LSD : Got me High

Don’t read into the title way too much. I’m not here to promote any “substance”. But yes, Dibakar Banerjee’s Love Sex Aur Dhokha aka LSD has the kicks, the oomph and the much awaited spark. He has set the bar yet again to a higher level than his own previous works – Khosla ka Ghosla and Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye.  And I never thought those movies could be ever exceeded. Glad that DeeBee da proved me and many others wrong.

Now before you accuse me of ranting away in true fanboy style about how awesome this movie is, lemme bring home three important points why I loved it so much as I did.

1: This is Real, not Reel:

It is posed to be “Real”. And it has been presented that way. No holds barred, and with zero pretence. Right from the dreamy eyed diploma filmmaker who believes life as a Yash Chopra movie to the chauvinist and cynical betrayer who sets up the cameras in Story 2, it is out there and it grabs you by the nuts. You forget that you are in fact “watching” something being enacted. It transcends the medium of cinema. Much like Cameron’s Pandora suspended our senses with its sheer beauty, LSD succeeds in making me a witness of the three interwoven stories. I felt as if I was a fly on the wall watching the events unfold. And yes, I have watched Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield and Blair Witch as well. And I loved them all.

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Movie Review: My Name Is Khan

***Yellow Yellow… Dirty Fellow***

Amongst other rhyming lines that Shah Rukh Khan’s Rizvan Khan [ K..khan…from the epiglotis] speaks at important moments across the film, is the one cited above. He is a guy suffering from a certain form of autism, born in Bombay and who goes ahead to marry a single mother – Mandira Rathod [Kajol ]. The fairy-tale continues until Al-Qaida strikes the twin towers, and as Rizvan’s voice-over tells us – world history gets divided into BC, AD and 9/11. Now, Bollywood has churned out some similar half-baked shit in the last couple of months or so. The brown bread entertainer – New York and the crazy accent carrying Om Puri and Kirron Kher love extravaganza – Kurbaan. Oh noes, Kurbaan was supposed to be the movie with the Kareena backless scene. Sorry KJo, I can’t still get over with that funny accent of Kirron Mata. My Name Is Khan tries to get it right from the scratch. It builds up to it, with a perfect setting, a perfect background and then just goes mental. Completely ballistic in a very wrong way. It felt like KJo started this movie as he said – “I was fed up with Bollywood“. By that he meant, he was fed up with the same song-dance routine, the same high ceilings with polished Swarovski crystal chandeliers, Sharmishta Roy art-direction and Manish Malhotra assisting him in styling. And oh, the Sagai, Shaadi, Post Shaadi, Karva Chauth routine. Yes, KJo did seem a bit grown up. But I think he missed his own daal-roti so much, and hence, goes back to the old as the hills  formula – It’s all about loving your parents/ family /neighbour . And he does it while he chews upon as much cheese as the Swiss can manufacture in a year, with as many stereotypical references as possible.

I have some major problems with the movie which makes me question what the likes of Mahapurush – Taran Adarsh jee and Divya Naari – Nikhat Kazmi could see in it to rate it 4.5 star out of 5 and 5 on 5 respectively. But before I dive deeply into the problems, lemme scrape out the good stuff for ya!!

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3 Idiots

OKS Rant: 3 Idiots – From the depths of my Engineering Nostalgia!

 Gave me the sunshine
of seasons past

 This is not a review of 3 idiots.

I am a child of the eighties. Unlike the children of the late Nineties or the Noughties, who grew up with Satellite TV and alternative career choices, my options were limited. I never clearly knew what I wanted to do. Maybe I don’t know still. I was good in Maths. I hated blood and dissecting frogs, and I wanted to travel outside my hometown, maybe work somewhere in a city in India or even abroad. I have 3 cousins who are Engineers, and hence my parents were keen enough to make me one. And so I became one. All of this sums me up as a blend of Raju, Farhaan and Rancho – our three protagonists of 3 idiots. And hence, unlike “reviewers” who would nickname this as Munnabhai B.Tech [with certainly no idea of what they’re talking about], I feel deeply connected with this movie in a very obvious way. I have gone through that phase of peer pressure, fear of failure, coping with parental expectations and above all, the struggle between the safe-route naukri routine and the true calling in one’s self. I have a confession to make – I became a Mechanical engineer not because I was fascinated about Machines or automobiles, but because it ensured a better and a secured future. [ #Fact: Majority of Mechanical and Civil Engineers get recruited by IT services MNC’s, or go ahead with yet another struggle called CAT]. And yes, although I am not proud of my decision that I never gave enough room for my own interest in music, movies or writing which surely doesn’t match my Mechanical Engg degree [or my Masters in Operational Research], it certainly pays off my bills and in a way they make me happy. Yes, I am materialistic, who’s not?

But let’s get back to the movie. The world of 3 idiots set in a certain Imperial College of Engineering is typical of any Engineering college campus. The water tank aka ‘Tanki’ is reminiscent of the one that was in my campus. Of course, we had a biological name for it. And like non-living objects, we had nicknames for each and every character we found as worthy of being termed as a characteristic. So similar to the movie which has Chatur the Silencer, we had a Silent Killer, a DOPA [Dean of P@ndy Affairs] and also Remix King [I wish he’s reading this] who was responsible to add his wicked non-veg remixes to popular Bolly numbers [shining examples being Behra Piya Bada Bedardi, Hilake Pilake– Sharara Sharara and something that I can’t write about in public but I can certainly reveal that it is based on Tushar Kapoor’s Is Pyaar Ko Main Kya Naam Duu]. Although I wasn’t at all as competitive as Chatur, I did know an awful lot of people who were the ulta-cramming machines like Chatur, but quite ironically, would never top the class. And amongst others, I also had a couple of mates who would spend late nights until the wee hours of the morning playing cards or multi-player games and still score the highest marks. Typical Ranchos they were. And also a world which had the multi-tasking Millimeter, the Mega-Byte and Giga-Bytes 🙂 And for such obvious reasons that the movie brought all these memories back to me in a gush, I loved it. Not just a bit, but a whole lot.

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OKS Rant: Rocket Singh and the Fundas of Customer Services

I know it is a pretty lame statement to begin a post with but let me just get done with it. Rocket Singh is genuinely a ‘hatke’ movie. In a year choke-full of Bollywood formula of OTT high budgeted failures like Blue,Kambaqht Ishk, multistarrer flops -Main Aur Mrs Khanna, London Dreams and cinematic blunders -Chandi Chowkh, What’s Your Rashee – it seems like Bollywood needs reminding of the infamous line from matrix -There is NO spoon [ The spoon being a metaphor for formula]. Rocket Singh -without any form of exaggeration, is one of those movies which fall beyond the Venn diagram of Bollywood formula.
There is no Boy meets girl or Judaai waale gaane. There is no Pakka Khooni or Chor, neither is there any Dil Churane Wala. Rocket Singh subtly brings across mild memories of Boiler Room’s heated corporate sales talk in a believable Mumbai office and does not fail to charm throughout its length. Much of it certainly belongs to the spot on portrayal of Sardarji HP Singh by Sadda Kapoor -Ranbir and his Dadaji by none other than Prem, Prem Chopra.

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