Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dev D and Luck By Chance

Dev D is fantastic. For once, Anurag Kashyap dazzles while indulging himself. Nice music, especially the Pardesi song (heart rending stuff in the raw literal sense, not touchy feely sense - like I wrote about The Wrestler, you will need a whisky after the song!) and the brass band version of Emosanal Atyachar. Watch the movie. Make Kashyap rich so that he can make more movies like this. The movie is so good that I can only recommend it strongly that you watch it rather than read this post!

If you are still reading this post for Dev D, it is an irreverent take on the much venerated tale of Devdas. Great coming together of a wild script, great music (I hope there is no plagiarism here - have once been disappointed by Pritham before when I liked Life in a Metro only to discover a library of places where music was filched from!) and nice acting (yet again!) by Abhay Deol. Mahie Gill has great eyes and a nice role. I really loved the clothes washing bit when Dev D is wallowing in filth. Further fun is had at the expense of SRK's or if you prefer SLB's Devdas with frequent tongue in cheek nods to it. If you love alternative cinema and the fact that good Indian movies can be made with Indian scripts, this movie is it. Good Luck to the makers to produce more such output in the future.

Now for Luck by Chance - a movie about the industry, from a family which is rooted in it.
Zoya Akhthar manages to pull off a great show.

Dialogues by dad with her bro as main actor, what could go wrong? Actually based on my experience as a compulsive movie watcher, everything!

The strength of the movie is the script. It does not have madhur bhandarkar's moral high ground kind of position with excess mockery rather than self mockery. Am a little tired of that anyways, as is the indian audience (thankfully). Hope he gets back to the chandni bar level.

shah rukh, aamir essay brief roles. srk has perhaps the best lines that the stars have in the movie. aamir has a brief role which seems like disguised mockery of his obsessive self. karan johar also has some lines of wisdom. hrithik has perhaps been the most generous in his time on the movie.

anurag kashyap has a cool cameo as script writer.

My major grouse with the movie is that it takes spoofing the world it belongs in, a little too far while having bouts of serious stuff. For ex., Isha Sharvani's role is great, but then that gets mixed with Dimple Kapadia's self-indulgent and simultaneously parodied character. Farhan Akhtar shows his role in Rock On was not a fluke. He is my other nominee to lead the resurgence of Indian movies.

Overall good watch. In fact it partially inspired me to stretch my neck out and write that other post on resurgence of Indian movies...


Resurgence in good Indian Cinema

I managed to see Luck by Chance, Dev-D and Delhi-6, over the weekend trying to brace myself for 3 more weeks in the Indian hinterland.

Delhi-6 has great music by AR Rahman. Sonam Kapoor is pretty and young. Rakeysh needs a scriptwriter.

Dev -D is fantastic and half the reason to write this post. More on that later.

After Dil Chahta Hai which came out when i entered college, one wondered whether there would be others. For the count (I may be missing something) here are some (can't recall others mostly due to poor memory)...

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (the best of the lot) so far - great script, good acting and incredible music
jhankaar beats
life in a metro
khosla ka ghosla
rock on
honeymoon travels
manorama six feet under
cheeni kum
johnny gaddar
wednesday (one can't imagine this movie was actually allowed to be made, released!)
dev d (what wisecandyman describes as devdas on LSD)

There was a streak earlier as well which died prematurely - bombay boys. snip, etc. as is obvious this streak is longer. So there is hope that we will get quality entertainment which is not necessarily directed towards the lcd. And i have deliberately left Sajjanpur out since Benegal did it. If he can't do a good movie, who can?

For writing on good Indian movies, not necessarily in the category of the above, also read and passionforcinema

I ended up discovering and this particular post on Swades


My Oscar predictions

While I write this post from the airport waiting to leave my beloved city, the Oscars are on. By the time my flight lands in Vizag, I expect AR Rahman to have created history. Since I haven't seen all the nominees, my predictions are limited. But here they are

Mickey Rourke for best actor from The Wrestler
AR Rahman for best song and best score for Slumdog
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for best movie (I don't like this choice, but I don't like its competition either)...
I don't think that the best director and best movie will be for different movies this year. Hence David Finch should win for direction, but if I am wrong on one of these, I guess Slumdog will win both. Or maybe there will be a curious consolation and splitting of the prizes b/w TCOBB and SM.


Friday, February 20, 2009


Back to my favourite city on earth, albeit for a weekend.

Been in Orissa for the last 3 weeks on work. It has been nothing like what I had expected. The greenery in the surrounding areas was only seen when I went out for a long run, which I did on only 2 days. On the other days, I stayed content with a run in the ground of the sports complex of the township I was with. And there is also the stench of the chemicals in the air due to the plant I work in. So the air is not really pristine and fresh like you would expect in a place with so much surrounding greenery.

Quite a busy day after getting back and some tough decisions were taken in life. Quite draining. The saving grace has been the filter coffee I have been overdosing on, since I got back. Can't believe it is 3 weeks without a drop of filter coffee :( It is the longest I have gone without filter coffee in recent times.

Look forward to getting some things done at work over the next 3 weeks and returning to the garden city. More proof that I can't live in a non-urban area for long, unless I had dirty amounts of money.

Reading Julian Barnes' Something to Declare. Quite delightful (more so, since I haven't touched either of the books I took on my trip :( ). Catching up quite a bit on regular life. Looks like this year's target will fall short of last yr's unless I take a long holiday sometime soon.