Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!

Lucky! Lucky Oye! is the first Hindi film after Johnny Gaddar that I enjoyed so much. Oye Lucky is more 'indie' when compared to the slick Bollywood feel of Johnny G, but I would rate it equally high, if not higher. This is a movie with so many layers that I feel I'll have to watch it again to get all of it.

Lucky (Abhay Deol, wonderful) is a compulsive thief! You and I might reach for some cheese or chocolate when we get stressed, Lucky thieves indiscriminately. He thieves even when not stressed, with scant regard as to whether it is an expensive car or a petty flower pot. In a potent back story, a dysfunctional home headed by a miserly father (Paresh Rawal), and a burgeoning puppy love bring out the consummate thief in Lucky. Lucky grows up to be a thieving phenomenon under the protection of Gogi Arora (Paresh Rawal again), pursues a love interest (Neetu Chandra) and is pushed over the edge by the conniving Dr. Handa (Paresh Rawal, yet again). Lucky then becomes a liability for Gogi, which brings the police out in full force against him.

But that's just a part of what this movie is about. Oye Lucky is a remarkably insightful account of one man's attempt to live life on his own terms, amidst class divisions and power struggles. Abhay Deol's Lucky is an affable young man, the kind you cant resist letting into your home even though he might steal from it. Yet, he is the outsider, the one you might invite home for dinner, but never let him into your inner circle! Deol does a wonderful job as Lucky - I cant think of any other actor who could have been more perfect for the part. I loved the use of Paresh Rawal in the movie, each of his avatars push Lucky further along the road to damnation! Neetu Chandra is a breath of fresh air after the glam dolls we are used to seeing in Hindi movies. Special mention must go to director Dibanker Banerjee - he has created a movie that is poignant and insightful, but at the same time absurdly funny.

Verdict: I want to watch it again!

PS: Saw Wall-E and loved it, especially the first half! Saw Madagascar 2 and hated it!!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Praise and criticism

Barkha Dutt defends herself in this piece! An analysis:

Not once, were we asked by anyone in authority, to switch our cameras off, or withhold images. When we did so, it was entirely our own assessment that perhaps it was safest to do so. - If that was the case, why did they resort to blanking out news channels (including NDTV) in Mumbai? Btw, didn't we hear her describe 'a secret alley behind the Oberoi' through which people were being rescued? Did she think that these terrorists were so brain dead so as to not be able to guess where this was? Or that they would cools their heels in the lobby of the Taj even as she and her colleagues let it be known that several VIPs were hiding in the Chambers? Great self censorship, I must say!

Allegations that I or any of my colleagues across the industry shoved a microphone in the faces of any waiting relative, are untrue in the extreme. - Maybe she was polished enough not to force a mike into someone's face, but she was dragging people around to make sure they were in the right camera angle. And several of her colleagues did actually thrust mikes into faces!

On this one point, I would concede that perhaps, this was a balance we lost and needed to redress earlier on during the coverage. But, mostly our attention was on the hotels, because they were the sites of the live encounters, and not because of some deliberate socio-economic prejudice. - Hear, hear, she concedes a point! Actually, what she meant was that CST wouldn't have such high TRPs!

But it is important to understand that in the absence of any instructions on site and in the absence of any such framework we broke NO rules. - This really gets my goat! She didn't break any rules, but if she had drawn a line for herself, we wouldn't be having those facebook communities!

When asked in an interview on NDTV, what struck him watching the events unfold on television, Narayan Murthy, said it was the "finest piece of TV journalism in a decade." - I have great regard for Mr. Murthy for having put India on the global map, but with all due respect - who died and made him the expert on media coverage? What Ms Dutt really means is - "I have big rich people praising me, why would I bother about what the regular Joe/Jane says?.

I believe that criticism is what helps us evolve and reinvent ourselves. But when malice and rumour are regarded as feedback, there can be no constructive dialogue. - Right, the common man has nothing better to do than malign her. Does she ever stop to think why her and no one else? Srinivasan Jain belongs to the same channel, it would help if she could learn some basics of journalism from him!

But in journalism, we know that, praise and criticism are twins that travel together. And we welcome both and try and listen to both carefully. - Does she really? The whole article does nothing but defend her stance - we broke no rules, the people wanted to talk, XYZ thanked me, ABC praised me. Grow up Ms Dutt. And shut the h$#% up!

Happy Birthday, Jimbo

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Small change

If you were disgusted by the media as they turned the most horrific attacks on Mumbai into a nightmare and hindered rescue operations, please sign this petition!