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Friday, December 30, 2011

Films Seen in 2011: Top Ten

1. A Serious Man [2009]
2. The King's Speech [2010]
3. Black Swan [2010]
4. Blue Valentine [2010]
5. The Savages [2007]
6. Kick-Ass [2010]
7. Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) [2011]
8. That Girl in Yellow Boots [2011]
9. Aami Aadu (Sound of Love) [2011]
10. G**du (Loser) [2010]
The selection and ranking has been based on personal preference
taking into account the 200+ films viewed - be it on the big screen or on video.
Pics courtesy: Google Images
[The year in brackets indicates the year of release and/or making]

Love and Distrust

I decided to watch 'Love and Distrust' without knowing anything about the movie.

I was simply drawn to it because of the stellar cast: Robert Pattinson, James Franco, Sam Worthington, Amy Adams, Robert Downey, Jr......... who wouldn't be impressed?

It's only on playing the video that I did realize it was a compilation of short films and the names featured on the cover were actually part of not one but diverse short films - the common thread having been captured aptly in the title itself.

As always, in any such compilation, all the film segments cannot claim to be of the same standard.

They differ from each other in tone, treatment and effect..... but, on the whole, it is an interesting package.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

M:I-4 i.e. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is yet another film which delivers exactly what it promises. I have unabashedly been a fan of the franchise from the very first movie in the series that has Tom Cruise, my childhood idol, essaying the role of secret agent Ethan Hunt.

In the first film, Cruise's character was framed for the deaths of his espionage team. It had him fleeing from government assassins, and breaking into the most impenetrable vault of the C.I.A.
Thereafter, he even has to cling to the roof of a speeding train in the climax, and race like a burning fuse until he discovers a shocking truth. In the second film, he has a beautiful partner in Thandie Newton to stop a renegade agent from releasing a new kind of terror. But, it is in the third film, that he faces his deadliest adversary - a sadistic weapons dealer, and he is cornered when his wife is threatened to be eliminated. MI:4 picks up from there and packs up the regular action which the fans of the series love, and Tom Cruise proves that he can still pull punches as one of the most bankable stars of Hollywood.

This time the members of the cast include - apart from Cruise - Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Tom Wilkinson, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Léa Seydoux, Josh Holloway, and our very own Anil Kapoor.

Friday, December 16, 2011

In memoriam: Love you, Dad

Last month, my dad passed away.
It is never easy for a son to write about his dead who is no more.
Yet, my dad fills my life with his presence, though it is no longer a bodily presence. He resides within. He makes himself ever-present by helping me hold a mirror to my own self.

Those who have known my dad
have perhaps known him as the most affable gentleman,
someone gentle, and easygoing,
one who warmed up affectionately to
all and sundry, and had his own special way of showing
them that he cared, empathized and connected with them
with his gentility, and kindness.

On a lighter note, he couldn't have been more different than Peter Reading, the accomplished British poet who also passed away on the seventeenth of last month.
For my readers, I won't prolong this In Memoriam piece, as I am not one who believes that personal grief can be blatantly shared, please forgive my inability.

I would just like to sum up with this verse,
can't acknowledge the poet as he/remains unknown to me,
the feeling is universal, hence sharing here.......

"When we lose someone we love
We learn to trust somehow
That a new life in a brighter place
Is just beginning now....
A place of grace, and peace, and joy,
Beyond all time and sorrow,
Where loving hearts who part today
Will meet again tomorrow."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tintin - a Spielberg-Jackson spectacle!

Tintin has finally landed on the silver-screen and has conquered!!!
I saw the film on Children's Day (November 14th). 
I wasn't supposed to go for the movie that day. But my appointment got cancelled and it so happened that I had to kill time for two hours or so. Hence, I turned up at the South City mall multiplex, Fame, and was lucky to grab the only remaining ticket for the show (the display board was showing Houseful though!), and eventually, the technically resplendent Spielberg-Jackson spectacle hit me!

But there is also a side-story, which I am about to tell.

Let me confess, that very day, I wasn't in a mood for a movie exactly.
Yet I warmed up within minutes, as I grappled with the 3D glasses and found myself next to a kid from class seven who had turned up for the movie all by himself. I hesitated for a while to strike up a conversation with the boy, considering the possible inappropriateness of chatting up, being a rank stranger to him. But he warmed up too easily. I found out that he was from the same school where I had studied. And, like me, he too was a Tintin fan (who isn't?).
The two of us had a whale of a time, marveling at the action-packed, slick escapade that unfolded on screen. We even compared our observations on the theme of comic book versus movie adaptation, and tried to be neutral in our appraisal of the film we were watching. As expected, he - being a today's kid - was a lot more aware of stuff, even the technicalities of the filming process, than I was at his age. Yet, I was happy to note that he retained his basic innocence and was a lovely kid to befriend, my earnest regard for his parents. He talked about his hobbies, school, teachers, and such things, in the intermission.

Actually, we grew quite impatient with the intermission stretching on and on, on top of being inserted at the oddest of moment, in the midst of a delightful action-sequence.

The film ended, we went our ways, saying polite goodbyes. Yet the memory lingers on....... as it felt for a while that I met my own self, my own childhood, in the confines of the theater; my eyes were covered by the 3D glasses; a colorful world emanated, and the added dimension of simple escapist delight filled my senses.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Good and Bad.....

There's no good or bad in this world;
it's the thinking that makes it so.
What people call SUFFOCATION in a local train
becomes ATMOSPHERE at a night club!
A child, on a farm, sees a plane fly overhead & dreams of flying -
but the pilot, on the plane, sees the farmhouse & dreams of returning home.
That's life!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! 'The Vampire Diaries'

Let me admit, this is a special Halloween post.
Today is Halloween, and I seek to celebrate the ghouls and the ghoulish,
and all things supernatural, as they fascinate me since childhood,
for purposes of entertainment, nothing else though......
no serious spooky business here,
but just doffing my hat to the television series which I've been hooked to, of late:
The Vampire Diaries.
Frankly speaking, the series did not quite grab my eyeballs when the First Season was aired.
I thought it catered more to the sensibilities and tastes of the teenagers, and that too mostly the girls, who can't have enough of the love-related complexities along the soap-fodder lines.
I did skip most of the episodes therein. However, as the Second Season started airing (the deferred telecast in India, on Zee Cafe), I had to revise my initial reservations on the content.

I am not going to delve into the details of the storyline or the numerous sub-plots, because I expect this post to be read and appreciated only by the afficionados of the series. For the uninitiated: It's a supernatural series which primarily is about a high school girl who's loved by two vampire brothers, who are about 150 years old.

The characters go through more than the usual share of thrills and chills that are expected in a tale of this genre. The complications in love take a backseat in the Second Season, thankfully, as it concentrates more on the digressions and the twists & counter twists that involve the heroine's doppelganger and her machinations, and also reveals, purportedly, the main villain.

Elena - the heroine - as well as Katherine, the doppelganger, are played by Nina Dobrev. While the vampire brothers Damon and Stefan are played by Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley respectively. Jeremy, Elena's brother, is played by Steven R. McQueen. Some of the other interesting members of the cast are: Michael Trevino, Zach Roerig, Kat Graham, Matt Davis and Taylor Kinney.

The actors have become hugely popular, endeared by millions of fans worldwide.

Expectedly so, as that is exactly how television makes people famous overnight.
Anyways, today, I'd like to say a few words just about my favorite character from the series: Mason Lockwood, played by Taylor Kinney. In fact, I started watching the series (later I caught up with the earlier episodes online though) because of him.
Mason's character isn't even a pivotal one, though he plays an integral role in the progression & turn of events. Taylor Kinney had, in fact, just a string of guest appearances. Yet, I loved the depth in the character, the potential that had probably been unleashed by the actor and not so much by the script.
When Mason dies in the series, I felt shattered. Well, almost. A case of suspension of pure disbelief, I guess. 
Mason was Tyler's uncle (Tyler being the high school football jock and Elena's friend). He has been described as Tyler's 'cool' uncle; sexy, athletic and with an easygoing charm.
He returns to Mystic Falls (where Elena and his friends live) after seven years. He reveals to Tyler the Lockwood curse, which had been kept a secret from him; he does so after a dramatic confrontation.
Mason flips in an instant if crossed; it struck me as an interesting character trait.
He is in love with Katherine; eager to do anything for her......
.......yet he does not trust her in a blindly. He's torn by his own demons.
Mason genuinely shows concern for his nephew, Tyler.......
.......but he has his own agenda too, which he's focused on.
Truth be told: Mason's a werewolf!
Mason finds himself vulnerable and insecure because of his cursed identity.
He finds in Damon, his biggest enemy...... his nemesis.
After all, vampires and werewolves can't expected to be friends!!!!
A bite from a werewolf can be fatal for a vampire, hence the persecution.
It is Damon who finally captures him and kills him by ripping his heart out.
Surprise, suprise: Mason returns as a ghost in Season Three (it shows how Taylor Kinney cannot be ousted from the series, his fans won't take it lying down..... hahaha) and he is determined to make Damon pay for killing him.
And, spoiler alert for the ones who are yet to catch the goings on in Season Three,
Mason tortures Damon much in a way that he himself had been tortured but he lets him live.
Mason reveals that, among the Lockwood family's dark secrets, was a way to kill an Original vampire. Mason and Damon head to the Lockwood cellar where they break into a hidden part of it. Damon still refuses to trust Mason but when Mason saves him from the vervain spikes that pierce Damon, he tells him that he doesn't care about revenge: he wants redemption and he wants to help Tyler.
Happy Halloween!!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

'Rockstar' is coming to rock us!

ROCKSTAR is going to be Ranbir Kapoor's next release.
It's releasing on the 11th of November.
The music from the soundtrack is a rage already.
The film stars Ranbir Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri, Aditi Rao Hyadri and many others.

Directed by Imtiaz Ali, it's the most awaited film of the year.

And Ranbir seems to be banking on it in a big way.

The film boasts of brilliant visuals & A.R.Rahman's fusion score.

The story is supposed to be an emotional-cum-musical journey.

Since August, the promos have been making us expectant in a big way.

I sincerely hope that the film becomes a rewarding experience for all.

Major portions have been shot in Kashmir, at various scenic locations.

The city of Delhi features in a big way too.

The sequence at Nizamuddin Dargah is supposedly an awe-inspiring one.

Many of the costumes worn in the film have been designed by Aki Narula.

The attention to details is likely to contribute majorly to the narrative.

Ranbir too has spared no efforts to become the character.

Nargis Fakhri plays the role of a Kashmiri Pandit girl.

Ranbir himself has admitted that the presence of Nargis in the film is very special.

Mohit Chauhan has lent his voice to several songs of the film.

The soulful lyrics have been penned by Irshad Kamil.

People would want to watch it for all kinds of reasons.

A personal reason for me: Late Shammi Kapoor's final screen appearance.

Can't wait to catch this scene Ron has with the legend.

I wish all the best to the cast & crew of the film. Can't wait to watch it now!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Getting Slushied

Getting slushied is commonplace for the members of the Glee club, in the popular tele-series 'Glee'. Many might find it irritating how shakes and slushies are randomly thrown at on the Glee guys and girls in the first and the second seasons of the series, but it is indeed a fun way to represent the bullying stereotypes that almost all of us commonly experience in life, in some form or the other.
Bullying is, in fact, a problem all over. Schools are the breeding grounds and the practice is continued with gusto by the bullies in colleges too, and it gets diversified further, and becomes multi-pronged, multi-dimensional and even multi-participative.
I think, 'Glee' raises a fundamental issue and colors it & exaggerates with fun and banter, and packages it with all the ingredients of mass appeal, but the underlying message is never lost.
In the storyline, the Glee club is shown as the most unpopular group, for having dared to go against the grain, by embracing song & dance, and it is largely the alpha-male student population which targets the club with its extreme bullying antics. The slushying sequences, later, have become nothing short of a trademark for the show and have added spunk to its theme of celebrating one's true self by rising above petty opposition, and by winning over the brute forces through a display of sheer talent & histrionics, getting noticed, and gaining acceptance.

Here, Artie, perceived as the 'dork' in the wheelchair, gets slushied badly.......

.....and, yet, he strongly empathizes with the faith: Be Who You Are, Be Proud!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Nightingale Who Soothes Our Souls Turns 82!

Today also happens to be the birthday of Lata Mangeshkar,
the Nightingale of India, who has been soothing our souls for all these years.
May she do so in the years to come.
As long as music will exist, her voice shall enthrall us.

Vadhdivasachya Hardik Subhechcha!!!
Happy Birthday, Lata-ji,
we pray for your good health.

Lata-ji is young-at-heart even having turned 82!
Her mellifluous singing charms us through ages.
The legendary singer has sung in more than a thousand films,
and has sung in more than thirty-six languages!

She has about 30,000 songs to her credit,
having started her singing career way back in 1942.

These days, she rarely gives public performances, but her grand appearance in Kolkata, the city of joy, last month at a programme entitled Tagore Forever was really special. She was present along with the illustrious Mangeshkar clan, that included the likes of Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar, Meena Khadikar (her sisters), Hridaynath Mangeshkar (her brother, an eminent composer).

Happy B'day, Ron!

It's Ranbir Kapoor's birthday today.

He's one of the hottest celebs in tinsel town.
Here's wishing him all the best in life.
Ron's sure to miles and miles ahead and shine brighter still.
Ron's next release is ROCKSTAR: coming soon!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Facebook mania.....

Is it the new drug? Is it the new addiction for millions?

Gosh!!!! It's too addictive!

Are people increasingly interested in boosting self-image?

Even if it is a trumped-up, false image?

The answer: Yes, sadly so.

Falling in love on Facebook is common...... but so is falling out of love.

And the love-hate-love affair with Facebook continues.

Some even believe in the adage: 
"FACEBOOK makes work fun!"

Monday, August 29, 2011

How to flex the enthu muscle?

I have often observed that the people who seem to get the most done and appear to be the most successful are those who have an enthusiastic attitude.
Sometimes, the unlimited enthusiasm in a person just baffles and bewilders me.
If there is one thing I think is genuinely worth being envious of is this enthusiasm or high-spiritedness.
There is definitely something very attractive about those who have a zest for life and a real passion about what they do.
People with such enthusiasm send out positive energy that automatically draw people in their direction.
This ability to attract positive energy is why enthusiastic people are more likely to succeed.
So, how do we become enthusiastic? How do we flex our enthu muscle?
I have been told that it's easier than I think.
Well, the key lies in practice. Yes, it just takes practice.
One needs to think of it like exercising a muscle to make it toned and strong. In this case, the best way to build up one's enthusiasm muscle is to find ways to focus on the positive. I I have found it difficult to do especially because I am way too often weighed down by the odds of life. The hardships and the challenges get the better of me, and I feel browbeaten to the core.
But, I have been told that one who is not exactly feeling upbeat due to the harsh realities of the present can try becoming aware of the happy and upbeat things around one, they can surely be found to exist by the natural laws of contrary feelings, and then one has to really start focusing on them. This will help to encourage a positive outlook. And when one becomes positive, he or she is more likely to be energetic and enthusiastic, thereby drawing wonderful energy his or her way.
It seems really a fantastic cycle to be a part of!
It is also beneficial to seek out the company of other enthusiastic people.
Being around those who are positive and enthusiastic is equally stimulating and invigorating. And as this process is contagious, even more beneficial and creative energy comes our way.
Positivity easily translates into perceivable gains, transcends immediate applications and transmits to people who happen to interact with the positive-minded people. 
As we work toward this goal of enjoying what we do and those we spend time with, we ourselves shall become an enthusiastic example to those around us.

Friday, August 19, 2011

'Mere Brother Ki Dulhan'

'Mere Brother Ki Dulhan' is the upcoming Yash-Raj Films production.
It is all geared up for release and the promos on air have caught my fancy.
The Yash-Raj Films banner have always been associated with romantic flicks.
Of late, they have even tried to re-invent their brand of romantic films.
Instead of the staple formula, there have been some innovations by them,
many of them helmed by new directors, who have tried to infuse freshness,
there have been a bit of experimenting with the execution too, some of their films have backfired, despite the changes brought about in varying degrees, and a few have emerged winners too.
Much of the story is set in Dehradun, and the portions of the film have been shot there.
There have been widespread rumors that the film is loosely based on the films like 'Dan in Real Life' and 'My Brother's Wife', however, those have been quashed by the makers. The young director has said that his debut directorial venture has actually been inspired by the matrimonial advertisements in the newspapers where people are on the lookout for an ideal Indian woman to get married to. It's reassuring that the film will not be banking on the risqué quotient (very much in display in the Spanish film 'My Brother's Wife') and rather would have all the spice, the masala, that one would normally expect from a mainstream Bollywood offering.
As far as the promotional videos are concerned, they are surely gripping.
The trailers give us a n exuberant, youthful feel.
The last time that the Yash-Raj banner had a winner,
in the light-hearted romantic genre, was 'Band Baaja Baaraat',
and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this one too.
The film has been described as a topsy-turvy tale set amongst upper-middle class families in northern India.
Imran Khan plays the brother to Ali Zafar, and falls in love with the latter's fiancée, played by Katrina Kaif.
But that's just the basic plot-line; the makers have been fiercely guarding the details, as they are expected to do.
Imran Khan, the male protagonist of the film, is now much in demand after the huge success of 'Delhi Belly', which got a terrific response from the young audience, and from the critics.
Imran is hopeful that 'Mere Brother Ki Dulhan', which he has described as a comedy of errors, will strike a chord with the masses.
Ali Zafar, who has a huge fan following as a singer-actor in Pakistan, had done a brilliant comed called 'Tere Bin Laden' last year, and, basking from his success therein, he did not hesitate to sign up as the second male lead after it had reportedly been turned down by Ritesh Deshmukh.
Katrina Kaif has been paired with Imran Khan after their much speculated upon project with director Sanjay Gadhvi failed to take off.
The director, Ali Abbas Zafar, has been working as an assistant with this very production house for a while, with films like 'Jhoom Barabar Jhoom', 'Tashan', 'New York', and 'Badmaash Company', and this one marks his writing as well as directorial debut.
The film stars Imran Khan, Katrina Kaif, Ali Zafar, Tara D'Souza and Kanwaljit Singh, and John Abraham reportedly has a cameo appearance.
I sincerely hope that this film lives up to its promise of being a frothy entertainer.
Imran Khan and Katrina Kaif look great as a pair. The songs are super-cool.
Katrina Kaif has donned a rockstar-avatar (in the 'Dhunki' song) for the first time.
The film's writer and director: Ali Abbas Zafar;
Cinematographer: Sudeep Chatterjee; Editor: Ritesh Soni.
And the zany songs have been composed by Sohail Sen.
Certified by the makers: A guarantee of freshness.
The surprise package: Ali Zafar, the singer-turned-actor from Pakistan.

Ali Zafar plays elder bro to Imran Khan and the latter helps in his bride hunting.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ani & Bonnie: On Endings and New Beginnings

Ani: Hello, Bonnie, many of my readers and good friends have been asking me why I haven't been posting one of our chat sessions yet again....

Bonnie: Ani, it's always a pleasure to chat about things closer to our heart, but hearty conversations that would be of general interest have become infrequent, I'm sure your avid readers would understand.

Ani: Well, today, I'd love to broach the subject of endings and closures, they've been weighing heavily on my mind, you know.

Bonnie: Things better come to their logical conclusions, and there's nothing often more logical than an ending. And, I would also add that endings mean new beginnings too, as endings aren't absolute or static in this dynamic world of ours.

Ani: Yes. Things end, and new things come up in their place......

Bonnie: Not only that, newer sides or dimensions to old things or old perceptions also come about. Closures are thus more welcome especially in comparison to things becoming passé.

Ani: I hope my readers aren't baffled by our speaking in circles.....

Bonnie: We aren't..... okay, let me cite all the stuff that randomly come to my mind, the recent Black Wednesday terror attacks in Mumbai, for instance.

Ani: It breaks my heart to talk about it. I had been following the developments closely each night on telly, and been having nightmarish visions as I toss and turn in bed thereafter.....

Bonnie: The dastardly attacks were really so disturbing, they absolutely unsettle any sane person.... but what I was going to say was that after these repeated attacks in Mumbai in the recent past, the Mumbaikars find it hard to control their anger, and frustration....

Ani: Do you think it's going to change their spirit?

Bonnie: Well, it's an end to being appreciative of the phrase 'the resilient spirit of Mumbai', I fear that in it lurks the beginning of their seething rage..... treating the whole exercise of saluting the spirit of Mumbai, by the politicians - and the media - as if it's an attempt to abuse them.

Ani: That may be too harsh to say, but I can sense their grudges against the administration. There is a possibility of generating a democratic ouster of the present government eventually. Maybe, like we did, here, in West Bengal.
That makes me ask for your take on the change of guard in Bengal..... what do you think of the end to the 34 year-old Communist rule?

Bonnie: frankly, it's the end of CPI(M)'s misrule, that was long due, rather overdue, but Mamata Banerjee's innings have begun with a revival of the Communist ethos in a rechristened, hybridized format. How successful, or how productive it would eventually be, is a question that should be kept for the future. I am not sure how the quasi-dictatorial rule of Miss Banerjee, who has the first and the last say in calling the cards as the Trinamool Supremo will resonate in the years to come, at the grassroots, but right now, she has been consolidating the concept of a new beginning, the dream of a new tomorrow, successfully.

Ani: Can't agree more. I would assert that it's a new beginning to her crusade, this time not as the leader of opposition, but as a potential game-changer. Her strategies might paid off well in dethroning the Left government, but her real challenges have just begun. She has to live up to her image as the messiah of the marginalized and the oppressed, and has also to refurbish our state's image as a cherished model of prosperity.

Bonnie: I am reminded of one more topical change; the changes in the city's weather, of late. Have you noticed how the monsoons coming on schedule has become a thing of the past?

Ani: Hahaha...... the weather phenomena have been changing globally, buddy.....

Bonnie: Ya, but Kolkata has been witnessing new heights of erratic weather these days, too little rains, and then too much of it, some new beginning in randomness, unpredictability, whatever!
Ani: You see, mapping the endings or the beginnings at a macro level is one thing, but mapping them at a micro level is so very complex. Isn't it so?

Bonnie: Recently, when Kolkata's BharatLakshmi Studio was being devoured by the flames, or the city's historic New Market was threatened to be engulfed by fire, those too were the signallings of some end, or some beginning that conspiratorially waited at the fringes, but what such things mean to individuals who are associated is something that's hardly pondered over.

Ani: True. Personal or public, big or small, endings and beginnings affect us emotionally, more than anything else.

Bonnie: Some scars are left behind, some heal in good time.

Ani: We heave a sigh of relief when an awaited end comes, we lament only when the end is perceived as untimely.

Bonnie: I am baffled how we choose to turn a blind eye to the ungainly endings that are on their way....

Ani: And the same can be said for the beginnings that we are never geared up for.

Bonnie: That's a lesser evil. You, for example, have a difficulty in dealing with closures.

Ani: Touché! I invite closures too.

Bonnie: You are also frequently visited by the ghosts of your past closures, I know.

Ani: How do you know?

Bonnie: It's obvious. Hahaha.....
Enjoy their visits, at best. Else, ignore them.
All I can say is, do not let them haunt you.
You must reason that all good things do come to an end......

Ani: Hmmm..... What about the end to Harry Potter films? Good or bad?

Bonnie: Thank goodness the film series was more-or-less successfully wrapped up, the cast continuity becomes a mammoth problem.

Ani: And, as far as the creator of the Harry Potter phenomenon, J. K. Rowling is concerned, the fans have been promised 'Pottermore': the promise of more wizarding adventures, the revealing of secrets and much more interactive stuff.
Bonnie: So, there's hope in the world of business and marketing that creates newer elixirs, whereby ends aren't ends for all practical purposes. What say?

Ani: I take it as a positive note, and hereby conclude our conversation for the day. Thanks, for the special chat session.

Bonnie: Mutually pleasurable, Ani.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Best of Hindi Cinema

Here's a listing of one hundred favorite Hindi films of mine:
[I have tried my level best to order them chronologically, based on the year of release - inadvertent historicity bloopers be excused]

1. Awara (1951)

2. Devdas (1955)

3. Jagte Raho (1956)

4. Naya Daur (1957)

5. Mother India (1957)

6. Do Ankhen Barah Haath (1958)

7. Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958)

8. Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)

9. Kanoon (1960)

10. Mughal-e-Azam (1960)

11. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)

12. Bandini (1963)

13. Yaadein (1964)

14. Guide (1965)

15. Teesri Kasam (1966)

16. Bhuvan Shome (1969)

17. Mera Naam Joker (1970)

18. Anand (1971)

19. Reshma Aur Shera (1972)

20. Pakeezah (1972)

21. Piya Ka Ghar (1972)

22. Saudagar (1973)

23. Achanak (1973)

24. Garm Hava (1973)

25. Ankur (1974)

26. Avishkaar (1974)

27. Deewar (1975)

28. Sholay (1975)

29. Chhoti Si Baat

30. Mrigaya (1976)

31. Manthan

32. Kinara (1977)

33. Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977)

34. Bhumika (1977)

35. Kitaab

36. Gaman (1978)

37. Junoon (1978)

38. Golmaal (1979)

39. Chakra (1981)

40. Chashme Buddoor (1981)

41. Umrao Jaan (1981)

42. Arth (1982)

43. Sadma (1983)

44. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983)

45. Katha (1983)

46. Mandi (1983)

47. Saaransh (1984)

48. Holi (1984)

49. Party (1984)

50. Utsav (1984)

51. Paar (1984)

52. Mirch Masala (1985)

53. Saagar

54. Damul (1985)

55. Ijaazat (1987)

56. Yateem (1988)

57. Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro (1989)

58. Raakh (1989)

59. Nazar

60. Kasba (1990)

61. Prahaar (1991)

62. Rudaali (1993)

63. Maya Memsaab (1993)

64. Bandit Queen (1994)

65. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995)

66. Daayra (1996)

67. Khamoshi: Sangeetmay (1996)

68. Dil Se (1998)

69. 1947: Earth (1998)

70. Satya (1998)

71. Rockford (1999)

72. Hera Pheri (2000)

73. Lagaan (2001)

74. Dil Chahta Hai

75. Chandni Bar (2001)

76. Jhankaar Beats

77. Black Friday (2004)

78. Maqbool (2004)

79. Raincoat (2004)

80. Iqbal (2005)

81. Sarkar (2005)

82. Main, Meri Patni... Aur Woh! (2005)

83. Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2005)

84. Rang De Basanti (2006)

85. Kabul Express (2006)

86. Khosla Ka Ghosla (2006)

87. Johnny Gaddar (2007)

88. Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd (2007)

89. Chak De! India (2007)

90. Jab We Met (2007)

91. Rock On!! (2008)

92. Firaaq

93. Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na (2008)

94. Wake Up Sid

95. Dev.D

96. 3 Idiots (2009)

97. Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year (2009)

98. Love, Sex Aur Dhokha

99. Udaan (2010)

100. Peepli Live

Friday, July 01, 2011

"I Am Harry!": A Case of Split Reality? HaHaHa

Watch it and laugh out loud:-)

Daniel 'Harry Potter' Radcliffe has matured as a fine actor, and is quite interesting to watch and listen to, especially when he shows his funny side, which he does quite often these days.
Daniel Radcliffe in 'Equus', the cult play.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Messi!

Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi was born on this day, in 1987, in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina. Here's wishing him a very happy birthday.

He is currently my favorite footballer, and a football-icon for millions all over the world. Despite being a victim of growth hormone deficiency, Messi has had a stupendous career as a champion footballer.

His playing style and skills with the ball have often made people compare him with the Argentine football legend Diego Maradona. Often called the prince of football, Messi is said to make the football smile. Not only has he achieved unprecedented success, winning almost every personal accolade including the Ballon d'Or, Messi has reaped handsome rewards for FC Barcelona and the national team of Argentina, playing as the forward/winger.

For us Kolkatans, the Messi connect is on an all-time high with the possibility of Messi coming to Kolkata being announced. Messi and his football mates from Argentina are likely to play in a FIFA-sanctioned friendly match with Venezuela, at the Salt Lake Stadium (Yuva Bharati Krirangan) on September 2, this year. Kolkata being a city of football-lovers, the frenzy would be just fantastic.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gaga-awed & Bieber-ized: Happy World Music Day!

Happy World Music Day, folks!
Today, I would like to talk about two of the hottest (or should it be coolest? Whatever!) music personalities: Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.
I know, many would squirm and giggle, but I can't help admit that these two stars are each a phenomenon on their own, and love them (both have won awards and accolades aplenty) or hate them (they are lampooned in the media the most, each having innumerable haters worldwide), you just cannot ignore them.

Lady Gaga shot to fame in 2008 with her debut album and there has been looking back for this singer who thrives on controversies, sensational stage acts and props-laden glam rock numbers that somehow gel well with all sorts of people who cherish rebellion above all else, and love to celebrate non-conventional lifestyles. As far as her music is concerned, it does not make me a huge fan of hers but I salute her spirit; she seems rather upfront - reminds me of Madonna in her heydays. Her avant garde electronic stuff is actually tempting to groove to. And the songs have a certain honesty which is somewhat liberating. Recommended listening (for all those readers of mine who are yet to swing and sway to Lady Gaga's music: "Born this way".

Justin Bieber too was discovered in 2008, on Youtube (of all places!) by his would-be manager and he became a sensation since his debut release in 2009. His popularity reached astronomical heights with every single of his becoming a major hit, biggest ever for a guy his age (Bieber is just seventeen now!) and his sugary sweet pop songs have connected instantly with teenagers (mostly girls though) all over the world. The 3D biopic concert film of Justin's, that released early this year (not in Kolkata though) has become a rage, and Bieber-mania still happens to rule.
My favorite Justin Bieber song: "Never say never" (featuring Jaden Smith).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, Garfield!

It's the official birthday of Garfield, the comic-strip cat! It is on this day, June 19, in the year 1978, that this famous fictional cat was 'born', i.e. he first appeared in print. In the eponymous comic-strip, by Jim Davis, he is portrayed as the lasagna-loving lazy cat, owned by Jon Arbuckle, an awkward clumsy geek.
I have already stated in my personal preference earlier that, for me, Garfield is the most favorite of all comic-strips. Hence, this fat, tabby cat with sharp (sometimes nasty) comments is really special for me.

Here's wishing Garfield a vERY hAPPY bIRTHDAY!
May he entertain us all for many, many, .....many years!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

A tête-à-tête with Samadarshi

Samadarshi Dutta is one of the fresh talents that Bangla cinema can boast of. He is an actor who has been consistently doing quality work, and I am proud to present a candid conversation with this actor par excellence.

Even a few months back, I was unfamiliar with your acting.... but after watching you in "Aami Aadu" early this year I was absolutely impressed and have no doubt that you are one of the hottest young talents in Bangla cinema.

Thanks, for the appreciation. I haven't acted in too many films, but I consider myself lucky to be associated with good films.

You had started out with television, didn't you?

Well, I did just one television serial called "Kakhano Megh Kakhano Brishti", and it was a few months' work only, yet it got me some recognition.

True, and many have told me that they know you because of that serial.... people in the film fraternity, also admire you a lot for your very first film, "Ichchhe" that hasn't been released till now.

Yes, people in the industry who have seen "Ichchhe" have all lavished praises on me...... it was indeed a special film, and I acted alongside Sohini Halder, who played my mother, and Bidita Bag, with whom I share a wonderful working chemistry.

Samadarshi, you have had a formal training too, at the FTII, Pune, and it must have been quite an enriching experience, right?

Of course, I was lucky to have had done my stint there, and apart from the grooming and the exposure to the art and craft of cinema, I have made some great friends.
That you are well-versed in acting was evident when I saw "Aami Aadu", and then when I saw you in "Aarohan". You did some acting on stage too, didn't you?

Yes, I did group theatre for some time before moving on to act in films.

But don't you think for Bangla mainstream cinema your grooming and education might be considered a disadvantage? Are you open to all sorts of screen roles?

By Bangla mainstream cinema if one understands a certain kind of copy-paste versions of Telugu or Tamil potboilers, then I might not fit into the so called mould, but I do have enough confidence as an actor that I can act in diverse genres of films.

In "Aarohan", you have had an American accent, you must worked hard.....

I think I did a somewhat okayish job in terms of preparing for it. I also had to acquire the accent of Murshidabad district for "Aami Aadu", if you remember.....

Of course, you had sounded absolutely convincing!

Well, that is what an actor is supposed to do, isn't it? Becoming a character in entirety involves getting the dialect, the body language and the behaviour right.

Very true. By the way, your Hindi diction is good, so, are open to offers from Mumbai?

Mumbai, Chennai..... whichever part of the country beckons me! I'm open to doing films in any regional language whatsoever, and I believe I can pick up the language for the role.

Wow! Is that because you weigh your options cautiously, or find that Tollygunge might not have the right kind of opportunities.....

My first release was an out and out commercial film, "Saathi Aamaar Bondhu Aamaar", and it is not that I'm too proud of that film.... I want to act in films which I can proudly look back upon when I reflect on my work as an actor some years from now.

In that film, you were introduced as Surya..... which was odd......

There are things like that an actor can't do anything about. Interestingly, the first time I had got an offer from Tollygunge, was from the Late Anjan Chowdhury, who wanted to make a film with me, and though it didn't materialise, the fact that he himself had narrated the script is a treasured memory.
Please tell me about your projects at hand.

I have wrapped up the shoot for "Mukti", "Bhooter Bhobisyot", and "Dekha Na Dekha".

In Gautam Halder's "Mukti", you have worked with Raakhee Gulzar, right? How was it working with her?

Yes, I do not have many scenes with her in the film though. She is a stalwart indeed and working with stalwarts give me enough resources and insights which I look forward to implementing in due course. for example, in "Aarohan", I had worked with Soumitro Chattopadhyay and Sandhya Roy, and from them to I got to learn as well. I worked in "Hing Ting Chhawt" which too had Soumitro Chattopadhyay. Thus, my perspective on cinema indirectly got shaped even while I was working.

A personal question, as an actor, do you feel insecure at times?

I'd be lying if I deny; the profession of acting does have its share of insecurity, but I believe in honing my skills and having enough self-confidence and faith in my capability. I am passionate about acting.

When exactly did you sense this passion within, for the first time, you do not come from a family of actors or cinema professionals, do you?

No one in my family have been part of showbiz, my folks are all academically inclined, and have had successful careers.
I remember being stirred by a film shown on television, when I was in high school, I recall the very scene but not the name of the film, and I knew that I had to act! Eventually, getting selected as a student at FTII was a huge turning point for me.

Tell me about the things you indulge in when you aren't acting.

I love watching films. I can boast of an impressive collection of films from around the world on my computer..... hahaha......

What kind of films do you watch?

All kinds..... I love watching world cinema - the classics, for sure, plus works of all the contemporary greats.

You have an eclectic taste in music too..... I know, you play the guitar.....

Well, I do love strumming the guitar. For a while, I had studied tabla, sarod, and violin too.....

That says a lot about you, you love accomplishing things.... hahaha.... but, Samadarshi, I can't help observing how affable you are, without the trappings of a star.

I am not a star, not yet..... I would love to be an actor, an actor who works earnestly..... and by the grace of God, people like me. People who have worked with me, including my co-actors and technicians, and even the spotboys and the chaiwallahs, have endeared me. Somehow, I can connect with people. I love that.

How do you stay fit? Isn't the physicality bit in cinema a fad now?

I am not into beefing up, as is evident, but I do believe working out is important. It is important for an actor to stay fit and healthy, by all means.

You know, I was elated to learn that "Aami Aadu" has bagged both the National Award (for best regional film - Bangla), and the Silver Award at SAARC Film Festival in Colombo. I am sure that you will go places as people will take note of you for your distinctive. May your work speak for itself. I wish you all the best for all your forthcoming projects.

Thank you. I am happy that people love me, and my work.

It was lovely talking to you.
I am sure my readers will enjoy the chat as well.