Tag Archives: Film Review

Practically A Film Review : Heroine

 

Madhur Bhandarkar’s ambitious new film project Heroine got massively derailed last year when dhokebaaz dagabaaz Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who had been signed to play the lead, decided to put Baby before Box Office. After much tribulation, in which all five stages of grief were elaborately discussed in gossip media and India TV, the poor man shelved his dream project and dropped out of public eye.

Days later, he emerged to kick start Heroine again, this time with a new leading lady. What made him do that? Well, it was a phone call he received.

(The transcript below has been reproduced verbatim. To preserve the authenticity of the exchange, no grammatical corrections have been made to the text. Editor)   

 

Madhur Bhandarkar : Hello?

The wrong choice?

Rakhi Sawant : Hello, Madhur Sir! This is the Rakhi Sawant on one side.

Madhur : One side? What side?

Rakhi : Means, on this side of phone.

Madhur : Oh, hello, Rakhiji! How are you?

Rakhi : I am fine, Sir, thanks God. You have become Moon of the Idd Festival. How you are, Sir? I heard news of bad thing happen to you on India TV?

Madhur : Yes, very bad, Rakhiji. As you know Aishwaryaji has decided to have one baby.

Rakhi : Yes, scared news, Sir.

Madhur : I know. Why she do that? I don’t understand any reason. I am very sad person.

Rakhi : I think she has took too much risk, Sir.

Madhur : Risk?

Rakhi : Yes, what if she has baby girl that looks like Abhishekji? Or baby boy that looks like Jayaji? It is very big risk. People will be funning about it.

Madhur : Oh, no, no, that’s not what I am sad person about! I am sad person because she has left my film.

Rakhi : Oh yes, Sir. That is bad news to make sad person.

Madhur : So many publicities we did with Aishwaryaji for Heroine! We went to Kannis Film Festival, we did photo shoots, press briefing for Heroine. And then Heroine is going and having baby! What the fun?

Rakhi : It is not done, Sir! Heroine cannot have baby! Sexy is toss, figure is toss, fans is toss. Position in industry is toss. Everything is only total toss with baby. What does heroine think? She is hero?

Madhur : I don’t know what to do. I am a sad person.

Rakhi : Cheerios, Sir. There are many heroines that is not having baby. Do choosing of one.

Madhur : Yes, I know. I should stop being sad person and look for new heroine. Now Sadding For What When Bird Has Eaten Farm?

Rakhi : Yeah. By the way, what is story of your Heroine?

Madhur : It’s very hard hitting story. Like all my other films. I will show reality of film industry.

Rakhi : Oh, you mean like 50-year old hero doing sexy romancing with 20-year old heroine, or bad comedy films that can causing brain cancer in normal people? Music and story stealing? That type of reality?

Madhur : No, no, it will be serious issues of common people.

Rakhi : Means like real day to day issue poor people are facing like corruption, unemployment and pollution?

Madhur : No, no, it will be serious issues of poor people entering film industry!

Rakhi : Like couch casting? Small girl exploitation?

Madhur : Yes, yes! And much more!

Rakhi : I see. Then it is a good happening for you that Aishwaryaji is becoming pregnant! How she can acting realistic portrayal? She is not suffer! She is Miss World from Day One! For her, suffer is like Black Letter Buffalo Equal.

Madhur : Hmm…

Rakhi : Only those who did suffer will show suffer correct, no? Realistic portrayal is must in hard hitting story!

Madhur : Yeah…

Rakhi : And who is hero?

Madhur : Arjun Rampal.

Rakhi : He’s the stud! I wish I did swayamvar with him!

Madhur : I actually wanted one Khan but then they would have told my movie to be called Hero, not Heroine!

Rakhi : Hahah, yes. But Arjun Rampal is very stud hero.

Madhur : Yes, I agree.

Rakhi : But he is not do any portrayal – realistic or unrealistic. Acting is like same to same in every film, doesn’t matter rich man, poor man, politician, film star, police inspector. Ranging is very little. Same dialogue speaking. Same expression. Same dancing.

Madhur : But in front of him, Aishwaryaji would have shined like Shabanaji!

Rakhi : Yes, that is right! And, how is music?

Madhur : Very good music! I have many item songs.

Rakhi : Even in realistic film?

Madhur : Yes, these days item songs are part of everyday life. It is showing realistic portrayal of life of common man.

Rakhi : But coming back to main question – who can be replacing Aishwaryaji?

Madhur : Oh yes. I am a sad person till I am find new Heroine!

Rakhi : You must looking for heroine to play small town girl with big dream of becoming Heroine, right?

Madhur : Yes!

Rakhi : Someone with lot of personality and sparkings? But in the beginning of humble background? Powerful talkings?

Madhur : Yes, yes!

Rakhi : And someone who everyone talks about all the times? With many crores fans?

Madhur : Yes, yes, yes!

Rakhi : Good figure for item numbers?

Madhur : Yes, absolutely!

Rakhi : White in colour complexion, light eyes? Lips like Angelina Jolly? Even though she is poor girl from village in her history?

Madhur : Totally!

Rakhi : Someone who is a star, not just star, someone who is Super Star! Every Child Child In Country Name Knows.

Madhur : Yes, yes, yes!!

Rakhi : So you have thought it is who now?

Madhur : Yes, Rakhiji! You are the best – you have made it clear to me by opening my eyes! Thanks lot for making me think of best choice! I don’t need Aishwaryaji – I will Answer Brick With Stone! I will just tell UTV and everyone of my new Heroine!

Rakhi : Thanks, Madhurji! I am nothing. You are the well of talent. I have not even one mug of it.

Madhur : No, you are very great also!

Rakhi : Oh, thanks! We will do more talkings later then.

Madhur : Yes, we will be doing later.

Rakhi : Ta Ta!

Madhur : Ta Ta, bye bye!

 

And as Rakhi Sawant disconnected the phone to make a quick anonymous call to India TV to announce her selection as Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s replacement for Heroine, Madhur Bhandarkar was placing a call to Kareena Kapoor instead.

One unfortunate misunderstanding that real film enthusiasts are bound to rue till the end of time. And a thought that will linger in their minds when they walk out of the theatres starting September 21st after watching Kareena Kapoor as Heroine. If only…

 

Joker Movie Review – The Art And Physics Of Film Making

My entirely and highly reliable movie review of Joker, based on its 3-minute trailer

Men are from Mars!
(photo courtesy – Google)

Writer, Producer, Director, but mainly Astrophysicist Shirish Kunder has a new movie out. It is called Joker, and, most likely it has been silently funded by NASA.

As you might have cursorily observed from your nerdy friend’s Facebook post, Mars has been in the news lately. NASA recently shunted a fact-finding rover (i.e. a camera tripod on wheels) to the padose-wala planet. The idea is to figure out if life can/did exist in a hostile environment such as Mars where there is no water, no breathable air, and no hospitable terrain. It remains unclear as to why NASA needed to invest billions to go that far when they could have easily flown a couple of scientists to Gurgaon (or any other big Indian city) to obtain answers to their questions. Yes, life can exist under the conditions described above. In fact, I can see it flourishing right outside my window at this moment.

Anyhow, despite causing worldwide swooning and making physicists surge to the top-spot in all matrimonial eligible-bachelor lists, Shirish Kunder and NASA realized that such scientific antics still caused zero interest among Indians. We would rather spend our time watching Baba Ramdev’s Live Arrest on TV, or Ekta Kapoor’s new serial called ‘Woh Mere Saajan Aur Mein Unki Hawai Chappal’, or even Bol Bachchan, Rowdy Rathore and Once Upon An Ageing Tiger. Not to be deterred, the bright scientists figured that the only way to drum up interest in Martian antics among the population in this subcontinent was by making the first-ever scientific-Bollywood film. That, ladies and gentlemen, has resulted in the creation of a new vision for Bollywood, called Bollyvigyan, and its first offering – Joker.

The storyline is out of this world, quite literally. This is a story of two Martian empires and their battle for supremacy and universe-domination (see below for “Universe” definition). One race believes in basic values of goodness and decency. This race is protected by the ability of its constituents to amplify their speed and reflexes to Krrish-like levels – a characteristic known as The Force. The other race is just pure evil – they believe in corruption, black money, abuse of power etc., i.e. The Dark Side. These warring races bring their battles to Earth (also referred to as The Death Star by Al Gore, who makes a cameo appearance), specifically, to some prime real estate in India, presumably Gujarat or Greater Noida. There, they make crop circles, dance to elaborately choreographed item songs and tell terrible jokes in their quest to crush the other side into defeat. In the end, without giving any more of this delightfully original story away, one of the two sides loses.

The film trailer seemed filled with subterfuge so the story might not exactly be the way I have described it above.

With regards to, let’s just call it acting credits, poor Akshay Kumar is like that whack-a-mole that keeps getting pounded by critics and audience alike, and yet pops back up every couple of weeks with a new blockbuster. If there was an Oscar for Resilience, surely there couldn’t be a more deserving winner than him? In this one, he is joined by Sonakshi Sinha and other Martian characters, giving the film an authentic sci-fi demeanour. The lead pair seemed to be enjoying the film making experience as much as you and I might enjoy a healthy cup of Brooke Bond Red Label tea.

The music in the film is by some unknowns (i.e. someone who is not A.R. Rehman, Pritam and Annu Malik) and the background score is by Shirish Kunder himself. And the lyrics are by Shirish Kunder, too. This mother lode of talent has resulted in songs like “I want fakht you”, and parents all around the country are eagerly waiting to train their kids to perform this number at birthday parties and the forthcoming Diwali celebrations in their colonies. As you will agree, it is simply too cute to see small kids stumble on big words like fucked etc.

In closing, Joker makes a case for compelling viewing – a scientific film made by a creative mind of astronomical proportions that is not only going to set the box office a-jingle, but also make you toss that vile ’50 Shades Of Grey’ and rummage your attic for your old school and college physics text books instead. And I expect many of us to change our Facebook status to “Move over, Steve Jobs. I’d much rather be Shirish Kunder’s Joker” when we leave the movie theatre with happy smiles.

My fellow compatriots, if we miss this opportunity at getting inspired for greatness, the Joke will be on us.

The Joker spaceship arrives at a movie theatre near you on August 31st, 2012. Be there or be square.

 

(Definition of Universe : That very large real estate surrounding all of us, which is also the scene of legendary battles fought by pimply adolescent boys on their laptops and hand held devices. Immense fire-power is consumed in the interest of conflict-resolution. The ruler of this domain is usually a dazzling 18-year old South American girl who is thin-as-reed but has ample boobs. She likes to wave at her subjects wearing a swimsuit and a tiara.)

 

A Yash Chopra Romance : The Only Preview You Need To Read!

Friend and fellow blogging-enthusiast-without-a-blog Achala Srivatsa is back, this time donning her Movie Critic hat. Her new interest is a movie strangely called “A Yash Chopra Romance”. Lest you wonder why anyone in their right frame of mind would want to see an 82-year old man, who looks more and more like Pandit Jasraj’s long lost twin each day, romancing amid the tulips in Roger Federer’s garden, let me quickly tell you that he is only the director of this new movie – the real stars are ShahRukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. Presumably, working on this film has been so mind numbing for its creative team that they have run out of steam cooking up a suitable title so far. New rumours have it that it might be called “Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum”. The only thing that needs to be checked now is to see if that title hasn’t already been usurped by a TV serial or two. Because, as we all know, what’s a TV serial if it isn’t titled after a film song that has at least 15 words in it?

Read on for Achala’s hilarious preview!

Singing on the Thames

So I understand that the new Yash Chopra Romance is “loosely” based on The End of the Affair. Which, as anyone knows, is right on top of the pile when it comes to the Doomed Romance category.

Now the intensely brooding Ralph Fiennes combined with the fragility of Julianne Moore makes for a double pack of Kleenex movie.

But we are dealing with Chopra the Elder here – no mean hand in the Doomed Romance area.  What can we expect from the Yashified End of the Affair? Here are my confident predictions.

Act 1

  • SRK is a dashing investment banker  – probably in London or New York. These two cities have the kind of glamour and grit we need. And these Grand Romances do not take place in Gurgaon or Bangalore.
  • There will of course be the fiery and tempestuous meeting, the mandatory romantic song in Switzerland, followed by reckless Romantic Declarations
  • Then the Accident or some random act that results in the hero having his near death experience. Since the original was set against WW II, it would be a bit difficult to match that, but I am sure Chopra the Elder will manage.
  • This is then followed by the heroine’s pact with the Almighty – let him live and I will walk away from him Forever.
  • I would also expect clever subterfuge at this point – Heroine cunningly tries the completely original “I will make Rahul think I am cheating on him” gag. Always a good bet, since the hero, whose brain has turned into bubble gum after singing those songs, is very easily convinced that his girlfriend (a girl who has invested considerably in Bollywood dance lessons for his sake) is two-timing him.  Smiling bravely through her tears etc, she converts his everlasting Pyaar into soul torturing Nafrat.

Act 2

  1. Separation is followed by the Anxiety that goes with it. Maudlin Song Opportunities with at least 2 lines sung by Yash’s Muse –Lata Didi
  2. Katrina (Pooja/Kiran) gets married to an Insipid Sap whose role is to Sacrifice his love in the end to the Hero. Most likely SRK (Yes, yes, Rahul or Raj- why buck a trend?) will marry a suitably long-suffering second heroine (shades of Kabhi Kabhie anyone?).

Act 3

  • Cut to 10 years later. Since SRK is sick of London by now, my guess is the crew shifts to maybe Scotland.  So an accidental meeting with the Heroine, that familiar refrain and boom, we are back in business.
  • Bring out the big guns – swelling music, tears, refrain, Declarations of Love, kick Insipid Sap in the face and…
  •  …the Almighty weighs in on the situation. Aforementioned pact must be honoured. Hence heroine is struck down with an illness that leaves her suitably pale and wan and swiftly dispatches her (but not before that last song).
  • However, there must be a child lurking somewhere… and the story continues.
  • Movie ends on a Love Never Dies motif…?