Archive for January 31, 2011

If they have the Oscar, we have FilmFarce, Screen, IIFA, GIFA, Stardust, Apsara, Urvashi, Menaka and million others. And if they have the Razzies, here is our Ghanta Awards.

What is Ghanta ?

The Ghantas celebrates and rewards the worst of Bollywood for 2010. Over the last year Bollywood has nouned, verbalized and adjectived us to suffer like a bunch of ghantas with their ringing of theatrical genius. It has churned out truckloads of films that could have been more suitable as fertilizer for the parched fields of Vidharba.

Why the name Ghanta ?

A Ghanta is a word more flexible than Isha Sherwani dangling off the back off a D.T.C. bus filled with grabbing Emraan Hashmi clones. It is an abuse that can circumvent several rules of grammar…Example:

Noun: Hitler had just one ghanta.Verb: Watching We are Family was a ghanta of an experience. Adjective: Shahrukh probably ghantas humans of the male sex.

And here are the Nominations –

Worst Film -Blue. Raavan. Kurbaan. Pyaar Impossible. Housefull

Worst Breakthrough (for the worst new actors/actress) – Aditya Narayan(Shaapit). Luv Sinha(Saadiyaan). Neha Sharma (Crook). Shazahn Padamsee (Rocket Singh). Sukhwinder Singh (Kuchh Kariye)

Worst Story Rip-Off – Knock Out (Phonebooth). Bum Bum Bole (Children of Heaven). Prince (from every action movie ever made). Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai (My Stepmother is an Alien). Hum Tum aur Ghost (Ghost Town).

Worst Supporting Actor – Sir Ben Kingsley (Teen Patti). Farhan Akhtar (Evil Karthik). Sameer Dattani (I Hate Luv Storys). Zayed Khan (Blue, Anjaana Anjaani). Upen Patel (Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani)

Worst Supporting Actress – Lara Dutta (Blue/Housefull/Do Knot Disturb). Nandana Sen (Prince). Kangana Ranaut (Kites). Shenaz Treasurywala (Radio). Tabu (Toh Baat Pakki)

Worst Director – Anthony D Souza (Blue). Mani Ratnam (Raavan). Jugal Hansraj (Pyaar Impossible). Sajid Khan (Housefull). Rensil d’ Silva (Kurbaan)

Worst Song – Papa Jag Jayega (Housefull). Mann Ka Radio (Radio). Pe Pe Pe (Chance pe Dance). All Izz Well (3 Idiots). Jailhouse Rock (We Are Family)

Worst Actor – Uday Chopra(Pyaar Impossible). Himesh (Radio). Abhishek Bachchan (Raavan). Shahid (Chance Pe Dance, Milenge Milenge, Badmaash Company, and Paathshaala). Akshay Kumar (Blue, Khatta Meetha, Housefull)

Worst Actress – Kareena Kapoor (Kurbaan, We Are Family). Aishwarya (Robot/Raavan). Barbara Mori (Kites). Sonam Kapoor (Aisha, I Hate Luv Storys). Anushka Sharma (Badmaash Company)

That’s Anything But Sexy – Udita Goswani in Chase. Kareena Kapoor seduction scene in Kurbaan. 2 hot women chasing Himesh in Radio. The Great Indian Butterfly (Aamir Bashir / Sandhya Mridul). Girl down on her knees from London Dreams (Salman Khan / Asin)

Worst Couple – Abhishek / Aishwarya Bachchan (Raavan). Uday Chopra / Priyanka Chopra (Pyaar Impossible).Naseeruddin Shah / Vidya Balan (Ishqiya). Shahid Kapoor / Kareena Kapoor (Milenge Milenge). Sushmita Sen / Govinda (Do Knot Disturb)

WTF Was That -The baby sucking vacuum from 3 Idiots. The diamond sucking vacuum from Prince. Viveik Oberoi’s Bruno-inspired leather outfit from Prince. Celina Jaitley’s cleavage in Hello Darling! The vegetarian sharks that only circled, but never attacked, the bleeding Akshay Kumar, Zayed Khan & Sanjay Dutt underwater in Blue.

Ghanta Winners – Winners will be announced at the 1st Ghanta Awards night at Santorini Lounge (Tian) and broadcast live to via webcast on February 6th, 2011.

Timeline – Only films released between Diwali 2009 and Diwali 2010 were up for consideration.

To know more about the Ghanta Awards, click here.

PS – All info is from official press release.

Anupam, who ? Well, here is Jahan Bakshi on Anupam – I can’t really think of any grandiose ways to describe the unassuming bloke that is Anupam Dhar. So I’ll just say that Sunny, as we often call him – is my senior from the rather eclectic Department of Mass Communications at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, who happens to be a dear friend- and a huge movie-buff himself.  A Coen Brothers fanboy like many of us, Anupam thoroughly enjoyed their new film True Grit, and with this post, hopes to provide some perspective, especially in light of the many rants about it lacking that ‘Coens touch’ and being ‘just another western’.  Read On…

What is True Grit? This was a question I first saw in a review by some Western film critic. As much as I wanted to answer it, I was never sure I could do so simply because it’s almost so indefinable and so very personal. Indeed as I revisited the retelling of Charles Portis’ novel by the Coen Brothers last night, I was again so sure that maybe True Grit is just more than being brave and courageous in the face of adversity. True Grit is being able to stand up to what is right and what is correct; to be able to take things in your own hands when all around you people are shirking away from it. True Grit is fighting for what you believe in and never compromising on that belief. True Grit is Gandhi in his search for freedom but in the way he wanted it, without ever raising a hand when he was being beaten mercilessly by the British Imperialists. True Grit is Mandela, Martin Luther King, Bolivar and many more who have stood up against adversity with a smile and a determination to fight for what they believed. The biggest achievement of film True Grit is a reminder of that; the noblest and strongest of human emotions which often make people triumph over the seemingly insurmountable.

A lot has been said about the film, how it is just “another Western” with nothing new to add to it. Many were expecting the Coens to add a new dimension, maybe make a dark and satirical interpretation of a book, which had already been made into a much loved film. But isn’t the Western about raw human emotions; about those wild times when the gun ruled supreme and human lives were none too important; about the passions that the raw, unchartered and seemingly endless territories of the New World evoked? If that is so, then True Grit succeeds in its intention. It’s a beautiful film and much of that praise must go to Roger Deakins who once again reminds us that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, in this case that of Deakins and his camera. As the camera pans the rough territories, it tells its own story, one of survival and hardships and one where the rule of the jungle reigns supreme.

In one beautiful shot, the film’s protagonists, Mattie Ross and Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn approach a tree to which a man is hung. Neither display any emotion to the scene and their only interest lay in whether the dead man hanging is the man they’re searching for. Life is worth pennies where each man is fighting for his own. The beauty of the film lies in its simplistic narration; where a dark and somber story of courage and revenge is told just as it is, without the intrusion of the directors’ own point of view. In that sense True Grit is not just a story, it is also a study of man’s own brutal instincts and the latent violence that is there in all of us and which threatens to unleash itself at the slightest provocation.

True Grit succeeds a lot because of a wonderful ensemble cast. Led by the towering Jeff Bridges, the cast gives itself off to the film’s characters and brings in them the depth that enriches our experience of the film and makes us sympathise with the characters. Bridges moves far off from John Wayne and gives the character his own personal interpretation resulting in a far more complex character which evolves as the film moves on. Matt Damon is good as well and his Texas Ranger makes a deep mark in the film, especially in the scene where he spanks Mattie and tries to scare her off. Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper shine in their small roles. But this film truly belongs to young Hailee Steinfeld, who as Mattie Ross gives a brilliant performance; one which offers us a vivid picture of the 14 year old girl who wants to avenge her father’s murder. Mattie’s innocence, her resolve, determination, courage and vulnerability is expressed beautifully by Steinfeld which gives her character a larger dimension that was missing from the earlier film. Special mention needs to be made of Production Designer, Jess Gonchor and Costume Designer, Mary Zophres who give the film a beautiful and old world feel. Carter Burwell’s haunting background score adds to the atmosphere of the film. The Coens write and direct the film in the way a Western should be and for once I am very pleased with that. Some films are meant to plainly entertain, some are meant to make you think, but some like True Grit are simply meant to be absorbed and felt. It’s a document of those hard and brutal times and a testimony to the most sublime and also the most dangerous of human emotions. True Grit is, as I had tried to answer before, the heart to stand up and fight.

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!