Friday, July 26, 2013

Glen n me...

Ah! When i gently nose my irresistibly addictive "The Glenlivet" every single pore of my body gets tickled in anticipation of what's gonna enchantingly drench it in next few moments. A profound sense of romantic bliss takes over all of my brain cells & the poor heart wishes those so earnestly earned moments to last a little longer. Just a couple of droplets down my adam's apple & i feel like having attained Nirvana. If i am with my dear friends they just can't help themselves change their loyalties in uncompromised praise of this elegantly smooth nectar. Solitude couldn't make me feel any less privileged either. Such is my unfettered bonding with my "The Glenlivet".

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bhaag audience Bhaag??!!

What an anticlimax? Or is it actually? I probably wasn't so unsure even after writing the biggest competitive examination of my life. I was fairly convinced about my chances of getting through the probability of one in thousand. But what do I say about the fate of "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag"!! With great fanfare i booked the ticket for its paid preview before its formal (& wider) release the next day. In not so predictable Mumbai monsoon weather, on a bad week day, i overcame all odds to drive 3 hours at stretch to be able to catch the much anticipated biopic before any of my friends do & still quite disappointingly missed initial 3-4 minutes. It didn't exactly inspire an Opera like feeling inside the multiplex screen with more than half the seats empty. Alright, tomorrow is not a holiday as well but for one of the most anticipated cine ventures of 2013 it was a sorry state of affairs. To some extent it appeared blasphemous that audience didn't even get excited to cheer up one of their SOLE sporting icon for decades on Bada Parda.

So what's wrong here? All through the three hours of this narrative drama people kept their cool with lot of patience (definitely due to their sheer respect for the great athlete). Not that it was another Ram Gopal Verma like brainless dud. In fact, far from it. Yet if I were to take out 2 outstanding contributions across all the film making departments & individual performances it would just be Farhan Akhtar & Divya Dutta although cinematography is also above par.

Story lacks the punch & feels like is getting dragged by a towing vehicle mostly all through the length of the movie. If you don't know in advance I bet you would be surprised to know who the director is! He is the same gentleman who not so long ago gave us few classics. No doubt he has put in his entire experience while making it as well & kudos to him for choosing this tricky genre which inherently is a double edged sword.

As an exacting coach Yograj Singh couldn't ask for a better living his routine life on screen (for records, he is Yuvraj Singh's father). Pawan Malhotra knows playing just one type of roles but we also know that nobody else does it better. As a doting sister & oppressed conservative wife Divya Dutta doesn't fail to impress. She is one such under explored actress. Prakash Raj also shines but briefly even as he couldn't get to develop his role. Sonam Kapoor was grossly wasted.

The real & only star of the film is expectantly Farhan who has put in his heart & soul into essaying this once in a lifetime role. He appears to have taken not only the face & body but also the spirit of Milkha Ji.

What touches you is the vulnerability of characters, especially Milkha who earnestly admits on his follies. Since the legend himself has sold the story to the film makers for a token consideration of one rupee its authenticity for screen adaptation can't be questioned and at times you end up wondering if our hero "also did this"!!

Since I was in Hunder (Ladakh) when the movie crew visited there for a shoot I was not surprised to find that the most dramatic scene of the movie depicting transformation of Milkha into the Flying Sikh was shot under possibly the most overwhelmingly imposing surroundings of this (beyond description) picturesque sight which enthralls you even in normal weather condition. Go! Do visit this place to get the real feel for yourself (more on it in my earlier blogs of last year).

Lastly, I sincerely request Ra(y)kesh to drop the baggage which genetically talented people like him don't need & all such numerological experiments can best be left for lesser mortals like one of my namesakes.

If multiplexes don't cut the ticket prices considerably and/or the governments make it tax free in their states to mark respect to the legend & this genuine attempt (which should ideally have taken the shape of a documentary than mainstream cinema) I fear it would crash land on a satellite channel before the Independence Day to recover its cost.

At 2:30 AM I can't find motivation to write any more on my state of confusion. This is just cinema & certainly not an entertainer for the masses. Better luck next time.

Unsolicitedly yours

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Boy-o-boy!! Oh boy!!

I won't be blaming you for sneering at this somewhat tacky beginning to my thoughts. But this is precisely what I felt on countless occasions last evening while reluctantly watching Raanjhanna. I confess that I didn't care to see its review anywhere (which is what I normally do otherwise) to form an opinion about it as I simply didn't feel like doing it!! But when left with no suitable alternative at a multiplex ticket window & when “not entering inside it” was ruled out I gave my consent for watching this 2 week old release I certainly didn't have an idea what khaalis 130 minute entertainer was in the offing!

Few of my admirers (all of them could be counted on finger tips any way) have been requesting me for some time to review the movie I just finished watching & today I couldn't help do so. What ethereal concoction of drama, comedy, effortless performances & seasoned directorial tribute to the Indian cinema. Hats off to the entire team for coming up with THE masterpiece.

Dhanush may be light years away from the stereotypical image of a Bolly hero & you might have already seen quite a many sartorial art works on social media ridiculing him as the main lead but does he do justice to the faith shown in him by the avant-garde producer director duo. He takes to the popular Hindi cinema with such convincing & consummate ease as a Hilsa in the Hoogly waters. For this role of a vagabond turned road Romeo there couldn't probably be found a better choice than him. From his mannerism to a very typical dialogue delivery (in all likelihood dubbed by himself) to his own style of dancing with gaiety he leaves his mark on every single frame of his screen presence. He is simply just so endearing.

Sonam Kapoor has grown by leaps & bounds since her Cinderella affairs in her earlier avatars. Like all other cast of the movie she also does mesmerize you with her coming of age performance, initially as a vulnerable daughter than as a feisty comrade. Abhay Deol has perfected the art of portraying a gentleman and though no complaints from him whatsoever in a guest appearance one would expect from him to try something diabolical now to challenge himself.

Bindiya keeps teasing you as the wanna be love interest of Kundan but the real meat of a role was that of Kundan's Man Friday for all seasons Murari. He steals the show with punches after punches while bringing a smile on your face by being so rustic in usage of local UP slangs (many of you would get a sense of déjà-vu on hearing some of the very popular ones).

All in all, this movie has all the makings of being the flag bearer for India @ Oscars and it might just go in the history as the one with the most TV re-runs after its theatrical run is well over.

Illogically yours truly

Rits ;-)

p.s.: Please find some time for putting in your feedback on this critique. You may want to also share it on my Twitter handle @Rits1011