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


"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 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 stimulating did I find the conversation. Interacting with the young ones is like a battery to the mind.
22nd -25th July
Not much been happening The energy has been on and off. The new treatment of Ayurvedic medicines are not really agreeing much with the body , causing stomach upsets etc.
As the doctor says to inspire me, "Do one thing new everyday." I am happy that the kurtha mirrors burnt by the istriwala, was finally repaired today. Replaced all the burnt mirrors with new spangles. And am I not proud of my work :) ? This was pending for a year plus. The kurtha now looks good as new!
Meanwhile saw Patel Sir (2017), a Jagpathi Babu solo after a long time. But the movie was absolutely slow though there is some strength to the story. Maybe a 2.5/5