Tuesday, February 17, 2015

AparajitaTumi - (Undefeated You)

Movie poster from the Internet

This movie's target audience was NOT me. But some people liked it enough to give it a 6.2 rating on IMDB? Why????

After I checked IMDB rating!
May be they genuinely liked it or maybe they are sadist bastards who wanted me to go through what they went through..UGHH!!!

This is a story about rich bastards who have achieved pretty much everything you can dream of.

Then one fine morning the protagonist (Proshenjit) thought screw this.... life is just too great let's screw it up..  let me have an affair with my friends' wife.
Then it turns out he has brain tumour and then all is magically fixed in his life.

Take home message from this movie is twofold:

1. Please have affairs- as long as you have a terminal-ish illness in the end all will be forgiven.
1a) or is because he had brain tumour he lost his sense of reasoning? Now that is the question.. told you the movie is tooooo deep for me to understand.

2. Mistresses -  If you left everything you had in your life to be with this married guy and then you find out he is really boring and is almost dying - all hope is not lost! His ex- wife will come and take care of him! You can be on your way to greener pastures. You will not be stuck with him.

But man was the movie SLOWWWWW...

if it was me, I would have fast forwarded it and watched the entire movie in 20 minutes ..

But it was family day and my I was watching it with my family. My dad never lets me forward anything, ever !! No not even songs... Because he is very positive person and even when we have given up, he has this hope that it might get better!

In this case it did not get better.

I think, hey focused so hard in capturing the whole bengali NRI sentiment they forgot that the movie needed a story line..

So this is probably what happened before they handed in their script:

Script writer 1: It's been a year we have been researching Bengali NRIs. I forget, were we supposed to do something else here?

Script writer 2: Umm, no I don't think so. I'm pretty sure we supposed to eat, drink and be merry

Directer calls and he is on speaker :

Director : Hey how is that script coming along?

Script writer 1: Script??.. ( "what script?" whispers to his colleague")

SW 2: Great sir, great! (motions his colleague to shut up)

D: Do you think you will be done by Monday? It has been some time and I have already paid for the shooting locations.

SW 2: Sure sir, that is more than enough time to put some finishing touches.. you don 't even worry. in fact it will be done way, way way before that.

D: SW2, today is Friday night..  how can it be done way way earlier? Just call me when you two morons are done writing it.

D hangs up

SW1 & 2: SHIT..... what do we do now??

And that's how Aparajito tumi was created!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Visit to Shib Thakurer Apon Deshe...

Where " Ayin - Kanun" is Sorboneshe...

So, I'm back from a real quick trip to motherland-  And here are some of my observations that I want to share with the world and my fellow probashis...

Okay so first things first - Chief Minister of West Bengal is Mamta Banerjee... ok.. just remember that.. what you have a bad memory??

Don't worry!!

You can never EVER forget who the Chief Minister is, when you are in Kolkata or West Bengal for that matter - why you ask? 

Well, ground breaking memory research that has been happening in Kolkata has told us that repetition is key and so you will find every intersection of this densely populated state to be adorned by this pretty lady's pictures... different poses, same saree (in West Bengal we believe in living within our means!!!) 

and when there are no pictures there are clues all around the city - her party's colours blue and white to remind you who is in charge. 

You can NOT miss it.. unless you are visually impaired in which case, you can touch it and read the braille, inscriptions which says blue and white.. ( I better get credit for this, when this actually happens)

Blue and White is EVERYWHERE - on the streets, trees, busses, taxis, buildings, people, stray cows, dogs, cats (okay not quite on the animal yet - but that is the next action item on the project list. You see, we have a lot of free time --> we have fixed the infrastructure, controlled population, created jobs, abolished poverty and polio, so I mean... what else should we be doing? )

Soon, if your suitcases are not filled with blue and white clothing you will be denied entry into the city.. hey! it is HER city and she can do whatever she fancies.. 

Now, Ladies and Gentleman this is called leaving a mark on history, you see - a scar is also a mark.. but it is a mark nonetheless, right?

Can you imagine how many jobs this project must have created?? Nano factory has nothing on us.. yes, that's right rest of India, we don't care for industries.. We don't need any industries or jobs for that matter.. We can and  will paint the town black.. oops I mean blue and white.. Bengalis are known to be the sensitive, artsy type.. so this what we do!

And any of those practical Bengalis looking for a stupid 9-5 jobs that pays money... go to Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore or Delhi.. let us sit back, relax and enjoy our new MP Dev's Bangla movies where Mika Singh, sings Punjabi item numbers and scantly clothed Videsi girls randomly dance in the background... Singing in Bangla is just so last century! Who even does that, anymore??

Oh, by the way if you want to watch Parmabrata's "Lorai" that has substance - you better be ready to catch the morning show at Inox. 
If you can't be ready to catch the 9 am show at Inox, be prepared to hike to some shitty standalone theatre in some obscure part of the city.. because all the prime time shows at the multiplexes have been taken over by the latest mainstream Hollywood or Bollywood movies. 

What is that you say? Promoting local talent? Now, why would we do that? SRK is the ambassador of Kolkata and not Parambrata.. and so why should we be wasting any money on anything that is local? Are we stupid??? We would rather invest that in buying blue and white paint or golden coloured bangles for girls that need education!

Oh and you dare not say anything aloud or comment about it on any social media platform -------> Big Sister is watching!

And that was my rant.... Enjoy your day!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dawat- E- Ishq

It’s a Sunday afternoon and it is snowing A LOT! If I glance outside of the window of my living room it looks like I have suddenly been transported to "Hundi" - remember how Gupi Bagha went there by mistake. I can't see any other colour than white.. but you know what? I'm happy.  

"Tu Meri Mannat" from Dawat- E- Ishq has been playing on repeat on my laptop! My better half keeps offering me a headphone.. apparently 20 times on repeat is enough for him.. but I can listen to it for a few 100 more times. It's just not the song, it is how the combination of the song and the video made me feel is what I try to capture and recapture. He just doesn't get it!! Check it out at the link below:

So as you can tell, I watched Dawat- E - Ishq this weekend and I can't wait to tell you all about it.

I just can't get over the songs.. it is romantic and magical and it transports me to a different world. Kudos to Jatin - Lalit. It show cases Lucknow, the food, the simple people.. above all the character of Tariq - his simplicity, his capacity to love,  his ability to win people over really stand out.

It is a love story - what a surprise! Right? But this one of those films that you are not going to judge every second and think "really! ?" in your head . You are not going to try to be logical.

The story is fresh. Yes there is still your hero, heroine, dancing around the Lucknow( it is Bollywood after all) but the villain is the age old traditions and customs and not the father of the daughter or some goon in the village... which is very unique.

So, I have a habit of watching a movie and then if I like an actor or a character they played, I youtube their interviews that they gave to promote their movie. Why? Just to see how much are they like their character in real life. Do they speak differently than the character? And generally I always see a pattern and in my head I picture - okay this what the person is like in real life and blah blah.. if you are a fan of Friends, you might notice Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston talks the same way in real life like they did in Friends... Okay you get my point right?

But Aditya Roy Kapoor.... totally did not fit this mould.. I loved his character . However, in the interviews he seemed to be a completely different person. So he is either a fantastic actor or the director is fantastic.. I can't tell.. and he must have lost a bunch of weight right after the movie, because I kept looking at the movie promotion stills and the songs and he looks very very different!! Check out this photo of Parineeti Chopra and Aditya Roy Kapoor promoting this movie! Crazy right??

Okay here check out another still froma pormotional event :
Seriously is this the same guy? Did he stop eating after coming back from Lucknow?? Why?? Someone please tell him he doesn't need to be this skinny! 

Parineeti Chopra is kinda of the same on and off screen. She has that " laraku" personality that comes out in the movie.. or may be she just chooses to do roles that are like a "phataka" - in any case I like her. She looks real to me. She is not like one of those fake unattainable girls that we see on Bollywood movies.

Anyway.. I really liked the movie actually. My expectations were pretty low when I started watching it and was amazed! only complaint - I wish there was more Aditya Roy Kapoor in the movie, he doesn't come on until 40 minutes into the movie... Dislike!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ramdhanu- (Rainbow)

Watched a really good Bangla movie after some time! It is called Ramdhanu.

This movie examines the process of admission to English Medium Private Schools (EMPS) in Kolkata for kids under the age of 5 years! No it is not another boring documentary.. it is more of satire..  it gives us a glimpse of the irony prevalent in a society I grew up, masked with humour.

I have never experienced this madness and for the first time in a long time I felt glad that I was born a long time ago (no, I'm not letting you how old I am! just know it was a longgg time ago)

So it starts off with parent's education level, their bank balance, their status in the society.  Cars driven,  last vacation destination are all taken into consideration to gauge their status. So basically, what it comes down to is - if you slacked off in school and your mark sheet from grade 10 and grade 12 reflect that - your kid's future is F-I-N-SS-E-D!

So if I had kids, my kids would never make it to any prestigious EMPS in Kolkata.. oh but wait, my achievements does not matter that much - I can cook and clean, and that should be good enough. Dad has money rolling in and good education right??.. that's the ONLY thing that matters. So much so that if someone is a single mother, she might have to hire a fake dad to go to the interviews with her. Just to show she has a man who can take care of her! Oh makes me MAADD!

I bet you are thinking getting into a MBA program is a lot easier.

So basically the message of this movie is best summarized in the movie poster above. Focus on a good wholesome education, not just the best school. 

The directors drive the point home and does it in a wonderful way. The comic timing of the male protagonist, Laltu Dutta ( who is the co-director), owner of Dutta Medical Hall is brilliant. His portrayal of a middle class medicine shop(pronounce SOP) owner is very relatable - you see the once para r morere changra chele who has settled down in him. 

Notable mention is Khwaraj Mujherjee - he is simply awesome. He plays the character of a non- Bengali ( possible Marwari) businessman who "helps" your kid get into a good EMPS at a small fee. 

Mitali and Gogol played by Rachna Banerjee and Akashnil Mitra is very natural. No overacting, no nekami that is so common in Bengali commercial movies. As you know in the Bengali masala movies if you are the female protagonist you are either extra neka .. .  or you are rude with an attitude issue.. why else would our heros fall for you?? Din't you know according to the commercial Bangla movies a girl can't be intelligent and sexy at the same time! too much to handle aparently..You have to match the hero's intellectual level after all.

Anyway the reality that Mitali deals with really struck a chord with me. The over inquisitive "friend" who wants to constantly know if her son got into a good school or not, the constant questioning of the neighbours about the status of little Gogol's application... all too familiar!

I have to point out some side story lines used to drive home the point that was not necessary - Mitali's brother's Memsheb girl friend learning Bangla. As if that wasn't enough - she actually asked oh how come you guys are trying to teach your son English and I'm trying to learn Bangla here.. too obvious what tactic you are using.. didn't need to be so blatant! 

Anyway.. great movie, great entertainer that leaves us with something to think about, even try to take baby steps to make the process better, maybe?? 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Game – He Plays To Win!!

So this weekend I thought, instead of writing off the "commercial" Bangla movie completely just by watching the trailer I will actually watch one before I dole out my judgement.
 So after listening to "Tui amar Tatka Priya Marie re" a few times, youtube suggested I watch Game... Wait what?? You don't know anything about Tatka Priya Marie?? Click the link below and check it out right now.. you are missing out!!

Yes- Jeet is wooing this girl - saying that she is like is fresh Priya Marie Biscuit that he would like to dip in his lemon tea!
.....I have never been courted by anyone like this so I don't really know how I would feel if someone told me that I was a fresh biscuit.. but the girl in this picture seems perfectly happy, so are her white friends who also decided to join in her celebration!

This was probably the phone conversation between the girl and her white friends:

" OMG you guys! he finally told me that he wants to dip me in his lebu - cha"

Anyway, catchy tune.. very Durgo Pujo e para's dance song like...

Modern lyrics too :  " Likhe Dilam Love you Shona Check koro Facebook"!

Anyway I started watching Game


 I was very much into the movie only about 10-15 minutes into it. It was an action/suspense thriller type  movie. I was even saying to myself commercial Bangla movie has come a loong loong way! I remembered Proshenjit's Jamaibabu Zindabad or Swami keno Ashami and felt happy that the movie is actually making sense.

Granted there was chorom nekami by the heorine and heavy doses of overacting in the hero/ heroine Premer scene but I was very excited about the movie.

I started discussing this movie with my family and told them it is a must watch. Then I started doing some research and discovered that this is remake of the Tamil movie Thuppaki starring Vijay and Kajal Agarwal!

I told myself, that okay so we basically took the essence from this Tamil movie and then used our creativity to make it completely Bangla and possibly more awesome! So I started watching the movie in Tamil without subtitles! Well, I didn't have any other choice I was on a quest - turns out it was a scene by scene copy ... oops I meant to say remake.. did I say copy out loud? Sorry!! I mean CTRL C & then CRTL V!  Oh then I found out that there is also a Hindi version starring Akshaye Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha called Holiday.

So basically Tamil movie industry comes up with solid scripts, make movies and then the rest of the country  just copy pastes in their regional languages!

So in light of this, I have decided that I will save myself the trouble of watching all these versions. Instead go straight to source and watch the Tamil movie instead! I know I don't speak or understand language but I'm sure I will figure it out from the partial English phrases and then within the next few months when it comes out in Bengali or Hindi, I will just watch that and get the rest of it !!  Solid Plan, right???

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Chotushkon: My Preview and other observations...

So Parambrata's new movie is coming out this Pujo (September 26th) and he is playing a character by the name of Jayabrata - a film director. Interesting right?

Facts  about the movie :

1. This is Srijit's new venture after the National Award Winning "Jatiswar".

2. Music by Anupam Roy - loved the Boshonto Eshe Geche and the Boba Tunnel track.

3. Check out the Trailor here :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uNrGCBIgo0

4. Cast : Prambrata, Aparna Sen, Chrinajeet, Gautam Ghosh, Kaushik Ganguly, Koninika, Payal Sarakar, Deblina Dutta among others.

5. Genre : Triller

My Observation :

Before I tell you about my true observations, let me make one thing very clear, I am no movie critic! I am an average movie goer who loves watching intelligent bangla movie.. that's all .. I thought I needed this disclaimer before freely expressing what I really thought!

So the trailer was really obscure! I watched it three times.. Twice before watching the interviews and once after watching the interviews in youtube. I didn't really understand what the movie was about.. except maybe that it was about something dark..may be even something supernatural.. May be it it meant to be Atel.. Anyway, you have to remember this is Srijit's first movie after the National award so pressure to perform at the box office and the national award level is pretty high... . although he claims he wrote this movie long time ago, right after 22nd Srabon. But he had to tweak it a bit since he catered the script to the people playing the characters.

So what is interesting is, they said that each of the 4 main character are directors and their parts of the story are shot in a way they themselves would have shot/ narrated their movie..  I can't wait to see what Param's style would be.

I thought the cast was rather arrogant and show offy during the interviews.. one claimed there was no one else in the industry who could have done this role. Okay may be true.. but is modesty dead?

Parambrata wasn't arrogant - he was asked numerous times how does he feel to do a role that was originally scripted for Rituparna Ghosh.. he fielded the questions brilliantly I think! He acknowledged he wasn't the first choice and then quickly went over to narrate the story of how Srijit approached him for the movie and he had to say yes because it is Srijit after all!! Nicely done!

I really don't know what to expect from this movie. I feel like it feel be either super hit or will vanish into obscurity pretty quick. This will not be an average movie for sure. Unfortunately the marketing strategy employed has not been able to pique my interest! But I wish the movie all the best, hope it does really well.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

My Adventures in the near shore Motherland!

So I took the summer off from blogging!  And now I'm back!

I want to tell you all about my latest trip to NY.. well on second thought everyone knows what New York is all about.. right? Wall street, Statue of liberty, Central Park, Manhattan sky line, expensive shopping - you can google it or even better Youtube it. Seach for "What to see in NY" and you will be flooded with thousands of videos. So let me tell you about the hidden gem that is New Jersey- specifically Jersey City.

After being in there I have decided I no longer need to buy super expensive tickets and fly for 22 hours to visit the motherland. I can just visit Newark Avenue in NJ. Don't believe me? Fine take a look at the picture below:

.. Yes it is not some gali in Mumbai, Kolkata or Delhi this is Uniter States of America.

The sights, the sounds and the smell reminded me of India... my cousin took us to this amazing biriyani place called the Paradise Biriyani and the moment we stepped in, we knew we were teleported to Biriyani Paradise. 
We ordered Chicken Biriyani, Mutton Biriyani, Mutton Chap and something else...  and off course Thumbs Up to wash it all down.. 

We ordered so much food because for some weird reason it felt like doom's day is upon us and we need eat as much biriyani as we can! Pictures you ask? In our frenzy to chow down this Regal dish fit for  BadShahi courts I forgot all about documenting it. 

Don't you dare start talking about carbs and all that!! When you are pretending to be in Shah Jahan's court you don't care about your carbohydrate intake.. 
First of all you have been transported back into the 1600s, people don't know about the Atkin's diet or carbohydrates and secondly you already made it to the royal court.. who cares about how you look?? Anyway.. no regal meal can be finished without paan. So off we went into our Indian street into a store called "Mithai" which had paan and they even had the expensive silver foil thing that you see in expensive mishtis back home. Check out the expression of my fellow travellers by just the smell of paan.

Next morning started with Masala Dosa and Masala tea with finger licking good coconut chutney and sambar. They had more delicious food just looking at us from the show case - stuff like pakora, vada, lots and lots and lot colourful mishti.. although the choices seemed to be infinite, my stomach's holding capacity is finite.. well, I could have packed it.. However, I was supposed to do all the touristy things in New York right after and carrying sambar around isn't that easy. However, I did not leave Newark street without some paan from the store that actually looked like a pan store - tiny store, that you can't get into. The shopkeeper was standing at what looked like a window and you had to yell out the order in a very typical Indian style and he would make the fresh paan right in front of you eyes. 

It felt like we were visiting Kolkata during Durga Pujo! 
It was like India had made a near shore support centre for the Street food deprived Indians who live out side of India. It was in essence my near shore Motherland!!!!! Jai New Jersey.