Sunday, 6 October 2013

Farhan Akhtar stars as Indian icon Milkha Singh in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's sports biopic.

Few outside of India have heard of Milkha Singh, the gifted Indian athlete who held the 400-meter world record and represented the country at the 1960 Olympics in Rome.

In fact, Singh is best known for losing that particular race at the Olympics.

But filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra trusts that Singh’s story will resonate with global audiences, not because of the athlete’s brush with world fame, but because of the universal themes of pride, hard work and redemption that his life represent. His bet has paid off: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Run Milkha Run) triumphs in its depiction of a man coming to terms with the ugliest scenes from his childhood, witnessing his parents’ slaughter during the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 and the resultant genocide, and rebuilding his life to become an Indian icon.

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag has opened wide for an Indian release in the U.S., in 140 theaters. Its length — bloated by several overlong segments and superfluous songs — and the complexity of the India-Pakistan rivalry at the core of the story may prove offputting for non-Indian audiences, but the film is likely to attract healthy returns at the box office within India.
Farhan Akhtar’s intelligent performance is a highlight of the film. He is known as a writer and director, with his 2001 release, Dil Chahta Hai, redefining the youth genre, and Don and Don 2cementing Shah Rukh Khan’s reputation as an action star. He made the shift to acting under the radar, in the little-seen 2005 festival film The Fakir of Venice. Since then, he has earned accolades for roles in films such as Rock On!! and 2011’s delightful bromance Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
The smart, sinewy Akhtar does not look like the typical Bollywood hero, which is one of the factors that Mehra says led him to choose him for the role after a casting search that took him as far as Canada, the UK and the U.S. He trained hard for a year and a half before the start of shooting, including a regimen in mountainous Ladakh at 14,000 feet. But beyond the impressive physique he has cultivated for the role, Akhtar has captured a sense of focus and piety that led Singh to rise from his humble beginnings as a post-Partition refugee and small-time crook to national champion.
Prasoon Joshi’s screenplay does not tell Milkha’s story chronologically, instead relying on a series of flashbacks that can seem unclear until the end of the film, when Milkha travels back to his home town to experience a moving catharsis. In one memorable scene, the adult Milkha has a vision of his 12-year-old self, and for once in his life, comes to love and accept the boy within unconditionally.
Mehra has taken great care in casting Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, with sensitive performances from Divya Dutta (as Milkha’s devoted elder sister), Sonam Kapoor (RaanjhanaaDelhi 6) as a brief but important love interest, Prakash Raj as a hard-driving army leader, and especially Pavan Malhotra as a compassionate mentor, the first trainer to spot Milkha’s potential. Mehra himself makes a small, comical cameo as an airline pilot on Milkha’s first flight.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s background score is powerful in all the right parts, and special mention must be made of the excellent wig and hair work by Avan Contractor and B. Blunt, who make the long, uncut hair of Milkha’s Sikh faith appear entirely natural on Akhtar.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has been called a patriotic filmmaker: he was lauded as the director of Rang De Basanti, a 2006 film that captured India’s youth on the brink of rebellion, and his works also include the 2011 documentary Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told. But with Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, he takes no shortcuts in depicting the literal blood, sweat and tears Singh shed in his pursuit of excellence. That is a patriotic message that is exhilarating indeed.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

જુરાસિક પાર્ક - 1993 ની એક અદભુત ફિલ્મ


જુરાસિક પાર્ક સ્ટીવન સ્પીલબર્ગ દ્વારા નિર્દેશિત 1993 માં અમેરિકન વિજ્ઞાન સાહિત્ય સાહસ ફિલ્મ છે જે માઈકલ ક્રિચટન દ્વારા એજ નામની 1990 નવલકથા પર આધારિત છે. અમદાવાદના સીનેપોલીસમાં ફિલ્મ જોવાનો મને બે વખત મોકો મળ્યો. એક વખત 1993 માં અને બીજી વખત ગઈકાલે રવિવારે 3 ડી માં જોઈ અને ફરીવાર મને ડાયનાસોરની યાદ તાજી થઇ.

ફિલ્મમાં સેમ નેઈલ, લૌરા દર્ણ, જેફ ગોલ્ડબ્લૂમ, રિચાર્ડ એટનબરો, એરિયાના રિચાર્ડસ, જોસેફ મેઝેલો, માર્ટિન ફેરારો અને બોબ પેક તારાઓ મુખ્ય પાત્રમાં હતા. કોસ્ટા રિકા માતાનો પેસિફિક કોસ્ટ નજીક કાલ્પનિક આઇલા નુબ્લાર, અબજોપતિ દાનેશ્વરી છે અને આનુવંશિક વૈજ્ઞાનિકો એક નાની ટીમ પર ફિલ્મ કેન્દ્રો ક્લોન ડાયનાસોર દ્વારા એક વાઇલ્ડલાઇફ પાર્કની રચના કરી છે.

ઘણા સ્ટુડિયોએ પહેલેથી   ફિલ્મના અધિકારો હસ્તગત કરવા માટે પ્રયાસ કર્યો હતો અને ક્રિચટનનું પુસ્તક પણ પ્રકાશિત કરવામાં આવ્યું હતું. યુનિવર્સલ સ્ટુડિયો ઓફ બેકિંગ સાથે સ્પિલબર્ગ, 1990 માં પ્રકાશન પહેલાં અધિકારો હસ્તગત કરેલા હતા, અને ક્રિચટન સ્ક્રીન માટે નવલકથા સ્વીકારવાનું વધારાના $ 500,000 લેવામાં આવ્યા હતા.

જુરાસિક પાર્કમાં કોમ્પ્યુટર જનરેટેડ ઇમેજરીની રચના તેના એક સીમાચિહ્નરૂપ તરીકે કરવામાં આવી છે.  ફિલ્મ સફળતાનો તમામ આંક વટાવીને, $900 મિલિયન વિશ્વભરમાંથી કમાણી કરીકે જે સમય (તે ટાઇટેનિક દ્વારા પાંચ વર્ષ પછી વટાવી હતી) અને ત્યાં સુધીની પ્રકાશિત સૌથી વધુ કમાણી કરનાર  ફિલ્મ બનીબાળકોની સાથે સાથે મોટા લોકોને પણ ફિલ્મે ખુબ રસપ્રદ કર્યા હતા અને આખા વિશ્વમાંથી ફિલ્મે અઢળક કમાણી કરી હતી ફિલ્મમાં ડાયનાસોરનો ઉપયોગ એક રીમોટ કંટ્રોલથી ચાલતા યંત્ર દ્વારા થયો હતો જે લગભગ કોઈ મિલ ગયાના જાદુ જેવો કહી શકાય. 3-ડી ફિલ્મની મુખ્ય ખાસિયત અચાનક સામે આવતું ડાયનાસોર અને અવાજ છે. રાજકોટમાં એક સિનેમા બન્યું છે જેમાં ફિલ્મને જો તમે જુવો તો તમને ઓરીજીનલ ડાયનાસોર તમારી પાસે બેઠું છે તેવો અનુભવ થશે. જુના ફિલ્મોને 3-ડી ટેકનોલોજીથી રૂપાંતરિત કરીને ફરીથી લોકો સમક્ષ આજે મુકવામાં આવે છે જે ખરેખર ડીજીટલ યુગની શરૂઆતનો એક હિસ્સો કહી શકો છો.

ઇન્ટરનેશનલ એવોર્ડ વિજેતા  ફિલ્મ આજે પણ આટલા વર્ષો પછી આપણને જોવી ગમે છે અને તેનું કારણ છે હોલીવુડની સ્પેશીયલ ઈફેક્ટ. ફિલ્મની  પછી સ્ટીવન સ્પીલબર્ગે તેના 2- 3 અને 4 પાર્ટ સુધીની રચના કરી છે જે  મહદઅંશે સફળ થઇ છે. ફિલ્મને એક વખત ફરીથી પરિવારજનો સાથે જોવા માટે હું ચોક્કસ તમને કહીશ.

Monday, 22 October 2012

OMG Oh My God! Review


Star cast: Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty, Govind Namdeo, Poonam Jhawer, Mahesh Manjrekar, Sonakshi Sinha and Prabhu Deva.
What’s Good: The concept; the performances; the witty comebacks and dialogues.
What’s Bad: The movie seems to steer away from the main issue; the unsatisfactory explanations.
Loo Break: Not really.
Watch or Not?: Watch OMG Oh My God! for the interesting arguments and repartees.
There’s no Believer knocking on your door and giving you a booklet about Him. Nor someone kicking a kitten and asking you, “Where’s your God now?” It’s a rather interesting take on God, his so-called “mediums” and the rituals that have been mindlessly passed on since generations. Sounds preachy? Well, the movie isn’t.
Kanji (Paresh Rawal) is a not just an atheist, this non-believer exploits people’s faith to run his business. By selling idols of gods with make-believe tales, Kanji Lalji Mehta earns a living, and also the wrath of his God-fearing wife, and the man/woman himself, God. When his shop is destroyed in a curious earthquake (that singles out his property to wreck in the entire vicinity), Kanji doesn’t fret much as he has it insured. But the insurance company rejects his claim on the basis that their cover does not include an “act of God”.
Driven to the edge, Kanji decides to take up the matter with the ultimate authority: in this case, God himself. He files a case in the court accusing God of destroying his property and hence liable to pay him the fine. Since God has no particular address, Kanji sends the notice to all the self-proclaimed God-men who claim to be in constant touch with Him.
So now Kanji has to argue the case against a colourful cast of holy people including the hand-flicking Mithun Chakraborthy, the fiery Siddheshwar Maharaj (Govind Namdeo) and eye-candy Gopi Maiyya (Poonam Jhawer). Not only does Kanji have to prove that God does exist, he also has to show that He is responsible for Kanji’s loss.
Enter Bhagwaan (Akshay Kumar).
Does Kanji win, with God by his side? Does he become a believer? Watch for yourself and decide.

OMG Oh My God! Review: Script Analysis
Adapted from a Gujarati play by Bhavesh Mandalia, writer Umesh Shukla has adapted the drama to the big screen quite skillfully. Paresh Rawal’s character Kanjilal gets some of the best dialogues and thespian does full justice to them. Kanjilal’s arguments and counter-questions are very well thought out. The take on the God-men is very interesting. The best part was the parallel drawn to the Mahabharata towards the end, with Krishna (Akshay) re-playing his role as the legendary charioteer-advisor for a warrior (Arjun then, Kanji now).
Though the story and script are well done and brings out thought provoking questions, the problem is that the film seems to veer away from the original topic and becomes more about false God-men than about the very existence of God. The TV debate seemed just for the heck of it. Though necessary, Kanji’s illness towards the end is too contrived.

OMG Oh My God! Review: Star Performances
Paresh Rawal gives a stellar performance as Kanji. He delivers his dialogues so effortlessly and casually that you really cheer for this twisted hero. Akshay Kumar does well as Bhagwan/Krishna but sometimes the writers seem to try too hard to rub it in that he’s the Dark Cowherd. Mithun Chakraborty is a gem as one of the God-men but his stereotypical “broken-wrist” act can make you wince. Govind Namdeo goes a bit over the top as the saffron clad Siddheshwar Maharaj but suits his role. Though Poonam Jhawer doesn’t get much to do as Gopi Maiyya, her very presence will make you grin. Mithun, Govind and Poonam’s characters have some very real life inspirations which makes them all the more fun on screen.
Mahesh Manjrekar is good as the lawyer. Sonakshi Sinha and Prabhu Deva are fun in their guest appearances.

OMG Oh My God! Review: Direction, Music & Technical Aspects
Umesh Shukla does justice to the script with his direction. Amar Mohile’s background music is good. Songs by Himesh Reshammiya, Anjjan – Meet Bros, Sachin and Jigar are alright with Go Go Govinda and Mere Nishaan the only ones that deserve mention. Sethu Sriram’s cinematography is nice. Editing is alright. The special effects are a bit clunky.

OMG Oh My God! Review: The Last Word
For once, there’s a movie that wants you to use your brains instead of just clapping and whistling away at the mindless action/sex scenes. Watch OMG Oh My God also because it has good performances and an interesting concept.

Watched on 21.10.2012, 10:25 p.m. Cinepolis, Ahmedabad

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Priyanka Chopra running 24x7


September is a special month for Priyanka Chopra. Barfi!, her film with Ranbir Kapoor, released on September 14. Apart from that, her debut single, ‘In my city’(from her maiden international album), featuring Will.i.am and produced by RedOne and Brian Kennedy, will open at the National Football League, the biggest football event in the US, as the league’s theme song.


“Priyanka is promoting Barfi! and the single simultaneously. She has decided to work on the film’s promotions during the day by attending reality shows and launches with Ranbir. Once that’s done, she will be with another team to promote her single and the music album through interviews,” says a source.
While PC remained unavailable for a comment, her spokesperson confirms, “Priyanka is managing the schedule for Barfi! and the launch of her single as both are extremely close to her.”