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Monday, September 05, 2005

Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena – Just another Album.

The music for ‘Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena’ is out and there’s not much to expect. Promos may look impressive on TV but the acid test starts when the film gets released. As for now, let’s see what the soundtrack has to offer.

Dhoom fame Pritam returns with Pritish Nandy Communications produced this crime thriller, after ‘Chocolate’. Cast includes Fardeen Khan, Koena Mitra, Firoz Khan and is directed by
Suparn Verma. Pritam doesn’t bring along anything new. Its Dhoom revisited. The album has 10 songs and out of which 3 are the remixed version of the original track. Now these remixed versions are strange enough. Does raising the tempo of the vocal and putting some added drum beats mean remixing? If it is, I am sure we don’t need any one called DJ. Even a 10 year old can do that if he has little knowledge about the computer.

Anyway, back to the soundtrack, which has 10 numbers and out of those now 7 are remaining on the dissection table. ‘Ishq hai jhootha’ has Sunidhi Chauhan and Kunal Ganjawaala. Now these two have been performing quite well these days and are getting good numbers to sing. Better for them. So this number does the magic again for them. This is one groovy number and has Koena Mitra in a somewhat la Christina Aguilera ‘Dirty’ Look (now go and ask the choreography team and pat comes the denial). The number rocks and does have an element to catch your ears for a while. That’s about it. The album ends with it as rest of the tracks don’t stand out on their own and are heavily dependent on ‘Ishq hai…’ to sell the album.

Sonu Nigam sings “Yaaron’ with Shaan and gets to sing a solo ‘Jal jal ke dhuan’. Sukhwinder Singh sings ‘Nasha’ and Suzanne D’Mello sings ‘Jhoom’

All the numbers sound like one. The album doesn’t carry any versatility. Just one number, ‘Ishq hai jhootha’, gives you a reason to listen to the otherwise OK album.
If you enjoy your music in your car then the album is just right for you. Pick a copy, push, play and enjoy. Once out of the car, forget what you have just listened too…in fact you don’t need to put in efforts to forget the album. Its one forgetful album.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Ramji, our friendly neighbourhood cook.

Ok people. Ramji is here and in London he is giving janta a fit of laughter, owing to his rustic antics. But that’s about it. Ramji Londonwaley is cooking a story which has been served many a times on Indian screen. Or to be little sympathetic, we have an old recipe, with some pinch of freshness, may be a hint of spice from a different make.

First the appetizers - Ramji Londonwaley, is a remake of a Tamil hit ‘Nala Damyanthi’, which was written by none other than Kamal Hassan. Now I wonder why would an imaginative scriptwriter like Sanjay Dayma would pick up a remake for his directorial debut. Ok, fine, sometimes remakes prove better than the originals. But in this case, it’s difficult to say that. Dayma seems to lose the strings with this one and that shows on screen.

The main course has R Madhavan as Ramji and a host of cast which together makes up the buffet. Ramji, being a simpleton from Takipur in Bihar, doesn’t disappoint much. Madhvan does have a funny bone and is comfortable with comedy but his southern looks and accent fail him. Perhaps that’s one reason this gifted actor is still just a south Indian superstar. Ramji reluctantly accepts an offer to serve as a cook to an NRI in London, just to arrange for her sister’s dowry. And there starts the grueling for our poor Ramji. From obnoxious flight stewardess to western styled toilets, brief underwear to London Underground, Ramji is heading for a culture shock. And to add the confusion, he loses his immigration papers and the authorities are after him. That’s not all for poor Ramji – his would-be employer dies and now Ramji is all alone, without his papers, stranded in a country about which he has little knowledge. To top it all, his English vocabulary is as rich as the friendly neighborhood doodhwallah bhaiya. A kind Indian family allows Ramji to work for their restaurant as a cook and there starts a rollercoaster ride for our Ramji.

As for desserts, we have Samita Bangargi as Sameera. We last saw her in ‘Shaadi ka ladoo’. In Ramji’s stale tale, she is just fine. Soundtrack for Ramji is OK. The only number which can be played again and again is “London London’, owing to Sukhwinder Singh’s velvet voice. Music is done by Vishal Bhardwaj and he has used a bunch of singers, from Daler Mehndi to Alisha Chinoy. Raghuveer Yadav gets to sing a number for our Ramji. I wish Sanjay would have given a thought to cast him in film as well.

The film belongs to Ramji and perhaps he is the only element to watch for. Sanjay has tried to devise new situations and sequences to bring in the laughter but falls flat, somehow. The rest of the cast just proves to be supportive, in what could have been a laugh riot. Tough luck for Madhavan, as he never had many takers in Bollywood and with this one, he is again given a forgetful flick despite of a fairly good performance, if not flawless. Madhavan, work on your accent, you heavily sound southern, and for Ramji, faking an accent wouldn’t do.

To sum up this party, all I could suggest is that Ramji Londonwaley is a one time see, if you have nothing much to do this weekend. Since other releases, ‘Aashiq banaya aapne’, ‘Pyaar mein twist’ and ‘Dansh’ fail to catch any attention, Ramji can boast of a fair audience share.

Ramji is serving at a theater near you. Go and check him out, but don’t expect too much.