Friday, February 29, 2008

AR Murugadoss arrested !!!!

I always wonder why the movies I have huge expectations on gets into some sort of trouble. Rang De Basanti had some issues with animals being ill treated. Then it was Fanaa which had problems releasing in Gujarat. Then Jodha Akbar for lot of unwanted reasons and film getting banned from Rajastha and MP. And down south Godfather movie was stalled for a long time before getting released and becoming huge hit. Now its the turn for Tamil movie remake Ghajini starring Aamir Khan. Director of the movie, AR Murugadoss, was arrested yesterday by the Salem police for reasons best known to movie industry folks.

Full news here - Behindwoods

Ofcourse this is going to hamper the progress of the much awaited movie. But after watching Taare Zameen Par, my confidence on Aamir as a director has double, tripled...quadrupled. I sincerely hope the issue regarding director's arrest is resolved soon, and if not, it'd be more interesting and exciting if Aamir takes up this project and completes it himself. I think he'll do a tremendous job, considering the fact that the second half of the Tamil version was badly directed by Murugadoss. Lets wait and watch...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tamil writer Sujatha no more..

Sujatha ( S. Rangarajan ). May 3, 1935 - Feb 27, 2008

He was one of the most inspiring and influential Tamil writers I've known till date. He was known to be the person who made Science and technology meet common people through his science fiction novels and short stories. A versatile writer and an engineer by profession, not many know that he was also the classmate of A.P.J. Adbul Kalam in college. He was also the key person behind Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) which is now used in elections throughout India.
His association with Mani Ratnam and Shankar gave us some amazing movies such as Roja, Iruvar, Kannathil Muthamittal, Aayitha Ezhuththu, Boys, Anniyan, Indian, Mudhalvan, and Sivaji. I was keenly waiting to witness his work in Shankar's Robot, as that was his forte, Science fiction genre. Its just shocking to know that he's no more.

Sujatha...You'll be deeply missed.....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jodha Akbar - why these controversies and contradictory news ?

Whats this now..few days ago on 22nd Feb I read @ Rediff site this exciting news about Jodha Akbar makin over 34 crores in India and that its gonna make more and today I read on the same site that Jodhaa Akbar stumbles in India, races ahead abroad. Why can't a website stick to what it proclaimed and give the right news to people ? I don't want to read one day that Mr.X is dead in an unfortunate accident. And the next day in the same site I read Mr.X was saved by people in the last minute and he's healthy. And the 3rd day I read Mr.X died on the way. I mean we just can't trust the site anymore...Some news are damaging for people..and these kind of news items are really damaging for the movie.

First news --> Money spinning Jodha Akbar -

Next news --> Jodhaa Akbar stumbles in India, races ahead abroad-

According to a release from Imagesmiths, the public relations firm that was handling Jodhaa Akbar for UTV, the film made Rs 52.70 crores in India in 10 days, and Rs 21.30 crores in the overseas market. And the movie was produced for Rs. 40 crores. I don't think I'm that stupid, but to me it looks like...mmmm...lets see...Rs. 52.70 + Rs.21.30 = Rs. 74 crores which is more than 40 crores. So how in the world Rediff says Ashutosh Gowariker's Jodhaa Akbar would have become a loser at the box office if it had not done brilliantly overseas.

All this even when the movie isn't released in Rajasthan, where the stupid govt. banned the movie for the fact that they don't agree Jodha was Akbar's wife, when they shamelessly accepted Mughal-e-azam which showed Akbar and Jodha happily married. God save the ignorant people !!!

I'm reading many complaints against the movie in several sites and I think I have an answer for most of them if not for all as some complaints are just stupid and based out of ignorance.

1) Akbar's wife was not Jodha, it was Maan Kunwar - You think Ashutosh was stupid to make a movie about them without even researching this one story ? Or do you question the historians who wrote about Akbar and Jodha ? Before the start of the movie, Ashu clearly states that there are many versions of the story and this is his version. He also says there are many names of Jodha in several books and he's stuck to Jodha. What more do you want ?? You'll boycott the movie for this insignificant thing ????

2) There is no mandir in Agra Mahal - I don't know about that. But I felt that was a very noble gesture. Ashu just potrayed Akbar as a benevolent king. Whats wrong with that ?? I remember reading in my history class that he was the only Moghul who was tolerant of many religions. This was one way to showcase that and I thought it was not bad. And honestly, once the movie went in the love angle between Jodha and Akbar, I was just lost in it...I didnt freakin care about any historical inaccuracies.

3) Akbar never married jodha as hindu girl,they forced her to accept Islam - Well again...several historians have several versions of the story...Historians who hated Akbar and Moghuls in general would have potrayed him in that way. Personally I think if they had shown Jodha as forced to get married, then movie would have surely not been released or the screen would have been set on fire. Is that what we all want ?

4) Rajputs were shown as loser(in reality they were great warriors) - I think this is the big one. This must have been the main cause for folks in Rajasthan not able to see the movie. Well truth does hurt. Its inevitable. Rajputs might have been great warriors, no doubt. But under circumstances they had to do things to save their territory, their people. In that way I think Raja Bharmal was a great king. He could sacrifice his own daughter to save the land and millions of people living in his land. Find me another person in these times who did that.

5) Hrithik did not suit the role. Directors should choose more suitable actors for such roles instead of their star value - I strongly feel Jodha Akbar got that initial rush at Box office mainly because of Hrithik. He was charismatic as Akbar and carried off well. Sometimes star value does help in movies like such. That will make people go and watch them on big screen. Else they'll be avoided no matter how good the movie is. Remember Bose..the Forgotten Hero !!! How it became Bose..the Forgotten Movie.

6) The length of the movie - I watched the movie 2 times. Believe me I never felt it was long. I didnt care much for the initial 20 mins which had the history going. But I loved each and every moment of the love story between Jodha and Akbar. I loved the sets, palaces, costumes, grandeur, acting and most importantly the MUSIC. There was something going on everytime. In these fast moving times I know its hard to even press talk button and wait till the other person picks up his / her fone. Instead we do SMS and keep going. But I think once a while it's really worth to sit back and enjoy beauty at its own pace.

So there you go...those are my 2 cents. I personally felt the movie was very good. I thought Hrithik did a brilliant job. AR Rahman's music was heart-warming. Aish looked graceful. And even the rest of the cast were perfect like Kulbhushan, Punam Sinha, Sonu Sood, Ila Arun and Akbar's brother in law ( forgot his name ). The pace of the movie was just right. Please don't watch this movie to complain about any historical inaccuracies. I'll tell you a better way...complain about inaccuracies in movies like Dhoom2 where Abhishek was able to stay under water with his Jet Ski turned on for a long time, or movies like Partner where a toy rocket designed by a kid could almost kill Salman and he had to let Govinda leave the yacht.

I loved 300 for its sheer painting like visuals. For its awesome effects, slow motion fights and superb acting.
I loved Troy for Brad Pitt and his brilliant potrayal of Achilles and once again for its effects and music. Also for Hector potrayed by Eric Bana.
I loved Gladiator for Ridley Scott's amazing direction, Russell Crowe and the unique subject which also had entertaining fights like chariot fight, fights with Tigers and ofcourse the finale in Rome.
And finally I loved Jodha Akbar for Hrithik, AR Rahman's music, grand sets and costumes, Azeem-o-shaan's choreography and Ashutosh's potrayal of the beautiful love story.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Jodha Akbar gets 4 stars from IndiaFM !!!!!

Wowwwww...Quite unbelievable...4 stars out of 5 coming from Taran Adarsh, that too for a good movie !!! I mean c'mon he's the same guy who gave Swades 1.5 stars, Rang De Basanti 2.5 stars when he gave Heyy Babyy 4 stars and the disgusting Kabhi Alvida naa kehna 4.5 stars.

So should we believe him or not ??? I think its in best interest for everyone to judge a movie from their own perspective. I'm kind of following the trend of how Taran rates the movies and looking back at history he gives high marks for big banners and entertaining movies, but low marks for experimental or sensible movies, which I think is just absurd.

However I'm very glad that JA has turned out to be an outstanding movie. I was very very skeptical after watching the first trailer on youtube and lack of proper promotion. Although I did have some confidence on Ashutosh and Hrithik. Even ARR had told in an interview that he was very proud to be part of this movie. And what a perfect timing...Jodha Akbar would be my valentines day movie :).

By the way is it time someone shows Mr. Jogindher Tuteja the door ? Note how he finished the music review for this movie :

"Jodhaa Akbar disappoints, and how! Though the music of Lagaan was good (catching on more after the film's success), Swades was always a few steps behind. However, Jodhaa Akbar does not have much to cheer about and fails to go an extra distance. "

On Jashn e bahara song he said "However, one misses the kind of punch as expected from the first romantic song of the album and the final outcome turns out to be little lackluster with not much in the song pulling a listener for a repeat hearing."

And he gave 2 stars to the album.

Now Taran says "A.R. Rahman's music is not the type that you take to instantly, but yes, it gels beautifully with the mood of the film. 'Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah' and 'Jashn-e-Bahara' are the best tracks in terms of tune."

Can we ever get more contradictory statements than this in the same website ??? Didn't Jogindher know the music was for a period movie or did he just expect some club songs or techno songs ???