Ghajini – Movie Review

ghajini_hindi

Just came back from a screening of Ghajini. I must say that I expected a bit more from an Aamir Khan movie. It’s not that the movie was bad, it just that its execution wasn’t any different from the other attempts in this genre.

The acting by Aamir and the leading lady Asin is definitely top-notch. Asin in particular manages portray the role of a chirpy, kind-hearted romantic excellently. This helps make the few comic bits in the movie fun. Jiah Khan is not very convincing and her accent and dialogue delivery let her down a bit. The villain with his inexplicable Punjabi-South Indian accent doesn’t do the role complete justice. You do end up truly despising him, but its more because of the story rather than his performance. Maybe, Aamir’s character should have been pitted against a mightier foe(taking a leaf from the Superhero flicks) to add a new dimension to the retelling of the story.

The plot is pretty much the same as the Tamil version (which itself is loosely based on Christopher Nolan’s ‘Memento’). The problem with the storyline is that it is extremely predictable and formulaic. I haven’t seen the Tamil version, but I could still guess the direction the story would take at a lot of junctions, especially at the climax of the movie. I expected a few plots twists, purely because Aamir Khan was involved, but they weren’t to be found. Also, I was surprised at the numerous plot loopholes that were overlooked or ignored by the writers.

The thing to watch out for, apart from Asin and Aamir’s performances, is the brilliant cinematography. The special effects are top quality and haven’t been overdone and some of the scenes are good enough to frame. I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a Ghajini themed art show(if there hasn’t been one already) in the near future.

The musical score by Rehman, is surprisingly(the man is immensely talented), displeasing to the ears. It is evident that he’s tried to do something different here but it doesn’t really work. The background score is not bad though. The song sequences are picturised well, but are blatantly forced and just don’t fit within the narrative.

All in all, its a nice action-thriller which will keep you engaged for its duration. A bit predictable, but better than the usual fare that’s dished out by the industry. Worth a watch.

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Best book I discovered in 2008

It’s that time of the year again – the time everyone makes ‘Best of the year’ lists. I thought I would make mine with a small change though – the items on my my list won’t necessary have released in 2008, they would be things that ‘I’ have come across this year.
With the explanation out of the way, I’ll begin my list with the ‘Best book I discovered this year’ category.

And the award goes to… A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. I was introduced to this brilliant read by my brother and have since recommended/gifted this to a multitude of people and they’ve ‘all’ become instant fans.

The book is an absolutely fluid guide to how the various fields of science have evolved to their current state over the years. It’s replete with fascinating anecdotes involving little known as well as the famous giants of science that helped shape science and the world as we know it. The book should earn its place on the bookshelves of any reader with ease.

It’s highly recommended, especially for children that are ticked off by the dull science texts that they’re forced to read at school.

Cha Bar and Coffee World – Bangalore Restaurant Review

I’m going to start the restaurant review section with a twin review of two of the most popular caffeine dispensers in Bangalore.

A trip to the Cha bar at the Leela Galleria on Airport Road is a very rejuvenating experience. Set among the literary atmosphere of Landmark, with internet in the air (they have free wi-fi!), the tea parties at Cha Bar can last a relaxingly long amount of time. 

They have a huge variety of teas to choose from of course. Each type of tea is served its own characteristic manner (my Ceylon tea came along with a Wodehouse-ian cow-creamer full of milk). But importantly, for people who aren’t too fond of their cuppa, they have an excellent array of snacks to choose from. And yes, they serve excellent pakodas to go with the tea.

Great place to while away the leisourly hours with a cuppa in one hand and a book in the other. Recommended.

Ambience: 3.5/5 (a bit cramped for space)

Food: 4/5

Pricing: 4/5 (reasonable)

Service: 4/5

The first restaurant that I visited in Bangalore was the charming Coffee World near Eva Mall. The place is spacious and seems like a hipper version of the numerous coffee chains. When at Coffee World, follow the proven effective three step process : sit down, strech your arms and order the strawberry waffles. Absolute bliss. 

They also have a tasty selection of sandwiches which come with a variety of breads (panini, brown, etc to choose from. The solitary fruit based drink I had there was nothing special but I haven’t tried enough from the liquid section to make up a mind on them.

 It is definitely a great place to unwind with friends. Recommended.

Ambience: 4/5

Food: 4/5 (the waffles steal the show)

Pricing: 3.5/5 (a wee bit overpriced)

Service: 3.5/5

Rush Hour III – Movie Review

The first fifteen minutes remind you of a low-quality Chinese soap opera with a bad story and dialogues that begin with ‘promise me that you’ll’ and ‘you must’. But you’ll be in for a treat if you survive that bit because the movie really picks up after that and how! Chris Tucker is great with the incessant, in-your-face comedy and the fight sequences are excellent and inspired. As with all Jackie Chan movies, there are the usual fast and outrageous stunt scenes, lots of people flying all over the place and a hilarious bloopers reel at the end. The story is laden with cliches and could have done with some originality. Yet, it is a very enjoyable movie and one that you wouldn’t want to miss. Highly recommended.

Kabul Express – Review

Kabul Express sets out with a very clear message in mind and manages to get it across with finesse. The screenplay is excellent, the acting is believable, the locations are mesmerizing and the comedy is intelligent. The movie tells of the turbulence in Kabul from the perspective of two outsiders and how they learn about life as is lived in war-ravaged Kabul.

 

The movie moves quickly and does not drag at all. The absence of song and dance sequences trims it down to a very entertaining two hours. There can be absolutely no complaints as far as the acting is concerned. All the actors have done a convincing job. Arshad Warsi’s comic timing is masterful and he manages to make the movie his own. John Abraham has very little to do in the entire movie but he does all right. 

Kabul Express is definitely not your run-of-the-mill ‘post-war-crisis’ movie. The creators have done extremely well and sand dunes have never looked better. This one is a must watch. Four big stars out of five!

 

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