Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai – That 70s Show

Its time to rewind to the 70s.  When it was fashionable to smuggle gold and ‘imported’ swiss watches were in demand. The era when gangs ruled  Mumbai. Once Upon a time in Mumbaai creates that age and time. It presents to us the Mumbai of 70s or Bombay as it was known then.

The disclaimer says that lead characters are  ‘NOT’ based on any person living or dead but we all know that Ajay Devgn’s Sultan Mirza is based on Haji Mastan and Emraan Hashmi represents the menacing Dawood Ibrahim. The movie shows the rise and fall of Haji Mastan and subsequent rise of his protege Dawood through the eyes of a Police Officer. It depicts how the gangs worked, how smuggling was carried out and empires were built. How one man’s greed and immoral nature splits the Bombay gangs and leads to the situation that is now. Its also a movie about ‘generation gap’ between father and son, an older wiser don and his rogue younger protege.

Director Miltan Lutharia in past has made some interesting films like Taxi No. 9211 and Kachche Dhhaage but this one would perhaps be his best work so far. Technically the film is well shot and the 70s era, the costumes, the cars and generally the city of Mumbai are authentically shown. Ttoally ‘filmi’ Dialogues are the best part of the film. Music is good enough but according to me the background score of the film is KILLER, whoever has done it has done it wonderfully to elevate the mood of the era, it binds the film at times. If it was possible to buy just the background score of the film, I would buy it. Background score is what you take home, although the songs are nice and well fitted. ‘Duniya Mein’ remix has some bad choreography though, just like the good old days.

Acting wise, Ajay Devgn lives the role of Mastan nicel, he has done it all in past, he has played Dawood in RGV’s Company where he was the undisputed Don, here he plays a similar character of Haji Mastan, but a don with a different morality and sort of robin-hoodish nature,  Emraan Hashmi fits his Dawood role even better as he resembles the look of Dawood as we know, but he is okay in certain scenes and looks bit confused in some. Kangana Ranaut and Prachi Desai follow the tradition of heroines of the 1970s, they have hardly anything to do. Kangana plays a ‘normal’ woman for a change and doesn’t say ‘Bastard’ even once !! Prachi Desai looks a bit misfit on the big screen and why her character likes the rogue Emraan Hashmi is anyone’s guess. Randeep Hooda playing the Policeman, whose story is this, looks well fitting in some parts and awkward in some, but overall he is nice in smallish role, although he could do well with few more expressions on his face.

The movie is good entertainment and watching it in packed hall reminds you of that long gone era when watching a movie in theaters was an event in itself. But the movie is not a great one, it reminds you of Ramgopal Verma’s far superior ‘Company’ and not-so-good prequel ‘D’. You tend to compare it with ‘Company’ every time. This film doesn’t have much of action or violence and deals more in drama of the era. The romantic parts also do not fit in with the mood.

Incidentally now all the 3 leading actors in the film have played Dawood Ebrahim’s role in 3 different films.  Ajay Devgn in Company and Randeep Hooda in D played the role which Emraan Hashmi played in this movie. Dawood himself is a more a myth than real for most of us in India, but now we can safely he must be looking like Emraan Hashmi, acting and behaving like Ajay Devgn and hopefully falters like Randeep Hooda, pretty soon.

My Ratings :  6.5/10 – Worth taking a trip back to that era.

Inception – Timeline Infographic

Inception as most have agreed is a mind blowing film to say the least with its original concept, spectacular visual effects and theories about its plot, its characters and dreams within dreams, it has become one hot discussion topic around the world.

Here is a Timeline Infographic of the film which explains the various levels of the film, dreams, and how everything unfolds. SERIOUS SPOILER warning – if you have not seen the movie.

inception timeline

BTW here is my Review on the fantastic film.

Dream on.

Crazy Song- Bombay se Baroda Tak

Recently came across a crazy Bollywood Song from an old film ‘Rafoo Chakkar’. Actually had seen the song long back but when saw it recently found it really crazy.

The song is from 1975 film ‘Rafoo Chakkar’ starring Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh and features Rishi Kapoor and Paintal singing in a train dressed up in Women’s clothes and they sing in women’s voice too. Must say Rishi Kapoor looks quite cute. The film is a remake of the Hollywood classic ‘Some Like it Hot’ featuring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Jerry Lewis. The film directed by Narinder Bedi was an average success at the box office and has many other melodious songs with music by Kalyanji Anandji and lyrics by Gulshan Bawra.

Although this song takes the cake with its jazzy beats and Asha Bhosale’s high pitched girly voice singing for Rishi Kapoor and Paintal. This has to be a first too, Asha Bhosale singing for a lead actor.

Facebook has 500 Million users – What exactly do they do?

Social Networking site Facebook has 500 million users as of this week. Thats more than population of Europe or half the population of India, okay almost half , well its a huge number in any case.

But have you  ever wondered, What exactly do they do on facebook ?? Most people I know, i work with or I interact withare on Facebook or at worst  have atleast heard of someone in their family or freind using facebook. I beleive most people I know are already on facebook or will be in near future. Its simply because of this reason that Facebook has managed to attract more and more users by the day. If there is one site you want to be registered on that is Facebook because everybody you know is there. You can call it the ‘first mover’ advantage, although Facebook wasn’t the first social network available but it was certainly the most unique.

I have asked quite a few of them, what do they do. Majority are there on facebook just because everybody is on facebook, its more a peer pressure for some ,some are there to meet their long lost friends residing in some remote corner of the world. Some are there to meet their school friends or work colleagues or college mates who practically live in the next lane and perhaps meet them in ‘real’ world at least once in a day or couple of days. Some of the younger varieties are there for the ‘original’ task the site was designed for, ie. finding that HOT girl or girls, whom they are afraid of talking to in real life , and making her online ‘friend’. Some are there to share photos and nothing else, some are there to play mindless games like Farmville and Mafia Wars and silly quizzes.

What are Indians primarily doing on Facebook? A survey says majority of them wants to make online freinds and meet their long lost friends and relatives, almost 45%. Some 30% are there simply because their friends are on Facebook and its simply ‘cool’ to be there. About 35% Users login once every week to the site, while about 15% login at least once a  day, that says a lot about how popular the site has become. About 60% of Indian users have taken part in a quiz, a poll or an interactive game at some stage of their usage of Facebook. With its ability to connect with other social networks, popular blog sites and twitter, Facebook has become the first choice for most Indian Internet users, especially the first timers and youngsters. Every person has a different use of Facebook, some use it to connect with old friends, some use it to make new friends, some join it for games and interactivity, some for the picture sharing and some join it to be relevant in the emerging new ‘social’ world.

Although a recent survey says that Facebook is still not India’s premier social networking site, that honour goes to Orkut, the original social networking platform from Google but Facebook is catching up fast and how. According to the latest results Facebook has already gone past Orkut in search trends

Some say, Facebook is just another site which will lose its relevance in days to come and something better and different will emerge. But going by the sheer numbers I think it is here to stay for long.

So 500 Million is just a landmark and a billion is not too far for the most popular social networking site in the world, FACEBOOK.

Bridge to Terabithia – Do Cross It

Once you watch a movie like ‘Inception’ you get a ‘Movie-Viewers-Block’ , just like how a writer would get a ‘writer’s block’ after writing something good and he wouldn’t know what to write next. Similarly when you watch Inception you don’t know what to watch next, that would match the incredible experience.

I asked my 8 year old son, who was down with fever since a day, what does he wishes to watch and he asked for any children’s movie to cheer him up and then I thought of “Bridge to Terabithia”.

Bridge to Terabithia is a childeren’s movie based on a book by the same name. It stars relatively unknown young stars Josh Hutcherson & AnnaSophia Robb, the movie tells the story of Jesse Aarons and Leslie Burke, ten-year-old, 5th grader neighbors who create a fantasy world called Terabithia and spend their free time together in an abandoned tree house across a small creek behind their houses. By keeping their minds open and imaginations run wild they create a unique world full of trolls, giants and warriors. When one of the kid accidentally dies, the other kid initially goes into a shell but then rediscovers himself and keeps his friend alive by imagining the world of Terabithia and building a bridge across the creek leading to the world. Zooey Deschanel plays the young music teacher who tries to mentor the kid and promote the artist within him.

The movie is a perfect tale of friendship, love, loss, and imagination through eyes of the 10 year olds. Everyone wishes for a friendship like that. It is a simple tale which strikes you in the heart with a beautiful background score and natural acting by the young kids especially the two leading actors, who are perfectly cast. The movie had decent special effects and overall had great looking visuals, especially of the fantasy kingdom of Terabithia. Although the movie isn’t a fantasy film in true sense and much more real and sensitive than it feels. I think its a perfect family feature film especially if you have children of that age watching along with you.

My Ratings: 8/10 – Do cross this bridge

It was a great evening spent and my 8 year old loved it too. All of us were humming the song’ Why Can’t We Be Friends’ from the film and BTW – His fever is gone !!!

Inception – Cinema Extraordinaire –

Every few years a movie comes along which not only defies  the norm but creates and entire new genre. It becomes and experience, an event in one’s life. In last few years you could say there were movies like Matrix and recently Avatar which did this and gave us some unthinkable concepts and gave a cerebral experience worth remembering to its viewers. It gave us fresh thoughts and allowed us to think not only out of the box but way out of anything we would have thought otherwise. Inception is one such movie.

In the days of old movies being rehashed, remakes of old classics, superhero tales and not-so-original concepts here is a concept which is truly out of this world. Actually the concept of dreams, dream manipulation, sub-conscious mind and sharing of dreams is something many of us think about while sitting alone and pondering over something but nobody had dared to think the way Christopher Nolan does in his super mind blowing, movie Inception.

There are movies in which people go without any expectations and then enjoy the film, but here is a movie where i challenge you to go with as many expectations as you have and you will still feel that the movie matches your demands.

The movie’s plot is well, simple, but told in a complex way but not complex enough not to be understood. The movie has the protagonist and his team trying to enter the mind of person, by entering his dreams, his sub-conscious thoughts and planting or ‘incepting’ an idea so that he believes that the idea is his own. Actually the director explains every little details of what is going on and what is about to happen and almost spoon feeds the viewers.

The film has a an ensemble caste lead brilliantly by Leonardo Di caprio, who has mastered the art of playing a psychological wreck. Other caste members Joseph Gordon Hewitt, Ken Watanbe, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page and Marion Cotillard as Leo’s dead wife play their part perfectly well. The director of the movie is the real hero and the screenplay and editing has to be the best for the year, probably several years. The razor sharp editing, mind blowing visual effects and superb background score helps to create a thrilling atmosphere for the film. Hans Zimmer’s background score is exceptional and heightens the mood of the film at every stage, especially in the last 30 minutes when you have dreams within dreams within dreams unfolding.

The visual effects are truly the best and the slow-mo scenes in which the van jumps in the river, to the Parisian street folding itself and houses collapsing, people fighting in zero gravity are truly spellbinding. The last half an hour where the director  plays around with laws of time and physics is captivating and is spectacular to say the least.

The movie makes you sit up and think, are we all real? or are well living a big dream created by the best architect known by the mankind, GOD ? Are we all projections of our true selves and is the only way out of this dream is death???

The movie is definitely the finest action blockbuster of recent times. The movie isn’t fool-proof and does have some loopholes but you can safely ignore all of them because it is an experience every movie lover should have. It is one of those landmark films that you’ll remember for times to come. Other movie makers, eat your heart out, but all the awards are going to this movie.

My Ratings: 9.5/10 –  Brilliant ! Mindblowing !  Do Not miss it for anything.

Facebook Movie Trailer – Interesting !!

I have read the book ‘Accidental Billionaires’ by Ben Mezrich, based on which now the movie is being made. The trailer looks interesting and it looks like the movie will follow the book more or less.

Here is the the theatrical trailer

Here is my Book Review of Accidental Billionaires

The Expendables: Call To Arms Trailer

What a Trailer , What a Caste, What a Movie. Men take back what was their own. Killer Line.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

FIFA 2010 Update – Spain Vs. Holland

And its final. I would be the Spanish Armada taking on the might of the Dutch brigade in the FIFA 2010 World Cup Football finale on July 11th 2010.

It would be the first world cup for the team that wins, while Holland have been twice here before and lost out for Spain it is their first big final. Spain defeated the well oiled Germany team 1-0 and Holland outclaased Uruguay 3-2 in the semifinals. This would also be the first occasion when an European team wins the World Cup held outside Europe.

Spain are the defending Champions and certainly have the team with big stars like David Villa, Fernando Torres, Xavi and Iniesta while Dutch have Sneijdar, Robben and Robin Van Persie in top form. Its the battle of the stars as well. Spains are certainly the favorites of the ‘pundits’ though. But not to forget this is the world cup final and anything can happen on the day. Will we see the Spanish flag victorious or will it be the Dutch who would ‘rule’  South Africa once again.

My Personal Money :  Spain

Books I Read – Accidental Billionaires – Facebook Story

“Accidental Billionaires” is the story of Facebook. It is the story how 2 Harvard students sitting in their dorm rooms created a worldwide sensation that is growing, as you read this, at a viral rate. It is the story of how Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder, at 25 became the youngest self made billionaire on this planet. The book also shows the other side of the story on how in developing a website which brings people all across the world together, created a rift between two friends who made it possible.

The book is based on true life events and interviews with the parties concerned except Mark Zuckerberg who has distanced himself from the book. Credit goes to the author in which he has presented all sides of the story quite well and with a balance. The book is not very hard hitting and does not have much to expose as well but just puts the two sides of the stories floating around. There are quite a few unverified facts and stories as well, most of them hearsay and from second hand sources.

But it is quite fascinating to read how a university project to rate ‘hot looking women’ on campus turned into a worldwide rage within a short span and is now valued at billions of dollars.

The book is written by Ben Mezrich,an Harvard alumnus himself, who has previously written books like ‘Brining Down the House’ which got made into the succesful Hollywood movie ’21’. Not surprisingly even this book is being made into a movie tentatively called ‘The Facebook Movie’.

The book is very good read for a weekend and is fast moving and never boring. Although you crave for more when the book ends ,but that is obvious as the story is not yet complete, the phenomenon of Facebook is still growing and how?

My Ratings : 7/10 –  Good Read for all Facebook Lovers, and there are many.