Austin, Life, Music, Piano

Puke

Today is a landmark today. Took a tiny step to re-kindle my synthesizer/digital piano passion and ordered a decent model for myself. My metalhead-tattoo-rendering-always-buoyant boss (who shall remain unnamed on this blog not because she’s less important, but because letting out her identity would mean revealing secrets at various levels, something I take very seriously now and more on that later), provided the necessary artistic inspiration and the name of an amazing local, independent shop in Austin. I had to do my bit to Keep Austin Weird.

I am ecstatic; feel more cognizant of my hands and the nervy quiver that hasn’t left them since late evening. Do they still remember how to create music? At least, they’ve been provoked.

For the crazy metalhead, whose fortitude knows no limits, who knows how to live life more than anyone else, and most dearly, who is still living it up.

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a r rahman, A.R.Rahman, Aishwarya Rai, Bollywood, Entertainment, Jodhaa Akbar, Movies, Music, Thoughts, YouTube

Music Review- Jodhaa Akbar

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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 πŸ˜€ 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. πŸ™‚

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.

Rating: 4/5

Let’s end this review by watching a trailer from the movie:

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Bollywood, Entertainment, General ramblings, In the Mood for Love, Life, Maggie Cheung, Movies, Music, Thoughts, Wong Kar Wai, YouTube

In the Mood for Reviews

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.

In the Mood for Love: This is the first Wong Kar-Wai movie that I’ve seen; so, I won’t be drawing conclusions about him just yet.

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.

Rating: 8/10

****

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.

Likes?

Deepika Padukone: Aankhon mein tere, ajab si ajab si addayein hain πŸ™‚ 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.

Dislikes?

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.

Rating: 5.5/10

******

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.

Likes?

Ranbir Kapoor: He looks really cute and has acted very well.

Dislikes?

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).

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Britney Spears, Entertainment, General ramblings, Music, YouTube

Chris C(r)ocker Says:

Chris Crocker was interviewed recently. Can’t believe what Youtube can do to you! He is So gay. I know posting videos is not a good way to blog, but what the hell! There is no other way I can show you this. You’ve got to watch it to believe it. πŸ™‚

“America, I want you to know….that before I’m an American, I’m a Britney Fan” (Lots of hooting in the background)

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Britney Spears, Entertainment, Music, Thoughts, YouTube

Update Britney’s Gimme More at VMA 07 and the Official Video

Man, does this suck or what? The song’s quite nice, but it’s so obvious that she’s lip syncing. Plus, she’s hardly moving…

Click on the following links to read more-

Kanye West lashes out at Britney Spears

Britney Spears doesn’t dress, doesn’t impress

Update: Here Official Video has been leaked! Here it is-

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Britney Spears, Entertainment, General ramblings, Jokes / Funny Stuff, Music

Oops! She Did It Again…

No..not Britney Spears! Victoria Lasita delivered a second set of triplets, chances of which are only one in eight million. Head over to BBC to read the whole news. I can’t imagine giving birth to twins, forget about triplets- that too for the second time. Six kids?! Wow.

Coming back to Britney Spears, she might be ready to walk down the altar for the third time. She’s more in the news for her boyfriends than for her music. Her new album Gimme More is ready for release on November 13. Any takers? I’m surprised that she’s still finding producers for her album, seriously.

Update: OK, I take that back. I listened to the title track “Gimme More” and it’s Rocking! The best part is the opening line- “It’s Britney Bitch!”.

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General ramblings, Movies, Music, Thoughts, YouTube

Trois Couleurs: Blanc

This is the second movie in the Trilogy “Trois Couleurs” by Krzysztof Kieslowski, the same director who created Decalogue. White depicts purity. It also depicts Equality…or getting equal, as in this movie. How far would you go to get equal with a wife who humiliates you publicly in a French Courtroom while seeking a divorce? Karol’s wife wants a divorce because their marriage hasn’t been consummated. Karol still loves her, but being a Polish citizen, his rights in Paris are very limited. After the divorce, he finds himself homeless and on the streets, only with a suitcase for company. How he gets out of France and take revenge is what needs to be seen. Then again, would I really call it revenge? I don’t think so.

 What follows is a detailed plot to get his wife back to Poland, even though it might mean proving that he is dead and that his wife killed him. He devises his own supposed murder and frames his wife as the murderer, with the help of a fellow countryman, who also helped him get out of France in a suitcase. She is taken into custody and sentenced for life. But before she is convicted, he does meet her for one last night after he sees her crying at his funeral in the morning. He is finally happy to see that his wife does suffer for him. 

After she is convicted, Karol comes and sees her, through his binoculars, while she waits at her prison window, both happy…finally realizing that she loves him. You see, staying together in the same city, in Warsaw, Poland, knowing that they love each other even though they can only see each through binoculars is better than staying in two different countries, where one ‘thinks’ that he hates the other person. Probably one of the most touching scenes in the movie is the last one: Karol stands at the main entrance of the Polish prison and his wife is standing at the prison window. He looks at her through his binoculars. She knows that he’s come to look at her. She makes hand movements to tell him that she loves him and is thinking about their wedding day. He looks at her silently, with tears dripping down his cheeks, happy to know that they are in the same city, filled with love in their hearts.

The original movie is in French with English subtitles. This is one of the best movies I have seen so far. I can’t wait to watch the last one in the series, called Red.

Here’s a scene from the movie:

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