Gravity – A must watch movie

From the moment I read the Saturday review in Indian Express (by SL) to the moment I finished its review by one of the my-kind-of-movies experts (Harsh, a fellow movie aficionado and a friend), I had been making up my mind to watch this movie. And what made the experience even more exciting was that my wife not only readily agreed to watch it, she in fact went ahead and booked the tickets online too.

And those 90 mins inside the hall proved to be thoroughly enjoyable for too many reasons; it was my first 3D movie in a hall with special glasses – the scene where George Clooney reaches out towards the screen to catch that piece of equipment was breathtaking and when the debris comes flying at you, well, I did instinctively close my eyes more than once.

Direction gets the things going

Coming to the direction, Alfonso Cuarón has made his mark with this movie. Though his resume is pretty strong, but this movie will definitely be counted as one of his masterpieces. I loved this movie but the best compliment to him would be the fact that there were some very young viewers in the hall – 6, 8, 10 year old kids, and they all seemed to enjoy it. I think that speaks volumes about his abilities to bind his viewers to his cinema.

Acting is as good as it gets

About the actors, George Clooney does his thing once again. He is in control of the space walk, the scenes he is part of, and everything else out there. And the way he delivers the authority he is entitled to and is responsible for is just awesome. He lightens up the screen every time he comes in frame, even with his voice.

Voice, yes that is something Ed Harris has been most remarkable with in the Gravity. His intonation is fantastic considering he only had his voice to showcase his expressions and what a job he has done. Just enjoyed hearing him, talking and giving orders, bantering with Clooney, everything is done so amazing well that you kind of feel him walking, actually space walking right next to Clooney.

But like many of the people who have seen and been talking about the Gravity, it’s Sandra Bullock who walks away with the maximum credit. She is not a typical astronaut, she is a doctor on her first mission, she has performed terribly in her astronaut training, she has a difficult past, she gets to show most emotions (well her role is like that, unlike Clooney’s), and she has maximum screen time too (won’t disclose the reason). Who knows may be with this role she sees another Blind Side success in the world of Awards too.

I loved it, my wife loved it

Anyhow, Gravity has turned out to a really great movie experience for me. Those 90 mins just flew away with different kinds of gravitational forces (the phrase is actually wrong as far as Physics goes but I’ll take this liberty here) holding me and the entire audience in the hall down. My wife was pretty impressed and that’s a big compliment to the movie considering she doesn’t like English movies one bit.

And in the end I’d have to agree with the people who have been praising the movie, Gravity is a not to be missed movie. The experience of 3D and that too of space and that too when it involves space walking, is breathtakingly awesome and add to that some perfect direction, and outstanding acting – this one is a must watch and must be watched in a cinema hall only.

What ails Savdhaan India? – A Single Episode Case Study

Savdhaan India on Life OK is not only a fairly popular show on TV, it is also one of the few shows I end up watching (even if in bits and parts) on a decently regular basis. And the overly analytical viewer that I am when it comes to movies, advertisements and shows which come on TV, it is but normal that I have been troubled by this particular show Savdhaan India on so many occasions.

Can’t control myself, or can I!

My deepest analytical urges have been invoked every time I have switched on or surfed or glanced through this show. And that had always got a lot to do with the average to below average acting, throwing all kinds of statistics with questionable sources (like leading news paper, popular NGO, etc.), bad sets, at times horrible editing and above all shabby direction.

(PS: I understand and accept I am no authority on any of the areas involved and responsible for making a scene, serial or movie. I am just an overly analytical viewer, and that’s the way I like it, period.)

The Single Episode Case Study 

And the episode that I watched today Savdhaan India –Mumbai Fights Back, well, that’s become a Case Study for me (most of the reasons for that are not the ones listed above though most of all that was part of the show today as well) and I thought let me put some time, energy and thinking into it, and write about it too. So here’s the outcome (not to bother you with too much information, I’ll focus on parts relevant for the Case Study):

About the story covered in episode: It takes place in 2005 (year is critical to the Case Study), it talks about a dance bar, a cricket (critical to Case Study) betting racket and police using technology, i.e, mobile.

What’s wrong or out of place in the episode: Now, coming straight to the point(s), following is what I think is weird, out of place, incorrect and generates kinds of emotions like – are you kidding me?

  • Ailment 1: The dancers in the dance bar in the year 2005 are dancing to the tunes of Bollywood’s recent 2013 hit song “Pinky” from the movie Zanjeer.

Dear Producer/Director/Writer and Editor too, what is this guys? Come on, do this much of research or at least, don’t get this much carried away, play a less popular/unknown song.

  • Ailment 2: To hide the scores shown on the TV screen in the cricket match the guys are watching and betting on in the show, they have superimposed a message where the actual score was coming (left hand top of screen). The message says “HDMI”.

HDMI in TVs in India in 2005, don’t you think that’s a little ahead of time?

  • Ailment 3: The very enthusiastic Police inspector and wanna-be-trying-real-hard-to-copy-Suniel-Shetty-Nana-Patekar-Ajay-Devgan-in-a-single-scene actor, uses technology, i.e., “Nokia E63” mobile hand set to click pictures of suspects in year 2005.

Guys, Nokia lunched E63 in India in 2008, not before that I guess. But I have mixed emotions here as I also feel like giving you credit as going by my experience of watching Savdhaan India, it could very well have been a touch screen Android phone.  

  • Could be ailments: There were a few other confusing things, but I am not sure about the facts and don’t want to list the same has ailments. However, would be still mentioning these for information sake and for hoping for you (dear reader) to help throw more light on these if you can:
  1. The Umpire in the cricket match (ODI) is wearing red shirt and black trousers. Not sure when that was introduced, was it in or before 2005?
  2. Mumbai police are using Chevrolet Tavera, were they actually using these in 2005?


Today’s episode of Savdhaan India –Mumbai Fights Back and the focus of my Case Study was another subtle and a very strong reminder at the same time that all is not well with this show. It’s still quite popular, but come on Dear Producer/Director/Writer/Editor of Savdhaan India, adding a little bit of what is needed for a good show would be nice, right? And Dear Life OK guys, what’s going on, you guys not really worried about sustaining these TRPs if not improving or Devon Ke Dev alone doing enough for you?

Reach out to me, in confidence..

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Why should The Lunchbox go to Oscars as India’s official entry?

One of the more popular pastime activities for so many of us these days is the debate; why should The Lunchbox go to Oscars as India’s official entry? And then the next angle is, which is this movie that’s going as our official entry to Oscars. And the name of that movie is “The Good Road” (if you are a KBC enthusiast, this can be important information).

I saw The Lunchbox last Thursday. If you ask me, I think this movie is an experience, not just a movie. You go to the theatre, sit there, look at the screen, share its moments, join in the jokes, sit back and appreciate the smaller things in life and in the end realize that this is an experience that you can only experience.

The Lunchbox deserves to be sent?

But the question more pressing for us most, those who have watched and those who haven’t watched the Lunchbox is, why should The Lunchbox go to Oscars as India’s official entry? Well, the most common argument I have seen so far is, to put it simply- it deserves to be sent.

This can be a valid reason for some but can be flawed too for many more reasons for so many of us.

To me lots of things come to my mind like;

  • How did we arrive at The Lunchbox being the best movie or the most deserving movie for Oscars?
  • There are more than thousand movies made in a year in India, what about the rest?
  • Dear Milkha ji ran like a winner and won so many of those races, but didn’t even seem to start this one. Or decided to sit this one out?
  • I haven’t seen The Good Road, have you? Can’t call a dish bad without having tasted it.
  • I have seen so many of Big Names from industry talking and standing up for The Lunchbox, is this becoming ‘a’ if not ‘the’ reason?
  • When was the last time we had sent the right kind of movie? Or what is the right kind of movie after all?
  • How do we decide which movie should be sent? Should we send the best Indian movie as we see it to be, or the one we think the Academy members will like?

Who have been winning in the past?

I have seen quite a few Hollywood movies, a few Oscar winners and a bunch of winners in Foreign Film category. If I put some pressure on my memory I can think of some winners and nominees in the Foreign Film category like The Counterfeiters, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Lives of Others, Life Is Beautiful and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

These movies are all different and all very close to the world and culture these represent. And maybe that’s what made them stand out and emerge as winners too.

The Lunchbox could be or could not be the right one

The central theme of the Lunchbox is something that’s part of Mumbai’s culture and life – the dabbawalas. And I loved the way the dabbawala mentions Harvard in the end, almost casually to make his point.

The movie scores there.

The Lunchbox has few actors like the amazing Irrfan Khan, new comer Nimrat Kaur and they have all done justice to their roles. My personal favourite is Nawazuddin Siddiqui – his role has more dimensions then others. He laughs, he becomes irritated, he tries to be friendly, he tries to be smart, he gets little angry, he is happy, he is disappointed, he is elated. And in whatever small part he has got to play, he has done extreme justice to it.

The movie scores there.

Unlike most of Indian movies, this one ends on a very different note. The movie starts like a normal day in life which just gets interesting and it ends with a lot more interesting twist. I am not divulging more here since many are yet to see it, but that kind of end does extreme justice to the movie, since that’s how the life would be for many in that kind of a situation.

The movie scores there.

This can give many a brownie point to the Lunchbox but the nomination and eventual win is a function of comparison and it’s not justified to start worshiping one movie, start ridiculing others and then not even care of most.

To me, the Lunchbox is not just a movie but an experience but I am also cognizant of the fact that I may not be right in saying that this one deserves to be sent as India’s official entry to the Oscars. I am not sure what’s your take on it, but I would surely love to know.

Reach out to me, in confidence..