I have moved to…

Posted: September 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

mayurdeep.com Click About to find more about the new look, new conversations, the more me 🙂

Its funny how in the past 6 months (that coincided with my hiatus) the world’s most followed and fancied cricket team has managed to both conquer the zenith of the sport in winning the World Cup on 2nd April and than nose dive to unfathomable lows thereafter, marked by a 3rd straight test defeat in England that ended just yesterday. Infact the latest result meant India passed the much heralded No. 1 spot in test cricket, considered by the pundits and players alike to be the most challenging of the 3 formats, to a much improved and hence deserved English side.

Test 3 : Day 4 - Tendulkar run-out

The contrast in the mood of the Indian cricket fraternity including its fans (read me) in the morning after i.e. April 3rd and August 14th cannot be more stark. The spring Sunday wore a proud crown that read “The Conquerer” and the summer counterpart boarded a ship to the oblivion land that read in bold red “The Vanquished”.

The Indian media celebrated April by running from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to find superlatives and adjectives in tying laces and garlands around the sore necks of the playing XI, the bench, the support staff and the selection committee. I am as certain if not more that it is the same bunch who are thristy for the team’s blood and will not stop until they taste it after yesterday’s debacle.

Having followed the game with undying passion mixed with relentless pursuit and optimism for team India since the early 90’s, I’d consider myself an Indian. As much as, if not more, than the nukkadwala panwari, to the big hearted autowala bhaiyya, to the blue collared over analytical banker to the over enthusiastic chest thumping high school kid and we all have an opinion. Especially when it comes to the whys and hows of Indian cricket, both on and off the field.

Learn to take a little break, like the power did on Day 3 : Edgbaston Test

And I am of the opinion that in the interest of the team and the sport we all love, its time we should all take it a little easy and focus on something else for a while instead. Let the players know for  a change that we are not watching, reading or thinking about them. Neither because we know that they are too good and will stage a strong comeback, nor because they are beyond repair and hopeless. But just because as fans; we can. And as much as the players, we all deserve a break from Cricket.

I am back….

Posted: August 14, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

A 6 months hiatus is inexcusable and I will not go about citing a reason for it, since it was a straight forward willingness issue. Please consider that a past.
I am back with some specific plans to feed my insatiable desire to communicate. First plan of action is to make my blog devoid of limits. If there is one thing I have learnt about myself in the past few months is that my brain space (hence the name of the blog) although is primarily occupied by cinema, music and cricket, there are plenty of other relevant thoughts and ideas that slowly but surely have made room for themselves. So keeping with the changing times, change I shall.
Sorry to my readers, (if there were any at all) and Howdy to my new friends 🙂 Keep watching this space

Well its Saturdays like these that we all slog our back sides off, for the first 5 days. Eventually as it happens we go a little numb as the events get underway. Find ourselves reminding that its actually happening and yes I have a day off tomorrow too 😛

The very first thought that flashed my mind on the morning after, as I opened my eyes was the ugly reminder that my team lost. It was a major consolation that Manchester United beat Arsenal ending the latter’s FA Cup campaign (Yessssss). But let me stay away from a non linear narrative and pick an excerpt from the cliche’ starting from where it all began.

Du Plesis & Petersen.... exult after a close finish !!!

Close finishes specially when India is on the wrong end of such results, generally sparks of wild debates about of what could have been. Heck, the Indian television business accounts for almost a dozen of such shows which air prime time debates of such nature and milk the poor middle class Indian’s precious attention. Was it the decision to have Nehra bowl the last over and not Harbhajan, was it the selection of leaving out an extra specialist spinner in Ashwin, or was it the manner in which India’s famed batting line up folded like a pack of cards giving away the initiative and managing a less than average score in Nagpur, are questions that cricket lovers will find themselves asking and answering for a long time now. As we hope that this does not have a denting effect on our overall hopes of making it to the Quarters I cant help but know for a fact that its India’s batting that let us down. Getting all out with more than an over to spare when just 40 mins back we were at 260 odd for 1, is not something that has not happened before in cricketing terms,but may be not to this team. That had a telling effect on the eventual result of the match. However in the manner in which we tightened our screws around in our fielding and bowling which and displayed a much improved performance, it was a heart breaker to have lost at the dying minutes of the game. I urge my country men and cricket lovers to stop blaming Dhoni for it. There is absolutely no guarantee that Bhajji would’nt have leaked those runs either. Let the team learn from these mistakes made in this match, recuperate and smash their way to glory from here on. To Team India…. ALL THE BEST 🙂

Talking about glory, I finally managed a smile after a long evening with Man United’s win over Arsenal in their FA cup clash last night with a crushing 2:0 win which could have easily been a 4:0 with some lovely chances created by the frontmen in red. But as most of Red Devils fans will, I will take this 2:0 win over our cocky rivals. Shame on each Gooner who invested their time and energy predicting, expecting and finally praying for a slip up in Man Utd’s form leading to the crucial phase to the Premier League title race.

Fabio capitalises on a fantastic Rooney pass after an even better Chicharito attempt !!!

Well lets just say we are back after 2 forgettable matches. But thats for another day. Let us now just bask in the glory of a wonderful evening where Hernandez, Fabio and Rooney did almost everything right and ensured a telling win shooting the Gunners down (who incidentally are now out of Carling Cup, Champions League and now FA Cup :P)Arsene Wenger with all due respect does cut a sorry figure in the sidelines for someone who spent majority of the season jumping around like a man possessed. You take some rest now.

Well thats my “straight from the bed post on a Sunday morning, about a Saturday that was” !!!

Watch Harsha’s match round up of the Ind vs SA clash here !!!

For more picture from Man U vs Arsenal game, click here

First things first. Its been a lil while since I watched this title (opening night 3rd March) and it’s been a jam packed weekend since. Good news is with some time passed, I can now try and stay away from fan boy sentiments.

Damon & Blunt manage to hit the right romantic notes with TAB

So yeah its obvious that I liked the movie and the matter of fact is, there isn’t a lot to dislike in this one. An engaging screenplay with its lead cast in top form in the shape of Matt Damon & Emily Blunt with supporting cast led by the likes of Terence Stamp & Anthony Mackie. One of the best first 60 mins from recent memory esp. amongst the releases this year so far. But well as we all have come to expect from movies these days, I wish the ending was a just a wee bit more stronger. Having said that if You step aside to construct an alternative, there wont be many that You could recommend or would wish to see.

The best bit of the enterprise is the unmistakable chemistry between the 2 main leads, which was of paramount importance, considering its a love story after all. Speaking of which I think trailers these days give away a lot. The idea is to hit the right balance between creating the right level of enthusiasm while trying to stay away from creating unwanted expectations at the same time.

As a personal choice when depicting an emotional aspect and sometimes a subject as as tough as love, I like to see the vulnerable side of my characters and thats where the script shines in The Adjustment Bureau. The hopelessly in love aspect has been portrayed brilliantly in this one, making it one incredibly likable fare.

And for anyone who is still unsure whether to give this one a try, I have for You a scene from the movie that highlights the spark between the 2 central characters in the most nonchalant way. Have a good time 🙂 Enjoy…

Recommended. 8/10

I dont generally put up teasers but I mean c’mon… can we wait for this one to come out 🙂

This is what a sequel teaser should look like. Spot on I say

Every now and then comes a movie; minus the A listers, over ambitious producers, over rated directors and most importantly the baggage called “blockbuster” ! More often than not when given a chance they  tend to take its viewers by surprise and word of mouth doing the trick eventually turning out to be a profitable product. Hopefully “Tanu Weds Manu” follows the same route. The reasons for my uncertainty is derived from 2 major factors. The ongoing cricket world cup and …hmm well lets come back to that later.

First off its a an exceptional treatment of a rather beaten to death story. Dorky (good) boy falls for smart ass (bad) girl. Dorky good boy’s character highlights are honesty, persistence and true emotion. Where as his counterpart smart ass girl is unmistakably inconsistent, rude, but obviously undergoes major change of heart by the final reel of the movie. This is the aspect of such productions where the writing dictates its fate. The ones that falter in it generally take the dark route to oblivion and the ones that rise above the others get tagged “sleeper hit”. If success parameter is a highway, TWM quite interestingly is the middle path over the divider, or so to speak. Some weak writing culminating to a weaker climax is the movie’s biggest downfall.

A few solid LOL moments !!!

But like me if You tend to take a movie for what it is and if You are not expecting to see ground breaking cinema but have given it a chance, may it be for the case of a dinner date, the dull cricket matches on the telly or because there aren’t many good ones in the theatre anyways, the chances are YOU WILL LIKE it immensely. Just like I did. Madhavan sleep walks through the role as he’s lived with the good boy tag forever, and Kangna once again is drunk (taking a leaf out of her characters in “Gangster” n “Fashion”), with some excellent supporting cast led by ****drum rolls **** …. ****standing ovation*** Deepak Dobriyal playing the effervescent but real “Pappi”. Claiming he stole the majority of the show would be an understatement. He was that good. In the times of brainless and painful attempts of directors like Rohit Shetty and sometimes Priyadarshan, this role is a stand out achievement. If there were any doubts after his terrific portrayal of a henchmen to Langda Tyagi in VB’s “Omkara”, this should cement his place as one of the great character actors of contemporary hindi cinema. He should choose his future roles carefully lest he becomes the next Paresh Rawal or even worse Boman Irani. Age however is on his side but he should use it as an advantage rather than an excuse for making mistakes. Well now that I am done with Deepak (as his own personal career guide), Ejaz Khan playing Jassi is another lovable role of the movie. Jimmy Shergill sucked. Someone remind him changing last names don’t help anymore.

For anyone who don't know who Deepak Dorbiyal is... (not the one on the right)

Above all of it, stands the soundtrack of the movie, which according to me is the year’s best yet (I know its only the 2nd month but do You know how many movies have released so far ???) This one has it all; a soulful romantic melody by Mohit, a couple of excellent foot tappers and some amazing supporting and background score. And if that aint enough, Asha Bhonsle’s “Kajra Mohabbat Wala” from yesteryears has a complete sequence picturised on it and I think Kangna was marvelous in it 😉 There is something completely unassuming about this girl and She invariably hits the right notes in this one. But sometimes a very poorly written character.

Well overall ; its an extremely enjoyable watch, considering You do not walk in expecting the world from it.

Recommended. 6.5/10

Vishal Bhardwaj for me is slowly but surely emerging as a brand in itself. A brand that provides me the much sought after respite from the so called art house and mainstream commercial fixtures, the width of the glaring gap of which is widening these days. “Omkara” I believe has been his most accomplished effort in terms of both production and storytelling perspectives. It’s common knowledge now that he excels in adaptations. Macbeth, Othello & Blue Umbrella (by the same author) can be cited as some brilliant examples. After venturing into original storytelling in the form of the s0-so “Kaminey” where I think he managed to exploit Shahid Kapur’s acting prowess the best so far, he lost more than he gained through the product. Which is why it’s a delight to have him back in his adaptive best.

Priyanka's best not Vishal's

First things first. “7 Khoon Maaf” just like all his earlier work, is an immensely ambitious project. Adapting a short story no less Ruskin Bond’s. Good news is that it impresses in reference to aspects we have not come to expect from a hindi movie. But then just like a beautiful winding road with surprise pot holes and speed bumps, the movie ends up with some glaring goof ups, eventually smashing into a concrete wall, so to speak. What “7KM” achieves in mood and stand out acting of a stellar cast led by Priyanka Chopra, it suffers from a let down of aesthetics. For more reasons than one this one is a movie of 2 halves. The first being one of the finest pieces of cinema and the second a huge letdown with the meekest of endings. It would be unfair to draw any comparisons with the book as I have not read the story yet. But going by reputation if “7KM” was a book, Ruskin Bond or Vishal Bhardwaj himself for that matter would not have attempted its adaptation into a screenplay.

The biggest positives of the movie however are Priyanka Chopra (her career’s best written and enacted role yet), Annu Kapoor, the song “Darlinggg” and some impressive cameos esp. by the man who played “Goonga”.

Some unimaginable low points were John Abraham’s impersonation of a kilt wearing Axl Rose or mostly an unbearable caricature of the same, inconsistency in Priyanka’s make up and overall look considering its a story that spreads over a long span of time, shabby editing esp. in its climax, and an oddly written role of the narrator.

In a nutshell, for me the movie would have been a masterclass if it was just “4 Khoon Maaf” instead of “7” !!!

Recommended only if You’re looking for something hatke rather than pure substance. Barely 6 / 10

It'd be almost unfair to see anyone else bagging the Actress in a Leading Role Oscar, later this month

After an incredibly inexplicable wait, “Black Swan” finally saw the light of the day here in Malaysian theaters and I could not have missed it for the world. As a religion, I queued up infront of the Box Office, where I represented the first patron of the day and the theater barely 1/3rd filled, made it to the first show on a Saturday morning. With the large portion of the next 2 hours spent at the awe of what I experienced, I could finally sum up the pieces of my blown out mind as I sit to write this piece.

Cassel & Portman... as good as it gets !!!

3 specific names associated with the premise meant; it tagged along itself the rather heavyweight of all downers some like to call “expectations”. French film giant Vincent Cassel, Natalie Portman and Darren Aaronofsky who most recently was celebrated for his violent yet heart breaking projection and Mickey Rourke’s comeback vehicle “The Wrestler”. Add to that 5 Oscar noms, 3 of which are for Best Leading Actress (Portman), Best Picture and Best Director and You have Yourself a list of sorts, that pretty much dictates to You why You should spend a well earned weekend morning inside the theaters.

Black Swan is a fairly straight forward story of a ballet dancer and her evolution into a foray She was particularly destined to fail at. Thus it brings along her struggle, fights within her boundaries, reasons and contradicting perspective of pretty much everything She was always led to believe. Throw in some exceptionally well written characters, in the form of her Mom (Baraba Hershey), Mentor (Cassel), Peer (Mila Kunis) and Predecessor (Winona Ryder) around the protagonist that helps her development and along with the eventual narration of the story. All support staff of the production and the one at the helm of all affairs should be given special mention for building a rare mood that aggravated the tension and only added to the crescendo of climax built with a rare but dedicated eye for soul. That for me managed to do what no feature film has been able to do in the past few months. I shed a tear at the climax for it was that epic height that one achieves, specially in creative spheres after weeks, months and years of inspired but relentless and mostly fruitless perseverance.
Quite fittingly the movie ends on a deafening sound of a hair raising round of applause by an auditorium filled with patrons who witnessed one of the finest renditions of the “done to death” opera “Swan Lake” because only they knew what they had experienced was both rare and timeless. Sadly the same cannot be said of the theater I watched the movie in, but as lights came on and credits rolled, I rose on my trembled feet and my heart swelled with the sense of fulfillment only a 35mm story can bring to me. And that’s just how I would love to spend all my Saturday mornings for the rest of my life !!!
Highly Recommended
The Trailer

BAN won the toss and put IND into bat with the crowd going nuts. After a v short while, Sehwag went nuts !!!

Well the long anticipation that was often punctuated with unjustified hype finally ended with India (pipping hot favourites ???) taking on the host nation Bangladesh (the craziest fan following) yesterday. & Yes we did win it by a modest margin of 87 runs, considering a chase of 371.But we’ll take it anyhow. Some called it “revenge of 2007” when we stepped on the banana skin opener and never managed to come back into the Caribbean’s long winding and boring edition of the same. The positives obviously were Sehwag’s murderous attitude scoring 175 with his Ranji team mate Kohli providing adequate support for his 100 (N.O.) and Munaf Patel who I think is arguably the best comeback kid in the team and enjoying his purple patch. As for Viru’s knock it was befitting his initial plans of playing a long innings in the tourny. Low-points or negatives would be Sreesanth’s spell (not for the first time) and the horrendous idea of using glaring highlights on Zaheer’s head (find me the one behind this please).

Virat MID AIR after reaching his unbeaten n maiden WC ton !!!

But for me the one factor that did not go down well even before a ball was bowled was the team selection. Keeping specialist spinners Chawla & Ashwin out by picking a 3rd seamer in Sreesanth who would not have made it to fixture if not for PK’s untimely injury, was baffling. Especially for the notoriously low n flat dust bowls like the one in Mirpur.

So moving forward with a convincing WIN in our pockets, such blasphemy of strategy should be avoided. We face England in Bangalore for the next with a 9 days (yawn….) gap in between. Hope Dhoni rests his brain n limbs well coz such audacious and glaring mistakes could mean staring down the barrel against mightier opponents !!!