These are a few of my favorite things: #42(A Serious Man)

“Most people think life sucks, and then you die. Not me. I beg to differ. I think life sucks, then you get cancer, then your dog dies, your wife leaves you, the cancer goes into remission, you get a new dog, you get remarried, you owe ten million dollars in medical bills but you work hard for thirty five years and you pay it back and then one day you have a massive stroke, your whole right side is paralyzed, you have to limp along the streets and speak out of the left side of your mouth and drool but you go into rehabilitation and regain the power to walk and the power to talk and then one day you step off a curb at Sixty-seventh Street, and BANG you get hit by a city bus and then you die. Maybe” 
― Denis Leary

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In ‘A Serious Man’ we meet Larry Gopnik( Michael Stuhlbarg), a physics professor whose life starts resembling the situation described in the above quote. His complacent & normal world starts falling apart from all directions. His wife of so many years has a fling (with a guy named Sy Ableman) & unreasonably expects Larry to move out of his own home while she files for a divorce,his son is a music buff n a pot addict, his daughter has started stealing money from his wallet for an expensive nose job, his sick, somewhat mentally retard brother has moved in with him, his neighbor is encroaching on his property, one of his students is trying to bribe him to give the student passing grades n someone is sending anonymous derogatory letters to the college committee while Larry is being considered for a tenure at the university. In short everything that can go wrong is going wrong in Larry’s life. As the movie proceeds he starts facing serious financial problems as he has to engage various lawyers to deal with divorce n neighbor etc.  n then in a hilarious turn of events his wife’s suitor dies n wife expects Larry to pay for his funeral. Larry just can’t understand why all this is happening to him especially when, “I didn’t do anything”. This assertion is very heart breaking but starts to acquire comical proportions when he forgets to do anything to get his tenure, he doesn’t do anything, he doesn’t even publish research papers that are so crucial in academia. In trying to make sense of his troubles he tries to meet three rabbis but their advice proves to be superfluous, irrelevant, unhelpful n even laughable. So our guy Larry’s life is growing more n more pathetic n confusing but this may be just the beginning of trouble! Things do start to get a little better for Larry but only to get worse. There is some calmness before the real storm hits him hard. He finally succumbs to the lure of money offered by bribe n no sooner than he changes the student grade from F to C he receives a call from his Doctor who wants to discuss Larry’s X-Ray Report which is apparently too grave to be discussed on phone. n in another shot his son gets caught in a tornado. So there is no happy ending here. Welcome to reality.

The underlying question in the story of Larry n in all our life stories is why do bad things happen to good people?(This movie is a modern retelling of ‘The Book of Job‘) n when bad things happen how are we supposed to feel n react. Larry’s situation is appropriately highlighted by the Jefferson Airplane Song: When the truth turns out to be lies n all the joy within you dies, don’t you want somebody to love; Schrodinger’s cat n Heizenberg’s Uncertainity Principle. 

The Uncertainty Principle.

It proves we can’t ever really know…

what’s going on.

So it shouldn’t bother you. Not being able to figure anything out. Although you will be responsible for this on the mid-term.

 

 

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September 16, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Meaning of Life, Movies, Must Watch Movies, My Favorite Things, Philosophy, Reflections/Musings. 2 comments.

These are a few of my favorite things:#41(Visioneers)

 Visioneers is a satire on Modern Life where everyone is chasing happiness but no one is happy. It follows the life n times of George Washington Winsterhammerman(Zach Galifianakis) who works in a huge corporation known as Jeffers.

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Workers everywhere are exploding because of stress. George is trying to make sense of all this as he desperately tries to keep himself from exploding. But signs of stress in his life are palpable & growing, they just can’t be ignored anymore.Now ain’t this the fate of average cubicle rat everywhere? Work that gives one nothing but stress & emptiness, yet everyone just keeps going somehow. People know that their jobs are mind numbing n stressful but they try to address this very superficially. No one digs deep to find the root cause of stress.

A loudspeaker at the office keeps announcing the minutes of productivity left till the weekend.

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The corporation and its leader, Mr. Jeffers, claim success is achieved by its strict philosophy of mindless productivity. Jeffers teaches that productivity equals happiness, and the business logo (a middle finger) is the standard greeting in society.

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Now this is really telling! Are humans just  productive machines??I see most of wage slaves around me cursing mondays n waiting for fridays. They just bide their working week somehow n yet they can’t give up on their mind numbing jobs ‘cos they got stuff to buy. People are addicted to spending. They must have the latest costly gadgets n gizmos, branded clothing, glitzy, fancy cars, lavish homes, exotic holidays. & to finance all these needless aspirations they sell their time n soul monday to friday…can’t leave the job, gotta keep up with joneses. 

The answer is really easy. If one can live simply & frugally, then one can save enough n get off the bandwagon n enjoy really living the life, a life not with any of the shiny glitzy toys but filled with joys of simple things like a hot cup of tea drunk leisurely, the joy of Art, movies, books n music, walks n house hold chores. No more mad rush. But instead of choosing the Joyful less traveled road people keep exploding n wondering why…n looking for solutions in all wrong places. 

Talking of trying to find happiness in wrong places brings us to George’s wife (Judy Greer) who is always watching some Oprah-esque (yup, I coined this word,yayyyyy) TV shows about happiness & buying the latest Happiness Bestsellers. This is tragically hilarious. This is what is going around us everywhere. People are trying to seek happiness through shortcuts like ‘The Secret’ which promises to be a mantra for gaining all that we desire, whether we deserve them or not, whether we work hard for them or not. Just visualize it, give orders to Universe & receive it…achieving dreams are as simple as that. But there is just one little problem. It doesn’t really work it that way in real life. Here take a look: 

These happiness shortcuts don’t work either for the happiness show hostess nor for the wife n sure enough they simply don’t work for anyone. In a hilarious scene the hostess, finally realizing the futility of her own mantras shoots herself n dies. The wife leaves George. Fortunately, finally George is able to get a grip of his situation n finds a solution to his problems. I won’t reveal how. The Audience have a strong reaction to the movie. You either love it or don’t get it at all. It’s like some people are so much trapped in their corporate existence that they can”t see the trappings of their success n the reality of their own miserable existence. Visioneers has made quite a wave at film festivals:

Visioneers_FestList

Visoneers(2008)

Directed by: Jared Drake
Written by: Brandon Drake
Starring: Zach Galifianakis, Judy Greer, Fay Masterson, James LeGros

September 10, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Happiness, Meaning of Life, Movies, Quitting the Rat Race, Reflections/Musings. 3 comments.

These are a few of my favorite things: #38(Queen of Versailles); Quitting the Rat Race #19

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Queen of Versailles is a peek into the (sad & pathetic) lives of (filthy) Rich n Famous. We always try to speculate whether money buys happiness or not. We philosophize & wonder about it. We reason n we argue. There is no definitive answer to this quest. Everyone has their own hypothesis n conclusions. Now this Award winning Documentary  by Lauren Greenfield  gives us an excellent lens to see things with our own eyes. n then decide!! It’s a commentary on the emptiness of consumerism driven life & failure of the American Dream.

The Queen of Versailles” began as a documentary about a time-share billionaire, his ditzy wife, and their grotesque quest to build the largest house in the United States of America. It ended as perhaps the single best film on the Great Recession.”

The Siegels have a plan to build a 90,000 square feet home, bigger than the White house n modeled on the Palace of Versailles, ‘cos their life can no longer fit into the 26,000 square feet home!! Now just look at what all it will have when finished:

When completed it will have:

  • 15 bedrooms

  • 30 bathrooms, each with a full-sized jacuzzi tub

  • 10 kitchens and a sushi bar

  • Bowling alley

  • Baseball field

  • 2-3 Theater sized Entertainment Centres

  • Roller-skating rink

  • Arcade

  • 3 swimming pools

  • Fitness center

  • Spa

  • 20 car garage

  • Staff Quarters

10 Kitchens!! Are you fucking kidding me? I mean what do you need 10 kitchens for?? Reminds me of one of my favorite stories, ‘The Billionaires‘ by Maxim Gorky in which he wonders what do billionaires do with all the wealth..Do have stomachs twice/thrice the size of normal people? or do they have more mouths?? or maybe more teeth!

Now about the Siegels:

David Siegel is the founder n owner of Westgate, the pioneer n biggest player in Timeshare holiday industry. He is 74 something. He married Jackie, a beauty pageant winner n 30 years his junior when he was 60. Together they have 8 children!!!. Jackie has a fondness for shopping n she shops things by truckloads (or rather limousine loads) when the stuff is already overflowing in their huge mansion. There are too many children, too many (neglected) pets,too many nannies n housekeeping help n too much clutter, n too little appreciation for anything, n no Savings. Obviously they fly in their Private jets n when the recession hit their fortunes, the ‘poor’ folks had to fly commercial…one of the son asks, ‘What are all these people doing in our plane?’ !!

David says everyone wants to be rich,if they are not rich, they want to feel rich n if they don’t want to feel rich, they are dead!!! 

But is he himself happy with all this wealth and opulence?? The Answer comes from the horses mouth. David  openly admits to the camera that nothing makes him happy any more. Asked if he draws strength from his marriage, he flatly replies, “No.” Finally , some sense starts to prevail when it becomes clear to him that recession has actually hit them too. Then he is like a normal middle class person getting worried about electricity bills, Housing staff is cut down drastically, but regardless the X’mas shopping n party are celebrated with fanfare.

As a person who actually enjoys frugality n living beneath the mean,I really don’t understand a lifestyle filled with so much extravagance n wastage. Period. Even if I had billions n trillions I would really want to stay the way we live now. The big mansions don’t even excite me. I dream of shifting into smaller n smaller homes n finally ending up in tiny house (1100 square feet). Tiny houses n simple lifestyle with low footprint is what excites me. I am not even interested in how their life fell apart during recession…I don’t like that extravagant n wasteful lifestyle even if had continued being so without hiccups. That kind of lifestyle is empty n hideous. I’m simply not interested in too much money, ‘cos all it gets you is a super ugly gold throne. I’m happy lounging in my easy chair, reading books n daydreaming.

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September 4, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . English Movies, Happiness, Meaning of Life, Movies, Must Watch Movies, My lifestyle, My Values, Philosophy, Quitting the Rat Race, Reflections/Musings, Simplicity, Wisdom. 1 comment.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: #34 (Right Here, Right Now: A Short Film by Anand Gandhi)

Pondering over the imponderables like the meaning of life, Karma, etc is one of my favorite things. As is the nature of such enquiry I get no definite answers but these exercises help me shape my personal ethics n value system.

Karma is the basic law of cause & effect: As we sow, so we reap. Intuitively we all know that Karma seems to be a basic law operating all our actions but at times I wonder, is it so really? n if it indeed does, then how exactly? The thing about karma is that it is sometimes hard to discern it’s effect because Karma weaves a complicated Web. It’s not a simple case like we get wet in the rain n we catch flu the next day.

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Right here, Right Now, a short film by Anand Gandhi (Who is currently making huge waves with his Magnum Opus, ‘The Ship of Theseus’) explores this complex web of Karma rather brilliantly. A good story can convey obscure ideas more powerfully than anything else. An ounce  of story is worth tons of theory.

A young man in his haste to go some place takes two actions – he screams at his mother for making him late, and he lovingly appreciates his brother’s painting. By doing so, he strikes off two cycles – one of frustration and sorrow and the other of love and joy. His mother vents out her anger on her maidservant. His brother gifts the painting to his girl friend. Thus begins the cycles of sorrow and joy, forming a Domino stairway, leading to an unknown doorway. After shaking hands with 15 other characters and traveling through 17 locations, in just two shots, both the cycles meet at the end in an attempt to give a logical understanding to the seemingly absurd human life. It’s a humorous look at the bizarreness of the cosmic accident, otherwise known as life.

 

July 30, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Meaning of Life, Movies, Must Watch Movies, My Favorite Things, My Values, Philosophy, Reflections/Musings, Short-Story, Uncategorized, You tube. Leave a comment.

Ship of Theseus (The Film): A Philosophical Exploration

 Ship of Theseus:

Ship Of Theseus

Ship Of Theseus

After a long long time there comes a movie which is intellectually stimulating & which stays with you beyond the 2.5 hrs in the movie theatre. It makes you think and think and think………  ‘Ship of Theseus’ by Anand Gandhi belongs to this rare category.

The intrigue of this movie starts with the title itself, ‘Ship of Theseus’ also called ‘Theseus Paradox’.

The paradox engages in the idea of identity: “If parts of an object are replaced with similar parts, does it remain the same?” (In ancient times, there was a ship, called the “Theseus” after its famous former owner. As the years wore on, the Theseus started getting weak and creaky. The old boards were removed, put into a warehouse, and replaced with new ones. Then, the masts started tottering, and soon they, too, were warehoused and replaced. And in this way, after fifty years, this ship now has all new boards, masts, and everything. The question then arises: Is the ship in the harbor, now called S2, the same ship as the ship that was in the harbor, fifty years ago (called S1, for convenience)? In other words, is S2really the “Theseus”?~ Wikipedia). A simplified way to express the same thought is ‘George Washington’s Hammer’: A guy is admiring a hammer at an antique shop, he is informed by the dealer that it belongs to George Washington, so the guy says it’s in a pretty good condition considering it’s rather old age to which the dealer says sincerely, why should it not be considering he had replaced it’s head twice n it’s handle thrice. 😀

The film also refers to ethical issues brought out by applying the Theseus paradox to human beings, “All the cells in a person’s body regenerate entirely in seven years. An individual goes through a shift psychologically, ideologically and physically. Is it still the same person?”

Main theme is the theme of identity…or what makes Me, Me? What makes You, You? What makes Us, Us?? If some of our organs are replaced we are still the same person. That means we are something more than the sum total of our body parts..who are we then? Are we our thoughts? But even the thoughts theory is not satisfactory ‘cos as I look back on my life most of my thoughts n behavior patterns have changed totally. I have transitioned from a shy teenager to a confident Professional to a laid-back oops a hard working 😉 housewife and yet I am the same person that I used to be!! Even my passions have changed completely. Earlier I was a bookworm, then I became a travel enthusiast & a fashionista, now I’m more into cooking n yoga etc..yet I remain the same person! This thought is mind boggling to me at this moment.  This argument builds a strong case for the existence of a Soul. Despite the changes in physiology n psyche it is the soul that provides continuum to a living object as a single identity. (Ask yourself this one. I was born John Doe.<Insert your own name in place of John Doe> The cells and organs in our body die off and become entirely new cells every 7-10 years. In essence, I become an entirely new person every decade. At age 80, am I still John Doe? Am I still that tiny infant? Some would argue no, but following my line of prior reason, we are ourselves for our entire life, because of emotional memory.)

Several other themes like Atheism, Ethics, Compassion, Vegetarianism, limits of human goodness, Death, Soul, Reincarnation etc. are explored.

The movie comprises of 3 stories which are beautifully weaved together as the movie approaches its end. The first story is the story of a blind photographer n how her Art changes as she regains her vision. Is she a different person with eyes than what she was before?(“A frog once asked a centipede how is it able to walk on a hundred feet, so gracefully synchronized while the frog finds it difficult to manage even two. The centipede took a moment to analyze its own walk and was baffled. So as it tried to walk further its feet got entangled and it tripped.” – Aliya in Ship of Theseus)

The second story is about Maitreya (Neeraj Kabi) ,an Urbane, suave, good-natured, rational, compassionate, atheist monk!,  as he faces the dilemma of choosing between his ethics (compassion towards all living beings n not just human being) and his very life. The Philosophy of the Monk is Brilliantly captured in the Song ‘Naham Janami’ . This is the Quintessential Atheist Anthem. By large Atheists are a misunderstood lot. We are accused of behaving as we please in the absence of fear of God. But Atheist Ethics are stronger than blind faith ‘cos we take responsibility  for all our actions and our firm belief  in ‘cause & effect’. This part has some very Cerebral & witty conversation between Maitreya & a young Lawyer Charvak . Charvak asks Maitreya a question which I too have pondered for many years. How does one reconcile the paradox of existence of soul and reincarnation without the existence of God?? Buddha too propounded that there is no God but  asserted about Reincarnation. Maitreya initially held Buddha’s view on the matter but later as he grew physically n emotionally exhausted he admits that he doesn’t know anything definite about the existence of soul. (Charvak:”you say you’re an atheist and at the same time you believe in the concept of soul, which I think is rather convenient. I don’t think karmic causality is a reason enough for anybody to behave ethically. You know, that there is retribution of any kind in this life or any other. It’s like a weak man’s hope for some kind of cosmic revenge.”)

(Charvak:”We invent God, soul… heaven, afterlife…even life-imitating technology, all sorts of transcendence to cope with the idea of an absolute end. And then, we die for an idea that promises us some sort of immortality.”)

(Charvak:“Exactly. See, it’s pretty clear how inconsequential our actions are in the larger scheme of things.”

Maitreya- “Main is baat se sehmat nahi hoon. Hamaare har kaam ka prabhav karaakash mein rehte har parmanu par padta hai. Agar yeh baat sach nahi, toh phir sab nirarthak hai. What is the sense of existence then? The hedonism and nihilism of your namesake, Charvaka?”)

(Maitreya- “You see, in his world, it’s not all humanity that’s equal, it’s all existence that’s equal.”)

Naham Janami

Naham Janami

The third story is of Navin (Sohum Shah, also the co producer of the movie), a stockbroker,  who has his kidney transplanted. He apparently loves only money & is shown doing his business even when critically ill ,as opposed to the so called finer things like music, literature et al which his Granny(Ajji) would like him to explore & appreciate. But as the narrative progresses he shows great empathy n compassion for a poor bricklayer whose kidney has been stolen.

(Navin-‘Kuch ho nahi paaya’
Ajji-‘Jitna kuch hua, kyunki tumne kuch kiya. Itna hi hota hai’)

Everything about this movie is immaculate and Superlative. The Script, Direction, Acting, Cinematography, Subtle Humor, The Underlying Philosophy, and The Very title of the Movie.

Also read about my other all time favorite movies:

The Groundhog Day

Babel

Guzaarish

Peepli Live

Chalo Dilli

 

July 22, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Existentialism, Meaning of Life, Movies, Must Watch Movies, My Favorite Things, My Values, Philosophy, Reflections/Musings. 5 comments.

Shagird, 2011

Shagird (starring Nana Patekar) is yet another movie exploring the  Politician-Criminal-Police Nexus. Everyone double crosses everyone, chases same money & everyone Dies!!!

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May 30, 2011. Tags: . Hindi Movies, Movies. Leave a comment.

Pyar Ka Panchnama

Punchnama is a Hindi word which means Postmortem report. Hence, Pyaar ka Punchnama would mean Postmortem of Love. But it is a Botched up Postmortem report. It is Based on the Premise that all relationships are doomed to fail & the reason for failure in one word is ‘Women’. As per the movie the relationships fail because women are dominating, over-possessive, chatter boxes & Manipulating!! Poor guys keep on taking all the nonsense from the Ladies until they can’t bear it any more & that’s when the relationship ends.

It is the story of 3 friends Rajat (Kartik), Chaudhary (Raayo) and Liquid (Divyendu) who are foot loose & fancy free till they meet their lady loves. Rajat meets Neha who is over possessive & clingy, Liquid meets Charu who is manipulative & uses him to run errands for her & Chaudhary meets Ria who is still not over her ex. Towards the end of the film Rajat breaks into a long monologue of how guys suffer at the hands of females which is supposed to be very hilarious but only if you can find humor in such depravity & MCPness…to me it looked like typical male behavior: lay all the blame on women..The 1st time Adam got a chance he laid all the blame on Eve…looks like things have not changed much since those times!!

This movie could have been witty & fun if it had taken a balanced look at relationships n why they end. Both genders have their quirks which contributes towards the difficulties in relationship. To take a lopsided view is foolish & retarded.

P.S.: My Lawyer friend Vijay tells me that ‘Panchnama is the first notings that are made at the scene of a crime by the Police officer and witnessed by Panchas, i.e., eye witnesses.’ but oh well the rest of the review stands good all the same!!!

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May 29, 2011. Tags: . Hindi Movies, Movies. 7 comments.

Chalo Dilli

Chalo Dilli is a light hearted movie with a serious lesson & the lesson is ‘to lighten up’ in life, take the chill pill, let go of big concerns over petty issues.Mihika Banerjee (Lara Dutaa) who runs a multi crore investment bank is very uptight about every small thing in life. She is totally career oriented & doesn’t know how to relax. Every trivial thing irritates her. She wants the things to happen as She pleases, but life obviously has other plans & life of course goes on as IT pleases. Mihika misses her flight to Delhi n one thing leads to another & what would’ve been just a short flight from Mumbai to Delhi becomes one hell of a memorable long Cab, Train, camel, jeep & what not ride with an unlikely co-passenger, Manu Gupta (Vinay Pathak) who is everything Mihika is not. He is a totally chilled out guy, nothing unfazes him. His answer to all the troubles big n small is ‘Kaun see badi baat ho gayi?’ (What’s the big deal?). He makes friends with everyone along the journey, be it a truck driver, waiter at restaurant, goons or co-passengers or a politician. He has fun no matter what. By the time this journey ends Manu’s attitude rubs on to Mihika & she also learns to have fun on the way instead of making a big deal out of trivials. The movie is refreshing & light hearted though it gets annoying at times like where Mihika is given a crash course in the importance of having children in life…the lessons went a bit too far with Manu declaring something along the lines of ‘Everything in life is done for children only’!!! Go man get a life n gimme a break!!!..

 Mostly when I enjoy a hindi movie, I invariably learn that it’s a remake of some English movie…this movie is also no exception. I read in another review that ‘Chalo Dilli is a reworking of John Hughes’ 1987 comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles, in which Steve Martin and John Candy played mismatched strangers who take a life-altering trip together. ’…not that this fact took away any of the fun for me…Vinay Gupta’s acting is impeccable as ever & his character just takes up from where he left at “Bheja Fry’, a goofy person who can do no right despite always being well meaning & a guy who despite of his  goof ups of epic proportion has his heart in the right place. Lara Dutta too suits her role n has acted well.

 

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April 30, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Hindi Movies, Meaning of Life, Movies, Must Watch Movies, My lifestyle, My Values, Reflections/Musings, Wisdom. 3 comments.

Thank You: Movie Review

Thank you is a study in stereotypes & clichés about the genders. While all men (without any exception) are lecherous womanizers & perpetual cheaters (they want to have fun with other women but for some reason they still want to stay married to their wives ‘cos wife, we are told, is the one they REALLY love…they just don’t realize it as yet…Anees Bazmi has reiterated this theme repeatedly since he made ‘No Entry’) , women are fools who buy into the philadering husbands’ stupid alibis & even do Karwa Chauth for them (I’m totally against any vrat for any pati whether philandering or not, but I’ll tackle this issue later, in another post). The men are justified for their misdemeanours on the grounds that ‘aadmi ki fitrat hee aisee hoti hai kee use bacche apne aur biwi parayi acchi lagti hai’. & when women discover about the hubby’s adventures they blackmail him to sponsor more n more shopping for her/ try to commit suicide/ takes hold of his property by chicanery. This is the woman’s revenge!! It portrays sexist attitudes like it’s a woman’s duty to serve hot chai to pati while swallowing all her self-respect & take his barbs in her stride & that if a woman pays a bill she is trying to dominate, men should keep on paying the bills to maintain their superior status in the relationship. Irfan Khan mentioned in an interview that the movie is an ode to housewives…an ode or an insult??

The less said about the story, the better because it is just a culmination of highly unlikely & absurd situations. Basically it’s about 3 wives who suspect their hubbies of cheating on them & hire a detective (Akshay Kumar as Kisna) to find out more. The detective himself is an  ex-philaderer who now having realized the greatness of a wife, is out to save other people’s marriages by sharing the lessons he has learnt about the greatness of wife with other hubbies (This doesn’t stop him from having an affair with other people’s wives, as is shown in his introduction scene where he is playing a flue n lot of skimply dressed women are dancing to his tune & a hubby comes with goons to shoot at him ‘cos Kisna is having an affair with his wife!!!!).

The comedy (??) can make only those people laugh who are not already put off by the ubiquitous sexist crap. I could laugh only at 2-3 places but the audience around me found some reason to laugh uproariously. Akshay suits the role & he n Suneil shetty got me a few laughs despite myself. Sonam Kapoor looks emaciated & perpetually confused. The music is actually jarring to the ears. The only foot thumping number is ‘pyaar do, pyaar lo’ but it loses out because of it’s sexist lyrics (Benamak, be-asar, dal jaisee agar, ghar kee murgi ho jaaye tau, pyar do, pyar lo…if your start finding your wife bland like daal then have fun with the spicy women outside…husbands apparently don’t become bland & their wife remains devoted to them eternally). The only thing I liked in the movie is Kisna’s flue which I found teally melodious!! The movie has been shot in Canada. Cinematography is exceptional but it can’t salvage a bad story, can it??

Director: Anees Bazmee
Producer: Twinke Khanna

 Cinematography: Ravi Yadav

Star Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Irrfan Khan, Sunil Shetty, Celina Jaitley, Rimi Sen

Music: Pritam

Other Movie Reviews on my blog:

Game | Turning 30!!! Up! | Mirch | Roman Holiday

BabelGuzaarish |  7 Khoon Maaf

Tanu Weds Manu |  The King’s Speech | Dhobi Ghat 

 13 conversations about one thing 

Bruce Almighty | What About Bob | Forrest Gump | Bheja Fry

 Ground Hog Day | The Pursuit of Happyness | The Bucket List 

Peepli Live | 3 Idiots

 

Related Articles

April 9, 2011. Tags: . Hindi Movies, Movies. 11 comments.

Game: Movie Review

Kabir Malhotra (Anupam Kher) a multi millionaire (albeit an unhappy one),  invites 4 people to his Private Island in Greece by promising  to change their fortunes. These four are Vikram (Jimmy Shergill), struggling Bollywood actor , OP Ramsay (Boman Irani) a politician in Thailand who also runs human trafficking trade, Tisha a journalist who is also Kabir’s estranged daughter & Neil Menon (Abhishek Bachchan) a Casino Owner and drug dealer. These five lives are interconnected through a person who is now dead.

On their arrival Kabir tells them the story of Maya (Sarah Jane Dais) who is also his estranged daughter and he accuses  Neil n Ramsay of ruining  her & Vikram of killing her. Malhotra wants to take revenge on these 3 men, but the very next day he commits suicide. Or does he?? Sia (Kangana Ranawat) investigates his suicide/ murder & from there on the story takes various twists & turns to find out who’s behind the intriguing murder. The suspicion turns on each of the characters.

The film has been shot in Istanbul, UK, Greece, Thailand & Mumbai. Cinematography is brilliant. Locations are beautiful especially the Greek Island Samoa. ‎’The story is a fast paced  murder mystery & also a tale of revenge. Abhishek’s character as Neil, a cool, I don’t care a damn dude is interesting. Anupam Kher doesn’t suit the role of a super-duper rich business tycoon. He simply doesn’t have that air. Boman Irani has over acted. Kangana Ranaut has under acted (Flat performance). Songs are forgettable.

Producers: Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani

Director: Abhinay Deo

Star-cast: Abhishek Bacchan, Kangna Ranaut, Sarah Jane, Jimmy Shergill, Boman Irani, Shahana Goswami, Anupam Kher, Gauhar Khan

Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Cinematography: Karthik Vijay

Other Movie Reviews on my blog:

Thank You | Turning 30!!! Up! | Mirch | Roman Holiday 

  BabelGuzaarish |  7 Khoon Maaf

Tanu Weds Manu |  The King’s Speech | Dhobi Ghat 

 13 conversations about one thing 

Bruce Almighty | What About Bob | Forrest Gump | Bheja Fry

 Ground Hog Day | The Pursuit of Happyness | The Bucket List |

Peepli Live | 3 Idiots

Book Reviews on My Blog:

The Fountainhead Confessions of a Shopoholic | The Bridges of Madison County

 

April 7, 2011. Tags: . Hindi Movies, Movies. 4 comments.

Turning 30!!!: Desi Bridget Jones Sans the Humor!!!

The Movie Turning 30!!! is based on the premise that turning 30 is nothing short of a disaster for women. Not only their biological clock starts to tick away (Whatever that means) but they also start losing their minds & Come up with bizarre theories which they don’t hesitate unleashing on other unsuspecting souls. Sample this:

 Woman #1: My husband was cheating on me, I used to be upset about it & cry bucketfuls but now no more ‘cos now I’ve got a baby, so I don’t care & moreover the baby needs a father!!! (A very compelling reason to let your husband cheat n be very casual about it)

Woman #2: When I turned 30 my husband lost interest in me…so now I’m focussing on my career!!!

Woman #3: When I turned 30 my boobs started sagging…so now I’m saving my hard earned money for a boob job…I want to surprise my hubby!!!

 Woman #4: My career isn’t going anywhere, so I might as well start producing babies!!!

 Woman # 5 & 6 & 7: We are lesbians, we have a right to always make out in the public!!!

 Woman #8: It’s a myth that when a woman turns 30 she is attracted to 40 year old men, the reality is that she is attracted to 22 year old men!!!& this goes on n on…but I can’t go on because I’m tearing my hair at this point!!!

Who are these strange women & where do they live??

In short Turning 30!!! Claims to explore the life & dilemmas of a 30 something urban women as they try to find love, professional success,… but misses it totally.

Basically it tells the story of Naina (Gul Panag) who is dumped by her Boyfriend just a few days short of her 30th Birthday & is facing problems at her work. Her problem is that she can’t get over her ex, she tries to seduce him back to no avail, goes to his house & makes a tamasha…in short totally degrades herself..ironically her excuse for her immature behaviour is that she is now 30 n not 22!!! Meanwhile she’s sleeping with her another ex, Jai (who looks n dresses like Devanand from the 70s) who conveniently walks back in her life at the appropriate time. She tells everyone this Devanand clone is better in bed & treats her nicely but she wants the jerk who dumped her unceremoniously on a day when he was supposed to propose to her!!!

Some people have made comparisons between turning 30!!! & Bridget Jones Diary but Bridget Jones had lots of sense of humor. I was reading an interview of the Director of Turning 30!!! & she had the audacity to claim that Bridget Jones is a loser whereas her Naina is a go getter (if go getter means running after a guy who has made it clear that he is dating n going to marry another woman n saying that you want a baby ‘cos your career is not going anywhere, cheering the choices of a friend who decides to have a baby with a cheating spouse…then Naina is a go getter!!!)..& perhaps Bridget Jones looks like a loser only to people who miss her self deprecating sense of humor.

 

Other Movie Reviews on my blog:

 Up! | Mirch | Roman HolidayBabelGuzaarish |  7 Khoon Maaf

Tanu Weds Manu |  The King’s Speech | Dhobi Ghat 

 13 conversations about one thing 

Bruce Almighty | What About Bob | Forrest Gump | Bheja Fry

 Ground Hog Day | The Pursuit of Happyness | The Bucket List |

Peepli Live | 3 Idiots

Book Reviews on My Blog:

The Fountainhead Confessions of a Shopoholic | The Bridges of Madison County

March 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Hindi Movies, Movies. 2 comments.

Up-An Animated Movie from Pixar

Cover of Up (Single Disc Widescreen)

 

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Up is an animated story (in 3D as well as 2D) of adventure of Square faced & round nosed, ex balloon seller Carl Frederickson but more than that it’s a tender story of enduring n eternal love (Quite unusual for an animation film but I guess this film is meant for adults as well as children). When Carl first meets Ellie they share a passion for adventure. Their story is presented in the form of a four minute montage with beautiful background music. It was always their (or rather Ellie’s) dream to go & live in Paradise falls in South America. Though they start saving for the trip but the money kept getting spent for more pressing urgent, mundane needs. Finally when Carl buys the tickets to go to Paradise Falls as a surprise for Ellie, she dies before Carl can show her the tickets. This is powerful, evocative story of joy, sorrow, and enduring love. That part of the movie was brilliant. It is one of the great love stories in cinematic history.  The next few scenes present Carl as a lonely old man who misses his wife terribly. This is very Heart wrenching. Though she is no more he always feels her presence & converses with her (Picture). Carl’s love for Ellie is the proof that Death may leave a heartache no one can heal but love leaves a memory no one can steal. True love doesn’t have a happy ending, because true love never ends.

 

 

 Carl decides to go to Paradise falls to fullfill Ellie’s dream by tying a million balloons to his house. Russell an over enthusiastic ‘wilderness explorer’, inadvertantely but joyfully become his companion. Together they meet a colourful bird, snipe ‘Kevin’, a talking dog (Dug) & Carl’s childhood hero (Charles Muntz) who doesn’t turn out to be so heroic after all. It’s fun to watch the bright colourful visuals of the movie with some cool lessons too.

Lessons:

~How does a person define adventure? Is adventure out there in great deeds, or can it also be between people in the small moments that make up a life. Carl and Ellie’s love story helped us tell that theme – that small moments lead to a life’s adventure.

~ Let go: Carl has to let go of many material things in order to make the house fly again to save Russell. In the end he loses the house to which he is quite attached but still he lets go n says ‘hey, it’s just a house’.

 ~ No to Hero Worshipping: Carl’s childhood hero turns out to be a villain after all. Many people worship & emulate celebrities without realizing who those people really are. Instead of hero worshipping we should embrace the best in OURSELVES. Who is a bigger hero in our life than our own self??

~ The journey is more important than the destination. Carl & Russell have an adventurous & full of lessons journey which develops a bond between them. Carl had set out to reach Paradise falls but the journey was the real fun n adventurous part. The journey is the reward.

 I must confess this is the first animation movie I’ve watched if we don’t count Tom n Jerry/ Mickey n Donald & I am hooked. Up next are: Toy Story (I, II, III), Finding Nemo, WALL-E……

 Other Movie Reviews on my blog:

 Mirch | Roman HolidayBabelGuzaarish |  7 Khoon Maaf

Tanu Weds Manu |  The King’s Speech | Dhobi Ghat 

 13 conversations about one thing 

Bruce Almighty | What About Bob | Forrest Gump | Bheja Fry

 Ground Hog Day | The Pursuit of Happyness | The Bucket List |

Peepli Live | 3 Idiots

Book Reviews on My Blog:

The Fountainhead Confessions of a Shopoholic | The Bridges of Madison County

March 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Cartoons, English Movies, Inspiration, Movies, Must Watch Movies, Reflections/Musings, Wisdom, You tube. 6 comments.

Mirch

Mirch is a collection of 4 short stories where wives are caught red handed cheating on their husbands & how they use their wit (???) to get out of those situations. These are so called tales of women equality in the right to cheat on their spouses. Afterall why should boys have all the fun??

They are supposed to be tales of Wit but frankly the plot is too thin n the so called wit doesn’t work. In real life no one is going to buy the stupid things the women say to get out of sticky situations.

In the 1st story based on Panchatantra, Raima’s character pretends that she’s making love with a stranger in order to save her husband from disaster n she is doing so on the recommendation of the village priest. So she is in fact making a huge sacrifice for the sake of her hubby!!! The husband is very happy to hear this n she f***s her lover right under her husband’s nose (actually above his nose as he is hiding under the bed to see what she is upto). I don’t see any wit here. Just lot of stupidity. Who is foolish enough to buy these lines?? Wouldn’t the hubby go n verify with the priest or will he accept lies on such grave matters at their face value??

In another tale Raima’s husband (Shreyas Talpade) is suspicious that his wife is cheating on him, so he plans his own sting operation. This doesn’t sit too well with her & she then actually  cheats on him as a revenge for his suspicion!!!

The only story that raises a few genuine points in the battle of cheating spouses n examining the double standards prevelant in our society is the last one with Konkana Sen Sharma n Boman Irani as (mutually cheating on each other) husband n wife. Boman habitually cheats on his wife with prostitutes. Once it so happens is the prostitute is none other than his own wife!!! A question is raised how come the society is okay with a male sleeping with other women (& spending money to do that) but if woman does it ( & earns money doing so) she is labelled a prostitute!!

Cast: Arunoday Singh, Raima Sen, Konkana Sen Sharma, Rajpal Yadav, Shreyas Talpade,  Boman Irani, Prem Chopra, Ila Arun

Director:Vinay Shukla

Other Movie Reviews on my blog:

Roman Holiday  Babel  Guzaarish  7 Khoon Maaf

Tanu Weds Manu

 The King’s Speech

Dhobi Ghat 13 conversations about one thing Bruce Almighty

What About Bob Forrest Gump Bheja Fry Ground Hog Day

The Pursuit of Happyness The Bucket List Peepli Live 3 Idiots

March 12, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Hindi Movies, Movies. 7 comments.

Roman Holiday

Cropped screenshot of Audrey Hepburn and Grego...

Image via Wikipedia

Roman Holiday is a 1953 Romantic comedy that enthrals the audience even today. It is a Fairy Tale in the reverse. Usually all girls want to be treated like Princesses but here a Princess is longing to be an ordinary girl. Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) who is on a tour to Rome is sick n tired of her boring Royal Duties & wants to explore the city as a commoner. So she runs away from her caretakers. She meets a Journalist, Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) who is at first thrilled to have run into an opportunity for an exclusive & intimate interview with the princess & so hides his real identity. Together they spend a fun n carefree day exploring the famous sites of Rome on his Vespa scooter. (we see not just a romance between the lead pair but also love affair between the camera and the city of Rome) But his plans fall apart as the pair falls in love by the end of the day. They know they can’t be together. So their love story ends rather abruptly. It’s an ephemeral love affair yet eternal ‘cos it gives them a lifetime of memories (Princess Ann at a Press Conference: “Rome. I will cherish my visit here in memory as long as I live.”). Usually when we think of Romance we have images of roses, choclates & candlelit dinners but a day spent together idly doing fun things can be much more romantic.

  The movie is full of charming scenes mainly because Audrey Hepburn gets the demeanour of a Princess just right.

I would rate Roman Holiday as a very good but not great movie. It’s good because it’s a cute bitter sweet love story & acting is impeccable & the comedy very subtle. But for me to be great a movie should have some underlying message, something you can learn from it that makes you think & that stays with you for a long time. So I prefer films in the genre of ‘The Ground Hog Day’/ ‘Bucket List’, but still it’s a good movie to watch on a lazy weekend when you don’t want to think too much.

Key Facts:

Director: William Wyler

Cast: Audery Hepburn, Gregory peck, Eddie Albert

Writer: Dalto Trumbo

Year of Release: 1953

Won Oscar for: Best Actress & Best Screenplay

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Other Movie Reviews on my blog:

Babel  Guzaarish  7 Khoon Maaf

Tanu Weds Manu

 The King’s Speech

Dhobi Ghat 13 conversations about one thing Bruce Almighty

What About Bob Forrest Gump Bheja Fry Ground Hog Day

The Pursuit of Happyness The Bucket List Peepli Live 3 Idiots

March 9, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . English Movies, Movies, Must Watch Movies. 8 comments.

Babel

Babel is a story that reflects how one (seemingly random & improbable, out of the blue) incident can change our lives in a way we never imagined. It is a collection of four short stories, set in four countries: Morocco, USA, Mexico & Japan, in 5 languages: Arabic, English, Mexican, Japanese & Sign Language.

 A sheep herder in Morocco buys a Rifle & gives it to his two sons for shooting wolves that have been eating their sheep. The boys instead try (rather foolishly) aiming at a passing car n a bus to test the effectiveness of the rifle. A bullet from their Rifle hits n American tourist (Cate Blanchett) who is on a holiday to Morocco with her husband (Brad Pitt). They have come on this holiday to sort out their marital problems, leaving their two children behind in the US with their Mexican Nanny & Housekeeper who has to attend her son’s wedding in Mexico during the same time. As the couple is stranded in a small village town trying to get a Helicopter to transfer the fatally wounded Lady to the Hospital, the Nanny finding no other alternative goes to her son’s wedding taking the children along with her with disastrous consequences. The fate of the Moroccan family, the American family & the Nanny are altered with this random shooting of the bullet. The movie alternates among these three & also moves to the life of a deaf & dumb Japanese Teenager who is coping with the trauma of her mother’s recent suicide & her own handicap. She is also desperate to lose her virginity. Her life is also affected by the shoot-out though in a very round about way. You must watch the movie to find out how.

The movie keeps one glued to the seat in a tense suspense of what is the ultimate fate of all involved. The movie is like a piece of puzzle, the pieces of which get connected only in the end. Some stories reach their logical conclusion whereas some are left vague & open to subjective interpretation.

 The movie is named Babel after the story of the Tower of Babel in the Biblical Book of Genesis. In the story, the people of the world are all united and speak a common language. They begin to build a tower to reach the heavens and become godlike themselves. God, seeing this, decides to confuse the language of the people and destroy the tower. When the people could no longer understand each other they gave up work on the tower and spread out to different parts of the world. It also refers to the connections -or lack thereof- that come through the use of language. In each storyline the characters struggle with surviving and self-identification based on misunderstanding through a language barrier. This film ultimately looks at the fact that we are all intimately connected on a life-and-death level, yet the trivialities of langauge and misunderstandings break us apart.

Some Facts: (Gleaned from Wikipaedia) 

Babel is a 2006 international drama film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and written by Guillermo Arriaga, starring an ensemble cast. The multi-narrative drama completes Iñárritu’s Death Trilogy, following Amores perros and 21 Grams.

The film portrays multiple stories taking place in Morocco, Japan, Mexico, and the United States. It was an international co-production among companies based in France, Mexico and the US. The film was first screened at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, and was later shown at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Zagreb Film Festival. It opened in selected cities in the United States on October 27, 2006, and went into wide release on November 10, 2006. On January 15, 2007, it won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture — Drama. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and two nominations for Best Supporting Actress and won for Best Original Score.

 Other Movie Reviews on my blog:

 Guzaarish  7 Khoon Maaf

Tanu Weds Manu

 The King’s Speech

Dhobi Ghat 13 conversations about one thing Bruce Almighty

What About Bob Forrest Gump Bheja Fry Ground Hog Day

The Pursuit of Happyness The Bucket List Peepli Live 3 Idiots

March 8, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . English Movies, Movies, Must Watch Movies. 10 comments.

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