Friday, July 4, 2008

Love Story 2050 - Dud chala dude banne?

Originally Written for: The article has been originally published here.

Once upon a time there was a boy. He used to watch a lot of Hrithik Roshan movies. And he had a dad who was a director. And the boy wanted to be an actor. And he wanted to be Hrithik. So, one night when he was watching Koi Mil Gaya for the 537th time, he thought he had enough of it. He went up to his dad and said ,” Papa Papa, Mujhe hero banna hai.” It was very late in the night and his dad was feeling very sleepy watching I, Robot. He was too jaded to reply. But his son repeated, “Papa Papa, Mujhe hero banna hai!” Papa dear was really sleepy but even then he asked ,” Accha Beta! Kya kya chahiye tumhein movie me?” Son dearest replied ,”Papa Papa, movie main na main car chalana chahta hun, bike chalana chahta hun, bhaagna chahta hun aur dance karna chahta hun,” and then he added something which was going to change the fate of Bollywood. For ever. “Sab Hrithik Roshan ki tarah.” Papa replied ,”Theek hai beta! Main script likhta hun. Kal breakfast pe baat karte hain.”

And from here began one of the greatest movie of all times - Love Story 2050. Harry Baweja must have written this film in his sleep, otherwise there is no way else can one even think of directing( and also producing. Admire his guts man! Take a bow Mr. Baweja.) a waste of 55 crores. A movie which has nothing to give rather than the cliched dialogues, bored to death romantic scenes, cliched expressions. The only good thing as people have been talking about is the special effects. That is true. Although the setting of 2050 Mumbai is a bit too futuristic for comfort. But still, that is one think you’ve to laud the movie makers for. Otherwise, there is nothing in this movie that stands out. The songs are outright bad, except ‘Milo na Milo’ which has been picturised equally well. It is the only 5 minutes where Harman is tolerable. Otherwise, he is a bad copy of Hrithik Roshan. I mean, he walks like him, talks like him, stands like him, sits like him, stares like him, has got his sideburns like him. There is only one difference though, if you cared to notice. He cannot act like Hrithik. Not in 2008 at least. May be in next 42 years, who knows? Or is that the hidden meaning behind the title? I mean the guy has tried aping Hrithik Roshan to such abominable levels that one might even start wondering; does he even try to shit like Hrithik?( Who knows he might have planted a hidden web cam in his bathroom just to learn some tricks of this trade too from his ‘mentor’?). Harman is wooden. That’s all I have to say.
And Priyanka Chopra? She might have been terribly-IN-love or hopelessly-OUT-of mind to accept such a movie and walk through a dead role with a dead pan expression. Not one single scene stands out, there is no magic on screen. The movie suffers from a huge hangover of Koi Mil Gaya/Krissh and Hrithik, so much so that you wish Rakesh roshan would sneak in some of the scene here and there. Everyone else is ineffective including the very own Boman Irani (as the scientist who I don’t know why is in an Einstein like get up). Archana Puran Singh plays the archaic ‘Yash Raj produced affable Punjabi mother’. There is absolutely no flow in the movie, one scene jumps off to another as if monkey hopping from one tree to another. The typical hero-heroine meeting up again is so irritating and straight out of some 1980’s bored to death formulaic movie. Hero wants to search his ‘love’ in the big town. He searches her for 17 seconds and the moment later ‘Lo and Behold’ she is right up there wetting herself to glory waiting for her ‘love’.

I can highlight only this much on the movie because I left the theatre after 2 hours 15 minutes. The movie threatened to be 3 hours 20 minutes long. I wonder what they would have shown in the next 1 hour 5 minute? Or, may be I know. The movie was as cliched as that. So Mr. Harry Baweja, you are no Rakesh Roshan and you are son is no Hrithik Roshan either. Had you donated this 55 crores of yours to the benefit of mankind, your name would have been right up there with Mother Teresa. So, the next time you decide to go behind the camera, think about how mankind could be benefited. Best of Luck!

And yeah, coming to luck, Harman keeps saying this line in the movie, ‘ I don’t need luck , I have love.’ Well Harman! you neither need love, you neither need love, you need an audience for your movie to tick which looks like a remote possibility. I suggest you rewatch Koi Mil Gaya for the 538th time and improve on your acting.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

India V Pakistan - Asia Cup

The first half of the match was replete with twists and turns as you would expect in a typical India Pakistan encounter. Though India would be content with 308, deep down they would admit that they would have got a bit more. Although we've seen India chase down 300 with careless ease, it could not all be very easy for Pakistan because India's bowling attack is strong as compared to the Pakistan's. Pakistan would require some stellar performance in the Powerplays which hasn't happened so far. They have seemed reluctant to go over the top in the initial overs and have adopted the conventional method of 'building up the innings'. But, when you intend to chase more than 300 on a flat track you need to be a bit more than inventive.

India on the other hand won the toss and came out all guns blazing thanks to Sehwag and Gambhir. When Pakistanis bowled short, Sehwag pulled, when they were up, Sehwag drove, when they were touch short, Sehwag cut. Sohail Tanvir, the now 'spearhead' of the Pakistani attack was made to look like a 7th grader as he helplessly conceeded 43 off his first 4 overs. India raced off to 86 in the first ten overs, with Sehwag escaping a sure shot LBW shout. Two balls later, Ifthikar Rao picked Gambhir as he tried to clear the infield but got hold by Afridi instead. Then, Indians lost the Raina, Sehwag in the space of 9 balls and were reduced to 91/3. Yuvraj hit some lusty blows but even he failed to capitalise and fell when he just looked set for a big one. In came Rohit Sharma, who has not been in particularly good form during the series and one could sense some nerves early on. But, then he eased in the company of Dhoni and singles started flowing. Now, Misbah(the stand in captain for Shoaib Mailk) operated both the spinners in tandem. Afridi with the debutant Ajmal. He was very impressive with his doosras which Dhoni failed to pick up repeatedly. The pressure was clearly on Indians as they needed a substantial partnership otherwise they would have been bundled shortly. They started pushing the ball around and this is where the pakistanis erred. They let the Indians take the singles and there was on pressure being applied on them. Misbah should have brought the fielders and should have made the Indians work for runs. However, he was content with 4-5 singles being taken in an over. What he did not know that the two players were laying a solid foundation for a big total. Dhoni and Rohit must be applauded for sewing a partnership which brought back India back in game. They demonstrated an icy cool head and never panicked during their course of innings. India was sitting pretty at 231/4 at the end of 40 overs. From here on, India was expected to cross the 320 mark, but soon thereafter, Rohit and Y.Pathan fell much against the run of play and a mini-rebuilding had to be done. But, Pathan hit some clean shots to help the team post 308 on the board. However, one might never know what is enough on this dead track but given the attack India has Pakistan would have to play really well.

Now, from Pakistan's point of view it is imperative that dominate from the word go. And no one can do it better than Shahid Afridi. I think he should open the batting today and play a blitzkrieg of sorts. His attack up-front can really destabilise the Indian attack and he has done that in the past. Because, if Pakistani team has to entertain any thoughts of going near the Indian team, they should attack right from the word go. And for that Afridi has to open. Their middle order is really experienced and are real thoroughbreds when it comes to chasing. They know they need to put 309 on board if they have to stay alive in the compeition. They will go for the kill. While, India will like to win this one and seal a place in the final. They have posted a good score, but, the job is still half done. It is for sure going to be an intriguing battle. Fasten your seat belts.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Will the Pakistani team do a Phoenix?

There has not been much excitement in this ASIA CUP primarily because the IPL hangover refuses to die and also because India and Pakistan have played substantial number of matches so now an India and Pakistan game has become a 'one more' India Pakistan game, quite contrary to the hype that used to surround the games when these two teams used to play against each other once in a blue moon in the 90's. Team India has done fairly well against Pakistan in the last two years winning 10 matches out of 15.

Pakistan team has really looked out of sorts and with Umar Gul sidelined with an injury, the bowling attack is mediocre. The pakistan bowling doesn't look the same without the likes of Asif and Akhtar. Sohail Tanvir is maturing fast into a good international bowler, but nothing else even presents a trace of good news for the team. Their coach, Geoff Lawson, needs to take lesson on how to talk to people before ever thinking of coaching any team again. The way he tackled the Pakistani media after the loss to Srilanka was very rude, and not at all civil, and it clearly showed that the frustration of his incompetence of producing any good result with the Pakistani team spilled on to the media persons and they rightly boycotted the press conference. Shoaib Malik, I believe, for reasons more than one is not suitable for the post of captaincy. The assertiveness clearly likes in his captaincy as pointed out by the great Imran Khan. He is not backing himself enough, he needs to know that he is the captain of the team and the team will play and look like the way he wants to. Once you are the captain, you should forget who is the junior or who is the senior. He should take a cue or two from M.S.Dhoni's book in handling a team. Though I believe even if the Pakistanis are out of the tournament and if at all they want to change the captain(which they will, most probably), then, I don't think Misbah would be a great choice either for the same reason that he is pretty young in the international arena and giving the captaincy to him so early would not do him much good. I think an experienced campaigner like Younis Khan would make a good captain. Anyways, time would tell. Meanwhile, their ace allrounder Shahid Afridi hasn't fired at all. His golden duck against Sri Lanka in the previous game mirrored his batting performances in the past few months. It is imperative that he do something drastically miraculous in the remaining two games otherwise his time may well be up.

Pakistan's batting has looked good with Misbah, Younis Khan, Md. Yousuf and the skipper himself carrying some good form with the bat. However, it is their bowling which would be giving them. Their depleted attack against India's 'ready to rip off' any bowling attack in the world would be an interesting thing in today's match. Indian batting lineup looks a dream 20-20 batting squad and that is the way they have been playing of late. Gunning down 300 in 42 overs takes some doing. Also, with Adam Gilchrist out of the international arena, the opening combination of Gambhir and Sehwag looks easily the best in the world. Suresh Raina has been a revelation of sorts and one hopes that even if he bats with half the intensity he has been doing in Asia Cup, India may well have got a gem. But, its too early to comment, he started off with the same promise but faded somewhere in between, now the hope has been rekindled. Let's wait and watch.

If Pakistan lose this match, the whole configuration of their team may change. The Coach's term may be as well be over, the captain can be sacked, Afridi will have to make way for someone else. These are the major changes that one may expect given how fickle the decisions of PCB are. But, all these equations can be inverted if they pull off a victory against their arch rivals, and a good thumping against Bangladesh and with a stroke of luck, who knows they might be playing their final against Sri Lanka. Though, that is a bit far fetched. As of now, the Pakistan team is lying dead in dumps, nut you can never count them out. 1992 World Cup is just one of the tale of the Great Pakistani fightbacks. They are the most dangerous when they are almost dead. As a cricket fan, I want them to rise like Phoenix. Yet again.