Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fashionable Heroes :)

For the past few days am in Kolkata. AGAIN! I know i've mentioned a lot about this city in my past posts, but this time i wasn't here for pleasure. I was here for Business, as part of the tour that my company's making all the trainee's undertake before their confirmation. A detailed post will come shortly about the entire tour, but now i'll mention about two movies that i saw in the past few days.
  1. Heroes

Me and my friends went to see this movie on sunday. Being in a metro has it's advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to watching movies, the disadvantages take a heavier side. The movie was Originally titled Mera Bharat Mahaan (My India is Great), the film was rechristened Heroes, to avoid sounding jingoistic(source Wiki). They even did a song with the previous title. The theme of the film slightly revolves around the cult classic, The Motorcycle Diaries, the famous film that shows the transformation of Ernesto "Che" Guevara to become the legend. In the original it's the diary that marks the transformation, while in the Indian version, we've two hunks who've to submit a short film to their institute to complete their course in Film Direction. They both desperatly need the degree's to run off to USA for enjoying all the good things in life waiting for them. The storyline doesn't have lot of originality and there's lot of lifting from many popular books and movies. Like for instance there's a scene straight out of five point someone, of the guy wearing the gal's dad's pajama's and then meeting him on the road. I don't know why they needed to make such rips when we've so many other wonderful stupidities shown on MTV and Channel V all day long. The guys Sohail Khan, Vatsal Sheth are shwon to be the kind of carefree youngsters that are now almost in every nationalistic film, be it Rang De Basanti or Lakshya. Both the movies had the hero's going under a transformation and getting the idea to do somethng for the nation. Here they have the transformation by making a film titled "Why one shouldn't join the Indian Armed forces. They start the journey to deliver the last letters of three soldiers who die in the kargil war. These letters are given by the slain soldiers to a TV Journalist who has saved them with him for three long years and when he hear's the titile of the short film, he gives them these letters thinking of making a change in these guys' lives. We are shown even footage from Lakshya with the bofors firing and all.

So the journey begins, we get to see Kuljeet Kaur (Preity Zinta) first who's the widow of Balkar Singh (Salman Khan). She's having a tough time managing the finances with the meagre pension the govt gives her. The guys are convinced when they read the letter to her and she is left all crying. Preity sort of takes off her role from Veer Zaara. Similar situation's similar dialogs. So i wasn't a bit impressed with that. The guys decide that the defense job just doesn't do good for a widow and are still on the positive when it comes to their title and firmly believe that one shouldn't join the forces.

Next comes the other duo of brothers in the story Vikram Shergill (Sunny Deol) who's brother Dhananjay "DJ" Shergill (played by real brother Bobby deol) was killed in action. Vikram was a pilot in the Indian Air Force, he's now in a wheelchair and the story never tells how he got to that chair, other than a small story about Vikram following the enemy planes and getting shot down. The film never shows any real battle scenes. I expected some from the start but then the director wanted to get the emotional side of a war and not the action side. So we've to be happy with the descriptions given by Vikram who's patchy at best. Except for some footage from Lakshya, the movie has lot of ANIMATED Airforce planes doing sorties. Nothing REAL. But the description are a lot more emotional here with a particular scene where they show the elder brother saluting the corpse of the younger brother. It made me remember a photo that came n the papers during the kargil war time when there was a wife, an officer in the army, saluting the corpse of her husband who died in battle and not having one tear in her eyes. I still get a tear in my eyes when i see or remember that scene. Here also the guys decide that the forces don't take care of someone who lost his limbs in battle and leave him to die a painful death. So the title still stands true for them.

The next and last letter was a bit different, the letter was from Sahil Naqvi (Dino Morea), to his Commanding officer asking for leave. On the way they hav a problem with the bikes and get a lift from the trucks carrying the deadbodies of slian soldies. Again lot of emotion. The CO then gives the guys a letter to his family. The guys are a bit shocked to see Sahil's mom engaged in socialite parties and not caring about the last letter her son sent her. Then she tells the story of Sahil's dad (Mithun Chakraborty) who's left all his normal life and is in isolation since the death of his son. The guys play the part of the dead son and make the man happy.

After the long journey, the guys have a trasnformation and that's the whole thing is based on. In the end they realise that honour and patriotism aren't just punchlines to be used in movies but the real thing.

Lot of emotions, lot of nationalism, lot of patriotic scenes. I'd say i was a bit sad only coz i spent Rs 200 watching the movie. The direction and script could have been much much better, the music is at it's best bearable. The cinematography is awesome. The locations, especially the one's in leh are breathtaking.

Rating : 6/10

2. Fashion

I'd wanted to see the movie the day i saw the trailer. The reasons are many, the director Madhur Bhandarkar is among my favorite directors and i've loved all his movies to date, plus this time he had some really good people in the cast, that inclues my favorite actress Priyanka Chopra. I just love her looks and that's what she uses to her best in the movie. The movie is about the dirty underbelly of the Indian Fashion Industry which we never see, the dirty ego wars between the models, the casting couch phenomenon, the male model world filled with the gays who never allow a straight man to becme a top model and so on and on.

Bhandarkar has done it all in this movie, he's shown every possible reason why a girl should never join this world. The movie is a real showstopper. The story revolves around Meghna Mathur who's from Chandigarh, a small town girl who's having the dream of becoming a super model. When she packs her bags and leaves for Mumbai to join this world, her dad(Raj Babbar) isn't all that happy. She gets here and soon is aquainted to the CELEBRITIES in the fashion world. During that point the movie is so much like page three. Even showing model's being hired to go and become EYE CANDY for parties .Slowly Madhu learns the tricks and comes in one show. During that period Shonali Gujral( Kangana Ranaut) is the reigning queen of the model world and Madhu sets her targets on her and aspires to be like Shonali one day. The film shows what all the models go through; drugs, alcohol, smoke and everything. I wonder why Mr Ramadoss didn't toss this movie through the censor board. During the course of time she meets a guy(Arjan Bajwa), has a live in relation with him. He's a male model who's finding it tough coz he doesn't want to turn gay for some designers. Meanwhile she slowly gets to the bed of the top boss in the fashion world and finaly replaces shonali from her top position.

The second half of the movie show's how quickly a model's life can be shattered with drugs, smoke and alcohol ruling their nights. While camera's and schedules dule their days.

There are lot of censorable instances, especially with the smoke. The film even has a wardrobe malfunction and then the whole media going berserk on the fashion world and how the media doesn't care for the girl whose image gets damaged each time the clip is being aired.

The solid reason why Fashion works is because the script brings alive everything you've read in newspapers or watched on TV as an outsider, to the big screen. That's the talent of this director. The music is apt for the movie with lot of good trance music during the shows and then a lovely romance song too.

I tell everyone to go and watch this movie.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Life moves on..............

I've been away from the blog for a while, heck this seems to be the standard opening line for the past few posts of mine.

This time no dialogs, just letting the pics do the talking

I'm on a pan India tour thanks to my employer. We've been taken around Gujarat, UP and later on to Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi. I've finished the Gujarat leg of my tour and done half of the UP tour and right now am sitting in the room of Jayram in IIM Lucknow and blogging this at 2 30 in the morning, while he's snoring next to me. :) The pics are in random order coz i didn't have a lot of time to fix them up.

India's Diverse Driving culture's. This one's from Ahmedabad :P

@ the Harvard Steps (that's what they're called if i rem right)

With the Mr Thampi in LKP in IIM A. Had a great time there coz of him

Striking a pose in front of the Louis Kahn Plaza @ IIM A.

Thampi explaining their midnight frisbee playground locations

Never stop posing for snaps. :D

"Those were the best days of my life - My IIM A Days :)"
Would love to say that :D

A view of the LKP taken by me in my Nokia 6500

I seriously didn't notice this board until the very end, else i'd never have taken these IIM A Pics :)

Thampi after the exhaustive dime tour of IIMA.

A kid Became Gandhi and welcomed us into Sabarmati Ashram when we went there on 2nd October

The Three Monkey's - Sabarmati Ashram again

The Charkha and writing pad that Mahatma Gandhi used

Gandhiji's Room

Gandhiji's eternal message

Maybe the head's bowed down due to the state of affairs in the country he freed

Evidepoyalum mallu restaurant kittum :P

This was a Jain Temple in Kutch Dist in Gujarat that we visited

Most common mode of transport in rural Gujarat. Called as Jhakada :D

The long road ahead............

This is a letter written to Indira Gandhi by Nehru, saw on my visit to Anand Bhavan in Allahabad

Calmly flows the Ganga on a dew filled morning

A Hanuman Temple that we visited en route banaras

The temple inside the BHU Campus. It was a magnificent spiritual experience

In front of the Anand bhavan

A peek inside the extensive Nehru personal library @ Anand Bhavan

Me @ the Triveni Sangam in Allahabad

The Golden Buddha @ Sarnath

Errr. Call it what you can :D, just a snap during the training