Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Foggy Goan Morning

Shrimp Cocktail (or, should we say Rangoli?)

Tips For Visitors To London

Found this infographic absolutely wonderful... check it out if you are planning a trip to London!

Cat And Kitten in NYC

One of the most amazing pics I have come across - the cop stops traffic while the mom cat carries her baby across the street. NYC, 1929.

Dubai Sunset

Spectre spectacle

At the Mall of Emirates - (a replica) of the 007 beast in Spectre :)

Pune Heritage Walk

I had the privilege today to attend the Pune Heritage Walk, organized by the Janvani (Pune Virasat) group every weekend in collaboration with the PMC. I was accompanying former Mayor of Adelaide, Stephen Yarwood, who is in Pune as part of the Smart City efforts. We were escorted by the very helpful Nitin Deshpande from PMC's vigilance department and Arch Shirish, our guide.

We started at 815, ending the 2.5 km or so walk by 10, with refreshments and some folk performances.

Heavily recommend you do this once, whether you are a tourist in Pune, or a localite just wanting to know a little more about your beautiful city! Here are some pics from the walk...

Movie Review: Main Aur Charles

MAC took me right back to the 80s, when hippies ruled the roost in Goa. Charas-ganja was easily available, and half naked bikers popped into view on their motorbikes.

I remember the drama behind Charles' arrest in Porvorim. Vividly.

MAC brings all that back with an amazing depiction of life in the 80s. Randeep Hooda is mesmerizing as Charles, and true to the character he plays, you fall in love with him, all his evil and merciless humor notwithstanding! Richa Chaddha is fantastic in a small but memorable role, as is Mandana Karimi (currently living it the Big Boss house).

Not your typical Hindi movie though - almost gives you a feel of a docu. But the end is wonderfully presented, and a fitting end to the intense story telling.

Movie Review: Rajwade and Sons (Marathi)

RAS gets my vote for the movie of the year.

What works: absolutely amazing cast, each and every character is introduced and built upon so well, you absolutely relate to each one of them very, very closely. Various well known locales of Pune also connect so deeply to you (yes, I know, I am talking to Puneris right now) that it feels very personal and real.

The camera work and screenplay is also top notch - and a few scenes are absolutely beautiful and well executed. The passionate love making and the scene where the shoes leave the home - so much said, and so much left unsaid!

A must watch for every Puneite, with a lot of lessons to learn too!

Movie Review: NH10

Yes, I know. Very old movie. And I had been avoiding it because the theme of a couple being chased by rowdies hungry for their blood isn't exactly my cup of tea. And the promo video with Anushka didn't exactly excite me.

But I happened to catch NH10 on TV the other night - and I must say. Anushka deserves to take a bow for her stunning performance. Her frustration, anger, her sadness, and finally, her determination for revenge and redemption is absolutely spot on.

I guess watching it on TV also took the edge off some of the scenes, which are pretty graphic and not for the weak hearted!

Movie Review: Mumbai Pune Mumbai 2

And the trend continues. Marathi movies are on a major upswing, and MPM2 continues the good job with a heart warming entertainer about the doubts and feelings of the Mumbai girl (Mukta Barve continues to impress with her effortless portrayals) just before her marriage to the fun-loving, carefree Puneri mulga (Swapnil Joshi).

Puneris and Mumbaikars alike will completely identify with and relate to the cast and characters, brining smiles and an occasional tear.

Do watch  it!

Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay 2

In the last installment of the super successful Hunger Games series, Katniss (the ever so gorgeous Jennifer Lawrence) leads the final push against the Capitol and President Snow. The "Hunger Games" shifts from the jungle to the urban setting of the bombed out Capitol, with Snow continuing to use his gamers against the incoming rebels, the massacre telecast live to his audiences.

Sadly, like most EMIs, this one has a lot more of "principle" and very little "interest"!

While a couple of scenes hold attention (thinking back, only one scene actually does so), most of the time is spent in dark grey settings, the heavy 3D goggles doing nothing to help, with endless conversations that escape your processing. 

Even Katniss can't redeem this one. 

Movie Review: Spectre

I saw Spectre at the Imax theatre in Dubai, at the Mall of Emirates. Hence, 

1. I cant talk about the chemistry between James Bond and the smoking hot lady (Lea Seadoux).
2. You probably won't enjoy the earth shattering sound effects as much as I did.

Spectre has all the usual 007 ingredients - gadgets, villains out to destroy the world with their outrageous schemes, hot ladies, and some eye popping and ear shattering action. The heli scene at the beginning of the movie is epic.

But at 2 hrs 40 mins, it also has lots of irrelevant, unnecessary dialogue, and if you catch a late show, you might just be able to sneak some good winks before you groggily wake up to check what the "shor" is all about.

Verdict: if you watch it, go to the best theatre in town, or get a DVD and cut out all the crap.

Movie Review: Tamasha

15 min into the movie, you begin to wonder if you were better off doing something else. The clowns on stage, the Ramayana performances in Eastman Color, the storyteller and the boy - it all seems pointless and repetitive.

And then suddenly the focus shifts to Corsica. Lovely cafes, colorful alleyways, the blue sea, a smart Ranbir Kapoor and the absolutely gorgeous Deepika Padukone. Add some really peppy matargasti music, and life is beautiful.

Corsica is an escape from daily life, and boy and girl decide they are going to live it up - not ask each other the truth about themselves, and never get back in touch after Corsica. What happens in Corsica stays in Corsica, they gleefully decide. Starting with a ting tong, they make passionate love. And leave. Never to look back.

4 years pass by. And then fate brings them together again. Old feelings are rekindled, promises revisited. Love blossoms.

And there begins the story of life. Reality. Compulsions. The girl doesn't recognize the boy in his "daily avatar". The boy doesn't like what he is being told, questions about his inner self lead to turmoil and arguments, and a meltdown.

Tamasha is a beautiful love story that explores the many dimensions of life. But most of all, it asks one pertinent question. Who are we? When did we change? What are we really living this life for? What really makes us happy?

Packed with powerful performances from the two leads, some really memorable visuals and great music, Tamasha suffers from only one shortcoming - a pretty long opening sequence that stretches almost unbearably, and could have been snipped. Deepika looks amazing in every scene, and shows why she is Bollywood's undisputable queen right now. Ranbir is perfect in his role, one that no one else could have pulled off better,

4 stars from my side!