Posts Tagged 'Movies'

Movie Theater On Board

Long time ago the bus operators (especially the luxury kind) figured that they had a bunch of captive (and bored) audience making a long distance journey and one must keep them entertained by showing them movies or atleast playing some songs. Now, I’m not a big fan of their movie/song selections and they are not smart about the way they use the undivided attention of the travellers either, but there is something to keep you occupied (I’ve ended up watching almost all the movies shown to me in buses – whether I liked them or not!). That brings me to the point of railways.

When I was a kid, my dad used to be posted in locations far away from our hometown and every year or half year or so we did our 3/4 day trip across the country back to Kerala. We did our best to keep ourselves entertained, played games, sang songs, told each other jokes, befriended fellow travellers – but it was monotonous for sure with no other avenues of entertainment. I shudder at the thought of long train journeys today even if I have time – mostly because it is extremely boring. One can carry a lot of entertainment devices on board, but sooner or later your power drains out (not all of the trains are equipped with power points either)

Now, what if Railways decided to put a movie theater on board the long distance trains? Would that change the equation? I’m not saying it should be anything fancy – for starters, it could just be a coach converted into a seating-only arrangement (like the shatabdi) and facing towards the movie screen, have show times allocated and only passengers with valid tickets should be allowed based on a fee to watch the movies. Not a very difficult thing to do! In fact, based on the regions that the train passes through, Railways can even consider getting hold of some advertisements from the companies to show the captive audience!

In our country where services like the railways is very utility-driven, will entertainment hold its ground? What do you think?

Future Bollywood Calling…

I think we are ready for the next generation of heroes to take over. If I’ve to take a call from what I see today, I will have to put my bets on three of them:

1. Abhay Deol – I had written about him in a previous blog too. He exudes amazing confidence on the screen. The capability to carry a movie on his shoulder, on one hand and blend into the background, on the other. I think he will go a long way, if he just sticks to doing what he is doing in a calm and composed way.

2. Ranbir Kapoor – He has a brilliance about him that I noticed in the song sequence “Jogi, Mahi, Heer…” of Bachna Ae Haseenon and a mature presence on the screen. He has a natural pace on the dialogue, finds his space in the screen alongside larger than life actors and rises up to the occasion, when required. He is 2nd in my selection for the post of future Bollywood king.

3. Imran Khan – I see a lot of potential in the kid. He really shines in the latest Coke Ad and has a lot of “impish” charm that he can play to his advantage. Though it is the same thing I would hold down against him, in favor of the two actors above. The new age actors seem to maintain an aura about them that doesn’t necessarily emanate from their “boyish” or “impish” charms.

All the best to the new generation of heroes and may the best man win! I wanted to put these thoughts down. It will be interesting to see how each of them evolve over the next few years and then revisit this space.

Innovative Ad Formats, Irritating too!

Now when I’m watching TV I don’t know whether I’m actually watching a movie, its promo or an advertisement of a product (not even remotely related to the movie!). Not that I care, but in my mind there was a sense of separation between content and advertisement and slowly but surely, it seems to be fading, a step at a time.

While it is interesting to see innovative ad formats, for example Asian Paints doing an ad jig with Karthik calling Karthik actors and using the movies song too, it is equally irritating when I no longer know what I’m being fed. This is where most of the movie content is headed for sure, in-built advertisements. Product placements were not a new phenomena in the movie world but by pulling the actors, movie concept and song out of context ads are daring to create a grey world of their own. I’ve not even begun to talk about the risks involved if the movie were to flop, right?

What do you think? Is it a good idea to have ads revolving around a movie concept timed with its release and leveraging on its promotional activities?

The Kite Runner – Movie Review

I watched Kite Runner, the movie directed by Marc Foster and based on Khaled Hosseini’s book by the same title, recently. It had such a raw quality to it that it set me thinking about fate, honor and circumstances, as perceived by the characters as well as us, in general.

The interesting part of the movie is that it keeps the scenes, the characters and the emotions very real, no overdramatization. The truth and the unrevealed circumstances are so overwhelming that underplaying it was the best tactic could have been used, while taking the story forward.

In the backdrop of the talibanization of Afganistan, the story unfolds – the strange friendship between the protagonist and the servant’s son; the reality of the father of the protagonist who has an illicit affair, and his attempt to keep his honor by ensuring the child grew up as his servants’, in his own backyard; their journey across the seas seeking refuge in America and going from being a landlord to a gas station owner; the servant and his son are left behind to fend the family house; the protagonist and his wife not having a child; the protagonist’s trek back to Afganistan to reclaim the lost friendship, only to realize that the servant’s son was in fact his own half-brother and that all that is left of their relationship is his nephew in an orphanage; his genuine attempt to take the child back home – and ends where it all began, flying kites!

Worth a watch, I must say…

Third time is a charm…

Whenever I see Abhay Deol (cousin of Sunny, Bobby and Esha Deol, nephew of Dharmendra) on screen, two things come to my mind.

1. How the success/failure of a person as an actor, even before he/she acts, is determined in our minds. In fact it is the same with people, we make judgements in our sub-conscious minds that reflects an instinct that is dormant in us. All the same it is unexplainable and irrational and knows a star when it sees, we know when someone is saying untruth and all this in the “blink” of an eye (pun intended). Some people trust this more than any other proof that is given to them and a few others, use this as a starting point and change their judgements based on actual incidents around them.

2. The phrase “third time is a charm”, as was obvious from the title, of course! However, this third does seem to have worked his charm at the box office and hopefully will salvage the Deol image (beyond being food for comedy shows) going forward in serious cinema.

So here’s wishing luck to the “oye, lucky, oye” boy.


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