Saturday, August 29, 2009


A lazy Sunday hello, my frEEk fellows!

Just chanced upon the latest offering from the stables of Vishal Bhardwaj and Shemaroo Entertainment: ISHQIYA" starring the unlikely duo of Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi in lead. ISHQIYA is a story of two small time hitmen, played by Shah and Warsi, who take refuge in a small town after a hit gone wrong only to fall in love with the (demure?) village belle played by Vidya Balan ; who seems to have a few tricks up her sleeve!

The chemistry between Warsi and Shah seems to rival that between Warsi's previous onscreed partner Sanjay Dutt) in the Munnabhai series and Vidya Balan appears to break off her goody two shoes image.

The movie for me bears shades of the cult hit In Bruges which starred Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two hitmen who take shelter in the seemingly nondescript town of Bruges after a hit goes wrong.

Remember my fellow frEEks that Vishal Bhardwaj and co. succesfully desified Shakespeare in Maqbool and Omkara, and we can suitably trust him to add enough desi spice to "inspiration".

extra frEEky: can't wait!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Salaam Namaste and a million hellos my frEEk fellows!

Although it hasn't quite reached our shores as yet, the AVATAR has well and truly landed! That's right folks, The movie, 14 years in the making, one that is set to the change the face of cinema as we know it, finally revealed itself to select audiences in theaters worldwide in the form of a trailer like no other.

What makes Avatar so special you say, well if you remember it comes to us from the stables of sci-fi movie maker James Cameron who gaves us summer masterpieces such as Aliens, the Aliens (1986) Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and yes that movie about the ship which hit an iceberg and sank! Avatar boasts a stellar cast of new and young actors including the first lady of sci-fi films Sigourney Weaver and Sam Worthington (Terminator Salvation) but what really sets apart is that AVATAR incorporates an as yet unheralded technology (codenamed PANDORA) which allows the viewer to have an IMAX - 3D experience, that's right folks, not only will the images in this movie be larger than life, they will actually immerse you in the proceedings!

AVATAR, at its core is the futuristic story of a crippled soldier; Jake Sully played by Worthington, who is "mind-melded" into the body of a Na'avi alien, In his new "Avatar" (yes that is a sanksrit term - for new form!) he visits the Na'avi planet called PANDORA ( do u recollect reading that term elsewhere in this post?) and falls for a female Na'avi, named Neyetri played (voiced) by Zoe Saldaña in the lush surroundings of Pandora. Trouble ensues when the human corporation, that funded Sully's mind meld arrive to colonize ( read rule) over PANDORA,Sully now choose over what his duty orders, or what his heart tell him to do!

Already AVATAR's plot has come under criticism, for being glaringly similar to the "white man saves the natives plot" found in pictures such as Dances with Wolves or even "The Last Samurai", and admittedly it is, but what one must remember is that while AVATAR may not promise the most original of story lines, it does promise to change the way we experience cinema. Already there is talk of future blockbusters such as IRON MAN -2 utilising similar technology, and so while AVATAR may or may not go on to beat TITANIC ( incidentally alos Cameron's film) it will take the cinema viewing expericne on a thrill never before experienced, and for this to Mr. James Cameron, we express our frEEkiest thanks!!!

extra frEEky: Is it just my frEEking mind, or can similarities be drawn with the exiled hero of AVATAR, to another blue skinned being that we are familar with, bot of course were AVATARS!! let the controversies begin!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chris Nolan's next "INCEPTION" starring Leonardo Di Caprio

Check out the trailer for Christopher Nolan's upcoming thriller "Inception"....
starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Cillian Murphy and Nolan's favourite Micheal Caine, Inception is a futuristic thriller about a CEO, played by Leo who...ah watch the trailer and be suitably titillated!!

appears to be a mix of Memento and the Matrix, can't frEEking wait!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

She's the Haddippa!!

Ek chota sa hello, mere barsaat ke thirsty frEEk fellows!!

These days, the promos of Yash Raj Film's next venture "DIL BOLE HADIPPA" are gathering eyeballs, with current it-boy, and perennial man-candy Shahid Kapoor, and Yash Raj Film's ( read Aditya Chopra's ) favourite female lead Rani Mukherji.

The music video features the new and improved Rani, trying to her best to look sensual while showing of her newly toned hot-bod. She is matched step by step on the road to attempted sexeeeeness, by Shahid's man cleavage! Rani also shows up in another avatar i.e. of a Sardar! take a look..

While Yash Raj is leaving no stone unturned to ensure this become's Rani's comeback film, what they won't let u know, is how closely this film mirrors a lesser known Hollywood movie called "She's The Man" starring Amanda Bynes and directed by Andy Fickman. The film also stars Hollywood man-candy Channing Tatum and co-stars David Cross. Viola Hastings (Amanda Bynes) is a high school soccer player who learns that the girls' team at her school, Cornwall, is being cut. Viola instead decides to pass herself off as Sebastian and join the boys' soccer team at Illyria. She hopes to beat the Cornwall team and humiliate her loving but slightly sexist goalie ex-boyfriend Justin (Robert Hoffman), who had discouraged her from joining the team. With the help of her friends Viola becomes the quirky "Sebastian". Viola/Sebsatien also falls in love with Soccer Team's captain played by Channig Tatum, resulting in much hilarity! check out the trailer below..

In Dil Bole...Rani too stars as a cricket-playing girl forced to play a double life as Shahid's love interest, and a member of the all-male cricket team disguised as a Sardar! So much for Bollywood originality!

If it makes u feel any better, even "She's the Man" is inspired by William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Namaste fellow frEEks,

Those amongst us who have caught a glimpse of Vishal Bhardwaj's latest offering KAMINEY ( you can visit my review here) have caught it's subtle nods to Hollywood offerings in the same genre i.e. films by Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie. What particularly got this frEEk thinking ( yes, there are moments when this happens!) were the sly references to one particular classic, Tarantino's "PULP FICTION" here's how:

a) Rocking Theme Song: Pulp Fiction, contained an awesome retro soundtrack, however one track in particular stood out; MISIRLOU by Dickie Dale, this insanely catchy number, was featured in all the initial promos for Pulp Fiction; take a look-see below:

Kaminey, too features a frenetic guitar pitched number "Dhan-Te-Nan" a duet between Sukhwinder Singh and Vishal Dadlani, the number, also featured in all Kaminey's initial promos, is by no means a rip-off but does pay subtle homage to MISRLOU, see for yourself:

b) That Darn Watch: A Rolex watch forms an integral part of Pulp Fiction's plot line, In a cameo, Captain Koons (played superbly by Christopher Walken) gifts young Butch (Bruce Willis' character) his father's watch, Koons serves with Butch's father in the Vietnam war, and to prevent the Viets from stealing the watch, hides the watch up his ass! before dying from dysentry, he hands over the watch to Koons ( who hides it up his own ass) before presenting the watch to youn Butch. It is the very watch, that the older Butch ( played by Bruce Willis) loses on the run from his "owner" Marsellus ( played by Ving Rhames) which leads in turn to Marsellus sending Vincent Vega (played by John Travolta) to kill Butch. Take a look at the hilarious Christopher Walken cameo below..

In Kaminey, too a Rolex watch plays a critical part in the movie, where Guddu's and Charlie's
(played by Shahid Kapoor)father steals a Rolex, and Charlie has to obtain money to bribe the cops to set their father free. You can get a fleeting glimpse of the Rolex in the promo below

So there you have it fellow frEEkies, again by no means is Kaminey a rip-off of Pulp Fiction, but the homages are well and truly frEEky!

extra frEEky: Kaminey is playing at your friendly neigbourhood cinema, you can purchase Pulp Fiction here

Monday, August 17, 2009

Movie Review: Kaminey

Hellos my Kaminey frEEky fellows!

The last couple of weeks has been harsh on us, Swine-Flu, impending drought, and yes the catastrophic detention of SRK have taken their toll on our collective psyches. Fret not fellow frEEks, for celluloid relief is finally here in the form of Vishal Bhardwaj's much awaited KAMINEY

Vishal directing Shahid on the sets of Kaminey

What it is? : Kaminey is the next offering from the stables of Vishal Bhardwaj,, yes he who had succesfully indianised Shakespeare (Maqbool and Omkara) Vishal now takes on the hyperkinetic crime thriller genre popularised by the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie. Kaminey also gathered pre-publicity buzz due to a first time "double-role" by Shahid Kapoor and of course the chartbuster "Dhan-Te-Nan" sung marvelouslly by Vishal Dadlani and Sukhiwnder Singh.

Kaminey is the story of twin brothers; Guddu and Charlie (both played convincingly by Shahid Kapoor) born in the murkiest parts of Dharavi (and no, neither is called onto a quiz show unlike that other movie about slums!) . Driven to hate each other due to their varying idelogies, the movie is a story of how fate ( and the criminal underworld) conspire to bring the two brothers together.

What works: I have always been apprehensive about bollywood movies that attempt to introduce characters just to keep the plot moving (aka every Priyadarshan movie after Hera Pheri) but kudos to Vishal for pulling of the impossible, not only does the plot take the viewer down unconventional lanes, but each character (and believe me, there's a quite a few) is fleshed out and adds value to the plot. The screenplay is a skillful merge of some bhai-bhai bollywood cliche mingled with generous doses of dark underworld humor. Shahid Kapoor breaks away from his choco-boy image and delivers his best performance to date, watch the scene where the two brothers meet after ages, to appreciate Shahid's effort on screen, Priyanka Chopra manages to just about keep up, in her role as a Marathi Mulgi, who plays a fast one on Guddu. Then there is the brilliant supporting cast including Taare Zameen Par writer Amol Gupte as a "marathi manoos" supporting politico, Chandan Roy Sanyal as Mikhail, Charlie's drug addicted confidant/boss. Here's a film that acknowledges it's audience's intelligence and aims for its jugular, which is why surreal dream sequences seem rightly juxtaposed with the otherwise Mumbaiyaa plot.

What Doesn't: There's a section of junta that are into, the "leave your brains at home" movie genre (aka Singh Is Kinng, Chandni Chowk to China, should i go on?) this movie is perhaps is not for them! Also the climactic shoot out sequence seemed a wee bit contrived, but really folks I am just picking at very minor squibbles in this hugely entertaining movie.

Verdict: Grab your N95s and head for the movie hall folks, cuz this is probably the best Bollywood will offer this year!!


4 out of 5 frEEkies: a frEEking good watch!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My name is K..K.K. KHAN!

A sleepy Sunday hello, my frEEky fellows!

We are awakened from our slumbers with the "shocking" news of Bollywood's Badshah
(does that title still apply I wonder?) Shahrukh Khan being detained for questioning at Newark airport. The impossible has happened, and the furore over swine flu, the drought, hell event the Ambani Brothers have been eclipsed by this event of catastrophic proportions.
It cannot be denied that said event reeks of racial stereotyping and was an easily avoided incident, especially given SRK's megastar presence, It was SRK's close friend Karan Johar who had once recounted how SRK had generated more crowds for a movie premier in London, than had Tom Cruise at a theater near by. Surely then it would not have been hard for airport authorities to recognise who they had detained.

What pertrubs me, is that said event too closely mirrors the plot of SRK's upcoming release called "MY NAME IS KHAN" - directed by close friend Karan Johar, the movie tells the story of an autistic patient (played by SRK) who is detained by U.S. officials, during 9/11, when is unable to answer their questioning due to his mental condition, the film goes on to show the efforts of SRK and and his wife (played by Kajol) to clear his name. Both SRK and Karan Johar have a lot riding on this movie, and have inked out a mega-dollar deal with a Hollywood Studio to promote the same. SRK can also use all the publicity he gets on this outing, as it is reportedly to be a songless film ( it would be a stretch even by bollywood standards to have an autisitic patient sing around trees!)

Bollywood has not been a stranger to publiicity stunts, several years ago, cheap-thrill-generator-extraordinaire Mahesh Bhatt had spalshed adverts in dailies claiming the murder of Manisha Koirala (remember her?). This turned out to be a marketing gimmick for his upcoming movie "Criminal" where Manisha played the murdered wife of the protganist. In the wake of the Gulshan Kumar murder, Mahesh Bhatt again was held responsible for creating a rumour about the SRK being shot on the sets of his then movie "Duplicate".

So there you have it folks, a sad case of mistaken identity or a publicity stunt like no other? Whoever said all is fair in love and war, forgot to mention movie publicity, after all a bollywood potboiler has equal amounts of love and war!!

extra frEEky: Duplicate was also produced by Karan Johar's production house - Dharma Productions!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009


A million hellos, my frEEK fellows,

I was recently intrigued by the interesting article, by Expat on the Edge aka a brit journalist living in Mumbai; Naomi Canton. Naomi's article provided an interesting look at the various foreigners that work in Bollywood cinema. She interviewed foreigners of various nationalities that are "recruited" by casting agents at various "foreigner hangouts" such as Cafe Leopold, and are utilised as background fillers, dancers and such for Bollywood. While providing an interesting insight on the good and the not-so-good time faced by these people, the article was though provoking on Bollywood's need, nay obsession with foreign locations, stars - while perhaps subconsicously trying to measure itself with its firangi counterpart Hollywood. While Yashraj films was responsible for exposing us to the lurid locales of Switzerland, where nubile heroines cavorted in see-through chiffon, only to extoll the virtues of vestal virginity a few reels later. More recently Sajid Nadiadwala and Akshay Kumar's vanity project : KAMBAKHT ISHQ got us the chance to see aging Hollywood Lothario Sylvester Stallone and ex-bond girl Denise Richard cavort with Akshay and Kareena; and what a disaster that turned out to be.
This led me to wonder whether Hollywood has ever thrown a glimpse at our shores? have our actors ever been called into participate in their mega-dollar offerings, so join me then my frEEky friends as we dive once again in the murky realms of celluloid to see if whether we desis did make an impact on foreign shores:

a) SABU:

Perhaps, the biggest and yet largely unknown offering from India's shores was Sabu Dastagir (although that last name was an error ) Discovered by director Robert J. Flaherty during a search for the lead in Elephant Boy, 11 year old Selar Shaik Sabu was from a family of elephant vtamers, and his skills were put to apt use in Flaherty's film which was about a boy who magically communicates with elephants. While the film itself received mixed review, there was no doubting Sabu's charisma, as is evident from the clip below:

An instant box-office favourite, Sabu was loved by the audiences, and became a mainstay of all "exotic" films set in the "mysterious" and forbidden eastern realms ( any place outside America!)
one of Sabu's bigger successes was "Jungle Book" based on Rudyard Kipling's classic of the same name:

Sabu went on star in a loosely adapted version of Aladdin called the "Thief of Baghdad" where though playing the lead role, he played second fiddle to the smashing prince (played of course by, a gora)

Roles faded as Sabu's age advanced, and no longer was deemed "cute" enough to play his previous roles, yet he was part of the controversial "Black Narcisuss" which dealt with a nun-in-training being seduced by the prince of a mysterious eastern kingdom that she volunteers to work for.

Plagued in his later years for allegations of homosexuality, Sabu died a rather unfortunate and impoverished death. His legend hitherto unknown in his home shores, needs to be discovered and cherished.

b) Om Puri and Victor Banerjee :

An underrated actor of immense talent, and brother of Amrish Puri ( who played the legendary villain Mola Ram in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) Om Puri made some inroads into Hollywood cinema starting of with a bit cameo in Attenborough's Gandhi, he starred in the cinema adaptation of the " City of Joy " starring Patrick Swayze. Om went on to play the stereotypical Indian mystic in films such as the The Ghost and the Darkness starring Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas and Wolf starring Jack Nicholson. He has also made several appearances in well-meaning but lesser known movies such as "Sam and Me" Om's defining moment in foreign cinema was perhaps "East is East " a low budget british movie, where he played a muslim immigrant, married to a firang trying to keep his two sons rooted Indian culture, and not be swayed by the lure of the West. The movie was a runaway smash and showcased amply Om's acerbic comic talent to the world.

Victor Banerjee, finds himself mentioned here on account of his undoubted acting talent which led to his roles in Merchant Ivory's - 'Hullabaloo Over Georgie and Bonnie's Pictures" and David Lean's A Passage to India

and Roman Polanski's frEEky Bitter Moon. My favourite Victor Banerjee film is perhaps Foreign Body which stars Banerjee in the lead as a bumbling medical student who is mistaken for a high profile medical doctor and becomes the toast of high society London - the film was loosely remade as the The Guru. several years later.

c) Irrfan Khan :

Perhaps the most well known face of India in Hollywood right now, Irrfan announced himself as a global talent in Mira Nair's "The Namesake" , he followed it up with the true-life based "A Might Heart" also starring Angelina Jolie. Irrfan's most well known claim to fame is, you guessed it.. Slumdog Millionaire where as one reviewer put it, he effectively represented the audience in gauging the lead credibility in unbelievable adventures that he undertakes. Irrfan also made a blink-and-miss appearance in Wes Anderson's "The Darjeeling Limited . Irrfan's role was criticised by locals as an attempt to garner western publicity - to which Irrfan responded that his role was as a tribute to Wes, who was one of his favourite directors.
Jai Ho Irrfan,! may your talent never be restricted by geographical boundaries!

Extra frEEKy: Yes, there's Aishwarya Rai's foray in Hollywood, but then this article is about actors - i.e. people who can act!


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