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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!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Daily tit-bits: May 2017

With a lull on the work front, been watching movies, plenty of them, online and in theaters. What I have been watching
 Nenu Local (2017): Nani: another badly selected movie. Ran in theaters but I'd rate it a mere 2.5/5, Nani is fast losing it.

Phillouri (2017)--Anushka Sharma: Ambitious but very childish plot with the ghost floating around funnily. 2/5 from me.

Antham (2016): Never even heard of this movie but this thriller was well-made and keeps you at the edge of your seat though the end seemed a bit contrived. Relatively unknown actors, Charan Deep, Rashmi Gautam give a decent performance. A 3.5/5 from me.

Premam (2016): All talk and no action. Though Nag has evolved a lot as an actor, the story held no water. Falling in love at three different stages in life has different ways of manifestation. The story had a great potential but a no show in terms of direction. A 2/5 from me.

Winner (2017): Intriguing story. Sai Dharam Tej shines again with his energy. A 3/5 from me for Sai and Jagpathi babu's powerful performances. The story is not strong enough to support such performances. But yes, have decided to go watch his movies in theaters instead of waiting for them to be released on TV.

Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo (2016): Naga Chiatanya: Action-Romance. Ok-ok A 2.5/5 from me.

Watched Shourya (Manchu Manoj) (2016). Liked it quite a bit...Manoj style of doing 'different' films. A romantic thriller. Nice one!

15th May
Sarabhai vs Sarabhai Take 2: The much awaited series is back but this time online. Despite the obvious comparison to the previous season, it is such a relief to find that the quality hasn't dipped at all. All the actors, despite a 11 year gap don't seem to have aged a bit and continue to be as goofily lovable as before.

24th May
Had to go to a place close to Shopper's Stop and obviously dropped in at Shopper's Stop! The excuse was the left over credit note of 400/- But when I went there, I obviously went looking around for a good hour. I was amazed at the collections there. I had bought my last dress at Shopper's Stop at GVK but compared to that, this place seems to have double the range. So, next time, I buy a dress, it is going to be here.
Bought blue color matching leggings for the dress bought for last birthday in Bangalore!
After that, I started walking and saw that Heart Cup Coffee was close by. I had  planned to be there for a long time and now that it is so close to my home, I dropped in. The loud throbbing music set the mood.
The DJ at Heart Cup Coffee

I discovered that Wednesdays were Ladies Nights and the drinks were on the house. Wasted on someone like me! I ordered a mocktail and was enjoying it when the host of the evening, Sharon, asked me if I'd like to make my own drink. I was smiling at this opportunity and very tentatively, with the help of the bartender made my own virgin mojito. Loved the experience, bless this so- enthusiastic and warm Sharon!
Feel good and nice about this experience of immense freedom!