Sunday, July 8, 2012

Of Falling, Gangs of Wasseypur, and Insecurities

Hmmm...So as always long time no see!
It is more than a week and I have been at home and done nothing at all.

This week, Barclays and other banks were implicated in rigging the LIBOR rate. LIBOR! I started thinking of office. One of the most common and easiest requests was to find the LIBOR. Just go to Bloomberg and use the BBAM function and take out the data! Simple...and request done and time charged :P But how can anyone rig the LIBOR! It cannot be done by a single bank. LIBOR is decided by the British Banker's Association. So, a lot of more people and many more banks would have been involved...Can't be done by a single person! The BBC showed the public questioning of Barclays CEO, Robert Diamond, by British Parliamentarians! It's once strong people confess and answer uncomfortable questions in public. I wish we, in India, had such a system of public questioning. Imagine Narendra Modi or A Raja giving a testimony in the public! Remember Hansie Cronje's tearful acceptance of match fixing? And how Rupert Murdoch tried to shy away from tough questions though his wife, Wendi Dang, made proceeding more alive by jumping to save him from the attacker. There is something mysterious (or may be sadistic) seeing highly successful fall, maybe because it makes them vulnerable or human just like we all are!

This week I saw three movies - Gangs of Wasseypur (yes, finally!), Teri Meri Kahani and Pyaar Ka Punchnama. Gangs of Wasseypur. I liked the film a lot but I didn't love it. I mean maybe I was expecting too much but the movie is great but found something missing. The film was too long, could have been edited better. Some scenes could have been easily removed. Like the dreamy sequence where Faisal and Mohsina are wearing aviator sunglasses is funny but pointless. Or the Yashpal Sharma dancing on Muqaddar Ka Sikandar. Self indulgent sequences. I felt Sardar Khan couldn't actually invoke the terror in Ramadhir Singh. Teri keh ke lunga was slightly not justified. Why did Sardar agree to a truce between the Quershis and his family? If he was so hell bent on revenge, it was the Quershis who drove his father out. Why no revenge against them? Ramadhir Singh had heard his father wanting to usurp his position, so of course he would get him eliminated. Did he try to find out the truth? Maybe Faisal in Part 2 might be a more convincing act. But what I loved was Richa Chaddha as Nagma Khatoom. Terrific acting. Wonderful character. She compromises and learns to live her life peacefully. Even after what Sardar did to her, she beat the hell out of her kids when she got to know that they took money from Ramadhir Singh. Contrast this with Durga, she marries Sardar all the while knowing he is married. She sleeps with him, gets knocked up and blames Sardar saying she doesn't want to be a 'bacche paida karne ki machine'. I still don't get it. Why did she join Ramadhir Singh's gang to play a part in his murder. She called Sultan and his gang that he has left her place. I mean why? Jealousy? Nagma, on the other hand, was more accommodating. She knew she needed money to live her life. So she accepts whatever Sardar does. At one point she says to Sardar, "tumhe tharak me jana hai to jao, bas kisi ko yahan mat lana. Bahar jaake bezati mat karana. Aur naha ke ana." Watch the scene where she gets to know about Sardar's second wife. Or the one where she says to his son, when they are preparing for Sardar's escape from prison, "hamare bete ho ya us dhai rupaiye vali ra*** ke jahan tumhare bapu muh marte rehte hai." I couldn't stop laughing. Richa Chadha was last seen as Dolly in Oye Lucky Lucky Oye! Too good she is! Fabulous music..I loved Womaniya and Teri Keh Ke Lunga. Of course, it is an Anurag Kashyap film. It needs repeat viewing to understand the finer nuances. Like one of my favourite scenes in the movie was when Sultan comes to Ramadhir Singh's house. Ramadhir Singh calls his wife and she gets very uncomfortable when Sultan, a Muslim, touches her feet. Then she asks her husband if she can bring the food here only as she probably didn't want them to enter their eating area. And she irritatingly calls to her servant, to bring food in 'chini' ke she thinks her vessels might get impure on serving to Muslims. It is a very understated and yet such a brilliant scene that shows about this whole Hindu-Muslim divide. That is what makes Anurag a maverick film maker. Anurag also tried to show about Nagma's character through references. She had eventually accepted Sardar's second wife. And just to make up for her loss and divert her mind, she tried to find love in new things, such as new appliances. Like the vacuum cleaner. When she is cleaning the room using it, she repeatedly tells Sardar to get out of the room as it is dirty, maybe a metaphor to just get out the dirt from her life. Or the new refrigerator. When Sardar is speaking to her, she repeatedly ignores his calls and she is simply fascinated by the refrigerator saying "yeh dimaag ko bhi thanda rakhta hai kya" as if she wants to keep her mind cool..away from Sardar. And in the stabbing scene where Sardar kills one of Sultan's men in the streets, there is a poster of Guide in the background. Very subtly trying to show the 1960s! There are so many nuances that I would have missed because the first time you can only concentrate on the story. Needs repeat viewing. The Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi bahut Thi or the Khalnayak ring tone..Funny! Even small characters like the Gun salesman are very well written.

Brilliant cinematography! Real life scenes of mining explosions, the Muharram procession, the stinking butcher house..the finger scene..

I loved this scene..:)

Call me elitist or hypocritical but all the while I was watching the movie, I was thinking I hate this reality. I hate this kind of India. I don't want to visit such a place. Why is our India so dark and disturbing! Interestingly, The Hoot carried an article on how Gangs of Wasseypur has been lauded in the English media for its realism but some quarters of Hindi media have lambasted the movie for its very realism. The article here:

Writing in Dainik Bhaskar (Goliyon se jyada ghatak gaaliyan, filthy words are deadlier than bullets, 26.06.2012), Jaiprakash Chowksey has incisively attacked the film for the shallowness of its so-called realistic narrative, the hypocrisy of the path-breaking tag being attached to it and the way in which it has reinforced the stereotypes about a part of the Hindi heartland. Demolishing the experimental edifice of the film, Chowksey has remarked: “Anurag Kashyap tamam filmy formulon ka upyog karte hue bhi swyam ko alag batane ki chesta mein haafne lage hain” (Anurag Kashyap is running out of breathe in his effort to appear different while using all the formulae of film- making).

The review in Dainik Bhaskar (26.06.2012) trashed such claims of realistic portrayal and has sarcastically commented: “Yeh ‘yatharthwadi’ filmkaar film ke title me hi kahta hai ki Dhanbad ya Wasseypur mein shooting nahi huee hai!” (This “realist” film-maker says in the titles of the film that the film has not been shot in Dhanbad or Wasseypur!). In fact, Dainik Bhaskar published a photo essay on its website showing the real-reel divide of Wasseypur, a suburban settlement in Dhanbad district. The “reality check” on the movie could also be done with the reports about Wasseypur residents protesting against the gross distortions of the history and culture of their place in the film.

Anurag would be very happy though. His films have sparked a poster war between the Congress and the BJP.


I can never imagine Manmohan Singh to be doing this....ever!

Ya..Teri Meri Kahaani..I know it is one of those films which people won't see even if it comes on TV. But I still wanted to see it. It is one of those films where nothing really happens..You can go out of the hall, have a chat and you can easily make out what is going on when you come back.. No conflicts..problems that are not really problems and are resolved at the spur of moment..The only saving grace - some shayari in the 1910 story by Shahid the film has no kahaani at all..There were some girls sitting next to me and laughing and drooling like anything on some jokes..I was like why am I not getting amused. Felt old! :D And Pyar Ka Punchnama. I found the girls in this movie extremely irritating specially that Babu one :S The movie was very boring in the second half. Liquid was awesome and the monologue by Rajat is the high point of the movie..So funny the way Liquid used to say and behave with Rajjo :P

I finally enrolled in a photography class. I also went to this exhibition at India Habitat Centre set up by the Delhi Photography Club called Nicefoto. It contains photographs by all amateur photographers like you and I. None of the photo is by an expert. I saw some really good pics. These three are my favourite. What an idea!

This one is titled Kya Hukum Mere Aaka!

Love through Shoe Laces

Heart of Nature...(leaf in a heart!)

I met A from college yesterday. He is one of those persons whom I respect and admire. I wish I could be just 10% like him. He called me to discuss some things. I felt really nice when he called. He is so good at everything. Seriously, I wish I could be like him. And when I was coming back and crossing the road, I saw someone waving at me. It turned out to be R, V's friend! I mean the day I meet someone from college..on that day only, I see someone else from college! What a co-incidence!

I am seriously addicted to Modern Family. I love that show like anything. It is one of the best things ever I have seen on TV. Yesterday, I saw Season 2 Epiosode 23. I don't remember watching anything on TV where I have smiled and laughed during the entire duration of the show. It was about insecurities that we have. How each one of us has our own insecurities. Alex, who stood first in her class, gave a terrific speech. She said

"It’s ironic that I stand up here representing my classmates when they are so awesome, they should be up here themselves but I am up here...I’m saying…stuff, because everybody’s got their…stuff, whether you’re popular or a drama geek or a cheerleader or even a nerd like me. We all have our insecurities. We’re all just trying to figure out who we are. Don’t stop believing. Get this party started."

It's so true when she says we all have insecurities and we are trying to figure who we are. And I remembered writing this about insecurity 

More later!

Dialogue of the Day:

"Rahein jo chuni hain, meri thi raza..
Rehta hun kyun phir khud se hi khafa..
Aisi bhi huyi thi mujhse kya khata..
Tune jo mujhe di jeene ki saza.."
- Kyun Main Jagun, Patiala House

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