Kurbaan – a Review November 22, 2009Posted by astralwicks in Bollywood, hindi films, india, Jihad Politics, Personal, Review, Saifeena.
Tags: Hindi film review, Jihad, Kurbaan, Kurbaan Review
Avantika, the heroine of Kurbaan finds the truth of her neighbour, including her husband’s evil terror designs by the most facile manner. She is under lock and key supervised by highly motivated terrorist’s who forget to search her. She in fact has a phone on her!
Still interested? Avantika who knows that a plane carrying a special delegation to Iraq is about to be BOMBED does NOT call the cops – inspite of having a phone!! She calls up a journalist who is traveling on the said plane – who like most travelers switches off her phone before take-off.
Vivek Oberoi’s journalist character (with horrible accents that change like calamitous weather) again discovers that there is a terrorist cell in operation about to carry a HUGE operation. What does he do? He decides to investigate on his own – without informing the FBI. And better still – he goes and informs his editor that he has LEADS but is not going to inform the FBI! You would assume that the editor would pick up the phone and call the FBI. But no sir, he doesn’t. All this after 9/11.
There is more. Even after knowing that the terrorist cell is targeting the Metro Lines and even after the 1st bombing – people in America go about their daily lives. The authorities continue to operate the Metro instead of closing it down and sanitizing it so that our plot reaches it logical ending.
The clothes of course are good. And the locations. Couple of scenes work well. But does it justify the lack of careful attention to screenplay-detail? Seems like that. We are cagey in our criticism until and unless there is an ulterior motive. A taut flawless script is no guarantee of a film’s success. I like Rang De Basanti (at least I did when I last saw it). My friends laugh and mock me, but I still enjoy it inspite of the inconsistencies and flights of fancy. RDB has a sincere charm – the emotions of those characters are infectious and accessible. You are ready to gloss over because you believe in the film emotionally if not intellectually.
That is not possible with Kurbaan’s because its politics exist in a no man’s land. A Pakistani posing as a professor, charms off an Indian psychology professor teaching in the US so that he can take revenge on the white man and his politics of oil. The story of his idyll being destroyed by America is told by Kiron Kher’s character. Similarly Kiron Kher and family’s rage has a backstory set in Afghanistan.
The complex web of the Jihad – Wahabism, invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets, the Mujahideen, the Saudi funding of Madrasas, the CIA financing of the Mujahideen, the ISI agenda of funding terror for strategic depth in Afghanistan, the radicalization of Pakistan under Zia, the strangle-hold of the military in Pakistan, the emergence of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda – nothing is even remotely touched upon. Kurbaa’s reductionism lays the blame on the door of the US of A. Is it that simple?
Do we see any evidence of what Bhaijaan (Om Puri) constantly asserts – that Ehsaan (Saif) is falling for Avantika (Kareena). NO. It is just a bogey so that when Ehsaan actually does have a change of heart without any reason whatsoever (no it’s nothing to do with the kid that Avantika is carrying) you have to gloss over the obvious lack of motivation. Again Ehsaas, the numero – uno terrorist is surprised by the rigging of Avantika’s bag. Is he a fool or a motivated fanatic?
Is Kurbaan a vivisection of the increasing clash of cultures between Islam and Christianity? NO. Is it a study of radicalization of the world per se. NO. Does India play any role in it? Nothing other than the fact that the film starts in India and the heroine has Indian roots.
Kurbaa’s characters lie in a no-man’s land. Are we supposed to like the film because it features 2 of India’s good-looking, talked-about people who are in a relationship? Good ploy but it fails.
Chalta Hai Yaar November 17, 2009Posted by astralwicks in 2009, Humor, india, Opinion, Random, strange but true.
Tags: chalta ha yaar, crime and india, guilty by association, riff-raff, top ten 2009
Chew on this
Justice Dinakaran – can’t be a thief because he is a Dalit + he has Karunanidhi’s support
Koda – cannot be a thief because he is a Tribal
Rahul Bhatt – is already a criminal because he met Headley
D Raja – again could have committed a crime, even in oversight, because he is an alliance partner
Bal T – can never be prosecuted because Bombay will be brought on its knees
Raj T – cannot be prosecuted because – again Bombay will be brought to its knees
CPM Violence – cannot be stopped because that’s the only way Marxists can stay in power
Modi – better not touch this guy or else your films will lose Gujarat as territory
Deoband & Jamait-e-Ulema Hind – cannot be chided because of Muslim Votes
Maoists – cannot be stopped because they believe only in violence
Pakistan – cannot be stopped because of fear of being nuked
China – can’t be dealt firmly because of fear of being over run by the Red Army
Nepal – cannot be managed because of no particular reason
Bangladesh – cannot be managed because there is no Bangladesh policy
Bt Brinjal – cannot be stopped because it is an MNC Brinjal
SEZ – cannot be stopped because politicians need to get their daughters and sons married
Arnab Goswami – cannot be stopped – er when does he begin?
Fairness Creams – lets admit – Indian’s are Racists
Fairness Cream Endorsements by Superstars – of course they need the additional millions
Its Fresh & Official – Marathi Manoos weaker than Women! November 16, 2009Posted by astralwicks in Bollywood, Feminism, Humor, india, marathi manoos, MNS, Politics, Random, Shiv Sena, violence.
Tags: Big Boss, Bihar, Extinction, Feminism, Kamal Khan, marathi manoos, MNS, Reservation, Shiv Sena, Uttar Pradesh, Violent Politics
# 1 on the ‘Soon 2 B Extinct Species’ – Marathi Manoos – championed by the aptly titled SS and its progeny – the MNS
Both these Sena’s have lots of time. And hate. They also possess lots of petrol, stones, hockey sticks etc. They take me back in time to the Bollywood of the glorious 80’s. But let me not digress.
This MM is frailer than your old grandmother, grandmother, orphan, handicapped who is abandoned, on the road, doesn’t have work or relatives or social support – who begs on the streets, at numerous crossings, tapping on your air-conditioned, frost-bitten rolled-up windows of your XYZ sedan.
The MM can die of hurt caused by talk of all kinds – ‘I like India’ and bingo they lose a tooth…er you lose it.
If you say ‘I love India’ then entire gene structures of the MM mutate. They vibrate at higher speeds than the 2 particles traveling in the ever – crashing Large Hadron Collider.
‘I like Mughlai’ say you? That could possibly be the last words out of your treacherous mouth.
‘I like a Nude’ and and…forget about it.
MM in fact has come as a savior to the entire women species of India. No longer are women considered the weaker of the species. MM has been categorized as the weakest of the lot. And it is reliably learnt that the SS and the MNS are proud wearers of his badge of honour. They in fact want this exalted status to be made permanent so that benefits can accrue to their scared lot.
Meanwhile Indian women groups are busy putting aside their differences and sending a delegation to Bombay to congratulate both the SS and the MNS for giving the final shove in the centuries old struggle.
They are however only worried about 1 thing – giving up the reserved seats on BEST buses to the Marathi Manoos.
MM can’t compete with the illiterate Bhaiyya coming from UP and Bihar. MM cannot get jobs also when competing with some of the literates coming out of the said backward provinces.
In additional news, which is already being confirmed as unadulterated speculation or rumor, the Big Boss evictee motor-mouth KRK has launched his next film called ‘Marathi Manhoos’ to whip up frenzy, polarize his audience and earn money right on the table. He says he has learnt the art of polarizing from the SS and MNS.
India’s Parliament House Abandoned August 11, 2009Posted by astralwicks in india, Musings, Opinion, Parliament, Personal, Random, terrorism.
Tags: parliament house abandoned, strange Indian case, terror threat to Indian parliament, terrorism in india
Due to various terrorist threats from LET, JEM, HUM, HUJI etc India has finally decided to abandon the hallowed precincts of the parliament house – so far the epicenter of Indian democracy.
A Presidential ordinance has decreed that henceforth whatever little Parliamentary work gets done (after the heckling, walkouts, absenteeism and discussion on the content of sleazy reality shows) will be outsourced to a friendly nation that is not under the threat of extremism. According to preliminary reports of various consultancy firms, the situation looks grim. There are very few nations they say that can pass such an impossible filter.
Arctic and Antarctic is too cold our hot-blooded M.P’s have announced and promptly denounced such plans made by a panel that largely comprised of M.P’s from the north, used to the cold.
Meanwhile the terror groups are disappointed at the sudden turnaround and according to unconfirmed reports, recruitment in LET, JEM has fallen because of the sudden lack of interesting international targets. The de-motivated cadre is being promised newer enemies.
The Parliament House is slated to be converted into a impregnable fortress that no Indian or foreigner can see, touch, admire or destroy.
I Con June 24, 2009Posted by astralwicks in beauty, Bollywood, india, People, Politics, Racism, Random, Writing.
Tags: John Abraham endorsing skin whitening cream, Sonam Kapoor endorsing skin whitening cream
They are young. They are successful. They are articulate. They are icons.
Sonam Kapoor, the effervescent and nonchalantly retro-charmer of a girl and John Abraham epitomising bulging muscles and quiet dignity both endorse ‘fairness creams’.
Why would 2 seemingly intelligent people of this generation who spout socially conscious sentences at every journalistic intrusion do this? The obvious answer is money. That ancient temptation that has scorched us has beaten us once again.
And yet we tut tut ad nauseum at the attacks in Australia and anywhere else. When city bred youth, ironically in a profession that pays obeisance only at the altar of beauty thereby revealing its illusory transience, cannot take a stance against a skin whitening cream, what hope do we have from people who we say are mired in centuries old superstition.
Endorsing colas is almost divine.
Cruel… June 19, 2009Posted by astralwicks in Cinema, Cricket, crime, india, Mass Media, Media, People, t20 world cup, victim, viewership.
Tags: burning dhoni's effigy, india's loss at t20, media hype, media responsibility, rape and cinema, Shiney Ahuja
…every which way.
A man allegedly rapes a woman working at his house. The channels go berserk calling her a ‘naukrani’ or ‘naukar. The heinous allegation almost being mitigated by the social position and of the girl and the nomenclature of her profession. The media of the biggest democracy in the world doesn’t extend basic courtesies to victims of crime. In this case however they extended the same to both parties. For so long considered the repository of all things promiscuous – the film actor now has proved that he or she is indeed a vile, licentious animal that preys.
The perpetrator of this crime – Shiney Ahuja had to strangely be barefoot. That is the rule in India. An accused can’t wear shoes. What do shoes and guilt have in common? No idea. Anyways he still has to be chargesheeted, the case fought and the sentence delivered – a long way from now, some years probably – but why can’t he wear a shoe or a chappal for that matter.
India’s loss at the T20 World Cup. Another instance of the mob fury. Cricket is a sport. Cricketers are not gods. You win some and you lose some based on your strategy. Like petulant schoolboys with no emotional anchor finding solace in somebody else’s victory, they came out on the streets and burned the captain’s effigy.
It is not the mob alone that is to blame. It is the incessant analysis and counter – analysis, by ‘I-know-better-than-you’ ex-cricketers, who have to justify their payments, who hype the match and then impute reasons where there are none. The self-feeding hype machinery of all media has to strike a balance between reporting responsibly and viewership targets.
Comeback May 22, 2009Posted by astralwicks in india, Indian Elections, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Random, World, Writing.
Tags: common indian, common man of india, season of comebacks, the indian voter
The comeback. It’s always difficult. Far too many examples around us to not see its relevance and I should add, the difficulty, if not the impossibility.
What should I write on? I had missed the most important and self-sustaining of all – the Indian Elections. Similarly with IPl.
Work takes a toll. I try to be the dedicated blogger – scouring my life and its elements to give me enough inspiration to forget that I am tired and and put some words to all the ideas. But I fail.
Coming back to the comeback theme. Ask Congress or BJP or Manmohan or Advani or Rahul or Prabhakaran.
Who would have thought that Mr. Singh will get what he got? Who would have given Rahul G the foresight to change the tables in UP. Was Advani or the BJP over-confident? All of them wanted the grand comeback. To register themselves on the consciousness of the nation, but…
Prabhakjaran the man whom the cats envied finally ran out of lives. He thought that violence or his kind of violence will be greater than the miliraty/state violence of Sri Lanka but paid the ultimate price. Perhaps peace making a comeback his with death.
What does the comeback entail? Prescience or luck?
We of course can read the winds of change or status quo. We of course are also blinded by our own prejudices to either be indifferent to it or reject it outright. We of course being blinded read it any which way we like.
Some thought that strength is because of aggression, violence. And paid the price. That to if you reject one you automatically open the doors to the opposite. And failed on both counts.
Aam Aadmi or the Common Man or Woman – was it this much neglected entity who made a quiet comeback? Neglected, a lower citizen, perenially a seasonal electoral favourite it was this X factor that made a comeback – surprising everyone.
They pushed the youth, they sidelined violence and hate, rewarded the meek, silent one and tried to strike a balance – a middle path. It too shall be rocky. So lets hang on.
Aliens Exist April 12, 2009Posted by astralwicks in Aliens, Bizarre, india, manifesto, Opinion, Politics, strange, Writing.
Tags: Indian Election 2009 promises, Is This True, Samajwadi Party Manifesto, SP manifesto 2009, strange but ture, Strange Election Promises
A long long time ago, tucked in the winter bed in Jamshedpur, I wondered – do Aliens exist? There of course was no answer. Parents, teachers, friends, elder siblings none had an answer. A few years later, now an adult, I thought probably gods were aliens. They ruled on earth and then slowly abandoned earth in their technologically advanced ‘pushpak vihanas’.
Yesterday I got the answer. Aliens do exist. And they are amongst us!! They reared their oh so common and innocent heads once again. Normally you would not be able to identify them. NO. They have 1 head, 2 eyes etc but…
They want to ban computers
Ban premium English schools
Ban agricultural equipment
Banning Mall culture
No share trading
Yes. This is the Samajwadi Party speaking to you. We want to build a new society ladies and gentlemen. Hark, hark – oh idiot Indians. Don’t mind the abuse for ‘IDIOT’ is in fact just the opposite. Just like our manifesto.
Please vote for me because I am going to take you back a few centuries back. Return to Nature is the key. We shall use bullock carts and increase acreage. We shall send our children to the most expensive english schools but your kids can go to hell.
We shall keep you poor, backward, helpless, illiterate, divided and year after year we shall come and ask for votes. Every year we shall create a new enemy – Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Brahmins, Thakurs, Educated, Urbanites, Biharis, Locals…
And you being the same miserable lot 5 years back will again fall for me – because I will at least help you survive – by throwing my largesse at you.
I will not let you be strong, independent, capable and efficient. You might dethrone me. I am the new Raja.
These are the people asking for our votes. Brazen anti-humanists who are impinging on our collective rights to live in an equal society.
At least now I know.
Shoe Prank Redemption April 7, 2009Posted by astralwicks in india, India Elections 2009, justice, Opinion, People, Politics, protest, Random, violence.
Tags: Chidambaram Shoe Thrower, ethics of journalism, jarnail singh, shoe as symbol of protest, shoe at Chidambaram, Shoe Prank, sikh riots 2004
Jarnail Singh threw a shoe. Should he, a journalist, thought of his professional code first and foremost, repressed his anger and carried on reporting in a non-partisan manner? This is being ad nauseum on all the TV channels. Most ardently by Barkha and Arnab. Barkha, it seems, takes it as a personal affront – so zealously she guards her rarefied code. Arnab, artistically stuttering, goes with the flow of the arguments of his esteemed guests.
Jarnail Singh might not want to be a hero, but unwittingly, he has. 25 years and still counting and no justice. Enough for a reasonable man or a woman to feel angry, depressed, sad, waver, lose focus, feel helpless and uncared for, decide to take the one step that will define him perhaps for the rest of his life, stake everything on that one moment that one might later regret and yet steel oneself and do it because…he was just a man
Long live the protest of the individual soul.