Valentine’s day movies


I am not a fan of Valentine’s day; I have never celebrated and probably never will. But of course, I am not gonna undermine its need, or go to the extent of condemning it. It could use a better name, though. Regardless of the superficial purpose of such greeting card days, including Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, daughter days etc., it certainly helps the economy with its tiny spikes in the consumer market. Also, I believe it provides and small little purposes to otherwise monotonous days.

My idea of Valentine’s day is, to crash on the recliner, grab a beer, popcorn and watch that Hollywood or Bollywood has to offer this year around. Additionally, Sundays are not meant for intellectually taxing stuff. They are dedicated to comedies, romantic or otherwise.

I watched two. Surprisingly, they were genuinely nice ones, worth more than a lazy afternoon time pass. I recommend them to you to watch, they are streaming online.

By Source, Fair use, Link

“The map of tiny perfect things” is now streaming on Amazon prime video is a semi-sci-fi romcom. The skeletal theme is covered repeatedly in many movies before. Be it cute Bill Murray starring “Groundhog Day” or even Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt starrer dystopian the “Edge of Tomorrow”. A temporal anomaly created by singularity by a tiny perfect thing makes protagonists loop their day. He gets a bland non-eventful side of the loop while she receives a sad part of the circle. That is the all the spoilers, for now, please go watch it. Basically, a whole universe, including the parallel ones, conspires to create a perfect moment for them.

The second one is not technically themed movie, but Disney’s Hotstar advertising it only today. JoJo Rabbit, an Oscar-winning period drama, a comedy, war movie, and atypical love story. It is about a boy, a massive fan of the Adolf, borderline fanatic, owing to a generation of long propaganda. He derives his life direction of life from an imaginary Adolf, moral or otherwise. He eventually falls in age-inappropriate love with his someone the very propaganda demonizes. Please watch it, you would love every frame of it. This movie deserves more Academy awards than the only one it won.

15 reasons on why Cricket is a better game than Football


Internet holds a one-sided view on this Cricket vs Football debate, rather disproportionately. This post is my attempt to tilt that scale towards Cricket.

If hundreds of bloggers think they can cherry-pick ten lame reasons in favor of Football, I can certainly pick a fifteen against it, even better ones. To be brutally honest, the ability to host a football match during rains is the only fair argument favoring it, rest of the stuff are really boring and consequential to who is playing it.

Images through Pexels.com

To my American readers, I am referring to Soccer and not American version of Rugby . Also, stop calling it Soccer and call it Football. Call your game something else 🙂

Here you go:

  1. Results and closure: More than 25% of Football games go draw, and about 8% of matches are even goal-less. You can hit me with the numbers if you disagree and you better have a useful reference point to support your claim. If I were to drag myself to a pub and watch a game with the smell of sweat, and fart; I would at least need a result and nothing less. Cricket might offer the same aromas, but It would, most certainly, deliver me a result. Be it win or lose. This is called closure.
  2. Entertainment: In Cricket, there is always exciting stuff happening on my screen; continuously and relentlessly. In Football, I am expected to get excited with ball passes. Did you really buy that HD TV for 10 hamsters running on wheels?
  3. Game Spirit: Cricket wins hands-down on this parameter. There are several instances in cricketing history when the team captains chose to ignore the game’s rules and let the rival player continue play. That is just to keep the game’s spirit up! I never heard of this happening in a football match. Hence, Cricket is called the gentlemen’s game. This brings me to my next to the most critical point.
  4. Dishonesty: When was the last time a Cricket player faked a nudge or injury? It would have become a headline immediately, and half the world would have joined in condemning it. Whereas in Football, it seems, every player is allergic to another human or his breath. Even proximity or the scent of them can make them fall like a felled tree. Evidently, this is Business as Usual, and it is not even frowned upon, forget condemning it.
  5. Referee: Blatant mistakes can happen in Football, Cricket has much better umpiring. For instance, even to this date, we debate God’s hand winning the game in 1986. Cricket has the patience to wait for a third umpire decision and has a better review system.
  6. Technology: Cricket adopts newer technologies regularly ensuring course of the games not left for luck or fate to decide. How does Football compare to that?
  7. Flavors: Cricket comes in various sizes and shapes. One favors adrenaline (e.g., T20), one favor talent (e.g., ODI) and the other favors resiliency and endurance (Test). Let me know if there are different formats of Football matches.
  8. Diversity of skills: In Football, you can technically play a team full of Ronaldos against a team whole of Messis. However, you can never play a Cricket game with 11 Virat Kohlis against 11 Jaspreet Bumras. Cricket team consists of players with various “distinctly mutually exclusive” skills, not Football.
  9. Commercial viability: Cricket provides more opportunities for brands to endorse their product. In Football, please wait for half-time. It is a matter of few years before Cricket would overtake both the popularity and revenue generation.
  10. Commentary: Football commentary is boring. It primarily consists of recitations on who passed the ball to whom till something exciting happens.
  11. Fitness vs skills. Football warrants fitness over skills. I am not talking about the common denominator skills; I am referring to specialist skills. Let me take an example, a Chahal can devastate an opposition with his wrist bowling skills. Can that happen in Football?
  12. Inclusion: Can you imagine a differently abled person, say someone with childhood polio with a withered arm can play a Football game. As a matter of fact, in Cricket, some of them have dominated the game for decades and became legends.
  13. Safety injury or death: This comparison is alarming. I gather its around 120 vs 9 throughout the history of both the games. Injury, fatal or otherwise, I think, is even bigger statistics. I do not have numbers handy. Cricket has changed over the last few decades to be safer for its players, but Football remains the same.
  14. Fights: Just like its players, Cricket’s fans as gentlemen too. They clap and sip tea. Except for Pakistani fans breaking TV sets they rarely indulge in fights. I do not need to explain how it works for Football. I have witnessed riot police and helicopters being called for a game in east London.
  15. Football socialistic and Cricket is capitalistic. Period.

I do not expect my readers who are also football fans, to be nice to me in the comments section. Try to be friendly, else I will understand you are part of #14. 🙂

[Book vs Movie]Calling Sehmat vs Raazi


Generally, I do not get involved in the business of comparing the movies against the Book based on. The primary reason for that is that I will have to read fiction for the comparison. And I hate reading fiction! Nevertheless, here is an attempt. This is more of a fictionalized biography rather than a novel, hence the exception 🙂

The movie in the discussion is Raazi starring Alia Bhat. She is a nepo-kid with reasonably good acting skills amongst a truckload among quintessentially bad actors and movie makers. For a change, the movie is loaded with decent actors; songs are brilliant with excellent lyrics. Its quite old movie by now and you would have seen it already. The book is based on “Calling Sehmat”, authored by Harinder Sikka penned on fictionalized biographical narration based on what he gathered from actual Sehmat.

On an overall and surface level, the movie captures the essence and sequence of events described in the Book. However, there are a few fundamental differences, which could be deliberate or creative. I will leave you to decide:

  1. The movie does not capture the first chapter of the Book. The chapter is an essential part of the storyline, but the film chooses to leave behind. The book takes its own time, deservedly, to define Sehmat, her love interest, passion, etc. The movie does not care about any of that.
  2. The movie Sehmat is a weak girl who flinches with the pistol backfire, the book’ Sehmat is a cold-blooded determined soldier who is willing to kill, lie, kidnap, and blackmail for her nation which was at war. The Book’s Sehmat does things as her conscious directs her, while the movie’s Sehmat does it as obligations to her Indian handlers.
  3. The movie ultimately leaves put last few chapters, which most probably is to avoid hurting sentiments of a rowdy family lived terrorizing a village in rural Punjab. Also, they probably do not want to show Sehmat owes her newfound sanity to a hermit.

Also read: Letting Meghna Gulzar direct Raazi was the biggest blunder, rues Calling Sehmat author Harinder Sikka

Bahut Hua Samman (2020) – Movie review


A couple of the movies dropped over OTT this weekend. Probably all of you chose to watch Master by Vijay. But, unfortunately, I can not stand that guy. I know what exactly to expect there – he will be shown in every frame of my TV scratching and rubbing his stubble as if its a kind of skin conditions. I wouldn’t say I liked his antics during the 90s and 00s, and now, I most certainly do not. 

The other option was Bahut Hua Samman (2020) with Sanjay Mishra leading the show. I was promised a slapstick comedy with the nostalgia of a mechanical department of engineering college with the synopsis and reviews. It was indeed a comedy movie if you can tolerate lots and lots of swearing referring to female relatives of each other. 

Good actors and direction make it okay for you to sit for two hours and engaged. That’s it. That’s all the good stuff in it and let me dedicate the rest of the post what I observed beyond the silly comedy.

Baba goes for morning dump with a Bluetooth headset

The movie’s prime protagonist goes after a name ‘Baba‘, whose primary pastime is to take digs at capitalism 24×7. His political ideologies fall somewhere between an anarchist and a Marxist. For example, even though he is recognised in academic circles, he is so rebellious that he openly defecates outside his house. Toilets are for the subjugated and the weak. However, he has customised an Amazon Echo which answers to ‘Apeksha’, who apparently is his imaginary daughter in law. He has ready-made plans for rob banks and even to pull down governments. 

Let me summarise a cliched and predictable plot quickly so that you don’t bother watching it. Two useful for nothing college students (Cliché) gets recruited to baba’s idea of robbing the bank. They eventually manage to reach the locker room with the help of a Union leader like figure (cliché) only to find his sand-mafia acquaintances have robbed it already through the front door. They have an ordinary concubine who shows her skin for living and as her hobby (cliché). Then police, politicians, religious leaders, businessmen and academicians hand in glove with this nexus. Arson hoarding Marxist baba saves the day being Rambo and by donating sperm to IPS officer with her kinky husband. !

Let me list what’s wrong with the movie.

  1. The movie’s flow is inspired by 2008 film “The Bank Job” starring Jason Statham. It is easily predictable when a particular locker was tasked to be picked first to gather scandalous document. 
  2. You remember the recent OTT Tamil movie Mookuthi Amman had a protagonist who calls himself as Engels Ramasamy? He was named after Friedrich Engels for his father’s ideological attachment. That was the first clue that the movie is taking a left and will take a swipe at anything stands against ideology. This movie has something similar. Ever since Sanjay Mishra’s character introduced, there is a constant swipe at liberal economy and capitalism. 
  3. Short selling of Shares !! It’s definitely not a joke in India. Even then, the protagonists bring down a publicly-traded company just with the knowledge they gained from a Brad Pitt movie? 
  4. Akhand Bharat Sansthan is the name of antagonists’ company. It is something similar to Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali. They apparently invent a super narcotic and inject into all they FMGC products! They do it being a publicly owned and traded company – nice! 
  5. Can you show name a single Bollywood movie where an industrialist is the right person! Go ahead. You can even start from the year India was economically liberalized. Let’s begin with Shah Rukh’s Baazigar or Anil Kapoor Laadla. Apparently, they are evil by default and no exceptions.
  6. Potty Jokes in 2021! My God!
  7. A comedy movie ends with a Moral to the Youth on how to save democracy! Are you kidding me?  

Scam 1992 and OTT platform debate


Online streaming platforms (OTT) had a good run of generating quality products, which is almost over now. After producing gems of original content for about half a decade, they are giving up now. They, inevitably have opened the doors to production houses of both Hollywood and Bollywood to crap all over them. To be brutally honest, we saw this coming. Why wouldn’t powerful and nepotistic mafias, which are fueled by political propaganda, not claim of the pie of profit? They certainly would not want to sit behind and watch the lockdown to be lifted and the cinemas to open again.

Take these for example; we get to see Bobby Deol on Netflix, Yay ! remember him? The actor with three wholesome expressions in total!. Abhishekh Bachchan is coming in Series called ‘Scam’; calling him an actor itself is a scam! Netflix thought that we are missing them. The Princess Sonam Kapoor is also making a comeback. We all have seen this trailer of AK vs AK. She is apparently a hostage to Anurag Kashyap in some parallel universe. Her father, with his evolutionary advantage that is only relevant for a 15th-century pirate, runs around the city badmouthing which has already spilt over on my Twitter feed!. Soon we will have rest of the Kapoors and Khans and adopted families of Johar unloading buttload of stuff on an unsuspecting audience. In fact, We already have a show by king Karan based on mundane life events of Bollywood wives of yesteryear non-actors.

Hollywood is not much behind. During this December the Disney spoiled your childhood favorite movie ‘Mulan’ for good. What a BS reproduction of 90’s gem!. The Borat sequel was probably the most disappointing one. Borat was one of my favorite characters in this century. They’ve spent an entire move on political propaganda with the sole intention to contribute to the US election. Now, we’ll see Netflix and Amazon prime religiously bending over backwards to fulfil the socio-political fantasies and ideologies of a spectrum. E.g. Jack Ryan saves Venezuela from capitalism

This is very depressing. Many of TV viewers, such as me, had cancelled their DTH connection with the hope of weekend entertainment needs by OTT, only to find the history repeating itself.

While all these, few exceptions like Sony LIV are operating slightly differently. That, at least for now. They have released a couple of guiltfree, binge-worthy original content. One of such I am a big fan of is the “Scam 1992 – the Harshad Mehta story”. It’s a 10 episode short series, based on the book of Sucheta Dalal & Debashis Basu and directed by Jay and Hansal Mehta and steaming on Sony live.

I would recommend you stop doing whatever you are doing this Sunday afternoon and grab a popcorn bucket and binge this show. It’s that worth your time. This, especially if you have watched and loved two great movies, “the wolf of wall street” and “the big short”, although they are not prerequisites. This has a flavour of the game of throne as well, a pinch of it.

I will not spoil the plot for you. Still, the basic premise of the Series is a ‘rags to riches’ of Harshad Meta who was famously known as the Amitabh Bachchan of the stock market. He goes on to manipulating the equity market through the money market if India. The story covers a wide array of topics, including but not limited to: the loopholes of markets, regulatory shortcomings, political corruption, monopoly of big foreign players and in short ‘way things ran’ back then.

Trust me, you will enjoy it thoroughly. It’s probably the best OTT series since Chernobyl on Disney platform.

What went well

  1. The Story. If you did not live under the rock during the ’90s, you already know what the story is. If you were tasked by your parent to go through specific stock prices and business news of the dailies, you will 100% relate to this. Even if you did not know the back story, Series is presented in a manner that anyone can comprehend it without the knowhow of the stock or money market.
  2. The Casting. “Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.” – Food critic Anton Ego, Ratatouille. Most actors who cast in this Series came from a modest background but known to put heart into their performance. Let me take an example, Anjali Barot, who plays Mrs. Mehta, was known for the advertisement of vacuum cleaner, mattresses. I am not undermining them. It’s just that Hansal did cast her here, the nepotism infested industry would continue to cast her in the advertisements of 30 sec. There are 100s such characters in the Series, all of them have brought A level artistry as actors.
  3. Pratik Gandhi is the star of the show, I do now know anyone else could pull this off. I must confess that I do not have sufficient words to explain him.
  4. Direction, attention of details, narrations, period part of period drama, the design of characters. All spot on!
  5. Historical accuracy. The story had sent shock waves across the nation, was talk of the town and it even shattered glasses all the way till Delhi. The historical events, the depiction of big shots, characterization all depicted spectacularly. BTW, I still remember some of the scams authored by then government, the Hawala scam, St Kitts scam and this, are its myriad achievements. In fact, you must wait to fit another two decades for UPA2 to come back to power to have such a list of scams.
  6. The Script: the dialogues are so excellent and witty you will continue to think about it for a while. The dialogue delivery is even brilliant. Written brilliantly, delivered even more spectacularly.

They have designed an almost perfect OTT series – a hands-down winner.

As you know me, I cannot help but nit-pick some of the shortcomings. There were few.

  1. Due to the obligation to dumbing down the technicalities of the scan, Sucheta role takes a hit. For or most episodes Sucheta Dalal is portrayed as a glorified stenographer. For most of the discoveries, all she has to do is wait for that phone call or wait for a file to fall into her laps. I do not think that was the case in reality.
  2. One of the critical indicators of period drama is the altitude of the belt buckle and side slit of salwar kameez. If you get that right, you do not even need to indicate the era/year you are narrating. In 80s belt buckle was on diaphragm and slit of sales was on a knee. Over the decades, one descended and other ascended. I think the movie got it wrong.
  3. Mrs Mehta and Sucheta and few more characters did not age through the episodes.
  4. One of the most concerning fact is, did this Series whitewash the scam-ster? Agree that the show does call the spade as a spade for political, regulatory and banks and other government bodies. But when it comes to Harshad, they are a little less harsh.

Here’s the trailer for you.