Saturday, January 20, 2018


ख़याल-ए-मजबूर है हम और आप भी मजबूर
बेक़सूर रेहकर भी क्यों है, एक दूजे से दूर 
जुदाई का आलम कभी तो ख़तम होगा ज़रूर 
दुआ है बस इतनी की फिर एक मुलाकात हो आप से जान-ए-हुज़ूर 


मन में जो है, जब वो लफ्ज़ बनजाये तो राहत है 
जब कोई उन लफ़्ज़ों को ईमान से सजा दे तो वही जन्नत है 
हर लफ्ज़ में ख़ुशी पाऊ यही चाहत है 
हर लफ्ज़ किसी और को जन्नत दिलाये वही मेरी मन्नत है 

वक़्त नहीं

सवाल इतने है पर जवाब जान ने का वक़्त नहीं 
कोई हमे इस उलझन से बचाये, ये दुआ करने का भी वक़्त नहीं 
करे तो क्या करे, कहे तो क्या कहे 
लिख रहे है कुछ और इसे समझाने का वक़्त नहीं 
भागम दौड़ी ज़िन्दगी है, कुछ बया करने का वक़्त नहीं 

Monday, January 15, 2018


This is really good cinema. The silver lining strikes again but this time with strong punches.

In most of my reviews, I call Anurag Kashyap as “Silver Lining of Bollywood” and he proves it again with “Mukkabaaz”. Last year there was a film on Boxing that is “Saala Khadoos” and we also had a good film on Wrestling as “Dangal”. Both of them had their own flavor but this film has the touch of one and only Anurag Kashyap. This film is not a success story. I never expect one from Kashyap as that is not his forte and I don't expect him to give us a biographical success story either. Even if he gives us a biography, it would be dark and raw.

The film is set in Uttar Pradesh and it has the flavors of Bareilly and Banaras both being blend well. The dialect, the body language of the people, the office environment everything is authentic and it's heartening to see the lower middle-class environment come to screen without any frills or drama.

The dialogues are amazing and the acting is sublime. Zoya Hussain nailed it as a dumb girl while Jimmy Shergill played the strong villain with ease and terrific body language. Ravi Kishan was brought in more so because of his background rather than his Boxing skills and he played his part well. Above all, the film belongs to Vineet Kumar Singh who played the role of Shravan Kumar Singh. I see a connection as he was born in Banaras and there seems to something to do with his nomenclature as well.  Vineet is terrific and true and I hope he will be an actor who will take Indian cinema many notches up. I appreciate Vineet's dedication and his writing ability as he is one of the co-writers.

The technical departments are all in great form and everything was coherent. The lyrics match the visuals and the sound matches the scene and that was amazing. The sound is what is terrific in all Anurag Kashyap films and this film is no different. Anurag amazes me each time with the choice of soundtrack and I love it.

Anurag Kashyap literally spits on politics in Indian Sports with this film. Although this is his most clean film, he showed how people are being falsely accused and beaten up for having cow meat, how casteism is in ruining our country and how the power of caste is being used. I loved the way he sarcastically used the line “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” - just loved it I would say. He basically knocked it out of the park with strong punches. I hope this film opens up eyes to Sports Federations and Authorities and they weed out the politics from the system and give us true champions.

Salute to all patriots of the nation and to all the sports lovers in the country. I hope this country learns it's lessons quickly and starts building infrastructure and becomes a great nation by acknowledging the true talent and giving opportunities for all those who aspire to make it big. We shall then be great winning awards and medals in International events like Olympics.

Loved the dialogue "Sapnon pe hag chuke ho, ijjat pe moot chuke ho, ab mooh pe thook do!!!" the sprinkling of humor is blended in the language itself than being forced in and that is organic.

A 4/5 for another gem from the man who makes cinema for cinema's sake. I doubt if this will be winning any awards or any monetary rewards but this is a must watch for those who love authentic Indian cinema.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

न मंज़ूरी

मोहब्बत तो ज़ाहिर था उनका, पर उन्हें इश्क़ मंज़ूर नहीं था 
मसरूफ़-ए-इश्क़ का कोई ज़िक्र क्यों करे जब वो मशहूर नहीं था 

एक शम्मा जला

एक शम्मा जला  आग़ाज़ की आस में 
रोशन करने इस अंधेरी दुनिया को 
जल जल के बुझने लगा तेल की प्यास में 
किसी ने परवाह न की उस शम्मे की इस दुनिया में 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

MCA (2017) - TELUGU

A mediocre film peppered with commercial elements.

It has nothing new to offer except that the protagonist is clashing with the villain not for his heroine but for his sister in law. There is a hero, a villain, songs with the heroine and a family the hero must save.

I liked performances of Sai Pallavi and Nani, and there is nothing much I can say about other aspects of the film.

I am not happy to be ending the year with this film. This year has been a good year for Telugu Films as we got films as varied as a commercial blockbuster like"Bahubali 2" and a content-driven film like "Arjun Reddy".

Overall, an average film with laughs few and far in between. A 2/5 for this. 

Monday, December 11, 2017


A film for the horror lovers and a one made with standards higher than typical Indian horror film.

I am happy to have seen the film, although I do not watch or even like to watch horror flicks. I do not like horror films because they are basically illogical, they do not have anything to give the audience (except a few thrills and scares) and you do not want to take fear home from the theatre. So I have many a time avoided watching horror films. This year, I watched a few and among all those, I rate this film highly.

The ghosts are shown explicitly and unabashedly at free will right after 20 minutes into the film, we see the ghosts coming every now and then. They have been peppered all over the film and the writer or director did not hold back in any way to do a build up before the big bang. That is appreciable because they did not manipulate the script and they went with their gut and their courage and belief in their script must be appreciated. Despite, too much of ghost, the film was scary and thrilling and that is where the points were scored.

Technically, this is a much better film and the backdrop, the cinematography, the lighting, the art direction and the editing everything gelled well to make a good product. I liked the editing too especially the first half which was a breeze.

Siddharth is back with good content films which is what I thought after viewing this film. I also heard there would be sequels to this and hearing that I was disappointed because I am worried if at all, the sequels would live up to the high expectations set by this film. If they want to make it a franchise, all the best for them but their sequels may not have me as a viewer.

This film is one-time must watch but as many horror films, this also has a very low re-viewing value and that's why I may not see the film again. Having said that, it's a terrific experience in the theatre. So go watch it in theatre is what I recommend.

Of all the technical aspects, I loved the sound design and I am sure that aspect will win many awards in coming days.

It's a good horror flick that will satisfy the nerves of this genre fans. A 3/5 for this.

NOTE: This is a trilingual made in Tamil as "Aval" and in Hindi as "The House Next Door" as I watched it in Telugu, I named it accordingly.

Monday, November 27, 2017


A terrific film that reminds us "Never Forget Family".

Pixar takes the bar higher each time and "Coco" is no different in that sense. Technically, emotionally and cinematically, the bar is set very high. I came out with a feeling that I must be back at the theatre again to watch this and also, very happy to be flowing tears at the end as they came out effortlessly.

Pixar's original films (not all sequels) generally take me on a philosophical ride and leave me there with a lot of food for thought. "Coco" once again touched those philosophical chords and made me remember my grandpa and grandma with whom I used to play when I was a child.

This film is set in Mexico specifically for a purpose. In Mexico, they celebrate "Dios De Los Muertos" that is the day of the dead. I have been in Mexico in 2010 and experienced the celebrations as a witness then. I was surprised by their family values and their belief system. I was not convinced then, how will spirits come and visit us. Although, it's a topic of faith and it depends on each individual, but I swear that for many many individuals who question faith also put family first and stick together as a family. This film is certainly about family than about faith. Faith is only a path to be good and do good. As long as there is Goodness in faith, it is fine.

Technically, PIXAR has again given us the best-animated film of the year. With 2017 nearly ending, I doubt there would be another animated film that is as good as this.

My vote goes for "Coco" go watch the journey of Miguel and yes, family first. A 5/5 for this.

Monday, November 20, 2017



“The Virtue of Selfishness” begins with these lines in its introduction

The title of this book may evoke the kind of question that I hear once in a while: “Why do you use the word ‘selfishness’ to denote virtuous qualities of character when that word antagonizes so many people to whom it does not mean the things you mean?” 
To those who ask it, my answer is: “For the reason that makes you afraid of it.”

Ayn Rand wrote those lines and this book is not about selfishness in the conventional way “we” use or think about the word— selfishness. I must agree that we as humans have a high judgmental tendency to form and adapt things according to "us" that is our way of looking at things, perceiving them and applying them and in a similar vein, we applied this to language and thus I believe the word "selfishness" became an antagonizing word.

We live in a world where we love labels. A girl and boy cannot be together without being labeled as "couple" yeah they either have to be boyfriend-girlfriend or get married, without which the world is confused. The society is actually like a kid who is shown a fruit and if the fruit is not given a name, then he is confused. So we got to be labeled "single" or "married", "Hindu" or "Christian" or some other religion or even "atheist". Yeah, the world loves labels and when someone questions the existence of labels the world freaks out. Thus, when the book is named as "VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS" I heard many people asking me the question why I am reading it in the first place and some suggested I should keep myself away from such demeaning thought process and for that very reason, I read the book. 

I am recently hearing a lot of religious factions propagating their own things and in all ways and means, I am afraid that I do not seek nor heed to the conventional thinking of practicing idol worship or any symbolism per say. Although, I do perform some minimal rituals I do not do them for any ritualistic orgasm more so for the people who feel happy when they get to know I do it. So I am "selfish" but not "selfless" as per my ethics, my happiness lies in others happiness and not in any ritual. So there lies the answer for the need of ethics. 

The book began wonderfully with the chapter "The Objectivist Ethics" and explains why ethics are an objective necessity against a subjective luxury. 

I quote from the book 

The avowed mystics held the arbitrary, unaccountable “will of God” as the standard of the good and as the validation of their ethics. The neo-mystics replaced it with “the good of society,” thus collapsing into the circularity of a definition such as “the standard of the good is that which is good for society.”

Also, I subscribe totally to this paragraph

It is not men’s immorality that is responsible for the collapse now threatening to destroy the civilized world, but the kind of moralities men have been asked to practice. The responsibility belongs to the philosophers of altruism. They have no cause to be shocked by the spectacle of their own success, and no right to damn human nature: men have obeyed them and have brought their moral ideals into full reality.

So, the world that we live in is filled with the terrorist of all sorts and they are not amoral but their morals are different and challenging and the responsibility lies with the philosophers than the executors of the acts. 
Thus, I believe this book although written in 1964 resonates even today and I firmly believe that Rand's philosophy is applicable to the current times.

In the next chapter that is "Mental Health versus Mysticism and Self-Sacrifice" that is written by Nathaniel Branden, he totally condemns the thought of self-sacrifice. When a mom says "I sacrifice my time to get my kid ready", then the question that triggers is does she want to be a mom who readies her kid or is she forced to do so?

From the book, I quote 

Do mystics declare that all they demand of man is that he sacrifices his happiness? To sacrifice one’s happiness is to sacrifice one’s desires; to sacrifice one’s desires is to sacrifice one’s values; to sacrifice one’s values is to sacrifice one’s judgment; to sacrifice one’s judgment is to sacrifice one’s mind—and it is nothing less than this that the creed of self-sacrifice aims at and demands.

Okay now I will stop quoting from the book, I already gave away 3 paragraphs and giving away anything more would not do justice for a book that is worth not just buying and reading but also keeping and referring frequently.

Ayn Rand is ruthless is making her point from start to end. She never gets carried away from the context and makes her point firmly and that is what is amazing about this book. Never did I feel out of place or context. 

The essays “Psychology of Pleasure”, “Man’s rights” are sheer genius. Although the former was by Nathaniel Branden and the latter was by Ayn Rand herself, they are extremely well written. Every essay has its coveted place and overall flow of the book is terrific.

Despite the bluntness, if read with a rational mind, this book would be acceptable and will be appreciated as one of the finest books on philosophy and selfishness along with Rand’s another book “Philosophy: Who Needs It”

She is one of the best writers of the 20th century and by far the most influential in my life. 

A 5/5 for this wonderful book.

My review of "Philosophy: Who Needs It"

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


A flick that cannot be missed.

It gave me thrills and chills that were worth every moment. Although the film is driven mostly by conversations between cops, the anticipation of what action will those conversations lead to was higher. This is an action film that is layered with the desires of characters.

This film is a satisfying, engaging inspection of the drug war with no specific format/rules, driven by superb performances. Benicio Del Toro is one of my favorite actors and he has done a superb job here. I saw Emily Blunt for the first time and I was totally taken aback by her meaty performance. Kurt Russell played his part nonchalantly and a true professional. Others did their job meticulously I must say. Even the Mexican kid who hardly comes for a shot did so well that I was convinced that all the action was real. Nothing feels staged or rehearsed. Kudos to director Dennis Villeneuve for making this film this way.

The opening scene begins with a capture trial and ends with an explosion, from that moment on the film was set to be driven by intensity. There is hardly a dull moment in the film and to say the least, most of the film was riveting. Screenplay by Taylor Sheridan is terrific. It leads from one scene to another beautifully and finally ends in a real conflict. Even the last shot, where a kid is waiting for his father to return had something to say.

Cinematography by Roger Deakins was spectacular. Yes, the scenes, they can be on road, in a tunnel or a conversation between characters, it was all done neatly and the camera never missed a beat. That's what made me engage more into the film. The sound design was par excellence, the shootings, the talks, the silence, everything was designed to drive the emotion. The technicalities are driven by emotions which in turn are driven by the film itself. And this immersion of each department into the film made this film special.

Of all, I loved Benicio Del Toro in the film. A 4/5 for a powerful film on drugs, cops and more.

Friday, November 10, 2017


A film that will stand as a cult based on many good things.

The screenplay is wonderful, the music is good, the acting is sublime and the story was brought out well in a realistic and convincing manner and all the way through, it was entertaining. What else do you look for in a movie? This movie ticks all the boxes almost perfectly and I am happy to have watched this. My wife and I watched this together and after the film was over, I thanked her a lot for having shown this gem.

Nivin Pauly, Dulquer Salman, and Parvathy are the stars of the film for me and they have done justice to their roles in a wonderful way. Also, each one's profession was different and yet friendship kept them united, this theme was wonderful too. All friends generally don't end up in a similar profession most of the times and in that aspect, the film was realistic. There is an IT professional, a corporate executive, a biker and also a Radio Jockey. Oh, so many lives are entwined wonderfully and each has their importance and their space in the script. There is nothing to take away from anyone and each one has done their part well.

The taking of a film is something that can be studied to understand how multiples stories can be knit together beautifully and more so believably.

A 4/5 for a memorable film.


A disappointing film for me and as I did not find anything worth taking back from the film.

It's a Pawan Kalyan film that is neither entertaining nor conveying a message. It was a lackluster attempt to show something. Now this 'something' is something only the makers would know. 

There is nothing worthwhile that I remember from the film. I watched this on the release day in the theatre on 24th March 2017. Had I written my review then, I would have put more rants more but then, I resisted as I did not think this movie was worth my review. Nevertheless, I put this one out to stick to my discipline of reviewing whatever I watch. 

A 1/5 for this powerless PowerStar film.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


A film that is disappointing, to say the least.

I did not like it for many reasons and the top-most would be manufactured climax and the relationship of the protagonists. I could not fathom few aspects of the film. An alcoholic policeman is not murdered and we are put in a delusion of someone doing as big a crime as murder in the initial few scenes and later on, it turns out, that just a hand has been cut. I was shocked and felt awful by the end as I spent nearly 90 minutes in hope that something bright would happen.

I saw the film with expectations, it is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, it was directed by Lasse Hallstrom (I loved his Hachi) and that made me think, I am going to watch a breezy romantic film. Alas, I did watch a manufactured rather fractured romantic set-piece set in some village which I am not sure exists in today's times. The whole set up looked very artificial and it did not gel with my thought process. Most things seemed unrealistic right from the beginning. The climax was like the last nail in the coffin that made me dislike the film in totality.

A 1/5 for this, can't give more and can't say more either.


A psychological thriller that tested my brains and ended with a puzzling scene.

What has a tarantula got with the brain of a man I didn’t get it. It could be an allegory, a metaphor or a hallucination but I was not so convinced by its use as a symbol. Nevertheless, this was a crazy film. The craziness lay in the silence, it is spread in the minds of the characters than anywhere else. That craziness rubbed off on me as a viewer too. By the end, I was astonished by what I have seen for nearly 90 minutes in my life. 

The movie was surreal and also concealed. It had a beautiful wrapping of reality in the imagination of a man and that’s what made this film engaging. The movie moved at a very leisurely pace as if to go the viewer's space to think. Yes, there was hurry whatsoever shown in the film and that adds to the brilliance of the film rather than pulling it down. 

Denni Villeneuve is a wonderful director with a terrific body of work till date. This film made me understand why he is one of the most sought directors. I loved “Prisoners”, “Arrival”, “Sicario” and now this film too.

Technically, the film is brilliant. Although it’s a 2013 film, we don’t see smartphones or any high tech gadgets. There are mobile phones though, now that made me think that the film is set in 2000’s but not later than 2010 perhaps. So putting such questions into viewers head is an achievement pulled off. 

I always felt a great film is a one that will trigger a debate rather than just putting it’s point across well. This film has certainly triggered thoughts and I am happy about it. 

As of now, I couldn’t figure the film. The film perhaps is about one man living with his pregnant wife who has his doubts or maybe it’s about two guys who are exactly same. I don’t know what it really is but whatever it is, this was nice but it gave a lot of work to my head and it was a happy headache. I can just take a cue from the poster and say that this film is about what happens in a man's head.

Respect to Jake Gyllenhaal for his portrayal and conviction in the film. He is a superb chap who does the job if given a challenging role. There were two challenges given and he handled both superbly.

A 4/5 for this film. It's viewing has drained me for sure, yet it has been rewarding.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


An extremely tragic and an important film that's realistic with a terrific performance by Al Pacino.

This is a film about a bank robbery with nearly 90% of the film being set within a bank. Yet the film is very engaging and enjoyable. Thanks to the terrific screenplay and direction by "Sidney Lumet" and to the sublime performances by all, especially Al Pacino as  Sonny. This film is based on a true incident and the depiction of the incident is extremely real. I felt as if there is no drama in the film at all and the element of drama was derived from the circumstances, the action, and reaction for each nuance. The film is extremely detailed to the point that we live with the characters and get to know almost everything about them in about.

The editing of the film must be given credit for giving the viewers time to get in sync with the characters. Although the film felt long in the initial 30 minutes, once it started to sink, the film was a breeze and by the end it was striking. The end was known right from the beginning but to get there with a lot of engaging moments peppered is a job well done.

A lot of credit to the art direction team, who did a tremendous job in setting up the bank. It was perfect in all ways and I could see how a bank in 1972 functioned and what things they used, how each one is placed and how each one's desk is set up too. I was in awe of the set all through the film.

This is a film for the actors and Al Pacino having proven his proficiency through "The Godfather" and few other films were the right choice for the film. The casting was bang on and Sonny could not be played better by anyone else is what I firmly believe now.

This is one of the great movies that will stand the test of time and will be important for many generations to come. I am going with 5/5. Thanks, Sidney Lumet for giving us another masterpiece.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


This "story of an egg" is one that is a must see. This is bald and beautiful. A film that is extremely realistic and also makes it’s point beautifully.

Ondu Motteya Kathe literally translates to "Story of an Egg" and it's the story of a bald-headed man who is referred to as Egg.

There is nothing much I can wrong about the film except the length perhaps. It’s a very competently made film considering that it’s a debut film of the director. The director acted Raj B Shetty also acted as the protagonist and I respect him a lot. He pulled off something that is challenging and he did it subtly and without much ado and drama. I salute him for his way of handling the subject so well. The emotions are real and I suppose they echoed so well with me and if there is a reason that the emotions went down so well is that they are universal.

There are very emotionless moments in the film. All through the film I was either crying or laughing or feeling something, that implies there was never a dull moment and that is what makes this simple screenplay even more enjoyable. The songs were made in a context and I did not find anything out of place in the film.

Also, I must say this is one the best tributes to late "Rajkumar", the director put his faith in Rajkumar and it worked wonderfully. Rajkumar indeed was a character through his songs, speeches, and scenes from old films. Each of that innuendo was apt and it comes at the right moment. One point, when our hero asks a question, Rajkumar is silent even that I felt was so apt. Sometimes we can't seek any help and we need to explore our own life and belief in our own path. This message was told in a nuanced way that I was taken aback and rejoiced the moment.

There are many wonderful moments in the film right from the beginning to the end and to enjoy all of those and more, watch this film. I am happy to have seen this. Oh, I must thank my friend Raghuveer's brother in law Charan who showed me the trailer and intrigued me into watching the film. A deserved 4/5 for a well-executed indie film. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017


A smart, sweet and clean film that deserves a viewing.

Watch it for the clean and straightforward performances by Anne Hathway and Robert De Niro. More so for De Niro who plays the title role as "The Intern" and is extremely poised. He carries the film firmly on his strong shoulder and delivers pretty well. I can understand how the life of an entrepreneurial woman can be and mind you, this film is directed by a woman.

Director Nancy Meyers has a decent filmography, she was the one who gave a lovable "The Holiday" earlier and a good "What Women Want" earlier in her career. I must admit that I find Nancy Meyers as an accomplished and a well-updated director. The use of technology in the film and how she balances the old mindset with values with the fast-paced generation yet similar values is worth a mention.

I was bought into the film with the sincerity of the actors and apart from the main leads, I loved the kid "Paige" who is the daughter of Anne Hathway. The kid is cute, lovable and so terrific. I hope to see more of her before she grows up.

The casting was good and all the technical departments were decent. I cannot say that I loved but I confess I felt good at the end and it was yeah, a pretty likable film. For that, a 3/5.

Monday, October 23, 2017


Nature Unedited. Natural Blue captured as it is at Samarlakota, East Godavari (Konaseema), AP, India.


Just as the sunset, colors bloomed in the sky. A worthy memory from Lamma Island, Hong Kong.


Fountain and Fire captured at Ocean Park, Hong Kong. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017


A film with good intentions and executed well.

There are a lot of films with a similar theme and they also end predictably but only few capture a place in our hearts and this film is one the heart capturing film. The content, the context, and the conflict are all on predictable lines yet the performances are heart winning and the girl Zaira Wasim has conquered mine. This is a superb follow up to her performance in "Dangal" and I sincerely thank Aamir Khan for giving us another heartful film. 

Aamir Khan is the only actor in the Hindi Film Industry who gives extreme importance to content before producing them. I must say, since Lagaan, I have watched each one of his productions and barring "Delhi Belly" I have liked all the films. He has a taste that is above par all his contemporaries and he knows how to narrate and his passion for perfection just keeps him going and as an audience, it helps me watch some great films. 

This film is good overall but the melodrama makes it stretched and tad lengthy. At least 10-15 minutes less would have done a world of good and made this film an amazing experience is what my personal opinion is. On the flip side, if anything was cut, then the conflict, the nourishment of ambition would not have been so well established. Overall, first half was stretched and the second half was a breeze (thanks to Aamir Khan's presence in the second half).

Aamir Khan as "Shakti Kumaarr" (double A and double R) has the swag that is needed for the character. He is an actor who can carry any role with great ease and style and he does the same as "Shakti Kumaarr". Just another feather in his cap, this special performance would be. Despite the presence of Aamir Khan, it's the performances of Meher Vij as "Nazma" and Zaira Wasim as "Insia" that have stolen my heart and my appreciation to them. Zaira is just 15 and she has a bright future ahead. 

This film is a musical and thanks to Amit Trivedi and the young singer Meghna Mishra. Amit has given us some wonderful music in the past and he continues to do so. Meghna is a great find and she has an amazing voice that complemented the performance of Zaira wonderfully. Thanks to Amit Trivedi for giving us few songs that shall be on my playlist.

A memorable debut by the director Advait Chandan and I hope he keeps churning and delivering such inspirational stories in his career further.

A 3/5 for a good and a memorable film. 

Friday, October 20, 2017


A conventional event of elections told in a straightforward realistic way that not only provokes but convinces that a change is needed.

Acting is above par and extremely realistic in the film which made the film engaging. Watching and appreciating the actors was an involving experience in itself. The issue was handled in a realistic and non-dramatic way which may put off the conventional film-going audiences but that non-conventional approach was what made the film special.

The sound design is worth a mention. There is little background music and mostly silence and yet it was extremely effective in conveying the mood. The cinematography is actually pretty decent considering the subject and also the scale of the project. Editing is terrific I must say, there is never a dull moment in this 105-minute film and given the limited scope, it's a job well done. The dialogs hold up pretty well and there is dry humor sprinkled all over the film. Above all, it is the performances and the straightforward screenplay that take the accolades.

I have loved Rajkumar Rao in "TRAPPED" earlier this year and I have loved him as "NEWTON" now. Let me give a spoiler (from the trailer itself), his actual name is Nutan Kumar and he has changed it to NEWTON. Rajubir Yadav brings his experience and subtlety needed to his role and he has sung a song too. Anjali Patil the only girl in the camp does a fine job. But it is Pankaj Tripathi who has bowled me over with his performance as an Army officer. Others were good too.

Amit Masurkar is a director to watch out for in the coming years and thanks to the guys who chose to produce this film.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017



Before I begin ranting about Apple and it's products let me confirm that I am a consumer of APPLE products and found my love for APPLE began in 2008 with iTunes. Till 2012 or even 2014, I loved APPLE products but since then my rants about APPLE began. In this blog, I would mention a few that I have been assimilating since over a month of the last APPLE KEYNOTE on Sept 12th 2017

I have witnessed the unveiling of the latest products from APPLE this Sept 12th and I must say I am not surprised and more so disappointed with Apple despite being an Apple fan. Apple is diversifying a lot more in technology and thus losing homogeneity of the products. Here is my list of qualms which I hope somebody in Apple takes note of

1. Apple Watch - Super happy that Cellular connectivity has come the Apple watch but a question on when can we track Gym (strength exercises) sessions on the watch. As far as I know we can still only capture and track the Cardio session like walking, running or even swimming in the watch. Till the capturing of all the activities happen. Apple watch is not worth a buy.

2. Apple Health - now that I put my qualm about watch. Let me put out my crib about health app integration. It's understood that perhaps there are not enough sensors to track strength activities but there are apps where we can track and log our workouts. I hope that these are logged into the health through application integration and the respective calories burned are shown. But when would Apple do that, I doubt atleast in 2-3 years it will not be done. Till then full bloom use of Apple Health app is just a myth.

3. Unified ID for unlocking please - Before iPhone X, there was just touch id for unlocking the phone. But now we have face ID from iPhone X and this adds to the concern we have for macs. Very recently unveiled macs (from 2016) have touch id within them and with face ID seeing the light of the day, will Macs be updated with face ID too. This won't happen till 2018 October at least. Now this seems kind of redundant to me. A technological change in one platform should be cascaded to other platforms as soon as possible. I won't say I am disappointed that Apple took away my beloved touch id from the iPhone X totally. Perhaps "The future of smartphone" doesn't need a touch for unlocking but it's not in the DNA of apple to hang on to old technologies while moving to a new one. Their transitions have been radical and that's what makes Apple. So request to have a unified way of unlocking on all platforms (iPhones, iPads, Watches, Macs) as soon as possible.

4. Unified port for all the products and accessories - there can be one or two kinds of ports for the company to have it's own ecosystem but not three or four please. "USB-C" port received a lot of push since the launch of Macbook 2016 and there is the proprietary "Lightning" port for the iPhones, iPads, Airpods etc.. and these two ports should be what Apple should stick with and eventually make "USB-C" as the only port across all products and accessories but that's not what Apple seems to want or try. Instead it is keeping the "Micro USB" port alive on it's beats accessories and many supported MFi chargers. Then, there is USB-A still alive on iMacs (I hope to see this changing in 2018). Request Apple to give the push that pushes the whole industry standard rather than living with the obsolete (unwanted) ports. There is some core Apple philosophy that I see missing in keeping these legacy ports alive. No more USB-A to lightning cables please only USB-C to lightning cables.

5. About Apple TV 4k - One question is why no support to Dolby ATMOS. How is it justified that we have a great video but no great audio support. Not done Apple.

6. Apple Music - I don’t like the fact that lyrics will be seen only when there is WiFi or mobile data. When I downloaded the song and have it as offline then why is there is still a need to be on data to see the lyrics of the song. Just illogical.

These are my top rants about Apple and there a few more

a. Why cant I add location services in Control Center
b. Why can't I use find my iPhone when the location services are off.
c. Why is it not so easy adding cricket matches/sports events to a calendar as compared to google calendar
d. Why can't I customize tap controls on Airpods (yeah, Apple's latest innovation) rather than double tap default controls.

The list is on and I hope Apple fixes them sooner than later.

Thursday, September 21, 2017


Rajat Kapoor's 'What's Done Is Done' is Macbeth without bloodshed and full of laughs

About The Play: This is William Shakespeare's Macbeth set in a world of clowns.

Language: English
Cast: Cast: Ranvir Shorey, Tillotama Shome, Kalki Koechlin, Sheena Khalid, Sujay Saple, Jim Sarbh, Vinay Pathak
Director: Rajat Kapoor
Length: 2 hours
Writer(s): William Shakespeare & Rajat Kapoor

DATE: 13th FEBRUARY 2017

My Review:

I must say, I had great expectations but this was a bit of a letdown due to technical issues (mainly sound)

Despite having such a great cast, this play had a lot of moments where there are dialogues that are inaudible. It's a technical issue but it took the life of the play itself. This is a black comedy and the comedy mainly came from Julio and

Doesn't do justice to being featured in a 'comedy festival'. Very few comical elements. Poor sound quality in the auditorium. Dialogues were not audible, especially those of the three witches. Ticket counters were badly managed.

Of all the elements, I loved the blasphemy by Vinay Pathak at the end it was hilarious and extremely blasphemous. That's all I can say in this otherwise not so memorable play. It as too dull and dark and basically inaudible for the most part. So, in the 2 hours of play time, 45 minutes was loud and clear and it was mostly for comedy lines and not for the actual play of "Macbeth". 


A good film on cooking that is superbly written by a good writer and acted well by two terrific actresses.

Amy Adams as Julie Powell and Meryl Streep as Julia Child make this journey worthwhile. By the time she acted in this film, she already had many innumerable awards and nominations for her and that's why she is perhaps the greatest actress ever. Her acting in this film was terrific, to say the least, and was awards-worthy and deservingly she got many awards for her portrayal of Julia Child. Had Julia Child been alive she would have been proud. But the surprise package was Amy Adams. I saw this film for the first time in 2010 mid and I was going gaga for the performance of Amy Adams over Streep's performance. When I watched it yesterday it re-emphasized my point.

The performance of Amy Adams is relatable, straight and almost without any histrionics or aids while the performance of 'Meryl' was aided by accent, the embellishments of Paris and the period in which 'Meryl' that is Julia's life was set in. I must say I loved both the performances and perhaps Meryl's a bit more.

We meet a distressed Julie Powell in the post 9/11 America (New York) and we meet a garrulous, flamboyant Julia Child in the post-World-War 2 France (Paris). From the first frame till the last, there are parallels drawn in lives of the two people and the intercuts are well done. I don't think there is a film is last so many years that is based on food and has two different time periods being entwined in a screenplay that is based on two different books.

The screenplay is adapted from the books of Julia Child and Julie Powell and is wonderful. There are hardly any dull moments in the whole film and I give full credit to the writing and also the editing. The editing is slick and at times I was pleasantly surprised too. This is a film for the food and film lovers. Both have enough to savor from the film and Nora Ephron proves once again why she is such a romantic person. Her another film"When Harry Met Sally" is one of my favorite romantic films too.

Charming witty and full of flavor this film showed two personalities who lived their life to the fullest. Amazing to see and lot to learn from them. A 4/5 for one my favorite films on food.

My Review of "WHEN HARRY MET SALLY" here

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Another powerful and yet a poignant realistic film from Asghar Farhadi.

There was "A Separation" and now this from the same director. Oh, there is another good film "The Past" from him too. But, "A Separation" and this film stand in a different league altogether. I have not seen any of his films prior to "A Separation" but since that film, I have watched the afore mentioned films and all the three are impressive. Here is a director that demands respect not just for his work but for the way he works. The resources (human and technical) are very few in Iran as compared to other countries like France, USA or India and yet Asghar makes the story telling so compelling that the technical aspects almost take a back seat and as a viewer, I am in awe of the power of story telling by this man.

The acting by each and every actor is amazing but amongst all the superb performances, the performance of "Shahab Hosseini" stands out. His intensity and passion are worth a standing ovation. I suppose, Iranians have a lot of passion within them and it transpires with their work. Be it the camera or the direction or the acting and for their passion, I salute them.

Strangely, no one in the film is actually a Salesman, but the title is derived from the Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman". There are a lot of symbolic relationships shown through the play. There are humiliation and dejection in protagonists life as they are in the Salesman's life in the play. The relationship between wife and husband has some references and while what shatters and falls in the play, is symbolic of the faltering relationship between the main leads.  I do not want to say more and reveal the plot but I must say the last half hour is riveting and the film takes a completely new direction and ends in a surprise and this is the best part of the film.

A 5/5 for another riveting drama from Asghar Farhadi which is superbly written acted and captured.

Friday, September 8, 2017


An arduous effort worth acknowledging, appreciating and adoring too. An experience that I really liked.

Firstly, I should thank my friend Praneeth Jandhyala to recommend this movie. I am happy to see the second part in the Imax screen (4 times). The experience was rewarding. I missed out on the first part in theatre, so thus resolved to make Sunday 16th July, a Bahubali day.

I watched the first part, "The Beginning" on YouTube in the afternoon and watched the second part "The Conclusion" in Imax.

Few films are made with such grandeur these days like Bahubali. It is an experience that was to be seen on the big screen. From 16th July till now, I have watched "The Conclusion" 4 times in the theatre and once my mobile.

Characters were written with a lot of detail and also each of the important characters has a lot of screen time. These characters will be etched in the minds of the viewers for a very long time.

Part 1

WHERE: AT HOME ON 46" Screen through Youtube 4K

Now that I watched the second part, I must confess I did not like the first part as much as I liked the second part. The first 30 minutes of first part were about putting up an idol under the waterfall and climbing up a mountain to solve a mystery by "Shivudu". This I believe was done merely to showcase the strength of the hero and his power. The reasoning was acceptable but the imagination of "Avantika" those blue butterflies was something I felt not necessary. Also, the "item" song at the end which I perceived as filler was totally out of place for me.

Part 2


This is a true magnum opus. Each scene, each battle, and each dialogue seemed to have a relevance and takes the narrative forward. The connection established between both the parts was amazing. The introduction to Amarendra Bahubali was much more powerful in this part than the prior one. "Devasena" who was mostly chained and was looking old in the first part is shown as a princess. I must say I am in awe of the beauty the costumes, the makeup of "Devasena". I dare say no contemporary actress suits Devasena better than "Anushka". Also, same applies to almost all the important characters like Shivagami, Bhallaladeva, Bijjaladeva, Kattappa and of course Bahubali (Amarendra and Mahendra).

Love it or hate it but you cannot ignore a Bahubali. A 3/5 for the first part and a 4/5 for the second part. I am keeping this concise as too much has been said and written about Bahubali franchise.

Thanks to Rajamouli, you have encompassed all market boundaries and have made every Telugu person proud. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017



This is a powerful book and there are few books that question our own faith and also give us an alternative way of thinking, this is one such book. A collection of essays by Ayn Rand edited by Leonard Peikoff, this books has all it takes for a must read book.

I was introduced to Ayn Rand with her novel "The Fountainhead" and in my exploration of Ayn Rand and her thought process, I supposed that this book "Philosophy: Who Needs It" would help me know more about Ayn Rand and her philosophy and also try and see if I can drive few principles that I can implement in my own life. That was 2006 when I first read this book. Even today, that is 11 years later it stands tall and has almost got a divine place in my mind. There is too much to say and how much ever I review I cannot complete the substance enough.

Ayn Rand seems to be a mix of many contemporary and also the oldest philosophers. For me, she is a mix of Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and one of the one earliest philosophers, Aristotle. Also, she rants against altruism. Rand made altruism the root of all evil in the existing world and that was a radical approach and the thoughts are put so very objectively that I could not help but heed to her words in the book.

The book begins with the chapter "Philosophy: Who Needs It" and in this, she strongly puts the need of Philosophy and also giving examples that everyone indeed has a certain philosophy of living that makes his/her own way of life. In "Philosophical Detection", she conveys that every man ought to have the eye for discrimination to understand the difference between the "fundamentals" and "derivatives". It is the fundamentals that form the core philosophy for a human.

Then, she moves onto differentiating the metaphysics and the artificiality of humans in "Metaphysical Versus The Man-Made". In the "Missing Link" she gives examples to help us understand the method by which mind habitually deals with the content in the mind. Also, I encountered a beautiful term "Psycho epistemology" which I cannot explain in a blog but is worth reading about in the book.

Then, my favorite and perhaps a powerful chapter "Selfishness without a self" arrives and here, she talks about the herd (collective mankind following faith and beliefs with irrationality). This herd has a basis for what they do and they believe what they do is right. "I did this based on an existing and well-accepted principle, so it is right" is what herd (referred to as a pack of wolves) says in the real world. Personally, this stands as my favorite in the book.

In the chapter, "An Open Letter to Boris Spassky", she writes a letter to the Russian chess champion explaining her views on Capitalism and why real world rules in soviet union are unbearable if it had to be chess game

In, "Faith and force: the destroyers of the modern world", she attacks Mysticism, Collectivism, and Altruism brutally and also reasons out how Immanuel Kant wanted to save altruism through mysticism. "From the horse's mouth", gives examples of modern philosophers who disagreed with Kant and also debates with the existing "Kantians". Again, in the next chapter "Kant versus Sullivan", she debates on how many people in the current world need the help of "Annie Sullivan" (Annie Sullivan is the teacher of Helen Keller). This chapter takes reference from the play "The Miracle Worker"

In perhaps, the most talked and rather the most controversial chapter "Causality Versus Duty", Rand kills the conventional concept of duty and says "Duty cannot be for self-interest or virtue; driven by parents, church, and government". She goes on saying that life or death is the fundamental alternative. The only obligation that matters is a personal promise as per Rand.

"An untitled letter" conveys how the ability is the biggest challenge of man. To understand whether one is "able to do" or "not" is the biggest challenge for a human being. She gives a good number of examples to put the point. Although I could not relate to many of the examples, I could understand what she was trying to convey. In "Egalitarianism and Inflation" Rand talks how these two words are tough to understand and are more often than not misconstrued and misinterpreted.

In "The Stimulus and the Response" she talks about how power/muscle without consciousness leads to destruction. In "The Establishing an Establishment" she talks about how funding through government bring an enforcement and how only a few exceptional men can withstand and break through censorship. In the chapter "Censorship: Local and Express", she gives lot more details on these points.

"Fairness Doctrine for Education" conveys that fairness cannot be applied justly. Fair in itself is a perspective and what doctrine means a set of beliefs by an Orthodox organization. This is not justifiable as per Rand. There should be fairness in teaching all ideologies as against set principles and ideologies.

In "What can one do" Rand conveys action items of which I am listing a few which I believe in doing
  • Develop own convictions
  • Speak on any scale you can
  • Express views on issues
In "Don't let it go", Rand tells to have conviction, fight for reason and to have a sense of existence and also be responsible for what we do.

To sum it up, this is a powerful book. Ayn Rand has been of great influence on me. She made me question the existence of GOD. She made me believe that above all "What we do" matters. How selfishness is the root of all good things that we do.

This book helped me shape my character and I owe some part of me to the books by Ayn Rand. A 4/5 for this. A must read for all those who believe in reason, selfishness, and objectivism.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


A cop film that unravels the suspense superbly.

The writing is crisp and filled up. There is never a dull moment in the film and it feels like too much happens at the end. It took me some time to contemplate and summarise the journey within my mind.

Three persons Russel Crowe, Guy Pearce and Kevin Spacey nailed the film. Crowe is one of the best cops America can hire is what I felt after the film. For Spacey, this is perhaps most accomplished performance after Usual Suspects in his career (chronologically).

I wouldn't say it was a fun ride as there were bumps too. Few points went above my head in the journey of the film and it was tough to comprehend too. Yet, in the mind they made sense and I could summarise and understand the relevance too. So, there are surprises that unravel well.

Technically, this is a brilliant film in narration, exemplary as a crime thriller film in terms of screenplay and direction. I wish there was an impactful soundtrack as the music lacked the punch needed for a thriller.

Overall, I am satisfied with the film and I am going with a 4/5. 3 stars for everything else and 1 star alone for the performances Russel Crowe and Kevin Spacey.

About Me

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I firstly declare here that all the content written in the blog is exclusively written by me and I hold the copyrights of each and everything. Be it a poem or a movie review. Also, the videos or photographs I upload or attach are exclusively owned by me. This declaration is important in a world that seems so worried of piracy. The prime purpose of these blogs is to put my writings and photographs on the net. and well to start with.... I live in my mind, and existence is the attempt to bring my thoughts into physical reality, I celebrate myself, sing myself and I am always happy in my own company.....I am not the best in the world but I strive for excellence and thats what keeps me alive... Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself--Friedrich Nietzsche