year 2008

It seems that 2008 was a bad year for hollywood.I am not able add one single movie in my library. The Dark Knight did raised some hope but was not that good ( or may be I didnt like Batman that much).Only movie I have now is ‘Wanted’. Though this movies was not the best of hollywood ever produced , I liked this movie for my own interpretation of its story.

* WTF
** Mere paise waapis karoo !!!!!!!!!!
*** Timepass. Paisa Vasool but will not like watching again.
**** Exellent work. You may like watching it again. Add to your video library.
***** Masterpeice. Buy original DVD.

1.10000 BC (**)
2.The Eye (**)
3.The Dark Knight (***)
4.Sex And The City (***)
5.Quantum of Solace (***)
6.Over Her Dead Body (**)
7.Made Of Honour (**)
8.Iron Man (***)
9.Hancock (**)
10.Wanted (***)* My pick of the year.

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