The Tag and The Rant  

Posted by Vee

The Tag
I was tagged by Vicky. And I went for this without two thoughts as this was on movies. A pretty easy and neat.

1. Name five of your all time favorite movies.

Hindi Ones:
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron
Masoom (old)
Black Friday

English Ones:
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Motorcycle Diaries
Scent of a Woman
Schindler’s List

2. Name one movie which you recommend as a "must see".
Life Is Beautiful

3. One and only one movie that you have seen many times. [Watching on TV won’t count]
Rock On (The movie which I have seen more than 2 times in theater; for various reasons though)

4. Which movie comes to your mind when I say funniest?
Shoot the Piano Player (French)

5. Which movie(s) made you really emotional?
The Lives of Others (German) and How Green Was My Valley (English)

6. Which movie series was as interesting as the first part?
Godfather Series (Without any doubt)

7. Which movie didn’t, according to you, live up to your expectations?
The Da Vinci Code.

8. Which movie surprised you?
13 Tzameti (French)

The Rant

A quick look at the movies I saw over the weekend.

The Wizard of Oz: (1939)
Supposedly second in the list of Top 5 Hollywood Movies (Classic) of all time, the movie is a musical and fantasy film. The story is about an Orphan Dorothy (Judy Garland). Her dog Toto once bit a certain Miss Gulch who gets an order from court to take the dog away. The dog any how runs back to Dorothy upon which she decides to run away from the village. And there starts a fun journey wherein a coward lion, a scarecrow, a tin man join her. I find the movie just about ok. I wanted to watch this as now only 1 movie is left to be seen out of that list. That it is in top 5 of all time classic is actually attributed to the fact that the movie was hugely loved when shown as TV series as it was not very commercially hit when released.

Rating – 3 n half

Gentleman’s Agreement: (1947)
Gregory Peck stars in this drama as a Journalist who wishes to unravel the Anti-Semitism (resentment against Jews) outlook by posing himself as a Jew. What he unearths upsets him a great deal. As a Jew, he realizes to what extent people actually go and the hostility doesn’t stop at the work. His fiancée too is in tight spot concerning all this hara-kiri.

Rating – 3 n half

Roman Holiday: (1953)
I have always ranted (whenever given prospect) of my love for Audrey Hepburn so much so that I started digging for all her movies after I watched Breakfast At Tiffany’s, but her debut movie (Roman Holiday) always eluded me. And the fact that it had my other favorite Gregory Peck made me restless beyond control. I got it through a friend finally. Audrey went on to win Academy Award in her debut film where she portrayed a role of Royal Princess. Rome is the last destination on her tour of European cities. Upon reaching there, she runs away from her palace and roams around the street of Rome as a commoner. She meets a Journalist (Gregory as a Journalist yet again) and falls in love. But beware; the climax is not what our Bollywood guys would have made out of such story.

Rating – 4

Chariots of Fire: (1981)
The story based in year 1924 talks of 5 athletes preparing for upcoming Olympics. Zero down and you have two protagonists who are aiming for the 100 meter Gold. One of them is Jewish who would go to any extent to prove his detractors wrong and other is Christian who would not run on Sunday as running on Sabbath (religious day of rest) is sacrilege.

Rating – 4

Slipsliding On The Continuum  

Posted by Vee

So, I had a very interesting fortnight.

So, I watched A Wednesday and The Last Lear. And I was disappointed with the later. ‘A Wednesday’ was a good attempt for a debutante, so I would ignore couple of flaws but ‘The Last Lear’ was a lot disappointing. Btw, an interesting article about ‘A Wednesday’ here.

Now coming to TLL, Why do our actors fake their accent whenever they act in an English language movie? By accent I don’t mean they put on Brit or Yankee or any other accent. It looks our actors are speaking forced English. They are very good at the language but there is something insanely foolish about the way they mouth the dialogues, it is a big put off. Watch Divya Dutta to know what I mean. And critics are going gaga over her. Shefali Shah suddenly takes a spin in her mind when she is asked to do an English film. She becomes a totally different person. Her whole body language suggests ‘I am the Queen’. Watch any of her English movies (including 15 Park Avenue) and you will know what I mean. She is a good actor but I prefer Shefali of Satya any day. Preity, Amitabh and Arjun were just about ok. There was nothing amazingly awesome about them and same goes for the script. Ghosh and Arindham created much hype and hoopla which Neeraj ‘Wednesday’ Pandey did not and ultimately grabbed all accolades and also got his movie short listed in top 5 contenders to be sent for Oscars. So, that made TZP a winner. Would Aamir nail it this time? I wonder. I doubt actually.

I do not fathom why but TZP always reminds me of ‘Bacheha-Ye-Aseman’ (Iranian) film which I saw once again this week. From BYA (later dubbed in English as ‘Children of Heaven’) which won the Best Foreign Language Film at Oscars in 1998 till ‘Leben Der Anderen, Das’ (German; dubbed in English as ‘The Lives of Others’) which won Best Foreign Language Film in 2007 each and every movie was class apart in their own way and TZP is no where closer to any of those. So, I question what likelihood TZP has got now?

So, I bumped into both current and previous ex-lovers (were we??) of mine. How interesting (of course, at different locations and occasions). Ok, before that, a suggestion. Unless you are sure of how things are going in relation, never ever take your date to you favorite hang-outs. NEVER. Once you guys have things talked and all going smooth, take wherever you want. But, before that strictly no. So, what was she (current ex) doing there with a random guy? I am not too uncomfortable in such situations to be honest and can handle it quite well. However, what pinched me was ‘I brought you here once and that was your first time here and it's my favorite you are aware. Go, somewhere else please'. But, It’s not my baap-ka-place in first place. Anyway, so I massaged my ego thinking, ‘Ah, probably she had inkling I would visit the place so she was just dying to have a look at me’. Whoo!!! Whoo!!! Worked.

The previous ex crossed my path at Multiplex. I was going for ‘Rock On!!' and she was coming out after watching it. “What’s with the hair”? She exclaimed. What right she has to make a cry of it? “Well nothing, it’s my new style and punk coloring I went for this time, something other than burgundy”. I said remembering she had always suggested burgundy for my hair in our togetherness days. “Eeewww, It’s not done”. She always reminded me of Janice of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and it had taken me some time to forget her ‘Eeewwws’. “And what’s that goatee thingy without mush”? She continued. “Its Ramadan days so I thought this would be appropriate look”. What was I thinking when I said that? She asked, “What”? "Nothing, catch you later. Tata. Ciao".

So, she was the one I referred in the tag when I said I was trying to kill but she escaped.

So, nowadays I don’t like crowds, I prefer to stay away. There were times when my presence was felt in a crowd. It’s the same now, just that more than speaking much, I am speaking sense now. And when I don’t think I can contribute, I prefer keeping my trap shut. They feel I am depressed these days. I feel I am beginning to realize things. Don’t take anything at face value anymore.

Then when someone asked me about the number of friends I had, I would quote a 3 digit figure! Now the number doesn’t go beyond 3 fingers. It’s not that I've lost them; I’ve realized what 'Being Friends' is all about. Though the people who matter have come down, the extent to which I can go for them has increased by infinite times.

They feel I've become more serious. I feel I've grown. Finally, I have started mattering to me. I am slip sliding on the continuum.

So, three wonderful ladies presented me with some random awards on blogger. Preeti gave me ‘Thoughtful Blog Reader’ award. Reema presented me with ‘Certified Honest Blogger’ award. And lastly, Avdi honored me with ‘Brillante Weblog’ award here and wrote some nice words for me. I am eternally appreciative to all three of you. And before I forget I need to pass on these.

So, here I go:

Thoughtful Blog Reader to Vimmuuu, Preeti and Reema.

Certified Honest Blogger to Mystique Dew and Avdi

Brillante Weblog to Vicky and Smita.

So, I rambled big time here. I cannot write daily so whenever I get time I prefer saying the most. And yes, I rambled on Bollywood here. So, that means I won’t be using my other blog for Bolly rant. Guess I am too lazy to maintain more than one. Peace.

Chalo Tag-Tag Khele  

Posted by Vee

Ain’t you guys tired of reading numerous posts on this tag? I am. If you too are, then stop reading right away and visit when I write my next. :) No offenses.

I remember, (few of you might too) I (along with my twin brother) was pulled in many times to play ghar-ghar by my sister. Sister’s saheli and my brother were always first selection for Maa-Papa; I was their child and Sister played teacher and I was to do all the tasks every time whilst they all sat and just ordered. Anyways, that was long time ago. After some gazillion years I feel the same. Vimmuuu and Anniyan sat and just ordered. I acted ignorant but I wasn’t to be spared. So here I go and play tag-tag this time.

1. If your lover betrayed you, what will your reaction be?
Well, I almost killed one in past (last minute savior popped up from nowhere). Next time, I will be a lot faster.

2. If you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?
I wish to appear on any famous magazine along with Uma Thurman (of course, semi-nude).

3. Whose butt would you like to kick?
Raj Thackeray.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
I will give a part to Rakhi Sawant so that this time at least she goes under the blade entirely and gets her assets and assortments in proportion. I don’t know what I will do with the rest.

5. Will you fall in love with your best friend?
Yeah, it happened once. And now, no. I will never. I can for sure say it’s good to fall in love and then become good friends (in my case at least).

6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
???? If you ask the same question to my partner and suppose we both reply ‘loving someone’ then what would you call it? How would you reach any conclusion?

7. How long do you intend to wait for someone you really love?
A week or two. Ok, 3 weeks max.

8. If the person you secretly like is already attached, what would you do?
Ah, lovely situation. Well, no issues. Let her be attached. I will attach myself too.

9. If you like to act with someone, who will it be? Your gf/bf or an actress/actor?
Oh, I always act. I mean at least half of the times in the beginning of dating. Don’t we all? Oh, you mean in theater/movies and all that jazz. Well, anyone except Rakhi Sawant. I adore her too much to be seen in the same frame. She is my idol.

10. What takes you down the fastest?
Wrong mix in my Rum/Whiskey.

11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
I had no answer to this when I was filling the slam books of my friends in school exactly ten years ago to this year and I do not have it now. Or may be I would be responding to this question somewhere once again ten years from now as the trend seems to suggest.

12. What’s your fear?
Rakhi Sawant proposing me. I mean who in right sense would say no to something as raunchy as her. Come on, she is my idol and let me be like Meera and do idol worship.

13. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
God only knows. Or maybe God too doesn’t. :)

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married but poor?
Single and ANYTHING (poor or rich doesn’t matter)

15. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I thank my stars that I did not wake up next to my idol.

16. Would you give all in a relationship?
I would give just what is needed.

17. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously, who would you pick?
Ah, another lovely situation. I like such situations. I would pick both if they are ready to live in harmony. We all can live like a nice family a la those in K serials or K-Jo movies.

18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?

I will try to strangle them once. If I fail, I would forgive and forget..

19. Your favorite pick up line (Original Question: What are your three most important expectations in love?)
Nice dress, how about a fuck?

20. List 6 people to tag:
I guess by now almost everyone is either tagged or got bored of reading it. So I tag none in particular.


Posted by Oxy

‘We want work’, ‘We are widows’, and ‘We are not political’. Few burqa clad women chant this and display it on placard while taking out a rebellion on the Taliban ruled streets of Afghanistan one day. A young boy Espandi (Arif Herati) is shown smoldering away the curses and asking for a dollar from the firang journalist who is filming this procession. A woman, name not known (Khwaja Nader) accompanied by her daughter, name not known (Marina Golbahari) are on their way to hospital where the mother works as nurse. Suddenly Taliban strikes and procession goes violent. Woman, her daughter and Espandi take protection in a house. The girl unhurriedly peeps through the door ajar. Her misty eyes see the brutalities of Taliban and tears roll down her cheek.

Soon the mother-daughter duo get to know that they are rendered penniless as the Taliban has closed down the hospital. At home in night whilst cooking the meal mother breaks down and longs for a man in family who could support them as her husband and brother had died in Russian war. She then blights looking at her daughter, ’wish I had boy’. The third female in the family, the grandmother is arranging the young girl’s hair into neat braid and narrates a bed time story to her as how passing under ‘Rainbow’ can make boy a girl and girl a boy. Granny suggests the mother to cut the girl’s hair, make her don her father’s clothes so that she can be passed as a boy and can earn a living outside. The girl objects but this is the last resort left to the destitute family.

Upon being disposed to work in a tea shop, the ordeal starts for the girl. She is continually terrified at the thought that her secret will be out any moment and walks to work and back home in constant fear. The words spoken are less but those scenes are well shot as the fear shown on the face of girl is to feel sorry for. She emotes marvelously through her eyes. Espandi, the boy who had seen her before recognizes her in an instant but settles to keep it a secret in exchange of few dimes.

The tribulation for her is never ending, what with few doubting eyes following her once till her home and furthermore when the owner of tea shop takes her to a mosque full of men to pray. But the vital one is when she along with all the boys is taken confined by Taliban to religious school so that young boys can be trained for the war. There amidst all boys she tries hard to behave like a boy but in vain and is soon being called a nymph by all including the Mullah who teaches them the ablutions to be performed by male to conquer the wet dreams apart from Koran. Her feminine looks and behavior could not be hidden and all boys start teasing her. Espandi comes to her rescue when few ask her to drop her Pyajama so that they can be sure she indeed is a boy. Espandi chases the other boys away and when few ask for her name christens her ‘Osama’.

Espandi comes to her rescue other times too but even he could not do much when her true identity is revealed in one of the most disturbing scenes I have ever seen. Espandi sees her and cries helplessly whilst she is chased by all in the confined walls of school. She is taken captive and is sent for a trial.

Without disclosing what happens next, the film definitely doesn’t end on a happy note. It is a dark cinema where each frame of it can melt any heart. The protagonist Osama (Marina) and all other characters are real and picked from the streets of Kabul. Marina herself was a beggar when director spotted her and took her in his film (Source Wikipedia).

When I chanced upon this movie by sheer luck (no one had recommended me; my DVDs rental-wala told me to take it as many were hiring this from him), I had no idea that this movie was hugely acclaimed and had won many awards. I also had no clue that the actors were picked from real life. After watching the movie and doing some random search on web I saw it again and felt the same heaviness in the heart which I had experienced before. We all know how a particular scene or a sequence can bring a lump in the throat but what would you call a movie where you have bulge and the lump throughout. I would call it a masterpiece.

Director Siddiq Barmark can be without doubt termed a genius as it takes humongous guts and effort to make immature or call it amateur actors enact the psyche of people from a war-trodden places. The editing is top class and could not get better. The poor and tattered neighborhood is captured in a basic way and as the film is shot in real locations gives it an intact look. Screenplay at times looks cut to short as per expectation but you soon realize it is intentional.

The film not for once looks off track or displays any irrational angle to it in its 80-odd minutes of running. Few scenes that need special mention here are:

When the girl after her hair being chopped off plants one of the braids in the mud-pot and waters it in the night in hope it never ceases to grow.

Women are singing and dancing as there is a marriage in the neighborhood but soon Taliban barges in upon hearing the clatter. Women speedily assemble and start crying pretending there is mourning and not a celebration. Pheew. What a pity.

The first time when the girl steps out of her house as boy and walks the street, she is scared stiff and alarmed at every step. You can experience her misfortune.

Famous musician, philosopher and physician Albert Schweitzer said this, “Reverence for Life affords me my fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting, and enhancing life and that to destroy, harm, or to hinder life is evil.”

However people of Afghanistan and of other war-torn countries do not have any such fundamental principle or in my opinion are not even aware that ‘to-live’ is their fundamental right. These countries in Middle East face varied problems of either terrorism or of dominion or both but when it comes to women, they all stand alike. Women in these countries are nothing but an object of lust, fruit-bearer and not even that if they do not have a man in their lives.

How a woman supposed to earn a living if she cannot step out without a male companion related by blood and she doesn’t have any male left in family after losing them to war or terrorism?

P.S. And you probably thought this might have got to do with Osama Bin Laden. Sigh!!!

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