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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Based on Vikas Swarup‘s Q&A, Slumdog Millionaire is a masterpiece created by director Danny Boyle with lesser known actors in lead roles. The movie, set around Mumbai slums, revolves around a ‘slumdog’ who wins the top prize by answering all the questions right in the game show Who wants to be a millionaire?

Slumdog Millionaire - Dev Patel and Freida Pinto

Slumdog Millionaire - Dev Patel and Freida Pinto

Jamal Malik, played by Dev Patel, who works as a chaiwala in a call center answers all the questions right and the suspicious host, Anil Kapoor, who also runs the show, asks for a probe. Mumbai cops, lay their hands on him and the story evovles as Jamal explains how he knew the answers to the questions asked. The story, though not extraordinary with drama, fantasy and love, has been well handled to keep you interested.

The mesmerizing city of Mumbai has be beautifully captured even though it mostly showcases slums. The story could have given rise to a perfect masala bollywood movie, but Boyle has made it an interesting flick. The screenplay gives a subtle touch of documentary style of film making, nicely portrayed in a commercial movie story.

Characters are developed wonderfully. Kid Jamal, played by Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, and middle Jamal, played by Tanay Chheda have got meaning ful screen presence. Jamal’s brother, Salim, also portrayed as a trio, makes an impressive character. Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, playing the youngest Salim needs a special mention. Jamal’s love interest, Lathika, is played by Frieda Pinto, Tanvi Ganesh and Rubiana Ali. The adoloscent Lathika, played by Tanvi Ganesh, known as Cherry in Pila street leaves a lasting impression. All the actors have done justice to their role.

Finally, background score and music. AR Rahman has given the soul to the movie, especially in the sequence where slum kids playing cricket in a private place are chased away by cops. Rahman’s composition is mesmerizing, although you can readily identify it to sound Rahmanic at times.

Definitely worth a watch, and a lesson to bollywood filmmakers as how to make a movie out of a masala story in a different way. I go with 4/5 stars for the movie and wish it wins an academy award.


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Life.. updates

Sun Dec 14, 11:50pm:

Have been terribly busy of late. Haven’t got enough time to blog, click or read. My blog hits seems to have *hit* all time low. Thanks Reema for the butterfly.

Watched Rab ne bana di jodi today. Here is a brief review of Rab ne bana di jodi:

Surinder Sahni’s character is beautifully composed, nothing like we’ve seen in recent past. Shah Rukh Khan has given an excellent performance as Mr.Sahni, an average middle class married man. The other role of SRK is typical ‘Raj, Naam toh suna hoga.‘ Anushka Sharma is not bad at all. Few unnecessary songs, over-dramatic/stupid scenes spoil what would otherwise have been a good movie.

When will these Hindi filmakers stop making 3hrs movies! They can easily edit by 30-45min and make it an interesting flick. I know audio makes an important part, but still.

I’d go with 2.5 out of 5 stars for RNBDJ. 0.5 for music, included. :-)

Hope to keep floating.
P.S.: WP seems to have some problem with publishing. I’ve reported it, hope it gets better soon.

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How many of you have listened to music on cassette player walkmans? This was not too long ago, i used them about 15 years back. Since, the progress in the music players has been tremendous. Read my earlier post about the music players i have used over the years. Nowadays a portable music player with gigabytes of memory is very common, but listening to my favorite music, at the instant of thought, is still a pain.

In one of my earlier post i’ve made my point that i don’t need more than 1GB of space for my music, but now i beg to differ. I don’t want even 1GB. I don’t want any space on my player. I just want it to play the music i think of. Yes, that’s right. I think of a song, and the player should start playing.

Why should i always choose from a pool of 1GB or 80GB or 160GB or even 1TeraByte of songs? What if i feel like listening to a 1960s number that i’d have heard only a hymn of? The vaguely remembered tune haunts me. Where can i get that song?? It’s not there in the pile of 10000 songs i manage. Someone ought to have it!

I hate downloading music to my portable player every time i get bored of the playlist i have. I hate to search for a particular song. I want to listen at that moment, and searching for it might spoil my mood.

I want someone to have all possible music ever composed, remixed or copied and stream it over the internet in real time. Someone could be one or a group of music companies. I don’t want to ‘own’ any song, but play whenever i want and as many times i want. My portable player (reduce it just to a quality headphones or speaker system) should be able to request and get a song within milliseconds from a server at any corner of the world.

We need an algorithm to map our thought, kind of brain signals, and vaguely available information of that song to something comparable, then match it with a ‘probable list’ of few thousand songs, identify the song we want correctly, and play for us. The algorithm and the devices involved sounds improbably complex, but i feel this is how the music players of future should be. In many ways, such a service can curb piracy and I don’t mind paying for such a service or technology, do you? :)

It sounds like i’m asking for too much, isn’t it?

Not really. I know it will be a reality some day, but the question is how long will it take? I feel it should not take more than a decade or maximum two for such a service to be accessible by everyone at a nominal cost. One of my colleagues said ‘it would be impossible for such a service to come up in 10-15 years’. He felt it’s not possible for me to listen to music on such a service in my lifetime.

In 15 years, if i am able to graduate from cassette player walkman to a portable music player, which can download music on WiFi, such a technology too should be a reality soon.

What do you think, plausible? :)

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MTV India sucks

It was one of my favorite channels a couple of years back, but now it sucks big time. The quality of shows on MTV has gone down drastically, and seems like morons (read Raghu) have taken over the channel and try to capture audience by bitching. Roadies was just a show, and now it’s almost like MTV has nothing but that in its forte, and all other shows revolves around that!

The weirdos, who are good only to laugh at, from ‘reality’ shows have turned VJs with abysmal sense of humor, and unmatched arrogance and attitude. If you’ve ever watched ‘Wassup Youngistan’, you’ll know what i’m saying. This ridiculous, in a non-humorous way, stupid show is hosted by brainless dolts from Roadies, Bani and Ayushman. They’ve got nothing but attitude like a Raghu :)) . Has MTV gone bankrupt and not able to pay for quality VJs like Nihkil, Cyrus, and Mini? Or is there a dearth for such VJs that they have to run a set of disgusting shows with a not-a-VJ-material amateurs picked up from reality shows? Why would i wanna watch an attitude filled ass on tv when there are millions of around everywhere?

Splitsvilla, i don’t even feel like writing about it. Read this post from Nova, Splitsvilla or Disgustvilla.

‘Fully faltoo’, a spoof that was good few years back. Spoofs on Sholay, few Indian cricketers, and the movie Dhoom were actually funny, but now they have totally lost the plot with recent spoof on TZP, Bechaare Zameen Par. Cyrus Sakhukar was the only respite, and he still has some humor left, and his portrayal of bunny teeth was hilarious.

It’s hard to say which is worse, news set of VJs or the shows. There seems to be no respite from watching Raghu’s handpicked morons, at least for now. Roadies is a nice show, even though the concept is “inspired”. But i’d prefer it to be just a show on MTV, and not eclipse the channel itself. Hopefully, they get out of this set of stupid shows and get back to showcase some quality.

Some times this makes me wonder if it’s only me who is sick of this. At least from Nova‘s post i know, not many people enjoyed Splitsvilla. Do people actually enjoy watching these shows and VJs? What do you think?

P.S.: Another disappointment was in Indian Idol, where last years contestants have turned hosts. They don’t suck as much as MTV hosts, but no one can replace Mini Mathur. I really hope she’ll be back soon.

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Rock on, Fahran Akhtar and Ritesh Sidwani’s latest production who’ve given some gems like Dil Chahta hai and Lakshya, have the producer himself as lead star in their latest venture.

Farhan plays the central character Aditya Shroff, who was the lyricist and singer of their Magik rock band in college with Joe (Arjun Rampal) as lead guitarist, Kedar Zaveri (Purab Kohli) as ‘killer’ drummer KD, and Rob Nancy ( Luke Kenny) on keyboard 10 years ago. They’ve broken up and are leading their lives in the same city without knowing each others existence until Aditya’s wife Sakshi (Prachi Desai) unknowingly meets one of the band members.

Aditya is a rich i-banker with successful career and married to Sakshi, Joe is a penny less guitaring genius with his college sweetheart turned wife Debbie (Sahana Goswami) struggling to make ends meet, KD failing miserably to woo girls sits at this dad’s jewellery shop and Rob is doing music sessions with Anu Malik.

Sakshi senses her husband is unhappy and discontent about something which is affecting their lives. She discovers some old photographs and video of Magik and is surprised to know another face, a happy face, of her husband. She plans to put together the band. The movie goes on, with glimpses of their past showing what went wrong, as they get together subsiding their egos to create the magik once again.

Movie theme, and screenplay reminds you of DCH with friends having fun, fighting over misunderstanding, and finally making up but Rock on doesn’t have a story as good as DCH. It’s kind of a mix between Jhankaar beats, and DCH. Music as you might have already heard is good, with amateurish lyrics and a bad voice of Fahran Akhtar.

The weak points are loose script on predictable lines with very little surprises. Does not have strong enough reason for the band to disassociate, and Aditya to break up with his then girlfriend, which was a totally unnecessary character i felt.

Acting by Fahran Akhtar is ok. He is impressive as a rock star but otherwise nothing great. Purab Kohli sizzles with his funny antics, and has got a good screen space since Bas yuh hi and has totally done justice to his role. Luke Kenny is fine. Arjun Rampal suits his character with expressionless straight face, and long hair guitarist. Sahana Goswami has portrayed a vulnerable wife and egoistic/possessive girlfriend’s role very well, and pretty Prachi Desai has carried her role quite graciously.

Overall a movie with good music which has been showcased spectacularly in the final show/competition. It might reignite passion for playing guitar. Watchable movie with second half better than the first, and i’d give ‘Rock On’ 3 out of 5.

Rating: 3/5

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1GB is enough!

Sony NW-E003F walkman music player

About two years back i bought my first portable music player Sony NW-E003F that has a capacity of 1GB with a small single line display. I have listened to music on variety of devices as i have mentioned in one of my previous post.

I see ipods with varients, zunes and other music players everyday with 80GB or more memory. They also seem to have a good sized LCD screen. Even today, I don’t see myself needing over 1GB of songs at anytime, and don’t understand why people need over 80GB of songs, duplicated in their computer hard disk as well as in their music players.

This is how i listen music:

  • Pick a few hundred favorite songs, latest songs included.
  • Upload that to my music player from my desktop.
  • Listen to them a few times over and over for the next couple of months, till you get bored of these songs.
  • Then, repeat the cycle.

Why wouldn’t i like to have an 80GB music player? First, i will not really be enjoying listening to all the 25,000 songs in the player. Instead of hitting the ‘next’ key many a times before i hear the tune of my favorite song i would rather like to listen to the songs i like, in succession. With over 200 songs in 1GB i would hit ‘Next’ some 2-3 times everyday, how many time i’d have to press Next if i had 80GB of songs? 80 * 3 = 240 times!

This also has another disadvantage. The more i skip the songs that i don’t like much, the more the battery is drained. This would reduce the playback time of the player. So, i would be getting less than 25% of the specified playback time. Also, the big LCD screen hogs too much of battery as well every time you happen to strike a key.

My Sony player also comes with an FM tuner which i hardly tune in to as i have all my favorite songs in 1GB. So, i don’t need to listen to the blah blah of radio jockeys.

Most of us don’t download music straightaway on to the music player as we neither have 3G or WiFi access in India. So, having copy of same song in computer and music player makes one of the storage redundant.

Now, wouldn’t it be great to have videos? 1GB is no good for storing videos, 80GB sounds great for this. I agree, but how often and how long would one watch those videos relentlessly? Would you watch an entire movie on your 3inch LCD screen of the music player unless you happen to be on a long flight? Not really, ain’t it? So, a huge memory music player and mobile phones are just marketing gimmicks by these companies that do not come up with any worth while feature, may be other than touch screen.

The battery of the player is also a very important factor as i have already mentioned. I don’t want to keep charging my player more than i’m listening.

Bose Quiet Comfort 3

I charge my Samsung C160 phone once in 2 days when i talk less than 3 hrs per week. Sony NW-E003F player once in a week, for less than half an hour, listening to at least 2hrs of music per day on my battery driven Bose Quiet Comfort 3 headphones. I charge the Bose headphones once in two or three weeks. Bose QC3 is the best among any speakers or headphones i have listened to music on till date.

Bose QC3 seems to be the best performing as per the specified running time, 20 hours, is concerned. Sony player is suppose to run 30 hours when charged for 30 minutes, but runs only for about 10-12 hours. So 1GB, not bad at all. :)

P.S.: Can you guys tell me how often you need to charge your cellphones or music players or laptops and how much you use them?

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Priyanka Chropa and Harman Baweja - Love story 2050

He is awesome! I never thought i’ll ever write a post on any movie but this guy is incredible as far as the trailers of his new movie, Love story 2050, i have watched. His uncanny resemblance to Hrithik Roshan does not make him another wannabe star. Not just his looks, and his physique has resemblance with Hrithik but also his dance moves seems to be at least as good. The days when sons of yesteryear film industry people making their presence including the Jimmys and Tommys, Harman is one to watch out for irrespective of the success of his movie.

For advertisers, Harman would be Hrithik at 90% discount.

I can’t comment much about his acting skills, but if he can match Hrithik even in that then he’s gonna be the star of future in Bollywood, may be till 2050, sidelining the k-k-khans. You can point no flaw in his dancing skills, he is amazing. The song ‘milo na milo’ reminds me so much of Hrithik’s song ‘Dil ne dil ko pukara’ in Kaho naa pyaar hai. The music of the movie also sounds good. For those who haven’t watched the trailers, check out the video i’ve embedded from youtube below.

Milo na milo


Sach kehna

Check out the pretty good, futuristic, Love story 2050 website. First time i saw the trailer, i thought some new Hrithik’s movie. Then realized that this is new guy. With pretty Priyaka Chopra is his co-star, I think i’ll watch this movie, what about you?

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