Akki, Holiday, Movie Romance, Reviews

Review: HOLIDAY

This weekend was date night with the husband and what did we do? Watch Holiday and have dinner at Copper Chimney. Which is material for another  post. This post is about the movie. Picture below. Review and other stuff further below.
 
 
For those who have seen Thupakki, this is a movie to skip. So is this review. But there are a few bits at the end that might give you a laugh, so jump right down.
 
For the others, the movie is about a happy army officer Akshay Kumar who comes home on a holiday. The opening scenes shows a dirty-booted, awkward mannered Virat(akki) being forced by his family to endure a “girl-seeing” ceremony. Enter Sonakshi as the girl, Saibaa. After a bit of he-says-no, then she-says-no, then they both say yes and run around the trees, or desert in this case, the movie proceeds. This angle of the story is very much the same old. So no news here.
 
The other angle is the more interesting one.

Continue reading

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Beauty, Me, Music, Poetry

Firework….

I think I am just in the mood for words these days. I rediscovered Kipling sometime ago. And then I found Katy Perry. Yes Katy Perry. A few days back, I was watching Madagascar 3 and I heard this amazing song – Fireworks. I have recently discovered Katy Perry and have been listening to her all day long, day in and out. And fireworks is on repeat mode. It is refreshingly relevant,beautifully motivating and very inclusive. Where IF talks about getting up and going on like a strict father, Fireworks talks about the same stuff like a fairy godmother. It makes me feel all happy and renews my faith in myself. It is such a rush. Yes I am super late in discovering this. But I simply feel compelled to share. Even if I am late.
Suggestions of other works like this invited.
Original Video below. Madagascar 3 video below that. Lyrics below all that. Do not miss the Madagascar 3 video. It is a gorgeous visual treat, set to the amazing score of Fireworks.   
Lyrics:

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?

Do you ever feel already buried deep six feet under?
Scream but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there’s still a chance for you
‘Cause there’s a spark in you?

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

‘Cause, baby, you’re a firework
Come on, show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you’re a firework
Come on, let your colours burst
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh”
You’re gonna leave ’em all in awe, awe, awe

You don’t have to feel like a wasted space
You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe you reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it’s time you’ll know

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

‘Cause, baby, you’re a firework
Come on, show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you’re a firework
Come on, let your colours burst
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh”
You’re gonna leave ’em all in awe, awe, awe

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It’s always been inside of you, you, you
And now it’s time to let it through-ough-ough

‘Cause, baby, you’re a firework
Come on, show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you’re a firework
Come on, let your colours burst
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh”
You’re gonna leave ’em all in awe, awe, awe

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon

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Movies, Reviews

Heroine – Boring. Predictable. Nothing else.

Amazing poster. Anyone who went to watch this movie, would have gone to see more of those legs and gorgeous actress. Both were there. The performances were good. The story line was alright. And the ending was trademark Madhur Bhandarkar. Something i always note in movies is how pleasing are the visuals – the background, the scene scape, the colors, the lights etc.. and this one was beautifully done in those aspects. There was nothing harsh or out of place or even noticeable, sparing the heroine, that is. That’s as much as i could think of, in terms of the positives for this movie.

Coming to the songs department,I somehow seemed to like the background score more than the songs. Only “Halkat Jawani” caught my attention and sadly it did nothing to help me like the movie more. I did not even like its choreography. In fact, this song is the one thing that broke the color convention of the movie with its super bright lights and garish costumes. That’s it. I dont remember the other songs. If there were other, i did not notice it.

But that’s it. Heroine is a typical Madhur Bhandarkar product. I can actually list out some characteristics.
1. A Definitive bleakness – There is no point in the movie where you actually feel good. Whether the subject is mentally in a good place or not, you are never in a good place.
2.There is always a graph. Starting at the top. Then continually dropping, as the movie is pole-ward moving thermometer. 
3.The end is vaguely promising,No walking happy walking into the sunset. Its based on reality you see. So, you are left to assume that all is well – a la Aamir Khan.
4. The amounts of glycerine used for tears is so much, it leaves med stores starved of supply.
5. There is marked male lead. A continually sobbing, hardly sober heroine has to carry it all on her wafer thin shoulders.
And this can be said of any most of his films eg. Fashion, Chandi Bar, and now, Heroine.
I am the kinds that go to movies for relief. I prefer comdies and the ones that end well. I somehow landed in this one and i wouldn’t list it on my “must watch” list. Its too dreary. You only get a Kareena looking like this 

for most part of the movie and i really dont like it.

Also, almost all the characters in the movie smoke like chimneys. I personally hate it and despise it that there is only a verbal warning before, at break, and at the end of the movie.

I basically shouldn’t have watched this movie. Period.

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Movies, Reviews

Agneepath – Simply brilliant!!

I haven’t seen the original and have only seen the Hrithik Roshan version. But boy! its one hell of a flick, this. I picked an early morning show and thought i might just fall asleep through the course of the movie. I bought a decent sized portion of popcorn, enough to last me quite a while, and slid into the movie seat.

I guess a review will be done and dusted idea for this movie and repetitive for those who have seen the original, and enjoyed BigB saying “Vijay Dheenanath Chauhan”. But i can assure you, the new cast is just as refreshing and mature. Nobody over plays their part. The lines are well drawn, and the portrayals are just right. So my focus is going to be more on the cast than on the story.  

The movie started quite happily and the famous “masterji” of the village was indeed an inspiring figure, belting poetry out and looking all classy in white & having the charm of the wise. The son, Vijay, a symbol of strength, courage and steely grit and, undeniably, the angry young boy who would grow up to be the angry man. The injustice meted out to the father in the village are all very well taken and superbly acted out.
The movie rests squarely on Hrithik Roshan’s broad shoulders and he does carry it off remarkably well. I am not a fan of His and was seriously skeptical about his skills, but he is brillaint in this movie. The quiet resilience in his character is so well portrayed. There are no unexplained silences. The audiences are not forced to guess, or think of the original. The eyes show a steely determination, and yet are not cold. The mind works wickedly but is not insensitive. The body language is restricted yet overpowering. Such contrasts but all  portrayed. Sheer brilliance. 
The other members of the cast too do an amazing job. Sanjay Dutt looks truly menacing and detestable. The irrational autocratic character is very written and doesnt not repent and beg forgiveness like most villains of the time.The simple consistency of his nature is, oddly, working very well for this movie. Though Sanjay Dutt resembles Fester Adams, this is one role that will stay in the memory for a while. This one is tailor made for him and he does absolute justice to it.
The other actor who stands out is Rishi Kapoor. Never in my mind could i picture him in the role given to him in this movie.And yet, by the time the movie was done, i was left loathing his character.I dont have to vouch for this, But he is definitely actor who can deliver a role so convincingly, that the actor and the role blend, and you cannot differentiate who is evoking the response.This mans acting skills are simply beyond words.
Priyanka Chopra also does a decent job, despite her role being forgettable. Zarina Wahab as the hurt and upset mother is just perfect. The others actors too have done neat justice to their roles. Thankfully there aren,t many distractions in the movie. No silly comedy lines or illfit jokes. Just that apt amount thay fits in seamlessly.
The outstanding performances in the movie are highly complimented by the other aspects too. The cinematography is outstanding. The images that this  movie conjures up in your mind as it courses through is rich , filled with detail and very involving. The mind play is very nice. The lines in the movie are all attractive to the eye, and engaging to the mind. Even the gory scenes are in clean frames and neat. The colours are not hurting to the eye. the reds, though bright, just add colour. The costumes are good and pleasing and very situational. The best aspect is the background score. The score is high on percussion and is very apt. It not only gets you to look at the screen, it engages, involves and keeps you to the screen. It pulls you to emote. That is absolute mastery and it is evident. Throughout the movie, this aspect is as excellent as any other part of the movie. The songs though are forgettable. I am guessing the guys will remember Katrina Kaif though 😛 !!
Final verdict: Awesome movie. Must watch.

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Books, Reviews

The Immortals Of Meluha

After struggling with the first 45 pages of ‘The Immortals of Meluha’, I sat through this today and finished this book. When I started it again, and coursed through the great 45, I realised what I had been putting away in these days. I just could not put it down at all, it was just not possible. I am quite a fast reader and I finished this book in one go. No my impatience did not make me skip whole paragraphs or pages. I read through every single word,  and boy, what a book!

The author (Amish Tripathy) works with the idea of humanising Shiva , the deity, and making the mythology relating to the god, into earthly situations that forced him to rise above the normal. Throughout the book, the mythology that surrounds the deity is not lost at all, but blends beautifully into the narrative, and therefore those readers who are familiar with it are able to draw on the similarity. However, there is an interesting novelty in the way in which the mythology has been adapted. The unfolding of the events makes the reader look forward to seeing the author’s  take of the successive events that are a part of the mythological storyline.

Amish re-casts the god into a Tibetan tribal leader who is forced to become the unwilling Superhero of a highly advanced civilisation. The result is amazing. The reader is unable to take his eyes of the book, and its hero. The mind works, along with the author, to conjure a strapping image of the protagonist, who might as well be God.

Quoting from the book :
“Shiva! The Mahadev. The God of Gods. Destroyer of evil. Passionate lover. Consummate Dancer. Charismatic Leader. All-powerful, yet incorruptible.Quick wit, accompanied by an equally quick and fearsome temper.”
These are the opening lines of the book and that is all that is needed to sum up the protagonist. However, all of these sound really ideal, almost lofty, and may make one think there is no “Man” to this Superman. But it is not one bit so. He carries a burly sense of humour very characteristic of a carefree and bold young man. The slight arrogance that comes with being a strong handsome man, and a warrior at that, is not missed either. The warm camaraderie and friendship he shares with Brahaspati , Nandi and Bhadra lets us see the Shiva who wants, more to be  man than a saviour. More so human is the passionate and intense chemistry that builds between Shiva and Sati. The reluctance to accept that he is any better than a normal man, the turmoil that brews in his chest when he is forced to lead a nation to war and the personal strife that he undergoes when he realises his mistake, all draw him down firmly to earth. Much like a war general who is broken at the sight of the devastation he has caused, the hero breaks down and literally weeps.   

The mythology of Shiva begins where he is already a man and nothing is known about his ancestry. He is typically portrayed as a chandravanshi, absolutely bohemian, living with complete abandon. He sports hide over his clothes, his hair is long and untamed with the cresent moon adorning it. He meets and falls irredeemably in love with Sati, the daughter of King  Daksha. As all fathers, Daksha is less than impressed but reluctantly agrees to get them married. The king then conducts a sacrificial ritual where he fails protocol by not inviting Shiva. Shiva, by then is accepted as one among the ”creator, protector, destroyer” triumvirate, as the destroyer of evil. This unleashes all catastrophe, but is not a part of this book’s storyline. This book stops with Shiva and Sati getting married and some random incidents after that, as far as its adherence to the mythology is concerned. But considering that this is only the first book of the Shiva trilogy , we could look forward for more.
The actual storyline of the book, independent of the mythology, is quite interesting in itself. Shiva is a head of the Gunas , a Tibetan tribe, who are invited into Meluha. During the stay there, Shiva is discovered to be the “Neelkanth”, their Blue-throated saviour. The entire royalty and the nation falls into a frenzy of adulation for the Neelkanth and he drawn into a becoming something he cannot even understand. Among them is the King himself, Daksha; the princess,Sati; the chief medic, Ayurvati and the general populace of Meluha. There is no dearth of sceptics as well and among them are Brahaspati and Parvateshwar, the chief scientist and the War General of Meluha respectively.The story progresses to trace how Shiva relates to all of these people, and goes on discover the greatness of Meluha in the journey towards accepting the greatness forced upon him. Throughout the story,  he cannot understand how one man can be the solution to the perceived enemy of a near perfect civilization. However, he decides to stick on, rallying the nation into a war, strategizing with them, building weapons and leading the army into a resounding victory in impossible circumstances. He slowly learns to accept and builds on his persona to stand up to the expectations of the Meluhans , only to learn that he could be on the wrong side of the line. The internal troubles of this man feel so intensely real.

Splendid narration. Must Read.

But please do not get religious and start raving about the book. Suspend religious reverence and read purely for pleasure. You will love this book.

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Books, Reviews

Little Women!!

I read this book for the first time when I was in class VI, and I have read it many more times after. However, the book continues to fascinate me. Every time.

At first, during my initial read, I only saw the hardship the March’s were going through and concentrated on the most shallow layer of the plot: their journey towards a happy ever-after. But every read after that has opened up so many under currents that elevate the book to an entirely new plane.

Alcott has chosen to keep the most valuable factor in the plot simple. The honest and sincere affection that binds every character in the book transcends era or age. The emotions that line the plot are so human and genuine, that they defy the period the book was actually written in. There isn’t a shred of the cold withdrawal that is typical of British life. Life and love pour like a fountain and the reader just flows along. Courage, determination, the spirit that the family displays in times of hardship; and the hope which carries them through, are relevant even in the current times, despite the dramatic change in the nature of the hardships. Individual strength or collective courage, the March’s have it all.

The strength of the characters come from the fact that Alcott has drawn them out so wholesomely that anyone who takes the time to read a little into them wants to be one of them, and yearns for a family like that. The loving Mrs. March; Meg, who overcomes being plain and simply endears herself; the vivacious Jo whose exuberance just cannot be contained, the quiet artist Beth and little Amy: the characters are so alive and real that they almost  speak to you. You want to help Meg with work, run your hand through Jo’s hair and catch up with Laurie over coffee. You want to sing with Beth and laugh away with Amy and endure all their tough times , with them. The chief characters, especially Jo, simply cast a spell.
The plot traces the journey of the March family through financial difficulties while they support each other and see happiness and hope in everyday aspects of life. Mrs. March stands as the rope that binds them together and encourages each of them to spread wings and find their calling. Letters from Mr. March inspires them , though he is absent for most part. Invaluable support, loyal friendship and much laughter comes in the form of Laurie and his youthfulness. We see Meg get married and have a set of twins; Jo become a writer and find love; Amy taking to painting and all the girls coming back home to Mrs. March, smiling,  happy and accomplished.

This book has a special appeal for the women that have sisters, and share a special bond with them. It makes a splendid late night read, even if just a few chapters. You don’t go “aww”. Instead you search your soul for similar faith and to hope for the sunshine behind the clouds.

I must mention the movie here. Splendid performance from the cast, especially Winona Ryder (Jo), Susan Sarandon (Mrs. March) and Christian Bale (Laurie). If you felt the need to give a face to the characters, these people do the job exceedingly well.

Also, for those that don’t know, the book ‘Jo’s Boys’ , takes off from here and is quite a read too.

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Movies, Reviews

Awesomeness!!!!

You first see him having accepted a challenge to stuff his mouth with 40 buns…
His awe at Master Shifu, & Master Shifu with his usual smugness…
Baby him, doing little baby talk, and biting into radish, and looking up with those lovely beady eyes…
The earnestness with which he pleads to the Master Croc and Master Ox..
His love for food, simple confidence and heart-warming innocence just wraps us all up..
A bit serious, yet just as awesome.. Shining with those awesome expressions and simplicity. And just about being his round furry, cuddly self ..
Po..
He is simply his usual self and yet manages to enthral us all over again.. Any number of “awesome” would still be insufficient.
And this time , the entire gang gets just as fantastic .. The tigress gets a little woozy, and still maintains her smooth style … the stork is a funny dork.. . the monkey is in his high spirits as usual and the snake is, well, there ..
And then there is the brilliantly cruel Shen.. with those vibrant feathers and round eyes.. and swashbuckling movies… fanning out his feathers and making martial arts look killer graceful!!
But put them all to gather and you have awesome epic in animation..
Awesome .. Top score : 5/5 ..  Add this one to your must-see list this year…
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