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Time Travel – Eee (#atozapril 2013 challenge)


Ok,  Time Travel for T is a simple guess for every Holly wood watcher –  Just the Back to the Future series will cover it all……..Tossing in Out got a long list!!  But then, i again  realized  that  the entire Indian cinema thrives on family drama ……… and how will I get the time travel movie for A to Z challenge!!

Is it very rare for a pure sci-fi movie in Indian cinema?  While Wiki lists many Indian science fiction movies here - many are on aliens, next life, etc. I did one loner Indian movie under the time travel in the list of Bollywood movies, which I am yet to watch

So, I went to the next nearest –  where the characters travel from one life to another life  –  it nicely aligns with the Indian mythology –  the soul is all persistent and moves from one body to another and never perishes.  What is left behind when a person dies is only the physical body.   With that as a background, the recent movie I enjoyed is Naan Ee.   Naan Ee is a 2012 drama and released in  many Indian languages including Tamil and Hindi. What made it unique was the live action animation and visual effects.  The storyline is simple  –  The hero gets killed by the bad guy as the bad guy wants the hero’s girlfriend.  The  hero is born again as a house fly (yes, that little small insect!) and the house fly takes revenge on the villain and protects his girl friend!  Fun movie –  there was actually a song sequence where the house fly dances!!  Kids will love it!!  

Bollywood Films


Okay, I see today was Bible based films in the A to Z April challenge  –  so, i regionalized it to Bollywood Films (it actually is fun to improvise it like this!!)

Bollywood is just not an industry for many,   but it is life and culture!! For me, it is the real life story of evolving human spirit  –  I get awed by the business acumen (amazing amount of money turns over),  showmanship (wow, you can keep looking at those mega movie sets and costumes),  resilience (the story of Amitabh is good enough to cover it all!),  the energy (all the super Khans are pushing 50s??), the youth (does the youngest heroine fall under child labour category??!!  :)…….my list can go on and on……..to sum it up, Bollywood is a culture!!

While many movies get produced and released consistently in Bollywood, if someone asks me about one single Bollywood movie I would love to watch any time, it is “Chak De India”  –    It is a 2007 movie, ironically did not have any Bollywood standard song and dance sequence, and show-cased patriotism, upliftment of girl child, the grit and determination of a sports coach .  It was a movie beyond the heroes and had a strong message!

When I write this, it crosses my mind that there indeed is a real life analogy  of a hero  –   I had the opportunity to listen to Franz Gastler presentation and pretty much impressed on his focus on empowering the girl child of India through sports (foot ball specifically) –  While I will remember to write a separate article on him, you can read more about him and his NGO at Yuwa-India at http://www.yuwa-india.org/ .   Excellent contribution to Mother India from an Indian at heart – Franz Gastler

Social media marketing


It was a casual review about the fresh face in south Indian cinema –  Samanthaprabhu  – during that context the latest gossip  about her and her co-actor Siddarth came up.

A disclaimer here – the intent was not gossiping mindlessly about the cine actors –  infact, I am actually at awe about the positive outlook of our Bollywood (tolly/kolly/etc,etc-wood) actors and their perseverance.  Many a times, I draw my daily dose of positive energy from their interviews in Bangalore Times (I reserve my thoughts for another article to describe the actors intelligent interviews).

Reading their interviews is a refresher – especially after I end up getting uncomfortably desolate reading the front page of any newspaper which off late mostly highlights the terrible side of this worldly life  – gender violence, politics, financial scams, major natural calamities, etc…etc….Courtsey:http://www.siddharth-online.com/

So, when the comment on Siddarth went like this “ever since his divorce, the man is making up for lost time! Some girl is always linked up with him and it is now Samantha…”, My immediate reaction is to negate it “not really…i doubt if he is all that focussed on girls. His focus is on marketing his movies and himself and he is doing it smartly…”

To set the backdrop, my reaction was based on the fact that I follow Siddarth in twitter. It is few months since I started following him on twitter @Actor_Siddarth to understand how these actors think and till date I have not thought about unfollowing him –  he keeps his tweets interesting and serves my purpose of getting that view of life from an Indian actor.  His tweets consistently reinforce my belief that movie industry is a tough career choice and the current genre of actors are smart and hardworking and our Indian cinema is progressing great as an industry! I see lot of learning from these actors from the leadership and personal development perspective, which can be of interest to any person who is in the people business (ofcourse, I am referring to running a successful IT services industry!)

Siddarth understands twitter is a great media – and he uses the power of twitter well.  I ended up (psycho) analysing this actor through his tweets… he projects himself as

  • a guy from middle class Indian family – the friendly next door guy – his love for cricket and other sports immediately positions him in that image
  • at the same time, he also weaves in the tomboy image – interest in women seems to be part of that image building exercise
  • intelligent and passionate about his profession –  the world of movies
  • angry young man who is upset with the red tapism, political inabilities, etc – his followers gets lost in that angry young man magic image (remember the yesteryear Amitabh?) that they hardly care about what is constructive outcome of that anger
  • activist who supports social causes –  gender inclusivity, support of anti-piracy,
  • intellect who loves intelligent people and new initiatives –  be it movies or others – retweets of his movie fraternity
  • networked and connected with the bigwigs of the industry
  • selfless personality who supports his co-stars and wishes them in their endeavours

Overall, he weaves in that fabric which shows him as an intellect that attracts the interest of most of the internet generation – what is impressive is his subtle good marketing sense.

It is extremely essential for anyone in showbiz career to be good at self-marketing if they need to succeed and Siddharth does it well –  six lakhs followers on twitter is a testimony to his skills.

From my perspective  –  he is one of the smartest kids on the block and to be watched –  he makes money and he invests his money intelligently back in the movies-  he has the right connections and projects them well – his communication skills are exemplary –  the only pitfall he needs to watch is the excessive sarcasm on the happenings around him, especially when it comes to politics – if he could use his celebrity status intelligently and be a catalyst to bring in changes to political system than just being sarcastic –  he really zooms up in my assessment!

Good luck, Siddarth!  Think better and do well and you can be a social catalyst!

Bollywood to Hollywood


Ok, it is now once again established  –  I am one of the top movie buffs around the world!!  (any possible award for being this??).   Let me tell you why I think  it got established.  I once again figured out that a 2005 movie from BollywoodMaine Pyaar Kyun Kiya?  went all the way from Mumbai into Hollywood in 2011 as “Just go with it”.

Given both the movies are above average with its clientage, I could only wonder how many such copies between the movie industries exist  –  or it is only very few of the movie buffs who identify these copies across various movie industries??

I had watched the Hollywood movie some time back.  Last Friday night, i  happened to watch this Bollywood movie in the TV.  The storyline and the characters are all same  – the doctor who is an irresistable charmer, his assistant friend who helps him out by playing his non-existent wife, the charming girl who the doctor wants to marry.  Ofcourse there are adaptations to suit the culture  –  the Bollywood version has unmarried assistant who takes care of her sister’s kids and the Hollywood version has the divorced assistant who takes care of her own two kids.

So, what happens to the film industry?  do they get similar ideas in two different people across the globe OR they really think it is ok to copy  –  what is more intriguing is the fact that the 2005 Bollywood movie was inspired by a 1969 Hollywood movie Cactus Flower.

Then, is it from Hollywood (year 1969)  to Bollywood (year 2005) and again back to Hollywood in 2011 !!! Call it adaptation!!

Ra One


I am not reviewing this movie or giving it any ratings …………Honestly, it is not fair for me to give any rating because I stopped watching the movie just after the first 35 minutes….

The only input I have to King Khan is – Please REFRAIN from calling this movie as a CHILDREN’S ENTERTAINER……….

In general, average parents do not expect such explicit scenes and song sequences worth of a adult’s movie in a so-called children’s entertainer……..When my colleague talked about his ten-year old daughter asking questions which he was feeling uncomfortable to explain, I was retorting  –  ‘come on, it is a Bollywood movie and you can watch it with kids as it is supposed to be superman movie for Indian kids’…………….but then, I was wrong………I had to eat my words after I saw the movie!!

May be I am overreacting…..but, this is how I feel.

When Shahrukh can do a movie like “Chak de” which I want the kids to watch again and again, I can expect him to definitely refrain calling “Ra One” as children’s movie.

Top 10 Kollywood movies to watch


I stumbled on these two links when I opened the Yahoo homepage  -

Top 10 Hollywood movies to watch before you die

Top 10 Bollywood movies to watch before you die

I searched for the Kollywood list and as I could not find one, I came up with this list………

  1. Thiruvilayadal   –  Who can forget the Dharumi/Nakeeran part?
  2. ThAmbikku endha ooru  –   the scene when the snake climbs on Rajnikanth
  3. Thillu mullu  –   amazing comedy
  4. Salangai oli –  Kamalhassan the proven dancer
  5. Sankarabaranam –  Amazing songs
  6. Vedam Pudidhu   –   Strong message from Bharathiraja
  7. Anjali  –  Mani ratnam’s depiction of a special child
  8. Mozhi –  Best and simple from the production house of Prakash Rai
  9. Dasavataharam  –  Kamal trying out his best
  10. Endhiran  –  Ofcourse, only Rajni CAN DO IT

I actually tried to be unbiassed……..but being a humor fan, I had to include #2 and #3!!!    How does your list look?

Adoption & IVF


It sure is a big sensational news (read here)!! Aamir khan – super star in Bollywood and his wife Kiran Rao (known for her intellectual brilliance as a director  –  Dhobi Ghat is a sample)  went for IVF and Surrogacy to become parents of a baby boy!

While I was reading the news and once again wondering at the advancement of medical sciences (any new-born is a wonder for me and makes be believe in some supernatural power),   I could not resist a query which popped up in my mind.

“What made Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao consider IVF/Surrogacy option  over the option of adopting a needy child?”

Given what I read about both of them, they are intelligent enough to consider adoption as a good option……

Adoption process in India has come a long way.   It has moved from a family affair/hush-hush activity to a  much more professional process –  it is well accepted by the modern Indian society  –   people who have adopted kids are open about it and they share the details with the kids also  –  I have couple of my close friends who have adopted kids in India and have shared their experiences with me, which makes me confident that it is now a well-planned process.

So, what made Aamir and Kiran look for IVF/Surrogacy?

The only reasonable explanation I could think of –  Aamir/Kiran couple may have thought that a biological child (even though it is using surrogacy) will be much easier to bond and may stand as a representation of their married life.  The reason I think so is based on an input from one of my friends.   My friend’s spouse wants to adopt a child as a sibling to their first biological child.  My friend is not very comfortable with this option and has refused the adoption option.  My friend feels that when the children grow together, it may be very tough for the parents to be neutral to the children  –  one being a biological child and the second being an adopted child will bring in a bias…..I can appreciate this fear of future and the need for a very stable outlook about adoption…

I think it is much  easier emotionally to accept a biological child (Even if it is through surrogacy) than an adopted kid.

A tough topic to mull over!

Revolution 2020 – Chetan Bhagat


One look at the cover page  –  you have the entire story  –  love (three angles), corruption and ambition.  Feels like Chetan wrote this with the inherent plan to make it a straight Bollywood masala  –  I can actually imagine the actors in the lead roles to be  Neil Nitin Mukesh (good guy), Amy Jackson  and Shah Rukh Khan(extremely good bad guy)……………  :)

Chetan can do much better –  even his newspaper articles have more thought and effort from Chetan than this!  Am not discounting that it is a good masala with the right mix of all required ingredients for a commercial Bollywood movie, but then……..Chetan can have much tougher goals?  The ramblings on AIEEE and IIT JEE is getting a bit too much after all his earlier novels……..so is the standard love story theme….!!

Now that Chetan has covered the first five numerals  –  One night at a call center, Two states, The three mistake of my life, R2020 (add the twos to make it four) and Five point someone……….time for him to breakaway and handle different subjects!!

You will read and like it if you like masala fiction!  Entertaining!

Tanu Weds Manu


Category –  Romance Comedy(?) ; Rating  – 2.5  ; Comment – Typical Bollywood formula, bit overwhelming!

I  still wonder when our Bollywood film makers will stop to glorify “love at first sight”.  The hero  who is a doc in UK  falls for a girl at first sight  –  even when he sees  the girl when she is unconscious.  And the story goes on……….till the last frame where they get married and live happily ever after.

Kangana‘s character is still realistic  –  funny, carefree, self-centered small town girl  –  who just do things for the sake of showing her protest to her parents!  But the hero, who is supposed to be a doc in UK is a bit unrealistic  –   who loses reason by the looks of a girl (come on, that is what is “love at first sight”!)

Kangana’s dresses were good selections and Madhavan looked younger than his age  –  songs were rhythmic and catchy.  Time pass, can watch once!

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