Crossposted from my blog.Happy new year to you all! 2010 is here, so I guess I need to get my act together otherwise I’ll still be publishing my 2009 lists in march 2010!! (Which is not as rare as it should be, because there is always some potentially good movie from previous year that I don’t get to see till well into the next year). Anyway… moving on to this list..
Marathi cinema saw its most glorious days in the 60s and 70s, with some great films like Shyamchi Ayi and Tukaram being made. Some of these are difficult to procure on You Tube, so I’m offering a small glimpse of what this regional cinema entails starting with the 70s.
The 70s saw a profusion of good, meaningful yet entertaining films with soul stirring melodies. This was a time when Marathi cinema probably had the same prestige as one associates with Malayalam or Bengali films.
1) Mumbaicha Jawai (Mumbai son-in-law)1970 (more…)
Outright fun, not to mention silliness, has long been a casualty of A.R. Rahman’s recent Hindi oeuvre. Unlike in Tamil, Rahman simply hasn’t done very many soundtracks for “ordinary” Hindi films of late. That is, the typical Rahman Hindi album this decade has been a Swades or a Jodha-Akbar, or a Delhi-6 — not a Rangeela or a Daud. The last year might well be the beginning of a shift, with Ghajini, and now Blue. No song in either album will ever make a list of Rahman’s best, but equally, no-one can doubt that at their best, these albums feature a more playful Rahman, the sort of souffle-lover one missed in the likes of Jodha-Akbar. On the down-side, at its worst, the likes of Blue do give the impression of a composer who hasn’t lavished much care on his work. Luckily for us, the balance comes down on the side of buying the album.
Read the complete review HERE.
There was tonnes of nostalgia in the media on Kishore Kumarâ€™s 80th birth anniversary (August 4). There have always been plenty of stories about Kishoreda â€” from his genius to his eccentricities. But the one person whose incisive comments on Kishore wouldâ€™ve livened up all the TV programmes was himself missing. And that was his elder brother, Ashok Kumar, known to all of us as Dadamoni. Out of all the colourful Kishore Kumar stories that the film industry rolled out, Ashok Kumarâ€™s were the most intimate and interesting ones. Of course, there was always that touch of almost parental affection that Ashok Kumar brought to his narrations because there was a two-decade gap between the two brothers. When he spoke about Kishoreâ€™s singing, Dadamoniâ€™s one constant observation was, â€œKishoreâ€™s biggest quality as a singer is that he hits the right note bang on spot, he is never besur, never goes off-key.â€
While Dadamoni touched 90, Kishore died in his fifties. Strangely, so did Mohammed Rafi and Mukesh with whom Kishore had formed some sort of triumvirate in the recording rooms. All three had distinct voices and singing styles, all three ruled the world of playback singing, all three died suddenly of a heart attack while still in their fifties. â€œIsnâ€™t that a strange coincidence,â€ Nitin Mukesh remarked when Kishore passed away. â€œIt just shows how intensely passionate they were, how much strain they put on their hearts while singing.â€
Everybody had an anecdote or two to narrate about Kishoreâ€™s many eccentricities, one of which was to put off unwanted visitors by pretending not to be at home. Ashok Kumar himself told me that he was once in the vicinity of Kishoreâ€™s bungalow in Juhu, so he drove up impromptu to meet his brother. At the gate, he was met by Kishoredaâ€™s Man Friday who told Ashok Kumar that dada had gone out. Ashok Kumar accepted that and was about to drive away when a thought struck him and he asked the Man Friday, â€œIf Kishore is out, what are you doing here?â€ Thatâ€™s when the loyal batman told Ashok Kumar that Kishoreda was very much at home but had instructed him to tell everyone that he was out. The Man Friday had applied the rule even to Dadamoni who was like a father to Kishoreda!
The magic the two Ganguly brothers brought to Hindi cinema, individually, has not been replicated by anyone to this day. (more…)
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When you go for a movie, you go with the hope to get entertained, thoroughly enjoy, come out with smiling faces and Happy New Year exactly does that. It’s thoroughly entertaining, witty and totally paisa vasool movie and you will come out with smiling faces. We all know what is the story of the movie, we all know there is no secret in the movie, we also know that this is mindless entertainment and we also know that it is somewhat inspired from couple of Hollywood movies but in spite of these “we know things”, I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie with my family. We all know how good the movie “Chak De India” is and how brilliantly Srk performed but oneRead more...
Haider Direction: Vishal Bhardwaj Actors: Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Kay Kay Menon, Irrfan Khan, Shraddha Kapoor Rating: ***1/2 There is much in Haider that deserves a standing ovation. Let’s start with the courage of director Vishal Bhardwaj. Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most difficult and ambiguous texts. It’s also his longest— it takes over four hours to deliver. Hamlet in itself is a beast to be tamed. Vishal and his co-writer, the acclaimed Kashmiri journalist Basharat Peer, transplant the play to Kashmir. It plays out against a socio-political tragedy that has been wrought over six decades and that has a Rashomon-like quality to it — the heroes and villains switch places, depending on the narrator. The result is a film that is problematic and far tooRead more...
Thoughts on AR Rahman’s gloriously fun and wholly individual soundtrack for the new Shankar film. You know that familiar Tamil-cinema contrivance where a prisoner in handcuffs is being led away in a police van, and the van stops at a crossing, and the prisoner looks around furtively and sees a chance, and as the cops are looking the other way (or maybe after a scuffle) he slips out and runs into the forest, and he runs and he runs, and then, in a clearing, there’s a conveniently located shack where a sweaty smithy is pounding away on an anvil, and he looks up and sees those handcuffs in front of his nose, and he brings his hammer down and frees the prisoner? That’s the pictureRead more...