You’ve got mail!

This Sunday night, D and I stumbled upon the movie ‘You’ve got mail!’ being shown on one of the movie channels. It was but natural to stay up and finish watching the movie. We started viewing it because my usual love for such rom-coms and well I also adore Meg Ryan in this character.

The primary characters in this movie begin their relationship over emails and form a bond that is far stronger than any of their real relationships. To put it in Meg’s words

” The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.”

This is incidentally how S & I met for the first time and started communicating virtually. As we are at the brink of completing the 7th year of this milestone before we moved to non-virtual means of communication, it was a moment of truth for me. It is probably in my own way to re-live those initial days of anticipation – waiting for an email or a possible future together that continues to draw me to this movie.

7 years later, very little has changed and some things are better left that way. To findings and some memorable beginnings….

Over the rainbow

Love you sweetheart.

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Chasme Badoor

As the year comes to an end, the recent news of demise of one of India’s finest movie stars shook me out of my self-imposed exile from my blog. Books and movies have always had effect on people, but it is not very often that one can associate so deeply with someone one has never met or known personally and feel their loss so deeply.

I enjoyed watching Chasme Badoor, Saath Saath, Katha, Umrao Jaan.. and many more of his wonderful movies. Most of these movies ‘are’ so good and connect with the reality.  Farooque Shaikh with his acting – completely grounded and simple is brilliant. Till date, there hasn’t been a single character played by him which I didn’t like. It is the simplicity and not the larger than life image that he carried that is endearing.  Few years ago, I had the opportunity to watch the play ‘Aapki Soniya’, a sequel to the popular play ‘Tumhari Amrita’. It was Farooque Shaikh and Sonali Bendre on stage and needless to say it was a wonderful experience.

Couple of days ago when I read about the death of Farooque Shaikh, it took me a while to digest and last evening while reading about him from his dear friends, the reality of it started sinking in. I am glad I got the opportunity to see him perform in person and now wish that I had tried to see the prequel Tumhari Amrita…
It is in honor of a true artist that I cannot bring myself to use ‘past tense’. Also, I will ensure D develops an interest to appreciate the subtle comedy that keeps the colors of life alive and enables one to share it with just the few who live by it.

Rekindled Love

In the mire of mundane necessities, very often we forget to love and value the most important people in our lives. One way of rekindling that love would be if our loved ones stay away from us for a short period. When we meet them, the meeting is always sweet; it brings back memories in its own manner.

Recently, I had two such instances which made me take a moment as we say, smell the flowers.

The recent Bryan Adams’ concert brought back some wonderful songs and along with it some wonderful memories. The man himself was less than 2feet away and the husky voice with a live band was simply superb. I found myself dancing and thoroughly enjoying a number – uninterruptedly after a very long time. His voice even at his age is just too good. I suppose its natural that if you really enjoy a song you will always have some kind of memories that you can associate with it. Every time we hear the song those beautiful memories come rushing back. If no memories, then at least the lovely, dreamy, happy feelings fill in and then you realise – what have I been doing all this while. Why didn’t I bother to listen to these songs and a little later why didn’t I take a moment and spend some quality time with those people I love?

Another instance which can bring back memories and make one stop in this perennial rat race is a good movie. I saw one today – Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, it just can’t get better than this. I can’t imagine any other two people who could play the part better. I also realized that whatever one’s age, a good romance touches every heart. I know that our movies are full of it, but if dealt well, a good romance is always a hit. As humans we thrive on it. Many may not accept it, but if the romance and the chemistry is portrayed in some form or the other (movies, books or music) each one of us loves it. Roman Holiday is a masterpiece and one great way to rekindle the flame which is probably burning low.

Thanks to all the hype of Valentine’s day, at least there is a reason for us to do something differently- take a moment and rekindle love.

Happy month of love!

Freedom Writers

 

 

Freedom Writers
Freedom Writers

 

 

It is not often that one happens to see an excellent movie and Freedom Writers was definitely one. I can rate it among the top 10 I have ever seen.

The story is about a school teacher who at the cost of her personal life spends time, effort and money on her students to improve their lives. These students are part of a reputed public school, because of some recent rules that makes it compulsory to have under-privileged children too. The general attitude of all the other teachers is extremely discouraging. They do not trust these students and do not even give them good books. In fact the whole set of such children are put into one class. These primarily constitute blacks, Asians and other origin children from the lower level of the society. There is considerable animosity among the class members and this is something their teacher deals with beautifully. The story is about how this teacher commits to their development and improvement in their general behavior and grades and makes them realize that they need not die like their friends in their neighbourhood. They need not continue to live in poverty and squalor, but rise above it to be someone important. She shows the importance of graduating and pursuing studies beyond it; instills confidence and pride in each one of them.

Her way of teaching is very unique and different. She encourages them to maintain a diary and write in it daily. Later on these accounts are compiled to be published as Freedom Writers. She introduces the concept of holocaust and relates to their existing lives. Makes them realize the importance of voicing their concern and doing it the right way and finally teaches the “Unteachable” lot.

Hillary Swank plays the role of the young teacher. The director of the movie is Richard LaGravenese and the movie won Humanitas Prize in 2007 under the Feature Film category.

Watch this movie, for its content and strong portrayals and you’ll love it. 

Mama Mia!

I had one of the rare opportunities to see Mama Mia, performed live at broadway and what can I say that it was splendid. I was blown away with the way the actors performed. They sang and danced to the famous ABBA songs and the best part of all this was that the stage had very few changes, all through. Just by rotating some aspects of the set and elevating thigns here and there, the whole effect of a Greek island and a home cum hotel was reproduced.

This famous musical has been made into a movie – Mama Mia! Starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth. The story is about a girl who is raised by her mother on this Greek Island and is now getting married. She wants to know who her father is and hence invites three men to her wedding. 

 I just happened to see one of its trailers once more, I suppose it is time I catch up with the DVD.

D for …

A number of things/names could start with ‘D’ and I have many lovely people whose names start with the letter D. Unfortanately, I came to hating this poor letter, all because I watched ‘Delhi 6’ as D stood for Disaster.  

The songs are good, editing is pathetic, actors did their best and were good, the story line sucked, promos are excellent, theme was abused and handled horribly. I could simply go on with my rants, but I stop here. In case you wanted to see it, don’t waste your money. I didn’t listen to the forewarnings and thought that if RDB was so good then Mr.Mehra would do justice to this movie. 

Absolutely let down and disappointed. Well, the flip side being, if you really want someone to suffer or you have someone whom you don’t particularly like 🙂 then recommend them to watch Delhi 6.

Social Networking & Billu

After a long hiatus of four months, we went to a movie on Valentine’s Day. The movie was Billu Barber. Not particularly a celebration activity for V Day, but merely the fact that me and hubs got the time to go to a movie and also the fact that this movie theatre is the closest to our lil abode. 

Having cleared that, let me get on with Billu. It is a run of the mill story with two long lost supposed friends. One becomes extremely rich and famous – Sahid Khan (or King Khan) and the other remains where he was – Billu, as barber, tied down with family responsibilities and difficulties. Their paths cross in a small village named Budbuda. The King Khan is there to shoot for his film (wonder why, when all he does there is some space setting and fights, nothing rural). Here starts the social networking bit. 

In today’s world, it is not enough to be well educated or well qualified to go up the ladder, it is all about whom do you know and hence what can you do. Social capital can be defined as:

  •  Recourses available in and through personal and business networks

                 o    Information, ideas, leads

                 o    Emotional support, goodwill, trust, cooperation, power, influence

  • Potential resources inherent in an actor’s set of social ties 

Hence, coming back to the movie, Billu also reaps some advantages. Simply based on the rumour that Billu is the famous actor’s friend, things change drastically for him. Some of the changes are:

  •  Billu couldn’t pay the school fees for his children and now the school authorities come to his home to tell him that his children’s education would be funded till 12th standard – IF (there always is an ‘IF’) he brings the famous actor to the school function
  •  Billu’s barber shop is in dire straits. He hasn’t been able to spruce it up like his competitor, but the man persists. With the “supposed” new ties, he has a line of unending customers to gain – Sahid Khan’s hairstyle and the village bigwig sponsors new equipment for his shop – Once again, IF Billu can introduce the village bigwig to the superstar
  • Billu’s wife is now seen with envy and her social status is elevated over night. There are polite IFs, which require her to get a picture of the star or autograph or in one case, his handkerchief (I wonder if men today carry such a thing anymore)

So, the rise in Billu’s social status and the respect and advantages he is now able to enjoy is due to the “supposed” social connection that he has with this superstar. I wouldn’t want to tell what actually happens in the movie, but the climax dragged on and it was too obvious towards the end. All through, director Priyadarshan has maintained a light and funny script that has kept the audiences quite lively. 

I enjoyed the movie, primarily because I am a die-hard SRK fan and loved him on screen. Yes, it is for die-hard Shah Rukh fans! But then, it is definitely not one of his or Irfan Khan’s best performances. You really don’t have to see this movie. The reason this movie kept me interested is because of  this social networking connection that a lot of Bollywood movies sport.

It is not an observation out of blue that – “People who do better are somehow better connected” and yes, towards the end, it is left for us, the poor audience to understand that Billu’s life has changed, for the better, due to his – Social Network.