Monday, November 3, 2008

The Great Indian Cultural Show

So, the word is out that we are going to have a Diwali Event in our school with different people showing their talents and different cultures coming together to create a rocking night integrated with singing, dancing and other performance to celebrate culture of India.

I got a chance to revisit the past and dwell in the pleasant memories. Both in U.S. and in India (yes I have always been a part for all these circus events in most possible ways), I have witnessed some interesting reactions and chain of events that follow after the first word about a cultural/talent event is out. So, I am putting forward a satirical view of a typical scenario that occurs during every such event, especially in U.S.:-
  • No sooner the event is mauled over; there will be one enthusiastic guy/girl with a sparkle in the eyes and ambition, of showing Indian culture to the world, only rivaled by the one possessed by Mamata Baneerjee to save farmers of Singur. This typical creature will always seem like smoking special kind of weed because he/she will be living in a world of his/her own to neglect the lack of enthusiasm of the people forming the group in particular and community in general.

  • The most common discussion will be on kind of theme for the show and most people will come up with the “Traditional Theme”, showing different dances from different prominent states, which is as fresh as Indian food cooked couple of days ago.

  • Not to be left behind, one particular character, in a typical “eureka” moment will come up with a “Fusion Theme”, which is as innovative as a romantic song around trees in a bollywood love story.

  • There will be this particular character, preferably as boy who would be in even before the event is officially declare and all along keep on mentioning his story about how he played Ravan in one of the cultural events during his school days in India and how he never needed a make-up for it. If you squeeze him more, you will be enlightened to know that he only agreed to become Ravan because he wanted to have a chance to flirt dance with the college stunner girl who played sita but ended up dancing with Mandodari and her friends.

  • There will always be one guy, who shows the relation between his state of mind and reality by insisting on adding a bhangra step to the hip-hop section because he had seen a group doing this bhangra step at talent show during a social gathering at a place in old Delhi.

  • Without fail, like an obnoxious weed, there will be few guys who would want to participate for only one sole reason: to mingle with the chicks. This particular creature will be never interested in the proceedings but will volunteer if the matter of their fantasy is doing it.

  • All those wanna be Farah Khans and Ganesh Hegdes, the self-promoted choreographers, will be knocking their heads to create something, which according to them will be the next creative thing after “The Mona Lisa” painting.

  • Then, there will be one person who seems to have a tag “I’m an A-hole” written over his forehead. He will show up during the rehearsals for “expert” opinion and just like the smell after a fart would never leave.

  • There would be lot of different interesting characters like some guy with dance skills as good as sunny deol wanting to be the main character, some girl even shy of holding a guys hand as if holding a guys hand was the ultimate sin of modern world, somebody insisting to dance on traditional song (i.e. the song in his state language though the song may sound like a bhangra) etc.

I can keep writing but I have decided against it because I do not want to sound self-referential anymore I think you got the point.

Though, I would like to reveal my artistic side as a gesture to show my appreciation of you for reading this article. I will put forth some of the themes I had thought of but knowing that they would be rejected due to unappreciative nature of the people involved towards my artistic ideas. Here are few examples:
  • Setting contemporary Ramayan in U.S. and focusing mainly on Ravan (remember, we would already have an experienced guy playing this) and how he wrecked havoc in the world. But I think the chief guest and other guests will be offended as they would think we copied George Bush.

  • Like they use to show about freedom fighters in past, a theme on the constructive role played by our modern politicians like Raj Thackeray and Mamta Banerjee but I think they would not allow showing blood on stage.
    Portraying few Bollywood blockbuster film’s story one by one on stage but that will make the show repetitive (read again if you didn’t get it).

Apart from these, I have decided that if somebody comes up with the idea of state-wise traditional dance, I would insist to include the dances of entire 28 states and 7 union territories.

P.S. 1: Disclaimer to all the participants of the ISALB Diwali Cultural Show: This article was return couple of days before the first meeting. Any comparison to any real character is purely co-incidental. In other words, if you think some of the characteristics have been seen during the event then I think I should start predicting future.

P.S: 2: Please do not ask me which category I fall in; you can judge from all these detail description itself. Those who liked my article and had fun reading, please show your appreciation by replying in comments section.

P.S 3: After the event, I will try to upload the video of my participation and please note that I would not be responsible for any post-video trauma caused to you. Do not tell me that I did not warn you.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Karzzzz - Movie Review

Himesh is back with a vengeance and without a cap.

If you think it is the re-make of Subhash Ghai’s Super-hit Karz, think again. This is Himesh Reshammiya’s movie. In his first movie, he played himself (Himesh Reshammiya, the rock star). In this movie, he attempted to do something “different”, he played Monty, who is a rock star. Same Difference? You bet.

The story is set in Kenya where Ravi Verma (Dino Morea) a millionaire wins a property case against an evil man Sir Juda (Gulshan Grover). Sir Juda strikes a deal with kamini (Urmila Matordkar) who makes Ravi Verma fall in love with her, marry her and then kills him by jumping out of the plane with the only parachute when there is a technical fault in the plane. She and Sir Juda then gobbles all the money and property and becomes princess kamini and kicks Ravi Verma’s mother and sister out of the house. After few years, Ravi Verma is reborn as Monty and during one of his mediocre song he starts playing the signature tune which he used to hear in his past life and starts seeing the flashes of his previous life and he gets determined to find more about his previous birth. In between, he gets enough time to meet a girl Tina (Shweta Kumar) who in true appreciation of his rock star image takes him as his duplicate. The story keeps true to the original movie except the Himesh factor. Whenever Himesh is around, girls go weak on their knees, people stop doing their work and his friends keep on saying “never-said-before” dialogues like “Monty you are a rockstar”. The songs are bombarded at a regular interval and they are truly a notch down than the hit songs from himesh we are used to. When Tina goes back to Kenya, Monty follows her and meets Kamini. He then comes closer to kamini and convinces her that he is her husband by telling her things only her husband would have known (like “Tum brush kiye bina morning tea piti ho”, their suhaag raat details which unfortunately are not told to audience). But he maintains that he does not remember how he died, which is obvious because the man who remembers common, simple things like morning tea can forget shocking incidents like his death. This small “clever” twist is in trend with providing twists in the remake to bring shock value to the audience which was started by Don and unlike the later is total useless and dampens the overall impact of the film. The truth that he knows he is Ravi Verma should have been hold for the climax. Then he finds his mother and sister whom Kamini had claimed to be dead and then true to original, narrates his tale in the song sequence to expose Kamini.

The film consolidates the argument that though Satish Kaushik is a tremendous actor he is a mediocre director, who oscillates between Roop ki Rani Choron ka Raja and Tere Naam. Though, this is not a path breaking cinema but over all treatment of the film, except few instances, is mediocre. May be he was compelled to consider it as Himesh’s movie instead of remake of Karz. There is no chemistry between the lead actors as well as the characters are not properly developed. There are no tension, romance, and suspense elements in required doze, so the important values for entertainment are missing. Urmila is competent but looks the same as when he kills Ravi Verma to when Monty is born and returns as a young guy in form of Himesh. The new girl is total mis-match and what is with the use of voice of dubbing artist for newcomers. Why cannot the director/producer invest time in giving proper voice training to the newcomers or why cannot they just select newcomers with good voice? Alas, we forget that she is a star-kid (daughter of director/producer Indra kumar). If you consider the past performance then himesh has improved a lot. But that is when you consider him as himesh, otherwise, he hyper-acts. It is easy for him to play rock star but it is hard to digest the action sequence where he jumps high in the air and punches the goons. In passing though he extends his mithun-da sequence. In his first movie if he attempted mithun-da style dance, here, though voluntary or involuntary is debatable, he tries to speak dialogues like him. Hear carefully the dialogue (“Yeh Mohobbat bhi kya cheez hai…..”) before that title song, Ek haseena thi. Danny Denzongpa acts well as kabir who keeps on quoting the famous dialogues from old films. Rohini Hatnagadi does okay job as Ravi Verma’s mother but she has given far better performance then this.

The film stays true to the original except few “clever” twists and changes. So the film is based in Kenya/South Africa instead of India. And instead of killing Ravi Verma by running over and over by car, kamini kills him by crashing the plane. When this scene was going on I was wondering how would they show the plane later when kamini tries to kill monty same way as there is no way you can try to run over a person by plane over and over again but I doubted the director. He shows his skills by showing urmila fly the plane and attempt to kill himesh by running him over again and again. This scene sums up the efficiency of the whole film.

Though one thing you should give credit to himesh for whatever he has achieved today is by himself and his hard work unlike other star kids who still cannot act. Though I was fan of his music before he became rock star I am not excited to see him as an actor. And you can already see the adverse effect he this acting career has on his music. It is better he goes back to producing music instead of singing and acting. He has an enormous talent as a musician and should use it for good.

So give it a pass unless you are one of the following:

  • Fan of Himesh Reshammiya, the rock star (this movie is must).
  • If you want to know how to look young even in old age (do more research on kamini).
  • If you want to know how to not make a remake.
  • If you want to see himesh without a cap, shweta kumar without a voice and very old (in terms of age) urmila without white hair.