Wednesday, April 18, 2007

indirection in interviews: just how sporting can you get?

[thanks to A for a pointer to the article]

On April Fools' Day, a Kapil Dev interview was posted online at the Indian Express. The date itself may have offered the article its sole shred of believability. While discussing the grand upset at the 2007 World Cup, the Paladin of Palmolive dished out several patentable one-liners in addition to conveniently offering answers that had little or nothing to do with the question. The ramblings of SRK come to mind. A few samples:

To me, my country is more important than anything else. I love my cricket team.

We are an intelligent people, but do not have the right body.

I did one advertisement for Birla Sun Life Insurance, but I see myself 365 days a year. The ad is running 24 hours on channels. But I didn’t give more than six days in a year to the ad.

Whoever plays well should stay. Nobody is permanent. A permanent player is one who performs permanently.

Do you think Sachin or Dravid or Dhoni would be thinking about money when a genuine fast bowler comes on? They won't even think whether they are married or not. Somebody asked when Vivian Richards hit the ball and it went up, what were you thinking? I said dead. The moment thought comes into your head you are bound to drop the catch.

At ten years you can learn ten languages overnight.

And here are sample of non-sequiturs that blend surrealism and cut-up theory:

Do you think we over-reacted as a country to India’s exit from World Cup?

No, I think we are known to react in this manner. Over-reaction is something you don't expect. If you ask me, I think the reaction was what I had thought it would be.

Would you compare our cricketers to. . . dogs who are content with their bones . . . are they too satisfied?

If a dog has a bone it won't allow anybody to come close. I think they didn't have the urge to perform. I just visited Kolkata and I was pleasantly surprised. When you look back, one chief minister occupied the post for 25 years. The growth wasn't good. But in last three years, Kolkata's growth has been unbelievable. Fresh blood can change things. Talking about Indian cricket, the younger lot looks up to stars in the team. If these stars don't have the right attitude, it sends the wrong message. What we need today is that the younger lot come out and push the seniors to give their best.

what acting really means

One of the slides in a Rediff special on Ms Rai-soon-to-be-Bachchan's pirouetting projects offers insight into what is widely regarded as acting in mainstream cinema:

Nimbooda (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam)

One of the most breathtaking features of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's opulent love triangle were its song and dance sequences.

Aishwarya's animated thumkas, particularly, stood out in the fast-paced Nimbooda.

Reportedly, all the rigorous dancing steps gave Ash a bad case of sore feet. But the professional refused to take any breaks.

Her efforts were suitably rewarded with a Best Actress Filmfare award.

In summary, rigorous dancing constitutes acting. That has to explain (to such extent) why she snagged a Filmfare nomination for Best Actress for Dhoom 2 [a sample of whose writing was explored hereabouts]. Truly crazy kiyaa re.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

media pointers

image courtesy:

who would've thought ...: Omkara meets Happy Feet in an entertaining mash-up.

Shankar's next film, Sivaji: The Boss with Rajnikant (born Shivaji Rao Gaikwad) boasts a passable ARR soundtrack that seems to have pleased the fans, contains nothing to match the badness of Blaaze's anthem from Baba (notes on the film here), but manages a dulcet miracle with the Vijay Yesudas/Gomathishree song sahaaraa. The Rediff slideshow of stills from the film offers a preview of the mayhem in store. The Wikipedia entry is the largest I have ever seen for a film that hasn't hit the marquee yet. Brace yourself for another audio-visual explosion of outrageous mainstream nuttiness packing a social message somewhere.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

is shakalaka boom 2 the dhoom 2 of 2007?

do we finally have a truly watchable howlacious bag of ground-breaking jaw-dropping proportions? Baradwaj Rangan's delightfully readable eminently creative skewering of Shakalaka Boom Boom (aka SBB aka SB2 aka sabase ba.Dii bhuul?) seems to indicate that we do.

What some of us may have forgotten is that the dialogues represent another gun-for-hire assignment in Anurag Kashyap's kitty (see also: Jung, Paisa Vasool, Main Aisa Hi Hoon). AK's already flogging himself in a PFC post, so you know where you can take your lapidation or condolences.

In an interview about the film that brazenly deep fries the Amadeus DVD spiced with Mithun's classic Disco Dancer, Suneel Darshan had the usual upbeat lies to offer:

SBB is a very special film. I've worked very hard on it, for the whole of last year. I've tried moving away from my usual kind of cinema and tried something different. I have not copied anyone ... Not remade a past hit. Rather I have experimented with a new genre that, I hope, will help me carve a niche as a filmmaker. I'm pretty confident about this film that has given me all that a filmmaker craves for. I had a great team and very good artistes who gave me no cause for complaints.

This is the man behind such cerebral masterpieces as Dosti: Friends Forever, Talaash: The Hunt Begins, Mere Jeevan Saathi, the token Big B film Ek Rishtaa: The Bond Of Love and Andaaz (which featured a cook named G I Joe -- that's Girdhar Ishwar Jaunpurwala).

Suneel Darshan had planned to launch his son Shiv this year, but it looks like we'll have to wait till 2008 for our first look at the successor of Munish/Armaan/Munish Kohli (twice renamed, never improved).

elsewhere hereabouts: The Kohli classic Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani relished in not one or two but three posts.

elsewhere in the immediate sense of the term: JR's thoughts come tumbling out of the apian closet | manish vij waxes eloquent about the film (and -- yay! -- also sees the Disco Dancer angle)

elsewhere in the past: For more laughs, check out what BR did to Aksar.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

vishal bhardwaj's next: rangoon express?

After a whiff of Julia, we're back to "a period drama set in the days of World War II on the Burma-Japan border" [reference hereabouts]. As noted in an anonymous comment to a previous post, that should be the Burma-China border. The working title is Rangoon Express, UTV is producing, and Matthew Robbins is collaborating on the screenplay (Robbins has been named as the collaborator on Julia, so perhaps Julia is Rangoon Express).

And what might the film be about? The two newsitems that discuss the film have varying levels of detail:

Set in the pre-independence era in Burma, 'Rangoon Express' is a story of Indian soldier working for the British army.
{source: Bollyvista}

In an interview Thursday [April 05, 2007], Bhardwaj said: "The film is set in 1943 Burma during the Second World War when Indian soldiers were fighting for the British against Japan. It's a musical love story revolving around an English stuntwoman acting in Indian films of that time." [...] The film will be in English interspersed with Bollywood-style Hindi songs of that era.
{source: The Hollywood Reporter}

There's a decent budget too (by Indian standards):

UTV CEO Ronnie Screwvala said the film's budget "would be in the region of $10 million-$11 million. We have the financing in place, and depending on what kind of international tie-ups we do for marketing, we could consider offering a share to potential partners.

With a conversion rate of Rs. 42.675 for a dollar, that translates to 42.675 to 46.9425 crore rupees. Omkara had a budget in the neighbourhood of 15 crore rupees (some say 20). It's still less than what Dhoom 2 [a sample of its dumbness was presented hereabouts] cost: 66 crore rupees (about 14 million USD).

The two reports differ on the timeline for the film (from execution to presentation):

The film will roll in October [2007] and is expected to release in the first quarter of 2008.
{source: BollyVista}

Shooting is expected to begin around November [2007] and the film is set to be ready for release by April 2008.
{source: The Hollywood Reporter}

Elsewhere, in a recent interview with Subhash K Jha, Vishal discusses his two Shakespeare adaptations, The Blue Umbrella, the aborted Mr. Mehta and Mrs. Singh, the hints of Julius Caesar [all dropped before]. There's also the hint that the third edition in his Bard trilogy could be a comedy: I'll make a trilogy of Shakespeare films. I don't know which and when. But there will be a trilogy for sure... I may adapt a Shakespearean comedy next.. {URL to a syndicated version [courtesy: LL]}

Thursday, April 05, 2007

inarticulasia: the incredibly gauche gowks who stopped living and became music journalists

aka the persecution and assassination of linguistic sensibilities as performed by the inmates of glamsham, indiaglitz and indiafm under the direction of the Cut-up Cuckoo[1]

The Capitulating Critic needn't worry about not finding another runner to take up the baton in his marathon of grammatical mayhem that passes of as a sorry exemplar of music journalism. Satyajit's take on the soundtrack of Ek Chalis Ki Last Local for (syndicated, unfortunately, in the Yahoo! India Movies portal) portends the birth of a new lack of talent. This reviewer, referred to herein as S for purposes of brevity and slander, throws not just grammar but correctness into the garbage disposal unit. It's too much to expect people to write monographs on the Polyphonic Motets of Lassus, but even basic grammar seems to be too much of a chore. The beginning is charmingly and suggestively vague:

Low budget entertainers have never been reliable and consistent in delivering potential musical contents in their albums but still there are few exceptions.

The aversion to indefinite articles reminds one of the practical brevity of telegrams. This can't be a trend, because it inundates the review like The Nose floods the airwaves. Call it a feature, if you will; perhaps even a trademark.

To illustrate another trademark, consider the following sample:

Vicissitudes of life takes big slice in chiseling out fortune and destiny and these nerve-racking emotions finds the sound and music of Pakistani rock band "Call - the band" in upbeat rock base track "Laare Choote".

The singular plurality of words (vicissitudes, unlike data hasn't devolved into abuse as a singular noun yet and doesn't plan to in the foreseeable future) presents an exhortation for unity and solidarity unlike anything that countless specious ad spots on cable television could manage. Subtle problems like the unification of items joined by the conjunction and using a singular conjugation of the verb to be do not merit encouragement, yet they overstay their welcome as your eyes move to the end of this travesty of language. It's bad enough that you're swallowing the indefinite articles, S, but do you really have to audition for a job as a scribe for fortune cookies? Those strips of paper bearing nuggets of faux wisdom are not the same as the pearls that oysters cough up. I also think it's time people who wrote about music learnt to spell bass correctly. "Soundtrack" (one word) refers to the collection as a whole; if you want to refer to individual songs, you would use "track" (correct and more common) or "sound track" (correct, but less common). Pointing out that you are writing your articles in Microsoft Word with the default language set to English (U.S.) is picking too fine a nit.

In addition to occurrences of the misplaced apostrophe, we are also treated to inexplicable chains of phrases that, in isolation, may have found a better home in a cheap anthology of amateur verse (titled, perhaps, LSD: Lucknow Se Delhi: A pabulum of verse from capital poetasters); the following block compiles some examples of this:

The soundtrack has flashy sounds of racing trains where the protagonist's voices their tales of fluctuating fortune in short span of time. Its indifferent rendition makes it a situational number where actor Abhay Deol vociferous one-liners emanate the theme. It should find its acceptance with listeners who have been entertained with Sufi rock base music in past otherwise it will relegates itself to cadre of impressive works by new talents. Hear it to feel it!

Alisha Chinai's excruciatingly sensuous vocals admonish the repercussions of the fluctuating fortune in a game of luck and fortune as shimmering jazz music sizzles out the emotions in "Ekka Chauka".

It has strong situational feel but ordinary lyrics and sluggishly paced fails to give it a sturdy gripping on ears.

It works like stuffing for item song where folksy lyrics are blended with sloppy paced music and sub-standard music.

It kicks starts off impressively with catchy beats but thereafter its musical pace slapdash completely.

Factual errors only make matters worse: According to the credits on the CD, Sandesh Shandilya had nothing to do with "Panga."

Please don't tell me people get paid to write such drivel.

[1] in case you were wondering where that came from

(In case you were wondering, here's where the title came from)

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