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Few Lines that I Penned

October 14, 2019 0 Comments


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.

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JOKER is Joaquin Phoenix All The Way : Film Review

October 11, 2019 , 0 Comments

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 

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Dream Girl Film Review Starring Ayushmann Khurana.

September 25, 2019 0 Comments



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

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Chichore is Caricaturist Part-Time Fun

September 12, 2019 0 Comments

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!



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Mission Mangal : When Women Went To Mars

August 17, 2019 0 Comments

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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Drought And Deluge: Conflict and the Solution

July 13, 2019 , 0 Comments

Drought And Deluge




Contrasting images…. 

The bizarre fact is that both images are not only from the same state of Maharashtra but also are contemporary. One side Mumbai is facing deluge and on the other side, there is a drought-like condition in Marathwada region wherein people don't even have sufficient water for daily needs. Ask anyone and they will promptly reply that the solution is rainwater harvesting. However, there lies the issue -


a) Who is responsible for creating infrastructure for rainwater harvesting? 

and 
b) What is the most effective solution? 

Let's deal with each question:

Who is responsible for creating infrastructure for rainwater harvesting?

In the typical bureaucratic style of functioning, Government departments issue directives that all new housing societies will be required to develop a rainwater harvesting facility. The government here is merely shifting the responsibility to the citizens. While in reality, considering the situation, it is the government which should undertake large scale water harvesting measures.

This automatically takes us to the next question that is “What is the most effective solution?”

In my humble view, such directives to housing societies are grossly ineffective and merely hogwash considering that millions of gallons of rainwater are getting wasted and pushed out to sea. How much water can a few of the housing societies save? A droplet in the ocean. Some readers will parrot the famous saying "boond boond se banta sagar". However, given the condition, substantially larger and impactful steps need to be taken. We need to ensure that a limited amount of fresh water is pushed out to the sea be it rainwater or river water.

Hence am suggesting two of the many possible large scale solutions which government should swiftly undertake:

1. Connect Mumbai's stormwater drains with large storage facility

Mumbai's most unique infrastructure amongst Indian cities is its widespread out stormwater drain network. They are meant to pump rainwater out to the sea. Propose that the stormwater drain be connected to a pipeline and the rainwater (post-initial few showers of rain) is pumped to a new large lake outside the city. A basic treatment the facility shall be created at the proposed lake and thereafter the water be pumped across to drier parts i.e. Marathwada where water can be taken to the existing dams or new lake can be created to store the water.

While many will find this quite elaborate but it certainly pales in front of the water scarcity and projects like Kaleshwaram (wherein we are pumping river water).

2. Collecting River Water (Ultra Long Term Solution) but we need to start now – Point in the case in Kalpasar Project



‘Kalpasar’ means a lake that fulfills all the wishes. The word originating from Hindu mythological ‘Kalpa Vriksha’– wishing tree.
This project will resolve four vital problems of the State of Gujarat which are water, electrical power, road-rail transport and development of ports.


Kalpasar project aims at the creation of a freshwater coastal reservoir in the Gulf of Khambhat by the construction of a dam connecting the east and west bank of the Gulf. In the reservoir, the runoff from Sabarmati, Mahi, Dhadar, and Narmada will be stored, together with the waters from the Saurashtra rivers discharging into the Gulf of Khambhat. The stored waters are to be used for irrigation, domestic and industrial water requirements in the Saurashtra region. Kalpasar is considered the evident solution for solving on the short as well as on the long term the threatening drinking and irrigation water problems in Saurashtra.

A 10 lane road link will also be set up over the dam, greatly reducing the distance between Saurashtra and South Gujarat.

Once the Gulf is closed, water levels within the reservoir can be controlled while the tidal fluctuation outside the reservoir continues and, hence, can be harnessed for the generation of tidal energy.
In addition to freshwater storage and tidal power generation, Kalpasar also aims at land reclamation, transportation improvements, and fisheries development.
The cost of the project is estimated at ₹90,000 crore (as of 2017).

Project history:
Gulf of Khambhat was identified as a promising site for tidal power generation by UNDP Expert, Mr. Eric Wilson in the year 1975. Successive governments were then presented in details the possibility of a project, aptly named Kalpasar Project by its visionary Dr. Anil Kane, who conceptualized it in the 80s as a feasible project. In 1988-89 a reconnaissance report was prepared for the dam across the Gulf of Khambhat. The report concluded that assuming sound foundation conditions, the closure of the Gulf was technically feasible. Studies are still going on and the length of the proposed dam is reduced and the tidal power component is dropped.

In 2004, Narendra Modi, the then chief minister of Gujarat, had inaugurated work on Kalpasar Dam project. 

Sadly no progress has been made and the project languishes. After 21 pre-feasibility reports, 10 on-going studies and 19 more in the pipeline, Gujarat’s Kalpasar project yet to see the light of day. Sadly State Government has made the budget allocation of only Rs 130 Cr in the recent budget of FY20 towards the Project.

It is clear that successive Governments have shown apathy towards the project considering the longer time frame and large capital outlays. Only wish that considering BJP government both at Center & State and a Gujarat CM, this project were given due importance. There are very few projects, which can meet the water requirement of the entire state.

Some will question the selection of the proposal/project that has been shared here. I can only state these are only two of the many large scale projects that can be undertaken to save water – every drop of water.

In the end, I will reiterate that we now need to undertake large scale, long term projects before it is too late. Just imagine, if Kalpasar project were complete by now and one of the generally arid states was water sufficient? Just imagine!!

 Numerounity
_________

PS: This is an original article, any copy or plagiarism is seriously condemned. Please take author's permission for any kind of reproduction or so. 

__________

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How I "Mind The Malhotras" ?

June 17, 2019 3 Comments

Mind The Malhotras on Amazon Prime


Happiness reached a mile when I saw a brand new show on Amazon Prime. I was so Gung ho about to see Mini Mathur back on screen and that too on a comic caper. When they entailed it is the show about a couple talking about their marital life on a shrink's chair, I was on the moon.

After all, after Made in heaven and Four More Shots, what less would you expect from India's favorite online streaming media. I wrapped all my plans and decided to watch the show right there, right then.

Halfway through the first episode, I felt the need to stop then and wait for my spouse to come home and watch together. I was getting greedy with so well weaved premises, the bubbling Mini Mathur and "just the perfect" Cyrus Sahukar. The cherry on the pie was the presence of my other onscreen persona- Sushmita Mukherji [The memorable Kitty].

I was quite elated about the show and as decided wrapped it all in almost 2 sittings. Finally a good watch for a not so TV person like me who may watch random content on YouTube or loop watch Big Bang theory first season repeatedly but still wouldn't download Game of Thrones. Cause I like smaller yet not so ambitious projects that come with more meat than the foofaraw. You know what I mean? It is alright.

So, how was my overall viewing experience of this brand new caper in town-  Mind The Malhotras?

I am sure while reading the above lines, you all must have felt a show up of the word "but". I was so excited to watch the show and all...BUT!

The dreaded "but". Well, the news is that there is no BUT in this review of mine. I liked the show, the premises, the lead actors and all. 

I found the show quite relatable, relevant and endearing. The house was beautiful, the characters were well-dressed and perfectly air-brushed, giving quite a few styling goals [not as much as MIH or 4MS though] 

No, no. MTM [Mind The Malhotras] had its own share of some chaos. A lot came through a Preity Zintaesque kinda Shefali Malhotra, who I felt started as the star of the show but soon took a second preference over the "bearing selling", bearing husband-father played by Cyrus Sahukar. Cyrus as the simple, unassuming, henpecked husband was quite a delight to watch.

So, what is special about this series? Indeed, the premises adapted [not build] on modern-day parenting, the invisible competition to be better than your own friends, the chemistry between mature couples and all that jazz makes MTM quite a refreshing watch.

A Comic Caper on Parenting 2.0

I loved the first episode so much that I began to doubt if this could be an original story. It appeared too good to be an original story. [well can't blame them, the kind of inspirations our high headed Bollywood draws, makes you as suspicious].

A hit on Google key and I learned that the series is an adaptation of a very popular Israeli show- La Famiglia, which I Have not seen but made a note to watch soon. 

I may or may not watch the original series but I indeed liked watching MTM. And if there would be a second season, I may tune it too on the day one. 

The overall ensemble including Jason De Souza [the adorable Yohan], Nikki Sharma and Anandita Pagnis who played Dia and Jia, and the psychiatrist Gulfam Rastogi played by Denzel Smith [with a great baritone and onscreen presence] were good and likable. 

Scenes to watch out For-

Watch out for the episode where Rish talks about his dreams of Capsicum or Rish and Shef playing good cop vs bad cop. 

Another scene when the couple discusses pink or baby pink with the doctor.

Even the scene when the family shoots for Tamma Tamma "Ahha" is quite hilarious and familiar. 


Numerounity Verdict

Mind the Malhotra on Amazon Prime is a refreshing, fun watch. It has its own share of clumsiness and bad execution in spite of a reference or the lead actors "trying too hard" to up the ante or production stereotyping. However, I still liked watching this one. Off course it is not as good the series I mentioned above, it still makes for a good watch.

Binge watching? Maybe yes. Or If I can suggest, watch it in 3 sittings.  

Numerounity Rating: 3.5 out of 5 

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The Tashkent Files Is A Must Watch Film on Shashtriji

April 25, 2019 , 2 Comments

Not Just A Movie but An Important Lesson in History for all

People talk passionately about Shahstriji's mysterious death, but no one cares to raise the issue. No one even cared to bring India's 2nd PM Lal Bahadur Shastriji's life and glory to the big screen ever, leave alone his mysterious death.

Kyunki yeh desh Gandhi ka hai, Nehru ka hai but the question arises- Shashtri ka kyu nahi? We accredit 2nd October for Mahatma Gandhi but not Lal Bahadur Shastri?

And for this reason, I admired Vivek Agnihotri, the director of this bold yet very balanced film- The Tashkent File.


The Tashkent File

TTF is a film raising a very important question- not just about the real contribution of India's 2nd PM who was a catalyst in India winning the war against Pakistan, the perpetrator of White Revolution, Green Revolution in India. The film demands a probe that never got fulfilled.


And you may wonder how come? Independent India's popular PM who had victory against Pakistan on his cap, goes for a peace treaty to a foreign country and comes home dead?

A PM dies, and nothing happens in the world. The country which boasts of democracy and independence, does nothing about it?


5 Reasons Why You would Love This Film?

I liked this film. It is indeed a one-time watch. I have compiled all my reasons to watch this film in one video. You can watch this video below or on my YouTube Channel.


The Metaphors That You Cannot Ignore


Like I mentioned in my Video, that there are few metaphors in the movie that you have observed or noted. Some of them were quite strong that I couldn't avoid noticing. They may be planned or no. I thought I must share with you!


1) The Aided History now on Wheelchair: Pallavi Joshi who played the historian and biographer of the best-selling book on the late PM is shown aided to a wheel-chair. Her book is as rigid or limited as her own perceptions. She fails to acknowledge or record any fact other than what she coined in her book.

2) The Failed Committees- When the Committees are formed, what are they formed for? How do you select committee members? How you play the agenda meritoriously? Or you have your own agenda? Off course. The director minced no words in acknowledging it. Watch for the ending/conclusive speech by Mithun C in the film. 

3) The historian smoking beedi- I did not understand why Pallavi Joshi was shown smoking and that too smoking a beedi. Well, this is the question that filmmakers can answer. What I felt that Beedi is a sign of extreme addiction wherein a beedi contains more amount of nicotine than cigarettes yet are cheaper. So does it signified the sorry state of historians or their urge to infuse something stronger as this into their senses to live with the history they are asked to? think!



4) The lost voice of truth seeker Editor Bakshi. The film suggests how the renowned editor had to flee to save his life when he thought he found the truth. His feeble voice was suggestive of the downtrodding. Werre those planned metaphors or just bouts of some over-fertile thinking.

5) The scoop writer turns objective. Shweta Basu played a low moral journalist who ruined her stance for fake news but when she comes face to face with a naked truth, she could not stay away hogging the publicity it got her but she actually goes finding more about it.



6) The Responsible Media: The jarring media that still sells trash in name of reporting and story of truth in the name of truth. Unfortunately, there are plenty of them and how their voices are governed by their motives.


The film was a mix of art and history. Off course it had its share of unwanted creativity, but they were brief in nature. Ignore unnecessary if you can and, focus on larger pictures. What I liked most about this film is it cleverly touches all subjects/topics from secularism to pseudo-secularism to racism to powerlessness.

In one scene, the retired judge candidly admits how the loss of position often results in loss of identity. Cleverley signaling how our motives and meanness are often a result of the deep seeded insecurities. Insecurities that leads to terrorism, unfair means, injustice and everything else.

You must watch this film. Go with an open heart and keep the trashy verdicts aside. Think if only India had not accepted trashy verdicts, would Shastriji's death still remain an unresolved mystery? 

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Badla is Trying Too Much!

March 15, 2019 0 Comments

Critics Review and Badla

When I first saw the trailer, I felt it's going to be a good suspense thriller.

After reading and watching the critics review, I could not wait to watch this film. After all, I love a good suspense thriller.

Alas, Badla is an old coke in a new bottle. I would not say wine for the obvious reason.  



After sharing a stupendous lawyer-client relation in the movie- Pink. It was quite given that this time they might be teaming up together but against each other. I mean how would you justify a title called "Badla" when the trailer suggests that a lawyer with 100% win record is defending a woman accused of killing her lover.

The film starts on a good note. With Amitabh Bachchan trying to assure his client to entrust him with minutest details. You can sense a lot of sharp, across the table, constructive interrogation. And you like the lawyer's straight-jacketed approach. You like the "on your face" confrontation which leads you directly to the film without playing unnecessary to the gallery.

If only, it could sustain that momentum. 

Taapsee Pannu AKA Naina Sethi is unconvincingly a successful businesswoman who is cheating on her husband with a photographer. She looks pretty but seems to be trying too hard as everyone else excluding Amrita Singh. Amrita Singh is a natural charmer and her role of Rani is super expressive and emotive even in the scenes when she doesn't even speak a word. 

Sujoy Ghosh tried to create tension and grip. Alas, it didn't last as much as it did in Kahaani. Kahaani was a tight script. Kahaani 2 was insipid. This movie is another dud. It is like you pay a premium amount to watch Sujoy Ghosh's next film after Kahaani, and you get Kahaani 2. 

All the amazing background score, cinematography and all makes no sense if the storyline is weak. 

I really want to ask director Sujoy Ghosh if he had not heard of CDRs [a permanent in crime Patrol every night] that he had to stretch the story this far from the prosthesis to the synthetic session. And that too when you have the entire inspiration or the original open in front of you to refer. 

The movie is totally based on the Spanish Movie- An invisible Guest [You can find it on Netflix] I am yet to see this film but am pretty sure it would be a better film. 


Do not get fooled by the exotic Glasgow cinematography and the very Hollywood like feel. The trailer looks great but the movie is equally disappointing. 

You may better watch Ting Tey strips to entertain. This one is pseudo suspense. Someone like me after 2 scenes understood the story. There was no suspense. Except for some strong performances by Amitabh Bachchand and Amrita Singh, the film has very less to offer.

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Luka Chuppi Movie Review


I paid Rs 500 plus to watch this movie, seating at the front most row, on a Saturday night. Yes, I  really loved the trailer and notwitstanding the critics review I thought if its running full houses must be a good film. 

Was this film worth the price? Well, you have to figure out from my review below.




It is my first film in Ahmedabad, and I went to the biggest mall around- Alpha One. But the seats were so clumsy that they should be removed or people sitting in the first row should be awarded food, drinks, and a pillow, so they can make use of the open space in front of them, kyunki the screen look so distorted from that angle.

It took me a while to adjust and I barely missed anything. 

Do not get carried away with my "pillow statement". The film was not that bad. In fact, it made us keep awake, waiting for the story to takeoff or entertain. Alas, the entire 1st half was wasted in that expectations. And rest of the thrill was killed by the ever useless commercial ads in between. If multiplex owners complain of piracy, they need to be mindful of not playing all those stupid ads during the break. 

Let's back to the review

The Story
Keeping abreast with the ongoing trend of stories in small town genre, the film is based at Mathura and Gwalior. The story is of two consenting lovers who get into a live-in relationship to decide whether they are compatible enough to marry. Who are these characters and whats' their personality is not explained in the film? It's like they just emerge from thin air, start working to bring the plot, execute and go back to their boxes as the pawns. There is little done to build their characters. 

The couple in order to experience the real rigamarole moves into an all furnished house with pickles and quilts, all in mint fresh conditions. Except for one discussion on dividing the duties, any other trace of household life is not seen. The sexual conducts were more hinted than life as usual but well that's how we see the live-in relationship. Don't we?

The film progresses once they decide to get married and move into the guy's parental house.



The Film

The starting is very insipid as if lead actors are trying to hard to fit a bill or unfit it. The first half is dull except for this one scene before the interval.


Comedy looks highly forced into. The gags are not funny even if they are very vyakti vishes or specific to that setting. Unfortunately, it doesn’t humor you, even when I decided to keep my brain outside the PVR box office.

Performances

That goes with stars as well. Karthik Aryan looks trying too hard sans his legendary monologue. His Guddu Shukla sweeps from UP to Bihar to MP but lands nowhere, Kriti Sanon had a better share but guess she did her Bitti better than the Rashmi. She does look pretty in the majority of the frames sans that heavily set hair which may begin to irritate sometime.

Aparshakti is the quintessential "different" friend of the hero, this time a Muslim. He has a very small role but he sails well. His casting is akin to Pankaj Tiwari who is also brought in to salvage the film, adding some humor but in spite of best efforts, sinks.

Pankaj Tripathi is a fab actor who is badly wasted in this film. Wish the director/makers tried to add more layers to add on his character rather than those garish pants and shirts.

Speaking of costumes, I could sense a lot of fashion styling and forced diction. Except for the character actors, the stars couldn’t fare it well.


Songs


Songs were plenty and went well with the story. Though I couldn’t register the songs in the first half, and baring one song do not have recall value of any other song. That one song was Laung Illachi which was again wasted at the wrong place.

Apart from this song, there were many other remixes in this movie, emphasizing the overall lackadaisical approach. 


The film had an interesting storyline but it lacked storytelling. I felt the screenplay should start from Guddu-Rashmi Romance and then building towards Najeem Khan's story and whole of the "live-in" relationship in India Brouhaha. But when the film intends to waste some good opportunities. there is little you can do. One was to trivialize the issue of "live-in" relationship.

The film is based on the premise of local people going against live in relation. But somehow setting that up failed or was not much impact full. For me, a good start enforces good sales in snacks but that too went missing here. As I just wanted to see the 2nd half and rush to the home.

It is not that the film was not funny. There were fewer funny moments. say 2 in the first half. One I mentioned above and the second time when I felt humoured was when a happy Guddu applies face pack before setting for his live-in relationship and a Bollywood Bidai geet playing in the background. Ideally it should have stopped at kitchen but they chose to stretch n dilute it.

Another funny moment was the in-room pheras were the shaadi is halted as the data plan gets over and the house has no wi-fi to offer.


What I Liked

There were a few different things that the makers tried and worked well. They were-

1) The struggle of a live-in couple trying to get married

2) The Middle brother angle wherein Vikas feels traumatized when his younger brother gets married while he is still undesirably single and had to suffer cause his younger brother gets married before him. However, looking at him you see no reason him being single since I was asked to keep brains out, hence.

3) The angst of the elder sister in law who wants her to devar to get married so she gets a helping hand for household chores.



Numerounity Verdicts

I had greater expectations from a movie from the makers of Stree, starring Kartik Aryan and other impeccable actors. I loved the trailer of the film more than the film. Well, this was my unbiased opinion after wtaching this film. Maybe I will like this movie better if watched again. Question is will I watch this film again?

You decide.

Numerounity


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