Mani Rathnam’s magnum-opus Raavan hit the screens two days ago and I hit the plush chairs at PVR to catch it up on a drizzly Saturday afternoon. In hindsight, maybe I should’ve hit the sack and rested those wearisome muscles rather than risk a jaw-ache from all those yawns! Coz it wasn’t as high and mighty as its made out to be.
“Old wine – new bottle” is passé! Old wine, re-distilled (read re-interpreted) and served up in rustic yet beautiful khullads is the new mantra. Vishal Bhardwaj did it with Omkara. Prakash Jha did it with Rajneeti and now Mani does the same with Raavan.
Beera (Abhishek Bachchan) is the scourge/saviour of a fictitious place Laal Maati. He’s the son of the soil, who rights the wrongs of the law enforcement officers by killing them or burning them at a stake! Locals deify him and none dare defy him. SP Dev Pratap Sharma (Vikram) is the man set out to hunt him down, at any cost. The hunt becomes a personal one when his wife Raagini (Aishwarya Rai) is kidnapped by Beera and held hostage. The age-old good vs. evil struggle commences amidst the backdrop of jungles, waterfalls, caves, canyons and sleepwatching audiences!
Firstly, why the place is named Laal Maati is beyond me. Given there’s not as much as a sand dune but acres and acres of jungle, humungous waterfalls, ravenous canyons and caves, black rocky cliffs with an idol of Shiva atop and also what looked like a poor-man’s Angkor Vat in between! Agreed, the locales and picturesque and breathtaking but it scarcely looks like North India. It rains almost throughout the movie (Kerala?); there’s a huge river & a huger waterfall (Karnataka?); lots and lots of jungle (Madhya Pradesh?); we see tribal folk and sweater-wearing policemen (Bihar/UP?); rusticness & artistry abounds in the mud-walled villages and mountain-top temples (Rajasthan?). Clearly, Geography is not the movie’s strong point!
Seen the newest Idea Cellular advertisement featuring Abhishek Bachchan as a tree, exhorting people to Use Mobiles and Save Paper?
Its part of the “Save Paper” campaign by the Aditya Birla Group – http://usemobilesavepaper.in/index.php. Exactly how
they we’re to go about doing it is still a bit unclear to me maybe a part II of the campaign will be unveiled soon.
For starters, Idea themselves can stop selling their chota recharge vouchers on paper and do away with the booklets and manuals that accompany a new connection
What an Idea, sirjee!
I Hate You. I Hate Him. I Hate Her. I Hate That Guy. I Hate The Neighbours. I Hate the People across the street. I Hate…
Oops! I let out the Kaala Bandar and look what it did! One lesson from coming back from the screening of Delhi 6 would be to learn to leash the inherent kaala bandar or the monkey of hatred that is said to be deep-rooted within each one of us. But I shouldn’t be starting at that point; let me shackle-in the monkey and I’ll brb with my thoughts about the movie…
Delhi 6 is the third movie from Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (who kinda started off on the wrong foot with Aks but redeemed himself and sorta liberated the free-spirited Indian audience with Rang De Basanti) which tells the tale of happenings in the cultural milieu of the Chandni Chowk area of Delhi having the post code 6, hence the title. ABCD Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan) comes to Delhi with his ailing grandmother (Waheeda Rehman) who wants to spend the rest of her life in her Delhi home. Her Son and Daughter-in-law are left back in US but the neighbours and locality people are more than just that, they’re ‘family’ too and welcome her back with open arms and warm hearts. Roshan initially struggles to ‘fit’ into this socially and culturally interwoven environment but warms up to the happenings around him in due course of time. Things start to go awry, partly as a result of Roshan’s open-mindedness and partly due to a certain so-called alien ‘creature’ labelled monkey-man. How it ends, I’ll leave it to the reader’s imagination (which, in hindsight, Rakeysh also should have done!) Continue reading
D for Drona; D for Disappointment; D for Dullness; D for Dawdling; D for Daft & D for Damnation! I may sound like Chunni babu in D for Devdas but those were my exact sentiments while trooping out of the theatre on a lazy holiday afternoon after watching Drona. For someone like me who can’t bring himself to leave back the brains at home while watching movies, watching a movie like Drona is nothing short of torturous! They say one ought not look for reasoning and logic in the horror and fantasy genres of movies and that’s fine as long as there is a semblance of a plot and a sense of excitement in the storyline. Drona fails on both the counts.
The storyline is nothing new, in fact I can say it borrows heavily from Harry Potter‘s earlier years. In far-away Prague, lonely kid Aditya (Abhishek Bachchan) is adopted by a family where the uncle is friendly enough but auntie and cousin are mean and treat him like dirt. Aditya grows up amidst the solace of fluttering blue rose petals which magically bestow him with all sorts of useful stuff including a (hideous) golden bracelet embellished with emeralds. Unbeknownst to him, he’s being guarded by a devoted posse of individuals including a nun, two poker thugs, a baker and a Lamborghini-driving Sonia (Priyanka Chopra) and when the time is right, heap upon him the secret of his destiny – he is in fact Drona, a superhero who is the descendant of an elite clan of warriors keeping guard over the nectar of immortality – Amrit. Drona has his nemesis in the form of Riz Raizaada (Kay Kay Menon), a magician but in reality a sorcerer and an Asura who is after the Amrit. Drona’s quest for answers to his questions brings him to Rajasthan and face to face with his Mother (Jaya Bachchan) who had sent him away as a kid to protect him from the asura. He learns of his past and the destiny that awaits but Riz follows him home and thus begins a struggle….the eternal struggle….between good and evil, light and darkness, day and night, white and black….the list is endless.. Continue reading
I am not one to catch FDFS regularly. But I did break that mould when I caught Sarkar Raj today. Its a sequel to the 2005 blockbuster Sarkar and sees the the three AB’s – Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan, together on the screen for the first time (in a full-length movie i.e. Kajraare is not to be counted!) It is directed by Ram Gopal Varma, whom we’d taken to be a spent force and done n’ dusted post movies such as Aag and Darling. But after seeing Sarkar Raj, RGV is back at the exalted position of a master film-maker and an exceptional story-teller. Sarkar Raj has the RGV stamp all over it. The story-telling, the taut screenplay, the gripping sequences, the eerie silences, the cacophonic beats as a revelation is unearthed, the dark n’ sombre look, lighting effects….all of them have the RGV mark.
The crux of the movie can be encompassed in a dialogue one of the character speaks: “agar Abhimanyu chakravyuh tak nahin aasakta, toh chakravyuh Abhimanyu ke paas lena padega!” (If Abhimanyu can’t come near the chakravyuh, let’s take the chakravyuh to Abhimanyu!). Story, in short, is of the Nagres – Subhash (Amitabh) & his son Shankar (Abhishek) and how a proposal of an Electric Plant brought forward by Anita (Aishwarya), the CEO of an MNC, engulfs them and threatens their very dominance. Senior Nagre is against the project but Shankar foresees a greater good in it and decides to implement it no matter what. He convinces his father, who in turn convinces the patriarch of the villages which would be displaced by the project. But there looms a greater conspiracy within and Shankar finds things going against him but still, he abides by his beliefs and continues relentlessly. Affected by betrayals and volte-faces all along the way, and hit hard by two very dramatic turns of events, Sarkar emerges wounded but still with his sense of powers intact. The movie culminates in almost similar fashion as its prequel – revenge and (probable) unveiling of a successor.