4 hours to Maiden

Iron Maiden MumbaiPrelude: It all begins at the Volvo stand of Pune, near Nandu’s Paratha house, on Jan 31st, the day before the gig. Or is it, umm, Jan 21st, Planet M, MG Road, when I bought the tickets? Screw it. The excitement all began with the first rumors that emerged on various online forums that the Devil’s Official Children-Iron Maiden were coming, yet again, to make our ears bleed and reign our souls with their Metal-this time, not so far from here. I reached Mumbai on the 31st at 1:00 am, thanks to Neeta Volvo’s extremely “relaxed” pace.

Feb 1 Morning:10:00 am. Shit!Shit!Shit! Waking up to a Stomach Upset on a Maiden Concert day. Things weren’t as “green” as I wished they were. I mean the day. I had to rush for breakfast, coz I wanted to reach the venue ASAP. Had Chole Bhature for Breakfast cum Lunch and two glasses of water. Took a Bath, got into the Auto, oh yeah! got dressed, not in that order. Auto Waala was Shaana and knew that I didn’t know squat about Mumbai. So he took me for a RIDE. Ghatkopar West se Bandra Kurla ke beech main 3 flyovers paar kiya. ( He crossed 3 flyovers from Ghatkopar West to Bandra Kurla). And so I reached BKC somehow, amidst all the chaos of Kurla. The Namaaz was going as usual; the Mikes were playing the usual Himmess. And the crowd as busy and lost in the hustle- no one with any idea of the Mayhem that was about to get unleashed. But then, as I approached the venue, things seemed a little more familiar. Auto Rickshaws, Cars, and People Walking towards a Banner that read- To Iron Maiden Concert Venue. And before I knew, I had my devil’s horn on my right hand. Continue reading

Movie Review:Rambo

RamboThe 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

Music Review: Jodhaa Akbar

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

Movie Review: Juno

Juno 1Juno 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