Friday, October 27, 2006

Watch out Linkin Park...

Here comes Zerobridge... the world's First( And probably Only) Kashmiri rock band .

I Found out about this band while browsing the communities at orkut . from what I heard at theri site , the music sounds quite good. Slightly gloomy and mellow though .

The Name Zerobidge comes form the name of a bridge in Srinagar . ( Yes it's really called that) . The story goes that as they were building bridges to connect the suburbs to the city center, they would name them by numbers, 1 Bridge, 2 Bridge, etc. The only bridge that was there before construction didn't have a name, and so they called it Zerobridge.
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Saturday, October 21, 2006

DON review...The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men .....

<-------Pointless Discourse ------>
Being a megalomaniac bad-ass is much more fun than being the hero....
1.You get to do the craziest things without any excuses...And no cleaning up later.( Shoot the poor bloke who wants to leave your gang, kill the police informer with a well placed golf ball)
2.You get all the cool Gadgets( A watch that detonates bombs and warns you of pesky intruders ) 3. You have a vamp for company ( Isha Kopikkar)
4.Your base of operations are in the snazziest locations throughout the world( Paris , Malasiya)
5. You get a cool wardrobe ( Funky Shirts, Tag Huer , Oakley , et all)
6.Highly Personalized Transport ( Covertible Mercs , Helicopters )
7. You get the best lines ( "I like me too...", "Mujhe uske joote pasand naih the...")
And you get to look cool in the process
<-------End of pointless Discourse---->

First of all , hats off to Farhan Akhtahr . He took a really big chance in remaking Don . Remaking cult classics is always a risky proposition ... you have to stay true to the original and still put something fresh for the audieice . And when the original has some of the most iconic moments in Hindi Film History (... Khaike paan Banars , Yah mera dil , 11 mulk ke police ...) you know that you have a tough job on your hands . If you go wrong , you wil have earned the warth of a generation of Aunties and Uncles He took a even bigger chance by getting Shah Rukh to fill in the Big Bs shoes. He doesn't seem to have much success outside of his romantic roles ( Not necessarily because they are bad movies ) . So it was with some apprehension that I went to see this movie....would Farhan massacer the classic ? Could SRK match up to Amitabh ? Would I be paying just to see the same move , albeit with exotic locations and modern Technology? Well , to tell you the truth , Farhan has made a pretty decent movie. Does it surpass the original ? No way . Does it come close ? Yes it does . Will it become a classic ? Not likely

The Good

SRK is pretty good as the Don . ( More on that later ). The costumes , his mannerisms and ex-pression are as close as anyone can come to the Original Don without imitating him . Face it , no way that SRK can pull off an Amitbh... so he decided to do it in his own way.He mouths the dialogs with malice and does a generally good job of bringing the bad-ass Don on screen, although he is less successful as Vijay. Think of it as Baazigar-meets-Duplicate. You get to see him use plenty of high tech-gadgets , romance damsels and deal death with uber-coolness ( Poor Cahnky Pandey...)
The first half of the movie moves along at a brisk pace . Its basically the same Don an a modern setting , while the second half deviate considerably from the original.

Farahan has also made quite a few changes to the script . Jasjit( Arjun Rmpal ) is no logner a circus-artist . Instead he is a hacker/security-analyst . Instead of the Don being killed , in this one he is taken to a secret location.
There are also a number of twists in the plot , especially the BIG ONE , right there in the end... never saw it coming ( Maybe I was too stupid)
There are some good action sequences. The Dons rescue from the Malaysian police is as good as anything in Hollywood . The car chase is also pretty can never go wrong with exploding auto-rickshaws .. Even tough the escape form the plane is a rip-off form Con-Air/Moonraker , its still pretty well done.

Priyanka Chopra is also quite good as Roma . Boman Irani is competent enough , although he looks sightly uncomfortable as DCP DeSilva .Kaareena Kapoor is okay for the 10 minutes or so that she's on screen .

The background score matches the film perfectly. cinematography is first rate .

The Bad

First of , all I really think that the movie lacks soul . The Original didn't have such high production values , but it was much moire engaging and lively . You never really get attached much to any of the characters . I felt that the same thing was wrong with Krrish... Koi Mil Gaya had me rooting for Rohit , while Krrish was just ho-hum.
The movie supposedly has 1200 edits . 1500 wouldn't have been a bad idea . the movie lags considerably for most of the second half .Although it does pick up in the end it really drags in some parts . ( But the ending does make up for it though ) . Like his previous movies ( DCH , Lakshay), he seems to have gone haywire in the second half .The number of dealings and double crossings revolving around the missing disc( The major plot point ) also gets on your nerves and after a wile you wish that they would just get rid of the damn thing .
SRK cannot pull off the UP-bhaiya act . It looks artificial , like he is imitating Amitabh . He should ave made it a Mumbaiyah-character. I really think it would have worked much better.
The worst part has to be the choreography of the songs . Yeh mera Dil...Remember how Sensuous Helen was ? Now we have kareena doing some kind of tribal dance that would be better suited on Tarzan, with heaving bosoms et al . Khaike pans banaras is insipid ( with a highly contrived setting) . Aaj ki Raat (and the title song , to some extent ) was the only one that was passable . I really expected much more.

The Ugly

In-your-face Malasiya .Thanks for the guided tour .
Yeah Mera Dil....kill the choreographer .

Overall , I would have to say that this a good film , but not without it's flaws . If you are expecting iot to recreate the magic of the original , then you will be disappointed .Not for the purists . Bu if you want entertainment , then this is as good as any other movie release this year.
I'd give it 3.5/5 . But I just cant help liking this it's a 4 .

<--Useless Trivia--->
The picture hanging in Dons safe is "The Scream" (Check it out... )which was stolen in 2004 and was still missing at the time that the movie was shot( It was recovered last month )...couldn't help but laugh at that clever piece of humor.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

As close to reality as possible....But no closer !

Circa 1990-2001

Ah, those were the days . We were students…Life was nothing but heading to school , hanging out with friends and with only the occasional exam to disturb our pointless existence .

Being cool consisted of listening to Backstreet Boy , Boyzone , N’Sync. Britney Spears was every guys fantasy . People used to listen to cassettes and CDs . Having a mobile was a status symbol . Napster was still around. ( Tell us more Grandpa…)

The situation of Bollywood movies in general and romantic flicks in particular could only be described in one word: terrible

We had to be content with weepy melodramas ( Kuch Kuch Hota Hai , Raja Hindustani , etc,) , formula action flicks ( Karan Arjun , ) , cheap comedies (Dhule Raja ) with the rare genuinely good movies ( Rangeela , Shool , Bombay , Maachis , Andaaz Apna Apna ,etc ). The parallel cinema movement continued to churn out good movies that were blissfully ignored by the general movie-going public but lapped up by the critics . Our favorite heroes were the ubiquitous Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty , who had the uncanny ability to take on hordes of baddies single handedly , dispatch vigilante justice ,with a few musical numbers thrown in for good measure

It was in this bleak filmi landscape that the then-unknown Farhan Akhtar ( Whose claim to fame was being the son of Javed Akthar and Shaban Azmi ) released his genre-bending , gravity-defying , Frankenstein monster of a film : Dil Chata hai ( DCH) .

It wasn’t the most realistic movie released.

It wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing .

It wasn’t the most artistically made movie.

It didn’t have any heavy duty , out-of-work art house actors .

It wasn’t even controversial.

Even the critics didn’t like it much.

But against all odds, it worked .

It introduced bollywood to Farhan Akhthar . It revived the careers of Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Khanna . It cemented Aamir Khan’s position as the top Khan . It propelled Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to the A-list of music directors .

People were confused . Was it a comedy? No , but it had it’s comic moments . Was it a drama ? No, but it had its serious moments . Was it a romantic movie ? No , it was a movie about relationships . Was it a coming-of age movie ? Yes , but not in the usual sense . It was an amalgamation, the likes of which weren’t seen before in bollywood …at least not executed with so much style and panache.

But why did it work at all ? Well , to fully understand , you had to be in the age group of 16-25 when the movie was released . I was a wee lad of 17…and it blew my and my buddies away .

It was more than a movie , it was a phenomenon . Aamir Khans cap, his goatee and hairdo . It became “the look”, surpassed only by Salman Khans look in “Tere Naam”. Goa became he dream destination for Gen Y . ( I did try out the soul patch for a while , but got rid of it when someone asked me about why I was going for the King Fahad look )

It was the only mainstream film that (remotely) portrayed the lifestyle of the urban youth at that time . Granted , that only the ultra-rich could have the fantasy lifestyle of the protagonists : Vacationing in foreign countries , expensive cars , 60” projection TVs , etc . But what clicked was the freshness and spontaneity of the script and acting . Not much melodrama here .

Aamir, Saif and Akshay weren’t portraying the perfect heroes on-screen … they were acting like a bunch of college pass-outs having the time of their lives … go to any college in India and you’re sure to find the same kind of cliques .Hanging out with your buddies , discos , movies , dates ... all there. Up to that time college life in movies meant choreographed dances in the campus and canteen , the presence of a nasty rival ( with his own gang) and the occasional turf war .

Love wasn’t simply the mushy feeling and cute messages of greeting cards . Three love stories, none of them conventional , but all perfectly believable . A divorcee and a college student. A fun-loving rich-kid and an engaged woman . Two people who had no intentions of marrying in the first place . No drawn-out speeches of endless love and sacrifice . No janam janam ke saathi . Modern relationships seen in a ( almost ) realistic way .

The humourous parts of the movie were the best . Most of it was subtle , not over-the-top and forced ( No Johnny Lever !!) . I dont think anyone can keep a straight face through the "Tum bhi Rohit ??!!" Sequence.

In short , it was a movie that me and my buddies could identify with . we didn’t see actors on screen , we saw ourselves( at least we tried to ) . Everyone wanted friends like that who can laugh with them,have fun,cry,HAD their support at all times.Those friends which COULD run to Your house even in the middle of the night

The music was fresh , creative and different . You had a disco number , an unusual love song or two and a buddy number . The images of the three vacationing in Goa with the title track playing in the background has almost become i

Inspite of its short comings ( a slightly corny end-of-movie wedding sequence , the usual melodrama ) , this movie has made its place in the history of Indian cinema . It will be remembered as trend-setting , youth-focused and stylish film that became a cult favorite and a modern classic( please bear with the hyperbole ) . And it still remains one of my favorite movies .

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Don Teaser Trailer

Heres the shoter teaser trailer for those who cant be bothered to watch the full trailer...
"I am THE King..."
Dhoom 2 , eat you heart out...

Don Theatrical Trailer ( The full monty)

Call me obsessed , but I cant wait for this movie to come out .....

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ramadan Days...

Life goes on ....

Day 4 of my vacation .... Have touched my books yet and it looks like its gonna be some time till that happens .
The weathers lousy as usual.. That's the worst part.. Living on a tropical sunny island but in the place that has the highest rainfall of the entire island ... Everything stays wet , ypu run out of clothes to wear since you have to dry them indoors .

Since I cant eat , its severely limiting my activities during the day . Spending my days in a trace -like state . Trying to get the hang of my blog . Browsing the net , (youtube mostly... They've got some funny stuff...) , messaging buddies , reading books .

Wake up at 4 to have a snack , and that's it till 6 pm . But its much better than during the exams . Was too tired to even change my clothes after coming back to the hostel .

The canteen food is bad( a usual ) , but we have to put up with it since we've already paid . And that's not making fasting any easier . Mostly cook my own food , along with my cousin ( more about him later )

The fact that my college is situated in the middle of nowhere doesn't help much ...

(wasn't that an exciting and original post ??)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Back to normality

Finally , my pre-university exams are over . The last 2 weeks were pretty hectic and stressful . Late night studying , subsiding on unhealthy snacks , caffeine-laden drinks , last minute revisions ....Ugh !!
But the good news is I managed to pass all three subjects ( Ophthalmology , ENT and community medicine ).

The theory papers went ok , but I was really worried about the practicals .... Get an uncooperative patient or even an examiner who's having a bad day and you've had it . The stuff of urban legends....The doctor who failed the student because he was on the wrong side of the bed , the angry patient who gave a wrong history, etc, etc .

But they went pretty ok . I kind of messed up on my short-case viva in ophthalmology. My long case in ENT could have been a little better .

Well , at least I managed to get through the week without pissing off any doctor and not (overtly) making a fool of myself .

Now for the aftermath...

The college management , in all their wisdom have given us a 40 day break to prepare for the University exams . Not even 3 days into the vacation , and I'm already bored silly . Guess ill have to start studying .The weather isn't helping much either ..It rains all the time over here ( Mauritius - Belle Rive to be exact )...Se7en anyone ???

So a desprate measure ,I've taken to updating my blog .

Sunday, October 08, 2006

My frist post ...Bring back the 80's !!!

Okay , this is my second attempt at maintaining a blog.... Had another blog , but never got around to updating it .

I'm not really sure what to post about , so for my first , a tribute to the King of 80s masala moveis , MithunDa ! !!


Mithun da would be proud.....

Brings back memories of the 80s...sniff...( But the 70s still rule !!)

They dont make quality cinema anymore ....

heres the original ...