Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rock On!


Two movie reviews in a day! They should start paying me for watching movies ;)
Rock On! The movie on the whole rocks!
It may not be able to stand as a milestone or a movie defining a phase in bollywood (like a DCH or RDB) but it will touch many hearts.
The story is very predictable and even before entering the theatre its easy to figure out the whole plot just by looking at the posters outside. BUT, the way it is presented is almost flawless. The rock band called Magik is a winner of Channel V contest and gets a chance to make a music album but differences, ego and compromises forced by the pedantic views of the record company plays a spoil sport. They meet after 10 years and fight out their circumstances and egos and participate in the challenge once again. The movie really talks about how empty our lives can be without dreams and their realization. And music is blended with the movie in a fantastic way; you don't just have secluded songs trying to emerge from situations, they rather complete and supplement each and every motive of the direction. Each song is a unique story in itself and taking away any line of the song would dent the completeness of the movie as a whole.
There may be a little flaws like ... well, there are none that come to my mind instantly! Perhaps the only flaw in the movie may be its predictability but its taken care of by the treatment. A few of you (particularly people who expect the movie not to be a movie-based-on-rock-music but a rock concert itself) may get a little bored a few times when a couple of (necessary) emotional scenes are shown but the fantastic music more than makes for each such moment. The cast is just perfect, with some performances that would certainly be remembered. Rock On announces the rise of Farhan-the actor! Arjun Rampall plays a man who's only talent is music and the way he plays the part can get him a 'role' at the opening ceremony of the next olympics. He has given one of the best performances of his career and even in the 'side-role' (though I can hardly call it that) he is the real rock star attraction of the movie. Farhan is surprisingly good. This acting debut of Farhan can be compared to the direction debut of Amir in TZP. One of the surprise packages is Prachi (she plays Farhan's wife), she looked as gorgeous as any housewife can ever look and acted well. Purab did well (though I expected him to be much better), he's a very promising actor and we all know that. The things that touch your heart are the intensity of each person involved in the band. The passion, not just for music but for each one of them is phenomenal and you can see and feel it in each moment of the scene. Its not a thriller so it doesn't rivet you to your seat but if you get involved in the movie it grows into you (and would hopefully last for a very long time).
The shadow of DCH was evident in quite a lot of places but you soon realize that its got to be because of the youth appeal that it has (which it shares with DCH). Rock On is a movie thats certainly not meant for the masses. I happened to talk with a few people that might constitute what we call as 'the masses' and they were not very satisfied with the movie. Its either for those who understand human emotions or those who know that 'hindi-rock' has started making waves in the music world. Its inspiring in its own way and is a movie well made (I'm not very confident about its performance at the box office though).

Friday, August 29, 2008

Phoonk, RGV's last horror flick (hopefully)


Its been sometime since I did any movie reviews here at CnC and I'm going to watch 'Rock On!' today and it looks like a movie worth a review. But before that there's another movie which deserves a review for the benefit of the people who may want to venture to see it on the big screen. PHOONK, the RGV horror (or thriller, or whatever) is certainly not meant for the small screen. The best thing to do would be to find a couple of friends who know how to enjoy the lowliest things in life and are prepared for a good laugh which may not be provoked by the high bass background scores but inevitable nonetheless.
The movie revolves around black magic that an 'innocent' family finds itself gripped in. The young and resurgent builder finds his atheistic beliefs on lose grounds when one of his close aides turn against him and decides to punish his little girl. The movie, sadly, has no twist in the story. The victory of good over evil is the moral.
My orkut caption says these days, "Phoonk misses the 'Best comic movie award of the year' by a whisker", this review is not going to be an exaggeration by any means. There are a couple of good things about the movie though. The camera work can be called captivating if you happen to like the seeing things from a close angle. The background score is good and perhaps the only scary part of the movie (though you will find it hard to hear most of it if you are sitting with a lively audience who find it hard to control their laughter). As against the common notion, RGV has tried to include a song in the movie. I personally found it good but not many people seem to remember it and the Planet M at Allahabad was unable to find a Phoonk audio CD in its stores. The story, though very predictable, is racy and the camera work keeps you guessing. Most of the cast is good, the usual people from the 'RGV factory'. The acting of the possessed girl is good, considering the fact that its always hard to act in a horror flick where the 'music' is added while editing the movie.

The things to watch out for are:
1. The dead crow (with a stone eye) perched at almost all the trees around d set.
2. An old lady with a 'spring fitted' head.
3. A Javed Jaferry look alike.
4. The latest technology in levitation- 'phoonk effects'.
5. The 'phoonk healer' who (strangely) can set things right with a couple of chopsticks fitted between his knuckles.
6. An underpaid driver who's unsatiated 'hawas' (even to the disappointment of the audience craving for a bit of flesh-flashing) leads to a lot of harm to the family (or is it because he was given no dialogues by RGV, cant say!).
7. The pathetic 'replication' of the common 'fights' between ghosts and the ordinary man towards the end is a total let down.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Indian olympics dream ..


Congratulation! We won the first ever gold for an individual event in olympics!
This great feat accomplished by Abinav Bindra comes as a huge motivating factor for all the Indians. It is not just a victory for the Indian sports but a moment of pride for the middle class dreamer as well. We have always blamed our bad performance in sports on the 'insecurity' associated with a career in sports and games. It is always said that in order to become a sports person in India you have to take insurmountable risk and put your career at stake. For Bindra it was never the case. He has got a gold, which is surely the best moment in his life, but even before this victory he has been an achiever in his life. An MBA holder, this 'little man' is in fact the CEO of a company as well.
So, if you dream of making it big and doing your country proud, this is the moment. Rise up to the challenge. And there is hope that even if you do not perform too well, your career could be great even without the incentives from government that always just become a promise.
Dream big and go for the kill.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Why are the names changing?


The world seems to have waged a war against names that sound simple and are easy to spell. Take for example 'Bangalore', an easy to spell familiar name, changed to 'Bengaluru'. Not just cities, you will in fact find many people adding a few letters to their names to make their names compatible with the 'rules' defined by the 'new age' (but otherwise very old) sciences like feng shui, numerology and what not. But, believe it or not there is much more to this story than meets the eye. Do you remember when this 'fashion' of changing names started catching much pace ? It was somewhere in the late 90s and beyond and if you can recall, this is the time when had started becoming the first choice for searches being performed on the web. Most of us may not be able to make a conspicuous connection between the two but its rather obvious. Adding that extra letter, or keeping a tough to pronounce name (which is spelt in a unique way) may in fact give better search results on!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Curious incident ... in the night time !


This has to go down as one of the most amazing 'Friendship day' ever for me. So much has already happened and the day has just begun!
Me and a friend, Vinay, decided to spend the 'Friendship day's eve' in a unique way. At 11PM we decided to take our bicycles and step into the 'sleepy town' that Allahabad is known to be. Me on my Mach1 and Vinay on some 'Y' Gen bike! The streets leading to the 'Shastri Bridge' (over the river Ganga) was in fact not dead at all, the 'Kavariyas' (devotees of Lord Shiva, who take the holy water from the Ganga and make a journey bare foot to 'Kashi') were swiftly covering the distance at night when the sun is not cracking down on them. But as we moved out of that area we could almost hear the crickets in the trees and bushes (the scenario for a city like Delhi, Bangalore is so different). It was around 11:30 at night and the streets were empty!
We thought of moving on to the 'new' bridge that has come up in the city in the last year, a true structural 'wonder' for the city of Allahabad. It has always looked beautiful at night, and it was exceptionally beautiful this time, Yamuna flowing below, a nice breeze, reflection of the street lights on the waves, it was amazing. Thats the kind of places where I would like to propose to my girl some day ;)
Sitting, talking, consuming the ambience it was 12:00, friendship day!
All this while when we were on our cycles or sitting on the bridge we found many curious eyes trying to figure out what we were up to, most of them police/security people. I must confess, it is not natural for any one to walk around so late in Allahabad. The curious eyes somehow didn't come to us and ask us anything (and remember that we were on cycles, the terror mechanism of the recent bombings in certain parts of the country).
Next we decided to venture into the 'heart of the city', Civil Lines. Again, all empty streets with an occasional passer by. People who pull rickshaws by the day, sleeping on the footpaths, police/traffic police dozing off in their patrol vehicles. Moving slowly across the sleepy town, sharing stories of ghosts and plans of the future, we were now feeling the effect of our expedition in our legs. We decided to head back home, a CD of 'The pursuit of happiness' waiting for us. When we finally returned and I did a rough calculation, I was amazed to find out that we had covered nearly 35 Km, returning back at 2PM. Legs were paining (now that the effect of the little beer we had before we set out had faded), the buttocks (I'm sure) had an impression of the cycle seats, we were tired. Some fresh apple juice made us ready for the movie. What a movie!
We had plans to go for a run in the morning (you would have guessed by now, that didn't happen). By the time we did get up at about 7:30 in the morning we were in for a big surprise. When we were watching the movie in the night someone had jumped inside the house boundary and taken his cycle along! Don't know what to say now!