Saturday, 31 January, 2009

Luck By Chance

An insider's view of the industry. Helped doubly by the fact that both Zoya and Farhan have observed the 'fictional' characters of the cast play out their parts for so many years, live. The casting is impeccable, well, because the stars are either playing themselves or clones of real life colleagues, or have been casted to fit the existing perception of their personas and confirm a few legends. So the multi star cast can't really go wrong nor can they let themselves down in the histrionics department. I liked the film. The way it stayed focused to the core story of the struggle to make it. What I was wondering for the brief few minutes when I thought the film loses its grip and lets your mind wander is that is this movie a fusion between commercial cinema and a well made Bollywood docu-drama?
Farhan is cool, Konkona is her usual efficient self. The non-star friends have done a good job too. The industry, I call it that because there are so many stars in important, brief, guest, smile and wave, special appearances that the 'special thanks to' practically covers everyone and then some, has played its part well.

Thursday, 29 January, 2009

Karachi to Jai Shri Krishna

This was in the news. All signs were being made to change to reflect 'Indianness'. So poor Karachi Sweets was threatened and the owner decided to call it Jai Shri Krishna Sweets. By that logic, you can't have any Sindhi friends. And while you are at it, never ever eat again at the various Taj Group, ITC hotel restaurants called Peshawari, Baluchi or the Bukhara. Change New Delhi's Lahori Gate to Laxman Gate or something. Of course, no Multani mitti for the Shive Sainik's wife. No Peshawari or Afghani Kebabs. Sikandari Raan. Qandahari whatever. Utter nonsense.

Wednesday, 28 January, 2009

The Right Address

Mastercard address: Global Corporate Headquarters, 2000 Purchase Street, Purchase, NY 10577 USA. Fitting.

Slumdog

Nice, fun movie. Haven't read the book and most probably, will keep it that way.
I'm sure an Indian director will never capture the raw, seamy Mumbai like Danny Boyle has. At the most we have Bollywood movies showing a few chases across shanties and some dark gullies and then it is back to the lavish mansion of the arch villain or the middle class house of the hero.

What's with the hoo ha about showing poverty and the reality? About 52% of Mumbaikars live like that. A handful of areas can count themselves slum free. And they don't have to go very far. Chances are, there will be a convenient slum tucked away nearby, which is a great source for all the 'help' that helps maintain these very same highrises.

Why would the western world be interested in seeing our duplicate Palm Beach roads, designer flea markets like the one on Colaba Causeway, glass buildings and flyovers anyway?

Like I was seeing a bunch of photographs of a tourist on Facebook, and it showed a seriously dirty vegetable market with the typical stale and rotting leftovers all around, a dustbin with more things around it than in it, dogs, chicken pecking at unmentionable things, people buying unmindful of the filth all around, we all know it well, and her comment was, "who wants to see a clean tidy market, this one has so much character."

No way am I defending squalor, but to have people disgusted by what has been shown is almost like hating what the mirror reveals. Wake up and smell the stink.