Dec 29, 2013

Year-end Special: Maha-Review of Bollywood in 2013

Preface

And I SAY WHAT A YEAR this has been!

Well, okay, to be fair, we still had quite a lot of nonsense this year... but hey, you know we're speaking of Bollywood. With the "Great" comes the "not-so-good" movies!

On that note, let's proceed to the Top 10 highest grossers of Bollywood this year (List taken from Wikipedia on 29 December 2013)

  1. Chennai Express
  2. Dhoom 3 (still running at the time of the writing of this post)
  3. Krrish 3
  4. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
  5. Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela
  6. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
  7. Grand Masti
  8. Race 2
  9. Aashiqui 2
  10. Special 26
Which ones, for you, were deserving to be in this list? You can think about it, and most importantly, keep it for yourself. Ponder for a minute over what just happened. For all the undeserving ones, replace them with some new Hindi flicks you wanted to see there. Got my point? That is what criticism is all about. It is not about giving a movie 4 and half stars for the sake of the box office. Especially if that movie is something like a Ra.One. It is about giving a movie like Ram Leela 3.5 out of 5 (like Rajeev Masand did), because you believe in that opinion of yours and you expect it to be criticized by others.

The end of the year is always a weird period for me. I always look back at the year with a lot of regret, to be honest. This time, I will look at 2013 with a smile, a painful one. It has been a painful year, but I will smile in the face of the fear, in the face of the pain.

"Peace begins with a smile”
― Mother Teresa

Enjoy the post, friends! And smile at my jokes, even if they are bad. I try to make them funny, so do NOT feel that I am mocking anybody or any film or anything even. I am doing it purely for the Good of my most favorite type of movies. Hindi movies. Enjoy, ok? Cheerios.


Dec 28, 2013

The "ideal Indian squad" for ICC World Twenty20 2014

Disclaimer: My blog, my space, my choice. Deal with it. Hateful comments will be deleted with pleasure!


Preface

"Oh Kohli is so Handsome"
"Dhawan's moustache is sexy"
"Dhoni is so COOL"
"Yuvraj is TOO GOOD, man"

NO! For Heaven's sake... we are about to play a T20 World Cup, it's not a fashion show. Ah well, just have a look at the squad I would opt for, in this massive tournament played in Bangladesh.


Dec 17, 2013

Christmas Special - Top English songs of 2013

1. Naughty Boy - La La La (the winner)
Will not say more. Play it on loop, and see the double meaning behind the simple lyrics. It can heal the most painful pain, the most sad sadness. But that smile that comes afterwards...it smiles. Simple.



2. When I Was Your Man - Bruno Mars
A painfully beautiful track. But soothing in its after effect..




3. One More Night - Maroon 5
The beats are infectious. And the lyrics are powerfully true. At least I can relate to them!



4. Roar - Katy Perry
Katy Perry gives us her best with this one. If she can come to India for an IPL Opening Ceremony, she can eventually even sing a song for Bollywood. Are you hearing me AR Rahman? Hehe.



Post dedicated to my sister Supriya, and my "Sandy-sister" Mayuri.

Love you all, have a great end of 2013. Make 2014 YOUR year... but before that make sure, 2013 ends on a great note. Cheers.

Dec 16, 2013

Christmas Special: Soundcloud covers

Hello Readers! Now that I've caught your attention, please continue to read ok? (Hehe)

This is one is mainly dedicated to my sweet father, my passionate mother and my awesome sister. And obviously to all those well-wishers all around me. I have been working on these two covers since quite some time.

Check it out, and get back to me when you can.

Love and regards to all of the ones who mean a lot to me. Let me list them here, by name if possible:

- Those who make me smile
- Those who make me laugh
- Those who have been there for me (for a long time, or for a short period)
- The people who bonded with me on a very fun level
- Those who made me cry, but made me feel light and gave me a shoulder to cry on
- Those who inspire me
- Those who support my family
- Those who make my parents happy
- Those who make fun of my sister in order to make her smile
- Those who call me Santa, and who know the importance of such a nickname eventually

Well I did say "if possible".. I couldn't give so many names, could I really do that? YESH I CAN! Actually, no I cannot. They know who they are eventually, no?

Hehe, just listen to the following songs, please:





Happy December everybody! :-)

Santhosh

Christmas Special: Dhoom 3 Music Review


 
Introduction

Ladies and Gentlemen, 2013 is coming to an end. Wait, you knew? Ok, I think you knew. But what cinema-goers and music lovers do not realize, is that the year has sadly come to an end for Bollywood.

We have had a bit of everything this year, to be honest. From a silly "Chennai Express" to a beautiful "Aashiqui 2". Eventually we also had "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag", but we also had an undeserving "Grand Masti".

Thankfully, the year ends with a BANG. Got the joke? No? Let me try again. "2013 will end with a DHOOM". Is that fine now? I think so...

Anyway, keeping aside the various puns and jokes worthy of an Aamir Khan movie, let me just say that Pritam has given us a "feasty buffet" to participate in. We have a bit of 'Malang', we have some Arabic Dhoom Machale as well. The dessert is also very tasty with Julius Packiam's instrumental.

And that will be the point of this music review. It is as good as a satisfying evening at a 5-Star hotel. It may not be Pritam's best album. But he gives us something worthy of a "Dhoom" film.




Eventually the songs take time to grow on you, but once they do, you cannot separate yourself from them. I have my personal favorites, but I will leave that for the end. But if this introduction made you curious, have fun reading this review. (Comments are most welcome, at the end of this post) 

Dec 6, 2013

Coming Soon! (Posts in December 2013)

Hello to all!

This is going to be a relatively short post, about the forthcoming posts to be uploaded on this blog. First and foremost, here's hoping that you, my readers, are keeping well and that you have had a good 2013. To those who usually like reading the posts I publish on the various topics I cover in my blog, here's good news: this month there will (hopefully) be 4  posts published on my blog. To know what, and on which topics I will be writing about, keep reading!



Aug 24, 2013

Obstacles. To face them. To stay strong despite them. (Lifeblog)

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” 
Molière

"The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges."
- Martin Luther King Jr.

Sailing through this journey called 'Life'...
© Santhosh Muraleedharan


Hi Readers,
Hope you are all doing well. Have been going through very difficult times lately, so this post is going to be a "Note To Self" type of post, where I'm reminding myself of how to keep myself going with such strong views.

This blog post will be about the demoralizing, demotivating and moreover, the saddening power of Obstacles in Life. It is going to be formulated very generally, and using my own personal views and experiences regarding this topic. As opposed to what you may initially assume about the nature of this post, it is not to give out a pessimistic description of them. But on the contrary to insist on the fact that they happen to everybody at some point in life, generally speaking, and we all should find ways to either overcome them or at least find the courage to face them, if there's no real way to change the situation.

You cannot avoid them.
They will happen at some point. You cannot always predict when they are going to happen. Much on the contrary, most of the time you just don't know when they will happen. They just do, and you have to face them, some way or the other. Sometimes you have the resources, the support and the means to face them. But sometimes it's all up to you to build that strength by yourself.

And they happen to everybody at some point. Even the more fortunate go through some crisis at some point in their lives. You just can't avoid them. But if you keep that in your mind, it does help at some point in a very small way - the fact that we all face crisis situations at some point in life. Not a very practical way to approach the obstacle itself, but it's a small step you can use to build that inner strength.

They cannot always be explained.
And why should we try to find an explanation to everything, when in many situations there are no straightforward explanations to help us in understanding the roots of the obstacle. Yes you can use philosophy, spirituality, astrology and other such tools to help you. But in the end, they should only be used in a positive manner to look forward and not backward. What I underline with that is the fact that people shouldn't draw negative conclusions using such powerful tools, like "Oh we deserved that" or "It's in my Destiny to go through such pain" or even "My Stars are not right in this lifetime".

This is my personal view. I have read the Bhagavad Gita few months back, and it has given me a lot of strength in difficult times. And this Sacred Text is just a path, the self-realizations and personal interpretations that follow its reading is something that happens on an individual scale. So if you wish to use it for your own benefit, it is wise to read it and moreover understand it with an open and positive mind. It may not explain the situation or the obstacle you are facing, but it will help you face it with more ease.

They cannot always be solved or overcome.
What can not always be explained, how can one expect to solve such issues. I agree I shouldn't be too specific, because there are situations where the obstacles that hit you can be avoided at times, and you can even solve them at many occasions. If so, there's nothing better than working towards coming out of an situation which presents an obstacle!

However at many times, the solution is not towards the situation itself, but how you approach the situation that just happened.

When the situation can't be changed, or more precisely if you can't possibly do anything to change it, there's no point in thinking about it, or feeling upset over it. It is then time to realize that there is a Life beyond that hardship.

Only you can help yourself to face them with strength and courage. (And you always CAN do it.)

I agree that people who are close to the person facing the hardship, will be a great source of strength and support to that person. But in reality, at the end of it all, the final effort should come from the person itself.

Personally speaking it took me a lot of time to realize that. These people who surround me and who really are there for me, will only help me to help myself in the end. Those are the key words "Helping to help myself". The final act, that final push will have to eventually come from me.

Moreover, I believe there is always a way to overcome hardships. Despite their shattering impact on our mindset. You always CAN do it.

In my view, what makes a person is not their ability to handle Life in its best moments, but how they bounce back after going through a painful obstacle. That leap you make for moving ahead of the hardship, that strength you try to build after the difficult times, that's what will make the person.

Final words

As usual, I admit to you my readers, that it is not easy for me for applying all these ideas and thoughts to my own personal life. You may wonder "Why is he preaching all this, when he does not practice it himself?" Well in reality, I do try my best to tackle my issues remembering these simple and straightforward thoughts, but no one's perfect. In that way, I am also simply learning through this journey called Life, how to go through my own moments of hardships.

On that note, I hope you all will sail through well enough, without having to go through many hardships in the first place.

Cheers,
Santhosh

May 23, 2013

Lifeblog: Things going my way - after two years of struggle! (May 2013)



Salutation Readers :)

So for those who have been following my "Lifeblog's" (a term which I actually invented very spontaneously four years ago, and which I will stick to even now), you may have known that I have been trying to find the right type of studies for me, for the past two or three years.

First I started out doing the first year of my undergraduate studies by opting for the Mathematics course. The outcome of it? It ended up being a very wrong choice, as the matter was very difficult to grasp for me, and the rate at which the workload came just kept increasing. The class sizes were small (not surprising, as not many people opted for this course, since it's known for its toughness), but on the whole I couldn't keep up with it as the matter was dry and moreover difficult.

Within the same university system, I then ventured into International Relations, with the hope that things will be better. I met amazing people, made great friends (whom I'm still in touch with even now), the subjects were really interesting. But then the classes were HUGE. They weren't classrooms, but auditoriums packed with people. And moreover there wasn't any workload throughout the year, but only one immense term exam on which your whole year depended. You are not given any guidance throughout the academic year, on how to tackle the revision and how to study etc., nothing of that sort! The subjects were indeed interesting and were easy to relate to. But the exams were purely there to reinforce the idea of memorization, and not giving any chance to the students for building their critical thinking or whatsoever. Most of the exams were Multiple-Choice questions, and tick the right box, based on what the professor spoke in front of the 250 people or so during the semester. I really tried my level best to do as per the guidelines.

As you may have guessed, that didn't go too well for me either. More than that, I actually failed for a second time in a row, and as expected, I started doubting on myself, my capabilities, my intelligence. I was down, I was at a dead-end, since two failures meant an automatic elimination from the university.

For those who know baseball (or at least played it on the Wii, like me), you know that, as a batsman, having had Two Strikes against you, means you can't have a Third Strike. Else you'll be dismissed from the game. I almost felt like that. I almost felt like I needed to make the most of whatever comes in the next part of my life.

And I couldn't do that alone. I had IMMENSE and HUGE support (can't express it more than this, it's hard to put it in words) from my parents and sister. I also had a huge amount of guidance and reassurance from my relatives. And as well as good amount of support by my friends at the University itself.

I was hoping that "Third Time Lucky" will actually mean something in my life. So after all this happenings, I applied to a private University in Geneva, got selected and entered a new type of studies. Studies, where I actually had interest in learning what was being taught to me. Studies, where I knew all the peers in my classroom, where the professors knew me in person. Studies, where there was workload all throughout, and not just one big exam in the end. Yes, the tuition fee is very high, but in my view it's worth the investment, since it's an enriching experience.

I finished my "first year" for the third time... but with success coming in my way this time!

Regarding what I mentioned about my first two failed attempts, I just want to make it clear: this isn't to disrespect people who are studying in such environments. There are SO MANY students in this world who succeed in their studies despite studying in EVEN worse situations than what I mentioned (I'm not even writing about certain Indian universities). But I'm not among those people, I have my requirements, my minimum needs, when it comes to education. So yes, if you can withstand such circumstances in your academic life, I'm really glad for you. This is all about my personal views of how I can cope with studies.

And I'm not only complaining about those systems. Even now I don't regret the choices I had made back then. We all make choices in life, some are good some are bad. And in my view it's not the good ones that define you. But the bad ones. The bad ones will show you where you went wrong and bring you to the right one. I'm somewhat glad I found my calling after two whole years of a wait. I did go through my share of suffering, but I'm glad I rose after I fell.

A small parallel-drawing to this post

In one of my favorite scenes of the superhero movie called "Captain America - The First Avenger", Steve Rogers is being interviewed by Dr.Erskine.

Erskine[he looks into his files] Where are you from, Mr. Rogers? Is it New Haven? Or Paramus? Five exams in five different cities.Rogers: That might not be the right file.
Erskine: No, It's not the exams I'm interested in. It's the five tries.
The scene from Captain America - The First Avenger

 People who have seen this movie may remember the scene I'm talking about. (Or atleast I hope so) This goes really well with what I want to convey through this blog post. I guess it's not the failures that one should bother about, but rather be concerned over your efforts and be proud of them. You gave it a shot, it didn't work, but at least you gave it a shot!

So yes, I'm glad I found my calling, and this is just a start. First year is done, I have two weeks of break, before I do my second year in the summer semesters, and I'll be finishing my third and final year of the course by May 2014.

It wasn't an easy path but I'm glad I took this path. I'm very thankful to the Almighty for keeping me in good health all throughout.

And for those who have been reading my Lifeblog posts in the last two or three years, a big thank you for having done so! :-)

Be well,
Santhosh


May 1, 2013

Celebrating a milestone: 10,000 page views after 3 and a half years!

Hello Readers!

Here's thanking you all for contributing in making my blog read over 10,000 times! It is indeed a very special milestone for my blog and for myself!



It is rather interesting to see how I have grown as person in the last 3 and a half years!

There have been deep lows, but there have been huge highs. There have been lots of Bollywood. Quite a bit of cricket. There were also my covers of Hindi songs. Some music reviews. And mainly a LOT of moral talk, pseudo-philosophy (if I may say so), and life experiences. The lessons I learned are something I cherish, and I look forward to grow as a person even now, because my life is constantly a learning curve.

To mark the special milestone, I decided to change the colors of the blog, by making it more blueish and more vibrant. What do you think of it? Do leave in your comments with the precious feedback!

And I know this year I've not written much on the blog, since I've been busy with studies and other duties. But I will be writing a Lifeblog post in 2 weeks from now, after my final exams of the 1st year.

Yes, I will be finally done with my first year of my undergraduate course in two weeks from now! Have been waiting for this moment since two years, after struggling hard in the past, but I'm glad it is finally here. Happy times are here again :)

Here's thanking my family, friends, and all the people who have supported me throughout this period of 3 years!

On that positive note, cheers to all!

Santhosh

Mar 25, 2013

'Jee Le Zara' - just keep living this life!

Hello all! :-)

Will be soon writing a Lifeblog post... till then I thought of sharing a recent recording of myself with you all.

The song is 'Jee Le Zara' composed by Ram Sampath and sung by Vishal Dadlani, and it's from the movie 'Talaash'. Yet again, I've mainly done this because I'm able to relate to the song's lyrics a lot. The beautiful lyrics have been penned by Javed Akhtar, and in the movie the track is situated at a time where the protagonist feels lost and is drowning in some sort of sadness.

To be frank I've somewhat come out of that "period of sadness", but these lyrics still make me pensive, because all they say is "Keep living this life.. let the bad times pass, and don't go think so much over your sorrow.. listen to your heart"... or at least that's how I interpret the song.

The last few months of my life have been a total change after the difficult times I have been through, but I don't think I've forgotten the past - I've only overcome it. There is difference between the two, since I feel it is IMPOSSIBLE to forget the past as such, you can only "overcome" it per se. And well when one looks back, one may wish he or she didn't go through all that pain and sorrow, but then that's what made the person strong!

Coming to the point, this is one of those songs that sort of kept me going during those bad times, because the lyrics of the song were almost converting my thoughts into music, and thus I could relate to it.

And as usual, when there is a Hindi song which I love, I tend to sing along with it when it plays... and that turns into a recording which I then share on my blog and so on...

Hope you guys enjoy it, and here's telling you all "Jee le zara!", keep living and enjoy this life :-)





Kehta Hai Dil Jee Le Zara Lyrics Translation (Talaash)

(taken from BollyMeaning.com - http://www.bollymeaning.com/2012/10/kehta-hai-dil-jee-le-zara-lyrics.html )
Movie: Talaash
Music: Ram Sampath
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Singer: Vishal Dadlani

Main hoon gumsum tu bhi khamosh hai
Sach hai samay ka hi sab dosh hai
Dhadkan dhadkan ik gham rehta hai
Jaane kyun phir bhi dil kehta hai
Jee le zaraa, jee le zaraa
Kehta hai dil, jee le zaraa
Aye humsafar, aye humnawa
Aa paas aa jee le zaraa

I'm sad, you too are silent,
It's true that it's all fault of time only..
A sorrow stays there in the heartbeats,
don't know why still the heart says,
live a little, come on, live a little,
the heart says, live a little..
O companion, O beloved,
come near me, live a little..

Hai zindagi maana dard bhari
Phir bhi is mein yeh raahat bhi hai
Main hoon tera aur tu hai meri
Yoon hi rahein hum, yeh chaahat bhi hai
Phir dil ke dil se, pul kyun toote hain
Kyun hum jeene se, itne roothe hain
Aa dil ke darwaaze hum kholein
Aa hum dono jee bhar ke ro lein

I know that the life is full of pain,
still there is this relief in it too - 
that I am yours and you're mine..
we live like that only, this wish too is there..
then why are the bridges between hearts broken,
why are we so angry with life..
come let's open the gates of hearts,
come, let's both cry our hearts out together..

Jee le zara, jee le zara
Kehta hai dil, jee le zara
Aye humsafar, aye humnawa
Aa paas aa, jee le zaraa

Gham ke yeh baadal guzar jaane de
Ab zindagi ko nikhar jaane de
Chhod de ab yaadon ke dukh sehna
O sun bhi le jo dil ka hai kehna

let these clouds of sorrow pass,
now let life be clear, better,
now stop enduring the sadness of memories,
listen to what the heart says..

Jee le zaraa, jee le zaraa
Kehta hai dil jee le zaraa
Aye humsafar, aye humnawa
Aa paas aa jee le zaraa

Feb 1, 2013

Phir se udd chala...

One of my most favorite Hindi songs of 2011... in fact, the entire album of the movie 'Rockstar' was a gem. Mostly people will applaud and cheer for A.R. Rahman's genius for this album. No two doubts about that, but more than the music, I feel the lyrics by Irshad Kamil reach out to you so beautifully. A very deep, meaningful and beautiful song, in the name of "Phir Se Udd Chala".

Whenever am low I just listen to this song through my earphones and start singing along softly. I have listened (and sang along, obviously) to it so many times that I literally know every lyric of it by heart. But I never understood every line of it. So thanks to Google and surfing on strange attempts of translating it, I ended up on Irshad Kamil's official website, with his very own translation of it. I believe he is currently one of the finest lyricists in the Hindi film industry at the moment.

Anyway, coming to the point, below this paragraph is a version of the track sung by myself. Not a professional, but an amateur's attempt at singing, as I always mention to you. And if you scroll further, you'll find the lyrics and the translation by the lyricist himself, which is amazingly good too. Thanks in advance for leaving in your feedback in the comments section. Cheers!


Lyrics


(Taken from Irshad Kamil's official website: http://www.irshadkamil.com/translationsdetails/458 )


Oooo…
Phir se udd chala
Udd ke choda hai jahaan neeche
Main tumhare ab hun hawale
Hawa
Ab door door log bhaug meelon door yeh waadiyan
Phir dhuuan dhuuan tan har badli chali aati hai chooney
Par koi badli kabhi kahin karde tan geela yeh bhi na ho

Yet again ive taken a flight…
And with this flight Ive left the world behind,below me
I am now in your custody,O wind
Afar is the world and its inhabitants,Miles away is the nature
My body has again become Smoky,gas-like,each cloud comes impresses upon me
But if any cloud, anytime,anywhere has drenched/stirred me…this too doesn’t happen.


Kisi manzar par main ruka nahi
Kabhi khud se bhi main mila nahi
Yeh gila toh hai
Main Khafa nahi
Shehar ek se Gaon ek se
Log ek se Naam ek
Ooo…
Phir se udd chala…Main

At any landscape ive not paused
Never have I even met myself
It is a grievance,but im not annoyed…

Towns alike… Villages alike
People alike…Names alike…Ho…
Yet again ive taken a flight…

Mitti jaise sapne yeh
Kitna bhi palkon se jhaadon phir aa jaate hain

These dreams are like dust
No matter how much I dust them away
They come back again

Kitne saare sapne kya kahun kis tarah se maine tode hain choode hain
Kyun
Mere saath chalein ,mujhe leke udein yeh kyun
Oooo….

How can I ever express about how and how many dreams ive broken and left behind.
Why…
Do they accompany me again, again take me on their wings and fly…Why

Kabhi daal daal kabhi paat paat
Mere saath saath phire dar-dar yeh
Kabhi sehra kabhi saawan mann raavan
Kyun mann
Kabhi daal daal kabhi paat-paat
Kabhi din hai raat kabhi din din hai
Kya sach hai Kya maya
Hey Daata ….Hey Daata

Then at all times, in all conditions, at all places, they are with me.
At times like a desert, other times like a monsoon
Like a Raavan I live to die again.
At all times, at all places
Sometimes the day seems a night-sometimes the day appears like a day
What’s real,what’s illusionary, O Lord…O Lord

Idhar –udhar
Tittar-Bittar
Kya hai pata hawa ley hi jaaye teri oor
Kheenchein teri yaadein teri yaadein
Teri oor…

Scattered here and there
Never know this wind might take me in your direction
Your memories pull me –in your direction

Rang-birangein vehmon mein main udta hun
Rang –Birangey vehmon mein main udta hun….

In colourful whims
I keep flying…



Jan 7, 2013

2012 review of Hindi movies (only those seen by myself)

Hello readers! First of all here's wishing you all a very Happy New Year 2013! Hope you all have a brilliant year ahead..

So, for the first blogpost of this year (before I return back to hibernation again), here's giving you my opinion as to what were my personal pick of the good (and not-so-good) Hindi movies of 2012. Yet again, this is just my opinion, and I am not here to start any debate as to "which movie was better than the other one", or any such war of words. So let's fly back to 2012, and allow me to justify these choices with mini-reviews for each of them.

Note: the following two enumerations are in chronological order, starting from the earliest flick released in 2012, ending with the latest one.


The appreciated movies



Agneepath - The first hit of the year, and an interesting remake of the classic Amitabh Bachchan revenge saga of the same name. The movie purely belongs to the actors, who give powerful performances making this a captivating movie. Sanjay Dutt as Kancha delivers a scary performance, as it is clearly one of his best portrayals on screen in recent times. Rishi Kapoor as the cold-blooded Rauf Lala, does a terrific job, and was my second-favorite aspect of the movie. Because my favorite was clearly the main lead of the movie, Hrithik Roshan. He has incorporated the role of Vijay Dinanath Chauhan so well in himself, that he himself carries the movie forward in this revenge saga. The background music and the dialogues are other aspects that I enjoyed equally in this one. Worth a watch.



Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu - A cute romantic-comedy flick with Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor, which is a fun and a feel-good movie. Interestingly Imran Khan does a straightforwardly nice act, proving to the critics that he can indeed do a great job, provided if the script offered to him is good as well. Kareena does well too, as she yet again bags herself a nice role. Certain scenes and dialogues are hilarious, and some of them are extremely witty. Even though it was slow at times, it's a very straightforward story and a movie which I personally liked.




Kahaani - One of the best movies of 2012, undoubtedly. The movie rides on three main factors: Vidya Balan, the story, and the beautiful city Kolkata. A suspense thriller that lives up to the expectations, and more importantly shows that all you need is a captivating story, and the rest will follow. Good stuff by Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Parambrata Chatterjee as well. A must-watch.




Shanghai - A political drama flick by one of my favorite directors in recent times, Dibakar Banerjee. This one is a very serious movie, which was a tad slow at certain times, but which eventually ends up being an interesting one. Not one of Banerjee's best, but a well constructed story and a realistic screenplay nevertheless.



Gangs of Wasseypur - This one belongs to a very different type of cinema, but a well-crafted story by Anurag Kashyap, this turns out to be one of the most interesting movies to have come out in recent times. I read a review which said that this movie is worthy of a second viewing, just to catch the details and nuances it brings, which I totally agree to. And moreover to understand the complex story. If you're a fan of off-track movies, then certainly go for this one.



Barfi - One of the most endearing characters you'll ever see on screen, played by a magnificent Ranbir Kapoor. From the beginning of the movie, you join him while he laughs, loves, cries and simply makes you smile with his pure innocence. And the innocence doesn't stop there, since Priyanka Chopra gives out her best performance till date, as an autistic person. Ileana D'Cruz also does well in her first Hindi outing. The cinematography, the story-telling, and the music is absolutely brilliant. A gem of a movie, which also has its share of flaws (its length, and its slow pace at times, being some), but it's all forgiven since the final product ends up being something classy and full of heart. Unmissable!




OMG! Oh My God - Even though I have a strong dislike for Akshay Kumar movies, I must say this one was a pleasant change from his usual no-brainers. He plays a modern version of Lord Krishna in a very charming way. But the movie certainly belongs to Paresh Rawal, who plays the role of a man who sues God in court, very convincingly! Even the music by Himesh Reshammiya is rather pleasant for a change. Even if the ending is slightly strange, it's still a movie which sends out a powerful message. A different take on religion, and a movie that makes you think.




English Vinglish - Promoted heavily as Sridevi's "comeback film", I feel it's much more than that. It's a very subtle and straightforward story, which is very realistic and relevant to the times, as Sridevi plays the role of a housewife who decides to take English classes, because of her husband and daughter who constantly tease and criticize her. Dialogues and acting are very simple and well-executed. French actor Mehdi Nebbou does a good job, and I absolutely enjoyed the special appearance in the movie (which I won't mention for those who haven't seen the movie). A nice feel-good movie.




Talaash - And finally comes one of the best movies of the year, starring Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukherjee. The story and suspense are the key elements of the movie. The rest (ie, acting, dialogues, movie flow, etc.) just follows thereafter. A well written movie, with good music and great BGM, and yet again Aamir Khan does his usual classy act. A nice suspense thriller directed by Reema Kagti.








Not watched yet but heard good things about them




Paan Singh Tomar - Based on a true story of a dacoit who turned into an athlete, I hear this one is an excellent movie, with Irrfan Khan as the main lead.



Ferrari Ki Sawari - A sweet entertainer starring Sharman Joshi and Boman Irani, this one is certainly on my watch-list since it is "by the makers of Lage Raho Munna Bhai and 3 Idiots".




Gangs Of Wasseypur Part 2 - Saw and liked GOW few days back, but I haven't seen its sequel yet. Will be doing so this weekend.




Student Of The Year - Even though it's a glossy and kitsch world out there in this Karan Johar flick, it seems that the debutant trio did a good job. Alia Bhatt, Sid Malhotra and Varun Dhawan share a good chemistry on-screen, and personally speaking, I have always been a fan of KJo's movies.




Delhi Safari - An animated movie directed by Nikhil Advani with music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, this one certainly picked my curiosity. Read good reviews of it, so it's also on my watch-list.




Chakravyuh - With big names such as Manoj Bajpai, Abhay Deol and Arjun Rampal in the starcast, and directed by Prakash Jha, I hear this one is an interesting movie about the Naxalites.




Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana - A full-on fun and crazy comedy flick starring Kunal Kapoor and Huma Qureshi, and produced by Anurag Kashyap, it was nice to see this one only receiving positive reviews.





Jab Tak Hai Jaan - Okay, so I know this one got mixed reviews, and lots of negative ones actually. But Yash Chopra's last venture, and starring Shahrukh Khan, with a romantic story and music by Rahman, all that really makes me want to see it.









Special Mentions:


  • Major disappointment: Cocktail This movie had potential to be good, but post-interval it turns out to be a typical Bollywood masala movie. Disappointing stuff by story-writer Imtiaz Ali. Saif Ali Khan too disappoints, since he makes a desperate attempt of doing a Love Aaj Kal encore, but going never near that calibre. However Deepika Padukone is the only silver lining of the movie, as she excels all alone in this one.
  • Movie with most irritating trailers: Son Of Sardar - With songs going like "Po Po, Po Po Po" and "Son of Sardar!" in the promos, and Ajay Devgn doing yet another brainless act, I'm not even interested to see this movie. I'd like to thank the makers for having put me off with the trailers itself, so that I don't end up watching the lousy movie.
  • 50-50 movie (first half being good, and second half being a major let down): Dabangg 2 - I guess the title says it all. Anyway, it was still a slightly enjoyable entertainer, courtesy Salman Khan.
  • Musical treat: Barfi - This one had clearly the best soundtrack of the year. Pritam does a wonderful job as the composer of this flick, with gems such as Phir Le Aya Dil and Main Kya Karoon. In fact this is one of those rare albums where you enjoy every single song out of it.
  • Actress-powered story: Kahaani and English Vinglish - Two movies which are centered on their lead actress for a change. Something Hindi movies need more of. While Vidya Balan plays the role of a headstrong pregnant woman in Kahaani, Sridevi does the soft-spoken housewife act with such grace. Great performances.
  • Impacting dialogues: OMG Oh My God - With religion and God as the main elements of the dialogues in this movie, Paresh Rawal delivers impactful lines throughout the movie. For a change, it's a comedy movie which actually makes you think, in contrast with those no-brainers that release all the time these days.

Hope you all liked this quick recap of 2012, and I am open to receive comments on it, but as I said this is just my opinion, and I am not ready to receive spam comments or any hateful ones either. So please keep that in mind before posting anything, thank you.

Cheers to all!
Santhosh