Jun 21, 2011

The Sea and the Telephone

Remember, that walk in lush green ground
The moon above and the glittery surround
How every foot-tap made you wonder
Has anyone seen us dancing to tunes of destiny

How easily together we got things done
Sunshine in a rainy night or shade in the scorching sun
Now that you are not here, the sun burns bright
The wind does not blow, sky is torn by strife

Distances can never keep our feelings apart
What if not together, we’ll make a new start
Because love is incomplete without a stringent test
This too shall pass with a bit of agony and some jest

When you are sad, feeling lonely in the big bad city
Go to the sea-shore, find peace and me in the vicinity
Make a palace of sand and decorate it with pebbles
We will be kings and queens of those famed fables

After the sea calms down, drowning the orange sun,
I will wait near that old Beetel telephone.
The tring-tring sounds like a orchestral melody,
And red blinker resembles a star that has always shone.

The days of separation won't last long
Our love would have its final swansong
Whenever your heart beats faster or you are alone
Find me somewhere near the sea and the telephone.

Jun 12, 2011

This 'Shaitan' Packs a Punch!

Very few films make you happy after disturbing you to the core. Even fewer films engross you to an extent where you do not mind watching blood and gore on screen. To be honest, I have a very weak heart, I can not stand too much of violence, blood and other 'dark' domains. It is here that a film like Shaitan scores brownie points. It makes you a 'Shaitan' for that duration of nearly two hours. You become a part of that extraordinary ordeal and your innermost demons rule roost, without your conscience realizing the same.

Shaitan is the story of five friends (Emmy, Zubeen, KC, Dash, Tanya) who in the process of getting their asses saved get involved in a series of botched crimes. The film beautifully sketches the lives of affluent youngsters who devastate their lives by committing crimes which are more circumstantial than intentional. Shaitan quite correctly depicts youngsters as sexual, compulsive, edgy and aggressive. It reveals the dark undercurrent that lies beneath youth's trendy outfits, cool demeanor and attractive persona. 

Revealing too much about the storyline of the film would not be justified, as there is a wafer thing plot in first place. All I can say is that Shiatan is the sum total of umpteen 'judgmental errors' made by the characters in a matter of few hours. 

The film never gives you a chance to recover. It weaves a certain magic around you, which does not let you come out of the lives of those five friends. Apart from subtle doses of psychotic behavior, erratic waves inside a youth's mind and dark emotions, the film also dishes out some very basic, simple and 'worth-repeating-numerous-times' kind of lessons. I extracted the following lessons from the film:
  • Always be very careful in selection of your friends
  • Drug addiction is worse than death, it kills life every time it plans to resurrect itself
  • And the most important, committing a new crime is never the best way to hide your criminal past

The film boasts of splendid performances. The entire ensemble cast of Shaitan breathes fire from scene one. There are no mediocre or even average actors involved here. Kalki Koechlin (in the role of Emmy) is the show stealer, she is one of those rare new talents in the industry who can enact both a 18-Year Old and a 80-Year Old with utmost ease. Rajeev Khandelwal (as Inspector Mathur) is super effective in the role of a frustrated cop, while Shiv Pandit (Dash) comes of age in the role of a mysterious drug peddler cum friend of other 4 central characters.

Gulshan Devaih (KC) and Neil Bhoopalam aka Zubeen (Who enacted Shayan Munshi's role in No One Killed Jessica) are terrific. Their peculiar behavior in first half of the film is sure to enthrall the audiences. Kirti Kulhari looks gorgeous as Tanya Sharma and emotes really well in the second half. Also, Rajat Barmecha (of Udaan Fame) appears in a very interesting cameo. 

The director, Bejoy Nambiar, deserves rich accolades for not faking the dark theme. There is strong logic behind every crazy move that characters make in the film. Abuses, dirty jokes fly around but they do not look vulgar. They complement the mood and tone of the film. The director maintains a hawk like grip over the proceedings, throughout the film. He gets into the psyche of Shaitan just so beautifully. Also, I laud Anurag Kashyap for producing a film like this. His taste for anything dark is quite legendary now, but this one is dark as well as beautiful.

Special credit must be given to the scintillating background score (Ranjit Barot), captivating cinematography (Madhie) and impactful dialogues (Abhijeet Deshpande). These are the three pillars of Shaitan on which hinges the overall receptivity of the film. 

There are a few glitches too. Rajiv Khandelwal's marriage on the rocks track looks futile. Also, the ending leaves you begging for more. But nevertheless, the movie as an entire package packs a massive punch. Shaitan is cunning, disturbing, dark, witty, gory, edgy, racy and scintillating.

This one is the best 'beat-the-heat-deal' on offer. Grab it!


Rating: **** (Very Good) 

P.S.: Do not watch it if you are below 18. Strictly Not. Few scenes are indeed very disturbing. Be Strong. And your girlfriend might develop symptoms like nausea and headache, if you plan to watch the film with her.

Jun 10, 2011

A (Drunk) Man's Best Friend

Alcohol is my way of getting closer to the almighty. I experience orgasmic illusions, divine hallucinations and several other visual/non-visual sensations of this order, every time I am drunk. You may find me weird but try and get into my psyche. You will understand what I mean. That feeling of being ‘free’ and ‘on top of the world’ can only be achieved when a certain amount of alcohol embraces your blood.

My friend CB is an asshole, a teetotaler to be precise. I never wish CB long life on birthday. What’s the point of living a long life when it’s not sprinkled with colorful, volatile and semi-soluble liquids. You may think that I am very rude, how can I say such things about a person whom I call as a friend. But I don’t mind that you think this way, I am sure CB would not take it otherwise. CB is a sweetheart, like a tiny little bird residing in a cozy nest.


I have always tried to locate a best friend in my life. You know it's very necessary that you have a best friend in your life. Not only he/she is supposed to help you swim across troubled waters, double your joy when you are happy and provide unconditional support, but also make it to the ‘featured friends’ section of Facebook. A best friend should be like a movie poster, glitzy and glamorous, worth attaching your name with.

Let’s rule out women from contention straightaway. All men suffer from some serious diseases related to adrenalin and libido. How so ever, asexual they might pretend to be, there would be a moment in time, when they will think for her ‘that way’. And needless to say, women as best friends would bring in some unwanted baggage like commitment, truthfulness, decency, secretiveness, loyalty and several other such humongous concepts. And most importantly, she would never ever let a sexy, smoldering-hot girlfriend enter your life. If given a chance, she would hook you up with a cow or a duck for that matter.

Those who say that things like books, music and teddy are their best friends are great losers. They just try and hide the fact that they do not have a best friend in their life. You must have a living thing by your side, when you require. What’s the point in crying while submerging your face inside the teddy, when all it can do is quickly soak the salty liquid.

I also rule out Girlfriend and family members from the list. I will not explain, why I have left them out. I am drunk, you are supposed to be in senses. And if you are in senses, you would know that being a 'man' you would never share all your secrets with your Girlfriend (Until you happen to be a pet dog) or with any of your family members (Until you are straight out of some daily soap).

That leaves me only with the option of men. A man can be a man's best friend. Yes of course, they can share dirty jokes, collaborate in women scanning, sit over for a drink, smoke, the list is endless. But, is that all in a man's life? Perhaps, I am coming back to my senses, so whatever I say now onwards is supposed to be taken seriously.

Why men bond only over women, drinks, cricket and things like that? Why do they talk less and hope to be understood more? What makes them so egoistic, stubborn when it comes to reacting to situations and persons ? No answers. No one has answers.

"For us friendship is like a engine that never runs out of gas. We kick around but leave imprints rather than cracks." I continued with my sermon.

"Please shut up. I have been hearing this all night long" CB finally spoke up.

"Look, I am not drunk. But, I feel like telling it to you. You are my best friend. You are exceptional" I shook vigorously while speaking. CB smiled at me. 

"You also consider me as your best friend. Say, yes." I was expectant.

"Yes, we are good friends." CB said

"Why just good friends, why not best friends, just because I am drunk. No one wants to be Drunk Man's Best Friend. Sad!" I was disappointed.

"Look into my eyes, can you see something" 

Next moment, I was kissing CB (Chetna Bakshi) passionately. She became A Drunk Man's Best Friend, at least for next few minutes..err..Hours. 

P.S. : There must have been some very good logic while designating the role of 'A Man's Best Friend" to Dogs.  

Jun 4, 2011

Film Review: Ready

Morning shows the day. Whosoever said this, must have been a man/woman with great wit and intelligence. When all the supposed Special appearances of Ready winded up within first 15 minutes of the film, I knew I was being taken for a ride. There was no logic whatsoever to cram Sanjay Dutt, Arbaaz Khan, Ajay Devgan, Kangana Ranaut and that Katrina Look alike (she finally has flab at right places) in the initial reels of the film. Cameos and special appearances are supposed to be ‘significant’ for the film, they are supposed to add some value. Only Zarine Khan had something to do as she sizzled in the character dheela number while Ajay and Sanjay looked completely out of place. I instantly got a feeling, Salman Khan, family (Arbaaz and Sohail, the producer) and friends (Sanjay, Kangana, Zarine) have made this film for fun, they must have had a gala time shooting in picturesque island of Sri Lanka.

So how is Ready? Firstly, it’s not just a no-brainer but actually a non-film, a tangy docu-drama, whose sole purpose is to glorify and further glorify the Larger than life image of Salman Khan, the lead protagonist. Nothing wrong with it. Salman Khan is a mega-star who is perhaps going through the purple patch of his career. In fact, he does give that periodic feeling of Vintage Salman. I mean only he can pee on a hay stack and ask you to go into interval and look cunningly at the audiences every time after getting hold of Asin’s Body. He plays it to the gallery and deserves all the sities and taalis. But…

There are several moments in the film when you feel like holding the director (Anees Bazmee) by his collar and ask him, “WHY”? This man has been dishing out rotten potatoes to the movie-goers for years now. I have seen good side of him (Deewangee, Pyar To Hona Hi Tha), he can be a master at comedy too (No Entry) but off late he seems to be driven by moolahs only. What explains his precarious decision of working on three films simultaneously (No Problem, Thank You, Ready). Even Ram Gopal Verma would be ashamed of such audacity. Bazmee virtually made No Entry Part 2 in form of Thank You (by the way, No Entry 2 is still on!), now he picks up Welcome’s script, replaces Bhais with mamas, expands the family on both sides and makes Ready! Outrageous.

Ready has no story to write about. There are simply too many characters. Salman has three uncles (sorry two if you do not count Paresh, his adopted uncle), each uncle has a wife. He has a father too, who also has a wife. Then there are two maids in his house, a Guruji and his accomplice. Asin’s family tree is worse. She has two Mamas, respective mamis, a rowdy cousin and the entire goon clan of the Chaudharies, as they call themselves.Thankfully, her parents are dead.

The entire first half is wasted in establishing the characters. Story and screenplay not just have loopholes but huge potholes. Talented actors like Paresh Rawal, Sharat Saxena, Akhilendra Mishra, Manoj Pahwa and Mahesh Manjerekar (he repeats Suneil Shetty's Act in Awara Pagal Deewana) have been terribly wasted. Only Sudesh Lahiri (of Comedy Circus fame) manages to tickle your bones. I have a feeling that director or the script writer contributed little to his achievements, his stint at Comedy Circus and his own sense of comedy saved the day for him. Asin Thottumkal needs to pay attention to her skin. Her face appears to be pimplified through out the film. For acting part, she is her natural self, vibrant in whatever little she has got to do.

Salman is the only savior. I am sorry, this film was made to show him as the savior. His screen presence his fantastic, you can not take your eyes off him when he is around. He throws some quirky one-liners (Its hilarious when he starts singing Chaudhary ka chand ho), packs some double meaning dialogues too. He is in top form, doing virtually everything possible in front of the audiences.

Music (by Pritam) is Ready's highpoint. Dhink chika and Character Dheela are chartbusters and other songs too suit the mood of the film. There is nothing special about Sunil Kumar's and Thomas Xavier's cinematography. As far as the story and script are concerned, well, JFI (Just Forget It).

I am not a Cinema scholar who tears apart every commercial cake thats on offering. But there should be a limit to what you offer in the name of fultoo entertainer or paisa vasool. The sad part is that makers of Ready seem to be arrogant and non-sensitive, in the way, they serve out this non-sense. Sheer star power of Salman Khan seems to have gone on to their heads rather than the actor himself.

Akshay Kumar too had a similar streak of success some years back. Salman Khan is different from him in the sense that he enjoys much larger and far more loyal fan following. It wont be an exaggeration if I say he is turning to be Rajnikanth of North. Wanted and Dabangg were the perfect fodder, but Ready flatters to deceive.

Final Verdict: You will be disappointed if you expected Ready to be the first big entertainer of the year. You will be exasperated if you thought Ready would give you a relief from scorching heat and overdose of cricket.

I would not state the cliche: The film is strictly for the die-hard Salman fans

My Rating: * 1/2 (Poor)