Aug 24, 2016

Rustom | The corny movie review by Navin

Rustom - A movie whose sole premise revolves around salacious details of a crime and the way justice was maliciously subverted a few decades ago.

Akshay Kumar stars as Rustom Pavri, a highly decorated Indian Navy officer, who returns home to realise his young and gorgeous wife Cynthia Pavri (performed by Ileana D'Cruz) is in love with Vikram Makhija (Arjan Bajwa). 
Rustom goes on to kill Vikram and the plot start coagulating thereon. 

Akshay has always been prone to typecast. Until a decade ago, he used to play the almighty kung fu action hero. Perhaps age has forced him to choose movies that are factually incorrect, dramatised for maximum effect (aka Bollywoodised). He is the righteous protagonist, fighting for his ideals, is flawed but can't do any wrong, sleepwalks through much of this movie.

I found the movie painfully slow, with the scene where Rustom leaves Cynthia for London at the port being repeated at least 6 times (okay, we get it!), the subplot of the scam, the off-the-cuff insinuation that the Navy is corrupted all the way up, and adding the 36 minutes of songs in a 2 hour 30 minute movie, you tune out after the 3rd song. 
I thought the twists weren't masterly rendered. 
So while there has been considerable attention to detail which I liked, I found the errors in Akshay's uniform unpardonable. For a 'prop' that was used throughout the movie, did the movie-makers assume no one else would recognise the mistakes? A cursory google search will tell you about the many glaring technical, and factual errors in this movie.  So I'll spare you the litany here.
I think Illeana did a decent job. She played the remorse-filled, bored Navy wife sufficiently well.
Esha Gupta is eye-candy. She should probably take meatier roles so that she is not typecast in the future.
The courtroom drama was too predictable at times. 

Would I recommend it?
This is a celluloid version of The Blitz, the actual tabloid that created and swayed public opinion, at the time of K. M. Nanavati v. State of Maharashtra.
Like his previous movie - Airlift, many cinematic liberties have been taken. 
Prepare to unlearn facts you've read about KM Nanavati if you want to watch this movie. 

My rating: 5

What does the rating mean? 
0-4  : Not worth your presence in the same zip code as the TV/Theater.
5-7  : Err... the movie is pretty, but it's definitely missing something. A storyline, that is.
8-10: 'Drop-the-dishes, stop-the-sex, jaw-dropping, that-is-incredible' 2 hours of movie experience

Aug 19, 2016

An Open Letter to Shobhaa De

Dear Salacious Auntie,

Ok. It's been a while since I last wrote a scathing post and God knows I've resisted the temptation.
No More!

Shobhaa De! For a lady whose Wikipedia page describes as a columnist famous for writing juicy gossip about inane people and 'depicting sex in fiction', you do realise that you need to stay relevant and in the news, for any news is good news for you. Even ones that could paint a bulls-eye on your pale-skinned Indian bottom. 
And I appreciate the fact that you have been able to stay in the news. Bravo for that!
You did manage to get your name trending. Good Job! 
You are the shrivelled poster-auntie of SEO specialists. 
You are the dream of every C-grade 'actress' and 'have-beens' and 'well-trieds'.

Now, we know that you have taken on the mantle of the Great Indian Dream and declared yourself as the Saviour of Indian dignity, but your tweets are the literal equivalent of a half-digested, worm-filled turd that street dogs (sorry dogs, no offence) pass. 
When you said what you said in your now infamous tweet, you just expelled your half-digested, worm-infested turd onto yourself. 

Of course, you are partially correct. Not everyone makes a living like you do. 
Olympics is one of those sporting events that have retained its intent and glory. 
Olympics is the only arena that tests the best of the best. The only event where professionals compete with amateurs and only the best man or woman win. 
Olympics is the only sporting event which hosts more countries and their best athletes in more disciplines than you can possibly think of. 
Of course, I realise none of this matters to you, because if gossiping was an Olympic sport, you'd still not get past the heats. Pity!

Our athletes and sportspeople aren't going to get as many medals as the Chinese or the Americans. They probably will never get there in our lifetimes. And do you know why?
Its is because of people like you. 
It is because of people who hire people like you.
It is because of people who drool at your tweets.
It is because of people like you who would rather tweet about the problem than come up with meaningful solutions.

A couple of decades ago, there was a TV show on cable that showcased children who would train in a particular sport/discipline to compete professionally. 
While I can't remember the name anymore, I used to watch it religiously and marvel at the amount of training, dedication, the pain and the sacrifice they had to endure to become the best. While they were still children. I was astounded! 
Ofcourse, I was abroad at that time and my perception of how India was very similar to what yours is now. Childish, impish and immature. 
But having lived in India for the last 20 years, I've seen the struggles and the challenges, the fruit of victory and the pain of defeat closely.
As a college student, I've competed in swimming competitions and it was unscrupulously bureaucratic. 
Apart from the 1% of the athletes at the top, no one (and I repeat NO ONE) ever ever gets the respect they deserve, the support they need and the security they crave 
Indian sportspeople are a ridiculed lot. Correction: Barring cricketers, sportspeople from every other discipline are neglected and shunned. 
Read Arjun Chandur's answer to What if Michael Phelps was born in India? on Quora
Our bureaucracy and writers like you may not break bones, but you sure can break their spirit. 
And in case they do survive you and the bureaucracy, and make it to the Olympics, they will still suffer from our public apathy. Walk into any one of the SAI facilities in a city of your choice. You'll notice that they don't even have a decent working toilet. The facilities are less than international standards and the coaches, nevermind.

Don't be surprised if they can't make it to the quarterfinals. Be thankful if they do.
They have already surprised themselves by getting better than 50 other athletes who are the best in their country. 
If they do win a medal, any medal, celebrate them. Fete them for sure and when the party moves on, encourage them to grow and reach greater heights.  
If they don't win a medal, don't pounce on them because it wasn't their fault in the first place. They did give their best shot. Read Sportskeeda's answer to What is the "Vault of Death" and why is to so controversial? on Quora

We have never been a country who liked any other sport anyway. Olympics even less!
Heck, come to think of it, we are so confused about what sport to support. We think Hockey is our national game, but na. It isn't. Cricket is played by a handful of nations and we still manage to lose the World Cup!
Which leaves Kabbadi and well.. Chess. Neither of which are Olympic sports yet. 

See, Auntie, the problem is not them. The problem is clearly people like you. 
I challenge you to try a sport. Any sport. And excel in it. Get to the Olympics and get a medal. I dare you, double dare you. Nope. I know you won't. You can't.
It's far too easier for a lady who is long past her prime, to sit in that recliner and play thumb-wars with your tweet-happy fingers and ruffle people like me. 
It's easier to google for salacious pictures of Jwala Gutta and Sania Mirza than it is to go out and practice a sport 5 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Finally, to sum all this up, Auntie, in the words of The Rock 'It doesn't matter what you think... because you can take the batteries out of your smartphone, lube it up turn that sum bitch sideways and stick it strait up your candy ass!'.
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