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.

Saturday 12 November 2011

Rockstar rocks!!

Iss hafte ek hi release hain- Rockstar- aur wo bhi ek khas tarikh ke din- 11.11. 11.
Jiss tarha se khaas avsar ke liye - hum khaas taiyariyaan karte hain - ussi tarha se vishesh film ke liye vishesh tarike se charcha hoti hain.
Iss hafte ki film vishesh bhi hain aur asadharan bhi.
Rockstar ke asadharan honeke ke bohat saare wajah hain…

Pehla- film ka vishay- isse ek prem kahani kaha ja sakta hain - sangit ki kahani kaha ja sakta hain – aur- showbiz ki kahani bhi kaha ja sakta hain.
Magar primarily ye ek superstar musician ki hain- uska sangharsh, uski betaabi aur uska junoon - jo AR Rehman ke music aur Mohit Chauhan aur baaki singers ki awaaz mein aap ko ghayal kardeti hain.

Doosra –film ka screenplay- jo film ki shaan hain!
Director Imtiaaz Ali ne apni peechli film Love Aaj Kal mein bohat hi complex screenplay likha tha.
Iss baar - Imtiaaz Ali aur bhi complicated structure laaye hain jo scale mein aur intensity mein ambitious aur bhi courageous hain.

Teesra- characterization- Iske pehle humne bohat saari biopic filmein dekhi hain-
magar Delhi mein rehne wala -Stephen college mein padhne wala - guitar bajane wala – Janardan - jab aam aadmi se superstar banta hain -tab uski personal torment - uss yug ke sangit aur saare kalakaron ki uttejna ban jati hain!
Janardan yaane Jordon –kuch violent, kuch impulsive, eccentric aur rasilla character hain.

Chautha – film ka narrative anokha aur unconventional hain.
Imtiaaz Ali apne audience ko underestimate nahi karte hue predictable scenes mein samay vyast nahi karte.
Balke wo koi har sterotype ko todte hain- ye rockstar koi nasha nahi karta.
Kahani mein bohat saare flashbacks aur flash forward hain aur unka technique nirala aur refreshing hain.
Dikhta hain ke director cinema ki paribhasha badal ne ka prayatna kar rahe hain.  

Paanchva -film ka sandesh - aam taurpe filmon mein sandesh bohat hi saral aur direct hota hain.
Filmein ya to positive ya negative hoti hain aur protagonists inspirational ya destructive.
Rockstar ka message complicated hain ke jabtak ek artist gehri chhott nahi khata – wo bada kalakar nahi banta!

Chattha –detailing and excelling in every department jaise costume, lyrics, choreography, cinematography aur sabse zyada- dialect aur dialogues.
Jo kuch bhi har kirdar sochta hain, bolta hain, mehsoos karta hain saccha lagta hain. Kuch dialogues aapke dil mein ghar kar lete hain jaise ‘Kandh machete hain…’ ya ‘Control nahi hota…’ ya phir ‘Hug karte hain…’

Saatva- saare ke saare lajawab performances- Debutante Nargis Fakhri phoolo se zyada khupsurat aur sheeshy se zyada nazuk hain.
Shehnaivadak ki bhumika mein Shammi Kapoor apne Aakhri performance mein effortless aur restrained hain. Unke screen par aate hi bahar aa jati hain.
Aur aakhir mein Ranbir Kapoor.
Unka uthna – baithna -ruthna –shor machana aur khas taurpe- guitar bajana aur professional singer ki tarha gaana-saaf nazar aata hain ki unhone ye kirdar ko har pal jiya hain.
Janardan ki bewqoofiyaan aur Jordon ka junoon- aap ko har pal Ranbir ke expressionsaur khamoshiyon mein nazar aate hain.

Har film mein kuch khamiyaan hoti hain. Rockstar mein khamiyaon dhoondni padti hain. Bohat sochne ke baad maine kuch nuks nikale hain:
Ranbir Kapoor jab Janardan tha to unke bohat saare dost hote the- wo saare dost kahan gaye? Unka zikr kahi na kahi to aana chahiyye tha…
Ranbir itna bada rockstar hain magar hum ek baar bhi usse apne ghar mein nahi dekhte…
Nargis Fakhri ki Heer puri tarha se convincing nahi hain. Wo hero ko instigate bhi karti hain aur peeche bhi hatti hain…
Film ka pace dheema hain aur interval ke baad  thoda aur bhi dheema ho jaata hain…

Producer Dhillin Mehta aur director Imtiaaz Ali ki Rockstar ko hamara purri tarha se manoranjan karneke liye Rockstar ko milte hain 4****

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

Monday 7 November 2011

Tulsi resides in the hero’s heart...

Day 3

A fortnight after the grand Diwali celebration is what the Hindu calendar describes as the Tulsi Vivah. The deities, who have gone into hibernation during the shraadh period, re-emerge to break the mourning period post Diwali. It is after the deity is wedded to the herbal plant that the muhurat is considered auspicious for mortal wedding ceremonies.

There is an interesting story about how this ceremony came to be observed. It is said that Lord Krishna, one day, spotted a beautiful woman Vranda and in his usual prankster style, teased her. A spiritual soul of higher attainment, Vranda was offended by Krishna’s overture and cursed him to turn into a stone till that time she touched him and transformed him to his original avatar.

In her next birth, says the fable, Vranda was born as Tulsi plant and while being sown into the soil touched upon the shaligram stone that transformed it into Lord Krishna. Repentant of his misdeed, Lord Krishna proposed marriage to Tulsi and they lived happily ever after.

The only example I can think of a similar situation in Hindi films is of a gangster (Anil Kapoor) raping a chaste girl Juhi Chawla in Benaam Badshah. Later guilty of his conduct, he offers to marry the rape victim and gradually the two learn to love and respect each other.

Some religious books have a contradictory version of the Tulsi vivah story. According to these, Vranda spotted the alluring Krishna and was mesmerised by his beauty. But coming from a humble origin, she did not muster courage to admit her attraction and died without expressing herself. To salvage her from her suffering, she was re-born as an herbal plant that comes into contact with the shaligram stone. The Lord is overwhelmed by her simplicity and devotion and Tulsi acquires a special place in his heart.

Raaj Kumar playing the nawab in Lal Patthar is drawn to the second lady of the palace for her purity and devotion. The only difference being that while Lord Krishna to establish Tulsi’s position amongst his earlier consorts Rukmini and Satyabhama, pledged that no meal offered to him would be complete without a sprinkle of Tulsi leaves, Raj Kumar is consumed with envy and plots a murder of his wife (Rakhee) and her ‘assumed’ lover (Vinod Mehra).

From the B&W films of Meena Kumari right up to Smriti Irani’s incarnation of Tulsi in Ekta Kapoor’s Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Tulsi has been omnipresent in Hindi films with special song sequences ‘Jyoti kalash chhalke...’ (Bhabhi Ki Choodiyan) devoted to her virtues.

In the ’70s starrer Sanjog, there is an elaborate song sequence where Mala Sinha and Aroona Irani (both married to Amitabh Bachchan) recall mythological tales. It is said that Krishna’s second wife Satyabhama once in an arrogant mood decided to weigh her husband in gold but the scales did not swing. In response, Rukmini, Krishna’s first wife, placed merely two leaves of Tulsi on the scale and the balance tilted. It was Krishna’s way of telling his wives that Tulsi occupies a place in his heart that nobody can take away.

In the ’80s Raj Khosla changed her interpretation from the pious to the pariah on the big screen forever. With just one film Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki where the director symbolised her as the ‘Other Woman’ in hero Goldie Anand’s life, the director dislocated her from Krishna’s heart to the aangan. She was still someone the Lord (hero) loved but not someone who could invade his private territory.

In almost all the films made on extra-marital relationships thereafter, the ‘Other Woman’ was always projected with character traits of Tulsi.

It is more than 25 years but the image has not altered. It will, some day, when some original filmmaker well-versed with Tulsi vivah tradition will redefine the custom and make a film that will return the plant back to where she belonged, Krishna’s heart.

Saturday 5 November 2011

Boring Week.

Namaskar. Cinema Review mein - main Bhawana Somaaya aap ka swagat karti hoon.
Do din baad Tulsi Vivaah hain aur iss tehvar ke hafte mein teen filmein release hone jaa rahi hain.

Pehli producer Jaiprakash aur director Ambrish Singhal ki dus saal purani aur dibben mein bandh Tension Door.Com.
Gopal gaon se shehar jaane ke dauran achanak - apni sunneki shakti kho baithta hain.
Bohat doctoron ko dikhane ke bawajood Gopal ka ilaaj nahi hota.
Phir ek din achanak - Gopal sunne lagta hain aur saath saath logon ke dil ki baat bhi padh sakta hain.
Gopal ka dost - ussse apni shakti ka sahi upyog karneka rasta batata hain.
Gopal aur uska dost - ek dukan kholte hain - jahan sabke tension wo door karte hain!

Agar aap apne sunne - aur sehan karneki shakti ko salamat rakhna chahte hain- to film se kosso door rahiye warna tension to door ki baat hain -aapko migrane guaranteed hoga!.
Tension Door. Com ko ek bhi star nahi milta

Jab Loot shuru hoti hain to aisa lagta hain ke producer Sunil Shetty ko kuch naya karne ja rahe hain.
Ek bhi bada star na hote hue star cast interesting hain aur characters well sketched.
Kahani char choron ki hain jo hamesha kuch na kuch gadbad karte rehte hain.
Unke boss Dalip Tahil unko ek mission ke liye Pataya bhejte hain.
Pataya mein Ravi Kissen Ghalib padhta hain aur Mahesh Manjrekar par nazar rakhta hain.
Manjrekar aate jaate goli chalata hain aur apne boss Prem Chopra ko khatam karneka plan banata rehta hain.
Prem Chopra Dalip Tahil ka dushman hain aur Dalip Tahil teenon heroe ke dushman.
Prem Chopra video pe Pakeezah dekhte rehte hain aur aadmiyon se qatal karwate hain.

Dhai ghante tak – saare actors Mumbai se pataya aur wapas Mumbai ghumte rehte hain bagair kissi loot ya anjaam ke.
Film ki writing crass hain aur dialogues zaroorat se zyada crude.
Kahani ka na sarr hain –na paun – na dil – na dimaag!
Loot ko milte hain keval ek1* star

Producer Anuj Saxena aur director Tanveer Khan ki Miley Na Miley Hum ek saaf suthri parivarik kahani hain - jo na kahi se adapted hain - na remake hain - aur na hi kissi Hollywood film se churayi gayi hain.
Ek muddat ke baad hum ek original kahani dekhte hain aur sirf iss baat ke liye - writer director Tanveer Khan ko daat deni chahiyye.
Film ka hero Chirag Paswan – apne maa baap Poonam Dhillon aur Kabir Bedi ka beta hain jo alag rehte hain.
Chirag ek mahina apni maa ke saath aur ek mahina apne pita ke saath guzarta hain aur dono ko beshumar pyaar karta hain.
Poonam aur Kabir ke apne bete ke liye bohat saare sapne hain aur Chirag ke apne khud ke liye alag sapne hain…
Chirag agar maa ke sapne purre karta hain to baap naraz hota hain aur baap ke sapne purre karta hain to maa ruth jaati hain…
Aise mein Chirag - Kangana Ranaut ka saath - ek plan banata hain - aur ye plan - film ki USP hain.
Beshaq Chirag aur Kangana ke beech rishta aur bhi khupsurat hosakta tha, film thodi edit bhi hosakti thi. 

Iske bawajood Sajid Wajid ka music, Javed Akhtar ke lyrics, Baba Azmi ki cinematography aap ko pakad ke rakhti hain.
Maa ki bhumika mein Poonam Dhillon sincere hain aur neeli aankhon wala naya chehra Chirag Paswan pehli film ke liye impressive!
Miley Na Miley Hum ko milte hain 2** n half stars.

To ye thi iss hafte ki releases. Agle hafte phir mulaqat hogi. Tabtak ke liye mujhe dijiye ijaazat. Namaskar.

Cinema Review / Zee Cinema Friday 9PM
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Wednesday 2 November 2011


Chicago International Film Festival is the longest running competitive international film festival in North America. For four decades the mission of the festival has been to present films of the highest quality and recognize those who contribute to their success.
For this they appoint a distinguished jury where names like Christopher Lee, Istvan Szabo, Jacqueline Bisset, Diana Bracho and Satyajit Ray have been a part of the panel in the past.
For The 47 Chicago International Film Festival this year, I was privileged to serve on the jury with four international members.

Now I write my impressions on the films watched during the week long festival and my experience of interacting with members from different countries.

Day1- After14 hour long flight on CIFFs official airline American Airlines from Delhi to Chicago, I arrive with my luggage trolley to Vestibule 5D and recognize the car clearly marked with the festival logo sent to fetch me. It is five in the morning and we drive to 151 West Adams Street where I’m assisted into checking at J W Marriott official hotel sponsor for the festival.

After a few hours of disturbed sleep I meet Jury Coordinator Katie Bormaster in the hotel lobby and learn that this is Boramaster’s fourth year as a coordinator. It is evident that she is well acquainted with the profile of the festival and the jury members. She explains her role is of a facilitator and will be there to resolve all queries related to the screenings.

Over brunch I meet Programme Head Mimi Plauche who introduces me to the other jury members- Hungarian filmmaker Nirmod Antal’s Kontroll won the 2004 Gold Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival. His other features include Vacancy (2007), Armored (2009) and Predators (2010). Film critic and author Leonardo García Tsao writes extensively for Mexico City dailies and has published several books on superstars like Orson Welles and François Truffaut.

Claudia Landsberger co-founder of European Film Promotion (EFP), heads Holland Film, the marketing and promotion agency for Dutch films worldwide and EYE International and Carlitos Ruiz Ruiz, winner of the Silver Award in the Ojo de Iberoamérica Festival in Argentina. His first feature film Lovesickness co-directed by Mariem Pérez Riera won Audience Choice at 2007 CIFF, Best Film & Script at Cartagena Film Festival and Best First Film at Huelva Film Festival.

We are five different people from five different regions united in our love for cinema.  Over coffee and croissants we discuss changing trends in world cinema and a little hesitantly, some details about ourselves. Our screenings begin tomorrow but we have the Red Carpet at Harris Theatre in the evening. The opening film is Last Rites of Joe May, an engaging dramatic film but unfortunately not part of the Competition Section.

The Cultural Centre is hosting a post event party where we meet Founder & Artistic Director of CIFF Michael Kutza. The mood is upbeat and the ambience eclectic at the cocktail party but I’m too sleepy to concentrate on the sea of faces introduced to me and excuse myself to return to the hotel.

Day 2- Jury Coordinator is up and ready to take us through our schedule for the next few days. We are expected to watch approximately 16 films in a week and for those of us who arrive late or have to leave early they have installed a DVD player in the room so that we catch up on the missed screenings.

Two out of the seven days are preserved for the jury deliberations: The first meeting where we ideate, the second where we arrive at a consensus. Programme Head joins the meeting and explains that CIFF has no voice in the jury decisions except for laying the ground rules.

AMC Theatre on River East 21 is the venue for the festival and the jury watches most of the screenings with the audience. As we drive to the location our driver Jim suggests we stop over to check the much talked about Marilyn Monroe statue installed a few blocks away from the theatre. We do. It is awesome!

Our first screening of the festival Giants from Belgium is about two abandoned teenagers left to fend for themselves at their late grand father’s home. A Mark Twain kind of adventure that takes a dark turn expertly captured by director Bouli Lanners. During tea break we discuss the three children and a jury member points out that it’s not fair that we applaud children when credit ought to be go to the director for extracting work out of them. I agree and recall filmmakers like Shekhar Kapur and Aamir Khan from India who ought to have got more credit for Masoom and Taare Zameen Par than they did.

Goodbye First Love dwells on the wedge between parted lovers, a tale of pathos and passion but leaves the audience and the jury unmoved.

Day 3 –It is Saturday and the streets look empty but the theatre is buzzing with excitement. School children escorted in special buses rush inside the theatre to catch a Children’s film in Non Competition Section while youngsters and frail seniors head in the opposite direction. There is a long queue outside Albanian film Forgiveness of Blood a family story of drama and revenge. It’s interesting how the audience invariably make the right choices in film viewing and good for them because the tickets are priced between 10-13 dollars.

After a quick brunch at Hub 51 we head back to AMC to watch two films back to back. Oslo August 31 a homage to the French New Wave on the loneliness and redemption in Norway while Woman in the Fifth is a lose adaptation of Douglas Kennedy’s novel. The problem with unfaithful adaptations is that it falls between two stools and it gets difficult to differentiate fact from fiction. Director Pawel Pawlikowski tries hard but fails to make a mark.

It has been a hard day and we drop our guards to have some fun over champagne and dinner at Twin Anchors Restaurant & Taverm which serves mouth watering delicacies.

Day 4 –The jet lag is taking its toll and I try to fight it by being over productive but it does not help. I decide to sleep a few hours longer and skip breakfast and it is a good decision because I feel infinitely better.

AMC appears deserted today and it is because the screening is exclusively for the jury. We relish the luxury and stretch our legs on the front seats and pass comments. Nobody Else But You is an intriguing story about a small time model whose life holds an uncanny resemblance to Marilyn Monroe and more important her obsession to live the fantasy. Shot in a remote Alps village it’s a thriller combining murder and politics.

A chain of Chicago’s leading restaurants have come together to host luncheons and dinner for festival guests and a nightly lounge Lucky Strike Lanes in the Bowling Alley of AMC building is a permanent meeting spot for delegates and jury to exchange ideas and bond over drinks.

Sometimes we bump into anxious strangers eager to discuss a film they have just watched. Today we meet debutante director Prashant Bhargava from India who is here to screen his film Patang about the kite festival in Ahamdabad, Gujarat.

It is a glorious day and friends tell us that we are lucky because sunshine is unusual for Chicago in the month of October. We have time before the next screening and request Jim to drive us to a spot where we can stroll and soak in the sun. It is a breezy day and every one is in good spirit!

Spiral queue outside screen 2 showing Arabic film Cairo 678- perhaps yet another indicator of the audience choice or maybe they are guided by the synopsis in the festival brochure. The film tells about three Egyptian women from different social backgrounds that fight against their country’s tolerance towards sexual harassment. A brave film where for a change the woman is projected as an oppressor rather than a victim! The story resonates with both genders across social divides and occupies major part of the conversation over dinner at La Scarola.

Day 5- One thought America  and the rest of the world was done with drugs and violence but physical and sexual abuse is a recurrent in all the films showcased in this year’s films  and after a point it becomes overbearing.

Mexican film Miss Bala is a tale of drug trafficking in Baja California inspired by a true story, a yet another tragedy about how once you are in the mafia trade there is no way to get out of it except death!

Director Aki Kaurismaki’s French film Le Havre tells of an ageing shoeshine man Marcel and a young African refugee Idrissa who lands at Marcel’s doorstep in the French port city of Le Havre. It is a story of their bonding but what makes the film interesting is Marcel’s quiet and unexpressed relationship with his ailing wife Kitty. It is a very unusual story with haunting divine moments.

Tyrannosaur is award winning director Paddy Considine’s first feature that follows an unlikely relationship between a violent man and a Christian Goodwill store worker. The film is an eye opener on different kinds of abuse and would have been more appreciated if it was not as violent.

On our way to dinner everybody is all smiles and it is easy to tell which way the jury choices are heading. Our coordinator Katie has by now got used to our mercurial moods, myriad accents and diametrically different sense of humour. Driver Jim is familiar with our favourite seats and opens the right door to help us into the waiting Lincoln, festival’s official car for transportation.

It is a happy evening at Roka Ador and jury members share cheerful anecdotes from their lives. Everybody complains that they are eating too much but when the wine and the food come on the table, nobody is in a mood for restraint. This happens day after day and meal after meal.

Day 6- Japanese film Chronicle of my Mother is about an ageing matriarch in a large, joint family interwoven with complex relationships and unresolved conflicts. The film travels many generations and seasons with sensitive dialogues and seductive cinematography. India has a similar culture to Japan and so I identified with the message while other jury members hated it unanimously. I guess there’s no escaping root...

Iranian films have altered the language of cinema and Mohammad Rasoulof’s Goodbye lives up to the expectations. This one portrays the Iranian world where citizens are made to feel like foreigners in their motherland. Evocatively shot in duo tones of Blues & Blacks Goodbye is achingly invasive and reflects the bleak, hopeless times of oppressive rage but again all members didn’t think the same way.

I’m curious about how the jury will resolve their cultural and aesthetic divides to arrive at a joint decision. There is a possibility that we may disagree and there is also a possibility that we may agree without heart breaks. I look forward to the deliberations and the count down has begun…

Day 7 – Polish film The Mole is about a father and son who make a living out of importing second hand clothes. They have a great equation until an old scandal involving the father errupts their life. The story reflects the turbulent times in Poland when the most conscientious had to make compromises for survival.  

There is a nip in the air today; a sudden chilliness grips us as we wait for the car to drive in. Mimi Plauche had warned us about the infamous wind of Chicago and we finally get to experience it. Blame it on the gloomy clouds but the jury suddenly appears withdrawn... Perhaps everybody is introspecting, mentally making notes of their favourite films. I guess the anxiety of the D day drawing closer.

USA film Joint Body and Uk film Wild Bill reflect contemporary times in their countries but offer no new insights.

Day 8 –The jury has more or less decided on the winners but we still have to go through the last film in the Competition list- Romanian film Best Intentions about an over concerned son obsessed with his mother’s illness. Based on a real life incident in director Adrian Sitaru’s life Best Intentions could have been a path breaking film had it gone beyond personal experience to expose the medical world. It does not and that’s what is disappointing.

After the screening we head directly to CIFF office on 30 E Adams Street and for the first time get a glimpse of the machinery that makes a festival of such magnitude possible. Mimi Plauche goes about her work quietly and efficiently taking care to not invade our creative space. She has cordoned a special room for us to work without interruptions and we are happy to be left alone...

Over steaming cups of fragrant tea we recall films we have watched over the week, express, discuss, ideate. There is room for different perspectives, disagreements, theories, prejudices, defenses and lots of laughter.

Two hours later we are ready to announce our endorsements and invite Michael Kutza into the room. The list is as follows:
The Golden Hugo for Best Film to Le Havre for its simplicity and earnestness in story telling.
The Silver Hugo-Special Jury Prize to Cairo 678 for its social message and presenting of the female gaze. 
The Silver Hugo - Best Actor to Mageed El Kedwayin in Cairo 678 for his sparkling performance of a police inspector devoid of clichés associated with the character.
The Silver Hugo - Best Actress to Livia Olivia in Le Havre for making an impact in a brief almost silent role with her effective presence and expert timing.

Deliberations over, we look forward to our first free day in Chicago. After being captive at the AMC theatre for innumerable hours we look forward to having some fun. We make passionate plans to visit the museum and relish the boat ride touring the city when the clouds turn ominous and the showers ruin our plans

Day 9 – While screenings will continue for the audience at the AMC Theatre till 18 October the closing ceremony today is the finale for the jury.

As we sit together in the auditorium and watch the winners take away their trophies my mind winds back to our first meeting in the hotel lobby. We were all awkward, unsure of how the coming days would go but looking back, we have managed exceedingly well. I suggest to a director member that maybe he should consider making a film on a festival backdrop where jury is a major player in the story. He says he is already working on it and will submit it to the next year festival.