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Sonu Nigam features prominently in a music album (3 Idiots) after many years. He has been in hibernation for the last 3 years — even announcing his retirement from singing due to lack of quality work. Perhaps that announcement was directed at music directors so they would stop seeking him for uninspired numbers. I’m sure he wanted to maintain a high level of quality but looking at his recent works – Yuvvraaj, Blue and especially, 3 Idiots — I am in favour of Sonu Nigam retiring from Hindi film music.
Until he gets a challenge.
I know my bit about music, and I have no doubt that Sonu Nigam is the most talented singer Hindi cinema has at this moment. There are more skilled, more accomplished singers, but Sonu is far superior as a playback singer (strictly).
His formative years were spent mimicking Rafi saab, the next few in tearful songs for Gulshan Kumar movies and a few more getting a foothold in the industry. Since then, he was quick to rise up and gave some wonderful songs, a lot of them for A.R. Rahman. His acting remains pedestrian, but the stint helped his mimicry skills. Not many know, but he is a superbly talented mimicry artist — often mimicking singers from Adnan Sami and Kailash Kher to Lata Mangeshkar and Usha Uthup.
He has some superb songs in Meenaxi, Bose – The forgotten hero and his recent album, Classically Mild. Besides these sporadic gems, he has been largely disappointing.
This is where regional cinema steps in. Few Hindi music directors could give him a challenge, and singing in an alien language is in itself some effort. I’m not surprised that he has done well there, while not butchering the language, as other ‘outsiders‘ often do.
I’m posting some songs of his non-Hindi songs — judge for yourself.
First, HirwA Nisarga from NavrA MAzA NavsAchA. Note how he sings the ‘cha‘ (as in ‘chamcha‘ — the Marathi word, not Hindi). The language isn’t seamless, but I am not sure if someone who doesn’t speak Marathi often can do any better.
This also reminds me of an anecdote related to the song Ashwini Ye Na (the video is hilarious — mostly unintentional), Kishore Kumar’s only (?) Marathi song. Kishore Kumar was terrified of singing in Marathi (not because of the MNS — they were infants then), because he could never get the pronunciation of ‘cha‘ right. He agreed only after Sachin, the director, and the lyricist assured him that his lines wouldn’t use the syllable ‘cha‘. I went through it fleetingly, and it seems true.
Back to Sonu Nigam, he has been active on the Kannada circuit lately, starting with the 2006 blockbuster Mungaru Male. He also released a Kannada album this year. From the few Kannada songs I heard, this one I liked best : Ninnindale from Milana.
The south-Indian singing style is unmistakable. I asked about the pronunciation to a Kannada-speaking friend : he agreed Sonu Nigam was miles ahead of other non-Kannadiga singers. It wasn’t perfect — which I believe is very hard to achieve — but Sonu Nigam was close.
I still wish his best songs were in Hindi, but I don’t mind following non-Hindi songs in the hope that he might reinvent himself and show his potential — as he did in Classically Mild.
Thanks to Raghu, Srikanth for inputs.
Feel free to write in with other non-Hindi songs of Sonu Nigam.
I finally got down to watching Blue, the most-expensive Bollywood movie ever. Most of the reviews have been negative and the audience hasn’t exactly loved this movie.
Which, I frankly, don’t get.
Because this movie is so absofreakinglylute awefreakinlysome and mindfreakinglyblowing that I can’t remember the last movie I enjoyed this much (okay, maybe it was Karzzzzz). You get where this is going, right ?
The actors are going to sweep the Oscars (if the cleaning guys there are fired). The script is going to be preserved in archives for generations. Having already won an Oscar, Rahman’s been there, done that. Watch out for him at the Razzies though.
Without blading you further, let’s jump right into the golden moments that make Blue what it is.
1. Sanjay Dutt, while distributing gyaan about diving (because he is the most super duper awesome diver ever), says,
Diving ke teen golden rules hain
Ek .. Saans kabhi mat rokna.
There are three golden rules of diving.
One .. don’t stop breathing.
Great advice, except for one teeny tiny fact – That is true everywhere.
2. Katrina Kaif is on her first date with Zyed Khan (which reinforces the claim by some that she is indeed stupid). She offers him some assignment that would pay $50,000.
KK : Tum in paison ka kya karoge. (What will you do with this money ?)
ZK (with a cunningly sweet smile) : Hamari future plan karoonga. (I’ll plan our future)
KK : Abhi 12 ghante bhi nahi hue hume mile, already future plan kar rahe ho ? (It’s been hardly 12 hours since we met !)
ZK : Main to pichle 12 ghanton se plan kar raha hoon. Bas tumhare haan ki deri hai. (I’ve already been planning it for the last 12 hours. I’m just waiting for a yes from you.)
KK (shyly,coyly, embarrassingly smiling) : Har baat kehna jaroori nahi hai. (It is not necessary to explicitly say everything.)
You just freaking met him !!!
Here, the right thing to do is pause the movie, enter a sound-proof closet .. and laugh.
3. The guy who credited Katrina Kaif is this movie was out on a social cause, methinks. She has about 20 seconds (okay maybe 57 secs) in the entire movie. Add that she is neither hot, nor cold .. just about at room temperature.
4. The movie attained the rare distinction of having Zyed Khan, Lara Dutta, Rahul Dev and Sanjay Dutt in one frame.
What do you do when you see them in one frame ?
You freakin’ get a pen and paper and take down acting notes !
5. Little Sanjay Dutt (umm .. no double-meaning meant) is diving with his dad, when his dad is stuck under a steel beam and has no chance of surviving. His expressions are a combination of frantically waving and instructing little Sanjay Dutt to head back, lest he exhaust his oxygen.
This is construed by little Sanjay Dutt as, quote, “Aur unhonen mujhe kasam di ke main us khazane ke baare mein kisi se na kahoon” (and he asked me to never ever reveal about the treasure to anyone).
6. What are the sharks doing in the movie ?
They don’t attack anyone, they don’t bother anyone, they don’t even make any noise, they basically do nothing in the entire movie !
Unless it is a metaphor for the Congress, someone please enlighten me what they were doing in the movie.
7. This one’s just for Sanjay Dutt :
Dude, when the bad guy is down on the ground (courtesy a superb punch by you), and is lying next to gun, it’s really okay if you don’t complete the monologue assigned to you.
No, really. That’s okay.
8. This one’s by @alltalk :
Q : Whose acting is the best in Blue ?
A : The sharks.
I rest my case.
Conclusion : Don’t miss this awesome movie. Movies like this come once in a lifetime, as your chances of survival after watching them are bleak.
Sohail Khan has come out strongly against practices in the film industry that are harming movies. One of them – multiple releases on a single day, due to which their home production Main Aur Mrs. Khanna did badly against All The Best and Blue.
He also feels that critics need to review movies on Mondays and not on Fridays as reviews can make or break a film. “I think reviewers should give a clean three-day run to every film and leave it on audiences to choose which one to watch. By writing a film off on a Friday, they indirectly cause a lot of harm to that movie and business definitely gets affected by such scathing reviews. Moreover, not many critics are unbiased today.”
I have heard this argument previously of disallowing film critics from reviewing movies immediately after/before they are released and I cannot disagree more.
We had around 5 decently good movies last year, so it is safe to assume that if you blindly walk in for a movie, about 95% of the time, the movie will leave you dissatisfied. So in a sense, what filmmakers want is more audience to be awed by their promotion and publicity gimmicks and willing to shell out a few hundred bucks for a product that in most cases isn’t even worth it.
Mr. Sohail Khan, I have a better idea for you. No reviews for the first three days, but the tickets should be for free. At the end of the movie, let people decide what they want to pay.
I think it’s a fair trade.
What say ?