Mumbai Meri Jaan: (4/5)

Date:11th July 2006.
The camera sits on the railway track with the speeding trains passing by...WHAAAAMMMMMM!!! There goes one bomb! WHAAAMMMMM!! Another....Computerized imagery throwing people haywire,some hitting the poles, some crushed under the train. The camera zooms towards the electric pole with the kilometer sign showing 7/11. I felt like giving a standing ovation for that one shot! Well, what is this movie all about...other than the train blasts of 2006. Its about the fear! Its about the suspicion that arises between communities...and above all, for the first time, a movie maker captures ...what is time and again referred to as the "SPIRIT" of Mumbai.

So you have an unemployed youth (KK), an executive (Madhavan), a coffee wala (Irffan), a police constable (Paresh Rawal) and a news reporter (Soha Ali Khan), who have suffered directly or indirectly from the blasts. Each one reacts in a different way in the aftermath of the blasts. KK starts getting suspicious of Muslims around him to the point of being called a hardliner. Catch him say the line when a Muslim guy sings a Mohd. Rafi song: " Yeh log Kishore Kumar ko kabhi nahi sunenge"! Madhavan, a patriotic corporate, who has turned many lucrative offers down. is so scared after the blasts, that he is thinking of shifting base to USA.Soha Ali Khan, the news reporter, becomes the victim of the many "breaking news" bytes she has provided her TV channel. Irffan Khan, takes his frustration at a completely different level, trying to spread terror across the city through hoax calls.

But, what takes the movie to an altogether new level is Paresh Rawal. He is the face of the real Mumbai police force. Not the dashing Amitabh who solves cases. Not the stylish Sunny Deol or Akshay Kumar who have seen in movies before. He is just another helpless man, with no accomplishments or deeds. He acts as the sutradhar of the movie and also provides the punchline solution for Hindu -Muslim unity. It would go down as one of the best dialogues for the year.

Great performances by the cast. Everyone stands out tall in his /her part. Infact, even the unheard constable colleague of Paresh Rawal creates a stirring impact. A great effort by Nishikant Kamat! Full marks for trying to spread a message of peace and harmony between two communities who are always waging a small battle against one another.

Atlee Rating: ****

Bachna aye audience- 1/5

I was forewarned! But having watched Yashraj Films all my life... I decided to stand by them inspite of the terrible run at the b-o. Post CHak De they have consistently delivered duds. And Bachna adds up to the piling mess. Its a tale of many girls...many cities

Swiss -(1996):The story starts ...false-starts as a distant cousin of DDLJ, the same locales, the same Punjabi munda mundi, the same Euro Rail. Raj (Ranvir Kapoor) with his bag of friends bumps into Mahi (Ms. Laamba) , a DDLJ freak who is on the eurorail trip only to find the Raj of her life. Okie, the references of DDLJ are quite enjoyable, but after a while it looks like a spoof-movie. The romance soon dies after the song n dance as Mahi realises the "honest" kameena intentions of the casanova Raj.

Aaamchi Mumbai (2002): So, Raj is now back in Mumbai, and supposedly 6 yrs older...However, Mr. makeup man forgot his job. Ranvir looks exactly the same as in the Swiss tale. This time he is sleeping with model babe Bipasha. A Salaam-Namaste backdrop ensues soon after...However, the topic of marriage brings the demons back in casanova's life and he dumps Bipasha on their wedding day to catch a plane to Sydney.

Sydney: And our Raj, now after dumping 2 girls finally finds love! Had to be Deepika...and she had to be a cabbie!!(Director Anand, wats this fetish for cabs!! First Salaam Namaste, then Tararumpum and now here. Cab is the latest lucky mascot!) Deepika is a B-school grad,who drives a cab in the night, works in a retail store during the day and yet manages to attend classes. And she is intelligent too! She knows exactly the rise in the profits of the gaming company and which companies are tracked by Walls Street!! Oye MBA ke naujawano, kuch to sharam karo...
Our casanova-boy is in love with this B-school grad. He proposes....she disposes and our playboy turns devdas.

Interval Time

Post interval...our lad suddenly gets a momentary recap..."maine itni saari ladkiyo ka dil toda hai" mujhe sorry bolna hai". And the movie plunges down the the hero manages to say sorry to the girls. Eventually he cleanses his soul and can now qualify as the "typical" Yashraj hero...the one who is always romantic and not a tharki.

If I would have left the movie at the interval break I might have rated it around 3/5 for the fun and humor, the DDLJ nostalgia and the Bipasha effect. However, 2nd half gets mushy, emotional, Punjabi and total nonsensical. So much, that the mvie nosedives to new lows.

Performances are okie, u r expected to act well these days. Music...the title track stands out...It was RDBurman whose melody is stillso fresh, the other songs look pale in comparison. And special request to Adi Chopra (as if he is going to read this)...please stop the unnecesary Punjabism in movies. Its getting to my nerves now.

Atlee Rating: 1/5

Singh is KING choddo...KAT is HOT

Sunny Deol will feel the tremors after this movie. His USP of being the Sikh hero has taken a beating. Akki , the super cool hero of todays times, has pulled a stunner, branded the "Sikh" man, reinvented buffoonery and yet managed to carry the proceedings on his shoulders.
The director however expected a lot from Akki. Take him out of the equation, and the movie has nothing else to offer.

The movie starts with a Don hangover, SRK imitated by a wooden Sonu Sood , an Indian sardarji who migrates from Punjab to Australia and has turned into an underworld gangster. He is rechristened as KING and has a battery of sardarjis as his henchmen.
"Don ko to gyaara mulko ki pulice dhoond rahi hai...par is KING ko to aise gyaara don dhoond rahe hai".
Cut 2 rural India.
We are introduced to desi Punjab, a loafer sardar Happy Singh (Akshay Kumar) creating nuisance in his village. Running around girls, bullying the groom in the marriage or breaking TV sets. After a few unnecessary reels, he is sent to Australia to get the KING back to Punjab. Om Puri, miscast as his good friend joins him. They end up reaching Egypt due to a confusion and the screen is suddenly lit by the sexy Katrina. She not only looks ravishing, but also makes a dcent effort to act. Or maybe, I was so smitten by her, that I can't criticize her performance. Dont ask what she is doing there. Oh yes, supposedly studying law.

Then our Happy Singh manages to reach Australia. Akki tries to persuade KING to come back, gets into a brawl and ends up becoming the KING. This sequence is the only time in the movie when you laugh out loud. In between our Happy Singh also finds a muu boli maa in Kiron kher, whose asli daugher is "believe it or not" Katrina!! The rest of the movie is a big downer with a love triangle to add to the woes of the public.

As far as the positives...
Pritam's music is clearly one of the high points of the movie. Ek Vaari and teri oor the winners.
Acting department- Kiroon Kher is ok, Om Puri dissapoints yet again after mere baap pehle aap. Katrina ..Katrina...Katrina..katrina...super kool....Among the other sardars, watch out for javed Jaffrey.
But, what is this film without Akki. Super cool Sardar, tries his best to make you laugh, but thanks to the inept screenplay and dialogues, Singh is King ends up in the bracket of "could be better". The stars mainly for Katrina's looks and Akki's act.

Atlee Rating: **

Home Coming

Its home coming....
Waiting for the next weekend...
Waiting to see the half-made flyovers....
waiting to see red double decker buses...
waiting to see the potholes...the rains..the waves...the seas (not actually...bengal main bhaut paani dekh liya)
missing ka khaana, mom ka pyaar...

motamoti...missing Mumbai now...

btw, motamoti...this is a frequently used term in bengal and ITC which is used to say...motamoti... anyhting...

its also time to catch up with my NITIE ppl...catch up with all u ppl...zindagi main bhaut kum baar aisa hoga ki Abdul Kalam saab humaare paas hone ki khushi main clap karenge...
(kuch log to paas bhi nahi hue firbhi)


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