Mission Mangal is disappointing

Mission Mangal is a bad joke of a movie. A great movie could have been made about India’s stupendous achievement. But in a typical Bollywoodian fashion, it gets bogged down with unnecessary jingoism, heroism and melodrama. It’s such a shame! While the movie does have some moments that give you goose bumps, overall it’s a collection of scenes of half developed characters with ISRO in the background.
A monumental scientific endeavour like India’s first moon mission would have had its own thrilling moments which could definitely have been used to create the necessary drama for any “underdogs achieve great success” movie. But this movie instead tries to do too many things.

If anyone wants to see how to convert a real event into a great thrilling story – just watch Chernobyl or Sully or Everest. Mission Mangal is a wasted opportunity. How do you create thrill or suspense about a real event, the end result of which you already know? Watch Apollo 13.

I don’t understand why Indian movies shy away from using real characters. They invent every single character and give them emotional back stories. In the quest to add fictional elements to a real world event, our directors can’t resist the temptation of going full fictional to the extent that the real world event just becomes a backdrop. It becomes more like an alternative history movie rather than a movie based on true events. They would rather say at the beginning “this happened in an alternate universe”.

Yes, directors must take creative freedom and add fictional elements, otherwise it would be a documentary. But to what extent you do that is a call that a director has to take.

We went to Mars. On the first attempt. It’s an amazing feat. This movie fails to do justice to that.

PK, OMG and atheism in Indian movies

Yesterday I watched the long awaited PK where Aamir Khan plays an alien searching for god at various places and taking on the managers for god – the so called godmen in the process. The movie is preachy in parts and goes on to question nonsensical rituals and stupidities of religion – something which was handled much more sharply and bluntly in Oh My God (OMG) starring Paresh Rawal. Although in OMG they did end up showing there was after all a god – and no other but the Hindu god Krishna! (Which is understandable as the movie as a commercial venture has to make money in a Hindu majority country)


Both OMG and PK make a case against following conmen posing as godmen, and they appealed the audiences to reconsider absurd practices and wasteful excesses of religion. Both the movies have had godmen as antagonists and ended with the message of following the real god instead of the god created by these godmen. And therein lies the problem. Both the movies have shied away from prodding the viewers to question the very idea of god itself. While OMG actually ended up showing there is in fact a god and making a believer out of an atheist, PK resisted the urge of a finding a magical solution in the form of a god – so that is definitely a plus.

Now I hope somebody makes a truly atheistic movie where the very idea of an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient creator/s is questioned and debated. It will be difficult to make such a movie in a country where even a fart can hurt somebody’s religious sentiments and send people to jail but I hope someone will take the bold step and do the unthinkable.

Atheism is seldom represented in Indian movies. I don’t know about movies in other Indian languages but Hindi movies have never really touched upon the subject. A couple of movies in the 80s like Deewar and Nastik showed the protagonist not believing in god but it was more like the hero was angry with god and wasn’t on talking terms to him but eventually turned around by the end of the movie. That isn’t atheism. You can’t be angry with something you don’t believe exists.

Paresh Rawal’s character in OMG was an atheist in true sense. He made compelling arguments and so to make him a believer god appeared in front of him. I wonder why god chose to appear as Krishna and not Jesus or Ra or Odin or Juju of the mountain or the FSM. May be he chose to appear as a Hindu god because Kanji (Paresh Rawal’s character) was from a Hindu background. So may be if the protagonist had been ex-Christian he would come as Jesus or Buddha if he were a Buddhist. Not sure what would they show if he had been a Muslim. (You can’t show Mohammad on screen unless you want the theaters burned down!)

Aamir’s alien in PK is not an atheist. He is a simpleton who hears about god and takes it on face value. He actually is pretty dumb for a member of a species who communicate telepathically and are capable of inter-galactic travel. Any evolved intelligent life form should be capable of logic and reasoning and should be able to see through the mirage that is religion and belief in god.

Bollywood has indulged in pandering to supernatural themes of gods, magic, reincarnation, destiny and spirits since its inception. First Indian movie was based on mythology. Movie after movie has reaffirmed the existence of supernatural. The industry has no dearth of atheists – and the film industry is the most secular faction of Indian society but it has never dared to question the core idea of god. OMG and PK can be treated as attempts to eventually get there. I hope we get there soon.

Rockstar – transformation of a regular guy to a devil may care rockstar!

Rockstar is the movie of the year! It’s the best of what Bollywood had on offer in 2011 so far. Mind you it’s not your typical Bollywood masala movie. It’s different. It does not have a happy ending, it doesn’t even have a sad ending, in fact it does not have any conclusive ending. Much like the real life.

Rockstar is a story of a guy who yearns to be a rockstar and when he attains the name, fame and money he always wanted, he is no longer able to enjoy it! Reason? He is in love and the girl he loves is already married to someone else. The girl also loves him, they meet and they do things they both know they should not be doing, but they don’t care. They can’t help themselves. The girl, afraid of the societal repercussions of their relationship forces the guy to be away from her and the guy leaves. He rises to the heights he had imagined but he is not happy, there’s something burning inside him. He misses her.

The rockstar turns exceedingly moody and erratic. He attacks media, slaps policemen, does not turn up for scheduled live performances, he is sued, thrown in jail…it all happens to him. Media glorifies him negatively which only adds to his fan following. It all happens because he is not able to be with the girl he is madly in love with!

Imtiaz Ali has a common theme in his movies – people fall in love but they don’t understand or know that they are in love. It happens in Socha Na Tha with Abhay Deol and Ayesha Takia, happens with Kareena Kapoor in Jab We Met and with Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone in Love Aaj Kal where Saif’s character isn’t able to understand the reason of his depression and Deepika realises it on the first day after her marriage. Something similar happens in Rockstar as well but the story, characters and the narrative are different.

As I mentioned, the movie is not a typical Bollywood movie where the Hero and Heroine unite at the end after all the hardships and they live happily ever after. This movie does not have a definitive conclusion. You don’t know whether the Heroine dies, they two don’t reunite, the Hero doesn’t go insane. The story just ends like in real life.

What makes the movie tick are three things – A. R. Rahman’s music, Mohit Chauhan’s vocals AND Ranbir Kapoor’s acting. Boy Ranbir has grown into a superb actor! He own the character, the passion he brings in his onstage performances, the madness he portrays, the love, the rage he puts in his character makes the character very much believable and likable. It’s a sad movie out and out. But not a drop of tear is shed by Jordan (the rockstar Ranbir plays) during the entire movie except at the end. The rockstar vents his sorrow and frustration not with tears but with his performance on stage.

It’s a journey and the lyrics are just so apt for the situations –

Oh eco friendly, nature ke rakshak, main bhi hoon nature
rivajo se, samajo se kyu kate mujhe, kyu bate mujhe is tarah

Another one –

Kaaga re kaaga re more, itni araj mori chun chun khaiyo maas
Khaiyo na do naina more, khaiyo na do naina more, jiya ke milan ki aas

I can’t put into words the feelings behind those words. When you see Ranbir Kapoor singing them on screen with Rahman’s music and Mohit’s vocals and you know the back story, you get sucked into the soul of the song. You feel euphoric with Sadda Haq and feel for the two lovers with Nadaan Parinde. It’s a different experience.

One word on Nargin Fakhri – she looks pretty and ravishing. It’s understandable why she was cast to play Heer cause we need a justifiable reason to explain Jordan’s love and want for her. She can make any man insane. Although she is not very strong on the acting part – looks stone faced at times – but she performs her part well. There’s not much to do for her in the film and her character is not fully developed either. Star of the show is undoubtedly Ranbir.

I will be really disappointed if Rahman, Mohit, Ranbir and Imtiaz don’t get rewarded with awards in their respective categories next year. This movie is something different, and I highly recommend it to everybody.

However one note of caution: not everyone will like it because it is not a masala entertainer like Salman’s movies. It is not absurd like Akshay Kumar’s films, it does not have SRKesque romance, nor does it have a meaningful message like Aamir’s movies and a conclusive story and heartwarming moments like Rajkumar Hirani’s films. This is one film where the story and the conclusion doesn’t matter, it’s the narrative that you enjoy.

I would give it 4 stars out of 5.

Tees Maar Khan – Stay AWAY from it!

For once I agree with Raja Sen. My opinion of a movie is often against his. I usually enjoy the movie he gives poor ratings to and the movies he likes, I find boring. But for TMK, I think we are on the same page. Tees Maar Khan is a monstrosity! They should have just played Sheela Ki Jawani in loop for two hours and that would have been more entertaining. You get to know the entire plot of the movie in first 10 minutes and you know what’s going to happen next!

Akshay Kumar is so freaking loud! And his sidekicks are even louder!! Farah Khan has messed up big time this time. Shah Rukh Khan should actually thank Farah for not casting him in this dud! This is a sort of movie only Akshay Kumar can fit in. There are no positives about the movie. It has some funny moments and classic Farah homage to old movies but we have seen that all in Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om. I was expecting something better from Farah this time. This is a David Dhawan type comedy where the laughter is forced by introducing funny dialogs rather than funny situations! But again David and Govinda do a better job at that than what Farah and Akshay have managed to! Kadar Khan would write better dialogs than “*Beep* ki Lutti Izzat…”

Where is Katrina Kaif by the way? Apart from Sheela ki Jawani she is no where to be found! Aman Varma and Murli Sharma as gay CBI agents have better and longer roles than Kat! Akshay Khanna does his best at acting stupid and succeeds! And songs? Boy Farah’s movies always had chart buster songs. That’s completely missing! The only notable song is Sheela ki Jawani the rest are painful to sit through!

I wouldn’t blame Farah for the debacle. I’d blame Shirish Kunder! That guy’s everywhere. He has written the story, lyrics, dialogs. He’s the editor, he has given background score and also music for Sheela Ki Jawani. The best part of the movie was the after movie credits section where the entire team collects their “Oscar”. And Shirish appears after every two awards! You finally know the movie has come to an end!

If these Hollywood movies were made in India – 1

What if these movies were made in India?

Lord of the Rings
There would be an item song in the mount Doom just before the climax! Frodo and Sam would enter the party disguised as gypsy ladies. Aragon would have followed with a damroo.
The cast would be –
Frodo: Aamir Khan – perfect to play a hobbit, he would actually grow hair on his legs!!
Sam: Ritesh Deskmukh
Aragon: Anil Kapoor
Gandalf: Boman Irani
Legolas: Ranbir Kapoor
Gimli: Rajpal Yadav
Sauron: Amrish Puri/Shakti Kapoor
Casting coup – Gollum: Kamal Rashid Khan aka KRK!

First of all the KingKong wouldn’t have died at the end of the movie. Hindi movie heros don’t die, unless there are two of them vying for a single woman. Either KingKong will become a man or Ann Darrow would become a lady Gorilla by the grace of some baba or some Devi. A Romantic duet of Kong and Ms Darrow in the alps would surely be there.
Cast –
KingKong: Sunil Shetty or Sunny Deol
Ann Darrow: Any pretty lady would do
Carl Denham: Nana Patekar
Jack Driscoll: Salman Khan/Shahrukh Khan if he is going to get the girl or any lesser hero who can be killed by Kong.

This got to be a Rajnikanth movie and to be renamed “1”. You get the point!

Star Wars
Classic epic. Luke Skywalker would have written on his hand, “Mera baap kala hai” – My father’s on the dark side! Padme Amidala wouldn’t die. In the end there would be a happy reunion of the family and after killing the Sith lord they would rule the galaxy together.
Darth Vedar: Amitabh Bachchan
Luke Skywalker: Abhishek Bachchan
Han Solo: Anil Kapoor
Casting coup – Jabba The Hutt: Bappi Lahiri!!

Ram Gopal Verma to direct it. To be named Ram Gopal Verma ki Matrix! He’d be the only one understanding the story.
Cast –
Neo – Manoj Bajpai
Trinity – Nisha or Priyanka or whatever-her-name-is Kothari
Morpheus – Mohanlal
Casting coup – Persephone – Mallika Sherawat

to be continued…


Watched the movie watchmen last night. Kind of heavy stuff. Not a regular super hero movie. I was expecting a typical super heroes v/s super villain, hero kicks ass kind of stuff. But it was different. Interesting twist at the end. Sacrificing millions to save billions. A bit too far fetched but hey its fiction after all isn’t it?

Did some Wikipedia reading later and found it’s directed by Zack Snyder, the guy who directed 300.

Khatta Meetha is very khatta – not recommended

There is less of Meetha and mostly Khatta with Khatta Meetha. I am disappointed with the movie. Priyadarshan has lost it this time. He couldn’t decide whether he’s making a comedy or a realistic movie. The movie is marketed as a funny one and that’s what I was expecting. Light entertainment. The movie turned out to be realistic. And brutal. Its going smooth till the Interval but then it just becomes too heavy. It’s a sad movie. Akshay Kumar plays a common man literally and there is absolutely no heroism! The movie talks about corruption and crime and all and you just wait for something to happen. The way the movie is marketed, you’d expect the hero would pull some trick out of his hat. But nothing of that sort happens and you return empty handed.

When was the last time we saw hero’s sister getting raped by the villain? Yes it is there in this movie. And at least you’d still expect the hero would in the end beat the crap out of the bad guys. But that does not happen. Priyan showed a common man who is just helpless against all the forces. That’s NOT what I was expecting from the movie!

I’d give it 1 Star out of 5.

Bollywood Leagues

Diwali weekend, noting much to do so I made up a list of Bollywood stars and put them in different leagues.

Three movies have released this Diwali, I want to watch Blue.


A+ League – They are the kings, the movie is sold on their name
Shahrukh Khan
Aamir Khan
Akshay Kumar
Hritik Roshan
Amitabh Bachchan
Salman Khan – This man has to watch out, a couple more flops and he will be out of this league.

A League – They are bankable and the movie can still be sold on their names. But they do a better job when paired.

Saif Ali Khan – A couple more solo hits and this guy can move to the A League
Shahid Kapoor
John Abraham
Abhishek Bachchan
Sanjay Dutt
Ajay Devgan
Ranbir Kapoor
Neil Nitin Mukesh

B League – They manage to play a solo hero, villain or an important side kick

Imran Khan – Kidnap and Luck have broght him down here, he needs a another JTYJN to move back to A.
Ritesh Deshmukh – If Alladin works he may move up to A
Arshad Varsi
Vivek Oberoi
Arjun Rampal
Akshay Khanna
Harman Baweja – Whats Your Rashee worked but the credit went to Priyanka, he needs a few more hits to prove himself.
Shreyas Talpade
R Madhvan
Farhan Akhtar

C League – They just add to the crowd, it doesn’t matter who you pick.

Sunil Shetty
Sharman Joshi
Aftab Shivdasani
Zayed Khan
Fardeen Khan
Tushar Kapoor
Kunal Khemu
Dino Morea
Arbaaz Khan
Sohail Khan

League of extra ordinary gentlemen – They can play the protagonist or can manage to grab attention wven while playing the sidekick.

Paresh Rawal
Irfan Khan
Vinay Pathak
Rajpal Yadav


A+ League

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Kareena Kapoor
Priyanka Chopra
Katrina Kaif

A League

Bipasha Basu
Deepika Padukone
Sonam Kapoor
Rani Mukharji
Vidya Balan

B League

Amrita Rao
Lara Dutta
Sushmita Sen
Priety Zinta
Anushka Sharma
Konkana Sen Sharma
Shilpa Shetty

C League

Dia Mirza
Celina Jaitley
Amisha Patel
Mallika Sherawat
Neha Dhupia
Isha Kopikar
Esha Deol
Soha Ali Khan
Gul Panag
Shamita Shetty
Tanisha Mukherji
Sameera Reddy
Priyanka Kothari
Ayesha Takia

Item Girls

Rakhi Sawant – The one and only! This girl is in her own league. Love her or hate her but you can’t ignore her. She has come a long way. She’s the only one who appeared on Koffee with Karan and was interviewed in Hindi! NDTV Imagine bet its future on her Swayamvar.

Movies I’ve watched in the past couple of months

Had a backlog of movies to watch and been on a movie watching spree for last couple of months both at home and in theatres.

Hindi (All in theatres)

Quick Gun Murugun
Love Aaj Kal
Whats Your rashee

English (All on comp courtesy BitTorrent :P )

Angels & Demons
Chronicles Of Narnia Prince Caspian
I am Legend
Night At The Museum 2
Terminator Salvation
The Mummy 3
X-Men Origins Wolverine
Tremors 2 – Aftershocks
Tremors 3 – Back to Perfection
Tremors 4 -  The Legend Begins

Apart from these I also went through the re watch of the original Star Wars triology

Movies I liked the most – Wall-E and Wolverine

Still pending in the list

Rock n Rolla
The Dargeling Limited
Transformers 2
Harry Potter and the half blood prince

In Hindi – Wanted


Star Wars 1-3
Harry Potter 1-5
Lord of the rings triology

Mind it (Tamil Bhangra) lyrics from Quick Gun Murugun

Brrrrr chak de

Ho Maa kasam batata hoon suno na
Dhoondhe na mile aisa namoona

Sample hai ye for retail
Cent per cent he’s not for sale
Ladylog ko patata par usmein bilkul fail

Idli appam sambhar khao
Quick Gun Murugun ke gun gao
Ye hai rebel without a cow mind it…mind it mind it

Idli appam sambhar khao
Quick Gun Murugun ke gun gao
Dhishoon dhishoon aur Dhishkyaon yo mind it…mind it mind it

Aar tu taar tu aai bala ko taal tu
Iske yaar fande hai ghatiya aur faltu
Bheje ka noodle tera banega, isko agar tu chunega
Ekvede meter fail, ya tu murda ya fir jail
Ho mare na marta hai, peeche jo padat hai, chhode nahi sala

Idli appam sambhar khao
Quick Gun Murugun ke gun gao
Ye hai rebel without a cow mind it…mind it mind it

Easy easy brother nao
Apna pichhvada bajao
Dhishoon dhishoon aur Dhishkyaon yo mind it…mind it mind it

Hoooo kal, boot height mein, just like dad ye
Well toned body hai, just thoda fat re
Ho iske dikhave pe na jaana,
Item hai badaa ye sayana
Tum jo ser to ye sava ser,
Kat le pehle jo ho der
Ho mare na marta hai, peeche jo padat hai, chhode nahi sala

Idli appam sambhar khao
Quick Gun Murugun ke gun gao
Ye hai rebel without a cow mind it…mind it mind it

Easy easy brother nao
Apna pichhvada bajao
Dhishoon dhishoon aur Dhishkyaon yo mind it…mind it mind it

Kutta bhonke bhau bhau
Billi bole meow meow
Dhishoon dhishoon aur Dhishkyaon yo mind it…mind it mind it

Abe yaar Quick Gun hai, cowboy hai…excuse please!


ब्र्ररररर चक दे

हो माँ कसम बताता हूँ सुनोना
ढूँढे ना मिले ऐसा नमूना

सैम्पल है ये फॉर रिटेल
सेंट पर सेंट ही’स नोट फॉर सेल
लेडी लोग को पटाता, पर उसमें बिलकुल फ़ेल

इडली अप्पम साम्भार खाओ
क्विक गन मुरुगन के गुण गाओ
ये है रेबेल विदाउट अ काऊ माइंड ईट…. माइंड ईट … माइंड ईट

इडली अप्पम साम्भार खाओ
क्विक गन मुरुगन के गुण गाओ
ढिशूम ढिशूम और ढिश्क्याओं यो माइंड ईट…. माइंड ईट … माइंड ईट

आर तु टार तु आई बाला को टाल तु
इसके यार फंडे हैं घटिया और फालतू
भेजे का नूडल तेरा बनेगा, इसको अगर तु चुनेगा
एकवेडे  मीटर फ़ेल, या तु मुर्दा या फिर जेल
हो मारे ना मरता है, पीछे जो पड़ता है, छोडे नहीं साला

इडली अप्पम साम्भार खाओ
क्विक गन मुरुगन के गुण गाओ
ये है रेबेल विदाउट अ काऊ माइंड ईट…. माइंड ईट … माइंड ईट

ईजी ईजी ब्रधर नाऊ
अपना पिछवाडा बजाओ
ढिशूम ढिशूम और ढिश्क्याओं यो माइंड ईट…. माइंड ईट … माइंड ईट

हो कल बूट टाईट्स में, जस्ट लाईक डैड ये
वेल टोन्ड बॉडी है, जस्ट थोडा फ़ेट रे
हो इसके दिखावे पे ना जाना, आइटम है बड़ा ये सयाना
तुम जो सेर तो ये सवा सेर, कट ले पहले जो हो देर
हो मारे ना मरता है, पीछे जो पड़ता है, छोडे नहीं साला

इडली अप्पम साम्भार खाओ
क्विक गन मुरुगन के गुण गाओ
ये है रेबेल विदाउट अ काऊ माइंड ईट…. माइंड ईट … माइंड ईट

ईजी ईजी ब्रधर नाऊ
अपना पिछवाडा बजाओ
ढिशूम ढिशूम और ढिश्क्याओं यो माइंड ईट…. माइंड ईट … माइंड ईट

कुत्ता भोंके भाऊँ भाऊँ
बिल्ली बोले म्याऊँ म्याऊँ
ढिशूम ढिशूम और ढिश्क्याओं यो माइंड ईट…. माइंड ईट … माइंड ईट

अबे यार क्विक गन है, काऊ बॉय है….एक्स्क्युस प्लीज़!

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