Movie Review :Tollylights

Tolly Bites. And it hurts

Abhi JoggingI was literally dragged to the premiere of Arjun Chakraborty’s “Tollylights” in Kolkata. I didn’t have any clue that the premiere event was going to be thronged by women in inch deep make-up, the who’s who of Kolkata’s P3 circle and yeah, renowned lyricist and filmmaker Gulzar and ex-capitano Saurav Ganguly were also there. I was already pissed at the affairs getting late, and well, I felt sorry for Mr.Gulzar that he had to sit through the entire movie,(coz he was there to support his ex-Asst Dir. Arjun, the guy in the left in the trackies , yeah he’s the director in case you didn’t know) and well, so was I also forced to sit through it. I entered the screening room and from scene 1, I knew this was in some way going to be hilarious (even if it wasn’t mean to be). The reels begin to roll, and “Aashun Rongeen Prithibi te” starts screaming out from the surround speakers. Someone please tell the projectionist that me ears are bleeding. I wish I hadn’t thrown away my cotton reels. The intro track shows the journey of Tollywood from where it all began to what shit it is now. The track is replete with formulas of Bangla rock-the distorted guitars,the annoying cheap drum cymbals crashing with the bass sounds, and the irritating backing vocals and even more annoying lead vocals who wants to end every line with a fade out echo. Ugh!! Scene 1: Mithun da enters. Mithunda begins by saying something which sounded similar to :- Aaami Gay ( I am Gay). Actually he said Aaami Ke? (Who am I?) And the laughter riot didnt stop for me.

If you are really interested, the story is about Tollywood in general and encompasses the story of the struggle of a genuinely talented filmmaker being exploited to the extremes by the unethical show-business, and a middle class married woman who chooses glory over a non-supportive family. Pfff….Feed me something good. Yawn Yawn.What started as a take on the creative mediocrity in Tollywood, with scripts often being stolen from DVDs of South Indian movies, casting couch culture, the politics of Production Teams, the tussle between Producers of Mega Serials and the Movie actresses, gets immersed in its own mediocrity as the script fails to excite me , and so does the performances. I mean yeah, we have seen heroines sleep with Producers or veteran actors, in that order, and we have also seen actress commiting suicides. So fucking what? Having said that, the movie has two scenes which you take back home. (more…)

Movie Review: Vantage Point

No Silly Point

Vantage PointNow as the movie posters read out loud and clear, Vantage Point is what it sets out to be. 8 Strangers, 8 Points of view .1 Truth. Clearly it’s all about a conspiracy theory, and predictably a mole in the US Defense System and lots of action. But as I actually had expected, this is not 8 points of view contradicting each other, but just a replay of a time slot of 25 mins from the point of view of 8 separate people of the assassination of the POTUS (I really feel sorry the President of the US being referred to with a nickname that sounds so close to Poop) which include the secret service agent Joseph Barnes (Dennis Quaid ) who comes back to the service of the POTUS after taking a bullet in the line of duty, the ever curious Howard (Forrest Whitaker) who sticks to his handycam and might have caught the assassination on tape and Enrique (Eduardo Noriega ), a cop who is being set up. I would keep this review as spoiler free as possible, but it goes without saying that nothing is what it seems. (more…)

Movie Review: Jodhaa Akbar

Jodhaa Akbar When the name is “Jodhaa Akbar” what you shouldn’t expect is a 90 min short story. What you should expect is a condensed 52 episodes of the tale of one of the greatest Mughal Emperors, Jalaluddin Mohammed Akbar and his reign over India from the mid 16th century and the historic alliance with Rajput Princess Jodhaa Bai. And of course, this would mean the movie to be expanded beyond proportions (the length is a good 3 hrs 40 mins). But I do not have any problems with it as far as the length is concerned. More than often, epic storytelling has demanded the pace to be at ease and so is the case here. Ashutosh Gowariker’s “Jodhaa Akbar “is another edition to that list of epic movies, but does it pass the test of epic storytelling? I still have my doubts. Of course, it is easy to look at everything with an eye of criticism and just start evaluating the faults and the shortcomings, but for once, I’d stand and applaud at the sheer magnitude of the canvas that Ashutosh Gowariker has tried to paint and presented it with so many radiant hues.

Of course, we are reminded that such historical epic stories are always associated with controversies. Let’s clear this doubt: This is not a documentary. History tells us Akbar had many wives, not to mention concubines, invented his own religion Din-i-Ilahi, and was as megalomaniac as all other Mughal Emperors. But the golden rule of bringing period pieces to life remains: It is the legend which stays alive. (more…)

Somewhere Back in Time – Mumbai GIG in Pictures

If you are one of those lazy bums who just can’t sit through the 1285 words of my previous post on the Maiden Gig in Mumbai, this is for you. And for those Maiden Maniacs like me, this is definitely for you. And for those who missed it, burn , burn, burn in ENVY!!!

The Story in Pictures .

The Pass

The Pass

The Prophet