ArpitGarg's Weblog

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Posts Tagged ‘cinema

National Anthem in Cinema Halls

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anthem.jpgI normally avoid writing on such contentious issues which involve nationalistic fervor. Simply because it’s lose-lose situation. Take for example the current Supreme Court order on National Anthem before movies in cinema halls across the country. If you are for the decision, you will be labeled jingoistic, right wing extremist. If you are against the decision, you will earn the wrath of being anti-national.

Hence a worthwhile conversation goes out for a toss. Still I would try to clear my views on this. National Anthem is a celebration of the constitution state we live in. It’s the celebration of the togetherness among the citizens, togetherness of agreed upon rules which govern us, celebration of a culture, and celebration of the country. Do I respect National Anthem? Yes. Do I stand up when it is sung? Yes. Do I hate the fellow who does not stand up? Meh!

My view is, disrespecting is not the same as not-respecting. I don’t think, sitting falls in the category of disrespecting or being anti-national. If a person starts dancing, goes shirtless, maybe. But still not anti-national. Take for example a person who stands up for the national anthem but take bribes. And a person who does not stand up for the anthem but is a hard working, non-corrupt person. Who will you call anti-national. Either or Both? I think, not standing for the anthem is wrong but should not be termed anti-national.

Consider a guy, who has been wronged by corruption and muscle in society. Justice failed him. He might feel anger towards the county and what more peaceful way to show that anger? If we take that peaceful protest away from him, we are leading him to a path of violent protest. The more we force someone, the more rebellion we will face.

There have been occasions when I have come across people not standing for the anthem. I have gone up to them and had a conversation. I started the conversation by, “Sir, you have full right to do what you want. I just want to know why you don’t want to”. Most of the times, people realize their folly and apologize. Sometimes they are angry with the corruption, with something they feel wronged about, that they don’t want to. Sometimes they feel that it is wrong to impose and that they should not be forced to prove their nationalism.

As I said it’s a tricky situation. Again, I think the people not standing are wrong but I won’t go as far as terming them anti-national, specially if they are not corrupt and help in nation building in their own way.

Written by arpitgarg

December 14, 2016 at 3:28 pm

Here comes the Train

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I like tuning in to hear Railways’ budget speech. Lalu’s witty rhymes were always a treat. One never felt bored. Even the opposition members had a laugh. Mamata Di presented the budget this year. There were a number of good announcements including low price bottled water, women RPF and the proposed new lines.

Don’t worry I have no intentions to dissect the railways budget. You can watch the balding man with broad specs on the news for that.I have always rued the fact that Indian Train never got its due. Consider its contribution to Hindi Cinema. Had Bollywood been the same without the Indian Train? I have always visualized Train as a movie star. Train has played innumerable roles over the years. Do we remember any? No! We would remember the silly dog from Teri Meherbaniyan instead. What blasphemy!
Movies came and went but nobody noticed the Train. There were silly whistles for Madhubala to Maduri to Aishwarya. But when it came to Train, Nothing. It was looted, plundered, ran upon but never did any film critic found its performance worth mentioning.

It was time someone stood up and brought an end to this madness. Here I present before you top 10 memorable roles played by Train in Indian movies of the modern era. Its redemption time!

10. The Train
One of the few lead roles over a prolonged career. Train transformed itself from the dusty old Passenger to the modern Metro. And all we remember is Aamirs transformation in Ghajini. The movie proved to be a dud and all the blame fell on Train. A leading movie critic said and I quote, “Not catering to Indian sensibilities. We like the dirty and dusty old train. Train now makes movies for the NRI’s only.”

9. Veer and Bros.
Since eternity, actors have loved running atop the Train. I don’t know why. Maybe they take some carnal pleasure in keeping Train under their feet. From Amitabh to Salman to Imran, all have tried their legs at that. How Train manages to leave an impression even in such inconsequential roles is a different matter altogether. Bollywood has gone as far as to oppose the electrification of Train. It wants to keep it the old coal run. All the wires above would prove to be a hindrance (to run atop, Of course!).

I chose Salman’s Veer for the sheer love he has for the Train. He even dedicated his muscled body to the Train. In an interview he said, “I Train in the morning. I Train in the afternoon, I Train in the night, I Train all the time. How else do you think I got these muscles?”

8. Ek Chaales Ki Last Local
Train played the role of an invisible being. It was there, at the same time it was not. We felt the presence all along but never saw it. Observe how in the image below you see the tracks but no Train. It’s there, believe me. It’s just invisible. Being a method actor, it is said that Train decided to become invisible for the whole 2:40 mins and still does so every night.

7. Sholay
Remember the scene where Daaku chased the Train on horses and Jai Veeru helped Thakur. Train played a highly praised cameo. As memorable role as that of Sambha. A single scene but we remember it till date. Don’t we? I mean Train not Sambha.

6. Jab we met
The modern day love story. Just when we thought that Train has reached the end of its career, it managed to rise form the ashes. Scintillating performance. The timing when it decides to leave the station thereby aiding Shahid and Kareen to meet. Perfect. How it was able to fool the intelligent actress twice is worth mentioning here. Way to go Train. You made yet another love story possible

5. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
One of my favorite characters. In the image below we see Sharukh getting emotional to part with the Train. And we thougt it was because of Kajol. He wanted the Train to stay. Train increased the speed just enough to let the dupatta fly away. Perfect execution. Such an emotional performance by the Train. Lovely.

4. Jai ho
Indian train decided to go global. It was offered a role in Hollywood movie Slumdog Millionaire and it grabbed it with both hands. The dance sequence was excellent. The Train arrived at the Oscars with a whistle.

3. Dil Se
Who can forget the amazing balance of the Train in the song Chaiyya Chaiyya. Train outperformed itself yet again. The way it carried the weight of the characters and the story on its back, still was able to keep its track was showing of a great performer. In fact Shahrukh secretly credits his success to the Train.

2. The Burning Train
Train was in the lead here and came out with flying colors. Junta clapped each time the train whisteled. It was a difficult role. Train was badly burnt and bruised by the time the shooting was over. But it never swayed its way. It kept running at the constant speed. Come what may! It was Arjun, in pursuit of the Eye. Majestic!

1. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
This one comes right at the top. In fact for me it’s all over from 1 to 10. I fell in love with Train for life long. Observe the different getups of Train. Disguised as Euro Rail, it made Shahrukh-Kajol meet. Remember the scene where Train decides to lock them up in a compartment with a couple of shakes thrown in. The improvisation was excellent.

At the end observe the Indian getup. How well it looked on the Train. Running fast and slow at the same time. Fast in long range shots and slow in close range shots. Exquisite. It slowed itself down at the appropriate moment to let Kajol in. I can watch the scene again and again. In fact I would give the award for the best trio to “Shah-Kajol-Train”.?

That movie is bad. Why? The reviewer said so.

with 2 comments

A: Which movie did you watch this weekend?
B: Singh is King.

A: Why did you watch such a bad movie?
B: Who told you it was bad? I found it entertaining.

A: Come on. It’s a silly movie. Waste of time and money.
B: And how you know all this. Have you seen this movie?

A: Oh no, I haven’t, but I read the review. The movie is going down.
B: How many reviews have you read?

A: I read a couple of reviews. They say the movie sucks.
B: So you only go see the movie if these 2-3 people like it.

A: Uh huh! These are not just people. These are the reviewers.
B: I was in the theatre. People were laughing all over.

A: Hey, you are just one of the people who like the silly movies which critics pan.
B: Do you know how much money the movie made?

A: Oh it would have been a flop.
B: My friend it was a super hit.

A: There are lot of stupid people like you who like such stupid Masala movies.
B: Tell me one thing. Since the movie was a hit, means a lot of people would have liked it, right?

A: Uh huh, most of the common people are stupid.
B: And the reviewer who has panned the movie is not stupid?

A: Not at all. He doesn’t like masala movies at all. He gives good reviews to off beat movies.
B: So you enjoy the off beat movies.

A: Uh huh, I don’t enjoy them if you be so specific. But they are good movies.
B: And what is a good movie for you, the ones that the reviewer says is good?

A: Oh no, its not so. You make it sound bad.
B: Ok, tell me what do we look for in the movie when we go watch?

A: It must be entertaining, for one.
B: Okay aren’t the so called masala movies entertaining?

A: Oh okay, if you put it that way.
B: So your reviewer gives bad review to the movie which is entertaining?

A: Not exactly. He let me know the good cinema from bad cinema.
B: But he panned the movie which everyone liked. You missed it just coz your reviewer said so.

A: Oh no, the movie would have been bad.
B: Let me put is this way. Your reviewer said movie is bad but most people enjoyed it, right?

A: Okay, yes. But people are stupid.
B: So these reviews are not for the common stupid people, right?

A: Uh huh, yes. Good cinema is understood only by people who know art and cinema.
B: So your reviewer writes for people who knows cinema?

A: Perhaps yes.
B: So common stupid people like me should not read such reviews when I go see the movie?

A: Oh, yes there would be no use. You are stupid.
B: And your reviewer is not?

A: Exactly!
B: But he is useless to most of the movie going junta?

A: Most of the junta is stupid.
B: And your reviewer is not.

A: Exactly!

Written by arpitgarg

March 17, 2009 at 11:52 am

Indian Economy Strong: Funda-mentally

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Last few days have witnessed regular assurances from finance ministry, RBI governor, CEO of leading Indian banks as to how India would weather the global financial storm. All the assurances had one thing in common, “The fundamentals of our economy are very strong”. What these financial fundamentals really are? How to understand them? Well, I have one approach ready for you. As they say “Cinema reflects the Society”, let’s start our search for the economic fundamentals via the fundamentals of Indian cinema.

“Thakur, jaan pyaari hai toh Tijori ki chabiyaan nikaal”. Who doesn’t remember this legendary line? Immortalized by Thakurs ranging from Kanhaiyyalal to Madanlal and Dacoits cum Robinhoods ranging from Raj Kumar to Sunil Dutt. Another such scene is where the greedy Thakur opens his Tijori to lend money to the poor Kisaan at high interest rate. Here the most important fundamental is Tijori. Our society too cherished this personal Tijori. Down the years, the Tijori got replaced by a bank locker for quite a few. Barring the recent trends, we are not known to be ardent investors. We do save money but most of us do not invest in other than the popular LIC policies. We all have such Tijori’s which keep our money safe and sound if not reap returns. Before you point out the decreasing worth owing to inflation, keep in mind that we usually keep our savings as gold, silver etc. But the Tijori persists.

“Kaam ho jaiyega Seth. Paisa mere Swiss bank account mein pahunch jaana chaiye”. This corruption and surplus black money has helped avert the mortgage crisis in India. Consider a house with market value of 1crore. Usually one pays 50lac in cash and 50lac via cheque. This ratio may vary from 40:60 to 45:55 or vice versa. The cash is what is usually called number 2 ka paisa. For the rest 50lac, we apply for a loan. Even if the property rates fall to say 80lac (from 1cr initially), unlike Americans we don’t forego our property to the bank. After all the current market rate is still greater than the loan due. So the black money in property business has not let mortgage crises come to India in the way it has rattled US. (for more read http://www.swaminomics.org/articles/20080330.htm)

“Madam hum ICUC bank se aaye hain. Aap loan chuka dijiye warna hum bahut kameeney log hain”. This dialogue delivered with pure sincerity in the movie “One Two Three”, gives us clear insight as to the low default rate in India. The loan is distributed via agents and settled via another set of agents, while the bank sits pretty. Should the leading banks go the legal way, it would take them at least 20 years to settle. Agree or not, this so called extortion has kept the so called fundamentals of our economy sound.

“Bhaisahab yeh Mangal-Sutra girvi rakh leejiye”. Nirupa Roy in need of money for the treatment of her sick son. Here mangalsutra is the key. Most of the Indian families have household jewellery. Ask your mother for confirmation. Regardless of the bank balance, there have to be sufficient diamond/gold/silver ornaments to be worn at various ceremonies. This domestic wealth is the one which has helped many a family sail through the dark times.

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