Archive for December, 2010

Its that time of the year again. The only time when we love making, reading and sharing lists. We decided to compile all the filmy lists and compare them. So here it is – all the year-ender lists . And any critic who puts I Hate Luv Storys and Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey in his/her list of  Top 10 films of the year, needs to stop reviewing films. Now.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV)

Top 5 – 1. Udaan 2. LSD  3. Peepli Live  4. Ishqiya  5. Robot

For the video, click here

Rajeev Masand ( CNN IBN)

Hits – 1. Udaan 2. LSD 3. Ishqiya 4. Peepli Live 5. Phans Gaye Re Obama & Do Dooni Chaar

Pits – 1. Anjaana Anjaani 2. No Problem  3. Action Replayy 4. Teen Patti 5. Raavan

For the video click here.

And for The Five Lessons We Learnt At The Movies this year – click here .

Raja Sen (Rediff)

Best Actors –  1. Ranver Singh 2. Rishi Kapoor 3. Anshuman Jha 4. Naseeruddin Shah 5. Nawazuddin Siddiqui 6. Satish Kaushik 7. Arshad Warsi 8. Ronit Roy 9. Pradhuman Singh 10. Shah Rukh Khan

For why and how, click here.

Best Actresses – 1. Vidya Balan 2. Neetu Singh 3. Anushka Sharma 4. Shruti 5. Katrina Kaif 6. Vishaka Singh 7. Amrita Puri 8. Aditi Vasudev

Click here for details.

Best Trailers – 1. Dabangg  2. Yamla Pagla Deewana  3. Road, Movie   4. Ishqiya  5. Yeh Saali Zindagi  6. Love Sex Aur Dhokha   7. Once Upon A Time In Mumbai   8. Tere Bin Laden  9. Peepli Live 10. Udaan.

To know why and how, click here

Film Soundtracks – 1. Ishqiya 2.  No One Killed Jessica 3. Love Sex Aur Dhokha 4. Aisha  5. Udaan For details, click here .

Sukanya Varma ( Rediff)

Best Films ( In no particular order) – Peepli Live. Ishqiya. Robot.  LSD .  Tere Bin Laden.  Pas Gaye Re Obama.  Udaan. Do Dooni Char. Band Baaja Baarat. Dabangg

For more, click here

Mayank Shekhar (Hindustan Times)

Golden Trophies – 1. Peepli Live 2. Do Dooni Chaar 3. Love Sex Aur Dhokha 4. Ishqiya 5. Udaan 6. Rajneeti 7. Tere Bin Laden / Phas Gaye Re Obama / Well Done Abba 8. Dabangg / Guzaarish / My Name Is Khan 9. Kartik Calling Kartik 10. Striker / Antardwand

To read in detail, click here

Best Of The Worst – 1. It’s A Wonderful Afterlife 2. Krantiveer 3. Knock Out 4. Mumbai To India 332 5. Teen Patti 6. Accident On Hill Road 7. Sadiyaan 8. Bum Bum Bole 9. Hiss 10. Dunno Y… Na Jaane Kyon. In details Click here

Namrata Joshi (Outlook) : And the one that touched the heart: Ab bhool gaye hain joote kahan utaare the…

For Liberalisation’s Children, click here and for a very personal recap, click here.

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) : Can you tell a story, Mr Fink? Can you make us laugh? Can you make us cry?” Onwards, to 2011.

Click here

Harneet Singh (Indian Express)Y: YRF – The return of the banner with the sleeper hit Band Baajaa Baaraat.

For  A to Z of Bollywood 2010.  Click here

Nikhil Taneja ( MTVIndia.com): WTF English of the Year – Shahid Kapoor’s attempts at tweeting

For more WTF Moments of The Year ( The Bad, The Ugly and The Good in 2 parts), click here and here.

And Best Reviewed film of the year ? Well, thats easy. Udaan. To see all the four stars rating, click here

VOTD : Sheila Ki Jawani – Chipmunks Version

Posted: December 28, 2010 by moifightclub in VOTD
Tags: , ,

Though we love Badnaam Munni more than Jawan Sheila, but this version had us ROFLOL.

Tip – Vaibhav Mehta

When i pinged Kartik Krishnan on GTalk yesterday, he told me has busy reading a new book. Film book ? Yeah. As always, i asked him if he could write a (recco) post and as always, he replied with a hmmmmm, which is a difficult expression to decipher. What to write about a book where every page is delicious ? Now that’s a genuine excuse, and difficult argument to win. So he wrote something and typed some excerpts from the book. Knowing him so well, I should have guessed it ( Click here to read Kundan Shah on Renu Saluja. And click here for  Guru Dutt on Classics and Cash) Typing out excerpts from a book may sound simple but is really a painstaking job. And is also a service for less privileged human beings who don’t have access to the book but are e-connected. And now his side of the story and more..

He asked me to ‘review’ this book written by Jai Arjun Singh (a superb writer-blogger who should write as frequently about cinema as literature – cos when he does – he nails it)

“Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro – Seriously Funny since 1983 – By Jai Arjun Singh” – click here to buy it

Now how does one try an encapsulate more than 250 pages devoted to the making of one of the oft quoted cult classic films of our times, in about 500 words ? How much trivia do we JBDY Bhakts know already, that we need a book to tell us ? What good could it possible tell which would be new ?

Turns out – Lots !!! My knowledge of the film is a measly 1% of what is there in the book. And I claimed to be one of the biggest JBDY bhakts among my circles-have even met Kundan Shah and tried to squeeze out maximum information out of him on the film. Clearly I’m wrong 😛

Trivias, Background history of the players, the director, writer, actors, scripting, NFDC, pre production, fights, troubles, ultra low budget shooting, post production, release & reviews, the legacy – it has it all – all summed up in an unputdownable read.

And when you read such a revelation – how do you write a post on it ?

May be stop endlessly raving about it and simply give some snippets of the book. May be hope that seduced by the ‘trailer’ of the book, people will go and buy it. Because at 188 bucks (film books normally cost Rs 500,800,1500 or more) this book is a steal. Highly Recommended. Cash on delivered to you doorstep in 3 days! Flipkart rocks!

So instead of a recco post, am transcribing quarter of a chapter here & there, hoping that this will contribute to the sales of the book. I hope I’m not offending the author of the book or the director.

Over to the book’s Intro –

The Artist as a Store Attendant (talks about the initial days of Kundan Shah- the humor streaks – the beginning transcribed below)

“Take this hypothetical situation”, Kundan Shah tells me at our first meeting in his Bandra office. “You want to write a book about this film I made years ago. So you call repeatedly and ask me to meet you and I keep putting you off, and you are getting fed up but you aren’t in any position to say anything. You’re the underdog in our relationship.”

“Then, finally, I do call you over at a very inconvenient time, say 10.30 at night. You travel a great distance to get here, but then find that I’m busy-I have people over. I brush you off with the words :”Hey listen, can you come later?”. It’s an inconsequential matter for me – your book isn’t going to make my 25 year old film more popular than it already is- but for you, it’s as if the world has come crashing down.”

“But you don’t want the people sitting around to see that you’re hurt. So you put on a brave face, turn the whole thing into a joke. “Okay, sir,” you say with your dead pan expression, “should I go back and come again at one am?” So now your humiliation has been transferred into another medium -sarcasm, whatever. And it’s for me to respond because, suddenly, I’ve become the butt of the joke”

Comedy and cruelty often go hand in hand, stresses the man who wrote and directed a very funny film that ends with its two most likeable characters heading for the hangman’s noose. “When a person slips and falls, he might -speaking realistically – have broken his hip, or worse, but people laugh. You create humour out of something painful.”

The Corpse, The Chess Game And The Flush Handle

Given how popular the ‘laash’ sequences would become, it’s a pity that the crew never got around to shooting some of the zanier scenes with the dead body, especially after the inebriated Ahuja takes it home with him. The scenes at the guesthouse were to include one where Ahuja – eager to entertain this strangely shy mehmaan who doesn’t say a word-initiates a game of chess with the body.Naturally, the drunkard ends up losing to the dead man. (Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal had established a precedent for Death winning cinematic chess games, though it is unlikely that Kundan and Ranjit Kapoor had this in mind when they wrote the scene).

Ranjit also fondly remembers a sight gag that begins with Ahuja encouraging the corpse to have some whiskey. When the drink inevitably spills on the floor, the builder slurs, “Arre yaar, tu yahaan susu kar raha hai? (‘You’re peeing on the floor?’), but regains his courteousness and, in the tradition of the good Indian host, carries his guest to the bathroom. There he puts the deceased commissioner’s hands through the flush chain, comes back to his room and falls asleep. The next day, when Vinod and Sudhir are looking for the body in the guesthouse, they are alerted by the osund of the flush: the body has been upright in the bathroom all night, the weight of its arm pulling down the flush handle every time the tank fills. Rinse and repeat, so to speak.

The climactic chase offered endless possibilities for droll use of the laash, one of them being a planned scene where Vinod and Sudhir disguise it as a beggar asking for alms. In a fine touch, Tarneja, Ahuja and the other crooks – who have built a career by cheating people out of crores of rupees – interrupt the chase to conscientiously put money in the ‘beggar’s’ bowl. But pehraps the funniest laash moment that didn’t make it to the final cut was a scene where the partners hide the body in a doctor’s clinic. The physician, described in the script as ‘a Jiri Menzel type’ (a reference to the Czech director of such movies as Closely Watched Trains), gives the body a complete check-up (temperature, blood pressure, pulse etc) and then proclaims, in the self assured, avuncular manner of the typical Hindi-film doctor : “Ghabraane ki koi baat nahin hai. Do din mein theek ho jaoge” (“Nothing to worry about. You’ll be fine in two days”)

Naseeruddin Shah Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai ? The Mirror Crack’d

But the next scene with which Naseer had problems might have worked better if he had been allowed to have his way. This is a sequence that ranks among the films weakest, most awkward moments – the faux mushy exchange between Vinod and Shobha as they stand in front of the mirror and she plays victim (‘Main ek akaylee abhla aurat hoon …’) to mine his romantic-hero feelings and manipulate him into helping her.

Actually the scene begins with Vinod trying to cosy up to Shobha, who swiftly makes it clear that theirs is a ‘professional sambandh’, that of ‘maalik aur naukar’ (hence the famous shot of Shobha placing her foot under Vinod’s chin). But then, realising how important these photographers are to her grand design, she changes tack. Some of the dialogue that follows – “Mere sapnon ka sathi, main bhi bhookhi hoon…pyaar ki” and “Suno mere dil ki dhadkan” – plays like a parody of mainstream melodrama.

When Kundan wrote the scene, his idea was that it would be a game of charades between Shobha and Vinod. Obviously, Shobha is the devious one, but Vinod isn’t entirely innocent either: he wants the fun of being seduced by this attractive woman but at the same time he vaguely senses that this might be a trap and he doesn’t know how far he can trust her. The scene was to be driven by this conflict. In fact, it was the thought of this scene which had inspired Kundan to cast Bhakti Barve – when he saw her on stage in Hands Up!, he realized that she was an actress who could handle the required nuance.

However when it came to shooting, Naseer said he wanted to play the scene seriously – Vinod would take everything Shobha said at face value and fall hook, line and sinker for her trap. A major arguement followed.

Naseer: There has to be a serious moment between these two!

Kundan: I agree. But this isn’t it! The serious moment can come afterwards, once she has backstabbed them.

Naseer: Let’s put it to a vote. The whole unit can decide whether I should play this scene straight or crooked.

So everyone voted and it turned out that almost everyone was on Naseer’s side.

Kundan: This is ridiculous. So what if everyone agrees with you. I’m the bloody writer of this thing and I’m also the director – I’m using my power to overrule the vote.

Naseer: Fine, then I won’t have dinner!

Okay, it probably didn’t happen exactly that way, but the upshot is that things were threatening to fall apart. As it is, this was never going to be an easy or straightforward take. When you are shooting a scene where two actors face a mirror together and the viewer sees only their reflections, the camera set-up is complicated. The actors have to look at predetermined spots rather than at each other, which can make performing the scene somewhat tricky since they can’t directly respond to each others facial expressions. A lot of preparation is required, and it is probably a good idea if the overall mood on the sets is congenial.

Eventually, Naseer agreed to play the scene the director’s way – and even had his food – but the results of the disagreements are sadly visible in the film. The sequence begins very well – Bhakti is outstanding in the shot where she realizes that she has to put on an act for this lovelorn fool and slowly starts drawing the curtains – but it quickly deteriorates into something clunky and inconsistent. Temporarily deprived of his simplicity, Vinod has a sly, cocky look about him that goes against the character, and Naseer doesn’t look at all convinced about what he is doing. Watching the scene today, one cringes at the sight of one of India’s finest actors so obviously out of sorts.

But this is the only scene where the actor’s discomfiture shows: though his role in the film is relatively subdued compared to those of Ravi Baswani, Om Puri and Satish Shah. He has a gala time in scenes such as the one where he pretends to be an American reporter for DeMello’s benefit, and as the fake ‘Duryodhana’ in the Mahabharata scene. In some ways, his achievement is all the more notable because he wasn’t to the genre born, so to speak. Besides, his commitment to the movie never flagged. Crew members remember him as being constantly encouraging towards the younger members of the unit, and very keen not to be treated as a big-shot (which he was, in the context of non mainstream cinema). Anytime there was a problem with money – as there frequently was – he would tell Kundan: “Take this out of my salary”. His attitude was emblematic of the overall approach to the making of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro: fume and curse about specific things going wrong, but then get over it and put in your best.

PS – This post is NOT sponsored by the author, the publishers of the book or by Flipkart. If you are good, we will shout out from roof top and let the world know.

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Also, click on the play button to check out an interview of Jai Arjun Singh…talking about the book…

But first here is my top 5 films of the year – Udaan. LSD. Ishqiya. Peepli Live. Do Dooni Chaar. That was easy. Tell me which one needs  any explanation.

And now here is the list of 20 things we discovered this year and 10 unanswered questions which confused us all. And this required long debate, discussion and dissection. Please do add yours in the comment box.

1. If looks could kill, the most romantic moment of the year had Naseeruddin Shah staring at an unknown passenger in a bus. And she did respond. Matter of just few seconds, but what a foreplay. Click here…from 00:12.

2. Striker – The underrated, underplayed and easily one of the best albums of the year.

3. LSD – Can be bollywoodised and still have the same psychedelic effect.

4. If your intials are A.K, chances are actors can be cast according to the characters. Rajat Barmecha. Omkar Das Manikpuri.

5. Habib Faisal is the new Jaideep Sahni. Or Sahni of Twenty10. YRF. Delhi. Do Dooni Chaar. Band Bajaa Baraat.

6. Delicious Exports of The Year – ( Phans Gaye Re ) Obama and Osama ( Tere Bin Laden ). We had both. Next is what ?

7. KLPD Imports of The Year – Ben Kingsley ( Teen Patti) and Barack Obama ( MNIK).

8. Bollywood learnt a new hindi word – Dabangg. Some still think its Da Bang.

9. Dibakar Banerjee can give other lyricists a run for their money. Try LSD again. Title track, tainu tv pe wekhya, I cant hold it and more.

10. KJo took  one step forward – We Are Family is an official remake of Stepmom. And few steps back –  Everything else was a waste.

11. Ashutosh Gowariker thinks watching KHJJS and fighting for the freedom struggle is the same. Well, at endurance level, it might be. On Twitter, when we asked him for refund, he replied – asking for a refund?? It is like asking for a refund from the revolutionaries who gave their lives for us!! I am saddened!!

12. Impossible – Thy name is Uday Chopra. Pyaar Impossible. Height of Impossibility – Daya Prochu. Anagram of Uday Chopra, his philosophical twitter twin who has lots of time and loads of gyaan. And is now in comic avatar.

13. The Year of  disasteR – Road, Movie. Rann. Raavan. Rakht Charitra 1 and 2. Rokk. Right Ya Wrong. Red Alert. The exception that proved the rule –  Robot.

14. SLB is still in his cocoon. Nagesh Kuknoor is still in denial. And Ramu is still RIP.

15. Abbas Tyrewala proved that all rumours about JTYJN were true. Yes, Aamir can.

16. Surnames can be misleading. Highly misleading. Try Lynch. Hisss.

17. Gloria Jeans ( Bandra) and Costa Coffee (the one below Karan Johar’s office) kills creativity. Otherwise how do you explain the sound of Vishal-Shekhar’s music this year ? Four films. No new sound. And you can spot them there at any time of the day.

18. The reason why nobody is casting all Bs together. Action Replay. Teen Patti. Raavan. KHJJS. Rann. Guzaarish. Half a dozen. Housefull of duds.

19. Kumar is the new Khan. If star status is all about opening day collections, then Salman Khan ( Dabangg), Aamir Khan ( 3 Idiots) and Tees Maar Khan are on Top 3 positions. Time to change the title of SRK’s next – Ra One Khan ?

20. Rajni can do anything but as Nana Patekar said…ek macchar aadmi ko…..Remember Robot.

10 Unanswered Questions

1. Who directed Kites ?

2. Why UTV produced Guzaarish ?

3. Who thought that Priyadarshan can remake Majid Majidi’s Children Of Heaven ?

4. Why was Filmfare’s Editor and the entire team so gung-ho about Farrukh Kabir’s Allah Ke Banday ? They non-stop tweeted and retweeted.

5. Did Ranveer Singh’s dad produce Band Bajaa Baarat ? Though post-release he silenced all his critics.

6. How does Gorilla’s fart smell like ? Dear Anil Kapoor, we are at moifightclub@gmail.com

7.  How many more sequels of Golmaal are still being planned ?

8. Who are Luv Sinha’s fans ? Click here.

9.  What was the last book that Punit Malhotra read ? Remember his tweet.

10. Who thought of the title – Dunno Y….Na Jaane Kyun ? Our favourite title of the year.

We have decided to open our “Movie Recco” posts for our readers and movie buffs. There is a great joy in discovering a gem – one that is obscure, not mainstream, and none of your friends have heard about. You watch it and then want to shout out from the roof-top and tell everyone to catch it soon. Though The Chaser doesn’t strictly fit into that category but it surely deserves a recco. A kickass debut by Na Hong-jin. This  recco is by Gyandeep Pattnayak. If you want to contribute “Movie Recco” posts, do write to us at moifightclub@gmail.com

There must have been times when you wanted nothing more than to yank the head of the villain of a movie and bang it hard on a concrete surface, watch the blood spurt out, feel it on your hands and love it even more.

Hong-Jin Na’s Chugyeogja (The Chaser) is exactly that type of a film. It gets to you in a way most thrillers don’t. You often sit through a movie and see it, just for the heck of it. Few films (The Chaser included) have the power to extract an extreme reaction out of you. Speaking from my perspective, by the time this movie ended, my left jaw was in a terrible pain after having clenched my teeth hard for a while.

Without saying an awful lot about the story, let me just say that it involves an ex-cop-turned-pimp Joong-Ho trying to track down one of his call-girls Mi-Jin. It seems as if she has been kidnapped because a few others have mysteriously disappeared and haven’t shown up as well. Soon enough, a serial killer is on the run, with Joong-Ho in his pursuit. In relentless pursuit because there is some hope that the girl might still be alive.

It is spectacular in the sense that this movie is shot on real locations — the rain soaked alleys, the crowded marketplace, those dark and dingy rooms — you can almost smell them. The director uses violence liberally but only in a manner that is relevant to the whole story. It sounds clichéd — the whole violence-needed-for-the-story stuff. But, this is a thriller. A serial killer movie. A brutally effective one. One that was made with every intention of entertaining the audience. One that, as it turns out eventually, doesn’t end conventionally. Hell, it never once takes the trodden path. You see, chase sequences are now a must-have in most thrillers. This movie has one too. But one that rivals the very best chase sequences in films such as the Bourne Series. This very scene leaves you white-knuckled and gasping for breath.

Also interesting is the fact how director Hong-Jin separates the storyline into three equal perspectives – one of the ex-cop, one of the call girl and one of the killer. And we, as the audience are equally involved in each of their stories, never once feeling the shift from one segment to another.

Arguably, this movie might not be better than Oldboy but when it wants to be, The Chaser is pretty explosive stuff. Here’s a thriller that re-instates the faith that the darkness of a thriller is always to overwhelm you. Not to leave you satisfied but to make you feel, to make you loathe, to make your face turn away only to check back again to see if everything is alright.

Since the trailer of 7 Khoon Maaf came out yesterday, we have been playing it in loop. All for Darrling – the killer combo of  Rekha Bhardwaj and Usha Uthup’s voice. The song is composed by Vishal Bhardwaj and it seems there is more to the Darrling story.

It might be little too early to predict anything because we haven’t heard the full song yet.  But from whatever is there in the promo, it sounds similar to a popular Russian song called Kalinka.  And since there is a Russian actor (Alexander Dyachenko) in the film too, its easy to connect the dots. Or may be its part of the narrative and comes along with the character (Vronsky – Oh yes! Its a Russian name) he plays. The visuals in the trailer also suggests the same.

Click on the play button to hear Kalinka…from 4:00 onwards its almost the same tune.

And here is the 7 Khoon Maaf tariler…

To know more about the Kalinka song, click here.

Also, if its in public domain (folk songs) and has been reproduced many times in different versions, then there is no issue in using the tune. But if the case is different, then it might be plagiarism. According to wikipedia, it was composed in 1860, and so  most probably its in public domain and can be used. Or may be they have taken the rights. We are desperately waiting for the full song and the story behind it.

Tip – Sahil Rizwan.

Woot! Darrrrling is the new Dhen Tedan!

The trailer of Vishal Bhardwaj’s new film 7 Khoon Maaf is out. Aha, the popular joke doing the rounds is that 7KM trailer is the only good reason to watch Tees Maar Khan. But now its online. So, here it is…

The film stars Naseeruddin Shah, Irrfan Khan, John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Russian actor Alexander Dyachenko, Annu Kapoor and Vivaan Shah.

Click here and here to read our previous posts on 7 Khoon Maaf.

PS – Ruskin Bond also has a cameo in the film.

And Dear Vishal Bhardwaj,

After Bard and Bond, why do you want to go to Bhagat ? Please. Can you explain ?  Or are you seriously looking for the B-factor! You, Shah Rukh Khan, Chetan Bhagat and Sajid Nadiawala – where is the common ground ? Or are we completely blind ? Ok, you and Shah Rukh will be a great combo to look forward to but now in that Bhagu Chaat’s trash called 2 States.

Absolutely NOT looking forward to it

VB-hakts