Friday, 27 February 2009

Stalking Lata

Mumbai, 1948
Lata Mangeshkar was on a local train, on her way to meet her guru and music director Kemchand Prakash. It was when she alighted from the train that she noticed a man following her. There were no motor vehicles at that time, so you had to hire a horse carraige to travel. Lata beckoned one and much to her alarm, she saw the man following her in another carraige.

Lata got down at her destination and hurried to her guru's home. On seeing the other carraige stop outside the home, Lata told her guru, " That man has been following me all the time."

The man was already walking towards Prakash's home. Kemchand Prakash smiled and said, "This is Kishore, Ashok's little brother. He is here to learn too..."
That is how the Hindi film playback legends Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar first met.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Oscar or no Oscar...

Even if Slumdog Millionaire had not won at the Oscars, it would still remain a memorable film, a well-told fairy tale story of destiny. Danny Boyle is seen directing Freida Pinto in this still.

The late Heath Ledger's role of Joker in The Dark Knight shall haunt us for ever.

A R Rahman's background score for Slumdog Millionaire is probably not his best when you listen to it, but it gels well with the movie . We wish him many more years in his musical journey.

Sean Penn gets under the skin of Harvey Milk (the first openly gay person to be elected to a government office in the US) and holds our attention like few actors do.

photo courtesy:

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Movie Review: Seven Pounds: A beautiful tragic embroidery

An embroidered cloth looks a chaos of colours on one side; a child would look at it and say, what's the point? One look at the other side, where the meaning erupts before you eyes...
A tragic story of redemption, Seven Pounds unfolds scene after scene like a mystifying jigsaw puzzle. When the pieces finally fit in, is when we see the whole picture. Like we say at the blog, again and again, the best films are best experienced, so go watch the movie at a theatre near you. The less you know, the better.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Movie Review: Billu: Stiff, forced cinema

Billu (Irrfan Khan) is a poor village barber, with a wife (Lara Dutta) and two kids. He struggles to make ends meet, but has courage and dry humour  to withstand it all. Somewhere else, popular film star Sahir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) select's Billu's village as a location for his latest film. How the destinies of these two men unfold makes up the story.

Priyadarshan can't get out of his 'making every scene comic' mode and his dialogue writers make sure we don't laugh at most of the supposed jokes. The climax of the movie is convincing, but by then, it is only a gleam in the otherwise forced-comic-drama-melodrama proceedings.  

Irrfan Khan is splendid as Billu, his expressions convey what is going through the hapless barber's mind, without dialogue too. Shah Rukh Khan, also the film's producer, allows too much hero-worship indulgence , allowing the story to meander further. If only the director had exerted his skill with more creative zeal. Watch it for Irrfan's exercising his great art at work...

What's in a name?
The posters outside the theatre have a white bandage over the word - Barber. Hastly stuck by glue, the paper peels off one of the posters and the former movie title stares at us. So much for democracy and hurt feelings...

Watch the original Malayalam film that is more deftly, simply made - Katha Parayumpol (2007). 

Monday, 9 February 2009

Movie Review: Dev D: Clever, Entertaining and Shockingly Fresh

Dev is a spoilt Punjabi brat, egoistic, sex-crazy, and full of self pity.

Paro is no angel either - along with a wild maniac anger, she is full of lust for the London returned Dev. At the same time, she can 'move on' to marry the brother of Dev's seducer. She does have a heart though.

Chanda has to fight alienation and death after a school MMS scandal and walks right into Chunni, the brothel owner, who makes a college-going studious whore out of her...

The delicious shock one gets from this interpretation of Devdas is refreshing. The intensity drops a bit before the end credits roll, which is a minor tickle for Dev D is an exciting cinematic adventure. It is a risk that works most of the time.

As Dev, Abhay Deol fits in to Anurag Kashyap's drugs, alcohol and flesh canvas. This is his best performance yet, wouldn't call him brilliant yet. This much we can say: Deol and the director walk a brave cinematic road in their choice of films.

Looking forward to your next plunge off the cliff, Abhay and Anurag. Applause for Amit Trivedi's astounding music, the veins of the movie.

All flows fine when…
The perverted Patna Presley's perform Emosonal Attyachar at Paro's wedding, as Dev downs bottle after bottle....

Self-destruction: Abhay Deol is Dev

If looks could kill...Mahie Gill is Paro

Kalki Koechlin is Chanda