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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Salaam Namaste bhaiyo or behano

I know a sappy romantic comedy is not everyone's cup o' tea but I'm am one of the few who do like those movies and last night I got a chance to watch Salaam Namaste and I gotta say it was a riot! Don't come out and flame me because you think the movie has a story that goes nowhere or that it is not making any point or that it is just plain not plain Indian to do what the characters do. The beauty of this movie is that it doesn't pretend to be any of those. Take the movie at face value and enjoy the acting. It is a chick-flick and that's what it'll be no matter how you change it.

What struck me the most was, to quote "effortless natural chemistry", between Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta. It is incredible. I mean another hit like this and they will I'm sure join the ranks of the best on screen pairs in Hindi cinema. It is their chemistry that drives this movie. This is an actor's movie and not a movie that can stand by its story. The story is rather mediocre and doesn't even pretend to be anything special. But it is the director's treatment of the story that is so gratifying. It never bogs down and it keeps the laughter and the story moving at a fair clip. I especially love that in a story that is so simple as this one. Anyway, getting back to the point I was making at smoldering onscreen chemistry between couples. I think these two have the kind of chemistry that is just so natural on screen. There are no pretensions and there is really no acting. It is all quite natural and it seems to me even professional. They just seem to have that intangible quality that is so important in an onscreen couple to drive the movie. This makes me wonder, who do you think form the best on screen couple? Here are a few of my picks:

  • Raj Kapoor - Nargis (Awaara, Barsaat, Shree 420)

  • Dilip Kumar - Madhubala (Mughal-e-Azam)

  • Amitabh Bachchan - Rekha (Silsila)

  • Aamir Khan - Julie Chawla (Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak)

  • Anil Kapoor - Madhuri Dixit (Beta)

  • Shah Rukh Khan - Kajol (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge)

  • Saif Ali Khan - Preity Zinta (Kal Ho Naa Ho, Salaam Namaste)

Another observation from the movie. What is up with these debutant directors? They do a fantastic job in their first movie and then its all down hill from there. Happened with that guy from Dil Chahta Hai as well. They need to keep a level head with their success and they need to keep themselves sharp. They lose focus and their creativity just goes way down. I hope this guy is better than the others. I would like to see more from him.

Anyway, please do come by and nominate your favorite onscreen pair. I think without these two actors this movie would have been a bust. The movie drives forward only because of them and everything including the story is just there to support them. It is a fantastic example of an actor's movie and not a story-based movie. It is fascinating, hilarious and entertaining. I love it!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ganguly gets a seat and who said politics wasn't involved?

Ganguly assured for Pakistan tour

Boy, this guy really gets around. First he meets the BCCI President and then he stays mum while he and his words are being discussed in one of the largest political forums on the planet. What an ego! Hey people get fired or laid off, they take it in their stride and move on while this guy gets his case heard in the parliament. This is not just a farce it is a pie in the face for the Indian political establishment. How can they let this nonsense go on. Where are the moderates, where are the thinkers, where are the people who can talk sense into these backward hicks. Are we so utterly rudderless in this day and age that we have no real issues to address?

Why has this man's exclusion from a sports team become such a big issue. I understand how cricket has a very large following and it has its fanatical support. But, is there no perspective left in the country. Where do we draw the line? What is the necessity to discuss someone's exclusion from a team unless it has to do with an issue of discrimination which is condemned by law. Why is there nobody out there calling these guys out for such irresponsible and irrational behavior. Perspective in such situations is important. Where is this sense of urgency when it comes to addressing social and economic needs. The people who are caling for this discussion are coming from states where population is dense and economic opportunity is almost non-existent. Why don't they address those needs with the same zeal and courage as they do this issue?

Also, I understand that Ganguly feels slighted but I don't feel sorry for the guy because of his behavior. He is completely irresponsible in the way he has handled himself. I agree with Greg Chappell, this dude's got mental & psychological issues that he needs to address. He is not mentally stable enough to make decisions that affect others. If he has even a shred of humility and decency then he will come out and stop this nonsense. He will call the MPs and tell them not to waste our time in this fashion. He will participate regularly in Bengal games and win those for them. He will make a case to the selectors for picking him in the squad. He will call the selectors and keep a line of communication open with them as well as the coach. I understand that it is easier said than done but it must be done. Tough times call for tought decisions don't cry like a baby. We look up to you as a strong man of character and conviction but this display has left you wanting in that department. I only hope sense prevails and this nonsense is stopped before it gets outta hand.

It churns my blood to think that here are millions that are dealing with hunger and poverty in India while the people who can do something about this are sitting in a big room discussing sports! Have perspective gentlemen, be ashamed of your actions and correct your behavior. If anybody out there is reading this please comment and let me know what you think. I think this brings up an extremely important face of Indian politics that needs to be explored and needs to be righted.

Monday, December 19, 2005

How about a drug test Mr. Venkataswamy?

Testing Drugs in India

Tell me if this doesn't churn your stomach. If you get through the article the then the last sentence sums it up in a cruelly succint fashion. This is how capitalism feeds its greed. This is where democracy needs to step in draw the line. Capitalism is like a wild hog that doesn't mind eating anything and everything as long as its stomach is filled while democracy is the electric fence and the moat that keeps the hog in its cage.

All this of course is happening while the Parliament is concerned about the sacking of Ganguly. Tell me if this doesn't sound like a page out of fiction novel by Robin Cook or something? The sad thing is that almost all of the people who are being tested on have no idea that they are being subjected to medicine they might not need or that might debilitate them for the rest of their lives. How can ethical professionals consent to this nonsense. The Indian population must be sensitized to corporate irresponsibility. Right now in our drive to modernize we are falling prey to every ill of capitalism. We must get this right or we will be going down the tubes again and get shafted by the west again!

This is a call to action people. Find out issues of corporate irresponsibility in India and bring it out. It is a must that these people are exposed and made to respond the only way possible. Through public scrutiny in the media glare. That is the only way these guys will respond. Let's build a better India that knows where to draw the line. Please send me links or comment on this article if you know of instances or events like this that must stand trial. Have we already forgotten Bhopal?

Friday, December 16, 2005

This is irresponsible

I mean honestly, get your priorities straight people. At the end of the day it is just a game. It does not need to be discussed on a high-profile political and social platform like the Lok Sabha. Haven't these politicians got anything better to do like taking care of their constituencies. This is like Jesse Jackson defending Terrel Owens but on a much higher level on the idiots scale.

Do the MPs have any responsibility to their constituencies at all? I mean discussing a sport on the floor of a policy-making, legislative body is utterly stupid, irrational and most of all irresponsible. The MPs should be ashamed of themselves for this behavior. When will they learn?