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Archive for the ‘indian movies’ Category

Fareed Zakaria is an impressive speaker ¬†and has a show on CNN – I heard him speak at an event, and the guy can speak on any and every topic. Very impressive!! I remember his words, “China has progressed because of its government, India has progressed despite its government”. So true!

I watched No One Killed Jessica last weekend and loved it! I love how Bollywood is churning out good movies – Peepli Live, Tere Bin Laden, to name a few, all on my list to watch. No One Killed Jessica is one of them. It is based on a model Jessica Lall, who was murdered in 1999. A politician’s son murdered her because she refused to give him a drink- she was bartending at a party and there were no more drinks and the bar had closed. She was shot dead, and most of the 7 witnesses turned hostile in court. The key witness, himself a model, Shayan Munshi, was bartending that night with Jessica and saw the murder. He refused to cooperate in court either which ruined his entire career. I don’t blame him – if I were a witness and someone at gun-point threatened not my safety but that of my loved ones, I would not put my family at risk for someone who is dead.

In 2006 the accused were acquitted. Media got interested in the case and brought justice to Jessica. The movie was amazing and kept me rooted all the way. It is impressive how media’s power brought the politician to court! Tehelka magazine did an expose on the witnesses and their lies.

I read many more such cases… Nitish Katara was murdered by Vikas Yadav who was against Nitish’s love affair with his sister, Bharati. Vikas was the son of a politician who was himself a criminal. I found it interesting that Jessica Lall’s murderer had spent the night of the murder in Vikas’ house – clearly birds of the same feathers flock together! After 6 years of trial Vikas was sent to prison. All thanks to media. Bharati did not cooperate in court either – not surprising – she succumbed to family pressure.

It is so easy to murder and get away with it in India. If you have money you can get away with almost anything. Such stories of media intervention are inspiring and out of the norm. In all these cases, the trial went on for years and years. Indian politicians are murderers – so many Hindi movies have depicted this that it is an accepted reality.

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I enjoyed Star Screen Awards despite Sajid Khan because the awards were relatively fair. Filmfare awards, OTOH, is a means to rejoice filmdon and their kids who are now actors/actresses. Sometimes an outsider may win an award due to the sheer support and accolades the person may receive.

The award ceremony was held at Yash Chopra studios. Karan Johar, Imran Khan, and Ranbir Kapoor hosted it along with Deepika Padukone and Konkana Sen Sharma. Karan was his usual suave and articulate self. It is hard not to like him. He is so well spoken and sophisticated. Imran and Ranbir were cute, although some of their jokes were not that funny and dragged a bit. But their being eye candy made up for it. Deepika was a deer in headlights, at 5:00 below in the video. I could not believe that she was so bad as an anchor. Konkana overshadowed her completely. Deepika should just go back to being eye candy in movies, leaving the acting and anchoring to Konkana.

Jodha Akbar and Rock On won most of the awards. While JA was a decent movie and beautifully made, the best actor award should have gone to Aamir Khan for Ghajini. But since AK has rebuffed the awards, none of the award ceremonies have the guts to still give an award that is truly well deserved. Rock On was completely undeserving; the only award well deserved was for Arjun Rampal. Rock On was not that good; it was an okay movie. To add to the insult, Farhan Akhtar‘s harsh voice was nominated for singing with other well known singers with great voices. Truly an insult to the singers! I mean, Farhan cannot sing, but can get away with it because he made the movie and he is Javed Akhtar‘s son. Ridiculous.

When I watch such awards ceremonies, I admire AK’s stance on refusing to attend them or accept any award, and I even admire his refusal to send movie clips for movies that he has produced. I wish more actors would take such a strict stand so that the awards would start being more fair. Ghajini deserved many awards, but only Asin won for newcomer. So unfair. I really don’t like Farhan – he is everywhere, too much in-your-face. No he is not that talented. Luck by Chance was a much better movie but nobody went to watch it probably because of the disappointment with the over-hyped Rock On. I am so over these awards.

Even the red carpet was not that interesting. I cannot stand the woman (forget her name, she used to host Indian Idol). She keeps screeching in her mike and is painful to listen to. And Aish came with a flat hairstyle that made her look much older than she is. It was nice of Abhishek though to sit in the front row with Aish and Amitabh to cheer on the hosts. Am glad its over. Next year I willjust tune into Star Screen.

The ultra gorgeous Sonam… she is the most fresh-faced in the industry right now.

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Like many other Indians, I was looking forward to Delhi 6. After debating whether to watch it in the theater or online, I ended up watching it online because I am trying to save on expenses. Given the number of movies I watch each week, it makes sense to watch some of them online. And am I glad – it was not worth the trip.

Delhi 6 is about Old Delhi, and the traditional lives there. I had no idea people lived in that traditional way in any part of Delhi! Abhishek returns to Old Delhi from New York with his grandmother Waheeda Rehman because she is dying and would like to die in her hometown. Abhishek’s Muslim dad married a Hindu, which displeased his grandfather, hence the dad never returned to India. In India, AB meets his uncle played by Rishi Kapoor. The entire movie focuses on Old Delhi and the lives around AB, made complicated by traditions. Sonam Kapoor is Om Puri’s daughter who wants to become an Indian Idol while her father wants her to get married in the arranged manner. The old Prem Chopra is married to a young wife who is banging a younger guy on the side. In the midst of all this is the black monkey, a man rumored to have caused trouble to Old Delhi’s inhabitants. Nobody knows who this black monkey is, and people start using him to hide their bad deeds. For example, Prem Chopra’s wife is with her boyfriend when Prem comes knocking at the door; she sends her bf out of the window and complains that the black monkey tried to rape her.

The concept was good, but direction, camerawork, and editing failed miserably. Also, AB’s chemistry with Sonam Kapoor is practically non-existent. Sonam looks gorgeous, and after writing her off after Sawariya, I realized that she can become a force to reckon with. Acting wise she doesn’t do much, but she looks gorgeous, and since when have Bollywood actresses needed to act? AB doesn’t have many dialogues. He is American born, so half the time he speaks with a slight accent. It is an awkward situation because the Director probably could not figure out whether to let him speak the Indian way or American way. AB goes in and out of the accent, and has very few dialogues. It is annoying because one, if he speaks in the American accent some people may not understand him; two, if he doesn’t, well, he is an American in the movie so how can he speak in the Indian accent; three, everyone knows that he is actually Indian so the accent would be a complete put on and annoying.

The movie moves at a very slow pace, and the lives of people around are not completely explored. They are simple people, but the Director is so bent on showing the simplicity that he forgets to infuse natural element into them. The movie lacks soul. Rahman’s beautiful music is completely wasted – wish he had used them for Slumdog instead because the music is much better than SM’s Jai Ho. Rahman’s songs have more soul and chemistry than the two actors.

It says a lot about an actor when the only chemistry he has on screen is with a man. AB has had the most chemistry with John Abraham in Dostana, but to be fair, even a doorknob would have chemistry with hot John. Aishwarya has more chemistry with Hrithik than her own husband AB, and AB has zero chemistry with Sonam. Maybe he had a little chemistry with Aish in Guru, and I don’t remember in Naach where he has a lip-lock with Antara Mali.

Sonam Kapoor looks gorgeous (below), and has such a versatile look. I look forward to seeing her more. Too bad her Sawariya gig was overshadowed by Ranbir and Deepika’s love affair.

Masakali from Delhi 6

Rehna Tu – my favorite!!!

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Movie: Race

This highly publicized Indian movie was one “slick flick” – my new term for movies with tons of attitude. Cast: Saif, Bipasha, Katrina, Akshaye Khanna, Anil Kapoor, Sameera Reddy, and Dilip Tahil – pretty good.

Check out Saif… Back in the days Saif was a woman (looked like one), now he has come a long way…

Synopsis: Remember Wild Things? This one is similar – many love stories rolled into one. Saif loves Bipasha, but Saif’s brother (Akshaye) falls in love with Bipasha. Big bro Saif sacrifices his love and brings Bips and Aksh together. Turn out Bips is crooked and loved Saif for his money. Aksh wants to kill big bro because Dad left two insurance policies for both sons for $50 million each should each one die. Aksh will due to double indemnity clause get $100 mn by killing big bro. To cut a long story short, Saif is not dead as Aksh believed, Saif and Bips are lovers, Katrina and Aksh are married, and Anil and Sameera are with Saif, and Saif gets $100 mn due to double indemnity plus the $100 mn of Aksh’s double indemnity. Confused? Should be. Crappy movie, stupid concept, terrible dialogues, incorrect English subtitles. Not worth your time.

The good: Bips and Saif’s chemistry is sizzling. I love Saif and Bipasha – both are hot, and have steaming chemistry on screen. This pic does not do justice to them though.

Katrina is the girl next door, and cannot pull off negative roles because she is too good a girl (but not so much in Boom). Love her officewear. Would totally wear it to work except for the skirt!

Sameera is pointless and thick especially compared with the other two hot damsels. Bips stole the show. Bips has more meat on her bones than Katrina, but looks much better. She has the oomph and strong sex appeal that Katrina lacks. And Bips now has muscle weight thanks to John, and looks well toned.

Aksh used to be hot. Now I see him and his double chin. Quite disappointing – I was looking forward to seeing him after a long break, and he ends up with two chins. He really should have toned up for the movie, especially since his career is not doing too well, and he was with hot people all around. A dad with connections can only help you so much. I am so disappointed – he is such a good actor, but this was a wasted opportunity for him – it could have been a comeback.

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