This episode we speak to the luminescent Mahira Khan about her movie releasing in theaters today, Verna.
We recorded the interview last week, before the controversy surrounding the release became big news, but glad to hear everything seems to be sorted out and people can go out and watch the movie everywhere.
A new Brit horror brings the creepy back to Upod, along with discussion about some new TV shows
Santa Clara’s Diet
RiverdaleWe move on to our main review of indie horror Don’t Knock Twice
– where it sits in the range of horror genres
– the setting, production design, look and feel
– director, cast & performances, including Nick Moran; where have you been for 20 years?
– jump scares, all round creepiness
– the plot, story, confusion and holes we found
– Asim is a horror-film weakling, but surprises co-hosts with his opinion
– conclusions & thoughts in general
– go and see this film if you can, it is great!
Which 1981 Bollywood film did the ‘Jaanisar’ director Muzaffar Ali direct?
A. Muqaddar Ka Sikandar
B. Umrao Jaan
(Winners will be announced Tuesday 12/8)
(Only UK entries apply -but if you’re nice and I like you, I might make an exception!)
Jaanisar stars Pakistani actor Imran Abbas and one of India’s leading style icons and fashion entrepreneurs Pernia Qureshi.
Playback singers for the soundtrack of the film have some of the most celebrated singers of the music industry like Abida Parveen, Shreya Ghoshal and Sukhwinder Singh. Music is by Muzaffar Ali as well as Ustad Shafqat Ali Khan. It truly has some great music.
It’s pretty much the type of music you should be listening to instead of whatever guitly pleasure is looping on your playlist now!
I haven’t been bowled over by anything related to Gabbar yet (how terrible is that Chitriganda- Honey Singh Promotional song?) , apparently it is a remake of a South Indian movie (alarm bells ringing already) with the big difference that the movie now references the famous Sholay villain for reasons that elude me.
But it is always great to see Akshay do his thing on the big screen although I am not quite sure how the pairing with Shruti Hassan is landing on the Icky Meter. (He looks so good with Kareena, why not just cast her as the main lead?)
If you haven’t seen the trailer yet- here it is together with a Q&A they did with I assume the marketing team.
Q1 Tell us something about Gabbar is Back?
Gabbar Is Back is directed by Krish and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Viacom18 Motion Pictures. It’s the Hindi remake of Tamil film Ramana and based on the story of corruption. I am playing the character of ACP Gabbar, who turns leader for a vigilante group and is en-route to end corruption in the city. It’s releasing on 1st May 2015 and also stars Shruti Hassan and Prakash Jha.
Q2 Is it inspired by the character of Gabbar in the famous movie Sholay?
No. Gabbar is the hero in the film and a vigilante, who takes it in his own hands to put an end to crime and injustice. Both the characters are very different.
Q3 What motivates you to do a movie like Gabbar?
I did Gabbar is Back because of corruption. I am alarmed by the crime rates in India and even calculated the amount of money gathered due to scams, to add up to 12 trillion dollars. I compared the crime rates between India and other countries and the numbers in India are astonishing. Crime rates are low in countries such as the UAE due to strict law enforcement which isn’t the case in India. So you need a name like Gabbar, who may behave like a villain but his actions are of a hero.
Q4 You are famous as the King of Action in Bollywood. Are you going to take action sequences to the next level in this movie?
Gabbar is centered more around delivering a message, rather than action sequences. Most of the instances in the movie are inspired by real life events.
Q5 Are you doing any special song for Gabbar?
Yes, I am doing one special soulful song called “Teri Meri Kahani” with Kareena Kapoor Khan, which happens to be the first song to be launched for this film. The song will take viewers through the emotional journey of the couple making itself indispensable to the overall narrative of the film.
Q6 How’s your chemistry with Kareena Kapoor Khan?
Bebo has been an integral part of my career. We’ve done many movies together and one can only hope we have many more to come. She is everything one could ever ask in a Bollywood actress. She will always know how deeply I appreciate her effort and expertise. I’m sure viewers are going to love her in this song. She has brought a kindness to our film like no other. We love working with each other.We had a great time while shooting for the song.
Q7 How is your experience in working with co-star Shruti Hassan?
I am working with her for the first time. She is playing my love interest in this movie. She is a beautiful, professional and talented actress.
Q8 Baby was the highest box office grosser of 2015. Do you think “Gabbar is Back” will surpass the record?
I always give 100 percent to any film that I do, and pray that it will do well. God has been very kind to me, and I owe him everything and my loyal fans so much for their continuous support and love.
Q9 Tell us about your new film projects?
My upcoming films include Brothers, which sees me star alongside Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez. It’s the official remake of 2011 Hollywood movie Warrior and based on the story of two estranged brothers, whose entrance into the mixed martial arts tournament forces them to come to terms with their past and each other.
After this, I will have Singh is Bliing, a fantastic action comedy directed by Prabhu Deva and produced under my production company Grazing Goat Pictures. I am joined on screen by the very talented actresses Lara Dutta and Amy Jackson. We will shoot in Patiala, Punjab for this movie.
In Jan 2016 I have Airlift releasing which is is based on the invasion of Kuwait. I am playing the role of Ranjit Katiyal, anIndian-Arab billionaire who plans an ambitious evacuation mission to rescue 170,000 Indians in Kuwait during the Iraq invasion.
Q10 What kind of movies do you like to do?
I like to do films that are different and challenging, but which don’t preach any social message as such. I like exploring various film subjects, for example: OMG: Oh My God is about religion, ‘Baby’ is on terrorism, and ‘Gabbar Is Back‘ is on corruption. My films have a message, but with a commercial angle to it. With Gabbar is Back I got the opportunity to talk about corruption in a commercial manner.
Q11 Action and comedy films have been your forte so far. Do you have any unusual projects coming up?
I do films that I want to do, because they appeal to me in some way. I wouldn’t say that I only do action and/or comedy films, and if I do make these type of films, it is because I want to. I have worked in other genres, and really enjoyed it. I like to surprise my audience, so that they can never guess what to expect! Ultimately, I just love making films with people I admire and respect. A good film is about characters and feelings.
Q12 Do self-made actors like yourself have more motivation?
Yes, I think so! But this isn’t the case for everyone, each case is different. It is only natural to protect and work hard for something when you have been through hell to get it in the first place. I myself had no Godfather in the industry; I worked hard and wanted to constantly improve myself. My goal was to strive to be better, and so it was this drive that got me to where I am today. The only reason I am still here in this industry today is because of God’s grace, my parents blessings and my fans’ love.
Q13 Who do you admire in the industry? And why?
I admire everyone because it is hard to make it in the acting industry. Whether you are self-made or a star kid, the journey is still tough and not glamorous as it looks. Everyone in this industry deserves my admiration and that of the fans too. We all have the same vision and goal: to take Indian cinema to the next level. It is not a competition, it is a challenge and we’re all fighting for the same thing— our film industry, because without it, we’d all be nothing.
Q14 How do you protect your privacy when you encounter negative publicity? Does your discipline in martial arts help?
Yes, Martial Arts is a great source of strength, discipline and relaxation for me, in fact exercise is a great way for me to unwind and forget about my troubles. But the thing that really keeps me grounded is my family. I won’t be famous forever; I won’t be successful at work every day; and I won’t have fans who love me forever, but the one thing that I will have is my family, who will love me always, unconditionally.
Gabbar Is Backis scheduled for release internationally on 1st May 2015.
Superstar Rajinikanth returns to the big screen in a live action role after 4 years with KS Ravikumar’s Lingaa. As every release of the megastar there is quite a bit of excitement and looking at the initial box office numbers, it seems to be another killer at the box office.
Although we South Indian cinema has a special place in our hearts, we are not the experts we would like to be so we called our friend Josh Hurtado, who covers a lot of Indian cinema for TwitchFilm.com.
We speak about the Rajini Effect, the expectations attached to Lingaa, Sonakshi Sinha’s South Indian debut and how Lingaa compares to Rajnikanth’s massive hits with Shankar (Sivaji- The Boss, Enthiran).
If you haven’t seen the trailer for Lingaa yet, here is it.
You can check out more of Josh. work on TwitchFilm.
Here is a media interview done with Sonakshi Sinha and Jimmy Shergill, Jimmy (and Vidyut Jammwal) being the main reason I would want to watch this movie, its a shame that “the media” didnt bother to find any decent questions for him.
If you haven’s seen it yet, here is a trailer for Bullet Raja:
Sonakshi Sinha Q&A: Q: This is your first time working with Saif Ali Khan, were you excited for this opportunity?
A: I think we make a very fresh pairing, I have wanted to work with Saif for a while now and was very excited to get the chance in Bullett Raja. Saif is a great actor and is so committed to his roles, I am very happy with how we look together on screen and I would love the opportunity to work with him again. Q: Your role in the film is of a struggling Bengali actress, what did you think of your characters look in the film?
A: This is the second time I am playing a Bengali girl. But my character in Lootera was drastically different; I was playing a girl from the ’50s, who is a Zamindar’s daughter. In Bullett Raja, I am playing a contemporary Bengali girl. I loved my look for this role; it has a very traditional feel and there was a certain grace to it. Once I was in the costume, everyone was shocked to see how Bengali I looked. I wish the sequence we shot in that costume was a little longer, because I did not want to get out of it. Q: After having so much success so early in your career with your films, do you feel under pressure with every new release?
A: There’s no pressure actually. I really like what I do and if I think of it as pressure it would really bog me down. I feel I’m in the right place at the right time because there are a lot of films right now where, for me as an actor, there’s something I can give to them. So I truly believe I’m in the right place at the right time. Q: Do you feel overshadowed by your co-stars? Does less visibility bother you?
A: Never. I do my work to the best of my capacity. I don’t pick a role looking at its length. I take up a film because I would like to see it. People notice me, appreciate my work and dancing skills, so where’s the question of being overshadowed? No one has any complaints.
Q: How would you describe this phase of your life?
A: I’ve come in at the right time and I’m getting films with great roles. It’s fabulous.
Q: No one has ever heard of any stories of you fighting over a role or anything of that sort. Does that mean you’re serious competition here?
A: I’ve never had to fight for a role. Call it my ego or my self-respect, but I won’t pick up the phone and call a producer and fight or ask for a role. That’s not me. I’ve always got the best and my work speaks for itself.
Q: But you’re always the Indian girl. Don’t you want to break that image?
A: People see me like that. I may play an Indian girl, but each role is different. If I’m offered a film where I need to play an urban character, I will. But these roles work for me. I’m not stuck in a rut and neither do I feel the need to break the norm. When a female star plays western roles only, no one asks her these questions. At 25, I can proudly say that I’m successful.
Jimmy Shergill Q&A Q: What’s the relationship between you and Saif in Bullett Raja?
A: In this film we are best friends and we go out and do what gangster buddies do… casually shoot people. Q: What do you think about Saif off camera?
A: Saif and I were shooting together every single day and it was great as we got time to bond. Saif has a great sense of humour and he makes you laugh. I had a memorable time and I look forward to our second schedule which begins in January. I respect Saif as a friend and fellow actor. He’s a great guy and he’s one of the most genuine persons in the film industry.
Bullett Raja will be released in cinemas from 29th November 2013.
Here is a review from our guest blogger Miss FooFantastic from FrightFest in London, she’ll be posting a couple of reviews here, so if you are a horror fan, keep your eye out for them.
A movie such as Remnants is a perfect example of Frightfest being more than just about films dedicated to showing flying limbs, blood splatters, or creepy supernatural forces terrorizing us humans. Frightfest movies are not all purely about blood and gore: it’s about anything that can make anyone feel uncomfortable. Director Peter Engert shows us a bleak scenario of the future with his movie Remnants, which can feel frightening for a lot of people, especially if you expect the world to end anytime soon.
I had completely different expectations of this movie; therefore I guess these expectations did affect my overall opinion of it. Introduced as a post-apocalyptic movie, taking place after World War III, Remnants is about a group of strangers ending up together in a cellar in rural Texas, struggling for their survival. The introduction on the Frightfest site also mentioned the main characters fending off ‘…hordes of terrified, dying refugees as they attempt to endure the devastating holocaust’. Well, unfortunately in my mind I translated that into some degree of zombie action (I guess that’s what happens when you watch so many horror movies). Although some zombie-like characters appear in the movie, they’re not really as you would expect, and that’s as close to a zombie you’ll see in this movie.
The main character is a young doctor named Hunter (C.J. Thomason), who ends up seeking shelter with 8 other random people in a dark cellar, in order to avoid radiation exposure from a recent nuclear attack. Among this group you’ll find the typical range of different characters: the traumatised nervous young girl, the confident woman, the old grandpa that will die sooner or later anyway. Of course a stereotypical angry redneck cannot be avoided if you have the movie taking place in rural Texas, and here is where we meet Brad (Edward Furlong), who’s with his pregnant wife (another must-have in situations where random strangers end up together). Since the majority of the movie takes place within a dark cellar room, you can imagine claustrophobia and the accompanying human reactions to feature heavily in the film, and it did. Unnecessary fights breaking out, tough decisions to be made, the movie did do a good job in capturing the tension, anguish, and despair the characters are experiencing.
Towards the end, the movie goes into the weirdest transition of camera style ever, which left me somewhat confused as I thought the movie was ending there, but it didn’t. Instead, you had a few shots of the alternative camera style, and then it continued again to its usual style for another 10 minutes or so. I’m not really sure what the intention of this was, but once the movie ended, my mind was more engaged with what was behind that camera style switch than with the whole movie.
Overall, the movie does leave you feeling a bit grim. Although I’d say it’s partly feeling grim about the fate of the main characters, but also partly about the disappointment of having watched 90, mostly uneventful, minutes of a bunch of people stuck in a cellar. What’s interesting is that the movie does show a more plausible concept of ‘zombies’. This does mean though that you won’t be seeing any quick-paced raging 28 Days later type of zombies, nor the classic slow, brain-eating ones. Although it was an interesting concept, if could have been executed better in my opinion. The movie is too much skewed towards drama, and is missing any true classic horror elements.
Watch this if: you’re more of a fan of dramatic movies, rather than your typical horror movie. Remnants is more about human behaviour in times of despair rather than anything else.
Don’t watch this if: you envisage the end of the world to feature zombies in the ‘traditional’ sense, such as in 28 Days later, The Walking Dead etc.
The Trailer for Despite the Gods combines two things that I love hearing about: the making of a movie that ends up in a disaster for the film makers (Lost in La Mancha, Heart of Darkness) and non-indians thinking that India is a mythical land of enlightenment, nirvana and cows but ending up finding that levels of insanity that they could never imagine. (Think the guy from the Oatmeal who went to India).
Here’s the trailer:
I never watched Hisss as I could never find a decent copy of it but I was always intrigued by this weird cross over movie starring Malika Sherawat (who is awesome) and David Lynch’s daughter especially after our good friend FilmiGirl loved Hisss and even wrote up this awesome review. Plus we get to see more of Sherawat which we can all applaud. I’m really looking forward to watching Despite the Gods for all these reasons.
And a movie that gave us Malika Sherawat in this Holi Song can’t be all evil can it?
This week we bring together the biggest and snarkiest voices on the Bollywood Blogosphere to review the year past. We are joined by FilmiGirl, Rum from RotiKapadaAurRum and the infamous CurryBear!
We start of with our thoughts about the year that was and which trends stood out. Does Akshay Kumar need to re-invent himself for a comeback? Was this the year of Salman Khan? And can we count out ShahRukh Khan?
We then go in to our top 5 movies of the year, how we made our lists and why we chose a top 5 instead of a top 10 (coz we’re rebels of the underground!) And there are quite a few surprising choices!
We finish up with some of our biggest disappointments and films we hated and what we’re looking forward to in 2012.
This is a no holds barred episode so only suitable for mature audiences J
You can find CurryBear, FilmiGirl and Rum’s blogs in the links below!
Re-Post: Jam Packed Episode of Upodcast this week. We give you 4 movies reviews for the price of zilch! We start of with in-depth review of Bradley Cooper’s first movie as a leading man, Limitless. Did one of our host just pull the race card on Duncan Jones’ Source Code? To wrap the show up we keep our final reviews of the show Scream 4 and Your Higness spoiler-free. This might be one of our funniest shows so listen or download after the jump!
What is a Sandwich show?
Ahmed Goes Green with an episode of Radiolab- Podcast: “Be Careful What You Plan For”
If you have Angry Birds on your iPhone (or other less impressive smartphones) , then you have spent many hours playing this highly addictive gameÂ trying to kill the green and mean Pigs that stole your eggs. Rovio has just announced the launch of a new character The Mighty Eagle, check out the video for a sneakpeak after the jump! Read More
A bit of Friday fun what if Nolan’s second best movie was adapted to a campy/broadway musical? I am sure we all agree this would be a horrible idea. Have you seen Strutting Leo? It’s a new internet meme doing the rounds. Check out the video and some of the best strutting Leo’s after the jump! Read More
Hi everyone, we have been waiting for this one for quite some time and finally this week in honor of The Expendables and Mr. Sly Stallone, all three of us went to check out the film, I mean how we could resist with such a cast and a movie would be beyond me!
Here’s the trailer!
Stallone, Stallone and Stallone
A detailed review of The Expendables
The Man,the Myth of Sylvester Stallone (33min 17 sec)
His Iconic Roles
Our favorite picks of Sly’s movies!
Check it out and leave us some comments and feedback!
That’s one small step for Nils Guadagnin, one giant leap for mankind!
As anyone who grew up in the 80s and 90s watching Marty McFly and his awesome hover board and it actually comes to reality was such a dead buried old thought in my head, till the one and only Mr. Nils Guadagnin opened the door for all of us to let some hope in by creating his own Hoverboard, which is a project born in 2008 for an exhibition named “Back To the future”. This project is a copy of the hoverboard from the movie Back to the Future II. So, how did he pull it off? Here’s a description: â€œIntegrated into the board and the plinth is an electromagnetic system which levitates the board. A laser system stabilises the object in the air.
In the making of this work, I was thinking about different ways of presenting sculpture. In fact it’s a reflexion on the multiple possibilities of how to give a sculpture full spatial autonomy.â€ After his creation to all of us I was bummed out when I couldnâ€™t find a Wiki page for Nils Guadagnin!
Now, most people bash the idea from what I read by saying; why donâ€™t you let go of an old idea that can barely stand still as well as it could lose its balance and tip around, but why not see it as a Beta version that quite possibly in 10-15 years it could be all over Malls and shops an actual working Hoverboard like the movie or simply go a complete different direction and get all governments and countries to install roads built entirely out of magnets, problem solved!
So, check it out for yourself all the pictures and video!
This week we crack a main ingredient of Bollywood movies. The Item number! Asim is joined by our very own Bollywood Diva Kara also known as FilmiGirl and Paresh, one half of the music mix masters duo, The CurrySmugglers. Together we dissect what makes Bollywood Item Numbers such a unique phenomenon and what makes them really tasty, we pick our favorite tracks that made us throw our hard earned cash on screen and making it rain. We finish off with the Paresh’s “Memorial Picks of Filthiest Item Numbers”. Our mommy’s will be proud. Check out the full episode after the jump!
The Upodcast team takes a look back at the first half of 2010. We go over our favorite flicks, our biggest dissapointments and take a look ahead on what’s yet to come. We also review the Spanish SciFi TimeTravel movie TimesCrimes (Los Cronocrimenes-2007) directed by Nacho Vigalondo. Check out the full episode after the jump!
Get him to the Greek is releasing the 25th in UK, there’s a quite a few favorably reviews coming from the US where the movie opened up to moderately good numbers.
Altough viral video‘s are nothing new in the arsenal of movie marketeers, I wanted to post this asÂ I do have a fondness for Russel Brand even though most English have now started despising him. But then again I’m not English.
Check out his video with some very funny altough NSFW lyrics. Read More
Beautiful short film by Portugese Director Nuno Rocha commisioned by LG. I have one of their TV‘s and am very satisfied (so LG throw some money the Upodcast way) and besides that the short film is beautiful. But then again , I have a heart that beats hard and fast. Keep a tissue handy for any tears and check out these achingly moving 6 minutes of cinemaÂ after the jump:
Since I saw a small newsreel about a new form of entertainment created in the banlieue’s of Paris, I have pretty much been obsessed with Free Running or Parkour. Then came Yamakasi and both of theÂ District B-13 movies (Banlieue 13)
A past-time for bored kids that has slowly turned into a global phenomenon partly because of the Bourne movies and the James Bond reboot, Casino Royale. Check out a Parkour video after the jump as you have never seen it before.
We also have a full review for Matchstick Men; hear on our divine podcast the love-hate relationship most of us have with Nicolas Cage and of course Ridley Scott! ! And without a doubt one hell of an amazing performance from no one other then Alison Lohman
Check out the trailers and full episode to stream or download after the jump!
Underwhelming Trinity (the quirky side of internet life) for this week is:
Since the age of 6, I have imagined many different variations of this movie,Â although sometimes in my little boy’s imagination Jackie Chan might be part of the gang or some days Muhammad Ali would kick Hitler‘s ass. It might have taken them over 20 year but thank the Gods of Californian muscle toning the trailer for The Expendables is finally online.
“It could all be so simple but you’d rather make it hard…” Lauryn hill sang it in Xfactor and it is clear that all of the makers of video to movie game adaptations didn’t hear her song.
The martial arts tournament movie is a genre every dude has grown up with but a love that started for many of us with Enter the Dragon has unfortunately degenerated into heartbreak caused by movies like D.O.A.
The Japanese website of the forthcoming Tekken movie have released some pictures and it pretty much looks horrible and tacky! The only ray of hope I see is the stunt team attached to it which is headed by Cyrill Rafaelli-who if you don’t know is a very competent martial artist from France. Most notably he took on the role of the cop in both Banlieue 13 movies(Check out my write up on behind the scenes stuntmen on my badly maintained personal blog)
The Tekken anime wasn’t bad (or at least as good as the Street fighter one) so there might be a base for a good half way decent story and I must admit it is kinda cool seeing some of the characters that have made us spend hours button bashing the worrying part is that unfortunately there’s hasn’t been one decent video game to movie adaptations yet in the history of movies (with Silent Hill getting close and Double Dragon being the worst maybe?).
Are waiting what the Gyllenhaal-Bruckheimer will drop on us this summer with Prince of Persia.
But if there is a game genre that might work then it might be the martial arts tournament genre?
Its easy guys, go watch Best of the Best, Bloodsport and Ip man and get it done.
This looks horrible but I will probably end up watching it on a late night with the homies!
Any of you excited for a live action Tekken movie?
Let us know by dropping us a mail or below in the comment section!
Via Warner Bros JPÂ ( Lcick here for more stills from the Tekken Movie)
A line spoken many times in this movie by Indian Superstar Shahrukh Khan, playing a good hearted Muslim man suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome, resonated with me in a very strong way. It’s a feeling that I have tried to utter many times but this movie manages to do so very simply.
I have been racking my brains on how to approach this review.
I could talk about it from a Muslim point of view, living in a country that is not my own and the struggles many of my similarly skin-toned brothers and sisters have to battle. Unfortunately Iâ€™m not that good of a Muslim so my arguments could be completely invalid and I donâ€™t want to proclaim to be a victim when my own parents went through a lot worse in their days. I’m sureÂ Chris Rock has enough clips on Youtube to illustrate my point.
I could approach it from the angle of a Bollywood aficionada that can finally recommend a movie that is in general release thanks to Fox (apparently even the evil empire can do good sometimesâ€¦) and that the general audience can watch as maybe their first Masala experience (which Slum dog Millionaire wasnâ€™t although it had brown hewed people in it dancing)
I could write as a critic of Hindi Cinema tearing down any inconsistency I was able to pick up on, be it the slowing of pace post-intermission, the horrible broad strokes that every non-Indian character is painted with or the lack of a riveting climax.
But whenever in doubt, I take a scattershot approach, try everything at once and fail horribly in the public eye. Yes, that is how I (Jelly-)rollz.
The route I choose to take is the one this movie tries to takeâ€¦ the human route, taking away all other details to bring things back to a core message, one that our protagonist is taught by his mother played wonderfully by yesteryear ( I do hate that word) actress Zareena Wahab.
There are good people in the world that do good deeds, and evil people that do evil ones. There is no further difference, be it religion, race, creed or culture.
I loved My Name is Khan for its message and intentions. Itâ€™s so good hearted it can be forgiven for its overt sentimentality, dramatic music and dialogue cueâ€™s. This story of Rizwan Khan who has trouble connecting with the subtleties of day to day life (some may argue that this movie has trouble with cinematic subtleties but you did sign up to watch an Indian movie). Although he suffers from Aspergers he is a very bright and ingenious thinker, comparisons with Rain Man donâ€™t hold up as he isnâ€™t playing an idiot savant (plus his brother never kissed Mia Farrow). Forrest Gump would be a more apt comparison but only for the second half of the movie.
He takes his simple message to San Francisco moving in with his brother and Sister in Law. Where he meets and falls in love with Hairstylist/Single mother Mandira (played by the always delightful Kajol). The repercussions of 9/11 create a rift in their love story causing him to undertake the mission of going on a road trip to meet the president of the United States to tell him that one simple messageâ€¦ My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist. On his road his good heartedness affects a wave of people along the way leaving the audience a blubbering mess.
Shahrukh Khan is always entertaining; his charm (as recently seen on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross) carries this picture to an emotional but underwhelming conclusion. It’s the little moment of charm that make you fall in love with Rizwan Khan and you end up completely buying into his quest. You feel for his character, the frustration he feels of not being to express his emotions and the love he feels for Mandira.
Overall the performances are great by most Indian actors. I could watch Kajol read the news and I would be glued to my screen, both Jimmy Shergill (playing the role of Rizwanâ€™s frustrated younger brother, this would be a character you would have in any other movie but Jimmy carries it off because he is that damn good) and Sonia Jehan (almost makes me want to see Taj Mahal, her first big screen appearanceâ€¦ almost) are great in their small roles and I would have loved to see more of their struggles. Mostly the focus lies on Shahrukh character and his wonderfully understated approach on a subject matter that might not be appealing from the get go.
Cinematography by Ravi Chandran is beautiful, costumes, art direction and music are of vey high quality but I wonâ€™t be putting this album on repeat, itâ€™s just not that kind of album.(special mention to Sajda by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, hear me rave about him in episode 5 of UPODCAST)
The few points that work less for me are:
All performances by non Indian actors, or they ran out of budget and got actors that arenâ€™t of a much higher caliber than an average porn actor or Karan Johar was unable to direct them in the proper manner.
Listening to Kjoâ€™s interviews it does seem he is hands on with most actors except Shahrukh Khan( as Khan doesnâ€™t want to listen to Karan) so I think the failure does lie with his character design. Another example of this is Kajolâ€™s motivation in the second half of sending Rizwan off on his quest, which seems too abrupt and contradictory to me even if the tragedy she goes through is very real.
The stand out scenes for me where the entire romantic track between Rizwan and Mandira from their meeting until the interval point. There chemistry is still the strongest romantic pairing in current Indian cinema.Â The segments of Rizwan growing up in India and the confrontation he has with some of the more violent Muslims in the US mosque are riveting.
Itâ€™s great to see a moderate voice take on some of the people that are usually the more vocal (and maybe â€œinsaneâ€) part of the Muslim community. And the words he says are onspoken by many of us have had but have not been shown this way on screen.
What works less is the CGI both in the Georgia flood scenes as in the key moment Mandira and Rizwan fall in love. It made me think of a discussion going on about Titanic and how after AVATAR James Cameron claimed he would do the entire movie in CGI.Even the sunset on that famous kiss scene between Leo and Kate would be CGI. I think if he was able to do so we would have lost out a lot of the power and exactly this power is what’s missing in the scene where Mandira decides to marry Rizwan and bring him into her and her teenage son’s life.
The ending doesn’t work for me because of the casting. The portrait of the president is very jarring. And altough the president of the US is never named specifically, the movie just looses steam.
But I would urge you to seek out this movie as since it’s been distibuted by Fox it does have a wide release and it’ s an unbelievably fresh approach to issues that really do affect all of is.
The message of hope it carries, needs to be heard, needs to be listened to…
My Name is Burney, and I freakin’ loved this movie!
Let’s Agree 2009 kinda sucked!
Since last year, the economy is in shambles which has effected the day to day lives of pretty much for everyone exceptÂ for the craziesÂ on MTV’s Cribs.
Michael Jackson is no more, the James CameronAvatar hype has almost died down (with the exception of weekly Box Office updates and if the movies has beaten Titanic or Gone with the Wind) most of the banks have caught their second breath and are running ads on TV like nothing happened in 2009.
But the one thing that has annoyed me the most except Banks trying to be our friends again is the worrying trend of:
People wanting my Gold…
I’m just glad I don’t watch day time TV as you would be bombarded by horrible, cheap looking ads to the point where you start feeling guilty and want to buy gold so you can give it to these companies!
I came across this little mock up video on Geekologie.
Nice tie in to the Ipad launch…
Iâ€™ve been meaning to write a little bit about Bollywood (I know some people hate the word as they feel itâ€™s derivative of the term Hollywood and the colonial name of the City of Mumbai– I like using it as it just sounds better then the Mumbai Film Industry) Â movies in more details then our occasional review of the genre but I worry about the cultural gap.
Like Westerns or Kung Fu movies, Bollywood speaks a different language and dances to a very different beat and it’s hard to criticize them with the same standards as we do maintream movies. Bollywood movies are supposed to entertain one of the largest audiences and make lots of money!
Itâ€™s a prestigious and long standing independent industry, which unfortunately doesnâ€™t receive the respect it deserves. I have been force fed these mass-appealing entertainment juggernauts since birth but they have now become a part of my being. I can watch all the Korean, French or American movies I want. But nothing feeds the craving for all out paisa vasool (AKA your moneyâ€™s worth) entertainment as Bollywood does! Itâ€™s like coming home to your parents and having your favorite dish prepared for you, served up with some mango pickles and lassi.
2009 wasnâ€™t a great year for Indian Cinema although SlumDog Millionaire win at the Oscars did put the spotlight on the potential. But instead of being able to cash out on the limelight the country went into a producerâ€™s strike that lasted and as with the Writersâ€™ Guild Strike in 2008 in the US, it had long lasting impact on release schedules, marketing budgets, star salaries but most importantly the weekly hit of singing, dancing and dishum dishum that â€œJo(-winder) Publicâ€ craved for.
Another trend that affected the industry, as it effected everything else in the world, was the Global Economic meltdown. Since the past few years corporate houses (e.g. Reliance group, BIG, UTV) saw investment possibilities in funding movies for a quick buck, the gamble paid off and actors and producers started charging enormous amounts.
Salaries were going through the roof, quality was nowhere to be found but when the US market crashed it, it deflated a lot of egos.
2010 already is proving a good year with some very exciting releases lining up, special mentions to Kites (redited by Brett Ratner), My Name is Khan (Distributed by Fox) and Veer(awesome Troy like epic).
So theseÂ are my favorite Bollywood flicks of 2009, some of these I have reviewed in more detail on my badly maintained personal blog but I would suggest, stop reading, go to Amazon and order these flicks!
Riding on the wave of 80â€™s nostalgia this movie revisits the classic Masala genre meaning you get everything in small doses, action, romance, singing and dancing.
All of this goodness is covered with balls out action and harebrained scenario. If you can identify with the character you are in for a thrill ride where you are the one shooting people in the face (in slow motion with Pecs gleaming in sweat). Girls are pretty, villain is evil and the Hero is awesome!
What more can a man ask for? Click here for the trailer.
Ps this is not the Angelina Jolie movie based on the comic from Mark Millar
Ajab Ghazab ki Prem Kahani
I got to admit I had very low expectation of this movie and it completely took me by surprise.
Itâ€™s a very funny (I hate to use the term whacky adventure as it makes me think of Scooby doo) romantic, itâ€™s harmless and very well shot and it just flies by. The main cast is hilarious and both actors pitch in a performance that you really donâ€™t expect seeing their past efforts. Ranbir Kapoor is destined to be the next big thing in Bollywood and this was the first proof how his appeal is able to draw crowds.
And I even liked Katrina Kaif for her performance for once. Oh and the songs were pretty catchy too!
The Biggest Box Office in all foreign markets. 3 Idiots talks about so many different things which I am trying not to spoil as I want to have an in depth review with the guys. This was my favorite movie of the year, it had me laughing and it even made me shed a tear or 2.
But most of all it changed the way I think and how I will raise my children ( if one day I have them or Â whenever they are able to track me down but bounty hunting ainâ€™t what it used to be).
All iz well people… all iz well…
Weâ€™ve had a whole episode on this movie so you can always go back and revisit episode 1!
Together with Ajab Prem Prem ki Ghazab this were my 2 romantic movie pics of the year.
Love Aaj Kal is the story of how love has evolved from our parents generation to us.
I have to admit I havenâ€™t revisited the movie since but if you want a great date movie for Valentineâ€™s day, this is it!
Dev D/ Luck By Chance
The 2 movies that illustrate the changing face idea of Indian cinema.
Dev D is a modern take on the classic novel which was given the grand treatment a couple of years ago starring superstar SRK. Anurag Kashyap (the director of Black Friday,which was amazing but ran into problem with censors) had a very different take, he took Dev from the beautifully lit gondolas of Bengal to the gutters of LSD laced nightmares. A Bit over trainspotting, a lot of Leaving Las Vegas but all accompanied by an AWESOME soundtrack. My second favorite movie of the year and the one I have probably revisited the most. This is not a family movie!
Luck By Chance I reviewed extensively on my Things on my bheja. Although at the time I was not aware this would still be my favorite movie at the end of the year but it still stand outs for me.
All of this to say, if you haven’t ever watched a Bollywood movie, you can pick out one of these pics and be ahead of the curve or you can share Martin’s opinion on bollywood movies also in our episode1 and agree that most Bollywood is shit! But that’s probably coz y’all can’t dance 🙂
This week we will French up a bit, and take you behind prison walls for a six year ride to follow Malik El Djebena (Tahar Rahim) a young Arab who is sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin. The movie is directed by Jacques Audiard.
Small ticket entertainment we may be, but you can’t accuse us of not trying to visit the corners of the world
India one week and New Zealand the next. That’s right folks for episode 2 we visit the land of Lord of the Rings and apparently some demented man-eating sheep – check out the trailer for Black Sheep below
But before the main event, we also have the underwhelming trinity!!!
But before we get into that, let me take you away from the movie scene and introduce you to a little something that we call the Underwhelming Trinity, each of us will talk to you guys about something new, forgotten about or simply something that is kick ass!