Adi Ne Bana Di Jodi!

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is a commendable attempt by Aditya Chopra to provide the audience a wholesome family entertainer. But let me warn the viewers beforehand. In order for you to enjoy this film, you have to acknowledge the cinematic liberty Adi has taken – he wants us to believe that a wife will not recognize her husband after he shaves off his pencil moustache and undergoes a wardrobe change. But isn’t cinema all about bringing alive a make-believe world! So, just as we embrace a Spiderman or Krisssh, knowing very well that it is fantasy, I’d allow Chopra this expediency.

Through a not-so-long-back flashback sequence, we are introduced to Surinder Sahni who, least expecting, gets to marry the girl he has fallen in love-at-first-sight with. Only problem is, the marriage is a result of circumstances rather than love or even a pondered arrangement. The end result is two individuals, with very different love quotients, set up to live life together.

It is a very interesting premise and what makes it more so is the manner in which Aditya Chopra paints his characters.

Surinder Sahni is a person who is as diffident as it gets, and depicts a love so pure that it is almost incredible. Shahrukh, in this avtar, excels and is at his winsome best. Your heart goes out to him as he goes about his daily chores, or requests his wife to entertain his friends, if she can, he politely adds. In this another scene, where he gazes the lunch box, prepared by his wife, he leaves you in splits. This perfect look of naivety, love & admiration has King Khan’s signature all over it. This and many such brilliant moments etch out the ingenuous character of Surinder Sahni.

On the other hand is Taani, the once-ebullient girl, who is willing to forego her past self to a new life as Surinder’s dutiful wife. But even while she would pack his lunch, clean his room and entertain his guests, because she has “willingly” accepted this marriage, she can’t love her husband and tells him so. There is a real element to Taani’s character and Anushka Sharma brings forth her predicaments with a quiet confidence.

Also, praiseworthy is Vinay Pathak’s portrayal of the loud-mouthed yet sensitive friend of Surinder. Like all his performances before, Pathak makes his character believable. He has some good dialogues to boost of and he fits well in the method of things. It is he who helps Suri transform into Raj, so he can woo his better half by being the “hero” she craves.

This might seem a silly premise and it is actually that, but still Aditya manages to add some substance to it through his screenplay and dialogues. He has generously used SDIPA (Shiamak Davar’s dance school) and their actual instructors to take the story forward. I wasn’t whole-heartedly convinced of Raj’s character as it could have been depicted better from the over-the-top yet inadequate Jat that came across. Also Shahrukh’s performance of this manifestation pales in comparison to the taciturn Suri.
What I think Aditya wanted to show was a clash between the extrovert and the introvert and he was out to (predictably) make the underdog win it. And I think it is this bias that shows.

At a point in time, when I feared that the film would turn into another musical (Dil To Pagal Hai – II), Aditya carefully, and thankfully, steered the screenplay back to the main plot of Suri and Taani. What however, he could have done better was to emphasise more on Suri’s display of love (even though Suri mentions to Bobby that he wants Taani to see it on her own) which would have made the choice Taani makes more convincing. Perhaps Aditya wanted things to be more subtle and left it for the audience to fill in the lines. The end message that he wanted to convey is that, with time and patience love conquers all!

The music, which has always been the hallmark of an Aditya (or Yash) Chopra presentation, is surprisingly understated in the movie. The songs are situational and again far fewer in number in comparison to earlier movies. When I first heard the songs, I found them of a pretty low standard for an Aditya Chopra movie, but after watching the film, they grew on me. In the same breath, let me add that it is still nowhere near the high standards that Yash Raj has set for itself.

The predictable story could have been a damp squib had it not been for splendid performances. The screenplay keeps slipping but picking up soon after at many places. The cinematography is adequate and though there are no Swiss locales to be shot here, Amritsar has been captured well.

As director, Adi Chopra sparkles in a number of places. Consider the scene where Surinder places the rose on the table and then, true to his reticent self, puts it back, or the lunch box scene, or the heart-to-heart tête-à-tête between Suri and Bobby. And I’m sure thanks to Adi, a number of Amristari lads will queue up for being recruited in Punjab Power so they can propose to their girl in the innovative manner Raj does!

In this quite unlike Yash Raj film, the medley song “Hum hain raahi pyaar ke, phir milenge chalte chalte” stands out with high production value. It is a tribute to Bollywood’s yesteryear actors and you wish it goes on and on as one leading actress after another is serenaded by Shahrukh.

No matter whether or not, you like the movie, but please do stay till the end credits roll. Adi had saved the best for the last. Suri’s narration of their honeymoon to Japan is the high point of the movie, it’ll surely make you laugh and you’ll come out of the hall wanting more of the endearing Surinder Sahni!

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December 15, 2008 at 2:39 pm 2 comments

Miss you Nike!

Ya, that’s what I called my iPod nano – Nike.

I still remember the day when I pulled Nike out of that uber-cool packaging and held it tenderly in my hand, lest it got scratched. The shiny back of the first generation Nano was the first thing I noticed and once I it switched on to see the small display light up in colour, I knew I was in love.

The love affair had actually started a couple of weeks before, when I first saw the pictures of the newly launched iPod – Nano, they called it – on Apple’s website. I had already heard about iPod’s sound quality and I couldn’t wait to have one of my own. It was overpriced considering my budget and I was in a dilemma if I actually needed this expensive music player, when there were cheaper options available. Obviously nothing, at that time, matched the aesthetics of Apple’s products. And the opportunity of possessing the latest from the iPod family (and be able to show it off once I returned back to India) was too hard to resist.

I spent the next hour intuitively playing around with iTunes and added the few mp3 songs that I had on my laptop to my new toy. I hooked up the earphones and caressed the outer wheel with my finger, lightly making a circle on it. The songs scrolled by and the Nano made a light “clik-clik” sound; happiness suddenly had a new sound! And as I played my first songs on Nike, I could not help but marvel at the incredible clarity of the sound that filled my ears.

I’m not one among those persons who blindly copies entire albums from the internet to their music players. I have a distinct, even if eclectic, taste in music and I ensured that unless I really liked a song AND I had entire information about that song, it did not find a place in my Nano. Consequently, I devoted a lot of time in the next days with my audio CDs, internet and iTunes swelling up iPod to a sizeable library.

I noticed the many apparent deficiencies of the iPod Nano – not having an in-the-box charger, no FM Radio, no sound recording, no ability to add tags, no sorting of songs – but I chose to live without them. And this was because iPod did what it did, best – play amazing music! I’m not exactly an audiophile, but I love to hear my music in its pure and brilliant form and Nano did an awesome job of it. In the initial months, it used to stay with me constantly whether I went to office (even though it wasn’t exactly allowed, I fitted neatly in my pocket to go unnoticed) or out on trips. On a bus journey, it made hours go past like minutes. I can’t keep track of how many times I’ve fallen asleep to the tune of my favourite songs playing on this little thing.

I still remember that rainy day very vividly, when I had to urgently be at work and had no means of transport to take me to office. I yelled out to rickshaw-wala outside my apartment and as I settled under the leaky hood of the rickshaw, I carefully pulled out Nike from my pocket. So fond am I of rains and rain songs, that I created a special Genre for Malhar and Classical Songs of Monsoons in it. Just as I played Anand Malhar sung by Kishori Amonkar, I was transported to a different world. Suddenly, the incessant blowing of horns by vehicles around ceased to exist. The only sound that remained was that of the divine notes praising the rains and clouds. It seemed as if the rain drops had started dancing to the exquisite notes of “Barsat Ghan Aayo Rangilo”. It was truly an ecstatic moment and one that will stay with me forever. And I have to thank my iPod Nano for many such special moments.

I’ve had a wonderful time playing the Music Quiz on the Nano, and in fact it is a great way to remind yourself of a certain song that you’d have forgotten existed in your library of some 400 songs. I almost always got all the songs right, considering I had every song hand-picked and tagged correctly.

I’ve had to buy accessories for the bare Nano in the form of a USB charger and an FM transmitter. The FM transmitter is a handy tool which turned my Nano into a mini-radio station; a great way to listen to it on long road trips in my car with an outdated music system. I found the iPod covers available in the market way too pricey. My mother very lovingly made out little sleeves at home, so I could keep my Nike snug. My thoughtful sister brought a cover for it when she came back from USA. I never had the heart to remove the transparent film that came stuck on the front of the Nano, even though it had started peeling off from a side.

A couple of weeks back, after Nike turned 3, my wife least-expecting asked me for a mirror to check her makeup. I polished it against my shirt and held out the shiny back of my Nano to her face. She smiled and I proudly returned it to its case.

Then last week, out with us on a trip, Nike vanished. I got down at a couple of places during the journey and by the time I realized, I couldn’t figure out where it was; the thorough search of the car was in vain. I still cannot come to terms with the fact that I’ve lost my favourite possession. This piece is an ode to Nike – my iPod Nano. I’m not sure when I can replace it but definitely it is a must have for any music lover.

December 2, 2008 at 6:39 pm 2 comments

“Raga On” Anyone?

“Rock On” seemed to have become a cult movie already within days of its release. The Monday late-night show in the neighbourhood multiplex (which usually isn’t jam-packed on a weekday) was proof enough that the curiosity had got the better of me & despite a tiring work day, I went on to see what all those rave reviews were about.

I couldn’t agree more to the fact that the movie managed to blend its soundtrack perfectly with the story, without any one overpowering the other. Now I’ve never been a rock fan, but my musical sense thoroughly enjoyed the rock tracks, at least in the context of the movie. What, however, impressed me more was the sincerity of the characters! Each performance in the film was first-grade and I can bet that this is what will keep the movie going. What stood out for me were the performances by Luke Kenny and Prachi Desai.

Luke’s Rob is perhaps the most understated of all the characters. He doesn’t have a wife or a romantic inclination and compared to the opportunities Farhan or Arjun had to show their prowess, Luke’s canvas was limited. And yet he not only stood on his own, his portrayal of a man passionately in love with his music and friends was endearing. Just watch him in the scene when he receives a call from KD (Purab). His eyes light up, his voice can’t contain the excitement and the ecstasy of a long-lost friend calling makes him rush to the balcony. It’s a brief moment, but one that shimmers.

Another one is Prachi trying to sing “Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh” – the hesitation, the innocence and the rough edges of her voice used to great effect! She brilliantly manages to bring forth her character, that of a dedicated wife who finally begins to understand her husband and his dreams, through this moment.

 (I will now completely digress from what I started with.) 

It was also this particular scene that got me thinking of why Indian Classical Music doesn’t bring about the same passion as Rock Music does. My guess is that the houseful multiplex would have been devoid of an audience had a similar film with Hindustani music as the theme been shown. I’m not trying to put any genre of music above the other. What follows are just some observations from someone who doesn’t get to hear too much of his musical taste in the public domain.

Though even in new age Bollywood, some songs are inspired by Shastriya Sangeet, the brilliance of our musical heritage is limited to a Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas or Mahesh Dattani’s Morning Raga (albeit it was more fusion than pure classical). I was looking forward to Jodha Akbar to recreate the Tansen era in its full musical grandeur. However despite good songs, it was a far cry from the expectations a classical music fan would have had from it.

I do not entirely blame the Bollywood fraternity from shying away from embracing classical music in a big way. They deliver what the public wants. I’m often surprised how very few Indians enjoy a classical raga-based bandish or a thumri. Most of the people around me think of classical music as a musical affliction, consider the case in point.

DD Bharati is Doordarshan’s endeavour to promote Indian heritage and, once in a while, it does beam some really good archival recordings of Classical stalwarts. But the channel is lost in obscurity in the sea of MTV’s and Channel V’s. And when I switch on this channel in the presence of family or friends, I get responses ranging to shock to repulsiveness and in almost all cases I have to flip the channel.

There have been attempts where popular artistes have tried their hand at trying to blend classical with popular music such as Shubha Mudgal, Pohankar father-son duo (Piya Bawari) or the recent “Classically Mild” album by Sonu Nigam. The success has not been overwhelming; in case of Sonu it was a let down, and this perhaps explains why such initiatives are far and few.

Organizations such as SPIC-MACAY have been doing their bit by conducting classical concerts, even though largely concentrated in metro cities like Delhi. At one such concert where Kishori Amonkar performed, I was amazed to an impressive crowd turn up. It was one of the few moments when I realized that I am not alone in my love for Hindustani Classical. But I had my sister along with me, whose stolid behaviour constantly reminded me otherwise. Perhaps Kishori ji read her mind when rebuked the audience, who were also getting fidgety towards the end of the hour long performance, that these days people were lacking the discipline while attending a concert.

I’m not sure if like the cyclical nature of all things, we would ever get back to roots of our muscial traditions. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a “Raga On” meeting with the success of “Rock On” and winning the adulation of a progressing India.

September 4, 2008 at 1:30 pm 6 comments

Bollywood 2007

Thanks to a friend who is a big movie-buff, the last 12 months saw me watching more movies than I ever have (Can you imagine I even sat through “Cash”, a movie where neither the cast and crew nor the audience had a clue of what was happening in it!). So it becomes natural to wrap up the year with my Bollywood moments of 2007.

A relatively unknown line-up of directors ruled the marquee in 2007, as the Yash Chopras and Subhash Ghais took a backseat and focused on their production houses. The debutante directors nurtured their nascent ideas into experiential (I’d rather use this word than the cliché “experimental”) films like “Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd.” (Reema Kagti), “Bheja Fry” (Sagar Ballary) and “Taare Zameen Par” (Aamir Khan), to name a few. Even though they may not have raked in big moolah, they did get the attention of an audience who is developing an appetite for offbeat subjects which, in fact, are closer to life.

While 2007 brought many character artists to the forefront, the not-so-popular mainstream actors were not hesitant to play smaller roles. This was primarily because storylines moved from a linear format to parallel threads strung together at some points. “Life in a… Metro” is a case in point, where disparate episodes blended into each other against the backdrop of a metropolitan. The movie brilliantly captured the emotions of a changing world. Another such film which relied heavily on characterizations rather a mono-toned story was “Honeymoon Travels”.

Surprisingly, conventional romance was placed on the backburner in 2007. The exception to this was “Jab We Met”, which ironically coincided with the lead pair un-meeting in real life. The movie with its witty dialogues, captivating screenplay and sprinkling of family drama ensured that the audiences were entertained. It was one of the rare movies this year that made me revisit the theatre for a repeat show. In a year, where a movie and its music did not meet with simultaneous success, this movie again was an exception.

The lyrical “The Namesake” (even though not Bollywood) was one movie that warmed my heart with its theme and performances. Tabu’s poignant portrayal of Ashima could easily be termed as one of the best performances this year. Also remarkable was her character in “Cheeni Kum”, a cute romantic comedy. The hatke-love story, fortunately, didn’t meet with resistance in a country where the lyrics of a song can raise political emotions.

My taste of comedy came in the form of “Dhamaal”, a desi version of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”. Even though some scenes were straight lifts from the original, it was a funny movie. Especially commendable was Javed Jaffery’s performance, which deserves the award for Best Actor in a Comic Role. A so-called psycho thriller “Bhool Bhulaiyya” with its ensemble cast was a strictly one-time watch. “Om Shanti Om”, for all its hype and masala, was again just above average. Take out SRK from the film and I doubt if it will find any takers.

This year also saw the Yash Chopra clan churning out movies like RGV’s Factory, even though they were entertainers unlike RGV’s insipid cinema. However, the effect of mass production is visible on the quality of Yash Raj Films. How else would you explain their “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom”, a movie which was inanity at its cinematic best? Even though the movie had one of the most mellifluous tracks of the year – “Bol Na Halke Halke” as well as the groovy title track, the music couldn’t rescue the film. I however liked their other 3 family dramas – “Ta Ra Rum Pum”, “Laaga Chunari Mein Daag” and “Aaja Nachle” – even if expectations were higher. It is high time that Adi Chopra comes out of his directorial hiatus; he still seems to wonder how he can live up to DDLJ expectations after “Mohabattein”.

The path-breaking movie of the year definitely was “Chak De! India” which not only won critical acclaims but also set the box office registers ringing. However, I don’t see too many movies in the sports genre repeating its success because there is only a limited variation you can bring in to the subject of underdogs winning the final battle and comparisons are inevitable. “Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal”, which looked like a poor cousin to Chak De, sank because of this despite the fact that it was above average fare.

Also in the same league as Chak De, “Taare Zameen Par” went against conventional Bollywood rules. There was no heroine romancing the hero, no item numbers or grand sets, just songs which complemented the screenplay, and a meaningful story with a message. In both the films, casting plays a great role in ensuring their success. The research and vision of the directors and their conviction in their subject makes the movies the masterpieces they are. I sincerely hope that more such films continue to entertain us.

I missed out on quite a few movies but intend to catch up on these – “Saawariya”, “Gandhi, My Father”, “Dharm”, “Johnny Gaddaar” and “Manorama Six Feet Under”.

Bollywood is constantly evolving, new subjects are being explored and different genres being explored. In all this, I just have 2 issues.

One is the mind-boggling crores that our actors are beginning to charge for their movies. There is no rationale that the actors encash their superstar status in such a brazen manner. Eventually, it is the audiences that will have to bear the brunt by shelling out more money. And I think it is unjust for the movie-goer who has already seen a multifold increase in the ticket prices in the last few years.

Second is the constantly shortening shelf-life of film music. There was a time when songs reigned the charts for months (even years in some cases). Now all it takes is a couple of weeks for a song to be forgotten and get dumped into Gigabytes of never-to-be-heard-again songs. If there’s a flip side to the new wave of Bollywood films, it is that they don’t have permanence in music. And for someone for whom Bollywood music is the bridge to Indian classical, there is a dearth of semi-classical songs that Hindi movies were once replete with. I hope there are musically-inclined people in our Indian film industry that can tap the vast heritage of Hindustani and Carnatic music and fill this void.

Looking forward to an even better Bollywood in 2008!

December 26, 2007 at 3:25 pm 5 comments

SMS Freak!

How many of us would spend 15-20 minutes in composing an SMS? Well, call me a freak, but I do!

This Diwali, much like other festivals, I gave the fancy forwards I’d received a miss and decided to give a personal touch by keying in my wishes, replete with special symbols. It turned out to be a futile (and heartbreaking at that) exercise as none of the 35-40 recipients got any text, just a blank SMS (atleast that’s what the 5 people, who were kind enough to inform me, had to say). And this when I thought, I had learnt my lessons from the past…

When I first got this mobile phone with multilingual capability, I was pretty excited that now I could type SMS in my national language. So when I woke on this cold Lohri morning, I thought it was a good option to stay in the warmth of my quilt and type my Lohri greetings in Hindi. It turned out to be quite a workout for my fingers and revision of Hindi “varnamala” (alphabets).

For instance, to arrive at ‘m’ as in मेरे (“mere”), I had to mentally recite “प फ ब भ म” and try a couple of numbers to know that it was not 6 (keypad prominently displayed MNO for help), but number 8 that I had to press 5 times! At the end of a good half an hour, I was pleased with the results. I had managed to amalgamate Hindi and Punjabi into a couple of lines that seemed to fit into 160 characters.

It didn’t take too long before my pride came crashing down as people replied back saying they received just boxes or absolutely no text as SMS. The monthly bill later revealed that Airtel considered the Hindi alphabets more than 160 characters even though hardly anyone was able to read anything of it! From that moment on, I decided to give Devnagari script a miss for Short Messaging Service.

Special occasions apart, I put in some effort for even my everyday SMS. For one, I don’t like SMS short-hand; which means you is ‘you’ and not ‘u’, see is ‘see’ and not ‘c’. And it just doesn’t at “See you at 6.” I find it difficult to end the SMS in a short single line even if it sufficient to convey the message. Brevity be damned, it just doesn’t seem “paisa-vasool” to me!

The underlying thought is – when I’m being charged the full amount for 20 characters as for 160, I might as well go on and add another 100 to ask about the weather or communicate more details. End result – most of my SMS-es are in the range of 150-160 characters.

So a “c u at 6” would, for me, turn out as 

“Hi, woke up just now. Hope the day’s going well. See you around 6 pm today. Is it possible for you to pick 1 litre of toned milk on the way to my place? :)”

Of course there are exceptions, but they too revolve around the 160 rule. I might give the ‘you’ a miss if I see my SMS is getting into 162 characters. So I would go back and adopt the ‘u’ even if it means a minute more and a li’l more exercise for my fingers.

Scoorge McDuck would be so proud of me!

November 20, 2007 at 11:14 am 5 comments

India Poised to India Realised through SMS?

When I first read about “Lead India” – an initiative of The Times Of India, I thought it was a step in the right direction. To me it then meant that as a responsible media house, the Times Group was leveraging its power and reach to make a difference in the way a nation is being lead. But as I read more, I found it odd that all they were eventually looking at was to identify a single person (in a country of over a billion), give him/her Rs. 50 lakh for a welfare project & “place them at the doorstep of opportunity to participate in the next Lok Sabha polls”!

The process of selecting this leader is inspired by these oh-so-popular singing competitions that have seem to have become the bread-n-butter of our television channels. So SMS it is, and TOI is no leaving no stone (page) unturned to garner SMSes for these contestants.

Right now, the eight finalists are seeking votes from the nation & one is supposed to decide who will do more good for the nation than the other by watching them as part of a (believe-it-or-not!) reality show on TV. I don’t know what to expect from this show but proceedings so far give me a feeling this is going to be a variant of “Indian Idol” with quality losing to quantity.

I have a problem here.

 The very fact that an initiative like this is being treated like a “Miss India” beauty paegant or an “Indian Idol” run, demeans its spirit. Here we had courageous citizens who dreamt of making a difference to India, who thought they had found a platform to do their bit for the nation. Instead, they were labelled contestants, as if they were to run for a race. Each contestant was supposed to outsmart the other by voicing their views on national issues (Almost like the idealistic GDs one participates in at the time of seeking a job or admission for MBA). TOI had a brilliant concept at hand and they should have steered it in a different direction.

In place of going from shortlisting 3 “semi-finalists” from 8 zones, they should have had the jury select a Taskforce of 100 (or even more) “Realisers” from each city. Looking at the publicity TOI has managed for “Lead India”, I’m sure getting sponsorships for welfare projects would not have an ardent task. Perhaps, in place of looking at national/regional parties offering election tickets to the winners, they could have forged partnerships with India’s leading corporate houses to take up group initiatives with this army of “Realisers”. The true power of such a campaign could have been realised through working at the grassroot levels than heading for the Parliament House.

I might be unrealistic in my idea of it all but I surely know that a handful of genuine people in politics cannot make any remarkable contributions in the running of this country. The true leaders of India have been outside of the politicial system (take the case of Narayan Murthy or A. P. J. Abdul Kalam). Politics in our country, looking at the current state of affairs, will only tie down the hands of these emerging leaders.

Media has immense potential to make a difference. Let us hope TOI can tide over mere hype & SMS to deliver their dream of “India Poised to India Realised”.

October 19, 2007 at 7:26 pm 2 comments

Chak Diya!

Movies in the sports genre have been a difficult & relatively unexplored terrain for Bollywood filmmakers, and the few that have treaded this path have had the game more as a backdrop, than a focal point. Even Lagaan & Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, the most successful of our sports-oriented films, did not manage to do away with the hero-heroine romances & song-dance routines. Others like Iqbal, which managed to get critical acclaim, were never considered mainstream cinema because of their limited audience.

When I first saw the promos of “Chak De! India”, I was skeptical whether a different subject like women’s hockey could be turned into watchable cinema. Infact even after it released, I had half a mind if I should see the movie. But 2 days back, I ended up watching “Chak De! India” which was, to simply put, “delightful cinema”!

The story of a rumbustious bunch of girls being transformed into World Hockey champions is refreshing in its treatment and director Shimit Amin deserves kudos for believing in the subject. He could have easily let the film slip into a boring documentary-like on hockey in the name of serious cinema. At the same time, the temptation, to have Bollywood’s leading actor romance a popular actress as his lady love (with a song and dance thrown in after a coaching session), must have been very hard to resist. Yet the director did not let his vision stray and so we have a male coach train sixteen females without him falling for anyone on the way. This is a definitely a deviation from predictable Bollywood.

The movie however does have its set of stereotypes, and the climax is typical Bollywood fare, but that is only to be expected. There are times when movie starts to move in a hackneyed fashion. Despite all its clichés, what works for the movie are its characters – the girls get an even-handed opportunity to share the screen with the mighty Khan. And they deliver – with their histronics, one-liners and emotions. The script carefully etches every character giving each of them their unique flavour – be it through language, mannerism, attitude or their background. Not surprising, it is these unknown names that make you sit up and enjoy this journey that has never a dull moment.

Shahrukh delivers a tailormade role with panache, and he manages to do so without overshadowing the others. The technical departments excel in what they do but again given the performances & witty dialogues, you don’t seem to notice anything beyond. Not even the relative lack of music or Bollywood mush. The film mixes patriotism (without being jingoistic) and entertainment, higlighting on the way issues like gender inequality and indifferent attitude towards sports in India.

All in all, “Chak De! India” is another feather in the “coming of age” Bollywood’s cap & the packed houses are a testimony to this. Must watch!

August 16, 2007 at 10:46 am 4 comments

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