The Common Man Speaks

31Jul/120

Double standards: BEA never asked rowdy political parties to apologize

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare apologized to the media after the Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA) demanded an apology after few incidents of violence and abuse by Anna supporters. Anna did the right thing as such acts are uncalled for in a peaceful movement. However, the way the BEA went up in arms against Anna and the movement, shows the media body’s filthy double standards.

Over the years, there have been numerous incidents where goons of rowdy political parties have smashed offices of various news channels. Apart from the huge monetary losses, their acts also caused injuries to the people working with the channel. Despite such criminal or even terrorizing acts, BEA has never ever till date demanded an apology from any of the political parties. A shining example of their double standards or bias towards a movement, which is trying to save India from corruption.

Just because we (team Anna) are harmless, they condemn our minor acts and demand an apology but when it comes to dealing with the powerful political outfits, they become scary bones! In this way, BEA is indirectly stating that you can’t misbehave or abuse the media but it is perfectly fine if you walk into a media office, destroy its property and injure its employees. Worse, the BEA doesn’t even blink an eyelid when the heads of these political parties laud their acts of violence!

I am sure anyone from the BEA doesn’t have an answer to this.

And this is what we get by apologizing to the media – From the live coverage of Jantar Mantar (on the internet); it was noticeable that the venue was flocked with thousands of supporters. However, when ‘The’ Arnab Goswami saw the same scene, he announced on his channel that there are hardly 400-500 people at Jantar Mantar! Need more examples of how media is trying to sabotage the movement? Watch these news channels continuously. Coming back to Arnab, the pictures below reveal the truth.

Excerpts from this article have been sent to the BEA. I know this will not have any effect on their attitude but at least they would know that the people of India won’t take anything lying down! You can mail them too on - broadcast.editors@gmail.com

The crowd is touching the end of Jantar Mantar in both the pictures.

29Jul/122

July 29 Rally: Mumbai awakens… yet again!

A good part of the media tried their level best to portray Team Anna Hazare's ongoing fast protest (which started from July 25, 2012) as a flop show (for reasons we all know). However, the people of India made sure they don't succeed in their evil mission by turning up in large numbers in Delhi's Jantar Mantar as well as in Mumbai for the massive rally from Andheri to Azad Maidan (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus). Due to this and enormous pressure from we the people, the fourth-pillar of democracy is reporting the truth since today.

Another massive agitation is planned on Wednesday August 1, 2012. Please spread the message across Mumbaikars. To receive updates from Indian Against Corruption - Mumbai, please give a missed call on 02261550789 (you won't be charged for this).

Here are the pictures from today's Andheri to CST march. Another laugh in the face for all those who term the movement as flop!

(Click on the pictures from an enlarged version.)

Shri Mayank Gandhi

Mayankji during a powerful interaction with supporters.

25Jul/120

Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum Box-Office Prediction

Director: Sachin Yardi

Producers: Balaji Telefilms Ltd and Alt Entertainment

Writers: Sachin Yardi

Cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Tusshar Kapoor, Sarah Jane Dias, Neha Sharma, Anupam Kher, Chunky Pandey

Music: Sachin-Jigar, Shankar Ehsaan Loy and Anjjan – Meet Bros

Release Date: July 27, 2012

Analysis:

Star Value: With lead actors like Riteish Deshmukh and Tusshar Kapoor, the star value for Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum is low. But it is the brand of this adult comedy (after its first in 2009) that is the real star for the movie.

Hype: The movie has generated decent hype but only among the college students mostly. The promos have impressed that section of the audience due to the weird acts of the lead actors.

Music: ‘Dil Garden Garden Ho Gaya’ has become quite known among the youth. ‘Shirt Da Button’ is also slowly becoming popular. The rest of the songs aren’t much known.

Prediction:

Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum will at the most get a decent opening at the box-office. It has good prospects only in the metros. The collections might be affected by last week’s The Dark Knight Rises. It is vital for the film to impress initially in order to have a long run at the ticket window.

23Jul/126

Death of freedom fighter almost unnoticed!

Lakshmi Sahgal aka Captain Lakshmi breathed her last today at the age of 97. She was the Commander of Rani Of Jhansi regiment in Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj). She was also the minister for Women’s Affairs in the Azad Hind Government. India has lost a great soul who served the nation selflessly even when in her 90s!

But what is more aggrieving is that hardly anyone seems to know about the sad incident! You can’t blame the people alone for it when our media (especially, the news channels) is hardly giving any footage to the incident. It is disturbing to see them covering all those silly television shows and cheap gossips about film stars while there is almost ignorance on the death of someone who fought for the country and was a part of an important chapter in Indian history.

Last week, there was almost 24/7 footage on the death of India’s first superstar Rajesh Khanna. This continued for the next few days. There is no doubt Khanna was one of the greatest actors of India. Surely his death deserved such importance but that doesn’t mean they give a cold shoulder to someone who fought for our independence! I wouldn’t like to single out Khanna’s death as such has been the case with all celebrity deaths.

This brings us to an all important question – Have film stars and other celebrities become more important to the media than the ones who did all kinds of sacrifices for our country? Judging by the very low key coverage of the death of Captain Lakshmi and other such great souls, the answer is in the affirmative!

May Captain Lakshmi Rest In Peace.

To know about her life story and contribution to India, click here –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakshmi_Sahgal

Read her candid, detailed interview here - http://thecolloquium.net/colloquium/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=165%3Are-visiting-history-with-capt-lakshmi&catid=89%3Ainterviews&Itemid=302

Captain Lakshmi with Subhash Chandra Bose. (Picture courtesy - bharat-swabhiman.com)

22Jul/124

Badam Rani Gulam Chor (Marathi Movie) Review

Director: Satish Rajawade

Producers: Shekhar Kulkarni and Ajit Bhure

Writer: Dr. Vivek Bele

Cast: Upendra Limaye, Anand Ingle, Pushkar Shrotri, Mukta Barwe, Dr. Mohan Agashe, Vinay Apte, Deepak Karanjikar, Sudhir Gadgil

Music: Sandeep Khare and Salil Kulkarni

Rating: * * * ½

Plot: Three friends Chaku (Upendra Limaye), Pustak (Pushkar Shrotri) and Makad (Anand Ingle) with unusual characteristics live under the same roof. Due to the bond they share, their house is called Unbreakables. However, breaks start appearing in Unbreakables after the arrival of Pencil (Mukta Barwe). This starts a political game between the four.

Review: Political leaders playing tricks to preserve their vote bank is nothing new in today’s times. But what happens when ordinary people start playing such political games in interpersonal relationships? This question is explored in Satish Rajwade’s Badam Rani Gulam Chor. The exploration succeeds in providing some high doses of entertainment in the form of non-stop humor, although it lacks 100% conviction. The film is also blessed by some quality performances.

The wicked yet interesting chemistry between the characters of Chaku, Pustak and Makad is put forth intelligently in the very first scene. The entry of Pencil and its consequences gives rise to hilarious consequences. The names of the characters might sound absurd initially but after knowing the logic behind them, they appear apt and also add on to the humor and so does the different wavelengths of the characters.

Picture courtesy - BRGC Facebook page

A political track is very intelligently mirrored with the tale of the four characters and this is another reason why Dr Vivek Bele deserves high applause. The story takes a very interesting turn in the second half. From this part, Makad’s theories related to marriage and the scene where he and Chaku imagine Pustak and Pencil’s fighting for one and half minutes deserves special mention. These moments certainly have repeat value.

The pre-climax and the climax, however, don’t appear too convincing.  But since you have already connected with the characters and have had loads of laughter, you leave the cinema hall with satisfaction. We can say that after the successful Mumbai Pune Mumbai, Rajwade has once again handled another light-hearted film with maturity.

Decent efforts are seen in the technical departments (background score, cinematography and editing). The songs (Sandeep Khare and Salil Kulkarni) complement the theme well.

Pushkar Shrotri gets into the skin of the character of a bookworm with ease. His comic timing is perfect. Upendra Limaye is maturely convincing as a hot-headed toughie. Mukta Barwe displays the cuteness needed in her act. She is convincing in emotional scenes too.

But the one who turns out to be a surprise package is Anand Ingle. His smart and highly humorous act proves his talent. Vinay Apte and Deepak Karanjikar play warring politicians with conviction. A good cameo act is provided by Dr Mohan Agashe.

Overall, Badam Rani Gulam Chor is a clean entertainer with intelligent humor. The film has a chance of clicking at the box-office.

20Jul/122

The Dark Knight Rises Box-Office Prediction (India)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Producer: Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven and Emma Thomas

Writers: Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer, Jonathan Nolan, Bob Kane

Cast: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anna Hathaway

Music: Hans Zimmer

Analysis:

Star Value: No star can make-up for Heath Ledger's absence. He is just irreplaceable! But due to the presence of Christian Bale, Charles Roven and Anna Hathaway, one can say the star value for The Dark Knight Rises is high. Plus, it’s the brand of Batman that adds more star value.

Hype: The hype has been tremendous ever since the makers announced the film. As the promos were out and the film neared its release, the hype kept increasing.

Music: Music doesn’t have scope in such Hollywood films although the songs of this film are becoming known. The music will become a hit if it succeeds in complementing the film well.

Prediction:

The Dark Knight Rises will surely get a great opening at the box-office in India. The recent release The Amazing Spider-Man received the highest collections for a Hollywood film in India. Don’t be surprised if The Dark Knight Rises surpasses that record if it manages to impress initially. There are chances that TDKR will affect the collections of next week’s Bollywood release Kya Super Cool Hai Hum.

19Jul/122

India vs Pakistan 2012: Why always target cricket?

As expected, the forthcoming Pakistan tour of India (in 2012) has received flak from a large number of Indians due the Pakistan’s hand in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and their non-cooperation in solving terror issues. The opposition to the series might appear logical to many but not at all to me. I fail to understand why do we always target cricket when it comes to an association between the two nations?

A good number of Pakistani nationals like Atif Aslam, Adnan Sami, Ali Zafar, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Veena Malik, etc are working full time in Bollywood. Some of them have also settled in Mumbai. Why not a single opposition to them? We are perfectly fine with their artists settling in our country but we can't tolerate their cricket team visiting for few days!

In 2010, Shiv Sena was up in arms against Shah Rukh Khan just because he wanted Pakistan players in his IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders. But not many people know when they were busy protesting against SRK, Amitabh Bachchan was performing poetry with Pakistani poets and that too in Mumbai. It is absolutely fine if you can perform with their artists but if you just express the wish of having their players in your team, you are painted a villain! Another incident where only cricket was targeted!

Last year, few social workers from Pakistan visited anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare at Ralegan Siddhi to get some guidance on fighting corruption in their country. Although I welcomed Anna’s gesture and hospitality, I wondered where those people were who are ready to oppose every Pakistani?

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Personally, I find it illogical to oppose everyone from Pakistan. I and some of my friends have internet friends in Pakistan and we have always received high respect from them. One college friend of mine had been to Pakistan for a cultural program and is still cherishing the memories of her visit due to the warmth she received there. My ex-professor had been to Pakistan and he too had a similar experience.

One of my friend’s friend had been there too in 2003 when India toured Pakistan. He witnessed two one-day internationals at Lahore and was highly surprised to see not a single Pakistani supporter mouthing anti-India slogans or making fun of team India. In fact, during the same series, a number of shop owners in Pakistan gave discounts to Indians. Likewise, there are numerous examples of the common public of Pakistan having high regard for Indians.

I have tremendous hatred for the chaps coming from there and attacking my country. I am also against their government for taking poor measures to combat terrorism (which I expressed here). However, that doesn’t mean I hate each and every one from across the border! Those doing this have had no experience with Pakistanis.

But even if you hate everyone from Pakistan, where does your hatred disappear when you hear an Atif Aslam song or watch an Ali Zafar movie? Why it is that only the game of cricket triggers your hatred towards Pakistanis and reminds of you of 26/11?

Let’s treat cricket as a game… just like we have been treating movies and music. Excitedly awaiting Pakistan’s tour of India. May the better team win!

18Jul/124

“Anand Mara Nahin, Anand Marte Nahin”

Being born in the 80s, I was exposed to the cinema of the 90s during my growing up days. Due to this, I wasn’t interested in watching movies of the 60s or 70s or listening to songs from that era. But a chance encounter with the song ‘Mere Sapno Ki Rani’ and few Rajesh Khanna films made me realize the beauty of that period. Thus, it won’t be wrong to state that it was largely due to Khanna that I started respecting the songs and movies of the yesteryears.

What amazed me was the ease with which the actor had an impressive effect on the audience, even while mouthing the simplest of lines. And talking about the songs he featured in, his special dancing technique made them extra-special. No wonder, he is considered the first superstar of Bollywood. Naturally, when an artist of that caliber leaves us forever, it saddens me to say the least, more so since he was the one who got me exposed to the Golden Era of Indian cinema.

Like all movie buffs, his death brings to memory the climax scene of his evergreen movie Anand. The very last line of the scene and the film acts as a fitting tribute to Kaka – Anand Mara Nahin. Anand Marte Nahin. Rest In Peace Rajesh Khananji!

Have a look at that scene: -

 

 

15Jul/122

Liberty Cinema: Standing tall against odds!

Understandably, an unsatisfactory movie makes us feel our money and time got unnecessarily wasted. However, an unsatisfactory movie at Liberty Cinema doesn’t make me feel so. The beauty of the place makes even a bad movie a paisa vasool experience! The simple yet beautifully interiors, comfortable seating, artistic ceiling designs, royal staircase (especially the ones which lead on to the balcony) and a perfect sound system have been more than a treat for cinema lovers since over six decades (see pictures).

But what makes it further special is that the cost has always been pocket-friendly. This allows the middle-class and the lower middle-class to relish the memorable experience unlike those multiplexes charging Rs 300 or more for a single ticket and Rs 60 plus for a tea that doesn’t taste like one! This fact generates tremendous respect for the single screen theatre from my side.

Recently, however, my respect for Liberty grew ten folds further when I read in a newspaper that the owner Mr Nazir Hossein is in no mood to convert the historical theatre into a swanky multiplex, despite the collections not being as high during its heydays.

(Article continued after picture.)

(All picture courtesy - Liberty Cinema Facebook page)

Since last decade or so, destruction of old buildings and monuments in the name of so-called development is on the rise in Mumbai. Naturally, some of the famous theatres of Mumbai have been demolished too to make way for multiplexes. In other words, owners of Mumbai’s famous architectural heritages themselves didn’t blink an eye before demolishing it.

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Metro Cinema, a stone-throw away from Liberty, is a classic example of this fact. A theatre which was once thronged by people from all classes of society now caters only to the elite classes. There is no sign of the common middle class public courtesy some abnormal ticket rates.

It would have been very easy to give in to the temptation when almost the whole of Mumbai is marching towards redevelopment. It takes a big heart and a strong will like Hossein to keep the flame alive. In order to survive the reducing numbers, the owner is now thinking of also bringing art shows, music concerts, etc to the theatre. This is an example of how a strong business sense can be applied to keep traditions alive. Of course, this doesn’t guarantee for the cash registers to keep ringing but for few people like Hossein, pride comes first.

Since the theater was built during the time of India’s independence in 1947, it was named Liberty, which means freedom. The name is apt as the place is free… free from the clutches of business-like attitude! All thanks to Hossein sir for retaining the feeling of the old, simple and uncomplicated Bombay!

To be a part of this proud historical figure of Mumbai and to keep yourself informed about various events at this place, join the Facebook page of Liberty Cinema by clicking here - https://www.facebook.com/libertycinema2012

Have a look at some more of the majestic pictures of Liberty Cinema: -

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12Jul/120

Cocktail Box-Office Prediction

Director: Homi Adajania

Producers: Eros International and Illuminati Films

Writer: Imtiaz Ali

Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Diana Penty, Dimple Kapadia, Boman Irani

Music: Pritam

Release Date: July 13, 2012

Analysis:

Star Value: Although Saif Ali Khan is not one of the biggest crowd-pullers of Bollywood, he is a well-known star. On the other hand, Deepika Padukone stands out as one of the most famous young actresses currently. The debutant Diana Penty has also managed to make heads turn. Due to these factors, the star value of Cocktail is high.

Hype: The hype has been good if not remarkable. The songs and the promos have received thumbs up from youngsters, mostly the college-going crowd.

Songs: ‘Tumhi Ho Bandhu’ has got a tremendous response from the youngsters. Other songs like ‘Daru Desi’ and ‘Second Hand Jawani’ have become well-known too. In short, the music has played the biggest role in creating excitement for the movie.

Prediction:

Cocktail will certainly get a good opening first-up in the metros. Since it is a content-driven film, it is important for it to impress first up if it has to succeed at the box-office. The major hurdle for the film is that its content suits only to the urban multiplex audience. Due to this, the film won’t get a good response at smaller centers. Plus, the fact that last week’s Bol Bachchan is still going very strong might also affect its box-office collections. But the good news is that there are no major Bollywood releases next week.