Pick this flick 14-Machuca  

Posted by Praveen in ,

Films on historical political occurrences can be captivating. It can educate you on things you never even knew happened in this world much before your arrival. And what if such a film is told from the perspective of some children who lived through such historical events. Thats what the Chilean film 'Machuca' is all about. Directed by acclaimed Chilean film maker Andres Wood, Machuca is the story of Gonzalo Infante, a rich introvert kid and Pedro Machuca, a kid from the slums.

Father McEnroe is the principal of St. George school in Santiago. He brings in the revolutionary social integration project by which kids from poor backgrounds are given free education and slowly integrated with the rich kids already studying in the school. Its an excercise to bring equality in a society waking up to the ideals of communism. All this is happening around 1973 when chile was under the Presidentship of Salvador Allande. There's unrest in the Chilean society against the ways of the Government. The uprising of the lower strata powered by the communists is amply chronicled in the movie. The protests leading up to the military coup and death of the presidentare also shown. The main story happens in this background. Gonzalo and Machuca, the representatives of the rich and poor class becomes thick friends. Gonzalo sees the horrors of slum life and Machuca the luxury of a rich life for the first time with the help of each other. But the political unrest plays havoc with their lives too. The film paints a grim picture of lives going astray and getting lost in accordance with the changing political climate in the country.

Aided by excellent cinematography, powerful performances and a soulful music score, Machuca will surely give you a pain filled pleasure trip. It also made me do a short study on the Chilean history around the 1970S. The most interesting thing that I found was on the death of Allande, which is still a matter of controversy on whether it was a murder or suicide. It was said that he committed suicide with the AK 47 rifle presented to him by Fidel Casstro. The rifle had the following engravings on it-""To my good friend Salvador from Fidel, who by different means tries to achieve the same goals". The military dictator Augusto Pinochet who came after him was a bigger curse for Chileans. He ushered in an age of repression in which lakhs of poor Chileans where brutally tortured and murdered. A glimpse of his regime's cruelty is shown towards the end of the film. This film is a must watch

Other recommendations
1. The wrestler
Darren Aronofsky is one director I been following closely from the time I watched the drug classic 'Requiem for a Dream'. His old work 'pi' confused me slightly whereas the recent work 'Fountain' amazed me. The Wrestler, touted as the comeback vehicle of 'the Harley Davidson' man Mickey Rourke, is vastly different from all of Darren's previous offerings. Its a close study on the life of a former champion wrestler. With his body failing him, Randy 'Ram' Robinson fights on with the sheer power of his will. See this for Rourke's performance and Aronofsky's vareity fare.

2. Waltz with Bashir
Another political film in the form of an animation. It reminded me a lot of that wonderful animated film on an Iranian girl, 'Persepolis'. Here also, the film's director is the protagonist. Ari Folman had served in the Israeli army during the Lebanon war in 1982. But, the only problem is he can't remmeber anything related to his time in the army. He gets the same nightmare every night in which he's chased by 26 dogs. The movie is a journey of self discovery by Ari, who goes in search of old friends who served with him in the army to find out what actually happened in Lebanon.

3. No smoking
I was looking for this film for a long time. Famous for its record setting disappearing act from the theatres, this Anurag Kashyap movie has all the elements that can drive you mad. John Abraham plays K, a hopeless chain smoker. After his wife leaves him citing his chain smoking, he takes his old smoking mate Abbas(played wonderfully well by Ranvir Shorey)'s advice and joins Prayogshala, a place famous for treating every known illness and addiction. Its only after he gets in there and meets the Guruji that K realises that he has fell into a soup...Its a mind numbing roller coaster ride from there. Some things are better left unexplained. I salute Anurag Kashyap's ability to create deeply intoxicating films.

your Crusader Praveen

My first blog interview  

Posted by Praveen in ,

It came as a big surprise last week when I got a mail from a Pakistani website asking my permission for an interview. Having given a 1000 interviews prior to this(in my wild dreams), I promptly send my consent. They mailed me the questions the next day. The lazy guy that I am, it took me one week to open the mail and type out the answers. And yesterday, they published it in their site. I still dont know why they selected me to be among the handful of Indian bloggers that they interviewed. Considering my past record of Pakistani bashing blogs, this indeed is quite surprising.

Here's the link to the interview-

Pasting the contents here anyway..
Interview with Blogger Praveen SR
By The Pakistani Spectator • Mar 19th, 2009 • Category: Interviews •

working as design engineer in an IT firm. Been blogging for the past 3 years. A bigtime rock music fan. Used to play guitar for the rock band Stoneage. A wide array of passions varying from stamp collection to the latest one, photography.
started blogging in 2005.
Blog URL-http://crusadertvm.blogspot.com

Here are the questions please:

Would you please tell us something about you and your site?
Am a design engineer by profession. I started blogging about 3 years back during my college days. My main aim then was to write on social issues. So I named it as crusadertvm(http://crusadertvm.blogspot.com), tvm being the short form for my native city. But then as I started writing more, I diversified and started posting poems, concert reports, movie reviews etc. And some months back I tried my hand at story writing too. So, now I think my blog is a masala mix of everything.

Do you feel that you continue to grow in your writing the longer you write? Why is that important to you?
Ofcourse. I've assessed how much I've changed as a writer from the time I started by reading my old blogs and comparing it with the latest ones. And the change is evident. This one fact inspires me to keep on blogging regularly. You can never know where you will end up.

I'm wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?
Many of the memorable experiences happened online in the form of appreciation mails from unknown people. Then, there were sometimes strangers approached me in public places and asked about my blog. These are the things which make blogging worthwhile. But my most memorable incident would be an unpleasant one. I had written this adjective laden post on a Swamini who disrespected our national flag. The next day I got a barrage of comments and mails from her followers. There was this one comment from a die hard follower cursing me for the sin I committed. Me and my friends had a hearty laughter. But on thinking more on it, I was apalled by the naiveity of some of our modern human friends. Another interesting incident was when one of my posts was copied word by word by a guy and was found out by one of my readers.

What do you do in order to keep up your communication with other bloggers?
The communication happens mainly through the comments section in the blogs. Prompt replies to the comments can help in maintaining a good relation with your regular readers and will bring the new readers back to your blog. Then there are the other communication tools like twitter, orkut etc through which I try to maintain contact with other bloggers and readers. I also attend the blogger's meets that happen once in a while. That serves as a platform to introduce your blog to others and also get introduced to many talented bloggers.

What do you think is the most exciting or most innovative use of technology in politics right now?
To tell you frankly, there's nothing exciting for us common people in politics. If ever the politicians use sophisticated technology, its mostly to hide some of their own wrong doings. Off late, we've seen many politicians turning to blogs for their election campaigning and also to justify the bad decision the they've made. So, in this regard I've only negative things to say.

Do you think that these new technologies are effective in making people more responsive?
People's behaviour is not related to advancements in technology. To prove this, you just have to think of the scenario in olden days. How a person behaves depends more on his own character rather than any external factors.

What do you think sets Your site apart from others?
I guess the variety of subjects I tackle could be pointed out. But, setting my site apart from others was never an aim, its just about voicing my opinions. I dont consider standing out from the crowd just for the sake of it, in my agenda.

If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?
Laughing at sorrows, smiling round the clock and populating my mind with positive thoughts. That makes 3, but I can't leave any one out.

What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?
Happiest moments are so many- seeing my parent's beaming faces after I got
my 1st job, meeting my idol A.R.Rahman, then playing on stage with my old college band, spending time with friends.
Gloomiest moments- I delete them from memory as soon as they pass

If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with noworries about how it’s paid for - what would your top 3 choices be?
Since am away from home now, I have no choice but to go home. I just love my home.

What is your favorite book and why?
Ayn Rand's Fountainhead. The way it celebrates individuality makes it my favourite work. Howard Roark also happens to be my favourite character.

What’s the first thing you notice about a person (whether you know them or not)?
body language, which can serve as a key to know the person's attitude.

Is there anyone from your past that once told you you couldn't write?
I still get comments from people I personally know that I write long boring posts in my blogs. To them, I only have one answer 'I write for myself. Am not forcing anyone to read'.

How bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?
I still haven't explored that part of blogging. I do this because writing is a passion for me.

Is it true that who has a successful blog has an awful lot of time on their hands?
Not true always. I do squeeze in time in between my busy schedule to write and also to read my favourite blogs. But one thing is true, you are never too busy to miss blogs.

What role can bloggers of the world play to make this world morefriendlier and less hostile?
In blog world everything is friendly except for some odd fights. But in real world, things are different. Small changes in attitude can be brought about by idea exchange between people of two waring factions or countries. But to expect world peace from blogging is an Utopian idea.

Who are your top five favourite bloggers?
Many are there..
Chriz, Kartz, scorpiogenius, Usha M'am, Hari, Rockus, wetspark, vimmu...

Is there one observation or column or post that has gotten the most powerful reaction from people?
As I mentioned before, the post about the swamini was very controversial. Then, there was this post on an old local politician who disrespected Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, the commando who bravely laid down his life during the Mumbai attack last year. It even brought me open threats from some well known political groups.

What is your perception about Pakistan and its people?
Now, this is interesting. I am a person who considers the ordinary citizens of Pakistan on par with the people of my country. I love the Pakistani musicians like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Junoon and strings and also film makers like Shoain Mansoor. But, at the same time I strongly disagree with the anti India propaganda spread by the Pakistani government and the extremist groups. I mince no words in saying that I hate them with all my heart. The day on which these unwanted elements are thrown out, I will shower my whole hearted love on Pakistan.

Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger?
The list is big and I dont think its good enough to mention one blogger.

What is the most striking difference between a developed country and a developing country?
The developed country thinks that its a developing country and the developing country thinks that its a developed country. Thats why the list of developed and developing countries always remains the same.

What is the future of blogging?
I think we are already in the cutting edge of blogging technology with concepts like moblogging which lets you blog on the go.

You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?
It has given me a set of many great friends and ofcourse haters too. In professional life also it plays a big part since my company has its own internal blogging platform. That has brought me more exposure, more readers, more friends and a wider world view.

What are your future plans?
I live in the moment. Planning is for the thinking lot. Thinking leads to worries and worries leads to sorrows. So its better to worry less, think less and plan less. Just enjoy life as it reveals itself.

Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?
A big Hi from India to all those wonderful people living amidst the peace shattering extremists. We are all with you in the fight against terrorism.

Best regards,
Ghazala Khan
The Pakistani Spectator

So that was my first interview as a blogger. :D

your crusader Praveen

My new cam @ rock ethos 09  

Posted by Praveen in , , ,

Motherjane- just after the kathakali makeup

Atlast, I got my hands on my dream camera-Canon Powershot SX 10IS. Its after a long wait for the model to arrive in the grey market and having lost my patience, I headed straight to the cam shop in forum on saturday. The first snap was clicked my the store staff himself, a group pic of me and my roomies. My area of expertise being the real tough mobile photography (:P), right now my state is like an LKG student learning differantiation and integration. Studying the long manual is a boring task. To save me from that boredom, my Guru Vivek was there offering me lot of tips through phone and gtalk.
Me, Raja n Navi with Motherjane

with Bhayanak maut vocalist Vinay
setting the stage on fire

I didn't have to wait long for first photography assignment. Rock ethos 09 concert happened in Palace grounds on Saturday and Sunday. We gave the Saturday show a miss. On Sunday, it was a great day with my favourite band Motherjane. Me, Raja and Navi were there right from the time they put their Kathakali makeups to the time they left the stage. Raja did try his hand in doing the Kathakali face painting while I clicked away. In between, I had a great insightful talk with a freelance photographer Venkitesh, who came to interview Motherjane at their hotel. He talked on how he left a high paying job in IBM to pursue his passion. Then, we headed to the concert venue.
Motherjane on stage

Rain clouds were gathering as we reached Palace grounds. A promising band from north east was on stage then. Backstage, we got to meet the guys from Bhayanak Maut. By the time Motherjane got on stage, rain was pouring thick and fast. After a 30 minute delay during which the crowd got real angry, but peace was restored when Baiju chettan started the proceedings with a nice reworking of 'Vande Mataram'. The PA system and the colourful lights were off because of the incessant rain. But, Motherjane with their 'come rain or shine, we will rock the crowd' attitude went on to do the best show of the evening. With a perfect mix of songs from the new and old album like 'disillusioned', Chasing the sun', 'mindstreet', 'Fields of sound' etc, it was one special show in the rain. The spirit of the crowd which stayed put in the rain and headbanged to glory, is worth mentioning. Then came Bhayanak Maut with their brand of hardcore metal and I just loved their raw energy. The crowd went berserk with some heavy moshing. Vinay, with his long beard and bald head was a show stealer. The final band was myndsnare and except Yasmine's exceptional drumming, it was not upto the mark. And at 10 0 clock, our 'Moral' #$^%%$^ police stopped the show...
Bhayanak Maut on stage
Yasmine Claire-The lady drummer

PS- No, This wont be a fulltime photblog. Am not good enough for that as of now :P.

Pick this Flick 13: Gulaal  

Posted by Praveen in ,

************Not a single spoiler ahead*************

"I don't make comparisons. I never think of myself in relation to anyone else. I just refuse to measure myself as part of anything. I'm an utter egotist."

The above are the words of the legendary Howard Roark from Ayn Rand's Fountainhead. I am sure when she wrote the book way back in 1943, Ayn Rand did a time travel to 2009, saw non-conformist brilliance unleashed on Indian film industry in the form of Anurag Kashyap and then went back and created Roark. We had a glimpse of his brilliance in 'Black friday'. 'No smoking' was his version of Roark's 'Stoddard temple', a work criticised by every critic worth his salt. Then, we saw an unchained horse high on sex, drugs and non-conformity in 'Dev D'. 'Gulaal' sees the horse galloping with renewed anger to the deserts of Rajasthan. Its a tale of politics, betrayal and love with an underlying commentary on present day India.

The film opens with Dukey Bana(Kay Kay Menon)'s earth shattering speech criticising democracy for robbing the power from the Maharajas like the Rajputs of Rajasthan. He exorts the youth(with their faces painted in Gulaal) to fight to free the Rajputana country from democracy and give it back to its rightful rulers, the Rajputs. Flashback. Dilip Singh (Raj Singh Chaudhary) arrives in Rajpur to study law. He stays with Rananjay singh(Abhimanyu Singh), a Rajput prince in a bar which doubles up as a house. The film is all about how these characters are sucked into the murky world of politics. Kiran(Ayesha Mohan) and Anuja(Jesse Randhawa) plays the pivotal female leads. Then we have Madhuri(Mahie Gill, the paro from Dev D) playing the item girl in a special appearance. With this interwoven the subplot of Kiran and her brother Karan(Aditya Shrivastava), who are the secret offsprings of the former Maharaja, Rananjay's father. This sets a stage for anger, lust and deceit, all in the name of politics and power. Everyone is a puppet in some other's hands.

Anurag keeps his record clean by earning another 'A' certificate for his latest movie. It has a fair sprinkling of expletives and double meaning dialogues. The oneliners are sure to have you in splits. My favourite one was from Rananjay. He's all tied up by Karan asking him to withdraw from the elections. Rananjay smiles and delivers the punch, 'If your father had withdrawn at the right time,.....'. Then there are the songs. Right from the election clarion call 'Aaramb hai prachand', its pure poetry flowing all around. Everyone's favourite lyrics is ofcourse from 'Ranaji' with references to 9/11 and USA's misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Jaise Dur Deshke Tower Mein Ghus Gaye Aeroplane, Iraq Mein Aake Bas Gaye Uncle Sam, Bina Baat Ke Afghanistan Ka Baj Gaya Band”. All the songs form part of the story and tells a story of its own. Indian Ocean's 'Yaara maula' comes at the right place when the decisive change in Dilip's character takes place. 'Aisi sazaa' sung by Shilpa Rao is soothing as well as painful. 'Duniya' asks us that questin, 'yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaye to kya hai?.
Kay Kay Menon's Dukey Bana can be defined as reflection of the separatists of Kashmir, Raj Thackerey or even the meek Pramod Muthalik. His character is a lesson on how a person drunk with regionalism or communism and a lust for power can wreak havoc. Piyush Mishra has undoubtedly given an all round contribution to the film. Besides writing the powerful lyrics and composing all the tunes, he has put in a wonderful performance as Dukey's brother Prithvi Bana. He keeps on singing and giving away sane advice amidst all the insanity. But, its he who is picturised by the soceity as insane. His John Lennon stlye round glasses did bring the timeless lyrics of 'imagine' to my mind-'Imagine there's no countries, It isn't hard to do, Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too, Imagne all the people, Living life in peace.' Deepak Dobriyal who was last seen in Delhi 6 plays Bhati, the trusted man of Dukey. He almost steals the show from Kay Kay in many of their scenes together. Raj Singh Chaudhary, also the co-writer of the film does the role of the cry baby Dilip Singh perfectly well and he handles the transformation in his character equally well too. Not to forget the ardhanareeshwara(half man-halfwoman) who accompanies Prithvi Bana's musical adventures.

College ragging is given a whole new picture in this film. Post-Gulaal, 'Brainwash' means holding someone upside down with his head inside an unclean closet which is being flushed. Then there's a reference to an infamous incident which happened in a Karnataka college where a girl and boy were both kept naked in a single room in the name of ragging. Anurag weaves it well into the story just as he did with that MMS scandal in Dev D. Now, to the symbols and references which are there in almost every scene. The most delightful one is the bar house in which Rananjay and Dilip stays. There are big posters of Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley adorning the walls. The drinks which are stocked in the bar have real aristocratic as well as political names like constitution whiskey, democracy beer, colonial whiskey and putin Vodka. The lighting which is used for each characters also conveys a particular mood. Red, ofcourse dominates. Rajeev Ravi, the cinematographer who learned the tricks of the trade in the malayalam film industry, dazzles yet again and gives Anurag what he wants-all his wild imaginations caught on camera.

Gulaal is not a strictly political movie. More than the obvious, it has many underlying shades to it as explained above. Anurag knows the medium of cinema too well and knows what all to show explicitly and what all to hide beneath the surface. Its upto the audience to interpret in the way they want. The most interesting interpretation I've heard now is that the illegitimate son Karan, who is a kind of 'master of puppets' is modelled after the legendary Karna from Mahabharatha. It ofcourse makes sense, the most obvious clue being that Karan is a wordplay on Karna. There are a 100 more explanations to be made on this film.Whatever be the case, Gulaal reaffirms the fact that Anurag Kashyap is one director to whom the word 'different' suits well, for a change.

your crusader Praveen

ADs: Well placed & Ill Timed  

Posted by Praveen in

My mind was blank for the past many days and my blog been a true reflection of that blankness. The net connection at home which been down for the past 5 days kept me away from my blog and so I couldn't get the motivation to write. So, the last few nights were spend watching movies. Anyway, Yesterday night I got this sudden urge to write something, maybe because of the wild holy celebrations by the bloggers in my company yesterday evening. I think the riot of colours on everyone's faces and my own eyes stirred up my mind. So here it goes...

Advertisements are an art form, just like movies. Some are irritating, some are pleasing. Some are well timed whereas some others are ill timed. Here is one such list...

Strategically placed ADs and establishments

1. Condom AD placed at the climatic curve of a long hairpin climb.

2. Motion control(Constipation inducing) tablets AD placed at the backside of the door to a public toilet.
Reason-Nobody would dare to use a public toilet unless in an emergency case which at most times happens to be a bad stomach due to an over eating excercise. And by placing the AD at the back of the door, we can be sure that it will be noticed.

3. Restaurant AD(or the restaurant itself) near the venue of a political Satyagraha.
Reason- You will think that this is a candidate for a wrongly placed AD. No, this is one of the best placed of the lot considering the sincerity level of our political Satyagrahis.

4. Job website AD at the gate of popular companies.
Caution- This works only during recession.

5. 'Horse for sale' AD outside parliament.
Reason-Obvious. Think horsetrading.

6. Saree shop AD outside Ramsene headquarters.

7. Pirated CD/DVD stall in front of a music shop. I saw a perfect example of this infront of musicworld in Bangalore. When I got out of musicworld, there was hardly anyone inside, but there was a big crowd in front of the pirate guy.

8. Matrimonial agency/website AD outside a family court.

9. 'Defeat fear of heights. Meet Psychologist Mr. X' AD placed at a bungee jumping location.

10. 'Complete final year project for 500 rupees' AD outside engineering colleges.

Wrongly placed ADs

1. Barber shop AD at a heavy metal concert.

2. Chicken shop near a Brahmin settlement.

3. Saas bahu serial AD in between cricket matches. Set Max is the best example. Even during the current India-NZ series, which happens at hours during which saas bahu fans never watch TV, we are given an ample dose of these ADs.

4. 'Faith healing' AD opposite to an atheist's house.

5. Adoor Gopalakrishnan movie poster outside porn movie theatre.

6. Itch guard AD inside a restaurant.

Feel free to add more.

your crusader Praveen

Motherjane ' Broken' Video:Brilliance on Camera  

Posted by Praveen in , ,

Motherjane's much awaited video of the song 'broken' was released yesterday in their official site. Thematically, this is one of the best Indian rock videos I've seen in recent times. It chronicles the relationship between a father and son. The father, a Kathakali exponent is so immersed in the art that he doesn't have time for his motherless child. This is best shown in the scene where the man is shown sleeping on his bed with the kathakali makeup on. The son comes near and tries to wipe away the makeup to see his father's face, but the angry man drives him away. Time passes and the lonely son grows up to become a rebel communist, as illustrated by the portrait of Che Guevera hung on his room's wall. The old father now craves for his son's love and attention. Now, the roles are reversed. The son doesn't have time for his father. We see a role reversed repeat of the earlier scene where the father comes to the son's bedroom and is driven away. The man contemplates committing suicide and is shown staring at the noose hanging from the roof. But at the last minute, he decides against it. Now, he dons the Kathakali makeup once again, for a special show for his son. But, this time, only half his face is painted, the other half revealing his human side. Thus the father and son find peace.

When I saw the first scenes of this video, of the father sitting with a plateful of meal in front, I was thinking 'What the hell is this?'. But by the end of the video, I was telling myself 'This is one bloody brilliant video'. All the band members appear with their trademark half painted faces. I don't think I've to talk about the musical side of the song, about which reams have been written before. Baiju chettan's killer carnatic solo, John chettan's precise drumwork, Deepu chettan's thumping rhythm section, Clyde chettan's awesome bass and Suraj chettan's brilliant vocals make this a must listen song. This is the song for which Suraj Mani got the best rock vocalist nominations at the famed AVIMA awards. The lyrics are as follows-

We’ve all, We've all been broken
Shattered, left mute with regrets unspoken

We’ve all loved and lost

Been forsaken, repented our deepest trust

We’ve all wondered why

Destiny picked us to cry

Why faith has to be tested,

And life doesn’t turn out the way intended

We’re mended to be broken

Yet human clay believes itself golden

Stunning in its courage to be happy
As wild elations tempered with black melancholy

Additional info on the video- The kathakali performance that is shown in the video is the famous
'Balivadham'(Killing of bali by Lord Rama). When God himself turns against a man, he is helpless. Thats what happened with Bali, who was killed by Rama as a return favour for Sugriva who helped him to fight ravana. Thanks to Suraj Chettan for patiently explaining the small small things related to the video.

your crusader Praveen

Pick this Flick 12: Delhi 6, Kaala Bandar and the mirror  

Posted by Praveen in ,

The mirror in front of Delhi 6 audio cd cover

When I picked up the audio cd of Delhi 6 from a cd store here some weeks back, I saw myself staring at me from the cd cover. Yes, it had a big mirror attached to the front which made the cover real heavy. The minute I saw that mirror, I was sure Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra did have something real serious up his sleeve this time around too. And, when last week I missed watching this movie, I was bombarded with bad reviews from all around with only a few saying it to be worth a watch. I had given up hope on the movie but still didn't dare to miss it. And when I finished watching it this saturday night, I was left wondering whether I was actually reading and hearing the reviews about this movie. It was not that bad afterall. And I felt it to be something real good.

How many times have you looked into a mirror other than to put your makeup, set your hair or to just check if your face is presentable to the outside world? How many times have you looked into a mirror with the intention of seeing through the clothes and through the flesh to what is inside, the inside of your mind, your heart? I would bet most of us would answer, 'never'. This movie is for us who look into the mirror to see what we want to see and then turn a blind eye to what we are in reality. When you and your friend stand together and look into a mirror, you try to see what is right in you and what is wrong in him. The 'kaala bandhar' metaphor works brillaintly because Rakeysh used a real world occurence and blends it so well with the the message he wanted to convey. The real monkey man of Delhi which happened somewhere around 2001 is still an unsolved mystery. Nobody knows what it is, nobody has seen it in all its glory, but we have loads of stories and myths around it. People sometimes use the 'monkey man' to their own advantage which was shown beautifully in many scenes(remember cyrus running with his clothes from prem chopra's wife's bedroom?) and also in the ending para of the song. The last lines of 'Kala bandar' are 'bandar kala bandar, I beg you to stay' because life has become good for some after the kaala bandar myth started.

Then there are the numerous small characters who were all there to convey some point. Jelebi, the low caste gal who's famed for making 'mards' out of kids overnight and who is shunned as an untouchable by the so called high-castes, takes the cake for one of the best supporting characters in delhi 6. The scene where she cuts a strand of hair and gives it to Gobar(Atul Kulkarni) to present to others as Kaala bandar's hair shows that sometimes the untouchables can be more sensible that the 'touchables' who are fighting over nothing. We are also shown how a peacefully co-existing mixed community can be easily polarised by some petty issues coupled with stupid utterances from some yogi. The 'hamare paas proof hai' dialogue from Om Puri proves this point. Not to forget the character of Mamdu, the Hanuman worshipping muslim. The brothers who fights at the 2 sides of a wall reminded me of that old cement ad. The ladies' conversations through the single brick hole made for hilarious viewing. Especially the 'mother and board exam' dialogues. The electric circuit wala brother who bores everyone with his electric dialogues is one straight out of real life. The 2 kids wanting to be men somehow reminds us of those wild old days in school. The Ramleela blends so well with the narrative and comes into play at apt points in the plot. The lady political leader, though a bit cliched, is a good template on a modern day Indian politician.

The only complaint I've to Rakyesh is in the way he cut short most of the songs and placed some songs awkwardly in the screenplay. But I've to applaud him for the way 'dil gira dafatan' was shot. The way he blended the scenes from the streets of Delhi and New york was breath taking. You could see autorickshaws overtaking the yellow NY cabs. The shot where Abhishek watches Sonam's picture being painted and at the other side she watching his being painted is a masterclass. My favourite shot of the movie is at the start of the Maula song when the camera does an almost 360 degree turn and gives a breathtaking wide angle view of the praying thousands in front of the masjid. I really wish Rakeysh had given the same treatment to 'Rehna Tu' too. Masakali had some exquisite choreography. I just fell in love with Sonam in this song. Now, to Abhishek's performance. Nothing great there, just an ok performance which was satisfactorily convincing. He has the charisma to carry a film but sometimes his acting lags a bit. Waheeda Rahman was a perfect casting just as in RDB.

I am still wondering why the critics said this movie is crap, preachy and a waste of time. Agreed, there were too many references to the Kaala bandhar but I really do feel it all fit nicely with the intent of the film. Even the climax which was said to be 'horrible' didn't seem odd to me that I was left searching for the 'horrible' part. Only problem was that at some places the subtlety of the metaphors were lost but I guess that was intentional on the part of the director to make it more accessible to the common man you see on the streets of Delhi-6. All in all, its a film thats a worthy successor to RDB in that it shows a mini version of India in a Delhi street. India, with all its problems and negativities, is still a million times better than any other place. So, is Delhi 6. From today, am sure I will see something different when I look into the mirror.

PS-Pic from the net because my mob cam's not working from yesterday :(

your crusader Praveen