Friday, December 25, 2009

3 Idiots

"Refreshing" "Superb!" "Rajkumar Hirani - Take a bow!" "Triple thumbs up!" - that was probably what I thought I'd say after watching the film that has Aamir in the lead and Rajkumar Hirani as the director. And Aamir was the only reason I watched the film first day first show. I came out of the theatre disappointed.

Farhan (Madhavan) and Raju's (Sharman Joshi) classmate and roomie in the hostel is Rancho (Aamir Khan). Rancho is one kaliyuga Santaclaus, who spreads joy and goodness amongst people particularly his friends . Both his friends are not interested in studies and float around in college only because one has his family dependant on him to get a job and earn monies with his engineering degree and the other's father decided on the day of his birth that he would become an engineer. The Dean of the college Viru Sahasra Budhe/ Buddhi does not particularly like these 3 Idiots and goes all out to make these guys' lives miserable in college.

Rancho is a topper in class . And he aalakkufyes both his friends- Raju gets a job facing one number campus interview and Farhan decides to pursue his interest in wildlife photography. But then... Rancho goes missing! If the film had had a tied up with google the movie would have been over in 20 minutes. So all you idiots, thank youtube and facebook because this is a 2 1/2 hour 'film' film only 'coz this film has a tie up these and not google . And yes, you are a pucca idiot if you get to watch this film during the long weekend 'coz the ticket prices are going to go upar upar and upar only for this long weekend. Got it idiot? Now wait for it to come on Colours or some such Channel in the next 30 days. Don't waste your money - Idddiot!

Munnabhai part 3

This film should have been titled Munnabhai part 3. The do-gooder hero who is the kaliyuga Santaclaus, the humour, the overtly senti scene which are painful after a point, the music, the singer, the tiny moments, Boman's caricature, "Let's change the education system" - everything reminds you of Munnabhai

The 3 pluses

Cast : Madhavan is quite a dependable actor and he does what is expected of. Has Aamir tried to overdo the 20 year old bit rolling his eyes and scratching his head like a loser? Yes he does. Sharman is cute. Boman has played a similar role like this before in quite a few films but he is quite an 'entertainment' in the film. Kareena kapoor does a 'Jab we met' minus the pout. Big relief. So tick mark. Omi who plays Chatur keeps you in splits.

Humor: The film is honestly, funny. No no not the typical Bollywood sheniyan Johnny Lever kinds but with jokes that are not slapstick and annoying.

Sentientertainment: Raju Hirani is a master at pizhinchifying sentiness out of you with a tinge of humor and 3 Idiots is of the same type.

The 6 minuses

Cast: Despite Aamir trying to look young scratching his head, rolling his eyes etc. the kezhattutanam shows. Madhavan - '78 born. ha ha ha ! Semma joke! Aren't there 20 year olds in the country who could have played the same roles?

Sentiness : There can be only one or two high senti points in any film. If every second moment is one sentipan making you reach out to your handkerchief, it gets painful after a point. You guys tried it in Munnabhai and it worked (not for me though) but please this is getting repetitive Raju Hirani Sir.

Shantanu Moitra, Sonu Nigam : The music director is a great talent but very limited. The retro tune is Shantanu's forte` and that's probably why they sound rehashed. And why? why Sonu Nigam who sounds constipated in all the songs?

In-film branding: Such films make me feel good about the job I do which is on similar lines. The in-film branding is so blatant and blunt that I once again want to pat myself for the wonderful job I do with respect to branding. [Boss, you reading this one?] Television shots with Big TV branding (so Big you can't miss it), Phone rings with the Airtel ringtone (so loud it annoys you) and that stupid All izz well (Reliance Life Insurance).


Aamir's makeup is really bad and he looks like the male version of Kajol in the Olay ad

"Idho doctor" moments

Bollywood / Tamizh films have these "Where is the doctor?- Here comes the doctor" moments. Those were the '60s and '70s where we'd wait for those predictable 'Police-in-the-climax' scenes in the MGR films. This film has many such moments the most annoying being the 'All izz well' when Mona Singh delivers her child. The scene was being pullllllllllll...led to the 'All izz well' moment so hard you have every other person in the theatre saying "All izz well" (Thinking about it, was that the real aim - getting people to shout brand taglines?)

Izzz All well?

You pay goddamn 200 bucks (there are losers who are going to pay more for the evening-night shows during this long weekend! ha ha ha) to be entertained for those 2 1/2 hours and 3 idiots does this dutifully.

But the film is so predictable oh-so predictable in the second half that you wish you had paid half the price and watched only the first half.

3 Idiots - One point something for each idiot - 3 out of 5

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tele-vetti takes a break!

The answers for Tele-vetti 24 are


2. Kuselan

3. Rajadhi raja

4. Mannan

5. Sri Raghavendrar

6. Johnny

7. Sivaji : The Boss

8. Baasha

9. Moondru mugam

10.Ninaithale inikkum

11. Guru Sishyan

12. Muthu

13. Mullum malarum

14. Annamalai

15. Chandramukhi

The Aascar goes to

Filbert ;Balaji ; Karthick Krishna C.S and Sriram Murali - 15/15. Congratulations!


Ananth K ; Hema ; Gayatri ; Chandrasekaran Krishnan ;Ganesh Kumar ;Sharanya Ramanathan ; Vinothkumar Gopal ; Vignesh K - 14/15

Sathya ; NAt Iyer ; Gradwolf ; Swapna ;Ambi ; LC ; Prashanthni ; Jesudoss, Janet ; 'Blogavathar' Pravin Shekar ;Manikandan - 13/15

Anantha ; Vivek ; Meera ; Praveen S ; Rajeswari ; Sridhar ; Archana Deepak ; Lavs -12/15

Krithika ; Gayathri Giridhar ; Padmashri -11/15

Aparajith - 10/15

Sachitta - 9/15

Tele-vetti takes a break for now. Will be back next year!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Rocket Singh : Salesman of the year

Married to a 'salesman' (ok ok sales head!), working with the sales 'peoples' everyday, I could relate to every bit of this film, the setting and particularly, the protagonist though I have never done this selling bit ever in my life.


It is a tried and tested - 'underdog turns winner' story for Shimit Amin's Rocket Singh: Salesman of the year. Harpreet Singh Bedi played by Ranbir Kapoor the fresh graduate gets a job in a company that sells computers. Harpreet ends messing up a client deal that puts an end to his field job. Asked to do cold-(telephone) calls passing on leads to his colleagues, he starts his own outfit - Rocket sales, from the premises of his present office . Business does well and his company ends up getting all the deals from his employer. But Ranbir gets into a mish-mash when the employer gets to know of this and is thrown out of the office ....And finally... finally beating all odds emerges the real winner. Sounds familiar no?


The story is very simple with no contrived scenes except for those with the big boss. More on that later. Ranbir Kapoor is superb. No overacting. Looks like a real sardar. The scenes between Ranbir and his father played by Prem Chopra are not the usual 'Papaji-Puttarji-Gajjar ka halwa' kinds. NO KIRRON KHER as the Punjabi mom! Infact, No mom at all.

Who is that guy who has played Ranbir's immediate boss? Good performance. Gauhar Khan is the itemized girl in the movie. Another relief was except for one song (which slackened the pace) there were no songs at all.

No deal

If there's one guy who has killed the film, its the actor who plays the big boss . Reminded me of 'Mirundanga Chakravarthi' Sivaji. His expression were so over the top. Was a complete misfit in the entire environment. Ranbir Kapoor's girl friend played by Shahzn Padamsee is konjam waste - a girlfriend only because this is a Hindi film and we need to have a so-called heroine.

The scenes were the rest of the team makes fun of Kapoor are very filmi. And the scenes where Ranbir has a conversation with the big boss on the phone, scenes where he talks about honesty, how he cannot let his people down etc look very familiar (Mr. Bharath, Padaiyappa types)

Commission, Bonus...

But after all this, Rocket Singh worked for me for its sheer simplicity. The first half was definitely better than the second. The dialogues were witty. The cinematography was neat and the art director didn't go about creating an artificial office. The set looked real.

If you have done sales in your life, you will relate to every bit of the film. I went for the film with my sales colleagues and we had a riot. And that's probably why this chamattu of a review!

Final Review - Rocking Singh : 3.5 out of 5

One song wonders

The credit to bring new voices in the tamizh playback singing industry should go to A R Rahman. Pre 1991 there were just a handful of male and female singers who ruled the industry for almost two decades. Earlier, most of the film credits had just two names in the Pinnani padagargal category - SPB, Janaki or TMS, P Susheela. I love SPB's voice but thinking about it now, imagine a whole lot of singers that were denied an opportunity to sing by the Jaambavan music directors of yesteryears only because they preferred to use the tried and tested 'hit' voices.

Most of you will not agree but you can't deny the fact that new voices added magic to the sound tracks of ARR, Harris, Yuvan etc.

But oflate, it has become overcrowded there. Music directors want to introduce a new voice in every new track of theirs. Result? A whole lot of people who sing a song or two and vanish immediately. And so, PR-giri, that is marketing themselves has become more important than improving their vocal chords.

Singers like Suchi and Shilpa Rao (Bollywood) are masters at this. Suchi's PR skills amaze me! Right from calling Aishwarya Rajnikant 'Aishooo' or pall-ilichifying at every party, she is a complete PR expert! And that's what is helping her get more singing chances. Shilpa Rao is a very boring singer. Lacks the lilt the voice requires for a 'Khuda Jaane' (Bachna aee haseeno) but man! her PR agent (yes she has one!) ensures she is part of every radio station's PR activity, award function, press coverage etc.

Last week as I watched the finals of Zee TV's 'Sangeetha Mahayuddham' I pitied all the me-too playback singers... same set of faces who appear in almost all music reality shows. Each of them who have been in the industry for almost 2-3 years, singing the same set of one or two songs in every medai.

Starting with Vinaya. I have seen her in almost all reality shows singing one song only which is 'Paalakkatu pakkathula'. Atleast this girl has a decent voice. Look at this character - Belly raj. Every time my dad sees him, he has only question "Paavam, ivanukku vera chance-e kedaikkaliyamma?" and dad has been asking this question for over a year now. And what's worse- This guy cannot catch the damn shruti! Vijay Anthony's favourite - Sangeetha. Again, sings like as if she's been starving for over a month and that too - only one song "Yean enakku mayakkam". Singer Rajalakshmi's one and only song is 'Kokku para para' but acts like she's one number seasoned singer.

How can one even think of giving peppy tracks like 'Pokkiri Pongal' to Naveen? The peppiness has to come from within. Pal tries to mukkufy his best to sing such tracks. The worst of them all - Srilekha Parthasarathy. Seven plus years as a playback singer and she ends up singing only one song. The moment she starts "Yelllo yelllo....(kalyanamdan kattikkittu)" you want to switch off. Another singer who thinks too much of himself - Krish. "Naa U.S return" kind of bandha! "Ayyo Krish, enda pitch-la paadamatengra?" Malaysia Vasudevan's daughter despo in PR thanking Harris Jeyaraj Saar in every interview of hers hoping he'd call her again after "Mundinam paartheeenee"

Singers like Harish Raghavendra, Krish, Unnikrishnan have such a pombala kural they should actually be singing for heroines than heroes.

Recently I had met this famous music director-actor-sinnnnnger in Bollywood (avaredaan!) . I had asked him on why singers come and disappear immediately. He mentioned that unless you become a music director yourself, you cannot survive in the industry for long as a singer. You may be a great voice but you cannot be assured of a hit every time. Because this would mean not only the music director remembering you and giving you an opportunity to sing but also the fact that the song needs to become a hit for you to make it big! He gave an example of Kunal Ganjawallah who made it big after 'Bheege hont tere...'. You hardly hear his songs these days. He is a fabulous singer but hasn't got the right songs in the last year or two.

That's probably why you see singers like Karthik and Shrinivas turn music directors. But imagine a whole lot of the singers above turning MDs... yabba, time for another post!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Tele-vetti 24

Tele-vetti 23 - Kamal 50! Aascar goes to Prashanthi, Boo, J Rajendran and Kaarthik A -13/15. Congratulations!

Thank you all for the wonderful response! Super show!

The scores -
The correct answers

1.Moondram pirai
2. Moondru mudichu
3. Unnaipol oruvan
4. Soora samharam
5. Guna
6. Salangai oli (a) Sagara Sangamam
7. Maharasan
8. Aval appadithan
9. Sippikkul muthu (a) Swati muthyam
10. Punnagai mannan
11. Vazhve mayam
12. Manmadha leelai
13. Varumayin niram sivappu
14. Nayagan
15. 16 vayadinile

Tele-vetti 24 - Rajni 60!

Identify the Rajni films [L to R , row-wise please]

One entry per person / Only one guess allowed - incase of two guesses the first one will be taken into account (I was pretty lenient on the Kamal quiz)

One point per correct answers - 15 points to be won

Email your answers to blogeswari {AT} gmail {DOT} com

Last date for sending your entries
- Saturday, 12th December 2009 - Happy birthday Rajni! [ Yes, I have advanced the dates]

Please do not post your answers in the comments section

The last date for sending your entries has been advanced to 12th December 23 hours 59 minutes :-p