Friday, August 31, 2012

The story of Shirin Farhad, Tivoli Theater and KFC

Been to see "Shirin Farhad ki tho nikal padi" yesterday at Tivoli Theatre.
Shirin Farhad is a love story between two people who are 40+. It is a heart-warming film and portrays the joy that being in love brings to two people irrespective of their age. The movie, simple in concept and an uncomplicated narration, has you smiling throughout as you relate to the joy of the couple in a new-found love. Its subtle comic moments too have you smiling.
The movie endorses the fact that there is no 'right' age for falling in love and that love brings happiness at whatever age it happens. Boman Irani is known for his acting abilities but it is Farah Khan who is a surprise element in the movie. She is such a natural in front of the camera that you wonder where she has been all these years. Her acting career should have begun 25 years back! The chemistry, evident between the pair adds to the credibility.
This movie comes as a refreshing story as the romance isn't mushy with fluttering eyelashes, balloons, chocolates et al. It is so wonderfully sane and practical. Even when Shirin wants to hug Farhad, we don't find the invitation of come-hither looks but a simple, "idhar aa, let's hug"  :)
Yes, like all love stories this movie too has the lead pair suffer a brief separation but they are,of course, back together.
The blessing while watching this film is that there are is no sleaze which makes you squirm. If you go to the film after watching those lingerie selling promos and expect more of the same, you'd be disappointed. Those scenes in the movie are just limited to the ones shown in the promos.
A simple heart-warming love story. A 3.5/5 for me.

About Tivoli theater: The pain of traveling over long distances on the congested roads of Hyderabad has me experimenting with single screen cinemas closer home these days.  The charm of multiplexes are worn off due to the distance and the time that it takes to reach the theaters. Increase in the movie ticket rates by 50% and the equally exorbitant parking tickets are also instrumental in people clustering to the single screens. I ventured to the Tivoli which is closer to my home than all other multiplexes and also showing the film at the most convenient time for me. I had been on Wednesday but I was told that they had run out of tickets. It seems the 2 pm matinee is shown in their smaller screen of 50 people capacity. I bought a ticket for the next day. Was slightly skeptic of going to this theater as I knew that this was one of the older theaters of Secunderabad. But to my surprise, the small theater with 7 seats per row not only had very decent seating but also good acoustics. The screen was proportionately small and I blessed the ticketing guy in my mind who had me have the privilege of getting the middle seat. Because of the small capacity, the tickets for this show run out fast. ( I came to know later that this was a new theater added to the older one and hence plush).
Now coming to the minuses, the washrooms have excellent infrastructure but pathetic maintenance. We women had to rush out with our noses closed.
The snack counter, almost beside the entrance to the washroom, is also a put off as the rates on display equal or surpass those at the multiplexes. 
Another pathetic act was that of the parking guys. If you happen to be new to the theater (as I was), you have to be there at least 15 minutes before the movie starts despite holding a valid ticket. Because that is the time required for you to search for the parking on your own. Only when you make the wrong moves and are struggling to get out, will someone tell you that you aren't supposed to park there. You are completely left to fend for yourself and if you go just five minutes before the show begins, you are sure to miss some of it. It's not as if they are there to help you but that you are at their mercy as you wait for them to come over to issue the parking ticket
An important update:  Went to see the 11.30 am show of Barfi,on another screen in the new theater, a 100+ seater, and for the three hours, there was NO AC. The hall was fully booked and being enclosed for three hours with no air-conditioning was greatly stifling. Half the pleasure of watching such a great movie was taken away. After about half hour into the movie, someone had the sense to open the exit doors opposite each other which brought some respite as there was some cross-ventilation. After 10+ years of living in Hyderabad, I dared to visit Tivoli and I have now sworn off the theater forever. Will rather wait and hope for a decent multiplex experience in the upcoming Sangeet. Until then, it is back to traveling all over the town for a pleasant watching experience. Tivoli, never again!

About KFC: Happened to go over to KFC close by at Karkhana after the movie. I used to visit this place when I worked at the office at Karkhana location and would drop by at end of the day. Though I have eaten at many KFC outlets since then, this remains my favorite as I recollect great taste of the burgers there. But I found that the quality has deteriorated. I try to avoid fast food centers usually, as all that I am piling on are lot of empty calories. After about 3 months, I visited one again and ordered for their Zinger meal. The guy who took the order (sameer) asked me whether it is single cheese or double cheese. Double cheese, eh? No way, I thought and said give me single. When I was given the bill I saw that I was charged separately for the cheese. I asked him and was told that the extra price was for the cheese that I ordered!!!!!!! This I find is the tactics of many a fast-food center. They add something to your meal and make it seem as though it were a part of the order and it is only later you realize that it is an addition. Though not unfamiliar with these tactics, I was surprised this time because earlier when I had ordered from the same place, I was never asked the question. I wasn't in the mood to argue. I think this is how they get away with this kind of charging as they reckon that there will be very few who are going to argue and will quietly accept.
The order itself was pathetic in taste. The cheese slice turned out to be an unwanted and unnecessary addition to the burger. The burger itself has shrunk in size. The fries didn't look as though freshly fried. There is nothing more tasteless than having cold french fries. And maybe due to the cheese, there was a mild burnt smell to the burger. Earlier the same order would stuff me to the gills but yesterday, I was left with the feeling that I could have some more. The succulent taste is missing and the burger felt quite dry to taste. As it is I don't frequent these fast food outlets and I have to be really desperate to go to one again.