Friday, January 29, 2010

Ishqiya, Rann

After a long time, I managed to watch two movies - both on their day of release :)

Ishqiya is a movie from a practised hand - that of Vishal Bhardwaj. I have already raved about the music elsewhere. Both Arshad Warsi and Naseeruddin Shah essay their parts well. Vidya Balan is deglamorized and still attractive. The plot is pretty simple - 2 petty thieves get stuck in a larger game while on the run. The movie is not as tightly edited as it could have been, but is still a surprising short watch (less than 2 hrs). Recommended watch. I am sure you will be humming the music when you leave the hall if you aren't already.

Rann comes from a hand which has lost its touch in recent times, that of RGV. The movie is more evidence that he is nowhere near the man who once directed Sarkar or even Company, let alone Satya. The movie also has music (quite uncharacteristic for RGV), most of it forgettable, but relevant in the context. Amitabh Bachan performs (he does not ham, thankfully!). He alone is worth the watch, but not the 240/- PVR ripped me off for. Riteish Deshmukh has a mostly anguished expression (I like to think it reflects the lack of his acting abilities), but he has a likeable role. The rest incl. the pretty Panag are pawns in the movie. Paresh Rawal also manages a part but his role is very poorly built on and is largely limited to gesturing. The movie is populist (which to me means it has loads of scenes which are cliched and could have been dropped but our mainstream movies have them and hence RGV too has succumbed) but looks like RGV finally has a movie you can go watch . Hence, recommended. You won't get bored. You will perhaps even be moved by the primary premise of the plot - media and its manipulation (that is not a spoiler!) - having been battered by breaking news everywhere. In fact I saw the movie only since I knew there was some freshness to it. I am glad RGV got there before the self righteous Bhandarkar did (As I have said elsewhere on this blog, I am quite sick of his cynicism). As I said, AB holds the movie together. Go see it

Thursday, January 28, 2010

May the ...

horse be with you is a new ad from Amul, referring to the Salman Khan ride for his new movie...
Not witty at all, unlike their usual ones...

How would you greet someone off to Amsterdam?

May the whores be with you!

Copyright eh?

Short Run

Took half the day off from work.
Ran 3 miles in the evening in the new shoes and new socks :)

It is not my usual, but hey it is my 3rd day of running in the week. That counts for something.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Take that...

you b*

12.01 km (basically 10 loops of Shivaji Park) in 59:42. Ran with an old pair of shoes (763 New Balance-same as my new pair) though. Am feeling the happiest I have felt in 2010 so far.

I have included 2 graphs generated by Sports Tracks from the lap-wise data I gathered today. The heart rate shows I need a lot of strength to be able to do this at a lower rate.The pace graph shows performance anxiety in the 1st lap due to which I ran like mad - so while the HR was low, the pace was unsustainable.But it all helped cool off in the 9th lap before I ensured I met my goal for the day of finishing 12 km under an hour.

Ran 4.8 km y'day. So that's a pretty low mileage week. Not bad for a post-marathon week. Am sorely tempted to go after Pondicherry, but am trying to keep my ego in check. What say?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ijaazat

Excellent movie. Outstanding music (RDB). Heartwarming lyrics by Gulzar of course!
Difficult to believe that the entire soundtrack is sung by just 1 playback singer - Asha Bhosle.

And I was right about my crush on Anuradha Patel's character when I first mentioned her here.
If I had seen Ijaazat before JTYJN, I am sure I would have had a bigger crush on her ;) Beautiful woman.

And the Kapoor khandaan lends two of its fine specimens to the effort, to round off a nice starcast. Naseeruddin Shah wears some nice clothes. (Who said arty movies had to be dull?)

And the movie is 21 years old! Whoah!

I have but no choice to hum Mera kuch saamaan (which I had heard before of course, but I had never seen the movie in full)... The Moser Baer DVD I bought has some commentary on it (with atleast 1 typo!) which says the movie has feminist content. It may, but what I saw felt like a romantic movie to watch on a nice weekend.

Go watch it, if you haven't.

Also Socha na Tha earlier in the day as someone had recommended it. Slightly unpolished movie, but welcome watch from the usual trash that passes for movies these days.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Return of the bibliomania(c)

Crossword announced its clearance sale and I promptly decided to enrich their coffers ;)

The Birthday of the World by Ursula Le Guin
Japanese (Language Lab series - book + CD)
Terrors of the Table by Walter Gratzer
Mad about the Mekong by John Keay
Farokh Engineer by John Cantrekk
The Man Who Knew Infinity by Robert Kanigel
Brain Men by Markus Berkmann
Lewis Caroll in Numberland by Robin Wilson

All of this manic buying helped fund a coupon with which I got a DVD of the movie Ijaazat (just the song "Mera Kuchh Saamaan" is worth it)...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

Good Watch.

I am usually a stickler for the original, but in this case, considering most of what we know outside AC Doyle's own writing has been added on by illustrators and adaptations for the TV, etc, this one is worth a watch too. After all, movie is another form of story telling and Guy Ritchie keeps you engaged, although despite his usual style, the movie does feel a bit weak on the dramatic side, all the thrills accompanying his style, notwithstanding.

And Hans Zimmer's music does not hurt at all. I have already listened to the superbewitching tune of The Rocky Road to Dublin by The Dubliners some hundred times.... (Am sure it will become as popular as Shipping up to Boston by The Drop Kick Murphys made known by The Departed)

You see your Robert Downey (Jr),
I see my Rachel McAdams.

We are all happy.

(Ok, Jude Law too! but that does not remind you of an S&G song, does it)

Road to Salvation

The recovery has well begun, physically atleast :)

Ran 6 km in 34 mins.

This series has the dual purposes of tracking my mileage on my new pair of shoes which were broken in today at a gentle pace and also track how many kms I run in this calendar year.

Besides the sagacious B also recommends a short recovery run within 72 hours after every marathon. Here is mine.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mumbai Marathon 2010

I could tell when I woke up in the morning and smelt my coffee that I was going to have a special day. I had even shaved for the first time for a race. I never shave on weekends but this time I thought I will make it special by even trying to look presentable. Today would be the day I would kick the butt out of my previous poor timings after having run the Mumbai marathon for the 5th time. I could imagine being overwhelmed when I finished.

Now wait a minute. This was how this post was supposed to read!

All my bloody premonitions came to naught. I had a terrible race. I ran a reasonably steady first half. I know this tends to get repetitive. But I didn’t try anything silly (That is, if you discount the fuel efficiency test I tried on Sat! But hey, that was only 10 mins of running). I had a tried and tested breakfast. I didn’t eat anything with gas. So I didn’t make any known mistakes. So much for all the pain! I finished in a very humbling 4:39 with some depressing degradation for every milestone. So I bettered my previous best in Bombay by about 1 min. So much for all the training up and down Peddar road, losing weight, etc.

Well ,things could have been worse if Vetcha had not warned us about the fact that there was no water on the sealink. So I did carry 2 bottles both of which ran out. The sea link sloped upward twice when you come in from Bandra. So that hurt a bit. And for the first time, I had major cramps. My calf muscle seized up and was projecting out like a banana. I got scared just looking it. Thanks to the medical tent from Asian Heart Institute, that got better. And once you begin walking, your race is more or less over, unless you are of the run-walk types. And then I had post race nausea...

So the day I was waiting for a whole year turned up to be a damp squib. It is a bit like ending up at your b'day party and then realizing there is no party happening.

Anyways, I will have to wait for another year for redemption I guess.

Some friends had a much better race, most notably Bhasker who ran in an incredible 4:01, Sanjay who ran a 4:10, Chandra, Vasu et al. Siraj who ran his first in Bombay, ran a mean 4:20 ish and is now wondering what he needs to do to get better J

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Adapting Books to Screenplays

A nice piece by Pradeep Sebastian, one of my current favourites, not in the least due to the fact that he is a bibliophile

An ear for detail

I was watching the Hindi movie "Fashion" today.

It is an "ok" watch (I am not a little jaded with Madhur Bhandarkar's so called realistic movies, he is more over the top than actual events are, I guess...Chandni Bar remains his best and Page 3 was not bad at all...), but I got distracted by this one thing... In one scene, Priyanka Chopra's character says, "...poora paisa nahi diya to paise wapas nahi milenge" referrring to an earlier scene where a character has actually said, "...cancel kiya to paise wapas nahi milenge..."

Am I the only one who noticed this? What was the editor of the movie doing?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Ishqiyan...

Been listening to just 2 songs... Dil to baccha hai ji (my favourite) and ibn batuta from vishal bharadwaj's latest movie - ishqiyan....

The former seems to have a starting piece which is a straight lift from the nutcracker suite, but is otherwise amazingly hummable, in the mukesh tradition

Listen to it and let me know what you think....

Friday, January 01, 2010

Chetan Bhagat's cribs on 3 Idiots

After seeing 3 Idiots and having read the book, this morning's newspapers presented the 1st irritating headlines of the year - both MINT and ET had Chetan Bhagat (CB) groaning over how he has not been credited enough in the movie and in the media, in the runup to the movie.

Spoiler Alerts ahead - People who haven't seen the movie, you may stop reading here...

My not so humble opinion (and I acknowledge it is prejudiced) is that the movie is entertaining due to its screenplay, not the book. It is obviously inspired by 5.someone, but there are enough distinct plot elements which distinguish it from the book.

1. The main twist in the tale is not in the book
2. The girlfriend of the main protagonist is not really expanded upon in the book
3. And the movie is really about Aamir Khan's character while it professes to be about 3 idiots, it is really about how the former is god's gift to mankind

I can rant more, but I think this will do.

Here is my primary disclaimer -> I am taking what ET and MINT have reported as CB's own words. One never knows how much the person in question is misquoted/has his words distorted in the media.

That said, I found it rather amusing that CB is quoting critics agreeing that the movie is about 70% from his book (I would love to know whether the critics have all read the book completely) and that his mother was tearful, ... What will we hear next?! I think CB got a raw deal on his contract here. No two things about it. But he should have hired a good lawyer before signing the deal. And I think the movie makers acted quite petty in putting his name at the end of the credits. That's too bad! However our man is now a publishing phenom, has made enough money and everyone in the country knows (or should know by now) the movie is inspired by his book. I thought he should be smarter and better than to crib in multiple national newspapers on the first day of the year. Why then rant in mass media? Pritish Nandy (as quoted in one of the papers) had an interesting take - he thinks this is a gimmick to drum up publicity for the movie! I think CB may be feeling left out quite literally out of the dirty sums the movie has been raking in, despite his take here. Further, I found it an eerie coincidence that these articles appeared side by side the news items projecting the movie's expected collections to be around Rs. 200 Cr or so.

Sab maaya hai!
We have enough distasteful news to read these days. Too bad the new year started with something like this

New Year Resolutions

Get 1 more step closer to Boston (It is impolite to ask how many steps there are!)
Start sketching/painting/cartooning. (I have enough ideas for atleast half a dozen panels)
Read more than I managed in 2009.
Start writing my first book!
Take atleast 2 long breaks (atleast 1 week) from work, (unlike in 2009) - and 1 of them atleast to travel...