Saturday, October 17, 2009

Blue --- Movie Review

The big Diwali release , the most expensive Indian film , Akshay's return to action film, first underwater action film ,Rahman's music, Katrina's guest appearance and Lara's sexy avatar . These are some of the tags that have been associated with "Blue" to make it look large than what it is and to make it sound like a Hollywood production rather than an Indian one . Well , it is an expensive product , no doubt about that , but it is certainly not a "rich" product .

As usual the producers have taken risk with the money but they haven't taken any risk with the SCRIPT and gone ahead with a formula based action film . The producers and director followed Hollywood path in all the production aspects except the script and the screenplay . It almost felt like the Director had a notion of "I'll make the most expensive film ever" even before he had the script .

The screenplay of the film is very much flawed and very much borrowed . It has scenes which are almost a copy of some of the scenes from several Hollywood flicks . The boxing scene being heavily inspired from a scene from "Broken Arrow" , the bike chase scene from "Torque"and the gunshot scene from "Bad Boys II" etc. On top of it , all these scenes seemed so out of place and strange with no proper logic to them .

**some spoilers in this para**

The characters of the film are also not believable and very weak . Sanjay Dutt's character "Seth Ji" is supposed to be an expert diver and swimmer yet he has belly which is definitely like that of a real "Seth" who sits on the "Galla" . Lara Dutta who is not credited as having special appearance has a role limited to the length of a song which introduces her . She has got nothing more in the film apart from the introductory song . Zayed's character is so stupid that he falls in love so suddenly with a biker chick (Katrina) and never even doubts her intentions . It is also hard to believe that Zayed Khan who pretends to be a daredevil chickens out so soon and runs to his elder brother for help . Sanjay Dutt thinks of Aarav (Akshay) as his friend even though he clearly wants only the treasure which is supposed to be hidden in a very dangerous place underwater . But the DANGER has not at all being addressed in the film . They go and retrieve the treasure with such ease that even a novice could have done it . No shark attacks throughout the film . They go underwater to play with the sea-turtles , that's it , and make a documentary which could have been made by Discovery Channel . The story of the film is so short and predictable that one or two more sentences and you will know the entire plot .
The music of the film has been terribly used by Anthony . The songs in the film start off in a very abrupt way with nothing to add to the film ."Rehnuma" which is a good track has been used in the title credits which comprise of nothing but some shots of the aquatic ecosystem . Lara's introductory song "Aaj Dil" starts suddenly and she changes her outfit in it within every 20 seconds . The title track is just for the underwater masti that the actors do . They had nothing to show in "Bhula Tujhe" so they show a recap of the entire film in it . So it would be much better if you watch the film from where this song begins , that way at least you will save a lot of time . Kylie is sitting at the bar in the same outfit in which she performs "Chiggy Wiggy" along with Akshay after he tries to flirt with her .

The performances by the various actors are also very limited . Akshay should stop playing these playboy kinda roles , at least at this age . They don't suit him anymore . His acting limits are known to everyone and he stays within those limits . Both the female actors have almost nothing to do and Zayed has just something . Zayed is as usual and Sanjay also keeps it simple . I had some expectations from Rahul Dev who plays a negative role as Gulshan but he also gets nothing to perform .

Coming to other technical aspects , the background score by Rahman also doesn't have a lot to offer . I am not sure but I think I heard a trumpet in the background score in some place in the film along with some strange sounds which seemed to be coming from nowhere .This is probably the worst that Rahman has ever done in background score . The only strong aspect of the film was its Cinematography and Laxman Utekar deserves some praise for it . I particularly loved the scenes which were shot in the moon light during the night sequences . Even the underwater camera work was great. The costumes of Lara Dutta were also good and she did look hot onscreen . The action sequences had very less creativity but nevertheless shot on much higher standards than what we usually see in Indian films . The locations in the film have also been selected brilliantly and they look splendid .

Anthony D'souza gets no points for his direction and the only thing good he did was keeping the film just around two hours long else it would have been a very unbearable experience . The only thing of the director that impressed me is how he got the producers to spend so much on this film and also convinced some of the big names literally to come on-board . There's a line from the film "Duniya Ka Sabse bada Nasha hai Risk" and the producers are now definitely at a great risk to lose a huge sum of money . Probably this is the dialogue which Anthony delivered to everyone while making this film . Though its a risk that has not been taken passionately .

In all its a film with just good visuals but has no substance to back those visuals . Blue won't give you the blues but won't make you happy either .

Movie Rating : Two out of Five ; only for the visual aspect .

Here's wishing a very happy diwali to everyone !

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani --- MusicReview

Unlike Vishal-Shekhar and SEL who almost do the entire album themselves , singing,composing and even writing (in case of vishal-shekhar for Aladin) , Pritam has kept himself to composing only and he still believes in bringing in some of the best singers to do their job and he needs to complemented for that . It brings a variety to the album and doesn't keep it monotonous .Vishal has given some horrible lyrics for Aladin and he should seriously think about writing . As far as I can remember most writers had some hair on their head :) , just kiddin , no offence to bald people . He did a great job for "Aankhon Mein Teri" in OSO but doing an entire album is just too much too soon .
Coming to "Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani" , its a fun-filled album and it is pretty clear about that . It has 8 originals and 5 remix versions and an unplugged one . Since the film is a crazy love story some of the songs have that crazy element while the others are pure romantic ones . The lyrics are by Irshad Kamil who finally has worked with someone other than Imtiaz Ali . Pritam and Irshad together have already given a hit album this year which results in expectation from this one too .
The first track on the album is very rightly a fun track , "Mein Tera Dhadkan Teri" , which establishes the mood for the entire soundtrack right away . This one has some fun lyrics which are not senseless by the way and the music also has that fun element in it . Its a light track to begin with but has a nice combination of both lyrics and music . I've taken for granted that if its Pritam's album it has to be inspired from some place and I've not spent any time figuring out from where . This track also has some RAP bit by Hard Kaur which is good and adds to the track . Sunidhi and KK have done a good job as usual providing vocals for this track . The lyrics are also a bit catchy in nature but not like "Om Mangalam" of Kambakht Ishq . In all , its a good fun track to begin the album .
Then comes probably the best track on the soundtrack , "Tu Jane Na", by Atif Aslam and not Mohit Chauhan who has sung songs like these for Irshad and Pritam . Atif as usual does a fabulous job with his style of singing . Pritam has also kept the composition simple yet beautiful and given it a bit of classical touch . The chorus (which is a rarity these days) sounds so good and makes the track even more beautiful . The track starts off in an unusual way like it has been continued from some part before . The chorus goes somethig like this ...
kaise bataye kyu tujhko chahe , yaara bata na paye ,
batein dilo ki dekho jo baaki , aankhen tujhe samjhaye , tu jaane na ...
In all , its a great track that has to work for sure and with Ranbir-Katrina chemistry that is evident in trailers , am sure it would look even better on-screen . Great job by both Pritam and Irshad .
The album switches back to fun mode and we get "Oh by God" . Who said that "Shehnai" is just for sad moods only , Pritam has just proved otherwise and used it in a comic way over here . It has that famous "Wedding Shehnai" . Since its a fun track the lyrics are not meant to be taken seriously but still they are much better than "Bhangra Bistar Beer Bater" . Sunidhi-Mika sing it as usual . This track is also more film oriented and though its a fun track , it would make more sense along with a comic situation in the film .
It switches back again to Romantic mood and thus comes "Tera Hone Laga Hoon" which has Lyrics by Ashish Pandit . This one also has Atif and giving him melodius complany is Alisha Chinoy . This one is also a great track and I think it is equally good as "Tu Jane Na" . It starts off with Neeraj singing some nice english lyrics which add to the beauty of the song throughout . The composition of this one is on the lines of "Is This Love" from Kismat Konnection . Ashish has also done a good job with lyrics and even the three singers have done a great job together . Though Atif is a good singer but I think it is his voice quality which is not something very exceptional and quite normal that makes him so much more popular , it makes you sing the song along with him .
Again a sudden jump to fun mode and we have "Prem Ki Naiyya" ; this one being my favourite amongst the fun tracks . Its got Neeraj singing in a bit of UP style accent and its nice to see him attempt at least some thing different if not completely . Though its basically a Neeraj kinda track only and fast-paced with all the groovy music in it . Since Ranbir's name in the film is "Prem" the song has lyrics something like "Prem ki Naiyya hai Ram ke Bharose..." . The song also has Suzanne D'Mello for small bits in between and this time she does the job of singing some weird english lyrics instead of Neeraj . The lyrics are also fine and the music by Pritam is also good in this one .
The long list of the singers gets even longer with Javed Ali and Jojo singing the next romantic track on the album "Aa Jao Meri Tammana" . This one clearly feels like some Emraan Hashmi track that I heard sometime back (so many of them ) . It would have been much better if Emraan would have made a guest appearance for this song . But then he would have demanded to kiss Katrina and if denied would have accused of a biased behaviour against him :) . I just hope Ranbir doesn't lip-sync to this song in the film because the voice just won't suit his boyish charm . This one is not a bad track but i didn't quite find it interesting either . The lyrics and tune both felt like something that we have heard before . Javed's fan would love the track .
The last original on the album is a RAP track by Hard Kaur . She is of the better rappers in India and she does a good job mixing hindi,punjabi and english together in this track . I am not a hard-core rap follower so I cannot comment on whether its inspired from some track or not . But personally I liked the track and its worth listening , much better than that "Genie Rap" from Aladin . Since a part of this tack was also a part of the first track on the album , the music of this one has shades of the first track . A short and sweet track which has not been made unnecessarily long . The lyrics by Hard Kaur are also good and much better than many other rappers in India .
Then follows a long list of remixes,reprise editions and unplugged versions which is a thing to expect in most Pritam's albums . He liked his own work so much that he does it all over again to complement himself . All of them are like usual remixes only so nothing to waste time on . Leave these tracks for DJs only .
I think Pritam wanted to make some record of sorts with this album so he brings on Kailash Kher and his group to sing an unplugged version of "Tu Jaane Na" . Since this one is my favourite track on the album and Kailash is also one of my favourite singers , I liked this one too . Kailash sings it in his own style and in his earthly voice . A nice little treat for Kailash kher fans to end the album .
With so many singers , the album does provide a nice variety of tracks and it doesn't feel monotonous . The album is so much better than the long list of below average soundtracks that are out there in the market right now (All the best,London Dreams,Main aur Mrs.Khanna,Aladin,Jail and even Radio :) ) . The soundtrack has a nice mix of romantic and fun tracks which also have a good bit of lyrics and not some average commercial crap . Both Irshad and Pritam have done a good job together again .The film would definately benifit from it . I am now looking forward to the film and since it is not an out and out comedy like Andaaz Apna Apna , I would try to keep that film out of my mind while watching this one . I hope Rajkumar Santoshi hits back . Bohot din ho gaye koi achchi comedy film dekhe hue .
Album Rating : Three and Half out of Five .

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wake Up S!d --- Movie Review

Coming of Age : definition source:Wikipedia

Coming of age is a young person's transition from childhood to adulthood. The age at which this transition takes place varies in society, as does the nature of the transition.

So , as the definition says it is an age that varies according to cultures and society and in India , where kids live under the shadow of their parents for a long time , I think it comes quite late than other western countries . And again according to the definition , the nature of transition also varies . But i think this variation of "nature of transition" can be so different even within a single society for different kind of people . And I am not talking of the huge section of our country which is so poor that for them there is no such thing as 'coming of age' . For them everything is just a "matter of survival" . I am talking of the huge middle class and the small rich class of our country where the variation of this transition can be felt very easily .
Wake Up Sid is about the transition of a 'child' from the rich class into his adulthood . And Before you get a wrong impression that I've got something against the rich class let me clarify , there's no such thing like that . The reason I said everything above is just to make a point that this transition can be different for different people but what remains same are the feelings . Wake Up Sid is a simple story of a guy who knows what he doesn't want in life but has little idea about what he wants . And his only motto in life is to enjoy it full on with his credit card bills been taken care of . He is completely dependent on his father and is like Rachel from Friends :) . One day life happens , and he realises that he has to break off and find his own way in life . Helping him grow up into a Man from just a boy is a fearless & responsible girl who has a definite path to follow in life and knows exactly how to achieve her goals . The story revolves around how these two help each other to attain their respective goals , learn to enjoy the journey with each other and ultimately fall in love .
Just like the music from it , the film is also chilled out and feel good kind of cinema which also addresses some issues concerning the young . The scenes from the film seem to be scenes from our own life and the film is quite real and this is the most real that Dharma Productions has got till date . For me personally , realism has more to do with feelings rather than other physical things and in that respect the film is quite real . Some of the scenes from the film are very well written and performed too , in a subtle way which leave their impact . Especially the scene where Ranbir leaves his home . Some of the other scenes like the one where Ranbir and his friend laugh off the fact that his girlfriend ditches him and also the scene where Ranbeer's colleague who has a crush on him realises that he loves Konkana, just looks at him and says nothing , are very simple and downplayed yet quite good and leave an impression . Then there is also a scene where Ranbeer takes photographs of his neighbour and her son and also realising how much he loves his mom . There is nothing very brilliant and outstanding about these scenes but still they manage to touch the hearts of the viewers and that's what makes them great . Simple yet fabulous and as they say its difficult being simple too .
The strongest technical aspect of the film in my opinion is its Cinematography and Anil Mehta has really done a fabulous job . Dharma this time chose Bombay(oops I meant Mumbai) instead of Miami or New York for this one and Anil has managed to show the city as beautiful as the other two . I almost felt like running off to Mumbai to watch it and feel it , especially in the monsoons . The still photographs that have been used in the film are also great and they also add to the beauty of the film . The art direction was also great and the dialogues were also not heavy duty and more on the daily conversation side .
One of the other major contributor to film is its music and it completely matches the tone of the film and adds to it in a major way . Without the music the film might have seemed a bit on the slower side . There are no "rocking" numbers in this one unlike usual Karan's films which have to have a party or disco number in it for sure . The best track is no doubt "Ik tara" and I loved the male version of it also which is in the film only . The background score in the film has been kept minimal and wherever it is there , it has been done in a nice way .
Coming to acting performances , Ranbir has done his best till date in this one . The character suited him and his actual natural personality , just like Imran's character did to him in Jaane Tu.. . So I wont say that he has acted fabulously because it wasn't a tough role for him but still he did a good job and looked quite natural . His character is similar to Hrithik's in Lakshya to an extent but not exactly like it . Konkana is a great actor and this one would have been a piece of cake for her and she as usual did fine . Her paring with Ranbir also looked great and there was nothing odd about it . Rest of the supporting cast was also perfect with each one of them doing their part well .
One of the things that I liked in the film is that Ayaan has focused on every character and given it a chance to express his/her feelings . So we see problems of almost all the characters in the film regardless of the length of its role . Whether it is Ranbir's obese friend , his lonely neighbour or his best friend who is a romantic , every one of them gets a chance , even his servant "chchotu" who has very small role makes his presence felt .
Supriya Pathak who has played the part of a typical Indian housewife/mom , has done a brilliant job in the film and Ayan again needs to be commended for writing such a nice character for her and also casting her in the film .She has not played an over the top Kirron Kher kinda mother but a simpler and more real one who strives to speak English in order to befriend her son . Anupam Kher has played a rich dad many times and he knows how to do that .
And lastly , speaking of the Direction , Ayan Mukherjee has done a great job for a first timer and he has picked up the right story according to his age and done full justice to it . Since its his script I am sure he would have put in some personal experiences in it which gave the film a very fresh feel to it . It is certainly much better than Tarun Mansukhani's first attempt and I want to congratulate Karan for making this film with Ayan . Though its a fresh film which is very young at heart it still looks like a work of a mature person who knows what he is doing .
In all , I was really happy to watch this film and it did touch me in some way , maybe because I am also coming of age right now and I am also hoping that things turn out to be good for me .
Movie Rating : 3.75 out of 5 :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blue --- Music Review

"Blue" is the first soundtrack from the Double Academy Award winner Rahman Sir after his famous win and his second for this year after "Delhi 6" which got both public and critics appreciation . Though his genius needs no approval but Delhi 6 just show-cased it once more to the whole world why Rahman deserves the Academy more than anyone else . For Fans like me expectations are always high from his every album but after such a win the spotlight on him has just got much more brighter . Now Rahman itself is an international name but with names like Kylie Minogue associated with the album , it would certainly have a much more international focus and speculation too which would be a new experience for him too .

Coming to the first track on the album "Chiggy Wiggy" by Kylie Minogue . Though the track is not bad but its neither brilliant and what disappointed me was that Rahman Sir took a very safe approach and didn't try to experiment which is not a typical feature of him . Pressure?? Can't Say but certainly not his best . Kylie sings it effortlessly in her style and there's something about her voice that always manages to please me . The song also features Sonu Nigam towards the end who sings the Punjabi part with Urdu lyrics , sounds strange , but that's the case . Nothing much for Sonu in the song but I guess it had to be done by one of the best Singers from the country considering it was Kylie . Sonu would be more than happy . Lets be frank , he would not have even be approached for such a small part if it wasn't for singing along with her . But one thing I loved was the way Sonu pronounced "Chiggy Wiggy" in the song in true Indian style and has not given it a western feel even though he could have easily . Lyricist Abbas Tyrewala hasn't done a great job either and has just managed to get a decent song . Listen how cleverly he plugs in the word "Khiladi" in the song for obvious reasons . In all , as I said, its not a bad track and would work to an extent for sure . Though I expect much more from each one of them .

Then comes "Aaj Dil Gustakh Hai" which is a nice fast paced song with a bit of Jazz feel in it to add that sensual feel to it . The video of the song is already on air and Lara is looking hot (and also beautiful) but a bit odd with Sanjay Dutt . Though the music here is interesting but the lyrics didn't quite work for me . Shreya Ghoshal has done a good job singing it and she is good at singing songs with a bit of sensual feel in it . It has worked for her in the past but in those songs the lyrics were also good . Here the lyrics are not that good to match up to her singing . Mayur Puri who last worked on "Love Mera Hit Hit" and got popular with "Singh is Kinng" has done a so-so job and I guess writing sensual lyrics is not that easy and that too if you have to write it for a girl . Sukhwinder Singh is also there and he as usual has done a good job . Overall , its a disappointment according to Rahman standards and might just work in the film only .

"Fiqrana" comes next which again is a very basic track and didn't quite impress me . The vocals are by Vijay Prakash who sings it in Rahman style of singing and supporting him is Shreya Ghoshal . The lyrics by Abbas are not good here too . They have nothing to offer as such and they just go along with the music with nothing standing out . The whole song actually goes about in a very average way with nothing standing out in it .

Then comes "Bhula Tujhe" by Rashid Ali who became famous with "Kahin To Hogi Wo" of Jaane Tu.. That track became popular at a much later stage after the film got released and lets hope the same happens with this track . A slow symphonic track and Rahman sir has done a good job here . This track is a bit better than the previous tracks but still falls a bit short . Rashid has done a good job and even Abbas has done a decent job with lyrics .

The theme track of the film comes next which I think would feature Katrina Kaif in it . It is more of a song though and cannot be called a Theme Song and has some bits of lyrics in it by Raqeeb Alam . It is more on a slower side and a much faster version of the track was featured in the theatrical trailer . This one is also not that bad and would look good in the film . There are many singers on this one and they have done a good job together . Don't pay any attention to the lyrics here .

The sixth track on the album is Rehnuma which again has a bit of Jazz , Club kinda feel and seems to be a lot inspired from the James Bond soundtracks . With rumours of Danny Boyle making the next bond film doing the rounds , I guess Rahman sir has started warming up for it . It seriously sounds like a track from an espionage thriller and that too a Bond only . Nice song though , I liked it , has a signature Rahman style music in some places . A lot depends on how it is used . Sonu and Shreya have done a good job as usual, especially Shreya .

The Last track on the album "Yaar Mila" by Udit Narayan and Madhusree gives a disappointing end to the album . The lyrics have been weak throughout the album and here they are no different . The music is also pretty average and nothing good about it .

Overall , it is a pretty average soundtrack and a lot more is expected from an A.R. Rahman album . Director , Anthony D'souza , lost a great opportunity and couldn't quite get what other Directors manage to get from Rahman sir . Usually when I dont like a Rahman album and i write about it , most people comment and say that Rahman's music grows with time . I just hope that happens this time and I start liking the songs after some time . I wasn't impressed with Jaane Tu.. also in the beginning but afterwards it caught on me too , especially after the film . The lyrics are the weakest part of this soundtrack in my opinion and it falls well short of expectations .

Album Rating : Three out of Five ; a bit disappointing .

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wake Up S!d --- Music review

Recently John Hughes passed away who has made some of the finest coming of age films of all time like "16 Candles" , "The Breakfast Club" and "Ferris Beuller's Day Off". He portrayed the young teenagers in a very real and comic way . His films are still relevant as they were 25 years ago and are also some of my favourites . Now we have Ayan Mukerji from Dharma Productions who is also trying his hand on the same genre . What was remarkable in Hughes' films was that they were very simple and portrayed whatever that they wanted in a very simple manner . The same simplicity is what I got to observe in this album too . The music here is by Shankar Ehsaan Loy (K Jo's favourite) and lyrics are also by Javed Akhtar (another favourite) . In past the trio and the lyrical genius have done wonders and the same is expected from them every time they come together . I am very very happy to see a change in Dharma Productions who is now focusing on making a bit different films than usual lavish films that they are associated with .

The first song on the album is the title track which has vocals by Shankar himself . The track has some nice guitar pieces in it which is a feature that has been maintained throughout the album .
I love the way song goes from a soft slow mode to a rock mode and that too in a nice way and not an abrupt way . The music on the entire album for that matter seems to be an extension to Rock On!! Album but in my view it is not . This one has more of a soft rock feel in most of the songs on the album . Well , the lyrics on this one are also nice and Javed sir has done a good job as usual . The song introduces Sid and his character in the film in a nice way . The film seems to be a bit similar to Lakshya , the music and lyrics of which were by the same team . Though the songs here are very different and even lyrics are different . The backing vocals in this song by Loy Mendonsa are also nice . Overall , its a good track to begin the album with and has also done full justice to the title of the film .

Next comes , Kya Karoon? , by Clinton Cerejo which has a nice fresh feel . I always like the sound of harmonica because it very well captures the "easy going happy go lucky " feel and it has been used in this track very nicely . A nice slow track which has good lyrics and "kya karu" seems to be catchy. NICE is a word that I'll be using very much throughout the review because it is a word that very well summarizes the album . And Nice doesn't mean that it is not very good . It is great but in a very subtle way that will probably make you happy . Clinton has provided the song that fresh young feel that was required through his vocals and he is nicely supported by Dominique and Loy . In all its a nice :) song that would look great along with the story in the film . It is almost like those songs that one usually hears in background in many Hollywood films . The lyrics capture the feelings of youth in a nice way throughout the album and also in this song .

"Aaj Kal Zindagi" comes next which reminded me a bit of "Kaisi Hai Ye Rut" from Dil Chahta Hai . The beats in this one are similar to that one . That one was a beautiful track sung by Srinivas who did a great job . This one has vocals by Shankar himself who also as usual has done a great job . This one is somewhat of a feel good inspirational song which has a good melody and lyrics . One nice thing that I observed is that most of the tracks on the album are short and only around 4 minutes long . This in my view is ideal length for any song and songs like these don't even hinder the pace of the film and keep it going . I hope the film is also short and concise like the songs with no unnecessary elongation .

Then comes probably the best track on the album but there is a catch , this one has been composed by Amit Trivedi .Though this song is by a different composer it still doesn't stand out and has maintained the spirit of the album and is of the same league as others and Amit needs to be complimented for that . It is different than others but has the same quality of simplicity in it too . Lyrics wise also this song is the best on the entire album and Jaaved sir has done a fabulous job on this track . The only song which has female vocals and Kavita Seth has done a great job here . She has given it a nice classical feel along with Amitabh Bhattacharya . Both of them have a nice fresh voice quality which goes along with the theme of the soundtrack . Amit Trivedi is definately a find and he is proving that with his work . He has already proved himself in Aamir and Dev-D but here he has stood along with an already established trio of music directors and shown that he is no less and done a good job . Though the music is good and soulful but the strongest point of the song are its lyrics and singing . Full marks to Kavita for her nice Classical Sufiana singing . I would love to hear a bit more of her . Javed sir has also very nicely used the word "iktara".... I am a bit crazy i guess but i would have loved to see this picturised in a bit of rain and also a bit dark , in monsoons, as if time has stopped .

Then at last comes "Life is Crazy", again by Shankar who has been supported by Uday Benegal .All of the songs on the album talk about life in general and its surprising but there is no love song on the entire album . This one is also talks about life and its different elements of happiness . It also calls it crazy and both the singers do that in a stylish way . This song also has a soft rock kinda feel and has a nice pacy rhythm .

One complaint that I have against Shankar is that he is now singing just too many songs on his albums . This one has 4 songs by them(SEL) out of which shankar features on 3 of them . No doubt he is a fabulous singer but he should rather sing a few songs else the audience would get a bit bored with him and all the songs on his album would sound the same .

Lastly comes a remix version of the title track which is also nice and would work more than the original one among the masses . This one has been titled as "Club Mix" and it would work in clubs and discs for sure . The sound of ticking clock in the bgining sounds good , even in the original one . This one is a more faster version and sounds like those songs by teenage bands in the west .

Overall , its a very NICE and different soundtrack and its strength lies in its simplicity .There are no unnecessary remix versions and most songs are of appropriate length .SEL and Javed Sir have done a good job once again . I am looking forward to this film now even more than before I was . Lets hope the film also has something good in store . Its good that UTV has this film with them , they'll do a good job with publicity . One thing UTV is doing great is that it is bringing the commercial and off beat film makers in the same domain and a bit closer than before .

Album Rating : Four out of Five ; Pretty fresh and definately worth listening .

Friday, August 14, 2009

Kaminey --- Movie Review

Hmmm , where do I start ?? ...Some films are not easy to review because an experience has to be experienced , it is actually hard to put it on paper . This is exactly what Kaminey is , an experience . Lets start from the beginning . The film doesn't take time out for introducing the characters one by one , they get introduced by themselves , by default . By the time titles would begin you would get engrossed in the film and the people who generally make noise during the beginning of the film in the cinema hall would get silent by the end of it .

Kaminey begins on a comic cum thrilling note . The comic side belonging to Guddu (the stuttering Shahid) and the thrilling side belonging to Charlie (the F ko F bolne waala Shahid - the lisping one) . Priyanka aka Sweety , the marathi mulgi , does her job well in the begining itself and director Vishal manages to give film an almost perfect start (have to say almost perfect bcoz there is no such thing as perfect :) ) . The lisping and stuttering would make you laugh at the characters but still establish that connect with them . One by one all the characters come into play and start getting connected with one another through a Guitar and a Girl . The girl being Priyanka Chopra .

Making life what it is(Kamini) around Guddu , Sweety and Charlie are characters like Bhope Bhau , Tashi , Mikhail , Lobo and Lele . All of them unique and all entangled in a complex world of chrime, money and power . The cultural diversity in the film is one thing to watch where Mikhail and his brothers are Bengali , Tashi and Lobo are Christians , Guddu who is actually Sanjay Sharma is a Hindu and Bhope Bhau and Sweety being Marathi .There are also some foreigners in the film .Bhope Bhau who is a true Marathi Manus and against all north indians has been briliantly played by Amol Gupte . He has done full justice to the character and has played the part of an aspiring politician who uses this "Marathi Manus Ideology" for getting a ticket to contest in the elections . His character has maximum weightage in the film apart from Shahid and Priyanka . The film is made up of these so many different Characters and it completely belongs to them . All characters are important and everyone of them has a mean(kamini) side . The director has even gone ahead and shown the mean side of a small Kid who also plays a very small and comic part in the film . Every character has been perfectly casted and it is these characters that make the film so strong .

Kaminey for its maximum length belongs to Shahid and it won't be wrong to say that it is completely his film . It is his best and most mature performance till date and his hard work comes across on the screen . He has worked really hard for both of the characters and has put up a fabulous performance . The two characters being completely different , Shahid has got a rare opportunity to express all different shades of a personality on-screen . His is the toughest part and to act that well shows his progress as an actor . He has already become the new superstar and now his acting skills would also get appreciated which would further increase his stardom for sure . Pankaj sir will be so proud of him after watching the film . Vishal has given him ample space to perform and he has delivered according to his expectations . Though Priyanka's part in the film was small but certainly a very important one and one that required great efforts from her too . She also has equally worked hard and given her best . She is just fabulous in the film and her chemistry with Shahid is something to watch out for . She plays this part of a crazy marathi girl effortlessly and would certainly make you smile . She is adorable and for that matter both Shahid-Priyanka as a couple are also adorable and look cute . They both are stars and of the type who can also act . Chandan Roy is also good as Mikhail .

I am trying to avoid myself from letting out the plot details because it is pretty exciting to watch them unfold one by one . The comic caper genre that Vishal has attempted in the film has worked like wonders . It is officially now first of its kind , opening the gates for many other Directors to attempt this genre also . The story is different to an extent but what is best is the treatment that Vishal has given to the story . The screenplay is great and there are several memorable sequences in the film . Some of them that come immediately to my mind is the sequence between Bhope and Mikhail(Charlie's Friend) , then there is one with the kid , the interrogation sequence and last but certainly not the least the climax sequence . The climax of the film is what you call 'climax' exactly and it is this part which decides the fate of the film . It is this part that will please the majority of the audience and would make it a sure shot hit .

Techinically also its a very strong film and the cinematography by Tassaduq Hussain is top notch . Several locations of mumbai have been shown in a never before manner and the sequences with Rains have also been shot perfectly . I have a thing for shots in the heavy rain and I just loved them in the film .The steady-cam shots which are on the move have also been done in a beautiful manner and are technically sound . The film's story spans just within a complete day and hence it moves at a rapid pace which is another plus point about the film .The editing department has done a great job in this respect . The music of the film is no doubt great and it also adds a lot to the film . Its a dark film but still is not that dark and suits the taste of Indian audience . The dialogues of the film are just great and have been written very well . The actors have very well delivered them too in the way they should have been .

I am trying my best not miss out any of the positive points from the film because there are just so many and this is also the reason that from the release of Omkara till date I have not written anything about the film because its tough . Regarding the negatives from the film , the only negative that I thought was that why very less time was given to fabulous characters like lobo, lele , tashi and mikhail . They were such interesting characters and the actors were also brilliant and could have given so much to the characters . The only explanation to this would possibly be the length of the film which had to be kept minimal for the general audience . One request to the producers and director , please release a Director's Cut of the film(at least on DVD) so that I can enjoy these characters at a full length .

Lastly comes Vishal Bhardwaj , the captain of the ship . Absolutely fabulous job ! kudos to him ! This one is a completely different film from Omkara and he has again done a great job . Omkara is a classic and it is hard to get over such a film . But he has not only managed to do that but also given this film a completely fresh feel , the only common thing being the characters which are so real and so on ground . Vishal Sir , please don't ever think of the censor certificate and keep making films as real as possible and let the censor board change itself . He has managed to do something that many have tried to attempt before but have messed up somewhere . He is an actor's dream director now for sure . Please continue working like this and bring such good and entertaining stories for us on celluloid . By the way the film also qualifies for the "Paisa Vasool" kinda audience and they will also love it .

Go watch it . Forget the swine for some time !!! :)

One personal opinion that I want to put forward in this review is that Omkara was more of Vishal's film than Kaminey is . It had so much more on the psychological level that had to be handled by him only and he did that in a way that actually bowls me over every time I watch that film . But I don't want to take anything away from him and Kaminey beacause the two are completely different kind of films .

Movie Rating : Four and Half Stars out of Five ; don't even think of missing it and Mumbaikars and Poonawaalas please wait and don't resort to piracy .

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dil Bole Hadippa --- Music Review

Rani Mukerji's come back film Dil Bole Hadippa is all set to release and the music of the film is out now . The title track is already on-air and strangely even its remix version has also been released on television which is usually kept for publicity at the last stages . Since Shahid-Priyanka are the flavour of the season, I guess the producers of both Whats Your Rashee and Dil Bole Hadippa are cashing in on the hype generated by Kaminey and hence released there promos much before the scheduled time . Rani would be a bit disappointed since she was suppose to be the USP of the film not Shahid . And maybe this could also be the reason why the remix video has been released in a haste , just to show the new avatar of Rani Mukerji . Anyways, this is a music review and I should talk about the music . Well , its got Pritam (once again) and Jaideep Sahni as the Lyricist . Pritam has had a decent year with New York and Love Aaj Kal doing well on the music charts so same is expected from this album .

This one is a completely different soundtrack in the sense that it is a complete Punjabi soundtrack with very less scope for Hindi . This is probably the first time something like this has been attempted in a commercial Hindi film soundtrack . First comes the title track on the soundtrack , Hadippa , which is a nice Punjabi track with a decent bit of lyrics . The song is already on air in the promos of the film and is getting quite popular . Love Aaj Kal lacked a kick-ass Punjabi song and also Mika . That deficiency has been removed by Pritam here with this track . Pritam and Jaideep have together done a good job on this track and have given the soundtrack a good start with this song . It is the best track on the entire album .

Next comes , Discowale Khisko , which disappoints right away and spoils the mood set up by the first track . This one is so below average in terms of both music and lyrics . The lyrics are awful and so commercial that they remind of the songs from Tashan . In terms of Music Pritam has almost done nothing because the music is so like any typical Punjabi track . This shitty track has vocals by some good singers like KK and Sunidhi .

"Ishq hi Rab Hai" comes next which is the only soft romantic track in the album . Sonu and Shreya Ghoshal together have together sung some of the finest tracks and have never done an average track like this one . So it was a bit surprising to see them on such an average track . The lyrics are also so so and even the music is like that . A still better track as compared to other tracks on the album .

Then come "Bhangra Bistar" and at last there is "Gym Shim" both of which are pretty below ordinary kinda tracks and have nothing to offer . Both lyrics and music is so below average on both these tracks . Bhangra Bistar has some typical Sunidhi , a bit of Alisha Chinoy and also Hard Kaur with some bad lyrics and average music . "Gym Shim" was short of lyrics so they put in some 1234 .... up to 19 like a bad nursery rhyme .

Then come two remix tracks of "Discowale Khisko" and "Hadippa" one of which is already on air .
The remix of Hadippa and the original track are the only two tracks that I've liked on the entire album and apart from them the entire soundtrack can be avoided . I don't know what would Yashraj now use for the publicity of the film which still has about a month to release . They've already shown the two good tracks from the album and this is probably what they will have to repeat for a month or so .

Overall , the album is below average and Pritam has failed on this one . Jaideep also should avoid writing songs like these which are pretty commercial and have no value . He has also done a below average job . When the first song of this film was released I thought that this film would make a good sum of money even only if its songs are as good as this one . But now after listening to the entire album I can say that a lot would depend on the film now since the music is not a blockbuster one .

Album Rating : Two out of Five ; an average commercial film soundtrack .

Monday, August 3, 2009

Love Aaj Kal --- Movie Review

Imtiaz ali is one director who has only experimented with Love Stories and has always added that "Crazy" element in the stories with a flair . Whether it was Socha Na Tha ; where it was Viren (Abhay Deol) who acts crazy n confused or Jab We Met where it was Geet's turn to act a bit crazy in life and enjoy it her way . This element of craziness has been retained in Love Aaj Kal too but I guess this time it has gone on to another level . This time its Jai who is not only crazy n confused but also a bit stupid. If it was Geet in Jab We Met who was playing with her life , here , its both Jai and Meera who play with their life . Lets talk about that later .

What was most talked about the film was this Past-Present combination in the film and how it was "suppose to bridge the gap between the generations" . Though I liked the non-linear narrative because I have a thing for it but what I didn't like is the claim that the trailer made of bridging the gap . It doesn't do any such job . The only thing it tries to show is that Love is eternal and would always remain the same and only the ways of expression have changed which I guess is pretty much known to us . And I guess there's no way to bridge the past and the present so why even claim to do so .

There were also reports that it is inspired from a Taiwanese film "Three Times" which is not exactly true . Though the idea does seem to be the same but the content is completely different and also the narrative style is different . That one is more serious and has more emphasis on "Conversations" between the two lead characters . There the actors remained same in all the eras ; here they are different .That one is a classic and this one is certainly not. In short , there's nothing common apart from the basic idea which is also a bit different .

Coming back to the "crazy" element , I think in this one , it was far more stretched and would not be appreciated by Mango People (Aam Aadmi) . I personally liked it but I guess most won't . Though it looks good to an extent but what went wrong was that some of the most emotional scenes also went flat because of it . The other reason of that being that the movie seems to be in a RUSH of saying what it wants to say . It goes about in a very rapid way and there is no cooling off period where there is time for emotions to develop . Thus the emotional connect between the characters and the audience is minimal which I guess should be maximum for a love story . The whole wedding sequence of Deepika and the one after that seemed so strange and I must say that though I was not but majority of the people in the cinema hall were laughing at such an emotional scene . The interval of the film was also not in the right place and felt almost sudden .

Just talking a bit about story , it has Veer(Saif) who is a modern day guy and believes in Dating and Sleeping around but doesn't believe in Love . He dates Meera(Deepika) who is also a modern girl who dates and prefers to break off on a positive note rather than crying about it . They both date each other and after a series of break-ups , link-ups and marriages they realise that they are very much in love with each other and can't actually ever get over with . Helping Saif to realise this is Rishi Kapoor who narrates his love story to him which is from a different time but still is pretty much the same .

The performances are all of equal levels and match with each other . Deepika has acted as good as saif :) which is a complement for her considering saif is in the business since so many years . Though the film focuses comlpetely on Saif (the Producer) , Deepika still has enough for herself and she does a fair bit of job . Saif is saif ; I don't expect much from him and he doesn't even deliver more than what I expect . Rishi Kapoor is evergreen and he is great in the film . He looks good along with saif . The new girl in the film has nothing much but she was not that bad .

Coming to the technical side , I did like the non-linear narrative which was good for most of the part but at times a bit abrupt . The cinematography and the art direction was top notch and they managed to show the Delhi and Kolkata from old days quite well .Full marks go to Nataraj Subramanian for cinematography and Ravikant Bhakre for art direction. A few small things here and there did seem a bit cliche but overall it was great . The screenplay wasn't that good and it was like that they had so many things to show and had very less time . The only person I was disappointed was the director , Imtiaz Ali . His past films had raised expectations but this one certainly didn't meet those . All his past films had a good story and even Ahista-Ahista which he didn't direct is one of my favourite love stories . All of his stories have had strong characters which connected well with the audience . Here it lacks that emotional connect is what hurt the film most and I guess it was his responsibility to establish it . Some of the sequences in this one were similar to what they were in his past films like for example Saif saying about the break-up party that it sounds weird and crazy so we should do it which was quite similar to Geet's crazy acts in Jab We Met . Some elements like these prove that he has still not got over Jab We Met and also that his heart was still there and not on this story .

The music was obviously not as good as it was in Jab We Met and it was also not properly used by Imtiaz . The only song that I liked was "Chor Bazaari" which also didn't go down that well . I liked the way Imtiaz used "Main Kya Hun" . One more thing that I loved in the film was that both the lead characters were not shown to have those stereotypical careers and both had something different as their career option . Art impacts life so much and especially cinema . We need to get over the doctors,engineers and businessman . I am sure after watching Deepika doing fresco in this film there will be so many girls and even boys who would at least try to know what fresco exactly is .

Overall , the film is not that bad and can be watched once . If you like things the crazy way then there is a possibility that you might like the film , just like I did , but only to a certain extent . Love Aaj Kal disappoints considering the past work of Imtiaz which has been great . The concept is still different from usual and one can certainly look forward to that .

Movie Rating :
Three out of Five ; a good concept but an average film .

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hanste Zakhm --- Movie Review

Some films in past have had all the potential to become a classic in true sense but failed somewhere due to certain loop holes or improper treatment to the script . Hanste Zakhm is one such film in my opinion which could have well been made into a real "timeless" classic film but the director Chetan Anand failed to do so. He had a really nice story that could have been well made into a good film with great performances . The story which was by Gulshan Nanda might largely look like a typical hindi masala film of those days but still it had something different from the other such films . The film has all the typical elements of a masala film like a willian (Jeevan in this case) , a wamp (achala sachdeva), a rich dad and a dad with principles , two friends cum sisters who get separated because of fate and a poor girl who is a victim of circumstances who eventually falls in love with the rich son of the rich dad . So the question arises that what is different .

Well , the answer to that question lies in the primary love angle that exists in the film . There is nothing new about a love story between a prostitute and a rich guy but in this film what impressed me was the certain level of honesty with which the whole love story was treated . One does empathise for the girl who suffers from a terrible turn of events and becomes a prostitute . She has no memory of her parents but she still has a faint memory of her loving dad who always cried out of joy whenever he met her . This character of hers was written in a real honest and fine way but what lacked was the acting performance by Priya Rajvansh . She acted really terribly and was good only in very few parts . She had some really fine lines that would have become legendary if someone like Meena Kumari would have delivered them . She just didn't have the talent to perform such a tough role and even her diction was bad which is of primary importance when you are delivering philosophical shayaris as dialogues .

Some dialogues of hers were really good and even certain scenes from the film are just great . The scene where she gets instructed by the Police Man (Balraj Sahni ; who is also her Father that she doesn't recognise) to live an ordinary life and leave the world of prostitution . She replies to him that how can she live an ordinary life and who would marry her or accept her as daughter . She delivers this fine Shayari that I really liked and it made me write this entire post just so that I could quote it . It goes something like this :

"Dikhate Hai Sab door se Raasta ,
Koi do kadam saath chalta nahi,
Jalaati hai duniya to jalte hai dil ,
Koi apni marzi se jalta nahi ... "

It really goes well at that moment when her own estranged dad suggests her to leave prostitution . Priya Rajvansh just didn't do justice to this and many such lines that she delivers . She acted the whole part in a very below average manner and in certain parts she almost looked like a zombie who has no idea what she is doing . But still , even though she acted really badly I still loved the whole love stroy between her and Navin Nishchol who didn't act as bad as her and did a fair bit of job himself .

Apart from the fine lines, what worked for me were the haunting melodies of Madan Mohan in the film's music . The best song from the film is no doubt "Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho , to yeh lagta hai , ke jahaan mil gaya .." . The song has nice symphonic melody in it which is one of Madan Mohan's best for sure . I've not heard a lot of him but I can still say that this was and is for sure one of his all-time best . This song is a really different kinda track and sometimes such tracks give an eerie feeling as if they have something in themselves . It is haunting and is great . This track has also been sung beautifully by the great Md. Rafi himself who does a great job as usual . The reason I wrote almost a paragraph about the song itself is beacause it is that important to the film . It is during this song that one can really feel the passion with which the main characters love each other . This song has also been shot in really different way . Not only the song has a psychological angle to it but even the way it has been shot gives a strange feeling . It is shot in heavy rains and it shows Mumbai by night . A little strange but a beautiful track that leaves a lasting impression both visually and even music-wise .

There are also several other beautiful tracks like "Betaab Dil Ki Yeh Tamanna.." which is another classic from the film . Then there is also the famous qawwali , "Yeh Maana meri jaan, mohabbat saja hai, maza is mein itna magar kisliye hai.." . All these hit tracks have been written by Kaifi Azmi who had done a brilliant job . The music is also legendary by the legend himself , Madan Mohan .

Amongst the acting performances , the only acting performance that I really liked was that of Balraj Sahni's who is the father and a police inspector who gets caught between emotions and his duty . His was a very real and mature performance . Apart from him all other acters acted typical of their time and nothing impresses that much .

Warning ; a spoiler is ahead regarding the end . Skip this para if you don't want to know it .

It is also one of the few films where the leading lady in the film dies in the end . Her death sequence has also been done in a good way and the predicament of Balraj's character who loses her own daughter for the sake of his duty is really heart wrenching . A very brave but also a bit obvious ending to the film .

In all , it is a not exactly a typical masala film of those days but still has majority of elements of that type of cinema in it . Still , I would recommend the film because of the following three main reasons :

* The love story part and the honesty in it .
* The great and almost legendary music of Madan Mohan and lyrics of Kaifi Azmi .
* The acting performance of Balraj Sahni .

It could well have been made into a classic film if the director would have avoided certain cliche sequences and had casted some good actors in it .But I would still appreciate the way Chetan treated it in a still different way than what most films were in those days . It is a film from 1973 so one needs to watch the film keeping films of those times in perspective . I would love to re-make this one keeping the original music (a modern day version of it with some changes) and I guess a lot many like me would have thought of it already ... :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Kaminey --- Music Review

Dhan Te Nan , the music is out and the first song is already a big hit . Expectations are on a high , regarding both , the film and the music . The Dhan Te Nan has left people asking for more and now we finally have the entire album . Vishal last worked on "U Me aur Hum" which was a long time back and music lovers like me would love to see more of him . He has always given an outstanding score for his own films and his jodi with Gulzaar works like something . After Omkara the expectations are really high from the duo for this one . Well this one is a completely different album and I also tried to give it an unbiased view keeping the past completely out of my perspective .

The soundtrack opens with a blockbuster track "Dhan Te Nan" by the super-hit machine Sukhwinder along with Vishal Dadlani . Do I even need to say anything about this track which is already a big hit . The music on this one is probably the best on the entire album and Vishal has done a fabulous job for this track . Sukhwinder sings in his impeccable style and Vishal backs him very well . Both of them together have sung it almost perfectly . The thing to notice is the lyrics that are there in this song . Its really amazing how Gulzaar Sir comes up with these wacky lyrics nicely blending english with hindi . He has written the songs in today's language of India , the Hinglish . I mean take a look at this :

"Aaja ki One Way Hai
Yeh Zindagi ki Gali
Ek hi Chance hai

Aage Hava hi Hava hai
Agar saans hai to
yeh Romance hai"

This is just the first song and there is much more to come in the later tracks where his lyrics simply bowled me over . I mean this is the man who has written some of the finest Hindi songs ever and he can still come up with something new for our generation . Truly Brilliant . Overall , its a great track and has that 70's music element to it .

Next comes a completely different track "Pehli Baar Mohabbat" by Mohit Chauhan . This one is soft romantic song which has a bit of Rock feel to it . As a result it also has a western feel to it and it makes nice use of various musical instruments in it . Mohit sings this one in his usual style, the only difference being that he has never sung a song earlier which had a bit of rock feel to it . He does his job great and Vishal has also done his job good . The lyrics here are also very beautiful and innovative . A bit different but a good different . The song in all has a good combination of melody and lyrics and has been sung well by Mohit . Would look great in the film backed up by the chemistry between Shahid-Priyanka which is evident even in the still pictures from the film .

Then comes a song "Raat Ke Dhai Baje" which is in a way extension to the prior track and has a whole lot of singers in it . It has a more commercial tune and is completely different than the previous track . It has been sung by Sunidhi,Rekha,Suresh Wadekar and Kunal Ganjawala . The entire soundtrack is pretty much male dominated and if last time both Sundihi and Rekha got some great tracks in form of Beedi and Namak , this time they had to settle for this very average track which also had two other male singers in it . This song is more commercial in nature and has nothing much to offer . It would probably make much more sense in the film . This song is there in a wedding sequence probably as far as I could make out from the album graphics .
There is also a remix version of the same track towards the end of the soundtrack which is also pretty much the same with some more beats and effects in it .

Then comes a track which completely blew me and now I am thinking that why no one thought of this concept before , especially the NACO (National AIDS Control Org.) . This song , "Fatak" , talks about AIDS and in a way that is so creative and appealing . By the way the "Fataak" is the sound of the whip that symbolises how people need a whip sometimes to understand some things in life. Gulzaar sir has once again proved in this track that he is a true genius and he deserves a special award for this track alone . The entire track refers to AIDS as a 'Bhanwra' which comes in and doesn't leave so easily . Take a look at these lyrics :

"Jitna Bhi Jhoot Bole Thoda hai ,
Keedon ki basti da Makoda hai"

It also makes the use of the famous quote by Ghalib - "Yeh Ishq nahi aasan ... ek aag ka dariya hai ...aur dub ke jaana hai" . Gulzar sir has modified this famous shayari of Ghalib and made it into a social message of having safe sex ."Ek the Ghalib aur ek hai Gulzaar Saahab , dono ka koi jawaab nahi " . The modified version goes something like this :

"Yeh Ishq Nahi Aasan
Aji AIDS Ka khatra hai
patwaar pehan jaana
yeh aag ka dariya hai"

The music in the song is also great and it very well encapsulates the lyrics and the "Fatak" does its job well .Kailash Kher and Sukhwinder Singh sing it in a style which makes sure that the message goes out loud . Last time they were together was for the track in Mangal Pandey (Mangal Mangal) in which they did wonders along with Rehman . Here also they both do the same alongwith Vishal . Both Vishal and Gulzaar need to be complimented for coming up with such an innovative and socially relevant track .

Then comes the title track Kaminey by Vishal Bhardwaj himself . He alongwith Gulzaar have used the word "Kaminey" which is usually considered as a curse word in a really beautiful way . The lyrics might sound funny to a few but they have a very serious meaning to it . Vishal has composed this song beautifully and there is a part (from 4.15 to 4.40) in the song which is symphonic in nature and has been done beautifully by Vishal . I am wondering how this particular part would have been done on-screen . The entire song is a bit symphonic in nature but I loved this specific part the most . This track is also amongst the best on the album . Vishal is also a good singer apart from being a great music composer and director .

Then comes a theme music by the name of "Go Charlie Go" which is a full version of the "Dhan Te Nan" in the first track . It is a nice bit of music which would look great in the film . Since this is the main theme of the film it would play a vital role in the film and it is good enough to do the job . It is a fast upbeat music with all the "Dhan Te Nan" which gives it a Seventies feel very well .
The last time I heard a similar music was in Johnny Gaddar where Sriram Raghvan made a fabulous use of it .

Then lastly comes a remix version of "Dhan Te Nan" which has been done in a nice and different way . It is not like usual remixes and sounds really good . It has been remixed by Aftab Khan who does a great job . There are some extra English lyrics in this remix version towards the end which are by Dominique Cerejo who does a good job singing them too .

Overall , the album has delivered according to expectations and apart from "Raat Ke Dhai Baje" all tracks are good . One of the songs is already popular and some others would soon follow . Vishal and Gulzaar duo has worked again and this time it is a completely different album from the last time which sends a good signal that people need to move on from Omkara and give Kaminey a complete fresh look .

Album Rating : Four out of Five ; a very fresh and innovative soundtrack .

Sunday, June 28, 2009

New York --- Movie Review

This year has been virtually empty when it comes to film releases . Those that managed to get released before the strike were all major disappointments and the year has been so far not good . The first half of 2009 has almost got over and now we finally have a film that one can look forward to , New York . The film's subject matter is known to everyone and this film is not a typical entertainer . When a production house like Yashraj makes a film like this it is bound to get a bit commercialized . What matters though is that does the core subject matter of the film gets lost under the glossy outside .

The answer to that question is no . Kabir Khan is an intelligent film maker and he had proved that in Kabul Express . This time he re-confirms it . He has made sure that the big cast and budget do not affect the film in any way and affect it only in a positive way . The positive that I see is that when big names and big stars get associated with such a subject the message that the story aims to send reaches a far wider audience than what it would have in case of a smaller budget film .

Talking of film , it starts off in a great way and comes straight to the point . There's no circumlocution and the director makes his point clear right in the beginning that this ain't no usual masala entertainer . The introduction of characters on screen is one of the most powerful I've seen in recent times . The song "Junoon" has been Brilliantly used for this task and I could have never imagined that it would be used in this way . The small love angle that is there in the film is there just for some roughly 20-25 minutes in the beginning and that too done in a very swift and neat way . Time passes by in the film pretty fast and it takes no time for the director to come right from 1999 to 2008 . The whole introduction part has been done in a very fresh and brilliant way . The friendship of all the three characters has been portrayed in a very subtle manner and it is not in your face . They become friends just like normal people do , presentation might be a bit different and large . The emotional connect with the main characters gets established in this part and I must again say Kabir has done this job fabulously .

Once that connect is established , the film gets right down to business and talks of life after 9/11 for an average Muslim person in America . The film moves about in a very fast and a bit thrilling way . It talks about the inhuman torture that the non-american prisoners have to bear in the prison cells and how it got even brutal after the 9/11 attacks . Kabir and the actors have very well understood and felt the subject and carried it off brilliantly on screen . There is this small character of guy who has been traumatised by the treatment he gets for no fault of his own . He is just brilliant . Though a really small part but when he speaks about what happened with him , it shakes you to the core . The actor has done a top quality job for this small part and he has the strongest part apart from the main cast . This is one character that you would remember for a long time even after the film ends .

I don't want to give out many details from the story as it is treated in a way that it would be better if you know them as you watch the film . The little bit of suspense that Kabir has kept has been done in a nice way in the film . The film's story unfolds in a really nice way and it manages to hold attention of the viewer throughout the film . The first half of the film ends strongly and manages to hold the interest of the viewer and keep it alive for the second half .

If majority of the first half is seen through Omar's (Neil) eyes then second half has Sam's (John) view of things . The second half starts afresh and the story moves forward from there and doesn't creep slowly towards the end . The serious tone of the film continues here too and it is this part where the director aims to send out his view on the things and also the message of the film . The way story moves , the end is a bit expected yet the director manages to surprise a bit here too and executes it in an almost perfect manner . The end comes at a proper time and again comes at a swift pace . The film doesn't have any emotional drama yet the emotional connect with the characters is good . Kabir proves his point that one doesn't need long emotional dialogues to establish that connect .

The cast of the film is also great and they all look good together . The friendship of the characters has been portrayed in a very fresh and good way . Katrina , John and Neil look great on-screen together and a good friendly love film can be made using this chemistry . But I guess it won't look as fresh the second time as it did in this one . Too bad that this film has none of that and has only small trailer of what could have been full length Yashraj feature film . The innocence of their friendship and their characters add a lot to the film and make the point of the film even more stronger . The young characters of the film also make sure that the message goes out straight to the young people of our country or as Pepsi calls it , the Youngistaan .

Talking of acting , everybody has done a great job and even Katrina who is accused to be a mere show girl does her part well . John and Neil both have felt the characters in the script and acted out them well . Irfan needs no compliments and he is great as usual . His character is also an important one . The small kid that is there in the film is also great and his really short part is also good .

Music of the film is also good and it has been brilliantly used by Kabir . He has made sure that almost through every song the story keeps moving and the songs don't hinder the pace of the film . In fact the songs have been used in such a way that they add to the film in so many ways . The background score by Julius Packam is great and only in some parts it could have been a bit different . The cinematography by Aseem Mishra is great and he shows new york in a great way . While watching the film I realised that the trailer of the film had been cut in a really brilliant manner and kudos to Kabeer and his team for that . The editing of the film by Rameshwar Bhagat is also good and film is very brisk in nature and moves about at a constant rate .

In all , its a great film and you need to see it to believe it . The script of the film is great and when script is great things generally tend to fall in place automatically . The director Kabir Khan has done a really good job and he needs to be applauded for making a film on this subject . I don't like Aditya's decisions mostly but I respect him for supporting this film and also providing Kabir with a good budget to make it . He should support films like this and look forward and if not many then at least make one such film a year . Kabir is a good film maker and I am now looking forward to his next project , I hope it is also a good one . I would recommend this film to everyone and it is high time that we support good and subject oriented cinema no matter who produces it . If this film works on the box office which I am sure it would then many producers would dare to support such projects and not go for the usual masala entertainers .

Movie Rating : Four out of Five ; A good film made with a good intent .

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Love Aaj Kal --- Music Review

The team that gave super-hit music for "Jab We Met" is back again and this time they have a huge monkey on their back which would certainly result in comparisons . The music of "Love Aaj Kal" is out and I must say I was looking forward to this album with lot of anticipation . The film has an all new cast for director Imtiaz Ali who has never worked with them before and as a result expectations are running high . Pritam's recent work , New York , is already on the charts and has got positive feedback .The lyrics which are done by Irshad Kamil , last worked on Jab We Met where he did a great job . This album has a total of 10 tracks with 3 remixes and 7 originals.

The first one on the track is the one that is already on air , "Twist" , which is a nice peppy track to begin the album . It has vocals by Neeraj Sridhar who is good with English vocals as always and has his distinct style of singing . The song starts with the famous "Been" tune from the hit song "Tan Dole mera mann dole" of Nagin originally composed by Hemant Kumar . The old classic tune has been given a modern feel and it is probably the best thing in the entire song music-wise . The lyrics don't have much to offer and there's nothing so great or catchy about them . The only catchy phrase that is there is "And We Twist" which has been given by some guy Indie according to Album Credits so lyricist gets no point for this song . The only two positives of the song are the classic music and the phrase "And We Twist" . Interestingly the credits to both these positives have been given in real small fonts somewhere in the corner on the Album Credits . Overall , a nice track , will get popular for sure but I guess in the long run wont work .

Then comes "Chor Bazaari" by Neeraj Sridhar and Sunidhi . How ironic , Pritam gets to compose a song by the name of "Chor Bazaari" , he he , he would have had no problem composing this one . Well , the song has nice music , I hope the source is Pritam only . The lyrics here are much better than the first track and add to the song . This song would be of the league of "Ye Ishq Haaye" from Jab We Met and I guess in this one also Saif and Deeps would be roaming around in some beautiful locales . I am looking forward to see this song on-screen . Niraj and Sunidhi have sung it effortlessly and did a good job . Pritams Chor Bazaari is of the better tracks on the album .

Remember the cool music in First Trailer of the film . Well , that was from "Aahun Aahun" which comes next . This was the part that made me look forward to the music and as always the best part was in the trailer itself , nothing more to offer . I just loved the first 50 seconds from this track after which it takes a whole different path . And guess what , the first 50 seconds that I loved again have an outside source . Both the lyrics and melody of the this part are from a Traditional Punjabi Track -"Kadi Te Hass Bol Ve" . Good part though that this part has been sung by Master Salim who I think has done a great job . At first I thought it was Mika (considering Jab We Met) but to my surprise it was not him . Anyways Salim does a great job in that part . Apart from the first part , the song in my opinion has nothing much to offer , neither lyrically nor music wise . The guitar piece in the beginning and throughout is good . Music is all about Passion and Feelings and that is very much visible in that first part of this song which are no where else in the entire album . I just loved it .

Then comes "Dooriyan" by Mohit Chauhan . Mohit got a great song in "Jab We Met" but I guess history doesn't repeat itself so fast . This one is a good track but not a great one . This track would make much more sense after the film releases and when we watch it along with the story . The lyrics are also good . The song has a slow sad feel to it and Mohit adheres to it . He does a good job with vocals . Overall , its a nice slow track that would work with the film .

"Ajj Din Chadheya" comes next by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan which is a nice soulful track with a simple bit of music . The song has some nice lyrics with some inputs from Shiv Kumar Batalvi . The entire track has an element of simplicity to it yet it is certainly worth listening. The Punjabi lyrics have been very well sung by Rahat who as always does a great job . Irshad has done a great job with lyrics and his best on this album . In all , its a nice track that might grow on you with repeated listening and would grow even more once film releases .

Then comes a folk song like track "Thoda Thoda Pyaar" which is a bit different and has some traditional music in it . Though it has a folk song like feel but it is not something like "Genda Fool" which was a pure folk song yet done brilliantly . This one is meant only for film and would look good only in the film . Nothing so different about it and is just like usual traditional Punjabi track . The lyrics and singing both are good .

Finally comes "Mein Kya Hoon" by KK . He has sung this one in similar style that Shaan had sung "Aao Meelon Chale" in Jab We Met . I guess Pritam is responsible for that . Pritam though has failed to compose a good tune for this one . The music is pretty much average for this track and lyrics are also not that good either . The music of this track though would sound good on a good music system and bass lovers would love it . Overall , its an average track and doesn't provide a good end to the soundtrack .

Then there is a series of remixes of tracks "Twist" , "Chor Bazaari" and "Aahun Aahun" all done by DJ Sanj . These are just like any other remixes , faster and some beats in it for the discs n clubs . The remix of chor bazaari has some bad English lyrics that make no sense as such . Last comes a remix of Aahun Aahun in which the part that I loved has been cut short so that leaves pretty much nothing in it .

Overall , a nice album but falls short of expectations . This one would not be a blockbuster like Jab We Met and would go down as an average bollywood film soundtrack . The songs that are a bit good also don't impress that much . But still , it aint that bad and Pritam somehow manages a soundtrack that would at least not hurt the film and add to it in a certain way .

Album Rating : 3 out of 5 ; Good but only in parts .

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Kambakkht Ishq Music Review

DISCLAIMER: I am not at all related to any bollywood stars and I am not conspiring against Akshay Kumar . My views are independent and unadulterated .

This year so far hasn't been so good for films as such and it has been particularly not good for Akshay who has already had two disasters and all his hopes are lying on his next release Kambakkht Ishq . I am personally not a fan of "Nadiadwaala" films (producer Sajid Nadiadwala) and most of their films are big budget crappy commercial cinema for me . Though their films work at box office because of their commercial nature and this is probably why stars don't say no to him . The only decent film coming from Nadiadwala's has been Jaan-e-mann which by the way didn't work on the box office . So one thing is clear that I don't expect much from their films but one thing that has been not so bad about their films is the music . Most films have had commercial yet decent bit of music which were an important factor in their film's success . This album has provided exactly what I was expecting from it , senseless crappy commercial music . Anu Malik who mostly doesn't work these days has been out of form n touch and it is quite evident in this album .

Lets get down to songs , first comes Om Mangalam . This one has been written,composed and performed by RDB , a regulation in all Akshay's films these days . RDB are a good bunch of kids and they do good with music and singing but certainly not with lyrics . They should leave the job of writing for some professionals . In terms of music though this one is amongst the better tracks on the album and would get most popular from the entire lot . I personally didn't like this song because it is mostly copy-paste job i.e. same part has been repeated over and over again in this song . Take a look at the lyrics "Meri Fasne ki nahi Chahat thi , lekin kismat ne mujhe rahat di " ; what the hell does this mean !! Anyways its just a commercial track and this is what is expected .

Next comes "Lakh Lakh" by Neeraj Sridhar . This one is a very average and mediocre kinda track . Nothing new about it . We've heard such commercial tracks in the past and such tracks will keep coming . The music is also pretty basic and Anu would have composed this effortlessly . The lyrics are also so so by Anvita Dutt Guptan who shot into fame after her work in Bachna Ae Hasino . The lyrics here are very commercial and make very less sense .

Then we have a track called "Bebo" by Alisha Chinoy . Anu always asks Alisha to sing a song in his album and this is probably why Alisha wouldn't have said no to this track . Again , this one is also pretty much mediocre and reminded me of the early Alisha tracks that she sung in the beginning of her career , the music was also from that era . This track would have worked 15 years back from now but it won't work at all today . Kareena would love this track as she loves herself probably more than anyone else and after this she wouldn't mind working again in Nadiadwala's next film too , even if this one doesn't work .

Then comes a second title track , this time by Anu Malik . One more disappointment . This one by KK and Sunidhi has even crappier lyrics than the previous one . "Sunidhi , I plead to you , Please stop singing songs like this !! Please , you wouldn't want people to remember you for songs like these ." And what happened to KK , when did he started singing such songs . Bad track and Anu needs to seriously think of retiring . This track might work by the way as there is an audience for such tracks too .

Then comes a decent track "Kyun" by Shreya and Shaan . This track is a little better than the previous tracks and when I heard this one , it reminded me of the Title track of Yaadein (Hrithik-Kareena Disaster) . If you don't remember , Yaadein's title track had a "Sargam" part in it which roughly forms the base of this track in some parts . Yaadein's music was also composed by Anu Malik so I cannot accuse him of stealing . Though inspired from here and there still it is a decent track and the lyrics are good . So in all it is a little different from the other commercial tracks on the album and provides a welcoming change .

Then come a series of remixes of the songs that we've heard till now starting from reprise edition of RDB's version of title track . Only a bit faster and extra bass beasts in it , nothing more . Then comes a "Electro Dhol Mix" of Lakh Lah which doesn't make it any better . Then comes a "club mix" of Bebo with some girl moaning in the background to make it sound sensual . Nothing more to it . Then comes a remix version of Anu's version of Title Track , this one remixed by K&G , a little different from the original version , not that good but better than other remixes .

Shreya sings a complete female version of "Kyun" next which again provides a necessary change after the series of needless remixes . This one is no different than the previous one and just Shaan is absent from this one .

At last comes "Welcome to Hollywood" composed by Salim-Sulaiman . By putting some tiny-winy guest appearances of Sylvester,Denise Richards and Brandon Routh , Sajid claims that this film will bridge gaps between Hollywood and Bollywood . He he what a joke !! As if he has casted Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise in a lead role for a Hindi film . Well anyways , this music by Salim-Sulaiman is certainly not their best and they have done better . The English lyrics in this one by Sabbir Khan are just there for the sake of adding a western touch . Anushka sings well and she strangely is absent from good songs even after giving a hit title track in the original Golmaal .

Overall , this album can be avoided and it has very less to offer if you are looking for some good music . If you like commercial music then buy it at your own risk . Anu Malik once again disappoints and I think he needs to forget that he is a big music director and needs to work like a new guy . Waise I am too small a guy in stature to give him any advice .

Album Rating : Two out of Five ; mediocre music with very few decent tracks .

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New York --- Music Review

New York is the first big film to hit the screens after the long strike between the producers and multiplex owners and also Yashraj's first film for this year . Yashraj had a terrible last year with RNBDJ being the solo hit of the year and they would expect to start this year on a positive note . This film by Kabir Khan of Kabul Express fame is based on different subject matter and is not usual Yashraj entertainer . The film as we all know has the backdrop of 9/11 WTC attacks and the story revolves around that incident . The trailers of this film had hit the cinema halls long back along with Rab Ne.. but the release got delayed and now Yashraj have very less time to promote the film . The music of this one is by Pritam and expectations of a commercially hit album are always there from him . He last worked on Aa Dekhe Zara and the track "Gajab Huio Rama" is still on the charts .

Since the film is completely based in New York , the music of the film also has that complete western feel and there are very few Indian elements in it . The soundtrack has eight tracks in total with 6 originals and 2 remixes . The first song on the album is the track that features in the trailer , "Hai Junoon", by KK . The track begins with a guitar piece that reminded me a bit of the guitar theme from Sholay . When I heard it in the trailer my expectations with the music rose and I started expecting a good soundtrack . I must say that the best part of the track was in the trailer itself and apart from that it has very little to offer , at least in terms of music . The track though a simple one but yet in my opinion is the best on the entire soundtrack and comes upfront . It will definately get popular but at a a slower rate probably because it is not one of those instant hit types . The lyrics by Sandeep Shrivastav are nice and refreshing and capture the emotions of the characters very well . This song suits Katrina very much and this is definately her time . KK as usual does a good job singing the song and I loved the chorus also in the track . Overall , a nice light track to begin the album .

Next comes "Mere Sang" by Sunidhi Chauhan who I think sings very few good songs these days . She has far more talent and she is wasting it on so so commercial tracks . By the way this track is not one of those and is a good one . It also has a western feel to it and is of the league of songs from pritam's film METRO. This song also has a good use of guitars and drums and has the rock feel to it . The lyrics of this one are also good and have that urban feel to them . Overall , its a nice track and Sunidhi does well singing it .

Coming third is "Tune Jo Na Kaha" which reminded me of the track "Chal Chalen Apne Ghar" from Woh Lamhe . Pritam who is famous for composing inspired music this time got a little inspired from his own work from the past . Though not largely but in certain parts you can observe the similarity between this track and that one . Listen to both the tracks and if you think that I am right then please leave a comment , I want to know that is it me only who thinks this way or you also think so . Well , this track is also good one and the lyrics here add to the beauty of the song . Sandeep has done a great job once more and he can do even better . The vocals are by Mohit Chauhan on this one and he has done great job as usual . Overall, a nice slow number and has some nice piece of lyrics .

"Aye Saaye Mere" comes next which aims at sending out a message through itself . The central message of the film also probably lies in this song . This one has been composed and Sung by Pankaj Avasthi . He does a great job singing and his voice does have that sufiana quality of a saint and the music he composed for the song is also pretty simple and basic . This song would most probably feature in the background and would look good that way along with the film's storyline .

Next come the remix versions of "Hai Junoon" and "Mere Sang" which are just like every other remix and have those bass beats and DJ effects with a higher tempo . Nothing great about them and are good for discs etc. Amongst the two , I liked the "Mere Sang" one more . The tracks have been remixed by Julius Packam who has also composed the two themes musics that follow next .

In the end come two theme musics by Julius Packam , first one being "Sam's Theme" which is nice and has vocals by Caralisa Monteiro . The fact that Sam's character has a theme proves that it is the central character in the film . Caralisa does a great job with the vocals and apart from her vocals the music has little to offer in this theme . Nothing so new about the theme but might look good in the film . Sounds a little sad which leads me to believe that Sam probably dies in the film .

Finally comes the theme music of the film and this one is nice bit of music but not a great one . Julius had done a fabulous job in Kabul Express and I expected a little more from him . I hope he does a great job with the background score of the film just like he did in Kabul Express .

Overall , the album falls a little short of the expectations but still is worth listening and the songs are pretty simple . They match to the theme of the film and I am sure they would look and sound even better in the film . Lets hope that the film doesn't fall short of expectations and is at least as good as Kabul Express .

Album Rating : Three out of Five ; certainly worth listening .

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jana Gana Rann ...

The first trailer of RGV's Rann is out now and what an irony it would be when the film about media would be discussed at lengths on the media channels itself . The reason I say so is is because it makes use of our national anthem and India is a place where even a word like "Barber" can cause controversy , let aside the National anthem . I am sure by the time I am writing this , some group would have already started consulting their lawyers and would be all set to file a case against the film's producers . The demand for Effigies of RGV and Amitabh Bachchan would have risen by now in the market and the creative heads at media channels would have started writing scripts for their half hour specials . The thing that I am thinking right now is whether RGV purposely put such a song because he wanted to create such a controversy and use media or it was his genuine intent to put forth his point using our national anthem to make the point more prominent .

RGV is one smart fellow and he has never shied away from controversies but what makes me think is the fact that the film which will be targeting the sensationalising of News would be at the center of it . Amitabh would also be getting ready to face some heat once the trailer gets popular because of all the wrong reasons . I mean this is the best publicity that any film can have . The News channels which are anyways very content deficit would show the ad 15 times in their special programs without charging a single penny . RGV on the other hand would be very happy and give a statement which will go something like this - " We have made sure that it doesn't hurt the sentiments of the audience and it is just the Media that is sensationalising the whole matter . This is the reason I am making such a film , to bring out the truth about media ".

The trailer by the way did impress me and I have nothing against it . I am all up for creative freedom and also in favour of the point that the film makes . My only concern is the ironical situation in which the film will land up . The release would be stalled and they would have to finally edit the song and this fact is known to the producers . I don't know but probably they would also be ready with the edited version of the whole thing .

Of late , none of RGV's films have impressed me or for that matter anybody . The last film that impressed me was Sarkar (part 1) and after that one it has been a poor show all the way . I hope with this film he returns to the form and make some great films for us like he has in the past . I hope , for a change the media channels don't give the film the free publicity and charge for it instead .