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 :)