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Saturday, January 31, 2009

'Luck by Chance'

Lucky us.... I mean us viewers.... that movies like 'Luck by Chance' are being made! Zoya Akhtar seems extremely confident of the material and she has done a superb job as the director of the film that takes us on a ride, not too cerebral but engaging to the fullest, of the bylanes and alleyways of the Mumbai film industry. Experienced largely through the travails of the two protagonists, Sona (Konkona SenSharma) & Vikram (Farhan Akhtar), we are game to many an insider's tale of the shimmering-from-outisde & black-from-outside tinsel town. The premise does not have much newness, but the treatment surely does. The smart, stylish screenplay is sure to hook us, even though the flow seems a little self-indulgent at times. The 'filmy types' that have been done to death in umpteen movies haven't thankfully been rolled through overtly cliched routines. The cameo appearances by the high-profile celebs of Bollywood (from Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, John Abraham to the likes of Manish Malhotra, Karan Johar and Anurag Kashyap, it has a whole gang of A-listers!) do boost the film's marketability and also do rescue it from any possible dullness on account of predictability. Rishi kapoor, Dimple Kapadia & Isha Sharvani have been perfectly cast in the supporting roles. Last, but not the least, one must pat Hrithik Roshan in the back for a role that few stars would have risked taking up. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are impressive with their original score yet again, and so are all the crew-members of the film, who have put their best efforts to add to the film's ambience.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Oscar Fever Is Here Again!

It's that time of the year again when cine-buffs from around the world look forward to the biggest annual cine-event- The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars. Well, not all cine-buffs have good things to say about it..... nor are they expected to. The Oscars are as much about the marketing blitzkrieg as they are about celebrating quality cinematic offerings. So, for many it is a time to pinpoint at the vagueness behind the claims of superlative content; however, for others, it is a vindication of their own choices matching with the Academy's prize-winners.

This time, the film 'Slumdog Millionaire' has created the maximum buzz at the nominations, and many an Indian has been keeping the fingers crossed - the film already having won top honors at the Golden Globes this year - believing that the Danny Boyle film winning Oscars will in a way be a boost for the Indian films and the diaspora, sadly they are mistaken. 'Slumdog Millionaire', though technically brilliant, is a typical offering from British director Danny Boyle who has woven a modern-day fantasy out of the Third World horrors of low-life. It is a pastiche of colors-and-images-and-sounds that works as a great hook for the Western audience. It is kitsch being passed off as a contemporary classic.

'Slumdog Millionaire' is one of the most watched films, from the list of films in the Oscar nominations list, in this sub-continent. I too haven't seen many of the other apparently interesting films that I got to know only from the news reports about the nominations. I hope to see them but I doubt if I really be able to, as most of these are unlikely to be released in theaters in Kolkata! However, here I am taking a nod to all the films I have seen from this year's Oscar nominations - in whatever category or categories.

From top to bottom, scenes from the following:
The Dark Knight
Kung Fu Panda
Iron Man
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Courtesy: www.oscar.com

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

New Beginnings..... 2009

This is my first post for the year 2009...
I know, it was long over-due, couldn't avoid the delay..... for a number of reasons.
I would like to greet all my readers at first - a new year means new beginnings - no matter what! Maybe things weren't too happy for many of us. Maybe things were bleaker than the usual even as this year began. Nevertheless life is a celebration. And as I celebrate my life with this blog of mine, which is but a small effort to remain vibrant as life pulsates in its own way, I must say that the past year has been most wonderful in the personal field. Love finds its way, but it never felt so great, so blessed to have an exact replication of love (if not a manifold magnification) in the loved one's heart. May all be blessed with such sublime love; may love spread all the more in our frail hearts, which only assume such a magical splendour of joyous vigour when drenched in the hues of love.

Here's a not-so-original, and much replicated love story that I found truly inspiring which I want to share with my readers. It has been forwarded to me by a friend. As it is apparently anonymous in its umpteen re-tellings on the Net, sadly I cannot credit the original author. But here it is for the reading pleasure of all who haven't read it before:

An Amazing Love Story

He met her at a party. She was so outstanding, so many guys chasing after her; while he was so normal that nobody paid attention to him. At the end of the party, he invited her to have coffee with him, she was surprised, but, being polite, she agreed.
They sat in a nice coffee shop, and ordered for coffee. He was too nervous to say anything, she felt uncomfortable.... the silence was almost gnawing. Suddenly, as the coffee arrived, he asked the waiter, 'Would you please give me some salt? I'd like to put it in my coffee.' Everybody stared at him, so strange! His face turned red, but still, he put the salt in his coffee and drank it. She asked him curiously, 'Why did you do that?'
He replied: 'When I was a little boy, I lived near the sea. I liked playing in the sea, I could feel the taste of the sea, just like the taste of the salty coffee. Now every time I have the salty coffee, I always think of my childhood, I think of my hometown, I miss my hometown so much, I miss my parents who are still living there'. While saying these words, tears filled his eyes. She was deeply touched. Then she also started to speak, spoke about her far-away hometown, her childhood, and her family. That was a really nice talk, and it was also a beautiful beginning of their love story.
They continued to date. She found that he was a very sweet person, he was tolerant, kind-hearted, warm & caring. She would have almost derided him for the salty coffee, had she not known all about him! They soon got married, and lived a happy life.....
And, every time she made coffee for him, she put some salt in the coffee, as she knew that's the way he liked it. After 40 years, he passed away. He left her a letter which said: 'My Dearest, please forgive me, forgive my whole life which has been a lie. But trust me, our love was not a lie. To be very honest with you, the only lie that I have subjected you to, till date, is that about my preference for salty coffee. Remember the first time we dated? I was so nervous at that time, actually I wanted some sugar, but I said salt. You liked the story that I instantly concocted in defense of that incredible stuff, and it was hard to change it. I just went ahead with the lie.... without thinking about the far-reaching consequences. Later, however, I tried to tell you the truth many times, but I was too afraid..... I wasn't sure if that would be a sensible thing.
Well, the salty coffee has such a strange, bad taste! But I have had the salty coffee for my whole life! I could have done anything for you.... so, it was nothing! Having you with me has been my biggest happiness, for my whole life. If I could live again, I'd still want to know you and have you for my whole life, even if I am compelled by circumstances to drink the salty coffee - again!'
As she finished reading the letter, she found that her tears had made the letter totally wet, and, yes, it must be salty too, she reasoned.

Someday, someone asked her: What's the taste of salty coffee?
'It's sweet!' -she replied.

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