Wednesday, October 06, 2010
1. Dhoom Pichuk:
The one that started it all. I guess this saved Archies Music (I think they eventually folded up) from bankruptcy. The video was awesome, Shubha Mudgal's vocals in the end took the song to another level, so did the setting, Benaras (I decided I will go there after seeing this video and it is still pending). Here is the video:
3. Kaise Bhoolegi Mera Naam
This song is average but video is awesome! It tells a story in 3 minutes and does a good job at that. Boy Pradeep Sarkar has some talent (why on earth did he make the idiotic Laaga Chunari Mein Daaga? ). So this video shows Vidhya Balan's marriage which is messed up and in typical Bollywood style, Palash Sen jumps in and saves the day!. I particularly like the cut at 3:23 mark. Nice job! Here is the video:
2. Hum (Rok Sako To Rok Lo)
This is one of the relative unknowns. I remember this song was used in one of the Maruti Adverts. I love the song due to minimal (or no?) usage of electronic instruments. It features "Miss India" Mehnaz. So here is the video:
4. Sha Na:
Features Neha Dhupia in her pre-Bollywood stardom days. The song is pretty nice! Most impressive is the chorus which means nothing but I find myself repeating days on a trot.
5. Phir Dhoom:
Another Pradeep Sarkar Gem, this video was the first one of the second album. And boy it was number 1 for a long time! I remember this Veejay on Channel V cribbing that artists need to make better albums just to unseat Euphoria!
This was India's first single album. Just one song, 2 versions for Rs. 20. The concept failed miserably, but the song was solid. In the starting of the video, there is this producer type person who is depressed that the video doesn't have girls and the band doesn't want to go to a foreign localtion for shooting! The song is great but the Guitar Solo at 3:10 takes it to the next level (and brings it in this list:) ). The best part about the video is that the common man stars in this, not the band. Awesome.
This video features Michelle (the same female in the Dhoom Pichuk video). This time though, the song is much better than the ultra depressing video. Don't have much to write except I prefer happy endings
Masterpiece, the video and the song. Have nothing else to say.
9. Bhoola Sab
Highly Underrated, but I like it due to good guitars, the whistle and a totally unconventional video.
Monday, October 04, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
You know a movie is awesome when you are seeing a spoof and you want to see the original. I was seeing the MTV spoof “Cheque de India” and realized that well, the original is pretty awesome.
When you see a movie for the second or third time, you start seeing small things. CDI (sounds cooler and a bit like CID), follows the grand tradition of Yash Raj Films of having Shah Rukh Khan, has pretty women, has then dressed in Chiffon Saris (the pre final party) and has shoot on foreign location (d-uh Australia). But then it misses the lead heroine or shooting in Switzerland or a romantic song. Also the characterization of the Indian cricket player is damn shallow.
Then again, this movie is all about Shah Rukh Khan, he hams to the max (albeit very effectively), sheds more tears than the females, has the most fiery lines (the talk before the finals is pretty inspiring!) and basically remote controls his way to World Cup victory.
The plot is pretty straight forward about the redemption of a fallen hockey star (SRK) who appears after 7 years in the hockey wilderness. He has missed the crucial penalty against Pakistan in the finals and is branded as a traitor (and more so due to his religion). In real life had Chetan Sharma been a Muslim and had been hit for six of last ball. I am pretty sure he would have been late Chetan Sharma (with all due respect, not that I expect he or anyone he knows will read my obscure article)
So Mr. Khan (in real and reel life) decides to coach a group of 16 girls who are still not a team and decides that they will win the world cup (THAT was the big hint what is going to happen in the end, in sports movies, usually the team audience sees practice wins right?). Well after some initial issues, he (with some assistance from roadside Romeos) manages to make a team which plays and goes to Australia.
And they are beaten 7-0 by the Aussies in their first match. Remember we are Indians and we can do miracles at the last moment. So the team slogs their collective asses, and barely scrapes a win with Britain. Then a montage and we are at the quarter finals. Here we are bullied by the Argentineans who don’t know how sharp we are. We learn their tricks in first half and destroy them (and I am pretty sure in Hockey there is reservation for blind people in referee category, they ignore obvious fouls from both teams!)
In semis we meet Koreans who work with man to man marking. In the greatest of coaching traditions, the coach discusses this with the goalie (yes she is the captain but what can she do? Oh yeah she says that also!). Well the coach (who incidentally was the most successful center forward in the country) doesn’t know how to tackle that (wow!) so he needs the senior player (who has rebelled against him and is permanently sitting out) to tackle the damn Korean team. And she does that! She scores with a defender and we reach the finals!
70 minutes and one tie break later, India are the world champions!! Awesome!
Well yeah but what I do remember is that suddenly the coach is being portrayed as the best thing that happened to hockey since Dhyaanchand. This hypocrisy is so true. My grandfather always said that only the rising sun is worshipped.
The film works on many levels, amazing acting by all actors (except maybe that dude who played the cricket star), especially the supporting hockey staff. Also the camera work was awesome, you felt like you were in the match. I guess NOT having stars worked in the favor of the director.
A crucial test for any sports movie is that the audience should feel the thrill in the penultimate moment of victory, even on repetitive viewings. Well it did pass the test for me (only one after Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander, in which I still get scared Aamir Khan might lose the race).
In the end of the movie I was shouting “Chak De!” all over again.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
One of my favorite cartoons is the Road Runner Show. It features Wile E Coyote who wants to capture this (in my opinion irritating) bird Roadrunner. So Mr. Coyote launches all these elaborate schemes to capture Roadrunner and has a spectacular failure rate of 100%.
Coyote buys these nifty gadgets from Acme Industries. If it was for real, the owner would be the richest man on this earth and Acme would be the largest corporation on the planet. Sadly, that is not the case. Well, the only issue with the products is that they end up failing spectacularly at the critical moment. Anyhow, this is one show where I wanted the Roadrunner to be caught and be eaten. It was an irritating creature, and somehow never was able to get my sympathy (like Jerry the mouse in Tom & Jerry).
Looking back (am I that old? Seriously?) I realize Coyote represents all of us. We think we can plan for everything life throws at us, and catch the Roadrunner. But somehow, Roadrunner (life) finds a way to mess up these plans or at the critical juncture something (Acme Industries’ products) gets messed up and we are left hanging in the canyon with only one option, to fall down with a helpless shrug.
To summarize, careful planning is no match for dumb luck.
I just hope Coyote catches that damn road runner and roasts it slowly and eats it!
Monday, July 05, 2010
Q. What is common to the following famous people: Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherji, Mozart, Sheetal Mallar, Aishwarya Rai, Tara Sharma, John Abraham and Minisha Lamba, Maria Gorreti, Praveen Dabas, Rahul Bose and Saira Mohan?
A. They all have been featured in Titan Watches advertisements.
Ever since I can remember watching TV, I remember the Titan Jingle. Today browsing through YouTube videos, discovered that there is a Titan Industries Channel ) which has advertisements going way into the past.
Seeing old advertisements to a new one is like seeing evolution, from the long 2 min advertisements in the eighties to the 30 sec advertisements we see now (which is a testament to either decreasing viewer attention span or increasing rates of airtime). In case of Titan, right from their first advertisement (Introducing Titan Quartz) to the latest ones, barring a few exceptions, all commercials have been less than or equal to a minute. Which I think is awesome.
I also realized the growing power of star value. Sure there is an Aishwarya Rai advert, but when she wasn’t THE Aishwarya Rai. In fact she has been shown as a wife in that advertisement; I guess she started playing a wife on screen recently only. Nowadays, you have Aamir Khan, Rahul Bose, Rani Mukherji, Saira Mohan and John Abraham endorsing various Titan Brands.
Titan has had the same music for the incredibly long time, few people will know that it is Mozart’s 25th symphony. This consistency in branding I think is something Titan should be proud of.
Here are few of my Favorite Titan Adverts through the years:
So many things spoken with music and no words
I remember this ad when I was a kid, since it had only one word, Papa. Superb!