Saturday, December 29, 2012

Filmi year 2012.

After a period of not being quite up on what was happening in Indian films (or being up on it, just not having a chance to watch most of it), I feel like 2012 was the year I was finally caught up on most new releases. There are of course a couple of films I still intend on seeing and haven't yet (mostly films that have not come out on DVD yet, like Talaash - so please no spoilers for that one!) but for the most part, I've seen the films that interest me.

Of course, films that interest me do not equal the most talked about films of 2012 or even the biggest box office successes of 2012. I've not seen Jab Tak Hai Jaan because I'm not that huge on SRK in his current romantic roles, nor do I particularly like Yash Chopra's filmography (though recognise his significance). I probably won't see Student of The Year unless I feel like hating on Karan Johar one of these days. The action flicks I missed out on, like Son of Sardaar and Khiladi Numbersequence, I might check out, provided I'm bored in 2013. Rowdy Rathore is definitely on the list.. And if Gangs of Wasseypur ever gets a decent DVD release, I'll be the first in line to buy it.

But onto the list of favourites, not-so-favourites etc.

Queens of My Heart: Rani Mukherjee & Vidya Balan

With The Dirty Picture still fresh on most people's minds, Vidya had Kahaani, a wonderful performance-driven thriller, easily in the top 3 films of the year. Meanwhile, Rani had both Aiyyaa and her re-union with Aamir in Talaash. As I said previously, haven't seen Talaash yet but I loved Aiyyaa so much that while it may have flopped making very little noise, it reminded me of why Rani is so good, and among my favourite actresses of all time. I will enjoy anything these two women grace with their presence.

The Man Who Blazes His Own Trail: Aamir Khan

It seems that every year Aamir Khan does something new I have to admire him for. There are a lot of legitimate criticisms of Satyamev Jayate and the way it presented important issues, but there's also so much to be said for the intelligent manner it brought these issues to to be discussed. Every episode contained an appeal to the humanity in all of us; I believe the show truly did something unique and I really appreciate having the opportunity to watch it legally via YouTube.

But Aamir is still a film star and I am psyched to see him in Dhoom 3 next year. Only this guy would go from exploring heartwrenching societal ills on television one year into such unapologetic entertainment the next.

The Character Actor To Watch Out For: Adil Hussain

You might remember him from Ishqiya or Kaminey from previous years, but this year he played not only the Colonel in Agent Vinod, but also Sridevi's husband in English Vinglish AND the main character's father in Life of Pi (which I just saw and hugely enjoyed!). Personally I barely remember him in Agent Vinod, but thought he was really good in English Vinglish. The role needed an actor who could portray the character with a certain softness - he does things we as audience loathe, because we love Sridevi's character  Shashi so much, but we also have to see why she loves him. Santosh Patel in Life of Pi was a pretty similar role; he's not perfect, he can come off as unfeeling, but overall still likable. Of course, your mileage may vary, but I certainly enjoyed his performances this year and will keep an eye out for this Assamese actor in the future..

Most Likable Newbies: Ayushman Khurana & Parineeti Chopra

As well as Ranbir Kapoor acts (or so I hear, having not watched all of his work all that consistently), as pretty as Sonam Kapoor is and as cute as Imran Khan is, a lot of the newer generation of Bollywood have left me quite cold. I like them, I just don't quite love any of them yet. This year again brought on some new faces, and two that I quite enjoyed. Ayushman Khurana did not play the most sympathetic character in Vicky Donor, nor did I love the film as others did, but I still liked him a lot. Was it just the dimples? Who knows, I just know I'll keep watching whatever he does next. Parineeti Chopra I already liked in last year's Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl, but she was by far the best thing in this year's objectionable Ishaqzaade. I was really looking forward to the latter, and was so sad it took such an odd turn around the half-way mark, but it solidified my liking of Parineeti, and I will continue following what she does, for sure.

The Film That Should Win All The Awards, or: The Film of the Year: English Vinglish

It's not that tough a competition this year. This heart-warming gem just has it all: the rare well-written role for an older actress, an exciting comeback for one of the industry's brightest stars, a supremely likable international cast and quite a fun soundtrack to boot. Review here!

Most Favouritest Film This Year: Aiyyaa

As I said in my review, this film seemed happily tailor-made for film fans like myself, so of course I ate it like it was candy on ice cream cake, because it truly was that level of deliciousness. I suppose only time will how much I actually like this film, but based on rewatching the songs multiple times, it's definitely among my favourites.

And now, other categories...

Blandest Film: Ekk Main Aur Ek Tu competition here.

Most Aggravating Film: Ishaqzaade. Siiiiigh.

Uncle Pyaar [phrase coined by Rum] Award, or What Am I To Do With You, Yaar? Award:  Saif Ali Khan, who I was disappointed in Agent Vinod, and whose other film, Cocktail, also did not look too enticing, what with romancing ladies nearly half his age (well, not really, but come on, he looks pretty old these days). And let's not even discuss his upcoming films .. Race 2? Ack! And yes, SRK was a strong contender for Uncle Pyaar as well, but hey, I just ignore JTHJ so..

Favourite Southie Discoveries of the Year: Ko, a supreme Tamil thriller starring Jiiva (cutie!) and a belated discovery of Raavanan and Why This Kolaveri Di. Also - Upendra!

Most Fun Filmi Meet-up: Watching Chor Sipahee at Memsaab's with Filmi Geek!

Best Retrospective Oldies Discovery: Young Kabir Bedi, who I saw in Kucche Dhaage.

Favourite Posts in Which I Invent Films: This one and this one.

The Film That Got It Wrong, and the Film That Got It Right: Over-ambition left Agent Vinod in the ditch while under-ambition means Ek Tha Tiger actually delivered what the audience wanted to see.

Most Gif-able Song Sequence in a Film Ever: Pinnilavu, with those Mammootty dance moves!

News At 11: I really like young Vinod Khanna, you guys. I also really like Abhay Deol, because reasons.

And that's about it from me for this year. What are some of your favourites, guys? Anything you'd really recommend I check out?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thaandavam - true action is blind.

The biggest joy of watching the Tamil action flick Thaandavam was probably seeing it with stimpy, an old friend and a fellow Vikram fan. With her I could simply chuckle at the ludicrous bits of the plot, and also laugh at the genuinely funny intended comedy (with Santhanam playing a hapless cabbie). Still, the overall take-away from the film was still that it did not quite work. 

Vikram plays Kenny, a blind man who plays piano at a London church. His paths cross with Sara (Amy Jackson), a British-Tamil beauty queen, who quickly falls in love. Meanwhile, a detective (Nasser) is trying to hunt down a killer who kills seemingly random targets, and afterwards always seems to leave behind his driver, the completely foolish Tamilan cab driver (Santhanam), who is not of much help with the investigation...

The first problem with the film is what I described above is only half the story, and in an 90 minute flashback we get to see the majority of the story - Vikram's character's past, and the scheme that lead him to where he is now. This part of the story is genuinely quite gripping, though perhaps suffers from a plot hole or two. It also adds to the cast the hugely likable Anushka Shetty, who also acted alongside Vikram in the splendid Deiva Thirumagal (review here). This all improves the film, but it takes quite a while to get to the backstory, leaving the beginning of the film to feel hopelessly slow. 

Vikram's action sequences as a blind man are pretty impressive and nicely choreographed, but I wish they were surrounded by a better movie. The plot holes really start to stack up towards the end, and when the film ends you're left with more questions than got answered during the film. It's not a good sign when whatever you can't figure out on your own (ie that isn't completely predictable) is just very confusing. While I appreciate that the villains here aren't your usual terrorists, it would've been nice to see a more coherent story around them.

I also emphatically question the casting choice of Amy Jackson, a white British girl, in a film that is strongly about Tamil pride (every Indian in Thaandavam's London happens to speak Tamil, amusingly enough). Kollywood film makers (and Bollywood, Tollywood etc film makers), you can't have it both ways - you can't be about nationalistic or linguistic cultural pride and loudly proclaim that Tamil is best, Tamils are the smartest, and then go and cast a white girl from the model school of acting, clearly picked not because of her acting prowess but because of her looks. We all know the problem with promoting white beauty as the standard in non-white countries; harmless skin-lightening products and the works. I'm not against white actors in films when their casting makes sense (like in English Vinglish, or Rang De Basanti) or when they're actually good actors (I wouldn't tell Kalki Koechlin to hit the road). When the case is neither, I'm just annoyed. Sorry, Miss Jackson, I understand you're just getting work where you can - it's the producers and directors I'm blaming, primarily.

But back to the film: even the soundtrack was pretty uninspiring. Still, I suppose it's worth seeing if you like Vikram, like Anushka and don't mind a bit of Nasser and Santhanam, either (their scenes together are pretty hilarious). Vikram's career post-Raavan/an has been pretty sparse, but seeing as how I enjoyed both Rajapattai and Deiva Thirumagal, I don't really mind the fact that Thaandavam flopped (for me, at least). It's also streaming on the US version of Netflix, so you can easily catch it there if you're a subscriber!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Aamir Khan, the chocolate hero: a tiny retrospective.

All the pictures from this post are sourced from the wonderful tumblr titled umbartha - not sure where the runner of said blog gets all the magnificent scans but the place is well worth visiting, tons of gorgeous 90's-80's Hindi film stars, as well as amusing fashion and rare photographs. 

There's been a lot of mischaracterizations of Aamir Khan going around in the past half a decade or so, during the entire time I've been consuming these wonderful films. I've always known Aamir better as the post-Dil Chahta Hai Aamir, the one who meticulously pours over details of the stories, gets deep into method acting, rehearses and who is rumoured to hang over his directors' shoulder, ghost-directing the films he stars in. He's been called a snob, a perfectionist, a meddler, a holier-than-thou figure. 

I usually scoff at these accusations, because even if Aamir's genuine character hadn't convinced me in interviews, it's not like Fanaa or Ghajini are high-minded art films - they're entertainment, and not even flawless scripts, far from it. 

Whatever the case may be, though, there's another version of Aamir that I've only discovered in retrospect - the young, fresh-faced Aamir Khan.

Aamir the chocolate hero seems to have done the same kind of romantic films, comedies and family dramas that most stars did in the 90's. A lot of the films are of course classics, from his debut with Juhi Chawla in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak to the Ram Gopal Varma direction, Rangeela. Then there's the comedy classic and one of my all-time favourites, Andaz Apna Apna (featured on many posts in this blog, but primarily in this post) and Raja Hindustani, a romantic classic despite some questionable infant-handling.

I interrupt this post to take note that yes, in the above picture, Aamir is in fact dressed like a pirate.

Let us savour this for a moment.

Good, now we can continue on..

There were a lot of bad films, too, and a lot of films that are memorable but perhaps a bit dated. Would anybody remember Ghulam had it not been for "Aati kya Khandala?" - probably not. Then there's trainwrecks like Ishq, that some people, like me, just won't let die in its sad infamy.

And nobody's asking why Parampara wasn't on most people's "best of Yash Chopra" lists..

But like this outfit, Aamir didn't stop, and then we got to gems like Earth 1947 and Lagaan, DCH etc. There's still plenty of Aamir's 90's filmography that I've not seen - partly because I've not heard good things, and partly because I felt like I'd seen all of the must-see flicks from that era of his career. 

Still, I'm always open to recommendations, especially as Aamir is definitely a favourite, so if you've got any, send them my way!

I especially like this shot of Aamir looking pensively off into the distance, next to a collage of director Guru Dutt's film stills. I am not making a comparison between the two, but I wouldn't be surprised if film makers like Guru Dutt inspired Aamir to move his career into pretty risky ventures, starting with Lagaan. I do like the fact that Aamir played his own part in changing what mainstream Hindi cinema would be in the first decade of the new millennium, shaping it partly with his own choices in films, partly in choosing to go into directing as well. 

Our chocolate hero moved on.

And will be in Dhoom 3 next year, proving that he's definitely still swimming in the mainstream, and not as much against the tide as his detractors like to believe.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Where is Raj in Yash Raj Films?

The header of this post is a fairly simple question I've wondered about for quite a while now, a number of years, in fact. Back in the day, going back perhaps 5-6 years, to the beginning of my Hindi film fascination, you would often find old Raj Kapoor and B.R. Chopra films on DVD that were released under the Yash Raj Films label. In fact, my own copy of Shree 420 is produced by none other than the YRF label itself.

So what happened? At what point did YRF decide that putting money into producing decent quality DVD's of the old classics was not worth the trouble? Did the rights revert back to somebody else? Or did the company just decide to look ahead instead, and promote everything new - newer films, newer stars, newer talent. I'm all for invigorating the scene, and lord knows I've enjoyed quite a few of the latest YRF releases. On the other hand, I love my oldies, too, and considering the calibre of films by Raj Kapoor, it seems a shame that their legacy is less promoted by the company than that of the other giant in their company name - Yash Chopra.

I really wonder what the reasoning is, and meanwhile I can just have my own baseless speculations. Perhaps it was simply that they sold the rights elsewhere. (Then why keep Raj in the company name?) Perhaps there's filmi politics at play here, and the company is more interested in preserving the Chopra legacy than that of Kapoor (who hardly needs the promotion, I guess). Still, as a consumer, I'd quite like for quality DVD's of Raj Kapoor's oeuvre to be released (re-released?) - there's still quite a few I've yet to see, and YRF DVD's were at least somewhat reliable when it came to release quality.

If you know anything about this, please share! I'm very interested in behind-the-scenes goings on like this.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 awesome random filmi pictures.


Any picture with both Vidya and Rani is a winner in my books.

Sonam looking gorgeous as per usual.

This picture of Dharmendra is just ... A++++

Who doesn't love the apples in Maine Pyar Kiya?

..or the lair in Parvarish?

Or this swishy skirt of Rani's from Bunty aur Babli?

Oldie stars eating away!

Siddharth as a baby!

Vinod Khanna living the life!

Production still from Kagaaz Ke Phool.

Aradhana to cap this post off.

Happy 12/12/12, guys!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The 1980's Box Office Topper Challenge.

I was clicking around the wonderful timewaster that is BoxOfficeIndia, and it suddenly hit me: I still remained largely uneducated when it came to 1980's Hindi films. Of course, I'll be the first person to admit my ignorance towards certain large portions of Indian film history and the reasons why that is - I watch what I like, and don't believe in watching classics just because they're classics (classics I'm curious to see I'll naturally watch). So I spend my time delving deep into filmographies of favourites but not so much the actors who I haven't really become a fan of.

Fans, critics and academics alike tend to be in agreement that the 1980's was not a very fruitful time in mainstream Hindi film. The stars of the 70's were getting old, but still making films. There were new stars, too, but in terms of film makers, the stories they chose to tell, or the genres they told them in, just weren't very fresh. The real generation change happened in the late 80's; Maine Pyaar Kiya with Salman Khan, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak with Aamir Khan. Of course, it'd also be a gross exaggeration to say that 80's commercial Hindi films are universally hated or looked down upon. There are gems during any decade, and fantastic new talent, too. It's perhaps more the fact that creative energy wasn't so abundant as to give the 80's Hindi films their own, distinct look. 70's had interesting, socially conscious masala, and 90's brought on a wave of fluffy family entertainment. What's the 80's "mold"? Out-and-out action?

Whatever it may be, I got curious, thinking about this gap in my own knowledge, and decided to launch my own investigation into the top grossers from each year of the decade (based on the figures from The list is, as follows:

1980 - Qurbani (Vinod Khanna, Feroz Khanna)

1981 - Kranti (Dilip Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Hema Malini)

1982 - Vidhaata (Dilip Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Amrish Puri)

1983 - Himmatwala (Jeetendra, Sridevi)

1984 - Tohfa (Jeetendra, Sridevi)

1985 - Ram Teri Ganga Maili (Rajiv Kapoor, Divya Rana)

1986 - Karma (Dilip Kumar, Sridevi, Naseeruddin Shah etc)

1987 - Hukumat (Dharmendra)

1988 - Tezaab (Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit)

1989 - Maine Pyaar Kiya (Salman Khan, Bhagyashree)

I've already sought out most of these, and two of them I own (Qurbani and MPK). It'll be an interesting ride, and I'll try to watch and blog about all of these before the end of the year. A fair warning: I may have to watch a lot of these without the help of English subtitles, which will naturally colour my views and overall understanding of the film.

But I'm willing to take the plunge, so hey, bring on the 80's!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Catfight Myth, and about female friendship in general.

Why hasn't there been a female Dil Chahta Hai? An all-girls' version of Dostana?

For that matter, can you name two actresses who are friends within the Hindi film industry?

These are just some of the questions that popped into my head as result of watching the magnificent duo of Rani Mukherjii and Vidya Balan on an old episode of Koffee with Karan, the appallingly shallow chat show, where Karan Johar does the duplicitous tango by making it out like he's everybody's best friend, and then actively stirring up drama between anybody who will take the bait, and giggling gleefully when they do so. In the episode, both Rani and Vidya show excellent camaraderie while promoting their joint venture, No One Killed Jessica. They giggle, share inside jokes, and then talk about working on the film and being professionally influenced by one another.

Karan politely takes all in this and comes back with an observation that female friendship unravels "when the make-up comes off" (or goes on, I do not remember the exact wording), because at the end of the day, women just don't do friendship, and it all ends in catfights over men or popularity or fashion, right?

This really set me off, because it's a vicious narrative constantly told by the media surrounding the film industry. There's a tendency to pit actresses against each other for "the top spot", even on top of all the criticisms they can garner for their fashion sense, or movie choices or weight fluctuations (the last one is a rant for another day). There'll always be rumours of affairs and such, but the often faked stories of cat fights always push this idea that two actresses cannot, absolutely cannot, have a functional friendship - or even just a professional relationship, when working on a film together.

Of course, it'd be ridiculous to claim this was all media-made, but consider about the ease of stirring up controversy by just making up things. If somebody you know tells you a friend has said awful things about you, even once your friend says it's not true, the suspicion that they're lying to cover it up will remain in your head. Now consider if this is a friend you're not particularly close to, but have some links through mutual friends and work connections, and of course there's all this gossip around - maybe there are rumours that this friend has flirted with the person you're romantically involved with, or said even more horrible things about somebody you do consider a close friend.. The sheer level of mean-spirited cattiness in the film industry circles must be through the roof, so who do you trust, at the end of the day?

Rani is sometimes criticized as being too diplomatic in her answers. In Koffee with Karan, she refuses to align herself with this, that or the other. She's friends with Salman, Shahrukh and Aamir. She likes all the new up-and-comer actresses. In an industry so full of camps and alliances, you could argue she's being dishonest for the sake of continuing to get work, but could it be more than that? Maybe she's decided it's better not to play these media games, and say catty things about people you barely now, just to get a laugh out of a talk show host who loves his "film fraternity" gossip (note how it's "fraternity", not "sorority" or even the gender-neutral "community"). That it's more professional to say nice things about everybody, and keep any negativity you might have silent, because it is essentially a work environment - and there's nothing more poisonous to a work environment than idle gossip.

It's not like the men of Bollywood are immune to these sorts of bust-ups. In fact, you could argue that the media machine is often just as horrible about male friendship (or lack thereof). It is a business, and at the end of the day, people are competing against each other, despite any personal fondness towards one another. Still, I've always sensed that there is this general myth about actresses and friendship - that all of their friendships are fake, all the ladies are catty towards one another and fighting it out, over men or over films or over fame. Some of the stars play their own part in manufacturing these rivalries, because if you're not making headlines, you're not a star. How much have Kareena and Priyanka gained over their well-documented rivalry ..but you could also ask, how much have they lost?

It's a cycle; the idea that there is no female friendship among actresses perpetuates the idea that female friendship overall is a phony concept, and therefore why would you make films about it (or female-centric films overall), and even if such a film was being made, no two actresses would sign up to do it because they are always in such strong competition with one another, without any chance of friendship, or solidarity, or even just professional politeness. And of course, female-centric films do not fare well at the box office, or so the common belief goes, and thus a lot of top actresses are reluctant to sign up to do such films in the first place.

What gives? I hope for some people to be brave enough to break this cycle. Producers, directors, actresses themselves.. We've seen steps in the right direction, No One Killed Jessica being one example. Now let's race towards that direction.

Friday, December 7, 2012

English Vinglish - little laddoos in the Big Apple.

I'd heard excellent things about Gauri Shinde's debut direction, English Vinglish, starring the legendary, ever-youthful star, Sridevi - the film seemed universally praised and loved by audiences at the box office as well. Even so, I was surprised. 

The charm of the story is so simple, yet effective -  Shashi (Sridevi), a housewife whose passion is selling her laddoos to acquaintances, becomes empowered by learning English, a language her children and husband know well, but she doesn't. It's the usual story about growth and self-discovery, but some features of it - the beautiful focus on Shashi's character, excellently portrayed by Sridevi, the ensemble cast of her class and their enthusiastic teacher, the simultaneous scariness and potential of the huge New York City as a milieu - just take it all up a notch and push the film from being just a good, solid story to being a terrific film. 

You can definitely see why Sridevi picked this film to return in. Shashi is the kind of understated character it's hard not to fall in love with. Her problems are not huge and melodramatic, but small and human, and as audience we see how vulnerable she is. The portrayal of these problems is so real, it's hard not to relate: we've all said or done things in anger that hurt a family member, even though we love them dearly. To not sympathise with Shashi and her loneliness and feelings of inadequacy within her family is impossible; for the two hours I spent with her, she became real to me.

A film like this doesn't require a love story, but it contains one all the same: a story about loving and accepting yourself, because sometimes that's the most important love you need to have.

Having recently visited New York, it was easy to identify with the sense of being an outsider in such a big city. Even with a fluency in English, I think it'd take a while for me to feel like I ever belonged there, and as much as I love the place and the people in it, I am always reminded me of the "Wear Sunscreen" song/speech line: "Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard." 

Looking back on the filmi year 2012, there aren't a whole lot of films I'd signify as must-watches, but English Vinglish without a doubt fits that category. It's a life-affirming gem, a tale of a woman I'm sure we can all learn from, no matter where we are in our lives.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

An atheist befriends God - OMG Oh My God.

It's good to see a remake be upfront about its origins: OMG Oh My God, a comedy that's a lot cleverer than its goofy name, is based on a Gujarati play, that in return is based on an Australian movie, and this is all told in the opening credits. I've not seen neither the original movie, or the play, but I was pleasantly surprised by this film - for all the goofiness of the premise, the film ends up in a pretty thoughtful, thought-provoking place.

Paresh Rawal does an excellent job portraying the staunch atheist Kanji Lalji Mehta, who sees the superstitions of the religious as a way to make more money off the idols and other religious items he sells. When an insurance company refuses to pay him as his shop was ruined by "an act of God" (natural disaster), he goes to the extreme of suing "God" - or in this case, all the religious organizations that claim to represent God. 

The idea of a man suing God was ripe for a remake in a country as religiously diverse as India, especially as religious skepticism doesn't seem to yet be completely accepted in the mainstream. (India's leading skeptic, Sanal Edamaruku, is currently in Europe due to exposing a miracle as anything but.) As a completely non-religious person who's grown up in a secularized country with Lutheran Christian cultural roots, I have my own biases going into this film, naturally. I am not one that would be offended of whoever might be offended by this movie, and indeed, it's not a film that sets out to offend, as much as to teach. 

Kanji Lalji Mehta quickly makes a friend "with many names" (played by Akshay Kumar), obviously a human form of the god Krishna. When the film so openly states the belief that there is, in fact, a God - or multiple gods and goddesses, Krishna implies in one piece of dialogue - I'm kind of stunned that religious individuals would take offence. On the other, this is precisely the kind of behaviour religious organisations engage in that the film rails against: the corruption, the greed and the self-interest that have nothing to do with the teachings of any religion. 

It's not an entirely original message, but it's one that certainly needs to be put out there more often. It's in the Munnabhai camp of comedies; warms the heart but doesn't necessarily make you roar with laughter, and with plenty of philosophy sprinkled on top. It's no wonder audiences took to it so much.

As for myself, I wasn't perhaps as in love with it, because I was already converted, but I certainly enjoyed watching. Hopefully it begins a dialogue about religion as personal faith as opposed to a way for organisations to gain power and wealth, and about shedding those superstitions that might end up being more harmful in the long run.

And now if you'll excuse me, I've got an Akshay Kumar shrine to build...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Vishal Bhardwaj - the tune of my heart..

We all know he's an accomplished director, but Vishal Bhardwaj has always impressed me with his compositions. Especially when composing for his own films, he's stellar in creating haunting tunes that beautifully accompany the visuals, the atmosphere, the suspense of the film, providing a delicious extra layer to the characters.

Naina from Omkara is definitely one of those songs. The picturization is pitch-perfect, setting up the love story between the two main characters in flashback. The way the song underscores everything, and while every song on the soundtrack is worth listening to (Beedi is another huge favourite of mine), this one is just all that more special to me for whatever reason.

Rone do from Maqbool is sung by Bhardwaj's wife Rekha. It's very much the same kind of haunting, beautiful tune that Naina is. (Also similar is the titular song from Kaminey, which is just gorgeous.)

But now for something a little different...

Socho kya karogi from Love Ke Liye Kuchh Bhi Karega, is not from a Bhardwaj-direction, but dates earlier to his career's beginnings as a composer. It's just a wonderful, funky little tune, and the picturization where Saif Ali Khan and Sonali Bendre imagine what they would do if they had money (a large part of this comedy film centers around three guys trying to get some money). It's not typical Bhardwaj, but it's a show of his variety. He can compose incredible Indian-style rock songs (Beedi, Dhan Te Nan and Oh Mama will attest to this) but then he can also do goofy little tunes like this one.

As much as I anticipate new films from this guy, I equally anticipate his soundtracks..

Monday, December 3, 2012

Moucho Prema; a final picspam.

Young Vikram! I know, it's weird for me, too.

Once again, three favourites unite in a single picture and still Prakash Raj manages to be the coolest, no competition.

Mammootty's pole dance is like nobody else's. Love it.

One more for Prakash Raj, as I couldn't resist (from Anniyan, as you might recognise). Did you know that despite being best known in Tamil and Telugu films, the man is actually a born-and-bred Kannadiga?

Now to Hindi oldies - if ever there was a moustache that screamed "this guy is up to no good"! Here's Pran from the oldie Aasha.

I may have posted this before; in fact, I'm almost certain I have. Who cares? It's Vinod Khanna in Mera Gaon Mera Desh.

Sanjeev Kumar as Thakur-saab from ..oh, have a guess.