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Movie Review: pk

Pk has distinct Rajkumar Hirani signature – use of sweet satire. It is an art he excels in as evidenced by all his movies such as Munnabhai and 3 idiots. His characters always have unfortunately funny names (Remember Phunsukh Wangdu or Circuit). Now, we have Pk and Jaggu (Anushka) – you’ll need to watch the movie to find out her real name tho. And these characters are most loving iconoclasts you’ll ever come across.Pk poster

The movie is about an alien, Pk, who literally arrives naked on mother earth on his spaceship. However, the remote of his spaceship is promptly stolen by being of earth and hereby he is left stranded on this planet (gola, as he calls it) without a way to return home. Thus, begins his exploration of seemingly weird customs of earth to get back his remote. He learns to steal clothes and money from a ‘dancing car’ (you’ll have to find that out for yourself :giggles:) , check-in Dilli thanas for shelter and then he hears that all answer to his problems lie with someone called Bhagwan  – only one who could help him. So starts his quest for God. He is baffled by customs of different religions and sure enough is soundly thrashed by all of them. Eventually, he realises, there are many Gods, and each has established a ‘company’ of its own. They are all managed by different managers who have created conflicting, confusing rules.

Enter, Anushka err Jaggu whose superstitious family devoutly prostrates before a rich, Hindu guru, Tapasvi, played by roly-poly Saurabh Shukla. Between Jaggu, Pk and Tapasvi, when they meet, it is only your guess what capers will take place.

Hirani has once again questioned social norms, this time religion and also how we value Gandhi. (I love that scene.) Atheists are complaining that why was he not brave enough to question the existence of God, but I think he was questioning only religion and not the existence of God. His mettle lies in being able to mock all religions with love. 🙂

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5 Movies That I Have Loved

(This post is for my friend Meetu who runs a fantastic movie review blog WOGMA – for the uninitiated, USP of this blog  is that all movies are reviewed here Without Giving the Movies Away. This is part of a competition to celebrate WOGMA’s fifth birthday. 🙂 )

Movies and books bring boundless pleasures in my life. I have already written in past about my movie quirks and movies I have loved.

This time I have spent last 2 days thinking which 3 movies to zero on as my favourites. Every movie in itself has served a purpose in my life. I distinctly remember laughing off all my work stress watching Bheja Fry – not a critically acclaimed movie this one – but it worked for me that day.  At different times, I have watched romantic flicks such as Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Pretty Women, When Harry Met Sally, Roman Holiday, Pearl Harbour, Before Sunset, Before Sunrise, Breakfast at Tiffany’s – and derived a girl’s happy pleasure out of it. 🙂 Then there were movies such as Hotel Rwanda, Blood Diamond, Waltz with Bashir (fantastic animation) and more recently The Whistleblower – that opened my eyes to genocides, atrocities happening in the world. They struck a chord somewhere deep inside that I did not know existed. I still draw in my breath when I see that gas chamber scene where women suddenly find themselves in Schindler’s List – the relieved sigh is not far when I realise it was only a harmless shower. Adrian Brody’s lonely adventures in The Pianist and ill-fated friendship of two innocent kids – one German and Jew in The Boy in Stripped Pyjamas are etched in my otherwise forgettable memory.  No book on Holocaust (not even Diary of Anne Frank) could ever move me so deeply and eternally like these movies did.

Then there are those inspiring intriguing memoirs/biographies and true events that sometimes inspire/impact you more than written word – The Motorcycle Diaries, A Beautiful Mind, Pursuit of Happyness.  Then, there are hugely entertaining, classy mob movies – Goodfellas, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and mother of all – The Godfather, which must be my most-watched movie with my favourite acting men there!

Then there are Hindi movies I have loved and been proud of – Pyasa, Abhimaan, Maqbool, Satya, Rang De Basanti, Chak De India, Taare Zameen Pe, A Wednesday, Aamir, Ardhasatya…Yet it would be unfair if I pick any of these alone as my favourite movies. So I will pick 5 movies that I thought were unique for a reason – movies I would be proud to make if I could.

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No One Killed Jessica – Movie Review

(Honestly, it’s more of a commentary on movie and the real events as they took place. Watching this movie was a personal experience that I refused to dissociate with real-life events. You can choose to skip the blue, italicized parts in paragraphs – they are mostly comments about real-life events. Also, all names except Jessica and Sabrina, were changed in the movie, yet I have stuck to real-life names. Also, I chose not to mention Amit Trivedi’s music which made more sense to me when it blended with movie. )

The title ‘No One Killed Jessica’ (NOKJ) is taken from the screaming mocking newspaper headlines when Manu Sharma, the accused in Jessica Lal murder case was acquitted by the court. That judgement, in a case that was expected to be an open-and-shut considering the number of witnesses that were present when the accused Manu Sharma shot Jessica, awakened a nation from slumber of inaction.

1999, the year when this incident occurred, was an eventful year. Jessica was killed in April, Kargil war dominated the news next three months and in December, flight IC184 was hijacked where a passenger Rupin Katyal, returning from his honeymoon, was cruelly murdered by the hijackers. There was lot for nation to chew on.

1999 was also the year I decided to stay in Delhi permanently, choosing over an option of studying abroad. I grew up with this Jessica story. The movie made me relive all of it, from when it started.

To its credit, it is true to facts, which is more than what can be said of best of true-story-turned-movies (such as ‘A Beautiful Mind’, ‘Papillion’, ‘Midnight Express’.). Though, while we are at it, I must point out NOKJ does *choose* to omit some facts such as dubious role of restaurant-owner Bina Ramani. But that is director,  Raj Kumar Gupta’s prerogative and I think he has largely made a good choice about which events to focus on.  I’ll come to that later.

Jessica Lal, an upcoming model was a celebrity bartender who had decided to help out her friend Malini Ramani’s mother at her restaurant ‘Tamarind Court’. (Since the restaurant , whose real name along with its owner is not mentioned in the movie, didn’t have liquor license yet in real life, they called it a private party. Hiding this fact, rather than help law to apprehend the killer would be initially more important to the restaurant owner Bina Ramani.) She was killed amongst her friends.

NOKJ begins with how Jessica’s sister Sabrina is woken up that fateful night and how she would discover that finding justice that was rightfully hers wasn’t easy in this country plagued with corruption.

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Golmaal 3 – Unmitigated jest and frolic

Your truly went on first day, first show of Golmaal 3 – no, no, not because I am a Golmaal or slap stick fan. You all know me too well to realize I prefer ‘level-headed’ movies over ‘brainless comedies’. I had disliked Golmaal 2, hence, spontaneity of Golmaal 3 felt redeeming.

Golmaal 3 pretty much puts up a good defense in favour of brainless comedies. Any decent movie must either tell a good story or provide good experience. Though there is not much to call a story in Golmaal 3, it does provide a good experience nevertheless.

You can read my detailed review at Meetu’s wonderfully professional movie review Web site – WOGMA (Without Giving the Movie Away). If you weren’t aware of WOGMA yet, then you certainly were missing out on prompt, unbiased, reasonable movie reviews for all Hindi movie releases.  Check  WOGMA archives, and you will realise it is one-stop for all the feedback that you might need on a movie.

Do hop over to WOGMA and share your feedback. 🙂

Have a happy, safe, hilarious Diwali!!

Robot (Endhiran) – Movie Review

Robot. Just close your eyes – how did you imagine it? Something like this –

.

Well, you are not far off. So, that didn’t require any extraordinary imagination, did it? Bah, you thought End(t)hiran will be just that. Huh. It has more layers.

A patriotic, workaholic ‘genius’ scientist (aka Rajnikant) creates an android robot Chitti that goes bang bang later (Rajni again) to serve the army. Events occur that force him to realise artificial intelligence is just that – artificial (profound) – he then adds feelings to his andriod. Don’t ask me how because I don’t know the question is not that if robots can have feelings. Endhiran is much ‘evolved’ and foresighted than that; instead it makes you wonder the inevitable ‘what if’. Super advanced stuff. 😐

Wait, where does Aishwarya figure in it– she’s THE enticing cake both man and the machine fight for.

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A Dabangg Review

Everyone has had their Dabangg say; now is my turn. For those of you still clueless about what Dabangg means, here’s the meaning – ‘one who cannot be suppressed’.

The dubangg man, Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan) who loves to call himself Robin Hood, is an incorrigibly corrupt police officer in a place called Lalganj in UP. This ‘Robin Hood’ is always warring with a local small-time goon politician over territory and money. Mostly money.

So, he and his team of all moustachioed policemen chase the goons for their own means. Typically, as is the case in the movies aimed at UP-Bihar masses (or for that matter, movies of South), rest all policemen are sidekicks and it is the one-man-army-hero Salman who bashes them all.

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Jhing Chik Jhing: Movie Review

Disclaimer: As always, it is sort of review. ;)

Jhing Chik Jhing is such a tongue-twister name for a movie that Best Friend had quipped, naam to thik se bol le. [At least pronounce the name right.]

Then after a moment, popped the question, what is this movie about? I knew only two things: One, Jhing Chik Jhing (JCJ) is a Marathi movie, which has bagged 7 state awards. Second, it is set in backdrop of farmer suicides – a subject very close to my heart. [I had long back watched Summer 2007, a damning and harsh movie on the subject starring Ashutosh Rana, Gul Panag and Sikander Kher. The only grouse I had with the movie, as I remember now, was: an ape-looking Sikander Kher, but the movie itself was an eye-opener.

I wondered what did JCJ have that I hadn’t seen in Summer 2007.  No, Summer 2007 is no ideal benchmark for a movie, I was simply pondering what new could be said on the subject. Turns out, JCJ is a whole new take on the subject and it is a very positive movie.]

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