Friday, June 27, 2008

New Blog Up!

Read the review on The 3 Mistakes of My Life at

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Moving on..

Check out the latest blog entry - Football'ed' at

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sarkar Raj - The Review

Sarkar Raj was an eagerly awaited film. It was deemed to be Ramu’s comeback, rather fightback, film. There were rumors abound about the film being a platform for the Bachchans to show their Maharashtra love. The film scores on both these counts. Ramu is in form or should I say in his comfort zone in the film and he delivers. The Bachchans use the 70MM canvas to seek a place in the hearts of the Marathis who are supposed to hate them following the political outbursts against the first family of Indian Filmdom.


Sarkar Raj takes off from where Sarkar had left. The slickness is maintained and the pace at which the story moves grips you from the very outset. A foreign power company headed by Anita (Aishwarya) wants to set up a power plant in Maharashtra and for that it seeks Sarkar’s help. Shankar (Abhishek) believes in the project and despite the initial hiccups is able to convince people to welcome the power plant project. In the process he makes new enemies as well who decide to decimate him.

The build up to the intermission is quite good and the interval point reminds you of Godfather, the film Sarkar's initial inspiration. Just as Michael Corleone’s wife was blown up in Godfather, here, Tanisha is blown up. Post interval it’s revenge time for the Nagres as Shankar goes for the kill to avenge his wife’s death. Tensions build up and a contract killer is hired to eliminate Shankar. Shankar meanwhile is oblivious to the lurking danger as he is not able to gauge the larger conspiracy at hand. The result – he is shot dead!

The semi-retired Sarkar comes back to the helm to find the people behind the killing and has them killed. He figures out that a political game was being played by his own mentor to get the reins of power back in his hands. Sarkar foils his bid and shows who the real boss is. The climax is open ended to allow Ramu enough room to cook up another story to complete the Sarkar trilogy in future.

Now coming to the details or as I say, the dissection:

Acting: Amitabh Bachchan is awesome! Only he could have been Sarkar and he plays the character with supreme finesse. Junior B too got into the skin of the character just as well as he did the last time around. His death scene immortalizes his character. Thankfully there is not much drama and that makes it look more real. This is a good thing about Ramu and his films, they don't make death look like a fanfare as in typical Bollywood films.
Aishwarya Rai gets to play a strong girl but not that strong a character. She looks more of a 'spectator' than a 'player' in the script. Yes, the climax does augur well for her character in the third part, if it is made. Rest of the cast is ok. The touch that the actor playing an industrialist, Kantilal Vora, brings to his character looks obsolete and very filmy. Should a serious looking villain always have to indulge in some antiques like singing romantic hindi songs to bring out his wickedness to the fore?

Direction: Ramu is a master of underworld films. He delivers this time and that must have been a relief for him. He has his own trademark way of introducing characters and showing a vulture flying over the sky to denote the ‘lull before the storm’. The good thing about Ramu is his technical deftness, the bad thing – his repetitiveness!

Music: Amar Mohile is a veteran and has done a good work with the background score. The haunting tunes come back to you and the chants of ‘Govinda, Govinda!’ bring back the same aura that Sarkar-I had brought. Thumbs up for the score. The other songs are not good. They didn’t have to be, this film did not need any song. Ramu has intelligently played them in the background to break the monotony at times.

Dialogues: Intelligent but a bit too taxing at times. There were a few really good scenes with quality dialogues but at times they went overboard and gave the impression of being forced to give an overdose of intellect in the film.

As for the packaging, publicity and box office fate, they seem have been taken care of quite well. The film will be profitable and will go some way in resurrecting the declining power that Ramu once wielded through his ‘Factory’ that I have heard has shut down now. I hope better sense prevails on Ramu and he gives up his dream to rehash Sholay a second time.

Sarkar Raj is not an entertainer. You would appreciate it but not love it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Banned - Why?

I got this in a forwarded message recently. This MTV Ad, they say, was banned in the US after being aired once. Some sources also claim that it was not the Government but Viacom, the parent company of MTV that censored it as it offended viewers and corporate sponsors. The time of this Ad was post the 9/11 attacks. I cannot confirm the veracity of the forward but the picture ad is definitely thought provoking.
Even though I am convinced that there are far more serious issues that need to be addressed in the World than a war on Terrorism, but that doesn't make terrorism a less sinful act.
2,863 dead40 million infected worldwideThe world united against terrorism.It should do the same against AIDS
2,863 dead630 million homeless people in the worldThe world united against terrorism.It should do the same against poverty.

2,863 dead824 million undernourished people in the worldThe world united against terrorism.It should do the same against

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Jab We Met - Review

I had seen Jab We Met earlier but not at one go. So I never felt the urge to write something about it. This time I got hold of its DVD while on vacation and I loved it! I know that the review has lost its significance as it comes in a year late but I just wanted to talk about it.

Imtiaz Ali is one director who reminds you of directors like Hrishikesh Mukheji who made simple, light hearted but entertaining films. Jab We Met, like Socha Na Tha (Imtiaz’s debut film with Abhay Deol) has characters that are straight out of life. The dialogues are not filmy and story is the king.

Jab We Met has a lot of things working in its favor. A good story to start off with, an intelligent director and protagonists who share great onscreen chemistry. The film rode on the Shahid-Kareena break up story to become one of the top grossers of 2007.

Story: If you have seen both of Imtiaz Ali’s films, you would note that his stories have that element of ‘confusion’ playing a key role in the story. Socha Na Tha had Abhay Deol being confused about the girl he wanted to marry. Jab We Met has Shahid and Kareena helping each other overcome their respective confusions in different phases in their lives. You get engrossed in the story right at the beginning when Geet and Aditya are introduced. The lively pace at which the story moves keeps you interested. The only time I felt a slack was in the closing fifteen minutes of the film when Geet, Aditya and Anshuman return to Bhatinda and find themselves amidst the confusion where Geet’s family mistakenly takes Aditya to be Geet’s husband. I call that cinematic liberty but this is one point in this intelligently written film that irks you.

Direction: Imtiaz Ali is a director to watch out for. This reticent looking director explodes behind the camera and brings out the best from his lead actors. Kareena has been on the scene for almost a decade now and Shahid has been around for six years in the industry. But it is with this film that they have come of age. Kareena did have Omkara to boast about but the towering Saif Ali Khan as Langda Tyagi overshadowed everyone then. Imtiaz has raised the expectations manifold with this film. I just hope that he lives upto them.

Music: I hate to say this when it is Pritam at the helm but the fact is that the music rocks. I lost all respect for this guy when I got to know that most of his ‘original’ tracks were ‘inspired’. But that doesn’t take away the fact that he has good musical ears. This guy sure knows what the listeners would like. He keeps giving hits despite his trade secret having come out in the open. The tracks have distinct flavor. A couple of bhangda tracks and a few soft romantic numbers make this an extremely likable album. Pritam is from the same stable as our other popular inspired music directors Bappi Lahiri and Anu Malik. Hate him or loathe him but he is here to stay.

Acting: The film is about two people and the circumstances they are in. It was imperative that the actors involved showed that maturity in their portrayals. Shahid and Kareena do complete justice to their parts. You walk out of a theatre with strong macho characters in your mind. I am strictly speaking of the male audience for a reason here because it is Geet’s character that stays with you when the film ends. Kareena has deservingly won all Bollywood film awards this year. Shahid too has delivered a power packed performance. Something from Pankaj Kapur seems to have rubbed onto him.

Dialogues: Funny, powerful and original! The conversations between different characters in the first half generate mirth. The second half is not funny but the dialogues still make the whole affair very real and likable.

The negatives as I said are not too many and I don’t want to dig into those just to sound like a real critic. I feel that the film did lose pace in the second half and could have been trimmed a bit. But overall Jab We Met is an enjoyable experience. I am sure most of you would like it.

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