Watching Sunny Leone’s career is like rewinding a porn VHS—it starts out with full nudity and progresses to demurely clothed. She needs no introduction, of course, merely a Google search. Suffice to say, Leone grew up like many others, playing with toys along with other female friends,before moving on to other greater things, like Picasso in his “blue” period, blowing hot and cold and taking as many positions as Mitt Romney. Shooting into prominence for her appearance in a show that may be referred to, without loss of generality, as Big Bs, she caught the talent-spotting eyes of Mahesh Bhatt who then cast her in his daughter’s film “Jizz Em 2″ or, as it is called in India, Jism 2. Purely for her acting abilities. And of course because of her attention to detail, for which it seems she wanted to see health certificates (for HIV apparently) of her male co-stars [Link], perhaps because she did not quite understand what “getting into a character” meant.
[This post contains SPOILERS. DO NOT READ if you have not seen The Dark Knight Rises. For those of you interested in my opinion of TDKR: It is a solid summer entertainer that is well-worth the entrance. However it, in ITSELF, is not a classic for the ages, in the way that The Dark Knight was.]
[Also appeared in the DNA Sunday Mag]
If there is one thing I have learnt in eight years of posts and 57,405 comments at my blog “Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind” (http://greatbong.net) is that, nothing, and I mean nothing, gets the Indian audience more emotionally riled up than movie reviews.
Ridley Scott made a bloody good movie once. It’s name was “Alien”. Scary cat-face. A terrifying ship-horn. A sense of impending doom. Claustrophobia. Excellent use of light. And of silence. Icky jumping cauliflowers that eat faces. Organic dildos that penetrate. But from inside. More gooey stuff splattering in two minutes than two hours of a Japanese bukkake video.
“Alien” scared the shit out of me, each time I saw it. It affected me in such a visceral way that everytime I ate a egg-mutton roll during Durga Pujo at Maddox Square, I expected that alien head to come bursting out of my stomach and say “Guess whose meat it was that you ate. And guess who that egg batter came from.” Yes it was that scary. The food that is.
[Also published in DNA]
Gather round, children. Today I shall tell you the story of Agent Vinod. Not the Saif Ali Khan- Agent Vinod but the one who came before him, the original “Agent Vinod” from the 1977 movie with the same name.
It was a landmark year for international intrigue. Times were so bad that Iftikaar, known to play the staid police commissioner who encircles the bad guys ( “Police tumhe chaaron tarah se gher liya hai”), had crossed over to the dark side. There he was heading an international gang of intrigue, which not content with blowing up what looked suspiciously on-screen like toy-trains and doll-houses, had also hatched a sinister plot which involved kidnapping and imprisoning great scientist Ajay Saxena (Nazir Hussain) in a lair that had sharp dildos descending from the roof and, even more dangerously, lip-shaped TV screens. Why did they do this? So that they could obtain from him a secret formula he had developed, one that could negate even the effects of a Hydrogen-bomb.
At a climactic point of “The Players” where the protagonist and antagonist are engaged in a verbal O.K.Coral shootout, one of them says:
“Mera kaam hai naya twist laana. Tumhara kahani bahoot predictable ho gya hai”
Among the many special elements of “The Players” this was one of its finest, a moment of crystalline cinematic purity where the voice of the creator and the voice of his creation merge as one. It was as if the director-duo Abbas-Mastan, who are to film-making what Bonny and Clyde are to crime and Hobbs and Sutcliffe are to cricket, are trash-talking their contemporaries, those that make straight stories about straight people.
Because for Abbas-Mastan, it’s all about the twist. As a matter of fact so twisted are they, that within the first ten minutes, Abhishek Bachchan discovers a secret CD cut out in a novel, a novel sent to him by dead-criminal Aftab Shivdasani. No, the twist isn’t in the fact that someone gave Aftab Shivdasani 15 seconds of screen-time (which is what he had) or the fact that he would be seen with a book.
No the twist is in the name of the said tome.
The next time Pakistan makes a medium-range ballistic missile, I hope they call it Fakhri. Cause the lead lady of “Rockstar”, a veritable Sanjay Kapoor in ladies clothes, is a messenger of celluloid destruction. So stilted, artificial and halting is her performance that she makes Katrina Kaif look like Katherine Hepburn. I kid you not.
The industry may have been looking forward to “Ra-One” or “Rockstar” or “Ready” but for me, a fan of avant-garde Hindi cinema (the technical term used in this context is avant-gaand-de), “Chitkabrey–Shades of Grey” (to give it it’s full appellation) was the movie of the year.
First of all, there was immense controversy leading up to its release , controversy of the type that almost accompanies great works of art like “Citizen Kane” and “Chingari, the first famous for giving us deep focus and low angle shots and the second the popular phrase “manoranjak kutiya”.
The way the state of Bollywood is right now, superstar vehicles, provided they are marketed and distributed right, are assured of making money. The number of people who will sing hosannas even if Shahrukh Khan (or Salman Khan for that matter) stands in front of a blank screen and recycles through all his fixed facial expressions (which is what most of SRK’s recent movies have been) is so insanely large, that his producers (in this case himself) know that anything with his presence in every scene and aggressively marketed by him, is guaranteed to be a mega-hit, if not break records at the box-office.
[This review has spoilers. Be warned. Be very warned.]
It was a few months ago that I realized that I have totally lost the stomach for today’s mainstream commercial Bollywood. I remember the exact moment when I “turned”—- 25 minutes into the assault on the senses that is “Tees Mar Khan”. “No more” I told myself ” Am too old for this shit.” A line has been crossed and as the tag-line for the Emran Hashmi thriller “The Train” goes “Some lines should not be crossed.” [Yes I have seen that too]. So I stayed off Hindi movies (with some exceptions like “Dhobi Ghat”) using the time saved to revise my next book—”The Mine.” [publisher: Westland]