Movie Review – The Great Indian Kitchen

[This post was originally published in a Marathi magazine called Palakneeti, published from Pune. You can read the original post on the magazine’s free online version here]

Once upon a time there is this beautiful girl – educated, trained in Indian classical dance, an expert at cooking; and as she grew up in a gulf country, street-smart, too! Because of all these qualities, she is deemed to be a perfect arranged match for the son of a renowned family in Kerala. The prospective bride and groom meet and talk (well, it’s more like stare shyly/ awkwardly at each other and exchange pleasantries –Are we shameless or what to get over-friendly on our first meeting!), while the guests are entertained with mouth-watering snacks (all made fresh and from scratch, of course!).

Everyone is happy about everything, and thus, the wedding happens in great pomp and ardor. The new bride enters the big, traditional family home of her husband, complete with a tiled roof and a courtyard, and gets to know her abode and her world. It’s the first day, and everything seems so nice and new and gentile.

From the next day begins The Great Indian Kitchen! The husband enters the kitchen to have his morning tea, and flirts with the new wife, showers praises on the hot cup of tea she hands him, and leaves the empty cup for her to wash and walks out.

The elated wife washes the cup and leaves it to dry. Afterwards, her calm-and-composed, hardworking mother-in-law starts her training. They start at the beginning – breakfast! On the menu are hot and crispy Dosas with Sambar – along with a coconut chutney made from scratch, on a grinding stone okay! Those stupid mixer-grinders and ridiculous electric tools can never beat the authentic taste of the traditional stone! Then they proceed to lunch: the menu is pretty simple, just everyday fare, but made fresh and flavorful. And yes, rice cooked over an open flame – oh it is so tasty! How can we serve that mushy pressure-cooked rice to our men? And for dinner we have to make Rotis! After a long day at work, don’t the men deserve a delicious and filling square meal! In addition to this, the mother-in-law also initiates the daughter-in-law into dish-cleaning, table-wiping, sweeping and mopping, and other sundry rituals of the family. At the end of the day, after performing all these chores, the poor exhausted girl still satisfies her husband’s needs before falling asleep. Can the life of an ideal Indian woman get any more fulfilling than this??

After a while, the mother-in-law shifts abroad to help out her daughter after the delivery of her child. All the chores of the house are obviously left to the daughter-in-law. And no, we don’t believe in hiring help – firstly, how much work can there be with just 3 people in the house? And of course a maid can never perform her duties as well as the woman of the house! That’s why we have also kept the washing machine in storage – imagine spoiling our good quality clothes using a washing machine! We are rich (we straightaway told the hopeful daughter-in-law that she can’t get a job because we are well-to-do), but also conscientious – money doesn’t grow on trees, after all!

However, we are SO very understanding during the daughter-in-law’s menstrual cycle! Not only do we not make her do any housework, but we also don’t even see her face or disturb her during the 4-5 days! Talk about her sheer fortune, huh!

The movie then goes on to show what happens later in this very fortunate daughter-in-law’s life (kitchen). If you have gotten the sarcastic tone of this review, know that what I am saying next is very sincere: I loved this movie! It has been a while since I watched such an entertaining but though-provoking (and chilling) Indian movie. It is hard to underline the disbalance of power in Indian society using simple day-to-day routines, but the director, Jeo Baby, has managed doing it quite well. This particular film unfolds in Kerala, but substitute Dosa with Chhole Bhature or Kande Pohe, and it represents any and every region of India. Even urban women employed outside their homes, who have modern mixer-grinders, ovens, air-fryers, and any such equipment at their disposal, go through the drama of “The Great Indian Kitchen” regularly. “You are free to achieve whatever you want, as long as your home comes first” is a motto forced upon women working even at the very highest positions and ranks. We are divided over religion, region, caste, economic status, and whatnot, but we are united in claiming that “nothing can surpass the taste of the food cooked by our moms!” And we do so with pride, never once thinking about the pressure we put on them and all our female relatives, and the difficult positions we put them into.

Without giving away any spoilers, I would also like to highlight the role of a bride’s parents in ensuring her “smooth” transition into these great Indian kitchens. Really, parents? Really? You raise a daughter with all your heart, only to do this?

The acting in the movie is top-notch, and the actors seem so natural that the movie might very well be happening in your neighborhood. The music is very effective too. When things come to a head in the movie, they have the backdrop of a religious ceremony where a very haunting bhajan is being sung. The pitch and tempo of this bhajan increase along with the daughter-in-law’s patience, and it all comes crashing down, together. Very apt!

If I had to criticize something in the movie, it would be its initial pace. To highlight the everyday gargantuan routine, similar scenes have been repeated quite a few times. This might even be intentional – we get bored watching a few minutes of these scenes, but women do it their whole life, don’t they!

And thus coming back to the movie, of course women handle house-hold duties all their life, and triumphantly at that! So what if this woman couldn’t handle them? She was undeserving of the honor of being the daughter-in-law of this family anyway! This is what happens when girls are raised abroad and are given undue freedom! Good riddance we say! Our son will have a hundred alliances lined up; and he will be married before you know it.

A better bride will arrive, the son will praise her tea too, and leave his cup on the counter. The new wife will happily wash it. Or will she? To find out, be sure to watch this movie and obviously the great Indian kitchen saga!

Screen-time of the month – March (and February)

Yes, I do sound like a broken record when I say this, but I (also) missed publishing my screen time on February. However, these have been strange times, where there are new challenges and new headaches and new distractions. Anyway, here’s the list of what I watched in February and March.

DCI Banks – Netflix

This BBC series started off on a promising note, but ended up disappointing! Extreme thrills and last-minute rescues are great but not if they are needed because the cops have been completely stupid and imbecile all through the investigation.

Good Newwz – Prime Video

I do not usually watch Bollywood comedies as a rule (they mostly are too silly, obscene, in poor taste, misogynistic, extremely slapstick, script-less or a combination of these attributes) , but this one was actually good! Yes, the melodrama in the second half was a bit much, but overall, the movie was insightful and crisply-written and genuinely funny!

Love Sex Dhokha – LSD – Netflix

What a brilliant movie this was! And while it isn’t something you’d want to watch in a family setting, it gives you so much insight on the general familial take on Love, Sex, and Dhokha. Honest, genuine portrayals by all the actors, too!

Psych – Prime Video

This series is about a brilliant but anarchistic son of a strict police officer who pretends to be a psychic detective in order to earn a livelihood doing what he knows best – observing and finding clues without necessarily sticking to the law.

Kumbalangi Nights – Prime Video

This was a weird movie! I did not like it at all throughout its length, until the end – when I was like, this was good! The fact that I did not turn the movie off midway should’ve given me a hint. The story is about three brothers with a terribly dysfunctional family right from its inception, and how small events in life can turn it around so magically!

What’s up Lagna – Prime Video

Again, I try not to watch uber-commercial Marathi movies, but sometimes give in. Is it closet optimism that for once, a movie in my mother-tongue will be good? I don’t know the answer to that but I did watch this movie and it wasn’t bad. The story is about a modern relationship where the husband and wife have different work schedules and life habits. It was relevant and the acting (Prarthana Behere and Vaibhav Tatwawadi) was very natural. Good timepass!

Panga – Hotstar

I like Kangana (even though I disagree with her politics), I like the director Ashwini Iyer Tiwary, and I love the concept (a national level Kabbadi player making a comeback after a long time – which includes a wedding and childbirth and rearing), so I’d been waiting to watch this movie for a long time! It was quite entertaining, if not earth shattering. Thankfully there was hardly any melodrama and a lot of situational comedy. Loved how the writer and a director kept it light. The acting was great, too!

Chhapaak – Hotstar

This was another movie I was excited to see and also, liked it. This was again, not earth-shattering or anything with respect to film-making as a craft; but such stories need to be told without a preaching tone – and this movie does just that! To actually see the story of a survivor will ( I hope) make a lot of difference in the outlook of people.

The Dark Knight series – Netflix

I have watched this series umpteen times and can re-watch it umpteen times! I actually didn’t even like Batman comics or movies until I watched Batman Begins. And no, this has nothing to do with Christian Bale (although I gotta admit, he is uh-mazing!), but the way Christopher Nolan has presented this dark superhero story with more emphasis on philosophical struggles and less on action and gore (unlike the previous batman movies)!

Tanhaji – Hotstar

Oh dear lord, what a torture this was! Bad acting, terrible stunt choreography, even worse cinematography, exploitative use of violence and jingoism, no sense of direction!

Panipat – Prime Video

It should suffice to say that this movie was pathetic in all respects. A special mention is however deserved by Arjun Kapoor’s acting! How can one single man go the entire legth of the movie without a single change in expressions? Just how???

Captain America – The First Avenger

Captain America is one of my most favorite superheroes! Anyone who knows me really well knows that I am a sucker for sincerity and earnestness and niceness, so it should come as a surprise that I had never seen the first movie. I finally watched it and loved it! Except for certain action sequences, of course – but I don’t like those in any movie! Which is why suspension of disbelief is a requirement, I suppose. In any case, like I have always maintained, super heroes are so much more than their ludicrous action sequences.

Ustaad Hotel – Hotstar

This was a disappointment! Too slow and I have watched several movies like it that are much better than it!

Screen-time of the month: January

Honestly, this is nothing but another attempt to keep writing… something! So here’s what I watched during the month of January.

Bala – Hotstar

Had been waiting to watch this movie for a long time, so I pounced on this one! I loved it! Right from the writing to the acting to the direction, everything was excellent. But the concept and the sentiment and the message of the film were even better. Ayushman Khurana was amazing as usual! I only wish that they hadn’t blackened Bhumi Pednekar’s face so much because 1) she is a terrific actress and doesn’t need the extra makeup to bring out the pain and determination of her character and 2) girls of much lighter complexion than her still face similar issues.

Ghost stories – Netflix

This one was kind of a bouncer, basically because there were no ghosts in it except in the last story by Karan Johar. Was there horror? There most certainly was, but then they should have called it horror stories,no? However, all the 4 stories managed to capture my full attention. I liked Dibakar Banerjee’s segment the best. A highly chilling, visually captivating allegory with excellent story telling – even though there were no ghosts in it. Anurag Kashyap’s segment was a little gross for my taste and I also think it could have made a bigger impact with a subtler narrative. Sobhita Dhulipala was excellent though! Zoya Akhtar’s story was the least horrifying, even though it was the most haunting. Very surprisingly, I loved Janhvi Kapoor’s acting in that one. Rounding out the anthology was Karan Johar’s segment which actually had multiple ghosts. Unfortunately, it was the weakest of them all – very frilly and silly!

Jeopardy GOAT – ABC

I have been a fan of quiz shows since I was a child and this all-star special was amazingly supercalifragilisticexpialidocius! And even though I am a James Holzhauer fan, I was floored by Ken Jennings’s knowledge, speed, and above all, humility! He totally deserved to win this one.

Uyare (Malyalam movie) – Netflix

Very nice movie! Parvathy was brilliant in this.

Mr. Robot – Amazon Prime

I could finish only 1 season, because the plot, however intriguing it might be, got very irritating because of the constant unreliable narrative caused by drug-induced hallucinations. I have never been a fan of unreliable narrators, but I get that sometimes the narrator is genuinely confused and needs to go through the motions to arrive at a reasonable conclusion while also reiterating that not everything is as it seems. However, using them to purposely confuse the audience again and again is plain gimmicky!

The first season though was mind-blowing. No pun intended. The whole idea of rescuing the world from the claws of capitalism, only to realize that anarchy breeds its own set of numbing problems was shown beautifully. I always question the motive though – had Mr. Robot not died due to the negligence of Evil Corp, would Elliot still be so anti-capitalism?

Splitsvilla X2 – MTV

LOL this is one of my guilty pleasures – a show on top of my list of shows that are utterly ridiculous but I still cannot stop watching!

Masterchef India – Hotstar

This is still ongoing but so far, it has been a great season!

You – Netflix

Whoa! This one was a shocker! Like, every aspect of it, save the ludicrous immunity from law & order that affects all such shows, was very thrilling! Blew through it in a matter of a few days!

Movie Review: Dangal

Okay, first things first. Dangal is an excellent movie – entertaining, sensible, inspiring, and, surprise, surprise!, a very clean PG movie!

I had a lot of mixed feelings about going to watch Dangal. I’m not a big fan of Aamir Khan (I do concede that he is an amazing actor, of course. Still, we cannot be fans of each and every amazing talent there is, can we?) and I’m wary of sports biopics. (Mary Kom was good but Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and MS Dhoni were strictly average. Also, the screenplay-ed stories of living people always seem weird to me)

But it got good initial reviews and I was on Christmas vacation, so I thought of giving it a try. It was almost after a year that I was going to be able to see a movie with my husband, after all.

My first thought into the movie revolved around Aamir Khan’s ears – they are so distinct that they’d be his identification even if he got an exhaustive movie-style plastic surgery. But 5 minutes into the movie, they disappeared. So did Aamir Khan himself. From then on, only Mahavir Singh Phogat, his amazing daughters, and their awe-inducing training routine and camaraderie prevailed. We all know the story of the movie by now, so I won’t dwell on it. But I cannot dwell enough on the powerful performances by all the actors. They are so real, so earnest, so natural – minus the melodrama that ensues with films like this. ALL of the actors, including the narrator of the movie – the skinny and ever-faithful cousin, make an impact and help carry the story and the feelings forward.

Also, I think that all these “protests” about Aamir Khan forcing his ambition on his daughters are ridiculous. One often needs a nudge while pursuing an unconventional path. Plus, he did not see a wrestling future for the girls until they beat up boys who were calling them names. He tapped their potential. He did not force a fish to fly, he in fact recognized the flying fish while others were calling them weird. We need more fathers like this!

The music of the movie needs a mention, too. It complements the film. None of the characters mouth the lyrics, which is great. The songs only carry the story forward.

Now, if I had to pinpoint the flaws in the movie, I would have to say that Aamir Khan being locked up in a storage room during his daughter’s Gold medal bout is silly. I mean, come on! So childish. But then, it does not really take away from the fantastic movie!



My favorite romantic songs – Happy Valentine’s Day :)

Ahem! It is that time of the year again: Valentine’s Day, when love is supposed to be in the air! 😛 I am not a romantic person at all, but I am a big fan of Bollywood music. And Bollywood music makes romance really shine! So here’s a list of my favorite romantic Bollywood songs, in no particular order. Listen, view, and enjoy the YouTube songs! (But know that I don’t own the links :D)

1. Abhi na jao chhodkar

This is one of the oldest romantic and really sweet songs! Jo khatm ho kisi jagah, ye aisa silsila nahin… so true! Beautiful lyrics and a refreshing tune!

2. Kabhi phool dena 

Aur kabhi kabhi khamosh baithen, baahon ke sahare

Sooraj bujhana, saagar kinaare; aur raaton ko chaand ugaana…

This song symbolizes the dreams  and hopes of an ideal romance. Beautiful lyrics and the innocent romance, coupled with a peppy tune make this song really special. The video is cool, too – as it features Milind Soman, of course!

Other songs in this movie (Rules… Pyar ka Superhit Formula) are also really romantic… Chhodo na mujhe yun bekaraar saa and Uljhanon ko de diya hai are exceptional!    

3. Heer

How can a list of romantic songs be complete without a Yash Chopra number? He has given us several beautiful lovey-dovey songs, but I chose this one purely for its haunting music. It is so melodiously romantic! I can’t quite understand the Punjabi lyrics, though 🙂

4. Humko sirf tumse pyar hai

I consider this song as the most romantic song ever! Some tunes are so romantic by themselves, right?  In fact, the violin piece at the beginning of this song, in itself is enough to make the distinction.  The video can be skipped, or played in the background. 🙂 😛

5. Ishq ki Daastan 

This world has forever been torn between the hardcore romantics and the straightforward practical thinkers. There have been several songs that argue whether love is good or bad, for example, Jaane kyon log pyar karte hain ,  Kay Sera Sera, and so on. But no song explains the contrasting viewpoints of people who feel the need to express their love, and those who think that some things are best left unsaid. And the romantic side wins, and how! Beautiful lyrics, brilliant singing!

6. Saawan Barse Tarse Dil

Romance reaches a new height when the sky starts pouring – ’cause the rains make everything so beautiful and worthwhile! This song is beautifully shot, and sung. Of course, it is very hard to miss the romance in most rain songs. The best part is, a rain song can portray several moods of romance: playfulness, seduction, flirtation, bliss – you name it and the rains do it for you! 🙂

7. Accha ji mai haari

Sometimes, a relationship is not romantic unless you fight and then make up. Watch the beautiful but feisty Madhubala try to make up with  Dev Anand, by first apologizing, then wooing, then threatening, and finally giving in – sweet!

8. Tujh me rab dikhta hai 

This song symbolizes the whole movie: how ShahRukh Khan does anything and everything possible (and impossible) to keep his dear wife smiling… very, very sweet!

9. Aye Udi Udi

A combination of A R Rehman’s tune, Gulzaar ji’s lyrics, the choreography,  Adnan Sami’s husky voice, and Rani Mukerji and Vivek Oberoi’s performances simply means full-on romance… beautiful! Watch Rani and Vivek go through the drills of married life while the romance continues to blossom!

10. Pehla Nasha Pehla Khumar 

This list, of course, wouldn’t have been complete without this mother of all romantic songs – need I say more? 🙂


So which is your most favorite romantic song (from this list or otherwise)? Do take this poll or leave a comment and let me know! 🙂

Until next time, take care and wish you a very happy Valentine’s day! 🙂

Crazy Dreams!

Got a really, really crazy dream last night!

A boy says to Stewie (from Family Guy): “main tumhe markar tumhare tukde tukde kar dunga” (I will kill u and scramble u into pieces).

Stewie replies:  “You can’t… I am already in millions of pieces! In fact you are actually UNscrambling me right now…  That’s how you can see me on your TV.  Bwahahahahahahaha (Stewie’s evil laugh)

And then the camera panned out and showed the boy watching TV.

Crazy, huh! 😀

My Favorite Bollywood Rain Songs

[Update: 25th June 2021] After a very dry spring in Michigan, it has started raining again; and has made me very sentimental and dreamy and whatnot! So I thought of rehashing this old blog post of mine (from April 2012!). And as I’ve grown a bit since then, and my tastes have changed more than a bit, I also updated the post a bit lot. So, here’s a list of some of my favorite Bollywood rain songs, in no particular order.

Disclaimer:  The links of  YouTube videos are not owned by me; I just found them on YouTube…

1. Saawan Barse Tarse Dil from the movie Dahek

I have to start this list with one of my most favorite rain songs ever, even though I haven’t seen the movie (I don’t think anyone has!). But I have watched this song umpteen times for it sheer innocence and lyrical romance! Akshaye Khanna and Sonali Bendre going to meet each other while battling it out with the various difficulties created by the rain, and still enjoying that rain in the meanwhile, is the essence of this beautifully shot song.

2. Barso Re Megha from Guru

The amazing visuals of a raindrop creating ripples in water, dark clouds in the background of lush green fields and a washed clean look of several picturesque locations are what I like the best about this song; although the music and the stunning voice of  Shreya Ghoshal are also individually sufficient to make this song appear in my list of favorites. 

3. Le Ja Le Ja Re from the music album Ustaad & the Divas

This is by far the cutest song with a rainy background! But the rain here is not just outdoors from the sky – it is also indoors on the dance floor, inside the heroine’s eyes, and in the hero’s and the heroine’s hearts. There is a scene in this song where the heroine is sad and sketches herself drenched in rain on a bus stop billboard, while the hero adds an umbrella to the picture. And another one where she sketches herself getting drenched by a bus splashing water on her – only to find that the hero draws himself between her and the bus! I have no words for this cuteness! The music is of course, divine!

4. Rimjhim Ke Taraane Leke Aayi Barsaat from the movie Kaala Baazaar

Whenever I think of rains, a wave of nostalgia hits me! This song shows Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman walking in the rains and reminiscing their moments together, along with glimpses of  a rain-drenched old Bombay. What a treat for the eyes and ears! And as with most old songs, the lyrics are soulful!

5. Ghanan Ghanan from the movie Lagaan

This is a unique song dedicated to rain that never came!  But the yearning it causes was captured so melodiously in this classical/folk music-inspired song, you could feel the heartache at the sight of those dark clouds floating away…

6. Dum Dum Digaa Digaa from the movie Chhaliya

Rains in the film studio have never looked as refreshing as they do in this song! And Raj Kapoor in his serenading avatar is charming!

7. Bhaage re Mann Kahin from the movie Chameli

A shady lane in a shady area in South Bombay, Kareena Kapoor dressed up in a tacky red-and-blue Sari, and a car as a prop – not to mention a lot of rain… does not seem like an interesting scenario, right? Negative! It is a beautiful scenario! The way the rain-wind combination is shot in this song is mind-blowing! And the music is blissful.

8. Rimjhim Rimjhim from the movie 1942 A Love Story

Beautiful, dusky, and lush green setting of the Ooty botanical garden, a beautiful and very expressive Manisha Koirala, a handsome and sentimental Anil Kapoor, R D Burman’s music, and Javed Akhtar’s soulful lyrics – add all of these to lots of rain and baadal and bijli! Can a rain song get better than that? Naah! Totally mesmerizing song!

9. Bheegi Bheegi Raatonme from the movie Ajnabee

I don’t care for the video of the original song at all, so I am adding the link of the remixed song, but the song in itself is such a work of genius! You can imagine the rain and the dreamy atmosphere created by it just by listening to it. Kishore Kumar at his best! And yeah, the remix version of this song is great too, for a change!

10. Ab Ke Saawan Aise Barase from the music album Ab Ke Saawan

This awesome amalgamation of classical, folk, and pop music is not just pleasing to the ear, but is lavishly shot in a small-town setup (in a studio) and is so pleasant to watch! sense. It brilliantly shows the perfect combination of romance, fun, confusion, peace, chaos, and overall joy brought about by the rains!

11. Koi Ladki Hai from the movie Dil To Pagal Hai

The rain usually makes us smile, but what if our smiles make it rain? That’s the crazy romantic sentiment depicted in this song, with the dreamy voices of Lata Mangeshkar and Udit Narayan making it even better. Also, props to the choreography!

12. Lapak Jhapak from the movie Boot Polish

This is another unusual rain song featuring bald, aging inmates from an asylum! Oh but Manna Dey is as amazing as ever, and the metaphoric ballad asking for rain to come and water the barren heads of people is of another level altogether!

Yeah, so that’s my list of favorites, people! Which is your favorite rain song? Let me know!

Inception! Fascinating! (No spoilers)

Have you ever been out wandering around the country, with lush green pastures and a cool blue sky to keep you company? Have you been so engrossed while watching the trees and birds and flowers that you lost your way but still did not panic, as you were simply happy taking in the calmness of your surroundings? After a long long while, has the feeling of being lost registered finally? Have you craved to get back, only to see a thunderstorm approaching you with all its ferocity? Have you hidden in the first hut you laid your eyes on, and breathed a sigh of relief? Have you then realized that the hut has several animal skins and skulls spread around it? And then have you heard strong rapping on the door and been frightened to death? And have you tried to scream, only to realize that…..

Your mom is trying to wake you up in the morning by banging on your bedroom door!!!

Yes, you guessed right. Welcome to the world of dreams, my friends. A world so charming, yet deceptive, so alive, yet unreal, or at least that’s what we are made to believe.

The movie, Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan, professes otherwise. It says, rather convincingly, that our dreams represent our sub-conscious, and our sub-conscious does affect our conscious decisions all the time! All the main characters in the movie are, so to speak, ‘dream merchants’, meant most literally. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio, brilliant) and his gang specialize in entering people’s dreams to ‘extract’ information that is otherwise impossible to obtain. They do make good money out of it, but also face the dire consequences of meddling with the human subconscious. Cobb especially, has had to pay a very heavy price, rendering unfit his capabilities of designing the places in dreams.

Yes, so advanced is this occupation of extraction via dreams is that it needs an architect to design imaginary places wherein the dream will take place (you can’t use real places because then, your memories will meddle with your dreams), a chemist to appropriately sedate the one whose dreams are to be explored, a researcher and a few helpers, if any. The film is about Cobb, leading one such team, and trying not to extract but to plant an idea into a target’s mind – in return for his own redemption.

Christopher Nolan definitely does succeed in weaving an intricate yarn of a story, with threads spooling in multiple layers – yes, the extractors, or should I say inceptors, also generate dreams within dreams, so as to buy more time, or change some things in the dreams, and so on. Although it sounds confusing, not for one moment do you get bored, and you are always glued to the seat trying to put two and two together.

The most creditable thing about the movie is that, although it’s about dreams and inception, and stuff that mostly fits into the science fiction category, it does not waver from logic, or create situations just because it is science fiction!

Certain ideas are absolutely brilliant, such as having to carry a totem, or a self-made object while entering a dream, to help you distinguish between dreams and reality. Not only that, the totem has been brilliantly used in the climax sequence as well.

The direction is awesome, and the editing is crisp. The cast have supported the script extremely well. There is really nothing to complain about the movie!

If you are itching for an intelligent, well-made movie that will make you think, go for Inception.

If you are not, go for it nevertheless, it will provide some very good entertainment!

Signal: Green all the way! Go explore your dreams!!!

Movie Review: Billu Barber

Cast: Irrfan Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Lara Dutta

Director: Priyadarshan

Synopsis and my opinion: Please read the letter below.


Dear Mr. Irrfan Khan,

Subject: Please don’t!!


Sir, let me first clearly state, that we all love you very much…your mind-blowing performances in several movies like Haasil, Yeh hai Mumbai Meri Jaan,  Life in a Metro, to name a very few; have been loved and applauded by all of us. Today, you are one of those very few character artistes who can carry an entire film on their shoulders!!

So we want to ask you something… Why and just why did you accept a film like Billu Barber ??

Although it has a decent concept (they have tried to emulate the modern version of the Krishna and Sudama saga), its story and screenplay are so damn horrible, that even the seriousmost of the scenes make you laugh!

The biiig superstar played by none other than the neo-narcissist SRK (believe me, I am a biiig fan of his, so if i am calling his role terrible, it sure is so!); the gaanv ki gori with deep-back blouses Lara Dutta, the 3 pathetic item songs featuring Deepika, Kareena and Priyanka ; the usual Priyadarshan bandwagon of comedians made up of  Om Puri, Rajpal Yadav, Manoj Joshi, etc etc; nothing, nothing at all can match even 50% of your sheer earnest portrayal of  a poor barber who had struggled a lot in his childhood to help an even poorer friend to pursue acting, and then after many years when the friend has returned to his village as a superstar actor, hesitates to meet him due to his social status!

3  cheers to you Mr. Khan!! (strictly Irrfan, this time…)

Thumbs down to everything else in this movie!!!

Not many thanks and Regards,


P.S. : Mr. Priyadarshan, Please stop insulting your earlier “classics” like Herapheri and Virasat by making such pathetic movies!!!


Verdict: Do I even need to state it?? AVOID!!

Signal: RED all the way!

Movie Review(No Spoilers): Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Well, I am not really a sucker for love stories…in fact senti n melodramatic love stories really bore me…. so I went to watch Rab ne Bana Di Jodi only because of SRK….

But but but…surprisingly, I liked the movie…. the songs, the dialogue, the acting, n ofcourse….SRK!!!

In 2 contrasting roles: a sincere, intelligent power company employee; and a crude n bindaas jat businessman; SRK to chhha jata hai!!

The heroine Anushka SHarma is not conventionally beautiful with great features n all, but has a million dollar smile! 🙂

The songs are very hummable: Holle holle, Dance pe chance, tujhme rab dikhta hai, and even  Hum hain rahi Pyaar ke…Phir milenge…chalte chalte…….. they do make your feet go tap tap…..

My verdict: Definitely watchable..atleast once! 🙂

Signal: Green

Movie Review: Hello!

Line 1: Trring Trring…….. Trring Trring…….. Trring Trring……..

Line 2: Hello? Who’s this??

Line 1: This is…………. GOD…………..

Line 2: And we are 6 ammmmazed typical call centre employees.: TeamLeader-wannabe Shyam (Sharman Joshi – very comfortable in the role), Senior member Military Uncle (Sharat Saxena – endearing, but purposeless), Mr. biker Vrroom aka Varun( Sohail Khan – I never thought he could act, but he just did!!), Ghar-grihasthi se pareshan Radhika (Amrita Arora – cute), anxious-to-be-a-model Eesha (Isha Koppikar – ok ok), and oh-so-confused Priyanka (Gul Panag – again confused).

Line 1: You all have your own typical call centre – cum – life in a metro dukhde… but you can solve them them using some 4 things: Talent, imagination, confidence, and some mumbo-jumbo about having to lose before you win…. solve them…

Line 2: Ok we shall solve them by defaming our boss(Dalip Tahil- over the top but still believable), spreading rumours in America about some virus, and doubling the call volume, then resigning: from our jobs, our unhappy families, our egos, our unrealistic ambitions….and live more or less hapily ever after!

——Call Ended——-Movie too———-

Now no possibility of spoilers here as we’ve all read One night @ the call center. However, even if we didn’t, this movie solely rests on the shoulders of the cast, and not the story. The bunch of 6 call centre emplyees is refreshing entertaining.

That apart, the movie is average. So is the directorial debut of Atul Agnihotri. Not bad.. Comedy is excellent at some places and extremely mediocre at others. Music is bad. So is the screenplay. And certain pieces of dialogue almost put you to sleep. Thankfully, they are short. Salman and Katrina do their jobs as usual(means they are mediocre..hehe).

Verdict:  Not a must-watch, but since I endured Kidnap last week, Hello is a great timepass! 🙂 

Signal: Yellow, may go to Green.

Movie Review: Mumbai Meri Jaan

CAST: Paresh Rawal, Kay Kay Menon, Irrfan Khan, Vijay Maurya, R Madhavan, Soha Ali Khan

SYNOPSIS: This movie is actually an album or a collection of snapshots from the lives of people who live in Mumbai, and happen to live (and die and relive) through the deadly blasts of 7/11. Right from rich (R Madhavan, Soha Ali Khan),to the middle-class(Paresh Rawal-brilliant, Vijay Maurya, Kay Kay Menon), to the downtrodden poor (Irrfan Khan), nobody is really bad, and all they need to do, is invoke thier conscience…this is the message carried by the movie, in a very subtle way…..

ACTING: Given the list of actors, the acting’s definitely got to be top class right!!! A special mention to Paresh Rawal and Soha Ali Khan – the girl’s surely gonna go a lonnng way!!

TECHNICALITIES: The direction, background score, cinematography, script, dialogues, direction, everything is above average!

RATING: After alll that I have written so far, do I need to hide the GREEN?? Go for it friends!! A little serious, but very different and imaginative, this movie will surely soak you in the spirit of Mumbai!!!

Mumbai Meri Jaan!!

ATTENTION: This post is not a movie review…its just an attempt to describe the movie hand in hand with its lovely title song!! Lemme know how you find it. The movie review’s coming up soon!


O my heart, it’s so difficult…to live on here, a li’l conscious, a li’l careful this is Mumbai my dear……….

And in this Mumbai, there is a Rupali Joshi(Soha Ali Khan), a mainstream TV journalist who is hard-working but typically TRP-sensitive,  and then later, a victim of her own news channel who broadcasts her personal tragedy as a aaj ki taaza khabar!
And there is a very righteous, conscientious Indianism-preacher Nikhil (R Madhavan) who ends up dropping guns when it really matters, and gets convinced that US is indeed the right place for people like him…… 


Then there is a hawaldar  (Vijay Maurya) who is angry about the whole condition of the police force, wants to do something about this, and yet can’t entirely muster up the courage……..
And there is a almost-bankrupt and almost-anti-Islam computer vendor Suresh (Kay Kay Menon) who thinks he can atleast try and do his bit against terrorism by suspecting, and inspecting fellow-Muslims…..

And there is a mobile chaiwala (Irrfan Khan) who creates his own way of taking revenge from the mall he was thrown out from, by calling malls with hoax bomb threats and ruining their business….
But when he realizes what harm he can cause by doing this, (an elderly man suffers from a heart attack at the mall), he repents thoroughly and mends his ways….

And there is another hawaldar  (Paresh Rawal) who is so used to the corrupt ways of life that he always tells his colleagues, “mumbai me sirf picture dekhne ka, usme acting nahi karne ka ….”, and yet when his conscience rings, he lets go off Suresh who’d once abused him saying… Aapko kisine dhakka diya, aur aapne usko dhakka na deke ye silsila udhar hi khatm kar dia, to problem to khatam hi na…..  
And this same Suresh then finds a new way of friendship, business and life…….


O my heart, it’s so easy…to live on here, a li’l conscious, a li’l careful this is Mumbai my dear………. 🙂


Movie Review: Hancock

Ever heard about a drunk super-hero, who however powerful and well-meaning, makes some mistake everytime and ends up receiving the wrath of public? And then tries to take vengeance from these ungrateful souls by creating troubles in their lives by his reckless behavior?? 😛

Enter John Hancock(Will Smith, who else) from Los Angeles!! The movie is about him, and his attempts to be accepted by the public (He officialy starts working for the cops as a saviour during crime) with the help of an earnest, kind-hearted PR executive Ray (Jason Bateman) whose life he once saves, and his quest to find the existence of his fellow-superheroes… which incidentally, happens to be Ray’s wife Mary (Charlize Theron), camouflaged as a normal earthly being.

After  brief sparks of attraction, and then savage fighting, Hancock goes on to discover that 2 superheroes cannot stay close to each other, since they were only meant to be born and to die in pairs, so grudgingly he has to leave Mary and go on to NewYork, to help people and be a real Super Hero!

The makers of this film have however, messed up with this last part, which is not at all convincing…

The acting is perfect(C’mon guys, it’s Will Smith after all!! 🙂 ) , the plot is new, the sequences are imaginative…if only, if only the ending were not wrapped up in great hurry!

Here’s one perfect example of a wonderful, funny, innovative and exciting movie, with an ending which doesn’t live up to the expectations!

Rating: Green, if you skip the last 1/2 an hour!

Movie Review: Jaane tu..Ya jaane na….

The quientessential question: So, when do you know it’s love??

Yup, that’s the main theme of the latest “fresh” movie on the block. Produced by Mr. Perfectionist Aammir Khan and starring Imran Khan and Genelia D’Souza(Remember the peppy girl from “Tujhe Meri Kasam”, and the crybaby from Masti??), this movie tries to explore the avenue of a guy and a girl’s ability to be best friends without falling in love. Sounds passe? It is, but the presentation is not.

Some super cool comedy, fresh new young faces, fast-paced direction, and ofcourse sweetness at its best, this movie does manage to win your hearts. Just ignore the very stupid airport-reunion plot!! 😛


Rating: Almost Green! 🙂

Movie review : Love Story 2050

Is the time machine a new concept?

Is having red-hair a style of the future?

Even in 2050, will we have to hear pop songstresses in scanty clothes crooning to stupid songs?

In today’s age where Asimov sci-fiction is known by all, will the  idea of a colourful and shining globular time machine wherein we enter the year and place of the time travel destination click??

Rating : Red!

P.S. 1or 2 ideas about the life in future are good, so is the chemistry between Harman and Priyanka.

Movie Review – BhoothNath!

Once upon a time there was an old man(Amitabh Bachhan) whose NRI son(Priyanshu Chatterjee) refused to stay with him even after his mom(Neena Kulkarni) died. The man, in attempt to stop his son from leaving, ran down the steps of his palacial villa, tripped, and fell to death. And since his son wanted to sell the villa, the ghost of this man haunted the villa and disallowed anybody from inhabiting the place.

Then entered a family(SRK and Juhi…oohhh so adorable!!!!) with a naughty and sweet son(Aman Siddiqui), who outwitted the ghost, and slowly but surely made friends with him. All of them were having a ball together, until it became evident to the bad bad world, that this sweet boy of ours had some supernatural friend. What happened then???

Please watch, not to find out, but just for the pleasure of watching the movie! Hehehe…as cliched as the story may sound; its sweetness and simplicity make it pure fun to watch!!

The movie really makes you laugh and makes you remember your childhood a lot! Yeah it does drag a bit in the end, but due to the supperb performances, pacy direction and the nostalgia of bhootonki kahaniyan…all-in-all, it becomes a good entertainer! Watch it! 🙂

In the world of melodies………..Part One

My favourite music, or my favourite songs cannot be encompassed in a single article/post….so thought of breaking them up into many. And since currently I need some inspiration desperately, lemme begin this chain by listing out my favourite inspiring songs! So here I go…..

1) Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhaata Chala Gaya…………..

Very soulful, meaningful and melodious! 🙂


Maein Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya
Har Fikar Ko Dhuen Mein Udata Chala Gaya



2) Kisi ki muskurahaton pe ho nisaar…………..

The essence of fine living, in the purest sense! and a very hummable tune! 🙂

(Kisiki muskuraahaton pe ho nisaar
Kisika dard mil sake to le udhaar
Kisike waaste ho tere dil mein pyaar
Jeena issi ka naam hai) -2(Maana apni jeb se fakeer hain
Phir bhi yaaron dil ke ham ameer hain) -2
Mitte jo pyaar ke liye woh zindagi
Jale bahaar ke liye woh zindagi
Kisi ko ho na ho hamein to aitbaar
Jeena issi kaa naam hai

(Rishta dil se dil ke aitbaar ka
Zinda hai hameen se naam pyaar ka) -2
Ke mar ke bhi kisi ko yaad aayenge
Kisi ke aansuon mein muskuraayenge
Kahega phool har kali se baar baar
Jeena issi kaa naam hai
Kisiki muskuraahaton pe ho nisaar..



3) Khulke muskurale tu……….

Find more about this on my already posted article.


4) Kholo Kholo Darwaze

this song from TZP has an amazing comboof lyrics beats and music…very good for lifting your spirits!

Kholo Kholo Darwaze Parde Karo Kinare

Khuntey Se Bandhi Hai Hawa Mil Ke Chhudao Saare

Aajao Patang Leke Apney Hi Rang Leke

Aasmaan Ka Shamiyana Aaj Hamein Hai Sajana

Kyun Is Kadar Hairaan Tu Mausam Ka Hai Mehmaan Tu

O, Duniya Sajee Tere Liye Khud Ko Zara Pehchaan Tu

Tu Dhoop Hain Jham Se Bikhar

Tu Hai Nadee O Bekhabar

Beh Chal Kahin Ud Chal Kahin

Dil Khush Jahan Teri Toh Manzil Hai Wahin

O, Kyun Is Kadar Hairaan Tu

Mausam Ka Hai Mehmaan Tu………….

Baasi Zindagi Udaasi

Taazi Hasney Ko Raazi

Garma Garma Saari

Abhi Abhi Hai Utaari

O, Zindagi To Hain Batasha

Meethi Meethi Si Hai Aasha

Chakh Le Rakh Le Hatheli Se Dhak Le Ise

Tujh Mein Agar Pyaas Hai Baarish Ka Ghar Bhi Pass Hai

O, Roke Tujhe Koi Kyon Bhala Sang Sang Tere Aakash Hai

Tu Dhoop Hain Jham Se Bikhar

Tu Hai Nadee O Bekhabar

Beh Chal Kahin Ud Chal Kahin

Dil Khush Jahan Teri Toh Manzil Hai Wahin

Khul Gaya Aasmaan Ka Rasta Dekho Khul Gaya

Mil Gaya Kho Gaya Tha Jo Sitara Mil Gaya,Mil Gaya

O, Roshan Hui Saari Zameen

Jagmag Hua Saara Jahaan

Udne Ko Tu Azad Hai

Bandhan Koi Abh Hai Kahan!!

 Tu Dhoop Hain Jham Se Bikhar

Tu Hai Nadee O Bekhabar

Beh Chal Kahin Ud Chal Kahin

Dil Khush Jahan Teri Toh Manzil Hai Wahin

O, Kyun Is Kadar Hairaan Tu Mausam Ka Hai Mehmaan Tu…….



5) Liye sapnein nigaahon me….

And ofcourse my favourite…..the song of eternal hope, aspiratons and inspirations!! 🙂

And ofcourse, my origginal idea 😉 , it can serve as an excellent title song for the movie version of Paulo Coelho’s best-seller “The Alchemist”, if at all it were to be made in Hindi! <pat my back pat my back!!> 😀


Liye sapne nigahon me, chala hoon teri rahon me
Zindagi aa raha hoon main



Kayi yaadon ke chehre hain, kayi kisse purane hain,
Teri sau dastane hain, tere kitne fasane hain.
Magar ik wo kahani hai, jo ab mujhko sunani hai
Zindagi aa…..


Mere haathon ki garmi se, bigar jayengi zanjeerein,
Mere kadmon ki aahat se, badal jayengi taqdeerein,
Umeedon ke diye lekar, ye sab tere liye lekar
Zindagi ….

Kabhi tujhko gila mujhse, kabhi mujhko shikayat hai,
Magar phirbhi tujhe meri, mujhe teri zaroorat hai,
Main ye iqraar karta hoon, main tujhse pyar karta hoon,
Zindagi …..



U, ME AUR HUMari misdirected love story!!!

Whoever said that all other intense actors could direct a movie as well as Mr. Perfect Aamir Khan??

Whoever said that the power-packed performances of Kajol and Ajay Devgan could carry off a movie with a badly written script and pathetic dialogues??

And last but not the least, whoever said that if you give a movie a sweet ending, it makes the movie good???

Well, not good, but yes, a little more bearable! It even has a positive effect on the title song, which sounds hopelessly boring at its 1st occurence, but is much more bearable and soothing when it plays at the end!

Well, this story is about a whirlwind, at first shaking-stumbling and then steady romance between Ajay and Piya, who meet on cruise which changes their life forever! Through different phases of love, pursual and resistance, they finally get married! Then, the real love story begins…..

Piya is diagnosed of Alzheimer’s disease at a young age of 28, and while she is pregnant. The trials and tribulations begin, the dilemma about what’s more important, the wife or the child deepens; the obvious decision is taken of admitting Piya to an asylum……relationships sour, the tension gets to all, theories are metted; and finally true love triumphs and brings Piya back home!

And this whole story is told to us and Kajol, by an ageing Ajay Devgan, on a cruise, on their 25th wedding anniversary, where they are, to fulfill their wish which they made on their wedding day!

Touching, sweet, sensitive??

Naah, leaving aside the last sequence, the movie’s far from it. The only thing it can boast of is the acting of Kajol and hubby Ajay, and Kajol’s wardrobe(it’s smart, suave, amazzzing)!!

Rest of the things draw a blank. Vishal Bharadwaj disappoints you completely with his music score, the background score is literally frightening, with sudden jaaring music surfacing at many times; the dialogues are horribly repeatitive and unimaginative; the script is bad, the lyrics are below average, the supporting cast is ineffective(they have completely wasted the talents of Sachin Khedekar, Sumit Raghavan and Divya Datta; and the other 2 from Ajay’s gang of friends don’t deserve even a mention! No, actually Isha Sharvani does..Mr. Ghai….Could you plz tell us WHAT exactly you saw in her and gave her a break????? ).

The lead actors, but ofcourse, do a suppperb job, and Kajol, although not looking young at all; has looked gorgeous!!!

And ofcourse, the direction- I think Ajay Devgan needs to get a little more mature and then think whether he can direct a movie! Or may be he can go for Horror movies or thrillers; for romance is clearly missing from his supposedly romantic movie!! Except for the last sequence which is cho very chweet, but am sure we can’t endure the whole movie just for that!

Rating: Red going on to Yellow!

Bollywood movie dialogues are getting crispier!!

That Bollywood movie dialogues are all about ‘inspired’ (read as copied) lines,is a popular notion amongst most of us, and not without a reason! There was a time, and a long one, wher bollywod dialogue never recovered from the shackles of typical romance and typical comedy and typical action and typical revenge dialogues!!

But no longer!! Of late, the dialogues in Bollywood movies are not inspired, nad sometimes even manage to be inspiring!! Hard-hitting, comic, true, satirical, all kinda genres of dialogue hav of late got a new polished look and feel!

Take for instance Aamir Khan’s explaination In ‘Taare Zameen Par’ about “Khayal rakhna kya hota hai”.  So subtle and yet on-the-mark! Or the one about Solomon islands…. really good!

Then, agreed that ‘Om Shanti Om’ is a pathetically over-the-top movie, and many of its lines are a bit too filmy for my tastes, but somehow, I am beginning to like the dialogue between SRK and Deepika, when he tells her that the whole world loves her, and she says that, “kabhi kabhi poori duniya ki chahat zaruri nahi hoti, pyaar kisi ek se mile to bhi kaafi hota hai!!” So true na!! But I guess, it’s safe in a way to be loved by all in general and not by some ONE person in particular. Atleast when the good times roll, we won’t be left with nothing…There still will be be someone who will love you after all! 🙂

 And ofcourse coming to comedy, the one wherein SRK says “Takliya” and himself exits!! Simply hilarious!!!

But yeah, in this category, Kareena’s lines in ‘Jab We Met’ are the icing on the cake! Right from her “Bahot!! Main apni favorite hun!!” statement, to “Bhatinda chal, milwaati hun“; from the speech-like “Apni to vaat lagi hai, isse bura kuchh nahi ho sakta, ab sirf achha ho sakta hai aur hoga!!” to the self-realization-like “Agar meri life aisi hai, to mujhe pata hoga ki meri wajah se hai!”, the dialogues of this movie are entertaining, crisp, funny and yet loaded with meaning!

There are a lot more dialogues like that, but so much for now! Gosh!! After such a long break I’ve finally WRITTEN about something! 🙂 Let me bask in that joy first! LOL!! More, soon!

Movie review: Sunday

Occasion: Me n my friend roaming around, find nothing better to do!

Place: Inox, Pune

Time: 7:45 p.m

Price: 170 bucks

Movie: Sunday

Star Cast: Ajay Devgan, Ayesha Takia, Irrfan Khan, Arshad Warsee

Theme: A simple fun-loving girl goes to a pub one Saturday-night, someone mixes Rohypnol in her drink, the girl undergoes a series of (mis)adventures, and falls off to sleep, only to wake up on Monday!! How can a Sunday goes missing from your life? The girl has no idea!

Story: Ajay Devgan, ACP-cum-prospective bridegroom for Ayesha, takes it up on himself, to find the lost Sunday. Through lots of suspense and comedy, and with the help of Irfan and Arshad, does it!! And gets the gal, too!!

Performances: Ajay Devgan scores average to good, Ayesha Takia has looked very sweet, but Arshad and Irrfan take the trophy!

The technical side: Dialogues- crisp!!Music- average! Rest all- Not bad!!

 My prediction about your reaction: So, what’s so great???

My answer: Nothing!! The movie’s not a must-watch, but is fairly entertaining for sure!! You won’t repent for going ahead and watching it! Clean comedy- for a change!

My rating: Yellow- going- on to-green!

Movie Review: Taare Zameen Par

Kholo Kholo Darwaze
Parde Karo Kinare
Khuntey Se Bandhi Hai Hawa
Mil Ke Chhudao Saare!!”

And so goes a song, from one of the most intelligent and sensible films that Bollywood has ever produced. For those who don’t understand Hindi,(although that’s strange, since they are reading the review of a Hindi film…) let me translate it. The verse says,“Let’s open the doors,and roll the curtains, and let’s all free the air that’s been tied to a leash!” 🙂

Well, this is just one gem from the invaluable treasure called Taare Zameen Par! The more-than-promising debut of Aamir Khan as a director, and another major step in the evolution of Indian Cinema, the movie makes a permanent mark in the minds of all those who watch it.

Centred round Ishaan Avasthi(Played so well by Darsheel Safary….u can’t miss the sparkle in his eyes…), a dyslexic 8 year-old kid perceived as naughty, lazy and hopeless by the ignorant adults around him, the film provides a heart-wrenching insight on parent-child relationships, social stigma about education, and how an understanding teacher(Aamir Khan, ofcourse!) can turn coal into diamond- without applying pressure!!

Not banking on any of the tried-and-tested formulae for a hit movie(Yeah, no glamourous babes, no high-fundoo action, no family melodrama, no corny comedy, not even the typical rona-dhona  found in sad children’s movies!!!!), the movie still succeeds in making the audience laugh, cry, wince, hope, and most of all, feel, for the characters in the movie!

And yeah, Don’t miss its titles, its dialogues, and the scenes between the art teacher and the dyslexic boy’s parents!!! And HOW can I forget… the 3*9!!! Didn’t get me? Watch the movie, you will!!! And the flipbook, as well!!

Interesting (and important) concept, good story,soulful music, beautiful lyrics, superb performances, technical finesse, and an ammazing direction by Mr. Perfectionist, this movie is a must watch, both for the child and the parent in you!!!!

My Rating:Green, green green!!!!!

Laaga Chunari me Daag…..

Laaga chunari me daag, chhupaun kaise, laaga chunari me daag…

Chunari me daag, chhupaun kaise, ghar jaaun kaise, laaga chunari me daag…

And so goes one of my favorite songs since childhood!! Not only did I like the lovely lovely music of the song, I also kinda sensed the pain, the irony, the anguish, and yes, the helplessness hidden and yet so obviously present in the lyrics of the song. And in the movie titled so too!! But alas, where the song leaves you thinking; the movie forces you to stop thinking, by ending itself in a goody-goody manner, and it’s all the more irritating, because till the interval it gives you so much to think about!!!!

Phew!! I guess I’ve confused you… :-P. Ok Ok, so keeping things straight, Laaga Chunari Me Daag is a movie made by Pradeep Sarkar(Of Parineeta fame!!), and deals with the ‘profession’ that girls are made to pursue outta their ‘majboori’!!

Rani and Konkona are the daughters of Anupam Kher and Jaya Bachchan, a “traditionally-rich-but-now-on the-verge-of-bankruptcy” couple in Benaras.(I dunno how this happens in bollywood movies…. haven’t they heard of savings and investments and insurance policies???? But anyways, lets continue..). Yeah, so to pull out the family of its financial crisis, the ‘un-matric’ elder sister Rani marches off to Mumbai to hunt for a job. I know it’s a cliche, but in big-bad-world of Mumbai(!!!) , the hunter becomes the hunted, and falls for a job offer into the bed of her boss-to-be. Actually not straightaway, she first calls up her mom and tells her that she’s gonna deny the offer; but her mom is so tensed about her husband being ill, that without listening to the qualms of her daughter she tells her not to return until she makes a living. What a mom!!! Anyways, as expected, no doors opened lead to the job! (now anybody with a little bit of grey matter in their brains would know that a call center boss will not employ a highschool dropout!!). Hurt, angry, resentful, pained, and bitter, she decides to make a job out of her first attempt to get a job. Groomed and styled by a high-society whatever(we really dont know what Suchitra Pillai does for a living, or did I miss it??), she transforms from a gauche village belle to a sophisticated-n-sexy call-girl, or ‘escort’! She starts getting clients right from the word go, and her house in Benaras, her sister’s education and her parents all start basking in the glory of her money! Money only, not her, ’cause we Indians are hypocrites…although we can accept the dough, we cannot accept the ‘tainted’ girl who kneeds it and dishes it out!!

So by virtue of her money, her house gets a new life, so does her dad, her sister gets an MBA, a great job and a loving boy-friend; and after a little bit of rona-dhona, black-mails, realizations and self-realizations and counter-realizations; the sisters-duo of Rani and Konkona get married to the brothers-duo Abhishek Bachchan and Kunal Kapoor. And they live happily ever after! <Phew!>

Ok, after reading this you all might think that I did not like  the movie at all…..well, it’s not exactly so. The movie is watchable, but not a must-watch! The first half of the movie is thought-provoking, intense. It makes you think abput how difficult life is for certain people, as opposed to us, who have had such a comfortable upbringing. But in the second half, the director tries to pull off a happy-ending in a biiig hurry. Yes life is not so difficult to everybody, but for those for whom it is, the conclusions and endings are not so simple either!

On the positive front, we must give full marks to Rani and Konkona, around whom the movie entirely revolves. If anything holds your interest over the entire movie, it’s the power-packed and yet spontaneous performances of the two! Abhishek and Kunal surely serve as eye-candy 🙂 , and Mr. Kher and Mrs. Bachchan are efficient as usual. The cinematography is grand and at the same time soothing to the eye; and the music pleasant. And yeah, a special mention to the costumes of Rani and Konkona: they are authentic and rich in Benaras, and trendy and really smart in Mumbai and above(!).

Now if only more attention was paid to the story and screenplay…If Only!!!!

Rating: Yellow

A Summons to Die Hard is not a Piece Of Cake!

Confused by the title people?? Actually its just my laziness to write 3 seperate reviews for the 3 pieces of work i read/watched of late…. So lets not beat around the bush and get straight to the point! 😉

John Grisham’s Summons is an ok-ok story abt Ray Atlee, a law professor having a celebrity judge as a father and a hopeless drug addict as a brother. When his very-much law abiding father passes away, Ray is startled to find 3 million bucks in cash at his house. Summons is a story about Ray’s quest  to find out the truth about the money. Moderately paced and sufficiently interesting, the book does tend to drag towards the end, and the climax too is not so surprising, to say the least.

Rating: 2/5 readable. but not a must!

Die Hard is the fourth part of the previous 3 versions of Die Hard. Although I haven’t seen any of them, going by the fourth, I can say that they must’ve been fabulous pieces of work! Amazzing action sequences is the strongest point of the mvie, not to mention a decently engrossing plot. Die Hard 4 is a modern times thriller about a cyber geek, who creates havoc (FireCell or something, in the cyber lingo)in the United States by hacking into ALL the important systems and databases, and actually bringing people’s lives to a standstill; and how Bruce Willis (John McLane in the movie) with the help of a hacking wizkid fights him.

The director hasn’t taken much effort in avoiding cliches, and yeah cinematic liberty does get stretched at times(esp. in the sequence where an F17 chases Willis’ truck), but overall, the movie is a great entertainer!!

Rating: Green!

Piece of Cake is the first book written by Swati Kaushal, an MBA Graduate. It is a simple story about a modern girl, well-educated smart and independent, but single, who is confused about choosing between a sexy RJ who’s younger to her in age and a well settled celebrity neurologist, who doesn’t seem to be of this age. Not to forget the spin brought in by the literally cut-throat competition in the corporate world!

Entertaining, humourous, and contemporary, this novel surely makes for some good and light reading!

Rating: 3/5 Definitely Readable!