The 3 Idiots – it is about the message, stupid!

Any review of a film like Three Idiots must needs be undertaken at a few levels. At the most superficial level, the film is a simple comedy about life in an engineering college hostel, full of gags and puerile humor – but films like Singh is Kinngg and Kambakht Ishq have shown us that this kind of humor works! Three guys meet, one is UNIQUE and smart without trying, GENIUS even – Rancho or Ranchoddass. They bond over lots of time spent in the hostel bathroom and drinking on the rooftop. The headmaster is a tartar and in an attempt to foil him they get into trouble, are nearly thrown out except that Rancho miraculously fashions a baby vacuum device to deliver the headmaster’s grandson on the college ping-pong table. Then Rancho mysteriously disappears, and the other two Idiots go on a search for Rancho, find him and ALL IZZ WELL.
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AVATAR – a sumptuous feast for the senses!

Caught Avatar on IMAX 3D in a packed auditorium. Sitting next to me was an 8 year old wriggling in his seat with excitement – waiting for the film to begin. Down the row three teenagers were taking pictures of themselves in the 3D glasses, and people had lined up 2 hours before the show started to grab the best seats in the huge theater. By standing in line for an hour I managed to score reasonable seats that were not in the front row side! So what did Cameron and IMAX serve up?
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Kishore Kumar and his insanely funny songs

Yes, the man was a genius who died before his time. He was a comic par excellence and if you have not seen films like Chalti Ka Naam Gadi, Padosan, New Delhi then do yourself a favor and watch them immediately. Of course he sang romantic melodies, sad songs, and rod songs and children’s songs and sung them all with unmatched talent. BUT today I need to laugh and will focus on his uproariously funny songs. To start with I want to include songs in which we saw Kishore both on screen and off screen as the voice. But of course many a comic song was done by him in playback mode.

Let us start with the gem of a number from Chalti Ka Naam Gadi:

Kishore is woken up by a rain drenched Madhubala who has car troubles (this one is mildly funny and full on melody – do not worry, the comedy will only ramp up in a bit):

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Rocket Singh – cinema as it should be!

Rocket Singh was unique even before its release. For the first time people were talking about the scripting directing team more than the cast. And why not? Jaideep Sahni had written Khosla Ka Ghosla, Bunty Aur Babli and Chak de India, while Shimit had directed Ab Tak Chappan and Chak de India. Of course the fact that star in the making Ranbir Kapoor was playing Rocket Singh only upped the ante. Here are my brief thoughts on this lovely film:

Most film-makers can do lavish and plush and wow are senses, in fact once they taste success, they want to go for the big show and the standard graph for any new director is of progressively bigger and bigger films. In contrast, Shimit is on a downsizing trend. After the blockbuster success of Chak De India, he and Jaideep craft an intimate look at a lower-middle class boy, his aspirations and his failures and successes. Continue reading

On-screen chemistry – what’s that? Part 2 (Hindi cinema in the 50s, and 60s)

The Chaplinesque Raj Kapoor perfected the role of the naïve simpleton and his lady-love was more often than not played by the graceful, ethereally beautiful Nargis. The duo was the number one romantic couple of their time, worked in 16 films, and gave hit after hit in Andaaz, Barsaat, Awaara, Shree 420, Chori Chori. Rumors of a real life liaison between them were rife and alive even after Nargis married Sunil Dutt. Nargis’ often well-grounded, educated and poised character was the perfect foil for Raj’s tramp and simpleton with a big heart.

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