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December 28, 2013

RIP Farookh Sheikh

Did not logged online since morning as the weekend started but the news of sudden demise of one of the most underrated and charming actors in Bollywood - Farookh Sahab hit hard. Very few actors, and you can literally count them on your fingertips, has the persona of bringing inherent goodness with their acting. You don't have to meet the person but you can feel it in his acting.

Most favourite of his movies in the late-70s and early 80s were indeed Chashme badoor (which was half-baked remade earlier this year by David Dhawan) and Hare-Tortoise fable based Katha. Dikhai Diye from Bazaar and Seene mein Jaalan from Gaman remain some of the cherished songs off his movies.

In recent times, he did got back doing more work that he did in passing years.  His two scene cameo in this year's Yeh Jawani hain Diwani with Ranbir Kapoor is testimony to the old cliche that length of the role hardly matters. One does not have to look beyond to know the true value of his craft as confrontation scene with Abhay Deol in Shanghai which was taken beyond notches by Farookh's pitch perfect expressions. I will try and get my hands on watching Listen...Amaya, his last notable performance even though Club 60 released just couple of weeks ago.

One of my main regrets was that even though running for over 20 years, i never got myself to watch Tumhari Amrita live as a stage performance. This was a man who did less work but will be remembered more. He was the aam aadmi of Hindi cinema. RIP.

December 20, 2013

Dhoom 3 - No fire, all cracked up

Dhoom -3 is going to go down as a big blemish on Aamir Khan's career. It is such a botched up film you got to wonder about the "so famous' skills of it's lead actor of choosing the right script. Don't get me wrong, i have been a fan of earlier Dhoom films and even though D:2 also had its own share of cheerful lack of logic, those potholes of logical loopholes got weighed down by the screen persona of Hrithik Roshan.

The loopholes are mind numbing : Why Chicago police or Bank of Chicago call 2 cops all the way from India? How a stammering Samar sing songs? Why Jackie Shroff did not pay installments by just selling the big circus and start small? You don't go into a Dhoom movie looking for logic, but this is so weird and so frustrating to see the talent, money and time being spent in not even working on the basics of a script.

Not withstanding that the central plot (if there is any, to speak of) is a clear rip off from Nolan's 'The Prestige', the sheer melodrama of the second half involving Aaaliya's character is an assault on the senses. To top of it, what is it with AK's furrowed expression all through the movie. I mean, come on you can't be THAT serious doing a Dhoom movie. The twitches, the snarls, the burrows, it's all so excruciating. God Forbid, he even does that tap dance with a smug. Grow up, old man!

PS: Katrina gets a whopping Rs. 5 crore for speaking 14 dialogues in Dhoom 3. That makes it Rs. 0.357 crore for one dialogue. You Wish!

December 18, 2013

Book Review - 146 : When you became my life

Author : Anshul Sharma
Publisher : Srishti Publishers and Distributors

The novel is story of Neev whose life is marked by catastrophes; after losing his parents and almost everything he owned, he finds refude with his friend in Aadi in Agra. Living with an old friend in a new house, bust with a new job in a new environment revives him till he encounters Aashi - girl with larger than life aspirations and a novel dream.

The most basic issue (of many) in this book is that it is devoid of any thrill and written in a one-tone, monotonous style with hardly any efforts to pique readers interest. Bouncing off a vibrant book cover, the novel is full of abundant cliches, annoying stereotypes and yawn inducing conversations. You never get a feel of these characters neither their motivations. I don't expect any emotional depth in such kind of surface level romances but not even concentrating on providing them even a base to explore any thrill in their lives is surely disappointing. Only 180 odd pages long, it won't take much time to read but that is primarily because you hardly stay invested in these characters.

I am going with 1/5 for 'When you became my life' by Anshul Sharma. Even if you are a fan of these romances, it will be difficult to feel good about this one. Read at your own peril!

December 14, 2013

Ask me Anything

There are times to introspect and talk, think and talk and simply talk.

Ask me anything anonymously here and will be happy to answer:

Look forward to it.

December 11, 2013

Book Review - 145 : Destroyed by Ishq

Author : Mr. Invisible
Publisher : Srishti Publishers & Distributors

On a cold February morning, activity freezes at IIT when one of the topper is found hanging inside a room which is locked from outside. A day later, in a fit of anxiety, his best friend erases his suicide note from his laptop (yes, it's THAT crazy!), thereby destroying the piece of evidence which could help anyone remotely associated with the incident to understand what the fuss was all about.

Rather than making this an interesting premise of a romantic thriller genre, the author (who has decided to me invisible rather than work under a pseudonym, another of those weird things about the book) throws in a hopeless romantic story end of which you can guess from the title of the book itself. The plot is unnecessarily confabulated, lines overwritten, short hand language most irritating and defies logic at every crucial juncture. It does not even gather enough emotional quotient for the readers to feel anything remotely connected with the story.

Not only the content, but the editing is terribly disappointing. Excessive usage of punctuation marks and unnecessary change of fonts without any change in tone kills little excitement you can feel for the characters or their purpose in life. A book which fails on many accounts, story being the prime of it. I am going with 1/5 for 'Destroyed by Ishq'. As a reader, one can clearly feel destroyed by this book.

December 1, 2013

Book Review - 144 : Where the Rainbow ends

Author : Anurag Anand
Publisher : Sristhi Publishers & Distributors

Where the Rainbow ends by Anurag Anand traces the graph of three individuals - Rahul, Avantika and Shalini. Rahul had everything going his way a soaring career, a happy family and all else a man his age could yearn for. And then suddenly his life began to crumble all around him, disintegrating element after precious element, leaving him to watch in helpless horror. Where had he gone wrong? Was there still hope for redemption, even a solitary ray that he could cling on to?

Avantika, a pretty, vivacious girl who had come into Rahuls life by pure accident, literally, has suddenly gone missing. Just like that, without as much as a trace. Where is Avantika? Will Rahul be able to find her? Is it her own past that has come back to consume her or is it something even more vicious and sinister?

Shalini, Rahuls first love and a girl accustomed to leading life on her own terms. Hailing from a family that exerts considerable influence in the galleries of politics and power, she certainly has the wherewithal to impact a lot of things. Even lives. Is Shalini fostering a grudge that could displace not one but many lives? Could she be the one behind Avantikas mysterious disappearance?

There are multiple threads which ultimately ends up in a thrilling climax. This is my first read of the author and he does impress with his intensity, pace and sincerity of telling a story. He writes about relationships with a warm which silently will remind you of Cecelia Ahern who incidentally has written a book by the same title. The author takes a story of common people and lap them up in difficult circumstances. The writing is sublime, but it lacks finesse in transitions and there are multiple awkward moments which comes off too contrived in character lives. At this moment, you will feel disappointed as a reader.

I am going with 3/5 for Anurag Anand's 'Where the Rainbow Ends'. It is a heart warming portrait of three individuals trapped in difficult circumstances. Even though one of the main character is ill-conceived and another provides a cheap redemption in the end, it is still a one time quick read. Much better than your normal run-of-the-mill romances you read these days.