The Idiot Box

Channel Surfing
An idyllic day as it is were the last 18 months, I decide to catch up on the latest on the idiot box.

Channel 1: DD1
Ironical isnt it. Have seen this in almost all TV homes. No one watches DD, but it occupies the No. 1 channel position.

Move over...
The next two channels have nearly the same color, look, sets , people. All of them in lush bungalows, suits and rich sarees even as they wake up or go to sleep, and each one of the sobbing.
Welcome to the STAR TV and ZEE!
Channel 4: SONY
One kiddo sings. The 3 judges applaud. One of them goes up the stage and lifts him up.
Tu jab bada hoga main apni film main tujhe gaana doonga.
Ironically, this music director himself has composed for only 1 film in the last 2 years!

The remote button is twitching...asking for a break, but I go on...the down arrow button under stress.

Channel 7: Jungle in the background, a cheetah towering over a stag. This one keeps me hooked on for a while. I watch the poor stag run down and carnal pleasure obtained!

Channel 8: Another forest, another chase, no this time its a snake. Im reminded of the great Steve Irvin, the crocodile hunter. A 10 sec silence for the brave man!
National Geography, History, Travel n Living all breezed through. I enjoy travelling a lot, but hate to watch someone doing the traveling and commentary for us!

Im getting increasingly bored now. Is there nothing to watch.
Channel 12: Ok some information now! The news. NDTV 24 7
Sensex rises! 200 points.
Channel 13: AAJ TAK
Sensex falls!
Channel 14: CNBC
Sensex rises again!
After sweeping through the news channels, finally at channel 18, SEBI has halted trading due to stock market upheaval.

Disclaimer: To all my FINANCE oriented friends- Any reference to Fin facts and logic is purely coincidental and illogical.

Channel 19: Oh! Another news channel...Some India TV
Okie, I will wait here...

oops, looks like a breaking news. I have to see this channel now. I wait!
Im restless...break it dude! break it!

INDIA TV, i realised thereafter is the worst news channel in the Indian satellite space. I deleted the channel from my menu.
Next in line are the sports channels

For some strange reason, our cable guy feeds only 2 channels, watever be the sporting activity.
ESPN: Sachin cuts, Sachin pulls. Sachin straight drives. Its the same highlights, I have seen 15 times. Ind vs Eng, 2002-03 Headingly test. Sachin 193. Naa, not the right time.
TEN SPORTS: WWF or WWE. Was hooked on to this voilence during the time of Hitman and Tatanka. Not any more.

Switching over, I finally found solace in the next set of music channels.
AAA! some respite.
Channel 20: Channel [V]
Channel 21: MTV
Channel 22: ZOOM
Mauja hi Mauja
Dard e Disco
Khwaaja mere Kwaaja

Too many breaks yaar! Im out of the songs set as well.
Channel 24: Now comes the movie zone
HBO: Some Black n White
STAR MOVIES: Some kissing scene....okie...hold on...
The moment the scene is over,I switch
STAR GOLD: SUNNY DEOL screeeeeming!!! Wheres the volume. effect!!
Still I can hear a murmur...Sunny Deol is still audible!

Zee Cinema: Aaa!! The only channel at your rescue!!
Guess wat movie is on right now
My favorite: ANDAZ APNA APNA
Do dost ek hi pyaale main chai peeyenge. Isse dosti badhti hai.
Ab maine remote side pe rakha, aur coke, lays...lays nahi Bingo aur TV.

P.S. This post dedicated to DGrail for urging me to write one today.

Unspoken Dialogues - Play by Alique Padamsee

Saw this play this Sunday at NCPA. Its a collection of around 7-8 small instances from people of different spectra of the society, talking to the audience about the things they usually conceal from their close ones.

The idea is to open up the society, make people talk about all the issues which are hush-hushed in today's hypocrite Indian society. But I guess, there is still a long way to go if we need to remove the baises of gender, race, religion from our culture, which we are so proud of.

There is discrimination everywhere. As my friend Batty pointed out, we talk about us being discriminated by the West, but there are numerous instances of discrimination that we preach in our day to day lives in Mumbai.

Sex and secrecy is also so much a part of us. Who would dare talk about it to close ones. It is advisable say the playmakers. However, one lady pointed out during the post play discussion "The success to a good marriage is secrets." Maybe true!

There are some questions whose answers lie somewhere in between. Neither a direct yes or a No! Maybe this generation is moving towards finding a solution to it.

As far as the play is concerned, mypick would be the Savitri monologue, about this middle class woman who talks about her infidelity due to some circumstances. Also, the trauma of a childhood molestation was nicely presented.

JodhaAkbar: Hope the review is not as lengthy

I missed the start of the movie thanks to the Mumbai traffic. Almost a crime fr a movie buff who missed the advertisements and moreover the titles! After getting the crux of the first 5 minutes from my friends I slipped back into time... into the Mughal era...

So, kahan se shuru kare jahanpanah... The movie starts, at least for me, with a magnanimous war sequence, between the Mughals-led by Akbar and a Rajput kingdom. The bows and arrows, the huge battleground, the screeching swords and the elephants roaring and stamping their foot on the beleaguered soldiers was a treat to watch! The dolby effect makes you wince on instinct. There is a lull before a storm, however, in JodhaAkbar, the storm leads to a lull. We are introduced to the other half of the magnum opus Jodhabai, the daughter of the maharaja of Amer played by...Ashutosh's favorite maharaja...Kulbushan Kharbanda. He shows his constipated face throughout the movie with natural ease. Maharani is Suhasini Mulay, while Sonu Sood plays her cousin brother, who is unhappy over the siyasat being handed over to someone else.

Maharaja decided to save his countrymen of battle, bloodshed and violence and surrender his state to Akbar. This creates a rift between rival Rajput kingdoms and Amer is banished by one and all, breaking a marriage alliance of Jodha with some Rajput guy. This leads to the proposal of Maharaj to Akbar to marry his daughter Jodha in return of his state. Akbar, accepts the proposal in order to set up a "misaal" of Hindu-Muslim alliance. And thus, begins a love affair.

There is everything in this love ishtory... Takraars, romance, light hearted silent moments, saas bahu saazish and jealousy. However, each plot is extended and goes on and on... There is no surprise in the plot. The screenplay drags to the finale, which brightens things up a notch or two.

Key Moments: The elephant fight is terrific. Also, the sword fight between Jodha and Akbar, excellently crafted. Also, the rajputana khaana daawat scene.

Music: The background music scores over the 5 songs. Rahman dissapoints! Lagaan and Swades had better songs in comparison. Only the kehne ko jashne bahara lingers in my mind. Although picturisation wise, Marhaaba is festive. But, with Hrithik donned as Akbar, he can only watch people dancing here!

Character actors have less to do here, but Hrithik's ammi shines in her small role. Ashwarya holds her own in front of Hrithik and is competent.But Hrithik is the soul of the movie. He potrays Akbar, from the ones we have read, better in the action sequences. The romantic angle of Akbar, is delved like any other mushy movie. Probably, he could have improved there.

In the age, where top directors are banishing popular commercial requirements to make movies that satisfy thier creative urges, Ashutosh joins the list. But, this one, somehow doesnt give the triumphant feeling of Lagaan or the guilty feeling of Swades. It makes your head ache like old History books did!

However, for the cinematoghaphy, the effort taken in meticulously getting the look of the Mughals, the Rajputs and the battlefield you can take a pill and watch this once.
Rating: 2.5/5

Mithya - unconventional and breezy

About the Director:
I am a fan of Rajat Kapoor, his character "Mahesh Uncle" in Dil Chahta Hai was quite an underrated performance. No doubt he has played some lenghtier and meetier characters in his career till now, but DCH stays. He also has a couple of movies behind him: Raghu Romeo and Mixed Doubles. I had seen Mixed Doubles, was quite a decent flick.

About the Cast:
When you have Ranvir, Vinay Pathak, you know comedy is mandatory. Add Naseerudin Shah to the plot and the star cast is beefed up. Plus there is Harsh Chhaya a TV veteran, but another fantastic actor. Neha Dhupia adds the glamor quotient.
But there is no Khan, no Kumar here...

Ranvir is a struggling actor who is getting nowhere in life. One day he witnesses a shootout and his life goes for a toss. He ends up playing a lot of characters in real life getting into all the pitfalls.
The plot is a suspense in itself.

The first half has a regular dosage of comedy. There is however a teaspoon of dark underworld chill which turns the smiles into sweat. Once you are back munching your caramel popcorn n pepsi, the plot thickens and takes a near u-turn, with zero comedy. There are shades of love romance and family bonding but the underworld dose is acting in the background to steer the genre back into the dark world of crime.

My 2 cents:

The screenplay is awesome, with the dialoges perfecting the characters. The movie loses some steam in the 2nd half, however, the director steers it to safety right before you feel like yawning.
Awesome performances by Iravati and Inspector Shyam.

Ranvir Shourey makes acting look so easy. Minimal histrionics, no fuss and consummate ease with which he puts his point. He is truly, successor to Naseer.

Atlee Rating:


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