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Saturday, April 16, 2011

'Rio' - a riot of colors, a feast for all!

'Rio' (directed by Carlos Saldanha, produced by Blue Sky Studios & Twentieth Century Fox Animation) is the latest family animation flick that has hit the screens here in Kolkata, and has won the hearts of young and old alike. 
It has been wooing audiences all over the world; naturally, as the film is a real treat, a feast for the eyes and the ears, and a feast for all.

Watching it in theater, in 3D, is so much fun. One should not miss this experience first-hand. Even the skeptical and the cynical ones won't escape the warmth of a film like this. Take it from me, 'Rio' is every bit enjoyable, and worth the price of the multiplex ticket. The colorful visuals are simply mind-blowing, and, though the original musical numbers may not be absolute classics by themselves, the music has an infectious energy that will positively have its grip on the audience. 3D animation can be experienced in all its splendor as one watches the computer generated animation that glows lavishly.
The best thing about the film is surely the wackiness that peppers the script. Making the dialogues resonate in more ways than one for the diverse range of viewers is something that's been continually experimented with in animation features in recent times; here, the wit just sizzles perfectly. The birds and other animals and the human characters are equally charming and thoroughly enjoyable to watch. From the nerdy-friendly macaw named Blu (voiced flawlessly by Jesse Eisenberg), the wide range of other feathered beings whom he gets to meet (voiced by a stellar ensemble that includes Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx, Jermaine Clement, George Lopez, Will i Am), plus the bulldog Luiz (voiced by Tracy Morgan) to sweet Linda (Blu's companion, voiced by Leslie Mann) and Tulio (the ornithologist voiced by Rodrigo Santoro) - the characters enthrall us for the running time of ninety-six minutes.
No wonder, I found the kids with rolling with laughter, the adults chuckling gleefully, and the youthful romantics swaying to beats of Samba and tapping their feet as the Carnaval unfolded on screen. And my personal 'favorite' connect: the use of the Lionel Richie song 'Say you, say me' and the glib comment thereafter, "Lionel Richie, always works!"

Saturday, April 09, 2011

A tête-à-tête with Shoaib Ibrahim

Shoaib is one of my very first e-friends.
We befriended on Orkut, and now we are pals on Facebook as well, and even though our interactions haven't been too regular in all these years, he has always come across as unassuming, friendly and responsive. He has been pursuing a career in modelling rather seriously, and, to be very honest, his natural charm would easily appeal to anyone who vibes with him. Contrary to the narcissistic froppery and snootiness that some male models are known for, Shoaib is an easy-going lad. Here, for the readers of my blog, I have had a candid chat with him, essentially on his modelling dreams and pursuits:

Hi Shoaib, first, I would like to know about your initiation into modelling..... how did it all start?

My sister, who is also a fashion designer, and my brother ....they both saw the potential in me and encouraged me to get into this and made sure that I had my portfolio done..... that was how it all started.

Tell me, who inspired you?

None other than Salman Khan....

Really? That's interesting.

Ya, I have always looked up to him as my role model... I really like his style, his charisma, his acting, everything about him, and have always wanted to do the same... You can say, I am a die-hard fan of Salman Khan.

Did you have any mentor or guide to help you groom as a professional model?

No, I think you don't need any grooming as such. You develop the spark within, that inner strength of yours on your own.... with your inner confidence you are the one who can actually change yourself.

That's true, but what do you think are the pre-requisites for a successful model, apart from the natural good looks which you are blessed with?

Hard-Work , a positive attitude, focus and patience - these are the key factors for one's success in any field, and modelling is no exception.

Do you love to function more as a ramp-model, or for television commercials or for the print medium, any preferences?

Ohh.... I enjoy all of them so no personal preferences as such.

When you are on your own, what are most comfortable in?

My denims and a cool t-shirt.

That's cool! Buddy, would you say male models have more competition than female models? I mean, are the opportunities less?

Well, I don't think so. As far as I am concerned, I have never felt that kind of insecurity, and I truly believe that one should be his own toughest competitor.

Any personal favorites or idols amongst the male models, who you look up to?

Yeah.... Shawar Ali Bhai.

I think, he has been one of the most successful male models from India, in the league of Milind Soman, Arjun Rampal, Dino Morea, and Zulfi Syed.

True. Plus, he has been around for so long!

Yes. Now, would you like to share some interesting/funny/bizarre experiences as a model?

Every moment in this field is interesting, every shoot, every assignment comes with its own share of excitement.... so, nothing in particular.

Many think that modelling as a career option is not so lucrative despite the quick bucks and the glamour, as the shelf-life of a model is quite small. Would you agree?

Yes, you can say that if you want to limit yourself only to this as a career.

You are quite accomplished even academically, as you are a dentist as well.....

Well, even if one wants to diversify in showbiz, one can easily move into films and television. So, it all depends upon the thinking and the determination of an individual to make it big. This is the way it is ... I mean, one does require to look beyond and move on in life, one should always look for betterment. Hence, to remain in the limelight for a greater span, one cannot afford to limit one's growth as just a model.

I agree. By the way, talking of films, do you find a bias amongst film-directors who are of the view that male models are too vain to emote comfortably in front of the camera?

Actually, I have a different opinion on this. Such a generalization would not be proper. I can tell you that I have seen the perspective vary from individual to individual. I won't say that there's a general reservation on the part of the directors to use model-turned actors.

Finally, tell me what you look forward to achieving in the future, any special dream or aspiration that you'd like to share with my readers?

Hahaha.... my future plan.... rather, my only dream is to get into films and to become successful actor eventually.

Okay.... that's superb! Here's wishing you all the best. May all your dreams come true, and may you have a contented life, buddy.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

A Historic Victory!

It has been a historic win for Team India at the ICC World Cup final in Mumbai. All those who witnessed the match - be it at the stadium or in front of their television sets - shall cherish the euphoric victory against Sri Lanka for the rest of their lives. And the men-in-blue, the champion cricketers who made it happen, shall be revered forever by this cricket crazy nation.
The entire tournament, from start to finish, had been too exciting, but a billion-plus Indians just prayed for the ultimate victory yesterday night. Not that we had been the strugglers, not at all, we lashed out in full force against so many of the top contenders - England, Australia, Pakistan amongst them - and, after the triumphant glory of ousting Pakistani team at the semi-final in Mohali, emerging as World Champions seemed very much possible. Yet, in yesterday's match, after the Lankans managed to score 274 runs, having batted first, we felt the heat.

On hindsight, it seems that the spectators were more under pressure than Dhoni and his teammates. Our captain Dhoni in composure personified, and it is this attitude of his that makes him my personal favorite. Sehwag was dismissed for a duck in the opening over, and Sachin, the Master Blaster, too got out rather early. And this is when the men of mettle - Gautam Gambhir, Dhoni and Yuvraj - batted like heroes and made our win a reality.

At the end of the match, many of our cricketers were too overwhelmed, they were in tears, it was genuinely an emotionally charged moment..... there were celebrities like Rajinikanth and Aamir Khan in the stands, ecstatically cheering, there was absolute frenzy in the air.

Somebody rightly commented that the win was cemented by the huge support garnered by our team as the match was being played in our homeground. However, the same factor could have added pressure and affected our performance had we not put a decent effort to clinch the victory.
The Sri Lankans had batted in glory, especially Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Dilshan and Kulasekara, and Lasith Malinga bowled superbly to get the early wickets.
For Team India, the victory means a lot, it is a boost to the youngsters in the team, and is a fitting farewell to the outgoing coach, Gary Kirsten..... but, above all, it is a tribute to Sachin Tendulkar, whose talents have made Team India battle odds for so many years and, as it is evident that he won't be playing in the next World Cup, this glorious chapter had to be made part of his cricketing career which has otherwise been iconic already.

Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh and others carried Sachin on their shoulders and ran along the boundaries, to the spectators' delight. The teammates must have partied all night.

We have been able to recreate the magic of 1983 (many pointed out that the years 1983 and 2011 have the same calendar! No mean coincidence, huh?) and regained the coveted World Cup after 28 years. Captain Dhoni must be a proud man now, under his captaincy we have emerged as the number one Test team, and now we're the One-Day International champions too.

Here, in Kolkata, the excitement was palpable all along, and just as the match ended the city skyline lit up with fireworks, no one seemed to mind the loud noise of the crackers that were being burst till wee hours of the morning. Kolkata exhibits cricketmania (in fact, any kind of craze) like none else, and Kolkatans came out into the streets in hordes, shouting, singing, dancing, partying, celebrating..... madness all the way, I think even my fellow Kolkatans who aren't cricket-crazy won't mind it for once..... hahaha..... cheers!