Futility of Stardom – Sushant Singh Rajput

A barrage of videos, opinions, solutions and suggestions were received post the untimely demise of Sushant Singh Rajput. #SSR #SushantSinghRaput #@itSSR

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#Nepotism is industry is at fault, and the key players are Karan Johar, Salman Khan, Yash Raj Films etc etc – seems to be an unanimous opinion across the social media.

Remember when 3 IDIOTS was released, and was an massive hit, it ignited discussions around how in India, a doctor wants his child to be a doctor, an engineer wants his child.. you got the gist.

It exists everywhere, especially in India. In case of SSR, it was his naivety to expect anything else – and bollywood is a frivolous world – a world of make believe after all.

A few projects being snatched away was not the end of the world and going by newer updates he had a few upcoming projects too. And what is this talk about TV vs Films – Today we see Salman, Rohit Shetty, Akshay, SRK all minting money on TV too.

SSR was in a fragile space – in and out of relationships, under the burden of his own ambitions, some really tough.. he was tough on himself and seems to have been in the habit of constantly evaluating self – no doubt some politics may have been played in breaking his morale, his self esteem. But did it really demand an exit, in the manner which he did ?

What about his immediate family ? Their dreams about him and flying along with him and his success. There are scores of people struggling in Mumbai, who would have given their right arm to achieve half the success that SSR did.

The death was a result, I feel due to depression brought about by over expectations, low self esteem and lack of communication with others and also self – remember you need to talk to yourself also with positivity ! Do not allow those thoughts to fester in your mind.

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#Lockdown India

On BBC, I saw a Indian doctor, anonymously, confess and show videos that testing in India is just not enough.

Lot of people with symptoms are being turned away due to lack of testing kits.

Even the medical community is at risk and kits are not available for them too.

With a population of 1.3 billion people, the majority of which live in conditions, live neck to neck and have no other options, a complete extension of the lockdown is a must.

It goes without saying that India’s rate of testing viz-a-viz it’s population is the lowest in the world.

Healthcare workers, State police and services workers are at the maximum risk – and so are their families. #Natendramodi

Yes, economy needs to be revived and businessmen are at tenterhooks to get things back to normal but a staggered opening of lockdown will be suicide !! #Lockdown #Coronavirus

IT Chapter 2 – Review

In the 90s I had seen a movie called “The Lawnmower Man” starring #PierceBrosnan. The movie was way ahead of its time. And so is #StephenKing. From The Shining to Cujo to #ITChapter2 – he has time and again proven his legendary writing skills.
 
He appears at the beginning of the movie and also in a cameo as an antique dealer, a mandatory cameo as in all King movies.
 
#IT is a three hour long movie, a bit of a stretch but the book was 1200 pages long too :), so we need to hand it to the director.
 
#GaryDauberman’s screenplay, CGI and photography is awesome. The fact that I opted for 4Dx made it all the more fun. It’s a 4Dx must watch.
 
Pennywise, the evil clown is back in Derry, Maine.
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The kids from 1989 have grown up and except for Mike, who stayed back at Derry everyone has left the town. Together they were known as the loser’s club, with each having an traumatic history of their childhood. They are each other’s support and bond well.
 
However Pennywise is back, and Mike makes calls to all his friends to put an end to Pennywise. Does Mike tell the complete truth ? Are the friends ready to face their worst fears ?
 
The cast is perfect but it is #BillSkarsgard, whom you miss on screen as Pennywise the evil clown, his acting combined with some prosthetics and CGI is flawless. Best in IMAX / 4Dx.
 
This is one clown, you wouldn’t want to clown around with !

Batla House – A moviegoer’s review

One of the major letdown in the movie is, when you get engrossed and all disturbed at the way the things were handled, the director shows a disclaimer that the production team does not prescribe to anyone’s side and are presenting this semi-fictionalized and yet a gripping true event as is.

While the intention is probably to steer clear of being accused of being against a community, the movie still potrays ACP Sanjeev Yadav as a hero, which he is. He is an 9 times winner of President’s gallantry medals.

John Abraham perhaps essays the best performance till date, looks like Hulk and is intense. Rest all are ok. The movie rides on his able shoulders and he carries it with aplomb.

Batla House was a huge controversy and cannot be summarized in a 2 hour movie, may require a web series.

The movie raises many questions –

Why are the interfering politicians allowed to go scot free? Why are leaders like Amar Singh, Digvijay Singh and Kejriwal above the law and are not made to answer the questions they raised – as shown in the movie from real life news.

Why are the Maulvi’s allowed to use loudspeakers and pass messages on Delhi Police – are the speakers not only for religious purpose ?

How many such medal winners will have to go through PSTD, despite giving the ultimate sacrifice in the name of duty. ?

How do we ensure that the wheat is separated from the chaff while ensuring justice – so that no innocents become scapegoats.

For those who followed the BATLA HOUSE controversy, the questions remain unanswered, but worth a watch.. could have been more detailed, for the monologue by ACP Sanjeev at the end, the movie gets a three star.

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Super 30 – Review

A late review of an already rocking movie at the box office.

This is a true story of a man, who as an impoverished young man could not pursue his dreams though he was accepted by Cambridge based on an mathematical articles submitted by him but could not take it up due to financial condition.

What follows is story of perseverance, dogged determination to help the downtrodden students achieve their dreams despite attacks from the coaching classes mafia.

Education is indeed a big business in India. There is a city called KOTA, which thrives only on coaching classes for IIT-JEE. Families at times shift their to be with their child who intends to appear for IIT. Their lesser brilliant siblings too shift to be with families, it is so important for everyone in the family.

#HrithikRoshan is undoubtedly one of the most gifted actors in Indian cinema and this movie is a proof of the same. After Koi Mil Gaya, he gets to show his acting chops, the other movies in between were masala entertainers banking on his greek god looks.

Vikas Bahl, despite the #metoo controversy, redeems his graph post Shandaar.

#BasantiNoDance seems trivial on TV but on it grows on you on screen, bringing forward the wide chasm between castes, classes and the rich and the poor.

A must family watch!

 

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The Great Hack

A social media user’s profile, his status updates, opinions, likes, comments, inputs to different quizzes, games etc, is collected for data mining purposes.

Based on the above, a psychological profile is developed, his political leanings are determined and his social media is bombarded with fake news, manipulative video feeds that can bring about a change in the user’s preferences.

#TheGreatHack, reveals what #CambridgeAnalytica was about – using data sets or digital traces that “you” leave on whatsapp, FB, Google, Instagram and other apps – for data mining purpose.

#Brexit, #Trump Elections, Trinidad and Tobago elections are examples of CA’s interference. The scary part of the investigations is the fact that CA was interested in promoting far-right wing parties across the world – a desperate desire it seems bring in chaos and then mould the world with help from the lies they spread.

As one british legislator in the documentary terms the tactic as “weapons grade communication technique” to persuade, influence people for gains of their clients !

How you ask ? Well the digital traces or likes, comments etc etc that you leave on the social media are now also termed as your bloodstream that runs into the internet which can be injected with “parasites” or fake/manipulative information.

Cambridge Analytica has shut down but remember there are many more such firms who do the same. Beware !

A must watch !

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Article 15 – Review

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Maharashtra has always been touted as the number one industrial state in the country.

During 2005, due to the demise of a dear one, I decided on a road trip in Diwali to take my father away from Mumbai and spend some time at a hill station called Chikhaldhara (700 kms). Sonny was an infant than, so took a driver along. It would also help me to scribble some notes. We took an overnight halt at Shegaon, a pilgrimage center.

We started again early morning, but lost our way (no gps than). Going through tribal villages, what we observed was abject poverty, we could not believe that this was our own state – number one in India.

And yet when we took an halt for a cup of tea at a rundown shop, and some milk for our son, the shopkeeper flat refused to take money for the milk, saying it would be a sin as it was for a child. Humbled beyond our words, we bought some biscuits that he had.

That man is the essence of India, the state that he is in, is because of the blind, greedy and lethargic bureaucracy and politics. We reached our destination eventually.

However this movie is about the majority of India which is rural india, and feudal mindset is more prevalent in the states of uttar pradesh and bihar.

The movie is based on the true story of two sisters who were gangraped and hanged from a tree in Badayun district, Uttar Pradesh. If I am not wrong similar incidents were reported in Ghaghar, Sambhal in the same year.

Two girls insist on being paid 3 rupees more with a contractor and threaten to leave and work for another. They do so on not being paid and are followed by more. They along with their younger sister are chased by goons. The younger one runs away into a jungle through a swamp.

#AyushmannKhurrana is Ayan Ranjan, an newbie urban IPS officer. Having returned from abroad, he is not so sure of this “India” he is looking at, and lets us know of his thoughts through whatsapp chats with his girlfriend whose answers seem as its his conscience. Khurrana is on a roll with a performance that is easily his best till date. Manoj Pahwa as the corrupt police Brahmdutt is excellent and a surprise too as usually he is typecast as a comedian.

#SayaniGupta is a chameleon. One of the better actors around for sure. #ZeeshanAyub as a Dalit naxal is good too.

The movie may remind you of Mississipi Burning – a cult movie today. Do not miss the Bob Dylan song in the beginning – How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?.. Blowi’n in the wind.

It is the cinematography that immerses you in rural india and also into sewage. Literally scares you about this other face of India, where you may work along side one another but cannot eat from the same plate.

This is the “balance” or “santulan” which needs to be maintained among different castes and religion else there would be chaos – advises Brahmdutt to Ayan.

Unfortunately our elected reps continue to exactly do that, maintain this distorted balance and rule us.

Annabelle comes home – Review

Have always been a fan of horror genre, though not much of the slasher stuff.

James Wan is back with his anthology of the Conjuring series. Gary Dauberman directs this jump and scare visual treat with an excellent sound design.

The warren couple bring the malevolent doll named Annabelle home, to be locked away in a chapel glass made locker. The doll has the ability to invoke evil spirits. Their daughter has a babysitter. When the warrens are away, the babysitter’s pal let’s curiosity take over and it causes mayhem. How the daughter, semi trained by observing the parents along with the babysitter tackle the ghosts forms the plot.

Worth a watch for strictly horror fans.

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Kabir Singh – Review

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KABIR SINGH !

Really do not know how to review this movie. After the very underrated Batti Gul Meter Chalu, was really looking forward to this Shahid outing.

He doesn’t disappoint on the acting bit at all but the story ? I had started Arjun Reddy for few minutes on Amazon and switched off immediately. So the crude, harsh, pithiful dialogues and screenplay come from there, as the captain is the same.

#ShahidKapoor lives #KabirSingh but let’s down his family fan following for sure. If this is the definition of love, being a stud, commitment etc., god help us.

The direction shouts out loud throughout the movie about liberalism, through various dialogues, scenes against traditional values but in the end like a coward chooses the easy way out and ensures that the heroine remains an pregnant, married yet untouched by another male, a pativrata female for Kabir – who is the real father.

Had the director shown the reunion with someone else’s baby, that perhaps would have been a silver lining on this dark love story.

Game Over was a concept movie (slasher) which made no claims about any value system but this one does diss our value system and may be true on certain points but the manner in which it is depicted is pathetic.

What was more scary was the manner in which, in a multiplex, youngsters were cheering on certain scenes.

You may not want your daughter to see this movie in a late night show.

 

NTR Kathanayakudu / Mahanayakudu

During 1993, I had an opportunity to see NTR at Hyderabad. Being from Bombay, Bollywood capital, we used to see celebrities often, but the scenario unraveling in front of me was something surreal. People from all walks of life were prostrating themselves before him.

In a very nonchalance manner, I asked someone is he that big a star to which i got the reply that he is god for those people and then told me to shut up or risk being beaten up by them. That was the charisma of NTR, a man who played Krishna, Rama and Shiva in multiple movies.

His son, actor and producer, breathes life in the role of NTR, a performance of a lifetime. Just watch his don the make up of Krishna and walk through the studio to meet the producer who was hesitant to cast him as god. When he stands in front of the producer with folded hands, the overwhelmed producer holds his hands and says, God should never fold hands in front of mortals. The scene gives you goosebumps. But alas, the movie turns out to be tribute by a son to a father and cannot be termed as biography of the NTR the leader.

While the first part is enjoyable, focusing on NTR rise from a clerk to a film star, the second one focuses on a few incidents in the political life of the leader, especially the one where he was pitted against Indira Gandhi.

The director, Krish [Manikarnika] probably did not get the freedom to humanize the leader and that is exactly what you feel at the end of the movie. But yet it is worth a watch for Nandamuri Balakrishna’s performance as NTR.