Sunday, April 22, 2007

Rajni Introduction Number

A neat review of the music for Thalaivar's eagerly awaited release - Sivaji The Boss.

My favourite excerpt.
"At some point, though, the most avowed rule-buster has
to bow down to hoary tradition, this being a Rajinikanth film after all — and
Rahman does that with Balleilakka, where Na. Muthukumar writes what are surely
the most iconic lyrics ever for that sub-genre of the Tamil cinema song
situation known as the Rajinikanth Introduction Number. (Would that acronym to
RIN?) "

Man! I cant wait to watch the film now...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Maradona and Other Heroes

A neat post by Soumya Bhattacharya in Cricinfo on Heroes and Hero Worship. I love the part which reads

"The late Alan Ross, poet, editor and writer, has the last word on this: ‘I believe that heroes are necessary to children and that as we grow up it becomes more difficult to establish them in the increasingly unresponsive soil of our individual mythology. Occasionally, the adult imagination is caught and sometimes it is held: but the image rarely takes root.’ "

Diego Maradona was the resident deity of the temple in my soccer mad soul. In those elder days archive footage of matches past was a rarity akin finding health food in rural Punjab. In the build up to Italia 1990 there was a show on DD featuring great WC goals and as a stripling lad with a bit of talent in Soccer I watched Maradona score THE GOAL in the 1986 WC quarterfinal. My inner self underwent a catharsis. Such outrageous talent I had never seen. In those days I would often cite my middle name as Armando. I would dream of playing like Maradona. For what it was worth I too possessed a mean left foot and probably still do. Perhaps that was my cosmic link with the great man. And how I cried when a lacklustre Maradona and Argentina lost a shoddy final in Italy. But the legend of the man had left its imprint on me. It has still not faded.

These past few years, watching Tendulkar, another resident deity, has been a sad making experience. And the immense Bullshit perpetrated by that T-Rex formerly known as the Indian media does not help either. The cynic in my adult brain wants to hate Tendulkar for all those moments of immense heartburn. And just as I get into that frame of mind the Child projectionist in the brain wakes up and puts on reel one. The image of Tendulkar opening for the first time against NZ in Auckland and scoring 82 in 49. I realize that with the exception of PG Wodehouse, SRT has given me more hours of unalloyed bliss than anyone else. And for that I shall remain a fanboy till the end of days.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Jo Jeeta Memories

Yet another absolutely pointless "long" weekend went whizzing by and I managed to reduce my backlog of things to do by minus five. Three days of inane channel surfing, excessive sleep and a re-reading of Terry Pratchett's "Making Money". All in all one of the better weekends Ive had in a while.

The piece de resistance though was a rerun of that "classic" Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar on Set Max that I managed to catch. Brought back a deluge of memories it did, and a smile to the old dial. Bollywood has a sketchy history when it comes to making movies on sporting matters. Most efforts have been dodgy at best, and almost universally cheesy. Awwal Number and Hip Hip Hurray aren't exactly what one would call inspirational films that capture the soul of sport.

In this context Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar was, in many respects, a first of its kind in Indian cinema, with its central premise revolving around the annual cycle race for boys in a fictional school setting. For a generation of kids who were in school during the early nineties, the film has almost a cult following. Moreover you would hardly find anyone who does not like the film.

And there is a good set of reasons for this. The film never takes itself too seriously and all the characters are rooted in reality. There are no stars. In fact the audience has more empathy for the character of Ratan (played rather competently by Mamik) throughout the film than for Sanju (Amir Khan) who is a bit of loser tending towards asshole. The music is refreshing and the acting just about competent to hold things together. It had everything in it that your average schoolboy/girl could relate to - Anti Establishment behaviour, sporting rivalry, sibling rivalry, a sexy minx, the sweet girl next door who doubles up as best friend,the achiever, the jerk and the demanding parent.

And the best endorsement for the film is that even now in 2007 it does not feel trippy (yes and that inspite of Deepak Tijori and Pooja Bedi) and Pehla Nasha still sounds like music to the ears.

It has it faults but bugger!! who cares. Amir changing gears at the last moment and pipping Tijori to post still retains its capacity induce gooseflesh.

The movie left me shouting gently to myself..sabse acche ladke kaun...veer bahadur ladke kaun....