Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Guzaarish… A Plea

Guzaarish is a passionate, tear-jerking and heart wrenching story of Ethan Mascarenhas (Hrithik Roshan), who is one of the most celebrated Magicians in Goa. Ethan is paralyzed with a serious spine injury and turns into a Quadriplegic, when Yasser Siddiqui, a Magician and Ethan’s best friend deceives him owing to jealousy.

A true fighter, Ethan bravely survives fourteen long years celebrating life with immense courage and an unfading smile on his face. He sets out to be a successful loved-by-all RJ hosting Radio Zindagi, and is no less than an idol for his listeners.

Aishwarya Rai, who personifies elegance, gracefully dons the hat of Sofia D’Souza, Ethan’s nurse since twelve years, who has been sincerely taking care of him. She forgoes her home, family and her almost-broken marriage, unaware of her silent yet deep love for Ethan.

Tired of living a life confined to the four walls, a bed and a wheel chair, Ethan urges his best friend and lawyer Devyani Dutta, portrayed by Shernaz Patel to file a petition requesting for Euthanasia or Mercy Killing.

Devyani and Ethan’s mother Isabel (Nafisa Ali), stand by his decision as they had seen him suffer enough all through the years and want his agony to end at once. Sofia and neurologist Dr. Nayak do not approve of this since they had saved and nurtured his life for so long, but later on back his decision for his own good.

Meanwhile, Omar Siddiqui, played by Aditya Roy Kapoor, a naïve young man approaches Ethan with a desire to learn magic from none other than the legend himself. Ethan agrees to pass on his magical prowess to him, in full awareness that Omar is Yasser Siddiqui’s Son.

Using Radio Zindagi as an aid, Ethan tries to gain people’s support in favor of his case. He calls it ‘Project Ethanasia’ and asks his listeners for a vote. Much to his disappointment, he learns that all his fans want him to live.

The truly imaginative Bhansali is at his aesthetic best when it comes to the splendid sets in his movies. Sets of Guzaarish are nicely embellished with rich yet sober play of colors. Alike Bhansali’s earlier works, Guzaarish is a musical. The film’s music also composed by Bhansali adds to its sublime beauty.

A lovely movie with an equally beautiful bunch of actors. Hrithik Roshan steals the show with his effortless portrayal of the character. Rajit Kapoor, who has also written the dialogues for the movie, plays the infuriated prosecution lawyer. Shernaz Patel was wonderful as ever. Newcomer Aditya Roy Kapoor also leaves a mark with his on-screen spontaneity and an amusing performance.

Guzaarish is magical, serene and full of life. Guzaarish... is a plea for death!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ek Ruka Hua Faisla...

Produced and directed by Basu Chatterjee, Ek Ruka Hua Faisla the Hindi remake of Twelve Angry Men, is a flick with a strikingly unusual plot. A Jury of twelve people from different professional and personal backgrounds is chosen to determine the fate of the accused, a boy in his late teens, who is held on the charge of his father’s murder.

The jurors are called on for the verdict on the grounds that they have no connection what so ever with anyone or anything involved in the case and hence making it easy for them to be fair and completely unbiased in their decision as there would be no personal profit or loss involved. They are supposed to remain in an enclosed room until consensus is reached on whether or not the accused is guilty.

Each juror due to varied reasons has his own opinion about the murder trial. One has a pre-conceived notion about the cadre of people who come from the same financial background as the accused. One is aloof and totally unconcerned about the outcome of the case since he wants to finish the job at the earliest, not to miss the movie starring his favorite actor. There is one disagreeing individual who is totally convinced that the young man is guilty due to personal prejudices. And there are others who are supportive and understanding.

All members of the jury, except one, strongly believe the accused to be guilty. That makes it Eleven Vs One. It is this one juror, played by K.K Raina (of Byomakesh Bakshi fame) who takes a rational approach from the very beginning and thinks that the young man should not be convicted in view of even a slightest visibility of his innocence. He analyzes the evidences and the testimonies provided by the witnesses in a truly analytical way without getting judgmental. Throughout the movie he stands firm on his belief and finally succeeds in convincing the other jury personnel one after the other that the young man is not guilty.

Amongst genuinely brilliant performances, Pankaj Kapur, who plays one of the jurors, takes the cake for his absolutely stunning performance. He stands out for his highly frustrated and angry mannerisms and proves to be a hard nut to crack. The reason for his firm stand though false, being his own heart touching story of his son leaving him a couple of years back after beating him up, which he reveals at the end.

Standing true to its title, the film succeeds in holding the suspense on the final verdict of the trial. Excellent screenplay coupled with truly apt and realistic dialogues. The film, not a Bollywood stereotype, is very well directed, with an extremely interesting and gripping storyline. It subtly displays how our personal biases rule the actions we take and decisions we make in our lives. It strongly brings out the significance of not being influenced by our prejudices before coming to a conclusion.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The City that never sleeps…

The City of Lights, as they rightly call it, completely awed us by its charm. There is never a dull moment in the city and could be easily regarded as the fun capital of the world. It’s just so amazing to see how the city manages to transform itself from the ‘any other city’ look to the ‘Woooow’ look as the day progresses into night.

To begin with, the Hotel we stayed in ‘Excalibur’ was simply fantabulous. It had a medieval look and Camelot Castle Theme. Each Hotel in the heart of the City, better known as ‘The Strip’ is based on a different theme viz., Luxor (Egyptian), The Venetian (Venice), Bellagio (Italian) and Caesar’s Palace (Roman) to name a few. We could not visit them all but from whatever we did; I must say all of them were exotic!!!

Being a veggie, food over there was a disappointment though. But yeah, a couple of times we did satisfy our taste buds at an Indian Restaurant called Tamba. Yum!

The Gandola Ride at the Venetian was majestically romantic ;) It was a small boat ride like the ones in Venice (remember the song? Do lafzon ki hai…dil ki kahani...). The magic and romance in the ambience multiplied two folds as our gondolier sang for us. Loved his songs! J

And oh my!!! The view from top of the Eiffel Tower Restaurant and the stratosphere swept us off our feet. Stratosphere is the tallest tower in the city, and the rooftop lays out the view of the dazzling city neatly covered with a blanket of lights. Phew! It is extraordinarily beautiful!!!

Musical fountains of Bellagio are mesmerizing. Madamme Tussauds, Titanic Artifacts Museum, Bodies – The Exhibition and Shark Reef Aquarium were a few other places that we visited. We’d also been to Fremont, a digital overhead street with glittery lights and music all around. All you can see there is lights and people. And all you can hear is loud music. The Fremont Street Experience is what they call it.

The FlightLinez ride at Fremont was a terrific experience. They harness you up and you gotta ride over the zipline from top of a 5 storey bldg moving across the street about half a Km long and land on top of a 2 storey bldg. Gosh it was so much fun!! Must confess I was really scared, but finally did it! Yippieee!!!

We majorly commuted by walk throughout the trip and the walking spree though tiring but equally exciting never seemed to end. At times we did travel by bus as well.

Last but certainly not the least: (The Moment of Truth :D) Did we gamble? ;) – Yes we did, but no luck. L

In Toto a real good, amazing, crazy, exciting and eventful trip. Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!