Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 : The Year that Was ...

The year of the global economic crises , 2008 , is about to get over and it was not only the year of economic crises but probably also the year of creativity crises when it comes to Indian films released this year .Both , the commercial cinema and low-budget off-beat cinema didn't provide that good entertainment this year . Most of them had either mediocre scripts or no script at all (eg. Tashan) . The two-three films that were good like A Wednesday,Aamir,Khuda Key Liye and Mumbai Meri Jaan , had that same terrorism background in all of them . The only two films that I thought were different in a good way were Mithya and Dasvidanya . Still , films like these were at least made and appreciated else it would have been a disastrous year because commercial cinema hit the lowest this year with films like Tashan,Singh is Kinng,Bachna Ae Hasino,Golmaal Returns,Yuvvraaj,Krazzy 4,Sunday,Love Story 2050 etc. etc . All of these commercial films that I have mentioned here had good star cast and big budgets but still were some of the worst films I've ever seen .

This year was no different for Yashraj than the last year . They continued making crap films like Tashan,Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic,Roadside Romeo and Bachna Ae Hasino . Same as last year when SRK's Chak De India saved Yashraj from humiliation this year it was Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi which according to various sources is the Biggest blockbuster success of this year . Though Rab Ne got mixed reviews it was still in my view a good film in general sense and a Great film as compared to the other Yashraj films that released this year . SRK has again proved that economic crises and terrorist attacks can not affect his stardom and he still is the king when it comes to box-office collections . Talking of King or should I must spell Kinng , Akshay Kumar pulled off a hit in form of Singh is Kinng which in any case is one of the Akshay's worst film in the past few years . 2008 was not as good as 2007 for Akshay as both his films SIK and Tashan were badly made films . Still , Singh is Kinng stands second only to RNBDJ in terms of Box office collections .

Apart from films one thing that was in true sense "Manoranjan Ka Baap" was IPL or the Indian Premiere League . No producer had the guts to have a one on one with this Rs. 4500 Crore mammoth and for a month and a half no films were released . Though it featured the likes of Mukesh Ambani , Vijay Mallya and Ness Wadia who are corporate giants yet it was our very own SRK who made the maximum profit of them all with his Kolkata Knightriders (KKR) . Though his team not even made it to the semis still he was left with maximum profits in the end . He would be hoping for a better result on field also in the next season . The King of Good Times ,Vijay Mallya , saw some bad times with neither his Royal Challengers nor his Force India F1 team doing well . SRK once again proved that he is a marketing genius and he can literally give any businessman a run for his money .

IPL had all the elements of any Bollywood Film and it very well made up for the films that didn't release during this period . Whether it was the Sreesanth-Bhajji slap controversy or the hue and cry over the scantly clothed Cheer leaders , it all provided some good entertainment packed along with real competitive matches . The word "mania" very well justifies the effect that IPL had and suddenly T-20 seems to be the future .The first season proving to be a big blockbuster success , IPL would be one thing that would haunt film producers every year .

Coming to the new comers , there was a substantial lot that made its debut this year , including debutant actors like Harman Baweja,Imran Khan, Arjan (the Fashion guy) , Sikander Kher and the supposedly rock sensation Farhan Akhtar . Amongst the female actors were names like Prachi Desai , Mugdha Godse , Manjari Fadnis (Imran's girlfriend in Jaane Tu..) , Shahana Goswami , Asin and the very famous Anushka Sharma . Though many made there debut but as usual only few were good like my personal favourite Shahana Goswami who acted like pro in Rock On . She completely bowled me over with her acting in the film , one of the finest natural performance of the year though a short one . If you don't remember she played the character of Debbie , wife of Arjun Rampal . Manjari was also good but she didn't actually made her debut since she has worked in films like Mumbai Salsa earlier . Anushka was also good and she also acted naturally in RNBDJ. Among the guys only Imran Khan impressed me in Jaane Tu.. but still overall he doesn't have a wide range and only certain roles would suit him . Farhan got a hit film but I still prefer him behind the lens . Harman is a disaster with his fake sounding voice and his even more fake mannerisms . I just hope he proves me wrong in his coming films .

The year wasn't good even for established actors like Abhishek , Priyanka , Kareena and Salman . Hrithik also had only one film this year which was just about the size of two . Still , Jodha Akbar was a huge success and may be this year a lot of awards would be bagged by this film only . After all Filmfare can never give a best picture award to a film like Aamir and it won't look good to give it to a film like Singh is Kinng or RNBDJ so they will in the end give it to Jodha Akbar which would be the safest option . Abhishek's bad run continued and neither his Dad (in Sarkar Raj) nor his mom (in Drona) could save him . Though he got some relief in the end with KJo's Dostana which again wasn't a good film as such . Kareena had probably the worst year with films like Tashan and Golmaal Returns , both being C-grade cinema at its best . Golmaal Returns worked at the box office but for me it was undoubtebly the most Cheap film of the year and also of Ajay Devgan's career . Priyanka also had her fair share of flops with films like Love Story 2050,Drona,Chamku and God Tussi Great Ho . She had some respite with Fashion and Dostana in the end . She is a strong contender for this year's Best Actress award for Fashion . Fashion though was liked by critics but for me it was just a fictional piece with bits of one off real life incidences .

Music wise also the year was just an average year . The Rahmaniacs got a good dose of the Maestro with Five of his albums releasing this year . But in my opinion he was better with one or two albums a year only . Frankly speaking none of the five albums of ARR that released this year were complete albums and as a true fan rather than a hardcore one I was really disappointed . Songs were good but not brilliant which is expected from ARR as always , maybe the excessive work was the reason . Pritam had his fair share of hits with Race and Kismat Konnection and Vishal-Shekhar disappointed a lot considering last year's OSO soundtrack . Shankar Ehsaan and Loy also did an average job in Rock On considering their earlier albums like Taare Zameen Par and Kal Ho Na Ho etc. I know you can argue with me saying that the rock genre that they attempted was completely different and new but for me those are just excuses . A similar excuse can be given for the different attempt of Rehman in Yuvvraj . Still , SEL have ended the year on a good note with songs like "Sapno Se Bhare Naina" from Luck By Chance and "Tere Naina" from Chandni Chowk to China which are really nice tracks .

And how can I forget the Blog wars . Stars like Amir and Amitabh spoke more with their blogs rather than their work . Directors like Karan Johar and Ram Gopal Verma also got one each . RGV's blog is more of a joke where he keeps ridiculing the comments that people leave and people still take the pain to comment on those comments . SRK brought a lot more hits to their blogs by being compared to a pet dog and also through TRP charts . What a pity that was , with Legend like Amitabh comparing himself with SRK and Aamir calling his dog SRK .

The party of the year belonged to Katrina Kaif who called all the heavyweights to her Birthday party . This would be one birthday she'll never forget . We know what happened there so I won't say anything about that and there was a huge stupid media coverage on that too . RGV's going into Taj after the terrorist attacks generated more hype than his films .

The year came to end with the competition between the two khans , Amir and SRK . When Aamir was getting 8 packs for his Ghajini look , SRK was loosing his six for the plane simple look of Suri in RNBDJ . In this case , I admit openly that I may sound biased because I am a hardcore fan of SRK . Still , keeping the biases aside I feel that people would forget Ghajini in the long run , no matter how big a hit it gets but they would always remember the Suri of RNBDJ . I loved the character and SRK's acting so what if it was a commercial film and had those elements which are a little hard to believe , Ghajini was one step further when it comes to commercial Masala . RNBDJ was a commercial film that had an original story and characters in its core . If anyone who can pull off a blockbuster with only three characters in a film then it is only the duo of SRK and Adi . For me neither Aamir nor SRK won the battle because both of their films were quite average opposite to what is expectd from them . But one thing is for sure Ghajini was a complte formula film that had a long list of loop holes which didn't make any sense logically . Ghajini gave a very disappointing end to what has been already the year of below average cinema .

Overall , the year was a below average one when it comes to films . Akshay , Aamir , SRK and Katrina were the only few who tasted success but that too in some very average films . High hopes from films like Singh is Kinng , Ghajini and RNBDJ ended in disappointment . And the films that worked apart from these like Race and Golmaal Returns are not even worth mentioning .Jaane Tu.. and Rock On were just time pass films and nothing so great about them . In all , a very dull year with a long list of flops and bad films . I can go on writing about the disappointments but I think you would all agree with me . The industry would definitely like to forget the year and look forward to a better 2009 .

Anyways as usual I have my list of best and the worst of the year which goes as follows :

Best Songs : (Popular)
1. Singh is Kinng - Title Track
2. Kabhi Kabhi Aditi --- Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
3. Race - Title track .
4. Rock On --- Title Track .
5. Krazzy 4 - Break Free (title track).
6. Aye Paapi -- Kismat Konnection .
7. Haule Haule --- Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Best Songs : (Lyrically)
1. Pehli Nazar Mein -- Race .
2. Sapno se Bhare Naina -- Luck By Chance.
3. Bakhuda -- Kismat Konnection
4. Haa Raham -- Aamir .
5. Guzarish --- Ghajini .
6. Tere Naina --- Chandni Chowk To China .
7. Khuda Jaane --- Bachna Ae Hasino.

Best Trailers :

1. Dostana - Teaser Trailer .
2. Rock On - Trailer .
3. Chandni Chowk to China -- Teaser trailer .
4. Fashion - Trailer
5. Oye Lucky Lucky Oye --- Trailer (the film was also good , Abhay is one good actor)
6. Luck By Chance --- Trailer
7. New York --- Trailer

Best Films (overall and popular) :
1.A Wednesday .
2. Aamir
3. Jodha Akbar
4. Fashion
5. Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
6. Dasvidanya
7. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Rotten Eggs of the Year :

1. Tashan --- the undisputed champion .
2.Golmaal Returns -- Cheap comedy that looks good in C-grade films .
3. Love Story 2050 --- if I had a time machine I would go back and not watch this film .
4.Drona --- The ugliest looking superhero of all time .
5.Singh is Kinng --- This is what I call B4 - Big Budget Blockbuster Bummer .
6.Yuvvraj --- Even Yuvraj singh won't have watched it .
7.Roadside Romeo --- In real life also Saif sounds like a dog but that also didn't help the film .
8.My name is Anthony Gonzalves --- I am yet to see this film [:)]

This year it was a tough competition for rotten eggs as there were many . Some others that almost made it to the list were names like Mission Istanbul , Karzzzzzzzzzzzzz , Race, Bachna Ae Hasino , God Tussi Great ho , Heroes , De Taali , Maan gaye Mughal-e-azam , C Kompany, The Last Lear , Hari Puttar (who watched it?) , Hello etc. etc.

This is the last post for the year so here's wishing everyone a very Happy n Prosperous New Year . Lets hope 2009 will bring some good entertainment along with it .

Monday, December 29, 2008

Luck By Chance --- Music Review

The year is almost over and just before the end has come the music of Luck By Chance which gives a good end to the year which has been not so good in terms of music that has released . Luck By Chance is the second film as an actor for Farhan and from the promos this one looks to be more promising than his first one .The film starrs some big names like Konkana Sen Sharma , Juhi Chawla ,Hithik Roshan,Rishi Kapoor,Sanjay Kapoor,Saurabh Shukla,Dimple Kapadia,Isha Sharvani etc. etc. The film's plot revolves around a struggling actor and his journey to make his dreams come true . And as a result the songs are very much related to dreams and life that one wishes to have . Such songs always work among the audience because everybody has a dream and it results in an instant connection with the songs. Remember "Aashayein" of Iqbal . Well this album is pretty much similar in terms of content . The film is Directed by Farhan's sister Zoya Akhtar and hence the music is also by brother's favourite Shankar , Ehsaan and Loy .

The first song on the album is "Yeh Zindagi Bhi" which is a nice slow track with some really nice lyrics . Jaaved Sir always pens down some fine lyrics when it comes to the films that his son/daughter make . This song is a nice opening track and gives a nice insight of life . This song might mark the start of Farhan's journey in the film . The tune that SEL have used is really very nice and keeps the whole song pretty simple and melodious and letting the lyrics do their job . In such songs the lyrics are always the strong point and the job of the music director is to highlight those lyrics even more with the proper tune . In all its a good slow track that very well sets up a mood to listen the further tracks . Both the singers Loy Mendosa and Shekhar Ravjiani do a good job with the vocals .

Just after the slow and soulful track comes a very upbeat and sufiana track "Baawre" . This one is a treat who love Sufiana sort of tracks and also like pure Indian folk tracks . The lyrics here are also great by Jaaved sir and Loy does a fantastic job in singing the sufiana parts . The track though belongs to Shankar for most of the part and he does a great job as usual . In this track contrary to first one the Music takes the lead and dominates the track . The lyrics are good but it is the fantastic use of different instruments and the whole rhythm that makes this song one brilliant track . SEL have done a fantastic job on this one and given full justice to the song . The song interestingly describes a Circus scenario but ironically it refers to life only in general especially of the film world .

The third track on the album is a Slow Romantic number "Pyaar Ki Dastan" . Here both lyrics and music take a very safe mode and lack the newness . The music in this track has been kept very simple and nothing new has been tried . This one is just an average track and good thing is that it has been kept simple only and would work in the film . The male singer on this one is Amit Paul . Remember him ? The guy that came second in the last Indian Idol because of some unfair regional voting for the guy that won the show . Well I wont call it a superb entry into the music scene but he is at least with good guys (SEL) and I am sure they will help him in future also . His voice though sounds quite fresh and he needs to sing a lot many songs and then only any judgement can be passed on his singing . This one was a simple track so nothing to praise about . Mahalaxmi Iyer is an established singer and she does her job well as usual .

Then comes "Yeh Aaj Kya Ho Gaya" which is a nice guitar based track with Sunidhi Chauhan giving the vocals . It is a good short track with nice use of guitar throughout . This one is also a basic track with nothing fancy about it . The lyrics on this one are not as good as compared to the other songs . It is not a weak track yet it isn't a strong one either . The song would look good along with some situation in the film and probably would feature Konkana .

Then comes the Best track on the album and one of the best released in this year , "Sapno Se Bhare Naina" . One brilliant track with some of the finest Lyrics Jaaved Sir has ever written . Just pay heed to the first line - "Bagiyan Bagiyan Baalak Bhaage , Titli fir bhi haath na laage , Is pagle ko kaun samjhaye......Sapno se bhare naina to neend hai na chaina " . Anyone who has a passionate dream that he/she sees for his/her life would just love this track and would instantly identify himself/herself with it . Not only the lyrics are great but even the music that the trio has given is just fabulous . And who else than Shankar himself could have sung it better . His strong classical base matches the passion that is required to sing the song . Overall , a brilliant track and probably one the best in the career of both SEL and Jaaved Sir . I can keep on praising it .

The last original track on the album is "O Rahi Re" . SEL return to the simple soulful mood that is there on the first track . The music and lyrics both are great on this one too . The tune is great and reminds us of the music of the old times . Shankar sings this one also in his immaculate style and does full justice to the lyrics and tune . The lyrics in this one are again very philosophical sorts and talk of life . Music lovers would definitely like the song . Overall , its a really nice track keeping the theme of the entire soundtrack intact . A perfect song to end the soundtrack .

There is one Remix version of Baawre in the end that is probably the only song with heavy techno beats . It is a nice remix and people who won't like the original version would certainly like the remix version . For guys like me still the original one is better any day . But still , the remix is a nice one and not just adds extra bass and ups the tempo . It makes it sound completely different than the original one and would definitely work .

Overall , it is one of the best albums of the year and it was really nice to end the year with such a fine album . Great lyrics packed with some good tunes and singing . SEL and Jaaved sir together have done a much better job on this one than they did on Rock On . I just hope that this film also meets all the expectations I have with it . Go buy it if you are a true music lover .

Album Rating : Four out of Five Stars ; Great Package in total for music lovers .

Ghajini --- Movie Review

Ghajini is exactly what I was expecting and probably even better and before you jump to any conclusions let me tell you that I was expecting Ghajini to be Masala film with lack of logic and some mindless action . And this is what I got , a big disappointment . I was still hoping against the hope that may be there would be just mindless action and still it would have an intelligent story but as it turned out it just had mindless and logic less action with a story that had been borrowed from west and some Indian Masala added to it . Do you remember those old action films of Amitabh and others of that era that had that typical Revenge (Badla) plot with hero running after the villain and in the end beating 50 odd people on his own and taking his revenge . Well , Ghajini is exactly that kind of formula cinema .

What has struck me even more is the fact that Critics like Rajeev Masand (IBN) and Mayank Shekhar (Mumbai Mirror and TOI) have rated it much higher than Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi . Most of the critics argued while reviewing RNBDJ that they found it hard to believe that Anushka doesn't identify his husband just because he shaves off his moustache . And those critics probably left their brains at home while watching Ghajini which from start to end has a long list of logical flaws in it which don't make sense at all . Those critics didn't even keep in mind that at least RNBDJ had an original plot and not an inspired one whereas Ghajini has many similarities with Memento . I mean how biased are these critics , leave aside Taran Adarsh (of IndiaFM) who thinks Ghajini deserves 4.5 stars out of Five . Mind You , he has given Taare Zameen Par 4/5 and Chak De India a mind boggling 2 out of 5 .

Leaving the critics aside , I thought that Indian films and audience were finally getting more intelligent and liked only those films that were a little different and didn't have that formula feel to it . But I was maybe wrong because the films that worked in 2008 like Race , Singh is Kinng , Golmaal Returns etc. are all masala entertainers having all those emotions with very less emphasis on story . Though Ghajini has been marketed as an Action film but let make it very clear that it is a Masala film with a little more of Action .

Frankly speaking , Ghajini is not even worth comparing to Memento . If Memento was a brilliant film then there is no shade of brilliance in Ghajini . Any young upcoming Director from south could have made this film who has grown up watching films of Rajnikanth in which he is always a superhero with no superpowers and yet he beats a group of people to bring justice . The only similarity is the basic theme of the protagonist and rest all is Indian Masala that too with a lot of inspiration from South Commercial cinema .

The film in the first place jumps from Romantic angle to Intense angle almost suddenly many times leaving a mixed feeling . The worst that suffered from this was the Romantic super hit song Guzarish . The song almost starts instantly after an intense situation where audience is in a thinking mode . There is no Romantic build-up before the song and hence the only good song in the film also got a little wasted . Leave aside the other songs which were more of item numbers with no link to the film . Can you believe Jia Khan does an Item No. sort of song (Lattu) at a College Function in very glamorous costume which by the way is a Medical College . Jia becomes a detective from a doctor and all of sudden starts investigating Aamir's case . How real is that ? Well , I can mention several such loop holes in the film but I don't want to , you can see them yourselves . When I heard Kaise mujhe on the album I thought it would be in more of a sad situation but Aamir is all happy when this song is there . The song didn't go along with his mood but the Lyrics did .

Asin is a pleasant surprise and acts quite well and has good comic presence . Though she acted well but I felt that she was just overdoing in some of the scenes which is quite a turn off . She can act but the Director would have to make sure that she doesn't start over-acting . Her role was adorable but not so much believable . In any case the whole film is a bit over the top so you won't mind Asin's acting also . She was cute but didn't make such a good pair with Aamir and the chemistry was a little less . Jia doesn't have much of a role and hence was kept out of the publicity .

One more thing that makes it a typical Formula film is the length of the film which is just about 3 hrs and the pace with which it moves is also of the 80's and 90's . The hammering background score makes sure that no one gets asleep while watching the film . In some parts the score is good but for most of the parts it is a bit over the top . There is also a vague Character of a Police officer who serves nothing in the film or story apart from adding a little bit of action .

The only one positive was the Cinematography which was great and Ravi K. Chandran needs to be applauded for that . The director A.R. Murugadoss also does an average job and he at least made sure that film doesn't become unbearable and kept it a little entertaining . The art direction didn't impress me that much but was still not that bad . I hope Murugadoss comes up with a little less commercial film and more of an original one , the next time .

At last coming to Aamir Khan who according to several critics acted quite well and it is completely his film . Well , there is no doubt that it is completely Amir's film but the acting part isn't that good . I am also an Aamir fan and I've seen him act at least Ten times better than what he did in Ghajini . Such roles first of all don't suit him and I hope he never selects such a character in the future . I am sure nobody would remember Aamir in Ghajini in the future . They might remember Ghajini because of Aamir's 8 packs though . Aamir can do so much better than what he did in this film . Shouting and Killing like an animal doesn't suit him that much if you ask me and for that matter it wont suit any actor of today .

There is no doubt that Ghajini would be blockbuster and you can also watch it to see Aamir in a masala film for a change . But I just hope that with the success of films like Ghajini , Golmaal Returns and Singh is Kinng the producers don't get encouraged to make such cinema more often because it took almost three decades to come up till hear for the industry and I hope it doesn't push itself back to its roots . If this trend continues then we would get to see Superstars getting together and pulling off a blockbuster for a similar story every time .

Movie Rating : Two and a Half out of Five Stars ; Aamir in a Masala film to its core is one thing that I don't want to watch .

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi --- Movie Review

The film for which everybody was waiting since a long time , the film that marks the comeback of the famous Jodi of Aditya Chopra-SRK and the film that would probably take the industry out of the slump it is facing , RNBDJ , released with huge expectations this Friday . People would always expect something good when names like Yashraj , Shah Rukh and Aditya Chopra are associated with a film . SRK also comes back on screen after almost one whole whole year so even his fans are expecting a lot from him . So does the film matches to all these ecpectations ? The answer lies ahead .

The primary aim of any SRK film is to provide three hours of Indian Entertainment to the viewer so that at least he or she can forget his/her daily life for sometime and yet can see his/her life in the film to an extent . And RNBDJ serves this primary aim to its fullest . This time round though there are no Huge Lavish Sets that catch your eye , instead there is a simple Punjabi Kothi that looks much more beautiful than a Haveli . The film doesn't take you to the Highways of Europe like DDLJ does but it does take you to congested lanes of Amritsar . The protagonist is not a Rich Son "Raj" but instead it is an average looking Suri Sahni who is just an average employee of Punjab Power . Still , the film has all those dramatics that any Aditya Chopra film has because it is his style and he knows that only . He creates a Commercial yet Story Oriented film that would please not only the intelligent audience and critics but also the lay man on the street . Adi's last film Mohabbatein though was a hit yet it was according to me one of the most pathetic films of SRK's career . The film was poorly inspired by Dead Poets Society and also had greats like Amitabh and SRK delivering some of the most Cliche dialogues and the situations were age old .

So does this mean that RNBDJ doesn't have those Cliche moments . The answer is No , it has those cliche moments but they are very few in number and don't last that long . So if you can digest few of those cliche melodramatic moments then this film is for you . The film is completely based upon the central character Surinder Sahni who is an average guy who somewhere in the corner of his heart wishes to be a Hero that we see on screen and has a Golden heart . His heart makes him a bigger hero than any of those on screen heroes who are more fake than real . Suri is very real and very believable . He finds happiness in simpler things in life and doesn't aim to become a big shot with all the flamboyance .

He is a man with all the values and he meets this girl , Taani , who probably is the compliment of his personality and is all bubbly and vivacious . Taani loves to live life and believes not only in love but also in a Happily Ever after philosophy . But fate takes its turn and she ends up with Suri who she likes as a person but can never fall in love with .Suri on the other hand falls completely in love with her the moment he sees her . Suri with some help from Bobby (Vinay Pathak) transforms himself into Raj to make her happy . Raj looks good and expresses whatever his heart feels right away . But there is a small twist in the story that I have not revealed and I want you to see that for yourself .

The film successfully portrays all the characters in their true elements and there is no larger than life premise . Some parts still have that Fantasy Love and one has to go along with it to enjoy the film . The most entertaining thing in the film is SRK and his character , of course . He carries the entire film on his shoulders through his Fine performance . It has all those humorous moments that any SRK film has . This time round though he makes you Smile for most of the part rather than make you laugh your heart out . He makes the viewers feel good about his character and makes people realise that how they can find more happiness in small things in life that even an Academy Award cannot give .

There are not many emotional moments in the film and those that are there are not forced in . The film in all is a full on entertainer which has elements of both a Light Hearted and Commercial film . You will fall in love with not only SRK's character but also remember the characters like Taani and Bobby . SRK very well acts out the simple average man's character and shows all the shades of it . His acting is one of the strong points of the film . His body language in the film is one thing one should notice to realise that how good an actor he is . He not only changes his clothes but also changes his walking style and mannerisms . Anushka also plays her character very well and she looks beautiful on screen in both Indian and Western Attires . She acts very naturally and her smile will leave boys asking for some more .Vinay as usual acts his part very well and he also has a good role in the film . Vinay has struck a nice balance by doing both commercial and off beat cinema performing equally well in both .

Adi's Direction I feel didn't have much to do because the film lies completely on the shoulders of SRK .But still he doesn't do a bad job and in films like these the central character has the major part of responsibility . The music of the film by Salim-Suleiman is also one of the strong points . Haule Haule being the best and Dance Pe Chance being an absolutely rocking number . Anushka dances really well in the film and SRK is as usual . Then there is "Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte" which is a surprise visual delite that will please everyone . The film's music goes along with the film and doesn't hinder the film or its pace in any manner .The choreography and the group of Shiamak Dawar and Vaibhavi Merchant is great and plays an important part in the film. The background score by Salim-Suleiman is also good but sometimes it looks out of the place because it is very much inspired from the films of west . The cinematography by Ravi K. Chandran is fine and at times quite brilliant especially in the scene where Anushka enjoys the raindrops from her window . The story by Aditya Chopra is good but the screenplay is a little weak in some parts .

Overall , its a nice film that not only entertains you for its length but also makes you feel good . The film has released in a time when people are a little disturbed by the recent attacks on our country (and not Mumbai) and the film will definatly take some focus off the heinous act and make people return back to normal .This film would appeal more to a mature audience and a little less to the youth . Watch this film for SRK and his acting and also for Surinder Sahni who exists everywhere and probably a part of him exists in all of us . The only negatives being some small parts in both the first and the second half where the film gets a little weak . Still, the film is worth a watch till the last credit rolls down , why I say so would be clear to you when you'll watch the film . You might end up clapping in the end .

Film Rating : Three and a Half out of Five Stars ; For SRK's fine performance and Surinder Sahni's character.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Raaz - The Mystery Continues --- Music Review

The sequel of yet another film is going to hit the cinema halls pretty soon and this time it is a sequel or should I must say a film in the Raaz series . Raaz if you remember brought back the trend of Horrors and Thrillers in the industry and then followed films like Bhoot,Darna Mana Hai,Saya,Krishna Cottege,Nazar, etc. etc. that all had some supernatural element in it . Raaz was more of a sleeper hit and no one expected a film with the likes of Dino and Bipasha to do well . This time round though the situation is completely different and it is Bhatt camp’s favourites Emraan Hashmi and Kangna Ranaut that are sharing the screen space trying to send a chill down your spine . The director is also different with Mohit Suri in the seat instead of Vikram Bhatt . Vikram Bhatt in any case hasn’t given many hits in his career of 22 films . Though he recently tasted succes with 1920 . One thing that I am expecting out of Mohit Suri is a good original film that need not necessarily be a classic in the genre . I liked his last attempt Aawarapan and he certainly made Emran to act for a change instead of making out with the female lead.

Lets talk a little about the soundtrack and looking at the album it looks like the trend of getting music for each song from different composers is catching on rapidly . The album has Five Original tracks along with three remixes and there are around four different music directors that feature on the album . The first track is ” Maahi ” which is already on air . The lyrics on this one are by “Jiya Dhadak Dhadak ” fame Sayeed Quadri and he does a fairly good job on this one also . Music is by Sharib-Toshi who do a decent job themselves . They have given it a very basic tune and the lyrics along with that tune are good enough to carry the song . This song may not get as hit as the other songs of Emran Hashmi have got in past but certainly would get popular . Toshi the singer also does a decent job and his voice gives a different feel to the song . Overall , it is a nice track that might get much more popular in the coming days .

Next comes “Soniyo” by Raaju . It is also a very simple track and has nothing so new about it that would make it an instant hit . But this doesn’t mean that the song is not good . It has some nice lyrics by Kumaar and vocals by Sonu , Shreya and Neeraj . Sometimes simple tracks get a lot more popular than the others . The track starts off with some nice english singing by Neeraj and slowly Sonu takes over . Then it is Sonu for most of the part yet Shreya and Neeraj support him beautifully . The lyrics by Kumaar have a nice romantic feel to them but I felt that the music composition could have been much better . Still , it is a nice simple romantic track that would be liked by all .

The third track on the album is “O Jaana” is more of a commercial track so a little different than the previous two . Though it is commercial yet it is different . Different because usually commercial tracks don’t really have good lyrics and this one on the contrary has good lyrics . Music is by Raju Singh who does a decent job and doesn’t spoil the good lyrics by giving it a fancy tune or experimenting with it . The lyrics on this one are again by Sayeed and he does a good job again . KK gives in nice vocals like always and overall it is a fun track with some nice content .

Next comes in the Title track “Kaisa Ye Raaz hai” which again has slower tempo like the first two songs and it interestingly has a little rock music sort of feel in it . And since no one sings rock songs better than KK in the film music scene , he does the job effortlessly and in a nice manner . Sayeed writes an average song and the music by Pranay Riijia is also quite average . Some of the Piano based pieces in the begining and in between sound quite mysterious and haunting . These pieces would be very much a part of the Background score. Overall , the song is so so and would probably be liked by KK fans and would certainly make much more sense in the film along with the story line .

Last original track on the soundtrack is “Bandaa Re” which is again more of a Film oriented track and has all those spooky mantra chants , thunder sounds and other such elements to give it a little eerie feel . The lyrics by Gourav Dasgupta in this one are below average and not good as compared to the other songs . The lyrics don’t provide much to the song and neither does the music . The music is also just good enough and would sound better in a cinema hall rather than at your home . This song might hinder the pace of the film a little bit considering it is a five minute track with nothing much to offer . The song would become a disaster and a final nail in the coffin if the screenplay is a little weak and slow . The vocals by Krishna are good but he sings in almost Kailash Kher style and we don’t need one more Kailash , happy with one .

Then comes another version of Soniyo which is labeled as “Soniyo - From the heart” on the album . This one makes my point even more stronger that we don’t need another Kailash . Krishna gives vocals on this one straight from Kailash Kher’s heart . Jokes apart , Krishna is a good singer no doubt but he needs to change his style a bit or else he would get lost somewhere as a copy of Kailash Kher . I liked this one also but I would still prefer the original one .

Then comes a Rock version of Maahi which would be surely made into a promotional music video featuring Emran acting as a rock star . Well this is just a guess but not a wild one and I am positively expecting a music video to soon hit the music channels . This version is also by Toshi and this pne sounds better than the original one . The rock like music that has been composed by Sharib n Toshi is good and it doesn’t feel like the rock version has been made just for the sake of increasing the songs on the album . The song is bound to get popular among the youth which after Rock On expects a rock song in each album . But still , I felt that the tune feels a lot inspired from the western rock songs and I am still waiting for that perfect purely Indian rock song that I didn’t even find in Rock On . Toshi has a voice for such songs and we can expect many such songs coming from him in future .

The last track is a remix of O jaana by DJ Suketu and is labeled as “dance with me mix”. So it is a track that is good for discos etc. and DJ Suketu has done a good job on this one . He is not one of those DJs that add extra bass beats and increase the tempo and label it as a remix . He adds a lot more to the remix and gives it a different feel than the original one .

Overall , it is a good album with almost all the songs being worth listening once . Apart from Banda Re and the title track almost all songs are good enough to make the soundtrack worth buying .

Album Rating : Three and a Half out of Five Stars ; Good songs with not many experiments .

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Chandni Chowk to China --- Music Review

One of the four pillars of Indian Film Industry , Akshay Kumar (others being SRK,Hrithik and Aamir) , is all set for his next release , Chandni Chowk to China or in short CC2C . This would be probably the first full fledged Warner Bros. produced pic in India and they might be expecting a different fate than Sony Pictures debut flick Saawariya . But Akshay these days is like a guarantee card attached to a product and his films at least provide a guarantee of recovering the cost . The film is a third attempt for the Kal Ho Na Ho fame Nikhil Advani who would be a little skeptical after his last film Salaam-e-Ishq which didn't do that well on the box office and was a weak film in itself . This one though is not a multistarrer like the previous two . The music for this one has been given by more than one music directors and features the likes of SEL , Bappi Da and Kailasa .

The album in whole has Eight tracks out of which Five are original , two remixes and one being an adapted version of an older song . The first track on the soundtrack is S.I.D.H.U. or in other words Sidhu . This track has been composed by the team of Kailash Kher , Naresh and Paresh together who are known as Kailasa . Their album Teri Diwani got quite popular and this would probably be their first attempt in Film music . The song has been sung by Kailash Kher and it mainly focuses on the lead character , Sidhu (Akshay) , and the characteristics of his character . The tune of this song is very basic Indian one and has a lot of use of percussion instruments . The music on this one reminds us of the track Billo Rani from Goal . This track starts in almost similar fashion as that one . And since it has the very basic desi tune in it , it is bound to get popular and even the lyrics are catchy enough to make it popular . I am sure Navjot Singh Sidhu would love this track and laugh in his Sidhuistic Style after listening to this one . Overall , the track is a nice and safe first attempt by the group Kailasa and has all the ingredients to get successful . The lyrics are also by Kailash Kher so it turns out that he has all the talents from writing to singing . Good piece of writing considering he is not a full fledged writer .

The next song on the album is the Title track "Chandni Chowk To China" that we heard in the teaser promos to an extent . This one has been composed by another well set trio in the industry , Shankar Ehsaan and Loy . SEL had given a blockbuster album with Nikhil in Salaam-e-Ishq . This time though they get only two songs on the album . This track has been sung by Shankar , Anushka Manchanda and Neeraj Sridhar . This is a typical SEL track with Shankar yelling at the top of his voice , don't mind shankar I am just kidding . It is just that he mostly sings High pitched songs so they all sound similar . It also has some Chinese Folk Music inputs which sound good . The track though on a whole is a little weak to be a title track . The Lyrics on this one by Rajat Aroraa are very average and they don't provide anything to the song . Both the lyrics and tune are pretty commercial . The song though is good enough to not harm the film . It might look good if filmed properly . The only refreshing thing in this song is the voice of Anushka Manchanda . She sings well and she is a good alternative for overused Sundhi Chauhan's voice .

The third track on the album is an adapted version of Mumbai se Aaya Mera dost(Aap Ki Khatir-1977 ) titled as India Se aaya Mera dost . This one has been composed by our very own Bappi Da who is back after Taxi No. 9211 with this track . Since Taxi No. 9211 was also produced by Rohan Sippy like this one , Bappi gets a bonus for the hit soundtrack that he produced for that film . This track makes me wonder why doesn't he work more even though he gave a hit soundtrack in form of Taxi No. 9211 . This one is a fabulous track and probably my pick on the album and Bappi Da proves the saying that Its not Age but it is Mileage that counts . The track starts off with some weird Chinese lyrics and tune . The additional lyrics by Rajat this time are much better and add to the beauty of the song . The tune itself of the original song is so good that it makes one sway to it . But Bappi da has also added a lot to the original tune and given it a very modern make over . The use of Chinese music in this one makes much more sense than what was used in the title track . This one also sounds like those spanish Football World Cup theme songs that are good for cheering etc . Apart from composing the song Bappi Da has also sung the song in his typical style making it much more entertaining . Overall , it is a fun song from the word go .

The fourth song on the soundtrack is a soft romantic number "Tere Naina" by SEL . This one is nice song and like one of those lounge versions which have minimal use of music and stress in more on Lyrics and singing . It has a nice modern feel to it and even Shreya sings in accordance with that feel . The lyrics by Rajat Aroraa on this one are the best in the entire album and even the singing by both the singers is great . Backed up by good on-screen chemistry between Akshay and Deepika this song might turn out to be a Romantic treat . Shreya is a master in such songs and she sings in a soulful manner . Overall , the best original track on the album and is a winner all the way . This one reminded me of the track "Dil Mera Ek Taara" from 16 December which is one of my all time favourites .

The next on the soundtrack is "Chak Lein De" by Kailash , Paresh and Naresh . This track is also a modern track with a nice use of Punjabi Lyrics . It starts off with seriously cool music something that you usually hear in soundtracks of films like The Matrix . I liked the lyrics to an extent but I think that this track would have got much more popular if the lyrics would have been a little better because the music on this one is top notch . It feels a little inspired from west but still is quite good and would look even better if its music is used in background score for the film . The song has some good use of flute in between and overall has a nice pace attached to it . Kailash as usual sings it quite well and this song has all the compositions of a good track that might grow over with repeated listening .

The last original track is a RAP song CC2C sung by Akshay Kumar and has music by Bohemia , the London based Punjabi Rapper . I don't know if this song would be featured in the film or not but at least it would be featured in the end credits . This one is an average RAP attempt and though Akshay is not one of the best singers yet he manages to sing it in an average way . The akshay fans would love it since it has the story of Akshay Kumar in short . The music and Lyrics by Bohemia are good enough to hold the song . The singing is the weak point and lyrics are also so so . Akshay glorifies himself a little bit in the song and nobody would mind that since he is riding quite high on the success wave . Overall , it is an average attempt at the RAP music genre by Akshay Kumar and Bohemia .

Then at last come two remixes from DJ Amyth of the title track and Chak Lein De . The remixes are as usual with increased tempo and having the usual DJ bass effects in them . The remix of Chak Lein De is better one and little different than the original song .

Overall , its a nice Commercial soundtrack that would definitely do quite well on the charts and it would certainly help the movie and won't hinder the pace of the film in any way . The soundtrack has some good songs and others are average tracks that any commercial soundtrack has . You can try it once .

Album Rating : Three out of Five Stars ; Tere Naina and India se aaya mera dost being the best .

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ghajini --- Music Review

The last one out of the five albums of ARR this year , Ghajini, is out now and the stakes are even higher since it is one of the most anticipated film of the year starring Mr. Perfectionist Aamir himself . The last album Yuvvraaj of ARR didn't impress me that much and neither did the film impress the audience . This one is an adaptation of South film by the same name hence there would be southern influences not only in the film but also in the music . Last time ARR worked for a Hindi album with a southern director except Mani Ratnam was in Nayak when he worked with Shankar who directed the film . And clearly in some of the songs we could observe the southern influence . 

In the similar fashion the music of Ghajini also has some amount of southern influence . First let me clear my feelings as a writer which are not excited and amused as they should be . So I might sound a little mechanical since the music of the film didn't excite me that much apart from of course Guzarish which is a brilliant track . One thing that struck me clearly is the amount of work ARR has done this year . He has released five albums this year none of which is a complete album as compared to the one album released in 2007 (Guru) and the one in 2006 (Rang De Basanti) . What is the need to do a leap from one album a year to five albums a year ? Quality as a result has suffered to some extent . 

Talking of this one , it opens up with Guzarish which is the best track on the album and also the only one to look forward to . The lyrics in this song in specific are great and this is probably one of the best track out of all the five albums that ARR has released this year . Complementing the great piece of writing is the beautiful piece of music by ARR with a nice slow beat that he often uses . Some fine use of Mandolin in it by Seenu makes it even more beautiful . The vocals by Jaaved and Sonu are also impeccable . Jaaved sings the song in his own style and the small humming pieces by Sonu are just great . Since I am a hardcore fan of Sonu , I found the humming and small pieces that Sonu sung much better than the whole song that Jaaved sung . Though Jaaved does deliver his best , I would have loved an another full version of the song sung by Sonu alone . ARR and Prasoon , the lyricist , show their brilliance in this track . Overall , it is a treat for music lovers and a great start to the album . 

Sadly the good start gets a hit by the second track itself , Aye Bachchu , by Suzanne . Talking of the music of the song first , it sounds pretty much usual and the tune doesn't sound very new and probably you would feel that the tune is inspired in bits and pieces from here and there . Can't talk of lyrics because in any case they are in a scarcity in this track and also something that don't make much sense . Overall , its quite a commercial track that anyone like a Pritam or a Vishal-Shekhar could have composed effortlessly . And the singer Suzanne who got popular with Mahiyaa of Aawarapan sings in a good way but the track is not as good as the previous one .

The third track , Kaise mujhe , by Benny Dayal and Shreya Ghoshal is a nice slow track that frankly speaking didn't impress me as much as it could have. I know a lot of you would disagree with me on this one . Though I liked the tune but still I felt that Rehman didn't do full justice to the nice lyrics by Prasoon . I am sure this track would make even more sense and gain more popularity after the film releases just like "Kahin To Hogi woh" did after Jaane Tu .. . But still I felt that something was lacking in the song and probably it won't work that much . The singing by Benny Dayal is almost like that ARR does himself and sometimes it is difficult to differentiate . Shreya has been singing such songs since the starting of her career so she won't get any praise for this one in specific . In all , it is a nice track that could have been much better .

Next comes , Behka , by Karthik whose voice sounds very novel and his singing is the only thing that impresses . It has some fine use of Saxophone by Martin which sounds very nice . The song has some Jazz in it in ARR's style . The song in totality has nothing much to offer though some of the pieces in between are great . The lyrics are also quite average and overall the track doesn't impress that much and it is only the singing of Karthik that stands out .

Then comes yet another commercial track , Latoo by Shreya Ghoshal who at least for a change sings a club number and something that is not classical . The track though is not a good one and has neither good lyrics nor a good tune . So Shreya gets stuck with an average track that could have sung by any singer round the corner who is probably waiting for her big break .  

At last comes an instrumental version of Kaise Mujhe which has some fine guitaring by Neil Mukherjee and some nice use of flute by Kiran . This one makes you realise that the tune is a good one but it is probably the lyrics that don't match with this tune . Overall , some nice piece of music that you might love to listen at a lower volume . 

The album in whole is not that good and only Guzarish and Kaise Mujhe are worth listening . After watching the first trailer and now after listening to the music , my feeling that this film might be a commercial film at its core wrapped around with a different kind of story , has got much more stronger .  

Album Rating : Two and Half out of Five Stars ; only Guzarish being the track that can be listened to again and again . 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dostana --- Movie Review

Dostana , the last film for Abhishek and Priyanka this year brings a lot of expectations along with its release and the expectations are also from Dharma Productions who are also back after a long time . So do we get what we expect from the team ? The answer would be a Yes and a slight no along with it . Yes because it is entertaining enough to get your money worth and no because it is not a flawless product . Dostana as the name suggests is about friendship and its different avatars. The film addresses that central theme effectively to an extent but in a little different way . By now everybody knows that the film has Abhi-John playing a gay couple and the film as a result focusses majorly on the homosexuality that they act out in front of Priyanka . The title of the film is Dostana yet the film focusses more on Gay Jokes for its length rather than the friendship part . The good part though is that the Gay jokes are at least funny enough to make you laugh throughout .

The film starts off with a Super-Hot song Shut-up and dance in which Shilpa sets the screen on fire with her hot bod and her dancing skills . She builds up a good youthful momentum in the beginning that makes it quite clear that the film is only for young blood . She probably looked hottest of them all and she is still a hot property . As soon as the song gets over we get to see the the two guys in the film flaunting off whatever they have to please the female audience or should I must also say even the homosexual male audience . Together they put up an image of the youth of today very effectively on screen that focusses more on enjoying the life as it comes in the best possible way . Both John and Abhishek become friends as a result of a co-incidence and then they act out their homosexuality to get an apartment to live which is actually owned by Priyanka . Priyanka allows them to live with her only because they are homosexuals . Then starts the whole sequence where both Abhishek and John hilariously act as a gay couple and also in the meantime keep hitting on Priyanka individually .

There is also a twist with a third guy , Bobby , that drives most of the second half . As I said earlier that the film's first half majorly focusses on Gay jokes and hence the story gets a little side-lined . Yet the first half is very entertaining because it is quite well acted part and hilarious . It makes a lot of fun of the Homosexual's which might offend them to an extent . The story is a sort of an extension to "Deewana-Mastana" story . Just like that one, this one also has a third guy , just the set-up has been updated and has been taken to Miami . One more common factor between both the films is that both are pure entertainers with very less emphasis on content . The film has some typical illogical things that any Entertainer has and sometimes we have to overlook them to enjoy the film . The film can be best called as a "Modern Entertainer" and though it follows the path of a typical entertainer the presentation is different and new .

The first half is brisk and has enough content to make it very much enjoyable whereas on the contrary the second half is a little slow and has very less to offer . It ends in a typical style and there is nothing unexpected about it . The entertainment quotient in the second half is a little less and it is just good enough and doesn't spoil the show . The film ends on a comic note which makes the audience leave with a light heart in the end . Some of the songs in between are quite a turn off and they disrupt the film's pace , especially "Ma Da Ladla" .

Talking of acting , the chemistry between Abhishek and John was much better than what Priyanka shared with any of the guys . Abhishek delivers a fine performance and has majority of the role . Priyanka and John serve as nice eye candy along with a little bit of acting . Priyanka looks great in the film and her looks attracted the most . She doesn't have much of a role and her acting was also very typical . There was nothing romantic for her to act nor it had something comic for her . He role was very limited in the film and though her character is the central one yet it is the guys that have done most of the acting . John can very well take Salman's position as a guy who knows a little bit acting and looks great . When everyone was showing some skin in the film Abhi was cladded with clothes , he just did the job of acting and that too was an average performance . Priyanka can do much better and she has struck a nice balance with Fashion being entirely focussed on her and this one being a commercial film . There is also a small cameo by Boman Irani and he does his job good . But I felt that the Director , Tarun Mansukhani , could have used him in a much better way considering his great acting skills .

The locations and art direction were good as any Dharma Film has and even the choreography of the songs was great . The cinematography was good but nothing exceptional about it and the background score was great . It uses the piece from the track "Jahan Teri Yeh Nazar Hai"(Kaalia) in a very nice and funny way in the background . The film's music is good enough to hold the film and Desi Girl is a rocking song . The Direction by the debutant director Tarun Mansukhani is good and he pulls off a good entertainer in spite of the fact that it was a little low on content . He has created some good comic sequences and has done a fine job overall .

Overall , its a nice entertainer with a little different set-up . It would keep you entertained for its length and looking at the commercial elements of the film it looks like it will work a lot on the box office and would also get decent ratings . The Director makes a nice first attempt and can certainly do much better provided he has a better and stronger script . Go watch it and get entertained .

Movie Rating : Three and a Half Star out of Five ; Nice Entertainer with good Packaging .

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi --- Music Review

One of the year's most awaited film RNBDJ starts its journey with the music hitting the stores and as usual I'll be talking a little about the film also along with the music . The music of aSRK film is always one of the main selling point of his film and call it a co-incidence or whatever his film's music has always worked irrespective of the film . TheAditya Chopra of Yashraj Production is back in the Director's chair after a long time and also after a very mediocre commercial film Mohabbatein which is supposedly a poor cousin of Robin Williams starrer Dead Poets Society . This one I hope is not inspired by any film from west and is a much better product than the last one . That one was a pure commercial film and this one sounds a little different but since commercial films run through Adi's veins it is a little hard to expect an off beat cinema . The film in any case has a lot on stake forAditya since it has been a below average year for his films just like the last year . Last year he got saved by Chak De India and I hope even this year he gets some relief . The music in this soundtrack is again by the Chak De Music Directors Salim-Sulaiman . If you don't know they started of with RGV providing Background music score and afterwards they turned into full fledged music directors . In Chak De also they not only gave a fabulous background score but also gave a very hit soundtrack .

This time though it is Aditya instead of Shimit Amin so the music has to be different from what it was in Chak De . The album has almost all the big names of Music world . The album consists of Six songs in total along with Five Originals and One Instrumental . The lyrics are byJaideep Sahni who also wrote the script of Chak De India .

The first song on the soundtrack is "Tujh Mein Rab" by Roopkumar Rathod who comes back to the house after the hit song "Tere Liye" from Veer Zaara . This song starts off with somewhat similar music that was their in the Veer Zara song and later it sticks to a very basic tune and there is nothing fancy about it . The lyrics though are the one thing that stand out and help the song to go about in a nice way . The lyrics make the song good and the music isGood enough to make it sound good . The main part though would be the on-screen chemistry between SRK and Abushka that could add a lot the song and increase its value much more . Roop Kumar Rathod does a decent job as a singer and the few inputs by the female singer are also good . Overall its a nice opening track with nothing fancy about it .

The next track on the album is "Haule Haule" by Sukhwinder Singh which is already on-Air with the snippets from the film . This one has a more commercial tune than the previous one and this song would definitely get popular . The song interestingly has a lot of use ofDafli and Harmonium which makes it sound quite different . The lyrics are good and are catchy enough to make the song a potential hit. The music also suits the lyrics and gives it a nice feel .The whole song is simple and different from usualYashraj Tracks that are more commercial in nature . Sukhwinder does a nice job singing and the songs that he sings for SRK always get popular . In all its a good track that would probably get a lot more popular in the coming days .

The next track on the album is a Dance track since the film is also about Dancing . The song "Dance Pe Chance" is a typical commercial dance track and has some lyrics that concern dancing . The lyrics and music in total don't have much to offer so the song has been offered toSunidhi Chauhan who for no good reason singing only bad tracks since past few films . This one though is not that bad because it again doesn't attempt to do something fancy and keeps it pretty simple and basic . The song has been purely made for film purpose and would make a little more sense in the film . The song though is a dance track yet its tune is not like those songs that make everyone dance along with it . The video of the song would probably feature some good dancing steps that might attract the dance loving people . The music is good and the track in all is much more film oriented so probably would look good in the film .

Next comes the best track on the album for me , "Phir Milenge" . When I heard it for the first time the starting gave me hint that it has music from some old song so I thought that they stole it and made it their own . Then after few lines everything became clear that it is in fact a mix of many old songs and their music . Even the Lyrics are very interestingconsisting of only Film Names and Lines from some of the Old Hits . There is only one line in the song that is original . The whole song consists of inputs from hits songs of all the eras like ,Aawara Hun , Pyaar Hua,Bol Radha Bol Sangam,Pal Bhar Ke Liye,Yaahooo,O Haseena,Badan Pe Sitare,Mere Sapno Ki Rani , Jai Jai Shiv Shankar , Bachna Ae Hasino,Dard-e-Dil etc. etc. All these great songs and music pieces from them have been incorporated in a brilliant way in the song . Here both the music director and the lyricist have done a fantastic team-work along withSonu Nigam who sings it in his Impeccable style . Some people might not like the whole changing the rhythm of the old classics and also remixing them a bit BUT I find it quite enjoying and in fact it is the Best Way to give a tribute to the Indian Film Music . A real treat for a music lover like me and probably the most enjoyable song on the album .

I hope Adi shoots it in a very nice way just like Farah Khan did in "Dhoom Tana" of OSO and I hope they reveal the song's video only in the film . It also feels like that this song might be a climax sequence song and would definitely play a huge role . Sonu Nigam as usual gets the best song on the album and he gives a very flawless performance . The whole concept is great and looking forward to see it on-screen and I hope it becomes a real treat on-screen too .

Next comes the Female and a little sadder version of "Tujh Mein Rab" by Shreya Ghoshal . In this song Salim-Sulaiman get a little inspired from their own flute music that they used as background music in some of the very important moments in Chak-De . That music features in this song in background less prominently . I liked it in Chak-De also and even it felt good in this one . This song is just an excerpt from the first song and is just roughly two minutes long .Shreya gives a fine performance as usual and impresses through her singing .

The last track on the album is an instrumental remixed version of Dance Pe Chance and it is a nice instrumental piece that has little inputs from some of the other songs also . Saleem-Sulaiman make a Techno friendly track almost like Bad Girls of Chak-De India . Just like music from Bad-Bad Girls was used in background in the film this would also be probably used in Background .

Overall , it is a nice soundtrack and a little different from the recent Soundtracks that Yashraj has released . The music and lyrics have been kept simple and nice . It can definitely be listened to and the songs would look great in the film . After the film gets released it will definitely add on some value to this album . It might get much more popular in the future if the chemistry works and the film gets successful . "Phir Milenge" is the best and "Haule Haule" is also good .

Lets hope for the best and I just hope Aditya doesn't come up with yet another commercial one and the SRK-Adi duo re-creates the same or at least a similar magic like they did in DDLJ.

Album Rating : Three and Half out of Five Stars ; Recommended for a change .

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fashion --- Movie Review

First things first , I am not too much into Fashion nor have I ever attended a fashion show . Still as an outsider I have a perception about Fashion Industry and that perception has been developed only through what I have seen and read in movies and on television . So this review is a comparison of my personal perception of the fashion world and what Madhur has shown in his film .

There is no doubt that Madhur is amongst the best film makers in our country and he has always made some meaningful cinema , mixing facts with fiction . Now what I don't like is the fact that he sometimes fictionalizes more rather than showing the actual truth which in a way makes a very wrong impression of a certain profession on the minds of general people . He has been given a Tag of a person who makes Realistic cinema by the "media" which itself mixes fact with fiction everyday and serves it to the general people . The question is just how much is enough ? Here Madhur is somewhat different from media in general which is just overdoing the sensationalising of news . Madhur brings out a blend which is fictitious enough so that general audience pays a little heed to the point he is making . His cinema can be best called as a "Realistic cum Commercial" cinema .

He has picked some four or five incidences out of the fashion industry and made a film out of it by adding some amount of fiction to it . The problem is that the 4-5 incidences based on which he has made the film are just a one off incidences and are not a regulation in the fashion world and this is what I believe which may be wrong . The biggest thing to note here is that first of all Fashion industry in India is not big enough and nobody cares who the model is in India unless it is a bollywood celeb . The trend though is catching on fast and may be in future we might see a full fledged Industry with a higher presence . The Fashion that is there presently is just limited to Delhi and Mumbai and rest of the people don't care that much about the brands . Still , this film can serve as a great Eye Opener for all the girls that aspire to become a Model and would think twice before taking any wrong decision that could ruin their life .

The fashion industry has always been Women's forte and even this film is very Women centric . Most of the strong characters are female and men are there just playing the supporting characters . But the message that the film sends out applies to all the people , that it is not easy to earn some name and fame in any Industry . You need a lot of Mental Strength rather than the physical to reach the top is what this film shows .

It has been seen in History and also said by many people that when one person rises there is one more that falls along with his/her rise . This is the concept that Madhur has used in his film and it is Priyanka that rises and Kangana that falls . The whole process of falling down is faced by Priyanka also later and she has the mettle to balance herself and regain her position whereas Kangana never makes it again . During the entire story the various steps of any modelling career have been shown by Madhur in an accurate manner but it is the first half of the film that stands out . The first half is very tight and the story moves at a fine pace in the first the half . It is in fact so strong that viewer in a way feels that he has almost seen a film in the first half itself . This point is a positive and a negative in itself . The audience expects an another similar second half but here Madhur fails to an extent and gives a little slow and loose second half . He should have instead cut down the length of the film and made an almost perfect product .

There is a part of the film that also talks about Homosexuality in a serious tone but it also makes fun of it largely which is not so responsible on Madhur's part . But he has shown the truth , in a good or bad way , doesn't matter . All the things that are behind the glamour is what Madhur has focussed on but he has done so with a microscope and picked out something that may not be true in all situations . The stakes are not that high in present situation in Fashion industry contrary to what Madhur has shown in his film . Fashion Industry has always been restricted to a few set of people in India and it still doesn't get enough Media coverage . Though the coverage has increased over past few years it is still restricted to Half Hour specials on News Channels which focus more on Bollywood celebs and that too only in fashion weeks .

Talking of performances , Priyanka gives a fine performance as a model and she represents herself as an upcoming model quite efficiently on screen . Priyanka will feel nice considering few of her recent films were quite a dull affair . She did look like a model rather than a film star and also pulled it off quite naturally . The thing that struck me most was the way Kangna did her role , the crazy part would have been easy for her since she has done such roles earlier also but the modelling part was what surprised me . She worked quite a lot on her modelling skills and she did look like a model . Her character though was a stereotype character and didn't move me that much because everything was very much predictable of her character . In fact the whole film is pretty much predictable and Madhur hasn't shown some secret thing that might blow your mind . Any aware person would know all the things that are shown in the film and it would appeal only to a lay man more . Mugdha Godse had the third most prominent female character and she also acted very well considering it was her first time . The other characters were also played by some fine actors like Kitu Gidwani , Arbaaz and Sameer Soni who do a great job anyways . Harsh Chhaya is one of my favourite actors and he does a very small but a fabulous role as a designer .

The cinematography is good but nothing extraordinary and the art direction is also good . They have shown some of the finest ramps on screen . The extra models were also prominent ones and they also make the whole modeling scenario look quite professional . The direction and script of Madhur were good but not that good . The screenplay is quite loose of the second half and it spoils the show to an extent . Its good that the Producers UTV invested a good sum of money for this film else it would have turned out pretty bad on smaller scale . Madhur does manage to show a more fictional rather than real fashion world but he doesn't over do it which makes it watchable even for a niche audience . Some of things in the film did resemble from some of the sequences in films and TV series of west that surrounded the Fashion industry .

Overall , the film is a good enough to be watched once and a change from the usual films that we see .The second half is little slow yet watchable . Nothing in it makes it a national award wining film but it still might get a critics award in some of the other awards . I don't know what industry is left for Madhur to explore since he has done all of them except underworld which his Guru , RGV, has done so many times and probably in a much much better way . He still can make a film on Politics which is also a Industry in itself more than national service . But I've heard that Prakash Jha is making a film called "Rajniti" so probably Madhur would have to look for some other industry in the economic times . Madhur if you are reading this , I like your Direction very much and I would love to see a Murder Mystery coming out from you ..I think you might pull off a classic in that genre.

Movie Rating :
Three and Half out of Five ; for the fantastic first half and great acting performances .

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ghajini --- Teaser Trailer Review

The first teaser trailer of Aamir starrer much hyped Ghajini is out now on the Internet . The film has always been in news because of various reasons and has created some amount of Hype around it already . But , this trailer might slow down the hype to an extent. The trailer for me first of all was very "Thunda" and nothing except the music of it left me wanting for more .The first trailer of a supposedly Psychological Action Thriller shows the lead actor Dancing in some exotic locations of probably Namibia . The lead actor flaunting his six packs and the lead girl Shriya smiling her way into his heart in a fantasy land . If we leave the dancing part then there is very much less left in the trailer and that part also is very weak . We only get to see Aamir Khan throwing a punch at a person which is a typical South Indian film Punch that usually Rajnikanth throws in his flicks .

For all the guys that don't know this film is a remake of a south-Indian flick of the same name which in turn was majorly inspired by the Hollywood Psycho-Thriller "Memento" directed by Brilliant Director Christopher Nolan . You all might have seen The Dark Knight which is also directed by Nolan so you know his Brilliance . "Memento" is a very unusual film and if made in an exact manner as it is , would never work among Indian audience . It has a very non-linear Narrative style and something quite complicated for our audience that loves David Dhawan type of cinema . The story of memento is as such that there can't be any song sequence anywhere . It is an intense film with no light moments . I don't know how would the Director Murugadoss manage to break into a random song sequence in such an intense story .

I've not seen the Tamil version so can't comment on the film but I just hope that it does not turn out to be a south Indian commercial film with defiance of all logic . From the looks of the trailer it looks like the film would be more commercial in nature and would work amongst commercial cinema loving audience . The only thing that I loved about the trailer was the fantastic music by ARR and the humming by Sonu Nigam . I always expect something like Lagaan or TZP from Aamir , off beat yet entertaining . I hated Fanaa though it was a huge commercial success . Its just that I don't like to see Aamir in commercial cinema . One thing that goes against Ghajini is the fact that none of the Directors form South apart from Mani Ratnam have succeeded in Hindi film Industry . Ghajini won't have much of future in South also since they have already seen the film with their favourite actor .

In all , the trailer didn't work for me as I was expecting it to be something unusual . This turned out to be like thousands of trailers in the past and probably even worse . This trailer I am sure would be loved by Die-Hard Aamir fans since he is in a completely new look and also doing some good moves in the trailer . A very so so first trailer of a very much anticipated film of the year . I have huge expectations from this film considering the bad year this has been for films and I just hope Ghajini doesn't turn out to be a Rajni .

Check out the Trailer and Please leave your comments:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yuvvraaj --- Music Review

One of the most awaited release of the year , Yuvvraaj , is all set to release and the music is out now . The album for me is of more interest since it is probably for the first time that we might get to listen to pure western classical compositions with an ARR (A. R. Rehman) touch and without any Indian elements . ARR's last album Jaane Tu.. was an instant hit among the youth and had nothing classical in it . This album's value increases more since ARR is teaming up with Gulzar again and the duo have done nothing less than wonders in the past . The album has a total of Nine songs with 8 originals and 1 remix which is a rarity these days . We often get more remixes than the originals . Sometimes we also get 3-4 version of the same track on the same album .This album at least breaks that trend and the originals outnumber the remixes by a huge difference .

The first track on the album is an Introduction track for the lead character "Yuvvraaj" in the film . It just has Salman Khan giving an intro along with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony . Salman's dialogue delivery isn't that good and his monotonous voice mismatches completely with the Beethoven Symphony . The symphony is full of dramatics and Salman's dialogues sound like he is talking to someone on a telephone , quite casual . He has not at all modulated his voice because he can't . The music no where matches his voice . This one is a track that would be combined along with the next track on the album which makes it sound even more out of the place . The singer on the next track doesn't sound like Salman at all . This thing that I am talking about would be more clear to you when you would listen to the two tracks one after the other .

The second track on the album "Tu Meri Dost hai" is a fabulous track and is already on air . Just listen to starting violin piece in the song and it shows us the brilliance of ARR. I could just listen to the starting piece for the whole day . It has been very well sung by all the singers and especially Benny Dayal who does a fine job . He sings very well but I think his voice won't suit Salman that much . This one is a musical love story and we have seen in the west how actors themselves first learn singing and sing their songs themselves in a musical . This makes it much more entertaining and they act even through their singing . Indian musicals make very less sense as we know throughout the film that he is a singer in the film but it is actually someone else who is singing which makes it a little less believable . In any case this track is a nice one which starts off in a magnificent way .What I didn't like was that it doesn't manage to maintain the quality with which it starts . It raises the bar in the starting and then lowers it a little by the end . Shreya and Rehman also do a great job as singers .

Next one is a Disco Track and after giving a super duper hit "Pappu Can't Dance" ARR doesn't manage to repeat the magic . This one neither has those catchy lyrics nor it has the groovy tune . I don't blame Gulzaar Sir for the lyrics since it is a little out of his style . Still , he had done a fabulous job in "Fana" of Yuva . I got seriously disappointed with ARR after listening to this track . This track feels completely out of the place .

The fourth song on the album "Tu Muskura" brings back the classical mood and is also on the slower and romantic side . This track also has inputs from "Tu meri Dost hain" in between . It would be picturized on Katrina since she is the only female lead in the film . It is a nice romantic song and has a nice tune . The tune is not as great as it was in "Tu meri dost" but still is good enough to hold the song . Alka Yagnik does a good job in singing and has been very well supported by Jaaved Ali . This one interestingly has Indian classical singing inputs in between by Jaaved which sound good .

The fifth track on the album is "Mastam Mastam" which sounds more like an African composition in the starting and reminded me of the songs from Walt Disney's - Lion King . A very new sounding song that would be interesting to watch in the film . It has a good tune backing all the wild music . The song has been very well sung by Sonu as usual and he is just fabulous in whatever he sings . The track abruptly changes its tune in the middle part which in a way surprised me but not in a positive way . The lyrics have nothing much to offer . Just listen to the singing style of the various singers and how much they enjoy the song while singing . It is more of a Singer's song and Sonu , Alka , Benny and Naresh all do a great job . Without their singing the song wouldn't have came out this good . It is a nice experimental track that I am sure would be visually much more exciting than audio wise . If you have seen Disney's "Enchanted" then I am sure you remember the musical song where everybody starts singing along with the lead couple and slowly slowly a large crowd starts singing and dancing with them . I am sure they would also try to attempt something like that in this song . In all , a song that would look great in the film if shot in the right way .

The next track on the album is "zindagi" which is a slow sad song and we have seen Hariharan sing such songs in ARR's previous albums . This one though has been sung by Srinivas and he also does a good job . The whole lyrics and tune are good but nothing extraordinary and not as good as "Tu Hi Re" of Bombay .A good track but such a track is not expected from ARR since he has given much better in the past .

The Seventh track on the album "Dil Ka Rishta" is something that Subhash Ghai has tried to repeat from Taal . This one might be climax song and would feature near to the end of the film . If you remember in Taal also the second symphonic version of "Ishq Bina" was used towards the end of the film during which the story kept moving . In a similar fashion even this song would have the story moving in the background along with all the emotions of a Love Story flowing in excess . This song is very long (7:39) and is also not that good to hold the audience for its entire length . On the contrary the second symphonic version on "Ishq Bina" in Taal was not only long but also had the potential to keep the audience entertained for its length . The singers do an average job and the music is also good in bits and pieces . Some of the pieces of music are so good that they could very well be used in background for the movie .
Overall , the song is a bit long and not entertaining enough .

The last original track on the album, "Manmohini" , is a modern version of Indian Classical Songs . The song has been very well sung by Vijay Prakash who has that Classical voice and the song completely suits him . This song is not as good as "Albela Sajan" of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam but isn't that bad also . A very short length track that has just some Classical renditions in it . A track that is a little different from the entire album .

Then in the end comes a remix of "Shano" which has been remixed well by Krishna Chetan but the English lyrics in it have nothing new in it and are the same old ones . This one is much smaller than the original which is nice thing since I found the original one much longer and repetitive .

Overall ,as a die hard Rehman fan this one disappointed a lot and is below the expectations . Only one track "Tu meri Dost hai" impresses and all other tracks are an average affair and are expected as it is an ARR album . Much below by the ARR standards and I expected a lot from this one since it had ARR and Gulzar both along with Subhash Ghai . It looks like history didn't repeat itself after Taal and this album stands no where as compared to that one . The whole western classical that I was expecting was also given in small doses that also adulterated with other kinds of music .The lyrics by Gulzar Sir were also not that good as compared to his other works . You can buy the album and listen it once but don't expect a "Taal" or something like that out of it .

Album Rating : Three out of Five Stars ; "Tu Meri.." and "Mastam" being good and rest being quite average stuff according to Rehman's standards.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

First Look --- Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Here's the first look of SRK and Yashraj's most awaited film of the year , Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi . The poster has been released today in a new fashion where instead of Internet it has first hit all the major daily newspapers of India . A full page poster by Yashraj in all the leading daily's makes there intentions quite clear about the Publicity campaign that they are going to run for this film . The scale of Publicity is going to be huge and it looks like we might get to see a smaller version of last years OSO Publicity campaign once again .

The poster in itself makes a huge impression and conveys a lot about the film . The film as we all know is about a love story between a 40 year old man and 16 year old girl . This film also brings back the Blockbuster duo of Aditya and SRK together who would try to repeat the history . The poster shows SRK in a very simple avatar and behind him is hiding the lead girl in the film , Anushka . The simple shirt , pant and spectacles make SRK look completely like an average man on the street . On closely observing the poster I could also see a cheap pen in SRK's shirt pocket which illustrates the point even further . His moustache and hair style make him look even more common and the most important part being his body language . His expression and his little lose posture show the low confidence of his character in the film . He might play a shy and a very less confident average guy who falls in love with this very outgoing Punjabi girl . Behind both of them stands a scooter with "Punjab Power" written on it . The eyes of Anushka show her playful and little outgoing character .

The tag line of the film says that " There is an extraordinary love story , in every ordinary jodi " which is a nice tag line and again sums up the entire story . The poster on a whole is nice one and I would give it a Ten on Ten considering it would create a lot of interest among the audiences .For the first time probably any film is using Posters instead of trailers for its first Publicity . This might set a new trend and now on every big film would get its poster published in the newspapers . I am eagerly waiting for the trailer ...

Yuvraaj ---Trailer Review

One of the big releases of the year , the much awaited Subhash Ghai's Yuvraaj , is all set to release and the first promos have hit the cinema halls . The film as we know starrs Salman Khan and Katrina together after a long time . In "Partner" they were not opposite each other . Apart from them the film also has Subhash's favourite Anil Kapoor and Zaayed Khan . The music is by the maestro himself , A. R. Rehman and the Lyrics are by the wordsmith Gulzaar sahaab . The duo together have given musical masterpieces like Dil Se , Yuva and Guru , all being with Mani Ratnam . This time they team up with Subhash Ghai who has also given musical hit like Taal . Yuvraaj is also a film in the Taal category i.e. a Musical Love Story . Taal is one of ARR's best works and the movie is also one of the best from Subhash Ghai . Lets hope they are able to create the same magic once again after almost Ten Years .

The magic that I am expecting gives a glimpse of itself in the promos of the film . The first trailer starts off with some musical notations being shown in the light of some candles . After that starts a beautiful orchestration in the background and we see a glimpse of all the lead actors of the film one by one . First we see a little younger looking Salman and then the eternal beauty Katrina playing a Cello . After her we see Anil Kapoor with a bouquet of flowers giving his innocent smile even at this age . Then at last we see Zaayed Khan walking on the streets . Then starts a series of some very short scenes all showing the Musical environment in which all the leads are living . The huge concert halls and musical notes etc. all giving you a glimpse of the scale of the movie and its background . Then at the end a line comes which is probably the tag line of the film "Music Binds Love " . Then at the very end we see an even younger looking Salman peeping from behind a pillar into the camera .

The trailer in all gives out very few details about the story and just gives an intro of the leads . The music in the background also gives us a hint of whats in the store . The music is just fabulous as expected from ARR and this is probably the first time he will get to use the western orchestrations in a full fledged way since this film seems to be set in London which is home to the symphonies and orchestras . The music in Taal was more Indian and had a mix of Indian and Western . But in Yuvraaj we might get to see just western classical instead of Indian classical . I am more interested in the album than the film for the meantime .

The looks of the actors are also one thing to watch out in the trailer . Katrina looks like a hollywood heroine from the 50's and looks like an exotic beauty . She is the only female lead and hence the second thing that the movie will be focussing on apart from Music would be of course her . The lead actors of the film would probably fight it out for the God's Best creations , Music and Love . Then we also get to see the "Bhola" avatar of Anil Kapoor that he dawned in his first few films . Salman also looks quite younger and he might look good with Katrina in this one .

Overall , I am looking forward to both the Album and the film which will release soon .Subhash Ghai is also looking for a hit since a long time and I hope he gets that in this film and viewers get to see a complete film . The year in any case has been very bad with most of the films leaving disappointed. I also hope that my favourite Katrina acts this time which she can and not just dances to songs . Check out he trailer :