Monday, 30 July 2012

India's first bronze medal at London Olympics 2012

Congratulations India and congratulations to Gagan Narang for giving the Country its first bronze medal in the 10m Air Rifle shooting event at the London Olympics 2012.
Will certainly motivate the rest of the squad, and he himself stands a good chance in his remaining events.
Cheers to Gagan Narang! 

Friday, 27 July 2012

London Olympics 2012 finally begins


The London Olympics 2012 kicked off to a glittering start. The opening ceremony was brilliant.
The event showcased the talents, culture and customs of the Hosting Nation, and thereafter comes the festivities, glamour, glitz and as expected the fireworks.
A delightful conceptualization by Danny Boyle, who succeeded in projecting the Britain of yesteryear, as well as the present and future. The carrying of the Olympic torch through the river under the London bridge was a spectacular concept. The march past by all the Nations was spectacular and the entry of Indians just made me feel that much more proud. The lighting of the cauldron which consisting of 204 petals each depicting the participating Nations was finally lit by seven young athletes.
A well planned, thought out event, not too much of fanfare but just enough to keep the viewer spellbound.
All the best to the Indian sports persons. May they perform well, stress free, and up to their full potential.

Bhavana - the doe eyed ethnic beauty

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Bhavana - the Super Actor from Kannada films

Meet Bhavana super actor from the Southern film industry. She was in Delhi for the screening of her movie 'Bhageerathi' at the 7th Habitat Film Festival 2012, which is showcasing the best of Indian Cinema - 2011-2012, as well as a 'retro' on the films of Waheeda Rehman.
Looking lovely and radiant as the pics above would bear testimony, she sat through the entire screening of the movie. Present with her on the occasion was the film's Director Baraguru Ramchandrappa who also spoke out his mind prior to the screening of the film.
Bhavana in an exclusive chat with me revealed that she had acted in nearly 33 films so far, and the present film was a personal favorite with her.She has also acted in a Hindi film called 'Family'. What struck me about Bhavana, apart from her hazel limpid doe eyes, was her friendly and frank nature. She has no airs about her that she's a Super Star in her own right.
The present film Bhageerathi had been entered in the International Film Festival of India at Goa in 2011 and was also nominated for an award. Bhavana has acted in a lot of films which are more aptly referred to as 'commercial cinema' and they have done well at the box office.
The film 'Bhageerathi' is a simple yet sweet love story of a soldier chieftain falling in love with a girl of rustic charms when he visits his native village,on a break from his duties of protecting the King's kingdom. Bhageerathi played by Bhavana is the chief protagnist of the movie. She has this desire of a water tank being built in the village for the welfare of the people. Her wish is echoed by her lover to his father as well as the King, who grants permission for the water tank to be constructed.
The two fall in love during the construction of the water tank, and as the tank reaches its final stages, both decide to get married, after a lot of reluctance and finally, persuasion on part of both their families.
The film witnesses lovely and poignant scenes as the King decides to grace the marriage ceremony and gets a first hand account of how His people are spending their lives.
Now comes the 'twist in the tale'. The water tank is not filling up, and the village priest comes up with the bizarre solution that if a human sacrifice - one of the daughter in laws of the house - is offered to appease the Gods, the water in the tank will surely fill up. No amount of persuasion on the part of the family members can drive the priest away from his view point, and how Bhageerathi decides to 'sacrifice' herself at the altar of family and folklore tradition forms the rest of the story.
Her lover and husband when he comes to know of her 'sacrifice' kills himself too in the swirling waters of the same tank which had led them to come together for its construction, and eventually fall in love.
The film is based on the true story of a popular Kannada ballad 'Kerega Haara' which glorifies the sacrifice of a young woman for popular custom and belief. These customs which prevailed at a particular point of time in history, and are surely irrelevant in today's world. That is amply clear in the last shot of the movie when a small boy on hearing this tale narration by his teacher, hurls a stone in the 'water tank' as if condemning the practice which prevailed then.
The film deals with the social superstitions which prevailed in that village once upon a time and the prejudice and bias against women in general. Even the tank wants the sacrifice of a woman, laments one of the songs in the films.
All in all a good social message presented convincingly by the Director, with powerful yet beautiful portrayal by Bhageerathi played by Bhavana. The rest of the cast is played by Tara, Kishore and Srinath and others.
Wishing Bhavana all the best in times to come. I will be coming out with an exhaustive and exclusive interview with this lovely super star talking about her upcoming films in a later post. Will be posting some pics too. Cheers for now!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Heroine - Official Trailer - Kareena Kapoor | Arjun Rampal | Randeep Hooda

My Heroine Bebo


The trailer of the film 'Heroine' is finally out. If the promo is anything to go by, Bebo seems to have carried the film well on her shoulders. A few glimpses of her shots are also captivating. The film trailer is available on my FB page - Tweedledum Tweedledee Talkies - Vikram's view.....
Cheers to Kareena, she's always impressed me, both on and off screen! A true heroine....

New Day by Alicia Keys

New Day

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Rock On (Hindi Movie) Full HD (Eng Sub) 720p

Mausam full movie 2011

Agneepath Full Movie 2012

"Dil Garden Garden" (Full Song) Kya Super Kool Hai Hum (2012) Ft. Ritesh...

Teesri Kasam - a film par excellence

Teesri Kasam was screened at the Film Festival currently on at the Habitat Center which is screening the films of the celebrated actress Waheeda Rehman in its 'retro' section.
The film is a delight to watch. The role of 'Hirabai ' is played to perfection by Waheeda Rehman. Set on the haunting lyrics of Shailendra, the film moves on the strength of its stellar performances by both Raj Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman. It's songs like 'paan khaye saiya hamaare' and 'duniya banane wale, kya tere man me samaye, kahe ko duniya banaye ' are a treat to the perfect symmetry which existed between the intellect and the soul in that bygone era.
Raj Kapoor's cute sound of 'issss' he makes every-time he's embarrassed or blushes about something in his conversations with Waheeda, are unforgettable.
Watching Raj Kapoor on the screen, made me realize that he's been such an inspiration to so many actors which followed his mannerisms, his charm, his charisma. Rishi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and even Ranbir Kapoor, have shades of Raj Kapoor present in them. Rajesh Khanna also, to some extent, although, I would say he developed a 'style' of his own.
The story of Teesri Kasam starts with Hiraman played by Raj Kapoor being caught on the wrong side of the law when unknowingly he 'loads' grains which are being transported by grain merchants for hoarding. The grain merchant is caught while Hiraman manages to escape with his bullocks, but has to leave his cart behind. He vows never to load grain meant for hoarding, and narrates the whole incident to his sister in law who is his 'support system'. Next day when he's transporting bamboo sticks, his cart gets stuck on a stone and people coming from the opposite direction are hurt, who badly beat him up. He solemnly vows never to load bamboo sticks too and makes this crystal clear on every subsequent trip he  gets to undertake. So these are the 'two kasams' he takes.
How both the 'Hiras' meet and their love story develops is what the film delightfully portrays thereafter. Hirabai has to do perform at the nautanki of  'The Great India Nautanki Company' which is holding its shows at the village fair. Since she can't appear publicly for them she undertakes the whole journey in the bullock cart of Hiraman shielded inside the veiled hood of the cart, and on the journey itself she senses the goodness and kind heart of this young, innocent yet gullible man.
When night falls, Hiraman starts to get scared by the noises coming from all around and stops at a temple to pray for his safety because he fears that a 'ghost' maybe sitting inside his cart. Later, when he comes to know his passenger is a 'pari' he's besides himself with amusement.
The film brings out the day to day problems of the common man who would like to remain immersed in the 'nautanki' performance of Hirabai and live in the present, rather than keep dwelling on the future.
Waheeda handles the love blossoming in her heart for the innocent Hiraman with so much ease, care and candidness and she actually shows herself being drowned in his uncontrollable love for her singing and dancing. Although she's a character playing the dancing girl, Hiraman can't bear anything being said about her and is prepared to beat any body calling Hirabai names which are derogatory in nature. It is this noble quality of Hiraman which endears Hirabai to him and brings both of them closer together.
The close attention to fine details of human affection, natural bonds of love which exist and develop between Hirabai and Hiraman are the main attraction of the film. The sexist approach of male dominated society towards the courtesan is also reflected sharply when the Thakur Zamindar of that area, Vikram Singh played superbly by Iffthikar, goes to any extent monetarily, to attain the charms and attention of Hirabai and then ultimately tries to force himself on her, and is physically and publicly rebuked by her.
The end where Hirabai decides to leave the village and life of Hiraman in order to save his life and depicts a kind of sacrifice, a Teesri Kasam, which is self inflicted on her to preserve her love for Hiraman. It is said that many prevailed upon Shailendra who is also the producer of this film, to change the end in order to make it a happy ending, but he did not relent, saying the relevance of Teesri Kasam on both the main characters, would be lost.
Ultimately the film did not do very well at the box office. It's only after Shailendra's death, and it being nominated for a National Award which it won for Best Feature Film that the film picked up, and was acclaimed universally.
The print made available at the Habitat Film Festival now is the complete and original print and has all the songs on it.
All in all, a masterpiece, with brilliant performances by Waheeda Rehman and Raj Kapoor. The film was ably directed by Basu Bhattacharya, and lovely music by Shanker Jaikishen with haunting and melodious songs composed by Shailendra are the main highlights of the movie.
Cheers for now....!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Queen of Grace and Poise - Waheeda Rehman

The 7th Habitat Film Festival 2012 on from July 21, this year is showcasing the celebrated films of graceful actress Waheeda Rehman. Other films are also on in multilingual languages in this much awaited event.
The event kicked off with the screening of the much acclaimed film 'Guide' starring the lovely Waheeda Rehman with the ever romantic, debonair Dev anand. The screening was preceded by a question and answer conversation with Waheeda Rehman on stage. She reminisced about her various roles done till now, how she entered films at a very tender age. Initially her family stayed in the Princely States of Southern India, she was offered a film role in the Malayalam cinema, which was turned down by her father. On her father's death however, her mother was somehow convinced by the director of the film to let her act as it was a role which involved dancing, and her daughter would come to no harm. After a lot of cajoling, her mother agreed, and Waheeda made her maiden appearance as a dancing star down South. The film was a clinical hit and especially the song in which Waheeda had danced became tremendously popular. At the silver jubilee event of this film, she was introduced to Guru Dutt and the rest is history.
Waheeda still retains her innocence, her charm, her face still has that impish smile which made millions of fans lose their hearts to her. This was in ample evidence yesterday at the film festival where the fans and critics alike made a beeline for her, and wanted her autographs as well posed with her for pics.I was no exception.
Coming back to her film's being shown at the film festival. Guide is a masterpiece. Why it's so, was on display yesterday at the screening. Guide is a delightful film in the beginning. The childlike innocence, the gay abandon with which Waheeda performs this role of Rosie, a girl who's born in a dancing family and has inherited those amazing dancing qualities from her mother is a delight to watch. She's unfortunately married off to a much older but wealthier man by her mother, more as a    compromise move by her mother to get her out of this situation. Marco, her aged husband treats her more as an object of desire and she's more like a caged bird over there. When she tries to learn some dancing in Marco's home, she's frowned upon by him and the musicians are turned out by her husband. The cute way, she shows her dissent to that action is so cutely depicted in the movie.
Differences between the couple come to the fore when they go visit some 'caves' and are met by Raju Guide played by the inimitable Dev Anand.
He plays the bridge between the warring couple on many an occasion, whenever the crudity of Marco comes to the fore, but he's unable to keep them together. Rosie tries to commit suicide on two occasions on being unable to bear the brunt of her husband's torture. She's saved on both occasions by Raju Guide, who slowly starts to fall in love with her. Rosie too has a soft corner for him and how she overcomes her fear of life and the celebration of life begins, inspired by Raju, is a treat to watch.
The lovely musical songs like 'Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai, aaj phir marne ka  irada hai,' are indeed delightful. 'Mosi chal kiye jaye, dekho saiya baiman' and songs like 'Kya se kya ho gaya bewafa', 'Din dhal jaye haye', 'Gaata rahe mera dil', 'Tere mere sapne ab ek rang hai', all written by lyricist Shailendra and composed by S.D.Burman were indeed a treat to watch. I had the pleasure of meeting Dinesh Shankar Shailendra who is Late Shailendra's son currently working on his autobiographical documentary, due for release in December.
The misunderstandings which develop between Raju and Rosie after she becomes a dancing star are  another turning point in the film, and the dramatic turn of events when Raju is arrested for forging her signature, because he can't bear the thought of Rosie meeting with her estranged husband, Marco.
The end of the film is absolutely wonderful and although somber, brings all the characters Raju once loved, together again. His mother, his love Rosie as well as his friend Gafoor. All in all a masterpiece, that's why it was the first film to win all the major awards of Best Movie, Best Director, Best Actor and Actress at the Filmfare awards in 1967. 
The movie is based on the famous novel by R.K.Narayan by the same name 'The Guide', and directed by 'Goldie' Vijay Anand. The film was a box office hit as well as critically acclaimed for the path breaking performances of both Waheeda Rehman and Dev Anand. It was more of a torch bearer and bold, unheard of role done by Waheeda, the married woman, having a live in relationship with her young Raju Guide. A true masterpiece, and will always remain so. 
Indeed was a privilege to watch the film, as well as meet Waheeda Rehman in person. Cheers to that....

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Bombay Girl by Kavita Daswani - A review

The book launch was snazzy, well organized and well attended, at The American Center. I reached a bit late and therefore couldn't ask any questions, but whatever I heard Kavita Daswani read out on stage was fantastic. Later while responding to questions she told the audience her ardent love for writing. How she could at a stretch finish writing 1000 words, and she wrote at least that much every day. Sounds fantastic.
That shows in her story form also. She told everybody how she manages to write so much after sending her kids to school, and performing her other 'homely chores'. Fantastic, that makes it even more amazing.
Her story telling is indeed lucid, she writes with such a natural flair, her continuity in content. She seems to be an amazing storyteller. Her style is so convincing that you almost tend to believe what's unfolding in front of you. She writes at a brisk pace, and her scripts are good. It's as if you're reading a screenplay not a novel.
Bombay Girl begins with a flourish. Sohana Badshah, wow what a name, after finding the love and of her life Jag, short for Jagdish, is turned down by him on coming to know of a lawsuit filed  by Balu Sachdev who's Jag's father, against the Badshah Inc who backed out on an agreement to invest US$150 million with them.
An article published in a local paper sets off a row in the family with the head of the Group planning a sell off of the whole assets to an outsider. Sohana is perturbed by this and intends to make her Baba change his mind about this. She ultimately succeeds but he relents only to this extent that instead of giving over the businesses to his sons, he would prefer handing it over to his grandsons, but they would have to prove their worth before getting access to the family business.
The book moves at a fast pace, almost giving you the feel that it's a film running before your eyes. The writer has managed to incorporate how a business family feels in moments of crisis, in moments of glory, togetherness! The way Sohana handles her own luncheon party after taking a crash course in cookery is a delightful sequence. She only gets rattled by Nitya's comments who's her best friend but who purposely hurts her by commenting on the food cooked by her, by saying she would rather prefer an omelette at home. Later going on to gobble the food down in the privacy of another room, only to be caught by Sohana in the 'act'. She later breaks down and reveals that their family business has shut and they were not well off any more. This reveals the emotional side of the writer when Sohana clasps Nitya to her and assures her that you haven't lost everything and she would always remain her friend.
The desi touch in the book is maintained when during the same conversation Nitya is discussing about the food and high sounding dishes but when she comes to know Sohana has cooked them, she tells her whether she has a Pudin Hara handy. So the desi element is not lost out.
The end of this book is even more racy. All in all makes for very good reading. Once you start, you won't put it down in a hurry.
Part one of a three book trilogy the book is fast paced and has high sounding names, so if you're the sort who wants a look in with high society, glamour and glitz, go for it.
Cheers till the next one.....

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Kaka is no more .... but he is Eternally with us.

      Rajesh Khanna the one and only SUPERSTAR of Indian Cinema is no more. The news is too cruel to digest. The eternal Romantic, the only film star to create mass hysteria in the minds of the Indian Public has left us.
Born on 29th December 1942 in Amritsar, Jatin Khanna as he was known originally was introduced into films as Rajesh Khanna. He created mass hysteria in the minds of the film loving public and as a crusader of love gave hit after hit in the early 60's, 70's as well as 80's. No other actor has managed to generate so much love and respect for himself as he did.
Kaka as he was fondly called by his fans and family alike, acted in approximately 163 feature films. He won 3 Filmfare Best Actor Awards, and was nominated for the same 14 number of times. He won countless other awards including the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
He made his debut in 'Aakhri Khat' in 1966, and gave hit after hit in films like Baharon Ke Sapne, Ittefaq, Aradhna, Raaz, Andaz, Amar Prem, Kati Patang, Aan Milo Sajna, Safar, Haathi Mere Saathi and so many countless others.
Kishore Kumar based his singing style on Kaka's mannerisms. Many of his songs like 'Mere sapno ki rani' with Sharmila Tagore was so popular then and till today it is sung all over. In fact when we talk about the romantic songs of Kishore Kumar, we are reminded of all the songs he has sung for the great romantic called Rajesh Khanna.
Rajesh's dialogue delivery, his inimitable style of acting, his wavy hairstyle, his haltingly wave of his hands, his friendly crinkly eyes which spoke volumes for him, will never be forgotten.
Best thing about Kaka is that although he has gone, he will always be remembered through his eternal films. The one and only romantic, the one and only eternal Superstar, the Original Superstar so to say, who can truly claim the title of that word called Super stardom was Rajesh Khanna. In fact it won't be wrong to say that the word 'Superstar' is synonymous with Rajesh Khanna and not a single actor thereafter could touch those dizzy heights, not even Amitabh Bachchan.
His one more quality was that he promoted humanity. Not one single film will you find where he has done socially irrelevant roles or films. All his films had some social message to give and he imparted good human character, of which today we see so much of decline.
Kaka dabbled in politics too. He was the Congress MP from New Delhi in 1991 to 1996, and received the adulation and love of the people there too. He also campaigned for the Congress in the recently concluded Punjab Assembly elections in 2012.
With Kaka's death on 18th of July 2012, an era has ended but his films will live on and his inimitable style will remain etched in our hearts' forever. Truly, Babu Moshai, Aapke Fans Aapse koi nahin cheen sakta, woh hamesha aap ke the, aur aapke he rahenge. Farewell, wherever you are. May your Soul rest in peace.