Friday, August 3, 2012

The Curious Case of Jism 2


Kabir is the best policeman the country has ever seen. All he does is to take out his gun from the holster in less than a second. That makes him the best; from what they have shown in the movie. In a drug cartel raid he comes across a bimbo who is indirectly linked to the case. But somehow he figures out that she is innocent so he lets her go.

Next thing we know, that bimbo is in love with him. She writes him a letter with her blood, does some background check on him and reaches his home to confess her love. They deliver some of the most irritating dialogues in the context of love and start screwing each other in different places. We assume Police officer has also fallen in love with her. Well, after so much love making who wouldn’t!

So after he is exhausted with all those sessions he disappears. And the bimbo thinks she has been dumped so she goes on to become porn star. The genius of Mahesh Bhatt.

Some wonderful years have passed and we have seen much of her porn on the internet. One fine night in some club, a mysterious guy with hilarious expressions gives a look at Izna, the porn star, and in the next scene they are doing some, ahem, sensual activity. For money. Not sure if that bimbo is a porn star or a call girl. So after that sensual activity that guy, Ayaan, tells her to do a special task for them in exchange for money. She agrees. They both go to Sri Lanka and start using the word ‘Mulk’. If Pakistan wasn’t enough, the movie makers have  now moved on to Sri Lanka for their stupid terrorism plots. Courtesy Mahesh Bhatt.

So there is a special agency, wow – so original, which only has two people working for. There are three more, but they are actually room cleaners and cooks and also get killed later on so they don’t matter.

So the people at that agency tell Izna that there is a terrorist called Kabir who is the most dangerous terrorist of India and is killing people. He continues by saying that no one in India can get to him because he lives alone in Sri Lanka and is protected by some friend who is deaf in one ear, and doesn’t even live with him. So only Izna can get to him because he still chants her name in front of everybody so it is well known fact. Well, any forever alone guy with an internet connection will chant a hot porn star’s name every day. Big deal!

So Ayaan and Izna go to Sri Lanka and easily get a home adjacent to Kabir’s. Ayaan gives her a romantic novel and tells her to read some of the pages so that they can cook a story to tell others. Wow.

Now, Ayaan tells Izna to distract Kabir so that he can go and get all the data from Kabir’s laptop. She does that. So Ayaan gets in Kabir’s house, which has no security whatsoever. He also opens his laptop, which doesn’t even have a password but as soon as he inserts his pen drive Kabir gets a message. He is a moron. Neither does he get to do what he wanted with Izna, nor does he stop Ayaan from copying his data. The most difficult task I have ever seen in the history of Indian movies.

So there is again some big dialogue bazi which forces you to pull your hair from your scalp and scream your throats out. There is again some skin show which is so boring that you try hard to get seduced but you end up abusing everyone associated with the movie. Epic fail.

Even that’s not it. Mahesh Bhatt has saved his best for the last. There is a big twist. It sucks so bad that you slap your cheeks hard and pull all the hair out from your scalp. So practically you come to watch this movie hoping to see your favorite porn star doing something worth your money but you end up having so many injuries that even a doctor can’t feel sorry for you for watching Jism 2.

The Ugly:

Sunny Leone:  I admit love is blind. It makes you do terrible things. I proved the theory right. I went to watch her please me. Instead, she was too pathetic for anyone to handle. Such plastic emotions, such appalling cry, such disgusting performance. And what’s worst? The dubbing artist who dubbed her, Smita, has given her worst performance to date. You wonder why is the voice so out of sync with her lips! Yes, I did look at her lips but even those looked horrendous. Atrocious performance. Disappointing.

Randeep Hooda:  There was one actor who was known for his intense acting skills – Randeep Hooda. Was. He has the worst dialogues in the movie and every time he appeared he made you pray to god to end his scene as soon as possible. There was not one good thing about his performance. His intense acting skills made a poorly written and directed scene even more irritating.

Arunoday Singh:  He has nothing to do in the movie. All he does is to show his hideous expressions and abysmal love for Izna. Yes, towards the end he does get to do some action and stuff but what stands out is his last emotions. What bullshit! But what bother the most are his expressions.

Story:  This is it. Mahesh Bhatt has lost it completely. He can only scratch all his body and pass controversial remarks for everybody. He cannot make good films now even if he wants to. I’d not be wrong if I admit that this was the most ridiculous, illogical, irritating, awfully written script ever. Starting from the first scene, everything was so lame that he has established a level of insanity.

Pooja Bhatt:  Opportunist she might be called by many, but in fact she is in idiot in actual. You can get a famous porn star, an intense actor, and an average music in your team but in the end you need some talent and skill to pull off everything. What a waste of everything!

The Silver Lining:

Amidst all this crap, there are a couple of things which need a mention under a different heading.

Cinematography:  Exotic locations, brilliant use of colors and splendid use of camera. These are some of the only positive things about Jism 2. But sadly due to awful script and poor acting these things might get ignored.

The Music:  The song ‘Maula’ which has a haunting effect, if listened properly, is the standout. Arko Pravo Mukherjee has done a good job. Rest of the songs are good, but like I said, even the music is helpless in front of such disastrous movie.

Enough Said.

Why should you watch it?
If you think this whole review is a big fat lie.

Why shouldn’t you watch it?
If you want to retain your sanity, money and love for Sunny Leone.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Book Review: How I Braved Anu Aunty And Co-founded a Million Dollar Company - Varun Agarwal



How many times does it happen that you meet your old batch mates – listen to their routines, success stories and philosophies and you say, ‘God, what am I doing with my life!’
I guess it does happen with everybody at some point of their life. How many of the backbenchers and low-graders you know have become successful in their life? Well – that is a tough one.
Everyone has heard of college-drop outs, failures, and those where-the-hell-were-they-during-college types of guys making big, viz. Zuckerberg, Gates, etc. So what if some guy – almost of our age – does something similar?
Meet Varun Agarwal.
Newest entry to the group of twenty something guys with rebellious blood running in their veins. It doesn’t matter if he deliberately did not want to join a management course or he wasn’t qualified to enter a big college. What matters is what he did with his life. He inspired, or rather, instigated his friend Rohan Malhotra to risk their careers and do something that was the first of its kind. Varun dared everyone he was related to – including the iconic Anu Aunty and co-founded a unique company that redefined entrepreneurship in India.
Alma Mater – as the name suggests – is a website where you can register your college and design your college merchandise such as T-shirts, sweat shirts and all. The company’s worth is around a million dollars, as the author and entrepreneur claims.    
Anyway, coming back to the book – it doesn’t have anything extra ordinary. It’s an honest account of a guy who challenged everyone in his family tree and his friends and opened a company which went on to become super successful.
Anu Aunty, who plays the second lead in a story, makes sure no stone is unturned in stressing Varun to take the same path that her own son took. Varun, as predicted, hates her son as he finds him geeky and idiot. He has just completed his college and is supposed to join some good company for a job and do something good with his life, but he is not interested. He wants to do something extra-ordinary.
On a crazy night, where all the big ideas are invented and big things happen, he strikes an idea of opening a company having a one room office and selling college merchandise online. With some hiccups, their company gets a head start and then Varun and Rohan don’t look back. Unlike the rest of us, who use facebook only for liking  and commenting on mostly stupid things, Varun and Rohan use facebook for viral marketing of his company along with justdial for promotion purposes.
The book is rather an account of his journey, so it does inspire you and gives you a hell lot of insights of how you have to deal with various people, what measure you must take, what problems you might have to face and most importantly – how not to bogged down by the snubbing of family members and friends and stay focused.
Talking about writing – this is Varun’s debut book so it would be unethical to judge the book on such grounds. He sure has his way of writing, but it is certainly not as good as the other commercial fiction novels available in the market. It lacks the commercial aspect – that is – it’s a bit monotonous.
But then, you don’t buy this book only to have fun. You buy this book to read a success story and to learn the dos and don’ts of the marketing and business world. It doesn’t stir any emotion in you, but it does inspire you in more ways than one.

My rating: 3.5/5

           

Friday, June 1, 2012

Book Review: How About A Sin Tonight? - Novoneel Chakraborty


What happens when you come across five different people simultaneously? Five very different people. They intrigue you. They attract you, and you feel like knowing them more and more. Once you get introduced to them, you feel like knowing about their past and how they became the person they are at present. Well, you then go on a journey. A long one. You find about the people, understand their lives, comprehend the consequences of the decisions they made and why, feel them around you, and whatnot! When you are done living their lives, you feel a change in you. A big one.

That’s what How About A Sin Tonight? does to you.

Meet Shahraan Ali Bakshi – The Superstar! The guy who rules the hearts and whatnot of girls. The inspiration for all the wannabe actors.  The legend having an innocent but twisted past.

Meet Kaash Sehgal – The upcoming Star! The guy who rose to fame with a critically acclaimed movie. The playboy. The obsessive lover. The mystery.

Meet Nishani Rai – The Star kid!  The diva having blood composed of only one thing – vengeance at any cost. The obsessive hater.

Meet Reva Gupta – The quintessential Icon! The girl with nothing but success in her mind. The girl who knows the best way to grab every opportunity. The confused lover.

Meet Neev Dixit – The Heartthrob! The guy with confused dreams. The seen-it-all and did-it-all guy. The twisted lover.

                                                Love took them. Everywhere.

They all are connected with each other. In some way or the other.

A new movie brings them all together.  They have a past and they have a history among them. What follows is the drama that is sure to move you and will leave you with a lot of questions in your heart and mind.

Novoneel Chakraborty, of A Thing Beyond Forever & That Kiss In The Rain fame, has grown up. In every sense.  Be it writing style, be it the theme, be it the philosophy, be it the characterization or… be it age!

The best thing about it him is he doesn’t feel burdened while writing, he does what he wants. His trademark being the questions raised on the conventions everybody follows blindly and his way of seeing each and everything with a different perspective. That makes him stand out. He will make you feel his characters, he will make you ponder. His hard work is visible in each and every line. You will feel amazed by his knack of presenting things, which you come across everyday and ignore unintentionally, in a manner you never knew existed.

Well, the only downside I came across was Neev’s and Reva’s story. May be for me it was too complex or maybe it was too hard for me to believe their chemistry. But then the story which does not make you challenge the story itself, is never a good story. Also, for some it maybe a downside – you cannot finish this by brewing the pages. You just cannot.
The book demands full attention and concentration. You need to prepare yourself, for the questions and ideologies raised by the characters are sure to touch you somewhere at some point.

All in all, to conclude, How About A Sin Tonight? is basically a character driven novel, in which you don’t have to search for the story or the plot or the thrill or suspense or whatever. You just need to follow the characters to wherever they take you, and believe me, the journey is bound to change you. In one way or more.

Pros: The characters, the writing, the conventional things we do or follow have been questioned, the ideologies and Love!

Cons: Too many characters.

Overall: 4.5/5




Sunday, April 1, 2012

When I Met SRK!


I have always believed that you should never really wish to meet your favorite celebrity; for you don’t know how they might behave with you. One moment…just one moment with them can decide everything. I am a big time fan of Shah Rukh Khan. I hear a lot of things about him, everyday, some good, and some bad. I don’t care. I admire him, period. I’m not gonna change my opinions on the basis of things I hear.

But…

When you have an elder sister who has contacts in big hotels in New Delhi, and she knows people….big people, and also has the caliber of fixing a meeting with your favorite celebrity, would you let go of the opportunity? I guess, you wouldn’t. I came to know SRK was in town for a couple of days for some work and was staying in a hotel I knew my sister has contacts in. That was it. I had to go crazy. I had to irritate her to a point where she had to say, ‘OKAY! I’ll see what I can do! Happy?’

And here I am. Waiting in the lobby. Waiting to meet my favorite star. Nervous. Shaking legs. Adjusting my hair. Wiping the sweat off my face. In short – Anxious. Am I really gonna meet him? Will he actually shake hands with me? Will he get a photo clicked with me? How much time am I gonna get? What am I gonna say? Will he listen to me? Answer my questions? Such are the heights of my craziness.

‘Mr. Naman?’ I hear a voice. ‘Yes!’ I reply back, surprised. ‘It’s time for your appointment. Sir has to leave in about half hour and he is waiting for you in his Suite.’ Waiting? For me? In his suite? No way!

I follow him. My hands are trembling. He is just a normal human, just like you. Stop over reacting!  I say to myself.

‘This way, Mr. Naman. Here you go.’

Adrenaline courses through my body. I hear the footsteps approaching. Don’t meet him. Just run!

The door opens and I see someone.

‘Hey! You must be Naman, right?’ Red colored rim spectacles, black t-shirt, blue jeans, glowing and a very familiar face passing that classic smile….I almost collapse.
‘Relax, dude. Usually it’s the girls who give me this kind of reaction. Come on in.’ He smiles. I can see him. Shah Rukh Khan. In his personal Royal Suite. Right in front of me! And guess what? He calls me by my name the moment he sees me. AWESOME!

‘Come sit. Wanna have something to drink? Tea, coffee, soft, hard… anything?’
I am too starstruck to speak. He laughs.
‘You alright?’ He pats my shoulders. I am stoned. Why am I behaving like this!

‘Hi, sir. I am a big fan of yours.’ I finally manage to utter out the most clich├ęd words in the world. Disappointing.
‘Haha. Really? That’s it? I expected more from you.’ He winks.

 ‘No…No! I mean, I am really a big…big….bigggg fan of you.’ No sooner do I complete my sentence than I look above and notice the ceiling, the walls, the lighting, and the decoration. What an arrangement! I wish I were a star.
‘Oh, is that so? How big a fan are you? Tell me.’ He rests his back on his sofa and folds his hands, starts smiling and waits for me to speak.

I am in Shah Rukh Khan’s personal royal suite! I shout in my head, again.

‘Oye, kaha kho gaya?’ He starts laughing.

‘I don’t know. I have seen some of the shows where they showcase your fans. I don’t do that kind of stuff. But yeah, I admire you a lot.’ I am amazed by the clarity of the long sentence I just spoke.
‘Hmm. Okay, forget all this. Tell me, do you buy the music of my movies or do you just download?’ Again, that sinister laugh. He knows he has caught me.

I freeze. Totally.

I speak nothing and look down. Even more embarrassed.

‘Call yourself a big fan, huh? Haha. No worries. People rarely buy. They always download. Not a new thing.’
I keep fiddling with my fingers anxiously. Clueless about what to say next.
‘I’ll start buying from your next movie.’ Shit. How can I be so dumb!
‘Yaar tu itna dara hua kyo hai? Mai samajh gaya. You are the biggest fan.’
I look up and notice the glow on his face. I suddenly think of something.
‘Why do some people say you’re rude to them? I was scared about the same before coming here. I comforted myself with a silly thought - since this is a proper appointment, you wouldn’t be rude.’ The conversation is all going wrong. My legs shiver.
‘See Naman, I never have any intention of being even remotely rude to anyone. It all depends on the situation in which they see or interact with me. If I am in a crowded place and surrounded by people, I cannot pay attention to everybody. If I am in the middle of the shoot, crew members won’t let any fan come up to me. They get disappointed. The worst part is that I don’t even get to know of most of those happenings. I know many get irritated and change their viewpoint about me, but, that’s life! I move on.’

I smile. Feeling satisfied.

‘But then, people say much more things about you; which I feel, are inappropriate. I guess you must be aware of some of those things.’
‘Media waalon ki tarah kyo baatein kar raha hai! Ha-ha. Arrey, I know everything they say about me. It’s been 22 years. Ab toh zada farak bhi nahi padta. I feel, if you don’t irk at least 50% of people surrounding you, you’re not doing your job right. On the other hand, if someone speaks negative about you, you can easily make out whether it is genuine or jealousy or out of personal grudge. People keep calling me idiot, old, worn out, cheesy, narcissist or even gay!  It doesn’t affect me now. People will always say things. It’s your choice to listen to all that bullshit or ignore.’

‘Really? You are aware of each and every damn thing they say about you… even sometimes about your role in the movies?’

He passes me a curt smile. And then, winks.
‘I know where you are heading. The point is that I have done so many movies, and played really, really difficult characters in some. Now that I have reached this level, I feel I should experiment. I don’t care whether those efforts will be appreciated or not, whether the people would want to kill me or not; I just feel like experimenting. And, I am not gonna stop. Love me or hate me for it.’

I just feel short of words. He looks serious. Should I ask him for a photo?
‘Achha ek kaam kar pehle. Pareshan mat dikh. Chill! You mind if I smoke in here?’
‘As a matter of fact, I do!’ I speak immediately with such confidence that he actually stops before lighting his cigarette and looks at me with raised eyebrows. God, I really hate smoking.

‘I’m sorry. But I really hate your habit of smoking. You do know how harmful that is. Fir bhi? Aur movies me kehte ho nahi peena chahiye, log mar jaate hain.’

‘Chal tere ko ek baat batata hun. Sorry, haan, is cigarette ke liye.’ He throws it in the bin kept nearby. Brings in a serious look and speaks. ‘There are two types of people in the world. First, who have the ground and are rooting for the sky. Second, who have reached the sky but lost the ground quickly. I happen to be the latter. I lost my Dad when I was very young. I only had my mom to take care of me. My younger sister was ill. And, I had to go to Mumbai to fight for the love of my life. I tried my hand in TV & movies; and by the grace of god, I started to succeed. And then I got to know about my mother’s demise. That was very saddening. She used to call me her hero and always believed in me. She wanted me to win an award in acting. And, she left me as soon as I won my first award. I couldn’t even show it to her.  I had no one left, had to take care of my sister, had to fight for my love and had to make a living. Smoking bahaut gandi cheez hai. Mujhey kisi insaan ne nahi balki akelepan ne shuru karayi. Chhod raha hun yaar, dheeme dheeme. Maaf kar de.’

He smiles. I try to recollect and remember everything he just said. Whatta man! Seriously.

‘May I ask you more about my doubts?’ I make an innocent face and look at him. He checks his watch. ‘Abhi toh time hai. Pooch le. Nahi toh tu bhi bolega ki sanki hoon aur bhaav khata hoon.’ I silently thank my sister, and speak.
‘One of my friends dislikes you. He says your prime has passed; you used to be brilliant but have now become irritating and repetitive. He also says you’ll end up being like Michael Jackson by the time you hit 50. It shows in your face.’
‘You sure you’re a fan? Khaali maarne me laga hai jabse aaya hai!’

He and I share a good laugh.

‘I am 46 years young, Naman. The way I am living and speeding, I’ll only stop at 150. Not at 50. Don’t worry. Na mujhko gum hai, na mujhko parwaah. Kaun mera dushman hua.  And talking about the face? Umm…I know I am very sexy!’
It takes enormous amount of guts and confidence to speak good about oneself. Not all can do it. He is full of confidence and style! I wait for a while. My legs still shaking anxiously, and thinking what to say next. I am still a little starstruck to actually listen to what he says carefully. I just want to blurt everything out I always wanted to ask and tell. But then, I smile. Not sure of the reason.

‘Tell me, did you see Don2?’
‘Oh, yeah. I did. I did. I certainly did.’
He chuckles. I look down and laugh over my reaction.
‘Hmm. How did you like it?’
‘I loved it. You were awesome. I liked and appreciated you in Ra.One too. But…’
‘Aa gaya line pe, makkhan maarne ke baad. But kya?’
‘Nahi, aisa nahi hai. I don’t know whether I should actually say it….There was a problem in Ra.One. Maybe, in Don2 as well.’
‘Aah. Maybe I know what’s on your mind.’
 ‘You could have at least chosen a better script for Ra.One. That way it could have earned some appreciation from critics as well.’
‘Tumhe ek pate ki baat batata hoon. Jab script saamne aati hai na, toh vo tabhi achhi lagti hai agar sahi me achhi hai toh. Everyone liked it when it had taken the final shape. I don’t know if something backfired during the shooting and production. We really did put in a lot of effort. Everybody! Yes, I agree something was wrong, but then it’s okay. I mean I just wanted to show people that they don’t need to run to Hollywood to get ‘quality’. Everything can be produced in India now. As far as roles are concerned…I don’t sit around and complain. I can play Rahul a 100 times and still make him look different and lovable each time. Rahi baat Don ki, apna apna nazariya hai logo ka. Film achhi bani. Logo ka toh kaam hai kehna, kuchh kuchh toh kahenge hi.’

‘A 100 times? And people around me blame you for repetition. I am tired of explaining things to them.’
‘Dekh. Simple sa funda hai. For every 5 people who say I suck at acting and should give up…blah..blah…blah; there always are 500 people who love me for what I do. Their love supports me and encourages me. Aur yaar log unnees aur bees ki baat karte hain, main toh paanch aur paanch sau ki baat kar raha hoon. I’ll die the day they stop recognizing me, mobbing me or loving me. That’s what I live for. That eternal love of my fans has made that misery of not having parents go away. I owe my life to them.’

I smile. I am confident now. He is answering all my doubts, queries and questions without any hesitation. Again, I repeat, the star sitting in front of me is the same Indian who is mobbed every time he makes a public appearance and has the maximum number of fans globally. And, he is talking to me right now.

‘ You know, now I keep quite whenever I hear anything against you as I know they are unaware of your greatness.’
‘Arrey bol liya kar bhai. Kaisa fan hai! Vaha kuchh nahi bolta aur yaha aakar dialogue maar raha hai. On a serious note, look. First off, I don’t even pay attention to all those stories and opinions. I am here to do my job, i.e., to entertain people as long as I can. Let people say whatever they want. I will keep loving them and doing my job. And yes…2011 was nothing; watch out for 2012’

He winks, lays back, folds hands and passes that evil grin. He, sure, has his way.
‘Chal yaar. It’s time. I need to leave. All the best for all your future endeavors.’ He stands up. Adjusts his specs and hair. I prepare to leave.

‘Achha, aajtak laakho fans se mile hoge aap. Koi yaad bhi rehta hai?’
‘Tu bas ye yaad rakh, tere ko nahi bhool raha main. And if I’m not wrong, you’re the best sensible fan I can ever have. Baaki toh saare khaali autograph aur photo ke liye milte hain.’

I am about to take out my paper and phone for the autograph and a picture but immediately stop. I don’t ask him for those things. Instead I have a better memory of meeting him.

‘Chal yaar, Naman. It was nice meeting you.’ He shakes my hand and passes a smile.
‘I hope to meet you again if I ever come to Mumbai seeking any help from you.’

 ‘Sure! Here, take my card. This is my secretary’s number, and here you go. This is my number and email id.’ He scribbles his details at the back of the card. I am awestruck. Too many unbelievable things happening at the moment.
‘Aur koi shikayat?’
 ‘Nahi. Nahi. Don is the best bad guy in the world.’
He and I share a last laugh. And I leave his suite, walk past all the rooms and everything.

I just met SRK!