The saga began in 1982 with a Vietnam War veteran traveling to small town America in search of his old army buddy. Little did they know then, that “First Blood” was way beyond dealing issues of mercenaries . This was destined to spawn an entire explosive popcorn franchise, much like the Italian Boxer Balboa. Rambo became a one-man army, totally loaded and well-equipped to wipe out regiments and tyrant armies with his signature arrow shoots and explosives. It’s been 20 years since John Rambo showered his bullets in Afghanistan. But 2008’s “Rambo” brings in a hint of old-age, bigger muscles, the same killing stare, even lesser dialogues, the story of a nation ripped by civil war, insanely atrocious rulers, the local rebels and of course, more boom and bam. And yes, I loved it. This is Hollywood extreme action packed to the utmost density with body counts increasing, heads being exploded by snipers and guts being cut through. Continue reading
So Ashutosh Gowariker is back, with the same team of A.R.Rahman and Javed Akhtar who have tasted huge success before with Swades and of course Lagaan. And this being titled ” Jodhaa Akbar” expectations are obviously sky-high. The Hrithik-Ash Jodi, the budget from UTV breaking through the roof, and the stellar visuals shown in the trailer, of course , Gowariker promises all of that including good music. Only this time, it is not as good as it should sound. Jodhaa Akbar, the soundtrack, disappoints and can at best be termed as one of the most mediocre works of the creators- A.R.Rahman and Lyricist- Javed Akhtar. And no, no amount of good picturisation can save the utter drag of the OST. What you expect is of course, music that lives that period and yet has a contemporary appeal , something which Rahman isn’t new to. But forget the period part, it doesn’t appeal either.
Let’s deal with it one by one shall we? The soundtrack opens with a very predictable Opening theme of sorts. The kind you’d actually picturise to feature on a Mughal period movie. Azeem-o-shaan ShahenShah is heavy on percussions, is absolutely ambient and the grandeur comes across in the sound arrangements. The Chanan Chans and the sound of the courtesans at Akbar’s court, and the praise to the Emperor are all summed up in this song, but at almost 6 minutes, this is a never ending praise-tale, and all I can compare it to is an audio History lesson. The swords are clinging and the sounds of celebrations, I can see how Gowariker is going to put this down to celluloid. Continue reading
Juno was highly recommended to me by a friend of mine. He even praised it so much by going to the length of calling it “the Little Miss Sunshine of 2007”. I had my hopes high and my expectations were soaring. And Juno meets every single one of them, and even manages to excel at certain points. Love, life, romance –all of that, in a pregnant teenager, who loves to strum the six strings and is the smartest woman (Yes woman) I have ever seen onscreen: Juno is all of that. And the movie envelopes all these aspects in a wonderful feel-good way, which doesn’t seem at all artificial. Juno is all but real, and still somehow brings that innocent smile on your face, similar to the one when you watch Dexter’s Laboratory, not that this has anything to do with science, well anatomy yes. Ughh!! You’re making me confused.
I can just spend hours gushing about the “awesomeness” of the performances and the movie as a whole. But well that would put my writing skills to the test. I’d rather tell you that Juno puts a strange effect in you. Continue reading
Forget the FM channels. The magnetic audio tapes, with the wait time for rewinds are the thing when it comes to music for our buddy Auto-Drivers. And when you ask them why not FM, they say “Fuck the Big Red Mirchi”. That’s actually how you abuse three channels at one go. Of course, it’s not in English that they tell me so, and well, it’s just a figment of my imagination. Anyway, Auto-Rickshaw music is BIG in a country where Himmessh actually sells audio cassettes more than CDs. In a world where digital music (okay CDs you may call it) to us is primarily MP3, music in daily life is predominantly high on the tone equalizer, and resonating from the Big black soundbox in the backseat of an Auto-Rickshaw. And what is the possibility of you being subjected to listen to a Himmessh, (yeah the man’s creation, as in a Picasso, or a Vinci, or a Sujoy, whatever)-probably 99.999%. I shall confirm the numbers very soon. But quality is not at all governed by the sheer number of playtime, is it? So here I am, preparing a whole Top 10 list of the Favorite Songs of the Auto-Rickshaws. The criteria for judgment: my ears, my senses and my reasons, perhaps movie background scores at times, and well a little SPICE.
10. Chalo Bulawa Aaya Hai: (Avtaar) This is one of the sole reasons why Narendra Chanchal is still one of the top grossers at Sanskaar Channel and what actually pays for his monthly post paid bills. One of the original examples of Devotion meets pop culture. Listen to it on a very high tone, and Narendra Chanchal actually sounds like Asha Bhosle, who sang the female version. Money wasted!! Saare Bolo Jai Mata Di.