Don’t accuse me of going back on my words. Yes, I admit that I had said that I won’t be watching this one, but can you really blame me for watching it, when all the blogs that I read have already posted a review or the blog authors are waiting to watch this movie and review it? Hrithik fans- one request- please don’t read this review. You might get a little pissed off. Aamir Khan fans- you can stop reading this post now. I have absolutely no donuts for you.
Ashutosh Gowarikar has made movies like Lagaan (which was nominated for the Oscars) and Swades (one of my personal favorites). So, people have high expectations from Jodhaa Akbar. And if you already don’t know, then let me tell you this- even Aamir Khan, along with his wife, Kiran Rao, attended the premiere (Okay, I did lie- there is something for Aamir Khan fans). I succumbed to peer pressure and ended up watching this movie last night, at the cost of my beauty sleep. It was not that bad. It was not that good either. The movie doesn’t proclaim to follow the Mughal History to the hilt and the story is Ashutosh’s personal interpretation of the love story between the famous Mughal King, Akbar and his wife, a Hindu princess, Jodhaa.
The movie has some really good moments. Let me talk about those first. The scene where Hrithik, as the King, makes an appearance for the first time, is quite impressive. Also, lots of other people have talked about the way the marriage scene between Hrithik and Aishwarya has been shot. Yes, that was very colorful (in Rajasthani style) and eye soothing. One of my personal favorites is the song “Khwaja Mere Khwaja”. Ashutosh has shot this song with a lot of subtlety and no one else would have done this song justice. It’s a simple song where the singers of Akbar’s court are paying homage to the Allah and are singing praises of their Lord and God, Akbar. Hrithik Roshan has done a phenomenal job in this song and really acts like the Emperor. I loved the way he got up and joined the singers, raised his arms towards the sky, and got lost in the lovely atmosphere. this has got to be the best scene in the movie, according to me.
Another memorable scene is the one where Hrithik is having a court discussion with his courtiers and he hears Aishwarya singing a bhajan “Man Mohanaa”. He gets so mesmerized by it that he dismisses the court and follows the faint tune to finally reach his Hindu wife, genuflecting in front of the diety, Lord Krishna.
But after setting such high standards, Hrithik did let me down in some other parts. I am not happy with his Elephant taming scene or the other scenes where he’s flexing his muscles. He was not acting like Akbar then. He was just plain Hrithik. Can you even imagine Akbar out in the courtyard, without a dress, exercising his muscles and Princess Jodhaa, a couple of yards away, pining for him? This is clearly a directorial fault and some loose editing. It kind of spoilt the entire aura and the richness that’s supposed to be omnipresent in each and every scene.
The song “Azeem-O-Shan Shahenshah” is one of the best tracks in the CD and I expected it to be shot on a large scale. Basically, the song is about people from different walks of life coming in front of the king and paying their respects, after Akbar demolishes the taxes that Hindus pay for taking pilgrimage trips. Ashutosh should have taken help from his dear friend Sanjay Leela Bhansali in designing the sets for this song. I know that there are lots of people who loved the way this song was done, but I don’t know why, I felt as if something was missing. The picturization looked too hurried. It ended up looking more like a roadside locality show.
Hrithik Roshan’s acting is quite good in some scenes, but overall, it’s not very consistent. In the first 45 minutes, he’s done a decent job, but after that, he stops behaving like Akbar. I’m suprised that Ashutosh Gowarikar didn’t realize this while making the movie. Or perhaps he did and realized that it was too late.
Aishwarya Rai’s acting, surprisingly, is much better than Hrithik’s, in my opinion. She has done a decent job and manages to keep her giggles and stiff motions under control. I would give Ashutosh the credit for this. She looks extremely pretty throughout the movie and for once, you will be overwhelmed by her beauty, only for the simplicity of it. But..err..she looked like a crazy daaku who doesn’t know how to fight in those sword scenes. Oh, and that sword fighting scene between Ash and Hrithik was way over the top. Hrithik’s trying to woo his lady by throwing flowers at her (as elegantly as he can) in between the fights? Total work of genuis! Lesser mortals like me can’t even talk on cell phones while driving.
Poonam Sinha, as Akbar’s mother, is a treat to watch and if it were not for her acting, Ila Arun would have very easily turned half of the movie into a Saas Bahu kind of serial.
I really enjoyed seeing the big palaces and forts and the sheer opulence, because it reminds me of my trip to Rajasthan, that I’d taken a long time ago. I’m originally from that state and I always like it when it’s shown in movies My mouth almost started watering in the scene where Aishwarya cooks a Rajputana meal for Akbar and the other kings. Ghewar, dal, bati, sanghri ki subzi, boondi ke laddoo…eating such a traditional, Rajasthani meal is my ultimate dream.
The length of the movie kind of made me a little wary of watching it and I need to admit that there were times when I stopped watching the screen completely and got lost in my thoughts or my work. 3 hours 20 minutes is way too long for the story that Ashutosh Gowarikar is trying to tell. He could have easily restricted it to 2 hours 30 minutes at the most. But I guess, he believes in giving you full paisa vasool kind of entertainment.
This movie could have been a simple love story between any prince and his princess and not necessarily between Akbar and Jodhaa. I wish I could have seen some more details of the actual rule of Akbar instead of the mushy love scenes, that only made me want to run away. The country flourished during Akbar’s rule and there was so many advancements in Arts, architecture, music, general administration etc. and because of that, 3 hours 20 mins should have been used for showing some other stuff too. Ashutosh Gowarikar could have devoted less reel to the saas-bahu saga and some of the battle scenes and concentrated more on other aspects of the Emperor’s rule and the relationship with his wife (which kind of, turned out to be half baked in the second half of the movie). Even the ending was a little hurried and dissapointing. Perhaps, a mini series on a television channel would have done justice, no?
Related Reading: Music Review- Jodhaa Akbar
Jodhaa Akbar is Ashutosh Gowariker’s soon to be released film and is based on the love story of the Rajput princess Jodhaa and the famous Mughal Emperor, Akbar. The music of this movie makes a big splash, typical AR Rehman style. Ever since the promos have been aired, I have been eagerly waiting for the album to be released. Without further ado, let’s get down to the nitty gritty!
The first track of the album, Azeem-O-Shahenshah opens with lots of earth shattering beats and fan fare. It transports you back to the Mughal Era and makes you want you dance, in a way. It’s been sung by Mohammad Aslam and Bony Chakravarthy. Never heard either of them singing before. Rehman does a good job of mixing some soft tunes in between his trademark beats.
The second track, Jash-e-Bahaara, has been beautifully sung by Javed Ali. It’s a very melodious and romantic song. I have seen the song on Youtube (Click here) and Aishwarya Rai looks really pretty. I’m not really sure if Hrithik Roshan suits the role of Akbar. Hrithik just looks like Hrithik! Towards the end of the album, you’ll also find an instrumental theme based on this song.
The third track, Khwaja Mere Khwaja, has been sung by the maestro, A.R Rehman himself and is my favorite It reminds me of Ishq Bina from Taal and Piya Haji Ali from Fiza. I have always felt that AR Rehman excels when it comes to Sufi music. I don’t know how he manages to compose these songs, because this genre is definitely one of the most difficult to even conceptualize. I’m a sucker for A.R Rehman’s voice because it’s quite distinct and a little “cracked”, if you know what I mean.
Sonu Nigam and Madhusree have done a decent job in the next song, Inn Lamho Ke Daaman Mein. I didn’t really like this song much, because it gets spoilt by some unnecessary strong vocals. The entire effect is not very good. The last song, Man Mohanna, which has been sung by Bela Shende, is also quite dull compared to the first few tracks in the album. You might like it if you are fine with devotional songs.
All in all, I highly recommend this album. It lives up to the expectations of AR Rehman fan(atics)s and is one of the best Hindi Movies albums to be released in a long time. The last that I liked was Guru, which had also been composed by AR Rehman.
I’m not sure if I’ll watch the movie- I don’t fancy Hrithik Roshan trying his level hard to portray the role of Akbar. Wasn’t Akbar a little rotund? Hrithik should have put on some weight, at least. We could have expected some more perfectionism from him. Anyway, this is a music review and I don’t intend to spoil it by talking about Hrithik Roshan.
You can download the album from this link.
Let’s end this review by watching a trailer from the movie:
Finally, I got done watching the most talked about Bollywood movie of 2007- Taare Zameen Par. Most of the websites and blogs have even finished reviewing it…and mine comes very late. But that’s all right, because not many people will agree with what I’ve got to say next.
When the movie started, I really felt as if I can finally expect something good from a mainstream Bollywood movie. Darsheel Safary, as Ishaan, captivated me right from the first scene, where he’s shown playing with fish in a dirty puddle of water, totally oblivious to his surroundings. I really enjoyed the colorful artwork that was shown during the opening credits. The first half of the movie was amazing. Ishaan’s struggle with the orthodox educational system is given full justice. I was telling myself, ” Aamir Khan as a director, is very good!”. Perhaps I shouldn’t have let that thought enter my mind.
The movie starts going downhill as soon as Aamir Khan enters the classroom, dressed like a clown. What exactly was the point of having that scene in the movie? All I want is a realistic movie. Is that too much from him? Mr. Perfectionist? This scene is followed by a trip to a school for special children. Then comes the title song “Taare Zameen Par”, interspersed with a lot of tear jerking scenes. Between all this, Aamir Khan, the honorary arts teacher, suddenly realizes that he’s almost forgotten about Ishaan. So off he goes to Ishaan’s house to talk to his parents and make them understand that Ishaan is dyslexic.
After managing to do that, he single handedly makes all the other teachers and the principal understand about Ishaan’s problem. Wait! We’re not done yet. Next, he teaches Ishaan how to read and write (Ishaan’s hand writing improves trememdously!). He teaches Ishaan to become “normal” in that the young boy is shown buttoning up his shirt, tying his shoe laces and his tie and combing his hair. Wasn’t Aamir Khan fighting against the set order and the “normal” way of doing things in the first place? What an irony!
A kid whose hand writing is almost indecipherable, somehow, miraculously improves it to an unbelievable extent…all because of the encouragement and the love that he receives from a teacher. Now I understand why people accuse Aamir Khan of being a “scene stealer”. The movie became just about him after he entered the scene. The boy, Darsheel Zafary, is reduced to a toy, who is used to show off Aamir’s greatness.
And let me not even talk about the Arts Show that is organized towards the end. No prizes for guessing who wins it!
If you’re still reading this review, then I’m sure that you must be abusing me by now. I’m not bashing this movie because I hate Aamir Khan or because I hate Bollywood. I really wanted to like this movie and I really did, until Aamir entered the scene and reduced it to a tear jerker. Where is the subtlety?
This movie is worth a watch only because of Darsheel Zafary’s amazing acting and the beautiful artwork in the opening scene. The background score was overdone. Shankar Mahadevan needs to hire someone else to sing some of his songs. He’s becoming really boring and predictable. And Aamir…it’s better if you stay behind the curtains.
Edit: And if you thought that the 3*9=3 scene was an original masterpiece, like I did, then think again. Wanderlust (Please go to her blog for another amazing review) and Ish informed me that the scene was blatantly lifted from Calvin & Hobbes.
Blogged with Flock
Shefaly has tagged me. So, here I am, dutifully obeying her command.
Eight Random Facts About Me
1. My brain is like a GPS Navigator. Usually, all I need to know is the direction of a particular place (as in, North, South, East or West) and I manage to get there even though the city might be completely new to me. Also, I never forget a particular road if I’ve ever traveled through it. Years down the line, I can recall any person’s house in details even though I might have been there only once, for a couple of minutes.
2. I have a very large ear-ring collection. People hardly ever see me repeating them. I aspire to have the world’s largest collection of ear-rings
3. I change between being an introvert and an extrovert depending upon the situation. Professionally, I would label myself as an extrovert. I don’t have a problem talking about stuff that are related to my work. But I try my best to avoid parties and other social gatherings, where I wear my introverted cap very often.
4. As a kid, I was brought up to believe that eating meat is is a bad thing to do. Today, I still don’t eat meat, but that’s because of the fact that eating veggies is a healthier choice and helps me remain fit. I can’t bring myself to put a ‘dead’ thing into my mouth. I get weird looks quite often when I ask a server to replace the meat with beans or something like that. And I totally dislike it when people ask me “You don’t even eat fish?” As if fish grow on trees.
When I was seven or eight years old, my mom gave me Rs. 10 to buy a loaf of bread, that used to cost Rs. 5. I ran to the neighborhood store and bought it…but I also bought a bar of chocolate called “Bar One” for Rs. 5 and ate it on my way back home. It was only 7:15 am. Naturally, my mom asked me to give her the change. I made a sober face and said that the shopkeeper never gave me any change. Mom got really angry thinking that the shopkeeper had cheated me and asked me to go back and get the change. Umm…obviously, I had to tell the truth now. So, I went back to the shop and came back, pretending all the time. When I finally told my mom the truth, she was really amused and asked me, “But where’s the chocolate?”. I said, “Woh toh kha liya! ” (Already ate it). Mom started laughing and told me that it’s okay to buy a chocolate, but never to lie again. That might be a reason why I can never bring myself to lie.
5. I like eating everything uncooked- Maggi, Dal, Rice…you name it.
6. I used to be an ardent fan of Shah Rukh Khan as a kid and had three life size posters in my room. But that was because my mom was a bigger fan and she bought them for me.
7. I’m still very confused about my career and I don’t know what I’m good at. My ‘specialty’ keeps changing. As a kid, I was very good with drawing, mathematics and playing synthesizer (something that I’m still good at). Then, I discovered my passion for law and felt that I’m meant to be a lawyer. And now, I’m doing Finance and feel that Investment Banking is my real calling. I don’t know what’ll come next.
The first thing that I do every morning is switch on my laptop…even before brushing my teeth.
Blogged with Flock
The title is a lift off from the movie “In the Mood for Love”, which I’ll try to review in this post. Since you’re already bored of reading about Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Farah Khan, I’ll give my take on the much talked about “Om Shanti Om” and “Saawariya” at the very end of this post.
Plot: Two neighbors who realize that their spouses are cheating on them and purport never to do that. Yet, their secret meetings give the viewer another impression. Here’s the link to the trailer.
What did I like in the movie?
- Maggie Cheung: She’s so pretty and her lovely dresses in this movie accentuate her beautiful face and eyes.
Cinematography: Christopher Doyle Pin Bing Lee have raised this movie to another scale because of their state of the art camera moves. I simply loved the shots of the cramped alleys when Mrs. Chan and Mr. Chow casually brush against each other.
Direction: One of the most amazing things about this movie are the “rehearsals” where the lead actors “act” like something really has happened. Of course, they’re only “practicing” to prepare themselves for the inevitable. Wong Kar Wai tricked me the first couple of times- both the lead actors take turns in flirting with each other; Mrs. Chan confronts Mr. Chan (only the back of his head is shown to give the impression that Mrs. Chan is speaking to her husband) regarding his mistress; and the final rehearsal where they prepare to part ways.
WKW has used these rehearsals as a tool to explore deeper emotions that are only tangentially visible on the surface. It depicts the people of Hong Kong in the ’60s, who were quite shy and conservative and very different from their Western counterparts. If this were a Hollywood movie, then there would have been loud emotions and lots of loud scenes, crying to seek your attention.
Most of the frames in this scene are silent, with lots of camera movement that capture the transition in the lives of the lead actors painlessly.
Music: The Waltz score that plays in the background is melancholic and one of the best movie scores of all times.
What I didn’t like?
My biggest complain is that the screen goes blank way too often. WKW has over-used this particular style. It gets quite annoying after some time.
The hypocrisy of the lead characters is something that didn’t appeal to me. They say that they never want to cheat on their partners and that all that they seek is companionship. Then why exactly do they have such secret rendezvous? Going for dinner is hardly a bad thing to do. Two adults don’t need to have sex to cheat on their partners.
The movie was way too slow. Yes, I agree that every scene was cinematic beauty, but even then, I found myself looking at the watch quite often. The scenes are a tad repetitive.
Om Shanti Om: Farah Khan and Shah Rukh Khan’s new, over hyped venture.
Plot: Young junior artist, Om Prakash Makhija, idolizes hazaaron dilon ki mallika, Shanti. He doesn’t win her over in that birth, but vouches to get her next time. A rebirth, lots of dhishoom dishoom and ’70s bashing with some good songs thrown in. Here’s the trailer.
First off, I need to admit that I never wanted to watch this movie. In fact, I saw the trailer of this movie only two days before its release date. Anyway, it’s much better than the self proclaimed badshah of Bollywood Sanjay Leela Bansali’s Saawariya.
Deepika Padukone: Aankhon mein tere, ajab si ajab si addayein hain She looks smashing and I disagree with media reports that claim that she doesn’t live up to the “Dreamy Girl” image in the movie. She has all the ingredients to make it in this Bollywood industry- good height, figure, features, acting and amazing dancing capabilities. It was a treat watching her in the songs Ajab Si Ajab Si and Dhoom Tana.
Rishi Kapoor Opening Song: This was an interesting idea! I love this song and it was quite befitting. Though it would have been better if SRK hadn’t visualized himself as Rishi Kapoor
References to the ’70s: The dressing of the lead actors SRK, Deepika and Sreyas Talpade was top notch. Even the dialogues weren’t bad.
…can’t think of anything else that I liked.
The plotline: SRK has already worked in Karan Arjun that had a reincarnation theme. Then, why this movie? (Besides that fact that his best friend is the director and his wife, Gauri Khan, is the producer? Okay. That’s a very good reason). There is nothing new as far as the story goes…the treatment is a little different. That’s all. The second half of the movie was quite shoddily made. The parts that dealt with Arjun Rampal and Deepika’s ‘ghost’ should have been given better treatment. Well…this is a Bollywood movie. We shouldn’t expect too much.
That stupid crystal ball with SRK and Deepika in their evening clothes! Can’t get cheesier.
SRK: He looks too old. I hope he retires in the next couple of years. No, his six packs failed to impress me. It might be a very big achievement for him, of course. He looked boring in the song Dard-E-Disco. I see guys with better physique in my college every single day!
Kirron Kher: Can’t stand this woman. She over-acts. Yes, her character’s like that; still, she should have done a better job. I have never been a fan of her acting skills.
Direction: Totally sucks! Main Hoon Na wasn’t a masterpiece either. People who want to leave their brains behind will enjoy this kind of loose direction. Farah’s accomplishments in this movie include- cheap, sadistic jokes at the expense of Manoj Kumar; making SRK over-act for the umpteenth time and a poorly shot Filmfare Awards scene that ended with SRK remembering his drunker dialogue from his previous birth. How tasteless can someone get? The song Deewangi Deewangi that has 31 stars is all right. Nothing great.
Stupid Dialogues: 1. “Ramesh babu, aap kya jaane ek chutki sindoor ki keemat?…k suhaagan ke sar ka taj hota hai ek chutki sindoor..”
2. “Picture abhi baaki hain mere dost”
3. “Saari duniya usko tumse milaane ki koshish karti hain”
…and other cheesy dialogues.
Saawariya: Boy sees a lonely girl on a bridge and falls in love with her. Can anyone go wrong with such a story line? Now you know. In SLB’s words:
“It’s the most difficult film I’ve made so far.
Sure! It must have been difficult to get Omung Kumar to contruct blue, loud, explicit sets that obstruct natural light in every possible way. No trees…birds or normal people like you and me. Only prostitutes and a dreamer, Ranbir Kapoor. People who liked this movie seriously need to stop watching illogical Bollywood movies. That’s all that I can say.
Plotline: Based on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s short story. You know it anyway. I don’t feel like typing it here.
Ranbir Kapoor: He looks really cute and has acted very well.
1. Direction: SLB is the most over-rated director of all times. He’s worse than David Dhawan, in my opinion. There was nothing good about his direction. I am completely blank.
2. Sets: I felt claustrophobic looking at those blue sets. Yes, it’s a dream like state. Everything is possible in a dream. SLB surpasses MF Hussain in this madness.
3. Songs: Why exactly do people break into a song every five minutes? The first 20 mins has three songs…I was literally counting.
4. Characters: Very ill conceived. Why does Sonam Kapoor need to wait on that bridge? Didn’t Salman Khan know where she stays? Zora Sehgal was boring too. So was Rani.
5. Sonam Kapoor’s laughter: She laughs like a mad woman whenever she gets a chance to do so.
6. Too long…I fast forwarded the entire movie and took two days to complete it. That’s something!
7. Music: Most of the songs are forgettable, except for the towel dropping song. Was it necessary for Ranbir Kapoor to go nude there? It didn’t add anything to the overall scene.
8. References to Raj Kapoor didn’t work for me. Sorry!
Rating: 1/10 (Only because Ranbir was good; else I would have given it a 0).
When I was a kid, I remember watching Miss Universe and Miss World beauty pageants. I couple of years down the line, I was introduced to Mister World contest. Till a couple of years back, I used to make it a point to at least know the names of the people who had won these contests. These days, there are so many of them that most of us don’t even care.
Just yesterday, I came across two new ones- Miss Earth and Miss Transvestite. (P.S- While writing this post, I realized that the second runner up in the Miss India contest is sent to compete for the title of Miss Earth). The former caught my attention because an Indian won the title of Miss Earth-Air and the latter caught my attention because it “offers great opportunities for transvestites/transgender from all over the world to present their individual beauty and intelligence in a friendly atmosphere.”
“I am pursuing medicine and I believe medicine, health and the environment are inter-related,” she says. “So I could relate to the intellectual side of the pageant very well,” she adds.
Makes me want to cough. What intellectual side is she exactly talking about? How to apply make-up in three easy steps? How to cat walk and how to keep your tummy tucked? Also, how to act really surprised/shocked when your name is announced and you get to do the balancing act with the tiara placed firmly on your head. Even though this is an extreme example, you can watch a video on Miss Teen USA that I had posted some time back. Maybe I’m being too cynical here, but do we really need pageants like these?
Does anyone take the winners seriously? Most of them are reduced to eye candy. All of them talk about their love for the poor and how they will go about changing the world etc., yet, none of these “social acts” done by these beauty queens get any media time.
I would think that Pooja Chitgopekar would’ve spoken about the social causes that she supports in this interview, but she dutifully goes on to talk about Bollywood and her interest in pursuing a career in films.
Have these beauty pageants become a tool in the hands of women who aspire to get a break in films? I think that’s the situation at least in India, if not the rest of the world. The names that come to my mind are Sushmita Sen, Aiswarya Rai, Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra, Juhi Chawla, Tanushree Dutta, Dia Mirza…I can go on and on. You get the picture.
Some of the comments in the Rediff article make me want to cringe in embarrassment because they are really cheap. Doesn’t Rediff moderate its comments section? I would expect such a popular website to moderate its comments for sure. This way, we bloggers are better! At least, most of us are averse to profanity and cheap talks.
“Jai Hind Jai Maharashtra. Nice to see a marathi girl”
The retort to this comment was ludicrous and it’s best if I don’t publish it here.
Someone else started talking about how “fair” Miss Spain is and how Miss Earth Air looks like a “maid servant” because she’s dark. This shows the racism that breeds in our country, which is really sick considering the fact that most of the Indians are dark skinned; yet, they make fun of the color of their own skin.
Another guy left his phone number in the comments section. Umm..you never know…Miss Earth Air might read his comment and decide to give him a call?
After the much-hyped shaadi of Ash-Abhi, it’s time for another celeb wedding — Rani Mukherjee and Aditya Chopra. The duo had a hush-hush engagement on Monday and is planning to tie the knot soon.
According to a source close to the family, “The roka took place at the same Chopra bungalow where Chandni was shot. Around 60 people (family and friends) attended the ceremony that included Rani’s parents Ram and Krishna Mukherjee, brother Raja and his wife. Present from the Chopra clan were brother Uday, dad Yash Chopra and mum Pamela Chopra.”
Jugal Hansraj (Uday’s close pal), Anupam and Kirron Kher also attended the ceremony. Adds our source, “Rani wore a maroon saari with silver embroidery and Aditya wore a kurta-pyjama, both designed by designer Pallavi Jaikishan. Pam aunty didn’t seem very happy, as she has a soft corner for Adi’s ex-wife, Payal. Another function will take place at Rani’s house next week.”
I came across a couple of videos on the Inner World of Shah Rukh Khan a couple of weeks back. Now that I have some time in my hands, I thought that I would post them. Not to mention that most of the people who find my blog want to read and watch only about something related to Bollywood! Let me not keep you waiting anymore…here are the videos:
Doesn’t Bipasha Basu look hot? I love this song!
For all you people who think that there is an error – No, this is not an error!
I really like the way Naseeruddin Shah has acted in this movie. Probably one of his best. And, Jugal Hansraj was much better as a child actor. Urmila…always been good. I really like her acting. Shabana Azmi also pulled off a decent performance, I think.
Second Part of the same song: