Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Shakespeare is one person, who I think has touched more people around the world than the mighty British "Raj" itself. He had been prying in our lives since our school days. For me, the tryst with "bard" has been a trifle more than many. In my school, at 7th standard we had The Seventeen Tales of Shakespeare, next year we had play The Merchant of Venice in our curriculum, where we were introduced to literature's one of the most famous villain's Shylock. In our ICSE, we grappled with Julius Caeser in which we were told to "beware of ides of march" and "lean and hungry look". In ISC, we had the inevitable Macbeth, which is reckoned one of the four principal tragedies written by Shakespeare( other three -Lear, Othello and Hamlet). Macbeth stands out for the wildness of the imagination and the rapidity of the action. A real masterpiece.

So when I was told that Vishal Bhradwaj's MAQBOOL is the latest adaptation of Macbeth, I pounced upon it with both the hands. But the CD which we brought was a pirated one ;neither audio nor video was clear. However, a few weeks later , I saw it again on my comp at my office and to state the least , this movie should be watched for sheer performance and adaptation.

Now since it had been a long time since I last read Macbeth, the play or seen Macbeth, the movie, I was wondering whether I would be able to relate the events or not. But script writer Abbas Tyrewala and director Vishal conceptualized the characters and situations in a very innovative way. Analogies were brilliant, dialogues, narrative were engrossing.

Then there were stellar performances by the lead actors. Infact, casting itself was the half job done. Tabu portrayed the bitchy Lady Macbeth very efficiently through her controlled perfomance. Naughty, bold , scheming. She looked very convincing in every scene, barring the crying scene in the end where I guess she overdid it. Irfan Khan has grown leaps and bounds since his Chandrkanta, Chanyaka days. He is as brilliant here as he was in Hasil. His character, like that of Macbeth's under goes varying changes of emotion. From blind loyalty, to subtle, underlying greed, lust, rage, haughtiness and then guilt and realization of defeat in the end, he portrays every emotion brilliantly. He does all this with his big ,scary eyes. Particularly the scene when Pankaj Kapoor is making love to Tabu and Irfan is waiting outside. The pain in the eyes so palpable that it could be touched.

Pankaj Kapoor, in the role of King Duncan. Well what to say of him. He could be best described with what Om Puri says in the movie, "Kya actor hai Abbaji!!!". Just look at his eyes and accent in the movie. Those eyes which haunt Tabu and Irfan in the end, that accent which says "Gillaurian khaya kero miyan, is-sey zuban kabu mein rahegi". He has given the performance par excellence.

Banquo's character , the loyal lieutenant of King Duncan was portrayed by Piyush Mishra. He did a okayish job. I have seen him in many serials but don't remember him in any movie.

Now comes the most innovative part of the script. The witches. The witches who had ruined Macbeth, who along with Lady Macbeth had corrupted, captivated his mind. The witches characters were depicted by Om Puri and Naseerduddin Shah playing Inspector Purohit and Inspector Pandit, respectively. I loved the analogy. They are the ones who keep enticing rival parties to maintain "prakrati ka nium". In a way , they are the sootradhar of the movie.

As far as the songs are concerned, I liked the qawwali- "Rubru". Rest of the songs are okayish.

So you see this is not a typical underworld movie. There are no big guns booming, no tapori dialogues. This is an underworld, which speaks khalis urdu, with pure accent. It has been probably been shot outside Mumbai. A must watch movie if not already seen. You will kubool it.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

(Sad) State of Affairs

Too many sports posting, hope you don't mistake it for a sports blog. Here is something different.
When I see Mayawatis , Sonia Gandhis , Laloos , Rabris et al sitting at our heads, it reminds me of this quote. Gaur farmaiyega!
Nizam mein ab ek aisa bhi daur aaya hai, Jinhen peeney ka saliqua naheen, unhoone maikade ki hukoomat ko paaya hai


That's Roger Federer for you. His game is oh-so mesmerizing. Just saw his Wimbledon match yesterday. Memories of last year's Semi-Final and Final came flooding back. Just how he had demolished big servers Andy Roddick and Mark Philippoussis (they call him SCUD for his missile serves ), it can only be seen to be believed.

He has the grace of Stefan Edberg, which no body could fill since he departed Tennis scene. But unlike Edberg , he also has a controlled aggression . He is not wooden-face like Bjorn Borg . His service return and baseline game is Aggasique; on the net he has the same reach and reflexes as that of Pete Sampras. Despite all these qualities, he is very down-to-earth . He always looks in control of himself and his game. That's what you call a real champion. Hail the champion Roger!

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Monday, June 28, 2004

This guy has the balls to say this

"Good luck to them. While we're not allowed to do it in New Zealand, they're obviously allowed to do it over here. Our policy is to produce the best cricket wickets possible, not ones that suit the home team."
John Bracewell, New Zealand's coach, suggests that the recent Test wickets were tailored to suit England.

This has to be most blatantly shameless comment of the year. He has so conviniently forgotten what these guys served Indians in the name of pitch last year. When Indians complained, then this guy had said that Indian should learn to play in all sort of pitches. Well, a case of selective amnesia.

I disagree with Sunil Gavaskar when he says that English are the worst whiners of the game. In contemporary cricket, Kiwis top hands down. Even pugnacious Naseer Hussain looks happy-go-lucky in comparison.

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Well, to begin with it's over all a good movie, that is to say in absolute terms. But if you consider that it has been scripted by the one half of the legendry duo of Salim-Javed who have done together the masterpieces like Sholay, Zanzeer, Deewar, Trishul, KalaPaththar - it's not even a patch on them. Probably, Javed Akhtar missed the other half, Salim Khan. Or the 20 years gap between Lakshya and his last script writing attempt took its toll. This not to say that old man did a bad job, but that he could have done much better.

For his son Farhan , however , it was business as usual. He does a fine job. The direction, screenplay is slick, but you won't feel the same satisfaction as that of DCH. That's probably due to script itself which is has a lot of loopholes. It's seems to be hurriedly done.

To give an example, there is a place when Major Akbar (Sushant Singh) sees a photograph of Priety Zinta in Lieutenant Karan's(Hrithik) wallet and asks if she is his wife. This is stupid, 'cos an officer cannot marry unless he is a Captain. Also, there is no zing in the training. Those moments could have been made a little bit humorous even though it's a serious topic. That was so brilliantly done in Prahar. Also, Priety Zinta makes the decision to chuck out , both Hrithik and her fiancee too quickly. Her character was a bit patchy.

There are many other such instances, but good direction, breathtaking cinematography and above all brilliant acting by Hrithik makes the movie watchable. Rock climbing scenes are brilliantly done - looked like Guns of the Navorone stuff.

So overall a good movie, which could have been an epic war film, a trend setter like DCH, if the screenplay was also done by Farhan. Go watch it!

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Czech Mate

Literally, they have been doing this to their opponents since their first match in Euro. They have played attacking football and have been the only team to win all their matches and we have been told it's just a second string team. No way! They have provided a lesson to the teams like Italy, who didn't loose any match and Germany who didn't win any match and are out in the first round itself because of eschewing attacking game.

An interesting piece of comment was made during Dutch-Swede Penalty Shoot-Out. When a Swede missed their first penalty after kicking the ball over the top bar, Commentator said he "Beckhamed" it. That was a good one as Beckham seems to have trademarked it, missing last three penalties in similar fashion. It's been a big fall since his last trademark -"Bend it like Beckham".

Saturday, June 26, 2004


Defending champions France's tour in Euro Cup, just like their Group A partner England's , well and truly ends here. Both asked for it. Not at all inspiring play from both of these. While the England-Portugal match tempo picked up into the second half , France-Greece's match was listless. If anything, Greece played much better. They attacked well in first half and defended well in second.
I feel disappointed 'cos I won't see of Zidane in Euro anymore. Feel the same for Rooney. Just the other day I had predicted to a friend that winner will be amongst France , England or Czech. Two of them are out. Will tomorrow be the Czech's turn. But then, I had also added that Football is more unpredictable than Cricket. No more soothsaying now on.
Go Euro Go!

It's not fair..

It's not fair. At first, it's a saturday, then a lovely weather and over and above that you have tickets for a movie( Lakshya). So far so good. But hold it, you have to report to work because your boss tells you a day before. It sucks. And it's not at all fair!

It's infectious

Yes, like SARS, blogging is indeed infectious. Couldn't resist it any more. So all the dear citizens of the Net, here I come. Mark this day, June 26th, 2004. My first blog!!