Posted in Film

Film Review: Joggers Park

“…it’s a falling in love, and falling itself is a negative concept…..”

Joggers Park is a 2003 Indian cinema release and is the second time I have seen this movie.  The movie tracks a married retired judge, Justice Chatterjee played by Victor Banerjee  and his infatuation with a young women called Jenny, played by Perizaad Zorabian. It also draws a nice parallel with Chatterjee’s teenage grand-daughter, whose love life slowly progresses downwards while his moves upwards.  While she thinks her life is ending because of her whirl-wind love life, its ironic that My Chatterjee feels his life has only just began. 

A majority of the movie moves at a nice steady pace however Jenny is like a constant wind, happy yet troubled, fast, active, injecting colour and vigour to everyone she comes into contact.  Jenny and Mr Chatterjee’s meeting occurs at Joggers Park, a place where people jog.  You can be mistaken to think that Jenny herself leads Mr Chatterjee on, however later in the movie she does admit to her using him because of his position.

His feelings are very apparent however throughout the movie one is never sure how Jenny feels – is her love more out of respect because Mr Chatterjee is not like her previous boyfriends? 

When the situation comes at a cross-roads, he has to make a decision, does he follow his heart or ignore his feelings and live by the very words and honour that he instructs others.

The movie has a lovely soundtrack which consistently plays in the background and is a fantastic tribute to the movie, the plot and more importantly the unfolding emotions, sung by the great Adnan Sami.

Posted in Film

More “Item Songs” in Bollywood mean India is getting raunchy then ever!

“An item number or an item song in Indian cinema, is a musical performance that has little to do with the film in which it appears, but is presented to showcase beautiful dancing women in very revealing clothes, to lend support to the marketability of the film” Wikipedia definition

For those reading this post, who have little or no knowledge of Indian Cinema (now referred to as Bollywood), you will be pleased to know that by the end you will have learnt something new, the growing trend of “Item Songs”.  This is not a history lesson in Indian Cinema, but merely my observation and the bravery (or stupidity) of directors to gradually push the boundaries

As a young lad, I recall sitting with my parents watching Bollywood movies (nothing wrong with that) and left wondering why a certain women would do a song sequence and then never appear in the rest of the film.  I recall that at that time, it was Helen who was the most popular women to appear in these so-called Item numbers.  Now Helen never looked like your typical Indian filmi chick, why, because firstly she was not full-blooded Indian and secondly she had apparent brown hair that was very continental looking.   The images below may support my observation.

I have to admit that watching Helen back then was just what a growing boy like me appreciated, something to catch the eye, get the chemicals flowing (steady on potato).  However, Helen was very elegant and graceful in her performance, she kept her dignity.  Also, she suited performing the “item number” sequence, it was just so her.  To those new, here’s a glimpse, to those experienced like me, here’s a quick trip down memory lane:

 

 

 

 

Recently the flood gates have opened in terms of “item songs” and what’s more interesting is how raunchy they have become and how they are being performed by reputable actresses within the industry. 

Back in 1993 when I was in India, I recall there was a widespread ban on the song Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai from the film Khalnayak.  The ban was the result of female college students up and down the country complaining about their male counterparts singing the song to them in a very provocative manner.  I saw the movie when I came back and had to admit it was so gracefully pulled off by the fantastic Madhuri Dixit.  It was however, the start of things to come.

When I went to India just this February, the most popular song on the dance floor was “Chikni Chameli”, from the movie Agneepath.  Now I hadn’t seen the video to this song but instantly fell in love with the song [singing it now].  When I saw the video, I was amazed, some of the dance moves and close up shots were a little naughty, see for yourself.

In today’s climate, I would say that the past consistency of Helen has now been replaced by the very popular Malaika Arora.

You can look past a nation which openly illustrates a passion pushing the boundaries in a legitimate way, for it’s all there above the surface and the inhabitants are very open about it all.  However, there is something very sinister about a nation who does not tolerate the freedom to express one’s body and emotions in public, but fuelling those burning passions through their film industry.

So here’s to all those street traders, rickshaw drivers, 3-wheeler drivers, foot-path rouges, gunda-Don’s who line up the front seats of the cinema hall, whistle and dream to their hearts content at the Indian beauty strutting her stuff across the screen while being watched with hungry eyes.

 Here are some picks from 2011 and 2012, you will see a common theme.

Posted in Movies

Film Review – Departures [World Cinema]

If I discount Bollywood as World Cinema for now, then I would have to go back as far as some of the Hal Hartley movies, when I last saw something of a similar genre.

While scanning earlier this week I came across this movie, Departures.  It’s a Japanese movie and when I read the synopsis, it sounded very interesting.  In a nutshell, the movie centres around a failed musician who moves back to his home town and by fate ends up working in a funeral parlour.  The movie shows us how the main character, Daigo Kobayashi, played by Masahiro Motoki, comes to terms with his new responsibilities and how those around him adjust to his job.

There are three things that struck me about this movie:

  1. The very calm essence played throughout this movie, it’s very subtle, delicate, some of the characters have an almost soft as tissue personality; it kind of draws you in.
  2. It shows you the Japanese culture in respect of dressing the dead for their funeral, the precise accuracy merged with sublime delicacy, as not to upset the family members by moving too rashly.
  3. The movie shows how mourning family members sit still, motionless while the funeral professionals  are dressing the deceased, which includes applying full facial make-up.  When the family finally see the end result, the still emotion breaks free and the mourners cannot contain themselves.  Such is the creative work of the professionals that the body seems no longer dead, but someone alive who just won’t wake up or respond.  There is a scene in the movie where a grieving husband turns to the funeral professionals and says, “this is the best I have seen her look”

I have included a trailer from the movie, if it tickles your fancy, please get it, I would recommend it.

Posted in Film

A movie quote that will always be your No.1, no matter what!

Ok, so this is not my No.1 quote but might be for a lot of other people, however I am interested in knowing why a particular movie quote is your all time favourite? Continue reading “A movie quote that will always be your No.1, no matter what!”

Posted in Life

Travel back in time – what one thing would you change?

Image from http://www.thestevesmith.co.uk

The return of an old movie sparks the mind, the time travel is an off-shoot, but the question posed too great to ignore.  If we had the power, would we dare step on the butterfly only to see the world in total chaos? Continue reading “Travel back in time – what one thing would you change?”