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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Top Six Hidden Gems of the Theatre World : Angelina Lawson - Guest Author

There are many great theatres for people to enjoy while on a trip to London. Most travellers know about the big theatres and the terrific shows they have to offer, but there are also some smaller, lesser known venues that offer visitors a great and unique viewing experience. The Top Six Hidden Gems of the Theatre World in London are the Greenwich Theatre, The Royal Albert Hall, Waterloo East Theatre, Finborough Theatre, Kings Head and The Gate.

The Greenwich Theatre is a great theatre for visitors looking to attend a show at a location that is a little different from the standard, big London theatre house. The Greenwich Theatre has a unique history in that there has been a performing arts location at this site continuously since 1871. Though the theatre has had a variety of different names during its lifetime it has still retained a number of fascinating architectural details from its various incarnations.

Another great theatre for visitors looking for something more off the beaten path is The Royal Albert Hall. This theatre is best known for holding the Proms concert every year since 1941. However for families, the Albany Theatre is an additional theatre gem that offers club nights, children's performances and standard theatre performances. The Albany Theatre truly offers a little something for everyone.

Another hidden gem of the London theatre scene is the Waterloo East Theatre. The Waterloo East Theatre has just 150 seats so there truly isn't a bad seat in the House. This theatre also has a number of very reasonably priced shows, something you won't always find at other venues. An additional good theatre for visitors looking for a more intimate experience is the Finborough Theatre. The Finborough Theatre has just 50 seats and offers less traditional and more avant garde plays. The Kings Head is also a great, lesser known theatre. The Kings Head is unique in that it is located inside the Kings Head Pub. This theatre puts on a number of well known shows throughout the year.

A look at unknown gems of the theatre scene in London wouldn't be complete without mentioning the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill. The Gate Theatre is a truly distinguished theatre that offers quality international plays.

London Theatre ticketsfor all six of these venues are available for purchase over the internet. Overlooking these hidden gems would be doing you a great disservice.

Author Bio: Angelina Lawson is a Content Writer with an interest in topics relating Theatre, Films, art, culture etc. You can follow her @boxofficeltd on Twitter.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Top Summer Theatre Shows in London : Angelina Lawson - Guest Author

Top Summer Theatre Shows in London

The London theatre scene is famous all over the world, and rightly so. Few cities can match its breadth and depth. The options range from big, vibrant and lavish to simple and serious. Some of the shows are brand new and some are old favourites. Others are making a comeback after years of being on the shelf.

It’s summertime! The days are long and the nights light up with excitement. This year’s productions have been running for a while, all of the kinks have been worked out, and both professional reviewers and London theatre fans have picked their favourites. There’s no better time to go out to a show, especially in the west end, on the Strand.

 At the
Adelphi Theatre, Sweeny Todd is back with a vengeance. This production, starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, has been described by the Financial Times as “…relishing its excesses yet still savouring its delicacy. It’s a dark, glinting treat.” and by the Daily Telegraph as “dark, nightmarish and thrilling.”

If you’re looking for something new and different, a bit edgy but family-friendly, then pick up tickets for Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre. This hilarious story of a smart girl in an dumb world was written by Roald Dahl and directed by Matthew Warchus. It is populated by talented professionals, young and old, and the Telegraph calls it “the best new British musical since Billy Elliot.”

Incidentally, you can still see a top quality production of Billy Elliot, if you’re so inclined. It’s at the Victoria Palace Theatre. Singing in the Rain, new and also at the Palace, and the Lion King, still at the Lyceum, are also reputed to be top quality, light entertainment.

Finally, if your ideal night out in London does not involve signing actors, you probably already know that War Horse, at the New London Theatre, is unmissable. Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece Long Day’s Journey into Night is well acted at the Apollo, on Shaftesbury Ave. If you need a laugh, then the Wyndham's Theatre’s production of Abigail's Party will not disappoint.

Don’t miss the exciting plays, new and continuing, that London has to offer this season.
Nothing can compare to a night out at the theatre!

Author Bio:  Angelina Lawson is a Content Writer with an interest in topics relating Theatre, Films, art, culture etc. You can follow her @boxofficeltd on Twitter.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Shanghai Movie Review (BD)

Bollywood Movie Review: Shanghai

Four revolutionary films. What's the next, DB?

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
Movie Information: IMDB, WikiCast: Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Pitobash Tripathy
Direction: Dibakar Banerjee
Genre: Thriller

Movie Overview:

Dibakar Banerjee, Abhay Deol and Emraan Hashmi. There cannot be any better reason to watch this movie and well, it’s worth the expectations. Shanghai, the desi adaption of  Z by Vassilis Vassilikos is a fine thriller.

First things first, you can feel the Dibakar Banerjee style in each and every frame of this around two hour movie. In first ten minutes itself, the culprits are revealed and there is no whodunit feeling in first half, but thanks to brilliantly panned screenplay (courtesy Urmi Juvekar and DB), the tension builds on in a continuum till the climax and climax pays it off.

The power of Shanghai lies in its characters and subplots. Director leaves much upon the imagination of viewers but, still it is amazing to witness such a powerful cinema with a short and complex story.
Abhay, Emraan and Kalki play their milestone characters and they play with such an ease that it is impossible to picture any actors in their shoes. Prosenjit Chatterjee, though plays a cameo, makes his presence felt throughout the movie, which is incredible.

Shanghai could have been a loud political thriller with grungy background score and over the top acting, but DB chooses the path less travelled. Like his last three films he chooses his own subtle and proportionately dramatic storytelling that makes it a standalone from clichéd and crass political thrillers. In order to keep the intensity of such a mature subject, Dibakar has deliberately avoided soulful songs like Khudaya and Dua, and placed situational tracks like Bharat Mata Ki and Imported Kamariya, which is a courageous effort.

The negatives? First half takes a bit more of time to create the situations and subplots making the movie a bit drag occasionally. Apart from this, I can’t find out any other loopholes in this movie.

Watch it or not? If you are a fan of “the real powerful cinema”, do go for it.


Quick Review:

Emraan, Abhay and Kalki excels; Prosenjit, Farooq Sheikh (after a long time) and Pitobash shines. Every single actor in the movie is brilliant.

Script Analysis:
Story is very simple and there is simply no scope for elements like suspense and thrills; but really outstanding screenplay builds a solid and hard hitting cinema. Dialogues never sound too heroic or melodramatic, its just what is needed here.

Editing And Cinematography:
Editing is loose in first half, but the damage control is done in second half. Cinematography by Nikos Andritsakis (LSD fame) is unconventional. Bharat Nagar itself is a character in movie and all credit goes to DOP.

Music And Background Score:
Music by Vishal Shekhar is good, there wasn't much scope for them here. Background score is minimal but edgy.

Khosla Ka Ghosla, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Love Sex aur Dhokha and Shanghai. What's next?

Final Verdict:
Kasam Yeh Khai Hai, Shehar Shanghai Hai! Bharat Mata Ki Jay!

Box Office collection report:
Rowdy Rathore won't allow Shanghai to earn much profits, but like his all films, this film too, will be a Semi - Hit and I don't think makers would be expecting much from Shanghai on commercial basis.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sneha Khanwalkar : The Sound Trapper (BD)

Sneha Khanwalkar : The Sound Trapper

Even though being a blogger, I am not much into social networks like linked in or facebook or orkut. However, few years back, when I heard Oy Lucky! Lucky Oye!’ s soundtrack; I opened my orkut account just to create a fan page of Sneha Khanwalkar.
Oye Lucky! Lucky! Oye was a gem in both aspects, visually and musically. I would even dare to mention that I loved OLLO and LSD more than Pulp Fiction! DeeBee’s a master story teller and Sneha Khanwalkar has been his choice of music direction since his previous two ventures. Here is why.

Sneha, depending on the genre of her film, picks up a bagpack and ventures out straight to that place. As for OLLO she went to Punjab, she recorded sounds there, found out few singers out of many hidden treasures, and recorded songs keeping the folk flavor and folk accent intact. As a result, OLLO sounded fresh as a breeze. Unfortunately, LSD didn’t require much of such outings but still she visited Rajasthan for a folk song I Can’t Hold It (don’t go by the name).

sneha khanwalkar mtv sound trippinNow, this methodology of Sneha is shown on national television and man, it looks interesting. A show on MTV called MTV Sound Trippin will take us along with Sneha on her journey to 10 different places in India where Sneha will be recording 10 different songs. First two episodes of MTV Sound Trippin are out and songs recorded at Punjab and Banaras respectively have really come out well. I am simply a fan of her again.
Keep up the good work Sneha! Well done!

Here is her Wiki.

Here is some YouTube’d stuff about Sneha Khanwalkar.

Sneha Khanwalkar discussing Oye Lucky Lucky Oye's music:

MTV Sound Trippin's First Episode and Song Tung Tung:

MTV Sound Trippin's Second Episode Benaras and song Ram Ram

How did YOU find the Sneha Khanwalkar's music. Do comment!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dangerous Ishhq Music Review (BD)

Dangerous Ishhq Music Review

Dangerous Ishhq Music Review
An avoidable affair

Dangerous Ishqq Music Review
Rating: ❤ ❤  ½
Music Director: Himesh Reshammiya
Lyrics: Shabbir Ahmed and Sameer Anjaan

Himesh Reshammiya's previous Damadamm Music Review earned me many harsh and second - rate comments from HR fans all over the world. But I still stand on my words, Damadamm was strictly an average album. According to me, HR's best from the album released in last couple of years (Milenge Milenge, Damadamm, Kajra Re and Radio) is Radio. Songs like Rafa Dafa Kiya Nahi Jaaye and Jaaneman are still on my Ipod. So I forget the previous disasters and expect another Hit album as he seems in his old charming form after smash hit "Teri Meri Kahaani".

Tu Hi Rab Tu Hi Dua
Singers: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Tulsi Kumar

The album begins with a Sufi Qawaali type of number crooned by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Undoubtedly, he is irreplaceable in this genre. Considering contrasting textures of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Tulsi Kumar, female vocals sound a bit pale here. Shreya would have been an efficient alternative. Music production is below average but catchy composition covers up other loopholes.

Naina Re
Singers: Himesh Reshammiya , Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Shreya Ghoshal

Naina Re reminds me the Himesh of Aapka Suroor album. I personally like the voice pitch used in Radio rather than this one (slightly nasal). Shreya is simply mesmerizing. A riff used repeatedly in the song has striking resemblance with “Unfaithful” by Rihanna. Rahat Saab and Shreya Ghoshal simply overpass Himesh’s vocals this time. Lyrics and composition are good. Thumbs up to vocals by Shreya and Rahat Saab, Himesh you missed it this time.

Ishq Mein Ruswaa
Singer: Anweshaa

Anweshaa’s Bollywood debut and she sounds matured enough. I love her voice and singing but again, music production is average, song relies a lot on composition and singing. Two songs of same genre, is a bit hindrance for me.

Singers: Amrita Kak, Shabab Sabri

Umeed sounds like an age-old remix by HR. Lesser said about the song is better.

Lagan Lagi
Singers: Shreya Ghoshal and Shabab Sabri

Lagan Lagi is again, a classical Indian number with odd use of Dhols here. Shehnai sounds uncoordinated and due to sub standard music production values, song remains strictly an average fare.

Naina Re (Reprise Version)
Singers: Himesh Reshammiya and Shreya Ghoshal
The reprise version saves album a bit from the damage done by a couple songs from same genre and forcibly placed remixes.

Overall, this is something that an HR fan would like to forget and forgive. The album has good compositions to boast but second - rate music production values ruins all.

Hits: Naina Re (Both Versions)

Rating: ❤ ❤ ½

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ishaqzaade Music Review (BD)

Ishaqzaade Music Review

Ishaqzaade Movie Review
In Ishq with Ishaqzaade

Ishaqzaade Music Review
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ½
Music Director: Amit Trivedi
Lyrics: Kaushar Hunir

Amit Trivedi's debut collaboration with Yash Raj Films, is a reason ample enough to have huge expectations from Ishaqzaade. Owing to Amit Trivedi's precipitous musical success, this one too, is presumed to be a melodious venture.

Aafaton Ke Parinday
Singers: Suraj Jagan , Divya Kumar

Ishaqzaade kick starts with an alternate rock - dubstep fused score that is vigorous and just sets the mood right. Thanks to major highlight Suraj Kumar and Divya Kumar’s contrasting vocals, rusty feel complements the devil-may-care attitude very well. Scorching guitar riffs and uniquely stylized singing gives a rich music production values to the track. Lyrics are a bit misfit, but passable. Nice start.

Singer: Javed Ali and Shreya Ghoshal

Javed Ali and Shreya Ghoshal’s subtle crooning accompanied with jazzy saxophones and ambient guitar sounds like a typical Amit Trivedi track from Udaan and Aamir but clichéd composition is a big let down here. Track gets low in interlude and soon fades out of the attention. Average.

Chokra Jawaan
Singers: Vishal Dadlani and Sunidhi Chauhan

Chokra Jawaan is pretty much northern – suburban folk song with a kind of pedestrian lyrics. Song is definitely catchy thanks to “Chokra Jawaan” phrase looped for an eternity but musically this track is not very sound. "Ding dang ding” reminds me of Beedi from Omkara. I am a bit disappointed due to singing by Vishal and Sunidhi. Vishal as in Mar Jaiyan from Vicky Donor has overdone it again.

Singer: Shalmali Kholgade

Pareshaan!! Pareshaan!! Pareshaan!! This one is definitely whole and soul of the album. I would like to have a special mention of singer Shalmali Kholgade. I saw her performing live at “The Bartender” concert and she was impressive! Her distinctive voice texture sounds like a pleasant blend of Madhushree and Shreya Ghoshal. Lyrics are good this time; soulful violins and harmonium are the icing on cake. Best deal of the album by far!

Jhalla Wallah
Singer: Shreya Ghoshal

What Vishal and Sunidhi overdid in Chokra Jawaan, Shreya does it perfectly in Jhalla Wallah. In terms of lyrics, singing, composition and music production, I like this song more than Chokra Jawaan. At the same time, I wonder why two songs of the same genre are placed in an album of only five originals. Anyway, this one is my pick rather than Chokra Jawaan.

Amit Trivedi has hit the right chords, but I felt let down by the remixes (which, AT generally avoids) and a couple of songs. Ishaqzaade is worth a buy; Pareshaan alone is worth the price of the whole album! I am in Ishq with Ishaqzaade!

Hits: Pareshaan, Aafton Ke Parinday

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ½

Monday, April 9, 2012

Waar Movie Trailer : Pakistan's Most Slick Film Ever

Waar Movie Trailer

Movie Information:

Direction : Bilal Lashari
Writer - Producer : Hassan Waqas Rana
Starring : Shaan Shahid, Shamoon Abbasi , Aisha Khan,  Meesha Shafi, Ali Azmat & Hamza Abbasi

Movie Trailer:

Waar Movie Trailer Review:

I frankly, have watched only two Pakistani films ever till date. Khuda Kay Liye and Bol (both ShoMan films!) and to put it straight, both the films are classic. Both this films, somehow don't fit in the "commercial" category. Today, while I was YouTubing, I bumped into this trailer of a film called Waar starring Shaan Shahid (he and Ali Azmat are the only ones I can recognize from the full star cast,pardon me) and I was like wow!

The trailer that begins with a touchy dialogue gets too slick in the next couple of minutes. It has all elements of a commercial action thriller;slick action, stylish cinematography and some never-before-seen stuff in Pakistani movie (including a kiss!)

The movie made on a budget of 2 million USD looks too slick considering the budget (in Bollywood, even romantic flicks spend 2 - 5 M USD), that really commendable.

I have seen several music videos of director (Sajni and Chal Bulleya are some of them) and hope he presents what I am waiting forward to see after such a promising trailer! Bring it on!

(P.S : This is the first trailer review posted on BD , hope that indicates my eagerness to watch Waar.)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Vicky Donor Music Review (BD)

Vicky Donor Music Review

   A Mixed Bag

Vicky Donor Music Review
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ½
Music Director: Abhishek - Akshay
Lyrics:Kusum Verma

Vicky Donor does not need an introduction now; the trailer has already received a tremendous response thanks to unusual theme and star cast. As far as music is concerned, I frankly don’t have much hopes from debutant music directors Abhishek-Akshay.

Singers: Akshay Verma and Aditi Singh Sharma

The opening track is peppy with simple lyrics and music arrangement. Akshay Verma, “Superchor” fame (from Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye!) is okay on vocals. Overall, the song lacks much needed vigor. A not so good start for an album, I must say.

Kho Jaane De
Singers: Clinton Cerejo & Aditi Singh Sharma

Clinton Cerejo and Aditi Singh Sharma beautifully croon Kho Jaane De. However, composition and music arrangements are yet again mediocre. Nevertheless, this one is a passable track.

Rum Whisky
Singer: Akshay Verma

The album by far has remained an average fare; but not anymore. “Oye Kithe Gai Sharaab Ki Gaddi” says singer and Bhangra beats take over addictively. “Rum Rum Rum Rum Rum O Whisky” sounds catchy and so does the composition. A quite surprising comeback by the debutant duo.

Paani Da Rang (Male)
Singer: Ayushmann Khurrana

Wow! Simply wow! Everything about this track is special. Unbelievably good composition, hummable lyrics and last but not the least, brilliant crooning by Ayushmann Khurrana; makes this one an outstanding number! Ayushmann Khurrana sounds polished and is a pleasant surprise. I would love to hear more from him! Full marks to music directors for making this a pop song ; composition seems to be a typical Qawali. This track is a perfect example of what I call a successful musical experiment. This song is going to stay in my playlist for a longer time.

Mar Jayian
Singers: Vishal Dadlani & Sunidhi Chauhan ; Bann

Mar Jayian has rich musical arrangement and nice lyrics but again composition is average, Vishal and Sunidhi fail this time to make this a romantic song. Vishal Dadlani for this romantic number is certainly not a good choice. Sad version by Bann (unconventional singing) is however, quite good. There was not any need to create a romantic version of this track.

Singer: Mika Singh

This uncanny titled song has equally uncanny lyrics and is genuinely witty. Indian instruments like Harmonium and Sarangi are well mixed with a pop beat. Mika does good job on vocals, song is energetic enough to tap your foot. It would be interesting to see where this situational number fits in the movie.

Paani Da Rang (Female)
Sukanya Purkayastha   

 Bliss again! I am glad that music composers chose to reprise a different version of the best song of this album rather than forcing a remix. Singer Sukanya Purkayastha (who recently rose to fame by singing Kuch To Hai Zaroor for Kuch To Log Kahenge , a daily soap) sounds just perfect for female version. Again, full marks to directors for making this reprised version a rock number!

My Picks: Paani Da Rang (Male and Female Versions), Rum Whisky, Chaddha

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ½

UPDATE: Readers, please authenticate this. In the making of Pani Da Rang, director and actress says that Ayushmann is the singer - composer and lyricist of the song. Slightly contradicting to this, Ayushmann says that a friend of him "Kabir" composed this song during their college time! Its for sure that Abhishek - Akshay are not composers of this song. Its either Ayushmann or his mate. What do you all say?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Agent Vinod Movie Review (BD)

Bollywood Movie Review: Agent Vinod

India's answer to Hollywood

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ½

Movie Information: IMDB, Wiki
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Prem Chopra, Ram Kapoor, Gulshan Grover,Adil Hussain, Ravi Kishan
Direction: Shriram Raghvan
Genre: Action Thriller

Movie Overview:

First things first, is this movie an Indian answer to Bourne series or Bond series? Hell, yeah!

I frankly don’t realize why many the so called critics are criticizing this flick, but neither they, nor do I have the ability to judge the director Mr. Raghavan ( I feel like writing a whole article on his style of direction).

The only backdrop of this movie was the Bollywood touch given to the flick considering the mass appeal (a couple of unwanted songs, and a couple of illogical scenes like pre-climax one). Minus them, this movie is a reference source for aspiring directors.

Saif is a star and he plays his layered character with an astonishing ease! The protagonist is a complex man; he is tough, cunning, flirt and funny. Kareena’s character on the other hand was a bit undeveloped but still Kareena carries herself well on the screen.

A kick-start opening, a sudden interval and an unusual end; the movie is a real thriller. Dialogues are just perfect; never get too melodramatic or heroic.

Many people are complaining about the complex narrative that the director has chosen to represent a relatively simple plot. If the narrative had not been complex, film would have got boring, but due to the complex narrative (which I personally did not find complex), the film remains interesting from start to end.

The songs, which are otherwise okay, sounds good in the film (especially title track). Background score by Daniel B George is peppy; the retro feel at places makes the movie entertaining.

What’s more? Brilliant performances, Stylized (in true means, unlike some movies which declare themselves stylish) action sequences, razor sharp editing and super paced screenplay.

Final Verdict: I am going again, darn those critics!


Quick Review:

Saif Ali Khan as Agent Vinod makes his one year void in cinema worth a wait. Kareena is okay. Supporting cast performs outstandingly well. Prem Chopra, Ram Kapoor, Shahbaz Khan, Gulshan Grover and Dhritiman Chatterji ; all are noteworthy. Performances alone can compensate the price of a ticket.

Script Analysis:
Shridhar Raghvan has looked after detailing. No doubt, he has lapsed at some moments, by bringing unnecessary Masala in the movie, but overall screenplay remains engaging and script, though has an ordinary plot, looks fresh.

Editing And Cinematography:
All praises to editor Pooja Surti, the film never gets melodramatic. First half many seem confusing due to lots of action going on the screen, but second half clears the cloud, brings much needed stability in the movie. Cinematography by C.K. Muraleedharan is first rate.

Music And Background Score:
Music by Pritam fits the bill, background score Daniel B George is good.

Sriram Raghavan is Indian Tarantino! Full marks for direction.

Final Verdict:
I can have a word of mouth with those critic who rate Don 2 the ultimate thriller and rate Ra One almost perfect; this movie, for god’s sake, is the real action thriller deal.

Darn you critics, I love this flick.

Box Office collection report:

Owing to high budget and mixed reviews from critics, the film will depend a lot on words of mouth to work magic on box office. Still, the movie will get back its investment.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ½

Friday, March 9, 2012

Kahaani Movie Review (BD) : Vidya Balan

Bollywood Movie Review: Kahaani

Vidya "Baghchi" Balan's yet another landmark performance

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤  ½
Movie Information: IMDB, Wiki
Cast: Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chatterjee, Saswata Chatterjee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Direction: Sujoy Ghosh
Genre: Suspense Thriller

Movie Overview:

Vidya Balan is the “hero” of Bollywood in current scenario. Take it The Dirty Picture, No One Killed Jessica or Ishqiya, she has been “one woman show”. There was a time when movies flaunt a triumphant mileage on Box Office owing to posters of lead actor; but was elated to see Vidya Balan as the lead in poster of Kahaani. The recent national award boasts my stiff certainty that she will rule the BO for a significant time.

Kahaani is all about Vidya “Baghchi” Balan and long-lost-back- again director “Sujoy Ghosh”. Unconventional stories like this requests an unbelievably exceptional performer, Vidya just does that charm with this movie.

There are not scores of suspense thrillers to tot up which balance an ideal symmetry between thriller, suspense and entertainment. Of course, there are some graceful names in suspense genre (Manorama Six Feet Under) and thriller genre (Shaitan), but Kahaani does both, along with a vital element wit.

Kahaani is a technician’s delight. Rock solid script, witty dialogues, exceptionally tight editing and ambient background score makes it a difficult job to find fault for us. Just for sake of finding some, I state unused music (as background score) and screenplay in second half (climax just overpowers all the faults) as minor loopholes.

Visuals are brilliant; Kolkata is captured magnificently and aesthetically on a 70 mm canvas.

You certainly can’t afford to miss this Kahaani!


Quick Review:

Vidya Balan’s character is complex and multi layered, but Vidya Balan carries it off with an astonishing ease. Every actor in film has acted well (even child artists are marvelous); but along with Vidya Balan some noteworthy characters are Parambrata Chatterjeeas as Rana, Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Khan, Saswata Chatterjeeas as Bob (incredible!).  Indraneil Sengupta and Abir Chatterjee does good cameo.

Script Analysis:
Sujoy brings a very fresh script after not so happening previous two movies. Film is entertaining throughout the movie, an element of anxiety sustains till the climax and climax is worth the wait. Story is completely unpredictable and may leave one shocked and disturbed. Writing is brilliant and witty conversations between Vidya and characters around her makes this movie a memorable experience.

Editing And Cinematography:
Editing and cinematography as said earlier, are awesome!

Music And Background Score:
Music by Vishal Shekhar is very good (sorry for not reviewing it here, Piya Tu Kaahe Rutha, Kahaani Female Version, Ekla Chalo Re and Sotti Bolchi are good). Background score is ambient.

Sujoy Ghosh is back again.

Final Verdict:
Please go for it.

Box Office collection report:
The movie has complete potential to be the first Sleeper-Hit of the year.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤  ½ 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ekk Deewana Tha Movie Review (BD)

Bollywood Dil Se Movie Review: Ek Deewana Tha

Give me my money back! I felt cheated!

Rating: ❤ ❤
Movie Information: IMDB, Wiki
Cast: Prateik Babbar, Ammy Jackson, Manu Rishi, Sachin Khedekar
Direction: Gautam Menon
Genre: Romance

Movie Overview:

First of all, I heartily apologize to all the people (my friends, colleagues and blog mates) for seriously recommending you the movie; I did it just because I thought (like every Kollywood fan) that the movie is a remake of Tamil super hit “Vinnaaithandi Vaaruvaayaa”. To my utter disappointment, the movie is actually remke of Telugu semi hit “Ye Maaya Chesaave”.

To all those who have no idea about VTV or YMC, let me clear the clouds. Gautam Menon directed VTV (Vinnaithandi Varuvaayaa), starring Silambarasan and Trisha. The movie due to its unusual climax is considered to be a classic love story. Next, Gautam directed the same movie in Telugu language with Nag Chaitanya (on recommendation by his father Nagarjuna) and Samantha, with exactly opposite ending than the Tamil one. YMC received an average response from public as well as critics.

Now, Gautam Menon has selected the conventional climax of Ye Maaya Chesaave, rather than VTV, and that is what will make this film a sure deserved flop! I personally did not like YMC at all, and this Hindi movie is actually a remake of YMC! I am feeling cheated Mr. Menon!

It takes a lifetime of a filmmaker to deliver a masterpiece movie. But if the filmmaker himself doesn’t cherish about it, then it seems that the movie was a masterpiece rather by fluke.

I am not even interested to review this movie further, but I will do it just for the sake of formality.


Quick Review:

Prateik Babbar excels as Sachin, the lesser said about Ammy Jackson is better. Manu Rishi is noteworthy.

Story And Screenplay:
Nothing new in "this" version of movie and the screenplay is extremely weak with no subplots and overdose of songs. Dialogues by Manu Rishi are good.

Editing And Cinematography:
Editing is poor, cinematography is first rate.

Music And Background Score:
I chose not to review EDT's music as I can't  move on from VTV and YMC's music. Background Score is remastered and is brilliant.

Sorry Mr. Menon, you have just lost a loyal fan!

Final Verdict:
Please avoid this movie.Period.

Box Office collection report:
It would not last till next Friday too.

Rating: ❤ ❤ 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu Movie Review (BD)

Bollywood Dil Se Movie Review: Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu

A perfectly "Above Average Movie"

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ½
Movie Information: IMDB, Wiki

Cast: Imraan Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani, Ratna Pathak Shah, Ram Kapoor
Direction: Shakun Batra
Genre: Romance, Humor

Movie Overview:

I honestly, did not have many expectations from this flick, mainly because, as from teaser, it seemed to be a remake of “What Happens In Vegas” but the movie hasn’t disappointed me.

Fresh writing, to begin with, makes the movie sustainable in first half. Lingos like PMSing, BUM, SEX etc., which were once upon a time a myth, are frequent here. Thank you censor board, for showing maturity.

Cinematography and Editing are par excellent to any Hollywood romcom. Mubai and Vegas look equally beautiful.

Background score is breezy and songs fit the bill.

So, the film is actually, a technician’s delight. But film falls flat on two terms, Story and Screenplay. A good story is least expected in a romcom, but absence of engaging screenplay is a major drawback here.

The story unfolds very slowly. Writer seems to have paid enough attention over dialogues but script is weak. Nevertheless, I felt entertained throughout the movie and that’s all what I expect from romcoms.

Kareena and Imran play their part very well. Both the characters are contradicting yet complimentary to each other.

So, what makes this average movie, a worth watch? Last half an hour, especially climax. I wouldn’t discuss much about it, as I don’t want to hint out any spoiler.


Quick Review:

Imran and Kareena are highlight of the movie. Ram kapoor and Boman Irani hasn't much scope here. Ratna Pathak Shah is good as always.

Story And Screenplay:
Story remains predictable most of the time. Writing is fresh and thoroughly entertaining.

Editing And Cinematography:
One of the most tightly edited film this year. Cinematography is simply excellent.

Music And Background Score:
Amit Trivedi brings the required freshness. Clinton Carejo's background score is peppy.

Good debut by Shakun Batra, He chooses a safe genre to fly with. Karan Malhotra made a brave attempt to remake Agneepath. Dharma Productions has evolved much in last couple of years.

Final Verdict:
A "perfectly average movie" + last half an hour = A "perfectly above average" movie.

Box Office collection report:
Last four films of Kareena Kapoor are in "Mighty 100 Crore League", this film will surely not hit the mark, but due to moderate budget, will emerge as an average movie at box office.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ½

Thursday, February 2, 2012

London Paris New York Music Review

Bollywood Dil Se Music Review: London, Paris, New York

London, Paris, New York
Music Directors: Ali Zafar
Lyrics: Ali Zafar
Bollywood Dil Se Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤

London Paris New York
Singers: Ali Zafar and Sunidhi Chauhan

I heard this riff when screen award aired on television, and was waiting since then, to check out a full fledge music album of Ali Zafar as a Bollywood music director. Opening track is definitely impressive with good mix and simple composition. Ali and Sunidhi crooning this track, makes it better. Ali Zafar as lyricist does a nice  job here. Not particularly this one, but all the songs are significantly smaller on length. Anyway, a good start!

Voh Dekhney Main
Singer: Ali Zafar

Well, times are changing, and so are the wordings. “Who” is spelled here as “Voh” and "Dekhne" as “Dekhnay”; lyricist Ali Zafar didn’t give a thought about it, I guess. The tune sounds too familiar, may be a mash up of two or three tunes, like Main Jiyunga from Break Ke Baad, might not be intensional. Lyrics are peppy with descent music and composition. Song boosts up from 2:19. Interlude sounds misfit but goes audible with the mood.

Ting Rang
Singer: Ali Zafar

This song definitely sounds like Madhubala (MBKD), unless this has got a touch of Punjabi lyrics. Music production is ordinary this time unlike previous two, song somehow lakes the verve and thus, this track is easily a skip.

Maddham Si Madhoshi
Singers: Ali Zafar abd Aditi Rao Hydari

Album seems to be getting back on track. With profound lyrics, addictive tune and pleasant music arrangement, song sounds a bliss. Vocals by Aditi Rao Hydari herself are surprisingly harmonious. She sounds too polished thanks to audio digitalization. Her unique voice texture and meaningful lyrics make this track an ear candy.

Oo Lala
Singers: Sanam Marvi, Hadiqa Kiyani, Ali Zafar

I see name of Hadiqa Kiyani and I am thrilled. I am in love with her songs from Bol : Dil Janiya and Hona Tha Pyar, Wanjli from her album Aasman is on my playlist too (soon will write a post on her), but this time she is not singing a pop song, but for trans genre. This song marks debut of two Pakistani singers in Bollywood, Sanam Marvi and Hadiqa Kiyani. But I must say, Hadiqa Kiyani is wasted here! Song is good and gets really catchy from 2:05 to 2:55, but unlike her previous ones, this track will not remain for a longer span on my ipod.

Singer: Ali Zafar

Aaja starts well and picks up the pace after about a minute. The credit for lyrics should go to Bulle Shah this time. Song is quite addictive and grows on you slowly. Songs and music by now, has remained mostly situational and one can easily imagine them fitting between the scenes and background score!

Voh Dekhnay Mein (Female)
Singer: Aditi Rao Hydari

A sweet rendition of Voh Dekhnay Main, but the acoustic version of song this time, reveals uneasiness of Aditi, flawed singing might be intentional but is definitely unconventional.

There are not many variations in the movie, keeping in mind the theme of movie, Ali Zafar gets benefit of doubt. LPNY seems to bring in the trend of Hollywood rom-coms in Bollywood.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Agneepath Movie Review (BD)

Bollywood Dil Se Movie Review: Agneepath

Agneepath: works in parts

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤  ½
Movie Information: IMDB, Wiki

Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Dutt, Rishi Kapoor, Om Puri, Katrina Kaif (cameo)
Direction: Karan Malhotra
Genre: Action, Drama

Movie Overview:

Tu na thamega kabhi, tu na mudega kabhi, tu na rukega kabhi,
Kar shapath, Kar shapath, Kar shapath,
Agneepath, Agneepath, Agneepath.

Yeh mahan drushya hain,
Chal raha Manushya hain,
Ashru, Sweth, Rakta se lathpat lathpat lathpat..
Agneepath, Agneepath, Agneepath.

Wow! Lines of Shri Harivansh Rai Bachchan has created magic. Once? No. Twice! This time in a different way. Agneepath (1990) to begin with, is remembered majorly for Mr Amitabh Bachchan as Vijay Deenanath Chauhan. Agneepath (2012), however, will be remembered for Sanjay Datt as Kancha Cheena and Rishi Kapoor as Rauf Lala.

Karan Johar, has "tried" to remake a commercially average yet classic "Agneepath" but ends up making it a good-to-watch-easy-to-forget film. The reason? Lack of proper treatment.

First half of movie, is racy,compelling and entertaining equally, thanks to brilliantly shot sequences, tight screenplay, heart-throbbing background score and power packed performances. Sanjay Datt excels throughout the movie, this is probably his milestone performance. Rishi Kapoor on the other hand, after showing brilliance in Do Dooni Chaar, again proves that a star remains a star! How about Hrithik?

Hrithik chooses expressions rather than words. He may not have mass - appealing dialogues but his expressions works like wonder! If you compare Hrithik directly with Amitabh Bachchan, he has, still, done a commendable job.

So where this movie lags? Post interval. Movie misses the thrill that it creates prior to interval, slows down its pace to focus on sub plots, which rather adds melodrama that is unneeded. Film seems dragged a bit too. Story, predictable and yet entertaining, somewhere challenges your logic. Climax, which seems to be written for justifying Sanjay's role, is not grand.

Music is good, backgroud score is really thrilling.

Overall, a deserved watch for sure, but somehow keeps you longing for more.


Quick Review:

Sanjay Datt, Rishi Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan are outstanding, Om puri fits the bill, Priyanka's character gets sidelined. Deven Bhojani and Zarina Wahab are noteworthy. Katrina Kaif's appearance in Chikni Chameli  song adds masala (makers removed the Iyer character to avoid masala factor, crafts new villain Rauf Lala instead, which works too).

Story And Screenplay:
Predictable story overall, with few twists that actually adds the thrill. Screenplay is engaging and makes an otherwise lengthy movie, a fast paced action-drama.

Editing And Cinematography:
Editing is good, could have been tighter (only an opinion, not a loophole) where as cinematography completely overshadows many loop holes in direction and story (whom to credit? Ravi K Chandran or Kiran Deohans, Mr Malhotra?)

Music And Background Score:
A strong aspect of the film. Ajay - Atul does, less or more, the same job as they did in Singham. Well done!

Good in parts, over okay.

Final Verdict:
There is nothing that you haven't seen before, but yet the movie manages to hold attention thanks to performances, music score and splendid DOP.

Box Office collection report:
Agneepath, will be a hit this time, for sure! Opening records are likely to be massive and will cruise easily in first week.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ½

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bilal Khan and Bilal Saeed: Music Across The Border

Music across the border has always received appreciation and applause in India as well as world. Many musical geniuses from time to time have left their own impact on a listener. Take it Reshmaji or Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Saab. Adnan Sami or more recently, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan; these artists are blessed with enormous love and support from Indo-Pak people.

Apart from some much popular artists like Aatif Aslam and bands like Jal, there are some brilliant artists that need to be heard and praised.

Here are two of my favorite artists from Pakistan. Many more to come later on this blog! Till then, enjoy!

Bilal Khan

The John Mayer Of Pakistan; Young Pop Sensation; Bilal Khan is most famous for his vocals and guitars. Apart from Audio, his videos have always been trend setting in terms of direction and DOP.
Here is his most famous one, Bachana with more than 1 million views on YouTube:

and the Coke Studio version of Toh Kya Hua, speechless (1 million + on YouTube):

Bilal Saeed

The upcoming Pop sensation, he got his big break in Pakistan from PMR (Pak Media Revolution) and truly, he deserves it. 12 Saal -his masterpiece, written,sung and produced by himeself, is a rage on YouTube.

His most famous one 12 Saal:

another one Ranjha, not a rage, but definitely worth checking (bear with quality):


More artists coming soon, your recommendation is most welcomed!
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