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Not so young Fashion Graduate From National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi, India. Aspiring journalist. Amongst other eclectic hobbies, she likes writing and has written several poems and articles over her school and college life and now for a living. She would someday like to be be a more popular writer than just on her blogs. 'Tis a lady of grand splendor, who waketh in my bed every morning while the sun beckons her towards night...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

2 States review: Contemporary yet strenuously long

`2 States` is the perfect example of how a story in the hands of the right director can be entertaining and can fail miserably if not. The director, Abhishek Varman had a very predictable plot to work with. Perhaps a tad too predictable.

The adaptations that screenplay writers Abhijat Joshi and Abhishek Kapoor`s team made to `3 Idiots` and `Kai Po Che` respectively, while not changing the premise too much, gave the audience a fresher story. Varman makes the mistake of not refreshing the material from which he adopted his début venture.

Boy meets girl, falls in love, want to marry, parents disagree, boy and girl separate, enter unexpected help, boy and girl together again. If we have seen it once, we have seen it again and again and again; and `2 States` is no different.

Krish Malhotra, played by Arjun Kapoor and Ananya Swaminathan, played by Alia Bhatt meet and fall in love on the IIM Ahmedabad campus. They go on to prove that they have a mature perspective on marriage and decide to please the parents and seek their blessing. The rest of the movie revolves around them trying various ways of getting the nod from the elders.

The stars and the supporting cast has carried out their roles very well. Amrita Singh is perfect as the loud, crass Punjabi mother seeking the perfect kudi for her son. Revathy too has played the Tamilian conservative quiet mother to Ananya to perfection. Ronit Roy has possibly played the part of the father who needs anger management classes too many times, this time too Ronit shines in his small appearances. Arjun tried to break out of the mould of angry young man to play a love struck puppy, not to perfection but he manages to look charming enough. Alia has talent that peeks through at times, but her characters does not have enough layers to really make a strong impact.

It would have been nice to have a little more romance, as the much advertised chemistry does exist. The two have an upbeat beginning to their relationship, but the story quickly shifts to the parents. There is just not enough time for the viewers to be convinced of their love. There are the frills of their relationship without being dumped in to saccharine sweetness that Karan Johar brand of films often are.

The expectations of some laugh out loud moments rise with the entry of the parents. Instead, the rest of the narrative depends on the clichés of North and South India. The Punjabi mother is too strung up, and the Tamil – `Madrasi` parents are too judgemental, relatives are meddlesome. `2 States` carries on with the divide with no real issues for too long, more than half the movie. And it can get tiring.

Alia looks beautiful in both the western outfits and the South Indian traditional sarees. Kudos to Manish Malhotra for a fantastic wardrobe for junior Bhatt. Another mention must be given to cinematographer, Bonid Pradhan, especially for the wedding scene at the end. It was romantic and mesmerising the way that scene was shot.

The music in the movie is refreshing. `Offo` is truly sprightly and `Chandaniya` is beautifully rendered by K. Mohan (from the band Agnee) and Yashita Sharma. The trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy recreate the youthful spring with the soundtrack of the film as they have with their previous ventures.

Watch the movie for a lack of any other show to go to with your loved one. Despite the attempts of a modern love story, this 2 and a half hour movie can get to your nerves if you are expecting anything different.
Alia Bhatt in 2 States

'Main Tera Hero' review – Varun Dhawan fills Govinda's shoes

Through the 90s David Dhawan was the ruling king of comedy. With Govinda as his favourite lead hero, and Salman Khan as a close second, Dhawan gave hit after hit even with movies that sometimes made no sense at all. Be it `Hero No 1`, `Biwi No. 1`, `Judwaa` or even the more recent `Partner`, they were all entertainers through and through.

In his son, Varun Dhawan, the director has found a perfect match between Govinda with his comic timing and dance moves and Salman with his perfect body and machoism.

`Main Tera Hero` (inspired from the Telegu movie `Kandireega`) is a typical Bollywood love triangle with a David Dhawan twist. Sreenath "Seenu" Prasad, played by Varun, is in love with Sunaina(Ileana D`Souza). However Varun has an admirer, the don`s (Anupam Kher) daughter Ayesha, played by Nargis Fakhri. Seenu pursues Sunaina, despite warnings that her lover/stalker (Arunoday) was unforgiving and it would have dire consequences. Things take a turn when Ayesha decided to make Seenu fall in love with her.

There is the usual David Dhawan fanfare – a courtship, a kidnapping, a rescue, some action but nowhere does the movie turn too serious or sway from its intended flavour.

For Varun, this should have been his big launch, instead of `Student of the Year`, because it seemed like he was comfortable in his shoes. Ileana was a revelation, as she played a sharp contrast to her role in `Barfi`. And Arunoday Singh, as Angad, gave a decent performance as the love struck villain. Anupam Kher was back in his element as a goofy gangster. Rajpal Yadav (as Peter) is back with a vengeance and Dhawan has used his talent well, and given him the screen time that he deserves.

Highly entertaining in the first half, `Main Tera Hero` slumps in the second. The jokes are slightly in-your-face and fail to make you laugh at times. It seems that Dhawan has tried to re-create the nineties magic by rehashing some of the humour that worked in that decade. The audience should not look for logic and reasoning in a movie like this, and it delivers on that account. But you would definitely want the movie to be a little more fast paced, especially in the second half. The humour also gets forced as we go along in the movie.

The cast of the movie have definitely been given leverage to play their characters with ease, and performances are good all around. They also seem to have had a lot of fun with the movie, especially Varun, as he looks adorable pulling faces and romancing the two lead heroines.

The music of the movie has been well received, `Palat - Tera Hero Idhar Hai` inspired from `Jahan teri yeh nazar` is foot tapping, and Jr Dhawan has definitely filled Govinda`s shoes with some great moves. Other songs too are entertaining but nothing worth remembering.

`Main Tera Hero` is definitely a one time watch and is sure to leave you amused and nostalgic of the 90`s humour; but that's about it.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Bhoothnath Returns review: Riding the wave of political change

The director Nitesh Tiwari has picked the right time to release the sequel `Bhoothnath Returns`. The wave in the country for a change of the face of politics is high, and the movie certainly takes the ride.

`Bhoothnath Returns` picks up from where `Bhoothnath` left off. A ghost mocked for his inability to scare kids in heaven, returns to the mortal world to try his hand with some urban Mumbaikars. With little success in scaring children, the ghost turns to change lives of the oppressed and decides to do some good for the society instead. As Bhoothnath (Amitabh Bachchan)

Friday, April 04, 2014

Reality and reality television

I am an optimist. Well, on most days I am. And reality TV plays the true leveller in my rather rose-coloured vision I have of my life and things around.

With little time to watch television, I catch up on most of the episodes on the World Wide Web. And it’s easy. Many of the TV channels have online feed of their shows, which makes it easier to just selectively watch the episodes you like.

But what depresses me is what is shown on reality television. Now, these shows are supposed to be unscripted, hence the emotions are likely to be real. So if these emotions are real then we have a relatively dark future. Programmes like ‘Bigg Boss’ show stars cramped in a house for weeks turn on each other, scheme, plot, be malicious and be rude. Turns out that most people think that’s entertainment. Twitter hash tags about the show are trending. It’s all over Facebook, and scandals are rife. It is as if the audience is deriving some strange sadistic pleasure in watching others behaving that way.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Interview - I find inspiration in everything: Anita Dongre

Anita Dongre is one of the most sought after designers in the Indian fashion industry. With multiple brands that she pilots like AND, Global Desi and her eco fashion project – Grassroots, she is possibly the biggest name in contemporary fashion. Bollywood celebrities like Karisma Kapoor, Raveena Tandon, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sonakshi Sinha, Prachi Desai, Esha Gupta and others have been oft spotted donning her outfits exuding panache. She was also ranked in Fortune India’s list of 50 Most Powerful Women in Business 2013.

Aparna Mudi of Zee Media Bureau speaks to her about her inspirations and more...

Why did you decide to become a fashion designer?

Ever since I was a child I wanted to become a designer. My childhood years spent at my grandmother’s home in Rajasthan, which led to a divine connect that I started sharing with that place, the people, the culture; the rich heritage inspired me and still continues to do so. I think it came naturally to me, so I always knew that my love for design and fashion would someday make me what I am today

What is your favourite part about being a fashion designer? What inspires you when you are creating your designs?
My favourite part is the process of designing. I find inspiration in almost everything - travelling, music, books,

Friday, March 28, 2014

The art of getting offended

India is a country that has come to take pride in taking offence. Every community has somehow decided that they will boycott something or the other. Where is our sense of humour? Have we decided to forego our traditions and culture of being open to different thoughts and opinions for a few statements made by people who don`t even matter?

It first began with the arrest of two girls from Maharashtra, when they posted something on Mumbai shutdown following Bal Thackeray`s death. What followed was indignation, vandalism, while some were putting up posts in support of the girls and others were `asking for respect` through violence. It was an unnecessary debacle because some people decided to use the law to fan their egos. There are others who sit

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Remembering RD Burman: 20 years since the day the music died!

The 4th of January 1994 was a dark day for music – especially the Bollywood music industry. An era came to an end when Pancham took his last breath just before the release of `1942: A Love Story`.

The life of RD Burman or Pancham da was music. Pancham enthusiasts all over the world swear by his work and his compositions. Whether it was a soulful collaborations with Gulzar, folk tunes modernised with western rhythm instruments, his experimentation with western music or pure Hindustani classical compositions – Pancham da has done it all.

Growing up in a Bengali family meant that you were listening to RD Burman in Bengali as well as in Hindi. However, the love for Pancham turned into passion only when I turned 20. You fall in love at that age for the

Obituary: Khushwant Singh: The man who could laugh at himself

“For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.” - William Penn

Writing about a man, who is a literary icon, someone whose work you have read from childhood can be daunting. From satire to commentary on politics, Khushwant Singh has written about everything.

Khushwant Singh was born in Hadali (Pakistan), Punjab to Sir Sobha Singh who was a prominent builder in Lutyens` Delhi. He was educated in Delhi and Lahore. He was married to Kawal Malik and had two children named Rahul Singh and Mala.


Singh was the founder-editor of Yojana and editor of The Illustrated Weekly of India, National Herald and

Friday, March 07, 2014

Hasee Toh Phasee review: Alia is endearing

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, `Hasee to phasee` is ideal for young couples out to celebrate romance. It’s the typical feel good rom-com that brings together the handsome Sidharth Malhotra and the effervescent Parineeti Chopra.

`Hasee...` traces the journey of Nikhil (Sidharth) and Meeta (Parineeti), who meet at Nikhil’s wedding after a fleeting conversation seven years ago. Both the actors have delivered fabulous performances. Parineeti owns the movie as a brilliant-yet-quirky scientist who has some emotional disorders. Sidharth too plays his role of a young entrepreneur well.

It is refreshing movie with no big frills and each of the characters are flawed and make you relate to them quite easily. The hero is not perfect – he has a financial problem, and trying to find his feet in the business world, and he is not the perfect son that you expect from Karan Johar’s leading man. The lead is innocent, a

Shaadi Ke Side Effects review

Farhan Akhtar, Vidya Balan and Saket Chaudhary – this is a combination that is difficult to go wrong with. But somehow, the feeling one gets after watching `Shaadi ke Side Effects` is that even the best combinations can falter.

On the positive side, the first half of the movie is refreshing, despite its predictability. Farhan has proven in the last few years that he is here to stay. This movie is no different, the comic timing that he showed in `Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara` is revisited with `Shaadi...`. The subtle changes in his expressions -- exasperation, fear, real affection – are all very well captured. Vidya, of course, is a natural.

However, this edition of 'Side Effects' is riddled with clichés, which is disappointing given the freshness of the original ‘Pyaar Ke Side Effects’.

Farhan and Vidya are Sidharth and Trisha Roy, a happily married couple living in the modern Indian double-income-no-kids urban home. Sidharth, an aspiring music composer, tries to make the relationship work with

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gunday review: Stale 80's action drama

Two young boys thrown together by circumstances grow up together to become best friends and the biggest goons in the city. The entire premise of the movie is about how two young boys stepped into the world of crime and coal thievery because of the world doing wrong to them when they were children. In their own words they had to literally survive by snatching their right from others. In addition to all their woes, both of them fall in love with the same woman. Seems straight of a 80s flick, isn`t it? If that is not enough, even the setting, the style, and the colours of the entire shoot are straight out of that era.

Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor star in the latest Yash Raj Production `Gunday` and they pull it off in a typical masala style Bollywood movie. All in all it is entertaining. Both Ranveer and Arjun as Bikram and

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Obituary - Suchitra Sen: The era ends!

Satyajit Ray, in his obituary for Uttam Kumar, had once written, “Every other Bengali film had him (Uttam Kumar) in the lead, usually paired with Suchitra Sen. This was a romantic team which for durability and width of acceptance had few equals in world cinema.”

Those who lived in that era and every other Bengali cinema lover would agree. With Suchitra`s death that era of Bengali romance comes to an end. Suchitra was India`s Greta Garbo for she refused to make a public appearance and even forewent the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2005 for the same reason.

Her debut movie was `Saare Chuattor`, which was a Box Office hit, and started the two-decade-long journey of the Uttam-Suchitra pair. Her first Hindi movie Bimal Roy`s `Devdas` in 1955 remains a classic and got her the Best Actress Award. But she carved her niche in Tollywood.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Top 10 New Year Resolutions people make and break

New Year Resolutions are something that you make every year as soon as the clock strikes 12 on the 31st night... Well, at least you are supposed to. But the problem with resolutions is that most people fail to keep it. It’s a promise to your own self, but most of us slack off within a week of promising the best of resolutions.

Here is a list of top 10 resolutions that people make and then expectedly break...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

An era ends with Tendulkar’s last!



The match as it started on 14th November 2013, wasn’t your regular cricket Test. Wankhede has seen full occupancy on many occasions, but the fervour for tickets this time was unprecedented — perhaps even more than the World Cup final in 2011. This time it was not just a match at the stadium. Every Sachin worshipper left his and her work to watch him in action for the last time and bid him farewell.

The presentation ceremony after the India - West Indies Test was a tribute to the hero of words and actions together! One doesn`t have to be a cricket fan to be a Sachin fan! That is the master blaster’s magic! But saying great things about Sachin Tendulkar is merely repeating what everyone else is talking about.

For the people born in 1980s, Sachin is kind of a timeline reminder. People remember the years by Tendulkar’s achievements. Whether it was his debut, where despite not a very memorable performance, he was appreciated for his maturity and bravery against Pakistan’s pace attack or the famous ‘Desert Storm’ or his final knock against West Indies.


Friday, November 08, 2013

‘Krrish 3’ review: Super heroic efforts don't save the movie!

Superheroes rise when the world is in dire straits. If you were to study comic book history, you would realise that the birth of the first superheroes came out of world economy sinking in the 1930s and the World War II. They formed a sort of escapist form of entertainment from the depressing times that people were living in. The last decade has seen the same upsurge in superhero movies coming to the fore while the economy is again wavering and the world is in crisis. And this time India is included in the slump.

In Hrithik Roshan India has the perfect superhero. And Rakesh Roshan cashes in on that. Hrithik looks ravishing, and uber cool in a super hero avtaar. He is suave, macho, dripping with strength and charisma and can give Superman, Batman and Ironman of the comic book world a run for their money. Senior Roshan
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