Saturday, 24 December 2011

DON 2 - all style, no soul...


Namaskar - Cinema review mein – main Bhawana Somaaya- aapka swagat karti hoon.
Aaj- saal 2011 ka aakhri Friday hain – aur Excel Entertainment ki Don 2 – iss saal ki aakhri film.
Saal ki aakhri release ka waise bhi besabri se intezaar hota hai - kyon ki iss hafte ki release Shah Rukh Khan ki film hain – remake ka sequel hain - aur Excel Entertainment ka sabse mega project hain – the excitement is all the more!



Saal 2006 mein – Farhan Akhtar ne humme 70s ki Don ka remake diya…
Iske baad -2007 se 2011 tak - unhone as an actor - char filmein ki –Rock On, Luck By Chance, Kartik calling Kartik aur Zindagi Na Milegi Dobarra.
Iske sivay unhone kuch filmein produce ki - aur kuch filmein likhi…
Ab paanch saal ke antaral ke baad - Farhan apni teesri directorial venture laaye hai - Don 2.
Don ke climax mein - Shah Rukh Khan - Priyanka Chopra ki madad se faraar hojate hain.
Don 2 mein - Shah Rukh duniya ka sabse khatarnakh criminal ban chukke hain!
Roma –yaane Priyanka Chopra –detective agency ki sabse honahar officer hain – aur ab bhi Don ki talash mein hai…
Don - Europe se Bangkok– aur Zuric se Berlin –apne dushmanon ko khatam karne mein laga hai aur Roma - Don ka peecha karte karte  - Berlin pohanch jaati hai.
Film ka premise zahir hain - jana pehchana hain …
Kya paanch saalon mein Don kuch badal gaya hai…? Kya iss baar police Don ko pakad payegi…?
Film ka first half - location centric hai…
Don ek country se doosri country –helicopter se hotels- steamers se beach resorts –dushmano ko khatam karte hain– aur gambling den mein gaana gaate hain.



Film ka second half – climax centric hai…
Don ek computer hacker – yaane –Kunal Roy Kapoor – ki madad se – ek plan banate hai! Ye alag baat hai ki- interval ke pehle - ya interval ke baad - audience ko na plan samajh mein aata hai - na kahani – aur na hi Don!
…Samajh mein nahi aata hai -ki agar Don ko gyarah se zyada -mulkon ki police talash kar rahi hain - to wo khulle aam - sadkon par -aur bussomein - kyon ghum raha hai…?
…Agar Don underworld ka baadshah, sabse akalmand hai – to har khatarnakh kaam – wo khudd kyon karta hai...? Apne aadmiyon se kyon nahi karwata…?
….Aur agar Don duniya ka sabse amir aadmi hain - to wo paison ke liye itna pagal kyon hain…?
Film mein kuch character - aur kuch factual - disorders hai…
…Mana ki Don aur Roma ka Love Hate relationship hai – magar Roma - Don  se impressed zyada aur rattled kum nazar aati hain…
...Shah Rukh - Hrithik Roshan ke chehre ka mask pehanta hain- wahan tak baat samajh mein aati hai…
Magar mask ke saath  - unki height - aur awaaz apnata hain wo baat unconvincing hain.
Film mein kahani nahi hai– magar dialogues bohat achche hain.
Narrative nirrass hai - magar music- khas taurpe background score -badhiyya hai.
Hrithik Roshan - sirf ek scene ke liye aate hain - aur wo film ka sabse behtareen sequence hain!
Don 2 SRK ka most physically demanding role hain-different locations- accents –hairstyles -action sequences…
Magar jiss tarha se Shah Rukh ne Devdas ko internalize karke- apna bana liya tha -wo Don ko dil se nahi apna paaye.
Shayad isliye - kyon ki film mein sab kuch– chase, glamour, music, dance, promising Kunal Kapoor – stunning Priyanka Chopra – aur Shah Rukh Khan ke hote hue –bohat kuch missing hai – aur aapka man nahi lagta!!
Don 2 ko milte hai 2** stars.

To ye thi iss hafte – yaane year end ki release -Agle hafte – yaane – agle saal- phir mulakate hogi -Tab tak ke liye mujhe dijiye ijaazat -Happy New year to all of you. 


Cinema Review / Zee Cinema Friday 9PM
92.7 Big FM Saturday-Sunday 


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Review - Pappu Can't Dance Saala , Jo Hum Chahein , Faraar


Namaskar - Cinema review mein - main Bhawana Somaaya - aapka swagat karti hoon…
 Iss hafte teen releases hain – aur teenon chotti budget ki non starrer films hain.
Ek love story – ek  action - aur ek romantic comedy…



Pehle baat karte hain – romantic comedy- yaane- R Vision India produced aur Saurabh Shukla   directed - Pappu Can’t Dance Saala ki.
Vidyadhar Acharya – Vinay Pathak -Banaras se hain - aur Mumbai ki ek private company mein salesman hain...
Wo ek govt colony mein kirayedar hain – public transport se office jaate hain- aur roz –aloo purri ka lunch karte hain…
Shyam ko Vidyadhar – kaidesar ghar lautte hain aur hanuman challisa padhne ke baad – chainnse so jaate hain…
Jab tak ke - unki nayyi padosan nahi aati….
Vidyadhar ki padosan –Mehek  - yaane Neha Gupta – bhi chotte shehar se hain aur Mumbai mein -filmon mein chorus dancer hain.



Mehek  - din mein rehearsal aur shooting ko jaati hain - aur shooting ke baad – der raat tak party karti hain.
Film ka first half - unn paristhitiyon ke baare mein hain – jahan Mehek aur Vidhyadhar ko majboori mein - ek hi flat share karna padta hain.
Kahani ka premise interesting hain - aur writer Saurabh Shukla ki likhawat rassili hain.
Problem film ka second half hain– characters aur kahani predictible ho jaate hain - aur bohat saare alag tracks main plot se jud jaate hain.
Film ka pace slow hain – characters over exaggerated aur dialogues repetitive.
Samajh mein nahi aata hain ke film - Mumbai ke baare mein hain – chotte shehron ke baare mein hain – ya phir sitaron ki duniya ke baaremein hain…
Iske bawajood ke film ka sangit – lyrics -locations-choreography – aur saare performances lajawab hain – film mein mann nahi lagta.
Shayad isliye - kyon ki humne isse milti julti - bohat saari filmein dekhi hain…
Ya phir isliye - ke hum Vinay Pathak – ko ek hi type ki comedies mein baar baar dekh kar tang aa gayye hain.
Ismen koi do raii nahi ke Vinay Pathak bohat hi talented artiste hain aur unke saath har ek heroine superior performance deti hain…
Magar wo jab se filmon mein aaye hain - tab se common man ka role hi karte aaye hain aur Pappu - unki ek hi genre ki – iss saal ki chathi film hain.
Aur ek baat –film ke title ka - kahani ke saath - koi lena dena nahi hain.
Pappu Can’t Dance Saala – ko bahtareen performances  2** stars.

Amar Gill produced aur Pawan Gill ki likhi likhi Jo Hum Chahe Rohan Bhatia aur Neha Kapoor ki prem kahani hain.



Rohan MBA graduate hain aur Mumbai - stock broker banne aaya hain.
Neha filmon mein heroine banne aayi hain…
Done milte hain…kareeb aate hain aur pyaar hojata hain…!
Har prem kahani mein obstacles aate hain - ismein bhi aate hain – a samna karne ke baad - jo hero heroine chahte hain - wahi hota hain…
Jo audience chahte hain – yaane The End- ke liye humme dhai ghante -tak intezar karna padta hain...
Jo Hum Chahe ko iss lambe intezar ke liye milta hain - 1 * star.

M Cinefix Producers ki Faraar - ek aise ladke ki kahanihai jisne bachpan mein – gallti se - ek aadmi ko accident mein maar diya tha.



Salaon guzar jaate hain - magar Arjun Sen - iss hadse ko nahi bhula pate.
Sutani Gupta ki kahani aur Shafiq sheikh ki choreography ke liye Faraar ko milte hain 1 * star.

To ya thi iss hafte ki releases - ahafte phir mulakate hogi – tab tak ke liye mujhe dijiye ijjazat – Namaskar.


Cinema Review / Zee Cinema Friday 9PM
92.7 Big FM Saturday-Sunday 

Monday, 19 December 2011

Parents ne bana di jodi!!


When I was a little girl an old man in a dhoti often came to our home unannounced. He removed his shoes outside the door and squat cross legged on the living room carpet. He always carried a cloth bag around his shoulder and a small napkin with which he wiped his spectacles.  



My mother was always happy to see him and no matter how tired she was, she ran to the kitchen to prepare hot snacks for him which was always served in steel utensils. 

Snack over he extracted some photographs and horoscope from his crowded bag and got into serious discussion with my father. When it was time for him to leave, mother packed for him a customary parcel comprising some wheat flour, rice and pure ghee. 

He was what they described in traditional Gujarati households- the brahman- and he was also the community match maker. He was well versed with the family histories and went from home to home carryingkundalis of prospective brides and grooms. The parents trusted his wisdom and unanimously submitted to his foresight. 
That is how my older cousins and siblings got married. 

Then one day, the brahman stopped coming home. My father was concerned. On investigation my father discovered that after a prolonged illness he had passed away in his sleep and his only son did not want to carry forward his father’s legacy. My mother was distressed. “A home not visited by a brahman can never prosper…” she mourned. My father had bigger worries. He was getting on in age and unsure of hunting a groom for my older sister without the brahman’s able guidance. 

Contrary to his fears my older sister got married through a proposal brought by a common relative and is today a prosperous wife and proud mother of two children. 

So many years have gone by but finding a suitable partner through arranged marriage is still a matter of concern to parents. While on level marriage websites have replaced the traditional matchmaker and facilitated the process, it has added social and economic pressures on the candidates and their families.  

A few days ago I was invited by a friend registered with a South Bombay Marriage Bureau for her 21 year-old daughter. The bureau chief had organized a swayamvar for the prospective candidates and their parents at the Ball Room Taj Mahal Hotel. 

It was an unusual gathering where every guest was a stranger. As my friend and I entered the room we were handed over a dossier on the prospective candidates. There was a separate seating arrangement for the candidates. The parents of both sat a few blocks away. At the allotted time a compeer came on to the dais and began with the proceedings. 

She invited the candidates to come on to the stage and introduce themselves. The first round was devoted to the girls and all of them were self conscious. The second round was for the boys and all of them were awkward. Introductions completed the guests mingled with each other and some exchanged numbers. A few outgoing candidates made an effort to strike a conversation with a promising partner but majority of them preferred to remain aloof. 

At the end of two hours my friend and I wondered if the exercise was worth the while. It didn’t seem so. It was an unfair swayamvar because one, there were more number of girls than boys and two; all the girls were far superior to the boys. All the parents in the audience looked extremely anxious and they were not helped by the inexperienced compeer who was too young to handle such a responsible evening. 

During dinner I asked some candidates how they rated the evening. Most of the girls confessed to feeling embarrassed. They said it was like being on display but they had no choice in an arranged marriage. The parents complained that the registration fees are too expensive but there is no other option to find a partner for their children. 

While leaving I make it a point to express their anxieties to the Marriage Bureau Chief. She smiles, “They have to be able to take it in their stride. It is destiny. My role is of just a facilitator.”  

My mind wanders to the old brahman who visited our home. It is strange but in all the years he visited the family he never said any of these lines to my parents. On the contrary he always managed to bring a smile to their face when he said, “Don’t worry Somaaya bhai she is your daughter but my responsibility.” 

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Review - Ladies vs. Ricky Behl, Ye Stupid Pyaar & Lanka....

Peechle hafte teen releases thi.
Ek comedy- ek love story - aur ek drama...

Pehle baat karte hain comedy – yaane - YRFilms ki Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl
ki…



Ye teen pyaar mein dhoka khaye ladkiyon ki kahani hain...

Pehli –Delhi socialite -Dimple Chadha – yaane Parineeti Chopra – apne
work out ke dauran apne trainer ko apna dil kho baithti hain.

Doosri –Mumbai ki corporate Diva –Raina Parulekar –yanne Dipannita
Sharma – competition ke junoon mein - ghalat aadmi par vishwas karti
hain…

Teesri – Lucknow ki Saira Rashid – jo 24 saal ki bewa hai - aur pehli baar
apne kaam ke dauran – ek naya dost banati hain.

Fitness trainer Sunny Singh –art dealer Deven Shah –aur sharmila kaarigar
Iqbal Khan – darasal ek hi aadmi hai – Ricky Bahl – jiska kaam - lootna aur
dil todna hai!

Iss behroopiye ko sabak sikhati hai –ek behtareen sales woman - Ishika
Desai – yaane Anushka Sharma.

Kahaani aur characters predictable hai - Devika Bhagat ka screenplay un-
engaging…

Plot bahot saare phases - details aur deals me bata hua hai –

Karodon ki adla badli hoti hai - aur ek hadh ke baad humara man bhatakne
lagta hai.

Na Saleem Suleiman ka music mein maza hai – na hi Vaibhavi Merchant ki
choreography mein koi masti -aur na hi lead performances mein jaadoo.

Parineeti Chopra ke sivaay – there are no surprises in the film.

Anoushka Sharma motorboat chalate hain –sharab piti hain aur bikini bhi
pehenti hain …phir bhi – baat nahi banti.

Afsos ke saath kehna padta hai ki director Manish Sharma - jinhone humein
Band Baajaa Baaraat se humein ghayal kiya tha -is baar Ricky Behl se
disappoint karte hai.

Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl ko milte hain 3*** stars.

Girl power ki baat karte karte film aakhir mein chauvinist ban jaati hain.
____________________________________________________________________

JRD Films ki Ye Stupid Pyaar - Abhishek aur Neha ki chatt mangni aur patt
shadi ki kahani hain...



Abhishek US settled NRI hai aur Neha India settled yoga teacher.

Dono Salsa dance class ke dauran - milte hain - aur bas kuch hi hafton mein
- pyaar ho jata hai - aur baad mein shadi bhi !

Neha ke kehne par - Abhishek apni Bangkok office join kar leta hai aur dono
apna honeymoon Thailand mein manate hain.

Bangkok mein dono apni nayi zindagi se behad khush hain –Achanak ek
haadsa hota hai aur Neha kahi kho jati hai...

Neha ko dhoodhne mein – Abhishek ki madad karti hai - Abhishek ki
college friend Simran - aur iss lambe process mein - Abhishek ko kuch baate
samajh mein aati hain.

Film ka message nek hai - magar presentation boring...

Aapko Thailand dekhne mein dilchaspi hai to aap theatre mein jaane ka risk
utha sakte ho - warna nahi…

Rakesh Jain ki Ye Stupid Pyaar ko milte hai 1* star.
____________________________________________________________________

Vikram Bhatt produced aur Maqbool Khan directed Lanka - Uttar Pradesh
ke chotte shehron ki kahani hai.



Aisa hi ek chotta shehar hai Bijnor- jahan hukumat sarkar ya police ki nahi –
balki Bhaisaaab ki chalti hai.

Bhaisaab ki gadi pe number plate nahi – unka naam – Sisodiyaan - likha
hai...

Wo apni marzi ke malik hai…

Unhe kissi ka khet pasand aa jata hai - to wo khet zapt kar lete hai…
Kissi doctor ki beti pasand aajaye – to usse ‘binbyahi’ banakar rakh lete hai.

Lanka - ek aur Sita ki kahani hai – jo Ravan ke hirasat mein hai…
Aur jisse bachane iss baar bhi - Ravan ke chotta bhai Vibhishan - yaane
Arjan Bajwa aata hai...

Shashank Dabral ki kahani - sacchi ghatna par adharit hai - aur samaj ke
aham mudde uthati hai…

Jaise adultery- anarchy- corruption aur cowardice...
Ek scene mein heroine ka bebas pita kehta hai –‘Pata nahi main baap hoon
ya buzdil…?’

Film real locations par shoot ki gayi hain – aur wahan ke reeti rivaaz-rehan
sehan ko darshati hai.

Saare characters UP dialect mein bolte hai aur bohat saare dialogues
mohavron mein hai – jo UP ki khasiyaat hai.

Film ka sangit - kahani ke mizaaj ka hai - ye saari detailing ke bawajood –
film dil ko nahi chooti…
Iski wajah hai - film ka leisurely pace - lambe scenes aur repetitive
dialogues...

First half to kissi tarha se nikal jata hai - magar second half - khas taurpe
climax unbearable banjata hai.
Manoj Bajpai aur Arjan Bajwa ki mehnat ko nazar mein rakhte hue Lanka
ko milte hai 2**stars.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Yaha main ghar ghar kheli.......


Psychiatrists believe that those who live in temporary homes reveal greater emotional disorders than those who live with a secure roof above their heads. This is particularly true in a city like Mumbai.

It is because home- temporary or permanent is a universal obsession and a tenant suffers as much anxiety as the land lord. It is a peculiar situation when strangers come together and make a contract over a dwelling place. The tenant spends all his time and pays all the bills yet can never call the place his home. On the other hand, the landlord owns all the rights yet can never trespass his own property without his tenant’s permission.
The psychiatrists also say that those who move into new home at some point yearn to revisit their old environment. It is called the completing of cycle. It happened to me a few weeks ago.



I had a desire to revisit my home and called my tenant. She invited me for tea and as I walked through the newly decorated place, images and echoes of time gone by played in my mind. It was a nostalgic moment for me as I walked through the passage surveying her kitchen, bathroom and other rooms memories rushed upon me. I recalled my older sister’s alarmed reaction: ‘Are you sure it is a good idea to purchase a flat without a lift on the third floor?’

‘Yes,’ I responded making a joke that it is the surest way of watching one’s weight after 30. It was not the only reason. My prime reason for shifting was to move closer to work place and for a change my mother agreed. We chose this building because it was surrounded by trees and it is so rare in a city to be woken up by the chirping of the birds.

The main door of the house opened directly into the living-room which was both an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage was that the guest could be seated without him getting a glimpse of the entire house. The disadvantage was that there was no protection from unwanted visitors and to rectify that we inserted a carved partition close to the entrance.

Interior designers who visited the house described it as well utilized space and it was.
A narrow passage led to the master bedroom, the kitchen and the second bedroom. The two bathrooms were provided with lofts but it was the most inconvenient storage because one could never find anything. Initially, the arrangement enraged me but with time I learnt to preserve only what I needed and bid farewell to nostalgia.

The basin was in the passage again not the best arrangement but it spared us from formal guests invading our bathrooms merely wanting to wash their hands.

The master bedroom occupied by my 80-plus mother was the most important room in the house literally and figuratively. It had the TV, music and phone, the idea being to spend as much time in her room as possible. Mother liked a lot of sunlight streaming into the room so the windows were always open. She liked watching the Tulsi plant so we had one on her window sill and she made sure we never forgot to water it or light a lamp on it at dusk.

Her bed was always piled up with pillows and she was very particular about the way her
medicine kit was placed on the adjacent table. The room was sparsely furnished and this facilitated her walking in the area. It was also the reason we never spread any carpets on the floor. After a lot of contemplation we settled for Marblex flooring instead of the regular Spartex which is slippery and dangerous for old people.



As long as she was there we never scraped the walls as oil paint is anathema for asthmatics. Come Diwali and we would white wash the house with good old distemper making sure to cover the leakages and pits before the coloring.

The smaller bedroom was mine and filled up with a vintage four poster Queen bed overlooking a bursting book-shelf. Close to the bed were a modest dressing table and a little far away, a vintage writing desk carried over from generations but preserved more for sentiment value than utility. As a writer I have never been particular about my space and I’m okay even with the writing pad on my lap in bed.

It has been a family habit to eat in the kitchen and we had a burgundy dining-table facing a Madhuban painting of Riddhi Siddhi which my mother described as very auspicious. The window facing my mother’s chair at the head of the table was an invaluable spot. Four sparrows and a faithful black crow dropped by every morning for their share of grain and for roti. Mother fed them personally and they shared an intimate bond. If they didn’t spot mother in her regular chair, they became restless and continued to fly around the house until reassured of her presence.

A little away from the window, was placed our temple. It is a family tradition again to house the temple inside the kitchen. That is where it was at my grandmother’s home and later in my aunts’ and siblings homes. Perhaps that is also the reason they say the kitchen is the most sacrosanct place in a home.

The living-room was not at all lavish and reserved for the guests. Simple sofa set draped in earth colour tapestry and decorated with warm cushion covers. The curtains were thin to retain light and air in the room. For some strange reason we have always had beautiful carpets and painting that liven up the room. The living room window overlooked the adjoining building which was no great view but one salvaged it with plants soaked in sunlight and mixed with artifacts.

It was a simple but an aesthetic home and I was always happy to get back to it after a tired day at work and more important, people always said, ‘Your home is so much like you’ and that made me feel so good.
Not any more though and understandably so. My old home today has nothing about me and all about the tenant who lives there. The walls, the furniture, the colours had changed. The doors and the windows closed with different sounds. The dressing table and the writing table in the small bedroom had altered places and the old bed in the master bed room was not piled with pillows the way my mother liked it.

The plants outside our living room had withered away and the walls showed scratches of a different routine. The kitchen held a different fragrance and the vessels told different stories of different cuisines and culture. The new tenants preferred heavy curtains that dropped a veil to the outside world and the neighbours. The dining table looked alien covered in a new table cloth and mats and the burgundy cabinets had turned brown with age.



The kitchen window had a new glass and was devoid of any residue of the grain and the roti served to the pigeons and the crow for years…Today sitting in my new home I often wonder what happened to those pigeons and the crow my mother served food to faithfully for years. Perhaps they had their exit call and left the universe like my mother or perhaps they shifted abode like me. Perhaps it is best not to know. Perhaps the psychiatrists are right.

We humans need to complete the cycle and move on in life. I have. The place I now live in is spacious and warm. There is plenty of sunshine and air and when I look out of the window there are plenty of trees and birds. I often catch a flight of pigeons in the sky and think of think of my mother’s friends and wish them well.

I’m certain they have moved on too like everything else in life...

Saturday, 10 December 2011

People ask me why a blog???


Whenever I'm asked what I enjoy most about my profession it does not take me time to respond that I"m here, because I like writing and because I like Hindi cinema. And my job provides me with an opportunity to dabble in both.

I have been writing on cinema for almost 30 years and have been a part of the print, electronic and online media journey. I have watched the media graduate from manual typewriters and spacious tape recorders to CDs, match-box dictaphones and mobile cameras. There was a time the printed word was sacrosanct. Then came a time the electronic media invaded our lives. And today, we cannot exist without our daily posts! 



It gives me great pride to state that the publishing house I was associated with in the 1990 decade was the pioneer of this dream in India. The magazine I edited g- was the first Indian magazine to go online and Chitralekha the first proud publisher in India to go on internet. 

It was a historic moment on 19 January 1996 at the Skydome Theatre Nehru Centre , Worli. Shammi Kapoor the only net savvy celebrity and president of yahoo.com was our chief guest of the evening and amidst much fanfare had clicked the mouse and officially launched the site.

Amitabh Bachchan was the guest of honour and had attended the function with his full family and good friend Amar Singh. In his speech Bachchan narrated amusing anecdotes of his struggling experiences online. He said that while surfing a stranger got on to chat with him and asked him for a date till he typed his age and the person mysteriously disappeared.

It was a magical evening (pictures attached below) but the enormity of the moment had to dawn much later.

In these 13 years we have become so used to the net that writing on paper has became obsolete. I still prefer to write long hand on my notepad but it seems like even a conservative like me will now have to submit to technology. Change is the only permanent aspect of life so here I am ready to share my thoughts with you on my website and a blog...

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

THE DIRTY PICTURE recreates an era....


Namaskar...Cinema Review mein - main Bhawana Somaaya - aapka swagat karti hoon...
Iss hafte do releases hain: Peshaura Singh ki I Am Singh aur Balaji Films ki The Dirty Picture.

Pehle baat karte hai I Am Singh ki –
 I am Singh America mein basse – un Sikhon ki kahani hain -  Jo 9/11 ke baad - bohat saare logon ke gusse aur nafrat - yaane Hate Crimes ka shikar banne.



White racists - Sikhon – aur Musalmano ko – Afghani terrorist samajhkar - rampantly target karne lage.
Aise hi ek ferocious attack mein - American resident - Bikram Singh ka din-dahade qatal ho jata hai…
Uske Bauji ko kuch goonde berehmise peet te hai – aur uske bhai - Balbir Singh ko giraftar karte hai.
Ab pariwar ka sabse chhotta beta - Ranveer Singh apne bhai ko khojne ke liye India se America aata hai aur kuch doston ke sahare anyay se ladta hai…
Saari film Los Angeles mein shoot ki gayi hai - aur har scene mein America ka ek naya location pesh kiya gaya hai.
Waise to film mein saare masale hai - jaise bade bungle - badi gaadiyaan-
bada pariwar – thoda dialogue baazi – thoda dhishum dhishum - aur
Wahe Guru ki shaan mein naach gaana...
Phir bhi baat nahi banti aur iski wajah hai - film ka overemphasized message jo bhashan banker reh jaata hai.
I Am Singh Sikhon ke right of religion ka mudda uthate uthate –
Jehad – Saddam Hussain aur Al Qaida – tak pohanch jati hai.
Aadhi se zyada film angrezi mein hai - aur woh bhi bagair subtitles ke.
Agar aap Los Angeles ko theatre mein baithkar dekhna chahte hai - to ye film aap ke liye hai - warna nahi!!
I Am Singh ko film ke production values par bohat saara kharch karne ke liye milte hai 2 ** stars.




Ab baat karte hai Balaji films ki The Dirty Picture ki.
2010 mein Balaji Films, director Milan Lutharia aur writer Rajat Arora ne humme - 70s ke daur ke underworld ki kahani di thi - Once Upon a Time
Iss baar yehi team - 80s ke daur ki cinema ki kahani laayi hain - The Dirty Picture



Film teen hisson mein batti hain:

Pehla - Reshma ka ghar aur gaon chodkar Madras ke bade - bade studios mein - struggle karna.

Doosra - Reshma ka Silk banjana aur showbiz ki duniya par raaj karna...

Teesra- Silk ka slow and steady downfall!!

Kaise ek badi superstar kamyaabi ke shikhar se girti hai…bikharti hai…aur tootti hai….
In teeno shaandar phases ko - 2 ghante aur 20 minute ke safar mein - alag roop aur rang mein pirroyya hai - director Milan Lutharia ne.
Is kaam me director ka saath diya hai - unusually talented writer aur lyricist Rajat Arora ne…
Rajat jiss shiddat aur sachai se apne har kirdar ko pesh karte hai - aisa lagta hai hum ussi yug ke yatri hain aur har character ko karibise jante hain...
Film ka music-sets-locations-props- art design-phir woh uss daur ke alishan studios ho -larger than life posters-cinema halls – magazine offices- fashion ya uss samay ki prevailing morality - sab kuch realistic
aur detailed hai…
Impala cars – decorative phones aur Go Go glasses se - Maruti gaadiyaan aur Levis jeans ka safar – khatta meetha - tedha medha – dher saari pareshaniyon aur attitude se bhara hai.
Iska shrey jaata hai - to a large extent - film ki khatti meethi heroine Vidya Balan ko.
Tel mein bandhi chotti aur phhatte ghagra choli mein liptti - gaon ki gori Reshma - shaher ke jhopdon mein rehti hai - aur sitaron ke sapne dekhti hai…
Jab uske sapne sach hone lagte hai - woh na sochti hai - na mehsoos karti hai-bas azad panchi ki tarha aasman mein uddti hai.

Silk manti hai - ke zindagi ko jee bharke jeena chahiyye.
Woh khulke hansti hai aur dilse bolti hai…
Samay ke saath woh – mirchi se zyada tikhi - zehar se zyada kaddvi - aur sharab se zyada nasheeli banti jaati hai…
Iske bawajood - woh paani ki tarha paak aur sheeshe ki tarha saaf hai - jiski wajah se uske dushman bhi use pyaar karte hai!
Film ka har character - superstar Suryakant – uska bhai Ramakant – director Abraham - aur producer Keedadas - apne aap mein lajawab hai.
Koi film perfect nahi hoti aur The Dirty Picture mein bhi khamiyaan hain:
Vidya jab English words bolti hai to who gaon ki ladki nahi lagti.
Film thodi edit hosakti thi - ekada gana kum hosakta tha - aur Vidya ki amma ki bhumika mein koi behtar performer ko liya ja sakta tha…

In chote mote flaws ke baawajood The Dirty Picture ek immensely
entertaining aur emotional experience hai…

Film me beshumaar yaadgaar pal hai jaise …
…Jab Silk mahinon tak ghar mein qaid rehne ke baad - kissi se baat karne ke liye tarasti hai - aur khalli sadak par raat ko chheekhti hai… to aapko goosebumps hotey hai.
…Jab woh nashemein choor - speeding traffic ke beech - chehra chuppati - ladkhadaati hai… aapko ghabrahat hoti hai.
…Jab woh film journalist Nayla ke ghar ke bahar tamasha karti hai… aapko uspar taras aata hai.
….Aur jab woh award function mein speech deti hai… aapka taaliya bajane ka man hota hai
The Dirty Picture - ko hum ek baagi ki kahani bata sakte hai - jisne zindagi ko ko apne oosulon par jeeya…
Ya phir - isse hum ek victim ki kahani bata sakte hai - jiska sabne ek Boarding Card ki tarha istimaal kiya…
The Dirty Picture mainstream cinema ke itihaas mein ek nayya panna
paltati hai.
Vidya Balan apne bejhijhak - robust and flawless performance se Hindi cinema mein heroines ke liye ek nayi jagah kayam karti hai...
The Dirty Picture ko dil kholkar 'Oh la la…' ke saath milte hai 5 ***** stars.


Cinema Review / Zee Cinema Friday 9PM
92.7 Big FM Saturday-Sunday 

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Slogan of Life


Life is a great teacher and as you travel the passage of time, you learn many valuable lessons which unknowingly become the slogan of your life.  

Interestingly, these slogans are always very simple and invariably imparted by those precious to you in life, like a parent or a teacher, somebody who is older and wiser. 
Most people have a solitary slogan and they follow it determinedly like one follows a spiritual guru. I’m privileged to imbibe many slogans from many precious people in my life...
On top of my list is my Girl Guide motto learnt in the school. The teach taught us to raise three fingers of the right hand say- Be Prepared- as a result I’m always prepared for every moment and every day…. 
Being a journalist trains me to court adventure. It trains me that there are no permanent enemies and no permanent friends. There is nothing like never in life and you can re-open any door, cross any barrier and trespass any boundary. It is the way you do it that matters.
My mother’s favourite line in time of crisis and which is my guiding force is ‘When you have too much to do and feel stressed, don’t think, start doing it and you will discover that all tasks will be accomplished.’  
I have followed her advice and always succeeded in my endeavours. She also said that when committing to a deadline always seek for a morning rather than evening deadline for in case you are unprepared then you have the entire night to work on the project and yet deliver on time. 
Mother said another simple thing which was precious. She said ‘Never be in a hurry to say ‘no’ be it a personal or a professional issue because if you have said ‘yes’ you have the liberty to change your mind but if you have said an outright ‘no’ it is complicated to change it to ‘yes’. I have tried this theory as well and it has worked!
There were some strategies I have mastered on my own. When ever I'm given an option of two dates for attending a screening or a play, as a rule I always pick the first option. There is a reason for this. In the frenzy of my activities in case I'm unable to attend the event on the first date, then I still have the second option. But if I had agreed to the second date I lose both the opportunities.
The last slogan and this comes from a superstar, is to submit to destiny. He said when the door opens you have to trust fate and put your foot inside. If  you are able to get half a foot inside the door there is a possibility that you will be able to the full foot and after a while the other foot inside as well. And once you are inside the door destiny plays its cards while you watch life change slowly and gradually.’

It has for me and I have never failed to submit to the moment. There is only problem though. Whenever I’m putting my foot inside any open door I can only imagine an extra large foot size rather than my small foot print and that's what makes the moment all the more magical.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Desi Boyz Entertains



Cinema review mein - main Bhawana Somaaya - aap ka swagat karti hoon...
Iss hafte sirf ek hi release hain -Eros International produced aur Rohit Dhawan directed Desi Boyz -jo Australia mein base do doston ki kahani hain...



Jignes Patel - yaane Jerry - jo college drop out hain aur mall mein security guard ki naukri karta hain.
Nickey Mathur jo Banker hain - aur bohat jald Radhika - yane Deepika Padukone ke saath ghar basana chahta hain.
Kahani saal 2009 ke global recession ki hain - jab behtar se behtar qualified candidate naukri khoneke khatre mein tha...
Jerry aur Nick un lakhomein se do hain – Dono dost mahino bekar baithne ke baad – majboori mein Male Escort ki naukri  apna lete hain. 
Ab unke monthly bills ka tension to khatam hojata hain – magar naye problems shuru ho jate hain…
Nick Radhika ko sach batanese darta hain - aur Jerry apne wayward lifestyle ki wajah se apne nephew ki custody kho baithta hain…

Film ka first half - seetiyaan aur taaliyaan bajate hue nikal jaate hain…
Film ki treatment - characters - khas taurpe Milap Zaveri ke dialogues – masledar hain aur kuch popular films ko salaam karte hain.
Saare gaane - aur ganon ke situations- casual choreography –balke dono jodiyon ka romance - nirala hain...
Chitrangda Singh - Akshay Kumar ko - Salsa dance ke  - Economics padhati hain aur Deepike Padukone - guthne par jakar -John Abraham ko propose karti hain.

Problem film ka second half – aur wo bhi film ka climax hain.
Omi Vaidya ka court room drama bohat lamba aur bohat verbose hain...
Film mein kuch dialogues racist hain- jaise Akshay ka colleague - usse Brown bulata hain.
Kuch dialogues sexist hain – jab Akshay apne interviewer ke measurements puchta hain.
Aaur kuch dialogues provocative hain…!
Kuch sawalon ka jawab nahi milta…
Deepika Padukone jab professional architect hain - to kuch kaam kyon nahi karti?
Jerry ka bedroom C grade hotel ki tarha - neon light mein kyon chamkata hain?

Ye chotti chotti khamiyaan aurAkshay Kumar aur Bharti Achrekar ke faulty Gujarati dialect ke bawajood - Desi Boyz -wasool hain – dono heroines, Sanjay Dutt  - aur Akshay John ki super chemistry ke liye.
Yakeen nahi hota - ke entertainment ke zariye bhi- rules ko challenge kiye ja sakte hain.
Pehla-film ka message-ke padhne ke liye koi bhi ummar nahi hoti...
Doosra- film har stereotype ko todti hain- Desi Boyz  ki maa – bachha- girlfriend - ya hero –koi bhi melodramatic nahi hain!
Teesra- director Rohit Dhawan - beer mug se flashback shuru - aur dialogue se flash back  end karke – ek nayi missal kayam karta hain.

Desi Boyz shayad pehli adult theme hain - jahan for a change – heroine ke badle- hero ko object ki tarha pesh kiya gaya hain…
Aur item number jo aam taurpe- male fantasy ke baare mein hote hain- iss baar- female fantasy ko izhaar karta hain...
Desi Boyz ko milte hain 3*** stars.



Cinema Review / Zee Cinema Friday 9PM
92.7 Big FM Saturday-Sunday   

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Mobile HELPS!!


For all the folks with cell phones -this should be printed and preserved in your car, purse, and wallet. Good information to have with you.
There are a few things that can be done in times of grave emergencies.
Your mobile phone can actually become a life saver or an emergency tool for survival.
Check out the things that you can do with it:



1.Emergency Number:
The worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile network and there is an Emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly, this number 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked.
Try it out.

2. Locked Keys in Car
Have you locked your keys inside the car? Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone:
If you lock your keys inside the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone.
Hold your cell phone about a foot away from your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end.
Your car will unlock. Try it you will be pleasantly surprised. Distance is no criteria.
You could be hundreds of miles away but if you can reach someone who has the other 'remote' for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).

3.Hidden Battery Power
Incase your cell battery is very low and you don’t know how to activate, press the keys *3370#.
Your cell phone will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery.
This reserve will get charged when you charge your cell phone next time.

4. How to disable a stolen mobile phone? 
To check your mobile phone's serial number, key in the following digits on your phone: A 15-digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe.
If your phone is stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless.
You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either.
If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.

5.Free Directory Service for Cells
Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more for 411 information calls when they don't have to.
Most of us do not carry a telephone directory in our vehicle, which makes this situation even more of a problem. When you need to use the 411 information option, simply dial:
(800) FREE411  (800) FREE411 or  (800) 373-3411  (800) 373-3411 without incurring any charge at all.  Program this into your cell phone now.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

A way of life called IPTA


The first time I heard about IPTA was from my father, Madhavji Mavji Somaaya. Father was madly attracted to theatre and was an active patron of Gujarati rangbhoomi.



In the late 70s when I became a film journalist, he often asked me why I only interviewed cinema artists and never theatre personalities. In the 80s when I became friends with Shabana Azmi, father’s first question was, “Is she as actively involved with IPTA as her parents?”
 As I spent more time in the Azmi household, I found my answers. Through recurrent plays and seminars I attended with the family, I discovered that IPTA is like a fountainhead which enriched its members unconsciously. There is a fatal attraction about the group that once you are a part of it you cannot live away from it.
For the young members growing up in a stimulating atmosphere of poetry and songs, IPTA has assured a smooth transition where in they have transformed from passive recipients to active participants. It is said that in the olden days when Pt. Nehru was busy fighting for the independence of India, he asked little Indira to initiate a vanar sena and assist senior party members. The exercise proved a great training ground for the young leader. Senior members at IPTA follow a similar philosophy. They inspire young members to come forward and charge and the juniors have almost never let them down.
 Be it- the premiere of a play, a garden party to celebrate a successful event, or a regular festival the juniors were in time to come seen forming a choir, participating in plays and organizing festivals. They cheerfully assumed responsibilities and the seniors supported them wholeheartedly, taking them into the fold of the creative wave.
Every year IPTA hosts an Inter Collegiate Drama Competition (ICDC) put together by the junior members. In the monsoon of 2008 I had the privilege of participating in the competition as jury and spent an entire day at Tejpal Auditorium. It was my first exposure to such a festival and proud to watch Shaily Sathu lead her vanar sena  with affection and focus. From 11a.m to 11p.m the team went about their chores which included receiving guests from the entrance to monitoring the Green Room.
When it was time for grand finale and prize distribution, the ambience was eclectic! The auditorium reverberated with loud cheering and clapping. Some played the drums and others blew trumpets very similar to a World Cup celebration. It’s the kind of excitement only young people can trigger. Nobody cared who won or lost and the losers were as much a part of the revelry as were the winners.
At midnight when the show ended and the senior members got together to relish a drink, the juniors were still packing backstage; tired yet high in their own spirits.
Over the decades I have watched these young members grow from adolescents and adults to parents, I have interacted with them on different occasions and different moods and marveled at how they have balanced their studies, careers, home, children yet always made time for IPTA...
I guess they were able to do it because for most of them IPTA is more than a movement; it is a way of life… Just as ICDC is more than a festival; it is a celebration of that way of life.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Farewell Childhood


Almost every one I know turns nostalgic when they talk about their childhood. They describe the days gone by in glorious terms, filled with innocence and abandon. I disagree. I believe that people who tend to romanticize the past are people who are unable to deal with the present.



I can deal with my present and I have no hesitation to admit that childhood for me was far from the carnival it is made out to be and thank God I’m not alone in this thought process. Pt. Ram Shastri, F.Scot Fitzgerald, Javed Akhtar, Sant Gyaneshwar have written extensively about their early anguished days. It is believed that most creative people have a troubled past because of which they transform into artistes.

I don’t know why but we are reared to believe that childhood is blissful while in reality it is an extremely turbulent, lonely and often frightening phase. It is a phase when you have so many questions and almost no answers.

Psychiatrists say that if adults peeped into the hearts and minds of their children they will never recognize themselves. Hindi films portray the young hero and heroine running into forests and plucking jamuns from a tree. In reality the sepia images are far from lyrical.

On many occasions I have tried to recreate my past in to postcards but unlike our films the images get blurred and dissolve. When I concentrate harder, incomplete visuals fall like dew-drops on my blank canvass and I weave my own story, part fact and part perspective.

I recall hazy images…

…A two year-old huddled in a cloth cradle placed in the centre of the room very often filled with guests and conversations. Young as I am I understand that getting out of my space will be an invasion into the adult world so I stay in my cradle soundlessly without stirring for hours...Only sometimes when the guests overstay and I’m uncomfortable I call out to my mother and ask, “Ma have the guests left..?” The guests are amused by my shyness and the family almost proud of my self control. “It is extra-ordinary to depict such restraint at such a tender age” they say.

Strange, nobody pauses to ponder what goes on in a child’s head…Why I behave the way I do. Can it be because most of the time adults are too busy and don’t pay adequate attention to children or perhaps they don’t sense anything amiss in their surrounding?

If I jog my memory further I recall a rope swing tied to the balcony door of our old home facing a crowded street. Every evening I’m put on this swing and pass my time watching the hawkers and the vendors. At dusk when my elder brother returns home after a tired day’s work he gently pushes my saddle and says to mother, “She sits there looking out of the window day after day…wonder what she thinks.”

We assume most of the time that children are day-dreaming but my brother had given thought to my silences and he was right. I was thinking. Day after day I was worrying about the vendors on the street… I was worrying about how they would carry their belongings and find their way home...Was I clear in my head to express this to them…? If I had would it not have frightened my parents..?

Today as I sit on my desk to write this article many montages play in my mind…

I remember my first visit to a Railway Station accompanied by my father. He bought our tickets at a modest window and then led me through a crowded passage to a tall bridge. It was a mighty iron bridge with circular design on the steps. I refused to climb the bridge for I feared slipping down from the little holes. My father was worried. He pushed three fingers inside the circular design and demonstrated why I could never fall down the steps. “You will fall down only if the bridge collapsed” he explained.
I remembered that. After that I prayed every night that the bridge must never collapse. One day, I forgot to pray. I was certain that the bridge had collapsed! In the morning I rushed to the balcony and was surprised to find the bridge in place. I felt betrayed. Had I wasted my precious time in worrying for an unworthy cause? My heart and mind was restless with questions but there was nobody to provide me answers.
I assumed I would resolve all my conflicts when I attended school but those were hectic days burdened with accountability. The school bag, the rain coat, the water bottle...One had to remember to wear the canvass shoes for the PT class, the salwar and ghungroos for the dance class, the Guide uniform for the extra curricular activities…Every day the time-table had to be checked, the home-work completed, uniform ironed and shoes polished.
There was too much to learn in too little time...How to walk in the rain and the floods, how to catch the bus on time and solve the Algebra sum, how to wash the lunch box and put it in your bag, how to cover the books and put the labels, how to remember the lessons, recite poetry and make presentation on the annual day.
It was a turbulent phase filled with self doubt and as time went by the anxieties only multiplied. The pressure of better grades, the pain of puberty, the rivalry in the class room, the embarrassment of pimples, the changing attitude of those around and the changes in your own body language. There was too much to cope and too little support.
Childhood was a lonely world…
Then one day, I still remember clearly, the family was travelling to a relative’s home by the BEST bus. As children we were trained to grab an empty seat to prevent from falling down in a moving bus. So that day like every time I charged towards an empty seat and was about to plonk when my older sibling pulled me up and seated my mother instead. I was confused by her action and when we got off at our destination asked her about it. “Because” she explained, “You have become a big girl now and Mother has turned old. It is her turn to be protected by us.”
I was not sure if I had heard it right but when I looked up the skyline appeared different colour that day. My sister’s words reverberated in my ears and in days to come there was ample proof of it. Anupam Kher once said in my interview that when we grow old it is usually others who make us aware of it. How true because a few days later for the first time Father sought my opinion on purchasing a new dinning table...Suddenly the older girls in the building did not stop whispering when I joined them...Suddenly I stopped enjoying being with my younger cousins.
Finally the umbilical chord with childhood was broken. Finally I had my passport to adulthood. Finally I was free to inhale and exhale, to make my choices and pursue my vision without seeking permission. I was free to make judgements, follow my path and speak my mind without interference. I was free to live my life and make mistakes, to regret or rejoice, to exercise caution or be reckless.
Unlike school or college adult life was a spinning ride without trappings. It provided all the answers I had been looking for all my life. Now I shopped my clothes, purchased my jewellery, decided the menu and even planned my investments. There was not a single door I did not know how to open or a single conflict I could not resolve. I knew how to win friends and influence people. I knew how to negotiate a better deal for myself at work place and when relationships soured, I knew how to restore them. I was no more weighed down by domestic or moral dilemmas.
I never missed my childhood and never craved for the days to return. Perhaps people who do are people who fear looking ahead. They fear getting old. I don’t because the older I get the wiser I turn. So what if there are a few grey strands in my hair today and my reflexes have slowed but ‘m less anxious and more enriched today than I was as a child.  According to me the real picnic begins now and there are innumerable examples before us. Indira Gandhi…Dhirubhai Ambani…MFHussain…Dev Anand…Lata Mangeshkar and Amitabh Bachchan have never looked back only ahead.
It is time we stop glorifying the flashback scenes where the hero and the heroine get lost in the dense forest and climb on to jamun trees…Who cares for the sepia tones. I want to lead my life in rainbow colours complete with Dolby sound. I don’t want to look back…Only forward.