It’s Not All About English Vinglish!

-Mrinalini Shinde

Okay, the song ‘Navrai Majhi Ladachi Ladachi ga‘ is stuck in my head; I just got back from watching English Vinglish. I need to get this out of the way,  I am so glad  that there’s finally a wedding song with strong Marathi intonations!  My evident bias aside, this film has a lovely and unassuming, appropriate soundtrack.

If you want to watch an honest,  feel-good  and  profoundly simple film, go watch English Vinglish.  The film has no complex storyline or plot. It’s a description of the course of events centred around the protagonist- Shashi Godbole, played by Sridevi, and the trials and joys she encounters in the face of her family, her interests, her exploration of New York City, and her  conquest of English. And this description makes for a delightful watch.

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Sign me Sweet Nothings… Barfi.

– Mrinalini Shinde

After Srikanth Mantravadi’s  review of the soundtrack of Barfi last month, we bring you a slightly delayed review of the movie itself. I managed to catch it last night, finally, and decided to review it, especially in light of all that is being said in the media regarding plagiarism in the film, and the fact that  it is India’s official entry to the Oscars.

For those who haven’t watched the movie yet, I won’t give away the plot (which is quite predictable actually). It’s a film about three people,  a girl (Shruti) who falls in love with a deaf and mute boy (Barfi) in Darjeeling, but decides to do the sensible thing and marry the rich guy. The deaf and mute boy who tries a convoluted plan to extract some money for his father’s operation, but doesn’t manage to save his father in the end. And, the deaf and mute boy falls in love with an autistic girl (Jhilmil); the rest is a kaleidoscope of that love story.

With the cruelly brief synopsis out of the way,  here’s the verdict: I loved the movie. I wouldn’t swear by its brilliance, like many fans out there, but I definitely can say that I loved it.

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Driving Down the NH-17

-Mrinalini Shinde

(Image courtesy of Akshar Pathak from http://minimalbollywood.com/)

Warning: Author may tend to use hyperbole and generalisations heavily, attributing to a love of the subject  in question.

You know how there are those movies,  which become institutions? The ones that cease to be DVDs and seep into a collective consciousness? Maybe because they unwittingly or not, have their origins in a collective consciousness. I felt like writing a tribute to one such movie, that not only set the trend for numerous films on friendship to come and defined the urban ‘cool’ but became a cult, with pretty much the following of a generation. The 70s had its angry young man, at war with his past and social elements,  and we had three boys, who drove to Goa on a whim.

So, what makes Dil Chahta Hai an institution?

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Butter Fingers

By: Vikram Shah, NLSIU

One evening, I ring Butter Fingers and ask her to come with me to exchange the tee she’d gifted me. Not to be particularly nitpicking, but she never picks the right size. Or colour. That’s what I like about her.

“You actually think I’m going to come with you to Linking Road right now? When Master is batting?” Who said rhetoric can’t be an art form.

“If I go on my own, then it won’t be your gift any longer.”

“I’d still have paid for it, fucker.”

“But if I pick up something else, which you know I will, I’ll have to pay for it. And then, you’ll have to give me the money if it costs more than what you bought me. Or, you’ll have to take some back if it costs less. Kills the gift feel, no?”

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Kingdoms Should Suffice

By Yamini Periwal,

Jai Hind College , Mumbai. 

You can conquer kingdoms, you say.

But wherefore should that convince me

Of your mettle, courage or steel?

If you could talk straight,

Call a spade a spade,

And wouldn’t evade questions,

I’d see that you are unafraid.

If you could dare to bare your soul,

If you could unashamedly reveal

Your fears and scars,

And the man you really are;

The character you have built

Behind all facades,

With all your sins and guilt,

With placid honesty, without agenda,

And if you could possibly render

Yourself vulnerable,

I’d find your greatest strength in your flaws.

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The Dark Knight Isn’t a Hero

By: Vishesh Dewan,

National University of Singapore

As I listened to the Batman Begins theme (Eptesicus) during my morning walk/jog, with the Dark Knight Rising in 3 days, I began to wonder why exactly I have such a vested interest in this movie, or rather Christopher Nolan’s entire Batman movie franchise. I’m endlessly playing Reagan Fabry’s  13 minute long piano cover of the ‘Dark Knight’ on my piano, even reading the batman comics which unfortunately I wasn’t too interested in or exposed to as a kid. Is it because of the goose bump giving, soul-moving musical compositions of Hans Zimmer, Nolan’s phenomenal direction with IMAX cameras, fabulous screenplay and effects, an engaging dynamically realistic storyline or the fantastic performances by the actors? Definitely yes,  but I feel it’s also because the entire story has a subtle, fundamental connection to the lives of ordinary people living out in the ‘real’ world.

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Clay

By: Antara Jha

They call him the Creator.God makes us all with dirt . Shaping the clay with his own two hands. Moulding and caressing the figures till perfection and then, he breathes life into those clay beings . He’s a master artisan, a sculptor who creates beautiful people, but I guessed he messed up. You see most people, when he makes them, have fixed features, distinguishing quatilies that form as the clay is baked with the hot breath of life , a force that comes from His lips . But, me, no , I came into this world defected. When the clay on my face was still wet. And you know the property of wet clay, it’s plastic. It’ll stay however you mould it to.Just as you want it to be.

This all didn’t matter to me as a child. I didn’t know any better . I was a happy little child , very satisfied with life,so unaware. There’s wasn’t much of an option there really . They would pull my cheeks and exclaim at how I was such an adorable child. This made me happy,felt loved , well , I didn’t have much room for else, when your cheeks are perpetually shaped  into a smile , you really cant say better. Yes, that’s what happens with clay , it takes whatever shape you give to it. Becomes whatever you want.

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