“It Could Happen to You” โ€“ Watch it

A lazy hot sunday afternoon spent watching this fabulous movie, It Could Happen to You. We have ‘Tata Sky’ at home so there is this handy little option which gives you a snippet of the movie. I have seen this movie before but I didn’t remember the name, but after reading the snippet, I remembered and made the good call to watch it.

I wont spill the beans but its a movie about a Cop which promises a waitress to split his lottery ticket fortune in lieu of the tip. As luck would have it, he wins the lotto and a cool 4 million USD. The man keeps the promise (A promise is a promise), his wife doesn’t like it and so on. Its not a court-room drama, its neither a emotional essay or a moral lesson movie. Its a very simple and easy watch movie, with brilliant acting by Nicholas Cage and Bridget Fonda.

If you have watched this movie and liked it then comment, we share something in common , if you dont like it then too comment :), for all the good reasons. And if you watch this based on my recommendation and then like/hate it, then comment for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€˜Bachna Ae Haseenoโ€™ โ€“ Quick Review and my gripes

I was at Fun cinemas, Pitampura, Delhi, the other evening, watching the new block buster ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’. We were there in a group of 6 since we got some free tickets for the show, so owing to large group, overall mood was peppy and there were reasons to be busy other then just watching the movie. Fun Cinemas, Pitampura is not in the best of locations with a ad-hoc parking and a foul-smelly auditorium.

Bachna is a movie around a ‘killer’ (why he was termed Killer and how he miserably failed there, later) who has two affairs and he dumps the two girls. When the 3rd girl tells him that she doesn’t want to marry him because she doesn’t , then his past haunts him, he goes back , finds those two girls who are now shattered to death and are living a recluse to bit**y life, says sorry, peps their life up, comes back and gets happily united ever with the 3rd one.

Ranbeer Kapoor plays the killer and Minissha Lamba, Bipasha Basu and Deepika Padukone (is the surname something to do with a shuttle cork, kone) are the three Haseenas. There is a friend of the Hero, played very well by Nitin (I guess I am having the right name) , son of legendary Paintal. Except Puneet Issar who plays Mahi’s (Lamba) dad and Kunal Kohli (brilliant as a surd) who plays Mahi’s hubby, there is no one else.

The story starts with Switzerland (Minisha episode) where she misses her train and then she and Raj Sharma (Ranbeer) drive to Zurich on a scooter. She falls in love, he falls in loves (pretends) and just after a lapse of 24 odd hours when she realizes that he has been kidding, she is devastated.

I have two problems at this point. First Ranbeer didn’t do a single trick to be the ‘Killer’ so as a story writer, add more meat and juice to his character, work hard, think of twists and work on this character to really make him look like a ‘killer’. My 2nd probelm is that Mahi (Ms Lamba) who is already engaged , she finds this junkie and likes him, they kiss couple of times, there are no intimate moments, and there is no time which really nourishes this love, it was a one-night-stand with no protection (since there was no need of one, since it never happened). Why this minor interaction leaves her into a lady who disbelieves love, goes into a semi-recluse and what not is hard to understand. Do you really think that such a mild and minor encounter would make someone into like this. C’mon. Director was more busy with shooting exotic locales, designer dresses that noone really cared a shit for character-establishment.

So that was Swiss. Then comes Mumbai. Ranbeer now works for Microsoft , earns well, has his own small apartment, finds the hot Bipashu as his neighbour. They get close. Again reels were spent showing the glamorous Basu then ‘killer’ Raj, they get into a live-in relationship. Later Raj has to leave for Syndey for some long term work and he is not ready for marriage, so on the d-day when they were to assemble at the courts, he plays truant. Basu is devastated. This devastation was better managed then the earlier one since they were together for a long time but all the while no time was spent to even shoot a single sequence where their relationship was explained.

Anyway, then comes Deepika. Deepika Padukone is a Icchadhaari specie. She is first seen as a cabbie, then she is also from B School , later she is seen as a super-mark. Love happens, she quits, Raj remembers what he has done in the past.

So far the movie is about promiscuity, skin, exotic locations, more skin, bright and happy faces, good cars, more exotic locations (Rome – Italy n all that). After this you get some sanity and content in the movie. He comes back , says sorry which has been managed so well. For the first time, it appears that someone is thinking, there is some real story.

It finishes pretty abruptly, Raj comes back to Sydney, his friend shows him a new car which they never drive (why the hell was that scene), comes back home, meets Kone, they get together.

Ok. so that about ‘Bachna’. Dont spend too much money to see this movie, if you want to see Swiss, Cote d Azure, Sydney and some of other good beaches then watch it.

Om Shanti Om โ€“ Review

Rating – 3.5/5

Ok. So finally I managed to watch this movie. Probably one of the most talked movies in recent weeks. SRK himself admitted that there is not a single TV Channel, Radio Station, News Paper, Magazine etc etc where he has not given interview or has not missed any opportunity to promote the movie. So much so, that when he was there in T20 World Cup Finals early this year, there was hue and cry on him using (abusing) every appearance of his as a promotional event, he was reported to have been distributing music CDs, which is fine I guess. I always happened to find this amusing piece on Saakshi’s blog which I feel may not be enough researched. To read it click here.

Anyway lets come back to movie. Movie is doing very good. After beating ‘Saanwaria’ heads-down its doing brisk business and would do better then SRK’s last movie viz. ‘Chak De India’. I also wrote a review on that. Seems like I am getting to watch all this new movies ๐Ÿ™‚

OSO starts with a well edited song sequence from ‘Karz’ where apna SRK is watching the shot being done by Subhash Ghai, it was really delightful to hear Kishore in his full steam, singing ‘Om Shaanti Om’ (the old, more popular tune). First 30 minute of the film go really really well, the quality of production is excellant, Farah seems to have a good control in the beginning, Shreyas is impressive, SRK is all overwhelming. Good comedy. So far so good. Next 30 minutes or so are sort of average. I personally felt that during this part, they were trying to establish this point of ‘…..you want to do something really from your heart….entire world conspires to make it happen….’. Paulo Cohello must be a happy man. During this time, when SRK has a close-time with Shanti (Deepika, she is fabulous) , somehow those real deep emotion handling was , you know, not really happened well. I was expecting to be SRK during this time, a time when actor does something really close to what you feel and then you start to live this life. Farah just gave away, SRK was not giving much time to Shanti and the whole ‘………when you love something…..’ philosophy doesn’t stick too well. I think this is the time when the movie would ideally have stuck with the audience but it was sort of lost.

The next 1 hour or so is pretty Bollywoodish, not much fun except that song where you are served with so many of yester year starts. Its really fun and satisfying to see Dharam Paaji, Jeetu, Rekha and almost all the new breed, wonder where was AB. SRK dies, comes back, is a star, usual stuff.

And then finally time for good to win over evil. So the villain is trapped, old Shaanti comes back as new Shaanti, those spooky stuff. Last reel. The actor-Shaanti is caught by villain as the fake Shaanti so he challeges her and finally the real bolywood happens. Old Shaanti who died comes back and makes the chandelier fall. You tend to real wait to have a finish.

so all in all a decent entertainer, more so because of SRK, Shreyas and Deepika. Some of the things which were really odd were

1. SRK1 dies when he was young but not very young. So his mother must be 50ish. He comes back after 20-25 years and his mother doesn’t look more then 60.
2. Shanti1 is a super star. When Shanti2 comes, no-one really says that she looks same as Shaanti1.
3. SRK2 is at least 30 years younger to Villain, his prev-janam Mom, his old friend. But after couple of reels he start to again talk-behave-boss like SRK1.
4. Villain kills Shanti because he fears that he would be bankrupt. Later he makes more money by getting much more insurance cover and marrying Mittal’s daughter. Mittal was shown to have agreed to get his daughter married because he has put tons of money in the movie. So if he is killing Shaanti (which means he is also killing Mittal’s hard earned money), how come he gets all.

If you can think of more, add your comment.
But then its bollywood ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€˜Chak De Indiaโ€™ โ€“ Movie and more

Last week, I watched ‘Chak De India’ at Spice PVR. It was an evening show, there were 9 of us, all from the same company, same team, and we carry a damn good rapport within ourselves, a swanky plush setting, large popcorn packets, nice and clean setup, terrific air-conditioners, pretty girls and lots of same-team humor-fun and more. Probably a brilliant starting band setting, we were already euphoric, before the real band came on stage, the one with so many girls and getting-old SRK, Shahrukh Khan, along with some good games of our national sport. Everything just fell in place, infact I missed to mention that it was on 16 August so all of us were just out of 15th August, the 60th anniversary of Independence Day and with the advent of still-counting TV channels, a sense of patriotism, a sense of being on the verge of doing big was already pushed-in these tiny minds of 9 people, everything was in place, just everything and it would have taken something really earth-shattering for us to not like the movie.

So did I not like the movie ?

No, I did. Its a wonderfully made movie, it caters to Mass Market Indian sensibilities, its quick, there are no songs (did we have songs in Ab Tak Chhapan ? ) , lots of sports, beautiful girls and most importantly SRK.

So did I not like the movie ?
Well, to be honest I was as engaged and as engrossed in those 2 and half hours that I didn’t think of anything else and for any film-maker, that itself is a decent barometer of success so I must have liked it.

So did I not like the movie?
I did, c’mon, its a good movie. But its just another good movie and probably nothing beyond that.

Oh, so you didn’t like the movie, haan, say it, c’mon, did ya or did y not ?
I did but would it have done equally well if it has not been SRK ? Probably not. SRK is god in these times and he did so well. He should more of these roles, more of Swadesh, more of Paheli and certainly more of ‘WE-can-do-it’ kinda roles.

To cut this (read to cut this crap), I liked the movie and I can watch it again. I would recommend it any day. Lets talk more about the movie now.

CDI is a movie about loss of face and resurgence of a young man. Kabir Khan misses a Penalty stroke against Pakistan in a world-cup match and loses the trophy. Being a muslim, he is blamed for being with them and loses his esteem. After few years, he gathers his lost esteem, gets courageous and offers to train the Indian Womens Hockey team and claims that he would actually make them win the world cup trophy. An offer which non one can refuse (remember Godfather) so the management buys into that and He actually does that in the end. Losely based on the life of Mir Negi, a goalie who conceded as many as 7 goals in a similar match and then goes to train India women hockey team which actually wins a gold at Commonwealth tournament.

The movie runs like a charm with SRK in full control and probably everyone is hinged on to see what magic this guy will do to pull this off. This is one big thing where Shimit (director for this movie, has done Ab Tak Chappan) has been wildly successful, even though there is no secret, it keeps you thinking on ‘how will this bunch will do it’.

So far so good, no songs, some real beautiful tracks played in the background. I liked the one which is “…. maula meri le li meri jaan…” or something like that. No lady love, no skin, minimum to zilch action, lots of sweat and lots of hockey.

Ok. Why did i sound like someone who was not impressed ?

So here is the reason. When you go and watch a movie, that movie stays with you for a long time and as you think more about it, you tend to discover things which probably you have missed while watching it.

CKI has done so poorly on developing the ‘Characters’ , not a single ‘character’ has been established well enough. Lets start with Kabir. Who is kabir ? Just a captain who lost a penalty stroke and everyone started to dislike him, so much that he was not only thrown out of team but no one knew where is he and what is he doing. What did he like, where were his team mates, it was just ONE penalty stroke. Shakil was India’s one of the greatest Penalty Stroke specialist ( I am talking about the era of 1985 – 1990 or so) when Pargat was captain and boy he missed too at times. He was a muslim as well. Mir left as many as 7 goals and thats really too many. But for one goal or one miss. Where did he go ? Was he someone who we all thought as a resilient quiet guy or a one who would joke around and is a team person. When Kabir comes back, he is shown as gritty, firm and a hard-brain person, remember how many times he said OUT in first workshop. If he is someone like that then why didn’t he fight when he lost that goal. Was he tamed, or was he shooed away, or was it just that some Tom Dicky Harry-er called him a cheat. What was the reason which director would throw to the movie watcher to like the character. Probably none.

Lets go further. The team which played had so many girls. If we leave Preeti, Komal, Vrinda and Vidya, who were other girls. The only thing which was told was they come from various states. But what do they carry with them. If you have someone from Sundargarh (Orrissa) then how many of us know that you have someone who knows hockey by heart because everyone plays hockey there, with bamboo and those wooden-cloth-padded balls. When Preeti takes the ball, did you feel assured that now the ball is with the champion, we will get the goal. Or for that matter, why and how Vrinda break the man-to-man shadowing in the game against Korea. If Kabir was so certain of not dropping Vrinda from the squad then was it just her seniority or something else. What did each one of these players carry home, who was Aaliya aur Nethra reddy or Soi-moi or Prasad.

calm down, calm down.

I would possibly save my further thoughts for some other day but probably down the line people wont remember the details of the movie and the big reason for which you feel the excitement is because its a movie based on a game.

Yes, I did like the movie but then I wont buy a DVD of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Donnie Brasco โ€“ Movie Review and more

Last weekend, I watched ‘Donnie Brasco’. I have not heard about the movie before and so did Smita who picked the DVD since the cover had Al Pacino and Johnny and she thought that I would like it.

And boy, I liked it like hell. Brilliant work by Mike Newell. Its a 1997 movie about a FBI undercover Agent Joe Priston (played beautifully by Johnny) who gets into mafia, gets close to Al Pacino who sort of acts like his mentor, falls in love with Al and after a while he finds himself so much into mafia-dom that it gets difficult to get out of it, for the simple reason that if he does then Leftie (thats the name which Pacino carries in this movie) gets whacked. Its so simple out there.

Mike is an old chap and one quick search on google will let you get up and think more about him, off late he directed ‘Harry Porter and the goblet of fire’ and I just came to know that recently he finished ‘Love in the times of Cholera’, an amazing love story by Garcia Marquez, king of reality-n-illusion. To read more about Mike, click here


Coming back to movie. It starts with Joe trying to get inside the gang by feigning as jewel-guy. After the usual tricks (where Al Pacino tries to validate his jewel knowledge), Left (Pacino) starts to like him and introduces him into the gang. He gives him a new name ‘Donnie’. Some of the gang terminology

“….while introducing if I say…. meet Donnie, a friend of mine…” then it means that you are a in-guy or someone to be trusted and all that where as if you say
“….meet Donnie, a friend of ours……” then you are a made guy ๐Ÿ™‚

So Donnie joins the gang, unlike hindi movie he doesn’t have to do any stunts to win hearts. The movie goes with usual Mafia killings, new bosses, whacking etc etc. Over time Donnie gets more and more involved, his relationship with his wife starts getting bad, then to worse. Donnie is now a big cat among them, he starts to neglect FBI. His wife wants to get out of relationship and goes to a counselor. All this while, Donnie and Al Pacino gets closer and closer. When Left’s son gets admitted to hospital (because I guess he took more coke then he could possibly swallow) Joe spends time with Left.

The beauty of the movie is the gradual change in character of the agent, from a normal agent in the beginning to more of a Mafica guy in the end, Joe fights the battle. The character has been developed so well that at all points of time you can feel the dilemma which Joe is having over whether he should expose the mafia and get ‘Leftie’ whacked.

Finally in the end, FBI catches him, gives him a reward of $ 500 for his good work. FBI reached out to Mafia to tell them that its all over. They don’t believe that Donnie was a rat and think that FBI is bluffing them. In the last shot, Left gets a call, he tells his wife that it might be a long evening, gets off his ring, watch and other stuff, most likely he is….

Its based on a true story and if you search on Joe Pristone or Donnie Brasco, you would find lot of text.

Watch it