Monday, October 27, 2008

Diwali Notes

There are few times when life gives you a breather, when you can look back at your life as you walk and drop quietly into an uncovered manhole in the process. For me, these three days with less work at office have been just that – A time to break away from the excel modelling, adding ‘zing’ to the teaser and reflect on the direction my life is heading in (Which, I discovered, may be heading right into a smelly pile of cow dung).And , of course , celebrate Diwali , the biggest festival of North India . It may leave the street dogs terrified. It may make people blow up crackers which cost half the entire GDP of Botswana . It may have burned down Mrs Rangwala’s plants, as it did the year before last . But then, an year without Diwali is like a three feet deep bungee jump . Safe but no fun.You know Diwali is around the corner when all the ladies in the colony arrange themselves in pairs and start discussing how to please the ‘kaamwali’ this year.


The exchanging of sweets with friends and relatives is another domain which calls upon the recycling resources only a woman can possess- Mehta Ji gets the ‘burfi’ given by Gupta saab. The kurkure gift pack from Turakhia finds a place in Kumar Uncle’s house. Shahs are the lucky recipients of ‘something’ we got from the Sharmas – did not open up the pack , so don’t know what. But a logical thinking mechanism is indispensable here. If possible , a diagrammatic representation should be used here. Because one little lapse of concentration can be very hard to accept for the Kapoors who ended up getting a ten pack set of Real Juices from us , which they had gifted to the Kumars .


I complete 1 year of office in November. I ve realised that English used in the corporate world is a complicated language.

I ll give you a small exmple of the phrases I can readily recollect

“Sir, it was great interfacing with you. Let’s touch base next week to discuss how this opportunity is a strategic fit into your business verticals yielding operational synergies.”
(Nice talking to you. I ll call you next week to convince you to invest in this proposal)

“Over the years, we have realised that our company offers product solutions across all verticals, resulting in a lot of breadth but not a lot of depth”
(I have no clue what our company does – there are apparently a lot of products we sell)

“You are the relationship manager for this investor. Where is your traction ??”
(Why havent you spoken to this investor this week. You should know his daughter is getting married next month & his son is having an affair with the neighbour’s eldest daughter)

“Don’t give me the English of it. Show me the Maths“
( You are too verbose)

“This is all Maths. Give me the English”
(Please be more descriptive)

“There is no flavour in this one pager. I need to feel it. Please add some zing to it”
(I don’t like what you’ve made)

“Who is running the transaction. Tell me who owns it”
(Just tell me who to blame when the shit hits the ceiling)

I just remember these many right now. I assure you that I’ll remember more and add flavour & zing to the post when we touch base next time. Hopefully this post wasn’t too much english for you & you could realise the depth & breadth of the same. It was nice interfacing with you & hope to develop more traction over the years.



Monday, October 20, 2008

KARZZZZ - Why did MONTY ever come back ???

I never thought I'd feel sympathy for Dino Morea, especially since he's inflicted such terrible performances on us in his short but shameful acting career. But after watching Karzzzz, I have to say my heart went out to the poor guy even though he doesn't perform much better this time.

To be cast as a character who's bumped off prematurely only to be reborn in the body of Himesh Reshammiya is a humiliation nobody deserves.

Yes, it's true. In director Satish Kaushik's remake of Subhash Ghai's popular 80s movie Karz, Dino Morea plays Ravi Verma, the millionaire romantic who's killed by his wife Kamini (played here by Urmila Matondkar), until he returns to seek revenge 25 years later in the dancing shoes of pop-icon Monty (played by Himesh).

Despite its preposterous premise, the original Karz touched all the right chords because it was done convincingly. Because it somehow succeeded in being suspenseful, and because one felt familiarity with its characters.
The new Karzzzz doesn't work because it has no soul. It's a lazy rip-off where everything from characters to dialogues has been more-or-less duplicated, the only changes being superficial ones which are a pain.

Why transport the story to Kenya, where, let's face it, a Kaali-Maa ka mandir looks a little out of place bang in the middle of a barren field! What's the logic behind mute villain Sir Juda (played by Gulshan Grover) who communicates by punching musical notes into his computer-operated metal arm? Completely wasted !

And who is going to digest Himesh Reshammiya playing a 25-year-old while Urmila's meant to be, what, 50?

The least you expect of a remake whose plot and narrative you are fully familiar with is slickness. But Satish Kaushik's Karzzzz is a sloppy, sluggish soap-opera. The film feels like a showcase of the worst ensemble acting you've ever seen. Every single actor – the leads, the supporting cast, even the junior artistes who appear in insignificant bit roles seem to be trying to outdo each other in the over-acting department.

Veteran talent like Danny Denzongpa (tries hard, but not funny), Rohini Hattangadi (seems like she’s acting in Karan Arjun) and Raj Babbar (is he on drugs ???) ham it up so bad, it's as if they woke up from a five-year coma and discovered they'd forgotten how to act.

Newcomer Shweta Kumar who stars as Monty's true love Tina, is more blank than a freshly scrubbed slate, and believe me, I'm being kind to her. She has no future.

But Karzzzz belongs to the embarrassing ineptitude of its two star leads.
Urmila Matondkar quivers and shivers even when she's not meant to be afraid; she widens her eyes, she arches her brow, she goes through a whole range of expressions with the speed of lightening. She gives us 5 expressions when 1 would suffice. As Princess Kamini, the murderous wife, she lacks the elegance that Simi Garewal oozed in the original, and that terrible accent of hers doesn't help.
Himesh Reshammiya – his chest waxed, his tummy trimmed – makes a very sincere effort to pull off Monty. However, despite the careful styling and the precautions to not take too many tight close-ups, Himesh is ultimately unconvincing as the heartthrob pop-star who's hurting inside.
His body language is awkward, his facial expressions are contorted, and his dialogue delivery lacks modulation. Suffice to say he doesn't hold a candle to Rishi Kapoor who pulled off the original film on the strength of his charm alone. Yet it's only Himesh who actually appears convinced about the plot and it's only him who seems to want to make this film work. He is extremely sincere. It appears as if he is the only one who believes in the movie & gives it his best. I’m impressed !!

Much of the appeal of Subhash Ghai's Karz lay in its timeless music – who can forget such evergreen hits as Om Shanti Om, Dard-e-dil and Ek hasina thi?
Himesh Reshammiya's remake has catchy numbers in his signature style, but it's unlikely that we'll be humming tunes like Tandoori Nights and Lutt Jaoon twenty years from now. I saw the movie yesterday & can recollect ony 3 songs, one of them being “ek haseena thi”

This Karzzzz is a hopeless failure, and blame for that must go to its director for failing to keep the pace slick and the tone consistent.

Consolation comes in the form of a half-dozen scenes that are unintentionally hilarious.
Himesh Dancing !!!!! Absolutely Funny !!!!
Himesh holding the guitar !!! He doesn’t know how to
Himesh telling Urmila - "tum kiss kartte waqt apni aankhen bandh karti ho !!! ... apparently he knows females who keep their eyes open while kissing...
Girls going ga-ga over Himesh a.k.a Monty .. Can u believe tht .. Johnny Lever’s prophecy from the 1998 Filmfare awards comes true (Remember – Paaandu, we love you, paandu)
Himesh fighting and, believe it or not, he gives out flying kicks to the villains
Himesh’s muscles !!! .. in the climax, he tears of the sleeves of his skin fitting t-shirt !!!
Urmila flying a plane & shooting at Himesh
The doctor suggesting to Himesh that the visions he sees are from a past life (This after he does a brain scan)
Himesh singing down from the helicopter when the heroine forgets the lyris of one of his songs

All in all – go only if you are in a group of more than 5 and just want to make fun of something & laugh your hearts out !!! …

Im waiting for Himesh’s next – Kajraa re !!!
An Ad on Radio
Girl 1: “Have you seen that new girl Janice. She is so beautiful, he face is so nice, her lips are like Angeline’a – so full & luscious & thick”
Girl 2: “Thick – have you tried the latest - Govardhan’s Curd. Its so tasty. It’s so thick !! its just dahi-licious !!!”
What have we come to !!!!
Thought for the day :
If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It is much easier to apologise than it is to get permission.

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