A Little Folly
by Jude Morgan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A sweet and gentle examination of a brother and sister who decide to undertake the enterprise of living upon the demise of their harsh and tyrannical father. Such an overbearing and omniscient influence as that of the late Mr. Carnell is not so easily shaken off though, and thus it is that Valentine and Louisa find themselves indulging in a little folly, now that they have the freedom to do so.
This book wasn't the charming read that Indiscretion
was but nonetheless it was engaging even as it was frustrating. Frustrating because you want the siblings to know better and do better: you feel like Louisa should be a bit firmer with her older brother when she notices him being imprudent, or you want Valentine to throw her a word of caution when she is being a bit indiscreet, but their relationship is so firmly based on not acting with each other like their father that censuring each other's conducts is something they are simply incapable of doing.
Thankfully there is ever reliable, and long-time friend to the young Carnells, James Tresilian around to keep a watchful eye. His wry sense of humour, his dedication to his sister, his patience with Valentine and his equation with Lousia are what kept me turning the page perhaps. Equally interesting was the unexpected character development of Pearce Lynley, the man Louisa's father decided would be her husband, which meant that ofcourse in her eyes he would be no such thing. After being compared so much to Georgette Heyer, Jude's depiction of Tom, a cousin of the Carnells, and his apparently up-to-the-snuff friend, The Top, provides some winking humour as the author makes fun of all those slang-spouting, capital fellows in Regencies that make an art of obscuring any meaning that may be derived from their conversation.
After an encounter with Colonel Eversholt, estranged husband to the defiant and lonely Lady Harriet, Valentine declares that "He is everything one supposed. It is almost satisfying" by which he means that the man is just the monster he assumed he would be. Louisa's uncertainty, if not the scene itself, tells you how blind Valentine has become in his sympathy for Lady Harriet. But less obvious is the fact that Louisa herself is quite an unreliable narrator - we often see people coloured through her filter and she always sees her own actions as irreproachable where others would consider them ill-advised. Jude Morgan commendably portrays how in trying to cast off influences that have been imposed on you your whole life you sometimes end up being very influenced after all.View all my reviews
Film: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Release: 15 July 2011
Actors: Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin
Director: Zoya Akhtar
Producer: Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar
Story: Reema Kagti, Zoya Akhtar
Dialogue: Farhan Akhtar
Lyricist: Javed Akhtar
Cinematography: Carlos Catalan
Sometimes you suspect that the characters of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
are superficial people leading empty lives of luxury but where Luck By Chance
(2009), Zoya’s last movie, would have taken the time to deconstruct this candidly, this movie opts instead for a more feel-good and warm-hearted approach to storytelling. Not that there's anything wrong with that. As it happens ZNMD is a perfectly enjoyable entertainer with masti
and banter aplenty, a refreshing lack of melodrama, and an endearing trio of friends. With the release of the movie speculation of ZNMD being similar to The Hangover
(2009) can finally be laid to rest - the two couldn't be more dissimilar. Comparisons with Farhan Akhtar's Dil Chahta Hai
(2001) are inevitable but aside from the theme of friendship, the socio-economic status of the characters, who are of the affluent or upwardly mobile variety, and certain character dynamics, there is little there to make this film feel derivative of its predecessor.
In Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara
we find ourselves on a roadtrip through the stunning locales of Spain (lovingly captured by cinematographer Carlos Catalan) with the flirty and facetious Imran (Farhan Akhtar), the workaholic, initially irritable Arjun (Hrithik Roshan) and the sometimes prankster, sometimes serious-minded Kabir (Abhay Deol). Kabir's impending marriage gives the three old friends the chance to re-connect on a bachelor's trip and fulfil a pact they made with each other years ago - that they would each pick an adventure sport of their choice and the other two would have to participate with them. All three also happen to be hiding something that is troubling them though, and along the way they get the chance to "let it go" and move on. Joining the boys at various points in the trip are Natasha (Kalki Koelchin), Kabir's fiancée, Laila (Katrina Kaif) who is a diving instructor and Nuria (Ariadna Cabrol), Laila's friend.( Read more...Collapse )
The flaws of the film are easy to forget though, because you spend so much time being charmed by the undeniable camaraderie between the friends. Unki conversations tou fun hain hi
(thanks to the multi-talented Farhan Akhtar in his dialogue writing capacity) but even their stupid pranks are amusing because the guys are having way too much fun for you not to be persuaded into grinning. You aren't wondering why these men who have been out of college for 10 years are acting like this, instead you are thinking that this is exactly what would happen if you and your friends were to get together after a really long time apart. Reliving old jokes and relishing nostalgia "is just human nature" and in this case makes for really entertaining viewing. Sequences like the drunken interlude where Arjun keeps repeating "sab likha hai
" "LIKHA HAI
" over and over will feel familiar because they were probably taken right out of your life. The picturisation of Señorita
and Khaabon Ke Parinday
in ZNMD couldn't be poles apart - one is silly and fun, while the other is brimful of contentment and comfortable silences, but what you'll find in both is the loudly beating heart of this film, personified in the interactions of the three जिगरी दोस्त. ( Other ReviewsCollapse )
Title: Milenge Milenge
Writer: Shiraz Ahmed
Director: Satish Kaushik
Producer: Boney & Surinder Kapoor
Editing: Sanjay Verma
Cinematography: S Sriram
Actors: Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor
Music: Himesh Reshammiya
...I am so not going to ruin this movie for anyone by spoiling it. But just so you know, my brother and I haven't laughed so much while watching a Bollywood film for eons. By the end of Milenge Milenge
if tears aren't streaming down your face and your stomach isn't hurting then you didn't pay proper attention :P
The best bit was realising we saw this movie on 07/07/11 ...cracked us up so badly (if you have seen the movie you'll know why).
Anyway, here's a trailer, but remember - kuch to baakiii haiiiiiiiiii (haan, picture ki common sense, jo writer usmein dalna bhool gaya)( XDCollapse )
Title: Chalo Dilli
Director: Shashant Shah
Producer: Krishika Lulla, Kavita Bhupathi Chadda, Ram Mirchandani
Written By: Arshad Syed
Cast: Vinay Pathak, Lara Dutta
Director of Photography: Nikos Andritsakis
Production Design: Teddy Maurya
Art Director: Ravikant Bhakre
Music: Gourov Dasgupta, Anand Raj Anand, Sachin Gupta, Rohit Kulkarni, Roshan Balu
Lyrics: Manthan Anand, Raj Anand, Krishika Lulla, Shabbir Ahmed, Nisha Mascarenhas
Singers: Raja Hasan, Sukhwinder Singh, June Banerjee, Neeraj Shridhar, Kamal Heer, Natalie Di Luccio
Costume: Manoshi Nath, Rushi Sharma
"Kaunsi badi baat ho gayi?
" exclaims Karol Bagh mein "Ladies Dress Material Aur Saris" bechne wale Manu bhaisahab, baat baar par
. It's the kind of funda
that we could all benefit from embracing in situations that seem troublesome but matter little in the big scheme of things. In Chalo Dilli
Mihika Banerjee is about to learn how to shrug and say "big deal" or "kya farak padta hai
" to situations that would earlier have elicited explosive expletives. Actually, that's unfair, madamji
is probably too high class for gaali galoch
(woh tou Manu bhaisahab ka kaam hai
) but the next time something doesn't go Mihika's way people will likely be spared her icy sarcasm and irritable remarks. While Mihika's trek from Mumbai to Dilli results in an internal journey where she travels "a much bigger distance than on a roadmap", we come out of the journey being thoroughly entertained. Chalo Dilli
will either remind you of all the trips full of mishaps and oddball characters you've survived in India or make you wish you could set out on just such an adventure! ( ghadi do ghadi di jindardi jaane kal ki honaCollapse )
I've already talked at length about what is so charming about Chalo Dilli
but the soul of the movie is undoubtedly Arshad Syed's dialogues. I can't sing enough praises about how wonderfully he has managed to capture the bol-chaal
of the nation: from taxi driver Shivratan bhaiya
("saari duniya ne theka le rakha hai gareeb ki dhulaai ka!
") to truck driver Dharampalji
's modest demeanour ("rehne dijiye maydamji, kyun sharminda kar rahi hain
"), from dhabbewale maamaji
's practical acceptance of what he has to live with ("abhi tou maine parson dekha - yeh lamba saanp idhar se nikal ke gaya ji
"), to Bengali uncleji
launching into his pet topics about "the level of corruption in this country" ("Bharatvarsh ka na kuch nahin ho sakta
"), from the corrupt police officer busy earning a dishonest living ("500 rupe se kya hoga hain? Poora office maintain karna hota hai hum logon ko!
") to the local thug's colourful and inventive Haryanavi swearing ("o teri, bataao saala silaai machine ki najaayas aulad, uski sui itni theeki ho gayi ke mahre hi chubha raha hai?
") ...it's all the kind of conversations anyone in India would be oh so familiar with. As for Manu Gupta and Mihika Banerjee's dialogues, if I were to start squeeing about how fun and witty their interactions are, how hilariously endearing Guptaji
's chatter is, how you can't help but smirk when Mihika delivers one of her sarcastic rebuttals or smile when she teases bhaisahab
...we'd be here a while.
This refreshingly romance-free tale with a journey full of familiar characters, ridiculous situations, and rustic places easily won over at least my family's heart. Ab aap kis baat ka intezaar kar rahe ho
? Chalo Dilli
[+] From TOI
The good thing is that the writer and director Shashant Shah know precisely what not to do with the rather rare genre. Though the makers replace Steve Martin's character from the original with a female protagonist, there is no additional effort to link Mihika and Manu romantically, which would have been a common tendency in the love-struck Bollywood. So there is no unnecessary burden on the writer to chalk out chemistry between the two, which would ultimately culminate into them falling in love.
Secondly, though the journey traverses through countryside, the film doesn't get into the sermon mode on sarso-ke-khet or desh-ki-mitti . And thirdly, despite the class-divide between the two protagonists, the narrative never falls into the trap of belittling the higher-class or taming the rich girl, another ideal inclination.
I included this review because the last two points hadn't occurred to me but I definitely agree with them!
Title: Just Married
Director: Meghna Gulzar
Cinematography: Sachin Kumar
Actors: Fardeen Khan, Esha Deol, Mukul Dev, Sadia Siddiqui, Satish Shah, Kirron Kher, Eijaz Khan
Music: Pritam Chakraborty
Costume: Pooja Sarin, Theia Bomanbehram, Shaahid Aamir
What is most memorable about Just Married
is how awkward it is. The movie depicts the embarrassment and bewilderment that many newly married couples in India face with painful honesty. It explores how Abhay and Ritika, two strangers in an arranged marriage, try to work on building a relationship on their honeymoon in Ooty. During their honeymoon they meet other couples, in various stages of their relationship, each with their own stories and challenges to overcome. Over the course of the movie these couples become friends and help each other understand their relationships better. Unfortunately for Just Married
, Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd.
, which also released in 2007, had a similar concept and was a much better movie. Where Just Married
sometimes veers towards being unsubtle and preachy, Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd.
was more deftly executed. Just Married
is still worth a dekho
though for its sensitive portrayal of Abhay and Ritika's acute sense of anxiety, their uncertain expectations of each other, their attempts at trying to connect with each other, their misunderstandings and their frayed feelings.( baat hamari pakki haiCollapse )
: Baaghi - A Rebel for LoveStarring
: Salman Khan, Nagma, Monish Bahel, Asha Sachdev, Kiran Kumar, Beena, Shakti KapoorDirected By
: Deepak ShivdasaniStory Idea
: Salman KhanWritten By
: Javed SiddiquiProduced By
: Nitin ManmohanCinematography
: Arvind LaadMusic
: SameerRelease date
: 11 December 1990Baaghi
was Salman Khan's second film as a lead after the immensely successful Maine Pyar Kiya
(1989) and Box Office India
notes that it was a semi-hit. The movie credits Salman with the story idea, which intrigues me. I think it is interesting that at 24 he decided he wanted to work on a movie where a girl is trapped in a brothel.
begins with the following weighty dedication:
"In this year of the girl child, we dedicate our film to those women, who have been victimised by lust and greed and are subjected to social rejection and also laud those who strived to uplift them."
it is important to keep in mind that it is basically a 90s flick that aims to deliver both masala
and meaning. While I found certain aspects of the movie problematic I looked past them because this movie is very much a product of its time and isn't free from the societal constraints it aims to defy, despite its title and premise. In an interview
discussing the movie Veer
, which he wrote, Salman said that it was very much "a father-son relationship drama". He also mentioned that Baaghi
, for him, was the same. Both Baaghi
have a lot of other things going on but I find it fascinating that for Salman the crux of both movies is the father-son relationship. I don't know if it is just me but, while I never think twice about whether Bollywood writers have autobiographical undertones in their scripts but when a Bollywood actor/actress decides to direct or write a movie I immediately start wondering how much of the movie reflects something from their own life. Perhaps it is because these actors and actresses are always in the limelight and we know so much about their history it is easier to relate what you see to what you have heard about them; writers sadly seldom get recognition let alone enough coverage for us to ever even be aware of their past. So naturally with Baaghi
I can't help but wonder how much of the father-son dynamics are coloured by Salman's own experiences (Tangential Deol Dhamaka
note: I also wonder the same about the family dynamics in Dillagi
and Yamla Pagla Deewana
).( Read more...Collapse )
Movie: Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge
Director: David Dhawan
Producer: Gordon Tanwani
Writer: Rumi Jaffrey
Cinematography: Harmeet Singh
Actors: Salman Khan, Karishma Kapoor, Om Puri, Paresh Rawal, Anupam Kher
Music: Himesh Reshammiya
Lyrics: Sudhakar Sharma( Read more...Collapse )
So overall, probably not worth a watch unless you like Salman or David Dhawan movies hardcore. I personally enjoyed it because of the Salman and nostalgia factors, despite everything that was so, so wrong in it.
Title: ...Aur Pyar Ho Gaya
Director: Rahul Rawail
Story: Honey Irani
Cinematography: Manmohan Singh
Actors: Bobby Deol, Aishwarya Rai, Shammi Kapoor, Shammi, Anupam Kher, Beena
Music: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Choreographer: Saroj KhanMeri Saanson Mein Basa Hai
and Koi Jaane Koi Na Jaane
probably saved ...Aur Pyar Ho Gaya
from utter obscurity, the combination of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's sweet music and Javed Akhtar's earnest lyrics proving to be a fond memory of the 90s for many. The only other thing most people will likely remember about the movie is that it was Aishwarya Rai's Bollywood début. Despite Bobby Deol's 2nd movie, murder mystery Gupt
, achieving resounding success only a month before, ...Aur Pyar Ho Gaya
failed to garner much enthusiasm from its audience. Perhaps surprising given that it was directed by Rahul Rawail, of Betaab (1983) fame and written by Honey Irani who penned Darr (1993). The movie's slow pace, its contrived and repetitive situations, its ridiculous climax and its Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge
(1995) hangover were probably the reason for its lack of success. Personally though, I'm with rubidium11
on this one. ...Aur Pyar Ho Gaya
is actually pretty enjoyable for both Bobby and Aishwarya fans and I would happily watch it all over again
.( kaisa yeh pyar hai allah allah...Collapse )
How sad that we're up to the half way mark of Deol Dhamaka and I've only managed to write about four
Bobby movies. I'm afraid the pace of my write-ups isn't going to pick up any time soon but I have decided that I'm going to discuss the entire Bobby filmography in this blog chronologically, no matter how long it takes! I just feel compelled to do it. Whether anyone else feels compelled to read or not, I don't care :P Someone has to shower fangirly pyar
on Bobby and I may as well take on this task, arduous as it may be. NOT. I am highly amused that this isn't a resolution that I ever even bothered making for Dev Anand, Shammi, Salman, Shahid or Ranbir movies! I've always had the tendency in books/movies/shows to like side characters that no one else seems to utterly love like I do and I reckon that whole under-appreciated/underrated/underdog aspect of Bobby Deol is fueling the fire of my adoration somewhat...Other Bobby Deol movie write-ups: Yamla Pagla Deewana (2011), Barsaat (1995), Gupt (1997)
I swear Wellington is just brim full of lovely people! I've been at the receiving end of so many nice, sweet, courteous acts from strangers. I just love this city.
There was that time with the elevator that I wrote about here
. In fact that James Cook elevator is a hub of cooperation and courtesy. Just the other day I was standing outside it waiting for everyone to file out and it took a lot longer than normal so the doors were about to close, but the last guy out, a young Kiwi guy, stood with his back against the doors to prevent them from doing so and waited till I got in before leaving. And another day I was too late in getting to the lift before the doors closed but the Kiwi teenage girl in there opened the doors from the inside so I could get on too.
There's also the time I had
to take a cab midway to work because my blister was hurting too badly. So I got into a Corporate Taxi
(well it was the only one anywhere near me) and when I told the old Chinese guy the address he said it was only 5 or so minutes away so he'll just drop me for free. Yeah, just like that. He had no idea that my foot was hurting badly.
Then there was the time when I had been indecisive about whether to take advantage of the 4 for $20 manga offer at the Borders discount store. I refrained from making the purchase the week I saw it but when a week later the Hana-Kimi
volumes were still there I thought why not. I looked around but to my horror there were no 4 for $20 signs around any longer. So I went up to the counter to ask why they weren't there and the new Maori lady replied that they were regularly changing the discounts and she guessed the ones I was talking about were no longer valid. I was kind of dejected. She asked how much were they costing now - $10 each I replied. And I had wanted to get 8 of them :| So she then told me to just bring them over and she'll give them to me at that old discount rate anyway! So in the end it only cost me $40.
And today, I went to the Higher Taste
restaurant to see if they did takeaways (eh weekend, didn't feel like cooking), turns out they did. These guys have a buffet style system so basically you put however much in whichever size box you want and the price is based on the size of the box. I got one medium and one mini one, and went to the counter and the Indian guy there said he'd only charge me for the medium one. Aiveyin
! And this isn't the first time this has happened at an Indian restaurant. Last month I had gone to Tulsi
and asked if they did takeaways and when it turned out they did I ordered tadka dal
. When I got home I realised the guy had quietly put in 1 naan for free. Another time when my parents and I went to Daawat
it turned out nothing on their vegetarian menu had onion-free food. So we asked the waiting staff if anything could be done and the guy said that in the kitchen they were cooking onion-free dal that was not on the menu to take home for later (since they celebrated navratre too) so if we wanted they could serve us that and we happily agreed. A cynic would probably call these shrewd marketing moves but really they seem to be sweet, kind gestures from where I'm standing.
Also today I was at New World Metro with my recyclable bag and a bit too many groceries. The Asian guy at the counter who was swiping the stuff saw how inept I was at making sure everything could fit in the bag so he just started helping me and when there was still some stuff left he said, "they can fit in there, but only if you can carry it?" ...so sweet. I told him not to worry and that I will be able to. Then when I got back to my apartment block I was slowly walking towards the lifts (these are not the ones from before) and turns out the Indian guy already in it had heard me making my way to them so he had kept the door open till I got there...I know I always do that when I can hear someone walking over (hey saves them time and saves the building's power/energy!) but it is nice to have such gestures reciprocated.
In other words, wonderful Wellington knows well how to woo a girl!
Someone should have warned me about the side effects of #DeolDhamaka. One of the more ludicrous ones is that I have now started thinking in Bobby!GIFs. Yes, as soon as I have something to post I think to myself -I know exactly what Bobby!GIF could complement this-...
Anyway on to the raison d'etre of this post. Today Bobby is helping me announce something off the hilltops...
I got the job! Yep, that one I was going to interview for
. Hurrah for a permanent job, my almost-completed Masters degree turning out to be useful, A. Permanent. Job, getting to stay with the team I had come to like, A PERMANENT JOB, getting to stay in the city I like, the potential money I'll be getting, A PER
- yeah ok I'll shut up now :P I'm scared, I'm excited, I'm pleased, I'm nervous, in my head I'm like this:
Aa-ya-ya-ya-ya-aa! Gupt...gupt... Gupt aa re... Gupt...gupt... Woh kya hai?
(sing it with me folks) Gupt...gupt...
Oh right, I should probably move on to the write up now.
Director: Rajiv Rai
Screenplay: Rajiv Rai, Shabbir Boxwala
Cinematographer: Ashok Mehta
Actors: Bobby Deol, Kajol, Manisha Koirala
Music: Viju Shah( Read more...Collapse )
For Bobby fans Gupt is worth a dekho
simply because of how good he looks in it, especially some scenes *fans self* For the non-Bobby fans Gupt may be worth checking out simply to see one of the very few whodunnits in Bollywood that was actually successful. It has a killer twist ending which is probably what helped propel it to hit status, along with the popularity of its music. I know I've focussed in this write-up mainly on the jodis and songs but that's just me. I was the same for Soldier
as well (as you shall discover) and that had heaps of twists too. In some ways I kinda wish I hadn't remembered Gupt's ending from the 90s because it would have been fun going WTF now but that's ok I got that with Soldier because I really didn't recall anything from that movie except the songs.
Having a dozen well known villain and character actors to complete the milieu of suspects and obstacles for the hero to overcome was quite a great strategy for Gupt and worked well in its favour, I thought. You rarely get to see ALL these guys in the same movie,
let alone the same hospital room
, y'know? So it is kinda cool Bobby got to work with all of them :D Also some of those guys were hilarious, especially Raza Murad as a poetic lawyer with a humorous sher
(couplet) ready for every occasion. The inspector (Om Puri) trying to catch Sahil was funny in his own way, especially memorable is this one line in the film where he tells Sheetal he wants to see her bathroom so he can find out "tumhaari khoobsoorati ka raaz kya hai?
" (what is the secret of your beauty?). For those who didn't grow up in India it probably was a random sleazy line but in fact it was a clever reference to the Lux advertisement slogan and I suspect Manisha might have at one point endorsed the product.
With Gupt Bobby took on the mantle of action hero that his father and brother were famous for. Sure in Barsaat
he did some maad dhaad
as well but this was the first of his, many (and I mean MANY), revenge films and perhaps the seeds for that can be traced back here. Had this film flopped, who knows what kind of 'image' he would have built? He already had Kareeb
lined up during Gupt though, all very diverse roles, so perhaps his career would have been much the same. Especially since Soldier was his next big hit and that was in a sort of similar genre where suspense was married with a revenge plot.
Bonus Fun Facts:
[+] Raveena was going to play Manisha's character but the dates clashed so in the end she opted out. She has however dubbed all of Manisha's lines in the film. Not sure why?
[+] The reason Bobby didn't have a film release till 1997, a whole year after his début in 1995, was because he was busy wooing his wife to be, Tanya Ahuja, and making plans to get married hehe (I find that adorable!)
[+] Gupt's release was also delayed because Bobby had ended up fracturing his leg which meant the shooting was stalled.