Saturday, December 22, 2007

Taare Zameen Par – The Review

Taare Zameen par is the directorial debut of Amir Khan and he surely impresses.Amir Khan who is indisputably among the finest actors comes across as a magnificent story teller.

The story is of an eight year old boy Ishaan Awasthi. Ishaan has some snag with studies. He lags behind in class and most of the time he is standing outside after being punished. Ishaan loves to paints he lives in his own small world where fishes can talk, trains can fly and yeah he brings everything to life with the help of his paint brush. Lost in his own world Ishaan merrily play with fishes, street dogs and fantasize about fictitious characters.
Ishaan’s elder brother is the class topper and a tennis champ and hence it invites comparison. Driven by strong service class mentality Ishaan’s parents want their kid to excel in studies and concentrate more on academics. Ishaan fails in class 3 and faces rustication from school because of chances of getting failed two times in a row.Desperate time calls for desperate measure and Ishaan’s father enrolls him in a boarding school against his will and his mother’s. Ishaan feels betrayed, he is hurt he goes into this shock stage where he hardly talks to anybody and more importantly he stops painting. Here also he lags behind in studies but more importantly he loses the will to be happy.
Then comes a temporary art teacher Ram Shankar Nikumbh( Amir Khan), he tries to figure out the reason of Ishaan’s silence and disinterest. He finds few symptoms of dyslexia in Ishaan, and then decides to help him out. He educates his parents about dyslexia, convinces the principal to be liberal with his marks. Being a dyslexic himself, Ram Shankar relates with Ishaan’s problem. He not only helps Ishaan’s to deal with dyslexic but also builds up Ishaan’s lost self confidence.

Taare Zaameen Par strikes right chords because of an amazing script, meticulous direction, magnificent performances and Simplicity. Everybody would be able to relate with Ishaan. Ishaan’s problems his life at some moment will definitely become yours. Every character is beautifully written and Amir Khan makes sure you are acquainted with all of them. This is the beauty of TZP because everything is so believable and realistic that after some time you become a part of it.

TZP triumphs because of its simplicity. The characters are so believable that they feel like people living next door. Darsheel Safary is brilliant. Amir intelligently handled his screen time and he never overshadows the script or any other character.
It’s the master story teller Amir Khan’s sheer brilliance that he is being able to bring to life some of the most touching and heart warming scenes on celluloid. Amol Gupte’s sensitively written script indulges you into each and every emotion.
SEL gives a melodious heart warming music which not only adds to the narrative of the story but also embarks many unsaid emotions. “Ma” is unarguably among the best shot song of recent times. Hand held camera and sharp editing is vividly used in “Bheja Kum”, Date raho introduces all the characters colorfully and offcourse the title track is sheer melody.

TZP never tries to preach anything it’s not a movie about dyslexia. But it has a noble feel and an intrinsic kindness. This movie talks to all parents and forces them to introspect. TZP works because it is so relatable we all can see ourselves on screen at some point or another.

The only minute shortcoming of TZP is its pace. First half can be cut short by 15 minutes but I will say it doesn’t matter because the movie is slow for sure but you enjoy every moment of it.

TZP will make you laugh make you look deep into your soul will make you relive few childhood fantasies and it will make you cry. But its not a sad story it’s a over whelming experience and when in the final scene Ishaan run towards Ram Shankar you really feel world is a better place.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Just three more months ...

Like Mithun Da’s career, Rabri Devi’s government or Nayan Mongia’s batting all good things come to an end. My student life is also coming to an end, the fifth term of my MBA just got over and if my history has got any credibility I will pass this time too (by a thin margin off course). After three months my student life would be over and I will join the corporate world. That means what... No more classes, no more stupid assignments No more cheating in the exams and yeah no more project meetings (which by the way is the far most inefficient act known to human race.).

But I m not happy, school brings back lots of memories, be it the early days of my kinder garden when my mom used to drag me to school and I used to cry, when Archana Ma’am looked like a cross bread between Doga and Skeleton. When most frequently asked question in the class room was “Ma’am can I go to toilet?”

To the middle school where we used to play king kong in the ground and chalk out plans which will save the man kind from the evil powers of the unknown. When becoming rock star, pilot or cricketer was the dream of many. When clearing another level in super Mario was the biggest achievement of the day.

To senior school when we made a promotion from shorts to full pants. When girls suddenly became the most attractive thing in the world. When I was forced to take the biggest decision of my life: engineering or Medical profession. When we bunked school to play cricket. When I watched basic instincts in mute mode in the hall, while mummiji and papaji were sleeping in their bedroom (I still thank my cable wala’s late night’s “special screenings”)

To the IIT days where sometime I was afraid of signing the attendance sheet in the exams, reason being it might be caught as proxy. My 15 movies in 48 hours run, or the 40 hours with out sleep khandala trip or the late night visits to Bandra. My first encounter with booze, my futile attempts on yahoo chat rooms to get a girlfriend, or the orkut profile hunting.

Finally IIM, it’s tough to remember good things about a city where “Chalobe na” and “Calcutta Bandh” are the two most common words after Namaste and Saurav ganguly. But I love this place because booze is cheaper here than Bombay. I love this place because I got my first bike here and many more firsts of my life happened at Joka.

World outside the college would be a different place. Like cursing won’t be that casual anymore. Sleeping in the office won’t be taken in good spirits and off course copying your project work won’t be an option because you will be working alone.

It scares me and excites me at the same time. Imagine there won’t be my father’s ATM card anymore. There won’t be any fake courses or fake expensive books by means of which I will justify my ATM withdrawals.

There won’t be any dobhi who will take care of my dirty laundry. No mess wale Asif Da, who by the way thinks that water and oil can be used in same proportion in any sabji. I will have to cook my own food, wash my dirty laundry and yeah wash the utensils too.

Since I m as confident of my cooking skills as Virender Sehwag is of his batting just a mere thought of it scares the hell out of me. Asif da looks like lady Annapurna to me now.

I will live my last three months of college like I have been living since last 5 and a half years. I will kill the time merrily and don’t worry about the future.

Current song: "Tum se hi" from the movie Jab we met

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Aaja Nachle - The review

"Aaja Nachle" is the come back movie of heartthrob of 90s , Madhuri Dixit, the dancing diva the dhak dhak queen ..but sadly Aaja Nachle turns out to be a mediocre movie which is definitely below the mark. I am sure Madhuri Dixit deserves better than this..

The movie starts in NY where Dia( Madhuri) a successful aerobic instructor or dance teacher is informed about her dying Guru. She immediately flies to India to meet her teacher, who i mite add is clearly the most irritating character in the movie. On her way she recollects all the memories of her life in India, where she learnt how to dance and LIVE.
The flashback part is the hardest to bear..Madhuri is clearly nt a bubbly teenager nemore..n its a torture to c a 40-smthing jumping arnd the city merrily..her Guru addresses her as "chudail"..n thts wen u realise tht nt all dialogues in the movie r meaningless.. Coming back to the story,
Dia elopes to NY with her firang boyfriend Steve (how he falls in luv with this old woman is a mystery!!)when her parents forcefully try to marry her to Mohan (ranvir). She leaves behind a hostile town, few broken hearts and a close friend. Once in NY she realizes that it was a bad decision.
Now aftr all these yrs..She is coming back
to Shamli. She reaches India but by the time she is here her guruji is already dead (thankfully!!) but master ji manages to torture by means of a video he leaves behind where he tells her that Ajanta the theater faces demolition because MP (Akshay Khanna) wants to build a SHAPPIN MAAL there. Dia decides to revive Ajanta by doing a show with the people of Shamli within 2 months and hence save it.

I love underdogs movies, its a genre which forms its foundation on hope, aspirations, motivation and courage. Sadly Aaja Nachle fails to embark these emotions.

As told by Guruji “ Jo dil se nikalta hai who Kala (art) hota hai jodil mein reh jata hai who Kaala(Black) hota hai”. Aaja Nachle also fails to inspire, it fails to indulge you into the lives of the characters. The journey for Dia that seems so difficult in the beginning turns out to be a cake walk. She hardly struggles to achieve the success.

“ Naach Gana nahin Nritya sangeet choudhari sahib” is enuff to convince the rowdy politician Choudhary Sahab(akhilender Mishra). “Aapke jaise modern jamaane ke foreign educted MP se” convinces Akshay Khanna. The whole town which hates Dia is pouring in for auditions. Madhuri dixit gets tons of extras, huge sets, costumes Funds to do all that and there is not even one single scene which shows her intense struggle or tries to explain how. Definitely these things can be left as cinematic liberty but a few explanations would have made the story more believable.

One thing which will impress anybody is the star cast of the movie. Ranvir Shourie as the tea stall owner Mohan who is madly in love with dia clearly stands out in terms of performance. This guy speaks from his eyes and when he says “Chai bhi aapki main bhi aapka he moves the screen; Vinay pathak looks cute and definitely acts well. Kunal Kapur, Irfan khan divya dutta Konkana Sen, : luks like the Director spent all his time on casting..

But the problem lies with the script which hardly leaves any scope for brilliance by any of these actors. Irfan Khan is wasted, Divya dutta has just one good scene and she does a great job. Dia tries to convince Shamli’s junta to support her in her struggle to save ajanta by saying “Jab tak suraj Chaand Rahega Shamli mein Ajanta ka Naam rahega”. Clearly Shamli is not convinced and definitely not you...Aftr the dialogues i hav quoted so far it wudnt require lot of brains to gauge another sad fact..the dialogues of the movie are uninspiring to say the least..

Another shortcoming is the music, you expect mind blowing music the kind of music which will make you jump off your seat and shake a bit. But Aaja Nachle’s music is anything but great. It’s an average soundtrack with few moments of thrust. Another shortcoming is Vaibhavi merchant. This movie was offered on a platter to her..she cudnt hav asked for more than madhuri.. I was wondering if this was the same woman who gave us Kajra re. After a horrible performance in saawariya Miss Merchant again fails to impress. I know its not that bad a job but for a movie like this you expect choreography which is out of this world. The last 20 minutes of the movie in which the play is shown, clearly stand out but with stupid moments like

“na maaro chot lagti hai na maaro,

Chunmun si hatheliyan hai POOCHKAARO”

It leaves you with mixed emotions.

Anil Mehta never tries to go into details. He didn’t explore any single character he fails to put forward the emotions of any character and how the transformation is taking place. IF only he would have tried to put the characters of lives on the celluloid the end result would have been different.

Yash raj has given us great movies but something is missing now. Chak de is the only movie coming out of this production house which comes out as a winner. “tara ra rum pum, Jhoom Barabar, Laga chunari mein Daag and Aaja nachle also fails to live up to the expectation.