Three wars of YUDH

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amitabhbachchanYUDH

Amitabh Bachchan has often changed the rules of the game, and Bollywood history of the last 40 years has witnessed it. He did the same to TV with Kaun Banega Karodpati too. He is always a treat to watch. I have expectations from Yudh.
I thought his entry would be dramatic, worked out brilliantly and we may have to wait for the buildup. Known for his legendary punctuality, Amitabh playing Yudhishtir Sikarwar or Yudh, didn’t waste a single frame before making his appearance.
The theme has exciting possibilities. Yudh is a successful builder with integrity and principles. He seems to have antagonized a powerful group including a politician played by Tigmanshu Dhulia, a Police Commissioner (Kay Kay Menon) and some others. Yudh seems to suffer from some strange neuro-psychological ailment. He is delusional – seeing a clown instead of a normal person – and is unable to control his left arm. This conflict is difficult to understand though it gives an unusual dimension to the story. He has two wives (Sarika is the ex and Ayesha Raza is the second wife) and has a daughter and a son from both, respectively.
So we have three wars – 1. Amitabh V/S Business rivals. 2. Amitabh V/S his wives (this has yet to become clear.) and 3. Amitabh V/S Amitabh because of his strange ailment. The third conflict may be more interesting.
But seeing that this is supposed to be an ‘expensive’ mini-series I was disappointed to see a rather unimpressive office of Amitabh, the construction magnate. I’d advise the set designer to take a look at the offices of Hiranandanis, Oberoi Reality, Lokhandwala and other builders. But how much of the production values you see on the screen and how much is gobbled up by the big names would be confidential information with Anurag Kashyap, Shoojit Sircar and Ribhu Dasgupta.
I’ve talked of possibilities but it all depends on how the story shapes up. Unlike most of the soaps, this seems an intelligently told story. The second episode will tell.

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Bobby Jasoos Review

Vidya Balan

I preferred to watch Vidya Balan in Bobby Jasoos over two untried fresh faces in Lekar Hum Deewana Dil.
I am more than familiar with this milieu (jasoosi and Moslim mohlas) and a movie like this had immense possibilities of an absorbing and entertaining film.
Vidya is great!
But if you are looking for an edge of the seat film, this film is not for you. There is no suspense and surprise ending. This is an amateur’s way of looking at an amateur jasoos.
Someone somewhere decides to make a woman-centric film because it has worked for Vidya Balan in the past. It works.
Have some scenes, in fact many of them, where she dominates the ‘men’ playing second fiddle to her. Throw a situation where a young woman wants to prove herself, bring fame to her family ‘by playing a detective’ and you see an emancipated woman being portrayed.
Jasoos?
Vidya’s wonderful disguises of a bearded old maulvi, a beggar, a bangle-seller, a buck-toothed and balding palm reader are more interesting in promo than in the film, where they are wasted.
The successful jasoos is always inconspicuous. He may be clad in a faded jeans… Well, this one is she. She is known in the entire Shahjanpura as ‘Bobby Jasoos’ and is even called, “Ae jasoos!” But of course let’s not expect realism though the style for the rest of the film is realistic what with Supriya Pathak playing her very believable mother and Rajendra Gupta her father.
Ali Fazal impresses despite being given a step-motherly second fiddle to play as the friend turned lover of Vidya and KiranKumar is superb as the victim of riots father hiring Bobby Jasoos to locate his lost children.
Director Samar Shaikh will go a long way if he focuses on the ethos familiar to him, like in this film. But please no sequel unless you take script from me :)

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Anurag Basu, Ranbir Kapoor and Kishore Kumar

Anurag and Ranbir

Somehow I believe Anurag Basu is born for greater things than Barfi, not that Barfi was any lesser. I have seen Life…in a Metro, Gangster and Murder, each, more than once. I saw Barfi in the plane while returning from USA and noticed how Anurag has got the best out of Ranbir Kapoor.
I am looking forward to his movie on the life of Kishore Kumar which will have Ranbir playing the role of the mad-genius Bengali. I think he is the only actor who can play KK with his quick changes of expression, a great sense of humor and a little crazy-fast way of talking.
It is easy for me to visualize Ranbir talking to the plants, like KK used to do or to play a tabla on the bald head of a producer asking for dates without settling the old dues or better still, waiting in his car outside the famous bungalow of Amitabh Bachchan for exactly three minutes, getting sore, return and vow never to lend his voice to the megastar.
Or to see Ranbir bashing up the girl who would play Madhubala, as KK used to do or to woo Yogita Bali, marry her and then divorce because the girl was extravagant or how he married Leena Chandavarkar the widow of Sidharth Bandodkar and many other incidents.
A tidbit: Anurag was to direct my biography of Meena Kumari – Simply Scandalous. It didn’t happen because the producers who were in the process of signing him found that he had hiked his rate after his ‘Murder’ became a hit!
It would have been nice to see a Manisha Koirala humming the lines Meena Kumari wrote:
Ek markaz kii talaash ek bhatakti Khushboo/ Kabhii manz kabhii tamhiid-e-safar hotii hai.
Or to have a Kangana Runout talking to her collection of rocks and referring to each rock with a name!

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