Sunday, July 5, 2009

New York - where Khan is King!

It was pouring horses, camels and elephants last night, but I was determined to catch 'New York' at a theatre closest to me ( Inox - best popcorn in the world). I ran into the multiplex looking like a wet rat... but then, everybody around me was drenched , too. At least I was wearing my favourite jumbo fake pearls and looking posh! From the very first opening sequence of the film, it was established that this was a class act. Some films manage to convey their superior content instantly with frame one itself. But even I wasn't prepared for what unfolded thereafter. Let's hand it to Kabir Khan - the guy's got it. In spades. He makes most of the other acclaimed Bollywood directors look like bumbling amateurs. Khan's movie is in a league of its own - what a terrific script, for starters. And what inspired casting. Who but Khan would have thought of John Abraham for that role AND extracted such a convincing performance out of the guy one associates with a tree stump?Katrina Kaif actually EMOTES in the movie - this is a miracle. Neil is good, but then Neil is an actor not a log of wood. However it is Irrfan Khan who beats all these stars hollow with his polished and superbly understated performance as an FBI agent with a difficult job to do, post 9\11 and the Twin Towers tragedy.
While on Irrfan, I remember him coming home to meet me with a dvd of his film 'The Warrior'. He was an unknown actor at the time, and I had seen him in a small budget hindi movie (forget the name) in which his performance had greatly impressed me. I had mentioned as much in a column, and he had called to thank me for recognising his effort. Over tea at the dining table, we had discussed movies - and our respective spouses - both Bongs!! That was years ago. Today, Irrfan is a star with several prestigious international projects. Like Om Puri, Anupam Kher and now Anil Kapoor, Irrfan will continue to get steady work overseas. These guys are professionals minus starry airs and silly egoes. They choose their projects well, make serious money, and move on. 'New York' is Irrfan's film all the way. And with its success two more Khans join the club of Bollywood superstars - take a bow, you guys - Kabir and Irrfan.
Aditya Chopra's taaras as producer are definitely changing. First 'New York', and now a charming film starring his lady love Rani Mukherjee ( playing a Sikh cricketer, turban- beard et al, believe it or not). Going by the teaser trailer, this one looks a winner, too. If only Shahid Kapoor would change his floppy hair!! Rani appears in terrific form and is looking barfi-sweet. Can't wait !
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It's been a great homecoming . I had three books waiting for me. One is from a BLOGDOST! Onyeka Nwelue's 'Abyssinian Boy' looks promising. I was so touched by the message. It reads : " Shobhaaji, your bravery transcends continents. I'm writing to you with love from Nigeria, West Africa, Africa, The World." Onyeka has been described by 'The Guardian' as a ''teenager with a steaming pen."
Margaret Mascarenhas is a friend who lives in Goa. This is her second book ( I loved 'Skin', her first). She is an American citizen of Goan origin who grew up in Venezuela. Her new book, " The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos'' starts with a quotation: " It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." That sums up Margaret. She too has written a really affectionate message to me. It reads : " For Shobhaa, who has so often pulled me from the brink of becoming boringly earnest." Excuse me, while I weep.....
The third book is from Sai Paranjpye ( love this woman!). 'Rigmarole' is a set of three satirical plays set in contemporary India. She descibes them as " feel good plays."
I shall take all three books with me to Poland next week.
That is my way of letting you guys know I'll be on the move - yes, again!
I know, I know.... but hold the scolding. It's all for a good cause. More on that later.

29 comments:

Roshni said...

Thanks for the review on New York.....Katrina is looking good in the trailers.....Off course your visit is for a good cause Mam but what about us? We surely will miss your blogs....

ZiLliOnBiG said...

ha!, you are at it again.

"Who but Khan would have thought of John Abraham for that role AND extracted such a convincing performance out of the guy one associates with a tree stump?Katrina Kaif actually EMOTES in the movie - this is a miracle.***- hahaha, you almost spoke for my heart...

and thanks for info on Trrfan- he is my bestest favorite all time hindi actor.dying to see more of him...

this is your best post in a long time...satire at its best..Thanks:))

readersdais said...

Thanks for the review & irfan definitely is a popular actor even in kerala where good actors are always appreciated.

kala said...

Your review is heartening. By the way have you seen Hulla, a middleclass adventure? It is brilliant.
Rakhi's swayamvar though lowbrow, entertains well. I think there will be some betting and high melodrama.

pooja raathore said...

Dear SD,
Irrfan Khan is a fantastic actor .. i like him ,wil watch New YOrk.

The Panorama said...

Now I can't wait to see the film:)

Vee said...

What's wrong with you and TOI. Raving so much about this movie? I won't run it down for no reasons but I won't make it 'the next best thing'. The movie did had the script that could have done wonders but the screenplay is the spoilsport. It is shoddy and uncluttered to say the least.

These 3 (John, Kat n Neil) have been given role of their lives 'at this moment' but at the end of it you do not feel for any of them. Kat cannot emote. Please do not turn blind eye. Neil after a superb 'Johnny Gadda' is nothing to talk of in 'ADZ' and now 'NY'. Neil's speech is not clear. He fumbles at most of the words and cannot speak good Hindi like Katrina. Katrinz for that matter never spoke good, but Neil?

John to an extent is better actor of three but he too failed to cash on this opportunity. Irrfan's act reminds of Slumdog Millionaire n A Mighty Heart. Of his calibre, doing repetitive stuff...

Zeba Talkhani said...

Loved the part about John, Katrina and Neil!!

Will try watching the movie as soon as possible.

And the books look promising as well.

The abstract scientist said...

Hello Mam,
Do you need an administrative assistant? I would like to do all the travelling that you do. I can also make good Kaddi patta flavoured chai. Please let me know. Thank you.

Gajendra said...

shobhaa...yeh 'bong' kya hota hain....

*Aham* said...

i loved new york... everything in that movie was a class, but the ending which was too too bollywoodish. Kabir Khan has done a screw up in the end that doesnt create the "vaapas dekhein?" effect. Sadly unscrewing is not that easy.

Im so happy that you too found John's acting mast-mast... :) My friends feel you are too "closed" and your opinions you form once are forever. I will now show him this blogpost of yours. :)


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:-) i love sai paranjpe and you mean so much to us BlogDosts De. I feel a void when you aint around. I dont have a desire to meet you... as i see you in what images you form with what you type. I just have to log on to this space whenever I get into gloomy looms. "Sharing is Caring" and just by the way you share, you inspire people to be what they are, and speak what they feel. :-). I love You De. Unconditionally and totally. I dont know if you are even aware of the difference you are making to so many lives, by just being yourself. :)

Sun said...

I'm very surprised you think New York is such a class act. I thought it was rather mediocre.

John Abraham still came across as a tree stump. He didn't look convincing at all in the guantanamo situation. After 6 months of hell, he comes out looking very well-fed, with just a wee bit of dark circles under his eyes!

I thought Katrina was the surprise package though - she was reasonably convincing in the role.

Khuda Kay Liye, which touched upon the same issue, was/is a much, much superior product.

Kabir Khan's direction is restrained and I like that. But the movie was just about mediocre.

numerounity said...

The books sounds interesting but the movie was a rather cliché. I saw the second half of it last Sunday and didn’t liked it much. Yup I agree that kat did a good job.

Irfan khan got boringly repetitive with his cop-probing, cold looks and drop dead act.

@ Gajendra
Bong is a short cut for Bengali.

cmpershad said...

Happy reading! BON VOYAGE:)

Sidhusaaheb said...

Somehow, Anil Kapoor does not seem to be in the same league as Om Puri, Anupam Kher and Irrfan Khan in the acting department, at least to me, although he will probably continue to get to work on overseas projects like the other three.

Isabella said...

Katrina was so brilliant.
She is beautiful as well as talented.
She was the best highlight of the movie.

Katrina is Goddess.

I loved the movie.

Praseena said...

wow!! you blog!! ofcourse, you blog. why didn't i think about that before.

Balvinder Singh said...

So Bombay's rains have graduated from cats and dogs to horses, camels and elephants. That's why the water logging there is much more frequent now. What next? Dinosaures i suppose.

Will certainly watch the movie.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Irfan Khan is HOT. Ouch.... that hot! He is. He is thinking man/woman hot, which is almost as much appreciated as John Abrahams hot derriere, or SRK's androgynous hotness.

You are right about that group of actors making serious money and moving right on. The fact that they can actually move on in the public conciousness in many chameleon ways makes them great actors. Anil Kapoor is on the learning curve there, but he definately is on the curve now. This is the way acting jobs are meant to be. Its not branding, its acting.

krish said...

hi ..

New york is a good watch......and finally kats did act ..........sat the rains poured and u wud agree it was a normal rainy day for mubai...but am sure u saw the condition of the roads , traffic , trasnport......no lessons lrnt frm the deluge in the past.....bless our sould..

luv

kris

numerounity said...

Shobhade
Yup, Khuda ke liye was a class movie…Must watch.

Naseeruddin shah has stolen thunder from everyone or anyone is such acts. Absolute wonderful.


@ siddhusaheb
I completely agree with you on Anil Kapoor. He was a mass hero and with due respect to his acting, he is still leagues behind these 3

Raccoon said...

you've got to be kidding me...I saw NY yesterday...and it was horrible, to say the least. Even Irrfan Khan seemed to be a little embarrassed in the movie.

If you want to read a great review of the movie, Indian Express does it the best and Baradwaj Rangan is the one who'll give you the best review: http://www.desipundit.com/baradwajrangan/2009/06/27/review-new-york/

Peter Williams Amalraj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Williams Amalraj said...

I don't quite understand... Most of them here at my workplace don't like this movie.. May be with John, Katrina and Neil around they expected some glitz and glamour.. In fact some folks out here were telling me that they liked the first half of the movie better than the second half.. Unfortunately it was the second half which most impressive according to me.. Also the 'Cinema Plus' review(The Hindu)by Sudish Kamath was quite very bad about the movie.. I donno why people aren't ready to accept this movie.. I guess it's the star cast which bothers them a lot.. Come on guys.. This is one healthy cinema we should be encouraging.. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.. U can find my review in http://peterwilliamsamalraj.blogspot.com/2009/06/newyork-movie-review.html

John said...

Shobhaa-ji,

Welcome back! Hope you had a great time abroad. It's great to read my favorite blogger, who joined the bandwagon so late and has 1030 admirers while I have only 21.

Anyway, all in good stead!

~ J

Untouched !! said...

hey..i didnt find movie dat intresting..for me it was 3 hr detention..nice content but story was not properly organized..

Aditya Mani Jha said...

It seems we have a common "Blogdost" in Onyeka :) I'm looking forward to reading "The Abyssinian Boy" too...

I found Katrina Kaif's performance mediocre at best.. although Irrfan managed to make the film watchable...

Rahul said...

U liked NEW YORK!!!!!??????

My god that movie was a trash right out of the trash can....

To start with Neil goes to some boston university and then the first scence shows he own taxi??? may god....

Next is FBI is far too interested in keeping watch over a guy only because they have hunch that few felons of past were going to strike terror in new york...????? BEfore the last scene John had no other crime record except he was in detention for some time)

Man the whole film with that stupid script could have been shot in some studio....: why even go to new york....

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