Posted by Praveen

Rang De Basanti...a generation awakened
And atlast the most anticipated day in 2006 for the Indian film industry arrived...well, 6 days later than that was announced before. I had the good fortune of watching the movie First Day First Show itself(as usual), before anyone spilling any beans and spoling our surprise. And, what an xperience it was. Truly an amazing and mature work. describe in one word...
The Characters and the story
Now lets get on to what this is all about. Am not gonna reveal the storyline here, just a quick outline.Sue Mc Kinley(Alice Patten) comes to India to make a documentary on India's freedom fighters based on the diary written by her grandfather.She embarks on auditioning with her friend sonia (Soha Ali Khan). Atlast she finds the perfect characters in DJ (Aamir Khan), Karan (Siddarth), Aslam (Kunal Kapoor) and Sukhi (Sharman Joshi), a group of four buddies who live like there is no tomorrow. DJ, has passed out of the university five years back is reluctant to leave because there he gets a lot of respect and love.He thinks he'll lose his identity once he gets out of there. Karan is the son of a bureaucrat, Singhania (Anupam Kher), who supplies defense material to the government. He does not get along well with his father. Sukhi is the funny kid of the gang. Aslam comes from a conservative muslim family which belives that they should keep company with people of their religion only. But the modern thinker that he is, Aslam refuses to toe their line. He is the thinker and romantic of the group. Sonia is a modern girl who has ideals of her own. She's in love with Ajay (Madhavan), a pilot with the IAF. Ajay is a determined young guy who wants to do his might for the country.

The most notable thing about this flick is that all the actors, even the small ones included, fits really well into the characters. The term 'fits' would be an understatement. Its like no other person can play a particular role than the one doing it. Also, contrary to the grapevine, Aamir doesn't hog all the limelight. Equal screen space is given to everyone. Sidharth's acting requires special mention. He matches and sometimes even surpasses Aamir Khan in acting. The intensity that Atul Kulkarni brings to the screen is also notable. Soha Ali Khan really surprised me with her performance. I never thought she could do it so naturally. SharmanJoshi endears himself to the audience with his humour in the first half,but in the second half we get to see a completely different face of him. Kunal Kapoor is sure to get a lot of female fans after his role of Aslam.

Now coming to the movie, Kudos to Rakeysh for giving India the perfect Republuic Day gift. A film straight from his heart, that it inspires the youth of today to do something for the sorry state of our country. Its heartening to note that he doesn't advocate violence as the only way out. Other practical ways like becoming an IAS officer or a politician can be followed if you want to contribute ur mite to the upliftment of this country. Also the usual jingoistic flavour is absent from this flick

RDB has many poignant moments, moments that may result in tears jelling in your eyes. And the background score goes a long way in giving that dramatic effect to the scenes. The top notch screenplay deserves special mention. The climax of the movie is the best I have seen in years. Watching the build up to the climax, I feared of the usual masala mixup, which would have spoiled the effect of the movie. But they did it impeccably well, infact it is one of the highlights of the movie. Watchout for Sidharth's performance in the climax, cool and composed.

They are just amazing stuff. There were a number of dialogues which made the audience break into immediate applause. ''kisi bhi desh perfect nahin hoti....use behtar banaayi jaati hai''...How true....Then the now famous Aamir dialogue in the climax- ''Zindagi jeene ki do tareeke hai''...Another notable one is when Aamir bribes a cop, Sue asks ''is that a bribe'' and Karan says ''welcome to India, Sue''. Aamir Khan breaking into a song everytime he sees Sue ''Suekar mere man ko, Kiya tu ne kya ishaara'' is a nice nod to the popular song of yesteryears.My fav dialogue from the movie is - ''We have one leg on the past and one leg on the future, and we are peeing on the present''.

A.R.Rahman's brilliant score is also a star of the film, as important as Aamir Khan(or more important). A.R.Rahman got a bigger cheer than anyone else(aamir included) when the opening credits rolled in. First song is 'Lose control' and it sets the tone for the rest of the movie. A youthful song with rocking guitars and really coool n hip lyrics- 'apni to paathshala' simply rocks. Then there is the prayer 'Ik Onkar' with fresh and soothing vocals by Harshdeep Kaur. Just when it fades out, the title track zooms in. Energetic vocals by Daler Mehndi lifts u up from ur seats. This is the only fully picturised song in the film.
'Paathshala- Be a rebel' serves as a background to one of my favourite shots from the movie. It shows the protagonists in a gypsy going around the India Gate. They all stand and salute India gate as the gypsy moves on.
The arabic 'Khalbali' is also like a background song. The scene of them jumping into the water is thoroughly enjoyable, especially their facial expressions. 'Tu Bin Bataye' is the song which accompanies Ajay proposes to Sonia. It is tastefully picturised. It also has visuals of the blossoming romance between DJ and Sue. The 2 romantic pairs and their friends together in this song is a treat to watch.
'Lukka Chuppi' is a really touching song. The lyrics and the soulful singing by ARR and Lataji melts your heart. I almost cried when that song came.'Khoon Chala' is one of the best picturised songs in the movie. It serves as a background when police beats up the peaceful protestors. The tension in the bloody scenes that follow is complemented by this song. Watchout for the scene when the words 'khooon Chala' reaches a crescendo towards the end. Amazingggg.....
'Lalkaar' is an inspiring war cry. Aamir Khan's vocals are perfect and Atul Kulkarni emotes well when he mouths those words on screen.'Roobaroo' is the song at the climax. I was wondering where they would fit this song. I cudn't believe my ears when that song was played at the climax. What a perfect setting for the song. If I say anything more about this song, I may accidently reveal the climax. Such was the perfection with which the song jelled to the situation.

Atlast, about the BGMs. Well, the film begins with a new version of Khalbali. I am still wondering how he changed that song so much. Because of the constant clapping and whistling, I cudn't actually catch the nuances of this song. Next is a thumping BGM played on Rock guitar. It accompanies a scene of the revolutionaries being brought to be sentenced to death.Then, there is the main theme which is played on a trumpet(am not sure). It comes many times in the movie. Towards the climax, Rahmanji himself chants the tune. I assure u that u'll be thrilled to bits when u hear that. Another notable piece is the rock guitar theme which comes when Aamir and Maddy goes on a crazy bike ride after the Lose control song. More BGMs are there, but I cudn't describe them without revealing some of the most important elements of the plot. Overall, the BGMs are one of the best from Rahman.

Rang De Basanti is an eye opener for the youth of India. i would rate it 10 out of 5. Way to go, Rakeysh...we expect a lot more from u....

Thus 2006 starts with a bang for Bollywood. Its not often that u see such a refreshing story. Coupled with that, the movie is on its way to become on of the biggests hits ever. There are positive reviews all around. Now, that doesn't happen everyday in the masala dominated Bollywood.

with love, Your crusader, Praveen


Posted by Praveen

get tagged...get mad...

Well, this post is gonna be the most nonsensical post i have ever written on this blog. But there is no other way for me to escape from this 'noose around my neck'.
First of all, lemme tell u wat tagging means. wen a friend tags u, u have to describe 8 qualities that u wud prefer to find in your lover. and, u also gotta tag 8 others. So, atlast u have only one person to curse, but u'll have 8 others cursing u. Now, let me start this post by cursing meenu(jus kiddin yaar..), who tagged me....ok am gonna get into the job given to more blah blahsss

sex of target - female

1. First of all, the gal of my dreams is one who loves me and my family.

2. She should be well-educated with some knowledge of what is going on around here.

3. She should have her own independent views on everything. I don't want her to be one who blindly accepts whatever decisions(mostly world class blunders) I take and think whatever i think is right.

4. Then, comin to does matter...but, no, i don want a gal who looks like a filmstar, an ordinary looking gal lik Preity Zinta would do...

5. she should be a romantic, who walks with me, holding my hands, on a cold winter evening and is not fed up of my romantic words.

6. now, the most important thing..She should be able to enjoy(or atleast bear) my rocking guitar. Also she should be one who enjoys good music, because music is my lifeeeeee...

7. after 50 years(if we are alive), she should still love me with the same intensity as she loved me in the younger days....

8. she should be caring, accomodative to others, loving, respectful, have good humor sense etc etc....
now someone plz stop me.....i can't stop.....many more to saaayyyy...well, i stop nowwww

Now my victims are....

Comic Project

now time 4 these ppl to curse me....
with love, Your Crusader, Praveen


Posted by Praveen

Top 5 Sporting Events

Here is my list of the top 5 sporting events in 2005. Sorry, for being so late, but i din't have time to type this.....chkout...and post ur valuable comments

1. England regaining the ASHES
Better known as 'Freddie' Flintoff's ashes. Barring the first test, every other test was a fight to the finish & a treat to watch. The emergence of Kevin Pietersen as a big hitter was another notable happening. This ashes confirmed that test cricket can be made more exciting than One day Internationals.

2. Liverpool's Champions league Victory
Liverpool won its 5th Champions league trophy at Istambul. The return of the 'Red Devils' to top form was one of the most exciting happenings in the world of soccer last year.

3. Sania Mania
Sania truly changed the way Indians look at tennis. She, with her thrilling performances, singlehandedlybrought the whole of India in front of the TV sets to watch tennis rather than cricket. She reached the 3rd round at Australian & 4th round in US open. She also bagged her maiden WTA crown at Hyderabad & completed a stunning upset of 6th ranked kuzenestova. Her attitude & the bold statements on her T-shirt made her the darling of the US &Wimbledon crwods.

4. vrrrroooom....Alonso
In F1 racing, Alonso ended the rein of Schumi(but still am a Schumi fan) at the top. His clinical performances and the sheer pace and reliability of the Renaults coupled with an inept Ferrari engine enabled him to win a number of races. But, a Schumi fan here is hoping for a rocking comeback from the real king of F1 in 2006.

5. Lance Armstrong's last lap
Armstrong won his 7th consecutive tour de France and announced retirement from cycling. A man who conquered the odds and inspired millions of cancer patients bid farewell to sport. He'll always be remembered as the embodiment of the triumph of human spirit.

PS- Faced with a problem of plenty, I had to leave out some of the most glorious chapters in sports from the above list. Those events worthy of being in this list are Roger Federer's genial mastery of Tennis, US open and Wimbledon. I'll dedicate a post fully for the King of tennis later. Then Sachin's 35th century, Lara becoming top run getter in tests, Dhoni's mammoth knock of 183 not out, Shane Warne's 600th wicket, the thrilling run of chelsea(I HATE CHELSEA...Arsenal rulzzz) in EPL etc...

with love, your crusader Praveen


Posted by Praveen

Bollywood n the nosy nuisance
It is night 9 pm watching TV...Channel V to be specific. And as expected there comes that unshaven figure wearing a cap (which luks unfit 4 his head), holding a mic so close to his mouth as if he is eating a banana. The mic is held in his trademark tilted fashion. And now he opens his mouth. that the sound of someone vomitting? A nosy kind of voice, which these days the channels are touting as suited 4 sufi songs. The thing is I am seeing this for the 100th time today(no exaggeration there), including the many other music channels like MTV, ETC, Zee Music etc. I switched the channel to MTV. there also he's there. Now u might have guessed whom I'm talking about, none other than the composer cum singer Himesh Reshammiya.
Himesh turned to singing with "Aashiq Banaya Aapne". I have to say that I enjoyed his compositions (including the copied ones) and singing in that. It was really a high selling album. Next came "Aksar". Well, the nosy singing continued there too. This time he sang most of the songs. He even had multiple remixes of some songs...If that was not enough, last week saw the release of his album "aaapka suroor". All these three albums have together hijacked all the music channels. Coupled with that, he acts n sings in most of the videos. And in most of the videos, another common feature is infamous "serial kisser" Emraan Haashmi. He's one of the actors I hate the most. He's out there not to act but with some other murky hidden agenda in his mind(which i think is not worthy of a mention here).
The fact is that most of the song that Himesh sang sounds the same. Guaging from the current scenario, I think that he has no intention of stopping singing. He has made me hate the music channels. Because good ones like "Rang De Basanti", Pankaj Awasthi, Strings etc are getting less airplay. God knows how long we have to suffer this torture. But am hopeful , Bollywood's obsession with this nosy nuisance will fizzle out sooner than later.....
NB:-With this article, am not trying to malign Himesh. I still love some of his compositions. Only thing I hate is his singing,which is now given undue importance by the bollywood industry.
Your Crusader, Praveen

A.R.Rahman- The year that was 2005  

Posted by Praveen in ,

January 6th. The most auspicious day in the calender of the Indian music industry. This is the day which saw the birth of a true music genius exactly 40 years back. Well, by now u might have guessed whom I'm talking about. Yes, u guessed it right. Its music maestro A.R.Rahman....the isai puyal. This is easily one of the most widely celebrated birthdays in Indian musicdom. Now, any discussion on him cannot be limited to India alone. Because he is a global phenomenon, an artist unparalleled whether you go by the mammoth album sales or the sheer versatality of his compositions. And these are still early days in his international career.
The year went by can be termed as brilliant if you go by his compositions and as mixed if the album sales are taken into account. But, really who cares for album sales? The first release from him this year was the under-rated but path breaking Subhas Chandra Bose. An album so different from the run of the mill stuff seen nowadays in bollywood. The BGMs were really international in quality. "Aazadi", the freedom cry from ARR was inspiring. "Desh Ki mitti" and "Ekla chalo" brought out Sonu Nigam's versatality.
Next in line from ARR this year was Mangal Pandey, which was a failure commercially. But it had some notable tracks like the soulful "Mangal Mangal", the mujhra "Main vari Vari" and the devotional "Maula". Also, there was "Raziya" with the unmistakable Persian touch. Kailash Kher's voice was the highlight of this album. Th market song "Takey Takey" is real fun to liten.
The next album "Aa Aah" was in Tamil. It was a success commercially. The title song announced ARR's return to tamil in top form. But it was somewhat spolied by inept picturisation. "Mayiliragae" was amazingly melodious and became a rage with the people. Then he gave the remix gurus some lessons in remixing through Mayiliragae's remix "Maramkothiye". This was a classic example of how you could remix a track with more creative input than just adding beats mindlessly to the original song. Hariharan's "Varugiraal" was really rocking. SPB and Shreya mouthed a few titillating lyrics in "Thazhuvudhu". Now comes the highlight of the year- the classic "Water". This is the album the maestro himself rated as 10/10. Well, just by listening once, you could understand why he rated it so high. I donot consider myself worthy enough to even pass a comment on the songs of this album. Rather, I would prefer to give a grand salute to the master for giving such a masterpiece to the impoverished Bollywood music industry. Each song is a gem. If I attempt reviewing any of the songs, I'll surely run out of adjectives.
ARR signed out the year with a bang with the release of "Rang De Basanti". This was a big bang indeed, if ever there was any. Or else how could you describe the sheer vareity of genres that he touched upon with this single album. Let me give u a quick overview of all the tracks. There's the 'Bhangra' title song, the 'Romantic' "Tu Bin Bataye", 'Arabic' "Khalbali", a brooding "Khoon Chala", a song of mother- son love " Lukka Chuppi" and 'a prayer' "Ik Onkar". Then there is the war cry "Lalkaar", a youthful and rockish "Paathshala", the rap "Be a Rebel" and last but not the least the easy listening acoustic delight "Roobaroo". Well, Have you heard of any more genres of music other than this" That too in a single album? Then, this is ARR for you. A fitting end to another landmark year.
ARR's 3rd dimension world tour caught the fancy of a large international audience. He blazed the stages in London, Birmingham, Singapore, Melbourne etc. and our own Bangalore(or Bengaluru). His charity concert for the Tsunami victims at Karaikal was a warm gesture on his part. The images of the innocent kids dancing to his tunes beside a 'calm' seashore will forever remain fresh in memory. 'The Poverty anthem' composed by him was unveiled at a concert in Delhi. But most of the fans, including me, still havn't heard it. Hopefully in 2006 we can hear it. Another notable happening this year was the opening of a state of the art studio named Shafee studio 5(AM studios) at Chennai. Its being touted as one of its kind and one of the largest in Asia.
What more can a fan of A.R.Rahman ask for in a single year. Yes, there were some delayed projects, most notably Godfather. But there is always another year, and 2006 is gonna be a truly rocking year for him as "Lord Of The Rings" is going to get released. Then there 's the ambitious "Sivaji" with Shankar and Rajnikanth. Another notable one is Kamal Haasan's "Dasavathaaram". Many more prestigious projects are in his kitty right now. Lets hope for a glorious 2006 when many more classics flow out from the legend that is A.R.RAHMAN.
Wait for a better year end review next year......Until then its rooooooobarooooo........roshniiiiiiiiiiiii
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With love, Your crusader Praveen