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Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

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I don’t know why it took me so much time to discover such a wonderful author , Diane Chamberlain. Necessary Lies is an powerful book which moves you , shocks you , brings a lump in your throat , makes you cry,makes you smile and you just can’t stop thinking about it.

The story takes place in the early 1960s in North Carolina.Its told from the perspective of two women Jane and Ivy.Newly wed Jane , wife of a pediatricion struggling to have a career as a being a social worker working with African Americans if frowned upon in her well to do society.Ivy is a fifteen year old living in extremely poor conditions on a small tobacco farm and trying to support her ill and ageing grandmother and a sister who has a small child.Its heart wrenching when the two women’s life intersects and how they find similarities in one another and how they fight for what they believe is right despite the strong opposition.

Sharing with you some of my favourite quotes from the book:

” Well I think when we lose somebody, maybe we owe it to the person to remember them. To hold on to the good memories.”

” That’s what it’s all about , isn’t it ?she asked. ” Being able to choose what we want to do.”

” There are too many silly rules in our lives, ” she said , ” and our lives are far too short to pay attention to them.”

” Sometimes colouring outside the lines can cost you, “she said. “Only you can figure out if it’s worth it ”

Its a fictional book with characters that seem so real that when you finish the book you literally miss them.I was almost sorry when the book ended.

Its not a easy book to read but I definitely recommend it

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2014 in Reviews

 

Highway

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One of H’s colleagues had two tickets for the movie Highway and couldn’t make it so that’s how we landed up at the late night show. I was almost drowsy with sleep and highly skeptical if I wanted to watch a serious movie after a long day at work but I wasn’t a person who would miss out on free tickets so I was there with a huge tub of popcorn in hand.

But as the movie progressed I was engrossed. All sleep and tiredness forgotten … I was hooked. Truthfully before this movie I didn’t think both Alia and Randeep were good actors but in this one they truly were in their roles … The story is about two damaged souls who travel together and help each other heal … Alia plays the role of Veera a girl from a affluent background who falls in love with her kidnapper … Nothing new in the story but the way it is treated is amazing … The characters are intriguing , the support actors are brilliant …

The only time the plot seems a little unreal is when Veera becomes friends with her kidnappers almost too soon to be believable …She says ‘yaha accha lag raha hai’ almost too quickly for you to digest … But if one can overlook that part the rest is a compelling journey through the undiscovered countryside of India…

A. R Rahman ‘s music is soulful … I like the fact that nobody suddenly breaks into a song in the movie .The music runs mostly as a background score which portrays the emotions perfectly …

Imtiaz Ali tells his story in a simple yet unconventional way …

Alia’s portrayal of Veera is fresh and refreshing … She has just the right amount of innocence and naivety required for the role… Somehow I couldn’t identify with her portrayal of shaniaya in Student of the Year … But here she is just perfect ..

Randeep Hooda is his usual brooding self. But he delivers his role of a kidnapper with conviction …His rare smile seems like a ray of sunlight on a cloudy day .I think these kind of roles suit him better than those of a suave, handsome playboy.

Overall highway is a journey… A experience … Though not entirely pleasant ( none of that I feel so good types) but interesting all the same … I am not so sure if I enjoyed it completely but it was a film that was worth every penny of my ticket ( not applicable in my case as I didn’t buy my ticket but still ) … An experience that should not be missed.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Reviews

 

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Student of the Year – A Review

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Karan Johar is back with his candyfloss romance creating a fantasy world full of good looking people, expensive things and exotic locations. If bubblegum romance is your cup of tea then SOY is totally your type.

Student of the Year is set in impossibly chic campus of St Teresa High School where good looking students dressed in designer clothes lounge in canteens or break into a song & dance routine. The story is a simple love triangle on the background of the Student of the Year competition. The two heroes are Abhimanyu (Siddharth Malhotra) and Rohan (Varun Dhawan).They is as different as chalk and cheese. Abhimanyu is an ambitious boy next door (who is drop dead gorgeous with abs to kill for) studying in St Teressa on scholarship while Rohan (again a hunk) is a spoilt rich kid of India’s leading business tycoon who is also the school’s chief trustee. The lady in the love triangle is Shanaya Singhania ((Alia Bhatt), a dolled up rich babe who substitutes her lack of family ties with designer labels .The two heroes with different backgrounds and clear goals clash with each other in parking lots, football fields and canteen. Their rivalry takes an unexpected turn when the enemies turn friends. But this lasts for a short time as the enemies turned friends turn back into enemies when Abhimanyu falls for Rohan’s childhood sweetheart Shanaya and she silently reciprocates. The Student of the Year competition initiated by d Dean Yoginder Vasisht (Rishi Kapoor ) adds fuel to the fire as new ambitions are born , old loyalties fall aside and the competition manages to tear apart the lives of the participants.

The side cast consisting of the rich guy’s chamcha, the best friend of the school’s most popular girl, the fat guy whom everybody makes fun of, the opportunist hot girl may seem stereotypes but somehow one can see the shades of them in your friends as well.

Siddharth Malhotra as Abhimanyu is pleasant and sincere. Varun Dhawan comes off as a confident new comer. Alia Bhatt is cute but passable. She portrays the role of spoilt, clueless rich girl well but lacks the attitude of Kareena Kapoor’s Poo.Rishi Kapoor plays the role of a gay deal lusting after the football coach with ease and is highly entertaining.

Vishal shekhar’s music is peppy and hummable.

The film rains glamour and gloss. The script is entirely unoriginal but it doesn’t bother Karan Johar and he doesn’t let it bother you as well. His entire magic lies in presentation rather than story telling. Its campus romance revisited but without the magic of KKHH.

It is basically escapist cinema which doesn’t have any life changing points to make.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Reviews

 

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Ajab Gazab Love – A Review

 

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It’s one of those films you know is utterly senseless but yet watch when you have nothing to do. I didn’t have any expectations from this film and so wasn’t disappointed at all.

Rajveer Ghreval (Jackky Bhagnani) the ideal son of the automobile czar Yashvardhan Grewal (Darshan Jhariwala) is obsessed with designing his dream car DC (How Innovative!!!).But love can happen any instant. And for this hardworking chap it happens when he falls for a dusky girl (Nidhi Subbaiah) coming down the elevator. (Love at first sight you see)So our love struck hero (fool) tracks down this escalator girl but before he can express his love for her , he realises that she hates rich people and can get every high pitched and angry about them (and may I add seriously annoying).

So now what does our poor rich guy do? Simple. He pretends to be poor but educated car mechanic who works on a petrol pump but is actively involved with social work. And it works like magic. In a song or two our dusky babe (who is anyways obsessively interested in poverty) falls for the poor rich guy.

But now she wants to meet the family. (She wants to know about the poor sad life of the hardworking mechanic).That’s a big problem considering the Ghrevals have to pretend to be ‘poor’ and live in a kholi.But since Rajveer’s mom (Kirron Kher) is also obsessed about finding her DC , Dream Bahu they all agree to play their parts. So the family who has never seen poverty presents a filmy image of family – andhi maa , fruit seller father ,drunkard brother and helpless sister in law.

The problems double up when Maddy’s twin brothers (Arjun Rampal & Arjun Rampal) who also are one of the richest people in Bhopal want to check out the impoverished family.

Ajab Gazab love has its hilarious moments but overall it runs on an even pace. The film mostly revolves around Jackky. It actually is meant to project his (in) acting but does nothing more than highlight his unbelievably good abs (drool!!! drool!!!) and dancing skills. There are few moments that bring out laugh but rest of it is filled with cheesy lines and lousy jokes.

Jackky with his six pack abs makes a sincere attempt to deliver a good performance but disappoints most of the times. There are times when he seems endearing (I might have added those because of his amazing abs showing scenes) but they are very few. Niddhi as a leading lady is just passable.

Darshan Jhariwala performance is extra ordinary. His kela scene is worth a mention. He is just too good in that. (I still have good laugh remembering it). Kirron Kher resorts to over acting but still manages to make you laugh. She is one character who entertains throughout the film.

Arjun Rampal pulls off a decent performance in his double role.Arshad Varsi in his cameo playing the servant pretending to be the rich businessman is very entertaining.

The songs are nice. I especially like the Nachde Punjabi one.

If you have nothing better to do and want to watch a mindless comedy then Ajab Gazab Love is for you.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2012 in Reviews

 

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Chakrayuh – A Review

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 I usually enjoy watching movies on real life issues. So Chakrayuh was on my To- Watch Movie list for a long time.

This movie by Prakash Jha is based on the problem of the Naxalite movement in India something that we read in newspapers almost every day.

The story is about two friends Adil Khan (Arjun Rampal ) and Kabeer (Abhay Deol) separated by caste, creed and ideologies ,who get further torn apart by irreconcilable socio-political differences. Adil Khan is a police officer who accepts posting in a dreaded area under Naxalite scanner where no other police office is willing to go. His old friend Kabeer initially warns him about going to such sensitive area but soon after seeing Adil’s frustration and anger towards the Naxals offers to help him.Kabeer offers to be planted as a mole in the enemy camp. The unexpected happens when Kabeer starts struggling with two entirely different ideologies and starts supporting the movement by becoming one of its leading comrade.

The backdrop of this movie is business and politics. Mahanta, a corporate giant wants to put up a plant and some villages need to be uprooted for that. Something that the politicians support whole heartedly… (The same old story).

Arjun Rampal somehow seems too well groomed to play such a hard core cop. But this is definitely one of his better performances. Esha Gupta who plays his wife surely a misfit. She seems fake in her role as a police officer. She looks more comfortable wearing her spaghetti tops and hot pants and pouting than interrogating a Naxalite leader.

Abhay Deol breezes in the role.He gets into the role with such ease and plays the character of a hot headed idealist comfortably. Anjali Patil who plays the role of Juhi an ideology driven Naxalite is a surprise package. She puts up an authentic performance. She is both vulnerable and a maniac. Her eyes speak volumes.

Manoj Bajpai completely fits in the role of Naxal Commander but doesn’t have much to do in the second half. Kabir Bedi as a business tycoon and Om Puri as Govind Suryavanshi have small but meaningful roles which they portray well.

Prakash Jha’s handling of Naxals is praise worthy. He clearly knows and shows the difference between a Naxal and a Naxal who is also a human. The Naxals are shown to be both kind and greedy; both aggressive and vulnerable.

What I liked about the movie was that it doesn’t take any sides. It’s left up to the audience to decide what is right, who is right. It raises questions. It makes you think. Nothing is portrayed as black or white. It’s all in the shades of gray. That’s what makes it real.

Overall I recommend this movie as a onetime watch for people who like seeing movies about real life issues.

 

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2012 in Reviews

 

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Review – Vicky Donor

This movie belongs to a rare breed of Indian films which is spunky ,warm, funny and downright entertaining.Its major plus point is that though it deals with the forbidden issue of sperm donation it doesn’t have any verbal or visual vulgarity.I could have watched the movie with my parents and not cringed.

The movie is about Vicky Arora ( Ayushmann  Khurana) , a 25 year old Delhi boy who wants to get a job but doesn’t find time to look for it as most of his day goes in shopping in the malls and partying with his friends.He lives with his mother Dolly and grandmother Bijji.He is persuaded by Dr Baldev Chadda ( Anu Kapoor) , who runs an infertility clinic to become a sperm donor.After resisting for a long time he reluctantly agrees to it for ‘pocket money’. His potent attribute earns him a lot of money.But then things take a drastic change when the love of his life Aashima ( Yaami Gautam ) finds out about his actual business.

Ayushmann as Vicky Arora is adorable.( I found his dimples sooooo cute!!!) One can’t help falling for him.He glides through the performance.While watching the movie we forget he is Ayushmann the VJ on MTV and think of him as Vicky Arora a charming Punjabi boy.I also loved the character of Bijji , a modern day grand mother who shares drinks with her daughter in law and aspires for a 42 inch LED TV and a 16 GB IPhone…Dolly is a hyperactive Punjabi Mom who had an endearing personality though she continuously nags her son.She is such a pleasant change from the stereo type Punjabi moms shown in Hindi movies.Yamami Gupta as Aashima is charming and looks ravishing.She has a graceful presence. The role of Dr Chadda ,a desperate doctor is tailor made for Anu Kapoor. His  hilarious dialogues fetch most of the laughs.A special mention to the actor who played the role of Aashima’s father.He was brilliant in his role.

There is nothing over the top about this movie. No grand sets ,no foreign locations , no big actors. It’s a nicely made movie with well written script and every single actor just sparkles in his or her individual role.The music is peppy and fun.Love the song ‘Pani Da’.

This movie came as a surprise package which both charmed and entertained me for two hours.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Reviews

 

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