The Common Man Speaks

30Aug/120

Joker Box Office Prediction

Director: Shirish Kunder

Producer: Hari Om Entertainment Co., Three’s Company and UTV Motion Pictures

Writer: Shirish Kunder

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Shreyas Talpade, Minissha Lamba, Asrani

Music: Gaurav Dagaonkar and G V Prakash Kumar

Genre: Drama

Release Date: August 31, 2012

Analysis:

Star Value: Akshay Kumar is one of the biggest stars ever. Even Sonakshi Sinha has become a known name after her first two films attaining success. Hence, we can say the star value for Joker is very high.

Hype: There is a good amount of hype for Joker but unfortunately a major part of it is negative. Due to some reason, people had assumed the film to be bad even before the first promo released. After the promo came out, the negative publicity increased. And since Akshay and Sonakshi, due to whatever reasons, are not promoting the film, it has further hampered the movie.

Music: Despite the controversy and Chitrangada Singh’s sensuous moves, the song ‘I Want Fakht/Just You’ has not succeeded in becoming known or publicizing the movie. The rest of the songs are hardly known as well.

Prediction:

Joker will get an average or at the most good opening at the box-office. This is certainly below par for a big budget movie with big stars. Due to this, it is vital for the movie to impress at the onset. The good thing for Joker is that it caters to both single screens as well as multiplexes.

26Aug/122

Govt continues British tactics!

The atrocities by the government on those who protest against corruption was once again visible today when Arvind Kejriwal and his associates were brutally beaten up and showered with water cannons and tear gas in Delhi during a protest outside Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Nitin Gadkari’s respective residences.

The type of protest might look aggressive to some but it is impossible to sit silent when our government just rubbishes reports of a coal scam despite the CAG report stating a coalgate scam of 1.86 lakh crore!!! There is not even a hint of probe into the report!

A thief steals secretly. But what the UPA is doing is open loot, just like those unapologetic dacoits!

On one hand, peaceful protestors are brutally beaten up while on the other, thousands of ruffians from Samajwadi Party and Raza Group are allowed to carry out the most shameful riots in Mumbai despite the police having pre-information about it.

Similar atrocity by the Congress was also seen yesterday when few goons from Youth Congress attacked Subramanian Swamy, who had filed a petition against P C Chidambaram for his role in the 2G scam. Despite such a heinous crime of an attempt to murder taking place, our so-called media hardly covered the news and worse no action is yet taken against the criminals.

If the government continues to act like British, we shall get another independence soon!

Picture courtesy - The Hindu

26Aug/120

India wins U 19 World Cup: Future of Indian cricket in safe hands!

Heartfelt congratulations to team India for winning the Under 19 Cricket World Cup today by beating Australia by 6 wickets at Townville. Unfortunately, this series hasn’t received due hype from the media as well as the Indian cricket fans. But that isn’t going to change the fact that the future of Indian cricket is in safe hands.

Indian skipper Unmukt Chand led from the front by scoring an unbeaten 111 while opening the innings. His fifth wicket partnership of 130 unbeaten runs with wicketkeeper Samit Patel made it possible. The full scorecard of the match is available here - http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-under19-world-cup-2012/engine/current/match/554564.html

This is India’s third Under 19 World Cup victory and their second successive World Cup win. In 2008, it was Virat Kohli who led India to victory. Apart from Kohli, Saurabh Tiwary, Manish Pandey and Ravindra Jadeja were the players that went on to win a place in the senior Indian squad from that team. There is no doubt some of the players from the current U 19 team will find a place too in the senior squad.

The fact that the victory came outside subcontinent in Australia makes the victory more special!

Unmukt Chand on his way to a match-winning century

24Aug/120

Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi Box Office Prediction

Director: Bela Sehgal

Producers: SLB Films and Eros International

Writer: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Cast: Boman Irani, Farah Khan, Kavin Dave, Shammi

Music: Jeet Ganguly

Release Date: August 24, 2012

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Analysis:

Star Value: Boman Irani and Farah Khan are no big stars. But the fact that choreographer-turned-director Farah is now making her acting debut has given some star value to Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi. As it is, content is the real star in such films.

Hype: The funny promos of the movie have impressed the masses. Boman and Farah spoofing various Bollywood blockbusters in the posters has worked very well. And as mentioned above, Farah coming in front of the camera in her first full-fledged role has managed to get heads turned. But the hype isn’t as high as one would expect. This is largely because of the Ek Tha Tiger euphoria since last 3-4 weeks.

Music: This is not a music oriented film. Only the title song has managed to become well-known.

Prediction:

Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi will get a decent opening at the box-office in the first weekend. However, such genre of films rely more on the multiplex audiences of the metros. It will struggle in the smaller centers and single screens. It is vital for it to impress initially as it is a content oriented film. But since it is made on a low budget, it looks like a safe bet for the producers.

20Aug/124

IndiBlogger meet 2012: App Ki Khatir!

A filmmaker wants the sequel or the second part of his movie to be a notch higher than the first part in terms of overall satisfaction. It seems the Indiblogger think-tank follows the same mantra. If the 2011 Mumbai meet (at R K Studios) was very good, the 2012 meet yesterday at Taj Lands End was even better! Being a filmi keeda, I couldn’t find another way of describing it.

Although I was truly happy to attend my second IndiBlogger meet, I was quite sure I would be the odd man out when I got to know that the event is called Nokia Apptasting. This means there would be discussions and demonstrations of different types of mobile applications or apps as they call it.

Amar and Prem in action without Aaila and Uimaa. (Click to enlarge)

I used the term odd man out as I have never used any app in my life since I am using the very simple Nokia 3110 since four years. I want mobile phones only for calling and SMS-ing as I don’t want any more tech addictions (I already have quite a few including SMSes, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, etc). What will be further surprising for you is the fact that I have never used internet from mobile and don’t wish to do so, at least in the near future. But since it was an IndiBlogger meet, my excitement levels were high! I was also glad my friend Celin will be attending her first IndiBlogger meet (I am partnering her in our food blog - mumbaigluttons.blogspot.in).

At my arrival, I was taken aback by the luxury oozing out from every little corner of Taj Lands End. It quickly reminded me of those huge budgeted Yash Chopra or Karan Johar films, minus people with expensive and heavy wedding attires (thankfully). When I reached the ballroom in the basement, I realized the place is too luxurious for a common man like me, although I was super-impressed by the peaceful ambience. But my eagerness was focused on only one thing – IndiBlogger meet!

(Click to enlarge)

The event also helped me meet my two of my friends Anuradha and Rahul after a long time. This was similar to the films of the 70s and 80s where estranged friends reunite in a mela (in this case, the Indiblogger meet).

The start of the event took all of us by surprise. It was very impressive to create an atmosphere of friendship by giving high fives, shaking hands and hugging each other. The hosts Vikas Khanna and Rajiv Makhni were up to the task. Their unusual chemistry with some witty humour gave way for some refreshing entertainment. They were very much like Amar and Prem of Andaz Apna Apna. The joke on Simran (who came on behalf of Nokia) is something that will tickle my funny bone whenever I recall it, especially his pose with Rajiv as Raj-Simran!

After a lot of fun and laughter during the initial period the Apptasting started. In my words – after a very impressive first part, the post-interval portion started. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel out of place during this period. I was impressed with some of the apps, especially the one which helped Rajiv make a short film on Vikas along with two girls from the audience. Their silent fashion show with Charlie Chaplin music is worth watching again and again. The contest where the audience was asked to describe their dream app was also an interesting idea. I, along with others, was spellbound by the imagination of some.

The cutting of the huge cake celebrating five years of IndiBlogger, followed by a group picture and dinner proved to be a perfect ending to a memorable evening.

Now here’s the twist in the climax – The Apptasting ensured that I might use some app in the future. Of course, it has to be the one which is useful for the common man. Hence, we can say IndiBlogger and Nokia have something more to be proud of. They managed to do something which a whole lot of my friends couldn’t – to convince me in using apps! Oh wow! This was similar to the happy ending of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge where Amrish Puri’s character finally says, “Ja Simran Ja.” No, I am not hinting at the one who represented Nokia.

More pictures from the event:

Contest time (Click to enlarge)

More contests (Click to enlarge)

Happy Birthday to the 5-year old (Click to enlarge)

19Aug/122

Very Very Special Goodbye!

During the stage of my late childhood when I was trying to learn and understand that game of cricket, successful Indian players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Javagal Srinath and Mohammad Azaharuddin were at the peak of their careers. Due to this, no matter how many great or greater players emerged after them, players in the above mentioned elite list will always hold a special place in my memory.

So whenever a player from that list announces retirement, it certainly comes as a blow. The same happened when VVS Laxman announced his retirement yesterday, although this was on the cards after India’s tour to England and Australia. But those two unsuccessful tours can in no way be considered a dark spot over his career due to the huge number of glorious moments he has given to team India.

Having said this, many would be surprised that my very first memory of Laxman wasn’t a pleasant one. This was in 1996 in the first test match against South Africa in Ahmedabad, which was Laxman’s debut. After his failure in the first innings, I thought it wasn’t a good idea to have him in the playing eleven as I wasn’t sure about his technique. However, he made me swallow my opinion in the second innings when he scored a half century and led India’s fightback with Anil Kumble. How delighted I was to have been proved wrong!

This was just the first step of Laxman’s remarkable career. His brilliant timing along with his wristy flicks impressed cricket fans world over. Thinking about his career, the first innings that comes to mind is his earth-shattering 281 against Australia in the second test at Eden Gardens in 2001. Laxman, along with Rahul Dravid, shook the cricketing world with an unthinkable fight back. India's victory was just the second instance in the history of test cricket where a team managed to win a match after being asked to follow on. Laxman wasn’t considered a one-day match specialist but his brilliant form in this test series forced the selectors to include him in the ODIs that followed.

From the Eden Garden innings onwards, he came to be known as India’s ideal man for crisis. He lived up to the title in the years to come by bailing India out of trouble time and again. With his retirement, team India will miss the bailing out ability of one of India’s greatest batsmen.

Here’s a big thank you to VVS with the hope that his career becomes an inspiration for the generations to come.

Have a look at the highlights of Laxman’s memorable innings of 281 against Australia: -

 

18Aug/128

Arranged marriage = Shopping!

(This post is not against the practice of arranged marriages. It is just speaks out about how even in the 21st century, marriages are continuing to be like a business deal or shopping. This is something I have been witnessing all my life.)

By: Keyur Seta

Arranged marriage versus love marriage is a debate which has not reached a conclusion. Although it is a general belief that there are merits and demerits in both the methods, I wholeheartedly support the institution of love marriage. This is simply because, according to me, love marriage is a natural process while the arranged one is against the forces of nature.

In love marriage, a boy and a girl meet in places like colleges, offices, parties, etc. They become friends at start and if the tuning of their hearts and wavelength match, they go ahead and become life partners. Hence, we can say they met in a natural way. In other words, their meeting and falling in love is a natural process.

In arranged marriage, two families ‘fix’ a meeting between a boy and a girl. They are made or even forced to meet and decide in maximum 3-4 meetings whether they can consider each other the most important person of their life. The most important relation of our lives is ‘fixed’ by going against the forces of nature as if it’s a business deal. And going against the nature is certainly a bad idea!

However, my opposition to arranged marriage is not limited to this point. After witnessing and hearing first-hand-accounts of marriages fixed in an arranged manner, I find no difference between arrange marriage and shopping! Yes, you heard it right. Okay, let me explain!

(Article continued after picture.)

Before starting their search for a partner in an arranged manner, both the girl and the boy mentally prepare a list of qualities their future life-partner should possess. This is very similar to people thinking about the color, brand, quality, price and fitting of a jeans before going out to buy it. And if you are an MBA, your chances of getting a life partner increase fivefold. I am not sure whether an MBA degree will get land you a lucrative job but I am certain it will increase your ‘market value’ in the ‘market’ of marriage.

But the real shopping fun begins when the girl and the boy’s family meet each other. The party which starts asking questions first behaves like the buyer while the other has to behave like the seller. For example, the boy’s family will start listing all his good qualities, just like a salesman tries to portray his product in a must-buy manner. On the other hand, the girl’s family will try to figure out the percentage of truth in their claims, just like the buyers do to make sure the salesman isn't taking them for a ride.

After the first round, the tables are turned. Buyers become sellers and vice-versa. Now, the girl’s family will start proving how perfect to-be bahu their girl is while the boy’s family will do some brain-work in guessing the percentage of authenticity in their claims. Most importantly, both of them (girl and boy) will check whether the list of qualities in their potential life partner matches with the mental list they prepared. If it doesn’t, they will probably go to another shop!

If both parties are satisfied, they go ahead with the marriage. In my words - the deal is finalized with both parties benefiting both as buyers and sellers. In this way, a total stranger becomes the most important person of your life after just few meetings. Wow!

But wait a minute! Where the heck does love figure in all this since it is the most important ingredient for marriage? Oh forget it! As long as the girl’s family can say, “Humare sar ka boj hat gaya!” and the boy’s family can proudly declare, “Humare ghar me oonche khandan ki bahu aa gayi,” nothing else matters! Not even love!

18Aug/120

Enough is enough: PM should resign!

Judging by the latest CAG report that has brought to light the coal scam or coalgate worth Rs 1.86 lakh crore, we can say that no other government has brought as much shame to India in its tenure as the current UPA. With this scam, the government has achieved an almost impossible feat of breaking its own record of Rs 1.70 lakh crore, which was scored in the 2G scam.

By cartoonist Kureel Manoj

But during all these scams, what has been more annoying is that they have never accepted the fact that there is a scam in the first place. In the case of this coal scam too, the Congress has refused to accept the CAG report! Naturally, due to such denials, they have also rubbished off all possibilities of at least a probe in the issue.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the Coal Minister when the scam took place but he, along with his party, has plainly refused to take responsibility and worse, even speak anything on it! Like a number of scams that has happened during his tenure, he has washed his hands off of this one too, whose estimated figure is just unthinkable!

It is also impossible to forget that exactly a year ago, Singh had given a written promise to Anna Hazare of passing a strong Lokpal Bill. We all know how his promise turned out to be a sad joke. This also proves he and his government just don’t want a decline (forget end) in corruption.

With scams worth unthinkable amounts taking place right under Singh’s nose and he not doing a thing about it, the big question is - What right he has to continue to sit on the chair of the PM? Sorry to say this but we have had enough of your silent (in actions as well) attitude to a long list of scams amounting to lakhs of crores of loss to the country. As it is, due to the pro-corruption attitude of you and your so-called government, you have proved to be as good as the British! If you have 0.001% shame left, please resign!

15Aug/1211

Ek Tha Tiger Review

Director: Kabir Khan

Producer: Yash Raj Films

Writers: Aditya Chopra (Story), Neelesh Misra and Kabir Khan (Screenplay and Dialogues)

Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Ranvir Shorey, Girish Karnad

Music: Sohail Sen and Sajid-Wajid

Rating: *

Plot: RAW agent Tiger (Salman Khan) is sent on mission to Dublin to just observe a scientist (Roshan Sheth) as the agency has doubts over his activities. Over there, Tiger meets Zoya (Katrina Kaif) and falls for her. But the mission goes haywire due to some unexpected events.

Review: First things first – Kabir Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger is a replica of Sriram Raghavan’s Agent Vinod minus few twists in the second half. But the final product suggests that an exact copy of Agent Vinod would have been a better decision since the Yash Raj version makes the not-so-impressive Saif Ali Khan starrer appear like a classic! The Salman Khan starrer not only makes fun of the secret intelligence agencies but also takes the audience on a ride that makes them tear their hair off in despair after reaching the final destination.

The film, however, starts on a promising note although it follows the age old formula of Bollywood and Hollywood action flicks – the hero making a dhamakedar entry in an action scene followed by his next mission where he meets his lady love. This won’t bother you since the fast-paced writing, impressive action and some good quality humour provide satisfying entertainment. But the next turn in the story poses a question mark when the scientist is just thrown out of the plot. Not just that; the interval point is the same as Mohit Suri’s Awarapan, with the audience already knowing the filmy outcome.

But since the second half is still to be seen, you try to ignore these points. That doesn’t help as the script goes further downhill with those clichéd romantic moments. Then the story takes the biggest turn which defies logic and doesn’t go with the nature of the secret intelligence officers. You still hope for something better but what you get is a series of idiotic twists and some dumb action scenes where, on few occasions, the lead pair tries to imitate Spider-man and even succeeds in it!

Although there is no hope left by this time, you still expect to get some satisfaction from the climax. Then suddenly, Ranvir Shorey’s voiceover indirectly tells us that the film is over. The abrupt ending coupled with the final outcome crosses all levels of idiocy! The message of peace between India and Pakistan is given in a laughable manner!

Kabir Khan’s talent is seen in some of his fearless documentaries and two feature films Kabul Express and New York. Due to this, it is not possible to believe that a passionately talented filmmaker came up with something like this!

Talking about the technical aspects, Aseem Mishra (cinematography) does a brilliant job during those difficult action scenes and while artistically capturing different cities of the world. Background music (Julius Packiam) and editing (Rameshwar S Bhagat) are the other plus points. Sajid-Wajid and Sohail Sen have produced songs that, although not brilliant, are likable.

Salman Khan appears more like Salman Khan and less like a RAW agent. Even his performance falls in the not bad category. But since most of his fans will be queuing up just to see his looks, songs and fights, they won’t have a problem. Like most of her films, Katrina Kaif struggles with her dialogue delivery due to her accent. Although she enacts the right emotions on most of the occasions, it is difficult to believe a hardcore Pakistani girl with such poor pronunciation and diction. Ranvir Shorey and Girish Karnad provide good support although the latter appears awkward on few occasions. Roshan Sheth excels in a cameo. The actor playing Katrina's aide is adequate.

Overall, Ek Tha Tiger is yet another poorly made Salman film that will break box-office records as the masses will watch the film at least once. The crazy opening will ensure it crosses Rs 150 or maybe even 200 crore, if money can be considered a yardstick for measuring success of a film.