The Common Man Speaks

29Sep/122

OMG! Oh My God Review

Director: Umesh Shukla

Producers: Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal and Ashvini Yardi

Writer: Umesh Shukla (Story, Screenplay and Dialogues)

Cast: Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty, Mahesh Manjrekar, Govind Namdeo, Poonam Jhaver, Nidhi Subbaiah

Music: Himesh Reshammiya, Anjjan-Meet Bros, Sachin-Jigar

Rating: * * * *

Plot: A complete non-believer, Kanji Mehta (Paresh Rawal) earns great profit by taking advantage of people’s blind religious faith. He sells random idol of Gods and attaches false mythological history with them which obliges people to buy them at a giveaway price. One day, Kanji goes a bit too far by halting a Dahi Handi festival by spreading a rumour.

Just then, his shop is destroyed in an earthquake. Worse, he is unable to recover losses as the insurance company regards earthquake as an ‘act of God’. Hence, Kanji sues God in the court of law. His argument is simple – If there is God, He will appear in court!

Review: In order to please and worship God, a number of religious rituals are followed in India like pouring hundreds of liters of milk on a Shivling, offering many chaadars in a dargah or offering lakhs of candles in churches. However, Umesh Shukla’s OMG! Oh My God rubbishes off all these rituals while stating that all one needs to do is be a good human and help the needy in order to impress Him. It also gives a moral slap to those who carry out business in the name of God. The powerful message presented in an entertaining manner makes sure the film is worth watching more than once.

Like all well made films, OMG! Oh My God has a very meaty and a fast moving script. Umesh Shukla succeeds in narrating the tale at a steady pace, defining characters clearly and at the same time providing some quality humour. The first twist in the story, which comes very early, gives rise to a number of powerful and entertaining scenes. A human lodging a court case against God is never seen before in a Hindi film. Of course, Akshay Kumar’s arrival provides the icing on the cake.

Picture courtesy - OMG Facebook page

Thankfully, unlike a number of Hindi films, OMG maintains momentum in the second half too in terms of story development and the script. It is during this period where there a number of clap-worthy scenes which are enlightening and a real treat! Some further interesting twists ensure a heartwarming as well as an eye-opening climax.

The whole team of OMG deserves applause for daring to give such a bold message in a country where people are obsessed with blindfaith which certainly doesn’t do any good to them or the society.

If one tries to find flipsides, one can include some scenes showing miracles and also the fact that Kanji’s original mission goes off-track in between. But since these points also help in bringing the final outcome, you don’t really mind. However, there are chances of some over-sensitive God worshippers might get offended by some scenes and dialogues.

Talking about the technical departments, the cinematography, background score and editing are fine. Two songs ‘Go Go Go Govinda’ and ‘Mere Nishaan’ suit the situations while ‘Ji Ji Ji’ is superb due to the lyrics.

Paresh Rawal’s performance deserves a standing ovation. He gets into the skin of the character and displays every emotion with ease. This will surely be one of the talked about performances of his career. It is risky to play a character like God but Akshay Kumar manages that easily and gives a lovable act. However, Mithun Chakraborty’s act as a gay swami wasn’t amusing. There was no need to include such feminine mannerisms in the character.

Govind Namdeo is effective as a short tempered priest. Nikhil Ratnaparkhi does very well as Rawal’s loyal friend. Murli Sharma, Lubna Salim, Poonam Jhaver and others are not bad.

Overall, OMG Oh My God shouldn’t be missed for it gives a great message while providing quality entertainment. The film needs word-out-mouth to succeed at the box-office.

27Sep/120

Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal Box Office Prediction

Director: Priyadarshan

Producers: Percept Pictures

Writers: Neeraj Vora (Story, Screenplay and Dialogues)

Cast: Nana Patekar, Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Shreyas Talpade, Madhurima Banerjee, Asrani, Rajpal Yadav

Music: Sajid-Wajid

Genre: Comedy

Release Date: September 28, 2012

Analysis:

Star Value: Due to the presence of some quality veteran actors like Nana Patekar, Paresh Rawal and Om Puri, the star value is quite high, although not as high as is needed to attract large number of audiences.

Hype: Although the promos have received a decent response, the hype is missing. The makers have failed in promoting their film. But this is not the first time that Percept has done such a thing. It is not known why the banner fails regularly to market its films.

Music: None of the songs of the movie have become known.

Prediction:

Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal will at the most only get an average opening at the box office. This is surely disappointing considering it’s another crazy entertainer by Priyadarshan. The reason for this is its low key marketing. It’s only hope is to impress supremely at the onset. Else, it will be very difficult for it to make a mark at the ticket window.

26Sep/120

OMG Oh My God Box Office Prediction

Director: Umesh Shukla

Producers: Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal and Ashvini Yardi

Writer: Umesh Shukla

Cast: Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty, Mahesh Manjrekar, Govind Namdeo, Nidhi Subbaiah

Music: Himesh Reshammiya, Anjjan-Meet Bros, Sachin-Jigar

Genre: Drama

Release Date: September 28, 2012

Analysis:

Star Value: Although Paresh Rawal is a character actor, he has succeeded in gaining mass appeal through some fantastic performances over the years. And Akshay Kumar’s presence, despite a second lead, adds more star value for OMG Oh My God!.

Hype: Since OMG Oh My God! is based on superhit plays in Gujarati and Hindi, the film made news since it was announced. The makers’ idea of bringing out a teaser explaining Paresh Rawal’s character should be lauded for it made the film known much before the release. Later on, when the full-fledged promo was released, it helped the film further as it turned out to be very impressive. However, the excitement for the movie is not as high as it should have been.

Music: Prabhudeva and Sonakshi Sinha starrer song ‘Go Go Go Govinda’ became instantly popular. Although the rest of the songs aren’t famous, they will slowly gain acceptance if the film does very well at the box office.

Prediction:

OMG Oh My God! will get a decent opening at the box office. The first weekend collections should be around Rs 20-25 crore. It will be affected by the India-Pakistan T20 World Cup match on Sunday and Ganesh Visarjan in Maharashtra. However, it shouldn’t be judged by its first three days’ profits. This is a type of a film which will slowly climb the ladder at the box office provided it manages to impress initially. Due to its genre, it has a chance at both bigger and smaller centers.

26Sep/120

Kale’s novel relevant even in today’s era: Shree Partner director

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Whenever a film is made from a popular novel, the first question that arises in everybody’s minds is whether the celluloid version is as good as the book, if not better. But should there be any comparison between both the versions? If yes, to what extent? Such questions were explored at a discussion in Mumbai named ‘Pratisanvad – Sahityache Cinematle Roopantar’. The conversation took place after Ganesh Matkari’s book ‘Chaukati Bahercha Cinema’ was launched.

The focus of the interaction was director Sameer Surve’s movie Shree Partner, which is based on the classic novel Partner by Vasant Purushottam Kale. Secretary of Prabhat Chitra Mandal Santosh Pathare, author Anant Samant, filmmaker Sameer Surve, filmmaker and writer Abhiram Bhadkamkar and film writer Ganesh Matkari were the speakers at the event.

During the discussion, Pathare raised a question on Surve’s decision to make a film on Partner since the book has been read by a large number of people over the decades. To this, Surve replied, “We have to accept that in today’s times, there is a dearth of good stories. But the base of every film is a story. Many of the classic foreign films are based on some great literature. I chose Partner since it has a great story. Although the book was written in 1977, I think it is relevant even in today’s era.”

Narrating his experience, Surve adds, “In fact, I was surprised why not a single movie was made on Partner all these years. But when I was thinking of making a movie on the book, I came to know someone else has already decided to make it. Obviously I was disappointed. But later on, that person shelved the project. Hence, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands.” He also says he found a cinema angle in the book as he was stunned and touched by it, just like one does in a movie.

When Pathare pointed out that Shree Partner will be compared with the book, Bhadkamkar opined that there shouldn’t be comparison. But on the contrary, Surve said there should be comparison. “If you have passion, you don’t worry about post mortem. I have worked hard for three years to make this film. The script was finalized after 17 drafts and I also had to re-shoot some of the scenes. When a friend of mine got to know this, he laughed at me saying this is just a Marathi film. But I said I wanted to do full justice with the book.”

To know whether Shree Partner has done justice to the book, one has to wait till October 26 when the film releases.

(The remaining part of this interesting discussion will be published soon.)

25Sep/120

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24Sep/120

Barfi!: Shamefully plagiarized film sent for Oscars!

Oscar or Academy Awards are considered the highest honours for any film. Each year India, like a number of countries, nominates one film in the Foreign Language Category for the Oscars. Since the nominated movie is representing India, it is logical that originality should be the biggest criteria along with other pre-requites. However, this year the Film Federation of India (FFI) has flouted all norms by sending a shamefully plagiarized film like Barfi! for the Oscars!

To see for yourself, click on this link – http://ibnlive.in.com/news/barfi-vs-hollywood-homage-inspired-or-copied/293100-8-66.html - http://www.bollywoodlife.com/news-gossip/exposed-the-sources-from-where-barfi-was-stolen/ -  and you will get to know how Anurag Basu has plainly lifted scenes from various international films. Apart from copying the scenarios and conversations from the original scenes, Basu has not even spared the camera angles! But the buck doesn’t stop here for Barfi!. Pritam’s (who is more famous as a music lifter than a music composer) background score is way too similar to the French film Amelie.

The above mentioned facts about Barfi! have spread like fire in the last week or so. Therefore, it is impossible for the FFI to wash their hands off saying they were unaware about it. This also shows that this isn’t a mistake or a blunder by the FFI. It is a simple case of grave injustice to more deserving and importantly, original films like Deool and Kahaani.

From now onwards, we shouldn’t be surprised if more and more copied products emerge from Bollywood when the FFI itself openly encourages plagiarism. Despite being an Indian, I am hoping Barfi! doesn’t get the Oscar honours!

23Sep/124

When Tilak returned from heaven! (Imaginary Post)

One day while in heaven Balgangadhar Tilak aka Lokmanya Tilak decides to go for a short trip on earth for few days. He chose Mumbai since the city is special for him. He had carried out a number of agitations against the British in this city. After biding adieu to his close companion named XYZ in heaven, Tilak leaves for Mumbai.

However, much to the bewilderment of XYZ, Tilak returns after just a few minutes. A worried XYZ asks him, “What happened Tilak saheb? Why did you return so early?”

Bal Gangadhar Tilak

“I returned back as I couldn’t bear what was going on in Mumbai,” answers Tilak.

“What was going on?”

“People of my beloved city were behaving in crazy, wild manner. It was just too shocking for me to bear.”

“Please tell me exactly what happened Tilak Saheb.”

“Some people were playing drums and other musical instruments in the cruelest manner. It was impossible to stand the nasty, ear-splitting noise! At another place, I could hear some vulgar songs which were even enjoyed by all. Traffic was being halted. Loud crackers were being busted carelessly!”

“Oh! That’s weird.”

Tilak continues, “The weirdest part is yet to come my friend. Some hooligans were openly hurling abuses after getting drunk. Worse, they were sexually harassing women and showering obscene comments on them!”

“This is ridiculous! What has happened to the people of Mumbai?”

“I am asking myself the same thing again and again,” Tilak says and sits down on a chair in a helpless manner.

Noticing his grief, XYZ says, “Just calm down Tilak saheb. I can understand your feeling.”

Tilak looks up and says, “No, you can’t understand. You know why?”

XYZ is silent. Tilak continues, “People’s antics which I mentioned just now were a part of Ganeshotsav, a festival which I had made popular!”

“What are you saying??” exclaims XYZ

“Yes my friend! I motivated the people to make this festival a public event in order to show our strength to the British. But this is what they have reduced the festival to now!”

Tilak continues, “There was a time when I used to be excited for Ganeshotsav. But from today, I have decided never to visit my beloved city again during this festival!”

Hence, the person who popularized this festival, has now nothing to do with it.

(Photo source - mumbaichaganpati.blogspot.in)

18Sep/120

Ganeshotsav, a national festival!

By: Keyur Seta

A number of festivals are celebrated in India. When asked about the most prominent ones, the answer of a large majority of people would be Diwali, Eid or Christmas. This is quite logical since these three festivals are the most famous ones, been celebrated all over the country. However, if someone throws the question on me, my answer would be Ganeshotsav or Ganesh Chaturthi. Apart from my admiration towards Lord Ganesha, this is simply because of the history attached with the festival.

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Lokmanya Tilak (Picture courtesy - IloveIndia.com)

According to Indian history, the festival is been celebrated in Maharashtra since the time of Shivaji (after 1600). But it was freedom fighter and social worker Lokmanya Tilak who transformed the festival into a national event since 1893.

Tilak’s idea was to unite Indians under this festival to fight against the British, who had discouraged all social and political gatherings. Apart from this, the festival also intended to do the much needed task to bridging the gap between the so-called upper and lower castes. Due to Tilak’s encouragement, people from all communities started participating in the festival. Hence, these are reasons enough to believe that Ganeshotsav is a national festival instead of just a Hindu festival.

This is also evident from the fact that the festival is celebrated with much aplomb by even non-Hindus as well (see picture). The most prominent among these is actor Salman Khan.

This Ganeshotsav, let us pray to Lord Ganesha for such brotherhood and unity among Indians throughout the year.

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(Picture courtesy - timesofindia.indiatimes.com)

18Sep/120

Heroine Box Office Prediction

Director: Madhur Bhandarkar

Producers: UTV Motion Pictures and Bhandarkar Entertainment

Writers: Madhur Bhandarkar, Anuradha Tiwari, Manoj Tyagi and Niranjan Iyengar

Cast: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda

Music: Salim-Sulaiman

Genre: Drama

Release Date: September 21, 2012

Analysis:

Star Value: Kareena Kapoor alone adds star value to the film. Plus, there are also some known names like Arjun Rampal and Randeep Hooda.

Hype: The film has been in the headlines even before the shoot commenced because of the controversy surrounding Aishwarya Rai, who was supposed to do the film initially. The promos of Heroine certainly created buzz and excitement for the movie. However, a section of the audience were not so impressed as the film bears similarity with Bhandarkar’s earlier films and also The Dirty Picture.

Music: Music doesn’t have much scope in such films but the track 'Halkat Jawani' has managed to grab eyeballs. The title song too is becoming popular. It should become widely famous if the film succeeds.

Prediction:

Heroine will get a descent to good opening at the box office. Like Barfi!, UTV’s last film which released last Friday, even the Kareena starrer will do well in the multiplexes of the metros due to the subject. It should earn something around Rs 25-30 crore or more in the first weekend. The collections thereafter will depend on whether the film managed to impress with its content.

16Sep/122

Barfi! Movie Review

Director: Anurag Basu

Producers: UTV Motion Pictures, Ishana Movies

Writers: Anurag Basu and Sanjeev Dutta

Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D’Cruz, Saurabh Shukla, Ashish Vidyarthi, Akash Khurana, Roopa Ganguly, Haradhan Bandhopadhyay

Music: Pritam

Rating: * * ½

Plot: Barfi! is the story of a deaf and mute young man called Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor) and his relationship with Shruti (Ileana D’Cruz) and an autistic Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra).

Review: Barfi! starts with an unusual yet interesting song called ‘Picture Shuru’ which creatively asks the audience to behave in a non-distracting manner. As some part of the movie passes by, you realize the song was just the tip of the iceberg as far as the creativity in the film is concerned. In fact, the film can easily be called an artistic brilliance. But what’s unfortunate is that the think tank of Barfi! try to be too creative in the second half in terms of the script and narration. This is enough to include the film in the ‘strictly one-time watch’ category.

Talking about the positive points, it can be said that Anurag Basu has narrated the tale in a manner that no other Indian filmmaker has managed before, at least in mainstream Bollywood. The creativity shown in the simplest of scenes just makes one speechless. Even before the first 30 minutes, one might lose count of the number of the intelligently crafted scenes! The use of flashback is also super witty!

Since the central character is deaf and mute, it would have been challenging for most writers and directors to narrate the story while using the visual medium. Barfi! passes that test easily!

But how one would have loved to have the positive points shining throughout the film! As mentioned before, that isn’t the case here. After few moments of the second half, one realizes that the simple heartwarming tale is being told in a complicated manner. The screenplay and some of the events also give rise to confusion which coupled with the dwindling pace and abuse of flashback, make matters worse. In addition, the helplessness of physically and mentally challenged characters and a number of emotional moments make the proceedings too depressing and disturbing.

One also can’t ignore few other factors. There is just too much of Charlie Chaplin-ism in the form of chasing and falling around. Filmy moments like the central character cutting lamp post to test people and hurling a shoe upwards to call Jhilmil don’t suit in a realistic film. And by the way, why is Barfi’s mother shown dying in such a humorous manner?

Apart from the title song, Pritam’s music is just average. In the song ‘Main Kya Karoon’, Nikhil Paul George’s rendition of those three words is irritating! But Pritam deserves praise for the background score, although it is very similar to Amelie. Ravi Varma’s cinematography is masterly, a pure delight!

Barfi! is also blessed with some quality performances. Ranbir Kapoor is just brilliant as Barfi! Judging by the way he realistically brings the character alive, this will be one of his most talked about performances from his filmography. Priyanka Chopra deserves similar applause. She pulls off a physically and emotionally challenging act with ease. She deserves a standing ovation! Ileana D’Cruz makes a confident debut as she shows her acting potential apart from her stunning looks.

One of the best character actors, Saurabh Shukla is wondeful. Akash Varma, Ashish Vidyarthi, Roopa Ganguly and the rest of the supporting cast do well too.

Overall, Barfi! is a stunning visual treat which could have been better . At the box office, the film will score mostly at the urban multiplexes.