have an opinion? got feedback? drop me a line- pooja.x.rao@gmail.com
Can also read my posts at Mumbaikar.com and filmi features @ Bollyspice.com


Can't hate this music... "I hate luv storys".. out and loud!

Jumped around in glee, like an excited child on a christmas morning, holding the much-awaited "I Hate Luv Storys" Audio Cd. Yo!, got my copy (original!!) of the much talked-about, promoted (check the twitter/FB page to get what Im talking abt), marketed movie that promises to 'cool you off' this summer. 
The disc has 5 songs mostly romantic (add to it the reprise/remix/chill(?!?!) versions taking the total to 8).
Produced by Karan Johar, music by dynamic duo Vishal-Shekhar, you cannot expect any less considering the last time the coming together of these names presented one hell of an aural journey - Dostana. So let the music play...
Jab Mila Tu is a fun song with a bounce and it tickles the ear buds with ease. Initially sounds like a leftover from Dharma's last offering "Wake up Sid", but Vishal bursts out, gives it an individual character. Composition kept simple, a very 'lift your spirits' number, I love the country guitar tune in between.
Bin Tere  is a number with gorgeous lines, entertaining beat, and a blend of other complimenting tones. It is a dream to listen to, although I could do away with the remix. 
Sadka Kiya - Soaked with emotions, this is the one true number that gives the album its ultimate depth. A rare jewel, a clean song where lyrics & melody intertwine in unparallel harmony.
Bahara - One more soulful balladry, Shreya's version is not my fav, it takes some time to set in. But the "chill" version by Rahat Ali Khan has me totally floored with that sparkling tune, effortless playback and lissome orchestration.
The film's title song (i.e. also probably the club song for all those who followed Imran's tweets) "IHLS" is the most appreciated of all the numbers. The song introduced in the first teaser, has found itself a solid number of admirers. It is high on energy, attitude,energy of the song is well complimented by Vishal's vocals. The lyrics are catchy, infectious they stick to your lips and cant stop humming along. Its been playing on repeat on my playlist & is staying there for long. But why does this track sound vaguely familiar??
My fav picks - Bahara (chill) Bin Tere (reprise) & IHLS (OST)
Verdict: The ensemble is pretty average. It shows great mettle and variety to have one intrigued and doesn't leave the listener disappointed. It has a good mix and a little of something for everyone.
With this rendition, V-S stick to their modish mannerisms, with a potpourri of acoustic bliss. It doesn't get close to their best (Jhankaar Beats, Om Shanti Om), but definitely is a winner in its personal way. A feast for the die hard romantics.

Not flying colours... Kites Movie Review.

I know I'm late and by this time, you have either seen the movie or have made up your mind not to watch it. Also, by now trade pundits are calculating & re-calculating BO figures to put together a verdict. But in some parts of the globe, unfazed fans of Hrithik Roshan are queuing up for repeat viewing of the movie. Jr. Roshan, bleeding, distraught, sandy, yet managing to look drool-worthy yummylicious is the stuff we fans live for. As much as I (too!) was tempted, the movie aficionado in me wanted more.
2.5 yrs in the making, big names, big budget, bigger hype and colossal expectations. Regrettably, Kites just doesn't go that high, although this Anurag Basu's directorial extravaganza had all the potential. So why didn't it make the cut? Read further...
Plot: Though there isn't much to write here - Our hero J (Joseph? jimmy? johnny?), who marries girls to get them a green card in barter for hard cash, is engaged to Gina(Kangana), daughter of rich casino owner, Bob(Kabir Bedi). Gina's brother Tony(Nick Brown) is engaged to Natasha/Linda(Mori). Cut to few scenes & a dance routine later, J and Natasha meet, sparks fly, passionate glances stolen à la Romeo-Juliet, and bam! we have a love square formed. Anyone who has seen Woody Allen's 'Match Point' will catch up with me faster. Others, don't fret, you haven't missed anything majorly. OK, back to our movie - J and Linda cant keep their eyes off each other, want to stay together forever and decide to elope. Predictable Bolly movie you ask? Uh-huh! Twist - they don't speak each others language Spanish/English. Twist to the twisted tale = J and Linda are sort-of already married (remember J's green card wives!). Anyhoo, J and Linda ditch their fiances (they were marrying the rich kids for the money anyways, no luv-shuv), grab the money and head for greener pastures. While the villains pull all chains to track them, our international Bunty-Babli gasp, chuckle, jump off hot air balloons, dive into seas, rob a bank, indulge in car chases as if taking on an adventurous sport, sing-dance, take language lessons, and give their trackers the royal slip. Amidst all the mayhem that follows, they sneak in and out of jungle, share a kiss or two, much at the expense of the audience.Tony finally catches up with them. What happens next? It's for me to know and you to find out.
Kites is an earnestly made film. It had everything going for it. Luscious pairing, captivating visuals, stimulating cinematography and some very interesting scenes make up a strong base. But then everything falls apart. When Hrithik says "Pakao, Pakao", you are coaxed to believe that he almost knows what he is talking about. 
Barbara and Hrithik are in my opinion the most alluring pairing till date. They compliment each other and Rakesh Roshan's choice in Mori is justified. Barbara's endearing smile matches Hrithik's intensity and in all means the lead pair try to make Kites fly. But the writers forgot that with all the chemistry and perfect scenes, there was a story to be taken forward. Kangana, every director's dream girl for psychotic character, is misused. She came and went just like that and no-one seemed upset. Kabir Bedi plays his role with the 'been-there-done-that' sophistication. Nick Brown is so-so, knows what he's doing.
Kites is a clear case of 'too many cooks spoil the dish'. With the track records that Basu and Roshan's have, you pray for something rather extraordinary but you have to settle for something much much less. In continuation to my earlier post (read here), the movie is as confused as I am about what it wants to be. Fingers crossed, you hope that something jumps out and rationalizes your time's worth, but hardly a scene stays with you. (yeah mayb Hrithik's glances for some of you!) All in all, Kites is a watch in comparison to the movies released off late. Go for it once, since its got a piece of something for everyone. Kaipoche! anyone??

Wall Wall pe likha paint karnewale ka naam :)

Yay yayy! the 'Great wall of Mumbai' is back in all its glory and its all happening right near you err... ok! across town for all u burbs! but thats besides the point!! tch tch .. For all those who are new to this concept read further... 
Paint thy walls people.. What started as a small bandra group passion has grown bigger, better and fantabalistic over the past year! People+Paint+Art+Wall = Beautification of Mumbai. An unusual concept, an unusual story.

"Do-Good" Fellas!

Was in the midst of writing an article on the recent honour killings (more on that later), when I stumbled upon the BT headlines (Bombay Times.. errr Page 3 for the filmy!!). First Sachin Tendular & of late King-Khan himself - Shahrukh Khan. 
If you're still attempting to make a connect, No! Im not referring to their first initials or the fact that they are probably worshiped more than the almighty himself. Im talking about the "knight in shining armour" roles that the 2 men played recently (in real life that is). 
Here's how - The reticent Sachin T didnt blink an eye when he was called upon to help his friend Dilbir, who had been admitted to the hospital. Sachin & Dilbir played together under-15 and under-17 level. Dilbir met with a fatal road accident in 2002 which led to him being handicapped. This was followed by ill-treatment at the hands of his spouse until he was rescued from his Gandhinagar home last month. When Sachin learnt about this, he visited Dilbir in hospital, footed all his medical expenses, contacted specialists & made sure he got the best treatments.
On parallel lines, the ever effervescent SRK played the love doctor to the hilt when he helped an estranged couple mend ways. Former journo Subramaniam’s marriage was falling apart when it struck him that probably a word from the Surperstar could help turn the tide. You see, his wife Krishnakoli was a huge SRK fan. One e-mail to the Badshah was all it took. SRK called Krishnakoli on May 18 (which was also her bday) & talked her into giving the relationship another shot.
Incidentally, these arent sole cases where celebrities have shown their philanthropist side. Earlier, Aamir khan helped a senior citizen who had met with an accident & personally had him admitted to the hospital. Bad-boy Salman is also known for his golden heart, so is Sanjay Dutt. Sigh! now only if our leaders could work with equal ardor, the world would definitely be a better place to live in!

P:S: On a lighter note, I wonder where I can get hold of one of these email ID's. SRK listening??

Here are the links to the full stories
Sachin - http://www.mid-day.com/sports/2010/may/200510-sachin-tendulkar-dilbir-singh-hospital-visit.htm
Shahrukh - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/news-interviews/SRK-gets-estranged-couple-together/articleshow/5953431.cms

Leaving on a musical note, this song came to mind while i penned this article, Enjoy.

Soaring high?!? 'Kites' - pre release review.

"Its a love story, no thriller, no mayb action!!".. the rumours behind the script of the much anticipated flick "Kites" will be unraveled this Friday (21st may) as the movie gears up for its big fat (literally!) Indian release. 
Hrithik Roshan had never heard of Barbara Mori. The latter claims to have never viewed a bolly film previously. Nonetheless destiny got the two of them paired for a mega-budget venture worth Rs.150 crore in three versions - English, Hindi and Spanish. (gladly, we ain't complaining!) The music has been well accepted, breezy numbers without any loud strident influences, to suit the theme & pace of the movie.
The pre-release buzz, marketing hype in totality have worked well for the movie with trade pundits clearly touting this one as a bigger hit than 3idiots. So much so that some cinemas have a 6:30am show to cash in on the oppurtunity.
The reactions to the premiere held in US & UK earlier this week have been phenomenal with traffic halting at the Times Square, impromptu arrangements for extra fans to be accomodated at the AMC Empire theatre and women screaming, threatening suicides(wtf?!?!) to catch a glimpse of the leading man.
On that note, I leave you with a pic of the man himself from the london premiere. CAN IT GET ANY HOTTER THAN THIS??
P:S: watch this space for the movie review. will put it up in a few days.
For more updates, pics & reviews go to http://www.facebook.com/officialkites

Indian Idol 5 - my take.

Audition pe audition, audition pe audition.... Indian Idol 5 promises to offer the best of all other seasons put together. & so far they seem to be doing a good job.

Indian Idol in its 5th year continues to maintain the hype (& TRP) with queues of hopefuls wanting to be heard and become the “Desh Ki Awaaz”. Plus a chance to playback in Yash Raj’s next film as an added bonus this year. So the top 13 have been announced & speculations are rife on who will win this year.
Phew! Tough call?!? Well the judges seem to think that the aam junta is going to go crazy having to decide who to vote for.. and i do agree coz the line-up this year is really versatile and impressive. well I for one have already made up my mind.
So here are my picks who I want in the top 3- (in random order)
Bhumi -  3rd time try after having to quit seasons 3&4 due to personal reasons ... complete performer
Yashraj – though the boy could lose the attitude & use some humility. (or perhaps its nervousness giving wrong signals.. either ways)..
Sreeram (my personal best) – already playback in south but hardly any audible accent in hindi vocab.. good stuff.. do i need to say more? Just listen for urselves!!

P:S: Did I mention that Salim is by far the cutest judge the show has had till date..Rock on!!

Fresh Ho Jaoooo....

Have been watching Limca Ad's for sometime now & falling in luv with them every single time.. but somehow this one takes the cake,,, Maybe it has something to do with model Virafpatel's cheekiness (in a good way!)) (superr cute!!) and finally Hrishta's on-screen presence does complete justice.... Just cudnt help putting it here! and though its been an hr since I saw the video.. the smile on my face refuses to go....*blush* ...Yeh Nok Jhok .......

*** going to try n get the audio link up as well***!! 

"Luv-Hate" Storys ?!?!?

First Impression of First Look of I Hate Luv Storys - A Dharma camp release by debutant director Punit Malhotra starring Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor.

Take a bow Punit Malhotra. Although the first look released on Monday, May 10th was a damper on the most anticipated summer release, Director Punit Malhotra being in the industry for 10 yrs (assistant to mentor Karan Johar) seems to have learnt the ropes of his craft well.
If the trailer released today is anything to go by, Dharma Productions may have a winner in hand. The movie's theme might come across as cliched but from the around 1min trailer the Imran-Sonam fresh pairing albeit sizzling chemistry, cinematography and superb locales present a helluva rollercoaster for romantics worldwide with a splash of good humour thrown in. The trailer seems to have already caused a rage with almost 8000+ views in its first 24 hrs. Nonetheless the cast and crew seem to be in complete tandem whilst promoting the film on the networking sites.

Mil gaye jo Chora Chori, hui Masti thori-thori, bas Pyar ka naam na lena, I Hate Luv Storys... cant stop humming veree catchy!

Incidentally the director celebrates his birthday today. Wishing him the best for his venture to release on 2nd July.

Check here for the official trailer.
& an extended version courtesy IBN-LIVE

"Where is the love mamma?"

What's wrong with the world, mama
People livin' like they ain't got no mamas
I think the whole world addicted to the drama
Only attracted to things that'll bring you trauma
When black eyed peas sang this, they referred to the world as a whole.. my subject is of a narrower circumference.. just of immediate relationships, family+friends+ lover/fiancee/spouse! and maybe the next door neighbour.. 
I read Karan Johar's column on parents. It is admirable that he has written on such a delicate matter with high intensity and sensibility. I quote him here, "The parent of the year is not the one with the most successful child, but the one with the happiest". From what I know of him, he comes from a strongly knit family.. which then astonishes me is that if he could feel so stronly abt this subject, why cant others atleast make an attempt to ditch traditional approach and adopt the "let your child decide" way? is it too much to ask..
It is a sore fact that; in India one still faces fight over education & career decisions. What gets me all mussed is that i came across dozens of parents who applauded and emphatized with movies like '3 idiots', 'taare zameen par'.. but when it came to their own children, exceptions were made and the only streams they could relate to were ol' school doctor, engineer, banker! Who cared if the son wanted to be a stylist, or the daughter a chef? these were all lame scope of work and probably most parents weren't even aware of their children's talents.. such is the hypocrisy! Children wanting to move out is the new fad and it does seem like its a phase that's here to stay or probably get worse with time.
I wish parents would understand..children can be your replica.. in many ways but NOT ALL .. . Let them grow, bask in their individuality. They are your extension - don't make them your reflection.

While i watched "P.S I Love You" for the nth time, i wondered amidst my usual surge of emotions.. Is it true , "Can someone actually unconditionally love anybody that much?". In this day & age, when divorces are becoming a norm, break-ups & affairs are synonymous with tea or coffee... compatibility being extended not only in tastes and hobbies but also being tested in bed!

Being born in independent India, urban malicious life demanding attention every damn second..gets a little overwhelming when we attempt to balance every relation with utmost 'TLC' and still feel a vaccum as if nothing is just ever enough. Seriously where is the love people?


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