Sunday, 23 June 2013

The kwel dyude movie

I haven't written in a while and the restlessness was gnawing my insides. I don't know if it was writer's block or plain simple lethargy. But now that I'm ready to write again, albeit temporarily of course, inspiration hit in the strangest of ways.
I got up in the morning and went to the living room today and it was co ole telly empty. Quite strange for a Sunday. What was stranger was that the tv was on and paused at a certain channel. My brother promptly entered a minute later and started the tv again. It was a silly movie which I found out was Race 2. Saif Ali Khan was dying so I assumed that the movie was about to end. But boy was I wrong! I entered the living room some half an hour later and the movie was still going on. And not only that! Saif Ali Khan wasn't even dead! So I thought about all these other movies from the same category. Dhoom, race, and all its sequels! They have so many things in common, it looks like they all have the same, uninterested, unmotivated, unimaginative writer! Here's how...
1. Hot wheels: it is like an exotic car and bike exhibition in these movies. Bright red ferraris, shiney yellow lambhorginis, jet black bullets, they've got it all!! And these cars are destroyed in the blink of an eye. I own a Maruti swift and I get upset even with the slightest dent. And these guys have no problem about blowing up a sexy purple Porsche!! Sigh! I feel poor now!
2. The dudes: these movies are full of beefed up men who are driving (and abusing) the aforementioned hot wheels. They are the kind who don't look back when there is a massive blast behind them, wear awesome sunglasses (even at night) and drive their cars/bikes like they were in an amusement park, driving those dodgem cars!
3. The babes: these girls with svelte, drool worthy bodies which they flaunt with great gusto in their short dresses, bikinis and shorts!! They loiter around trying to be relevant and important. But the most they bring to the table is their not so envy worthy wardrobe. And the dances. Oh yeah!! These girls dance to songs with weird lyrics! Crazy kiya re, lat lag gayi, and God knows what!
4. Money, money, money: the protagonists tend to talk in 100s of crores of rupees or billions of dollars!! It's like loose change for them!! Makes you raise an eyebrow if nothing else. It's like those guys thought the movie will still be relevant 50 years later and so they used exaggerated amounts if money now!
5. The what the f...!!! Moment: all these movies will have plenty of what the f...!! Moments where you will wonder what hit you!! Things like people dying, but not really dying, cars being blown up, girls saying "men are many but money is money!" These movies are full of such moments!!
6. The ammunition: just like the cars, these movies are also full of crazy big ass guns and bombs and other such ammunition which would make guys in the army sit up in their seats and wonder! So there you have a guy blowing up a car with a gun, or a pen gun or whatever. Fun!!

So there you have it! Still a little worried about the cars being blown up like that but there are a lot of other common features. Enjoy the movies but know that if you've seen one, you've seen the others! Do let me know what you think and what would you like to read next!
Loads of love :) :)

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Those crazy star cast movies

Once upon a time, I was preparing for a very important exam in my life. I had imposed a lot of restrictions on myself then. And it was okay, because passing the exam was worth it. But then again, there is something no student, no matter how strong, can resist -  a movie which includes Anne Hatheway, Queen Latifah, Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner, Jassica Alba, Ashton Kutcher, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey (just to name a few) in the cast. I remember when I was telling a friend in the library that I was going to watch a movie which had all these people, one random guy stopped and asked me about it. You've probably guessed which movie I'm talking about. It was the February of 2010 and I was going to watch Valentine's Day with my sister that night.
Now, not too many movies have been made with this formula, but the ones that have, well, they have way too many things in common!!! Way too many!!! So here it goes again!

  1. One lame holiday: The movies always revolve around one lame holiday! Be it Valentine's day or New Year's eve. People always talk about how Valentine's day is the day of lourve!! Or how New year's eve is symbolic for looking forward and turning over a new leaf and new beginnings yada yada yada! No one says anything about how the remaining 364 days can also be full of love, or how every day is a new day. 
  2. Elaborate star cast: These movies always have so many actors!!! The who's who of tinsel town is present in the movie in some way or the other. Even for the smallest of roles and the least amount of screen time! It's a clever strategy to woo audience. Out of sooooooo many actors, what are the odds that at least one would be the favorite of the cynical person out there who wouldn't have seen the movie otherwise?
  3. The regulars: These movies always have these people. ALWAYS! Ashton Kutcher, Hector Elizondo, Jessica Biel, someone from Grey's anatomy (ok...I know...that's cheating!) That bald guy and that fat guy ( I did my research...they are Larry Millar and Paul/Peter Vogt. Very small blink and miss roles...I'm awesome, so I noticed!)
  4. The lack of money: I'm sure hiring so many big actors for the movie has got to burn a sizable hole in the money people's pockets. No wonder they couldn't afford script writers. So the actors go about, doing their thing, hoping it ends up becoming something sensible...that's why there are so many story lines going on. Because the actors didn't have time for sitting down and discussing one plot (obviously...sooo many busy busy actors), they decided to conduct meeting with a few actors at a time. Thus different story plots emerged and everything got added into one big bad mad movie!
  5. Cheesy end credits: Don't they all have one? Bloopers, crazy dances, edited out scenes all playing while the credits role.
  6. A soundtrack: Too many song happening in these a point where it would start qualifying as a Bollywood movie (an honor if you ask me!). Also, there is always 1 singer in the cast, so might as well use their talents no?
So yeah...that pretty much wraps it up. Not to mention, these movies are entertaining. On a lazy Sunday afternoon, sitting in your pyjamas with a tub of buttery pop corn when you just have nothing to do

Thursday, 31 May 2012

The 90s pride

Have you noticed how proud 90s kids are, simply because they are 90s kids? I'm one too, and I'm one of those super proud ones. I was born in the year I've pretty much seen the entire decade.
The 90s was a wonderful decade...amazing music (it gave us Nirvana, Boy Bands, The Spice Girls, Jennifer Lopez, Greenday et al), Technology (CERN started the World Wide Web project in 1991), Cartoons and anime (X men, spongebob square pants, Pokemon), TV Series (Friends, Beverly Hills 90210, Full House) and Video Games.
It also gave us some amazing movies. Titanic, Star Wars, Pretty Woman, Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, The Sixth Sense, The Lion King, Home Alone. Everyone has heard of these movies. What's common? All of them released in the 90s.
Back home, it was a wonderful decade. Financially, we had the New Industrial Policy of 1991, introduced by Dr. Manmohan Singh. It was one of those policies that gave India it's place in the international economic map. In sports, it gave us our God, Sachin Tendulkar. At the same time we had Rahul Dravid. We had our own epic cartoon series...the Jungle Book! And TV serials...Dekh Bhai Dekh...'nuff said! The Maruti 800, the most awesome car to have according to me was the Nano of the 90s. Sushmita Sen became Miss World in the 90s (Admit it...every girl reading this would have practiced her winning gasp...I did, and I still remember it).  And even the advertisements were memorable...remember the wonderful doodh campaign? It went...doodh, doodh, doodh, doodh, wonderful doodh!! And who can forget the brilliant Amul butter advertisements??? They are still the most intelligent advertisements!
And the movies...oh the movies! Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Kuch Luch Hota hai, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, sigh....
But today, when I was watching Pardes (in my defense, I have a cold, and I can't concentrate on my studies when I have a cold), I noticed some things that happened in every Bollywood movie of the 90s. Well, not all of them, but most of them. I feel the need to add that I love Bollywood movies nonetheless. This is just in good humor and most of you will agree with me when I say that a little sense of humor never hurt anyone. So here goes:

  1. The Hero: The 90s gave us the Khans! Shahrukh Khan (*drool*), Amir Khan, Salman Khan...they weren't enemies then, they came in movies together. Salman Khan wasn't the beefy body builder type...he actually looked cute! Amir Khan had this entire mawali thing going for him. Shahrukh Khan (*drool*) ruled hearts....but he still does that now, so that's besides the point! We also had funny man Govinda, the punch drunk Akshay Kumar, the beefy Sunny Deol, Sanjay Dutt and Bobby Deol. The 90s hero was compassionate, caring, romantic, could shake a leg with great gusto and could beat the bad guy and be miserably beaten up without so much as a flinch, but would wince if the heroine tried to clean up his wounds.
  2. The Heroine: The typical Indian woman. Clad in a wholesome salwar kameez or sari, sometimes even a gajra, ghastly makeup, devoted to her family and later on, the hero. We had Kajol, Sonali Bendre, Mahima Chaudhry, Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi, Urmilla Matondkar, Karisma Kapoor (have I spelt it right?) et al. The Heroine was sassy, high pitched and ended up being the damsel in distress. And did I mention the ghastly makeup???
  3. The love triangle: Be it one girl and two guys or one guy and two girls. A love triangle was the flavor of the season. If it was one guy and two girls, the other girl (not the heroine) would be dressed in tight tops and short skirts, had equally ghastly makeup, and were meant to be depicted as trash. I think they just crossed all limits when in the movie Judaai, where in the beginning, Urmilla Matondkar was the other girl and would be dressed in skirts, and later the wife, Sridevi becomes the other girl and so she starts wearing skirts and Urmilla Matondkar graduates to saris. In the reverse scenario, where we had one girl and two guys, the other guy was creepy, had longish hair, and managed to make your hair stand at the ends.
  4. The Parents: The parents would never agree to the match. EVER! Quite a contradiction from the current times, where the parents are more than happy to let the child decide!
  5. The Slow Tear: There would be a point in the movie where the Hero or the Heroine would decide to forget the other for ever. At that point, they would promptly pull out a picture of both of them together, and tear the same in a slow, dramatic manner!
  6. The Music: The soundtrack of the movie would be invariably impeccable! Think about it. The decade gave us amazing singers like Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu! And remember buying the cassettes of these movie soundtracks? Remember reading the names of the songs on the back? Remember how along with the singers, even the chorus was credited?
  7. The Bad Guy: There always was a bad guy. The legendary actor, the late Mr. Amrish Puri pretty much had a monopoly over that part. And he was so brilliant at it, that if I were to meet him personally, I would have been scared! The bad guy held a grudge for no apparent reason and was eventually finished off. Or he would see his errors and mend his ways. This would end him up in jail! Although, many a times, the Hero wold also break the law, but he wouldn't go to jail for that, because what he did was for the greater good!
  8. The Catch Phrases: Each movie had some typical catch phrases, that made you wince even then. Some were cute, others were down right shady! I'm about to list some. Don't judge me based on the fact that I remember them! "Dad, it's bad" - Some dude in Pardes. "Bade Bade shehero main aisi choti choti baatien hoti rehti hai señorita" - Shahrukh Khan (*drool*) in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. And the worst one of all...I don't know whether I should put this in text, it was bad enough in the movie - "Kya cheez, cut piece," - Shakti Kapoor in Jaanam Samjha Karo! It gave me the creeps even then...and I was 9 when the movie released. I mean, what were the thinking???
So there you have it...the perfect mix of ingredients to make a Bollywood movie reminiscent of the 90s era. I would like to thank my friend, film encyclopedia Ali, to help me out with the singers of the 90s. I also asked him about the actresses, but he hasn't replied yet. So he doesn't get any credit for that!
Hope you enjoyed's all in jest! Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Kumar Capers

So, first time ever, I’m writing one about Indian movies. Call it, karma, but I have been forced to endure too many Akshay Kumar movies and it’s time I have my revenge…however lame this may seem.
So, what is the perfect blend of ingredients to make a movie starring Akshay Kumar? Read on:
1.       Base it abroad: Yeah…Mr. Kumar is way too cool to have his characters be based in India. It has to be outside India…no matter what! To the extent that the last Akshay Kumar movie I saw, Housefull 2, had a disclaimer: “No animals were harmed in the making of this movie. This movie has been shot abroad. No animals were harmed.” That’s the point I knew I was in for mental torture.
2.       Unemployment FTW: Most of the Akshay Kumar movies I’ve seen, he doesn’t have a job. I mean, seriously! Think about it. Can you remember any Akhay Kumar movie in which he holds a job for the entire span of the movie? I can’t think of any!
3.       Make it crass: Trust me, the crasser the joke, the more is the probability to get Mr. Kumar to work in your movie. Some of the dialogues in his movies are so blatantly vulgar, it just stops being funny, and borderlines offensive.
4.       Get a young heroine: Think about it. When was the last time you saw Akshay Kumar paired with someone his own age? All his leading ladies are in their 20s. How old is he, again? Sometimes I wonder what he is trying to prove…does he feel younger by starring opposite young actresses, or what?
5.       Have a fight sequence: Some good ole dhishum dhishum is the unwritten law. What would Akshay Kumar be if he didn’t beat up a couple of goons in the movies? He is, after all, the International Khiladi (notice the first word of the movie and correlate it with the first point.)
6.       Throw in some patriotism: Have you noticed how in most of the movies, there will be a gora, who will talk about how India is not a very good country (unadulterated blasphemy, if you ask me, but whatever)…the gora will highlight all the stereotypes India is known for (a land of snake charmers and cow worshippers, or something similar). And Akshay Kumar, in a very heartfelt display of patriotism would prove to the naïve gora that India is actually an exotic land of intelligent, qualified and amazing people, much better than whatever poor country the gora comes from.
7.       Ensure silly dialogues: Akshay Kumar movies are bound to have dialogues that look like they have been written by a 5 year old. They are so stupid! One dialogue particularly stands out. So, this woman is going on about kidnappers, and Akshay Kumar explains “Kid means child, nap means sleep, so the woman is saying that it is time for the child to sleep.” I wanted to shoot him at that time. There are many more examples. Just watch an Akshay Kumar movie and watch your IQ drop some.
8.       Sing and dance with gusto: All Akshay Kumar movies have a headache inducing number of songs, with one guaranteed item number. My favorite so far, Sheela ki Jawani! At least, it makes you dance!
So there you have it. How to make an awesome Akshay Kumar movie? Don’t get me wrong, these tips will make the movie successful fo shiz. But then again, you will have people judging you at the same time.
And as I am writing this, my friend told me to check out the trailer of the upcoming Akshay Kumar movie, Rowdy Rathore. I don’t know. It seems different. It brings back the old school Akshay Kumar. But then again, I may not watch it, because I seem to have ODed on his movies! Of course, everyone is entitled to have an let me know of yours :)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Apocalypse-walah movie

Let me make a few things very clear at the start...I don't claim to be an expert on movies that predict the inevitable doom of the world!!! I'm just a bored person, who hadn't written something in a while and just had to do it now!!!! So here's presenting, how to make a perfect Apocalypse walah movie!
This word has suddenly struck my fancy...I don't know why...I just like it.
And like I said, I am not an expert...and I haven't even seen all the doomsday movies...just an observation made from amongst the few I actually saw. Again, in points, for better understanding!!!!!
So every apocalypse walah movie will have these few things...not as a rule of thumb, but I think it's more of a coincidence, or simply lack of imagination.

1. The hero: He is the guy who has predicted the end of the world...people laugh at him, scoff his conspiracy theorist-like thinking, swear that the earth is indestructible and go about their own merry way. The hero eventually becomes weary of all the cynicism around him, and goes about working in a small lab, full of minions who believe him and worship him, so much that they will be with him "till the end"
2. The background story: The hero's predictions will normally be backed by an ancient historical event...think about it...2012 had the end of the Mayan calendar and The Day After Tomorrow had the ice age...Volcano had a previous volcanic eruption in the same area...
3. The kid: The hero has a kid, who he has been ignoring for the better part of the kid's life because he's just too immersed in his work. The kid is now a teenager, kinda rebellious, but loves his/her dad - the hero and has a strong sense of responsibility. The kid is normally away.
4. The man in the suit: This dude is the one to be hated...he's a senior official in the government agency where the hero works and he does not want the hero to bring his findings out in the open because "it will create chaos". He is power hungry and will not stop at anything to gain that power!!! He is actually a miserable, pathetic kind of guy, who has no one in his life. And if the world was a normal, destruction proof place, he would have lived a long, lonely life, and would have had 18 cats in a house with a white picket fence in the middle of no where.
5. The President of USA: The self-righteous man, who chooses to stay with the people, make encouraging speeches while doing not much.Oh, wait...
6. The Indian guy: There's always an Indian guy...he's a genius who figures everything out, and can't speak in decent Hindi to save his life!!! He inevitably ends up dead which makes me wanna scream, "Racists!!!!!!!!!!" or "Stereotypes!!!!!" or something similar.
7. The network: I've lived in Mumbai for over 21 years and over the years, I have faced a few emergency like the earthquake on 26th January, the floods on 26th July and the terrorist attacks on 26th November...and the one thing that has remained common is that the first thing to go down is the phone network. But somehow in these movies, the mobile networks NEVER fail!!!! And I always wonder how they are talking on the phone when there is a tsunami racing towards them!
8. The cheesy jokes: Even at the time of adversity, the protagonists will stop for a second abruptly, and crack a joke!!! And trust me; I don't see anything funny about death!!!
9. The monument: A famous monument has to be destroyed. ALWAYS!!!! The statue of liberty, Christ the redeemer, the Brooklyn Bridge are just few examples!!!! Think about it!!!!! Remember in 2012, how the Sistine Chapel cracks, breaks and rolls towards the people gathered there? 
10: The making out: The hero always finds time to make out with his partner, even when, no, wait, especially when there everyone's life is in danger.
11. Racing against the forces: When everyone runs, I can't help but wonder how they can run faster than flowing water, cold air and lava!!!! Never fails to amuse me!!!
12. The death toll: I don’t know if it’s only me…but in these movies, I like to keep count of how many people die…the number is large!!!!
13. The end: The movie normally ends with a Photoshop-ed view of the earth, the way it would look after the tragedy. More often than not, the countries that haven't been destructed, are the third world countries, where everyone finds refuge. And the third world countries welcome the refugees with open arms!!! If it were me, I would have sent them back to their destructed habitats...learn how to cope people!!!! And even at such a time, the news channels will still be broadcasting everything. Silly me!!! I thought you needed those network towers to actually broadcast stuff on know, the kind prone to destruction when the entire continent has gone underwater??? Kinda annoying!!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Yet Another Chick Flick

I know this is completely random, but I feel absolutely awake and there’s this creative burst of energy and I just need to do something. I may not end up making this public, but if I do, I want it to be on record that it’s 5:30 in the morning and I’m writing this in room number 704 of Hotel Tip Top Plaza (who thought of this name?? Like, really man!!!) While bbm-ing my friends Madhu and Aditi (who, by the way, have decided to ransack a room in West End Hotel), and watching TV.
This gives me a topic to write about. How to make a perfect Chick flick! Please forgive spelling mistakes.
Now every Chick flick has a few things that have to be there or it would flop (they normally do anyway, but whatever…)
  1. The Chick: Well, du-h!!! But I don’t mean it that way. There will be a Chick. But I meant one of these:
a.     Katherine Hiegl: She’s there in like every other Chick flick now. Honestly, I liked her better when she was a doctor on Grey’s Anatomy, working as a part time model to pay for her tuition. Too bad they killed her in the end (they did, right?? Or did she run away??? Ahh…well!!)
b.     Julia Roberts: How many Chick flicks has she come in??? I lost count 25 years ago…and that’s saying something…I’m 21!!!! The Runaway Bride, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Valentine’s Day, you name it, and you’ve got her in it!!!!
c.      Anne Hatheway: I like Anne Hatheway…a lot…but she really has to stop doing movies like Bride Wars, Valentine ’s Day and blah...same goes for Jennifer Garner too!!!
2.     The guy: He’s the Chick’s best friend, compassionate, sensitive, hot and has a secret. He loves the Chick (yeah…sure, you aren’t making it obvious at all). But he won’t tell her and the Chick is painfully unaware!!! Such roles normally go to James Marsden (loved him as Cyclops!!), Ryan Reynolds and the likes…you know, blonde hair, blue eyes, lean and all. The pretty boy, essentially
3.     The other dude: Of course…there has to be the other dude. The Chick is hopelessly, desperately in love with him. And makes an absolute fool of herself in his pursuit. He’s really hot, really rich and supposedly perfect. But normally comes across as aloof and blah. (The audience ends up wondering why she’s in love with him, after all)
4.     The sidekicks: The Chick has a sidekick who’s either drunk most of the time, is overly obsessed with her looks, is excessively promiscuous or is getting married. The guy has a sidekick who is usually his colleague/college friend or is the weird guy who thinks knows everything about how to get into the girl’s pants or is Indian. The other dude doesn’t have a sidekick. He’s just too cool to have one. The Chick’s sidekick and the guy’s sidekick, more often than not, end up hooking up. Big surprise there
5.     The competition: The Chick normally has some competition, who’s vying for the attention of the other dude too. While the Chick is plain, sweet and reasonably pretty, the competition is svelte, glamorous, confident and dresses weird. The Chick gets a massive inferiority complex, just looking at the competition.
6.     The moment: It hits the Chick right in the head that she loves the guy, not the other dude. But that usually is followed by the other dude kissing the Chick and the Chick realises that there’s no chemistry between them.
7.     The Fairy Godmother: An older woman, who inspires the Chick to go to the guy and tell him she loves him and all that. She’s normally a grandmother, a mother or whatever.
8.     The marriage: A Chick flick has to end with a marriage. It’s ALWAYS the Chick and the guy
9.     The WTH moment:I don't know how to describe this. But every chick flick has that one moment which makes you go "WTH!!! Where did that come from??" An example would be more suited here. In the movie You Again towards the ends, when Betty White meets her high school enemy and then steals her date for the wedding...that made me go,  "WTH!!!"
10.   The credits: The credits have to be cheesy…not the normal names flying by the screen…it has to be something weird like the guy and the Chick clicking pictures on their honeymoon or whatever.