Monday, September 25, 2006

Cinema Hall Memories - 1

Drive-In: Bangalore's only Drive In theater, which was aptly called, what else, Drive In. It was a massive place, almost as big as (in area)Chinnaswamy Stadium. The screen was huge, maybe 3 to 4 times the screen we have in Multiplexes today. And they unfailingly played hits that were more than a year or two old. When I went, i think, in 1989, they were playing Naam. The theater was deserted, except for a few stray cars parked next to the loudspeaker. (You had parking docks, with each parking dock having it's own speaker). Though the movie itself was pretty shitty (we walked out, nay, rode out :) of the theater after 20 minutes or so) the experience was amazing for a kid like me, back then. Imagine sitting in a stadium like arena (We went in on a scooter, and had to take our seats in an area which was no different from the steps we have for spectators in stadiums) to watch a movie. Far out!

Named after one of the most brilliant film personalities of the Kannada Film Industry, it was where I saw my first movie (in a hall i.e.). I watched Prema Loka and was just thrilled by the experience of watching all the action unfold on the big screen. Though it was one of the premier theaters of bangalore earlier, saldy, today it remains in a state of un-use and neglect from quite some time.

Friday, September 22, 2006

What were you thinking???

There are these instances in life, when you do something that seems right for the moment, and later you think about it, and ask yourself "What the f**k were you thinking??"

I have been through a million such moments when I've done something incredibly stupid, which I thought would be a good idea, but in hindsight, it seems like I had overestimated my ability to think spur of the moment.

For all of those who have been affected by my actions at such instances, a BIG sorry...

And to those, whose quick thinking got me out many a jam, a BIGGER thank you...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Smattering of Everything

Ho Hum...Life has been quite a big bore of late. There's nothing much happening either personally or professionally. But a lot more is expected on the personal front sometime soon, so I still wait with bated breath.

Anyways, I have now become a pretty regular gymmer. To my amazement, I manage to put in a solid 30 minutes on the treadmill before heading on towards the more mundane exercises. Of course, these gym visits are not to develop Schwarzenegger type muscles, but rather to lose the more than excess flab around my waist. Hopefully there will be some improvement (or is it loss?) to show after around a month or two I guess.

I happened to catch 3 movies; Yun Hota toh Kya Hota, ..And Justice for All and Aishwarya over the weekend. The first one was the best. I thought YHTKH was a very well crafted movie. Unlike most of the in-your-face Bollywood movies, this one lets the story develop beautifully without seeming rushed and the end leaves you quite amazed at the deftness with which the director Naseeruddin Shah has pulled off quite a feat. I also finished reading John Wright's book on the time he spent in India, aptly titled Indian Summers. Quite an interesting read this, considering that Wright was the first Insider from Outside. Some of the anecodotes are downright hilarious and the way he has presented his 'boys' is totally different from the advert superstar symbols that we know them as.

A birthday gift coupon from my employer (Yes, it was my birthday quite recently) saw me going to Landmark to do some shopping. It was after a really long time that I was shopping in Landmark, and to my dismay, I spent more time standing in the billing queue than in actually shopping for stuff. Picked up a copy of The Mystic Masseur, bought two tapes, Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers and Jillunu Oru Kaadhal, the latter being A.R's latest offering in Tamil (one rocker of a song called 'New York' in this album, the reason why I bought it). Anyways, I have decided to henceforth visit Landmark only when I have the time to squat in a corner and read an expensive book which I'll never buy for free. Speaking of expensive books I'll never buy, Landmark has a hardbound edition of all the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips ever, and it costs just 5 grand. I'm willing to accept it as a belated birthday gift. Every year I get more and more shameless.

Like they say, that's that. Watch this space for more updates. the Holy Cow has mooed.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Express Yourself...

Say Yes
Say No
Say Something
Say Nothing
Speak Up
Speak out
Be heard

Ironically, I am speechless right now. One of the best Indian ads. Ever.


I'm going on a Patriotic trip here...but the sheer intensity of emotions that it arouses in me is just too incredible not to share with you guys...

The real Vande Mataram turns a 100 today.

Jai Hind!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lage Raho Munnabhai - A Review - * * * *

Every once in a while comes a movie that inspires to me to brave extra long ticketing lines and sad-arse weather to watch it again. It was some time ago, when Rang De Basanti did it. Now, it's this movie which really deserves an encore watch.

Based on the characters created in the previous movie Munnabhai MBBS, Lage Raho Munnabhai not only makes you laugh out in joy, smile goofily, shed a tear on more than one occasion, but it also sends out a very apt social message without being preachy. No mean feat, that!

Sanjay Dutt reprises his role as Munnabhai, a goon-with-a-golden-heart and this time, he falls for the lissome RJ Jhanvi, played by the winsome Vidya Balan (her very very Indian looks have my heart aflutter. The last time I fell so hard for a movie herione was Manisha Koirala in the movie Bombay. That itself warrants a much longer post and I'm digressing, so let's get on with the matter in hand). Aided by the always-by-his-side sidekick Circuit (Arshad Warsi), he proceeds to win her heart in the way he knows best. By making someone else do the hard work for him. Vintage Munnabhai, innit? But before you thinkt hat it goes pretty much the same way as the earlier movie, there's anothe character in the movie who changes pretty much everything you expected from the movie. (You don't need to be a genius to realise who the character is, if you've watched the promos. If you haven't, then watch the shape of the clouds in the background in the poster above. If you still don't get it, look into a 100 ruppee note. If you still don't, then google for Mahatma Gandhi).

That's it. I'm not giving away anything else about the movie. You really must rush to the nearest theater and give it a dekko. You'll realise that it's worth every paisa you've spent on it. Fun and clean entertainment for the entire family, this.

Performance wise, this movie has all actors playing what is probably the best performance they have essayed so far. Sanjay Dutt is absolutely lovable as Munnabhai. Vidya Balan has luminous screen presence, to be rivalled only by Madhuri Dixit walking down the stairs in that gorgeous blue dress in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. But hold your horses. Stop Press. There are not one, but two star performers in this movie. Boman Irani is the lesser of the two, essaying his phot-crazy Lucky Singh character with just the right blend of humor and villainy. You actually never get round to hating his character. But all the praise is to be heaped on Arshad Warsi, for playing Circuit only like he can. This guy is one of the best comedic actors in the country right now, and this performance just re-inforces this belief. He is just incredible, be it Senti-Circuit, Drunk-Circuit or fawning-upon-bhai Circuit.

Watch it. Period.