Saturday, October 29, 2016

Movie Review … 'Ae Dil Hai Mushki'

Movie Review … 'Ae Dil Hai Mushki'

By Syed Ali Mujtaba

KJO Diwali cracker 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' is love 'Aaj Kal' with a difference. The film maker has done double PhD, in researching the Hindi cinema, since K L Saigal’s Devdas hit the silver screen in 1935.

Since then, Love, Prem or Ishaq has been the dominant theme of the Bollywood films. There is no other recipe than ‘Payar Keye Ja’ that Bollywood specializes in selling and does that repeatedly minting pots of money.

How, ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, is different from other love riots is it tries to explore the difference between love and friendship. It even suggests that friendship is permanent, love is temporary.

It tries to preach that love should not be converted into relationship and the ideal male female relationship should be friendship alone. These are some philosophical questions that this film raises.

The film maker tries some bold attempts by twisting the theme of friendship and love but fails to convince the final point of view. The film may have bombed if it suggested anything else other than ‘Payar keye ja.’ It plays safe and ends with Bollywood’s tried and tasted ending ‘they lived happily ending.’

The film tries to explore sexuality as its current interpretation in terms of the male female relationship. Bollywood films have traveled a distance when two sunflowers were shown blooming in the rose garden or two birds taking a flight, when the hero and heroine fall in love.

The modern day concept of friendship and love that rides on the 4 G wave is very well choreographed in this movie.  The films tell that touching fondling and kissing of human anatomy is the way of life in love Aaj Kal.

Then the film tries to say that only URDU language can do justice to the theme of Love, Prem or Ishaq. A very strong of Urdu vocabulary is used asserting that this language may not be dying till Bollywood sells its dream of love.

Hindi cinema has moved from Delhi and Mumbai to London and this movie is set on this location. With NRI, being the main consumer of Bollywood film, the western locations are deliberately chosen to set up to weave an Indian story. While Lucknow do figure in the movie, but then it’s just to connect with the Indian audience.

 The high point of the film is its screenplay and its dialogues. It has borrowed the Aj Tak news channel’s style of narration and has produced some very top quality conversation.
The brilliant conversation on the mystery of friendship and love has put spirit and soul into the narration and has sets the pace of the film.
Anuska Sharma has done an exceptional portrayal of her character and so does Ranbir Kapoor. With SRK in cameo, Ranbir make the point that he has arrived as new ‘Bazigar’ in the B town.

Ashwariya Rai Bachan does a guest appearance and fits the space very well. However, she is no more the Dhoom girl and age is catching up on the yummy mummy.

 Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, who was the center of the controversy, has essayed his role with ease and calm. He is a modern protagonist in the puzzle of love 'Aj Kal'.

Pritam Da has scored another hit tracks and the song ‘Murshid Tera,’ of Bulae Shah Fame, is enthralling. A few other numbers too catches the ears, but the song ‘Buliya’ stands tall in the six packs format of the Hindi film music.

Finally, ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ the new cracker from KJO is a must to watch those who love Bollywood films. At times, it is sloppy and bores with moral preaching but then its witty dialogue covers that up and high voltage music gives the much needed emotional relief.

 I may recommend this to those who are looking for watching a Hindi movie after some gap.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Travelogue...Saluting the Legacies of the RAJ

Travelogue... Saluting the Legacies of the  RAJ
 By Syed Ali Mujtaba

This is a note on my recent family vacation to Ooty from October Nine to Eleven 2016. I begin this by saluting the colonial rulers of India whose road engineering work is a marvel of art. They have constructed the motorable road to 8000 feet above the sea level. Here, not only the cars but even mini vans can easily climb the top most peak of the Niligris hill.

Second is the con
struction of the mountain railway that is another engineering feat attained by the British.  The toy train that runs from Otty to Metupalyam in the plain is a world heritage. I was relishing how the roadways and railways construction may have been done at that with primitive tools that was prevalent at that of point. Undoubtedly, it was the Indian laborers toil of sweat that has achieved such a glory.

The other attraction of the place is the tea plantation which is spread to thousands of hectors of land. This is another gift of the Raj. The Nilgris hills and Darjeeling hills are the two places in the country, where British introduced this cash crop of tea plantation. The entire mountain slopes decked with lush green tea leaves makes a picturesque sight.  

The entire Cooner hills which is 30 KM from Otty is dotted by the tea estates. Now most of the tea gardens are owned by wealthy Indians. Many of them are film stars. The tea garden where I am standing belongs to yesteryear
actor Mumtaz’s husband Mayur Madhvani. Now it has come to Fardeen Khan who has married their daughter. Another big name living here is the film director Mansoor Khan, of QSQT, Qayamat se Qyamat Tak fame.

The palatial houses or bunglos of the tea estate owners is another legacy of the Raj. Each of them is competing with the other in terms of their upkeep. Many of the owners come here only for short visits and only their staff maintains the well furnished living space.

The Wellington cantonment in Coonoor is another legacy of the Raj. The officer’s academy, the bomb factory and the barracks of Madras regiment was established by the British before the World War 1.  Wellington is the foremost military establishment in the country even now.

Well Otty is little England in many ways. Charring Cross, the famous landmark of London is the center point of Otty. With day temperature of about 10 to 12 degree C in the day and 3 to 4 degree C in night, it is typical English weather now. It m
akes look more the same with cloud and sun playing hide and seek through out the day.

In many ways Otty reminded me of England. I have lived in London and I got the feeling that I am back there. I saw one building that was same to same that I saw in London. Even the roof and the windows of the structure was exactly its replica.  The fountain at the Charring Cross constructed in 1880, is still operational.

The Otty botanical garden is another marvel of the Raj and so is the Rose garden. The churches in Otty are another fine specimen of British architecture. The side paths with flowers and the lamppost there reminded me of little England.

One thing that is missed now is the presence of White people there. At this point of time mostly inland tourists dotted the scene and the place was full with holiday crowd from neighboring states of Tamil Nadu.

Last but not the least; Otty is completely free from the vices that are synonymous with many tourist destinations of the world. There are no high profile bars or pubs; there are no discotheques or night joints, no drugs, no casinos, no prostitutes which is a common sight in such places.

The environment is clean so are the roads that are not littered with garbage or rubbishes. On the whole my three days sojourn at Otty was wonderful opportunity for recouping from the daily mundane work in Chennai. It is worth a visit for those who are planning a vacation at Otty also known as queen of hills.