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Friday, July 21, 2017

A disaster called Jagga Jasoos

I have managed, so far, to avoid going to watch movies with Katrina Kaif in it. It is like watching it with one half of the lead cast missing. Her presence/absence with the jarring accent makes no impact whatsoever on the movie.
Well, Jagga Jassos is about how Ranbir Kapoor sets out to trace his missing father (played by Saswata Chatterjee).
Ranbir's father leaves for some undisclosed destination after admitting him to a boarding school in his childhood. But he makes sure he greets his son on his birthday through a video tape he sends every year. One year, when the tape doesn't arrive, Ranbir sets out to look for his father. The story is supposedly based on the infamous Purulia Arms drop case in the 90s. Saswata discovers the conspiracy and is then forced to be a fugitive as his life is threatened. Katirna is also a detective of sorts in international crime and helps Ranbir find his father. There is also another weird logic because of which Ranbir is sure Katrina could help find his father. But wait! Why bother...
The director, Anurag Basu, invests about an hour of 'Interstellar'isque kind of plot combined with a 'Sound of Music' one... resulting in a musically confounding movie which does justice to neither. Whether the move is to be a mystery, a musical, an adventure or a romantic comedy...Basu remains undecided till the end. Ranbir's Tintin-like curl in hair and how it helps the story is also as unfathomable as its story.
Any reason to watch Jagga Jasoos? Hard to find. Yet...
The bright spots in the movie are all the wonderful locales that it takes you through in the quest of Ranbir's father. Second, very decent job by Saswata Chatterjee. Third, Ranbir's brilliant performance through all his idiosyncratic behavior, namely that of a child-adult with a stammer. Following his father's advice, he sings his way through his stammer to be able to converse. This jars after a while in this non-musical movie.
The execution of the plot is poorly handled. I am sure Basu finds no help from the break-up between the lead pair in real life. As it is, getting Kaif to emote is an elephantine task and a miffed Kaif is so plastic, a touch and she would smash into smithereens. Finding an excuse for her accent in every movie is an unenviable task for each of her directors. Nawazuddin Siddique in a 10-second appearance packs more punch.
You can still survive the ordeal, maybe, if you ask someone to wake you up in the second half of the movie.
A 1.5/5 for the movie from me.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Mom

"God can't be everywhere...and hence he created mom," is the only clichéd sentence you'd hear in this otherwise unconventional thriller movie.
There are times like these, I am glad I don't have a TV connection at home. I had no clue of the story, the actors or what the film is about. All I knew and wanted to know was that it had my favorite, Sridevi in it.
The film starts with a family of four: parents and two daughters, the elder one, Sajal Ali trying to convince her parents to be allowed to go to a farm house to party. Sridevi's advice to her to be careful and safe are not heeded as she is her step mom and Sajal doesn't like her.
Yet, when she goes out to party, she is cautious, refusing to dance with strangers and even turning down drinks offered by them. As in all of the rape cases, rape happens not because it is the girl's fault but because of a man's hurt ego. Sajal is kidnapped from the party, raped and thrown into a roadside ditch.
(The music during this scene is so eerie, it gives you goosebumps!)
Sajal is later found and admitted into a hospital. Cloning the infamous Nirbhaya case, the trial goes on for days, the accused go scot-free, appeals in the High Court etc etc.
How Sridevi ensures justice is done to her daughter forms the crux of the story.
In this. she is assisted by Nawazuddin Siddique, a private detective and Akshaye Khanna, the police officer. Nawaz's role is described as a special appearance but Akshaye and he share similar screen presence.
Nawaz's rat-like appearance took me by surprise. Guess as a detective, he needed that look to merge with the crowd. For an actor, it must have taken guts to make himself appear almost grotesque. Scenes which Sridevi and he shared lit up the screen with brilliant performances. Akshaye Khanna as the police officer who keeps tabs on criminals, both "who do something wrong" and those "who do something very wrong," has done a brilliant job.
None of the actors try to outshine the other. On the other hand, they fit into their respective roles so well! Adnan Siddique in the role of Sajal's father leaves a mark in the portrayal of a father-daughter relationship. He isn't given much to do though.
Writing even one extra line about the movie, will give away the plot, thin as it is.
The movie is pretty predictive offering simplistic, implausible and impractical solutions. These things don't happen in real life
As a child we used to clap when viewing the dishoom-dishoom scenes between the hero and the villains. You get a similar feeling when you watch the villains get punished in this movie. The approach is as simple as that. Dishoom-dishoom and your work is done. No time or effort has gone into weaving intricate details of a complex plot into this thriller.
Why should you watch the movie then? Subtle and brilliant performances by Sridevi, Akshaye Khanna and Nawazuddin Siddique...and a story that manages to keep you interested to the end.

In the last five minutes...you know what's going to come but still, be prepared to pull out your large handkerchiefs for the copious tears which are sure to flow.
My rating: 3.5/5....the extra 0.5 sheerly for my bias towards Sridevi. And why not? Look at the thousand and one expressions she is capable of giving in any scene.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Daily tit-bits: July 2017

3rd July:
Didnt sleep the whole night again. Been about ten days since I slept properly. :(
The watchman of 12 years was asked to leave. It was indeed a sad day as they left. I was so dependent on them for the last 10 years.
For the last four months, I had given my scooty keys to the watchman as he used to help park my vehicle when I wasn't able to. Today, I asked for my keys to be given back. The key chain was replaced by another one. I noticed this only after a while and asked his wife. She replies very casually, my daughter liked it and so she took it, Isn't this theft? 
Don't know how such things affect others but for me it is a big thing. If I HAVE to take something from someone, my mind keeps troubling till I return it in the exact same shape that I borrowed it in..or in an even better condition. Taking what you like just because you think it is a small thing is still not acceptable. It is still theft! Upset!
Raiding someone's larder, even if in front of them, without their permission is also theft, isn't it? 
Is it only me with such high values and expectations?! 
Such things trouble me a lot! I don't take a paisa from someone so why should people grab things from me without my permission?
4-5th July:
Watched Poorna (2017), which has Rahul Bose & Aditi Inamdar as Mentor and his protégé.
I wasn't well when this film released or else would definitely have gone to the theaters to watch.
It is such a beautiful movie, so heart-warming and simple, yet making such a powerful statement!
All children (especially a girl-child) and their parents must watch this one. It encourages the child to dare to dream big and achieve beyond those dreams.
It is based on a true story of how a young girl, from a Government school, sets out to train herself and reach Mt, Everest at a young age of 13. The future of India lies in the hands of such heroes.
Kittu Unnaadu Jagrattha (2017) by Raj Tarun turned out to be a rather watchable movie. Because his movies watched on TV/internet were interesting, I went to watch Anadagdu in theaters and what rubbish it turned out to be!
5th July:
Had gone to the diagnostics and very luckily found a shop which does glass and frames work right beside it. In one of my trips there, I got the Saraswathi idol repaired. The one which has a miniature figure of a sandalwood Saraswathi encased in a glass dome...just about an inch and half in height. This was very carelessly broken by one of the laborers who was in my house for something.
We had bought this in Basara in 2000 and I was pretty heart broken when this broke.
But lo and behold! It is back again :)


6th July:
The best thing to have happened today is the report with the HB1Ac count. which is a very decent 8 after a long time. Feeling good about this result :)
Energy levels for the last three days have been quite good and am able to handle lot of stuff at home.
Sleets of rain today :) Three previous days of sultriness was bad, really!
7th July:
Had an adventurous day today. One of those rare things to happen...slept at a stretch and woke up at 6.30 am. Decided that instead of going back to sleep, why not take advantage of a whole day in front of me.
Had breakfast and went to CCPL, Malkajgiri by auto (60/-) to see Mom movie. Had promised to go to a friend's. And the cost for share cab was pretty steep from Malkajgiri. So,got into a bus to Secunderbad ( Rs.10/) and then took a cab from there (130/-) to Jubilee Hills. Had a very decent meal at the newly opened Barbeque Pride (666/-), and from there 14 kms and Rs. 165 in share cab to my friend's place. The share cab from her place back to mine was showing 500+! So, skipped that and took a share auto to station (10/-) and ticket from Lingampally station to Sitaphalmandi station (10/-).
After getting down the autowallah asks 50/- for this 1 km distance. Having worn walking shoes, I happily walked home.
So, covered all means of transport in a single day: bus, auto, shared auto, train, cab, walk...amazingly tiring and yet exhilarating day!
10th July:
Been to the horrible SBI to get some work done. I say horrible because, despite the trustworthy banking system, the service is so slow! And after enduring a wait time of 20 minutes, I was asked to fill the forms once again as the DDs were to be deposited into SBH and not SBI! And I thought they had merged. What circuitous way of getting things done! If it were a private bank, I would have just dropped it in the drop box of the ATM of that bank.
Taking hours to fill in the forms, standing for hours in queue, and still not getting work done is frustrating!
11th July:
I had planned to go get groceries for the month today but feeling low again physically. Maybe cause I didnt have kefir for the last three days. A sip of it may help, perhaps. There is so much work to be done. Lying on bed doesn't help at all :(
ActCorp (Beam) charges 20/- extra in this month's bill. Dont know why. Need to go to their office to find out.
13th July: Was a day of visits and physical presence drains me out these days. You are bound to sit and listen to lot of stuff. The Suvarnabhoomi persons' visit really had me restless.
Also had a visit by the Ayurvedic doctor who says he aims at overall well-being. Let me try this and see how it works out.
Just being happy and able to share stuff is also a good antidote.
For the first time ever, bought something online. Was eyeing a back cover for my phone for long as the present one had started chipping. This was around two months ago. But then was looking at few people to buy it for me. When none helped, I decided to go ahead myself and placed the order through Flipkart and lo! I got it delivered today.The product does not exactly match the one advertised but for me this first time experience of online buying was so exhilarating! Having a grown-up child at home handicaps you in so many ways! Getting back to being independent feels good. But need physical energy to match too!
Saw Ninu Kori (2017). So nice to see Nani back in form with a good story selection The last 2-3 movies of his were a disaster. A novel concept was the possibility of love after marriage...something new in Indian films. A good 3.5/5 from me.
14th July:
The last two days I was feeling weak again. And today the weakness has abated but I got a bad cold. Plus had a very bad sleepless night.
With looming clouds, I went with great apprehension to Ratnadeep to get the monthly groceries. There was rain before and after it but not at the time of visit.
Went for getting veggies, today being a Friday. Again there was rain before and after it. Thankfully none during my visit.
15th July
Saw Tubelight (2017). What a torturous movie! What was Salman thinking hen he made this movie?!
16th -20th July:
Started taking Ayurvedic medicine with the intention of cutting down on my allopathic medicines after a while. But it did heat up the body quite a bit, hence trying to figure out which ones are doing the damage by trying only one of them each day and then eliminating the ones which cause the damage.
Incessant rains in the last four days. Hyderabad became severely handicapped with reports of 3+ hours of travel from Hi-Tech city to Sainikpuri! People said the cabs swam all the way through!
The government should at least construct roads with all taxes collected. It is the same story every mnsoon.
21st July
Wrote a scathing review on Jagga Jassos and when shared on facebook, found many liking the post. Shared it enthusiastically with my nephew, a teenager and also a critic, and was brought down with a thud with remarks only a family is capable of giving and which is also amicably received. The chap did make a few valid observations.
Had a 45 minute chat with him and was still feeling energized at the end of it..so stimulating did I find the conversation. Interacting with the young ones is like a battery to the mind.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Duvvada Jagannadham

Isn't a movie about a story, creativity, entertainment and some take-away?
Well, Duvvada Jaganndham has none of these elements.
To begin with, why is DJ's character portrayed as a brahmin? What is the relevance to the story (?!)?
There are two sides to Allu Arjun's character: one, a brahmin caterer (Duvvada Jagannadham) in Vijayawada and another a police informer and assistant (DJ) who helps Hyderabad rid of crime and criminals. The modus operandi is simple...bash them up or finish them off.
I am not sure how I sound when I say this, but to date I haven't witnessed a brahmin capable of so much violence! In fact, none.
When he acts as the police assistant, he dresses modernly by wearing shirt and trousers and when he is the caterer, he wears a long-sleeved shirt and panchi (dhoti). In the former avatar, his language is brash and in the latter, a sing-song way of speaking which is supposed to represent the brahmin way of speaking Telugu.
Through this brahmin character, the director (Harish Shankar) has made a mockery of brahmins and their mannerisms. Just because they don't protest , doesn't mean you can get away with anything.
If one were to make a film on brahmins and their language, culture and mannerisms, watch Mithunam (directed by Tanikella), a beautiful movie portrayed by two characters, SP and Lakshmi. It makes such peaceful watching!
Except Tanikella, no one in DJ has been able to do any justice to the essence of a brahmin in the movie. Well, for that the director ought to have done some research. There is no evidence of any.
Rao Ramesh, otherwise a good actor, has dared to imitate his father's character from Sankarabharanam and has fallen flat. The comparison is obvious. Some greats just cannot be imitated.
Chandramohan and Subba Raju, both good actors, are wasted in insignificant roles. It is Allu Arjun all the way.
Allu Arjun has made his fans wait long but this movie is just not worth the wait.
My rating: 1/5. Not worth wading through the rain-flooded streets to go watch this film. Sit at home and sip some hot coffee instead.
By the way, the female presence is fulfilled by Pooja Hegde. She is there too.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ami Thumi

The best thing about watching a movie is not knowing what it is about beforehand. Not having watched the trailers, I knew nothing of the cast, the story, the director...nothing. All I went by is the word going around.Therefore, Srinivas Avasarala's presence in the beginning of the movie, came as a pleasant surprise.
In fact, there are not one but three male leads, all having equal screen presence: Adivi Sesh, Srinivas Avasarala and Vennela Kishore. There is not much for the female leads in this movie.
Written and directed by Ashtma Chamma's director Mohan Krishna Indraganti, this movie, also a romantic comedy, falls in the same genre (of neat, small budget movies).
Adivi Sesh and Eesha are in love with one another. This is opposed by Eesha's father played by Tanikella Bharani because Sesh is an orphan. On the other hand, Srinivas, Tanikella's son is in love with Aditi, who is the daughter of Kedar Shankar, Tanikella's arch rival. And therefore, Tanikella is opposed to both these alliances.
Vennella Kishore's proposal to Eesha comes as a great relief to Tanikella as he is happy his daughter will get married into a rich household, not knowing that under the camouflage of opulence, Vennella Kishore's family is in deep debt and looks toward this alliance to redeem their lost riches.
The director uses the name Maya like he had used Mahesh before, to create confusion. Eesha uses this confusion to get the right pair married to each other.
Music is a pleasant plus to this movie. The background score is soothing and no where jarring. There are (thankfully) only two songs. The third one is a medley of old songs, done very charmingly by Srinivas Avasarala.
On the surface it looks like the movie copies Ashta Chamma, but the story is different.
Srinivas Avasarala has a great comic timing but he has close competition with Vennela Kishore who is simply brilliant in this movie. Despite his portrayal of a person from a highly sophisticated background, he gets conned by Eesha and her cook (an insuppressible Shyamala Devi). Tanikella Bharani, always a great actor, throws himself into his role with a great abandon as he sings and dances around gleefully at the prospect of getting his daughter married to a person of his choice.
On the minuses, it lacks the balance of a substantial role for the female leads (miss the spunk of a Colors Swathi). The story could have been crisper. Adivi Sesh, is good at acting and is good looking too but appears a bit too thin. The meaning and relevance of the title seems delusive.
All in all, a simple story which keeps you smiling throughout.
A 3/5 from me. Do watch. All your tensions of the real world will be forgotten for the 128 minutes it runs. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Daily tit-bits: June 2017

Went to Shopper's Stop at GVK to exchange my kurtha after watching Bahubali.
And guess who I saw there? Sathya Krishnan, the hoarse voiced Anitha from Anand movie. She appeared so young without makeup! Google told me that she is 26 years old. Unbelievable as she plays roles mush older to her age.
2nd June 2017:
Went to watch Andagadu. Had always watched Raj Tarun's movies on TV. Went to the theater as there were no other good movies playing. Second, encouraged by Raj Tarun's energetic performances, expected something from this. The movie didn't know whether it wanted to be a comedy, a romantic or a spooky one. Though to the hero's credit, he holds up in all three avatars. A 2.5/5 from me.
Trying to be a Andagadu isn't about a swollen face and eyes and a neatly combed hair. Needs a better makeover.
Watched Chandamama Kathalu (2014). Beautiful movie! Am going to review it.
Also watched Attack (2016). Watched a Ram Gopal Varma after many years. Glad to see that he hasn't lost his touch. Quite ingenuously directed, Manchu Manoj playing the protagonist.
The previous movie by Manchu Lakshmi and this one by Manchu Manoj shows that the brother-sister duo are good at selecting good stories.
6th June 2017
Cleaned window frames. Got a cold again. Dust allergy persists. Despite his professed treatment, the doctor has done nothing to cure me of my allergy.
The first rainfall and an end to Summer 2017! The roaring 40s to mild 30s...what a drop! Weather is delicious with rains during nights and clouds during day.
The early onset of summer from March itself had me groaning at the endless hot days.
But every bad/good day has to end one day.
9th June 2017
Watched Coffee with D (2017). Hadn't thought of it much when the movie was released. Not really expecting much from an established comedian playing a hero. But was pleasantly surprised to see a decent performance by Sunil Grover in a non-comic role The story was different and had a good potential to be great but lost its footing somewhere with a slip-shod direction.
Visited Ruci & Idoni and Coffee Cup last week.
Ruci & Idoni big name but no show. Had ordered a starter which was okay and a pizza which was served with fried onions sprinkled on top! Pizza-biryani?
Coffe Cup: We ordered a veggie platter. Taste was ok ok but was so oily! The main dish of  sizzler was also pretty average. The vegetables were well-cooked but no sizzle in the sizzler. But like always, keeping upto its name, the coffee there was outstanding! No comparison to be found in Hyderabad.

Eating lot of ripe mangoes...almost one a day. Scared of increase in sugar levels :(
11th June
Went to visit a friend in hospital. Took some food along. Hospitals arent a nice place to be in...
12th June
Watched Srirasthu Subhamasthu (2016). Allu  Sirish has attempted a commercial role after his 'hatke' roles in his earlier movies. The story started decently enough but then soon lost track and was hurriedly concluded after going round in circles. A 2.5/ 5 from me.
13th June:
Woke up to the sound of inverter going 'kiiiii... kiiiii'. Battery drained it seems. Called a couple of electricians to get it cleaned and have distilled water filled. Wish I could do it myself without having to wait for them to come home. Realized two things: nothing ever runs forever without maintenance; two: have become so used to having 24/7 power that even those few minutes of living without power, especially the internet is so suffocating!
15th June 2017:
Just like that without a thought or plan went to watch Ami Thumi. 60/- for auto after haggling with two more drivers who had quoted 80 and 100/- respectively. Liked this light hearted movie.
Had gone without a thought for lunch. And when I saw that it was 9.5 kms from Cinepolis, Malakajgiri to Paradise, booked a cab which came for 73/- Directly went to Pizza den. The pizzas which were priced 90/- just a couple of years ago are now 140/-! Thankfully, the taste remains the same. Next went to my favorite Mamta Sweet house and bought a couple of samosas. And for the first time, went to Pardise Cafe and had their tea. Awesome at 12/- So thankful I didn't go for the 110/- priced coffee at the Cinepolis. Would they have been able to match this taste? I doubt it.
Walking provides you the freedom to stop and shop wherever you want. Exploited this to the full by shopping at China Bazar to buy a plastic sieve for 40/-. And most important went to Hong Kong market and finally bought a back cover for my mobile. Getting one for a 3 year phone is difficult these days. 3 years is considered old :( .But Honk Kong market has everything related to mobiles ;)
he said 150. I said 100. He said 'Done' and slipped the cover on. Should I have asked for a lower price?
16th June:
Went to Big Bazar to pick up a few groceries as I had missed some when I went to Ratnadeep for my monthly shopping. A bill of 483/ for a handful of items and a waste of nearly two hours in commuting and buying.
Was still able to pick up a thothapuri mango for making menthi baddalu :) Going for an overdrive after having grossly missed out on the mango season last year.
Despite having topped it up and the battery showing signs of charging, the inverter still shows low battery ;( Hope it starts working properly soon.
17th-19th June
Was up the whole night with uneasiness of health. Some chest tightening, stomach churning. Sat up the whole night and a loss of appetite and feeling of weakness the next day.
Feeling much better today though no sleep last night once again. I need to keep myself physically more active and definitely see a doctor about the heel pain. Even simple walking in house leads to pain....despite two months of giving up walking. After two years I am putting on some weight. Initially it was good to see after having lost drastically for the last two years but if I dont do something fast, I will keep adding. getting rid of it then will be tough.
Saw Dhruva (2016), What a brilliant concept! So different from the usual shit churned out these days. A good actor would have raised the bar to its deserved heights. Would have gone to watch in the theaters if it was a different actor.
23rd June :
It is 5 days since I have been feeling well. Five days since I slept well. Have been sleeping at around 4-5 am everyday. The dust allergy is back and last night it didn't allow me to sleep till I inhaled the steam. Only after that was I able to breathe and go to sleep.
The best part is that the sugar levels are near normal despite five consecutive sleepless nights :)
Wrote this as Tubelight review without watching the movie and from the reviews I have been watching/reading, they are saying the same thing. That's how predictive our movies have become. Lol!

Watched "Little Boy" (2015) out of curiosity due to the hype created around "Tube-light" (2017).
Little Boy centers around an 8 year old boy and his belief in bringing back his father who has gone to war. This movie has a weak story line, is melodramatic, yet is heart-warming in parts.
In Tube-light, father-son bond is transformed into brothers' bond with Salman playing a goofy character (like in Bajrangi). 
Sure to mess up with the basic story line by turning it into an emotional Bollywood hyperbole.
Can't see how the innocence and beliefs of a child is transfered to an adult.

Had entrusted the task of making raagi mudde and raagi malt to others earlier. It used to take them forever to make it. Now that I have started preparing it myself, I am amazed at the speed with which I am able to prepare it so easily! Why it took them hours to prepare this is truly puzzling.
It is fortunate that I like raagi so much. It has so many health benefits. Feel good whenever I have it.
Planning on having raagi malt for dinner everyday.
24th June
Went out to get all miscellaneous chores done around home. Got 3 kgs of mota  rice for dosa, bread from Spencer's (like it there only), a curry to go with the biryani planned.
Unplanned was the scooter puncture :( Had parked in front of SBI to get curry from Santosh dhaba. When I drove it a few meters, felt the scooty wobble. Showed it to the puncturewala just around the corner and had to wait about 20 minutes till the puncture was done. Charged me 50/- for it.
I had first suspected that the puncture was done on purpose but then the tyre was in tact; the tube had a small hole as though it had worn out.
An ayurvedic doctor visited who spent quite sometime at my home. He was supposed to take care of my physical health but went into the details of my psychological issues. This was an unexpected outcome but made me feel good. Unraveling helps in a big way!
25th June
Finally made the biryani. Was so much craving for one. The ones at restaurants, perhaps good for their non-veg counterpart, are rather disappointing on the vegetarian fare.
Turned out pretty decent, Went the whole hog by frying all vegetables etc. like I used to prepare earlier i,e before I started preparing veg biryani. In combination with the paneer curry bought yesterday, it tasted awesome.
The downside is this deep craving for a meetha paan after eating biryani. Had do make do with the khajoor-paan in my fridge.
Watched a film called Mister (2017) starring Varun Tej, What a senseless movie! No story in it at all.
26th-30th June:
Have not been keeping very well since the 11th June. Again, bouts of weakness. For the last three nights have been woken up due to beating heart. Was particularly bad last night.Scared. Need to get blood test done, but when?
Finally, after trying to get the inverter battery started/repaired, bought a new one for 8500/- after a supposed exchange of 3000 for the old one. Same Amaron one.
Two good things have happened this week. One, the cold has finally gone completely. Two, after two months, I seem to be free of pain in the ankle for the last four days.
Is it because I have started taking Gemcal? Whatever, walking completely free of pain feels great! Should I now try going out for walk again? One of my ex-studnts who has become an orthopedic doctor says that all I need to do is stretch my feet in the morning and ensure that I wear soft foot wear. May not go for the planned orthopedic visit now.
Watched Poorna (2017). A short one at 90 minutes, it is an awesome movie which tugs at your heart strings.
Also watched a terrible Duvvada Jagannatham (2017) Allu Arjun. Wrote a review. Watched Markatmani (2017). It is declared a hit but I didn't understand what it was about. Maybe I don't understand the dark humor in Tamil movies. The concept may be new but I didn't find it engaging at all.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Hindi Medium

I missed seeing many of Irfan Khan's earlier movies but make it a point to see most of them now. His mere presence brightens up the most mundane stories. So is the case with Hindi Medium, his latest offering.
Hindi Medium is a reflection of the competition these days between parents who are willing to go to any extent to get their kids admitted to the best schools and colleges.
The story starts with Irfan Khan, a retailer, effortlessly selling 'original' designs from top designers in India in the lanes of Chandini Chowk. He is threatened, emotionally blackmailed and coerced by his wife (Saba Qamar) into doing anything and everything for their daughter who would, if not educated in the best private school, grow up feeling inferior to others and  'end up taking drugs!'
However glib may Irfan be in his business skills, he sets them aside to cater to Saba's every whim and wish.
They move into posh premises as the best school mandates that they live close to the school. For Irfan Khan, the transition from Chandini Chowk to Vasant Vihar is not easy as he has to leave behind the house he grew up in. But they do it for the sake of their daughter.
Interesting and humorous are the moments when they try to adapt their life style to literally try to keep up with the joneses.
They seek a consultant whose business is to train the parents face the school interview. However well tutored, it cannot be hidden that Irfan Khan isn't the educated person he pretends to be. Hence the school admission is denied.
As they both sit depressed at this rejection, they are surprised to learn that the worker in their business was successful in getting his son admitted into the same school. When they learn that he got through in the poor quota, they prepare themselves to stay in the slums and apply through the poverty quota.
How Irfan manages to completely transform his body language to match that of a poor person is a pleasure to watch.
Mentionable is Deepak Dobriyal who, unbelievably, has been around since 2003. But this film is going to give him a recognition he has hankered for all along! He assumes that the couple has happened to fall on bad times and that they had once lived a good life. He is brilliant in training Irfan Khan on how to be poor. The moments spent in the slums are both hilarious and touching as they find solace in one another's depravity.
The movie was great till here. But then the convolutions that the story takes to make Irfan deal with guilt at passing off as a poor person to get a seat for his daughter seems rather contrived and couldn't really bring it to a logical conclusion.
The film runs for 133 minutes only but still needed to be padded up at times with the jokes about education commonly found on internet.
My thoughts, while watching this movie, were 'Thank God! We had the best schooling from the best teachers without getting into all this absurdity!'

I would go for a 3.5/5 for the performances of Irfan, Saba and Deepak and for the story bringing into focus the pathetic condition of education system in India.
Good movie. Go watch!