Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hisss

The snake community of India is angry.
It has been heard at the recently concluded annual snake conference that they have contemplated taking legal (or as gossip may have it-'fang'al) action against the makers of Hisss (with three 's'). The charge - of portraying snakes in the worst possible manner in Hindi film history.
And there is enough reason to be angry. Snakes have always enjoyed a special status in Hindi cinema - as snake-snakes or human-snakes. As snake-snakes they have performed many great deeds- from saving God's wealth by causing earthquakes (Zalzala) to protecting God's men when wrongly accused (Jaani Dushman). They have been the saviors of blind mothers (Nirupa Roy in Amar Akbar Anthony), damsels in distress (Jaya Prada in Ganga Jamuna Sarawati) and heroes who have treated them as blood brothers (Jackie Shroff in Doodh ka Karz) - in summary the snake-snake has performed many a miracle on silver screen that make up the bedtime stories mommy snakes tell their slithering babies.
And of course as human-snakes, they have performed box office miracles that many human-humans could not achieve. They have been represented by beauties like Reena Roy and superstar Sridevi. So many a snake got hot blooded when they learnt that the sexy Mallika Sherawat would be shedding her clothes to get into their skin. In fact the lucky python who was chosen to drape around Mallika's assets for the promotions became an instant celebrity in the snake world.....word has it that he is still dazed with the experience and has given up killing mongooses on learning that Mallika is a vegan.
So what went wrong? Looks like everything... sadly!
First - the flimsy storyline (if one may call it a storyline in the first place). An American suffering from brain cancer decides to capture a male snake in India to get to the ‘mani’ of eternal life possessed by the female snake. The female snake changes herself into the sexy Mallika and does come to the city but for reasons unknown decides to become a vigilante prowling the streets killing men who beat/rape women instead of searching for her soul mate. And defying all logic, when she goes for the kill she transforms into a gigantic anaconda/python like snake gobbling people up instead of the slithering serpant she originally was.
One could have forgotten and forgiven the storyline if the search for the baddies and the revenge would have been interesting - like Reena Roy's Nagin where the snake uses wit and cunning to kill her enemies. But in Hisss even a mere attempt to make the revenge a wee bit interesting is missing. The only semblance of this being a thriller is a jaded looking Irfan Khan posing questions while trying to solve the killings by the vigilante snake.
Then comes the horrendous animation that the viewer is subjected to. One had hoped that the human to snake transformations and the human vs snake action scenes would be worth watching. Alas!!! They are comical to say the least. The snake community is hanging its hood in shame that a film in 2010 could have worse animation than Hollywood’s Anaconda made 13 years back (1997) or more recent flicks like Snakes on a plane (2006) or even C grade films like Boa vs Python (2004).
But the biggest mongoose (from the snake community's perspective) of the film is the human snake herself - Mallika Sherawat. All the snakes had hoped that Mallika would give the image of the Bollywood snake a new slither. The promos and pictures promised to show off her beauty. But director Jennifer Chambers Lynch has given very limited opportunity to Mallika to show off her assets (acting and otherwise). Mallika could have done a good job of the revenge seeking 'nagin'....she even tried to convey some anger through her expressive eyes....she looks extremely beautiful in some scenes where she sits with a forlorn expression missing her partner.....but that is almost all she does- except bare her fangs in the most ridiculous of outfits and climb electric poles probably using a naked body double . She did not even have a single dialogue in the whole film- not even in Parseltounge.
The snake movie fans around the world should unite and lynch the director in her own chambers (pun unintended). As far as the snake community goes, insider reports claim that they are conferring with Nagini (who has given a great boost to Indian snakes by being Voldemort's favorite) on how to send arsenic laced chocolates to Hollywood.
Till then I would request someone in Bollywood to quickly make a snake film to appease Nagdevta - maybe a Charlie's Angels type of movie where Sapera Vijay sends his nagins- Priyanka, Katrina and Kareena - to hunt down film makers out to give snakes a bad name. The title - 'Naginsss'.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Accessory to Murder

Ever since I wrote my previous post on Best Bond Villains, I have been thinking that a tribute to these masters of villainy is incomplete without a mention of their henchmen (and women) who – more than their bosses – had come very close to finishing Mr. Bond off.

Here’s my Top 5.


1. Jaws
• Film: The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker
• Ferocity: Steel Teeth
• Employer : Dr. Karl Stromberg and Hugo Drax
• Status: Unknown. Turns over a new leaf when he finds love and helps Bond escape
• Actor: Richard Kiel
*only villain to have been repeated in a Bond series apart from Blofeld


2. Odd Job
• Film: Goldfinger
• Ferocity: Steel rimmed bowler hat
• Employer: Goldfinger
• Status: Dead. Electrocuted by Bond
• Actor: Harold Sakata


3. Red Grant
• Film: From Russia With Love
• Ferocity: Watch with razor
• Employer: S.M.E.R.S.H.
• Status: Dead. Strangled by Bond
• Actor: Robert Shaw


4. May Day
• Film: View to a Kill
• Ferocity: Strength and Cunning
• Employer : Max Zorin
• Status: Presumed dead. Gives up her own life to save Bond when betrayed by Zorin
• Actor: Grace Jones


5. Xenia Onatopp
• Film: Golden Eye
• Ferocity: Sadist….derives sexual pleasure by killing
• Employer: Soviet military/Janus
• Status: Dead. Crushed to death while fighting Bond
• Actor: Famke Janssen


Special Mention: Fatima Blush in Never Say Never Again (could not be ranked as it is not a EON production) would perhaps rank right after Jaws in terms of ferocity. Employed by Largo, Barbara Carrera, has essayed the role of this sadist assassin to perfection. Unlike other women villains of the pre 90 Bond films (Pussy Galore, May Day, Octopussy) she remains evil till the very end and is the only woman to have been killed by Bond’s own hands (by a pen that doubles up as a gun) – till Elektra King’s death(Xenatopp was killed indirectly by Bond).

She remains the only Bond woman (villain or otherwise) who demanded a written acknowledgement of being Bond’s best lover……..to which Bond quips “I just remembered. It’s against Service policy to give endorsements.”

N.B.- Xenia Onatopp in Golden Eye was modeled in the same lines as her.

But before I end this post , here’s a list of five henchmen whose roles had a lot of potential but were not exploited well:
• Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun) – lovable dwarf valet of Scaramanga.
• Tee Hee (Live and Let Die) – Hit man of Mr. Big…. with a steel hook for an arm and a menacing smile.
• Mr. Kid and Mr. Wint (Diamonds are Forever) – perhaps the most under-utilized of all henchmen. They do nothing much beyond talking to each other in a dull monotone.
• Necros (The Living Daylights) – KGB assassin with the body of a Greek God and headphone wires as a weapon (modeled after Red Grant)
• Dario (License to Kill) – (young) Benocio Del Toro’s talents completely wasted.

The Best Bond Villains

Ever since Dr. No tried to eliminate 007 in 1962, an array of megalomaniacs, terrorists, smugglers, drug runners, gun runners and Russian agents have attempted to kill the world’s most famous spy.

As any true Bond fan will tell you, no Bond film is complete without exotic locales, gorgeous women and villains with grandiose plans of destroying the world.

Critics have often called Bond villains extremely stupid because they think of fantastical ways to kill Bond rather than a simple bullet in the head (Tarantula, Snake, Shark, Alligators, Golden beam.....the list can go on). But the enemies of Bond, like Bond himself, are not mere mortals.....they are people who think of creating a new world order....they blackmail super powers with nuclear bombs....they build headquarters under the sea and in space....such fantastical people surely cannot be expected to use something as base as a gun to finish their arch rival off.

Come to think of it, it is an extremely difficult and frustrating task to be a Bond villain. No matter how meticulous the planning or how careful the execution,he would always fail – because he has not accounted for that one element that is sure to jeopardize his plan – Bond himself.

The frustration of Bond villains has perhaps been best voiced by Goldfinger…..

Bond: “You expect me to talk....”
Goldfinger: “No Mr. Bond....I expect you to die!”

Every Bond villain has tried to re-write the definition of evil. From murderous KGB agents to the all powerful S.P.E.C.T.R.E……..from megalomaniac billionaires to power hungry seductresses, the passage of time has produced a wide spectrum of worthwhile adversaries for Bond. Listed below are my top 5.


1. Dr. Karl Stromberg
• Film: The Spy Who Loved Me
• Profession: Marine Biologist
• Ambition: Destroy the world to create a new one beneath the sea
• Nemesis: Shot by Bond
• Actor: Kurt Jurgens


2. Auric Goldfinger
• Film: Goldfinger
• Profession: Jeweller (and gold smuggler)
• Ambition: Destroy US Gold reserves in Fort Knox to increase value of own
gold holding
• Nemesis: Sucked out of a plane while attempting to kill Bond
• Actor: Gert Frobe


3.Francisco Scaramanga
• Film: The Man With The Golden Gun
• Profession: Professional Assassin
• Ambition: In possession of a solar powered gun that he would sell to the
highest bidder
• Nemesis: Shot by Bond
• Actor: Christopher Lee


4. Kamal Khan and General Orlov (shared)
• Film: Octopussy
• Profession: Smuggler, Russian General
• Ambition: World disorder by detonating nuclear bomb at an American air force
base in West Germany
• Nemesis: Khan crashes his plan and Orlov is shot by Russian troops – neither
is killed by Bond
• Actor(s): Louis Jourdan, Steven Berkoff


5. Max Zorin
• Film: View To A Kill
• Profession: Owner of Zorin Industries
• Ambition: Destruction of Silicon Valley to sell own brand of silicon chips
• Nemesis: Falls down Golden Gate bridge while fighting Bond
• Actor: Christopher Walken


Special Mention: Maximillian Largo in Never Say Never Again (not a EON production and hence not listed above) would perhaps rank as the number one Bond villain. Played by Klaus Maria Brandauer, in Largo we see a character who has both evil and class with a dash of craziness making him the scariest of all Bond villains. He meets his end at the hands of his mistress, Domino, who kills him with a harpoon.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Data Processing by our Brain

Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.

cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The
phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy:

it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Corporate Strategy

Due to the Current financial situation, our Management has decided to
implement a scheme to put all workers over 30 on early retirement.

This scheme will be known as RAPE (Retire Aged Personnel Early).
Personnel selected for RAPE can apply to our Management to be eligible
for the SHAFT scheme(Special Help After Retirement). Personnel who
have been RAPED and SHAFTED will be reviewed under the SCREW scheme
(Scheme for Retired Early Workers). A person may be RAPED Only once,
SHAFTED twice and SCREWED as many times as Management deems
appropriate.

Personnel who have been RAPED can apply to the Vice President (Works)
to get AIDS (Additional Income for Disposed Personnel or Spouse) or
HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel Early Severance).
Obviously, personnel who have AIDS or HERPES will not be SHAFTED or
SCREWED any further by management.

Person staying on will receive as much SHIT (Special High Intensity
Training) as possible. Management has always prided itself on the
amount of SHIT it gives its staff. Should you feel that you do not
receive enough SHIT, please bring it to the attention of your manager.
He has been trained to give you as much SHIT as you can handle.

- Vice President (also Head, RAPE)

A few Quotable Quotes

Plan Your Work so that you can Work Your Plan

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

The Art of Getting Things Done is to Know what Cannot be Done

The art of time management is to successfully tackle the Challenge of A Critical Few and the Trivial Many

Big People make you Feel Small but Great People make you Feel Tall

Best Ever Google Ad?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Ties of Blood

Sorry Mr. Santoshi, your Family disappoints….especially becoz this is the Khaki team again - Keshu, Sanotshi, AB and Akki.

This is undoubtedly Santoshi’s worst film. Though there are some elements in the plot that are good, on the whole the film fails to grip. The differences in the ‘love for the family’ of the two lead characters are just about ok. The idea of an innocent man getting killed in the crossfire of a gang war is also a little though provoking. But what could have been a taut thriller ends up in a whimper. The last police station sequence is the only saving grace but it comes too late and does too little.

There is nothing new in this film-all the characters have been seen countless number of times in scores of gangster movies. Bachchan’s attempt to act sinister falls flat on its face – his nasal tone and continuous cigar smoking is highly irritating.

Keshu’s son gets a brilliant platform to launch himself and does a decent job – his eyes are his assets and if this young man hones his acting skills then we could have a good actor in the making.

But the surprise element in this movie is Akshay Kumar and Bhumika. The scenes between them are ‘total paisa vasool’. AK always had good roles in Keshu’s films and has been largely responsible for the latter’s success…and with this film he again proves that he has still lots to give to the Indian film audience. Even in Khaki it was his comic touch that had given his role an edge; and with this film he proves that Hera Pheri and Mujhse Shadi Karoge were not flukes.

Just one last word – Ms. Bhumika Chawla – why do we not see you more often? You are just too good. Guys….just check out her ‘hospital scene with AB’. Brilliant.

‘Ak- sar –dard’

Aksar jab ek actor flop hota hai to woh director banne ki kaushish karta hain

Aksar jab ek model apni acchi career ki waat lagana chahta hain to woh actor banne ki kaushish karta hain

Aksar jab ek wannabe actor acting se zyada kiss karne ke liye famous ho jata hain to woh skin flicks ka superstar banne ki kaushish karta hain

Aksar jab ek wannabe actress enough skin dikhane ke baad bhi recognized nahi hothi hain to woh aur skin dikhane ki kaushish karti hain

Aksar jab ek struggling writer ka daaru aur plot khatam ho jaata hai to woh aisi story…sorry..bakwas likhne ki kaushish karta hain

Aksar jab ek ache singer ka ek nasal tone me gaya gana hit hota hain to who har gana waise hi gaakar irritating banne ki kaushish karta hain

Aur jab ek audience zindagi se mayoos hota hain to who suicide karne ke liye aisi film dekhta hain

Par aksar aisi film dekhne ke baad who marta to nahin hain par ak-sar-dard lekar ghar wapis jata hain.

This film is highly recommended as a painless form of suicide.

Worms in the Chocolate

If Mr. Ugly would have seen Mr. Agnihotri’s version of The Usual Suspects he would surely have said “if you want to copy …copy…do not add your own”.

Well Mr. Agnihotri, even if one can try to sympathize with your attempt to Indianize Bryan Singer’s wonderful thriller, one cannot. Because “stylish editing do not a movie make”...it is the art of story telling that creates the magic.

Chocolate fails in almost every department. The script is pathetic; the acting atrocious, the attempt to create a mystery is feeble and the tautness associated with thrillers is completely missing.

Anil Kapoor is the ‘tar icing on this stale cake’...hamming and laughing like a lunatic throughout the film.

The two actresses seem to be in ‘I can show more cleavage than you’ mode complete with Ms.Reddy tearing her shirt open and screaming "main bhi doosri ladkiyon ki tarah bra pahanti hoon" - could you not think of anything better Mr.Agnihotri?

The only saving grace is Irfaan- one only prays that his unique style of acting just does not become a monotony ala Nana Patekar.

My advise- if Chocolate is what you want please reach out for a Cadbury…coz this one is surely full of worms.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Undeniable Proof of Global Warming

A Brief History of Lovers

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Horse Race

The Line up:

In lane 1. Passionate Lady
In lane 2. Bare Belly
In lane 3. Silk Panties
In lane 4. Conscience
In lane 5. Jockey Shorts
In lane 6. Clean Sheets
In lane 7. Thighs
In lane 8. Big Dick
In lane 9. Heavy Bosom
In lane 10. Merry Cherry

AND THEY'RE OFF!!!

Conscience is left behind at the gate
Jockey Shorts and Silk Panties are off in a hurry
Heavy Bosom is being pressured
Passionate Lady is caught between Thighs
and Big Dick is in a dangerous spot.

AT THE HALFWAY MARK:
It's Bare Belly on top, Thighs open and
Big Dick is pushing in
Heavy Bosom is being pushed hard against Clean Sheets
Passionate Lady and Thighs are working hard on Bare Belly
Bare Belly is under terrific pressure from Big Dick

AT THE STRETCH:
Merry Cherry pops under the strain
Bare Belly is making a final push
Big Dick is in and Passionate Lady is coming

AT THE FINISH:
It's Big Dick giving everything he's got and
Passionate Lady takes everything Big Dick has to offer
It looks like a dead heat but Big Dick comes
through with one final thrust and wins by a head...
Bare Belly slows,
Thighs weakens,
Heavy Bosom pulls up,
and Clean Sheets never had a chance

Note: Not original. Collated from an email

It Rained That Day

The smell of fresh earth hit me as soon as I stepped onto my balcony that morning.

It was raining after a prolonged period of hot and humid weather and I pulled my chair closer to the railing to enjoy the raindrops with my morning brew. Rainy days always hold a special corner in my heart as they have the power to stir my creative soul and take my mind to un-explored horizons.

I had almost reached the boundaries of space when my reverie was suddenly broken by a (feminine) "excuse me please".

It was her.

I had seen her several times in her flat right across mine. Many a time we had exchanged coy smiles but never had we spoken to each other. I would often see her drive off on her scooter balancing a huge pile of books and wondered where she went- College? Tuition? Library? Sometimes in the evenings I would see her sneaking out of her house to speak on her cell phone? A heartthrob? College Gossip? I had always wanted to speak to her but never could pluck up enough courage to do so.

And here she was, today, calling out to me.

"It's my Scooty. Could you please park it inside the garage for me?"

The Quixote in me immediately responded to the damsel in distress. Not caring for the heavy downpour I rushed to her scooter’s rescue. At last I had the chance of getting introduced to her...of talking to her …..of knowing her better. And who knows, maybe she would call me in for a cup of coffee - after all I was the rescuer of her beloved scooty. My imagination -already on overdrive thanks to the rain- started playing all the romantic rain scenes from Hollywood and Bollywood in '70mm cinemascope digital dolby'.

I parked her scooter safely and extended my arm to return the keys. Her fingers brushed against mine and I looked into her rain splattered face. Her innocent eyes and coy smile took away both my breath and the lines of introduction that I had thought of in the interim.

She brushed aside her hair, smiled and said "Thank You Bhaiyya".

CRASH!!!

At first I thought it was the scooter.... but soon realized that it was me falling flat on terra firma.

I retreated to my verandah with a weak "Anytime".

I went back to my (now cold) cup of coffee and mind travel.....sigh!!! One more love story that got nipped in the bud.

And yes...It Rained(heavily)That Day.

Monday, October 31, 2005

"No Ice Cream Sir"

Groggy after a 50 hour week I decided to spend the Saturday evening at Barista with a cup of strong coffee.

When I finally managed to get a table at the overcrowded coffee shop, I noticed a friend also looking for a seat. I called him over and decided to share our stressful work life woes.

I ordered a 'normal' coffee for myself and an ice cream for my friend to the smiling man at the counter who dutifully called my name out in 15 minutes.

I walked upto the counter to take my order and to my horror found a cup of cold coffee with ice-cream in it!!!

I pointed this out to the (still smiling) man at the counter. He apologized profusely and promised me a solution in two minutes. He poured the coffee and the ice-cream into a mixer and switched the machine on. Before I could protest, the machine had done its job and the man poured the concoction back into the cup and gave it back to me with a smile - "No Ice Cream Sir".

I did not know how to react.