Ready Steady Po – Chennai Express review

At first was not very eager to pen down a review but later too many hatred updates on FB and too much dirt dumped on the movie and few who decided to rant till their last breath on their walls , few who even said that people are getting entertained by this movie and hence our country has gone to dogs made me write this. This mediocre movie gained more and more publicity only due to the haters and increased my fire of desire to write some thing ! so here it is.

Originally published at – http://theviewspaper.net/chennai-express-a-review/

Chennai Express Chennai Express: A Review
Too many hatred reviews finally pushed me to write this. With the tag ready steady po Chennai express did justice to the title as it is about a 40 year old man who boards the wrong train bluffing his grandma but story takes a sudden twist and makes him travel to the pretty damsel Meenamma’s village where her dad is a renowned Don. Now everyone knows the story line. Thanks to the never ending trailers. The story is like a mix mash of many hit south Indian movies with a dash of humour and pinch of spice. It is a typical Rohit Shetty movie where if you put your best efforts to find logic you will stay disheartened. Yep this is definitely slap stick humour which will not suit you if you want to watch Cinema which has brains, logic and sense.  The director makes the viewers taste the southern flavour with the sufficient knowledge he has and shows it in vibrant colours. The scenic southern locations are fresh and relieving to watch. 
It truly is come fall in love Rohit shetty style. You realise this when Deepika runs to catch the train and after that Shahrukh lends a helping hand even to all the goons who are running to catch the train. The back ground score of Chennai Express and the train episode and parody songs will definitely bring smiles. Deepika’s broken Tamil accent is bad which sounds like a comic character is speaking all the while. Nevertheless she compensated it with her acting. Yep, she has come a long way from being the expressionless dimpled beauty to someone who can flash the dimple only when needed.
Deepika plays the role of a rebellious, charming South Indian damsel who can show more valour than Rahul aka Shahrukh who is fun at 40 but behaves like scared cat. SRK trolls himself by throwing satires on his cinematic Rahul moments which is definitely funny unless until you passionately hate him. Deepika’s dialogues add to the humour quotient once in a while. The song Titli by Chinmayee and South Indian traditions showed post intermission do add more colour to the movie. Audiences whistled at 1,2,3,4 where Priyamani spiced it up. After many item songs which are exactly copied from south this song feels new and fresh! The ending song which is a tribute to Rajani Kanth created controversies that it is cheap and insulting but I saw that many South Indians actually enjoyed the song and smiled their way back to home. I still don’t get why a lungi is being considered as cheap and insulting. Are there no item songs in Bollywood with more cheap lyrics where many other things are highlighted? The critics have to answer this!
Chennai Express is definitely a masala movie for masses. SRK pulls the crowds to theatres and fans will enjoy seeing him in a different shade this time. This is an in and out Rohit Shetty’s genre experimented with SRK this time which worked for me.  SathyaRaj was a natural as Deepika’s dad. The villain role Thangaballi played by Nikitin Dheer who reminds you of the gigantic Khali best suited the role and leaves you in splits when he sings Chammak Challo. Yes the comedy is mindless but it won’t hurt to laugh when you feel like laughing. Laughter is the best therapy. I am not sure why many are criticising the comedy in the movie. It for sure is more laughable than few films like Ajab Prem ki Gazab Kahani or some other superstars’ sequels and prequels and poorly imitated Rowdy Rathore.

Now coming to few loopholes in the movie, there was too much Tamil to crack for. People who don’t understand the language will feel out of place even if Meenamma translates to some extent. A South Indian doesn’t necessarily speak in Meenamma’s accent. The aati , jaati usage was too repetitive. The chase scenes and blowing up of jeeps seemed force fitted. The climax fight scene with ThangaBalli was too long and unnecessary for the storyline.  The pace of the movie could have been better. It is not needed to run every movie for 2 hours 15min.
Lastly Rohit Shetty knows how to tickle the funny bone and if you enjoyed Golmaal you will enjoy this too. It’s good to watch the movie with friends and share the guffaws. Even if you want to grade him unworthy of his success he surely has the Midas touch and may earn 100 Crores. Compared to Bol bachan and other recent flicks by him Chennai Express is far better. Boarding the train for a fun ride will definitely not harm. If your humour quotient is above all this then you can’t laugh even if you tickle yourself. So if you can’t have fun sit at home and ignore rather than triggering the gun and taking pleasure in pointing at temples of the movie makers and viewers who can enjoy it.

By
Afshan Shaik

"Bhaag Milka Bhaag"- Little slow on the track but an enjoyable biopic

Originally published  in Viewspaper. Read at  “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag – A review” . Read a detailed review and analysis below 🙂

I only heard about Milkha Singh from my parents and was aware of the age old relaxing joke. I was eager to watch this “flying Sikh” on the big screen from the time I heard that a bio pic is being made. The star cast made me more happy as I saw Farhan Akhtar in it. Rakesh Omprakash Mishra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is straight from the heart. Milkha Singh’s life mostly unedited is presented on the screen which captured almost all the important phases of this legend.The ups and downs, victories, disappointments and emotions are all very well portrayed. Farhan Akhtar seemed like a real athlete and his eerie resemblance to Milkha Singh made the movie more natural. Even if there are few camera tricks the way he moulded his body and presented himself are commendable!

Story line

The story opens with the 1960 Olympics where Milkha narrowly missed the medal and then makes us time travel when three gentle men start conversing about him on their way from Delhi to Chandigarh. Viewers are taken to his young days before he became a full pledged athlete and also to his child hood days . Milkha’s coach Pawan Malhotra starts narrating about him  during the train ride taking the viewers on a roller coster ride and the story takes many interesting turns. His struggle as a kid to cope up with the deaths in the family during 1947 partition are shown neatly. He becomes a vagabond post partition and finds his sister Divya Dutta finally after fleeing to India. Story keeps oscillating between present , past and his childhood days and Milkha never stops running the race called life. Milkha falls in love with Biro. Sonam Kapoor as Biro is cute and thankfully her role was not too long. To become somebody and to be eligible to marry Biro Milkha becomes an athlete and comes out of his comfort zone to prove himself but Biro doesn’t wait leaving him heart broken. Life becomes big for Milkha since then. Opportunities fall in his lap and he uses every drop of his sweat and every ounce of his energy to win. Asian games, National games , common wealth games and every game where he succeeds is shown. While enjoying the results of his perennial efforts he comes across an Australian damsel with whom he has a brief affair. He detaches from all emotional attachments and submits himself absolutely to the sports and undergoes hardcore training under the supervision of Yograj Singh who acted as Indian coach Ranveer Singh. The training episodes are brilliantly shot. His win against Pakistani athlete Abdul Khaliq gives him new wings of confidence. He is finally persuaded by Jawaharlal Nehru to attend the sports in Pakistan which are held for the betterment of relations between two countries. His final victory in the movie is loved by the audience. Pakistani coach mocks him by saying that this can be his last game. Every one hooted when Farhan aka Milkha replies “I will of course run like this is my last game.” 

Star cast and performances 

The kid Japtej Singh who acted as miniature Milkha did a splendid job too. His acting is up to the mark and he blended well with the script. At few junctures I felt he did a job better than Farhan. Divya Dutta as Milkha’s sister is so natural for the role. It’s an in and out Farhan Akhtar’s movie who not only acted but lived Milkha’s memories. Pawan Malhotra is amazing as Farhan’s coach. Prakash Raj’s brief role as “Ustaad” is quite enjoyable. The southern touch worked as Milkha’s initial professional days started at Secunderabad regiment. Yograj Singh is like a no nonsense coach who gives the toughest possible training to Milkha. All other people in support cast blended well with the script. Dalip Tahil as Nehru,  Rebecca Breeds as Stella of Australia , Dev Gill (Pakistani Athlete) , Nawab Shah (Pakistani coach) and rest all executed their job perfectly :). Cinematography by Binod Pradhan is beautiful and Music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy adds spice to the movie. Songs are soulful and lyrics are stirring. I absolutely loved Mera yaar hai rab wargha song and enjoyed rest of the songs too!

Plus points

  • Farhan Akhtar is the heart of the movie. No one else suits Milkha Singh.
  • Cinematography is brilliant and songs are feet tapping. 
  • The story set in pre-independence era shows the nuances of that period perfectly.
  • Major plus point obviously is that it is a bio pic which will increase the enthusiasm in audience.

The only minus is the  drag in the movie which can be felt at many points. There is an unnecessary scene where Farhan drinks ghee from two cans as if it is fruit juice. The scene is pretty long and could have been cut short. There are many such lengthy scenes which made the movie a 3 hr 10 min watch. Keeping this point aside its a movie worth watching if you can ignore the slow pace which is so unlike the pace of the “flying sikh!” Even if the sprint track is 3 hr 10min long I enjoyed the race with Farhan Akhtar.

A glimpse of mera yaar hai rab wargha song below:)

My rating : 3.5/5

Turbo- "He is fast.They are furious!"– Premiere experience

Watching animation movies has become a ritual now as my husband works with “Dreamworks”. As we watched the “Crood’s”premiere at the same theater we know before hand about the limited parking space and that mobiles won’t be allowed inside. As we got late we got the last parking slot but we thanked our stars as we at least got a vacant spot to park the car! We got bad seats inside the theater but as it is a 3D movie and as we were given 3D glasses of good quality the position of seats didn’t matter much later.


The movie started after the initial formalities like give aways, introductions and some prize distribution. Initially I felt I might be bored by the story line of the movie in which a snail wants to increase its pace and run a race and prove to his fellow mates that he can do something special but as the story and also the snail gained the pace my excitement increased too. Our protagonist snail is just a normal garden snail and lives with many other snails who have a mundane life which bores him to death. His brother tries putting full stop to his day dreaming but where there is a will there is a way. The movie holds a subtle moral like many animation movies that if you have a strong determination to do something then nothing or no one can stop you. To know how the snail gains speed and how it enters the Indianapolis race you need to go to theaters and watch it. As I watched the premiere show and as the movie is not released yet in India I don’t want to reveal the story!

Turbo

It’s strange how the deeds of these animated characters fill more optimism in you than the words of few fellow humans which have a hint and a hidden intention of always bringing you down! The movie is short , crisp and clear. I felt like having a taco once the movie ended 🙂 Humor is intact through out the movie and no time is wasted beating behind the bush. If I have to compare this with “The Croods” I would say I liked Croods more as it had more fun elements and roles. Nevertheless both are brilliantly made and “Turbo” is unique in its way. I tapped my feat at the song “That snail is fast.” Its so cool.


My most favorite dialogue from the movie.
“What will you do if you lose your powers tomorrow?”
Turbo replies : “Then I will make the most of it today.”

Hats off to the makers of the movie .For laymen its tough to even imagine flawless execution of such a simple idea. There’s no drag in the movie and like all animation movies it doesn’t get preachy at any juncture. Ryan Reynolds voiced Turbo and Samuel L. Jackson for whip lash – the snail leader . Three cheers to the director David Soren and I loved the music hence a special mention to Henry Jackman who gave the music. After watching the movie we had hyderabadi haleem in Bangalore at four seasons restaurant which soared our spirits 🙂

Watch the trailer below. Isn’t Turbo cute ? I love the tag line – “He is fast. They are furious !”  
Don’t miss watching it in your nearest theatre from july 19th.
My rating  : 3/5



I clicked the below pic of a snail at Mysore on one of those rainy days. See how sluggish, sleepy and happy it is unlike Turbo 🙂

Fukrey tickles the funny bone- A Movie review

Director:  Mrighdeep Singh Lamba
Producer: Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani
Screenplay: Vipul Vig, Mrighdeep Singh Lamba
Music: Ram sampath
Lyrics: Mrigdeep Singh Lamba , Munna Dhiman , Vipul Vig
Cast: Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma , Ali Faizal, Manjot Singh, Richa Chadda, Vishakha Singh, Priya Anand and Pankaj Tripathi
Fukrey – I didn’t know the meaning of the word till I went to watch the movie. No one told me what it meant but I realized it just means people who are good for nothing. I went to the movie on a weekday just for 100/- a ticket to a multiplex and I must say it is a total Paisa Vasool movie.  The movie stars Dileep aka Choocha (Varun sharma ), Hunny (Pulkit Samrat ), Laali (Manjot Singh) and Zafar( Ali Faizal) as Fukras and Richa Chadda as Boli Punjaban. Other than Zafar whose role is slightly dim all others are top notch performers. Zafar plays a music genius who is struggling to prove himself and suddenly faces financial crisis due to his paralyzed dad.  Varun Sharma is a promising debut and has a long way to go. Pulkit Samrat is smart and can tickle your funny bone anytime. After Bitto boss a movie which didn’t fare well this movie sure gave him a chance to project his acting skills. Manjot Singh is a natural.  The girls don’t have a prominent role but are not wasted. Priya Anand is apt for the role and ambarsariya song just beautifies the sparks flying between Hunny and Priya. Neetu played by Visakha Singh is Zafar’s girlfriend and Laali’s tutor. Music by RamSampath suited the story.
The story revolves around four guys whose sole ambition is to earn money by hook or by crook. Each has his own problem to solve for which he is badly in need of money. From the first scene you will be rolling on the floor laughing due to the silly, slapstick humor which sometimes makes you think about your student life and the unlimited fun you used to have if you are not a student now.  The story is set in Delhi. Though authentic Delhi is not shown much the director succeeded in showing what he wanted to. The students , tender age , infatuations , ambitions , friends and the attitude to do or die for them is all woven beautifully around a string of humor. Humor is strength of the movie which keeps you glued to the screen and increases your interest in the plot.  The movie reminded me Kamal Hasan’s Pushpak at few junctures. Especially the role of the beggar is similar to a role in that movie! I even remembered a Telugu movie “money” where there is run and chase due to the desire for money. One can see the Delhi-bellyish kind of atmosphere at few junctures but honestly I felt this one is better with more humor.  The youth factor and the enjoyable humor definitely make Fukrey a fresh cake out of the oven.
Varun Sharma is a laugh riot. The moment he opens his mouth and starts narrating the tall tales and his desires to get a woman at any cost in life will make you split your sides.  Pulkit complements Varun and the duo together gives you a laughter therapy! One more character which has to me mentioned is Pandit ji at college played by Pankat Tripathi who also acted in Gangs of Wasseypur. His one liners and punches are also LOL worthy. You feel that story is losing its pace when Boli Punjaban enters the screen and sets it on fire. She not only handles but also masters all the illegal ways of earning money. Post intermission it’s all run and chase with humor intact. Richa Chadda is the best choice for the role and she lives up to it. Her energy and tongue scares the shit out of people and her interactions with Varun are funny too.  Varun, Manjot singh and Pulkit possess the skills to get promising roles in future too.
To know how Choocha’s dreams actually have the power to make them rich and to know  how the chase ends and whether they earn the money or not you have to go to theatre and laugh till your tummy hurts. In midst of comedy films where one has to tickle oneself to laugh Fukrey is a pleasant surprise and there’s nothing really cheap in the movie. Music is peppy and soft too. If ambarsariya is soul ful, jugaad and fukrey make you tap your feet. This movie is for those who don’t want to find logic in every snippet and laugh heartily. Fukrey will totally make your day colorful.
My rating: 3.5/5
The below song – Karle Jugaad karle is creatively shot 🙂

                                                    


Ek thi Daayan – An unforgettable witch!

Originally published at Views Paper – http://theviewspaper.net/ek-thi-daayan/

movie5 Ek Thi Daayan: A Review
The below one is an unedited version of my review.
Director: Kannan Iyer
Producer: Vishal Bhardwaj , Ekta Kapoor , Shobha Kapoor
Music Director: Vishal Bharadwaj
Lyricst: Gulzar
                                                                                                                        
CAST:

Emraan Hashmi as Magician BoBo 
Konkona Sen Sharma as Lisa Dutt 
 Kalki Koechlin as Lisa Dutt
Huma Qureshi as Bobo’s lover Tamara.


The cast and crew of  Ek thi Daayan tempted me to go watch it asap.  Emran Hashmi who proved in recent past that he is not just the kissing king , Konkana sen who came back after a long hiatus , Huma Qureshi the Gangs of Wasseypur fame and needless to say a good actress like Kalki Koechlin pulled me towards the theatre.  Ek thi Daayan in English means there was once a witch. The terms like Witch or Dracula fill a sense of fear in heart. Konkana Sen as the Daayan or Diana made me jump off my seat a couple of times in the first half. I closed my eyes while watching Konkana’s eerie entry where she is not shown vividly like in any other horror movie! The story starts with our great magician Bobo (Emran hashmi) performing harmful magical tricks in Kingdom of dreams. Everyone looked promising and apt for their roles. Tamara played by Huma is a perfect partner to Bobo who tries to end his fear and hallucinations but they never stop. Bobo’s childhood and her sister’s mysterious death haunt him all the years and the wicked daayan doesn’t come back as she actually never left his side.

Konkana looks so evil and stole the show in the first half. I actually checked if the elevator in my apartment had the “6” button in it. Thankfully we had no sixth floor. To know more you should watch the movie and know the significance of “666.” Visesh Tiwari performed brilliantly as the kid Bobo and his innocent sister and the horrible end to the first half makes one squirm! First time director Kannan Iyer, writer Mukul Sharma and the writer/producer Vishal Bharadwaj excellently managed the story till interval and succeeded in scaring the shit out of viewers. Post intermission Kalki enters as Lisa dutt confusing the already confused Bobo little more. Kalki’s role and the dialogues were not up to the mark and the sudden twist diluted the spook quotient and turned the movie to a humorous watch. I shouted in the first half and laughed loud in the last scene. I wish I was transfixed to my seat till the end. The only fault of horror movies in India is analyzing each and every aspect and frame leading to a haywire end. Few things should be left unsolved!

Needless to say the ending was disappointing. All in all the performances of actors and actresses were top notch and raised the bar of quality level horror movies in India. Pawan Malhotra was natural as Bobo’s bewitched dad in the first half and Rajtava Dutta as the puzzled hypnotist was perfect for the script! Saurabh Goswami’s cinematography is worth applause. Music by Gulzar is good. I am tuned to yaaram song from the day I watched the movie . Tote Ud gaye is fun to watch. . All the ladies are seductive but Konkana for sure ruled. I now watch behind my back in a lift! She is one hell of a witch whom you will remember for years
The elevator, lizard and all the subtle hints of diabolism made me sleep deprived for two days. I was actually scared when power went off in the mid of the night. As a final verdict I can say the movie is better than many horror movies made in India in the past. If only the ending was as good as the beginning I would have stated that this is the best horror movie so far!

My rating : 3/5


Below is a glimpse of the movie and  my favorite song Yaaram !


"S" for "Shahrukh Khan"

Disclaimer : This post is not for the haters. If you belong to an anti SRK community (my experience says it exists) and want to post a hate comment hop on to an anti SRK blog and happily do that 😛

Even before I start writing a few lines on today’s “S” I can sense few frowns , smiles, excitements , raised jaws , eyebrows , love , loathe , few aaawss , few hmmpfs and much more. Ignoring all the love/hate reactions let me dive deep in to what I want to write. “Shahrukh Khan”– Every one in India and few in overseas must be familiar with this name. One of the Bollywood’s super stars who is quite successful and girls at least 5 out of 10 can’t resist ogling him ! He is fondly called as the King Khan and Bollywood Badshah . Keeping aside whether or not he deserves the titles and whether or not he tops the charts now I want to tell a tale of how I fell in love with SRK and his charm.

In the early 90s when we were still in to melodramatic movies and songs which span for more than 9-10min , when “KumarSanu” was the only nasal singer we knew, when heroines meant either Sridevi , Madhuri or Juhi Chawala I saw Shahrukh Khan in Baazigar which won him a film fare best actor award for the first time. Even before that he bagged best male debut for Deewana movie in which the bubbly Divya Bharathi acted. It was Baazigar when I first got attracted to this dimpled man , full of life and I so wanted to be Kajol in the movie. When ever I used to watch the below song I thought he was charming. We have had many romantic heroes till then but no one seemed so energetic and so full of life to me!

No wonder SRK- Kajol pair became India’s favorite. They were so natural together. Where ever I go I used to search for some SRK look alike. There were few look alikes but none as charming as him. If a man had dimples I used to get excited but other than that nothing in him qualified him to be SRK.  If some one had a vivid adam’s apple I used to look at him eagerly as if he would suddenly show some SRK trait but alas! No one was good enough.

Starting from Baazigar I watched all his hit/ flop movies. I remember getting Guddu and Oh Darling! Yeh Hai India! video cassettes which gave head ache to my mom but I enjoyed them. I used to rewind and watch SRK’s scenes when my mom was not around. Yep it was the era of VCR’s and VOLGA and TIME video tapes.  I was still in my primary school and that was the year when I was about to enter high school and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge got released . Its been 17 years and this movie is still running successfully in Maratha Mandir of Mumbai breaking the records of all the movies. A perfect love story set in a dreamy Europe back drop along with the desi punjab flavor which never ceases to steal my heart. I haven’t counted how many times I watched it on TV. Raj Malhotra aka Shahrukh Khan in the movie tempted all girls and women and every boy and man was stressed as the expectations from them would rise.  I had his paper cut outs and posters after the movie. There are many sweet romantic movies in English and other languages but to me DDLJ is heart favorite. Many other movies were released mimicking DDLJ but not even one could recreate the same magic.


I went to the movie along with all the girls in the class on the last day of the annual exams. We were in high spirits and in a celebration mood . Had lunch at a friends place and rushed to theater. We didn’t want to even miss the curtain rising. Raj became a house hold name and every one wanted some one like Raj as their boy friend. I was seriously amazed by the movie and was stark silent after the movie. My friends kept on praising him , his dimples, the songs, emotions , the vibrancy and in a nut shell every thing linked to the movie including the subtitle – Come fall in love . We all were over whelmed. Others were over whelmed but I was madly in love with SRK. SRK or Raj it didn’t matter but I decided that day that If I ever find a man he should be liking me the way Raj likes Simran in the movie. As I grew I was not overtly silly but that dream and hope to get Raj like lover was still intact .
Sarson ke khet – Sun flower fields are linked to love and romance
after this movie
and yes he looks hot with a moustache too. I LOVE this movie
“Paheli”  . Highly entertaining just like the panchatantra stories!

I am tempted to post his images with many pretty ladies but don’t want to drool over my own post  and get jealous as I am not in the pics 😛 

Many more movies got released and SRK’s trademark charm never faded . The charm and fondness only increased with every passing year. He gave few flops and few hits but whenever he acted in a romantic role wooing a lady he seemed and still seems natural. Be it Chalte Chalte , Veer-Zaara or Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi his charisma never failed to entice me. Most of the movies can be watched many times. Few seemed illogical to me like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai or Mohabbatein but even these movies were liked by many audiences. 

I firmly remember that friend ship bands got famous only after Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in India. When his haters were blaming him that he can only act in bubble gum romance and chick lit stuff and cant do a movie in a different genre he surprised every one with his rough look as Kabir Khan- coach of Indian Hockey women’s team in Chak De! India. My heart as always was gone and I loved the way he pulled off the role so easily. Even if there are few disastrous movies there are many gems which can be watched again and again.
Chakde India – a movie which I watch any time it gets telecasted
Above is a cute KKHH snippet for you all
 SRK Rani and Kajol in Kuch Kuch hota hai were compared to the characters from Archie comics- Archie , Veronica and Betty. Its not an exaggeration if I say they indianised and recreated the roles. They didn’t fail to amuse the viewers as Rahul , Tina and Anjali.  SRK acted with all ladies who were ruling then  like Sridevi , Madhuri , Karishma , Kajol , Juhi , Sonali and many more and now he is acting with many heroines like Deepika and Anushka who are topping the charts. Incidentally both the heroines have their precious entry in to bollywood with SRK. He is also lucky as he always gets best music , songs and choreographers and they are lucky as they get him in them!

Every time I watch a favorite SRK movie I discover a new thing. While watching Dilwale Dulhaniya lejayenge for I-dont-know-which’th time I realised that he seemed extra adorable in the red and white striped t shirt when Simran (Kajol) imagines him waving bye to her just outside her door. Sorry couldn’t google out that pic. When I saw Darr I realised he wears the same shirt through out the song “Tu mere saamne” and looked extra handsome in that loose colorful shirt. The SRK-Kajol pair became so famous that people felt sad when she married her long time love Ajay Devgan. They so wanted to see them together always which was not possible.

I can continue pouring my SRK love all over the blog but I want to end it here so as not to bore the readers who are neutral to his charm and even worst to spare the readers who loathe him whole-heartedly . For others who love him like me I know your eyes are glittering.


Lastly few more reasons why I like him

  • He climbed the success ladder due to his hard work and it did not happen in a day or a month . Starting from television debut Fauji he performed well in serials like Circus which gave him a name and fame . He also acted in dil dariya , waghle ki duniya and doosra keval. Yep he acted in an episode of Waghle ki Duniya where he is just a teenager. He drives a maruthi 800 in it and he looks unbelievably cute.
  • His energy and enthusiasm even at the age of 48 amuse me. He is aging gracefully. I did not like his latest Jab Tak Hai Jaan but I still loved it as he was far better than the leading ladies for a script with too many loopholes. Sadly Yash Raj’s last but not a homage to all his love stories made before. Catch a glimpse of the hottie below .

  • He has his share of failures but he is a good entrepreneur and he knows where to put his money . Come on after all one should know the art of earning too !

  • He respects women and it shows in what ever he talks.

  • He is one of the best entertainers India has. Be it an award ceremony or speech at YALE university people look forward to listen to him .
  • I love the way he speaks upfront and straight forward which lands him in controversies many times which people believe he does on purpose !!

  • His comic timing is best. Once he said when ever he feels over confident , he will remember the insults he faces in airport when ever he was stopped at the immigration check.

  • His real life love is like it is in his movies which makes him more adorable. His kinship with his wife is some thing in the lines of a bollywood movie. You can google it out if interested.

There are still many more reasons to list out  but I really don’t want to make it an answer to  an essay question –Give 10 good reasons why you love SRK ? 😛 Also I don’t want to give a heart ache to my husband who already finds every day a battle as he has to  bear with my never ending SRK love (just kidding). You will laugh at me but I was so glad when Imran (my husband) smiled the first time he met me. 


Any guesses why ?????
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He has dimples which resemble SRK’s . LOL.  After sounding too filmy let me end this article by saying that I might be mad in this case but every man has his own traits and I don’t push their buttons or point guns on their temples to change. I am glad the way they are. I feel more glad when they don’t try to mimic some one , specially when they don’t make a fool out of themselves imitating SRK 🙂




With lots of love


Afshan

Some one should literally hold my hands and stop me from typing. For now my husband has stopped me 😛 I want to end this with one of my many favorite shots and my most favorite love song !
This is my 19th post for  “A to Z blogging Challenge 2013” !

"The Croods" Premiere experience and review

It was not just the free pop corn , coke or the mouth watering chocolates distributed just before the show started or the red carpet adorned by many bubbling enthusiasts, pretty damsels that made the day special. “The croods” premiere show was special as the experience of watching the movie along with those who actually were a part of the team responsible for the excellent output was new and pretty exciting. My husband works with “Dreamworks” and among the benefits of working at a creative place with creative folks one is getting free passes for the premiere show of “The Croods” in India.


I was more excited as my mom ,dad and bro visited us at the right time and were able to make it to the show! We all geared up to reach  the “Urvashi” theater at Lal Bagh on time. We were invited with many warm smiles , a bunch of chocolates , hot pop corn and coke! The theater was jam packed with all the employees , their kids , friends, relatives and many creative people . We munched buckets of pop corn and discussed the movie’s who’s who. I was excited when I knew that Nicolas Cage voiced for Grug. For those who don’t know ,The Croods is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It features the voices of  Nicolas CageRyan ReynoldsEmma StoneCatherine KeenerClark Duke, and Cloris Leachman ! 


Story line and Review 


As I don’t know much about the movie I was hoping it to not be a bore but expect the unexpected I enjoyed it so much that I clapped unintentionally at certain point in the movie. The opening scene itself will captivate you when the survival of the fittest is shown in a simple yet meaningful style and  
the  “end of the world ” is mentioned little later by “the Guy”! The croods are always the proud survivors who are cavemen who practically live in forest among other animals and behave more like them and less like humans ! The father Grug (Nicolas Cage) thinks that it is his strength and over protective nature that helped his family to live a normal life every day much to the depression of Eep (Emma Stone his elder daughter . The father daily narrates bed time stories which end in death and despair if guidelines and the parents’ foot steps are ignored. The family includes Grug’s wife Ugga (Catherine Keener), his daughter Sandy (Randy Thom), son Thunk (Clark Duke) and his mother-in-law (Cloris Leachman) . They are tuned to the robotic mode of life and behave like machines which are given commands. When others monotonously obey Grug’s rules Eep the most adventurous and curious of all pays deaf ear to her dad’s continuous warnings that curiosity kills the cat and escapes from the cave exploring the direction lit by a flame torch . She meets the Guy (Ryan Reynolds) and his ‘pet’ sloth, Belt (Chris Sanders), She falls for his intelligence almost instantly.

The rest of the story is about how Guy guides them to a safe zone and how well he explains to the Croods family that safety doesn’t mean to sit in a dark cave . It means to explore the world and see a “tomorrow’. Grug remains rigid and continues his stories with sad-end. In the end when every one is impressed by the guy , his positivity and the hope to live a better life Grug gets extremely jealous and tries hard to imitate the guy but fails big time! Slowly they bond and together they all venture out to a new tomorrow! Grug saves every one using his brilliant ideas and saves him self just in time which leads to a happy ending unlike his stories !

I have always been a fan of animation movies made by dream works be it Kungfu Panda , Shrek, Puss in boots or Madagascar . Any animated movie is not just for kids. They have a subtle moral which is unfolded in such a simple and sweet manner that you cant help but love the movie. My mom dad who never actually enjoy the animations enjoyed “The croods” experience due to many human emotions embedded in it , the sensitivities , the father-daughter bonding which actually is touchy when Eep blows horn so that her father will hear and come back to them! 

The hope which never dies is shown very beautifully in the movie. My mom is all set to watch “The Shrek” series now 🙂
From left – Thunk , Gran , Sandy , Ugga, Eep, Grug . Ain’t they a lovely family ?!

Some memorable scenes:

  • The Gran/ Mother in law was adorable in her own unique way. It was hilarious when she says “STILL ALIVE!” which saddens Grug 🙂
  • When Grug tries imitating “The Guy” he wears a wig so as to resemble him. When Ugga asks what is he wearing on his head, Gran replies “Desperation!” I clapped at this scene. Its outright hilarious and the expressions are so damn natural.
  • The scene where the guy draws on the stone with a chalk to represent “The brain” from where ideas come much to bemusement of Thunk who is shocked as he feels he has no brain is funny.

The cutest character “belt” , The guy and Eep !! This is such an “Aww” capture to me!

Yep !! I am a proud owner of the adorable pet “belt” now and also the book which describes THE ART of The CROODS in detail. You actually understand how much effort is spent on each and every aspect for the brilliant out come by reading this . I am enjoying it! This pic is clicked by me



Quotes from the book and the movie: 

  • It’s the belief that something great is out there just beyond your reach and the willingness to make the extra effort in getting there.If it were already a known entity, we wouldn’t be doing it. It wouldn’t be interesting.
  •  Gran: Where do you get these ideas from. Guy: Ha, I am calling it – A BRAIN. I am pretty sure its where ideas come from
  • Your whole world can evolve to an unrecognizable point, but the thing that is constant is the bond between family. That will never change.
There are many more quotes worth mentioning but it would be great if you watch the movie and enjoy the adventurous roller coaster ride and revive your faith in happy endings! I have no knowledge of technical skills or glitches but all I want to say is the 3d effects are stupendous and the expressions flawless and every scene captured in the forest and all the animals are lively. All beautiful landscapes at which Eep gapes and exclaims “You really need to see this” are absolutely gorgeous ! If you are a positive person you will love the movie in and out and if you are a negative person I prescribe this movie to you this instant.

Go live with the croods family for some 98 min and get rejuvenated. The belt and Sandy say “Ta Ta Taaaa” in the end which will make you all giggle !! 


My rating – 4/5

Good luck to Dreamworks folks for their next movie Turbo and  I wish all the success to “The croods” team. The below news actually is the happy beginning-
 “Croods at box office”

 Croods truly is like an animated “Avatar” . Do check this site. Its fun –http://www.thecroodsmovie.com/

Some thing which I felt like an icing on the cake is “The croods” association with “The makers of Angry birds” (Rovio). The below special click by me is dedicated to this association as I immensely love AngryBirds too.  The Croods game is available on App store “here”!

The happy belt trying to make “Angry” birds smile 😉 A hug can change the world !! Clicked by me.
A glimpse of “Croods”


PS: I have copied the movie images from google and few links from Wikipedia and IMDB

Vishwaroopam takes the cake- A good watch

Originally at –Views Paper”

Director: Kamal Hassan
Writers: Kamal Hassan, Atul Tiwari
Stars: Pooja Kumar, Miles Anderson, Kamal Hassan , Andrea Jeremiah, Rahul Bose.
Produced by: Chandra Haasan, Kamal Hassan, Prasad V. Potluri
Music : Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Editing : Mahesh Narayan
Cinematography: Sanu John Varghese.


After so much hullabaloo , I finally watched it yesterday. I was told its truncated so that no scene is hurtful to any. Nothing seemed objectionable to me. Every horror shown in the movie is 100% true . The only objectionable fact is that all that is shown in the movie is a gory fact and not just made up. That is the thing which is unacceptable !I strongly believe even the deleted scenes would not have  been made to derogate any community as such ! Kamal Hassan aka Vishwanath aka Wasim Kashmiri himself is a Muslim .

Like SRK says in My name is Khan , there are only good people and bad people. I am not sure how many really understand this but I felt even Kamal wanted to give the same message in a different style. At no point he mentions that muslims are all terrorists. He himself is a believer who prays regularly and is patriotic enough to be in the RAW team and take risks!


The story line 

The first half of the movie shows a timid Vishwanath and his wife DR.Nirupama aka Pooja Kumar an oncologist much younger to him who can’t stand him for even a minute. The psychiatrist appointment and Nirupama’s revelation strikes a chord and is very natural and also funny but her dialogue delivery suddenly starts getting irksome and monotonous! The opening Kathak dance number was liked by many which was choreographed by Birju Maharaj . I got bored as it is very lengthy. Andrea Jeremiah is one of the Kathak students who is very close to her master.



Nirupama who her self is being disloyal to her husband appoints a detective to find out if Kamal is having some secret affair and is guilty but ends up  finding many unexpected secrets about him. She knows so many facts that she becomes breathless!Sanu Varghese’s cinematography is out standing. The Afghanistan’s landscape and people were shot so naturally. I felt Kamal Hasan must have researched a lot on the way of living in Afghanistan and how the beauty of the land was lost in the battle with all non- humans be it Talibans or other U.S. warriors and other locals! He must also have followed many Afghan movies along with Kite runner many times. The Afghan episode is most favorite to me and Kamal pulled off his Al-Qaeeda look with ease though he looked slightly out of place when compared to the real terrorists played by Rahul bose ( Omer) who is the main target of Kamal and Jaideep Ahlawat (Gangs of Wasseypur fame) who plays the role of Omer’s side kick! The other small roles like Mammu , Omer’s wife Khatija , his son and all other Afghanis seemed more than real. My heart goes for all those innocent people who want to lead a normal life there! There is a scene where Osama bin Laden is also shown importantly. It was natural too. I got goose bumps when I thought about the training they go through and the planning they do for successfully performing all the heinous acts.

Shekhar Kapoor and Nassar have done what they have to. Nothing great about their roles but hats off to Kamal Hassan who is rightly tagged as the modern-day Stanislavsky of Tamil cinema. He pulls off any role with ease. Be it the Kathak dancer Vishwanath with a tinge of feminism , be it the Afghan look or the RAW agent look Kamal does it effortlessly. In midst of all this he doesn’t miss to crack you up with his trade mark comic tit bits. The story is good and technical aspects are worth applause. After Dashawataram which actually bored me I felt Vishwaroopam is a good watch.


Not revealing many spoilers but after being on news from long every one has a fair idea of what the story is about. A fight between the real warriors who want to save a country and the terrorists. Kamal wants to destroy Omer’s plans to blow up Newyork with the nuclear (Cesium) bomb and while succeeding in this secret mission he even wins the heart of his wife Niru ! The subtle hints that GOD is one and that people get scared by even a religious identity are all shown in a nice way. Kamal’s vishwaroopam or the real face is unmasked when he and his wife are tortured by the terrorists or the Omer’s group . The real story starts then and it is packed with so much action and thrill that it makes you breathless. The biggest defect is that the movie should have been slightly fast paced specially in the second half. Mentioned below are few brownie points and flaws of the movie!

Brownie points

  • The well researched subject and story  and the man himself- Kamal Hassan.
  • Pooja Kumar who looked sexy enough and added spice to the movie.
  • Other actors Rahul bose, Jaideep who did full justice to their roles. 
  • Locations and excellent cinematography by Sanu Verghese.
  • As per audiences poll Jet fighter scenes in 3D format were great. I watched it in 2D.
  • The comic tit bits which lighten you up when you are bored or feel dragged. Again the credit here goes to Kamal.
  • The restless action packed scenes.

Few Flaws

  • It would have been great if Mahesh Narayanan reduced the length of the film with better editing .
  • Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s music is average. Not nerve gripping.
  • Kamal is cute with his chubby look which we all love but as a spy he should have maintained a much better physique, specially in the first fight which is like heart to the story. 
  • There was a need of little more explanation in few scenes which failed to generate the abundant thrill and curiosity among audience in the whole Cesium bomb explosion episode.

Lastly Kudos to the team for the brilliant out come . In spite of the minor flaws vishwaroopam takes the cake. It remains one of the very few spy movies in India which are the best. The movie is on par with few Hollywood films. Hoping to see a better part 2 

My rating : 3/5
PS: All images are googled. I dont own them.

Talaash – "A lot of searching". Dont give this a miss :)

Movie: Talaash
Cast: Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Direction: Reema Kagti

Story : Zoya akhtar , Reema Kagti


Talaash has been on my mind since I have been to the show yesterday. I cant say I loved the movie but theres a lot which deserves appreciation in the movie like the way the grimy world of Mumbai is shown very lively even if it is gloomy, dark and mostly shot in the night time. The director and cinematographer Mohanan definitely have put efforts to bring out the best outcome. The opening scene it self is intriguing where a car crashes just after the street dog’s bark which seems like a bad omen. The car crashing in to the sea , the waves and the tension in the passers-by is all shot so amazingly that I was  glued to the screen .Ram sampath’s mystic music started  with opening credits which shows the Mumbai city and happenings in dark hours crisply followed by accident. 


Surjan Shekhawat played by Aamir khan is a sturdy role. He is a person who is filled with melancholy and anger due to a personal tragedy and Roshni his wife is also going through the same trauma. Rani mukherjee is so natural in the role that you can feel nothing but sympathy for her.I felt sad when she explains her past to psychiatrist . Am surprised why she accepted a script like Aiyya prior to this. She yet again proved she if provided a good director and story can put all her efforts to bring out the best outcome. Kareena Kapoor aka Rosy the hooker cum prostitute also proved the same. After a disaster like heroine which of course was watchable only due to Kareena , she bloomed like a rose in her character Rosy and looks much more ravishing and steals the show. The intense emotions are displayed so mildly in her acting that she over powers Aamir Khan’s aura in some scenes! Ram sampaths music does justice to the movie. It shows the sad and bad phase of Surjan very aptly . No need to mention that Javed akhtar’s lyrics were just perfect. A loud applause to so many characters in the movie. Tehmur played by Nawazuddin siddiqui the man who is the heart of Wasseypur and also plays the role of merciless officer in Kahaani enters with a new face. He is a limping assistant to a pimp in the red light area named Shashi. Shernaz patel as a creepy neighbor who resembles the Trelawney of Harry potter really scared me. She becomes a source of solace in Roshini’s life much to the anger of Shekhawat who is already fighting his demons and having sleepless nights. At this juncture you draw conclusions in your mind silently , guessing there will be some twist where Aamir’s son helps resolving the case or in a way Shernaz patel may resolve the case but that doesn’t happen leading to lot of guess work. 

NO SPOILERS:

Armaan Kapoor a super star dies in the car crash and the case becomes more and more complex with he giving away a lump-sum to a local pimp Shashi and Armaan’s friend Sanjay is extremely tensed since the death giving rise to more doubts and conclusions.The first half of the story is flawless and the story line doesn’t disappoint you even in the second half but there will be a sudden  gasp and horror as the movie ends. I personally liked the end. Its definitely not a routine thriller and If I reveal the story you will lose the interest to watch it. I can only say the story line and Kareena Kapoor Khan are the heroes in the movie followed by Aamir and Rani’s realistic performances. The trio have faced tragedies and the way they display it on screen will make you sad for sure. I got skeptical when Rosy narrated about her life by the sea side at her favorite spot to Shekhawat. The music is apt and the strange magnetic force that pulls Shekhawat towards Rosy and lets him blurt out all his worries is so natural and touchy. I loved the scene where she gently strokes troubled Aamir’s forehead. Such a gentle empathetic scene is first time to me in Bollywood. I guessed the twist here but zipped my mouth for  the sake of audience 🙂 

Even if it is inspired here and there by hollywood movies and has minor glitches it stands out to be one of the best thrillers of 2012 along with Kahaani to me. The story is slow paced but enjoyable and you will let out a sigh when Aamir keeps visualising the tragic evening in his mind when he lost his son by imagining all the possible situations which could have saved his son! With such a disturbed mind Aamir reaches a dead end in the case when he bumps in to ravishing Rosy and  to know how the story unfolds you should go and watch it on big screen.

As end credits I want to appreciate Rani , Kareena and Aamir . Would be exciting to watch the trio again in a  movie with great script . The Akhtar trio undoubtedly are talented. If Farhan writes the dialogues , Zoya does the story screen play and Javed does the lyrics. I am starting to like Zoya more and more. Kudos to Reema Kagti for this suspense drama. I am sure not all will like the ending but I liked it as it hampered my guess work and was a total mind blowing end.  Kareena as the most glamorous sex worker since chameli draws attention towards her!If not the end it would have been another Kahaani or a Randeep hooda or Emraan Hashmi flick but ya even Randeep or Emraan would have given a similar performance in the role of melancholic Shekhawat but its the curiosity for Aamir’s ONE movie per year that adds icing on the cake.

The film shows its intentions quite clearly and sticks to its chosen tone and pace. Theres a lot of searching in the movie. Aamir’s search for the criminal , Rani’s quest for happiness, Tehmur’s search for a better life . An extra applause here to Anurag Kashyap for his additional dialogues. Only three words for him,” I love him “. Even if the ending is not so convincing take my word you will be flummoxed and convinced if you rethink as it fits the narration and connects all dots. Its a simple tale of tragedy , loss and revenge. 

My rating : 3.5/5

I loved the below song Muskaanen Jhooti hai ,just and just for Kareena kapoor. Go enjoy the movie but don’t expect it to be logical and if you analyse you are only spoiling the broth!

Most spectacular watch of the year

Originally at : http://youthopia.me/readarticle.php?aid=237

Spoiler alert

This book is in my to read list from long. I couldn’t read it till date. I was just thinking to grab the book and start reading that the movie released on Nov23rd . Produced and directed by Anglee and based on the novel by Yann Martel the movie has already got showers of appreciation. The visuals are sheer brilliant. I cannot analyse the movie technically but what I can say in short is “Every one was awestruck by the visuals and didn’t turn their heads in the fear of missing the beauty on screen” .All have started comparing this to Avatar saying it well deserves an Oscar! I can’t disagree. The visuals were spell bounding. Director Anglee used the 3D technology intelligently and shrewdly grabbing audience’s attention. The CGI tiger Richard parker which actually didn’t exist amused me a lot. Anglee who made crouching tiger, hidden dragon proved that he will continue enchanting the viewers! The boy who plays the 16yr old pi patel deserves a round of applause for his flawless rendition. Irfan Khan does what he has to . He being the old pi narrates his own story to a visitor who wants to write the book. Adil Hussain and Tabu who played Pi’s parents were a south Indian couple who were natural to the core and made a lovely duo though they played a short lived role.

If you read the book well and good. If you haven’t and don’t want to know the story before you watch give this a miss .I will have to narrate few bits here as I cannot exclaim at the marveling experience I had while watching the movie without revealing the story. The movie starts with Irfan khan narrating the story from the start to the man who visits. Irfan’s Mamaji suggests the name Piscine Molitor  Patel to our Pi which actually is the name of a famous swimming pool in Paris. The name pisses off our young Patel as he gets teased by every one at school who shout “pissing” at him. This role was played by  Ayush Tandon (age : 11) . A boy who is a deep thinker , reads a lot and analyses each and every aspect he comes across.That is the reason he wants to understand and follow good aspects of every religion. He was born Hindu but follows Christianity and Islam as well in contrary to his dad who is a staunch non believer . Tabu plays the role of a sweet mom who gives enough freedom to kids to think and believe. 
Young and Dynamic Suraj Sharma- 16yr old


Adil Hussain aka Santosh patel is a zoo keeper and hence they have wide range of animals when they decide to move to Canada as they feel there is no future in Pondicherry. The 16 year old Pi Patel played by Suraj Sharma enters the screen when the actual movie starts . He falls in love with a dancer Anandi but has to leave her when they decide to sail to Canada !Few dialogues do impact you a lot and the emotions are so clearly displayed like the blue serene water of the sea.

Irfan says to the visitor played by Rafe Spall that he remembers every thing from that evening he met Anandi, the promises and all but he doesn’t remember bading a good bye! I  was touched here 🙂

The real story starts in ship after the scene where a  rude  cook refuses giving them vegetarian food and they shout and fight and a severe storm hits the ship which leads to wreckage and the only survivor in the life boat is Pi along with Richard Parker (the tiger) , a Zebra , Hyena and a Orangutan by name Orange juice! A tear came to my eye when Pi asks  Orange juice “where are your kids?” the parent Orangutan looks at sea as if giving him answer that they are in the belly of merciless sea! This is the most touching scene to me.

The whole story revolves around Pi’s struggle to survive , to save himself from the Bengal tiger and also to try and tame him or at least act so in order to create a dummy zoo atmosphere. I loved the way the boy acted so intensely. He feels happy that he is not alone and simultaneously is scared as there is a permanent threat of tiger relishing the skinny vegetarian boy! Hence he stays in a safe distance.  

Trying to tame the tiger


In the life boat Pi keeps himself occupied by jotting down all his experiences with a pencil. There is a scene where there are millions of flying fish soaring just above them . I must say this is the most brilliant shot of the movie. 3D just made it more magical. My jaw dropped looking at how the serene sea can become violent too; the beautiful waves can be haunting and life taking too. If titanic was one spine chilling kind of experience this movie also leads to a similar feeling but there’s a ray of hope as the boy is not dying even after he lost his family ! 


Richard Parker is one more marvel in the movie. I absolutely loved this tiger and his natural expressions. It feels bad when the ferocious tiger becomes weak, lean and keeps gazing at the sky as if accepting the fate. The starry nights , the clear blue sea water, the camera showing underwater and the life boat and even sky from there ,stormy waves and the mysterious island where Pi finds thousands of meerkats and discovers that the algae are carnivorous  with a human tooth like thing inside the fruit is all unbelievable and heavenly. The visual effects prove that the movie has a good chance to bag an Oscar !

By the time life boat reaches shores of Mexico Pi is starving, bony and feels more devastated as Richard Parker escapes in to jungle without at least looking back at him. Folks from the Japanese freighter company don’t believe the eye witness story of Pi, so he tells them a different one in great detail with humans on the lifeboat instead of animals , but the visitor feels the initial story with animals was the best among both. The ending could have been much better. I felt slightly bored when Pi narrates the alternate story to Japanese. It was ambiguous. You may understand if you read the book. The fighter Pi cries profusely at the loss of Richard Parker. I kind of disliked this aspect. Being a great fighter he could have fought back the tears . Pi’s spirituality and belief in various gods and  the way he survives remembering each god ,  the way this aspect was dug deep in the book is not done in the movie.

Pi on the bio luminescent sea under the starry sky!!


Nevertheless this one is the most spectacular watch of  this year and for sure a visual treat. I can use many more adjectives like surreal, mystic, and magnificent to describe the movie and bravo to the director and the team .I am dying to read the book now 🙂

My Rating : 4.5/5