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Few Lines that I Penned


नदिया सूख रही है
पर्वत टूट रहे है
पेड़ो को निरंतर काटा जा रहा है.

और हमसे कहते है, विकास आ रहा है।

क्या प्रकृति को उजाड़ने को विकास कहते है ?

#विकास #यहकैसाविकास

बस मंदिर मस्जिद की लड़ाई में जीवन ख़तम कर देना
धर्म वह नहीं जो इमारतों को बनाये
धर्म तोह वह है जो मनुष्य को प्रेम सिखाये
कितना अच्छा होता की हम भी लड़ते
उन दो लखनवी मित्रो की तरह
जो एक दूसरे को आगे करने में ट्रैन भले ही छोड़ दे
मगर इंसानियत और दोस्ती नहीं.

JOKER is Joaquin Phoenix All The Way : Film Review

Joker- The Clown Prince of Crime

As a child, I learned about Joker's cry and his smile. And I have reiterated it many times over the last 2 decades. I wonder if you noticed it or not, the joker never smiles. He has tears in eyes but the smile is painted on the face. Wonder if that is the analogy DC drew for its legendary villain and director Todd Philipps for his hero.

However, with DC Joker, the analogy has been left far behind, giving birth to the new Joker- The Clown Prince of the crime. 

Joker has always been one of my most favorite villains on the big screen ever. Since when? Ever since I saw Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.

My love for comicverse is challenged by my mood. While I watched Avengers Endgame in great disbelief [it's a superhero, fantasy movie I kept telling myself], I watched Joaquin Phoenix' Joker with a great belief and relevance. 

And the fact that I watched this film on 10th October World Mental Health day, makes a lot of difference and how?

Is that all I think about the film? Well, no. Read more to know more...

What A Performance Joaquin Phoenix

From that starved and bruised body to the intense eyes that speaks to you even when [cliche] he is not speaking, Joker is the Joaquin Phoenix' movie all the way. His nuances, maneuvers and mere glitter in the eyes at certain scenes are strong enough to shoulder the entire movie.

The progression from a mentally devastated, good gestured loner to psychotic criminal Robin Hood is so Au natural, so progressing that you can see the change beginning from his eyes. Even when he kills a man brutally, he invites sympathy and empathy and not shock. His appearance at the chat show and the prelude to which including the imaginary segment wherein he appears as the studio audience, are all heartwarming. The entire piece was so well woven and enacted that it does not look like a scene from a cinema but you feel like real people talking and reacting. That sentence- you have never stepped outside your studio" was powerful enough, to sum up, everything that Arthur wanted to tell the famous chat show host, seamlessly played by ever-charming Robert De Niro.

Zazie Beets as his building neighbor had an impressionable presence too.

In spite of his heinous acts, you don't feel repulsed by Arthur. You feel sad. His delusions don't disgust you but make you feel sorry and empathize. And if there is an iota of feeling that tells you to stand by weaklings, then the movie deserves the Oscar and Joaquin Phoenix- already the best actor of the year.

You feel so bad for the misery that you want to offer help to anyone like him. But then you get worried about the cynical consequences. And then you wonder about the sorry state of medical help/counsel. But as the film narrated- the city was in dire shape and hence it burned to rise again. 

Another beautiful aspect of the film was his premises. The film is set around 70-80s [if am not mistaken] and it does represent that vintage era. From the city to dirty subways to Wayne House,  to the downtown apartment everything represents the Cinematic universe it is set in. 

Joker and World Mental Health day

Sheer coincidence or meticulous planning, that JOKER released around World Mental health day? Whichever, it may be a noteworthy gesture to further reinforce the world about mental health and counsel. I hope this film takes the cause a few notches ahead and inspires people to take stock of this wide-spreading issue. The film briefly talks about child abuse, social division and deep-seated depression/ mental trauma. I would not call mental illness a disease but a deficiency that needs to be tackled. If we grow as conscious towards it as we are towards pulse polio or vaccinations, the trauma could move towards the state of solution. maybe.

However, I do not see it coming when I realized how the entire crowd at the Ahmedabad multiplex was laughing off on the poor midget's misery in a scene. Wonder if that was an intended comic relief, shot within a sinister, in a no humorous film. Or is it just how we see things?


Numerounity Verdict

So we loved the performances, applauded the release around World Mental Health Day, and admired the artwork. How about the film? 

Without giving away a lot about the film, the film is the story of how Arthur Fleck, the small-time clown artist turns into one of the most compelling villains of the Batman universe- Joker. The movie retells the philosophy and metamorphosis of the Joker. How Arthur who lived with his delusional mother Penny Fleck copes with his real and delusional identity.


The story in the first half may appear like an old Bollywood film with greys of "Woh Chokri" starring Pallavi Joshi. Yeah, it gave that vibes. However, the film picks peak potency in the second half which is more compelling, pulsating and moving. 

The film did not make me feel disturbed cause it stated a lot obvious. However, it was heavily aligned towards the darker side. The film is so dark that when the normal and do good characters like hospital record room clerk [played by Brian Henry] comes, you start doubting their integrity and ups your sympathy for Arthur. [though the scene was another powerful scene for me in the whole movie] The film made me wonder if the violence or turning an outlaw is the only redemption? 

A theory that I do not, however, agree to. And it is fine as long as it was only about the story of the Joker's life. However, the first half of the film is quite slow and like I mentioned, cliche. The second part is when the action happens. If the first half is a typical 80s Bollywood fare, the second half is typical 90s Hollywood fare. With the truth about Arthur's existence beginning to unearth, you breathe a sigh that like a legendary Bollywood masala, is not the wronged son of Wayne. 

But do I think that the film is a masterpiece? a Film that will unearth a new psychic intensity? Well, not for me. I have been there and seen that. What was astounding and novel for me? Well, the brilliant performance by Joaquin Phoenix and his happy dance. Also, do not miss the opening scene wherein Arthur Fleck hooks his fingers inside the corners of his mouth and pull it in a simultaneous smile, grimace, and pathos, in front of the mirror. Powerful indeed! 

Go watch this movie if you have not seen already. Though ensure to eat before the film cause I lost my appetite while watching this film. All I needed was lots of water to drink throughout. 

PS: I plan to watch again 'The Dark Knight" for Heath Ledger tonite. Not that I want to compare performances. Maybe. But I just wanted to watch it while seeing the JOKER l[2019] last night. 

I would like to rate the movie 3.5/5

Would I watch another movie with Joaquin Phoenix as a Joker? yes off course. Heard that he is now the official Joker. And it would be interesting to see how he takes the legacy ahead.

Picture sources: google image 

Dream Girl Film Review Starring Ayushmann Khurana.



Once Upon a telephonic time of late 2019, there was a young graduate in Mathura who will impersonate legendary mythological characters like Sita and Radha in cultural plays. He was gifted with an ability to speak both in male as well as a female voice.

Every morning when he wakes up and goes out of his house, he would be greeted by fans across who would touch his feet and seek his blessings, fully knowing that he is an actor. Still, he could not find himself any job in the city [notwithstanding the feet touching fan following] and continue to play female mythological characters wherein he would be rewarded with the highest remuneration.

And then one day he meets a girl at her grandfather's funeral with full blow-dried hair-brush kissed hair and full makeup and falls in love. He starts stalking her and wins her over a song and dance sequence.

In spite of the great economic difference in a city where women from a powerful house can eat bhajiyas near-dead body but cannit go to Ghat. Yet Nobody in her family bothers to ask his occupation or source of income. How Rosy love is!

So our boy finds a job at Faridabad based "sex chat call center", impersonating an ever absconding tele-caller and wooing people across the NCR [From a well-behaved Gujjar boy to a poetically inclined honest constable to a dairy rearing virgin boy and apparently his own father without recognizing his voice. Sahi hai!

And then comes the real tyranny that a street smart boy who can give big lectures on Hindu-Muslim wedding, to woman empowerment but never realizes that her sorry his caller could fall in love with her. Nor did he bothered to take this with his employer who time to time rewards him with money, car and smartwatches. Phew! only to become a villain in the end. A stupid villain who in bid to expose the resigning employees ends up exposing his business. 


And what happens to his fiancee? She learns the truth, surveys the call-center and lectures the owners all within one scene to come terms with her lover boy. Cause if fidelity is not guaranteed at least phone sex will be free. 

In the end, everyone dances to a local number and a Punjabi number and all set well. The boy goes jobless again, playing female mythological characters at local events, publicly offending and breaching his employers' contract that was signed but was never put in any place. Trash Trash!

--------

It is not that everything is wrong with Dream Girl. It has lot of right elements like impressive star performers like Ayushman Khurana, Vijay Raaz, Annu Kapoor among others. Some of the interesting sequences and a gem of the storyline. However, the film reduces mostly to gags and dialogues than the screenplay.  

There is a scene wherein to withdraw his father from Pooja's syndromes, Ayushman Khurana impersonates a burqa-wearing woman and demotivates his father bringing the Hindu-Muslim angle. But in the next scene, he goes overboard about trying to eliminate the difference that he created firsthand. In the next scene he drinks and admires his father for his abstinence but a scene later he again starts admonishing his father from the thought of remarriage. 

Apparently, the makers wanted everything and end up making the film as khichdi. Had some of these actors not present in the film, it could have easily been labeled as B grade cinema. The script has many red flags and sexist jokes that you will find the whole theatre bursting in laughs. The comedy is overtly sexist, unlike Chichore where the jokes were explicit yet funny. The Mathura setting looked so forced in unlike his previous movies like Badhaai ho, DLKH. Also, I wonder, for a crime at Faridabad, how come a cop at Mathura was booked for investigation?

Among the songs- tere liye dil ka telephone is impressive and rest all is passive. 

Better luck next time.

Numerounity Rating: 2.5/5

Chichore is Caricaturist Part-Time Fun

When you hear a movie titled as "Chhichore" [Cheapster] what do you think it would be? 

A street-style film like Rangeela, Lafangey Parinde, ABCD or even a Munnabhai MBBS. 

Who would name a film as spunky as this, only to present a concoction of college-based sports day film mixed with "I am the main lead, watch me making faces"?

And how did their tagline "Kutte ki dum, tedi ki tedi" fir in the film?

Well, read more to know more.

Chichore- Film Review

I do not know which is more flawed? The story or the storytelling? Or both?

The formula is a successful concoction of College Life mixed with Underdogs Achievers mixed with Life Philosophy. Basically a lot of 3 idiots + SOTY + Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander [JJWS] + Munnabhai.

Well, Chichore is just all that yet not as entertaining. It is full of jokes that you will definitely laugh on especially the ones featuring ever spunky- Varun Sharma as Sexa. There are others like Acid [Naveen Polisheety] and Danda [Ranjan Raaj AKA the affable Meena from Kota factory] giving breathable-liveable moments through the film. 

But someone please tell me what happened to Sushant Singh Rajput? I wonder why was he trying to behave like a la Varun Dhawan? His acting looked too forced [as if I am gonna live my Champak bhumia nahi, what was the name- Rancho moment] and the constant need to be the main focus in all the scenes. Isko dekho yeh hai film ka main lead- sarv gunn sampann! इसे देखो यह है फिल्म का मैन हीरो, सर्व गुण सम्पन्न 

Oh yes, I had that feeling exactly. he was too much on your face. Especially when you wanted to see more of other performers like a very impactful Prateik Babbar, toughie Derek played by Tahir Raj Bhasin, refreshingly interesting alcoholic Bewda, Sundar [Tushar Pandey] and the badly tagged as Choocha yet bringing smiles- Varun Sharma as Sexa. But the movie revolved and revolved around Sushant Singh Rajput who I believe was a TV sensation with his Pavitra Rishta. Yet he looked like a forced, caricaturish father here.

Oh, I forgot to mention the charming Shraddha Kapoor here who looked pretty as a doll and did her as minuscule part better than her male counterpart. Damn they made her the mother of a teenager. But THank God she still looked believable and stunning unlike all the other actors whose makeup artist had an obsession with "bald hair". 

The bald hair, ugly look obsession was such an imposition that when I first saw the posters, I thought this is a con-film and all of them are playing "con-artist". Alas, isse toh SOTY nikalna tha. [इसे तो स्टूडेंट ऑफ़ द ईयर निकलना था।]  


The film had some really cool, fun moment beginning from college counters [Saanand Verma at his best] to the hostel to GC matches wherein they do different "Tikdam" to get their goals achieved. However, the son-father part was way too forced. No efforts were taken to build that up. It was like writing in the cinematic reel wall that this will be next scene- son won't pass, will commit suicide, the father will do a casual Sexa-talk,  and all that expected run of the mill screenplay. 

Well, Chichore is a move where you like antagonist more than the protagonist. And am sure that a lot of you must have waited for the aged Pratiek Babbar to come in. Oh, what a voice man! Prateek Babbar as Reggie was awesome, and in spite of low footage, less screentime role, he shone marvelously. 


Overall, it looked like the makers first were making a complete college fun-rom-com, 3 idiots+JJWS and somewhere down the path, they took a path less traveled but yet a hot formula- social messaging. The film looks as disjointed to me. They unnecessarily patched plots [like the divorce and reunion] without stitching it well.

If only the narration looked better than the overdone straight from AD magazine home of Anni, the film could have worked for me. 

The only thing that worked for me is the ensemble cast and all the light moments during their flashback hostel/college timeline. My best moment in the film ended when a victorious looking Bewda [Saharsh Kumar Shukla] gives his 2 pointers to his opponent. After that, it was all a dull cursory.

I have to watch some of the TVF content like Kota Factory or Meri family again to feel better. Have you seen them? If not, go watch. #Notsponsored 

Numerounity Rating
For humor, I will give 5/5 but overall it will be 2/5 stars.

Would I watch again?
Only for comic relief on fast forward mode.


Should you watch?
One-time but fewer expectations.

Let me know if you want Khanna Aunty to Review this film!



Mission Mangal : When Women Went To Mars

Sriharikota, Science, And Life Lessons

Sriharikota was a chapter in my school Hindi textbook. It was one of those chapters which if I remember, I was least interested to read. I knew I could pass my exams without having interest in that chapter. And so did my teacher maybe, cause in that format no one tried to make it interesting for students like me either.

Years after when this Andhra Pradesh based space station launched India/World's first Mars craft successfully into the Mars orbit, I felt proud for one moment and then got back to my life as usual. You see I was never into physics, Astrophysics or science as much.

My interest in science grew recently, not as a professional but while carrying a lot of household activities. Different strokes for different folks.

Why Science Needs To Meet Art: Mission Mangal The Film

And Then some filmmakers decided to make a film called- Mission Mangal.

I was still not as excited and parked it aside. I felt it would be just another Bollywood's way of encashing on greater human beings and their achievement, which would end in song-dance and hero-worship routine. [Man, I was more excited to watch Kalank before it released].



Yesterday, I watched this film and would love to share my views for those who want to know and open for exchanging ideas and thoughts. 



While the film may have its own flaws like stereotyping few characters, unnecessary Jhadu song or whatsoever. I would like to accredit them as metaphors and stop at that.

We all knew that MOM/ Mangalyan was a pathbreaking success and at the end of the film, all will be well. What I, and possibly you too were interested to know - was the journey. How they did it? I went with half-filled, half-open mind and came back thirsty for more.

The journey was not devoid of speed breaker but then we know that speed breakers or bumpers are there for a reason. In this film, they came as beautiful metaphors cause hardcore inner workings of a space station may act as roadblocks for many probable audiences who also want some entertainment in the movie. [Case in point could be my maid who for no reason abandoned her 12th class exam/qualification. I realized my push and offer to help may not push her as much Super 30 could. So when I asked her to watch the film to decide, her first question was- Do they have songs, humor and other entertainment factors or no? otherwise, she would not be interested in watching it even if it is sponsored. you got it?]. So for much larger masses, I am willing to sacrifice my 10-20 minutes of vagaries inside a meaningful cinema, like I let go of the noisy family that sat behind us, continuously disturbing with loud noises, chit-chats, wailings, and jumping children [wait for my cinema etiquette blog; a long time in the making]

Mission Mangal: Cinematic Science and Art
What is intriguing and re-establishing is the power of cinema as a medium. How a well-made movie can influence the mind. I am not getting into story-telling or the science as I am not the subject matter expert or educationally qualified. I feel what formal education could not teach me, life started igniting the learning curve. Furthermore, how a well-made commercial film could still enforce learning to those who are open to it, any time, any age.

After the splendid Super 30 [A film that I loved most in recent times and felt that it echoed my sentiments too], Mission Mangal is a good watch. If 10 kids get inspired after watching this film, we may get more Mangalyans. A better way to use taxpayer's money than Bofors, ZZZ securities, Honda City for MLAs. I wished if someone made such films when I was still selecting my career. Better late than never. 

If the film could influence someone like me who is about to hit her 40s, I wonder how well is it going to impact the young minds? I really felt intrigued and now quite keen to read more about The Mars Craft, the scientist, and Sriharikota. Even though it is not a necessity for me to pass any school exam or prove my worth to anyone. It is my selfish hunger for knowledge. Learning has no age. 

Good job, makers. I did feel the thrust watching the PSLV gearing for launch. After Super 30, another film that I want everyone to see. Cause you can make money by making films like Grand Masti but making films to ignite hearts and celebrate achievements is a brave/noteworthy attempt. And I feel, it literally paid off well.



The Performances

The biggest hero of this film was definitely the ISRO and the then PM Mr. ManMohan Singh Who Announced this Mission. I am a little disappointed to not find any mention of him in the film. However, it had Modiji further breaking down the cost for cine-goers.  Shri ManMohanSinghJi,  ISRO - Indian Space Research Organisation and all those who worked on this mission, salute to you!

Cinematically speaking- I applaud all - starting from the writers, directors including Mr. Jagan Shakti who apparently discussed this idea with leading hero Akshay Kumar, to the actor himself, Stupendous Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha [finally a meaningful role for her], a pleasure to watch Sharman Joshi, Kirti Kulhari and all other actors including the ever superlative Dalip Tahil who in spite of his cinematically grey shade was impressive.

But two not so well-known actors that enjoyed most watching were Nithya Menon and Kannada actor Dattatreya. Speaking of which, my most memorable scene from the film was when he risks his life to help a woman, teach a lesson to an estranged husband [no plotting or OTT scheming like Hindi films. Just a chota sa jhatka jor se]

Another favorite scene when Prof Rakesh helps Nithya Menon's character to come out of her dilemma and provides her a lifetime opportunity to not just become a mom but a Mars Mom. I heard some of the critics found it offensive. On the contrary, I found it glorious and progressive. Asks the women who face workforce bias due to marriage and pregnancy and in spite of capabilities are side-lined. This dialogue gave me hope for some change. Kudos!

Akshay Kumar looked refreshingly fresh and with lesser stunts. [Hope that he cuts them a little more next time but then he was instrumental to bring this film and let's applaud that]

So overall, Mission Mangal is well-made, an important yet entertaining lesson in the form of cinema that we should all watch. And watch more than just once. 

PS: I spent more INR per KM in Ahmedabad to watch this film. Hope Uber pricing team too watch this film and do not kill us too much with surge pricing 


So when watching a film is not only about the cost of tickets but the cost of travel [exceeds for 

ppl with [limited mobility like me], cost in-cinema food/beverage [high priced low-quality snacks]

why are we complaining about one additional song in the film?




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