NAACHGAANA
  • Identity Crisis

    **Spoilers!!!** While watching Ek Tha Tiger, the thought that kept hitting me again and again was that throughout the making of the film, the makers faced a dilemma and were unable to decide what kind of movie they wanted to make. Did they want to make a realistic story of spies and their world, or did they want to make a full-blown, no-holds-barred, quintessential Salman Khan entertainer which defies logic and earns whistles and claps in abundance? They couldnt decide, and finally, they ended up making a movie that is neither here nor there. Don’t get me wrong. Ek Tha Tiger is not a bad movie. In fact, far from it! It has a decent plot, it maintains its tone and tempo and even has

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  • ISHQIYA: Qalandar’s Mini-Review

    Ishqiya is better than most films the Hindi film industry makes, even if its pleasures weren’t the ones I was expecting. I went into the film looking for a taut, erotically charged thriller about a femme fatale manipulating two saps over a pot of gold, film noir in a bhaiyya-setting as it were. What I got was a compelling evocation of a small-town U.P. milieu (the (in)famous badlands of Gorakhpur district, along the Nepal border), a locale debutant director Abhishek Chaubhey has presented even more naturally than his mentor Vishal Bhardwaj ever managed with his out-of-the-way settings in either Maqbool or Omkara(that is to say, Chaubhey does it “simply”, such that the presentation of the milieu (to “outsiders”) does not itself become the point of

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  • A word on NADODIGAL (Tamil; 2009)

    I recently saw Nadodigal, and after all the hype, was quite disappointed. The film is quite well-made in terms of ambience, but uneasily straddles the line between old-school masala and “new” tamil cinema — and ends up with neither the energy and enthusiasm of the former, nor the rawness and “street cred” of the latter (not to mention that the film’s protagonists, chief among them Sasikumar, are not well adapted as far as the masala-end is concerned. What I did appreciate about the film — which centers on a band of friends who help a couple elope in the face of fierce parental opposition — was that this was the one film where the “heroes” were the characters who are peripheral in most love stories:

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  • Film Review: PARIS (NY Times)

    September 18, 2009 A Sick Man Embracing a City’s Life, Just as His Own Is Threatened By STEPHEN HOLDEN In “Paris,” Cédric Klapisch’s sumptuous Gallic comedy, the camera, whether surveying the landmarks from on high or peering out of an apartment window at the passing parade, becomes a surrogate for a first-time visitor to the City of Light. Both a Parisian answer to Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” and a multicharacter mosaic in the mode of Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts,” the movie sprawls invitingly across the screen like a glowing Impressionist painting. Instead of George Gershwin, Erik Satie supplies the signature music. But “Paris” is much lighter fare than either “Manhattan” or “Short Cuts.” The film glosses the psyches of its likable characters. Even when tragedy strikes,

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  • A Note on Two Satyajit Ray Charmers

    [Image courtesy the Goodearths blog.] One of my great pleasures is exploring a master’s minor work — often it is only in the latter, especially when one has attained canonical status, that some vestiges of the whimsical remain. Strictly speaking, this is only partly true of Satyajit Ray’s work (he actually seemed to get more whimsical with age and directorial maturity), but nevertheless, an acquaintance with the Ray of less serious subjects is highly rewarding. One isn’t overawed, but most decidedly charmed. Read the complete piece HERE.

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  • Qalandar Reviews WANTED (Hindi; 2009)

    The passage of time does strange things, but not even Marcel Proust could have dreamed it would have this effect. I’ve spent most of the last two decades disliking Salman Khan. I mean, really disliking him, and everything about him: from his wannabe vibe, his faux-Bambi eyes, his breathless dialog-delivery, his weird English accent, and his non-existent acting skills. Needless to say, I wasn’t much convinced by his occasional half-assed attempts to do masala actioners; he was — and there’s no polite way to put this — just too puny for the likes of Garv, especially given that he was playing it straight, as opposed to using the sort of explanatory gimmick Aamir Khan deployed (namely, that he was a raving lunatic) in Ghajini. But

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  • Qalandar Plugs CHAMKU (Hindi; 2008)

    The first sequence gets you. It’s aboard a train — as so many of the best action sequences are — and Bobby Deol, his hands bound, is being escorted to an unidentified gangster, along with a young woman supplied from Varanasi for the gangster’s pleasure. Her bright-red shalwar qameez simply underscores her nervousness; not the the gangster cares, pulling her to him even as he yells at his men to kill Deol’s character and throw him off the train. At that point, a cell-phone — within the woman’s brassiere — rings, and all hell breaks loose, as the narrow passages of the train erupt in gunfire and good ol’ action. Can’t keep a hero down, even with his hand bound. Read the complete review HERE.

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  • Qalandar’s Music Review: BLUE (Hindi; 2009)

    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

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  • Qalandar Reviews DEKH BHAI DEKH (Hindi; 2009)

    Rahat Kazmi’s Dekh Bhai Dekh (apparently re-named Dekh Re Dekh at some point; my DVD carried the older name) is a refreshing little film: it hearkens to the cinema of old, albeit in the streamlined garb of the contemporary “little” film. Refreshing because this look backward isn’t by way of ironic distance or homage, and nor does it fall prey to the stale rehashing of older Bollywood tropes that is the hallmark of B-grade cinema. In other words, Kazmi’s film isn’t set in a small-town in U.P. because he wants to make a point about crime and violence in the heartland (the usual vehicle for representations of U.P. and Bihar in contemporary Hindi cinema), nor is he trying to depict a world impossibly remote from

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  • Baradwaj Rangan Reviews POKKISHAM (Tamil; 2009)

    EXCERPT: “I wanted to shake these bratty SMS-era youngsters by the shoulder and tell them that this story needs this pace – if it’s a slow film, it’s because it isn’t set in a fast world. I wanted to tell them that this was, after all, the 1970s – an India of tonga carts and unsliced loaves of bread and two-rupee notes, and when people had to wait for days to hear from one another, either through letters or the tiresome mechanics of booking a trunk call over staticky communication lines. How easy it was, back then, to lose touch with people, who didn’t leave permanent footprints of their journey through life on, say, Facebook. (Today, you cannot shake off even the friends you want

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  • Kaminey – The Aftertaste/Rejoice.

    Link to the previous post – The Foretaste of Kaminey – Fuperb, Fuffpenfeful, Fekfy, Folid, Ftunning, Fweet, Fmart, Ftyliff. This is Kaminey!! A Bomb. It will explode(BHUMMMMMMMM). Or it will betray you(PHUSSSSSSSSSS, no, PHUFFFFFFFFFFF). For me it explodes and HOW!!! For a person who has a past record of Maqbool, Makdee, The Blue Umbrella and Omkara, all of these being critically acclaimed though not commercially successful, you can only expect another great film. With Kaminey he might taste commercial success too. Kaminey has marked a lot of new things in my life. It redefined my love for Indian films. It brings back hope in me that Indian Cinema is going to change. I started bloging on NG with this film. I started my own blog

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  • Bachna Ae Haseeno Indicine Review

    Bachna Ae Haseeno starring Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Bipasha Basu and Minissha Lamba. Directed by Siddharth Anand and produced by Yashraj Films. Detailed Indicine Bachna Haseeno Movie Review Read more here – Bachna Ae Haseeno Review

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  • Singh Is King Indicine Review

    Review of Singh Is King the most hyped movie of the year with Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif in the lead. Check out the review – Review Singh Is Kinng Movie Review

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  • Ugly Aur Pagli Indicine Review

    Review of Bollywood Movie Ugly Aur Pagli starring Ranvir Shorey and Mallika Sherawat. The movie directed by Sachin Khot is a romantic comedy produced by Pritish Nandy Communications Go here -> Ugly Aur Pagli Review

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  • Kismat Konnection Indicine Review

    Kismat Konnection, as the title says is all about Kismat. The movie marks the return of veteran director Aziz Mirza (Yes Boss, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, Chalte Chalte, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani). Continue Reading – Kismat Konnection Review

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