THOR – RAGNAROK! – A review.

What a dose of cheerful medicine this movie has been for me ! A total rollercoaster fun ride.

This is perhaps the most true to the comic book movie from Marvel I have seen. #Thor:Ragnarok is not only a visual delight, but also the comedy is spot on. And thank god HULK is back but somehow #MarkRuffalo does not click as #BruceBanner. As Hulk though, he is on a rampage and you get to see the Hulk’s humane side too.

Chris Helmsworth without the trademark hair, still looks Thor and is having a rollicking time in the role. He shares good chemistry with Tom Hiddleston. But it is #CateBlanchett who kills it as his evil sister Hela. She looks and lives the part. Jeff Goldblum disappoints – could’ve been a more solid actor for a tough villain.

The sound track is amazing and I need to get my hands on the OST. CGI department wins it hands down as the most appealing vfx ever seen in such comic book series [though DR Strange was good too and he makes an appearance here].

I just couldn’t believe that this movie is directed by the same director of “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” – Taika Waititi. Wow, what a range!

You will see lot of famous faces throughout the movie like Hopkins, Matt Damon and Sam Neill among others but it is the comic book soul of the movie that stays with you and for vintage comic book lovers like me it’s a nostalgic trip!

Enjoy – I will be catching a second solo viewing!

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Black Dussehra!

Hi Friends

Happy Dussehra!!

However you must have observed it is going to be a black Dussehra for some families in Mumbai.

Apart from receiving forwards on WhatsApp about the tragedy, today morning onwards I received a barrage of forwards of how the current Modi government is better than the years of corrupted rule by the Congress. The political call centres are in full force !

All such forwards ended with nauseous questions of our patriotism or nationalism for questioning the administration in charge.

While I too voted wholeheartedly for Modi, I definitely did not surrender my rights to question the authorities, it is every citizen’s birthright.

What is more disturbing, is that there is a very visible divide among friends and families – who have set aside their logical reasoning and indulge in forwarding hateful or demeaning political messages.

How many of you walk the overbridge daily on your commute to work ? Why only Mumbai – I had been to Ahmedabad 2-3 years back and came back impressed with is civic infrastructure and recently when I visited Ahmedabad, it was like a war ravaged city, which I recently was informed done up overnight at the expense of 1200 Crores on account of visit by the Japanese PM – who does not have to travel daily in Mumbai or Ahmedabad !

A young life, who just six months ago became a chartered accountant, lost her life in this tragedy before she could form her wings – look at your child and give a thought to such dividing messages.

I already know the solution that will be offered to the victims –
1. Ex-gratia payment
2. Promise of an inquiry

At the cost of 3000+ crores we will be erecting a Shivaji memorial in the middle of the ocean or the worlds largest statue / tribute to Sardar Patel. They are considered as the greatest heroes in Indian history, do you think they would have been happy to see the current state of infrastructure ??

Remember it could have been your family member to on one of the many bridges in Mumbai !

* No I do not have a call centre appointing official trolls to type this post.

The PROMISE – 2016

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Though being a history buff, I had no clue of the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Turkish Empire. But this movie compelled me to read some material on the same, and perhaps will do so for sometime.

Terry George, director of Hotel Rwanda, has delivered a fantastic semi-fictional tale of Love, Friendship, Patriotism woven around the Armenian Genocide by the turks, which they continue to deny till date.

This is a period movie set in the 1915, when the sun was setting on the Ottoman Empire. The detailing of the period is bound to leave you speechless. The Cinematography is first rate.

Oscar Isaac outdoes all the brilliant actors in the movie as Mikael Boghosian, a medical student who aspires to study and serve his village but for which he has no money. He agrees to his father’s idea of getting engaged to a girl from his village and for which he will get dowry of 400 gold coins that will support his travel to Constantinopole, present day Istanbul, to study medicine. He promises his wife to be, that he will be back soon.

Mikael’s Uncle in Constantinopole, supports him. His Turkish friend Emre Ogan, son a Turkish General and a rich man, looks up to him as a mentor and classmate in medicine school and always helps him out. Christian Bale, as Chris the american journalist is in the city too, meticulously reporting on the political movements of the turkish empire. His girlfriend, Ana, is the dance teacher to the kids of Mikael’s uncle. And thereby begins a story of a love triangle, familial duties, unrequited love, friendship and loyalty irrespective of religion or nation.

Each and every supporting actor is brilliant, but it is Mikael and Ana’s love story and more than the same, the Armenian Genocide which will haunt you and the so called Superpowers of the world who turned a blind eye towards the same.

Don’t miss it at any cost !

Tubelight – A cinegoer’s review

Do not understand why Tubelight is being panned by one and sundry… In fact I dreaded that hope it’s not another Bodyguard, Ready kinda film, where Salman the star takes over each and every department.. and surprisingly it was different, at least Salman made an effort.

It’s definitely painful to watch him put such ernest efforts to act, but with due credit to the director, Salman pulled it off well. It is of course and out and out Salman show, though Zeeshan Ayyub irritates even though he is a fine actor. It is an official adaptation of LITTLE BOY, so it’s not as if it’s lifted and copied.

I have seen Little Boy, Jakob Salvati the boy is made of different mettle, but this is not about Little Boy but about our Sultan. And I feel he is in fine form.

Yes, Sultan was notches above this one, and so was the silly, funny Dabbang. Salman “acted” in Sultan too, and was awesome else his larger than life characters like Chulbul were getting on the nerves.

For his fans, who expect “Dhisoom” “Dhisoom” male machoism, they will be disappointed, but it’s not a bad fare, watchable once. However Kabir Khan could have done better and he is capable of the same.

Tubelight_Poster

Hacksaw Ridge – Review

Imagine that a person volunteers to join army during war to serve his nation and at the same time also has vowed that he would never pick up a gun to kill someone but serve only as a medic to help fellow soldiers.

Such stories of real heroic valor usually die as unsung heroes but it takes the caliber of a Clint Eastwood or in this case Mel Gibson to direct and bring to screen the story of Desmond Doss, who single handedly, without picking up a gun saved 75 lives at Hacksaw Ridge.

Mel Gibson may have had a tough time fighting his internal demons, but there is no denying the brilliance of this man, whether it was Passion of the Christ or the Apocalypto. Like Shyamalan who excels at horror/thriller genre, Mel shoots war scenes like no one does.

Andrew Garfield, the spidey, is Desmond Doss here, a simpleton who knows his priorities and decides to stick to them – even if means narrowly escaping a court martial. The horror of world war 2, the sacrifices of such soldiers along with an underdog’s incredible story of bravery will overwhelm you.

Yes, Mel Gibson is back and thank god for that.

#HacksawRidge #MelGibson #AndrewGarfield #Oscars2017

Hacksaw Ridge Movie

The Salesman – Review

About two decades back, I had got an invite from a friend to attend a Iranian film festival, which if I remember correctly was at Y.B.Chavan auditorium.

The simple storytelling, excellent focus on characters enacted and some astonishing realistic acting left me spellbound. It helped that I remained in touch with two iranian pals, who recommended names such us Makhmalbaf, Majidi and Darius whose masterpiece Leila was one of the movies at the festival.

The Salesman, has deservedly got an Oscar for its director Asghar Farhadi. Two actors, husband and wife, who are forced to vacate their apartment as it is about to collapse, are offered another accommodation by a friend and another colleague who is part of the drama that they are acting in.

However the colleague, fails to inform that the particular place was earlier occupied by a woman of doubtful character. What happens later, reveals the director’s genius of presenting a drama with focus on human psychology, so called values and emotions.#Review #Oscars2017 #TheSalesman #AsgharFarhadi

The Salesman

Raees is entertaining but BJP’s problem with it…

This is about an highly offending blog by a BJP spokesperson’s analysis of Raees and my take on it.

https://swarajyamag.com/blogs/raees-is-entertaining-but-here-are-my-problems-with-it

A website whose name tells it all, written by an author who was nominated as BJP’s Mumbai spokesperson in December 2016 and has also worked as a creative consultant for Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd apart from penning a few fiction novels. The author also co-authored a book “India aspires” with none other than the union minister Nitin Gadkari.

A para such as above when you forward such articles, is a must and you owe it to all, if you think such preposterous and divisive articles are a must read.

A few pointers –

1. Abdul Latif rose to his peak during the BJP and Janta Dal alliance under Chimanbhai Patel. BJP could not do much, as it was Patel who ruled the roost.

2. No one denies the fact that he was nothing short of a criminal but the movie definitely does NOT woo minority community, for that matter ask the GOD himself, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan was it the same in case of Deewar where he potrayed Haji Mastan, the dockyard rat ?. Even today it is considered as a cult classic by Indians.

3. It is mentioned that Raees meets an end that potrays him as an victim of state policies – what crap! Mr.Bachchan, the painfully politically correct actor, died so many such similar deaths as a gangster leaving all moviegoers in tears – so was he wooing minorities too.. remember allahrakha scene in coolie shot at haji ali ?

4. The last two paras of the article are downright communal and not the intent of movie makers but the intent of the author is well exposed. As for so-called intellectuals shifting to being self-proclaimed upholders of secularism, it is the same as self-proclaimed upholders of nationalism who daily beat their chest crying out loud how patriotic they are.

Watch a movie for what it is supposed to do – entertainment, stop being an armchair politico and do not spoil our environment for the sake of our children with such fake articles.

Padmavati imbroglio

By slapping #SanjayLeelaBhanshali #KarniSena has probably done more harm to the so called Rajput cause. A community which perhaps after the Sardar community is considered as one of the bravest caste in India, does not realise that the action was cowardice.

But what deserves perhaps more attention, is that such fringle elements are getting bolder by the day and will the government step in to do something about it or will it follow the politics of Congress to do something if it suits their political need of the day.

I can totally understand the frustration of film fraternity such as #AnuragKashyap and #KaranJohar, which they have expressed on #Twitter. What is unexplainable is the silence of the Khans – all of whom have faced such [social media outrage] in the recent past.

#SLB has it seems consented to some of the demands and requested for peace – perhaps there is no other alternative for him.

What is deplorable are the comments from a Union Minister, supporting the assault on Bhanshali – but is it surprising ?

I did vote for the PM – have I screwed big time ? Time will tell..

Raees – Review

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Voila !

The actor in Shah Rukh Khan is back and how !

He gives Indian cinema the best etched character of a gangster Raees perhaps rivaled only by Ajay Devgn’s Sultan Mirza.

The story of a bootlegger who made it big during the 80s and 90s may have had parallels in Indian cinema, but full credit to Shah for underplaying and sinking his teeth into the character. Whether he is taking revenge on his mentor and yet feeling remorse, or stopping a politician hoodlum from taking a procession with violence or being disturbed and asking his wife to leave him alone, he does it with panache.

This is one gangster you will not forget soon.

The movie will transport you back to the 70s-80s cinema, observe the director’s details for Gujarat – you can hear background sounds typical of a Gujarat morning or evening even when the lead actor is mouthing dialogues.

Swades, Chak De had me cheering for Shah the actor, but Raees makes him an actor among stars.

Wow the Khans are indeed on a roll and we are not complaining.

Nawaz proves yet again that he is an explosive actor.

But this one is a Shah Rukh Khan vehicle and am sure word of mouth praise will bring his detractors to the theatres too.

My second viewing will be in a single screen theatre, do not watch it in a multiplex 🙂

Happy Republic Day !

2016..

2016 –

The year will definitely be remembered for Modi’s demonetization drive, the intent of which I do feel is the right one to clear the mess left behind by the Congress.

However what appalls me, is the behavior of the BJP cadre and this includes the so called elite media and some oft quoted intellectuals, who seem to take offense on any simple query from a layman – such as why 100 Re. notes were not printed in advance in higher number and other points.

Any stance of yours that questions the implementation and the manner is trolled by either public or private abuse..as if it is derogatory and a personal affront to the Modi persona.

Hence the current behavior is equal to what we term as a mob frenzy and is scary to say the least. The confession of a social media professional troll employed by BJP media cell is not limited to the BJP only but to other political parties and also the corporate, as we see on a daily basis between Mistry and Ratan Tata – who till yesterday seemed above reproach. This does not absolve BJP though.

Media too is scarily divided and is focused either on the neighbors – China/Pak, or Political rivalry [Samajwadi etc.] or Bollywood shenanigans [Hrithik/Kangana etc] or the never ending trial of Indrani/Peter or some political honchos in jail..

When did you last see a debate [a sane one] on national television on healthcare, education and civic amenities or a performance review of each of the elected representatives..

What we need to be worried about right now – I do not include the self enlisted followers and workers of political parties in “We” – is the threat to Freedom of Speech and the threat to the secular fabric of this country.

So in 2017 –

I promise to self that I will not get swayed by the rhetoric of any political parties.

I promise to self, will continue to celebrate Diwali, Eid, Christmas, Baisakhi with equal fervor.

I promise to self, will continue to exercise my right to the Freedom of Speech.